Chapter 1: Chapter One.
“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.”
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.
“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.
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.”
“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.”
Chapter 2: Chapter Two
“So, then what happened?” Jane asks, grabbing a beer out of the fridge, and stepping back towards the kitchen table.
“Well, let’s see…” Darcy says, faux-thoughtfully, sitting at the table with a huge half-eaten slice of cheesecake and gesturing with her fork. “I said I wasn’t sure I wanted a baby; he got freakishly quiet and asked what I planned on doing. I said I didn’t know. He asked what options were ‘available for women in my situation,’ and we had a nice talk about Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics. Apparently, they’re better than the back-alley he thought I was thinking about.”
Jane gives an understanding tilt of her head as she sits back down across from Darcy. “True,” she says, picking her own fork back up.
“And then, let’s see… Oh, he told me that it was my body and I could do what I wanted. Which sounded really good, but it was blatantly obvious he was just trying to be a nice guy by saying that, because it was kinda obvious he was trying not to grovel at my feet to keep it.”
“Are you going to?” Jane asks, taking a bite of her cheesecake and studying Darcy as she pokes her own.
“I don’t known,” Darcy mutters.
“Well, you always talked about having kids someday,” Jane points out, taking another swig of beer.
“Yeah, ‘someday’. Big difference between ‘someday’ and ‘right-the-fuck-now’,” Darcy laments.
“I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to, though,” Jane sighs, “You’re an adult, this isn’t some high school accident after prom.” She starts ticking points off with her fingers, “You’re in a committed relationship, you love Steve, Steve loves you, you both want kids, what’s the hold up?”
“The hold up is that the discussion of children was always ‘someday.’ It was always in theory. The kind of thing you talked about, and never really gave much thought. I didn’t think this would be an issue for a few more years, if ever. That’s why we used condoms, Jane. That was their purpose. We didn’t wear them for looks. Now, that it’s here… I don’t know if my heart’s really in it.” She twirls her fork in the center of her cheesecake and watches it make a hole. “And you know what?” she says suddenly, glaring at Jane and her beer. “Fuck you for drinking that when I can’t have any. God, I’d kill for tequila, right now.”
“I’d pour you a shot, but it wouldn’t be good for the baby,” a voice says, and Darcy’s head snaps around to see Tony walking in, brushing out what looks like plaster out of his hair.
“What the fuck?” Darcy says, eyes wide with shock as Tony pulls a container of leftover macaroni and cheese out of the fridge. “Steve and I spoke like an hour ago. How the hell do you already know?”
“A little birdie told me,” Tony smirks. “We live in a fishbowl, Lewis. Deal with it.”
“Ugh,” Darcy groans, taking a huge bite of her cheesecake and pouting. She swallows and goes back to gazing into her plate when Tony pipes up from his place at the counter. “You’re not keeping it, are you?” he asks, voice tinged slightly with something like regret.
“I don’t know,” Darcy snaps, annoyed. “How many times do I have to say that?”
“Well, as my understanding goes, you only have a short time to decide before you’re sitting in a hospital bed, holding a baby, wondering what just happened,” he says, punctuating his sentence with a bite of macaroni.
“Why do you hate me?” she asks, calmly. “Have I wronged you in some way?”
“Not that I remember,” he shrugs.
“Then why are you talking about this?” she whines, “Leave me in my misery and frustration while I curse my past-self and past-Steve for using shitty condoms.”
“This is more fun, though,” he says, grinning.
“Sadist,” she pouts, still glaring at Jane’s beer.
“Is it money?” Tony asks, suddenly, and Darcy gives him a suspicious glance. “‘Cause if it is, you’re being dumb. Steve has enough back-pay to send that kid to Ivy League Colleges until they’re forty. If that’s not enough, you know I’ll personally pay for whatever you want; nannies, private schools, you name it. Just, you know,” He says, waving his fork vaguely, “run it through Pepper. As per usual.”
Darcy stares as he calmly devours the cold pasta with huge bites. “That’s… sweet.” She can’t help saying this accusingly, and her next words underscore her suspicious thoughts. “What’s your angle?”
“No angle,” he says around a mouthful, shrugging.
She glances at Jane, who puts her hands up in a silent protestation of innocence and shrugs her own confusion. She turns back to Tony.
“You’ve got something up your sleeve, crazyboy. Spill,” she commands, and Tony sighs, suddenly serious. He sets the container down, and moves to sit down on a barstool at the counter, facing Darcy.
“Okay, here’s the deal,” he says, and she’s pretty sure she’s never once seen him this serious, and it’s more than a little unnerving. “You know the whole Mandarin fiasco that happened last year? Yeah, well, when Pepper and I came and got settled here in the tower… She found out she was pregnant.”
Darcy feels herself balk. “What?” She vaguely registers the sound of Jane choking on her beer and coughing in shock that Darcy assumes is equal to her own.
“Yeah. We both had a good freak-out, panicked and found ourselves in the same position you and Steve are in now. Except neither of us knew for sure what we wanted. This kind of decision? It has to be something you really want. Don’t worry about money, or schools, or jobs. That shouldn’t even be a factor. You have to figure out what you want. All the materialistic shit aside.” He’s still got that super-serious look on his face, except now it’s vaguely sad, and -she should let it go, she knows this- she shouldn’t ask. It’s none of her business, but...
“That’s a really excellent point,” Darcy says quietly, silently hoping that Tony (reigning King of Inappropriate Questions and Statements) won’t hate her for asking, “and I appreciate your support, but can I ask a really awful question?” \
“Miscarriage.” Tony says, point-blank, but not unkindly, and Darcy flinches, though inwardly relieved she didn’t actually have to ask. “Sometimes, the universe decides for you. That’s life.” He underscores this point with a shrug--the execution of which is perhaps just a little too casual--and gets up, grabbing his container, and heading back to the elevator.
“Well, that was unexpected,” Jane says, quietly, and Darcy nods, still looking at the door through which Tony just exited. She’s seen Tony and Pepper together, and if she and Steve are ever that happy and comfortable together, they’re getting married the next day. She never would’ve guessed the power-couple had been through something like that. She supposes, though, going through shit like that together is what made them as close as they are. Darcy may be competing against Tony for the Crown of Inappropriateness, but she swears to herself she’ll never bring it up again.
After a moment, she lets her brain shift back to the problem at hand. She fights back a groan, and puts down her fork. Sullenly pushing her plate away, she lets her head drop down to the table, the wood cool on her forehead.
“What am I gonna do?”
“What you’re going to do is schedule an appointment. For… you know.” Jane says, and Darcy raises her head in time to see Jane gesturing at Darcy’s general vicinity.
“Have you been listening?” Darcy says, probably more sarcastic than strictly necessary, “I don’t know if I want ‘you know.’ Hence the horrible mood and general bitchiness.”
“Well, yeah,” Jane says, tipping her beer back, and Darcy narrows her eyes in annoyance, watching Jane swallow it down, “But,” she says as she puts the bottle down, “If you do decide ‘you know,’ you’re going to need an appointment to get it taken care of. Schedule one, then decide if you wanna go or not.”
Darcy ponders it for a moment, wishing she had a good rebuttal for why that’s a terrible idea, but… she doesn’t. Damn Jane.
“You know what?” Darcy says, with a fakely sweet smile as she stabs another piece of cheesecake onto her fork. “That sounds like a job for the best friend.” She pops the bite in her mouth and looks at Jane expectantly, “Which, by the way, is you.”
“No shit.” Jane says wryly, finishing her beer. They stare at each other for a moment before Jane cracks. First, as usual.
“Fine, but only because of the beer thing. After this, you’re on your own.” Jane says, standing up from the table and pulling her phone from her pocket.
As she drops her fork onto her empty plate, she mutters to herself, feeling somewhere between frustrated and self-pitying, “Kinda feels like I’m already there.”
Chapter 3: Chapter Three
“I cannot believe you’re thinking about aborting America.”
Darcy looks up from her comfy place on the couch, where she’s reading a magazine, and stares at Clint, who’s just entered the room, water bottle in hand, followed by Natasha.
“Are you freakin’ kidding me?” Darcy asks, incredulously, and is gratified when Natasha delivers a swift smack to the back of Clint’s head.
“Hey!” he protests, rubbing the back of his head, but obediently sits when Natasha points at one of the armchairs, her expression stern. “глупо дебил,” she mutters, sitting down next to Darcy. Darcy isn’t even going to pretend she knows what that means, just hopes it was horribly insulting.
“Ignore my insensitive partner. Too many blows to the head have reduced his brain cell count, and he wasn’t working with a high number to begin with,” Natasha says, coolly. Darcy rolls her eyes and nods in agreement. The room lapses into silence. A few moments pass as Darcy continues to read her magazine--at least she pretends to. She actually would be able to, if, you know, there weren’t two deadly assassins in the room who have obviously chosen her as their next mission; seeing as how there’s nothing else in the room to interest them, and the hint of Clint’s less-than-subtle comment.
Finally, she tosses the magazine on the coffee table, and notices the pleased quirk of Natasha’s lips at the action. “Okay, well, Clint’s said his piece: ‘don’t abort America!’” Darcy delivers her mocking imitation in a dumb-sounding hillbilly voice, and Clint looks both offended and amused at the awful impression, “So, weigh in. Give your opinion. My life is the current hot topic, so bring it.”
“No opinion.” Natasha states. “Curiosity, perhaps.”
“About what?” Darcy asks, sullenly.
“About why you’re okay with aborting America,” Clint pipes up, and Darcy doesn’t hesitate to grab her shoe off her foot and throw it at him. Fortunately, he wasn’t expecting it -men, even Avenging men, never are - and it hits him right in the face as he goes to take a drink of his water, not only connecting with his cheekbone, but knocking the bottle out of his hands and soaking the front of his shirt.
You would expect a specially-trained agent to have been reflexes, but Clint flails in a panic before managing to get the water bottle upright, the front of his shirt completely soaked and his pants looking as though he just pissed himself. Darcy doesn’t try to hide her uproarious laughter and she has a feeling Natasha’s wide grin is an understated Russian version of the same. Clint glares at both of them before storming out of the room to pout.
Not even sorry.
Darcy leans her head back against the sofa as her laughter subsides, and tries pretends Natasha isn’t there. She goes so far as to close her eyes. Natasha, of course, is having none of this.
“When is the appointment?” Natasha asks, gently.
“Monday,” Darcy answers, “I’m not even going to bother asking how you even knew there was one. Of course you knew. I’m surprised you didn’t know I was pregnant before I did.” After a pause, she cracks an eye open to glance at Nat. “Who am I kidding, you probably did.”
Natasha gives a wry grin, but doesn’t answer.
“I have four days to decide if I want to completely and totally break the heart of the sweetest guy have ever met and the best boyfriend I have ever had,” Darcy sighs, eyes closing again.
“Well, that’s a terrible way to think of it.” Natasha says, almost scoldingly, and Darcy pulls her head up to shoot a questioning look at the redhead next to her.
“You’re looking at the situation of your pregnancy trying to decide how it will affect someone else,” Natasha clarifies. “That’s completely opposite of what you should be doing.”
“Oh, what am I supposed to be doing?” Darcy doesn’t bother to say this nicely, and she’ll be the first to admit it, but what Natasha says next is so far from nice, Darcy doesn’t waste any time on feeling bad.
“Fuck Steve,” Natasha says, and Darcy’s eyebrows practically hit her hairline, but before she can comment, Natasha continues, “Fuck Steve, fuck Clint, fuck everyone. Fuck me. You are the one who is pregnant. You are the one who is going through this. You are the one making the decision and fuck everyone else who acts like what they think matters in any way. Fuck all of them. They aren’t the ones with the body that has to go through with this. Fuck them if they think they have any right to call dibs on what happens to you.”
Darcy wants to tell Natasha so many things-- it’s not that easy, and that she wishes it were. That no matter what she tells herself, she can’t get Steve’s overjoyed expression out of her mind and she can’t stop wondering what’s going to happen if she chooses to keep it. Or what’s going to happen if she chooses not to.
“When I was young, the choice was taken from me, “ Natasha says, voice low and serious, and Darcy’s jaw snaps shut, effectively biting back any sharing. “I have never had the option. Someone else got to decide for me. You are lucky enough to have a choice. Don’t squander it worrying about someone else.”
Darcy’s gaze drops to the floor, and a beat passes before she speaks up. “If you could, would you?” It’s no secret that Natasha and Clint are together, and she could see them as a weird little family unit, Clint teaching the little tyke how to climb through vents and Natasha teaching them how to pokerface like no one’s business.
“No,” Natasha says, knocking Darcy out of her mini-day dream, and she’s almost sad at how no-nonsense Natasha is. “Even if I could, my life is not set up for that kind of situation. I wouldn’t want it to be. If things were different, maybe.”
“Clint feel the same?” she can’t help but ask, wondering if Natasha ever let his feelings on anything influence her.
“Yes. We’ve discussed it.” Natasha says this bluntly, not offering any greater details. Not surprising. When it comes to Natasha and Clint, everyone usually assumes the details are classified, anyway.
Darcy nods, and drops the subject. “You know, I miss the days where the biggest question I had all day was whether or not to make my freakin’ bed, and my biggest problem I had was chasing Jane around with equipment while she babbled on about some science-y crap. I never thought I’d say it, but I really miss that.”
“I’m relatively sure everyone else in this Tower can say something similar. Life changes, we all hit turning points and tough decisions.”
Darcy groans and rolls her eyes. “Fuck this,” she says, petulantly, throwing her hands up. “I don’t know. I seriously don’t fucking know, and everyone acts like it’s so simple, like it’s choosing a freakin’ ice cream flavor. I don’t know. Do I want to have a kid? Maybe. It could be fun; chasing the little goon around, watching them grow up. It could also be terrifying; I mean, taking care of a tiny human? I can barely take care of myself! I ate Pringles for breakfast! Do I want to erase all evidence this ever happened and try to go back to life before? Maybe. I don’t know. I don’t know how I feel, I know how Steve feels and everything is just… ugh.” She pulls her legs up to rest her chin on her knees and pout at life. A minute passes by in comfortable silence.
“Steve will live,” Natasha says, suddenly. “Happy or heartbroken, he will live and he will still love you. Stop letting him influence your thoughts.”
“Easier said than done,” Darcy laments, running her hand through her hair.
“I know,” Natasha says, quietly, tucking a bit of hair behind Darcy’s ear, “But you shouldn’t feel guilty about considering the possibility of aborting America.”
Darcy can’t help the laughter that bursts out of her as she buries her face in her hands.
Chapter 4: Chapter Four
It’s 8:13am, and Darcy and Bruce have been sitting at the kitchen table, alone, in complete and total silence, for seven minutes. The funny thing is, silence with Bruce is never awkward. It’s ironic that, despite his claim of always being angry, and his alter-ego of rage, Bruce always seems to radiate an almost-weird calmness. That odd calm actually feels comfortable in the silence. Which is awesome. Darcy hates awkward silences more than (almost) anything else in the world. More than bad cell phone reception, but not quite as much as trying to decide whether or not to be a parent. Perspective, you know?
She’s grateful no one else is around. She very rarely gets to experience the calm serenity of Bruce without someone else being around and distracting her. Plus, if anyone else was around, they would no doubt be debating or commenting on the elephant in the room. So she’s kind of glad everyone else is off doing whatever it is they do. (She’s not going to mention the fact she hasn’t seen Steve in two whole days now. Shut up.)
Despite the calm atmosphere, however, Darcy has never been a good one for letting things sit. Calm is nice, yes; but Darcy is a fidgeter, and a chatterbox, at heart. She’d stayed silent while she poured her cereal. She’d stayed silent while he made his tea and toast and they’ve sat in almost dead silence, but she has her cracking point, even in the midst of weird calm, and, with no warning, she just hit it.
“Okay, what’s your opinion?” she asks suddenly, setting her spoon down and folding her arms on the table, looking at him expectantly.
Bruce looks up from the newspaper he’s holding and gives her an almost genuine look of bafflement. “About what?”
Darcy tilts her head and gives him the same look she’s seen Pepper give Tony a million times over. The completely-bored one that says, “I am 500% done with your bullshit, and I have zero problems with kicking your ass.” (She’s also seen Natasha give it to Clint, and she prays she does it justice.) Darcy knows he’s playing dumb, and she knows she’s called it right when his lips quirk, just a little.
“Yeah, you know what,” she smirks, sipping her orange juice and muttering, just loud enough for him to hear, “Pretending to be stupid, like I don’t know better by now. Fucking ridiculous.”
He genuinely grins at that and shrugs, “No opinion.”
She gives him that same look again, but this time, he doesn’t budge.
“Oh, come on. Don’t bullshit me, Bruce. Everyone and their dog has an opinion about this whole fiasco.”
“Yet, here I am. Completely opinionless,” he challenges, adopting a completely innocent expression.
“Wow,” she says, pretending to be amazed. He raises an eyebrow in question and she picks up her spoon, taking another mouthful of Frosted Flakes before answering, “And here I thought Tony was the resident bullshit salesman of the Tower.”
He gives her an unamused look, but she continues, “No, really, I knew Steve picked up Tony’s douchey-ness a little. And I’m not gonna lie; it’s kind of hot. I just didn’t expect it from you, is all. I’m almost impressed. Didn’t think you had it in you.”
“I’m serious.” he says, deadpan, no snark and she stops, hands dropping in her lap. “It’s your choice, and I have absolutely no right to even pretend I understand what kind of choice you’re making. You’re a grown woman. You know yourself better than I do.”
“Yeah, well, I don’t know how much of a choice it really is,” she mutters, giving her cereal a small poke.
“What do you mean?”
“Oh, come on.” she says, “I’m not stupid. Everyone keeps telling me it’s my choice, but we all know I wouldn’t be a good mom. I’m not even sure I want to be a mom. Pretty sure the first step to being a good parent is wanting the kid.”
She sees him almost start to talk, but she cuts him off. “And even if I did... God, what kind of parent would I really be? I’m not saying I’d like, accidentally kill them or anything, but… Steve would always be trying to calm me down over every stupid thing, you know? I’d always be worrying, overprotective, freaking out over the littlest things. No kid should have to put up with a parent that can’t back the fuck off. I’d be so afraid of fucking things up, I’d end up with a stick up my ass about everything. No kid needs that. Steve doesn’t need that. No one does.”
She realizes, as she finishes speaking, she sounds... sad, which is just ridiculous, right? She huffs a laugh at herself and takes a long drink of orange juice. The room goes back into silence.
A few minutes pass and finally, Darcy stands, putting her bowl in the sink. Right before she steps out of the kitchen, she hears Bruce say her name.
She turns, giving him a questioning look.
“I was serious,” he says, as he stands picking his glass up off the table. “I really don’t know what you should do, or how you should figure out what you want, but…” he sighs, and Darcy can tell he’s debating whether or not to keep talking. “When I was in India, I saw… all kind of people, to put it mildly. Healthy, sick, old, young, you name it. I saw a lot of pregnant women, and you know... All the ones that were like you are now? Panicking, worried, cautious?”
She gives a brief nod. She wants to say she’s not sure where he’s going with this, but a sinking feeling in her stomach tells her she knows.
“They made the best parents. They actually cared, even if it seemed like too much, sometimes. Not being worried about being a parent is what should worry you. I’m sure if you asked, Steve’s just as anxious as you are.”
Darcy lets her head drop, closes her eyes against the sudden sting behind them. She rubs the heels of her hands against them, and when she drops her hands, Bruce is gone.
For someone with no opinion, he sure knows how to make an impact.
Chapter 5: Chapter Five
BET YOU THOUGHT THIS FIC WAS DEAD. HA. SUCKER.
Darcy opens the door to the apartment, still feeling rather bereft. It’s Saturday night, the Doctor Appointment of Doom is on Monday (and yes, it deserves caps), she hasn’t seen Steve since Friday morning and she is tired. Not “I need more sleep” tired. More like, “I need a goddamn break from all the bullshit in my life for one fucking second so I can breathe” tired. She’s going to cook some Pizza Rolls, watch some shitty YouTube and go to bed. Fuck everyone and everything, thank you very fucking much.
However, upon lifting her eyes from the floor as she enters, she’s taken aback by the sight before her. On her coffee table is a wide array of Chinese food, a plate already piled with what she recognizes as her favorite dishes, including sesame chicken; the television is queued up for “Orange is the New Black;” and her boyfriend, looking shy and slightly nervous, is standing in the doorway to the kitchen with two bottles in hand.
He doesn’t say anything as she steps into the room and shuts the door behind her, just holds out a cold, slick bottle, and she isn’t a bit surprised to see the words “ginger ale” printed on the side. On the sofa is her favorite purple plush blanket, folded back in welcome. She drops her bag on the floor next to her feet and fights the swell of emotion in her chest as she takes the bottle. Steve doesn’t say anything about the wetness in her eyes, just nudges her towards the sofa with a soft “c’mon”, waiting for her to take off her shoes and once she does, arranging them under the blanket so she’s sitting with her legs draped over his lap under the blanket. He places the heaping plate of food in her lap and she gives a weak grin as he starts the show.
They eat in companionable silence, as the one episode passes, and then another. By the time the second episode ends and the third is kicking on, she’s managed to clear over half her plate, and she’s abandoned it, while Steve has managed to demolish three plates of equal size in the same time. She’s not even going to pretend she’s surprised. However, as the night has progressed, so have her suspicions. At first, she thought this was just ‘thoughtful boyfriend’-ness. But she’s not stupid. She knows what Steve wants, and she likes to think he’s better than manipulation, but it would be so easy to be the perfect boyfriend, while simultaneously sucking up so she’d be more likely to go with what he wants. But he wouldn’t do that. Right?
Finally, she can’t take it anymore, and she grabs the Wii remote, pausing the show and turning to Steve.
“Be honest, what is all this?”
Steve pauses, ginger ale bottle halfway to his mouth. After a second, he sighs and sets the bottle down.
“What do you think it is?” he asks, carefully.
“I don’t know,” she admits reluctantly, crossing her arms and eyeing him suspiciously. “At first I thought it was cute, sweet boyfriend stuff like you’re always doing, but I’m starting to wonder about ulterior motives. Help me out here. Tell me you’re not buttering me up. Trying to win me over. Sucking up. Are you kissing my ass with Chinese food and shows about imprisoned lesbians?”
Steve grins and tugs her towards him and she goes, tucking her head under his chin.
“This is me,” Steve says, wrapping his arms around her, “telling you to relax for one evening, pretend everything’s normal and stop worrying for just a second.”
“You promise this isn’t an attempt to guilt me?” she questions, uncrossing her arms and pulling at a loose thread on the blanket. “‘Cause that’s like, the last thing I need, right now.”
He pulls away, just enough to tilt her chin up and press a soft, chaste kiss to her lips.
“I swear, this is just me, trying to make you happy, because I love you,” he says when they part, and Darcy sighs.
“I love you, too.” She says, leaning against his shoulder. “I’m sorry I accused you of being a filthy manipulator.”
She feels him chuckle more than she hears it, and he leans forward, turning the show back on and picking up his ginger ale bottle again. “It’s alright. Just relax, okay?”
“Promise me again. I need to hear you say it again.”
Steve smiles and indulges her. “This is nothing more than an attempt to cheer you up, Scout’s Honor.”
“You were never a scout,” she scoffs, “I saw enough documentaries to know that.”
“Oh, hush, you.” He gives her a small playful push and she gives a squeak as she pretends to fight to keep her position in his lap.
A few minutes pass, and Darcy glances over at him and pipes up with a smirk, “you know what would really cheer me up?”
Steve gives her a lewd grin, “Hopefully sex, cause this isn’t the only way I plan on eating out, tonight.” He punctuates this with a horridly cheesy wink and Darcy laughs so hard, she cries. It might just be exactly what she needs.
Chapter 6: Author's Note
Okay, first off, I want to say this fic is NOT abandoned. I know it's taking me, like, forever to write it, but I swear with God as my witness, I am going to finish this fucking fic. I have the entire rest of it planned out, I know exactly what's going to happen. I just have to write it.
The problem is that, right as I was getting back into it, my mother was put in the hospital. She has a tumor on her bladder, which may or may not be cancer. Needless to say, everything is insane right now, and I am NOT in the right head-space to write this fic. I could, but it wouldn't be the fic you deserve to read or I'd be proud to publish.
So hold on! I'm slow, BUT THIS FIC IS GOING TO HAPPEN.