Continuing Tales

A Morbid Taste for Ice

A Marvel Movieverse Story
by sitehound

Part 27 of 39

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On Tuesday morning, Darcy discovered an effective way to wake Loki. Unfortunately, it wasn't an experience she cared to repeat.

Until the dream hit, she was as comatose as Loki. His demonstration in the wee hours of the morning had taken her to heights of sexual pleasure she hadn't thought possible and left her supremely satisfied but as limp as a broken doll. Frankly, she didn't know where her brain's neurons got the energy to cook up the dream.

The too-familiar scene unfolded before her: the trailer; her feet trudging toward the front steps. The world was cast in black-and-white except for Loki's armor. Loki, who lay in the usual location at the top of the stairs. Or maybe she just knew his armor should be green and gold, because did she ever really dream in color? The question lost all relevance when she saw the dusky-skinned woman with pale hair kneeling at Loki's side.

Feeling a sudden sense of proprietary jealousy, she took a step but got no closer. The woman's long, slim fingers clutched Loki's armor. In the distance, metal rang against metal and men cried out in pain or triumph. "They think it's him," said the woman, bending low and speaking the words to Loki. "They are wrong."

"Who's wrong?" asked Darcy, still trying to reach the steps.

Loki's body jerked spasmodically, the back of his head banging against the porch's wooden planks. The woman leaned lower, but spoke louder. "They are blind to his faults." For an instant, Loki was gone, replaced by the man whose face was a horror of ivory bone and charred flesh. Then Loki was back, his body seizing, blood trickling from his mouth in an inky line across his pale skin.

Darcy was running now and still making no progress forward. "You're hurting him!" she yelled, but her voice was just a faint whisper. "Thor! Help!"

The woman's face was beautiful, made more so by her grief. She stroked her fingers over Loki's face and his seizures stilled. "Blind to his crimes." Somewhere, a raven cawed three times and Loki's eyes filled with that terrible brightness. Turning on his side, he stared at Darcy without seeing her. The woman was gone and Darcy was making the agonizingly slow rush up the stairs.

His head in her lap, she combed her fingers through his ragged, black hair. "Loki, stay with me." White flashed as his eyes rolled back into his head, but then he was looking at her, really seeing her.

"I'm sorry," he said. The crazed, manic glaze began to return to his emerald eyes. "You're...okay for a mortal." His head jerked against her thighs and the light died in his eyes.

"Loki, no." As the elf woman had done, she grabbed his armor, except she yanked on the heavy layers of leather and metal at his shoulders, shaking him. "No. Don't you leave me. Loki, don't go!"

Grief fell on her, obliterating all emotions, even sadness, leaving an unbearable sense of nothing. Beyond grief, she fell into a void where all hope ceased. The hill, the lonely tree, and the noose beckoned. "No." Fingers still buried in his armor, she clung tightly as though her life depended on it. "Loki, don't leave me. Loki!"

The raucous enthusiasm of mariachi music felt like a savior as it blared from her clock radio. She was at the very edge of the bed, shoved there by a long-limbed bed hog. Consequently, the radio was within easy swatting range. But even morning's light, a little dimmer as the days began to shorten with autumn's impending arrival, didn't banish the crush of grief and terror that still made her limbs feel like lead.

Turning, she crawled over to him, covering his body with hers. They were both still naked under the covers, but even so, skin to skin, she couldn't get close enough. She squirmed and tried to burrow into him, desperate to feel his heat, to hear the sound of his heartbeat, to know that he was alive.

And then she was on her back, shocking pain lancing through her shoulders where Loki's fingers dug into her flesh. The ugly memory of someone else holding her down tried to surface, but the dream's more potent emotions shoved it aside. Ignoring the dangerous rage in his eyes, she reached for him, trying to pull him back down to her. "No...don't...go," she said, her voice hoarse as in the dream.

He blinked. "Darcy?" His eyes moved to his hands and he let go, cursing in some strange language. He touched one of her shoulders with his fingertips, expression rueful. "You shouldn't--"

"You left me," she said, her own fingers clenching the hard muscle at his shoulders.

His brow wrinkled, confused, before understanding dawned in his eyes. Head cocked to the side, his eyes narrowed, and he sniffed the air. "The nightmare? Returned?" he said, angry and surprised.

"I don't know. It was like yesterday--"

"You had the nightmare, yesterday? And you didn't speak of it?"

"I-I thought it was nothing, just random stuff in my head." She could hear how stupid she sounded, but her usual response to his growing anger, flippancy, had been replaced with all the nightmare's angsty residue. She hiccupped a sob and tears flooded her eyes. "You were gone."

Even Loki apparently wasn't immune to the power of a crying woman. With a sigh, he scooped her up and flipped them both over, him once again on his back with her atop him. "I'm here. I haven't gone anywhere."

"You died." She blubbered into his chest, hating herself and trying to get control.

"I'm immortal, foolish girl."

"You said, before, everything dies."

She felt his sigh. One arm around her back, pressing her to him, he caressed the back of her head with his other hand. "Well, yes, but I don't plan on expiring anytime soon."

"Nobody 'plans' to die." She hiccupped again.

"You might have noticed, I'm rather durable." His fingers toyed with a section of her hair. "Besides, someone needs to keep you from destroying more buildings or haystacks."

His humor undid what little control she had achieved. She sobbed again. "It felt so real." Trying to suppress more tears, she let out a couple of embarrassing little squeaks before just giving in and crying.

"Shhhh." The easy rhythm of his fingers through her hair started to sooth her. "Whatever its origin, it was just a dream, my love. Just a dream."

Darcy's breath caught in her throat, as two words jarred some of her grief loose. Had he said what she thought she heard him say, without a trace of irony or condescension? No, she thought. I'm hallucinating. Too much stress, not enough sleep.

His fingers continued to slide through her hair, warm fingertips massaging her scalp. Beneath her, heat from his lean, hard body pulsed through the skin on her belly, thighs and chest. A comfortable malaise settled over her, and her breathing grew more even. She could have easily fallen asleep except for two things. Her boobs. Besides giving men an alternate focal point during conversation, her large breasts made sleeping on her stomach for any length of time uncomfortable, especially when the bed was made up of solid muscle.

The muscles in her arms trembled as she rose to her elbows and met Loki's eyes. "I don't suppose you could file what just happened with all your other AWOL memories," she said.

With eyebrows lifted toward his scalp, he smirked. "One of my few good memories? Are you mad?"

"Your idea of a good memory is watching me come unglued?" He didn't seem the least bit chastened by her words, so she tried another option and reached between his legs. "If your brain doesn't have blood, it can't form memories, right?"

"I don't know," he said, silkily, "but we should explore the matter, further. For science." Darcy, intrepid research assistant extraordinaire, agreed.


"If you didn't cave so easily, she wouldn't beg," said Darcy to Jane. Unblinking reptile eyes on Jane, Bic had position herself on the table, directly in front of Jane, and was doing a little jig, lifting each skinny-toed foot with a flourish. So far, Jane had given her four tiny pieces of her breakfast bar and was now frowning at the lizard's continued mugging for more.

Breaking off another tidbit, Jane said, "I know. I'm weak." Thor laughed and got up to make more Pop-Tarts.

"Loki," said Thor, as his brother arrived and made the customary beeline for the coffee. Loki, customarily rude, ignored him. He poured a cup of coffee, watching, with more interest than usual, as Thor operated the toaster. Darcy, with her usual interest, studied Loki's ass and long legs. The sexy view reminded her that she hadn't taken an important pill that morning and she rose and made for the bathroom.

A Victorian claw-foot tub outfitted with brass hardware was this morning's display in the bathroom mirror. Imagining that tub filled with a nice hot bubble bath, she rotated her right, then left shoulder, the muscles still a little weak from a startled Loki's fierce grip. Since the injury hadn't been serious, he'd managed to heal the damage, but she still bore purple, fingertip-shaped bruises.

She was just swallowing pill and water when Thor's voice rumbled unhappily: "Lo-ki!"

Hurrying out of the bathroom and down the hall, she arrived in time to see a dozen very small, dark brown, chitinous forms hopping off the kitchen counter, their apparent origin being the toaster. Thor and Loki were still standing by the counter, the former staring at Loki and the toaster with dismay. With surprising cool, Jane reached out and grabbed Bic, who was ready to launch herself off the table at Loki's mischief-made creatures and turn them to cinders. One of the things hopped across the carpet past Darcy and she saw that it was a cricket.

"The hell, Loki?" she said.

"He transformed my Pop-Tarts into insects," said Thor.

Loki seemed less than thrilled with his mischief. "They were meant to be spiders." He turned his gaze on Darcy, eyes narrow with speculation. "Come here." His commanding tone was 100-percent Prince of Asgard. Darcy took one step and then stopped, and cocked her head at him expectantly. "Please," he said, as though the word were made of razors.

He flipped open a cabinet door and retrieved the box of sugary breakfast food. With Darcy at his side, he tore open a packet and dropped the pastries in the toaster. She watched his hand shove down the toaster's lever. "Is the blood still...not in your brain?" she whispered. "You're not actually going to eat that?"

His answer was a quick series of fluid hand movements and a second later, the toaster's mechanism popped up and several large, bright blue spiders emerged.

"Ugh!" Darcy leaped back. Her boot heel skidded on the floor's cheap linoleum and she toppled backward. She heard Thor lunging toward her, but Loki caught her first. His strong hands around her upper arms, he leaned down, pulling her to his face.

"My magic works best when you are present." A strong undercurrent of suspicion swam through his green eyes. "Why?"

Mildly unnerved, Darcy offered him a weak grin. "Because I'm adorable and you love me?" Her grin turned into a grimace at the accidental use of the l-word.

He blinked and shot a sideways look at Jane and Thor. Releasing her, he distractedly rubbed her arms where he had gripped them. "No," he muttered, "it's something else."

Darcy's eyes went to the sky blue spiders, tarantulas actually, that were moseying around the countertop. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Bic wiggling in Jane's grip, desperate to attack creepy-crawly intruders. "Practice makes perfect," Darcy said, pointing at the arachnids. "Get rid of those things."

He obeyed her command without complaint. Pest control took the form of a casual flick of his fingers in the spiders' direction and all crumbled into bits of strawberry Pop-Tart. Full attention on Darcy, he eyed her as if she were one of Jane's homemade science gadgets and needed to be taken apart and studied. She opened her mouth for a snarky comment, but he snatched up his coffee cup, turned abruptly, and disappeared.

Darcy walked through the faint green mist where he had stood and sat back at the table. "That was weird," she said to Thor, "even for your brother."

Thor smiled thinly and started to speak, but was interrupted by a dog's bark. Another followed, the sound high-pitched, like a lap dog.

"Did someone's dog get out?" asked Jane, worry making a faint line between her brows. Darcy stood, ready to go outside and look, knowing what Jane was thinking. Small dogs and most outside cats didn't last long in the desert, the majority becoming coyote chow. Three more yaps sounded and Darcy tilted her head. "It's coming from under the house."

"No," said Thor, with a sigh, and a world-weary glance toward the bedrooms, "the sound is inside the house."

"The crickets...bark?" said Jane, going sort of cross-eyed with exasperation. Distracted, her fingers loosened on Bic and the lizard squirmed free. Bic bolted across the table, a streak of gray on reddish oak. In an instant the tiny defender of the household had disappeared behind the entertainment center.

"Bic! No fire!" commanded Darcy, immediately wishing there was a fire extinguisher in the house.

"LO-KI!" yelled Thor.

Three crickets burst from behind the entertainment center, yapping frantically, Bic in hot pursuit. The four disappeared under the couch, emerging seconds later with a larger pack of yelping, yipping crickets and a determined lizard. The scenario repeated with the loveseat and more crickets, the scene starting to resemble a weird fox hunt where the fox was chasing the hounds.

"Loki!" repeated Thor, stomping across the kitchen and toward the hallway. A hard bang of wood on wood followed -- Loki preemptively slamming the door in Thor's face. The sound of a large fist repeatedly impacting a door came next. "Loki, Darcy's little beast and your insects will destroy the house."

Jane jumped to her feet and followed her guy. "Thor, mortal construction, remember?" she said, an irritated edge in her voice.

The tiny hunt moved into the kitchen, announced by a chorus of barking crickets, and Darcy hopped up on the counter in case any of the bugs tried to run up her legs. The insects put a little distance between themselves and Bic as the lizard's claws skidded on the linoleum. The crazy chase went back into the living room and Darcy slipped off her perch and hurried to the front door.

Flinging the door wide, she called out, "Bic! Outside! Now!" The hopping mob of insects zipped under the couch and emerged in two groups, but Bic, with the efficiency of sheep dog, herded them back into one group toward the door. In seconds, the noisy aftermath of Loki's magical experiment was scurrying across the porch. Darcy slammed the door shut and puffed out a sigh.

Jane, who had returned to the living room, echoed Darcy's sigh. "I think we just introduced a new species to the New Mexico ecosystem."

Darcy looked down the hall, where Thor was still grumbling at Loki through the closed door. "Barking crickets? No biggie." She shrugged. "SHIELD introduced actual aliens." And they're mating with the natives, she thought with a smirk.


Thor eventually gave up scolding his brother's door and returned to the kitchen to make more mischief-free breakfast pastries. Jane and Darcy sat at the table and went back to their breakfast bar and cereal, respectively.

"I don't know why you bother," said Darcy to Thor. "He's Loki. He is what he is."

Jane gave Thor a "See What I Mean?" look and he nodded.

"What?" asked Darcy.

"I believe you are a good influence on Loki," answered Thor, "Jane, however, thinks the two of you will run off and start the Ragnarok." He rubbed his bearded chin. "I am beginning to see her point."

To this Darcy just grinned, enjoying the idea of being a bad influence on the God of Mischief.

In Jane's SUV, a while later, Loki's magic buzzed against Darcy's skin as he disabled any bugs in the vehicle. "Time to fill in Jane?" she asked, and he nodded.

Thor, clearly happy to be in-the-know for once, relayed the news that the killer's contact in SHIELD was probably Sean.

"You believe this theory?" Jane, although she was driving, risked a quick glance back at Darcy. "I mean...Sean? Really?"

"Believe?" Darcy shrugged. "More like it seems like the best possible explanation."

"But Sean? I've met him. He's sweet and," Jane's voice dropped to a low mutter, "not crazy." Thor turned toward Jane, evidently recognizing his girlfriend's dig at his brother and debating whether to come to Loki's defense.

"The sane never commit crimes?" said Loki, his tone more mocking than offended.

From where she sat in the backseat, Darcy could see Jane's right hand tighten on the steering wheel. "Yes, they do." There was something defiant in her bearing. "When I said 'crazy,' I meant, 'sociopath.'"

Loki gave her a condescending smirk. "What is it that a serial killer's neighbors always say? 'He was such a quiet, polite young man.'"

Jane nodded. "Isn't that what Thor always says about you?"

"Precisely," said Loki, cheerfully. "You are making my point quite well. Thank you."

With a slight shake of her head, Jane said, "I am, aren't I?" No one spoke for a few moments, while Jane processed what she had heard.

Thor spoke next. "Loki thinks Darcy should continue behaving as though all is as it was and spend more time with Sean." Darcy could see the hope in his blue eyes that Jane would agree that this was a bad idea.

Jane braked and halted the vehicle at the four-way stop, the burned-out and under repair barn to the right, the red van out front and distant whine of a saw coming from the interior. "That," she said. "That's the part that doesn't make any sense. Darcy's been with Sean alone, several times, sometimes at night, and he's never tried to hurt her."

"He tried to protect me when the building blew up," agreed Darcy.

"If he's been eavesdropping on the house, he knows Loki and Darcy are friends. If he knows, the killer knows." Jane glanced up at the rearview mirror, back toward the black SUV that followed. "If the murderer wants to hurt Loki, what better way to than to hurt Darcy?" Jane's shoulders shuddered at the thought. "So why didn't he take the opportunity?"

"Part of the game," replied Loki, his face devoid of emotion. "The guards and the other man were a message, a warning. He won't expend his capital -- Darcy -- until the game is nearly done."

"And if that time is now?" said Thor. "We are sending Darcy into the serpent's maw."

"There is little our adversary can do within SHIELD's confines. The structure's extensive steel framework would make it difficult for an elf to cast a complicated spell. And SHIELD does have a rudimentary magic-detection system." The spark of scorn in his eyes showed what Loki thought of that system.

"But you've gotten around the system," said Jane, finally moving the SUV though the intersection. "I didn't hear any alarms when you made Bic."

"Fury has the alarms set to 'silent' in the laboratory," said Loki. "For all his protestations to the contrary, the Director tolerates my abilities in that context hoping they will benefit Jane's research."

"So what do I do?" said Darcy. "Buy Sean lunch and then casually ask, "Yo, met any evil-Legolas types lately?'"

Thor pulled a face. "Brother, you should conjure a device that translates Darcy's numerous Midgard references."

"And you should read a book," muttered Loki. He held a hand out to Darcy, palm up.

Because she trusted him, but wasn't stupid, she didn't pick up the thing that sat in his hand--her iPod. "I'm going to free Sean from the spell with Lady Gaga?"

Loki smiled. "I think an Asgard waltz would be more appropriate."


Darcy's first impulse on reaching the Fish Bowl was to contact Sean right away, but Loki asked her, "Do you normally do that?"

"No," she said. "I usually shoot him an email right before lunch." Loki nodded and wandered over to the table and sat, his mannerisms saying, "Then do what you usually do."

Everyone settled into their usual roles: Thor making coffee and "talking" fantasy football with his fellow Avengers online, big fingers tapping with surprising nimbleness on Jane's iPad; Darcy wrestling the latest batch of data into the database, and Jane and Loki discussing the ins and outs of wormholes.

Darcy scrolled through her playlists, searching for something to make the task of staring at rows and columns of numbers less like a cure for insomnia. In the background, Jane chattered energetically at Loki about focusing quantum vacuum fluctuations on a theoretical mirror in order to create enough negative energy to generate a wormhole. Darcy grinned wryly at the realization that their nerd verbiage had almost started to make sense to her lately. She lifted her head and took in Jane and Loki's reflections in the glass wall.

The easy smile was on his face, but Darcy now recognized that, thanks to her insecurities, she had previously misinterpreted it as fondness for Jane. His good mood wasn't derived from Jane's presence, but rather the topic of conversation and, knowing Loki, the sense of superiority he got by lording knowledge over Thor's girlfriend.

Even in the watery reflection, Jane's eyes were bright with scientific curiosity as she quizzed him for the millionth time on how he perceived time and space. "So you see negative energy?"

"The correct term isn't 'negative energy,' it's..." Loki spoke some unpronounceable Asgardian word and Jane nodded enthusiastically, paying no attention to his haughty tone.

"But you can see and direct it--"

With a finger tap, Darcy started the iPod and "Extreme" by Valora pulsed through the earbuds, cutting off the rest of Jane's words. A few inches away, Bic jumped up and climbed onto the computer monitor, settling on the top, tail dangling down over the screen. Distractedly, Darcy shoved the skinny appendage out of the way, still watching Loki. Beneath the surface, the dark despair of the dream lingered, stirring uneasy currents in her brain.

Maybe it was just nervous anticipation. In a few hours she'd meet Sean for lunch where she'd insist that he listen to her latest download. Because Loki didn't know exactly what kind of compulsion Sean was under, the Asgard waltz would simply make Sean temporarily agreeable to any suggestion Darcy made, including the usually out-of-the-question request that he accompany her back to the Fish Bowl to meet Loki.

The plan was simple enough, so why did a dense clot of dread linger in her belly? Before her, in the reflection, Jane said something and Loki favored her with a smile that was in the vicinity of friendly. Even in the reflection's murk, his eyes shone with intelligent clarity, nothing like the dull pall of death from the nightmare. She blinked through her glasses as the image of his handsome face, still and lifeless, kept replaying over his very much alive reflection.

"You might have noticed, I'm rather durable." Nodding to herself, Darcy recalled his words, attempting to find reassurance in them. He had after all, walked away from a beating that would have turned a normal being into a skin sack of pulverized bone and bloody goo.

In her mind's eye, recollection gave her the picture of another Loki, one with gashes carved like small crevasses on his skin, bones broken, and half blind. Taking in his perfect, unscarred skin, she wondered if Thor knew the truth of his injuries, that Loki's most dangerous adversary was Loki himself. The big guy wasn't as dense as Loki claimed. Maybe, like Darcy, he had figured it out but had the good sense to let Loki have this lie.

One thing was clear to her. To affect real damage to the God of Mischief, you needed to use magic, but even then his immortal resiliency usually won out. The killer could turn people into popsicles and travel using homemade wormholes, but Loki had survived for millennia, and if even a fraction of the stuff in mythology books was true, endured way worse than a few cuts and scrapes.

Jane, her posture energetic with inspiration, rolled her chair over to her desk and began sorting through the stacks of paper that were piled in a chaos that made sense only to her. Jane must have said something because Loki nodded before he glanced around the room and caught Darcy staring. This time, however, she didn't turn away from the intensity of his gaze. Why should she? They'd spent the last few nights making like explorers, mapping the topography of each other's bodies. He was hers, for the time being anyway, and she could watch him all she wanted.

His mouth turned up in a small smile that made it to his eyes, and Darcy froze, captivated by the exquisite, pale angularity of his features set against ebony hair and clothing. She was suddenly desperate to know what he look like beneath Odin's illusion, because as much as logic told her he was immortal, unchanging, invulnerable, a fear clutched her, as if this were the last time she would see him alive, the last chance to know the real Loki. Hit by the crazy idea that she was looking at a ghost, she spun in her chair, and met his eyes.

He tilted his head, eyebrows raised at her startled expression. Fortunately, Thor chose that moment to inadvertently be the hero and save her from any explanation. Rolling his chair closer to his brother, he gave him a friendly nudge. "Look, Loki," he said happily, pointing at the iPad and his fantasy football stats. "See how well my imaginary warriors have done in this week's matches."

Darcy took the opening and skulked to the coffee maker for a refill before returning to her desk and burying her anxieties in the tedium of numbers.


With the volume on the iPod set in the hearing damage zone, and struggling with a query that kept returning errors, Darcy didn't hear the chime of the Fish Bowl door. Instead Director Fury's entrance was announced by the scent of his leather coat.

With a light sniff, she noted that the scent of leather from Fury differed from any of the leather Loki wore, the Midgard stuff having a more stringent, chemical undertone. The odd tangent regarding leather tanning on Earth and Asgard still in her head, she turned and faced Fury, and heavy dread hit her hard.

Before her conscious brain even realized what she had done, Darcy was standing and had moved several steps backward. She pulled the earbuds from her ears and tossed them on the desk. "It wasn't us, we didn't do anything wrong," she said, out of habit and nervousness, even though Fury's demeanor lacked the usual stormy, bad cop vibe.

"Good morning," said Jane, no doubt deciding to opt for a normal greeting instead of Darcy's auto-denial. Thor nodded hello but didn't speak. Both shot Darcy a glance that indicated they wondered what she had done now.

"Morning," replied Fury, his cyclopean gaze taking them in, but for once, his expression was almost mild, almost cautious.

Even though her brain commanded, Shut up, Darcy, she babbled, "We were home all night, watching television, Monday night football, and then all us went straight to bed, well, not together, I mean, Thor and Jane together, and Loki and--" She took a gulp of air. "Home all evening, never went out."

Fury shook his head, the hint of a smile, though touched with sadness, on his mouth. "You really should leave the lying to your boyfriend." At Darcy's wide-eyed expression, he said, "Yeah, I know all about your trip out to Arnold and Ruth King's ranch last night."

"We, uh, you do?" Darcy said.

"Of course he does," said Loki, his expression inscrutable, but his posture wary, which was odd because he usually went out of his way to look bored in Fury's presence.

"You let us, let him," Jane pointed at Loki, "wander around, without an escort, late at night?"

"Director Fury is," Loki smirked at Darcy, "'making science.' He wanted to see what I'd do."

"That seems like a pretty risky experiment," Jane said archly.

Fury shrugged. "If you thought so, why did you go along last night?" Despite his words, he didn't seem to have the usual fire for an argument.

"Because," said Jane, exasperated, "Darcy."

Fury's response was another shrug, this one concessionary. Facing Darcy, he said, "I think you should have a seat."

Everyone's attention on her like a massive weight, Darcy felt her legs wobble and her chair did look inviting. Instead, she remained standing. With a insolent tilt of her chin, she reached to the computer monitor, scooped up Bic and set the little animal on her shoulder. "What's going on?"

"Sit down, Darcy, please," said Fury, shooting Loki and the rest a look that carried a faint plea that didn't belong on the unflappable Director's face. There was nothing threatening in Fury's attitude, which was what made it so unnerving. Thor stood, his powerful frame tense with the readiness of a warrior. Loki, however, didn't move from his chair, cold calculation, but no real menace, in his eyes.

"No," said Darcy, the word tasting more like bitter defiance against whatever Fury would say next rather than a response to his request that she sit.

The heavy black leather could not hide the slight defeated slump of the Director's shoulders. He studied Darcy, clearly hoping she'd do as she was told, the eye patch somehow feeling like a whole eye, as piercing as his remaining eye.

Then he spoke and she flinched and wobbled backward as if she'd been punched in the face. Just three words, noun, verb and adjective. On the desk, the faint buzz and rumble of music still emanated from the earbuds. A glance told her that Loki wore a genuinely surprised and not entirely convinced expression on his face. Hands touched her shoulder and then Jane put an arm around her.

Just three words.

"Sean is dead."

A Morbid Taste for Ice

A Marvel Movieverse Story
by sitehound

Part 27 of 39

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