This is a sequel-ey thingy for the story Spaceman if you haven't read that you probably won't enjoy this...
Okay. Who is beyond thrilled at all of the exciting things emerging about the Avengers? Like the Disney Expo stuff. Anyways, I'm beyond thrilled and this has been sitting on my computer and I couldn't resist putting it up! We're starting two weeks after Spaceman. The 'oneshots' have now turned into much more of a story arc. So...
Agent Turner quickly checked both ways before jaywalking across the street to get to the hotel. He supposed that as a government agent he probably shouldn't jaywalk but technically he was under cover and any rational citizen would have, most likely, ran across the street. Satisfied with his reasoning he hesitated before pushing the lobby door open with his back, his hands occupied by two cups of coffee. He gave a brief nod at the clerk and hopped into the elevator. He got off on the third floor and hastily made his way to suite 344 before giving three brisk knocks. He waited a moment before the door was swung open by his partner, Agent Grant.
Grant smiled and took his coffee before resuming his seat at the little table near the kitchenette.
Turner followed suit. He opened the lip of his coffee cup, "Where is she?"
Grant nodded at the doorway that led to their charge's bedroom, "Getting ready."
"Still?" Turner's eyebrows rose in surprise, "What is she doing in there?"
The 'she' in question was simply staring at herself in the mirror. Penny Holden's eyes watched themselves with a steady gaze. She had already applied a little bit of makeup, just touches of concealer, eye shadow, and eyeliner. It was then she remembered that she was holding her mascara. She looked down at her hands, one holding the brush the other the container. She looked back at her reflection. Her hair was pulled back in a messy but acceptable bun. She took a deep breath and applied the mascara. After she finished she quickly tidied up the contents of her makeup bag and zipped it closed; pushing it to the back of the vanity. She raised her eyes up to their own likeness once more. Her eyes stared at the mirror, searching; searching for an answer to a question she couldn't put into words. She studied the green orbs staring back at her; it was funny, they didn't remind her of herself anymore, they reminded her of someone else, they looked they belonged to someone else. She squinted for a moment and then tried giving herself a genuine smile; it didn't work. She stuck out her tongue and then frowned and scrunched up her face. She sighed and shook her head. She looked up once more letting all pretences slide away. There. The face staring back was nearly neutral. It wasn't broken-hearted or depressed, it was just sad. She stared at her eyes. Me. Sad, little me. A single tear emerged and she wiped it away almost immediately. She paused and took a deep a breath. When her eyes met themselves again it was with a challenge, Bring it world. I can take it.
Grant turned at the sound of Penny's door opening.
She smiled at the agents, "Okay. I need to look okay. And I don't mean like," she gave her voice a nasal quality, "'Do I look okay? Am I pretty?'" her voice returned to its usual timbre, "I mean like, could I pass as a normal person who wasn't left on a cliff, carried off by a super-hero and is currently being watched by two government agents because she is considered a 'dangerous person'?"
Turner's mouth dropped; "Uh…" he glanced at Grant, "Yeah. Totally. Grant?"
Grant nodded, "Oh yeah. Completely normal… except maybe you shouldn't say stuff like that."
Penny frowned slightly.
Grant shrugged, "Or you could! I mean, you don't have to lie to her!" he shot a desperate look to Turner.
Turner nodded and turned to Penny, "You can tell a little bit of the truth… just not all of it cause it's, you know…"
"Confidential." Grant finished.
Penny looked back and forth between the two of them. "You guys, it's okay, you don't have to act like I'm going to burst into tears at any moment; we're past that stage."
Both agents visibly relaxed.
"Sharon's going to be able to tell that I'm a little off… which, you know, is understandable. I liked a guy and he's gone. Boo hoo. But she can't know how crazy all of this is, because she… well, she'll hate him. And I don't want her to hate him."
Grant and Turner glanced at each other.
She narrowed her eyes, "What?"
They looked at each other again.
Grant shrugged, "I hate him."
Turner nodded, "Me too. He's a jerk. You deserve better."
Grant gave her a small smile, "You should maybe fill her in a little bit, just the situation between you and… him."
Penny sighed. "Screw it. Alrighty. Let's just go, don't let her see you, I don't want to have to explain you."
"She won't know we're there." Grant got up and smiled, "Have a good lunch."
Penny rolled her eyes and started out the door that Turner was holding open, he turned to her as she passed, "Are we really passed that stage? Cause it was horrible."
Grant agreed, "Insanely awful!"
Penny's laughed echoed down the hotel hallway.
As she pulled into the restaurant's parking lot Penny savoured the few moments she had alone. For the past two and a half weeks Grant and Turner had been constantly at her side. Sure she had moments by herself in her room and what not. It just seemed like an eternity since she was off to do something on her own. And she supposed that lunch with Sharon wasn't exactly doing something alone, but it had been awhile since any outing wasn't flanked by the blues brothers. Sure they'd be around but they wouldn't be there commenting on what she was buying for dinner (Pizza Pops? Really Penny?). She quickly made her way inside and found Sharon at a lovely patio table. She greeted her friend with a hug.
Sharon smiled and sat down, "Darling! How have you been? How was the two week vacation in small town heaven?"
Penny laughed, "It was good."
Sharon's eyes twinkled, "Was it? You've got a tan. So… you're alone but your trip was good."
Penny eyed her warily, "Straight to the point, as always."
"Of course! Got a reputation to maintain. You know what though? You look good."
Penny's eyes lit up, "Really?"
Sharon chuckled, "Wow, don't know if that compliment was meant to garner that much excitement."
Penny's face fell, "Oh… Really?"
Sharon frowned slightly, "Relax, jeeze! Sit down and figure out what you want to eat."
Penny did as she was told. For a while the two chatted without mentioning Penny's relationship status, or lack thereof. Penny let herself enjoy the lunch she let go of the anxiety she had been clinging to. She found it pleasant to be regarded without the stigma of 'dangerous person'.
She was completely caught off guard when Sharon asked her to be a bridesmaid and was nearly in tears when she agreed. She felt a little uneasy accepting because she knew the wedding plans were already all set, the wedding only being a month away. Sharon assured her that she wanted Penny to be a part of the wedding and Penny's resurgence in her life made her realize that she had to have Penny as a bridesmaid and she figured it was better late than never. Penny found herself smiling and laughing the majority of the conversation, something that had been rare the past two weeks.
Eventually Sharon's curiosity got the better of her, "So what's the sob story?"
Penny's smile faded, "What makes you think there is one?"
"He gone now." She shrugged, "That's all."
Sharon took in her friend's despondent mood, "Maybe it's not as bad as I thought…" she kept her eyes on Penny as she reacted to Sharon's words.
Penny perked up a bit; "Yeah…" she glanced down, "I just miss him a little bit."
Sharon sat back, "Not as bad as I thought: worse."
Penny's brows furrowed, "What? Why? We spent six days together with hardly any separation. I'm just adjusting."
"It's been two weeks."
Penny shrugged, "I don't do well with change. A lot has happened to me ok?"
"Yeah, yeah. That's not it though."
An eyebrow raised, "Oh?"
Sharon's eyes glittered, "No. You miss him, you said so yourself."
"So? I could miss anything. In grade three when I had to hand in my bean plant I missed it too."
Sharon smiled, "There's quite a bit of difference between a bean plant and a man. Why do you miss him?"
Penny sighed, realising she might as well be as open as she could with her friend, given the top secret predicament she currently entangled in, "I don't know. His presence. I can't explain it. I miss being around him, his reactions. Our interactions, you know? Talking to him and all that. Experiencing things and what not."
"You're right, exactly like the bean plant." Sharon was pleased to see a small smile on her friend's face, "Did you ask him to stay?"
Penny's eyes clouded over, "I did. But… it's complicated. His life was messy and he's dealing with things. Not in a good way, by the way. That's part of why he left I think, he knew I would fight him on the way he's… dealing with things."
She winced, "He was trouble?"
Penny snorted, "With a capital T."
A small silence fell over them.
Sharon studied Penny for a moment before breaking the calm, "It's not just that you miss him."
Penny leaned her head back and gave Sharon a grudging smile, "Oh?"
"You haven't said his name Penny. Not once."
Penny gave a short laugh, "Sure I have." She tried to remember the conversation; she even called up earlier conversations with Grant and Turner. It was too hard to remember, "Sure I have…" she repeated.
Sharon's expression dropped a bit, "Well if you already have, what's the harm in saying it now?"
Penny's eyes were wide, almost with wonder, "I… I can."
Sharon rolled her eyes, "I know you can. You're not impaired when it comes to talking, trust me I know that." Her voice became sad, "Say his name. It'll help."
Penny smiled uncomfortably. She didn't know why but she couldn't bring herself to say his name, "I don't want to." She frowned, "I didn't even notice I was avoiding it."
Sharon gave her a sympathetic look, "Well you are, he's not Voldemort. Come on, just say it. Doesn't mean anything."
Penny stared at her plate, "Loki."
Sharon raised her glass to Penny, "Excellent! See. All better."
Penny laughed and gave Sharon a smile, "I guess that wasn't so bad! Whatever! Loki! Good." She took a sip of her water.
The rest of the lunch went splendidly. Penny continued to laugh and talk with Sharon and Sharon left contented that she was helping her friend get over whatever had happened to her in Puente Antiguo. She saw how hard it was for Penny to say Loki's name but as the lunch progressed she could see the wonderful improvement in her fragile friend. She walked Penny to her car and they hugged and parted ways after Penny promised to see Sharon and Todd for dinner the day after the next.
Penny pulled out of the parking lot with the smile she had given Sharon plastered to her face. She let it fade in to a neutral expression as she made her way back on to the road. She stared at the pavement ahead of her with an intense focus. She bit her lip as she pulled in to the hotel parking lot. She quickly got herself into the elevator where Grant and Turner joined her. They asked her about the lunch and she responded saying that it was wonderful. The moment the door to their room opened she made a beeline for her bedroom, telling the agents that she would be painting and would prefer not to be disturbed. She paced around her room for a bit, shaking her hands wildly.
Under her breath she was hastily repeating, "Lokilokilokiloki"
She stopped and took a deep breath. She stood perfectly still. She closed her eyes. She had fooled Sharon. At first she hadn't, Sharon had seen through her. It was after she said Loki's name that she had managed to hide it all from her friend. It was true that she hadn't realized that she was avoiding saying his name aloud. But when she had uttered those two little syllables her whole internal world changed. She had kept a calm exterior, more than a calm exterior; she had been charming and happy. She smiled big without too much cheese and her laugh had come easily, hiding the storm that was raging inside of her. She had made it to her room And now I'm having a mental break down. She opened her eyes and sat on the edge of her bed as tears began to flow. She sighed as she cried, This isn't fair.
She wiped away some of the tears, "You really got a hold on me princey."
She lay back. It had almost been nice to say his name. She sniffed a little as the tears subsided. "Loki." She tried. Yes. Quite nice. "Loki, I miss you… and now I'm talking to myself. You may be literally driving me insane."
Out loud it wasn't so bad. To say a little bit of what she was feeling. She curled up, I miss you.
She shot up rather suddenly, "No. Nope." She got out of bed and shook herself. "Not happening. No curling up and dying. He is a bad dude." She walked over to the mirror, "And you are an awesome lady." She nodded at her puffy cheeks, "And yes, you cared about him. A great deal. But he helped you out of a rut. And," she headed over to her little work station, "He got you painting again. So stop moping and pull yourself together and just…" she picked up a brush and murmured, "be yourself." Not Blake's. Not Sharon's friend. Not Loki's. Just Penny. I've cared, I've cried and now Imma just live. She started to paint.
Loki had been studying S.H.I.E.L.D documents when he stumbled open a file marked Holden. For a moment he simply stared at the name. He had been keeping himself busy, studying and planning, arranging deals. He hadn't given many thoughts to that name. He did miss her but he couldn't afford to become so captivated by her as he had before. There was no denying that he had fallen for her. He accepted that, and he promised Penny that he would see her again. In actuality, he had seen her, the night he left. She just hadn't seen him. He wondered when he might be able to talk to her again. He opened her folder. He scanned the screen and frowned. She had moved. He looked up and away. She had moved and he had no idea. How disconcerting. His fingers twitched and he gave the screen one more glance, rechecking her current address. His head tilted slightly and he thought for a moment, This cannot happen again. It wouldn't be fair to Penny if he prevented her from moving from place to place but he felt that he needed to know where she was; he assured himself that he was only concerned with her safety; he wouldn't go spying on her again. Suddenly an idea came to his head. He waved his hand and a stunning silver chain with a beautiful emerald gem appeared. He took it between his palms and placed a few charms on it. Now I'll know where you are. He waved the necklace away and made about traveling to Penny's new location.
There was no one in the hotel room when he arrived, a quick sweep of the bedroom revealed Penny's bag and painting set up. He smiled when he saw the lovely coloured canvases; his distraction had quite the gift. He pulled the necklace from the air and tucked it under her pillow. Then he ripped out a piece of paper from the hotel notepad. He grabbed a pen and stared at the blank paper. What could he possibly say?
Suddenly he heard the suite's door open. His shroud already in place he braced himself for the sight of Penny. He heard her tell the agents that she was going to paint and the sound of her voice was nearly enough to make his head spin. And then she was entering the room. He immediately knew something was wrong, something was off about her smile. And then she begun pacing and uttering his name like a mad woman. He simply stared, unable to do anything but watch. It was his name she was saying, he had never heard anyone talk like that, not when they were referring to him. And then she was still. So still. If ever there was a moment to make his presence known… her eyes were closed. He took a hesitant step towards her, her name on the tip of his tongue. But then she was sitting on the bed crying. He felt a little sick. He had done many terrible things in his life but he was beginning to believe that what he had done to Penny was the worst. He should have stayed far away from her.
She wiped some of her tears away, "You really got a hold on me princey."
He narrowed his eyes; Do you know I'm here? She had just addressed him; there was no one else in the room. He watched as she lay back on the bed. He debated saying something and letting her hear it. Perhaps tell her just how much of a hold she had on him. Then she said his name. Softly and sweetly. He had never been particularly sentimental but the way she said his name made his heart swell and beat a bit faster.
"Loki, I miss you… and now I'm talking to myself. You may be literally driving me insane."
He smiled sadly, Of course you can't know I'm here. It was a ridiculous notion that she might have known but a part of him had hoped that he might not have been completely invisible. He watched as she curled up on the bed and his heart stung, he wanted so badly to go to her side and hold her. I miss you. By Valhalla I miss you. He watched as she got out of bed and shook herself, making her way about the room.
She frowned at herself in the mirror, "No. Nope. Not happening. No curling up and dying. He is a bad dude. And you are an awesome lady. And yes, you cared about him. A great deal. But he helped you out of a rut. And he got you painting again. So stop moping and pull yourself together and just… be yourself."
Hearing this Loki felt very conflicted. On the one hand he could see that she beginning to paint him as a villain whose time with her had passed, on the other she was so beautifully strong. He watched as she began painting.
He returned his gaze to the piece of paper; he supposed there was only one thing he needed to write. Placing his note with the gift under her pillow he tore himself away from her.
The rest of Penny's day passed pleasantly and soon enough she was hopping under the covers, ready for sleep. She turned off the bedside lamp and rolled onto her side. She slid one hand under her cheek and the other under her pillow, where she felt something, something not very pillow-ey. She frowned and turned the light back on and picked up her pillow. Her breath caught in her throat.
She contemplated ripping it up. And then her eyes alighted on the necklace. "Oh my." She ran her fingers over the jewel. She bit her lip. She wouldn't wear it. But I'll keep it. She got out of bed and put it in the zipper pocket of her bag. She looked at the note before slipping it in her pillowcase, deciding that she was too tired to deal whatever this contact insinuated. She closed her eyes and heard the echo of a memory of a voice saying those two words to her. Well played god of mischief. I'm game. She felt a sinking feeling in her chest, I'm just afraid that hearts is trump. And playing with hearts… she let her thoughts slide away as she fell into a dreamless sleep.
A/N: Alright, well, thats that. Hopefully that will whet your appetite for awhile... if everyone's still with me...
Anywhos. It's going to be a bit of a break before the next one cause I'm trying to make these last until May 4th 2012. And then all hell breaks loose and Loki goes insane.
Hope you liked it!
oh... teaser... um Two new awesome characters coming, Nick Fury, and an exchange of notes. I love everyone who reads this!