Loki and Darcy had sat there for hours, and the human eventually fell asleep on the god's lap. Her breathing was deep and steady, and Loki could feel her heartbeat in his own chest. He glanced down at her pale skin, dark hair, and pink lips. Truth be told she had many of the aesthetic qualities the women of Asgard had. Except the frame- where Asgardian women were taller and curvaceous, Darcy was small in stature and her curves were very gradual. Well, she was rather well-endowed for her size, though she often wore enough layers to hide her chest quite well.

The god brushed his fingertips across Darcy's cheek, his lips parting slightly as he felt her velvety skin. The mortal snuggled closer, moaning lightly in her sleep, and Loki wrapped an arm around her back. He rested his chin on top of her head, staring at the wall. In the stillness and quiet of the room, Loki could feel his heartbeat trying to synch up with the woman in his arms. But the rhythm evaded him, and his pulse both raced and slowed. Loki half expected a clone to appear and say something inappropriate, but the silence remained unbroken.

"Not the barbecue sauce." Loki glanced down at Darcy, who seemed to be mumbling in her sleep. "Barbecue sauce doesn't go in cupcakes." The god chuckled lightly, stroking his fingers up and down Darcy's back. Her body was unusually warm, and he found it soothing to have her nestled against him. After half an hour sitting with Darcy curled up in his lap, the Asgardian fell asleep. It wasn't until the sun was up and the Lewis' were bringing in breakfast that the two woke.

"Darcy, babe, how are you doing?" Nicola's voice was the first one they heard, waking together. They blinked a few times before realizing where they were and who was on whose lap and each scrambled apart.

"I'm good, mom. Super chill."

"God we were so worried," both Preston and Nicola embraced Darcy, eliciting a choking noise from the brunette. "Sorry, you've probably had enough trouble breathing for a while."

"Yeah, just a bit. Hey listen mom, dad, I know the timing kinda sucks but…Luke and I have to get back to New Mexico. Jane's gonna be getting back soon and we should be there. Right?"

Almost missing Darcy's cue, Loki straightened in his chair and tilted his chin up toward the Lewis', smiling, "Yes, of course."

"Are you…Are you sure? Because you know we don't mind having you here, we love it! We almost never see you anymore!"

"I know mom, but I really need to be getting back. I don't want Jane to worry, and she's gonna be getting back to the lab any day now, so…"

"We understand," Preston put his arms around his wife's shoulders and giving a soft squeeze. "Just as long as you're feeling better."

"I am. Thank you. So uh…I'm gonna change out of this hospital smock and we're gonna go." Darcy's parents fought to keep the disappointment from their faces by nodding, hugging their daughter again and turning to leave.

"We'll send the clothes we bought you to Peunte Antiguo."

"Thanks mom."

The door shut, and there was a moment of silence.

"Well that wasn't very nice of you."

"Oh shut it, Loki."

"Well it wasn't. They clearly want you to stay, and you weren't very cordial to them."

"Okay listen- I love my parents. I do. But I can't stay here if I'm lying to them."

"What are you lying about?"

"You, me, all of…Whatever this is," Darcy waved her arms about.

"What do you mean 'whatever this is'?"

"Seriously?" Darcy didn't bother explaining what she meant. She chose instead to change from her hospital clothes to the jeans and sweater her parents must have brought some time while she was asleep.

"What do you mean?"

"Forget it, Loki. I just don't want to be lying to them about you I mean, you seriously think they don't suspect there's something off about you?"

"Of course. I'm an expert at lying."

"You got that right," Darcy muttered, pulling her sweater over her head, chest and stomach. She ignored Loki's mouth opening to inquire what she had meant this time and left the room, the god trailing behind her. Now that they were in front of others, Loki kept his mouth shut as Darcy signed a few forms and checked herself out. Once she was finished she led him out of the hospital and into one of the parking garages.

"Alright, teleport us back to Puente Antiguo."

"Why should I?"

"Because I said so. I already told my parents that we were leaving, so we can't stay here."

"We could just go somewhere else."

"What, are you scared that a big blue guy is gonna be waiting for you?" Loki's eyes narrowed and he pulled Darcy roughly against him, transporting to New Mexico…

Upon arrival, Darcy nearly fell over. Something about teleportation made her dizzy. She looked around to ensure that they were in fact in Puente Antiguo and, feeling satisfied when she saw the newly remodeled diner and the street signs, relaxed and stepped away from Loki.

"Good. Okay."

"So what exactly are we to do here?"

"I don't know about you but I'm sleeping in my own be-"

"Darcy!" Jane's voice was like a smack in the back of the head. Darcy turned to see the petite physicist power-walking toward her and Loki.

"Jane, 'sup?"

"'Sup?' I have been calling you and texting you nonstop, where the hell have you…Who is this?"

"Oh, this is-"

"Luke Owens, a friend of Darcy's parents," Loki stretched his hand out towards Jane, his pink lips curling into a smile.

"Oh. Hi. Jane Foster." She shook his hand, averting her eyes. "Darcy, you have no idea how worried I was. I thought something might've happened in the lab or at the bifrost site and you might've…" She trailed off when she realized how intently Loki was listening to her. "Sorry, do you mind? Work stuff."

"Oh, of course," he turned and stepped away, putting roughly ten feet between him and the women, but using magic to amplify his hearing.

"So what happened with S.H.I.E.L.D.? Did you take care of that portal thing?"

"It was almost gone by the time I got there. I managed to get some readings, but nothing substantial enough to really affect my research. Then I had to spend a few days being debriefed by Agent Coulson."

"You do realize that sounds awfully sexual, right?" Darcy smirked.

"Oh, god, not like that, jesus, he's…He's Agent Coulson."

"Well actually I think he's kinda sexy in an 'it's always the quiet ones' sort of way," Darcy shrugged. Loki frowned.

"That's gross, Darcy."

"Well anyway, you back for a while?"

"Yes. And I've brought some guests."

"Would those be S.H.I.E.L.D. guests?"

"They are, yes. I think you'll like them. Have you ever hung out with Tony Stark?"

"Are you serious? Iron Man is in New Mexico?" Darcy covered her mouth, finger-combed her hair, covered her mouth again and tugged on her shirt. "You've gotta be kidding me I freaking love that guy!"

"Yeah he's something else, that's for sure. He and everyone else is back at base, so let's get a move on." Jane froze in place. "Is your friend, uh…."


"Yeah, that, is he….He's not staying with you, is he?"

"Yeah, he is."

"Oh. OH. So you two are uh…You're uh…," Jane attempted suggestive hand motions, but ended up looking like a seal on its back.

"Dear god you need help."

Loki had been dropped off at Darcy's house, seeing as how the S.H.I.E.L.D. base was a classified area and "normal people" weren't allowed. If only Jane knew…

But Darcy was glad to be away from Loki for a while. He had a habit of muddling up her thoughts. She knew he was bad, and she knew that he was just using her, and it was highly likely that she wasn't meant to survive whatever plot he needed her for, but sweet jesus who was that man with the forearm veins?

Jane had led Darcy into the main office area- a place the intern rarely found she needed to visit- and there were Tony Stark, his ginger assistant that she had seen in press conferences on TV, and a man dressed in dark jeans and a purple t-shirt. The stranger was sitting on a desk, leaning back on those magnificently toned arms, and watching as Stark and Coulson verbally sparred over whether or not it was necessary to fly a king-sized hot tub all the way from Dubai.

"You don't even have a place in Dubai," the ginger interjected.

"Yes, well, I should, Pepper, and if I did, it would have a hot tub the size of Monaco."

Pepper rolled her eyes.

"Hey everyone, back. Had to grab Darcy," Jane greeted as she strode up to the group.

"'Sup dudes?" Tony glanced her up and down, his eyes lingering a bit on her chest before flicking over to see Pepper's highly disapproving face. The stranger leaned forward, bracing his elbows on his knees.

"So what do you do?"

"'Scuse me?"

"Well he's Iron Man," the stranger nodded at Tony, "She keeps him in line," this time at Pepper.

"-Tries to would be more appropriate," Pepper interrupted.

"She's a genius and he's technically in charge," the stranger finished nodding at Jane and Coulson, respectively. "So what do you do?"

"I Tumbl, I play Angry Birds. Occasionally I do a really bad British accent."


Agent Coulson's phone rang, and after a brief, one-sided conversation of 'yes sir', 'right', and 'right away', he called Tony, Pepper and Jane into the main conference room. Darcy leaned against the desk across from the stranger.

"So why don't you get to join the super-secret club?"

"I'm already in the super-secret club. They just don't need me right now."

"Let me guess your power….You can turn into cheese?"


"What, I'm hungry?"

"And cheese is the first thing you go for? Not a burger or a pizza?"

"I like cheese."

"Well alright then."

"So can you really turn into cheese?"

"No. I don't think that's even a power."

"Well it should be."

"If you two are done," Coulson called from the landing above them, "It turns out we need Mister Barton after all."