Darcy smiled indulgently at the gods and goddesses before her. Normally she wouldn't but given the circumstances her lips curled upwards. Silently she praised herself for an act well played; not that it was very hard to fake a smile. After all, an unimportant goddess like her couldn't insult the royal house of Odin by wearing a bitter grimace at a feast of Asgard. That and her mother promised to burn all her books unless she tried to act civil at the gathering. So Darcy placated her lady mother with a soft smile and a subdued look in her blue eyes.

All the merriment made her head ache. Frey was laughing loudly next to her and his sister, Freyja, flirted shamelessly with an elf on her other side. Darcy couldn't help the sardonic glint in her eyes or the pitying smile. They were so stupid and self-absorbed it wasn't even funny anymore. But the young goddess knew it was the only mercy she'd get at this wretched party, laughing at the other pompous deities that was.

She looked around, hoping to see more entertainment, and grossly inappropriate behaviour, to keep her busy. She observed Hogun sitting quietly in a corner, Fandral trying to flirt with an annoyed Sif, and Volstagg devouring his meal with the grace of a man starved for half a century. Her eyes drifted to the King and Queen who sat on their thrones, enjoying the evening. Prince Thor sat next to his father and was talking animatedly with a fair maiden; Darcy rolled her eyes but hoped Jane wouldn't take it too hard. His brother on the other hand did no such thing. Prince Loki looked just as bored as she felt.

Suddenly a hand went about her shoulders. Darcy squeaked and turned around to find Frey looking at her. She barely restrained a scowl and a curse. "Lady Darcy pray tell, why are you staring at young Prince Loki so intently? Have you perhaps fallen under his charm?" he asked mockingly; the jibe was for her as well as for the second son of Odin.

The girl in question clenched her fists; "I do not see how that is any of your business brother of Freyja." she replied acidly, shaking his arm off, and was about to stand up when he spoke again.

"So you're not denying it? Interesting." Frey gave her a smirk and put his limb back around her shoulders. "But in all honesty, I think you should fancy someone else, someone better." he whispered in her ear.

Darcy shivered and pulled away from him to direct a terrifying glare his way. She chuckled wryly and this time shoved his hand off of her. "Listen here, I may be just a minor goddess but that doesn't give you the right to act like you just did towards me. As for my amorous choices, you have no say in that; at all." With that Darcy lifted herself from the chair and stalked away. She would've punched him in the face if not for the fear of never seeing her books again. Yggdrasil, how she wanted to smash that god's face against the sturdy oak table!

Noticing her friend Jane at a different table, Darcy walked her way. In her hurry to reach Jane, she failed to notice a pair of emerald eyes follow her form. She sat down by her and whispered something in her ear. Jane murmured something back and both girls giggled. They started having a hushed conversation despite the attempts of several other divinities to engage them in the bigger circle.

Loki, the God of Mischief, sat next to his mother with a look on pure dread etched on his face. He was bored; very, very bored. He eyed the gathered crowed and sighed.

Then he saw something that got his attention. Apparently Frey had found a new conquest, only this time the lady didn't seem to like him all that much. Loki smirked in amusement. This should be fun to watch. He saw the Vanir put his arm around the girl and whisper something to which her eyes narrowed visibly. She pushed his arm away and Loki could make out her lips moving in a snarl. She got up from her chair and glided over to a lone blond goddess whose face lightened at the sight. Loki could only presume that they were close friends.

Intrigued, the second Prince took his time analyzing the unknown girl. The first thing he noticed was her blue eyes; like most Æsir she possessed a pair of cerulean orbs. Her hair was the colour of healthy soil, brown and shimmery, falling in soft waves against her shoulders and back. The contrast of her dark locks with her fair skin gave her an appealing look. Even more, it told Loki that unlike most young deities who liked to frolic in the sun this girl had other interests.

"Mother." Loki called to the Queen seated next to him. She turned to him. "Who is that?" he asked while nodding his head in Darcy's direction, his eyes singling her out.

Frigga took a moment to think and then smiled at her younger son. "She is called Darcy, from what Fulla has said to me." Before Loki could ask anything else she added, "I believe she hasn't yet been introduced to us. You see, she is a minor Spring goddess who doesn't often come to the hall of Odin and therefore we haven't had the pleasure of making her acquaintance. I believe she has never attended our feasts before now.", and motioned a maid over. "Bring us Miss Darcy."

The maid scurried away, in the direction of two girls caught deep in conversation. Loki's eyes followed the maid like a hawk. A smile pulled at the corner of his mouth when he saw the vague annoyance on Darcy's features when she was interrupted. Then he avidly watched her face go through a series of emotions before it was set in a serene mask. The blonde she had been talking to nodded at her and said something; Loki was losing his patience.

To his utter delight, Darcy hurried her pace after dealing with her companion; the maid trailed after her with her head bowed. The prince barely noticed of his mother subtly gaining Odin and Thor's attention as the girl got closer and closer. She walked with grace and certainty, enough to impress and still be appropriate in the presence of crowned heads.

Once she was in front of them she bowed as per custom. Her body bent in an elegant salute and she waited to be addressed. The guests stopped chatting and looked curiously at the unfolding scene.

"Rise daughter of Asgard." The All father's booming voice called in the hall. Darcy straightened herself but remained otherwise quiet. "What is thy name and for what reason has your beauty not graced my halls before?" Loki wanted to roll his eyes at Odin's approach.

"My King, my Queen, Prince Thor, Prince Loki." Darcy said while offering a small bow in the direction of each mentioned member. "I am Darcy, daughter of Kjell, and my absence from these halls was never meant to bring offence. How could I, a minor Æsir, dare to come here uninvited?" Her words rang true and Loki stopped a smile from taking over his lips at the glint of mischief in her eyes. He liked her already.

Odin laughed at her frankness. "Forgive me then, Darcy, daughter of Kjell, for had I know of the treasure your father hid away on his domain you would have been here long ago."

People started talking quietly. "You are too kind, my King." Darcy replied and waited to be spoken to again or to be dismissed. Odin nodded at Frigga and turned to his previous conversation partner.

"Come child." The Queen motioned for Darcy to approach. Now people were back to talking loudly, nobody paid attention anymore. "You are a goddess of Spring, are you not?"

"Yes, my Queen." Darcy answered but her eyes were on Loki who in turn had trapped her with his stare. Finally he smiled her way and she was almost sure her legs would give way. She had admired Prince Loki for his knowledge and cleverness since she'd seen him pull a rather difficult prank some years ago. She smiled back shyly.

"Lady Darcy." Loki acknowledged and took her hand to his mouth, placing a soft kiss on the back of her palm. "It is a pleasure to meet you."

"Oh, the pleasure is all mine I assure you, my Prince!" He looked a bit confused, not used to anyone being sincerely happy to make his acquaintance. Usually it was Thor that most took interest in, yet this girl hadn't spared his brother a glance after greeting him.

A few months after the fateful banquet, Loki sat in his room with a tome in his hands. He tried, really did, to read the words on the pages but his mind seemed to want something else. Every few words a random though of Darcy would invade him and his heart would speed up.

In the following months he'd seen Darcy every other day and they'd have long, pleasant talks. Loki had discovered so much about her and he realised with a great deal of satisfaction that she was one of those girls who had a bright mind which she put to work by reading and discovering and asking. More often than not he'd ask for her opinion on different matters to find that she made valid points. And she was willing to better herself which made her all the more worthy in Loki's eyes.

His mother was happy to see him so excited all the time at the prospect of seeing Darcy. She even made a point to request her presence as often as possible. She would bring Darcy to a room where Loki was and then leave them alone, hearing only the beginning of a conversation.

Darcy for her part had been taken with Loki since he first spoke to her. With every minute spent with the trickster she found herself pulled in his web, far from any way of escape. Not that she would want to. Darcy had fallen in love with him and she didn't regret it, so she wasn't looking for a way out.

Tonight there would be another gathering and Loki wanted nothing more than to find Darcy and monopolize her attention. Perhaps they could escape unnoticed once everybody was inebriated enough.

Finally, he put the book away and left his room in favour of his mother's garden. It was a truly astonishing place with rich greenery and a large variety of flowers. They bloomed in thousands of colours, painting the scenery. Everything was right there and Loki could spend hours just sitting under a tree on a lazy day. He'd yet to bring Darcy here, though he wanted to.

Instead of finding the peace he came for, the younger Prince saw something disturbing. Darcy was standing with Thor near a tall tree, but that was not what got Loki. They were holding hands. Thor was holding Darcy's hands in his with a large smile on his face. And the girl smiled in turn, a large grin on her delicate features. It looked almost like they were involved.

Anger crept up on Loki; vicious, cutting, pure, blind rage burned in him. He tried to calm himself but jealousy soon surfaced too. Why was it, that Thor got everything he wanted? Couldn't the trickster for once get something of his own? Something he didn't have to share with his brother. He hissed and strode forward. They would settle this. Answers would come; he refused to leave without answers.

Thor was the first to notice him. "Brother!" Loki paled a few shades more at the greeting. How dared he? How could he stand there and call him brother to his face while holding Darcy's hands? "You are finally here. Lady Darcy has been waiting for you."

"Has she now?" the God of Mischief asked coldly. Thor looked confused while Darcy seemed perplexed too but also concerned. He almost sneered. They were incredible. "I'm sure you took good care of her." The words were dripping poison, unkind and heartless.

"Prince Thor, you highness, I think it'd be best if you gave us some time." Darcy said suddenly, surprising both princes.

Loki watched intently as Thor went away. "Tired of him already Darcy?" he asked. His voice was harsh and cold and Darcy didn't know what this was about but he was being rude and pissing her off.

"What is your problem?" she yelled at him. "I have been waiting for you for a few minutes when your brother showed up and started talking to me. And I've been waiting since yesterday to see you. But now you're here and you're angry and I don't know why! Did I do something to upset you?"

He looked at her in shock. "Do you actually expect me to believe that all you did was talk? I though you were different!" he questioned, voice getting louder and louder. "And holding hands is so necessary to talk isn't it? Isn't it? Yggdrasil, I don't even know why I'm surprised. I'm Loki. I'm the second, in everything I'm the damn second. Forever in Thor's shadow. How could I possibly think– "

Darcy groaned realising what everything was about; sibling rivalry. "Loki Odinson, stop it right now!" she screamed, effectively interrupting his rant. "Why do you always make everything about Thor? Why are you so bent on comparing yourself to him all the time? You are not the same, like apples and peaches. And I'm glad you're not. Because I like Thor, I do, but he's not you. And I like you more, and most if you really must know! And no, holding hands is not necessary but I almost fell and he just happened to catch me."

The Prince's eyes widened and he suddenly seemed to understand something. "I'm sorry for assuming the worst." he whispered.

"You better be." chided Darcy with a grin. Loki mirrored it. "Now come on, I have a lot to talk to you about."

Frigga sighed and tapped her foot impatiently. Thor, Loki, the Warriors Three and Lady Sif had gone onto one of their adventures again leaving the Queen to worry about all the trouble they would cause and get into. Silently she had hoped Darcy would appear and convince at least Loki not to do something dangerous.

No such luck. Darcy had been feeling ill for the last few days and despite the fact that her younger son visited her whenever he could, Loki was growing frustrated with the inability to spend time with her. Being sick as she was, Darcy couldn't join him out of her room. It was unfortunate really, as Frigga had been planning to observe the progress they had made.

Being a female, the Queen was more in tune with the feelings and emotions displayed by those around her. That, and Loki and Darcy weren't particularly aware of how clearly they projected their feelings. Or maybe they just didn't care. Both options were pretty okay because in both cases it was a win-win situation. Frigga smiled and took a deep breath.

She turned back to her earlier concerns. Where were her sons? Why weren't they back? Frigga paced, trying to hide her anxiety. They had to come back sooner or later. Preferably sooner.

Just as those thoughts appeared in her head the door opened and in stepped Thor, followed by Loki. The Warriors Three and Lady Sif lagged behind, as was proper. Her oldest son looked happy, the younger was clearly exhausted and the others were neutral. Frigga greeted them calmly waiting to hear what they had done this time.

Discreetly she looked Loki's way. He was distracted, seeming to want nothing but to get out of the room. The mother reckoned that he missed his lady love and wished to be in her presence again. She took pity on his poor state and interrupted Thor mid-speech. "Enough, my son. You shall talk more to your father about this. Go rest now, all of you."

Loki looked oddly grateful and hurried away, much to Frigga's delight. This could turn out to be a good day after all.

All of Darcy's good intentions were dissolving like honey in hot tea. She resisted pinching the bridge of her nose as her guest went on and on with her inane chattering. The screechy voice made her ears bleed and in all honesty she wasn't sure she could take any more abuse being dished out at her.

Of course Sigyn noticed nothing. The little nit was blissfully unaware of Darcy's inner struggle. Instead the Vanir kept yammering about Frey, Theoric, Fandral and Thor. Her words were loud and beyond meaningless; mostly she spoke about how each of those men looked, about how she'd like to get with one of them and so on and so forth. Darcy had this inexplicable need to smash her visitor's face against a wall, a wall made of hard, cutting stone preferably. That or she could pour the scalding water from the basin near her bed over the other girl.

"…but his brother, Loki, isn't anything like him. Yggdrasil, he's so scrawny and not handsome at all. And his hair, all black ink; it's horrible, like a monster's. Such sharp features he has, and those eyes of his. Valhalla, I can't imagine how tortured his wife will be, she's expected to live with him! That is if he finds someone willing to marry him."

Darcy gaped at Sigyn. How dare that little dumb bitch? Sizzling water it was. Before she had any chance of thinking things through the liquid in the bassinette splashed over and trailed painfully burning tracks over Sigyn's bronze skin.

The piercing cry emitted by the unfortunate victim amused Darcy so very much that she couldn't stop the laughter tumbling past her lips. Between giggles she managed to say, "See what you get for badmouthing someone who happens to be a very good friend of mine? I hope this teaches you an important lesson about respecting other people. Especially someone as incredible as Loki! And for you information, Thor or Fandral or Theoric or whoever can't hold a candle to him. So, I suggest you shut your trap and get the hell out of my room." At some point she had let go of the laughter and her own voice turned into an enraged scream.

The door swung open and Loki entered with a cold glare to Sigyn. "Out." he ordered in an equally icy tone. He didn't even wait for her to scamper out of the room in haste before he got closer to Darcy's bed. He took a moment to make the water on the floor evaporate before he greeted his friend with a kiss the crown of her head. Despite the warm gesture he distanced himself fast and she could see his troubled expression.

"What's wrong Loki?" Perhaps he had heard what passed between herself and Sigyn. But the trickster wasn't one to be hurt by the words of a brainless tart. "You can tell me." Darcy assured him and took one of his hands. To her horror the moment her hand touched his, Loki pulled his own back as if he'd been burnt. Again she reached out for him only to be met with the same results. He seemed frightened.

Loki took a deep breath, "She's right. I'm a monster." His voice was weak and broken, and Darcy was at a loss. "I'm a monster." he repeated and started pacing. Moving in circles and murmuring to himself, the Prince failed to notice Darcy climbing out of her bed.

With a bit of an effort as she was still a little weakened, the slender goddess put herself in front of Loki and hugged his middle. The sudden contact stopped all of his movements. Darcy looked up at him fiercely. "You are no monster. Sigyn is a blundering idiot who has two holes instead of eyes and the brain the size of a pea. Don't take to heart what leaves her blasted mouth."

He swallowed thickly and pushed Darcy away. "I'll show you." he told her and stepped even further away. Closing his eyes, Loki set his mouth in a tight line and his brows furrowed. For a second nothing happened; the Spring deity was about to tell him just that when it started. Blue colour started stretching over his fair skin like oil paint on canvas. Faint ridges decorated the unclothed parts of his body that Darcy could see; she was mesmerized. The God of Mischief opened his eyes; they were no longer that familiar green, instead a strong red offered the girl her reflection.

Darcy tilted her head to the side and admired the changes in him. "You are Jötunn." She said unnecessarily. Her eyebrows rose higher at his disconcerted stare. "Is this why you think you're a monster?" Her words were serious although a tinge of laughter was involved.

"I am the creature in the stories parents tell their children. I'm the kind of fiend from the tales that probably gave you nightmares at night." Loki had advanced closer to her, but Darcy stood her ground and met his stare with a calm glance of her own.

"Again with the self-decadence." she whispered in indignation. "Look, I wouldn't care even if you turned into a freaking swarthy Dark Elf, or if you suddenly grew a second head or something. Because despite the way you look, you are still Loki, my dearest friend in the nine realms." Darcy stopped to breathe deeply. "The thing is that as long as you remain who you were brought up to be, nobody will care what you look like. And if they do, they can shove it."

Once the last word lest her parted lips, Loki lunged forwards and captured her mouth in a desperate, heated kiss. His cool lips grazed hers uncertainly at first until he understood that she wouldn't turn and run. To reassure him of just that, the girl looped her arms around him again and held on tightly. He pressed more into her, lifting her small frame for a better reach. Darcy giggled at that, breaking the kiss. "You are so tall."

"Apparently, I'm not very tall for Frost Giant." he replied while lifting Darcy even higher until she towered over him.

"No matter, you are just as you should be." The girl wrapped her arms around his neck, burrowing her head in his shoulder affectionately for a few seconds.

Her lips sought his again.

Loki lounged on the faded-green grass, enjoying the chilly morning breeze. At the same time he followed Darcy's willowy figure swiftly climbing trees and picking fruits. He laughed at her childish excitement; she could've asked a servant to do that for her. Instead she exchanged her gossamer golden dress for a pair of tight-fitting riding breeches and a silk blouse. The trickster had to admit he rather enjoyed the vision she presented.

Perched on a thick branch, Darcy turned to wave at him. He smiled at her and caught the fruit she tossed his way. "Come down. You've been there long enough." The fruit was set down without much attention.

"Miss me already, my Prince?" she joked as she climbed down. The clothes stretched against her body comfortably as she moved to her target.

Loki smirked and caught her dainty waist in his hands, pulling her down. He placed a series of quick kisses on her forehead and cheeks. Her lips were attended too in a different fashion. The kiss lasted longer, lips crashed in fiery ardour; it was a testimony of sorts. It was a silent confession of love on his part and acceptance coupled with reciprocation on hers.

"Never leave me."

"I'll stay by your side always, I swear."

The promise was sealed.


Darcy - in my story Darcy is a Spring goddess, a bringer of life. She is the daughter of Kjell and an unknown deity. She is by far younger than Loki, whom she has first seen, during her childhood, pulling a prank. Darcy has admires his wit and looks long before befriending him, but only later does she actually fall in love with him.

Jane - she is also a goddess. Jane loves Thor who is unaware of her affection. Her place in my story is that of Darcy's confidant.

Sigyn - according to Wikipedia, in the Marvel Universe, Sigyn was supposed to marry Theoric. Loki arranged for him to be murdered and took his place, which leads me to believe that Sigyn wouldn't have married Loki if not for those unfortunate events. Thus this Sigyn is a bit of a bitch.

Frey - is a Norse god, brother of Freyja. In my story he is a flirtatious man-whore (excuse the harsh word) who doesn't know when to shut up.

Well, I hope you liked my little one-shot. And I will reread it again in a few days to correct the eventual grammatical mistakes.