Continuing Tales

Black Ice

A Marvel Movieverse Story
by ofravenwings

Part 2 of 2

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Black Ice

Days pass.

Darcy goes back to New York. She works with Jane for a time. She works as a secretary. She works as a personal assistant. She does not finish college. It doesn't seem to matter now.

And every night, she dreams of being back in that cell, back with Loki. Feels his hands on her, his kisses on her lips. Every morning she wakes reaching for him, but he is never there.


Sometimes she dreams that she wakes as they are taking him from the cell. That she grasps his hands so hard that she pulls him back into that blackness, somehow, and then they are both swimming up through the blackness of the lake. They come up against the black ice, but Loki just smiles, presses his lips to hers, then pulls them up into the air, the ice flowing around them as though it was water.

She always wakes up before they fly. For that mercy, she is always thankful.


She does not wear any jewellery now. Cannot. Sometimes she can still feel the key between her breasts, finds herself reaching for it, and she wonders if he still has it. Wherever he is. She sits outside at night, sleepless, just looking up at their light. Hoping that somewhere out there, he is looking back at her.

Someone tells her that the light from the stars is aeons old, that at least some of the stars she can see are already dead, their light echoing through space even though its source has been extinguished. Her heart twists in her chest, and she says nothing in reply.


One night, soon after she came back, she goes out, finds someone for the night. Hopes that the feel of strange hands on her body will help.

He is enthusiastic enough, but she feels nothing, lying beneath him. She cries, after he comes. He doesn't notice, just gathers up his clothes and leaves her alone.


As the days pass, she wonders more and more if it ever happened. She tells no one, not even Jane. Everyone thinks Loki to be a monster. She sees his image on posters sometimes outside churchs, the new devil used to scare people into attending. Sometimes, at night, she sneaks out and tears them down, shredding the paper to tiny pieces like snowflakes. The next morning, they are always replaced. Nothing she does changes anything. Soon she stops bothering, and every time she sees one of the posters, she simply turns away.


Months pass, then years.

Then, one day, the Bifrost is opened again. Jane waits with Darcy in the desert. She chose this place, of course. The place where Thor first fell out of the sky. Jane tried to goad Darcy into bringing her taser. Darcy didn't laugh.

When the storm comes, Darcy looks away. When she looks back, she sees Jane and Thor embracing.

She waits, the space between her heartbeats stretching out and out, hoping and hoping.

No one else comes.


Life flows past Darcy, a river that moves on and on, passing her by.

She watches people as they marry, split, have children, die. Towers and built, towers fall. Wars are fought, lost and won.

She keeps working, saving as much as she can. When she has enough, she buys all of the cabins around the lake. She does not go there, but she sends someone once to install cameras and equipment to monitor temperature, air pressure. The systems are set to alert her if ice forms again on the lake. It never does, not even in the deepest cold of winter.


When the headaches start, she shrugs it off, keeps working.

She is back assisting Jane, a circle closed. Jane heads up her own division in Stark Industries now, has so many people working for her that she cannot keep track. She claims that it does her good to have Darcy around, someone who was there when everything began. They work on wormholes, on the technology to send people farther into space. The day they successfully produce the first vortex, everyone is amazed by how black it is. Not Darcy. She has seen it before.

She doesn't even hope, this time. Just looks away, gets on with her work, pops another handful of aspirin.

It is Jane who sends her to the medical team, commenting on how much weight Darcy has lost. There are tests, too many doctors frowning and nodding and plastering their faces with insincere smiles.

In the end, they all stop frowning, stop smiling. Tell her that it is a new kind of cancer, one that they associate with the radiation experienced by long periods in space. They frown again as they wonder where she was exposed. There is an investigation into Jane's work, monitoring in the lab round the clock. It finds nothing, of course.

The night before she leaves the lab for the last time, Jane and Darcy drink a bottle of wine together, talk in the way they used to. Tipsy and maudlin, Darcy finally tells Jane everything.


When the doctors give up, Darcy goes, at last, to the cabin by the lake. Jane worries, insists on a nurse.

The cabin is the same as it had been on that vacation, long ago. She never had any of it changed, only sent in someone to clean it the week before she arrives, makes sure that there is food, medical supplies.

It is the same, but it is not the same. There are rails along the walls, in the bathroom. There are IV poles clustered like a strange white forest next to the bed. There is a wheelchair inside the door.

The nurse is installed in a neighbouring cabin, coming by to organise Darcy's meals, to check on her at sunrise and sunset. There is a red button that Darcy wears around her neck, for emergencies. It rests in the same place that the key pendant did, once upon a time.

In the mornings, when it is fine, Darcy has the nurse wheel her down to the edge of the lake. She sits there for hours in the soft spring sunshine, staring out of the water. The medication makes her mind fuzzy, eats at her memories, to the point where she no longer even remembers what she is waiting for.

She goes down there every day when she can, all the same. And when she dozes in the sun, she always dreams of falling through the black.


The nurse places a small bunch of dandelion clocks into Darcy's lap, smiles the smile that has been growing thinner with every day.

Darcy saw the way the woman frowned when she did Darcy's medical checkup that morning. Knew, without asking, that the results were not good.

"Jane called again," the nurse said, setting up the little desk next to Darcy's chair. Water, her phone, food that she cannot eat. Her glasses, which Darcy does not wear often these days. She prefers the world to be out of focus. The nurse tucks a blanket around Darcy's knees, frowns again, then adds another.

"I don't want to see her," Darcy says. Her voice is foreign to her, more whisper now than anything else. "She doesn't need to remember me like this."

The nurse nods slowly. "It's a common reaction." She tucks the blanket in. "Is there anything else you need?"

Darcy shakes her head, feeling the bones of her skull shift against the chair. Knows that when the nurse gets her up, there will be clumps of hair left behind. She always makes the nurse blow them into the wind, likes the idea of parts of herself being seeded across the woods. Leaving something of herself behind.

"Will I die today?" Darcy asks as the nurse tests the emergency button around Darcy's neck.

The nurse looks away. "There's no predicting it. Cancer can be a fickle thing." She tucks the button within Darcy's reach.

The nurse leaves, and Darcy settles back in her chair, closes her eyes. Spring is beginning to fade, giving way to the first cool breezes of winter. It seems appropriate, somehow. She wonders if the lake will freeze over once she is gone.

She is sliding into something like sleep when the touch comes. Gentle, so light that at first she thinks it is just the breeze stirring against the bruised place on the back of her hand where too many IVs have blown. When it comes again, this time on her cheek, she stirs, opens her eyes, expecting the nurse.

She stares for a moment at the man who stands there. Without her glasses, he is a blur of light and shadow. She fumbles for them, and they slide from her numb fingers, fall to the grass. He kneels, picks them up, slides them onto her face.

He comes into sharp focus, and she sees his green eyes, the unshed tears shimmering there.

Movement behind him in the woods: Jane and Thor, watching. Jane nods once, then takes Thor's arm and leads him away.

Darcy says nothing. Can think of nothing to say. She wants to reach up, to take Loki into her arms, but her body is too weak, too sick. She can only lie there, looking at him.

"Took your time," she manages finally in that rasping voice which sounds nothing like her own.

He smiles that beautiful smile, and she feels something crack inside of her, as though her heart itself is bleeding. He kneels down, and his hands are so gentle as he lifts her from her chair, pulls her into his lap as easily as though she was a child. He cradles her against his chest, and she presses her ear to his sternum, listens to the steady thudding of his heart. Beneath the tunic he wears she can feel a familiar shape: the key she gave him. She smells salt on the air, doesn't know if its from her tears or his.

"It was Jane," Loki says, his voice vibrating through his chest as he speaks. "She told Thor. And Thor - my brother, he appealed to my mother, my…my father. Told them what had happened between us, how you accepted me. They had me freed.Odin had me freed." He looks down at her, trails a finger across the sharpness of her cheekbone. "Almost too late. My Darcy. My love. You freed me." He slides the key out from beneath his tunic, loops it around Darcy's neck again. It is warm from contact with his skin.

Darcy finds it hard to move now, harder to breathe. She presses her face into his chest, as much as she can, inhales the scent of him. And right now, it's enough, knowing that he is free, that he, at least, has this. That she has given him this.

"It is not enough," he says, his voice choked. He leans down again, kisses her gently. "You never got to fly, my love."

"It's a bit late for that," she says, her voice barely more than a whisper now.

He cups her cheek in his hand, his skin warm against hers. "Not quite. My mother sends you a gift."

He pulls from his pocket a small, golden apple. Hold it out on the palm of his hand.

"One of Idunn's apples," Loki says. "They heal, grant life."

He presses the apple to her lips. It smells sweeter than any apple she has ever known, and she inhales deeply. It takes all of her will to open her mouth, to take a bite, chew and swallow. Each bite becomes easier, until there is nothing but the seeds, which Loki slides between her lips one by one. Then he kisses her again, more deeply this time, and she is able to rise up to kiss him back, to loop her arms around his neck and hold him close. He presses his face to her neck, the same way he had long ago in that cell.

For a long time they stay like that, just holding each other. Then she feels him smile against her skin.

"And now, my love, we fly," he says.

He wraps his arms around her, and she feels his magic surrounding them. Together, they rise from the ground and fly.

Black Ice

A Marvel Movieverse Story
by ofravenwings

Part 2 of 2

<< Previous     Home