Chapter 1: Prologue
So, Thor fell from the sky, and everything changed. And eventually, it was good. Until Kelly called, and Darcy decided to risk it all. Because no matter what else claimed her loyalty, she was a St. Trinian's girl first. And that was what St. Trinian's girls did.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
When Thor fell from the sky and Jane ran him over, Darcy wasn’t startled at all. She had, after all, attended a school where the teachers tying students by their ankles to the tractor and driving around the grounds dragging them behind them was the norm. But then he acted like a crazy hobo, and she reacted like a typical St. Trinian’s girl—shoot first, as questions later. More specifically, she tazed him with the special, MI7 regulation tazer that Kelly had smuggled her when she had announced her intentions to go back to the states and study politics in Virginia.
Jane shrieked at her, and she was reminded, oh, yeah, the way that we do things isn’t actually normal, and Jane would have probably been eaten alive at St. Trinian’s—not that there was anything wrong with that, St. Trinian’s wasn’t for everybody, and Jane was still her American bestie—American because a bunch of British people came before her on that totem pole—the St. Trinian’s girls had been through things together that had forged a bond that nothing could weaken, and Jane could never really hope to compete.
So they hauled Thor into the back of the van, something that Darcy was rather adept at, since she had plenty of experience hauling around unconscious men that were considerably bigger than her thanks to her various high school adventures, and took him to the hospital.
Which was weird for her, since St. Trinian’s girls didn’t usually bother with the hospital unless it was serious shit, and this guy looked mostly fine.
But Jane checked him in and he was sedated, mostly because he woke up and tried to kill a bunch of nurses, and then went on their way. But then Darcy thought that maybe Jane would have made a better St. Trinian’s girl than she had thought, because Jane decided that Thor was her greatest lead since... like, ever, and marched back to the hospital to find him—and promptly run him over. Again.
Then the government misappropriated their things, and took her IPod, she nearly called the girls to battalion over it and steal it back, but then Jane got distracted by their apparently real live Norse God, and then there was the big robot that nearly levelled the town and Jane disappeared.
After Thor left, things settled into a somewhat comfortable pattern—Darcy made coffee and poptarts and tried to periodically talk Jane into subsisting on something more than just that, wrangled her to bed when she fell asleep at her workbench, every three days or so, and filed papers. She also entertained the pet SHIELD agent.
Barton was his name. Agent Clinton Francis Barton, he told her after they got drunk for the first time. He had biceps of steel, abs like you wouldn’t believe, and a skin tight Kevlar sleeveless suit that showcased both to maximum perfection. He shot with a bow and arrow, and as he said it ‘I was just good enough at the beginning of my career that they were willing to overlook my preference for a weapon that went out of style centuries ago’. As it stood, once he had warmed up to her and stopped being secret agent man, she had made the best friend that she had ever had.
Both of their minds worked in the same frightening way. They were both obsessed with internet memes and poptarts, and they both lived off of coffee and still slept all day when they had the chance. And Darcy nearly brained herself with a spatula when her stupid, schoolgirl crush came in and threatened to ruin the best friendship that she had had since St. Trinian’s. Sure, they flirted. Darcy was a flirty person, and Clint seemed that way too. That was how she interacted with people—girls, guys, it didn’t matter much.
Of course, neither of them really had much in the way of impulse control, which was how they ended up in bed together. And then bed turned into fuck buddies, and fuck buddies turned into relationship, and Darcy still wasn’t really sure how it had happened.
But then Clint got called off mission. He was sent to some classified place and Darcy couldn’t hear from him, and that was the abrupt end of that. She tried not to be broken-hearted, since he hadn’t actually said that it was over, and also because Jane was more than providing the broken-hearted vibes without Darcy adding to the club. It didn’t help that Erik left around the same time.
Then they were being shipped to Tromso. And New York was being invaded by aliens. And then they were relocating to Stark Tower, and Thor was coming back and... incoming happy ending. Except that ending meant the end, right, and this wasn’t an end.
Suddenly, she was being promoted, because, oh! Phil isn’t dead, but he needs a new assistant because The Avengers are too much to handle without one, and then assistant goes to Public Relations Manager, when the Avengers got four of them to have extended mental breakdowns and resign within two months, and Darcy was the only one who could last. And then they couldn’t have the PR manager be someone’s assistant at the same time, so they promoted her to PR Manager and Assistant Non-Military Handler, or, as Tony says, She Who Must Be Obeyed.
And her and Clint figured their shit out, and everything was going to be good. And then Kelly called. And Darcy was going to risk it all, because she was a St. Trinian’s girl first, and that was what St. Trinian’s girls did.
I decided to write a little lead up to the events of the next chapter, which was initially the first part that I wrote. So this is sort of a 'how she ended up where she was' tale, that leads into the events of the next chapter, and will be followed by the actual story.
Anyone else would have been overwhelmed by life in the Avengers Tower after two days (read: Jane), but Darcy Lewis was made of sterner stuff than that. And the Avengers were a bit eccentric, sure, but they weren’t more dangerous than that. Sure, it was a bit startling that Clint shot Nerf arrows out of the air ducts at you, and that Tony was an actual, veritable mad scientist, and Bruce not far behind him. Natasha would have been just plain terrifying, if it weren’t for Darcy’s previous experience with extremely competent women, Steve and Thor had no concept of common culture and Coulson taped reality shows on the DVR. Once Thor got the hang of it, he taped bridal shows in abundance. If the DVR hadn’t been perfect, fabulous StarkTech, it would have crashed and stopped playing anything but Bridezilla and What Not to Wear. But it was, and it hadn’t, and all was well.
But Darcy Lewis wasn’t intimidated by any of these people. Darcy Lewis was a St. Trinian’s girl, and she was made of sterner stuff than that.
Yeah, she kept in contact with the other girls. They were a huge, mildly dysfunctional family, how could she not? But she had never intended for her current life as handler and public relations manager for the Avengers to mix with her old life, as St. Trinian’s girl. Frankly speaking, the world couldn’t handle it.
But then Kelly called. Said that she was in New York, needed a bail out. And how was Darcy supposed to refuse that? Of course she called back, to get told to meet Kelly and Annabelle at a Starbucks on 98th street. She shoved things in her purse and slid her shoes back on, having not even had the opportunity to change out of the business casual SHIELD appropriate office-wear that she had been dressed in all day.
She was living with the likes of Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff, though, and secret agents could smell anxiousness. She managed to get out of the building undetected and down the street to the Starbucks, where she ordered a mocha and sat down to wait. It was only about ten minutes before Kelly Jones came breezing through the door, Annabelle Fritton on her heels. Kelly looked like the polished St. Trinian’s girl that she always had been, neither emo nor chav nor geek nor posh tottie, and somehow a mixture of all of them—the perfect head girl. Her sleek, polished black hair was about shoulder-length now, and red lipstick adorned her lips, and an outfit that bore a startling resemblance to what she used to wear at St. Trinian’s, despite the lack of the naughty schoolgirl look.
Annabelle looked like the girl that she had become at St. Trinian’s, a different yet just-as-good head girl as Kelly had been. Annabelle had arrived at St. Trinian’s too late to fall in with any of the cliques, which meant that all of them claimed her, and all of them held a piece of her. Annabelle’s eyes were lined with dramatic dark liner, reminiscent of the emos. Her hair was a sleekly tamed wavy look that came directly from the posh totties. Lipstick just as dark and dramatic as Kelly’s.
“Darcy,” Kelly greeted, taking the chair across from her as Annabelle went to the counter to get drinks. Soon, Annabelle joined them as well.
“So, what’s the what?” Darcy asked, taking a sip of her drink.
Kelly went to slide a folder to Darcy across the table, but stopped. “Darcy, this is serious.”
“Yeah, I got that.”
“No, really serious. The other girls, they’re all in danger. And it’s up to us to save them. But you could get into a lot of trouble for this. Your job—you could end up in jail.”
“What about my job?”
“You work for one of those American alphabet soup agencies, don’t you? SAW or CIA or KGB or something?” Kelly said aimlessly.
“SHIELD,” Darcy said. “And seriously, SAW? That doesn’t even exist, and the KGB were the Soviet Secret Police during the Cold War. For someone who does what you do, shouldn’t you have better knowledge of the other people who do what you do?”
“I have admin people for that,” Kelly said airily.
Darcy rolled her eyes. Sometimes, when she started missing St. Trinian’s, she inadvertently channelled Chelsea Parker, too.
“So, what’s the problem?”
“You know that most everyone are criminals in some capacity,” Annabelle said.
Darcy thought about Polly’s computer hacking business, Chloe’s mercenary business (that was famous for doing anything, as long as you paid them enough), Celia’s back door drug dealing business and paused. “Yeah, I know.”
“Well, nobody’s bringing down a St. Trinian’s girl on my watch,” Kelly said determinedly.
“Or mine,” Annabelle added, always the mild accompaniment to Kelly’s determination, but no less threatening for it.
“Or mine,” Darcy said, thinking it through for all of four seconds, everything that this endeavour might cost her, before throwing her towel in with the girls. Once a St. Trinian’s girl, always a St. Trinian’s girl.