Her fingers were latched around his shirt collar and the coffee she’d used as the excuse for the interruption was sitting forgotten on the desk. He slid one hand across her jaw so that her check rested against his palm. Her smile became the most adorable pout.
“Darcy. I have work to be done.” He gave in then and kissed her. He wasn’t so immune to the way her bottom lip stuck out when she was disappointed.
“As do you,” he added seconds later.
“Filing.” There was no small amount of loathing in that word. “Not like it’s anything important.”
He leaned down so their foreheads met as he answered. “Lies.”
“And when the information needed to save the world is easily found, I shall be certain to give you all due credit.” His face must have given away something of his thoughts, because she looked intrigued and her protest died before she could mumble it. He took advantage of the distraction – stepping away and prying her fingers from his shirt. When she moved to give chase he kissed her knuckles, smoothly picking up the drink she’d brought with his free hand.
“I will see you tonight.”
She gave a huff that made a grin spread across his face. She was singularly fun to tease. “It’s a promise, then.”
“Of course.” He watched her move to the door. “And Darcy, thank you for the drink.”
She waved her reply, slipping out the doors, and he watched her through the glass as she wandered back down the hall before shaking his head and turning his attention back to the screens in front of him.
It was hours later when he moved back from the screens again and rubbed his hands over his face. Sitting so long at a computer screen was still an oddity in his mind. Though he was grateful to be included in the work – it was fascinating research and held his interest as much as any spell book he’d studied in his youth. He still found he preferred the texture and personality of those dusty pages to the bright backlight of midgardian technology.
Still, theory and calculations will only carry one so far, and this had continued for months now. Loki was tired of thinking in circles. The upper corner of the screen informed him that it was already growing late and he did have a promise to keep. Still, testing this one theory would take only a few moments and at this hour the lab should be empty of any delicate mortals should anything unfortunate occur.
Mind decided, he was standing in the empty lab between one breath and the next. Before him was the glowing cylinder containing what he had made his project. A work of science and magic he – and several others among his teammates – hoped would replicate the infinite energy source of the cube that had brought so much trouble in years past. Though the original was returned and safe in Asgard and few were unhappy with those facts, it was a source of power that could solve many of this world’s problems so long as it was kept in safe hands. Hands that would never seek to turn such a force into a weapon.
Guarded by the Avengers, and given into the control of Tony and the Captain in the event of his departure from the realm, Loki was fairly certain this was a course worth pursuing.
He stepped slowly around the sphere, studying the pulse of it against his outstretched hand. Its energy was not the same as the cube, which had been wild and violent and seemed almost to think for itself. No. Loki’s work was far tamer, less likely to bite the hand that built it. Less likely to open portals for hostile forces. He’d been assured of that much. While the potential to open ways was certainly there, the sphere had no point of connection, and merely looped back on itself.
As he stood, the power seemed to wake. Magic was like that, and he could not have made anything of this nature without it being at least somewhat aware.
He checked the wires and machines connected to his creation first, double-checking those with explosive potential.
Part of him did desire to wait out the weekend, but it was best to initiate such a trial without an audience. However upset they may be with him for such action later. But metal heart or not, Tony was still less than durable. And Loki did not want to consider the possible effects of a mistake should Banner be present for it. It was only a week ago that he had been thrown into that bus, after all.
He reached into the fold of space where he kept his personal items of power and pulled the staff into existence. It was modeled on the spear Laufey had used to activate the cube. Loki had liked the idea of it and had designed his own to control this power source. Though this would not be a tool of destruction or mind control as the other had been, it would be an amplifier for his spell work and a safety measure for the sphere.
He held the staff against the glass wall of the cylinder and whispered the incantation that would send power outward.
The glass shattered.
Loki closed his eyes against the sudden glow as he was thrown back, and when he opened them again, it was to see the business end of guns pointed in his direction.