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Dress for Success

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Last call is 4 AM; after giving Clarence her two minutes notice (which involves convincing him that, while she appreciates the offer, a promotion from server to dancer will not persuade her to stay) and grabbing something to eat, Darcy doesn't get home until after 5. Which means she doesn't wake up until after noon, which means she has about half an hour to get ready to go if she wants to make it to Stark Tower on time.

She's halfway through doing her hair when she remembers that her one set of good job interview clothes is at the bottom of her laundry pile, the victim of a never to be repeated attempt at cooking bolognese sauce in her postage stamp kitchenette. Which means that her wardrobe options for her first day as Tony Stark's new personal assistant are either a t-shirt and jeans (all of which show every minute of the weeks she spent shifting debris downtown while wearing them) or Ye Olde Hooters uniform.

Although… it takes her a minute to verify on, but she thought she remembered hearing that the stories about the flight attendants on his corporate jet were true. Boobalicious pinup outfit it is.


Tony is a no show when she arrives at the tower, but the voice in the ceiling that identifies itself as JARVIS gives a remarkably thorough tour of the unsecured portions of the building and an even more efficient rundown of her future duties and expectations. She's impressed, right up until JARVIS explains that the introductory brief for new PAs was assembled by Ms. Potts. And that Darcy is the fifth person to receive it in the last month.

Fortunately, Darcy is the sort of person who takes things like that as a challenge.

When Tony finally makes his way back into the world of the living, wearing last night's sunglasses and a shirt that looks like he uses it to wipe down engines, he finds her working through his calendar on a StarkPad in the lounge. He shuffles past her on a beeline to the kitchen, which just began wafting the scent of freshly brewed Kona after JARVIS informed her that her new employer was awake a few minutes ago, and then freezes mid-step. Actually stops with one foot hanging in the air, which she didn't think happened to real human beings, or to anyone who wasn't a cartoon character.

On Darcy's resume, right below the lines about tasing Thor, being nice to the Hulk, and causing Captain America to die of embarrassment, she can now list "broke Tony Stark's brain." Because she can see him trying and failing to process a girl in a Bettie Page costume in his living room, even through the sunglasses, and his poor caffeine-deprived train of thought is derailing like someone left a whole stack of pennies on the tracks. A giant, flashing stack of pennies labeled MONOGAMY FAIL.

When in doubt, run with it. "Yo, bossman, you were not wrong about needing an assistant. You've got a meeting with somebody listed as Senator Asshole scheduled for this Friday, which already has a note about taking C and T to Coney Island. Please tell me that T is Thor and that I can cancel the senator and come with you, I need that for my soul."

Knows Thor --> waitress from strip club --> new assistant --> not a one night stand --> not about to be crushed like a bug under the red-soled spike heel of Pepper Potts. It's fun to watch the choo-choo work its way across his face.

After three cups of coffee from the ridiculous Italian espressobot in the kitchen (seriously, it's the same size as the oven, and she's pretty sure she saw a Ferrari logo hidden behind all the nozzles and piping) and most of a violently green smoothie, zombie!Tony shoves the sunglasses up to the top of his head and suddenly turns back into Tony Stark, playboy genius. It's like a magic trick.

"Reschedule the meeting with Stern for next week, whenever doesn't conflict with anything else that's on there. But don't take the first time he offers you, make him work for it. Actually," and then he breaks off and sweeps his eyes down her body. It's different than last night in the club, evaluating rather than leering. Well, there's a little leering. "JARVIS, pull up the videoconference system, and get the direct contacts for Andersen and Mcrae while you're getting Stern's. Let's make it a party."

Andersen, Mcrae, and Stern. "Senators Anderson, Mcrae, and Stern?" she hisses. "You want me to set up a meeting with Mr. Family Values, Mrs. Legislating Equal Rights Is Demeaning to Women, and Mr. I Have A Conservative Stick So Far Up My Ass That Even Thor and King Arthur Working Together Couldn't Pull It Out?"

Tony smirks at her description of Andersen, laughs a little at Mcrae, and chokes on his glass of Hulk snot when she gets to Stern. "Hell no," he tells her once he's finished coughing, "I just want JARVIS to record the looks on their faces when they see that shirt."

Darcy looks down at herself, and oh, yeah. The lights in the club weren't exactly focused on anyone who wasn't working on stage, so the uniforms for the servers weren't exactly cut in a way that left a lot to the imagination. A billion stories up, afternoon sunlight pouring in through the wall of plate glass windows, that fact is even more obvious. And she's about to Skype the top three members of the Congressional Moral Moronity.

"Mr. Stark, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."