Universe: Marvel Cinematic Universe, post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier AU
Pairings: Darcy/Loki, Thor/Jane
Summary: When Loki, now a wanted man thanks to his disappointment of Thanos, is outed as Odin's usurper, the Allfather decides not to waste his time harboring a fugitive, and simply banishes his rebellious Jotun son from Asgard. And Darcy Lewis just wanted breakfast, not for the psychopath who tried to take over Earth to come seeking refuge at the last place imaginable. Post-CA: TWS. L/D.
With the shampoo and superglue stowed safely away within the depths of her purse, Darcy walked home from the supermarket with a feeling of increasing excitement at the prospect of pulling a successful prank on the trickster god himself. But considering who she was dealing with, she knew her planning would have to be impeccable for her to have any chance of success, at all. And there were still certain issues to be resolved.
But by the honor of her beautiful, flowing locks, Darcy was well on her way in resolving them.
The first and perhaps the most important issue had been targeting. How could Darcy make sure that Loki and only Loki used her “special surprise” shampoo? But thankfully, she had found her answer inside the supermarket itself. After having wandered the hair-products aisle, having stared hopelessly at the shelving housing the men’s generic, boring shampoos, she had dared a peek into the women’s far more colorful, more expansive section. And that is when the answer had hit her—color. Loki was the only person living in their apartment with black hair. And sure enough, the supermarket had carried a line of color specific, color-boosting shampoos. Women’s shampoos, true, but since everyone in the apartment already used Jane’s girly shampoo, Darcy had figured Loki wouldn’t think twice of it. And so, she had grabbed “Elegant Ebony” for His Princelypants, and then had continued on to the home-maintenance section.
But next came the issue of delivery. Darcy could not simply walk up to one likely expecting to be pranked by her and hand him a bottle of shampoo. Because that would be suspicious as shit. So, she would need to devise a way to introduce Loki to the shampoo without it seeming strange. A Trojan horse, perhaps? But surely the God of Mischief and Lies wouldn’t be that easy to fool? So perhaps she would need to introduce a decoy, as well, something that would appear suspicious and would draw Loki’s attention away from the shampoo.
So, Darcy realized, so far her plan consisted of making Loki actually expect a prank, making him believe the prank would be something it would, in fact, not be, and all the while, unbeknownst to him, setting him up for the real prank. These were dangerous waters she was treading, but thankfully, she had a feeling Loki would be too blinded by his own arrogance to believe her capable of coming up with a plan this complicated. Of course, she herself still didn’t know what her Trojan horse or the decoy prank would be, so, for tonight, she resigned to simply preparing the “special” shampoo and then hiding it somewhere deep in her and Jane’s room, until the time came. And until then, she would work on step one: acting how Loki would expect her to act if he believed she was planning on pulling a prank on him. And since she was pretty sure he would underestimate her and her pranking abilities, she decided she would act as any amateur prankster would act when trying to mislead the one she wished to get back at: like the original prank had been forgiven, and no grudges were being held.
It was the day following the Incident, as Darcy had come to refer to it in her head, and she was, plainly and simply, insulted. She had performed her nice act flawlessly all morning, even going as far as making the dickhead coffee (decaf, of course—gods knew those Asgardians couldn’t hold their caffeine), and just as she had planned, Loki had grown suspicious, sneering at her like he knew something, to which she had replied with her best innocent face. But as the day had continued on, and the rest of the apartment’s inhabitants had emerged from their bedrooms, Darcy had realized that it was Thor Loki was suspicious of, not her. Which meant that he must think she had tattled on him to his brother-slash-guardian. Hence, the insult. Because nobody fought Darcy’s battles other than Darcy herself. And Loki would soon learn this first hand.
To Darcy’s relief, by the end of the day, after Thor hadn’t done anything that would even remotely suggest that he knew about the Incident, Loki’s suspicions had finally shifted from Thor to Darcy. As for Darcy herself, well, once Thor and Jane had filled her in on the whole Thanos-having-the-Aether-and-all-of-it-being-entirely-Loki’s-fault situation, her desire to put glue in Loki’s hair had increased exponentially.
Loki cornered her outside the bathroom that night, using his height to its full advantage to tower over her in what she assumed he thought was a menacing manner. “You’re playing with fire, Little Mortal,” he said, the smirk evident not on his lips, but in his eyes. “Careful you don’t get burned.” And that was it. After he walked away, Darcy went to bed feeling utterly satisfied with herself. Step one: complete.
The following morning, as had become their routine over the past two days, once Darcy had gotten out of bed, Thor immediately took her spot to enjoy the company of his beloved Jane. Darcy, meanwhile, went to the kitchen to enjoy the company of her beloved Lucky Charms. Opening the kitchen cupboards, however, she was in for a stark reminder that she had actually finished the last of the magically delicious cereal yesterday. Disappointed that she would now have to wait to indulge herself until the next time Thor and Jane went grocery shopping, she went to scavenge for her breakfast in the fridge, instead. And then it hit her. Grocery shopping. Her Trojan horse. If she could make it look like she was bringing Loki’s shampoo home along with a bunch of groceries, then Loki might not suspect it, at all. But Darcy didn’t normally go grocery shopping—Thor and Jane did. So were she to come home with a load of groceries completely out of the blue, Thor and Jane would be certain to ask questions. Now, Darcy was pretty positive they would buy any excuse she gave them, but Loki? Somehow, she didn’t think so. And the shampoo, the only item among the groceries that would be targeted specifically at him, would still be more suspicious than not.
Her spirits dropping, Darcy realized that the only scenario in which Loki probably wouldn’t suspect the shampoo at all would be one in which she bought something alongside it that would instill as much doubt in him as the shampoo. Basically, she needed her decoy prank, and she needed it fast. Come on, Darce, just think of something predictable Loki would see coming from a mile away. Seriously, she had had less trouble coming up with the glue-in-the-shampoo-bottle prank, and that was her pièce de résistance. As she continued racking her brain for ideas, which, admittedly, was hard to do, as she hadn’t had her morning coffee yet, her phone dinged. Taking it out of her shorts pocket, she found a text from Ian: “Hey, Darling. A bud of mine’s picking up a pup from the pound today, thought you might wanna come along and see the dogs. I also heard they’re doing a sort of doggy-food drive, if you wanna donate something. Anyways, let me know. I love you.”
“Okay, random,” Darcy said to herself, putting her phone back in her pocket. Didn’t Ian know she wasn’t into dogs? Or birds. Ugh, especially not birds. Also, even if there was old dog food lying around the house for whatever reason, she’d probably try to feed it to Loki first.
Darcy Lewis, you’re a genius.
She had it, she had her decoy prank. If she could somehow convince Loki that she was trying to feed him a can of dog food, this would probably draw his attention away from the shampoo altogether. Not to mention, dog food was something that could be easily bought at the supermarket.
Darcy thought fast. No one else was up yet, so now was the perfect time to slip out without getting asked questions. She just needed her purse, a change of clothes, and the shampoo. All of which were in her and Jane’s room.
Opening the bedroom door stealthily, Darcy slipped inside. Both Thor and Jane appeared to be asleep, so she began quietly making her way across the room to the closet. On the floor beside it, she found her purse from two days ago, already containing her wallet and all the personal belongings she normally took with her when going out. From inside the closet, she hastily picked out an outfit—skinny jeans and a thigh-length button-down indigo shirt—and then, from an old Crocs shoebox at the very back of the closet, she took out Loki’s Elegant Ebony shampoo, and immediately hid it inside her purse. Finally, carrying her purse and her outfit, she slipped out of the bedroom, her presence having gone entirely unnoticed.
She changed quickly in the bathroom, and then attacked her hair with a hairbrush. With no time to pick out shoes, she settled for her violently pink flip-flops. And then, just as she heard stirring coming from Thor and His Princelypants’ room, she practically flew out the door.
She returned about an hour later, laden with three full grocery bags. Letting herself into the apartment, she carried the bags into the kitchen, where she found Thor, Jane, and Loki. The two lovebirds were crowding around the stove, cooking—if Darcy’s nose knew its breakfast foods—buttermilk pancakes, while the sociopath sat at the computer desk—well, okay, it was more of a bar, really—typing some incomprehensible shit vigorously into the computer.
Darcy set the grocery bags and her purse down on the kitchen table, earning herself turned heads and confused expressions from both Jane and Thor.
“Darcy, are those . . . groceries?” Jane asked, looking at Darcy like she had just brought home a magical unicorn, rather than three plastic bags.
“Yeppers,” Darcy replied. “You’re welcome, by the way.”
“Oh, yes, thank you—sorry,” Jane spluttered. “It’s just . . . kind of uncharacteristic of you, that’s all.”
“Well . . . yeah, I suppose,” Darcy said, knowing full well Jane was right. “I just saw we were out of Lucky Charms this morning, and I was really craving some, so I decided to go to the supermarket to get some, and then I just ended up buying a whole bunch of other stuff.”
“Oh, no need to explain yourself, Darce,” Jane said, visibly fighting back a laugh. “Honestly, I wish you’d feel inspired to do this more often.”
“No promises,” Darcy said, treating Jane to a small smile. “But enough chitchat—come and see what I bought, guys!”
Thor and Jane stepped forward to crowd around the kitchen table, instead.
“So,” Darcy said, taking three cereal boxes out of the first grocery bag and setting them down on the table, “I decided I better get more of all our cereal, so here’s Lucky Charms, your Shreddies, Jane, and Erik’s Raisin Bran.” Out of the corner of her eye, Darcy noticed that Loki had stopped typing. He looked like he was reading over what he had just written, but Darcy was pretty sure he was listening to her, too. She continued taking items out of the grocery bag. “Then, I decided to stock up on all the essentials—so, frozen pizzas, ice cream, pancake mix, and of course, Pop-Tarts.”
“‘Essentials’, Darcy?” Jane asked, cocking an eyebrow.
“Yes,” Darcy and Thor answered simultaneously.
Jane shook her head, defeated. “Please tell me that’s not all you bought?”
“Oh, no, I bought random things, too,” Darcy said innocently, beginning to remove items from the second grocery bag. “Eggs, milk, bread, butter, cheese, toilet paper.”
“Oh, thank God,” Jane said.
“No, thank me,” Darcy said. “Oh, and I got shampoos for everyone.” She removed the three remaining items from the second grocery bag. “Check it out, guys—they’re designed to boost everyone’s specific hair color.”
Thor picked up one of the three shampoo bottles curiously. “‘Bodacious Blonde’,” he read from the label. He then grinned excitedly. “That is I!”
“Yep, that’s for you and Erik, Thoréal,” Darcy said, trying to hide her amusement at Thor’s enthusiasm. She then picked up the second bottle and showed it to Jane. “And ‘Beautiful Brunette’ is for us, Boss Lady.”
“Ooh, thank you, Darcy,” Jane said, looking slightly flattered, and took the bottle from Darcy to have a closer look.
“Who is the third bottle for?” Thor asked, putting down Bodacious Blonde and picking up the only remaining bottle. “‘Elegant Ebony’,” he read, his eyebrows knitting together. “Is this for Loki?”
“Well, I couldn’t just let him be the only one to not get his own special shampoo, Thor,” Darcy said, mock sincerity thick in her voice. “I didn’t think His Princelypants would take too kindly to that.”
“It was thoughtful of you, and I thank you on his behalf,” Thor said, looking highly amused by the title Darcy had bestowed upon the mischief god. He then turned to the trickster, saying, “Oi, Brother, Lady Darcy has purchased you soap for your hair. I expect you to give her your thanks.”
Loki pretended not to hear, and resumed typing data into the desktop.
“Don’t worry about it, Thunder Wonder,” Darcy said, flashing Thor a big, hopefully-not-too-fake-looking smile. Enough calling attention to the shampoo, now, please.
“So, what’s in the third bag?” Jane asked, right on cue. “More Pop-Tarts and Lucky Charms?”
“Nope,” Darcy replied, and started emptying the final bag onto the tabletop. “Here we have lean ground beef, kidney beans, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and most importantly, fresh green chile peppers.”
“Darcy, is this—” Jane began.
“Just about everything you might need to make an authentic New Mexico chili con carne?” Darcy interrupted. “Yes. Let’s just say Lucky Charms wasn’t the only thing I was craving. I trust that we still have vegetable oil and all the necessary spices?”
“We should,” Jane said, looking undeniably excited. “Can’t wait for you to make it, Darce. It’s been so long since we’ve had it.”
Darcy grinned at her Boss Lady, knowing exactly how she felt. “I’ll definitely try to make it sometime this week.”
“What is ‘chili con carne’?” Thor asked. He was staring at the pile of ingredients on the table, clearly not understanding how they could all fit together into food.
“You’ll love it, Sweetheart, don’t worry,” Jane replied. “It’s something we learned to cook in Puente Antiguo. Darcy definitely makes it best, though.”
“Aw, you’re too kind, Boo-Boo,” Darcy said sweetly. “But also right. Anyway, I’m just gonna go put my purse in our room, and then I’ll come back and help you guys put all this stuff away.”
“Wait, what’s that?” Jane asked, pointing at the bag that had contained the chili ingredients.
“What’s what?” Darcy asked, feigning obliviousness.
“You left a can in the bag. Is it for the chili, too?”
Darcy stared at the bag in her best imitation of confusion, and then faked a perfect flustered realization. “What?” she said, very defensively, shooting a sidelong glance at Loki’s back. She hoped he could see her expression in the reflection of his computer screen. “Of course it’s not for the chili. It’s, uh, dog food, actually.” She took the can out of the bag and showed it to Jane.
“We do not have a dog, Darcy,” Thor pointed out.
I could argue that point, Darcy thought to herself. “Well, obviously not,” she said. “I’m donating it. Ian invited me to the dog shelter today, and they’re doing a dog-food drive of some kind.”
“Oh, that’s very nice of you,” Jane said. “But I thought you didn’t like dogs?”
“Uh, just because I don’t like them doesn’t mean I won’t help them out,” Darcy said, trying to sound defensive again. “Jeez, Jane, I’m not some heartless monster.”
“Oh, no, no, that’s not what I was trying to say, at all!” Jane said immediately, looking embarrassed. “What you’re doing is very kind. If everyone in the world thought the way you do, the world would be a better place. Really.”
Darcy decided she could drop the defensiveness act now, for Jane’s sake. “Oh, sorry, Jane. Didn’t mean to flip out like that.”
“It’s okay,” Jane said, smiling weakly. “I didn’t mean to offend you.”
“It’s all right,” Darcy said, then picked up her purse and the can of dog food. “I’ll be right back.” She went into her and Jane’s room, shut the door behind her, and then grinned to herself triumphantly. That couldn’t have gone any better. There was simply no way Loki didn’t find the dog food more suspicious than the shampoo now. Darcy put down her purse, and then proceeded to hide the can in her underwear drawer. No need to hide it particularly well—if Loki came snooping and found it, it would only fuel his suspicion of it and draw his attention further away from the shampoo. She’d keep it hidden there, and then, after she had successfully pranked the asshole, she would donate it to the shelter.
All there was left to do now was to wait.
And wait she did. For four fucking days.
It was Saturday, day six following the Incident, exactly one week since the reason they couldn’t have nice things had arrived on their balcony, and Darcy was just about ready to strangle the dick. With each passing day that the Elegant Ebony shampoo had remained unused, Darcy had slowly grown to accept a truth that was more than obvious to her now: Loki, although Darcy was certain he also suspected the dog food in her underwear drawer, still suspected the shampoo, and would more than likely not stop suspecting it until she actually attempted to feed him some dog-food chili. Four days ago, this wouldn’t have been a problem.
Four days ago, she had been resenting the idea that she had been cursed to spend every morning at the flat in the company of Loki and Loki alone. Loki had been waking up every morning around the same time as her and Thor, but then Thor would disappear to cuddle with Jane, leaving Darcy all alone with the broody Frost not-so-Giant-but-still-pretty-damn-tall.
But apparently, Loki had just been settling into London time, and after his internal clock had reset itself, his sleep cycle had come to resemble more that of Jane’s, meaning he now woke up no earlier than 11:00 AM, just about the same time as Jane, Thor, and normally, Erik, got out bed. Darcy could only assume geniuses in general required more sleep.
Of course, initially she had been ecstatic about no longer having to spend awkward alone time with Thor’s adopted evil brother, but now, when the very success of her prank depended on her being alone with him long enough to pretend to cook him dog-food chili, she wished it had taken his brain longer to adjust itself to the new time zone.
Now, she had no idea whether she should bide her time for the opportune moment, or just come up with a whole new decoy prank.
But it appeared not everything was meant to go to shit, because that very afternoon, she would receive her answer.
It was shortly after breakfast (lunch? Brunch?), and everyone was in the kitchen, working. (Okay, everyone except Thor. Thor wasn’t working. Thor was playing Candy Crush on Darcy’s iPhone.) Darcy had swallowed her comments of disapproval at the fact that she was being forced to work on a Saturday—apparently, this Infinity Stone tracking device was important or something—and was now busy typing some of the notes Jane had given her into her laptop. Jane had always preferred to write her thoughts, ideas, and equations out on paper, but unfortunately for Darcy, Loki wasn’t overly fond of trying to decipher Jane’s chicken scratch, which is why Darcy had been officially tasked with transferring any and all of Jane’s relevant handwritten notes into digital form and then forwarding them to Loki’s desktop. It was a painstakingly boring process, but Darcy was playing her part in protecting humanity or whatever.
About an hour of this, and then Jane, Loki, and Erik all looked at the desktop computer screen, sat back in their chairs, and said, “Huh.”
“‘Huh’?” Darcy repeated, looking up, her vision swimming from having stared too long at her own computer screen. “Was that a good huh or a bad huh?”
“I think we have it,” Jane said.
Loki and Erik nodded.
“Have what?” Darcy asked, readjusting her glasses on the bridge of her nose.
“I think if we go to him with this,” Jane continued, “he’s bound to approve it.”
“Who’s bound to approve what?” Darcy tried once more.
“Be damned, vile creature!” Thor cried out suddenly from his spot across the kitchen table, throwing his arms up in rage at Darcy’s iPhone.
Jane turned around immediately. “What happened, Sweetheart?”
Thor forcefully slid the phone across the table to Darcy. “Odus has fallen off the moon, thus robbing me of my last remaining life! Tell me, what is the point of his being an owl when he cannot fly to save himself?”
“Well, um,” Jane began, then paused and scratched the back of her head. “I’m not sure, actually. But I do have some good news for you.”
“Yeah, okay, so Thor doesn’t even need to ask to be told what’s up,” Darcy huffed indignantly.
“What was that, Darce?” Jane asked.
“Never mind,” Darcy growled through gritted teeth. She saw Loki’s blues land on her for a fraction of a second, a smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth. She scowled at him.
“What is your news, my love?” Thor asked, turning sideways in his chair, so he could give Jane his undivided attention.
“Well, I believe,” Jane said, “and I think Loki and Erik will agree with me here, that we are ready to take this project in to be reviewed by Stark.”
Darcy gaped. “What, legit? Because just yesterday you were complaining about us having no solid data and a just a half-written proposal.”
Jane looked away sheepishly. “The proposal is fully written now . . . .”
“Okay, then what about the no-data part? Are we even close to converting the Eternity Rocks’ magical-signature thingies into science terms yet?”
Jane sighed, looking down at the floor as she ran her fingers through her hair. “No. But we can’t go forward with that until we get Tony’s approval, and even better, get our hands on Project S.E.E.R.”
“Who or what is this seer you speak of?” Loki asked.
“Oh, boy . . . .” Darcy said to herself. “Hold on to your butts, everyone . . . .”
“S.E.E.R., as in Surveyor of Extreme Electromagnetic Recurrences,” Jane said, suddenly looking very excited. She pulled her huge, industrial-grade tablet toward her, and brought up a complicated-looking blueprint. “I came up with the name myself,” she added.
“And what a coincidence that it spells out S.E.E.R.,” Darcy said sarcastically.
“Is it a machine?” Loki asked, turning the tablet toward himself and beginning to study the diagram.
“Oh, it’s more like Jane’s baby,” Darcy said.
Loki appeared slightly surprised by this, and turned to Jane with a quizzical expression on his face.
“Not an actual baby,” Jane said, with a flustered smile. “Darcy just calls it that because it was my first, and, well, now only, S.H.I.E.L.D. project. When Thor came back for good, he swore an oath to S.H.I.E.L.D. that he would protect humanity at all costs, and in return, he asked only that S.H.I.E.L.D. give Erik, Darcy, and I proper paying jobs. So Director Fury, may he rest in peace, put us at the forefront of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s newest project—practically handed it over to us, actually—telling Erik and I to design a machine that, when connected to the S.H.I.E.L.D. satellite network, could pinpoint the event of an opening Bifrost wormhole anywhere on this planet. It’s the plans for this machine that you’re looking at now, Loki.”
“I helped, by the way,” Darcy interjected. “With . . . coffee and stuff.”
“Was the machine ever constructed?” Loki asked, studying the blueprint with increased interest now.
“Oh, yes,” Erik said, with a warm smile directed at Jane. “It was even operational for three months, before S.H.I.E.L.D. collapsed.”
Jane flushed slightly. “Yeah, but it was a constant work in progress. S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted us to make it better, more precise. They wanted it to be capable of instantaneous detection, which we just weren’t getting.”
“And what is the project’s status now?” Loki asked.
“The project died along with S.H.I.E.L.D., but the S.E.E.R. machine itself survived the HYDRA attacks,” Jane said. “Tony now has it in storage, but says it’s nonoperational.”
“But you believe it can be of use to us?”
“Absolutely. If we can get it up and running and get it reconnected to even some of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s satellites, we’ll have access to surface energy readings from around the globe. Then it’s just a matter of providing it with the criteria of what to actually search for.”
“I see,” Loki said. “And is there any chance the Man of Iron will not grant you access to this machine?”
“Doubtful,” Jane said. “If our proposal convinces him to fund this project instead of the Convergence aftermath research he’s having Erik, Darcy, and I do now, I don’t see why he wouldn’t let us have it. Really, it’s just a matter of getting him to approve the project.”
“And I doubt we will have any trouble with that, my love,” Thor said encouragingly. “Are you not due to deliver your monthly progress report to him next week? Perhaps then would be a good time to present your proposal, as well.”
Jane froze, suddenly going white in the face. “Uh, Sweetheart, what’s the date today?”
Thor shrugged, so Darcy quickly checked on her phone. “The tenth,” she said.
Jane squeezed her eyes shut and pinched the bridge of her nose. “This week. The progress report was due this week. I’m just gonna go call him right now and set everything up.”
Taking her phone, Jane disappeared into the quiet of her and Darcy’s bedroom, and the immediate silence that descended upon the living area was a true testament to her unparalleled equalizing abilities.
Jane reappeared a rather awkward ten minutes later. “He’s cleared time out of his schedule to be able to see us tomorrow, all travel expenses paid,” she said.
“Excellent!” Thor said.
Something clicked in Darcy’s head. “Who’s going?” she asked.
“Well, Erik and I have to go, since it’s our Convergence research and our names on the proposal,” Jane said. “And I believe Tony expects to see Thor, as well.”
“As I him,” Thor said, grinning excitedly.
“Loki obviously won’t be going,” Jane continued. “And as for you, Darce, well, it’s up to you. But I do remember how much you kicked it off with J.A.R.V.I.S. the last couple of times we went, so I’m assuming you’ll be going this time, as well?”
While it was true that Darcy had somehow managed to become the best of friends with Tony Stark’s artificially intelligent butler, and that the idea of getting to chill with him again was indeed very enticing, she nevertheless had her hair’s honor to reclaim, and that took precedence. So, taking a page out of the playbook of lazy schoolchildren everywhere, she performed an elaborate reenactment of a sickly, wet cough, and said, “Ugh, Jane, to be honest, I’ve been feeling a little under the weather all day today. I think I should just stay home tomorrow and take it easy.”
Jane looked absolutely horrified by the news, her mother hen nature coming through in spades. “Oh, Darcy, why didn’t you say anything earlier? I wouldn’t have made you work today if I knew you were feeling sick.”
Darcy dismissed Jane’s concerns with a wave of her hand. “Psh, it’s all good. I’m not feeling that sick, really.”
Jane nodded, though her face showed she wasn’t entirely convinced. “Are you sure about tomorrow, though? You won’t come even if you’re feeling better by morning?”
“Oh, if I’m feeling better, I’ll definitely go,” Darcy lied. “And if not, it’s no big deal, really. I’m sure I’ll get to hang out with J.A.R.V.I.S. some other time. Oh, and since I’ll have nothing to do all day tomorrow, I can make chili in time for your guys’ return, yay!”
Jane frowned, still looking genuinely upset by Darcy’s not going. “Your body really chose the worst possible time to get sick, didn’t it? Hopefully those chile peppers will give your immune system the kick in the pants it needs, then.”
Darcy grinned, trying to ease Jane’s worries. “Hopefully.”
“I’ll wake you up when my alarm goes off tomorrow, to see if you’re feeling any better, okay?”
“Sounds good,” Darcy said.
“All right, then you’re done for the day, young lady,” Jane said, furrowing her eyebrows at Darcy to showcase her disapproval. “Go get some rest, and no more working when you’re sick, understood?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Darcy said, snapping her laptop shut and getting up from the kitchen table. She then turned to Jane and saluted. “Have yourself a good day, ma’am.” Then, her laptop and phone in tow, she set off toward the fortress of solitude that was the not-living room.
Tonight would be a night of peace and Netflix.
And tomorrow . . . tomorrow, there would be a reckoning.