Darcy Lewis hated Norway. She hated S.H.I.E.L.D. for sending her and Jane there. It was cold, and there was no Internet or cell phone reception. Jane was perfectly happy to run the experiments S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted her to day and night, but Darcy was spending far too much time playing solitaire in her pajamas.
She was shuffling the cards their S.H.I.E.L.D. guard had given her while Jane scribbled furiously at her desk across the room when there was a big *BANG* from the center of the room. Darcy shrieked, and cards flew everywhere as she threw her hands up to protect her face. When the smoke cleared, there was a tall, thin man wearing a lot of green and holding a scepter with a glowing tip crouching on the ground. Darcy and Jane were too stunned to say anything as he straightened up.
The door slammed open, and their guard came barreling through shouting into his ear com. The man in green pointed the scepter at him and a blue blast hit their guard in his chest, blowing him right back out the door.
"Jane Foster." He hissed, turning towards Darcy's boss. Jane ducked under her desk, and Darcy jumped to her feet.
"Hey buddy, you need to call ahead to talk with the doc." The man didn't even look at her, and she started walking up behind him. She put her hand in her pocket, gripping her taser.
"You are coming with me, Jane Foster. We've an appointment with destiny."
"Well I keep her calendar and 'destiny' isn't in it today." Darcy said as she aimed and fired her taser. It connected with the back of his neck, and he stiffened, but didn't drop like he was supposed to. She kept her finger on the trigger, but the charge ran out too quickly.
Throwing the taser to the ground she stepped back. He turned slowly, facing her with a snarl.
"You dare?" He seethed.
Darcy darted to the side, dodging a blast from the scepter before she scrambled to Jane's desk, yanking her boss to her feet.
"We gotta run Jane!" Darcy yelled as they started for the door. The man appeared before them, placing a hand on both their shoulders. Bright flashing lights overtook Darcy's vision, and when she could see again, she was in a posh looking living room. Jane gasped, and Darcy shoved at the man. He dropped them both as an explosion shook the ground, and strode out to a balcony.
Iron Man touched down on his suit's landing pad a moment later, his armor looking trashed. Darcy snatched Jane's arm again and yanked her away from the two men.
"Hide!" Darcy hissed. Jane nodded, her eyes wide. They just barely made it to a hallway when Tony Stark's voice drifted down the hallway. Darcy shoved Jane through the first door they found, a little closet, closing the door quietly after her and listening to the noise from the living room intently. From behind her came the unmistakable sound of a window breaking and she started to run to the end of the hallway.
The thin man appeared at the mouth of the hallway before Darcy could find her own room to hide in, and he snatched Darcy's hair, dragging her back into the first room. Iron Man flew back up to the window, looking ready to fire, but closed his hands when he saw Darcy in front of the other guy.
"Who the hell are you?" He demanded. "How'd you get in here?"
"Hey, I was in Norway till like, five minutes ago." Darcy snarked.
Iron Man looked up and muttered, "Army, right." He looked back at them.
"Loki, let her go."
"I think not."
"Brother!" Darcy nearly collapsed with relief when she heard Thor's voice. Iron Man took off straight upward, and Thor landed on the balcony.
"Lady Darcy?" Thor sounded bewildered. "Brother, what are you doing with her? Release her at once!"
"We are not brothers!" Loki screeched in her ear. Strange beings hooked onto giant hover boards were flying past the windows, wreaking havoc on a skyline Darcy recognized as New York. Loki wrapped his arm around her neck, forcing her to walk forward to the balcony with him. Thor watched them warily. A plane flew in to hover over the balcony, and Darcy gasped when Loki shot it down with the scepter.
Darcy twisted her head around to see his face, and he stopped once they were outside in front of Thor.
"Brother, end this madness!" Thor pleaded.
Loki looked uncertain for the first time Darcy had seen, and seeing a chance, she brought her left hand around her right shoulder and poked him in the eye. He yelled and dropped the arm around her neck to cradle his eye. She ducked down and away from Loki, crawling and scrambling as Thor lunged forward to grab his brother by the shoulders. When her glasses fell off she snatched them up, but didn't have time to put them back on before the fight caught her attention.
Loki gave an inhuman shriek of rage, and buried a blade in Thor's gut. Thor staggered back, falling, and Loki snatched Darcy around the waist before jumping off the building.
"NO!" Darcy yelped as she lost sight of Thor.
She screamed harder than she ever had in her life, clutching at Loki as they fell. One of the hover board teams caught them, and Loki shoved her down to crouch by his feet. She held on to the crossbeam in front of her with all her strength. They were going to fast that her eyes were watering, but she was too afraid to close them all the way.
Kneeling on the hover board, Darcy watched the horror unfold around them in shock. Behind them, a giant… worm… thing that had come out of the hole in the sky earlier, dropped more ugly invaders on buildings it passed. Then the board they were on flew away from it, circling high to survey the city. After about ten minutes, the grey nasty things around her started screaming, and an answering roar came from the street.
"Send the rest." Loki said, and Darcy shivered. They went lower, chasing New Yorkers to their deaths. It was the most horrifying thing Darcy could ever have imagined.
The hover board suddenly pulled up, shooting straight into the sky. Darcy's grip slipped, before a blue light enveloped the board. As she started to fall away, Loki leaned way down and grabbed her shirt by hem. It rode over her face, pulling her arms up over her head, before she was suddenly free falling. In only her bra and pajama shorts, still clutching her glasses.
Her eyes were locked on his as she fell away, his snarl of rage burned into her brain as he clutched her shirt. She broke eye contact to look down. The ground was so far away, but it was also coming up to meet her so fast.
'I'm gonna die.' She thought. 'I'm gonna die because I wanted an easy stupid six credits two damned years ago.'
Jane's face flashed through her brain, and Darcy fervently hoped she'd thought to get a better hiding spot. Darcy deliberately pictured everyone she loved (and ok, maybe her iPod was on that list but she'd just uploaded a great playlist for going to Norway!) and wished she'd made more of an effort to see her family more often.
Just as she passed next to the top of a skyscraper, a red and gold blur slammed into her rib cage, knocking all the air out of her lungs. Darcy hung limply over Iron Man's shoulder, stunned.
And then relieved.
She finally forced air into her lungs and hollered "YIPEE!". Iron Man snorted.
"Weren't you wearing a shirt last time I saw you?" He asked.
Darcy just laughed in joy as he slowed down and slid her down his front, to wrap her arms and legs around his neck and waist as he held her around the waist. He took off again, straight up this time.
"I'm not dead!" She yelled to him as the wind whipped her hair around their faces. "I'm not dead because of six stupid credits!"
"Whatever you say." He spun around and lifted one of his arms, firing at some invaders. They dropped down again towards a rooftop, and Darcy loosened her hold on him as they landed.
"Legolas, I brought you a present!" Iron man called out. For the first time, Darcy noticed a guy standing on the roof. Holding a bow and arrow. Then Iron Man blasted off and away, and 'Legolas' fired the arrow off before turning to look at her. His eyes widened and his mouth dropped open. Darcy crossed her arms over her ample chest and he seemed to shake himself, before tearing his eyes off her to scan the streets again. Darcy recognized him from New Mexico as one of the thugs who returned their equipment.
"Stark, presents are supposed to be wrapped. You already opened this one." He said. Darcy hoped he was wearing the ear communicators in that all the S.H.I.E.L.D. guys had, and wasn't just talking to himself. Stumbling in bare feet over the graveled rooftop, she walked up next to him.
"Actually, Loki did." Darcy told him as she slid her glasses back over her nose. "Barton, right?"
"Yup." He didn't look at her this time, carefully aiming and releasing another arrow. For once in her life, Darcy kept her mouth shut, letting him focus on saving the world and updating his team. He was doing a pretty good job of it when she looked down the building and realized there were aliens climbing it.
He glanced down where Darcy was looking before shooting the one closest to them. Before reloading he reached down to his ankle and pulled a gun out of a holster she hadn't seen and passed it to her.
Darcy let it dangle between her fingers before muttering, "Shit."
Barton raised an eyebrow without looking at her. "Problem?"
Darcy took a deep breath and passed gripped the gun with both hands. "Nope. Probably not. We'll see." She gripped the gun in her left hand and took aim without another word and shot an alien right in the face. It screamed and fell, taking two of its buddies down with it.
"Ok, no problem." Darcy said breezily. The recoil had been minimal on the gun and she felt confident with it. They fell into a pattern for the next five or so minutes, where Darcy picked off aliens coming up the face of the building and the archer tried to keep his team safe. When there was a lull, Darcy followed Barton's line of sight to see Loki chasing a woman who'd hijacked one of the hover boards.
"I got him." Barton smirked.
Barton let an arrow loose, and Darcy groaned when Loki caught it. She turned to face Barton just in time to see him grin. When there was an explosion behind her, she watched in horror as Loki was launched back into Stark Tower.
"Shit!" Darcy yelled. "Jane's in there!"
The giant green dude jumped onto the balcony and knocked Loki in through the window. When the green dude followed Loki through Darcy nearly lost her mind.
"I have to get over there!" She yelped as she scrambled away from Barton. He reached out and snagged the strap of her bra, stopping her forward momentum and breaking the strap from the top of the cup.
"Hey!" She yelled at him. He ignored her and tugged her back to his side with his new leash. A series of explosions ripped through the city to their right. She saw a squadron headed their way, and guessed they'd finally figured out where the arrows raining from the sky were coming from.
"Hold on to me." He ordered as he drew a new arrow out. Darcy obediently wrapped her arms around his neck, and he sort of fell off the roof, turning them so that he was on the bottom, pulling his bow taut around her. Darcy was too scared to make a noise, as he shot what turned out to be a grappling hook and swung them through a window. He landed below her, wincing as he was dragged over the broken glass. She was flung away from him, rolling away about five feet, her stomach and forearms and knees nearly shredded on the glass. They both lay still a moment, stunned. He recovered first, turning over and assessing her before pushing up to his feet. Darcy sat up as well.
"Hold on, stay there. You're not wearing any shoes." He crunched over to her fallen, magically unbroken glasses before coming back to her. He slipped them onto her face before getting an arm under her knees and behind her shoulders.
"How're we getting to the tower?" Darcy demanded as he lifted her.
"We!?" He stopped walking before they were clear of the glass. "You are going to hide and I am going to…" His voice trailed off as he listened in to his earpiece. Darcy started wiggling and he tightened his grip on her with a glare. Abruptly, he turned and walked back to the window. They watched together in silence as Iron Man and a missile shot up and into the portal. Darcy wrapped her arms tight around Barton's neck as they waited for him to come back. Aliens started dropping dead in the streets and people were cheering, but they stayed quiet, watching the portal. She was close enough now to hear someone say "Close it." into Barton's ear.
Then just as the portal closed, Iron Man fell back out! Darcy gasped and a grin spread across her face. Barton's arms clutched her closer to his chest when Iron Man had dropped out of their sight behind some buildings.
"Come on, come on." He muttered, listening intently. Darcy heard a roar from Iron Man's general direction.
"Yes!" Barton exclaimed. "He's alive." Darcy looked away from the window to his face, more open and happy than she'd ever seen it and leaned up to press a big, sloppy kiss onto his cheek. He grinned down at her.
"Now can we go meet everyone at the tower?" She pleaded. He nodded, smile fading.
"Let's get you some clothes first though. Don't wanna start a riot on the streets just now."
They were in an office building, and lucked out with the third cubicle they searched. A gym bag had been left behind, and Darcy pulled a man's (clean, he must have meant to go to the gym after work.) t-shirt over her head. His running shoes were miles too big on her, but Darcy wanted to get over to the tower as fast as she could. She did take the time to leave the guy a note explaining that his clothes would be at Stark Tower if he wanted them back.
Barton set a fast pace, and she struggled to keep up as she stumbled in her borrowed running shoes. The men of the team had assembled at the bottom of the tower, and Thor was overjoyed to see Darcy.
"Lady Darcy! I am quite pleased to see you well!" He swept her up in an exuberant hug, and she patted him on the shoulder.
"Jane was in the Tower, Thor. We gotta get up there now."
"How the hell many people are in my house?" Stark demanded. Thor ignored him, swinging mew-mew in circles before taking off, up to the balcony. She managed to keep the shoes on for about ten feet before they fell off. Stark yelled from below them, so she guessed the shoes had hit him. A green blur passed them, and when they landed on the balcony Darcy scrambled free of Thor. He followed the green dude towards the bar and Darcy ran to the closet she'd left Jane in.
Wrenching the door open, she was greeted by Jane's pale face. Her boss's eyes were wide open and she couldn't seem to stop shaking. Darcy grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her.
"Are you ok!?" Darcy yelled at Jane.
Jane's hands came up and clutched at Darcy's shoulders, and then they were hugging and babbling nonsense at each other. They broke apart, breathing hard, and Jane looked Darcy over.
"You're bleeding! And wearing a different shirt. Um. You're kinda… lopsided too." Darcy looked down her front. It was pretty easy to tell that one of her straps was gone.
"One of those S.H.I.E.L.D. guys from New Mexico broke my bra." Jane covered her mouth and looked scandalized. Darcy turned away and saw the team posing in front of Loki, and started walking over. Loki pulled himself halfway up, leaning heavily on the bar.
"If it's all the same to you, I'll take that drink now."
Darcy strode right past all of the superheroes and grabbed Loki by the neck. Her lips twisted into a snarl, and her right knee snapped up. Loki's eyes bugged out of his head and he fell forward, cradling his genitals and groaning as Darcy stepped back. The redheaded woman and Barton burst out laughing and Stark sucked in air over his teeth, looking empathetically pained. Thor walked away and embraced Jane.
Barton put away the bow and ruthlessly yanked Loki's hands behind him. Darcy stood awkwardly to the side, not really sure what to do now that the adrenaline was dying down. While Barton hogtied Loki, a tall blond guy who looked a lot like Captain America came to stand next to her. He held out a hand, and Darcy was delighted to see her borrowed running shoes dangling from his hand.
"You uh, dropped these miss." Darcy took them with a big grin.
"Thanks, they're my favorite pair of shoes." That earned her a weird look.
"Hawkeye said you stole them from an office building."
"Hawkeye?" The blond nodded to Barton, who was standing over Loki with the redhead.
"Ah. Well I never said they were my shoes. They're just my favorite shoes." The blond chuckled and extended his right hand.
"Steve Rodgers, ma'am. Nice to meet you."
"Darcy Lewis. You know you're dressed like Captain America?" He shuffled uncomfortably.
"You're Captain America, aren't you? That's awesome!" Steve Rodgers was saved from further conversation by Tony Stark making his way over to the two of them after touring the disaster zone that apparently used to be his home.
"How'd you get here kid?" He asked, sounding dumbfounded. "And why the hell is Thor making out with a woman you pulled out of my closet?"