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Kids These Days

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One of the first things Steve noticed about Darcy Lewis was that she was not afraid of superheroes.

Specifically, she was not afraid of treating them like regular people; of not allowing them to take advantage of their own celebrity; of teasing them.

She gave Natasha lipstick recommendations.

She refused to let Tony have the remote on movie night.

And she never let Thor forget that she'd tased him.

After watching her encourage a slightly blue Bruce one afternoon, Love Actually-style (boombox playing sappy music as she stood outside the glass-enclosed lab with several handmade signs: "To me you are" "the best" "green Avenger"), Steve decided that Darcy was good people.

So the next time he saw her bossing Clint around in the kitchen like she had agreed to take him as her baking apprentice, he stayed a while, watching as Clint fetched cocoa and vanilla and got things down off the high shelves at her command.

Clint eyed him. "You sure you wanna be here, Cap?" he asked. "Last time I stuck around while Darcy was baking, she put me to work, and look at me now!"

Darcy nudged Clint with her toe, and he ducked obediently into a cabinet for the brownie pan.

"Don't sass me," she warned him, then set the batter in front of Steve with a pointed look at the spoon.

Steve laughed and began to stir, shaking his head. "Kids these days," he observed. "No respect for their elders."

She nearly dropped the measuring spoon on Clint's head instead of in the sink.

"You okay, Darce?" Clint asked, running a hand over his hair to brush drops of vanilla out of it.

Darcy nodded, turning to face Steve. "You're way foxier than I thought you'd be," she told him. "For such an old man."

Clint frowned. "Have you two never met before?" he asked.

"We've been introduced," Darcy replied.

"We're Soulmates," Steve said at the same time, smiling when Darcy pulled her hair off her neck and over one shoulder, showing he and Clint the Words he had just said to her.

"Wow, uh... congratulations," Clint said, looking from Steve to the back of Darcy's neck. "What's socially acceptable behavior for somebody witnessing Words like this?"

Darcy let her hair spill over her back and turned to put her hand on Clint's shoulder.

"Go away," she said lovingly.

“Right, go away,” he repeated with a nod. “I can do that.” And with a grin at Steve, he made himself scarce.

It was then that Steve realized that the only thing separating him from his Soulmate was a bowl of brownie batter.

“What’s… socially acceptable behavior for somebody who just met their Soulmate?” he asked.

Darcy shrugged. “In this situation I’d say we get these brownies in the oven and then hug or high five or something, I guess.”

“How do you feel about dancing?” Steve asked.

“Like, before or after the brownies?”

He laughed. “Both.”

She smiled. “I like the way you think, Rogers.”