Suspend My Disbelief.
So… Another fic… I promised myself I wouldn't publish this until I'd written more (so far I'm only on Chapter Six) but after my brilliant brilliant Beta SleepieSandy sent this back, it was just too much to keep to myself anymore!
I hope you like it, I've never written Darcy/Loki before so please please please tellme if I'm going completely off character with them, especially Loki who is so complex and fascinating that I will never be able to do him justice.
This fic is looking to be around ten chapters although it may be more depending on how much my fingers like typing lol.
Let's get on with the show then, shall we? Please don't hate me!
Darcy jolted awake with a gasp. She rolled over on her comfy mattress and was promptly hit in the head by a very solid wall.
"Fuck! Ow." She groaned, had she spun around in her sleep? Because last time she checked, her bedroom wall was defiantly on the right side of her bed and not the left.
Darcy froze. She wasn't alone in her bed, which she was now beginning to think wasn't her bed at all. She tried to recall the actions that led to her being in this awkward and completely unexpected situation but was coming up blank. According to her memories, she went to bed last night at a semi-reasonable hour after a long day of working in the Lab with Jane before the weekly movie night they had with the other Avengers. She didn't get that drunk, did she? She certainly didn't get wasted enough to venture out of Stark Tower and hook up with a random man…
She did not pass out in his bed and forget the whole night…
Darcy tried to convince herself this wasn't happening, although the evidence was stacked quite high against those facts. Last thing she remembered was heading back to her room in the elevator with Pepper, that weird conversation they had, then going straight to bed.
Fuck. What happened?
"Darcy, what's wrong?" She clutched at the bed sheet and covered her naked chest with the soft material. Whoever was in the dark bedroom with her reached out, and she jumped up and over him with more energy than she thought possible and fled the bed area.
The lights switched on and Darcy shielded her eyes from the brightness.
"Are you having nightmares again?" She blinked the tears away as her vision slowly adjusted to the light. She lowered her arm, not knowing what to expect. Again? She never had nightmares. Who was this stranger?
She let her eyes trail over everything in the room, feeling her S.H.I.E.L.D Basic Training kick in, well, the one day of 'just in case' and 'things you need to know' training she had when she first started working for S.H.I.E.L.D with Jane. Know your enemy. Find an exit. Get a weapon. Those were pretty much the big three, that and don't piss of Hulk. She scanned the floor, only rumpled clothes were scattered on the wooden beams. There was a desk, but it was immaculate, there was only the open desktop and mouse covering its surface. There was a book shelf, filled with hundreds of books, some looked heavy Darcy thought with a smile, but the door was on the other side of the room, where as she was currently standing right in the middle of it. Does she grab a book and fight or run for freedom and hope for the best?
Darcy's mind was racing and yet she couldn't do more than stand still in this strange room, a sheet clutched to her chest, eyes wide and frantically searching for some clue about what was happening.
"Where am I?" She finally managed to speak as her gaze landed on the strange man. He was not the usual guy Darcy went for, even when drunk, Darcy had a type and this dude wasn't it. He had dusty blonde hair that was currently sticking up in various directions, his warm brown eyes were panicked but soft and he had the build of an ex-swimmer, big, deep muscle and strength but years of not swimming daily had left him doughy around the edges of his torso, thick arm and thigh muscles. He seemed a little slow mentally as well, his jaw hung open and brow knitted together in confusion. "Who are you?"
"Darcy?" His tone was serious and his soft eyes suddenly hardened. "It's me, Jake." He reached a hand out and Darcy flinched away and backed up a bit more towards his desk. Maybe she could throw the mouse? She thought, glancing down at it before glaring back up at Jake. Luckily it was a Bluetooth one.
"Jake?" She muttered, confused. Her mind was a complete blank for men called Jake. She faltered for one second but regained her composure and pointed at him. "Where am I?!" It was more a demand than a question, and Darcy felt proud at how authoritative she sounded.
"Darcy, you're scaring me. This is my flat, you know that, you've stayed over like a hundred times! Stop freaking out."
"Stop freaking out!?" Darcy cried, reaching down to grab a pair of jeans that looked like hers and haphazardly tugged them on while holding the sheet up to cover herself. "I don't know you, Jake. Last thing I remember, I was in my own bed, getting a bit of sleep before I had to start making the coffee for everyone at work and the next thing I know I wake up here! In bed, with a random dude, who probably drugged me!" Darcy's eyes flew wide open. "Oh my god! You drugged me, didn't you? Where the fuck is my bra?" She asked mainly to herself as she threw a t-shirt across the room.
"Darcy, I didn't drug you, we've been dating for months. You don't make coffee; you have an intern whose job is purely to make coffee because you can't ever make it strong enough." Jake said with a slight chuckle despite himself.
"I have an intern?"
"Yeah, you graduated two years ago. You've been working at Asgard Corp since you qualified. Your one request was that you got an intern that had coffee making experience." Jake seemed as flustered as she was; only he was sitting in the bed with no care in the world at exposing himself to her. Darcy shielded her eyes from his nether region and peeked at the strange man's face over the top of her fingers. What the hell was Asgard Corp?
"I got my political science degree?" She asked, timidly. Had she skipped years into the future where she'd finally gone back to university and gotten her final 6 credits because her internship was disbanded after the God of Thunder turned up bringing S.H.I.E.L.D and their iPod stealing elves with them?
"Political what? You know nothing about politics. Darcy, you're an astrophysicist, how can you not remember that?"
"What? Are you insane? I know fuck all about space! The only vague idea of stars and shit I have is the little bits I can barely understand that rubbed off from Jane, so you better stop lying and start explaining what's really going on here. Or I'm… I'm…" Darcy let out a frustrated growl and picked up the wireless mouse and threw it at Jake, using his distraction to slip on a jumper over her now bra clad chest. She nearly had chance to sprint to the door before Jake interrupted her.
"Jane Foster? Darcy, listen, Jane's your lab partner. You worked on your doctorates' together and were hired by Odin himself after all your research on Einstein-Rosen Bridges." Darcy took a deep breath in, Jane was here! Jane would know what to do, she was probably as confused and horrified by the idea of Darcy being her partner as she was.
"Jane. I need to see Jane." Darcy said as calmly as she could, trying to stay in control of this crazy situation.
Jake stood up, which caused Darcy to shield her eyes again. Wow, he really had no worried about thatpart of him, did he?
"Woah there, buddy boy." She warned, spinning on her heel to avoid seeing him in all his "glory".
"Sorry, I'll just grab some pants, and call her. Darcy, you're really worrying me, I think you might have hit your head. We need to take you to a doctor or something." Jake sounded completely sincere and worried. Darcy was tempted to give him some slack except this was way too big of a problem to start getting all sympathetic for random people about.
"No. I need Jane. You better take me to her now or I'll find her myself." It was a long shot, and she wasn't really sure if she wanted this Jake person helping her, after all, he might still be a rapist in some big elaborate prank.
Jake sighed, she heard him stop shuffling and assumed he was now dressed, and it was okay to turn around. He looked heartbroken, like he truly believed that his girlfriend had suddenly woken up and forgotten who he was. Darcy had seen enough shitty romantic films to know what that looked like. Damn her and her Channing Tatum addiction! He was a terrible actor but she couldn't help but love any film he was in.
"Look, I'm sorry Jake, but I'm freaking out, I really hope I just hit my head and it'll all come back to me after a strong cup of coffee, but right now, you're a stranger to me, I apparently have the word Doctor in front of my name, something that I never thought was possible, and I now work for Thor's dad, so I really need to speak to Jane and ask a few things, okay?" He nodded and she guessed he could tell she was only being half sincere. "I promise I'll call you or whatever when I can think a bit clearer, but can you take me to Jane… please?"
"Okay." Jake opened his bedroom door and led her out into a living room area that showed
Darcy this was an apartment, a fairly decent sized place that let her know she probably wasn't in Manhattan. She gave him a weak smile as he handed her an unfamiliar handbag that she guessed was her own, she quickly shoved some boots on, and they left, looking as tired and confused as each other.
The ride to Asgard Corp was silent. She didn't have anything to ask Jake that didn't involve her sounding crazier and felt it was best, for once in her life, to keep her mouth firmly shut. She watched as the buildings and trees flew by, apparently Jake's apartment was in New Jersey and she worked in Manhattan; so she often crashed there at the weekends to escape the busy New York
City lifestyle where her flat was.
During the whole journey, Darcy ran through every movie she ever watched where stuff like this happened and with the help of Buffy, The Bourne Identity, Farscape and Total Recall, Darcy was beginning to put some ideas together, ranging from an evil demon who had poisoned her, all the way to S.H.I.E.L.D trying to get rid of her by pulling some Men In Black shit. Oh! Men in Black 3, she recalled before adding it to her list. It didn't help her a great deal, but at least, it gave her a starting point. Oddly enough, she was routing for demon.
The trees disappeared and soon all she could see were busy streets and tall buildings. She recognized so many of them from her time spent at S.H.I.E.L.D HQ after the whole Thor thing, then at Stark Tower after the whole Loki thing, but a few stood out as odd, some were new ones she'd never seen before, while others she knew got destroyed in the Chitauri battle but were now standing flawless in front of her. Darcy decided it was now a good time to start asking questions again, not to mention Jake had spent every passing moment he could staring at her like she'd gone insane, and it was beginning to annoy her.
"What's that place?" She pointed at an outrageously over the top building that blocked out half the skyline.
"Er.." Jake craned his neck to look at where she was pointing, but it didn't take long to figure it out. "That's Asgard Corp headquarters, you work there. Worked there." He corrected himself.
"Oh." Darcy zipped her lips and tried to look at the top of the building from the passenger seat, an impossible task. "Is that where we're going?"
"No, you and Jane are currently working at the Scientific Hazards and Interplanetary Exploration Law-Enforcement Division down on 45th and 4th. Both companies had pooled their resources based on yours and Jane's work; you've been so excited about this, Darcy. 'A chance to put aside petty differences and work towards a better knowledge of the universe and what it can do for us, and us for it.' You always said this was a huge break through."
"That sounds more like Jane." Darcy sighed, shifting in her seat uncomfortably. "Hang on, Scientific Hazard- S.H.I.E.L.D?! I'm working for S.H.I.E.L.D? You've got to be fucking with me." She didn't know whether to laugh or cry at this messed up world she'd found herself in.
Jake raised an eyebrow at her strange reaction to this information but didn't say anything, after everything that had happened in the past hour, Darcy laughing manically at the name of the company she was working with was the least unsettling thing to happen.
"What do they do? The Scientific Hazard…" Darcy trailed off.
"And Interplanetary Exploration Law-Enforcement Division?" Jake finished.
Darcy popped her lips and shot a finer gun in his direction. "Yep, that one. What exactly does that mean?"
There was a long pause before he spoke, like he was finding the right way to explain it… or coming up with an elaborate lie… Darcy deliberated.
"They monitor experiments for illegal activity and control the access people have to certain areas of space. They are basically the people who tell scientists and NASA what they can and can't do."
"Oh." Darcy's mouth fell open. Yep, that sounded like S.H.I.E.L.D alright…"I swear, if this is all some elaborate prank by Tony then I will go fucking ape shit over all this." Darcy muttered and went back to staring out the window, tugging on the edges of her jumpers' sleeve.
There was a long silence as they drove down the busy streets, Darcy focused in on the horns honking and people yelling on the street, forgetting about the unknown man who was driving her.
"We were going out to dinner with my parents tonight..." Jake spoke suddenly, causing Darcy to jump and whip her head back to look at his sheepish expression. "I guess I should cancel..."
"Yeah, that's probably for the best." Darcy replied awkwardly, feeling guilty at his disheartened acceptance. "Seeing as I don't really know... them..." She winced at the obvious implication and turned away from him again.
"We're here." The car stopped at the entrance to an underground car park. Darcy heard the small sound of his indicator switching on and flashing before a wave of panic hit her.
"Er, you don't have to come in. I'm fine on my own." Darcy started rambling as she pulled on the car door handle and undid her seatbelt at the same time. "I'll get a cab home or something. Thanks!" Grabbing her handbag, she fled the car and jogged down the street to the entrance of this supposedly "S.H.I.E.L.D" building before Jake had the chance to argue.
She gambled a glance back at the car and Jake before turning into the lobby and saw him on the phone, running a hand through his hair as he spoke to whoever was on the other end. He looked genuinely upset. Sighing again, Darcy pushed open the big glass door in front of her. She felt a pressure inside her skull and pressed the palm of her hand on her forehead, after all the confusion and stress of this morning it only made sense that she was getting a head ache.
"Great, just great."
"Morning, Dr. Lewis!" Someone instantly called out as she walked through the huge entrance to this "S.H.I.E.L.D" building, it took a moment to register that whoever that was, was talking to her.
She glanced around and saw a friendly looking woman sitting at the reception desk. She smiled and waved at her, and Darcy could only slowly wave back, no idea who this woman was, not that she expected to give the morning she was having.
"Are you feeling alright Dr. Lewis?" The middle aged greeting woman asked.
"Yeah... I'm just..." Darcy was struck with a sudden idea and made her way closer to the desk. Leaning over the polished glass so she was eye level with, her eyes flicked down and read the woman's name tag, Amanda. "Is Dr. Foster in yet?" Amanda smiled warmly and nodded.
"Awesome." Darcy mentally scolded herself when Amanda looked at her oddly at her slang. "Er, where was she heading, do you know?"
"Probably the seventh floor."
"The seventh floor, okay. That's great. Thanks Mandy." Darcy tried to tell herself as she looked around the lobby for the elevators and tugged on the sleeve of her jumper more nervously than before.
"Are- are you sure you're okay Dr. Lewis? Have you forgotten the meeting this morning?"
"Meeting?" Panic rose from the pit of Darcy's stomach at the prospect of Jane not being alone so they could figure out whatever the hell was going on. "What meeting?" She finally managed to stutter out, cursing fate at the lack of luck she was having.
"Between yourselves, Misters Odinsons' and the Head of Interplanetary Research." She informed her slowly, like she was talking to a child, the older woman getting more and more concerned by Darcy's unusual behaviour as she spoke.
"Oh! That... Yeah, I kind of spaced on that. I'll head over there now. Thanks Mandy!" Darcy quickly hurried towards the elevators before she made the receptionist more suspicious with her blatant lack of knowledge of this world.
She jabbed the buttons a lot harder than necessary and tried to calm her racing heart by breathing in and out deeply. She was safely inside the small lift before she felt the panic and bile rise up in the back of her throat.
Meeting!? She knew fuck all about this stuff, and now she had to fake her way through a professional meeting about something she was supposed to be some kind of genius in? Darcy was praying that she could just sit back and shut up while Jane answered everything, although fate was being a cruel bitch today apparently.
She was suddenly getting flashbacks to when she had to make a speech in ninth grade and had completely forgotten about it until her name was called first. Her heart was racing, so hard that she could feel it in the back of the throat, her armpits were sweating, and she felt tightness in her chest that only emphasized how fast her heart was pounding. It was exactly the same. She ended up fumbling through the whole speech, using her usual snark and sarcastic nature to make the class laugh and not notice how she had no idea what she was talking about or who was the first man on the moon, it was either that Buzz dude or that Neil man. Even now she wasn't 100% sure and she was supposed to be a doctor in space! She was totally screwed. The dread was almost overwhelming and she knew her quick wit wouldn't help her out this time.
She watched at the numbers got higher, 4, 5, 6. She swallowed, dryly. This was all just some mistake. Some big joke that Tony organized, to make her think she was in some kind of alternative universe where up was down; she was in a serious relationship and actually had a career. It was pretty messed up of Tony to tease her like this, but it was one of the few explanations that she could believe. Any second the doors would open and she would be faced with Tony's smug face and possibly the flash of a camera to save that moment for all to see the rest of eternity. She was actually praying that was the case because aside from being in a sci fi movie, there was no other explanation for this. Sure, she lived in a world where Norse Gods were real and men turned into monsters when pissed, but this was unbelievable.
The doors slid open smoothly, and she heard a gasp before her eyes could focus on what was in front of her.
"Darcy! I was so worried! I had 3 missed calls from Jake but neither of you were answering your phones, are you okay? What- what are you wearing?" Darcy almost wanted to let out a sigh of relief at the sight of her closest friend but stopped when she mentioned Darcy's supposed boyfriend.
She has got to be kidding, Jane's in on this too? Darcy frowned and stepped out of the lift before the doors closed again.
"I'm fine Jane. Just confused at what kind of joke this is."
"Joke?" Jane's eyes were wide and Darcy almost felt bad for sounding too harsh at her. Almost.
"Yeah, this meeting, Jake, Asgard Corp? The Scientific Hazard of whatever? Why... I mean, what the fuck is Tony up to?" Darcy ran her hand through her hair, thankful it didn't get tangled in the messy curls.
Jane raised an eyebrow and spoke slowly. "Tony Stark?" Darcy nodded, like it was obvious that's who she was talking about. "Tony Stark wants to form a merger with S.H.I.E.L.D and Asgard Corp because of our research, you know that. It was you who suggested him because of he has access to the equipment we need!" Jane began to hiss, panicked. "Is this why Jake was calling me? Are you freaking out over how huge this is? Cause I get that, really, but you can't right now, they're all in that room waiting for us!"
Darcy was about to protest, she wanted to scream that this was all wrong but Jane's pathetically concerned expression made her pause. Was Jane right? Was this all some kind of melt down and Darcy had deluded herself into making up a completely make up world where she worked for superheroes? It actually made more sense. Darcy shook her head and scolded herself, of course not! Darcy knew who she was, she knew thiswas wrong, not her.
"Jane, I think we need to talk, okay? Can we forget about the meeting and go find a nice quiet room so we can just talk?" She said as calmly as she could, but her pulse was racing again and the prospect of this not just being a big prank was beginning to set in. Jane wouldn't do something like this. Darcy took a moment to look at the older woman, her hair was shorter, in a chin length bob that she certainly didn't have yesterday. She was dressed in a very smart and form fitting skirt suit and was also wearing makeup, Jane never wore make up. Even when Darcy tried to take her out for a girly drink or to one of those special science parties people seemed to have every week that Jane was invited to, she refused to put on even eye shadow, not that she needed it. Darcy was always a little bit jealous of Jane's flawless skin and dark dark eyelashes, her perfectly peach lips and the constant blush that graced her cheeks. It always felt like Darcy had to spend an hour in front of the mirror to only look 'acceptable'. Not that Darcy ever said it out loud, but she noticed the older woman's good looks and often wondered how she was single until she remembered how dedicated her work with science was. She'd much rather be hauled up in the middle of a New Mexico desert than out meeting guy like normal women her age. Anyway, Jane was wearing makeup now, and that's just another thing that was wrong with this place.
"No! Darce, you cannot do this to me! You're already making me do the whole presentation; so there's no way you're not going to be sitting next to me when I fluff it all up!" It was like looking at Bambi after its mother had died, all wide eyed fear and desperation.
Darcy tried to stare her down, but when her bottom lip pouted out Darcy's determination wavered and she cracked. Damn it.
"You're doing the presentation?" Darcy said, mainly to herself, checking. Maybe this wasn't as bad as it could have been. "Fine. But I'm not saying anything or doing any sciencey stuff until we've talked, agreed?"
"Yes, let's just go! You've already made them wait ten minutes." Jane grabbed Darcy by the wrist and pulled her through the closest door to where they were standing.
Darcy suppressed a yelp as she was practically pushed through the door into a conference style room with a huge table taking up most of the space. Chairs arranged evenly apart around the table but the few other people in the room were spread out randomly. She fixed her jumper and started to look around the room, really not wanting to be there. This was seriously a waste of time when her and Jane could be figuring out what was going on.
Her hands immediately flew to her mouth. It was Nick Fury... But he had two eyes! Two motherfucking eyes that were staring at her with the most shocked expression of anyone she had ever seen in her life before. Man, if Darcy thought his one eyes glare was scary... It was a hell of a lot worse being on the other end of both.
"Sorry." Darcy quickly muttered as she sat in one of the empty chairs closest to the door and tried to make herself as small as possible while she subtly looked at the other people that were staring at her. So much for subtly…
Thor was next to Fury at the head of the table, his shiny blond hair tied back in a neat pony tail and a suit that looked way to expensive and out of place on the Asgardian's broad shoulders. Darcy was about to wonder how much weirder this whole morning could be until she saw him.
His black hair was shorter than she had seen from the New York Battle footage and all those files S.H.I.E.L.D made her read, although it was sleeked back behind his ears in that familiar style. She almost swore again as she watched a smirk slowly form on his lips, he was staring directly at her and she gasped silently at how piecing and frightening his green eyes were. A glint in his eyes that could only be described as 'mischievous' flashed at her. She gasped again and nearly choked on the air.
Mother fucker! This was his doing! She just knew it. Like Buffy, this was all just a spell, a trick to confuse them all and defeat his enemies while they were blissfully unaware. Who else would play a trick like this except the ultimate trickster himself? Darcy tried to process this information as she shrunk down in her chair lower and watched as Jane apologised for Darcy's rude and unexpected behavior. Well, at least she knew this reality was wrong and wasn't about to sit there and let him take them out while they were at their weakest. Darcy couldn't wait for everything to be fixed so Natasha and Clint finally had proof that Loki wasn't as genuine as the other thought when he switched sides. When Thor and Loki came back from Asgard, Loki's punishment from Odin was apparently 'in place' according to Thor but he never told them what it was. Loki had seemingly had a change of heart and now wanted to help The Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D protect Earth and its people. To say some of them were still pissed about Fury's decision to allow Loki to help was an understatement. Clint and Natasha were still so bitter that no one willingly talked about it around them unless it was strictly necessary. The rest at least tried to forgive and forget, especially when Thor threatened to beat then into the floor if they said a bad word against his little brother, but that didn't mean they liked it.
Darcy didn't really mind, she'd never really met Loki, sure she'd seen him on the other side of a crowded meeting room, but she was never involved in them and he always kept himself to himself. Although she knew the terrible stuff he had done, she also knew Thor wasn't some naive blond muscle man. He was over a thousand years old and had suffered enough to have wisdom beyond that. Thor didn't forgive and forget, he chooses to see the good and give second chances to those who deserve them, and Loki had proved to his brother that he was worthy, which was enough for Darcy accept and to shrug off bad comments about Loki but not necessarily defend him either. But this was taking it too far! Thor had defended his brother, fought for him to be part of Earth, in a good and helpful way and how did Loki repay him? By tricking them and putting them under some kind of spell where they all forgot who they really were. What an ass, Darcy scowled.
"That's quite alright, Dr Foster. Really. Let's begin?" Thor tried to reassure Jane and Darcy was finding it very strange to watch them act as if they didn't know each other. If Darcy hadn't have known better, she would have almost missed the blush on both their faces. Looks like some things don't change, she mused, feeling smug that she could at least understand onething that was going on.
"Okay. Please, call me Jane."
Loki snorted, which earned him a glare from his brother and Darcy couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at them.
It was really obvious from her side of the table that Loki was behind all this. He was enjoying this meeting way more than a normal person should, and it was enough to confirm her suspicion when he rolled his eyes at Thor's attempt to understand the science Jane was explaining by comparing it to 'something he saw in Star Trek once'.
"For pity's sake." Loki muttered as he slowly massaged his temples where Darcy guessed a head ache was forming for him as well.
"Hey! Not everyone is a scientific genius, Mr Odinson. Thor's comparison is actually incredibly sensible." Darcy said confidently, unsure if what she was saying was true, but wanting to wipe that rude self-righteous look off his face.
"Darcy!" She ignored Jane as she continued to glare at the insane god.
"A scientific genius, like you?" He countered, which made Darcy tempted to stick her tongue out at him.
"Yes, like me." Smug was too weak a word to describe her smirk.
"Hmm." Loki covered his mouth with his long fingers, a poor attempt to hide his amusement as his eye crinkling in the corners gave away his silent laughter. Ass.
"Sorry, Jane. What were you saying?" Thor asked, awkwardly.
She flustered over a few sheets of paper and Darcy felt guilty for her brash actions. She always seemed to make things harder for other people. No! This wasn't the time to feel guilty, Loki was fucking things up and they had no idea! She needed to find a way to out him as a liar and manipulator but they didn't seem to remember their real lives… so Darcy would just look mental. Her shoulders gave slightly and she shrunk back into the chair. She needed to go about this the right way and yelling "Loki is doing a magic spell" was certainly not going to go down well.
"You were just saying how Stark Industries is willing to let us use their Genesis Laser for our research if they get priority over any discoveries we make with creating interstellar bridges." Darcy reminded Jane, surprising herself at how easily she was picking up all of their work. She was nowhere near a genius scientist like she mocked Loki but this was kind of fun.
"Yes, exactly." Darcy pointed at the older woman with one hand while tapping her nose with the other, Jane paused and gave a double take at the gesture before continuing. "Er… Stark's offer is incredibly generous considering that our research is a little out of Stark Industries' usual field." Jane said with a bright smile, regaining some of her composure. Darcy glanced from Jane to Thor and smiled to herself at how entranced he looked at the older woman. She wanted to do a mental fist pump at their obvious and incredibly adorable crushes on each other, they were like love struck teenagers and if there was one thing Darcy loved, it was cheesy teenage romance TV shows. They were just like Derek and Stiles! Only not… "According to his statement, he wants to get out of the weapons industry and start branching out into more humanitarian projects. He seems genuine, and was extremely enthusiastic about this project; something about being kidnapped and trapped in that cave for months meant he started looking at the stars when he finally escaped." Darcy rolled her eyes mentally at how cheesy that was, but couldn't blame Tony for his sentiment.
"He just wants to distract attention from Stane. This must seem like a great media stunt for him. "Hey, forget about my former CEO who illegally dealt weapons to America's enemies and focus on me forming friendships with other big and respectful companies." He's hoping our good reputation will rub off on his, that's all." Loki accused.
"Since his kidnapping, Stark has certainly had a change of heart." Thor disagreed. "I believe he is sincere, and I for one, don't want to let this opportunity pass us by."
"Stark is an arrogant dick, but he's also not stupid. He knows what the research can lead to, interplanetary communication, discovering other life out there, sharing resources, sharing technology, we have the only two people that are smart enough to successfully achieve this and we want to put them in Stark's lap?" Loki pointed a rather expensive and shiny pen at his brother; Darcy frowned at his disapproval of Darcy's apparent life's work goal. Super Ass. "This is the biggest thing to happen since... ever, and we want to share that with Tony Bloody Stark?"
"But there wouldn't be any of these developments without Stark's equipment! 100% of nothing is nothing, you ass." Darcy said before covering her mouth again. She looked wide eyed at the Director, who wasn't actually the Director, in fear. He looked amused, his pearly white teeth all on show as he gave a hearty laugh. Darcy's forehead crinkled up at the man unexpected reaction to her insult. This was seriously weird.
"You are correct, Dr. Lewis. But are you willing to sell your credibility and soul to that heartless man who will turn your research into a – an amusement arcade!" Darcy raised an eyebrow at Loki's distain for the older man; he seemed more interested in keeping Darcy and Jane's integrity than taking a risk that could change the world. Change their theories and research into fact and actions. Did he really hate Tony Stark that much to say no to this amazing opportunity? It almost seemed genuine but Darcy knew better, this was Loki. He knew what was beyond Einstein-Rosen Bridges. Asgard, Jotenhuim and a few other crazy sounding planets that Darcy couldn't pronounce the names of, and he wanted to steer anyone in this reality away from them for whatever reason. Well, Darcy wasn't going to let him get away with that either.
"Hey, I love Disney. If Tony Stark can bring us a fifth of their market, then we'll be set for life. I'll see little kids walking around the street with "Science Buddies" or "Einstein-Rosen Bridges Rock!" on their t-shirts and backpacks; I'm all up for that!" Darcy couldn't ignore Jane's muffled cry of horror but continued. "You may think it's selling out, Loki, but that would be just plain adorable." She challenged him with a raised eyebrow that he mirrored. Their eyes met in a silent dare. What would he do if she defied him? How would he react? She wondered with a strange pleasure as he swallowed and she saw his hands clench in her peripheral vision.
"Darcy!" Jane scolded her again.
"Is this how you sell your idea to us, Dr. Lewis? I understand you don't get out of the lab much, but you can at least present yourself with a little more professionalism." Loki sneered, his green eyes glaring heatedly across the table at her. Darcy felt her eyes narrow as she looked over the god in disguise, his black suit was perfectly styled to fit his tall but wiry frame. His white shirt was crisp and looked like expensive material that Darcy couldn't dream of the cost, and the dark green tie that hung around his neck only helped him looked commanding and in complete control. She hated him and that smug smirk as that evil twinkle reappeared in his eye. "Your lax attitude, the way you dress. I must say, you come across a lot more proficient and intellectual in your emails than in person. I'm disappointed, I was expecting more."
"Loki!" Thor was shocked at his brothers' rude comments, enough to let his well-presented image slip and reprimanded him, treating his business partner more like a little brother that had done something naughty.
"I'm sooo sorry for Dr. Lewis' actions, please understand that this means so much to us, I think the stress is just getting to her." Jane tried to hurriedly apologize, but Darcy waved her hand in front of the older woman to stop her.
"No no, Jane. This dude just doesn't get it. None of these awesome things will be possible without Tony Stark. So you better swallow your pride, or pull that stick out of your ass or whatever it takes to admit that you need his help. Or buy your own damn laser, oh wait, you can't because Tony Stark only designed the one." Darcy was tempted to add a fist pump at the end of that and yell 'Boo-Ya!' but she thought it might be too much, she was supposed to be a "professional" after all. She rolled her eyes at Loki's lame insult for her. What did she care?
"She has a point, brother." Thor said from the top of the table, obviously not as affected by the whole meeting as Jane was. Darcy guessed Loki acted like this more often than she did in this false-reality.
Loki pursed his lips, his neck muscles flexing in silent anger but kept quiet, and Darcy gave a sigh of relief, she'd managed to beat him!
"Boo-Ya!" Darcy said, forgetting her earlier thought. "I think we should just finish." Darcy gave Jane an over the top stage whisper that caused the astrophysicist to roll her eyes and mutter 'Oh God, help me', obviously Darcy in this reality did that a lot too. At least they finally had one thing in common.
"Yes, um... To sum up, we have untold possibilities at our fingertips, just out of reach, your funding and previous support has been so helpful in achieving these results but Stark Industries' equipment will give us the opportunity to explore the possibilities, which where we stand at the moment, are endless. We just need you to okay this, as you know, our contract binds us to Asgard Corp and we are more than happy here, but if you say no, you're effectively putting our department in front of brick wall. Without that laser our research is just that. Research. With that laser, it would help us make discoveries that are, quite literally, out of this world. Thank you."
Jane shut down the presentation app off of her tablet, it blinking off the screen behind her a second later, as she rambled on then grabbed Darcy by the wrist, pulling her out of her swivel chair and dragging her out of the room, Jane's head hung low with shame and Darcy simply glared at Loki, mouthing the words 'I'm onto you' and making the universal motion of 'I'm watching you' with her free hand as they left.
"Thank you so much." Jane repeated as the door shut behind them leaving two very confused brothers and one amused Head of Science.
There we go! Chapter One of a new adventure. Thanks for reading and I hoped you enjoyed reading it! Please take a moment to review, they are such a joy to read and I value any and all feedback I get for this fic, I'm really worried about my characterisation so any that is OOC then please let me know and I'll fix it… Loki is just so hard to get right…
Next chapter will be up in around a week. That's my planned turn around but reviews certainly make me work faster… hint…