Disclaimer: I own nothing but my nefarious imagination and a well-practiced maniacal guffaw.
Rating: T (Tippy-top of this rating because of copious amounts of sensuality. Ye have been warned.)
Characters/Pairings: Loki/Jane Foster
Genre: Humor, Romance, Alternate Universe
Summary: [Another excerpt from "Adventures in Babysitting," and sequel to "Mischief Managed"] Jane wants to pretend she never traded a drunken make-out session for a week's reprieve from Loki's mischief. Fat chance of that happening, though.
A/N: You can read the first part of the first chapter of "Adventures in Babysitting" here—just take out the spaces: startraveller776 . tumblr dot com / post / 53292770364 / adventures - in - babysitting - lokane - fanfic - excerpt. And "Mischief Managed" is the first oneshot in the 100 Themes in Loki-dom series.
It's pretty necessary to read those both first, or else a lot of things in this oneshot will not make sense.
I apologize for Loki. Just. Yeah. He lives up to his moniker as God of Mischief. You all have my permission to pity Jane.
Song inspiration for this one (because I never, ever write without music) is Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.
25 TROUBLE LURKING
I want your love
And I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
She shouldn't have kissed him.
Granted, Loki had kept his end of the deal by giving her a (relatively) mischief-free week and helping out (kind of) in the lab. Jane got more work done in the last seven days than she had in the three months since he had been tossed into her proverbial lap. She should have been happy. Really.
Darcy was happy. Her beloved iPod didn't play the ear-splitting screeches of mating felines at random intervals. Her coffee didn't stay bitter no matter how much sugar and cream she added. She stopped tripping over air. And even better, she got to make Loki do all the menial labor while she sat back and played Candy Crush on her phone. Loki, in turn, gave the brunette murderous glares, and Jane was pretty sure that once his self-imposed prank moratorium was lifted, Darcy was going to bear the brunt of his pent-up misbehavior.
For her part, Darcy thought it was hilarious how Jane managed to secure this bargain with Loki. That night, Jane had resolved to never tell anyone what she had done. The pact lasted as long as it took Darcy to ask Jane why she was the color of a tomato—a question posed roughly five minutes after Jane had left the bathroom.
"You did what?" Darcy had exclaimed while dragging Jane to a quiet-ish corner of the club. "You kissed him?! Was it any good?"
Jane groaned. "That's not the point!"
"No, I wanna know. I mean, he's actually pretty hot—if you ignore the fact that he's totally insane and evil."
"Tell me you haven't thought about it at least once." Darcy waggled her eyebrows. "I know I have."
"Oh, my god, Darcy!" Jane hissed with a nervous glance to the side, worried that Loki was skulking nearby. Fortunately he was out of earshot, sitting alone at one of the tables and nursing a drink with a pensive expression. As if sensing her gaze, he looked at her, raising his glass with a knowing half-smile.
"Damn," Darcy murmured next to her. "It must have been really good if he's grinning at you like that."
Jane rubbed her hand across her eyes, silently kicking herself for having done something so stupid. She continued to kick herself throughout the rest of the week. By all appearances, Loki was better behaved. In truth, however, he had merely discovered new ways to get under her skin.
Her phone went off while she was digging through a box on the floor. She almost ignored it, but then pulled it out on the off chance that it was anyone other than Loki. Which, of course, it wasn't.
I see London. I see France. I see Jane Foster's underpants.
She sighed, wishing she had steered him away from getting an iPhone and learning to text. Where had he even heard that grammar school insult? Flustered, she hiked up her low-rise jeans and yanked the hem of her shirt down. Across the lab, Loki looked every bit the innocent worker bee as he catalogued the raw data collected during last night's foray in the desert. There wasn't even a hint of a smirk on his pale face.
Jane ground her teeth and turned back to her work, only to have her phone go off again.
Lavender, really? Is it a matching set?
She snapped her head up. Loki continued pecking away at the computer as if he hadn't just sent her a crass message. She didn't have to wonder where he learned about matching underwear. She was certain he had received a thorough education on that particular subject during his various trysts in these last few months. Heaving another sigh, she returned his text.
Stop it or I'm going to block your number.
He picked up his phone when it buzzed, read her message, replied, and went back to entering data into the computer—all with a placid expression.
By all means, block it. I'll just shout my thoughts across the lab instead. ;)
There was something inherently wrong with an ancient Viking god using an emoticon. Exasperated, she tapped an answer, jabbing hard at the touchscreen to send it before shoving her phone back in her pocket.
The corner of his mouth tipped up in a bare smile at that. Apparently he thought he won that round. That was his reigning assumption whenever Jane threw her hands in the air and stopped fighting him.
Darcy cleared her throat, raising a brow at Jane with a significant glance in Loki's direction. Jane gave her assistant a flat expression followed by an exaggerated eye roll—the universal communication for "Don't even ask." Darcy shrugged and delved back into her game.
I want to see for myself. Will you show me later?
It took Jane a flustered minute to realize he was referring to her undergarments—again. She was even more infuriated by how his anything-but-innocent request drummed up the unwelcome memory of his long fingers trailing up her skin as he began to lift her blouse during their drunken make-out session. Just before she put the brakes on the entire idiotic affair. Thank god for small miracles.
Over my dead body.
The only reaction he gave to her reply was a raised brow.
I prefer you very much alive when I make a thorough examination of your dressing methods, but if you insist…
What was wrong with the world that she was actually relieved, just the tiniest bit, that he'd gone back to threatening her life? She pretended not to hear the alert when she received another text. That went swimmingly for all of two ignored messages, after which Loki decided to take his badgering to a new level.
"Miss Lewis," he said in a bland voice as he continued to work, "have I told you of the new ideas I have—of things I'd like to do to Jane?"
Darcy looked torn between loyalty to her boss and morbid curiosity. Jane silently prayed that the former would win out in the end. Unfortunately, it didn't. "New ideas?"
Loki made a disinterested noise of agreement. "Shall I elaborate in explicit detail?"
Jane knocked over a pile of notebooks in a desperate sprint across the room. "Don't listen to him, Darcy!" She winced at the obvious distress in her tone and tried to cover it up with a nonchalant smile. "I mean, it's just going be some variation of the same old song and dance of torture and slow, painful death, right?"
Though Loki kept his face straight, he couldn't entirely conceal the shameless mirth dancing in his eyes. "Actually—"
Jane cut him off by grabbing his shirtsleeve and yanking him from his seat. "Actually, this is a conversation we should probably have in private." She gave him a shove toward the hallway in the back of the lab.
"Yes, let's." He infused the two words with so much innuendo that Jane thought she might be incinerated on the spot from blushing so hard.
As she dragged Loki toward the tiny office she used as a storage room, she glanced at Darcy. "I'll be just a minute."
"You know, I could go home," Darcy hollered back. "I mean, if you guys are going to be a while."
"How very perceptive of you, Miss Lewis," Loki returned over his shoulder with a wink. "You never know how long Mummy and Daddy are going to be."
Jane suddenly understood how an unassuming person might snap and murder everyone they worked with. She pointed at Darcy. "You stay put."
"And you—" she rounded on Loki, "—get in there!"
He obeyed, entering the room filled with haphazard stacks of boxes, and leaned against the sole piece of furniture—an old Formica desk. "I like it when you're forceful," he said as she closed the door. "It does such wonderful things to me."
"For the love of all things sane, enough already!" She ran a hand over face with a groan. "I'm going to have to have a sexual harassment seminar and I only have two employees!"
"One," Loki corrected, crossing his arms with a smug look. "I don't work for you."
"You do for the rest of the day." She sagged against the door, worn out by his never-ending shenanigans. "I'm almost afraid to ask, but what's it going to take to stop your inappropriate advances?"
She did not like the feral smile that stretched across his lips. Not in the least. And she certainly didn't care for the answering warmth flaring to life in her middle.
"I want a haircut," he said.
She blinked several times, thinking she had misheard him. "A haircut. You're kidding."
"Not at all." He rose from the desk, his expression sobering. "I want a haircut."
Apparently he wasn't joking. She was mildly disappointed that his request was so innocuous. Not that she was hoping for something salacious, it was just at odds with his current modus operandi. She spread her hands in defeat. "Fine. We'll go to the barber's after work."
He shook his head. "No. There is a salon on Fifth Avenue I'd prefer to use."
"New York. Of course." Jane looked heavenward with a humorless laugh. Why had she expected anything less? He'd been more than happy to make lavish use of the exorbitant trust fund Odin had set up for his care. Jane tried to rein in his tendency toward decadence as best as she could, but if this would end the constant stream of double entendres directed at her, then so be it.
She sighed. "Everything is already set up." It wasn't a question. When he set his mind on something, hell would freeze over twice before he would relent. "When do we leave?"
"Now." He gave her that closed-mouth self-satisfied grin she had come to despise. "I've taken the liberty of having your things packed."
"I really don't like you." She didn't want to think about what things of hers he deemed necessary for this ridiculous trip.
"So you keep saying." He grasped the doorknob, but used his other arm to cage her when she tried to step out of his way. "Oh, and to answer your question…" He leaned forward, lips grazing the shell of her ear as he murmured, "I'm sure you can think of some incentive to inspire me to stop behaving so very badly. Help me, dear Jane. Help me repent of my wicked ways."
Jane's eyes fluttered close as she swallowed back the gasp bubbling up her throat. He was mere centimeters away, smelling like crisp, wintery air mingled with something distinctly masculine, and for a frightening heartbeat, she almost turned her head to meet his lips with her own.
"I knew kissing you was a bad idea," she breathed, unable to hide the effect his provocative statement had on her.
He drew back, wearing a smirk on his stupidly handsome face. "Oh? And why is that?"
"Because," she said, her voice growing stronger with each word, "clearly you can't handle it."
His eyebrows climbed his forehead as if she'd just said something ludicrous—which she probably had. "Me?"
There was no going back now. "Well, yes." She imitated his flippant manner. "You're practically begging for another round."
His mouth fell open, but no sound came out, and Jane took the opportunity to wrench the door handle from him.
"Don't we have a plane to catch?" she asked, giving him a gentle push so she could open the door and stroll out of the office as the victor of this round of verbal chess.
As she attempted to cross the threshold in triumph, he wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her back into him. "You think you're so very clever, Jane Foster," he said, "but your proud little display doesn't fool me. You've already given away the lie."
His hand snaked from her torso to her hip and down the front of her thigh. Her breath hitched and she hated herself for it.
"Yes, just like that." He made an appreciative sound that sent a thrill of heat to all the wrong places.
He stepped around her and back into the lab before she could form a protest. Seconds later, her phone beeped.
I still want to know if it's a matching set.
That was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Jane stormed out of the office and made a beeline for Loki. "Yes. Okay." she said through gritted teeth, poking him in the chest. "You got me. Against all rationality and self-respect, I'll admit that I do find you physically attractive."
"I think maybe I should go," Darcy interjected.
"Yes," Loki replied at the same time Jane said, "No!"
Jane stared down her assistant. "Don't you dare leave me alone with him." What she feared was not what Loki might do to her—Odin's curse guaranteed her safety—but what she might do to him. At the moment, disfiguring that pretty face of his felt like a reasonable response to the level of frustration he caused her on a daily basis.
"As I was saying," she said, turning back to Loki, "maybe it's been a while since I've done…stuff with a guy, but that doesn't mean I'm like some animal that can't ignore its baser urges—especially the idiotic ones like wanting to kiss you again. It's just an involuntary physiological response to…to…you!" She gestured wildly toward him as if it were explanation enough.
"Oh yeah, this is really comfortable." Darcy was looking everywhere but at Jane and Loki. "I'm so glad you're making me stay for this."
"Shut up, Darcy! You're not helping!" Jane shouted in exasperation. There was a tiny part of her which recognized how unfair she was being to her assistant, but it was a whisper compared to the foghorn of her anger at Loki.
Loki, who was uncharacteristically quiet through her tirade.
She plowed forward anyway, albeit a little more sedately. "A simple biological imperative is not going to make me forget who you are and what you've done. Mind over matter." She tapped a finger against her temple. "Oh, and you can forget about that trip to New York. We're not going anywhere until you prove to me that you can play nice." The man couldn't go farther than fifty feet from her without experiencing abject agony, so he was stuck until he met her terms.
He raised a brow. "Is that so?"
"Yep." She pointed to the desk where he'd been working. "Get to it."
His eyes narrowed, and she recognized that expression. Daily death threats were most certainly back on the menu. Those, she knew how to deal with.
Which was why she was caught completely by surprise when he picked her up as if she were no heavier than a feather pillow and slung her over his shoulder. She battered her fists against his back, screaming at him to put her down as he walked out of the lab. Darcy chased after them, wielding a tripod.
"You let go of Jane, you bad guy!" she yelled, raising the scrap of metal like a baseball bat. "Let her go, right now!"
Loki spun around and Darcy went abruptly silent. Jane couldn't see what was transpiring, but she could guess that Loki was giving the girl the maniacal look he got when he was feeling stabby.
"He can't hurt you!" Jane shouted.
"She's right," Loki agreed. "I can't hurt you. But I can promise to leave your beloved music device alone indefinitely—if you walk back inside of the lab this very instant. If you don't…"
Jane heard the creak of the door opening and panicked. "Darcy!"
"But it's my iPod, dude! I just got it working right again with my playlists and everything! It's not like he can hurt you, either!"
"You just made a deal with the devil, you Satanist!"
The only answer Jane received was the sound of the lab door shutting. Loki wasted no time swinging back around and heading down the sidewalk. Jane struggled against him, keenly aware of how futile her kicks and punches were. His grip was an iron vise, though he was careful not to handle her too roughly lest he trigger Odin's curse. Trepidation churned her stomach when his long strides took them more than fifty feet from the lab.
Oh, god. He'd found a way around part of Odin's spell. How much longer before he discovered a loophole in the other half?
The click of a door latch drew her attention away from that disturbing thought, and in a swirl of vertigo, she was dumped into the passenger seat of a car—her car. Loki slammed the door before she could slip back out. He was on the other side of the vehicle and in the driver's seat with inhuman speed, and she watched in horror as he engaged the locks with a mere flick of his wrist.
"That went rather well," he said to her with a boyish grin. It was unsettling how disarming he could be when it suited him—like one of those little poison dart frogs that looked cute until you touched them, then excruciating death. "I'm disappointed that I hadn't thought of it sooner."
He turned the ignition—without a key—and put the car into gear. When had he learned to drive? Jane fumbled the seatbelt as she frantically buckled herself in.
Loki laughed. "I can't bring you to any physical harm—even indirectly. You know that. Or have you forgotten my little experiments during the first month of my internment here?" He glanced at her as he floored the gas pedal. "Though, I do like this fear in your eyes. It's a pity there isn't a real cause for it."
Jane did recall all his failed attempts to injure her in those early days, and the repeated trips to the hospital for him because of it, but the memories did little to quell her swelling apprehension now.
"So, what are you going to do?" she asked. "Tie me up and cart me around wherever you want to go? Keep me locked in the closet while you do whatever the hell you want?"
His brows lifted as he gave her an appraising look. "Why Jane, that's a truly devious plan." He flashed his teeth in a predatory smile. "And here I thought I was having absolutely no influence on you. I'm so terribly proud."
"You're not having an influence on me," she said. "I just know how you tick."
"Perhaps." He cocked his head in a casual shrug. "Or perhaps you severely underestimate my desire for a proper haircut."
"What is the deal with this haircut?" She noticed he'd taken the turn off for the small municipal airport just outside of Puente Antiguo. "Do you have a date?"
His lips quirked in an enigmatic grin. "Jealous?"
"Oh, please." She rolled her eyes, though she felt a twinge of something unpleasant at the thought of him in the company of yet another woman. She brushed it off as annoyance for the inconvenience this impending rendezvous was already causing her. Definitely not jealousy.
He didn't expound further, and she refused to beg him to explain himself—which was likely what he wanted anyway. Tense silence drifted between them as he was waved through the gate and drove toward his private hanger. Jane tried very hard not to wonder how many more kidnappings she would endure in the future, all while her hard-earned research collected dust.
Just when she thought he couldn't make her life any more miserable.
She grimaced. Maybe it was time to ask Thor to take his brother back. The monthly stipend from Odin was worthless if she could never step foot in her lab again.
Loki parked the car inside the hanger near a sleek black jet—a recent acquisition of his. Jane never ceased to be amazed at what one could purchase online when money was no object. A smartly dressed flight attendant, and one of the pilots, hat tucked under his arm, stood at the base of the stairwell.
Jane folded her arms in stubborn rebellion as Loki turned toward her and asked, "Are you coming, or will I be forced to take drastic measures again?"
She glared back at him. "That's not much of a choice."
He inclined his head in agreement as he opened his door. "Freedom is such a rare commodity after one crosses the Allfather, wouldn't you agree?"
She frowned. "What do you mean by that?" But he was already outside, exchanging words with the pilot. She scrambled out of the car after him, forgetting that he couldn't go anywhere without her instead of the other way around.
She caught up to him just as he said to the pilot, "Be prepared for further instructions." The other man gave him a curt nod, and both he and the flight attendant climbed the steps.
"Further instructions?" Jane asked, anxiety swirling in her middle again as they boarded the aircraft.
Loki settled in one of the plush leather seats and gave her a Cheshire-like grin. "Worried that I have some nefarious design up my sleeve?"
She sat across from him, leveling a flat look in his direction. "You're telling me you don't?"
"I'm wounded that you always think so little of me." He feigned a pained expression.
Jane snorted. "You've always earned it."
He let out a soft, dry laugh. "It's part of my charm."
"Charm, right." She shook her head with a deep sigh. "Are you going to let me in on your nefarious design, or is it a surprise?" She kept her tone light, hoping that her apparent lack of concern would inspire him to open up. Reverse psychology worked on him sometimes. Well, almost never, but it was worth a try.
He leaned back in his seat, rubbing his index finger across his lips as his eyes glided over her in a chill-inducing perusal. The intercom crackled with the pilot's announcement that they were clear for takeoff. Within minutes, the engines whined and the plane accelerated. Despite her frayed nerves, Jane still enjoyed the brief rush of euphoria that coursed through her veins when the craft took to the skies. She loved flying—even under duress, it turned out.
"Do you ever ask yourself why Odin chose to bind me to you rather than to one of those wretched Avengers?"
Jane glanced at Loki, brow furrowed. The question seemed deceptively offhand—as though he was merely making small talk—but he never said or did anything without purpose. She wasn't sure she wanted to know where this rabbit hole would lead.
"What makes you the logical choice for rehabilitating the wayward son, I wonder," he went on, pale gaze searching her face. "Could it be that he sought to bind you as well?"
"Bind me?" Ridiculous. "Why would he want to bind me?"
"I can only speculate." He shrugged. "Perhaps because you had the gall to steal Thor's affection—you, a mortal unworthy of the halls of the Realm Eternal. You're as much a threat to the line of succession as I have ever been."
She swallowed the thick lump building in her throat. This was another one of his ploys, she told herself. Spinning lies with just enough truth to be hurtful. "Thor would never agree to—"
"He didn't," Loki cut her off. There was an edge to his voice as there often was when he spoke of his brother. "But I doubt that witless oaf is able to appreciate the full implications of what his father has done. With this curse, Odin has managed to subdue two of his enemies at once. It's quite an elegant solution, and I can almost admire him for it."
"No," she breathed. His allegation made a queasy sort of sense, but she couldn't bring herself to believe that Odin—father of sweet, kind Thor—would be so heartless. "You're twisting things."
Loki raised a brow. "Am I?" He leaned forward, long legs brushing against hers. "Have you forgotten who reared me? From which parent do you think I learned the art of scheming and manipulation, Jane?" He gave her a cold smile. "I'll give you a hint: it wasn't my mother."
Bile made sickly somersaults in her stomach. He was lying. He had to be. And yet, she couldn't deny how well it all fit together. "What's the point of this, Loki? Is this part of your old threat to make my life miserable? To have me begging Thor to take you back to Asgard?"
"Hardly," he said. "Once I realized that you are as imprisoned by Odin as I… Well, let's just say that I've developed a certain affinity for you." He traced a languid design on her knee, letting her know exactly what he meant by affinity. "I offer you an alliance of sorts, in defiance of our common adversary."
She should have moved her leg away from his unsolicited touch, but she didn't. "Alliance?"
"Hm, yes." He licked his lips, fingers migrating just a breath above her knee. "You wish to create your own Bifröst, and I've long since grown bored of this meager world. I believe we might be able to accommodate one another."
"You'd still be cursed," she replied, mildly distracted by his hand. "You couldn't leave without taking me with you."
He raised a brow with a sardonic twist of his mouth. "Are you saying that you don't yearn to see the nine realms and beyond? I can be a very generous companion when I choose to be."
An involuntary flush swept over her at the promise in his words. She jerked her leg away from those nimble fingers, embarrassed that she was seriously entertaining his offer—all of it. She really, really shouldn't have kissed him. "So, you'll help me build a Bifröst if I travel with you? That's the deal?"
"Not precisely." Impish amusement crinkled in his eyes. "You benefit far more than I on both counts, as I will be teaching you magic and giving you a tour of the wonders that Yggdrasil has to offer. All while I'm to be on my best behavior—well, better behavior." He shook his head. "No, I'm afraid I require a different sort of compensation for my sacrifices."
She stared at him for a heartbeat or three as his meaning sank in. And when it did, she started laughing. It wasn't a "oh, ha, ha, silly villain—as if I would ever agree to that" laugh, but a half-crazed "this is what my life has come to" guffaw. Worse, she didn't find any of it as distasteful as she ought to have. Which only made her laugh harder. If only young idealistic Jane could see her now—
She let out a startled yelp when she was unceremoniously yanked from her seat right into Loki's lap. She struggled against him, but his arms held her in place. "Care to share the joke?" he said, though by his expression, he already knew.
She forced another laugh, hiding how uncomfortable she was straddling his legs—uncomfortable in all the ways that lead to very bad decisions. "You're bribing me with magic and an interstellar road trip just so you can get laid."
"On the contrary," he argued, "I could have my pick of any number of women. I'm merely extending the opportunity for a mutually beneficial arrangement."
"Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe." She rolled her eyes, wishing he'd let her go. It was getting difficult to remember how to breathe with him looking at her like she was his favorite delicacy. "And if I say no thanks?"
"But you won't, Jane," he murmured. "Because you want this as much as I do."
"Oh, yes," he agreed, his untamed gaze melting her resistance. "I want it more."
He knotted his fingers in her hair and pulled her into a bruising kiss, crushing her bodily against him. This was exponentially more troubling than the experimental lip-lock they shared the week before in a public restroom. This was visceral want, a wildfire of need, and she was lost in the torrent, meeting him passion for passion. He consumed her, and god, she wanted to be consumed. By him. Specifically.
So much for mind over matter.
He turned his attention to the hollow of her neck and she waved goodbye to all reason. "I take this to mean," he rumbled against her skin between the unfairly expert ministrations of his lips and tongue, "that you accept my offer."
No, no, no. Don't do it, Jane. "Yes." Dammit.
The intercom dinged—she hadn't noticed that he'd pressed the button—and Loki said, "We will be following the original flight plan."
"There was…" Her words trailed off as he attacked her throat again, hands sliding beneath the hem of her blouse. Linear thought was becoming next to impossible. "There was never a haircut."
"Where are we really going?" She may or may not have been unbuttoning his shirt as she asked the question.
Her fingers hesitated on the last button. "Norway?"
He gave her a drowsy nod, his eyes glazed over with desire. "No more questions." He placed a hand over hers and pressed it against the spot where his almost untucked shirt met the waistband of his slacks. "Keep going."
She felt the tiniest thrill of wicked satisfaction that he was so affected by her—a mortal unworthy of the halls of Asgard. (He really was a bad influence.) The moment was short-lived, however, lost when he divested her of her own top and made a noise of approval.
"It is a matching set. How gratifying."
"Shut up already," she said, glaring down at him, "before I change my mind."
He smirked. "Oh, we wouldn't want that, would we?" His mocking laugh changed into a choking groan as her hands went exactly where he'd wanted them to go moments before.
And with that, Jane bought a ticket on the express train to hell. But oh, what a ride it would be. All in the name of science.
Well, mostly in the name of science.
A/N: Thank you so much for reading! If you have a moment, I'd love to know what you thought of this wacky oneshot.