The sound of breaking glass filters through the closed bathroom door.
Steve grits his teeth and wishes he left them in the hallway for Mrs Mancini to deal with. Mrs. Mancini stole his newspaper every other morning when he was out running.
He counts to ten in his head, "Be careful."
"Bi-do," chorus the minions through the door.
His shirt is missing from the hanger.
"Where's my shirt?" There is a shuffling and whispering among the minions. The door opens a crack and a new shirt is shoved through the gap. It's not the pale green button down he picked out for the date but a blue shirt with small mother of pearl buttons.
The shirt is a few shades darker than his eyes, or perhaps the color of Darcy's. It's definitely not his shirt. He puts the shirt on anyway and is thankful the minions haven't seen fit to take his jeans. They're his favorite pair.
"This isn't mine," he says when he opens the door.
"Cap," Dave says twirling his finger around.
Steve clenches his jaw and twirls around in a slow circle. It’s somehow less humiliating than a trip to the mall with Natasha.
The minions gather together whispering,small gloved hands flailing.
Several long minutes pass.
He shoves his hands into his pockets and rocks back on his heels, eyes scanning the room for what the minions have destroyed. Nothing is out of place. Not one single thing. In fact the living room is spotless. Including the untidy pile of books and newspapers (bought from the newsstand, thank you very much Mrs. Mancini) he had been reading when the call had been made about the mutated dung beetle roaming the city.
He’s starting to think the whole idea of this date was a bad decision, in a long line of bad decisions he’s made with his life, when the minions pounce. Again. They comb his hair, spritzing him with God knows what. Chemicals fill his lungs and tickle his nose.
“Stop, stop, stop,” he says as calmly as he can. The minions stuff his arms into a dark blue leather jacket and push a bouquet of coral, pink and white flowers into his hands. "Will I do?"
“Beau,” pronounce the minions with toothy grins.
Steve reaches up to touch his hair and a minion scowls at him, waving a finger. “Er, sorry.”
"What do you want?" are the words that greet Steve, when he knocks on the door of Darcy’s house. The flowers the minions gave him held awkwardly in his hand.
"I'm Darcy’s date, sir," Steve says, sounding less confidant the more syllables fall from his mouth. “Steve Rogers.” He holds out his hand but Gru waves it away.
"A date," Gru says dragging out the ‘a’ in date. “You have a date with my daughter?”
"Date," chorus the minions.
“Nice...house,” Steve says. It is nice in an ominous sort of way with black painted brickwork and dark purple trim. The lawn is very green and everywhere there are bright flowers. “May I come in?”
“It is four walls and a roof, the appearance makes no difference,” Gru says stepping back from the door.
Steve follows him into a large living room, with floral wallpaper, elaborate framed photos of Gru, the minions, Darcy and her sisters as small almost angelic looking children.
The sofa is a surprise with its blood red cushions and dark scales. A dragon or maybe a crocodile, he thinks. It’s a little unsettling but not any worse that the pictures Thor paints with his epic tales of hunting far odder beasts than couches.
"Sit, sit," Gru says waving a his hands from Steve to the immense sofa. He sit down gingerly on the edge of the couch and hopes it doesn’t bite him in the ass the way reality appears to be.
"Pala," Dave, the minion, says.
Steve knows that one.
Two minions rock up beside him, red and white striped boxes of popcorn clutched tight in their small gloved hands. A third minion tugs on Gru’s sleeve and hands him a small yellow shovel with pink polk-a-dot ribbon trailing from the handle.
"Yes, it’s a very nice shovel, Edgar.”
“Pala,” Edgar says pointing at Steve.
“Why do I need a shovel?" Gru asks.
“I think they want you to give me a shovel talk,” Steve says quietly. This is why Natasha thinks I’m an idiot.
“Do I need to give you a shovel talk?”
“Da,” the minions chant, clapping their hands together and cheer. Popcorn spills over the floor and onto the toe of Steve’s shoe.
“You are aware that I am a supervillain, yes?” Gru says drawing himself up to his full height.
“I am aware,” Steve says, though personally he thinks ‘supervillain’ is a bit of a stretch. He doesn’t say that.
“Oh, my God,” Darcy says as she steps into the room. Coral colored skirt swirl around her knees with every step she takes. His mouth goes dry and his brain fogs up. “Pretty please, tell me this is not happening.”
“This is not happening,” Gru says dryly.
“You are not making death threats to Captain America,” Darcy says. Her hands on her hips and a frown on her pink painted lips.
“What death threats? There are no death threats here, only heavily implied gross bodily harm,” Gru smiles. It’s not a pleasant smile.
“Hi, Steve,” Darcy says. Her voice rasps when she says his name, and a spike of adrenaline surges through his body.
“You didn’t back out.”
“No I didn’t,” her says holding out the flowers for her. “These are for you.”
“Okay, let’s get out of here,” she says tossing the flowers to a group (pod?) of minions who scramble over each other for possession of the bouquet. Darcy curls her arm around his and looks up at him through the dark fall of her lashes. Steve flexes the muscles beneath her hands. “Later, dad, Minions.”
He lets Darcy drag him out of the room and down the hall to the front door, stopping briefly to grab a black leather jacket and tiny purse from the hands of a minion, Oscar or Oliver, it was definitely an O name. Orlando, he thinks.
“Like the dress?” Darcy asks as she pulls on her jacket and flicks her hair out from the collar.
“It’s gorgeous,” he says, letting his eyes sweep over her from the loose curls tumbling around her shoulders to the peep toed wedges on her feet. You’re gorgeous.”
Pink creeps into Darcy’s cheeks and she tilts her head down, lips curved in a shy smile. “You’re sweet.” She thrusts out her foot and rotates her ankle in a slow circle. “And the shoes?”
Steve focuses on the ribbons wrapped around her slender ankle. “Are a vast improvement on the unicorn slippers,” he replies and Darcy laughs, full and throaty, head thrown back and eyes sparkling.
“They are, aren’t they,” Darcy says, slipping her hand in his and lacing their fingers together. “Lets go.”
“Wait! Do you have your raygun?” Gru calls from down the hall.
“Yes, dad,” Darcy says, patting the small purse swinging at her hip.
Steve’s eyebrows raise, “Raygun?”
“It’s totally fine,” she says pulling the door open and pushing him through. “and I’m sorry about my dad...and the minions. They, uh, watch way too many 80s movies. It rots their brains.”
“Wait, when did he see your unicorn slippers?” Gru’s voice filters through the door. The minions start shouting all at once. “You did what?”
Darcy scrunches up her nose, “We better go. Like ten minutes ago.”
“Yup, totally. Let’s rock, Captain.”