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Of Coatrooms and Closets

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Darcy hated these things. They were always long and boring, and she doesn’t know the right people so she never heard the good gossip. At least not right then. Sometimes Pepper would let things slip, and Clint would always dish later, but during the actual events, parties, balls, there was never anything to do. She’d made an appearance, as per Pepper’s expectations of her assistant, and now she was peacing out because these heels were cute, but killer. And she didn’t think that Pepper would be too keen on her walking around barefoot at the Four Seasons.

Now if only she could find her jacket…she ducked into the coat room and looked down at her ticket. 337, and this row started at—


Since she was pretty sure coats didn’t speak, and since coat racks definitely didn’t move on their own, she could only conclude that the thing she stubbed her toe on was very much human. She looked down in time to see a leg draw back and she grinned as she peered between the racks.

There, sitting on the ground, was Captain America himself. And he was looking at her very disapprovingly. She hadn’t talked to the Captain a whole lot since she’d started working for Pepper. He was quiet and kept to himself, which she understood because, hello? All his friends were dead. Besides, she spent most of her time around Stark Industries with Pepper while he seemed to avoid the Tower unless absolutely necessary, so she could count on one hand the number of times she’d had a conversation with him. And those included the passing “hellos” in the hallway.

“You’re not supposed to be in here,” he said. 

Darcy rolled her eyes. “I think the same thing could probably be said for you.”

It felt strange looking down at him, so, fancy dress and all, she hunkered down across from him. He blinked at her. “What are you doing in here?”

“Oddly enough, getting my coat. I’m blowing this popsicle stand. Since everyone is vying to get a glimpse of Stark doing—well, I don’t know what he’s doing, but no one’s at the desk and I got tired of waiting for someone to take my ticket. So here I am.”

Captain Rogers sighed. “You’re lucky you get to leave.”

“You know, I’m pretty sure there’s nothing that requires you to stay the entire time.”

“It wouldn’t be polite.” She thought there might have been a criticism of her somewhere in there, since she was, you know, leaving, but she let it slide because he looked so earnest.

“Ahh,” she said, nodding sagely. “Yes. Hiding in the coat room is much more polite than just leaving the party.”

“I’m just taking a breather.”

She nodded again. “I see. Hiding from someone?” She’d seen the good Captain trying to ward off the advances of a very persistent blonde earlier. She and Jane had had a good giggle over it before Jane had gotten sucked into a discussion of something science-y with Dr. Banner. “Not so great with the ladies, Cap?”

He gave her a grudging smile, and damn. If the blonde had seen that, there was no way she’d have let him escape. “No. I tried to tell her I wasn’t interested, but…”

“She wasn’t interested in hearing that.” 

He nodded, looking slightly bewildered. Darcy couldn’t help it. She laughed. Captain Rogers was so rarely flustered, it was kind of a treat to see him at a loss. “I’m sorry. It’s just kind of funny. But seriously, just tell her no, and if she doesn’t accept that, threaten her with Natasha.”

This time he actually chuckled. “There’s an idea. But seriously, you’re a dame. Is there a non-lethal way to let a girl know…” He stopped, and she could see him floundering for the right phrase.

“To let a girl know that her attentions are unwelcome? And uncomfortable? Don’t look so surprised. Jane and I totally saw her cop a feel of your…assets.” In the dim light, she couldn’t see him blushing, but she thought he probably was. “Why not go back out there and find someone to dance with—someone you don’t mind having a conversation with—and maybe that’ll discourage her.”

“You think that’ll work?”

“Maybe.” Actually, she had no idea if it would work, but it seemed as good a course of action as any. “You can’t stay here all night. Otherwise, you might as well leave.”

He nodded. “Will you dance with me, then?”

She was tempted. She was so tempted because apparently she found the boy scout, All-American thing more appealing than she realized. But her feet were killing her. “Oh no. I’m leaving.”

“One dance. Please?” And really, who could say no to Captain America when he was looking at her like she was his only hope? Isn’t that what she was? Because who else was he going to ask?

She sighed. “One dance. I just hope you know I’m doing this for America.”

He stood and grinned, then held out a hand to help her to her feet. “America appreciates it, I’m sure.”

Steve scanned the corridor to make sure that it was momentarily empty. He didn’t mind signing autographs and taking pictures with people, but this crowd was particularly suffocating today, and he just needed to catch his breath. He ducked in and shut the door, hoping that no one was going to need their coats anytime soon because he just needed a minute.

“This one’s taken.” He turned abruptly, startled to see Miss Potts’ assistant sitting in the corner of the coatroom, her knees drawn up to her chest, her long, red gown pooled around her.

“Miss Lewis. This is a surprise.” And it was. He hadn’t even known she was going to be at the party, although there was no reason why he should know ahead of time. But if he had, he might have tried to find her. After their conversation and dance last week, it was nice to know that there was someone else who he could have a somewhat comfortable conversation with, even if she’d been laughing at him part of the time.

This coatroom was brighter than the last one they’d been in, and he could clearly see how pretty she looked all dolled up. Not that she wasn’t usually pretty, but whenever he saw her outside of these events, she was always wearing suits that fit her perfectly but never seemed to fit her. Her hair was always up in something professional and business-y, but he imagined that there was some part of that was longing to escape and form itself into something wilder. Freer. Like she was now, with her hair, a riot of waves around her shoulders, in a dress that, from what he could see, was unique and dramatic.

He could admit to himself that he’d spent more time than he should have observing her when the opportunity arose, because she was interesting. She looked the part of corporate assistant, but there was something about the image that didn’t fit and it intrigued him, because everyone else seemed to fill their roles so seamlessly. It made him feel less alone that she didn’t.

She looked up and grinned faintly, the usual sparkle in her eye dimmed. “So do you hide in coat closets often enough that you’re surprised when someone else comes into your lair?”

“Lair is too ominous,” he said, sitting down across from her like she’d done with him a couple of weeks before. “I prefer den. It makes it seem homier.”

She uncrossed her arms and unfolded her legs so they’re laid out in front of her. She reached out to stroke the coat hanging next to her. “It makes you sound like a bear. With the amount of fur in this room, I’m sure we could dress you up like one.”

“I’ll keep that in mind. So. Hiding from someone?”

“Right in one, mon capitaine.” 

“Where is he? I’ll bet I do a better job getting rid of yours than you did getting rid of mine.”

Darcy’s mouth opened and she leaned forward, affronted. “Excuse me, my plan worked like a charm, thank you very much.”

 “It didn’t.”

“It did! By the time I left—after three dances, you’re so welcome—she was hanging off of Barton like a barnacle, and I got to kill two birds with one stone.” He looked at her in confusion, and she grinned. “I saved Captain America and I annoyed Clint, all in one fell swoop. It was worth the week-long numbness in my big toe.”

“Except as soon as you left, she was back.”

“And did you finally tell her no?”

“I’d been telling her no!” He said defensively. “Anyway, Pepper took pity and intervened. You have something to do with that?”

Darcy shrugged and pushed a lock of hair behind her ear. “I might have texted her. I knew you were too nice to give her the crushing set down she needed to get the hint. So see? I did an excellent job of getting rid of your barnacle. Therefore your criticism is absolutely unwarranted.”

“Touché.” Steve sat with her in comfortable silence, waiting for her to talk. She didn’t. “So you never answered my question. Who’re you hiding from? Old boyfriend?”

She snorted. “Old boyfriends I can handle. His parents on the other hand…”

Well that was different. He leaned forward, his elbows resting on his knees, and  just like last time, his Captain America persona—the one he wore around everyone except the Avengers—slipped and he was grinning like he used to seventy years ago. “Why? Do they not like you?”

“Opposite. They’re part of Pepper’s lofty circle of acquaintances and every time I see them, they try to convince me to get back with their son. They’re such nice people and I always have to fight off the overwhelming urge to tell them what an asshole they raised.” Darcy’s lips quirked up in a self-deprecating smile and he wondered what this guy had done to put that look on Darcy’s face. “It’s just awkward for everyone involved.”

“So what’s your plan? Stay in here until they leave?” he asked skeptically. “The party’s just started.”

“The plan, such as it is,” she said with a sigh, “is to hang out in here until I figure out a plan.”

“Ah. This plan sounds like it needs some work,” he said with a smile, stretching his legs out alongside hers. 

She tossed her hair over her shoulder. “At least it’s not Plan B, which was getting sloshed and avoiding the hell out of them. Actually, maybe that should have been Plan A.” He laughed and she stuck her tongue out at him. It was such a childish gesture, one that didn’t fit with the image of her as a corporate drone, but it suited her here. 

“Why not go out there and find somebody to dance with?” Steve suggested.

She nudged his thigh with her toe in the equivalent of a kick if they’d been standing. “Funny.” 

“No, seriously. If they think you’ve got another guy, they wouldn’t mess with that, would they?” He hadn’t observed enough of relationships in the 21st century to know how parents reacted to their kid’s ex-girlfriends. Heck, he hadn’t known that back in the ‘40s, either. 

“No. They’re really good people.” She looked thoughtful for a moment. “You offering, Captain?”

“Yeah. I guess I am.” He stood, then held out a hand and helped her up.

He held out an arm and she put her hand in the crook of his elbow, smiling up at him. “We gonna make a habit of this?”

“I don’t know,” he said. He hoped so. It was nice to have someone…normal to talk to. “There are worse habits to have.”

Damn it, there were never any attendants anywhere when she wanted to leave. Darcy scanned the empty corridor. She’d waited for ten minutes, but no one was coming, so she stuck her claim ticket in her clutch, and headed into the coatroom. She figured if they didn’t want her in there, they should have had someone at the desk.

Just as she was walking in, she came up close and personal with a hard, muscle-y chest. If she hadn’t been looking back into the hallway, she swore she would’ve broken her nose. A large pair of hands caught her shoulders before she could bounce backwards. 

“Steve!” she said in surprise, because she after teaching him the Electric Slide at the last shindig they were at together, there was no way she was going to keep calling him Captain. Of course, that was the last time she’d seen him because Avengers stuff had kept him from these kinds of things lately, or work things had tied her up. She’d seen him from across the room a couple of times tonight. He’d made no move to talk to her which was kind of distressing because she’d thought they’d been friends, or at least friendly. It was a relief to see the smile cross his face when he recognized her. 

“Darcy!” Apparently he’d gotten over the “Miss Lewis” thing, too. “What are you doing here?”

She looked at the coat draped over his arm. “Same thing as you, apparently. Do my eyes deceive me? Is Captain America actually leaving a party early?”

“Yes,” he said dryly. “Stop the presses.”

Darcy smirked. “Better not. They might be desperate to run that story. You gonna let me pass?”

“Oh. Sorry.” Steve stepped back to let her into the coatroom. She began searching for her coat and groaned when she realized the racks weren’t in sequential order. Who even did that? She looked up at Steve, still standing in the doorway. “Help me look, will you? Number 215.”

They pawed through coats in silence before Steve finally broke it. “Shame we didn’t get to dance.”

“I saved you one.” And because that sounded creepily desperate on its own she added, “Like we’d talked about last time.” Darcy paused and glanced over at him. He’d stopped and was looking at her very seriously.

“I wasn’t sure I should ask. I didn’t think your date would like it.”

Darcy stared at him blankly, because she had no idea what he was talking about. And then it clicked. She’d run into an old friend who’d been nervous about seeing an ex, and she’d hung with him most of the night because Jane had skipped out and Pepper was busy, so she didn’t have anyone else to hang with.

Darcy put her hands on her hips and glared at him. “First of all, even if I have a date, I am the one who decides who I do or don’t dance with. Second, he wasn’t a date. He was a friend.”

“I just—I’m still not quite sure how it works, is all. Even for friends.” He was looking down at the floor and she felt a little guilty. It really wasn’t his fault that he didn’t understand dating in the 21st century. 

“Are we friends?” she asked, because she definitely needed the clarification. She wasn’t sure what three conversations in coatrooms really meant in terms of friendship.

He nodded. “I hope so.”

Darcy smiled. “Yeah. Okay then. We’re friends. You still want that dance?”

He looked up at her skeptically. “In the closet?”

“Not quite,” she said with a laugh. “There’s this jazz club that I’ve been meaning to check out, and I’m not quite ready to go home. You game?”

“Yeah,” he said, his grin lopsided and boyishly eager. It was so different than his Captain America face, and she felt really lucky that she was one of the ones who got to see this side of him. Darcy turned her attention back to finding her coat, because if they stayed there another ten minutes, she was going to end up saying something really cheesy and embarrassing.

Steve got out of his meeting with Tony and was pleasantly surprised to realize he didn’t actually want to tear his hair out. He needed to get out of there before his luck changed. The receptionist got up to get his coat from the coatroom, but he waved her off politely and went to go get his jacket himself.

He opened the door and was surprised to see a very disgruntled Darcy sitting in the back corner. She was wearing a cream suit straight out of the Pepper Potts Professional Playbook, but her hair was more like the nighttime Darcy than the daytime one. A lock of hair had fallen across her face, but with her arms crossed over her chest, and her eyebrows slashed downward in annoyance, she seemed like she had more on her mind than her hair in her face. “Darcy? What are you doing in here?

She tried to blow the lock of her hair out of her face, then batted at it when all it did was fall back down. She looked like a cranky kitten. “I’m in time out.”

He closed the door behind him, unsure of whether to laugh or be concerned. “Why?”

“Agents Coulson and Barton came to visit. I was antagonizing them.” She paused as he sat down beside her. “Well, mostly Coulson.”

“Why?” he asked with a grin. He liked Agent Coulson, was glad that he was still alive, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t funny to see him a little flustered.

“It keeps him on his toes.” Darcy shrugged. Her crankiness turned to amusement as her eyes brightened with mischief. “Clint thought it was funny. Pepper, however, did not, and she sent me out until I could behave like an adult.”

“So she sent you to…the closet?”

“No. I’d gone to my office, but Clint kept coming over to taunt me, so I decided strategic retreat would be a better option than throwing something at his head. Then Pepper really might fire me.” She looked up at him with a wry grin. “I guess I forget to behave sometimes, because Pepper is  an awesome boss and puts up with a lot of my crap and I was sitting here, mentally working myself up to apologize to Coulson.”

Steve laughed as he looked at her, dressed up in the perfectly tailored professional armor that always seemed just a touch off. He wondered if she felt it—the way her outside never seemed to quite contain what seemed to be on the inside. He tilted his head and asked, “Do you ever feel like you don’t…fit? Here, I mean. At Stark.”

She didn’t seem fazed by the abrupt change in topic. “Yeah. All the time. Every other day that first month, I thought about quitting. Half the time I still don’t know what the hell I’m doing and Pepper looks like she regrets ever hiring me. Sometimes I feel like I’m not cut out for this world at all. Like today. But I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”

“Really?” That surprised him. He hadn’t realized just how much she liked this job, or how relieved he was that she wasn’t planning on going anywhere anytime soon now that they’re friends.

“Yeah.” She smiled softly. “It’s not always a perfect fit. But I’m part of something. Something good. Maybe this isn’t exactly what I’d planned on doing with my life—in those rare days when I had a plan—but I wouldn’t change this for anything. I’m not cut out to be a corporate shark, but I’m more than happy to help Pepper sharpen her teeth.”

He nodded because he understood. Maybe on a different scale and in a different way, but he understood. They sat in companionable silence for a while. “I feel that way too, you know?” he finally said. He was startled when she reached over and took his hand in hers. He looked at her, and she smiled. She opened her mouth to say something when the door burst open.

Tony stood in the doorway, blinking at them. “When Jessica told me that you and Miss Lewis were in the coat closet, this is not what I expected to find.”

Darcy rolled her eyes. “You’re such a perv.”

“I own the building!”

“Doesn’t change the facts,” Steve said as he got to his feet. The moment was broken. He looked down at his watch and realized he’d needed to be gone ten minutes ago, anyway. He helped Darcy to her feet. “Go be nice to Phil.”

“Yeah, yeah, time to but on my big girl panties and be an adult at work. I’ll try.” She saluted Steve smartly, then stuck her tongue out at Tony.

As soon as she was gone, Tony turned to Steve with a gleeful look in his eyes. He opened his mouth and Steve held up a hand to stop him.

In his best Captain America voice, he said, “Tony, just don’t,” and hurried out before Tony could say anything else.

Darcy poked her head into another coat closet—Jesus, how many of these things did the Ritz Carlton have?—and finally, she found the right one.  Steve was sitting with his back against the wall between two coat racks. His legs were stretched out in front of him, and he gazed down at the small sketchbook in his lap. He lifted his head and smiled faintly when he saw her. “We’ve got to stop meeting like this.”

“Confession,” Darcy said as she closed the door behind her. He looked so fragile right now, and she just wanted to run up and hug him. “I went looking for you. I saw you and that guy talking about your friend.”

“Jim Morita’s son. It was good talking to him, learning what his life was like. That he was happy.” Darcy sat down beside him and looked at the sketch Steve had been looking at of a Japanese man in a military uniform, grinning widely. “That’s him. That’s how I remember him. His son showed me a picture of the whole clan a few years back. He died a couple of years before I got out of the ice.”

Darcy took his hand, holding it tightly between both of hers. “I’m sorry.”

“I’m trying not to be. He lived the life we were all fighting for.” His breath caught, and Darcy felt tears stinging her eyes. “Sometimes I think I’m okay. I think I’m getting used to living in this world where everything is so different. I’ve made friends, I’m making a life. But then I remember Bucky, or Peggy, or Jim, Gabe, and the other Howlers. I think of everything and everyone I’ve lost, and I don’t feel okay at all.” His breathing turned ragged, and her heart broke for him. She leaned her head on his shoulder as he let the tears fall. Somehow she wound up with her arms around his waist, his face buried in her hair as he cried.

She wasn’t sure how long they sat that way before Steve’s breath steadied and he pulled away, wiping furiously at his eyes with his free hand. She kept tight hold of the other one. He sniffled. “Sorry.”

She placed a gentle kiss on his knuckles. “You don’t ever need to be. Not about this.” She hesitated, unsure of how he’d take this suggestion, but decided to give it anyway, just in case it was the right one. “S.H.I.E.L.D. probably has some sort of grief counselor you could talk to. They might be able to help you process stuff if you needed to.”

Steve snorted, and Darcy had to smile just a little. Apparently she’d been rubbing off on him. “So they can report to Fury? He’s got enough holds on my life without getting into my head, too.”

She put her head back on Steve’s shoulder, plucking at the fingers of the hand she held. “Well, I don’t report to anyone. If you need to talk.”

His soft chuckle rumbled through him. “You’re a psychologist?”

“Well, I took a psychology class. Even managed to stay awake for most of it.” She looked up at him, smiling slightly. When she looked up, he was smiling back at her. It was a small, barely there kind of thing, but it was there.

“Thank you,” he said. Still holding on to her hand, he moved so that his arm was around her shoulders and he pulled her closer. “Do you mind if we sit here awhile?”

Darcy slipped her free arm around his waist and curled into his side, letting herself get comfortable. “We can do that.”

“You brought playing cards?” Steve asked incredulously as Darcy sat down across from him. He was fascinated by the movement of her full skirt as it pooled around her legs. This dress was blue, and he noticed it matched his tie pretty well. She tossed her shoes next to him and settled in comfortably. 

“Yes. Yes, I did.” She pulled the playing cards out of her evening bag and pulled them out of the box, “In case your scruples got the better of you again and you decided that you could not, in fact, bring yourself to leave the party early again. Unless you have a better idea?”

He looked at her, studied the way the dim light cast a soft glow around her hair, and the smirking smile on her lips. Here, in coat closets, he felt that he could really see her, and she could see him, too. “I’d like to draw you. If you don’t mind.”

“Really?” She smiled and flipped her hair over her shoulder. He laughed as she preened.

“Really.” He pulled his sketchbook and pencil out of his pocket and held it up to her.

“Okay.” She struck an exaggerated pose, staring up at the ceiling, hand lifted loftily in the air, and he laughed again. “I’m ready.”

“You’re gonna get a crick in your neck doing that. Just sit there and talk to me.” And so she did, extending her legs out in front of her and leaning back on her hands as she regaled him with some of the gossip that Clint and Pepper had let slip.

“So apparently if you talk to the Mayor’s son, mentioning Senator Carlson’s daughter is a good way to get yourself punched in the face,” she said, tilting her head and pursing her lips like a professor giving a lecture. He loved the shifting emotion on her face as she spoke, and he worked furiously, trying to capture the lines of each one. 

“Can you even see in this light?” she asked after she finished telling an animated story about her, her dad, a biker bar, and an ill-fated game of poker. She peeked over and tried to see what he was drawing, but apparently she couldn’t make out much.

“Effects of the serum. My eyes might not be as good as Clint’s, but they’re better than average,” he said absently as he tried to capture her curious expression.

“Where can I sign me up for some of that?” Darcy joked, tilting her head.

“No. You’re perfect just the way you are.” Steve looked up to see Darcy’s incredulous smile. “You are.”

Darcy snickered disbelievingly. “You’re good for a girl’s ego. Let me see what you’re drawing.”

“I thought you couldn’t see in here.”

“I contain within my bosom this magic device that sometimes illuminates that which is obscured by shadow,” Darcy said, pitching her voice low like those fake psychics at fairs and wiggling her fingers. 

“You carry a flashlight in your…bosom?” he asked in confusion.

“Why would I—? No. I carry a cell phone in my bra. It doesn’t fit in my purse.” He wasn’t sure whether to look away as she slipped her fingers below the neckline of her dress and produced her phone. His eyes lingered for just a moment on her chest before she pressed a button on her phone and the screen illuminated their small portion of the coatroom. She sat next to him, shining the light on his sketchbook and leaning over him to flip through the pages. Most of the sketches he’d done that night were of her face, although some captured all of her in a relaxed pose.

He nervously studied her face in the harsh light of her cell phone, trying to figure out what she thought. Usually, every emotion was there on her face, but this time she was carefully blank. “They’re a little rough—“

“No,” she said firmly, catching hold of his arm. Her voice was hushed with something that sounded like awe, and it humbled him. “They’re fantastic.” She looked up at him, resting her chin on his forearm as the light from her phone dimmed. There was surprise in her eyes. “You made me look…interesting.”

“You are interesting,” he said quietly, and he found himself leaning in towards her. Her breath hitched, and Steve hoped it was a good sign. His eyes fluttered closed. Darcy’s hand tightened on his arm, and their noses bumped just before their lips touched and everything seemed to realign. Steve adjusted the angle of his body so that Darcy fit more fully against him, and he thrust his hands in her hair, pulling her closer as she nipped at his bottom lip. He opened his mouth to hers and—

The door to the coatroom flew open and light flooded in from the hall. Steve winced as Darcy raised her head so quickly she bumped her forehead against his nose. They were both breathing hard, and Darcy quickly shifted off of his lap—he wasn’t so sure how she’d gotten there but he missed the warmth of her all the same. Jane stood there with her hands on her hips. “Darcy Lewis, you said you’d help keep Dr. McDowell away from me! He’s been following me around all night and—“ She stopped and looked from Steve to Darcy then back again. He knew what she was seeing. Flushed cheeks, mussed hair, slightly guilty expression. Steve licked his lips, and he could taste Darcy’s lipstick. “Am I interrupting something?”

“Yes,” Darcy said with a sigh, looking up at Steve with wide eyes that said that she couldn’t quite believe that just happened. She stood up, and Steve had to resist the urge to call her back. “But I’m coming.”

Steve stood, too, and waited patiently while she used him to steady herself as she slipped her heels back on. “We’ll talk, yeah?”

He nodded. “Yeah. We’ll talk. Save me a dance?” 

She nodded and hesitated, then stood on tiptoe and pressed another kiss to his lips. His hands went around her waist, and the kiss lingered a little longer than either of them intended. Then she hurried over to Jane, snagging her arm with, it looked like, more force than absolutely necessary. The last thing he heard was Jane asking, “Wait, what am I missing? Do you two even know each other—?”

Darcy hid in a stand of coats and stifled a giggle when the door opened. She watched as Steve strode in and shut the door behind him. When she’d suggested playing hide and seek to relieve boredom, she hadn’t expected him to be so on board with it. But he’d gotten that mischievous gleam in his eyes before he closed them and started counting. She was trying to inch her way along the wall to avoid him, when she realized that she couldn’t hear him anymore. Alarmed, she stood up and called his name, just before strong hands closed in around her waist.

She shrieked as Steve lifted her off her feet, then turned her around so they were face to face. She immediately wound her arms around his neck. “You found me,” she said breathlessly as he pushed her against the wall. She knew that he’d never drop her, so she locked her legs around his hips just because she wanted to. He gave her a long, lingering kiss.

“You had to know this is the first place I’d look,” he said, grinning against her lips.

Darcy giggled again, and traced her tongue teasingly over his bottom lip. “Mmm. I did know.” It was amazing that she could just do this with him whenever she wanted to. So she kissed him again. And again. And again. 

“What do you say we find our coats and leave?” he suggested as he moved to trailing kisses along her jaw. She shivered in delight.

“Wouldn’t be polite,” she said, tangling her fingers in his hair and holding him to her. “I’ve got a better idea.” She rocked her hips against him, and laughed when heard him groan.

“That feels like a better idea,” he said, catching the lobe of her ear between his teeth and nipping lightly. “But I don’t think Tony’s recovered from the last time you had this idea.” 

“He never has to know.” She moved her hips again, and felt his hand trail over her hip to the hem of her dress so that skin touched skin. He trailed his fingers up between her thighs.

“Just so you know, I’m doing this for America.” Darcy let out a breathless laugh because that made zero sense, but then, that was always how it was whenever tried to carry on a conversation when they’d gotten to this point in the touching and kissing program. She rocked against him again, reveling in the hardness between his legs.

“I know America definitely appreciates it.”