Nobody ever owns up to starting the scavenger hunt, but given that the first item is "procure fully weaponised robot armour," it's a safe bet that Tony's the one to blame. It's sitting on Darcy's desk when she gets in on Monday, no note, no explanation; just a list of items, and below that, the names of people she's guessing are her teammates.
On one hand, it's stupid, and dangerous, and has the potential to get her totally fired. On the other hand, she never actually did anything like this in college; she was less about the organised activities and more about the getting totally wasted at the one bar near campus that never carded. Plus - and let's be honest here - when else is she going to have the opportunity to be on an actual freaking team with the actual Captain freaking America?
She'll just stay clear of item #17, "take a picture in Director Fury's office," and she should be fine.
Which is not to say that Tony - or, okay, "whoever" made the list - hasn't completely stacked the deck. Tony, Jane, and Dr Banner are on what Darcy likes to call Team Science, along with scavenger hunt items like "be on the front cover of a magazine," and "intimate relationship with a non-human sentient being." (Pepper tries to call dibs on that one, too, but Tony denies it - more because she's not on his team, Darcy suspects, than for the sake of his pride. Eventually, she agrees that maybe he isn't sentient, after all.)
It's definitely nothing like Darcy ever saw kids at school doing - no "deface the cougar statue," or "drink an entire bottle of Chartreuse" - but it isn't entirely unfair, either. Item #4 is "kiss Captain America," and Darcy thinks maybe Tony was overestimating himself on that one - Steve happily lets Thor take a picture of Darcy kissing his cheek (and, okay, can she just take a minute here to say she kissed Captain America), but Tony can't get within five feet of him, not even when he tries to sneak up on Steve in the middle of a briefing. (Agent Coulson doesn't so much as blink, and Darcy's certain then, if she wasn't before, that he knows exactly what's going on. It's pretty much impossible to get anything past him, and god knows Darcy's tried.)
Besides, it's not like Darcy's team can't hold their own (even if they can't decide on a name; Darcy suggests Team Punching Things In The Face, but Steve wants Team America, which sends Darcy into a giggling fit she doesn't even try to explain). And she's pretty sure no-one else got item #9, "obtain Agent Coulson's personal letterhead" (or #10, "use Agent Coulson's personal letterhead for personal gain"), so she figures they're not doing too badly. Except.
"Come on," she say to Thor. "Number twenty?" It's worth more points than anything, and so far only Jane's successfully claimed it.
"I will not claim it," it all he'll say, though, and that's it. Darcy's pretty sure it's some kind of honour thing, like he doesn't want to besmirch Jane or whatever (because that has to be it, right?), but either way, as far as the scavenger hunt is concerned, Thor might as well have never laid eyes on another Asgardian, let alone his hands.
Darcy rolls her eyes, but she doesn't argue. If she had a girlfriend as hot as Jane, she probably wouldn't risk blowing it, either.
"Fine," she says. "Then we gotta go after nineteen."
Out-drink an Asgardian. Between Thor, who's been doing it practically his entire life, and Steve, who's weirdly immune to getting drunk, it's in the bag.
"Indeed," he says, and even Steve doesn't argue. Besides, thanks to a mysteriously well-timed memo from Agent Coulson's own letterhead, they now have the entire day off.
Darcy grins. "Then let's go get our evidence."
Sif and the Warriors Three are waiting at the bar by the time they get there, so Darcy guesses Thor must be getting better at working his cell phone. And it's not like Darcy goes out drinking with a bunch of alien warriors all the time, but it's happened enough that they don't need introductions, just raised glasses and Thor's voice bellowing a greeting.
"Noble warriors!" he says, and on anyone else it's be yelling. On Thor, it's pretty much his indoor voice. "I challenge you to a test of endurance and fortitude. Let those who are worthy still be standing at the end of the evening."
"Let's get our drink on," Darcy agrees. "Or rather, your drink on."
"You're not joining in?" Steve asks, like it's the first time he's ever seen her do something sensible. Which, fair enough.
Darcy starts to shake her head, but then Thor claps her on the back almost hard enough to send her stumbling. "You must join us in drink," he says, as if it's a foregone conclusion. "All present must join in."
"Are these, like, Asgardian drinking game rules?" she asks, and Thor grins.
"I have learned yours," he says, and boy, did he ever. "It is time for you to learn mine."
And as much as Darcy would like to think she'd need more convincing than that, she really doesn't.
"Okay," she says, and then turns to Steve, handing him her phone. "Can you work the camera on this?"
"I can try," he says, and she smiles.
"Just take pictures of anything we win." And then, to Thor, "Let's do this thing."
Three drinks in, she's already beginning to feel it, the slight buzzing in her head, warmth spreading over her limbs. She's no lightweight - between college and being friends with Thor, that's pretty much an impossibility at this point - but the glasses aren't small, and they're not exactly pacing themselves, either. When Steve gets back with the next round she squeezes closer to Sif to make room for him, their thighs pressed close together, and feels it all the way in her stomach. Except she's here to drink, not to flirt with hot warrior women, so she ignores it. Mostly.
Four drinks in, she's definitely more than tipsy, and at five she's rapidly approaching drunk. Fandral is in the middle of some story about his greatest conquests - gesturing so wildly he almost knocks over Volstagg's plate of wings, which earns him a glare - and right now Darcy can't even tell if he's talking about battles or women. Even more importantly, though, she can't tell if Sif's hand on her knee has always been there, landing there in some kind of accident or friendly gesture, or if it's deliberate, and she's pretty sure it shouldn't be this hard to think clearly.
She declines the sixth drink, which earns her good-natured jeers from the Asgardians and a surprised look from Steve. Whatever, it isn't her job to out-drink Norse gods tonight, it's his and Thor's, and it's something she doesn't particularly want to miss.
After the eighth round, Sif's hand still hasn't moved, and even without alcohol it's making it hard for Darcy to think. She gets up, mumbling something about getting the next round, and waits a few seconds for Sif to join her.
"Thor tells us of your hunt," she says, coming up to stand beside Darcy at the edge of the bar. "I wish you victory."
"Yeah," Darcy says. "I don't think we get prizes or anything, though."
"Perhaps you should simply take what you want," Sif says, and it sounds like an invitation.
So Darcy kisses her.
She's not quote sure how it progresses from a firm but fairly PG kiss to Sif pressing her up against the dimly lit back wall, but it does. Sif's hands are splayed out against her hips, rocking against her, and used to be a knot in Darcy's stomach is now a full-on supernova, clouding her head until she isn't even aware of anything but Sif. Sif kisses her soundly, running a hand up Darcy's side to her probably bruised neck; at Darcy's totally involuntary noise she pulls back, looking satisfied (and holy shit, is that hot) - which is when Darcy's vision clears enough to see Thor getting up from the table, and crap, she has no idea how long they've even been doing this, but she's pretty sure they're starting to be missed.
"Fuck," she says, and Sif raises an eyebrow, then follows Darcy's line of vision.
"Ah," she says. "We should probably return."
"Yeah," Darcy says. "I mean, no, but yeah."
They manage to intercept Thor on his way to the bar, Sif signalling for drinks while Darcy puts on her most innocent, just-got-back-from-the-restroom smile. He grins, but knowingly, and as they sit his eyes flick down to her neck, which Darcy realises too late she probably should have tried to cover.
Oh, screw it. Even if he remembers this in the morning, it's hardly some state secret (a few of which, by the way, Darcy is totally privy to). Besides, his expression isn't so much judging as congratulatory, so whatever.
"Hey," she says to Sif. "I think I left something at the bar."
Not subtle, maybe, but that's why she isn't an Avenger. That, and the whole lack of superpowers thing.
"Then I shall help you find it," Sif says.
Seriously, who needs subtle when you can make out with a goddess instead?
The next morning - and really, she should have used that stupid letterhead to get them the whole week off, except then New York probably would have exploded or something - the scavenger hunt is so far from her thoughts that she's actually surprised when Jane pulls her into an empty briefing room. At first Darcy thinks Thor must have told her and now she wants to gossip, but then she realises the whole team is there with them, and Tony's put the entire freaking list up on the wall.
Right. The list.
It figures that Natasha would be the only one to get into the director's office, but the picture of Dr Banner holding a bus is almost as impressive, as are the pictures - at a weird angle, but not terrible - of Steve sitting at a table with four nearly-unconscious Asgardians.
"That makes things pretty even," Tony says, "but we're still in the lead. Unless you've got anything else?"
Which is when Steve says, "Actually, we do."
At first, Darcy doesn't even know what she's looking at.
And then she does.
"You took pictures of that?" she asks. Honestly, she's a little impressed; she didn't know he had it in him.
"You told me to take pictures of the things on the list," he says. "It's on the list."
Of course it is. Number twenty.
Darcy suddenly feels like the scarf she's wearing maybe isn't entirely sufficient to conceal her activities last night.
"Well," Tony says a minute later. "I think we have a winner."
And as long as the Asgardians are still in town, Darcy's planning on celebrating.