Summary: Darcy Lewis was always something more than human to Loki. A time traveler, a kindred spirit, a friend, a lover, a savior. The first time he encounters this woman who will become so important to him, he loses her. Now that he knows her fate, will he use everything in his power to change the course of her future, or will he have the strength to let her go forever?
Prompt Fill: Uruvielnumenesse on Tumblr: Time travel AU: Where Darcy Lewis is a time traveler who meets her love in a different order than the norm. Her last visit to him is his first meeting of her.
AN: I've had this wonderful idea for a fic bubbling around in my head for weeks, just waiting to pop onto paper, but I wasn't sure how to start it. So thanks to Uruvielnumenesse on tumblr for the idea!
A French word used for both "hello" and "goodbye"
He lounged on his bed, absent mindedly tossing a glass orb in his hand, light catching the soft white of the glass and projecting prisms around his room. The gift was a small sorcerer's orb his mother had given him as a boy. It had come from Vanaheim, as a tribute to the old ways of sorcery and encourage Loki's practice in magic. His mother had enchanted it with a simple scrying spell, and as boy, he learned early on the consequences of being able to see the future, and the futility of trying to change it.
Up. Down. Up and down. The repetitive motion was calming, like pacing. His emerald eyes were open, filled with knowledge and mirth, but his gaze was faraway, focusing on spells he'd memorized earlier; the incantations ghosting across his lips. His goal was to cast a spell without a single utterance of a syllable, and practice makes perfect.
A trail of magic vibrated into the room. He stilled his hand, squinted his eyes and set his jaw trying to identify the user's signature. Curious. He'd never before encountered such magic, and so he moved to sit at the edge of his bed, waiting with intrigue for the spell to unfold.
In the blink of an eye, a woman appeared in the center of his chambers. She was hunched over her knees, on the floor, covered in snow, and dressed in an ill fitting military uniform of some sort. Her breaths were shallow, rapid and labored, and melting snow slopped off her frame with each respiratory effort. As he slowly approached her, he could hear quiet sobs mixed with what appeared to be shallow laughter.
"Excuse me, dear lady," he began, putting a gentle hand on her shoulder as he crouched next to her, the scrying orb forgotten next to him.
"Loki?" she asked blindly, exhaustion and relief evident in her saccharine voice. "Please, just stay with me?" She let out a long exhale and turned her face to him. They both gasped and slightly moved away from each other; maybe they startled each other, maybe to get a better look at one another; he couldn't be certain.
She was blue. Jotun blue. The creature before him was rather small for a Frost Giant, he noted. But her eyes. They were not the red color of the frozen monsters... they were a brilliant blue. Almost like his mother's. And her face, her beautiful face—so full of youth... and dwindling vitality—was framed by dark ridges raised from her skin. In his appraisal and his curiosity, his gaze locked on an ancient, alien, dagger embedded deep within her abdomen. The dark, crimson blood seeping through her jacket perplexed him further. She bore characteristics of a Jotun, but her eyes, the blood, her size... He reached for the blade.
"Don't touch it!" she cried. He looked into her eyes, jerking his hands back and holding them up in surrender to her command. "If you touch it, you'll lose your magic; and if you try to heal me, it will only kill me faster."
"What are you?" Loki demanded.
"Dying." She said, rather smartly. Still, his eyes widened at her statement.
"You are mortal." It was more of a bewildered statement, than a question. Her eyes were beginning to close, but he had yet to receive the answers he wanted. Why was she in Asgard, in his private quarters, of all places? How did she get past his wards? Who was she? How did she know him? He wasn't going to let her go so easily. "You called me by my given name, not my title—I am a prince of Asgard! How do you know me? How are you here, in my chambers?" He gently shook her shoulders to keep her from drifting into an eternal sleep. He had never before met a mortal, much less one so close to expiration. Her eyes fluttered open at the movement and a slow smile graced her face. Boldly, she reached a hand up to his cheek.
"You're so young," she began. When her delicate skin made contact with his, the ridges faded, and her complexion shifted to a creamy white. If he thought she was beautiful before, she was absolutely divine in this form.
"Are you some kind of shape shifter?" he slowly took her hand in his and gathered her head in his lap, careful not to pull her rich brown hair with his ministrations. With so much physical contact between them, he felt a familiar hum. "You are radiating my magic." She was fixated on studying his every feature. "I beg you, tell me who you are."
A shadow of sadness swept over her visage and her eyes sparkled with tears threatening to spill over her long lashes. He could feel his magic slowly draining from her, like the dagger was siphoning it away.
"I've never seen you so young before." Her voice was dripping with humor and, simultaneously, an ache of sorrow.
"Please, at least tell me your name?" His green eyes searched hers with fervor, trying to decipher the knowledge they held. His request was desperate, his magic had almost entirely faded from her. He watched black lines spider their way across her porcelain skin. She gripped his hand tightly and twisted her other in the soft fabric of his tunic. Her muscles contracted and she cried out at the pain.
"If you will not tell me who you are, then let me help you. There must be something-"
"-I saved your life." She said through clenched teeth, sweat dotted her brow as she struggled to fight the pain. Her muscles relaxed and she took a few deep breaths.
"How can that be possible? I have never seen you before in all my 1,000 years." She gave him a hard look when he mentioned his age, and she pursed her lips.
"Usually when someone mentions that they saved someone's life, there's a call for gratitude. You should be thanking me, oh Prince of Asgard." There was a fire in her eyes, but then her gaze left him; to travel to some other place and time. "You told me this was going to happen." She looked into his eyes then. "You said that I was going to die in your arms." She choked a little on that statement.
"My lady-" he began
"No. Just 'Darcy'. You've never pulled that formal B.S. with me and I sure as hell don't want you to start now... at the end." She interjected.
"How do I know you? If you are dying, how will I ever see you again to know the answers?"
She was silent for a moment, chewing her bottom lip and gripping him tighter as she chose her words. "I am a time traveler." Loki began to open his mouth, but she gave him a pointed look and continued. "All questions will be held until the end of the lecture," she said crossly, drawing her eyebrows into a harsh line. "Someday, Loki, you will see me again. I can't tell you when, or where, but whatever you do, don't go looking for me. It's against the time traveler companion's code of ethics. You'll just fuck everything up if you do that." He nodded, completely fixated on what she was saying.
"I can't tell you why I travel, we haven't figured it out yet, but the first time it happened I was 10. I can sort of control it now, and it's something we've been working on, but I mostly try to live in the moment, and go when Time pulls me to a place where I'm supposed to be." Her skin turned a sickly, ashen color and he could see her strength draining. She swallowed hard before continuing.
"This dagger was meant for you. It carries a special poison to drain you first of your magic and your immortality, leaving you vulnerable and mortal. He was going to kill you." Her eyes were distant at the memory.
"Whom? Tell me more, please?"
Darcy weakly shook her head as tears rolled down her cheeks. "It's almost Time."
"Stay just a moment longer? I beg you. Fight it." He took her hand in his again, trying to hold her with him, to keep her for a moment longer. With the rest of her strength, she put her palm against the contours of his jaw one last time.
"Promise me you won't give up hope?" He hadn't the slightest idea to what she was referring, but he nodded against her hand, bringing his to hers to give her strength. "And Loki?" She cleared her throat to fight back emotion.
"Yes, Darcy?" His voice was barely a whisper, her name rolling so eloquently from his tongue. He did not yet want to say goodbye to this strange woman, the enigma of their relationship, and the intimacy of her touch.
"Remember how much I love you." Her smile was weak, but its radiance did not go unnoticed. "I have always been yours." His heart stopped at her confession. He opened his mouth to say something to her, he never was entirely sure what, but before he could untangle his silver tongue, she simply faded away, like she had never existed; and he was left a confused wreck, kneeling on the floor of his room, trying to accept that some stranger who professed their love for him, just died in his arms. He was left alone, feeling hollowed out, and wondering how long it would be before he saw her again—how long they would have together—for she, too, looked so very young. A tear splashed against the stone flooring and mixed with the puddle left from the snow that had melted off her. He did not breathe in until his lungs burned from his stillness.
The only thing left between them now was Time.