“So Darcy, what happened with you and the bodyguard the other night?” Natasha asked as they sipped coffee at the deli.
“Oh not much. We just cleaned up the party. Talked a bit. Kissed.” Darcy said quickly at the end.
“You buried the lead Lewis!” Natasha exclaimed.
“You kissed Rumlow?!” Steve said joining the conversation from behind the counter.
“Technically he kissed me but yes.”
“Oh man does that mean he’ll be around more? Bucky will be staring at him all the time.” Steve asked worriedly.
“Well the man is exquisite.” Natasha argued.
“Not you too.” Steve groaned putting his head in his arms on the counter in despair.
“I’m pretty sure he’s straight Steve, although we haven’t had that conversation yet.” Darcy tried to reassure Steve.
“Calm down Rogers, he has eyes for Darcy. Your relationship is safe.” Natasha waved the blonde’s concerns off.
“You’re right. Sorry Darcy. I’m happy for you.” Steve admitted.
“So how was the kiss?” Natasha asked.
“Oh my God. Fan-fucking-tastic. Completely swoon-worthy. Made me reevaluate all my past experience.” Darcy gushed.
The front door bell rang, as someone entered the deli. It was Jane so Darcy continued gushing.
“Wow is an understatement. And that was just kissing I can’t imagine more.” Darcy sighed.
“Is she still talking about kissing Rumly?” Jane said as she joined the others.
“You mean Rumlow?” Steve asked.
“Yeah she’s terrible with names and the first one usually sticks.” Darcy answered him then turned to Jane. “And they were asking me thank you very much. You don’t have room to talk Ms. Take-me-down-undah.” Darcy said in a terrible Aussie accent.
“Oh hush now. Nothing has happened between me and Jack.” Jane waved her off.
“I wouldn’t call those longing looks nothing.” Darcy wiggled her eyebrows at her best friend.
“I can’t.” Jane said weakly.
Darcy realized that it was something that Jane was really worried about.
“Oh Jane I was just teasing. I like Jack and I love you. If you like him go for it.”
“Thor and I only broke up a few weeks ago.” Jane shrugged.
“So? Thor is all about free love. There’s nothing wrong with moving on.” Darcy reassured her.
“Yeah I don’t know.”
“Just think it about it, Janey.”
“The President is getting sworn in this week. That’s good.” Natasha gestured to the tv, changing the subject.
“Very good. The sooner the better.” Darcy agreed and not just because Brock promised to have more time after the swearing in. She did wonder why he would have more time after Pepper became President but she didn’t ask.
“I’m glad the riots have fizzled out.” Jane added.
“I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or bad thing.” Natasha told the group.
“What do you mean?” Steve asked as he came around the counter and stood by the ladies.
“Hydra has been running this country for twenty-plus years and regime changes don’t happen smoothly. They have deep roots and a large mass of supporters. I don’t think it’s the last we’ve heard of them.”
“We just have to hope the President has a plan.” Darcy said as the mood was slightly somber, everyone thinking about Natasha’s words.
Darcy was busy making a snack for Lincoln for his baseball game when she heard the doorbell ring. Darcy called out to see if anyone was downstairs to get the door.
“Jack?! Jane?! Anybody?!”
The doorbell rang again.
“Where are those lovebirds?” Darcy wondered as she headed to the door.
Darcy looked through the peephole and saw dark hair and aviators. Opening the door Darcy leaned against the door frame crossing her arms.
“You know you have my number you could at least let me know you’re going to drop by.”
Brock looked her up slowly from bottom to top. Darcy took her own chance to do the same. This was the first time she’d seen him in anything other than a suit. He had dark jeans on with a tight t-shirt over his muscles and a leather jacket. He pulled off the aviators and met her eyes.
“Do you not like surprises?”
“This one’s not so bad.” Darcy smirked and shrugged.
“Good. Can I come in?” With Brock’s smile he could get whatever he wanted.
Darcy pushed the door open wider letting him follow her into the house. She wished she was in something nicer than cut off jean shorts and a loose t-shirt that she ironed on Lincoln’s number on the back and ‘Lincoln’s #1 Fan’ on the front.
“If you would’ve texted, I could’ve told you Lincoln has a baseball game in an hour. We have to leave soon.” Darcy said finishing Lincoln’s water bottle and snack.
“I know. That’s why I’m here. I’d like to join, if you don’t mind?”
“Oh okay. Lincoln would love that.” Darcy said happily surprised.
Brock stepped close to Darcy’s back, trapping her against the counter with his hard body. She could feel his body heat and his breath on the nape of her neck. He leaned in whispering in her ear.
“Is he the only one?”
Darcy had a warm shiver trickle down her spine. His hands barely touched her hips when they heard thunderous footsteps coming down the stairs. With agility that Darcy couldn’t comprehend Brock took several steps back and looked comfortable like he was never anywhere near her, while Darcy was trying to remember how to breathe.
“Brock!! Are you coming to my game??” Lincoln asked excitedly.
“Yeah I thought I could keep your sister company.”
“Cool.” Lincoln turned to Darcy. “What are you wearing?”
“Do you like it? I made it myself.” Darcy asked showing off the shirt. She knew it wasn’t the best but she had some craft skills and was super excited to use them to support her little brother.
“Like it? It’s so embarrassing Darcy!” Lincoln whined.
“Hey. Your sister is super excited to watch you play and she wants everybody to know she knows the awesome kid hitting all the homeruns. You buddy.” Brock said gently to young boy.
Lincoln reluctantly mumbled okay.
“Do you have everything? Bat? Glove? Cleats?” Darcy asked.
Lincoln ran out of the kitchen to get one those items Darcy guessed. She didn’t want to admit it but Lincoln’s reaction stung a little more than she expected. She knew their dynamic was changing. She was no longer the cool older sister she was his sole guardian and had to be the person who said no more often. With Hydra, Darcy had been reluctant to let Lincoln out of her sight much. At first he wanted to be close but the longer time went on the more it was clear Lincoln wanted his own space.
A warm touch on her arm brought her out of her thoughts.
“He didn’t mean it.”
Darcy was surprised that her eyes were stinging with tears. Pulling herself together Darcy shook off the hurt and finished packing her bag.
“Do you mind driving?” Darcy asked with a smile hoping he knew she appreciated him stepping in but didn’t want to talk about it.
“Not at all.”
When they were in the car on the way to the baseball fields Lincoln was chatting Brock’s ear off about his baseball team. They arrived at the fields and Lincoln jumped out of the car joining his team.
“He loves you and you’re doing a great job.” Brock said once they were alone.
“I know he does but I have no idea what I'm doing.” Darcy said forlorn watching Lincoln out the window.
“I’m not a parent but I’m pretty sure nobody knows what they’re doing.”
“I don’t know if that’s reassuring or frightening.”
“Let’s go with reassuring.” Brock leaned over the center console and kissed Darcy’s temple.
Darcy turned her head and caught his lips for a quick kiss.
Once seated in the stands Brock took off his jacket showing off his muscular arms.
“Sweet Jesus.” Darcy gasped under her breath.
“Oh nothing. I’m just surprised you’re waving those guns around all willy nilly.”
“Willy nilly?” Brock looked down to his hip where is side weapon was holstered.
“Yeah you might hurt someone. I thought it was carry and conceal .”
“Wha-” Brock looked again confused when he realized she was not looking at his gun but rather his guns . He shook his head at her ridiculous joke, but then flexed his arms jokingly making Darcy laugh loudly. Some of the other moms stared with confusion and envy.
“See dangerous.” Darcy pointed out.
They cheered on Lincoln as he stood in the outfield ready for any ball to come his way.
“So are you technically secret service now since you protect the President?”
“That’s pretty exciting. Big job.”
“Yeah she’s gonna to do big things.”
Darcy tamped down the jealousy. Brock kissed her, he was with her at the moment, she reminded herself.
“Has uh the President continued her um efforts?” Darcy asked awkwardly
“Brock sexy time efforts.” Darcy said looking anywhere but at him.
“Are you jealous Darcy?”
“She gets you following her around almost 24/7 and she’s now the leader of the free world, of course I’m jealous.”
“You have no reason to be. She met that billionaire Stark and they’ve hit it off. Plus, I’ll be in charge of her team but I’m less hands on now. I like you Darcy.” He leaned in and whispered the last sentence.
“Hmmm.” Darcy hummed trying to hide her smile but was quickly distracted from their conversation when it was Lincoln’s turn to bat. Darcy stood up cheering. “WOOOO Go Lincoln!! Swing for the fences!! Pitcher’s got nothing!! Eye on the ball Linc!!”
Brock stood up next to her clapping. They watched at Lincoln swung through the air.
“Know much about baseball?”
“Meh.” Darcy shrugged her shoulders. “Internet is super helpful.” Darcy had stayed up late reading all the rules and sports jargon when Lincoln joined the team.
Lincoln struck out.
“You’ll get it next time buddy!!” Darcy called out as they sat down. “Decide on a zone Ump!! You’re all over the place.”
“He is so lucky to have you.” Brock said in awe of her.
“I’m the lucky one.” Darcy said honestly.
Brock put his hand on Darcy’s thigh and gave her a reassuring squeeze but left his hand there, his thumb rubbing back and forth. Darcy looked down at his hand and smiled.
“How do you feel about PDA?” Brock asked lowly.
“Hmmm. Public displays of affection?” Darcy said coyly.
Brock gave her another squeeze of her leg. Darcy saw a group of mothers looking over and gossiping. The judgmental looks they were giving them were not foreign to Darcy. Neither were the drooling spaced out stares the women were giving Brock. She didn’t blame them either. Darcy was used to not fitting in with some groups of women but this time she wanted to if it meant an easier time for Lincoln. She also wanted to show off that a man like Brock was there with her. She looked at the field and caught sight of Lincoln running back onto the field. Darcy waved with a large smile and was thankful he returned it. As much as she wanted to have Brock’s hands all over her, she had to put Lincoln first now.
“Objectively I’m not opposed, within reason of course," Darcy paused and took a breath, "but I would like for us to figure out what we are first. I don’t want to confuse him.” Darcy said a little disappointed.
Brock followed Dacy’s eye line to Lincoln out on the field.
“Of course. I’m sorry.” Brock sat up and started to pull his hand away but Darcy stopped him.
“This is okay.” She kept his hand on her leg. “But um what if we were together? What would you want to do?”
Brock’s hand flexed and gripped her thigh slightly but not painfully.
“You want to know what I would do?”
“Well first I would pull you close, holding on to your luscious curves. I’ve been dying to get my hands on you, so I wouldn’t let you get far. Then I would kiss those plump lips that have been teasing me since I've met you. I would kiss you in front of all these nosy parents letting them know you were mine. All mine.”
“Oh.” Darcy said breathlessly. “Is that all?” She was suddenly much warmer and it wasn’t from the sun.
“In public anyway.”
Darcy wished they didn’t have sunglasses on so she could see his eyes. But Brock with his aviators, his perfect hair and smirk was a pretty good look too.
Their moment was interrupted by the crack of a bat. Turning their attention back to the game they saw a high flyball sailing straight towards Lincoln. He had his head up looking for the ball stumbling trying to get under it.
“Oh God please catch it.” Darcy fretted, both her and Brock stood up.
Lincoln was back peddling as the ball was feet above his head. Tripping, Lincoln fell backwards to the ground. Other fans oohed in pity assuming he dropped it but Lincoln raised his glove up in the air with the ball safely inside his glove.
“OUT!” Yelled the ump.
“He caught it!!!” Darcy squealed. “YES!!! GO LINCOLN!!”
Lincoln jumped up and hustled to the dugout with his team who all congratulated him on the great catch.
Darcy cheered and Brock clapped. In her excitement Darcy turned and threw her arms around Brock’s shoulders. He wrapped his hands around her but kept them in appropriate spots on her back. Then Brock’s cell phone went off in his pocket. Brock pulled back and checked his phone.
“Yeah I gotta go handle this. Dammit I don’t want to leave you guys but this is an emergency.”
“No of course go.”
“I’ll send Jack here right away. Just stay here until he gets here.”
“Yes sir.” Darcy saluted.
“I’m serious. I know we haven’t had any issues lately but I don’t want to risk it.”
“Brock I promise I’ll be here for the rest of the game anyway. Now go. It’s a Presidential emergency.”
“Okay tell Lincoln I’m sorry. I’ll call you.” Brock gave her a swift kiss on the cheek before running off. Darcy watched him go. Even running off he was attractive.
Darcy watched the rest of the game. It was a close game but Lincoln’s team won the game by one run. Lincoln ran up to Darcy excited about the win.
“Did you see my catch??”
“Yes, it was the best catch I have ever seen!!”
“You haven’t seen a lot.”
“I’ve watched lots of highlight videos dude. I know it was amazing. Now hush.” Darcy hugged the sweaty boy. “Dang you’re going to need a serious shower.”
“The team is going for pizza after can I go?”
“I think we can go.” Darcy said slowly looking around searching for Jack.
“Well um it’s only some of the players and Todd’s parents and they’re cool. But nobody else’s parents are going.”
“Oh Lincoln I don’t know. You won’t even I’m there.”
“Come on Darcy. I don’t need my big sister there all the time. Can Jack just go with me?” Lincoln asked exasperated as Jack jogged up.
“So sorry. Traffic was terrible. What’s going on?” Jack asked reading the upset faces on Darcy and Lincoln.
Darcy took a deep breath but the hurt in her chest was making it difficult. Lincoln didn’t want her around and subconsciously she knew it was just Lincoln growing up wanting to hang out with his friends but the more he pulled away the more she panicked. She wasn’t his mother she was only his sister. Darcy was terrified that she would fail him. That he would pull away completely as he got older.
“Jack will you please take Lincoln to pizza with his team?”
“Just him? Darcy I can’t leave you alone.”
“It’s fine. I’ll get a Lyft and share my location. You can watch me get home fine.”
“I really shouldn’t Darcy.”
“Jane’s home. No point in having another guy drive all the way here when I can get home in 20 minutes.”
They heard Lincoln’s teammates shouting for him to join them.
“Go on. I’ll tell Brock myself so you’re off the hook. Now go.”
Lincoln was already running towards his friends.
“Be safe I’m begging you.”
“I will. Go.”
Darcy requested a ride and headed to the parking lot. Her ride arrived quickly. She was diligent about verifying her driver and the car. Satisfied that it checked out she got in, sending her location and ride information to Jack. Usually Darcy was the type that could talk to any stranger but she was in a foul mood so she stayed quiet. She reminded herself that Lincoln was just getting pizza with friends. He was growing up and this would happen more and more. She shouldn’t take it personally. Darcy needed to come to terms with transitioning into the role of mother and everything that came with it.
“Maybe I need therapy.” Darcy accidently said out loud.
“What was that?” The driver asked looking in the rearview mirror.
Darcy arrived home without incident. She thanked the driver and stepped out onto the sidewalk. As soon as the car drove off Darcy walked up the steps to her front door. A quick ‘whoop whoop’ of a police siren made Darcy turn around. A police car screeched to a stop in front of her. Two cops got out of the car quickly.
“Darcy Lewis?” The man asked approaching her.
“Yes? Can I help you?”
“Ma’am we need you to come with us. It’s about your brother.” The female officer said solemnly.
“Lincoln?!” Darcy hurried back down the steps. “What wrong? I just left him.”
“There was an accident.”
“Oh my god is he okay?” Darcy started to panic. “Was he hurt?”
“That’s why we need you to come with us immediately. We will take you to him.”
Darcy bit her lip to keep from crying. She followed the officers to the car. Her only thought was that she had to get to him as quickly as possible. She couldn’t keep the tears from falling as she pictured Lincoln in a mangled vehicle of metal and glass. Her hands were shaking as she tried to open a message to Brock about the accident when the police car took a hard turn. Darcy looked around to see where they were and she realized they weren’t going in the direction of the pizza restaurant that was near the baseball fields. She also realized that she was in the back of a police vehicle with no way to escape. How would police get to her so quickly if Lincoln was in an accident only minutes ago?
“He was headed to a pizza parlor on 4th and Hudson. Are we close?” Darcy played dumb she knew they were nowhere near there.
“They must’ve gone somewhere else ma’am. We’ll be there soon.”
Darcy didn’t miss the look that the officers shared in the front seat. Her stomach dropped as they drove further and further away. She knew she was in trouble. In attempt to not alert them she quickly typed a message to Brock without looking down and keeping her phone low.
Help trouble police maybe hydra
She sent the message. She wasn’t expecting him to text back so quickly. Her phone dinged loudly.
Where are you?!?!
She read his message before the officer slammed on the brakes causing her to hit her head on the metal grate.
Darcy tried to answer him but the cops were already out of the car opening the doors to the backseat. She fought them off as they grabbed her. They successfully knocked her phone out of her hand. They held her down as she struggled.
“What are you doing?? Stop!!” Darcy screamed.
The woman held down Darcy’s legs as the man held her chest down with one arm and pulled something out of his pocket. She whimpered when she saw it was a needle. She fought harder kicking and thrashing but they had her surrounded and in an awkward position laying in the backseat. The man leaned down and whispered in Darcy’s ear.
Then she felt a sharp poke in her neck. It didn’t take long for her body to shut down and become heavy. Her last thought was that she was glad Lincoln wasn’t with her for once and hoped he was safe with Jack. Then nothing but blackness.