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Happy and They're Safe

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Darcy was at her desk, cleaning up leftover paperwork--that is, feeding it to the shredder, which was more fun than it should have been--when there was a knock at her door, which was open anyway. She looked up, and Captain America was standing in the doorway. "Hi there," she said, when he didn't say anything right away.

"Ms. Lewis," he said with a nod.

She was thankful that someone had trained him out of saying 'Miss' already, but honestly, the formality was getting to her. "Darcy," she said. "What's up, Captain Rogers?"

"Steve," he said back, with a facial expression somewhere between a smile and a wince. He straighened into parade rest before saying, "I have a favor to ask of you."

"You wanna shred something?" she offered.

"No, I--is that what that's doing? Huh." He looked at the shredder for a moment--it was a Stark Tech shredder, which was dead silent but would eat anything, including probably Darcy herself if she weren't careful. She was half tempted to feed it Cap's shield some days, but then she realized that Stark would have to make him a new one and it wouldn't do to get on the bad side of the guy who controlled her phone. (And could fry her to a crisp in seconds, but whatever--almost everyone in that building could kill her at any time. It had stopped fazing her months ago.)

"Favor," she said, prompting, when he still didn't say anything.

"Could you teach me how to SCUBA dive?" he asked, all in a rush.

She blinked. "Why?" she asked. She hadn't taught him initially because, well, he was apparently relatively-impervious to pressure and could hold his breath for six whole minutes; SCUBA diving would be a waste of his time. "I mean," she said, when he just turned red and didn't answer, "isn't six minutes enough?"

That's what he said! her brain supplied, but fortunately Mr. Raised in the Twenties and Thirties didn't notice. Although she hadn't, until that moment, thought about what holding his breath for six minutes might mean. Hm. Anyway.

"It's only six minutes under optimal circumstances," he said.

A moment later, she got it. She'd been diving often enough to be able to figure out her oxygen use in various situations without having to calculate, and she knew that if it were a true emergency--which she'd been in only twice, once when one of her fellow diving students had gotten stuck back during training and once, just last week, to save Thor in the basement of a building--she had to cut her expected time based on what was in the tank nearly in half. So if Cap were nervous for whatever reason, he wouldn't have a full six minutes of lung time, maybe only three.

It took her another moment to figure out what might make Captain Freaking America nervous--right. Plane crash, ice, effectively drowning, seventy years, yadda.

"Okay," she said. "Um. Can you swim?"

A lesser man might have rolled his eyes at her, she could tell, but he just gave a half-hearted smile and said, "Yes."

"Have you done the first-aid course?"

"We're not allowed in the field without it."

Right. "Okay," she said, and dug in her desk drawer. Writing a website and a couple of codes on a Post-It (an actual Post-It; Stark didn't bother with boring office supplies), she said, "This is the login information for the server where the online classes are, for the pre-pool information. I mean. Um. Is that going to work for you?"

This time, he did roll his eyes. "Yes, Ms--Darcy. I even have my own laptop."

"Give me a break," she said. "I've had to buy three new microwaves in the last two months, and I know one of them was your fault."

"Arguably, it was Agent Barton's fault," Steve said mildly, "but yes, I'm aware."

Well, all right--she didn't think Cap had thought to microwave a tinfoil popcorn thingy all on his own, but still. Ruined microwave. At least no one had traveled back and become his own grandfather. Unless--

Okay, no, that way lay madness.

"So, um, when you're done with that, come back and find me and we'll schedule some pool time. Er. Although you'll need a diveskin or a wetsuit, and I'm pretty sure you can't borrow anyone's because you're like a foot taller than anyone else who owns one. Also, I'm the one who orders them. So, uh--you're pretty resistant to temperature change, right?"

He nodded.

"Okay, then, I guess just a generic diveskin, for now at least. I bet your measurements are on file--" She clicked a few times to check and oh, wow, all of his measurements were on file and she did not need to know some of them, although--No. Anyway. Not her type. She liked 'em shorter and snarkier, anyway, and not Tony Stark, although she'd probably have hit that for a one-night stand if she could guarantee that Pepper wouldn't kill her and no diseases and no robots and no sex tapes and--well, okay, not worth it. Also not important at the moment. "Yep. I'll order one. Also--" She fixed him with a look. "Is there anything that I need to know?"

He looked back, one side of his mouth twitching, and said, "I think you already do know."

"Yeah," she said a moment later. "Look, I'm not sure I can handle a full Super Soldier freakout."

"I won't 'freak out,'" he said quietly. "I wouldn't have asked if I thought I was likely to hurt you."

Good point. Also, he'd probably asked Coulson and Coulson had likely passed off on it before he'd even talked to her. And really, either she trusted him, or she didn't. Obviously she trusted the resident drunk and/or sleep-deprived-and-caffeine-high genius billionaire playboy (philanthropist, can't forget that part) who didn't always obey S.H.I.E.L.D.'s equipment testing rules--she was throwing paper into his shredder, after all. She trusted the giant Norse god with a freaking hammer who had already exploded two copiers--and he wasn't even supposed to be in the room with them. Captain America, more boy scout than the Boy Scouts, even with PTSD? "Okay," she said, after another pause. "Online class, then pool time, then, when you're ready, a dive in Florida."

He nodded. "Thank you, Darcy."

"No prob, Cap."