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The Unbreakable, Unwritten Rules of Parasitic Plants

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There weren't many reasons for Darcy to find herself in the residence at Avengers Tower. Even though Jane lived there with Thor now, Darcy still had to schlep in from Brooklyn every day. It wasn't until a series of mundane events that brought to mind If You Give a Mouse a Cookie  that she finally made it inside one afternoon in early December.

First, Jane had finally finished her latest paper on the Convergence and demanded Darcy get started on proofreading it right away. Darcy had agreed for the low, low bargain of Jane taking a goddamn shower. Of course, proofreading was a job that required precision and attention to detail and most importantly, coffee. Unfortunately, they had run out of coffee in the lab just that morning.

“I'll just go get some more and then I'll get started on the paper,” Darcy had said. It was like 20 degrees and snowing outside, but for coffee, she would brave the elements.

No, that wasn't good enough for Jane. She'd marched her upstairs to the vacant common area in the residence and parked her in front of the giant, shiny espresso machine that Darcy only knew how to use because she'd done her time at Starbucks slinging shots like every other broke millenial.

“Coffee,” Jane grunted. “Read.”

“Shower,” Darcy grunted back, but Jane was already gone.

Hazelnut latte in hand, Darcy leaned against the counter and scrolled through the document on her tablet. Three pages in, she had the unsettling feeling that someone was watching her. To her right, just outside of the kitchen, Clint Barton was hovering, a disgruntled expression on his face as he blatantly stared at her.

“You just gonna park yourself there all day?” he asked.

“Just until Jane makes me do something else. What's got your loincloth in a twist?”

He looked like he wanted to address that, but was too focused on whatever his current issue was. “I don't appreciate being trapped.”

Thoroughly confused, Darcy followed his pointed glare at the ceiling. A merry sprig of mistletoe was dangling from a long strand of fishing line, directly over the espresso machine. Jesus, the ceiling must be fifteen feet high here. Someone must have been very dedicated to getting the Avengers to kiss each other over their morning coffee. Probably Tony.

“It's not a trap, I didn't know it was there. Whatever, just get your coffee. I promise I won't kiss you.”

“That's not how mistletoe works.”

“What are you, twelve? It's not a binding contract.”

He continued to stand there, arms crossed and mouth twisted into a stubborn frown.

“Well, I'm not leaving. So I guess you can either pucker up or hit Starbucks down the street,” she said, turning back to her tablet. No one was going to out stubborn Darcy.

Suddenly he was just there, towering over her and taking the tablet and mug out of her hands and setting them gently on the counter behind her. Then moving slowly, like he didn't want to scare her, he brushed her hair behind her ear and cupped the back of her neck with his hand. Those sharp blue eyes of his zeroed in on her lips and Darcy's next inhale was a little shaky.

Then he kissed her. Close-mouthed and soft, but no less intense than if he'd bent her over his arm and frenched her. Darcy's stomach fluttered and her lips tingled when he pulled away. He didn't go far, though, his thumb stroking the spot behind her ear in a way that made her want to purr like a cat.

“We should do this again sometime,” he said with a sly smile.

“As soon as possible,” she said, then she pulled him back down for another kiss.

This time, his tongue slid out to meet hers in a slow and steady exploration of her mouth. Their lips met again and again, unhurried and gentle until Darcy nipped at Clint's bottom lip. He liked that apparently because he pulled her flush against him and bit her back, sucking on her lower lip. His cock stirred against her leg and her thighs clenched in response. Holy fuck, yes.

Her hands roamed over his back kneading his firm muscles through the thin fabric of his t-shirt. Nice to confirm that he felt as good as he looked.

“Darcy!”

At Jane's shout, Clint and Darcy sprung apart. Darcy chewed on her bottom lip and shared a guilty grin with Clint.

“I don't pay you to neck with anyone who stumbles across your path. You're supposed to be proofreading.”

“Technically Pepper signs my checks, so I'd argue you don't pay me to do anything.”

“Darcy.”

Publishing made Jane cranky and Thor being away on Asgard for the past week made her even crankier. Darcy was sympathetic, but she didn't appreciate that bitchy mom tone she was using. Even her real mom didn't talk to her like that anymore. Unfortunately, Jane did kind of have a point. She didn't have the excuse of being an unpaid intern to do whatever she wanted during work hours anymore.

“Look, I promise I'll stay as long as it takes to get it done before I leave for the day. Just give me five minutes.”

Bargaining with your boss for extra make out time in front of said make out partner was extremely uncool and Darcy hoped her cheeks weren't as bright red as they felt. Maybe finally realizing just what a cock blocker she was being, Jane sighed in exasperation and left via the elevator. As soon as her back was turned, Darcy started rifling through drawers, trying to find the junk drawer. There had to be one somewhere. Every kitchen had one, even ones that belonged to billionaires. And where there was a junk drawer, there was inevitably… Ah ha , a pen!

“What are you doing?” Clint asked.

Grabbing his hand, she wrote her number in big, bold strokes across his forearm. “Okay, now I know you're old, but this number is not for calling. Understand? Text. Only.”

“I'm 35, not 80. You're not confusing me with Steve, are you?”

“Oh no! Are you not Captain America? Yikes. Awkward.”

He squinted at her like he wasn't totally sure if she was fucking with him or not. To be fair, they had only met once before and that was months ago. Laughing, she added Darcy xoxo underneath her number.

“Clint, I would very much like to kiss you again without any mistletoe present. Let me know if that's something you're interested in.”

With that, she grabbed her stuff and left, feeling pretty confident he'd text her. And if he didn't, well there were three weeks left where mistletoe was still a convenient excuse. Apparently he was a sucker for that sort of thing.

Just as the elevator doors closed, her phone buzzed with a text and Darcy couldn't help her goofy smile when she saw it came from a number she didn't recognize.

What time do you get off?

Well, with any luck, about half an hour after she left work.