Nothing good ever happened on a Tuesday.
Darcy understood the Monday thing, sure. Mondays were the day from the devil, the weekend was ending and she had to wake up early and it sucked. She understood that, she did. But Tuesdays.
Tuesdays were all bad.
At her ninth birthday party, she’d broken her arm on a Tuesday. (Jumping from the tree house down onto the trampoline. Totally worth it.) When she was sixteen, the first time she’d been dumped (via text message, he’d cheated on her, she didn’t want to talk about it), had been a Tuesday. Her first car accident had happened on a Tuesday, and she was still dealing with the insurance companies calling. The attack on New York had been a Tuesday.
The point was, that Tuesdays were bad, bad days. So of course her morning coffee run turned into an ordeal. Norse Gods falling out of the sky, crazed telekinectics tearing the coffee shop apart before she managed to get her latte. These things happened to her.
Darcy shouted, “Whoa!” and planted her feet as everyone screamed and ran for cover. The man who’d smashed a table against the wall looked stunned and totally spooked, like a wild animal, but he regained his composure rapidly. He set his shoulders and clenched his fists, and he turned toward Darcy, standing out in the open next to the pastry counter.
God damn, how was this her life?
She held up her hands in a placating motion, and she said, “Rough morning, huh?”
He glared. Okay. Not in a joking mood. This guy, seriously.
Shitdamn, though, joking was her best defense mechanism. “Uh, alright, why don’t we sit down and you can buy me coffee and we can talk about socially acceptable behavior and why you’re throwing tables around. Because, believe me, if anyone understands the urge to chuck tables across the room, it’s me, but I mean, self control, buddy.”
The man looked less angry, and maybe more confused, but Darcy would take what she could get. If she could let the people file out of the coffee shop before he started throwing stuff again, she’d count this day as a success, but god people moved so slowly didn’t they realize there was a crazy mutant?
The guy lowered his hands and seemed to uncoil, but Darcy wasn’t counting this as a win yet. He held up his palms and said, “Don’t call the cops.”
“Hey, I haven’t called anyone.” Darcy shrugged. “My phone charger broke. I haven’t called anyone for a week, man.” She was going to have enough money to buy a replacement charger with her next paycheck and she was counting the days. But, off topic.
He seemed to chill out and he uncurled his fingers, but then something behind Darcy ruined it. The guy’s eyes widened, sliding past her, and he tensed up again. Darcy wanted to swear.
She turned, and came face to face with a tall black suit. “Motherfuck,” she said. He spared her only a brief glance. His face was thin, and he had dark hair that curled behind his ears and at the collar of his suit.
“Miss Lewis,” he said, and yeah, she should have been more surprised that he knew her name. Fuckin SHIELD, man. “Please vacate the premises.”
Darcy was caught for a moment between digging her feet in and seeing this thing through, or fleeing the scene. In the end, her flight instinct won out. She wasn’t completely dumb. And she trusted SHIELD this far, to take care of that guy and not totally fuck him over like maybe the cops would.
Outside, it was buzzing with confused and shaken patrons, and men and women in suits and guns, herding them around. Immediately, a woman dressed in black approached her, scanning her eyes over Darcy. “We’ll want a word with you, after this settles,” she said, instead of introducing herself like a normal human being. Darcy narrowed her eyes, but the woman continued, heedless. “Are you injured?”
Darcy blinked “No.” She didn’t think so, at least. “But I could use a cup of coffee.”
The woman didn’t look impressed. She lead Darcy to the back of a large van, and told her to sit. She ignored Darcy’s commentary on the creep-factor. Actually, she appeared not to hear most of what Darcy was saying. It was rather impressive.
She left Darcy there, and Darcy was under no illusions of escaping. So, she waited, and watched the place settle down.
Eventually, Mr. Suit appeared around the edge of the van. He looked at her for a moment, and she was suddenly brightly aware of the fact that she was wearing sweats and an overly large Pirates of the Caribbean t-shirt. It was a Tuesday, okay. She crossed her arms over Johnny Depp’s face and stared right back.
“Well, that was interesting,” he said. He held out a to-go cup, and Darcy took it.
“Thanks,” she muttered, because always be polite to the people who gave you coffee. Even if they were suit wearing SHIELD lackeys. She drank, relishing the almost-burn and the very small hint of caramel.
She swallowed and squinted up at him. “How did you know how I take my coffee?” His expression didn’t change, and she said, “Okay, you know what, never mind. What do you want?”
There was a tiny twitch at the corner of his mouth, and Darcy thought it might have been a smile. “My name is Jasper Sitwell,” he said. “And you’re on our watch list, Miss Lewis.”
She processed that for a moment. “So, you’re stalking me?”
“Oh, only sort of.”
“We’ve been watching to make sure you remained safe. Your connections with Dr. Foster put you in a compromising position.” This guy, Sitwell, put off the same kind of vibe as Coulson had. Mild and calm, but scary competent.
“How is Jane?” Darcy asked.
“Safe. We had her moved away from any threat during the attack on New York, and she’s been fine.”
That didn’t mean anything. She was safe from physical attack, sure, but did she have someone to make sure she didn’t forget to eat, or didn’t run dangerous tests when she was sleep deprived? How many labs had she set fire to?
No, that wasn’t fair to Jane. The woman was a genius and fully capable of making herself a sandwich. She just, you know, usually forgot to.
Darcy drank her coffee to give her a moment to think. Sitwell waited. She was tempted to stay silent and wait him out, see how long it would take before he started squirming, or interrupt her. But he looked like too much of a professional to get to like that. He wouldn’t be any fun. “So why am I here?” she asked.
“Situations like this one are becoming increasingly more common,” he started. “It’s rare to find a person who can remain level-headed in a crisis.”
Darcy said, “That wasn’t level-headed. That was me being too under-caffeinated to give a fuck.”
That small press of a smile again, and Sitwell said, “Whatever the case, Miss Lewis, I’m offering you a position at SHIELD.”
“What?” Darcy asked. “No. No, no, no. Horrible idea.”
“Horrible, bad idea. You don’t want me.”
“Are you telling me what I want?”
“No, you just — I’ll be horrible at SHIELD, you can’t seriously think …”
Sitwell pinned her with a look, and then continued as if she hadn’t said no. “You’ll start your first year as a probationary Agent, under the eye of an agent of higher clearance. Your first six months will be training and orientation. You’ll go over details with HR before you begin.”
Darcy shook her head, but it was more bewildered than negative.
“I’ll review your file and have you assigned to your Agent within twenty-four hours. Expect some contact by then.” His smile stretched across his face, and it made him look ten years younger. “It was a pleasure meeting you, Miss Lewis.”
Darcy said, “Sure, you too,” and took another long gulp of coffee.
“I’ll have someone take you home.”
“Yeah, great,” Darcy muttered.