The first time Darcy Lewis asked Natasha Romanoff out on a date, it was completely by accident.
Well, partially by accident. She had meant to ask her, but it was supposed to be for the guy in her recruit class who was too afraid to do it himself. A group of them had been sitting at a table in the cafeteria when the Black Widow entered the room and casually walked to the counter, as if she were unaware that all eyes in the room were watching her.
"She is so hot," Jeremy said quietly. Very quietly. "I would give many things to just go out for drinks with that woman."
"So ask her out," Darcy replied, keeping her voice just as low. "The way everyone tiptoes around her, she probably doesn't get many offers. Didn't you see that one supermodel crying on Oprah back in the day, about how nobody ever asked her out on dates because they were intimidated by her? I bet ol' Bee Dubs over there is the same way."
"Yeah, I can just see him now," Angela scoffed, "'Excuse me, Miss Black Widow, ma'am. You could probably kill me by flipping your hair in my direction, and I'll probably piss myself if you talk directly to me, but I would like to know if you want to go to a noisy bar and have a drink while I awkwardly attempt to make small talk.' That'd go over real well."
"Shut up!" Darcy smacked Angela lightly on her upper arm. "He can totally do it. You can totally do it," she turned back toward Jeremy. "Look, she's gonna walk right past us. Ask her!"
Agent Romanoff carried a tray with a cheeseburger and onion rings (items Darcy knew were not on the menu, thank you very much) in their direction. As she neared, Darcy kicked Jeremy under the table. He got a panicked look on his face and shook his head vehemently. Obviously she was going to have to take matters into her own hands.
"Agent Romanoff?" she called, obviously louder than she had intended because every pair of eyes in the cafeteria was instantly trained on her.
Agent Romanoff stopped and turned toward their table.
"Agent Smolenski here - Jeremy - wanted to ask you something," Darcy pointed toward him.
"He did, did he?" Agent Romanoff replied with a smirk as she settled her eyes on the agent. Jeremy made a strangled sound in his throat that sounded a lot like, "No," if one listened very carefully.
Darcy sighed. "Do you want to go out? It's Friday night, week's done, time to get a little drink on," she sing-songed.
Agent Romanoff turned to look directly at Darcy. Having the attention of that particular pair of eyes (Green. They were so green.) centered on her was unnerving. Darcy swallowed hard.
"Sure," Agent Romanoff gave her a small smile. "What time?"
"Uh. Um. I get done at seven?" Darcy barely got out.
Agent Romanoff gave a small nod. "Seven is acceptable. We'll meet in the lobby?"
"Uh, yeah, that sounds great!" If the woman didn't leave their table within the next twenty seconds and stop looking at her with those intense (green) eyes, Darcy was going to have a very public freakout.
"See you then." Agent Romanoff continued on her way, and everyone else at Darcy's table let out their breath.
"Holy shit, Darcy," Angela grabbed her arm, "you just-- Holy shit."
"I didn't know you swung that way," Cameron leered. "Ouch! What was that for, Angela?"
"Because you're a pig."
In college, her freshman year psych class introduced her to the Kinsey Scale, and her feelings for the previous ten years made a lot more sense when she examined them through this new lens. She still never dated, though. She pretty much just hooked up with people she met at parties.
Kappa Sigma Free Beer was the greatest place ever, with so many bros not looking for anything other than sex. Or she got drunk at a friend's place and ended up making out with his or her roommate, which surprisingly always turned out well. OK, except for when Brianna's roommate tried to Single White Female her and she had to get a restraining order, but other than that, Darcy's hookup history was decidedly drama free.
The point was that things just happened. There were no dates involved. People hung out in groups, it was casual, and what in the hell was she doing walking into the lobby to meet Agent Black fucking Widow Romanoff for drinks? She had no nice clothes to change into, no makeup with her for touch ups. Meeting right after work was such a stupid idea, but she hadn't really been thinking straight when Agent Romanoff had accepted her offer.
Darcy nervously giggled at the bad pun, then jumped when a voice behind her asked, "Care to share the joke?"
She had to no way to cover her squeak of surprise, so Darcy just acted like it was a perfectly normal occurrence.
"I didn't see you there, Agent Romanoff." She smiled and placed her hand over her heart, drawing the other woman's gaze to her chest. Score.
"Since we're going out, you should call me Natasha." She paused and looked meaningfully at Darcy, as if they both didn't know she had immediately gone off and read Darcy's file as soon as she finished her Special-Treatment Burger at lunch.
"Darcy Lewis. Sorry." Darcy held out her hand, which Natasha took and shook firmly, letting her fingers slide gently across Darcy's palm as she let go.
"Did you have any particular place in mind?" Natasha asked, gesturing for Darcy to start walking toward the door. She rested her hand at the small of Darcy's back as they exited the building.
"Not really. I..." Darcy paused, disappointed, when Natasha took her hand away. "To be honest, I hadn't thought this through."
"Really?" Natasha's lips quirked at the corners, as if she were fighting a smile. "I hadn't noticed."
Darcy had to fight the urge to facepalm right there on the street. And since she was already embarrassed, she figured she might as well get it over with right away.
"I, um, I have a confession to make. I kinda wasn't really asking you to go out with me." She winced when she realized how that sounded and scrambled to explain. "I mean, um. Jeremy wanted to ask you out, but he was afraid, and, uh, I was trying to ask for him, but then you thought I was asking for me, and I'm not saying that I don't want to go because I do, but I just thought you should know that, I guess?"
Darcy peeked nervously toward Natasha.
"I actually knew that," Natasha said, "but I didn't want to go out with Agent Smolenski."
"Oh." Darcy took a moment to recover, then her mouth quickly ran away from her. "Is that because you're not into dudes? Because he's really kinda hot. Or are you into guys and girls both? Or-- wait." She stopped walking and stepped out of the flow of foot traffic, holding up her hand in a stop gesture. "Sorry. Too much information to be asking for on the first date."
"And just where are you taking me on this date, Darcy Lewis?" Nastasha asked pertly. "I believe I was promised drinks."
Darcy saw how one side of Natasha's mouth was turned up into a smirk, how her green (so very green) eyes glinted with a promise of mischief and more, and she felt like she was moving back into familiar territory.
"Well, I guess it depends on what you're in the mood for." She paused for effect, drawing what she considered an actual grin from Natasha before she continued. "If you're hungry, we could always get dinner."
Natasha's gaze swept down to Darcy's peep toe sandals, then back up again, her smile becoming downright feral. "Oh, I could eat."
"In that case," Darcy started walking again, coyly turning back to say over shoulder, "I know this great Japanese place on the next block. I'm suddenly dying for sushi."
Natasha threw her head back and laughed, then quickly moved to catch up with Darcy.