SO INCREDIBLY SORRY THAT THIS TOOK SO LONG! I hope that it's worth the wait. So this is the end... yeah. Just so you wonderful people know, I do in fact plan to write a sequel. However. I really don't want to write it until Avengers comes out because I have a feeling the film is going to have quite a big impact on Loki and indirectly Penny. So yeah. I'm going to write around it but I have another storyline besides whatever the film will bring. One involving new characters and new enemies. So we shall see. Huge shout out to i've got purple nail polish who edited this chapter for me and who also suggested that maybe a couple of Spaceman oneshots between now and the Avengers might be interesting... I have to tell you I like that idea, I could introduce the new characters and spend some time with the old ones, what should the title of this compilation of oneshots be? What do you think? There's a poll on my profile...
Review Responses (up here? shwhat?)
koty m: Thank-you oh so much for your review, more is here! I hope you like it!
TooLazyToSignIn: Again, you lazy lazer... woah... lazer/laser? Anyways. Thanks for the review! I seriously hope you haven't been waiting on baited breath for this but i hope you enjoy it!
Please enjoy the final chapter of Spaceman.
Penny sat on the stony ground. She felt tears falling down her cheeks, and let out a strangled sob. She hated herself for reacting this way. Penny tried wiping her tears away, but they were seemingly never-ending. After a while she calmed down, silent tears still cascading down her cheeks. She watched as the little black dot in the darkening sky zoomed closer and let out a large sigh. Penny hoped that whoever was coming brought tissues.
The closer the dot came, the more bizarre the shape appeared. Penny stared at the incoming S.H.I.E.L.D. contraption. Eventually, its shape became clear to her. She stared through watery eyes in disbelief, Holy Shit. That's Iron Man. She watched with fascination as he came even closer, eventually landing no more than ten feet away from her. Penny stared at him for a moment, hardly believing her watery eyes. She wiped the trails of tears aside and sniffed a little. She waited for something to happen, and jumped slightly when his face flipped back to reveal Tony Stark. Penny smiled in spite of herself. "Oh hey, it's actually you."
The celebrity frowned slightly. "What do you mean it's 'actually' me?"
Penny shrugged, sniffing again. "Well, you know. Some people say you're not actually Iron Man."
"Really? 'I am Iron Man' is not clear enough?"
She shrugged again. "There will always be conspiracy theories."
There was an awkward moment of silence. Penny sniffed once more.
Stark spoke first. "So, either you have one hell of a case of Stockholm syndrome, or you're not a hostage."
Penny gave him a look of extreme confusion. "What?"
"When I was flying over, I could see you two; you looked pretty cozy."
Penny's look of confusion stayed in place, albeit now with an underlying tremor of sadness. "Hostage?"
Iron Man jabbed his thumb over his shoulder, pointing in the direction he came from. "Coulson told me you were a hostage."
Penny's eyes narrowed. "What a little nincompoop."
Stark studied her amusingly for a moment. "Perfect word for him," he replied with a crooked smile.
Penny made the connection. "Oh. So you're S.H.I.E.L.D.?"
He sort of shook his head. "Nope. I'm more of a – consultant – if you will. But I'm the big gun, so they called me over," he paused for a brief moment, "A guy who disappears; that's new."
Melancholy filled her face. "Did you meet Thor?"
He raised an eyebrow. "Who?"
Penny sighed tiredly. "Never mind. What now?"
"Well, S.H.I.E.L.D. needs to debrief you, but it's getting kind of late."
She turned her eyes to the horizon where the sun had set. She looked around her. "I don't even know where I am."
"You're not that far from town. Are you staying in the hotel in Puente Antiguo?"
Iron Man's face flipped down, causing Penny to jump a little bit.
He held out a metal hand to her. "I'll take you."
She just stared at the outstretched Iron Man arm for a moment, before glancing at him sceptically. "What?"
"It's not that bad."
"Not that bad? Not that bad for you! You're in an iron suit!"
"Actually, it's not really iron–"
"Doesn't matter! My head's probably going to explode or something!" Somewhere in the back of her mind, Penny found it hilarious that she was having a conversation with someone who resembled a robot.
"Please, just let me take you to the hotel; I'm not going to let your head explode."
She eyed the neutral expression of the mask. "Promise."
"Promise," the muffled yet enhanced voice replied.
Gingerly, she took a step towards him. Grabbing the metal hand, Penny allowed herself to be held by the arms of a machine. Right before they took off, Penny looked at the glowing eyes of the 'superhero.'" This is weird."
He inhaled before responding, his voice rising in a rapid crescendo of volume. "It gets weirder!"
And then they were off.
Penny gulped in air as they flew up into the sky. At first she pinched her eyes shut, nausea and fear threatening to take over her. After a few moments, she peeked at the land below her. She felt a little dizzy, but then realized that they were nowhere near as high as Iron Man was when he first came, nor were they going as fast. A hesitant smile came to her face, Jack, I'm flying. For no reason at all, this random thought made her think of Loki. She felt emotion hit her violently. The momentary euphoria of flight disappeared as the remembrance of her Spaceman came back to her. She felt very heavy all of a sudden. It was all just too much. Too much change, too much emotion that she felt wasn't justified. She felt incredibly overwhelmed. Instead of going into a panic attack or into another crying fit, she simply sighed and rested against her new robot friend.
It didn't take them long to reach the hotel. Iron Man landed surprisingly gracefully, and they both touched onto the ground gently.
"Thanks for not letting my head explode," Penny said with a half-hearted smile.
He gave a simple nod. And then he was off, rocketing away with incredible speed.
When Penny turned around she was face to face with two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. She recognized them, particularly her old buddy Grant. She hesitated before speaking. "Hi…? I thought that it was getting a little late for our interview. Tomorrow morning suit you?"
Grant stepped forward. "Tomorrow you will meet with Agent Coulson; in the meantime, we have been assigned to you."
Penny felt as if she could scream. "Assigned?"
He nodded. "S.H.I.E.L.D. is concerned for your safety and the safety of others in your presence."
She raised an eyebrow. "Safety of others?"
The other agent stepped forward. "You assaulted an agent and demonstrated an alliance with a hostile."
Penny's mouth made a little 'o.' "Oh. Right."
Grant's voice took on an almost compassionate tone. "We are stationed with you overnight."
She just stared at them, resigning herself to the mess she was in. "Ok. Whatever."
Penny walked past them and proceeded into the hotel lobby. She reached the clerk at the desk, flanked by her two agents. The clerk gave her a dubious look. She sighed. "Ok, listen," her eyes flicked to his nametag, "Phil. I need you to help me out a little bit here."
He nodded, looking a little fearful.
"Alright, well, I need some candy. A lot of junk food actually."
Phil nervously pointed to a stand by the desk that was full of junk food.
Penny glanced over at the cornucopia of unhealthy treats. She gestured to it, "Grant."
The agent behind her perked up.
She continued. "I need one of everything please. Nothing with fruit. Candy and chocolate prominently." She watched him hesitate. "Now please! Let's work together here." Surprisingly, he obeyed her. She turned her focus back to Phil. "Do you rent movies? I noticed my TV has a DVD player, and some hotels rent movies."
Phil nodded. "We do that."
"Okay. I need…" she thought for a moment. She needed something familiar and sad, something in her also wanted romance, but nothing too realistic, "I need Casablanca. And Gone With the Wind. Do you have those?"
"Yes…I believe so. Hold on," he bit his lip as he rummaged through the desk, "here you go. Room number?"
"114." Penny took the movies. "Add the candy to the room total too?"
Phil shrugged. "Sure, why not? Hey, you okay lady?"
Penny stared at him. She blinked a few times. And then tears began to stream down her face. "I'm fine!" She turned abruptly, nearly bumping into the nameless S.H.I.E.L.D, agent. "Thanks for the help, Phil!"
Penny practically ran down the hall and into her hotel room. She walked through the still open door; everything was as it had been before. She stormed past her unfinished painting and went straight to the window, slamming it closed. She turned to the nameless agent, who was subtly trying to close the door. She narrowed her eyes at him, her cheeks tear-streaked. "Is it broken?"
He looked up at her with an almost innocent expression. "Sorry?"
"Is the door broken, because you guys just randomly burst in here, grabbed us and left?"
He fiddled with it a moment. "Uh," he cleared his throat before aggressively hitting a certain piece, the door closing softly and securely, "nope. No trouble here."
Penny grimaced at him. "Your name?"
He didn't move. "Agent Turner."
"Okay, "Penny walked carefully over to the DVD player, "Grant, can you put the candy on my bed?" She pointed. "That one, there. Okay. Well, I guess you guys are sort of in control of this situation, but this is my bed. I can only offer you that one bed there, but you're welcome to whatever junk food you like."
They didn't say anything.
She held up the movies. "Which one first?"
Neither of them made any indication.
She sighed. "At ease gentlemen. Relax. Let's not make this situation any more awkward than it has to be. I'm putting in Casablanca." She put the DVD in and left it on the menu. She grabbed her bag and went into the bathroom. "Just changing," she informed them.
Penny closed the door and stared at herself in the mirror. Her reflection had puffy red cheeks. Sighing, she grabbed a tissue and blew her slightly swollen nose. The worst part was her eyes. Defeat was written clearly across her dull olive irises. She shook herself and splashed water on her face.
"You're fine," she said to herself, hardly believing it. Something in the mirror caught her eye. She turned around. The towels were folded on a shelf behind her, and in the crease of one was a little green ribbon. Carefully, trying not to make any noise, she picked up the folded towel and opened it. Inside was an extremely thick envelope with the inscription 'For Penny.' Her breath hitched slightly. She opened it to find an enormous amount of money; she nearly doubled over at the sight of so many hundred dollar bills. There was really far too much of every kind of bill. Penny felt almost sick. She pulled out a single sheet with sparse writing on it, and read it carefully:
Do not be stubbornly angry. I simply want to offer you financial security in your current predicament, of which I am the cause. Please, accept it.
I will see you again soon.
P.S., I feel terribly lost without your constant presence, though I will understand if you wish to never speak to me again.
And that was it. Penny felt like she should be coursing with anger. She should be cursing his name and imagining anvils falling on his head. How could he just leave her money with no real explanation, or further indication of when or where they may meet again? Instead, all she felt was her heart pounding fervently, one phrase running over and over in her mind; 'I feel terribly lost without your constant presence.' It was small, almost in passing, but she knew the significance. Loki was in a very unstable emotional condition, and now he was 'lost' without her. She wondered if there was any way that he felt as terrible as she did. She glanced towards the door, before hiding the envelope and note again leaving the little green ribbon out. Penny searched through her bag and grabbed her wallet, placing the ribbon inside. She changed into her pyjamas, thinking only of Loki. She sighed, banishing him from her thoughts. She gathered her things and swung the door open. "Okay, I need some Bogie!"
Turner turned to her. "Bogie?"
Grant inclined his head. "Bogart, Humphrey. Star of Casablanca."
Penny ignored them and hit play, collapsing on her bed. She let the music and incredible ambiance of the film take her away. She allowed herself to be completely caught up in the film. Grant sat on the other bed and Turner was seated at the table; both were idly watching the movie. She cried through the better part of the second half of the film. Penny wondered if she could be like Rick and Ilsa, giving up love to do the right thing. But then again, this wasn't WWII. However, whatever Loki was planning was sure to screw things up big time. Stupid Loki. Then she had a minor panic attack because she had been comparing herself and Loki to Ilsa and Rick, two of cinema's most revered lovers. Rick and Ilsa were in love; Loki and I are not. She kept telling herself that.
By the time the movie was over Penny was exhausted, emotionally and physically. Begrudgingly, she got up and switched Casablanca for Gone with the Wind. She turned to the boys, "This one is outrageously long, and at times a little boring, but only I'm allowed to say that because I love it so much. Also, I'm probably going to fall asleep."
Penny hit play and climbed back into bed. She felt herself getting drowsier and drowsier by the minute. Defiantly, she kept her eyes open and focused on Scarlett O'Hara. After a little bit, she decided that she would let herself sleep; she just waited long enough to see Clark Gable. She smiled when he came, laughing, into the film. Penny always wanted a man like Rhett; roguish, charming, but underneath it all one of the most decent people out there. Plus, he was head over heels for Scarlett.
As she watched through sleepy eyes, Penny wondered if anyone had ever been really head over heels for her. Bobby had been a little bit, but he had broken up with her after he graduated. He cared for her, but it wasn't the stuff that Rhett and Scarlett had. She supposed Liam probably had some intense feelings, as he had held on to them all this time, but it wasn't enough to get him to speak up about it. She imagined that he had this image or idea of her, and didn't know if he loved the real thing.
Penny glared at the screen which now showed another character, the golden-haired, southern gentleman who also occupied Scarlett's heart. Penny thought of the blonde Blake; he was the perfect Ashley. Ashley was a cheater, and just an overall soft-headed idiot. Sure, he was kind, and at times very mature, but Penny had always hated him; then she went out and found her own Ashley. How horrendous.
Penny smiled again when Rhett returned to the screen. Then there was Loki. There was no doubt he cared for her. Unless he was just a gigantic liar, which, admittedly, was part of the job description for the God of Mischief, but there was a moment after the arrow-flower hit her; he had looked slightly crazed, and oddly enough, that was how she knew he cared. The storm of intense emotions in his eyes resembled what she had felt when he left her on the cliff. Magically, she had been the one to calm him down. Her. Penny. It was as if, all of a sudden, he realized everything was okay, and that he should get her out of there. And take her to a cliff. And leave her there. Penny sighed. She cast one final look at the screen, perturbed to realize that it was at the part where Rhett leaves Scarlett to 'do the right thing.'
"Bullshit," Penny mumbled, "I'm with Scarlett on this one." She let her eyelids fall and sleep overtook her.
The next morning, Penny rolled over to see Turner sleeping in the bed across from her. The sheer disappointment and sadness of that hit her harder than she expected. She knew that Loki wasn't going to be there, but it still hurt. She glanced around the room. Grant was nowhere to be seen. She stretched for a moment and yawned. Penny looked around at the pile of junk food that surrounded her and gave a little chuckle. What an entirely horrible situation she was in. She got up, grabbed her bag, and went into the bathroom. She cast a dejected look at the folded towels before shutting the door. She pulled out a moneyless towel before stripping and hopping into the shower. After she brushed her teeth and dressed, she came out to the room to find both agents sitting at the table, drinking coffee and eating muffins.
Grant held a coffee cup out for her. "There's some here for you too. You like chocolate chip?" He pointed to a delectable looking muffin.
Penny eyed him warily. "Yes," she slid into another chair and began to eat.
Grant continued. "Agent Coulson is on his way."
She raised an eyebrow. "He's coming here?"
Grant nodded. "We don't really have a base situated here. Though, after all the recent activity in this area, we might need one."
She nodded absentmindedly. It was about three minutes later when there was a polite knock at the door. Turner opened it, nodding at Coulson, "Sir."
Coulson walked in and sat across from Penny. "Miss Holden," he greeted briskly, his tone all business.
She smiled complacently at him.
"I'm sure you understand the gravity of the situation; we need you to tell us exactly what happened, from when you first came in contact with the hostile."
Penny took a moment before saying anything. She calmed herself, and attempted to remove any emotional attachment to the memories beginning to wash over her. Penny took a deep breath, and told her story. She told Agent Coulson all the facts, leaving out little things, like the incident with the hair dryer, her self-discovery regarding Blake, the kissing, the paint supplies, and the fact that she referred to Loki as Spaceman. When she came to the part on the cliff she had to fight back stubborn tears. As soon as she finished, Penny let out a shaky breath, satisfied that she hadn't really started to cry.
Coulson eyed her for a moment. "What exactly did he say when he left?"
She frowned. "He told me that you guys would come for me. That you'd hunt me down, to answer your questions," she paused. "He said I didn't owe him anything." Her voice died out.
Agent Coulson gave a nod to Turner, who got up from the table. Coulson turned back to Penny. "He didn't say anything else?"
Penny shifted her eyes back to him, and squirmed uncomfortably. "He told me he cared about me, but he had to leave me… there was something he had to do."
"I don't know. He's a bit upset; he wants to prove himself to his father and his brother."
Coulson tilted his head. "Thor?"
She nodded. "Yeah. I think he kind of grew up in Thor's shadow."
He was quiet for a moment. "You said Loki wouldn't be able to help us learn more about Asgardians. Why not?"
Penny bit her lip. This information was something she had decided to keep to herself. She felt it wasn't her place to talk about the truth of Loki's birth. She let out a breath. "Oh, I just don't think he'll be very cooperative; he doesn't really like talking about himself. And I think he's powerful, I mean, I saw him disappear and stuff."
The agent let her patchy answer slide. "He said that he cared about you. Did he say when he'd see you again?"
She stared at him blankly for a minute. "No. No he did not."
"But he will be in contact with you?"
Her eyebrows furrowed. "No, I don't think he will."
"He just left you forever?"
Penny looked away and played with her hands. "Um. Yeah."
Coulson sat back in his chair. "This is a very serious situation, Miss Holden."
She felt the beginnings of tears form in her eyes. "Is it?"
"Yes. We're not going to press charges against you, by the way."
She looked up at him. "Oh. Good, good…"
"However, we do feel that it is necessary for you to be under surveillance."
"We believe that if he comes in contact with anyone, it would be you. We need to be able to intercept any such communication."
Her eyes widened. "Are you serious?"
Agent Coulson gave her a look that was close to condescension. "I am always serious, Miss Holden. You should be grateful given your current situation, and the fact that you assaulted an agent. Why didn't the arrow work on Loki?"
She stared at him, her mouth open. "Under surveillance?"
She took a deep breath. "I don't know, he's not human? That'd be my guess."
Turner emerged from the bathroom. "Sir," he said, before placing the money envelope on the table.
Penny's eyes widened.
Coulson opened the envelope and quickly read the note. If he was surprised by the amount of money inside, he didn't show it. "Have you seen this, Miss Holden?"
Penny shook her head in an adamant 'no.' She looked at the agents. "Can I read it?"
He handed it to her. She quickly read it, allowing tears to spill over at the familiar words.
Coulson took the page back. "He said he would see you soon."
She gave him an almost frightened look.
"Why 'Spaceman?'" the agent inquired.
She gave a strangled laugh. "When I first met him, he fell from the sky and was all magic-ey."
"You thought he could be from outer space?"
She looked at him thoughtfully. "Well, he kind of is."
Coulson studied the inside of the envelope. "We'll need to take samples, the rest is yours."
She reached for the envelope and gave an expression of surprise. "Wow. Okay."
Something on Coulson's person beeped. He pulled some sort of gadget from his pocket and then stood, looking at Penny. "Thank you for your cooperation. Agents Turner and Grant will stay with you until a more practical situation can be arranged." He nodded at the other two agents before leaving.
Grant turned to Penny. "I'm making a food run. Want a cheeseburger?"
Penny nodded absentmindedly. She made her way to her painting and stretched briefly before picking up a brush.
Once again the time seemed to fly past. She ate the food that Grant would bring her, painted, watched the end of Gone with the Wind, phoned her mother and had a complete Loki-less conversation, and then painted more. When she decided to stop, she had painted in stars and a cliff side. She gave the painting a melancholy look before standing up and grabbing her bag. She went to the bathroom and performed her nightly routine mechanically. Penny came back out and got into bed without a word to her companions. She rolled away from them and stared out at the window.
For a moment, Penny just lay there and watched as a small drizzle of rain began to tap against the window. She thought about how much her life had changed in the span of a week. Blake had become a figure of her past; she had reconnected with Sharon; rediscovered her love for painting; quit her job; and now faced a world where she could do almost whatever she wanted. She was also in possession of a small fortune. It was all because one week ago a Spaceman had crashed onto her boyfriend. She closed her eyes and remembered that night. The stars, the betrayal, Loki, the paramedic, telephone wires, Loki collapsing in her arms. Funny, she hadn't even given him one romantic thought then. He was a stranger, a handsome stranger true, but that was it. And now…now she buried her head in her pillow. She was worried for Loki. Not because of S.H.I.E.L.D. or anything, but she was petrified of what Loki was capable of. It was something she had caught on to early on, the emotional hurricane that was raging inside of him. He's unpredictable, she sighed, just not when it comes to me. Or at least she thought so. She could trust him.
Penny was also worried for herself. She was frightened of what Loki was capable of – she was completely aware of his past actions and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s concerns –and yet she still chose him. She was still on his side, and she didn't know what that said about her. She just knew that losing Loki was something she didn't want to think about, which made her feel insane because she didn't even know him eight days ago. She ran a hand through her hair. She cared for him. So what? Big deal! Yeah. Big deal. 'You're in love with him. 'She pushed Jane's voice out of her head. Am not. Just a crush. She sighed once again and closed her eyes. She fell asleep with the memory of kissing Loki playing in her mind.
Loki awoke from a disconcerting dream. It had been dark, night-time; the sky was full of colour, or explosions, he couldn't tell. He had felt the weight of Mjolnir hit his chest and watched as a blue beam of light hit his shoulder. Then everything changed to the memory of his arrival to earth, the pain that hit him violently, and then Penny, leaning beside him, 'It's going to be alright. I'm going to help you.' In his dream he reached out to her, then they were in the hotel bathroom and he had just untangled her hair. This time he took her in his arms and kissed her. When they pulled apart they were on the cliff and he was watching himself pull away from her, he watched as he disappeared, and then watched as she called his name. And then he was back in the exploding sky, but Penny was leaning over him just as she had when they first met. Her lips moved as if she was saying 'It's going to be alright. I'm going to help you,'but instead he heard her calling his name desperately. He watched in fear as she shot away from him and lay ten feet away, unmoving. And then he had woken up. He rubbed his eyes; he had to see her.
It didn't take Loki long to reach the hotel. He carefully made his way into their hotel room and gave a disdainful look to the agents. One of them was fast asleep and the other was sitting at the table, fiddling with some small technological device. Loki moved past them, invisible to their eyes. He walked over to Penny's side. She was asleep, breathing deeply. He watched her for a moment. It was illogical just how much he had come to care for her. He wouldn't have it any other way. Penny was different from anyone he had ever met; passionate and beautiful, with such spirit. She was a fighter. He had recognized this in her when she had defended her view of mortals compared to his. And then she had gone and stabbed an agent with an arrow. A small, rare smile graced his face. And then an expression of unease crept into his eyes. He shouldn't be there. Loki gave her one last look before turning and heading to the door. He had promised himself that Penny wouldn't distract him; he could care for her as much as he liked, as long as it didn't detract from his revenge. There was a bittersweet pride as he recognised that he was capable of this. There was stinging in his heart as he recalled her offer to get away from everything. It was tempting; to leave everything behind and just be with Penny, but there were things he was meant to do. Power that he had to possess, veils that needed to be lifted from the eyes of his family. He paused in the doorway as unwanted emotion descended on him.
He turned back to the woman who he was falling in love with, and in a broken voice whispered, "Sleep well."
Here endeth Spaceman.
Ok, I just want to extend a huge heartfelt thank-you for everyone who has read this story. For those who reviewed, you guys kept me going and I'll tell more in some PMs. Thank-you. You're the reason why I wrote this story. You guys and some hot trickster god. I cannot say enough how wonderful it was to recieve your love and support. This story is for you.
So there are plans for a sequel but since you guys are so chock-full of incredible ideas let me know what your top 5 moments from Spaceman were and maybe 5 things you would like to see in the sequel... if you want.
I love you guys, hope you all "sleep well". :)
So much love,