Darcy smiled widely at Jane. “Janey! I can’t believe that your insane brain brought us here! You rock, and so does that head of yours!” Darcy tried to knock her fist onto Jane’s head, but Jane was onto her and squirmed away.
“Darcy,” Jane said very seriously, “we are here to do important science. This is the big leagues now.”
“So no more duct tape holding everything together?”
“I’m pretty sure that duct tape is integral to science happening.”
Darcy burst out laughing. “Ohhhh Jane. This is why I love you.” Darcy pulled Jane into a hug and then sat down in front of a box, pulling out a box cutter. “Now, tell me all about your lab.”
“Oh my god, Darce, it’s amazing…”
As Jane prattled on about all the high end tech Tony Stark had allotted for her when she agreed to take a job with him and move into his tower, Darcy stared at the space they had just moved the last of her boxes into. This was now her home. She and Jane were really here. Well, it was all Jane that they were there, but still. They were here, and here was awesome.
Adjusting to life in the tower was easy, and that, in itself, was crazy to Darcy. How could a place this awesome filled with all these super people be her normal? She was used to moving. She had done it a lot when she was younger. Her mom always had some crazy idea that meant uprooting and starting fresh somewhere new at an alarming rate. Darcy was pretty sure that growing up like she did was half the reason she couldn’t settle on a major and was so happy to crash in New Mexico in exchange for credits. But that had served her well, hadn’t it? She peeked up from the computer she was sitting at to watch Jane play with one of her devices. Even with all that money, she still insisted that her equipment was perfect how it was. She smiled to herself and went back to her data entry. Life was good.
While Darcy was staring at a screen, someone else was staring at her. Across the hall in Tony’s lab were Steve and Sam. They were discussing improvements to Sam’s wings. Tony had said something that annoyed Steve, and the two of them had started fighting, so Sam had stepped over to the floor to ceiling glass wall that separated the lab spaces. He hadn’t met any of the other scientists, but he figured that would be changing soon enough since Tony had offered him a room here. He gazed at the other scientist when he noticed second person in the lab, sitting down at a computer, rocking out to her own music while she typed.
“Couldn’t be,” he said quietly. Though, apparently not quietly enough because Steve and Tony had stopped arguing and were looking at him.
“What couldn’t be, birdy?” Tony snarked.
“Darcy Lewis,” Sam breathed, never taking his eyes off her.
“Jane’s intern? What about her?”
“She used to live across the street from me. We were best friends until her crazy mom moved them to, no joke, Tibet.” He looked at Steve, “She’s the reason I got into pararescue. She always called me her ‘little bird’. Seemed fitting.”
“You’re telling me that ball of sarcasm and caffeine is the reason you became the Falcon?”
“Yes. Yes I am.”
“Jarvis!” Tony snapped. “Have we assigned this particular bird a nest yet?”
“No sir, not yet.”
“Excellent. Put him in the open room on floor 68.” Tony turned to Sam. “You’re welcome.”
“I just put you on the same floor as tits over there. Best of luck to you.” Tony turned away. “Now you two scram. I have work to do. Jarvis, crank the music.”
Ear splitting music blasted through the lab, forcing Sam and Steve to retreat. Once they were in the hall, Steve turned to Sam and asked, “So what are you going to do?”
“I’m going to revive our old call signal. See if she wants to meet after curfew.”
“Son, I’m from the 40s and even I think that’s too precious for words.”
Sam punched Steve in the arm and then winced. Steve just smirked.
“Let me show you to that nest, little bird.”
Sam laughed. “Who knew Captain America was such a little shit.”
When Darcy got back to her room after convincing Jane that sleep was now necessary, she noticed a sheet of white paper folded and taped to her door. Curious, she pulled it off. On it was a picture of a bird and the words “common room, 3, flashlight.”
“Jarvis?” she called.
“Yes Miss Lewis.”
“Who left this for me?”
“I cannot say, Miss.”
“But you’d warn me if I was in danger, right?”
“Correct. You are not in danger.” She tried not to get her hopes up that it was her little bird. It was probably Clint planning a Nerf attack on her.
“Okay. In that case, where can I find a flashlight?”
3AM found Darcy wandering into the common room, her flashlight on as all other lights were off. She had spent the last few hours talking herself into and out of believing that Sam had found her after all this time. It just seemed so implausible. What would he have been doing here anyway? How could he have known she was here?
When she fully stepped into the room, she saw that in the center of the room, a fort had been made out of couch cushions and blankets. A flashlight shone inside the fort, casting shadows all over the room. She took a deep breath and tried to calm her racing heart. She closed her eyes and crawled inside, trying not to get her hopes up. When she opened them, she saw Sam waiting for her.
“Little bird,” she whispered breathily.
“I told you’d I’d fly far and wide to find you.”