Continuing Tales

A Morbid Taste for Ice

A Marvel Movieverse Story
by sitehound

Part 2 of 39

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Darcy woke to the brilliant light of the full moon and the sound of caterwauling coyotes, the racket bearing a stronger resemblance to yipping Chihuahuas than fearsome predators. She sat up, threw aside the sheet and glared out the window. "Really? Coyotes howling at the moon? Could you get any more cliché?"

The unfortunate side effect of being woken up at--she squinted at the clock radio--2 AM, was that sleeping through the fearsome cramps in her belly wasn't an option. She started to reach for the drawer in the nightstand where she kept painkillers, but remembered that she'd recently purchased a better option. That is, provided Jane's live-in god hadn't gotten to it first. She'd hidden her treat under a bag of frozen spinach, assuming that unlike Popeye, Thor didn't need leafy greens to maintain his physique, but then again, the guy ate just about anything.

A dusting of pale light on the hallway's carpet and wall greeted her when she opened her bedroom door. The cause, the kitchen light, became apparent as she padded across the living room. Loki sat at the table, staring out the window. Instead of his usual accidental-cosplayer garb of leather and metal, he wore a long-sleeved black shirt, black pants and black socks. Supervillain pajamas, she supposed. He didn't acknowledge her, so she shrugged and opened the freezer.

"Behold the power of spinach." Her carton of Oreo Cookies and Cream was snuggled safe, sound and unopened under the frozen veggies. Taking a spoon from the dishwasher (getting folks to load and run the thing was no problem; unloading? Not so easy) she proceeded to the table, easing herself into a chair across from the brooding god.

After a brief skirmish with the top, she opened the carton and dug out the first delicious bite of chocolate and ice cream. "So, you decided to hold a pity party and didn't invite me," she observed, knowing full well silence was the better part of valor, but forging on anyway, "Gosh, and I thought we were friends."

His eyes, dark and hooded under heavy lids, slid the fractional distance from the window to her. If he thought she'd be intimidated by his look, he was wrong. Armed with a carton of heavenly ice, nothing could hurt her.

"And yet, here you are," he said.

"I minored in party crashing. So what's up?"

"You, unfortunately."

She fortified with another yummy bite, feeling pain subside with each mouthful. "Sorry about that, but the curse is back after a month long hiatus, and this time it's war." A suggestion of confusion crept across his lean face, so she elaborated. "I got my period. Cramps." To much information, but Darcy knew that the one thing that made guys squirm was the mention of anything regarding the functioning of lady parts.

Loki, however, was unfazed. "Oh, and this is the cure." His gaze dipped to the ice cream.

"Who knew medicine could taste so good." She waved the spoon at him. "I've overshared. Now it's your turn. What's got you up at this hour, schmoping?"


"A get-together with yourself and all your miseries."

"Ah, and what makes you think I'd wish to...share with you?"

She made a exaggerated show of looking around the room. "Don't see anyone else here. Or would you prefer Thor?" She started to push herself up.

"No!" he said, starting to rise, then stopped. "I"

"Psyche!" She sat and took another bite. "No way am I waking Bearded Beauty. He'll expect me to share my frozen painkiller."

"It's possible," he said in a tone rich with velvety menace, "that I could turn you into something small and easily squashed, one of your native cockroaches, perhaps?"

A tendril of fear crept up her back, or maybe it was just another cramp. Apply more ice cream. "You don't want to do that. Have you ever squashed a roach? It's disgusting, that crunching sound and the way the bug goo sticks to your shoe." She tilted sideways in her chair, looking at his feet. "Definitely don't want to go bug stomping in socks."

His attention had drifted from her and once again was fixed on the window so Darcy studied him as she ate. If he was going to do such a good job of pretending she wasn't there, she'd stare at him like a hidden observer.

Immortals heal fast, but it had taken him almost a month to recover from quality time with Papa Odin. His long supervillain hair had been the first casualty of the encounter; it had been so clotted with blood that Thor had been forced to hack most of it off. "Remind me not to get my hair done at Thor's salon," Darcy had said of the aftermath. (Her purple hair being Loki's response to her critique.) Several months later, the bad cut had grown out and the mass of bruises and gashes that had been his face was replaced with smooth, pale skin except for a faint patch of scarring around his left eye. Remembering that injury, she shuddered. It was a wonder he still had an eye at all.

Apparently, he could only ignore her for so long. Without looking at her, he snarled, "Is there a reason you stare?"

"Well, I still don't know the answer to the question, 'What does a Scotsman wear under his kilt?' but I now know what a supervillain wears to bed."

"What would you think I slept in?" He panned a long look over her and she was suddenly aware of her threadbare T-shirt with a pattern consisting of frolicking cartoon puppies.

"I dunno. Butt-nekkid?"

This earned her a smile. Not a good smile, but rather a smarmy, leering smile. "Are you in the habit of conjuring me as I sleep?"

"Yeah, the word is 'nightmare,' bucko. And you must need a forklift to haul around that ego." Despite her words, she could feel a blush heating her face. Dammit. Need more ice cream. She jabbed the spoon into the ice cream, getting a generous spoonful and proceeded to put it all in her mouth, hoping brain freeze would offset the heat in her face. Because she couldn't meet his eyes, she focused on his left shoulder. Unfortunately, her mind had now seized on the idea of him naked. Under that black shirt was what? Lean muscle? Yum.

"You've ducked my question like skinny fighter in the ring with Mike Tyson," she said, desperate to change the subject.

"What question?" His eyes narrowed, smile fading. "Oh, that question." Setting his elbow on the table, he leaned his chin into his hand. "I'm bored."

"My band director in high school used to say that only boring people get bored."

"Hmmm. Then I'm now the most tedious being in all the realms."

"You need a hobby. Something that doesn't involve alien invasion or dyeing my laundry green. How about golf?"

"Your cure for boredom would have me hitting a little white ball into a hole in the ground?"

"Ah," said Darcy, "You've heard of the game. And yeah, it might be fun, a challenge, provided you don't use magic and cheat."

"I always cheat."

"O-kay, then take up golf and cheat like your life depends on it." She gestured toward the bedrooms. "Hey, anything has to be better than listening to the beautiful people make lovey-dovey noises at each other." Though Thor shared a bedroom with Loki, he spent most nights in Jane's room.

A tiny smile that seemed genuine cracked his stony visage and then vanished just as quickly. He resumed his study of the window beyond and Darcy continued dosing herself with ice cream.

Oddly, it was Loki who broke the silence several minutes later. "Is it good?"

"What?" Following his line of sight, she nodded. "The ice cream? Oh, hell yeah. Better than sex."

His eyes widened, a touch of a smirk on his lips. "Really? Might I have a taste?"

"Sure." She pushed the carton across the table, realizing just as her fingers left it, that she should probably get him his own spoon.

If he was bothered by the idea of Darcy cooties, he didn't show it, instead picking up the utensil and scraping up a small icy chunk that didn't extend more than halfway up the spoon's tip.

"Oh, come on," said Darcy. "It's ice cream, not poison. Get a big scoop. A big manly, Thor-size scoop." At his scowl, she raised her hands in surrender, "Okay, shouldn't have used the T-word. Just take more than that, it won't kill you."

"It might," he said, but there was ghost of a smile on his mouth.

"If you can take an ass-whooping from an un-jolly green giant with anger management issues, then you definitely can survive a mouthful of ice, sugar, milk and Oreo cookies." Okay, that pushed it too far, as his expression darkened. "Try it," she said to deflect.

Shooting her another dark look, he nevertheless carved out a sizeable portion of ice cream and then gingerly tasted it, taking a small bite, then larger. She watched his lips move and decided it was the sexiest thing she'd seen in long time and then decided that had to represented an abysmal low in her life. It wasn't that she didn't know her psycho roommate was hot. But normally she remembered that his pretty green eyes and angular good looks hid the mind of a stone cold killer. Nonetheless, when he finished, she eyed the dark hallway, wondering if anyone would notice if she took a shower at this hour. A long, cold shower.

He shook his head, dark speculation in his emerald eyes.

"What? You can't not like ice cream, you just can't."

"It's delicious," he replied. He replaced the spoon and slid the carton back to her. "But if you think it's better than sex, you're either a maiden, or you've been with the wrong men." With that he smirked, a full on sexy smirk that send hot blood rushing to Darcy's face and considerably south.

"Goodnight," he said. Clearly pleased with himself, he rose and left.

"Ugh," said Darcy, balling up a paper towel and throwing it at his retreating back. It was on fire before it hit the floor--the linoleum, fortunately, not the carpet. "Put that out! You burn it; you buy it." He ignored her and slipped into his room, leaving Darcy to jump up, fill a glass of water and put out the floor.

"Next time I make dinner, I'm putting cat food in your meal," she said to the silent hallway.


When her clock radio went off, Darcy woke immediately. Blame it on the sugar rush from late-night ice cream, or perhaps the excitement of putting out a fire and mopping up the mess, but after her late night snack with Loki, she was too wired to sleep.

She sat up, threw off the sheet and stared at her legs, imagining the ice cream settling its fatty self into her thighs, getting married and raising huge litter of plump children on her hips. Time to log some miles on her mountain bike. Getting up, she changed into her biking shorts and a T-shirt, and headed out, dorky biking helmet in hand.

The house was still quiet. In another--she looked at her watch--forty minutes there'd be a mad rush when Jane stopped hitting the snooze button, hauled herself and Thor out of bed, and got ready for work. This would be followed by another small kerfuffle when Thor awoke his snarling not-sibling. But, now, blessed silence. She stopped by the fridge to grab a water bottle and turned for the door.

The desert air smelled fresh and clean, with a lingering undertone of moisture, although the hot sun would soon bake away any remains of yesterday's rain. She shut the door behind her and walked across the porch, her eyes on the neighborhood beyond.

Her right foot hit something hard and heavy, and before her brain could tell it to stop, so too did her left. Unbalanced, she fell forward, arms whirling futilely. She almost caught herself, getting a leg under her, except her foot landed on whatever tripped her and slid off. Completely out of control, she fell face-first, down the short rise of steps.

Instinctively, she put her arms out, her hands landing awkwardly on the second and last steps, but her body twisted and her right hip crashed into the top step. It happened so fast, that she couldn't even remember what happened next, except that she ended up in the dirt, on her side, lower legs still on the steps. Angry clusters of pain erupted on her hip and knee. Motionless, she lay there, staring across the lot, eyes on one of Tony's prize pieces of junk, the passenger section from a jet which sat under an old gnarled cottonwood tree, about twenty feet away. Something made a wet, glugging sound and she saw the water bottle, top knocked open, spilling water lethargically onto the dirt.

Sitting up, she pulled her legs toward her, bruised hip raising fiery agony. Her feet tangled with something--her helmet. "You don't need a helmet for riding, Darcy, you need it for walking," she muttered grimly, looping the helmet's straps around her wrist and rising slowly to her feet, her right knee joining the hip's protest.

Except Darcy wasn't particularly clumsy.

She panned a slow look up the stairs and her heart lurched. Her mouth fell open and she felt sure she was about to shriek like a woman in a horror film, but nothing came out. Swaying from shock and pain, she took two wobbly steps toward the porch and bent to look at the person who lay there.

Person. Shit. More like corpse. Her stomach roiled and for moment she tasted Oreos. Turning away, hand clutching her belly, she bent and grabbed the water bottle. Thankfully, a few mouthfuls remained and she gulped them down, trying to fight back nausea.

I'm not some screaming ninny in a movie. I'm mostly unflappable Darcy. Steeling herself, she turned and looked at the body on the porch. It was unquestionably a body, though once it had been Andy Valenzuela, one of SHIELD's guards, although at the moment he wore civilian clothes and not his uniform.

"Andy." She spoke his name. Andy, one of the few guards who hadn't automatically assumed that sharing a roof with Loki, meant sharing his bed. Andy, who called her Professor Lewis, even though he knew she was no PhD. Andy, who liked her even though he hated Loki with a passion.

Andy, who normally was a lovely shade of dark olive, but now was a peculiar grungy gray, his hands frozen before him like talons, eyes wide with shock. He looked like Han Solo after his dip in carbonite, except Darcy knew there probably wasn't going to be a defrosting and heroic rescue for Andy.

"Help," she said, her voice small. She fumbled for her cell phone, remembering that it still sat on her dresser. What was the point? She could just go in the house. But that meant climbing the steps and stepping over Andy. Her stomach lurched again. A lazy stream of blood meandered down her leg from her knee, warm in the cool morning air, soaking into her sock.

Despite her injuries and shock, she made it into the house and to Jane's door, where she knocked. "Jane. Thor. Hello?"

"Darcy?" said a sleepy Jane. "Could you come back later?"

"Later I might fall over. Please. We've got a problem."

Jane opened the door wearing a shirt that was obviously Thor's, and with a serious case of bed head. Taking one look at her bloodied roommate, her brown eyes widened in shock. "Thor! Get up! Now!"


Several minutes later, Darcy was sitting on the toilet, its lid down, and Thor was inspecting her knee and hip. After centuries on the battlefield, he knew a thing or two about injuries. "It is not broken, but she should still be taken to a healer," he said to Jane who had just returned from calling SHIELD. Though their first impulse was to simply call 911, ultimately a corpse-sicle seemed more like SHIELD's jurisdiction anyway.

"I told Fury that Darcy was hurt. He said to stay put; he'd send a doctor out with the retrieval team." She came into the bathroom and put a hand on Darcy's shoulder. "Are you sure you didn't bump your head?"

"No. Just my knee and hip. I'll be fine." After a bottle of Tylenol. She eyed the bathtub. And a long hot shower. She could probably leverage her injuries for more time in the bathroom. Besides, Thor usually used Jane's bathroom anyway. Of course, that still left Loki.

"Where is his royal surliness this morning?" asked Darcy.

"Still abed," rumbled Thor. Darcy could see a thought flit across Jane's mind and surprisingly even Thor picked it up. "It wasn't Loki. Killing a SHIELD agent would lose us their protection. Once again, he'd find himself in Odin's torture chamber."

He had cookies and cream ice cream last night, thought Darcy. He should be in a happy place. Nobody goes on a killing spree with a tummy full of Oreos. Not even bored supervillains.

The SHIELD team arrived with all the usual sound and Fury, with the latter glowering at everyone in a way that Darcy always found astonishing. The man got ten times the ferocity out of one eye than most people got from two. Curiously, other than asking Thor, "Where's Loki?" he didn't question anyone. One of the facility's doctors, a nice lady named Alice Winters, examined Darcy using a portable bone scanner (SHIELD's proprietary technology), cleaned and bandaged her knee and told her to come into the clinic if the pain worsened too much in a couple days. In less than half an hour, all traces of the dead body and the retrieval team were gone.

A Morbid Taste for Ice

A Marvel Movieverse Story
by sitehound

Part 2 of 39

<< Previous     Home     Next >>