Darcy leveled a glare at Jane, who simply shrugged it off and added, "And get your fingers out of your mouth."
Darcy intensified the glare, but reluctantly pulled the thumb from between her lips and absently noted the spot of red around her cuticle. So she bit her nails when she was nervous. So what? She was marrying her baby-daddy today. And he was a former (not exactly reformed, but definitely former) supervillain. And a prince. And an alien of sorts. And after the ceremony was over, she'd be immortal. That was heavy shit. Even James Bond would be cuddling with his blankie over that one. Jane was lucky that Darcy wasn't curled up in the fetal position, rocking back and forth. But if being with Loki had taught Darcy anything, it was how to embrace the insanity. And cloak the hysteria. She put her game face on.
"I can't believe I'm getting married before you. You and Thor have been attached at the lips since pretty much the moment you met. Which was like years ago. Years!"
Jane's mouth turned up into the small smile that made Darcy like Thor just a little bit more every time she saw it, "We have all the time in the world."
That was true. In a literal sense.
Said world suddenly seemed to shift just a bit off its axis and Darcy had to throw a hand out to brace herself on the mirror in front of her.
"Whoa, Darcy! You alright?"
Darcy blinked rapidly at the reflection before her, but no matter how many times she opened her eyes, the woman in the mirror was still wearing a wedding dress.
"Yeah. I'm ok. Just…this is really happening. I mean, I'm actually marrying Loki. As in 'til death do you part'. Except without the death. Talk about an Unbreakable Vow."
Jane let out a little sigh of relief, "That's just the nerves talking. Every bride gets cold feet."
"No, my feet are toasty warm! I want to marry Loki. Trust me, I do. I am more sure of that than pretty much anything. But it's still intense. I mean, he's…Loki."
Jane nodded thoughtfully, "Yeah, the whole world-domination thing is a pretty big skeleton in the closet."
"Actually, I was more concerned that I'm marrying the guy who tattooed his name on my hip the first night we slept together. But I guess you have a point."
Jane's mouth did that thing it did whenever Darcy casually mentioned some of Loki's more questionable quirks. "He did what?"
Darcy smiled playfully, "Don't worry. I got even. Now my name is-"
Jane held up a hand, "Don't tell me. I don't want to know. Why do you always assume I want to know these things?"
Darcy giggled, meeting Jane's eyes in the mirror. She sobered as she picked up on the serious vibe the woman behind her was radiating. "What?"
Jane shook her head, "It's just…you look happy. I'm glad. If I look half as happy as you do on my wedding day, I'll be blessed." She reached up from behind and let her hands rest on Darcy's shoulders, giving them a soft squeeze.
"Don't go there, Jane. I will cry, and I promised myself I wasn't going to do that today. I am not going to be that bride. The one who cries. That is not me. I am already living every other damn cliché imaginable. I'm the poor, young girl from the wrong side of the Bifrost who got knocked up by the bad-boy prince. And now we're getting married. If I have a drunken uncle hit on Sif, or one of Loki's exes tries to stop the wedding…it'd be Hollywood-level cliché. Oh god, if my life were a movie I'd be played by Reese Witherspoon. How did that happen? How?"
Jane rubbed her hands over Darcy's shoulders soothingly, "No, not Reese. You'd be someone much edgier. Rooney Mara, maybe? Or at least Ellen Page."
Jane nodded decisively, "Absolutely."
Darcy let out the breath she'd been holding. "Thanks. Who'd play Loki?"
Jane cocked her head, thinking hard. "That's tough. Viggo is a bit too old. Fassbender? He smiles like a serial killer, but everyone still wants to sleep with him."
Darcy spun around quickly, wrapping her arms around a startled Jane, "Oh, you do understand me! You're the best friend a girl could ever ask for! Fassbender, that's so inspired….he's even anatomically accurate! Oh crap, I really am going to cry. I love the shit out of you."
Jane hugged her back with a chagrined smile, "It's amazing how many of our conversations end up revolving around Loki's manhood."
Darcy's smile was hidden in Jane's shoulder, "Would you prefer we talk about Thor's 'hammer' instead?"
"You're being downgraded to Rachel McAdams."
Darcy gasped, "No! You called me edgy! I won't mention Thor's package for the rest of the day, I promise. Please upgrade me! At least to Emily Blunt level. Selma Blair even. Please? I'll make sure you're played by Michelle Williams…," she smiled both desperately and enticingly.
Jane paused, considering. "No package talk of any kind for at least a week."
"Fine, done. Phew!"
Jane shook her head, "You do realize they're not actually making a movie about you, right?"
Darcy quirked a grin, "I'm marrying a prince who tried to enslave Earth when he found out he was adopted from a supposedly evil alien race, until a crisis of conscience made him save the day and now he gets contracted out by a shady government organization full of gods and superheroes. And Tony Stark. They made a movie about the guy who invented the windshield wiper. Do you seriously think we're not going to be portrayed on film at some point? And not just that amateur porn stuff Clint found. Although seriously, some of those women were very creatively inspired by my man's helmet. I mean, personally I would never stick it there. Talk about unsanitary. Though I guess you could put a condom on one of the horns and-"
"Oh my god, stop talking! Seriously! I can't even…you're sick."
Darcy looked affronted, "I'm sick? I've never stuck any part of Loki's outfit in me. Those women were freaks!"
Jane still looked aghast, "I'm going to pretend this conversation never happened."
Darcy tried to interject, but Jane cut her off with a firm "No" and raised both her eyebrows for emphasis.
Darcy sighed, "Fine. But you should know for the record that I think this whole prude thing you have going on is just a cover. I bet you and Thor are closet deviants who roleplay nightly. The Viking and the Tavern Wench?"
"We do just fine being ourselves."
Darcy giggled, "Kinky. The Prince and the Scientist? Loki and I played that once, but he kept breaking my glasses with his pelvis."
"Ok, that's it! Enough. No more slutty talk. You're a mom now."
Darcy raised a condescending brow, "And how do you think I became a mom? Immaculate conception? Loki might be a god, but I don't think that's his M.O."
Jane looked her up and down, "The white dress is more ironic on you than on any other bride I've ever met."
"Hey, don't mock the white. Mom would have killed me if I didn't do this at least somewhat traditionally. I'm just glad everyone here was alright with this dress. Asgardian fashion is definitely avant-garde."
Jane made a face, but otherwise didn't say anything. She didn't really have to. They were both obviously thinking about the necessity of the helmets.
The door opened and Pepper Potts and her eight miles of leg strode into the room with a babbling Donna in tow. Pepper had a clipboard in one hand and her cellphone in the other. She took her role as godmother seriously, meaning she felt both entitled and obligated to run the show during every aspect of Astrid's life. This included mommy and daddy's wedding. Pepper in full control-mode was an amusing experience for Darcy. She figured it must be what Tony experiences all the time.
Donna was the first to speak, flinging herself at Darcy, "Oh, my baby! You're just so beautiful! So, so beautiful." Darcy found herself engulfed in her mother's arms while she muttered incoherent sentence fragments about Darcy being beautiful, Asgard being shiny, and Loki being such a nice, young man. Darcy let all three pieces of ridiculousness go.
Pepper stepped in confidently, "Alright folks. Showtime."
Jane gave a happy, little hum while Donna stepped back and smoothed a piece of hair off her daughter's forehead.
Darcy took a deep breath, then nodded. "Let's do this."
"I'm just glad my goddaughter won't be a bastard anymore. Wait, what's the female form of bastard? Bastardess?"
Loki looked up and caught Tony's eye, "Did you just refer to my daughter as a bastard?"
"I meant it in the literal sense. Illegitimate."
Loki continued to stare the man down. Tony hastened to add, "In the sense that you weren't married when you knocked Darcy up."
Thor's voice cut in, "I believe if Pepper were here, she would tell you to stop doing things that get you into trouble. And trouble is exactly what seems to occur every time your mouth opens and words come out."
Loki let out a deep chuckle, throwing an appreciative half-grin in his brother's direction. Thor's occasional attempts at humor were met with varying degrees of success, but in Loki's opinion it was always acceptable to poke fun at Tony.
Heedless, Tony said, "Eh, he's not going to kill anyone. It's his wedding day."
Loki smirked, "It could be a wedding gift to myself. Call my daughter a bastard again, I dare you."
"Pfft! Kill me? Fat chance. I held you while you cried. That practically makes us brothers." Tony thought about the complicated nature of the sibling relationship between the gods in the room and threw out a hasty, "No offense, Thor."
Loki's head tilted, "It is funny, but that is not how I remember that event happening. Tears? Yes. From my eyes? No."
"You cried, Tony? When?" Thor looked amused.
Tony stood up straight and poked Thor in the chest to emphasize his point, "Manly tears. Manly. And it wasn't liked I sobbed or anything. It was perhaps one lone, masculine te-…oh for fuck's sake, you make me feel like a girl anyway. Stupid tall Asgardians with your stupid macho armor over stupid macho muscles. Just standing next to you makes me feel like I should be watching 'Beaches' and wondering if the new Mark VII armor makes my ass look fat."
"You know, it is a good thing that you are such a manwhore or comments like that would be raising little rainbow flags."
Tony was demonstrably not amused, "Fuck you, Loki."
"No thank you. But see what I mean?" Loki's tone was glib. "People could misinterpret that. And I have seen you looking at the Captain's body quite closely when he is suited up in his spandex."
Tony blustered, "Whoa, no, that's…no. Not that there's anything wrong with…I mean, I went to college. But no. He was my hero when I was a kid and seeing the costume is…just no." Tony took a moment to visibly compose himself. "You're a shmuck. I don't know how Darcy can stand you. It's a good thing your daughter is so cute or I'd abandon you after such harsh treatment."
"My bastard daughter, you mean?"
Tony sighed, "Fine. I apologize for referring to the status that is designated to your daughter by being born out of wedlock. Even though it's in the dictionary."
Thor just shook his head. He'd always thought his brother was odd. But then he met Anthony Stark. It was no wonder that the two got along so well. Such men would either be the closest of friends or kill each other. Thor was glad it ended up being the former. Well, mostly glad.
Tony continued by asking, "And speaking of my favorite little lady, where is the perfectly legitimate fruit of your loins?"
Loki's face was expressionless, "With my father."
Tony blinked, "Holy shit. Really?"
Loki shook his head mockingly, "Of course not, you gullible imbecile. Steve is looking after Astrid."
Tony's face cleared and he looked like all was once again right in the world.
A knock on the door and then Fandral's head was poking around the frame, "Tony, the lovely Lady Potts has informed me that you were not answering her call. She bid me to tell you gentlemen that it is time. And did I mention she was lovely? Your betrothed truly is a vision in lavender. You are a lucky man."
Fandral was gone before Tony could even stutter out an exasperated, "She's not my…oh never mind."
Loki smiled wryly, "Resignation? Interesting. So you are finally ready to kiss bachelorhood goodbye as well?"
Tony gave him a somewhat uneasy look, "Maybe. Possibly. Hell, if anything, Stark Industries stock would probably rise. People seem to think she's a stabilizing influence on me. Which, you know, is pretty funny if you think about it considering how all over the place I am when it comes to her."
Loki sighed, "Stock prices. And here I thought my brother was the most inept romantic of my acquaintance. And it turns out, he is not even the most inept romantic in this room."
Both Thor and Tony shouted 'Hey!' in sync and then turned to give each other mildly insulted looks.
Loki smiled and started to head for the door, "Now hurry along. I have a beautiful, flexible, sexually-adventurous woman who is willing to bind herself to me for eternity. And she was telling me all about what occurs on the night of the wedding. To say I am eagerly awaiting the setting of the sun would be an understatement of truly majestic proportions."
Speechless, Thor and Tony followed the God of Mischief out the door. Well, they couldn't argue with that.
Odin presided over the ceremony. Darcy supposed he had to since she was becoming all godly and shit.
Still, it made her want to giggle inappropriately and make some sort of lewd gesture just to get a reaction. Every time she looked over at Loki, she knew he was thinking the same thing. Astrid must have subconsciously picked up on her parents' amusement since Darcy could hear Astrid's sweet laugh and see her chubby, smiling face out of the corner of her eye. Seriously, Astrid was the most perfect baby ever. Darcy figured she might be biased, but it seemed pretty obvious to her.
The ceremony itself appeared vaguely like a normal wedding in the sense that they were standing at the top of the altar-like throne room and several hundred of their closest friends were gathered around them. Well, 'closest' was a stretch, but Loki was a prince so everyone in Asgard wanted to stand there and gawk. Darcy didn't mind. She felt pretty, Loki looked delicious and everyone she ever cared about was around her.
She still thought it was hilarious that Loki sent a personal invitation to every single member of S.H.I.E.L.D. from Fury right down to the janitorial staff. And to the consternation of Odin, most of the mortals took them up on it. Heimdall had never had so many visitors. She supposed it wasn't every day that you got an invitation to visit a different realm. Talk about a destination wedding!
This place was certainly amazing enough to keep the visitors in awe. And she was going to be part of it. She was going to be Princess Darcy of Asgard. Wife of Prince Loki of Asgard. And possibly – ridiculously – she would also be Queen Darcy of Jotunheim once Loki got that situation settled. Apparently, regicide which is also patricide makes for an unusual hiccup in the line of succession. But due to the fact that Loki's birth-dad was a real douche, the remaining Jötunns seemed much more forgiving of Loki's attempted genocide of their people. Sif told her that they were probably just glad to have someone powerful to lead them. Loki simply seemed bemused that he was going to end up being a king after all. It's pretty funny how life works out like that.
Darcy had been half-listening to Odin's blathering about joining of hearts and lives and whatever, when Frigga stepped forward and handed Darcy an apple.
It was an actual apple. Huh.
Darcy wasn't sure what she'd been expecting. But Idun's apples bestowed immortality and such, so she'd at least assumed it would look special. She glanced over at Loki and found that he was smiling with only the very corners of his lips. That mouth. That face. That man.
She couldn't wait to get started.
Darcy took a deep breath and a big bite.
A/N: Um, the end. (Except the epilogue which will pop up eventually.) This was a beast. Seriously. 140K+ words. 1K+ reviews. I can't wrap my head around it. I had more places where this was going to go - dealing with Loki's surprise at being made king of Jotunheim. And Steve's girlfriend had this whole nifty (and shady) backstory that I google-researched so it would be all canon-compliant. And Tony was going to continue being awesome. But then life got real, and it was either finish this here and give you all closure, or leave it on hiatus for the foreseeable future. I chose option one. That way all my plans could still occur in a fanfic reader's favorite word: sequel!
Anyway, thank you all so much. I read every review with a huge smile on my face and a great deal of shock in my heart. And the fact that some lovely people made fanart blows my mind. You were all wonderful to me. Now I'm heading out to finally see the Avengers (you lucky non-US readers have had me at a disadvantage). So perfect timing all around! Feel free to drop me a line, and as always: THANK YOU!