She opened the bottle of Banker’s Club vodka with the sort of hardy determination one usually finds in surgeons mid-operation. For once making an effort not to break something (even liquor that cheap was a splurge with her student loans), Darcy Lewis began to pour out two shots in tiny glasses (one from SUNY Albany, where her dad had gone and that said “I heart NY”). The man sitting across from her did not move, only wrinkled his nose as the appalling odor of seven dollar vodka wafted towards him.
“You drink this?” Loki Odinson asked incredulously.
“I’m sorry it’s not Asgardian magic rainbow mead brewed from leprechaun poop, but you’ve left me with no choice.” Darcy said. She pushed the SUNY Albany glass towards the god, eyebrows raised in expectation.
“We can both go on the count of three if you’d like.” She added.
Loki tentatively picked up the glasses and took a small, delicate drink. He immediately paled.
“That’s horsepiss.” He cried. It was the first time Darcy had heard him swear and it made her laugh.
“You’re not supposed to sip it like you’re having a spot of tea. You down in one go. God, didn’t you ever go to college? We’ll go on three, right? One… Two… Three!”
Both raised their glasses and gulped down the liquor. Darcy was finished first and she watched Loki splutter and cough amusedly.
“Does all liquor in Midgard taste so…”
“That’s one way of putting it.” Loki muttered. He was still making a face. Darcy knew the pain of your first shot all too well (hello junior year of high school) and tried to keep a straight face.
“I’m a waitress. I’m sorry I can’t get you cognac.”
Loki met her with a blank stare.
“Um, expensive alcohol.”
“I see. And why are you forcing me to down this...” Loki glanced at the label and frowned. “Banker’s Club? Is it produced by those who run banks?”
“One, don’t be pretentious and two, you’re all depressed and shit. I’ve tried cheering you up but God help me Loki, if cat videos on youtube won’t fix you, I’m left with no other option.” Darcy said. She was already pouring out another serving.
“They’re just cats! Haven’t you seen them before? And I’m not depressed, I’m perfectly fine.” Loki protested. Still, he took his shot glass, ready to down it.
“Rule number one of being a normal human young-person: Alcohol helps you deal with your problems.” Darcy said. She assumed Loki was young, anyway. He was probably like a billion years old but acted like a petulant mid-20’s yuppie. So it all worked out.
Loki coughed less this time.
“And you Midgardian youth believe that becoming intoxicated is therapeutic?” Loki asked, sounding curious. He had begun to pour before Darcy had a chance to grab the bottle.
“Yeah. I mean, it’s totally self-destructive and a terrible idea, but it’s how I got through my parents divorce. Every angsty kid with daddy issues has to try drinking his problems away sooner or later and I can tell that— Hey!” Darcy stared incredulously as Loki grabbed the bottle by the neck and began to chug the liquor. A few moments later he emerged, red and gasping, but pleased.
“After a while, this is quite refreshing!” He exclaimed. Darcy was staring at the bottle in shock. What had before been full was now half downed.
“You just had like… twenty shots! Or fifty! I don’t even know!” She cried. She hoped this wasn’t going to turn into a shit-show, like her eighteenth birthday party when the then love of her life had thrown rum in her hair and threw up in her trash.
“I think I might have a slightly higher tolerance than the average human.” Loki said. Darcy stared.
“Now I think I have some American money on me. Wouldn’t you much rather join me for a nice drink at the hotel bar?” Loki was ever cordial and cold.
“Um, I’m not really dressed.” Darcy was actually in her snowflake flannel pajamas she had gotten for Hanukkah two years ago. Her hair needed to be washed and was currently on top of her head in an obscene bun. Loki, God bless him, looked like he walked right out of a Renaissance fair in tight black pants and one of those flowing shirts that tied up the front. She tried to imagine them walking up to the bar and blushed.
“Now, Darcy Lewis, do you really care what people think of you? You’ve spent the last few months following me around and trying to show me videos of cats.” Now that was true. No one could say Loki Odinson didn’t have a way with words.
Of course, he’d missed the crucial point, that originally (Darcy blushed harder) she had followed him around because he was cute in a weird, emo way and Jane was always with Thor. So Darcy, ever competitive, decided to find her own Norse god. Of course, after ten minutes of actually talking to the recently redeemed super villain, Darcy’s crushed had vanished. Still, they struck a somewhat antagonistic friendship and no matter how annoying each found the other, they stuck it out.
“I’ll get my shoes.” Darcy moaned, running to her suitcase to find her flip-flops. Damn S.H.I.E.L.D. for failing to find her an apartment. Too low of a security clearance to actually work for them but having seen too much to be left to own devices, she was forced to live in a swanky NYC hotel while scary ninja spies followed her every move. It was annoying.
Maybe that was why she initially bonded with Loki. He too was under constant supervision. He was too close to the Avengers initiative (Thor couldn’t keep a secret from his brother if his life depended on it) and too dangerous to really do anything. So he was guarded and he moped.
Darcy found a somewhat classy sundress that her mother had made her pack in case she went “somewhere fancy with a boy.” It was old and had a few holes but showed a nice amount of cleavage and was better than snowflakes jammies. Thankful she had remembered to shave her legs, Darcy stripped, aware Loki was watching. She’d changed in front of his a number of times. She wasn’t concerned. She was actually pretty sure he was gay.
As she expected, the dress fit awkwardly, but it worked. She found some strappy sandals she’d gotten for her cousin’s wedding and put them on with some pink lipsticks. Now she only looked like a somewhat starving artist, as opposed to a recluse.
Turning around, she saw Loki had changed, apparently with magic. Instead of his “I play Dungeons and Dragons in my free time” outfit, he was wearing dark jeans and a gray button-down shirt. Very dark and angsty, but very Loki. Behind him, lying on the tangled sheets of the bed, the bottle was totally empty.
“Shall we go?” He asked, taking Darcy’s arm. She acquiesced, wondering if the Banker’s club had already taken an effect on the frost giant. He was certainly more excited for this than any activity she’d ever proposed (with the exception of reading Iron Man/Captain America slash fanfiction). They made it to the bar and suddenly Darcy realized how weird this was. A Norse god was taking her for drinks. I mean, it was totally aromantic (did Loki even have a dick? She’d never seen the slightest indication) but still. This wasn’t something that happened everyday.
Loki read the cocktail menu carefully, like he was reading some complicated instruction manual. When the bartender came, it took him a while to make up his mind between a vanilla martini and a Sex On The Beach. He finally went with the latter and got all excited by the little umbrella.
“This is inventive.” Loki said as Darcy ordered her old-fashioned.
“Very Carrie Bradshaw.” Darcy commented.
Loki, apparently so used to references he didn’t understand, shrugged his shoulders and took a sip.
“So fruity! This tastes like the wild elderberries of Myrkviðr.” He exclaimed delightedly. Darcy tried to hide her smile.
“But doesn’t your drink come with a little sun-shade?” He asked as Darcy gulped her brown concoction.
“Only the special, Norseman drinks get the decorations.” She choked. She considered taking a photo on her phone to show to Tony. The mighty villain Loki sipping a Sex On The Beach and enjoying it thoroughly. He seemed pleased however and that was what mattered.
For too long Darcy had watched her friend (was he one? She supposed he was) walk around New York City sullenly, giving way too much money to homeless men and talking about how many lives he had ruined. Maybe it was having all his bones broke by the Hulk, but something rather like guilt had started to affect Loki. Of course he rarely showed it, only waxing poetical about the frailty of human existence and looking sad all the time.
Several cocktails later, that Loki was gone. This one was bright pink and giggling.
Darcy supposed she shouldn’t judge, as she had just spilled her Manhattan down her bra, but the tiny sober part of her brain was screaming, GOD, HE IS SO WRECKED.
“You were right! I feel lots and lots and lots better! Like I could fly…” Loki said, holding out the word “fly” on his tongue.
Darcy grabbed his arm seriously. She was surprised by how warm he was. (Once, during the ending of Love, Actually they had cuddled and his skin had been ice-cold. Which figured with the whole frost giant thing.
“Wait, can you fly?” Darcy asked, her mind running with possibilities.
“Nooo,” Loki muttered. “Thor can with his stupid hammer, Meow-fucker-fuck.” The bartender was giving them dirty looks.
“Screw his dumb hammer. He probably only likes it so much because he’s over-comp-ser-ating.” Darcy said, spluttering on the long word. Loki immediately collapsed into gleeful laughter.
“He probably has teensy penis!” Darcy cackled, probably louder than was necessary. Some well-dressed businessmen nearby glared at her. She stuck her tongue out at them.
Loki poked Darcy right in the middle of her right breast. She stared at him. He was as serious as death.
“You! Your friend! She’s seen it. His—“ (more giggles) “—hammer! Ask her if it’s tiny!” Loki cried.
Then there was a great fumbling through Darcy’s purse (several tampons and sticks of gum were dumped on the bar counter) to find her phone. Once she found it, Loki insisted on texting Tony that he was “BOOOOOOORRRRRIIIINNNNGGGGGG” because they were having “M0R FYNN THWNA YOUA EVER WILLLL.” Then, with the entirely of the bar staring at them, they ran (knocking several chairs over in the process) back to their room to make the call. After some confusion with the hotel elevator (Loki wanted to press all the buttons with his nose) and the door key (Neither of them was dexterous enough to use it), they arrived. Darcy collapsed on her bed while Loki made scowling faces in the full-length mirror.
“Do I look evil?” He asked, his thumbs holding the tops of his eyelids up and his mouth retching. Darcy shushed him as her phone dialed. She managed to hit speakerphone.
“Hey Darcy!” Jane answered.
She probably wasn’t expecting what she heard next, which was Darcy and Loki both talking excitedly at once directly into the receiver. Finally Darcy pushed Loki off the bed and he shut up.
“DOES THOR HAVE A TINY DICK?” She demanded. Silence on the other line.
“Darcy, are you drunk? Is that Loki in the background? You know, the guy who tried to blow up New York?”
“No comment! Leave me alone!”
“Darcy, you’re all defensive when you’re drunk. We roomed together in college.”
“LEAVE ME ALONE!”
“Yeah, go away hammer-woman!” Loki added in the background. He had wormed himself onto the bed and looked as if he was deep-throating the old vodka bottle. Darcy dropped the phone.
“You’re giving the vodka oral sex, you pervert!” She cried, snatching it away.
“Lies! I want more of your human filthy drinking stuff!” Loki screeched. They wrestled over the bottle for a minute until it flew across the room and shattered.
“…Guys?” Jane asked. She was ignored.
“It’s okay!” Darcy huffed. “It’s not like you’ve ever had sex!”
Loki looked offended. “I so have! My cape is attractive!”
“So what! My boobs are attractive!”
The god and the mortal blinked at each other for a few moments. This was unprecedented territory. The only time they talked about romance was when Darcy’s ex Jason texted her and she gave Loki the run-down on what a total skeeze Jake was.
“…They just started talking about her boobs.” Jane whispered to someone on her end.
“I like your nose.” Darcy said finally. This was true. Loki had a very dignified nose, the kind you imagined counts and earls had.
“I like your face.” Loki said. This was also true. Darcy knew she had a very nice face.
Someone on the phone snorted.
“I bet you think I’m ‘tupid and mortal and ugly. I know I showed you nyan cat and that is not cool but I like your nose and I want your mouth!” Darcy cried. Tears, coming so quickly to her inebriated self, pooled in her eyes.
“No!” Loki half-screamed. He sat up and held Darcy by the shoulders. “You are so cool and you know slang and you’re funny and you don’t hate me!” Darcy sniffed back her tears, which resulted in a rather unattractive snort. Lucky for her, Loki’s eyes were fixed firmly on her chest.
“Of course I don’t hate you! You’re dad is a dumb person! He is dumb! You is smart and kind, just like that movie with Emma Stone! You is important!” Darcy wailed as Loki’s face burst into the biggest smile.
Darcy had no way of knowing this, but Loki was a coward. Thor could attest to their awkward adolescence, when Loki would spend days forming elaborate speeches to Sif. He would always get scared last minute and give up.
So, it was quite a surprise to him when he grabbed Darcy’s face and kissed her squarely on the lips. They probably would have kissed a lot more if Darcy hadn’t immediately vomited on the floor.
This caused Loki to run around screaming, “I’ve killed Darcy!”
Later that night, stomach empty of all its contents, Darcy fell asleep in Loki arms. They were both stinking of liquor and Darcy had a faint line of yellow bile leading down to her chin, but they were happy.
They never saw this of course, but at Jane’s apartment the entirely of the Avengers, plus Nick Fury and the newly recovered Agent Coulson were laughing hysterically.