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When Sif showed up for the first time at the Avengers Tower, ostensibly to provide some information from her brother Heimdall, Tony Stark and Darcy Lewis had the exact same thought:




Unfortunately, they both said it aloud. Even more unfortunately, they ignored everybody else in the common room to point at each other like two identical Spider-Men. “I saw her first!” they said in unison.

“Nuh uh! I saw her!” they both replied then glared, crossing their arms and narrowing their eyes at each other like Clint Eastwood in every movie he’s been in ever. For ten very long seconds, silence reigned as the two opponents sized each other up with an amused Sif standing before them.


Darcy was the first to speak. She pointed at Sif and took a half-step toward Tony. “Well, I saw her in New Mexico. You weren’t in New Mexico.”


“Yeah,” Tony mirrored the step. “So, I saw her first now. And this is my tower.”


“So you’re saying that because you happen to rent--”




“Fine! Own this piece of concrete that you get first choice at anything that walks through that door?”


“Yes!” Tony widened his stance as if trying to go for artful nonchalance instead of preparing to suit up.


Darcy’s fingers twitched, inching closer and closer to the hem of her oversized striped sweater. “So you’re the king and this is your castle? Who do you think you are? Louis the Sixteenth?”


“It’s good to be the king.”


“Might want to bone up on your history. Or you might lose something important.” The fingers were under her sweater now. “Besides, everyone knows that people with goatees are evil!”


Tony stroked his facial hair. “Beards are not evil!”


“I never said beards were. Or moustaches for that matter. But goatees. Totally evil. I’ve seen Star Trek. I’ve seen Game of Thrones. Goatees are evil. It is known.”


“My goatee is not evil!” Tony’s hands gesticulated wildly as if to emphasize his point.


“Sure, Evil-Kirk. Sure.”


From the flickers of glances from the bystanders, everyone knew that fireworks were imminent and they were very much in the danger zone. “” Steve tried to step in.


Only to be stopped by Thor. “Nay, stay your hand, Captain. Turn your eyes to the Lady Sif.” Steve and the rest of the group did as Thor bade.  


The female warrior was watching the ever-escalating exchange with a pleased smile heading into smirk category on her face. Her blue eyes shone with pleasure as she reached up to tuck a wayward strand of long black hair behind her ear. Nothing about her posture or expression showed anger or even annoyance over what had to be a very unusual greeting.


“Is it just me, or does she seem okay with it?” Clint asked.


“It is not just you, friend Barton. ‘Tis Asgardian custom when two or more warriors desire the opportunity to court another warrior, that the suitors show their strength and list their assets. If a suitor feels he or she cannot offer their desired lover what they deserve, then the suitor can back out gracefully with no ill-will. However, if after the listing of assets and attributes the suitors feel they are evenly matched, then they must choose a mutually agreed upon competition to settle their differences and thus reach an accord. Only then can the victor present their suit to Lady Sif for approval.”


Steve looked at the bickering Tony and Darcy, then back to Thor. “But shouldn’t Sif make the decision herself? What if the victor is a schmuck or she likes someone else?”


“Do not worry yourself, Captain. The Lady Sif will decide who she will shower her attentions on.” Thor grinned. “Until then, she will keep her counsel and await a victor.” He clapped a large hand onto Steve’s equally large shoulder. “‘Tis more fun this way. I suggest we find a comfortable place to relax and enjoy the show.” His eyes twinkled. “Anyone willing to place any wagers on the outcome?”


“My money’s on Darcy,” Jane said much to everyone’s shock.


Clint shrugged. “I don’t know. Tony’s a full-fledged superhero. Darcy’s, well, an intern.”


All one-hundred pounds of astrophysicist vibrated with indignation. “Are you doubting Darcy? She knocked out Thor the first time she ran into him!” She paused and then amended, “I mean, I ran into him. But that doesn’t matter! She coldcocked a god.”


“She is my little lightning sister,” Thor agreed, crossing to Jane to wrap an arm around her.


Ignoring the endorsement, Clint countered, “Yeah, but Tony’s got the suit.”


“Not on him.”


“If you think he doesn’t have a suit within twenty feet of him, you don’t know Tony.”


“Five bucks on Darcy,” Natasha said from behind them on the couch.




She raised an eyebrow.


“Banner, back me up here!”


“I don’t know. The Hulk likes Darcy. She gives him popsicles.”


“But Tony’s your science bro! Bros before hos!”


Natasha leaned forward. “Did those words really come out of your mouth, Barton?” Her tone was deadly as her thighs.


And Clint seemed to realize it. “I think I’ll go hunt down a beer.”


“Bring back enough for all of us!” Natasha said, a self-satisfied smirk on her lips.


Clint flashed her the bird but scurried away before he could get into any more trouble.


Thankfully, Tony and Darcy were ignoring the side-betting and unspoken death threats going on behind their backs and had instead turned their attentions to the object of their disagreement.


“I’ve got stuff,” Tony offered Sif. “Lots of stuff.”


“He does,” Darcy conceded.


Tony’s eyes narrowed like he didn’t believe she was being honest.  Probably smart of him. “Thank you.”


“What?” Darcy shrugged. “You do. You are like the Stuff King. But money can’t buy happiness; otherwise, you wouldn’t be as miserable as you are!” She smirked at Tony then winked at Sif. “While I, on the other hand, can show you how to have fun even in the middle of the world’s most boring town ever. And trust me, New York City?” She spread her hands out. “Is not a boring town.”


Tony rolled his eyes. “Yeah, I know. I’ve got three skyscrapers, a mansion, and a secret little hideaway outside the city. I can show you whatever you want.”


“So can I.” She whipped out her MetroCard. “I’ve got a multipass.”


“Yeah, but I’m Tony Stark.” He sounded frustrated, like he couldn’t believe anyone thought they could compete with him. Especially someone who flaunted their public transportation credentials with a quote from The Fifth Element .


“Uh huh. And?”


“I can get in anywhere.”


“Uh huh. And?”


“That means I win.”


“You’re assuming that Sif -- I hope I can call you Sif -- wants to be bombarded with a never-ending barrage of paparazzi and pissed off bimbos.”


“Hey! Check your sexism, lady!”


“What? I never said the bimbos were female.” Darcy looked pointedly at Tony.


That got surprised a laugh out of him. “I resemble that remark.”


“Yes, yes, you do.”


Rallying, he said, “Yes, but considering that I’m a male bimbo, that means I’m obviously going to be the better lover.”


“I wouldn’t know. I haven’t tried you yet,” Darcy said. “But if the tabloids have any grain of truth, then most of your former lovers can’t wait to line up to sell their stories about how Tony Stark is a lousy lay. As for me, I have an open invitation to all of my former lovers’ bedrooms. And as a woman, I have a distinct advantage in knowing how to please another woman. Quality over quantity, baby.”


Tony blinked, his eyes assessing Darcy as if he was seeing her, truly seeing her, for the first time. Then he blinked again. “Why are we fighting?”


Darcy motioned with both hands to the smirking Sif, who was obviously enjoying the two people fighting over her.


“Yes, yes, I get that. Sif, you are awesome and sexy and wonderful… but why are we fighting? We should not be fighting. We should be fucking. Clearly the only way to decide who would be the better choice for Sif would be to give her a taste of what she would get from us and let her make a decision.”


“Not a totally unreasonable plan, but how do I know you won’t cheat?”


“Are you saying we need a referee?” He smirked. “Kinky, but okay.”


“Yes.” She pointed at him. “That is exactly what I am proposing. However, I think that the other one of us should be the referee. You watch while Sif and I make love, and then I’ll watch while you and Sif boink like horny teenagers.” Darcy turned to Sif. “Are you down with this? If you’re not, I can go back to Plan A of tazing Tony when he least expects it and then propping my leg up like in one of those old-timey hunting photos.”




Sif ignored Tony’s outburst and glanced out the window at the sun. “I have nothing pressing for the next few hours. I accept your proposal.” She paused for a moment, a gleam of mischief in her eye. “What happens if I’m unable to decide?”


“Then I guess you’re stuck with us both.” Tony seemed inordinately pleased with the possibility.  He turned to Darcy, an anticipatory grin on his face. “You okay with that, short stack?”


Darcy glanced around the common room, ignoring the various stunned Avengers and friends, finally stopping at the grinning Thor. “Does this mean I get to play with your cool toys?” she asked Tony while flashing a wink at the God of Thunder.


“I thought money and stuff didn’t buy happiness.”


She grinned at Tony. “Yeah, but even I know better than to turn down a Starktech vibrator.”


Tony stepped forward and slung his arms around Darcy and Sif’s shoulders. “You know, I have a feeling that this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful fuckship.”


Thor leaned forward, resting his arms on his knees. “Before you go, my Lady Sif, what is it that your brother wished inform me?”


“Oh!” Sif exclaimed with a hint of embarrassment. “Forgive my distraction. Heimdall bid me tell you that your brother has been spotted on Midgard.”


Thor scrubbed at his face. “Again?”


“It appears so.”


“I thought Loki was dead?” several people asked at the same time.


“It appears as if the reports of his death have, once again, been greatly mistaken.” Sif’s mouth twitched at the corners at her statement.  She turned to leave.


“Before you go, was Loki planning any mischief?”


Blue eyes glittering, Sif glanced at her prince. “Why, Thor, Loki is the God of Mischief. He’s always up for a little spot of trouble. Especially if there is fun to be had.”


“Speaking of fun,” Tony interjected before the conversation devolved entirely to Loki. “The playroom’s this way. Who’s up first?”


“I’m up for a little two-on-one, if you are.” Sif’s smile was positively predatory.


“Then I suppose the only thing we need to figure out is which two will be on which one.”


Darcy waved her phone. “I’ve got an app for that.”


“Of course you do.”


And with that, the three of them drifted out of earshot leaving the remaining assembled Avengers wondering just what they were going to do about Loki and who had actually won the bet.