Slime and Snails
March 3, 2017
Darcy loved having use of an apartment at the Tower. Not that she couldn’t have changed from work clothes to date clothes in her office bathroom, but it was nice to not have to walk through the cube farm displaying come-hither cleavage for her underlings. And there had been a meeting that afternoon that made her not only nerve-sweat, but completely ruin her hair. She had run her fingers through it so many times it looked like she had been wearing a hat all day. If she hadn’t kept her hands busy she might have strangled someone.
So, the convenience of going up to Steve’s little studio apartment where she had dropped off a bag that morning was fantastic. He was finishing up something with Tony – she didn’t ask, it was better that way – and she had enough time for a quick shower and to curl her hair before he came to get her.
It was convenient. But it was also convenient.
The problem with having use of an apartment at the Tower was that it came with a humongous, super comfortable bed. Which, again, had a lot of benefits. Darcy liked the occasional nap after a Mumbai-local time call as much as the next person. But it also meant that once Steve kissed her hello, and then second hello, and then maybe gave her a friendly nice-to-see-you grope – total lie, she was the one groping him, that it was all too easy to make use of a soft, horizontal surface. And that destroyed the time and effort spent on her hair.
“You look perfect,” Steve murmured from behind her as he re-buttoned his shirt. In the mirror, his eyes were half-lidded and his face soft and happy. Darcy couldn’t help but smile, even as she huffed. Her eyeliner was smeared, her lipstick completely gone, and she had one piece of hair at the crown of her head that just would not lie down.
“Two minutes,” she replied. Steve pressed his lips to the curve of her neck where it disappeared into her shirt. “Okay, well that isn’t going to speed things up. Get out of the bathroom.” Steve dutifully left – not without another kiss and a wink – and Darcy was true to her word. She wrapped her hair into a high knot, blended in a bit more shadow to make a smokey eye, and reapplied her lipstick. Not bad for a dinner and a movie, she thought.
Apparently Steve felt the same way, because he had her sitting on the tiny kitchen island within seconds of seeing her. She barely got her hand over his mouth before he could swoop in.
“I just fixed my makeup,” she warned him. “And if we don’t leave soon we’ll miss the show.”
Steve looked up at her through his lashes – a considerable feat since even perched on the counter she was still a good four inches shorter than him. His thumbs found the edge of her skirt, and under it the top of her suede boots. Warm, hard callouses traced the skin of her inner thighs, just above the knee, and Darcy’s resolve began to crumble. She had experienced a very satisfying orgasm less than twenty minutes ago, but in the two months they had been dating her body had developed a Pavlovian response to those callouses. Blood flushed all the places that were still sensitive from Steve’s hello.
“I’ll take you to a matinee tomorrow.” Steve’s tongue darted out to wet his lower lip. Burgundy and gold plaid flannel scrunched higher as his palms smoothed across her lap. “I missed you.”
On Tuesday he had gone to Seattle for a charity event. On Wednesday the team had been called to Darfur and held on standby as a girls’ school was taken over. Cameras filmed while the students were shame-marched, beaten, and fitted with explosive devices. It had ended late Thursday night when Wanda and Clint had walked the young women out through the front door. Bucky and Natasha had gone in too, but it took them longer to exit – on account of all of the men who needed to learn that human beings weren’t property. Steve was always hands on with Darcy, but he was more so after they had been apart for a few days. She was beginning to realize a tough mission ratcheted his need to touch and please up to new levels. Not that Darcy was complaining. If intimacy helped Steve to cope with the shitty, shitty things he dealt with on the job, then she would be there for him.
She reached for his belt. “Compromise. I’ll help you out with this,” she eased her hand into his boxer briefs. Darcy’s determination to jerk off her boyfriend and remain unrumpled wavered once she had a palm full of fully-erect Steve. Maybe they could eat at a poorly-lit restaurant and no one would notice her sex hair and the hickey she was sure to have given the way Steve was staring into the v-neck of her sweater.
Darcy swallowed, trying to get back on track. “I’ll take care of this,” she squeezed in a corkscrew motion and Steve sucked in a sharp breath. “And you make lunch tomorrow. Chicken with that apricot sauce.”
“I was going to make lunch anyway.” Steve flattened his hands on her legs, his index fingers brushing against the crease between thigh and hip, as she ran her thumb over his tip. “Ah, Darce – sweetheart.” He bowed his head to lean against her shoulder, his breath puffing down her collar and causing her nipples to tighten. “Doesn’t…doesn’t feel like you are getting much out of this deal.”
“Feels like I’m getting a handful.” She squeezed again, grinning into his hair. His fingers flexed against her hips, tracing the line of her panties down between her legs.
“Ugf,” he huffed out a laugh, and her skin tingled. “Wouldn’t be f-fair.” She licked the edge of his ear. Steve abruptly straightened. “Nope, can’t do -”
She stroked him, sweeping his foreskin up over the edge of his head, gathering the pre-cum already leaking there, and running her hand back down to the base. Steve groaned and tipped his chin up. One hand came out of her skirt to grasp the nape of her neck.
“Christ, Darce. That’s- you’re-”
“Amazing? Talented? Witty?”
He growled, pulling her hand gently from his pants and meeting her eyes with an intense stare.
“A goddamn threat to my sanity, is what you are.”
Darcy’s heart rate sped up. Steve looked ready to devour her.
He continued, “I have a reputation to uphold. I’m-”
“With who?” Darcy pointedly looked around the empty apartment. Laughter and excitement got tangled up in her throat and her legs trembled in anticipation. Steve ignored her.
“-a national icon. I have to be fair. Just.” A smirk tipped the corner of his mouth. Darcy knew she was outmaneuvered. Her underwear were already sticking to her skin. “A paragon of virtue.”
“Paragon?” She forced a snort. “Virtue? You wouldn’t know- oh!”
Steve ripped her underwear at the seams and pressed her back onto the chilly counter, careful to keep one hand behind her head. The last thing she saw before her eyes fell closed was Steve flinging a brand new gold lace thong over his shoulder as his head dipped between her legs. She tried to come up with a scathing reminder that he already owed her lingerie, but when his thumb parted her slit to make way for his mouth she forgot about the dwindling state of her underwear drawer.
It wasn’t until they were in the elevator – mutual orgasms, a shared shower, and to hell with makeup later – that Darcy started to regret the loss of clothing. She was still feeling languid and flushed, leaning against Steve, while he ordered delivery to meet them at home. She just needed to drop off some documents for Pepper to sign for the Yinsen Board and then they could head back to the brownstone. It was also at that moment she remembered Steve had brought his motorcycle to the Tower, so they would either have to travel separately, or she would have to ride on the back, in a skirt, commando, in thirty degree weather. While carrying her massive work bag. The doors opened with a soft ping before she could wrap her head around her options.
Once the elevator opened, Steve could see into a sliver of Tony’s kitchen, where Dr. Vivas was chopping vegetables and talking quietly with Friday. Maria was sitting with her back against the entry wall, sipping a can of soda and making notations on a tablet. Spread out across the foyer floor between her and the elevator were large-format print outs of what looked like blueprints for buildings.
And a solar-powered laser turret?
“Wait…” Darcy paused half-in and half-out of the penthouse.
Understanding was slow to work its way through Steve’s post-orgasmic haze, he had hoped to let that state slide right into his evening’s plans for his girlfriend, but it dawned just as Maria casually turned off her tablet and stretched. She shuffled the papers together into a messy pile, attempting to nonchalantly roll them up. Her eyes were a little too wide to come off as casual.
“Wow. I am so tired. Must be all this homework, taxing my growing brain. I should probably-”
“Is that Shackleton Crater?” Darcy snatched the tablet away and turned it on, flicking through the running apps. Maria nearly dropped the printouts. “That son of a bitch, he told me…”
“Darcy,” Steve admonished with an apologetic look to Maria. “Language.” Steve normally didn’t have a problem with Darcy’s tongue – at all – but he tried to keep up appearances. Especially when kids were around.
“Dude, no problem. I’ve heard worse.” Maria tried to take back the tablet, but Darcy was surprisingly quick considering how little time she spent in the gym.
“Son of a bitch!” Darcy scowled in triumphant fury, which quickly morphed into actual concern. “Tony promised me that this wasn’t going to happen. He promised me!”
“That’s just artwork. For school.”
Steve raised an eyebrow. He had told some whoppers in his day. (Once, he had explained to Mrs. O’Sullivan from the apartment below him that ‘no, ma’am’ Bucky hadn’t brought any girls up to their place the night before and certainly there hadn’t been two – they were good Catholic boys, after all. The thumps she heard must have been Steve coughing. He as ‘real sorry about that, ma’am’. She had made him soup for a week. Steve had felt too guilty to eat it. Bucky had not.) But this kid took the cake.
“Your teacher assigns middle-schoolers to draw technical schematics? For a moon base?” Darcy had also told a few whoppers in her day. In fact, Steve felt confident she had probably told one in the last three hours. She was not buying what Maria was selling.
“It’s an…AP class?”
Dr. Vivas peered over Maria’s head, tilting one way and then the other before suggesting, “You should consider enlarging the fitness area. With one-sixth Earth’s gravity, bone and muscle mass will need strict management. Running with a weight suit won’t be enough for long-term viability. Strength and resistance training will be imperative.”
Maria lost her defensive tone and considered the plans carefully. “Hm. Our research mentioned something like that, but payload capacity-”
Steve interrupted, kind of excited with the idea of working on a new project. “Can’t you print weights or something?” Everyone stared at him. “What? I saw it on the Discovery channel. They printed a whole house out of sand in Nevada. Looked like concrete blocks. I’ve worked out with those before. And with an extrusion printer you could make shapes that would be more ergonomic.”
Dr. Vivas was nodding. Darcy was frowning. Maria smiled at him.
“That’s…yeah, that could work. We were already planning on printing the-”
Darcy silenced Maria with a sharp hand movement and glared at Steve. He felt grateful she didn’t have laser vision. “You. Are. Not. Helping.”
“Darcy, it’s fine-” Maria started, but Darcy cut her off. She was working up a head of steam, her cheeks flushing and her breath coming faster.
“Friday,” she snapped, “get Tony down here. And Pepper. This is definitely a Pepper situation.”
“Contacting them now, Ms. Lewis.”
As much as Steve enjoyed watching Darcy dress down Tony – and he enjoyed it probably too much – he had plans for the evening. Plans that did not include what would most likely end up being an hours long rant-turned-discussion-turned-presentation-on-the-merits-of-backup-facilities. And also, Thai food on the way. Steve was actually pretty hungry.
“Darcy, this seems like a parental discussion. Don’t you think?” He waited a beat, hoping she would take the hint and not be offended at his suggestion. Darcy was used to being the voice of authority and reason where Maria was concerned, and had been making an effort since Pepper and Tony had adopted her to keep out of their developing family dynamic.
She waffled for a minute, then relented. “Friday, I want to talk to Tony about this first thing Monday morning. And make sure Pepper knows about the laser turret.”
“Certainly, Ms. Lewis.”
Darcy gave Maria a gruff one-armed hug, handed the documents that needed signing to Dr. Vivas who promised to make certain Pepper received them, and stepped back into the elevator. Steve held his breath until she leaned against him, sighing and muttering as she typed a reminder into her phone. He considered it a win.
Any evening that ended with Darcy at his place was a win.
And there would be all the Thai they could eat. Steve had an idea how they could work off some of those spring rolls.
And he had been on ice during the sixties. He wondered if Stark already had his own lander.