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“What do you call a shark that delivers Christmas presents? ...Santa Jaws! Haha… this is Darcy Talk.”

‘Welcome to Darcy Talk!’
‘Talk the talk and walk the walk!’
‘Turn it up and do not balk.’
‘Time for Darcy Talk!’

“Good evening everyone and welcome to another edition of Darcy Talk. As you know, this is my podcast where we sit and have coffee and talk about… pretty much anything. If you caught us last week, we were discussing why cozy mysteries always have cats on the covers instead of dogs, and whether or not having sex with a zombie would turn you into a zombie. 

“Today we have a special treat for all you listeners out there: the first in a special series of holiday-themed episodes. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be talking about holiday gift guides and how stupid they are, better methods for making gingerbread houses, whether or not you should hose down your asshole boss’s car the night before a major freeze, and many more exciting topics!

“We’ll begin today with something very special: holiday romance! See, most people think Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year. However, we here at Darcy Talk know that’s just commercial propaganda put out by big businesses so they can squeeze more money out of the love-starved and sex-crazed masses. No, true love can only be found on the happiest day of the year. And barring Free Pie Day at the diner, we have Christmas.

“With me today is my good friend and astrophysics doctoral candidate, Jane Foster. We also have Loki Odinson, the sexy rich guy who warms Jane’s bed. Jane, Loki, how are you feeling today?”

“Well, Darcy, I was having a lovely day until my ears were assaulted by the most unpleasantly grating sound I’ve ever heard.”

“Yeesh, that sounds rough. You know what it was?”

“Oh, it was a truly unholy wail. Something to the effect of ‘Welcome to Darcy talk. Walk the walk and talk the talk.”

“...”

“Have you ever heard anything so skull-shattering in your life?”

“It’s ‘talk the talk and walk the walk’, thank you. I don’t rhyme words with themselves and neither does my songwriter.”

“You can hire inanimate objects to write music?”

“Anyway! Now that Loki has introduced himself, why don’t we hear from Jane? Jane, tell us about yourself.”

“Did you take that shark joke from a children’s book?”

“Hi, I’m Jane. This lovely bundle of sunshine is my boyfriend, Loki. Loki doesn’t like to keep his thoughts to himself. It’s a problem we are working on.”

“You call it a problem. I call it character.”

“Of course you do, honey. So I’ve been studying astrophysics with a focus on wormholes for close to seven years now. Once I have my doctorate, I plan to spend a few years teaching while I work on getting funding for my project. I hope to build a fully functional Einstein-Rosen bridge within the next ten to twelve years.”

“Hell, yeah, we’re talking space vacations! Spend your summers on Mars. I want to hear all about that, Jane, but not today. Today, we’re discussing holiday love.”

“Just admit you don’t understand a word she’s saying, Darcy. It’s all right to be honest.”

“So! Jane. You and Loki have been together for about a year now. I believe your official anniversary is later this month, am I right?”

“Christmas Eve actually. I can’t believe it’s been a year already.”

“I can. Every second I spend with Jane is like a hundred years.”

“...uh…”

“You know flattery won’t get you anywhere, Loki.”

“Uh… okay. I see you guys have... a form of sweet talk. Anyway, let’s start from the beginning. Why don’t you tell us all how you met?”

“You mean you and all eleven of your listeners?”

“Listen, rich boy, if you think I’m going to-”

“ANYWAY… Loki and I met in the classroom. It was my last year of undergrad and we had an electromagnetic theory class together. The professor was… not the best.”

“He was an incompetent, self-important fool with hair like a dying rodent.” 

“Yeah, that. Loki hated him. And his hair for some reason.”

“Because it was hideous.”

“There are worse things in the world than bad hairpieces, you know.”

“Name one.”

“Guys, guys, focus. Class. What happened?”

“Right. Anyway, Loki was actually not in class for the first two days. The professor never did roll call so I didn’t even realize we were missing anyone. It didn’t matter since it was a four day a week class. He barely missed anything at all, except for the professor calling me Jen a hundred times.” 

“Was it really that much? Hm. I should have spoken to him about that.”

“No, you absolutely shouldn’t have, and don’t go do it now!”

“You never let me have any fun.”

“Anyway, part of our final grade was going to be a group assignment. We all needed at least one partner. He gave us a week to choose our groups so we could get started. I was kind of a loner and I wasn’t interested in sharing my work with someone else. So I spent those first few days coming up with a topic so spectacular, he’d have to let me work on my own so my vision wouldn’t be compromised.”

“Wow. I just want to let my audience know it is indeed Jane speaking. As far as I can tell, she has not been possessed by Loki, but I’m watching you, pal.”

"Is it that hard to believe that Jane and I were alike from the start?”

“You do not want an answer to that question. Jane, go ahead.”

“Well, Loki finally showed up on day three. The professor thought he had the wrong classroom at first. Probably didn’t help that Loki immediately started correcting a chart he’d written on the board.”

“Because it was wrong.”

“I know that, but I also know that calling the professor an imbecile five minutes into your first class isn’t a good idea.”

“Excuse me, dear, what I said was ‘only an imbecile would believe that Faraday’s law means a cat can be magnetized.’”

“Wait, he wanted to magnetize a cat?”

“Theoretically.”

“Right. So Loki gets to class, fights with the professor, but then it’s time to talk group assignments and partners and I’m getting ready to make my case for working alone when Loki walks right up to me and asks if we can work together.”

“Wait, he just asked you that with no preamble?”

“No preamble at all. I didn’t even know his first name yet. But of course, he asked me in front of the professor, so before I could say anything, he’d marked us down as partners. I was completely flustered and a little pissed off, but I figured there was nothing I could do now, so I’d have to make the best of it. Then Loki looked over my proposal and said it needed to be rewritten. Now I was really pissed.”

“Oooh, animosity. Gotta love that unresolved sexual tension.”

“Well, we didn’t really have sexual tension yet.”

“Yes, we did.”

“Loki.”

“What?”

“...as I was saying, Loki wanted to rewrite my proposal because he didn’t think my theories held water. Looking back, my theory was completely correct, but there were a few minor details that maybe did need to be changed a little.”

“See? We’ve made so much progress this last year.”

“Fuck you.”

“Please do.”

“Guys, seriously. This is supposed to be PG-13.” 

“Ah, then we’ve used our only swear. What a shame. Well, if I may take over from Jane, the next few weeks were rife with study sessions, meeting at the cafe, and a few lunches here and there. I was kind enough to pay for her meals-”

“You mean you slipped the waiter your card while I was in the bathroom.”

“-and showered her with compliments wherever possible.”

“You told me my jacket looked good for being two shades away from cotton candy.”

“Yes, it did look good on you.”

“Listeners, I think we can safely say this right here is true love in the making. I also think we can say that we’re on a time limit as I have other things I want to talk about this episode.”

“Right, sorry. So Loki and I spent the next few weeks working on our assignment and arguing about everything. Science, art, whether honey or peanut butter is better on apples.”

“We eventually agreed on honey.”

“We absolutely did not, and stop interrupting me. Anyway, by the time the project was complete I was certain I never wanted to see him again. He was, without a doubt, the most arrogant, self-absorbed, pretentious asshole I had ever met in my life.”

“And you were the most beautiful creature I had ever laid eyes upon. More sublime than a goddess.”

“Oh my God…”

“Dude, if you start waxing poetic about her ears, I swear I’m going to lose my lunch.”

“Can I help it if Jane puts the fire in my soul?”

“You can’t seem to help talking over me. Do you want to tell the story?”

“Certainly. Now, dear listeners, the first time Jane and I had sex-”

“No! No. No way. Back to me. So we finished the project and I thought I hated Loki. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I realized I kind of missed all those study sessions. He was a jackass, but an extremely intelligent jackass. We had great conversations and I never had to stop to explain anything to him. That sort of thing is hard to come by outside of the classroom. As a bonus, he was actually pretty funny when he wanted to be.”

“Always.”

“After I came to terms with not entirely hating Loki, I knew I had to talk to him. Problem is, the semester was over by then so we didn’t have class together anymore. In fact, I didn’t see him again for weeks and I wondered if maybe he’d transferred or gone back to the UK. I was about to give up entirely when I went out for a drink one night and found Loki arguing with some jock looking guy at the pool table.” 

“I had just defeated him in four out of five games.” 

“What happened with the fifth game?”

“Oh, the white ball flew out the window. A bad hit on his part.”

“So now this guy owed Loki a ton of money he didn’t want to pay. Apparently, he’d flashed some bills when he first challenged Loki and now he was trying to go back on it. If I remember correctly, he said something about pulling Loki’s spine out through his… rear end and using his finger bones to clean his teeth. I was thinking this was about to end in a bloodbath, so I figured I should do something. I walked over and said the first thing that came to my head.”

“‘Darling, I missed you so much. My dearest love-’”

“That’s not what I said. I said, ‘Honey, we need to get going if we’re going to make our reservation.’ So I got Loki out of there, and it looked like they weren’t going to follow us since the guy still had his money. Except then I found out Loki had filched the cash out of his pocket when we walked by. I still have no idea how.”

“It’s a simple technique.”

“And I don’t even want to know where you learned it. We were halfway down the street when the guy noticed his money was gone. He comes chasing after us. We’re running away. All his friends are with him so I’m thinking, ‘this is it, this is how I die, with a man I kind of hate but also partially like’ and would you believe one of the last things I wanted to do was kiss him? I just wanted to know if his lips tasted as good as they look.”

“They do.”

“Not in the morning they don’t. So i’s kind of a long story from here because we ended up having to run from these guys for about an hour. We hid out behind a grocery store and I was yelling at him for getting us into this mess. He was saying that it was my fault for getting involved in the first place. To top it all off, someone had thrown away a bunch of spoiled seafood and I still can’t look at shrimp cocktails the same way.”

“We did escape the men after a time and I believe my opponent was arrested shortly thereafter for drug possession. I spent his money on a lovely winter coat for Jane and sent him a thank you card in prison.”

“He actually did.”

“I never did get a response. So rude…”

“Okay, we are really running out of time here, so can we get to the love confession part?”

“Right, sorry, So skipping ahead a bit, we’re kind of friends now and that's going pretty well. It was almost Christmas and Loki invited me to spend it with his family. I was going to be on my own since my mom lives out of state and my godfather was traveling, so I figured, ‘why not?’ What I didn’t know was that Loki’s mom thought we were a couple, and when I got there, she hugged me.”

“She is an affectionate woman.”

“And then she made sure we sat next to each other and spent as much time together as possible. Not that we weren’t already doing that, but she was kind of… obvious about it. Then she started asking how we met, how long we’d known each other, what were my plans for the future, all that stuff. It was honestly a lot like an interrogation, but she was nice about it.”

“Uh-huh, uh-huh, and now the kiss?”

“Whoever said we kissed?”

“Loki, for fu-”

“PG-13.”

“Fudge’s sake. Please just continue.”

“Thank you, Darcy, now then, Loki and I were in the kitchen getting more cookies, and I said to him, ‘I think your mom thinks we’re a couple.’ And Loki said, ‘Of course she does. I don’t bring women home very often.’ I told him I was honored to be one of those select few, and then he got this weird look on his face like he wanted to say something. Obviously, I know why now, but at the time, I thought maybe I’d offended him. So we get the cookies and as we’re walking back to the living room, I trip over a box or something and Loki stops to help me stay upright. I’m sure you can guess what was directly above us.”

“Ooooh, a mistletoe kiss. Ungodly cliche but I love it.”

“Yeah, don’t get your hopes up because it didn’t go quite how you think. See, the doorway was right next to one of the trees. The Odinsons had three of them in various parts of the house. This was the smallest one, and a couple of kids were taking turns trying to climb it. Their parents usually stopped them, but one slipped through the cracks. I think it was your Aunt Frejya’s son?”

“Most likely. The boy is a hellion.”

“Yeah, he ran straight into the tree and knocked it over. Right into us.”

“Seriously?”

“Yup, we were on the floor, garlands, and baubles everywhere, and wouldn’t you know it, my lips landed right on Loki’s.”

“Actually you were off a bit. The side of my mouth was red for a few hours.”

“Oh yeah, I did use my teeth, didn’t I?”

“You bit him?”

"It was an accident. I wasn’t expecting to be on top of him.” 

“I knew it was a good idea to invite you guys on the show.”

“Well, as you can imagine, after that Loki and I pretty much had to confess. Loki’s mom was apologizing and Aunt Frejya was lecturing her son, and all I could think was that his lips really did taste good. Like chocolate and honey.”

“And you still will not concede that honey is superior to peanut butter.”

“Because it isn’t. Have you never had a Reese’s?” 

“Okay, before you guys get into your lover’s spat, what advice do you have for all the holiday singles out there looking to find their miracle?”

“Watch plenty of Hallmark movies and do everything they tell you to.”

“That’s not real advice, Loki.”

“Oh, and what’s yours?”

“Well… uh, always have just one Christmas tree. And always keep it far away from the kitchen, and don’t hustle money from angry college kids, and don’t be so quick to judge someone by your first impression of them. You never know what you might find.”

“Aw, a shaky beginning but a wonderful finish. Thank you both for joining me today on Darcy Talk. I’m sure you guys have a whole bunch of people shipping you now. And if nothing else, maybe that jock guy is listening and can take comfort in knowing his money was well spent.” 

“Are you even able to broadcast farther than your basement? This is a basement we’re in right now, in case your immediate family was wondering-”

“Okay, next we will be discussing holiday-themed drinking games for all your wild party needs. But first, we’ll have a word from our sponsors here on Darcy Talk.”

Welcome to Darcy talk.
Talk the talk and walk the walk.
Turn it up and do not balk.
This is Darcy Talk!

“You really couldn’t think of anything better than ‘do not balk’?”

“Oh my God, shut up.”