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Like a Flower Growing in Darkness

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Darcy Lewis worked for SHIELD. Darcy Lewis mainly worked for Jane Foster, who worked for SHIELD. Usually it wasn't all that exciting, except when it really, really was.

Tonight it wasn't. Tonight there was a dinner, and people were giving Jane lots of money to do science things. Darcy didn't follow all of it, but she was rocking the buffet shrimp platter.

A man reached out to grab the last shrimp.

Darcy said, absently, "I have done terrible things to men for a lot less, dude," and grabbed it as he was distracted. It was delicious.

He laughed softly, and she looked up into blue eyes in a handsome face.

"This is not the context I was expecting for that, and I really can't complain," he said.

Darcy blinked at him.

"Oh," she said.

"Bruce Wayne," he said, offering her a hand. She shook it numbly.

"Darcy Lewis. I'm here with Dr. Foster."

"I met her earlier," he said.

"Yeah," Darcy said numbly. "So. You're rich. And you live in Gotham."

His eyebrows went up slightly.

"You date supermodels," she added helpfully. "And Gotham is horrible."

"You have a SHIELD security clearance, right?"

"Level 3."


"Why is that good?"

"Wayne Enterprises has a number of classified projects. It's nice to know you can be good with secrets."

"I am great with secrets," she said. "Why, just the other day I found out-" she broke off, grinning, and he snorted, still smiling, though the smile didn't reach his eyes.

"Hey, I didn't kill your dog, dude."

"" The fakey smile faded. That was good, it was creeping her out.

"For example, I'm about to go off with Jane and keep this whole thing a secret, okay? It doesn't have to be a Thing."

"Well, of course not," he said lightly, "I never take anything seriously."

"Oh my god. Not like - stop that."

He did the eyebrow thing again.

"I just meant, I need some time to think about it. You're older than me, you're a millionaire, you're in the news all over the place, I really don't know how anyone lives in Gotham-"

"So that's a no on the soulmate thing," he concluded.

"No, it's a take it easy, it'll work itself out on the soulmate thing." She grinned. "I will accept apology shrimp for taking the last shrimp, too."

"You took the last shrimp."

"Did I? I guess I did. But SHIELD pay is crap, so I think you should spring for the shrimp."

"Good night, Miss Lewis. I'll see what I can do about not making this... a Thing."

For someone who claimed not to take anything seriously, he seemed strangely unfamiliar with the art of not making everything a Thing.

"What were you talking to him about?" asked Black Widow, their resident security tonight.

Darcy reviewed what she knew about Bruce Wayne, and decided to answer honestly.

"I threatened to tase him, we flirted, and I told him Gotham was awful."

"Huh," said the redhead.

"You know him?"

"That's classified."

"Yeah, okay," Darcy said, and went to find Jane.

Later, Darcy would feel like she should have known her life didn't just hand her hot billionaires without there being an explosion-and-possible-death catch.