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Ask the Right Questions

Chapter Text

Darcy sat in the only diner in the tiny town where she had broken down.  She had been lucky that there had been a town at all; the last town she had passed must have been over 50 miles ago.  The shop she had pushed her car to (with the help of a high school boy sitting on the corner where her car had finally stalled out and died) had told her it would probably be days before she could get moving again.  He’d have to assess the problem, order the parts, and then wait until the parts shipment came in.  He was due for a shipment on Thursday, but her part might not make it onto that truck, and she might be in the town for another week beyond that.  Darcy had shrugged at this.  She didn’t have anywhere specific to go or anyone pressing to see, so she simply asked to be pointed in the direction of the nearest motel (which luckily the town had), and bargained out a good rate for the week plus she was expecting to sit there.

Today was only her second full day in town.  There were two more days until she knew if her part would be on the shipment truck coming in.  She had already wandered the majority of the town, and now she was nursing a cup of coffee in a corner booth while she read a paperback novel she had found in the lobby of the motel.  The waitress didn’t bother her as long as she kept paying for coffee and occasionally ordering food, so this was how she planned to spend the next several days of her confinement.

The bell on the door jingled, causing Darcy to look up at the newcomer.  He was wearing a leather jacket, tight jeans, and a wonderful start on a beard.  He took off his sunglasses and looked around the diner, eyes lingering on her.  Feeling a bit exposed, Darcy turned back to her coffee and took a sip, hoping it looked like she was just another bored local.  However, with an entire empty diner to choose from, he chose to sit across from her; so she must not have looked too over it.

“Afternoon,” he said nicely before turning to the waitress to order some coffee for himself and ask for a menu.

“Hi?” Darcy said when he turned his eyes back to her.

His mouth turned up a bit into a smirk.  “I think we might have a friend in common,” he said, pulling out his phone.

“You’re probably wrong,” Darcy said.  He was hot, but he was still a stranger.

He pulled up something and turned his phone to her.  “Do you know this man?” He asked.

Darcy flicked her eyes down to the picture.  It was clearly Thor.  He wasn’t in his armor, but even in civilian clothes, Thor was still Thor.  Of course hot dude was after her to get to Thor.  Of course he had an agenda.  She wondered if he was Shield or something more sinister.  Darcy looked back up at the man, hand going to her purse where her taser was.  “No,” she said, happy her voice didn’t falter or crack as she lied.

The man turned the phone back to him and frowned.  “Huh,” he said.  “Really?  Because Thor told this story about his ‘lightning sister’ that took him down with her taser, and I’m pretty sure that’s what your hand is currently on in your purse.”  He paused, looking her over again.  “Also, you look a lot like the picture he showed me.”

Darcy’s hand tightened on her taser.  “Are you with Shield?”  She asked.

The man seemed to think this question was kind of funny.  His head tilted a little and he smirked a bit.  “I guess I am,” he said.

“You guess?” Darcy said, trying to be intimidating with her voice.

“I was with Shield,” he said, “but I’m taking some time off now.”

“Time off because you’re evil now?” Darcy asked, taser now in her lap.

Before he could answer, the waitress returned with a clean mug and the coffee pot, filling the man’s mug and then topping hers off.

“No ma’am,” he said, smiling now.  God did she want to believe him because he was too hot for words, and if he wasn’t evil, she would totally be trying to climb that.  “Not evil,” he said.

“Prove it,” Darcy said, fighting the warmth that filled her whenever he smiled at her.

He frowned a bit.  “I’m not totally sure how to prove that,” he said.  “How does someone prove they’re not evil?”

“How do you know Thor?” She asked.

Instead of answering, he opened his menu and looked down.  “What would you suggest here?”

“The pancakes,” Darcy answered automatically.  She had already sampled most of the diner’s limited options, and that was the only item she had actually enjoyed eating.  She waited while he looked over the menu, waved the waitress over, and ordered a double order of pancakes.

“You do realize how much food that is, right?” She asked.

“I do,” he said.  “Thor’s probably the only other person that I know that can eat as much as I do.”

“Which brings us back to how do you know Thor?”

“I think the term he used was ‘brother in arms,’” the man said.

“You’re not one of the Warriors Three,” Darcy said frowning.

“Nope,” he said, smiling widely at her.

“You’re not helping with this whole ‘not evil’ thing,” Darcy grumped.

The man pulled out his phone again and turned it toward her.  She looked at the picture, then back up at the man.  It was definitely him in the picture, though clean shaven and in uniform, being hugged mightily by Thor in full battle armor.  The man smiled while he watched her figure it out.  “Not evil,” he said again, smiling and putting his phone back in his pocket.

“You could have led with the secret identity thing,” Darcy said, slipping her taser back into her purse.

“That wouldn’t have been nearly as fun,” Steve said.

“Troll,” Darcy muttered, taking a sip from her coffee, hopeful that it wasn’t still scaldingly hot.  “So why are you looking for me?” She asked, tongue only a touch burnt.

“I wasn’t, actually,” he said.  “I was just going to stop to eat and then go on my way.  But when I saw you, I had to know if you were the woman from Thor’s story.”

“Am I everything you’d hoped I would be?” Darcy said, feeling free to flirt since he wasn’t going to disappear her (she assumed).

“You’re much prettier than the picture he showed me,” Steve said before sipping his own coffee.  Darcy couldn’t help but laugh a little as he winced at the taste.

“Here,” she said shoving the little basket of sugar and creamer toward him.  “It doesn’t make it better, but it helps.”

Steve reached for the basket and started pulling out sugar packets and creamer, dumping plenty into his coffee.  “I usually prefer black coffee,” he said as he worked, “but I’m not entirely sure that’s coffee.”

The waitress arrived bearing two giant platters of pancakes, taking up almost the entire table with them.  Steve thanked her and reached for the syrup. While he was occupied, Darcy’s hand shot out and stole a strawberry from the stack of pancakes in front of her.

“Hey!” Steve said.  

Darcy smiled as she popped the strawberry into her mouth.  “Thor must not have told you about how I stole food off his plate all the time.”

“With the way he eats?” Steve asked, raising an eyebrow.  “Do you think he even noticed?”

Darcy laughed.  “If it means that much to you, I’ll take you over to the little corner shop and buy you a whole pint of strawberries if they have any.”

“Are you saying you wouldn’t mind spending some more time with me?” Steve asked through bites of pancake.

“I’m saying I’m stuck here for a bit longer, and you’re the most interesting thing in this town right now.”

“So if we weren’t in this town you wouldn’t be as interested in spending time with me?”

Darcy took her time checking him out, eyes lingering here and there before looking him in the eye again.  “I’m pretty sure I’d give you the time of day.”

“So, stuck here?” He asked after returning the favor by checking her out.

“My car broke down and I have to wait for the parts to get in,” she shrugged.

“Do you have somewhere to be?” He asked.

“Not particularly.”

“Me neither,” he smiled.

“Are you offering to keep me company?”  She asked, leaning forward a bit in that way she knew drew attention to her chest, feeling a little thrill when his eyes darted down momentarily.

“Are you saying you’d accept my company?” He countered.

“Hmmmm,” she said, tapping her finger against her lips.  “I think on a trial basis.”

“See where the day takes us?”

“And the night too if you’re lucky,” she winked.

“It’s not luck when you’re just that good,” Steve said.

Lord help her.  Darcy Lewis was already in trouble.  (So was Steve Rogers.  He just hid it a bit better.)