How To Catch a Leprechaun
Darcy Lewis was fed up.
Her dream job was rapidly turning into a Nightmare on Elm Street scenario. Sure, Pepper Potts deposited six figures into her previously malnourished bank account every year, but with the way everything was going, Darcy was considering asking for a hefty raise. Maybe even an extra zero.
Darcy continued to maniacally set up her project, muttering the whole time. Steve looked at her curiously, a little wary of the woman who was rapidly transforming the common room into something that resembled a cartoon. She had commandeered a refractory machine from the cloaking project that Fury had commissioned to hide his helicarrier in the sky. Instead of using it for cloaking purposes, she had used it to make dozens of rainbows all over the common room.
One corner had a large cauldron full of gelt, and what Steve hoped wasn’t actually gold coins.
And then of course there was the glitter. It was everywhere. Everywhere .
“What are you—what exactly are you trying to do?” Steve wondered.
“I am trying to prove a point,” Darcy muttered as she began ripping open bags of Lucky Charms. “I’m gonna catch me a leprechaun, Rogers. And then those idiot scientists are going to STOP trying to prove to Reed Richards that they can make time travel possible before he can.”
“I don’t understand how that works,” Steve scratched at his head, not wanting to further distress the very upset young woman who was throwing Lucky Charms cereal in the air like it was confetti.
Darcy looked tired. She looked a few levels beyond tired, if Steve was being honest. She was definitely bordering on the edge of hysteria. Once the Lucky Charms were appropriately scattered everywhere (including Steve’s hair), Darcy grabbed a bottle of champagne and took a large swig.
“Want some?” she offered him the bottle.
“Uhm, sure,” Steve nodded, taking the bottle and drinking from it. His brow furrowed immediately and he looked down at the bottle, seeing that the label was wrinkled at the corner. He pulled at it and realized it was fake… and what was underneath was kind of concerning. “Darcy, who gave this to you?”
“Stark. He thinks he can butter me up so I’ll approve his requisition for uranium. I’m not bringing uranium to his base, I’m not,” Darcy insisted.
“Oh boy,” Steve sighed. “Darcy, this is the bottle of Asgardian spirits that Thor got me. If I have a glass and a half, I’m usually drunk off my ass.”
Darcy blinked up at Steve in confusion. And then she saw it. The leprechaun dancing on Steve’s shoulder.
“Uh oh,” she whispered before everything went completely black.
Darcy opened her eyes and recognized the sound of birds tweeting joyously. That was unusual. Birds didn’t really tweet so close to the Avengers base. Something about Maria Hill installing the invisible anti-bird fences that deterred the winged creatures using sonic frequencies. She had said that Clint and Sam were enough birds for one base.
She sat up and realized that she was in a bed, a very frilly, four poster bed, complete with lace curtains obstructing her view from the outside. Her usual pajamas that consisted of underwear and the largest t-shirt she could find (one she had stolen from Barnes, unlike Steve, he actually wore t-shirts that fit his muscles, sadly, it might have been nice to have Bucky stuffed into mediums as well as Steve, but then Darcy would have to sleep in the nude). Instead, she was wearing a long silk chemise, complete with itchy lace edges.
“This is a problematic nightgown,” Darcy muttered, crawling along the king sized bed to get to one of the curtains. She wrestled with the curtain for about a minute longer than was strictly necessary and cursed a few times under her breath. “Who does this? Who is awake enough in the morning to deal with lace curtains?”
When she finally managed to get the curtain to part, she looked down and realized that she was very high up for a person who was barely five feet and three inches tall. Very carefully she climbed down ass first, taking a breath of relief when her feet finally hit the cold ground. She looked around for her well worn slippers, the ratty ones that used to be pink pigs and and now resembled a faded, dirty snout nosed alien creature. Instead, there were a pair of backless kitten heels, pale white with a large poofy pom pom decoration on the front.
“Are freaking kidding me?” Darcy sighed, popping them on her feet regardless.
It was then that she noticed that the melodic bird tweets weren’t actually melodic bird tweets, but instead, was an actual gentle melody played by a flute. It had started gentle, but was rapidly swelling in volume and intensity.
“Friday? Cut the tunes, dude. I don’t want to listen to Steve’s boring orchestral stuff so early in the morning,” Darcy sighed. “I have to get caffeine in me before I can pretend to appreciate the boring stuff.”
The music didn’t stop Instead, the flutes were replaced with a humor laden clarinet solo as Darcy hobbled in her kitten heels to the door of the bedroom. The moment she opened the door was when the clarinet let out one long, fading note and finally, there was quiet.
“Good morning! Good morning, I’ve missed your smiling face .”
“Hold on, what?” Darcy whispered as Thor sang his greeting, then did a little suave step ball change into her field of vision, looking dapper and gorgeous in a pair of old fashioned men’s pajamas, complete with a velvet red smoking jacket.
“Good morning! Good morning! It’s time to do science about space!” Jane sang as she handed Darcy a cup of tea.
Jane was dressed very similarly to Darcy, looking like a petite and delicate Ginger Rogers. She had a satin housecoat on over her nightie though, fur trimmed and completely useless in warding off the cold that Jane was constantly complaining about in the lab that Bruce and Tony kept at a cool sixty degrees.
The music swelled even louder and the tempo changed, going into a kicky little uptempo dance number. Darcy couldn’t believe her eyes, but Thor held out his hand, grabbing Jane’s delicately before twirling her so that she spun her body into his.
And then they started dancing. Really, really well.
“Uhhhhhhhhmmmm,” Darcy only stood there watching in astonishment as Thor and Jane did a perfect quickstep around the spacious living room of Thor’s quarters. She looked down at the tea Jane had handed her and then back to the pair currently practicing for Dancing With the Stars . “Did Science do this? Are we—1937 Musical Style pollened? Is that a thing?”
Thor and Jane didn’t answer her, they continued to do their incredibly impressive dancing. Seriously, if Darcy had a score card, she would hold up a 10. Instead, she put the suspicious tea down and very carefully made her way to the front door, before the dancing duo could try to make it a dancing trio.
She escaped successfully and ran clumsily down the hall of the residential floor, heading straight for an elevator and diving in before the doors could close. She looked down at the flimsy nightgown she had on and wondered just how her boobs hadn’t knocked her out during her impromptu sprint.
“Man, I gotta get me one of these old timey cone-boob bras,” she muttered before looking up and realizing that she wasn’t alone. “Oh, Sam. Hey dude. Is it just me, or is everything crazy for you, too?”
The elevator sound system had been disabled months ago after a very hard fought prank war between Darcy and Clint. Apparently a half deaf person thought it perfectly hilarious to blare Wham!’s Wake Me Up Before You Go, Go in the elevator at inhumane levels twenty four hours a day. And he especially found it awesome to lock Darcy in said elevator with Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes and Thor. The three men hadn’t been familiar with the song at first and had declared it a good tune. The first three times. After three hours of the song, Bucky was ready to fall off the former murderer wagon again, Steve was in tears and Thor had summoned Mjolnir to escape and had actually trashed the entire elevator system.
So it wasn’t the elevator sound system that was currently playing a bad, muzak version of Lionel Ritchie’s Hello . That was likely all part of this weird place Darcy had woken up in.
“I've been alone with you from time to time, and in my dreams I've punched your face, a thousand times ,” Sam sang soulfully, looking earnest and sincere. The elevator came to a quick stop and the doors slipped open, revealing Bucky Barnes on the other side. Sam stared directly at Bucky and sang right in his face, “ I sometimes see you pass outside my door Hello, can I kick you in the shins some more? ”
Bucky sighed and took deep breath, ready to sing something back at Sam no doubt. Darcy shook her head and pushed Bucky away from the elevator door, making a run for it.
“This is crazy town, ” Darcy huffed out as she ran past a room where Tony was delivering an epic raging rock song as he danced on top of a lab bench. “Nope, I want no part of that.”
She had to get out of there. This was not how life happened. It was not a musical. Steve Rogers was waiting for her at the end of the hall, looking earnest and lovely and adoring. He held out one of his arms towards her, Prince Charming-style and opened his mouth to sing something.
“NO!” Darcy yelled and put her Natasha Romanoff-approved defense training to good use, reaching up and putting a fist in Steve’s throat.
As Steve bent over in half, choking and gasping as he continued to try to sing some kind of cheesy love ballad at her, Darcy caught a flash of green out of the corner of her eye. She suddenly remembered the leprechaun and realized that the only way out of this, and back to her own normal plane of existence was to catch that little green goblin of mischief and fuckery.
“Get back here, you little bastard!”
In the space of a blink, Darcy felt her entire center of gravity re-aligning and when she opened her eyes again, she was back in the common room, all evidence of the musical gone. Steve was staring down at her in apparent concern as Darcy swayed on her feet.
“Darce? You okay?” Steve worried, bringing up his hands to reach out for her.
“Come here, you little sonuvabitch!” Darcy growled as she lunged at Steve. He managed to catch her in his arms before she ended up face first on the floor, but she squirmed out of his hold and took off down the hallway, bellowing about rainbows and scientists.
Steve shook his head, dislodging the last of the Lucky Charms that had been stuck in his hair. Determined not to let the weird that had infected the base affect him, he headed into the kitchen for his mid-morning-pre-elevenses snack. But as he reached out to open the refrigerator, he noticed his hand. His tiny, childlike hand.
As he looked down at himself he was shocked see that all of him seemed to have shrunk. A quick glance around showed he was about half his size. Still proportionate to his previous size, just smaller.
“What the actual fuck?”
At that moment Darcy returned with Bucky, Sam and Bruce in tow. They both stopped short (ha, short) at the sight of a pint-sized Steve Rogers.
“You weren’t kidding about weird shit happening, doll. Hey Bruce! Do you think his strength is proportional to his height?”
Bruce looked from Bucky to Steve to Darcy and back to Steve before removing his glasses and pinching the bridge of his nose. “There is not enough tea in the world to deal with this ridiculousness. I’m gonna go meditate.” And with that he turned on his heel and left for the quiet sanctuary of the conservatory.
Steve opened his mouth and in his patented ‘Captain America is disappointed in you’ voice, “Gee thanks, Buck. Good to know you care. Jerk .”
Bucky, Sam and Darcy did a blinking double take at the deep voice coming out of teeny-tiny Steve Rogers. They turned to look at each other before bursting out into gut-clutching laughter.
Darcy turned to Steve and said, “Oh, come here! I just wanna cuddle the shit out of you! You’re even more adorable like this!” She reached towards him with grabby-hands and he was so surprised by the ‘adorable’ comment that he was a moment too late to escape her clutches. And then he realized where his face ended up at this height. He was in danger of being suffocated by the most exquisite set of breasts he’d ever seen.
The sight of Steve blissfully buried in Darcy’s chest caused Bucky to shake his head and smirk at his best friend. What a way to go.
“Darcy, honey, you’re gonna need to let our Steven out of the warmth of your embrace before he asphyxiates. Needless to say, I definitely believe you about the leprechaun causing mischief.”
“Oh! Sorry Steve,” she said as she released the vertically challenged superhero.
“You know...you said it was a leprechaun, didn’t you Lewis?” Sam wondered.
“It was a leprechaun and don’t give me that you need therapy, I know a guy look. You know one guy, and I’m not talking to your boy Shawn that you went to high school with about my feelings,” Darcy snapped at him. “There is a little leprechaun-y bastard running around here fucking my day up!”
“Well, I mean, look at Steve,” Sam said thoughtfully.
“Don’t you dare suggest it,” Steve warned.
“He’s small. He’s Irish. He’s ornery as fuck,” Sam smirked.
“I hate to agree with Wilson about—well, about anything,” Bucky nodded. “But little Stevie O’Rogers here certainly fits the leprechaun bill.”
“You sons of bitches! I’m not a leprechaun, I’m just—smaller than normal!” Steve shouted, pointing his miniature finger at his best friends. “Don’t embarrass me in front of Darcy!”
“Pal, you’re three feet tall,” Bucky laughed. “We don’t have to do the embarrassing.”
“That’s it!” Steve growled.
“This would be a lot more fun if his voice was high pitched,” Sam muttered in an aside to Bucky, who snorted with laughter.
“Aaaugugggggh!” Steve shouted before he attacked.
Darcy wisely stepped back and watched as Steve Rogers, the three foot tall version of him anyway, attacked his best friends, tackling Sam into Bucky, and bringing the both of them down to the ground. It said something about either Steve’s tenacity when incredibly upset, or Sam and Bucky’s combined ineptitude that a miniature Steve was dominating the both of them. He was a blur of tiny fists, kicking feet and a handful of really vicious head butts to the groin areas and Sam and Bucky could do little else but continue to laugh and occasionally gasp out in sudden pain.
“SERIOUSLY?” Darcy demanded angrily. “There are bigger problems here than Steve practicing for little people wrestling!”
The men didn’t seem to care, and Darcy felt she didn’t have the time to waste watching anymore. So she simply snapped a few pictures very quickly before shoving her phone back into her bra and stomping from the room, intent on finding that damned leprechaun.
“You assholes,” Steve growled as she went for the door. “I told you not to embarrass me in front of Darcy—you know how I feel about her!”
“Wait, what in the who and the how?” Darcy demanded from the door.
“Nothing, what? Nothing,” tiny Steve blurted quickly, realizing that Darcy actually hadn’t left the room yet.
Bucky took that moment to playfully slap at Steve’s tiny face. And Steve renewed his attacks on his best friends, rolling the three of them into more furniture. Darcy rolled her eyes and was about to start in on boys being absolute morons when she saw that flash of emerald green out of the corner of her eye.
“HEY! Make Steve normal again!” she shouted, running out of the room and down the hallway. “Get back here you orange-bearded little shit!”