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Of Dirty Laundry

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Wino, 

Thank you =)



Warning!

Darcy has a potty mouth and no fucks to give

Proceed at your own  risk



 

 

Of Dirty Laundry

 

 

Darcy stared at the phone with dread, afraid to pick it up. What now?

Her favourite person in the entire universe and former most awesome Boss-Lady had been whisked away by her second favourite person, the god she had tasered. The love of those two was the purest thing that she had ever witnessed. Darcy just wished that it hadn't left her in this mess.

Jane had given her one last job before going away and that was pawing Darcy onto Dr Banner. Now Dr Banner wasn’t as keen to acquire a PA, due to him often turning to a green rage monster, Darcy assumed. Unfortunately, Dr Often-Green was not up to the task of refusing Dr Never-Gives.

Awkward could not begin to describe the start of the working relationship with her new boss. Working with Jane was simple, not normal simple but, like… scratch that nothing that involved Jane was ever simple, but Darcy adapted. The thing with adapting to Jane was that there was no fucking third party involved.

“Good evening, Mr Andrews.”

“Ah, finally. Miss Lewis, do you know what day it is?” The matter of fact voice of her manager irked Darcy to no end so she took her time before replying.

“It’s half an hour to Thursday.”

“Have I woken you, Miss Lewis? I’m sorry, I been trying to get hold of you for the last few hours.”

Darcy bit her tongue before replying. The next pay-check was needed and so was place to live rent free until she managed to find somewhere else.

“I must have missed that.” The problem with Darcy’s current situation was that she wasn’t really working for Dr Banner, she was working for Stark Industries. Therefore, what it meant was that she was part of their admin pool. Meaning that she was managed by an a-hat, said Mr Andrews, who was the man in charge of the support team to the individual science people on levels 73 to 92. Those were the levels housing Tony Stark’s personal quarters, a few selected labs and the highest security apartments.  Darcy was lucky enough to currently occupy one of those, mostly because Jane wouldn’t have her live apart before moving to different galaxy altogether. In other words, the Important part of the Stark Tower.

The point was that Darcy Lewis had no science degree that SI required, as standard for the position, and occupied a flat that could be rented out for a shit load of money or given to somebody who could actually help.

SI was a good company to work for, if you started your way from the bottom up or had qualifications that matched their requirements for a position. Her Poli-Sci degree and being Jane’s right hand woman for 9 years didn’t seem to cut it, and she was sure it had nothing to do with SHIELD being too fucking busy to issue a basic recommendation. Dr Jane Foster was gone, and they couldn’t care less about the little annoying Miss Lewis. To be fair Darcy had never cared much for Jack Booted Thugs, not after New Mexico, so it was kind of OK they didn’t care about her. That aside they could have issued 1 single letter so she wouldn’t have to look for another job in a city with freakishly expensive rents.

Being underqualified even with all the experience that she couldn’t put on the CV because SHIELD, brought her to the next part of the problem. Her new Boss. Dude was awkward, reminded her a lot of Jane at the beginning. Which was a good thing, it meant that with perseverance she would be able to get through to him and eventually be an efficient PA. Unfortunately, the official probation period didn’t consider the need for delicate handling and nurturing of a healthy working relationship between Darcy Lewis and Dr Banner. The good Doctor wasn’t keen on a having any sort a relationship, no matter how professional and platonic, he didn’t want a PA. That meant that any task no matter how simple or necessary became virtually impossible to accomplish, in turn reflecting badly on Darcy.

It was getting hard not to take it personally. She was capable, she was dedicated and resourceful and all people saw was a degree in an unrelated field and work experience with a friend.

There were places that would take those years she had spent working with a Nobel Prize winner as proof that Darcy Lewis was good at what she did. Yes, Jane got her the job, she didn’t at any point deny that, but if anyone would just take a moment, she would prove that she deserved it.

It wasn’t a big deal when she was relegated to picking up dirty laundry for the likes of Captain America. Fine. There were staffing problems. She was a team player and she had clearance. That was OK. Surely it was supposed to do her some favours. Apparently not. That was also fine…

It also wasn’t a big deal when some of her main admin tasks were given to Susie. Darcy raised it with Mr Andrews and was told that it was competency issues and that she should be glad that someone was helping her. She didn’t need help.

Being given all the shitty tasks should have been OK in the beginning, instead it just pushed her down the totem pole in the lab’s hierarchy as time went past. There were other things that Darcy didn’t want to dwell on, but it all just solidified her opinion that she was being pushed out.

It was all like a bad joke. There were steps she could take. Like going over Mr Andrews and crying to his boss, name dropping Thor in the conversation, or sitting Dr Banner down, again, and breaking down how her broke ass needed this job and that she needed for him to have her back right now instead of playing lone wolf. She had reasonable conversations with those two men. It did no good. Her manager didn’t have to blindly believe that she had what it took to her it here, Dr Banner didn’t have to cooperate if he didn’t want to. It wasn’t a dream job, the pay was OK at best, and she had the flat for a couple of more months, which coincided with the end of her probation. After the last few days Darcy came to terms with the fact that the job might be not be worth it. Once she had her things in order there was nothing keeping her here.

It was  fucking New York City, surely she'd be able to find a job that didn’t treat her like she had half her brain cut out. There were other opportunities out there. She had a degree, experience and wasn’t afraid of work. She was going to be OK.

It was like something came undone in her at that moment of realisation. No one liked the polite and helpful Miss Lewis, being all eager beaver, running errands right and centre. ‘Fuck it.’


 

“I know that chivalry is dead, gents, but there’s no need to abuse its corpse” was not a statement one usually heard at 2am when the door opened at the residential level.

The brunette in a massive fluffy bathrobe that was clearly too large for her fame glared at Tony and his two companions, waiting for them to make space so she could get on, large duffel bag in one hand and mug of steaming coffee in the other. Some people should come with warning labels because their outward appearance did not provide enough clues to the level of trouble Tony was about to get himself into. This way he could calculate if he had the time for it right now. He felt rather pleased at himself  for  his efficient time management.

“Lift’s busy,” he said. As much as the intrusion amused him, they were rather in a hurry. Apparently, the World Council and Fury could get snippy if pressed enough.

Move! Fill in the corners! There’s enough space, people.”

There was enough space. War Machine shuffled left, Cap shuffled right, and Tony in his Iron Man suit pressed backwards at the sharp command. ‘Someone’s bossy…’ The young woman let out a short, annoyed huff when the elevator door closed, finally going up to reach their destination. He could almost see Rhodey silently mouthing ‘no’ at him out the corner of his eye. Cap might have been attempting to communicate by blinking in Morse code.

The company was unexpected, but since Jarvis didn’t raise an alarm for any unwelcome guest he had no reason not to roll with it.  So instead, Tony transferred his focus on the messy bun slowly becoming undone right in front of him, spilling onto her navy hood.

First, that was a sloppy job. Second, why did it stop to pick her up again? They had a priority use of this specific elevator since it stopped right at the Quinjet and went directly to his penthouse. The list of people allowed access wasn’t extensive. Naturally, he could ask Jarvis, but it was just such an easy solution…

“So, Shorty, you come here often?”

The reply was a long exhale of breath through the teeth that annoyed people did when the world was getting on their last damn nerve. Any possible verbal reply was interrupted when the door opened, and their unexpected companion shuffled out without a single look back. Right into the level housing the Quinjet.

“Dr Banner?” Shorty managed to sound quiet, respectful, and aggressive. A rare talent if Tony had ever seen one. Closest thing he could remember was Pepper.

“Yes! I -What- What?”

“What?” The young woman walked over to the scientist, the equally fluffy slippers with bunny ears making weird noises. “The thing we talked about and you are not doing. Here.” Mystery Woman nearly swung the bag at Bruce. It looked like she might have considered it for a bit but the steaming mug of coffee in the other hand limited her actions. “Extra pair of trainers, fresh set of sweats and extra briefs. Plus a couple of other things. Like deodorant and toothbrush.”

“It really isn’t necessary-” Bruce protested. Was she the new PA? She must have been. He hadn’t been around much lately. Didn’t Bruce veto the idea?

“What? Some magic happened and your ballsack doesn't sweat anymore?”

What? Tony was extremely thankful for the wide view. The reactions would have been a terrible thing to miss. He wished he could have seen his own. The hour was late, or early, guess how you looked at it, but that was some brutal questions coming his buddy’s way.

“What? No.” From the way Bruce sputtered it wasn’t a usual conversation.

“I thought so. That super-duper spandex undies you’re sporting are great, but Stark’s engineering have yet come up with a way to make them breathable.” Tony shot his own dirty look back. He was working on that. There was no need to call him out. There was an explicit recommendation of a shower. “I know that after the whole hooha with the Big Guy you probably don’t remember taking them off and leaving in laundry basket. Which due to whatever paranoia going around only I have access to now- Well, long story short. You have, like a bucket of PHDs, surely we can work out a hygiene routine for you that we both are happy with.”

“Why are you sorting Bruce’s laundry?” That was a legitimate question, none of his PAs had to do that. It sounded excessive even for him. But maybe she volunteered? What did he know?

Bruce coughed before replying. “Because you cut the staff after SHIELD flagged potential leak, Tony. And let me introduce Darcy Lewi- ”

“Lewis? Aren’t you Foster’s girl?” Yes, he remembered the name. The new girl that stayed on.

There was a moment of silence. “Dr Foster’s assistant, yes. But she’s off to Asgard. So, the pleasure of my company has fallen to Dr Banner. Couple of months already, except now since I’m on holiday.”

“You are?” Everyone gave Bruce a look at that and his friend had the decency to look chastised. “I’m sorry.”

“At least now I know that despite your very vocal protest you don’t read the emails I send you.” There was something clearly wrong.

“Well-”

“No, you don’t. That bag is ready for your WC trip out of town. Your buddies can do what they like, I really hope you have more sense.”

“Are you suggesting-” Popsicle waded into the debate with his righteous indignation. ‘Oh, goody.’ Tony could barely wait to see how that was going turn out. He should really have been offended on Bruce’s behalf and how flippant the woman was being in company of absolute strangers, but… there was something in his friend’s demeanour that suggested that the crudeness wasn’t entire uncalled for. Besides it was fun, in a macabre kind of way, and it had been so long since he had seen someone being so unapologetic about their own opinion, apart from him. It was most refreshing.

She rounded on him like a rabid ferret. “-That sweat stinks? Yes. Dude, need I remind you, you wear Teflon armour the whole day, it’s bullet not sweat proof, what do you think you smell like at the end of the day? Possums bum, that’s what.” ‘Damn, that cold.’ Without missing a beat Lewis turned to Bruce again, the tone even and coldly polite. “Oh, that reminds me, there’s a bottle of talcum powder in there. Had some leftover from Thor. You’re welcome.”

Horrific mental image aside, that was a funny fact. “Thor uses baby powder?” You would have thought that Rhodey would have learned something from him over the years. Also, that was why Tony wasn’t saying anything at this point. Tried and trusted strategy of letting everyone else look like shmucks first and Lewis had to run out of that angry steam at some point.

“Yes, prefers the one that smells like rose petals. So, his royal bush does smell like -”

That was his cue to draw the line. Sometimes it really was that easy to be the smartest person in the room. “No one likes him that much here to want to know that, Lewis.”

“Thor’s great.” Point Break had his moments and Tony shrugged. What he was interested in was why he didn't know about Miss Lewis and her penchant for sarcasm. Somebody should have mentioned it to him by now. She was funny, plus easy on the eye. That also could be the reason no one had told him about her.

“Which doesn’t make me want to know what his crotch smells like, thanks. You got out on the wrong side of the bed?”

“Oh, I’m sorry, do I sound tetchy? Because I am, it’s 2am on a Thursday. I have to be up at 4 AM to do my own shit. That’s in 2 hours. I did not need some dumb fuck admin manager calling me at midnight how I wasn’t doing my job, while I’m on holiday. So, if he asks, I’m doing my job.” Bruce got a glare. Ok, he could see how that would piss someone off.

“I didn’t -” The deer in the headlights look on Bruce was always comical. Miss Lewis rolled her eyes, making the thick rimmed glasses slid down her nose. Cheeky. Tony liked that. The jury was still out on the brutal honesty though.

“Dr Banner, that’s an ongoing theme it seems. He’s new, I’m new and we are having a  glorious case of constant miscommunication. Not to mention he’s a prick and wants to show how he’s a top dog. Watch the space, if the dude keep going like that a chalk outline might appear there very soon.”

Natasha showed up not a second too soon to demand why they weren’t in the Quinjet yet and ready to leave wherever Fury wanted them to assist. Tony already couldn’t wait to come back, after all Lewis was new to NYC, he was bored, and she was funny and could handle sarcasm without falling all over him. Plus Bruce would appreciate him showing the newly minted PA the City, getting her out of his hair for a bit. Maybe get to the bottom of what was the problem between the two? Working for Foster meant that new Lewis girl had clearance which always made life so much easier.

“Tony, no.” Bruce Banner gave him a pleading look. “She’s new.”

“I was just thinking that.” Yeah, Bruce was going to appreciate it. Plus there was something about Miss Darcy Lewis that had him intrigued.



So peepsters, what did you think?