Fic: All I've Ever Wanted Clint/Darcy FRT (3/3)
Time flew by quickly then. Darcy played assistant, mother, babysitter, nurse, confidant and friend to all of the Avengers at various times. She loved each and every one of them, for entirely different reasons of course. Her relationship with Clint passed the flirting stage, but not by much. At first it was because he was afraid of the influence Loki had had over him. That just took time and lots of sessions with the SHIELD psychologist. They finally did manage to go on a first date, which was rudely interrupted by a villain, of course. Then Clint was shipped off on a mission with Tasha and she didn’t see him for two months. They e-mailed and Skyped but it was only for short periods of time. Their second date was uninterrupted and she knew that they might work out, if they could figure out how to balance the whole superhero/assassin and civilian thing. They had gone on a handful of dates since, but Darcy really wished Clint would get with the program and take her to bed already.
She was so intent on her job and working out this whole relationship thing, that Darcy didn’t realize how much the Avengers were relying on her. She never guessed that she wasn’t getting anything back. Not that hanging out with gorgeous hard bodies that happened to save the world on a weekly basis was a bad thing. But normally she would have wanted something else. She didn’t realize this until she looked at the calendar one day and noticed that her birthday had come and gone without her remembering it or anyone else acknowledging it.
She was in the cafeteria, scanning the choices and not really loving any of them, when Clint found her.
“Why the frown, Darce? The chicken Kiev not up to snuff?”
“No, not really feeling the chicken today. How’d the thing in Florida go?”
He shrugged. “Not bad, no injuries or casualties, so that’s a plus. Turns out the guy we collared works for an offshoot of HYDRA. Tasha’s got him in
interrogation. He says he has information on someone both Tasha and Steve knew.”
Darcy’s frown deepened. She flicked through her mental files and her eyes widened. “Oh my god. Bucky is the Winter Soldier?” she whispered, careful of prying ears.
Now it was Clint’s turn to frown. “Bucky? As in Steve’s friend who fell of the train? And how the hell do you know about the Winter Soldier?”
“Yes. It makes perfect sense.” She turned to give him a glare. “Honestly, you don’t think that being Maria’s assistant comes with the appropriate clearance level? We might have to cancel our plans.”
“And why would we have to do that?”
“Cause Steve’s going to need a friend. You can’t know how torn up he is over losing Bucky. It’s serious levels of guilt. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Doc Burke for what she did for you and helping you realize that we were totally perfect for each other, but this….Steve and Bucky grew up together, they’re almost brothers. ”
“Why do you have to be his friend? Can’t someone else do it? You don’t think Tasha might need a friend too?”
“That’s why she has you, besides, she has her own ways of coping,” Darcy sighed. “I’m the only person Steve’s ever really opened up to about Bucky. It’s hard for him to make friends. You know it took him three months to get up the nerve to ask Beth out?”
“That’s not the point, Darcy. Between my missions and your job, we’ve hardly spent more than a week in the same place. We’ve been dancing around each other and I know we both want more. I made us reservations and I want to spend time with my girlfriend.”
“You don’t think I want more out of everything? Don’t you know how much I wish I could just have one day, ONE DAY where I wasn’t helping or fetching or listening or writing a report? Sure I get the weekends, but those go by so quickly and I usually spend them hanging out with one or more of you.”
“Darce….I’m sure Maria could give you time off. You have to have some vacation time save up, right?”
“And who the hell would handle all of you?”
“We were handling ourselves fine before you took the job. I’m sure we could handle you taking a week off. Hell, we could take the time off together.”
“I just can’t….” she paced the cafeteria, not caring that she was drawing attention to herself. She was brewing up a good mad and she wasn’t going to let it go.
“Do you know what last Tuesday was?”
She saw Clint pause, thinking it over. “Was it some kind of holiday? It wasn’t a Jewish one or something was it? Darce I’m…..”
“IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY,” she yelled. “It was my birthday. And I was so wrapped up in taking care of all of you that I missed it. I didn’t even know that I had gotten a year older. No party, no presents, no cake, nothing. I love my job, Clint. I love being there for all of you, but just once I’d love for someone to be there for me.
He stepped closer to her. “Darcy, shit…I’m sorry. I think I had it written down, but with the robotic squid….”
She wiped at her eyes. “I know, saving the world. I just…I just…I want to have it all. A perfect job, a perfect boyfriend, and I can’t.”
“Darcy, you can. Let me fix this.” He tried to pull her in for a hug but she shrugged him off.
“I’m not something that can be fixed, Clint.” She barely suppressed a sob and took off.
Once she was out of the cafeteria and out of the building, Darcy ran. She wasn’t sure why she did it, but it felt good just to let the adrenalin pump through her as her legs took her further and further away from the tower. Stupid Clint and his stupid being a man. Fuck them all. Fuck them all good. She ran and ran, ignoring the blurring of her vision as the tears fell. She pushed past the crowds, used to the cursing and hand gestures. It was almost like she was a native New Yorker now. She started to get a cramp and whistled like a champ for a taxi. She got in the first one that pulled up and told the cabbie to just drive, go anywhere but downtown.
He took her out to the docks, where she caught the Staten Island Ferry. She mingled with the tourists and the going home crowd, wiping at her tears as more threatened to fall. She took in deep breaths of sea air, staring as Lady Liberty got closer and closer. She was pretty sure that her heart was breaking but how could it if she was still standing there, breathing and feeling? She disembarked and wandered around, finally going behind the statue and finding a space of grass, sitting down and letting her emotions get the better of her.
When she heard the whoosh of the suit, she figured she must have fallen asleep. She didn’t look up, just watched as Tony landed and the feet of the suit got closer to her. She heard the whoosh of the faceplate going up, but refused to look Tony in the eye.
“Hey, Darce. You had us all scared there for a while.”
“Fuck off, Tony.”
“Look, I know that Legolas can be an idiot, but that doesn’t mean….”
“I said, FUCK OFF Tony,” she repeated. “Leave me to die alone in peace.”
“Ain’t happening, kid. Everyone, even ole Nicky, is on their way here.”
“Darcy, don’t you know?” said Steve as he landed next to Tony, thanks to Thor.
“Lady Darcy, you are most valued among us who Avenge the Earth,” Thor said. “Indeed, Banner was nearly transformed when he thought you were lost.”
“Bruce almost Hulked out? Over me?” she gaped, not believing it as all three men nodded.
Natasha and Fury dropped from a helicopter that had been hovering for five minutes. Darcy could see Clint in the door, waiting for something.
“Miss Lewis,” Fury said. “Do I have to order you back to the Tower?”
“You’re not my boss,” she half mumbled, embarrassed that they’d all come out here for her. “You can all go now. I’ll take the ferry back and be there soon. I’ll be back at my desk tomorrow and everything will be fine.”
“That’s not going to happen,” Natasha said. “Clint told us what you said. How could you think we didn’t care?”
“You’ll be going with Barton, Miss Lewis,” Fury said. “I’m ordering you to take the next three weeks off.”
Darcy gaped. “I can’t do that!”
“You can and you will,” he said. “You think Hill managed the office in the afternoons by herself? She had someone else. They can step up and take your mornings for a while.”
“But…Jane…and Bruce I can’t leave them.”
“My Lady Jane wishes you to be happy, fair Darcy,” Thor said. “She has pleaded with me to act as her helper while you are gone. Friend Banner was agreeable to this as well.”
“We can manage fine,” Steve said. “We’re sorry we didn’t think about you. We’ll have a meeting and when you get back, we’ll have figured something out so you can have more time for yourself.”
“Think of it as a late birthday present,” Tony said. “When you get back I’ll have a cake and we’ll throw a bash.”
Darcy groaned. “I think I could manage without one of your famous parties, Stark.”
“Just us, I promise.”
Steve helped her off the ground and everyone crowded around to hug her.
“Go on now,” Tasha said. “We’ll make sure Bruce knows you’re fine.”
“Give him a hug for me?”
“I will,” she promised. Darcy grinned, walking towards the copter and the rope ladder. She stopped and turned around. “I didn’t pack anything.”
“Pepper threw some things together for you,” Tony said. “And here,” he pushed a button, opening a compartment on one of the arms of the suit and handed her a black card. “Go wild.”
“Really? You’re the best, Tony.”
“Don’t forget it, Lewis, just don’t let Katniss know that,” he grinned and winked.
Darcy blew him a kiss as she started climbing the ladder. Clint hauled her into the copter, signaling to the pilot. They veered away from the island and Darcy let him hold her close.
“I’m sorry, Darcy.”
“No, I’m the one who should be sorry. I shouldn’t have let it fester for so long. You’re the best boyfriend in the world. And they’re the best friends any girl could ask for.”
“They all really do care for you. Tony told you about the party?”
“Yeah, promised it wouldn’t be some big bash. I hope he can convince Bruce to come, he doesn’t normally do well with crowds.”
“I think with it being limited to Avengers and Avenger adjacent friends, he’ll be fine.” Clint squeezed her tight and dropped a kiss on her head.
Darcy sat up a little, a frown crossing her face. “How are they getting back? I mean, Tony’s got the suit and Steve came with Thor, but what about Tasha and
“Oh, don’t worry. SHIELD has a few small power boats that I’m sure Fury commandeered before he even came out here in the copter.”
“Oh, good. One less thing I have to think about on my enforced vacation. So where are we going anyway? Please don’t tell me Tony booked us on the Stark jet
out to somewhere hot and tropical because I don’t have a bathing suit and I have specialty sunscreen cause this skin? Burns like a motherfucker.”
“How does Vermont sound?”
“Vermont, land of maple syrup Vermont?”
Clint smiled. “That’s the one. Pepper has a cabin out there, in the middle of the woods, out of the way.”
“We’re not taking the helicopter all the way out there, right?”
“No, we’re landing at LaGuardia and there’s a car waiting there. We’ll drive out there. Lots of time for you to get anything else off your chest.”
“I think I’ve done all my ranting for now,” she laughed. “What’s there to do in Vermont?”
“There are woods to hike, lots of local farmer’s markets and small artisan shops. Skiing, if that’s your thing.”
“Can we stay in? We’ve got three weeks to ourselves. No friends, no science experiments, no missions. Just you, me and a cabin. Got any ideas, soldier?”
“I’ve got plenty of them,” he grinned. “But only if you’re sure about that.”
“Sure? Clint, we’ve been together for over a year. I think it’s past time that we slept together. Don’t make me use my favorite Firefly quote on you.”
“The one with Kaylee and her choice of sex toys?”
“You know it, babe.”
“I’ll make sure one of our first stops is a drug store.”
“That’s what I’m talking about.” She grinned up at him, cuddling into his chest more as the copter flew on. The world pretty perfect right now.
Too bad it didn’t stay that way. Give a girl five minutes of happiness and evil has to take it away. Or at least they have to try.
“You know, I’ve just about had it with the monologuing villain. It’s pretty cliché right about now,” Darcy said, struggling against her bonds.
“It really is,” Pepper agreed. “Whatever happened to the strong silent villains who menaced with a look or a gun to your head?”
“Whatever evil college is pumping these guys out is seriously lowering their standards.”
“He’s no Doctor Evil,” Pepper remarked.
“Hell, he’s not even Scott Evil,” Darcy said.
“Evil League of Evil?”
Darcy scoffed. “Please. Bad Horse has standards.”
The villain in question, turned to them, red in the face and shaking with anger. “Would you two shut up or I’ll gag you!”
They’d been accosted on their way back from lunch, several goons jumping them and shoving them into a van while pulling pillowcases over their heads.
When they’d been able to see again, they were tied to chairs in some non-descript room that really could be anywhere, this dude lording over them. Darcy had been able to trigger her panic button, so she knew that help was on the way anytime soon. Then the guy had begun to tell them why he’d kidnapped them. Yawn.
“Promises, promises,” Darcy teased. “You do realize who our boyfriends are, right?”
“Fiancée actually,” Pepper said.
“Really?” Darcy squeaked. “When did this happen? Where’s the ring?”
“Just last week. And it’s out being resized, Tony didn’t know my size.”
“So sad, he really should be better at that by now. I’m surprised he didn’t get Karen on that.”
“I know, but I love him anyway. Using Karen would have ruined the surprise.”
“Congratulations, I get be in the wedding right?”
Before Pepper could answer, the villain shouted in rage and stomped over to them, tied in their chairs, waving a gun around.
“Yes, I know who Virginia Potts is and that she is with Iron Man. Frankly, I could give a flying fuck who you are.”
“Darcy Lewis, at your service. Personal assistant to Maria Hill, deputy director of SHIELD. Assistant to Doctor Jane Foster, who can kill you with her brain and Doctor Bruce Banner, who also happens to be the Hulk. Oh, and my boyfriend, is Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye. You might consider ducking.”
“What?” he said, confusion clouding his expression. The window on the opposite wall shattered as a huge green fist plowed right through it. The arrow that followed was silent, hitting said villain squarely in his back. He yelped in pain, trying desperately to reach for it before he tumbled forward to the floor.
“Will he be okay?” Pepper asked.
“Fine, standard tranquilizer arrow. He’ll be out for a few hours and have one hell of a headache but he’ll live.”
“Too bad about that, but Fury does insist,” Clint said, swinging into the room. Hulk was looming outside, a look of worry on his face.
“Just a few scrapes and bruises, big guy, you go with Tony or Steve and let Bruce come back okay?”
“HULK DO, SEE DARCY SOON?”
“Sure will, I’ll come see you as soon as I can.”
“I think Hulk might have a bit of a crush on you,” Pepper said.
“I know,” Darcy sighed. “One of these days I’m going to have to let him down gently.”
“Don’t make me use one of my tranqs on him,” Clint said, untying her from the chair.
“No worries, I’ll be gentle. Besides, with the way Bruce and Tasha have been dancing around each other, it won’t take much to get Hulk thinking about the ‘red lady’.”
“I hadn’t noticed,” Clint said as he untied Pepper.
“You don’t want to notice because Tasha is your partner. Next time we have dinner all together, keep your eyes peeled. And they call you Hawkeye,” Darcy teased.
Pepper smothered a laugh. “I think it’s sweet. I’m going to assume there’s an ambulance downstairs and we’ll do debrief at the Tower.”
“You’ve got it.”
“I’ll just leave you two alone then,” Pepper said, brushing an imaginary piece of dirt off her blouse and walking towards the elevator.
“Classy lady, I see why you admire her. What was this guy’s beef?” he nodded to the unconscious villain who was being loaded onto a stretcher.
“The usual, trying to take over the world, mad at the man and society in general. Did you know Tony proposed?”
“Yeah, I helped pick out the ring.”
“Clint Barton was in a jewelry shop?”
“Hey!” he said, offended. “I know jewelry. I got you that charm bracelet.”
“Only because it has my panic button hidden in it, that doesn’t count,” she said.
“If you don’t think I can pick out something nice, then I guess you won’t be finding out what’s in the box I have hiding in my sock drawer.”
“You bought me something?”
“Well, we have an anniversary coming up…,” he said.
“Right, let’s get down to the ambulance, have the paramedics declare me fit, get the debrief over and done with and then you can take me to dinner and give me this mysterious box.”
“I just know what I want. Besides, you love me for it.”
“You know I do, Darce.”
“Good, cause I love you too. Now, move it soldier, jewelry awaits.”
He laughed and took her hand as they made their way to the elevator. Darcy grinned. This may not have been the life she’d planned for, but it was her life and she loved every minute of it. Nothing, not even sub-par villains were going to make her change her mind.