Chapter 13 – This is Home

Loki

Dear Darcy,

I hope you're settling into your new research vein. The last time we spoke it sounded like you were -

He sighed. Delete.

Dear Darcy,

Class was absolute pandemonium today. Apparently there was some sort of problem with the online reading for my class and so -

Loki hit delete again until he had a blank screen.

My darling Darcy,

Why is it so hard to not sound ridiculous writing these emails? I almost feel like –

'Why the bloody hell can't I do this?' He muttered to himself.

'Performance issues?' a voice said glibly from over his shoulder. 'It happens. You know one out of every five...'

Loki threw a scowl at Clint. 'Give over, Barton.'

The other man simply shrugged and went back to his book. To be honest Loki didn't even know what he was doing here. He had turned up unannounced four months after the visit on Loki's birthday and announced that he was staying for a few days. That was all well and good with Loki, Clint knew he had a standing invitation to stay in the spare bedroom, but it made him wonder what it was Barton actually did. It wasn't the first time he had considered the question but all Loki knew of his childhood friend's occupation was the he worked 'for the government' and that he 'wasn't at liberty to say'. Whatever he did, Clint had managed to pull some strings get Loki's belongings transported ahead of them. He was clearly higher up the ladder of espionage than he would have Loki believe most of the time, claiming that he was a low-grade surveillance expert. Maybe it was better Loki didn't ask again.

Of course, it had been helpful to have Clint there to help Loki pack up his belongings.

'You're just being a woman because your woman is thousands of miles away and you have the biggest case of blue ba…'

Clint chuckled as Loki nudged him in the ribs, his facing turning an interesting shade of maroon. He rolled his eyes and turned his attention back to his laptop.

Darcy,

I love you. I miss you. I can't wait to see you.

Loki

It was short and honest, but it wasn't an adequate description of how he was feeling at that second. He kept checking the board on the wall, anxious for it to display his flight number as 'boarding'. He had agreed to travel back with Clint but the man was irritating him to no end. It wasn't enough that Loki was already stressed out about finding a place to live, his new job and the permanent move closer to his family, Clint had to give him a good ribbing about his relationship with Darcy too.

And yes, he should be grateful to Barton for using his 'super-secret-agent skills' (as Darcy had dubbed them) and even for buying Loki's house in Bath off him. Loki had no idea why he had bought it but Clint claimed that he needed somewhere outside of the United States as a 'holiday home' and that he loved Loki's house. He didn't really know whether to believe that or not. But all that didn't mean that Clint wasn't grating on his last nerve.

Even when they (finally) boarded the plane Clint was insistent on talking rather than letting Loki get the sleep he had been expecting.

His tone, however, was slightly softer than it had been thus far. 'You must really love her.'

He sounded almost wistful, Loki realised. 'Very much.'

'I wish I could find someone like that,' Clint revealed, looking out of the small window instead of at his friend. 'Someone you just want to drop everything and run to.'

Loki snorted quietly. 'I've hardly "dropped everything". After all we did grow up just a few hours from where Darcy is now.'

'Yeah,' Clint said absently, 'but you've found her, the One or whatever cheesy shit you pass it off as. I'm thirty-one and I haven't found a woman like that yet.' Loki wanted to tell Clint that he had been in the same boat not that long ago but his friend redirected the conversation before he had the chance, asking Loki to tell him about where he planned to live.

'Thor and Jane found a detached house on the outskirts of town that I'm going to see. Apparently it's very English looking, red brick, classic fireplace. I had a look at some pictures on the internet, it looked nice.' He didn't mention that Darcy had looked at the pictures too. She had loved it and that was Loki's main motivation for going to look at it. After all he hoped that sometime in the future they would be sharing it. While Loki understood that it was more common in the States he had never been one for apartments and renting. He wanted somewhere that had the potential to (one day) be a family home. Somewhere that was his, and maybe one day it would be theirs.

They didn't talk much after that and Loki was finally able to fall asleep once Clint had decided that he would rather flirt with the blonde two rows in front of them than continue to irritate him. When he woke again it was to his friend shaking his shoulder and telling him that they had arrived.

The panic set in again when they had to get off the plane.

Walking through the terminal Loki had to chuckle at the amount of female attention Clint gathered with his sunglasses and his muscle revealing shirt. He had to be aware of it but he ignored all curious eyes as he hefted first his own case and then Loki's off the conveyer belt.

Loki took his case silently, ignoring Clint's teasing plea for him to 'chill'. He was calm. He was totally calm. He was a quiet lake on a windless day. He was…

Why were his parents here? He hadn't told them he was arriving today. And yet there they stood, beside a smiling Thor and a slightly nervous looking Jane. It was good to see them nonetheless.

But where was Darcy? She was noticeably missing from the little group waving (in Thor's case so frantically that he almost knocked over a woman trying to get past his bulk) over to him. Had she had second thoughts about this, about him? He didn't think he could be here is that was the case. Did she regret agreeing to his plan to move closer to her? Was four months apart enough time for her to forget how much he loved her? How much she professed to love him?

It felt like the bottom had fallen out of his stomach. Had she really loved him in the first place? Is that why Jane looked so anxious to see him? Did she not want to be the bearer of bad news, that Darcy didn't want him anymore and possibly never had?

No, he told himself sternly, Darcy loved him. She had been held late in a meeting with her adviser, or had got caught up at the library, or… something. She wouldn't just leave him like this, would she?

Before his imagination could run away with him even more (if that was humanly possible), Clint shook Loki's shoulder and pointed through the crowd.

She hadn't yet managed to locate them and her eyes were still scanning the crowd. She was the most beautiful woman Loki had ever seen, with her dark curls bouncing off her cheeks as she walked, her nose wrinkled in annoyance as someone cut her off. She was wearing a bright purple that made her instantly noticeable among the business suits of the crowd around her. But the most amazing thing about her was the smile that lit her face when their eyes met.

Loki just about managed to relinquish his grip on his case and catch her as Darcy flew into his arms and wrapped her legs around his waist. Her mouth was on his before he had time to say anything and he stumbled back a pace at the sheer ferocity of her actions.

How had he allowed himself to doubt that she loved him? He would not do so again.

She had missed him, that much was obvious. The way she clung to him as if she wanted to sink into his very skin was reassuring that their time apart had been as miserable for Darcy as it had been for him.

She was everything he remember and more. Her hair was richer, her eyes brighter. And the way she smelt… It was like everything he loved about her was made so much… not better but certainly more intense. Though Loki never planned on being away from her for that length of time again he did have to concede that it had its advantages. On his part, absence really did make the heart grow fonder. Not matter how much he hated it at the time.

He could feel the warmth of her skin seeping through her top. The week he had spent sleeping next to her had been like sleeping next to a human radiator. To feel that same sensation now was comforting and familiar.

And the way she made him feel… like a blushing schoolboy and a powerful man all at once. She brought out reactions in him that he had never even thought possible. The extent to which he wanted her was getting ridiculous. It had been a trial in patience to be separated from her for this long. But there was time for that later, he reasoned with himself, even as he continued to nip at her lips with his teeth. He had suddenly come to the realisation that they were, in fact, still in the middle of the airport and probably garnering quite a lot of stares with their behaviour.

But after kissing him as passionately as Loki could imagine she was able to do in her position Darcy pulled her face away slightly and looked up into his eyes. 'Hi.'

He laughed and buried his face in her hair as she maintained her deathgrip on his neck. 'Hello, Darcy.'

He couldn't bring himself to care that his parents had just seen her display, that Thor and Jane were probably mortified by Darcy's actions or that Clint's smirk could be seen from the landing planes. All that mattered was the woman in his arms and the way he felt about her. Gently, he placed her feet back on the ground, placing a chaste kiss to her lips as he did so.

She looked at him as if he was the most important thing in her world. And, as he took her hand in the airport, he felt as though he just might be. Darcy intertwined her fingers with his and said the six words that both sent his heart racing and calmed any remaining nerves that he might have had.

'I love you, Loki. Welcome home.'

Author's Note

I gave Tony's line from the Avengers to Clint. It just seemed too good an opportunity to pass up.

A bit of a plug here: I am in the planning stages of another Loki/Darcy story. I'm not sure when I'll start writing yet but feel free to add me to author alert so you'll be notified when I do.

I also have a Loki/Darcy oneshot up, called 'First and Second'. It's in canon (apart from their relationship) and takes place after the events in The Avengers. I would be honoured if you would read and let me know what you all think.

Last (but most certainly not least), thank you to all of you who have read and reviewed. I cannot believe how much support I have received over the course of writing 'Seven Days'. Without you it wouldn't have been half as good as it turned out to be.