Phil pulled up to the curb and stopped the car. "You sure you're going to be okay?" he asked as Darcy grabbed her messenger, and opened the door. "I hate to drop you off two blocks from work. I'm more than okay with you driving in with me. If anyone asks I'll tell them you had car trouble."

"I'm fine. Besides, I think walking a couple of blocks will do my head good," she replied giving her man a small grin. Darcy wished that they could have just stayed at his place today. It was the perfect weather for snuggling up on the couch, watching movies, and recovering from a monster hangover. Clint had texted her about ten times this morning and she had not got back to him yet. Darcy wasn't mad at him or anything, she just hadn't had anytime to chat.

Darcy watched as Phil rubbed the side of his head and close his eyes. He had only gotten a couple of hours this morning and it was all her fault. If she hadn't been a dumb ass and drank herself into a hot mess, he wouldn't be so tired. He played the part of 'boyfriend of the year' this morning and nursed her back to a semi functioning state. She reached over and touched his leg, and looked into his eyes. "The question is, are you okay?"

He gave her his famous tight lipped smile and nodded. "I'll manage." He fidgeted with something on the dash then drummed his fingers on the arm rest.

"Do you go to the doctor today?" Darcy asked. Phil had been going to see the S.H.I.E.L.D doctors ever since they got back from Shady Oaks. At first it was for this heightened sense problem that he got from being attacked by a werewolf. After those seem to balance back to normal, they were replaced by a nasty aggressive problem. She noticed it right away when Phil seemed to acting a lot moodier than she had ever seen him before. He had gotten snappy with her and even attacked another agent at work. After another week spent in the medical unit they discovered that his hormones were out of whack. They prescribed shots for him to take every two weeks and hopefully by the end of the treatments he would be back to his old Phil-self. Darcy hated to admit that moody-Phil was sort of hot though. It was like that little bit of feral-ness that he had before was still there. Not to mention when he when he was getting close to his next round of shots, he was more sexually charged than usual.

Which was a big plus in her book.

"I go tomorrow," he replied with a thin smile. He looked at his watch and then back to Darcy. "We better get going or we're both going to be late." He leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

Darcy smiled and brushed her lips against his before he pulled away. "Will I see you tonight?"

"I have to supervise a night jump tonight, so I won't be home until late. I may just even crash here depending on what time we get done." He brushed his hand through a lock of her hair. "Hope everything with Dr. Foster goes well."

Darcy nodded and stepped out of the car. "I'll text you later. Have a good day, babe." He waved and she shut the door and watched as he drove off towards the headquarters. With a sigh, she slung her messenger bag over her shoulder and started walking.


"Did you not get my texts?" Clint said soon as he saw Darcy walk in the doors. He tossed his Mountain Dew bottle in the recycling bin and walked over to his friend. "I'm surprised you're still alive after last night."

"I got your texts," Darcy said taking her coat off. "Figured I'd just talk to you at the office today. And, if it wasn't for Phil, I'd still be passed out in a puddle of my own puke somewhere. I swear, he gets the 'best boyfriend' award." She walked over to her cubicle and hung her coat up, then looked at her watch.

"You were wasted last night," Clint smirked as he leaned up against of the edge of her desk.

"Yeah, thanks to your special brew and I still feel like shit," Darcy said with a roll of her eyes. "So did I miss anything crazy? Did you hook up with anyone? Tasha?" Darcy raised her eyebrow and tapped her pencil on Clint's knee.

"No hook-ups. Tasha left shortly after you did, said she had to get up early for training today," Clint said as he tried to snatch the pencil away.

"You need to tell her before she gets with Captain America or someone," Darcy said turning back to her computer. She punched a few keys and brought up a screen. "So nothing else happened?"

"Just a party. I think it went pretty well, though. You just need to lay off the booze next time," he joked. "And, do you remember telling Phil and I that you wanted a threesome with us?" he laughed.

Darcy stopped typing and looked up at Clint. "No. I said that?" she laughed. "What did he say?"

"He didn't say anything. I don't think he was really into it."

"Where you?" Darcy raised her eyebrow in question.

Clint cleared his throat. "Hey listen, Coulson is a foxy man, but I don't swing that way. However, if I was a woman ... Hell yeah."

"A foxy man?" Darcy snorted. "You know I'm going to tell him you said that."

"Please," Clint said with a wave of his hand. "I'll tell him that right now." He pulled out his phone and typed a message and sent it off to Phil. A couple seconds later his phone chirped and he smirked.

"Oh god what did he say?" Darcy asked with a grin on her face.

"He said, 'What the hell, Barton?'" Clint laughed.

Darcy grinned and then groaned. "Shit, I have to get going down to the labs," she said looking at her Hello Kitty clock on her desk.

"What, you're a scientist now?" Clint asked, arching his brow.

"Remember I told you that I'm working Dr. Foster," she said, getting up from her chair.

"Oh boy." Clint shook his head.

"Oh boy, what?"

"I heard she's a bit high-strung and, well, a bit neurotic. That's what I've heard around the base anyway," Clint yawned.

"Awesome. Just what I want," Darcy muttered as they began to walk down the hall. "You have plans tonight? Do you want to grab some dinner after work?"

"Can't. I've got a night jump scheduled. Phil's supervising it."

"Just supervising it, right? He's not jumping." Darcy looked over at Clint.

"Oh, no, he's jumping too. How else do you think we're getting into Bagalia?"

"You have got to be fucking kidding me? Now I have to worry about his parachute not opening?" Darcy wasn't happy with the thought of her boyfriend falling a billion miles an hour to the earth and going splat.

"He's done it before ..."

"When? Like twenty years ago?" Darcy asked.

Clint shrugged. "I'm sure it's like riding a bicycle." They stopped when they got to the hallway that led down to the science department.

"You'll watch over him right?" Darcy asked.

"Of course. I won't let him go splat. I promise."

"I mean when you guys are in Bagalia also. Please don't let anything happen to him," Darcy said in the most sincere voice Clint had ever heard her speak in.

Clint grinned and looked at his best friend. "You love him, don't you?"

Before Darcy could answer the doors burst open and a young man and woman came rushing out of it. "Ooohh ... it's oozing all over! Fitz, hurry up!" A woman with a British accent laughed as she carried one end of something that looked like a giant worm that was dripping pink slime all over the floor.

"I'm walking as fast as I can go! Excuse us, outta the way! Giant pink smelly alien slug thingy coming through ..." the young Scotsman yelled to Clint and Darcy as he carried the other end of the creature.

Darcy and Clint both smushed up against the wall and pinched their noses as the two scientists rushed past them. They watched them carry whatever the hell it was down the hall and disappear through the next corridor. "God, this department is so weird," Darcy muttered, making sure she didn't step in the ooze.


"Come in," Phil called loudly. The door to his office opened up and a dark haired man stepped inside and shut the door behind him. "Have a seat Agent Ward," Phil said without looking up from his computer. The agent walked over and sat down across from Phil's, crossing his leg over and folded his hands on his lap. Several minutes passed by and then finally Phil looked up.

"I know you've heard about the team going to Bagalia," Phil said, leaning his arms on his desk.

"Yessir," Agent Ward replied.

"Director Fury has recommended you to possibly replace Agent Barton on my team."

"Really?" The agent sat up a bit straighter in his chair.

"Only if I can't find someone to replace Barton on the mission that Fury needs him for. The team consists of-"

"Agent Romanov, Agent Dorchester, with yourself as S.O. I'm familiar with the roster. I've been interested in the mission for a while now. I think Director Fury has made the right choice with replacing Agent Barton with myself, sir."

Phil forgot how cocky and sure of himself Agent Ward was. It was both a good and bad quality to have in his opinion. He would have to admit that Ward was an excellent agent. He ranked second only to the Black Widow in espionage. Of course, there was no better shot in S.H.I.E.L.D than Agent Barton. And, Phil really needed an expert marksman with him. "We're running through some practice drills tonight. I want you to start training with us just in case I need to bring you in," Phil said marking a note down on a piece of paper.

Agent Ward nodded. "I'll be there, Sir."

"Good. Meet me, Barton, Romanov, and Dorchester in hanger B at 1100 hours. We'll be running through a few night jumps." Phil slid a file over to Ward. "That's the mission details. I suggest you familiarize yourself with it before tonight."

Ward picked up the file and nodded. "We'll be parachuting into Bagalia then?"

"There's a flat area right on the boarder where we can safely land. From there we'll meet up with a transport that will take us into the heart of the capital. Once inside we'll have to get into ExxNorth Industries where the object of interest is being kept."

"This object, sir? What exactly are we dealing with?"

"From what we've been hearing for the last few months is that Doctor Constantine de Soto has been developing a weapon which uses gamma radiation and possibly some sort of alien technology to power it. If detonated the effects would cause mass destruction. Agent Dorchester estimates that it could possibly take out eight-five percent of the United States if detonated here. So you can see why we're on high alert. We'll see you tonight, agent." Phil said, giving Ward the 'you're dismissed' look.

"I'll be ready, sir." Ward stood up, tucking the file under his arm and exited Phil's office. Phil watched him go and when he was alone in his office again, he picked up his coffee, took a sip and then went back to work.


Darcy had gotten lost two times in the Science department. Once she ended up in some weird laboratory with a screeching monkey and some parrot that she swore it called her a 'skank.' Then she found herself in a small room filled with all kinds of weird electrical conduits. Finally after wandering around for a few more minutes she found the lab where Dr. Foster was. Darcy pushed open the door gently and walked in. Dr. Foster was leaning over a large table that had a whole bunch of maps spread out all over it. "Dr. Foster?" Darcy said quietly, being careful not to startle the petite woman.

There was no response, just a slight muttering about 'electromagnetism' or something. Clearly, the doctor was immersed in her work and didn't even know Darcy was behind her. "Dr. Foster?" she said a bit louder this time.

"Hmm?" the doctor mumbled and then turned around. "Oh, sorry. Are you Agent Lewis?"

Darcy did her best to smile. "Yep. Agent Darcy Lewis. It's an honor to meet you," she said sticking her hand out.

"Oh, you're familiar with my work?" Dr. Foster perked up a bit and shook Darcy's hand.

Uh, yeah," Darcy lied. "Your work on that ..."

"Einstein-Rosen Bridge."

"Yeah, that," Darcy smiled. "That was-"

"It's okay." Dr. Foster turned back to the maps. "I was hoping that S.H.I.E.L.D would at least assign an assistant to me that had some knowledge astrophysics or at least heard of me."

"I heard of you. I signed up for one of your lectures at Culver University." Which was true, she did signed up for one but skipped it at the last minute when Devon Anderson asked her to go make out.

"You went to Culver?" Dr. Foster asked, turning around.

"Yep. Political Science major." Darcy set her bag down on the chair next to the table.

"What year did you graduate?"

"Um, I didn't," Darcy said, cringing just slightly. Dr. Foster had ready thought her useless, she must really think little of her now that she was a college drop out. "I was recruited into S.H.I.E.L.D before I graduated."

"And your skill set is?"

Darcy tried not to show her anger. "I'm good with computers. I file like a boss. I can-"

"You're good with computers?"

"Yeah. Real good. Like hacker good," Darcy replied.

"Good. Because I'm not. I'll need you to catalogue everything into the computer for me," the petite woman said with a nod. "And you can call me Jane."

Darcy smiled. Maybe this was going to work out after all. "Great. You can call me Darcy. So where do you want me to start?"

"Can you get me some coffee?" Jane said holding out an empty mug.

Bitch. Darcy mentally rolled her eyes, but took the mug and smiled. "Of course I can. How do you take it?"

"Black with lots of sugar. Like three packs."

"You take it the same way my boyfriend does. Well, maybe not that much sugar." Suddenly she wanted nothing more to go to Phil's office and make out with him. Usually she'd make it a point to pass by his office a couple of times just so she could get a look at his face. Now that she was in 'land of the weird' for god knows how long, she would have little time to do that. "Okay, I'll be back in a few minutes and we can get down and dirty." Darcy forced another smile and wandered out of the lab.

"Hey stranger," Darcy whispered as she came up behind Phil in the cafeteria. He turned to her and gave her the smallest smile.

"Agent Lewis. How is everything going with Dr. Foster?" Phil asked as he filled his coffee cup.

"Well ..." Darcy rolled her eyes. "She knows I know nothing about astrophysics and I'm a college drop out. So things are going pretty well, I think. I mean, she gave me the challenging task of getting her coffee."

Phil's eyes twinkled, which meant he was amused. "I'm sure things will get better, agent."

"Yeah, well see." Darcy poured coffee into the mug and grabbed the sugar. She looked over at Phil and smirked. God, she wanted him bad right now. It was so hard to keep playing this game. "So how is your day going?"

"As well as it can," Phil gave her a tight smile.

"And you're feeling okay?" Darcy whispered, looking directly into his eyes.

He didn't say anything but he nodded his head slightly. He glanced down at his watch and looked back at Darcy. "Excuse me, I have a meeting I need to get to."

"Okay," Darcy said with a bit of sadness in her voice. She knew that this was all an act between them, that he really didn't mean to be curt with her at work, but still it stung when it seemed like he had no interest in her.

"Have a good day." He nodded and walked out of the cafeteria.

Darcy sighed and turned around smacked into someone, spilling coffee all over the place. "Oh shit."

"Damn it." An angry voice grumbled. "Why don't you pay attention to where you're going?"

"Sorry!" Darcy glared up at the dark haired agent. She looked at his I.D badge. "Agent Ward. But when you walk up behind someone like a fricken' ghost, how am I supposed to know you're there?" Darcy grabbed some napkins and started to wipe up the mess.

Ward grumbled and dabbed at the brown spot on his blue shirt. "Coffee is hot, you know. It burns skin. And I don't have an extra clean shirt here, so thanks."

What an asshole.

"Really? Coffee is hot? I did not know that," Darcy said rolling her eyes. "I said I'm sorry, okay. It's not like I purposely bump into people to spill coffee all over them."

He huffed and looked at her badge. "Oh, you're Lewis."

Darcy huffed this time and put her hands on her hips. "And what does that mean?"

"It means exactly what you think it means."

"That I'm a snarky badass?" Darcy smirked as she made Jane another cup of coffee.

"I don't know about the badass part," he smirked back. He looked down at his shirt again and then back up at Darcy. "So do you know how to get coffee stains out of a shirt?"

"Yeah, put on your suit jacket to cover it up," Darcy grinned at Ward and then headed out of the cafeteria to the lab


Darcy stomped back into the lab with Jane's coffee and set it down on the table next to her. "Back."

"I know, you sounded like a herd of elephants coming in." Jane looked up at Darcy and raised her eyebrow.

"Well, I just had an encounter with a jackass of an agent. To be fair though, I did spill your coffee all over him." Darcy shook her head and sat down at the computer. "Fuck, I forgot I was going to make myself a cup while I was there." She wanted to bang her head on the keyboard.

"I'll probably need another one in about twenty minutes," Jane said as she looked into a magnifying glass as one of the charts on the table.

"Oh, hell to the no. If you're going to send me out for coffee every twenty then I'm bringing a coffeemaker with me tomorrow. That way we can make it in the comfort of our own lab."

"Now," Jane said looking up at Darcy and smiled. "That's a good idea."

Darcy smiled. "Okay, boss lady." She pulled up a screen on the computer. "So what's the super sneaky project you're working on?"