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"So, Nick--I can call you Nick, right?--I had this idea yesterday." Tony looks up from the circuit board he's rewiring when Coulson makes a pained noise. "Ulcer acting up, Coulson? Anyway, my idea. This whole team thing is working pretty well, but I feel like we could be closer. You know, bond in a team-ly fashion."

"You want me to have HR arrange some team building for you?" Fury sounds incredibly skeptical.

"No, no. God, no." Tony shudders at the thought of trust falls and talking about his feelings. "Pool party in Malibu. I've already got Darcy working on it."

Fury sighs heavily. "Will it get you out of my hair long enough for us to finish fixing the damage that your team of merry idiots just did to Brooklyn?"

Tony can't help the way his eyes stray towards Fury's very shiny head, but notices Coulson doing the same thing so he doesn't feel bad. "Perfect! I already let Reed Richards know that they can count on the other second-stringers to help keep the city from burning to the ground if anything big comes up before the Avengers get back."

"Other second-stringers?" Fury asks, raising his eyebrow.

"Sure, Spider-Man, Black Cat, Falcon, Daredevil, Elektra, Power Man and Iron Fist..."

Coulson almost has an expression at that list and it's enough to make Tony's day.

Fury sighs and rubs his hand against the bridge of his nose. "I hope you realize that most of the people on your list are near the top of SHIELD's threat list."

"It'll be fine." Tony gives up on the rewiring and drops the whole mess on his workbench. He'll get to it later. "So, mom, dad, we're taking the Quinjet, don't wait up."

Fury gives him a deeply unimpressed look and says, "Agent Coulson will be accompanying you."

"A chaperone? Come on, I promise I won't try to get fresh with anyone. Except Pepper." Tony decides full disclosure now will solve a lot of problems later. "And Bruce if he's willing."

Fury doesn't even twitch, but Coulson reaches up to press his fingers against his eyes. "Sir, I have duties--"

"Agent Coulson goes with you or I arrange a real team-building exercise for you. And I can guarantee that it won't involve bikinis or margaritas."

Obviously that is the best offer he's going to get from Fury and so he starts toward the door, ordering over his shoulder, "Come along, Phillip. We have Operation Beach Blanket Bingo to attend."

In the reflection from the window, he catches the despairing look Coulson sends at Fury. It almost makes accepting the chaperoning worth it.

His phone rings as he heads towards the elevator, Coulson trailing after him. "Talk to me, Barton."

Is there a reason why you spirited my girlfriend away in the night?

"I needed her stellar organizational skills in Malibu. No worries, little Katniss, we shall be joining her soon."

We're going to the Malibu house? If I can get in without JARVIS knowing, will you make me more explosive arrows?

"No, you can't try to infiltrate my house, Barton. I've already got plans for some arrows that will blow your mind. Just make sure your jailbait girlfriend was able to find swimsuits for Thor's Asgardian buddies. I don't want wild beast fur mucking up my pool filtration."

Coulson's steady pace next to him stutters briefly as he hangs up on Barton's complaining. Hmmm, something to follow up on there, maybe. After he talks Bruce out of his lab and into...something else.

"I'm going to go collect Bruce. We're wheels up in forty-five minutes, Coulson, so go pack a bag." Tony doesn't bother to look back as he turns the corner towards Bruce's lab. Coulson got a direct order from Fury, so there's no way he won't be on the plane when they leave.

Bruce is concentrating deeply, nudging variables and running and re-running simulations, so Tony obviously has to jab him in the side with something sharp. "Ow!" he hisses, flinching away and generally looking harassed.

"Hey! You didn't hear a word I just said, did you." Tony boosts himself up to sit on the lab counter in front of him, idly swinging his legs and poking through Bruce's stuff.

Bruce sighs and closes his eyes briefly. "Tony. I really wish you wouldn't do that. You have a marked lack of self-preservation."

Tony rolls his eyes at him. "Yeah, whatever, Dr. Fluffy. Thor reacts worse when I startle him." Darcy was the one who came up with Dr. Fluffy in the first place, but Tony has been using it gleefully ever since.

"Thor doesn't have a nine-foot-tall creature of pure rage living inside of him."

Well, true, but. "Have you seen Thor when there's no coffee in the pot? Anyway, I did actually come here for a reason, not just to bug you."

Bruce laughs quietly. "That's a first."

"Whatever. You love it," he grins slyly.

Tony hopes, at least. It'll make convincing Bruce to try it out with him and Pepper a lot easier.

"And what was so terribly, terribly important that you just had to come and tell me?" Bruce asks, raising his eyebrows at him.

"Pool party in Malibu. Team building, open bar, the whole shebang."

"Pool party?" Bruce repeats, wincing. "I'm not really a pool party kind of guy..."

"Everyone is a pool party kind of guy, Dr. Banner." Trying to make his eyes go huge and tragic like Darcy does when she wants something from Clint, Tony adds, "It's a team-bonding exercise."

"Director Fury approved a pool party as a team building exercise?" Bruce looks like he finds that immensely difficult to believe.

Tony shrugs. "He didn't say no. Anyway, Thor is off gathering the Asgardians and Fury is making Coulson come with us, so it's definitely a party."

Bruce takes his glasses off and massages the bridge of his nose. "You're not going to leave me alone until I agree, right?"

That had been Tony's general plan. "It's like you know me."

"Fine, but no booze for me."

"Excellent. Pepper will be pleased I didn't have to resort to kidnapping."

"Pepper is going to be there?" Bruce's voice goes a little funny. Tony is about 98% sure that it's a promising sign.

"Of course. And she is very excited to see you again." Tony lets that sit for a second. "Quinjet takes off in twenty, Dr. Fluffy. Go get your toothbrush."


Pepper is in full-on CEO mode when Darcy finally staggers out of the guest bedroom where she'd collapsed after arriving in Malibu at around 2 AM.

"No, no. Don't put the buffet table there," Pepper is ordering a group of harried-looking caterers. "It will only end up in the pool by the end of the night."

"You know us too well," Darcy says, sliding her sunglasses to the top of her head.

"Darcy!" Pepper comes over and gives her a hug. "I hope you slept well. JARVIS said you didn't get in until late."

"No worries. I'm a student, I'm used to pulling all-nighters. Besides, I have Tony's special blend," Darcy says, holding up a giant mug of coffee. "How did you get roped into arranging a pool party for Earth's mightiest heroes?"

Pepper shrugs ruefully. "Tony begged me. You'd think one of these days I'd develop an immunity to the puppy dog eyes..."

"Tell me about it. So, what can I do to help?"

About an hour and a half later, the house is perfectly set up for the pool party. There is a ridiculous amount of food prepared, the wet bar is fully stocked with pitchers of mixed drinks, and the caterers have been paid and sent home. Because as Pepper pointed out, having civilians around while the Avengers are drinking with Asgardians is just asking for trouble.

"We deserve a drink," Darcy declares.

"Agreed. Mojito?"

Stretched out in lounge chairs by the pool, Darcy and Pepper are well into their second celebratory mojito when the Avengers minus Thor show up, with Tony leading the pack.

"Pepper, light of my life, everything looks perfect." He swoops down and kisses her, quick and dirty, before straightening up. "Everyone else, into the house and get into your swimsuits."

Coulson and Bruce look mutinous. Steve looks like he's already about to die of embarrassment.

Clint comes over and perches on the side of Darcy's lounge chair. "Hey, babe. Wanna get naked?"

"In a second, I just wanna--holy shit," Darcy says, nearly choking on her drink as Tony doesn't bother going into the house, just grabs one of his suits from the cabinet next to the pool and strips down in the bright California sunshine. Coulson, Steve, and Bruce turn as one and practically flee for the house.

"Oh, please." Natasha's eyeroll is evident in her voice.

Pepper snorts. "You're lucky he's wearing anything at all."

Natasha gives Tony a full up-and-down look over her sunglasses. "I wasn't aware Speedo made a swimsuit that small."

"You know you want some, Agent Romanoff." Tony waggles his eyebrows at her. Natasha just shakes her head pityingly and strolls toward the wet bar. Darcy is like 75% sure that Natasha actually likes Tony, but she has a feeling that the other 25% spends a lot of time wanting to gag him.

Tony throws himself down onto a lounger next to Pepper. "And why aren't you two lovely ladies attired in your swimming costumes yet?"

"We are relaxing after we spent our morning arranging your party." Pepper waves her mojito at him.

Tony grabs it and takes a sip. He makes a face like a little kid tasting a lemon. "Gah! What's all this soda doing in my booze?"

"My booze," Pepper says, snagging her drink back. Tony pouts ridiculously, then gets distracted by Bruce coming back out of the house, still dressed.

"Why are you wearing so much clothing? Don't you know that pool parties are an excuse to ogle all of your friends, co-workers, and teammates?" Tony leaps to his feet, spreading his arms out.

Bruce shies back a little and fiddles with his glasses. "I'm, uh, I'm just going to go sit under an umbrella and read for a while. I brought some journals that I'm behind on."

And Tony is off, trailing along after Bruce while talking a mile a minute. Pepper laughs as she watches them. "He's cute when he has a crush. Well, and obnoxious, but that goes without saying."

Clint looks thrown. "I don't want to think about what that implies about Tony's interactions with Steve."

Pepper just shrugs and smiles impishly.

"Okay, babe, let's get changed. I don't want to miss the fireworks when Coulson sees Sif in the bathing suit I picked out for her," Darcy says, putting her empty drink down.

The door to the room where Darcy had dropped off her luggage has barely swung closed behind them when Clint backs her up against the wall, doing some crazy ninja move that ends up with her hands above her head and his thigh rubbing against her pussy through her shorts. "Guh--" is about all that Darcy manages to get out before Clint is pretty much devouring her mouth.

"Mmmm--Clint--wait--" Clint backs off a little. Darcy almost melts at the hot look in his eyes, but she has a mission here. Nookie can wait for a few. "I need to run something past you so that you don't have a jealousy melt-down."

Clint looks suspicious. "Does this have something to do with Stark?"

"No, I keep telling you, it's like he's the Darcy from the genderswap AU universe. The two of us would collapse the space-time continuum if we tried anything." Darcy huffs an impatient breath at his baffled look. "Anyway, it's not Tony. I just wanted to give you a heads-up that I'm going to grope Captain America. For justice."


"Well, on behalf of all the women of the world who aren't going to be able to lay a finger on him once Natasha gets him fully locked down, anyhow. It's cool, I already cleared it with her."

Clint makes a thoughtful noise. Darcy tries giving him the big tragic eyes, but he's kind of developing a resistance to those. She brings out the big guns. "Of course, if you okayed that, then I'd owe you a favor..."

"Anything I want?"

"You know it, soldier."

Okay, so they get a little distracted at that point, but they still make it to the living room just as Sif walks in, trailed by Thor and Jane, who appear to be in full lovebird mode and not paying attention to anything outside themselves.

Darcy throws her arms up in the air in welcome. "Welcome to Malibu! The sun is shining, we have a metric ton of food and booze, and I have swim suits for everyone in the other rooms."

Jane detaches herself from Thor long enough to give Darcy a hug. "It's so good to see you, honey. We need to do lunch or something, it's been too long."

"You need to dig yourself out of the lab more often," Darcy says. "Thor, keep Jane from working herself into an early grave."

"This I shall do, I swear," Thor says very seriously. Asgardians. They're kind of awesomely weird.

"Friend Darcy!" Sif beams, giving her a quick hug and kiss on the cheek. She's Darcy's favorite Asgardian, not gonna lie.

"Where are your buddies?" Darcy asks.

"The Warriors Three have embarked on an epic Bilgesnipe hunt," Thor announces. He is holding Jane to his side again, the two of them beaming like crazy. They're like teenagers together, it's adorable.

"Well, then they're gonna miss an awesome party."

Clint gives her a quick kiss and a smack on the ass, then sprints across the room and out into the sunlight. There's a loud splashing sound and a few shrieks, but no roar of Hulking out so Darcy doesn't worry about it.

"Right!" Darcy claps her hands and orders, "Thor and Jane, you're in that room. Try not to break anything. Like, walls or floors." Jane rolls her eyes at her, but Darcy saw the property damage from that time Jane went shopping at Victoria's Secret. She knows.

When the door is closed behind Thor and Jane, Darcy grabs Sif's hand, tugging her towards a room. "I have one specially picked out for you. C'mon, get changed. I want to see Coulson's face when he gets a look at you in the suit."

"Truly, I know not what you mean," Sif protests. She is a terrible fucking liar. "The Son of Coul is an honorable man and a fine warrior, and that is all he is to me."

Darcy just raises an eyebrow at her, trying to copy Natasha's unimpressed face.

Sif coughs and fidgets a little. "You think the suit of bathing will be... flattering?"

Darcy grins. "Coulson isn't gonna know what hit him."


Tony is a genius. That goes without saying, but today he is particularly genius-y because he has figured out the perfect way to get all of his team-mates naked. Or close to naked, but he's got hopes for Darcy and Barton. Enough tequila and spontaneous public nudity just happens, in Tony's experience.

Pepper was skeptical at first, but she came around once Tony mentioned his genius plan of providing Captain America with a Speedo. "Tony, he'll blush himself to death," was Pepper's clearly token protest.

"Don't you want to see how far down that blush goes?"

And that was the end of Pepper's resistance to his genius plan.

Barton runs out of the house at top speed and cannonballs into the pool, somehow managing to direct the tidal wave of water so that Bruce and Tony are completely drenched and not one drop gets near Natasha and Pepper at the wet bar. There's an eternal moment where Tony is afraid he's going to have to spend a fortune again repairing his house, but Bruce just shakes the water out of his ear and stares forlornly at the sodden pile of paper on the table.

"Come on, let's get you out of those wet clothes." Tony stops and shrugs. "That actually was less pornographic in my head."

Bruce just sighs and waves him off. "I'll get changed, you stay out here with your guests."

"Fine, fine." Tony waits until Bruce is in the house before slipping in to the living room and grabbing one of the tablets that are lying on the coffee table. "JARVIS, can you find and download copies of the journals Dr. Banner was reading?"

"Of course, sir. I will also take the liberty of downloading various other journals in Dr. Banner's field which he might find of interest."

"Thanks." Tony heads back out and props the tablet on the umbrella pole for Bruce when he makes it back outside.

Tony surveys his pool area from the lounger he's claimed, which just happens to be in the perfect spot to provide maximum ogling possibilities. Somehow Coulson managed to plant himself in a dark corner of the patio without Tony even noticing. Damn ninja. Also, he'd clearly brought his own swimsuit, because no swimsuit in Tony's house has that much fabric.

Pepper and Natasha have disappeared somewhere. He can only hope that they're both changing into tiny, tiny bikinis.

The glass door swooshes open and Steve cautiously pokes his head outside. Tony suspects that he's checking to see if there are any women on the patio. Steve inches his way outside, wearing... oh my god. Is Steve wearing an undershirt with his bathing suit like a grandpa?

Barton, who's hanging out in the pool with his arms up on the edge, looks at him sharply. "Did you just say something about a hot grandpa?"

Tony's no doubt brilliant riposte is completely derailed when Darcy strides out of the house and he loses Barton's attention. Not that he blames him because, goddamn a red and white polka dot bikini on a woman built like Darcy is a thing to behold.

She steps off to the side and Sif makes her entrance, wearing a green one-piece that is somehow more sexy than most bikinis. Probably because the woman wearing it is, literally, a goddess. God-like Norse alien. Anyway, she is definitely built like a goddess. Tony takes a long sip of his drink and takes a moment to be deeply grateful that Pepper doesn't mind him visually appreciating other people.

There's a light thunking noise from Coulson's corner. He's completely composed by the time Tony looks at him, but Tony is pretty sure that Coulson dropped his tablet when Sif walked out.

Tony turns back to watch the entertainment happening by the doorway. Steve is standing frozen in place like a deer in traffic as Sif walks past him on her way to the bar. Darcy takes the opportunity to smack Steve firmly on the ass. "Shirt off, now!"

Steve jumps and turns to protect his ass from Darcy. "No, I really, really can't--Ms. Lewis!" he gasps, scandalized, as Darcy attempts to pull his undershirt off him.

"Either you take it off or I do and I can guarantee you won't like the way I do it." Darcy has her arms half-way up Steve's back , but she's refrained from pressing herself up against him. Tony can tell it's her next move, though.

It's what he'd do, after all.

"Okay, just--Just step back, please." There's no way six-plus feet of sheer muscle should sound so plaintive, but that's Steve.

Darcy moves away and nods approvingly when Steve strips off his shirt, twisting it in his hands. "Thank you. You are doing the world a service."

Steve makes a face at her and shuffles towards the buffet table, obviously looking to eat his awkwardness again. Thank god for super soldier metabolism.

Darcy sits down on the edge of the pool and Barton immediately swims over to her, curling his arms around her calves and resting his chin on her knees. She rubs her hand through his wet hair and Tony can't help but roll his eyes at the preciousness of it all. Don't get him wrong, Darcy is his second-favorite administrative professional/superhero in the world (Tony is pretty sure that running Stark Industries qualifies Pepper as a superhero), and Barton, while not nearly good enough for her, is a solid, competent team member. It's just that the two of them together are like... Buttercup and Wesley, sometimes. With bonus ass-slapping.

Sif, having retrieved two margaritas the size of fishbowls from the bar, heads straight for Coulson's dark corner. Muah ha ha!

"Did you just... make an evil overlord laugh?" Darcy asks, squinting at him.

"I'm practicing for my eventual turn to supervillainy, followed by redemption, and then a triumphant return as the American public loves me even more for having been redeemed. And also having a new, sexy costume, because all supervillains have--okay, maybe not Magneto--"

"Hey, not everyone can pull off magenta and purple. He's pretty stylish, for an older gentleman." Barton must have pinched her at that point, because Darcy makes a face at him and says, "What? Not like I'm going to hit on that. Xavier would kill me."

Barton attempts to smother himself in Darcy's thighs. Lucky bastard. "I'm going to try to wipe the last two minutes from my memory."

"Probably for the best." Tony doesn't like to think about old man ass like that. Ugh. As if called from the heavens to purge the thought from his mind, Natasha and Pepper stroll outside. Pepper is wearing her standard black racing suit, despite the rainbow of choices he'd provided her the last time they were on the yacht.

If he'd been asked to bet on Natasha's choice of suits, he'd have guessed something similar to Pepper's, utilitarian while still sexy. He never would have guessed she'd pick something quite so … flimsy.

Steve obviously agrees with him because from the corner of his eye, Tony can see Captain America drop his plate of fruit salad, trip over his own feet, and take a header into the pool. Tony would laugh, but he honestly can't blame the man.

He thinks Natasha might look pleased, but quite honestly to him most of her expressions resemble "I'm going to have to stick you in the neck with a needle now," so he's not betting a small tech company on that.

"Margarita?" Pepper asks Natasha.

"Absolutely," Natasha replies, and they walk to the bar arm-in-arm. Tony looks at his own drink and realizes that it is tragically, tragically near-empty, particularly after he drains the last inch of it.

Refreshed scotch on the rocks in hand, Tony leans against the bar next to Pepper and surveys his kingdom. "Twenty thousand says Darcy and Barton are fucking in the pool by the end of the evening."

"Tony!" Pepper says chidingly.

"Come on, Pep, you're not going to take that bet? Fine."

Natasha slinks away to more effectively stalk Steve, or whatever it is that she's doing there. Tony is too fond of his skin being in one piece to ask. Despite what some people might say, Tony actually does have a sense of self-preservation. Sometimes.

Tony takes advantage of the fact that they're now effectively out of earshot of everyone else to lean close to Pepper and ask, "What do you think? Are we a go on plan Hot and Angry?"

Pepper rolls her eyes at him. "You have the worst plan names ever."

"I will concede that if you convince Bruce to be your partner in the game of chicken I paid Darcy to instigate." He's not proud of that. On the other hand, he's not not proud of it either.

"Tony--" Pepper's voice trails off and Tony has to look over his shoulder to see what had captured her attention. Bruce is skirting the edge of the pool, heading for the shaded corner he'd previously been sitting in. He's wearing the trunks Tony had picked out because purple looks fantastic on Bruce, his hair is ruffling in the breeze, and he's pushing his glasses up on his nose in that way that Pepper and Tony have already discussed makes them both want to debauch the hell out of him. Pepper fans herself with a cocktail napkin. "Okay. Chicken. Sure."

He's such a genius.


Darcy steadies herself with a hand on Clint's head as he stands up out of the water, only faltering once before finding his feet in the shallow end of the pool. She wriggles to settle herself and surveys her kingdom. Pepper has abandoned Tony and looks to be trying to convince Bruce to get in the pool with her. Yeah, good luck with that. Darcy doesn't want to be the one to accidentally kick Dr. Ragebeast in the goolies. Sif has Coulson by the hand and is leading him towards the pool despite the protests Darcy can hear from her perch. Steve is standing like a statue on the other side of the shallow end, letting Natasha climb him like a tree and looking like he wants to die of awkward.

All is as it should be, then.

Pepper laughs from her seat next to Bruce and stands up, heading for the pool. Darcy may flail just a little when Bruce follows her into the water. It's all very interesting, okay?

She waits until Bruce and Pepper are situated next to Coulson and Sif before clapping her hands together. "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first annual Avengers chicken fight!"

"If this is a team exercise, I think we should wait for Thor." Steve's hands waver in the air, like he wants to physically remove Natasha from his shoulders, but doesn't know where he can safely grab. "Where is Thor anyway?"

Just then a giant lightning bolt arcs from the cloudless sky and sparks off Tony's roof.

"Go Jane!" Darcy resettles herself in time to see Steve cover his face with his hands. "As I was saying, the rules are simple. Men, you have to keep your hands on your partner's legs at all times. Ladies, no kicking, no punching, no weapons. You can only push your opponent to get her off her partner's shoulders. Any questions?"

Steve actualfax raises his hand. God, he's adorable. "Are there points? Or is it a last-man-standing type of game?"

Tony calls from the side of the pool where he is sitting with his legs dangling into the water, "The point of the game is not who wins or loses. The point of the game is who loses a bikini top."

Steve turns bright red and Natasha smiles like some kind of, of... sexy shark. Sex shark. Darcy knows she's been spending too much time with Tony when that's the kind of simile that springs to mind. Bruce appears to be attempting to meditate with his eyes open. Darcy's not quite sure how to classify Pepper's expression, but she's fairly sure that Pepper just used needing to catch her balance as an excuse to run her hands through Bruce's surprisingly fluffy hair. Coulson is giving full-on MIB impassive stone-face.

Wide-eyed, Sif announces that she is fascinated by this aspect of Midgardian culture. "I will endeavour to use only a small fraction of my strength, so that the battle will not be unfairly balanced."

"That sounds fair. Okay, on your marks, get set, go!" Darcy steers Clint towards Pepper first thing. She's being bribed by Tony to keep Pepper in the water as long as possible, and she knows that Sif would consider ganging up on an opponent to be dishonorable. If she gets to Pepper first, then Sif and Natasha will be facing off. Which is a much more even match anyway, so win/win. Though Darcy does miss out on the opportunity to grope Sif again. Sadness.

She had kind of thought that Pepper would be terrible at this game. She's not sure why--maybe because Pepper is normally so dignified?--but Pepper is quickly proving her wrong. Darcy squeaks, almost losing her balance on Clint's slippery shoulders. "Damn! You're good at this!"

"Swim camp. Every summer for twelve years," Pepper says, smiling wickedly before almost shoving Darcy off Clint's shoulders again.

Natasha is, like, a super-spy and the other two are wearing one-pieces, so it's kind of inevitable that Darcy is the one who ends up losing her bikini top first. "Whoopsie," she says, as her bikini top gives up its valiant fight and slides down onto Clint's head.

Bruce makes a horrified noise and immediately turns his back on them, unbalancing Pepper who slides off his shoulders.

"Woo!" Darcy yells, raising her fists to the sky. "Boobs of victory!"

The rest of her victory speech is lost to the world when Natasha sneaks up and dumps her into the water with some kind of sneaky ninja move.

Darcy comes up spluttering. "Hey! Hey! No fair!"

Steve has his hands over his eyes. Natasha, still balancing on his shoulders, smiles regally. "It may not have been fair, but it was not against the rules."

Darcy shoves her hair out of her eyes, huffing. "Fine, you win."

Natasha nods once and then dismounts from Steve's shoulders, flipping off him like a gymnast. She steers Steve--whose eyes are still closed--out of the pool.

Clint holds up her bikini top. "You need this back?" The way he says it sounds like he'd be totally cool with her going around topless for the rest of the afternoon, but Darcy hasn't missed that he's blocking her from the view of everyone else in the pool area. Darcy shrugs the top back on and turns around so that he can tie her bikini ties again. Clint pulls her back against him when he's done, his body almost hot against the chill of the pool. "I wanna fuck you so bad right now."

Darcy shivers a little. "Mmm. Later. First, it's bad-touch time for Captain America."

Clint's head drops against the back of her neck. "Seriously?"

Darcy slides a hand up around the back of his neck. "I'm going to put sunblock on Natasha first."

"I have no further objections."

She takes a moment to rub up against him before wading towards the steps and heading towards her towel. She feels Clint follow her out of the water, but he just hands her the sunscreen before settling in a lounge chair with a good view of where Natasha and Steve are sitting near the bar.

She's really going to have to reward him later.

Natasha looks up when Darcy stops in front of her and raises her hand to block the sun. "'Boobs of victory'?"

"Shut it." Darcy waves the sunscreen bottle. "I'm here to make sure your lily white complexion stays that way."

She holds out her hands and Darcy squeezes some of the lotion out for her before coating her own hands. Natasha leans forward to take care of her legs and Darcy kneels on the lounger behind her to rub sunscreen onto the long expanse of her back. She is very thorough, making sure to get her hands under the ties of Natasha's suit, over the rise of her shoulders, and past the curve of her hips.

There may be side boob groping. Darcy will neither confirm not deny that.

When she levers herself off the lounger and away from Natasha, she catches Tony's eye from where he's sitting with Pepper and Bruce across the pool. Tony kind of looks like he just had a religious experience. She smirks at him before stretching and stepping around Natasha. "Your turn, Steve."

Steve hops up from the lounger and backs away, his hands raised. "What? No, I'm fine. Supersoldier serum. I don't get burnt."

"Skin cancer," Darcy says. "Sure, you can't get skin cancer, but what about all those kids who think of you as a role model? What are you going to tell little Johnny when he asks you if you wear sunscreen?" She knows it's a ridiculous argument, but Steve wavers, his hands falling.

"Isn't there a spray kind?" Steve asks plaintively.

"Nope, don't have any here, already checked. Assume the position," Darcy orders. Watching Captain America wordlessly obey her, lying down on his stomach on the lounger, makes her all tingly inside. She glances at Natasha, waiting to get her nod of okay before starting on Operation Bad-Touch Captain America. Natasha had said something about breaking through Steve's inhibitions and acclimatizing him to touch, but all Darcy had heard was, "Yes, you may molest my super-hot boyfriend and I won't even break your fingers for it."

Darcy takes it easy on him. Sitting on his ass is a more advanced technique, and besides, she's not sure Natasha's okay extends to that much intimate contact between Darcy and Steve's fantastic ass. So she stands next to his lounger, staring down at Steve's amazingly muscular back (seriously, who has a ripped back?) and starts smoothing sunblock onto him.

The breeze carries Tony's voice as he says loudly, "It's my birthday and no one thought to tell me, isn't it?" Darcy smirks to herself as she slowly runs her hands up and down Steve's back, making sure to get his sides and the tops of his shoulders. She's just about done when she figures in for a penny, in for a pound and wipes the excess lotion off onto the tops of his thighs.

Steve pretty much levitates out of the lounger. "Darcy!" he squeaks, looking like a scandalized old lady.

Darcy holds her hands out and shrugs as innocently as she can manage. She takes a couple of steps back because she doesn't actually want Steve to feel threatened by her gropey hands of groping and waits until he's gingerly settled back in his chair and resuming his conversation with Natasha before doing a silent dance of celebration and shooting Clint a double thumbs up.

"You know I can see you in the reflection from the door, right?" Steve's voice stops her mid-cabbage patch, but she feels no shame.

She finishes up the final hip rotation and skips over to the bar. She pours out four shots of tequila and slams them all down without stopping. Once her entire world stops burning, Darcy shudders and points at Steve. "You're lucky I decided not to stick my hands in your pants. I'd be up on this bar all Coyote Ugly style then."


"It's my birthday and no one thought to tell me, isn't it?" Across the pool, Darcy is molesting Steve while Natasha watches. Tony is pretty sure he's had sex dreams like this.

"I'm not sure I want to know that much about your sex dreams," Bruce says.

Whoops, external monologue again. "Don't tell such ridiculous untruths, Dr. Banner, you're insulting our intelligence." Tony slides his sunglasses down his nose to give Bruce a proper leer.

"What--seriously, what goes on in his head?" Bruce asks Pepper. He'd made distressed noises about sitting on one of the outdoor sofas in a wet swimsuit, but Pepper had simply overridden him and pulled Bruce down onto the cushion between her and Tony.

After the whole incident with Tony kind of going a little crazy and trashing the house, Pepper had taken control of rebuilding and redesigning the whole place. One of her additions had been a conversation area with three large outdoor sofas on a patio raised slightly above the level of the pool area. Tony had been dubious at first, but snuggling on a sofa with Pepper and Bruce has totally convinced him that it was a brilliant idea. Hey, he can give credit where credit is due.

Pepper starts laughing so hard that she actually snorts. Hmmm, how many margaritas has Pep had? "You'll figure out eventually that you don't want to know," she finally calms down enough to say.

"I'm being ganged up on. And not in a sexy way." Tony pouts.

Pepper reaches over Bruce to pat Tony on the knee. "There, there." Then she and Bruce exchange a look and start laughing again. Tony tries to pout, but he's pretty sure his glee at how well Pepper and Bruce work together is showing through. He is a genius.

The door to the living room slides open and Thor and Jane finally emerge, looking like they've spent the last two hours fucking in Tony's guest room (yum). At the bar, Darcy yells something about Coyote Ugly dancing.

"You left your cowboy boots in New Mexico when you moved." Jane detaches herself from Thor's side and takes the shot Darcy is holding out to her. "I brought them with, though."

That has possibilities. "Pep, do you -"


"You don't even know what I was going to ask!" He's fairly sure she knows what he was going to ask.

"No, I'm not going to dance on the bar. No, I don't own cowboy boots. No, I won't order cowboy boots for everyone so that we can all dance on the bar." She relaxes back into the sofa, using the opportunity to slide a little closer to Bruce, the crafty wench.

"You are a fun ruiner, Virginia. You ruin fun." He gestures towards her with his drink and tries to keep the smirk off his face.

"That's not what you said the last time we were on the island." Pepper looks and sounds absolutely smug and, remembering that trip, Tony can't really blame her.

A slow pulse of warmth fills Tony at the way she holds his eyes, her own memory of those three days apparent in the quirk of her eyebrow. Bruce shifts awkwardly between them and clears his throat.

"I should go... someplace else. You don't need me here."

Pepper breaks eye contact first. "Oh, Bruce. For a genius, you're doing a really good job of missing the obvious."

"What?" Bruce sounds absolutely baffled.

Pepper and Tony exchange a look and then simultaneously slide closer to Bruce on the sofa, Pepper's head resting on Bruce's shoulder and Tony's hand on Bruce's thigh. "We want you to stay," Tony murmurs.

Bruce's body is absolutely rigid at first. Tony has a quick flash of worry that they've pushed too hard and Bruce is going to freak out about the Other Guy and run away from them, but Bruce slowly relaxes again. "I don't know what you--I mean, where this is going..."

"For now?" Pepper says. "Snuggling. Anything more--that's up to you to decide how comfortable you are with us. You set the pace. Okay?"

"Okay," Bruce says quietly. He rubs his cheek against the top of Pepper's head and puts his hand over Tony's.

Tony resists the urge to high-five Pepper. Hey, he does have some understanding of appropriate behavior. Sometimes.

The sun is starting to go down and flames automatically start dancing over the rocks in the firepit set between the three sofas. The rest of the group settles onto the other two couches. Sif is wrapped in a fluffy white robe and Coulson's arm. Darcy raises an eyebrow at Tony and mouths, "Go, Coulson!"

"You're not as subtle as you think you are, Ms. Lewis," Coulson says, but he doesn't sound at all annoyed.

Darcy sticks her tongue out at him. "Oh, hey, I was thinking--"

"Oh, god," Bruce murmurs. Tony can feel Pepper snickering.

"--we should have a sleep-over. Girls only, no boys allowed. We can drink and have girl-talk time."

"Pillow fights?" Clint and Tony ask pretty much simultaneously.

Pepper says, "No."

Tony gives her the puppy-dog eyes over Bruce's chest. "No, what? I just wanted to know if there would be pillow fights."

"Yes, and I know exactly where your brain went after that."

"Ms. Potts, your lack of trust wounds me deeply."

Pepper just rolls her eyes at him. "JARVIS won't record the non-existent naked pillow fights for you either. Will you, JARVIS?"

JARVIS sounds smug, the traitor, as he replies, "Of course not, Ms. Potts."

Tony points a finger at Pepper accusingly. "You've infected my AI with your--your--morals!"

Bruce breaks out into actual giggles. Tony really does give Pepper a high-five at that point and it only makes Bruce laugh harder. He relaxes into the back of the sofa as his laughter tapers off, curling his arm around Pepper's shoulders and molding his body to Tony's.

"JARVIS, let's have some music. Play my Summer Lovin' playlist, please."

Darcy is curled up next to Barton, practically in his lap, casually brushing her hands over his bare shoulders. "You want to dance?"

"Always." Barton slides his arm under her legs and stands up, carrying her over to an open space. It's less dancing and more upright groping, but Tony is definitely not going to complain about that.

Jane pulls Thor off the couch and drags him over to the newly designated dance floor. There's even less dancing happening there and the size disparity between them is enough that Tony has to muffle his laugh in Bruce's shoulder.

"What's so funny?" Bruce turns his head and his mouth brushes Tony's ear. Oh, hello.

He shakes his head and rests his mouth against Bruce's skin for a moment. It's less than a kiss, but he can feel goosebumps form where they're touching. "Nothing important."

Bruce huffs another laugh into his ear. "I somehow doubt that."

Tony smiles against his skin then shifts until he's sprawled on the couch with his head in Bruce's lap. Pepper leans over and gives Tony a quick kiss, then kneels on the sofa and gives Bruce a long, slow kiss with plenty of tongue, which Tony is at the perfect angle to see. Wonderful, brilliant woman. She pauses, pulling back and rubbing her nose against Bruce's. "No, please, keep going," Tony says.

Bruce huffs out a laugh. "Why am I not surprised that you're a voyeur?"

"He likes being restrained, too," Pepper says as she slides her fingers into Tony's hair and tugs sharply. Tony moans, totally unashamed, and watches as Bruce's lips part and his cheeks flush. "Hands only though, no ropes."

"Bad experience," Tony shrugs, not wanting to get into the whole "kidnapped by terrorists and waterboarded" thing. It's a mood-killer. Bruce is a smart guy, though, he doesn't need it spelled out.

Bruce nods, and Tony can practically see the data falling into place behind his eyes. "Fuck, your brain is sexy," Tony breathes.

Bruce smirks a little."You just want me for my brain."

"He's ridiculous that way. I once had to physically restrain him from pouncing on Neil deGr--oh my," Pepper says, getting distracted by the dance floor, where Natasha is apparently trying to prove that gravity doesn't apply to her as Steve swings her around the floor.

"JARVIS, switch to a swing-dancing appropriate playlist," Tony says. They watch the show for a few minutes, entranced. "I'm still not convinced that she doesn't kill and eat her sexual partners, but what a way to go."

"Tony!" Pepper chides, making a face at him. "Focus."

"You're right. We have a sexy, scruffy physicist to debauch, after all," Tony leers.

Bruce rolls his eyes, but slides his hand under Tony's neck and cradles the back of his head before leaning down and giving him the same sort of kiss he'd shared with Pepper. Tony has to blink his eyes back into focus when he pulls back, humming in the back of his throat. He feels Pepper's hand clench in his hair and when he tips his head back she kisses him hard.

"I think everyone here is old enough to be left unsupervised, don't you?" Pepper's voice is quiet in his ear and Tony looks around the patio area.

Thor and Jane are back to snuggling together on one of the sofas, staring up at the sky and occasionally tracing out shapes in the stars. Steve and Natasha are still dancing, moving together like they're in battle. Sif and Coulson have moved back to the lounge chairs and are sitting nearly on top of one another. Clint and Darcy have disappeared from the dance floor and Tony levers himself out of Bruce's lap to squint into the shadows on the far end of the patio.

"Hey! If anyone is having sex out here, it's going to be me." Tony smirks when Clint jerks back from where he had Darcy pinned in the darkest corner of the patio. "You have a room, use it."

Clint flips him off, bends over, and tosses Darcy over his shoulder before opening the sliding door and striding into the house.

"Okay, kids," Tony says, addressing the pool area at large. "We're retiring to the boudoir for the kind of debauchery that you can only fantasize about. Be good and don't burn down the house down. I'm the only one who gets to do that--" There's a very pointed cough from Pepper. "I take that back, I am absolutely not allowed to burn the house down. Anyway. We're going to go have hot genius sex now. Night!"

Bruce is rubbing his forehead, looking very much like he'd like to disappear. "Why am I having sex with you?"

Tony grabs Pepper, who squeaks, and twirls her around before dipping her. He looks up at Bruce and says, "Because we're irresistible?"

Pepper, still leaning backwards over Tony's arm, sighs and tells Bruce, "Because we're both completely insane."

Bruce laughs. "You're not wrong."


"OMG," Darcy hisses as Clint puts her back on her feet. "Did you see that? Pepper, Tony, and Bruce are totally fucking! Did you know that? Because I did not know that."

Clint wrinkles his nose. "Yeah, I don't really want to think about Tony Stark having sex."

Darcy considers it for a second--Tony is hot, and Pepper is hot, and Bruce is kind of hot in a scruffy, adorable, mad scientist way. "I wouldn't mind thinking about it."

Clint backs her up against the nearest wall. Darcy looks around--they're in a bedroom, but she's pretty sure it's not the one all of her stuff is in. Oh well, Tony has like ten guest rooms. "How about you think about me and you fucking all..." he kisses her, "night..." another kiss, "long."

"If I must." Darcy fakes a deep sigh just because she likes the way it presses her boobs against the solid wall of his chest.

Clint makes a huffy noise and grabs the strap of her bikini with his teeth, pulling it down over her shoulder. "Oh, you must."

She shimmies her shoulders and lets the whole bikini top slither down to rest on her hips. Clint's hands automatically cup her breasts, thumbs circling her nipples and his mouth sliding down her chin to fasten on her neck. Darcy tips her head back against the wall, letting him suck a mark under her ear.

He never put a shirt on after swimming, so it's easy for her to get her hands in his trunks and push them over his hips, leaving him completely naked. He smiles against her skin and reaches behind her to undo the ties of her top. He tosses it behind him and pushes her bottoms down far enough for her to kick them off.

"Naked!" Darcy sings, raising her arms in the air. Clint muffles a laugh against the top curve of her boob. "Hey, don't front, you love my kind of crazy."

"I am ruined for all sane, normal women," Clint says. He gathers her boobs together in his hands (well, as much as he can) and pushes them together so that he can flick his tongue against both of her nipples.

Darcy tips her head back and buries her hands in his hair. "Don't you forget it."

"Impossible." And then Clint seems to decide that talking time is done, because he drops to his knees and fastens his mouth over her pussy.

Darcy's hands clench in his hair. "Fuck," she hisses, her eyes closing as his tongue presses hard against her clit.

He shuffles forward on his knees, shifting until she's got one of her legs over his shoulder and he's got room to slide his fingers up inside her. Darcy lets herself moan, not caring in the least if anyone could hear her because this was going to be epic. It only takes a few minutes before she can feel herself start to come and the satisfied noise Clint makes against her skin only pushes her higher. He doesn't let her come down until she's a shaking wreck, the big hand on her waist the only reason she's still on her feet.

Clint wipes his face off on his discarded trunks and sits back on his heels, looking way too pleased with himself. "How you doing? You think you can make it to the bed?"

Darcy glares at him as best she can with pleasure still sparking throughout her body and manages to stumble across the room to collapse face down on the bed. She flops over onto her back when she feels Clint kneel next to her. Her hair is covering most of her face, but she honestly can't bother to lift her arm to brush it back.

Luckily, Clint does it for her.

"C'mere and fuck me," Darcy says, doing grabby-hands at him as best she can while still limp as a noodle.

Clint snorts with laughter but does as she requested, grabbing a condom out of the crazily well stocked bedside table and putting it on before kneeling between her spread legs and somehow lifting her hips up onto his lap so that he can slide his dick into her while he's still kneeling. Yay for archers and their upper body strength, seriously.

Darcy moans as he starts fucking her with slow, deep thrusts. There's something very decadent about lying there while he's doing all the work, she decides as she stretches her arms up above her head. Clint's rhythm stutters at that and she smirks and crosses her wrists as if they're tied together. "Jesus christ," he mutters, speeding up.

Darcy wraps her legs tighter around his waist, grinning. "Something I should know about? Thought I knew all your kinks."

"Baby, I thought I knew all my kinks, but you keep on finding new ones," Clint growls, hands gripping her hips so hard that she knows she'll have fingertip-sized bruises later.

"Oh yeah," Darcy whimpers, arching her back shamelessly.

She's slowly getting pushed up the bed and has to uncross her wrists to brace herself against the headboard. Clint makes a rumbly noise at the additional resistance and lets go of her hips to lean forward, his hands digging into the bed next to her chest. His head hangs between his shoulders and he's obviously watching himself fuck her. Darcy sort of wishes she could see too, but that would take some sort of unholy configuration of mirrors that she doesn't even want to contemplate.

Because Tony would find out--somehow--and that would be bad.

Clint's hips snap viciously into hers and she's pretty sure Fury just heard the noise she makes. He lifts his head to grin a little meanly at her and repeats his motion. Her arms nearly buckle from how good it feels.

Oh, it's on.

He does it again and even though she has to lock her elbows she manages to clench every muscle in her lower body. Clint is the one whose elbows give out and he nearly gives her a black eye with his head before he catches himself.

"Oh, holy fuck." He buries his face in her neck and the change in angle means that he's hitting her G-spot every time. The pleasure starts building in waves, centering and growing deeper until the wave breaks and she's gone, yelling her orgasm into Clint's shoulder. Clint throws his head back as his rhythm stutters and he groans, shuddering hard and then collapsing onto her.

They pant for a few minutes, the air-conditioning pleasant on their sweaty skin, until Darcy pokes Clint in the side. "Oxygen is good."

He grumbles and rolls off of her, taking care of the condom before starfishing his arms and legs out on the ridiculously large bed. "Don't wanna move."

"At all?"

"Ever again." He turns his head to look at her. "Hey, Darce, let's make Stark buy us a deserted tropical island and live like castaways for a while. No missions, no supervillains. I can hunt for... squirrels or something, and you can make fruit salad and stuff."

Darcy snorts with laughter. "I don't think they have squirrels in the tropics, Iowa boy." She snuggles up to him, resting her head on his shoulder. "Besides, we probably wouldn't get cable."

"Stark could get us cable."

"Sure, babe. I'll tell him he's buying us an island tomorrow."

Clint yawns and stretches before curling his arms around her shoulders. "I take it all back. Pool parties are awesome."