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It doesn’t work out with Ian. Once the adrenaline of almost dying wears off, Darcy kind of remembers that she’s not really attracted to him.

Worse, he keeps wanting to talk about his feelings. Or, more specifically, Darcy’s feelings for him. Of which there are none.

They manage to coexist for a while, but eventually Ian quits, and Jane is polite enough not to comment. Or maybe she’s just distracted, because Thor’s back and the two of them only seem to get out of bed when Thor wants to eat half the contents of the fridge or they decide to use up all the hot water with their endless joint showers.

Darcy hasn’t told Jane yet that the bathroom’s natural echo means that she and Erik can hear everything. She’s waiting for a special occasion, like the next time Jane tries to make her do something horrible, like paperwork.

Darcy decides she needs a new intern immediately. One she’s not really attracted to. Again. Because apparently messing around with your intern, even when you’re technically an intern yourself, makes things, well, messy.

*

Gwen Stacy is the first applicant not to ask about Thor.

Admittedly some of the others are subtle about it, trying to ease in with questions about Jane’s research and her involvement in the ‘Greenwich Incident’. But they all ask about Thor eventually.

All of them except Gwen.

On paper, she’s perfect. In person, she’s the absolute worse choice ever. Because the entire time they’ve been sat opposite each other, it’s been taking every slither of willpower that Darcy has not to just stare.

Soft blonde hair and huge eyes and this full bottom lip that Darcy wants to bite just to hear what kind of noises Gwen might make.

But the plan is to hire somebody she isn’t attracted to, and the best course of action is obviously to politely thank Gwen for her time but make it clear she isn’t right for the position, send her on her way with a smile and a perfectly civil handshake, not even a little inappropriate touching for the road. Just let Gwen walk away. It’s the sensible thing to do.

“When can you start?” a slightly breathless voice asks and, whoops, Darcy realises too late that it belongs to her.

*

The announcement of the new intern is enough to actually coax Jane out of her bedroom, with Thor trailing dutifully behind. There are polite introductions, and Darcy has to hide her snicker when Gwen’s eyes widen as she tilts her head back to return Thor’s smile.

People are never prepared for the size of him, and Darcy will never get tired of seeing their reactions.

Jane starts giving a rough outline of her latest project, and then Gwen asks a question that Darcy only understands about half of. But Jane looks a little dazed for a moment, before she starts beaming, spreading paperwork across the table and kicking a chair out so Gwen can sit down next to her.

Instant BFFs apparently, and Thor makes everyone coffee as Jane and Gwen gush over equations and sub-atomic particles and general scienceness.

After a while, Darcy feels Thor watching her, which is pretty unusual since he rarely has eyes for anyone but Jane. When she glances over at him, he tilts his head pointedly at Gwen, raising a questioning eyebrow and smiling like he knows something he shouldn’t.

Darcy flicks stale Cheerios at his head and resolves to ignore him for the rest of the morning.

*

“I’m not sure I’m right for this job,” Gwen says quietly as Darcy’s driving her home that first night, and Darcy nearly veers into a lamppost.

“You’re kidding, right?” she blurts out, and Gwen just looks back at her, something shadowed in her eyes. “Why would you not be right for the job? I’m pretty sure Jane wants to marry you.”

That gets her a quiet laugh, husky and soft. Darcy’s already addicted to the sound of it.

“I can’t believe I’m having to talk you into this, I thought you wanted this job.”

“I do!” Gwen stresses, tucking her hair behind her ear. “I just didn’t expect to get it, is all. I’m not exactly qualified.”

“Look, you are totally qualified for this,” Darcy insists. “If anything, you’re over-qualified.

“I’m really not,” Gwen sighs, but she’s smiling and Darcy already knows she’s going to spend the foreseeable future distracted by that flash of perfect white teeth. “I mean, I haven’t even graduated yet, I’m just taking a year off for work study, I’m sure you have people with actual experience who’ve applied.”

“You have experience,” Darcy points out. “Your resume said you interned at Oscorp through high school. That’s pretty impressive.”

“Oh, thanks. But I meant you probably have people with experience as actual working scientists, ones who’ve been paid for their time.”

“Well, we’re not looking for a working scientist who expects to be paid,” Darcy insists. “We’re looking for an intern, which we already know you’re good at.” She shrugs, which makes her jerk the wheel, but they only mount the curb a little, no biggie. “So there you go.”

“Astrophysics isn’t even my field,” Gwen admits.

“Mine either,” Darcy replies with a snort.

*

Jane and Erik and Gwen spend a lot of time talking science. Darcy spends a lot of time tuning them out, unless she hears her name. Thor, for his part, spends a lot time smiling smugly at Darcy every time he catches her staring at Gwen.

Which is a lot.

It’s just that Gwen is ridiculously gorgeous. She gets so excited when she’s geeking out, and then when Jane disappears back into her bedroom with Thor, and Erik vanishes to who knows where like usual, Darcy gets Gwen all to herself.

Gwen wears these cute little skirts and she must have a limitless supply of hot-as-fuck knee-high boots, and she somehow always manages to simultaneously look button-down proper and full-on sex kitten. There’s more than one occasion where Darcy loses track of herself mid-conversation because she’s too busy fantasising about shoving Gwen’s skirt up around her waist, spreading her wide and licking her through the fabric of her panties, or pushing her facedown on the couch and watching that perfect hair get all mussed up as Gwen writhes underneath her.

And maybe it would be manageable, if Darcy were just horny for her. But the problem is that she’s getting to know Gwen. And she’s trying really hard not to, but the more time she spends with her, the harder she can feel herself falling.

She learns that Gwen’s got a gloriously dirty sense of humour, that she will eat literally anything just to say she’s tried it, that she secretly has terrible taste in television. She learns about Gwen’s life in New York, her time at Oxford, about her family, and about how Gwen lost her father a couple of years before.

Gwen’s voice doesn’t waver when she tells the story, but her eyes get this faraway glossy sheen, fingernails digging into her palms.

Afterwards Darcy drives them halfway across the city to this little bakery Gwen mentioned once as having the closest thing to decent cheesecake she’s tasted since leaving New York. Darcy watches Gwen grin around her fork, sadness chased away for the moment, and realises she’s already in too deep.

*

They’re called to an attack in the Lake District. Well, Thor is called to an attack in the Lake District, and Jane marches beside him towards the helicopter with such purpose nobody dares tell her to stay behind.

Darcy grabs Gwen’s hand and drags her after the others. She’s always wanted to ride in a helicopter.

The attack involves a lot of slimy oversized frog-like creatures, with way too many teeth. Thor starts swinging his hammer and Darcy loudly cheers him on from behind the safety of a SHIELD barricade. Jane, Erik and Gwen are hunched over with SHIELD scientists, swapping theories on where the frog-things came from.

Everything’s going fine until the frog-things realise that the people who aren’t thunder gods make better targets.

But the SHIELD team have a lot of guns and Darcy has her tazer, which she hasn’t gotten to use in a while, and she takes great delight in zapping a frog-thing that clearly has its eyes on Gwen. Thor goes ballistic once he sees the frog-things heading towards Jane, so they end up smears on the ground in record time.

Darcy finds Gwen bending over one particular smear, poking at it with the end of a pen and looking fascinated. “What’cha got there?”

Gwen smiles sheepishly up at her, dirt on her cheek and eyes bright, and Darcy’s heart throbs in her chest. “Sorry, molecular biology is kind of my thing. Always fun to study a new species.”

“You have a weird definition of fun,” Darcy informs her, and her toes curl in her boots for the sound of Gwen’s laughter. “Also, you are surprisingly blasé about the whole superheroics thing.” Which is true, because Darcy remembers freaking the hell out the first time she was confronted by a giant monster out for blood. In comparison, Gwen stayed completely level-headed, thinking on her feet, helping the SHIELD agents identify the frog-things’ weaknesses.

Gwen stands slowly, giving a shrug and not really looking at Darcy. “I guess I just knew this was a possibility. I mean, I work for Thor’s girlfriend.”

“Technically you work for Thor’s girlfriend’s intern,” Darcy teases, and Gwen gives her a smile that’s weaker than usual and heads off towards the next smear of frog-thing.

*

It’s not till later that it hits her, and then Darcy feels like the world’s biggest jerk. Because of course Gwen’s had experience with monsters, her father was killed by that lizard doctor dude, and Darcy’s a fucking idiot.

She tries to apologise, but she can’t find the words, and she’s pretty sure Gwen’s avoiding her anyway, in this really careful way where they manage to be in the same room but never standing next to each other.

Darcy feels awful, and she’s pretty sure she’s made Gwen feel even worse than that.

Erik buys her cookie dough ice cream and squeezes her shoulder, sensing something’s wrong but not knowing what. Darcy doesn’t know how to say that it’s Gwen he should be buying ice cream for, so she thanks him and eat the entire tub in one sitting, nursing a stomach ache as she stares vacantly at one of the crappy reality shows Gwen pretends she doesn’t watch.

*

“I’m sorry,” Darcy says a week later. Gwen looks at her slowly, brow creased in confusion. “For what I said in the Lake District. It was really stupid, with what happened to your dad and all.”

Gwen doesn’t react for a really long second, and then she gives Darcy a slow but sincere smile, reaching forward to squeeze her wrist, and Darcy hates herself for the way her stomach flutters at the touch.

“It’s okay,” Gwen promises, tilting her head to catch Darcy’s eye when she looks down at the floor. “Seriously. And sorry if I’ve been kind of off the past week, I’ve just been distracted.”

Darcy nods, and whatever tension was in the air feels like it’s lifting. It’s like she can breathe again, and she and Gwen sit together on the couch, watching people who are tone-deaf butchering Whitney songs.

Darcy resolves she’s going to be a better friend and stop thinking with her lady parts. But it’s difficult, with Gwen sitting so close, her whole side pressed against Darcy’s arm, and the singing may be awful but Darcy barely hears it anyway.

*

“There’s nobody at Oxford?” Darcy asks, and she’s not fishing for information, the conversation came up naturally, but she’s not about to let this opportunity go to waste. “You’re not seeing anyone?”

Gwen just shrugs, reclining in her seat. The bustle of the pub buzzes around them, and it gives Darcy an excuse to sit closer, to lean forward to hear Gwen’s voice. “Nobody special, no. I went on a few dates, nothing worked out.”

“There’s totally a story here, isn’t there? I can smell it,” Darcy grins, bumping her shoulder against Gwen’s. “C’mon, spill!”

Gwen chuckles, tilting her glass, watching the dark liquid inside. “Yeah, sort of. Maybe? I was dating somebody, back in New York, and it was a big deal. And nobody at Oxford could make me feel like he did.”

Darcy’s trying really hard to be a good friend, so she totally isn’t jealous. Not at all. Except for the way she kind of wants to pout over the idea that there’s somebody out there that Gwen cares so deeply for. “You still into him?” she asks, and she’s pretty damn proud her voice remains level and light.

“Not anymore, I guess,” Gwen sighs. “I mean, he’s special and he always will be. And I miss him, like, a lot. But I also know it’s over and it’s what was best for us. We were on different paths.”

Darcy nods, filing all this away to obsess over later. “So there’s not anyone else you’re interested in?”

Gwen gives her an exasperated laugh, and then Erik’s back with the next round of drinks and Darcy lets the topic drop. Mostly because Erik bought shots. Darcy loves England’s legal drinking age.

*

They’ve done the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the V&A in a single afternoon, and Darcy’s feet are killing her. But Gwen keeps smiling and telling her about the museums in New York, so she sucks it up and deals.

They take the Tube to Leicester Square and impulse-buy tickets to a musical at the discount booth. Despite being in London for a while now, Darcy’s not really done the tourist thing. She’s not used to being in a big city, but it’s obvious that Gwen is. It’s in the way she walks through the crowds, never bumping into anyone, never bothered by the noise or the smell of car exhaust and second-hand smoke.

“You know, you ended up spending your whole day off with me,” Darcy informs her as they buy hot sandwiches. “You not get enough punishment when you’re working or something? Because I can totally be more of a hard-ass boss, if you want.”

Gwen snorts around her mouthful of bread. “Your version of being a ‘hard-ass’ would probably be making me paint your nails.”

“Hmm, I kind of like that idea,” Darcy muses. “I could use a pedicure.”

Gwen rolls her eyes and ignores the comment. “Besides, three museums and a trip to the theatre? This is basically the best date ever,” she teases, and Darcy almost trips over her own feet.

Gwen’s joking, Darcy knows she is, but she still ends up practically floating down the street as they head towards the show.

*

“I’m sorry,” Jane is saying, voice crackling a little over the phone. “SHIELD swarmed me at the supermarket, we didn’t have time to come pick you up.”

“It’s cool,” Darcy insists, although she’s totally jealous that Jane’s on the Helicarrier and she’s stuck back at their flat. “We’re watching it on the news. Keep in touch, though.”

“Will do,” Jane says, and then the line cuts out.

There’s a fight in New York. The reports are a little vague, but it’s apparently some robotic would-be dictator or something. And maybe he’s come through some sort of space portal, nobody knows, but Jane and Erik have been summoned to check it out.

Meanwhile the Avengers are there to stop the robo-jerk, and Darcy flops on to the couch just as Iron Man flies across the screen. Spider-Man’s there too, flash of red and blue swinging into the fray, and Darcy turns to Gwen to ask if she’s ever seen him before. She knows that Thor’s the only Avenger Gwen’s met, that she was safely at home during the Chitauri invasion, but Spider-Man’s more of a regular fixture around New York, and Darcy thinks he’s pretty cool.

She’s seen pictures of him. That is one nice ass.

She’s not expecting Gwen to be deathly pale, sat bolt upright with wide and haunted eyes, and Darcy glances between the screen and her face, watching the way Gwen flinches as Spider-Man’s knocked back by a painful looking blow.

Oh. Oh.

Darcy swallows, throat like sandpaper, and doesn’t say a word.

They watch the screen throughout the night in silence, until the enemy is defeated, all the Avengers and Spider-Man relatively unharmed and waving tiredly for the news cameras.

Darcy holds Gwen’s hand throughout, and Gwen squeezes at her fingers with a white-knuckled grip.

*

“Sooo,” Darcy drawls, crossing her legs and staring at Gwen over the kitchen table. The sun’s starting to come up outside the window, and Darcy’s exhausted but there’s no way she’s going to sleep yet.

Gwen’s cradling a mug of milky tea, her shaking finally subsided. She gives Darcy a shifty look and yeah, she is so busted.

Jane and Erik have checked in, to say the enemy apparently wasn’t extraterrestrial and their expertise hadn’t really been needed, so they’ll be home as soon as they’ve been debriefed. Thor’s sent Darcy a selfie of him posing with a heap of pummelled robot drones to let her know he’s fine.

Gwen’s phone has beeped with several messages that she’d read in such a way that Darcy couldn’t see the screen. She’s pretty sure she can guess who they’re from.

Spider-Man, huh?” Darcy smirks, fixing Gwen with a knowing stare. “Is he as flexible as he looks?”

Gwen almost chokes on her poptart.

*

It takes well over a week to get Gwen to tell the whole story.

“It just wasn’t meant to be,” she says afterwards with a wry smile. “It was too complicated, and I needed some clarity in my life. And then the scholarship happened, and I moved away. End of story.”

“He didn’t chase after you, then?” Darcy prompts, sipping on her coffee.

“I thought maybe he would,” Gwen admits. “I think part of me hoped he would. I tried to call him, but he was underground. Literally. So I left a message, and by the time he got it I was already on the plane.” She nibbles on her cupcake, licking a smudge of icing off her top lip, but by this point Darcy’s pretty sure she’s mastered pretending not to notice how stupidly sexy everything Gwen does is. “It’s better this way. We’re still in touch, and he’s doing good. And I’m happy here. I’ve got a good job.”

“And an even better boss,” Darcy adds, tossing her hair and looking smug.

Gwen uses her straw to flick Coke at Darcy’s face.

*

“Any plans for tonight?” Gwen asks, hoisting her bag on to her shoulder. It’s getting dark out, and Jane has called an end to the work day in her usual way, which is by none to subtly herding Thor towards her bedroom. There’s a thud and a giggle from behind the closed door, and Darcy sighs and turns the television’s volume up a little more.

“It’s a Saturday night, where else would I be?” she jokes, pointing at the screen where this week people are mangling Journey songs. “I hate you for getting me into this show.”

Gwen tugs on her scarf with an apology that doesn’t sound the slightest bit repentant.

“Do you want a ride home?” Darcy asks, because she can definitely still hear Jane and Thor over the tv, and if she turns it up any louder the neighbours will complain.

Gwen looks grateful, so they head out together. Darcy quite likes driving in London. Everyone’s a rude asshole, so she doesn’t feel guilty about cutting people off.

She drops Gwen home just as it starts raining. She watches Gwen hurry up the stairs to her building, and she’s maybe daydreaming a little, about Gwen’s laugh and the scent of her skin, hypnotised by the patter of rain on the windshield when there’s a knock at the window.

It’s Gwen again, hair already damp and clinging around her face and neck. There are drops of water sliding down her forehead and cheeks, making her skin glisten in the streetlight like something out of a romantic movie, and she’s smiling as Darcy rolls down the window.

She doesn’t even get a chance to ask what’s up. Gwen’s leaning in before she can find the words, and she kisses Darcy, soft and sweet and over almost before it’s begun.

“Thanks for the ride,” she says, ducking her head shyly like she didn’t just make Darcy’s brain explode, and then she’s turning back to her building and hurrying out of the rain.

Darcy sits in her car for a long time, staring at the spot where Gwen had been. By the time she snaps out of it, her entire right side is soaked by the rain blowing through the open window.

*

She doesn’t see Gwen again until Monday. Over the course of her Sunday, Darcy writes at least twenty different texts and deletes them all. They’re basically just a string of emoticons anyway, because words are beyond her.

Monday morning Gwen shows up with her usual smile, acting like nothing happened, and Darcy wants to scream, or just tackle her to the ground and start pulling off her clothes.

She swears she can still taste Gwen.

But there’s work to do, and Darcy suffers in mutinous silence as Jane and Erik monopolise Gwen’s time with sciency talk. She spends most of the afternoon scrolling through her Tumblr dash or engaging in epic thumb wars with Thor. She cheats pretty blatantly, even kicking him in the shins at one point as a distraction, but he just laughs and even lets her win a few rounds.

And then it’s evening and Gwen’s putting on her coat and Darcy’s about to panic, because Gwen can’t leave, not until they’ve talked about things, or at least made out a little.

But then Jane announces she and Thor are going out for dinner, so they’ll have the place to themselves if Gwen wants to stick around and keep Darcy company, and Gwen smiles and takes her scarf back off.

Jane’s exaggerated wink as she walks out the door isn’t actually needed, but Darcy appreciates it all the same.

*

They sit in silence for a whole ten minutes, television a low hum that neither of them are really watching, and Darcy thinks back longingly to a time when she actually thought she was smooth. Apparently all her moves have deserted her where Gwen’s concerned, because right now she’s got nothing.

Gwen steals a glance at her out of the corner of her eye. “So, how much is this killing you?” she asks.

So much,” Darcy groans, burying her face in her hands while Gwen laughs. “You kissed me.”

“I noticed,” Gwen replies with a rueful smile.

“Oh good, glad to see it was at least vaguely memorable,” Darcy deadpans.

“Well, you know,” Gwen shrugs, shifting closer on the couch. “It was raining. Makes it harder to forget, since I got wet and all.”

And oh, Darcy did not need to hear that, because her mind has now flown straight to the gutter, and she manages to keep herself from blurting out one of the twenty comments about ‘getting wet’ that pop into her head. But apparently she’s not very subtle about it, because Gwen’s eyes widen, pupils dilating and lips parting.

Jesus, Darcy,” she breathes, and Darcy thinks, okay, that’s not fair, she can’t be blamed for moving too fast if she didn’t actually say anything. And besides, Gwen’s the one that kissed her, so technically Gwen’s the one who’s been doing all the moving, fast or otherwise, and Darcy has a very clear defence for her smut-filled brain already on the tip of her tongue.

But Gwen doesn’t yell at her. Instead she’s getting closer, one knee on the couch and her hands reaching for Darcy’s shoulders, her eyes this insanely vivid blue. It feels like it’s happening in slow motion, clichéd as that is, but then Gwen’s kissing her again and everything speeds back up to normal, and maybe a little faster than that. Because this is nothing like the chaste little kiss from Saturday night, this is insistent pressure and heat, and Darcy grips Gwen’s waist and gets Gwen’s tongue in her mouth and everything in the world is awesome.

She rakes her fingers through Gwen’s hair, tugs at it a little in the way she’s been fantasising about since they first met, and Gwen makes this deep, hungry sound into her mouth. Swinging one leg over Darcy’s lap, end of her skirt sliding up her thighs, and Darcy gets a hand on all that pale skin and squeezes.

“How far is too far for a first date?” Darcy asks, voice kind of croaky.

“This isn’t our 'first date',” Gwen murmurs back, fingers playing with the hair behind Darcy’s ear in this really distracting way. “And right now I’m pretty sure there is no such thing as ‘too far’.”

“Good to know,” Darcy nods, and then she’s grabbing Gwen’s hips, twisting and spilling her back against the couch, and Gwen bites her bottom lip through her smile, spreading her legs, and oh fuck. It’s kind of like getting slapped in the face with sex, so hot it’s a little painful, and Darcy officially can’t wait anymore. Crawling backwards on her knees, and when she tugs at Gwen’s panties, Gwen lifts her hips and gives this amazing little shimmy, trying to speed things up.

Darcy winds up with Gwen’s skirt over her head, her mouth between Gwen’s legs, and there is literally nowhere on the entire planet she would rather be.

*

Afterwards Darcy kisses Gwen, slow and deep, groaning a little for the way she can taste herself on Gwen’s lips. Guiding her backwards towards Darcy’s bedroom, because they’re lucky they’ve been left alone as long as they have, and Jane and Thor catching them on the couch would probably be a mood killer.

They’ve only managed to get partially undressed, although Darcy’s bra is lost somewhere in the couch cushions. When she finally pulls off her shirt Gwen curses and drags her in for another kiss that’s just the right shade of frantic. Score.

“Leave the boots on,” Darcy insists when Gwen reaches down to unzip them, and Gwen responds by tackling her to the bed.

She eats Gwen out again, Gwen kneeling over Darcy’s face, knees pressing into the pillows. Licking and sucking at her clit until Gwen’s growling and gasping above her, fucking herself down on Darcy’s tongue with these needy rolls of her hips, gripping the headboard tight. Darcy moans for the flavour as Gwen comes, letting out this hoarse cry, skirt around her waist and the scent of her leather boots filling Darcy’s senses.

She lets Gwen get properly naked afterwards. Darcy’s gracious like that.

Gwen fingers her slowly, leaving bite marks over Darcy’s inner thighs, until Darcy’s basically forgotten her own name. Whimpering and trying to get Gwen’s fingers harder, deeper, and when Gwen takes pity on her and starts to fuck her in earnest Darcy’s pretty sure she shouts the whole building down.

Gwen sneaks out to the kitchen at about two in the morning to get them drinks and snacks, wearing nothing but one of Darcy’s oversized rainy-day shirts. Darcy gets impatient of waiting, although she does give Gwen a whole sixty seconds which she thinks is pretty generous, before she follows her, walking into the kitchen naked. They down Coke and fuck again on the kitchen floor, trying and failing to keep their voices down, and Gwen comes laughing, struggling to breathe as she tightens up around Darcy’s fingers, tears in her eyelashes from giggling too hard.

*

Darcy stumbles back into the kitchen the next morning, yawning and achey and so happy she’s surprised there aren’t cartoon bluebirds flying around her head. Gwen trails behind her, dark circles under her eyes and hair a total mess and looking so stupidly sexy for it.

Jane gives them a wobbly smile and buries her face in the newspaper.

“What’s with her?” Darcy asks Thor, who’s making everyone toast.

“She’s embarrassed, although I’ve assured her there is no reason for it,” Thor shrugs, butter knife in hand and a huge smile on his face.

“Embarrassed?” Gwen prompts, sitting across the table.

Jane definitely looks pink. “I’m sorry,” she admits. “We weren’t trying to listen, it’s just that I never realised how thin the walls are here.”

“Oh Thor, just like that!” Darcy immediately begins, mimicking Jane’s voice. “There, oh, I love the way your mouth feels.”

“My lady, you are exquisite in your pleasure,” Gwen promptly joins in, deepening her voice. “I wish to make you cry out in ecstasy!”

“Yes, Thor, yes!”

“Point taken!” Jane interrupts, and she’s gone from pink to bright red, and it’s totally not Darcy’s fault that their idea of dirty talk sounds like it comes from an old harlequin novel. “I’ll be in my bedroom, dying of mortification.” She gives them both a soft smile as she stands. “Congratulations, by the way.”

Thor follows behind her, as always, although he stops to give Darcy a fist bump on the way.

“That was an impressive imitation of Thor’s accent,” Erik comments from over his coffee, and Gwen gives a tiny bow, grinning. “I think Jane’s going to be occupied for a while, so why don’t you two take the day off.” He gives Darcy a wink, before turning his attention back to his laptop, and Darcy drains the rest of Jane’s coffee, grabs Thor’s abandoned toast and heads straight back to bed.

Gwen follows, coffee in one hand and the fingers of the other hand entwined through Darcy’s own.

“This isn’t going to turn into a competition, is it?” Gwen asks, sounding amused. “To see which couple can be loudest? Because that’s not really fair to Erik.”

“I don’t think he even notices,” Darcy shrugs, kicking the door shut behind them. “Besides, it wouldn’t be fair. I heard you last night, we’d totally win.”

“Yeah, because I’m the loud one,” Gwen scoffs, kicking Darcy’s ankle, before stealing a slice of toast and bouncing on to Darcy’s bed. Darcy follows behind, leaving clothes across the floor as she goes, and it’s not long before there’s butter everywhere and Gwen’s moaning and, yeah, they’re definitely going to win.