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All At Once

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“Well, you’re gonna have to tell him for starters.” Jane says, shrugging as she set her mug down on the desk.

Darcy tilts her head back and groans, squeezing her eyes shut. Moments pass by in comfortable silence before Darcy breaks it. “Or,” She says, straightening up, and raising a finger at Jane, “Hear me out on this- we don’t tell him.”

“Darcy…” Jane sighs.

“No, no, hear me out. Thor and his whole little gang of Norse ninja-dudes have like, technology we don’t have, right? Right,” Darcy says, gesturing animatedly, “Someone’s got a time machine, right? Go back in time, make some changes, this never happens. Bam; solution. I’m a genius.”

“Pretty sure if they did have a time machine, that whole Loki mess would’ve gone a whole lot differently. Both times.” Jane points out, sitting down in her chair and leaning her elbows on the desk in front of her. Darcy sits down on the edge and gives a little huff of a pout.

“What if I don’t tell him and we just let him figure it out on his own? He’s a smart boy.” Darcy says with a sardonic smile and a shrug.

“He is. Which means he’ll figure it out, and you’ll still have to talk about it.” Jane reasons, “Oh, and you’ll spend however long it takes him, freaking out about when he’s going to figure it out. Wasting time and torturing yourself.” Jane gives her a sarcastic 'thumbs up' gesture.

Darcy glares as she sits down in the chair in front of Jane’s desk. “You’re not helping, you know. You’re being the opposite of helpful. You’re being… unhelpful.”

Jane raises an eyebrow, “That’s the best you can do?” She tries to hide a grin.

“It works. If you’re so concerned, get me a freaking thesaurus.” Darcy says petulantly, slouching down in the chair.

Jane bows her head for a moment, gathering up all her patience and affection for Darcy, trying to stay calm. After a moment, she raises her head and meets Darcy’s gaze head-on. “You’re just gonna have to tell Steve-”

“Oh god, don’t say it out loud,” Darcy says, holding a hand out, as though she can psychically prevent the words from coming out of Jane’s mouth.

“- you’re pregnant.” Jane finishes.

Darcy lets out an indignant squeak of annoyance. “I can’t believe you really said it. You whore.”

 

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Darcy figures if she can get through the next fifteen minutes without screaming, crying, or throwing up, she’ll consider it a wild success. She paces back and forth, glancing at the clock. Steve is supposed to pick her up at six o’clock to go to the aquarium, and he’s never been a minute late, so she has another four minutes exactly, to continue freaking out. She plans on taking full advantage of those four minutes.

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“Darcy, what are you saying?” Steve asks, brow furrowed, trying to keep up with Darcy’s vague rambling. So far he’s caught something about timing, being late, ocean creatures, JARVIS not being a good babysitter, and something about Tony and Thor inventing a time machine. When he got home, she had told him she needed to talk to him, and then proceeded to go into the most confusing rant he’d ever heard, and considering he lives in the same tower as Tony Stark, that’s saying something. Darcy had lost him somewhere around “And that’s why I wish I was a seahorse.”

Darcy stops rambling and covers her face with her hands, taking a deep breath. “You know you can tell me anything, right?” Steve coaxes, and he hopes she knows that’s true. They’ve been together for almost a year now, living together for a few months and it’s been great. They’ve fought, but it’s never been anything major, and he was confident he knew everything important about her. If there’s something she wants to share, he hopes she trusts him enough to speak up.

“Would you believe me if I said that makes it harder, somehow?” she asks, crossing her arms in front of her. Her plan was to just sit him down on the couch, and say it. Point blank.Turns out, she’s pretty much just a coward and ended up going on some insane rant with no real point… Somehow, it would be easier if she could just scream it at him and run away.

The worst part is, she knows he’d let her.

“Darcy. Whatever it is, it’s obviously bothering you, so just tell me.” Steve says, tucking a stray piece of hair behind her ear.

“Fine,” she says with a huff. She stands up, moving to stand in front of him on the couch. “Fine. Can’t hide this forever, can I?”

She swears to God, puppies have looked at her with less adoration than he is right now. She takes another deep breath.

“I’m pregnant.”

There’s a brief moment of confusion on his face, as though he doesn’t understand the meaning of the word, but then. Dear God, but then. His face lights up; pure, unadulterated joy radiating off of him like an aura she swears she could reach out and touch. Before she can say anything else, he’s up off the couch and hugging her so hard, her feet are six inches off the floor.

“Oh my god, that’s wonderful!” He beams, and she halfheartedly tries to hug him back, his arms pinning hers at her sides in his enthusiasm.

“I guess.” She says, in a poor impression of happy.

“Oh, wait, fuck.” He says, setting her down and putting a hand over her abdomen. “I shouldn’t do that. That can’t be good for the baby. Oh my god, a baby.” His happiness and enthusiasm should be contagious. His obvious reverence is blatant with the gentle hand on her stomach, and she feels lower than scum. She feels like the absolute worst person in the whole entire world and she hates herself more than she’s hated anyone, or anything. And she’s including that bitch, Kelly Margo, from the fourth-grade who stole her bike.

“Steve.” She starts out, steeling herself.

“We have so much to do.” Steve says, eyes still bright and happy.

“Steve.” She tries again.

“We’re gonna have to tell everyone.”

Steve.

“There’s so much to figure out; do you still want to live here in the Tower, or-”

“Steve!” Darcy snaps, and he finally stops staring at her stomach long enough to look her in the eye and realize something’s wrong.

“What?” He asks, and she can already see the hesitation in his face, that beautiful light of his already dulling.

“I…” Darcy reminds herself of the game-plan. No throwing up, screaming or crying. She repeats it a few times in her head. No throwing up, screaming or crying. No throwing up, screaming or crying. After a few terrifying moments, she finally manages to get the words out.

“I’m not sure I want a baby.”