Continuing Tales


A Marvel Movieverse Story
by startrekfanwriter

Part 7 of 26

<< Previous     Home     Next >>
Untitled Document

Darcy is rifling through her dresses in the closet. Finally coming to one that is basic black and not too funky, she pulls it out.

David is pacing by the window, wearing only a tee shirt over a pair of dress gray pants. His arms are crossed, and even though she can't see him, she knows he's scowling.

"We're going to be late!" she says holding the dress up to her chest.

"Maybe we shouldn't go," he says, not looking at her.

"It's your work function!" Darcy says. And there is someone who will be there she wants to confront. A certain someone who went to lunch with David and shared a beer...just before said someone went skiing in South America and broke his leg. Supposedly.

Uncrossing his arms, David turns around and walks over to the closet. "Maybe we should leave thiz whole country! Who knows when thoze fascists might come again?" He's yelling, and she hates that.

Dropping the dress with a huff she says, "First, they are former colleagues of mine, and okay, maybe a little fascist-ish, but they're not really fascists. Second, it wasn't a big deal! Just a debriefing about something that happened a long time ago. Finally, I doubt it will ever happen again."

Standing way too close he says, "When you worked for SHIELD, which launched ze Avengers initiative-" Holding up his hands he makes quotes in the air and adds, "-as a go fer." She can see the gold flecks in his eyes, and David really doesn't look bad in a tee shirt. He's not Thor; David's longer and leaner and...

Darcy shakes her head. Focus. "Yes, as a go fer!"

Crossing his arms, he narrows his eyes. "I don't believe it!"

"Well, it's true!" says Darcy, starting to feel the temperature beneath her skin rise in a not good way. "And being a go fer for SHIELD is probably what got me in as the Avenger's photographer, so don't knock it!"

Shaking his head, he looks down, his lips set in a pout which would be kind of adorable if she wasn't so pissed at him. "No, you are too talented and too smart. You did zomething else."

Actually, that pout's starting to look adorable. "Something else?"

"Iz thiz a La Femme Nikita thing?" David says meeting her eyes and looking completely earnest.

It takes Darcy a moment to parse that. "No, I am not an assassin - or ever was one." But she is really, really, flattered that he might think so.

"I am okay with it, if you were..." David says taking one of her hands. "But I need you to be safe...if you want to run away, South America, itz okay, I've worked in poor countries before and -"

Darcy plants a kiss on his lips. Before she knows it they're backing into the closet and clothing is falling down around them on the floor.

x x x x

David and Darcy are very late to the product launch party, which David, the good punctual German, would normally be bristly about, but he's actually really, really relaxed. All it took was nookie in the closet. Darcy files that observation away for future reference.

She spots "Morgenstern" almost immediately across the room. He's talking to Pepper. David waves to him, and he nods at both of them. Darcy just narrows her eyes.

She gets a drink and then follows David around a bit. She chats with his work associates and their significant others and generally makes nice. When David gets deeply engrossed in a conversation of tensile strength of various alloys, she excuses herself.

"Morgenstern" is staring out one of the large windows at the New York City skyline.

Without preamble Darcy says, "You know, the reason David might not like the name Captain America is because he comes from Germany and they tend to find overt displays of obsessive nationalism a little offensive."

Morgenstern turns his head and beams at her. Yeah. He is sooo Loki.

She narrows her eyes, plucks her olive skewer out of her drink and waves it at him. "That's something someone with a Jewish sounding last name ought to understand."

Smirking, he cocks his head, and looks up towards the ceiling. "Duly noted."

Darcy purses her lips. His height is about the same as her Loki. His ginger hair is still wavy, and his nose isn't that different. And there's a tightness about the eyes, as though he isn't quite comfortable, in his own skin. Come to think of it, he has that tightness in his Asgard form, too.

He lifts his eyebrows and looks down at her, smirk still in place. "I hear the wedding is three months away in Mexico. You know, in some cultures it's polite to invite work associates."

What? Whoa. "Not in our culture," Darcy says. "And talked wedding plans with David?" The thoughts in her brain are running fast, but like a hamster on a wheel getting nowhere. Loki doesn't look unhappy that she's found him out, doesn't seem unhappy that she's with someone else, and in fact at this moment looks very smug. He's grinning and waggling his eyebrows.

"You're not coming," she says with strange vehemence.

Sighing dramatically, he looks out the window. "That's alright, I have an extended business trip I'll be going on then."

Darcy is suddenly and inappropriately concerned. "Like your ski trip to South America? How's your leg, by the way?"

Loki-Morgenstern shifts his weight. "Much better, thank you. No, not quite the same as the ski trip to South America. This is a planned adventure."

Feeling a little relieved, Darcy plops the olive in her mouth.

Looking back at Darcy, Loki-Morgenstern smiles and says, "So when can I expect to be a god parent?"

Darcy doesn't choke on the olive, but it's a close call. Just barely managing to spit it into her drink, she turns to him, glares and says, "I'll tell you what I told my mother, not for another ten years at least." Not that she'll be making him a godparent. No way.

Morenstern-Loki's shoulders fall. "Really? So long?" He sounds genuinely sad. Like a little boy who has just discovered Christmas has just been cancelled. It's so weird.

"I fail to see how this is any of your business," she hisses.

Eyes focused just outside the window, he says, "I just think the world would be a better place with little Darcy's in it." He sounds so...earnest. And it's kind of a sweet thing to say. A really, really, really, sweet thing.

Darcy stares out at the skyline, the little spinning hamster in her brain slowing down at bit. She looks over at him. She wasn't going to ask but finds she can't help it. Waving at his disguise she says, "Who knows?"

The air around them shimmers a bit. She looks askance and he shrugs. "A little magic that will make Heimdall think we're discussing the weather. You're asking who knows who I am?"

Darcy nods and takes a sip of her drink.

"Just Stark and Director Fury," Loki says.

Not Thor. That frightens her for some reason.

"What are you up to, Loki?" she whispers.

He smiles, but it doesn't reach his eyes. "Why mischief, of course."

Games and more games. Darcy rolls her eyes, exasperated with him for doubtlessly getting himself into more trouble, and exasperated with herself for caring.

On the plus side, it does make her glad that she's not sleeping with him.

x x x x

On a cold and rainy Monday a week before Darcy's own wedding, Jane marries Thor in a small private ceremony in the Avenger's mansion. Darcy takes the pictures.

David catches her retouching them in their studio apartment a few nights after the event. It's not a big deal that he sees them, no one is in their superhero get ups, and Thor even has short hair and is clean shaven. At least that's what Darcy tells herself.

"Who are zey?" he asks.

"Some friends of Tony Stark. He lent them his mansion for the wedding," she says.

"Who iz the blue guy?" David asks. "A mutant?"

It's Loki. He's a shape shifter, so there really is no burning need to protect any secret identity for him. "The best man," she says. "I think he is actually an alien." There are a few mutants who are turning out not to be "mutants" so much as orphan extraterrestrials. The ones who fought on the side of humans during the Skrull invasion are well known.

"Wow," says David leaning in close. "What iz hiz homeworld like? How did he get here?"

"I didn't really get to talk to him," Darcy says. It's true. Loki was too busy being the best man.

"Oh, that's too bad," says David.

She moves her stylus and removes a little bit of shadow from Jane's cheek.

"Why doez the bride look sad?" David says.

Darcy's heart sinks and it occurs to her that maybe she really wanted to be caught with these pictures. Jane's smile is beautiful but fragile in all the photos. And Darcy needs to talk about it. "She loves the groom," Darcy says. "But...well, she's pregnant, and I don't think they were really ready to get married."

What she doesn't say is how Jane wept to her before the ceremony. How Jane told Darcy she probably wouldn't marry Thor if it weren't for the baby, how she could already see the burden of her and the baby's mortality weighing on him.

"Oh," says David. He puts a hand on her shoulder and gently massages it, right where she gets tense from holding the mouse. "Who iz the hot older woman with the blue guy?"

Darcy turns her head and raises an eyebrow at him.

He blinks at her innocently. "What?"

Darcy sighs and looks back at the screen. It is Frigga, queen of Asgard, she is standing by Loki. Next to her is Thor's grown son Magni, and his stepson Ullr. It is strange to think of Thor as having grown children. When he first came to earth he seemed to be in a suspended state of adolescence. Darcy's not sure if it was from being a spoiled prince, or from not aging. Apparently, for Odin and Frigga, aging was a choice.

Odin is not in any of the pictures. He didn't show. Darcy shakes her head and looks at the woman David is talking about. "That is the groom's mother. She is very...kind. I liked her. We chatted."

"Hmmm..." says David.

Darcy doesn't tell him how when they were introduced Frigga held out her hand and said, "Ah, Loki's friend." She can't say how comfortable that felt, how it made her feel...not so expendable.

And she doesn't tell him about the conversation she'd had with Frigga when she was alone with her for a one-on-one shoot.

Frigga was sitting in the alcove of a large bay window, overlooking the mansion garden as Darcy snapped the pictures. The wedding had been planned for outside, but the rain had interfered. Whether it was nature, or nervousness on Thor's part, Darcy wasn't sure.

"Tell me, Miss Lewis, what do your modern myths say about me?" Frigga asked Darcy.

Lowering her camera, Darcy said, "That you're the only person who can get away with outsmarting Odin." Her voice came out a little more accusatory than she meant.

Frigga met her eyes and smiled sadly. "You wish for me to do something more to allow Thor's marriage to be recognized in Asgard." Her voice held no trace of anger.

Darcy swallowed and nodded.

Frigga sighed and looked away. "Sometimes you must lose a battle to win a war."

Without even thinking, Darcy blurted out. "If it's a war, whose side are you on?"

Turning back to her, Frigga smiled mischievously, "The side of my sons, always."

And then Frigga's smile had become soft. "I understand that you yourself are getting married soon."

Darcy blinked. "Yes." She tilted her head, suspiciously. "Our myths say that you can also know the future, but you never tell what you see."

Frigga raised her eyebrows. "There is no future, Miss Lewis, just possibilities that become probabilities, and probabilities that become realities, some by chance, some by effort." Standing from the alcove she came to Darcy's side. "If you let it, Miss Lewis, your marriage to David will be a happy one." Frigga tilted her head, leaned forward and whispered. "And give you strength for the battles ahead."

At that moment, Loki, in his blue form, wearing a tuxedo, came down the hallway. The tuxedo fit him perfectly, of course, and his hair was loose, medium length, curling just below his ears the way Darcy liked it best. He looked quizzically between Darcy and Frigga and then said, "Mother, the ceremony will be starting soon. I need to go over some last minute details with you."

"Of course," said Frigga, taking his arm. Just before he led her away, Loki nodded at Darcy and said, "I'm sorry I'm so busy, it would be nice to catch up."

Darcy shook her head. "It's alright." She held up her camera and smiled wryly. "I'm busy, too." It surprised her how much she meant it. She was fine without further validation from Loki.

Loki smiled, nodded, and turned to his mother and said, "Right this way."

Darcy might have been imagining things, but she thought she saw Frigga wink at her before turning and walking with Loki down the hall.

David leans in towards the monitor and Darcy jumps. He squints at the monitor. "You know, the groom kind of lookz like -"

"He isn't!" says Darcy, her mind racing into the present.

David pulls back; his face hardens for a moment. And then he rolls his eyes. Kissing her cheek he says, "Whatever. I am going to bed, Nikita."

As he walks away, her body relaxes. She hadn't realized she was tense. But she guesses she just expected the pictures from the Stark mansion to turn into a fight.

She smiles and lets go of a deep breath.

...a week later Darcy marries David in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. David and Darcy's parents are there, as are their brothers and sisters. The day is perfect, sunny, but not too hot. The vault of clear blue sky above is the perfect temple.

Darcy is so happy she has trouble not laughing.

x x x x

Loki is in his Morgenstern disguise again. He's in the halls of STARK industries a few meters down from two double fire doors, the entrance to the Vault. His sleeves are rolled up, and his arms are deep within a device that looks like a disassembled fuse box. That isn't what it is precisely. If one looks closely, between the wires is the light glow of magic.

"Is it sabotage?" Director Fury says, holding Loki's suit coat in his hands.

Loki shakes his head. "No. Actually, I think there has been some water damage. You have everything on lock down? No one can see the schematics?"

Fury nods. "All the computers are off and we gave everyone the day off."

Loki yanks out a few of the wires and looks up into the small dark box in the wall. "Get someone to track down the leak. I'll rewire when you're sure it's fixed."

He pulls his arms out, turns, and rolls down his sleeves. Fury hands him back his jacket and says, "I'll be in touch."

At that moment Loki looks up. David is standing down the hall looking at the double doors. He is unshaven and his hair is rumpled. So is his shirt. Which is odd for him. He's nursing a rather large coffee.

"Guten tag," says Loki, as Fury walks away.

David blinks at him and says in German, "How long do I need to work here to get in there? I hear it's where all the action is."

Loki tilts his head, immediately on alert. "I'm sure that's not true."

"Hmmm," says David.

"You look terrible," says Loki.

Grumbling, David runs a hand through his hair.

Getting closer, Loki sees that David has dark circles under his eyes. Loki checked Darcy's blog as soon as he came back to Earth. She doesn't write much about personal matters there, but she has said she'd been feeling under the weather lately. Perhaps something she picked up on their honeymoon in Mexico? Maybe David got it, too.

"Would you like to get something to eat?" Loki asks.

"Sure, I could use a drink," says David.

Loki manages to wheedle out what's wrong before David's done with his beer.

Loki stares at him a moment, then holds up his hand to summon the waiter.

"I probably shouldn't drink anymore," says David.

"No," says Loki. "You need another."

He orders a drink for himself as well.

x x x x

Darcy walks through the rooms of what could be her and David's new apartment. It's in a slightly less eclectic neighborhood. It's still in the city though. Unlike their previous apartment it isn't a studio. It actually has three bedrooms and one and a half baths. The place is ancient, and the rooms are pretty small, but the ceilings are high and it has beautiful antique moldings on the walls. She's here to sign for it but she's pacing the room, absolutely furious, cell phone pressed to one ear, hand on her growing stomach. The line at the other end picks up.

"Darcy!" says Loki, in his normal slightly British tones which says he's in his blue form and not playing Loki-Morgenstern at the moment. "What a delightful surprise. How did you manage to get this number?"

"Fury," says Darcy.

"He's not supposed to -"

"Shut up. Look, I am in an apartment, a very nice apartment and the real estate manager is waiting just outside the door. She's offering to let me rent this place for about half of its market value."

"Excellent! Don't delay, sign away!" says Loki and she can hear the smirk in his voice.

"Do you know why I can get this place for half of its market value?" says Darcy.

"I can't imagine," says Loki, sounding positively smug.

"Because everyone else she's shown this place to has seen snakes! Snakes! Poisonous snakes. Freakin' poisonous adders!"

Loki tsk-tsks and says, "Disgusting. I can't abide those creatures."

"Adders don't live in Manhattan, Loki!" Darcy says.

"That must be why you haven't seen any," says Loki.

"I haven't seen any because you put them here to scare everyone else away so that we could get a cheap apartment!"

There is a pause at the other end of the line. "And this bothers you because?"

"Because it's not fair - what about the other people who were looking at this place, what about the person who owns this place?"

There is another pause. "The other people who were looking at the place have enough money to afford an apartment elsewhere. The owner inherited the building from his parents and is a rich playboy deadbeat. Would you like to know how much of your country's TARP funds he personally received?"

"What if David finds out? He'll be mortified! He'd never accept charity, and if he found the charity was from a...a...a..." Darcy stops, she doesn't really know.

"It's from a friend, Darcy," says Loki.

There's that word again. Darcy swallows. "It's not fair," she says softly.

"It's not fair that after so many years of being my crutch I'm yours?" says Loki. There is an edge of bitterness in his voice. "I should tell you I've found your descriptions of pregnancy to be delightfully honest and very amusing. As was your account of your recent trip to Germany. Who knew that security is so lax for pregnant women. I'll have to remember that."

"Loki..." she says.

She hears him sigh at the other end of the line. "Take the apartment, Darcy. If not for yourself, for your children."

Darcy can't think of anything to say. When Jane got pregnant, Darcy wondered how a smart girl like Jane allowed a mistake like that to happen. And now she's pregnant, despite being on birth control, and she's wondering if this is a particularly nasty bit of karma come to bite her in the butt.

"Oh, yes," says Loki. "And congratulations. Or should I say, mazel tov?" There is a sound like he's tapping something with his fingers, and then he says, "Although, since you're expecting twin boys, a wish of 'good luck' might be more appropriate."

Darcy closes her eyes and leans against a wall. Her life has taken a sudden detour she did not expect and really didn't want; she's just trying to hang in there and make the best of it. The thing she'd worried about most when she discovered the news was having to leave the city. Leaving would mean a long commute for her work-a-holic husband, and she might never see him. It would also mean leaving the vibrant, diverse place she loves.

"Thank you," she says softly.

"No, thank you," says Loki his voice equally soft. Which makes Darcy feel like she's cheating on her husband somehow.

Then Loki's voice becomes bright. "Now go take some pretty pictures and write something pithy on your blog. I must go. Ciao!"

The line goes dead. Darcy puts down her phone, and then goes to sign for the apartment.

x x x x

Darcy's got the perfect shot. She's looking over Clint's shoulder as he sits in an overstuffed chair in the living room of the Avengers' mansion. His face is hidden, but you can still see the outline of the reading glasses he's wearing. It's Monday, but he's got the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle on his lap and the angle of his crossed legs, the paper, and the pen is perfect. And the way the morning sun is slanting in the window - there will be a lot of fantastic lights and darks in this picture.

She snaps one, two, three shots and then Agent Hill comes in and says to Clint, "Director Fury is calling for another debriefing on the Doom episode."

Clint looks up, his glasses falling down his nose, and Darcy gets a shot of that too.

"Now," says Hill nodding her head.

As Clint gets up, Darcy says, "Is everyone going to be in the debriefing?"

"Yes," Hill says.

Darcy tilts her head and lifts her camera, "Maybe I can..."

"No," says Hill quickly. "This is classified. Sorry." She spins on her heel and follows Clint out of the room.

Crap. Darcy gets an advance for her shoots with the Avengers, but final payment only comes on delivery - and she needs the final payment. She scowls and turns to the window.

Maybe she can get some more freelance photo retouching. Not her favorite job but it pays the bills.

There is a rush of cool air behind her, and her ears pop. Darcy, spins and there is a man standing facing away from her. He's wearing a long coat of black leather with a high collar, from behind she can see his hair is short and black, he has on gloves so she can't see his skin...but...

"Loki?" she says quietly.

The man's head turns, and sure enough, it is Loki. He's in his Jotunn form, his red eyes are wide and his mouth is open in surprise. And then he blinks and smiles. "Darcy!"

Darcy has an urge to run up and hug him. It has been so long. She takes a few steps forward, and then puts her hand to her mouth and says, "Oh my, God."

Turning fully around he smirks and takes off his gloves. "Flattery will get you everywhere." He looks as beautiful as ever, even though he's thinner, and there are dark circles under her eyes.

"It's been five years!" she says, and her words are louder, happier and more accusatory than she means them to be.

He looks up at the ceiling, a furrow forming between his brows. "When did I see you last?"

She shakes her head and looks pointedly upwards. There is a flicker of understanding in his eyes and then a shimmer of green in the air. Darcy looks at it. "Heimdall can't hear?"

Loki raises an eyebrow. "He'll hear a conversation about the weather. Was it at the Stark Industries Christmas party right after Franz and Max were born?"

Darcy swallows and nods, her hand still at her mouth. It was a horrible evening; the boys were just a few weeks old and she was tired, frazzled, anxious about her first night away, and she felt horribly fat and squishy.

Loki-Morgenstern had taken her hand, kissed her cheek and told her she looked lovely. Which was a lie, but she'd been grateful for the chivalry anyway.

"Where are my manners?" says Loki. Stepping forward, he takes her hand and kisses her on each cheek. So very cosmopolitan, but Darcy is feeling very middle American at that moment and she throws an arm around his neck and hugs him. His coat feels brittle and frigid beneath her fingers and even the air around him is cold. He smells different, not bad, but there is a metallic scent in the air. His body tenses for a moment, but then the hand not in hers goes behind her back and he pulls her tight.

"Where have you been?" she whispers.

"A secret," he says. But she knows from the cold. He's been to Jotunheim.

She doesn't call him on it, just says, "Everyone has been worried about you!" Well, everyone might be Thor, Steve, Frigga and Darcy.

He rubs her back. "It hasn't been that long."

"5 years!"

He sighs. "Well, maybe in mortal time that is long, but it is barely the blink of an eye."

Pulling away, Darcy slaps him hard across the chest. He takes a step back with a look of such poorly feigned pain it would be comical if she wasn't so flustered; and then he smirks.

She just glares at him.

The smirk vanishes. "Oh, come now. I checked in with Fury on regular intervals. Surely-"

Narrowing her eyes, she nearly hisses at him. "Yes, Thor, Steve and I all asked. And Fury told us that you were deeply involved in a very important project but were making regular check ins. No, that did not make us feel better." Her jaw tenses. "Fury would send you to Hell with a clear conscience if it furthered the greater good!"

He takes a deep breath and pushes a stray lock of hair back from her forehead. "I'm sorry," he says. He looks down. After a long moment he says, "I came here to see my brother and my niece. I know he sometimes brings little Ava here."

Thor did use to bring Ava here, a lot. Being an Avenger was a lot like being a fireman. Long periods of intense boredom, punctuated by short periods of intense excitement. Thor brought Ava here while Jane worked. If he was called away, one of the maids would watch her until Jane came to collect her. As Darcy understood it, playing primary caregiver for a baby wasn't something men in Asgard did, but Thor seemed to like it. Apparently Thor missed most of the childhoods of his other children. But now...

"Thor's in a debriefing. And Ava's not here. She's at school, Loki. She started kindergarten this year."

Loki blinks. "It goes so fast...didn't I tell you that?"

She takes a deep breath. "You did." He'd said that at the Christmas party when she'd been about to burst into tears. "And it's true. But it was intense." She smiles wryly and says, "And there was a lot of poop involved."

Loki smiles broadly. "Ah, how glad I was to have servants when my twin boys came along."

Darcy shoots him a dirty look. And then she realizes he hasn't let go of her hand.

They're standing very close. Her heart does this weird fluttery thing. She feels like crying. It's not like she wants to throw herself at him, or mash lips - not that he doesn't look astoundingly good. It's just...the moment is heavy, and emotional, and she was worried about him.

Actually, she does want to kiss him, just for being alive.

She squeezes his hand instead. That can't be misconstrued, can it?

"Well," says Loki, "how are Franz and Max?" He entwines their fingers and squeezes. They both simultaneously look down at their hands. Loki's storm cloud blue coloring is in vivid contrast to Darcy's pale peach. Their eyes meet for one very heavy moment. And without another word, they let their hands drop.

Biting her lip, Darcy pulls out her phone and clicks to the photo album. Handing it to him, she says, "The taller one is Franz." Loki takes it and walks over to the couch and sits down. Scrolling through the pictures he says, "They're beautiful, Darcy."

"I know," says Darcy. It's not modesty, but she figures it's a mother's prerogative. He smiles up at her like she's proven some point, and then looks down again. He scrolls a bit more and then scowls.

Darcy sits down next to him. He's looking at a picture of her boys standing in front of a star map painted on the side of a wall. Her boys are both frowning.

Darcy smiles. "They love space. But they were upset with that map because, and I quote, 'it shows Pluto but not the other dwarf planets and the Kuiper Belt'."

Loki laughs and Darcy says, "Jane is so jealous. Not that she should be. Ava is brilliant, just more Jacque Cousteau than astrophysicist."

"Franz and Max must be in school too, now," says Loki.

Darcy nods. "Yes." Suddenly she has a lot of time on her hands, and unfortunately, not enough work. At least if her kids weren't in school 7 and a half hours a day she wouldn't notice it so much.

Loki scrolls to a picture of Thor, looking like his civilian persona 'Donald Blake'; his beard is shaven and his hair is short. Before he left to wherever, Loki enchanted Mjolnir so that it would magically restore Thor's long hair and his beard when he called the hammer. In the picture are also Jane, Ava, David and two blurs that are Max and Franz.

Darcy leans in and looks at the picture. She and Jane have become much closer since being pregnant at the same time. "Thor and David get along okay," she says. "Though they don't have much to talk about."

Loki touches a finger to Ava in the picture and Darcy whispers, "David did find out who Thor was, and Thor declared disguising the truth dishonorable...they've gotten along a little better since then."

Pursing his lips, Loki says, "David is a smart man. I'm not surprised. How is he?"

Darcy swallows and her heart drops. "Well...he quit his job at Stark, actually."

Loki looks over at her sharply, and Darcy smiles tightly. "He and Tony got in a huge, loud fight, and Tony...and well, I think he might have slipped off the wagon that day, because he called David some names and then basically dared David to quit..." she shrugs. "So David did."

She takes a deep breath. "It was a few months back. David's applying at some other independent space firms...but the job market is pretty tight right now." She shrugs again. "We might move back to Germany, which would be okay, I guess, even if I lose a lot of my clients."

Loki tilts his head. "Is that what you want?"

Darcy takes a deep breath. "To be honest...I don't think I care that much. I'll be happy here, I'll be happy there. I don't think it's what David wants. I think he wants to work at Stark, but he's too stubborn to go back." She closes her eyes. "I honestly don't know who was right in the fight. It was about a stupid atmospheric pressure guage and its location on the spaceship's cockpit dashboard." Rubbing her temples she says, "But David wants everything to be perfect for the moon shuttles."

At home she calls David "The Neatness Nazi." In truth, their biggest arguments stem from David's desire for everything to be just so, which is a damn tall order in an 1100 square foot home with two little boys underfoot. Darcy's not sure if it's because he's German or a designer.

Loki lifts an eyebrow. "And Tony wants everything to be perfect and when they don't agree..."

Darcy shakes her head. David may have overreacted just a touch. Looking down at the phone in his hands, she says, "David's also frustrated because he can't get clearance to the Vault. He thought it was because he wasn't a citizen...but he is now." She smiles wryly. "We've heard you actually have to be born here to get clearance - who'd think it was like being president? Anyway, that's where he believes things are really happening. It might be a contributing factor."

Loki straightens and looks at the photo in the phone again.

"It will work out," Darcy says, half to herself. Hopefully before they burn through their emergency savings. She worked part-time before the kids started school. Back before she and David got married, when she made her Grand Life Plan, she hadn't realized how much she would want to be with her children when they were small. David's salary was their primary income. Now Darcy's trying to build her business back up, but it's not happening fast enough.

"I'm sure it will," says Loki softly.

Darcy shakes her head. "This is all small stuff." She puts her hand on his shoulder. "You're alive...and I'm sure your life has been way more exciting than mine, and a lot less tedious than changing diapers and trying to keep children from wandering into traffic."

Loki turns his head, and his red eyes meet hers. "I am back for a while." The corners of his lips pull up just a little, and he puts his hand on her back.

They're too close to each other again.

Frigga called Darcy and Loki friends. But that doesn't seem quite like the right word.

There is something in Loki's eyes. There is wistfulness in the way he is looking at her. It's not the heated look he'd given her so long ago. She blinks. No, that heat is in there, too.

Or maybe it's just in her.

Darcy drops her hand and pulls back a bit. There is the sound of footsteps in the hallway, and Loki drops his hand from her back.

Thor bursts into the room, and his eyes go wide. "Brother!" he shouts and it's all Darcy can do to get out of the way as Thor comes barrelling by to pick Loki up in a bone breaking hug.

x x x x

She's back at the Avenger's mansion again on some pretense, back in the same room as before. Loki is there again. Alone. Wearing the same long dark coat.

He doesn't say a word to her. He just walks over and kisses her full on the mouth. There is no playful teasing, just their lips and their tongues sliding together, warm and too perfect.

Before Darcy knows it he is backing her towards the couch and her clothing just isn't there. Magic maybe? She's tumbling backwards and things are happening much faster than she usually likes them to go, but it's working. Loki's long and lean, blue and hard and above her. Every pleasurable nerve in her body seems to be set to on, and there's nothing, just Darcy and Loki. He slides into her and she feels too full, it's too good, it can't be this good, she might climax right away...and she feels absolutely terrible...

Darcy's eyes bolt open. She's lying in her own bed, in her own room, horribly aroused, and completely terrified.

She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. David is lying beside her. It was just a dream - a stupid dream. She did not just cheat on her husband.

She pulls the covers to her chin. It is not the feelings you have; it's what you do with them. And she has two little boys who need their stubborn neatness Nazi father who doesn't disappear for 5 years at a time.

An arm crosses her stomach and pulls her close.

"Hey, whatz the matter?" David whispers.

"Just a nightmare," Darcy says.

He pulls her tighter to him. "If you're worried about that shoot with that new client tomorrow, don't. Itz going to go great."

She has been stressed over her upcoming portrait session with Erik Lehnsherr. He's not known for being an easy man to get along with, especially if you're not a mutant. Darcy sighs and puts her head on his shoulder. She might need her stubborn Neatness Nazi, too.

x x x x

A few days later David goes out to lunch with Morgenstern, supposedly back from a stint at Stark's Shanghai office. A few days after that, Tony Stark apologizes for calling David nasty names, and David concedes that Tony's placement of the gauge might be "acceptable." He gets his job back.

Loki does stick around for a while. But by some quiet unspoken agreement, Loki and Darcy never really speak to each other - except in passing at Stark events when he's in Morgenstern form. And they're never alone together.

Morgenstern-Loki doesn't even comment on her blog. She tells herself she shouldn't be surprised. It's kind of morphed from a travel blog to a mommy blog, and Darcy thinks that instead of being called 'Darcy Unbound' it should be 'Darcy Unhinged.'

He disappears sometimes, but never for more than a month or two. Darcy tells herself that she knows he's alive and that's enough.

This goes on for many years.

So Darcy's a little surprised when she gets another phone call from Steve.


A Marvel Movieverse Story
by startrekfanwriter

Part 7 of 26

<< Previous     Home     Next >>