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Darcy startles when she finds the Black Widow behind her, dropping the tub of ice cream she had just commandeered from the communal kitchen. Thankfully, the Avenger has amazing reflexes and catches the ice cream before it hits the ground.

“Thank you,” she says, taking the ice cream back gratefully even as she thinks, I knew I shouldn’t have come here! Weird things always happen when she visits the communal areas, especially the kitchen.

…well, okay, that isn’t entirely accurate. Nothing weird has ever really happened to her beyond Jane's domain, but more often than not, she gets the impression that something did happen, even though that makes no sense whatsoever. The irrationality of her hesitation is always enough to make her brave the kitchen for its well-stocked pantry, despite it giving her the creeps.

“You’re welcome,” the Black Widow replies, and her smile makes Darcy do a double take. Natasha Romanoff is beautiful of course, but smiling makes her look even more attractive, if that was possible. (It’s very possible, apparently.) “I was actually on my way here for this too. We can share, can’t we?”

“Uh…” Not really? “Sure,” she decides, because she’s obviously an idiot. “Here, or…?”

The Black Widow’s smile deepens. “Wherever you’re most comfortable.”

“Well, that’s my room,” Darcy tells her, like an absolute moron.

“Lead on then,” the Black Widow says.

Darcy is such an idiot.

She spends the whole trek kicking herself, and is so absorbed in going over the other ways she could’ve handled this encounter that she almost closes the door on the Black Widow’s face. “Oh god! I’m so sorry!” she squeals when she sees the other woman still standing outside.

“It’s fine,” the Black Widow smiles again. “May I enter?”

“Yes! Absolutely! Come inside!” she says, speaking so loudly she’s practically yelling.

It’s not until they settle in her room that Darcy realizes the Black Widow brought no spoon for herself. Apparently, she intended to share Darcy’s spoon, because she takes it from Darcy as Darcy opens the ice cream tub. The Black Widow also apparently intends to act chummy with her, because she promptly holds first scoop to Darcy’s lips.

“Here you go,” the Black Widow hums, smiling expectantly. Darcy feels a little stupid as she eats the spoonful offered to her. “So tell me about yourself. I like to know the people I share ice cream with,” the Black Widow… jokes?

“Oh, um…” She isn’t sure what to say, but luckily, the Black Widow sees that and throws her a lifeline.

Sort of.

“Good childhood?” the redhead asks.

“Uh, sure,” Darcy replies. “I had both parents even though they lived separately and Mom eventually moved away. I have two older half-brothers by my dad. I… had a pet snake— Oh, yeah,” she nods at the Black Widow’s surprised expression. “My grandma raised snakes. Blue and black racer snakes, to be specific. It made me pretty popular on show and tell day.”

“And your parents were okay with you having a pet snake?” the Avenger asks, still looking surprised.

“Mom grew up with it too, so it was really just my dad who had an issue with it,” Darcy admits, failing to repress her amused smile, “especially when I had to leave my snake at his house. I mean, he was fine with it when I was around, but good luck getting him to stay in alone when Ladon was around. Of course, he liked to show Ladon off when he had guests, especially business guests. He’s kind of like me on show and tell day, except I considered everyday show and tell day and he didn’t.”

The Black Widow chuckles, looking extremely amused. Darcy stops her wild babbling before her mouth ran away from her entirely and relishes the fact that she had made the Black Widow laugh. “What does he do, your dad?”

“He’s the alderman in Springfield now,” she answers gratefully, “trying to get a leg up in politics. It’s… kind of why I took political science instead of archaeology. Dad saw how much Mom was making and he didn’t want me going through that, which was sweet, really, but—”

“What you really wanted was to be an archaeologist,” the Black Widow finishes for her, looking at her as if she finally makes sense. “But your father paid for your education, hence your political science degree instead.”

“Bullseye,” Darcy says, making a gun finger and clicking her tongue like the lame-ass idiot she is. Thankfully, the Black Widow only looks amused at her response.

“I know your parents weren’t married. Why not?” she wondered.

“Oh, well, they sort of… clashed,” Darcy hedges, but then before she knows it, she has told the Black Widow everything about her family—her parents and brothers’ occupations and love lives, her new stepfather and stepbrother, her uncle’s impending daughter, and her grandmother’s insistence that they carry on her family tradition of naming children after an Austen character. She only realizes how much she’d given away when the Black Widow sets the empty ice cream carton aside.

That was weird, more because she hadn’t even noticed they were eating it.

“We should do this again sometime,” the Avenger says, placing a hand on Darcy’s arm. Darcy can’t help but zero in on the contact, blushing hotly as she watches those slender fingers lift her wrist to the Black Widow’s nose. “I had fun. You’re very good company, Darcy.”

“Um,” Darcy squeaks, earning herself another enigmatic smile.

“I’m not very sorry,” the Black Widow says apologetically, peering at her over her wrist. “You just smell so nice.”

“Th— Thank you?” she replies unsurely. Her eyes go big and wide when the other woman kisses her knuckles and palm, then kisses a path all the way to her shoulder. She’s breathing heavily by the time the redhead finds a sensitive spot and sends pleasure bolting through her. “Oh, my… Black Widow— I mean, Agent—”

Call me Natasha,” the Black Widow tells her, right before she presses their lips together. “We’re very good friends now,” Natasha murmurs, which makes Darcy smile, feeling pleased all of a sudden, even though she was just thinking how weird this encounter was getting.

“Then call me… uh, Darcy,” Darcy says lamely, remembering belatedly that Natasha already does.

Natasha still looks pleased at the invitation. “I will,” she agrees, then kisses her again.

Darcy goes dizzy with arousal, her body heavy and hot with lust. She thinks briefly that she should put a stop to this, because while she finds the redheaded Avenger extremely attractive, Darcy isn’t the type to just fall into a make out session with someone, especially a new friend, even if she has fantasized about it in the privacy of her bedroom.

As if reading her mind, Natasha pulls back and says, “Hold still and be quiet,” right before her face changes horrifically.

Her green eyes turn brown as red lines creeps outwards, the white of her eyes becoming bloodshot. The lines creep out of her eyes and onto her face, turning blue under her skin as it progresses across her forehead and down her cheeks to her neck. Darcy panics when she sees the thin fangs elongating past Natasha’s upper lip, realization sweeping through her like a punch to the chest. She tries to scream and scramble to her feet, but her body doesn’t obey and the only sounds she can make are soft sounds of fear.

Natasha smiles sadly at her. “I can’t stop you from being afraid, but I promise I won’t kill you. I’m just going to take a little bit of your blood, and then I’m gonna give you some of mine. It’ll enhance your bodily functions for a few hours and bring you back to full health by tomorrow. Speak in a whisper as you answer my questions accurately. Do you comprehend what I just said?”

“Yes and no,” she whispers, suddenly able speak again. Her heart skips a beat at the discovery and she tries to scream as loud as she could, but her body still refuses to obey her.

“What don’t you comprehend?” the vampire—the actual, real life vampire—inquires.

“Won’t I turn into a… what you are too? With the blood um, trading?” Darcy involuntarily asks, because isn’t that how it works in the books and the movies? Now that she knows vampires are real and can control people too, she can’t stop wondering what other truths were hidden in the well-known myths. Hell, she even had to invite Natasha into her room! She didn’t pay it any mind earlier, too mortified over almost closing the door on the redhead to think about why she didn’t just waltz in after Darcy. God, she was such an idiot!

“No,” Natasha answers. “My blood can improve your physical state while it’s in your system, but it won’t change you. Any other immediate concerns?”

Understandably, her helplessness is at the very forefront of her thoughts. “What did you do to me? Why can’t I scream or try to escape?” Belatedly, she realizes it probably isn’t a good idea to tell the vampire about to eat her that she really, really wanted to do both.

Thankfully, Natasha doesn’t seem offended or surprised, only sad and guilty. “I enthralled you so that you can’t scream and run away, even though you must really want to,” she shares. “Showing this face to humans always invokes an uncontrollable fear and anger in humans. It also enhances our powers, which is why I enthralled you before I transformed, or you might not move or speak ever again. I also did it so you can’t hurt me, and so you can see I won’t harm or kill you, because I want to repeat this experience many times in the future with your permission. And to answer your next question, no, I’m not going to kill you. In fact, I’m going to be very careful to keep you safe and healthy. Okay?”

“Okay,” she whispers, tearing up in horror over the idea of being Natasha’s go-to snack. She can’t even muster up any relief at the promise of her continued existence, because it meant repeating this experience over and over again.

“Good,” Natasha says, then adds, “Tilt your head to the right and don’t make a sound.” Darcy obeys despite the return of her mind-numbing terror, which screams at her to run and call for help.

Natasha bites her without further preamble, and Darcy’s mouth falls open at the sting. Her fear increases as a thrill of pain slips down her spine, as her world narrows down to her terror and anger over her helplessness. The only thing she can really hear is Natasha swallowing audibly next to her ear. About ten gulps later, Natasha stops sucking and instead laps at the wound she made.

“You taste so good,” she whispers, licking her neck one last time before pricking her finger on a fang. “Drink,” she commands as her face returns to its usual beautiful visage. Darcy goes dizzy for a moment, a cacophony of voices repeating the same order as she takes the finger into her mouth and obeys. “That’s it,” Natasha murmurs as Darcy grimaces at the shockingly familiar iron flavor.

“I’ve done this before,” she realizes once Natasha pulls her hand away.

“Not with me,” Natasha promises solemnly.

Darcy gasps. “You… you know—”

The next thing Darcy knows, Natasha is pulling away from her, leaving little kisses on her lips as she backs off. “I should go,” the redhead tells her softly. “Before I say the wrong thing the wrong way and make you do something you’re not okay with.”

“Wha…?” Darcy stops her question as most of her memory returns to her, with the exception of the big gaping hole between her attempt to interrogate Natasha over who’s been snacking on her and the heated make out session she had just participated in. Thanks to Natasha’s compulsion, she knows she now knows who the vampires on the team are, but had agreed to repress the knowledge (at least until said culprit/s either tried to do it again or finally apologized for their crime to her face) for the sake of her own safety. Apparently, the Avengers and Pepper Potts don’t want to risk the news of their vampirism spreading to SHIELD or the public—a wise move considering the current political and economic climate.

The world would probably actually end if the existence of actual vampires was revealed.

Oh, and she said yes to dinner to Natasha tomorrow night, hence the redhead kissing the daylights out of her and nearly bedding her on the spot. Man, Natasha must be part octopus—Darcy can swear there were more than two hands on her at one point. Wait. Could vampires grow extra hands?

“No…” Natasha answers, giving her an odd look.

“Right,” Darcy says, blushing at her lack of brain-to-mouth filter. “Sorry. Yes, you should probably… Whoo.”

Natasha smirks. “All right then,” she says smugly, giving her another kiss before rolling off the bed. Darcy stares a little, because the Avenger looks like she’s glowing. There’s a healthy flush on her face that Darcy swears hadn’t been there before… but then again, she just had blood and was just making out with her heatedly moments ago.

“See you,” Natasha tells her with a lovely smile, winking as she sauntered out of Darcy’s room. Darcy smiles giddily—

—then blinks dumbly at the door, absolutely clueless on why she feels so flustered and pleased.