Chapter 1: Welcome to Jurassic World
“Hey, boss man,” Darcy called as she sauntered into Tony’s engineering lab, large cup of coffee in hand. She came to stand at his desk, surprised to not see him. He was just right there. “Tony?” she called, placing the cup on a stack of unopened letters. “Marco!”
She heard a rustling from her left and turned in time to see Tony come barreling out of a side room. “Polo! Where’s your bag?”
“Your overnight bag? Did I not tell you?” Tony barely stopped moving as he asked, picking up what seemed like random tools and tossing them all over the place.
Cleaning was not one of her responsibilities.
“Hi, Dum-E,” Darcy muttered as the robot came over to say hi, beeping excitedly. She patted its outstretched arm and went to follow the billionaire as he left the room. “Tony! No you did not tell me about needing an overnight bag. I’ve already told you, I’m not sleeping with you.”
He made a vague hand gesture as he continued down the hall. “Your loss. Jarvis! Have someone put together something for Lewis. Wheels up in ten!”
Darcy stopped, standing in the middle of the hallway, arms across her chest. “Hey, asshole!”
It said something about their working relationship that at her call, Tony stopped and faced her. “What?” he nearly whined it.
She raised an eyebrow at him. “You need to actually tell me what’s going on.”
Tony moved towards her, coming to stand by her side. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and ushered her down the hallway. “Me, you, and Bruce are going on a little field trip.”
“A field trip?” the disbelief was strong in her voice.
“Yeah, an old buddy of mine invited us to his island. In Costa Rica. It’ll be fun! Jarvis, make sure there’s a bathing suit, bikini, in her luggage.”
“Miss Lewis?” The disembodied voice of Stark’s AI came from everywhere and nowhere.
Darcy sighed. “That’s fine, J.”
Scoffing, Tony replied, “Of course it’s fine, I said it was.”
She rolled her eyes. “If you guys are going on vacation, you don’t need me.”
Tony stopped their progression and Darcy realized they were standing outside Bruce’s lab. “Lewis, when was the last time you left New York? Fuck, when was the last time you left the tower?”
“Um,” Darcy paused, thinking. “We had to evacuate the city for that thing with the giant mice. Jane and I went to your Malibu facility.”
“That was eight months ago. Once I do lunch with my buddy, we’re going to have a weekend of relaxation. You’ve been saying I need to take a break, and this way you can make sure that I do. Win, win!” His tone of voice brooked no argument and, honestly, if they were going to Costa Rica, Darcy didn’t feel too inclined talk him out of it.
As long as there were no aliens or robots trying to take over the world, she could actually have a few days to unwind. Her thoughts of beaches and drinks with umbrellas in it was broken when she heard him yell for Bruce.
“Let’s go, Big Green, the jet awaits!” Tony really sounded entirely too excited about a few days off.
They only had to wait a few minutes for the doors to the lab to slide open and for Bruce to emerge, bag slung over his shoulder.
“Hey, Tony. Hi, Darcy. You coming, too?” Bruce asked as he joined them on her other side, and the trio made their way to the bank of elevators.
She shrugged, “Guess so. My boss says I need a few days off, who am I to argue?”
Bruce turned confused eyes to Tony. “I thought we were going to take a look at –“
“Look, the elevator!” Tony called out, interrupting whatever Bruce was about to say. Ushering them inside, he hit the button for the quinjet launch pad. Yeah, Tony sounded entirely too happy about no work for a few days. Something was going on. Bruce could usually talk sense into him, so she wasn’t too concerned. For now.
Whatever. Free vacation, apparently. She was too busy envisioning herself laying on the beach so she missed the look Bruce gave Tony over her head.
A few seconds later, the elevator doors were opening and the three made their way to the open ramp of the quinjet. There was a familiar redhead standing nearby.
“Hey, Nat,” Darcy called. “You going on vacation, too?”
Natasha’s eyes flicked to Tony very briefly. If Darcy hadn’t known her as well as she did, she never would have caught the small movement. “I’m just your pilot to Costa Rica. You’ll be picked up by a private helicopter once you arrive.”
Darcy tried to hide her disappointment. “Oh. Figured we could have had a girls’ weekend.”
Nat hummed, but sounded apologetic when she said, “Sorry. I’m heading on from there to meet Barnes in South America. We’ll be back to pick you guys up on the mainland in three days.”
Nodding, Darcy moved to board the jet, finding a duffel bag with her name embroidered on it. Huh. Well, Stark did pay for the best service. And apparently that extended to putting together last minute luggage for her. Oh, and her purse was placed next to it. Sweet.
They were in the air less than five minutes later.
Darcy settled herself in her seat and called over to Tony, who had placed himself in the copilot seat, “So who’s your rich buddy that we’re meeting?”
He turned his head slightly to look at her. “Simon Masrani. Nice guy. Went to the same school for a while. Eighth richest man in the world, though. We can’t all be perfect, I guess.”
Natasha muttered something under her breath and Darcy could have sworn she called Tony a pompous fool, but she couldn’t be sure. She and Bucky had unofficially been teaching Darcy how to speak Russian. It was slow progress, mostly because Darcy couldn’t focus to sit still for the hour long lesson they were trying for. Some words were sticking, though. Mostly curses, but it counted.
Sighing, she put in her earbuds, raising the volume to drown out the sounds of Tony and Natasha’s not-so-muffled argument.
She must have fallen asleep because the next thing she knew, Bruce was gently shaking her awake. His hand was on the back of her neck as she raised her head from where it has slumped over. He was helping control the motion because, ow, that’s gonna hurt. Once she was looking at him, she unbuckled her seatbelt and her hand took place of his. “Thanks, Bruce,” she yawned, standing.
She could see that Tony was already out of the jet and standing near a helicopter that had its blades already rotating. When Natasha had said that they were being picked up, she didn’t think it was going to be immediate.
Bruce nodded at her, grabbed his bag, and went to go stand near Tony.
Darcy stretched as she stood, being careful not to move her neck too suddenly. She reached down for her bag and heard Tony yell, “Hurry up, Lewis! The island waits for no one!”
She waved his words away and picked up her new duffel. He wouldn’t leave without her. She slung the strap across her chest and turned to Natasha. “Have fun doing whatever super-secret spy stuff you’re on your way to.”
Natasha nodded. “And you, have fun?”
Darcy wasn’t sure why that was a question but she smiled anyway. “Thanks!” She turned and made her way down the ramp.
“Darcy!” Natasha called suddenly, stopping her.
She turned slightly, “Hmm?”
“Be careful. Just…please. Be careful.” Natasha paused and seemed to think through saying something else, but all she said was, “Go. I’ll see you in a few days.”
More confused than ever, Darcy turned back and exited the jet.
The air was warm and humid. Slightly gross, to be honest, but she couldn’t bring herself to care. The view to the side of the helicopter was spectacular. She could see pristine beaches, barely dotted with people. The ocean stretched out around them for miles. It was peaceful. Well, minus the running helicopter in front of her, it was.
Shaking her head, she joined the rest of her group. “Alright, boss. Let’s let this vacation get started.”
Tony grinned and hopped through the open door, taking the farthest seat. Bruce gestured that she should get on next so she climbed through, glancing at the side of the helicopter.
Why did that sound familiar?
Ignoring it for the moment, Darcy again buckled herself in and waited for everyone else to get in place, taking the headset that was handed to her.
“Alright, kids,” came the voice of the pilot. “Let’s get this party started.”
Tony’s voice was next. “How long to get to the island?”
“Hm. Not long. It’s about a hundred miles offshore, but we make good time. Usually only about twenty minutes or so. Just a quick jump over, really.”
Darcy saw Tony nod out of the corner of her eye, and not even a minute later they were in the air.
There wasn’t much to see on their flight, just miles of ocean in either direction. It wasn’t long before she could see the blurry shape of what had to be the island in front of them. The blob grew every minute they were flying and soon she could see it.
Well, she could see a lot of greenery. And…was that a cruise ship making its way towards the shore? She thought Tony’s eccentric billionaire friend had a private island?
The trees and slopes of the hills were becoming more defined as they swooped and soared lower and lower. They went around one side and were soon flying through a small range of hills. There was an area of plains to her left and she leaned around Bruce to try and take a better look. There was a herd of animals making their way through across it but they were too high for her to try and see what they were. But they were big. Giraffes maybe? Were they even native to the tropics?
“Sorry, Bruce,” she murmured, straightening in her seat. He just smiled at her and turned his head forward again.
They descended quickly and were then smoothly landing on the helipad.
“Okay, boys and girls. Enjoy your stay on Isla Nublar. Remember to run if anything chases you.” He was still laughing at his joke when they handed their headsets back.
Okay. Now Darcy was concerned. What, exactly, was going on?
The helicopter took off again as soon as they stepped off, and Darcy had to hold her hair down so she didn’t eat it. Once her vision was cleared she saw that they were being greeted by a small, two person, welcoming committee.
“Ah, Tony Stark. Welcome! Welcome!” The man said jovially, embracing Tony.
Okay that was weird all on its own because Darcy well knew of his whole “I won’t even shake your hand” thing.
This must have been Simon because if it wasn’t, it was some other rich dude that was way too happy to see them. She’d learned a lot about expensive suits and tailoring since she started to work for Stark Industries, and this man’s suit? Yeah, definitely screamed money. He had good taste, though. The colors suited him well, as did the cut. If Darcy hadn’t already been exposed to Tony’s charm, she could see herself being blinded by this man. In addition to the great suit, he had a kind and open face. His smile was genuine and she could see an honesty lurking behind his expression. He was honestly thrilled to be seeing them.
Tony introduced Bruce next as his favorite scientist in the world of bioorganics. Simon’s smile grew as he heard that. That seemed to make his day. And really, it should. Tony and Bruce were the absolute best in the world at what they did.
“You must be Miss Lewis,” Simon said, stepping in front of her, hand outstretched. “I have heard much about you. Tony likes to brag that you’re the only one that doesn’t listen to him.”
Darcy blushed and shrugged, “Yeah, um, I guess that’s me. Darcy. Nice to meet you, Mr. Masrani.”
“Simon, please!” His grin seemed to grow. She wondered if his face muscles were starting to hurt.
Darcy nodded and repeated, “Simon. Thanks for letting me join in on your boy’s weekend.”
At her words, he looked over at Tony. “You didn’t tell her?”
Tony smirked. “I wanted it to be a surprise.”
Bruce pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed.
“Well, welcome,” Simon started, spreading his arms out to the side as if to encompass the whole island, “to Jurassic World.”
Chapter 2: You Did What?
Darcy was pretty sure her jaw dropped at the announcement because of course she’d heard about Jurassic World. The only place to go to see real live dinosaurs! It was like Disney World but for the prehistoric era. She’d always wondered what it was like to go there, it was highly rated by tourism boards across the world. They had a high customer satisfaction rate and their safety features were supposedly the most advanced.
But Darcy knew the history of the island (even if she didn’t recognize the name right away). What happened all those years ago, the chaos and death. Yeah, she didn’t want to tempt fate by venturing there herself. She knew she had habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time on an epic scale.
New Mexico with falling gods and robots of death? Check.
London with elves (and not the Christmas kind) trying to destroy the entirety of everything? Check.
A remote European village with flying robots of death? Fucking check.
So, yeah, forgive her if she didn’t want to put herself in front of a thirty foot tall predator with a taste for human blood. Because, yes, she did in fact know that the tyrannosaurus rex living on the island had been here since the beginning. All things considered, she had a pretty high kill count. Darcy most emphatically did not want to be added to that list.
And yet, here she was. She was pretty sure this was not going to turn out to be the vacation that Tony advertised for her.
Simon laughed at what he thought was her astonishment, clearly proud of what he built here. Honestly, he should be proud. This place made more money than she could shake a stick at. He’d be moving up that rich people’s list in no time.
Why did he want Tony and Bruce here? She almost didn’t want to know and it was too late to go back now.
Her thoughts were interrupted when Simon started speaking again. “Come, come! Let us start in the command room. Show you what we are working with.” He preceded them down the stairs, with who she assumed was his assistant not far behind.
They made their way to an underground series of tunnels. Though, tunnels was too simple a word for where they were. They were brightly lit, wide spaces, which just happened to be underground.
Simon and Tony were deep in conversation, and Bruce was walking silently next to them. Tony seemed very excited, if his wild gestures were anything to go by. Bruce was a lot better at hiding his excitement, because Darcy knew he must be itching to get at their gene sequencing data. It was a bioengineer's wet dream.
Darcy, glaring at Tony’s back, followed a few feet behind, falling back to stand next to… “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name?”
The girl turned to look at her, answering with a small smile, “Vivian. I work in the control room.”
Darcy nodded, internally debating the merits of asking about their animal containment protocols. She decided against it, didn’t want to seem rude right off the bat.
“And you work for Mr. Stark? Are you a biologist, too?” Vivian asked.
Barely containing the laugh that was building, Darcy answered, “No. I mean, I do work in the science department. But I’m more of a scientist wrangler. Feed them, water them, take them for walks. That kind of thing.”
Vivian did laugh. “You make them sound like they can’t fend for themselves in the wild.”
“Have you ever seen a scientist after going on a thirty hour science bender with coffee as the only thing they’d ingested in twenty of those hours?”
Vivian shook her head.
“I have. It’s why I have the Scientists Three instead of just Jane. Though, Bruce isn’t that bad. He’s very good at watching his blood sugar. Haven’t had a Code Green in nearly six months. And, honesty, the last one wasn’t even his fault. Tony totally had it coming.” Darcy finished her explanation with a fond smile. She looked over at Vivian and saw the look of absolute bewilderment on her face. “You know what? Never mind.”
Darcy had a feeling that no one had been briefed on exactly who would be Simon Masrani’s guests for the weekend. Who was she to spoil that surprise?
They reached an elevator that was already open and waiting for them, Simon stood by the door and ushered them inside. Once they were all inside, the doors closed and he hit a button. “Now, it’s probably not what you’re used to Tony, but we are quite proud of the little operation we have going here. The entire park is monitored and controlled by this room. It is the heart of Jurassic World.”
The doors opened to reveal a large room, an aisle separated rows of desks, leading up to a wall of monitors. Computers adorned every station, the blue lights of the screens lighting up the room.
“It was nice meeting you, Darcy,” Vivian said as she took her place at a desk.
“As you can see, we keep a strict eye on every aspect of the park. We have visitor counts, feeds from the exhibits, and radio channels are open, amongst other things. Too many to name, really,” Simon explained, looking at the screens in front of him.
Darcy’s tilted her head, listening to the various lines of communication. “I’m sorry, but did someone just say that there are a couple dinosaurs going at it?”
A man stood from his desk and turned to face them. He was wearing a vintage Jurassic Park shirt which Darcy both found hysterical and oddly foreboding. “Yes, yes you did. Hi. Hey, how are you? You’re very pretty. What are you doing here?” He spoke a mile a minute as he came to stand in front of Darcy, hand out for her to shake and a way-too-excited look on his face.
“Lowery. Down. Leave Mr. Masrani’s guests alone. And, please, change your shirt.” The tired sounding order came from a woman standing near them at the back of the room. Darcy had been so absorbed taking in everything around that she didn’t even notice her. Huh. She’s usually better than that. Natasha would not be happy that she didn’t immediately take in her those around her.
The man, Lowery, pouted. Oh my god, he reminded her of Clint. He frowned down at his shirt. “But I got it off eBay. It was a good deal.”
He turned back and took his seat. His station was covered with miniature dinosaur figures. It was actually kind of cute.
“Oh, don’t mind him, Miss Lewis. He’s harmless,” Simon assured her.
Darcy just smiled. “Don’t even worry about it. I haven’t met anyone yet that is worse than this one,” she gestured with her thumb towards Tony.
“I’ll have you know that I resemble that remark.”
Bruce sighed. “Tony.”
Tony rolled his eyes and turned to the redhead that joined them. She was a…tense-looking woman. Her red hair was cut in a severe bob and her makeup was perfectly applied. Her clothes had obviously been picked with care. And, while she held herself with confidence, Darcy figured it was masking something.
Darcy sighed. She’d seen a lot of woman do that when they worked around men. As if that would make their male counterparts take them more seriously. Men could be assholes, and an air of confidence didn’t always help. What did help was the intelligence Darcy could see in her eyes. This was a woman who knew what she was doing and didn’t let anyone stand in her way.
She could almost have been Pepper, except that Pepper had a sense of humor. Darcy doubted this woman possessed that trait.
“Please, let me introduce our park operations manager, Claire Dearing. Claire has been with us since the beginning. And, if I’m not mistaken, has just secured funding for our newest attraction.” Simon looked towards Claire, as if for confirmation, that what he just said was accurate.
Claire gave a brief smile. “Yes, Mr. Masrani, I believe the paperwork just needs to be signed. But,” and she looked towards their group, “should we maybe discuss this in private? Privileged information, really.”
Simon just shook his head, smiling. “No, no. No need to worry about that. Mr. Stark is here to look at the containment protocols for our newest asset. And who knows, maybe by the end of their visit, Stark Industries will be sponsoring one of our upcoming exhibits.”
Tony laughed, clapping his hand on Simon's shoulder so hard that the other man tried (and failed) to suppress a flinch. “I don’t know about that. SI isn’t really in the dinosaur business.”
“Pepper would kill you,” Bruce said under his breath.
Tony pretended not to hear him. “Now. What is it you wanted me to take a look at? You look like you have everything well in hand here. I mean, obviously I can only improve upon it.”
“The systems we have in place for our current inhabitants are state of the art. Our new asset needs something more,” Claire explained and Darcy tried very hard not to make a face at her use of the word “asset”.
That word, in the context of the Avengers, had a very different meaning. She couldn’t help it, but her mind flashed back to what James Barnes looked like when he first started living at the tower. He looked like he hadn’t showered in weeks, and his eyes were constantly taking everything in. He didn’t even answer to his name. Only to the Asset.
So, yeah. Not her favorite word.
Tony started moving around the room, and Darcy knew he was thinking things through. “Why can’t you just use the protocols you have existing for the species? If they’re working for what you have now, one more won’t hurt the system.”
“Well,” Claire began, “it’s nothing like the world has ever seen, really.”
“Can you elaborate?” Bruce finally spoke up. This didn’t seem to be sitting well with him either.
“Our guests at Jurassic World wanted something newer. Bigger. Faster. More teeth. So, we’re giving it to them. It’ll be our most popular attraction.” Claire spoke confidently, as if this were a good thing.
Before anyone could say anything another man joined their group. “Welcome, Tony Stark. Simon’s been keeping your visit quite the secret.”
Wow, this guy really needed to shave that goatee that he had going on. It wasn’t working for him. He was about as tall as Tony but was much…wider. He was not carrying the extra weight well.
Tony whirled around to greet the newcomer. “I’m sorry, you are…?” He also completely ignored the hand that was out for him to shake.
“Vic Hoskins. Head of InGen security.” He looked so proud of himself.
Try as she might, and honestly it wasn’t very hard, Darcy could not keep her laugh silent. This guy was head of security? Of a huge multi-billion dollar operation? He didn’t look fit to be a security guard at Walmart.
Everyone looked at her. Apparently her laugh was louder than she thought. “Sorry,” she said, covering her mouth. Bruce gave her a look that said he agreed with everything she was just thinking.
Tony held up his hands. “Wait. Did you make a dinosaur?” The disbelief in his voice spoke volumes. “What was the recipe? Pound of flour, pinch of pterodactyl?”
“Unfortunately we are not at liberty to discuss the details of what is in the DNA. You understand.” Vic smiled, not at all phased by Tony’s attitude.
“The base DNA is tyrannosaur,” Claire broke in, ignoring the look Vic gave her.
Darcy couldn’t hold it in anymore. “So you admit that you made a dinosaur.” Vic nodded, smirking. “A dinosaur that’s bigger, newer, shinier, and has more teeth?” Another nod. “I’m not a professional or anything, but that seems like a really, really fucking bad idea. Are you actually insane?”
Vic scowled and looked at Tony. “Who does she think she is? Are you going to let her talk to me like that?”
Pausing, Tony seemed to think it through and Darcy rolled her eyes. “Well,” he took a breath, “I think I am, actually. Kid's not wrong.”
That seemed to throw the other group of three. Vic looked towards Bruce. “Mr. Banner? What do you think?”
“It’s Doctor Banner, and I would appreciate you using my correct title. You were aware of it before you joined us.” Wow, Bruce was pissed. “I came here with an interest to look into how you extract and manipulate the DNA you have. Of existing dinosaurs species. I have no interest in playing mad scientist in your labs.”
“Okay,” Tony waved his hands again, as if that would dispel the rising tension. “Look. I can go over specs for the enclosure. Make sure whatever it is can’t get out. But I can’t do that unless I know exactly what I’m working with. What its capabilities are.”
“Mr. Stark, it’s an animal. It’s not a robot or an invading alien,” Claire said. “I’m sure you can handle something as simple as a zoo exhibit.”
Tony just looked at her. “Whatever. I can look at the tech, but not unless you have someone look at the animal. I don’t do animal behavior. And the Hulk, totally doesn’t count.” (Bruce rolled his eyes.) “I can’t do my job, and I will be sending you an invoice Simon, unless I can talk to a professional. You have those around here, I’m sure.”
“Not to worry, Tony. We have just the person. Claire, get in contact with Owen Grady. He’ll accompany you to the paddock,” Simon instructed as he moved back to the elevator. “We’ll meet up later for lunch.”
Darcy glanced over at Claire, who looked like she just ate something sour. Interesting.
She cleared her throat. “I believe Mr. Grady is currently at the velociraptor enclosure. We can go now, if you’d like.” She looked like that was the last thing she wanted to do.
Tony nodded, but was interrupted by Vic. “Perfect! I have business to discuss with Owen anyway. We can all go.”
“I’d like to take a look at your labs, if that’s okay?” Bruce asked Claire. Darcy figured his plan was to stay as far away from the adult animals as he could. This situation was so outside the norm that Bruce wouldn’t be able to predict how the Hulk would react to the prehistoric beasts.
Claire nodded. “We can certainly have someone give you the tour, Dr. Banner. Vivian,” she called out, “please have Dr. Wu meet Dr. Banner down at the elevator. He’s our chief geneticist,” she explained him.
Bruce was sent on his way in the elevator first. As soon as it was back the rest of them boarded, and Darcy made sure that she was nowhere near Vic Hoskins. He made her taser itch.
Well, at least she could see the raptors before she got eaten by something.
Chapter 3: Darcy Is Friend, Not Food
Claire was driving and Tony was in the passenger’s seat. This meant Darcy was stuck in the back with Vic. She’d been in worse situations, so she just tried to sit very still and look anywhere but in his direction. She shouldn’t have worried, though, he was too busy trying to make himself sound important.
She met Claire’s gaze in the rear view mirror and rolled her eyes. Claire smiled and managed to hold in her laugh.
“Now,” Vic was saying. “The velociraptors are the smartest animal on the island. We’ve had them working with the best trainer here. You should see it, they listen and follow commands.” He sounded like a kid on Christmas morning.
“What Mr. Hoskins means is, our trainers have been working very hard to build a relationship with the animals. Much like you see at SeaWorld with the whale trainers. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that they follow commands,” Claire explained further.
Vic looked annoyed at the commentary.
“Didn’t a trainer get killed at SeaWorld? Got dragged underwater, I feel like you should have heard about that,” Darcy said, reaching forward to try and get between the seats.
“Yes, well, we employ the very best here at Jurassic World,” was Claire’s answer.
“Pretty sure SeaWorld doesn’t hire amateurs,” Tony said as he looked out the window.
Claire gave what Darcy figured was a very uncharacteristic snort. “SeaWorld is not the best example. We have a fundamental disagreement with the way they run their business. But, that’s neither here nor there.”
“Why, are your practices with animals so much better?” Darcy retorted. SeaWorld was a sore subject for her. She’d gotten in a lot of arguments over it.
Tony slumped in his seat and put his hand over his eyes. “Please, I beg you. Don’t get her started. The last time someone mentioned them, she went on a thirty minute diatribe. And it was only thirty minutes because I cut the feed to the video monitor.”
Darcy harrumphed and crossed her arms. She’d get the information she needed later.
The rest of their trip was made in silence, and before long they were pulling up to park in front of a large cement building. Or what looked like a building. There was a break in the concrete in the middle and the space was fitted with what looked like a large metal cage.
Darcy gazed up at the structure as she got out of the car. Behind the building there seemed to be a large wooded area, and she could barely make out a fence extending from both sides of the building. She really hoped it was electric.
She remembered the stories from her uncle about what happens when raptors get loose.
Tony, Claire, and Vic were already walking ahead of her. They stopped beside two men who were deep in conversation.
“Owen!” Vic called, completely ignoring the fact that they were mid-sentence. Wow, this guy was rude.
Owen turned and Darcy nearly swallowed her tongue.
Holy shit this guy was hot.
He had his sleeves rolled to his elbows, so she could see thickly muscled forearms. He was tan from working on a sun-drenched island, and, yeah. Darcy was starting to enjoy her vacation. With scenery like this, she could see herself enjoying it, indeed.
Claire stepped forward to do the introductions, “Owen. Barry. I’d like you to meet our guests for the weekend.” She took a breath and Vic took the opportunity to go ahead.
“Owen Grady, let me introduce to Tony Stark of Stark Industries. He’s our guest for the weekend,” Vic said it as if it were his idea to invite them this weekend. Wow, he’d take credit for just about anything, wouldn’t he?
Tony reached out and gave Owen a firm handshake. Okay, what was in the air on this island? Darcy would count on three fingers the number of times she’d seen Tony voluntarily shake someone’s hand. The hand was usually female and flirty comments followed shortly thereafter. Something told her that this wasn’t going to follow the normal formula.
She had to tell Pepper.
Owen nodded and looked to Darcy, waiting for the other introduction to be made. And, my, he had a pretty face. Okay, pretty probably wasn’t the best word because this guy? Complete rugged masculinity. She wanted to nibble his jaw.
Vic turned to her and gestured. “This is, um…this is…” he paused, clearly trying to remember her name.
Darcy crossed her arm over her chest and gave him the look, the one she usually reserved for when Tony was being especially douche-tastic. She raised her eyebrow, not even helping him out a little bit.
“Uh, she’s…Mr. Stark’s secretary.” Apparently he thought that was an appropriate introduction because he made no further effort.
She scoffed. “Are you fucking kidding me? You just met me.”
Tony was failing at keeping his laughter to a minimum. “Oh, that’s great.”
Darcy sighed. “And I’m not a secretary. I’m a scientist wrangler. Huge difference, you asshole.”
Owen looked like he wanted to laugh, too.
Vic pursed his lips and turned back towards Owen, but before he could say anything Darcy reached forward and shook Owen hand. “Darcy Lewis. Scientist wrangler extraordinaire.” She looked at Vic. “I’m no one’s fucking secretary, you gigantic piece of shit. I’m trying really hard not to tase you, buddy.”
“Darcy, try not to damage the help,” Tony said. The look in his eye told her a different story. And that story was, “I’m already making bets in my head on how long it takes you to do it and I’ll split the winnings with you.”
Darcy glared at Vic and said with as much venom as she could, “In. The. Balls.”
Vic visibly swallowed.
“Are you really going to let her talk to me like that?” Vic was astonished that anyone would talk to a man of his caliber in such a way. Where was the respect due his position?
“You have no idea, pal,” Tony straightened up, adjusting his suit jacket. “I pay her for that kind of thing.”
Vic looked like he was hit by an idea. “Ah, I see.” Darcy was pretty sure that he did not see.
If the look in his eyes was any indication, he should be really fucking happy she was listening to her boss (for once). What? She liked Simon and was pretty sure jamming a taser into the testicles of his “security expert” would make a bad impression.
“Okay, no. Not even close. I have a Pepper,” Tony explained, clearly understanding what Vic was insinuating. Wouldn’t be the first time someone thought she was banging her boss, and it probably wouldn’t be the last.
Suddenly Darcy realized she was still gripping Owen’s hand. He didn’t seem to be in a rush to take his back and he had a nice grip. Firm. Confident.
Even his hands were sexy.
Maybe she could salvage this vacation after all, she thought, giving him a wink. He just smiled in return, giving her a wink of his own.
Soon after, everyone except Darcy and Barry were involved in a heated discussion. She took this time to look around again while trying not to look too bored.
“Hm, yes?” Darcy answered as she turned her head back around. “Hi, Barry.”
He smiled and came to stand next to her, “Hi, Darcy. Would you like to get a look from above?”
She must have looked confused because he elaborated, “We have built a series of catwalks above the enclosure, only in the front. If you wanted, you can try and see if you can spot any of our guests.” He smiled fondly as he spoke of the raptors.
Darcy’s smile grew and figured if she wanted to get a good, safe, look that this was definitely the way to do it. Barry held his arm out and she put her arm through his.
No one noticed as they walked away, their discussion getting tenser. She even heard Claire starting to raise her voice. “That sounds like a fantastic idea, Barry. Lead the way.”
He walked her a set of stairs just off to the side of the first set of bars. “Just go on up. Take your time. Something tells me our friends will be a while.”
Darcy looked back in time to see Tony give a particularly violent set of hand gestures. She sighed. “Yeah. You’re probably right. You’re not going to join me, Barry?”
He smiled. “No, ma’am. I must get us ready for their next feeding. But please, take your time. They won’t leave without you.” He paused. “Don’t mind the men with guns. They are here for our protection.”
Darcy tried to stop her frown as she made her way. Men with guns? Yeah, that didn’t make her feel any better.
By the time she reached the top she had decided that maybe guns were a good idea if one of these things got out. She smiled to one of the armed men as she walked passed him. He nodded.
Darcy made her way across the catwalk, peering into the enclosure below. There was an open space near the gates, but the rest was forest. Trees and ferns everywhere and, wait. Something was moving down there. She could feel her excitement build.
Her hands trailed across the railing as she moved towards the guy in the middle. And, okay, what was he twelve? Was he even old enough to be working there? Before she could greet him she heard a yell. “Pig loose! PIG LOOSE!” Was “pig” code for another kind of animal? Because if it was the oink oink kind she didn’t really see the need for panic.
The kid next to her didn’t waste any time reaching for a catch pole. Everything after that happened so fast she could barely keep up.
The pig came flying out of the tall grass (and yes, it was the regular farm animal kind). The kid reached the catch pole down and got a grip on it. Something hit the pig from behind, increase the force on the end of the pole. He was falling over the rail, he couldn’t get a grip on anything.
Darcy reached forward trying to catch him. She managed to grab his ankle and fuck.
Good news: she had a good grip on him.
Bad news: she was not anchored to anything herself and she followed him over the railing.
She had enough time to hope she didn’t land on her head before her back slammed into the ground.
The fall knocked the wind out of her and she lay there for a second trying to remember how to breathe. She heard a snuffling and was pretty sure it wasn’t the pig. The kid was lying next to her, a little worse for wear than she was. He seemed dazed. Shit.
Slowly, she rolled onto her side and tried not to scream when she looked up. Okay, she wanted to see the raptors, but not up close and personal. Somehow she would blame this on Tony. But only if she lived through the next five minutes.
She heard a commotion behind the gate as, she hoped, people rushed to help. She heard someone yell, “Don’t shoot. Don’t fucking shoot!”
Darcy wasn’t so sure she agreed with that order.
She took a deep, fortifying breath. Okay, no. If she was going to get eat by a pack of raptors, it would not be while she was laying down with her eyes closed.
Darcy stood, slowly, keeping her eyes on the closest animal. It was a few feet back away and blinking at her, head tilted to the side. It hissed at her as she stood. Making biting motions.
Fuck this. This was supposed to be a weekend of relaxation. She was pissed. Reaching her foot behind her, she kicked the kid on the ground. It took a few, progressively harder hits, before she heard him groan. Except that when she heard him so did the raptor in front of her.
It moved to the side to peer around her at the easy looking victim on the ground.
Darcy reached her arms out to the side, hands spread wide. “Get up,” she hissed. “Get the fuck up right now and go to the gate.”
She didn’t hear anything behind her except someone yelling to get the gate open. She spoke louder. “Get to the fucking door.”
The raptor lowered its body and Darcy swore it was about to jump. It was clicking its…talons and reaching forward slightly in her direction. The other three were watching it. This one must be the alpha.
“No!” she yelled. “Fuck you, no!”
The raptor froze, eyes blinking, head to the side.
“I am not getting eaten by a fucking dinosaur, do you hear me?” She pointed at the animal as she yelled, her voice getting louder.
It tilted its head in the other direction as it straightened up a little, and Darcy noticed the nostrils flaring repeatedly. Great, it was scenting her.
“I am not your fucking food!”
She could hear the gate starting to raise behind her. About fucking time.
It took a small step forward, staring at her with eyes that were way too intelligent. It opened its mouth and made a series of chirping sounds.
Darcy didn’t speak raptor so she continued with her tirade. “Back the fuck off. If Tony hasn’t blown me up yet, you do not get a Darcy snack, do you understand me?”
She heard Tony make a squawking sound behind her but she was not taking her attention off this prehistoric Godzilla wannabe.
The raptor eased back and made another chirping sound.
The gate had to be open by now, right? Could she back away slowly enough and make it before it decided Darcy was food? God, she hoped that kid made it. He’d definitely be eaten.
She felt someone come up behind her and then her vision was obscured by Owen. Do not stare at his ass. This is not an appropriate time for ogling.
Owen stood in front of her, one hand up in a closed fist, the other out in from of him. “Blue! Stand down.”
Blue? Just continued standing there, staring.
“Hey! Charlie! I see you. Get back.” The raptor to her left, Charlie, took a low step backwards. Holy shit, he really was a raptor whisperer. That was kinda hot.
Not the time, Darcy.
“Blue. Eyes on me,” Owen said as he clicked something in his fist.
Blue just blinked at him before taking a step to the side. The movement reminded her much of the way birds moved. It was eerie and graceful all at the same time.
The raptor made a noise at her. It wasn’t a hiss or a growl, and it was hard to categorize, but it didn’t sound threatening.
Darcy raised her hand and waved.
Blue flicked her claw.
Owen looked at her out of the corner of his eye. “Very slowly make your way to the door.”
Yeah, Darcy wasn’t going to argue.
It was the tensest ten steps of her life. For every move back she made, Owen followed, keeping the raptor’s attention on him.
Well, all except for Blue. She had eyes only for Darcy, apparently.
Owen seemed to know the exact moment she stepped on the other side. “Close the gate.”
Her shock as his command was echoed by Barry.
“Just do it,” he said, voice low. “Trust me. Delta! Back! Did you hear what I just said?”
Darcy wasn’t sure if Owen was talking to the raptors or the humans.
The man hesitated and the kid screamed, “Shut the fucking gate!”
Darcy kind of wanted to kick him again.
“Owen,” she muttered. “Please.”
He just nodded. “Don’t worry. Close the gate!”
The other man muttered a curse and slammed his hand down onto a button. The gate started to close. With maybe three feet left of clearance, Owen threw himself under just as the raptors rushed it.
Darcy flinched when they hit, her heart hammering.
“Darcy!” Tony yelled as he threw his arms around her. Wow, he must have been scared.
“I’m okay, boss man,” she said as she let her head rest on his shoulder for a moment.
She pulled away in time to hear Owen berating the kid on the ground. He was sitting up near the thick metal bars of the cage.
“Ever wonder why there was a job opening?” Darcy heard Owen ask him.
The kid didn’t know whether he should laugh or not.
“And never have your back to the cage,” Owen instructed, moving away.
The kid turned his head to look behind him and jumped away as much as he could from his seated position.
Blue had her snout pressed as far through the bars as she could, her claws curling over them, clicking against the metal. She snarled but stopped abruptly when she saw Darcy look at her. Blue straightened and stood away from the bars. She reached her neck forward slightly and made that strange sound again.
The four raptors turned and ran into the woods.
They were kind of cute when they ran, Darcy thought as she watched their tails disappear in the trees. Darcy turned her eyes and looked at Owen, who was looking at her with a peculiar look on his face. “I made a friend?”
Tony laughed, relief clear in his voice. “Yeah, you did, Lewis. I guess after tasing a god and being BFFs with a brainwashed ex-assassin, a raptor is no big deal.”
“I want a raise.”
Chapter 4: You're An Idiot
After the excitement of the raptor enclosure, everyone decided it would probably be best to move on to the new exhibit so that Tony and Owen could take a look at it. The sooner they did that, the sooner Darcy could go to the hotel and not leave her room until the helicopter came back.
Thankfully Vic had stayed back with the raptors. Not that Owen looked happy about that.
“Hey,” Darcy said suddenly, turning in her seat to look at Owen. Tony decided that Darcy’s ordeal warranted front seat treatment. “Can I give her a treat?”
Owen looked at her. “Her? You mean Blue?”
Darcy nodded. “Yeah. I mean, she didn’t eat me, so that constitutes good behavior, right? Do you even have raptor treats? I’m pretty sure she waved at me.”
Owen gave her a fond smile and answered, “Yes, we do have raptor treats. They’re rats.” Darcy made a face. “If you want, after we’re done wherever it is that we’re going, we can head back and you can toss them all one. Can’t just give it to Blue. Need to reward the entire pack. Plus, none of them ate you. It wasn’t just Blue.”
Nodding, Darcy agreed. “That’s fair. I don’t want them to feel left out.”
Owen smiled as if that was the cutest thing he heard. Claire just stayed silent.
“Hey, Claire. Where exactly are we going?” Owen asked.
Okay, Darcy wasn’t really sure it was a good thing that even the head animal trainer didn’t know. Tony seemed to agree because his head whipped around to Owen. “You don’t know? Yes, Claire, where are we going?”
Yeah, Tony definitely didn’t seem too happy, and Darcy noticed that he was fiddling with the Iron Man bracelets around his wrists (Darcy always forgot what Tony called them and she really didn’t care enough to try and remember).
If he wasn’t carrying one of his transformer briefcases, he had those on, able to call the suit from anywhere. You never know what could happen, and it had come in handy more than once. She really, really hoped they wouldn’t need it this weekend. Darcy crossed her fingers and prayed to Thor.
They reached the under-construction paddock ten minutes later, and Darcy was surprised to see the level of activity surrounding the huge structure. Men were moving up and down on scaffolding and moving various bits of equipment through a door that she figured led to the interior of the wall, if not the enclosure itself.
Her mouth opened as she kept looking up (and up) at the walls. They had to be at least eighty feet high. “Is there already something in there?”
Oh lord, please say no.
“Yes,” Claire smiled, leading them towards an open door.
Darcy looked back at Tony. “You ready for this, boss man?”
He grinned. “If I can build a containment unit for the Hulk, I think I can handle an overgrown lizard.”
Owen coughed, and Darcy was pretty sure it was covering a laugh. He wouldn’t think it was so funny if he had ever seen the Hulk in action. Darcy was willing to let it slide.
What? He was extremely good looking.
The group climbed a flight of stairs and entered what Darcy assumed was a still-under-construction control room. There was a guard sitting at the lone computer eating his lunch. He waved in their direction and turned to monitor the screens behind him. Nodding, he went back to his sandwich.
Darcy, Tony, and Owen went to stand at the wall of windows that looked out into a sea of trees. The huge steel and concrete doors were to their right but beyond that was green. Trees nearly as tall as the walls created a thick forest. Claire tapped the screen of one of the standing consoles in front of the window.
“The Indominus Rex,” she said, as if that were an explanation.
Tony looked at her. “The what?”
She smiled and looked towards the trees. “I’d like you to meet the Indominus Rex. The newest addition to Jurassic World.”
Darcy looked at Owen, who seemed just as concerned as she was.
“Okay, Indominus, like the word indomitable? Really?” Darcy asked, incredulous.
Looking at her, Claire cocked her head slightly. “Yes. She’s bigger than a T-Rex, and faster. She is more.”
Taking a few steps in her direction, Owen tried to clarify. “You went and made a dinosaur bigger than a T-Rex? Did you maybe think that wasn’t a good idea?”
Darcy turned to Tony. “Hey, so remember how everyone yelled at you after Ultron?”
Nodding, Tony looked her warily. Yeah, like he was going to forget the sit down he had with her and Pepper after that. When Pepper isn’t happy, no one is happy. Least of all Tony.
“I take it back.”
He raised an eyebrow.
“On behalf of all the Avengers, I fucking take it back. This? This is worse than anything you have ever done, okay? Murderbots don’t even fucking compare to this idiocy. In theory, they could have been controlled. I mean, okay, they were controlled by a megalomaniac robot who wanted to kill the entire human race, but whatever.”
Taking a breath, Darcy turned to a shocked-looking Claire. “Congratulations, you officially had the worst idea I have ever heard of. We’ll send you a fruit basket.”
Owen cleared his throat. “Okay, other than the incident in Sokovia, I’m not exactly sure what else Stark Industries has been responsible for, but I don’t think she’s wrong.”
Darcy had a smug look on her face. Of course she wasn’t wrong.
Claire just shook her head. “I can assure you, we had the best and brightest in the field of genetics working on her.”
“Her?” Owen asked. “There’s only one? She’s had no socialization at all? How do you feed her?”
“Randy, a steer please,” Claire said to the man at the desk.
“Yes, Ms. Claire.” A few clicks of the mouse later and a large steer carcass was moving its way along a crane above the enclosure.
Owen shook his head and swore.
“What, Mr. Grady, is the problem now?” Claire definitely didn’t like Owen, and that was just fine with Darcy. She liked him enough for the both of them.
“The only positive relationship this animal has with anything is that crane. How do you not see that as problem? And, again, I have to ask: is she the only one in there? Isolating her isn’t going to do you any good.” Owen was pissed.
Darcy looked at Tony and just raised her eyebrow. There were clearly some inter-departmental issues here.
Claire hesitated. “She had a sibling.”
Okay, Darcy did not like the sound of that. “Had?” she asked.
Giving her a tremulous smile, Claire answered with, “She ate it.”
Fuck. That was so not good.
At that Tony cleared his throat. “You’re going to need a Veronica.”
Darcy rolled her eyes, that was the least of what they were going to need if thing ever got out.
“Can you call her in, Mr. Stark?” Claire asked, misunderstanding.
“Veronica isn’t a her, she’s an it. She’s what we have in the event that the Hulk is ever…out of control. Containment unit. But I have a feeling your little beasty out there is bigger than the Hulk. She’s an emergency control measure,” he explained, and Darcy could see the plans moving through his brain.
“I don’t see anything out there,” Owen called out, moving farther down the window.
“Randy, can you –“
An alarm sounded and Darcy’s stomach dropped.
Claire waved it away, “I’m sure that’s no –“
More alarms. The screens on the wall were flashing a message that made Darcy’s blood run cold.
NO THERMAL SIGNATURE DETECTED.
“Tony, if I get eaten by something, I’m going to kill you,” Darcy hissed.
“Randy!” Claire yelled, frantically looking into the woods.
“I’m not sure, Miss Claire, these gates haven’t been opened in weeks,” he explained, sounding confused. “She’s gotta be in there somewhere. Must be a malfunction.”
“Guys,” Owen called, pointing out the window towards the gates. “Were those claw marks always there?”
Darcy rushed over to look and immediately felt the need to vomit when she saw the concrete wall. Something told her she wasn’t looking at a decoration. Huge claw marks, in sets of three, scratched up the entire length of it. They went all the way to the top. Jesus fuck.
It got out.
Oh my god, it got out. A dinosaur bigger than the T-Rex, with more fucking teeth, fucking scaled a huge as fuck concrete wall and escaped.
Never mind vomiting, Darcy was going to pass out. She was so convinced that she reached out and clutched at Owen’s arm. He met her horror-filled eyes and nodded in agreement. This was bad.
Tony and Claire were already flying down the stairs to get back to the car, and honestly, that sounded like a really fucking good idea. Well, in theory it was. She was so scared that she was pretty sure her legs were numb because the second she started running for the stairs, she tripped. She still had a grip on Owen’s arm, and he pulled her to her feet. His hand on her back pushed her towards the stairs.
They were the last ones outside, and the moment she felt the air on her face, she felt dangerously exposed.
Claire was already in the car, gravel spitting under the tires as she sped back to the command center.
Fucking thanks, Claire.
“Tony?” Darcy asked, and she was woman to enough to admit that yes, her voice was shaking. She was fucking terrified okay?
“I’ve already called the suit, Darce. We’ll find it, Owen!” he called. “Watch her.” He paused, making sure Owen was looking him in the eye. “I mean it, Mr. Grady. Don’t let anything happen to her.” The suit was here and encasing him as he spoke.
Owen looked a little shocked to see the actual Iron Man suit. In any other situation, Darcy wouldn’t blame him.
Tony took off, going in the direction Claire was driving, flying high above the trees.
“Darcy, I want you to stay right by this car, okay?”
She just stared at him. “What?”
“Stay by the car in case we need to go. Me and the guys have to go in and take a look at the door, see if we can figure out what happened.” He sounded so calm that Darcy found herself nodding.
Besides, standing right next to a potential getaway vehicle sounded like a fantastic idea. She watched as the huge doors slid open. Owen and two of the worker’s, plus Randy, made their way inside.
Maybe a minute passed before Darcy heard a radio come to life inside the car.
“…out!” The voice on the other end was crackling, the words disjointed. “Asset…paddock…get out!”
Darcy heard another voice ask for clarification and suddenly the words were clear.
“The Asset is still in there! Get out! Get them out now!” That Claire’s voice, screaming instructions to clear the enclosure.
Darcy ran towards the doors, waving her arms and shouting. “Owen! Get out! It’s in there! OWEN!”
She couldn’t see them. Bracing her feet in the gravel, she cupped her mouth and yelled as loud as she could. “GET THE FUCK OUT NOW!” She took a breath to try again when she heard it.
Oh that wasn’t good.
Someone was yelling to close the doors. “You can’t. There are people in there!” Darcy yelled, horrified they would leave their own people to die.
Randy made it out of the doors and they started closing behind him.
“No, wait!” She yelled to him. Then, towards the closing doors, Darcy screamed again, “OWEN!”
The doors were almost shut when Owen burst through. She was in the process of letting out a sigh of relief when she realized he wasn’t stopping. He was running right for her but she wasn’t looking at him. The biggest creature she’d ever seen in her entire life was squished between the doors.
Please hold, please hold, please fuck! Metal bent and screamed as that thing burst free.
Owen grabbed Darcy’s arm, not slowing down, and threw both of them under the nearest car.
Darcy looked over his chest and she could see Randy crouched next to a truck. He was holding his breath, and she could see him praying not to be found.
The Indominus inhaled, scenting the air, and Owen swore. He reached into his pocket as fast as he could and pulled out a knife. Darcy did not think that that would make a dent in the creatures hide. She was even more surprised when Owen reached up and starting pulling at hoses on the underside of the car. He must have found what he was looking for because he swiftly cut one, and gasoline flowed out. He moved the hose back and forth over both of them. Darcy turned her face to the side and tried not to swallow any.
Using one hand, Owen started rubbing the gasoline over her as much as he could. In any other situation, Darcy would have made a comment about how he couldn’t keep his hands off of her. Now was not the time.
There was a roar, Darcy’s ears rang with the sound, and suddenly the truck Randy was hiding behind was airborne. It landed next to them with a crash and Darcy flinched. She reached her hand over and grabbed Owen’s.
Randy just sat there. He didn’t even bother trying to run. He just stared at them with a look of absolute terror on his face. Darcy wouldn’t be forgetting that look for a long time.
The Indominus lowered her snout, mouth opened slightly. Suddenly, she lunged, mouth completely encompassing Randy. She raised her head and chomped once. Darcy heard bones crunching.
She covered her mouth so she wouldn’t scream.
Huge, stomping, footsteps moved closer to their car. The Indominus knew they were out there. She remembered how many ran from her enclosure, and Darcy was terrified.
Oh god. It was right next to them. Darcy could see rows teeth on Owen’s other side.
Owen shook her hand very slightly, trying to get her attention. He wanted her looking at him and not the set of giant teeth three feet away.
She met his eyes and she could see his fear. It had to have matched her own.
Darcy was trying very, very hard not to move, but she could feel her muscles start to shake with the tension. She gripped Owens hand tighter, and he squeezed back. Feeling a tear roll down her cheek, she pressed her forehead against his. Her eyes closed and she tried not to shriek when she heard the Indominus trying to sniff them out.
Please, please, please let the gasoline mask their scent.
She prayed to every god she ever heard of and some she hadn’t.
The Indominus let out a snort, and Darcy held Owen’s hand even tighter. She was pretty sure she was cutting off circulation, but Darcy didn’t care. Extenuating circumstances and all that.
Behind her closed eyes, she kept seeing Randy being eaten.
Whole. Oh god.
Those stupid elves had nothing on this thing.
Where was Tony?
The Indominus huffed another breath before standing tall and walking away, towards the surrounding forest.
They stayed under the car for a few minutes longer. The animal didn’t come back. Thank god.
Owen crawled out first and looked around. He turned to help Darcy stand. She tried to take a deep, cleansing breath but just inhaled the smell of gasoline and started coughing.
Owen rubbed his hands up and down her arm. “It’s okay. You’re okay,” he soothed.
Darcy’s eyes took in the carnage around them. They were the only ones left. She swallowed. “I’m fine.”
He just looked at her.
“I survived an invasion of dark elves. I can handle a hybrid super-killer dinosaur,” she assured him. The nausea was starting to pass. She’d never seen a human eaten before. With the teeth and the blood and the screaming.
Owen smiled softly and reached a gentle hand up to wipe her tears away. Oh, yeah. She forgot she shed tears of terror.
Fuck you, that’s what they were.
Before she could say anything, the sound of something skidding in the gravel made her scream and whirl around.
It was Tony.
She ran up to him and immediately starting smacking her palms against the suit (she had learned before that you should never closed-fist punch the suit). “Where were you?” She tried very hard not to yell because she didn’t know the hearing range on that monster and she really didn’t want it come back.
He let her hit him, his face plate sliding back so that she could see his face. “I was nearly back to the control room when I realized what happened. Took that long for Jarvis to patch me into their communications.” Tony paused. “Jarvis says you’re covered in gas?”
“We needed something to cover our scent,” Owen explained.
Tony nodded. “Smart. Okay.” His face plate slid back on again, and Darcy attributed that to his game face. “I’m going to fly back, meet you at the control room. Drive as fast as you fucking can, you hear me?” It wasn’t really a question.
Owen nodded and turned to usher Darcy into another vehicle off to the side. Thankfully, the Indominus didn’t feel the need to examine it with her teeth.
“Tony,” Darcy called, half in the vehicle.
He turned to look at her.
God, she wanted to ask him if they’d make it out of this, but the words got stuck in her throat. She swallowed.
Tony nodded. He understood. “We’ve been through way worse than this, Darce. It’ll be fun.”
Darcy always knew he had a really horrible definition of the word fun.
Chapter 5: This Is the Worst
“This is officially the worst vacation I have ever been on,” Darcy said, her eyes continually searching the trees around the car. Not that it would matter. They were driving so fast they’d never be able to stop short in time if the Indominus crossed their path.
Owen turn his head slightly. “Was there even a question?”
Darcy shrugged. “You’d be surprised the stuff that can happen when you go on a trip with the Avengers.”
The car slowed slightly to take a turn. They were making good time.
“So you’re really with the Avengers, huh?” Owen asked.
“Well, I mean, I’m not an Avenger, myself. More like Avenger support staff. Mostly, I just deal with Bruce, Tony, and Jane,” she explained.
Owen seemed to think on that for a moment. “And Bruce, is that who I think it is?”
Darcy nodded, “If you’re thinking big and green and angry as fuck, yes.”
Owen glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. “Doesn’t that scare you?”
She shrugged. It was a fair question. “Used to. I mean, when you see the Hulk running towards you, ground shaking under his feet, it’s a little nerve-wracking. But he’s not so bad, really.”
The disbelief was clear on his face and she laughed fondly. “Trust me. He won’t hurt me. He pats me on the head and makes sure I’m safe.”
“Seriously? No wonder you didn’t back down from Blue,” was his response.
“No. That was…probably not my best idea. But I just couldn’t lay there and be eaten, you know?” She blushed. That sounded bad. “What I mean is, I didn’t want to be an easy meal for her. If I was going down, I was going down loud.” She looked out the window. “Worked out okay. I think she likes me.”
Owen just shook his head. He couldn’t argue. Blue obviously took a liking to her. He’d never seen her have such an instant reaction to someone that didn’t involve lunging and hissing. Blue nearly took Vic’s arm off the first time he went near her. Her vocalizations told the story with Darcy. They were happy and welcoming.
He’d bring Darcy back to the raptor enclosure after this whole mess was over. He never wanted to see that look of horror on her face again. And if his raptors made her happy? Well, that was a plus.
Suddenly, Darcy jumped in her seat and Owen yelled, “What? What is it? Do you see it?”
Darcy gave a short laugh. “Sorry! No. My phone’s buzzing. Just, kinda scared me.” Pulling her phone out of her back pocket, she groaned.
Obviously sensing her hesitation, Owen said, “Just don’t answer it.”
Darcy shook her head, her finger poised over the accept icon. “If I don’t it will just be worse.” She slid her thumb over. “Hey, Steve! How are you? Good? Hey, so, I’m going to have to call you back, okay? Okay.”
“Darcy?” Steve sounded confused. “Where are you? I went to see if you wanted to go to lunch, but Jane said you were on a trip with Tony?”
“Oh, just away,” Darcy laughed, high-pitched. She cringed. “So, this isn’t the best time and…” God, what was she going to tell him?
“Darcy. Where are you?”
“Isla Nublar?” She bit her lip.
“Tony took you to Jurassic World? Hey, can send me some pictures? I’d love to do some sketches of the apatosaurs.” He sounded so excited.
Darcy took a breath and covered her eyes with her other hand. “Um, pictures? Well, we’re a little busy.”
Owen laughed, loudly. Please don’t let Steve have heard him.
Steve paused on the other end of the phone, and Darcy could practically see him thinking. “Who was that?”
“That’s Owen. He’s my friend. We’re, uh, going to look after the new exhibit?” That probably shouldn’t have come out as a question. Steve was disturbingly good at figuring things out. Just be vague, Darcy.
“They have a new exhibit? What is it?” His excitement was back, and Darcy let out a breath.
“It’s a…thing?” Her voice was pitched high again. Shit.
“A thing that’s going to eat everyone on this island,” Owen said as they cleared the forest. They could see the Innovation Center in front of them. Thank god.
“What the hell is going on? Is everything okay?” He was starting to sound more and more like Captain America. Not good.
“Everything’s fine, Steve! Totally fine. Absolutely no emergencies. Everything is completely normal. See? Okay. Gotta go. Bye, Cap!” Darcy hit end as fast as she could, pressing it repeatedly as if that would help.
She slid her phone back in her pocket, ignoring it when it started buzzing again. Steve wasn’t stupid, he’d figure out something was going on sooner than she’d like.
“Boyfriend?” Owen asked.
“What? No. Steve’s just my bro,” was Darcy’s answer.
“Wait. Was that Captain America?” Owen asked, flinging the car into the nearest parking space.
“Maybe?” Darcy answered, practically falling out of the door.
“Don’t you think you should have told him what was going on?” Owen asked as he whipped open the door to the building and held it for her.
They ran down the hall.
“Seriously?” Darcy practically yelled. “What the hell is Captain America going to do? Throw his shield at it? Great, then we can find out if this thing can digest vibranium.” She was pretty sure prehistoric hybrid monsters were out of Cap’s wheelhouse.
They burst into the control room and froze.
Tony and Vic were in the middle of what looked like a heated argument. Claire just stood off to the side of them, obviously trying to diffuse the situation.
It wasn’t working.
Swearing, Darcy threw herself directly in the middle of the two men. She placed her hands on Tony’s chest and pushed him back. She was pretty sure he wouldn’t throw a punch with her standing right there.
“What is going on?” Owen asked, feeling the tension in the room.
“This man!” Tony yelled, pointing at Vic over Darcy’s shoulder. “Is a moron!”
Darcy just rolled her eyes. “Okay, yes, but that doesn’t answer the question.” She took her hands off his chest and he just straightened his jacket.
“It’s the perfect opportunity!” Vic yelled in response.
Owen’s hands were on his hips. “Vic?”
“Come on, Owen! You know it’ll work,” he enthused and Darcy was pretty sure Vic didn’t realize that they had missed the entire first part of whatever conversation they were having.
Apparently it didn’t matter because Owen glared and got right up into Vic’s space. “You are not using my raptors.”
“Owen…” Vic soothed. “Think about it.”
“Oh, I’m thinking about something, alright.”
“Wait a fucking minute,” Darcy interrupted, hands in the air. “Are you really suggesting that we should use the raptors, to what? Kill the Indominus? They’re tiny and it’s huge. That’s a terrible idea.” Darcy did not want the raptors set loose on the Indominus. They wouldn’t stand a chance!
Vic gave her a condescending look but said, “That’s what we’ve been training them for!”
Owen just mouthed, we?
“You’ve been training them to go after rogue dinosaurs?” she was confused.
Smiling as if she were a small, inquisitive child, Vic explained. “We’ve been training them with the hopes of using them in combat. Now that they listen to us, this is the perfect opportunity to field test them!”
Darcy was horrified. “You want to use velociraptors. In war. What, are you going to ride them into battle?”
She pictured Blue out in the open, guns firing at her. Her heart hurt.
“No, no, of course not. We wouldn’t even need the soldiers! Can’t you picture it? We’d be the only ones in the world with raptors. The other side wouldn’t even know what to do! Raptors tearing through their soldiers, bodies littering the ground.” She could see the bloodlust in his face.
“Would you use lions in war like that?” Darcy asked, crossing her arms over her chest. She saw Vic’s eyes immediately go to her cleavage. He wasn’t even being subtle about it. She snapped her fingers in front of her chest. “Hey. Eyes are a little higher, pal,” she said, pointing up towards her face as if he needed directions.
Vic flushed and cleared his throat. “Of course we wouldn’t use lions. You can’t tame them.”
Raising an eyebrow, Darcy spoke softly and slowly, as if she were addressing a small child, “Isn’t that like the same thing? You can’t tame a raptor.”
Out of the corner of her eye she saw Owen nodding in agreement, teeth clenched in anger.
Vic glared at her. “You wouldn’t understand. These animals have been trained with one purpose in mind.”
Swallowing bile, she asked the room at large. “Is this a competition?”
Vic looked confused. “Excuse me?”
Darcy twirled her finger in a wide circle. “Are you all competing to see who’s going to have the most insane fucking idea I have ever heard of? Because I thought we had a winner, but I might have been wrong.”
“Listen, you little –“
“ACU nearing the target,” a voice from the front of the room called.
They turned to the monitors. They could see the stretch of red that was the path of the Indominus. It has stopped in a wooded area and the blinking lights of the Asset Containment Unit were almost right on top of it.
All conversation in the room stopped. You could have heard a pin drop. The hushed voices of the ACU command leader came through. “Signal is stationary. Eyes open. It’s here somewhere.”
They could see what he saw. His vision panning left and right as he walked carefully forward. The camera looked down and they saw a chunk of dinosaur hide on a rock.
Darcy’s heart started racing.
The command leader gently picked it up and turned it over.
“What is that?” Darcy breathed.
Owen took a few steps closer to the screens. “It’s her tracking implant.”
Joining Owen near the front of the room Tony asked the question Darcy was thinking. “How did it come out?”
Turning, Owen looked at Claire. “It remembered where it was put in. She clawed it out.”
There was yelling through the radio. “It can camouflage!”
The sound of stun guns.
“You’re going after it with non-lethal equipment?” Tony yelled and Darcy wasn’t quite sure who he was asking.
“We have to, Tony,” came the voice of Simon Masrani, as he finally joined them.
Darcy screeched, “Are you fucking crazy? That’s not going to stop it!”
Shaking his head, Simon calmly explained, “This has cost us millions, we can’t risk the investment.”
Whatever Darcy was going to say was interrupted as the sound of screams filled the room. She turned around in time to see the health stats of the command leader go flat.
A flash of claw. Flat-line.
Huge teeth in an even larger mouth closing around a camera.
In seconds the entire ACU was gone. The monster was on the move and there was no way to track it.
The room was filled with a shocked silence.
Then. “Fuck this. Tony, Bruce is still in the lab, right? We need the Hulk,” Darcy asked, getting her phone.
Tony nodded. “Yeah, not sure if there was an alert there, yet. But call him. I want to see what the Hulk is going to do with Godzilla.” Why did he have to sound so gleeful?
Darcy barely started scrolling through her contacts when it was ripped from her hands. Vic held it aloft, his face getting redder. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
“Give me my phone,” Darcy ordered with her hand out.
“Listen, sweetheart, why don’t you let the professionals handle this, okay? Don’t go getting your pretty head involved with things that don’t fucking concern you,” he hissed, leaning his face close to hers, speaking through his teeth.
“Give me my phone, honey. You obviously can’t handle this. The Hulk is indestructible.” She hoped. He’d never been tested against a dinosaur before.
Vic’s hand tightened on her phone, the plastic creaking. She was going to be seriously pissed if he broke it. Vic looked down at the phone, contemplating, then handed it to Tony because he’d obviously keep it from her. She rolled her eyes.
Smiling, Vic stood up and put his hand on her shoulder. “Everything is going to be fine.”
“Get your hand off me,” she hissed.
“Oh, come on, don’t be like that. Now,” his hand rubbed up and down her arm, “why don’t you run to the cafeteria for us. We could use some coffee. I’ll take it-” He winked and Darcy gagged. “- milk, no sugar. Don’t want it too sweet, you understand.”
Darcy looked at Tony with her brows raised. He nodded.
“Vic?” Darcy asked sweetly.
Her hand was over his.
“Don’t ever.” She gripped two of his fingers “Ever.” She pulled them back slightly. “Touch me again.” She ripped them back and only let go when she felt a crack.
A chorus of “oooh’s!” when through the room.
He howled in pain and clutched his hand to his chest. “You fucking bitch.” He took a step towards her.
Tony slid in front of her but it was Owen that growled, “Don’t fucking touch her.”
“The bitch broke my fingers!” he yelled, spit flying.
“Self-defense,” was Tony’s answer.
Darcy just wiggled her fingers at him in a wave.
Vic stumbled to the elevator, the doors opening as he got there. Bruce and Dr. Wu rushed out, paying no attention to the other man.
“Tony, we have a serious problem,” Bruce stated.
Oh, come on! Couldn’t she just have two minutes to enjoy that!
Tony rolled his eyes. “Tell me something I don’t know. Godzilla is attacking the city.” He turned to Dr. Wu. “We need to know what went into that thing.”
“I’m sorry, I’m not at liberty –“
“Are you fucking serious? It can camouflage itself. We need to know what else it can do.”
“Mr. Stark, I absolutely cannot disclose those details.”
Taking a breath, Tony tried for patience. “If you won’t tell me, Jarvis will.”
“Who is Jarvis? You didn’t bring anyone else with you,” Simon said. He was very certain that Tony had only brought two others with him.
“Well, technically, Jarvis isn’t a person. He’s my AI,” Tony explained.
“I’ve had him running since you let me plug my phone in. Did you really think I rushed in here needing to charge my phone? Please,” he scoffed.
Voice raised, Simon exclaimed, “You hacked my system?”
“Only after you nearly got my Darcy eaten.”
Whatever Simon was about to say was interrupted by a British voice coming through the room’s speakers. “Sir.”
Darcy noticed that most of the bodies in the room jumped the unexpected voice. She giggled.
“What ya got?”
“I was able to verify that the base DNA of the Indominus Rex is, indeed, tyrannosaur. I have also detected genetic markings of tree frog, cuttlefish, and velociraptor.”
Every eye in the room turned to Dr. Wu. He was enraged. “This is a serious breach of our security. You can’t do this!”
Tony looked speculative. “Can’t tree frogs regulate their body temperature?”
Dr. Wu rolled his eyes. “Yes, but –“
Darcy gasped. “Cuttlefish can change color to blend into their surroundings.” Tony turned surprised eyes to her. She just shrugged and said, “What? I know shit.”
Looking at her, Dr. Wu waved her words away. “Yes, but we never thought that the Indominus would pick up that trait.“
“Nature always finds a way,” Darcy whispered.
Claire looked at her, startled.
“You used raptor DNA!” Owen yelled suddenly. “Don’t you understand? That’s how she’s remembering. Raptors are the smartest animal on this entire fucking island!”
There were a few seconds of silence before Claire turned haunted eyes to Owen. “Oh my god.”
“Claire,” Owen said, gently. “What’s wrong?”
She whimpered. “My nephews.” She whipped out her own phone, yelling into it when the call connected. “Zara! You have to get Zach and Gray to the Innovation Center as fast as you can.” Pause. “What?” The color was draining from her already pale face.
She hung up, paused, then made another call. “Pick up, pick up. Zach! Oh thank god! Where are you?” Darcy thought Claire was going to faint. “Gyrosphere? Hello? Zach? …Zach!”
Claire turned her eyes to the monitors. “Lowery! Do we have any gyrospheres still out there?”
“Um…yes. One. It’s,” he paused, “uh, it’s in sector five, past the perimeter fencing,” he called, bringing the tracking beacon online for the ride.
“How the hell did it get there?”
Lowery looked back at her, his eyes wide. “There is a breach.”
Taking a breath, Claire visibly gather herself. “Alright. I’m going to get them.”
Owen barked a laugh. “No, you’re not. I’ll go find them. You stay here and try to figure out an evacuation plan. We might need it.”
Darcy grabbed his sleeve as he walked passed. “I’m going with you.”
He took her hand off his arm, but held it. “Stay here. That thing is still out there, it’s not safe.”
Tony stepped close. “Yeah, no. Darcy isn’t exactly one to sit by and let others do the work. We tried locking her in a safe room once, but she broke out.”
“How do you…you know what? Never mind. Regardless, Mr. Stark, I’m not really sure –“
“You’re going to need another set of eyes out there. Darce isn’t reckless. And, she’s been trained by the Avengers. She’s a good shot, too,” Tony explained, sounding like a proud papa. Darcy had put in a lot of work with the team. She wasn’t Black Widow-good, but she was normal-person-excellent.
She flipped the grip of her hand and intertwined her fingers with Owen’s. “Trust me.”
He nodded and they got in the elevator.
Darcy could have sworn she heard Tony mutter something that sounded an awful lot like, “I’m going to be murdered by a Russian assassin.”
The door of the elevators closed before she could ask.
Chapter 6: Chaos Theory
at this point I've forgotten some of the order of events, but that's okay because things are going to start changing from the movie. THERE ARE SOME THINGS I NEED TO FIX, OKAY?
Steve tracked Jane down to the tower common room, which was the last place he would have looked. He tried all three floors of labs before he finally asked Jarvis.
Striding into the room he called, “Hey, Jane?”
Her head popped up from behind the couch. “Hi, Steve!” She was shoveling ice cream into her mouth. Huh, she did eat when Darcy wasn’t around to watch her. “Want some?” she asked, holding her spoon out.
“Uh, no thanks. Have you heard from Darcy since she left?” Steve asked, moving to sit on the couch with her. He couldn’t shake the feeling that something was going on. His phone call with her was seriously bothering him.
Jane swallowed. “No. Why?”
He looked forward and sighed. “I’m probably overreacting, but I just talked to her and it was…weird.” He paused, trying to put it into words. “She was almost going out of her way to say that everything was fine.”
“I’m sure everything is fine. I mean, they’ve only been gone for a few hours. What could have possibly happened?” Jane froze, ice cream halfway to her mouth. “You know what, I’ll call her.”
Taking her phone from the coffee table, Jane hit Darcy’s contact information. Before the call connected, Steve said, “Put it on speaker.”
Jane gave him a look, but did it anyway. It rang two more times before Darcy answered, breathless. “Jane! Hi! You okay? Good. Can I call you back?”
Raising her eyebrows at Steve, Jane said into the phone, “Is everything okay with you? Are you running?”
“Me? Running? No!” Darcy squeaked, which was a dead giveaway. Darcy got high-pitched when she was lying. Jane knew her intern well.
There was someone talking in the background but they were too far away from the phone for Jane and Steve to be able to hear. They must have been talking to Darcy because she answered, voice muffled as if she were trying to cover the speaker, “Just give me the shotgun.” Then louder, to Jane, “So, um, this isn’t the best time and –“
“Darcy,” Steve cut in, “why do you need a gun?”
They could hear Darcy trying to think of something. “Gun? What gun? I don’t need a gun! I said fun. I’m having so much –“ She grunted. “– god damn fun.” She whined, “Just give me it.” Then, whispering, “Owen, I swear to god, give me the fucking shotgun, it’ll be fine!” Back to Steve, “Right! So, I’m gonna go…tour stuff. That’s something totally normal tourists do. Okay, bye!”
The phone went silent.
Then Jane said slowly, “So, you’re not wrong.”
Steve just glared at her. “Let me try Tony. He always gives out way too much information.” He pulled his own phone out, pressed a button, then held it to his ear. “He sent me to voicemail.” Steve tried again. Nothing. “Huh.”
Steve sat there, trying to think of what to do. He knew Bucky and Natasha were in the same part of the world, but he also knew there was a communications blackout for their mission. They wouldn’t be able to return any calls or texts in at least the next twenty-four hours. Maybe more.
“So, I might have found something,” Jane said after a few minutes.
He turned to look at her. Jane was focusing on her phone, her brows furrowed in confusion. “I’m not going to like this, am I?” he asked, sighing.
Jane titled her head. “Probably not.” She took a breath. “Okay, so the hashtag Jurassic World is trending, which you know, not that strange. But, um, there’s this one that’s been retweeted over twenty thousand times in the last ten minutes.”
Steve close his eyes, as if bracing for a hit. “I’m not looking forward to hearing this.”
Clearing her throat, Jane read it aloud. “How about we keep the animals in their cage? Worst day ever. Hashtag Jurassic World. Hashtag run for your lives.” Jane paused, letting that sink in. “There’s a picture.” She handed her phone to Steve. “Look in the background.”
It was a selfie of a bored-looking man, he was leaning his chin in his hand, the glow from a computer screen lighting his face. He looked like he was rolling his eyes. Immediately, Steve saw what she was referring to. There, in the back of the room was Darcy. She had an intense look on her face as… “Holy shit, she broke his hand.”
Steve could see the fingers of the man in front of her bent at an unnatural angle. He wasted no time sending a group text to Bucky and Natasha.
Code 911-D. Call me when you can. This is not a drill.
He didn’t know exactly what was going on, but he knew it was probably bad. He was up and hitting the elevator call button in three steps.
Jane called over, “I’ll call Thor. He’ll meet you there.”
He waved his phone at her. “Clint is meeting me in the hangar in five minutes. We’ll figure out what’s going on.”
Jane nodded. “You call me as soon as you can, you hear me? Or I swear to god, I’ll give your shield to Fandral.”
Steve scowled as he stepped into the elevator, the doors closing as he replied, “If he touches it, I’ll switch out all your coffee for decaf.”
Darcy shoved her phone into her pocket and swung the shotgun over her shoulder. Okay, shotgun was maybe not the right word for it. It was a shotgun on steroids and she couldn’t wait to use it. “Alright, let’s go,” she said, hopping into one of the all-terrain vehicles.
Owen looked at her slightly warily. “Are you sure you don’t want something smaller?”
Aw, he was cute when he was concerned for her. She smirked, “Owen, I wasn’t kidding when I said it’d be fine. The Winter Soldier taught me how to shoot.”
Owen was so surprised by what she said, he nearly walked into the side of the car. “I’m sorry.” He wiggled his finger in his ear. “Who taught you to shoot? I thought you just said that the best sniper the world has ever known showed you how to use a gun.”
Laughing, Darcy buckled herself in and watched as he settled himself behind the wheel. She gave him a few seconds. “Bucky doesn’t like to be reminded of what he did in the past. New leaf and all that.”
“Bucky?” He couldn’t have been more surprised if he tried. “You’re on a first name basis with the Winter Soldier?”
Darcy debated letting that statement hang in the air, but she needed a laugh after being nearly eaten whole. “Bucky’s my friend. We bake together. He’s fun times. Who better to teach me how to shoot a gun?”
Owen just shook his head. “Has anyone ever told you that you’re a little scary?”
The answer to that was a laugh. It was loud and joyous, and she didn’t care. “You’re definitely not the first.” She gave him her best smile.
His lips quirked up in response.
It took them less than ten minutes to reach the breach in the gate. Not so much a breach as just not fucking closed after someone was done with it.
Owen drove slowly through the opening, leaning forward, trying to see any sign of the boys.
“On your left!” Darcy yelled, pointing.
There was the gyropshere in a cluster of trees. Owen slowed the car and Darcy slid in the mud as she threw herself from it, not even waiting until it was put in park.
She rested her hand lightly on the tempered glass of the gyrosphere, heart in her throat. The glass was completely cracked and shattered in places. There was a large hole in front of the seats. She crouched down and looked inside. She swallowed. She wasn’t sure if it was a good sign that there was no blood. Or body parts. The Indominus clearly found it.
Running her eyes over the sphere, she swore under her breath. There, sticking out of the metal, was a tooth. It was at least five inches long and wedged tight. Bracing herself with her other hand, she grunted as she pulled it free. It was warm and heavy in her hand.
“So,” she said, turning to Owen, who was crouched a few feet away and looking at something on the ground. “Who wants to tell Claire that her nephews were eaten? Because I call not it.”
He stood, shaking his head and pointing, “They got away. Foot prints. We can follow on foot from here. We’ll find them.”
He sounded so sure that she really wanted to agree. She didn’t want to be a Debbie Downer or anything, but what were the odds of two kids surviving, or even hiding, from the deadliest creature to ever walk the earth?She couldn’t even call it a dinosaur. The Indominus wasn’t grown. It was made. Science had finally gone too far.
Thank god Jane just liked to watch the stars. Darcy promised herself that she would never argue again when Jane came banging on her door at ass o’clock in the morning because she discovered some new thing.
Smiling slightly, she gripped the gun in her hands. “This’ll be fun.”
Owen smirked. “Yeah, just like a walk in the park. Sixty five million years ago.”
That’s what Darcy was afraid of. Gripping the gun tighter, she willed her hands to stop shaking. She could do this. Everything was fine. They’d find Zach and Gray, go back to the Innovation Center, the Hulk would be set loose, and Tony would take care of it from the air.
Darcy bit her lip and followed Owen as he tracked the footprints. Every few steps he would bend over and take a closer look. So what if she tilted her head and took in the view that was his ass? At that moment, she told herself that if she lived through this weekend, she would climb that like a tree.
He turned abruptly and Darcy’s eyes flew to his face. He gave her a look that said he knew what she was doing and he was all for it.
He motioned for her to follow him.
They made their way out of the trees and came to the edge of a shallow river. The foot prints led into the water.
Owen stood, looking around for a few seconds before making his way to a rocky shelf. Peering down, Darcy saw that it was at least a twenty foot drop into what she hoped was a deeper part of the river.
Darcy nodded, agreeing. That definitely seemed like the move to make if you were being chased by a giant man-eating monster. She just hoped they made it out of the river.
Owen looked at her. “We’ll cross here and see if we can pick up the trail.”
She gave him a thumbs up.
They climbed down and followed the river for a while. Just as Darcy was starting to think they wouldn’t see anything, Owen stopped and pointed.
Footprints. Muddy, wonderful footprints. Thank god.
They continued to follow the trail. Well, Owen followed it, Darcy just followed Owen.
Darcy’s eyes kept going to the open field they were walking parallel to. “Owen.”
He turned to look at her and stopped walking when he saw the look on her face.
Together, they slowly and carefully walked out into the open.
“Owen,” she said again. She couldn’t bring herself to say anything else.
His voice was low as he answered, “I see it.”
There in front of them was an apatosaur laid out on the ground. Its large body somehow looked smaller like that. Claw marks covered its body. There were a few chunks of flesh missing, but that was it.
It let out a loud moan and Darcy jumped. She didn’t think it was still alive. The claw marks covered the length of its long neck.
Owen knelt by its head. The eyes were rolling in the sockets, looking at everything and nothing at once. It was clearly panicking and in pain. God. So much pain in those eyes.
Taking a step closer, she joined him on the ground at the animals head. She slowly reached her hand out and gently placed it on the side of its face. She pulled away when it let out another moan.
Darcy bit her lip and tried to keep the tears away. She met Owen’s pain-filled gaze as she lightly stroked its rough skin. Trying to give whatever comfort she could.
It was gone in seconds.
Darcy stood abruptly and took a few steps away from the dead animal. Wiping angrily at her eyes, she faced the field in front of her. She let out a shuddering breath. “There are more.”
Owen got to his feet and stood by her side, looking at the carnage in front of them.
There were at least six more dead apatosaurs. From this distance they could see the streaks of blood covering their hide.
“It didn’t eat them,” Owen stated, voice dull.
“The Indominus. It didn’t eat them. Just… killed them.”
Swallowing the lump in her throat, Darcy had to ask, “That’s not normal animal behavior is it? Predators kill to eat.”
Owen nodded, she saw the motion out of the corner of her eye. “It’s hunting for sport.”
Darcy laughed, but it wasn’t a happy sound. “It just gets better and better.”
He took her hand and led her back to the trees. “Come on. We better get moving.”
She didn’t argue.
He eventually led them to one of the most rundown buildings Darcy had ever seen. Vines covered the walls, dead leaves swirled in the wind, windows broken. The door was open.
Darcy and Owen just looked at each other. She gestured. “Age before beauty.”
He smiled and went first.
Wow, clearly no one had been here for a while. Dust covered every surface. Metal was rusted and bent. Debris littered the floor.
On one of the walls Darcy noticed and cave painting-like picture of a raptor. She knew exactly where she was.
This was the original Jurassic Park Visitor Center. She turned in a slow circle, trying to take in as much as she could. She’d heard the stories of this place when she was a kid. A fun story to try and scare the younger ones. The hunting raptors, the huge tyrannosaur, the game of hide and seek in the kitchens.
As she grew, the stories she heard around the table grew less exciting. When she was thirteen she called the story boring. Her uncle just laughed and continued on about how he predicted it would fail but no one listened.
The fractals. Chaos theory. The Malcolm effect.
You work with numbers, Uncle Ian. Numbers aren’t alive. To which the answer would always be, Aren’t they?
Darcy smiled briefly at the memory. She sighed. Yeah, she was so going to hear it at the next family dinner.
She hummed to herself as she took her phone out and sent a quick text.
I’m sorry I ever said that running from dinosaurs was boring.
She walked around the room and sighed. Not happy was an understatement, he’d be pissed. And, for that matter, so would…
“Oh man,” she whined.
“What’s the matter?” Owen asked, peeking through a set of doors. “I found something.”
Darcy kicked at a leaf as she walked. “Nat’s going to kill me.”
He took her hand when she wasn’t walking fast enough, and pulled her through a short hallway. “I found the garage. There are fresh tire tracks. They somehow managed to fix one of these rust buckets. Who’s Nat?”
“Trust me. You don’t want to know.” They entered the old garage. This place was a mess, too. But Owen was right. She saw the fresh tracks in the dust. How the hell did they manage that? These things hadn’t been running in over twenty years.
There was another jeep. God, please let them be able to use that. It would waste too much time to go back and get their original car.
If they even made it back.
Darcy watched as Owen rummaged through the rusted and broken parts. He was reaching for a set of cables when the ground moved beneath their feet.
Closing her eyes Darcy prayed it was just a small, completely normal, earthquake.
It happened again. Closer this time.
Turning wide eyes to the open garage doors, Darcy tried not to breathe.
It was here.
Her fingers were numb on the gun she forgot she was holding. Yeah, that wasn’t going to do anything except piss it off.
That huge snout was lowering in front of the door, blocking out all light. Before Darcy could see the eye, Owen grabbed her by the waist and threw her in front of the truck.
They sat there, rigid.
Darcy rolled her eyes to look at Owen. He was staring right back at her.
Oh my god.
The teeth were less than a foot from him. Just on the other side of the jeep. So close that Darcy could have reached over and touched them. She saw the nostril flare and she prayed the smell of the dried gasoline was still enough.
The snout was slowly backing away. Once it was out of view, Darcy let out a breath and Owen slowly turned to look out the door.
There was nothing.
She leaned her head back, resting it on the grill of the jeep. She mouthed to Owen, Oh thank god.
She screamed as the ceiling caved in. The huge claw of the Indominus reaching in after the falling concrete. It was trying to reach them but couldn’t. That long arm wasn’t long enough.
And whose fucking idea was it to give a tyrannosaurs rex a working arm?
Owen was up and pulling her from the room seconds before the Indominus used its huge tail to crush the jeep against the wall. They ran through the building, the Indominus just feet behind them.
They weren’t going to make it.
They burst through the old doors and deeper into the forest.
The outer walls of the Visitor Center were wet clay to the Indominus. It took no effort for it to push through. It was like ripping through paper.
Darcy huffed and pushed herself to go faster.
There was a sound in the air. A helicopter followed by the familiar sounds of Iron Man’s repulsor’s.
A tree exploded in the distance, and the Indominus turned towards the sound. Darcy turned her head, trusting Owen not to lead her into a tree, and saw as it veered off course. It suddenly wasn’t interested in them. It was going after Tony and whoever was in the helicopter.
Darcy gave Owen a look and they both changed direction. They followed the sound of falling trees and roars. Those huge, loud roars that made her head hurt. She was going to have nightmares about that sound.
They crossed through the tree line. Owen stopped when they came to a small cliff. The Indominus was below them.
“What is that?” Darcy asked, watching as the Indominus crashed into a huge glass dome.
“The Aviary,” was his whispered answer.
That roar again. God, it was so loud. Darcy wanted to cover her ears.
“Oh my god.” Things were escaping through the shattered glass. There were so many of them.
Suddenly Tony was there, trying to shoot as many of them out of the air as he could. There were too many, he’d never get them all.
The helicopter opened fire. They were firing too wildly, hitting almost nothing. A pterosaur crashed into the tail of the helicopter, sending it spinning. A body fell out. Another one hit the blades, breaking them off. It was descending too fast, spinning out of control. It hit the top of the dome and went through.
“Shit!” Darcy exclaimed. They were heading their way.
Owen yelled, “The trees! Get to the trees!”
Darcy spun on her feet so fast that she nearly fell. They sprinted for cover, nearly neck and neck. They reached for each other at the same time. Their hands connected, and then they were flinging themselves into the shade of the trees.
Darcy screamed as she felt something graze her calf. She tried to pull her leg way but the pterosaur had her by the foot. It let go briefly and she knew it was only so that it could try a new angle. Get a better grip. She turned her body and managed to bring the gun up.
She fired into its open, yawning mouth.
It fell to the ground and it was missing a head. And, oh gross, she had pterosaur blood and thicker things all over her.
She lay on the ground for a moment, trying to get her breathing under control. After a few deep breaths she turned her head and saw Owen staring at her. Amazement shining in his face.
“See?” she laughed. “Told you I’d be fine.”
Chapter 7: Imprinting
“I told you to fucking wait before you blew the charges, Barnes," Nat hissed through the comms as she raced back to the quinjet.
Bucky huffed a breath. "I waited."
She could hear the quinjet powering up in the background. "You better be ready to have this in the air the second I get there. And waiting thirty seconds was not what I meant!"
"Semantics," was his answer.
It took another Natasha another fifteen seconds before she reached the ramp. She grabbed on to a seat as Bucky started moving, the ramp closing as they took to the air.
"See? That wasn't so bad," he said from the cockpit.
Reaching into her bag, she pulled out a clean shirt. The one she had on was stained. If anyone asked (Clint!), it was the blood her enemies, and not ketchup from the hotdog Bucky had been eating. He might have accidentally thrown it away, in her direction, as they approached the target.
"Check your phone." Bucky did not sound happy.
She took her phone from the bottom of her bag.
Code 911-D. Call me when you can. This is not a drill.
Oh for fuck's sake. She just dropped them off like five minutes ago. Okay, it had been a few hours but still. She used the jets communications system to call Steve. "This a joke," was her greeting when he picked up.
"Oh, you're done with your mission, I see," was his sarcastic response.
"There seems to be an animal containment anomaly at the park," Steve responded.
Natasha was already annoyed. "What the fuck does that mean?"
"It means," he sighed, "that there is already video hitting the internet of pterodactyls attacking people. There are also rumors of a large animal on the loose."
Bucky's shoulders tensed. "Steve, I swear to god..."
"Trust me, I wish I was joking. The hashtag run for your lives is already trending. There’s a picture of Darcy breaking some guys fingers all over the web, too."
Bucky growled low in his chest. "Have you called Stark?"
Steve paused. "I... talked to Darcy. I'm pretty sure I heard her asking for a shotgun."
Looking over his shoulder, he looked at Natasha. She nodded. "We're on our way."
"So are Clint and I. Thor is flying in, too."
"See you there," was Natasha’s sign-off.
Darcy groaned as they lay there. "This is ridiculous."
Owen laughed, a bitter sound. "Yeah."
He didn't say anymore, nor did he need to. This whole thing could have been avoided if stupid people hadn't created a monster! If they just stopped to think. Have a fucking brainstorming session. A pros and cons list. She could think of a few things to put in the con column, namely: death, destruction, death, and death. Did no one learn from what happened in the past? She sighed. History was repeating itself, but this time there were thousands of people on the island. The potential for a mass casualty event was staggering.
Her phone beeped at the same time Owen's rang. Pulling it out of her pocket, she sent a mental thanks to Tony for building a nearly indestructible product.
WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD TELL ME YOU'RE NOT WHERE I THINK YOU ARE. THAT'S A BAD IDEA, DARCY. WHY DON'T YOU LISTEN TO ANYTHING I SAY? THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS!
Oh, her Uncle got the text. Darcy sent back, you’re my favorite mathematician.
She had a response in less than five seconds, DARCY, TELL ME THAT DINOSAUR IS A FUCKING EUPHEMISM. THIS ISN’T FUNNY. I’M TOO OLD FOR THIS SHIT.
To which Darcy replied, Calm your tits, I'm fine. There's been a slight containment issue, but we're working on it. Love you, bye! She probably shouldn't have sent that, but oh well. She wasn't exactly known for keeping her mouth shut.
She tapped ignore when her phone start ringing. She put her phone away. There was no point in answering it now. She looked over at Owen, who looked absolutely rageful. Darcy looked up at the sky, which was thankfully free of flying creatures. "Hit me with it."
"Well," he started, "kids are safe. They're back with Claire. Her assistant was eaten by a mosasaur and Vic is strapping cameras to my raptors because he wants to send them after the Indominus."
Well. Okay, then. "So, back to the raptors?" She asked. There was nothing more they could do for the kids, they were safe. For now. Sucks about Claire's assistant, but that was a lost cause. The only thing they could do was try and talk Vic out of his absolutely batshit plan.
Owen nodded as he stood. He reached a hand down to help her up. His grip was strong as he pulled her to her feet. "Yeah. Apparently Mr. Stark told Bruce to go green but Vic threatened to have him arrested. Or turned over to the government. I'm not really sure on the details."
Darcy rolled her eyes. Seriously, the Hulk could probably take care of this in five minutes. He might destroy everything on the island trying to get the job done, but still. She huffed as she took her phone out again, making a call. "Tony? What's going on?"
"Ah, I'm going to the raptor enclosure. Bruce is staying here with Claire and the kids until we need him. Shit! Sorry. These fucking things are everywhere. Fuck, okay. I'm going to try and clear as many of these things that I can." She could hear the sound of pterosaurs squawking in the background.
Darcy bit her lip. "Careful, please."
She could hear the smirk in his voice as he answered, "Always, beautiful."
Laughing, Darcy replied, "Don't let Pepper hear you say that."
"Please, Pepper loves you." And then he was gone.
Steeling herself, she turned to look at Owen. "Fastest way to your babies?"
He pointed and they were off. As they were running, Darcy thought of all the ways that Vic could "accidentally" fall into the raptor enclosure. And get locked in. She was pretty sure by the look on Owen's face that he would be an accessory to the crime. I mean, they'd be doing the world a favor, really.
God, she didn't want to think on how he was going to get cameras on them. She was going to be seriously pissed if they got hurt. Darcy may have almost been raptor food, but Blue seemed to like her, and that crazy lizard had already wormed her way into Darcy's heart. She'd go to the grave defending her if she had to.
Finally, they made it to the raptors. Dear lord, that was awful. Running might have been part of her training regime, but she'd always hated it. And, running at a moderate pace on the treadmill was a hell of a lot different than an all-out sprint through the woods. They stopped at the door to the cage. She wrapped her hand around one of the bars, the other one holding her side. She bent over and just tried to breathe.
"Gonna make it, girl?"
Darcy's lip curled as she straightened herself. And there he was, the smug bastard. He was standing in the cage. His hand had been taped to support his broken fingers. "Hey, can you point me to the nearest bathroom?" She asked and laughed his face got red.
"You'll pay for that," he threatened, taking a step in her direction.
Suddenly, there was a chorus of snarls.
Darcy didn't jump. Nope, not at all. She turned and looked to the side of the cage. All four raptors had their heads stuck through a wall, heads in metal harnesses. They could only move minutely.
What the fuck?
Turning her back on Vic, she stomped over to them. There, strapped on their heads, were cameras. Seriously.
She turned her head when she heard Owen yelling. "You can't do this!"
"Fucking watch me, Grady. This is what we've been training them for. Masrani is dead and InGen has been placed in charge. My security team and I will handle this. With or without you." Vic was yelling, getting right up in Owen's face.
The raptors were agitated, trying to move their heads in the tight space. They didn't like this. She walked to the nearest one and placed her hand on the side of its head without even thinking. She made soothing sounds, stroking the pebbled skin. The eyes closes and she settled, trying to make the chirruping noise Darcy came to associate with them.
"It's okay," she whispered, bring her face closer. "Everything's going to be fine. Shh."
The raptor moved her head up and down as much as she was able, as if to say that she agreed. There were still loud voices in the background, but Darcy was trying to ignore them. Clearly, Vic wasn't going to listen to a word that came out of her mouth. Huh. Weird what happens after you break someones fingers.
Though, Clint did still talk to after she accidentally sliced him with a knife in the kitchen.
What? She had her earbuds in and he sneaked up on her. He should have known not to startle someone with something sharp in their hands.
Natasha still hasn't let him forget about it.
She was so lost in the memory that she didn't hear someone come up behind. Her arm was grabbed and she was wrenched around. She let out a yell as the momentum turned her, her hand coming off the raptor.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" Vic. Ugh.
She rolled her eyes and tried to pull her arm back. His grip was strong and he was squeezing her arm so tightly that there was definitely going to be a bruise later. "Do you really want to put your hands on me again? While you still have one working hand?"
He tossed her arm away and she stumbled.
The raptor next to her hissed and Darcy could hear the talons hitting the wall from the other side.
"Looks like I'm not the only female that can't stand you, Vic," was Darcy's answer. Her eyes went wide as he pulled his hand back. She stood there, waiting. If he was going to hit her that would be the last fucking thing he did. Her hand was in front of the pocket that housed her taser.
Owen grabbed him by the shoulder and pulled him back before he could follow through.
Darcy might have breathed a little easier. Look, she was as tough as the next person (okay, maybe not the people she stands next to), but she also recognized the fact that getting hit hurt. She'd endure it but it would suck.
Hands clenched, Owen snapped out, "Fine! I'll do it, but we're doing it my way. Do you understand me? They won't listen to anyone else."
Forgetting all about Darcy, Vic grinned, "I knew you were a smart man, Mr. Grady." He led Owen away to discuss to coming attack.
Darcy folded her arms over her chest and glared in their direction. Okay, she understood why Owen caved, but she didn't have to like it. Vic was crazy enough to try and use the raptors on his own. While she wouldn't exactly be upset if they ate him, she didn't want anyone else to get hurt.
Turning, she found Blue in the second harness. Darcy approached her slowly. The animal’s large, lizard-like eyes found her and tracked her movement. Blue blinked slowly and chirped.
Well, tried to.
Darcy smiled. "Hi, Blue. Thanks for not eating me earlier," she said, slowly moving her hand to pet Blue, making sure to choreograph her movements so she didn’t startle the animal. Blue just blinked those huge eyes at her. Darcy thought it was adorable.
Looking around, Darcy made sure no one was paying her any attention and leaned her face in. Darcy rested her face lightly against the metal harness, her cheek brushing against the rough skin.
Blue made a sound low in her throat and Darcy swore she tried to nuzzle her head against Darcy’s. She smiled and continued petting her.
“What the hell have you been rolling around in, Lewis?”
“What?” Darcy whirled around. “I wasn’t doing anything!”
It was Tony. Who just gave Blue a pointed look and motioned for Darcy to join him a few steps away. Darcy gave Blue’s cheek one last pet and walked away.
Blue chirped. Charlie, Delta, and Echo joined in. She was going to kill Vic if something happened to them.
Giving the raptors one more look, she turned to Tony. “I thought you were shooting pterodactyls out of the sky.”
Tony shrugged, which he made look easy surrounded by a suit of metal. “Bunch of army types took over. Didn’t seem to appreciate my generosity. Figured I’d be more wanted somewhere else, so here I am. What the fuck do you have all over you?” He looked her up and down, disgust evident on his face. “Blech.”
Darcy scowled. “It’s essence of pterosaur. Charming, isn’t it?”
He wrinkled his nose. “New tower rule, wash off dinosaur guts before entering the building.”
Darcy just rolled her eyes. “Yeah. Okay. We’ll totally need to worry about that in the future. I’ll whip up a memo.”
Tony grinned. “Excellent. Hey, Cap keeps trying to call me. You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?”
Her eyes wide, she shook her head. “No! Of course not. Why would I know about that? I haven’t talked to him at all. Or Jane. I’ve talked to exactly no one.”
“Oh man,” Tony whined. “You did. You totally did.” He sighed. “I guess we better wrap this party up.”
“Brucie is helping all the injured boys and girls. Not that I’d admit this to Icky Vicky, but setting the Hulk lose with this kind of concentration of people isn’t my game plan. I figure I’ll just light it up and we’ll be ready to go by dinner.”
Owen came to stand next to Darcy, he was so close to her that their shoulders made the barest of contact. That felt more intimate to Darcy than if she were leaning on him. He spoke with grim determination, “We’ll use the raptors to locate the Indominus and then Mr. Stark can take it from there. Vic is going to be sending his own guys with us, too.”
Turning his head with an eyebrow raised, Tony asked, “Using the raptors? You can’t be serious.”
Sighing, Owen rubbed the back of his neck. “Trust me, I don’t like it either. Vic is crazy enough to try and use them himself. If I don’t help, it’ll be a bloodbath. Besides, I can’t let them do this on their own.” The prospect of using the raptors like this wasn’t sitting well with anyone, least of all Owen. He had been there when they hatched. They imprinted on him. They were family.
“And how do you expect your raptors to find this thing?” he asked, still not believing what he was hearing.
“They have the chunk the Indominus tore out with the implant. I’ll have them scent it and we’ll set them loose and follow from there. We’ve practiced this a thousand times before. Just…usually not out in the open like this.” Owen looked stood tall. “Don’t worry about my raptors, Mr. Stark. They’ll know what to do.”
That’s what Darcy was afraid of.
Chapter 8: Scent and Seek
WARNING: graphic descriptions of violence in this chapter. it gets a little...intense.
The plan was to head out just after sunset, which was a scant half an hour after Owen agreed to go along. He had already taken the chunk of Indominus flesh and let each of the raptors learn the scent.
While Darcy recognized the fact that she wasn't helpless, she also didn't want to be a hindrance. There was no way she was going in the trucks with Vic's guys, and she didn't want to be a distraction to Owen on the back of his bike (though riding with him was something to be explored later).
She stood near the raptor stalls, watching the flurry of activity. She watched as Owen wrapped up their strategy meeting, leaving a set of park maps set on a table.
He joined her near the pens. “How you holding up?” he asked, standing in front of her.
Darcy took a few seconds to just look him over. And, my, he had a pretty face. He still seemed pretty calm after their run through the woods. For all she knew, he did this sort of thing all the time. He was taking everything in stride and Darcy couldn’t help but admire that. He never wavered in the face of danger and he didn’t tell her to stay out of the way.
All-in-all, Darcy was a fan of that and couldn’t wait for this whole mess to be over. She wanted to spend some alone time with Mr. Owen Grady.
She gave him a slow once-over and answered, “About the same as you, I’d imagine. I mean, not exactly what I pictured when Tony said he was taking me to Costa Rica, that’s for sure.”
Owen cocked his head, “Does Tony take you to tropical locations often?"
Darcy laughed and winked. “Not as much as you’re thinking. Trust me, it’s not like that. It’s usually Jane that’s dragging me off to far-flung locations.”
He nodded and rubbed the back of his neck. “I mean, that’s not…okay, yes, that’s completely why I was asking. Sorry,” he apologized, looking bashful.
She took pity on him. “Look, I know this probably isn’t the best time, what with the threat of imminent death and all, and I just kinda figure I might as well ask, you know?”
He thought he knew, which was good because she hadn’t actually asked a question. He smiled at her, a cocky grin. “You wanna get dinner after this is over? Head back to my bungalow?”
Darcy laughed. “You’re an ass. But yes, dinner would be nice. Hopefully there won’t be total destruction. We’ll discuss your bungalow over dessert.”
She was totally going back to his bungalow, are you crazy?
Owen just smiled at her, his next words interrupted by Vic’s loud (and annoying) voice. “Saddle up, boys!”
Darcy groaned. “I hope he gets eaten.”
Owen shrugged. “He may be willing to risk the lives of his men, but that’s about it. He’s heading back to the control room to monitor the situation. Apparently. I don’t know. I just heard he wasn’t coming with us and I just didn’t argue.”
“Good man,” Darcy agreed. She was just really glad that Vic wasn’t staying behind with her. She was going to be left with a tablet and a truck. Not much else. She was going to stay here and help them get the raptors settled after their hunt. She had the keys to the truck just in case. And she’d be able to see through the cameras that were being mounted on the fucking armored truck the InGen guys were driving. Apparently raptor-cam was only for the important people.
Apparently Vic was important and wanted to watch the action in the big screen. Whatever. That was fine by her.
Owen turned to look at the men that were getting their gear stowed. “I guess that’s my cue.” He turned back to her and seemed to debate something. Nodding, he crossed the short distance to her. Gently, he placed his hands on the sides of her face. He kissed her. And it was perfect. His lips were surprisingly soft.
Darcy moaned low in her throat and angled her head to deepen the kiss.
“Stop sucking face and get your head in the game, Grady!” Ugh. Tony.
Pulling back slowly, Darcy licked her lips and stared up at him. “Later. We’ll revisit this later.”
Owen gave her one more quick kiss and was off.
Yeah, they were so going to his bungalow later.
“Aw, Lewis has a boyfriend. K-I-S-S-I-N-G, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a raptor in a baby carriage!”
Tony was an asshole. But a rich asshole who paid her well, so whatever. She flipped him off, and he just gave her a winning smile.
“Alright, show time!” Tony yelled, face-plate sliding on. Honestly, he was way too excited about this. But not in the creepy way that Vic was.
Speaking of. Darcy glanced around at the various cars, trucks, and people that had accumulated in the area. She didn’t see him. Must have already gone back.
“Okay, Lewis,” came Tony’s voice as he walked to the gathering men. “First sign of trouble, I’ll radio back and you get your ass to the Innovation Center. Got me?”
“Yeah, yeah. Sure. Got you. Whatever. Bye.” She waved. She was not going to admit that she was nervous. Darcy Lewis had fucking balls of steel, alright?
They cleared out in three minutes. Owen counted down and the raptors were set loose. For one brief moment, Blue turned her head and looked at Darcy.
Darcy waved back. Then she was watching their tails move through the trees, and Owen was following close behind. Barry was just behind Owen on a quad, and the artillery truck brought up the rear.
Darcy was left with three armed men, and she didn’t feel any safer for it. They were keeping to themselves near the cage, deep in conversation. Okay, then. She turned her eyes to the tablet in front of her. When Owen placed it in her hands, Tony just about threw a fit.
No, they did not use Stark tech on this island, Tony, let it go.
She signed and watched the screen. The raptors were moving fast through the woods, their tails swishing back and forth. They moved as if they knew where every rock and root would be. They were beautiful and graceful and deadly as fuck.
She loved them just a little more.
They ran through the woods for a few minutes more before the sound of Owen’s voice came through the speakers. “They got something. It’s out here.”
The raptors were indeed slowing. They cleared a log and stopped, heads swiveling around. They were agitated, hopping back and forth on those powerful hind legs.
The vehicles stopped and the men got out. Owen and Barry were in front, huge guns pointed ahead of them. They couldn’t see the Indominus yet, but if the raptors stopped, they were in the right place. Their sense of smell was better than a bloodhound's.
The men crouched down behind the log and Darcy held her breath.
There it was. The Indominus was coming in through the trees, its huge body was low to the ground, eyes intent on the much smaller raptors.
The raptors stilled. Heads tilted upward.
The Indominus opened its mouth and Darcy fought the urge to close her eyes. The Indominus didn’t eat them, it was…talking? It was making noise not unlike what Darcy had already heard from the smaller creatures. The only difference was, when the Indominus did it, it was much, much louder.
The raptors hissed and snarled, the Indominus hissed back.
“Fuck!” That was Owen. He did not sound happy.
Tony’s voice came next. “What are they doing?” He sounded wary.
It was Barry who answered. “They’re communicating.”
Owen’s angered voice came over the lines. “Raptor! The fucking raptor DNA.”
Oh. That was a good reason for them to be able to communicate.
Darcy ignored the voices arguing and focused on the animals. The Indominus shook its head twice. The raptors followed suit, nearly in unison. It would have been comical had the situation not been so serious. The Indominus snarled, and then roared.
Darcy could hear it from where she was. The men near the cage looked up, startled. Darcy gave them a wide-eyed looked, then glanced back down to the tablet.
The raptors were hissing and growling. They seemed to talk amongst themselves while the Indominus looked on. Suddenly, two split off, going in opposite directions. The two that were left leaped at the larger animal, climbing and digging their claws into its thick hide.
Gunfire. The InGen security teamed moved ahead. Tony joined the fight from above, and Darcy could see the small rockets coming in.
Then, horrified and helpless, Darcy watched as one of the InGen men shifted the aim of his rocket launcher. It was no longer pointed straight out in front of him, but up at an angle. In the air. He fired.
Darcy heard Tony yell out, “What the fuck are you doing? The thing is down there, I am up here. There is a fundamental difference!”
He whispered, “Hail HYDRA.” And fired again.
Tony managed to maneuver out of the way, just barely. He was screaming through the comms, “Darcy, get the fuck out of there!”
Darcy’s heart stopped. She swallowed. Her eyes slowly tracked to where the three men had been standing. They were moving towards her, guns drawn.
Because of course fucking HYDRA would be crazy enough to want to use dinosaurs in combat. This was so not good. All she had was her taser, and while she was pretty sure she could get one of them, the other two were going to be a problem.
“Hey, guys,” she said slowly, backing her way to the open truck door. If she could get in there, she could try and make a break for it.
The one in the middle, clicked his tongue. “I don’t think so, sweetheart.”
Taking another step back, she said, “What do you mean? You going to join the guys out there? Sounds like a party.”
He smiled, a slow, creepy thing. “Mr. Hoskins wanted us to kill you slow. Make it count. I figure we got a bit of time before they come back.”
The man on his right drew a long blade. It was shiny even in the moonlight.
The attack came fast and out of nowhere, raptors appearing from both sides.
Delta (she thought it was Delta but she really needed to learn their names) came from the right and took down the man with the knife. She bit at the back of his thighs, tearing the flesh and muscle from the bone. He held up an arm if to try and fend off the next attack.
Delta tore it off and he screamed. The raptor hissed low as it went for his neck. He was dead in seconds.
Charlie (yes, she was nearly positive that’s who it was) was on the second man in one leap, her powerful back claws digging into his stomach. Charlie flexed her claws and he screamed. She bent down and sniffed at his face. He tried to bring his gun up, but he wasn’t fast enough. Charlie dug her teeth into his neck and pulled, his head nearly coming clean off. She turned and spat out his throat.
Charlie turned and lunged for the gunman, who had been staring in horror. His brain couldn’t keep up with what was happening. He just watched, detached, as Charlie swiped her claws across the soft flesh of his belly. Her powerful talon sliced clean through the Kevlar to the skin underneath.
She slashed again. Intestines spilled out, and he automatically tried to hold them in. They were slipping from his hand, and all he could do was watch as she struck again.
The whole thing was over in less than thirty seconds.
Darcy stood there, staring. She couldn’t move. Didn’t even flinch when the raptors turned their attention to her.
They moved slowly, heads lowered. They seemed…unsure. As if what they did wouldn’t be met with praise.
Clearing her throat, Darcy said, “Thanks, guys. Uh…thanks. You saved me. Good job.” She gave a thumbs-up.
They straightened and chuffed.
Darcy turned to the one on the right. “Delta?”
The raptor shook its head and hissed. Okay, not the right name. “Sorry. Um, Echo?”
Echo perked her head and nodded once. She chirped. “Okay, Echo. Sorry about that. Thank you for, uh, gutting him for me.”
Echo slid forward a step.
Darcy turned to the other raptor. “Charlie, right?” The raptor gave a short nod and a hop, as if congratulating Darcy on getting her name right on the first try.
“Charlie. Echo. You did good. You did really fucking good.”
They preened and walked closer and Darcy could see the fresh blood still dripping from their teeth and claws. She should have been terrified.
Charlie and Echo were right there. So close. Slowly, so fucking slowly, Darcy reached a hand forward. She stroked Charlie’s snout first, then Echo’s. They huffed and moved closer, nearly on top of her. Darcy couldn’t help but smile.
There were shouts from the tablet she was still holding. The raptors jumped back and starting prancing. They really were fucking adorable.
Darcy could hear the men screaming. The Indominus was going through them like their bullets meant nothing. Darcy didn’t see Tony anymore. Didn’t see the rockets raining from the sky.
Her phone beeped.
GET OUT OF THERE NOW. FIND BRUCE. SMASH.
She breathed a sigh of relief. Tony was safe. Thank god.
Turning to her new friends, she was at a loss. While she knew they understood certain words and commands, and could interpret body language, she wasn’t quite sure how to tell them her plan. Squaring her shoulders, she tried anyway. “Alright, ladies.” They perked up. “We need to go that way.” She pointed in the direction of the main area of the park. Their heads immediately turned to follow her finger. When they looked back at her, she continued, “We need to get there fast, so I’m going to go in the truck, okay?” She paused. “Follow me?”
They dipped their heads twice and Darcy was going to take that as an agreement.
She slowed backed up to get into the truck, Charlie and Echo watching her. Getting in, she closed the door and rolled down the window. Taking a breath, hoping that this wouldn’t startle them, she started the truck. They didn’t move. That was good. Putting it into drive, she yelled to them. “Let’s move!”
Darcy started down the service road and sure enough, there was a raptor on each side of her. Darcy smiled.
Darcy tried calling Bruce as she raced back to the Innovation Center, the raptors following close behind. They were taking in the surroundings as they sped along, making sure there no threats. They were protecting her.
There was no answer, so she left a voicemail. "Doctor Banner! Bruce! Hi, it's Darcy. Um, you probably knew that. Anyway, now would be a really good time to let the Hulk out. So, yeah. If you get this, it's time to smash. If not, I'm coming to find you. Uh, yeah. Bye!"
There was more yelling coming from the tablet she threw on the passenger seat. As much as she wanted to watch what was happening, she knew she couldn't. The voices of Owen and Barry were still there, still alive. Still pissed.
Tony's voice. "Herd it back towards the main park."
Owen. "Are you crazy? That'll get everyone killed!"
Scoffing, Tony answered, "Please. I'm a genius. Of course I'm crazy. Lewis is on her way to unleash the Hulk. I can't get a hold of him. We'll herd it back that way so Hulk can have his smash time. It'll be fine."
There was a pause, Darcy swerved to miss a fallen tree in the road. She checked her side mirrors. The girls were still there, but Echo was glaring at the truck as if the tree in the road was her fault. Darcy rolled her eyes. She was a great driver! At least she didn't nearly run over the God of Thunder twice.
She could see the pyramid top of the Innovation Center off to the side. Oh thank god, she was nearly there. She took the turns in the road a little wildly and pointedly ignored the squawking coming from the raptors.
"Lewis, if you can hear me, we got the InGen...the HYDRA...whoever the fuck they were, guys that came with us. Heading back your way now. Move that fine ass as fast as you can," Tony instructed.
She nodded even though he couldn't see her. She drove right up to the steps and threw the car in park before the car was even at a full stop. It jerked as she got out. She ran up the steps, but before she opened the doors, she turned to address Charlie and Echo. "Please, please, please don't eat the tourists. Eat the bad guys. The ones that reek of Nazi ideals." They just cocked their heads and blinked those eyes.
Opening that huge door, she stepped inside. It was empty and dark. She didn't know where everyone had gone to, and this really wasn't the time to find out. She ran across the room to the set of doors she knew led to the labs, she knew the elevator for the control room was past that. Hopefully Bruce would be there. If not, she could use the surveillance cameras to find him.
She passed through the middle of the room, through the hologram exhibit. She resisted the urge to press the button for the dilophosaurus. Maybe later.
Darcy opened the doors for the Creation Lab and made her way through the darkened hallway. The lights were off in here, too, and the lab was abandoned.
Except. Wait. There, off to the side was a light. It was past the main part of the lab, it looked like a…storage room?
The lab was a mess. Papers and vials littered the floor.
Darcy debated with herself for all of five seconds before she slowly eased the doors open. The computer monitors were the only source of light in the room. There were strands of DNA and dinosaurs with code names.
They were making more.
So many more. This was bad. So, so bad.
She walked on tiptoes, trying to avoid crunching glass beneath her feet. She didn’t want to make herself known if there was still someone in the room. A quick scan told her that she was alone, but she still had a bad feeling. Darcy came to the source of light and peeked her head around the corner.
The embryo storage room. The doors were wide open, liquid nitrogen moving across the floor. She took a step into the room.
They were gone. All the embryos were missing. Someone cleared out the lab before evacuating.
Glass crashed over her head. Darcy ducked and moved to the side, and another beaker hit the ground. She turned, wiping at the blood that was spilling from the cut on her head.
“You stupid fucking bitch!” He spat. He threw another beaker at her face, but her arm came up to block it. She could feel the glass cutting into her forearm but she didn’t flinch. “You couldn’t just leave it alone, could you?”
She lowered her arm, his hands were empty. That was good. “Sorry, Vicky. Never been good at keeping my nose out of other people’s business.”
He snarled, his lips pulling back until all she could see were teeth. “I’ll kill you.”
She tried to give him her best smile. “You can try. Better people than you have failed. And, HYRDA, really? Haven’t you guys learned your lesson?”
Keeping him talking was her plan. The more distracted he was, the less likely he was to do something stupid.
“Cut off one head and –“
This time she laughed, and he looked startled. “Are you kidding me? Is there, like, a quota for that phrase. Oh my god!”
Vic lunged. He was surprisingly fast. His hands were around her neck, squeezing. She snaked her hand down to her pocket. She just had to get… gotcha.
Ripping the taser from her pocket, she pressed it against his sternum and fired. He fell to the floor on his hands and knees. Before she could take another step, there was a low growl from behind him.
Blue and Delta were slipping through the tables. Their eyes fixed unblinkingly on Vic. Their claws were flexing.
Vic didn’t see them. He tried to stand but couldn’t. He leaned forward and got a grip on her jeans, and pulled. Darcy nearly came off her feet, but she managed a kick to his chin. Blood sprayed as his teeth cut his lip, head knocked back.
He landed on his ass, dazed.
Blue and Delta were a hairsbreadth away from him now. Those sharp teeth nearly at the back of his neck.
Then they were on him.
Darcy couldn’t look away as they ripped into him. He was on his back now, stunned at the turn of events. Blue’s sharp talon scrabbling at his clothes and the flesh underneath. Delta’s teeth were buried in his abdomen.
Vic screamed, “Help me! Please! Oh, god, no!”
Darcy didn’t move a muscle.
Delta tore out a chunk of his stomach, threw her head back, and swallowed.
Vic was still screaming. Blue must have been annoyed at the sound because she adjusted her position and placed one of her back legs directly on his face. Crushing his skull and smothering him at the same time.
They tore his body to pieces, flinging blood on Darcy as they did so - it was dripping down her face and dripping off her chin from the blow to the head. Bits of skin and viscera sprayed onto her shirt and jeans. Her arm was stinging from the embedded glass.
It took barely any time for Vic to be reduced to pulp and bones. Blue looked up at her as Delta was finishing off the muscle from his thigh.
Darcy swallowed and whispered, “Good girl, Blue.”
Then, in the distance, the sound of three distinct roars.
The Hulk, the Indominus, and…what else was out there?
Chapter 9: Avengers Assem...ble?
I feel like after the last chapter, the rest are going to be a let down. BUT HERE WE GO!
Darcy exited the Innovation Center with Blue and Delta on either side of her. She stood at the top of the steps and looked around. She didn’t see anything yet, but the roars were coming closer.
Charlie and Echo appeared at the bottom of the steps. Blue hissed when she saw them and ran to meet them. Her little butt wiggled back and forth as she trotted down the steps. There were a series of hisses and snarls going back and forth. Echo and Blue were arguing. Suddenly, Blue turned in a tight circle and smacked Echo in the head with her tail.
Echo made a lunging motion, but there was no bite behind it.
Charlie slowly crept away from the two arguing raptors, and climbed the steps. She came to a stop a few steps down from Darcy, her head and tail both lowered to the ground. She looked nervous, like she was afraid) Darcy would be mad.
“Hey, Charlie?” Darcy whispered, closing the distance between them until she stood on the step above her.
Charlie’s head titled upward slightly. She clicked at Darcy.
“It’s okay. You killed those other guys for me. That was good.” She reached her heads up to frame Charlie’s face. Her movements were slow, ready to jump back in a second. Darcy needn’t have worried because all Charlie did was inch her face closer, resting her lower jaw Darcy’s shoulder.
Breathing out the breath she was holding, Darcy lightly hugged that powerful neck, rubbing her hands up and down the rough skin.
“You’re okay,” she whispered, as she pulled back.
Blue and Echo had joined them on the steps. They didn’t seem eager to leave Darcy alone, and, to be honest, that was fine with her. She’d be saved twice by these animals in less than ten minutes. She was going to keep them around her.
She turned towards the sound and – “Oh, thank god. Owen!”
He ran towards her, up the steps, and threw his arms around her, not caring about the raptors surrounding her. And, for their part, they let him through. They moved around the embracing pair, not able to keep still.
Darcy buried her face into his neck and just breathed. His arms wrapped around her tightly as he squeezed her to him.
“What happened? Tony took off to try and find Bruce, and said to get to you as soon as possible. He sounded worried,” he said softly into her ear.
She pulled her face back slightly, looking him in the eye. And, for the first time, he really took in the blood on her face, the bruising from the impact of the beaker. He gently wiped at some of the blood that was now starting to dry.
“Vic was HYDRA.” He looked confused so she elaborated. “Super-secret Nazi offshoot that wants to take over the world. Basic super villain stuff. That’s why they wanted the dinosaurs.” A thought came to her. “The embryos! They took them! And, Owen, they’re making more hybrids! Tony will have to see what he can get off their servers. Oh, this is bad.” She bit her lip.
“We’ll get them back. Oof!” He looked down to find Blue staring up at him. She had nudged him with her head, pushing him closer to Darcy. Not that he could get any closer. Her chest was flush against his, and he was really trying not to think about that.
The ground shook and they all turned to look down the main throughway of the park. There, past the restaurants and the bars (which Darcy was so raiding later) was the large shape of the Indominus. It was moving quickly, destroying the structures in front of her.
It stopped and let out a roar. Darcy’s body vibrated with the sound.
The Indominus had spotted them and started running. It was hit in the side and slid along the ground, the pavement crumbling under the weight.
The Hulk grabbed its huge tail and swung it in the air like it weighed nothing. The Hulk tossed it in the direction he had come from. In the direction of –
“Um, who let the T-Rex out?” Darcy asked, staring in awe at the slightly smaller creature.
Calling the tyrannosaurus rex smaller was an insane thought. The Indominus was nearly twice its size and seemed to have triple the aggression.
The normally large-seeming Hulk was the smallest of the three, but no less of a threat.
The Indominus stood, shaking its head. It turned, snarling at the Rex.
The Rex braced her feet, took in a huge breath, and let out the loudest roar it could.
The Hulk and the Indominus stared. Then the Indominus answered. Darcy resisted the urge to hide her face in Owen’s chest. If she could watch a man be eviscerated in front of her, she could an apparent competition of roars. Her ears might not survive, but she would.
The Hulk looked back and forth between the two huge dinosaurs and then out his own roar in answer, a thunderous sound, stepping forward to get closer to the Indominus. The Indominus shook its head again and took in more air. It seemed it would not be cowed.
A rocket impacted the Indominus, striking just behind its huge head.
Tony. He swung around and took aim again, firing.
The Hulk took in the Indominus’ distraction and attacked. He reached for those huge jaws, prying the mouth open, trying to split the skull in half. The Rex looked on. Then she lunged, her own huge jaws clamping on to the back of the neck. She shook her head, trying to take a chunk out.
The Indominus struggled, trying to get away. It didn’t expect to meet such strong resistance. Everything else it had come across was easily killed. It didn’t understand and it was panicking.
It wrenched its neck around as hard as it could, and the Hulk went flying. It tried to straighten up, but the Rex wasn’t letting go.
They crashed into the nearby Ben and Jerry's shop. The Rex let go, shaking herself free of the debris. The Indominus took this brief moment to whirl back on it.
Tony fired again, but the Indominus moved, and the main impact missed the beast.
Leaving the ruins of the ice cream shop, the Indominus took a few steps, trying to regain its bearings. The Hulk was there, grabbing on to whatever flesh he could, tearing it from its body. The Indominus tried to grab him with her claws, but the Hulk was too far back. With great crashing steps, the Indominus backed away. Suddenly, the Hulk threw a punch as hard as he could, his fist covered in blood. The Indominus flew back, landing on the edge of the great man-made lake.
The Hulk and the Rex stood side by side and roared, a great combined sound filled with rage. The Indominus stood up on shaky legs, intent on the threat in front of it.
Water lapped over the edge of the concrete. The water was churning, and Darcy gasped. There, behind the Indominus, breaching the water was something even bigger than the Indominus.
It flung its huge body up and out of the water. And, grabbing a hold of the tail in front of him, pulled back, taking the Indominus with it. The look on its face would almost be comical if the situation wasn’t so terrifying.
The two animals crashed into the water, sending up a huge wave. The Indominus tried to keep its head above the water but it was no use. The other animal was too strong, and, apparently, it couldn’t swim. It sank heavily.
After a few minutes, the tension left Owen’s body, and Darcy breathed a little easier. She took a step back, out of his arms, and just took in the scene in front of her.
Realizing the Indominus wasn’t coming back up, the Hulk turned to face the Rex.
Tony was still there, hovering, unsure if he should start taking aim at the other dinosaur.
The Hulk roared, but it almost seemed halfhearted. The Rex lowered her head, coming within feet of the Hulk. She sniffed, taking in his scent. The Hulk stood there, his breathing harsh from the fight. The Rex huffed a breath and… holy shit.
Darcy gasped, covering her mouth.
The Rex was nudging the Hulk with her snout, and Darcy couldn’t tell if she wanted affection or to play.
The Hulk just stood there for a moment, and then tried to push that huge head away. The Rex let him, but then she did it again.
Now the Hulk was really confused. He didn’t know how to handle this situation. Things usually ran away from him. He was too big, too strong, people were afraid. This large animal wasn’t, and he didn’t know what to do, so he roared.
The Rex stood up straight and waved those tiny, tiny arms in the air. Darcy snorted at the sight, and then tried to stop herself - this should not be as funny as it was.
The Rex wiggled her giant body, then turned and just… walked away. She didn’t roar, didn’t threaten, and didn’t posture. She just… left.
Darcy was amazed.
The Hulk staggered away, his form shrinking until he was back to Banner.
Bruce’s steps faltered, and then he was falling, landing in a heap. Darcy cringed, she knew that the transformation always took a toll. It’d be a bit before he was back to normal.
“Hey, Grady!” Tony yelled from his position in the sky. “You wanna help dear old Brucie get inside? He’s gonna need a nap. And a drink. Oh, wait. That’s me.” Tony flew closer as he talked, his amplified voice getting louder.
The raptors, who had stood stoic during the fight, started moving again. Blue was tracking Tony’s movement through the sky. The others calling out softly, inquiring.
She stroked the side of the one nearest her, Delta, and smiled. They were so smart, Darcy was in awe.
“And you, Khaleesi, just don’t go anywhere. I’m gonna track that thing and makes sure it stays away,” he said, pointing an armored finger in her direction.
She gave him a different finger in response.
Owen moved down the steps. “I guess I should go help your friend.”
Darcy nodded, even though he wasn’t looking in her direction. “Yeah, and if you can find something rich in protein for a snack, he’ll love you forever. I’ll just stay here… with my pack.” She gestured at the four raptors, when Owen left her side, who took up positions surrounding her.
He turned to look at her, at the sight of this incredibly brave woman surrounded by such dangerous, wonderful, creatures. He smiled at her, and blew her a kiss.
With a wink, Darcy pretended to catch it and hold it close to her heart. Owen laughed, turned, and went to help Bruce.
Still giggling, Darcy sat down at the top of the steps, on level ground. She figured this would take a while. Owen would make sure Bruce was comfortable and had something to eat, and Tony would track the Rex as far as he could.
She leaned back so that she was resting on her elbows, her legs out in front of her. The blood that was drying on her clothes was sticky and made it hard to move. The raptors watched. Then, slowly, they lowered themselves down, keeping a watchful eye on their surroundings. Blue sat on her left, against her legs, her heavy body resting on Darcy. Delta was on her other side.
Charlie and Echo were at her shoulders, just barely touching her.
Well, she wasn’t going anywhere now was she? And honestly, Darcy didn’t even care. The fight was over and she could finally breathe easy.
Thunder crashed and lightning lit the sky. She sighed, placing her hands against Blue and Delta, patting their sides. She didn’t want them to panic over nothing.
Thor landed in the middle of the destruction, hammer raised high.
“Where is the beast?” he roared, turning around to gaze at the park.
Darcy sat up and leaned forward, her head in her hands. For fuck's sake.
Steve, Clint, Natasha, and Bucky came in from the right, running as fast as they could, weapons drawn.
The raptors' heads swung in their direction. They snarled at the intruders.
“Shh,” Darcy soothed, running her hands over them, trying to keep them calm. They hadn’t stood yet, so she took that as a good side. “Everything is okay. No need to get excited. These are just my friends. My stupid, stupid friends. Who wouldn’t listen to me when I said everything was fine.” The last part was louder, her words carrying.
The Avengers spun around, seeing her for the first time.
Okay, the looks on their faces were too much. Darcy burst out laughing. Blue turned and butted her head against her legs.
Steve stepped forward, his shield raised.
Blue and Delta stood, hissing. Darcy rolled her eyes and got to her feet, Charlie and Echo following suit.
“Hey, Cap,” Darcy called and waved. “The Gentle Giants petting zoo is that way,” she pointed.
Steve looked very confused. “We thought… we saw… but on Twitter…”
Natasha shoved him aside, and Blue took a step forward.
“Easy, Blue,” Darcy said, a hand on her neck. “That’s Natasha. She’s scary as fuck, but we like her. She teaches us to swear in Russian.”
“Darcy, sestra,” Natasha started, but paused, taking in her appearance. “You have blood all over you. You were supposed to have a fun weekend away. That doesn’t speak of fun to me.”
Darcy shrugged in response. “Not mine. Mostly. Funny story. So, um, HYDRA was here. They made the supersoldier version of a dinosaur. It got eaten by a whale thing. I made friends.”
Raising an eyebrow, Natasha took in the raptors. “Yes, I see this.”
“Fuck this,” Bucky growled, taking the first few steps in a rush. Blue and Delta surged forward, snapping their jaws. “Woah!” Bucky said, stopping.
“Blue! Delta! Stop! Don’t eat my friends,” she yelled, frantic. She really didn’t want see them eat the Avengers. That would be bad. Darcy decided to show them they weren’t a threat. Making her way to Bucky, she brushed passed her bodyguards. She stood in front of the Winter Soldier (because that’s who he was in this gear) and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.
She turned to look at the four raptors, who were watching her curiously. “Friends,” she said, pointing behind her. “No eat.”
Their heads cocked in unison, and then bobbed a few times. She could see the tension leave their bodies and she smiled. She was getting the hang of this raptor whisperer thing after all. They slowly eased forward, their claws flicking lightly.
Darcy turned back to face everyone. “They ate the last guy that tried to kill me. Most of the blood and other stuff -” She gestured to her clothing, nose wrinkled in disgust. “- is his. They’re a little protective?”
Clint laughed, and nearly everyone jumped (Natasha and Bucky were made of stronger things apparently). “This is great!” he yelled. “I fucking swear to god, Darce, only you!” Apparently he found this hysterical.
“Hey, kids!” Tony called, coming in to land. “Way to miss the party!”
Chapter 10: Children
I am a terrible judge of the ages of children. so, henceforth, in this fic Gray is 12 and Zach is 16. THAT'S CLOSE, RIGHT?
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Pic or it didn’t happen, was the text Darcy sent with the picture.
It was a picture of her surrounded by raptors. Blue was behind her now, her head resting lightly on Darcy’s shoulder. Delta was on the other side, and Darcy was giving her an exaggerated kiss. Charlie and Echo were basically in her lap (yeah, getting up was going to be interesting).
They had all moved into the Innovation Center. Standing near the holograms, she could see Steve reaching over, hands hovering at one of the buttons, then moving back. She really wanted him to just press the button. Clint apparently had the same idea because he just mashed his hand on the closest button and an apatosaurus filled the space.
The awe on Steve and Bucky’s face made her smile.
It didn’t last long because god forbid Tony keep his mouth shut. “See? Everything was fine. Didn’t need to waste gas on the jet getting here.”
All eyes flew to Tony.
And then it started:
“How could you be so stupid?” That was Steve.
“Stark, you’re a fucking menace.” Bucky.
“Okay, hear me out, but can we keep them?” Clint.
Natasha just stood there, arms crossed and staring at the billionaire. That was scarier than anything she could have said. Darcy was pretty sure she actually saw Tony gulp.
“Go forth and explore,” Darcy said, getting up from her pile of raptors. They looked at her for a second before talking amongst each other and wandering off. She watched for a bit as they explored the room. She was nearly one hundred percent sure they wouldn’t eat anybody. She was also nearly certain that they could come if she called them. Or if Owen called them.
Owen was standing near where the Avengers were still tearing into Tony “but it wasn’t my fault” Stark. He clearly didn’t know what to make of the situation and was having fun watching. She made her way over to him. Coming from behind him, she wrapped an arm around his waist and moved one of the arms that was crossed over his chest to wrap around her waist. He looked down at her and smiled, placing a kiss on the top of her head.
All conversation stopped.
Darcy turned her head. They were all staring at her. Correction: they were staring at herand Owen and the arm he had around her.
“Oh, hell no,” Bucky exclaimed. “You were coming here for a vacation, not to find a fucking boyfriend.”
Darcy just rolled her eyes. “Well, we didn’t exactly plan on running for our lives, either. I think this is the better of the two.”
She blew him a kiss. Then, “As much as Tony is usually at fault for, like, everything, this one wasn’t on him. They brought him here to make sure it wouldn’t get out. Epic fail.”
Tony grinned. “See?”
Natasha took a step forward, giving Owen a very thorough once over as she did. Darcy figured she was already planning the background check. The very thorough background check. “Explain, please, exactly what happened.”
Darcy sighed. “I told you. They made a dinosaur. It was like tyrannosaurus rex, raptor, fucking cuttlefish, with a splash of tree frog.” She saw the confusion. “The cuttlefish gave it the ability to camouflage, and the tree frog, uh, enabled it to control its thermal output. I swear to god, I wish was joking.”
“And what’s this about HYDRA?” Steve asked, his eyes going back to the hologram behind them.
Darcy snuggled closer to Owen. “InGen was HYDRA. Or their private security was. Wanted to use the raptors in war. Send them after people. Use them. Weaponize them.” She saw Bucky flinch. She nuzzled her face into Owen’s side, and he tightened his arm around her. He was as unhappy as she was with the situation.
“And whose blood is it that you wear?” asked Thor.
She knew how she must look. The blood from her head wound had dried on her face and she could feel bruises forming around her neck from Vic’s hands. She was going to be very, very sore tomorrow.
Her clothes were stained with blood and the other things that had come from Vic’s massacred body. She didn’t want to think about what exactly it was. But, really, she couldn’t bring herself to care. Most of these guys had shown up after a mission looking far worse. It was her turn now.
“When we went after the Indominus with the raptors, Vic had three of his guys stay behind with Darcy,” Owen explained. “He must have given the order from the control room to,” he hesitated before he went on, “to take her out.” His hand was now splayed on her stomach. “Charlie and Echo went back to protect her. Thankfully, they got there in time.”
There was a collective look of astonishment at the thought of velociraptors protecting someone. A human.
Natasha raised a brow. She knew there was more to it.
“I got back here as fast as I could to try and find Bruce. I was on my way to the control room when I passed the lab. It had been emptied out. They took all the eggs and embryos. Vic caught me looking around. I know, I know. I let my guard down, I’m sorry,” she added, pointedly ignoring the looks from Bucky and Natasha. “Vic, uh, may have tried to strangle me. I got him with my taser,” she said that part proudly. “Blue and Delta joined the party. They sort of tore him to pieces in front of me. This is mostly him,” she said, gesturing to her clothes.
The doors to the Innovation Center burst open, Claire and her nephews running in.
The raptors looked up from where they were nosing around the holographic apatosaur. Taking in who it was, they watched for a few more seconds before going back to their examination.
“The T-Rex worked!” The younger boy yelled, clearly excited.
“You let the Rex out?” Darcy asked, trying very hard not to yell at a child.
Claire raised her hand, “I did. Gray said we needed more teeth.”
“We had a Hulk!” Tony yelled.
Claire straightened, “It was a fluid situation.”
Darcy thumped her head against Owen’s ribcage. Save her from these idiots. “Did you ever think to maybe not listen to an eleven year old?”
“Hey, I’m twelve,” Gray said, indignant. “Wow, the Avengers? Oh my god. Zach, look!” He was tugging on his brothers sweatshirt as if, he too, wasn’t already looking around surprised.
“Kid,” Tony called. “Do I know you?” His head was cocked to the side, trying to place that face. He could have sworn…
Gray shook his head, mouth open in shock. “No…no, sir.”
“Hmm. Ever fire a potato launcher?” Tony was nothing if not persistent.
Zach laughed, “Yeah, right. Like our parents would ever give him one of those.”
“Wait a fucking minute,” Bucky said, waving his hands to get everyone’s attention.
Steve hissed, “Language. There are kids here.”
Bucky ignored him. “Lady, you set a T-Rex on the loose?”
“It worked,” Gray muttered.
Darcy had to back the kid up. “He’s not wrong. Look, I know it’s crazy, but the Hulk and the Rex both helped care of that thing. Then the whale ate it.” Jesus, the more she explained what happened, the more it sounded like a bad acid trip.
“Mosasaurus,” Gray said.
“It wasn’t a whale. It was a mosasaurus. It hunts near the surface of the water, and has even been known to grab animals that were on the shore,” he informed them.
“Are you sure I don’t know you?” Tony asked again.
“I think I would remember meeting one of the Avengers,” he scoffed.
Zach rolled his eyes at his brother, but looked decidedly more nervous when he looked at the rest of the group. “Um, can I…if it’s not too much trouble, sir. Can I get a picture with you, Captain Rogers?”
Steve blushed, and it was adorable. He still wasn’t so used to the fan aspect of what they did. Darcy figured he was afraid they would all be like Phil Coulson. Rabid fanboys. Steve recovered quickly, putting on his Cap face, “It would be my pleasure, son.” Oh god. He was acting like an actual ninety-year-old again.
Tony snorted. “Yeah, if we don’t get eaten by anything in the meantime.”
“Tony!” Darcy yelled. They were finally done with the yelling. Really?
Before Tony could defend himself on that one, Clint shrieked. An actual, honest to god, shriek.
Darcy looked over at him and tried not to laugh.
Delta was right behind Clint, trying to inspect the quiver strapped to his back. With her teeth. She wasn’t trying to eat it, more… explore it. When that didn’t work, she reached her arms and tried tugging, pulling Clint back as she did so.
She huffed and chirruped low in her throat as she gave up. Peering at the human in front of her, she slowly walked around him, her tail flicking.
Delta stood in front of Clint, who was frozen, eyes wide. She gave that clicking call and hopped a few times. When Clint didn’t move, she huffed again and head-butted him.
Clint stumbled back but stayed on his feet. Delta clicked again.
“You don’t happen to have any food on you, do you?” Owen asked.
Clint turned those wide eyes to Owen. He nodded. “Jerky?”
“Don’t suppose you feel like sharing it? She smells it.”
Nodding, Clint reached back and pulled the package a beef jerky from a side compartment in the quiver.
Natasha rolled her eyes.
Clever girl, indeed.
Delta hopped a few more times and made reaching motions. Holy shit, it was the raptor version of grabby-hands.
When Clint when to throw the entire thing, Owen snapped, “Take it out of the plastic!”
Clint scowled, but did it anyway. Delta, for her part, was just watching him, clicking and chirping as if to say hurry up.
Finally, the jerky was out of the package and Clint was just holding it. With her nose, Delta nudged his hand, but she didn’t bite.
Clint was being very brave.
“Delta, back!” Owen called, figuring Clint could get some breathing room.
Throwing her head back slightly, and looked annoyed, Delta took a step back. A very small step back. Smartass. Well, at least she listened.
“Toss it to her,” Owen instructed.
Clint nodded and gave it a small flick in her direction. Delta snatched it from the air and swallowed.
She was still staring at Clint.
“I don’t have anymore,” he said, making shooing motions.
Delta cocked her head. And then she sat, laying her head on the floor and looking up at the archer.
Darcy laughed. “This is fucking great. It’s not just me!”
Clint just glared at her, then turned his eyes back to the beast in front of him. “Well, she is kind of cute. Think she likes pizza?”
“Have we all forgotten we have a T-Rex on the loose? Small detail. Tiny, really,” Bucky said, looking around at everyone.
“Just send Bruce after it,” was Tony’s answer.
Thor held the hammer up high, “I shall go and slay this beast.” He paused and looked at Darcy. “Think my Jane would find that dashing and brave?”
“Yeah, big guy, she probably would –“ Thor preened “- but we’re not killing the Rex.” He deflated. “I think Bruce is the best idea we have so that we don’t get eaten by it. I think she has a crush on the Hulk. That should keep us safe. Maybe Bruce can make a new friend!”
Thor was pouting.
“We need to figure out the HYDRA angle. Where they went. What they have,” Steve said. He wasn’t wrong.
“Jarvis is already tracking their online activity. Bank accounts. Properties. Porn subscriptions. We’ll find where they took everything,” Tony answered. Once he had learned that HYDRA was behind this (because why fucking not?), he sent Jarvis into the Jurassic World system. He’d find each and every breadcrumb he could, and would follow it to the source. Jarvis was good people.
Darcy bit her lip. “What are we going to do when we find them? We can’t destroy them. Maybe we can bring them back here. They can hatch on the island. Live their little dino-lives.”
“We?” Natasha asked. “You’ve had enough fun already.”
Rolling her eyes, Darcy responded, “Whatever. Regardless, you have to save them!”
“Don’t worry, doll, they’ll be fine. They’ll, uh, grow up as normally as they can. For dinosaurs. Which are actually extinct.” That was Bucky’s version of assurance. It worked.
“Anybody else want to go raid what’s left of Margaritaville?” Darcy asked. She could really use a drink. What? It’d been a long day. You’d want a drink, too, if you spent most of it running for your life.
Owen leaned down to whisper in her ear, “I have tequila in my bungalow.”
His breath was hot against her skin and she shivered.
“Right! Um, so we should probably go feed the raptors. Yes! That is exactly what we should do. Me and Owen. Alone. Together,” Darcy rambled taking a few steps backward, pulling Owen with her.
Owen laughed and let go of her. Darcy tried very hard not to pout. He was already signaling to the raptors to round up.
They came quickly, bouncing across the room. They stood at attention.
“We’re moving out!” Owen called, leading them to the door.
Darcy turned and had only taken two steps when Natasha said to her, “We’ll talk in the morning, sestra. After you feed the raptors.” Darcy could hear the suggestive tone in her voice.
She didn’t respond.
As they were leaving, Darcy heard Steve asking, “Do they really let you ride the triceratops?”
Darcy yelled over her shoulder, “Steven Grant Rogers, you are too fucking heavy to ride a baby triceratops. Go make sure they’re okay, but don’t fucking ride one!” She thought for a second. “Maybe try the edmontosaurs. They’re pretty chill. Got a duck-bill and everything.”
She heard Clint cheering at the suggestion. Bucky was already asking Claire for a map.
Darcy breathed in the night air as they stepped outside. They were children, all of them.
I...I think the next chapter calls for smut?
They left the Innovation Center on Owen's motorcycle, the raptors surrounding them and keeping pace. If Darcy didn't know better, she would say they were smiling as they ran alongside them. She might have sneaked her phone out to snap a picture of Charlie and Echo. She also might have sent that picture to her uncle.
There was also the distinct possibility that she ignored all the texts he had sent. She'd deal with them later.
They went to the raptor paddock first, Owen letting the rest of the pigs loose. With a whistle from Owen, they were off, chasing the smaller animals through the brush and trees. That would probably keep them busy for a while. Darcy and Owen shared a brief look, deciding without words to leave the gates of the enclosure open. They didn't feel right locking them inside after everything that had happened. They'd find the pack later.
They stood watching the raptors for a few minutes before getting back on the motorcycle. Darcy's arms slid snugly around Owen's torso. She laid her cheek against his broad back, and she smiled when she felt his laughter.
She sighed. They were very, very lucky to be alive. She closed her eyes and nuzzled closer. One of his hands came down to grip her forearm briefly. She turned and pressed a quick kiss to the middle of his shoulder blades.
Yeah, they needed to get to his bungalow. Darcy tried to take in the scenery as they drove, but the vibration of the bike and the scent of Owen, of strong male, in front of her was doing things to her brain.
And her pussy.
She was debating just telling him to pull over when they came out of the tree cover and onto the beaches, but she wasn't so far gone that she couldn't take in the beautiful view in front of her.
Before Darcy could swing her leg off the bike, Owen was in front of her, lifting her up. Her legs immediately went around his waist. His arms wrapped all the way around her, crushing her to him. She locked her ankles behind his back and then she was kissing him, as her hands framed his face.
The kiss was frantic - tongues meeting, teeth clashing. Darcy was pretty sure she accidentally bit his lip, but he didn't seem to care so she wasn't stopping. He carried her up the stairs and then they were inside. This time when she bit his lip it was intentional, and he groaned low in his throat. Her hips jerked at the sound.
He broke the kiss long enough to clear off counter space. From the quick glance around the room, the door opened directly into the kitchen, and there, off to the right, was an elongated room, the attached airstream trailer that Darcy vaguely remembered seeing. Her perusal of the room was interrupted when he sat her on the counter and claimed her mouth again. Yeah, she was so okay with this position.
She pulled his shirt out of his pants, and then her hands were there, touching skin. She could feel the outline of his abs, and she shifted closer to the edge so that he was right there, right between her thighs. She moaned and tipped her head back, her hands still wandering, her thumbs brushing across his nipples.
Owen shivered, and then he was kissing down her jaw to her neck, nipping at the skin. Darcy pulled her hands from his shirt. Owen anticipated her next move because he stopped placing those wet, sucking kisses to pull the shirt over his head, tossing it to the floor. Darcy took the time to just look at him, and she was not disappointed. She licked her lips as she took in those abs, his chest, his shoulders.
Then it was her turn to remove her shirt, wanting to feel him, skin-to-skin. She went to remove her bra, but his hand stopped her, pulling hers away from behind her back.
"Let me," he whispered, and then he was at her neck again. God, she didn't even know her neck to be an erogenous zone. He could stay there forever, and she'd be happy.
No. Not forever. Next time he could explore. Right now she wanted them both naked. She wanted him in her, but he seemed content to take in the taste of her skin, and he moved down her neck to her shoulder. Her head lolled to the side to give him room. His hands slipped around her to undo the clasp of her bra.
Vaguely Darcy recognized that he had no trouble. She'd had lovers in the past that had serious problems. Like, they'd needed a tutorial, with pictures, to get the job done. Most of the time Darcy would just slap their hands away and do it herself. But, Owen? No, he knew was he was doing, and she smiled.
His head came up, cheek brushing hers as his hands slowly slid the straps down her arms. Then it was off, dropped to the floor to join his shirt.
He eased back and just looked at her. Darcy grinned. She knew she had a banging body, and she wasn't afraid to show it off. She sat up straighter, letting him look as long as he wanted.
"You're beautiful." His mouth was on hers again, his hands cradling her skull. She smiled against his mouth, gave him points for not going directly to her breasts.
He kissed her leisurely, drinking in the taste of her, he was so getting all the points. His left hand moved from her head, fingers trailing down her arm, his fingers reached her elbow. The pads of his fingers ghosted the outside of her breast, sending shivers down her spine. She gasped when he suddenly pinched her nipple, taking it between his thumb and forefinger. Automatically her legs came up and wrapped around him again, pulling him even closer, feeling him hard against her.
She gasped when he did it again, her head thumping back against a cabinet. Her hips bucked when he took the other one into his mouth, lips wrapping around it and sucking gently.
"Fuck," she said on a moan. Her breasts had always been sensitive, her nipples especially, and he was paying them their due attention. Jesus, this man.
She clutched at his head, her hips moving in time with the mouth at her breast. Shit. If he kept it up much longer, she was going to come. She could feel an orgasm creeping closer.
Pants. Pants needed to come off now. Darcy squeezed his torso with her thighs one more time, then grabbed his shoulders and pushed him back. His head was up and off of her immediately, and he looked down at her with concern.
She winked and reached down to unbutton her jeans. He smirked and his hands went to the waistband to help her get them off. She lifted her hips so that he could slide them off. He slid them down slowly, keeping eye contact as he did so, kneeling down to pull them off completely.
“Finally,” she murmured when the pants were added to the growing pile of clothing on the floor.
He gave her another wink, and then leaned forward to kiss her knee. He kissed a line up her inner thigh. Darcy gripped the edge of the counter as he went higher. He pressed a kiss to the top of her panties, then snapped the waist band with his teeth. Darcy giggled.
He pressed a kiss to her belly, and hooked the sides of her panties with his fingers. He tapped her hip to get her to lift them and then they were off before she could blink, and suddenly his mouth was on her.
His hands were spread wide against the top of her things, holding them in place. The flat of his tongue licked up the length of her. After that first pass, he kissed her clit, and then his lips wrapped around it, sucking it into his mouth.
Darcy flung her head back, hitting the cabinets as she did so. She didn’t care. Dear god, she did not care. One of his hands trailed down her thigh, and then, slowly, one of those strong, thick fingers was in her. Her hips squirmed against the counter, but he just wrapped his other arm around her waist to keep her still.
She was never going to argue against a man with focus. And if that focus was on her pussy? Even fucking better.
His finger moved in and out slowly, easily. Jesus, she was wet. He didn’t wait long to add another. The stretch was delicious. His mouth never let up.
“Owen, I’m… fuck,” Darcy managed to get out on a groan.
She was so fucking close. One of her hands gripped his hair. He just moved his fingers faster, harder. Her hips were trying to fuck against them. He gently bit her clit, and she was gone, flying over that edge. She let out a long, low moan, her hips bucking, hand pulling at his hair.
His fingers slowed, and then he was gently removing them. He kissed her clit one more time, and then he leaned back, his lips wet from her.
God, that was so fucking hot. She reached for him. He must have read the intent in her face because he stood up was kissing her again. She licked at his lips and tasted herself.
“Pants,” she said against his lips. “Bed.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he said, pulling back, tipping an imaginary hat to her.
He scooped her from the counter and carried her the short distance to the bed. He placed her down and was then removing his pants. Her eyes followed the path of his pants. Finally, he stood in front of her naked.
He was perfect all over.
She scooted back on the bed as far as she could go. He leaned down, a predatory look in his eyes. Then, he was over her. He adjusted her position slightly, making sure there was a pillow under her head.
He just gazed down on her, a knowing look in his eye.
She scowled. “Owen, I swear to god. Fuck me.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he said again, and then, slowly, so fucking slowly, he was pressing into her.
She groaned, “Owen, move.” They could do slow later. Right now? Now was the time for hard and fast. Darcy wrapped her legs around him and tried to pull him closer. He rested on one elbow.
“So impatient,” he whispered, head coming down to kiss the side of her neck.
She whined, “Owen…”
“Well, I never could say no to a beautiful woman,” was what he said before his hips snapped into her, his cock going deep
“Yes,” she hissed, head tipped back, eyes closed. His hips moved fast then, fucking into her and not letting up. God, she didn’t want him to. It was fucking good.
He was sucking at her neck, and she knew she would have marks, but she didn’t care. His other hand went to her hair, gripping it, keeping her head tilted back.
Her heels dug into his ass, pulling him closer, deeper. Her hands clutched at his shoulders, nails digging in. For a brief moment she was concerned that she was hurting him, but he only groaned and moved faster.
She could feel another orgasm approaching. She could feel it growing and, holy shit, it was going to be so good. “Owen, please.” She didn’t even know what she was asking for. He nipped at her neck, the hand in her hand pulling slightly. And, yes, oh my god yes.
“Owen!” Her orgasm burst over her and she bit her lip, trying to stay quiet. His other hand came up to gently pull her lip from between her teeth. “Fuck, Owen!” she moaned out as her orgasm went on.
He was moving faster now, if that were possible, working towards his own end. His hips slammed into her once, twice, and then he held deep, groaning, “Shit, Darcy!” He stayed over her, breathing harsh. For her part, she was having trouble catching her breath, too.
Fuck. That had to be one of the best orgasms of her life.
Owen rolled off of her, but pulled her close. She knew they’d need to shower, but for the life of her she did not have the energy to move. He didn’t seem to be in a rush, either.
They lay, dozing.
Darcy must have fallen asleep, because she woke with a start at a scrabbling sound near the door. She leaned up to look over Owen, who was snoring softly.
She blinked, then reached for the blankets to cover them.
Blue was standing just outside the door, which had apparently been left open. Her head came through the door, searching. Blue clicked when she saw them.
“Uh…” Well, this was a new one. Darcy elbowed Owen.
He didn’t move. She rolled her eyes and dug her elbow in harder. Owen woke slowly, one eye opening to squint at her.
Darcy gestured with her chin towards the door. Owen just looked at her, confused. She sighed and looked pointedly. Finally, he looked over his shoulder. “Oh, hi Blue.”
Darcy rolled her eyes. “You forgot to shut the door.”
Owen gave a one-armed shrug.
“Blue, no!” Darcy called out, holding out a hand as if to stop the raptor who had started to climb through the door.
Jesus, Darcy didn’t even think the raptors would even fit in the small space. She knew if Blue got in, the others would follow. As it was she could see the other three through the window, wandering in Owen’s front yard. They didn’t look particularly disturbed.
Blue huffed at them and reached her arms forward, chirping at them as she did so.
“Oh my god!” Darcy said, laughing. Clutched in Blue’s talons was a dead rabbit.
Owen just frowned at the scene in front of them. “Blue, what are you doing?”
Blue gave that barking call and dropped the rabbit on the floor, and then she backed out and went to join her sisters, who were now sniffing around the motorcycle.
Darcy was still laughing. Finally, she wiped a tear away and looked at Owen. “Blue thinks we are terrible raptors and needed help feeding ourselves. I don’t supposed you know how to skin a rabbit?”
Blinking, Owen reached for the blanket, pulled it over his shoulder, and rolled over. His arm snaked around her waist and pulled her against his chest. “Rabbit stew for dinner, apparently.”
Darcy was still giggling as Owen fell asleep.
This is the first smutty ANYTHING I have ever posted/written, so for the love of god, be gentle with me.
The next morning dawned bright and beautiful. Or, it seemed that way because Darcy was very well aware of how close they had all come to being dino-treats the day before. Or was it the night before? Time sort of went wonky when you were running for your life.
Eh. Whatever. It was still a gorgeous view. She hadn't been able to see much the night before, just enough to know they were on the beach, and she wanted to see the moon reflected on those waters again. She was currently taking in the full view, the blue waters sparkling in the sun, the sand between her toes, and the cool breeze on her face.
Darcy smiled when she felt Blue nosing at her hand. For such a supposedly viscous predator, she sure did like scritches under her chin. Darcy obliged the overgrown puppy, and Blue practically vibrated with joy, clicking and chuffing at her.
Blue and Echo had followed her when she started down the beach after a shower and breakfast that included a rabbit omelet (which was surprisingly tasty, she was definitely going to let Owen cook for her again).
Echo was content to stare out over the water. Every once in a while she'd take a few steps and let the water sweep over her feet, chirping and hopping in the surf.
Darcy fight anyone who’d say that it wasn’t adorable.
Tony. She’d fight Tony.
“Your friends coming to join us?” Owen asked, hugging her from behind.
Darcy nodded. “Got a text from Tony a bit ago. He’s going to the hotel to grab our bags, then he’ll be here.
Owen nudged her shoulder as he stood next to her, arm still around her waist. “But you look so good in my clothes.”
She laughed. “While I will be stealing this shirt, I’d like some pants that won’t fall down with every step I take. And, mind out of the gutter. We literally had sex half an hour ago. Give me a break. Give your dick a break.”
“What?” He smirked. “Life affirming sex is great sex.”
There was a thump in the sand. “I can definitely attest to that.”
Darcy just rolled her eyes and turned to greet Tony. Couldn’t the man just use a car? I mean, really.
Oh. Wait. There was a car. Filled to the brim with the rest of the Avengers.
Huh. Okay, then. Good thing she put on pants before decided to stroll down the beach. She grabbed the waistband and bunched it in her hand. Last thing she needed would be to pants herself in front of the team. “That’s fine, you don’t need to call first.”
He gave her a once-over, “Where’s your phone?”
She paused. “So, what’s up?”
“There has already been activity in and around eastern Europe. Belgrade. Bucharest. Budapest. Huh. Hey.” He turned to look at the rest of the team as they exited the car. “When you guys were in Budapest, did you happen to run into any dinosaur enthusiasts?“
“First rule of the Avengers,” Bucky said, “we do not talk about Budapest.”
Darcy’s eyes went wide. “You know about Budapest?”
He gave her a wink.
She rolled her eyes. “Right. So, we’re definitely going after them?”
Clint answered. “We are going after them. You are staying somewhere safe. Preferably.”
There was a loud squawk at the sound of his voice. A rustling at the edge of the woods that had the Avengers standing straight, hands on various weapons.
Owen chuckled from beside her, and she had a feeling she knew what was about to happen. She was not disappointed.
Bounding (actually bounding, it was adorable) from the trees came Delta, her mouth was open in what Darcy took for a smile. The raptor came to a skidding stop in front of Clint, her head moving up in down as she took in him.
This was the best.
“Aww,” Natasha damn near cooed, “Hawkeye has a girlfriend. I’m going to have to watch my back.”
“You might have to,” Owen replied. “She might get territorial. Might drag him off to her lair.”
Beseechingly, Clint looked at Owen. “That’s not true, right? She just wants food?”
Delta hopped and sniffed the air at the mention of food.
Owen pursed his lips. “Not really sure on that. We’ll just to find out.”
His gulp was audible.
Steve barked out a laugh. “This is the greatest day of my life.”
“Nat,” Clint hissed, eyes going wide. “You wouldn’t let that happen, right? Right?”
Delta took a small step forward and lowered her head.
With a totally not shaky hand (Darcy rolled her eyes), Clint reached forward and patted her on the head. “I don’t have any more treats. Please do not take me as your husband.”
She just chirped and went to stand next to him.
“Okay, if we can get back to our regularly schedule program?” Tony chimed in, arms crossed. “Once we have a location pinned down, we’ll move. They’re all over the place. Their transactions are just hours apart.”
“Picking up equipment, more than likely. I bet they didn’t figure they’d have to move on their secondary plan nearly this soon. I know some non-HYDRA contacts I can try, see if they’ve picked anything up,” Bucky offered.
Owen nodded. “They’re going to need some pretty specific technology. Unless they have another cryo chamber for the embryo’s, they’re going to be in trouble soon. Their portable containers probably don’t last more than a few days.”
Tony gave a nod. “The schematics I found list a battery life of seventy-two hours. They’re going to have to make a move to a more permanent location soon.”
“HYDRA always has contingencies,” Bucky muttered, eyes shadowed, voice hollow.
There were a few beats of silence. No one liked to think of when Bucky was the new fist of HYDRA. Darcy was pretty sure everyone had at least one nightmare about it. About what they did to him, put him through. Made him do.
Looking around, Darcy realized they were one Avenger short. “Where’s Bruce?”
They all looked relieved for the subject change. Steve was the one who took the question. “Bruce is back at the hotel. Taking a nap.”
“Please tell me someone got video of him and the Rex,” Darcy said, her hands coming together as if in prayer.
This time Clint’s eyes went wide in wonder, his prior panic at becoming a dinosaur groom forgotten. “Oh, man. That would have been awesome. Think he’ll Hulk-out again so we can?”
“How long are you going to be staying?”
Darcy might have wilted a little at Owen’s question. She knew, logically, that the team wouldn’t be staying here forever. Or even for a week. But a few days maybe? She wasn’t sure she was ready to leave yet.
“Probably not long,” was Tony’s answer.
Natasha elbowed him. Hard. “You should make sure they didn’t leave anything behind. They may have left notes.”
He threw a glare in her direction. “I meant, I should probably go through all their… stuff. See if they left anything behind. Though I don’t know why,” he muttered, “probably be a waste of time. No one uses paper anymore.”
Darcy gave Nat a grateful smile. The redhead always had her back. Yay, Nat. She looked up at Owen, “Well, I guess we’re staying for a few more days.”
Steve cleared his throat. “I’m sure Tony would be more than happy to let you use any vacation time you have. Maybe a few extra days. It’s not like you really ever take time off.”
Steve was also one of her favorites.
Now Tony was glaring Steve. “Don’t give my assistant away.” He paused, and then he took a step away from Natasha. “Okay. I mean, yes, use your vacation time. Use my vacation time, just don’t jab me with your pointy elbow again, oh my god.”
Darcy loved her team, she really did.
Giving a none-too-subtle cough, Bucky started walking back towards the car. “Stark should start looking through their notes now. Gonna need to take his time, ain’t that right, buddy? So we should get going.”
Tony huffed and threw his arms in the air. “Fine. We are going now. And leaving you two alone. With your raptors. By yourself. To have the sex… ow!”
Laughing, Darcy waggled her fingers at them and desperately tried not to laugh as Delta followed behind Clint. She was pretty sure the raptor was going to follow them back.
He’d be fine.
The two of them stood there, watching the car go back through the trees and out of view. Owen kissed the top of her head. “So you’re gonna stay, huh?”
She smiled. “Yeah. I think I’ll stay for a bit.”
Well. Here we are. The final chapter of this particular journey. This is not the last you'll see of the Raptor-verse. It's been a wild ride (that I was NOT expecting, you guys are amazing), and thank you for sticking with me.
HUGE HUGE thanks to pinkpandorafrog, without whom I could not have done this.