Neither Kinky Nor Fun. by Voracity2
Summary: Brock makes a bad decision, which brings him some new information that makes him want to throw a fit. But Darcy's fine because this isn't that unusual in her life. PG-13 ish
Categories: Buffy Stories & Crossovers > Avengers Characters: None
Series: Mildly Kinky, HET!
Chapters: 2 Completed: Yes Word count: 23264 Read: 28620 Published: 06/15/2021 Updated: 06/15/2021
Story Notes:
Remember, this whole series is HET. It is still Brock/Darcy and only very mildly kinky. Especially in this part. This has some upfront light angst.

1. Part 1 by Voracity2

2. Part 2 by Voracity2

Part 1 by Voracity2
Neither Kinky Nor Fun.






Brock looked shaken when he showed up at Darcy's apartment that night, staring at her for a minute. "I think we need to talk."

"This looks serious," she said, staring back. She let him inside, going to get something to drink. "Want something?"

"No." He tried to make himself relax. She came out to sit across from him. "I..." He took a breath. "I think we need to stop all this."

"Okay, why?" She sipped her drink.

"I don't think I'm good for you." He stared at her.

"I don't have that feeling and you're better than the guys I've dated in the past. So why the sudden change?"

"It's just not a good thing." He stood up at her. "I can get you hurt."

"As opposed to knowing Stark and Jane and Thor...." She waved her glass of water around. "Why is that more dangerous?"

"I won't be able to come rescue you," he said firmly.

"I never expect anyone to come rescue me, Brock." He stared at her. "I'm a bit too realistic to think about the fairytales of some knight in shiny armor rescuing me. I'm not a princess, outside of on Asgard. I'm not important enough for SHIELD to care if I'm missing. Jane hardly ever realizes it when something happens unless I'm pretty close to her and can yell." She sipped her water, staring at him. "If I can't rescue myself, then that happens."

"They can torture you! That will make anyone talk."

"Not everyone. I tend to disassociate during pain. I always have." He stared at her. She shrugged. "I have. You've seen it before and didn't realize but I can totally disassociate myself if I have to." He stared at her. "A few of the times, Jane helped. The rest, I managed to sneak out and rescue myself. Or I managed to get them knocked out somehow. I never expect anyone to come for me. Jane, yeah. Me? I'm an assistant.

"Hell, Jane tried to tell the FBI once and they asked her why it was important. She could just hire another assistant." He slumped, staring at her. She stared back, taking another sip. "The minimal threat you've added into my life is a lot less than the day we moved into the tower."

"I can't be the supportive person you need, the one who fusses back at you."

"You've seen me on two of the three worst moments in my life. So don't lie to me. If you're that desperate to get away, then I'll accept that and have some extra ice cream. If you're worried that someone will target me because of you, I get more threats thanks to knowing Natasha." She put the glass down on the table. "So what's really going on?"

"I... it's best if we not see each other." He left.

"Fine," she agreed quietly. "That's your choice then." She picked up her glass to finish it, going to get some ice cream. She was an adult woman and she could handle it. Women had to deal with men being idiots all too often in life.

***

Jane looked up as Darcy came in the next day. "You okay?"

"Brock decided being with me was too dangerous and he couldn't be supportive."

"Bullshit!"

"Yeah. But that's his choice and I'm a mature adult." She ran a hand through her hair, wincing when some broke off. "That sucks."

"The medicine is doing that to me too," Jane said quietly. "So you're letting him go?"

"I left it up to him and I'm not going to be one of those women clinging to his ankles, Jane." She stared at her. "He looked spooked and if he wants to he'll come back. And we'll yell at him. If not, then I'll find someone nicer who has less stress and likes me even more."

"If it takes another year I'm going to buy you a whorehouse membership."

"If you're sure." She grinned. "But hey, that means I don't have to worry about what's in the closet right now." She looked back at Milantha as she came in. "Morning, Mili." She turned on her laptop, getting into things. "Can you start coffee?"

"Sure." She did that. She could feel some tension going on but not why what it was about. "Is there a lab problem coming?" she asked finally.

"No," Jane said. "There's an upcoming minor alignment but otherwise no."

"Brock decided dating me is too hard last night," Darcy told her. "Apparently he thinks I'm in bigger danger because of him." Mili grimaced. "That's his shit, I'm a mature woman, and if he comes back I get to have a fit about his deciding I'm helpless."

"That blows," Mili muttered, shaking her head. "Why do men do that?"

"He thinks I'm going to be in more danger thanks to him." Darcy shrugged. "I pointed out I never expect anyone to come rescue me. I'm a self rescuing princess because waiting for a rescue means that you end up dying."

Jane looked at her then at Mili. "That's happened a few times by people wanting to get my work." She huffed, looking at Darcy. "Don't remind me."

Darcy waved a hand slowly. "It's all good, Jane. I managed it. Not like we expected SHIELD to show up to rescue me."

"Point. Or any of the Avengers." She stared at her. "Has it happened in the last little while?"

"Yeah. Just once. That was before I was with Brock though."

"Why?" Mili asked.

"Because I knew Steve Rogers and they wanted to get close to him. They thought he'd show up to rescue me and I got my own way out."

"She bullshitted him until he begged for mercy and she slipped away when he took a nap."

"Then I came back and got truly drunk," Darcy agreed. "It worked well."

Mili shook her head. "Why didn't King Thor guard you before then?" she demanded.

"Because I'm not Jane, Mili. I'm the assistant and her lady in waiting up there. Even when Jane complained a few times they still didn't want to come help me save myself. If you don't save yourself, no one else would."

"Even the police when they're supposed to," Jane agreed.

"No slapping him, Jane," Darcy warned.

"Fine."

"It's his choice and I'm mature enough to realize that he's not in love. It was great and hot and really great sex but if he can get off me to do that then he's not going to be mine probably. Let me be realistic."

"I guess." She looked at her. "You do look tired. Nightmares?"

"No, heaving from one of the meds again." She tried not to touch her hair but it was flopping in her face. "I need a spa day too."

"You could," Jane agreed.

"The usual place won't take me when they asked what happened to my hair. All I said was a chemical exposure thanks to a lab explosion. Even when I mentioned it'd been weeks ago."

"So they woosed out because that's probably a bit harder and they don't want the hint of a lawsuit," Jane decided. Darcy nodded. "Find another one?"

"I've been looking and can't find one. So maybe I'll do it at home with some conditioner." She turned back to her computer.

Mili looked at Jane, who shrugged. "Should I still show up for hand-to-hand training?"

"Yup," Darcy said. "You may need it. He might hand you off to another guy though. We can share my locker today since I've got spear practice."

"Okay. Tell me when you go down."

"Of course." She smiled. "It's normal, Mili. Fabulous women have to deal with shit all the time. Men are just like that." She shrugged. "You just deal with it, roll your eyes, and find someone better in bed." She got back to work.

Jane nodded. "True, that's how to get over it, and some mild drinking sometimes."

"Or ice cream since we're not supposed to drink on those meds."

"Ohh, didn't know that. I had a beer last night with dinner." She got back to work, frowning. She really wanted to slap Brock with some sense but if she donated too much she'd be without any at all again. So maybe...she sent an email to Steve and Tony. They'd like to help, they thought Darcy was like a little sister. They were both out of the building right now according to Bucky, who promised he wouldn't go slap Brock himself. Yet. Jane rolled her eyes. They'd figure it out.

***

A few days later, Tony Stark decided he was tired of watching Darcy cope like an adult woman. It was too much of a distraction, and he was tired of all the other stuff too. So he started with Hill. She was probably just as tired of the nagging going on. "Do we have someone who can check the dosages of the radiation drugs? We're all due off them soon and the doc we had was the idiot that got fired."

"I've got one coming in from a hospital. St. John's is sending a specialist. He'll be here tomorrow afternoon." She looked at him. "You're trying to get off them sooner?"

"I'm hoping we can all get off them. Lewis still looks a bit pale, and she's lost weight."

"Crap."

"She just glared at someone she'd normally zap earlier."

"Of course. Could that be because of something else?"

"No, I heard about that. She's upped her calorie intake by having ice cream most nights for dinner." He stared at her. "Perhaps he doesn't realize that he's actually the cure to all the danger she's in?"

"He thought he spotted someone watching him who he ran into as Crossbones."

"Uh-huh. And Darcy's rescued herself twice so far this week. And?" Hill winced. "Listen, Hill. I realize you don't know this but all science and engineering grad students are given the advice to figure out their line of giving in to people who demand their work. From kidnaping our spouses or girlfriends on down to infiltration. We all got that lecture and then I got it from home.

"Most of us think we won't give in sometime. Some have had to find out how much they loved their spouses. Foster's nearly lost Darcy a few times. Hell, Lewis got kidnaped once by one of Rogers' fans who wanted to meet him because she had met him in person." He stared at her. "I doubt his HYDRA besties when he was undercover are going to be much worse."

"That's not in her files."

"You're looking at Fury's files on her, Hill, not the other one." He walked off. He ran into Rogers. "Go have a talk about Lewis."

"Why?" he asked, looking at him. "I saw Jane's email."

"Hill didn't know that Darcy's gotten herself free twice this week." Steve winced. "So yeah, we think he doesn't realize that either. Or that Foster nearly lost Darcy in London because Metro Police there didn't think it was important and she probably ran off with a boyfriend."

"That's not in the files," Steve admitted. He looked it up. "No."

"Yeah, that's Fury's blindness." He took the phone to get him into another system. "Personnel." He handed it over and walked off.

Steve read it, frowning at what he saw. This was going to be a bad talk if he did go talk to Brock. And then the alarm went off so he went to get his shield and suit. It never ended some days.

***

Darcy looked at the doctor coming in. "So, how are my radiation levels?"

"We think you'll be fine with another two months of medicine," he said, looking up at her and smiling. "I know you're having some side effects."

"Yup, and one of the meds is making me heave all the time. Hence the weight loss and being a bit more pale." She shifted, nodding at the guard that came in. That was odd. It was giving her the bad feeling of she'd have to deal with something. "Can I at least get off that one? I'd like to put back on that twenty pounds."

"I think it's not a bad idea," he said, looking at her results. "No, you're not supposed to be on that." He frowned, making a note. "Huh. All right. We can remove that one," he said, looking at the bottles and tapping one. "You need to continue the other two for at least another month."

"Okay. Just a month or are we looking at longer? And is Jane going to need it? Because I'm the one that reminds her to take drugs."

"You do good mothering her by what the nurses said. I'm sure you'll do just as good when you have children."

"Not in my plans," she said dryly. "Some of us are child free by choice, Doc."

"Most women will change their minds and you'll do fine breeding strong children for your husband." He smiled.

"Not married," she said firmly. "And not a breeder. Strong or otherwise." She stared at him. "Nor is it going to happen. We made sure."

"Someday your husband will make you change your mind."

"I doubt it. I'd never date someone like that. I find them faulty since they think women are only good for one thing." The doctor scowled. She stared back. "So just the two and is Jane having to continue on hers as well?"

"We'll see about your future children being obedient."

She snorted. "I'm not so even if a miracle happened they wouldn't be either. My kids will never toe a HYDRA line." He looked smug. And Darcy knew, she just knew. She stared at him. "If that's your idea, you already failed." She hopped off the table. "No thanks on that. Please send my refills to my pharmacy on file up the street."

She tried to get around him. The guard tried to stop her so she grabbed the wand on his waist and used it on the doctor who had his back to her. He shrieked as the tazer wand went against his asshole and the guard lunged at her but Darcy hit him with the stick part and got out of there. "HYDRA!" she called with a point. Behind her the guard shot the doctor then himself.

"Eww." She brushed at the blood that had spotted her. "Gross!" She huffed, looking at Jane and Stark. "I got told I'd do great breeding strong kids for HYDRA by the doc." She looked at the wand. "I need to go put you on the wall so I can learn you later." She walked off. "He took me off the one med that makes me sick and said I had the other two for another month, Nurse Patricia. Can you make sure I get refills?"

"Of course, Miss Lewis. Can we have the stun wand?"

Darcy looked at her, turning it off. "It's going on my wall. I'll start learning how to use it later." She smiled. "Like the sword and spear and my usual taser." She walked off looking pissed. She ran into one of the lab guarding teams, scowling at him. "Don't even start." He got out of her way and shut his mouth. "Thanks. Can you get me a command hook? This new baby has a handle so I can hang it that way."

"Um, sure, Lewis." He went to do that, bringing back a package for that. She smiled and went into the lab to stand beside her desk, trying a few places for her wand. She figured it out and hung it there where she could reach it from her seat.

In the medical department, Stark looked at Jane, who shrugged. "No idea," she admitted. "They never want me to breed for HYDRA."

"Me either but I'm snipped." He looked at the nurse. "Can we have a better doctor who knows about radiation poisoning maybe? Lewis is actually mildly allergic to one of them, that's why she's heaved for the last month straight."

"I can send that request to Dr. Masters at SHIELD, Mr. Stark. Are you two all right?"

"Bit freaked out," Jane said dryly. "That's just weird." Guards were coming in to remove the bodies. Hill paused at the doorway. "He told Darcy she'd do great breeding strong kids for HYDRA. I heard a zap and Darcy had one of those wand things. She came out complaining about HYDRA and someone in there shot them both."

"I thought he might've been AIM, not HYDRA," Hill complained, grimacing at the bodies. "Crap."

"I've sent up a request to SHIELD's head doctor," Nurse Patricia said. "Miss Lewis said she'd learn how to use her new pet in a while."

Jane nodded. "She does consider them pets sometimes. She uses them like dolls so they can talk to each other. Sometimes to annoy me into doing what the pets are talking about."

"Barton does that to make tactical plans if he's out of ideas," Stark said. "I saw that and just went 'yeah, okay, I do that with my robots sometimes when I'm stuck'. It's like a rubber duck for programmers."

Hill hung her head, shaking it. "I've seen him doing that." She looked at the waiting agents. "Clean it up. Foster, please calm Lewis down?"

"I try. That's usually her job and we can't drink on these meds."

"Darcy's been throwing up so often she probably shouldn't drink," Tony said. "Even with the extra ice cream calories she's had."

"She's shedding a lot more than I am too," Jane said, looking at the nurse. "Her hair's gotten really thin up front. I noticed when she was trying to pull her hair back the other day."

"I can note it when we get a real doctor in," Nurse Patricia said, smiling at her. "Hopefully it won't take too long. I've refilled both your prescriptions for a week," she said, looking at Stark then at Jane. "So that gives that new doctor time to get here."

"Thanks." Jane hopped down. "Let me go see where Darcy's put her new pet." She walked off shaking her head. The lab guard stared at her. "I know. It's good for her. Very self protective." She went into her lab shaking her head. "That's a good placement. You can grab it as you stand up."

"That's what I was figuring. I do need a charging adapter for it," Darcy quipped with a grin for her. "I've requisitioned one."

"That's fine." She shrugged. "They're your pets."

"Thanks."

"Want some lunch?"

"Only if you're buying. My water bill was outrageous the other day."

"Fine. I can buy lunch. Let's go get science food." They left together, Darcy with her bag like usual.

Stark walked past them. "Lunch?" They nodded. "Good! You've both lost weight thanks to the drugs. Have fun with that. Bring me back chinese?"

"I can do that," Darcy agreed with a nod. "The usual?"

"Add some lo mein."

"Vegan?"

"Yeah, that'll work." He went into his lab and sighed, relaxing again. He really had to finish up his plans going on. All the agents were making him jumpy.

***

When he finally got back from his last mission Steve sat down at Brock's desk, staring at him. "Have I ever told you how Bucky and I met Darcy?" he asked quietly, staring at him. Rollins looked over then left them alone, taking the rest of the people with him.

Brock dropped his pen to stare at him. "No, but I don't want her in danger."

"While they were in London there was a 'who's the best forties/fifties lady' thing. Which Jane thought was odd, and so did Darcy as they don't really match up fashion and hairstyle wise. Jane tried to call it in, and of course no one listened, so she sent Darcy, who can pull off forties really well." He grinned a tiny bit. "Turns out they were right, it was an event to find someone for a future plan. Something called Chiron."

"Not one I heard of."

"I know you weren't into that part. That was the geeks deciding what to do with Bucky when he got too injured to be in the field. Or too old if they were lucky. They were hoping someone in the Red Room would've handled that part but they sterilized all their survivors for graduation." He grimaced. "So no kids coming that way." Brock nodded slowly.

"So they were going to wipe him one final time, set up a supposed wife and family to love on and raise, while they had plans of sending in teachers. They'd wipe her too but if they did, it tended to ruin a woman's fertility. So light brainwashing." Brock slumped, staring at him. "Yeah, Darcy busted that and yelled loud enough that an officer stopped them from taking the girl they wanted. Who was a pin up girl by any standard you wanna measure it."

"So they already knew about her."

Steve grinned. "Tony pointed out there's two files on Darce. One, Nick's version. That's probably the only one you've seen. The other's in personnel's vaults." He handed over the phone.

Brock took it to read, frowning. "She said she didn't expect anyone to rescue her," he said quietly.

"Yeah, because they don't. Or haven't. Though I'm told there was one this week. No one put in a report."

Brock looked at him. "What?"

"Yeah. Darcy was heard telling Jane she was getting free and the agent showed up and got the main guy. Then cut Darcy free. Apparently she used some of her contacts to get knock out spray of some kind and paused to do a pretty makeup job on the remaining two people." Brock growled. Steve nodded. "We heard about the pretty ones being brought in," he agreed dryly, smirking at him.

"That wasn't the only one last week. Or this week. She's had two others in the last week's time. Both she got free herself. According to Tony, every science geek and every engineer gets told in their graduate studies to make a ransom plan in case it happens. He said a few have had to figure out their point of 'yeah, I'll cooperate' but Jane's is a hard core she doesn't.

"Then again, the London Metro PD didn't either. They thought Darcy probably ran off with a bad boyfriend she didn't know about. Their reports, and the two from Interpol, and the mentioned one in some Russian PD computer that they don't have access to, all happened around the Copenhagen conference. That's why Jane was nearby for that one, going to rescue Darcy herself."

"SHIELD...."

"Never answered, even during the alignment, and they consider her basically a secretary. Would they rescue yours?"

"No," he ground out. "I spotted some of the minor people that were too minor for SHIELD to bust the other day."

Steve stood up. "That's probably why she didn't come in today." Brock stood up, handing back the phone as he stomped off. "You might ask Jane, she said she has a tracking dot on her. Or dogs, Darcy tends to adopt dogs during things." He followed, going to grab his shield and suit. Brock stared at him. "You'll need backup," he said patiently.

"Darcy's reaction to pain is disassociation and a blank persona according to Jane. Even when she tore her knee a few years back she did that in the ER. So if they're into torture, she's probably just back in her head." He closed his locker, staring at him. "Tony said he'll come too. That way they know not to come after Pepper."

"I thought I'd make it more dangerous for her." He slammed his locker closed and faced him. "And I was right."

"Actually, Jane's math said that you make her safer. She once got taken by someone who wanted to meet me because she had met me and posted a picture online."

"Shit."

"Yup. She's had ones related to Stark and Banner too, and one related to Natasha." He nodded. "Having someone there who realizes when she doesn't make it to work helps keep her safer. Ian apparently passed out one of those incidences in London." He lifted the shield off the wall, staring at him as he hitched it to his back. "Let's go see if Jane's got her tracking dot information." They walked off together, stomping up to the lab. Tony stopped them in the hallway, holding up a device. "Tracking dot?"

"Yup. Surveillance shows a few people there, and a few dogs for Lewis to adopt." He looked at Brock. "When Loki was attacking New Mexico, she took the time to go rescue all the pets in the pet store to send with fleeing people instead of getting out of the way. We figure she'll have a dog since we've seen four this time."

Brock took it to look at the pictures. "Three arms dealers. All would love to kill me."

"As opposed to AIM wanting Jane and taking Darcy? Twice?" Stark asked dryly. "Or the other two groups AIM took out for being in their way? Which Darcy got herself free from? The other wacky scientists who want Jane's work so they tried something?" He shrugged. "It's why so many geeks are single, Rumlow. Or we have carefully hidden spouses and never talk about them. Thankfully Pepper has enough attention that they can't really take her without someone noticing and calling me so she's safer. If I was with someone less high profile, they'd always be stuck inside and with a guard team."

"Why didn't we guard her?" Rumlow demanded.

"Because SHIELD said she's a glorified assistant," Steve said dryly. "And they don't need it. Remember, Jane hasn't shared half of her stuff with SHIELD. Though I'm told that's what happened to one of those groups they got Darcy free from."

Tony tried not to heave. "Jane and Selvig talked to another geek. They ended up compressing the compound with some sort of void, and it was suddenly two inches high, everything, including the ten story building." Rumlow winced but nodded once. "Yeah. SHIELD knows about a tenth of what Jane's studied and figured out. She'll keep it that way too. The other geeks know some more.

"She's put out papers that have hints. We all do it." He shrugged. "It's safer and better. No one can use it, and if they're interested in that sort of work you go learn from them yourself. Keeps out the weasels." He walked off. "Have fun. Bring her back or else I'm going to kill you. And then let Thor bury your remains."

"Thanks, Tony," Steve said. He looked at Brock, who was shuddering. "Ready?"

"Yeah. They're in the city." He walked off with the device, scanning the area around it. It provided him with plans for the building itself. That was handy. Steve got to drive while they made plans. "Want me to go in being myself so they can free her?"

"Nope."

"It'd be easiest."

"Probably. But nope. That's too dangerous and a risk of getting you shot. Darcy will kill me."

"She's not..."

"Just don't start that sentence, kid." He glanced at him. "She does fall pretty hard. She's said it was okay because she didn't expect you to be that emotionally involved." Brock slumped in his seat. "She's said often enough that she wasn't the sort of girl to cling to your ankles begging you to come back. She considers those sort pathetic and weak. Jane's and Darcy's ideas about break ups is to find someone new and better in bed."

"Darcy said a few times I was better than anyone else," he said quietly. He huffed. "Damn it!" Mentally he was heaving a fit at his stupidity of epic proportions. He hadn't listened when she said she'd been taken and had to rescue herself! He was absolutely mad at himself about not listening and making things thousands of times worse, and now she was in even more danger.

"Yup. She's highly invested. That weight loss? She's been trying to hold it off thanks to a lot of ice cream every night for dinner. They shouldn't drink on the meds apparently." He shot him another look. "She broke up with Ian, had two nights of boozing it up, one night with karoke, and then some ice cream and was over it. Someone taught her that men leave and aren't reliable."

"I got that from our break up talk." He rubbed his forehead. His phone rang so he looked at it. "Not right now, Jack." He hung up and turned off his phone. "So Fury really thinks she's basically Jane's nanny and not worth it?"

"Yup. If she was a wife too, that'd put her on a mission recovery level. Not a STRIKE level recovery. Even if she were Stark's wife she'd just get regular agents. And probably Barton since they're friends. By the way, he's probably on his way there. No one can find him right now to ask when they tried to find him to ask him to go do surveillance."

"I'd text but it might give away his location. Did you tell him?"

"He's the one who told me Darce didn't make it in today and Jane was worried about her."

"Shit. Why didn't he tell me?"

"You would've growled at him, Rumlow."

"Point." He rubbed his forehead again and huffed. "Okay, I'm going in. You can follow to get her free. Get her out of there, I'll handle the others."

"Fat chance. Too dangerous for you."

"They know me and want to taunt me for a bit. You can come back for me."

"Uh-huh. And Darcy will probably not let that happen, which will blow my cover, and then I'll get to knock some idiots out." He considered it. "Bucky's in Wakanda still or I would've brought him instead."

"They don't know him. They weren't HYDRA, Rogers. Just idiot arms dealers. Wacky ones mostly."

"Great! I've met one of those, she squealed at anime. Stark warned me about her when we spotted her at something. She tried to drag me off to talk to me about the new anime that has the team. Apparently they think I'm Tony's husband," he finished blandly.

"He could use one. It'd get him out of the lab. We'd have less robots."

"Still worried about that nanite guy?"

"Foster said we have some for certain."

"Yeah, a lot of geeks think SHIELD is as bad as AIM so they're not going to work for them. They watch us to make sure we don't make a move toward their science and discoveries."

"Figures. Probably the old HYDRA people we missed."

"Nope. Fury's doing that. He's kinda desperate to rebuild R&D." He shot him a smirk as he parked. "Block over," he said with a point.

"See you inside. Make sure she gets out. And if she adopts a dog," he sighed. "Make it something she'll love." He got out, making sure he had weapons. They'd probably get taken from him but he could handle that. He snuck over there. Four idiot arms dealers working together. Great! And minions. He took out two minions with choke holds on his way in. He made it almost all the way inside before he got caught. He spotted Darcy in a cell and she grimaced. He gave her a visual order to get out of the way as he was dragged off. They did disarm him and tied him to a chair.

"So, the mighty Crossbones," one of the arms dealers said with a grin. "How nice to see your actual face."

"Someone nicely healed the scars. You could've just sent an email. I might've shown up."

"Too insecure. Too many issues. It's easier this way." He waved back at the cells. "She'll be fine. She huffed about how weak we were at this. I would like to talk to her about Thor's peoples."

"She's considered a princess of their people. If you harm her, you're gonna meet 'em."

"That may be amusing." He walked around Brock, checking the bindings. "All right there?" he asked with a smile. "She criticized our tying skills."

"She does it better." He tested, his wrists were pretty solidly tied and his ankles too. Strong cotton rope. He looked around. "No dogs for Darcy to adopt? I'm told she's done that in the past. Probably what happened to Herval's dogs."

"I saw one the other day. They got adopted by Palma. Who said he did get it from a cute brunette girl." He smirked. "And they're fine. The boys are in the other room and Emma's in the car. She's pregnant. The boys screwed up. I had to yell for many hours that they knocked up Emma."

"Pomeranian and pit bulls aren't the usual dog mix," Brock said dryly. "I heard it wasn't just you."

"Your ex is in the other room nagging them to let her have you before we kill you." He smirked. "Destroian is most pleased to feed your remains to his snakes at the end. Paula left for a problem with her minions with her dog so pity she won't get to see this."

"That's great. It's like recycling," Brock said, staring at him. "I'm sure they'll love to be poisoned by me."

The idiot in front of him laughed, looking over as Darcy wandered over. "They shouldn't have let you out."

"Yay." She smirked at him. "They didn't have much of a choice. You guys really forget that women do more than carry a purse." She walked around Brock, shrugging as she dropped the knife into his hand, and they all saw it. "He's my ex. Why did you take me about my ex?"

"You two looked sweet together."

"Yeah but he decided guys like you were worrisome. Don't know *why*. I mean, the last one I had to deal with got...well I guess the technical term is compressed. Doctor David really did like testing his suction thingy to compress an area. Had it up a bit high since the ten story building was now less than a foot high...." She shrugged but smirked at him. "You have fun with whoever Jane calls for help, dude."

"You can stay with me." He walked closer, touching her cheek. "I can offer you much."

Darcy turned her head to bite his finger, making him scream when she spit out the part she had bitten off. "No thanks. I need a man in bed and you're not. You're kinda ..." She held up her pinky. "I'd demand performance skills at that level of dick, and I don't think you have it. You brag too much." She wandered off.

Brock used the knife to get his hands free, then stabbed the screaming idiot, threw the knife at further minion pulling a gun then punched the other one until he passed out. He got his ankles free, going to look for the others. They were knocked out thanks to the gas he could smell. The guy with snakes was being chewed on by one of them. "Gross," he muttered, running into Rogers. "Him?"

"Darcy had picked the lock and stole the guard's knife to stab him with." He looked at Darcy, who was cooing at the dogs. "There's another one in the car. A fluffy thing."

"It's a pomeranian and their buddy. She's apparently pregnant by them." He looked around. "Have it." He went back to Darcy. "They're on a speciality diet. No grain, no allergens. They have a fluffy dog buddy who's in the car that they apparently knocked up."

"Aww, who needed his balls removed," she cooed, petting the dogs. "You're good boys even if you do have balls." They barked, letting her pet them all she wanted. "Such good boys. Yes, you're not mean boys, you're good boys."

"Darcy?" he asked. She hummed. Someone broke in the door. "Go get their fluffy friend from the car," he called. One of the agents pointed a gun at the dogs. "You do that and she'll kill you."

Darcy looked up at the agent. "Leave my good boys alone." He backed away slowly. "See, we can have nummies later. We'll have to find you good boy food. Yes we will." The other dog got brought in by Hill, who handed her over. "Awww," she cooed. "You're all fluffy and preggers." The pits licked that one, who licked them back and snuggled into the friendly lap. "So very cute of a family."

"They go to some vet in New Jersey," Brock said patiently. Tiny girlish voice, mentally not focused, yeah, it was disassociative at a lesser level. The tough bitch persona had been about halfway to this level so he knew how she disassociated now and why she always acted this same way in emergencies. Regular and Princess Darcy, depending on situation, to warrior bitch Darcy, to back in her head for her own protection Darcy.

"We can get their records." She looked up at him.

"Will your lease let you have a dog?" he asked.

"Two as long as they don't weigh thirty pounds together." He gave her a pointed look. "I'll ask some people in the labs. Hervana has a diabetic set of dogs who're older. And Gabriella has dogs too." She petted Emma. "They even live near each other so their dogs play together all the time." Brock looked at Hill, who called for them to come get the dogs.

"Usual operational standards say we drop them at a specially selected shelter. It's the Barton protocol," one of the agents complained. Darcy handed off Emma and got up, grabbing the knife from Brock's waist to go after him. He ran for his life and she went back to the dogs. "I know some people love dogs," he complained. Rogers stopped him and shook his head. "She's dangerous!"

"Yup. That's why she works in the lab." Steve handed him to Hill. He walked over. "Hey, Darce." She blinked at him. "Want me to wait on the geeks to come get the dogs?"

"My dogs," she said quietly.

"Okay, if you want and can sneak 'em past your landlord." She pouted, sitting down to pet them again, this time on the floor with them. He looked at Brock then at Hill. "Jane said she disassociates," he said quietly.

"Clearly," Hill agreed. "People, watch the snakes in the other room. Two are poisonous."

"Cobra Commander is the only poisonous one," Brock corrected. Darcy burst out laughing. "He said since his last named started in Destro, he had to work with cobras." She laughed in a higher pitched voice, one that meant she was about to snap. "The other two are constrictors." He petted over Darcy's hair, looking at the hair breakage. "That's new."

"Meds," Hill told him. "It's also made her puke for the last month I'm told. That's why she's underweight and looks weird." She looked at the two geeks being walked in by Jack Rollins. "Ladies, we found dogs. Darcy found dogs."

"Awww!" Hervana said, coming over to squat down. "You're good boys." She let them sniff her. "Such good boys."

"That's Ebert and Siskel," Brock told her. "They're purebreds but they're on a grain free, allergy free diet."

"So much easier than my diabetic dogs were." Darcy cooed and hugged her. "Thanks, Darcy."

"You should've told me! I would've come to the funeral!"

"I had them cremated and put into crystal." She smiled sadly. "Do you really want them?"

"No, you need good boys more than I do. This is their buddy. Brock said she's pregnant by them."

"Probably the smaller one," Brock said with a point. "That's Emma. She's just a ball of shedding fur." The other geek smiled, picking her up to coo at. "Maybe Darcy can have a puppy?"

"I'd be okay with that if she wanted." She cooed. "Hi, Emma." She and the other geek walked out together, going home to show their new pets their homes. They'd get to play together all the time at the dog park. And they lived a few blocks apart so the dogs could sneak to visit she was sure.

Brock hauled Darcy up, staring at her. "Let's get you home?" he asked calmly.

"Sure, you can drop me off. Oooh, meds," she said, going for her bag. "I didn't leave them at work, did I?"

"We can figure that out." He looked at Hill.

"Take her home, make sure she comes out of it," she said quietly. "Can you handle that with your ex?"

"Yeah. Though..." He looked at her. She was cooing over someone's knife. They were trying to get it back but weren't going to win.

Hill grinned. "Good!" She walked off. "Get them home."

"We can take an SUV," Brock said. "I'm fine to drive." He walked Darcy and her new stabby friend, as she called it, out to the SUV's. A forensic team's SUV was pulling in so he stopped the driver, taking the keys. "Get in, you're taking us home and then you can come back."

"Commander Rumlow," he said, eyes wide. He looked at the building then at his team leader, who waved. He got into the back and Brock got Darcy in then got in to drive. He looked at Darcy. "Is she high?"

"Protective measures." It wasn't a short drive with evening traffic but Darcy at least managed to nap against the window. He parked outside her building, getting out but leaving the keys there. He walked around to help Darcy out, picking her up to carry her upstairs. She didn't have her keys so he had to pat her down for things to open the door.

"Would a bra wire help?" she asked, still half asleep. She wiggled and yanked a few times, handing it over. "Here."

"Do they just come out that way?"

"I fix most of 'em if I keep 'em." She yawned. "Door's open."

He tried and it did open. "Did you forget to lock it?"

"I can hear the microwave running, someone was here." She got down and wandered that way. "Oh, someone made me butter?" He pulled it out to put on the popcorn. "Ooh, dinner." She ate a bite on her way to the bedroom.

He shut and locked the door, then pulled off his tactical gear. He still had on his earpiece and took it off to drop onto his vest. His phone got turned on, and he found a texted warning from Jack that he had backup. He rolled his eyes, following Darcy. She was struggling to pull off her shirt so he helped. "Go take a bath?"

"I need mai tai's," she said, blinking at him. "A lot of mai tai's. Even if it does make me ralph thanks to the meds. And I'm not up to a bath."

"Shower first, princess." He steered her that way, getting them both into a warm shower. It'd help her come back to herself. This wispy, faint Darcy was a bit ...disturbing. She sounded like she was eight with the voice she was using. He wanted his Darcy back. Once they were under the water together, he hugged her from behind. "I didn't want that to happen," he said in her ear.

She snorted. "They were pussies compared to AIM a few years ago." She heaved but held it down. "I...." She ran off to go get sick.

He came out to move her hair, finding a claw hair thing to put it up for her. He rubbed her back, making her swat at him. "Nope. I'm here." He got her calmed down until she stopped, then flushed the toilet. "That way it's not that gross," he said quietly. She heaved a few more times so he repeated it then got them both into the shower again. She rinsed and spit a few times then leaned against the walls "The medicine is kicking your ass, Princess. Either that or it's in reaction."

She looked at him. "I quit having that reaction after the third one." She shifted back under the water with her back to him again. "My water bill will be a bitch but oh well." She pulled down her shampoo to work it into her hair, rinsing off the broken pieces. "Damn it."

He took over, gently working the shampoo into her scalp. "Hair breakage?" She nodded, grimacing and pouting. "It'll come back once you're off them."

"I hope so. I can't pull my hair back because it's so thin around my face right now." She held in the tears.

He helped her rinse the shampoo off and put in conditioner that was in there. Then he turned her around to push her against his shoulder. "It's reaction and you haven't let yourself relax," he said quietly.

"I..." She sniffed. "I have so. I don't cry."

"Everyone cries sometimes. Even if they hide it from others." She snorted, shaking her head. He pulled her back, cuddling her. "Relax."

"I'm fine."

"Well I'm not so cuddle me then." She did cuddle him and it worked, he could feel her finally reacting. "I heard you a few times trying to hide in the infirmary, but you never have to hide that from me."

"Said the guy who's not going to be here," she snarked.

"We'll talk about that later." She pulled back to glare at him. "We will."

"You wanted it."

"I know and apparently I underestimated you because I only saw Fury's files on you." She snorted again but he pulled her back to cuddle again. "I was hoping to spare you that. I saw one of them the other day and just *knew* they'd come for you."

She shrugged. "They come for Jane, they come for Thor, they come for me because I know Tony or Steve. So what else is new."

"Yeah, I had no idea about any of that, or that SHIELD is so fucked up that they wouldn't send help to rescue you from AIM."

"We didn't ask for AIM. I got free." She pouted at the wall, resting against him. "I do good rescuing myself. I have for years, Brock."

"I'm going to yell at a few people about that."

"No you're not. It won't do any good and it'll mean later on they'd help even less. At least last time they told Jane where I was."

"Fuck that shit."

She snorted. "That's usually my line. It's why I carry knock out spray and my taser all the time."

"Is that your perfume thing in your purse?"

She nodded, looking up at him. "Yeah. It works." He wiped her cheeks off. "You don't have to..." She started to pull away.

He kissed her. "Shut the hell up, Darcy. If I didn't want to, I'd be somewhere else getting a drink and avoiding paperwork." She scowled but he pulled her closer again. "Just...cuddle me and shut up for a bit. Now is not the time to have this talk."

"We should just so it's out of the way. I'm not against cuddling you if you need them, even if we are broken up."

"We'll talk about that later." She rolled her eyes. He let the water go a bit chilly before turning it off. "Let me go find you something to sip."

"I can make dinner."

He pulled her against his front. "Neither of us is making dinner." He stared at her. "Just...let me fuss at things for a few. You wait while the hot water tank refills."

"The bathtub has its own?"

"Really?" He grinned. "I like that forethought." He kissed her. "Let me go fuss. You start a tub?" She sighed but moved to start that. She was brushing her teeth when he came back with a pitcher of mai tai mix and a drink for him. "You good?"

"Yeah." She looked over. "How did you make those?"

"You had pineapple juice, rum, and grenadine. It's not bad but not as sweet as usual." She nodded, setting up the table at the lower level of height it could be. He put the drinks down, then got their phones to put there too, with a small handgun just in case. The charging cord got brought in by Darcy, who plugged in her phone and sent Jane a text message that she was okay, then the two geeks to check on the dogs. He sipped his whiskey, with a single cube, while she fussed. He checked the bath salts. "What are we putting in?"

She looked then at him. "I don't know."

"Pick something nice smelling?" She got up to do that, finding a nice smelling mostly empty jar. She let him sniff and he nodded. "I like that. It'll go well with the pineapple mai tai." She smirked. "It will, and your perfume."

"I need to find more of this." She added the rest of the jar to the bath water, tossing the empty out. She sipped her drink, moaning at it. "That's not bad. Thank you, Brock." She looked up. "You didn't have to come for me. I was getting free."

"How did you get out of the cell?"

"I asked someone in college to teach me to pick locks because supposedly I kept losing my keys." She shrugged. "It's also why I usually loosen one of my underwires. If I have to I can sharpen it."

He kissed her, tipping her face up. "That's smart. I have no idea about anything like that."

"Guys don't have underwire or corsets." She grinned. "I guess you could have stays or wires built into your boxer briefs."

"Probably," he agreed. "Bit stiff though." He climbed into the tub, patting his lap. "C'mere, sweetheart."

"We still..." He pulled her into the tub, putting her into place. "Brock," she sighed.

"I'm not into defining things tonight. We're both too tired for that. That's for tomorrow sometime." She relaxed, leaning on his chest. She was sitting on one of his thighs, her legs across his lap, head on his shoulder. She let him finish his drink. "I really didn't want them to come for you," he said quietly.

"Shit sucks sometimes. It's not the first time." She looked up. "And I'm probably safer if you're around more often."

"Probably. At least then I'd be there to help you rescue yourself. Which agent helped you the other day?"

"Paulie."

"I'll thank him tomorrow after I punch him for not filing a report." She snorted, looking up at him. "He should."

"I was nearly free when he got in there. I had the ropes halfway untied. One of the guys was scared because he was trying to get me to give him a blow job and I nearly bit his hand in half." He moaned, cuddling her. "When he freed me, I got my gas out and got the other two he didn't, then did a pretty makeup job for their new roommates to appreciate." He snorted, finishing his drink. She took hers to sip, then put it back on the table. "I really don't expect..."

He covered her mouth with a hand. "I come for friends and what's mine."

"I might expect that from a husband," she joked. "But really, you don't..." He covered her mouth again. She pulled it off. "Really, Brock, I don't expect it."

"Uh-huh. I do agree with Jane that you don't negotiate with hostage takers. Instead you show up and stomp 'em until they die." She frowned. "I do." He stared at her. "And you're more than worthy to be rescued, no matter what Fury thinks." She went limp with an eye roll, relaxing against him again. "How many have there really been in the last two weeks?"

"Three. Well, four with tonight." He sighed. She shrugged. "Two wanted info on Stark himself. One thought they wanted some of Jane's stuff. They decided they'd really rather not when I pulled up footage of what she did to that other guy."

"What other guy?"

"From the Dallas conference."

"Is that in a report?"

"Nothing we do is in a report. Even if we liked SHIELD and SHIELD liked Jane, it'd never be in a report."

"Hmm." He picked up her drink to sip, nodding. "I did do good." He poured more from the pitcher, handing it to her. She sipped slowly. She got it refilled and nearly flinched when her phone beeped. He grabbed them both to put on vibrate and let her have hers. "Foster?"

"Thor." She read it and sighed. She called, phone up against her ear. "I'm fine, Thor. I'm all rescued and just fine, in the tub relaxing. Thank you, dear." She grinned. "I'm sure Loki would love to come rescue me sometimes. We'll let him some other time when there's more than four bad guys though, okay? Thanks, my dude." She hung up and put the phone down. "I think they're back. I heard Steve yelling at someone about rescue protocols and pet shelters."

"Rogers wanted us to hand their pets back to their families or significant others. I thought that was a bit tacky. Here, I killed your son, have his dog." He grimaced. "It'd probably cause more problems."

"Here, your pet was found at a location that was raided by agents?"

"Still probably get us shot at. Plus they'd ask about the raids."

"That may suck, yeah." She rubbed his chest. "I got to learn a new zappy friend."

"Why did you taze someone this time?" he asked, grinning down at her.

"The doctor from St. John's said I'd breed strong kids for HYDRA. I got the guard's stun rod and used it on the doctor's asshole, then got out of there. The guard with him shot him then himself. Nurse Patricia was not amused at the mess."

"Excuse me?"

"Yeah. It was probably about the thingy back in London."

"Rogers told me about that." She shrugged. "I'd have to stop that. I don't want to take out Barnes if he tries to steal you." She snorted, shaking her head. She took another few slurps of her mai tai and put the glass back down. He cuddled her better, relaxing with her. They could nap in there. They'd wake up to warm up the water now and then but they'd do fine. It was a bit cramped but fairly comfortable. Someone woke him up by working at the lock. He reached over for the gun he had brought in with the mai tai pitcher, flicking the safety off to point at the doorway. They definitely weren't getting in there.

"Darcy?" Jane called.

He flicked the safety back on before putting it next to the alcohol. "We're in the tub, Foster." He pulled a towel over to cover most of their nakedness. Jane came to the doorway. "She's fine, she's back in the present moment and not talking like she's eight. We had some pineapple juice mai tai's. We're good."

Jane grinned at him. "Good! Is she asleep?" He looked then nodded. "Even better. Fury was going to come check but I pointed out Darcy would taze him."

"I'll call in later. It's barely four in the morning." He scowled. "Shouldn't you be on top of Thor right about now?"

"I would be but he woke us up."

"I'll call in at a decent hour." She nodded, leaving them alone.

"She gone?" Darcy whispered.

"Yeah. Locked the door before she closed it." He kissed her on the head. She moved the towel and looked at it then at him. "Didn't figure you wanted to be stared at naked."

"Not really. I look horrible like this. The med's made me so sick I've been throwing up daily."

"Definitely that reason, right?" he asked, staring at her.

She scowled. "I'm not pregnant."

"Just making sure."

"They did a test to make sure before they put me on them." He sighed, grinning at her. "Yeah, I felt that way too."

He tipped her face up again. "Darce, someday I might not mind, but it's only been five dates. When you want me to knock you up, you'll tell me and I'll be there." She scowled. He stared back. "I'm that sort of guy, yeah. When and if you get ready and decide that, you'll let us both know."

She put her head back down, shaking it. "I still don't want kids. If they happen by accident I'd... Well, I don't know."

"I get that and I'd be there for that too." He gave her a squeeze. "It's not near time to figure that out yet."

"Yeah, I don't even know your sister's name."

He grinned, kissing her on the head. "I told her that and she swore at herself. She still wants to steal you for her son."

"Is he your mini me?"

"Nope. Her ex-husband is an accountant and the son's looking like that too." She grinned, he could feel it. "I'll get him in the gym soon." He poured more drink and let her turn off the water. They shared it, just cuddling again. "This is nice," he said quietly.

"It is."

"I'd rather we have more of a partnership than a you fussing all the time thing."

"I tend to when I'm in a relationship." She looked up, taking the glass back to drink some then handing it back. He finished it and put it down on the table. "There's still going to be days Jane drives me that nuts. That's a healthier coping mechanism than getting drunk."

"I get that and I'm all for being there those days. Just not every night."

"No, only special nights." He smiled and kissed her. She moaned into it, leaning up. "I..."

"No, we're only going this far tonight." He kissed her again. "We kinda did things backwards. We're going to date for a bit and when my fingers miss being inside you, we'll be good that night."

She giggled. "They miss being inside me?"

"Yup. They sure did. Earlier they kept flexing wondering why they were in gloves." She poked him on the chest, making him poke her on the side. She yelped but he grinned. "You started it."

"I did." She bit him on the chest. Then she gave him a smug look.

"Do you wanna wear hickeys in tomorrow?" he quipped, smirking at her. She blushed and ducked her head. He cuddled again. "Jane tease you?"

"High necked shirt so no one picked on you for being so alpha male."

"Hmm." He shrugged. "They'd only look at me like I'm the man for bagging you, sweetheart."

"Uh-huh. They don't think so. I'm not exactly a model."

"You look good at your right weight. Not too bad now but you look really tired."

"Stupid meds and stupid idiot who made us need meds."

He rubbed over her back. "You'll be off them soon and it'll all be good again. The broken hairs will grow back out and it'll be pretty." She nodded, nuzzling him. "You rest. We both need to sleep to go yell at Nick Fury tomorrow. He's clearly got bad priorities if he thought you didn't deserve rescued."

"I'm not Jane or an agent."

"Yeah but you're important to the labs."

"We work for Stark. He'd put it back on Tony."

"Which proves he didn't think right." He shifted and she started to move so he picked her up to shift to a more comfortable position then put her back onto his lap.

"I didn't know I had a strength kink," she said quietly, cracking him up. He gave her a squeeze. "Those muscles I've been staring at really do more than look pretty."

"I've flipped you over more than once, babe."

"Yeah but that's sex strength, not sitting down strength or cuddling strength." He kissed her on the head. "My hair probably looks bad."

"Bit of breaking still but it'll heal. Even if you wanted to shave it all off and start over again."

She looked up at him. "I'd probably learn how to wear fancy lady hats first instead." He shrugged but she put her head back down. "I can't imagine me without any hair."

"If it happens, it does, and I'll make sure you get good scalp massages."

"I could like that. That might be worth losing it all." She looked up, and got kissed. She grinned. "Your legs are probably asleep."

"Probably but it'll be fine. It'll come back when we shower off in the morning." He checked the nearest phone, hers. "In four hours."

"You get up around now to go to the gym."

"Not today. It's my day free of the gym for paperwork stress." She rubbed over his pec. "Rest. You need to rest. You look tired."

"That's the med's fault. I'm off one of them."

"Good! Soon it'll be all of them." He shifted a tiny bit and cuddled her better. She sighed in pleasure, letting herself drift to sleep again. He grinned, liking this quiet time. He really had to think about getting a tub for his place. He only had a shower.

***

Brock strolled into the head office the next day as soon as he got in. "Reporting as you had Foster order at an ungodly hour," he said dryly, staring at him. "And if you're going to bitch about using resources for the rescue I'm letting her taze you again."

"She barely got me once," Nick Fury said, staring at him. "I'm not going to complain about that. It was a good idea. Who were they? You didn't debrief or file a report."

"That seems to happen a lot when people rescue her." Fury glared. "Apparently I need to thank one for finding out she had been taken and helping her rescue herself, one out of the three times this week." Fury muttered and tossed down his pen. "I looked up the ones that we arrested and they have pretty long files but most are deemed too weak for SHIELD to care about. Unfortunately they cared about Stark and Foster." He stared at him. "So, what did you need to hear, sir?"

"What happened?"

"Some more not tough enough for SHIELD people I busted as Crossbones wanting to get me back. I didn't know until Rogers told me though. They hadn't gotten to making her call me."

"So was she nicer to them than she was us?"

"No, she was talking to their dogs. They said she was mouthy and uncooperative." He smirked. "Then again, she had to tell off the radiation doctor who thought she'd breed for HYDRA and their plans for Barnes."

"Fuck me," Fury muttered.

"Only if I can use a hot, pointy thing, sir." He stared at him. "Then again, I found out how Foster and a science buddy of hers compressed a base of a group that AIM took out for being in the way into a foot high square during an earlier one. That's how she was able to be at the Copenhagen conference."

"She did..." Brock pulled up the footage from where Darcy had it hidden, showing it to him. He had watched all the ones she had stored over breakfast when she had admitted Jane had a copy of that rescue/testing tape. He stared at what happened, going pale. "Damn."

"Darcy adopted out the dogs she found there too." He took the phone back. "Another case of SHIELD not answering, and in that case London Metro didn't either. Foster let Darcy yell at them when they showed up with MI-5 to see if she could tell them what she did to that group and why."

"So we screwed up," he said, staring at him. Brock nodded. "The other geeks?"

"Stark said that any of the good ones in their graduate studies are warned to make ransom plans beforehand so they don't have to think about it, and plenty have had to use them."

"Their graduate programs?"

"Too early and you might scare off someone who can cure cancer, or be worrying to the people who go on to marine biology and stuff." He shifted his weight. "I only brought Rogers with me to evacuate Darcy while I handled the rest."

"I'm not worried about that or Rollins swearing at me in Australian for not doing security on the labs." He stared at the smug looking man. "She good?"

"Yeah. All calmed down. I'm only worried about the side effects of those anti-radiation meds she's on that're making her puke grandly."

"Not pregnant, right?"

"Hell no. We both know how to prevent that, sir." He grimaced. "And she's not sure she wants one. Especially since she had to taze the doctor who said she'd breed for HYDRA in the ass the other day."

"She had to...."

"The radiation doc. In the infirmary here. He got found out and the guard shot them both. Hill filed the report."

"Damn it. That girl makes me swear more than Stark does."

"That's because you think she's like some secretary and she's not. She's really more like a light domme and a caretaker." He shrugged. "She does a good job. Foster's still alive and she got Stark to eat the other day when he forgot for a few hours."

"Great." He stared at him. "According to Rogers, there's at least six others who could try the same thing?"

"Eighteen. You handed fifteen of them to the CIA or FBI. The other one you handed to Interpol to handle instead. The other two were put on a watch list." Fury looked up then at him. He grinned back. "You thought they weren't a danger then."

"They clearly are now. So what are we going to do, Commander?"

"Don't know yet, sir. That's why I haven't hit you yet."

"Point." He considered him. "Foster's going to Asgard for a long visit."

"She's leaving in about a month for three months. Darcy's due up for the wedding at the end of that time."

"Royal wedding?" he asked dryly.

"Formal wedding after they eloped to save Thor from bullshit and arranged princesses. That also dovetailed into the not-Foster we had for a few days."

"Great!" He stared at him. "Can you handle it for a month? I have no idea if you two are really dating or whatever."

"We are dating. Since after the Miami conference." Fury smirked at him. "She'd make a great handler but wouldn't let the agent struggle on his own. But she'd never accept that sort of job." He shifted his weight again.

"Sit, Commander." Brock sat down facing him. "Can you handle it while Foster's here and then go into protective hiding until we can clear it up?"

"Probably. We do okay with that. We were doing okay before this. I only noticed one the other day."

"By their files, they found you last month." He handed that over. "Rollins was not amused and that's why I got sworn at." Brock smirked at him. "Can it."

Brock looked it over, nodding. "So they spotted me grocery shopping with her." He handed it back. "We can handle some of that. Where are we going for protection? She'll need to be able to be gotten to Asgard. And probably for Loki to find her so he can complain about the stupid up there. A few of their higher ups wanted Loki to be Thor's war wife, sir," he said at the odd look he got.

Fury burst out laughing, shaking his head. Brock smirked at him. "Yeah, that was our breakfast this morning." He stared at him. "So they need to be able to get there and she needs to be able to go up to protect Jane before the wedding."

"Great," he said, calming himself down. "We're all...Stark's got ideas going on and we're going to set you near there. Coulson will handle it. You cannot tell her."

"She'll need to know to make sure things are handled like her rent."

"I have the feeling she'll be up there permanently." He smirked. "Stark's building a new facility for his R&D." Brock moaned, staring at him. "Our R&D will be nearby but not in the same town. We're trying to claim Foster."

"She doesn't trust SHIELD."

"I know that. I know why. And what made it worse." He considered it. "Coulson's going to be over that. He'll make plans for you both." He stared at him. "How long will she need once Foster's offworld?"

"Probably within a day to mothball and move things."

"Stark's handling the moving. I've already talked to him and he's claimed Foster and moving her up there."

"Is she going to be at the new facility?" Fury nodded. "Are we sure?"

"It's out in the woods. She'll be able to get star data easy enough."

"She'll like that and it'll hopefully let her hold off the wanted trip to Antarctica." Fury frowned. "Dream trip. Thor's said he'd send Loki to guard her."

"Well, the cold probably won't bother him any," he said dryly. "Lewis?"

"Said she'd deal with it as long as they had wifi."

"Huh. Let Coulson handle things. You let us worry about those assholes. Just debrief about them with Rollins, who claimed their asses." Rumlow nodded, standing up. "If she makes you happy, I'm happy for you, Commander."

"Thanks, Director. She's still going to taze you though."

"I know she'll try," he agreed. "She's got reason to this time at least." Rumlow nodded, leaving to go talk to Rollins and then Darcy. He sent a message to Coulson where he was hiding after a tough mission with May and Skye. That may just be a great idea in the making.

***
Part 2 by Voracity2
Brock walked into the lab. "Hey, sweetheart." She smiled and lifted her face up for a kiss. He grinned before kissing her then when he had pecked her gently. "We've got to have a talk about the idiots." He looked at Milantha. "You need to hear too. Foster?" he said loudly, making her look over and smirk at him.

"We're going to go over a few things. Including that Darce is going into protective custody when you're off for the long trip." Jane grimaced. "But...there's a big part about that too. Can you ask Stark to come in when Rollins gets here? I don't want to piss him off by going near his lab. He's looking awfully pissed off today."

"He yelled at me for not wearing a locating dot," Darcy said. "I pointed out they tried that and it infected grandly. Should we use the conference room? I know there's already cameras in there that aren't related to JARVIS."

"Nah, we need two more chairs and this way it's more quiet." Stark came in with Rollins following him. "You were brave to go get him," he said dryly. "He looked like he was ready to eat Fury."

"That man and his plans have got to stop," Tony Stark said, standing there. "So what's up?"

"Sit," Rumlow said. Darcy got their spare chairs out of the closet for them. "All right, first, the idiots last night were found when I was doublecrossing HYDRA as Crossbones." Stark and Foster both nodded. "We found a few extra beings who weren't important enough for HYDRA to notice, or SHIELD. So they handed them off." Stark moaned, slapping himself on the face with one hand.

"Yeah." He looked at Darcy, who was grimacing. "Rollins claimed their asses according to Fury. Second, when Foster is off doing the stuff with Thor, Darcy is going to be in protective custody and I'm told it's up near where your new facility is going to be, Stark."

Stark stared at him. "It took him that long to find out I was doing that?"

"Don't know when he knew. He just said we'd be hiding up there because he expected Foster to be up near you."

"Foster is going to be-off site of the new campus. All the high energy or highly volatile ones are going to be off-campus." He looked at her. "I've got a secondary lab for you, Sommers, Delian, and a few others." She smiled at that. "Small town, the campus is outside that small town.

"You'll have stuff up there to get good readings and Thor can appear at the off-site lab too. We'll have Avengers specific areas and it's about fifteen minutes away from the campus for a commute." He looked at Darcy then at Brock. "I'm planning on putting most of the split R&D between us and SHIELD there too possibly."

"That may work for us," Brock agreed. "He said that's up to Coulson now. He's going to be over us hiding up near your new campus." He looked at her. "How much of your stuff can go into storage?"

"Not much. I'll need my furniture and stuff. As long as I'm not in a studio I should be okay."

Coulson walked in, staring at them. "You'll have a full house for you and Commander Rumlow to share," he said. "The off-site space, Stark?"

"Yup. I expected Jane to want to be there so she can avoid a lot of idiots too. That'll let her spread out. Though she will have a lab with machines up at the campus so she can compare." He looked at her, grinning some. "Pretty woods, mountains nearby. It's upstate and no building glare so you can physically see stars." Jane smiled and nodded. "The only problem is the small town is a small town and you'll probably get people who know who Thor is and want to hang on him at least once."

"We're used to that. It happens when we go out together."

"Okay. We'll go over the specifics of that contract when I've got them done next week." He looked at Darcy then at Jane. "Though I was going to take your lab mom to be the new off-campus lab's manager. She does it anyway."

"I..." She looked at Darcy.

"I'd still be nagging you anyway," Darcy said. "How many labs there?"

"Fifteen or so. All highly likely to do something stupid. It's on the other edge of town from the main campus. I expected SHIELD to put people there anyway because that'll be the split R&D department."

"They really need to rebuild it for themselves," Darcy said, staring at Stark.

"Yeah, but soon, I know."

"No, I had another of those dreams this morning, Stark." Stark moaned. "You and the anger and the Steve and his anger and a battle between you two." She stared at him. "I was going to come talk to you tonight about that one. Well, actually I was going to summon Steve and lock you two and myself in your lab to talk about it." He stared at her. She made a few notes and handed them over. "It definitely came from Stormbreaker this time. It's what happened in her realm before the team split and then we had a super huge evil from outer space that made Thor's asshole clench and who was the one who tortured Loki."

Stark stared at her. "Yeah, I wanna know more." Brock pulled a tape out of his pocket to hand over. "From..."

"I made her talk in her sleep about it when I heard it starting. That's taped off my phone's recorder. By myself, without anyone hearing." He stared at him. "Though I don't blame you for it."

"Why?" Stark asked.

"Barnes," Darcy said, making Stark flinch but nod once. "Please, let's go with my plan tonight?"

"Let me hear all this, unscrew these plans, then we'll handle those." He put the tape inside the notes and into his pocket. "Or tomorrow maybe."

"You have dinner with Pepper tonight," Darcy reminded him.

"I know. I can..."

"Pepper deserves you to love just her," Foster said patiently. "Tonight, just be Pepper's boyfriend and be Stark, King of all Engineers tomorrow." Tony sucked in a breath but nodded. "Thanks. That's the next problem." She looked at Coulson. "This facility?"

"Used to be a chemical company. We bought it years ago thinking we might want to put our R&D weapons team up there. We never got around to it because six months after the renovations were complete, DC fell while we were picking which ones would go up there. So we leased it to Stark for his lab's needs."

"I know that place," Brock said. "We could house STRIKE there, Coulson." He looked at him. "Just STRIKE. We could use it to train the noobs. Plenty of places to bury their bodies too."

"That's not a bad idea and it would mean that we had the teams that would need to handle another portal or emergency situation or you'd be on hand if the Avengers had to handle something." He looked at Tony, who considered it but nodded slowly. "That would mean we wouldn't have the guard team you have up here now and the other agents taking up space."

"I could definitely like that." He looked at Darcy. "I'm not angry."

"Stark, your blood pressure is visible," she said, staring at him. "And each time you look at Steve, it's even worse. You've gotten to the orange in the face stage when you didn't yell at him the other day."

"Shit."

"Yup. And that needs to be worked out. Please? I mean, I can taze Steve if you want."

"That's probably treason," he said dryly.

She shrugged. "Oh well. I've told a few bigger names to suck my tit. I can do it to others when they deserve it. I've done it to Thor too."

"Point. You do have lack of tact when necessary." He grimaced. "Fine. We'll go over that later. It's better that Barnes is in Wakanda visiting his goats anyway." She nodded. He looked at Coulson. "I might agree to that. I'm hiring private guards for the campus, like we had here before you guys needed space and Hill snuck them in to take over my building."

"I can accept that. It would mean Lewis would be doing our administrative work probably as well."

Brock looked at her. "About ten hours worth a week of filling out forms, proofreading reports, and yelling at people about their English or Rollins here about his Brit spellings."

"I do a lot of that already," she agreed. "Jane's data entry takes me about two hours a day." Jane nodded so she looked at her. "So I'd be up the hall and nagging you." She looked at Tony. "Would I be split between the two corporate things too then? Right now I'm a Stark employee."

"Yup," he agreed with a nod. "So probably a better paycheck with the higher job title."

"That's a nice thought. It'd mean more pop tarts in the lab."

"I give Jane fifty bucks a week for lab food, Lewis. Take her to Costco."

"Fine." She looked at Coulson. "What about housing? Prices, availability?"

"We have a safe house set up already. It was meant for Sharon Carter to hide in when she needs downtime. It's not a tiny town, it's more a small village. About ten to fifteen thousand people, small college in the next town."

"Two hours to Cornell," Stark said. "Or maybe an hour. I haven't driven it yet."

"So the pretty, uptight part of the state," Darcy quipped with a grin.

"Yup. The mayor warned me not to let anyone know that I'd have a brothel put in up there too." He smirked at her. "A whole lot of city refugees though. He asked that we keep Avengers battles out of the area and whatever we destroyed we had to help repair. Offered to let Banner go to the tai chi group in the park on saturdays."

Darcy giggled. "I've been in towns like that. There'll be some talk but not a huge amount. It's big enough that you don't know everyone," she told Brock. "But not so big that it's got the neighborhood distinction we get around here. We'll have 'sides' of town though."

"The east side is where the off-site campus is," Coulson agreed. "The safehouse is about sixteen blocks from there so an easy commute even in the snow. We'll need you to go up to look over the facility to make sure it's up to R&D sort of standards and to pick out paint. It's all white right now."

"Okay," she agreed. "My stuff?"

"It's a three bedroom house, Lewis. Your two bedrooms can have their own and his can too."

"I like her headboard but my mattress is better," Brock said dryly.

"Yours is a king," Darcy told him. "Mine's a queen."

"We can figure it out or I can get a better mattress for your bed," he told her then grinned. "We have a special group that we buy mattresses from. They're super comfortable."

"That might be nice. Nat said that about my spare bed."

"I'm stealing yours," Jane said. "It's more comfortable than ours." Stark pouted at her. "Thor's broken our mattress again, Stark."

"Oh. Too much thighs?"

"Thor's.... well he's vanilla," Jane said dryly. "But loud. And no, he's over the weight limit for the mattress so it broke faster."

"He is?" Stark asked, frowning.

"He doesn't even like her to be on top, Stark," Darcy quipped. "At all."

"So he's missionary, but okay with the lights being on?" Jane nodded. "Wow, I didn't expect that of Thor."

"He likes being in control," Jane said. "So he's on top and he directs everything."

"Huh." He looked at Rumlow. "That's not a sin you have, right?"

"Tony!" Darcy complained. "And hell no!"

Brock shook his head with a smirk. "Hell no, I love her in all positions and as loud as she can be so I can hear it."

Tony grinned. "I'm starting to like you. I'll hate to dissolve you and let my robots have your pieces if you hurt her."

"You'd probably have to get past Foster first, and I'd never do that."

"So, spanking?"

"Not my thing," Darcy said. "That's a hard no for me, Stark."

"Oh. Pity. Pepper likes it."

"You hit me and I tend to try to get you back," Darcy said, staring at him.

"I listen to her wants and needs, Stark. I'd never hurt her unless she asked me to."

Tony grinned. "Good answer. I like that answer." He looked at Darcy. "Some day I'll have a daughter and she'll be mouthy like you."

"I can teach her that," she agreed with a smirk. "Pepper might not like that though."

"She'll agree it'll be better than my version."

"Probably." She looked at Coulson. "Is it a nice house, will we need to do any reno work? Is there a tub?" Rollins gave her an odd look. "I like tubs. I always wanted a claw foot one." She looked at Coulson again.

"It's a craftsman-ish style on the outside. Kitchen's not great but it works and is not fully open concept but is open to the dining area, and it can be updated. Two bathrooms, three bedrooms, one upper room that can be an office or a mancave." He stared at her. "Basement safe area with weapons locker." She grinned.

"Small workout area above the two car garage. A few built in bookshelves in the living room area. No fireplace. That may be a practical idea for that area in case there's a power outage. Gas powered central air and heat. Carpets but some hardwoods in the kitchen and dining area."

She grinned. "Dog?"

"As long as it doesn't tear up anything. We'll sign the house over to you both until you move from the facility. Or if you divorce, you can figure that out and tell me." He leaned his hip against the table, looking at Rumlow.

"It's suburban but sounds nice and quiet," he said.

"A few people said there's nice hunting for the agents who do," Tony said. "Dog, Lewis? You could've kept the ones last night."

"I might be able to get a puppy from the pregnant one but my present lease said no more than two dogs that equal thirty pounds. Those two pits were adorable though."

"Fussy diets," Brock said. "We can hit a shelter, Darce." She grinned at him and took a kiss. He smirked back. "Nothing purse dog? I'd be embarrassed to walk something the size of Emma."

"What if we get a puppy?"

"Then she's your dog to walk. Big dogs have more problems getting adopted anyway."

"True." She smiled and nodded. "I could like that." She looked at Coulson. "Is that okay?"

"Make sure it does no damage and clean the yard," he said patiently. "Let's move onto point two. We'll move you once Jane's on Asgard?"

"I'll need to shut things down," Jane said.

"I'm having it moved up to the new lab," Stark said. "So you can come back to your new lab."

"Okay," she decided. "I could like that and a few months of data won't matter much unless we have a huge portal."

"We'll turn them back on and let Lewis calibrate," Stark said. "Once she picks out your lab."

"I can like that," Jane said, looking at Darcy, who smiled and nodded. "You've helped me calibrate enough to know how it's done."

"Yup, and the few things that need the special touch can wait. I can calibrate the two measurement devices myself."

"Good!" She looked at Stark. "A whole lab?"

"A bigger lab so nothing's squeezed into a closet." He looked at Darcy. "We have a small measurement lab with a few things for her readings so she has dual sources. And one off-site." She nodded. "We'll let you figure out which is hers."

"Okay. That'll work." She looked at Brock then at Coulson. "The new facility needs more than paint? I'm thinking power and upping air conditioning for overheated machines. Emergency evacuation protocols and that stuff too."

"We can go over that when you come up to look around, Miss Lewis." Darcy nodded. "Plus the cafeteria and the machines it'll have plus a minor kitchen."

"Two microwaves," she said simply. "And a big fridge with a sign that says no samples allowed."

"Chemistry did that by accident," Jane quipped. "Poured their soup into someone's experiment. Thankfully they survived."

"We can definitely take that into account," Coulson agreed. He looked at Brock. "Let's go over the threat problems?"

Rollns pulled them up. "By Rumlow's reports, we have these sixteen problems. We have two more on a watch list but they're not considered that big or bad yet." He let Stark take the tablet to put on a virtual screen so they could all see. "Thanks, Stark." He looked at Brock. "Go ahead and brief us all then we'll get the ones that might like Darcy and Jane too?"

"And a few of mine that might want them too," Stark said dryly. He looked at Darcy. "One of yours last week wanted me?"

"Yup. Tried to ask me a lot of questions about you and your lab. Tried to make me an offer I shouldn't refuse. Didn't think to tie me up so I tazed him and walked over him to leave and told him you had more class and we were all loyal to you because you're our queen."

"Aww, thanks, Lewis," Tony said with a grin.

Brock looked at her. Then at Rollins. "Paulie saved her last week too. Didn't file a report."

"I'll thump him for not putting in the report and give him a day off for the saving, boss." He got into the first person's file. Brock went over who they were, what they were after, and how they operated. Darcy asked if they had any pets and if she ran into them could she steal their wallets. Rollins looked over at her. "Do you usually do that?"

"Yeah, I made three hundred last week to pay me back for annoying me that way."

Rollins grinned at her. "I like you, darl."

"Thanks, Jack." She grinned.

"Mine," Brock said then coughed. Tony snickered at that.

She patted him on the arm. "Unlike your uncle I'd never let Jack steal me." He stared at her. She grinned back.

"You know, us getting together means some day I have to meet your mother."

"Yup, and you'll be headache filled, I was," Jane quipped.

Darcy grinned at her then at Brock. "My mom wants to be important and her second husband helps run the bank so she has some status. She thinks I'm a disappointment because I don't want to be a debutante or marry well to advance the family or just well enough to set me up for life. She also hates that I work with Jane, and that Jane does weird science things since women doing science should only be in medicine."

"She wanted her to be a suburban wine mom," Jane said. "Luxury minivan or SUV and all."

"I could never be the suburban version of Pepper," Darcy said. "My mother thought it was *sweet* I wanted to work to help people and maybe I'd find my way into medicine from there, which she'd accept as long as I did something she could talk about at the country club. We weren't wealthy but we were well enough off that it mattered to her and others. To me, not so much. I was still the awkward girl that developed early and had boys hating on me for not being like them. We were on the edge of redneck pickup trucks and socially acceptable SUV's."

Brock shook his head. "I grew up in the Bronx."

She grinned. "And I think your natural accent is cute, dear. Warn your mom mine's not a prejudice bitch, and has bitch slapped someone at the country club for being one, but as long as you're not Hindu she'll be fine. She doesn't quite understand why Hindu people hate eating cows. It's like it missed her completely but my mom once culturally appropriated for a dress and a lot of jewelry for a costume event."

He hung his head and shook it. "Siblings?"

"Half sister. We don't speak. Any of us don't speak to her because my bio dad decided to molest her mama in high school. Mom admits she's technically related to me and she's socially polite but there's not more than a yearly card for the holidays. Though, so am I since I'm not doing anything she can brag on." She grinned at Jane. "When you win that Nobel, she's going to brag I'm your assistant."

"I figured she would," Jane said with a nod. "Her mom is very much the white lady that will be politically correct, and does care about other people, but she doesn't quite fully understand all the nuances."

"Yeah. She's talked to a few kids about the after school program she sponsors and almost insulted them because they thought she talked to them about it because they were African American. She had to correct that and said that she cared more that they didn't seem to have a yard to run around in so that would give them a safe place to play and ride bikes without worrying about park traffic and the drunks or pervs who hang out there."

She grinned. "Then she spotted one and bellowed 'oh, officer' in her loudest voice, 'I see that flashing pervert that scared that little boy about having a big penis the other day' and pointed at him. Then she smiled at the girls and warned them about perverted assholes as she called him."

"You're a lot like her but more socially aware," Brock said.

Darcy nodded. "Yeah, she's where my lack of tact comes from." She looked at Tony. "She met Pepper once. Hugged her, said it was great she was a natural redhead, so many tried to be and failed so they looked like bad strippers, and it was great she was a strong woman who could hold a leash properly on you. Then she trotted off after the stepfather who thinks I'm a weak minded girl sort. Thankfully they may be getting a divorce."

"Woo-hoo!" Jane said, smiling at her. "I hated your stepfather."

"Yeah, I kinda put up with him." She shrugged. "He made her happy but whatevs."

Brock sucked in a deep breath, looking at Rollins. "I'll save 'ya from her ma," he promised, patting him on the arm.

"Just be ready to separate my mother and her mother in case they become friends? That way we can escape the 'when are you having kids' talks?"

"Oh, no, my mother is hating the idea she might ever be a grandmother," Darcy told him. "It'd make her feel old and she'd need more botox. I'm not allowed to have kids until her hair is mostly silver, and not that dull gray but real silver, and I've been married for years in an appropriately nice wedding. I told her I'd elope to Vegas and get married by Elvis first. She giggled and said to send her pictures at least and she'd host a hot party with strippers afterward."

"She let you ren faire?" Coulson asked.

"Yeah, it got me out of the house, taught me self defense, and let me go deal with geeky boys who didn't hate on me for getting boobs at thirteen." She grinned. "They're usually fairly chaperoned events. I had to wear covering clothes, and when boys heard I could use a sword they left me alone. She's the one who bought me the tazer for my sixteenth birthday."

Coulson blinked a few times. "I'd like to meet her sometime, Miss Lewis. She sounds interesting."

"I could use a new stepdad," she quipped with a grin.

"Not that way."

"Pity. You'd probably make a good stepdad, Son of Coul."

He smirked. "I probably would. However, I'd prefer my own and then I'd have to retire."

"Well, if Tony Randall could do it at seventy-two with a twenty-two-year-old girl, I'm sure you can find one sometime."

He nearly blushed. "Perhaps. Let's get back to the threat assessment part of the talk." Rollins changed people.

"Oh, dog guy!" Darcy quipped. "I need to check on their new pet parents. I want to be a dog godmother. We can buy them toys."

Brock patted her on the hand. "Yes you can." She grinned at Jane, who was smirking back.

***

Darcy walked into Stark's lab with Steve's arm in hand. She closed the door and looked up. "J, please lock that so no one can stomp off." She turned to look at him and Stark. "Okay, guys. As Tony knows, because it came up earlier, Stormbreaker sent me a huge vision this morning." Steve winced, sitting down. "And it's about the anger issues going on. Because in her realm, the team broke apart and picked sides." Steve slumped. She looked at Stark then pulled a few things out of her bag.

"I asked Loki for a favor to get something from her original realm to show how bad it got. He was shaken that the big purple dildo killed him supposedly." She put the graphic novel, the movie, and two files on the table. Then she got out of the way. They came over to look. Steve looked at the files first. Stark at the movie then the graphic novel. Darcy sat out of the way. Someone was going to be having a fit soon and she'd expect it to be Steve. And she was right, Steve threw something. She stared at him.

"Which is why you're mad at everything," she said quietly, staring at him. "And why Tony's mad at everything. And why Bruce has been avoiding you both because you're stressing him out. And Thor out, and Jane out. Stormbreaker was most happy that we were able to prevent that here. Not only the fight but also the huge purple dildo of the universe coming to take out half of everything." She stopped Stark from stomping toward the door.

She stared at him. "This is one reason why you probably started the other facility? That and SHIELD is getting on your nerves." He grimaced but nodded, taking a calming breath. She gave him a hug even though he was stiff. "Hey." He stared at her. "This is why I'm bringing this up. So we don't go there! Or so you don't become the SI ghost floating around to nag people about math mistakes and their machines being all duct tapey like you did to Jane when we first got here."

"I..." He sucked in a breath and nodded. "We do need to work this out." He let it out, then took another one. "Your notes on it, and the stuff on the tape only pointed at this."

"Yeah. She granted me a better one when I talked to Loki and her." She stared at him. "Shit's going to suck if you two don't work this out. Not just for the team, but it'll also cause Bucky a lot more pain and problems. We all got issues in this one. Especially since Stormbreaker said Erik and I survived and went looking for what happened. Me and Erik Selvig on a road trip of no pants and science. Then we find out about the purple fucker that tortured Loki as I'm working on the formula to bring everyone back because I turned into Jane."

"Did he confirm that?" Stark asked, frowning. She nodded. "So he's the one that had the cube?"

She nodded again. "And Hela butted in to say she knew of him. He admired her death style. He claims he's saving everyone by weeding out half of everything randomly but he also killed food sources and all that at the same time. So he's a genocidal fuckhead with ideas of Godhood and grandeur of being a misunderstood hero. And he seemed to think you'd understand that, Stark."

"I understand but I'm not like that."

"Nope, but you died stopping him." Tony winced but nodded once. "The Avengers went totally rogue, half of them in jail, whole UN problems with battles and all that. It made HYDRA's coming out party look organized," she said, staring at Steve. "And they managed to get a slight foothold. Though you were a wanted criminal."

She grimaced. "Some things have obviously changed since you were searching for Bucky. We're on the edge of where they exploded so we're doing this to avoid that fate. Before I taze you both, lock you together in distance limiting handcuffs, and then make you work it out."

"Those ones work that way?"

"If I use two cuffs." She grinned. "I had the forethought to get a full set of cuffs and my control part. And they all lock to my fingerprints." She stared at Steve, who frowned at her. "I can let you test them if you want." She grinned.

"No thanks." He looked at Tony, studying him for the first time in a long time. He was angry. "If Bucky's setting you off, we can go live in Brooklyn."

"That's not the issue, Steve." Darcy got up and left them to talk, with the door still locked. Tony stared at him. "You need help for your PTSD."

"I do," he agreed, nodding slightly, taking Darcy's seat. "So do you."

"True," he agreed. "And I have." Steve slumped a bit. "And she's right, we need to talk. But I need to paddle her ass for asking Loki for favors."

"At least we know he's not going to cause this problem since it would've killed him," Steve said. "He'd want to take out the person who tortured him."

Stark turned, nodding as he walked off. "He would. Want to watch the tape before then so we have talking points?"

"Sure. That way we know how bad it gets." He followed over to the tv area Tony had in his lab back corner. That and a few beers. It'd help the talks over the three movies put together. At the end, Steve looked at him. "Howard..." Tony snorted, staring at him. "I realize he wasn't a good dad, Tony," he said quietly. Tony nodded sipping his beer. "And Obidiah was probably a huge betrayal. I only saw that in the files but it pointed out he had turned on you."

"He did. Like most of the lab gremlins we make our families. A lot of us don't have supportive families who get why we do science." He finished that beer. "I'm still going to paddle Lewis."

"I don't think she's into that." Tony burst out in giggles. "So the team...."

"Some of the team," he corrected, staring at him. "A few...there's a betrayal there that's bad."

"Natasha," he said. Tony nodded. "I don't know how to fix that. I know I work pretty well with her on missions but SHIELD hasn't had anything for us in a while."

"I run my own missions, Steve. I'm not SHIELD, not an agent. I don't answer to them."

"I've heard about one in Lebanon."

"Yup."

"Some of the guys that had you?"

"Some of the ones funding them."

"That's good. I can fully accept that." He stared at him. "We need to fix this. She was right." Tony nodded. "We need to set some boundaries and we need..." He looked at the tv then at his friend again. "We need to show the others. If we hide this they'll realize we're acting weird. It'll cause more problems in the long run."

"After we work this out."

"Yeah, after that." He shifted to look at Tony. "Do we need a mediator? I can call Pepper."

"Nah. I don't want her involved in this and she hates that I put myself in danger. We've nearly broken up a number of times because I put back on the suit." He got up to get them waters. He handed over a bottle but stayed standing. "That last one brought up another point. Is Sam taking your shield when you give it up?"

"I..." He sighed. "He could. Him or Bucky," he agreed quietly. "Morgan?"

"Pep's uncle." He sipped his water slowly. "I don't have an heir."

"There's tons of genius kids who you could mentor to be your Iron Man junior, Tony."

"And girls," he agreed. "I've been hearing good things about a Miss Williams. Jane spotted her and brought her to my attention." He drank again. "We need to talk to the others, including Bucky."

"We do," he agreed. "But she was right, we have to work this out first. Before you and Natasha's problems come up, or her and Clint being the only really close relationship on the team means we have three sides."

"Good point. Is he back?"

"Last night. He's hiding. He's exhausted. The kids played with him all day and he slept all the way back."

"That's what kids are supposed to do. We'd all hate it if they didn't." He finished that water. "I'd hate that they're in the same sort of danger Lewis is. That's why I'm putting the new campus upstate. So he'd be safe to bring them up there. And if the rest of us ever manage a semi-normal relationship we can do the same thing. We'll have Avengers only areas. Away from the labs and R&D. And SHIELD needs to make their own R&D so they're not leaning on me. I don't want to be the sugar daddy of all that."

"You shouldn't be. You've done a lot for all of us to the detriment of your company." He stood up, staring at him. "SHIELD needs to stand on their own. I fully agree with that and so does Hill." He considered it. "We need to expand the team. We're all tired after something and with our luck, we'll have an invasion after a problem and we'll end up getting killed thanks to being exhausted." He huffed. "And I need to get Sam and Bucky both used to using the shield." He gulped his water and tossed out the bottle. "This sucks."

"Yup."

Steve looked at him. "You have plans of splitting us apart. That way you get some peace and less stress."

"Not fully. Out of the way so I don't have to deal with it daily."

"I get that. There's plenty of days I want to walk off and let them handle it themselves too." He grimaced. "That Ultron thing?"

"The Legion? I've got plans. Ultron is actually a spare AI I built years ago. I've got a few backups to JARVIS stored in case of emergency. I'm apparently going to be going over their coding carefully."

"The one that sounded like my mom?"

"FRIDAY." He grinned slightly. "Her voice is based on a maid we had."

"That's cool." He was fighting the urge to throw something. Tony handed him a wrench so he threw it at the windows. "We fucked this all up." He looked at Tony. "We were doing good after the battle in Manhattan."

"We did okay," Tony agreed. "We weren't great and we still had stress."

"We did." He considered it. "We have a lot of little subsets of the team. SHIELD agents, assassins. Geniuses. Leaders with the two of us." He ejected the tape, looking at Tony. "How do we work this out?"

"A lot of yelling. Or therapy, one of the two."

"Order food? Weren't you supposed to have dinner with Pepper tonight?"

"She called off, sir," JARVIS said quietly. "I informed her that you two were talking about serious matters, including the anger going on that made me cringe last week."

"Last week?" Steve asked.

"The HYDRA doc," Tony said, rubbing his forehead.

"Sir, blood pressure."

"I'm trying, JARVIS."

"I know, sir. Perhaps some ..."

"I don't need blood pressure pills," he said firmly.

"Then do try yoga or meditation," the AI said dryly. "Because you've reached the level where I must lock you out of your lab and suit due to health parameters. So perhaps a dinner is called for?"

"Yeah, I..." He looked at Steve.

"Wings?" he suggested.

"Yeah, we all eat wings. JARVIS, order at least two orders of their usual amount of everyone's favorites." He followed Steve off to the common area, locking everyone not Avengers members out of the tv room. Security brought up the wings for everyone, and extra drinks, and Steve finished the lockdown once they had drinks.

"We gotta talk," Steve said. They all stared at him. "Thanks to Stormbreaker." Thor moaned, frowning at him. "She showed Darcy what happened in her realm." Thor nodded. "Did you see?"

"I was sure we wouldn't do that."

"I'm sure we're not," Stark agreed. "But we're nearly there, Thor. Lewis was right, we're all masses of anger and problems." He turned on the video. "This got brought over by your brother asking nicely."

They watched, sometimes grabbing their wings of choice, and a lot of drinks. At the end, Natasha was looking at the floor. Clint was staring at his hands. Then he stared at Tony. "Okay," Clint decided. "So we need to work on our team skills."

"Ya think?" Bruce asked. He looked at him then at Natasha, before Tony. "So."

"We gotta work this out. I've taken a few steps that I was going to unveil in a month or so when it's closer to being done. One, I'm sick and damn tired of SHIELD hanging around." Natasha stared at him, mouth open. "Not you two specifically but I'm well aware SHIELD has cameras and recorders all over my building. Including the two in my bedroom to listen to me and Pepper have sex. And if you laid them, Romanoff, take them back."

"That's not my duty," she said dryly, leaning back. "The ones who do that are in the jumpsuits."

"Is this the rumored other facility?" Clint asked.

"Yup, sure is. Upstate like on the movie. Including an Avengers only building so we're not around the R&D department. There's no SHIELD agents allowed in the building so if you're there, you're Avengers, not agents."

Clint nodded. "You're trying to avoid the threats that Foster gets?"

"Lewis got kidnaped four times in the last two weeks, Barton. We'd like to be able to meet your kids and keep them safe too."

He grinned. "They might like that. Lila did a school report on you last year."

Stark grinned. "Don't try to butter me up, you already have a huge range out there just for arrow time."

"Thanks." He looked at Natasha then Stark. Then at Steve. "So the ones of us who work for SHIELD?"

"SHIELD will have a place in town," Tony said. "For the R&D people that cross from me to them. Including Jane's lab, Thor. Darcy's going to be the facility manager. STRIKE is all moving there too so they can train away from the idiots that like to idolize them. And so Lewis can get with Rumlow all the time."

He looked at Bruce. "You have a lab in both spots. Lewis said you'd have a small consulting lab and she named the ones she wants out there, including three she wanted me to recruit. She also agreed SHIELD has to build their own R&D department so they're not leaning on us and we can go back to doing science to make ourselves get off from it."

Bruce smiled. "Will Jane..."

"There'll be a small lab for her at the new facility and some room in the measurements building. That way she has dual sets of results to compare from inside and outside town. They're setting up an Asgardian landing area at the off-site facility, Thor. That way you're closer to Jane's usual lab. Darcy's setting up everything out there for people. Including painting as it's all white and bright and new."

"Just finished fixing it up before the DC problem," Steve added to Natasha, who grinned at that. "Rumlow was briefing the STRIKE people that they may be moving offices to somewhere that'll be easier to train from and away from all the other agents."

"That's not a bad solution," she said. "SHIELD has an office about sixty miles from there."

"Which would let them spread out again," Steve agreed. "So we're not all crammed together. Even I've gotten tired of all the agents hanging around staring at me."

"Sometimes I compare Stark to a cheetah," Clint said suddenly, frowning. "Really fast, but famously anxious or neurotic. But they still purr so they're not greater cats like tigers and lions."

"Gee, thanks," Stark quipped back, smirking at him. "Not that I'm against that comparison. I'm very fast, and sporty."

Clint grinned. "Will it be safer up there?"

"Small town. Too big to know everyone but if a lot of new people move in you notice. About fifteen thousand, maybe twenty when we all move," Stark said. "So we'll notice someone coming in. The new facility. JARVIS, pull up plans for it? Or the photos." It was put up on a virtual screen. "Gate's two miles from the campus. Avengers area," he said at one building. "Stark Industries in the big building with lots of spacious lab spaces. And most of the dangerous ones will be at the off-site one," he said with a nod for Bruce. He handed over the list Darcy had made with a smirk.

"Foster hates Sommers, he wants to outdo her so badly."

"So he can handle it the next time Foster's portal creates a problem," Stark said dryly. "And it gets him away from innocents who might not know that he's able to do wacky things like having a portal open in a crowded area."

"With tentacles that'll make you think you're in a hentai," Natasha added, cracking up Bruce. "Our medical team?"

"New building," he said with a point. "First floor of the R&D building." She smiled. "We'll have helicopter service, quinn jet landing, and a small runway for small jets." He pointed at those. "Out here. Right past the field for the people to play soccer or whatever on."

"Next idea, purple guy?" Clint asked.

"The same one that tortured Loki and sent him here to take over," Stark said, staring at him.

"Fuck!" Clint got up to pace. "Still coming?"

"No idea," Steve admitted. "I don't know how we'd tell. Loki did talk to Darcy about him, and Hela said she's heard of him. So we can ask them to talk to us probably." He looked at Thor, who nodded. "Apparently he thinks he's saving everyone by killing half of everything."

"Great," Clint said, looking out the window. He looked at them. "We gotta stop him faster without a sacrifice." He looked at Tony, who nodded.

"I'm working on ideas of weapons that would take his head off."

"I'll aim for the head this time," Thor muttered, rubbing his face. He looked up. "I saw parts of that from Stormbreaker herself when she told me about how Hela destroyed Mjolnir and we ended up destroying Asgard itself to stop her. She's promised not to do that unless we turn on her."

"So we have a dangerous semi-ally," Natasha said. "Who is concerned for her best interests. I prefer those sort. They make sense and you can predict a lot of their actions and reasons." She looked at Steve. "Can we talk to her?"

"The next time she shows up we can ask politely." He caught her eye then glanced at Bruce and back.

"I saw that," Bruce said. "I'm not into her, Steve. Friends, yes. Wanna have her cuddle me? Probably not."

"That's my feeling as well," Natasha said. "And that I'm not personally interested in a relationship."

Clint looked at her. "I know why, and it's bullshit. What they did to you was wrong and it's colored a lot of your life, Natasha. It doesn't make you less of a badass bitch and woman my daughter looks up to. Hell even if you absolutely miss that function in your life, then adopt!" She blinked at him, staring at him oddly. He stared back. "Laura nearly beat you to death the last time you said that around her. It doesn't make you a monster or less of a woman. If killing assholes doesn't, that certainly doesn't either."

"I..."

"We all have problems," Steve said. "With our pasts, with a ton of things we've done. Most of us can claim PTSD at the least." He shrugged. "We all need therapy!" They all nodded and drank something. "I have no idea how to do that though because anyone that'd talk to all of us would see it as a breach of ethics probably and SHIELD would have to clear them."

"Sam Wilson does that group meeting stuff," Clint said. "Which isn't my usual way of doing things." He sat down beside Natasha again, hugging her. "I think he's the most normal of all of us. And Bucky?" he asked, looking at Stark. They all looked at him.

"At the new facility I'm going to be living off to the side in a house with me and Pepper. Just so my AI doesn't nag me about my blood pressure. You guys can come over for cookouts."

"That's a smart thing," Bruce agreed. "We all have apartments I expect?"

"Big suites, two bedrooms each," Stark agreed with a nod. "Nice views. Bruce, yours looks on the R&D field, sorry."

"That's fine. If it bothers me that much I'll either go camp in the woods or set up an apartment in town."

"The woods go on for ten acres. And we're up against a national park area so it's protected for now. There's no oil and the wood isn't the sort you can log so it probably won't be." They smiled at him. "We'll have the tower in case we need to run back or we need to be here for a huge problem."

"That's a good plan," Steve said. "SHIELD?"

"Nope. It's like I have fleas infesting my house."

"I can agree with that. There's a lot more agents than we should have," Clint agreed. "So Darce and Rumlow finally managed it?"

"After she got kidnaped by guys who wanted Brock for his Crossbones work," Natasha said dryly. "She was getting herself free, again, when they rushed in to rescue her and she tried to adopt three dogs." She looked at Steve. "She disassociates?" He nodded quickly, looking pissed off. "Okay."

"Tiny kid like voice," Steve said quietly. "Faintly wispy talking. Wandering around. Handed Brock a knife she took off someone she stabbed then wandered off to pet the dogs."

"I'd do that," Clint agreed.

"Two of the geeks adopted them," Tony said. "Two pits and a pom that's pregnant by the pits. Earlier she asked about adopting a dog, he said not a purse dog so he doesn't have to walk it."

"I can't see him with a yappy purse dog," Natasha said then shook her head quickly. "Nor do I want that mental vision." She rubbed her head, getting up to get a drink. She got Clint another beer as well. She looked at them. "They're getting a house together?" she asked.

"Sharon Carter had a safe house and Coulson let them have it until they leave the facility," Stark said. "It sounds quaint and she asked about the tub situation. Especially about a claw foot tub."

"I'm sure she'll have fun with that," Clint quipped. Natasha looked at him. "It's really soothing! Though claw foots can have a high side so harder for her to bend over the side maybe." He paused. "Do you think he gets to do it to her?"

"I don't need ta know," Steve said, staring at him. "Nor do I want to know. I believe in couple's privacy rights." Clint grinned at him. "Or I'd ask you if Laura does it to you."

"Nope. She thought it was kinda weird but probably sweet and calming." He drank more beer. Stark suddenly shuddered. "It's real calming. She even let me cuddle while I was thinking."

Stark looked at him. "I know the usual ones don't get to, she has a spare room."

Natasha nodded. "It's nice. Not fully as comfortable as SHIELD's mattresses but nice. Nice headboard to lock them to."

Stark leaned forward to cover his face with his hands. "Shut up, Romanoff. I have a lot of thoughts I don't want!"

"Fine."

"Thank you!" He sat up again, huffing a sigh out. "I'll have to find someone who can lab mom the way she does to nag some of the R&D people since she'll be at the other facility."

"I do not know of any woman like Lady Darcy," Thor said. "I can ask though."

"No, we'll find one down here with Darcy's help. She trained Milantha to do it too. She can train others." He flapped a hand. "I'll make sure she can before people starve."

"That may be handy," Thor said. He picked up a few wings to eat. "Is Darcy safe?"

"I'm pretty sure Darcy will never have to rescue herself again," Stark said dryly. "Especially since SHIELD didn't want to." They looked at Steve.

"Fury considered her like a secretary."

"Be honest, the London PD refused to rescue her once. Jane talked to a science bestie. Something about compression and a ten story building was now a foot high." Natasha heaved and kept it down barely. "Your mission?"

"To see what happened," she said, blinking at him. "That was Jane?"

"Jane and a science friend," Stark agreed with a nod. "And the dogs Darcy found got adopted out."

"Of course, she wouldn't want the dogs hurt," Clint agreed. "They're innocents."

Natasha was rubbing her temples, eyes squeezed shut. "How often does Darcy get taken?"

"I think Rumlow's asking her that tonight," Steve said with a grin for her.

"My best idea ever," Clint said smugly. "My one and only matchmaking."

Natasha looked at him. "Yes it was." She patted him on the arm like he was a child she was humoring. He swatted at her.

Steve and Tony shared a look. At least it was a start to mending the team.

***

Darcy came in last, kicking the door shut so she could drop her bag and lock the door. Brock had gotten home long enough ago to be on the couch without his shoes on. She leaned down to kiss him, getting a grin back. "You're looking naughty."

"Hmm. I feel a bit naughty." He stared at her. "Get naked?"

"I'm having my cycle."

"I noticed earlier. It just means I use a condom and don't eat you tonight for dinner." She blushed, going to do that for him. She came out in a pretty panty and bra set. He stared at her. "Not quite naked."

"I'm a bit weirded out being naked while having my cycle."

He pulled her down to kiss. "That's fine." He pulled her down, looking at her. "You'll let me come rescue you?"

"I'm still going to try to rescue myself first."

"I'm good with that."

"I..."

"I'm going to insist that you expect me to rescue you if you need it. Even if I do bring Jane to destroy them at the molecular level." He stared at her. "I'm going to be there when you need me."

"Unless you're hurt or they do it while you're busy."

He kissed her. "Then I'll come back as soon as I can and stomp them so hard they beg for mercy from you." She blushed. He kissed her again. "I'm okay with you being self rescuing and fighting back. It makes me happy that you can." He cuddled. "But I still want the expectation to be in on any rescue."

"I think I'm okay with that." She snuggled in. He cuddled, looking smug. "Are you sure you want to live together?"

"Better now before I think about lofty ideas of rings."

She lifted her head. "You are?"

"Ask me in six months. Right now I'm just thinking happy coming home to you most nights thoughts." She grinned, putting her head down. He squeezed her butt, rubbing them a bit. "Hungry?"

"I had a granola bar."

"For someone with a horrible diet, you do that a lot."

"If I eat one, Jane'll eat one with me."

"Jane needs to eat more often. Maybe you can teach Mili how to handcuff."

Darcy giggled. "I'm not sure she knows what they are. She's kinda innocent and I'm not sure she's not a virgin, Brock. She complains that warriors keep overlooking her."

"So like those stories, she needs a blacksmith's son?" he joked. She poked him. "They do."

"They do. And they'd be strong enough to hold her against a wall to make her squeal."

"We haven't done that."

"I don't want to ruin your back."

"Oh, babe, it won't do that." He stared at her. She blushed again. "Maybe soon. Just suddenly after dinner some night." She nodded, cuddling in again. "Want food?"

"Not sure."

"Uh-huh. Is this medicine related or period related?"

"Period."

"Okay." He rubbed her lower back, making her moan. She fell asleep on top of him, making him grin. That was sweet of her. And her couch was pretty comfortable.

***

Brock drove them to the new facility in his car, pulling up to the gate. "This is never going to work," he muttered, looking at the ID system. He hit it with his ID.

"Fingerprint please, driver." He pressed his thumb to it. "Commander Rumlow, you may park in bay three. Your guest?"

"Darcy Lewis," she said.

"Thumb print please." She had to unhitch her seatbelt and climb over Brock's lap to do that while the machine kept repeating the request. "Miss Lewis, authorized as facility manager. Please park in bay three."

"Thank you," he said, driving on while Darcy got back into her seat. "That needs fixed," he told her.

"We need a thumb print sensor on my side. I'd hate to see someone in the backseat."

"True." Bay three was opening so he parked and got out. The door closed automatically. "That's nice. I can appreciate that." He walked around the garage, looking at things. "Some things for fixing a car and one place for a gun."

"Tactical garages are next door," Phil Coulson said from the doorway. "This is just parking."

"For everyone?" Darcy asked.

"No, we have a covered parking spot at the end of the building." He pointed. "With extra large parking spots for people who drive like Dr. Foster." He walked off and they followed him to the tactical garage.

Brock looked around and nodded. "Two SUV capable. Weapons cabinet if you need one. Though they're not keeping them in here all the time. Stuff to fix the SUV if needed. Nice, Coulson."

"Thank you. There's two of these. If we need more than two teams going at a time we'll deal with it."

"That's reasonable." He followed him on. "Everything's very white." He opened a door to look at a closet. "That'll need a camera."

Darcy pointed. "Camera." He looked and nodded. "Wrong angle to catch nookie but still one." She looked in the next garage. "Oh, wow." She walked in and looked around. "This is Jane's lab space." Coulson stared at her. "It's great. It's reinforced for the vibrating idiot machine that nearly made clear walls one day when it was miscalibrated.

"We can insulate the door and it'll open when we need to bring in big things." She looked at the fuse box. "We'll need to up that a lot. Her machines draw as much as a whole house every day and we'll need some plugs. Maybe that shock system I saw in that one story."

"Shock system?" Brock asked.

She grinned. "There was a line around the door and you stuck a spike from the door into the floor to electrify the whole door if you try to open it."

"So, that and a security system, shouldn't be that hard. We'll need to insulate that door." He nodded. "It sounds doable. You'd have to ask Stark though." He looked around. "Is this big enough?"

"Yeah. Her new machines the engineering program is doing the plans for are smaller. More sensitive and smaller. This'll actually be good for that plus work areas." She pointed. "There probably."

Coulson nodded, making notes. "Paint colors?"

"No idea. Ask Jane. We can paint later. That's probably going to be independent."

"We can arrange it first."

"You can ask them. Jane's not too picky. We've had everything from the off-white of the dealership to her mom's cream to Tromso's green. Just make it cleanable."

"Point. It will need to be scrubable." He made that note. "This way." He led them to the conference room. "For meetings." She nodded. "It's not too large."

"We can use whatever caf you said we have," she said. He opened the door between them. "That'll definitely work. Plenty of seats and tables." She walked in, looking at the shared space. There was a stove and fridge. "That fridge is probably a bit small, Coulson. The vegans will fight if they have to put their stuff next to ours. And we need two microwaves at times. Or a microwave and a toaster oven. A lot of them will warm up stuff but not bake. Though I could probably bake in here."

She opened a cabinet. "Nice storage area." She opened another one and checked. "This is the coffee area." Brock turned her around, making her smile. A large restaurant style, two burner coffee maker. With a cabinet above and below it. "That'll do," she agreed. "Tea kettle for the stove for Bruce and a few others."

She checked those cabinets, it already had some coffee. "Ooh, decaf. The great evil of science." She moved that underneath. "We'll need honey, sugar, and two different types of sugar substitutes due to tastes." He nodded, making a note of that. She looked back. "Jane has a three pot of coffee a day habit and I do about a pot."

"I can take that into account for supply shipments." He made that note.

"Does STRIKE have our own?" Brock asked.

"Commissary area? Yes, with the same machines."

"That'll work. Many of us bring our lunches and dinners." He looked around. "This isn't bad for meetings." They walked on, looking in the other labs. Darcy noted who got each one. Bruce's was the most small but he didn't need a lot of testing equipment here. They found Darcy's office at the end of the hall up by Jane's potential lab. It was also white. Brock looked around. "Small, Coulson."

"It was meant to be yours," he said, staring at him. "If you want to be separate from the teams."

"They'll get back to rubber duck hot potato again," he complained, making Darcy grin at him. "They went from rubber ducks to grenades, Darce." She kissed him on the cheek. "Can you handle having this?"

"Yeah, I think I can. I'll need a few shelves. Am I expected to keep files in here?" Coulson opened a closet to show her the filing cabinets and office supplies. "That'll work, though those pens suck. Does this mean I can order from Office Depot again?"

"Please, or go pick it up in the next town by the Costco."

"Thanks." She looked in the drawers then they went into the STRIKE area. The team's desks were podded around a printer, one for each team.

"That's going to drive some teams nuts," Brock said, staring at it. "We're missing a desk too." He pointed. "Epsilon's? It'll need an extra desk. And they'll start bitching at each other within a week."

"Need me to find the whip I got when I was thinking about archeology?" Darcy quipped with a grin.

He looked at her. "Don't give me any ideas. Beta still needs to be beaten." He looked at Coulson. "Harold's desk?" He pointed at one in the corner. "He'll hate to weed down his pennant collection."

"There's another room with room for desks," he said, letting them see it.

"Can we take down the wall?" Darcy asked, pointing at it. "Or section it off for Agent Harold?"

"We can do that bit of reno," Coulson agreed. "He'll appreciate it. Who's following him?"

"Burien from Beta team. He actually knows what he's doing and his arthritis is getting bad." He looked at Coulson. "He's been apprenticing under Agent Harold."

"That's fine. He's a good choice." He looked around then measured with Darcy's help. They could make a nice office for Agent Harold and extra room for the desks. "They can rearrange things when they get in. We can move the extra printers. We expected this for probational agents."

"Please don't stick me with baby agents," Brock said, looking at him. "I'd go nuts, Coulson. Baby STRIKE agents are bad enough. I'll need her whip for that definitely."

"Fine. They're going to DC's new building anyway." Brock grinned. They went to look around the training areas.

"The sword and spear guy?" Darcy asked.

"Twice a week," Coulson said. "That's specialized training that STRIKE often has too, Lewis."

"Bunk room?"

"A what?" Brock asked.

"You guys have forty-eight on shift, right? Like firefighters? And you'd probably have to be here for those?" He nodded slowly. "Then shouldn't they have a place to nap in case they're just sitting around?"

"They should," he agreed, looking at Coulson. "And a tv please?"

"They'll need to sign up for satellite service. SHIELD's tv service is only six channels, all news."

Brock looked at her. "We need to know."

"Yeah but sometimes you need something mind clearing, which is game show network and a weather station would be nice too. Plus, internet?"

"Of course," Coulson agreed. "Jane's?"

"We've got private and a VPN."

"I agree with the VPN," he said, looking at her. "The private internet?"

"It's handy and protective for the paranoid labbies."

"That's a good point. We can set up a separate internet for the labs and the STRIKE offices." Brock nodded that was fine. "With wifi and VPN devices so you don't have to use one online." She beamed, bouncing some. He pointed. "Yard?" They went to look and Brock nodded it'd do. It had a running track. Their weight room was fine. Coulson had plans for the range and weapons storage areas, which the bunkroom could be added onto the edge of. They went to the outbuildings. Each of the lab ones had a two floor design, the basic floor and a sealable basement for safety and machine needs.

Darcy looked at one. "I'd suggest this one for Sommers but it's probably too small. He tinkers. So maybe Delian and his damn nanite project with Kurt?"

"Please keep them out here and have a sensor to let us know if they get out?" Brock asked.

"Already in the making," Coulson said patiently. "Fitz-Simmons got worried after the conference." They kept going. Darcy picked out the next lab for Sommers. They went to look at the back fence area. "It's a chain link, we can up it and it'll have sensors and cameras for STRIKE to monitor."

"It's an invasive plant problem but plant some blackberries as long as we can make sure they can't get free?" Darcy asked, looking at Coulson. "Prickly things that hurt like a bitch, they'll grow until you stop them. The geeks or whoever can use them as a snack when they're ripe. It'll hide the fence and any cameras. They'll have to make sure it doesn't spread but it's not something anyone with sense will walk through."

"That's a mean idea," Brock said.

Darcy grinned. "The only thing that grows faster is kudzu."

"We lost a base in Texas to kudzu," Coulson said. "We pissed off the maintenance team and they didn't cut it back so it took over a building in about a year." Brock burst out laughing.

"Seriously, it does that," Darcy told him with a grin. "That, bamboo, blackberries, ivy, and mint will all do that."

"They say to plant bamboo against your fence if you hate your neighbors," Coulson agreed. "It's always growing." He looked up. "Blackberries are a good idea." He walked them around the fence, letting Brock mark where to put sensors and cameras.

Darcy looked then at the two city guys. "Guys, not too sensitive or you'll be jumping at every single squirrel in the city." They groaned. "And ducks probably. We do have that pond just over the fence." She looked at Brock. "If we get geese, run for your ass. Geese are demonic and will eat you. Swans are less demonic and will bite if you go near them to coo at their prettiness. Geese will chase you. I knew someone who raised geese. She always had stitches from scratches and bites."

"Wow, I didn't realize that." She nodded. "Okay, we can make those notes." They kept walking. He heard a rooster. "We have chickens?"

"The neighbor keeps chickens for breeding purposes. He's a pullet breeder," Coulson said with a point.

"Awww."

Brock looked at her. "No chickens."

"Nope. I like my eggs from the store."

"Good."

She grinned and nudged him. "Have you seen a chicken brooding?"

"I've seen that meme," he said. "You showed me. I used it on an agent and he stalked off to complain I have a sense of humor." She grinned. They kept going, just walking pleasantly. The regular parking area was big enough and covered enough. Brock pointed. "We need an extra card scanner."

"And a thumbprint on the passenger's side," Darcy added. "Otherwise passengers have to sit in the driver's lap to log in. Imagine a backseat passenger having to do that."

"I can arrange that and one that'll switch back to a backseat passenger as well." He made that note for himself. "Any other needs?"

"I have not seen a single phone," Darcy said.

"We have them. Dial 9 like most systems."

"Labs get extensions?"

"Yes. Instead of multiple lines, yes." She grinned. "And voicemail."

"Might be a great idea." They went back inside. "I think I want light blue in my office. Very light blue."

"Pick out a paint swatch and get it to me," Coulson said, looking at her.

"And a better chair?"

"Gladly plus a visitor's chair."

"Thanks." She grinned. "We'll need a locked box in the fridge and a sharps container in there and the bathrooms. Plus feminine supply drop boxes. Plus supplies."

"We can do that." He pulled out his pen to make that note.

"Why do women take so long in the bathroom?" Brock asked.

"Well, two reasons," she said. "One, you guys have urinals and stalls. We just have the same number of stalls you do and women can't really use urinals. That cuts the available options to use down by about half." He winced. "And second, we have to remove a lot more clothes."

"Point. I didn't think about that." They walked on. "All ours?"

"The locker room is single, but has thirty lockers."

Brock mentally counted. "Fifty-three plus baby agents for STRIKE alone."

"So we need another locker room of the same size," Coulson agreed. "All the bathrooms are gender neutral and single person for those who're handicapped. Only one wasn't really able to have more than grab bars and that's the one up by Darcy's office." That got a nod. "Any other needs? And lock box in the fridge?"

"Meds box, Coulson."

"Oh. I didn't think about that. That's reasonable." He added that reason to the note. "Okay. Any other needs beyond paints and tables?"

"Most geeks have their own tables. Give them a budget if they need things. That way they can pick them out and won't bitch about tables being too short, too tall, might have devices," she said.

"That'll be best," Brock agreed.

"It'll mean more paperwork," Coulson admitted.

"Better that than years of bitching and them trying to fix things to suit themselves and breaking them by accident."

"Point." He made that note as well. "All right. Any other needs?"

"Can we drive past the house?"

"Of course," Brock agreed. Coulson smiled, writing down the address for him. "We'll look on the way out, see if it needs curtains." She beamed and nodded. He smirked at her. "Should I do what Loki did and tease you by calling you Hestia?"

She blushed, swatting him on the arm. "Not fully." She grinned at Coulson. "Thank you. Need us?"

"Just drive past there, make sure it's still standing and if it needs painting or repairs on the outside." They nodded, going to do that. He looked up Hestia, finding her the goddess of hearth and home. "That fits her well. We'll have to change the name they use for her in the secret files." He went to mark a spot for the Asgardian landing pad. They had a nice open area that was sheltered by trees. He put some spray paint there.

"That'll work. Be a bit private too." He went back inside to send the notes to Hill and Fury. Fury was confused but Hill agreed with Darcy's plans and that she'd have someone check that safehouse before they could move up there. She sent that request right out through Fury's assistant.


TBC....in the new lab!
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