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Born to Die

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The Destroyer moved through Puente Antiguo, piles of metal and ash in its wake. All inhabitants had fled, with only three mortals remaining. Sif and the Warrior’s Three lay defeated, scattered in the streets. Thor lay broken, his life draining from him. Now, only the scientist, the doctor, and the student stood in the center of the street. The doctor’s eyes flashed the briefest of blue as he regarded The Destroyer, nodding. The Destroyer turned to the scientist, metal churning as fire grew and rumbled inside it.

The sky darkened as the fires in the town turned green. Jane howled and cried at Thor’s side, his worn body in her arms. Selvig rushed to Jane’s side, and she saw The Destroyer begin to fire at her. Darcy cried out her friend’s name, but her voice failed her, replaced with silence. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she struggled to scream for Jane and Selvig to run from the towering machine before her. The rumbling emerald fire crackled in its faceless pit before being swallowed down by steel. A different fear overcame her then, an invasive, subtle, and perverse terror that consumed her. It ran cold in her veins and crawled under her skin as she looked up at The Destroyer, watching it vanish. As the town disappeared from around her, engulfed in flames, she heard a sinister voice.

I’ve found you

Darcy woke up, gasping for breath. She felt the flush of body heat and constricting sheets, binding her in place. It took several moments for her to free herself and sit up in bed, wiping her face of sweat. She cradled her head in her hands as she pulled her knees up her chest, breathing slowly. Her boyfriend stirred beside her.

“What’s up?” Bruce asked lazily, breathing in deeply as his brows pulled together. He reached out across the sheets to feel Darcy in the darkness. His hand brushed against her side gingerly, moving around to the small of her back, resting over her oversized pajama shirt.  Darcy was silent for a little while longer, pushing the thoughts from her mind.

“Just a bad dream.” She said quietly, as if it would become more real if she spoke above a whisper. Bruce sat up and moved beside her, crossing his legs and rubbing her back as she recovered in her pensive state.

“I know all about those.” He said just as softly, as he moved both hands over her back, then her shoulders, and back down again. He worked his palms steadily against her shoulders, eliciting a small murmur from her. “Want to talk about it?”

Darcy snorted. “Nah.” She declared loudly, breaking the eerie darkness of Bruce’s bedroom. She stretched out her legs as she reclined against Bruce’s bare chest. “The Doctor Banner prescription is for snuggles.” She purred, tilting her head up to catch a glimpse of his smile in the shadowy room. His arms wrapped around her, settling on her navel. She could feel his heartbeat pound against her back, and she relaxed at the feeling.

“I’m not that kind of doctor.” He chuckled softly and she could feel the reverberation in his chest.

“Also kisses.” She murmured. Darcy breathed in deeply as she rest her head against him, his chest hair tickling at her nose.

“Doctor Bruce Banner, M.D. it is, then.” He said charmingly, lowering his head down to catch her lips in a soft, lingering kiss. Darcy broke it by accident, smiling contently into it, but quickly amended it by initiating another. She loved his kisses. Like him, they were deliberate, gentle, and intimate. Soft at first, but with a hidden intensity that left her longing. She twisted to face him in his lap and hummed as she caught his lower lip between hers. Bruce kissed the tip of Darcy’s nose and she giggled as he pulled her down against the bed.

As if it had always been this way, he wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her close. He kissed up the side of her face slowly, and she couldn’t help but grin as his stubble tickled her skin. His clothed leg moved over hers, and she could feel his toes wiggle against hers in jest. She returned it, her foot moving up to his ankle. She felt the elastic band that acted as a tracking device. For a moment, she paused, but the tension and dread that filled her moments before quickly seeped away under his affection, and her breath left her unsteadily as she was swept from one intensity to another.

As the kisses trailed back to her lips, she met his with fervency and need. It quickly deepened and Darcy moved to roll on top of him, straddling him. Bruce uttered a soft groan into her mouth, his fingers pressing into her sides. Darcy felt a dizzying wave of anticipation, pulling her into Bruce as she kissed him. She ran her fingers through his hair, and they curled with need as she lightly tugged at the curls on the nape of his neck. His hands stayed firmly at her side, though after a moan left her lips and moved to his, she felt an almost imperceptible push from his hands. She paused, and sat up, looking down at Bruce, breathless.

“What time is it?” He asked, quickly moving his hands over his face. He slowly inhaled and exhaled before pulling his hands away as Darcy struggled to maintain her place on his lap while leaning across the bed and reaching for her cell phone. She fumbled in the dark and dropped it, hearing it tumble across the floor. She mumbled curses before crawling and leaning over the bed, pressing buttons on her phone that illuminated the darkness.

“Fuuuuuu---rrrryyyy.” She corrected herself as she tossed her phone several feet away and near fell off the edge of the bed, face first. Bruce moved quickly to grasp her by the hips, pulling her back onto the bed. She slumped forward, sighing.


“Time for me to get home and get ready to forfeit my soul to the government.” Darcy grumbled. Bruce chuckled and nuzzled against the crook of her neck, kissing the bare skin of her shoulder.

“Thank you for spending the night. It was nice to sleep next to you. Even if you snore.” He teased, moving back from her as she playfully swiped her fingers through the air in his direction. Darcy slid out of the bed reluctantly, standing up. She looked around his room, her eyes now adjusting to the dark. Spacious and tidy, and much larger than what Bruce was used to, Darcy found it a bit lonely. Even still, Darcy found herself wanting to bury herself under the covers and curl up to her boyfriend, never wanting to leave Stark Tower. She glanced over to the small portrait, sitting on his nightdesk stacked upon several books. She smirked as she looked over the smiling couple in the photo and then looked back to Bruce.

“Next movie is Men in Black. Then you’ll get approximately twenty percent of the bad office jokes.” Darcy smiled as she pulled down her pajama pants. Bruce averted her gaze and she held in a sigh, quickly moving to change into her previous day’s wear. “Safe.” She added, and Bruce’s visual attention returned.

“Look forward to it. Do you want me to call you a cab?” He sat up, moving to the edge of the bed. Darcy made a face in thought before shaking her head. She quickly moved about the room, shoving her makeshift nightwear into a tattered messenger bag. She pulled a hat out, forcing it to suppress her messy bed-head.

“The last thing I want is for some random cabbie to think I’m making the walk of shame from Stark’s bedroom. I can take the subway. It’s what tasers are for.” Darcy shrugged.

“What about my bedroom?” Bruce asked.

“Then it wouldn’t be a walk of shame. Whenever that times comes.” She quickly brushed her lips against his and pulled back, swinging her bag over her shoulder. He smiled up at her.

“See you at work, Miss Lewis.”

“Doctor Banner.” She tipped her hat to him and winked before picking up her phone and moving out the bedroom door. As she quietly moved through the dark halls of StarkTower, she couldn’t shake the feeling that lingered in from her dream, of someone watching and waiting.  She shivered as she was met with chilled October air, peering out into the early morning darkness with hesitation.