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Title: Family
Universe: Marvel Cinematic Universe, post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Pairings: Darcy/Loki, Thor/Jane
Rating: T
Summary: When an assassination attempt outs Loki as Odin's usurper, the Allfather decides not to waste his time harboring a wanted 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. Tasertricks! :D

Chapter 13

The first week of June brought with it some of the shittiest weather Darcy had seen since she and Jane had moved to London. Not only had it rained all week, but by Friday night, the weather had escalated to an honest-to-God thunderstorm, one not even Thor could do anything about. Worst of all, however, was the fact that the stormy weather outdoors was a direct reflection of the current mood indoors.

Until three days ago, Jane, Darcy, Loki, and Erik had been hard at work optimizing the search capabilities of the S.E.E.R. computer, and had managed to reduce its search time from two hours to a very acceptable 39 seconds. But then had come the time to start phase two of their Infinity-Stone-tracking-device-thingy project: determining the search parameters for the Aether.

And if determining scientific search parameters for the Tesseract had been hard, then doing the same for the Aether was proving to be nearly impossible, because this time, they didn't have a resident expert feeding them all the information they needed. This time, none of them had the slightest idea of what they were dealing with.

But they did have Jane, and according to Loki, she was the key to the whole operation.

Since Jane had hosted the Aether inside her own body for a good three days, Loki was convinced that it had left a mark, or a “magical signature”, as he called it, upon her. He was also certain that should that signature be read, it would provide the team with enough data to create a set of parameters that would allow S.E.E.R. to successfully track the Aether should it ever arrive on Earth.

And when working with a theory that sounded as pseudoscientific as that, Darcy found it completely unsurprising that, for the third day in a row now, they were attempting some of the most voodoo so-called “science” she'd ever seen.

Tonight especially made her feel as if she were in a horror movie, albeit a rather unexciting one, watching as either a very pacifistic exorcism or a fruitless attempt to converse with the dead was being performed, with Loki acting the role of priest or medium, and Jane, the victim.

Everyone, including Thor, was congregated on one side of the computer bar in total silence. Lights and electronics all around the apartment had been turned off to reduce interference with S.E.E.R.'s highly sensitive close-range radiation-analyzing hardware. Indeed, the only light in the entire apartment came either from the S.E.E.R. computer screen or from the occasional bolt of lightning that forked across the raging sky outside and momentarily filled the apartment with ghostly light.

“No readings. Again. Sorry, Jane,” Erik said. Of all the people at the computer bar, he was the only one who looked like he was doing something even remotely scientific. He sat on the far left of the bar, facing the S.E.E.R. monitor, which currently displayed a live self-updating line graph with seconds creeping along the x-axis and with the y-axis denominated by hundreds of thousands of becquerels. The line was quivering at the one-hundred-thousand-becquerel mark, as it had done all night.

“That is because there was nothing to read. Again,” Loki growled. “Whenever you are ready, Dr. Foster.”

“I'm ready,” Jane said, though she sounded far from it. She put down the glass of water she had just drained and turned back to Loki. They sat along the computer bar to Erik's right, but rather than face the bar, they faced each other.

And as had been the procedure for what had probably been twenty attempts by now, Loki put his elbows down on his knees and held out his hands, palms up. He had rolled up the sleeves of his tunic prior to beginning the experiment earlier this afternoon, and now, it was possible for Jane to reach out and take a firm hold of his bare wrists. Loki, in turn, grasped Jane's wrists, also bare, and, frozen in this strange ritualistic pose, the two of them shut their eyes.

According to Loki, all that needed to happen now was for Jane to concentrate on the memory of having the Aether inside her, to awaken its magical signature within her, so that Loki could use his magic to channel it into his own body and then emit its ghost in a faint burst of radiation to be read by S.E.E.R.

Yeah.

No wonder it wasn't fucking working.

Within a couple of minutes, Loki was emanating that same tangible aura of power that Darcy had felt around him a couple of other times that he had performed magic. Darcy wondered what it was like to be in physical contact with him at such a moment, but then realized that Jane's current state was as good an indicator of the answer as any. After three days of these experiments, Jane was burned out, both physically and psychologically. This was the reason that Darcy and Thor were present now. There was no part for them in the experiments; they were here simply as Jane's moral support.

Concentrate, Dr. Foster,” Loki growled through clenched teeth. “You must concentrate on the memory of the Aether, on how it felt to have it pulsing through your veins. Concentrate . . . .

The connection between them was growing so powerful, Jane's hands were beginning to tremble slightly. Darcy shot a look of concern at Thor, who looked back at her just as apprehensively. Suddenly, Jane emitted a small sound like a whimper and winced, as though in pain.

Immediately, Thor's hand was on Jane's shoulder, but whatever comfort he may have been trying to provide her with backfired royally. Jane cried out in actual pain this time, and she and Loki let go of each other's wrists so fast, it was as if Thor had sent an electric shock through their bodies when he had touched Jane's shoulder.

ARE YOU JOKING, YOU OAF?” Loki bellowed at his brother, as Jane slumped backward against Thor, breathing heavily. “YOU MIGHT AS WELL HAVE USED A CATTLE PROD.

But Thor did not appear to have heard any of that, as Darcy and he fumbled over Jane.

“Are you all right, my love?” Thor asked her, looking slightly terrified.

“Do you want more water?” Darcy said, having absolutely no idea what to do.

Jane shook her head at Darcy's question and then finally opened her eyes. “I'm okay, guys,” she said weakly, straightening up on her stool. “But . . . Sweetheart . . .”—she looked up at Thor—“. . . maybe don't do that again?”

“But I do not know what I did!” Thor exclaimed exasperatedly.

“Words spoken by a true idiot,” Loki said scathingly. “You may forget that you possess magic of your own, Brother, as surprising as it is. Those tricks you do with the thunder and the lightning aren't exactly what I would call Asgardian standard issue. And when I am attempting to channel even the vaguest hint of magic from Jane's body into my own and you go and touch her with that beastly radioactive thing you call a hand, how do you think an energy surge like that will feel?”

“Oh,” Thor said guiltily.

Loki placed his face in his hand and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Whenever you are ready, Dr. Foster.”

Jane nodded, murmuring, “Just . . . . Just give me a sec.”

“Wait . . . .” Darcy began, not sure if Loki had been kidding or not.

“My love,” Thor said to Jane, casting a disapproving look at his brother, “do you not think we have tried enough for tonight?”

Jane, being the workaholic that she was, looked as if she didn't know what to say.

“I agree with Thor, Jane,” Erik said. “Tonight can't be very good for the experiment, anyway. All that radiation from the thunderstorm is probably interfering with our equipment and that can very well be the reason why we aren't seeing any results.”

“Yeah, what Thunder Wonder and Erik said,” Darcy chimed in, deciding that Loki had been serious after all. “You really don't look so good. I say go to bed. Hell, maybe even take the day off tomorrow.”

Loki let out a vehement scoff. “'Day off', Little Mortal? ‘Day off’? When there is an enemy at large who has done nothing but continually grown stronger? When he is devoting every waking moment of every day and all his considerable resources to the finding and acquisition of the very weapons that will destroy us? Taking all this into account, are you truly propositioning that we take a ‘day off’ and simply grant him an additional day to add to the already considerable lead that he has on us? Do you think he takes days off?”

“First off,” Darcy snapped, “I am not ‘propositioning’ you or anyone, Jazz Hands. Secondly, I'm sure taking one day off isn't gonna screw us over. And thirdly, I don't buy for a second that Anus doesn't take a day to himself here and there.”

Who?” Loki said, his eyes widening.

Darcy sighed impatiently. She'd had a feeling she hadn't pronounced that right. “You know. Anus, dude. The guy who's got all our panties in a twist? Anus?

IT IS PRONOUNCED 'THANOS', YOU IMBECILE.

Loki's outburst startled Darcy into momentary silence, but the next moment, she was spitting, “Who're you calling an imbecile, you pubic-haired apricot entertainer!

“Darcy, don't be rude,” Jane snapped.

Excuse me?” Darcy shrieked, feeling as though Jane had just betrayed her to the Nazis. “He called me an imbecile!

Jane, clearly so tired now that she had become grumpy, made a face as though Darcy's voice had hurt her ears and said, “Yes, but he does have a point about you purposefully mispronouncing words. I can't count the number of times I've almost smacked you for saying Large Hardon Collider.”

Purposefully'?” Darcy screeched.

“Thank you,” Loki said.

“Smacked her, Jane? Really?” Erik asked. He was looking at Darcy with a slightly alarmed expression on his face. “Why does it matter so much that she mispronounces some words here and there anyway?”

“Because, Dr. Selvig, if she one day calls Thanos ‘Anus’ to his face, he will invariably kill her where she stands,” Loki interjected matter-of-factly.

“Oh, yeah?” Darcy snapped. “Unless Anus kills you first for being a major squid auctioneer!”

“Enough with the insults, Darcy!” Jane cried out.

“Honestly, Jane, the boy's had them coming,” Erik said.

“Insufferable thick-headed mortal,” Loki mumbled under his breath.

“Blue-waffle enthusiast!” Darcy retorted.

“I honestly wonder how she made it through college sometimes.”

“Well, she did, and she was in the top quarter of her graduating class, in case you don't remember! Darcy is smart, Jane!”

“Stubborn wench.”

“Ass guardian.”

ENOUGH!

There was an earsplitting crack of thunder, and the sky right outside the apartment lit up with webs and branches of blindingly white lightning. Once Darcy, Jane, and Erik had finished having their heart attacks, they turned to gape at Thor. And for the first time in her and Thor's time knowing each other, Darcy could feel a Loki-like tangible magical aura emanating from him.

“THAT IS IT,” Thor thundered on. His massive hands were clenched in fists, and his facial expression was that of a very disappointed parent. “I AM MAKING THIS A MOVIE NIGHT.”

Darcy did not think she could contest Thor's decision even if she wanted to, and it appeared that neither could Jane. Both of them continued to simply stare at the God of Thunder, their mouths hanging open.

“May I go to bed?” Erik asked politely from the opposite end of the bar.

“Of course,” Thor answered, just as politely.

“Thank you,” Erik said, getting off his stool. “Good night, everyone.” He shuffled off toward his bedroom.

“I'm also going,” Loki said, looking up for the first time after his row with Darcy.

No,” Thor, Darcy, and Jane said in unison.

“Movie night is tradition in this apartment, Loki,” Jane elaborated. “No one is exempt.”

“I am sorry, but did you just miss my embarrassment of an adoptive brother granting leave to Dr. Selvig?” Loki said, with mock politeness.

“Erik had you inside his head for a week,” Jane said briskly. “He is therefore forevermore exempt from being subjected to something against his will.”

Loki opened his mouth to say something, but then closed it. Apparently, even he couldn't argue with that logic.

“So what're we gonna watch, Thunder Wonder?” Darcy said to Thor two minutes later, as she and Jane plopped down in the middle of the sofa bed in Darcy's bedroom and Darcy turned on the Blu-ray player.

Thor was rummaging through Darcy's Blu-ray collection, apparently looking for something specific. After about thirty seconds of this, he turned around to face Jane and Darcy, holding up a movie case and sporting a triumphant expression on his face.

From the movie case, two cartoon princesses, two dudes, a reindeer, and a snowman all smiled in varying degrees of sanity. Below them, in big icy letters, was the word “FROZEN”.

“Is this the one that you were talking about, Darcy?” Thor asked.

Darcy grinned, nodding. A part of her could not believe that Thor actually remembered her film recommendation from almost three weeks ago, whereas another part could not believe she would legitimately get to watch the movie in the company of Thor and Loki.

“Oh—Frozen!” Jane said excitedly. “I've never seen it, but I heard it's very good!”

“Oh . . . it is. . . .” Darcy said, failing to suppress a smirk.

Thor inserted the Frozen disk into Darcy's Blu-ray player and sat down beside Jane, and Darcy felt her side of the sofa rise a few inches. Loki, however, remained rooted to where he stood in the doorway.

“Come sit, Brother,” Thor called to him, gesturing at the empty spot beside Darcy.

“I am quite fine where I am,” Loki answered coolly.

“Do not be ridiculous,” Thor said. “Sit, so we can begin the movie.”

Loki contemplated Thor's words surlily for a moment, but then finally took a step inside the room. “Whatever makes this mutual humiliation pass faster,” he muttered under his breath.

“And close the door behind yourself, will ya?” Darcy called out. “We don't want the noise to wake up Erik!”

Glaring, Loki shut the bedroom door behind himself and sat down on the sofa bed beside Darcy. Darcy noticed that he was trying to sit as far away from her as possible.

With everyone finally settled, Darcy turned on the TV, which turned out to already be playing the main menu of the movie. So, without further ado, Darcy picked up the Blu-ray player remote and pressed play.

“Oh, they're so cute,” Jane said, just as little Anna was waking little Elsa up in the middle of the night.

“So, that is the queen named Elsa?” Thor asked, looking across Jane at Darcy, a perplexed expression on his face. “How is a little girl comparable to Loki?”

What?” Loki spat immediately. “Why would you even ask that, Brother?”

“You'll see,” Darcy said in a mysterious manner, in answer to both brothers' questions.

“Oh! Oh!” Thor was shouting within less than a minute, as little Elsa conjured snow and ice for little Anna's entertainment. “Brother, she is a Frost Giantess!”

“That little squirt is not a Frost Giantess,” Loki said disinterestedly.

“You were hardly taller than her when you were her age!” Thor continued excitedly. “She could be a Frost Giantess. Or have Frost Giant blood.”

“Well, at least she appears to be fully aware of her true identity,” Loki said bitterly, and Thor fell silent.

The next few minutes of the movie passed without interruption, until in the middle of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” Loki, of all people, said, “This Elsa mortal is a coward. Being afraid of using your own gift is a disservice to said gift.”

“Oh, yeah?” Darcy said confrontationally. “You telling me you would've continued using your magic even after you'd hurt your sister like that and after your parents had specifically told you not to?”

“Absolutely,” Loki replied calmly. “If I had magic I knew about but could not always control, I would not spend my days sulking behind closed doors—I would instead spend those hours practicing my gift, learning to control it, until I had mastered it and could show my parents that I was no longer a danger to my sister or to anyone.”

“Yeah, but you say this now, as an adult,” Darcy retorted. “I'm pretty sure that if you were a scared little kid, like Elsa is here, you wouldn't have done anything differently.”

“Shhh!” Jane hissed at them.

No one spoke for the next little while, everyone completely engrossed in the movie. Or rather, almost everyone. Right around the time “Fixer Upper” finished playing, Darcy became oddly aware of Loki's breathing. It had turned deep and rhythmic, and when, confused, Darcy turned to look at the mischief god in question, she discovered that he had fallen asleep, the back of his head resting against the back of the sofa. Finding this to be exceptionally rude, Darcy was about to elbow Loki in the ribs to wake him, but at that moment, Loki stirred in his sleep and his head lolled onto Darcy's shoulder. Darcy froze.

Oh, gods. This is too cute. Jazz Hands, you make it too easy.

Very carefully, Darcy reached into her jeans pocket and took out her phone. If she could take a selfie with the embarrassingly adorable sleeping Loki on her shoulder, she could use the threat of posting the photo on the Internet to blackmail him for the rest of her life. And that sounded like a very wonderful possibility indeed.

Activating the phone's forward-facing camera, trying exceptionally hard to make sure Jane wouldn't see what she was doing, Darcy slowly lifted the phone in front of her and Loki's faces. Waiting as the camera focused, she held her thumb impatiently just over the white, circle button and—

HANS, YOU BASTARD,” Thor bellowed, jumping off the sofa in rage.

Thanks to the sudden departure of that extra weight from that end of the sofa, Jane flew into Darcy, Loki awoke and his head snapped up from Darcy's shoulder, and Darcy hastily hid her phone under her thigh.

“I cannot believe he did that to Princess Anna!” Thor raged on, looking as infuriated as Darcy had ever seen him. “He thought she loved him! Now she will die!”

“Oh, Sweetheart . . . .” Jane said gently, straightening herself up on the sofa bed. “I'm sure they'll find some other way to save Princess Anna. Look—I think Olaf has come up with the solution!”

Thor looked back at the TV screen, where Olaf and Anna had just set off to find Kristoff with plans to use his true love's kiss to break Anna's curse. Apparently placated sufficiently by this, the thunder god sank back down on the sofa, though he still crossed his arms in a disgruntled fashion.

“I'm sorry, but did that idiotic snowman just insinuate that the oaf with the reindeer is in love with the Anna princess?” Loki asked, looking at the TV screen with an expression of insulted intelligence on his face.

“Duh,” Darcy said. “As if no one saw that one coming.”

“But has he not known her for all of one day?” Loki continued.

“About, yeah,” Darcy said, now beginning to seriously wonder where Loki was headed with this.

“And did he himself not earlier chastise the Anna princess for thinking that she had fallen in love with a man after having known him for all of a day?”

SHHH!” Jane and Thor hissed simultaneously.

Darcy rolled her eyes and, to her surprise, caught Loki doing the same. They shared a brief look of mutual amusement, smirking.

On the TV, Anna had just sacrificed herself to save Elsa. A hearty sniff sounded from somewhere on Darcy's right, and she wasn't sure if it had come from Jane or from Thor.

“Not too realistic, is it, this tale?” Loki muttered to nobody in particular.

“What do you mean, Brother?” Thor asked quietly, looking over Jane and Darcy's heads at Loki, and Darcy noticed a small, quivering note in his normally booming voice.

“Come on, Thor . . . .” Loki began impatiently. “This Anna mortal barely knows her sister. Why would she give her life for someone who is hardly more than a stranger to her?”

“Because Elsa is her sibling,” Thor said meaningfully, continuing to gaze sorrowfully at Loki, “and that is all that matters.”

Loki shook his head in defeat and then leaned it back against the back of the sofa bed and shut his eyes. Within minutes, he was asleep again, and his head lolled onto Darcy's shoulder once more.

The movie ended, to much praise from Thor and Jane. Darcy, meanwhile, was too busy screaming internally at the cuteness of Loki's having fallen asleep on her shoulder again to have even noticed that the credits had started rolling.

“You were right, Darcy!” Thor said happily, turning to her. “Princess Anna and Queen Elsa's tale truly is—” Thor's eyes landed on Loki. “Oh—Brother. I apologize on his behalf, Darcy. I will rouse him, so you can go to bed.” He got up from the sofa bed and took a step toward Darcy and Loki.

Darcy had never growled at anyone before, but she came very close to it at that moment. “No!” she snapped instead.

Thor raised his eyebrows at her.

“I mean . . .” Darcy began awkwardly, feeling her face grow hot, “. . . it's okay, Thunder Wonder. I'm gonna be staying up a little longer anyways—I'll wake him up myself when I'm ready to go to bed.”

Thor opened his mouth to say something, but at that moment a very sleepy-looking Jane appeared at his side and took his large, broad hand into her small, feminine ones. She leaned her head against his shoulder and shut her eyes, murmuring, “Let's go to bed, Sweetheart. Something tells me Loki won't be giving us a day off tomorrow.”

Thor looked from Jane, to Darcy and Loki, and then back to Jane again, and then, finally, nodded. Supporting his semi-sleeping girlfriend around the waist, he led her from Darcy's bedroom and shut the door behind himself.

Darcy turned off the TV and Blu-ray player and withdrew her phone from under her lap. She stared at it for a long moment, then looked at Loki's sleeping face—gods, he looked so innocent—and then, suddenly changing her mind about the blackmail selfie, returned her phone to her jeans pocket.

Already, Darce? a little voice suddenly said accusingly in her head. Really?

This voice, which oddly resembled Jane's and which tended to become most vocal when Darcy was either feeling guilty or dealing with a morally difficult situation, Darcy had, over the years, come to suppose was the voice of the small amount of conscience that she knew she possessed.

Hasn't been three weeks since you dumped the poor boy, the voice pressed on. Don't tell me he's the reason you did it.

Taken aback and slightly insulted by her own musings, Darcy glanced down at Loki's sleeping face. No. She knew it wasn't true. She had broken up with Ian for herself, not for anyone else. And although she did care for Loki, she did not have feelings for him.

So, you care for him? the little voice asked disgustedly.

Well, yes. She had begun caring for Loki quite unprecedentedly after having talked with him up on the rooftop. This wasn't news to her, so why did her conscience sound so surprised?

Congratulations, Darcy Gabrielle Lewis. You have just openly admitted to caring for a mass murderer.

Oh.

For a moment, Darcy wanted to shrug Loki's head off her shoulder, but . . . .

Well, that hadn't really been fair. Loki wasn't a mass murderer anymore.

She didn't need her conscience to tell her how stupid that had just sounded.

But was it stupid? Did she really believe that Loki was incapable of change?

He is a monster, her conscience said flatly.

Yeah, well, then so is Thor.

Are you honestly comparing Loki to Thor?

Yes, Darcy was. And why the hell not? There had been a time when Thor had been no less homicidal than Loki. Genocidal, even. He had, with considerable regret, admitted to Jane, Darcy, and Erik that he would have once gladly initiated war with the Frost Giants, even though it could have meant the possibility of the complete annihilation of their kind.

And what about Tony Stark? The dude had devoted most of his life to the invention and manufacture of deadly and destructive weapons that had taken God knows how many lives.

Oh, and what about Natasha Romanoff then? Darcy had never met her, but Thor had said that she had a history and that it was pretty dark.

Are you saying Loki’s actions are excusable? the little voice inside Darcy’s head asked incredulously. Because other people have done bad things too?

Darcy was so frustrated with her conscience by now, she almost yelled out “No!” No one’s bad deeds were excusable, least of all Loki’s. But what Thor, Tony, and Natasha all so clearly demonstrated was that people could change, and that some so-called “monsters” deserved a chance at redemption.

So you think Loki deserves a chance to redeem himself? Darcy’s conscience asked, a little more calmly this time.

There was no denying that Darcy did.

Even though he is a master manipulator? An adept liar? A skilled killer?

All very useful traits, if used for good.

Didn’t you once say that you think he’ll betray you, Thor, Jane, and Erik the first chance he gets? What the hell happened to that train of thought?

Darcy knew damn well what had happened. She got to know the complicated son of a bitch.

Her conscience was silent for a while. When it finally spoke again, it sounded almost exasperated. You want to be his friend, don’t you?

It was such an odd question that Darcy didn’t know what to make of it for a second. She had never thought of her relationship with Loki in such simplistic terms before, but now that she had, she supposed that yes, she did want to be his friend (whatever genuine friendship with a dark, brooding Frost Giant even implied). She hoped it would be more experiences like playing video games together, or talking up on the rooftop, or rolling their eyes at Jane and Thor. Yes, she could definitely go for more of that.

She waited for her conscience to give yet another disapproving retort, but surprisingly, it stayed silent. Instead, a sense of calm and self-satisfaction washed over Darcy, and she relaxed against the sofa, listening to Loki’s deep, rhythmic breathing.

She was not sure how long they remained like that; all she knew was that she had begun to doze off, when Loki’s shifting about brought her back to reality. She looked down at him just in time to see him lift his head from her shoulder and look around the room, blinking slowly. Eventually, he turned his head toward her and gazed at her blearily.

For a moment, Darcy was completely thrown off by the expression in his eyes. There was an utterly unrecognizable tenderness there, which was quickly replaced by surprise, and then embarrassment. And then, just as quickly, Loki’s eyes took on the expression of icy aloofness that they normally carried, tinged with undeniable disgruntlement.

Okay, now I can mess with him, Darcy thought to herself brightly. “Welcome back to the land of the living, Sleeping Beauty,” she cooed at the mischief god in the most obnoxiously saccharine tone of voice she could manage. “Had a nice nappy-nap?”

Loki glared at her. “How long was I asleep?”

“Oh, you know . . .” Darcy said, grinning widely, “. . . couple hours? Out like a newborn babe . . . .”

Right,” Loki said through gritted teeth. “And why did you not wake me?”

Darcy shook her head innocently. “Couldn’t. You looked way too cute.”

Loki scowled at her, then rose from the sofa and headed for the bedroom door.

“You look like an angel when you sleep, did you know that?” Darcy called after him in the same oppressively sweet tone.

Loki opened the door, his scowl deepening, and Darcy could swear she heard him mutter “No” stubbornly as he left the room.

Oh, yes, she thought happily. We’re so gonna be besties.
Since when are there status updates?!
Nice to Meet You (Who the Hell Are You?) by JuliaPie
Nice to Meet You (Who the Hell Are You?)
I MADE A THING. :D Well, a wallpaper for my PC actually. =P Took screencaps from the Thor: The Dark World credits and edited them together in Paint and paint.net. It's free to use to whoever might want it! Oh yeah. Yay. Good for you. :XD:
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Title: Family
Universe: Marvel Cinematic Universe, post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Genre: Romance/humor/drama/friendship/family
Pairings: Darcy/Loki, Thor/Jane
Rating: T
Summary: When an assassination attempt outs Loki as Odin's usurper, the Allfather decides not to waste his time harboring a wanted 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. Tasertricks! :D

Chapter 12

Lying in the post-coital mess of tangled, sweaty sheets on Ian's bed, Ian's arms wrapped tightly around her, Darcy stared up at the ceiling, eyebrows furrowed and a scowl on her face. With her lust now satisfied and the adrenaline and shock from the encounter with the Dark Elves worn off entirely, she found that all her raging emotions had ultimately boiled down to one: anger. She had just finished telling Ian what had happened with Loki the previous day and earlier this afternoon (conveniently leaving out the small detail that she had, for a moment, wanted to do him), which, in combination with the fact that her whole back had not long ago started killing her, no doubt thanks to her having been thrown against a giant ventilation shaft, had managed to make her even angrier.

Ian, having listened to Darcy's account in round-eyed silence, now pulled her to him even more tightly. “I've told you before, and I'll say it again, Darce:” he said fearfully, “You're not safe there. Living with Thor and Loki under the same roof is like . . . being a magnet for all this crazy, dangerous stuff. I mean, Dark Elves?”

Darcy winced at the added pressure on her back and then wiggled out of Ian's embrace altogether. She wasn't much of a cuddler. Being naturally very warm, she found that being in close proximity to another human being for an extended period of time usually made her feel like she was about to have a heat stroke. In fact, since she had started sleeping in the same bed as Jane, the Boss Lady had dubbed her the Human Space Heater.

“Oh, Dark Elves I can handle, no problem,” Darcy spat bitterly, crossing her arms over her abdomen. “It's Loki who's driving me up the wall. Again. Even the thing with the Elves was technically all his fault.”

At this, Ian looked confused. “How so? I thought the Elves were looking for Thor, not Loki?”

Darcy scoffed at him. “Come on, Intern. I say one little thing and he freaks out at me, then he turns into a goddamned drama queen and trespasses on the roof, forcing me to go look for him, and then we run into the fucking Elves. Then he tells me he's my king and that I'm kneeling at his feet and . . . .” She broke off, trembling with fury. “If we weren't up on that rooftop, the Elves might've never even found us. Oh, no, wait—it's even better than that: If His Princelypants hadn't been a baby from the start, I would be hanging out with fucking Iron Man right now.” She turned to Ian and added quickly, “No offense.”

“None taken,” he said honestly, a flash of jealousy in his eyes, and Darcy knew he wasn't jealous of Tony, but of her. “And yeah, I guess I see your point. But I think I know the solution.”

“Oh?” Darcy asked. “Know where I can get some colorless, tasteless poison for cheap?”

Ian blinked at her. “No . . . ?”

“Damn. So what's your solution, then?”

Ian looked away shyly. “Well—and don't freak out on me, Darce, please—I want you to move in with me, here, okay? I've already talked to my housemates about it and they said they're fine with it. I don't care, I'll pay your share of the rent and all our groceries—I can afford it, I get paid well enough at the office.”

Before Darcy could stop herself, she burst out laughing. “Holy shit, Intern, are you serious? What on Earth gave you the idea that I'm ready for a commitment like that?”

Ian turned back to her, looking disgruntled. “I dunno, Darce, the fact that I'm ready? Look at it this way: We're both done university and have full-time jobs—although I'm guessing you might wanna find a new one, after what happened with the Dark Elves—you know, the international-affairs sub-office is currently looking for an American to join their team, I can put in a good word for you—uhhh—right—then take the fact that we've been dating for almost seven months, are clearly in love, and that moving in together just seems to be the logical next step forward. I mean, if we're gonna get married someday, we'd better get used to living under the same roof, right?”

It was the response Darcy had been dreading. She had long since stopped laughing, and now swallowed heavily. “Is this what you want, truly? Is it important to you?”

Ian smiled at her rather confusedly. “Well, yes. Of course. I love you, Darcy Gabrielle Lewis. I think . . . . I think I wanna spend the rest of my life with you.” At this, Ian smiled an excited, embarrassed grin. “So, what do you say to making me the happiest bloke alive?”

But for the first time in the 22 and a half lengthy years of her life, Darcy had no idea what to say, because try as she might, she could not picture a future of domestic bliss with Ian. Even an eternity of fighting Dark Elves with a mouthy Loki at her side seemed like a far more desirable alternative. But if Ian wanted the opposite, what was she supposed to do? Say yes, move in with him, and be miserable? No, that wouldn't be fair to her. Say maybe and keep him holding on to the hope that one day she'd change her mind, when she knew full well that she wouldn't? No, because how in the hell would that be fair to Ian? Darcy felt a sinking feeling in her stomach as the third and final option became apparent. She would have to answer no and then see where the chips fall.

“Ian, I love you, too, but . . . .” she began awkwardly.

Ian's excited grin faded immediately. “'But' . . . what?”

Darcy squeezed her eyes shut, thinking of how to best word this without insulting Ian. Once she had decided what she was going to say, she took a deep breath and opened her eyes again. “It's just . . . we have such a great thing going right now, why would we wanna compromise it by moving in together?”

“But how do you know moving in together will make it worse and not better?”

“I just know,” Darcy said. “I'm sorry.”

Ian sighed, and although it was evident he was trying, he couldn't hide the disappointment in his voice when he said, “It's all right. We'll just have to wait until you're ready, that's all.”

A burning sensation settled just behind Darcy's eyes, and she couldn't blink it away. “But that's the thing, Intern . . . . I'll never be ready . . . . At least, not with you . . . .”

“What . . . . What're you saying, Darce?” Ian asked, his eyes suddenly wide, his lips parted in apprehension as he stared at her.

But even Darcy herself didn't know what she was saying. She loved Ian, of course she did, but, she realized dejectedly, she would never want to commit to him permanently. And what was the point of continuing a relationship that would never become that strong, when that was exactly what the other half wanted? It wouldn't be fair to Ian, and the guilt would eat her alive. She knew, then, what she had to do, but she also knew, with the whole of her being, that she didn't want to do it. But just when she found herself ready to give in to her doubts and to actually reconsider her not wanting to move in with Ian, she was overcome by a memory, the memory of the dream she had had last night. She had known that Derek had been in it—his face had been the only thing she had remembered, up until now—but now, she remembered the rest. She had dreamt of the worst moment of her life, when Derek had gotten down on one knee and asked her to be his wife, though, for all the sincerity in his voice, he might as well have been asking her if she wanted to do his taxes. But then, Derek's face had slowly morphed into Ian's, and shocked, Darcy had woken up.

Now, the memory of the dream helped her steel herself to do what she knew was necessary, and so, feeling her bottom lip quiver despite her newfound resolution, she looked Ian evenly in the eyes and said, “I think I'm breaking up with you.”

The look on Ian's face just about broke her heart, but she forced herself to keep holding his gaze, using every remaining ounce of her will to keep the tears threatening to spill for the second time today at bay. Don't cry, Darce. If you cry, you'll only make it worse.

“Don't do this to me, Darce, please,” Ian said, his own eyes welling with water. “We just need to give it some time. I'll wait for you. I can wait . . . .”

“I can't ask you to wait for me forever,” Darcy said, feeling her face break. Don't cry, Darce. Whatever you do, don't cry. “Not when I know I'll never feel about you the same way you feel about me.”

“Is it something I did, then? Something about who I am? Just tell me what is it, and I swear, I'll change. Whatever you want, I'll do it.”

Darcy smiled miserably, her heart breaking all over again. “Ian, you are the kindest, sweetest, most caring, most loyal guy that I have ever met. A girl would be stupid not to want to be with you. But I'm . . . I'm not like other girls. I'm kind of . . . crazy.”

Ian smiled back at her, just as miserably, two tears escaping the pools of his eyes. “I know. Why do you think I fell in love with you?”

Her lip quivering uncontrollably, Darcy realized that there was nothing more she could say that wouldn't only make things worse. So, getting out of bed, she picked up her clothes from the floor beside it and got dressed, in silence. She couldn't bear to look at Ian, not until the very end.

When she was ready to leave, she turned to Ian one final time. He was sitting up in bed, watching her. His eyes were wet.

“Goodbye, Intern,” Darcy said quietly.

“Bye, Darce,” said Ian, and his voice was strangely cold, his gaze dismissive.

Suddenly feeling sick to her stomach, Darcy ran out of the room.

She left Ian's town house feeling very numb. She didn't want to go home, because it was only early afternoon and Jane, Thor, and Erik wouldn't be home until late evening, and the last thing she wanted right now was to be alone with Loki. But she didn't have anywhere else to go, nor any of her things on her. No wallet, no bus pass, no cell phone. So she just started walking. Somewhere. Anywhere.

After an hour or so, she made it to the River Thames, just on the opposite side of the Palace of Westminster. She walked halfway across Westminster Bridge and stayed there, watching the river and boats below, the neverending traffic beside her, and the crowds of people around the great, beautiful palace in front of her. All the noise and activity was oddly relaxing.

Soon enough, however, the cold and her hunger—Darcy hadn't eaten all day—had become impossible to ignore, and Loki or no Loki, Darcy knew that she had to go home.

By the time she got back to her apartment building, she was exhausted. Physically and mentally drained. All she wanted was a warm meal, a large mug of herbal tea, and, then, a long, uninterrupted rendezvous with her pillow. But right off the bat, she was presented with a complication: Having left her keys back in the apartment, she had no way of getting inside the building.

She was about to buzz the apartment—she still didn't want to talk to Loki, but she didn't see how she had any other choice—when a middle-aged man checking his mail inside the lobby took notice of her, standing just on the other side of the glass door. He looked concerned by her appearance, and Darcy realized that she must look like a train wreck right now. But surprisingly, that actually managed to work in her favor, as the gentleman then went and kindly opened the door for her.

“You okay, dear?” he asked, as Darcy stalked past him gloomily.

“Yup,” Darcy lied, going to summon the elevator.

The gentleman didn't ask any more questions and allowed Darcy to take the elevator up in solitude, which she was grateful for. Finally reaching her apartment door, she found that it had been left unlocked, and so, with a huge wave of relief, she pushed it open and went inside.

Darcy!” screeched a voice, when Darcy had barely taken one step inside the apartment. Jane was rushing at her, and before Darcy could even understand what was happening, she had thrown her arms around her and was squeezing the life out of her. “I was so worried!

Darcy looked around the room in utter confusion. Both Thor and Erik were there, as well as Loki. But Jane, Thor, and Erik hadn't been supposed to return until much later tonight . . . .

“Jane, what're you guys doing back already?” Darcy wheezed, feeling like her lungs were about to collapse.

Finally, Jane let go of her. “Stark,” she said. “As soon as Loki called us and told us what happened, Stark had us flown back here by his personal jet.”

Darcy gaped at her. “You didn't tell him about the Elves, Jane?

“Fear not, Darcy,” said Thor, stepping forward. “We made sure to provide Tony with a different reason for the need of our urgent and immediate departure.”

“Unfortunately . . .” Jane began, suddenly looking very sheepish, “. . . the best we could come up with was that you'd fallen down the stairs and broken your leg.”

“Gee, thanks,” Darcy said sarcastically.

“But it's hardly worse than what actually happened!” Jane cried out, and before Darcy could protest, she was squeezing the daylights out of her again. “Can you imagine! Dark Elves? Here?

“Jane, it's okay,” Darcy choked. “I'm all right, really.”

But when Jane let go of her again, she didn't look convinced. “Loki told us you almost died, Darcy,” she said, and Darcy realized that there were actual tears in her eyes. “And then when he said you just walked out . . . . Where did you go?

“Ian's,” Darcy said quickly. Where I proceeded to break his heart. Proceeded to throw away possibly the best thing that's ever happened to me.

She remembered too late that her face had always been an open book, because the next moment, Jane was asking, “Did . . . . Did something happen at Ian's?”

“He asked me to move in with him . . . .” Darcy answered.

“Oh!” Jane said, with a smile, though Darcy was able to catch the momentary shadow of disappointment on her face. “That's . . . great! And . . . . And what did you say?”

But once again, Darcy found herself unable to speak. Jane, Thor, and Erik were all watching her with bated breaths, and surprisingly, it appeared that so was Loki. Completely against her volition, her bottom lip began to tremble again.

I broke up with him,” she spluttered suddenly, as the pain she hadn't even known she'd been harboring washed over her in an unprecedented wave of emotion. An onslaught of spontaneous tears cascaded down her cheeks, and she wiped at them angrily.

“Oh, sweetie . . . .” Jane said, and Darcy found herself being hugged for the third time in ten minutes, though much more gently this time.

And for a good thirty seconds, Darcy could do nothing more than sob uncontrollably into Jane's shoulder. She was aware that a warm hand had come to light on her arm in that time, and was now squeezing it gently, but since her eyes were shut tight against her own tears, she didn't know who, other than Jane, was comforting her.

Once she had stopped crying, however, feeling, she had to admit, immensely better, she opened her eyes to Thor's deeply sympathetic, solemn gaze.

“I am truly sorry, Lady Darcy . . .” he told her somberly, “. . . but if I am being perfectly honest—and I think that I speak for everyone here—I am also madly happy that you are not leaving us.”

“You got that right,” said Erik, who had also approached Darcy and was now smiling at her kindly.

It was exactly what Darcy had needed to hear. She grinned at Thor and Erik, and then let go of Jane and smiled around at the three of them.

“You know how much I love you guys, right?” she asked, looking blearily from Jane to Thor to Erik and continuing to smile. “I know I don't show it much, but you guys know, right?”

Of course we do,” Jane said, while Thor and Erik nodded. “And what's this nonsense about not showing it?”

“Oh, please, Jane,” Darcy said, and her smile turned slightly guilty. “I can so be a selfish bitch sometimes, and you know it. But I'm gonna work on it.” And even before Jane could answer, Darcy had an idea. “And I'm gonna start off by giving you and Thor your bedroom back,” she said firmly.

Jane and Thor stared at her in surprise, a mixture of happiness and confusion on their faces.

“But . . .” Jane began uncertainly, “. . . where're you going to sleep?”

“I'll move into the not-living room,” Darcy said quickly, before she could change her mind.

“But that is our entertainment room!” Thor exclaimed immediately. “You love that room, Darcy!”

This was true, and Darcy knew that Thor loved it, too (not that he obviously wouldn't love sharing the master bedroom with Jane again even more), and this was exactly why Darcy had already thought of the solution.

“Don't worry, Thunder Wonder—I have it all figured out,” she said, and then turned to Jane. “You know that money we've been saving up for beds for Thor and I?”

“Of course,” Jane said. “In fact, I think we should have enough for one now. So if you're seriously willing to move into the living room, we can go get you a bed as soon as tonight. If you want.”

The corners of Jane's mouth twitched, and Darcy knew she was holding back one hell of a grin right now. And no wonder, considering that originally, back when Loki had first arrived at their apartment, transforming the not-living room into a bedroom had been Jane's idea. Darcy had just been too stubborn back then to realize it would've actually been the smartest call to make.

“That's perfect,” she said to Jane now. “Except for one small thing. I don't want a bed. Not a regular one, anyways. Get me a sofa bed or a futon instead. I'll have it folded up during the day, so Thor and I will have our entertainment room, and at night, it'll be my bedroom.”

Thor looked excited. Jane looked undeniably pleased.

“Yes, of course,” she said. “You can put anything you want in your room, Darce.”

“Are you absolutely certain of this, though, Darcy?” Thor asked.

Darcy grinned at the thunder god's slightly worried face. “A hundred percent,” she said. “Maybe now you'll start hanging out with me in the mornings again, instead of going to Jane and leaving me all alone. I miss my Thor time.”

Thor looked simultaneously guilty and flattered, and, deciding she's embarrassed him enough, Darcy continued. “And yes, I wanna go get the sofa bed or futon today, if that's okay with you guys. I think it'll help us us take our minds off everything that's happened today. But first we need to decide what to do with the five, uhhh, guests we have suntanning up on the rooftop. We can't very well leave them there for management to find.”

“Actually, Darce . . .” Jane began, with an oddly sickened expression on her face, “. . . the bodies have already been taken care of . . . .”

“Huh? How?” Darcy said. As far as she was aware, they didn't have garbage bags that big. Or a chainsaw. Or a bathtub-ful of acid.

“Loki . . . teleported them . . . .” Jane continued, looking even more sickened.

Darcy gaped at her. “Teleported them where?”

“To the bottom of your River Thames,” Loki informed her conversationally from the other side of the room. “Their armor should weigh them down nicely until they have decomposed sufficiently enough so as not to float to the surface.”

Darcy now understood why Jane looked so disgusted. Trying to force the mental image of five rotting, slimy Elf bodies lying on the Thames riverbed out of her head, “That's . . . awesome,” she said queasily. “And highly disturbing.”

o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o

“It's rude, you know, to run out on somebody mid-conversation.”

Darcy, who, having finally eaten, showered, and changed into clean clothes, was busy spreading fresh linens over her new sofa bed in the old not-living room (now her new bedroom), looked up and turned toward the source of the voice behind her.

Loki stood in her doorway, leaning against the doorframe, his expression unreadable. If he was trying to get some extreme reaction out of her, she was simply too exhausted to give it to him.

“It's also rude to flirt with a girl who's taken,” she pointed out dully, returning her attention to her bedsheets.

“Yes, but you aren't 'taken' anymore, are you, Little Mortal?” Loki asked, and there was something akin to triumph in his voice.

Darcy froze, clutching the edge of her comforter so hard, her hands trembled.

“Sorry,” Loki said immediately, to Darcy's immense surprise. “I did not mean to—”

“I'm not in a good talking mood right now, Jazz Hands,” Darcy said, cutting him off. “And I'm going to bed.” To bring her point home, she plopped down backward onto the unfolded sofa bed and shut her eyes.

“You may dislike me more for saying this,” she heard Loki's voice several moments later, “but you ought to know that your Ian sounded painfully boring and utterly bland. He was not worthy of you.”

Darcy snorted, continuing to keep her eyes closed. “Oh, yeah?” she muttered bitterly. “Then who is, according to you? And for the love of all that is holy, don't say yourself.”

When Loki's silence had lasted for more than thirty seconds, Darcy opened her eyes and lifted her head from her pillow. But the room was empty. Loki had gone, shutting the bedroom door behind himself. Darcy took off her glasses and put them on the bedside table, turned off her bedlamp, crawled underneath her comforter, and then let her head hit her pillow once more. The most glorious sensation washed over her as her sore, tense, tired body finally relaxed, and in mere moments, she had fallen into the sweet repose of deep, dreamless sleep.

deviantID

JuliaPie
Jules
Canada
Current Residence: Ottawa.
deviantWEAR sizing preference: Medium.
Print preference: *shrugs*
Favourite genre of music: ALL OF THEM.
Favourite photographer: MEEEEE!!!!!!
Favourite style of art: Mine.
Operating System: Windows 7.
MP3 player of choice: iPhone 4.
Shell of choice: Shell? What? Conch?
Wallpaper of choice: Whatever interests me at the moment.
Skin of choice: OMG, RACIST. Jk, jk. =P
Favourite cartoon character: Too many to list.
Personal Quote: "Always bring a rubber boot to a party. Boots are good."
Interests
First off, approaching four thousand pageviews!? HOLY SHIT!!! You guys have no idea what a hard time I have believing that. I can't thank you enough.

Secondly, I APOLOGIZE FOR DISAPPEARING FOR ETERNITY. MY LAPTOP DIED, AND UNTIL TWO DAYS AGO I HAVEN'T HAD THE MONEYS TO REPLACE IT. Thankfully, I now have Bender, my shiny new HP G62. He's operating smoothly so far.

A lot has happened since my last journal entry. I'm attending university and majoring in English just as I said I would; but I have also moved to the city. I'm renting an apartment with one of my best friends from high school, :iconlostxfreakx42:. We're the awesomest roommates ever. We share our apartment with our cats, Simon and Zipper, and my budgie, Sparkle. I also had a betta named Captain Hammer, but he died two days ago.  :tears:

As you may have guessed, I was unable to keep my job at Subway. Thankfully, I was hired about a month ago at Booster Juice, a juice and smoothie bar. I'm enjoying the job so far, because I really can't complain about getting free smoothies.  ;)

Though I haven't had access to a proper computer in months, I've made an effort to keep drawing. Over the next few days, I will post a couple of things that I drew during this time. I also wish I had the files from my old laptop transferred to the new one already, so I could continue working on Sanity Is Relative. Yes, what I said in my previous journal entry about letting SIR die did not end up being the case. I feel like I must bring the story to its intended conclusion, and I will do my best to finish it.

Now it is very late and I am very sleepy, so I must leave you with this.

Also, I MISS LOST SO MUCH I LOVED THE FINALE I CAN'T WAIT TO DO A REWATCH ONCE I GET AN HDTV AND THE SERIES ON BLU-RAY.

HAPPY EARLY HALLOWEEN!
  • Mood: Tired
  • Listening to: Sparkle chirping in the background. GO TO SLEEP.
  • Reading: Some anime and some Russian health book.
  • Watching: A lot of things.
  • Playing: Nothing.
  • Eating: Nothing.
  • Drinking: Nothing.

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:iconnatashow:
Natashow Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014
Hey thanks for the watch
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:iconjuliapie:
JuliaPie Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014
My pleasure! I love all your Doc/Susan stuff! :)
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:iconnatashow:
Natashow Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014
Thanks have read any of my fanfics on  fanfiction.net?
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:iconjuliapie:
JuliaPie Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014
I'm actually not sure, LOL. What's your username on there?
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(1 Reply)
:iconrae8892:
RAE8892 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Tag! --> [link]

You DO NOT have to do it! the pick was random!
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:iconjuliapie:
JuliaPie Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013
Sorry, but I don't have the time! :(
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:iconrae8892:
RAE8892 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Don't even worry about it dearie, this is just for fun
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:icondaughter-of-rome:
Daughter-of-Rome Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2013  Student Writer
Hi, you might not remember me but I was Katniss1029, I couldn't get on my old account due to some issues with my family and stuff... hope you remember me!
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:iconjuliapie:
JuliaPie Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2013
Of course I remember you! :D Sorry to hear about your old account though. :(
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:icondaughter-of-rome:
Daughter-of-Rome Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Student Writer
Thanks,and yeah:(
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