Pairing: Clint Barton/Darcy Lewis
I ship a lot of Avengers pairings. At last count, over 60 of them, not including various threesomes, foursomes and moresomes. And it’s funny, but Clint/Darcy was my first.
Why, you might ask?
I only got into the Marvel Movieverse fandom in 2011. Criminal, I know. I hadn’t seen any of the movies until Thor came out in the cinema, and, well, I’m a whore for Kenneth Branagh and have been in love with Kat Dennings since a little-known TV show she did called Raising Dad, so of course, that was when I sat up and took notice. So I grabbed some DVDs and watched Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2 in a weekend, and dashed off to see Thor. And somehow, in that flurry of activity, I overlooked the more traditional canon pairings of Tony/Pepper, Bruce/Betty and Jane/Thor, and focussed, remarkably, on two characters who do not get a single second of screen time together. Really, it would have made more sense if I started shipping Darcy/Coulson. (Which I do, now.)
So why Darcy and Clint?
Well, let’s start with Darcy.
Aside from being played by Kat Dennings, who is a veritable goddess, Darcy has a multitude of good points, which mark her apart from most of the other female characters encountered thus far in the Avengerverse. She’s probably the best candidate for the archetypal audience insert character. She’s sweet, she’s geeky, she’s easy-going. She tased a drunk guy, and was proud of it. When the drunk guy turned out to be important, she had a healthy appreciation for his gorgeous abs and ability to eat. She was more concerned about losing her iPod than the truckload of scientific research and equipment. In short, she’s your average early-20s college student – and that’s something that most of us can identify with, me in particular.
Okay, I’m going to come right out and say it, even though he only had three (THREE) lines in Thor, and wasn’t even credited, I fell in love with him instantly. Of those three lines, I’d say two of them were in my top ten lines for the whole movie. (“Do you want me to take him down or would you rather send in more guys for him to beat up?” and “You better call it Coulson, cause I'm starting to root for this guy.”) I’m not a comics fan, so at this point, I had absolutely no idea who he was, or if he was going to turn out to be important, but I figured that anyone who took a bow to a fist fight and was that snarky to authority was going to be my favourite. When I got home, I looked him up, discovered Hawkeye, and started looking for the fic pairing him with my favourite girl.
So why them together then?
From a fic point of view, they have an easy in. Despite the fact that they have no screen time together, no indication that they ever meet or even hear of each-other’s existence, it’s still completely plausible that they could get together. It’s a trope seen all over the place, and well-utilised in many a Clint/Darcy fic (some of which I have linked below) – girl meets boy in a bar. Then, post-Thor, you have the 'in' of Jane and Erik! We know from the beginning of The Avengers that Clint is part of Erik's protection detail, watching over the lab, so it's totally likely that they could meet there instead. (I haven't seen many fics that take that in though...)
I think Darcy and Clint are the sort of people who would get along very quickly. Despite the age difference, they have very similar senses of humour, and, hey, there’s got to be a story behind Darcy being that proficient with a taser, so I think they’d hit it off immediately.
Anyway, enough of my prattling on, let’s get to the fic!
A little note about my fic recs: I’ve started off with 3 series recs, and then there’s a nice pile of fic recs to follow. They are in no particular order, so jump in wherever you like!
Series Rec #1: Insomnia At Its Finest
Why This Must Be Read: Darcy can’t sleep. Clint helps. There are six fics in the (completed) series, each of which is wonderful (if very short) in its own right, and well worth a quick look. As a whole, they present a really nice little development from flirting to love.
Series Rec #2: Basic Bitches
Why This Must Be Read: Three excellent stories, and the series is still “Incomplete”, so I’d highly suggest you keep an eye on it. The first one involves Darcy going undercover as a college student (utilising her “very specific skill set”) with Clint as her handler/bodyguard/babysitter. It’s Darcy’s first undercover job, and Clint’s first time ‘handling’, so, as you can guess, it doesn’t exactly go smoothly. An excellent read, and the next two are just as brilliant. :D
Series Rec #3: Happiness Is A Warm Taser
Why This Must Be Read: More of a Darcy-series than strictly Darcy/Clint, although they are the major couple in them. I particularly like this series for the writing style. It’s fast paced and fun, with enough pop culture references to really put it in Darcy’s voice. There are 7 fics so far, but it’s still marked “Incomplete”, so hopefully there will be more to come!
Fic Rec #1: The Only John Wayne In This Town
Why This Must Be Read: For one, it’s Clint Barton: Country Music Superstar. Which is flaming awesome. For two, it’s by Gyzym, who is probably one of my top three fanfic authors of all time. She is completely fabulous, and everyone should read all of her stuff. For three, it involves a very healthy dose of Darcy-being-snarky and Clint-impressing-her-with-country-music and then sex. :D
Fic Rec #2: Baggage Comes In All Sizes
Why This Must Be Read: I have a bit of a soft spot for kid!fic, and this is a particularly good example. Clint has a secret son, and when he comes to live with the gang, he brings Darcy and Clint together. There’s a good development from friends to something else to something more, and I think anyone who likes the ship will like this!
Fic Rec #3: Emotion In Motion
Why This Must Be Read: Darcy has been waiting for that special man, and when Clint finds out, he’s determined to be extra special. :) It’s fairly short, but it’s hot and funny and brilliant.
Fic Rec #4: Simple, Not Easy
Why This Must Be Read: Okay, this is probably one of my favourite fics of all time. It starts off with Loki kidnapping Darcy, thinking she’s Jane. It involves Loki and Darcy becoming friends, and Clint being assigned as Darcy’s security detail, before becoming so much more. It’s a tad epic at just over 60k, but it is well worth the read. The romance is wonderful, and the plot is amazing.
Fic Rec #5: Even A Miracle Needs A Hand
Why This Must Be Read: Of all the “Darcy needs a fake boyfriend and Clint is happy to oblige” fics out there (and there’s a good few), this is probably my favourite. It’s of a reasonable length (11k), it’s sweet, it’s fluffy, there’s Darcy’s family, who are ADORABLE, and the character development is a delight to read!
Fic Rec #6: Talking Trash And Wasting Time
Why This Must Be Read: A second one from Victoria_P. This one is also wonderful. The summary is “The one where all the Avengers act like Darcy is a bro and Clint is really bad at flirting.” and that’s really all you need to make you read this. I love fic where one or the other of the main pairing is hilariously incompetent at making their feelings known, and this one is a particularly good example.
Fic Rec #7: Peace With A Faulty Heart
Rating/Warning(s): Teen, Major Character Death
Why This Must Be Read: This one is FANTASTIC. Darcy is secretly Coulson’s daughter, and Clint is one of those assigned to be her bodyguards. Obviously AU, but it’s done really well. Xenokattz uses a non-linear timeline structure, which can be the worst thing ever, but she makes it work, and she makes it work brilliantly. I won’t give too much of the plot away, because of the aforementioned non-linearness, but it’s well worth a read!
Fic Rec #8: You Need A Rock, Not A Rolling Stone
Why This Must Be Read: Hehe, it’s amazing how many Darcy fics involve her being kidnapped, and this is a particularly fine example. Three times Darcy was kidnapped by a mad scientist. The plot is really well-developed for 36k, and that’s always a treat. The romance between Darcy and Clint is also very well-written. Excellent choice!
Fic Rec #9: Stardust
Why This Must Be Read: Short and sweet and hot, one of the many ways I can totally see Clint and Darcy getting together. In this one, he’s undercover as a bartender, and she’s just trying to get a drink. Flirting ensues. Sometimes you need a palate cleanser, something quick and wonderful that makes you smile, and this is perfect.
Fic Rec #10: You Might Need It Someday
Why This Must Be Read: I first got into Seren_ccd’s work in the Primeval fandom, and her Avengers fics are no less awesome. This one brings out my favourite side of the Darcy/Clint ship – that genuine, flirty banter and shared love of fun.
Fic Rec #11: And The Horse It Rode In On
Author: Kellifer Fic
Why This Must Be Read: Short and cute – 5 times Clint and Darcy attempted to have a first date. My particular favourite is 1.c, but they’re all lovely.
Fic Rec #12: Having A Bit Of A Day, Here
Author: Kellifer Fic
Why This Must Be Read: Another one by Kellifer. In this one, DARCY GETS A SUPER POWER, AND IT IS AWESOME. Seriously, do you need any other reason why this one must be read? Okay, DARCY GETS A SUPER POWER, AND CLINT IS ADORABLY PROTECTIVE. ;)
Fic Rec #13: Lips
Why This Must Be Read: I may be a reasonably straight female, but even I can appreciate that Kat Dennings has ridiculously gorgeous lips. (And ridiculously gorgeous hair, but that’s not the focus in this one). This fic may be fairly short at only 2000 words, but it is very hot. The first thing Clint notices about Darcy is her mouth. :)
Fic Rec #14: It’s Not Official Until It’s Facebook Official
Why This Must Be Read: Short, cute and funny. Clint gets Facebook for the exclusive purpose of keeping an eye on Darcy. Again, do you really need another reason to read that?
Fic Rec #15: My Spoils Of Victory Are You
Why This Must Be Read: This fic is the reason Coulson didn’t mention Darcy when he told Thor that Jane was safe in Tromsø. She wasn’t – she was safe somewhere else entirely. I completely love this one. Again, it’s short, but it conveys an awful lot of emotion and character depth in not a lot of words. This is a total skill, and I’m very envious. Read!
Fic Rec #16: The Coming Storm
Why This Must Be Read: This is another one of those wonderful “Darcy Keeps Getting Kidnapped And This Makes Clint Mad” fics, and it’s a particularly wonderful example. It has Darcy being kick-ass awesome, which is always wonderful, and it is nice and long at 26k. There are two sort of follow-ups, linked as part of a series, but I think the original fic is the best. :)
Fic Rec #17: Tequila Jackpot
Why This Must Be Read: Darcy believes that there is nothing that cannot be solved by tequila. Well, she’s partly right. This is another Darcy-meets-Clint-in-a-bar-and-then-sex fics, and is wonderful! I’m not going to spoil what happens next (though I’m sure you can guess) – just go read it!
Fic Rec #18: Why You Never Take Dating Advice From an Astrophysicist, An Asgardian, or Any Member of the Avengers
Why This Must Be Read: As I said before, I love fics where people are inept at feelings. I also love match-making fic, especially the totally over-the-top ones. In this, the whole team decides to help Clint act on his Ridiculously Obvious To Everyone But Darcy feelings. Umm… fun ensues. :D
Fic Rec #19: Just Temporary, Ma’am
Why This Must Be Read: Another Darcy Requires A Fake Boyfriend fic, this time to fool Jane. I particularly love the banter between Darcy and Clint in this one. It feels very realistic and fun. In fact, the writing in general is very good. It’s easy to read in that way that you can easily hear the characters’ voices in your head, which is a total skill.
Fic Rec #20: The Flip Side
Why This Must Be Read: A bit of a different one for my last rec!
I have a serious thing about fics where Darcy and Loki are friends, and this takes that to a whole new level. In punishment for his crimes, Odin destroys Loki's body to imprison his soul. After a narrow escape, Loki comes to Midgard and plans his revenge by taking over the body of Jane's assistant, Darcy Lewis. The girl who loves tasers, however, does not make things easy for him. There is a good dose of Clint/Darcy in this, but also be aware that there’s a bit of sort of Darcy/Loki, and some Loki-in-Darcy’s-body/Clint. ;)
There. I hope you’ve found something new to read somewhere!