Darcy woke up to the loud screeching alarm on her phone. Groaning she rolled over to turn off the offending noise. She stared up of the ceiling fan twirling round and round. Dread sat in her gut like a heavy weight, she hated this day. Today was March 21st and that meant that night would be the annual purge. A night where anyone could go out and commit crime even murdering others all in the name of saving one’s soul. It was a load of horseshit and it made Darcy sick. Darcy wished she could stay in bed all day but she knew there was no way she was going to get out of helping her mother prepare for her annual ‘Purge’ party, another thing Darcy loathed.
Darcy Lewis was born to a well to do family that benefitted from Hydra, the political party but it was much more like terrorist organization in her opinion. Her father worked for a weapons company that partnered with the unsavory organization. Her parents liked to ‘keep up with the Jones’ as they say but Darcy thought it all was ridiculous. The parties, the cars, the toys, the houses, the vacations and none of it was for the family, it was all for show. The warm and fuzzy family memories were not the Lewis’ style.
The only highlight of Darcy’s home life was her baby brother Lincoln. He was the only thing she thought her parents ever did right. Born 18 years after Darcy from one of her father’s many dalliances with other women, her parents paid the woman off for the son they always wanted. Unfortunately, the sting of betrayal caused Darcy’s mother to ignore Lincoln. Darcy chose a college nearby to be there for Lincoln no matter what. Lincoln was the only reason Darcy stayed near her parents.
After going to college Darcy had her eyes opened to the real horrors of the purge and the new founding fathers of Hydra. She was disgusted with her parents and her friends she’d grown up with, celebrating the purge like it was something good. It was a night where the rich were protected while the poor suffered. Darcy wished she could be brave and stand up for what she believed in but every time she said anything, her mother would scold her for having such unappreciative thoughts, threatening to cut her off. Darcy didn’t care about the money but she couldn’t be cut off from her brother. She didn’t want to lose Lincoln to their parent’s life either. She wanted to protect him, so she would endure her mother’s passive aggressive comments and her father’s indifference to stay with Lincoln.
Darcy dressed quickly in jeans and a slouchy sweater that she knew her mother hated, then headed down the hall to wake up Lincoln.
“Wakey wakey sleepy head.” Darcy cooed as she sat at the foot of his bed.
Lincoln rolled away from her.
“Lin-coln.” Darcy said in a sing-song voice. “It’s time to get up.”
“Noooo.” A muffled small voice came from the pillow.
“I know what can get you up…the tickle monster!” Darcy started tickling the young boy who struggled to get away but giggled happily.
“Stop Darcy! STOP!!”
“Are you going to get up?”
“YES!!” He squealed.
Darcy stopped her attack and smiled down at the blonde boy, after he calmed down, she spoke.
“Come on Lincoln get dressed we have a lot to do today.”
Darcy watched as Lincoln dragged his feet to the bathroom. She knew her family was messed up. Sometimes she even wondered if their parents loved anything other than money but she knew she’d do anything for that little boy.
The Purge party was in full swing as Darcy strolled through the extravagant home. She’d had to listen to her mother bitch and moan all day about how this was her party but somehow their sniveling bitch of a neighbor Nancy was hosting because she convinced everyone that their new home was “a better space” for the neighborhood party. Darcy grabbed another champagne flute off of the tray of a waiter passing by. This would be her third but she planned to have many more before the night was through.
Darcy had spent almost every Purge night at some party or another like this one. Being as old as the purge Darcy never knew any different. She was always told the Purge was ‘saving the country’ and all that jazz. However, in college Darcy got her first taste of what the Purge actually was. She had gotten in with a group of other students from well to do families, much to her mother’s insistence. The horrors she witnessed, but refused to partake in, stayed with her. The attitude of the affluent on the lives of others was that those deemed lesser rarely mattered if at all. It was disgusting but realistically she knew she needed her parent’s position in society to secure safety for Lincoln and herself, despite their differing opinions.
Darcy eventually met and became best friends with a PhD student Jane Foster, an astrophysicist. Jane was consumed with her work but Darcy was the only one who could pull her from it to do normal life things. Darcy herself was not a science loving, rather she took her rage of the system and graduated with a degree in political science. Maybe she could make a difference someday. Darcy was extra sad at the party because Jane wasn’t there. But Jane was safe across an ocean in Norway visiting her incredibly muscly boyfriend Thor. As much as Darcy hated being alone at these things, she was relieved Jane was completely safe. Jane was constantly texting and checking in on Darcy making sure she was okay.
Darcy roamed the house to keep from talking and getting into arguments with other guests. They were locked in for the night. All the houses in their neighborhood were equipped the best security systems money could buy. She caught a glimpse of herself in a mirror in the hall. She was in a dress that her mom picked out, completely over the top considering the night. It was a light blue sheer short dress. Gucci. Completely ridiculous in Darcy’s opinion. Her hair and makeup had been done up big highlighting her eyes.
Darcy wandered upstairs of the huge house and stumbled into another neighborhood boy, Slade. He quickly got handsy.
“Hey there Darcy. You look nice tonight.”
“Thanks Slade.” Darcy said as she tried to remove his hands from her waist.
“Want to find a room and celebrate together?” He said staring right at her breasts.
“No Slade, I think you’ve had too much to drink.”
“You can’t say no to me. You’re asking for it with this little number.” He breathed on her neck.
“Get off of me!” Darcy pushed the bigger but drunker guy off of her and threw her champagne in his face. She wished she kept her taser with her. “Come near me again and I’ll make you regret it.”
Darcy stormed her way back downstairs. Douche bag, she thought.
She mindlessly walked through the different rooms. Most of the men were gathered watching the Purge news. The women were in the sitting room gossiping about God knows what. Darcy was caught up in her thoughts when she heard a loud boom. After a moment to grab her bearings she heard pops followed by screams. Only one thought entered her head after that. Lincoln.
Darcy ran to the play room where most of the younger kids were hanging out.
Darcy spotted Lincoln’s blonde head and scooped him up, when the lights went out. Several of the other kids began to cry.
“Shhhhh everyone quiet and hide now.” Darcy urged all of the kids.
“D-Darcy what is happening.” Lincoln asked, shaking in her arms.
“I don’t know but we’ll be okay. Just stay quiet. Okay buddy?” She felt his head nod yes against her neck.
Darcy held Lincoln even tighter as she tried to think of what to do. She hoped whoever it was out there would just leave, but as the pops got closer to that part of the house Darcy realized that was a dream. She set down Lincoln and knelt down in front of him.
“Everything is going to be okay buddy, alright?” She whispered.
“Where’s mom and dad?”
“I-I don’t know but I need you to hide for me okay and don’t come out until I tell you to.”
“I’m scared Darcy.” Lincoln choked on her name.
“I know. Me too but I won’t let anything happen to you okay? Now go hide in the closet.”
Darcy shut the closet door behind him and searched around the room for anything to use when she saw a baseball bat in the corner. She raised the bat and waited.
As footsteps approached Darcy started to shake. Then she heard voices.
“Fuck Hydra! Fuck the founding fathers! And fuck the motherfucking Purge!!”
These were people protesting the Purge by purging the rich?? That certainly made a statement. Deep down Darcy knew she should be worried about her parents but she only had one thing in mind and that was keeping Lincoln safe. Hope blossomed in her chest thinking if these guys were against the Purge that they would be against hurting children, but before she could formulate a plan someone busting into the room and her next movements were just reflexes.
She swung the bat at the gun in the man’s hands and quickly dropped to the floor picking it up.
“Kids!! There are kids in here!!!” Darcy yelled shaking as she attempted to hold the gun up. The gun was awkward in her hands and much heavier than she expected.
It didn’t take long for the guy to recover and wrestle the gun back out of Darcy’s hands. He raised his hand to her and Darcy gasped flinching away as the other man spoke up.
Darcy held her hands up and willed herself to stand up straight even with a gun pointed at her. Darcy tried to find her voice.
“Please don’t shoot. I heard you. You’re against the Purge.” Her voice was quiet.
“Yeah but doesn’t mean we can’t take what we want tonight.” The one called Billy stepped towards her.
“Look I get it.” Darcy said in a shaky voice but she tried to sound confident.
“What the fuck do you get bitch?”
“Billy shut the fuck up and go back downstairs.” A voice called from behind him.
Darcy flinched as Billy made an aggressive move towards her again but backed off leaving the room. The other man stepped further into the room flashing a light in her face. He raised his eyebrows and waited for Darcy to continue.
“I understand why you’re doing this. The Purge targets the poor and protects the wealthy. I don’t support the Purge. My parents forced me here tonight. Please there are kids in here. Don’t hurt them. Hurting them will make you no better than those who Purge. Please. I’m begging you, leave the kids alone.”
Darcy was searching the dark to see the man’s the face for any indication that he’d leave them alone. After a moment of only hearing her heartbeat in her ears and heavy breathing the man spoke up.
“Where are the kids?”
“Are you going to hurt them?”
“No, we have a safe place. You’re right we don’t want to hurt innocent lives tonight, that isn’t the goal.”
“Promise me?” Darcy knew this man’s word meant nothing but she needed some reassurance before bringing her brother out. He nodded. She didn’t see any other choice than to trust him.
“Lincoln you can come out now.” Darcy called out softly.
She waited and spoke again.
“It’s okay, come out buddy.”
The closet door opened slowly and Lincoln peeked out the door. Slowly Lincoln stepped out followed by 5 other kids.
Darcy protectively put the kids behind her and waited.
“What’s your name?” The dark headed man asked.
“Darcy and this is my little brother Lincoln.”
“My name’s Frank. You’re safe. Nobody will hurt you now. We have a safe place to take you all. I’m sorry about the violence but it’s the only way for change right now.”
Darcy nodded her head minutely deciding to stay quiet at the moment. She’d heard of Frank Castle, went by the name of the Punisher. He punished Hydra and its followers. Darcy was surprised their party was worth an attack but her parents and their friends were more deeply connected than she originally thought.
Darcy followed the man downstairs and shielded the eyes of the kids she could to the massacre they passed. Most were crying and she did her best to calm them down but when they were the only ones put in a van, she realized the fate of the rest in the house. It appeared to be no survivors.
Darcy heart broke for the children around her but didn’t know any of them by name. She held on to Lincoln tighter as they got further into the city. Frank was sitting up front periodically looking back at them. Every so often they’d come across groups of purgers.
Darcy saw through the back windows two groups squared off on an open lot. It looked a lot like larping but the swords and axes slicing through bodies looked very real.
A man being drawn and quartered by with motorcycles.
Bodies dropping from the roof of 10 story building.
Downtown was littered with bodies strewn across the streets.
Darcy just held on tight to Lincoln hiding his eyes away. Darcy began to shake with worry on how she was supposed to protect Lincoln the rest of the night with hours to go. Let alone keep him safe the rest of his life.
They arrived at a warehouse building and were directed to a large room filled with people. There were cots lined up in sections of the room, a food line, and a medical station. Frank turned to her.
“You can take the kids over there. They’ll get you all set up. I’m sorry for the circumstances.” He looked sincere.
Darcy only nodded and herded the upset children to some cots where a couple women came over to help calm down the kids.
Darcy sat down on a cot with her arm around Lincoln. She felt eyes on her and felt even more self-conscious in the outfit her mother had picked out. Chills ran up her spine as she looked around. Lincoln nudging her side pulled her out of her trance.
“Darcy, isn’t that the lady off the tv?”
Darcy looked up to see it was the lady off the tv, Senator Pepper Potts. As much as Darcy was a fan of hers, she was still too overwhelmed with the evening to say anything. Even as the Senator spotted the group of kids. Senator Potts came over and knelt down by the children who were finally starting to calm down.
“Oh dear, where did you all come from?” The beautiful woman spoke.
Darcy didn’t speak until Senator Potts looked at her expectantly. Darcy cleared her throat to speak up.
“A man named Frank brought us here, he and a group of men attacked our neighborhood Purge party. We’re all that’s left I think.”
A man appeared behind the Senator, he had dark hair and eyes that pierced Darcy. He had on a suit with a coat. She could see blood on his white dress shirt.
“Where was this?” His voice was gruff and sent chills down her spine but not in a bad way.
“This is my bodyguard Brock Rumlow, you can trust him.” Pepper introduced the handsome man when Darcy hadn’t answered yet.
“Longwood.” Darcy finally answered his question.
The Senator’s eyes widened in recognition there were many politicians in that area. The man nodded obviously understanding the situation.
He leaned down and whispered something in her ear but she looked like she wasn’t agreeing.
Darcy found her nerve and spoke up.
“Excuse me.” The two looked at her. Darcy stood up but still held Lincoln’s hand. She spoke quietly so the children wouldn’t hear her. “I understand why you are here Senator but these men just murdered a house full of people, the parents of these children including me and my brother’s so I need to ask. Is it safe here?”
Both of them looked at her for a moment, the Senator spoke first.
“I’ve seen nothing to indicate that you would be in danger from the men running this place tonight. However, I do want you to know I don’t condone any violence no matter the message.”
Typical politician, Darcy thought.
“You and your brother keep your head down you should be alright.” The gruff voice informed her. Suddenly the chills were replaced with heat on her face from the intense look the man gave her.
He broke the eye contact after Darcy nodded to his suggestion and then walked towards a room on the far wall.
“My bodyguard Brock is the best. If he says you’ll be fine, you can believe him.” Pepper gave her a smile.
Darcy kept her eyes on the dark-haired man now across the room. She could tell that man had seen and done things. She made a mental note to know where he was at all times.
Darcy got Lincoln settled with some food and then got him to curl up on a cot for some sleep. As people came and went, Darcy got the feeling that she needed to be ready for anything. Carefully lifting Lincoln’s head off her lap, she got up and looked around for any sign of supplies. She found a couple ladies in the corner organizing bags.
“Excuse me. Do you know if there are any clothes anywhere? This isn’t really practical….” Darcy tried to joke but the two women stared at her without any kindness in their eyes.
Darcy turned to go when a young girl stopped her.
“I have some extra clothes if you need some. Follow me.”
Darcy followed the girl to a corner of the room, periodically still looking over at where Lincoln slept.
“I don’t have anything to give you unless you want this dress. This and the shoes should be able to get you several hundred dollars in resale easily.”
“It is very pretty.” The girl said shyly.
“Well then it’s yours.” Darcy tried to say with a smile.
The girl handed her plain jeans and a black t-shirt. Darcy quickly pulled the jeans on under the dress and then pulled the dress off handing it to the girl. She pulled the t-shirt on over her head. The jeans were a little tight whereas the shirt was large on her. Darcy couldn’t care less though.
“Thank you so much….” Darcy dragged on hoping she’d give her, her name.
“Thank you, Kate. I’m Darcy. I truly appreciate it.”
“I don’t have any shoes to give you.” The girl looked apologetic.
“Don’t worry this is so helpful. But I have to get back to my little brother now.”
Darcy headed back to where Lincoln laid. She caught eye of a pair of boots on the floor by a woman who was asleep. Darcy felt bad but tonight it was a free for all. She swiped the boots quietly and quickly headed over towards Lincoln. A voice startled her.
Darcy jumped and fumbled the shoes almost dropping them. She turned to see the handsome bodyguard. She couldn’t stop herself from looking him over. His name was ridiculous but his everything else was not. He was tan with dark hair, definitely Italian. He wasn’t overly tall but taller than her. Even through his jacket she could tell he was muscular. His eyes though, dark and intense seemed to pierce right through her.
“Technically I can tonight.” Darcy pointed out.
“Smart, getting those shoes.”
Darcy couldn’t quite tell if he was serious or if he was being sarcastic. His eyes kept flicking from her face to around the room. Senator Potts was sitting with some the injured, always campaigning Darcy assumed.
“Can’t run away in heels.” She shrugged.
He nodded. His eyes traced her face almost looking for something then he looked over to where Lincoln was sleeping.
“Keep your brother close. Nowhere is completely safe tonight.”
Darcy left him to go back to Lincoln. She pulled on the boots she stole. They were a little big but they were much better than the heels she’d had on.
She looked down at Lincoln’s face. She had to keep him safe. She had to. Darcy settled in with Lincoln in the corner of the room.
Darcy’s eyes drifted back over to Brock, keeping track of where he was. She watched as he went into a side room with some of Frank’s men. Darcy wanted to scold herself for having any feelings of attraction towards anyone when chaos was happening all around her but she couldn’t help it. She wanted his warm eyes to look at her again. But she remembered where she was and what was happening. She needed to focus on Lincoln and keeping him safe.
Soon the adrenaline wore off and Darcy had trouble keeping her eyes open. She had Lincoln’s head back in her lap and leaned back against the wall behind her. She told herself it would only be for a few moments but as soon as she had her eyes closed, she was out.
Darcy woke up to panicked shouting. She must’ve been more tired than she thought because it took her a few moments to get her bearings. She looked down at her lap and found it empty. Lincoln wasn’t there. Darcy jumped up and took in the room. Screams were getting louder, people were running, something bad was happening. But where was Lincoln??
“Lincoln?!?!” Darcy started shouting his name over and over again.
Darcy felt like a knife had been plunged into her chest. She couldn’t breathe. Looking around wildly Darcy couldn’t see the blonde boy anywhere but she did see the Senator and her bodyguard rushing out with a couple others.
Darcy took another look around screaming for her brother. He was nowhere in the room. Lincoln was smart and wouldn’t have run off on his own. She knew she needed help. Darcy made a split-second decision to follow where the Senator and her bodyguard went. He seemed like someone who could help her. She sprinted out the same door narrowly missing getting hit with a swinging blade. Ignoring the jeers of the trap setters, Darcy jumped out of the way and quickly ran down the alley. Turning a corner, she caught sight of them getting into a van. Before the van sped off Darcy opened the door and jumped in.
She was immediately put in a headlock and held at gunpoint. There was a cluster of confusion but one voice sounded over them all yelling for the driver to go. Once the van was moving Brock focused back on Darcy.
“What the hell are you doing?” His voice was dangerously quiet. Whoever was holding her let up so she could answer.
“My brother is missing.” Darcy panted out.
“Do we know who this chick’s brother is?” The red headed woman in the front seat asked.
The Senator looked upset. “How old is he?”
Darcy willed herself not to cry.
“Only ten.” She forced out.
“I told you to stay with him. Why did you follow us? We don’t have your brother.” Brock looked extremely frustrated.
Darcy’s first reaction normally would’ve been to get defensive and tell him off, no matter how handsome he was, for blaming her but Darcy had never been so scared in her life. Not even when bullets were getting closer to her earlier in the night because Lincoln had been safe nearby then. She had no idea if he was safe now.
“I don’t know, I-I figured you would be my best bet. We were both asleep. I don’t think he would've wandered off. Please, I need your help.”
Darcy and Brock were staring at each other when the van was suddenly hit with a vicious force causing everyone to tumble over with the vehicle. Pain stung throughout all of Darcy’s body as she tried to catch her breath that was knocked out of her. High pitched ringing is all she could hear as she tried to sit up. When her ears started working again, she heard shouts and screaming. She looked up to see the Senator get pulled from the wreckage. But what pierced through the chaos was one voice. Lincoln’s. He was screaming for help. He was screaming for her.
“Help!! Darcy!! Help me!! Where’s my sister?!”
Whatever pain that was restricting her movements was gone in an instant like cold water was splashed over her body. She crawled out of the van quickly, cutting her hands on broken glass. She immediately searched where Lincoln’s voice was coming from. She then saw Senator Potts getting pulled into a large black armored car. Darcy caught a glimpse of Lincoln being held by a man in the back of the armored truck.
“LINCOLN!!!!!!” Darcy forgot all logic and sprinted towards the vehicle. There was suddenly a very hot sharp pain in her side but she didn’t stop. Then the truck was gone. Darcy was still screaming and running until she was grabbed from behind by strong arms and a gruff voice is telling her to breathe.
“We’ll get him. Calm down. We’ll get him back. Breathe. We’re still in danger. We know where they’re going. There ya go. Come on.” The gruff voice in her ear is soothing to Darcy.
He led her to the side of the road where the others were waiting. The others were around her but Darcy couldn’t tear her eyes away from where the car disappeared. She couldn’t feel anything except the cold dread in her stomach as she watched the truck drive away with her sweet innocent brother inside.
“She’s been shot.”
Darcy was vaguely aware that her side was hurting and her shirt was being lifted up by someone. She was barely registering who was talking.
“Can she move?”
“Yeah it’s a through and through but I suspect it hit a rib pretty good. She’s gonna be hurting when the shock wears off.”
“We know the leaders are meeting at the church. I guarantee that’s where they’re taking the Senator.”
Then a warm hand on her neck cut through the fog. The hand gently tipped her face up.
“Hey, hey” Brock was moving in front Darcy’s face trying to catch her eyes. “I need you to focus so we can get your brother back.”
Darcy caught his dark honey eyes and felt herself nod. She knew she needed to get her shit together and do whatever it took to get her brother back.
“What’s your name sweetheart?” An older gentleman in the group asks.
“Darcy. Darcy Lewis.”
“And what the fuck are you doing out on Purge night Darcy Lewis?” The man asked but the other woman just slapped his shoulder.
“Knock it off. The girl’s got enough going on without you adding to it.” She turned to Darcy. “I’m Natasha, that old fart is Fury and that’s Steve. You’ve met bodyguard Brock.”
Darcy wasn’t sure she’d remember anyone’s names but would worry about it later. The woman was bandaging her cut up hands and then started to patch up her hurt side.
“You said you know where they’re going. Where? Who are they?” Darcy asked Brock, hissing when Natasha poured antiseptic on her wound.
“Hydra goons. Looking to take out the Senator tonight.”
“Why would they take him?” Darcy’s voice broke talking about her brother.
“You were in that house Castle and his men hit tonight weren’t you?” Natasha asked.
Darcy nodded. Natasha continued.
“Castle and Russo said they were hitting a Purge party with important players to Hydra. Maybe they think they’re helping your brother or using him for leverage.” Natasha explained.
“You Hydra?” The older man Fury looked every bit of his name, his face questioning while his eyes became angry.
“It doesn’t matter.” Brock spoke before Darcy could answer.
“What do you mean it doesn’t matter?? Hydra is trying to kill the only chance we’ve got to stopping this God forsaken night and we might have one of them in our possession and you say it doesn’t matter.”
“We’re wasting time standing here arguing.” Hostility was washing off of Brock.
Natasha finished patching up Darcy’s side and let her shirt fall down. Steve, who seemed to more level headed, stepped in between the other two men.
“He’s right. We should go. She’s not a threat-”
Although the younger man was speaking in her defense, she cut him off. She didn’t need anyone speaking for her.
“I’m not fucking Hydra. I have absolutely nothing to do with my parents’ choices, okay? Now these assholes took my little brother and I’m going to get him back with or without your help.”
Darcy held her head high as the others scrutinized her. Brock broke the tension.
“Okay let’s go.” Brock led the way as they all started jogging down the street.
The jostling movement caused the pain to return to Darcy’ body tenfold but she didn’t let it slow her down. Brock periodically looked over at Darcy making sure she was keeping up. She wasn’t concerned about her injuries she was only concerned what the scary Hydra swat men were going to do to her brother. But as soon as tears began to prick her eyes, she shook away the horrible thoughts and focused on the feeling of her feet hitting the pavement.
It didn’t take long to get to the tunnel where Brock explained they found out that Frank Castle and others were going to sneak in and kill the Hydra leaders. He said it was where they had to have brought Darcy’s brother and the Senator. They stopped before they got to Frank’s group of men. Brock went alone with his hands up to make sure they would work with them. He wasn’t entirely convinced they could trust the Punisher.
“Castle!! CASTLE!!” Brock’s voice bounced off the tunnel walls.
Darcy and the others couldn’t hear the conversation but after a few tense moments Brock gave them the all clear to join the group. When they got to the group of men that included Frank, Darcy was filled with rage. It was his fault that her and her brother were in this situation at all. She ignored everyone as she marched up to Frank and slapped him in the face. He was quite taller than her but she pushed his gun out of the way and shoved him against the wall holding his shirt near his throat. She knew by the look in his eyes that he could over power her at any second but she would get her piece out regardless.
“If anything happens to my brother, I’m coming after you.” As soon as she finished her sentence Brock pulled her off of Frank, all of Frank’s men drew their weapons on them.
Brock was standing protectively in front of Darcy, eyeing the others in the group who look like they could pull their triggers any second.
“Cool it.” Frank ordered his men. “We’re fine. Stick to the plan.”
“Is that the tunnel to the cathedral?” Brock asked, gesturing to the entryway they were guarding.
“How the fuck do you know about the tunnel?” Frank almost snarled.
“This is no longer an assassination, it’s a rescue mission.” Brock implored Frank. “They have the Senator and a little boy in there. And we’re going to get them out.”
The two men sized each other up but thankfully Frank conceded and let them follow.
Darcy followed closely behind Brock through the tunnel. She could feel the blood soaking her side, but the only thing on her mind was Lincoln scared and in danger. Brock and his group headed towards the balcony, as Frank took his men to the other end of the chapel. Darcy had a second of indecision but when Brock caught her eye, he gestured for her to follow them. She watched as he skillfully took out a guard with a small blade so fast the guy didn’t even make a sound. He paused as they got to the doorway that led to the balcony.
Brock bent down and handed Darcy a gun from his boot.
“Point and squeeze. Don’t shoot any of us.” He whispered.
When they got to the balcony, Brock crawled out first as they each took turn creeping out into the pews. They all noticed one of the new founding fathers and old tall man took a knife to Senator Pott’s throat.
“Rifle.” Fury urged Steve.
Steve set up the shot and pulled the trigger. Perfect shot. After that it was a full-on shootout. Darcy got a few shots off at the Hydra army down below from her spot behind the pew but was shocked and impressed as Natasha stood up straight like a badass picking off shooters left and right.
In the chaos Darcy spotted her blonde-haired little brother in the front row of the pews of the chapel. Relief washed over her that they didn’t hurt him, but that was quickly washed away with the horror of the situation her brother was a sitting duck in a gun fight.
“LINCOLN GET DOWN!!!!!” Darcy stood up and screamed. She watched him scramble underneath the pew but another man started to grab him and drag him towards a door on the side of the church.
Darcy was so close she wasn’t going to lose him now. Deciding it was worth the risk she ran over to the side of the balcony and climbed over. She lowered herself until she could feel a pillar with her legs. She wrapped her legs and attempted to slide down like a fireman. She landed with a hard thud and pain bloomed in her ankle. She scrambled up holding up Brock’s gun up in front of her as she limped quickly down the middle aisle of the church.
“Darcy!!!!” Brock yelled as he saw Darcy down on the floor walking straight into bullets.
“What the Mississippi fuck?” Fury noticed too.
Darcy was about to squeeze the trigger as a suited man appeared to her right weapon aimed on her but he collapsed instantly. She peeked over her shoulder seeing Brock step down to the front of the balcony.
“Cover her!!” Brock yelled.
With the cover from the others Darcy continued to limp her way to the front of the church and more and more men dropped around her. She got to the man holding Lincoln, her gun raised.
“Let him go. Now!!!” Darcy saw red as the man held Lincoln with his forearm around his neck.
The man smiled menacingly.
“You’re one of us Lewis. What are you doing with these bottom feeders? Come with us and we’ll protect you.”
Darcy never dropped her gun even when Frank’s men showed up and got rid of the other Hydra guards.
“You stupid girl!!!” He said as stepped backwards closer to steps he obviously didn’t see.
“You’re wrong. We’re nothing like you.”
The man took a wobbly step backwards hitting air instead of the step and tumbled backwards releasing Lincoln. Darcy jumped forward catching Lincoln in her arms.
The man scrambled up grabbing one the strewn purge knifes off the floor and advanced on Darcy and Lincoln. Darcy pushed Lincoln behind her and didn’t hesitate before she lifted her gun and fired two shots into the man’s chest.
Someone grabbed her shoulder and she spun around raising her gun once again.
“Whoa hey. It’s just me.” Brock caught her wrist.
Darcy finally released a breath of relief dropping to her knees and grabbing Lincoln. She held him close.
“I thought I lost you.” Darcy held on as Lincoln cried into her shoulder. “Don’t worry I’ve got you. You’re not leaving my side for the rest of the night okay buddy? Probably the rest of your life. Hope that’s okay.”
Lincoln hiccupped that suspiciously sounded like a small laugh.
After a few moments Darcy stood up never once letting go of Lincoln. She held him on her good side as her bullet wound she had been ignoring up until this point was now throbbing painfully. She looked down and saw red seeping through her shirt. The bandage Natasha had put on her side was drenched in blood now, her blood.
She followed the group downstairs as Senator Potts pleaded with Frank to not kill the Hydra minister. Frank shrugged her off and disappeared behind a door, locking everyone out.
Frank’s men held up their guns at them as Senator Potts banged on the door and tried to get in, Darcy shielded Lincoln with her body and stood behind Fury.
“Again with the guns?” Darcy mumbled. She’d gotten Lincoln back now she just wanted it to be over.
“I’m gonna tell ya right now, I aint gonna let you shoot these people. These are our people. Now lets just all put’em down.” Fury threatened the men who had their guns pointed at them.
“Look this isn’t the way to do this. Trust her, she can win.” Brock spoke with the guns in his face but his conviction made Darcy look over at him. Darcy had to tamper down the irrational jealousy that rose seeing Brock talking about the Senator that way and her hands slowly touching his back.
Frank suddenly appeared with the Hydra minister still alive, making Darcy jump.
“You better fucking win.” Frank told the Senator, who looked relieved.
Everyone filed into a room full of more purge victims that were supposed to be sacrificed by the Hydra members that night. Senator Potts started cutting the victims free. Frank approached Darcy and Lincoln.
“I just want to say I’m sorry for tonight, especially your family and getting you caught up in this. I was just trying to make a difference.”
Darcy nodded her acceptance of his apology, noticing Brock kicking the Hydra minister to the floor. Frank and a few men headed out the back to find a vehicle.
Brock looked back and asked Fury, “You got this?”
“You know I got this.” Fury smirked.
Before heading out the door Brock caught Darcy’s eyes. She mouthed a quick ‘Thank you’ but just when they thought they were out of the woods, gunshots exploded outside the door as Brock disappeared towards it.
The horror wasn’t over for them either as another Hydra member appeared through the doors holding a shotgun. He started shooting. Fury quickly retaliated covering Darcy, Lincoln, and the Senator taking several shots to the abdomen. Steve quickly gunned the Hydra man down. Once the assailant was dead on the floor, Darcy got up from covering Lincoln to help Natasha with Fury’s wounds but there were just too many. Brock returned from outside looking worse and tired with blood all over him. Darcy wondered how much was his. As Fury was taking his last breaths, Darcy felt as though she was intruding on a private moment between Fury, Natasha and Steve so she went back to hold Lincoln. Her poor brother had been so brave so far and seen far too much death for anyone, let alone his age. She sat Lincoln in her lap holding him tightly covering his eyes as Fury too his last few breaths. Although she’d only met the group and Fury that night, they all helped save her and more importantly Lincoln’s life. Tears filled her eyes as Fury passed quickly.
Darcy had never been so happy to see a sunrise in her whole life. Darcy was taken with the other injured victims from the church to the hospital. Of course, it was slammed with injuries from purge night. Luckily Lincoln made it through the night unscathed. He was asleep in her lap as they sat in the hospital waiting room. Her injuries were less than most so she’d have to wait. Finally, Darcy and Lincoln were taken back to a room. Natasha had been right. The bullet thankfully went through her side without hitting any major organs, only a minor nick on her rib. Her sprained ankle would heal with time. The cuts on her hands were superficial. They cleaned the bullet hole and stitched her up. She was leaning over as they finished stitching up the exit hole on her back when she noticed Brock in the doorway. She was surprised but glad to see him. He’d done so much for them she wanted to thank him but all that came out was a weak greeting.
He just nodded at her side that was now covered in bandages.
“They say I’ll live. You here to get checked out? The Senator didn’t get hurt, did she?”
He shook his head.
“The Senator is secure. I wanted to get you two home safe.”
“Oh we couldn’t. You’ve done so much for us already.” She immediately refused.
“C’mon Darcy we don’t have a ride.” Lincoln said but his eyes were on Brock. Lincoln was smiling up at him. It seemed he had a new hero. Darcy couldn’t help but agree.
“Well there ya go, you want to go find something to eat while they finish up with your sister?” Brock offered.
Lincoln jumped at the offer. Darcy thanked him again as they disappeared down the hall.
Brock drove them home after she was discharged.
“Hey Darcy, Brock got shot last night too! Isn’t that cool?” Lincoln hopped up on sugar from the hospital vending machine.
“Cool?? You think it’s cool that your only, sweet, amazing sister got shot?” Darcy teased from the front seat.
“Well yeah kinda.” Lincoln said sheepishly. “But I’m happy you’re okay.”
Darcy and Brock both chuckled.
“Are you okay? I don’t remember seeing you get shot but you were running around like some kind of superhero.” Darcy asked.
“Superhero huh?” Brock smirked.
Darcy cursed in her head as a blush colored her cheeks.
“Nah I’m fine. Got hit in the shoulder when Hydra first attacked Pepper.”
Darcy didn’t miss that he referred to the Senator by her first name. Though her thoughts twisted as they approached their neighborhood. Darcy felt self-conscious as they drove through the rows of obnoxious mansions. She was however thankful that the party wasn’t at their home this year. She couldn’t imagine coming home to the massacre that had happened. She was hit of the thought of their parents. She actually didn’t know if Frank and his men killed them or not but she figured she could deal with that once she had Lincoln home safe. Darcy looked back at her brother who was crashing after the sugar high and exhaustion. She was more worried about how the loss of their parents would affect him.
Brock insisted on checking the house for any leftover threats before they went inside but it seemed the house was untouched. Brock carried sleepy Lincoln up the stairs to his bedroom that Darcy pointed out.
“Can he stay?” Lincoln asked hopeful, as he woke up when Brock laid him down gently.
“No buddy. Brock has a really important job. Plus, I’m sure he’d like to go to his own home.” Darcy let him down easy.
“But I’ll stay in contact with your sister and we can talk soon. Okay?” Brock offered.
“Okay.” Lincoln said sleepily before closing his eyes again.
“You didn’t have to do that.” Darcy said when they were down the hall.
“No but I want to. He’s a good kid.”
“The best.” She agreed.
Brock followed Darcy downstairs to the large kitchen.
“Do you think your parents could’ve made it?” Brock asked. He almost seemed hesitant.
“I’m pretty sure they were killed at the party but I didn’t see for sure. I guess we’ll see if they turn up.” Darcy shrugged deciding the best way to handle it was not to react until she knew for sure.
Brock raised his eyebrow at Darcy’s blunt unworried tone. She explained further.
“They weren’t winning any parents of the year awards. Obviously, they were in with fucking Hydra.” Darcy said bitterly.
“Did you know?” Brock asked leaning up again the open-door frame in the kitchen. It was the most relaxed she’d seen him yet.
“I knew they had connections but I never thought they were actually a part of it. But we weren’t all that close. It doesn’t surprise me that they had secrets.”
“What about him?” Brock seemed very concerned about Lincoln. Apparently, Lincoln wasn’t the only one enamored with the other.
“Lincoln is my whole world. I’ll keep doing what I’ve always done, take care of him. I’m sure he’ll be sad if it’s true but I’ll be here.”
“You did a good job tonight.”
“Umm thanks?” Darcy felt a little guilty being rude but his words were a little patronizing.
“I just meant not everyone can shoot someone. You okay?”
Darcy had pushed that part of the night out of her head more so than her parents. She hadn’t been thinking when she pulled the trigger. Shooting a gun was much different than her taser she usually carried.
“He wanted to hurt my brother I wasn’t going to let that happen.” Darcy spoke with her head down.
He walked over to the kitchen counter and wrote down his name and number on a notepad for her. Darcy looked up at him.
“I was serious. If the two of you need anything at all, don’t hesitate to call.”
“Thank you, Brock.” Darcy hugged him before she could stop herself but pulled back quickly. “You saved our lives.”
Brock stayed close as he looked down at her like he wanted to say something but stopped himself. With one last look of those honey eyes he was gone.
The days that followed the Purge were a blur for Darcy. She called Jane and told her best friend everything that happened. Jane and Thor immediately flew back to Washington D.C. to be there for Darcy. They helped with Lincoln as Darcy’s, thankfully minor, injuries healed. Thor was a great distraction for Lincoln as Darcy tried to find out the fate of their parents. Since so many people often died during the Purge the police didn’t go through the usual process of notifying family members for Purge deaths. It made the aftermath confusing and stressful for those affected. Darcy went through her parent’s contacts, calling around for any information but a large portion of the people she called also didn’t answer. She wondered just how deep her parents were in with Hydra. After a week with no word from her parents Darcy received a letter notifying her that they had been declared dead.
With their parents officially gone Darcy filed with the courts and was quickly named Lincoln’s legal guardian. She was also named heir of the estate and in charge of Lincoln’s trust until he turned eighteen. Darcy handled her parent’s funerals, opting for a quiet, private affair. All their grandparents were passed and their only aunt and uncle were never close. It was just Darcy and Lincoln now. It became clear that the two siblings needed a change so Darcy decided to put their house up for sale. The two of them didn’t need all the space. It sold quickly and for top dollar by other well to do people who lost their home in the Purge.
Jane and Thor were life savers for Darcy, helping her move to a furnished townhouse better suited for her and Lincoln’s new life. But they couldn’t stay forever. Jane was finishing her PhD and was already hired by a lab in Norway, it was her dream job. Darcy selfishly wanted Jane to stay but she was so happy for her best friend. Before the Purge their plan was for Darcy to join her on her adventures but Darcy’s new adventure was her brother. And she was fine with that, mostly.
Staying busy with all her new parental duties, it kept Darcy’s mind off of the fact that she lost both her parents in one night. But Lincoln was struggling. Darcy did her best to be everything for Lincoln but eventually the reality of losing their parents hit them both. Lincoln was sad and angry that he’d never have his mom and dad back. Darcy was conflicted as well. No matter how much she didn’t get along with her parents and their questionable decisions, they were still her parents.
Darcy had hoped that life would go back to relatively normal but she quickly realized their new life was nothing like before. Darcy’s first test as Lincoln’s guardian came when she got a call from the principal of Lincoln’s private school. She nervously sat in the principal’s office feeling as if she was a student herself and not a 28-year-old adult.
“Miss Lewis thank you for coming in. We have a lot to discuss regarding Lincoln.”
The old man behind the desk feigned concern but she could see the condescending look in his eyes.
Darcy was shocked to find out that Lincoln had been in several incidents including physical altercations with other students, but what pushed her over the edge was the threat Lincoln had received in his school locker. It had Hydra written all over it. Darcy thought it had to be backlash coming from their involvement with Senator Potts on Purge night.
“I’m afraid I’m going to have to suspend Lincoln. He may return to school in a week.”
“You’re suspending Lincoln because he received a threat?!” She asked incredulously.
“He’s been involved in all the incidents Miss Lewis. The common factor is your brother. We cannot have his presence affecting the other students. If he learns to behave himself, he may come back after the week. If not, we will look into more permanent changes.” The principal sat back looking smug.
“Damn Hydra trash.” Darcy muttered.
“What was that Miss Lewis?”
“Oh I was just saying you won’t have to worry about that. Lincoln won’t be returning to this joke of a school.” Darcy stood up and gathered her purse.
“Joke of a school, I beg your pardon?” The principal stood as well.
“You might as well put Hail Hydra on your marquee. I would hate for my brother to get in the way of you indoctrinating more little Hydra followers, sir.” She added sarcastically.
She collected Lincoln who was waiting outside the office. Darcy felt guilty mouthing off and making the decision without talking to him but she knew Lincoln didn’t need to be there any longer.
“They tell you all that happened?” He asked as they walked to their car.
Darcy nodded yes.
“Are you mad?” He asked nervously.
Darcy stopped walking.
“Of course, I’m mad.” Lincoln flinched slightly. “But not at you, never at you.”
She looked over her brother for a moment.
“Did mom and dad get mad at you in the past?”
“This isn’t the first time stuff has happened but it’s been way worse since...” He trailed off.
Darcy pulled him into her arms.
“I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through that. And I’m not mom and dad. I’m on your side no matter what.” She paused before asking him her next question. “What if I said you didn’t have to go to school here anymore?”
Lincoln pulled back with a smile.
“For real. I sort of mouthed off to your principal and let’s just say you probably couldn’t come back even if you wanted to.”
Darcy put her arm around his shoulders as they continued to the car.
“Where will I go?”
“Well I’ve already looked and the public school in our neighborhood has great credentials, if you’re open to that?”
“No school uniform? Definitely!!”
“Awesome.” Darcy smiled proud of her younger brother’s resilience.
As they drove off Lincoln spoke up from the backseat.
“Should we call Brock about the letter?” Lincoln asked, referring to the Hydra threat in his locker.
“Yeah maybe we should buddy.”
Busy with getting Lincoln settled in a new school, Darcy hadn’t found time to call Brock. Darcy just got home from dropping Lincoln off at school when the door-bell rang. She was caught off guard because she hadn’t seen anyone outside close by. When she opened the door though there was no one outside except a small box on the doorstep. It had a shipping label that looked legit with her name and their new address on it.
She tried to think if she had been drinking wine and shopping again, forgetting she bought something online. Darcy chalked it up to that opening up the package once she was in the kitchen. On top there were photos but faced down. Turning over the photographs Darcy wasn’t prepared for what she was about to see. She screamed and dropped the package at the sight of her dead parents. In the photos it showed her gunned down parents, bloody and lifeless. Something on the floor caught her eye. She looked down to see a similar blue colored cloth falling out of the box. Upon closer look it was the Gucci dress she wore that night before trading with a girl she remembered as Kate. Darcy felt sick and lightheaded at the same time when she saw it was stained red.
In a panic she reached for the phone to dial 911 but she hesitated for a moment. Was this serious enough for the police? What if there were Hydra police officers? No, she couldn’t call over this but she needed to talk to someone. Scrolling through her phone she was thinking that Jane was asleep where she was when she saw Brock’s name. He did say to call if she needed anything and she’d been meaning to call him about Lincoln’s threat. This one was much louder.
Before she could think too much about it, she tapped on his name. Darcy paced as the phone rang. He didn’t answer. She figured he was busy with protecting the Senator who was running for president. His voicemail was nondescript but she didn’t expect a man like him to have a personal message. But Darcy had a bad habit of rambling on voicemails. She tried to think of what she would say when the tone beeped before she was ready.
“ Shit ...Umm hi Brock. You said to call in case if we needed anything and I’m not sure if we need something per se but I definitely could use someone telling me what to do. We uhh got a package and it’s from that night, pictures, bad pictures and something else with maybe blood. Its red I don’t want to look too close. But I think it could be from Hydra. I don’t know what they want and have no idea what to do with it. Lincoln had trouble at his old school so I switched him to public. Better he’s not around those snobs anyway. Oh fuck, did I mention this is Darcy? You’re probably like who is this crazy person. But-”
The voicemail cut her off.
No matter how embarrassing it was she left the message as is and shoved the pictures and dress back in the box. She didn’t want to look at them for another second. Hiding the box on the top shelf in the pantry so Lincoln wouldn’t see them when he got home.
Darcy’s heart was still beating fast after an hour, even though she was scared to go outside, she was going crazy in the house. A quick walk around the neighborhood would help her clear her mind and be better put together when she had to pick Lincoln up from school. Darcy double checked that she had her taser in her purse and headed out. The neighborhood they now lived in was beautiful and diverse. Darcy didn’t feel any eyes on her so she focused on her surroundings and what the neighborhood had to offer. She turned and found a street that had several shops and cafés. Walking by one store front she heard a couple people squabbling causing her to turn her head. She saw a familiar red hair so she slowed down.
“Steve, how did you not get all the same color of paint?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s all white. Plus, this was the cheapest paint they had.”
Darcy saw the redhead turn. It was Natasha and Steve. Darcy almost cried when she looked up to see the sign saying ‘Fury’s Deli’. She walked in announcing herself with a clearing of the throat.
“Hi, you may not remember me.”
“Darcy!” Steve said excitedly.
“Oh you do.” Darcy was surprised.
Steve gave her a warm hug and Natasha nodded her greeting.
“What are you doing here?” Steve asked.
“Well Lincoln and I moved in nearby and I was just checking out the neighborhood. This is crazy that I found you guys.”
“How are you two doing?” Natasha asked. Darcy could tell the beautiful woman meant it deeper than a polite question.
“We’re...alright. Lots of big changes for us but we’re making the best of it.”
“I’m glad you’re close by. We’d love to see you and Lincoln.” Steve put a gentle hand on her shoulder.
“We’d love that. In fact, do you guys need help renovating? I could use something to do to fill my time while Lincoln is at school.”
“Yes. First tell Steve that these two paints are not the same color.” Natasha smirked.
Darcy laughed because the whites were absolutely not the same.
Even though it was only one afternoon, Natasha and Steve welcomed Darcy and Lincoln into the fold. She was optimistic having friends close, giving them a much-needed family. Darcy knew that she would invest in the Deli, to help Steve get it up and running again. It was the least she could do for the people that saved Lincoln’s life that night.
More good news came from Lincoln’s excitement about his new school. Lincoln gabbed Darcy’s ear off about his day. Darcy was so happy for him and tried to stay positive but the box in the pantry was still causing her to worry.
Darcy checked her phone over and over throughout the night hoping to hear back from Brock. When it was 11 and still no word, Darcy gave up and went to bed.
Darcy was woken up by a noise downstairs. Dragging herself out of bed she thought Lincoln could be up for a glass of water or something. She squinted at the clock and without her glasses she made out shapes that maybe said 2 or 3.
She headed down the hall to the staircase, thirsty herself. When she found Lincoln in his bed deep asleep. Instantly worried Darcy tiptoed down the stairs relieved that she didn’t see anything. When she got to the base of the stairs however she heard another noise this time in the kitchen. Darcy quickly grabbed her taser out of purse in the foyer. Regretting not putting on her glasses she made her way to the kitchen. Hoping to catch the intruder off guard Darcy flipped on the light and pulled the trigger on her taser.
The man grunted but recovered from the shock quicker than she expected. Grabbing the closest thing, a vase, she threw it at him but he dodged. When he spoke she froze.
“Darcy stop. It’s me. It’s Brock.”
“Brock?” Darcy squinted. As he slowly walked in closer, she could see him a little bit better. Even a bit blurry he was still handsome. “What the hell are you doing here? Breaking in?”
“Sorry about that but your message made me worry.”
“You couldn’t just call back? Wait how do you know where we live?”
“Uhh well perks of the job. Are you and Lincoln okay? You said something about a package.”
Darcy tried to catch her breath and understand what was going on. Brock. Here. Package. Yes, she wanted him to check the box.
Darcy went to the pantry and grabbed the box. She set it front of Brock on the counter. Crossing her arms to her chest and stepping away, she didn’t want to be near it. She looked him over as he looked over the contents of the box. He was wearing a suit again but this time he wasn’t bloody or dirty. He looked damn good. Darcy looked down to her own pajamas. She was wearing her space pjs that Jane had gotten for her last birthday. It was a button up top and short combo. The shorts were a little shorter than what she would wear out but her ass cheeks were safe. The button up was loose and covered her free swaying boobs. It could be worse she decided, considering some nights she sleeps in old ratty t-shirts and underwear. Brock spoke up dragging her out of her thoughts.
“Is this...?” Brock asked referring to the photos.
“Our parents yeah, and the dress I wore that night. It didn’t have blood on it while I wore it.”
“What do you mean while you wore it?”
“I traded it to a young girl at Castle’s warehouse. Oh God what if they hurt her?” Darcy instantly felt sick but Brock stepped forward and put his arms around her.
“It’s okay. It’s probably just a different dress to make you think that and scare you.” He said calming her down.
He rubbed his hands gently up and down her back. After a minute or so, Brock stepped back. She was disappointed at the space between them now. He was warm and solid, she instantly felt cold.
“Where’s your broom? I’ll clean that up.” He pointed to the broken vase on the floor.
“Closet over there. Would like some tea or coffee?”
“I’m probably not going to sleep tonight so coffee would be great.”
In silence each focused on their task, Brock sweeping up the glass and Darcy made him a cup of coffee and a cup of tea for herself. She wanted to at least try to get some sleep before taking Lincoln to school. When they were both done, they sat at the breakfast table with their drinks.
“So just because you work for the future President you think you can just break into people’s homes?” Darcy broke the silence teasing him.
Brock chuckled and looked a little embarrassed. With the lights on and sitting close Darcy could see him more clearly.
“I’m sorry I missed your call. I was in California today. Just got back. I messaged you but you were probably asleep. I came by to see if the place was safe. You need to get some home security. I got in way too easy.”
“I’ll do that tomorrow.”
It had been on her long to do list with the move but Lincoln switching schools had gotten in the way.
Brock nodded contently as she didn’t fight him on it.
Darcy realized that Brock had been working all day and traveling with the Senator campaigning and he still came straight over to check on them.
“How’s Lincoln?” He asked.
“He’s okay. The funeral was hard. He has his good days and his bad days. I’m just thankful we got him out of the hell hole of a school.”
“You mentioned he had trouble. What kind?”
“Standard bullying but after the uh yeah you know.” She hated referring to that night. “Well it got way worse. He found a threat in his locker. It had to be Hydra. The school is filled with those families.”
“Okay I’ll talk to Pepper and see if we can approve any sort of security for you two.”
This shocked Darcy.
“Whoa do you think it’s that serious? I mean you guys have an election coming up in a month and I’m sure that’s way more important.”
“I’ll be busy yes, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make one of the lower level guys be around in case you need him. Plus, this threat is much more personal. I think it would be smart, at least until the election. Then we can see.”
“Okay. For Lincoln.”
Brock took a drink of his coffee.
“How are you?” He asked.
He raised a skeptical eyebrow at her.
“Raising a kid is a big change.” He said.
“Yeah it is but I’m handling it.”
“I believe it.”
Not wanting to talk about herself she changed the subject.
“So Pepper huh?” Darcy pointed out the first name basis they were on. She swore she saw Brock blush. Ignoring the sharp stab in her chest she continued on. “How is the Senator?”
“More determined than ever to win.”
“Good. I hope she kicks their asses. I actually ran into Natasha and Steve today. They’re fixing up Fury’s Deli. I think I’m going to help out for the time being.”
“That’s good. They’re good people.”
“You keep up with them?”
“Um well no.”
“Brock, are running background checks another perk of the job?”
“Did you run one on me?”
“No, of course not. Say how does someone get a C in a theater class?”
“You did so!! And that was an elective and not worth sleeping with the sleezy professor to get an A for the sake of my GPA.”
Brock clenched his jaw at her explanation.
“Good to know.” He said quietly.
“You’re good at this bodyguard stuff. Obviously, we saw it that night but still.”
He only smirked then turned serious looking at the box still on the counter.
“I’ll take that with me and get it checked out for any evidence of who sent it.”
After a few more moments Brock moved to stand up.
“I should go so you can rest. Promise me you’ll get a security system?”
Darcy nodded. She wanted to snark back ‘yes dad’ but she knew she didn’t want him to view her as a daughter type. Then she thought of calling him daddy in a whole other context. Could Brock have a daddy kink? Did she? The thoughts flew through her brain without her permission. She knew her face was crimson. Luckily Brock was finishing his coffee and didn’t seem to notice. They both stood up and headed to the front door.
“I’ll let you know who I send over.” He said.
“You really don’t have to do that.”
His voice saying her name literally shut down any argument she had.
“Okay. Thank you for coming by, even if it was breaking in at 3 in the morning.” She smiled at him.
He didn’t hug her again but he did take his time looking at her before saying goodbye.
Darcy locked up but left a couple lights on to feel better before going back to bed. Lincoln was still deep asleep, not at all disturbed by their ruckus and conversation downstairs. Once Darcy got settled back in bed, she smelled something. Sniffing the collar of her pjs she got a faint whiff of his cologne. Darcy let the intoxicating scent drift her to sleep. Subconsciously she knew she was in trouble with the hot, older, protector but for now she’d let her dreams run wild.
Darcy builds some new friendships and has to confront her growing feelings for Brock.
I'm sorry vacation with crappy wifi delayed this chapter BUT it is longer to make up for that.
By the time Darcy woke up Brock had already sent someone over to look out for her and Lincoln. He texted her a picture of the security guard, Jack Rollins, who had a very scary resting face. That would be good to scare off Hydra goons, Darcy thought.
Darcy made Lincoln breakfast and stepped out to retrieve the paper when she saw a black SUV parked in front of their townhouse on the curb. She knew it had to be Brock’s guy. She turned to go back inside but then changed direction and knocked on the car window. It rolled down revealing the man from Brock’s text message.
“I’m Darcy Lewis. Nice to meet you.” Darcy reached in the open window to shake his hand.
“G’morning. You as well.” Jack had an Aussie accent and gave her a small smile that transformed the scary face.
“I just wanted to say sorry you got stuck with this job but I greatly appreciate you looking out for us.”
“Not a problem. Anything you need, I’ll right out here.”
Darcy nodded but then the thought of him sitting outside all day alone didn’t sit well with her.
“Would you like to come in for a cup of coffee before I have to take Lincoln to school?”
“I shouldn’t ma’am.”
“Oh stop with the ma’am nonsense. It’s Darcy and I assume you would need to get a lay of the house in case of anything right?”
Jack caved and followed Darcy into the house. Lincoln was enthralled with Jack’s accent and started shooting off a million questions about Australia and kangaroos.
Jack drove Darcy and Lincoln to drop him off at school. Jack went inside the school with Darcy and was satisfied with the surveillance system of the school but mentioned he might ask Brock for another person to be near the school during the day for Lincoln. Darcy appreciated the thought. On the way back home Darcy spoke up.
“I’m sorry you got stuck on babysitting duty.”
“No not at all. I actually prefer this to the stuffy government events. Politicians are the worst.”
“You’re not wrong there. For having a political science degree, I never did like the people. So how did an Australian like yourself end up here? I’m assuming your relatively new since you got stuck with us.”
Darcy remembered that Brock mentioned that he’d send a low-level guy for the job.
“Oh no I’ve been working with Rumlow forever. We were training at SHIELD together before the uprising. We were young agents when Hydra took over.”
Darcy’s brain almost short circuited trying to digest the information. Jack was definitely not a newbie if he’d known Brock for almost 30 years. Darcy remembered learning about SHIELD in school, it had been an intelligence organization contracted by the government for intelligence gathering and covert missions. That explained Brock’s skills she’d seen Purge night. However, Hydra infiltrated SHIELD from within and with the uprising, Hydra became more powerful and eventually a legitimate political organization. When they took power in the White House the first Purge was implemented.
“I’m sorry, he told me he’d send over a new guy. I mean his team is guarding the Senator that could potentially do away with Purge and everything Hydra has worked for. That seems way more important.”
“Of course he’d say that but he made it abundantly clear that your and your brother’s safety was priority. He won’t admit it but we’re best mates. He sent me over because he knew I can keep you safe. You don’t need to worry about Hydra. We’ll take care of it.”
Darcy was quiet for the rest of the ride sorting through the information. Brock sent his best friend to watch over her and Lincoln and said they were priority. With the election only a few weeks away Darcy didn’t believe it.
Later that day it was still bugging her so she sent a message to Brock.
Darcy- You said you’d send some ‘ low-level guy ’ . Not your best friend!!
It was about half an hour later when she received a reply.
Brock- He said that didn’t he? Adults don’t have best friends but Jack is the best one on the team other than me. Is there a problem?
First of all I am an adult and I have a best friend. And Second I don’t want to be a burden.
Not a burden. It’s his job.
No his job is to protect the Senator with you and that is pretty freaking important.
Darcy saw the ellipsis pop up and then disappear a couple times. He was typing and then deleting, she wondered what he was having trouble saying. Finally, her phone chimed again.
Full disclosure part of our team betrayed us for Hydra on Purge night. That’s why we were out that night. I needed to send someone I trust. I trust Jack with my life, you can too.
Darcy was stunned and didn’t know what to say. Normally she’d keep arguing because debating was one of her strengths but Brock always had a way of making her agree with him. She thought about Lincoln and typed out her reply.
Okay for Lincoln.
After a couple weeks of Jack guarding them, they all got settled into a nice routine. Jack would show up in the morning and relieve the night guy, who was also from Brock and Jack’s team. Darcy wasn’t much of a cook but became better at breakfast being able to finally make more than bowls of cereal for Lincoln and Jack. They would all have breakfast together then take Lincoln to school, where another agent was stationed for Lincoln. Darcy insisted on being the one to drop off and pick up Lincoln from school however. Lincoln was often shuttled around by drivers when their parents wouldn’t bother. She didn’t want that for him now.
Darcy was helping with the deli renovation during the day while Lincoln was at school. Natasha was skeptical of Jack the first time she met him but he apparently gained her approval by sharing some of his SHIELD stories with the red head. Steve as friendly as can be welcomed Jack into the fold immediately, plus it was another pair of hands helping.
Darcy was often busy running around town price checking new equipment. She decided that even though the damage to the store wasn’t structural that they needed to hire a contractor to help make the inside better than ever. Barnes Construction came highly recommended, but when she saw Steve’s face when Bucky Barnes arrived it was worth a five-star review. Apparently, Darcy had accidentally hired Steve’s childhood friend and forever crush.
Darcy quickly became close to Natasha and Steve, after she groveled for hiring Bucky on accident anyway. Soon enough though Steve was the one thanking Darcy because the two were head over heels in love with each other even if they were oblivious at times. Darcy would catch the two make moon eyes at each other when the other wasn’t looking. She cornered Steve one day confronting him about his feelings. She was worried neither would get the courage to ask the other out but when she walked in on the two making out in the storage room one day, Darcy squealed and then shut the door with a large smile. Finally.
Natasha was a tougher nugget to crack, but Darcy prided herself on figuring out people and what their needs were. Darcy found a little Russian bakery that made Natasha’s favorite dessert and would bring it to the deli for her. She believed anyone could be bribed with enough persistence but soon enough Darcy and Natasha were having real conversations, even something that resembled a heart to heart. Natasha was even teaching Lincoln how to defend himself in case he had trouble with anymore bullies. Darcy didn’t know too much about Natasha’s past because she was such a private person but she assumed it held some violence somewhere. She was just thankful Natasha was on their side.
Darcy and Lincoln adopted Jack as one of their own as well. His scary face was now comical to Darcy because she knew how much a softie he was. Jack did well to slip into their lives like he’d always been there. Darcy learned more about SHIELD, Hydra, and in turn Brock because of his and Jack’s work together. She learned that Brock’s large Italian family welcomed Jack in with open arms since his own family was so far away. Brock was the eldest of four with three younger sisters, who all lived in New York. Brock and Jack visited when they could.
Darcy and Brock talked as much as his schedule would allow through text messages mostly. He always checked in and made sure Darcy or Lincoln were okay and didn’t need anything. He would make time to call every once in a while, and spend time talking to Lincoln. It warmed Darcy’s heart that Lincoln was gaining such good male role models. She was concerned that she wouldn’t be enough for her little brother but with friends like they had they would make it.
Lincoln one night at dinner asked if Darcy had a boyfriend or girlfriend like Steve and Bucky. Taken aback by the question she answered honestly with a no. Her sweet little brother followed up with another question.
“Do you want one?”
“You’re the only one I need in my life right now.” She kissed the top of his head. The smile on his face told her he was satisfied with her answer.
Darcy had never been a big dater before but had no thoughts about it since gaining custody of Lincoln. Well except one thought but it was so far from a possibility that Darcy accepted that her daydreams of the dark-haired hero would stay just that, daydreams. The dark-haired hero seemed to know when she was thinking of him because her phone dinged with a text from him.
How did little man do on his math test?
Amazing! Tell him I owe him ice cream.
Did you bribe Lincoln to do well?
Haha Jokes on you. He’ll expect something for every good grade from now on.
That’s okay. I can handle that. He must get his smarts from his beautiful sister.
Pfft. Yeah right . He just really likes ice cream.
He told m e m ore about his new school this week.
Was it good? He told me it was good but he could just be saying that to keep me from bugging him.
It was good. Says he likes it better, especially the girls.
Girls?!? He didn’t mention girls to me !
It’s a guy thing. Don’t take it personally.
So what advice did you give him?
Compliments go a long way. Treat them right, none of that pig-tail pulling crap.
So far so good. These the tricks you use on all the ladies?
Darcy didn’t mean to ask about his dating life but she was biting her nail as she waited for him to respond.
All the ladies? I might’ve r u n around when I was younger but not anymore.
Not anymore why?
Too busy. Too old. Take your pick.
Darcy was a little shut down at that. He clearly wasn’t looking for anything, especially not with her. He sent another message before she had a chance to respond.
But you’re a gorgeous smart woman. You’ve got to be beating men off with a stick. You can give him some better pointers.
Darcy was stuck on his compliments. Didn’t he just say he told Lincoln to do that? She was confused.
Hah No need for a stick at the moment. You’re really good with him. He listens to you.
He’s a good kid. Does he give you trouble?
Not often but I am his sister, not his mom. Or s o he reminds me time to time.
I’ll talk to him about that.
I appreciate your help but you don’t have to do that. I have to learn how to handle Lincoln on my own. He’s my responsibility.
I’m sorry . I didn’t mean to overstep.
That’s not it. It’s just ... Idk this conversation would be a lot easier in person. Haven’t seen you in weeks.
I know. Work is crazy. The election is in a week.
Yeah I know. It’s fine. You didn’t overstep. It’s all good. Give Potts our best wishes.
Darcy I’d like to see you two soon though.
Darcy read the last messages over and over again. She tried to understand where her frustration was coming from. She knew she liked him or whatever the adult version of a middle school crush was. Jack’s stories of their time working together didn’t help either. She’d think of him beating up bad guys, sweating and all muscles. She also knew she didn’t really know him well but that she’d like to. He was this mysterious man that swooped in, trying to take care of everything for Darcy and Lincoln. Darcy appreciated the help with feeling safe since the Hydra threat and thankful nothing else had happened since. But she prided herself on being independent. She knew she could take care of Lincoln on her own. She didn’t need a man to save her. However, her brain would remind her that this man did literally save her and Lincoln on Purge night. Darcy was conflicted safe to say. It also didn’t help that later that day Jack let it slip that Brock had gotten close to Senator Potts, or Pepper and they were supposed to go on a date after the election.
She reread the message again and chalked it up to his bond with Lincoln then ignored it for the rest of the day. Working at the deli helped take her mind off of him until she caught the lovey dovey eyes Steve and Bucky were making at each other as they worked. Not in the mood to watch the happy couple, Darcy went to the back of the store to start shelving.
“What did that shelf do to you?” Natasha asked startling Darcy. She realized she’d been slamming cans down while restocking the new shelves.
“Oh uhhhh nothing.”
“What’s wrong? Steve is not really mad at you.”
“I know, it’s not that.”
“Then what is it?” Natasha then gave Darcy her signature glare.
“You’ll think it’s stupid.”
“Let me be the judge of that. Come on, out with it!” Natasha motioned for Darcy to give it up.
Darcy took a deep breath and blew it out flapping her lips.
“Okay. I’m frustrated, mostly with myself let’s be clear, but I don’t know what to do about Brock.”
Darcy explained the situation and showed Natasha some of their text messages.
“He’s flirting with you.” She said it like it was obvious.
“That’s what I thought but I wasn’t sure because that’s it, nothing else has happened. Plus, Jack told me he going to take Pepper out on a date after the election. How can I compete with the future President?”
“Alright first of all, none of that shit. You are a strong independent woman. And one date doesn’t mean anything. If he continues to see her and text you like this, call him out on his shit then be done with him.”
“I know but he’s so good with Lincoln and we haven’t had any trouble since he assigned Jack to help us out.”
“Are you still worried about Hydra?”
“Not really anymore. That box had to be them just getting back at us for being with Pepper that night.”
“So maybe you should tell him you’re dumping his protection because you’ve got us now. We’d do anything for you and Linc you know that.”
“Yeah I know you guys have been amazing.”
“No you’ve been the amazing one Darcy.” Steve stepped up joining in their conversation. “We couldn’t have done this without your support.”
“I’m just glad I can do something for you guys and Fury. We owe you.”
“Not true but we’ll take the money anyway.” Natasha smirked and wrapped an arm around Darcy.
The three shared a laugh.
“Okay who’s giving you a hard time then?” Steve asked with his arms crossed with a face telling her he wasn’t going to let it go, but before she could answer Natasha spoke up.
“Darcy here has a little crush on Bodyguard Brock.”
“Rumlow? For real??” Steve asked stunned.
Darcy felt her face go beat red and mumbled something incoherent. As Steve started to ask more questions, she shh’ed him as Jack walked up.
“It’s about time to pick up Lincoln.” Jack said with a small smile.
Darcy looked down at her watch. He was right of course Darcy had lost track of time so caught up in her feelings. She finished her shelf and said her goodbyes.
Natasha mouthed, “We’ll talk later.”
Darcy wasn’t sure if Jack knew Darcy’s growing crush on his best friend but if he was observant at all he probably had an inkling. Darcy did ask him an awful lot of questions about Brock. Perhaps he mentioned Brock’s intentions with Pepper to let her down gently. That had to be it Darcy convinced herself. By the time they picked up Lincoln, Darcy was positive that Brock was just looking out for Lincoln and she would force her feelings to disappear. She looked back over the text message and finally sent a response.
Lincoln would love a visit when you’re available.
She wouldn’t let her feelings get in the way of taking care of Lincoln. If Lincoln trusted Brock enough to talk to him, she would make sure he always had someone to talk to even if it wasn’t her.
On election day Darcy, Natasha, Steve, Bucky and Jack all went together in Jack’s inconspicuous black SUV. The line was long but that was a good sign Darcy thought. Getting people to vote was surprisingly hard even with super important elections and issues. From the turn-out it looked like most of the neighborhood was there, lots of hard-working blue-collar people which was good for the Senator. The group talked quietly as the line moved slowly.
“So Darcy what’s going on with you and mystery man?” Bucky asked with a smirk.
“You too? Seriously?” She asked Steve and Natasha.
“Sorry Darce.” Steve said shyly.
“It’s not his fault he can’t lie to save himself.” Bucky said lovingly to his boyfriend.
“Who is this mystery man?” Jack asked.
“Uhhh nobody. It’s nothing. They just like to bust my chops.” Darcy said quickly.
“Yup.” Natasha said popping her gum loudly causing an older woman to frown at them.
Brock had texted and even called her several time since she sent that last message. She couldn’t bring herself to talk to him. She told herself she was doing him a favor really because he had to be so busy with the Senator and election that he had no time to talk to her. His messages sometimes got worried but mentioned Jack said everything was fine. Darcy honestly just wanted to stop being attracted to him.
When it was her turn, Darcy went through her ballot quickly. No matter any jealousy she had for the beautiful woman that apparently had Brock’s attention, she knew Pepper Potts was the best person to save the country.
When they were all back in the car Darcy scrolled her phone for updates on the election when she came across a video of the Senator casting her vote. Brock was standing close guarding her from the hordes of press. He looked good, in truth though Darcy hadn’t ever seen him look bad and she met him when he was covered in blood. The Senator left her polling booth and waved to the crowd. The woman was good. As she passed Brock, Darcy caught sight of a soft brush of her hand on his arm. It was intimate and more than a professional, friendly gesture. Exiting out of the app quickly Darcy tried to act normal but she couldn’t lie to herself. It stung.
Jack dropped the others off at the deli. None of them wanted to work that day, anxious because of the election. Darcy promised to have everyone over for a watch party that night.
“You a’right?” Jack asked when they were alone.
“Me? Yeah of course. I guess I’m just nervous like everyone else.”
Jack studied her for a moment.
“You sure that’s it?”
“Mmhmm.” Darcy hummed.
After several turns Jack spoke up.
“He’s not dating her.”
“What? Who?” Darcy whipped her head at him in the driver’s seat.
“Brock. He didn’t ask her out. I was wrong and I shouldn’t have said anything. I’m sorry.”
“Wha-what are you talking about?”
“I don’t mean to pry but Brock is my best mate. I truly thought he was going to pursue her because she has been so obvious towards him but he didn’t-isn’t pursuing her.”
“Jack I’m confused. Why would I care who Brock is pursuing?”
Jack fixed her with a look clearly calling her bullshit. Darcy groaned.
“Am I that transparent?”
“Nah I was secret spy once upon a time remember? And I overheard you and Natasha talking about it the other day.”
Darcy had to laugh at that.
“Yeah well don’t worry I’m not stalking your best friend. He’s good with Lincoln, you all are. I appreciate all the help. This stupid crush will go away.”
It was Jack’s turn to hum skeptically.
“It will.” Darcy insisted.
Jack chuckled as they pulled up to her townhouse.
“Well this next thing may or may not help that.”
“What thing?” Darcy asked when she caught a glimpse of someone outside her window on the sidewalk. She had to do a double take. It was Jane.
Darcy jumped out of the car and wrapped her arms around her best friend. She was thinner, probably working too much. Darcy would have to rectify that.
“What are you doing here??” Darcy asked pulling back.
“I needed to vote, didn’t I? It’s a pretty important election.”
“I thought you had research you couldn’t leave?”
“Well your friend contacted my facility and got me a few days off! And even though I hate leaving work I just had to see you and little Lincoln.”
“My friend? What friend?” Darcy looked over at Jack who joined them on the sidewalk. He only shrugged once.
“Mr. Rumly?” Jane was never good with names.
“Rumlow? Brock Rumlow?” Darcy asked.
“Yeah that’s it. Wait is he the same guy who saved you that night? Is that you?” Jane asked Jack.
“No ma’am. He’s my boss. I’m Jack Rollins, just here looking out for your friend here.”
“Ugh don’t ma’am me. Makes me feel like an 80-year-old grandma.”
Jack laughed whole-heartedly at that as the two shook hands. Darcy would bug Jack for details later but for the moment she just wanted to catch up with her best friend.
Jane and Darcy caught up. Jane had been so busy with work that they didn’t get to talk as much as they would like. Which made Darcy think just how Brock persuaded Jane to leave for a break. Jane told Darcy about breaking up with Thor. It had been mutual. Jane was busy and Thor was traveling exploring far corners of the world. Darcy caught Jane stealing glances at Jack as they all set up for the watch party that evening. Jane always did have something for men with accents.
Darcy told Jane more about the Hydra threat and Brock’s security. Immediately Jane caught on to the situation.
“You like him. That’s why he was so persistent I come.” Jane said the last part mostly to herself.
“Not you too.” Darcy groaned. “It’s nothing Jane, literally nothing.”
“He flew me out here to visit you Darcy. I don’t think you’re alone in those feelings.”
“He just wanted another vote for Pepper.”
“That’s a lot of work and money just for one more vote.”
“You know what they say, every vote counts.”
“And you’re a political science genius. Would a campaign track down out of country citizens and fly them first class back home just to maybe vote for their candidate?”
“Yup and it has now ruined me and I don’t know how I'll fly any other way now.” Jane said almost annoyed.
Later everyone was over watching the television as they announced the results state by state. Darcy was letting Lincoln stay up past his normal bedtime. She could hear his sugar high giggles from the living room. Darcy was in the kitchen alone with Jack who was leaning against the wall but still on guard ready for any threats.
“You can enjoy yourself too Jack. I think we’re the last thing on Hydra’s mind tonight.”
“I’m a’right Darcy.”
“Oh come on have some food, have a seat. I won’t peer pressure you into a drink but for me take off the jacket and relax. Well that’s more for Jane actually.”
“For Jane?” Jack perked up and looked at the petite scientist across the room.
Darcy smirked, it seemed Jack was keeping tabs on Jane as well.
“She broke up with her boyfriend. Totally single.”
“Really?” Jack said almost in a trance.
Darcy giggled and poured herself a glass of wine. Jack shook out of his daze when the others cheered as another state went blue for Pepper.
“Did something happen between you two?” Jack asked quietly. Darcy knew he wasn’t talking about Jane.
Darcy shrugged with the help of a couple glasses of wine she answered honestly.
“Nothing really. We text that’s it. He’s flirty, I think he is anyway. Then you told me about him and Pepper and it felt weird, wrong. I stopped responding.”
“Shit. I’m really sorry about that. I now know I was wrong about that.”
“How? You’re with us all the time. You don’t know if they’re having secret rendezvouses on the campaign trail.”
Jack shook his head saying no she was wrong.
“At first when he assigned me to you, I thought it was purely because of the Hydra threat but now I know it’s more than that. He was putting just as much emphasis if not more on your and Lincoln’s safety as he was the Senator’s. Brock is not reckless but he sometimes goes overboard. You have no idea how often he checks in on you guys. If he could be here, he would be. He just flew your best friend across an ocean to see you because you’re ignoring him. He’s never done anything so big for anyone other than family.”
Darcy thought for moment.
“I keep thinking he’s just really protective over Lincoln.”
“I think he is but he’s protective over you too.”
“Yeah but what kind of protective? Because big brother protective is not the kind I want.” Darcy gasped when she realized she said it out loud and not in her head like she meant.
“I don’t think you have to worry about that.” Jack chuckled.
“Really?” Darcy asked not convinced.
Darcy thought on Jack’s words throughout the rest of the evening. When the newscaster reported the final state that put Pepper over the needed electoral votes to win, the group cheered. There were tears and hugs shared. Darcy was struck with the thought that with Pepper as President the Purge would finally be over. They would never have to endure another night like they had. Darcy held Lincoln close. Although that night brought most of the people in the room in their lives, Darcy never wanted Lincoln in that kind of danger again. Perhaps this meant things were only going to get better from here.
Jane stayed the night and helped get Lincoln to bed before leading a pretty tipsy Darcy to bed as well.
“I’m so happy you’re here.” Darcy said as they got into bed.
“Me too. You’ll have to send Rumly a thank you.” Jane mumbled as her head hit the pillow. Darcy knew that her best friend was immediately out.
Darcy thought about it for a second before grabbing her phone off the bed side table and typed a message.
CONGRATULATIONS!! She did it! It’s so amazing. BYE BYE PURGE! Also I don’t know how or why you did it. But thank you.
Darcy read it over, thankful for autocorrect with her tipsy state. She hoped he understood the message and hit send. Darcy fell asleep with her phone still in her hand.
Darcy woke up with cotton mouth and a cramp in her hand. She rolled over and found that she still held her now dead cell phone. The vodka shots that Natasha pushed towards Darcy late in the evening were a little too much for Darcy after the bottle of wine she drank. Jane was no longer in bed with her so she plugged in her phone and headed down stairs. Hit with music as she descended the stairs her head began a steady thumping along with the beat of the song that played.
When she arrived in the kitchen, she found Jane cooking at the stove with a soft smile on her face and Jack making funny faces at Lincoln who was still in his pajamas.
“Well, well, well this is picturesque.” Darcy said eyes on Jane.
Jane turned with wide eyes, like she’d been caught but quickly recovered.
“You’re up!! We were just making breakfast.”
“You cook? You never cooked for me.” Darcy said accusingly.
“Jack is showing me some recipes. It’s surprisingly easy.” Jane shrugged like it wasn’t a big deal.
“Good. You’re getting too skinny. Working too much again.”
“Yeah, yeah. Hungry?” Jane rolled her eyes at Darcy’s concern.
“I will be once my head stops pounding.”
“She used to always get “headaches” in college.” Lincoln did finger quotations.
Jack burst out laughing.
“You know you’re too smart for your own good.” Darcy said ruffling his already messy hair as she sat next to him at the breakfast bar.
“How can you be too smart?” Lincoln mumbled to himself making everyone laugh.
Darcy looked at Jack as he helped Jane cook.
“Weren’t you here late last night? Why are you already back? The night guy could give you a couple extra hours of sleep at least.”
“Actually, Jack stayed the night.” Jane supplied as she filled Lincoln’s plate with French toast.
“Oh did he now?” Darcy turned her attention to Jack who was doing his best to hide the blush creeping up his neck.
“In the downstairs guest room.” Jack said.
Darcy could tell Jack felt some kind of guilt but for no reason at all.
“Well good, I’m glad you stayed. I hope you eventually celebrated. I can’t remember too much of the end of the evening.”
Jane handed her a couple aspirin and a glass of water. Darcy thanked her.
As they all ate breakfast Darcy asked Jane what her plans were for her stay.
“Oh I don’t know I’m thinking about actually taking some more time off.”
“What?? Who are you and what have you done with my best friend?!” Darcy said shocked.
“Oh stop it. I’m not that bad.”
“Is everything okay there?” Darcy asked now worried something was wrong at her new job.
“Yeah that lab is great. It’s just...well it’s not exactly what I expected.”
“Oh Jane.” Darcy reached over to hold Jane’s hand.
“Darcy it’s nothing, I’m just going to take a couple weeks off and revaluate. I was hoping I could stay here?”
“Of course!! I’d love for you to stay, even longer if you decide but I don’t want to sway your decision.”
“I know and that’s why I love you.”
“I love you too my dear. OH! That means you’ll be here for the deli reopening! Yay you can help me finish the party planning.”
“Party planning? I mean I still have to work while I’m here.”
There was the Jane she knew.
“Oh come on you’ll love it.”
Darcy smirked when Jane groaned.
Since Darcy was still recovering from the night before she reluctantly let Jack take Lincoln to school without her. Lincoln only rolled his eyes at Darcy’s concern, making a joke that he’d rather have ‘super cool’ Jack take him anyway. Darcy ignored the small sting that her brother was embarrassed of her. She had always tried to bug her little brother like big sisters do but she never wanted him to pull away. Jane recognized the spiral of thoughts Darcy was going through and gave her a hug whispering in her ear.
“It’s only because of your sweatpants and your unwashed hair.” Jane joked making Darcy chuckle. “He doesn’t mean anything by it. I’ll go with them. You shower.”
“Fine.” Darcy agreed, not missing Jane jumping at the chance to be with Jack for a little while.
Darcy headed upstairs checking her phone before she took that shower she desperately needed. She saw Brock’s name on her notifications. Frozen for a moment she sat down on the bed and opened her messages. She was surprised to see that she’d text him first.
CONGRATULATIONS!! She did it! It’s so amazing. BYE BYE PURGE! Also I don’t know how or why you did it. But thank you.
She didn’t remember the message but she was glad it wasn’t more than that.
The President Elect thanks you. I’m glad Jane was able to make it. I hope to talk to you soon.
Darcy smiled at the formality he used in referring to Pepper. He didn’t take outright credit for flying Jane he did acknowledge it. He hoped to talk to her soon. Remembering her talk with Jack the night before made her feel better about that prospect. And a shower would make her feel better in general.
Lincoln was at school while Darcy and Jane were working party plans for the deli’s reopening the following week. Well Darcy was, Jane was attempting to work on research. Jack came into the room with quick large steps and turned on the television.
“You need to see this.”
Darcy and Jane turned their attention to the tv listening to the news anchor.
“There are reports of unrest since the announcement of Senator Pepper Potts win. Hydra supporters are taking the streets protesting, even destroying public property. Police are warning the public to stay in their homes in concerns that the violence could escalate into full blown riots.”
“I guess they aren’t too happy they lost. Should we go get Lincoln?” Darcy asked worried about her brother’s safety. She had no idea if riots were close to his school but she didn’t want him near any of it.
“I already have Seth bringing him home. Brock didn’t think we should wait.”
Seth was the guard assigned to Lincoln’s school.
“You talked to Brock? What does he think about these riots? Are they serious?” Darcy rattled off.
“He said once Lincoln is here and secure to keep you all on lockdown, but it’s just a precaution. There haven’t been any large groups seen in this neighborhood.”
Within minutes Lincoln was home and safe.
“What if they get worse? I’ll be pissed if they undo all our hard work on the deli.” Darcy complained.
Darcy checked in with Natasha, Steve and Bucky to make sure they were safe. Everyone was fine.
Darcy was itching to text or even call Brock to talk to him herself but she knew he would be beyond busy with the future President. She couldn’t even imagine how much pressure he was now under. Selfishly she wanted him to drop everything and be there for them but she knew that thought was ridiculous. She also knew she could trust Jack. He would do anything for them and as long as Lincoln was safe, she would keep calm as much as she could anyway. The news was just making Darcy uneasy.
Over the next few days the riots were being contained for the most part all over the country but the transition between Hydra and the new administration was anything but smooth. Darcy was thankful DC schools were excused for a long weekend so Lincoln was home and in her sight.
Darcy’s phone rang pulling her away from a board game with Lincoln and Jane. Her breath hitched when she saw it Brock calling. She headed into the office for some privacy.
“Hey, its Brock.”
“Hi. I’m glad you called.”
“Yeah, it’s good to hear your voice.”
She smiled at the deep, husky sound. She was definitely glad to hear him too.
“Yeah you too.”
“How are you and Lincoln?”
“We’re fine. We’ve been treating it like snow days. Lots of food, games and movies. Lincoln is having a blast.”
“How are you? How is the President?”
“She’s not the President yet but will be soon. With the tension they are moving up the swearing in ceremony.”
“Oh that’s good. I mean the swearing in part. And you? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. I was uh worried you may not pick up the phone.”
“Yeah well Lincoln is dying to talk to you and would kill me if ignored you.” Darcy shrugged her shoulders even though he couldn’t see her. She left out how she’d been wanting to call him too.
“I wish I could I could talk to him right now but I only have few minutes.” He sounded regretful.
“Of course. Of course. I’ll tell him you say hi. Umm Brock?”
Darcy thought about what had been worrying about since the election results.
“Is Hydra going to get worse because of this?”
“It’s a possibility but they’re losing their legitimate power. They’re angry and acting reckless. It will fade. I’m keeping Jack and the others on you for the time being. You will be safe, Darcy. I promise.”
“I’m not worried about me.”
“I know. Lincoln won’t be touched.”
“I wasn’t lying when I said it’s good to hear your voice.”
“Me either. I hope we get to see you soon.”
“Once she’s sworn in, I’ll make it happen.”
“Good. Now get back to work slacker.” Darcy teased.
“Yes ma’am. I’ll talk to you soon Darcy.”
Darcy and Jack were alone as Lincoln slept and Jane worked in the other room, Darcy finally had a chance to ask a question that she’d been wanting to ask.
“Hey Jack. Can I ask you a question?”
“Of course darl’ you can ask me anything.”
“So you thought Brock was going to ask Pepper out, right? But you said it was because how she was acting. What did you mean?”
Jack looked uncomfortable for a moment before answering.
“Look Darcy I first want to say I’m sorry for causing confusion. I was just talking out of my ass.”
“I know and I’m not mad. I’m just trying to figure out where everyone stands ya know? You are his best mate.”
“Well from what I’ve seen Pepper has mistaken her feelings of gratitude for those of attraction and fallen for her hero, Brock.”
“You don’t think her feelings are real? Why do you say that?”
“Her and Brock could not be more different.”
“They say opposites attract.” Darcy said dejectedly.
“True, to a point. But I was around the both of them before that night and they don’t fit well together at all. Falling for your rescuer is not uncommon. We’ve seen this before.”
“You’ve seen this before?”
Jack nodded yes.
“It happens more than people think. After time it always fizzles out because the adrenaline is gone and there’s nothing real left.”
“Ever dated someone you saved?”
“Unfortunately, and it ended in disaster.”
“Oh. I’m sorry.” Darcy paused “Brock saved me and Lincoln.”
“That’s not how he tells it.”
“Really? What did he say?”
Jack smiled as he answered.
“He said this firecracker bombshell busted her way to her brother and did whatever it took to save him. Brock was doing a job that night. You were saving family. You weren’t a victim in his eyes. You were the hero.”
Darcy tried to scoff off being called a hero but it came out weak from shock. Could that really be how Brock saw her? God she wished for more than 10 minutes together. She was starting to feel they’d never see each other.
“Do you think I’m mixing up whatever feelings from that night?”
“I honestly don’t know. I wasn’t there. When you’re around him, you’ll figure it out.”
“Yeah if that ever happens.”
“It will. Trust me.”
After a few minutes Darcy spoke up.
“Hey Jack? What happened to you that night?”
“The traitors on our team slipped something in my drink. I spent all of Purge night passed out in the Senator’s house.”
“Wow. I’m glad you’re okay.”
“Yeah the other guys give me shit for it but from what Brock’s told me, it’s better I was out for all of it.”
“It was messed up night. The worst I’ve been through.”
“If you can handle that Darcy, you handle anything that comes your way.”
“Thanks Jack. And thank you for everything you’ve done for us.”
“Just doing my job. Plus Brock would kill me if I didn’t.”
“Oh hush I know you’re a good guy. And I’m not the only one.”
Jack perked up at that information.
“Mmhmmm.” Darcy hummed with a smirk as she casually made her way out of the room.
After the first week after the elections the public outrage died down. Darcy was grateful that it seemed like life could get back to normal and soon the Purge would be just a horrible memory. The deli reopening was happening. The deli itself was already opened for the week but Darcy had planned a party for Friday night and included the whole neighborhood to celebrate several businesses on the street getting back on their feet.
It was quickly turning into summer. Darcy was excited for Lincoln to be out of school soon. She’d signed him up for a summer baseball league after he’d played catch with Jack one afternoon and fell in love with it. He was even pretty good, a natural according to Jack. Their parents would never let Lincoln be involved in anything that wasn’t associated with a country club. Snobs.
Darcy was enjoying herself working at the deli. Jane was staying for another couple weeks and Darcy was convinced it was more about the handsome Aussie rather than her and she was okay with that. Jane stayed home working while Darcy was at the deli. She felt even better about the threat of Hydra going away when Jack would let one of the other guys stay with Darcy so he could stay home with Jane. They were adorable, even if Jane was clueless sometimes.
Darcy worked on the party plans to distract herself from her own tall, dark, and handsome. Brock wasn’t far from her thoughts; she was beginning to feel a little obsessive. What was it about this guy that was getting to her? Darcy just hoped for an opportunity to see him again. She was eager for the Pepper to get sworn in as President for multiple reasons.
Reunited and it feels so good.
It was hot out the day of the party but the turnout for the party was fantastic. Darcy swore the whole neighborhood was there. They set up tables along the sidewalks and eventually shut down the street with so many people. The police showed up and Darcy took the ticket thankful that they were only citing her and letting the party continue. She knew even the cops needed something like this.
Darcy organized food trucks to be parked along the street because even though the deli was serving party goers, she wanted Steve to have fun too.
“Hey Darcy!” Natasha yelled getting her attention. “We’re out of ice for the outside coolers. Do we have more in the back?”
“Yeah! I’ll go get it.”
Darcy snaked her way through the isles filled with guests to the back room. She went to the back cooler and picked up a bag of ice. As she made her way back through the store the bag started to sweat because of the heat and slipped out of her arms. The bag of ice fell to the floor but luckily didn’t tear or break open. Darcy noticed the front of her red silk sundress was wet from the bag. She was cursing wearing such impractical material when she was startled by a voice.
“Need help with that?”
Darcy looked up at the sound of the voice. It was Brock. He was in a suit of course but his tie was loose and his top button was undone. Even slightly sweaty he looked delicious.
“Brock!! What are you doing here?”
“Jack told me it was party time so here I am.”
Darcy rose a skeptical eyebrow.
“Uh huh Jack said party and you said where? Don’t believe it mister all work and no play.”
“Yeah I deserve that but I’m here now.”
Darcy took a step back as Brock bent down and picked up the bag of ice, throwing it up on his shoulder like it was nothing. Darcy led the way to the cooler outside and filled it up.
“Well, well, well if it isn’t Bodyguard Brock.” Natasha teased.
“Natasha.” Brock nodded at the redhead.
“We all voted for your girlfriend. Tell her we send our congratulations.”
Darcy couldn't help it when her eyes bugged at Natasha’s question but she knew her friend was testing Brock and digging for answers.
“She’s my boss, not my girlfriend. But I will let her know you say hi.” Brock answered smoothly.
“Good to know.” Natasha smirked at the two before leaving.
“Umm can I get you a drink? Or do you have to get back to work soon?” Darcy asked reaching in the cooler for a beer herself.
“I’m off for the night.” Brock smiled a real smile. One of the first ones Darcy had seen and she was blown away.
She silently handed him a beer and sipped on her own.
“This is quite a turnout. Jack said you set everything up yourself?” Brock gestured to the party.
“Oh it was a group effort. The older ladies that hang out at the salon down a few doors have a lot of time on their hands, they helped.”
“Well it’s a great party.”
“So where’s Lincoln?”
For a split-second Darcy panicked because she didn’t see him on her first sweep but then she found him with Jack playing cards with a couple older gentleman at a table.
“Oh thank God.” Darcy mumbled. “There he is.”
Darcy and Brock made their way over to Lincoln and Jack. The instant Lincoln saw Brock he jumped up and ran to him.
“BROCK!!!” Lincoln hugged him around his waist looking up at him with admiration.
Darcy couldn’t help but agree.
“Hey little man. Been keeping out of trouble?”
“Define trouble.” Lincoln said with the cutest smirk anyone’s ever seen.
Everyone burst out laughing.
"You are too much kid.” Darcy hugged him from behind when he stepped back from Brock.
“I’m too smart and too much??” Lincoln asked confused.
“All good things Lincoln. I promise.”
Darcy looked up and found Brock watching her with a small smile that he then hid in his beer. She tried to force the blush on her face to go away but with her fair skin she knew it was impossible. Maybe everyone would just think it was the heat.
Jane joined the group with her own smile and blushed cheeks that Darcy hadn’t seen for some time, not even with Thor come to think of it. Jack introduced Jane to Brock. Darcy couldn’t believe it but she thought Brock almost looked embarrassed. She couldn’t think any other reason other than Brock was the one that flew Jane home to visit.
“Oh my goodness. I owe you a huge thank you.” Jane said shaking his hand.
“Don’t mention it.”
“Yeah I have no idea how you got her to take time off.” Darcy said.
Darcy and Brock locked eyes again. She wanted to ask him more but she stopped herself from saying anything further in front of the others.
“Brock!! Come play with us!” Lincoln yelled excitedly, breaking whatever moment Darcy and Brock were having.
Brock got dragged into a game of dominos with Lincoln, while Darcy watched on with Jane. Natasha joined them soon after.
Jane and Natasha were talking about something Darcy didn’t catch because she was too busy staring at Brock who had taken off his tie and jacket and had his sleeves rolled up. Her eyes were tracing the veins that ran up his forearms and the intricate tattoos she’d not seen before. His tan skin looked even darker in contrast to his white dress shirt. His hair was lying perfectly mussed on top with shaved sides. He had a little bit of stubble that Darcy was busy thinking about rubbing against her-
“Earth to Darcy!!” Jane waving a hand in her face ripped her from her thoughts.
“What?” Darcy turned her attention back to the other women.
They had shared a laugh as Darcy shook the lustful fog from her head.
“I said when are you going to go talk to him?”
“Oh umm well he’s hanging out with Lincoln and Lincoln has missed him so much I don’t want to interrupt. It’s good for them to have time together. Brock's really helped Lincoln deal with everything.”
“Yes, but you deserve some healing time too.” Natasha said with a sly wink.
“I know what you two are thinking and absolutely not.”
“Darcy come on! You’ve been caught up on this dude for almost two months.” Jane whined.
“Yeah and I’ve only seen him twice.”
“All the more reason to go talk to him.” Natasha nudged her.
Steve and Bucky walked up with fresh drinks for all the ladies.
“What are you girls staring at?” Steve followed their line of sight.
“Just trying to get Darcy to make a move on Mr. Bodyguard over there.” Natasha tipped her chin towards Brock.
“Damn he can guard my body anytime.” Bucky said making everyone turn their heads to look at him. “What? The dude is hot.”
“He’s got an awful attitude but sure he’s hot.” Steve added slightly sullen.
“He’s not as hot as you babe and you know it.” Bucky pulled Steve to his side kissing his neck.
“God you guys are disgustingly cute. I’ve got to get out of here and find Clint.”
Clint was an old friend of Natasha’s that recently moved to the D.C. area after losing his wife in the Purge. Natasha didn’t tell them much because it wasn’t her story to tell but they all knew Clint and Natasha were close.
“You know Tasha we’re here whenever he’s ready for friends.” Darcy offered.
“Thanks.” Natasha gave her a genuine smile before weaving through people and disappearing into the party.
“Okay Darcy time to go.” Steve nudged Darcy forward slightly.
“Yeah go on Darce. He’s played with Lincoln. It’s getting late anyway. Me and Jack will take Lincoln home and you stay and get to know him.” Jane urged her.
“You and Jack huh?” Darcy smirked at another obvious attempt of Jane trying to hang out with Jack but it was a good plan. “Okay fine. Make sure he takes a shower because he’s been running around all day.”
“Sure thing mom.” Jane gave her a hug before heading over and getting Lincoln and Jack.
“Okay seriously you have to go over there before I lose my boyfriend to him. Look at him he’s drooling.” Steve complained gesturing to Bucky.
“Okay fine! I’m going.” Darcy would rather deal with embarrassing herself in front of Brock than get in the middle of Steve and Bucky’s too adorable fight.
Lincoln ran up and gave Darcy a hug.
“Do I have to go?” Lincoln whined.
“Yeah bud, it’s getting late but Jack and Jane are taking you.”
“Oh really? Okay!” Lincoln perked up excited he was getting time with fun Jack, then scurried off with Jane and Jack.
“Did you let him win?” Darcy asked walked up to Brock cleaning up their dominos game.
“Nope. He won fair and square. He’s a clever little bugger.”
“Don’t I know it.” Darcy laughed a little too loud, stopping herself with a sigh. Let the embarrassment commence, she told herself.
“He may have suckered me out of 20 bucks.” Brock admitted.
“You bet him?! Do I need to be worried he’s learning about gambling?” Darcy said with a smile to let him know she wasn’t actually mad.
“Oh he already knows. He hustled me.”
“Damn public school has changed him.”
Darcy took it as a victory making Brock laugh.
“He’ll be alright, he’s got a great big sister to look up to.”
“Pshhh you obviously don’t know me all that well. Me? Role model? No.”
“Well I’d like to get to know you. And I can’t imagine you doing anything bad.”
“Oh I can be bad.” Darcy realized how sexual that statement sounded. “Shit. I meant...you know...just kidding.” Darcy trailed off.
“Oh God yes.”
Darcy took deep breaths as Brock went and got them more beer. She tried to give herself a little pep talk while he was gone.
“You can do this. He’s just a guy. Just because he is literally the hottest dude you’ve ever seen doesn’t mean anything. Nope. Not a thing.” Darcy was talking to herself quietly.
“Here ya go.” Brock snuck up like a damn ninja.
“Hey!! Thank you. Perfect. Beer. Yes, thank you.”
Brock smirked at her nervousness.
“Do you want to take a walk?” Brock asked.
“I want to but I’m gonna have to clean everything up and looks like the party is dying down.”
The looked around and saw only a few people left mingling.
“Then I’ll help.”
“Oh I can’t ask you to do that. Brock you’ve already done so much-”
“Darcy stop. It’s fine. I came to see you anyway.”
“Even if you have to help me take out the trash?”
“Even if I have to help you take out the trash.”
“Where did you even come from?” Darcy said in amazement.
“The Bronx.” Brock’s smirk was going to be the death of her.
Darcy let out all tension she had with a big laugh. As they started to slowly clean up, they got to know each other. He talked about being from New York and his sisters. He spoke of them fondly.
“I’m not going to lie, Jack’s told me a lot about your family.” Darcy said throwing beer bottles in the trash.
“Of course he did. Mom loves him and his damn accent. He flirts with her just to piss me off.”
“Oh Jackie boy. He’s using that accent on Jane right now. Eww gross thoughts. Why brain?” Darcy shuddered thinking about them together.
“He’s a good guy though.”
“He has been pretty awesome for us. Thanks for basically giving us Jack.”
“You got to stop thanking me. Eventually you’ll have to give him back.”
“Oooh Jane might fight you for him. She’s small but feisty. She slapped that gross professor I told you about for me. It was amazing. Marched right up to him after my final and bam.” Darcy mimicked Jane slapping the guy.
“I like Jane.”
“Yeah she’s awesome.” Darcy paused. “Okay I know you said I have to stop thanking you but thank you for bringing her home for a bit.”
Brock only shrugged. She didn’t want to make him uncomfortable with her gratitude so she dropped it.
He asked about how Jane and Darcy became best friends. Darcy told him about meeting Jane and a little about college. He told her about working with Jack and his boxing hobby. Darcy figured that was how he stayed in such good shape. He told her a couple stories about traveling with SHIELD.
“Thailand?? Damn I’m jealous. I’ve always wanted to go there.”
“It was awesome. Watched a lot of fighting. Got these traditional tattoos over there.” Brock showed his forearm.
“Do you have many tattoos?”
“A few more.” He said slyly. “You?”
“No my mother would’ve killed me or cut me off rather.”
“I’ve assumed you guys didn’t get along.” He said tentatively. “We don’t have to talk about them if you don’t want to.”
“No its fine. It wasn’t like they were abusive or anything but they were just not interested in really being parents. They had no problem doing the bare minimum in regards to us. Money was their solution to every problem. I still haven’t completely come to terms with their connections to Hydra. The whole thing sometimes still doesn’t seem real.”
“Yeah I know what you mean.”
Darcy spoke up when he didn’t elaborate.
“So how did you end up working for the President?”
“After Hydra took over Jack and I gave it a couple years but realized it wasn’t something we wanted to be involved with. We moved to private contract work and then to private security. I uh sought her out to work for her.”
“Oh.” Darcy sounded surprised.
“Not in the way you’re thinking though. I like her politics. I wanted the Purge gone. Seemed right to work for someone fighting for that.”
“I’m anything but.”
“Okay that is not true.”
“Darcy I’m not a good guy. I’ve done things, terrible things.”
“Okay you’ve just told me you left Hydra, the bad people, because you didn’t want to be a part of it and then you wanted to work for the woman fighting against the Purge. What am I missing?”
Brock took a deep breath, taking a seat. He leaned down with his elbows on his knees. Looking around Darcy noticed that they were the last ones left.
“A few years ago my nephew was killed in a car accident, drunk driver.”
“Oh my god.” Darcy gasped, sitting next to him.
“I almost did something that would’ve ruined a lot of lives on Purge night. I could’ve killed him. He was some corporate bastard that got no jail time. I wasn’t in my right mind. My sister was devastated, we were losing her too. Jack tried to stop me. I even hurt him pretty bad when he got in the way.”
“But you didn’t kill the guy.”
“No. But some days I wish I had.”
Darcy had no idea what to say so she gently reached over and placed her hand on his. He slowly turned his hand over intertwining their fingers together. He then let out a little laugh.
“What?” Darcy asked.
“I haven’t held hands with someone in a really long time.”
“I think holding hands is sometimes underrated. It’s nice. I like it.” Darcy shrugged.
“Yeah it is.”
They sat for a little while before Darcy spoke up again.
“So how long?”
“How long what?”
“How long since you’ve held hands with someone?”
“Shit probably a couple decades. I’m an old man Darcy.”
“You are not. Wait how old are you?”
Brock tensed up. Darcy didn’t really care and was only curious.
So he was 20 years older than her. That wasn’t a big deal when you were adults. She realized there was a bigger difference between them than her and Lincoln but Darcy didn’t care.
“That’s not old. You’re literally in better shape than I’ve ever been in my whole entire life and probably better than anyone I know. Except maybe Steve, he’s a psycho with that crossfit bullshit.” Darcy rambled on.
Brock huffed a laugh.
“Oh God here we go.”
“What? It was a compliment.” Brock said confused.
“Yeah but when guys say a girl is funny it’s always like ‘you’re funny, you’re one of the guys, thanks friend.’ Or it’s like ‘you’ve got a great personality but you’re lacking in the looks department.’”
“I’m saying none of that. You’re a fucking stunner. I have no idea what you’re doing even giving me the time of day Darcy.”
“Jack told me about Pepper.” Darcy blurted out her insecurities rearing its ugly head.
“Jack told you what about Pepper?”
“That she wanted you. He told me you were gonna ask her out on a date. That’s why I sort of ghosted you.”
“Ignored. I figured you two were, you know, bow chicka wow wow-ing.”
“Dammit Rollins.” He cursed.
“But Jack told me he was mistaken but I mean she’s going to be the fucking President of the United States. First woman President! She’s drop dead gorgeous. And she’s so polished and poise. Damn even I have a crush on her.”
Brock told her before leaning in and kissing her. Darcy’s mind went blank as his lips touched hers. She couldn’t believe it was happening. Stiff for a moment, Darcy then melted into him. He pulled her closer, fingers in her hair and deepened the kiss. His tongue perfectly twined with hers. Darcy was getting embarrassingly turned on just by one kiss. She was concerned she was making a different kind of wet spot on her dress. When he pulled back, she was both relieved and disappointed. She didn’t want to stop but if they didn’t, she was libel to jump him right there outside the deli in the street.
“Fuck.” She cursed.
“Offering?” Brock’s naughty look almost made her say yes, but Darcy groaned.
“There’s still a ton of cleaning to do. I got to get all these chairs and tables put away.”
He leaned in for one more kiss before standing up. Darcy was a little dizzy when she stood up as well. She went and put on some music on in the deli, playing it a little loud so they could hear it outside. As they cleaned, they kept smiling and looking over at each other making the process go a little slower than it should but Darcy was just happy being with him. She hoped he felt the same way.
Take me out to the ball game.
Thank you for all the kudos and comments!! I'm really loving this story and your support is helping my writing groove. Woo hoo!!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“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.
CLIFFHANGER EEEK!! Don't worry we'll find out what happens to Darcy soon enough.
Brock is freaking out and Darcy finds out some shocking Hydra secrets.
We finally get Brock's POV. This chapter is sort of snapshot-y(?), flipping between POVs so the flow is slightly different. Grillo's new movie, Point Blank, helped with the dirty cop bit of the story.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Brock ran every red light as he sped to the location where Darcy’s phone last pinged. He pulled up to find a police car parked askew on the side of the street with both back doors left open. Brock jumped out of the car to find the backseat empty. He found her phone on the floor, screen cracked. He saw the background picture of Darcy and Lincoln smiling through the broken glass.
When Brock arrived at Darcy’s house, he found Jane downstairs with some of his team he’d sent over as soon as he saw her text. Jack had a whimpering Lincoln in his arms. He could tell Lincoln was trying so hard to keep it together. Brock was shaking with anger at the sight of his best friend. He was supposed to watch Darcy but he didn’t want to yell in front of Lincoln and upset him further.
“Rollins with me.” Brock grit out. The use of Jack’s last name was normal within the squad but he knew Jack could understand how angry he was.
“Come on Linc let’s go upstairs and get cleaned up.” Jane said leading Lincoln upstairs. She could tell that it wasn’t something that the ten-year-old needed to see or hear.
Brock marched into the office. Darcy had a computer where all of the security feeds were recorded. He bent over and typed in the password and clicked on the security video when Jack walked in the room and closed the doors. He silently walked over to Brock with his hands behind his back at attention.
“You were supposed to be with her. Both of them!!!” Brock barked out.
“I know.” Jack said solemnly.
Brock tried to calm himself down but he wanted to hit his best friend.
“What happened?” Brock asked still not looking at him.
“Lincoln’s team went out for pizza after the game. He must’ve made a good argument or hurt Darcy’s feelings to convince her to let him go without her. She was upset and just wanted to come straight home. She ordered me to take him. She requested a ride and shared her location with me. I watched as she arrived home without any stops or problems.”
Brock digested his words. Darcy was upset and alone, and now she was kidnapped by dangerous people. He couldn’t say for sure yet if it was Hydra but he had a bad feeling about it. Jack spoke up again this time breaking his professional demeanor.
“Brock I am so sorry. I messed up. I know I've gotten comfortable and complacent in this assignment. I should’ve forced her to come with us or made Lincoln go home.”
Brock broke and shoved Jack back his hands gripping his shirt.
“Damn right you should’ve!! I gave you this job because I trusted you!!”
“I’m sorry I let you down.”
Brock could see the emotion in Jack’s eyes that caused him to deflate and release him.
“Fuck!! No, it’s my fault. I shouldn’t have left them in the first place.”
“But your text said there was a White House emergency. What happened?”
Brock thought about how he received a 911 from Pepper’s security detail for the day. 911 was reserved for most heinous of emergencies. Brock thought the President was in immediate danger and thought Darcy and Lincoln would be safe with Jack on his way. When he arrived at the White House, he found that there was no emergency only a security detail that didn’t know how to do an unplanned dinner. Brock was in the middle of chewing out the young guard that sent the message and educating him on the proper procedure when his phone chimed. He received Darcy’s message about being in trouble and Hydra cops. He texted her back first but when she didn’t reply he called. It rang and rang finally going to voicemail. He immediately had a trace put on her call and drove to the scene.
“Fucking new kid called the President going on an unscheduled date an emergency. Fucking incompetent bastards. But it’s still my fault.”
“Let’s watch the video and see what it shows us. Jane said Darcy never came inside but that she heard multiple car doors.”
Brock clicked on the file of the exterior front door camera of that afternoon and sped to the time Darcy went missing. It showed Darcy exiting her Lyft and then the Lyft driving away. She walked up the front steps almost to the door when a DC police car pulled up with lights on. Brock could tell Darcy was skeptical at first staying put on the highest step but the officers said something that made Darcy change her demeanor and hurry down to meet them on the sidewalk. He couldn’t see Darcy’s face but Brock knew she was upset. She was almost shaking getting into the back of the squad car but she did so voluntarily.
“They must’ve used a ruse.” Jack commented.
“Do these cameras have audio?”
“Get someone in here that can read lips and translate the whole thing.”
“Yes sir.” Jack moved towards the door then paused. “I’m sorry Brock but we will get her back. I know it mate.”
Brock only nodded. He would never forgive himself if anything bad happened to Darcy. He was supposed to protect her but he might’ve just put her in more danger by being around her.
Darcy started to slowly regain consciousness. The first thing she noticed was how heavy her head felt. She tried to move her head but her neck screamed in pain. She blinked rapidly trying to get her eyes working. Her glasses were gone but she could tell it was dark and wouldn’t be able to see much anyway. She pulled at her arms but they were tied behind her back, she then realized she was tied to a chair. She forced her head up through the pain and looked around. It was quiet, Darcy was alone.
She could make out light coming from underneath a door to her right. She was trying to remember what happened when she heard voices getting louder. Darcy jumped as the door slammed open making her squint with the bright lights flooding the dark room.
She heard footsteps as a couple people entered the room. Darcy’s eyes adjusted as they got closer.
“Thank you for joining us Ms. Lewis.” One of the figures spoke.
Darcy’s eyes came into focus. She saw two men standing in front of her. One was tall and menacing looking and the other was an older gentleman in a nice suit.
“Well you know me, miss social butterfly. I’d hate to miss a party.” Darcy said sarcastically. If these assholes thought she would cower they had another thing coming.
“Oh it’s going to be a party alright.” The tall menacing one answered making Darcy’s stomach twist anxiously. The man was someone she most definitely did not want to party with.
Behind them Darcy saw the two cops that tricked and kidnapped her. The older gentleman followed her look.
“Oh yes they are ours. Thank you, officers.” He nodded dismissing the two.
“When you say ‘ours’ I’m assuming you mean Hydra?” Darcy raised an eyebrow at the man.
“Very clever Ms. Lewis. I should introduce myself. I’m am Alexander Pierce.”
“Senator??” Darcy asked shocked and confused.
She hadn’t recognized him in the dimly lit room. Darcy wracked her brain and from her political knowledge Pierce was not part of the Hydra party. He often voted against Hydra’s bills, stonewalling them on several occasions. If he was Hydra that meant they weren’t done. They were prepared for a loss in the White House, had been for a while. Darcy wondered just how many sleeper politicians there were. President Potts could be in terrible danger. She needed to tell Brock right away. But reality sunk in that she was a hostage who had no idea where she was or if she’d ever been found.
“I can see those gears turning. I knew you were smart.” Pierce wagged his finger at her. He pulled up another chair and sat in front of her with legs cross and hands clasped looking relaxed. “Do you know why you’re here?”
Darcy thought it was rhetorical question but he waited expectantly. She thought about the possibilities her kidnapping could be used for and why.
“Well it’s either because of my parents’ association with your little club,” Darcy sneered, “or you all are butt hurt about my run in with the President on Purge night.”
Pierce nodded his head with a smile.
“Those are good guesses and sure those partly contribute but think harder. Think about who you’re close to. Anyone new? Anyone tall, dark, and handsome?” His smirk was slimy.
“Bingo! Your new boyfriend is, well to put it frankly, a pain in my ass. He ruined our midnight Purge mass. A very important occasion as you know.”
“No I don’t know and I am not interested in your pseudo religion or political party.”
“What a shame. You would be an incredible asset.” He looked seemingly disappointed for a moment but only a moment. He continued, “Oh well, we’ll just have to use your influence on Mr. Rumlow.”
“My influence? You guys got your information wrong. He’s not even my boyfriend.”
“I don’t think we did Ms. Lewis. Mr. Rumlow has had security, including secret service agents assigned to you and your brother for months. He’s used his authority to trace who sent you a lovely box I hear. He goes above and beyond for you and we expect him to do so again. Then we will get what we want.”
“And what is it that you want?”
“Your boyfriend has unvetted access to the White House and the President. What do you think we want?”
Darcy gasped in horror.
“You want to kill the President.”
It was late and Brock was getting frustrated with the lack of leads. He was sitting in Darcy’s office pouring over what they had so far. The President was given him full authority and resources to find Darcy, but it wasn’t helping with the dead ends. The police car Brock found Darcy’s phone in was an actual police car but it had been reported stolen a month prior. The cops that it had been stolen from had been interviewed but nothing new surfaced. Brock didn’t have anything to prove yet but he knew this had to be Hydra.
Brock was interrupted from his thoughts when someone sniffed at the door. He looked up and found a pajama clad Lincoln with a red face from crying. Brock looked at the clock it was 1:03am.
“Hey bud. What are you doing up this late?” Brock said gently.
Lincoln opened his mouth but crumbled. Brock opened his arms and Lincoln fell into him sobbing. Brock held the boy until he calmed down, rubbing his back. After a while Lincoln finally pulled back. Brock helped him wipe his face off. His own father would have given him crap for crying even at a young age but Brock knew there was nothing wrong with feeling one’s emotions. It was what he wanted to do at the moment but he would keep it together for Lincoln’s sake.
“Lincoln, I want you to know that we will find your sister. We will get her back.”
“It's my fault. It's all my fault.” Lincoln whimpered.
“What are you talking about?”
“I told Darcy I didn’t want her to come with us and now she’s gone. It's my fault.”
“There’s a lot of that going around,” Brock mumbled then turned Lincoln so he was looking at him, “but I promise you it is not your fault. I know it’s hard to believe but I really need you to hear me Lincoln. Nothing you did caused this. We will find her and we will bring her home.”
Brock paused for a moment he didn’t want to make it worse but he needed some hope himself.
“I promise.” Brock hugged Lincoln again. “Now go to bed. Get your rest and you can help me tomorrow.”
Lincoln nodded sullenly but made his way back upstairs.
Brock briefly wondered what Darcy would think of his parenting skills but was quickly sobered by the terrifying thoughts that he’d never see her again. Lincoln and Darcy had both already been through so much he couldn’t let that happen.
Brock focused back on trying to identify the cops in the video. Their faces weren’t clear in the video but with White House clearance he had software that would help clear up the faces. As the program ran, he received an email from the lab. He finally got a match from the bloody dress that Darcy had been sent weeks before. He had a name. It was the middle of the night but he couldn’t bear the thought of Darcy being held hostage any longer. He sent the information to his phone and hurried off to find some answers.
Brock arrived at an apartment complex. A young group who had been drinking left the door ajar allowing Brock into the building. He found the apartment he’d been looking for, 3B. He took a deep breath to calm himself and then pounded loudly on the door.
“Kate Bishop!! Secret Service!! Open the door.”
He banged again until he heard movement inside the apartment.
“Wh-who are you??”
“Secret service. This is a matter of national security. I need you to open the door now!”
It was silent for a few beats before he heard the locks being undone on the other side of the door. The door opened a few inches and young girl opened the door.
The girl nodded nervously, glancing behind Brock seeing if he was alone.
“May I see some ID?” She asked weakly but she didn’t budge the door.
She was being cautious. He even didn’t quite know what he was walking into yet but he had his side arm and an ankle weapon. He pulled out his White House badge. She looked it over slowly, looking between him and the badge. Eventually she stepped back and let him in the apartment.
“Sorry with everything going on I just don’t trust anyone.” She apologized.
Brock nodded understanding her cautiousness. He looked around the apartment. It seemed like she was alone but there were boxes all over the floor. She was either moving in or out.
“Moving in or out?” Brock asked out loud.
“Umm in. A friend helped me get this place. Can I ask what this is about? It’s the middle of the night.” The girl’s tone was a bit stronger. She crossed her arms waiting for answer.
“I apologize Ms. Bishop but your DNA has come back in connection to a missing persons case.”
There was equal parts shock and expectation on her face. That made Brock take a step forward.
Brock searched her face for any other clues but he needed any information possible and if this girl was involved, she already knew who was missing.
“What??” The girl looked genuinely surprised and saddened by that news. “What does my DNA have to do with anything?”
“A box was sent to Darcy a few weeks ago. It contained pictures from Purge night and a dress with your blood on it. We believed it to be a threat and now we’re sure of it.”
“Oh my God.” She gasped under her breath.
“Do you have any involvement in her disappearance?” Brock asked not beating around the bush any longer.
“No! Of course not. She was nice to me.”
“You know her?”
“Not really. I only met her on Purge night. I helped her find some clothes and she gave me the dress.”
“So how did it end up bloody and sent to her house?”
Kate immediately got shifty, nervously picking at her nails.
“I um can’t say.”
“Then I’ll just arrest you and then we’ll see if we can get some answers when I take you in.”
“No! Just wait.” She put her hands up and took a moment before speaking again. “I don’t know who they were, I swear. I was living in a bad neighborhood and they found me in a weak moment. I needed cash. They offered me five thousand dollars for the dress and 3 vials of my blood. I didn’t know what it was for but if I would’ve known it was to hurt Darcy, I wouldn’t have done it.”
Brock studied her. She seemed like she was telling the truth.
“They help you get this place?”
She shook her head adamantly.
“No that’s a real friend, not them.”
“This same friend looks out for you?”
“Good. Here’s my card. I want you to call me if they contact you again.”
Brock moved to the door when he saw a bow and quiver of arrows leaning against the wall.
“That’s good. Take care of yourself.”
Brock opened the door. He heard her say one more thing.
“I hope you find her.”
Brock didn’t respond because he would either answer angry or sad. He left without a word frustrated at the dead end but he knew the girl was conned into her involvement. It was a dead end.
Darcy had been left alone for what felt like ages but in reality, it was only couple of hours. The door slammed open revealing the scary dude from earlier who was with Alexander Pierce.
“Rise and shine, bitch!” He was carrying a plate of food but Darcy was nauseous from the drugs still lingering in her system and didn’t want him anywhere near her. She spoke before thinking.
“You know all that tells me is you’re incredibly insecure.”
“The fuck you say?” The ugly man sneered.
“I mean I’m like half your size and tied to a chair. I’m not a threat and yet you feel the need to attack me verbally as well. Are you compensating for something?”
The man slammed the plate on the floor.
“Smart mouth you got there. You’re going to regret that.”
She already knew she shouldn’t have said anything but she wasn’t going to let him know that. Before she could speak, he back handed her with force. Her head whipped to the side and the sting lingered in her cheek. Darcy forced out a chuckle.
“I regret lots of things in life but not that.”
“Oh you will.”
The next half hour Darcy spent being beat in the chair. The man with the fragile ego punched and slapped Darcy until she couldn’t see out of her left eye. Blood dripped down her face and soaked the t-shirt she’d made for Lincoln’s game. That made her angrier than anything, but she was pretty pissed at the man hitting her too. When he tired out, he left with one last hit to her gut, knocking the air out of her.
Darcy collected her breath and took account of all the pain radiating through her body. She wiggled her jaw and scrunched her nose. Her jaw felt fine but her nose was possibly broken. She wondered what Brock would do in this situation. He would probably have already broken out of the ties and swiftly broke his captors’ necks. Darcy pulled at the ropes behind her back. She found the rope to be looser than before. The beating was at least good for something. Darcy twisted and pulled at the rope around her wrists until she passed out again.
Brock was still frustrated with the dead end with Kate Bishop when he returned to Darcy and Lincoln’s house. He was running the partial faces he lifted from the security feed through every data base available. He was fading when the computer monitor in front of him dinged with an alert. He finally got a match. A surprising one at that. The partial face came up as a two DC officers. Brock was pissed. The assholes were bold, he didn’t think that the officers in the video were actual cops. If this was Hydra then they were throwing whatever weight they had still around.
He made quick call to set up a sting for the cops. Brock used several FBI agents he trusted to corner the two officers first thing in the morning as they headed out for their shift. They both went quietly with infuriating smirks on their faces.
Jack was with him for the interrogation. He stopped Brock before he went into the room.
“Breathe mate. Bashing heads isn’t going to get us answers to where Darcy is.”
Brock’s first instinct was to shove him off but he was exhausted and he knew Jack was right. They needed answers and fast. Her life depended on it. Another agent came running up to the pair.
“The female officer is dead.” He panted it out.
“What the fuck? How?” Brock demanded.
“She poisoned herself.”
“I thought you checked them both.” Jack asked as they all swiveled their head to the male officers still waiting in the interrogation room.
“She must’ve had a capsule somewhere hidden well.”
“Did she say anything beforehand?”
“Only ‘Hail Hydra’.”
Jack cursed while Brock immediately jumped into action ordering the agent to classify the investigation, no one else was to have any information. He needed to tighten the investigation in case there were more Hydra moles.
The interrogation of the male officer was slow and frustrating but Brock had some information on the officer that he used as leverage, something the officer didn’t want Hydra to find out about. He eventually wore down the man and got a location of a warehouse where they did ‘messy’ jobs. Brock’s blood ran cold he needed to get to her immediately.
Brock barely waited for back up before storming the building. He shot every Hydra prick he came across in the head. There was a tall man at the end of a hall that disappeared behind a door. Brock hustled to it swiftly kicking it open. He found Darcy tied to a chair with the man with gun to her head. The man started to speak, probably to threaten hurting her but before he could say a word Brock promptly shot him twice. First in the arm making him drop the gun then in the forehead killing him instantly.
Brock hurried to Darcy, kneeling in front of her. She was barely conscious and covered in blood. If he could kill the man on the ground twice, he would. He cut her binds and lifted her face. Those bastards laid their hands on her. If there was more of them, he would kill them all.
“Darcy. Darcy sweetheart. Hey it’s me.” Brock said softly
“Brock?” Darcy croaked out confused.
“Yeah I’m here.”
Darcy looked around her eyes fell on the dead man on the floor.
“Hey don’t look at him.” Brock gently turned her chin to him.
“Lincoln? Is Lincoln okay?”
“Lincoln’s fine. He’s safe with Jane. I have a whole team at the house with them. Nobody is getting to them I promise.”
Darcy nodded slightly but then groaned in pain.
“We’ve got to get you out of here. There’s an ambulance outside.” Brock started to slowly lift her up but she resisted.
“Nooo.” She moaned.
“Darcy babe we have to get you looked at.”
“No just wait. Wait a second.”
Brock stopped and allowed Darcy to collect herself. She took a few shallow breaths before speaking again.
“Hydra’s not done. They said they were luring you to get close to the President.”
Brock tried to digest her words.
“The President is safe. Okay?”
“No listen Brock.” Darcy said more forcefully. “Senator Alexander Pierce was behind this. There has to be more of them. They’re going to kill her.”
Darcy crumbled into his arms. Brock gently rubbed her back and held her to him. He knew he needed to be concerned about what Darcy said but all he cared about at the moment was that Darcy was safe in his arms.
I've been binge watching Designated Survivor so the political drama has been inspired by that.
Darcy reunites with her family. Brock wants to hunt down Hydra but his first priority is Darcy.
Longer chapter for a longer wait.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Once Darcy saw that Brock was taking the threat against the President seriously, she calmed down. She let him lead her through the warehouse to an ambulance outside. There were dead bodies littered on the floor. Brock covered Darcy’s eyes as best as possible. She’d seen him shoot the man who beat her and had a gun to her head but seeing so many bodies shot down by one man was shocking. That one man was Brock trying to get to her. That was a hard pill to swallow.
While Darcy was getting checked out by the EMTs, Brock hovered nervously. So much so that the paramedic asked him step back and give her some space. Darcy was lucky she didn’t have any broken bones. The swelling on her eye was already going down. With the prospect of going to the hospital, Darcy groaned. All she wanted to do was go home and see Lincoln.
“Ma’am are you sure you don’t want to go to the hospital?”
“Yes. I just want to go home.”
“Is she okay to go home?” Brock said the same time.
“Although I wouldn’t recommend it, she is free refuse treatment and to go home. We do see signs of a concussion. She needs someone with her for the next 24 hours. If she shows any signs of distress take her to the emergency room immediately.”
“Not a problem. Thank you.”
Brock helped a blanket wrapped Darcy off the back of the ambulance and led her to his SUV.
Darcy felt numb from the events but from also from the drugs they gave her for the pain. She could feel Brock’s eyes’ flickering over to her every few seconds.
“Brock, focus on the road.”
He ignored her concern.
“Are you sure you don’t want to go to the hospital? It isn’t too late we can have Jane and Lincoln meet us there.”
Darcy looked at the clock on the dashboard and saw that it was 4:30p.m. She did the math and realized that she was only gone for less than 24 hours, but it felt like a week.
“Yes I’m sure. You can call a doctor to come over if that would make you feel better.”
“Damn right. He said you could have a concussion. That shit is serious.”
“I just want to get home and see Lincoln.” Darcy said weakly, trying to force the tears away.
Brock reached over and gently held her hand, rubbing his thumb reassuring over her the back of her hand. Darcy took a deep breath and let it out, attempting to draw strength from the man next to her before she spoke again.
“Once I see Lincoln, we can get a doctor to come. Then you’ll stay with me?” Darcy tried to sound confident but she wasn’t sure what he’d say.
“Of course.” Brock squeezed her hand.
After a few moments of silence Darcy spoke up again.
“So what was the emergency?”
“Huh?” He asked dumbly.
“That you had to run off to. Was she okay?”
“Oh yeah. She had a last-minute date with Stark and my team freaked out about it. Had to chew a few asses. Had to stop myself from killing them when I found out you were missing.”
Brock parked in front of her townhome and hurried to help out of the car. Before leading her inside he paused.
“Darcy, I’m going to get every single one of those bastards.”
Darcy could see the intensity in his eyes. It took her by surprise to see someone so fierce about her wellbeing.
“I believe you.”
Brock smirked. He looked like he was going to kiss her but stopped seeing her busted lip instead kissing her gently on the top of the head.
“Let’s get you inside. Lincoln has been so worried.”
Darcy and Lincoln both burst into tears when they hugged. Collapsing on the couch Darcy didn’t want to let him go.
“Thank God you’re okay.”
Lincoln just repeated his apologies over and over again. Darcy shh’ed him and rubbed his back. Jane appeared at Brock’s side in the doorway, which caused more tears from Darcy. Lincoln buried in her side but Darcy was able to open an arm to Jane.
“I was so worried.”
“I’m fine. Brock saved the day.” She gave him a warm smile.
After a few minutes, Jane sniffed and grimaced.
“As much as I’m glad you’re home, it wouldn’t hurt for you to shower Darce.”
“Yeah Darcy you smell like a sewer.” Lincoln added looking up at her.
“And how do you know what a sewer smells like?”
“Well I don’t but I can imagine it and its not good.”
Everyone laughed but pain radiated through Darcy’s body and pounded behind her eyes. Brock stepped forward but Jane gave him a look to back off. He got the message clear and led Lincoln into the kitchen to help make Darcy something to eat.
Jane helped Darcy upstairs and into her bathroom. Darcy sat on the side of the bathtub as Jane fiddled with the water controls. She looked at herself in the mirror. Her left eye wasn’t completely swollen shut but she was having trouble opening it all the way. The bruises were dark and were only going to get worse she knew. Most of the blood on her face had been cleaned up but she still had dried blood crusted around her nostrils. Her bottom lip was even bigger than usual with a large cut on the left side. The guy was a righty. Thinking about the guy to hit her over and over again made her shudder. Jane’s voice cut through her thoughts.
“Are you okay Darcy? Really?”
Darcy slowly nodded her head.
“I’m fine, or I will be anyway. Just want to wash the dirt and blood off and then sleep for a couple days.”
“You have no idea how worried we all were. I thought you were gone.”
Darcy reached out and held Jane’s hand because it was all she could force her body to do at the moment but it was enough.
“Thank you for taking care of Lincoln for me.”
“Of course.” Jane wiped her eyes and runny nose. “You know Brock and Jack fought. Jack feels absolutely horrible about it. And Brock...well if he didn’t find you soon, I’m worried about what he was going to do. He has some strong feelings for you Darcy.”
Darcy tried to digest everything Jane was saying.
“Well Jack doesn’t have anything to feel bad about. I made him leave me and take Lincoln. He kept Lincoln safe that’s all that matters. And for Brock...I’ll figure it out.”
“This stuff really terrifies me.”
“I know. Me too.”
Jane helped Darcy into the bathtub and helped gently wash her hair. Darcy was fading so they hurried and got her out.
“Are you hungry?”
“Honestly no. Whatever they gave me is tearing up my insides. I’m afraid I’ll vomit if I eat anything.”
“Okay I’ll go make sure Lincoln is eating.”
“Thank you, Jane. For everything.”
Jane smiled before leaving the room.
Darcy shuffled her way to her bed. Once there she was too tired to climb up into the bed so just fell head first leaning on the fluffy comforter.
“Need some help?”
Darcy didn’t sit up when she heard his voice but grunted in affirmation.
Brock walked around the bed and lifted her up with ease before laying her down on her back on the bed. He helped rearrange the blankets and her pillow. Once situated Darcy was very aware of her damp body and the thin robe she wore, the only thing that covered her naked body.
“Thank you.” Darcy said quietly.
Brock sat on the edge of the bed by her legs. She could now see how tired he looked. The bags underneath his eyes making him look even older, although he was still handsome.
“The doctor will be here in an hour to look you over.”
“Okay.” Darcy fiddled with a string on her comforter.
“Darcy.” Brock took a deep breath. “I need to ask you some more questions.”
Darcy tensed but eventually nodded.
“I need you to go through everything that happened and try to remember every single detail that you can. I know this is hard but the more information you can give me the quicker I can find them and finish it.”
Darcy had given the cops a brief overview of what happened, immediately distrustful of anyone in uniform so she knew she needed to give Brock more. But it didn’t make it any easier.
She told him about her Lyft ride and walking up to the door. Then how the cops pulled up telling her Lincoln had been in an accident.
“I know it was stupid but I was only thinking of Lincoln being hurt somewhere.”
“It’s okay. They were smart to use that ruse. Unfortunately, it means they have information on you and have been watching you. They’re paying closer attention to you than I fucking realized. Dammit.” He said angrily turning away for a second.
“We all got comfortable. The package was weeks ago. I was honestly starting to forget.”
“Still I should’ve known better. Go on.” Brock urged to keep going.
She described the drive and when she realized they weren’t going the right way.
“What do you remember about the two cops?”
“One was blonde, the guy. He was sort of like a real-life Ken doll if I’m honest. They chick was short and thick. She was so strong. Dark hair. You said you caught them right?”
Brock had mentioned it when she was first giving her statement.
“We did but if there is anything you can tell me about their behavior it could help us figure out if there are more of them and who they are.”
Darcy nodded like she understood but she thought it was going to be impossible to track down all the Hydra moles. Cut off one head, two more grow in its place, or something creepy like that was their motto.
“Well they were eerily calm now that I think about it. Like they told me it was urgent but weren’t actually concerned. I didn’t notice when I was panicking. Then they communicated through some looks with each other. The second they knew I knew they were lying they slammed on the breaks, jumped out, held me down and stabbed me with some drugs. He definitely said ‘Hail Hydra’ before I passed out. It was creepy as fuck.”
“I’m sorry Darcy.” Brock held her hand.
She only squeezed his hand back.
“Well the woman is dead. Swallowed a well-hidden poison tablet while in custody.”
“Damn that’s hardcore. The guy?”
“Still alive in protective custody. He gave up the warehouse so we think Hydra might take a swipe at him and if so, we’ll be ready. You said Senator Pierce was there?”
“Yeah, I used to think he was so charismatic but he was definition evil super villain.”
“And he threatened the President?”
“He was very careful with his words, made me answer questions and figure it out myself. At first, he said I'd be an asset but when he saw that wasn’t going to fly, he went on to tell me that I was important. That they could use me to get to you and then the President.”
“Well you’re safe now and that’s not going to happen.”
Darcy focused on his strong hands. She drifted her finger over his rough knuckles. She thought about his boxing and how much damage he could do with his hands. Darcy didn’t want to ask the next question but she needed to know.
“I don’t exactly remember walking out, head injury and all but umm the guys at the warehouse...?”
“Gone. You don’t have to worry about them again.”
“Yeah only the rest of a national terrorist organization coming after me.”
“I’m not going to let anything else happen to you Darcy. I mean it.”
“Brock your job is to worry about and protect the President. I’m nobody.”
“Not to me.” Brock said quietly then a quiet growl erupted from his chest. “Look the President is in a safe location with a huge team protecting her.”
“But you and Jack are here. And I know there are more guys outside.”
“Darcy listen to me.” Brock leaned forward and gently held her face in his hands forcing her to look at him. “I am doing everything to make sure the President is safe but I cannot and will not leave until I know you and Lincoln are 100% safe. Do you understand?”
Darcy nodded slightly in his hands.
“Why?” She whispered.
“You know why Darcy.” Brock said before leaning in and giving her a gentle but firm kiss on her swollen lips.
The cut stung on her lip stung but it kept her grounded as his lips on hers threatened to sweep her away. She couldn’t wait until she could let herself get swept away but now wasn’t the time. They both had serious threats to worry about. She didn’t want to be worried for her and Lincoln’ well-being when she tried to figure out her feelings for Brock. Darcy just hoped they would get an opportunity later on because just from his kisses she knew it would be spectacular.
Over the next few days Darcy healed and Brock continued to hover. He itched to run out the door and kill every single Hydra bastard but he couldn’t pull himself from her bedside quite yet. Steve, Bucky, and Natasha visited bringing Darcy her favorite foods from the deli. Steve had pulled Brock aside to shake his hand.
“Thank you for finding her. We were all really worried.”
“I wasn’t going to stop until I found her.” Brock was serious. He was thankful that Darcy was only in the hands of Hydra for a day but they had already done so much to her.
“Darcy and Lincoln have become family.”
“I’m glad they have you guys. They need family.”
“I’m glad they have you.”
Steve’s words surprised him but he appreciated it. On Purge night Steve proved himself to be a good guy, putting himself in harm’s way for a couple of strangers. Brock couldn’t pick a better friend to look out for Darcy.
Natasha cornered him before the trio left. Her words were much more threatening.
“If anything happens to them, nobody will find your body. Same applies if you hurt her.”
Brock wanted to scoff but the look in the redhead’s eyes was stone cold serious. He wouldn’t admit it to anyone but she put a hint of fear in him. Her background check brought up several redacted reports of her time with a Russian intelligent agency before she moved to the US. He knew however that he wouldn’t do anything to Darcy and he would be the first to kill the Hydra threat. He nodded, clearly understanding her threat.
When he could Brock worked on the case. Even though they had caught the two officers that took Darcy, he knew it led to something much bigger. He passed what information he had on to the President and the FBI agents he was working with on the case. The secrecy was paramount now that they knew there were still Hydra moles in Washington so it was still up to Brock to finish it. But Brock was told by Pepper and Jack that he was in no uncertain terms to go after Alexander Pierce yet. They had to do it legally and by the book. The criminal justice system had let him down before and he didn’t have high hopes this around but he would bide his time until he knew he get rid of Hydra and threats against Darcy and Lincoln.
Pepper set up a meeting for him and Darcy to meet with the White House counsel, Maria Hill, so she could start building a case against Pierce and anyone else they could tie to Hydra. Lincoln was excited to go to the White House and even though Hydra had controlled the country for most of Darcy’s life, he could tell Darcy was too. Jack took Lincoln on a tour while Darcy and Brock sat down with Hill. Brock was asked to leave the room so Darcy could answer Hill's questions privately. Brock argued at first but understood the necessity to get unbiased testimony. He waited nervously in the hall while Darcy answered questions from the intimidating woman.
Darcy watched as Brock reluctantly left the room. She tried to remain calm as Hill dove into questions of the kidnapping. Darcy did her best to recall all the details of her time with the Hydra assholes.
A question that threw Darcy for a loop though was one about Brock.
“Do you think Mr. Rumlow had anything to do with your kidnapping?”
“What??” Darcy asked taken aback by the question.
“You said Pierce mentioned Rumlow, so do you think he had any involvement?”
“Absolutely not. He found me. They may have had a dumbass plan to use me to get to him but he had nothing to do with them taking me.”
“Are you and Mr. Rumlow romantically involved?”
“Uhh d-define romantically involved?” Darcy stuttered.
“Do you have a relationship beyond professional? Do you see each other socially? Are you two intimate? Do any of these apply Ms. Lewis?”
Darcy could tell Hill was getting slightly annoyed with her.
“Um yes, I mean not yet oops, uhh we’re talking?” Darcy stumbled through her answer.
Hill raised an eyebrow at her then wrote in her notepad.
“Alright thank you Ms. Lewis, Mr. Rumlow can join us once again.” She stood up and opened the door for Brock.
Brock looked calm on the outside thanks to years of practice but on the inside he was bouncing with nervous energy. Hill opened the door and let him back into the room after an hour.
“So what do you think?” Brock asked when they were all sat down again.
“Well this is pretty damning testimony against Senator Pierce but I’m afraid I’m going to need more or I can’t do anything.”
“I’m sorry what do you mean we can’t do anything?!” Darcy asked angrily.
“She was fucking kidnapped and saw his face, what else do we need?” Brock added.
“Well frankly a lot more and you should know that Rumlow. Look we will only get one shot at him and we cannot miss or he will get away with this. He could do worse next and from what you’ve told us Darcy that could include killing the President. Now I will do everything in my power to take this bastard down but I need you to trust me.” Maria’s look made Darcy shrink. They both knew the woman was right but it was hard to swallow. Hill continued, “We need physical proof he was there in the warehouse that night. We’ll need proof and motive to connect him to the kidnapping. Pierce is a big fish we cannot go after him half-assed or we will lose. We need all our ducks in a row. I’m on your side okay?”
Darcy nodded as she stared at the table. Brock crossed his arms and leaned back in the chair. He would punch anyone that said it but he was a grown man pouting. He didn’t like anything of what Hill was saying. It was all bureaucratic bullshit.
“Alright what do we need to do?”
“Well since almost every other suspect is dead,” she gave Brock a hard look, “Pierce and the officer in custody are our only leads. We need see if they lead us to anymore Hydra members. Then try to get any physical evidence if possible. Connect Pierce to those men.”
“I’ll get his schedule and put men on him for surveillance. We have men working on getting more information out of the officer.”
“The most important thing is to protect the President. If he makes anymore threats towards her we may be able to move on him sooner.”
“Thank you for your time Ms. Lewis. Mr. Rumlow we will schedule a time for us to meet later this week. I’ll keep you two updated.” Hill said as she packed up her things and left the room.
Darcy mumbled an incoherent goodbye still staring at the table.
“Hey you okay?” Brock asked turning to Darcy. He rubbed his hand gently up her back shaking her out of her daze.
“What? Oh mhmm. I’m fine.”
“Are you really?”
“I just thought we’d be going after him. I’m shocked that he could get away with this. That’s pretty naïve of me. Huh?”
“No Darcy we will get him. I promise you.”
Brock kept his hand on her back as he led her through the halls to where Jack and Lincoln were waiting. A voice made them both freeze. He could feel Darcy shaking.
“Mr. Rumlow, Ms. Lewis, fancy seeing you here.”
Brock turned around and saw Pierce approaching them with a smirk on his face. Brock stepped forward putting his body in front of Darcy blocking her as much as possible.
“I should shoot you in your fucking face. What are you doing here?” Brock snarled lowly trying to not cause a scene and whip out his weapon right there.
“Calm down. I work here you know. I happen to have an infrastructure committee meeting.”
“Get out here. Now.” Brock stepped forward.
“You know Brock you would make a great addition if you just had the right focus.”
Brock felt Darcy grabbed the back of his jacket. He wasn’t completely sure if it was for comfort for her or to hold him back.
“This entire building is under surveillance you really want to offer me to be part of Hydra right here in the hall?”
“I never said anything about that group, I was merely commenting how good you would be on my team. Ah look at the time got to run. Great seeing you again Ms. Lewis.”
Pierce walked around the couple and disappeared down a hall.
Brock could tell Darcy was breathing hard as he pulled her quickly to a private room. She buried her head into his chest and he wrapped his arms around her.
“I’m so fucking sorry. That should’ve never happened.” Brock murmured into her hair.
“Fucking asshole. I wanted to see the Oval office but now everything is ruined.” Darcy groaned into his chest.
“No, no way. I’m not letting that prick ruin anything. Let’s go.”
“Seriously? I was just kidding I wasn’t expecting to be able to see it.”
“Yes, she’s in a teleconference all afternoon. Come on.”
Seeing Darcy’s face light up as she took in the Oval office made Brock a bit better after the stressful day but he was still feeling murderous when he headed home that evening. Jack took Darcy and Lincoln home but he had to stay back and work on Pepper’s security detail schedule for the next week. Brock had been reluctant to let her out of his sight but Darcy assured him that she was fine and he needed to do his job.
He decided to stop at the gym to burn off some energy. He was pounding away at the bag picturing bashing Pierce’s face in when he heard a text chime come from his bag. He got a few more punches in and then started to unwrap the tape from his hands. He unlocked the screen and found a text message from Darcy.
Do you mind coming over and staying the night?
If not no big deal.
I’m at gym. I’ll swing by my house and pack a bag. Be there soon.
Sweet. Also I wouldn’t say no to some food. Jane, Jack and Lincoln ate dinner early and I wasn’t hungry yet.
Tacos or Chinese?
Fuck. That hottest thing I’ve ever read.
Brock laughed out loud. She was adorable.
Chinese. I'll eat anything. Get lots of eggrolls.
Brock unloaded the food while Darcy got them beers out of the fridge.
“Oh my God you are literally the best.” Darcy complemented as she set a beer in front of him and sat down. “I’m sorry to ruin your workout.”
“Nah I was just working on the bag a bit. It was nothing.” Brock shrugged then took a swig of his beer.
“Well the food is definitely going to ruin it. So much salt, so many carbs. I loove it.” She sang the last part.
Brock laughed and couldn’t help much watch her.
“What?” Darcy asked as she reached for an egg roll.
“You’re cute.” Brock smiled wider as she blushed.
Darcy made a noise from the back of her throat.
“You know cute is for puppies and babies.”
Brock leaned on his elbows on the table.
“You want to hear that you’re drop dead gorgeous? Because you are.” He spoke quieter in case anyone in the house was nearby, “You are the sexiest woman I’ve ever seen.”
Darcy was bright red now.
“No, no, no I wasn’t fishing for compliments or entirely believe you with these two black eyes, but thank you.”
Her face was healing well but she still had yellowish bruising around her eyes.
“Darcy,” He waited until she looked at him, “I’m serious.”
“Thank you.” She said as he kissed her hand. Both smiling to themselves they turned back to their dinner.
Darcy dipped her egg roll in the peanut sauce that dripped on her shirt as she took a bite.
“Aaand now I've killed it.”
Brock chuckled and shook his head. Nothing could change his mind. He liked that she was a little spastic and all over the place. He always had to have himself so put together and rigid, he was in awe of her. She was cute, and gorgeous, and sexy. He was more worried what a perfect young woman would see in an old man like him.
“So Hill asked if we were romantically involved.” Darcy said casually.
Brock perked up at that.
“And what did you say?”
“Ugh I was so stupid. I think my tongue fell out of mouth.”
“I don’t understand. Is that good or bad?”
“Good for you, bad for lawyer lady probably.” Jane chimed in walking through the dining room and grabbing an egg roll before leaving again.
“Good for me?” Brock asked confused.
“Well I mean I don’t know exactly what we are or how far this will go so I kind of freaked a bit when she asked. Gosh I hope she doesn’t think you’re a suspect.”
“Everyone is a suspect until cleared but why did you freak? Are you freaked?” Brock asked worriedly.
“Yes and no.” Darcy wiped her hands on her napkin and took a large drink of beer before she spoke again. “Brock I like you, I like where I think this is going but I’m worried about something Jack told me.”
“Dammit Jack, Darcy please do not listen to that kangaroo jackass.”
“You love my kangaroo ass!” Jack called from the other room.
“Quit eavesdropping!” Brock called back.
“Don’t get mad at him it’s just something he said when Pepper had a crush on you. About hero syndrome. Falling for the person that rescues you. And I reeeeeally want what this is to be real and not some manifested feelings from all the Hydra bullshit.”
“Oh.” Was Brock could say.
He hated that Darcy doubted her feelings because of the kidnapping but Brock would save her a million times over. Jack and Brock had both seen the hero syndrome before and Pepper had fallen to it for a minute but luckily she realized how different she and Brock were. She was happily dating Tony Stark and Brock was falling deeper for Darcy.
“But it’s not like I’m your girlfriend or anything like that. I just told her we were talking I guess.”
“What if you were?”
“My girlfriend.” He hoped he didn’t sound too desperate but he was eager. He hadn’t dated in a long while and had never met someone like Darcy.
“Wouldn’t that complicate things?”
“Darcy I’ve had secret service agents protecting you and your brother for 3 months now, it honestly would make things easier.”
Darcy laughed loudly as a smile graced her beautiful features but then her smile fell and she turned serious.
“We have to have some danger free time together. I want to figure us out without life and death scenarios hanging over our heads.”
Brock never hated Hydra more than in that moment.
“Sounds reasonable.” Brock said instead of airing his frustrations.
“But that doesn’t mean we can’t still see each other.”
Brock let out a sigh of relief. He leaned forward, stopping just shy of her face.
“We’ll go at your pace, sweetheart. Whatever you say.” He leaned in, his nose brushing hers. “This okay?”
Darcy nodded quickly, “Mmhmm.”
Brock leaned all the way in kissing her plump lips. He loved how she would melt into him. Her soft body were what fantasies were made of, most of his anyway. When he pulled back Brock smiled at her and kissed her forehead before sitting back down.
“Now eat your noodles.”
“Yes sir.” She said with a smile.
This story is definitely outgrowing my initial plans for it but that's a great thing and it's all thanks to you all. I hope you all don't hate me for dragging out Darcy and Brock's romance. I feel strongly that Darcy would want to make sure what was happening between them was real before she let herself completely fall.
Darcy and Brock in the same bed. What do you think happens?
Sorry for the long wait but I come bearing smut. I couldn't wait any longer, so neither could Darcy or Brock.
This chapter is explicit. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO READ SMUT SKIP THIS CHAPTER.
After dinner Jack and Jane left to do some stargazing outside the city and wouldn’t return until morning. That left Brock, Darcy and Lincoln to watch a movie together. Lincoln was on the floor with a pallet of pillows, while Brock and Darcy snuggled on the couch. Brock was hesitant to put his arm around her in front of Lincoln until Darcy curled into his side. Brock wasn’t even paying attention to the movie he was only thinking how nice it was. He never really considered himself a domestic kind of guy but he could quickly become one if this was how it was going to be.
When the movie was over Brock offered to take Lincoln upstairs but Darcy waved him off.
“I love carrying him to bed, at least as long as I can.”
Brock snickered at Darcy carrying the quickly growing boy, who was all limbs, up the stairs. He had been expecting to sleep on the couch, the guest room was occupied by Jane. So he was shocked when Darcy came back down stairs after putting Lincoln to bed and grabbed his hand leading him upstairs.
“Darcy I can stay downstairs. It’s okay.”
“I don’t want to be alone tonight.”
Brock nodded following her to her room. Brock quickly used her bathroom to shower, washing the gym sweat off of him. When he came out, Darcy was already lying in bed scrolling through her phone. Brock had on basketball shorts and a t-shirt.
“I uh wasn’t sure if I should leave this on or not. I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.” Brock said gesturing to his shirt.
“Oh umm just sleep in whatever you usually do. No biggie.”
Brock could’ve made a joke about usually sleeping naked but he resisted and just shrugged off the shirt.
Darcy stared at Brock’s chest, arms, and endless abs until he cleared his throat. Darcy blushed being caught ogling him. Brock had to admit that it was a huge ego boost to have a sexy young woman like Darcy thoroughly checking him out.
Brock crawled into bed close to her but not crowding her. He discovered she wore a thin t-shirt and shorts that barely qualified as shorts. This whole going slow thing would be so much harder than he thought.
Darcy turned off her bedside lamp and scooted back into him.
“Ohhh you’re warm.” Darcy practically moaned.
Brock slipped his arms around her pulling her to his chest.
“This okay?” He asked.
Darcy nodded, her whole body shifting against him.
They were both tired from the long day but neither were falling asleep any time soon. Wide awake from the tingling electricity that was coursing through their veins from the skin to skin contact. Darcy would fidget, Brock would flex and relax his arms. But it was when Darcy rolled her hips that Brock broke.
“Darcy sweetheart, you can’t do that.” He rasped in her ear.
“Do what?” Darcy answered with faux innocence.
“What happened to talking it slow?”
“Well that was before I saw you without your shirt on.”
Brock groaned and buried his face in her hair but her scent only sent more blood to his groin. He gently prodded her to turn around and face him. The t-shirt she wore had a wide neckline that was now drooping dangerously low to her chest. Brock forced himself to look at her face instead but her messed hair and beautiful features were just as intoxicating.
“I really don’t want to fuck this up.” Brock said honestly. One, no doubt phenomenal, roll in the sack wasn’t worth it if it pushed Darcy away.
Darcy’s eyes flitted over his face. She was seemingly deciding something.
“Honestly that’s all I need to know.” Darcy gave him a slow smile that even in the dark blew Brock away.
Darcy leaned forward and gave Brock a slow deep kiss. Brock wasn’t sure how much more self-control he had. Her hand trailed up his stomach, chest and to his jaw where she ran her nails over the scruff he’d let grow out. But once she raked her nails through his hair, scratching his scalp, his resolve broke. Darcy moaned into his mouth as he rolled her over onto her back and pressed his weight on her. The swipes of her tongue made him even harder. Finding only modicum of relief when he settled in between her legs, his hand found her thigh lifting it wider and around him so he could slot them together.
When they pulled back and caught their breath, Darcy giggled.
“You okay?” He checked in with her.
“I think you were right about needing to take it slow.” Brock said sadly as his painstakingly pulled himself away from her but she reached out grabbing his shoulders to stop him from moving.
“I am regretting those words so much right now.”
“Don’t, you were right.”
“But what if I told you we could still take it slow but also feel good?”
“Oh yeah?” Brock perked up at her suggestion.
“Yeah, like a high school or college hook up.”
“Explain.” Brock was painfully aware of their age difference but men and women also had different definitions of ‘hook ups’.
“You know. Some clothes are left on but the basic needs are met. We still um make each other feel good. Hands. Mouths. Etcetera.” Darcy bravado wavered nervously.
Brock kissed her fiercely.
“Say it again.”
Darcy was confused but caught on to what Brock needed, explicit consent.
“Touch me Brock, make me feel good.”
Brock’s hands instantly went to Darcy’s ass holding her to him as he grinded his dick against her slit. He swore he could feel her getting wetter by the second even though he hadn’t touched her yet.
“You stop me at any point. Okay?” Brock panted.
“Not likely to happen, but thank you baby.”
Brock’s lips found her pale neck and worked their way down to her chest. His tongue darted out to taste the cleavage that peeked out of her shirt. Darcy’s hands wound up in his hair again. She was gnawing on her bottom lip to keep herself quiet. Brock knew neither of them wanted Lincoln waking up. His hands slipped under her shirt to tease her already stiff nipples. Darcy was sensitive and with every pinch she was thrashing her head back and forth. Brock rucked up her shirt above her breasts exposing her to him. Before she could react, Brock’s mouth was on her. He gently held a hand over her mouth muffling the moans and curses coming from her mouth.
Brock nuzzled his face between her perfect breasts. He decided then he wouldn’t mind dying right then, well he would if he didn’t get to feel her around his cock. But it would definitely be one of his final memories on his dying day.
He took his other hand that wasn’t on her mouth and slid it down her soft stomach to the waistband of her shorts and panties. His fingers slipped under the garments finding her wet and ready. But as soon as his fingers slipped inside her he had to pause because he hadn’t noticed Darcy shifting under his other hand taking his fingers into her mouth. Brock took deep breaths so he didn’t embarrass himself like a little green boy. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been this turned on, he doubted he’d ever been this attracted to someone. Her tongue slid between his fingers and sucked. He could only imagine that mouth and lips around another part of his body.
Brock had to focus. He wanted her to feel as good as possible because he knew when she turned on him it would all he could do to not blow his load at first touch. Brock got to work moving his fingers in and out. Her pussy held the digits tight. He curled them up tapping the spot he knew she desperately needed touched. Adding his thumb to her clit, Brock was thankful for the dexterity of his hands. He rubbed small circles around the nub as Darcy began to pant harder. Her hands gripped the sheets so hard he thought they might tear. He watched her expressions change rapidly as her orgasm built up. Brock knew she was close when her pussy started to pulse. Doubling down on his pace, lowered his head back to her taut nipple lapping at it as her orgasm crashed over her. Heat and wetness flooded her pussy around his fingers. He lightened up but kept his fingers moving slowly trying to draw out every bit of the orgasm for her. Darcy’s body shook and she put a hand on his wrist still his movements. Darcy almost hissed.
“Sensitive?” Brock asked.
Darcy only nodded.
He laid back down beside her watching her. When she looked over to him, he was licking her essence off his fingers.
“Oh fuck.” She whispered.
“You okay?” Brock asked gently moving some hair out of her face.
“Okay? I’m-I’m better than I’ve ever been. I mean I don’t want to give you a big head because I already know you have an ego but that was better than any dick I've ever had. And that wasn’t even your dick!”
Brock laughed quietly at her shock and praise.
“Good, I'm glad.” He wouldn’t rub it in now but he would definitely hold on to that little nugget of information for future reference.
“Did I make much noise? I think I blacked out for a minute.”
Brock pulled her close and kissed her.
“No you were fine.”
“Good I'd hate to scar Lincoln for life. Maybe I should check on him.”
“I’ll do it.” Brock kissed her forehead and slipped out of bed. “You just lay there and...recover.”
Brock adjusted himself in case Lincoln was awake and silently walked down the hall and poked his head in Lincoln’s room. The boy was sprawled on his twin sized bed. One of his feet hung off the bed. Brock would suggest getting him a bigger bed soon as the boy approached puberty. Brock shut his door and returned to Darcy.
Darcy’s bedside light was on but it looked like she hadn’t moved an inch.
“You alright there, killer?” Brock teased as he got back in bed.
“I think I can feel my toes again.”
Brock chucked but realized Darcy had not been treated right if that was what she thought of just that. He was determined to rectify that.
“There’s more from where that came from sweetheart.”
“Oh God.” She said as he covered her mouth with his own.
Content with kissing, Brock made no move to progress things but Darcy had other ideas as kissed down his chest and abs. When she got lower Brock stopped her.
“You don’t have to do that. I’m fine.”
“You don’t want it?” Darcy raised a skeptical eyebrow at him.
“That’s not what I said.”
“Darcy, it wouldn’t be fair.”
Darcy giggled into his abs.
“Okay your chivalry is getting silly. I want to put your dick in my mouth. Okay?”
Brock pulled her up for a dirty kiss.
“Okay.” He whispered.
“Plus I don’t have enough forearm strength for anything else. I cramp up.” Darcy shrugged.
Brock threw his head back and laughed, still quietly, until she pulled his shorts down exposing him to the air. Brock relaxed into the pillows as Darcy took her time rubbing him all over. He tensed when he felt her warm breath on the tip of his cock. Before he could take another breath, her warm hot mouth enveloped the tip. She took her time swirling her tongue around him and simultaneously sucking. What he imagined when he had his fingers in her mouth was nothing like the real thing. Like she could sense he was getting sensitive she moved further down on his cock until he hit the back of her throat. His body wanted to both jump off the bed and sink into it.
Darcy started to move her head and add her hands, overwhelming Brock’s senses. He watched as she worked up and down the hard flesh. Brock had no idea how much time with by, he was just in the moment watching her plump lips drag over him. When Darcy looked up at him making eye contact his orgasm was coming quickly. He gently tapped her arm warning her but she kept going. His hand went to her hair. He made sure not to hold her down or hurt her but he had a solid grip in her hair. It took only a couple more swipes of her tongue and he was emptying himself in her mouth. She swallowed it all and didn’t make a drop of mess. Leaving one last kiss on the head.
He felt Darcy leaving soft kisses on his hips and then stomach.
“You okay?” She asked, lips brushing his abs.
Brock scoffed and groaned. He was better than okay. Whatever he had imagine with the dark-haired beauty wasn’t even close.
“Good.” Darcy gave him a warm proud smile.
She crawled up his body, resting her head on his chest, settling her body on his. Brock ran his hands gently up and down her back and then through her long hair. Darcy was fading he could tell. The exhaustion was catching up with him as well.
“You did that in high school?” Brock asked suddenly.
“No, I was the prude no blow job girl for a while until I discovered it wasn’t so bad. Plus I’m told I’m pretty good at it.” She teased.
“Pretty good, yeah something like that.”
Darcy laughed and gave him a kiss before dragging herself off of him to pad quietly to the bathroom. Brock pulled his pants back up before he fell asleep. She turned the light back off and joined him. As soon as she was in his arms, they were both asleep in moments. Brock slept better with Darcy in his arms than ever in his life. There was definitely no turning back now.
Darcy and Lincoln have some time together. Brock gets some bad news.
Sorry for the wait...again. But I just wanted to say THANK YOU to every single person who has left kudos, comments, subscribed or bookmarked this story. I can't believe this thing has gotten over 100 kudos. Like what? Seriously thank you.
Enjoy this chapter!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Darcy and Lincoln were enjoying a lazy Sunday with waffles and Mario Kart. They sat on the floor shoulder to shoulder in front of the tv, pushing each other to try make the other crash. It was rare that the two siblings were alone anymore but the security they had for the day was stationed outside. With Brock staying the night more and more, Jane agreed to stay at Jack’s some. Brock had left that morning for a meeting with Pepper at the White House.
Darcy started thinking about how her life had changed in the last few months. Lincoln was doing so much better. He rarely got upset when their parents were brought up. She was just thankful that the Hydra drama wasn’t affecting Lincoln too much or making it worse. She knew her kidnapping shook him up but he was truly handling everything very well. She knew it was because they had formed a tightknit family with Jane, Brock, and all their new friends. Lincoln loved having Jack and Brock around. Darcy gave a lot of credit to Brock though. He was an amazing man to Lincoln and to her. Darcy couldn’t help but think about the possibility of a future with him. Her thoughts drifted to the nights of skin and touches that gave Darcy feelings that she didn’t think were possible.
Lincoln’s voice stopped her thoughts like a record scratch.
“Is Brock your boyfriend?”
Darcy stuttered, having trouble responding.
“Uhhh sort of, I mean I’d like him to be. Would that be okay with you?”
Brock had already suggested Darcy be his girlfriend although she was being cautious. She honestly was so shocked that he wanted a relationship that she talked in circles about going slow. His body and her lack of self-control definitely sped things up. It was impossible to be in the same bed with that man and not touch him as the last few nights had proven.
“Yeah.” Lincoln said with a shrug like it was no big deal. “I like him. He’d be a good boyfriend.”
“Oh yeah why’s that?”
“He wants you safe. He’s strong too. And he’s always asking you what you think about stuff. My friend Malcom says he knows his dad loves his mom because he always asks her what she wants to do. Brock does that.”
Darcy smiled brightly telling herself she was not going to cry at the beautiful soul that was her brother.
“When did you get so smart?”
“I don’t know.”
“So you’re okay with it, if I date Brock?”
“Yeah.” Lincoln paused for a moment before adding, “Just don’t be kissing all gross around the house.”
Darcy burst out laughing.
“Okay bud, we’ll make sure not to do that.”
Darcy pulled him into a tight hug which only caused Lincoln to groan.
“I can’t breathe Darcy.”
“Shhh deal with it.”
She let him push her off after a few moments. She smiled at him as he picked his controller back up. Darcy realized she was happy, really happy.
Brock was supposed to have the day off but when he got a message from Pepper that she needed to meet with him urgently he apologized to Darcy and headed straight in. After he had another guard at the house of course. He was still wary of leaving them but he still needed to do his job. As Darcy constantly reminded him, it was a very important one.
He met Pepper in one of the more casual offices for the President but she didn’t look comfortable at all. Her back was stiff and when she noticed him at the door her smile was strained.
“Come in Brock. Have a seat.” She gestured to the couch across from her.
Brock sat down but didn’t relax knowing whatever it was it wasn’t good. Pepper was fidgeting with a folder in front of her, stalling before she spoke.
“Madam President?” Brock asked quietly.
“I’ve told you a million times call me Pepper.” She said exasperated.
Brock noticed she looked extremely tired, although her hair and make-up were impeccable as always. She took a deep breath.
“I have bad news.”
Brock was used to bad news at this point. Hydra was making themselves more known and since Darcy’s kidnapping everyone had to be vigilant with the threat to the President.
“What did they do now?” Brock leaned back expecting to hear some bullshit that Hydra was doing now.
“Pierce has filed a complaint.”
“About what? Hydra losing?”
“You threatening him.”
“What?!” This made Brock sit up straight.
“There are video and audio recordings of your interaction in the west wing after your meeting with Maria Hill. Pierce has a lot of sway, not only in the Senate but in the House too. He’s blocking my Purge ban unless I suspend you and investigate. It will only be until the internal committee decides on your employment and or any charges.”
“You’ve got to be shitting me. He kidnapped Darcy but I’m the one losing my job?” Brock was radiating with anger. “He had her beaten! Beaten, Pepper!! She was bloody and bruised. I still should shoot him in the face.”
“Brock.” Pepper warned.
“He’ll block your ban anyway because he is fucking Hydra.”
Pepper raised an eyebrow at his cursing but let it go.
“You know I am devastated about what happened to Darcy. And I believe you but no one else knows about Pierce and until we have proof we have to push forward. If he is not outright and vocally against the ban, I can still make sure most of his followers vote our way.”
“This is insane.”
“I’m sorry Brock. It seems bad now but we’ll figure it out.”
“They’ll think they can get to you.” Brock said hinting at her rolling over to Pierce’s demands.
“This is everything we’ve worked towards, what I’ve spent the last 18 years working for. It’s why I’m here. Getting rid of the Purge is the only thing that matters. I’m sorry Brock. I really am.”
Brock nodded his head and stood up with clenched fists.
“Jack will be a good team leader.” Was the only thing he left her with then Brock left the room.
He couldn’t believe that this was happening. Of course he knew what was at stake but Hydra’s reach was still too strong. He needed to find proof on Pierce and all other Hydra moles as soon as possible.
Brock had to turn in his White House credentials as he left. He’d never dreamt of working in the White House but having his job taken away from him was an awful blow. But what made his stomach sink further was the fact that now that he was suspended Darcy and Lincoln would lose their extra protection. Brock would do whatever it took to keep them safe all by himself.
Brock immediately drove home and packed enough to stay with Darcy and Lincoln for several weeks. He didn’t want to be too presumptuous or push Darcy before she was ready but their safety was his first priority. He felt only a tiny bit of guilt at the relief he felt that he no longer had to spread himself thin protecting the President, he could now completely focus on Darcy and Lincoln. He knew with a hundred percent of his efforts on them he could keep them safer.
He called Jack to quickly explain what was going on but Jack had already received a call from the White House informing him of his promotion and to come in.
“You’ll do great Jack.” Brock told him sincerely.
“Thanks mate, but this is temporary. They’ll get everything sorted out.”
“I don’t know about that but I’m not worried about that at the moment to be honest.”
“Darcy and Lincoln are lucky to have you.”
“I’m the lucky one.”
When he got to Darcy’s house, the guard saw him and moved to leave. Jack had ordered him to stay until Brock got there. Brock nodded his thanks and moved inside with his duffel bag.
“Darcy? Linc?” He called out but didn’t get a response. That worried him.
Before panic could wrapped its way around his throat, he heard laughing out back. Brock moved through the house to the back door then to the deck. He found Darcy and Lincoln playing catch in their small yard, both laughing at Darcy’s flailing. He watched Darcy try to catch a ball but managed to trip over her own feet. She collapsed in a heap of laughing tears as Lincoln held his belly laughing.
“Brock!!” Lincoln finally noticed him standing on the back deck. “Come play catch with me. Darcy is going to hurt herself.”
Darcy was still wiping her tears when he walked into the yard and helped her to her feet.
“Hey now I was trying. I can’t help it my ankles have a mind of their own.” She said with a good spirited smile.
Darcy dusted herself off when she noticed Brock’s weak smile.
“Hey you okay? How was your meeting?”
“I’ll tell you later.”
Darcy squeezed his arm and let him take the glove, taking over catch with Lincoln.
Even though Brock was stressed, another emotion snaked its way to his chest and constricted his heart as he played catch with Lincoln and Darcy watched cheering them on. He knew what it was; love.
Darcy watched as Brock and Lincoln played catch. Darcy was equal parts in awe and turned on. The t-shirt Brock wore stretched over his muscles deliciously. But what was even more attractive was his way with Lincoln. Darcy was hit with another spell of longing. Brock would be a fantastic father. Before she did something rash like jump on Brock and ask him to marry her, Darcy went inside to put together dinner in the crockpot.
Her crockpot was her favorite thing in the kitchen because it didn't require a lot of skill. She hummed as she put ingredients in. It was early afternoon, leaving plenty of time for it to be done by dinner time. Darcy let her imagination run wild as she pictured them as a family. The potential holidays and weekends they would enjoy. Lincoln’s ball games and school events. Late night studying. Stern talking to’s. First dates. New siblings.
Darcy’s movements stuttered as she pictured having a child of her own, with Brock. Lincoln was amazing and would be an excellent big brother. She’d never thought about it before because of Lincoln but with a partner the idea didn’t seem so crazy. She wondered if Brock wanted kids. He was amazing with Lincoln but did he want to have his own child?
Darcy was shocked out of her thoughts when Lincoln stormed back into the house screaming that Brock was a rotten egg.
Brock found her in the kitchen. He had a soft smile on his face but she noticed the worry lines around his eyes.
She made sure Lincoln was preoccupied in the other room before she spoke up.
“So what happened?”
Brock stood with his hands on the edge of the counter hunched over. He took a deep breath before looking up and meeting her eyes.
“I’ve been suspended.”
“Wait what??” Darcy said loudly but then spoke quieter. “But why?”
“Pierce is using what I said when we ran into him that day against me. They’re doing an investigation but I don’t have high hopes of going back.”
“He’s getting you fired, when he-he...” kidnapped me was left unspoken.
“That’s fucked up. What are we going to do?” Darcy felt the panic start to rise.
“We are going to be fine." He said reassuringly. "Jack is taking over the team so I’ll be here for the time being. That okay?”
Okay? More than okay with her. Darcy reached across the island to touch his hand.
“Of course. We’d love to have you here for as long as you want. And not just because you keep us safe.”
Brock walked around the island and wrapped Darcy up in his arms. She rested her head on his chest. It just felt right. Darcy leaned up and gave him a small soft kiss.
“I will you know. Keep you safe. None of those bastards will ever come near you two again, not with me here.” Brock promised.
Darcy smiled and patted his chest.
“Okay He-man help me with dessert, I’m thinking cookies.”
Even though part of her was still freaked out and worried, Darcy wanted to hang on to their domestic bliss just a while longer before the bubble popped by whatever inevitable horrible thing Hydra would do next.
It was late when Brock silently slipped out of bed with Darcy. He checked in on Lincoln before heading downstairs. Brock poured himself a drink and made himself comfortable in the office. Opening his laptop, he pulled up everything he’d collected about Hydra so far. He had a lot of work to do. He needed to reach out to all his connections and resources before he was cut off for good.
He immediately started analyzing Pierce’s alibi for Darcy’s kidnapping. If he could pick it apart Brock could possibly convince the FBI to bring Pierce in. Deep down inside though Brock knew that the law wasn’t going to stop him or Hydra. Something told him that he would have to do it himself.
Brock did this each night. After Darcy fell asleep Brock would spend several hours in the middle of the night obsessing over Hydra. More of his official contacts had cut him off from information on the investigation but what really pissed Brock off was that Pierce hadn’t been listed in the Hydra file, at all. Not as a person of interest, or a possible contact, just nothing. Brock knew in his bones that Hydra was involved in the investigation and keeping his name out of it.
Jack still gave him what he could of course but he was extremely busy with his new position. He’d heard Jane complaining to Darcy that she hadn’t seen Jack all week. Brock was torn because he felt bad that Jack had to take over but he was also happy with his time with Darcy and Lincoln.
Brock didn’t want to stress Darcy out with his investigating so he kept it to himself and when she asked questions, he reassured her with vague details. During the day Brock was attentive and positive but at night Brock stayed up pouring over documents and surveillance videos of Pierce and other possible Hydra moles. He didn’t want to upset Darcy with any of it. Especially when he knew he needed to start taking things into his own hands.
Another reason he hid it from her was he didn’t want her to find out just how dark he could go. He never considered himself a villain but he definitely wasn’t a good guy. The things he’d done in his line of work, the Purge when he wanted to kill the man who killed his nephew, hell the night he met Darcy he crossed the line several times. When he found Darcy in that warehouse, he’d restrained himself by just shooting all of them in the head and that was restraint! He always told himself it was to protect them but he knew down deep that he was the type of person who could do those violent horrible things. He didn’t want her to see what he was really capable of.
Darcy was good. She was a literal light in his life. She was innocent. She had minion socks for goodness sakes. But he loved that about her. He didn’t want to expose her to his darkness. If he could just get rid of Hydra, they could be safe and happy. They could have future together but he had to end it first.
Darcy thought she’d been dreaming as Brock seamlessly slipped into their lives and fit in so perfectly like he’d been there forever. They took Lincoln to school together. He helped at the deli when Darcy insisted she get back to work. Brock took over meals and was an amazing cook, which Lincoln loudly and often said while they ate. They went to Lincoln’s baseball practices and games. Darcy surprisingly didn’t have any freak outs or PTSD episodes going to the fields but Brock was tense and held her close as he constantly scanned everything around them.
Darcy had done her best to forget what had happened and ignore the threat of what could still happen because of Hydra. Even with the blissful domestic life her, Lincoln, and Brock had been living for the past week, Darcy couldn’t completely shake the fear or worry.
Darcy wasn’t blind or stupid, she knew what Brock had been doing each night. Mainly because she would wake up in a cold sweat from nightmares and Brock wouldn’t be there. She saw the light on in the office downstairs. She knew he wouldn’t let any of it go. When he promised he would find all of Hydra, Darcy knew he meant it. He was starting to get manic about it any time it was brought up. It worried her.
Darcy woke up again in a panic from her vivid nightmares. This time in her dream Brock had been too late. The Hydra goon strapped her to a table and began cutting away at her flesh.
She quickly checked her arms and legs for any wounds. Finally breathing when she found none. She looked over and Brock was missing again.
Before she could deal with her feelings about the nightmare and Brock being gone Darcy became suddenly nauseous. She ran to the bathroom barely making it to the toilet in time. She fell to her knees in a hard thump, one she knew Brock heard because only a couple moments later Brock was there at the bathroom door looking worried.
Darcy tried to shoo him away and tell him she was fine but she couldn’t. Slightly embarrassed she rested her head on her forearm as she got sick. Brock immediately stood behind her and pulled her hair back, tying it out of the way. He ran a washcloth under cold water and set it on her neck to cool her down. She was feverish. He rubbed her back soothingly.
After a few minutes Darcy felt like she was done so she shakily tried to stand but Brock quickly helped her up. She shuffled to the sink to wash her mouth out and brush her teeth. Nothing like your fairly new boyfriend seeing you lose your dinner, she thought. But Brock didn’t seem disgusted, only concerned. After she was done, he spoke.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah I think so.”
“Do you think it’s a stomach bug?”
Darcy just shrugged her shoulders.
“Hey come here. What’s wrong?” Brock gently pulled her into his arms.
“Where do you disappear to at night? What are you working on that’s so important?” Darcy changed the subject. She knew what he was doing but she wanted him to talk to her, not sneak out of bed at night.
“Darcy....I have to stop them.”
“Why is it up to you Brock? You’re not the only one. There are plenty of people working on finding those assholes.”
“Not fast enough. They hurt you Darcy and I can’t let that go. You and Lincoln are my responsibility now and they could still come after us. They need to be taken down.”
Darcy digested his words and even though his dedication to them was heartwarming she didn’t like his insistence that he be involved in finding the super scary bad guys.
“But Brock I-I need you.”
“I’m right here.”
“But you’re not. I’ve woken up every night after seeing their faces and what they could've done to me, what they did do to me. That’s why I threw up, I had another nightmare. A graphic one too.” Darcy shuddered.
“Fuck. I’m sorry Darce.”
“I know and I know you’re trying to get these guys for us but I'd rather have you here, really here. Like sleep all night with me here. Okay?”
Brock looked reluctant but eventually agreed.
After shutting everything off they both laid back down in bed with Darcy’s head on his chest. Brock still didn’t sleep but if he could help Darcy feel better he would do it. He thought about how much more discreet he would need to be in the future. Because as much as he cared for Darcy, he needed her safe above all else. He would take an angry Darcy as long as she was alive. The alternative was too unimaginable.
Uh oh Brock...
I don't know if this is good news or bad news but I have the ending finally outlined and know where the story is going to end. A couple more chapters of action and then an epilogue. Getting close!
Brock's obsession with Hydra gets him into trouble.
I have a couple things to apologize for; 1. the long wait. and 2. the angst. I'm so sorry.
Brock continued his work behind Darcy’s back but even more stealthily. He stayed in bed with her longer at night for her nightmares. She would wake up once and he’d soothe her back to sleep. Seeing her so panicked and scared every time made the rage in his gut burn. After Darcy was completely out, he would creep downstairs and work until it was almost time to get Lincoln up in the morning. He’d slip back into bed with Darcy and turn off their alarms, gently shaking Darcy awake. Brock was running himself ragged with the late nights and lack of sleep. He briefly thought that he was looking even older but his need to take down Pierce overrode his usual superficial-ness. He just hoped Darcy didn’t notice.
Darcy was working in the deli when he got a call from one of his contacts in the FBI informing him that they finally had a substantial lead; a Hydra member was in custody at headquarters.
Brock hung up the phone conflicted on what to do. He didn’t want to leave Darcy alone but he needed to get himself over to the Hoover building quickly. His friend was going to help him have a few minutes with the guy off camera. His answer came walking down the street in the form of the redheaded Russian.
“Brock.” Natasha greeted with a stern face and a nod as she reached for the door.
“Natasha. Wait.” Brock knew better than to touch her but he stepped slightly in the way.
She raised an eyebrow but stopped.
“I need you to stay with Darcy, and maybe pick Lincoln up from school.” He watched her face, that gave away nothing. Then added a ‘please’.
She only stared at him.
“I know you’ll keep her safe.” Brock tried to appeal to Natasha’s feelings for Darcy.
Natasha crossed her arms and exhaled.
“If whatever you’re doing blows back on Darcy or Lincoln. I’ll kill you and bury your body where no one will find you. I’ll help Darcy mourn your tragic disappearance but then help her move on with someone who run off to places behind her back. Understood?”
Brock had faced many things in his life but he could honestly say she was the most intimidating person he’d ever been around. He knew she meant every word and could do exactly what she threatened.
Brock was going to leave immediately but he hurried in to kiss Darcy and let her know that he was just going to run a quick errand. He hated lying but said it was a surprise for her and Lincoln.
As Brock drove away, he was hit with the vision of Darcy mourning his death but then quickly smiling with a new man in her life. Brock didn’t want either of those scenarios to happen. But instead of rethinking what he was doing, it made him drive faster. The quicker Hydra was taken down, the quicker Brock and his family would be safe. Because that what Darcy and Lincoln were, his family.
After Brock left Darcy was smiling.
“I wonder what kind of surprise he’s going to get.”
“Oh I’m sure it something you can’t imagine.” Natasha answered not looking up from her book.
Darcy didn’t want Natasha to know but she knew something was up. Brock hadn’t left her side since he’d been suspended but the first chance she got Darcy looked for what he had. She had to ignore the awful feeling in her gut at the lack of trust. She’d hacked his laptop the day before when Brock slept hard on the couch for a nap. She suspected that he was so tired because he was still working at night and not sleeping. For a security guy Brock’s password had been fairly easy to crack. She scanned the files and understood that the case against Pierce was flimsy at best. She understood his frustration. Hell, she wanted Pierce locked away forever or worse but just couldn’t rationalize throwing away their current life because of those assholes.
Brock texted her later in the afternoon that he was tied up with his ‘surprise’ and that Natasha was going to go with Darcy to pick Lincoln up from school. Steve and Bucky overheard that Natasha was taking Darcy home and hinted at an invitation for dinner. Darcy decided it would be good to spend a night with friends since she’d been spending all her time with Brock.
Steve and Bucky showed up with pizza later in the evening. As much as Darcy tried, she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. Brock hadn’t answered any of her text messages since earlier that day. As it got later and Brock didn’t answer any calls Darcy was pacing. This ‘surprise’ had turned into something else altogether.
Darcy’s stomach dropped when her phone rang but saw that it was Jack, not Brock.
“Hey darl’. I’m sorry to bother you so late.”
“Is he okay?”
“He’s fine, he’s just uhh..”
“What is it Jack?”
“He’s been arrested.”
“What??” Darcy honestly hadn’t expected that but relief poured through her veins that he was physically alright.
“I just got a call that he’s being detained at the FBI headquarters in Quantico.”
“For tampering with an ongoing investigation and a few other things they’ll probably tack on for talking to a witness.”
“But he’s fine, he’ll be released in the next couple hours. He’s going to be madder than a hornet that I told ya but I didn’t want to panic.”
“Thank you, Jack. Do I need to go get him?”
“No he has wheels and will be home as soon as possible. You and Lincoln okay?”
“Oh yeah the gang’s all here. Jane misses you though. Well we all do but not as much as her.”
“Thanks for taking care of my girl. I’ll make it up to her.”
“I know you will. Thanks for letting me know.”
“Have a good night Darce.”
Brock was okay but he had obviously lied about what he was doing. Darcy was getting more and more frustrated at Hydra’s constant presence in their lives. She was sick of it.
When Brock left the Deli, he headed straight for FBI headquarters where the Hydra suspect was being held. His buddy that called him had worked with him at SHIELD with him before Hydra had taken over. He met him in the lobby and discreetly led him to where the witness was.
“Now you only have half an hour before I have to move him. Cameras are off but Brock don’t go crazy.”
“Me go crazy? Nah we’re just going to have a nice little chat.”
Unfortunately, Brock did go crazy.
Brock entered the room with every intention of calmly, albeit coldly, get the information from the man.
“I don’t want you; I want your boss. Tell me about Alexander Pierce and Hydra.”
But when the scumbag in front of him smirked and started talking about Darcy, Brock saw red.
“Heard your girlfriend got beat pretty good.”
The guy was laughing when Brock’s fist slammed into his face. The asshole kept talking through the blood pouring from his mouth.
“How’d an old man like you find such a sweet piece of ass like that anyway?”
Brock slammed his head against the table before he was pulled from the room. The Hydra goon was a poor, errand boy yet he had one of the best criminal defense lawyers. It reeked of Pierce. When the lawyer saw his client, he immediately got his client released and called a judge to file charges against Brock.
Brock was detained trying to leave the building.
As Brock sat in his own detention room cuffed to the table, he thought about how out of control everything was spiraling. It wasn’t just this situation, it was him. Brock was out of control. He was letting Hydra win, with his obsessive behavior. He helped get the only Hydra lead released and got himself arrested. He knew it job at the White House as good as gone. Brock stewed in self-loathing until he was released.
Darcy sent everyone home although they all left reluctantly. Darcy convinced Natasha that she would be fine and the security system was set. Jane was spending the night so she wasn’t completely alone. She imagined the redhead waited down the block anyway.
Darcy was sitting in the dining room when Brock finally got home. She’d spent the last two hours trying to calm down. She’d never been mad at Brock but she was pissed. Objectively she understood Brock’s need to help and finish the case against Hydra and Pierce but being reckless and putting himself in danger was not the way to do it.
Brock immediately cursed when he saw Darcy waiting at the table. Without a word he sat down in the chair across from her.
Darcy took several deep breaths before speaking.
As much as she wanted to yell at him for being so stupid, she wanted to know what actually happened and what pushed Brock to go this far.
“I lost my temper with the suspect.”
“He’ll live.” Brock said it as though he despised that fact.
“Why were you even there?”
“A buddy called me and got me in to question him. He had information on your kidnapping Darcy. I had to.”
“So you went to beat up a Hydra mole?”
“I went to question a Hydra mole. Bastard just said the wrong things.”
Darcy nodded her head slightly over and over as she digested his words. Then eventually sighed.
“I don’t like this. I don’t want to be this person waiting up to see if you’re going to come home safe. I’m not your minder but if we’re going to be in a relationship, what you do affects not just me but Lincoln too. We’re a family. I don’t know...” Darcy trailed off trying to find the words but also not wanting to say it out loud.
“Don't know what?” Brock was getting defensive.
“I don’t know if this is going to work if its going to be like this.”
“So now you don’t want to be with me because I want to protect you?”
“No, I don’t want you concerned about them more than us. There are always threats. There will always be threats. You can't go beat them all up. If revenge or whatever it is, is what you’re after, I want no part of it. It’s only going to put Lincoln in more danger.”
“They need to be taken down.”
“You were arrested tonight Brock. The only thing you’re succeeding at is taking yourself down.” Darcy said sadly as she stood and walked away.
She headed upstairs, just beyond tired. It was late and she was emotionally drained. She was overwhelmed with her feelings for Brock. The thought that she might’ve just ended it just made her sick. Darcy started the shower but collapsed on the floor of the bathroom before she could even get in. Tears flowed out of her as she laid on the cool tile.
Brock wanted to punch something but he wasn’t going leave Darcy alone at night. She was rightfully upset. Wanting to give her space, he stayed downstairs. But an hour later he heard the shower upstairs still running. He wanted to just check and make sure she was alright.
When he got to Darcy’s bathroom, he saw the room was full of steam. He looked over to the clear door of the shower but through the steam he could tell no one was in there. Brock found Darcy on the floor. He could tell she had been crying but now she was staring off.
When she didn’t move, he quickly shut off the shower and joined her on the floor. He didn’t want to cross any lines that were now in place because of him but he had to make sure she was alright. He slowly lifted her upper body up so that her head rested on his lap.
“Are you okay?” He asked gently.
It was like Darcy was waking from a dream. She rubbed her face and blinked through the fog.
“Yeah, yeah. Sorry, just didn’t make it to the shower.” Darcy said trying to sit up but Brock kept her there.
“You have nothing to be sorry for.”
Darcy didn’t say anything but he heard her sniff.
“I’m so fucking sorry Darcy.” Brock leaned back hitting his head on the cabinets behind him. He stroked her hair softly. “You’re completely right. I can’t bring this kind of bullshit into your lives. But I-I can't let what they did to you go either. I just can’t.”
Darcy lifted the hand that was underneath her up to intertwine with his on her shoulder.
Neither of them said anything for a long while. When Darcy was overcome by exhaustion, Brock picked her up and put her in bed. Brock stayed over the covers but couldn’t bring himself to leave her yet.
How could he have been so stupid? He risked everything by going in that room, putting his hands on the asshole as he described Darcy beaten and bloody. Brock had seen red. He wasn’t thinking about anything except putting him down.
Brock knew he had to get his need for revenge under control or he wouldn’t have Darcy or Lincoln in his life after it was all said and done. And that was a thought he couldn’t swallow.