Author's note (please read!):
I believe this is our journey's end.
I tried to make this AN as quick as possible since I don't want to keep you away from the story for too long:
I wish to give an explanation to this one issue that was addressed in the reviews on a few occasions...
Darcy's eyes are not indeed blue like in most stories, but brown. For some reason, when I first started writing this story, I was convinced Darcy had brown eyes. It turned out Kat Dennings has beautiful blue eyes. I apologize if some of you find it hard to get into the story because of that detail, but when I realized my error - I was already too far in the plot, and lots of comparisons and descriptions of her dark eyes have been made, so I found it hard and complicated to change.
If you have any other questions about the plot or characters, please, feel free to send me a PM. And please - REVIEW!
As for the sequel...
I'll be completely honest with you - I would be lying if I said I already did not have the title and the plot for the sequel of Ink and Parchment. I do.
But I cannot promise to anyone I will write it. I gave fan fiction hours and hours of my time the last few years. Other than this story, I've written others (which are, unfortunately, no longer on this site), and I think it's time for me to dedicate my time to other things. I will still be here with the rest of you, reading and marveling at the beautiful stories we fans are able to create. As for writing fan fiction… Let's just say that all good things come to an end. But, stay subscribed to this story, and who knows - one day you just might get an alert for something :)
I gave this story an ending that I hope left enough room for you to use your imagination as to where, when and how Darcy and Loki continue their journey.
So, I wish to thank ALL OF YOU, my darling readers - anon reviewers as well as my fellow authors, for staying with me this past year and giving me such amazing support! And Amelie - thank you :)
On tumblr, I send a big kiss to Mizra and Emily Dickensen for being so amazing they made edits and graphics for the story!
Also, thank you for bearing with my occasional grammar fails and spelling errors. English is not my first language, so I'm sorry if there were any cringe-worthy mistakes. I rewrote, checked and improved all 39 chapters of this story. Some scenes have been rewritten entirely, so when and if you wish to read it again - I hope you'll like it even more.
Thor: The Dark World is coming to the theaters soon, and I can't describe how excited I am for that film!
So let us go through this one more time :') - while I wrote this I listened to The Elder Scrolls soundtrack - Wind guide you (seriously - it's one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have heard in a long while!) I suggest you also listen to the beautiful song whose lyrics I borrowed down there - 'Dark waltz' by Hayley Westenra.
The dedication of this story goes in two directions, and to read it - return to chapter one.
And whilst you are there, on the beginning of Ink and Parchment, you just may read it again.
The Goddess Of Art
We are the lucky ones,
We shine like a thousand suns,
When all of the color runs together.
I'll keep you company,
In one glorious harmony,
Waltzing with destiny forever.
Time dances whirling past,
I gaze through the looking glass,
And feel just beyond my grasp is heaven.
Where movement is poetry,
Visions of you and me forever.
Dance me into the night,
Underneath the moon shining so bright,
Turning me into the light.
Dance me into the night,
Underneath the moon shining so bright,
Let the dark waltz begin,
Oh let me wheel - let me spin,
Let it take me again,
Turning me into the light.
Budapest, 6 months later.
The snow was falling.
It hovered in the air, supported gently in the arms of the wind, like a monumental sheet of paper, torn into millions of pieces and then blown from gods palms across the grey and peach colored sky. It floated, soared and danced when the gush of wind came, strong and playful. The night has already fallen, and yet - it was so bright; one had no need for any artificial light.
The city lamps illuminated the whiteness that covered the roads, monumental rooftops, cars and every other surface it landed on. The city was suddenly clean and the air smelled sweetly. People wrapped themselves in warm coats, lovers hugged each other in silence, strolling down the magical promenade next to the ancient river.
Even the noise of the large city of Budapest was silenced, as though muffled by the white witch. Only the mighty Danube seemed resilient its charms, and it coursed unceasingly, uninterrupted by the winter magic. It was freezing cold, and it was powerful - flowing, running, jumping - unstoppable.
Phil watched the magic through a thick glass window, frost bitten on its edges. He observed, from the warm reception of the luxurious Hotel Gellért and he breathed deeply, his face still red from the cold.
It was only minutes ago that he returned back to his hotel after a long walk. And now, he stood by the reception desk, richly carved out of expensive rosewood. Leaning on it, dressed in a smart grey coat and wearing a warm black scarf, he waited in the small queue, eager to get the keys to his room he always left with the sweet hotel receptionist Ernesztina. He was so cold, and his body was desperate for a hot bath.
'Good evening, Mr. Coulson.' She smiled kindly at him, looking up at Phil from her seat with blue-grey eyes. He smiled back at the petite woman who, even after barely four days of his stay in the beautiful hotel, remembered his face as well as his name.
'How are you, Ernesztina?' Phil smiled, leaning onto the reception desk in a friendly manner.
'I am well, sir.' She said, standing up and walking towards a small vintage cabinet to fetch the keys to Phil's room.
Her English was broken, and yet her accent was irresistible. She moved swiftly to the other end of the long reception desk to get something else. Coulson's pale eyes followed her in confusion.
He only needed the key.
Soon, she was walking back to her leather chair, smoothing out her black pencil skirt and sitting down gracefully. He observed as her delicate, manicured hand pushed the keys across the varnished bordeaux surface. Secured underneath the old, heavy, brass key was a small piece of expensive paper with the stamp of Hotel Gellért on it.
'Someone left this for you, sir.' She said absently, busy typing something on the computer in the corner. Phil stared at the paper for a few moments, not sure what to think.
'It must be a mistake…' He finally spoke, laughing lightly 'I'm in Hungary for heaven's sake-'
A small gush of freezing wind invaded the expensive foyer when a rich-looking woman in white fur coat entered, carrying a small dog in her arms.
Phil shook his head in confusion as he unfolded the paper. Pale eyes narrowed as they flew across the short message. When he unglued his eyes from the paper, he was met with Ernesztina's bright face. Her exotic eyes filled with curiosity.
'Excuse me, Ernesztina...' He lowered his voice '… Who gave this to you?'
The pale face of the young Hungarian receptionist was suddenly enveloped in a blush as her eyes widened, filling with the memory of the person who left the message a few hours ago, standing on the same spot Phil now occupied.
'Oh,' She breathed gently. A small smile stretched her thin lips as she leaned back in her work-chair 'The most charming gentleman.'
'Can you tell me what he looked like?' Phil felt his heart-rate speeding up. His palms were sweating.
'Ó, Istenem!' Ernesztina exclaimed, reminding Phil of an excited schoolgirl 'He was tall, with dark hair…' She smiled, clearly taken by the man who left the message for Phil Coulson.
She continued, almost dreamily '...And he had the greenest eyes I have ever seen.'
Phil averted his gaze towards his frostbitten knuckles, deeply immersed in his own thoughts. In one hand, he still held the small paper, completely oblivious to everything around him.
'Excuse me, sir.' She said politely after a few moments of his silence, 'But I must get back to work.'
As though woken up from a deep dream, Coulson snapped his head and nodded. Taking the key from the desk in one hand, he smiled once more and walked in the direction of expensive leather couches in the middle of the foyer. Two crystal chandeliers hung lowly over the vintage coffee tables and couches that were completely unoccupied. It was no surprise - the rococo mantel clock in the corner ticked softly, showing the late hour… Ten minutes to midnight.
Phil took off his coat, folding and placing it to the empty seat next to him. He sat at one of the dark couches, his back facing the large, french windows, snow covered trees, the river and the relentlessly falling whiteness.
He unfolded the paper once more, looking at the words for the second time that evening. Written in black ink, in an elegant handwriting upon pale parchment were two words…
Slowly, Phil smiled, nearly laughing to himself as he decided to obey the short message after all. Leaning his forearm against the backrest of the couch, Phil turned, looking behind himself, focusing on the beautiful view of the city of Budapest.
He was greeted, again, with a white carpet that now completely covered the black pavement, an occasional unsuspicious looking passerby and the sound of cold wind.
He released a breath he was unaware of holding in.
Sparing the dream-like scenery one last look, he nearly looked away; when suddenly…
In the far right corner of the large glass window, underneath an old street lamp - he saw them standing.
His gut twisted in surprise, a cold fist taking an unexpected hold on his throat. Coulson's eyes filled with uninvited tears. He was moved beyond words by what he saw…
Darcy Lewis stood there, in a black coat and a pink, chunky-knitted scarf, waving gently at him with her glove-clad hand. He felt heat spreading across him; Phil's body was immediately warmed when he gazed upon her healthy glow, a contagious wide smile and gentle eyes behind fogged spectacles. She never looked better.
Towering behind her, with a protective hand placed gently on her shoulder was none other than... Loki Laufeyson. He, as it was expected from a man such as him, wore a matching long, black coat and an emerald green scarf. Unlike the bundled Darcy in front of him, he looked much more comfortable on the biting coldness and was looking directly into Phil's eyes in a way that was impossible to read.
How did they find me?
Darcy turned ever so gently towards Loki, whispering something to him, and he immediately leaned down towards her, placing one large, spidery hand on the small of her back. As she spoke to his ear, a smirk lifted the corner of his lips in an utterly devilish way.
Darcy turned once more and looked in Phil's direction. Breath caught inside his throat…
Former agent Phil Coulson watched as Darcy placed her palm across her heart, mouthing a soft Thank you.
Another gush of wind arrived, ruffling her long, dark hair, pulling out the tresses that were safely tucked inside her scarf. Phil then turned his unblinking eyes towards the man. A man of so many shades of black. A man? Oh no.
Loki's wind blown raven hair flew across his marble-like complexion, and he looked at Phil with eyes as hard as stone and as cold as the blue Danube at the death of December. Until his expression softened, and he nodded at Phil, as though thanking him with a small tilt of his head to the side. He did it in a regal way, with such dignity and coldness, and yet… with such gratitude.
The gesture spoke of more gratefulness than words ever could.
Soon, Loki looked down at the small woman. Inside his green eyes roared a passionate fire, gentleness and love Phil never thought he would see on someone like him. The man offered Darcy his arm, and she gladly accepted his gentlemanly offer, slipping her arm in his and nestling even closer to his tall, strong form.
Just as unexpectedly as they appeared, Darcy and Loki were gone.
Feeling like a stone statue, Phil was frozen, still looking at the spot under the old street lamp. Even from that distance, Phil could see their footsteps in the snow. He followed the delicate marks of the strange couple, until they disappeared in the darkness.
She twirled in the snow. Long, shiny locks flew around her as she span, giving a clumsy pirouette when her black boot slipped slightly. She laughed loudly when she nearly fell, taking a hold on a nearby tree. Snowflakes shined on her hair, her cheeks were frost bitten and carried a pale bordeaux blush. Her feminine hands were covered by warm gloves. The tree's canopy was bare, naked; the sharp branches resembled thin fingers, risen towards the heavens in a soundless prayer. They swayed with the wind, catching snow onto their rugged surface.
And Darcy now hugged the tree, staring in wonder at the city lights that surrounded her.
Loki watched her… Not realizing he held his breath.
The fresh glow and the wide, toothy smile that stretched her gentle face; the coldness that surrounded her; the way her lips appeared bloody red upon her snowy skin, the dark hair and even darker eyes that time changed so quickly. The smell of her that he sensed even when she was away from him, dancing in the snow with such… freedom.
Because of her mortality - she was more beautiful and rare than any undying creature he knew. Everything about her burned with an intensity he never felt before. Over and over again, Loki let her in, and he simply fell to his knees before her, sensing how slowly his ice melted, scorched by her flames.
The god of mischief let darcy burn him with herself; her passion was unstoppable, her words carefully chosen, her senses eager and her mind thirsty. She knew her time was limited. She was aware of how short it was. And she did not dare waste it.
Oh, how painful it was to love something death could steal at any given moment. And yet - how thrilling.
Loki clenched his fists tighter inside his deep, black pockets, taking long strides, across the deep snow, towards her. He has never seen such happiness on her, never seen such fire and rebellion.
How he loved her. Valhalla, how he loved her.
The moment she realized he was approaching her, she looked up at his regal, slightly absent expression. Mischief shined in her eyes, like a sweet disease he infected her with and she gave him an equally serious expression, albeit playful. Then, all of a sudden, she bowed down, giving a practiced curtsey.
'Your majesty…' She murmured, rewarding him with a teasing look behind her thick, dark lashes.
Loki chuckled lightly, an utterly charming smile on his handsome face making Darcy's knees weak. Still, without stopping, he walked towards her. Not for one second did she retreat from him.
In a heartbeat, he was in front of Darcy, looking down at her from his impressive height, pulling his large hand from the warmth of his left pocket and reaching to catch one wild tress that fell into her eyes. With unspoken tenderness, he tucked it behind her ear, letting his cold fingers linger on her cheek.
Smiling gently, Loki caressed her cheekbone with his thumb, nearly covering the entire right side of her once wounded neck with his large palm. The, he pulled her towards him. Immediately, she wrapped her arms around his middle, standing on her tiptoes. Without a word, their lips met. Snowflakes melted as the very air between them warmed up. After a few moments, a cold gush of December wind separated them, and Loki locked his arms around her waist, pushing her gently in the direction of the thick, stone railing that was now covered in snow.
When they reached it, Darcy threw her head back and took a deep breath, closing her eyes. He pressed her body gently onto the railing with his own, standing closely behind her as he propped his strong arms on each side of her.
They stood like that in silence, watching the blurred silhouettes of the Royal Palace and the majestic House of Parliament. Lights that shined from thousands of windows on the other side of the river resembled millions of golden eyes, watching the god and the mortal with unblinking curiosity.
A distant melody could be heard, whispering through the shouting wind, like a lullaby from the past, rising gently in the darkness. They were almost completely alone. Now and then, someone walked by, but did not stop - for only fools lingered outside on a night like this. Only fools...
Darcy breathed the cold air, pressing her back even closer to Loki's chest. He hunched lower, slowly pushing his nose into the warm spot where her neck met her shoulder. Breathing deeply her sweet perfume, and moving her scarf just a little bit to reach her flesh, he gave her cold skin a tender kiss.
Closing her eyes, Darcy leaned her head back onto his hard shoulder, revealing more of herself to his ever-starving lips. Dryly, he dragged his mouth over the side of her neck, reaching her ear and whispering 'Watch...'
And then, Loki lifted his one spidery palm from the freezing surface of the thick stone railing, and stretched his arm in front of Darcy and himself, as if reaching for something he saw in the air attacked by falling snow.
The blue Danube beneath them was no longer blue - but steel grey.
Darcy observed with narrowed eyes and a small smile as Loki turned his palm towards the sky, like he was offering something to the wind that surrounded them. She could feel his deep breathing, his concentration.
His elegant, pale hand soon tightened in a fist, and he twisted it slowly. The snow, beaten and scared by the howling wind around Loki's fist started to run in circles - millions and millions of snowflakes - until a small tornado was created, twirling in front of the god and the mortal. Darcy gasped in awe at Loki's talent in magic, staring open-mouthed at the small tornado of snowflakes that soon merged together to create two forms.
Tears rushed to her brown eyes, blurring her vision until she blinked them away. Even with the cold, biting wind and the foggy snowstorm around them, Darcy could distinct two silhouettes forming in front of her teary face.
Woven beautifully out of the very snowflakes in the air around them, Darcy recognized the two miniature bodies - it was her and Loki.
And it was a memory she will never forget.
The small form of Loki leaned down, catching the hand of the small form of Darcy, pressing a soft kiss onto the top of her hand, just like the man behind her did so many months ago. It happened in Puente Antiguo, in the corner of the living room in the glass house that was now abandoned. It happened the same night she found him in the desert. He asked her what her name was. He bowed down. He took her small hand into his large palm. He kissed it. Dawn arrived shortly after.
The two white, faceless figures in front of her repeatedly moved in the mute memory, like a broken film. Repeatedly, the snow figure of a tall god kissed the palm of the snow figure of a mortal woman.
Darcy then became aware of the tears that escaped her, as she watched the winter magic in front of her in stunned silence.
Loki still breathed behind her, still holding his palm in front of them, facing heavens, as if supporting the small snow figures in front of both him and Darcy.
His free hand that was not preforming a spell moved from the hard surface of the railing, and blindly, it searched for Darcy's trembling, glove-clad hand. He took her hand in his, intertwining their fingers, leaning once more towards her ear. Cold lips brushed against her skin as he whispered words made only for her ears…
'You had me then.' He told her, smiling slightly as he focused his green depths to the magic he created, 'That was the moment I fell in love with you, Darcy Lewis.'
Her sharp intake of freezing breath and a tight squeeze of their intertwined fingers was all he got as an answer.
'Oh, Loki…' She breathed, sniffing a bit, her runny nose creating the most adorable sounds.
The spell ended.
When she turned, he smiled, almost sadly, taking off her now completely fogged glasses and slipping them into his coat pocket. Her cheeks were stained with frozen tears. With a small sob, she tried saying something, but words disappeared and her voice was incapable of preforming its one duty. With all her subtlety and control gone - caged by her emotions, she shakily took off her gloves, throwing them on the snow beneath their feet and taking a gentle hold on his face.
Her cold, thin fingers caressed his cheeks when she cupped his face. Slowly, she dragged her thumbs over his sharp cheekbones and to his temples. Darcy was moved beyond words by what Loki said and did. And yet fear….
A fear that filled her, the agony and despair that threatened to ruin her.
'I don't want it to end.' She said.
'Don't want what to end, my love?' Loki murmured, his eyebrows meeting in the middle as feelings for her attacked him like a flock of dark ravens. His palms rubbed her gentle forearms in soothing strokes.
'This moment.' Darcy said, cloaking her eyes and shaking her head as she spoke 'I don't want to grow old. I don't want to disappear.'
Silence. Loki took a tender hold on the back of her head, moving her closer to him, pressing their foreheads together. They held onto one another. Her body was again shielded by his own.
'I will die someday, Loki.' She whispered, their faces only inches apart.
'I will die too, Darcy.' Such a dark, melancholic smile welled up on his face, and yet - it bore such contentment.
'Loki - it will be an infinity from now.' She laughed slightly, looking deeply into his green eyes 'When and if it happens - this city, this moment, this snow, this time, me, us… all of it will be gone.'
'You don't understand...' He told her, narrowing his eyes as the words tumbled avidly past his silver tongue, 'I do not plan to watch you die ever again.'
A need for him surged inside her, catching fire… She desired him so, gazing upon the elegant lines of his handsome face, the thin lips, cutting cheekbones and intense, deep, dark eyes. Green eyes darkened, his black eyebrows lifting as he stared at every contour of her gentle face.
He took her, all of her. First with his possessing eyes, and then with his arms and lips. All of her dark innocence. Slowly, he parted her lips with his own mouth, pressing them together in an intimate kiss, tasting the salty tears and the sweet desire.
When her lips parted from his own, she looked at him. Inside, Darcy fluttered when she saw a smirk. That smirk soon stretched into a white-toothed grin that belonged only to Loki Laufeyson.
The wind slowed down. The snowflakes fell slower and steadier around them. The night fell darker.
The heaviness of their conversation dimmed. The tears were gone when Darcy brushed them away with her sleeve.
They just stood in silence. Until, Darcy smiled, chuckling a bit. Loki smiled with her, curious to know what she found so amusing all of a sudden.
'And to think I nearly left you in that desert a year ago.' She laughed slightly, burying her face into his chest as sweet laughter shook her smaller body, 'I was so freaking terrified of you.'
'Was?' He murmured darkly. She lifted her head from his chest, smiling.
'Well, I'm not going to lie - you are still pretty creepy sometimes.'
Seductively, Loki slipped one of his cold hands underneath Darcy's coat and all the warm layers of her dark clothing. He found the soft skin of her back, tilting his head up and watching like a wolf might watch a helpless lamb. After a few provocative strokes of his cold fingertips against the delicate ribs that poked femininely beneath of her creamy skin, even the lamb did not look so innocent.
She licked her lips 'Where do you want to go next?'
'Anywhere you want to, my love.' He purred lowly, clenching his fingers on her back and pulling her even tighter against him so he pressed his nose into her soft, dark hair. He hooked his finger gently around the white gold chain of the Bifröst necklace around her neck, rolling it between his thumb and forefinger.
'Anywhere?' Darcy asked him again with a smirk of her own, the tone of her voice filled with curiosity.
They began and ended in the darkness of the night.
Etched upon each line of their faces, heard inside their voices and shining from their eyes... one could see freedom.
But no fear. No fury.
Just a dark innocence of their love affair… so vulnerable, frail and delicate; and yet - as deep and strong as an ocean and capable of bringing Ragnarök.
Again, they felt it. Again, they waltzed with it, underneath the stars, the heat and the sand, the snow and the ice, the chaos and the magic that brought them together.