Chapter 1: Packing for Asgard
Darcy's first clue that something was up, was the fact that Jane wasn't working when the younger woman arrived loaded down with coffee, half an hour late to work. Her second clue came when Jane didn't drink her double mocha cappuccino with a triple shot of caramel, she just looked at it for a full five minutes before leaving it on her desk and recalibrating her spectrometer with a hammer. Darcy winced as the hammer clanged against the metal casing, her hands folded around her plain black coffee, watching her boss over the brim of the cup.
“Jane,” she blew over the top of her paper to-go cup, watching as the older woman took out her frustrations on the brand new Stark Industries spectrometer. Darcy was pretty sure the steel casing could withstand Jane's violent barrage, but she knew nothing about if the delicate inner workings would survive. “Something bothering you?”
She did her best not to duck when the hammer’s wooden handle unexpectedly broke, sending the hammer head skittering across the concrete floor of the lab, sliding to a stop at Darcy's feet. She set the toe of her boot on the metal head and put her cup down on her desk, and folded her hands. “You wanna talk about it?”. Jane just shook her head and hit the machine with the broken end of the hammer. Darcy bent down and retrieved the hammer head, dropping it on her desk with a dull thunk. “Okay,” Darcy grabbed the stick from her friends hand and guided her over to the ratty thrift store couch they'd hauled to its final resting place in the Avenger’s Upstate facility. “Sit, talk.”
Jane sunk down onto the couch and ran a hand over her face and into her messy bun, disturbing a couple of pencils that slipped between the cushions of the couch. “Odin wants us to come back to Asgard,” she collapsed back on the couch. “Actually, he demanded we go to Asgard.”
“So?” Darcy reached between the cushions and pulled the fallen pencils out and wound them into her hair like chopsticks. “It's not like you haven't dealt with daddy dearest before.” She patted her friend's knee. “You know, a few days being called a goat, then back to the exciting world of science!”
“You don't understand,” the older woman looked defeated. “Odin has requested our presence,” she made an all encompassing gesture. “You, me, Thor.”
“Why do I need to go?” she just looked at her boss, winding the pencils tighter in her hair. “I'm not marrying a prince of the gold sparkly realm, I'm the intern.”
“Lab coordinator,” Jane corrected automatically. “I pay you now.”
“The Avengers’ Initiative pays me, but that's not the point.”
“It's pretty important,” Jane countered.
“Why does Odin think he can make me jump on the Rainbow Bridge to the Realm Eternal just cause he says so?” she crossed her arms under her boobs, pushing them up, not that Jane cared.
“Thor has publicly declared you his sister,” Jane shrugged. “Apparently Odin wants to meet the ‘Midgardian Lady who felled the great and mighty Thor’, his words, for himself. Plus, you're part of the wedding party and you need to get fitted for gowns and learn rituals.”
“Okay,” Darcy held up her hands and hugged her friend, who was getting more and more worked up. “I'll spend a few days.”
“Weeks,” Jane sounded pained
“Weeks with you,” she took a deep breath, trying to wrap her head around the weirdness that was her life. “Being called a goat.”. She sighed. “You get to convince Tony to feed Fluffy.”
“You'd have better luck with Steve,” Jane started pulling pencils out of her hair. “Tony’d let Fluffy die from neglect.”
“Can Venus Fly Traps die from neglect?”
“With Tony watching it?” Jane just cocked an eyebrow.
“Good point,” Darcy hefted herself off the couch. “I'll ask Bucky, Steve gets all nervous and weird around me.”
“You’ll ask the crazy assassin over the all American hero?”
“I like Bucky,” Darcy shrugged, going back to her desk to get her cold coffee. “He calls me doll and holds doors for me. Plus he's a total dork, he marathoned Lord of the Rings with me last weekend, the extended versions. He was so entranced I had to remind him to pee.”
“It's your plant,” Jane got up and fiddled with one of her old machines. They were a dying breed in a lab funded by Tony Stark, also Darcy was secretly taking them, slowly, out of the lab when they started sparking. “So we leave in the morning.”
“What?” Darcy grabbed her messenger bag and threw it across her shoulders, dumping her nasty cold coffee into the trash. “There are like fifty thousand things I need to do before I swan off to another planet, what do I bring? What season is it?” she flew out the door without a backwards glance, narrowly missing knocking over Steve as she rushed past. “Tell Bucky to call me,” she shouted as she rounded a corner and out of sight.
Darcy had every item of clothing she owned strewn out over her bed, her hands fisted on her hips. “So,” she looked over at her companion, who was lounging on her over stuffed chair. “What do you think?”
Bucky leaned forward, his elbows on his knees, hands dangling between his splayed thighs. “I think you're asking the wrong person, doll.”
“Come on, Buck,” she flipped back on the bed, disturbing several items that tumbled to the floor. “Jane's no help, and if I let Clint in here he'd just poke through my lingerie and giggle, and Nat isn't any good at the girl stuff.”
“And I am?” he kicked a pair of lace panties that had fallen off the bed and onto his boot.
“You're the best option,” Darcy starfished out on the bed, shoving more items to the floor.
“That's really sad,” Bucky pushed himself off the chair and looked down at his friend, how half buried in clothes. “Okay, so you're packing for a couple of weeks, right?”
“At least,” she tossed a bra at his head and he grabbed it out of the air and dropped it in the open suitcase near the door. “And I can get stuff washed, and god knows what kind of stuff Thor's gonna have for us, so I'll need underwear more than anything else.” Bucky grabbed a fist full of panties and the four bras he could see in the mess, and dropped them in the luggage. “Hey, those don't all match.”
Bucky raised a brow. “Doll,” he loomed over her sprawled figure on the bed. “You asked the Winter Soldier to help you pack not Tim Gunn.”
“Aww, you made a Pop Culture reference,” Darcy slipped off the bed, disturbing more clothes and pulling her friend into a hug. “I'm so proud.”
“You made me watch like five seasons,” Bucky wrapped his arms around the girl, rolling his eyes. “Now, we got underwear covered.”
Darcy bent down, examining the lot in her suitcase and pulling a few items out, replacing them with newer, nicer versions of the same things. “Okay, socks.”
“You planning on someone else seeing those?” he watched her dig through the piles on the bed, looking for matching socks.
“No,” she tossed a rolled pair of pink Hello Kitty socks into the suitcase, along with green and black Invader Zim ones. “I like matching.” Bucky held up a lace black thong, matching bra and the black dancing snowmen socks she'd just hit him in the head with. “They match.”
“The fact that you believe that,” Bucky dropped the items back into the bag. “Is why I love you. And how I know you're virtue will be safe.”
“My virtue,” Darcy used air quotes. “Sailed away like ten years ago.” She tossed her favorite Scooby Doo knee highs at him. “You know if you didn't have your very own ridiculously sexy paramour, that you'd be all over this,” Darcy did a Vanna White, showing off her curves. Bucky laughed, throwing his head back at her little shimmy dance.
“Oh, doll,” he snatched another pair of socks out of the air. “I'm not your type, and as beautiful as your assets are, you're not mine.”
“Too bad,” she wrapped an arm around his waist and leaned into his side. “We’d be too sexy for words.” He dropped an arm around her shoulders and squeezed.
“So,” he surveyed the disaster in front of him, with a slow pan over to the suitcase that was woefully empty. “I assume you'll want to wear more than lingerie and socks.”
“Who knows what the height of fashion is on Asgard this year,” Darcy shrugged. “Maybe thongs are in this year.”
“Let me rephrase that,” Bucky started mining through her clothes looking for pants. “Your very scary, Super Soldier protector requires you to cover the ass floss you call underwear with something that hides those white as hell butt cheeks. If I find myself on Asgard and quiz people, I don’t want them to be able to answer how many freckles you have on the right side of your ass, capice?”
“Noted,” she watched with an amused expression as Bucky dumped six pairs of jeans and every shirt he could find, into the suitcase. “I'll need shoes, too.” She watched him roll his eyes in exasperation.
Darcy stood on the helipad on the lawn of the Avengers facility, her single rolling suitcase still clutched in her friend's hands, the entire Avengers team in a semicircle around Darcy, Jane and Thor. She reached out for her bag, looking over at Bucky, who seemed reluctant to hand it over. “Look after Fluffy for me,” she looked up at the Super Soldier, shielding her eyes from the early morning sun with one hand. “Remember, he likes black flies the best.”
“I'll take care of him like he was my own,” Bucky pulled her into a hug, placing a kiss in her hair. “You be safe.”
“Will do,” she stepped back and got a quick hug from Clint and Natasha together, the female spy slipping a leather sheathed knife into the back of Darcy's pants.
“We'll see you in a couple of weeks,” Clint kissed her cheek.
“Don't jump off any buildings while I'm gone,” Darcy winked and looked over to Jane and Thor, who were finishing up their good byes.
Thor pulled both girls to his sides and looked to the sky. “Heimdall, open the Bifrost.” Darcy watched as the world disappeared into a shattering of rainbow lights.