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And that laugh that wrinkles your nose, It touches my foolish heart

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“Wonder Woman? Really Darcy? You think it’s appropriate to go to a costume party hosted by a superhero dressed as a superhero?”

“What. It’s a good costume I made it for comic con last year and couldn’t go because I tased a god. It’s perfectly tasteful. It’s World War II Wonder Woman. Look my stalkings have lines up the back. I have suspenders, Jane! I was going to go with the Linda Carter version but I wasn’t going to meet the Avengers in my knickers.”

“Knickers? You Have got to stop watching BBC America Darcy.”

“Shut up and help me with the laces!” Darcy grumbled turning her back to Jane so she could tighten the laces on her corset. The corset was red, with gold buckles and gold leather trim along the top edge. It showed just enough cleavage to be feminine without having her tits completely on show. Darcy grunted as Jane tugged one last time on the laces.

“There you’re done! Now let’s go or we will be late. And I still need to find Thor. Oh and where did my tablet go? I need to show Dr. Banner my latest calculations for...”

“Ah ah ah Daphne. You called me and asked me to come to this ridiculous party. I am not going to miss out on my one chance to meet Tony Stark and Captain America and the one with the arms! Hawkguy? Hawkeye? Do you know how long it took to sew this skirt? Do you Jane? And I’m not even going to tell you how long it took me to get my hair into Victory Rolls.” Darcy said peering into the mirror to add one last swipe of red lipstick, before pocketing the tube in one of the small pouches on her utility belt.

“I doubt Captain America will be there. Nobody has seen him outside of the costume. Nobody knows what he looks like."

She checked the seams were straight on her stockings, shifted her boobs around in the top of the corset, swished the knee length blue and white starred skirt, stamped her feet in her favourite red Doc Marten’s with new white laces. Her cuffs and tiara were made from fabric but they looked good. Darcy patted her hair, checking that all the pins were tightly holding the vintage hairstyle together. She winked at herself and turned away from the mirror, because there was no time to start worrying about all the stick thin models at Stark’s New Year’s Party or how she had to make a good impression for Jane, because Jane wanted Stark funding for her Mario Cart to Asgard project. “Come on, it’s already late, let’s go make asses of ourselves with famous people, superheroes and a certain Homeless God. Let’s go find Fred so you two can go solve a mystery. If the Mystery Machine is rockin’, don’t come knockin.”

“Ha Ha Darcy.” Jane replied fiddling with the edge of her purple dress and hugging the tablet closer to her chest before Darcy swiped it away and replaced it with a stuffed Scooby-Doo toy.

Steve stood off by himself in a darker corner of the room, as far away as he could get from the revelry of Stark’s party, leaning against the wall nearest the floor to ceiling window. He was dressed in a replica of his dress uniform and only there because Pepper asked him, and told him the event was to raise money for ongoing repairs to the city. Steve toyed with the half empty bottle of beer in his hands, picking at the label and turning the bottle around and around. People don't know he is Captain America and really he is happy with that with the way he sees the media chasing after Stark all the time. He is hiding in the shadows avoiding all the women dressed in lingerie masquerading as costumes that Stark keeps sending over to him.

Then Steve turns his head and sees her. She looks like she walked out of one of his pin up fantasies. Thor is twirling her about in his arms and Steve can't look away from her red lips, sparking blue eyes, deep mischievous laugh that starts something fluttering deep in his belly. Her skirt is blue with white stars and when Thor throws her up into the air Steve gets a glimpse of matching panties, pale thighs the colour of cream and suspenders holding up seamed stockings. Steve tears his eyes away he knows he has been staring; he knows his cheeks and possibly even his ears have turned red. He smiles sheepishly to himself but he isn’t the slightest bit embarrassed.

He doesn’t know who the girl is but his eyes are drawn to her again in the reflection of the glass window he is leaning against. The girl is dancing around, shimmying her hips, all ruby lips, curves and pale skin. The girl is hugging Thor’s Dr. Foster and Steve looks down at his hands, he wishes he had his sketchpad and pens, but Pepper had already taken them away from him earlier in the night. He remembers reading the first Wonder Woman comics in the time before the war started and he gained and lost so much. He remembered sketching Wonder Woman with her Lasso of Truth, and he is pretty sure the image of the dame dancing with Thor and Dr. Foster is burned on the back of his eyelids. His fingers itch to draw her like a Vargas girl. Paint her like Gil Elvgren. The butterflies in his stomach tell him he probably wants to do more than just draw her.


Darcy was bouncing happily on the balls of her feet, happily taking pictures with her phone of all the celebrities, superfolk and politicians. She sipped daintily at the flue of champagne in her left hand. Not because she was dainty but because she was not going to get drunk off her ass and miss anything. Or make a fool of herself, or embarrass Jane before they headed back to New Mexico. Back in their crappy used car show room, with duct taped equipment, shitty coffee, and SHIELD constantly monitoring them. Thor was back now but who knew for how long, and he was spending as much time in New York as he was in New Mexico with Jane. Whatever made Jane happy made her happy too. Darcy grinned up a Thor, because it was impossible not to grin at the jovial god standing there dressed in a white sweater, blue shirt and a ridiculous orange handkerchief around his neck. Fred to Jane’s Daphne.

Darcy twirled around at the feeling of someone’s eyes on her. She looked but saw no one other than the flying STD that was Johnny Storm. Darcy bit her bottom lip scanning the room as she handed her glass to a passing waitress. Her eyes tracked to a figure stood in the corner of the room dressed in a vintage army uniform and looking bored. “Hey Jane, who’s that?”

“I don’t know Darcy.” Jane frowned and squinted, her eyesight was worse than Darcy’s though luckily Darcy only needed her glasses when she was at the computer.

“Do you think he would take a picture with me? We totally match.” Darcy asked eyes lit up at the thought.

“That is my good friend Steven. You must meet my friend Steven.” Thor bellowed and charged across the room dragging Jan and Darcy along in his wake. “Friend Steven! I did not know thou wouldst be at this celebration of the death and birth of your Midgardian year. You must meet my beloved Lady Jane Foster and her buxom handmaiden the Lady Darcy of Lewis.” Thor beamed happily as he threw an arm around Steve’s shoulders.

“Oh my god Thor.“ Darcy squeaked face burning red. “Can I die now? All I wanted was a picture because our outfits. Kill me now.” Darcy muttered into her hands.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Doctor Foster, Miss Lewis. Call me Steve.” A deep voice rumbled and Darcy dropped her hands to look up at Steve. He wasn’t quite as tall as Thor but she could quite easily believe that he was an Asgardian, his bright blue eyes sparkled in a thick fringe of dark lashes, his blond hair was combed neatly, a slight drop of pink colouring his cheeks as he gave her a welcoming smile.

“Can I swoon now? I feel as if I should be swooning dramatically.” Darcy grinned.

“Lovely costume, Miss Lewis. Or should I call you Diana Prince? Wonder Woman seems a bit formal.”

“Hi-de-ho soldier. You can call me whatever you like, just don’t call me late for dinner.” Darcy beamed and Steve grinned back at her. “Do you mind if we take a picture together? We totally match?” At Steve’s nod Darcy shoved her phone in Jane’s hands and stepped up to Steve’s side wrapping an arm around his waist and Steve hesitantly wrapped his arm around her waist, his hand gently resting on her hip.

“I used to read the comics...a long time ago.”

“Me too. Wonder Woman was always my favourite. Well Her and Captain America. I used to have a Wonder Woman doll and was so mad my brother got the Captain America doll. I used to steal him so Cap and Diana could marry. All my teddy bears were in attendance, and you so did not need to know that did you?” Darcy missed Steve’s choked sound as she babbled blythly on. She missed Thor and Jane exchanging fond smiles before walking away, leaving her chatting with Steve at the fringes of the party.


Clint sat perched on a bar stool observing the room, occasionally speaking with Tasha though his ear piece as she mingled with the guests. It might have been a party but there were agents stationed throughout the room.

“Who the hell are you supposed to be.” Stark asked as he sat down on the seat beside Clint.

“I’m Batman.” Clint smirked flicking an invisible speck of dust from his tux. Tony rolled his eyes and fiddled with the sonic screwdriver in his hands. “Where did you park the Tardis?” Clint asked as he took in Stark’s tweed jacket, bowtie and fez.

“Where’s catwoman?” Tony winked as he sipped from the glass he helped himself to.

Clint grinned smugly and opened his mouth take a sip of his bottle of beer when a flash of movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. “Holy shit Rogers.” Clint sputtered nearly dropping the bottle. “That something to do with you?”

“What what?” Tony asked leaning forward to follow Clint’s line of sight to see Steve with arm draped casually around a girl dressed as Wonder Woman from World War Two. “No. I sent the playboy bunnies, and that Icelandic model over to our Steven and he sent them away again. I don’t know who Princess is.”

“This could be a problem. She is looks like she walked out of a 40s comic book. Just look at that rack. She’s Stevie boy’s pin up wet dream.”

“JARVIS who is Captain Chastity chatting up?”

“Sir, Captain Rogers is speaking with Ms. Lewis, a friend of Thor and Dr. Foster’s assistant.”

“So nothing at all to do with me or anyone trying to get at the good Captain?”

“No sir. Not that I am aware of. I can inquire more information about her from Dr. Foster if you wish.”

“Don’t worry about it JARVIS. So our little Steven found himself a pin up girl. They grow up so quickly. I best go have the talk with him. We don’t need any mini superheroes running around the tower.” Stark grinned, rubbing his hands together with glee.


Darcy fiddled with the plastic straw of her bottle of coke, the real stuff not the diet crap, She was not going to miss a minute of this party and talking to Steve about comics and greasy diner food was the most fun Darcy had at a party in a long time. “So what do you do then?”

“I uh work at the tower.” Steve replied fiddling with his own bottle of coke.

“So you work for Stark then? Do you think Jane will get her funding from him? Jane would be over the moon.”

“I don’t know, I think he would rather Jane come work for him, I’m pretty sure he has a lab being set up for her with new equipment. I don’t think Tony is used to people saying no to his toys.”

“Shiny. I don’t know if Jane will agree, but new toys are already a plus, and if Thor is around more often then Jane might actually act like a real live person.” Darcy frowned then, realising that there was no guarantee that Jane would still need her with a Stark lab to play in and lab rats that actually knew what Jane was talking about more than half the time. Darcy glanced away and her eyes caught sight of a gorgeous blonde woman eyeing up Steve like Christmas dinner and headed in their direction. “Um I think I’m probably taking up all your time here. It’s nearly midnight. We’ve been talking for ages and I’m sure you want to....mingle?” Darcy grimaced slightly at her own lameness.

“What? No I. I like talking with you. Stay.” Steve replied placing his hand lightly on Darcy’s arm to stop her from leaving. Darcy saw only truth in his eyes and perhaps emotion that she couldn’t name in the slight clenching of his jaw.

“Heads up you have vultures circling at two o’clock. Or is that three? Anyway pretty model dressed in flimsy lingerie. I’m pretty sure she wants you to meet her between the holidays.” Darcy quipped in her best Mae West voice. Steve looked from the approaching women back to Darcy, face flushing with colour and blue eyes wide, with what Darcy first took to be shock, but then his face lit up and his shoulders began to shake with silent laughter. The silent shaking of his shoulders turned into a full blown snorting laugh. Darcy thought it was the most adorable thing she had ever seen, she wrinkled her nose and laughed full and deep covering her mouth with her hand.

“Five, four, three, two, one Happy New Year!”

Darcy stood up on her tip toes to kiss Steve on the cheek, but he turned his head eyes still sparkling as the laughter died on his lips as she kissed the corner of his mouth. “Happy New Year Steve.”

“What the hell,” Steve muttered turning and wrapping his arm around Darcy pulling her into his body as his mouth brushes softly against hers. Darcy gasps and wraps her arms around Steve’s neck. It’s all the encouragement he needs to deepen the kiss licking into her mouth, one hand flat against her back as the other digs into her hair cradling her head. Darcy arched into him, sure that if she was a cat she would be purring, as Steve kisses her breathless. They are startled apart by a wolf-whistle. Steve sighing against her mouth as he pulled away “Hey.” He whispers eyes on hers, dropping down to her mouth.

“Wow.” Darcy whispers back reaching up to rub her lipstick from Steve’s mouth.

“Yeah.” Steve grins goofily and its seven shades of adorable. “Happy New Year.”Darcy grins back. Steve’s hand is still firm against her back, and Darcy imagines she can feel it’s warmth through the leather of her corset.