Darcy found Brock dozing on the couch. She studied his face for a minute. He was totally relaxed. He’d taken his glasses off and set them on the stack of graded papers on her coffee table. His face was soft as he slept. He was even snoring a little. It was very cute. A giggle bubbled up in her chest. He was, by far, the best guy she’d ever dated. And a huge nerd. It was like Christmas and her birthday and summer vacation and free new books all rolled up in one. Ice cream cones and sunshine and fresh cut grass and lemonade, she thought nonsensically. She wanted to do something for him, she thought, to make him know she loved that he was nerdy. They could go to Comic-Con together. Also, it was a whole new world of Halloween costumes, jeez.
She woke him up by kissing him. “Mmm-hmmm, baby,” he said, his hands automatically reaching for her body.
“I love you,” she said blissfully.
“What’d I do?” he said, confused.
“Nothing, you’re just perfect, that’s all,” she told him.
“Sure,” he said. He blinked, grinning. “I love you, too. I did get you a present,” he said. “On the counter.” She’d seen the cellophane wrapped basket when she came inside.
“Can I open it after I make you lose your mind?” she said teasingly. His sleepy eyes widened.
“Yeah, yeah,” he said, boosting her legs around his hips and rising from the sofa in one fluid motion. He carried her into the bedroom as she planted kisses all over his jaw. “Tell me ‘bout this lose my mind thing?” he said, setting her down on the bed.
“Get on your back, baby, I wanna do all the work tonight,” she said.
“Okay,” he said. He lay back, putting his hands behind his head and grinning at her. Darcy slipped out of her shoes and hoodie first, then straddled him in her yoga pants and bra.
“T-shirt,” she said coaxingly, sliding it up to reveal his abs.
“You’re fun,” Brock told her, relaxing down into the mattress so he could angle his hips better. He could do a little work. Just a little.
“Am I?” she said, leaning down to trail kisses over his chest and abs. She circled one of his nipples with her tongue. Then sucked on it gently. He shifted his hips in response.
“Uhhhh,” he said. “Really fun.”
“What else do you think is fun?” she asked. “Tell me?” Darcy could feel him arching against her as he talked about his fantasies.
“I wouldn’t mind you tying me up with some of those pretty scarves, babygirl,” he said.
“Oh, really?” she said. She swung one leg over.
“You’re going to?” he asked, as she slid off the bed.
“I aim to please,” she said. “Not that AIM, the other one, the verb,” Darcy clarified, moving to her closet. He chuckled.
“Can you play that, uh, sex pollen music, too?” he asked.
“You listened to my music?” Darcy said.
“I watched you, too,” he said warmly. “You were all damp.”
“Wet ands sweaty,” he said. He licked his mouth.
“Uh-huh, I see you,” she said. “You were happy when Hill called you in, weren't you?"
"God, yes. I woulda run Cap over to get to you," he said. Darcy laughed.
"Which one of these scarves scream naughty fun times to you?” she asked him, turning and holding up two.
“Oh, the lace one baby,” he said.
“Did you want one or two?” she asked playfully.
“I don’t have a preference,” he said wryly. She decided on two. Draping both scarves around her neck, she crawled back onto the bed and wiggled onto his pectorals. He grinned up at her, stroking her thighs.
“Uh-uh, give me that hand,” she said. She looped one scarf through her headboard, tied his wrist, and then moved to the other arm. “Tight enough for you?” she asked. He nodded and she slid over to turn her playlist on.
He could break the scarves easily, she knew, but he was enjoying the pretense of being helpless, smirking at her as she turned on the music. “What is it you like about restraint?” she asked. Could she work in a Wonder Woman reference?
“It’s uh--” he paused and licked his lips.
“Tell me,” Darcy insisted. “Or I’ll make the knots tighter.”
“It’s, uh, something about being dominated by someone else. I want you to own me, babygirl,” he said.
“You do?” she said. Definitely Wonder Woman, she thought.
“Ride you?” Darcy said, sliding his pants down. He was already hard and glistening. He rolled his hips a fraction. “Mmmm,” she said, looking at his body appraisingly. She was so freaking lucky. She stared for so long that he actually chuckled.
“You like me, huh?” Brock said.
“Be quiet, I’m in charge here,” Darcy said. She eased herself down onto him slowly. “Uhhhh,” she said. This angle was different. Good different. She started out moving slowly.
“Ohh, Jesus,” he murmured. “You’re teasing me.”
“Yeah, I am,” Darcy said.
“Don’t tease,” he said.
“Oh, no, I think you want me to,” she said. He startled her by suddenly escaping the scarves and rolling her over onto her back. “Brock!” she said, breathless.
“I need to teach you a sailor’s knot,” he said. “But first—”
“Own me?” Darcy said archly.
“I want to,” he said. But he was gentle with her. Sweet, even. His kisses were soft and slow. “I’m crazy about you,” he told her. He kissed his way down her body, prying off her yoga pants. “You’re all wet, babygirl.” He grinned.
“What?” she said.
“Tell me when you want to tap out?” he said teasing.
“Oh no, never, I don’t tap out,” she said. “You know that.”
“You tapped out in the shower,” he said mildly.
“Phfft, cold water issue,” Darcy said, as he settled his weight on top of her without entering her.
“Oh, yeah?” he said.
Two condoms and one modified bridge position better left to contortionists later, Darcy was forced to admit that it was possible for her to tap out. “Oh God, oh God,” she said. Her whole body was shaking from the effort of holding the pose, but it felt really good. So good. “I gotta tap out, babe, I can’t do anymore circus sex,” she said.
“Okay,” he said, grinning and pulling out of her, “let’s go back to the normal naughty stuff you like.” He rolled her over onto her belly. She sank down into the mattress. Her hamstrings screamed thank you.
“Ahhhhhh,” Darcy said, relaxing into child’s pose. He pulled her gently onto him and moved in and out of her rhythmically. “I like this better,” she said. “I’m lazy.” He laughed.
She was so blissfully tired afterwards, she sort of dozed off during the big planned speech about supporting all his hobbies (hint, hint). “I just love you and everything ‘bout--” she murmured.
“You okay?” he asked.
“Mmmm-hmm. Wanna live with you. Squish all our stuff together, make one big stuff,” she said.
“You mean naked?” he said, lifting his head a little to look down at her. Her head was resting on his chest. “Darcy?” he said. She started to snore.
In the morning, he brought her the gift basket and a cup of coffee. Darcy could feel herself beaming at him. “You forgot to open this last night,” he said.
“I was distracted,” she said, grinning. She unwrapped the cellophane. “A new tarot? Oh em gee, this looks great, Brock,” she said.
“Yeah, I wanted you to have a funny one,” he said.
“You’re so supportive of me,” she said, blinking a little. “I feel the same way about you, you understand that, right? Anything you like, I like--”
“Sure, sure, Miss Tap Out,” he teased, missing her emotionalism.
“Brock, I mean it!” Darcy said seriously.
“So, you still want to live together?” he said.
“Absolutely. Bring all your stuff. How soon can you move in? Or do I move in with you?” she said. “How do we do this? I’ve never lived with anybody who wasn’t a broke ass intern with no stuff.” She thought he understood she meant all his stuff.
“I think I should move in with you,” he said. “I like it here.” He was going to bring his clothes, toiletries, and kitchen stuff. He’d put the rest in storage. Her furniture was less expensive than his, but he’d gotten used to it. Now his couch felt all stiff and too new and Darcy-scent free. He didn’t like that. He’d already called Jack.
“What’s the sexiest Batman cosplay?” Darcy said. “Catwoman? Harley Quinn? Poison Ivy?” They were browsing online in the lab. “I’ve eliminated Wonder Woman.”
“I’m concerned that all of those are villains,” Jane said.
“Hmmm,” Darcy said. “But he loves Batman and Vicky Vale is just a notepad and a trench or something.”
“Boring,” Jane singsonged. Darcy nodded. “Princess Leia?” the tiny scientist prompted.
“Ugh, the slave thing is hella awkward,” Darcy said. “I’d rather be a criminal.”
“There’s more fun in crime,” Jane joked.
“I feel like there would be. I’d be good at stealing stuff,” Darcy said.
“As long as you didn’t fall down,” Jane said. Darcy began to laugh, then stopped.
“Shut up,” she said.
“You’re so sexed up, you didn’t even realize that was a joke about you, did you?” Jane said, giggling.
“Nope. Let’s go to a costume shop,” Darcy said. “I want him to be wrecked, Jane. He wrecks me all the time.”
“I am aware,” Jane said archly.
“Look, we didn’t actually have sex in the supply closet, I swear. We were just kissing. I know you wouldn’t want bare ass on your office supplies,” Darcy said.
“Thank you,” Jane said.
“You’re sure you want to do this, mate?” Jack said to him. They were packing up his apartment. They’d been working on it for several hours. All his collectibles were going into storage. “She could like it,” Jack said. He’d repeated this theme for the whole complicated packing process. Brock was bloody fussy about his stuff.
“I’m sure, just pack,” Brock grumbled. “She wants to live together, I gotta put this stuff away.”
“You’re okay with it?” Jack asked seriously.
“Absolutely, yeah,” he said. “This is just stuff, Jack. I bought it when things were shit.” He took a deep breath. “I don’t need it anymore.” Brock truly believed that. Every time he looked at some of it, he thought about how low he’d been as Crossbones. He couldn’t shake the association. He felt happy and optimistic about the future now. As Crossbones, he’d thought his life was going to end soon. But now? He was just getting started. He and Darcy did things together. He didn’t want a hobby that she wasn’t into, not when they could take more cooking classes, swap books, and even take goat yoga together. He was into couple things now. She was talking about getting a tattoo with him next time, letting him pick the place. He grinned.
“Okay,” Jack said dubiously. “I wonder who broke in, if they didn’t take anything?”
“Fifty bucks says it was Romanoff, practicing,” Brock said, shrugging. “She broke into Smith’s last week, took his vodka.”
“Why?” Jack said.
“Some sort of crazy thing she’s doing, telling everyone their building’s secret weaknesses. She writes a report. Hill thinks it’s a collegial way for her to stave off boredom when Banner’s out of town, so we need to be supportive,” Brock said. “Smith apparently didn’t activate his system, so she taught him a lesson by taking his Stoli.”
“Huh,” Jack said. “I hope I turned mine on. I just bought a good bourbon.”
“Babe?” Brock said. Darcy had asked to meet him at her apartment at a specific time. It was dark in the living room. He wheeled in the hand truck with some of his boxes.
“Hey, there’s wine!” Darcy called from the bedroom. “Leave the lights off.”
“Yeah?” he said. “What are you doing?”
“I thought since you were moving your stuff in, I’d dress appropriately,” Darcy called out. “I hope you like it.”
“I’m sure I will,” Brock said. He was pouring himself and Darcy glasses of wine when he looked up. He spilled the sauvignon a little. “Fu-fuck,” he said, stuttering. He put the bottle down.
“What do you think?” Darcy said, putting her hands on her hips. She and Jane had made the Poison Ivy costume themselves with fake leaves, green bra and panties and a pair of glittery fishnets. It was, well, barely a costume. “Is there an itch you’d like me to scratch?” she asked, flipping her red wig.
He stared at her for a long moment, blinking.
“Brock!” Darcy said, “say something, Jane and I burned ourselves with a glue gun for this moment. I really thought you’d like it, after I saw your comic book collection. Or are you just speechless? I hope you’re speechless.”
He blinked again. “Did you break into my apartment?” he said.
“Just a little teensy break in, I didn’t touch anything. Well, your books and your bed. And Jane touched the stormtrooper. She wanted to play with the lightsabers, but I knew better.” She put her arms around his neck. “So?”
“When you said all my stuff, you meant all my stuff,” he said, shocked.
“Of course! I love your stuff.” She smiled at him.
“You love my stuff,” he repeated. His brain was having trouble processing. It might have been the lack of blood flow. She was incredibly sexy-looking in the Poison Ivy costume. He grinned dopily.
“Would you like to go to Comic Con?” she said. “I could call Tony, see if he could get us tickets?”
“Yeah,” he said. “But you won’t be wearing that.”
“Why not?” Darcy said.
“I’m gonna wreck it,” he said hotly. “Also, I think we can do the circus sex thing.”
“How?” Darcy said, as he scooped her up.
“Lots of pillows and blankets underneath you,” he said.
“Oh,” Darcy said. She brushed lips against his jawline, shivering a little at the scrape of his stubble.
“But I have a long term plan to design something with those aerial silks from your yoga magazine,” he said.
“Like a sex swing?” Darcy said, looking up. She’d been kissing his neck.
“I just need to find the support beam or a tall enough swing base,” he mused out loud, as he carried her into the bedroom.
“Hmmm,” Darcy said, grinning.
“What?” he said.
“I’ll ask Tony. He’s probably made one.”
They were lying in bed, surrounded by fake bits of ivy, when he remembered. “Shit,” he said.
“What?” Darcy said sleepily. Her red wig was eskew and her green eyeshadow had migrated all over her face.
“Jack’s gonna murder me. We put all my stuff in storage today,” he said.
"Whoops," Darcy said, closing her eyes. "Hey, I forgot, I have cool news--"
"Hank wants to meet you," she said. "When he gets here. He emailed me today, the three of us are having lunch." There was a strangled sound from his side of the bed. Darcy opened her eyes. Brock looked like a goldfish. "Babe, breathe," Darcy said.