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I Didn't Mean to Make You First Lady of the World, but While We're on the Subject I think You'd be Really good at It.

Chapter Text

Loki arrived on Midgard in the dark of night through the tesseract’s portal with a suitably dramatic landing. As he blasted a few mortals with Thanos' spear, eyes flaring blue with the mind stone’s power in a tiny corner of his mind he mused that he may have been on the tail end of a few months round the clock torture and constant mental and magical strain but this just proved that he would never ever lose his natural flair for drama, nor his preference for using said drama as a means to carry out a rather cunning plan.

Well, cunning enough under the circumstances. It didn’t have his usual finesse and the finer details were a bit shady at this point, but it was the best plan for the circumstances if you asked him.

He’d had a few, in the darkness of his cell in the quiet of the one part of his mind Thanos had no access to. This was fairly difficult (and by that he really means near impossible) to manage, and he needed to be constantly vigilant, so sleep hadn’t exactly been an option for Loki in past months. Norns he was tired. But yes, he had plans. One that he almost gone with would have seen him fail an invasion spectacularly and end up in the fine hospitality of Asgard’s penal system all the while gathering this world’s heroes so they were ready when the greater danger came- because it would come. While at the time jail in Asgard had seemed like an excellent change from Thanos’ cruel and rather creepy adoption regimen, the fallen prince of Asgard had decided to go with something a little different, and hopefully a lot more fun. He sailed through the Midgardian chamber, following the compulsion of the mind gem as it reacted spectacularly with the tesseract, tearing even bigger holes in his psyche. As he shot and killed a few rogue agents and made a good show of violence his eyes flickered from blue to green and back again before shooting Fury in the chest without too much fuss. Hopefully the man wasn’t an idiot and was wearing armour.

Loki had spent months training his mind to resist the pull of the mind stone and all he could do was gain complete control for a moment before having his will bent once more. Gratefully for one with smarts like he did, that was all it would take. At this point, the rest was up to the human on the floor.

...

Fury watched the videos back after he gained a yet another Kevlar created bruise in a long career of them and losing half of strike team delta as well as some of his most trusted agents. On the second watch through he saw in that briefest moment when the god's eye's flickered a crumpled slip of paper had appeared out of nowhere and drifted to the floor forgotten as the iridescent blue had taken over the prince's countenance once more. He pointed at the screen. "Get me that paper."

On retrieval of this slip there was one line written in a boxy hand more used to writing in runes than the English alphabet, but it was neat all the same.

Greetings Midgardians.

I should think a good knock to the head ought to do it.

Yours, Loki of Asgard.

 

 

Chapter Text

BUMFUCK NOWHERE, NEW MEXICO, AROUND ONE YEAR LATER PROBABLY...

Darcy had missed most of it; actually pretty much all of it. She’d been out in the desert for who knew how long and it had all happened so damn fast. A practically instantaneous take over. Rumour had it that he had access to mind control and hadn’t used it having been a victim of it himself. Instead he’d won SHIELD over with his natural born charm and wit, and by cleansing them of a concerning underground Nazi organisation and curing AIDS. After that he’d swiftly gained power over countries one after another. Politicians and rulers had mostly just stepped aside in the name of unity and world peace. Others had been dealt with in different ways.

And it really said a lot about humans but the god in question was beautiful being. He walked gracefully with poise and elegance that made Thor’s efforts look pompous and stiff. His gorgeous black hair was always perfect and his eyes were bright, his smile huge. He genuinely seemed to respect women as much as men and care about the poor and badly used. Yeah, that was a thing. 

King of the world, or Prince, or whatever...Whoever he was, he was here, on her doorstep. Or, trailer step. It was too early for this shit. Darcy stared up at Phil Coulson and Loki Odinson incredulously. “You’d like to what?”

“We’d like to thank you. Oh behalf of Earth and its people for your compelling research on the subject of global power and the earth’s need for such a thing in the event of a foreign dignitary who we could all unite under once and for all.” Loki’s smile was bright, leading Darcy to believe he wasn’t fucking with her.

Darcy blinked up at them owlishly over her large mug of coffee before she frowned. “My thesis was on our vulnerability to an alien invasion in the off chance that Thor’s brother, who previously sent a giant fire faced robot to destroy a small town I happened to be in at the time ever decided he wanted to come back for more. It was supposed to be theoretical, Loki. I didn’t think you would actually do it! And you’re trying to tell me that this one.” She pointed at Coulson with her coffee cup, “Stole my thesis notes and- and just handed them to you as a textbook on how to occupy my planet as a benevolent dictator? That’s why my scholarship was cut off a year in?”

Loki gave a gentle shrug and a sheepish smile that told her everything she needed to know. His cheeks were coloured a little bit but he wasn’t exactly apologising either. And god was it a good look for him.

It was odd behaviour for an alien overlord but Darcy dismissed him for his assistant for the moment. “What the ever-loving fuck, Phil?!”

Coulson swallowed in the face of her considerable ire but his granite reserve held. Loki however smiled wider, looking genuinely roused by the discussion in his Gucci suit and shiny shoes. “Your work, unfinished as it was was a thoughtfully written, thorough investigation and rather relevant to our needs at the time. I am aware it wasn’t quite what you intended but it was a great starting point to launch our campaign from. You were completely right in your summation that without addressing gender inequality and race issues things just wouldn’t work. Also that once addressed, these groups of people would tip the balance of power considerably and also allow humanity to finally move forward as a whole society.” He paused and his smile grew even bigger, his eyes shone greener and Darcy realised right then just how much of a nerd Thor’s little brother was. “But your shining glory was the tip about the importance of distraction, a concept I am most fond of myself. Of course you aren’t the first Midgardian to say so but your ideas on how to seduce the entire planet to my side were inspiring to say the least. Your point that the people of earth had been being conditioned for decades and longer to respond on multiple levels to romance and sex was as we now know, completely correct. Darcy Lewis you have the mind of a strategist and the heart of an artist. You truly are wasted here.” He waved his hand at the expanse of sand and sky around them.

Darcy gaped as he spoke before she quietly whimpered and rubbed her eyes. It was way too early for this shit. She was not in the mood. Not that there was a mood for this but she was hungover to all hell from a Star gazing Thor-probably-isn't-coming-back-the-world-already-got-taken-over-and-Darcy-is-over-everything tequila night that Jane was even now sleeping off in the trailer. Darcy had been enjoying her first coffee of the day and the cool morning air before these two jokers had swept in from actual nowhere (as opposed to figurative nowhere, where they currently stood in the middle of the fucking desert). They had appeared just like Loki was said to do in a flash of green light, Coulson acting like it was normal and Loki standing all dramatic like a character from a Jane Austin novel with his long pretty hair blowing in the morning breeze and gaze all intense, searching her out in her oversized grey marle v-neck t-shirt that thankfully covered her black Calvin Klein thong (because of course, that was just how her day was going). 

Darcy was a little on the metaphorical back foot here, sitting bare assed on her little stair and clutching her coffee cup as if it could help. She sure as hell didn’t know how to respond to all of this enthusiastic talk about her PHD notes when they had been swept under the rug by her supervisor right before Coulson’s little organisation made it disappear entirely, along with her dreams of a political career and her whole life outside of Jane and her Einstein Rosen Bridge. She was stuck out here working as a lab assistant in Bumfuck New Mexico instead of working in her desired career path- or, on that note, literally anything else other than transcribing Jane's fevered handwriting that even she couldn't read into legible notes. in the desert. Cut off from all of humanity.  

To say that she was currently thrown and a little pissed was an understatement and god, did her head hurt. “Yeah but I didn’t mean actually seduce them. I mean fuck, Loki -I can call you Loki can’t I?” He smiled softly again and Darcy ploughed on, ignoring the weirdness. “But soulmates? Really? Part of me can’t even be angry because it was such a genius move. I don’t even know what you did to get Stark involved but fuck me was that was a solid coup. And then using that smarmy novel series and then Hollywood bringing out the ‘meaning of true love’ was just...I mean you got both Sofia cupola and Sam Taylor-Johnson to make you movies about soulmates? Fuck.” She shook her head slowly and stared him down. “I hate you so much.” She said completely honestly, her hangover speaking for her when she ran out of words. She sighed and brushed messy curls out of her face and pushed the droopy sleeves of her massive t-shirt to her shoulders. The desert morning was just starting to heat up and by ten am they would be roasting. She eyed the two men cautiously. “So... you guys want some coffee or ... what?”

They were both staring at her left arm. She must have been bitten or something because it had been sore all morning. She rubbed the spot and she had hit glass or crystal or whatever the fuck the soulmark that everyone had appear on their arm or somewhere on their person a year or so ago was made of. Loki’s solidified tears? Who the fuck knew. She had hardly even thought about her little ‘kiss of the god’ until right about now. Her heart skipped a beat when she looked down and saw the tiny gem like prism glowing with shifting colours of light. They called it the aurora and it tended to mean...

The ‘god’ in question seemed to be going pale. Coulson raised his eyebrows and looked at him because clearly, Phil just wasn’t her type. Tall, dark, beautiful and blisteringly intelligent however... “HOLY FUCK.” Darcy stood up, dropping her coffee cup into the hard dirt and stepped into the trailer, slamming the door closed before the coffee had soaked into the ground. She peeked out of the window, panting for breath as she watched the earth’s alien king or whatever stand there in obvious shock. He shrugged off his burgundy suit jacket and handed it to Phil before he slowly and methodically rolled up his left sleeve, his calm movements conflicting with the emotions shown clearly on his face.

“Darcy? What are you yelling about?” Jane called thickly from where she was emerging slowly through her bedroom door; she was completely bedraggled, clearly having just woken up. Her eyes swept over Darcy sleepily but when they landed on her lit up kiss they widened. “What? Darcy?” She came over to the window and they both looked out to standing with one sleeve rolled up and staring at Loki’s forearm with its own, larger glowing glass prism.

Coulson was speaking, calm as ever. “I didn’t even know you had one.”

Loki nodded numbly. “The spell is connected to my magic. This implant means I don’t have to be thinking about it all of the time because it is a considerable distraction. I had no idea it would include me in the spell. This- this is a complete surprise.”

Coulson looked bemused. “Well you do like to say that there’s someone for everyone.” Loki gave him a look.

His words were so quiet that Darcy didn’t know if she really heard them. “For everyone deserving.” Coulson frowned.

Jane turned to Darcy, her eyes wide. “What are you going to do?” She whispered and Darcy shrugged. “I don’t know I don’t- Jane I don’t know! A minute ago I literally told him to his face that I hate him! And I do! Jane I hate him so much!” Tears streamed down her face, the shock finally shifting enough for an emotional response.

Jane pulled her into a hug and Darcy cried quietly into her shoulder while the two most powerful men in the world conversed in hushed tones outside. Eventually there was a soft knock on the trailer’s door. “Ms Lewis, please, might we have that beverage now and discuss this new development? Or not? I promise you that I will not force you to make any decisions today but surely you wish to talk about it?" at her silence he sighed. "But if not I still had something I needed to discuss with Dr Foster if you would be so kind?”

Darcy sniffed and took a deep breath and opened the door to her soulmate. Then she disappeared into her tiny bedroom to at least put some pants on while trying to ignore her whole world shattered for the second time.

Chapter Text

Loki hadn’t been lying. Darcy emerged from her room fully dressed to see Foster and Odinson bent over star charts and data sheets, completely lost in the science while Coulson worked the coffee machine. Darcy would usually tell him not to touch her shit but she just didn’t have it in her today, and besides, he had already sold her out to the aliens so it wasn't like she imagined she had any privacy anymore.

Apparently as well as coming down to thank Darcy for her bright and apparently very practical ideas on world domination the two suited men had stopped by to check on Jane’s research. The two woman  had been out here quietly working on the Foster theory this whole time and calculating the possibility of making earth’s own bifrost. Which yeah, apparently that was a thing that Loki wanted in on now. Because of course he did.

Jane was a little pale at the idea of sharing it with the god who stole their world/ was handed it on a silver platter but he convinced her that he was doing this for a reason, and it wasn’t actually kingship. Also he had a big shiny lab and access to the kind of gear they would need to go from a theory to an actual bridge.

Darcy had raised her eyebrows but said nothing, a little shell-shocked with the news that apparently out of all the perfectly normal dudes on the planet she was most compatible with an alien. It wasn’t too good on her self esteem, if she was honest.

Loki had been riveted to Jane’s research all day, reading through the notes that Darcy had painstakingly transcribed from Jane’s illegible scrawl over the last two years or so. Lunch came and went, Darcy filling corn tortillas with chicken, avocado, coriander and hot sauce, running out of food before Loki seemed remotely full. She didn’t really have anything more special for their esteemed guests but no one seemed to mind, wolfing it down as the two genii discussed astrophysical phenomenon through lunch and continued after. As Darcy went to clear his plate Loki paused to kiss her hand, his eyes holding who knew what. She took her hand back and he let her, allowing his forefinger to slide across her palm as she went. She turned abruptly and walked away, her hand tingling everywhere he touched her for an hour afterwards. When she peeked over her shoulder while she was doing the dishes she caught him wringing his own hand. At least the off-putting sensation seemed to go both ways. 

...

After discussing the science the whole day long Jane had agreed to move their tiny Popsicle stand to the world’s new palace or whatever, an actual castle in the sky that they’d so far only seen drifting in the clouds on the news and in a vogue living spread that Loki’s amazing PR team had organised that featured pictures of him in amazing suits lounging about the West Wing and sipping tea. Grace Coddington had come out of retirement to direct the sumptuous shoot. Darcy had brought that issue home at the time and the pages were cut out and pasted on the walls of their trailer's walls, by now graffitied to within an inch of the glossy paper's life. Loki, to his credit hadn't even batted an eye when he saw the creative renditions of himself with tentacles or vampire teeth or a baby bump and boobs. Girl got bored out in the desert, and it had become a bit of a hobby for the two. 

That said, Darcy would be lying if she told you she wasn’t a little enchanted when the air palace came into view from the little window of their plane. It had an otherworldly feel to it, glowing golden in the sky, but it also had the very 'grounding' industrial influences of STARK enterprises and SHIELD as well. Clearly Loki had collaborated with the former billionaire in making their fancy new home a reality. It glittered gold and silver and copper, made of a number of different metals including some freshly invented alloys, and the many windows glimmered in pinks and reds as the sun rose behind their approaching plane. 

She’d seen the Helicarriers of course, just like everyone on earth did all over the news in the early days as Fury, Commander Rogers and other heroes as well as all of his agents that had made it through the purge of SHIELD backed up Loki’s new regimen with a tough face most of the time and a swift show of force when it had been needed. Collectively, they had all been called The Fury after the speed and ferocity that the warlords on central Africa had been hit with. Despite growing up in a warrior society Loki had been visibly shaken at the idea of child soldiers and their traumatic initiation into a war they were wholly against. That had been one of the first shows of violence the smiling Prince had shown, though it hadn't been the last. And yeah, it had been quick.

But that had been the Helicarriers. Though the palace was easily defensible and high on security its residents were mostly members of Loki’s administration and their staff as well as visiting Elders, members of Loki’s newly formed council of advisers and rulers consisting mostly of Aboriginal people from each region of the world and other dignitaries. Of course there were also the other staff, cooks, cleaners, Pilates, and lab staff for Loki’s pet scientists who they would be joining -and all 40,000 feet in the air. Their pilot flew them round to land on the strip amidst the clouds and the two women disembarked from their plane, exhausted from their sudden flurry of packing and moving shop as well as nervous to see their new home.

Even though Loki was extremely busy he had met them at the landing strip entrance with a smile and an impressively large entourage. He was like an excited puppy as he personally showed them the lab space that had been set aside for Dr Foster’s research, next to one he himself worked in when he had the time as well as those of Stark, Banner, A doctor who was pushing the limits of 3D printing to body parts and a biologist of some repute called Betty Ross. Apparently she was amazing and was brave enough to regularly get into the Hulk’s pants. That took some balls. But yeah, pet genii, it was a thing. He liked to play with science in his spare time. She'd called it. Guy was such a nerd.

Darcy couldn’t hold back her smile as they entered the tidy lab space Dr Foster had always deserved but never had, complete with lab assistants aplenty. It was small, being as they were on an airship with limited space and significant weight restrictions, but it was well equipped and someone had been talking to Japan and Sweden because every inch of space was used efficiently as fuck. Darcy definitely approved. As they settled in and Jane met her new staff Darcy raised her eyebrows and wondered where she would fit in before shaking it off. Right now she would be excited for Foster because the amazing woman deserved to be recognised and rewarded. And as far as she had seen it looked like that was precisely what Loki was doing.

Chapter Text

A few hours later when Loki was long gone they were lead to their quarters, located in the plush West Wing (which confused Darcy because usually the west wing meant ... anyway that was something to worry about for another time.). She crept inside, walking down the three steps into the long, staggered boat-like interior of her new living space, complete with vaulted ceiling. As she gaped around she mused that it really did remind her of a colourful interior of the canal boats found in Paris, London and Amsterdam, albeit one with rather sumptuous fixings. She dropped her bags on the kitchen bench, stopping to stare at the beautifully crafted inlay work of its surface. Her tour guide Mindy, who had been quiet as she took it all in, chimed in then. “Obviously there were weight restrictions so we couldn’t use solid marble bench tops like we wanted, so we hired craftsmen from Pakistan and England to work an amalgamation of both parquet and marble inlay. I think it might be some of the most beautiful work I’ve ever seen.” She gushed and Darcy nodded silently, running her fingers over the beautiful pattern of waterlilies. it was truly beautiful, and she couldn't wait to roll out some dough on the surface.

Again, like a boat, Everything was built in, floor to ceiling shelves, just as beautifully crafted lined the tiled stairs and entrance way to the galley kitchen where windows broke up the cosy space, afternoon light spilling over the copper sink. There was a door to a small balcony outside here, and then some more steps down to the bench-like velvet lounges covered in brightly coloured embroidered silk cushions that formed a small and cosy lounge room before leading to her bed which tucked into a nook separated from the rest of the apartment by industrial steel framed glass doors inspired by factory windows.

The colours were bright, with red wallpaper with silk screened gold detailing in the entrance, kitchen and bedroom and a very dark blue colour on the ceiling, painted with glimmering gilded stars. The seats of the lounge were the same colour, deep blue velvet with golden mirrors behind them; one was open, showing that there was a whole wardrobe tucked behind there in more of that genius use of space. One of the lounges was propped up too to show that of course this was storage space also. When Darcy spied the red souls of a pair of Louboutins she gasped and closed her eyes tight. Not wanting to deal with that kind of gift right now she turned and headed through the glass doors and past the bed to an amazing glimmering bathroom.

Darcy gaped. She’d never really been so close to luxury like this before. It was small, really compact like everything else, but it wasn’t like she’d expected there to be a full sized bath in there anyway. When the water came out clean smelling, hot and steamy Darcy quickly stripped, stepping under the water and sighing. “Thank you Loki.”

...

Loki was having some interesting complications with the apparently volatile mixture between his god-given powers- hearing lies, hearing prayers, knowing when people are hiding something- with the magical connection between his new found mate and himself. 

He was in a meeting with some Elders and dignitaries from both western and eastern Europe discussing the issues of extreme prejudice that had been playing out against aboriginal peoples as well as the Romani who had been undergoing difficulties for centuries. It was a grueling conversation that he had already escaped to New Mexico in the middle of just to have a break from the petty microagressions and more serious threats to safety of so many minorities. After his return to the palace he was ready to snap when he heard a sensual groan run through his mind that had his pants tightening immediately. As“Thank you Loki.” whispered through he made the mistake of blinking and the inside of a golden bathroom filled with steam flashed inside the backs of his eyelids. He snapped his eyes open in shock. He hadn’t seen it but the details his meticulous Chief of Staff had described Darcy Lewis’ chambers flashed came to mind.

Loki sat up in his seat, trying to catch hold of the thread of conversation again. He was glad that she enjoyed her new quarters that was for sure but it was a little concerning if they really were connected that closely. Magic was often complicated like that and as he hadn't foreseen himself matching with a mate he hadn't put in any safeguards in for results of this nature. He hoped to Yggdrasil that the connection didn’t run both ways. He could only assume that anything that Loki had in his head at any given moment was far less pleasant than a well earned steamy shower.

...

It wasn’t till later after Darcy had woken up from an epic nap in her new bed that she discovered they hadn’t planned for her to be working in the labs at all. She’d just put on some coffee in her fancy new machine and specialty coffee beans roasted by some particularly dedicated baristas in Melbourne, Australia. It had just started dripping when there was a knock on her door. She scaled the steps and opened it to see Loki’s Chief of Staff Ms Pepper Pots standing there with two suited women who Darcy assumed were her PAs (one of whom was Mindy from before), who smiled at her brightly.

“Good evening Ms Lewis, I hope your quarters are too your taste.” Darcy tried to act like being caught by earth’s most intimidatingly efficient woman in just a shirt and thong wasn’t a big deal (but then again she’d worked for Tony Stark for how long before aiding their new world leader in his coup). Taking a deep breath and assuming that Pepper could totally roll with the punches Darcy relaxed and walked down the steps into her apartment, knowing her butt cheeks were once again on show but not minding so much anymore. The current administration deserved to be shown an ass once in a while and Darcy was quite happy to take on that roll.

She looked back over her shoulder showing Potts her raised her eyebrows while spreading her arms to motion to the glittering hand printed wallpaper and bespoke built in furniture. “I’m pretty sure you know they are. What, did you scope out my pinterest account or something? I mean you have the wallpaper from Amélie and everything.” She asked with a crooked smile and narrowed eyes.

The woman actually blushed and nodded. “Prince Loki asked me to personally oversee the decoration of your and Dr Foster’s quarters and to make it as close to your tastes as possible. He wanted to make sure to show his appreciation for your significant contribution to our efforts and I have to say I agree with him. It was inspired work.”

Darcy snorted and collapsed into her lounge, tucking her legs under her. “It was far from finished, thanks to stupid SHIELD, and if I had known how they would use it...” She paused and gave Potts a look before waving her hand at the couch. “Uh, have a seat.” She said and the intimidatingly perfect Pepper Pots sat across from her and crossed her ankles chicly. She had been hella impressed that Loki had her on the team actually. First she had taken Stark by storm and then the world. Darcy didn't know too many other people on earth who could do that. Loki was apparently just as eccentric as Pepper's main squeeze was. “So I’m guessing this visit wasn’t just about the colour of the throw pillows.” Darcy said while stroking the embroidered silk cover on the one closest to her. It was an orchid colour and clashed beautifully with the blue velvet of the couch’s seat cushions.

Pepper smiled ruefully and nodded. She looked to one of her assistants who passed her a scroll. “Loki was so...” she cleared her throat. “distracted this morning during your conversation he forgot his main reason for his coming out to see you- other than recruiting you both of course.” She handed Darcy the scroll which was sealed with Loki’s symbol in forest green wax next to Culver’s own seal. She cracked it open and read, her eyebrows rising. “He said to tell you that he was aware that you hadn’t finished and now that the thing you were predicting actually happened you clearly wouldn’t be interested in finishing it...but he and many others - including the powers that be at Culver- believe that you are more than deserving of your doctorate. Congratulations Dr Lewis.”

Darcy stared at the honorary PHD from Culver University in her hands. It was...something. She wasn’t sure what, but it was something. “Uh, thanks? I guess?” Darcy still wasn’t sure how to feel about her work getting so much attention given the nature of it. The compliments from intelligent and accomplished people were pretty great, but the fact that they’d used it in such a manner had her feeling pretty gross, and she didn’t think she’d be over that for a while. And that was without the extra bonus distraction of her kiss still throbbing and throwing off different coloured lights in her arm. There was also a letter informing her that her student debt had been cleared and of two years back pay for 'consultation fees' by SHIELD and then the current government. The amount was... a lot. Not enough to live on for the rest of her life but enough to buy a very big house. Darcy didn't know what to say. it was a bit of a slap in the face but she knew it wasn't intended to be, Pepper was just trying to do right by her, so she just sat there awkwardly, the slips of paper in her lap.

Pepper smiled softly. “Prince Loki was aware that you would want some space after today’s big shock. He would have liked to visit you and get to know you closer but thought you’d prefer not to see him for a while, get your head on straight.” Darcy nodded, grateful for the thoughtful move. “The other thing I was sent here to ask is how willing you would be to take a position on our staff? He is, as you know a fan of your work, and I have to say that I am too. Coulson has a lot of good things to say and we trust his opinion that you would be well suited to working here in Loki’s administration.”

Darcy sighed and leaned her head to rest on the wall behind her chair, thinking. The glittering byzantine style cieling was pretty great for this purpose, Darcy was already finding. This was what she’d always wanted; a chance to really affect policy and help change lives but to say it was sudden and a little fast-tracked would be a major understatement. Where all of her classmates would still be slaving away as interns or assistants at this point she was being asked- “What- what would I be doing?”

Pepper smiled encouragingly again. “At this stage just observing. There is still a lot of chaos around here and there are so many things on the table that things are still in flux. You’ll be shadowing me, to begin with and learning the ropes, getting a feel for how this show is run before we all sit down and decide where you’ll be best suited. Although...” Pepper turned to her assistants who both quietly filed out of the room and closed her front door quietly. Pepper looked serious. “Look, Loki hasn’t mentioned it at all; I want you to know that first. He’s an extremely private person and I imagine his first inclination is to protect yours as much as he can; but some of his advisers think that his situation would look stronger with a beautiful, intelligent and capable mate by his side. You’re aware of all the rumours about him I’m sure, and you of course understand that those from monarchies get shifty when there is no wife in the picture, though the others are just as enthusiastic to be honest. I've never seen a bunch of men speak so enthusiastically about a wedding in all my days.”

Darcy gaped. She hadn’t even thought of that. She hadn’t really had time for the implications of being the matched mate of a world leader to sink in whilst they had been busy packing up the lab and jumping on the jet. Everything in her life had changed in one day and now... but it wasn’t like Loki ever called himself a king. And as far as she was aware he was leaving a lot of the general ruling to councils and committees overseeing each region, rather than having absolute power. But Darcy knew better than that. The people were behaving like he was anyway. And Pepper was right, there were sordid rumours aplenty. Of virgins going missing, of a harem here in the palace. Others were convinced he was 100% gay and others said he wasn’t human so wtf were they talking about. A dark corner of the internet had been theorising on whether he actually had tentacles and what that would look like in the bedroom. All said it was a big question in everyone’s minds, who Prince Loki was fucking. She raised an eyebrow and cleared her throat. “So anyone I should be concerned about? He didn’t already have a lover or two did he? I’m not going to get any death threats from a spurned lover?”

Pepper shook her head. “Not that I’m aware of. Darcy to be honest I’ve never seen the prince even look that way at anyone the whole time I’ve known him.” She paused and reached out a hand to Darcy’s arm. “And just so that you know, not all that many people are aware of what happened yesterday morning. Prince Loki keeps his arms covered generally anyway so no one has noticed the aurora in his kiss. He had Coulson inform about five of his most trustworthy advisers on their return, that's all.

“But they are encouraging marriage.” She paused and gave a conspirational smile. “You would make a great first lady, but I agree with Loki that it is far too early to even think about just yet. You don’t even know one another.

SHe looked at Darcy's underwhelmed face and added, "And I understand that you are pretty furious about your work being co-opted by his campaign team and used against your wishes. But just so that you are aware it’s been put on the table, and I don’t think it will be taken off anytime soon.”

Darcy gave a curt nod. “Waaaay too early, but thank you for letting me know that peeps have mentioned it. I’m sure once others find out they’ll agree. What generally happens with pressure like that? What does Loki do?”

Pepper nodded, approving of the question. “He listens when people speak. It’s one of the things that helped me decide to get on board at the beginning. It wasn’t only your advice that he followed of course. He has a brilliant mind, but this isn’t his home realm, and so he always listens before weighing everything and making a decision. So far there hasn’t been too much pressure from the councils as they’re all still trying to figure stuff out themselves. Unfortunately it tends to be things like this that really capture the people’s imagination. After all, he brought the kisses; shouldn’t he himself follow his own kiss’s calling?”

Darcy shrugged. “He’s a busy dude, but yeah, I get it. Fuck. This is a lot to take in. So, when do I start?”

Pepper smiled. “Tomorrow I suggest you take the day to get to know the palace and decompress. take two, then let us know what you think about that job. I will send over some reading material, some stuff you proabably want to know in order to make an informed decision."

She paused and looked serious again. "I know you are mad, and I don't begrudge you, but we're trying to do something good here and we could really use you on  the team. All the soulmate stuff aside our office would be better with you in it." She relaxed then and smiled. over the next few days take some time to explore the palace. the west wing has its own pool and a bistro style cafe that has the best opera cakes that you've ever tasted. I think you’ll like but you also have a machine in your kitchen, which I see you've already put to use. Meals will be delivered to you from the vegetarian kitchen unless you let them know that you want to cook for yourself, we don't have a kosher one so all those residents or visitors who eat kosher or halal tend to go vegetarian. However this kitchen is fully stocked and functionally kosher, as I heard you like to cook. There will be a weekly supply delivery, there will be an email sent to you each week with a list you can order from. Also Friday, Loki’s AI will be able to help you with anything you need.”

This gave Darcy pause. “Tony gave Loki an AI?”

Pepper’s smile was fond. “She was a gift after Tony, Rhodey and my kisses all lit up with the aurora. He was pretty happy, we all were. This was the biggest gift he could think of. We thought JARVIS was amazing- I mean he is, we still have him with us on our devices and in our quarters, but Loki's magic has reacted interestingly with Friday, like a lot of things around here; basically making her into a real person. It's - phenomenal truly. Only those in Loki’s household and security teams have access to her, but she watches over the whole ship. You and Jane are considered so due to your connection to Thor, for the record. So is Dr Selvig. Because you all looked after his brother so well when he was down here. It was decided long before his kiss lit up.”

That was interesting considering Loki had been trying to kill his brother at the time. “Huh.”

Pepper rose. “I’m quite aware that this is a lot to take in. If you need anything please reach out through Friday and I’ll do what I can to help. I take it you found the clothing in your wardrobe?”

Darcy nodded, blushing at the thought of all of the beautiful clothes she’d been gifted, including the top-end lingerie in the top draw that fit perfectly. Her thumb brushed the side of her thong self consciously. “Yeah, so...what the fuck?”

“The prince wanted to be sure you were well taken care of and lacked for nothing.” Was all Potts said, her tone professional. “Particularly a working wardrobe which you wouldn’t have had need of in the desert and you won't exactly have time to shop for a while. I hope things are to your taste?”

Darcy sighed and brushed her curls from her face. She supposed this was only the beginning if he’d done all of this just for starting a thesis. Now that he knew they were soulmates he’d probably be even more generous. “Uh, what I’ve seen is amazing. I mean cashmere sweaters? Louboutins? And those suits? They are amazing but it will take a while to get used to. I am kind of used to having holes in my clothes.” She picked at her shirt as an example. It was worn to the point of comfort, but it had a few holes too. She loved this shirt almost to death.

Pepper smiled easily. “Enjoy it. Life is about to get pretty busy for you. I advise you to take the luxuries where they come.”

Darcy nodded thoughtfully and Pepper moved to the door, not correcting her that she hadn't accepted the job yet. “I hope you sleep well. Let me know if you need anything.” And with that she was gone, leaving Darcy staring at her amazing wall paper and trying to take everything in. “Friday?”

Yes Dr Lewis. Her voice was smooth with was a pleasant Irish accent. She didn't sound digital at all. Darcy smiled. 

“Hi. Uh, that conversation wasn’t recorded was it?” She couldn’t help talking to the ceiling.

No, Dr Lewis. Ms Potts is heading over to report to Prince Loki as we speak but the conversation was private in that it wasn’t recorded.

Darcy nodded and wondered if the AI responded to body language. probably. 

 She sat with her legs pulled up on the velvet couch and tried to take everything in. It was a lot, that was for sure.

Chapter Text

Loki said goodbye to Miss Potts as she left his office and stared at the large Diego Riviera painting hanging on the wall of his office. It had been a rather eventful day.

When he had created the spells and worked with Stark on the ‘kisses’ he’d had no idea that he would be included in the scope of his magics. It certainly wasn’t his intention. It really showed his own insecurities when he realised that was probably because he thought of himself as utterly unworthy of love, or very nearly at any rate. He sat back in his office chair and scrubbed his face with his hands. He was more behind than usual on some paper work because he kept staring into space and thinking about chestnut curls and wild blue eyes, and, yes her luscious retreating form dressed only in a large t-shirt that had only just skimmed the bottom of her rear as she disappeared into her room the day before. Her form was utterly lovely but Loki was truly more than enchanted by her flashing eyes and the way her lips had pursed when she was angry- and rightfully so he knew.

Yes, she was a beauty, but he’d already known that. Loki had always been a fan of fiercely intelligent brunettes and when he and Coulson had set out to visit the young lady who’s words had inspired the spirit of their campaign he had been rather (read: embarrassingly) excited to meet her and lure her and her colleague Dr Foster into his staff... but he’d had no possible way of guessing how the day would actually go.

The soulmate spells had been some of his finest, taking months of work from him, a number or Midgardian sorcerers, wise women and genii to complete; and the algorithms for a match were incredibly complex to prevent any truly heartbreaking results as much as they could.

Having said that he had no idea what precisely it was about either of them that made them so compatible. It was the first time in a long time that an oversight or mistake of his own had such a delightful result rather than the world shattering heartbreak and pain he had experienced so often lately. Even if nothing came of it, just knowing there was another whose kiss (the PR team’s genius if rather mortifying title for the gadget that made everything possible) was flaring an aurora to match his own brought a well of emotion that he just wasn’t equipped to deal with right now. He pushed up his sleeve for the thousandth time in the last 24 hours and watched the colours dance opalescent within the prism as he once again remembered her expression of disbelief and horror at the discovery of her flaring soulmark. Loki pushed down his sleeve, and rebuttoning it stood up abruptly, knowing he wouldn’t get anything more done this night. He headed through the small palace, beautifully designed by Stark and some of earth’s most creative minds to be the height of Midgardian efficiency and design as well as the pride of its people. And it was, Loki was remarkably impressed by the level of comfort he experienced here. It almost made him never want to leave.

The few of his advisers who knew wished him to make her his bride. All except Peggy, who of course told him to give her space. Loki sighed and pushed his hair out of his eyes. He thought of the defiant young woman as he’d first seen her, pantless, the wide neck of her t-shirt revealing her soft shoulder; not even standing in their presence and waving her coffee cup around to underline her words which were coloured emphatically by curses and insults in the most delightful manner. It had been deliciously refreshing and they’d well deserved her ire, just as she deserved time to cool down and clear her head.

They really should have asked her to be involved in the first place, right at the beginning of their campaign but Coulson was protective of the girl and had wanted her out of harm’s way. Perhaps he had known just how enchanted Loki would be by her, or perhaps he was just trying to keep her from harm in the violence that inevitably followed his announcements that he was here to unify the earth. Either way it had been one of the man's few requests and Loki had allowed it. He doubted the bright young woman would appreciate him or anyone demanding her wed him and Pepper had just confirmed it. No, as it was Loki fully intended to give her some space. Her life had changed enough without some thousand year old world dictator dogging her steps like a besotted school boy. He would see her when (if) she turned up to work, and they would get to know one another within that context. He hoped her opinion of him would change.

Besides, Loki thought as he reached his own quarters. He had much bigger things to think about than his own wedded bliss, or any bliss for that matter. Thanos could come, wrathful at his disappearance and seeking out the soul stones at any time and they needed to be ready. He stepped out onto his balcony overlooking a thick blanket of clouds and looked up at the sky and partook of his nightly one sided conversation, starting as if he hadn’t left off. “Truly Heimdall I don’t know what the holdup is. I would have thought that with the tesseract and mind stone at play here the old fool would have sent him or one of his friends here much sooner. Please would you let him know that his precious Midgard is in peril?

“I mean if it was this easy for me to take over without too much bloodshed I would think it would be infinitely easier for someone without a care to deal damage.

He looked up at the glittering night sky, devoid of an answer or even a clue to whether the Gatekeeper was even listening. He was probably off drinking ale or trying to get Idunn into bed again. Loki shuddered at the thought.

“Honestly. I thought the oaf made a vow?!”

Chapter Text

Darcy slept pretty damn well in the end, once she finally crawled into her new bed that felt like the clouds the castle was floating in. She woke to a polite knock at the door and saw a young woman in a cute black uniform holding a covered tray and one of Pepper’s PAs from the night before. The PA motioned for the serving lady to speak first, something which gained her points in Darcy’s book- and hell yes she was keeping score.

“Good morning Dr Lewis, I was asked by the prince to bring you breakfast this morning.”

“Hey thanks!” Darcy stood back and the women entered, the PA closing the door due to Darcy’s lack of dress. She still wasn’t wearing pants. There was a pattern forming here, but she honestly couldn’t be bothered so everyone could go fuck themselves if they didn’t like it. And besides, her ass was spectacular.

The PA spoke, handing her a packet of files about the size of Everest. “And Ms Potts asked me to drop these off. She says that you might want to read up on some things before you come to work. Just some history as far as the Prince’s campaign and our future goals.”

Darcy nodded her mouth full of a bagel that she’d attacked immediately and smothered with cream cheese when she saw it. There weren’t many bagels to be found in the desert and she’d missed them pretty hard. “Thanks I’ll get onto it as soon as I have a brain. Oh and I haven't accepted the job yet. just so you know.” The two women smiled and left her to it and Darcy sipped her coffee and peeked at the large stack of files in front of her. She supposed she’d better get a start if she wanted to finish them this century. Day off her (fine) ass.

...

The reading material had been succinct and to the point, detailing the goals of the Loki’s administration which...actually seemed to be on the up and up. They were trying, and mostly succeeding to make changes that would mean that more people would live on the planet for longer, and thrive doing it which was a thing.

 Strangely enough they also seemed to be pointed towards him walking away within a generation or less which Darcy could get down with. She had finished her last file in the early hours of the morning and stepped out on her balcony for some fresh air, starting when she heard a familiar baritone voice speaking not too far away.

“...Clearly I am no longer a prince of the realm. Your silence has spoken rather loudly on that front but I’m not asking this for me. We need all the help we can get here and it’s not as if Asgard is safe in all of this.” He was out on a larger gilded balcony just above and across from her own. He was in profile and his royal blue suit was lit from behind where light spilled out of the rooms that lead to the landing. His voice wasn’t particularly loud but it was projected into the sky where the stars twinkled on undisturbed. It all had an air of a well practiced habit and Darcy wondered if he spoke to the Gatekeeper every night. “Heimdall please. I’m sorry I froze you but I think you’ll find if you care to remember back that I was king and you had just committed treason at the time... I was trying to prevent a war- As am I now doing, though I like to think I’m a little steadier on my feet these days, but there’s nothing like a spot of mind control and torture to put things into perspective. And I honestly think Thor would enjoy it. He loves a good challenge and this will certainly be something...” He seemed about to continue when he looked down as he caught her listening. His face looked startled and then he looked embarrassed. He looked back up to the sky one more time then sighed, turning fully and striding over to the edge of his landing. “Forgive me.” He gave her a sheepish smile. “I’m afraid you caught me speaking to the walls. Or at the very least, closed doors.”

Darcy didn’t really know what to say. He was in the dark here where he stood, his features thrown into shadow, but she could see his white shirt was a little rumpled from the day’s efforts, the shirt sleeves rolled up to show his kiss glowing prettily to match her own in the predawn dark. He caught her staring and he looked down at it too, his expression showing a mix of emotions before he pulled his gaze back to her face. “Uh, forgive me, how have you settled in? Is there anything you need? Feel free to let Friday know... Is there? Anything you need?” His expression was so earnest and he seemed to want an answer. This Loki was so far from what she had expected him to be like and it had Darcy reeling.

Darcy leaned on the wall behind her to ease her neck as she craned to look up at him. “I read all of the files in Pepper’s packet. Uh, actually I just finished them now.”

Loki nodded, swallowing. He held his hands out palms upwards, his elbows leaning on the balustrade. “And what were your initial thoughts?”

Darcy cocked her head and looked him in the eye. “There is something you’re building up to. Something you either don’t think you’ll survive or won’t be coming back from. And just then you were talking about 'danger' And I mean if it's dangerous for Asgard... Tell me do they know? Is this some big game where you’re using our entire planet to take care of some of your shit? I’m not saying you’re a terrible ruler- far from it actually- but there is some end game here that’s pretty obvious to anyone looking.”

Loki stared at her and then a smile spread across his face. “I have to say that despite my high expectations you still manage to impress me Dr Lewis. Please, would you allow me to step over and discuss this? Please forgive me for inviting myself over but I expect that you would be hesitant to come to my chambers at this point in our limited acquaintance -and I am afraid that I must ask for privacy if we would continue this conversation.”

Darcy hesitated for a moment but figured she was already in the guy’s castle and apparently they were immediate neighbours so she shrugged, allowing him to vault over the gap and land easily, making Darcy’s eyes widen as she looked down the gap between the balconies. A tiny mistake would have him hurtling out of the sky for a really long time. He saw her expression and grinned, a rather boyish expression. He stood with his hands behind his back and Darcy realised he was waiting for an invitation. Darcy stepped inside and pushed the door open wider in silent beckoning. He looked around, interested as he took in the glittering hand printed wallpaper and built in furniture.  “I take it your chambers are to your liking?”

Darcy nodded and she moved to put on some coffee. She had a feeling this wouldn’t be a short conversation. Her kitchenette was just a little bigger than the one in their trailer in New Mexico including its full sized oven but it was fiercely efficient in the way of tiny Japanese apartments and space stations, though everything was hand crafted from wood and marble and the aesthetic was utterly beautiful. Darcy had heard names like Tom Dixon and Martin Margiela mentioned at the time of it's manufacture, but living within design like that was something else entirely. She could definitely get used to this. After all, she was already used to living small and this was at least double the size she had been dealing with out in the desert and twice as efficient. She looked up at where he was studying a beautiful Margaret Kilgllen painting on the wall. “Come on, you know it’s gorgeous.” She looked around, taking it in once again. “It’s like ... it’s perfect.” She stuttered, not knowing how to express her emotions of having her comfort so perfectly pre-empted. He gave her a bright smile that seemed utterly genuine and she wondered again why he would care about that kind of detail. Well, you know, before...

She poured them both a coffee which he accepted in some gorgeous mugs that had been made in Japan. That was another thing. Everything in the castle was from all over the globe, the designers not leaving any people or region out in their pride of planet. She moved over to the lounge and he perched on the couch, neglecting to sprawl, legs open in his usual manner in which he took up as much space as possible. In fact his legs were currently together and he leaned forward, his elbows on his knees making him a little smaller than usual. Hard for someone so huge but he was clearly trying. Darcy sat across from him and nibbled on her lip, staring him down until he started speaking with a tired sigh. “The reason I am here -on earth- is because there is a being, an ancient powerful being that sent me here to do his bidding.” He admitted quietly, looking at the plush carpet, his eyelashes hiding his eyes before flicking up to gauge her reaction.

Darcy growled in her throat and let her head fall back against the mirror behind her lounge. She raised her eyebrow and he smiled at her sheepishly. “He had with him an ancient and terrifying artifact which he used to turn my not inconsiderable (you might even call me pig-headed) will to his own. I was, however able to keep the slightest part of myself separate through the months of...conditioning." He stared into his coffee, hiding behind his lashes again and Darcy couldn’t say she minded. Guy with a brain like that wouldn’t be too keen on losing it that was for sure. She’d give him space to tell his story. He sighed, a sound that held bone tired exhaustion among other things.

“How long did he...have you?”

He looked up then. “It’s rather hard to figure as I fell through space for... well it felt like a thousand years." He said softly, sounding distant. "But then when I arrived here you had only been one turn around the sun since Thor broke the bifrost.”

“THOR broke the Bifrost?” Darcy asked incredulously and Loki gave that sheepish smile again. 

“Admittedly it was to save a realm from my most foolish idea to date.” He took a sip of coffee and hummed with pleasure. “One of Midgard’s finest delicacies. I hope to set up some trade with the other realms. The Elves of Alfheim particularly will like coffee. And I suspect they will go positively mad for chocolate, but that is another days’ conversation.”

Darcy raised her eyebrows but didn’t press the issue. “So you fell and how did you become this dude’s play thing?”

The prince actually winced at that and Darcy’s eyebrows knotted in sympathy. That had been a visceral, knee jerk reaction. Dude was traumatized alright. Shit like that couldn’t be faked.  At least Darcy didn’t think it could. “Well, I fell. And then I suppose I...landed. It is all a little hazy. Part of his conditioning was that he called me his son. He had others...” he shivered and Darcy wondered why he was getting so personal with the story.

“Hey, um, Loki? You don’t have to tell me this bit if you don’t want to. I just wanted to know about your big plan and how you’re not fucking this planet over and everything.”

He looked up at her then, and his expression was one of wonder, or something. Darcy shifted in her chair. “Right.” He said, and looked into his coffee again. “Well suffice it to say that he had the gall to offer this realm for me to occupy in return for another of those terrifying ancient artifacts-”

“No less terrifying the second time round?”

He smiled wanly and shook his head. “Nor the third I imagine; Norns save me from having to deal with any more. Anyway this second one was the tesseract, called the cosmic cube here- An object that your people were rather foolishly experimenting on and consequently posting a great big ‘kick me’ sign on your backs.” He said, trying for wry. Darcy groaned, covering her eyes with her hand.

“That’s the thing Eric was getting so shifty about wasn’t it?”  she asked cringingly and Loki nodded, his expression one of apology. “So... This Big Bad wants Eric’s new toy and he offered you a planet for it?”

Loki nodded. “Part of my ploy was to offer him my most broken parts and he grabbed a hold of the notion that I desperately wanted a throne, desperately jealous of my brother with both hands.”

Darcy snorted. “You didn’t? Thor seemed to think that was what was going on last time-”

Loki waved her statement away. “Thor has his talents but the man knows nothing of my motivations, never has. That was the last thing I had wanted at that moment and though I find myself enjoying this role it isn’t my end goal here either. And as I said, that was far from my brightest moment -But that is precisely the point. The Titan grabbed a hold of that very notion thinking that I wished to see Yggdrasil burn and so he tortured me into submission, captured my will and I traveled here. Only I had created the tiniest loophole. One moment that I hoped would be enough to save us all.” He pulled a crumpled slip of paper out of mid air and handed it to Darcy who snorted again as she read it. “...So they let your delightful Hulk loose on me and my coopted team, and we were graciously knocked back to ourselves with only a few bruises and some busted ribs in no time. He grinned. And Darcy felt herself smiling back despite herself. She found his brand of dry, self depreciating humour a little too attractive and wished he’d tone it down. She curled her legs under her and hid her face in her coffee while he watched her.

“So you had the pirate’s attention then?” She asked, going for snark and he nodded with a grin.

“It took some convincing, but helping him rid his precious organisation of the Nazi moles riddling the system helped quite a bit, and the HIV cure was all it took to push him the rest of the way.”

Darcy nodded. That had been huge. There had been treatments happening, but the corrupt pharmaceutical companies and members of the Republican Party had been preventing the world from getting them at an affordable cost. Most of Loki’s appeal as a leader was that he treated all of the continents as one entity, which meant that people in South America and Middle Africa were just as important as those in the whitest corners of the globe. Billions of lives were affected by that cure, and Darcy had been in awe herself.

“So now this Titan dude will be looking for the rock you stole and the rock you ... stole.”

Loki gave her a sad smile. “Got it in one. If it makes any difference he would have come here in the end anyway. He worships death, you understand. His end game is total annihilation for all. It may not have been in your lifetime but it would have happened.”

Darcy groaned and slumped. “What is it with these dudes and total destruction?” Loki chuckled at her dramatics but looked like he agreed.

“You know I’m not quite sure but Darcy there are four other stones scattered throughout space. We have the mind stone and the space stone. Left are the reality stone, the soul stone, the power stone and the time stone left out there, ripe for the picking.”

“Sooo, he can still fuck shit up pretty bad then huh?” That delighted smile returned to his face despite the subject and he nodded.

“And the big plan?”

Loki played with his cup, his giant hands dwarfing it as he rubbed his thumb along the rim. “Well, that is the main question isn’t it?”

Chapter Text

Darcy woke in her armchair with a crick in her neck. Even so if there weren’t two used coffee cups and a note on the coffee table right in front of her she might have thought she’d been dreaming. She ignored the note and moved towards her coffee machine, cracking her back with a satisfying click of the vertebrae. She’d stayed up long after Loki had left her to her thoughts, piecing through all of the information that she had read and heard over the last few days.

Of course she was going to have to stay now. If there was intergalactic war coming she wasn’t really keen to watch from the New Mexican desert. As much as there was a part of her that wished she could just run away and live life on the lam it really did seem that this was where she was meant to be. Lost in thought, she started when Friday broke in with a soft chime.

 Excuse me Dr Lewis but you have an appointment with Mr Stark and Agent Coulson in the labs in one hour.

“Hey Friday?” She asked the ceiling.

Yes Dr Lewis.

“Can you just call me Darcy?”

There was a pause, and then the AI responded with a slightly warmer tone. I believe I can while we are ‘alone’ so to speak Darcy, but Prince Loki prefers his staff to be spoken to with respect and proper titles, particularly people he himself holds in high regard. He would be most displeased to hear you not addressed with your given title in public situations. Will that suit you Darcy?

Darcy snorted. “Yeah, thanks Friday, I can work with that. If I’m going to be working here I need to know I have friends.” She prepped her coffee to drip with practiced movements only slightly altered in the new luxurious setting. Coffee was fairly universal it turned out.

Apologies Darcy, did you mean that you wished to accept the offered position? The AI actually sounded excited and Darcy remembered again what Pepper had said about Loki’s magic reacting with her in interesting ways.

She smiled crookedly “Yeah Friday looks like we’re going to be working together.”

I am pleased to hear that Darcy, may I inform the Prince and Ms Potts?

Darcy sighed, may as well get it over with. “Yeah, you can do that, thanks Friday.”

She let the coffee drip and moved down to her bathroom for a shower. It was gorgeous, and kind of like bathing in the sun. Sunlight filtered down from ingenious skylights reflecting warm light from gold and copper tiles which also lined the ceiling making it sparkle cheerfully. The walls were done in a Spanish floral pattern in marble with some sort of pretty golden grout between. All of the faucets and the shower head were a shining gold and Darcy hoped it wasn’t the real deal. She didn’t think she warranted such luxury, especially with all the kiddies who needed to eat. But most importantly, she also had no idea how the water was so hot for so long up in the freaking sky but she was growing to love her shower more than a lot of things. She might even marry it.

She stood naked staring at her wardrobe for a while. Whoever had done her styling and personal shopping had really gone for the sexy secretary vibe. There were about seventeen different types of pussy bow shirts in there and skirt suits varying from cute girl in the cubical next-door to sexy powerful boss.  She blinked at them for a while but eventually ignored the suits and went for some hard worn high waisted black jeans and a comfortable if faded batman t-shirt.

She couldn’t resist the berry coloured cashmere cardigan though, and an Isabel Marant scarf called her name and when she picked it up it was so soft she groaned out loud when she touched it. She smooshed her face into the tightly woven wool to hide her shame. She was a hussy. A cheap hussy. Bought with a dry few jokes and a pricey scarf. Sorry planet earth.

She reached for her sneakers but paused when she saw some red velvet platform Mary Janes. “I’m going to hell” she said as she picked them up and bucked them on. She left her socks with bananas and monkeys dancing with palm trees on under them though. It wasn’t till her makeup was done and her hair perfectly curled that she picked up the note tucked under Loki’s cup from last night. 

If asked, she would have expected his writing to be an elegant curling script but it was rather blocky, and if it wasn’t precisely awkward with the English alphabet it was definitely a hand used to writing something else. Darcy vaguely remembered seeing runes on Mjolnir. It made a lot of sense that they would use runes on Asgard.

Dr Lewis, (she was realising now that she wouldn’t be losing that honorary title any time soon.)

I just wanted to thank you for your keen listening ear and your understanding this morning, I know well that you didn’t owe me that and I appreciate your generosity in giving me the chance to explain myself.

Unfortunately this means that your clearance has been brought up ahead of schedule and that your protection is of more vital importance than ever before.

Please do indulge me, as this  will allow me to concentrate on the important things in front of me rather than worry after your safety; and for you to be able to do as you wish rather than stay within my line of sight at all times which is the burning inclination that I can only imagine stems from this kiss in my arm -which won’t stop glowing now that you reside in the palace.

We can both pat ourselves on the back by the way, for managing to ignore that elephant in the room successfully once again, but we shall have to discuss that at some point. (I never thought there would come a day when grown men would be planning my wedding but it has arrived. I should think that you will be able to put them in their place if that is, as I assume, your wish. But that is for another day.)

For now I hope you don’t mind but I commissioned you a gift and added a little bit of my own little ‘spark’ to it as extra protection. My friend Dr Stark should have it with him when you see him. Please do feel free to use it on him if he doesn’t show you the respect you deserve.

Yours,

Loki.

...

“So you’re the famous soulmate then?” Stark said as soon as she entered the bright lab for her meeting with a tone that lead her to believe that he’d totally scoped her out on the internet before this moment.

Coulson’s greeting of a small smile was a little more demure. He motioned to a stool at the raised table in the middle of the lab and she sat. An assistant stepped in with coffees and Darcy accepted hers with a smile of thanks. Stark took a giant sip of his and then gave her a smile that was warmer than she expected, his big brown eyes taking in her profile in a decidedly unseedy manner. “Can I just say how thrilled I am that Lokes has a brand new ladylove? I mean I know you guys have only just met but let me tell you, the kiss doesn’t lie. Pep and I have been so much happier since we finally admitted that Rhodey had belonged with us the whole time.” He smiled dreamily and fingers brushed the kiss in his left arm.

Darcy’s eyes widened and she tried not to spit her coffee at the overshare. She swallowed it instead, causing her to cough. Talk about a power triad. Coulson cleared his throat and dived in to prevent Tony from continuing. “Dr Lewis I understand that your life has changed significantly rather quickly and we wish to make the transition as smooth as possible. However I do need to inform you that, your comfort and protection have been made of utmost priority by the Prince.”

Stark grinned and stage whispered, “He used the excuse of you knowing too much but we all know it’s his way of saying he cares.”

Darcy rolled her eyes and he snickered. She had to admit though that she’d expected worse behaviour from the former billionaire. (Oh yeah, the Financial Equilibrium Scheme was a thing, and it had left him considerably less well off than before and actually earning wages as Loki’s glorified tech. She had to admit that out of all of the rich kids spitting their dummies around the world, he didn’t seem to mind being employed. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that he was living up here, but Darcy wondered if he liked being involved more than anything else.)

Coulson nodded. “The fact that you are his match is certainly a consideration. Though the information is restricted and the prince tends to dress conservatively at all times and keeps his kiss hidden, we expect that a secret like this one will break at some point, it’s just a matter of trying to control when. If you could stick to your habit of wearing layers, Dr Lewis, we would certainly all appreciate it. To keep it a secret as long as possible for your own piece of mind and privacy as much as the Prince’s”

Darcy nodded, and rubbed her hands over her soft warm sleeves. “It’s pretty cold up in the sky anyway, especially compared with New Mexico.” The men nodded. They’d been residents of the Palace since it was built and had spent time on the famed helecarriers before that. Darcy had noticed that all of the squishy humans wore long sleeves and sweaters around in this place.

The next order of the day was Loki’s present. Stark pulled out a golden box a little larger than his fist and Darcy’s eyes widened.

Stark smiled kindly as he pushed the object towards her. She opened the intricately patterned lid and couldn’t help her smile at the object inside, or the little kick her stomach gave at the thoughtfulness. It was a taser. Or at least that was the general idea. “It should be able to take down anyone up to and including Loki himself. He wanted you to feel safe around him.” Stark said, giving her another reassuring smile. He pointed to the dial on the side of the weapon. “That’ll be under the ‘god’ setting. Then there’s the ‘supersoldier’, or ‘mutant’ setting, the ‘strong healthy human’ setting... and then there’s the ‘innocent’ setting. It will put out a civilian or someone who you don’t want to hurt but need out of the way slash need to go night night.”

Darcy stared. “Like an electrical roofie?” She asked and Stark winced.

He held up a finger. “Firstly, it’s not electrical. You are holding a mixture of patent Stark arc-power technology and Loki’s very own magic. It’s one of a kind, kid, and a hell of a courting gift if you ask me.” He looked dreamy again. “Nothing says romance in the modern day like giving the love of your life a weapon that can take you down if she so desires.

“And secondly... yeah I guess? Loki seemed to think that was a thing. He talks a lot about the ‘things’ we’re dealing with here and they are pretty terrifying. He seems to think that putting a kid to sleep is the better option than trying to unscare the shit out of them at a later date. And at the sound of some of the shit that went down on whatever hell he landed on before coming here I tend to agree with him. Again, he’s putting a lot of trust in you by giving you this thing. It only stuns but at the same time it is a very powerful weapon.”

Darcy turned it over. It fit perfectly in her right hand, causing her to wonder how they worked that out.  The dial was worked by her thumb and had notches so that she could do it blindly while the trigger was worked by her index and middle fingers. Engraved prettily with images of lighting bolts and clouds, the metal was pleasantly cool in her hand and reminded her of Thor’s hammer. “Vibranium, babe.” Was Tony’s comment. Vibranium, out of Wakanda. A country who had stated explicitly that they only suffered Loki’s rule because they had seen visions saying it should be so, but that they would stay separate. They had some kind of deal, apparently. But if they were offering him their precious metals she had to wonder.  

“Cool gift.” She said, and put it back in its box.

Coulson spoke up again after being silent for that whole exchange. “Now that we’ve got that over with Darcy, we need to talk about your security...”

...

After hearing all about security procedures and meeting Loki’s head of security when she popped in briefly, she dragged herself to Jane’s lab where the astrophysicist was trying to explain Darcy’s colour coding system to one of her new assistants.

Darcy sighed. It really wasn’t that complicated but Jane’s brain worked in mysterious ways. “Oh hey there.” She said brightly, startling them both out of their filing trance.

Jane looked up with sparkling eyes. “Hey! Darcy come see all the new gear!”

...

Loki was in a meeting with some Elders and scientists from the north of the Americas and Iceland to discuss the serious issues of climate change and specifically ice melt. It was something that needed to be addressed in the immediate future. He was blown away by the level of the corruption that had been involved by the mining companies and conglomerates that had been preventing anything real from being done on this issue and others for decades at least. The data had been coming out for a very long time in human years, and yet very little of any consequence had been done to halt the damage. It was appalling.

As an Elder from Iceland was describing their country’s geothermal infrastructure Loki was finding it hard to concentrate with a particular conversation drifting through his mind. His match had obviously decided to meet with her friend, Dr Foster and he was unfortunately privy to their dealings through their unfortunate decision to use certain key words and lies mixed in with the truth.

... Loki the god of lies’ soulmate you are a terrible liar.

Jane, you know there is no way that I want to ‘test that Asgardian stamina’!

He tried to remain present and listen as the elder spoke about how quickly the people of Iceland had adjusted to the new sources of power but he couldn’t help who was lying around him. It had always been a curse more than it was a blessing.

‘No way’ hey? Not even for science? Just like I didn’t want to swallow down Thor’s dick like it was my favourite flavoured Popsicle when he was down here.

Loki shifted in his seat with a frown. That was definitely not something he wanted to hear about. Ever.

Darcy laughed, her amusement tickling his mind pleasantly.

No? You don’t want seven minutes in heaven with actual god? Right. He’s not your type?  HA! Tall dark, sarcastic? You're not even good at lying to yourself. But come on! Those hands! Darcy just think about what he could do with those. Don’t you just want him to stroll down the hallway and pull you into a cupboard and...Loki was a little appalled that his latest scientific recruit had thought about any of these things to do with his person and he had no idea what heaven or cupboards had to do with anything. 

Nope - don’t want him to get distracted from all that clean energy that’s on the agenda today. Loki winced.

When did you get so boring?

I don’t know, maybe it was when I found out that my soulmate is the Alien Overlord

His brain though, Darcy.

...nope. I don’t care how big and attractive his brain is Jane! I’m just going to do the work. I have a really great chance to do some good here, you know? I don’t care how sexy he is when he talks politics... Or how cute he is when he does the self-depreciation thing...or how good his voice sounds...I can deal with it if it means that I can do this kind of work. Loki rubbed his eyes tiredly. He'd had no idea. He thought she didn’t care for him at all, let alone-

He certainly thought you were sexy when you speak politics. And, you know, about tacos or anything really. In New Mexico he couldn’t keep his eyes off of you at all! And when he kissed your hand he looked like he wanted to keep right on going and eat you alive.

OK- No. He’d just found out he had a tiny mortal match! Of course he was staring because I’m pretty sure I wasn’t a part of the plan. We have like zero chemistry Jane. It’s not going to happen.

Loki was pulled away by a question addressed to him in the room. He filed away the weakness of Darcy Lewis’ rather ... specific denials and his own feelings on the matter to address those presently in front of him.

It was later that evening when he was walking down an otherwise abandoned hallway and saw the woman he couldn’t get out of his mind ambling along slowly and clutching the golden box containing her new weapon that he took a chance and pulled her into the nearest cleaning cupboard, leaning over her in the confined space and caging her between his arms. She squeaked adorably before realising who it was and relaxing only a little. “Oh. Hello.” She swallowed and leaned back against the wall and craned her neck to see him standing over her, her eyes wide. He could hear her heart rate pick up and saw her pulse beating at her throat. Ignoring his pressing impulse to lean down and lick that spot he looked into her eyes as he braced his arms on either side of her head, his hands fisting in an effort to suppress the very real need to touch her.

“A word to the wise, Dr Lewis.” He began, keeping his tone wry and making sure his lips quirked up to show that she wasn’t in trouble. “Mortals who say my name, who invoke my title, little mortals who lie -even if it is only to themselves-gain my attention. It is not something that I can help, just as Odin cannot help but hear all the prayers whispered to him into the dark of night. If you wish your conversations about me and my ‘stamina’ to be private, I’d encourage you to keep them truthful, and to avoid gaining my attention by calling me something else. I go by Lopt in many realms, or ‘My dashing and rather handsome soulmate’ would do too.” He gave her a cheeky grin and she blushed beetroot red but laughed, swearing under her breath. He leaned away from her and saw regret flicker across her face briefly as he vacated her personal space. Interesting.

His eyes flicked down to the box clutched in her hand. “Was my gift to your taste? I heard that you used a similar weapon to fell my brother while he was last here.” He said, his smile growing.

She looked proud and nodded. “Hell yes I did. And thank you, it’s both beautiful and badass. Best present I’ve ever received to be honest.”

Not that he would tell her this but Loki had had a lot of practice. While having Sif as a secret lover all those centuries ago had been a rather tumultuous affair that he sometimes regretted, gifts that were ‘beautiful and badass’ had earned him a number of rewards he wouldn’t ever forget. He was glad all of that knowledge had a practical application now. 

“I take it Stark behaved himself?” He leaned against the wall behind him causally, grateful the cupboard was rather empty of cleaning equipment right at that moment.

She rolled her eyes. “As much as I assume he ever does. He uh. He seems to really like you.”

Loki smiled at the thought of the unlikely friendship that had blossomed between them. “I quite enjoy his company myself. It was refreshing to come upon a realm where intelligence and learning isn’t equated with weakness, nor our deeds called tricks and schemes if they don’t involve a bludgeoning of some description. The man is incredibly obnoxious but I also have been known to be, in my time. We understand one another well.”

Darcy laughed. Loki brushed his thumb over the engraved box, avoiding touching her hand. “You would be wise to take this out of its wrapping and carry it on your person. That way the next overbearing man who pulls you into a cupboard will get what’s coming to him.” He gave her a self depreciating smile and she laughed.

“You asking me to shock you Prince Loki?”

He chuckled. “Perhaps another time.” He said and drank her image in for a moment more before bowing his head. “I’ll take my leave of you now. Dr Lewis.” He said quietly and transported himself away before her close vicinity got the better of him.

...

Darcy took a moment before she peeked out of the cupboard to see if anyone would witness her creeping about. The space still smelled like his cologne and despite all her weak denials to Jane it was really doing it for her. When she saw that the hallway was empty she slipped out and headed back to her chambers. Her heart was still thudding in her chest. Her body felt all tingly and her stomach was still settling. Though he had only touched her for a moment he had grabbed her with one arm, pulling her into his chest in order to transport them to a closet. Her bicep, back and shoulder were burning with sensation. This was a thing, apparently.

She huffed in frustration. Darcy was sex positive and all for love where you found it but this was Loki Odinson; he’d taken over their world and personally put her in danger with a fire faced robot before that. Thor was actually technically dead for a bit and all he had to say about it so far was that it was an off day.

But then...she leaned against her wall and looked down at the box containing the sweetest, most thoughtful gift that she’d ever been given. Better than her bat Mitzvah gift from her parents, which had been pretty big at the time. She’d wanted those earrings for ages.

But this wasn’t some trinket. He had given her the means to take him down, and then encouraged her to use it. Despite his dry tone she had seen seriousness in his eyes. He really wanted her to feel safe around him and that was huge. He’d also been giving her a lot of space since they both found out and while Darcy had been telling herself that it was because he didn’t want her his body language in the cupboard and the night before laid lie to those words.

He was definitely warm for her form. He even seemed to like her brain. And, she thought as she kicked herself about the lies she’d told that afternoon, the feeling was very, very mutual. She sighed and put the box down as she walked to her kitchenette to make coffee. The palace, or at least this wing had a kitchen and she’d been receiving meals three times a day since she’d moved in. it was pretty awesome but she found herself craving pizza and beer and a night watching Netflix.

As the coffee dripped into the jug she eyed the files that she’d found slid under her door when she’d arrived home. She sighed at the size of the pile. To think that this was a fraction of what Pepper would be dealing with on the daily. These were her days off. She gave another heartfelt sigh and leaned her forehead on the bench. This was her life now. She just had to channel CJ Craig and work her ass off. Tomorrow was her first day of work and she was going to know her shit. She was going to impress those fuckers’ pants off.

...Or at least, there was only one person whose pants she cared about, and apparently her new kink was impressing him.

She poured herself a coffee and sat down on her couch. She was going to read the shit out of this parcel.

Chapter Text

Her first day of work went really fast. She was shown to her very own office which had surprised her, with a little sign that said 'Dr Lewis' which she was still getting used to. It was small and compact, as expected with just a desk and chair with built in bookshelves along the wall and had a nice floor to ceiling view of the sky outside. She also had a brand new STARK computer, tablet and phone so after she finished her tour of the wing she sat down and set that shit up, calling techs when she needed to and doing all the boring things that were necessary on the first day.

She had lunch with Pepper, who told her that for the next few weeks Darcy would basically be shadowing her, learning the ropes. “You’re on a really steep learning curve, but I want you to know that if you’re not catching on it’s OK and to tell us. We’ll only throw at you what we think you can catch. This is a whole new governing system, and we’re all learning more every day. Even Prince Loki.”

That had been both reassuring and terrifying at once but she assumed Pepper knew that. So Darcy finished up her day and went home to read the parcel that had, of course been left under her door.

...

It was two weeks before Darcy spoke to Loki again. Sure she’d seen him in her day to day work; had even been in conversations with him, but they were at work and she was just the new kid so other than a slight widening of the eyes or the tightening of a fist in his case or a little lip bit or two in hers they were only ever professional towards one another.

Actually watching him at work had been a revelation in and of itself. He was always respectful to those around him, listened to people but even so he carried himself with authority and spoke in a tone that brooked no argument, only occasionally giving into his love of biting sarcasm. He was gracious and polite, but his bearing and posture let everyone know unquestionably who was in charge around here. His decisions were hardly argued with, mostly due to the fact that they all worked together on things so that by he time decisions were made everyone was either on board or had already made their thoughts known. It also helped that he had gathered some of the world’s most intelligent and progressive thinkers for his team. And he made it look so easy; he looked every inch the prince, Darcy realised in the middle of the first day. He had been doing this shit for hundreds of years, and watching his dad do it for even longer. When they’d met Thor Loki had been on the throne of Asgard.

It kind of made sense that this was how he decided to deal with the problems that Than-ass had given him and earth, this was what he was best at so he went for that option. She knew that Thor would think it was the weak way out, fixing things through policy rather than some big battle to subdue and rescue. He would argue that all of these discussions and talks made him look weak in front of his people. And, if Loki’s forlorn but resigned expression while talking to the empty sky as his requests for aid went unanswered told her anything it was that this was the prevailing attitude of where he was from. Why achieve things with a pen when you look cooler doing it with a sword or hammer?

It was a Friday at about 9pm when Pepper asked her to deliver some papers to Loki’s office for his signature when she walked in on a super awkward scene. She heard him first, voice muffled through the door, sounding exhausted and 100% done. “Claudia I meant it the first time, the second time and I still mean it this time. There is nothing for you here. So much so that I am going to ask for you to get transferred back to the surface. I’m sure that you will do well in our Calcutta office, there is certainly need of your skills enough to keep you busy there.”

“I don’t understand. Are you firing me?” She sounded shocked, and Darcy couldn’t figure out why, if she’d tried ‘this’ before (Darcy hoped ‘this’ was just baking him cookies or something but she wasn’t an idiot.) Her stomach twisted at his next words.

“Woman you are standing unclothed in my office without my consent, nor any prompting on my part. In fact you have had an adequate amount of warning I should think. Firing you would be a perfectly reasonable avenue for me to take. On Asgard I can assure you the punishment would be far harsher. But no, you will keep your job; it will just be working under someone else, and somewhere where you can no longer try my patience.” The last bit was a little growly and a lot tired and Darcy found herself both a little turned on and also fearing for the woman’s safety.

Darcy stood at the door trying to figure out what to do. She wanted to bolt, but his autograph was needed for an orphanage and foster children’s nutrition inquiry. It wasn’t really something that could wait, kids needed to eat so that they could grow up smart and healthy. She raised her hand to knock on the door when it swung open. Loki’s eyes widened for a moment before he turned to the woman standing butt naked in the middle of his office, her fuchsia pedicure clashing nicely with the plush green carpet. Darcy sighed quietly in disappointment; it was that Claudia, a member of Pepper’s team and an ace lawyer. They’d miss her amazing negotiation skills, but Darcy couldn’t bring herself to be sorry while she was experiencing the very new sensation of burning jealousy right about now. She wanted to cover his eyes and claim him with an animal wildness that she’d never really experienced before.

“Ah, Dr Lewis you brought that paperwork I needed for the...?” He asked, recovering quickly.

She nodded and he drew her in before giving Claudia’s a cold expectant stare, skilfully keeping his eyes above her neck. Darcy was hella impressed with his self control. The woman looked both embarrassed and pissed off as she exited the room and Loki slammed the door behind her, locking it silently with a wave of his hand.

He moved towards her and gripped her hands in his own; opening his mouth to try to explain himself when he noticed Darcy was biting her lip to hide the laugh that was bubbling up. She raised her eyebrow and him and his face softened, his own lips twisting in humour before finally releasing a chuckle, his face colouring in a blush she didn't think him capable of. “I take it you heard that exchange then?” He asked, a little relived and released her hands. As was becoming her new normal they tingled with sensation where he had touched her.

“Yeah, well, the end of it. Did she really hide in here all naked?”

He nodded with an expression that told her all about how many times this kind of thing had happened in his lifetime and gave a tired sigh. “Yes. Yes she did. Unfortunately for her, that kind of tactic hasn’t done it for me in centuries.”

Darcy wondered just what did do it for him as he crossed the room to his impressively sized desk. He sat down and looked up at her expectantly, leaning his elbows on the marble surface. “So what was it you were you delivering to me?” She looked at him blankly and he gave that self depreciating smile again. “Though I would be incredibly flattered if you did, I didn’t think you were here for tea and a chat.”

“Oh.” Darcy said and handed him the papers in need of his perusal.

He flicked through them, reading them insanely fast and nodded. He pulled out a pen and signed the appropriate places with his fountain pen (because of course) before handing them back to her. His eyes took her in, running over her baby pink Chanel suit of the day with a its tight pencil skirt and a matching pair of Jimmy Choos. She stood a little taller with his obvious interest which had been so lacking when it came to Claudia. “And I trust you’re settling in? Enjoying the work?” He finally asked, his eyes drifting up to meet her own.

Darcy nodded and waved the files. “Yeah, I mean, when you’re a first year Poli-sci student you dream of working for the kind of administration that prioritises health and education for the poor, orphans and kids in the foster system but who actually believed that was possible? Claudia was an idiot for putting that at risk.”

Loki gave her a cheeky smile and leaned forwards. “You saying she was wrong to desire me?” Darcy rolled her eyes and he chuckled, brushing his hair out of his face in a distracted move that had Darcy suppressing a lick of her lips. “I believe she was shooting for a promotion to Queen, actually.” He added in a bored tone that told her again just how much he dealt with that kind of attention.

Not that she blamed them or anything but Darcy raised her eyebrows. “But you’re not a king?”

 “I know. Which means of course that you’re right. She was a fool.” He smiled that smile again and Darcy bit her lip.

She was thinking of a witty answer when a loud knock interrupted them. “Lokes come on, I have Pizza!” Tony’s voice called through the door and Loki sighed dropping his bead back onto his chair. He waved his hand vaguely in the door’s direction and the genius burst though with his usual intense energy, a suited man at his heels holding a giant stack of pizza boxes. “Oh! Darcy-Lew! We can leave you two alone if you want a little-” Loki shot him a cutting glare and he shut up. It was all a little bit schoolyard and Darcy bit back a laugh.

“I apologise Dr Lewis, Stark was raised by wolves. Hello Happy.” He gave the other man a nod and he beamed back.

“Mr Odinson.” Happy answered and Loki sighed. Friday was right; he had a thing for titles, but of course he did.

“Well, I’ll just-” Darcy motioned and Loki stood, waking her to the door.

“It was good to see you Dr Lewis, I am ... glad you are enjoying your new role.” He said quietly, giving her an earnest smile that had her stomach taking another dip.

She gave him a bright smile in return and said “I totally am. You run a tight ship, Prince Loki, I’m impressed.” He huffed a laugh and she stepped backwards through the door, keeping their eyes locked until she turned and walked back the way she had come.

She wandered back to Pepper who received the forms with a smile and told her she could go home.

When she arrived at her apartment Happy was waiting there with a box of pizza. “Sorry Ma’am, but he wanted you to have this. It’s from this place in Brooklyn has the best pies in New York. Tony and I picked them up fresh for tonight.”

She smiled despite herself because Happy totally lived up to his name. “Thanks dude!” She opened it up and it was a delicious smelling margherita. No pig, seafood or beef with her yummy cheese and tomato awesomeness. She could totally get down with this. Her smile grew and he gave her an excited grin. This dude was adorable. “Can you tell him it’s perfect?” And he beamed. She continued with, “If he keeps this up I might even forget that I almost died saving puppies and kittens when that giant killer robot came to town.” She saw the man’s face crumble right before she swung her door closed, pizza box in hand. She felt a little bad but the boy had to know that although she was inordinately pleased that he wasn’t sleeping with any lawyer babe that turned up naked in his office he still had a ways to go.

Although, she thought as she took a bite of the pizza, Stark might just have earned a kiss or two, maybe even with the tongue. The pizza was amazing.

Chapter Text

The second time Darcy had been sent to deliver something to Loki it was during an all nighter and Loki had apparently been sleeping. It was around three in the morning and Darcy supposed even Alien Overlords needed to sleep sometime but it still shocked her a little when he answered the door to his quarters in an emerald green dressing gown obviously hurriedly tied and his hair adorably rumpled.

“Oh, Sorry Prince Loki,” She said, embarrassingly breathless but, like... whoa. “Uh, It’s only we’ve been working on these all night and the last three nights and Ms Potts needed you to sign off on them in time for trading this morning which... I suppose is now.” She ended lamely, looking at her watch.

He nodded, opening his door and ushering her in softly and walking towards his coffee machine, stretching those long arms and back sleepily in a way that Darcy could totally get down with. She didn’t realise she was biting her lip as she ogled the view from behind until he looked back at her to ask if she wanted a coffee.

Darcy was still blushing and stuttering a yes when there was a knock on the door and Maria Hill as well as about eight other security peeps dressed in black suits stepped inside abruptly.

She took in the room, including an awkward Darcy quickly before she said “I’m sorry Your Highness but there has been a breach in the south wing, we’re going to need to keep you secure until it’s been dealt with. Darcy must have looked worried because Loki ushered her gently into a plush chair and pressed a cup of coffee into her hand. She idly mused over the fact that the man had made his own brew as he sat down next to her and went about reading through the packet she’d brought him, looking completely chill for all the black suits and automatic weapons that were in his living space. But then again, prince; thousands of years old. He probably was really, really used to this kind of thing.

“This is really good work Dr Lewis.” Darcy blushed at his words, and then blushed a little more when he looked up at her and caught her blushing.

“I- I have a great team Your Highness. They’ve worked really hard on this.” She said, not wanting to seem too tight with the dude in front of all these security peeps.

He smiled at her crookedly over his coffee cup (a large mug printed with the details of a diner on Muscle Beach California) and was about to answer when there was another kerfuffle at the door. Darcy wasn’t sure how he did it but there was a lift and a twirl and suddenly Darcy was pressed against the wall with Loki in front of her, blocking her from whoever it was that had made it so far into the West Wing. She could feel the tension radiating from him through his- god, so solid- back when suddenly he relaxed, she could feel his deep voice vibrate when he spoke in a frustrated growl. “Wade, what are you doing here? Our meeting wasn’t till three this afternoon.” 

“Oh?! I thought you meant 3am! Sorry man!” Darcy peeked around her human (*Asgardian) shield and watched as the newcomer looked around the small apartment which was only a little bigger than Darcy’s own quarters and whistled comically as though he was completely oblivious of all the weapons pointed at him. “Gosh, Damn, Fuck you know how to decorate Lokes. Or at least she does...the writer. I wonder if she keeps her pinterest open as a reference while writing.” He laughed to himself. “I mean, what am I saying, right? She definitely does. I totally pinned those tiles and that wallpaper before...And can I just say I like how small and cosy it is in here. You’d think the king of the world would have bigger rooms.”

Loki let out a quiet so-done-with-this-shit sigh and placed his wickedly sharp and old looking knives (where the fuck did he even pull them from?) on the small mosaic side table at their hips, right next to the vase of black irises before helping a still shaky Darcy to sit again, gallant prince charming that he was. Wade, whoever the fuck he was (dude was wearing a super suit in red and black complete with a mask that tapered at the top to an adorable little tip at the back of his head that bobbed as he gestured wildly. Pretty much nothing else about him was adorable though) flopped on the other sofa nonchalantly. Loki seemed pretty relaxed now that he knew who it was so Darcy decided that she could start breathing again.

Maria Hill made them all another coffee without giving away an ounce of her badass cred (because she was totally cool like that). Wade giggled and squealed as she handed him his kitsch mug that was shaped like a kitten, doctoring it with large amounts of cream and sugar and slurping it loudly as Loki finished up reading the packet. Wade tried to begin a conversation a few times but Loki just held up his hand, which amazingly quieted the talkative super. Darcy concentrated on drinking her coffee, caught between Loki, who was sitting really close, his silk robe touching the part of her thigh exposed by her skirt and making her feel...things -And Wade, who was definitely checking her out from behind his mask. Somehow she didn’t feel threatened by it though. There was something about this dude that made Darcy think that if he didn’t like her, she’d already be dead. There was an otherness to him the way people talked about elves and sprites back in the day that was incredibly dangerous and mercurial, but not actually malicious... and that was more comforting than she ever thought it would be.

Eventually Loki was done, signing all the relevant bits and looking up at her. This close Darcy could see the rings under his gorgeous eyes and she was sorry she’d messed up his sleep, a weird thought considering she’s vehemently hated his guts a month ago. These days she...didn’t.  She wasn’t sure what she felt but she knew it wasn’t hate. “Again, excellent work Dr Lewis, I look forward to seeing how this scheme plays out in coming weeks and months.” He gave her a soft smile and Darcy had to admit that she got a little lost in his eyes for a moment there.

At the sound of a winsome sigh from the other couch the two broke apart awkwardly, Darcy shaking it off and taking the packet from Loki’s hands in exchange for her empty coffee cup (another delightfully kitsch one shaped like the Hulk’s head. *the writer winks at wade, who winks back, saluting with his own kitten mug*) “Uh, thank you. Your opinion of course means... a lot. I am also excited to see how this goes. I uh.” She stood and cleared her throat. “Thanks for the coffee and I’m sorry to wake you.” She finished lamely and Loki gave her another self depreciating smile.

“It was nothing. I hope you all get this wrapped up soon and get some rest.”

Darcy nodded and made her way out of the door, knowing a whole bunch of eyes followed. As the door closed behind her she heard Loki’s voice asking. “Now Wade, tell me what is it that you saw that had you disturbing my sleep.”

“But Loki you weren’t asleep! You were flirting with the pretty lady! And not that I blame you she’s...”

Darcy hurried away, not wanting to hear the rest of that conversation.

Chapter Text

The next time Darcy had to search out their fearless leader a few weeks later he was in the gym with Steve Rogers (he and his bff/ just plain bf Bucky Barnes had been miraculously ‘thawed out’ just around the same time as Loki had turned up, adding a little bit of apple pie to his worldwide campaign.) and they were beating the shit out of one another. Darcy guessed that when you had enhanced healing you could up the stakes a little more if that was your thing. It looked like it was totally their thing.

She watched through a window in the door as the two godlike beings wove in and out of one another’s space, Loki using those deadly looking knives of his and Rogers using that fabled vibranium shield she had read about in school. Shit was hot. She’d just slipped through the door after making sure she didn’t have any drool on her face when a knife whistled past her ear and slammed into the door. She let out a squeak and stared as it wobbled with the force of the throw. Loki was immediately in front of her, his face pale and expression distraught as he checked her for damage, patting down her arms as if there was another knife getting thrown around that he didn’t know about. “Norns you scared me. I thought I locked that door?” he swore loudly in another language or possibly several and wiped his sweaty hair out of his eyes. Darcy took a moment to enjoy the way his body showed up in a just a t-shirt and track pants, the shirt sticking to his cut chest with sweat she hadn’t really thought he was capable of.

“Sorry?” She tried and he groaned forlornly.

His eyebrows crinkled as he frowned and shook his head. “No, it is I who should be apologising. You could have been killed.” He swallowed and Darcy watched his face with a bit of dismay as she realised that she was swiftly becoming his person. Whether she liked it or not, that was totally a thing that was happening.

“I wasn’t though so we’re all good, right? Next time I’ll get Friday to tell you I’m here.”

“Next time I’ll lock the door.” He growled before muttering to himself “Though I could swear I did.” With another Asgardian swear while he continued to look over her as if checking to see that she was still alive. She felt a little self conscious in her pant suit and heels while the two sweaty men were looking like sex itself in their sports gear. She peeked past Loki to see Captain Rogers looking just as concerned, if a little amused at Loki’s flustered fussing. She was just glad that the almost stabbing wasn’t what he considered flirting on Asgard- because she could totally see that happening.

Steve gave her a smile and a wave. “Hi! Steve Rogers at your service, ma’am.” Loki’s Jaw tightened minutely and Darcy hid her smile as she reached passed him to shake the Captain’s hand.

“Nice to finally meet you. Well, amazing actually. And Uh, welcome to this century? I hope you don’t find our generation too daunting? I know things are a little more loose around here than they were in your day...or your other day...”

He laughed. “Well you can’t complain too much when you wake up to the eradication of polio and a cure for HIV. Sexual revolution wasn’t too bad either. And I have my soulmate which...” He looked a little dreamy for a moment.

Darcy grinned and Loki cleared his throat a little petulantly. Darcy tried to hide her amusement as she swung her eyes back to him with a bite of her lip. “Uh, got some more paperwork needs your autograph boss.”

He raised his eyebrows at her language but seemed happier now her attention wasn’t on the blonde Adonis. He sat down gracefully on a bench by the wall and motioned for her to join him. “You seem rather calm for a civilian who just had Dwarven made knives thrown in your direction Dr Lewis.” He commented as she handed over the goods.

She snorted and crossed her legs. Waving him off casually. “knife-singular. And hey, not the first time I’ve almost been brained by you, probably won’t be the last. I do have a healthy sense of self preservation but you get used to it when people like you or Thor are around enough. Also Jane; she has like, zero self preservation when it comes to science. Girl’s a genius but she’s a little crazy.” He didn’t look like he enjoyed her answer even with her finger twirling to depict how crazy her friend was. tough crowd today. “What? Would you prefer that I tased you? Would that make you feel better? But then I wouldn’t get these papers signed.” She pouted, sticking he lip our a little.

Steve laughed and she flashed him a grin. Loki was pretending to ignore her, doing his amazing speed reading thing so she guessed that was a no. “These will need some adjustments.” He finally said, looking up, his green eyes sucking her in for a moment as per usual. “I’ll have to deal with them later. Uh. Sorry again.” His eyebrows were doing the knotting thing and she wanted to smooth it with her finger.

Instead she shrugged and stood. “S’ all good. It’s not like it’s all that exciting around here so it was great to get my heart rate up. Probably healthy even” She said and he frowned even further.

“I thought you said you were enjoying yourself.”

She shrugged. “And I am- Enjoying my job so much. But that’s just it. There’s no social life around here, it’s just work. But don’t worry about it I was just stuck in a desert for two years thanks to SHIELD’s unique way of dealing with First Contact. I’m used to it. And this is so much better than data analysis of space anomalies. And we have bagels here. That’s totally a thing.” Steve nodded, because it was totally a thing.

Loki didn’t look satisfied but she was over it. “So. I guess I’ll let you guys keep beating the crap out of each other. Hey it was nice to meet you Steve! I’ll catch you around sometime.” She gave him a wink and heard Loki’s low growl as she closed the door. She turned to see them walking back to the ring and sighed a little at the view before she turned away. It was back to work for her.

It was a little later that Steve dropped by her office with those forms updated and signed sporting some pretty colourful bruises and a split lip that was quickly healing over. She raised her eyebrows but didn’t comment. He blushed beetroot but didn’t say anything either. “It was nice to meet you Dr Lewis, Stark’s been raving about you and Pepper certainly appreciates your work. Loki- well he doesn’t say anything but...”

That got her attention, but she cut him off, knowing Loki would so not appreciate it. “Hey, you too. How’s life on the helecarriers?” Rogers had been promoted to Commander and given his own helecarrier to work out of. He was working with Fury and coulson on Loki’s secret plans as well as generally helping with the pointy end of global peace keeping. Apparently that particular boat was chock full of mutants and caped heroes.

He scrubbed his hand through his hair and let out a slow breath as he thought about an appropriate answer. Obviously everything he did was classified. “To be honest it’s probably even more boring than here. We don’t have bagels that’s for damn sure.” He said with a straight face that Darcy could get down with. She did love her some healthy sarcasm dryly presented.

She laughed and he smiled. “Well, if you and Barnes are ever around I’m sure there’s some trouble we could get into around here somewhere.”

Steve’s eyes glittered with the possibilities before he sobered and started reluctantly, “I’m not sure Loki-”

She held up her hand and said, “Look Steve, I was offering friendship and Loki doesn’t own me. We barely know one another. He’s a big boy, he can handle it, and if he can’t he’s going to find himself in some trouble of his own.”

Rogers smiled. “Sounds like you’ll be good for him. And yeah, I’m sure Buck’d love to come visit sometime. Maybe we can all hit the surface or something.” Darcy’s eyes brightened at the prospect.

“I’d like that.” She said and he smiled in reply before he exited her office and closed her door softly behind him.

When he was gone Darcy pulled out her phone texted Loki for the first time.

...

Loki was in a meeting after a solid few rounds with Rogers to work out the adrenaline that had raced through his system when he saw how close he’d been to killing his own soulmate. They had been a little rougher than usual due to the surprising rush of jealous rage cutting through his system at the interaction between Steve and Darcy. He had always been a little possessive naturally due to his Jotunn nature but this was a little excessive even for him. After Loki got in a nasty jab to his mouth Steve calmly spat out some blood and asked “Bit of an overreaction don’t you think? She was just being friendly.”

Loki groaned and shook his head as if that would dispel the sudden urge to stake his claim and take the competition out. All it did was send droplets of sweat flying from the ends of his hair. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Was it like this for you with James?”

Rogers shrugged. “Hard to say as I’d just found out he was being brainwashed by the very organisation I thought I was dying for when I went into the sea -and used as a weapon to kill one of my closest friends.” He said dryly and Loki had nodded. “But I was pretty angry. There were moments I thought I would catch fire with how angry I was. Like anyone I looked at would just burst into flames right there.”

Yes, that would a possessive induce rage on a whole other scale. The thought of Darcy being captured at all or made to do anything against her deliciously strong will made him shake with the sudden urge to break necks. “I’m so glad we were able to get him back for you.” Was all he had been able to say and Steve had nodded but it didn’t stop him from taking a shot at Loki while he was distracted. Loki rubbed his jaw, cracked his neck and dove back in, the two not talking for another hour till they were both ready to face the world again.

Loki had been so glad to find some humans that were a little more robust than the fragile beings he had seen on the planet the last time he had visited. Indeed their progression was remarkable. He was glad that the serum had been lost, as experimenting on people, while it was far from rare wasn’t exactly encouraged behaviour in Yggdrasil. All the same was nice to have someone to spar with that he wouldn’t break in two in the practice ring.

He glanced at his custom made STARK phone and blinked in surprise as he saw a text from the woman he was fast coming to see as his beloved. It was rather concerning if he was honest.

Yo. Just saw Steve’s face. Really?

Loki winced. Perhaps sending the Commander to deliver those forms wasn’t his brightest move. But Steve had offered and he’d had this meeting...

Would it help to tell you that I was just as bruised by the end of our spar? Possibly more if I'm honest.

He typed back subtly whilst feigning interest in what the ex-president of America was droning on about and trying not to rub his healing jaw. Honestly these Americans were as bad as Asgard, pretending they were the centre of the universe. They had been quite disappointed with his arrival and Fury’s decision to aid his assertion that they weren’t in fact as great as they claimed to be. Their corruption of the entire economic system was appalling to say the least.

Maybe a little. Did you get it out of your system?

 He grimaced. She wasn’t going to give him any ground here. He had to say he didn’t mind for he loved a challenge.

Yes Ma’am. He paused, and then added.

Did you feel that way with Claudia? Still confused by the sensations that had burned through him.

Of course I did, but because I had eyes and could see you weren’t into her and because I don’t have any claim on you, I had absolutely zero reason to lash out. Of course she would have been a lot less understanding than Steve if I had...

 Loki winced again. He was sure she hadn’t meant it to hurt but it cut all the same. He took a breath to steady himself. She was just maintaining her boundaries, which after his behaviour was a wise and reasonable move.

Yes you are right. Thankfully he had his own demons to purge.

Though Barnes had been recovering nicely due to the serum in his veins and a goal to work towards as well as a few understanding comrades who had also been mind controlled; he was still healing and had a long way to go. Loki wished he could give him all the time he needed, allow him to retire on an island somewhere with his lover and soulmate but the earth needed them both in coming times. Perhaps they would find somewhere to settle down after it was all over. He knew he’d definitely need some time. That was if he survived this. Indeed if they won at all.

To be honest I think we both know that you have soul claim on me, whether I wished it or no- he began typing but deleted it. He couldn’t push her too far or she would quit the palace and leave him alone, a prospect that was quickly becoming his greatest nightmare. When one compared to his other nightmares was concerning indeed. He had to find a way to woo her soon or he would go mad.

Was this what the others had gone through? Had he cursed this world with such a thing? It hadn’t been his intention. It was only to inform people of potentials while covertly harnessing the resulting sexual and emotional energy to fuel their fight against an incredibly powerful being and his army of creatures who were relentless in battle.

Loki frowned. He hadn’t had any complaints. Surely there were religious groups calling it the 'Mark of Satan' and the Free Love Tribe cult who were slicing it from their bodies- a concerning form of self mutilation but their right all the same. Honestly he would have removed their kisses from their bodies but they had rejected all forms of communication so far. And of course there were the men who felt they were entitled to anything they wanted, and they included women in that description of course. The algorithm wrapping the magics weighed this kind of thinking heavily and these men found themselves without a match at all ... which was creating its own problems but hopefully those problems weren't making themselves known as bruises on woman's bodies so much anymore.... But he hadn’t had reports of the sheer strength of emotion that he had been experiencing. Perhaps it was a species thing. He would have to sit down with his specialist team and discuss it.

But then again it was a little too late now. Thanos could arrive at any time and they needed the magic this particular solution had granted them. He would never even know.

...

Darcy sat back and grimaced at Loki’s latest message. Yeah, on that note. Steve and I are going to be friends. You’ll have to learn to behave or you won’t be allowed to play with us. She knew she was probably pushing buttons here but this had to be nipped in the bud. I mean, if this kind if thing happens around other people they’re going to find out about us pretty quick. She blushed at her wording. We’re not an ‘us’, she scolded herself. That’s not a thing.

It was totally a thing.

No you’re right. He answered. I’m going to put you in danger if I can’t learn to keep a lid on this. I apologise again.

She stared at her phone biting her lip. The truth was that he wasn’t the only one who got a little hot under the collar that afternoon. Oh I don’t know. She typed, biting her lip. Did she really want to make a move? It might take another of those pizzas before I can forgive you. And some major puppies eyes. Better bring beer too.

She winced as she pressed send, hoping he’d find it cute and not juvenile. She was only 25 after all and had spent most of the last five years sciencing or buried in research papers. How was she supposed to compete with whoever else he’d been with in his life? Darcy had only met the Warriors Three and Sif but she was... it was pretty intimidating. Her hand moved to where her kiss was hiding under her suit jacked and she wondered again what the fuck made the kisses think she had a chance with a god.

...

It was about ten pm that night when there was a soft knock at her door. She looked at the reflection in her crisp full length mirror. She was dressed in an oversized t-shirt with the lace of her bra peeking out from the low v-neck with some velvet leggings. Totally presentable enough- she was even wearing pants. She threw on a cardigan so her kiss was covered and palmed her taser as she opened her door. Loki was standing there dressed in slacks and a snug black jumper holding two pizza boxes, a six pack of beer in one hand and, draped along his other arm was an adorable sleeping puppy. She gaped and then snickered as she opened her door for him to his consternation and a little confusion.

 “Did you not want-?” He asked and she waved off his question.

“No, uh, it’s perfect, you’re so perfect...It’s only that ‘puppy dog eyes’ is an expression.” She said and he blushed, eyes wide in apology for fucking up in such an obvious way.

“In fact you’re pulling some pretty good ones now.” She said as she closed the door and leaned on it to hide the fact that her knees had turned to jelly.

“Oh. Well then.” He looked down at the dog as if trying to figure out what to do with it. To be honest the whole picture was really doing it for her.

Fuck you are adorable.” She blurted and he looked at her through his lashes, making everything worse, or better. She couldn’t decide. She sighed and motioned down her long apartment towards her couches in an invitation, grabbing some plates from the kitchen. There was no way Loki would eat pizza straight from the box like mere mortals did. “So, uh, where’d you get the puppy on such short notice?”

He gave her a shy smile. “Actually, he is a magical beast. I made him when I was little more than a child. His name is Fenrir and he shall protect you, if you accept him of course.”

She melted. God, he was amazing. “You made this when you were just a kid?” she exclaimed

Loki nodded. “He can be this small or he can grow as needed. In fact I really should have thought about gifting him to you earlier.” He said thoughtfully and Darcy gaped.

“That’s pretty huge Loki are you sure? How about I just borrow him for a while?”

The Prince gave her a measuring look and nodded, as if to say ‘we can call it that if you like’. He passed her the black wolf hound who woke up, making adorable snuffling noises as he sniffed her out. She gave an involuntary squeal as Fenrir licked her face. “Hello handsome! Are you going to be my guard dog are you?” Fenrir barked and she scratched him behind the ear, making the puppy turn to goo in her hands. She turned to Loki, “So does he like...eat and stuff?”

He shook his head, eyes bright as they always got when that brain if his big brain was engaged enough. “That would bring conflicting instincts into play. His only job is to protect, though he certainly has the emotional range to develop likes and dislikes. For instance if you had an ulterior motive with me he would have picked it up straight away. In a way, you could think of him as an advanced version of Stark’s JARVIS or Friday if they were given a flesh form and sharp teeth.”

Darcy’s eyebrows rose but she couldn’t think of a response to that. Instead she let Fenrir curl up next to her on the couch and opened a beer, offering it to the prince. “Well thank you.” She said, totally overwhelmed at another priceless gift from the prince. “I’ll enjoy his company at the very least. Everyone at the office is going to be so jealous.”

Loki smiled and took the beer and Darcy watched his throat work as he took a long draught. Girl could get used to this. “I already gained you permissions to take him to work with you. He is officially a... ‘Support dog’ I believe is the correct title.”

Darcy laughed. “The. Best.” She took her own sip of beer. It was an Australian brand that had aged the beer in oak whisky barrels and it was awesome. “Now, let’s have a look at this pizza.” She lifted the lid and the smell wafted her stomach growled. She snickered and said “Oh, you are so forgiven.”

Loki beamed as she took a giant bite.

Chapter Text

Darcy woke up the next morning to the weight of her new pet dog curled up in the curve of her hip. She reached down and scratched his ears. “Morning Fen.” She mumbled and he licked her hand.

She and Loki had actually had an awesome time the night before, talking about childhood pets and him asking her about collage. That led them to talking about politics and his goals with earth. Darcy hated to admit it but the guy was doing some serious good for their planet, or maybe that was her ovaries talking because yeah, that was a thing.

She had a shower, Fenrir sitting and guarding the door and ate breakfast while speed reading her itinerary for the day.

Excuse me Dr Lewis?

Sounded out Friday and Darcy paused with her toast half way to her mouth. “Yeah, Friday?”

Prince Loki asked if you would join him for the security meeting in the war room. Ms Potts has cleared your schedule for the duration.

Darcy placed the toast back on the plate. This was new. This was. Big. This was huge. “Uh, did he give a reason Friday?”

He suggests that you would benefit from being kept up to speed on the situation, and that he would prefer to have his civilian consultant in there. Or, at least that is his excuse to tell his men so that he doesn’t look lovesick fool... in his words Dr Lewis.

Darcy snickered and thanked the AI. She enjoyed Friday’s dry tone and penchant for sarcasm. She narrowed her eyes as she looked at Fenrir. “Can you talk Fenrir?”

He clearly understood her but shook his head. “Non verbal then.” He nodded. “Cool.” She said. “I can work with that.” He wagged his tail. Cute. She supposed people would probably freak out if there was a talking dog running around. People knew that Loki was a sorcerer. He had a flying castle for god’s sake. But it didn’t mean that they understood it on all levels. Because he usually mixed his magic with science and engineering he was mostly treated like the genius he was, just like Stark or Eric Selvig but a Prince. It was totally easy to do and Loki didn’t really dissuade this kind of dismissal of his more arcane abilities.

But he was a sorcerer, he had a whole ministry of witches. That was a thing. And as much as he liked to dress this magical dog up as an advanced AI, it didn’t stop him from being a living, breathing thing that he created. When he was a child. Amazing.

She yawned and took another gulp of coffee. She strolled to her wardrobe and dropped her robe to the floor. It was power suit time.

...

So, the dog got her some strange looks as she entered the War Room, but so did her Louboutons and her boobs so she just held her head high and pulled the most un-Paris Hilton expression in her repertoire. She’d gone with a slightly see through black pussy bow collared shirt and a pencil skirt with a very high slit at the back. Her blazer meant business and then there were all the trimmings (If by trimmings you meant seamed tights and emerald green lacy lingerie). She’d thought about dressing demure for the situation but her closet didn’t really have demure. Whichever stylist Pepper had got in for her wardrobe had gone heavy on the pussy bow secretary look. Sure, some outfits lent towards cute and fun but there were a few ensembles like the one she was currently wearing that were meant to draw every eye in the room. And, after learning at the feet of the mighty Pepper Pots, Darcy knew how to use it. All eyes followed her as she entered the room except for Rogers, Rhodes and Stark who were all discussing something at the other end of the table. Each of them gave her a bright smile as they noticed her. She returned them with a twist of her lips as she sat down next to a fierce looking woman with red hair and Coulson next to her who gave her a respectful nod. Girl had to be grateful for allies like this.

On her other side sat Deadpool, or Wade, the dude from Loki’s apartment a few weeks ago, still wearing his red and black suit with his mask still on. She said hello and went for a handshake which he turned to a hand kiss through his mask. “And can I say you look ready to smash heads this morning Madame?” He said in his Canadian accent and she smiled winningly. Oh she was keeping him.

Loki swept in wearing his own black power suit after that, with Barnes and Fury trailing behind him like the puppies they were and the meeting started.

Rhodes and a guy who looked pretty damn similar to Steve stood and gave reports about activity they were picking up in deep space. Damn. Astronauts were always pretty in the movies but...

The morning stretched on, all these military big wigs from different countries and specialties reporting some pretty concerning shit. Seemed like the action was starting a little earlier than anyone would like. From the expression on a few faces they’d been hoping Loki was full of shit. He didn’t look too happy right at the moment that was for sure.

“Do we know what their first target will be?” Asked a stuffy general with a South African accent that Darcy didn’t know the name of. He’d leered her way a few times until Wade had done something over her shoulder and he’d stopped. Yeah, definitely keeping this one.

Loki scrubbed his face with one giant hand. “It is hard to tell.  The titan is adept at finding spies and moles where he needs them. He hardly needs their permission to gain the information he needs, and sometimes he’s even subtle about it.” He said solemnly and everyone tensed. That was as close as Loki was going to get to actually talking about mind control. Shit was real. “His end goal is total annihilation. My guess is that he would start with some of the most densely populated areas for shock and awe. Either China or India to start. We cannot allow him to succeed in this. Obviously I would prefer not one life to be lost, but our civilians are absolutely to be protected.”

Steve nodded, looking stern and righteous behind the black haired prince. There were a few brows raised and Darcy took note of those that seemed to think that collateral damage was A-OK. She raised a brow of her own and crossed her arms. Dudes were crazy if they thought that shit would fly.

“How are the largest space craft coming along? Reed?”

A seriously lanky man next to the astronaut and a beautiful blond woman looked up. “Two are nearly finished. The third and forth need at least another month. I’m still a little concerned about the force fields.”

“They’ll work.” Said the woman and they exchanged a look.

The man gave her a look that would have been quelling if she was having any of it, which she wasn't. Still, he said “I would still prefer to test them further.”

Loki nodded but said, “I have faith in Dr Storm and The Surfer’s calculations.” The woman blushed; the aquiline silver dude next to Dr Storm just nodded. Or she thought he did, it was hard to tell.

Loki spoke up again. “I have heard word that our enemy has just lost another stone through an unlikely group of heroes. He will be angry. This could go either way for us. One of those heroes was another of his ‘children’ gone rogue.” His expression was unreadable and Darcy wondered what the story was there. “Gomora is an incredibly dangerous being and we are extremely lucky she made the decision that she did. Ou- Her sister, Nebula seems to have made her escape also. We should all hope that this is the case as she too is a living weapon, surviving even worse alterations than our comrade Barnes here.” There was an image of a terrifyingly pissed off blue woman on the screens. She looked like what cyborg’s dream of being when they grow up. “If you spot this woman do not engage. If she is your enemy she will make you wish you were never born. Contact me immediately.”

A dude with mutton chops in the X-Men’s yellow and black cracked his knuckles and Loki gave him a quelling look. “She could test even your ability to regenerate, Logan. I mean it. I cannot afford to lose any of you out of stupid pride.”

Wade piped up from next to Darcy. He had his mask partially pushed up and he was eating an apple. She could see scars all over what skin was exposed but he didn't seem to mind. “Are you sure Lokes? I mean we could certainly waste her time some. She looks like all my dreams come true.” He said dreamily making Loki crack a smile, his eyes softening with mirth. The rest of the room looked kind of confused.

The woman on the other side of Logan, a tall beauty sporting a white Mohawk spoke up. “And what if she gains the things we wish to protect?”

Loki swallowed. “Contact me, Ororo. Though by all means you or Eric may try to prevent her from leaving if you can do so from a safe distance.” The woman gave a dangerous look and Darcy found herself a little turned on. Mutants were badass.

As she shifted in her seat the her apple eating friend leaned in and whispered “I know.” She had to stifle a laugh, grateful Loki had had her seated with someone entertaining.

 The meeting went on, everyone discussing the different facets of world protection or attack strategies. There were mentions of nukes and all sorts of shit but Loki kept his bottom line, never losing his temper but looking pretty dangerous in some moments. All in all Darcy was pretty terrified. It looked like the shit was going to hit the fan pretty damn soon.

Over the lunch break the hot astronaut waltzed over to Darcy and her new best friend Wade with a smile that spelled trouble. “Hey what’s up? Storm, right?” Darcy asked and dude nodded and gave her a smile as if it was obvious. Maybe it was, she wouldn’t know out in the desert.

“And you are? I didn’t get your name in there.” The guy clearly had an ego the size of Texas. Darcy subtly checked that Loki wasn’t looking murdery but he was off talking to the mutant contingent.

“Uh, Dr Lewis.”

He gave a smarmy smile that belonged on a man thirty years older, “Doctor, hey? You know there’s something in my pants that you could take a look at...”

Darcy and Wade snorted while Fenrir gave a growl that had Storm doing a double take and shifting backward slightly. She filed that away for later thinking that perhaps that was the reason Loki seemed more relaxed today. He had her covered. She gave a sigh. “Look Storm, we’re all going to be really busy round here and it’s best if things aren’t awkward around, you know? Let me just lay it out for you.” She Pulled out her taser and dialed it up to ‘strong man’ He peered at it and pushed the dial up to ‘super soldier’ for her. She raised an eyebrow and he wiggled both of his with a cheeky grin. She snorted again. Was he serious? “Does all this really work on women?”

He gave her a look that very seriously said ‘bitch better believe it’. He waved his hand down his spandex-or-whatever clad body “All of this really works for women.”

She laughed again. “Look I have a really beautiful soulmate and you look like a lot of fun so let’s be friends? Can we? I could use a few of them around here.”

He narrowed his eyes but after a moment he held out his hand. “OK you’re on. Now tell me Dr Lewis, how do you feel about fireworks?”

Darcy’s eyes lit up and Wade, who had been surprisingly quiet until then said. “Oh, I can tell this is the beginning of something beautiful.”

After lunch shit got a little more heated. The Wakandans had arrived and things got a little tense. They weren’t the biggest fans of quite a number of people in the room. Darcy watched from the edge of her seat as the power dynamics shifted. Where the mutants and supers were all clearly dangerous individuals the king of Wakanda was a BAMF that was taking no hostages. He had a serious case of the growlies with Loki and his administration and he wanted everyone to know it. She watched closely as Loki calmly dealt with the major attitude in the room. There were a lot of petty fuckers who would use this as an excuse to cause their own problems. Eventually her mouth ran ahead of her brain and she found herself speaking.

“To be honest, I don’t know what your fucking problem is.” She announced loudly, and managed not to flinch when the Panther’s gaze swung to take her in, or when the rest of the room followed suit. Instead she did what she did best, turning up her All American Girl persona and knocking her head to the side as she idly stroked down Fenrir’s back where he apparently dozed on her lap. “I mean here you are pissing all over earth and claiming that it’s yours, and despite the fact that I resent you implying that anyone owns me, I get it. There’s a new cat in town and to be honest it’s pretty fucking mortifying that we need this pretty boy in any way. But if, as you say, the earth is yours then I’m wondering why the fuck you aren’t willing to share your force field technology to help the rest of the earth stay alive against the Big Bad? ...So, here’s the deal. If you care as much about the rest of us as you say you do, then let’s agree to the deal. However if this is in fact about the size of your dick like I think it is... well flop it out. Come on, let’s see it. I’m sure Prince Loki would be happy to get this over with.” She stole one of Wade Wilson’s apple pieces from the table in front of her (that he was cutting up with a wicked looking knife- how did he even get that into the War Room?) and took a bite, holding T’Challa’s gaze as his own flicked down to where her red lips were biting into the apple. She raised an eyebrow, and slid her eyes down his fine body to his crotch before connecting with his eyes again. Eventually he started laughing, loud and deep. After a second the rest of the room joined in, all those dudes who were about to piss their pants because of Mr growly were laughing with relief. Darcy allowed herself a crooked smile and accepted Wade’s low five below the table top.

T’Challa turned to Loki. “This young woman has a point. I suppose we will agree with your deal. But when the danger is over we will take our knowledge with us. And retreat again into our own lands.”

Loki nodded with a small smile and that was that dealt with.

...

It was two AM when her reckless move in the War Room really caught up with her. Loki knocked on her door, pulling her out of bed in just an oversized t-shirt and her bed hair. This time around he wasn’t holding beer or pizza. Actually Darcy was wondering as she blinked sleepily up at him if it was her puppy eyes that were needed right now. She pulled some just in case but he didn’t seem to notice. He pushed passed her into the room silently and grabbed her shoulders, steering her gently but firmly into the closed door.

He leaned over her, his face serious and she couldn’t decide whether she was turned on or intimidated. God, he smelled really good; turned on was totally winning. “And what precisely were you thinking by drawing the attention to our most dangerous earthbound ally in such a way, Dr Lewis?” His eyes flashed dangerously and he leaned even closer, his forehead almost touching hers. His voice was low and a little broken, “If he found out you were my mate...”

She swallowed. She hadn’t really thought things were that tense between them. But yeah, she could totally be used as leverage. That was a thing that powerful men did to try to get to other powerful men. “I’m sorry;” she squeaked, wringing her hands by her sides. “It was coming out of my mouth before my brain caught up with me! He was just being such an asshole...” She bit her lip and pulled her sorry face again. Dude was totally right this time after all.

He lifted one hand from behind her head and traced her cheek with his thumb. “I am afraid that I wouldn’t think twice about starting a war over you, Darcy.” His expression showed just how stupid a move that would be. “Please be wiser in the future.” He dropped back and sighed. “Thankfully it worked. He seemed to think you were just a secretary or another mutant and even asked if he could employ you.”

Darcy bit her lip. “Things are really heating up aren’t they?” Loki nodded tiredly.

“Part of me is happy that it will be over sooner rather than later but this has been such a steep learning curve for your world. The space travel alone...” He cut himself off and looked at her tiredly. “And your kind isn’t in the habit of cooperating together very well. Your leaders are like a bunch of petty school children- or, you were right, animals. Your rather crass analogy was... accurate.” He gave her a small smile.

“...So, would you have-?” She tried cheekily and squealed when he grabbed her around the waist. He held her tight in his arms and spoke into her hair “Do you wish to see my cock, Darcy Lewis? Is that what this was about?” She wigged and he loosened his arms so that she could look up at him.

“We could -you know if you wanted to- we could start with a kiss?”

He looked down at her through heavy eyelids and she bit her lip. He lowered his face to hers and she met him in the middle, standing on her tip toes. His lips were soft, and she mused that he really knew what to do with his mouth as he sipped at hers, over and over like he was parched and she was the only source of water for miles.

He loosened his arms around her, finding her hips with his hands and allowing her to move her own to his back and clutch at him through his shirt. Eventually he pulled away, moving his hands up her back and cradling her head under her hair. “You need sleep.” Was all he said and Darcy wanted to argue, but his expression told her she wasn’t getting any more action tonight. “Thank you, for saving my negotiation today. T’Challa was trying my patience.”

Darcy snorted and Loki snickered. “I’m sure it totally was not the first time that kind of thing has been brought up in a war room.”

Loki chuckled. “No, I don’t imagine it is. But Darcy I beg you to take more care in the future. I cannot concentrate on this whole world if you are in danger. I fear I am not that strong a man.”

She cupped his cheek and he leaned into her touch. “I’ll try, but Loki this is new for me. I’m not used to being... important, well, not important but an easy piece to manipulate...” He took her hand and kissed her palm.

“I know. Which is why I have asked my friends to watch out for you. I hope you don’t mind.”

She shrugged, if that meant Wade or Steve she could deal. “Hey, I won’t complain so long as they aren’t unreasonable.”

Loki snorted. “Darling knowing Thor for as long as I have, I have learned that being unreasonable is one of heroes’ most distinguishing characteristics. Despite all that I’m sure you’ll be able to keep them in line.” She smiled wickedly and he laughed again. “I must leave you to your rest. I’m sorry for disturbing you but...” He looked at her sheepishly.

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hot.” She said and his cheeks coloured a little bit as he looked away. She poked him in his rock hard stomach. “Just don’t go making a habit of it. Keep it for when it’s really necessary or you’ll lose your edge.”

He nodded and placed his hand on the doorknob. She grabbed his collar and pulled him down for another kiss, surprising him. She used his gasp as a sweet opportunity, making him moan as she entered his mouth and teased his tongue for a moment before pulling away. His eyes were black when he opened them.

“Sweet dreams.” She said and opened the door.

He blinked at her before smiling sweetly and backing though the door. Darcy bit her grin as she got back into bed and slipped into an easy sleep.

Chapter Text

Darcy tried not to think too much about romance or any impending galactic war as she worked steadily on the tasks that Pepper set her to do. Fenrir went with her everywhere, acting like an adorable puppy but watching over her carefully. She got used to his presence surprisingly quickly, but it wasn’t like she really needed to do anything to look after him. She had lunch with Steve and Bucky a few times, getting along well with both of them and slipping into an easy friendship.

It was a few weeks of barely seeing her soulmate before she opened her apartment door at the end of a long day to see Wade Wilson sitting on her couch and watching Neighbours on a projection on the mirrors in her lounge, the thing that served as a TV these days. not that it got much use, but there Wade was, cuddling one of her pinkest cushions to his chest. “Oh. Hey?”

Wade turned and Darcy saw his scarred face for the first time. She tried to keep her expression bright and welcoming though it looked fucking painful. He grinned at her. “Hey Pretty Lady! Loki’s slipped off the boat tonight for a little recon work.” He winked conspiratorially and Darcy decided he wasn’t supposed to share that detail. “... So he asked me to hang with you till he gets back if that’s OK.”

She raised her eyebrow but shrugged it off. She was sure Loki hadn’t meant ‘Break into Darcy’s apartment and tell her about my secret plans’ but she also guessed Wade did whatever the fuck he wanted and that Loki knew that. He was still wearing his swords and all his gear, just not his mask and was laid out on her couch keeping his boots off of the fabric. Sweet of him really.

“Cool. I uh, I’m going to go for a shower. So do you need to case the bathroom before I do or...?” He smiled brightly and leapt up, happy for a job to do.

He was back immediately and looked satisfied enough that there wasn’t a bogeyman in her basin so Darcy grabbed a change of clothes and took some time enjoying the warm water and her own space. Eventually she turned to water off and dressed in some leggings and a sweater, joining the superhero in her tiny apartment.

They ordered dinner and Wade was ecstatic because it was Mexican night at the palace kitchens- because apparently that was a thing. While they were chomping away and watching Kill Bill Wade looked up with bright eyes. “Sooo... Loki hey? You lucky bitch.”

She sighed. It was only a matter of time before he asked after all. “Yeah, you know about that huh?”

He giggled. “Pretty hard not to guess with all of his dreamy stares and romantic sighing. It’s about time the guy was given a romantic subplot. He deserves it. And an ass like that definitely deserves to be appreciated.” Darcy didn’t really know what exactly he was going on about but he was right about Loki’s ass. It was magnificent.

“Romantic Sighing?” She asked and Wade leaned his head in his hands and gave a sigh of his own.

“Yeah. When he thinks he’s alone he gets all dreamy and stares into space or at his kiss. You can totally tell who he’s thinking about.” Darcy stared at him a bit and he nodded seriously. Firstly it was pretty hard to imagine Loki not knowing someone was spying on him, but secondly she couldn’t really imagine a guy like Loki getting all...  “And then there are his conversations with Tony. I mean that guy is in love, right? Doesn’t care who sees it. He’ll tell anyone who’ll listen about Rhodey and Pepper and their tri-matched polyamorous bliss. So he’s all trying to get Loki to make a move and get with the romance but Loki just gets all mopey and says an intelligent girl like you doesn’t want a ‘monster’ for a soulmate -like being blue is anything to be ashamed of! I mean have you seen Mystique? Or Beast for that matter? Nightcrawler? They’re all babes! I mean...serious hubba hubba!”

Darcy stopped him there. “Wait a minute. Blue?”

Wade gaped. “You didn’t know? Oh you are in for a treat! That isn’t what he actually looks like. Well it is, except that he’s really blue.” Darcy didn’t say anything so he continued. “He’s still got those cheekbones- and that ass. I’m sorry babe I don’t mean to look but it’s like...you lucky lady.”

She smiled a little proudly. It was a really good ass. “What kind of blue?” She asked, trying to imagine it.

He sighed again. “Like the sky on a winter’s day. And he has these lines; white lines that make him look bad as fuck. And red eyes.”

Darcy raised her eyebrows again. “Red eyes?” He nodded, his expression telling her all she needed to know about how hot that was. “And he showed you this?”

He laughed at the ridiculousness of such a notion. “Oh hell no. I saw it through his window when he was sulking one night.”

Darcy didn’t quite know what to think about this guy peeping on her soulmate when he clearly wasn’t aware but she couldn’t deny that his information was useful. Loki was so tangled and complicated it would take a thousand years to get to know the guy. Any help was not to be sniffed at. And if she still wasn’t ready to admit that she liked her mate she could at least admit that he was a stone cold fox. “So why does he hide that he’s blue?”

Wade shrugged. “Beats me, but I think it has to do with some daddy issues and internalised racism. I mean it’s no secret that the guy has more issues than Playboy...” He added and Darcy nodded. That was true. She curled her legs up under her and thought about it.

Thor had mentioned the Frost Giants when he was on earth. That they were ‘monsters’ and that he’d stupidly started a war he couldn’t finish, which had gotten him banished to earth like some naughty corner. Was Loki a Frost Giant? Wade wasn’t wrong, guy had issues, and if he’d been raised by an enemy as a prince in an enemy realm that had to give you some fucking huge complexes. Motherfucking Asgard, man.

She took another swig of her beer. “So Wade, you got a soulmate?” He sighed and this time it was less dreamy. “Oh sorry, you don’t need to talk about it if you don’t want to.”

He opened his mouth to speak when there was a knock at the door. Fenrir got up and whined and Wade pulled out a gun she hadn’t known he was packing.

She opened the door and it was Barnes looking serious. “Hey Bucky what’s up?” She asked, not liking his expression.

“It’s Loki Darce, he got shot with something. Just wanted to check that you were safe.”

“Yeah, all good here, is he OK? Where is he?” She asked, pushing the door open wider.

The Sergeant looked to be about to deny her so she grabbed him by the scruff of the neck. “Take me to him James Barnes.” Her eyes told him all about what would happen if he didn't. When he swallowed and nodded Darcy let go and patted his chest. “Lead the way then.”

He didn’t look happy about it but he lead her through the plush halls and around through the west wing to a door that said Med Lab West. Restricted Access.

Darcy looked at the roof and asked “Friday? Am I going to be allowed in?”

I’m granting you access now, Dr Lewis.

“Thanks babe, you’re the best.”

Any time Dr Lewis. The AI answered and the metal door swung open. Inside there was a hospital room with a single bed occupied by a blue alien prince, his black hair spilling over the pillow by his head. Darcy was suddenly very glad Wade the loosed tongued merc was her company that evening.

She walked in with Bucky and Wade hanging back by the door. “We’ll be just outside Darcy.”

She looked back. “Thanks Buck.” She said quietly and then she was alone with an unconscious Loki. They weren’t really at this level in the relationship all things considered. And she was definitely sure he wouldn’t want her to see him in blue, but she was here now. She crept towards the bed silently and took him in.

He had a wound in his chest that hadn’t been made by any weapon Darcy could recognise, it was a burn and the radius of the hole was wider than one of Loki’s massive hands. It was healing though; she could see the pink around the edges where it had already begun. She could see he was in pain, his forehead creased and his mouth pinched. She didn’t like to see him hurting and wished there was something she could do.

Wade’s description was pretty spot on, actually. And he was right, Loki looked beautiful in his natural born skin. She wished he knew it. She reached out to smooth his brow he caught her wrist, opening his eyes. She stared at the ruby colour in awe while he stared at where his hand enveloped her pale wrist. “Darcy. Please, you don’t have to see me like this.” He said hoarsely and dropped her wrist like it burned. She turned and poured him some water and went to lift his head for him to drink it but he moved his head away, causing him to wince.

She couldn’t help the expression of hurt that crossed her face and he looked at her miserably. “I- My Frost Giant skin- it burns those with warm blood.” She raised her eyebrow and waved her unblemished wrist with an unimpressed expression. So yeah, she’d called it.

“Loki baby you didn’t burn me. Why did you think it would burn me?”

His eyebrows crossed and he stared at her skin, mystified. “In battle they always-”

Darcy leaned her hip on the bed and gave in to her impulse to smooth between his brows. “Sounds like a fucking badass natural defence mechanism, not an everyday occurrence. Now will you drink some water or are you afraid you’re going to freeze it?”

He frowned at her but nodded she supported his head and encouraged him to take sips, taking it away before he’d had too much. She combed his hair with her fingers and he closed his eyes, obviously enjoying the contact.

“So is this a magic thing? How injured are you?” She asked and waved in his general vicinity.

He nodded and winced as he tried to sit up. She gave him a quelling look and he stopped, looking sheepish. “I will repair quickly but a significant amount of my magic is being used to repair my body. My ah, Aesir form has been harder to hold since I no longer believe myself to be Aesir.” She nodded in understanding and he looked at her with a curious expression. “You knew? That I was-?”

Darcy shook her head. There was no real reason to dob Wade in at that moment. “Nope.” She said, popping the ‘p’.

“You do not look afraid.” He said, his eyes full of sad things that had Darcy wanting to punch someone.

She shook her head. “Nope.” She said again, playing with a lock of his hair. There was something about him lying there all vulnerable that had her wanting to touch him constantly. “Have to admit Loki I’m actually a little turned on. The blue really does it for me.”

He looked utterly shocked, as if the concept had never occurred to him. “What?” In answer she reached forwards again and he visibly flinched as she touched one of the lines etched into his cheek. His skin was cooler to the touch, but not freezing. It was kind of nice, actually. She stroked along the line softly and he gasped, closing his eyes at the sensation. She pulled back her hand quickly. He opened his expressive eyes and looked at her as if a whole paradigm just got smashed in that big brain of his. She reached forwards cautiously and touched a line at his shoulder. He hissed as she pressed a little firmer and as her finger trailed down to the inside of his elbow he arched off the bed slightly, his mouth open in a quiet gasp. His cheeks coloured purple in an obvious blush but she only gaped before biting her lip, trying to hide her pleased smile. Shit was sexy as fuck. She raised her eyes softly in question but he only offered shyly, “You are so warm to me in this skin.” As if that explained it, and in a way it kind of did.

She leaned forward, telegraphing her intent to kiss him and he sort of froze, eyes wide. She stopped, touching his jaw softly instead. “Can I kiss you?” She asked the skittish god and he closed his eyes before giving her the smallest nod. She took his face in both hands and kissed him gently.

He was cold. That was for sure, and they both gasped at the difference in temperature when her lips touched his, him moaning into her mouth as she moved. She licked the seam of his lips and he opened them and plunged his tongue into her mouth while he reached around with his long left arm and grabbed her face adjusting the angle easily in a move she could totally get used to.

It was the best kiss she had ever experienced by a hundred miles. Even their first sweet kisses of the weeks before were dead in the water compared with the sensations involved as well as his intense emotional response. They broke apart quickly when a doctor opened the door. “Oh, I’m Sorry.” The Korean woman said, obviously embarrassed. She cleared her throat awkwardly in a way that told Darcy all about just how sexy the view she’d walked in on was. Her expression changed to unmistakable sciency fascination though as she saw them both release a puff of mist on the exhale. “Fascinating.” She blurted and Darcy bit back a smile though Loki didn’t seem quite as sanguine about the interruption.

“Was there something you wanted Dr Cho?” He asked a little sharply.

She blushed and said. “Yes, Prince Loki, the cradle is ready for you if you wished to use that to heal and preserve your magic-?”

He thought about it for a second and nodded, though he didn’t look happy about it. “Yes, you’re right of course, that would be our best course of action at this juncture.” He said quietly. Darcy mused that he wasn’t too keen on playing the patient she squeezed his hand that she had grabbed and he added “Thank you Dr Cho.”

She called in her staff and Darcy backed out of the room, keeping her eyes locked with Loki as she retreated and silently promising him things if he behaved. In fact, she whispered them under her breath using the little tip he’d given her all that time ago. “Loki, god of lies, If you get all better and be good for Dr Cho I totally won’t reward you for it.” His eyes widened minutely and his gaze got a little intense as she winked saucily and backed out of the door. It was good to know that worked, really. Shit could come in handy in all kinds of ways.

She walked back to her room with Wade and Fenrir while Barnes stayed leaning casually by the door, giving her a cheeky wink and a thumbs up as she walked passed. His super soldier hearing had clearly picked up her little promise and he clearly approved. The dude had told her all about how terrible a patient his mate was and so she guessed he would have had to use all sorts of persuasive techniques on Steve. Wade rambled loudly about unicorns and horses and tigers as they trailed back through Darcy’s wing, falling silent as he cased her room and nodded.

“So is this a sleep over is it?” she asked and Wade nodded and when he pulled his mask off again he was beaming excitedly. Darcy wondered if he’d ever gotten used to his face as she took in the scarring. He paused, wondering why she’d gone quiet. “Well I guess it’s root beer floats for us then.” He stared at her. “What?”

 “Oh nothing you heathen, only that mine had better be Dr Pepper.” Darcy shrugged and picked up her phone to call in the order, sitting on a bench in the kitchen.  When she turned back Wade had made a pretty impressive blanket fort and Darcy wondered where he’d been all her life. Dude was possibly/probably insane but that didn’t matter in the face of a fellow pansexual to commiserate with on how beautiful everyone was, an appreciation for the simple things in life and good blanket fort.

They received their drinks in suitably kitsch giant milkshake glasses and hunkered down with Fenrir curled up between them and Legally Blonde on the screen. Darcy had just gotten comfortable when she looked over at Wade who was looking at her like that again. “So... blue Loki? You lucky bitch.”

A satisfied smile crept across her face and she licked some ice-cream off of her spoon. “Oh wade you have no idea.”

...

Loki lay in Dr Cho’s cradle, a piece of equipment that was rudimentary where he came from and yet breaking edge here on earth. He was grateful all the same as his injury from Chitauri weapon smarted no matter how hard he ignored it. He, Barnes and Rogers had managed to kill the scouts and of course and he was more embarrassed than anything about the hit he’d taken. That said it was bad news all the same that their scouts were reaching the planet already. It had officially begun. He also worried that they hadn't caught them all. He sighed. It was time to start trusting in his team. the humans really were a courageous lot and fearsome in battle. they just didn't have the technology to compete with their foes.

All of that only further proved the fact that this was no time to be getting all fluttery over the indomitable Darcy Lewis. But she hadn’t even batted an eye at this Jotunn form, going so far to say that... Norns she was remarkable indeed.

And that kiss was one for the record books. He had never felt so on fire than when her warm lips touched his icy ones. Her tongue had felt like molten sex and he could only imagine what going further, taking her into his bed and making love to her would be like. It had him daydreaming like he hadn't in a thousand years.

He had to school his thoughts to far less stimulating subjects or Dr Cho would find him in a rather fragile condition...again. She had already discovered him clutching at Dr Lewis like a lifeline, that was certainly enough gossip fodder for one day. He concentrated on his breathing, emptying his mind in a well practice routine. He couldn’t believe he was so willing to try such an intimate act in a monster’s body, to desecrate her so by even touching her in that form. But that was just it; she hadn’t look at him any different. There had been innocent curiosity as she had timidly explored the marks on his face and body with the gentlest touches as if he’d break, affectionate rebuke when he moved too much or asked whether she was fearful, lust, pure and unhidden, when faced with him shirtless and ... blue, laid out injured on a healing bed like some green soldier who hadn’t been quick enough to avoid the hit. It was unexpected that was for sure. And yet she had been so careful with him, pushing his limits only enough to show him there was good that could come of being in that form.

So yes, he was considering it. Anything to get her to look at him that way again. He was beginning to understand Tony’s constant and overflowing glee at having people who saw him for who he was and loved him anyway. Darcy and he were nowhere near there yet, but he was tentatively wishing, hoping for it.

And all the time Thanos and his merciless minions grew closer. The timing could certainly be better.

Speaking of Stark, the obnoxious genius appeared at the door and eyed his healing chest with a grimace. “What’s up, Lokes?"

“She saw me.” He said and winced. Where had that come from? What was he? A whining school child? Midgard was making him soft. If only Thor could see him now. Loki pulled a face, actually the oaf would probably be overjoyed.

Tony’s eyes widened. “Like this? what did she say?”

Loki blushed to his consternation and Tony looked on in glee. “It’s like that is it? Come on I told you she’d love it. You matched, didn’t you?” Loki frowned, still not able to believe it could be true. Tony picked up a gadget of Cho's, probably worth thousands of dollars and started juggling it with some other objects.  “Did she kiss you? She did! What was it like?”

Loki tried to think of a way to describe it, not quite believing he was at a level of intimacy with Tony that he would discuss such a thing with him. Nevertheless he offered, “Well- when we separated there was a ... mist created from the difference in temperature.” He said casually and tony’s eyes widened.

He scratched his chin in contemplation and said, “God, that’s hot.” Loki allowed himself a smug smile and he nodded. “Look at you! making the moves.” He didn’t bother to correct him. The tender moment he’d experienced with Darcy wasn’t was not something Loki wished to share with anyone. “So what’s next? Where is she now?”

“Mr Wilson is watching over her while I am indisposed.” Tony nodded, not mentioning the extent of his paranoia because they both knew Tony was just as bad when it came to those he loved.

Instead he said, “Slumber party?” Loki was confused and Tony asked Friday to throw up a still image of what they were currently doing. The images showed them hiding under a tent like structure made out of blankets and pillows and watching a film, Fenrir curled up between them. He raised his eyebrows at the childlike activity. “Everyone has different ways of dealing Lokes. If it helps her feel safe then all the better. It was a genius move setting up those two together. Look at her, she totally gets him, and I can tell he’d murder anyone to protect her in the blink of an eye- not that it takes much with ol' Deadpool but you know what I mean.”

He gazed at the photo fondly than waved it away. “She is exquisitely instinctual when it comes to perceiving people and the world around her. A natural politician that way. It’s what originally drew me to her work and she continues to impress me with her brilliance when it comes to people.” He said softly and Tony hummed in thought.

“Is that why you invited her into the war room?”

Loki nodded. “I wanted her to meet everyone. If The Titan or The Other get a hold of anyone, it will be her or Romanov who will pick up the change in behaviour. Just a safeguard in case the telepaths miss it for whatever reason.”

Tony nodded, and then shrugged. “So, you up for a game of chess or two while you get stitched up?”

Loki gave him a dangerous smile. “Oh I am always up for defeating you, Stark.”

 ....

A picture flickered up on the roof of their fort of Loki lying in a metal thing. “What’s this Friday?”

As Tony and Loki asked to see you I thought you would wish to see the same.

The picture was of them playing chess, both concentrating on the board intensely. Darcy snorted. “They are such nerds.” Wade giggled. And they were. Those two plus Happy were the biggest nerds in the palace. If the palace had a mathletes team, these guys were it. Even Bruce Banner was cooler. “Thanks Friday.”

You’re welcome Dr Lewis.

She curled back up and drifted to sleep under the canopy of blankets, tuckered out by the nights’ various emotions.

Chapter Text

Three days later, Loki came for his reward. Darcy had wondered if he’d forgotten her promise but he’d just been shut in with some witchy delegates from all over the world talking about something that was obviously important. 

As was becoming their habit, he knocked on her door when he was done at midnight, interrupting her in some light reading of reports on the rates of reported sexual assault cases. Reporting rates were up but they were tentatively saying that the actual rates of the crimes was going down worldwide with the new and improved laws and systems. It was still way too early to tell and there was still a long way to go but Darcy and those investigating were hoping for the best. She gave Loki a kiss just for that. His attitude towards women went a long way as far as the entire world was concerned. “Hello.”

He leaned forwards and kissed her again as he closed the door, making her melt into his chest. He wrapped his arms around her and they kissed leisurely for a while, both just enjoying that they had a bit of time tonight and it wasn’t all so new anymore.

Eventually they separated and he smiled down at her. “Hello Darcy.”

She was pretty glad they’d gotten past the Dr Lewis stage. “What’s up pretty boy?” He gave her a look.

“Don’t think I’ve forgotten about you calling me that in front of T’Challa and the entire War Room.”

She laughed. “I don’t regret it. It totally worked his ego just right. And besides, you are beautiful. It’s totally not a bad thing. The opposite in fact.” She said but he still frowned. She stroked his jaw before taking his hand and leading him to the couch. “So are you all healed up Loki? Were you a good patient for Dr Cho?”

He sighed forlornly. “The term ‘patient’ is a bit of a misnomer. Who is actually patient when they are injured?” Darcy laughed and pushed him back against the some cushions, and he hushed as she straddled his lap.

She ran her hands tentatively up his chest and he stilled, his eyes darkening as he looked up at her from under his lashes. Well that was a good sign. She brushed his hair away from his neck on his left side and kissed him behind his ear and he let out a sigh. Darcy could totally get used to his responsiveness. She wondered how long it was since he’d been touched like this. She kissed and licked and softly bit down one side of his neck and then the other and he slowly relaxed, moaning quietly whenever she hit a particularly sensitive spot. She loved his beautiful long neck, and enjoyed her time there, running her fingers through his hair and scratching at his scalp softly with her nails. She noted his shiver and smiled against his skin, filing that away for later.

Eventually she unknotted his green silk tie and pulled it away, starting to unbutton his shirt, kissing and licking his chest as she revealed more and more skin. She unbuttoned the crisp white shirt all the way before addressing his nipples. He sat perfectly still under her, despite his growing erection under where she sat trapping his legs tightly under her own. He just accepted what she gave him obediently. It was extremely hot. She wasn’t a natural top, but it was working for her having all that power beneath her. And it wasn’t just the touch, she noticed, he was getting off on her affection. The very notion of it made her want to cry, wrap him up in a blanket and punch his dad. But first she’d finish this. Oh, she was definitely finishing this. She was going to make him feel so good.

Eventually she shifted, moving down his torso and flat stomach and down his stunning adonis belt. As she reached his belt buckle she looked up at him for his permission. He already looked wrecked. Most of the guys and even a lot of the girls Darcy had ever been with were nowhere near this responsive to foreplay. She didn’t know whether he was just more sensitive or what but it was totally working for her.

She went for his belt and he stilled her hands. “Are you sure, Darcy? We don’t have to go any further if you aren’t ready.” Darcy gaped at the unprecedented question.

“Well when I told you about a reward I defiantly meant that I would suck your dick. But if you want to stop?” He paused, seemingly actually thinking it over and Darcy was blown away again. This was highly unusual sexytimes behaviour. Maybe Frost Giants had a different libido? “What was it like? For you? The last fifteen minutes?” He looked confused at the question and she added, “I mean you seem really blissed out. Not that it’s not working for me because god is it hot but I’ve never had that kind of response from foreplay before. And you’re so patient, so still...”

He gave her a sleepy smile. “You are good at finding all of the places that stoke the fire that is for certain Darcy.” He said and bit his lip thoughtfully. “Perhaps the sensation is different, though I’d never thought about it before.” He hummed in thought, and stroked her cheek with his thumb. “On Alfheim the elves partake in what you call foreplay for hours, quite similar to what you have been doing tonight. Sometimes they never get to a point of taking it further. You learn to enjoy these things as much as the act of intercourse if you have a skilled enough partner and Darcy...your mouth is exquisite.” Loki smiled softly down at her and brushed her hair out of her face affectionately, not making any moves and she smiled a little dopily - but you would too if you just got compared positively to sexy elf foreplay. He looked thoughtful again and said. “Though having said that Thor never seemed to enjoy this kind of activity, nor Fandral and if the amount of children he has is any indication, Volstagg too is all about the fire and not the kindling and spark. Sif used to enjoy my attentions -but would get me so angry that we would practically tear one another to shreds, which has its own appeal...” he added and smiled when he saw her interested expression. “That was so long ago. But yes, now that I think of it, it was only Hogan and I that enjoyed bedplay with elves. Hogan is Vanir and I only recently found out am Jotunn.” He had his thinking face on now and Darcy knew once again that play time was over; she found she didn’t mind because he seemed so grateful for everything he got. He was like a pretty puddle below her.

“Well if you don’t want to go any further tonight than what would you like to do?” He reached down and pulled her up his body, wrapping his arms around her snugly. OK, cuddling. She could totally get down with that. She adjusted till she fit into his body comfortably and smiled into his neck where her face was pressed. “So how did the witchy convention go?”

Loki groaned tiredly and she could feel his chest move under her. “Handing over power is proving to be more complicated than I would have liked.

Darcy pressed a kiss to his jaw. “Loki. You’re trying to do in a year what should have taken a generation or more, of course it’s complicated.” He huffed at that, and she shifted so that she could look at him, her legs falling on either side of his stomach. “Even if we fail, even if Than-asshole wins and we all die, we’d still be more unified than we have been since the tower of Babel...if that even happened. But whatever, the point is that you’re doing amazing things.” He blinked down at her tiredly and she kissed him on the side of his mouth.

“You are so sweet to me Darcy. What happened to ‘you almost killed me with a fire faced robot’?” He asked, bewildered and Darcy wondered that herself.

“I’ve been getting to know you Sugar.” She drawled. Which had been the point of that particular message sent with Happy a month ago. She’d needed time, and she’d gotten it. He nodded, letting that sink in. “Not that I really think I could know you in a lifetime, Human or Jotunn. You are one very complex and intricate person. All I’m saying is that the part I’ve seen of you that not from inside a burning pet store but actually in real life is someone I like the look of.” She kissed the side of his mouth again, and then full on the lips, turning it into a slow and sensuous kiss that had him moaning quietly again. “And the taste of. And god, you smell good.” She said, in between kisses. He chuckled.

“I like you too, Darcy Lewis.” He said and moved his hand to the back of her head, preventing her from moving away as he deepened the kiss. They made out for a while more, and were necking on her couch like teenagers by the time there was a knock on the door.

Loki tightened his arms around Darcy’s waist, burying his face in her shoulder. “Friday who is it?”

It is Commander Rogers and Sergeant Barnes, Prince Loki. You also have a call From Captain J Storm and another from Director Fury. Loki swore in several different languages and waved at the door, sitting up while still supporting Darcy. It opened to the two men, Barnes taking one look at a fully dressed Darcy and dishevelled Loki and giving her another of his thumbs up with a pleased smile. Steve didn’t even seem to notice as he swept in and asked Friday to connect the calls. Darcy untangled her limbs from Loki as the prince buttoned up his shirt distractedly and finger combed his hair. It was still very obvious what he had been doing all night, particularly with the still healing hickeys all over his chest and neck but no one made a big deal of it.

“I’m sorry to disturb your evening, your highness, Lewis, but it turns out we’re under attack.” Fury drawled and as usual she couldn’t tell whether he was giving her shit or not.

Johnny grinned from his screen and added, “Are you sure we don’t have an extra hour or two? I don’t think she even got his pants off yet.” Definitely giving them shit. Darcy flipped him the bird.

“I would be all for it Captain Storm but the petty war lords of North America will gain too much ground if we do. I’m sure they’ll have time for romance later.”

Loki sighed, looking up at the information on the screens. “Who’ve we got on the ground?”

Darcy sighed. Play time was definitely over.

Chapter Text

Darcy didn’t see Loki for another three weeks as he and his special forces dealt with several uprisings in North America. It was one and a half of those later that all hell broke loose in Darcy’s own life. She’d just been chewing on a bagel at her desk as she worked through lunch when a magazine was slapped under her nose. Darcy groaned. It was an issue of Famous magazine and an old photo of her was on the cover with Our First Lady? As the headline. “Motherfucker.” She looked up to see Pepper and Phil looking concerned more than anything. As she moved to her computer and googled herself she asked “Do we know who leaked it?”

There were a lot more hits than she would have liked, and there were blog posts with photos she would have preferred to stay buried as journalists the globe over started digging into her history. She didn’t bother asking how; they all knew it was likely, they’d just hoped it would be a little longer before it happened. Coulson shook his head. “Not yet but we’ve got some of our best working on it.”

Darcy raised an eyebrow. “Shouldn’t our best be dealing with the little uprising thing right now?”

Coulson smiled tightly. “Don’t you worry about personnel, Dr Lewis, that’s my job.”

Darcy gave him a look but shrugged. “Alright so... have you spoken to Loki?”  Pepper nodded to the wall where a holoscreen appeared with the Prince’s face on the screen. Darcy raised her eyebrows again at the tendency for Friday to flip those screens up at inopportune moments. “Oh hey there.” She said fondly and Loki gave her a genuine smile. He was looking delicious in tac gear with his hair in a braid and seemed to be sitting in a supped up SUV. Darcy didn’t like that he was clearly on the ground and ready to see action but he was like, fifteen hundred years old. She told herself that she was sure he’d be fine.

“So what have we got?” Was all he said, clearly in a hurry and distracted by something just passed the camera, looking somewhere over Darcy’s shoulder before turning his attention back to them.

Pepper was all business. “We’ve had a few contingencies lined up since we found out about your match but a few of them won’t be possible seeing as you are away at the moment.” Loki nodded and Darcy bit her lip as he brushed some hair out of his eyes distractedly. “We have some media releases all ready to go as soon as you give the go ahead. I sent them to your tablet.”

Loki reached for his tablet and found the documents in question. His brow bunched up as he read the releases that spelled out Darcy’s history with Thor and Jane as well as her current position. They also included quite a few photos of Darcy in power suits that were far more flattering than her yearbook photo and the few from her old Facebook profile which was currently circulating all over the internet.

He seemed satisfied, though it was clear he was less than pleased with the timing. “These will do for now. We can do a proper announcement and appearance when I get back.” Pepper and Coulson both nodded and Loki smiled. “Now is it alright with you if I have a moment with my soulmate alone?” The two staff members smiled and left Darcy’s tiny office and Darcy smiled into the camera.

“Hey there cupcake.” She said with a grin. Loki chuckled but grew serious once more, his eyes seeming to drink her in.

“I’m so sorry about all this Darling.” A shiver trailed down Darcy’s spine at the intensity of his gaze, even through hologram.

Darcy shrugged. “It sucks but it’s not your fault Loki. You’re out there trying to keep the peace. And actually it’s not the worst timeing, this news will totally distract from all the talk of how violent and scary you are... not that that look isn’t totally working for me because it is.” As was usual when she payed him a compliment Darcy saw the tips of his ears turn red and she smiled crookedly.

“Nevertheless, it’s awful that they’re already plumbing your details and private life, I’m used to it but you shouldn’t have to go through this.”

She shrugged again. It did suck. It totally sucked, but she’d been mentally preparing for this for months. She gave him another crooked smile. “You can make it up to me when you get back- with your tongue.”

His eyes grew dark and she swallowed at the renewed intensity. “The things you do to me Dr Lewis.” Was all he said, his voice thick and wanting before he cleared his throat. She wiggled in her seat at his tone.

“Right back at you. I’m going to be all kinds of dreaming about that suit tonight.” He bit his lip, gaze smouldering and looked to be about to say something when again he looked out over her shoulder.

“My darling I have to go. Do keep me updated on the media blowout and I’ll come back to you as soon as I can.”

Darcy blew him a kiss. “Don’t worry about us; you just worry about keeping yourself and our boys and girls safe.”

Loki blew a kiss of his own and Darcy could swear she felt a whisper of his lips on hers but he was gone and she was alone in her office.

Chapter Text

Darcy did dream of him the night of their conversation, and every night afterwards, some so tangible, and her sense of loss so visceral upon waking that she truly couldn’t tell you if he had really visited her bed or not.

It was one such morning that she woke to the feeling of soft lips upon her cheeks and eyelids and she smiled, keeping her eyes closed so as to hold onto the dream as long as possible. She ran her hands up his chest and encountered leather and canvas where there had only been skin on previous nights and her senses told her this was different. She squeezed her eyes open and gasped when they alighted on two very green eyes peering at her, creased in a smile she couldn’t resist reflecting back. “You’re home?” She asked in a husky sleep filled voice, hugging him to her fiercely.

....

Loki swallowed at her choice of words and buried his face in her hair at the join of her shoulder and neck, inhaling her scent deeply. It was true, he thought, she had swiftly become his home, and he was both extremely concerned and elated at the thought. He allowed himself to relax as he pulled back and kissed her deeply, not letting her see the anxiety this brought on.

He’d never really felt at home in his life. He loved Asgard of course, but it had never really loved him back, not fully. And despite the fact that he was even more queer and different here than he had been in the Eternal City he had found his year on Midgard one of the most refreshing and accepting times he had ever encountered.

They even upheld that word, ‘queer’ as a state of being and some celebrated it. They called it Pride. Of course that all had its own history but they were far more advanced in this regard than Asgard that was for sure. As Darcy combed her hands over his hair and ran the heels of her hands down his uniform clad back he mused that perhaps it was because Darcy fell into that category, that she was one of the letters in that list of other, ‘queer’ people that she was so accepting of his more wild attributes. It certainly explained why she was up for kissing him while he was... while he was blue.

“So you back for good? Everything wrapped up?”

Loki rolled over and cuddled her into his side which she did willingly, her gorgeous warm softness making him wish he was in some less constrictive clothing. “Yes.” He said, trailing his thumb down her arm and back again. “The teams still have a fair amount of work ahead but the danger is over. How are things here? I admit I know less than I could about your side of things.”

Darcy snorted. “What? Loki isn’t in fact all knowing as some of your more extreme cult leaders proclaim?” She teased and Loki sighed. Yes, there was that.

“Things have been a little weird for me, but a lot less crazy than they could have been. The staff here are a little more careful around me, but not too much. Tony is excited. He wants us all to go on a group date things. Pepper keeps giving me these looks....And there are a few disappointed faces around the place but that’s to be expected, you’re a babe.”

Loki blushed and Darcy rose up to her elbow so that she could kiss him on the nose. He brushed her cheek with his thumb. “I’m glad you have not suffered.” He said quietly. A knot still sat in the pit of his stomach that had been there since the leak. He had been so incredibly worried and had to suppress at every minute the urge to fly back to her side and damn the consequences.

He never had been very reckless, that was more Thor’s kind of thing. Instead Loki had put all of his mind and effort into getting his team home as soon as they could. The uprising had been thwarted and Fury left with the clean up. After all, Loki had a mess of his own to fix.

He kissed Darcy softly on the lips, relishing this peaceful moment before they both had to face the chaos. She slid her hand behind his neck at the base of his braid and kept him where he was, deepening the kiss. Loki relaxed into her, enjoying the intense warmth of her bed and all of her softness as she licked his lips seeking to deepen their embrace and warmth turned to heat.

He pushed her back as he followed, lips never separating so he was once more over her, weight on one hand while the other started to roam. They came up for air occasionally, Darcy panting while Loki took his attentions elsewhere, to her throat and shoulders, wherever the v neck t-shirt she was wearing would allow him.

Unlike their other times together, they allowed it to escalate, Loki feeling the pull of her fire more acutely than any other time in his life. He pulled back and helped her out of her clothes, the soft cloth peeling away to reveal far softer skin which he was eager to taste.

Darcy moaned quietly as Loki reverently kissed his way down her throat to her breasts, the god making his own noises as his hands and lips met her skin. Darcy was soon a mess as Loki’s immense skill with his mouth became more and more apparent. With one leg placed between hers not even touching he worked one nipple into his mouth and used his hand to manipulate the other in a way that soon had her coming with a gasp of surprise.

As she caught her breath he nuzzled her neck sweetly and trailed his fingers down her side gently. “Would you like more darling?” he asked, his husky voice giving away how turned on he was despite his apparent composure. Darcy wriggled against his thigh in response, using the friction to work herself on the tough fabric until Loki’s hand shot down and cupped her while he shifted his leg back, making her whine. “I will give you what you need.” Loki whispered against her lips. “With my tongue just like I promised.” Darcy groaned and bit at him in order to hurry him

Loki wasn’t being showy or anything but he was skilled. He knew how to work her body so well simply as a result of not being completely chaste over like, a thousand years. All that time with the elves had apparently payed off. 

She realised at this point that she had kind of stopped reminding herself of his alien warlord nature and gotten used to having him around. It was times like this though, with their kiss’s glowing and the soulmate spell binding them so tight she remembered she was falling in love with a sorcerer from another fucking planet.

He moved his hand, smoothing two fingers down to where she was aching for him and rubbing gently, causing her to bit her lip with to keep from begging him. Because honestly, it had been like a minute.

Loki gazed at her from under his lashes as he watched his fingers work on her slick, pink pussy and then moved himself backwards so that his face was level with it.

His tongue was divine. Darcy was thankful that his hair was in a hairstyle that was really easy to hold onto and pull at as he set a painfully gentle pace, making noises that let her know just how much he was enjoying himself while she writhed under his attentions.

It felt so good, but wasn’t enough and her need was building up to something like pain when she cried “Loki!” he raised his head, his eyes slightly glazed and blown out. “I’m not an elf!” she said quietly. This drew him out of his current blissed out state and his eyes flashed with an apology. He bit her on the thigh as he plunged one long finger, and then two into her wanting pussy, causing her to let her breath out on a shaky whimper. “So good. That feels so good” she whispered as Loki used his talented mouth in a more pointed way, building her back up. 

Darcy couldn’t help moving her hips, grinding onto his face and Loki groaned with his mouth on her clit, the sound reverberating through her body and causing her to crash over her orgasm, her back arching and Loki holding her to him as he brought her down gently.

Once she was rendered a boneless puddle on the mattress Loki moved up her body slowly, using soft kisses and touches to bring her nerves back to working order. When he was once again leaning over her, she giggled.

He was a mess, ink dark hair teased out of its braid and curling with the sweat on his forehead. She stroked across his mouth, glistening with her own arousal and stained pink from her body heat meeting his own cooler skin. The overall effect left her wanting to kiss him, cuddle and fuck him all at once. “Thank you.” She said quietly and pulled him down to her mouth, both of them groaning as he shared the taste [of her] with her.

Loki, she noticed, was all soft and melty, just like he had been during that make out session on her couch. While his erection pressing into her from under his suit was gratifyingly hard, he seemed completely content to continue at this unhurried pace, not pushing things forward in any way.

She stroked his cheeks and brushed his hair from his face softly and he closed his eyes, enjoying the affectionate touch. They were different species after all and Darcy was fascinated with his reactions to her ministrations.

She began to comb her fingers through his hair to his delight when their phones both started ringing, interrupting them. Darcy fell back into her pillows with a pout, and when Loki made to move she held him in place with her fingers in his hair. The fact that she was able to hold him so easily told her all about what he would rather be doing.

He was just leaning in again when Friday interrupted them. I’m sorry Prince Loki but it’s Commander Coulson. He has news about the leak.

Their gazes met at that, and they both rolled out of bed to fetch their phones

Chapter Text

Coulson sat across the desk of one of Miss Pott’s former rising stars of the administration. He sighed. It was unfortunate that she made the decisions that she did, as they would now lose her entirely. He was down below in Calcutta to figure out just how much damage had been done, and to plug the hole so that the Prince and his future consort -a woman Coulson was very fond of himself- would be safe.

“Safe to say you’re in a lot of trouble, Ms Clements; and the Prince sent me, personally to determine just how much.” The young woman, a sharp lawyer and Harvard graduate was a shark when it came to policy, but she seemed to realise that the ride was over. She had been crying for the last hour and Coulson had to say he was a little over the dramatics.

“You see you brought trouble and strife into my house, and brought danger to the prince, and I don’t really like it when my house is unsettled.

“Claudia, what lead you to believe the prince had a soulmate?”

The woman shrugged. “I’d heard the old hags talking about it. They were pretty smug at their outmanoeuvring him on that one, said it would balance out his power a little, make sure he stayed true to the causes he said he would.”

If Phil was any less disciplined, his eyebrows would have gone up. That was interesting. If the witches had planned ahead, had they picked Darcy specifically? If not, what were the parameters that had resulted in the magic choosing her?  He leaned forward and pushed a piece of paper toward the young woman. “Claudia I need you to write down exactly what who said, when, and who you told about it and if you cooperate with us, we’ll see about making sure your cell is a little more comfortable.” She let out a massive sob. “Though I have to say that Prince Loki’s general standard for prisoner’s comfort is far from grim. You’ll be fine.”  

She sniffed, visibly resigning herself to the consequences of her actions and took the pen. “Fine.”

Chapter Text

Darcy had scrambled to make herself presentable while Loki talked to Coulson though his starkphone. He was mostly umming and ah ha-ing disinterestedly while he closely watched Darcy’s skin disappear first into a burgundy lacy  lingerie set covered only slightly with a sheer black shirt and finally a camel coloured Chloe suit that he clearly wanted to rip right off of her again if his expression was anything to go by. She was just trying to de-sexytify her hair when they were interrupted by a loud clap and a little blue man appeared in Darcy’s lounge room while Fenrir barked. 

Darcy squeaked and reacted naturally, picking up her jacket to shield herself from his view. Even though she was fully dressed, she hadn’t been a second ago and her face was stung hot by the thought of him arriving any earlier.

While Loki looked incredibly pissed he wasn’t acting like the man was in any way a danger to either of them. He did however wave his hand and Darcy felt her hair straighten and detangle while she watched his own do the same, the ink dark locks straightening and twisting themselves into a tight braid.

Whatever behaviour Darcy had expected of the kind of stranger who could casually appear uninvited out of thin air in her apartment, it certainly wasn’t repeating ‘sorry; sorry; sorry; sorry;’ in a thick German accent and holding clawed hands over their eyes. Darcy bit her lip in amusement but a glance at the tense muscles of Loki’s back as he stepped in front of her in a now familiar protective motion Darcy could see that her humour wasn’t shared.

“Is there a particular reason for your visit Kurt, or were you simply trying to catch a glimpse of my mate while she dressed?” Loki growled and Darcy winced at the tone.

“No! No No Prince Loki I’m so sorry it’s only we have an emergency in Minnesota and they very very concerned that I reach you immediately. I did not know....”

Loki wiped his face tiredly with one hand as he asked “What kind of emergency Mr. Wagner? The earth had best be in grave danger or there will be immediate and severe consequences for your actions.”

“It is! Prince Loki the strange plant that you said we have to watch closely! it has started emitting a signal! Logan and Hank have had to move away and Professor Lovegood says it’s singing to the god!”

Loki stared at him. “Alright. Yes this is serious news indeed. Take me to them if you please.” He turned to Darcy, cupping her cheek and giving her a kiss. “Darling please apologise to Coulson for me; this is indeed quite concerning, but I shan’t be long.” He gave her another kiss before pulling back and giving her a stern sort of glare. “And when I return we’ll be having a conversation on why you didn’t taze the hair off of Mr. Wagner upon arrival.”

‘Mr Wagner’ gulped audibly and when Loki moved to his side Darcy could see a small blue man with elfin features blushing a charming shade of purple and studiously avoiding looking at her.

Darcy huffed a laugh as she waved at the two men and blew them a kiss before they disappeared in a puff of smoke. She continued to stare at the place they had literally disappeared from as Fenrir sniffed around to determine that the threat had vanished.

Chapter Text

The Magical and Scientific Taskforce for the Finding and Monitoring of Extra Terrestrial Life Forms -not to be confused with the task force concerned with extra terrestrial technology- had been formed almost a year ago not from the current ‘experts’ Loki found in the field in places such as North America’s Area 51, but headhunted personally by the prince from magical communities, mutant biology experts and the odd shield science specialist- though only ones who specifically hadn’t been caught red handed experimenting on live life forms and keeping them in extremely inhumane conditions when Loki appeared in their labs, like he was heard to do from time to time.

The prince was interested and concerned with the extent that Midgard had been ‘influenced’ by outside sources. He knew of course about most of Asgard’s history with the realm and some of Jotenheim as well as the other six realms, but there was far more outside Yggdrasil that even Midgard’s most knowledgeable inhabitants knew very little about. Nevertheless Midgard had limited but some influence in xandar and the rest of the galaxy. Loki knew of at least one member of the unruly human race that was famous in some rather troubling circles after all.

It was utterly hilarious to him that a member of the recently infamous Guardians of the Galaxy who had faced and bested the Kree extremist Ronan was of part Midgardian origins and there were plenty more incidences of interactions other than Quinn.

The idea that there were Midgardian humans who were still in unshakable belief that it was all an elaborate hoax and that Loki himself was of earth and not from Asgard at all was rather laughable, but with the way that Midgardian governments had kept it all such a secret rather than embracing their place among the stars it was hardly surprising. He had been told of those who were convinced that the Midgardians’ first quest to the moon was also a hoax and so was content with the knowledge that it was simply a side effect of Midgardians’ famous and resolute pig headedness in action.

Not that Loki could blame them. He himself was famously stubborn and drastically curious, only he had the wherewithal and privilege of always being in a position where he could quest forth and find things out for himself, or at the very least research something to within an inch of its life if he was unable to see it personally -Though he had always had his father's inevitable odinsleeps to steal away out of the realm and explore all manner of things without any interference every few hundred years.

But then apparently the magical community had actively and scrupulously kept the mundane humans in the dark for centuries, and those carrying the x gene had been well on the way to going underground when Loki arrived.

Loki hoped that outing all of these groups and asking them to work together would not turn out to be a terribly bad idea years from now. After all he had personally experienced living with such abilities among those without them and the distrust and volatile environment it meant that he grew up in.

- Not that worrying about such things helped any; everyone was needed at this time and working together was the only way that humanity was to grow enough to be able to best the foe that was coming to them, the one they had practically invited to their doorstep by playing with the tesseract. No, cooperation was the only way. Loki just knew that he and his government had to work hard so that the children growing up in this new Midgardian society would be raised to respect anyone else for who they were and not only if they were the same as them. Whether it be species or abilities, race, sexuality or gender, all peoples are worthy of saving and of love. After all, that was why Loki was doing this in the first place. He’d realised that so many humans were being raised the same way he had: to hate themselves...

Which was how Dr Hank McCoy, A man of considerable intellect sporting blue fur and fangs; Professors Longbottom and Lovegood, a pair of wand carrying experts in magical plants and fauna, and Drs Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons from SHIELD were on the ground in Minnesota, USA with other security related persons from various backgrounds, studying a specimen which had simply appeared at some point in the lush grove behind a nondescript diner sometime in the seventies and lain, according to locals unchanged and dormant until very recently.

This had just been a routine check up before they boarded their specially designed aircraft and traveled to the next specimen but today it seemed this plant (if indeed it could be properly named that) did not feel like playing along.

Everyone present looked up as with a loud 'crack' the prince himself gracefully stepped out of thin air alongside Kurt in a puff of smoke. As usual when the tiny mutant displayed his ability Prof Neville Longbottom grinned and shook his head muttering about ‘house elf magic.’ his smile froze when he saw the Prince’s fuming face. A look towards Kurt showed him a purple blush from the tips of his ears to where it disappeared into his leather tac suit. “Once again I am so Sorry Your Highness but they were all so worried I came straight to you.”

Loki took a deep breath to calm himself and firmly suggested, “And it will not happen again.”

Kurt nodded his head so fast one worried it would fall off. “Of course Prince Loki it will never happen again!”

The team all raised their eyebrows but Loki had nothing more to say on the matter. His eyes were already on the specimen in question. “I don’t need to ask whether you’ve tried to uproot this?” Neville nodded.

“Yes ‘majesty. As it ticked several of your red flags to look out for twe tried to uproot it manually, then tried a few spells on it, it didn’t like that at all. Dok-tor Simmons had some potions to put on it but they didn’t work either.” The scientist in question evidently did not like her advanced chemistry being called a ‘potion’ but this kind of team was never going to run completely smoothly. Even so they worked well enough for their function as a team.

As it was Dr Simmons only expressed her disquiet with a tightening of the lips before she interjected, “Fitz is just trying to build a physical containment with a magical signal disrupter as per your instructions but the most interesting thing is Dr McCoy and Mr Howlett’s reaction.”

Loki looked around and raised his eyebrows in question when he did not see the two mutants.

Dr Simmons nodded. “They had to remove themselves from the area, due to the pitch of the sounds the specimen is emitting. Mr Wagner can also hear it but he seems more able to cope.”

“I cannot hear it Dr Simmons; I can feel it.” Loki could see the blue creature’s hairs all standing on end and he was rigid, all of his muscles clenched and skin quivering with stress and discomfort.

Loki thought for a moment before he transformed into a large black catlike creature-though not one found on Midgard. His ears swivelled as it picked up the sound. He went to the plant and sniffed at it before transforming back, appearing crouched down on one knee and looking at the ‘plant’, his face showing his own concern and proving to the crew that they had made the right choice in calling the Prince to their location.

“When did it start emitting the transmission?” he asked quietly, still studying the colourful lace like specimen.

Simmons and Longbottom both opened their mouths to answer but it was the eccentric Professor Lovegood that answered in her usual lilting voice “It started singing an hour ago.”

Loki cocked his head, looking at her. “And do you know what it’s saying?”

Luna laughed lightly, “It’s not my place to know what gods have to say to their creations. It's not my business really is it?”

Simmons closed her eyes, looking completely done with what she perceived as the witch’s unhelpful comments while Neville didn’t seem bothered in the slightest; the two had known one another for a long time after all. Loki only looked intrigued. “And which god created this, professor?”

Luna shrugged but Longbottom offered, “We’ve been having some difficulty with a local cult. They have been quite adamant that we have been desecrating the sacred ground of 'Ego'.”

At that moment Dr Fitz joined them red faced and a little out of breath with a faceted vibranium containment capsule. He greeted Loki, who asked to look at the piece of equipment before they installed it.  It had a radio inside so that they could continue to monitor its activity without the plant itself receiving its signal.

Loki nodded, layering his own charms on the object to further its success and to notify him if it was disturbed or changed in any way and handed it back to Dr Fitz. The scientists set about installing it around the specimen with prompt efficiency. As soon as the shield was around the plant Kurt visibly relaxed, which pleased Loki immensely. Irrespective of the reason Ego had seen fit to graft a piece of his DNA here, Loki well could do without a Celestial further complicating things on Midgard right at the moment. Let him come back in another million years. “Thank you all. Well done. I would suggest a prompt evacuation of the town if you please, and let me know if anything changes. I shall send you reinforcements to aid the emptying of the town... what?” He saw the team trying to hide looks of disappointment.

Longbottom blushed and chuckled a bit. “Sorry, sire it’s nothing to worry about. It’s only the diner close by has really, really delicious pies.” Loki raised his eyebrows and laughed when all present nodded in agreement.

Chapter Text

Once properly dressed and made presentable Darcy met Coulson in the meeting room that Friday had indicated and happily poured herself a coffee when she saw the station set up.

She sat down at the table while everyone including the fearsome looking redheaded woman Darcy had sat next to in the war room watched her silently, a small amused smile on her face that told her that her studied casual air of 'I-totally-didn't-just-have-an-explosive-orgasm-right-before-coming-in-here-and-if-I-did-it-definitely-wasn't-your-alien-boss-man-who-gave-it-to-me' wan't fooling anybody. “So...” she said, taking a sip and humming at the deliciousness while also hiding her blush behind the mug. “Who was that tiny blue guy who kidnapped my soulmate?”

The redhead popped a full smile and Darcy hid her own victorious smirk in her coffee. Coulson answered. “That was Kurt Wagner. He’s been helping with the security on the Magical and Scientific Taskforce for the Finding and Monitoring of Extra Terrestrial Life Forms,”

“tMaSTftFaMoETLF. Catchy.” Darcy commented and the redhead huffed a laugh. Darcy hid her feeling of pride that brought.

Coulson also smiled. “They call themselves the ET squad.”

Darcy nodded. It was definitely better than that other mouthful. “Hang on magical and scientific? How’s that going?”

Coulson shrugged. “They’re dealing rather well. The Scientists are all the type of smart that gets you ostracised anyway, so they can’t exactly call themselves normal.” Darcy nodded knowingly, she’d worked with Dr Jane Foster for years after all. “I believe they’re adjusting to the news that magic exists and can in fact be conducted through a wand about as well as can be expected.”

Darcy leaned forwards, wrapt. This was of course akin to salacious gossip where Coulson was concerned, Coulson was never in this much of a talking mood; and Darcy hadn’t yet had too much to do with the magical world so far in her time with the administration. “It can?”

...

By the time Loki and Kurt returned to the palace loaded down inextricably with several different flavoured pies, Darcy had been schooled on a brief history of the international magical community (or at least the westerncentric ones, as unfortunately colonialism wasn’t only restricted to people without magic, but Darcy assumed it would take a few years for studies to show exactly how large the extent of that effect went), as recently learned by Coulson himself. Of course with SHIELD he had had ‘run ins’, and the red head, whom she now knew as Natasha Romanov had seen quite a bit more than Coulson in the field, telling her of a time in Budapest when she’d come in contact with a terrifying ring of black market dealers of magical creatures and artifacts of dark magic, and somehow kept herself from being killed or ‘obliviated’ afterwards.

Darcy was happy for the return of her soulmate and some food to concentrate on for a moment while she took all the information in. Coulson was extremely concerned that Loki had disappeared from the palace without a security escort and Darcy watched their quiet conversation while she dug into some pie, which in turn Loki watched her eating, putting in little effort to show that he was paying any attention to Coulson’s nagging.

To tell the truth now that Darcy wasn’t looking at him through rose tinted sex goggles, Loki looked tired. As she licked her spoon clean of delicious pie and cream and Loki’s eyes followed every movement of her tongue she conspired to lure him to bed and make sure he got some shut eye as soon as possible. She was sure there were some incentives she could offer that would make him a little more than amiable to the idea.

....

The meeting was pretty short once Loki had returned. Romanov gave details on the case while slowly eating a blueberry pie in a manner that was still somehow a little terrifying. While Darcy had no idea precisely how one would use a tiny dessert spoon to disembowel a person Darcy had no doubt that the woman could, leaving her both impressed and aroused.

Turns out in this case the obvious first choice of suspect was indeed the culprit. Claudia from legal, pissed off and jealous of the cute new girl in the office had made up a juicy story about the prince and his soulmate, having the terrible luck of accidentally being bang on the money.

After being worked over by Natasha and then Coulson himself Natasha was satisfied that it was only petty malice that had driven her to betray her prince and not any interference from more sinister parties. (Coulson’s face twitched at this, though he gave nothing else away as Darcy moved her attention to him for the rest of Natasha’s spiel.

Darcy was disappointed in Claudia on behalf of feminism but Loki didn’t seem surprised at all, being entirely familiar with a royal court and all of the pettiness that involved. They moved on to other subjects and as Darcy was dismissed and left the room Natasha followed her.

“Dr Lewis,” she called in the hallway quietly.

Darcy turned, curious.

“The prince is unhappy with your current level of personal safety. He has asked Sergeant Barnes and myself to oversee your new protection detail.”

Darcy raised her eyebrows, Steve would be a little disappointed that Bucky would no longer be living with him on the same boat, but Darcy thought at least he was her friend, and Romanov was someone who she would like to get to know- as much as that was actually humanly possible. “What about Wade?”

The red head smiled, actual genuine fondness in her expression “Mr Wilson has been great for you and I’m sure you’ll see him every once in a while but his attention wanders. He’s better suited to short term missions. But don’t worry, I think you’ll like the team I’ve put together.”

Darcy shrugged, not really knowing what to say. Loki had already stated that he needed to know she was safe at all times so that he could concentrate on other things and while Kurt Wagner the adorable mutant hadn’t meant her any harm earlier that morning Loki had been right. Though she had only just put her tazer in her pocket a moment before the man arrived in her lounge room Darcy hadn’t even thought to use it to take out the possible threat. After all this time she just didn’t consider that she was especially worth threatening in the first place.

Another thing was that Darcy was only ever around people that seemed to like Loki and enjoy working for him, but like Claudia, people didn’t really need too much of a reason to turn on someone if they felt they’d been hard done by, and Darcy, Loki’s squishy human soulmate was a fairly obvious weakness. And now thanks to Claudia, this was public knowledge.

But as Natasha obviously already knew all of this Darcy just shrugged with an awkward smile and turned back around, heading to her office to start her day.

Chapter Text

It was not an hour after Loki watched Darcy’s retreating form and turned to Romanova, making eye contact and urging her to follow after her new charge that all hel broke loose.

Afterwards Loki scoured his mind for ways that he could have prevented it but the simple fact was that no matter how finely you micromanage a kingdom there will always be obstinate power hungry fools ready to topple everything you’ve worked so hard to create.

On the other hand however, the systems he and the Midgardians had worked so hard to create proved to work beautifully despite the chaos and confusion wrought by his unruly brother and his comrades. It was certainly not to be ignored.

Loki was still speaking with Coulson, heading towards Stark’s lab for an update on his progress with a transporter to make incidences such as Wagner had caused that morning less necessary-and therefore far more unlikely- when the magical tripwires Loki had installed on Leo Fitz’s disrupter shield set off an alarm. He was readying himself to travel to join his team when Dr Jane Foster had come careening around the corner, grabbing his arm with the hand not clutching several loud and blinking pieces of equipment; piggybacking his magic to the surface.

When they arrived Loki stared down at her, even as he caught her arm to prevent her from falling, furious for putting her own safety in jeopardy so easily- that was until he remembered what Darcy had mentioned about her old boss having zero self preservation when it came to science. He saw her staring at the middle of the grove where Longbottom and Lovegood were watching the disruptor shuddering with the strain of thwarting the will of a celestial. Loki stared, once more intrigued and delighted with Midgardian magic as a mist like substance poured from their wands, forming a the shapes of a hare and a phoenix who proceeded to pace around the disruptor and form a functional shield.

He started as Jane shook his arm to gain his attention and, looking quite positively wild spoke at a volume that they had an anomaly forming over Minnesota; in all likelihood an Einstein Rosen Bridge.

 Loki paled. “Where?” he asked, though with his own hair was currently being tugged out of its tight braid by winds that were not present an hour before he thought he might know the answer. As one they both looked to her shrieking equipment, now blaring klaxons and then at the sky, she pointed straight up and Loki mused that if not exactly comfortable in this level of chaos she was certainly quite able to hold her own.

There was indeed an anomaly forming in the sky, joined and made far more dramatic by the presence of two of Midgard’s famous thunderbirds, circling ominously around the stormy skies and confirming what Loki already knew to be true...

That everything was about to turn ass up, as the Midgardians liked to say.

Loki was of course the god of chaos but it was always a pleasure to see someone keep their cool like Dr Foster was currently.

 Loki stared at the accumulation of clouds for half a second before asking the wizards “What-?” but interrupted himself to join them instead in strengthening their containment shield as whatever Ego- if it even was Ego-had planned he was certain that they didn’t want to know about it. Satisfied with their work he only added strength, his own familiars of a wolf and snake joining the hare and phoenix, circling around and thickening the misty dome as well as bringing it around underground and completing a containment sphere. As they all concentrated Loki inquired as to the status of the evacuation and Professor Longbottom didn’t look happy.

“It’s always doubly hard getting farmers to move. We would have helped but were sure this was a priority.”

The wind picked up and Jane called from where she had set herself up with what little equipment she’d managed to bring with her.  “He’s here!” The bifrost broke through, dumping one big, unruly, ugly oaf of a Crown Prince right on top of their shield. Because of course.

He was bang on right on time at the worst possible moment as usual. Taking a deep breath and doing his utmost to ignore the ass standing in the middle of the air and yelling like a fool Loki spoke to the two wizards, keeping his tone conversational. “Hold steady.” 

Loki paled as it shuddered under Thor’s mass but held, the Crown Prince stamping his foot and droning on about some nonsense. Longbottom and Lovegood looked to him for direction and Loki strained out “Stand firm; what is inside is worse than what is outside.”

Longbottom’s eyes flicked up to the massive man sitting on top of the shield with obvious anxiety but he obeyed Loki’s direction, trusting him to know.

He was unfortunately confirmed when Fitz’s disrupter exploded and a bruise like cloud of unmaking formed within their shield and the two wizards paled, eyes wide.

Loki sent a duplicate to the palace to talk to his energy field specialists about giving their newly completed system a trial while also magically hitting a few panic buttons to seek aid. Then he dug deep and poured more energy into the shield.

“BROTHER YOU MUST STOP THIS WICKEDNESS!” Thor grew ever more petulant as Loki and his team continued to ignore him. Finally as he stopped to take a breath Dr Foster, who had been trying to gain his attention threw a heavy piece of equipment at the oaf and he swung round to finally see her, the woman who had apparently had such an effect on him three years Midgardian years ago.

“Thor! What are you doing here?”

“I have come to stop Loki’s evil blight on Asgard!”

“You mean that?” she asked and pointed to the vicious cloud roiling within their containment, seeking out any weak spots in order to break their hold.

Thor was about to answer when he was swiped from his position in a flash of black and yellow and razor sharp claws. He rose with a growl and Loki, Longbottom and Lovegood winced as another Asgardian was spit from the skies, followed by another, then another and one more again. Loki growled a number of choice Aesir curse words but took another breath of relief as a number of aurors aparated into existence beside him, some adding their strength to the shield while others took on Thor’s liegemen with the mutants.

At the very least Hogan, who had brought up the rear of their intrusive party was polite enough to remove himself from their shield, taking in the scene around him and only helping in defense, rather than attacking mortals aimlessly. He always had had more sense than the rest.

Try as they might, however, Loki had little hope of their holding the celestial off forever. He was dripping with sweat, and he could see the strain on all the others. He was just considering some more drastic measures when all of the sudden that murderous cloud of unmaking stopped its roiling push and seemed to solidify before their eyes.

Everyone stopped what they were doing and stared, Loki among them.

“That’s it?” asked one of the American aurors in disbelief.

Loki glared at it, daring it to move. They had all been pushed back some, the magicians all standing amongst the trees- the ones in the vicinity that were still standing after Thor’s usual nonsense that was.

“That’s almost certainly not it.” Loki panted, slicking back sweat soaked hair that was sticking to his face. “There has to be a reason it’s stopped -the only question is who is capable of taking on a celestial?”

“Maybe he stopped for tea.” One of the aurors from Britain joked, causing the kind of manic laughter one experiences after a time of high adrenaline and concentration, breaking the tension.

Loki himself smiled, relaxing minutely with their reprieve. “Perhaps we should send him some of that pie.” He suggested to Professor Longbottom who laughed and clapped him on the back soundly. 

“So this was truly not of your making brother?”

The humans present all turned to stare at Thor and Loki heard a few muffled snorts and incredulous murmurs as they watched Thor walk  past Logan and Hank who had kept him quite occupied and Loki noted with a smile that Logan hadn’t bothered putting his blades away quite yet, following Thor’s every movement with his eyes. Thor’s own people didn’t even have the brains to look sheepish or in any way regretful for endangering this realm, very nearly allowing the unmaking out of their shield, only glaring at Loki in their usual hostile manner. Loki had to admit their betrayal on their last meeting held no less sting then it did three years past.

“I was told you had come to conquer Midgard and were wreaking your usual mischief upon the mortals.”

This time many of the humans did laugh, still full of nervous energy from the onslaught of Ego’s unmaking. The Thunderbirds still circled high above, and thunder rumbled close by. Thor looked up and Loki could see his curiosity piqued, though he was only distracted for a moment.

Loki was a little relieved, he’d hate to see what would happen if Thor decided to hunt one of the magnificent birds.

“I think you’ll find that the inhabitants of this realm though mortal are fierce indeed, and not likely to take kindly to would be conquerors.” Loki said quietly and the humans present agreed with various degrees of volume and veracity. “No, as hard to believe as may be, it wasn’t I. I didn’t know even a celestial had that much power to be honest, though with a few million years to hone and develop ones power perhaps anything is possible.” He ran a hand through his drying hair, not wanting to waste any magical energy tidying it.

A Scottish accent rang out from behind him, causing Loki to smile affectionately. “And what is a celestial, if I may ask, my young Prince?”  Thor craned passed him to see who had brought that expression to his brother’s face.

Both brothers looked over to see two strikingly beautiful and startlingly different women with wands still in hand, their cloaks blowing in the wind dramatically.

Hermione Granger, one of Loki’s favourite magical technical engineers and Minerva McGonagall, chairwoman of Midgard’s Congress of Witches and one of the few mortals that had been voted to partake of one of the handful of Idunn’s golden apples Loki had stolen and stowed for a rainy day several centuries ago. He had to admit that she was also a favourite of his.

 Professor McGonagall ignored Thor and instead stood glaring passed him at the compacted nothingness inside their shield with a look of distaste. Loki smiled warmly and moved to kiss their hands in greeting, as always enjoying the shade of pink the de-aged witch turned when he flirted with her. Out of all of those who ate of the apples, Minerva seemed to be the one who was struggling most with her new youth and vitality. Having said that of course, she was the oldest by far. He often liked to remind her how very young she was, and try and uncover that delicious mischief he knew she held within her but in this particular company he kept it professional. “Thank you for heading my call. Are we ready for a trial run should we need it? I have been told that these birds’ presence means that we are not out of the woods yet, so to speak?”

Everyone looked up once again to watch the magnificent creatures circling their position. After looking to Processor Lovegood, Minerva affirmed, “You’re correct I’m afraid sire. Would you like to tell us your plan?”

Loki smiled. “I would indeed.”

Chapter Text

Loki looked out over the aurors and other humans stood in formation; Thor and his people standing by to help if they couldn’t hold off the damage and needed to evacuate. The few humans who wouldn’t be able to run fast enough or aperate to a safer place would be carried off in Asgardian arms. If Thor wasn’t going to heed Loki’s advice to go back to Asgard or the other realms where his help would be needed- as apparently only the inhabitants of Alfheim had been anywhere near as successful holding off the unmaking as the humans had- then Loki would make sure they were put to work in serving Midgard and her people.

They were all watching the thick blob of celestial matter with varying degrees of displeasure and anticipation when an fiery crackle fizzed in the air and a doorway formed. Loki was already raising his eyebrows incredulously when he heard Sif mutter about “Muspellheimr magic”

 

Emerging from the portal was a tall man with facial hair even more hideous than that which Stark gleefully sported and a magical robe with a bound sentience that Loki could sense from where he stood by with increasing disbelief. Were they to be interrupted by every busybody in the Nine Realms?

Minerva clicked her tongue and crossed her arms, clearly recognising the young man but Loki was staring at the gem the man had on his necklace. He barely kept his is countenance even as his internal world boiled over with terror and his senses went berserk with the familiar feeling of it calling him. That violent and roiling urge grew stronger with every contact he had with a new gem and Loki slammed shields down in his mind and soul to strengthen him against the call.

NOT ANOTHER.

Gods, there were how many entire universes and yet they all ended up on Midgard like it was some magnet for extreme forces of calamity. It was a miracle the humans had developed this far with so many catastrophic magics at play. None of this internal turmoil showed on his face however. His expression was one of calm dispassion. His eyes flicked up to the stranger’s face coolly. “And you are?”

The man smiled winningly and held out his hand. “Dr Steven Strange;” he said with a mocking bow of the kind he had seen in plays about past times in various kingdoms, a smarmy, arrogant smile on his features. Loki was all for a little mockery, but he was concerned how little this fool knew his own place in his realm, let alone among gods.

Though Asgard had many more learned even Volstagg, Thor and Fandral had surpassed Strange’s basic skills with magic by the time they were 100 and were all reasonably developed beyond that.

Hogan was even more skilled with magic, though it mostly centred on control over personal shields and dream walking to maintain contact with his wife and family in Vanaheim. Sif actively used her magic while fighting, though she kept it low key, hiding it in movements and punishingly lethal fighting styles.

As for the humans, Minerva particularly and young Hermione were far more powerful and controlled, having studied magic alone for, in Minerva’s case two hundred years though Hermione was far younger her thirst for knowledge and improvement almost rivalled Loki’s own.

Strange, however, to one who had even the limited sight Loki had was barely coping with the damage rent by the powers he fooled with. It was evident he had been thrown into the deep end by a teacher who should be punished severely for the atrocities that were rent clear on the man’s soul. He could not be older than 40 and his soul was showing the strain of many more years. It was hard to see precisely through the insidious roots the stone had implanted into the mortal’s fragile being but someone had damaged him first, the stones could only work within a fractured soul after all and when Loki was done here there would be questions.

Though the man was clearly an asshole he still didn’t deserve whatever this teacher had done to him, and Loki would make them pay and try his best to help heal the damage.

If he survived the war, he might even go so far as to remedy the holes in the man’s training- but that was all in the future. For now, the fool was still rattling on nonsensically...

 ...“and I hear you’re ‘Loki’? I’ve always wondered is that like Adele? Do you have a last name?” when Loki didn’t answer, only staring at him Strange continued, “I guess because Asgard has that Nordic thing going on it’d be a patronym, so is it Odinson?”

Thor and Loki spoke at the same time

“Yes,”

 “No. it is not.”

Loki rolled his eyes and glared at Thor but Thor continued, “Loki is the son of Odin, as am I.”

Loki snorted. “If I must have a second name, stranger, you may call me Loki Friggason. She is the only relative that I recognise at this present time.”

“I am your brother!”

“You are a fool.”

The bearded man raised his eyebrows and pointed between Loki and Thor, his eyes travelling to where Thor’s liegemen stood, arms crossed. “You mean to say that you didn’t invite these guys?” Sif narrowed her eyes as Fandral coughed, “...People?” We have a smart ass here, Loki thought, wishing Darcy or Tony was here to bring him down a few pegs.

Loki sighed, rubbing his temples. “I have been requesting Asgard’s aid in our endeavours daily for quite some time, but as they are not actually here to aid us in that capacity I would say that no, I did not invite them.”

Thor looked stricken at Loki’s words, which Loki filed away for later. It seemed at very least the Crown Prince had not been informed about Loki’s whereabouts or requests for aid.

Presently, Strange crossed his arms, moving into a power stance and narrowing his eyes at Loki. “I have to say that I don’t trust you even slightly, but as you haven’t been doing anything to ruin earth so far I haven’t stopped you.” Loki’s lips quirked in a wicked smile while two identical aurors somewhere to Loki’s right choked on a laugh. “-But I think it’s time for them to leave. -You can totally go with them if you like.”

Professor McGonagall raised her eyebrows at the young man, looking down her nose at him like only someone who has taught for seventy nine years can. “And what are you going to do, Steven? Sneeze him off the planet?” Loki heard at least a dozen badly suppressed snickers and his own lips tipped further upwards.

He relaxed slightly, and turned to her. “I apologise Minerva, I haven’t answered your question. Your people worshiped Thor and Odin as gods a thousand years ago, but Celestials are ancient beings who our people once worshipped. To put it simply they are beings as large as planets, astoundingly powerful sentient energies that can create matter; they have created universes.

“They were birthed by children of the First, created of course, to win a war. I will not give you the entire history of course, as it took me near one hundred years to learn it all myself, but it is safe to say that there can be nothing good about Ego deciding to unmake our realms.” He sighed tiredly, “Since he has decided, however, we will simply have to try our utmost to resist our own unmaking.”

It wasn’t a particularly rousing speech, such as it was. Loki could bring a crowd to tears and convince them to kill their own parents with song, but there was something about his human comrades that left him wishing for truth, he wasn’t sure what it was, but it felt like trust.

 The group around him was rather sombre, slowly absorbing the information of beings millions of years old as large as planets.

Steven Strange, the irritatingly arrogant boy opened his mouth to say something, not doubt imbecilic but instead paused, putting word to the niggling background thing that had been sounding in the background, a beat.

Unlikely as it was, there was rhythmic music emanating from under the shield.

Strange looked utterly incredulous, disgusted even. “Is that Fleetwood Mac?”

Chapter Text

Loki stared at the unmaking, swallowing his irritation with Strange and concentrating on the magical emissions that it was spilling into the air with the sound. It was a ‘band’ of musicians that Darcy had been playing in her apartments one of the times he had popped over once, and he had felt the magic in the threads of sound then. The band may have written the song and recorded it only recently, but the beat was a well known one as a perfect medium for magic.

It was perfect, with this connection they could not onlyprevent their own descruction but, posssibly, help everyone else too. He called in even more reinforcements, they needed as much power as possible if they were to attempt what he was thinking about doing.

Strange was still talking, “But how-”

Loki shrugged dismissively. “Well, Quill has his ...eccentricities. You should be grateful for it. If I’m right about what is going on here, it looks like he’s a little more human than Ego had hoped.” His smile was sharp as he called “Form up,” the humans stood a little taller, stepping back into the formation they had relaxed out of with Strange’s appearance. He looked behind him at Minerva on one side and Hermione on the other, both giving him a nod which he returned as they pulled out their wands and pointed them at their kisses which, like Loki’s were larger and glowed red instead of the aurora that others had.

The genius of their system of course was that while Loki’s magic had powered up the system of kisses and kept them online, it was the witches that controlled it, and the humans, well the humans fuelled it.

It was his way of ensuring that if the fairly inevitable happened and Loki didn’t survive, Midgard would still have a chance at defeating Thanos. ‘Than-aaaassss’ echoed in Loki’s head and he hid a smile as he thought of Darcy’s nickname for the titan. He sobered quickly though, knowing he had to focus on the present with all of his considerable powers of intellect.

He deepened his breathing and concentrated, entering a meditative state, made conveniently easier by the strong magical beat whispering through the air. He took one more breath and softly commanded them to start, “Ladies, if you please.”

The red cloaked women activated their kisses, setting off a chain reaction in all of those present, each auror in the circle flanked by two others, the one to channel and two to power their concentrated energy flow, magnified with the power of the number three.

Loki watched the unmaking unblinkingly as he took the brunt of the power now flowing through the ring of humans and directed it towards the unmaking, the beat sinking in through his skin and through his consciousness, strengthening his connection. His senses were considerably more honed than the humans so he caught the precise moment when the music stopped. “NOW!” screamed as he unleashed his magic once more and strengthened his shield just in time.

The solidified blob liquefied and once more became a roiling cloud of malevolence, pushing at the shield, seeking a weakness but with millions of human batteries powering their defence they were far more likely to succeed than fail. Loki hoped.