Darcy Lewis danced in her seat as her fingers flew across the keyboard. Her voice, a little off-key but full of enthusiasm, filled the soundproofed lab.
You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine.
Just own the night like the 4th of July.
Music blasted through her earbuds as she typed, her eyes glued to the chicken scratch that made up Jane’s science-bender handwriting. Her boss-slash-best friend actually had decent penmanship, but it kind of required her to be paying attention to her writing. That kind of attention went the way of the dodo when it came to work.
'Cause, baby, you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Not that it mattered to Darcy. She reigned as the champion when it came to deciphering Jane’s working scrawl and translating her patchwork quilt of notes. And at least her surroundings gave her some of the best scenery when her eyes needed a break.
Like the muscular Steve Rogers in a confab with the fluffy Bruce Banner.
She glanced up to see just that image in the lab next to Jane’s. Bless Tony for glass walls...bless Thor for wanting Jane safe...and bless Jane for insisting she needed Darcy in order to continue rewriting the known laws of astrophysics. Not that Darcy had been able to join her immediately - hello family issues that interrupted a girl’s move to the Big Apple. But with her sister situated and her parents on their third honeymoon, she had arrived to an enthusiastic greeting from Thor.
Which she understood better once she laid eyes on Jane.
Jane looked waifish and half-manic...the results of a three day Science! bender. Even Thor hadn’t been able to stubborn her into getting some rest.
“I believe she awaited your return, Lady Darcy.” Thor had explained.
“Did anyone remind her I was at the family homestead?”
He spread his hands. “I made the attempt, but…”
She had only nodded as his voice trailed off. “Yeah, I got it. Janey’s waiting to know I’m in place. She hates it when her science world isn’t in order.”
“You have said you are not a scientist,” Thor frowned.
“Nope,” she sighed. As best friend, Darcy might have been exasperated, but as assistant to the woman - she got it. “I’m the assistant though, so without me here, her world isn’t lined up and balanced. So she’s playing hooky with the rules.” Granted, after New Mexico and Tromso and London, the boss lady knew Darcy took care of her better than anyone else. Even Thor gave way to her demands when it came to Jane’s wellbeing.
The amount of work waiting for her did mean that she hadn’t gotten a chance to meet everyone as yet though. No one really had a set schedule around her, what with missions and emergencies and who knew what all. So people came and went at odd hours...or maybe it was just that she worked the weirdest hours.
Darcy gave her head a shake to pull herself out of the memories.
You don't have to feel like a wasted space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow
“This is not getting my work done.”
She turned back to her transcribing, deciphering and translating as she went. They should give her a bonus for the translations - she could have given them Jane’s findings straight as the scientist dictated...but even her sense of mischief wasn’t that cruel.
Maybe a reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it's time you'll know
“Finally,” she sighed an hour later as she pulled out her earbuds. “Time for three full days of blissful laziness.” Thor dragging Jane off for a long weekend at one of Tony’s many vacation homes meant time off for the lowly assistant. “Sing hallelujah.” A few more keystrokes and the computer shut down. “I need a nap.” She began to rise from her chair even as she spun it towards the lab door.
Only to fall back into it with a surprised shriek as she came nose to chest with a man standing right behind her.
James Buchanan Barnes watched her, wicked amusement glinting in his eyes. His six foot tall frame filled out the leather and denim in a way that would make any girl’s mouth water, but her eyes focused on the dark hair, mischievous blue eyes, and that sinful mouth quirked into a smirk. The amusement deepened as she opened and closed her mouth a couple of times - her brain apparently on a short circuit after her eyes had locked on his - but he took pity on her, glancing to the pile of papers on her desk. Confusion knit his brow for only a moment before comprehension lightened that intense gaze.
“So you’re the reason that Dr. Foster’s papers are now legible.”
If she hadn’t been gaping before, she would be now. That exact sentence spiralled down her upper arm. The left one...she spared a moment to grimace at fate’s morbid sense of humor. Somehow the words managed to jumpstart her mouth. “I am the queen of ‘Science!’ for Dummies.”
He froze. Those eyes flew back to capture her gaze - and intense seemed too mild a word for the focus now zeroing in on her. “You gotta a name, sweetheart?”
“Hello, Darcy Lewis.” Somehow the potency in his gaze managed to grow. “James Barnes.”
No man’s voice should be that sexy. Then her eyes widened as he stalked - there was no other word for it - forward. “Hi?”
“Been looking for you for a long time,” he informed her as he came to a stop a hairsbreadth from her. He reached out to twirl a lock of her long hair around a finger. “Ever since I came back to myself and found your words curved around my side.”
“I've been waiting for you to find me ever since I got the internship with Jane,” she admitted.
“Found you.” He crossed his arms over his chest, his serious expression belying the bright gleam in his blue eyes. “Have any plans for the weekend?”
“I was...planning on some snack foods and vegging out in front of the TV for a movie night.” She made a face as she gave a half shrug. “Boss lady is way, way out of town, so I’ve got lots of free time.”
“Oh yeah?” Something hungry flared in his expression. “Think you’d like some company on that movie night?” One corner of his mouth quirked up. “Never know what that might lead to.”
Okay the idea of having James Barnes as her soulmate...that threw her, but this? This she could handle. Darcy rose to her feet, forcing him to pull back. Not that he went far; one deep breath and a rather delicate portion of her anatomy would be brushing against those lovely arms. Ignoring that, she gave him a smirk of her own and lifted a brow. “Your words on my arm will get you through the door, soldier boy,” she declared. “Anything else...you gotta earn.” She slid past him and sauntered towards the door.
“Something you should know, sweetheart.”
“Yeah?” She glanced back to find that wicked smirk gleaming in full force.
“I love a challenge.”