i talk about music a lot, & have a tendency to post songs that are stuck in my head in the hope that they will get stuck in your head instead. you're welcome.
wait but the hunger games au where Natasha is a sixteen-year old tribute and Bucky is her mentor
(the male tribute is Leo Fitz, and he doesn’t make it past the cornucopia)
and Peggy is the only other victor from their district, and she was Bucky’s mentor, back when Bucky was a tribute
like can you just imagine Peggy with blank eyes sitting next to Bucky in a public theater, watching the games, and she’s got one hand clenched into a fist but the cameras can’t see it—gotta get the mentor’s reaction for the commercial break!—because Bucky’s got his hand folded over hers, hiding it from view. Bucky watches Natasha running for her life on the big screen with a grin, because Bucky’s always been better at this part than Peggy has
(peggy was brutal in the arena, though. she kept the other tribute from her district alive as long as she could, but the poor kid was tiny and had asthma and a heart murmur and an inflated sense of his own courage and in the end she only kissed him once before he did something stupidly heroic and got himself killed trying to save her.)
anyway they sit there and they watch Natasha panting as she runs from an emormous green muttation (it’s got the eyes of that sweet-tempered kid from district five—Brian? Bruce?), sweaty and bloody with her red hair sticking to the side of her face, and they listen to the commentary on Natasha’s odds, Peggy impassive, Bucky smiling, his hand on hers.
Natasha survives the monster. They watch her murder the archer from District 12, the one who joked around with her in training and called her Nat, by shoving him into the path of a deadly man-shaped drone. Clint (seventeen) takes repulsor fire to the chest with surprise on his face, and the cannon sounds.
The commentator swings around to get their reactions, and Peggy raises her champagne. “A toast to President Stane,” she says with false cheer. “And Game-maker Stark. He’s outdone himself.”
The room erupts with applause.
So after London, Thor is at loose ends and decides to move to New York to live in Avengers Tower with Tony Stark (who had just recently invited Steve to come live with him too.) At first, Jane is very grumpy with him for this because she thinks he’s abandoning her again, but Tony offers an entire floor of R&D and lab space to sweeten the pot and convince her to come - so she decides to move too. Her only demand? That a suite be set aside for Darcy to live in as well.
So, since Darcy is finished up at college and is also at loose ends, she decides to keep on hopping on the internship bandwagon and go with Jane to New York (I mean - who turns down free room and board in New York City, right?) And once she’s there, she love it. She also discovers that Jane is *not* the only scientist in the house who lacks the ability to care for themselves.
Within three months of moving into Avengers Tower, Darcy is essentially making sure that Tony, Bruce, AND Jane are all well cared for. Jane is mostly the same as normal, though she’s throwing herself even further head long into her research of inter-stellar travel. She blames herself for some of the damages wrought by Malekith because she had been insufficiently attentive to the signs of oncoming celestial disaster. Thor reminded her that even Heimdall failed to foresee the catastrophe of the Dark World, Asgard, and London, but Jane is unconvinced. On the bright side, Jane is also getting lots of sex and is being “courted” by Thor in what he understands to be traditional Midgardian fashion - which means he’s taking her on A LOT of dates [he really WAS jealous of her one lunch date with Richard.] So at least she’s eating even if she’s not sleeping much.
Bruce is relatively easy. She brings him five cups of green tea per day, grocery shops for the ingredients he likes for his curry, politely reminds him when its time for his yoga each afternoon, and talks mindless nonsense at him whenever he’s starting to look “a little green around the edges” to calm him down and distract him [she’s insanely good at the last one, if she does say so herself.]
Tony’s a little harder. His refusal to accept things is a pain in the ass at first. She also discovers that he will not eat if she just tells him to. But (and she adores this discovery), he hates hates hates having things in his peripheral vision - so she’ll place meals just out of his direct line of sight and in his peripheral vision so he has to stop, focus on the item, and move it. Usually once he has it in his hands, he’ll eat it. The same turns out to be true of papers that need to be signed and clean shirts that need to be put on. She still hasn’t figured out how to get him to leave for an event on-time, but she’s thinking maybe an alarm clock in the peripheral vision? Oh well, experimentation never hurt anyone [okay that’s blatantly untrue, but you get the idea.]
She has also discovered that Tony responds exceptionally well to people giving sass back to him in equal measure that he doles it out. She flagrantly flirts with him and he flirts with her right back and when he’s in a bad mood, she can pull him out with hilarious jokes about all of his teammates. He one time tried to take their flirting into the realm of actual hitting on, but she just laughed at him and told him she KNEW he wasn’t serious since - you know - she’d met his girlfriend and her heels could kill. He’d laughed and agreed. She’s fairly sure she was being tested. Its possible that Tony is a 6-year-old that just likes to test boundaries. On the bright side, the next day he accepted the chicken salad sandwich she brought him directly from her hands. So score one for the best intern around.
So all of this is great. Its splendiferous. Honest. But there is only so long a girl can live with no shoes. And Darcy, despite her vaunted residence and friends, is still an unpaid intern. So one day she goes to Jane and tells her she needs this to become a paid position, or else she is going to have to look for other employment. JANE FREAKS OUT. And promptly tells Thor who tells EVERYONE.
What proceeds from there is one of the most hotly contested employer bidding wars, probably in recent history (and certainly for anyone with nothing but “Intern” on their resume.) Tony swoops in first, begging Darcy to take over as his personal assistant since “I haven’t had ANYONE decent since Pepper moved up and out…please Darcy…please…” The next offer came from Bruce, who, it turned out, was paid a hefty annual salary by Stark Industries. He offered to split it with Darcy. The third offer came from Jane, who was surprised she was not the only option, who offered Darcy $30 an hour and all the Pop-Tarts she could eat. “Darcy, you know my funding is shit. I can’t be on Stark’s payroll because of conflict of interest - but you’re so important to me. I’ll give you anything…” She paused for a minute…and then interrupted Darcy as she said “WITHIN REASON.” Because Darcy had been about to suggest benefits in the form of “benefits” from Thor…which of course Jane knew.
Most surprising, perhaps, were the other two job offers. The first came in the form of a call from Pepper Potts, asking Darcy if she would consider being PEPPER’s executive assistant. ”I’ll double whatever Tony’s offering you - and I’m half as annoying as a boss…”
Finally, one morning as Darcy was jamming to music of Jarvis’ own selection and fixing breakfast for the team, she heard the click of leather soles on the marble tiles behind her. She turned around and was shocked as her iPod slid across the kitchen island; she barely caught it in time. She was even more shocked to suddenly be looking into the eyes of a dead man; “I would like to talk to you about S.H.I.E.L.D Ms. Lewis.”