24 January 2012 @ 00:28
"Simple, Not Easy" 5/18, Rated R to NC-17  
Title: Simple, Not Easy
Fandom: Thor (2011), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: R to NC-17
Pairings: Darcy/Clint, Loki/Sif, Natasha/Coulson
Summary: Darcy should have seen it coming. She couldn't hang around the spandex crowd forever and not end up with a great big target painted on her back eventually. She was just surprised it took Loki so long.

Disclaimer: The Avengers and all related elements, characters and indicia © Marvel Studios 2012. All Rights Reserved. All characters and situations—save those created by the authors for use solely on this website—are copyright Marvel Studios 2012.

Please do not archive or distribute without author's permission.

Author's Note: This story is all Lunik's fault. HUGE thanks to my flatmate/betas/cheerleaders/people who couldn't get out of the way fast enough when I started emailing them drafts: Boosette, Celli, Victoria P, Seren, Fringedweller, Aj, the aforementioned Lunik, and everyone on El Jay who cheered me on during the nearly 4 months when this story ATE MY LIFE.

AO3 | LJ

Chapter 5

"Jesus!" Darcy yelped, grabbing for the remote to pause the movie. In retrospect, she probably should have reached for her taser. But in that split second, she wasn't thinking so much oh my god there's an Asgardian psycho in my living room as she was oh for fuck's sake Hiccup just found the Night Fury.

"No, just me."

He was in full Asgardian armour, including the ridiculous helmet. She supposed it was better than Hipster Loki or MBA Loki. But it did remind her that her situation was not normal, probably dangerous, and definitely going to get her ass fired and sent to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s version of Gitmo if Fury found out about it.

"If you're here to collect on our bet, I'm not really dressed for an outing."

"Perhaps I merely wished to check and make sure you have been properly fed and watered?"

"I'm touched."

Loki made a show of peering around the living room. "So, where is your watchdog this fine evening?"

"He's not my watchdog."

"Of course not. Forgive me. Your... boyfriend? Paramour? Lover?" he asked, feigning innocence, and Darcy gritted her teeth.

"Since you haven't taken me hostage lately, he got reassigned. And for the record, we're just friends. At least, I thought we were."

"Is that all you wish to be? Boon companions?"

"This from a guy who's spent a thousand years crushing on a chick and still hasn't made a move? Yeah, like I'd go to you for relationship advice."

"I am biding my time," Loki said loftily.

"I think you're just freaked out because Sif could totally snap you like a twig. What is it with guys always falling for chicks who could take them apart, anyway? I don't understand the appeal."

"Trust me. It's appealing." Loki got a faraway look in his green eyes, like he was picturing Sif beating the crap out of somebody. It was hard to tell with all the leather if he was getting a boner, but Darcy was betting he was.

"Okay—stay or go, but I'm going to finish watching my movie and wait for the guys to get back since I'm obviously not going get laid anytime this century."

Loki opened his mouth, and Darcy held up a hand.

"No."

"You don't know—"

"No."

"Your Clint Barton is a strange one. How can any mortal man resist this?"

With a wave of his hand, Darcy was faced with her mirror image. Only she was wearing a total Bettie Page pin-up girl outfit, complete with platform stilettos and riding crop.

"Dude! That's just creepy!"

It was weird seeing herself roll her eyes at her. Then Loki flexed his fingers again, and he was himself once more.

"Never do that again! Oh my God, seriously. Now I'm gonna worry all the time about what weird-ass perverted shit you are doing with my body. That's just wrong."

"I was only trying to show you what your watchdog sees when he looks at you. I believe the word you mortals use is a 'hottie'."

"If it weren't for the fact that I am totally creeped out right now, I'd probably be flattered. But nope. No matter my cup size, Clint treats me like a kid sister. Also, no way are my boobs that big."

"Continue to lie to yourself, if you wish."

"Did you just come here to make fun of my total lack of game?"

"That was just a side benefit."

"You're a pal. No, really. In fact, I wouldn't be in this mess if you had checked to make sure you had the right hostage back in July."

"I promise, the next time I kidnap you, I will make certain I have the correct human before I leave Manhattan."

"Thank you. So, no plans for global domination tonight?"

"As I said, I merely wished to make certain you are being properly looked after in my absence."

"I'm just peachy. Got my junk food, got my jammies, got my mainstream Hollywood entertainment in HD and 7.1 surround sound."

"Then I shall join you in your viewing of—what is this?" For the first time Loki seemed to register the widescreen TV, which was currently paused on a shot of Hiccup hiding behind a bush.

"It's a kid's movie. You'd be totally bored."

Loki tilted his head, green eyes narrowing. "Why is that child deformed?"

"He's not deformed. It's animation, and all of the human figures are stylised. It's a really long story, going back to Disney movies of the 1930s and post-war Japanese animation and I am so not loaning you my Scott McCloud books so you can berate me for my late-night movie choices."

"All I asked was why his head was enormous, yet his limbs are like twigs."

"Fine—I'll start from the beginning. But you have to watch the damn movie, and not ask a bazillion questions. Deal?"

"Deal."

Darcy went back to the menu, and Loki took one look at her papasan chair before waving his hand. A red velvet chaise longue appeared on the opposite side of her coffee table, parallel to the sofa. She opened her mouth to complain, but then figured hey, if he wanted a fainting couch, at least he wasn't trying to kill her and impersonate her to get S.H.I.E.L.D. secrets.

Probably.

They made it about four minutes into the movie before Loki asked "Why are the Vikings randomly Scottish?"

Darcy paused the Blu-ray again, and dropped her head into her hands. "Really? Really, randomly Masterpiece Theatre-sounding alien? Really?"

Loki opened his mouth and then closed it again, and gestured lazily for her to restart the movie.

When they got to the scene where Astrid was suddenly in slow motion in front of a flaming hut, Darcy couldn't help snickering.

"That's totally how you see Sif inside your head, isn't it."

"I won't dignify that with an answer."

"Silence denotes agreement," she said smugly, wishing she'd made microwave popcorn. She was about to get up and make some when she looked over and saw Loki had conjured up a giant gold bowl of fruit and was lazily munching grapes as he watched.

She held out her hand, and he grudgingly handed her a bunch of grapes. They were the good kind—seedless, and cool, bursting on her tongue as she bit into the tart skins.

It was deeply weird watching a movie with Thor's crazy brother.

For one thing, after the first fifteen minutes or so, he stayed completely quiet, even so much as leaning forward, transfixed. Darcy wasn't sure if it was because he'd never seen CGI before, or because of the story. She figured based on the first time she'd tried to show Thor an episode of Doctor Who that he was having trouble parsing the data. Something about Asgard totally being old school when it came to entertainment, and not understanding stuff like voiceovers, time cuts, and pretending that if something was out of frame, then it didn't really exist.

She used to think it was just an Asgardian thing, except Steve had the same problem and would go on and on about how he missed radio until Tony loaded up an iPod with The Shadow for him. Last time she'd checked, he was actually watching telenovelas voluntarily in the afternoons, with the mumbled excuse that he had always wanted to learn Spanish.

Then there was the part in the movie where Stoic told Hiccup that he wasn't his son.

Darcy stole a glance at Loki. He had gone completely rigid and still, paler than usual (and he was vampire pale already) and Darcy swore she saw the sheen of tears in his eyes. She was about to say "Oh my God, are you crying?" but gritted her teeth and kept her mouth shut because if anything was going to push him over the edge and possibly into a murderous rampage, she didn't want to have to explain to Fury that it was Jeffrey Katzenberg's fault.

She muted the TV when they hit the end credits, even though she was totally loved the song over the drawings even if she didn't know what language half the lyrics were in, and turned to see Loki staring thoughtfully at the screen.

He'd taken off his helmet, and was sitting cross-legged on the ridiculous sofa, reminding her of kids during story time in the tiny Puente Antiguo public library. The grapes were gone, and her stomach rumbled at their memory. She'd had nothing but pie and cocoa since lunch, which was seriously dumbass move on her part, but she was warm and comfy under the blanket, and slightly sleepy.

"So, what did you think?"

He nearly jumped out of his skin, as if he'd forgot she was even there. The rapt look of attention faded to carefully studied boredom as he stood, the plush velvet chaise fading until it disappeared completely.

"It was diverting enough, I suppose. Even if it is meant for the very young."

Darcy laughed. "Liar. You totally loved it."

"Don't be absurd."

"You barely breathed when you thought Hiccup was dead."

"My mind was elsewhere."

"Wanna borrow the disc? It has extras like commentary and making-of specials and stuff."

"No. It is a story for children. The world... the universe is not so kind to those that are different."

Darcy pulled back the afghan and sat up, setting her glasses down on the glass top of the coffee table before she rubbed at one eye with a knuckle.

"I knew I shouldn't have showed you this movie. It just validates your life choices and worldview."

Loki's mouth quirked in a self-mocking smile.

"Don't try and analyse me, Cuckoo."

"Nah, I'll leave that up to the professionals. Thanks for not killing Dr Cunningham, by the way. It would totally suck."

"What makes you think—"

"I think if I'd had siblings, it would have been a pretty weird scene," Darcy continued on as if he hadn't spoken. Because she was not going to be the one to point out to Loki that he totally had an easy tell. "I totally suck at sharing a room. I mean, they had me in a dorm room my first year with this one sorority-wanna-be chick and she totally moved out into her boyfriend's room, which was awesome 'cause I ended up with a single for the rest of the year.

"So, you know... I think I get it. It sucks to be the adopted kid when you have a brother like Thor."

Loki was silent for a long moment, and then said softly, "All I ever wanted was for my father to look at me and see me as Thor's equal. All I ever wanted was for him to love me as his son."

"For what it's worth, your dad sounds like a dick," she offered truthfully. For all Thor was a total team player now, she remembered all too well how he had acted like a total spoilt brat when he'd first landed on Midgard. It must have totally sucked, constantly being compared to a guy you personally thought was a dick on wheels.

"Did Thor tell you how things ended between us?" Loki said after an uncomfortable pause.

"He said you fell off the broken rainbow bridge."

"Not quite." Loki's lips curved in something more like a grimace than a smile. "Thor always used to laugh, as he fought. For the sheer joy of battle. I never did, until we fought that last time, my brother and I."

Silence fell, and Loki didn't meet her eyes.

"All would have been well, if we had never gone to Jötunheimr." He closed his eyes and then opened them again, fixing Darcy with his stare. "I let go. I fell for an eternity."

"An eternity? Seriously?"

"Without the Bifröst to speed my journey..." He shrugged, like it was nothing, but it wasn't nothing. It was completely horrifying. No wonder the guy was batshit insane. Darcy shivered despite the perfectly temperature controlled apartment.

"Oh, man. So, like the stuff that happened for us in New Mexico for you was, like, a million years ago?"

"So it felt. I do not know how I survived. In truth, I had not intended to."

Darcy's eyes grew wide. She'd never have pegged Loki for suicidal. Crazy, sure. But he always seemed to love himself too much to try and off himself.

"I am in exile, as surely as if my strength, immortality, and armour were stripped from me and cast out of Asgard by my father as he did Thor."

"I'm sorry," she said quietly, and his expression grew hard.

"I do not want your pity, Darcy Lewis."

"You don't have it. You have my sympathy, which is totally different. Look it up if you don't believe me."

She squared her shoulders, ready for him to lose it or turn her into a frog, or whatever. But all he did was look at her, like she was a puzzle and all he had were the corners and edges and he had no idea what the big picture was supposed to be.

"I should go, before your would-be suitor returns." Loki scooped up his helmet, and smoothed the folds of his tunic with one hand.

"He's not my—we're just friends. Why does nobody believe me when I say that?"

Loki rolled his eyes. Actually rolled his eyes. Darcy scowled.

"What about our bet?"

"I enjoy having you in my debt, never knowing when I will call upon you to collect your part of our bargain."

"You're such a douche sometimes," she managed through a jaw-cracking yawn.

"Stay safe, Cuckoo. I'm counting on reaping my reward someday."

He faded out of existence just like the sofa.

Chapter 6
 
 
( 30 comments — comment )
caffeine-addled brain of smurf: NCIS » Ducky/Abbypurple_smurf on 24th January 2012 06:38 (UTC)
Just FYI, I totally went and purchased the MCU on DVD today, having resisted and resisted its lure, just so I can read this properly and with the correct movie!backstory etc for the characters in mind.

(Darcy is the main character in one, right?!)
(That was a joke. Alas.)
ljc: ncis (blam!)taraljc on 24th January 2012 06:48 (UTC)
Darcy comes from Thor, which is OMG MY FAVOURITE. But Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk are made of awesome, and Chris Evans is AMAZING in Captain America. I want to be Peggy Carter when I grow up.

To get this, you really technically only need Thor. But wtaching all of them in order will totes prime you for The Avengers this summer.

(Sadly, they had to re-cast Bruce Banner. But TIH is SO WORTH IT. Betty is AWESOME.)
caffeine-addled brain of smurf: Idina » Jazz hands!purple_smurf on 24th January 2012 06:52 (UTC)
I was going to try and catch up pre-Avengers, anyway, but this story just moved my schedule up a little. I was familiar with what happened in an osmosis kind of way, but now I just need to have Darcy in my life. And apparently Betty, yay!
ljc: thor (darcy veil)taraljc on 24th January 2012 06:57 (UTC)
Seriously, I need to write The Lorelei Signal story someday, where Betty Ross, Pepper Potts, Jane Foster, Darcy Lewis, and Peggy Carter save the world. Because you KNOW they could do it backwards in heels, with 200% less collateral damage than their boys.
seawenchseawench on 24th January 2012 18:09 (UTC)
Ooh. Yes, please!
daisybalance: Sleep is So Last Nightdaisybalance on 24th January 2012 06:45 (UTC)
Not gonna lie - I spent the past hour and a half refreshing your main journal, debating what the time differences are between us and when it would be 'tomorrow' for you... This story is my new crack and I am so in love. Really, really great stuff!

(And kudos for the "With a Little Help From My Friends" rec -- another fun read.)

Of course, now I also have to go find/watch How to Train Your Dragon, too.
ljc: vampire diaries (caroline > u)taraljc on 24th January 2012 06:50 (UTC)
OMG HTTYD IS THE BEST MOVIE EVER! *flappy hands*

I've mostly been updating between midnight and 2am, but tonight am bound and determined to actually get to sleep before 6am. I am a vampire. Not in an awesme Caroline Forbes way. Just in a sad "I work from home and live my life 5 hours off from everyone else" way. I have freelance I need to do, too, but lost about half an hour talking to my dad tonight in the middle of Castle.
animesirenanimesiren on 24th January 2012 12:05 (UTC)
I remember when I had to buy a McCloud book for an anime&manga class I took. Darcy and I are a bit on the same wavelength here.
Yay for updates :D Thank you!
ljc: DC junkietaraljc on 25th January 2012 02:03 (UTC)
Oh man, now I feel so old. I bought both books when they first came out (and have met Scott and even dined with him several times). But yays!
xczielxcziel on 24th January 2012 12:16 (UTC)
I am loving this like I love things that I, like, totally love! This fic is, literally, like crack - I whimpered when I saw there were 18 chaps because I was like "yay! 18!" and also "sob! only 18..." at the same time. ^_^

Randomly, this verse makes me want a bracelet to wear - WWLD - what would Loki do? Instead of "love, peace and forgiveness", we can have "crazy emo world domination!"
*evil grin*


Edited at 2012-01-24 12:18 (UTC)
ljc: the middleman (fights like a girl)taraljc on 25th January 2012 02:03 (UTC)
SO MUCH CRACK. I haven't committed crackfic in a very very long time, so it was a hell of a ride.
Hardened and Shameless Tea Drinker: More teacaerwynx on 24th January 2012 13:02 (UTC)
Must make more tea before reading! Yay morning treats -- thank you!
ljc: whofictaraljc on 25th January 2012 02:04 (UTC)
Hurrah the tea!
Jessevilredmenace on 24th January 2012 15:45 (UTC)
I keep telling myself that I'll log off LJ for a few days, so I can come back and read my eyes out with chapters at a time. No such luck.

I am really digging this.
ljc: avengers (loki)taraljc on 25th January 2012 02:10 (UTC)
Ta very much! I don't know what I'll do once this story is posted in its entirety. I've been tweaking the drafts for the last 3 months.
hiddencait: Jeremy Renner armshiddencait on 24th January 2012 16:01 (UTC)
Ooooo this was awesome and yeah totally creepy what with the doppleganger effect. And I can TOTALLY see Clint as a fan of the old fashioned pin ups lol
ljc: thor (pretteh clint)taraljc on 25th January 2012 02:17 (UTC)
omg Darcy was SO HORRIFIED. I can see her face SO CLEARLY.
CӒSΣYhazel_belle on 24th January 2012 17:04 (UTC)
Clint's gonna feel really bad that Loki did another visit this time and poor Darcy was all alone.
He's supposed to watch out for her, and le sigh, he cannot protect his lady love (Although he wouldn't mind seeing all dressed up like a pin up lady)

I love your Loki and Darcy interacting, it seems real and that Darcy would oddly enough be the one to understand him the most actually.
ljc: thor (darcy smile)taraljc on 25th January 2012 02:32 (UTC)
Oh, Clint's definitely going to find out. I promise. And thanks re: Loki and Darcy's interactions. I had way too much fun with the two of them.
CӒSΣYhazel_belle on 25th January 2012 03:46 (UTC)
I think what makes everyone enjoy their interactions is because it flows naturally and everyone has that friend who is a little stranger than most but is just someone you want too keep around because they make you happy and vice versa, ya know?

Also yaaaay for Clint & Daecy interactions
want. take. have.: widowghostrunner7 on 24th January 2012 17:42 (UTC)
Darcy paused the Blu-ray again, and dropped her head into her hands. "Really? Really, randomly Masterpiece Theatre-sounding alien? Really?"

THIS.
ljc: avengers (widow gun)taraljc on 25th January 2012 02:32 (UTC)
hehehehehhehehehehehehehehhe.
(Deleted comment)
ljc: avengers (loki)taraljc on 25th January 2012 02:33 (UTC)
I couldn't resist!
cricketkcricketk on 25th January 2012 01:57 (UTC)
I'm ridiculously engaged with this fic :-)

Yay!
ljc: avengers (widow gun)taraljc on 25th January 2012 02:33 (UTC)
Hurrah! So glad you're enjoying it!
schweinstyschweinsty on 25th January 2012 02:37 (UTC)
Oh, I am loving this fic - you write Darcy so well, and her dialogue with Clint and Loki is the best. Ngl, first thing I've done when I get online the last two days is refresh taserlove to see if it's been updated.
ljc: ao3taraljc on 25th January 2012 03:52 (UTC)
Sometimes I have trouble posting to moderated comms because of spam settings, but I'll always post the story to AO3 and here, tagged :)
sweetumms33: Iron Man Boomsweetumms33 on 25th January 2012 02:56 (UTC)
This has made a crappy day so much better! I love your Darcy, she's so normal, and human and real. And it's wonderful to see th friendship between her and Loki. So good!!! Excited for the next bit!
ljc: thor (curvy darcy)taraljc on 25th January 2012 03:54 (UTC)
I think part of the reason Darcy has become a fan favourite is because she is the character fans can identify with the most. And I do love the slow transition from "kidnapping" to "playdates".
( 30 comments — comment )