"Have I mentioned that I think this is the worst idea in the history of Asgard?" Darcy sighed and crossed her arms, looking both ways before she inched closer to her friend, Jane. Jane wanted to see Prince Thor train. Sure, Darcy was curious- he had a great body and she appreciated a god dripping in sweat as much as the next woman, but she wasn't in the mood to land herself in prison.

"Only a hundred times, Darcy." Jane giggled as she pulled her friend along, running down the walk that lead around the castle. "Shh, a guard!" Jane said as she pulled Darcy close, clamping a hand over her mouth. Darcy frowned and slapped her hand away as the guard passed them by, continuing to walk.

"For all that is good and holy in the nine realms, why do I have to come along? This is foolish." Darcy sighed.

"Prince Thor has gained the Mjolnir from the All-Father. Tell me you aren't tempted to see that! Think of the legends, Darcy."

"I hear what you're saying, Jane, but all I see it as I want Thor's Mjolnir, if you know what I mean." Darcy snorted and shirked away as Jane slapped at her in play.

"There! There he is!" Jane said suddenly as she gripped the corner of the wall, peering over it "... Oh no."

"Oh no? What is Oh no. Oh no is never good. What is Oh no?"

"He's seen us! He's walking thi-"

The blonde prince walked around the corner and grinned wildly at them. He ran a hand through his golden locks as he leaned against the wall, crossing his muscled arms across his broad chest. "Good day, fine maidens. You seem to be lost... or perhaps you're exactly where you want to be?" He gave a boyish smirk as he settled his eyes on Jane, who was blushing profusely, her eyes scanning his body. Darcy pursed her lips as she raised a brow. She was clearly unimpressed with Jane's fawning.

Darcy turned her eyes to look out on the terrace behind the castle, an endless sprawl of green gardens and gold statues. It was beautiful. This is what Jane should be here for, not that blonde bilgesnipe, Darcy thought as her eyes followed the landscaped maze before her. Darcy didn't want to come. She didn't want to risk being caught for a reason like staring at Thor. Any other reason in the realm would have been better to be caught than to watch a half-naked man train. Supposedly Jane had been coming for weeks to watch and knew his schedule by heart. Jane had a habit of getting lost in her obsessions and Darcy had a habit of getting dragged down along with them.

"A pleasure, Lady Jane and her friend, Lady Darcy." Thor smiled as he took Darcy's hand in his and kissed her palm. By the look on Jane's face, Thor had already given the same gesture to Jane. Darcy gave a cordial smile.

"Listen, Jane, Prince Thor Odinson, it's been a true pleasure, but if you'll excuse me, I will be off." Darcy pinched Jane's side, causing her to squeal and blush, grinning between Thor and Darcy. As Darcy turned to slink back to the city, she heard Thor call out behind her, "Don't be caught by the guards, Lady Darcy, or I may have to come to your aid!" She heard Jane giggle, and she was only glad they couldn't see her roll her eyes.

Darcy sauntered away, glad to gain space between the giggling, flirtatious adolescents. She ducked behind a hedge when she saw the guards make their rounds and she dashed further when they passed. "Not very good security you have, Allfather." Darcy chuckled under her breath, though she knew no one would dare break into the sanctuary. Asgard had known peace for hundreds of years now, and their citizens were enthralled with the King and Queen and their two sons.

"And by what do I owe this honor, of a maiden sneaking about in my gardens?" Loki purred as Darcy yelped, the girl stumbling forward. She clenched her teeth as she turned, her hand curled into a ball of energy. Loki's hand reached out and firmly grabbed her by the wrist, his free hand wagging his finger. "Tsk tsk. That's not playing fair."

"Oh, and I suppose you know all about fair, Prince Loki, Son of Odin? Do you normally sneak up on women while they're walking?" Darcy retorted, the energy disappearing between her fingers. Loki smiled widely as his fingers tickled the underside of her wrist, toying with her sensitive skin. Darcy breathed in sharply as she pulled her hand back to herself.

"I do when they're sneaking on prohibited premises. Now tell me, what is a young asgardian maiden doing on the castle's property?" The dark haired young man tilted his head to the side, his emerald eyes glinting with mischievous intent. "I was leaving." Darcy sighed, rolling her eyes unbeknownst to her. Loki caught it though and he let out a small chuckle.

"Lying doesn't become you. If you're to remember correctly, that would be my legend. No, you were escorting your friend onto property so she may watch my brother train with Mjolnir."

"Right, and like I said, leaving. So thank you very much Prince Loki for stalking me to either gaze at me, Jane, or your brother's... Mjolnir." Darcy smiled and turned to leave, very well aware how rude and dangerous it was to mouth to someone who could be her future King. She only paused when she heard Loki give a chuckle, his long strides quickly catching up to stand beside her. He gently held a hand out before her, stopping her in her tracks. She stopped, reluctantly, and turned her attention to him, clearly confused.

"Did you want to turn me into the guards?" She asked slowly, her brows forming a crease as she spoke. Loki laughed again, his grin widening. "No, that would be a loss and a shame, indeed. No, what I do wish to do is to know your name."

"Darcy."

"Well then, Lady Dar-"

"No, Just Darcy. Lady Darcy makes me feel..." She waved her hand in the direction of the castle. "Like I don't belong on Asgard."

"... I know that feeling well." Loki said quietly, frowning.

"Sorry?" Darcy asked, leaning forward to read him better. Loki shook his head, resuming his smile. "Darcy. Well, Darcy, I will not turn you over to my father's guards. They are as boresome as they appear, and I would hate to quell a woman of your... aptitude with their presence. No, I have something much better planned for you."

"Should I be worried?" Darcy laughed. Loki was surprised. He was not accustomed to anyone other than Sif speaking back to him. Sif was petulant and brutish, he thought. This Darcy was unlike her though. She was free spirited and didn't care for royalty nor his brother. He watched the way she rolled her eyes at him as Thor engaged in flirtation with her friend, the one called Jane.

"Yes." Loki said just to watch the girl's expression kaleidoscopically change. He laughed and it only seemed to frustrate her more. Unlike Sif's anger, the only person he knew to become angry with him, there seemed to be underlying amusement. "Good." Darcy said impassively, rolling her shoulders and stretching her arms. This confused Loki, and when he saw Darcy try to hide her smirk, he knew that was her intent. "Well played." He chuckled.

"But honestly, what could you have planned? Color me curious to see what a prince would do on his day off from all his... regal responsibilities and harrowing acts of heroism." She smiled, eyes glinting with spirit as she took a step closer to him. He inclined his head back a fraction, sizing her up. "You are lovely, Lady Darcy."

"Darcy." She corrected. "And I'm nothing of the sort. I'm not lovely nor a lady. I'm here because I'm a great friend to my enthralled companion. Nothing more. Not here to... spark trouble," She stepped around Loki slowly, her smile growing. "Fight with a prince, engage in reckless behavior with or without him, or any other careless foolery." She circled him with a smile matching the breadth of Loki's.

"Truly a shame." He chuckled and Darcy paused, looking up at him both questioningly and expectantly. He leaned forward as he whispered in her ear, "Because I would truly desire to cause trouble with you, my dearest Darcy."

"Prince Lok-"

"Loki. I'm none too desirable of being a prince. I'm more fond of what follows."

"Oh, shall I call you King Loki, then, Allfather?" Darcy laughed.

"Only in due time, Lady Darcy."

Darcy smiled.

"Well then, Loki. I do believe this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

Loki and Darcy soon became the closest of friends. They spent their youth fighting, laughing, loving. They played tricks on not only the guards, Thor, Jane, but also on themselves. They challenged each other, pushed their limits, and grew. Every week Loki would sneak away from his duties to meet Darcy in the garden outside the castle, and from there, their adventures would truly begin.