Darcy watched, perched on the end of the bed, as Loki paced around the room, clad in nothing but leather pants … her attempts at calming him down, not working.
"Thor could already be back on Asgard as we speak," he said, to no one in particular, "with that blasted gem."
"Can you sense where it is?"
"No," he stopped in his tracks, turning to face her. "And I can only sense it at all, if I let myself fall into a deep sleep … which I never do anymore." He began to shake his head. "It's left some kind of … mark, or brand, I know not what."
"Hm. That happens to Jane too."
He stared at her, instantly captivated. "Does it?"
Darcy nodded. "She said it felt like the Aether left a sort of fingerprint in her mind somewhere, and she hopes that it'll fade away eventually … she said it gets easier."
He gave a bitter laugh. "I am sure that Jane Foster sleeps much easier than I do, Darcy."
She laughed right back at him. "Oh, that's where you're wrong. Jane rarely sleeps, more like small power naps … and usually I have to remind her to take them. When Thor was with us all the time, it was different, of course ... but normally, she's the first one up and the last one to go to bed."
Loki frowned. "And what does the Aether tell her?"
"That's between her and the Aether."
"Really. She's never told you?"
Darcy shrugged, looking down. "She had a vision when Malekith drew the Aether out of her … about how he planned to bring darkness to the universe, destroy Asgard, turn it into a wasteland." She looked up at him, curious. "Do you think that any of these stones could ever be used for something good?"
He gave her a sad smile. "It depends on who wields them. Most cannot, I am afraid."
She chewed on her lower lip, thinking. "Is there a way we can find out what's going on … like, can we get news from Earth all the way out here?"
Loki shook his head. "Midgard is too far out of reach, too cut off from the galaxy. It's like a remote island in a vast sea.
"Well shit. I wish my phone worked out here … but even if I did get wifi, it's almost dead anyway."
Loki's face all of a sudden lit up. "Darcy Lewis. You never cease to surprise."
He walked off into the other room and brought back her phone. He then sat on the bed beside her, and Darcy watched as a golden glow emanated from his fingertips. He handed it to her.
The battery had been completely recharged. "Whoa." She looked up at him. "But I'm still not getting service out here."
He frowned. "Perhaps there is a way. If we can hook your phone up with one of the Knowhere communication ports, with some magic … and luck, of course, we could make a connection."
Darcy nodded. "Okay. One practitioner of magic and one hacker … not a bad combo. Groovy."
She laughed. "One of my unofficial titles, very on the down-low." She put a finger to his lips. "Shh. Don't tell anyone."
Loki grinned. "What does a hacker do?"
"They hack into things."
She raised an eyebrow. "You had to have had at least one, while you were on Earth. You know, people who can get into computers, bypass the security and find information … and if they're any good, leave without any trace that they were there."
He seemed intrigued. "And how good are you?"
She smiled at him. "The best. Well, one of the best."
He nodded with a wicked grin. "I hate to say this, as your naked body happens to be one of the most delectable things I've ever seen in the nine realms," he said, before kissing her bare shoulder, "but we need to get dressed."
She sighed. "Fine. But I'm doing my hair in Princess Leia buns first, so it might take a few minutes."
Darcy sat while Loki stood beside her, as she tried to get a feel for the alien technology. At first, she was in awe of how advanced it was, but then started to see similarities to what she was familiar with … it was just years ahead of anything she'd seen. Even StarkTech. But once she got used to it, it was even easier to navigate … Loki just had to do a lot of translating for her. They'd gone back down to the "main plaza" of the colony, the only nice way she could think to describe the area, full of dirty transient aliens … and found an outer-space internet-cafe. She shook her head at how everything was so different, and yet so similar.
Loki had paid for a private booth so they would not be disturbed. At first, she tried a wireless connection, but couldn't get anything … but then she started reorganizing the system, or okay, more like tearing out wires, and putting things back together … and soon she started making headway. With a little bit of Loki's magic, they were able to make the connection work … although it was sort of like trying to watch an old TV by putting foil on the antenna, while having someone hold it at an exact angle ... and standing on a chair.
Loki seemed to have a mix of emotions going on at once, ranging from being extremely nervous about the mind gem, to being strangely proud of his new Midgardian paramour. "If someone taught you the arts of battle, you would be positively lethal," he said while grinning.
"How do you know that I'm not?" she asked with a wink.
"The fact that Yondu Udonta was able to capture you."
She shrugged, looking back down at her work. "Ah yeah, well … he had an element of surprise, I'll give him that. I wasn't expecting to be abducted by aliens while hanging out on an old swing set. But you're right, I'm not 'trained in the arts', or however you put it … though I have taken self-defense classes. I know how to take down a human man if I need to."
Loki laughed. "Oh, I have no doubt.
"I took down your brother," she said, while trying to make the connection stronger.
"What?" He was stunned.
"Granted, at the time, he was earthbound, or in a 'mortal form' or whatever he called it."
"With my taser. It shoots out a volt of electricity."
Loki started laughing. "Thor was taken out by a Midgardian weapon that dispenses small bolts of lightning?"
She grinned. "I suppose you could say that. I also had the element of surprise going for me though … he didn't think I'd do it."
"A mistake I am sure he wouldn't make again. Tell me, why did he warrant this in the first place?"
"Well … we found him alone in the middle of the dessert, after a light-tornado hit the ground, and he was yelling for his hammer and screaming at the sky. We thought he was loony tunes … plus, it looked like he was about to beat up Erik, or beat up someone, so I tasered him."
He seemed mystified. "Right after he was banished to Midgard?"
"Yep. And Jane hit him with our truck of course, twice."
Loki couldn't contain his mirth. "Thor. Humbled as soon as he stepped foot on Midgardian soil. I used to wonder what it was about Earth that turned him into such a different person, full of sentiment … and I still do not understand all of it, but perhaps I am beginning to."
She looked up and frowned. "What do you mean?"
He shook his head. "Not now."
Darcy turned back to her phone. "Yeah. One of these days, when you take me out to dinner first, then we can talk about the real shit."
"Anyway. Can you do the charge thing like you did the last time? That seemed to work … and maybe I can get a signal."
"Of course," he said, quietly.
She had decided that calling Jane would be best, so that was the first person she tried. When the phone actually started to ring, she gave Loki a smile so big, that it practically took up her whole face … and then relief started to flow through her body, as if she'd been holding her breath for hours, and was finally able to push air through her lungs. She held her fist out to Loki, who by this time, knew what a fist-bump was. She giggled at how natural it had become.
"DARCY WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?!"
She lost her smile.
Her mind tried to think quickly, weaving together a story that didn't sound like complete bullshit. "Jane! Dude. I went up to a lake house with an old high school friend. I didn't realize there wouldn't be any service there, or I wouldn't have gone. So tell me what's up!"
"YOU COULDN'T HAVE TOLD SOMEONE? Your parents are worried sick! It's like Tromso all over again … and that's what I told them, to calm them down!"
Darcy shook her head. She didn't have time for this. "Yes, yes, I know. I'm an irresponsible idiot, but I couldn't take being in that town one more second, so I went to the lake. Very hippie kinda place. Nudists 'n shit. Now Jane, I don't know when my phone is gonna die … so just tell me what's going on."
"Haven't you seen the news?" Jane seemed baffled.
Fuck. Shit. Fuck. Shit.
"No! That's why I called you … because I know that if I turn on CNN, about 20% of what they say will be true. Probably less."
"Fine," Jane huffed through the phone. "Okay, so I've talked to Pepper and I've talked to Thor on the phone, and they both said that everyone we know made it."
Darcy started to panic. "Wait … WHAT? People died? Where are you?"
"Yes, people died! What the hell, Darcy. I'm in Switzerland … I was here for a conference and was told to stay put."
"Alright," Darcy said quietly, as she looked up at Loki. He looked very nervous, and was chewing on a fingernail. "Start from the beginning."
He watched the phone conversation, and Darcy's eyes got bigger and bigger, listening to the story. He then began to pace around when she started saying "NO!" over and over again. He tried to ask questions when she stood up and yelled "SHUT UP!" ... but then she promptly sat back down once she realized that the connection had almost been lost, and she waved at Loki to stop talking.
"Okay. So. That happened," Darcy finally said, in a daze.
"Yep. That happened. And Bruce has disappeared, but he'd probably be arrested if anyone found him."
"What? But no one could hold him even if they tried."
Loki mouthed to her, "Who?" Darcy only shook her head and put her finger up, telling him to be quiet.
"I know," Jane answered. "That's why he's gone. Listen, I'm coming home tomorrow. Everyone will be going to the Upstate New York facility, even Erik. Will you meet me there? I'm going to say goodbye to Thor before he leaves."
She looked over at Loki. "Thor is leaving tomorrow?" He seemed visibly relieved by that particular piece of information.
"Yeah," Jane croaked.
She all of a sudden felt for her friend, and now had a new understanding of her predicament. "I'm sorry. I'll be there as soon as I can. I'll bring the ice cream."
"Thanks. See ya soon Darce."
After she hung up the phone, Darcy shrugged at Loki and gave him a flimsy smile. She wasn't even sure how she was going to explain it all. "Okay. So. Let's get out of here and talk."
"Is the mind gem secure?"
"They think so."
"They think so?"
"Yeah. Like I said, let's get out of here. I think you're going to want to sit down."
"So I've sat down, Darcy … will you please now tell me what has happened?"
It was Darcy's turn to pace around the room while Loki sat at the table, his hand around the glass of bourbon that she'd poured for him … the bottle beginning to get precariously low.
She decided to start from the beginning.
But should I leave anything out? Am I committing treason by telling him? Fuck it.
"Do you know what HYDRA is?"
He gave a quick nod. "They are an enemy of S.H.I.E.L.D."
"Right. And your scepter was with them … they got ahold of it when S.H.I.E.L.D. fell. The Avengers have been taking out HYDRA cells all over the world and finally found the main one, apparently. The one with your scepter. They had a bunch of Chitauri wreckage they were working with … and experimenting with artificial intelligence. They were also experimenting on humans," she said.
Darcy shook her head. "No. Well, maybe, but the humans that survived, twins … they became something else. One became inhumanly fast … and the other, I don't understand it all, but apparently she can infect your mind, along with telekenisis. I'm not sure of the extent of it."
He looked up at her, hoping that was the end of the story. "So this is what has happened to the mind gem? It created a pair of humans with extraordinary powers?"
She nodded slowly and grimaced. "Yeah. But there's a little more."
"Okay. I'm just gonna spit it all out."
He made a welcoming gesture with his hands. "Please do."
Darcy reached over, picking up the liquor, and took a swig of bourbon straight from the bottle. "Okay, so this girl, the one with the new powers, gave Tony Stark a vision about the Earth being destroyed … so he took your scepter, motivated by this dream, or whatever, and decided that he wanted to save the world. So he took the mind gem and tried to take HYDRA's plans one step further, to develop his own artificial intelligence, something he called the Ultron Program. He'd been working on it for awhile, but thought it might be a good time to get with his mad scientist buddy, Dr. Banner, and use the gem to do his own thing, without consulting any of the others."
Loki nodded, not surprised. "That. Man. And how did Thor react?"
"Not well, but that's beside the point now."
"Yeah, um … with the gem, they created Ultron, who ended up being a genocidal regenerating robot who tried to annihilate humanity and create an immortal body for himself."
"What?" He narrowed his eyes, leaning forward.
"I know, right? If it makes you feel any better, Pepper is pretty pissed off at Tony."
Loki only shook his head, not understanding.
"That's his girlfriend."
Things you probably should not be telling him, Darcy. Only the necessities.
"Anyway," she said, continuing the story and the pacing. "So Ultron got his hands on a bunch of vibranium, which is the strongest metal on the planet, to make a new body for himself … but the Avengers were able to somewhat thwart that plan, and they made something new. With the mind gem." She paused.
Darcy took a deep breath. "Tony wanted to try to put J.A.R.V.I.S., which is his A.I. butler computer program, into the body that Ultron was making with some crazy-advanced 3-D printer … because it worked out so well for him the first time. He also somehow got Bruce on board, again … because Bruce can't seem to tell Tony "NO" for some reason. So Steve tried to stop him and then Thor came flying in and struck the 'cradle', as they were calling the case holding this new body, with lightening from mjolnir … and they created this new guy. Anyway, the mind gem is inside of him." She shrugged. "He seems nice."
"WHAT?" There might have been a vein popping out of Loki's forehead.
She tried to smile, to stay calm, but she knew it wasn't working. "Let's look on the bright side. Um, he uh ... he's a cross between J.A.R.V.I.S. and energy from mjolnir ... so Tony and Thor are like, his two dads. Sorta. Congrats! You're ... an uncle?"
Darcy had never seen him so mad, not that she'd known him that long … but still, he seemed mad. "I know! That's when I was like … Jane, SHUT UP!"
"THEY MADE AN ENTIRELY NEW IMMORTAL BEING?" He was seething.
"Yeah?" She didn't know what else to say, as she was still trying to wrap her brain around it herself. "He seems okay. He's apparently a very pretty magenta color. And," she held up her finger to make a point ... "he helped the Avengers save a city that Ultron had lifted up in the air, to turn into a meteor and wipe out all humans. That was Ultron's plan … peace through the eradication of humans. Our extinction."
Loki stood. "A fine plan. If it meant THE EXTINCTION OF TONY STARK!"
Darcy nodded and sat down. "Yeah, and that's what Thor's first reaction sounded like when he found out about Ultron. He apparently tried to choke him."
He shook his head, in shock. "It was not safe on Asgard. And even LESS SAFE ON MIDGARD."
Darcy raised her hands. "No, but this new guy. Vision."
She shrugged. "Yeah, that's what he calls himself, I don't know … who am I to judge. He's apparently A.I. Gandhi."
Loki just looked confused, along with being about as irate as irate gets.
He flinched, as if what she said had burned him. "An artificial god? Blasphemy!" he hissed.
"But let's focus on the positive," she said, nodding. "He can lift mjolnir!"
She gave him a lame smile. "Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that. Thor seems to think he's worthy enough to hold onto the stone ... since he can wield mjolnir."
Loki only stuck out his chin and sat back down, pouring the rest of the bourbon into his glass and drinking all of it in one gulp. He then conjured up another bottle.
Darcy reached over to inspect it. "This is a bottle of scotch that's over a hundred years old. This is priceless."
He shrugged. "Open it."
"Tony Stark again?"
Loki gave a quick nod.
"How many drinks did you procure, Loki?"
He gave her a sardonic smile. "I also have very nice bottle of wine that you and I can break out, at a later date."
"Um, alright," she said, opening the new bottle. "With pleasure."
He took the glass she poured for him and held it up slightly. "So the Earth now holds a benevolent immortal being who is in possession of the mind gem ... and can wield mjolnir?"
Darcy nodded slowly, taking a sip of insanely expensive liquor. "Fuck, that's good," she said, her eyes growing wide. "But yeah. And he's at least partially made out of the strongest substance on the planet."
Loki took a minute to let it sink in. "And what of this city that was … lifted into the air?"
The utterly insane idea of a floating city was a bit much for either of them to fathom, it seemed.
"Destroyed," she said. "But they evacuated it the best they could ... before it went kaboom."
"Kaboom," he repeated, eerily calm.
"And one of the twins died. The fast one. At first they were working with Ultron, but became Avengers, once they figured out his plans."
"The only Avenger fatality?" Loki seemed sad about that piece of information.
Darcy nodded, scowling. "You wanted there to be more?"
"You mistake me, darling," he said, before taking a healthy sip of scotch. "Only Tony Stark."
She tried to be careful in the next thing she said. "I think he knows that he fucked up."
"Does he?" Loki tilted his head, looking dangerous, serpentine. It was the first time since meeting him, that she saw something very scary in him.
She gave him a piercing stare. "It could also be blamed on this new girl for giving him that damn vision in the first place."
He looked down into his glass. "So ... The Man of Iron tried to save Midgard ... by destroying it?"
"Well, when you put it that way …" Darcy was about to say that it sounded like Loki, but cut herself off. Probably one of the only times she kept her mouth shut.
"I know what you're thinking."
She frowned. "Can you read minds?"
He smiled, his face softening for the first time in what seemed like hours. "No. Not from over here … but it's written all over your face."
Darcy shrugged. "The line between hero and villain is often blurred, it seems. No one is perfect, unless you're Steve Rogers, or this new Vision guy, apparently. And even Steve, I mean, he's notoriously bad at pub trivia. You definitely don't want him on your team."
Loki couldn't help it, he laughed. Maybe he's getting drunk? "And what does Midgard think of Tony Stark now?"
"I'm not sure. I guess I'll find out. He's going to lay low … him and Bruce."
"Hm. Yeah. You've met him. The big green guy. He hulked out during one of those visions the new girl gave him … and he pretty much destroyed a city in Africa."
Recognition passed over his features, a ghost of a memory, and she realized that Dr. Banner was probably one of the only beings on Earth that Loki truly feared. "And he is your friend?" he asked.
Darcy shrugged. "He's a good guy. A brilliant scientist … he didn't …"
He didn't mean it. She shook her head. That's what they say about abusive people.
"He didn't what?"
"He wasn't in his right mind."
Loki sat back, regarding her with a raised brow.
She took a drink. "I know that most of us are trying to do our best with what we've got, and the knowledge that we have at the time. It's just that some of those people happened to be infected with gamma radiation … or a mind gem."
He laughed. "And what would you say of Tony Stark? What is his excuse?"
Darcy shook her head. "Thankfully I don't have to worry about him."
"Yeah. Pepper gets to deal with him."
"And is she a giver of Midgardian justice?"
"Oh, you have no idea. I wish I could have seen the look on her face ... when he told her that he turned J.A.R.V.I.S. into a magenta robot Jesus."
He nodded. "And this Ultron … has been eradicated?"
"Yeah. Vision destroyed him."
"And Thor leaves for Asgard tomorrow?"
"Yeah," she said, a strange sadness filling her.
He stood, holding his hand out to her. "Then we only have a matter of hours, Darcy. Let's make them good ones."
She took his hand, standing up as well … and he picked her up and carried her to the bed.
It had been a short time that they were together, only days, a collection of hours that they found solace in each other, but they'd become near experts in the language of their bodies.
And it was in these moments that she knew the truth about him. Perhaps there were not many throughout the universe who could trust Loki, and for good reason … but she wasn't one of those people. He reserved loyalty to a precious few, and he told her this with his body. The things she had revealed to him, about her home, about her friends … normally she'd feel a twinge of guilt, but not in this space … in this space, it was a confidence between lovers.
They held back in speaking to one another, of what was really going on beneath the surface, in their hearts … but they held nothing back while showing, immersed in the act of love. He would bring Darcy to the brink, with his hands, with his mouth, his tongue, so many times, and then back away, as if he didn't want it to end … the swan song in this strange journey.
He lay soft kisses on the swollen flesh between her legs, and though she wanted it to last as well, her body was nearly shaking with need. She took her hands from where they were, entwined in his hair, and brought them to her breasts, kneading them the way she liked, touching her own nipples, the way she liked. He growled as he saw this, and the vibrations from his voice sent her further to an edge … an edge that she just couldn't quite spill over.
Loki climbed up her body and entered her, finally … as he replaced her hands on her breasts with his mouth, and bit down, causing them both to moan. He then rolled them over, without losing connection, so that she was above him.
"I want to watch," he said, his eyes pleading. "Bring your body pleasure, on top of me, all around me."
She gave him a grin with darkened eyes, her hair flowing down past her shoulders, mussed from various bedroom activities. "You want me to ride your dick?" she asked, nearly breathless.
He brought his hand to her cheek, sweeping his thumb across her lower lip … and she gave him a playful bite, causing him to groan. "I love the things that come out of your mouth."
Darcy began to move fluidly on top of him. "So you love it when I say … how good your huge cock feels ... inside of me?"
Loki gave her a wicked smile as his body, his neck, arched in sensation. "Yessss. Almost as much ... as I love the feeling ... of being inside ... of your impossibly warm and tight ... sweet quim."
He watched, memorizing her, as she took pleasure in massaging her own breasts and teasing the tender flesh around her clit. Loki held onto her hips like someone who was drowning, and his grasp was the only thing keeping him afloat.
She bent down, ghosting her fingers across his mouth, leaving traces of herself across his lower lip, and he ran his tongue along it, before she kissed him … angling herself and grinding against him, now holding nothing back, finally able to come. Finally able to find release.
He seemed to delight in her orgasm as much as she did, loving the feeling of her trembling around him, though he wasn't finished himself. While she lay boneless in his arms, he lifted her from him, placing her on her stomach. He then positioned himself above her and penetrated easily from behind, as they were both slick and warm, dripping from sex.
Darcy loved it like this, pinned underneath him, barely able to move herself, as he thrust in and out, the angle intense, reaching things inside of her that she rarely felt. He had all of the control, going deeper, faster … and all she could do was moan and clutch at the sheets.
As he neared completion, she felt one of his large hands press against the small of her back, and she began to feel a pleasant warmth throughout her hips and belly, magic from his fingertips, flowed and vibrated through her skin, and then concentrated right where she needed it … and since she was still sensitive from her release, it became almost too much.
'I have you," he panted. "Just let yourself feel it."
She closed her eyes and let go, freely giving him every ounce of control, and this time he came with her, almost violently, spilling everything over the edge. Every last drop.
When he was able to move again, he spent some time hovering above her, kissing the back of her neck, and down her spine, before finally laying beside her, running his fingertips over her skin.
"Damn," she said, smiling lazily.
Darcy began to laugh softly.
He tilted his head in question. "What is it"
"Nothing. You don't need an even bigger ego."
Loki gave her a sly grin. "Really. Now I simply must know. I insist."
"You'll just laugh at me."
She pushed herself up and onto her side, facing him, and smiled. "You're the most cliterate guy I've ever come across. The most cliterate guy I've ever heard of, actually."
"Cliterate," he repeated. He then collapsed onto his back, laughing, taking her hand as he went, kissing her fingers. "I am not sure what I did, to warrant these past few days of happiness, though I will not question it. And I wonder if there is anyone who has ever made me laugh as you do."
Darcy then lay on his chest, in the nice and cozy crook near his shoulder, with his arm around her, wanting to enjoy it all for a bit longer. Just a few more minutes. Because even though their cocoon had become familiar and safe, the world just outside was still very alien and very scary, and she needed to go home. She wanted to go home, to her family, her friends … her world.
She just couldn't shake the feeling that she desperately wanted him to come with her.
They had both nodded off for a few moments, and they were now stirring and stretching, awakening.
"How exactly are you going to take me home? Like … are you going to teleport us there?"
She could feel his chest rumbling with soft laughter. "No darling, if only it were that easy."
Darcy sat up and looked down at him. "So what then?"
He took a deep breath, and she knew she wasn't going to like what he was about to say. "I know of a passageway. There are many of these passageways across the universe, if one knows where to look."
She narrowed her eyes at him. "What … like wormholes?"
"Yes. But we'll need a certain velocity to be able to access it."
She was confused. "Like … you have to get us up to 88 miles per hour and be in possession of a flux capacitor?"
Darcy shook her head. "Nevermind. How do we get speed?"
"We'll have to jump … from a certain height."
He tried to look reassuring, but he wasn't cutting it. "I promise you, it'll work. Crossing between the realms isn't easy … if it were, everyone would do it. Luckily for us, we have my magic."
Darcy was visibly freaked out. "I've heard about you jumping off of things before, Loki … this does not make me feel better!"
"You talk of the Bifrost."
He slowly reached a hand up to her cheek, his emotive eyes filling with sadness. "Darling. I was never looking for a passageway through the realms then, or using my magic. I only wished to fall."
She stared at him for a few seconds, letting it all sink in. Her chin began to quiver and suddenly her eyes welled up with tears. "Oh, Loki," she said, the tears spilling. Darcy bent over and kissed the skin of his chest, over his heart, holding onto him.
His hands came to the sides of her head, threading through her hair. "Stop. Stop this Darcy," he said, his voice on the verge of cracking … "or I may beg you to stay with me … and I am a faceless man. I have nothing to offer you, as Loki."
"That isn't true," she said, sitting back up.
"It is. I am a shadow."
She shook her head. "But I don't see a shadow. I see something very solid in front of me ... and I'm sure that if you stood out in the sunlight, you wouldn't fade away."
"One day," he said clearly, his eyes watery. "But I do not have the luxury of sentiment on this day. There is too much …" his voice trailed off. "One day."
She nodded, closing her eyes, trying to stop the tears. "That'll be a good day."
She found herself standing on the tallest point in the colony of Knowhere, about to jump into the abyss of fucking space.
Darcy had her eyes closed, close to tears, for many reasons … fear being one of them. But she refused to cry.
She had on Loki's green tunic over her Batman shirt, wearing her purse across her upper body, so she wouldn't have to hold onto it … as she had to hold onto Loki the whole time.
He put his hands to her temples for a moment. "Now, this is very important, Darcy. I can only go to places I know of, and I doubt you want to go underground in the desert or to Scandinavia, and I cannot go to Stark's Tower. So think about where you are taking us."
Darcy's eyes flew open. "What? You can't leave that up to me!"
"Yes! I am trusting you … as you are trusting me. It works both ways."
"YOU DIDN'T MENTION THAT EARLIER!"
Loki gave her a reassuring look. "It will be fine, darling. Just think of the place … your parent's home? Or perhaps where you disappeared. Somewhere sparse. Unpopulated. Alright? We must go."
He stook a few steps and stood at the very edge, holding out his hand. "Do you trust me?" His eyes were pleading.
There were probably so many people out there in the galaxy, who would tell her to never to trust this man. With anything. Let alone her life.
But she listened to something else instead.
Darcy took his hand. "I trust you."
As they were falling, traveling, through a space that she couldn't even begin to understand, with his arms wrapped around her … she let her mind tell him exactly where she wanted to go. All of his energy, his magic, his mind, connected them, and focused on their intention … and she could feel exactly how much it meant to him. That she trusted him.
That's when she decided to tell him one more thing.
They landed with a soft thud in the grass. Darcy instantly knelt down and felt it with her hands … in all her life, she'd never been so fucking happy to see fucking grass.
"Where did you take us to?" Loki was still standing. She looked up to see that the sun was setting, casting orange rays throughout the trees. The light was soft, but it was there, shining on him … and yet he was not fading away into shadow.
She stood up to face him. "These are the woods outside of my old school. My parents house is just down the road over there. This is where I disappeared."
He nodded, looking down at her. "Darcy."
She shook her head. "I know you're not telling me everything. I could see it back there, when we were connected. I can't explain it, but I could see it." She put her hands on his chest … he was still in his Jedi-ish garb, for now. "You have blocks … or wards, or whatever, all over you."
Loki only nodded once, taking her hands.
"And I don't care. I get it. I mean, I don't understand everything, but I get it. You can't have people finding you. But I have to tell you something."
He looked as if he was trying to hold himself together by a thread. "No sentiment … please," he whispered.
"Alright." She took a deep breath, gathering courage. "Thor knows about the stones. He had a vision. He knows that the mind gem, the Aether, the Tesseract, and the Orb all showing up … that it isn't a coincidence, and he's going to find out why."
He nodded, understanding. "I suppose it was bound to happen, he's not exactly being secretive about it any longer."
"No. The one who seeks the stones. I cannot speak his name."
Darcy shrugged. "That's cool. I don't think I want to hear it." She took his face in her hands. "Loki."
He took one of her hands and held it to his heart. "Please. No goodbyes. No tears. I will return. I promise."
She nodded. "I believe you." Darcy gave him a quick kiss. "But can you do me a favor?"
Darcy reached into her back pocket and took out her phone with the earbuds. "If you ever run into Peter Quill, can you give this to him?"
He took the phone from her. "Of course … but will you not need it?"
"Nah. I erased all the apps, they'd just confuse him … and I erased any incriminating photos," she grinned. "I'll just say I lost it … my contract is up anyway. I'm due for a new one."
"Very well." He then ghosted his lips across her cheek and to her ear. "I will return," he repeated, a promise in his eyes.
Darcy nodded. She did believe him, but she also knew that Thor had said the same thing, and it took him two years and several gallons of ice cream later, for him to show back up.
She smiled up at him. "I'll be here. Thank you. For saving me."
He smiled back. "Thank you. For saving me."
Loki gave her one last kiss, much like their first. In the beginning it was chaste, tentative, his fingers tilting up her chin … and then grew in heat and vigor, his arms wrapping tight around her. But this time, he let himself fade away … into the shadows, leaving her a whisper in her mind.
Before walking back to her parents house, and before trying to come up with one hell of a good excuse for her absence, she leaned up against a tree to catch her breath, wrapping her arms around herself, and Loki's green shirt.
She took a moment to think ... and to cry her eyes out.
Loki shut himself in his rooms on Asgard, already feeling Darcy's absence, and awaiting Thor's return. The trip to Knowhere had been fruitful and unexpected … in so many different ways. He was able to bring back much, but also felt as if a piece of himself, a piece that he'd blocked long ago, had been ripped away, and he'd left it behind on Midgard.
He put the drinking glasses they had used together on his writing desk, one still holding an imprint of her kiss, from her lip stain. Or lip stick, as she had called it. Loki felt his magic relax, and he began to put things away into their usual spaces, taking them out of their metaphysical pocket. He put Darcy's cloak and white tunic that he'd made for her, in his closet, as he couldn't bring himself to dissolve them.
He then put soundproofing wards in place, so no one would hear as he took out Darcy's device, and looked for the song he wanted. He wanted to hear the song that she played while he held her ... that first time, in his lap, swaying to the music. When he could no longer contain himself, as her intoxicating scent and soft sweet skin at bewitched him, and he couldn't go one second longer without tasting her again.
He scrolled through the files she called "playlists" and landed on one called "Loki's Mix-Tape". He grinned as he realized that she never meant for him to give the device to Peter Quill, but knew that he would have refused it, if she'd offered it to him … calling it sentiment.
Loki would have never given it to Peter Quill anyway.
He smiled, playing the song. He would return.