Skel: Okay so this is my first ever fan-fiction guys.. bear with me!

Chapter One: Falling

"…and only people who have money gain that access. And what they do with that money, for the purposes of running an election, they spend it. They have a staff, they hire a professional staff whose members help to communicate with voters…"

The oily professor's voice droned on and on, drawling out pointless sentences which echoed through the lecture theatre. His words attempted to settle in the distant minds of the students languorously slouching at their desks, to no avail. Darcy was one of them, particularly slouched with particular languor, staring through her eyelids at the tweed-jacketed King of Boredom. She sighed - she could almost feel the monotonous words slide straight through her mind and dribble out her ears.

Who would have thought Political Science could be so boring?

She'd been so excited at the beginning of semester, so ready to plunge into the depths of her passion. Upon arriving back on earth after a glorious holiday in Asgard, her mind was racing. The wedding had been glorious. The people had been glorious. The buildings, the language, the art…

And filled with all these notions of glory, she had plummeted back to earth ready to tackle the art of political science with a new found fervour.

I think it was the plummeting that did it she mused. It really did feel like she fell back to earth with a very hard metaphorical thud. All the mundane pressures and concerns, all the tedious and unbelievably boring things so common to mankind had assaulted her afresh once she returned.

Most days when she was steeped in boredom, she would allow her mind to wander back to that holiday, and the months before it. The endless hours of fun with Jane and Erik, searching the skies – even when it had seemed laborious at the time - in hindsight it seemed like to most exciting, thrill-filled time of her life.

And Thor's introduction seemed to propel them into even more excitement – and then once the Bifrost had been rebuilt, there was that incredible journey to Asgard where Jane and Thor had been reunited. Such a beautiful reunion it had been too. Thor, with his wide smile and crinkling eyes. Jane with her fabricated reserve and scientific calculations – which had vanished the moment Thor came bounding towards her. He couldn't see anything else except Jane, aimed like a canon the moment he saw her. And he'd flung his enormous body at her and almost crushed her with his strength, laughing and shouting her name with joy.

Darcy almost laughed out loud despite herself. A few of her neighbours stared at her for a moment before continuing with their 'note-taking' or sleeping.

She stifled her laughter and returned to her reverie. The vision of Jane suffocated by raw muscle, her tiny head peaking out from behind one of Thor's glorious biceps. And yet she had the broadest grin on her face, not altogether unlike Thor's.

Yes such beautiful times. Odin had permitted them to remain for the summer. Jane and Thor were inseparable, Erik enthralled, and Darcy found herself with all the space and resources to be the nerdy hermit she so loved to be.

It was during one of these plentiful moments that Jane, soon after their arrival, had burst into Darcy's room, wide-eyed and flushed with joy:

"Darc! Oh Darc you'll never believe what just happened!"

Darcy looked up from her iPod with blissfully sarcastic eyes. "This better be good, I'm in the middle of a Radiohead binge."

Jane bustled over and leapt onto the bed, yanking the plugs out from Darcy's ears. "Oh it's very good, Darc, better than anything!"

Darcy sighed and sat herself up. "Alright, alright… spill" she stretched lazily.

"I just came from Thor's chamber-"

"That's a surprise, what on earth were you doing there?"

Jane rolled her eyes, "well I just came from his chamber and….and…"

"Go on…" Darcy laughed.

Jane breathed in deeply, visibly trying to calm herself in her girlish stupor, but also visibly excited herself even more. Darcy braced herself.

"Thor…has just…proposed!" her voice gained pitch as she spoke until "proposed" was only a tiny squeal of delight. Darcy grinned.

"No… I don't think that's good enough" she returned her plugs back mischievously, and Jane laughed, cuffing her playfully around the head. They fell into an embrace, and as Jane bubbled, Darcy tried to mirror her excitement – but she'd never been one for hyperactive emotion.

Mind you, she thought, neither was Jane. But then again, she had changed since meeting Thor.

It was true. Jane had changed immensely since the two lovers had reunited. Almost from the moment they had embraced, Jane's inner child was unleashed upon the unsuspecting world. Darcy had witnessed her grow from serious scientist to giggling schoolgirl in days.

But the same Jane she was used to was still there – it was more like it had been heightened, edified.

"I know, I'm so overwhelmed. It was so out of the blue too!"

"Well I wouldn't know about that…" Darcy smiled.

Jane grinned back. "Oh Darcy… It's such a huge deal. I'm to become a goddess. A goddess Darcy! And eventually Queen of Asgard! I don't even know how to get college credits and graduate let alone run an entire realm as Queen…" she slumped back onto the bed, staring with a mixture of awe, bewilderment and anxiety at the golden ceiling.

"Oh you'll be fine," Darcy shuffled to sit beside her, "you'll figure it out. You're good like that. Your sciency mind will kick into gear and before you know it you and Thor will be 800 years old running an entire realm with a billion grandchildren."

Darcy was brought back from her reverie by the sounds of intermittent half-hearted clapping. The lecture was over! She realised most of the students had already raced for their dorms and she was left with the stragglers and nerds who stayed behind waiting to ask the lecturer nerdy questions.

Odin knows why – she'd heard hundreds of better lecturers than him. She just seemed to be dumped into a threshold of crappy ones in her new semester. She sighed as she hoisted her satchel onto her shoulder and shrugged out of her desk.

Shuffling down the corridors and outside into the crisp, dim Autumn air, she returned to her brightly lit memories.

The wedding was elaborate, far different to any she'd seen on earth. Not even Diana's wedding was its equal. Jane's train had stretched down the entire aisle. Darcy had laughed when everyone had to remain seated as she left - not out of courtesy, but so they didn't step on the brilliant white satin which seemed to be a colour of its own.

They'd exchanged their Asgardian vows, kissed and skipped off into the sunset where Heimdall awaited them on the newly reforged Bifrost to send them on their honeymoon to Vanaheim or some other such "heim." Darcy still hadn't gotten the hang of most Nordic terminology.

And then she had been left in Asgard to her own devices, which proved to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of her life to date. Sneaking into the Kings' chambers, exploring the gardens, sneaking food with Volstagg from the kitchens, sparring with Sif, searching for secret hiding places around the palaces…

She smiled as she reached her dorm building. Yes that was definitely the most fun – searching for hiding places. She'd found half a dozen scattered across the city, and half a dozen more in the towers and buildings which made up the Palace of the All-Father.

There was one particular spot which she'd returned to many times with a handful of books and her iPod. It was an alcove which, from the outside, appeared to be a simple alcove – an inlet in the wall. Yet once you entered you could see it had loose stones on one of its three sides. One in particular had a seal lightly engraved into its rough surface – the tri-leaf, symbol of Odin, flipped upside down.

When she saw it, it had reminded her of the pentagram turned on its side and had instantly thought of the Da Vinci code. Filled with a rush of adventure she had pressed the stone back into place.

The alcove had begun to turn where it stood, and whether by technology or some freakish enchantment she had seen no visible axis or winch. She had been too busy studying the floor, and didn't notice the spectacle unfolding before her.

She looked up.

It was a smallish room, though bigger than her dorm room at home, and filled to bursting with things. Books, especially. Books lining every wall, books scattered on the floor, books raised in towers on desks and tables, and books all over the small golden palliasse in the centre.

She let out a laugh of awe. What a find! she thought, stepping gingerly on the stone floor. As soon as she'd done so, candles along the walls began to ignite with a soft yellow flame. The room became a cosy hovel, fit for an Asgardian Prince.

She wondered as she took in the beautiful filigree of the furniture and the rich linings on the palliasse sheets, if these actually were the chambers of a Prince. She'd stopped suddenly, realising she may have be trespassing. Fearfully she'd spun on her heels, only to notice thick layers of spider webs adorning the books along the wall. Observing more closely, she realised everything in here was old, and the room smelt musty, like her Grandma's old Jane Austen novels.

Darcy grinned widely and felt exactly what Howard Carter would have felt when he discovered King Tut's tomb. It was a hovel filled with secret treasures, hidden away, in the realm of the Gods.

Darcy arrived at her dorm room and sighed melancholically. How far away that alcove seemed now. Such a distant dream she'd been so in love with. Day after day she'd spent holed up in there devouring the books and scanning the artefacts. She'd realised this room must once have entertained a child, for there were toys and trinkets everywhere. Her favourite was a wooden figure, carved, it seemed, by the child himself. A crane, perched on a stone and bending as if to drink. She would always trace the jagged dents of carving along its surface, imagining the boys' fingers creating it himself…

Yet there were also ancient tomes of magic and Asgardian law, as well as many other books of advanced intellectual standard. She would spend her days this way, exploring and uncovering, and when she got bored she'd fall onto the musty palliasse and bury her face in its pillows, musing over the one who had once lounged here as she was.

Over the weeks she'd tried harder and harder to figure out who owned the room, but to no avail. She was too shy to ask anyone, plus, she felt like it was her secret to keep. Her's and the mysterious owner's.

She'd been standing in the hallway, staring blankly at the wood of her door gloomily. But here she was, far away from that haven, and forced to come to this cramped, Spartan dorm-room, filled with the boring "tomes" of political science and "trinkets" of cutlery and dishes which were still to be cleaned.

With a deep breath she reached for the handle. She had an essay to research for, there'd be time for reverie once she'd graduated.

She pushed the door open wearily and stopped in the archway, mouth agape and eyes wide.

There in the middle of her floor was a man, lying on his side, groaning in what appeared to be agony. He was draped in a deep green cloak and simple black clothes, and his build was slight, though she could see he was fit despite his wiry frame.

His back was facing her, so she didn't think he'd noticed her. Shakily she moved to grab her tazer which she kept in the lining pocket of her satchel. As she went to open the satchel, however, she realised it was velcro, and as she ripped it open it made an unnaturally loud crunching sound. She gasped.

The figure started and turned over to face her.

His eyes were a piercing green which shot straight through her, his face pale white and gaunt. His hair was jet black and hung limply about his shoulders.

In that split second Darcy felt she should recognise him, and noticed his attire resembled some she'd seen before … in Asgardian paintings… in portraits on walls…

The penny dropped.

"Loki…?" She whispered.