Unlikely Singularities – Chapter 75


Weak End

January 28, 2017

Darcy sat on the stairs between her apartment and Steve’s place, the door at the bottom open so she could look out her transom window at an eye level view of sidewalk and passing feet. Her phone tapped rhythmically against her knee, pausing every eighth beat to check the time. Steve was late, and Darcy was pissed.

Not pissed because he was late – that wasn’t his fault and she was well aware that just because a sitrep meeting was scheduled to be over by one didn’t mean it really would be over by one. Or two. She glanced at her phone again. It was coming up on two-thirty and Steve still wasn’t home and hadn’t texted to let her know he was on his way – not that he needed to. They hadn’t been dating nearly long enough for her to have any right to expect ETAs and location updates that didn’t directly affect concrete plans, but Steve had said he wanted to do something together after his meeting and Steve was not an idle planner.

And by do something, Darcy had assumed he meant her.

Even if he hadn’t, that was what he was getting. Sensibilities and perceived moral conundrums be damned, Darcy wanted sex and she was going to get some if she had to tie Steve down and chuck his phone and comm out the window to get it.

Actually… Her brain frizzed for a moment on the image of Steve tied to the bed, lips red and raw and chest heaving. She’d need some sort of super-strength nylon restraints. Or maybe Tony had something in development that could…

No. Bad Darcy. You’re angry, she reminded herself. Frustrated. You need to keep a clear head so you can sort this out and get on the same page before you do things to that man that are illegal in some counties.

Frustrated. Right. Because date number three on Friday had gone amazingly well. Steve had excellent, classically elegant, tastes, but he never actively flinched from the horrific and vertigo inducing finds she showed him. The longer he continued to nod and sidestep actually saying how awful anything was, the more she had wanted to continue messing with him. She thought the Starry Night easy chair would do it, and if not that then the leg lamp, or the poultry-themed area rug, but Steve had been polite and managed not to blink at a single atrocious suggestion even when Bucky was blowing up her phone convinced she had lost her ever-loving mind and also probably her eyesight.

So shopping had been fun both because she was spending someone else’s money and because she had successfully convinced Steve that she really, really loved reproduction velveteen goldenrod upholstery. Then Steve had braved the line at her favorite deli by himself, score, and gotten her a sandwich to end all other sandwiches. He had called her sweetheart and quietly provided backup while letting her handle an ogler on her own terms. To top it off, Brenden had come through with perfect timing so that she could surprise Steve with her little side project of making Secretary Ross regret the day his daddy had performed coitus with the future mother of old wet asshole incarnate.

Steve had been suitably impressed slash worshipful, and had expressed that emotion through absolutely heavenly subtle strokes to her neck and the insides of her wrists all the way back to his place. And between a few deliveries of the stuff he had purchased, there had been sweet kisses to her jaw. Shivery kisses to her throat. Hard – pressed so tight and wanton my panties were damp – kisses to her collarbone while his palms cradled her hips in a way that kept her firmly in place when she was certain that if she rocked just so against his thigh she could-

He had made her supper, for fuck’s sake. A light chicken salad and a glass of wine at the marble island in his kitchen that could have doubled as an art installation and home for small dinosaurs or large dogs. Just the right amount of full (enough to take the edge off and to have some energy but not so much that she couldn’t engage in some light – or very intense – horizontal exercise) Steve had lead her by the lips up to his room and the freshly made bed there. She could smell the clean scent of laundry detergent and more than anything else that day it made her heart dance. She knew he hated doing laundry, knew he was awful at it, but she had mentioned on more than one occasion how she felt about Jackie Kennedy’s twice a day new sheets habit and he had remembered. Remembered and made the effort.

She had almost stripped right then. It had been a herculean effort, but Darcy had been an adult and stopped making out for long enough to pose a serious conversation about things like birth control, STDs, kinks, and safe words. At the time, she had squirmed in pleasure and amusement watching Steve’s eyes widen as he tried to calmly ask if she was into any of the things she had mentioned. She had pretended to think about it and hesitated, then proceeded to detail a few fantasies that made Steve’s ears flush and his eyes darken.

She should have just stripped.

Because, of course, after she had taken the time to work through the awkward and responsible part of the evening, after she had wasted perfectly good minutes explaining why condoms plus birth control was her contraceptive of choice – minutes that could have been spent with Steve’s fingers in her panties – that was when he got a notice to assemble. If Darcy hadn’t just reprimanded Tony for pushing Steve and her together, she would have thought the billionaire was fucking with her.

God help the person who got between her and a willing Steven Rogers.

Darcy had understood. Mentally, she could process that saving the world from HYDRA or alien princes with daddy issues took precedent over the throbbing, needy state of her vagina. Emotionally? Darcy was fully prepared to personally track down the Hulk and get his ass back on the roster so that Steve could take off one goddamned weekend, for christsake. What more did a girl have to do to get laid? She had negotiated national and international pardons, managed Tony how-many-buttons-can-I-push-before-someone-punches-me Stark, and dealt in shady political backrooms like a fucking bubbe at a bargain basement Yonkers sale to make certain that Thad would never again have enough clout to order a motherfucking pizza – much less an incarceration.

She had needs. A need. Just the one. Steve.

But he had looked absolutely heartbroken and torn up over having to leave. And the erection in his pants was no laughing matter either. Taking a medium rare, aged porterhouse from a starving man wouldn’t be as cruel as denying Steve Rogers when he looked like that. So Darcy had put on her professional woman smile, kissed him like she might be able to suck an orgasm out through his mouth, and promised she would see him later.

After the least satisfying night she had ever spent with unlimited hot water and her own imagination, Darcy had checked in with the office on the status of the operation, found out that Steve had been sent home round two a.m. and determined that she would start the day out right. Right being with a shower, a bit of tidying up, and Tahitian vanilla body scrub. Right being with a cup of coffee for him, a latte for her, multiple orgasms. And a bag of pastries from the corner grocer for afterward.

She was just reaching out to press the bell, hands full and sultry smile in place, when he opened the door. He was not dressed for a lazy morning acquainting himself with all of Darcy’s erogenous zones. He was dressed for work. Not pew-pew-frisbee-zing work, but long meetings and frustration work.

Frustration. Join the club.

He had apologized, profusely. He had kissed her, thoroughly. He had lead her through the first floor of his brownstone, eating three of the four danishes that she had picked up – that’s supposed to be sex fuel, her brain screamed – with one hand and hugging her waist with the other. He had lamented, with white teeth pulling at his lower lip in a way that made her nipples tight, that he had to go to the team meeting. They needed to review the last mission and some details that had come up. He had insisted, with sincerity punctuated by warm, coffee-flavored tongue, that he wanted to do something with her later. A movie. Or dinner. They could order in if the predicted snowstorm got bad. And, fuck, he needed to reschedule his furniture delivery.

Darcy had once dumped a guy who asked her to skip out on an afternoon of working with pre-dark elves Jane to fill in on his bowling team. (Although, to be fair, it wasn’t just him, she did really hate bowling.)

She had thrown a drink – fucking fifteen dollars for a cocktail what the hell is wrong with LA – on a date who had insisted that lactose intolerance wasn’t that big of a sacrifice.

She had pulled off, mid-thrust, on a guy who had suggested that a democracy and a republic were basically the same thing.

Darcy had a history of avoiding any sort of tentative commitment, favor-trading, or compromise within a physical or romantic relationship. So it was to her utter surprise when she had opened her mouth and offered to hang out at Steve’s to direct moving people. The look of grateful affection that had come over Steve’s beautiful face had been worth it. The series of lingering kisses had been a bonus. She had watched though the massive windows in his kitchen as he backed his bike out of the garage and drove off – one hand around the coffee she had purchased for him.

Now, hours later, out of coffee and more than done with both stereotypical New York moving men and furniture wrappings, Darcy was ready for a payoff. She needed sex. She deserved sex. And, frankly, Steve deserved sex with her. She glanced down at her phone again, two thirty-three, and groaned, letting her forehead fall into her palm.

A door slammed above her. The sound of a heavy tread punctuated, “Darcy?”

She scrambled up, dropping her phone, jamming a finger to save it, and then trying to coolly walk up the rest of the stairs when her heart was hammering with excitement.

I am so going to get laid.

Hey, handsome,” she called out as she pushed open the flimsy door at the top of the stairs, and rounded toward the kitchen, “come here oft- you fucker.”

Steve stood slowly, carefully, one boot in his left hand and the other unlaced on his foot, and turned to her with wide eyes. His right hand held a full sack that smelled like green chili. Her stomach rumbled. She hadn’t eaten since the lone cheese danish he had left her that morning. He set the bag down on the island. Right next to another box. A box that looked suspiciously like a bakery box.

Er, sorry? I know I said one o’clock, but we got out a little late and I was hungry so I thought you might be too and…I thought chili verde was your favorite?” His tentative smile got a little wobbly when she didn’t immediately respond. “I got dessert? I wasn’t sure what you would want but they had this cheesecake sampler so you can choose first and I’ll-”

Steve.” Darcy licked her lips and looked him right in his gorgeous blue eyes. “Put that in the refrigerator. We need to talk.” Then she turned and marched back to the living room. Her hands were a trembling. She had to focus hard on hitting the little icon for the blinds and watching them close over the front windows, casting the new – modern but not angular, whatever Bucky – couch into shadow.

He brought me Mexican food. And cheesecake.

Steve touched her elbow lightly. “Darcy? Is something wrong? I’m sorry I left so quickly this morning, but-”

Please, sit down.”

He did, but he was frowning, looking worried and starting to gain that serious line between his brows that said a speech or righteous action was imminent. Darcy loved that little line. It made her hot in ways that stress wrinkles really shouldn’t. He opened his mouth, but she forestalled him by shoving a lamp box out of the way and kneeling on the floor in front of him.

Steve,” she swallowed. Her hands naturally fell to his knees and he covered them with his own. His legs were huge. The wide joint of his knee too large for her fingers to span and the hard heat of his thigh making spit pool in the back of her mouth. He was wearing jeans, but she still wanted to bite him. Was that wrong? To obsess over sinking her teeth into thick muscle and golden skin and then licking away the marks?

Steve,” she began again, forcing her gaze up to his face and away from his knees and everything in between. “Do you want to have sex with me?”

Ah, what? Yes. I mean, damn Darcy.” He worked his jaw, and his expression cycled quickly through emotions that she couldn’t identify. “Yes. Since about ten seconds after I met you. But I…”

She rubbed his knee in encouragement and he lifted one hand to cup the side of her neck. His palm was sinfully warm in the cool air of the apartment and she shivered when his calloused thumb skimmed the edge of her ear.

I like you. I…more than like you. If we don’t…I mean eventually I…You’re gorgeous and sexy as hell and I’d like to lay you out and paint you with my tongue-” Her heart stuttered and liquid gathered between her legs. “-but I also want to make you dinner and listen to why you think green beans are the devil’s work and get your opinion on how to make Bucky trim that horrible shag on his head and borrow that book on futurism and discuss it with you and pick out your lipstick so I can imagine how your mouth prints will look all over my skin.” He spoke in a rush, and his eyes darkened further with each word, but he didn’t move except to continue lightly tracing her ear.

Darcy was breathing fast. Her bra felt too tight and her jeans not quite tight enough in the right place. Her fingers clenched reflexively and the muscles of his legs didn’t give a centimeter. Other things clenched reflexively too. She licked her lips, tasting the faint trace of wax and the swollen flesh of anticipation.

He has those thighs and that smile and a moral compass and he still brought me cheesecake.

I also more than like you. And this shade is called Eden. Take off your pants.”