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Where's the Fire?

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When Darcy thinks snowed in, she pictures crackling fireplaces, fuzzy socks, copious amounts of hot chocolate, and roasting marshmallows over said crackling fire. She doesn’t think stranded on the side of the highway with no cell service in her car with an Avenger. She doesn’t think that because it is so ridiculous that there is no way it should exist in the realm of possibility.

Except here she is. In her car that she just managed to drift to the shoulder instead of spin out entirely after her tire blew. She’s panting in her seat, hands still white-knuckling the steering wheel as she tries to bring her racing heartbeat back to a normal rhythm. When she’s sure she isn’t going to scream if she opens her mouth Darcy looks over at her passenger.

He’s watching her with his back turned to the passenger door like he’s expecting to have to scoop her up and soothe her.

“I never want to do that again,” she finally manages between pants and cracks a barely there grin at Captain America.

He isn’t in the uniform which is a damn shame as she likes the way it looks on him, but then wearing tactical gear to an interview would have been weird. He does have on a gorgeous tailored suit though courtesy of Pepper Potts, who set up the interview in the first place. And the things the cut does for his shoulders…no bad Darcy, she shouldn’t be objectifying the human manifestation of all things truth, justice, and liberty sitting next to her.

“Yeah, neither do I,” he agrees.  His blue eyes shift, looking at the white-coated road beyond the windshield. None of the cars left on the road slow to check on them. One speeds by so fast that the car nearly skids into the next lane, brakes screeching as the driver slams them to try and slow down.

“I’m gonna call for help before some idiot broadsides us and we tumble over the guardrail.” She picks up her phone from the cup holder to dial for roadside assistance, her fingers flying over the screen before raising it to her ear. Only, nothing happens and her screen flashes to black.

“No signal?”

“No and while you might be able to make it upstate before freezing to death, I wouldn’t. Leaving isn’t an option,” she gripes, dumping her phone back into the cup holder and slumps back into her chair.

“I could, but I wouldn’t leave you here alone,” he says softly. So softly that she wonders if he’s trying to tell her something else. Or maybe he’s worried someone else can hear. She isn’t sure which. Or why.

“I’m flattered you’d stay to watch me freeze to death, because I don’t have a lot of gas left and idling doesn’t really do my gas tank any favors.”

There’s silence for a long time and then Steve shifts in his seat. The old springs creak as he leans closer, so close she can feel the heat radiating off his body. So warm and inviting that she leans into the heat. Leans closer just to feel the whisper of it against her skin through her thin jacket. It was hard not to lean as close to him as she can get; invade his personal space.


It was supposed to be a quick and simple ride. Just a trip from the city to the upstate compound because apparently Captain America needed someone to make sure he wasn’t going to accidentally invite questions he wasn’t supposed to answer. Someone who could  cut the interview short if they did it without invitation.

“It’s going to get cold, do you have a blanket?” he asks, snapping her out of her train of thought.

“Uh…” comes her oh so intelligent response. He must find it amusing or endearing because Steve chuckles as he twists to rummage in the back seat.

While he’s twisting like a pretzel Darcy can’t help but find the play of his muscles under his dress shirt fascinating. They ripple and move as he adjusts how he’s bent around his seat until his search brings him within inches of leaning into her. She freezes and just watches his arm as it comes back between them holding an old wool blanket her mom bought her when Darcy got her first car as part of her emergency kit.

“I see you found a blanket,” she manages, her tongue peeking out to wet her lips. For a moment it looks like he tracks the movement but then Steve bends over,  adjusting his seat so it’s pushed as far back as it will go and reclined.

“What are you doing?”

“Making sure you survive to see tomorrow. Do you have any idea how lost the team would be without you?” His voice has that Captain America quality to it, the one he probably used when commanding the Howling Commandos. The same voice he uses in press conferences and when coordinating with police. The one that says I won’t take no for an answer and arguing is only wasting time.

“And how are you making sure I don’t freeze to death when the gas runs out?” she asks. It’s a stupid question though; her brain supplies a half dozen different ways he could offer  to keep her warm. She’s certain, however, that he won’t even imagine some of the more risqué ideas that come to mind. Which is a good thing because Darcy isn’t sure she wants to discover just how flexible she can be in a car.

“Come here and find out.” His mouth turns into a grin, his eyes seem to twinkle, and Darcy takes a moment to process what he just said before leaning back against the driver side door.

“Did you really just use one of the most inane come-ons in all of dating history?”  She’s not mad. Hell, she’s almost tickled. Steve Rogers wants to cuddle. Go figure. Also, that totally counted as flirting and god she wished her phone was working so she could surreptitiously text Jane the new development. The woman would be ecstatic. The astrophysicist has only claimed for months now that they’re dancing around the most obvious endgame in the entire compound.

“I might have. Problem?” His grin grows a touch, the corners rising a little higher as he holds out a hand to her in offering.

“No. No problem here.” She takes his hand, scooting awkwardly into his lap, knees digging into either side of his thighs to find a comfortable space as she settles in.

“Now let’s get you wrapped up so you’re nice and warm all night.”

Steve drapes the blanket over her shoulders and stops just shy of covering her completely. Grabbing the edge Darcy pulls it the rest of the way down so she’s completely cocooned in scratchy wool and the smoothness of his suit jacket.

“I can think of about six different ways you could keep me nice and warm tonight,” she murmurs.  Steve makes a half cough-half choking sound in his throat, and she giggles as she looks up at his face.

He isn’t blushing, but he won’t meet her eyes either. There’s another long moment where they just are, and Darcy absorbs every bit of heat as her hands slide up his torso. One hand curls at his neck and the other to pillow her head.

“You’ve heard worse by now.”

“I have, but remind me to tell Sam he wasn’t too far off base when we get back.”

Darcy raises an eyebrow and shifts to get a better look at him. “What do you mean?”

“I should have flirted with you from the beginning.”

“Pardon?” she whispers, her throat suddenly hoarse. The sensation of the cold disappears from her as quickly has it had settled into her tiny car. Not just from the press of Steve’s body against hers, but from his words. Her stomach clenches as they slide across her skin and register in her mind.

“I should have started flirting with you as soon as I met you,” he repeats softly, his nose brushing her temple and burying in her hair. He makes the most adorable hum of pleasure as he inhales. His strong fingers skim along her side to curl at the at her hip and press into her soft skin under her sweater.

“Mm, that’s for sure, do you have any idea how rude it is to keep a girl waiting when she’s trying to behave because she doesn’t want to offend you?” Her fingers card through the short strands of his hair at the back of his neck as she speaks. His hair surprisingly soft.

“Sorry about that. Would taking you out for dinner after the storm be a good start to making up it up to you?”

Darcy smiles as she shifts higher into his lap, so their faces are level. Her long brown hair makes a curtain, secreting them away from the outside world as she leans closer, her nose bumping his as her lips brush over his cheeks.

“You had better,” she murmurs, pressing her mouth to his in a long overdue kiss. He’s warm and firm beneath her and more than happy to skate his mouth against hers, teeth nibbling her bottom lip.

When she pulls away Steve grins up at her. “You were saying something about there being six different ways you could think of for me to keep you warm.”

“Steven Grant Rogers, you are full of surprises today aren’t you?”

He just laughs and leans up to pull her into another lingering kiss.