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Channeling Alfred

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Darcy had to admit that the Bifrost was a nifty way to travel. And that getting to go on a vacation with her friends, just for fun, was quite a change. Bruce had come with—a bunch of supers did—to learn from Asgard. But Jane had come to plan her wedding with Thor and had asked Darcy to come with for advice. However, in the hustle and bustle of everyone arriving they had gotten separated. Now Darcy was being shown around the palace with she was pretty sure was Thor’s equivalent to Alfred.

“Since you are the maid to Prince Thor’s betrothed, you will be expected to keep her rooms clean, and to ask for more staff should you need it. You will be charged with keeping her schedule and making sure she is appropriately clothed. I believe the Queen has arranged for her to have some clothing that is in the Asgard fashion. While she may wear your Midgardian garb when working, she is expected to wear the proper attire at all other times. Do you have any questions?” The woman demands of Darcy.

Darcy considered for one second correcting her, but then decided that so many people had helped her throughout the years, and Jane was quickly becoming her closest friend so shrugging and rolling up her metaphorical sleeves Darcy asked about what was appropriate for Asgard dinners and all the things a socialite should know in any culture to better be able to help Jane fit in.

As her guide excuses herself, Darcy looks into the wardrobes provided for Jane. The gowns were beautiful, but there was a lack of practical clothing that Jane would need when conducting her experiments. Deciding the tailors and seamstresses should be the first people Darcy talks to, she sets off to find her way to their part of the palace.

“Hi! I’m Lady Jane’s…maid. The gowns you all have made are glorious works, and I know she will adore them. However…Lady Jane is a little bit like Sif. She works and works hard. She’ll need more common gowns and even shirts and pants. Would it be possible to provide her with such clothes?”

The head seamstress returns Darcy’s greeting and then agrees. She and the head tailor start to ask Darcy more questions about what Jane does and what kind of movement she needs in her clothes. She happily tells them all about her best friends and her style choices. She also explains that pockets in Jane’s fancier gowns will ensure that she will wear them, as she’ll have a place to put any ideas she comes up with. After about an hour’s worth of work Darcy leaves, happy with what they’ve accomplished. She decides to head down to the stables next.

“G’morning, I’m Milos. How may I help a fair lass such as yourself?” A wide shouldered man in sturdy pants and a dark colored shirt greets Darcy with a wave and wide smile.

“Why hello! I’m Lady Jane’s maid, Darcy. I came to see about getting her a horse. She has only ridden once when she was young.”

“Ah, so our prince’s betrothed will be needin’ something gentle eh?” The man scratches his chin in thought.

“Yes, and she is also very likely to work while she is riding, so a horse that wouldn’t mind odd behavior for a rider would also be for the best.”

“Hm…how likely is the lady to care for her horse? I mean obviously I expect she’ll be busy and she’ll have responsibilities—”

“Jane is very fond of animals. I think she’s tried to steal my cat on almost a weekly basis. I think that if you help her understand what her horse wants and needs, she’ll almost always be attentive. She does sometimes get pulled in by her work but she’s very dedicated.”

Milos thinks for a moment before seeming to decide something. “Well, I think I might have a horse for her. He’s a sweet lad, surprisingly patient considerin’ he’s a bit of a trickster sometimes. He does need attention but I think if its just occasionally that she goes off for work we can care for him then. How ‘bout I take you over to him and see if you think him and the Lady Jane will get along?”

Darcy nods and they head to a stall a little way down. Inside is a chestnut gelding who peeks his head out of his stall curiously as the sound of their footsteps reach him. When Milos nears the horse nuzzles against his chest, clearly looking for something. Laughing, Milos pulls out an apple from one of his pockets. After munching on his treat, he turns to Darcy investigating her.

“Hello there! What’s his name?” She steps up to the horse letting him smell her. Milos hands Darcy another treat while letting her know the gelding’s name is Seamus. The horse enchants Darcy and she knows he’ll be good for her best friend. She sets up a time for Jane to begin lessons.

Darcy continues the rest of her day that way, flitting around the palace and its grounds—smoothing the way for Jane here and befriending the right person there. After the third little thing she does, she asks one of the servants for paper and something to write with, leaving Jane detailed notes for the next time she visited without her so she would remember who was more inclined to be helpful, and the few people who had looked down their noses at Darcy. She finishes getting ready for the welcome feast and heads for the great hall, confident in her mental map after having been all over the palace today.

~~~

She finally gets to the hall, happily heading over to where her brother stands with Jane, Superman, Steve, and the others when someone harshly grabs her arm. Darcy glances up, and up, into the face of a man nearly as tall as Thor, and certainly wider. His brown hair and beard are unkempt and he already smells of alcohol.

“Hey! Let go of me!” Darcy commands, trying to tug her arm away. Bruce and Clark both see what is going on and start to move towards where she is currently stuck.

“Nah little Midgardian maid. You want to ease the way for the future queen right?” The man jeers. Darcy’s face scrunches up in anger, and she gives up tugging on her arm to grab for the taser she snuck along on the trip despite Steve asking her not to, and Bruce telling her very clearly he didn’t want her to bring it. She jabs it into the man’s arm, baring her teeth fiercely as his grip loosened and he fell.

Milos comes up to her and shoves the man into the arms of two guards who had come up at the first shout. Shaking his head he turns to Darcy and says, “I’m sorry lass. Drunk fool has no sense, grabbing women from other realms without any ideas of who they really are. Believin’ that tale about being simply a maid. Are you alright?”

“Yeah, I’m okay. Um how—”

Milos waves her off, explaining, “Well first, no one said anything about the Lady Jane having a maid in all the talks preparing for your visit—that’s why Queen Frigga assigned one. I’m guessing the real one saw you and decided you’d do to be her scapegoat. Plus, the big blond one over there came lookin’ for you about an hour after you stopped by and explained the whole thing. I told him it seemed like you were enjoying yourself and that if you didn’t want to be doing it for your friend that you’d probably stop. I’ll explain things here, you go find the Lady Jane and your friends. I’m sure they’re lookin’ for you.”

Darcy thanks him and makes her way where Jane and Steve are, explaining what she’s been up to all day. Bruce and Clark, nearby but not too close having settled once they saw Milos was there to help Darcy, are talking about what just happened.

~~~

“Well, I’m just glad it isn’t me that got tasered again.” Clark tells Bruce, remembering the bite of the modified gadget. Darcy looks around startled when she hears her brother break into an actual real laugh, but nothing she does or says will get him or Clark to tell her just what was so funny.