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Darcy'd bought the condoms on a whim, as a joke, but she grabs a strip now and tucks them into her bag. Then she tracks Steve down in the studio Tony built for him. She pauses in the doorway, taking a moment to watch him as he's hunched over his drafting table, hair gleaming gold in the afternoon sunlight and shoulders stretching his t-shirt out in the best possible way.

She takes a deep breath and squares her own shoulders. She can do this. "Hey," she says, "you have a few minutes?"

Steve turns and smiles. "For you, Darcy? Always." She can't help but smile back as she makes her way to the squishy couch he keeps in here while he wipes charcoal smudges off his hands. "What can I do for you?"

She takes another deep breath and forces her smile wider. "I heard tonight is your third date with that cute waitress." He opens his mouth to say something, but she barrels on. "And we thought you should know there are some expectations that come with third dates in the twenty-first century."

He looks wary. "Expectations?"

She nods vigorously. "Expectations. Pepper was going to talk to you about it, but since you still get all blushy and stuttery around her, I figured I would take care of it, save you both the embarrassment."

Steve looks down at his hands, and she can see color high on his cheeks. "I've never been much good at talking to pretty dames."

Darcy blinks. "Well, thanks for that." She gets it. She does. Pepper is sleek and beautiful and the first couple of times Darcy met her, she felt like a slob in her jeans and oversized sweater, but she's pretty sure Pepper's never had to deal with blouses that gape across her chest, if they even manage to button at all, and dudes whose eyes never make it up to her face. But she got over it, and now Pepper is a friend, as much as the CEO of a multinational corporation is friends with the grad student who wrangles her fiancé and the other scientists around the lab, mostly to make sure nothing explodes that isn't supposed to. Pepper is sophisticated and glamorous like the stars in the movies from Steve's day, and Darcy is--Darcy is the twenty-first century in all its casual, jeans and t-shirts mess.

"Ladies," Steve is saying when Darcy tunes back in. "Women. I mean, not that you're not, because you are." He scrubs a hand through his hair. "I should probably stop talking now, huh?"

"Might be a good plan, soldier." She knows she should be pleased that he's comfortable enough to talk to her, and it's not like she didn't know he was out of her league before they even met, but these stupid feelings make it hard sometimes. The fact that he reaches out and squeezes her hand in apology doesn't make it any easier, either. She clears her throat. "Anyway, third date expectations. She'll probably invite you in for coffee, and coffee is code for sex."

"It is?" Even his skepticism is kind of cute. She'd hate him if she didn't like him so much.

"It is." She reaches into her bag and pulls out the strip of condoms emblazoned with his shield. "And that means safer sex."

She's expecting adorable blushes and fumbling but he just gives her a sly grin. "You know I was in the army, right, Darcy? I even did a PSA about VD." He strikes a cheesy Captain America pose she recognizes from his films and says, "Defeat the Axis. Use prophylactics." His smile fades. "Promise me you will never tell Tony about that." He looks up at the ceiling. "You, too, Jarvis."

"Yes, sir."

"Hmph," Darcy says, waiting until he's picked up a bottle of water and taken a sip, "now I guess you won't get to see my demonstration of how to properly put on a condom."

That gets her the sputtering reaction she was hoping for. When he's done coughing, he says, "I'd sure hate to miss out on that."

"I was gonna use a banana and everything."

"A banana? Not something more, uh, hands-on?"

Darcy laughs. "You have a girlfriend, Captain."

He purses his lips. "Yeah, about that." He glances out the window and then down at his hands again. "We broke up."

"I'm sorry," Darcy says, swallowing hard, as if that could tamp down the hope flaring up in her chest. "It's not easy, waiting around while you go off to fight bad guys."

Steve nods. "That was part of it, though she also seemed to think I spent way too much time talking about this other girl."

Darcy's glad she killed that stray gleam of false hope as quickly as possible. "Yeah, that is kind of a no-no." She tries to lever herself off the sofa, but the cushions are too soft. "Then I guess this whole conversation was for nothing."

Steve puts a hand on her wrist. His fingers are warm against her skin, and she hopes he can't feel the way her pulse jumps at the touch. "I hope not, since that other girl was you." He shrugs a shoulder. "I was going to tell you." He gives her a rueful half-smile. "I'm not very good at this."

She finds herself smiling in response. In fact, she's afraid she might never stop smiling. "Nobody is."

"We'll get better, I promise." He leans in. "I'm going to kiss you now."

"Okay," she says, against his mouth. He's already good at this part, anyway, his lips soft against hers and then his tongue pushing slowly into her mouth. She wraps her arms around him and combs her fingers through the short hair on the nape of his neck, and he makes a small, strangled noise that makes both of them shiver. She tugs and he pushes, and she's on her back on the squashy cushions, making out with Captain America.

"The first time I saw you," he says breathlessly, his mouth hot against her neck, "you looked like you'd stepped off the nosecone of a B-17 bomber. You were the most gorgeous thing I'd ever seen. I've been trying to draw you ever since."

"Oh," she gasps, hands pushing under his t-shirt to finally touch all that perfect, supple skin. He has two moles on his neck she's been dying to lick, and she finally gets to do that. He lets out another of those choked-off noises and his hands tighten in her hair, so she does it again. She lets her knees fall open so he can slot between them, and then she grinds up against him. "I didn't know."

He gives her a bashful grin. "Yeah. I told you, I'm bad at this."

"Maybe at the flirting part, but you're doing great now," she says, tugging him back down for another heady kiss. Her mouth feels swollen and tingly, and desire is rushing hot in her veins, pooling slick between her legs. He looks like he's going to say something, so she says, "Less talking, more kissing." He laughs into her mouth.

She's dizzy from kissing him by the time she gets her shirt off, and she sighs and arches up when he cups her tits, his hands big and warm and gentle. He thumbs her nipples, which are hard and aching, then sucks at them through the satin of her bra. She strokes a hand through his hair to encourage him, and then down over his shoulders, enjoying the play of his muscles as he moves.

He leans back to take his shirt off, and she reaches up to touch him, wants to map every inch of skin with her hands and her tongue. "I want to lick you all over."

His eyebrows quirk in surprise but his mouth curves in a grin. "I'm okay with that."

She helps him with the clasp of her bra, and then he starts licking and sucking her tits like it's his job. He rolls his tongue around the nipple, then scrapes it lightly with his teeth, sending jolts of pleasure arcing through her. He's not as shy as she'd imagined, but he's gentle and he keeps eye contact with her as much as possible, like he wants to make sure she's enjoying what he's doing as much as he is, which just makes her enjoy it more, because she's not used to being with someone who cares that much.

When she reaches for his fly, though, he puts his hand over hers. "I thought you said no sex until the third date."

Darcy closes her eyes and tries to get her breathing under control. "No, I said that some people have sex on the third date."

"We haven't even had a first date." He leans back and she wants to weep in frustration.

"It's a totally arbitrary milestone." She pushes herself up on her elbows and decides that now is the time for sincerity. "I really like you and I'd like to have sex with you. But if you want to wait, we can wait."

He gives her this ridiculously sexy half-grin and says, "We don't have to wait."

"Oh, thank god." She unzips him and gets her hand around his dick. His eyes flutter closed and he thrusts into her grip. He bites his lower lip around a moan as she strokes him, and she thinks about sucking him off, about fucking him, about rubbing herself all over him until she's not sure where he ends and she begins, and she knows part of it is just sex, but most of it is him.

They both whimper a little when she lets go of him so they can both strip out of their pants, and she grabs one of the condoms. Her hands are a little unsteady as she rips the foil packet and then she's rolling it on him and she can't help it, she starts laughing. "Oh my god." The condom is red and white striped, with blue and white stars at the tip. "I know you love your shield, Steve, but please tell me you don't, you know, love your shield."

He makes a sputtering noise, his face totally red now, and luckily, he's laughing, too. "Well, some nights when it was very cold and I was very lonely," he manages in between giggle fits.

"Oh my god," she says again. "I'm not sure I can--That's the, the American flag. I think it might be against the law to have sex with it. On it. In it." She dissolves into giggles again, and then pulls him down on top of her. "Did I totally just cockblock myself?"

"I think we can manage," he says, putting his hands on her knees and pushing her legs apart so he can settle between them. "Unless you don't want to?"

"I do. I really do," she says, making grabby hands at him. "Okay, come on. Let's go."

He pushes into her slowly, and her breath catches at the sensation. She lets her head fall back against the arm of the sofa and pushes her hips up to meet him. After a couple of experimental thrusts, they're moving together, heat and pleasure twining their way through Darcy's body. She wraps her legs around his hips and rocks against him, fingers tangling in the hair at his nape, and he holds himself up on his elbows while he fucks her, his mouth hot and wet against her chest, her throat, her temple.

She guides his hand down between her legs to rub at her clit, and she comes with a sudden burst of pleasure, world going white behind her eyelids. He fucks her through it and then he moans low in his throat as he comes, shaking apart in her arms. He collapses on top of her and buries his face in the crook of her neck. She rubs his shoulders and lowers her legs before they start to cramp.

He rolls his head onto her shoulder. "Are you okay?"

She brushes his sweaty hair out of his eyes. "I'm great. You?"

He smiles. "Fantastic."

"It's a good thing you're so goal-oriented and mission-focused. I don't think I appreciated that enough before."

He laughs. "I don't think I've ever enjoyed a mission more." He levers himself up off her and she whines a little at the loss of his warmth, but he only goes far enough to get rid of the condom and pick up an afghan draped over his drafting chair. "C'mere." He rearranges them so he can spoon her and cover them both with the blanket. "I'm going to think about this every time I'm in here now," he murmurs against her ear. "I don't know if I'll ever draw anything again."

"You can draw me," she volunteers sleepily, snuggling back against him. "On our third date."

He huffs a soft laugh against her neck. "Sounds like a plan."