I can't be sure how this story is going to end up ratings or pairing wise yet. it's not finished.
Darcy Lewis looked at the judge in this sealed hearing. Her lawyer and the SHIELD lawyer had both asked to have the hearing sealed from anyone not involved and only audio records being taken. The sides had different reasons to do so, but SHIELD didn't want to be embarrassed by being found to be dumbasses. Darcy's was for her own protection. "Your Honor, before we begin, may I ask a question?"
"Go ahead," he sighed.
"Do you have a security rating? Because I have files pertinent to this problem that they're having and mine aren't classified or marked as classified, but the incident itself has been classified as it let them find multiple dirty agents." She pulled out a stack of folders to hand to her lawyer, who smirked a tiny bit at that. "As I know my lawyer has a very small clearance I was not at liberty to share those with him until this point when it became necessary."
"I'll have that noted in the records so he doesn't have agents show up on his doorstep in the middle of the night," the judge agreed patiently. "And I have a security rating of 8, Miss Lewis."
"This was classified at level 10 by the Secret Service." The lawyer for SHIELD started and stared at her. "Apparently no one at SHIELD has that high of a clearance or they're as illiterate as I thought they were."
"I think, if it is pertinent, then that will be all right. May I glance through it before ruling on it's pertinence?" The lawyer held it out for the bailiff to take. "Thank you, Mr. Murdock."
"Welcome, Judge Henrys." He turned his head toward his client. "Really, now?"
She patted him on the hand and leaned closer. "That's only one section," she said in his ear. "The rest is rated at level 19 and above only. It let them find over twenty dirty agents in three agencies and their ties to not only terrorist groups but a few different flavors of the mob." He winced but nodded once. "And it's going to get messy," she said less quietly. She sat up again, looking at the judge while he read.
He paused at one thing and was staring at it then swallowed and moved on. Darcy figured he was maybe halfway to the really bad shit, but she'd let him find out for himself. The judge paused again, staring at her. She shrugged a bit so he went back to it. Clearly the next page started the really bad things as he went pale and sipped some water. Then he closed the file.
"Why is this pertinent, Miss Lewis?"
"Because they're trying to force me to go undercover in that same manner to help three agents who they stupidly put there without having read up on the history, Your Honor. The first I knew of it, I had Director Fury walking smugly into my present job and trying to blackmail me into going back.
"Apparently he was under the impression that I had *participated* instead of being a victim of it. When I pointed out that he had faulty information and that clearly he hadn't read a thing he said he had read enough. Thereby proving his illiteracy. Because if he had read even as much as you did, he wouldn't have been in my face trying to force me to go back there."
"No, he wouldn't have." He put the file aside. "And we're here because you're suing them for that?"
"And for trying to kill me by putting out my address. Again. Which meant I had to actually be saved by *two* Avengers members and a few others who wear costumes in this city." He winced but nodded once. "Not to mention I had to break my vow not to spill blood to do just that when I had to shoot three agents my own self." The SHIELD lawyer moaned.
"Frankly, if they weren't illiterate and had chosen to have someone at least glance through that file, and the full one that's in their files as well as the FBI's, the Secret Service's, and the NSA's, then they might have saved us all a lot of problems and they wouldn't have lost sixteen agents in the last two weeks.
"Mostly to injuries and jail but three they've lost permanently. And one of those was me defending myself when they broke into my apartment to steal me. I asked and taped it." She pointed at the tape on the table. "In front of NYPD officers who responded to my alarm."
"Shit," the judge muttered. "All right. I'm going to provisionally put this into evidence. If it comes up, I will allow the SHIELD people to see this version so they can compare it to their own or another agency's version."
"We have no information on anything like that, sir. She's just a lab assistant!"
"Clearly you haven't read anything either," the judge snapped. "Miss Lewis, would they know?"
"If they had done a search on my name, which they'd have to do to put me together with that incident, then yes it would've popped up. Hell, even HYDRA knew that because one of their dirty agents tried to call me by my original name until he died of Thor hitting him to save me and Dr. Jane Foster."
The judge blinked. "You know Thor?"
"I work for his ex-girlfriend, Dr. Jane Foster, Your Honor."
"Okay. That's good to know. Was he the avengers member that helped you?"
"No. He's not down here right now. Hasn't been for three weeks." The judge nodded, making a note of that. "I can ask them to appear if you request."
"No, that's fine. It'd make it a spectacle." He looked at the SHIELD lawyer, then at the man sitting next to them. "Director Fury, do you know her original name?" He nodded once. "Then look it up please?" He did and saw a file he let the judge see. The judge handed the tablet to Darcy, who got into the right file and handed it back. "Oh, he misspelled."
"An extra 'E' that most people put on there. I had teachers do it for years," she agreed.
Nick Fury read that file, grimacing. He looked at her. "You could still help."
"Apparently you're still illiterate, Fury. Keep reading until you get to November of that second year." Fury glared but did that and sat up suddenly. "That's probably July, when I figured out their little trick." He kept reading. "Your Honor, would it be permissible to offer up a suggestion that SHIELD change directors?"
"Probably not," he said dryly. "That's not my jurisdiction, young lady."
"The one you want is dead," Fury shot back.
"Bullshit. Saw him in London during the clean up of the mess we made defending the city since SHIELD never answered," Darcy shot back with a grin. "Have pictures to prove it." Fury glared. She stared back. Then she smiled and waved a hand. "You're clearly not at November yet. You haven't thrown that tablet."
"I've read enough."
"Keep going," the judge ordered. "Were you put into witness protection due to that incident or another one?" the judge asked her.
"I was put into witness protection because a few of the agents that weren't dirty sold my address, name, and information to the people I had turned in. Which then let them arrest another nineteen agents." The judge winced at that. Matt Murdock patted her on the arm.
"They had to protect me from three different flavors of mafia, plus the original problem, and other agents who got mad that I had turned in ones for light little offenses like child sexual assault and murder. I'm told the NSA agents who did the sending out were very sorry when their bosses shot them a week later because they were of no more use to them. Which is when an agent showed up at my door and told me I needed to go into hiding and my name was now Darcy Lewis."
Nick Fury stiffened and glared at her. "That was you?"
She looked at him. "If you're in August or September, all I did was report that I saw an agent there and why. The agent I talked to was dirty as well apparently because he warned the other one. So I looked up and called the tip line at the Pentagon because there was a general there, and then I called the one for NCIS, and they broke down doors. If you're in October, I managed to get myself free and escape back home. Keep going though." She waved a hand, staring at him. He glared but put the tablet down.
"Do keep reading, Director," the judge ordered. Fury huffed but did and did throw down his tablet on the table and get up to walk out and swear in the hallway. "I believe he found it. Mister Rodness, is that in November?"
He looked at the tablet. "Dated October 12th, Your Honor."
"The day I got kidnaped," Darcy said dryly. "Thankfully I was too pretty and wouldn't make as much money if they hurt me the way they wanted to." She glared at Fury when he came back. "Keep going. Please," she said with an icy smile. "There's much more than that." He sat down to read with a huff but then groaned. "Wow, you made it to November." Fury glared and kept going then winced and put the tablet down carefully. She looked at the judge.
The judge looked at Fury. "Your idea of getting her involved to help your agents, would that be suitable with that file?"
"No," he said bluntly. "Had I known this, I would have handled things differently, Your Honor."
"Coulson knew," Darcy said. "He found out in New Mexico and asked me about my former life and I told him it was classified for a reason then I told my oversight agent to talk to him. He did not like that talk apparently. I told you to talk to him too, and you refused."
The judge looked at her. "I have no reason to tell you to calm down, but please do not snap at him in here, Miss Lewis. Clearly he wasn't doing his job correctly as an intelligence agent, but this courtroom is not to be sullied by a shouting match if we can help it."
"Not a thought I had, Your Honor."
"Thank you." He looked at her lawyer then at the other lawyer. "Is your client going to conceded that they caused that level of problem and just give in? It may be the best for everyone."
Nick Fury considered it then nodded. "Within limits. She asked for an excessive amount of damages."
"I gotta live somehow when I have to change identities again," she quipped. "Not like I can stay with Jane now."
"We can take all that out," Fury told her.
She snorted. "No you can't. Your dirty agents have passed it on to the mob. I had to get *Avengers* members to save me, Fury. Plus two others in costume. Hell, I ran into Deadpool and he had heard!" Fury grimaced but nodded once. "There's no way you can undo your issue this time in a way that means I'm safe and Jane's safe around me."
"We can try. We can move her to a safer location with you."
"Foster doesn't work for you. You proved SHIELD's intent by stealing all our stuff. Then trying to weaponize her work. Even if it would save Jane I'd have her go to Asgard instead. Shit, I'd have her go to Loki and ask to be a concubine." Fury glared. She stared back. Matt patted her on the arm. "Frankly, Your Honor, I'm going to have to move for my own safety. Before the people coming after me harm more innocent people like they did yesterday firing on the cab I was in on my way to a safe house, which they followed after trying to shoot me and the driver. Which is how I ran into Deadpool actually."
The judge considered it. "Director, would you agree that's a logical outcome?"
"I'd like to think we could protect her."
"I'd like to think that the director is living in a fantasy world," Matt Murdock said. "I was witness to the attempted shooting last week, Your Honor. That's when she hired me as her lawyer. When we had Hawkeye and the Punisher both saving her from the mob."
"Two mobs," she quipped dryly. "With a third coming in to help."
Fury huffed. "We can move you to a safe location with Foster." Darcy snorted, looking over at him. "We can protect you."
"No you can't. Or actually, you won't. You'll let the security slip one night, in a few months when you think it's more safe for me. And it'll get most of whatever facility taken out, probably including Jane. Then you'll blame your agents who failed, who were probably already dead, to get out of it." She stared at him. "I'm not the naive one I was at fifteen, Fury. I know how much the system doesn't work and doesn't care about one woman. Or even one kid.
"I used to believe in justice and all that, and then I had to deal with it." She stared at him. "To you, I'm an inconvenient obstacle you need to sweep under the rug before the new Security Council bites you. Since the files named two of them originally...." She shrugged. "I knew in New Mexico I couldn't trust you. Your thugs proved it, and they proved it again this last month."
"We can move you both to somewhere no one would look."
"I don't want to go to the other eight realms. I might run into more of those elves we had invading London and have to fight them again. I'm not built for that."
"We'll get you back to Stark tower tonight."
"No we won't," she shot back. "Because they tried to bomb it last week!" Fury winced sharply. Matt patted her arm again so she calmed back down. She took a deep, calming breath then looked at the judge. "I need to talk to my oversight handler, Your Honor. That way I know if he has plans."
"He got car bombed yesterday," Fury said quietly.
She glared at him. "If it was your people I'm telling his wife and kids."
"It wasn't us, Lewis. We're not the evil in the universe."
She snorted. "Sure. That's why we had to defeat a whole lot of stupid your people brought on my head." He sat back again. She looked at the judge. Then behind her at the three agents there. "Does that mean one of you is my new oversight handler?" One raised a hand. "When am I going?"
"Tonight," he agreed. "After this. Foster packed your things. You're going uptown for right now to a safe house." She nodded once. "She said she stole your stuffed cat?"
"I can't have a real one with her."
"Point I guess." He looked at the judge. "Your Honor, we're going to have to take some pretty unstandard moves to get her safely out of harm's way this time. And we do not mind that she shared that file with you. We thought she was a standard witness until about three hours ago when her file was handed over by the higher ups who had been hiding it." She rolled her eyes but he smirked. "One of them thought there wasn't any more danger. Then he looked at it and realized we're still dealing with that issue." She nodded then sighed. "So we've got to evacuate her soon."
"That's fine. Unless there's new evidence of how it wasn't SHIELD that managed to set off this incident, I think I've heard about enough."
"No, Your Honor, I did not read well enough to know anything about this. Our files were hidden. The one she accessed wasn't in the data dump done before HYDRA collapsed us. We rebuilt our system with those first and the other sources of files were put back as secondary level. I did not do my due diligence to read the entire file."
"Thank you. I find her in favor, and I hope she finds some safety sometime soon. Good luck, Miss Lewis."
"Thank you, Your Honor." She got up and grabbed her messenger bag, letting the agent walk her off. Until they ran into the guy with the gun coming in through the emergency exit, then he forced her back into the courtroom and she got evacuated by Matt Murdock when the shooting started. "He's in dark blue uniform, like the ones we saw in London," she told the bailiff, who called that in. "Handgun, an automatic since I didn't see a revolver cylinder, and he had something strapped to his back."
"Got it," the bailiff said, getting them out a side exit with the judge. Director Fury was behind them and got them to a safer car to take them out of the way. The bailiff, who was a SHIELD agent, called in that the one they wanted had managed to get out of the building. The one shooting went down pretty fast, thanks to an unknown shooter. By the comms system, that same unknown one stopped the SHIELD SUV and got Lewis out to get her and Murdock to safety away from Fury. So a great bit of hell there.
Darcy nearly fell through the door to the safe apartment, sliding down the wall to hug her knees. "Fuck."
"Yup," her rescuer said dryly, walking in with Murdock behind him. "Make yourself at home."
"No, I don't want to throw up in a corner," Darcy quipped, sounding exhausted. She looked up at him. "Thank you, Frank."
"Welcome, Lewis." He smirked. "The bailiff was an agent of some kind."
"I noticed the body armor," Matt said, sitting on the couch. "It threw off his body sounds." He looked toward where Darcy was. "Away from a window, Darcy." She looked around and shifted over. "Thanks. Just in case." She nodded, curling up around her bag for now. She needed to rest and not cry. She had to make sure she didn't cry. He looked at Frank. "Who were they?"
"Russian mob. Above the track suit ones that Barton keeps dealing with." He got them both something to drink and sipped his. "Now what?"
She shrugged. "I don't know. The guy with me was supposed to be my new oversight guy."
"He's alive, just injured. Shoulder shot," Frank said. She nodded, relaxing again. Someone knocked so he walked over, hand on his pistol. He looked then let the blonde in. "Karen, what're you doing here?"
"I came to help. You're both protecting some lady." Darcy waved a hand then let it hit the floor. "Okay, that lady."
"That's Darcy Lewis. Jane Foster's assistant," Matt Murdock told his former paralegal. "She helped bring down a child trafficking organization full of very pretty young women who were models. Which meant they found a lot of dirty agents."
Karen winced but nodded. "Sure. We can hide her."
"I need to see where Jane put my stuff," Darcy said. "I'm going to be switched in protective custody." She blinked at Karen. "But thank you."
Darcy grinned. "We're probably about the same age. I'm twenty-nine." She sat up then ducked back down at the sound of a shot outside. "And paranoid. This is seriously raising my usual anxiety up."
Karen smiled. "I know that feeling very well. You should drink." Darcy nodded, taking the bottle of water to drink. Then she curled up again to rest. She really did need a nap. Running for your life was hard work.
Frank and Matt shared a glance then they looked at Karen, who made notes for who to go talk to and what to ask. She was good at that and it'd make her safer.
Nick Fury looked at his agents. "Who took out the shooter?" he demanded.
Clint Barton grinned. "Looked shitloads like Frank Castle, boss." Fury spun to stare at him. He wiggled his fingers. "And it was. Whaddya know, he was tracking some of the mob he's after. I was dealing with some of the Russian mob I was having problems with, and we ran into each other when they converged to take out Lewis."
"So what the hell did you do?" Stark demanded from beside Barton. Natasha was on his other side. "Suddenly she's more wanted than the hot new flavor of donut by everyone who's dirty in this city."
"Not just this city," Clint said dryly. "Natasha traced it back to the actual Russians in the Russian mob. So what happened?"
"It's got a high security clearance rating," Hill said as she walked in. She handed over the files Lewis had handed the judge. "I had the agent take them from his desk and leave a note that we had taken them to make sure we had copies then hand them back to her." She looked at her boss, and old friend. "I'm fighting the urge to hit you, Nick. I'm not going to lie." She looked at Barton. "Castle's gone to ground at his backup apartment and her lawyer, Murdock, is there too."
"Can't be much safer than the Punisher and Daredevil," Stark said. "So what the fuck happened?"
"Lewis used to be a teen model," Hill sighed. "She was pretty, kinda picky about her jobs, but pretty enough. Her agent was involved in the trafficking trade however. She found out and turned it in, which went to a dirty agent. So she turned it in to others. Who did step in and helped and we found about thirty bad agents. Then they tried to retaliate by making her testify in person during the trial and publishing her address and things.
"Which found another nineteen dirty agents across a few agencies. Not SHIELD but NSA and FBI mostly." Stark nodded at that. "So they put her into protective custody and let her form a new identity as Darcy Lewis. And now that group has basically gotten big enough that they've gotten notice. We were supposed to ask her to help us get them again but someone didn't read the files and tried to blackmail her into helping us bust them."
She took a calming breath. "Even after finding out she was a victim of it the last time. So one of our presently dirty agents, who is dead now, told the ones who wanted her last time. She embarrassed and helped bring down a multi country, multi billion dollar in eighties and nineties money, trafficking organization. When the higher ups in the mobs in Europe needed a new concubine or breeder, they went to this group. There's a lot of hidden concubines of higher figures from them."
"So she busted them and they got mad," Stark said. "Then the dirty agents got into it and got mad that she took them out." Hill nodded. "And now they're back again because your director is an asshole? Did I get that right?"
Hill nodded. "He didn't read the secondary level files apparently." She looked at him then at Stark. "And she outed in the court that she knew someone was alive."
Fury grunted. "I heard." He looked at Stark. "I offered to have her moved somewhere safe."
"There's nowhere safe with your agents looking over her shoulder," Stark said. "She can't guarantee that they're any less dirty than the other ones were."
"Hey!" Clint complained.
"I know I'm not."
"Yeah but you can't go with her to guard her either."
"No, I can't. I would. I like Darce. She's a neat lady and a good friend."
Stark nodded. "Yeah, she is. Foster is moping hard. She'd probably go with her but that'd mean giving up science."
"We'll have to tell Thor," Natasha said quietly. Stark and Barton both winced and so did Hill and a few other agents. "So how do we fix this screw up without having to take out most of the mafia groups in the world in under a week?"
"We'll probably have to take out a good many," Hill said. "Plus find her somewhere absolutely safe to hide." She looked at Fury. "You have any ideas who could help her? I doubt Castle can handle it for too long. Lewis is too bouncy and active for someone like him."
"Put her on the Raft?" Fury offered. "Surrounded by all the degenerates but they can handle an assault to get her if one happens."
She grimaced. "That's asking to have her murdered, Nick." She looked at Stark. "Did the bomb do damage?"
"To the front entryway. Thankfully nothing more than a few people knocked down. I'd like to talk to that group too if I could."
"Russian mob," Clint told him, shifting some. "Not the one that lives in town but the higher ups with the actual hitters and strategy people. They tried to get in before to steal an arc reactor and failed."
"They were amusing," Natasha said. "For about ten minutes. They also underestimate a woman's value."
Stark grinned at her. "Thanks. Let me know next time?"
"If I must. I told Pepper."
"I'll be talking with her later about that. I can't design good security if I don't know what I'm up against."
"Fine," Natasha agreed.
Clint nodded. "I can hand you what I have on the local ones. They're not real bright though. Their cheap gold chains gave them gold poisoning and it's rotted their brains." Nick Fury stared at him oddly. "They like to try to claim the neighborhood where my off-duty house is," he said dryly. "We're not happy neighbors. But I got a dog." He smirked.
"Lucky is a very good and smart dog," Natasha said with a nod. "I appreciate him more than I do many agents I have to deal with daily. At least when he tries to kiss me it's because he's happy to see me." A few agents looked away from her.
"Go ahead and mildly injure them," Hill ordered. "That way we know to put them in for retraining." She glared at a few agents herself. "Two teams, go stake out Castle's neighborhood to see who's coming and help protect Lewis." A few team leaders nodded, heading off to do that. It was more than two teams but that was fine, they could work that out. She looked at Natasha. "Go find out her plans for us? That way we can help her?"
"I can do so," she agreed, strolling off with Clint behind her. Stark followed since he couldn't really fix things this time. "Stark, can JARVIS remove all mentions of her from the internet?"
"He's been trying but her former modeling jobs have recently gotten some attention with the return to some pin ups and heavier models again. There's even a few agents who showed interest in her if she still had what they needed. She's kept her former identity open on instagram so no one would be looking for Darcy herself. It led the idiots away from her current identity."
"Huh." She nodded. "I'll let her know that." He held up keys, making her smile as she took them. "Thank you. See if you can get the information on her out of there even if her modeling portfolio is more open?"
"I've been trying all night. JARVIS was most amused by the dark web and how little they actually have on there." He walked off to get another way home in his suit.
Clint went with Natasha, they could both make the SHIELD agents set up efficiently so it didn't look like they were quarantining the neighborhood. Which it did. They made the agents fade back to a more hidden watching status so they quit freaking out the normals who lived there.
Natasha knocked on the right door, getting Castle and his gun answering it. "We came to help." She walked around him, Clint nodding as he walked in. She spotted Darcy and sighed. "Good, she needed the rest." She looked at Frank then at Matt. "Any ideas on upcoming plans?"
"Not yet," Matt said. "She had some water and took a nap."
"She's probably not been sleeping well," Natasha said, sitting on the same couch as Matt was. She looked at Frank. "You have backup at the moment."
"I saw," he shot back, grimacing at her. "Why?"
"Nick Fury is very embarrassed and Maria Hill wants to punch him for not reading the files," Clint quipped with a grin. "Nearly did it in front of lesser agents too."
Matt snickered quietly but grinned at them. "That sounds nice of her."
"It does," Frank agreed. "Too bad Lewis didn't hit him in the courtroom."
"He did not like the files she handed the judge," Matt said. "She noted they were rated as level 10 classified after asking about his clearance level." Natasha snickered, nodding some. "Then she told Fury he was illiterate but the judge made him read them and he nearly threw a fit. Got up and stomped out to swear once."
"Good," Natasha said. "Hopefully he won't be that careless again. It was a rookie mistake."
"Then are you sure it's Nick Fury?" Darcy asked, blinking at her. "He's Dumbledore, he's always got a plan up his eyepatch." She sat up. "Are you sure it's him and not his dumb clone?"
Clint texted that and got sworn back at by Hill a moment later. "That is not him. It's his LMD." Natasha sighed. "She's going to fix that as well." He put his phone up and grinned at her. "So, plans?"
"Hiding forever and ever and subtly emailing Jane every now and then to tell her I'm still alive? Unless you can go borrow the Sorcerer Supreme or something to go back to stop him?"
"Stark is putting JARVIS on the matter," Natasha said. "He's removing everything about you from the internet but he's blocked by some of your pictures having a renaissance."
"Fat girls are back in so I'm popular again?" she quipped. "Great!"
"You are not fat," Natasha and Clint both said, followed by Matt.
"Guys, in the modeling world, plus size is size six and I'm a size eight. Yeah, by their standards, I am. And I'm okay with that." She heard a shout and ducked down again. "Maybe I should go do porn, then no one would be looking for me."
"Only creepy guys," Frank reminded her. "And maybe stalkers if you're good at it."
She grinned. "Thanks for the vote of confidence, Frank." He smirked back. She looked at Natasha. "I could probably go buy a small island somewhere. There's a house hunters type show about people buying small islands for homes. Some of them are as low as two-hundred-grand for ones up in Canadian lakes. Though a lot seem to want to go to Roatan for some reason."
"Maybe a boat instead?" Clint offered. "That way you can move when you need to?"
"That could lead to people taking over the ship," Matt said. "There are modern day pirates."
"You could put a security grid up on a small island," Frank agreed. "A ship might be a good idea though and if she does bring Foster with her, that would let her take her science stuff in multiple areas."
"I have no idea how to sail a ship," Darcy said. "I barely remember how to drive since it's been nearly two years now." That got a grin from Natasha. "And I get sea sick something hellish."
"Okay," Clint agreed. "So maybe a boat as a side plan. Maybe with Foster's machines so she can do testing by herself when she wants to."
"She'd hate being alone so often," Darcy said. She looked at Natasha, who was considering it. "Do I need to make more plans beyond moving?"
"That we may have to find out," Natasha admitted. She crossed her legs, looking at Clint and Frank. "Can we get those groups to give up?"
"Not likely, and taking them out would make her a bigger target in retaliation," Clint said, leaning against the wall near where Darcy was settled. "Plus the dirty agents. No telling how many of those there are."
"We know that the ones who were in jail for the first incident are still mostly there," Natasha offered. "But two have gotten compassionate releases for cancer." She looked at Matt and Frank again. "If we could set up a safe location for her, it would help. We'd have to vet the guard team however."
"I can't afford a guard team even if I do get all the money I tried to get SHIELD to pay for this," Darcy said quietly. "I'm doubting I'd get over a few hundred thousand. Enough to set up a house maybe."
"We're going to talk to Fury later about that," Natasha assured her. She texted Hill that to see how much the awarded amount was. She did suggest Darcy get the equivalent of the salary of any agent that falls due to being dirty with this incident. Hill's response said they hoped it wasn't more than two of them. Natasha pointed out the ones she figured were dirty to the same groups. Then she suggested they needed to set Lewis and Foster up somewhere safe. That's what had brought up that question. She put in a quip about that island house hunting show too. Hill's response back 'that's not a bad idea, give me twenty'. "Hill has an idea on an island she thinks." She smirked at Clint. "She thinks we'll only lose two agents."
He snorted. "We've already lost eight." Darcy went pale. "We'll figure it out and wound them for you, Darce. We have agents in the neighborhood watching your back right now."
"They're flashy and visible," Castle agreed. "Easily spotted."
Natasha nodded. "They're young." Castle rolled his eyes. Her phone beeped with a file downloading so she opened it to stare at it. "Nicknamed Scooby Island," she read. "Huh. Multiple paranormal tinted events there, with portals." Darcy stared at her. "Ghostly images showing that it's connected to another place. So many things for Foster to complain about." She scanned through it. "The satellite focused on it has shown a few flying things that look like dinosaurs?" She shook her head quickly. "But they disappeared within a day."
"Bermuda Triangle?" Frank Castle guessed.
"Off the coast of South Carolina," Natasha corrected. She looked up. "It sits on energy lines." He shuddered, shaking his head. "But it does have a house that could use some cleaning at least.
Clint grinned as he shook his head. "I was on the team that went to st up the surveillance when it appeared. Totally freaky, has a closet door that leads to an island in the Mediterranean because we had to fly back from there. The door closed and wouldn't reopen from that side." He grinned at Darcy. "Small plantation style house with a big porch. Not a lot of land but plenty of room for Foster's weird machines with all the duct tape supply in the world and you. I'd suggest a dog too. I know there's monkeys. They were there when we were. They were happily eating the apples in the trees."
Darcy blinked a few times. "Wow."
"Yeah." He grinned and nodded, taking the phone to send Maria Hill notes he remembered about that place and she'd still need to be able to fix it up because the house didn't have electric or running water. Plus she'd need a good garden area to live off of and for the monkeys to steal. He handed the phone back. Natasha added that it would be good to dump it as part of the settlement to rescue her, the other funds could go to updating and living needs. Hill took a minute but agreed it wasn't a bad idea to put that as part of the settlement. That Foster could deal with the portals all she wanted.
"South Carolina's hot, does it have fans at least?" Darcy asked.
"We can put some in and probably central air," Natasha said. "Or at least room-by-room systems once we put in electricity and running water."
"I remember we had waves of the electronics with us going out," Clint said. "Something with some interference some nights. Seemed to be about the moon phase."
"Jane will be overjoyed," Darcy said sarcastically. Natasha snickered quietly, but nodded. "Does it connect to Asgard too?"
"Not that we saw," Clint admitted, leaning against the wall. "But you never know about weird islands. Look how many have movies written about them."
"Point," Darcy agreed. "Yeah, that might be okay I guess. If it's safe?"
"It probably should be. Castle could probably go with you for a few days to make sure the monkeys don't invade." He looked at him, getting a shrug back. Murdock looked amused. "At least monkeys won't pet you, Murdock. It'd ruin your prettiness." That made the lawyer laugh.
Castle shook his head but looked amused. "Sure, I can handle monkeys if they try to get too grabby." He looked at Darcy, who was yawning. "Go back to sleep, Lewis. Not even the Russian mob is stupid enough to walk into this neighborhood with all the weapons here." She nodded, laying back down. He looked at Clint again. "Monkeys?"
"Yeah, whole tribe or whatever you call a herd of them." He grinned. "Cute things. Dark faces, light gray bodies. Darker gray cap on the head. I looked 'em up and they said something like velvet or something." He shrugged. "There were a couple of orange ones too. Tamarind like the food in Asia or something."
Natasha looked up that report. "Vervet monkeys are the light ones and golden lion tamarin are the orange." She let Frank see their pictures.
"How would they get to South Carolina?" He followed their links. "The tamarin are from Brazil. The others are often found in Ethiopia and Somalia." He handed the phone back. "At least it's not the nose monkeys or the ones that're always screwing."
"Proboscis monkeys are cute," Darcy said quietly. "All big, floppy nose and all." She blinked at him. "Bonobos are cute too, even if they do screw like humans for any special feeling instead of being in heat." She grinned. "Monkeys are cute but can be a problem according to some of the guys in Tromso who had worked at an observatory in India."
"I'd be laughing too hard to pay attention to anything else when their noses were bouncing around that way." She grinned back and went back to resting.
Clint grinned at him. "They stole all our ration bars. Hated 'em but stole 'em because they're shiny." Frank just nodded at that and sat down. "So we can talk Hill into that?"
"We probably can, as long as she does give her enough of the settlement to live on. I have also suggested that Darcy get the yearly salary of any agents we find dirty due to this." She looked at Matt. "You can draw up the official paperwork for legal reasons?"
"Of course. It's not that hard. We'll hear her suggestions and then counter with double or triple the amount of money so Darcy has enough to live on and keep Jane in science things."
"Jane works for Stark so they can probably help there," Natasha said. She looked outside. "There's someone very brave out there. Who is Italian mafia." Castle groaned. "Let me go talk to him." She got up and strolled out to talk to that man on the street. "You're in a dangerous area today."
He looked at her. "I know of you, Black Widow. I come in peace today." He held up his hands. "We heard about that young thing's problems. Didn't like that it had to happen to stop that sort. Our higher ups are disgusted by what she had stopped." Natasha smiled but nodded slightly. "And the three of ours who were going to help will no longer be available for that. Mr. Giana has said that stopping that is a higher cause and a good thing for anyone to do, especially girls protecting themselves. He wanted her assured that no one was going to come against her from our people."
"I'll let her know. Thank your overseer for me."
He grinned. "Technically our areas start about a block that way," he said with a point. "We're not the ones that have the beef with Castle either." He tipped his head and got into the car to drive off.
She went upstairs. "Mr. Giana had to stop three of his people from aiding those after Darcy but he's stated he hates what she had to stop and would not allow that to go on around him." Castle grunted. "And that his people weren't the ones you had beef with but their neighborhoods are a bit safe."
"He's not bad. Real uptight. Formal. Not into the same things the Irish mob is." He grimaced. "But it's nice he's not going to help them."
"Giana is a strong, steel hand and doesn't hide it," Matt Murdock agreed. "His people wouldn't dare go against him."
Castle nodded. "I've never had a problem with one of his. But he'll buy stuff from tax and death sales." She smiled as she sat back down. "The agents hiding better?"
"No," she admitted. "They brought an assault vehicle to this." Castle rolled his eyes. "Exactly. They're young."
Clint nodded. "Very young." He shook his head with a sigh, sliding down to sit next to Darcy. She looked at him. "You can rest. I just needed to sit." She nodded, going back to resting. He petted her ankle until she fell asleep. He looked at Natasha. "Will it be safe enough?"
"Probably. It's hard to get to so the casual asshole won't want to. It would make Jane safer as well."
Clint nodded. "That's a good idea too. Jane nearly got pounced by people who wanted to know how bad Thor was in bed. Fangirls, yay!" he finished sarcastically.
"They don't try that with Pepper."
"Pepper's scary," Clint quipped. "She'll stick her high heeled pump up someone's face."
"True. I admire her for that strength." She looked at Darcy when she moaned in her sleep. Clint went back to petting her ankle so she calmed back down. They could handle it for the night.
Jane looked up as Stark sat down across from her in the kitchen area of the lab. There were guards on the doorway to keep any nosy people away. "Is Darcy safe?"
"For tonight. We just had a second meeting because Romanoff had an idea. Darcy quipped about using the house hunters for island houses show to find somewhere safe and defensible. Thankfully, SHIELD knows about one that's got some really wacky things going on that's got a house, monkeys, and apparently at least one long term portal and sometimes a few flying dinosaurs." She looked confused but shook her head slowly. "Yeah. But it's safe. No one wants to go there. It's not that far away from a town once you're off the island. It's got a house that needs some work." He slid over a copy of the report.
She read it carefully. "That would be so weird."
"We were thinking that you'd probably like to go with her, because that would be safer for you from the fangirls too." She grimaced but looked at him. "And you could study the portals or whatever they are. That way Lewis doesn't turn into a Victorian horror novel heroine by herself. Or an evil overlord with monkeys instead of cats." He slid over a second folder. "From all the other places that had a report on it."
She read those over. "That's really weird. Would it mess up my machines?"
"They might already have a portal to Asgard," he quipped. "No idea. We'll need to fix it up for her. There's no running water right now. Or electricity. We can put up a solar system for the house and for your machines."
"Mine use a lot of energy, Tony."
"I know. We'll figure it out." He grinned. "It'll take a few weeks to get the house set up and fixed. And make sure the monkeys aren't sentient and trying to take over the world." He leaned on the table. "We need to know if you're going with her."
"I..." She looked then nodded. "She'll be miserable without people. What about her instagram thing with her new pictures?"
"I spotted those recently. She looked hot." He grinned. "You can turn off location on pictures, Jane. Or we can set it up so it leads them to Alcatraz or something."
"She might like that. She likes feeling pretty." She considered it. "I wouldn't mind going with her. It would be safer and there'd be less interference with seeing the stars at least."
He nodded. "That's what we figured." He tapped the table a few times. "We'll send you down with guards at first, for at least a week, to make sure the security's tight. We'll make sure it's workable and you guys have what you need. Apparently it's got good growing land because the packs of monkeys have been eating from apple trees." She shook her head quickly. He showed her pictures. "Barton was on the survey team. He found both those types of monkeys."
"Breeder let them loose or something?"
"No clue." He grinned. "Have fun finding that out?"
"I'm pretty sure I will. That's really weird."
"It is. But that's your sort of science anyway."
"Point." She smiled. "Thank you, Tony."
"Welcome. We'll miss Darcy nagging you and Bruce to eat and sleep." He got up and walked off. The guard went with him since they didn't need privacy anymore. Jane got up to start her cleaning up of her lab to move it to South Carolina.
Darcy looked around the temporary safehouse and then at the guys with her. They both shrugged. She sighed and headed into the kitchen then came out with a list to hand over. "Groceries please?"
"Of course, Lewis. Safer than getting things ordered." One of them went to get them and the other stayed with her in case one of the idiots had found them. He'd wonder about the baking supplies but some people did really bake and cook. Darcy Lewis apparently stress baked.
They'd so need the gym after a month of watching over her.
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