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In which Darcy wears sheepskin

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Back when politics looked like the way to power, she studied that. It hadn’t really looked like working for her. She was too sarcastic, too assertive, too female. She applied to a dozen experience placements, and all the ones she’d wanted turned her down. The one she hadn’t wanted, the one her tutor pushed her into applying for because ‘The lady’s really nice, and I worked with her father - you’d learn loads, and it’s always better to have a few different disciplines under your belt,’ - that had been the one that had replied.

So she’d gone and hated it and used the time to listen to more music - because it was fun, and because she spent enough time on the internet to know just what her own generation liked in its politicians. Jane was all right, and once she even said, ‘Go for it, after all, the sky’s the limit,’ and gestured at her work.

Then Thor fell out of the sky and into Jane’s arms, and Darcy saw that there were more kinds of power, kinds that weren’t confined to one country or even one world. She wanted it.

- - -

As soon as she got back to college she switched her major. Jane Foster had inspired her, she said; there’ll be time for politics later, I don’t need a degree in it and astrophysics is great, she said. Some of her tutors looked hurt, but kids changed majors all the time. No sweat.

She kept in touch, too. Normally her attitude to friends was love ‘em and leave ‘em, but she didn’t just keep Jane on Facebook - she emailed her relentlessly, quizzed her about her work, sometimes did the same to Selvig. They poked fun at her sometimes, teased her about the wormhole thing, but answered her questions good-naturedly enough except when confidentiality agreements got in the way. That didn’t matter.

She got as much as she could about SHIELD out of them, and then went snooping around herself. After all, it wasn’t like most government departments had great network security - she’d started hacking the Pentagon for fun when she was seventeen.

Slowly things began to fall into place. She understood things now. And the more she understood, the more she realised that she would get nowhere alone.