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Neither Kinky Nor Fun.

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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.
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.

***
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