Fluttering eyes open, Darcy stared up into the highly amused and mildly concerned face of a handsome, ultra-fit stranger with a fantastic smile. All around them she felt clammy, cold air that somehow prickled along skin in an almost painful manner. The rocky ceiling she looked up at indicated they were underground, maybe in a cavern. The lighting was dim and the thick exercise mat didn’t do a great job of concealing the rocky hardness beneath. Every sensation seemed too vivid. That included head pain.
The stranger laughed, “Since when does a hit like that take you down?” He moved back and bounced from foot to foot like a boxer. “I'm good, and I ate my Wheaties this morning, but- really? You sick or something, man?”
Pain flared at the back of her head, then muted for a few seconds, and disappeared. She’d never felt anything like it before. It was amazing. Her headaches usually lingered for hours. She closed her eyes and savored the lack of pain, made a face, and sighed, “what the hell? Nice that the headache is gone so quick, but, really?” The sound of a deep voice saying those words made Darcy wonder if she’d suffered a concussion or lost her mind. She reached to touch the back of her head and shrieked as she caught sight of her large, masculine hand and heavily muscled arm. “What the fuckity-fuck?” She leapt to a standing position, jumped away from the stranger, and looked down miles of sculpted chest and ab muscles. “How tall am I? Oh, gods.” She choked on the next word, “SWITCH."
Darcy started laughing and crying, all at once.
The stranger’s face shifted from shock to amusement and back to shock. “You’re blubbering!” His jaw went slack.
"I have a soul mate. Oh, my God! He's not a zombie, not dead at all. He's..." She raised a brow and giggled, "...seriously cut. Yes! I've hit the Soul Mate jackpot.” She lifted the tight shirt and ran a hand over the ridged abdominals beneath. “Fuuuuck. Happy 30th Birthday to me, indeed.” The feel of the hand over the skin was electric, overwhelming, and surprisingly arousing. Her tears stopped. She felt the beginning of an unfamiliar, heavy sensation by her- well, his- thigh. It surprised her so much that she stopped breathing. After seconds, she noticed that not breathing wasn't all that uncomfortable. Her soul mate could hold his breath for a really long time. Ha! There’d be no doubt of blowing out all thirty candles with THIS lung capacity. She breathed again and did a fist pump.
The handsome stranger took a step back. “What? Soul Mate Switch? Who are you?” Concern flitted across his face as he looked around them, evaluating his situation.
“I’m Darcy.” Darcy scanned the dark, vast cavern with eyes that saw more clearly than she ever had before. Perfect vision. Everything about this body was more vivid, bigger, better, stronger. “Whoa! Spooky vibe here. What is this place?” She reached out to steady her soul mate’s body by holding onto the nearby rock wall. A chunk of rock broke off in his hand. “Meep! What am I? That's awesome.” She wiped crumbled pebbles and dust off his hand and shook off the quick prick of pain as she squeezed his thigh. “Ooh. Nice thigh.” She felt a blush fill her face as the body's arousal became more apparent in the sweat pants he wore. She tried not to stare at her soul mate's crotch. Male arousal felt really good, better as she thought about it. "Oh. Wow." She closed his eyes and savored the sensation. “Wow. Wow. Wow.”
The other man looked torn between laughter and concern. He stuttered for a moment, unable to manage more. “Uh…”
A dark-haired young woman dashed into the cavern. “Sam! That’s not Steve!” Her hands were raised in front of her, as though ready to do something Darcy couldn't imagine. The woman seemed familiar.
In the back of Darcy's thoughts, she wondered if she ought to be afraid. But it seemed that her soul mate's mind processed fear differently. Instead of fear, Darcy experienced an intense awareness of the strength and power of the body she inhabited. She lifted his chin, grin dangerous. "Huh. He doesn't scare easy. Awesome sauce." She liked the sound of his voice. It was resonant and kind of sexy.
Sam let out a long, shuddering breath. “Yeah, Wanda. I know! Ease down. There’s been a switch. This is Darcy- apparently Steve's soul mate. First there was crying laughter, which scared the crap out of me. Then, she took a chunk out of a boulder and is feeling him up. I don’t have my phone in my workout clothes, or I’d take video.” He lost his battle against laughter. "Sorry. I just didn't expect this. I didn't even think Steve had a soul mate anymore."
Darcy groused, “Hey! Would you prefer I not like him?” She twisted as she looked back at her soul mate’s ass. “Jackpot again. Soul Mate Jackpot, hit have I. Oh, Lord. Hit WILL I.” Her eyes went wide as she speculated about the rest of his attributes. "Steve, huh?" She nibbled at her lip, eager for some privacy so she could get to know his body. "Serious WOW. Have you seen this?" She gestured at the body and turned to display it.
Wanda blinked rapidly, absorbing Darcy's thoughts. She choked on a nervous giggle.
As Sam turned towards Wanda, Darcy noticed the wing pack on his back with a shock of recognition. “Oh. Oh, Merlin’s saggy left testicle. You’re the Falcon. And you’re the Scarlet Witch. Well, isn’t that just… Holy shit! I’m… No. No! No fuckin’ WAY.” She uttered a high pitched scream and ran past them easily, marveling at the body’s power. Every movement felt magical. She’d never imagined having such strength.
Outside, Darcy found a nighttime scene straight out of a movie, a foggy and uninhabited expanse of Scotland. She dashed to the moonlit lake and looked at her soul mate’s reflection in the water. “Holy Soul Mate voodoo! Captain America?” She waved at his reflection and giggled. Her mouth stayed open in surprise as she flexed the muscles of his arms. “Look at that! Captain America is my soul mate. I’m Mrs. Most-Wanted Former Avenger.”
Darcy turned as the others caught up to her. “Wait until I tell… Oh, shit! Daddy. Just... shit! He’s gonna have an aneurysm when he hears.” She let out a noise that was part laugh and part groan. Darcy covered her soul mate's face with her hands and screamed into them.
The others stood back and stared. Sam’s mouth hung open again.
Wanda’s hands glowed red as Darcy’s thoughts washed over her. “Oh.”
-to be continued