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Darcy starts with Fury, because if there is anyone who needs a plushie representation of the rhinovirus, a few snacks, and wine too sweet to really be deserving of the name, well, it's that man.


Darcy's not religious, per se, but there are elements of religion that appeal to her, that somehow allow the passage of time to be orderly in a way the chaos of her job and the people around her tend to mess up. Her dad is a lapsed Presbyterian, her mom a lackadaisical reform Jew, but her mom's dad, Poppy, had spent Darcy's formative years stealing her away for Rosh Hashanah and Hanukah, Purim and Passover.

Purim has always been her favorite. Even when she was little, the bright costumes and party atmosphere meant it ranked even higher than Halloween, and Darcy loved Halloween. But mostly, she's always liked the tradition of shaloch manot. She likes putting together the baskets, specializing them to the people she's gifting. She always makes a few canned good ones and delivers them to shelters, because Poppy would want her to remember that as much as the gifts are about spreading love, they're even more about taking care of those less fortunate.

Darcy kind of thinks she's landed the all-time crew of less-fortunates this year. She's thought a lot about what's going in to everyone's basket.


She delivers Jane and Erik's first, because they're used to the tradition, and Jane gets cranky if she has to wait too long for, "basket-y goodness." Conveniently, Thor's with them, so Darcy's able to have three out of the way off the bat. Thor plays with the crinkly transparent paper Darcy decorated the baskets with this year. She did his in white and silver to mimic lightning. Darcy will never admit this to another living being, but the smile on his face as he pulls the Limited Edition Red Velvet Pop Tarts out of his basket makes her want to hug him like an overgrown kitten. Thor enthuses, "I love this colored food of yours!"

Darcy solemnly agrees that it is pretty kick-ass.


Conveniently, she is also able to catch Agents Romanov, Barton and Coulson while they are still in the mess and hand out the goodie-baskets. Barton blinks, and despite the fact that his crinkly paper is black and purple, asks, "Is it Valentine's Day? Am I ahead of things?"

"It's Purim," Coulson says quietly, neatly taking out his own navy-blue paper. Romanov rolls her eyes at Barton, and reaches out to her panorama of red-shaded paper.

Barton looks at Darcy apologetically. "I'm under-educated."

Darcy's never really given a crap if people understood this tradition; she's hardly going to start now. She ruffles Barton's hair, grins and goes off to continue her mission.


Bruce, understandably, won’t go anywhere near SHIELD unless compelled and Tony is only slightly less reluctant to come around, so Darcy goes over to the Tower on her lunch break. Pepper's not in town, so Darcy was careful to only put non-perishables in hers.

When she gives Tony his, he looks undecided on how to react for a quick second before bouncing on the balls of his feet a little bit and asking, "Does it have those cookie things in it? The triangeley ones? Because this guy at MIT used to get those from home every year and he was pretty cool, let me have a few sometimes when we were both in the lab late."

It takes Darcy a moment, but she manages to categorize Tony's tone as a cross between wistful and annoyed at his own memories. Darcy promises, "Best hamantashen to be found in the city."

Bruce rolls his eyes at her choice of various greens for the paper, but when he finds the tin of loose leaf Nilgiri next to her own batch of pre-made tea masala, he just quirks his lips in the way that denotes happiness for Bruce and says, "Wanna stay for a cup?"


She catches Steve last, because it can be kind of hard to predict where the hell he'll be at any given time. She manages to pin him down—well, okay, has Tony track his phone—at the Met after she gets off work. Steve goes there to draw often, there and several of the public libraries and about six coffee shops. He's a wanderer.

She cajoles him back to the Tower so that she can give him his basket, with its red, white and blue paper. Steve makes what Darcy calls his, "Really?" face at her. She just makes a "go on," motion with her hands. Steve pulls the paper away and discovers, "Wow. This is…a time capsule."

Darcy spent a ton of time figuring out what treats would have been available, but probably too expensive for Steve when he was a kid, and buying up everything she could manage. He looks at her, ducking his head in that way he has when he actually can't help being earnest and says, "Thank you."

She kisses his cheek, mostly just to see him go completely red, and heads off with an, "Enjoy!"


Two days later, Darcy returns home to a package with a return address she doesn't recognize. She cuts open the tape and inside, finds a basket with paper every color of the rainbow, sporting a card with handwriting she's pretty sure belongs to Nick Fury. It says, "Chag Sameach. Better late than never."

Inside, every person who received a basket has signed. Darcy holds the card for a moment, then dives in to see what she's gotten.

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Skin by egelantier, photo by microbophile