Darcy Finds a Patsy

August 17, 2017:

Darcy Lewis investigates one of the suspicious individuals on Phil's list of dodgy agents.

The Triskelion


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Told that one of the possible HYDRA plants is a man named Brian, Darcy got to work. She watched her inventories just as closely as ever, watching for his name or an office location right next to him. Scheduling the delivery, Darcy doesn't dress any differently than normal, nor act any differently as she sashays her way in. She's just a girl on a mission that consists of drinks and possible extra curriculars. If it gets her the intel she wants, for the moment, Darcy's more than willing to play along.

Shall we see how far she gets?

"Hmm.. Brian?" she asks as she stops her supply cart by his desk.

Brian is a friendly looking guy. He just has one of those faces. He's going to grey, but he still maintains a youthful quality about him. He smiles, and grey eyes twinkle merrily.

"You're Darcy, right?" he asks. He hadn't been in the office too much, after all, until recently, when Phil smoothly benched him in a way that looks so routine that he hasn't even complained about it.

"Oh hey, supplies. I hope you brought some of those 1.6 mm pens, I love those. They leave ink all over my hands but they write really smoothly." He's completely unabashed about the ink that's already on his hands, holding them up to wriggle his fingers by way of demonstration.

Oh that friendly just makes this a bit harder, doesn't it? I mean. Nice guys + HYDRA?

Darcy smiles right back.

"That's me. Office Supply Logistics," Darcy replies brightly, winking one eye. His query gets an almost roll of her eyes, and she turns to her cart, pulls out a few 1.6mm's in different colors.

"Of course I have some. They really are the best. I love the ink," she says, grinning mischievously at the ink on his hands.

"For that reason. I'd love to get some permanent ink, but I never can make up my mind on what I want, or where. So… these pens to my rescue. Not that I'm an amazing artist or anything, but little hearts and stars? I can rock those," Darcy rambles happily as she holds out the convetted pens.

Brian laughs as he takes the pens. "Oh yeah? You got any wild temporary tattoos to show off today?" He mostly only takes blue and black ones, though he also pulls a red one.He's apparently not quirky enough to try to fill out his paperwork in purple or green ink, though of course finding the 1.6 mms in packages that don't include the crazy colors is all but impossible.

He seems ridiculously relaxed in addition to being cheerful, and is unhurried in the extreme. The memo he's typing up looks completely banal, but if he notices or is upset by it no sign of that shows whatsoever.

His question has Darcy pausing. The smile falls into something a lot more mischevious and she looks tot he left then to the right and then steps away from the cart to his side of the desk. She's in her usual but impractical six inch pumps and pencil skirt, which combined make what Darcy does next completely Darcy: She pulls up her skirt on the right side while picking her right knee up to set on the edge of his desk right in front of him.

It's about midway up her thigh, completely hidden by her skirt, but completely visible if she wore short shorts or a mini skirt or anything like her usual derby attire. Hearts and stars and little flowers. 1.6mm ink for the bold black lines and green leaves. Darcy also used gel pens for some bright purple details. Setting make-up spray is what keeps it from running.. until she showers anyway.

"Whacha think? Cute, right?"

The Agent is more than a little shocked to suddenly find a knee in front of his face. But he doesn't look at all put out by it. He grins and blushes, and says, "I think you maybe missed your calling, Agent Lewis. You would have made a heck of a tattoo artist. The details are pretty fantastic."

And then, with arch good humor: "I like the location, too." He leans back a little bit, though, returning his attention to her face, meeting her eyes.

"Oh! You flirt. I'm only good at hearts and stars because I've doodled them since high school. All the rest I suck at," Darcy quips while turning to lower her knee only a few inches, since she perches her rump on the edge of his desk and plants her foot on the drawers. It does mean the skirt lowers a bit, hiding most of the doodle design she colored in last night while watching Supernatural re-runs. Netflix, how I love thee. Darcy rolls a shoulder.

"It's about as high up as I can get on myself," she replies, meeting his gaze with her own. Her smile suggestive? Sure could be taken that way. Of course, it could also just be Darcy.

"I should probably buy you dinner first," Brian quips, but…no, he's not at all against helping Darcy doodle just about anywhere she wants him to go doodling. That much is clear. If he's surprised by the sudden attention, or suspicious of it, he certainly doesn't let it show. If anything, he seems confident enough that he's simply pleased by it.

He tilts his head, making a show out of realizing what he just said. "Which isn't a bad idea at all, if I do say so myself. You off soon?"

Hook, line… sinker comes later. If she can get him enough to let anything slip. Darcy lets her smile color her cheeks at the replying flirtatious advance.

"Five, as usual. Unless some moron decides at 4:50 that they absolutely must have a completely empty office restocked before 8AM tomorrow," Darcy fires back, right foot sliding to the floor so she can lean forward to whisper at Brian.

"Of course, the odds of that are like… crazy, right? Keep your fingers crossed and shoot me an IM?" she whispers, knowing far too well her blouse is going to flop open a bit. Normally, she has no fucks to give about that. Today? She's more than aware and looking to remain her usual 'no fucks given'. It's much easier than she thought since no fucks is her usual default.

Brian grins like an idiot. There's simply no other way to put that. He looks, but not in a particularly vicious or malicious way. It's just appreciative, if Darcy is any judge of men whatsoever.

"Great, I'll do that," he says. "What do you like? I know a great little Russian place, if that appeals. If not, I'll bow to the lady's wishes."

Darcy's a little bit of a judge. Not an expert, and certain no Natasha, but she's been around the block, had boyfriends and girlfriends and transfriends. She knows a sweet smile when she sees one and it melts a tiny bit of her. Enough that the kiss to his cheek is completely genuine.

"Russian sounds fine to me. Anything not frozen dinner, actually, sounds amazeballs," she confirms, pushing up to return to her supply cart.

"IM me right before five, and we'll meet in the lobby," Darcy suggests, brows lifted, red lips smiling.

He seems charmed by that little peck to his cheek. "Okay!"

And promptly at 4:55 PM she gets an IM. 'Hey, are we still on?' There's a bright smiley emoji to go along with it, the one with the big, wide open mouth.

OMG. Brian is afuckingdorable! Darcy smiles, replying quickly: 'Hells to the yes. see you soon! ;)' She had made SURE nothing was going to interupt, and at five was out the door of her supply closet of an office and making her way to the lobby.

He's taken the time to take a shower on-site, and to change into something a little nicer than the striped collared shirt he'd been wearing at his desk. A clean suit, though one that does little to detract from his jovial air. He smiles and waves when she reaches the lobby, then offers her an arm. "My friend Vladimir runs this place," he says warmly. "He's an outstanding chef. He also writes for TV on the side, so he's a real interesting guy. He'll give us a great table."

Darcy's eyes skim over the man, noting the change in attire with a backwards lean of her body and a grin on her face. The arm is taken, over sized pursed tossed carelessly over a shoulder.

"Vladimir, huh? Wow. Which show does it write for?" Darcy asks, happily letting herself be led from the building.

"Well, it's still in the pilot stage," Brian says sheepishly. "He's hoping to sell it to a local television company, but he's still paying me lots of consulting fees on it. It's called Agents of Gladius. It's all about this ensemble cast of ousted spies who drive around in a souped up Winnebago— I fought him on the Winnebago bit, you should know, but he really likes it— fighting for the good of the world. Kind of like us, I guess, only really camped up. And I'm supposed to tell him how spies do things and help him get plot ideas and stuff. I helped him come up with some of the characters too."

He opens the door to a very nice Audi for her, and helps her inside should she accept such help. He seems more than happy to enthusiastically babble about this if she'll let him, but does pause and grin over at her as if to give her the out, blushing a little bit.

Darcy listens to all of this, smile never slipping. Because that sounds like it would be a horrible show. Who'd watch anything about spies trying to save the- oh, right. Angels. Darcy ends up giggling as she accepts the hand into the car. All buckled in, she turns toward Brian.

"Am I going to get a character? Plucky cubicle neighbor or something?" she asks, watching the blush and seeing about getting him to keep going about what he's consulted on, plots characters. Because Darcy is NOT a No Spoilers kind of person.

Brian perks up. "Oh you know you totally could! They're looking for a new member of the cast. She has to have like a dark secret though, they're looking for someone with a dark secret. So okay, there's the stern-yet-kind pilot. Think of her kind of like McGonagall with planes, right? Sorry, I just love Harry Potter. And then there's the disavowed elderly spy who was stabbed four times but brought back to life on the tropical planet if Tah-i. Because there's a prophecy about him, and the Tah-i have the secrets of souls. And then there's a meta human whose father is evil. And a pair of scientists who are in love with each other, only they're long lost twins and they don't even know it. And then also there's this guy Walter Rant. He's a real bad-ass operative, but…ok, spoiler alert, right, he's actually working for DEV-IL, the evil organization. It's all really silly, but they all have this camraderie and stuff. And like DEV-IL got them all disavowed so it's kind of like the A-Team. I think it's going to be really great if Vladimir can get it off the ground."

Darcy giggles at it all, finding it so surreal.

"A Dark Secret, huh? She's actually an Egyptian pharaoh goddess, who's taken control of the afterlife and is back on Earth to conquer it," Darcy quips, because why the hell NOT feed this bit of crazy. Besides, if this Vladimir is using Brian for SHIELD consultation and there's too much truth then it confirms his molish ways and maybe gets her info so the others can get closer to revealing HYDRA agents in the upper ranks. Plus, why not? If she's going to get a character based off her, why not go for whackadoo?

Brian perks right up. "Oh my god, that's perfect! We'll tell Vlad all about it tonight. That fits right into the arc where the Tah-i are at war with the Egyptian gods."

Yep. This show is going places.

Meanwhile, he winds them through the heavy-duty NYC traffic to get them to a small, cozy place that is tucked into a corner of Hell's Kitchen. It looks like a hole in the wall, but there's actually a little bit of parking to be had right near the building, a plus to be sure. A few shady looking characters do hang out on the street, leaning against the walls, smoking, thug types. Brian doesn't appear to notice them or worry about them in the least.

"It looks worse out here but it's great inside," he says earnestly.

"Of course it's perfect. Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra was fucking hot and like hell she's satisfied with being dead," Darcy quips, mentally noting that the research she did on En Sabah Nur last year is going to pay off here in a bit. Her eyes skim off the thugs, and playing the damsel in distress, she turns into Brian's arm ever so slightly.

"Sure. I trust you." And my tazer.

He pat pats her arm, and leads her inside…

It's a nice, cozy little eatery with a hip vibe. Recessed lighting, polished wood tables with bench-style seating, candles flickering on the tabletop. There are only about ten tables in the whole place, and a man in a t-shirt stands behind the counter. "Brian," he says, in heavily accented English. "Who's the pretty lady?"

"This is Darcy, from the office," Brian says proudly.

Vladimir grins at Darcy. "Brian hasn't been in with a pretty lady in a very long time," he says, as if confiding a secret. "You must be kind to him if he does something foolish."

The cozy and clean atmosphere was not what she had expected, but, it was nice regardless. Introduced, Darcy looks over and offers her hand. Because that's the thing you do. Of course, that's about the time that Vladimir gives Darcy a little secret and she waves it off with a wink and a stage-whisper of her own.

"Scout's honor. He's adorable."

Vladimir takes her hand and shakes it. His hands are rough. They are rough where people who punch things get callouses. They are rough where people who fire weapons a lot get callouses. There is no way this man is just a simple restaurant proprietor…but is he Hydra?

As it is, he grins at Darcy. "She's a keeper, Addy," he says. "Take a seat anywhere you like. I'll bring you menus. Do you like fish? Not everyone does, but if you do I recommend the Kulebyaka to all my first time visitors."

Brian says enthusiastically, "It's like a fish pie, but everything's really good. Get whatever you want, Darcy. I'm really excited that we could do this tonight."

The rough hand are noted against Darcy's smaller softer ones. Not that she lotions and dotes on herself, but she certainly doesn't weapons training 20 hours a day. Led to a table, Darcy settles her purse next to her hip as she sits.

"Thank you," she says politely, agreeing to the fish pie. Not her usual style of ordering, but she's willing to run with it. She leans forward toward Brian when Vladimir moves away with their orders, a smile on her face.

"Me too, actually. But, I have one question," she says sounding oh so serious.

"Addy?" and the name has a giggle to it.

Brian laughs. "My last name, silly," he says warmly. He goes ahead and orders the same thing, along with a light Russian beer for himself. He offers a hand to her and says, "Do you like it? Working at SHIELD? I heard the story about you, you know. About the pet store. I thought it was incredibly sweet."

Again, everything about him does seem earnest and bashful and honestly into this date of theirs.

"Ohmygod, duh! I'm sorry. I'm a moron most days. Of course it's your last name," Darcy says, laughing at herself. She got water to drink, because while a date, Darcy's not ready to get drunk for it.

"OH. It's alright. Pays the bills," she says, blushing much more honestly when he mentions the Pet Store.

"Yeah…. well, no one else was doing it. Poor puppers didn't ASK to be there and they don't have thumbs to get themselves out so.. yeah," she says, smiling back at this honest earnest bashful… Maybe he's just getting used?

Whether he's dupe, puppet, or pro is hard to tell on a single date. It might be hard to tell on any date; finding out might actually require some other course of action.

What he is, for the most part, is a perfect gentleman. He asks her plenty of questions: about her past, her interests, everything. He is happy to buy her dessert if she wants desserts. He makes silly, dorky jokes. And by the time they've finished their fish pies, he says, "Listen, Darcy, I really like you and I don't want to mess things up with you. So…I'd love to ask you back to my place, but if you were just flirting there's no pressure. I would like to see you again, if I can."

The food is actually tasty, and the company nice. Knowing this is a potential HYDRA agent, willing or not, Darcy doesn't give away anything more than is already easily known. Which is to say, she's more than willing to talk about high school and roller derby and the bad mouthing of SHIELD agents she did in New Mexico. Her interest in politics comes up, and the recent legal ramifications of some policies being pushed through are chattered on. Dessert? Oh hell yes. May can suck it. Darcy is eating the fucking cake. Each dorky joke, laughed at, because really, dorky jokes are second only to Dad jokes.

"I wouldn't mind getting to know you better, Brian. I really had a great time. I wasn't JUST flirting, and seeing you again would be really rad." or really bad if he did end up a cephalopod monkey. Either way.

"Why not walk me to my place, and we can… do a date number two somewhere? Maybe… tomorrow? Or something?" Way not completely Darcy, which typically has no qualms doing it on the first date, but with that a potential reputation, playing a little hard to get might be helpful? Darcy doesn't know. She typical doesn't play hard to get. So, here's for trying out something new!

Does he even read it as hard-to-get? It's tough to say. Brian smiles and says "That sounds great."

He pays for their dinner and offers his arm again. He still has the car, so he'll drive her home but he'll walk her from her parking lot back to her building. "I'll IM you tomorrow with some ideas," he says, leaning forward to shyly kiss her on the cheek. "Thank you for stepping out with me tonight."

Really hard to say, with his adorkable, angelic little innocent face. Darcy curbs the want to grab his cheeks and smooshy face him. Her lashes flutter a bit at the kiss on the cheek as she slowly (reading as reluctantly) untangles her arm from his.

"Ok. I'd like that. See you around the office," she says, stepping backwards a few times before turning toward the door that leads to the three flights of stairs that she has to take to get to her tiny a tall person could likely reach out and touch either wall apartment. A pause, Darcy finger waves over her shoulder, and then turns to let herself and up the stairs, mind a whirl.

She'd sent May a text, because May is her SO, saying she was leaving work a few minutes early for a date. She hadn't had a date in a long time, so she was going to do this, neener neener. Okay. Maybe Darcy didn't actually type out the neeners, but they are heavily HEAVILY clue-by-four implied in the rambling sort of quality to the typo laddened text. Hopefully, May can decypher it as 'dating hte mark' and maybe find a way to met up that isn't all stupid obvious, that would be greaaaaaaaaaaat. Office Space. Best movie ever.

There's a text waiting for Darcy when she checks her phone again.

'This isn't that skinny British kid again, is it?'

Clearly, she's wiling to keep up the pretense.

The phone is checked as she's kicking the door of her apartment closed behind her, locking it as she reads.

"Pssht!" Darcy raspberries at her phone while making her way into the small, slightly cluttered, highly disorganized living room. Her purse gets tossed blindly at the sofa while she replies to the text that came in as dinner had started. Because Darcy wasn't about to check her phone during a date.

'pls id fucking berak that brit and yuo fucking know it!' she types back, typoes and all.

May catches the purse out of the air before it can hit her in the head and sets it down on the sofa. "Such Maturity."

She doesn't bother to check the message that Darcy just sent, her own phone lighting up briefly and silently in her hand. "So was this the Gotham college kid, then?" She's going to keep up the pretense while pulling a small device from inside her jacket to start checking the purse and after that Darcy herself for any planted bugs.

The apartment's already been swept for bugs and those that weren't SHIELD approved AND that May had been aware of previously are currently listening to the roaches behind the dumpster in the building's adjacent alley.

"Oh, come on. Don't be like that," Darcy retorts, waiting for the all clear from May on the bug situation before delving into things. Her shoes are pulled off with a quasi orgasmic groan.

"Okay. first of all, either He's an amazing actor or he has no idea he's being used. He's sweet and adorable and a complete gentleman."

May stands and finishes the quick bug check and nods before letting Darcy claim her sofa. She also took the time sitting in the apartment with the lights off to make sure no one had laser 'hearing' devices aimed at any of the windows. It's older tech, but still occasionally useful. "We're clear."

Moving toward the kitchen to claim a glass of water for herself, she replies to Darcy's preliminary assessment over the sound of the running water. "I really doubt he's that good an actor." Thus making him an ideal patsy. Which kind of sucks for him.

"Then his contact, Vladimir, owner of a hole in the wall wrong side of town Russian restaurant in Hell's Kitchen with an amazing red velvet, is playing him. Got him thinking he's a writer for a show and is using him to learn how SHIELD spies would do things. He's got a full cast of a McGonigal-esque pilot who gives tough love to a disavowed A-Team of spies. One of whom was sent to Tah-i and brought back to life. Two scientists who are like twins or something but dont know it and are in love with each other. It's Luke and Leia times stupid. I mean, the premise is retarded; They travel around in a Winnebago, May! A fucking winnebago. Ugh." Darcy is unhappy about this TV show concept, it seems, as she moves into that tiny kitchen to make some frozen margaritas. Because blender noise.

"He said Vlad was looking for a new cast member. I suggested myself and said that my dark secret was that I was an Egyptain Goddess. Figured my info on Apocalypse might do some more good, huh? Anyway. Bri's feeding them intel on what SHIELD would do, thinking that he's helping consult for a TV that hasn't gone to pilot yet."

May steps aside with her water glass and lets Darcy start making … whatever she's making. "That really is stupid. They could have at least made it a converted Greyhound bus."

She considers something while taking a sip of her water. "The concept he mentioned didn't say anything about WAND, did it? There are ways to feed misinformation without putting anyone at undue risk." Like having Darcy walk the guy past one of the WAND labs. Maybe the technomagic one.

"I know, right? It's horrible," Darcy says, as she's getting the frozen drink made. Just a tiny bit of tequila, because not going to get plastered.

"No. Maybe. Not directly. Their team has a meta whose dad is class A jerkface material, evil as shit. And one of their team actually works for the bad guys, Dev-ill. or something equally horrible. Bri knows it's campy. He's sold on it. Why? Something needing doing? Cause, we're going to go on a second date but, May? This is gonna suck. If he's a pansy, this is gonna be me leading him on in a big way."

"We'll have to figure something out, then. Maybe you'll get that transfer to Yakutsk after all." The city that Fury threatened to send Darcy to for sassing him.

Finishing her water, May sets her glass in the sink. "I should be getting back. There's water cooler gossip to share." Her code for catching Coulson up on the intel gathered by Darcy.

Pausing at the door to the apartment she almost idly quips to Lewis before leaving, "And that red velvet had better have been worth it."

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