Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters herein. Or JSTOR or the NYPL.
I ate too much candy on Halloween night and this is what happened. For the record, I do hate the title, but it's on Tumblr with this title, so I'm keeping it for the sake of consistency.
To my Avenger peeps: Although Darcy obviously moves to New York after the movie, she's still only technically a character in "Thor," hence the cross-posting to that category. There is nothing in here that doesn't jive with Darcy Lewis Can't Lose.
To the TW fans: Hey, y'all, I'm LJ. I come in peace.
They meet on a mythology forum. She responds to a dumbass' question with a Let Me Google That For You and he can't help but send her a message congratulating her on her sass.
Her user name is onthedl (his is fanglesswonder; Jackson had meant it as an insult, but he's decided to take it as a backhanded compliment) and she lives in New York City. Unlike lots of people on the forum, she doesn't think she's a vampire or a fairy, and she's neither a believer nor a debunker; she takes a pretty straightforward, academic approach toward all of it. She's started a thread called When is a god not a god? about the implications of belief in a pantheon, like the Norse one, where most of the gods are slated to die, and another one about gods and creatures of thunder and/or lightning. She's great with anything relating to historical socio-politics and while her knowledge of Latin doesn't go much deeper than understanding the basic roots, she knows a lot about Old Norse and she's solid on the futharks. She's more into deities than creatures, but she's always willing to help him work through his ideas.
She's pretty amazing. He likes her maybe even more than he likes Lydia.
"Fangless"? she asks early on. So you're not one of the nutballs on here who thinks they're a vampire?
Nope. Not a vampire or a werewolf or even a particularly aggressive ferret. Just a regular dude. And, he can't help adding, because between the locker room and the pack, he's feeling pretty inferior musculature-wise, a pretty scrawny one.
Like that matters. Just because something looks harmless doesn't mean it can't and won't seriously mess shit up. Even without any emoticons a mischievous, almost feral smile is the only possible expression that matches those words. He thinks of some of the people he knows, and realizes how right she is.
After that she starts calling him Fang.
This settles it. The public library hates me.
Just wait til you're in college. JSTOR will have you weeping tears of joy.
What book do you need? I was planning to head to the library tomorrow anyway, so I can check it out and do some shady scanning for you if you want.
"The library" to her is the New York Public Library, or at least part of the system. He can't believe his luck. Fingers flying, he replies with the title and author and adds, I love you. Marry me.
He's pretty sure she laughs at that, but he's just as sure it's an appreciative, fond chuckle, not a mocking snort.
You just want me for my database access. Anyway, are you even legal?
Almost. I promise I'll be worth the wait.
I believe it.
Where've you been? she asks when he logs in again after he hasn't been around for over a week. I was getting ready to call out a search party.
He smiles through cracked lips. How would you know where to start looking? All you know is that I'm in northern California.
Please. You think I couldn't find out your IP address in about 5 seconds? I know a guy who's scary good with computers.
You know a guy? What are you, in the mob? It occurs to him that she really could be, since she does live in New York. He's not really worried about it, though. They're friends.
You know a guy too, don't deny it. And you'd do the same for me if you thought I needed help.
That always was his problem, after all.
This is my only useful skill. This is all I've got to offer, he sends late one night, as the others are out tracking what may just be a rabid bobcat but may also be…something else entirely. That's the problem: he doesn't know. And if he doesn't know, if he can't find out, what good is he?
I know how you feel, she writes back, and it surprises him. She's so smart and funny; how could they have this feeling in common? She explains: When you're surrounded by extraordinary people, it's easy to feel like you're the weakest link, or an anchor dragging everybody down. But even from 3000 miles away I know that you're awesome. If the people right next to you can't see that, maybe it's time to move on.
No, that wasn't an invitation, she adds. Alone in front of his laptop, he smirks.
Thanks. But I can't just quit on them.
I know. That either means he's way more transparent than he should be or she's projecting. Maybe a little of both. I don't want to sound too much like an after-school special, but you are unique and important to your friends. You have abilities they don't, you can do things they can't. They need you.
Yeah, yeah, he thinks. Too bad they're such dicks about it. But it's nice that someone, even a total stranger to the whole weird situation, realizes it. He reads on.
Never underestimate yourself. Cliché as it is, you've got a mind like a steel trap. And steel traps have teeth too, Fang, and they can bring down big beasts.
He rereads it a few times, smiling a little more with each repetition, until his lips are stretched wide over teeth pointed, gleaming, sharp.