Thanks @chrissihr. So here’s the start of something that I will probably never finish but whatever! I give my gifts of half-completed fic to the universe in hopes something good comes out of it.
Darcy is secretly a mermaid and Steve finds out when he heads down to the pool (saltwater, oc) early and catches Darcy stretching her fins when she thinks she’s alone 😉And Steve, the artist, is so enchanted with his pretty crush’s scales, he’s not sure whether he wants to draw her or touch her
Everything hurt. Right down to the web of skin between his toes. He ached, and about thirty minutes prior he’d been covered in the slimy-remains of decomposing exoskeleton… that had belonged to a guy named Everest Hampdon.
Mr. Hampdon was no more, along with his mutated exoskeleton that he’d used to rip through half of Harlem. Steve Rogers wasn’t ashamed to admit that the thrill of battle certainly got his blood going from time to time, and this was one time that he was more than happy to put the bad guy six feet under.
If only the fight hadn’t lasted a good three four hours, and hadn’t made his whole body feel like absolute, aching shit.
The only thing keeping him upright after his scrub down in the showers, was the promise of Tony’s newly installed, heated, salt-water pool on the fiftieth floor. With a view of the city that inspired the artist in him, and enough warmed water to soak himself up to his eyeballs in.
With his sketchpad tucked under his arm, and one of the extra-large bath-sheets slung over his shoulder, he padded through the darkened halls of Stark Tower, delighting in the feel of carpet under his bare feet.
The tower was a monument of luxury, and while he rarely felt like he deserved to even set foot in it, he knew he’d done a damn fine job that day and saved more than a few thousand lives. For once, Steve felt like he belonged among such finery that he’d never have been able to dream of back in the 40′s.
Almost in the mood to whistle, he leaned against the side of the elevator, the piped in classical music squashing his urge to make a noise.
The doors opened with a soft chime, and he heard FRIDAY’s muted farewell, wishing him a good evening.
Evening, he thought with a snort. It was half past two in the morning. Still, he raised a hand in a casual wave, knowing that FRIDAY would see it, no matter which direction he flapped his fingers.
He picked up his pace as the hot scent of salt water hit his nose, tingling in the back of his throat, and the pure need to be alone washed over him.
Steve nearly groaned as he wasn’t half-way down the hall and his hearing picked up the sound of someone splashing in the pool. Instantly his good mood evaporated, and he had half a mind to head back down to his apartment and just drown himself in his bath-tub instead.
An enormous splash made him pause in his almost-retreat, however, and he frowned. There was a sound like flailing… and a gasp of air. His pulse thudded in his ears as he raced down the hall, convinced that whomever was swimming had actually gotten themselves into trouble.
What he saw as he entered onto the sweltering pool deck had his feet skidding over the slick tile.
“Ohfuck,” Darcy said, lifting a hand to her mouth, staring at him just like he was staring at her.
Staring at her not because he’d been clinging to a torch over her for the past, say, twelve months hahaniceonerogerstrythreeyears, no… no he was staring at her not because her top half was barely covered in a white crop top that melted over her skin… no.
No he was staring at her because her bottom half flitted in the warm, salt-water, the colours of her fins glittering just under the surface. Purples. Purples, and hints of red, and even a dash of black-green when she rolled over and sank down, up to her nose. Her hair floated along the water, dark tendrils, and her blue eyes narrowed balefully at him.
Oh fuck, indeed.
“What…?” he asked/stated, and gulped in a lungful of the sweet, salt-air around them. His brain pinwheeled for a moment and then he blurted out- “Issthatacosplay?” without a pause between words.
Cosplay. It had to be a costume. She and Jane were always getting all glittered up and heading out to comic cons or whatever the kids these days were doing that wasn’t Stark science fairs.
He knew the word cosplay. He didn’t think it was, because he could swear that the mermaid half of her (it… it was a mermaid, right? He was allowed to call her that. Right? He wasn’t… accidentally oppressing her with that terminology? He was still struggling to catch up on third wave feminism.) was firmly attached to the human top of half of her.
Darcy’s eyebrows rose up in surprise and she let out a snort of laughter as she rose up out of the water. Her arms crossed over her breasts self-consciously, although he wanted to assure her that his eyes were firmly stuck on the fact she had fish parts and not so much on the rosy-soft pink of her nipples showing through the transparent fabric.
Although… he’d noticed the fabric. And the nipples.
Fuck. What was even…
“Alright, you caught me, I’m a monster, just like… can you give me a twenty-four hour head start before you come after me with the rest of your band of merry mermaid-murdering super friends?” Darcy’s words may have been sharp, but there was a hint of very real, very misplaced fear in her voice. That’s when he noticed her fingers trembling as they gripped her upper arms, and her eyes were wet… not from the water.
“Head-start?” he asked, dumbfounded. “Darcy…”
She tossed her head, some of her hair following the movement, the rest sticking to her shoulders.
“I’m a siren, we’re not the greatest fish in the sea. We lure people out to their deaths and-”
“Hold up,” he said, lifting his hand to stall the flow of information. “Too much… back up for a moment. Can we just.. take a breath?”
She stared at him in disbelief, the delicate, translucent tips of her fins shivering just under the water and making it ripple.
“I’m going to change back,” she said cautiously, looking as if she might bolt, but there was no way she’d out-run him on land if she tried and as powerful as her tail looked, there wasn’t any way for her to swim out of her current predicament. “Could you… look away?” Her face tilted down and to the side, her arms hugging herself even tighter.
“No, I don’t think so,” he answered her. He didn’t trust her to bolt if he did look away, or… or do something stupid. She was looking at the tall, glass windows that walled the pool in with something that was too close to longing for his comfort. “Hey…” he took a step towards the edge of the pool, and when she didn’t move, he took another. “I’m just gonna…”
He slipped down, kneeling at the edge of the water, and then slid his feet into it, sitting on the side.
She sank down low, down to her chin, her tail curling under her, and behind, like she was trying to hide from him.
“Darcy, it’s okay,” he said gently, “whatever’s got you scared, whatever you’re thinking? I can guarantee it’s not gonna happen.”
“But we kill people, Steve,” she said, her voice rough, and now the wet of her eyes was slipping down over her cheeks. Christ, this was a mess.
“When was the last time you killed anyone,?” he asked, more boldly than he felt, because he wasn’t sure he wanted to hear the answer. Her lips parted, then pressed tight together. She lifted her eyes properly to meet his.
“Never,” she answered.
“Then what’s this we you keep talking about. Seems more like a them from where I’m sitting,” he murmured softly. She glanced away and then straigthened her shoulders with a huff.
“You’re not freaked out?” she asked. He let out an amused noise and then quelled it when she glared at him.
“I might owe Fury another ten bucks…” he said with a shrug, and then glanced down at where her tail flashed and glittered under the water. His fingers itched to draw it, and he was reminded he’d dropped his sketchpad and towel back in the hallway.
“So, uh…” he gestured at her tail as he fumbled for the right words for it.
“You seen the Little Mermaid?” she asked. He felt his cheeks go pink. She smirked. “Okay you have. Well it’s nothing like that. Okay? I’m not a princess, and my daddy isn’t a king with a big gold pitchfork. I’m just… yeah… my people, my family, aren’t the greatest, so I thought I’d take my chances with the land-walkers for a bit.”
“How’s that working out for you?” he asked, a million other questions crowding his mind. She sighed, looking away for a moment, then back at him.
“Well… I guess that kinda depends on you now, doesn’t it Rogers?”
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