Fandom: Thor (2011), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: R to NC-17
Pairings: Darcy/Clint, Loki/Sif, Natasha/Coulson
Summary: Darcy should have seen it coming. She couldn't hang around the spandex crowd forever and not end up with a great big target painted on her back eventually. She was just surprised it took Loki so long.
Disclaimer: The Avengers and all related elements, characters and indicia © Marvel Studios 2012. All Rights Reserved. All characters and situations—save those created by the authors for use solely on this website—are copyright Marvel Studios 2012.
Please do not archive or distribute without author's permission.
Author's Note: This story is all Lunik's fault. HUGE thanks to my flatmate/betas/cheerleaders/people who couldn't get out of the way fast enough when I started emailing them drafts: Boosette, Celli, Victoria P, Seren, Fringedweller, Aj, the aforementioned Lunik, and everyone on El Jay who cheered me on during the nearly 4 months when this story ATE MY LIFE.
AO3 | LJ
Of course they came in a helicopter. Black Widow was piloting (of course Natasha knew how to fly a chopper) and said nothing as Hawkeye lowered a rope ladder for her. He gripped her forearms as Darcy hauled herself up like she was trying to climb the rope in 6th grade gym class. One last tug and Darcy was sprawled somewhat inelegantly into the passenger seat.
"Nice jammies," Clint said, mouth close to her ear so she could hear him over the roar of the wind and rotating blades.
"Shut up," Darcy said, starting to shake. Clint's response was to wrap her in one of those foil blankets like you always saw in clips about astronauts. She felt like a frozen burrito, but it did keep her warm as they headed back to the Tower.
She only threw up once she was back at S.H.I.E.L.D., in the ladies room on the second floor which was far enough away from the offices that no-one could hear her. She rinsed her mouth out at the sink, and dug through her bag for a stick of gum.
After three hours of mandatory debriefing by Agent Coulson, Deputy Director Hill, and finally Director Fury himself, Darcy and Jane got moved into the apartments in the Stark Mansion (which a bunch of the S.H.I.E.L.D. guys were already calling the "Avengers Mansion"), because it was a more secure location.
It was pretty damn secure, Darcy discovered, when she tried to get a pizza delivered and they wouldn't even let the dude into the foyer.
After that, Tony Stark staffed the kitchens with his personal chefs and let Darcy order whatever she wanted, so long as it didn't involve anything needing to be flown in special. Seeing as all she'd wanted was a Brooklyn slice, she decided Stark had probably added that last bit for Jane's benefit.
Which was hilarious, because Jane survived on coffee, Pop-Tarts, and Thor. As if Stark didn't know.
However, security or not, Darcy wasn't particularly surprised when she stepped out of the elevator at work a few weeks later, expecting to see the labs on level seven, and instead there was green grass beneath her feet and something that looked suspiciously like Belvedere Castle off in the distance.
"Central Park, Marilyn? Was stranding me in Queens not enough?"
Darcy turned in a circle and sure enough, there was Loki sitting on a park bench, feeding the pigeons. He was, of course, sitting directly in front of a black and white "Do Not Feed The Pigeons" sign.
"Who is this 'Marilyn'?" Loki asked, flicking shallow handfuls of millet to the birds fighting at his feet.
"You, you drama-llama. Oh my God, enough with the kidnapping shit! Why can't you text me and meet me for coffee at the corner Starbucks like a normal person?"
"Would you have come?" he asked.
"Hell no. A squad of S.H.I.E.L.D. guys would have met you there with a rocket launcher or some shit."
"Then you can clearly see why I found this tactic preferable."
Darcy sat down on the bench next to him, and dug through her shoulder bag for her Xanax. She swallowed one dry, and made a face, before turning back to the god of mischief.
"So why me?"
"You amuse me."
"So get cable. Comedy Central has some hi-larious shows. I'm sure one of them would push your buttons."
"But none would provide such charming company," Loki said with a slightly smarmy smile, inclining his head slightly in her direction.
"Okay, now I know you're lying. People have said a lot of things about me—great rack, mad awesome X-box skills, comprehensive knowledge of Ultimate Fighting World Championships going back the last five years. But charming? Fuck no."
"Are all humans so foul-mouthed as you?" Loki asked as he brushed crumbs from his hands and the bag of seed disappeared into thin air.
"You're in New York. You tell me." Darcy crossed her arms, and glared at him. "Do I need to get a new script for Xanax? I need to know now before this becomes a pre-existing condition."
"Will I kill you, do you mean? Perhaps. But not today."
"Awesome. In that case, I think you should buy me a pretzel, 'cause there's no way I'm getting back in time for lunch. And today was stir-fry day. I love stir-fry day."
Loki stared at her, a cat-like smile playing about his lips. Darcy held her breath until he bowed his head slightly, lifting his hand and gesturing to a nearby vendor.
Darcy stood and put one foot shakily in front of the other, swallowing and lifting her head as Loki fell in step behind her.
The pretzel vendor gave her that apathetic look that most of the park vendors shared—like he couldn't care less if she actually bought something.
"One large regular pretzel, extra mustard, please."
"That'll be six dollars." His tone was just as bored as his expression.
Darcy gave Loki a look, and he handed over the bills.
"They're not going to like turn to leaves or anything after we walk away, are they?"
"You take me for a cheat?" He looked theatrically affronted, and Darcy just rolled her eyes.
"Let's look at your track record, shall we? And anyway, the guy probably has a wife and nine kids to support." She turned back toward the pretzel cart. "Hey, buddy, are you married?"
That, at least, seemed to shock the pretzel guy out of his stupor. "No. Why, you interested?"
"Ew. No. I was just trying to prove a point." They started to walk back to the bench, the warm pretzel dripping mustard onto the side of her hand. "I can't believe I just got perved on by the pretzel cart guy."
"See? You are charming."
Darcy snorted, and caught the drip of mustard on her tongue. "How come nobody notices you wandering around looking like a Renaissance Faire reject?"
"Humans see what they wish to see. Is this better?" One second he was standing there in his helmet and green and black leather get-up, the next he was wearing a suit and overcoat.
"I'd rather be seen with a supervillain than a Harvard MBA," Darcy pointed out, wishing she'd got him to spring for a soda as well. The salty pretzel was making her thirsty.
The suit and overcoat melted back into his everyday finery. "So demanding."
"You're the one who decided to kidnap me. Again. Reap the whirlwind." She licked mustard off her fingers, and tossed the crumpled wax paper wrapping in a garbage bin at the side of the path. "Why did you kidnap me again, anyway?"
"I wished to continue our discussion."
"You kidnapped me... because you want to talk."
"Not, like, use your spooky magical shape-shifting powers to take my place and infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters?"
"Why would I do that?"
"I don't know! You're.... you." She waved her hands from his tooled leather boots to his ridiculous shiny horned helmet. "How can a puny mortal such as myself possibly fathom your vastly superior intellect."
"You dare to mock me?"
She pulled a pill bottle from the depths of her shoulder bag, and pointed at the label. "Xanax."
"Ah—your magical elixir of calm."
"Isn't there a club for supervillains where you can hang out with Dr Doom and Magneto, and debate who has the awesomest helmet, or something?"
"You are the only mortal I have met who has had an experience close to my own."
"Don't you have any friends?" Darcy asked, curiosity winning out over panic for the moment.
"My childhood companions were Thor and Sif. I spent most of my time alone with my books."
"Okay, what about a girlfriend? Or, you know, boyfriend. Whatever."
"I nursed an affection in my youth for the Lady Sif, but nothing came of it."
"Excellent choice. She's smoking hot. If I dug chicks, I would totally do her. You should ask her out."
Loki's green eyes widened, and the smug expression slipped off his face for a second, making him look oddly young and vulnerable. Then he shook his head, mask of disdain firmly back in place.
"She is sworn to Thor since childhood. It was arranged by our mothers, though nothing was ever formalised."
"Just because there is a goalie does not mean you can't score," Darcy pointed out. "And anyway, Thor and Jane are joined at the lip. So you totally have a shot with Sif. Okay, once you apologise to her for trying to kill her with a giant evil robot."
"I sent the Destroyer to stop Thor—not to kill him. I only wanted him to stay away... If they had just let him remain in this realm, and me in Asgard. If they had just let me..."
"Commit genocide?" Darcy crossed her arms and glared at him over the rim of her glasses.
He turned back to her, light eyes darkening with anger, but for once Darcy met his gaze and refused to back down.
"Okay, I usually only use this for Internet flame wars, but here's my theory: if you own your shit, that counts for a lot. Especially with people who want to forgive you. So say you're sorry, mean it, and don't do it again. It's simple."
Loki blinked first. Darcy was actually surprised. To tell the truth, she hadn't expected him to be that self-aware.
"As my mother always used to say, a simple thing is still rarely easy."
"I never said it would be easy. But you said your folks lied to you about being adopted, right? So what hurt more? That they lied, or that they tried to justify their bullshit? If they'd said they were sorry, would all the same shit have gone down?"
"I do not know."
"Hypothesise. Seriously, just go with it. If your mom were here—right now—and said 'Loki, I'm sorry I lied to you' without trying to tell you all the reasons why they thought what they were doing was a good idea, would you forgive her?"
"I said I do not know," Loki snapped. "Why do you press me for answers I cannot give?"
"'Cause I'm trying to understand you."
"Because." Darcy shrugged. "If you're gonna keep on kidnapping me or whatever, it would probably help."
"Clearly, this was a mistake."
"I coulda told you that," Darcy muttered as Loki stood, smoothing down the lines of his cape.
"Farewell, Darcy Lewis." Loki began to fade, until she could almost see completely through him. "We shall not meet again."
"Promise?" Darcy yelled to the empty air, but there was no answer. "You could have at least loaned me cab fare," she muttered.
A ten dollar bill floated lazily down at her feet.
Surprisingly, Coulson wasn't waiting for here when she got back to the office and scanned her security pass. Instead, she'd been whisked directly to Fury's office by six S.H.I.E.L.D. guys, all in black. They didn't answer any of her questions about where they were going, just herded her along in tight formation until they'd dumped her in the conference room with the smoky glass table and giant computer screens.
Director Fury had apparently hung his long black leather coat up in the closet, and just sat there in all black, his shoulder holster pulling his black turtleneck tight at the neck, sipping coffee from a large mug that had the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo on its side.
Thor was sitting next to him, wearing jeans and a tee-shirt, but still managing to exude I AM A DEITY with every breath. She wondered if it was just that thing where his biceps were the same diameter of her head, or just the height combined with the beard.
Clint was there too, and Darcy resisted the urge to sit next to him for moral support. It wasn't that Darcy and Hawkeye were buddies, exactly. It was just that she had spent more time with him than anyone in S.H.I.E.L.D., even Coulson and Sitwell.
After Thor, Sif, and the Warriors Three had disappeared and there had been no sign of the bridge re-opening, Erik had driven them back to the old filling station where S.H.I.E.L.D. had already begin replacing their equipment. The town was still in ruins, but weirdly, the filling station hadn't been touched. Even the lawn chairs on the roof were intact, despite flaming debris from the Destroyer having come down all around them.
The guy clearly in charge of the action had been a stocky boxer type in black tactical gear instead of the anonymous suits that had carted their gear away the day before. Erik had wondered aloud if they'd even had time to unpack it. Jane hadn't particularly cared—just barked orders to the men that had been sent to unpack the vans.
Darcy had hung back and given Barton a long once-over before sticking out her hand. "Dude, my iPod?"
Barton had turned to her, raised an eyebrow, and then dropped a brand new iPod in the palm of her hand. It wasn't the scuffed bright pink Shuffle she'd had since her senior year of high school, but a brand new iPod Touch. It even had new earbuds.
"Hey! I just downloaded 30 songs—"
"Yeah. We know." Barton's look had made her realise her angry email to the address on the card Coulson had given Jane had apparently made the rounds. "Your whole iTunes library is there. And it's been modified for 160 gig of music."
She'd narrowed her eyes at him, and started scrolling. "My playlists had better be intact, buddy."
Darcy had figured he was probably a few years older than her, but his face made her think of a tough, scrappy little kid. It was probably the nose. His looked as if he'd had it bashed in a few times. She liked it. It made him real. And it didn't hurt that he had grey-green eyes with flecks of hazel that she could totally fall into if she wasn't careful. And the one thing Darcy really wasn't great at being was careful where cute guys were concerned.
Plus he was cut.
Clint became their primary S.H.I.E.L.D. contact, as Jane calibrated and recalibrated, in an attempt to try and figure out if and where the event that had brought Thor to her in the first place might re-occur. When Jane went to her thrice-weekly debriefs with Agent Sitwell after Coulson was recalled to New York, Darcy and Clint would retire to the roof with cans of Mountain Dew to argue music theory.
Mainly she'd made fun of his love of 1980s hair bands while he tried to convince her that there was life outside Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, LMFAO, and Lady Gaga.
She hadn't hung out with Clint as much since they'd relocated to New York. She got the feeling he and Natasha had a thing. Since the Widow pretty much terrified her and made her feel young and stupid and clumsy by being perfect at everything (at this point, Darcy wouldn't have been surprised if she could crochet like a champ, too), she'd given them a wide berth.
"It appears Loki has taken an interest in you."
Director Fury leaned forward, fixing her with his one-eyed stare. Darcy figured Thor was used to it, probably found it comforting or whatever.
"Yeah, no shit," she said before it occurred to her that he'd probably been looking for a little more respect. Whatever. She was still drugged. She could totally freak out about mouthing off to Nick Motherfucking Fury when she sobered up.
"Can you think of any reason why you've been targeted?" Fury prompted, his voice full of gravel.
Darcy shrugged. "He just wanted to talk to me."
"Being adopted." She turned to Thor. "Your brother is seriously emo."
"You were a foundling?" Thor asked, leaning forward as if he was about to pat her hand sympathetically.
"Oh my God, do I have to drag my personal business out for everybody this week? Yes. I was adopted. No big deal."
"Except to Loki," Fury pointed out.
Darcy shrugged. "I think he's lonely."
"Lonely," Fury repeated, his voice flat and his one visible eye still pinning her to her chair.
"Yeah. As in, alone."
"And he didn't try to kill you, get information out of you about S.H.I.E.L.D. or the Avengers, or otherwise do anything that people like him normally do when they kidnap my people?"
"I'm not really so much 'yours' as 'Jane's'," Darcy pointed out. "But nope. No murder. No mayhem. He bought me a pretzel."
"Was it drugged?" Clint asked, and Darcy gave him a look.
"Nope. Just a pretzel."
Fury leaned back in his chair, arms crossed. "I'm assigning a detail to you."
"No! What? No! I don't want my every move shadowed by one of your jack-booted—"
"I'm assigning Barton."
Darcy blinked. "Oh. Okay."
Clint raised an eyebrow at her, which she steadfastly ignored.
"But I totally want a special permit for my taser. For New York and New Jersey and, like, everywhere."
"I believe that can be arranged," Fury said, a ghost of a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. "And we're going to implant a subcutaneous GPS tracker, so the next time you blip off the grid, we can send a response team directly to your new location."
"Is it gonna hurt?"
"Probably. But I'll have the doctors give you a lollipop." Then Fury picked up his coffee mug and left. Sensing that was a dismissal, Darcy turned to Thor.
"I think in a weird way, your brother really misses you."
"He is not alone in that," Thor said, his expression surprisingly grave for Thor. Not that the god of thunder couldn't be serious when he needed to be, but usually he was the kind of guy who grinned and laughed as shit blew up all around him. It was weird seeing him so wistful as he patted Darcy on the shoulder fondly.
"Lonely?" Clint asked, voice pitched low as he escorted her out of the conference room. "Seriously?"
Darcy shrugged. "I calls 'em like I sees 'em."
As they left Medical, Darcy was still rubbing her shoulder and griping about the distinct lack of lollipops when Clint produced a raspberry Tootsie-Pop from behind his back.
"You're officially my favourite," Darcy said as she whipped off the wrapper and stuck the candy between her teeth and cheek.
"Yeah, well, never let it be said that Clint Barton doesn't satisfy the ladies."
"And you were doing so well!" Darcy rolled her eyes. "So how does this work?"
"Wherever you go, I go."
"Don't you have more important stuff to do than baby-sit a grad student?"
Clint shrugged. "Apparently not."
"This is so lame. Not that, you know, it's not cool, us hanging out or whatever. But that Eyepatch McBossman doesn't think I can go to the little girl's room without getting my ass kidnapped."
"You're the one who decided to become besties with the enemy."
"What did you expect me to do?" Darcy asked, frustrated. "Last week he handed the entire Avengers Initiative their collective asses. Like a chick with a taser is gonna be any kind of threat deterrent. And we're not besties."
Clint just gave her a look. "He bought you a pretzel and gave you cabfare."
"That's not friendship; that's Stockholm Syndrome."
"Yeah, except isn't it usually the kidnapee that does that stuff, instead of the kidnapper?"
"Fine. Lima Syndrome."
"Whatever, Patty Hearst," Clint said with a grin. "But if you say he's just misunderstood and needs the love of a good woman, I'm taking you back to Medical for a psych eval."
"What he needs is a zillion years of therapy."
"What he needs is not to be a murderous psycho," Clint corrected her.
It was weird sitting in the lab, listening to Jane go on and on about exotic matter with negative energy density while Clint playing Angry Birds on his phone across from her desk. For one thing, he didn't look all that alert. For another, he kept breaking her concentration by flexing his muscles. His biceps were the size of her thighs. She couldn't tear her eyes away.
"Darcy, are you even listening to me?" Jane asked, waving fingers in front of her face.
"Um, yeah. Gross–Pita sandwich equation. On it."
"Gross–Pitaevskii equation," Jane corrected her.
"I knew that," Darcy muttered beneath her breath even as she backspaced and fixed her notes. She would end up Googling it anyway. She always did. Half the time she wished Jane would just invest in an MP3 recorder. But then, if she did, Darcy would just end up stuck transcribing all her notes. And Jane would probably stay in the lab for 12 hours a day without coffee breaks.
Jane was not good when deprived of caffeine.
Jane raked her fingers through her hair, and sighed. "You're not all here today. I get it. I can steal one of Stark's interns to take notes."
"What? No, I'm fine—"
"Go home, chill out, come back tomorrow."
"Sweet," Clint said, already on his feet and tucking his phone in his back pocket. Darcy shut down her netbook, swallowing her anger and trying to look at it like she'd won a free afternoon instead of being benched because she couldn't focus for more than thirty seconds on her actual job.
Pulling her bag up higher on her shoulder, she walked right past Clint, forcing him to break into a jog to keep up with her. He caught her up as she viciously stabbed the elevator "down" button with her thumb.
"Whoa—where's the fire?"
"I'm sick of everybody treating me like I'm deficient. I didn't exactly ask for Thor's creepy little brother to make me his pet project."
"Nobody blames you for being a weirdness magnet," Clint assured her.
"Then why does it feel like I'm being punished?" Darcy snapped in frustration. "I mean, I'm glad Loki didn't kill me and all, but somehow the fact that he didn't kill me has everybody looking at me like I've got two heads. Or that I asked to play Dear Abby with a nutjob."
"Well, look at it this way: you're special. And even Thor's brother can tell."
"Yeah, like dropped on my head as a child special," Darcy muttered as they stepped into the lift and headed down toward the street. You'd think it would take longer to get from the S.H.I.E.L.D. labs to the Park Ave. foyer, but Tony Stark didn't like waiting so Darcy's ears popped as they rocketed to the ground floor.
"Mansion's this way."
"Yeah—and the comics shop is this way." Darcy set off at a brisk walk, still annoyed. This time Clint caught up a lot faster, and actually matched her stride easily as they rounded the corner.
"Comics, huh? So, what's in your pull box?" he asked, and Darcy was surprised he knew the lingo. Last she'd heard, Barton had grown up in a travelling circus, so she figured the magic of Wednesday afternoons would be lost on him.
"Chew, Hack/Slash, Tank Girl, Tiny Titans, Darkwing Duck—"
"Dude, do not diss Darkwing to me right now! Disney Afternoon is my happy place. I need my happy place."
Clint backed off, holding up both palms in a universal gesture of please don't cut my balls off. "Okay, okay. We're cool. What else?"
"Not much. There's a new Extraordinary Adventure of Adèle Blanc-Sec hardcover that's supposed to be in this week."
"I get enough of you clowns at work, thanks. I'm more Ghost World than Dark Knight, in case you haven't noticed."
He chuckled, giving her the once over not too subtly. "I've noticed."
Clint shadowed her all through her trip to Midtown Comics, Starbucks for a pumpkin scone and soy chai latte, and didn't even blink when, instead of taking the subway to the mansion, she walked around the park instead.
Each time she entered a business, Clint lurked in the background, eyes flitting between the entrances and exits, lingering on every person that approached her. She realised that while he'd seemed to totally be slacking inside the Avenger's Tower, he took his job super seriously. When a hipster tried to get her digits, suddenly Clint was there. Darcy hadn't even seen him move. Once second he was next to the tattoo and foreign "adult" magazines, and the next he was between her and the greasy slacker, all glowering and menacing and shit and he didn't even have to say a word before the guy took off, looking like he was about to piss himself.
"Remind me to take you with me when I hit the bars in Williamsburg. I am like a magnet for those creepers."
"It's the glasses," he said, sliding them up on her nose with the pad of his index finger, and then went back to checking out the a glass case by the wall filled with perverted resin statues of buxom Japanese schoolgirls being menaced by tentacles.
It was almost sundown by the time they got back to the mansion. Jarvis let them in, and Clint held the gate for Darcy, glancing backwards to make sure they weren't followed. Which was ridiculous, considering the mansion was surrounded by a wall that was twelve feet high and almost a foot thick, and that was just the visible security perimeter.
All the cloak and dagger shit would have been fun if it weren't for the part where it just made Darcy feel more like a total loser.
She stomped up the stairs to her suite on the second floor, and Clint followed.
Compared to her tiny studio apartment, the suite in the mansion was palatial. It was easily over three times the size of any place she'd ever lived, and was loaded with every amenity she could possibly imagine. But Darcy felt like she was staying in the world's most insane hotel, instead of someplace she could call "home". The only sign that it was "her" place was a hideous afghan throw that she'd knitted out of boredom one winter. She'd draped it across the back of the black leather sofa, where it looked like graffiti on a Michelangelo.
Dropping her comics and her bag on the coffee table, she started toward the small kitchen. "Want a beer?"
"Working." Clint shook his head. "Are you even old enough to buy beer?"
"I'm twenty-three!" she yelled back over her shoulder before removing a Negra Modelo from the door of the fridge and popping the cap off against the corner of the counter.
"I thought you were still in school?"
"I switched majors." She took a long pull off the beer and then collapsed on the sofa. "Twice."
Like nearly every university student in her first post-dorm accommodations, Darcy was the proud owner of a papasan chair. It resembled nothing so much as a cushioned basket resting shakily on a small rattan base. It was one of exactly three pieces of furniture she'd had moved into the mansion when S.H.I.E.L.D. relocated her, the other two being a rickety bookcase and an ottoman shaped like a giant tomato.
Clint took one look at the papasan chair, walked over to the dining "nook", and returned with one of the straight-backed wooden chairs. He sat down and immediately began balancing the chair on its back legs.
"So you moving in?" Darcy asked as she licked the foam off the inside of the lid of her chai, and then set the empty cup on the coffee table. Clint made a face—probably because ew, beer and chai? But Darcy never let available sugar go to waste.
"I emailed Jarvis to have all my stuff moved to the suite next to yours."
"All your stuff being, what? Skin mags, hair band LPs, and forty-seven different kinds of rifles?"
"Ha ha, very funny. Vinyl's a bitch to transport, and I lost my turntable in Afghanistan."
"Enemy fire?" Darcy asked.
"Card game." He grinned at her, and she laughed. "Good. I was wondering if you could still do that."
"You haven't smiled since you got back from the park," Clint pointed out, his customary smugness completely absent. When he looked at her like that, it made her feel weird. Like she had a smear of peanut butter on her chin, or her hair was sticking up all over.
"Yeah, well, I've been having a day," she muttered, kicking off her shoes and wiggling her toes in their rainbow-striped socks.
"What now?" Clint asked as she pulled her netbook out of her messenger bag.
"Now we have the ceremonial checking of the tumblr for photos of baby animals to lower my blood pressure, watching Golden Girls on cable, and eating sugary cereal for dinner. It's a thing. You don't have to stay," Darcy added, feeling uncomfortable. It wasn't that she thought he was judging her, exactly. More like she was judging herself for being lame.
"Are you kidding? I love Golden Girls. Who's your favourite?"
Darcy gave him a look over the rim of her glasses. "Duh. Sophia."
"Huh. I'd have thought you'd be a Blanche."
"Oh, you are so a Blanche. You'd totes go for Rue McClanahan if she wasn't, like, 80. Or, erm... dead. You know what I mean."
"Actually, I always liked Dorothy. But there was a guy I knew in Special Ops in the Gulf. Crazy mofo. He had pics of Bea Arthur in his rack. Kinda freaked me out."
Darcy reached for the long black remote, and began going through the DVR menu to the saved programmes.
"Well, get over your Bea-Arthur-related trauma, 'cause I DVR'd a marathon last week, and still have like five hours to go."
Clint propped his feet up on the coffee table, and tipped the chair back further.