Continuing Tales

A Morbid Taste for Ice

A Marvel Movieverse Story
by sitehound

Part 30 of 39

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There were two gods in residence at 15 Don Tenorio Road, but Darcy was currently praying to another deity - the god of chocolate. She stood at the end of the hallway, peeking out at the kitchen table were Jane sat surrounded by the usual chaos of papers, a laptop computer before her along, a cup of coffee by her hand.

The luscious scent of chocolate coffee sank into Darcy, taking some of the edge off her nerves. Focusing her attention on the coffee pot, she implored divine cocoa to make Jane amenable to forgiveness. Earlier, in her head, she had played out a scene where she sat down with Jane, issued an eloquent apology, the whole moment turning into the kind of heart-warming drama that would have an audience weeping.

Remembering the crushed look on Jane's face, however, Darcy forgot all her perfect lines. She stared at her feet, urging them forward, but worry and shame kept her anchored to that spot on the carpet (which she noted really needed a good vacuuming).

She might have stood there for most of the morning, except for Bic, who slithered merrily past her and over to the table. Jane startled as the lizard scampered up the denim of her jeans and hopped on the table.

"Sucker is written on my forehead, isn't it?" said Jane, breaking off a bit breakfast bar and setting it on the table.

"In red neon letters," said Darcy. She waved timidly. "Morning."

"Morning." A small smile on her face, Jane studied Darcy, but said nothing more. What felt like hours passed as Darcy stared back, trying to find the right words.

"Awkward," said Jane after a while.

"On a scale of one to awkward, this is, 'Oh, fuck, I've been an asshole, could you ever forgive me? I want to plead temporary insanity, except you know who I'm, uh, dating, so that's bullshit, because there's nothing temporary about my insanity, but I'm sorry, none of this is your fault,'" Darcy took a wheezing breath, "I'm so sorry."

Dropping another snack on the table for Bic, Jane sighed. "It hurt because you were right."

"No." Darcy finally unstuck her feet from the floor and walked to Jane. "I didn't mean what I said."

"I think you did," replied Jane. "You were hurt and angry and what came out was exactly how you felt."

Darcy shook her head, adamant. "Everything I said was bullshit. There's no telling how stuff could have worked out. It could have been worse. Maybe we never met Thor, but we were shopping in Puente Antiguo the day Loki sent his giant metal temper tantrum. And we got...killed."

Jane's brown eyes met hers and Darcy saw a rare vulnerability on her friend's face. Jane was not Loki; she was kind and thoughtful to a fault, but years of struggling to gain credibility within the scientific community for a theory that was derided as sloppy science fiction had given her a tough shell over the softer filling beneath. Now her beautiful face emanated pain. "I never meant to hurt anyone," Jane said. "How could I have known that the event that night wasn't just a New Mexico thunderstorm? How could I have known a figure out of legend would drop out of the sky and change my life, yours, Erik's...forever?"

"You didn't."

"You're right," Jane said, a touch of heat in her voice, "I didn't know, but I still feel responsible." Looking away, she ran her hand over her head, from front to back, stopping to clench her fingers on her ponytail. "I know I've been selfish, especially to Erik. What you said, it was so true." When she turned to Darcy, a gleam of tears shone in her eyes. "I just didn't expect to hear the truth from you."

Jane's misery tore at Darcy, and she blink dumbly, scrabbling for right words. In a way, Jane was correct. Darcy was speaking from the heart yesterday, voicing a submerged frustration. "I don't think it's that simply, Jane," she said, reaching for a chair. Sliding the chair close to Jane, she sat and timidly put her hand on Jane's. "You can't take responsibility for everything that has happened."

"I made choices that effected others negatively."

"Fuuuck!" Darcy said, drawing the word out. "I'm friends, friends with benefits, with Loki, the guy who turned Erik into his minion. How am I ever going to explain my 'choice' to Erik?" Oh, crap, there was a conversation she dreaded more than a root canal. "A lot of what I do is in Thinking is Optional mode."

Squeezing Jane's hand, she added, "I think Thor is partially right about Loki being in crazy-brain when he attacked Earth, but what if I'm wrong? Every choice we make is potentially wrong. We're not perfect. " She shrugged. "And based on recent experience, neither are gods."

Jane turned her hand, folding her fingers around Darcy's. With a slight smile, she angled a glance at her bedroom, where Thor must have been lurking, probably building gridiron armies in fantasy football. "Understatement." Her gaze dropped, no doubt taking in Darcy's bike shorts, T-shirt and iPod. "Did Loki tell you to call SHIELD?"

Darcy didn't answer that question, instead asking, "Are we okay? You and me? Will we be okay?"

"We're more than okay, we're friends, right?" She gave Darcy's hand a reassuring squeeze. "And friends don't let friends--"

"Play naked Twister with supervillains?"

"Like I could stop you," said Jane. "I mean, you can't go biking alone anymore."

Darcy smiled at her friend's concern and stood, turning for the coffee pot. "I know, I know. Loki told me."

This morning Loki had gone with the Darcy is a Crushable Plushy option instead of the usual, sprawling, My Bed, My Kingdom routine. She awoke bound in his arms, suffocating from the dual heat of their bodies and his tight grip, which, when she made to free herself, inched tighter.

"Leggo. I'm mortal. Need air."

"No," he muttered, strong arms closing, squeezing the air from her lungs.

"Yes," she hissed, panicky desperation and oxygen deprivation making a pounding beat in her head. "When it being mortal...I'm"

A short eternity of gasping terror passed and then his grip loosened, though not enough to release her. "Not alone. Call SHIELD."

Turning in his arms, she found his eyes closed, his expression still softened by sleep, black hair in adorable disarray. "Is this Loki coma talking, or did Odin sneak in last night and haul off another chunk of your brain?"

"Insolent..." The pleasant expression fell away as twin slits of green glowered at her. "...turn you into a hamster, put you in a cage..." Wearily, he lifted a hand and made a slow spinning motion with his index finger. "Give you a wheel on which to run."

She smiled and wiggled close enough to kiss his cheek. "The transmogrify threat has been upgraded to cute mammal. You really do like me."

"I thrive on the misery you bring." His eyes shut again. "If you must ride the archaic two-wheeled toy, call SHIELD for an escort. Number is...on the fridge."

"I--" Belligerent denial was the default reaction, but she knew it was stupid.

"Swear to me," Loki said, eyes wide and blazing with emotion, "you will not go alone."

Transfixed by his intensity, she had nodded and said without any flippancy, "I promise."

Inhaling the small chocolately steam cloud that rose from her coffee, Darcy smiled, warmed by the smell and the memory of Loki's words. She reached over and pulled a pink sticky note off the fridge, and deciphered the number written in Jane's scrawl. "I'm going to feel like such a dork riding with a black SUV following."

"Pretend you're a celebrity," said Jane, as Darcy sat down. "And be glad Fury is letting you out of the house at all." Darcy raised an eyebrow in question and Jane started to answer, but was interrupted by Bic whose Gimme Breakfast jig was getting downright frantic.

After giving the lizard another little tidbit, Jane explained, "At first, Nick Fury completely forbid you from riding your bike or running, but Loki pointed out that you would just take that as a dare, not a command. So Fury agree to let you go if you called for a security detail."

"Damn," said Darcy. "Based on my reputation, I need a T-shirt that reads, 'Too Stupid to Live.'"

"Maybe just 'Impulsive,'" suggested Jane.

Watching Jane pass more food to Bic, Darcy grinned and said, "And we'll get you a matching shirt that says, "Softy.'"

Jane nodded, but didn't seem to be listening. Gently petting Bic's tiny head, she said, "How would you like to move to New York City?"

The question came so out of the blue that Darcy responded with an "Eh?"

"I've been talking to Fury." Jane pulled a goofy face. "More like emailing, but I think he's warmed up to the idea of us moving to the New York facility."

"Really? I thought the plan was to keep us out here until we're wearing adult diapers and our tits are sagging to our knees."

Jane glanced reflexively down at her chest. "I, uh, don't know what the plan was, but I've made a case for us being on the East coast where I'd could have face-time my colleagues, especially, Erik. Plus, there'd be a good chance I could work with Tony Stark, or at least have access to his lab."

Darcy could feel her eyebrows climbing toward her hairline, driven there by a small suspicion. Since when did Jane use the term "face-time?" She asked the obvious question: "And 'us' means you, me, and the Norse tragedy?"

Not looking at Darcy, Jane shook her head. "No. Just you and me."

"What about," me and Loki? "you and Thor?"

"We could still see each other," she answered, her smile a little false. "Planes, trains, automobiles, right?"

"Right," said Darcy, fighting against the heat of anger that simmered in her stomach. "Why now? I thought you loved having your own lab."

"I do." Jane paused as they both grinned at Bic, who, annoyed by the lack of treats, had flipped over and was staging a dramatic Shakespearean death scene on the table. "I'd have a lab in New York." She met Darcy's eyes, her face full of determination. "But I'm tired of being marginalized, stuffed in a dusty corner of the world where I do what I'm told, and make useful science, quietly, for SHIELD. My work is valuable, and it's time SHIELD stopped treating me like a second-class citizen."

Her smile grew broader. "You don't want to stuck in a tiny town forever either. New York has theaters and clubs and a real social scene. You're too young to be sitting home every night--"

"So are you," said Darcy with a snort. "You sound like somebody's granny."

"I have my science to keep me warm," said Jane with too much drama. "Besides, you've picked up a lot of valuable skills as my assistant. Eventually, you're going to want to move on. There are more opportunities in New York and the whole region. Maybe you can get SHIELD to pay for law school."

Darcy, who was taking a tentative sip of hot coffee, paused. "Law school." The idea had appeal, enough to distract her from her suspicions about Jane's desire to move to the Big Apple. If SHIELD could afford to build underground fortresses and flying aircraft carriers, it could certainly foot the bill for her J.D. "Maybe, but I bet SHIELD would pack a lot of fine print onto that deal."

Jane nodded. "The kind of fine print that could only be read with an electron microscope." A hint of triumph gleamed in her eyes. "You know you want to go. It'll be fun. And Erik says he misses us both."

"Erik," stated Darcy flatly, her mind working at a speed that amazed her. Maybe Loki's smarts were infectious. "He knows about Loki and me."

Jane squirmed in a way that either meant she'd developed a spontaneous ass rash or Darcy was right. "No. Yes."

"He wants us to move to New York. To get me away from Loki."

Slumping slightly forward, Jane grasped the sides of the laptop and stared blankly at the screen. "I really want to move, Darcy. But, yes, Erik is worried about you."

"You told him about Loki and me...?"

"No, he doesn't know that you..." her voice trailed off.

"That I had sex with Loki," Darcy finished helpfully. "What does he know?"

"Not that much, really. And I haven't told him how close you two have become, but he knows you're friends." Jane smiled sort of apologetically. "He figured it out on his own."


"Blame your mouth." Jane grinned weakly. "When Loki moved in, Erik worried that your, um, habit of saying whatever was on your mind was going to be a problem. He regretted telling you to stay, and was convinced he'd talked you into your death.

"But the weeks went by and you mouthed off to Loki and Loki either ignored you, or growled a threat but never followed through with it." Bic still lay on her back, tip of her tail twitching in frustration. Jane reached out and rubbed a finger over the little reptile's white belly. "Erik kept saying, 'At least you have Thor to protect you, Jane.' I knew guilt was eating him up. So I told him the truth, that you and Loki get along in a weird kind of way. That you seem to like each other."

She picked Bic up and set her, right side up, on her hand. "That's when he decided Loki had brainwashed you somehow."

Darcy let out a snort of laughter. "Right. To gain control of my one superpower? Finding designer shoes at outlet prices?"

Jane took a bite of what remained of her breakfast bar, chewed and swallowed. "Who knows with Loki. Maybe it's part of some long game strategy?"

"You believe this, too?" Petulant, Darcy swirled her coffee cup gently, as if it were a glass of wine. "The super hot, genius supervillain couldn't possibly want to hook up with the incompetent research assistant because he likes her. It must be more mischief, right?" I will not be insecure, I will not be insecure.

"I believe he's conniving and evil." Jane winced at her own bluntness. "You're smart and funny and beautiful. He doesn't deserve you."

Jane stretched out her arm so that Bic could hop off and sit on the table near Darcy. "Where Thor goes, Loki does too," she said with an apologetic smile. "It's not like you'll never see him again. And it's not like I can force you to move. Just think about it, okay?"

Darcy scooped Bic up and plopped the lizard on her shoulder. Taking another sip of the chocolate-tinged coffee, she thought about all the little Loki-made things in her life and tried not to get all maudlin. Maybe it would be for the best. After all, he would leave her if he could; if someone dropped the Tesseract in his lap, he'd dance to its tune like it was a shiny, magic disco ball, all thoughts of Darcy Lewis supplanted by glorious purposes.

If she moved to New York, she'd be the one in control, she'd be the one to do the leaving.

"You already have too much of me."

Closing her eyes, she remembered the look on Loki's face when he spoke those words, shattered, defeated, angry. Like he-he what? Like he needed her. And just like that, she felt guilty for even considering moving to New York.

And yet, when Jane prodded her again, "You'll think about it, right?" Darcy's mouth formed the word "No," but something else came out.

"Yeah," she said, "I'll think about it."


Darcy didn't count herself as naive - impulsive, okay, but not naive - but she didn't think trailing behind the science assistant on a bike ride through un-scenic Puente Antiquo was a good use of SHIELD's guards' time, even with was a murderous elf on the loose. She had pedaled along the same stretch of sparsely populated road for weeks, months, and the worst that had ever happened was the occasional truckload of male migrant workers who would called out, "Oye, mami chula!" and make kissing noises at her. In her car, she had driven around the state, all alone, unintentionally putting herself in easy reach of Loki's nemesis. And, of course, she'd spent the last few months trying to reach any base with the killer's sidekick. At the reminder of Sean's betrayal, her breath caught on the lump in her throat.

She cranked down on the pedals, generating a burst of speed through a patch of sand-covered asphalt, the sediment washed there by last night's thunderstorm. "And here I am," she muttered, "ten fingers, ten toes, alive and snarking."

Also, although her knowledge of elves didn't extend beyond Orlando Bloom's Legolas, she didn't think a handful of humans with guns were a match against a creature whose magic probably rivaled Loki's. And she suspected that Loki felt the same way, and that he "allowed" her to leave the house because he didn't believe that the killer's next move would be snatching her off the road.

"More games," she muttered.

Because she figured that her SHIELD escort shouldn't come all the way out for a short ride, and because Fury had told Jane to work from home for the remainder of the week, her ride extended a few more miles than usual.

When she got back, Loki was in his room, sitting on his bed, tapping away on her laptop. Pausing in the hallway, on the way to take a shower, she watched him for a few seconds. His black hair was damp from a shower and with his lanky build he looked like an overgrown teen. She smiled, tried to imagine a teenage Loki and Thor, and came up with an image that resembled any television show where incredibly beautiful twenty-somethings played high school kids.

She started for the bathroom and then stopped, wondering if she should reclaim the computer before he reorganized the world economy or something worse. Thinking back on the recent economic crisis, she decide he couldn't do much worse than mere mortal bankers and financiers had, and continued on her way. Besides he was male. Probably he was simply downloading naughty videos.

After her shower, she dressed, dried her hair and texted a friend. That activity ate up about an hour before her friend, who had a life, signed off to go live it. Darcy sat on her bed, which was neatly made--not by her, by Loki, with magic because manual labor gave him hives--and stared out the window. The magic-repelling stick bug swayed in the swamp cooler's breeze and her new rose glittered in the diffused sunlight. "Pretty, pretty," she said, "I'm so bored."

What the hell was she supposed to do if she couldn't go to work or leave the house without an armed escort? She slid a look in the direction of the living room, where Jane was now camped, nose buried in data. If she was a good assistant, she would march out there and offer assistance.


Instead she wandered into Loki's room and flung herself, face down, on Thor's old bed. Loki was dismantling something that looked like the cross between a waffle iron and a small canon. "I'm bored," she said. "What do filthy rich, Asgardian princes do for fun," she turned her head and eyed the device, "when they aren't taking stuff apart?"

"Ask Thor," he said. "He's the Asgardian prince."

"So are you."

"No, I'm not," he said, without the usual venom.

"Yeah-huh, you are. Why do you keep reminding me, 'I'm Loki, of Asgard'?"

"Habit," he replied, weirdly cheerful.

Because her boobs didn't like being squished, she rolled onto her back. "Whether you're this color," she gestured in his direction, "or blue, you're still Prince Loki of Asgard."

A quiet squeak of metal on metal was her only answer. After a couple of minutes, he said, "Does it bother you?" He pointed at his face with a small screwdriver. "That this is a falsehood?"

She shook her head, and stared up at the ceiling. "Nope. I think it's mysterious and sexy. You didn't answer my question. What do you do for fun?" Feeling his eyes on her, she met his stare. "What?"

"You are a peculiar creature." His face held a mixture of amusement and disbelief.

"My question, Loki."

"You are bored and think I might alleviate your tedium." He smiled, all white teeth and mischief and Darcy felt her heart race. "My entertainment here on Midgard has been rather destructive, but if that's what you have in mind--"

"Ugh! Come on! Even if all the mythology books were true, you obviously didn't spend every second making chaos."

He shrugged and separated a strip of metal from the device, setting the piece on the bed. "For the most part, I do what's fun."

"That's okay, so long as nobody dies and there's no property damage."

"Define damage."

"Nothing more extreme than graffiti. You know, like 'Loki was here.' Blowing up buildings is totally out."

"Not even one very small building?" he asked with exaggerated wistfulness.

Darcy eyed him warily, wondering what he'd been smoking (and if he'd share). "You can blow up the shed." She pointed in the direction of said building.

His gaze followed her finger and he grinned again, and Darcy thought she might consider destroying a few buildings herself if it would get him to smile like that more often. "Tell me about Asgard. Tell me about you."

"Ask Odin. He's the current owner of my memories."

"You are such a pain in the ass!" said Darcy, sitting up and looking skyward, imploring any spirit, divine or otherwise, for patience. "You remember some stuff and the parts you don't, well, just make something up. Entertain me, Silvertongue." She folded her legs, lotus style, and stared at him expectantly.

"Thor loves to tell stories," he said, almost cautiously.

"Stories about Thor, and battle, and Thor. Boring." She waved a hand imperiously at him. "Start talking, Mad Science."

Darcy had always known that Loki would be a better storyteller than Thor. Even when he and his brother had only lived in Puente Antiguo a couple of months and Loki's only utterances were, "Move," and the friendlier, "Move, impudent mortal girl." Thor's stories were like a summer blockbuster, full of braggadocio, loud and explosive, and yet ironically free of much gore (to keep a PG-rating), and weak on plot and character development.

Loki's were more art house film with a fantasy element, full of vivid backdrops, and stopping to focus tightly on what seemed like an irrelevant detail, but what was actually the heart of the story. Mostly he told her about the places he went alone, his secret hideaways from Thor and everyone else in Asgard.

And she listened, captivated, as he told her about a place, high in the mountains where rainbows, a special variety of magical rainbows, were born, and the lonely plain, with blood red soil and deep purple grass, where they died. There was the strange stretch of beach, where every day a thick churning fog bank rolled over the place where sand met sea, picking up everything in its path, and leaving in its wake, strange artifacts and the bodies (nothing survived being in the fog) of alien creatures from unknown worlds.

There was the spot, on a tall mesa, where glass dragons bred and raised their young, where the high altitude and thin atmosphere allowed the maximum amount of sunlight to penetrate their translucent bodies and fuel their activities. Loki noted that this place in particular, he kept secret from Thor, who would have rounded up the Warriors Three and Sif and immediately gone dragon hunting.

"Maybe you shouldn't tell me," Darcy observed. "Loose lips, you know?"

"You hate spiders," was his response.

"Yeah, so?"

"And yet, when you found one in your closet, you demanded that I, 'Magic it outside, where it belongs,' rather than kill it."

She shrugged and repeated what she had said then, "It can't help being horrible. It just is."

"If you'll spare the life of a creature that you despise, you would never be party to the extinction of a noble species."

Darcy nodded. "Point." She was lying on her side on Thor's bed, head on a pillow, watching him as he spoke. A painful knot pulled in her neck and she sat up and stretched. Feeling the fierce pressure of his stare, she turned and found him giving her that look; the scalpel-sharp scrutiny that threatened to carve out all her secrets.

"You should go," he said.

It was fortunate she was sitting on the bed, because those three words, spoken softly with no menace, carried force. She knew what he meant, realized what he must have overheard. What remained unclear, however, was whether they also indicated that she meant so little to him that he could shrug and watch, detached, as she moved far away. She feigned ignorance.

"You're kicking me out of your room? Your moods have more swings than a playground."

His gaze move up her face and stopped on a spot high on her head. Meeting her eyes, he said, "Games, Darcy? I thought we'd established that you lack the duplicity for intrigue."

She frowned, thinking that lately he'd gotten a little too good at reading her, as if he'd somewhere discovered a dictionary for Darcyese. And speaking of games, she also remembered that she hadn't asked him about his games, why he let her out of the house at all when a dangerous killer was supposedly stalking him. She decided to stick to the matter at hand. "You're having another pity party, in honor of you being a very bad man who doesn't deserve cake, ice cream, a pony and a...a friend."

His smile playful, he said, "I have been very bad."

"Yes, you have. But I think you're still burdened with a terrible conscience."

The smile disappeared and something dangerous roiled in his eyes. "I do not."

"Yes, you do. If you didn't, why push me away? Why not just take what you want and keep doing what's fun? Hell, why even bother chatting me up, when you could minion-ize my brain and just fuck me?"

"Perhaps," he said, words cloaked in smooth menace, "I considered doing just that."

A shiver ran up her spine because she knew there was some truth to his response. "But you didn't."

Abruptly sullen, he dropped his gaze to the bed where he sat, one hand picking a metal gewgaw off the bedspread and spinning it between two fingers so fast that it hummed. "You," he began, not looking up, "you need a far better place than this, something grander, filled with life and energy."

I need you. "So do you." Maybe we could find that place together.

His attention fell to his feet. "I've had all the like of that, many times over, for longer than you can imagine." He closed his eyes and she felt his emotions hit her, an almost concussive sadness, so very not-Loki. "For you there is no luxury of time."

"Then don't waste my time with the Edward Cullen routine." This reference stumped him and she smirked at the confusion on his face. "Twilight. Edward Cullen follows Bella around, whining that he's not good enough for her, just to hear Bella tell him he's a good guy, worth loving, blah-blah-blaaaaah."

Loki mirror her smirk. "Our dynamic is nothing like that at all. You delight in telling me I'm evil."

"Fuck yeah. I'm no Bella Swan."

"If I followed where you went, the contempt you've experienced here, in this small place, because of our friendship, would be but a shadow of what would be heaped upon you in the world beyond."

Darcy responded with a teenage eye roll. "You're starting to sparkle," she warned.

Undaunted, he said, "There's the matter of my parentage, what I truly am."

"Really? You think I care about that? If I can get past everything else about you?"

He waved a hand at his face, himself. "What lies beneath, is a monster."

She ran her tongue over her top front teeth and leered at him. "I bet frost giant Loki is pretty cute, too." She emphasized her point with wiggle of her eyebrows.

For a second, she actually thought he blushed, but it was difficult to tell, because he stood up and started to pace the tiny bedroom.

"Look, you can keep making your case for how wicked you are. Or..." she panned a long look up and down his body, "you can take me back to my bedroom and show me."

He stopped pacing and stared at her, a slight smile on his mouth. "You're quite mad, you know?"

"Takes one to know one. Are you going to do something with that mouth besides talk, Silvertongue?"


"Show me the real you."

She was lying on her back, with Loki crouched over her, lavishing delicious torment on her by simply etching a tingling, invisible line of magic along the top of her breast, following the edge of her bra.

Abruptly, he leaned back, head turned slightly, eyeing her warily. "Why would you want such a thing?"

"Because I want you, all of you."

His face still as a statue, he studied her. "My true nature was only revealed with the touch of a frost giant or in the presence of the Casket of Ancient Winters. Odin's magic is strong."

Her brain was fizzy with lust, but she still saw the evasion in his eyes, heard the prevarication in his words. "You can peel it back if you really want to, huh?"

Anger boiled in his emerald eyes. "You cannot ask-–"

"I'm not asking." She sat up and grabbed his face locking her eyes with his. "I'm demanding." The typical I-am-Loki-of-Asgard arrogance stiffened his posture, a hard line appearing between his dark brows and his gaze went cold, but she didn't back down. "I know you don't plan on sticking around here much longer, but in the meantime, you're..." The word reached her mouth and retreated. Say it. She licked her lips, trying push the word out. "You're mine and I want everything."

The ice in his eyes thawed a little. "Darcy, I will not--"

"Yes, you will," she snapped, ignoring his irritation at being interrupted. "Because one of these days you're going to leave, and all I'll have left is...this, now." She lifted her shoulders and chin in a nonchalant shrug, her fingers unfastening a strap on his clothing. "Show me the real you, Loki. Think of it as a parting gift." The strap came undone, and she now, quite expertly, reached beneath the freed layer of leather to the next piece of the puzzle.

When she looked up, he was studying her, his demeanor unnaturally still. "Just once," she begged. "Maybe when you're inside me, because that would be awesome like chocolate."

With an exasperated snarly sigh, he firmly but gently grasped her wrists and pulled her hands away from their task. "This is truly what you want?"

"Uh-huh." She smiled at him brightly. "Leggo." He released her hands, and watched, strangely passive and sort of broken as she deftly peeled off his clothing. He remained in this trancelike state until she reached his pants, at which point, he reengaged with the moment and together they freed each other of their remaining clothing.

The Loki who made love to her was almost a stranger, not because he had dropped the magic that hid the person beneath -- he hadn't, yet -- but because this Loki was almost awkward, unsure of himself. His every touch still set her nerves on fire with passion, but there was a hesitancy in his motions, as if he feared moving too fast.

The languid pace was exquisite, but the belligerent part of Darcy chafed at what she knew was a stalling tactic on his part. Frustrated and desperate for him, she pulled him onto her, guiding him down to fill the empty need inside her. As they fell into a delirious, primitive rhythm, he kept his eyes on her face, gaze devouring her as if he might never see her again. Obviously as lost to the moment as Darcy, his motions were again filled with certainty and he pummeled her with a possessive beat that lit up every pleasure neuron in her brain. She clung to him, her body more alive than it had ever been, nearly all capacity for coherent thought gone.

No. I still want- She bit her lip, struggling to form words. "Show me, Loki," she managed. "Show me."

There was a pause in the perfect rhythm. "Darcy--"


With an anguished sigh, his body sagged over hers, forehead pressed into the pillow next to her head. Connected as they were, his torment rained down on her. A small corner of her brain wanted to say something comforting, but it was hard to think, much less speak with the heat of him on her, in her, surrounding her with a yummy maleness.

Loki hadn't lied about the power of Odin's enchantment. The battle between it and Loki's will rippled over her skin, cinnamon clashing with something that smelled ancient, unyielding, like the roots of some tall mountain. Her lover's body became a battlefield between a venerable, almost primeval power and younger, upstart magic. For a minute it felt like Loki's newer, more energetic magic couldn't possibly prevail; all it could do was worry at Odin's like a small dog nipping at a horse's heels. But Darcy's faith in Loki's ability wasn't unfounded. Surrender began as a illusory flicker of magic, not much more than the swimmy specks one might see in the edges of their vision when staring up at a bright sky, bright motes where Odin's magic failed. This she felt rather than actually saw, but as Odin's illusion beat a temporary retreat, the effect moved to her vision and she blinked at the truth it revealed.

Though she thought she was prepared, this Loki took her breath away, his ice blue skin, yes, but more so his eyes, whose crimson shade should have scared her. But their expression, unvarnished worry, made what might have been fearsome, simply exotic. Stripped of their false robe of green, his eyes stared at her with a breathtaking honesty. She shifted her hips, finding him still seated hard and deep within her, and wrapped her legs around his.

"Wow. I was so wrong." She closed her eyes, biting her lip. Opening them again, she saw the beginnings of regret in his expression. "Everyday Loki isn't beautiful. He's just seriously hot." She lifted her hand to his face, feathering a touch over his cheek, tracing the line of a chin that she knew almost as well as her own, except the skin beneath her fingers felt softer, as if the usual illusion somehow made it feel harder. "This is...beautiful."

Moving under him, she urged him on, and he complied, but once again, in a cautious way, as though he half expected her to shove him off and scream like some ditz in a horror movie. If she were in her right mind, and not half crazy with the electric passion of him, the real him, and magic, she would have smacked him (for all the good it would do). Nothing mattered though, because Loki fully revealed to her, at his most vulnerable pushed her beyond, to the place where self melted and gave way to shivering waves of ecstasy.

A while later, sprawled half on him, she traced a finger down the middle of his chest over skin that was now the usual color. "Encore?" she said slowly, feeling the delicious after-sex laziness.

The little vibration of a bitter chuckle moved through her. "No. I'm spent."

"Bullshit." Her finger moved lower and slid sideways, to draw spirals over a hip bone. "You're immortal. You should be good for a few more servings today, each with a side of frosty."

His response was to take her in his arms and pull her--with that disturbingly strong ease--onto him. Hands on her upper arms, he pushed her up slightly, so their eyes met. "Frosty?" He grimaced. "In your company, Asgard's prison, by comparison, seems a holiday resort."

She smirked. "Will I get some dining with all the whining?"

He cocked his head to the side, assessing her and she returned the favor, looking for traces of his other side and finding them in the shape of his angular face and his lean body, which was pretty much unchanging, no matter what his skin color. "How can it not repel you?" The question, spoken softly, didn't really seem to be addressed to her.

"Because," she said, squirming and wriggling free of his grasp to snuggle down on his chest, "I haven't had people telling me, for centuries, that frost giants are bad."

In the silence that followed, his heart thumped in her ear and his chest rose and fell with a slow sigh. His hand stroked the back of her head and fingers combed through her hair, and she closed her eyes, enjoying the simply touch.

"Tell me 'nother story," she said.

"No," he replied. "Your turn."

"Got no stories. Midgard life. No magic. Bo-ring."

He laughed softly. "You forget, your experiences are as alien to me, as mine to you." With that he flipped her off him, so that she ended up on her side facing him.

"Entertain me, impudent girl," he said with a flash of teeth, and compelled by the power of that smile, Darcy started talking.

A Morbid Taste for Ice

A Marvel Movieverse Story
by sitehound

Part 30 of 39

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