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Darcy was trying to reach her desk, but her feet moved in slow motion, as if the floor was covered in glue. She kept going, though, because work. Jane was having breakthroughs and needed Darcy to keep her data organized.

"Seriously sick of this," she whined, slogging across the floor.

"Allow me," some dude said, and scooped her up off her feet and cradled her to his chest.

"Oh! I'm dreaming," Darcy realized aloud. "That makes so much more sense than glue floors." She reached up, pulled the dude's head down, and snogged the hell out of him.

He was half-smiling, just the corner of his mouth turned up, when she stopped for air. "Shouldn't you get to work?"

"No way. Dreaming. Let's make out." She grabbed him again, still sitting in his arms with her knees in his armpit, and wound her hands in his long black hair and kissed him until her alarm woke her up.

She texted her BFF Sophie immediately: HOT MAN DREAMS. Need to get laid.

Sophie responded, Dream dudes > real dudes.

SOCIALLY AWKWARD PENGUIN

STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER tm

Oh whatevs going 2 work laters

She rolled out of bed and got showered and dressed for work. It was deeply unfair to dream of work and then have to go to work, she felt, but at least one had hot dudes in it.

*

Erik was still off in the desert doing classified things. Well, at least she got to know they were classified as opposed to getting a total stone wall. Progress! she thought. She fist-pumped a little as she walked into her apartment.

Just working and sleeping. I AM ROBO DARCY she texted Sophie, falling into bed.

You are iron gal?

Sooooooooooooooooooooon. Got to make Jane science differently.

She fell asleep with her phone still in her hand.

She was transcribing Jane's notes, because Jane was Caveman Physicist and wrote things down on paper. She felt the man's nose in her hair before he spoke. "What are you doing?" His breath tickled the back of her ear.

"You," Darcy said, spinning her chair into his arms.

"But you're at work," he said.

"You care way too much about my work, dude," she said. She shrugged her top off and her bra came with it, because she was dreaming.

"I don't want you to get in trouble." He didn't even seem distracted by her boobs. What.

"Jane has her own dreams with her own hot guys. This is mine. Look, nipples," she said, shaking her shoulders so her breasts wobbled alluringly.

The man grinned.

They got through topless makeouts and into nipple sucking by the time the alarm went off. Darcy woke up with her clit throbbing. "Argh," she told the ceiling.

*

The next night, she dreamed she was in Jane's lab checking the security settings when the man came up behind her. She leaned against him--jeez, he was tall; her head didn't even reach his shoulder--and covered the pin pad with her hands as she entered the code with her little finger.

The man cupped her breasts through her shirt. "You are devoted to duty," he said.

"I have the whole world in my hands," Darcy said.

"These little hands?" He nosed the top of her head, his hands sliding down her arms.

"Hands use tools. I tazed an alien once."

The man laughed. "Truly?"

"He was having a giant space tantrum." Darcy remembered, the darkness, the storm, the van, Thor staggering around yelling at the sky, and she could see it in front of her, real in the dream. She raised her taser and Thor started toward her, huge in her memory, and she pulled the trigger and he went down. The scene paused there, replaying Thor jerking like a fish on the end of her electrodes.

She still didn't regret it. Thor was nine feet tall and super-strong even in a human body or whatever his deal was back then. Thor hadn't held it against her. He said she was fierce.

"You seek to bring him back to you?"

"Jane does. I'm helping."

"Why?"

"He's a kindly space alien with advanced technology. I've seen Stargate: SG1, I know the score," she said. "Which also had a Thor, but not as buff, plus he experimented on humans. I like this one better."

"Did Stargate: SG1 have a Loki?" the man asked. He drew her arms closer and traced his thumb over the taser.

"I don't think so. It's been a long time since I saw it and the little gray guys all looked the same."

"Loki is Thor's equal. In some areas his better. Without Loki, Thor is nothing but a buffoon stumbling across the nine realms."

"Okay," Darcy said. "Done geeking out over TV. I thought you were supposed to be my sexy dream honey?" She turned in his arms and looked up at him, tall as a tree. She had such an embarrassing stereotypical thing for tall guys.

He cupped her face. "Remember that. It's more important than you know. Thor needs Loki." He bent down and kissed her. "But Loki does not need Thor."

The dream got fuzzy as they got steamy, first hazy and then literally furry as the man laid her down on a bearskin rug or some damn thing, and then he was nibbling her thigh and sliding cold fingers into her vag, which was unbearably good and way too much--

She woke up panting. She grabbed her rack and groaned at the ceiling. Seriously. Enough.

*

"Stop working on Sunday!" Darcy bitched at Jane. "It's your day off!"

"Huh? But these energy readings are in." Jane blinked at the calendar. "Do you want the day off? You can go."

"No, I can't, because you will put your readings in the wrong place and accidentally vaporize Iowa," Darcy said.

"I'm not emitting any energy. I won't vaporize anyone."

"You're not emitting any energy today."

"Okay, I'm on the verge of maybe finding the right signature, so I might try something next week, but seriously, you can go home, I'm fine," Jane said. She stuck her pen in her mouth and read her printouts (on paper, so many dead trees, so many).

Darcy stayed another six hours, until she was basically napping at her desk with her chin resting on her fist.

Sexy dream man tucked her hair behind her ear. He lifted her hand and kissed her fingertips. "You are bruised from toil," he said.

Jane shook her shoulder and Darcy jolted awake. "Go home," Jane said.

"Only if you do," Darcy said.

"I'm going. I'll drive you."

Jane wasn't as bad a driver in a Kia as in the huge research van. She didn't hit even one person as she drove Darcy home. "I do appreciate you keeping everything running for me, though," Jane said. "You don't have to, but you do a good job."

"You can thank me with croissants when you pick me up. I like chocolate and almond but not together."

Jane smiled. "Sure."

There were a dozen texts from Sophie when she checked her phone, saying she was in Georgetown at a club, come down! Then asking why she wasn't there, then saying oh come on, then just a sad face. Shit. Darcy texted sorry I suck back.

SO MUCH, Sophie replied.

Promise you can be my minion when I become an evil overlord.

words words words.

Sexy dream man was there right away when she fell asleep. She hugged her pillow as it became an arm. He was curled around her, tall as her bed was long and heavy as stone.

She rolled into his arms and looked up at him. "You do have advantages over real boyfriends," she said. "You never smell."

"I'd rather die," he said.

"Even Thor smelled when he got out of the hospital. He was sweaty and gross."

"He sets a low bar. Shall I show you?"

"Okay." She was already naked, because this was a dream and things were easy. Her makeup was perfect, too, and didn't smear all over his face.

He slipped two long fingers inside her as he kissed her. His thumb worked across her clit and hey, he was naked too. "Are you still dreaming of work?" he asked.

Darcy opened her eyes and her bed was in front of her desk. "Well, I wasn't. Weirdo."

"Would you like your superior to see you this way?" They were in Jane's office, now, watching Jane calibrate things while the man still had his fingers up Darcy's vag.

"Ugh, no," Darcy said, but she didn't protest very hard. Dream Jane didn't notice them.

"What is she doing?"

"Science," Darcy said. "High-energy interstellar astrophysics."

"What would happen if she turned around and saw us? Would the building shake? Would the sky burn?" His hand moved faster. He had very strong hands.

"Um," Darcy said. She was busy rubbing her thighs against his forearm and couldn't really banter.

"Would the stars fall?" He knelt over her, between her knees. "Shall I cascade you with jewels and call you my queen?"

Darcy nodded, because his hands were very persuasive. She blinked as she started dreaming diamonds falling gently all around them. That was new.

The jewels fell around her like rain, plopping down on her naked skin without pain, just slithery sensation. The man pulled his fingers out with a last delicious caress and lifted her up into his lap. "No woman has felt this for a thousand years," he breathed into her ear, and then he pushed his cock inside.

"Felt this two months ago, dude, not that yours isn't nice." It was nice. It hit all the secret gardens.

"You are entirely wrong." He was holding her up with his hands on her hips while he rolled his hips into her. Diamonds still fell around them, skating over her skin like a million little fingers. Tiny jewels caught in the curls of her hair. "I am nothing you have ever seen before," the man said.

"Right, you are Sexulus, God of Sexing," Darcy said, leaning back in his arms, rolling her hips and her eyes in unison.

"I am god of hidden places, magic, and mystery." He rolled his hips with her, going deep in their sparkling ocean.

"God of vagina? Seriously, I need a real boyfriend." Darcy grabbed his arms and bounced hard, hunting out her orgasm, which was almost there, so close--

He held her hips down, stopping her from moving and stopping her orgasm in its tracks. Rude. But he was biting his lip, pulling her in closer, and something was happening with his cock, like it was getting harder. No, bigger. It was getting bigger. She so, so, so needed a real boyfriend, but in her dream he was swelling inside her and she was coming so hard she was shuddering.

And he was still swelling up inside her. She clenched hard, shaking and starting to come again, and he brushed his thumb against her clit and she hit that second peak so hard and good she yelled it out.

She sagged into her bed, not sure if she was awake or asleep. She was sweaty and swampy. Seriously, did she squirt in her sleep?

She blinked fully awake. It was two in the morning. She got up, peed, threw her underwear in the laundry, and went back to bed.

The man was still locked inside her. It ached sweetly, made her vag throb without pushing her toward orgasm. He held her cradled in his lap. "How do you like my parts?" he asked.

"They're special," she murmured into his chest.

He ran his fingertips up and down her back. "I didn't know what to make of it at first. So much was explained when I found out who I really am. And who are you?" he asked, looking down into her face. "Who are your friends? Who are your people?"

"I'm Darcy. My friends are super secret special scientists. My people are lady nerds with awesome racks," she said sleepily. She rested her cheek against his chest and closed her eyes. Did you get double rest if you slept in a dream?

"And Thor?"

"He's a million billion miles away."

"Is Jane close to bringing him back?"

"No way."

"And your friend Erik?"

"I dunno, he's doing classified stuff somewhere else. Why do you have a magic expanding penis?"

He leaned back, holding her on top of him. "Because I am a magical being come to invade your mind and body while you sleep. This is my nature, as it is yours to crave this invasion." He kissed her and she fell asleep.

*

Darcy woke up slightly freaked out, because what? Seriously, what?

She ate and dressed for work quietly, trying to figure out what the hell that dream meant. She knew about the teeth falling out dreams and the work dreams and the school dreams and the naked in public dreams, but she was damn sure there was nothing on the internet about magic giant cock dreams.

Halfway through work, a pack of SHIELD agents showed up. They were plainclothes, but not all that subtle. The boss lady stepped up and shook Jane's hand. "Dr Foster, I'm Agent May. We have detected energy readings similar to the Bifrost signature at an observatory in Norway and request your immediate assistance on site."

"Oh my god! Yes! Let me--Darcy, help me pack!" Jane fluttered in a circle, grabbing her notebook, a pen, a hard drive, then dropping them all in her purse. "No, wait, the laptop, the EMO detector, and the array, that's all I need, then we can go!" Jane took off toward her other lab.

Darcy stood still, because she was the one who sorted out the details, and figured Jane could buy clothes or wear SHIELD gear so they didn't need that, and Jane had her migraine medicine in her purse so that was okay, and that guy was armed. Well, this was SHIELD, but he had the gun on his belt, not hidden in a shoulder holster, and Agent May had the big-thigh big-bicep look and the combat boots under business casual thing that was always a giveaway, because Darcy noticed shoes, always.

And, oh shit, she'd never asked Thor what his brother looked like. They hadn't had time and Jane was all "how does your hammer work" and "can I feel your arms again" and there wasn't time for "does Loki have red hair like in this book" and oh shit. Agent May was watching her.

"So, is this because Loki just showed up on Earth?" she said. Her voice was shaking a little bit.

May's expression didn't change. "Now why would you ask that?"

Darcy felt woozy. She sat down. "Because Loki has been showing up in my dreams trying to get a look at Jane's work, I'm pretty sure," she said.

May pulled her phone out of her pocket. "Him?" It was a surveillance camera shot. Her sexy dream bunny looked greasy and exhausted and was wearing big gold horns on his head, but it was unmistakably him.

"Yeah. Um. I'm going to throw up," Darcy said.

May snagged a trash can, but Darcy didn't hurl in the end. She swallowed hard and the sick feeling settled in her stomach into pure, hot wrath, and she sank her teeth into her lip and looked up at the agent.

"How long has this been going on?" May asked.

"A week."

'How did you recognize him?"

"Because he basically told me, just I thought I was dreaming. He is crazy jealous of Thor. So jealous. And he loves to talk, I mean, if he was smart he wouldn't have said jack, but he kept asking questions about how close Jane was to bringing Thor back."

Jane returned with her arms full of gear. "I'm good! Darcy, are you good?"

"Jones, take Dr Foster to the airport. I'll transport Ms Lewis separately," May said. Jones nodded and about half the agents broke off around Jane.

"Wait, why?" Jane asked.

"It's cool, Jane, I just have to do some stuff," Darcy said.

Jane frowned but started moving, though she did look back at Darcy as the agents ushered her out.

"Like tell your bosses everything, right?" Darcy said to May.

"Yep. I'm taking you to our field office."

*

"And then his dick grew. Like, like this," Darcy demonstrated with her fist.

May raised her eyebrows. "How did that go?"

"Freaky hot, like when you dream about getting it on with a werewolf."

"Okay." May typed some stuff.

"I refuse to be embarrassed of my dreams, dude."

May's mouth curved slightly. "Dr. Foster is safe in Tromsø. She's wondering where you are."

"Don't bullshit her too hard. She's small but fierce." Darcy yawned. She'd been here for hours, and freakout adrenaline only lasted so long before the crash.

May glanced at her. "Tired?"

"Yeah. I haven't been sleeping that well." Darcy rolled her eyes.

"Do you think you can sleep with an armed woman in the room?"

Darcy gestured between them. "We have been bonding over my messed up bedtime adventures! Come on, we're like sisters now. Put on the Kevlar pajamas and let's go."

Darcy bedded down in an office with a locking door and a super comfy sofa. It was, actually, weirdly comforting to have Agent May in the room, like a nightlight crossed with a teddy bear crossed with Mulan. (She'd been twelve when Mulan came out, just young enough to have Mulan notebooks and t-shirts and Halloween costume unironically. She'd broken her plastic sword on Bobby Wheeler for teasing her for wearing a bra already. Mulan was boss.)

She closed her eyes.

Loki smiled.

"I will zap the shit out of you," Darcy said. She held her hands in front of her, taser materializing as she moved. This was her goddamn dream and nobody else was in charge.

"You have fire," Loki said. "But I have an army."

"You have stupid hair," Darcy said.

Loki stopped smiling. "Why this discourtesy? When I rule this world, you could be my favorite pet."

"Are you seriously even listening to yourself? Flirty dream guy was sexy. Snide world conquering guy is not."

"Sadly, then, this is farewell." Loki reached out and Darcy's finger tightened on the trigger. "No kiss for your rightful king?"

"We kicked our king out two hundred and thirty years ago and really don't need another one."

Loki frowned and lifted his nose in the air. "Ready yourself. I have already won."

Darcy woke up with her fists clenched. "Okay, okay, he said he has an army, he said he's going to be king, and he said he's already won." She sat up and looked at May, her heart hammering in her chest. "Also he always has to get the last word."

May nodded. "Are you all right?"

"Ugh!" She stood and flipped on the light. "Am I bleeding or covered in snakes or anything?"

May looked her over top to bottom. Darcy looked at her hands and feet. "Do you feel all right?" May asked.

"Yeah. But I feel like he's the kind of creeper that restraining orders are made for. Ugh!" she shouted. "I'm going back to bed."

"I'll wake you up if there are snakes," May said.

She nestled into the couch but couldn't relax. The fourth time she turned over, May said softly, "Try counting backwards from three hundred by sevens."

It worked. When she reached 181, she was flying over the Atlantic Ocean, trying to catch all the numbers that were falling out of Jane's hands as she chased rainbows.

"Slow down!" she yelled. "Come on, I'm in a delicate condition here!" Which was weird, because wtf did that even mean? She looked down at herself and screamed so hard she woke up.

Agent May was out of her chair with her gun drawn and pointed at the ceiling. Darcy yanked her shirt up and stared at her stomach.

Flat. Well, as flat as it got. Not real. "I'm dream pregnant with Loki's dream baby," Darcy said. "I want a really, really, really big coffee."

*

It was possible it wasn't real, but that raised the question of what "real" was. Loki was real and his powers were real, right? Agent May said SHIELD had a suspect in custody with a certain tilt to her eyebrows that meant they had Loki behind bars. "Black Widow said thanks for the intel," May said.

"I am so glad I'm on the good side of someone code named 'deadly spider'," Darcy said, and May chuckled.

Darcy kept drifting off, despite the coffee, encountering her giant belly (so big, why was it so big already? oh fuck, something is alive in there) and jerking awake.

May didn't object to Darcy sleeping on her. She was the best pal a dream pregnant undergrad involved in an alien invasion could want.

*

Darcy watched the Battle of New York on CNN clutching a 16-ounce four-shot extra whipped cream mocha while the office scrambled around her. By the time all the agents were in the air, the battle was over, but they continued to New York anyway, leaving May behind with Darcy.

"So Thor showed up. Jane will be happy."

"They really bonded, didn't they?"

"He talked nerdy to her. She swooned," Darcy said. "Also, don't you think it's weird that Asgard is a hereditary monarchy? I think it's due to the lower population. They live for thousands of years so the resource consumption has to be through the roof, so one world couldn't sustain nearly as many Asgardians as humans, and I'm a political science major, not a science science major, so could I maybe get a real job with SHIELD doing this stuff?"

"Maybe," May said.

"Fuck, I've had a lot of coffee."

"Yeah. Try sleeping again. I'm going to catch a nap now that it's over, so I'll be right there. Maybe now that he's caught, you'll be better."

"Okay. Okay," Darcy said. "Okay, let's do this." She let a breath out. May took her arm and brought her back to the same office. She pulled a chair up to the sofa and sat on the sofa with her legs on the chair, left her gun in her shoulder holster and put the pillow in her lap. She gestured for Darcy to come curl up.

Darcy did, fitting herself into the rest of the sofa. She was vibrating from caffeine but still exhausted from the past two days. Being horizontal felt good but she might never sleep again.

May clicked something. "The Cavalry checking in. Electron is stable, going into orbit." Then she rested her hand on Darcy's arm.

"I'm codename Electron?"

"Mm-hm. Dr. Foster is Proton, Dr. Selvig is Neutron, at least in this operation."

"That seems ominous," Darcy said fuzzily.

"It's really not. Just names."

"Wait, so you're The Cavalry? Like, here comes The Cavalry over the hill?"

"Mm-hm. Why do you think I'm here alone? Home office knows I can handle whatever happens."

"Awesome," Darcy said.

*

She hurt. She hurt. Oh, God, she hurt, she must be awake, dreams didn't hurt like this, what was happening?

Her belly was happening. It was happening. She screamed, trying to wake up.

Couldn't wake up.

This was happening. She could feel it, something alive inside her, moving outside her. She just screamed and tried not to fucking explode.

It took forever. It took a week, easy, pushing and hurting, feeling something shouldering through her body, but it couldn't be that long, not when her vagina wasn't that big, seriously, and she could feel it moving in by inch. So seven minutes, seven days, a year, an hour, the real question was WHAT WAS SHE PREGNANT WITH? She had seen Alien one too many times for this, i.e., once.

"Fuck, just end already!" she yelled at nobody. She pushed hard and. And. Done.

Corgi?

She'd given birth to a corgi, she was pretty sure. It was slimy and had its eyes closed in that new puppy way, but it had short little legs, and when she cleaned it off with her shirt it had golden corgi fur with a fluffy white belly.

It squeaked.

She woke up drenched with sweat. "Darcy! Darcy, wake up! Darcy!" May yelled.

"Fuck! I'm up! Fuck!"

"You were screaming and I couldn't wake you! What happened?" May was kneeling beside the sofa. She reached up and cupped Darcy's face.

"Oh my god, I had the baby," Darcy said. "Oh shit."

May gave her the good drugs and she didn't sleep for two days.

*

Darcy was extremely awake. She'd kind of forgotten what being sleepy felt like. Damn these were good drugs. She could use them at finals time.

Agent May's first name was Melinda and she was a very good friend. She'd brought Darcy to SHIELD headquarters in NYC and told a big bald dude with an eyepatch that Darcy was just as ballsy as all hell. Her exact words were "Ms. Lewis provided us with valuable intel on multiple occasions during her interactions with the subject," but that was code for "she is highly employable." Darcy was a little bit in love.

They were bringing some kind of specialist in. Loki had messed with a couple other people, Melinda said, and the specialist was going to disenchant them all.

"Cool," Darcy said. She was doing sit-ups in the gym.

"You're going to regret that when you come down," Melinda said.

"Yeah, I know."

*

The specialist, and this was so good, was called Dr. Strange. Seriously. He had a SHIELD ident card clipped to his shirt and everything.

She was in a room with Erik and a couple of agents, Barton and Mann, because they'd all been brainwashed by Loki, which was so much worse than hot dream sex under false pretenses. At least she still had her free will. "But when did he get you, Darcy?" Erik asked. "I thought I remembered everything." He looked crushed.

"Um, it's complicated." She wasn't going to tell Erik about dream sex. Erik was older than her dad.

Dr. Strange (lol) did something with his hands and some magic blue stuff drifted out of Erik's and the agents' heads. It was pretty cool, like living smoke. Then he looked at her.

He waved his hands around some. Darcy waited.

"Do you want to keep the baby?" Dr. Strange asked, because of course he did.

"WHAT!" Erik jumped to his feet. "Darcy, what has he done to you?!" He hugged her. So awkward.

"But is it real?" Darcy asked. "It's just a dream baby, isn't it? I mean, people dream of all kinds of shit."

"You may, if you wish, forget it like any other dream," Dr. Strange said.

"Of course she will! Darcy, whatever he did, you are safe now," Erik said.

"Dude! I'm okay. He snuck into my dreams to check on Jane's work. I don't even know if he would have done anything if I hadn't kinda jumped him," Darcy said. "And I need a straight answer, are you saying it's a real baby and not a dream baby?"

"It exists in the Kingdom of Dream. If I sever the connection, it will continue to exist. I cannot say more than that."

"Will Loki come get him in the dream world? What will happen?" Fuck, this was actually happening, she actually had a puppy son in an alternate dream reality.

"I cannot say," Dr. Strange repeated.

One of the SHIELD agents, Barton, spoke up. "Will bringing the baby through create a doorway for Loki?"

"No," Dr. Strange said.

Barton shrugged. "I like dogs. I'll take him."

"No!" Darcy yelled. "He's mine! No, I'm serious, bring him through, he's my kid. Or my pet, I don't know! My mom would never talk to me again if I abandoned a puppy!"

"Darcy, think about what you're doing," Erik started to say, but Dr. Strange was already waving his hands around and the puppy materialized on the table in front of her. "--Oh," Erik said. "I was expecting something more eldritch."

"I thought maybe pit bull," Barton said.

The corgi puppy squeaked and wriggled into Darcy's hands.

*

She named him Scrappy, then decided he should have a person name and named him Bob, then spent a long night curled up with him, really thinking about things, and named him Ferris Foster Lewis. Foster for Jane, who was going to shit a brick when she found out about this and go get Thor from Asgard, and Ferris because she thought that was a good name for a dog who was half human and half alien god. He was her little Ferris Bueller corgi baby with the softest bat ears and the biggest baby paws.

*

"He's adorable," Melinda said, because she was spectacular in every way. She cradled Ferris in her arms and tickled his belly. "Oh, his eyes aren't even open yet! Aww." She smooched his forehead.

Darcy was slightly more than half in love.

*

Jane turned bright red and word-exploded when she found out what was going on. Then she took gamma readings off Ferris and said he was clean, which was good. Then she started yelling about Thor, only putting a cork in it when Ferris needed his next bottle.

"Did he--did Loki--are you okay?" Jane asked.

"I'm okay. I mean, what he did to me sucked, but SHIELD is paying for therapy and Ferris is awesome. Check it out, he's going to puppy belch!" She rubbed his tummy, helping his organs work. Ferris waved his paws and let out the teeniest high-pitched burp.

"Oh my god," Jane said. "That's so cute. And so gross."

"Right?" Darcy said.

Jane burst into tears.

*

Met a hot fed, Darcy texted Sophie.

Oooo girl. Get him.

HER

STFU, I AM NOT HOMOPHOBIC, IT WAS ALWAYS GUYS BEFORE, ALSO HOW HOT, SEND PICS.

Darcy snapped a shot of Agent May climbing into a helicopter.

DAT ASS, Sophie replied.

Real girlfriend > dream boyfriend.

Not sold but you go get her.

She is helping me bottle feed my new puppy AND cleaning up his poop.

oh shit that is real love.

*

"Tony invited me to stay in the tower as Thor bait. I want you to come," Jane said.

"You got it, boss," Darcy said, and Ferris yipped from her lap.

"It'll be good for Ferris. He has a human brain," Jane said.

Darcy picked him up and nibbled his ear. "I love my baby boo no matter what kind of brain he has." Ferris wagged and licked her cheek.

"I bet Tony has an fMRI to check his cognitive complexity."

"I bet he would make Ferris some robot dog friends."

*

Barton was perched in the rafters of the garage as Darcy waited for Melinda, who was in town for the day. "Boys are dumb, throw rocks at them!" Darcy shouted at him.

"Where's the baby?"

"With Auntie Jane."

"I'ma teach him to fetch."

"He thinks fetch is boring. Teach him Frisbee golf." Darcy turned around and Melinda was there with a raised eyebrow.

"Human brain, then?" Melinda asked.

"Yep. I have a dog-shaped mostly-human semi-alien baby," Darcy said.

"I knew he was special," Melinda said, because she was perfect. She kissed Darcy and Darcy moved her hand to her breast because dammit, Darcy was getting lucky tonight, and she didn't want to wait through dinner.

*

The best part was when Jane figured out the Bifrost, went to Asgard, and yanked Thor back by his pretty blond hair.

"Yo! Ferris, come to mama," Darcy said, and Ferris jumped up into her arms. "Tell your dad I want child support," Darcy told Thor.

Thor raised his eyebrows. "Is he my brother's son?" He reached out his arms and Ferris jumped over and stared at him.

"Yep. I banged him without knowing it was him. It was complicated. Then I had a dog baby. But Ferris is an awesome kid," Darcy said.

"Loki made no mention of it. I do not think he knows."

"I don't want him back or anything, I just want some help raising my super-genius magical boy child."

Ferris wuffed.

"I am pleased to meet you as well, nephew!" Thor said, and kissed the top of Ferris's head. "How well grown you are when you are nothing more than a babe!"

Ferris woofed.

"We shall hunt together in the endless forests of Vanaheim!"

Ferris high-fived him.

"And I could use a crown," Darcy said, on reflection.

*

She got a crown. Ferris got a helmet and the promise of a suit of armor when he came of age.

Ferris taught Odin to high-five.

"My life completely makes sense," Darcy told Melinda later, in bed, wearing nothing but the crown. "Total sense. Not crazysauce at all."

"Mm-hmm," Melinda said.

*

the end.