26 January 2012 @ 00:02
"Simple, Not Easy" 7/18, 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 7

Having resigned herself to the fact that there was no way she was getting laid tonight, Darcy brought up the news channels and scanned them for coverage of the Liberty Island hostage situation.

"So this is how Jane feels," she muttered as she muted the annoying anchorman's voice and she concentrated on the fuzzy news footage. Police had closed off access to the island and grounded all the news helicopters, so the best they could do was endlessly replay the CCTV security feeds from the island from before the Goblin jammed them.

She supposed she could have actually gone down the hall to Jane's room, where they could at least be freaked out together. But for all she knew, Jane was in the lab, or not even in the mansion. Both of them had just got used to the idea that Thor was nigh invulnerable; maybe Jane wasn't worried the way Darcy was, what with Clint being seriously mortal and, unlike Stark, wearing nothing but a glorified stab vest and motorcycle leathers in the face of homicidal supervillains.

"Oh yeah, way to make yourself feel better about the situation, Lewis," Darcy muttered, pulling one of the throw pillows off the sofa over her face so she could scream into it as loud as she could.

It helped. A little. But not much.

"Jarvis, can you load the Quinjet feeds on my TV?"

"I'm sorry, Ms Lewis, but you don't have clearance for that information."

"Can you at least tell me if Clint's okay?"

"I am monitoring his vitals, and they appear strong."

"I guess that's something."

Darcy tucked the afghan closer around her, and reached for the TV remote.




Darcy didn't remember falling asleep. One minute she was watching Anderson Cooper giving the entire history of Liberty Island, and the next minute there was an infomercial about non-stick cookware, and the blue LED clock on the cable box was reading 2:37 AM.

"Jarvis, are they back? Are they okay?"

"I believe that while the situation has been resolved with no casualties, the Quinjet is still on Liberty Island while they await transport for Mr Osbourne to The Vault. However, Mr Barton did send a text message, if you would care to read it?"

Darcy dove for her bag and fished out her phone.

AM FINE. DON'T WAIT UP. SEND NAKED PIXS IF YOU WANT, THO. GONNA BE A LONG NIGHT. -CB

She tapped out a short reply:

Never sending topless pics again. Last time they ended up on t Internets. Don't bother w/Google—GONE NOW. You'll just have to wait to unwrap present like a good little archer.

xxoxo

d


She set her phone down on the coffee table, and swung her legs over the side of the sofa, amazed at how wide awake she was. She couldn't stop smiling. Blowing a breath out to try and calm the pounding heart in her ribcage, she got up to get a bowl and her emergency Haagen-Dazs out of the freezer.

She was halfway to the kitchen when she heard a giggle behind her, and she closed her eyes, trying to will it out of existence.

Turning, she saw Loki smiling broadly at her. From about an inch away, as apparently tonight was not a night for respecting personal space. She clamped down hard on her instinctive reaction, which was to jump backwards and then kick him in the balls which—while it had served her well in similar situations in the past—probably wasn't that great an idea when dealing with someone who could transmute matter with a thought. The last thing she needed was to be turned into a lizard.

He wasn't in the full get-up with the stupid helmet, but appeared to be in some kind of trousers and tunic, with silver plate metal accents that caught the light at strange angles.

"Darcy! I have missed your face!" Loki's face was split with a grin—a genuine happy grin—and Darcy blinked at him for a second.

"Ah. I see someone has found the Internet." Then her eyes began to water from his breath. "And, it would appear, cinnamon schnapps."

"No, no—it's better than that. See? It has flakes of gold!" He held up a nearly empty bottle, the shape of which Darcy instantly recognised.

"Awesome. Goldschläger."

"A charming drink!"

"Only when you don't kill the bottle."

"Why have you not friended me back on the Facebook?"

"Because I didn't know it was actually you."

"Who else would it be? It's the Official Loki Odinson Fan Page! I desire to get more Facebook friends than Thor."

"I can pretty much guarantee you that Thor is not really on Facebook. He can barely use the toaster, let alone a laptop."

"Now you can see why I sought to postpone my illustrious brother's reign. Where is your guard dog?"

"Hostage situation. And he's not my watchdog."

"I assumed as much," Loki said flicking a finger towards her red lace bra, which was still hanging off the corner of her coffee table. Darcy could feel her cheeks heating up as she dove for it and stuffed it between two of the couch cushions.

"Fine. He's kinda my boyfriend, actually. Sorta. Well, he would be, if we could actually get naked. It's complicated."

"I forget, with your mayfly lives, how quickly you couple like beasts in the field."

"When you put it that way, it just sounds gross. How many of these have you had?"

"Three."

"Shots?"

"Bottles. How does one misuse a toaster?"

"He points at it and yells 'Toast, come forth!'"

"Does it work?"

"No, you dork. Toasters really don't care if you're the god of thunder. They're toasters."

"What did you just call me, wench?" Loki drew himself up to his full height and tried to loom imposingly. However, it was pretty hard to be intimidated by someone whose eyes were practically crossing, centre of gravity shifting as he swayed back and forth.

"I called you a dork, you loser."

"I'm neither a dork nor a loser you... you... minion."

"Hey!" Darcy whacked him on the arm. "I'm nobody's minion!"

"How do you categorise the services you perform for your Jane Foster?"

He had her there. "Okay, fine. I'm a minion. But I'm a highly trained minion." Darcy huffed. "Three bottles? How do you not have blood alcohol poisoning?"

"I am superior in every way."

"You are one drunk-ass bitch. Sit down before you fall down."

Watching the plastered god of mischief trying to land in her papasan chair gracefully was not unlike watching a monkey attempt to have conjugal relations with a football. Darcy leapt forward to catch the frame when it began to tip to the side, threatening to dump him onto his Asgardian ass on the floor.

"Hey there, big fella," Darcy said as she righted him. "Gravity works."

He kept giggling, face pressed into her shoulder.

"You smell good." His voice was muffled by her sweatshirt, and he managed to get her hair in his mouth as she steadied the chair on its base.

"Uh-uh. No way. This is a no-fly zone." Darcy indicated her rack with a circular sweep of her hand. "I thought we'd already covered that."

Loki just frowned at her as she perched on the ottoman across from him, pulling the sleeves of her sweatshirt down over her fingers.

"So, why the binge drinking?"

"I have journeyed to Asgard," he said gravely.

"I thought Heimdall was all 'You Shall Not Pass'?"

"The Bifröst is not the only way in and out of the Realm." He leaned forward again, adding in a stage whisper, "There are secret ways that are known to but a few."

"How can you still talk like Shakespeare while hammered?"

"Natural talent." Loki waved one hand imperiously through the air. The end result was him almost overbalancing the papasan chair again. Darcy had to bite her lip to keep from guffawing as Loki grasped both sides of the rattan frame and struggled to keep both feet on the floor as it rocked like a boat on the high seas.

"So... spill. I want all the deets."

"I appeared to the Lady Sif in her chambers, cloaked in shadows so I could escape Heimdall's prying eyes. I remained intangible, so she could not lay hands on me."

"Okay, so she couldn't throw your ass in the county lock-up. That makes sense. Of course, she couldn't jump your skinny ass, either."

"I had hoped for the latter, but was mindful of the former. At first, she railed at me for my actions, and did indeed threaten to drag me to my father for the Allfather's justice. But in time, I was able to convince her to meet with me in Midgard, under truce, to share a meal."

"Holy shit, you made your move! Go you! So... is this victory drinking? Or drowning our sorrows in cinnamon schnapps drinking?"

"Perhaps a bit of both," he admitted with a giggle, dropping the dead soldier to the carpet where it rolled beneath the sofa. With a wave of his hand, a fresh bottle appeared, and he cracked it open gleefully.

"I like this drink. It reminds me of home."

"Four bottles worth?"

"It seemed like a good idea at the time."

"Everything seems like a good idea when you're drunk. Driving non-stop to New Orleans, for example. Or getting your nipples pierced."

Loki's eyes grew wide and his gaze immediately dropped to her chest. Darcy crossed her arms reflexively.

"Jesus, not me you perv! Anyway, we're not talking about my drunken sexcapades, we're talking about yours."

"Did you know that Sif's hair used to be gold?"

"'Gold' as in blonde?"

"Yes. That. When I was just a boy, I cut it. I didn't mean any harm. It was just a teasing prank. I did not see why she needed her long, golden curls as a Shieldmaiden. Thor tried to beat me bloody, and she did not speak to me for a fortnight."

"Yeah, I'm kinda on her side, there. How old were you? Like, ten?"

"A stripling of three hundred."

Darcy's mouth dropped open in shock. "A hundred years of puberty? Man, glad to be mortal."

She snagged the bottle from his hands, and took a swig, grimacing at the burn as it went down.

"I stole away to Niðavellir where the dwarves first made Mjolnir and Gungnir, and wagered with the sons of Ivaldi that they could not make a shining raiment that would match Sif's golden tresses. They made hair of gold so fine—finer than the hair I'd cut, and once she put it on, it would grow as naturally as the shorn locks. I lost the wager, but it was a fair price to pay."

"What was the price?"

"They took an awl and golden wire and sewed my lips shut."

Darcy handed back the bottle, wiping her mouth on the back of her hand.

"That's disgusting! Oh my God, what is with you people? Have you never heard of, like, fines and juvie instead of casual mutilation?"

"Well, Brokkr first asked for my head, and then threatened to turn my tongue to actual silver. So really, it seemed quite reasonable at the time." He gave her one of those heavy-lidded, lazy smiles and, once again, she was weirded by how relaxed he was. "And anyway, it was easily healed. And for once, my father praised me for undertaking a quest on my own, instead of at my brother's side."

"So how come Sif's hair is black, if you gave her a magical weave?"

"She refused to wear it. And when her hair grew back, it was black as a raven's wing."

"She never forgave you?"

"Oh, she forgave me... after a suitable period of ignoring me or trying to kill me on the practice field. She had decided that I was right—there was no room for vanity in a warrior's life. I think she was mostly relieved. With her hair cut short as a boy's, she was left alone to practise unmolested on the field."

"So you did her a favour?"

"I suppose it could be seen as a boon. Speaking of which, I have come to collect mine." He leaned forward, and the papasan chair rocked dangerously on its base.

"You're hammered, and I'm in my jammies. Unless we can get a designated driver, we're not going anywhere."

"No, no, you misunderstand me. I arranged for the Lady Sif to break bread with me tomorrow evening, and I wish you to accompany us. As a sign of good faith on my part, that I plan no mischief, but am truly sincere in my desire for peace between us."

"How the hell am I supposed to do that?"

"You may bring your lover."

"He's not my—you want to double-date? Seriously?"

"Surely your guard dog would not want you to be in my company unescorted. Wasn't that the entire reason he was set to guard you in the first place?"

"But... but... don't you want privacy? You know, some one-on-one time to work your mad skills and get her to like you?"

"I believe that the presence of mortals whom she already knows and has affection for would only aid me in my quest. And you did give me your word."

Darcy opened her mouth to protest, but then snapped it shut again with an audible click. He had her there, she had promised. This just wasn't even on her list of wacky schemes she'd been anticipating.

Wingman. To an alien god of mischief. To a desperate and pathetic alien god on a date with a woman who probably wanted to kill him. Oh yeah, Barton was gonna love that.

"I... Okay. Fine. Sure. But I don't know if Clint will go for it."

"I care little either way. I only require you be there."

"I'll keep my end of the deal. But you have to promise me that no matter what happens, you won't lose your shit and go postal on innocent bystanders. And I am so counting myself there."

"Another deal? Was our last wager not proof enough that I am a man of my word?"

"Those are my terms. Take it or leave it."

"I accept." He took another long pull off the bottle, and coughed before grinning. "I like this drink. It has gold in it. Have you ever had it before?"

"Of course I have. Every idiot undergrad does at some point. It's a cultural thing. I'm just glad no-one introduced you to Glitterbombs. You're gonna have the mother of all hangovers tomorrow."

"I suffer no ill-effects from alcohol."

"No hangovers?"

"No hangovers. Hangovers are for mortals."

"I hate you."

"No you don't. You like me." He smiled widely, and reached out to pat her head. "You're my friend."

Darcy didn't quite know how to deal with that titbit of information. She was used to Loki being a snide, superior, all-around douche when it came to humans versus Asgardians. But he sat there in her papasan chair, green eyes wide and guileless as she stared at him.

"Hangover or no hangover, I'm getting you a glass of water and an aspirin."

She ran back to the bathroom, filled the glass that normally held her toothbrush from the tap, and grabbed the bottle of aspirin.

When she came back, Loki was gone, and a brown, fuzzy baby two-toed sloth was in her papasan chair.

"Seriously?"

The sloth made a little pathetic mewling noise and lifted its arms.

"Fine, you get cuddles." She lifted it into her arms, and it wrapped its arms around her neck. "But only because you're a baby sloth," she muttered, resisting the urge to nuzzle its soft fur.

"So, when you shape-shift, where does your additional mass go?"

It was weird getting the glare of death from a tiny baby sloth.

"Just because I was a Poli-Sci major doesn't mean I don't pick up a thing or two from all the science geeks I hang out with, you know."

The sloth made another mewing noise, and she set it back down in the chair and wrapped the brightly coloured afghan that lay folded over the arm of the sofa around it.

It cuddled the Goldschläger bottle like a teddy bear, and immediately began to snore.

"Why is my life so weird?" she asked the ceiling, which gratefully didn't reply.

Chapter 8

 
 
( 42 comments — comment )
Miss Molly etcmissmollyetc on 26th January 2012 06:28 (UTC)
HE TURNED INTO A BABY SLOTH OMG. ...::coughs:: Yes, sorry! Anyway, just wanted to tell you how much I'm enjoying this! I found it today, and I'm already really looking forward to the next part. Darcy is so funny, and so absolutely human in her insecurities and her outlook on life. I love her to death.
ljc: thor (pretteh darcy)taraljc on 26th January 2012 07:35 (UTC)
Baby sloths make EVERYTHING better. And thank you so much for the kind words; I really wanted to make Darcy as real as possible--flaws in judgement and all. I remember what it was like to hopelessly fall for a guy at 23 and have no idea what to do about it.
skippy_peanuts: Flack Lindsayskippy_peanuts on 26th January 2012 06:28 (UTC)
That was brilliant! I am totally in love with this story! I cannot wait for the next chapter! I think it would be hilarious if someone walked in and saw the "sloth" cuddling the bottle. :0)
ljc: thor (darcy smile)taraljc on 26th January 2012 07:36 (UTC)
It would be hard to explain how a sloth got there from Costa Rica, but if anyone could, it would be Darcy :)
schweinsty: Bourne: Spy Heroschweinsty on 26th January 2012 06:51 (UTC)
Omg, this was perfect. Hilarious. Of course she's his wingman, and of course he turns into a sloth. Oh, I can not *wait* to see Clint's reaction to the double date. Lol.
ljc: thor (loki trickster)taraljc on 26th January 2012 07:40 (UTC)
SLOTHS ARE LOVE. Also, Loki's been studying her. He knows Darcy loves baby sloths. And if he happens to get cuddles, well... everybody wins.
daisybalance: Pintdaisybalance on 26th January 2012 07:06 (UTC)
Well, sure - who *hasn't* cuddled a bottle of Goldschläger at one point or another.

I am on the edge of my keyboard waiting for Darcy to disclose any of this to Clint, much less all most of it.

Also: Sif.
ljc: thor (sif badass)taraljc on 26th January 2012 07:41 (UTC)
Oh, Clint finds out alright...

OMG SIF IS SO AWESOME. I ♥ HER.
HawkMoth: cake or deathhawkmoth on 26th January 2012 12:17 (UTC)
Reading each chapter is the highlight of my day!

(And forgive me if instead of seeing a baby sloth, I'm picturing Loki as the Tickle-Me Loris.)
ljc: avengers (loki)taraljc on 26th January 2012 20:37 (UTC)
I do not know what a slow loris looks like, but I am VErY well-versed in sloths, thanks to Boo's "sloth of the day" posts at work.
HawkMoth: Cragenhawkmoth on 27th January 2012 01:06 (UTC)
Well, I was gonna post the link to the original Tickling Slow Loris video, but there's so much controversy about the subject now I really don't want to.

But sloths is nice.
sweetumms33: Ewan and Nicolesweetumms33 on 26th January 2012 13:21 (UTC)
This just keeps getting better and better! The sloth! Oh Loki. And Clint's text was so cute and so him. This has been a horrid week, but a new chapter every day has kept me going!
ljc: avengers (cap salutes you)taraljc on 26th January 2012 20:38 (UTC)
I'm so glad I can brighten up your week! Mine's been fairly horrible as well, so I totes understand.
Occasional Renaissanceregonym on 26th January 2012 14:05 (UTC)
This story makes having to get up at 5:30 am to bike to class so much more bearable, I cannot even tell you. :D I've been enjoying the daily updates, this fic is awesome.
ljc: thor (darcy smile)taraljc on 26th January 2012 20:39 (UTC)
Oh good heavens, you're getting up only a scant few hours after I'm going to bed! Now I feel more like a vampire than ever.

There's just something about crackfic that lends itself to being serialised, I think.
Terrieterrie01 on 26th January 2012 14:43 (UTC)
Awww. Loki is... kinda sweet. For Loki. I love the line "You're my friend." Makes me wanna hug the guy.
ljc: avengers (hawkeye arm)taraljc on 26th January 2012 20:40 (UTC)
Poor Darcy. She's been vaguely traumatised, while Loki otoh is all "yays I have a friend!" Tho I do think he'd NEVER have expressed that if he hadn't been pissed off his head.
Taniajanus_74 on 26th January 2012 15:19 (UTC)
Fantastic chapter :)
ljc: thor (curvy darcy)taraljc on 26th January 2012 20:40 (UTC)
*glees*
Jessevilredmenace on 26th January 2012 15:31 (UTC)
"Toast! Come forth!"

YES!
ljc: avengers (thor)taraljc on 26th January 2012 20:41 (UTC)
That cracked my ass up SO HARD when I wrote it. lunik_the_bard can attest to it.
sun gladiator arihariboo on 26th January 2012 16:43 (UTC)
HE TURNED INTO A BABY SLOTH FOR CUDDLES. This is the best friendship ever. And he wants her support on a possible double date. Darcy's his wingwoman! Every level of this fic delights me.
ljc: avengers (widow gun)taraljc on 26th January 2012 20:42 (UTC)
Loki has studied Darcy, and totes knows her love of sloths from the tumblr. He's playing DIRTY.
brown-eyed girl: text - karl - the microphone fellatio mourbancate on 26th January 2012 18:25 (UTC)
I continue to LOVE THIS LIKE CRAZY. Highlight of opening LJ every day: new installment of Darcy being awesome and Loki being oddly adorable! (And Clint being sexy as HELL, OMG.)
ljc: thor (loki seriously)taraljc on 26th January 2012 20:42 (UTC)
I love Loki, even when I want to smack him around and force him to go to a therapist.
dizzykjdizzykj on 26th January 2012 19:33 (UTC)
People on the bus are looking at me all funny - evidently it is not normal to be giggling (with random snorts of laughter added in) when looking at your phone.
That was GENIUS. Love drunk!Loki.
xxxxx
ljc: avengers (coulson)taraljc on 26th January 2012 20:43 (UTC)
I am now picturing all the other denizens of Elephant and Castle giving you The Eye. But omg SO MUCH FUN to write, that was. For serious.
Gunbunny: colinburntcopper on 26th January 2012 20:05 (UTC)
flaily hands of *glee*. no, really, how is Drunk!Loki so cute? (totally blaming the Hiddleston, evil earwormer of 90s dance music that he is) AND... he totally did the baby sloth thing as a kid to get out of tellings off.

as ever, love for Darcy. And I do adore your telling of the Sif hair story.
ljc: thor (loki in jotunheimr)taraljc on 26th January 2012 20:44 (UTC)
Loki is such a weirdo. And I blame Hiddleston too. Some of the photos from Avengers filming wormed theri way into this, in terms of physicality and facial expressions.
symbioticdeathsymbioticdeath on 26th January 2012 22:05 (UTC)
If I could draw, I would draw the last scene...hebe baby sloth. Looking forward to the date!
ljc: penguin mug of AWESOMEtaraljc on 26th January 2012 23:20 (UTC)
symbioticdeathsymbioticdeath on 27th January 2012 00:25 (UTC)
Zomg adorbs! Thank you!
Mithfeniellegal_padawan on 26th January 2012 22:15 (UTC)
Here via comicstore_news.

Glee. Just... absolute and complete -glee-. I love this story. I have nothing more to say.

Other than I will be lurking like whoa for the next chapter tonight.

Edited at 2012-01-26 22:16 (UTC)
ljc: avengers (cap salutes you)taraljc on 26th January 2012 23:27 (UTC)
Yays! I also need to poke my beta, because I am starting to catch up with her, and that could mean a day or two delay in getting chapters 9-11 out. OH NOES.
i'd like to teach the world to sing: this is not a cakeizzyfics on 26th January 2012 23:25 (UTC)
Can't wait until Clint finds out!

(also think certain lj people might have had some say in baby sloth additions--so adorable)
ljc: avengers (cap salutes you)taraljc on 26th January 2012 23:26 (UTC)
I have been known to do many many things to make boosette happy. Turning Loki into a cuddly baby sloth was but one of these things.

Edited at 2012-01-26 23:32 (UTC)
hiddencait: Jeremy Renner Hawkeye close uphiddencait on 27th January 2012 01:45 (UTC)
Eeeeeee sloth cuddles! And iiiick Gold Slauger.. no thank you! lol

And poor poor Clint.. he's going to lose his shit poor guy.

Though Sif!! Everything is better with Sif!
ljc: thor (sif cocky)taraljc on 27th January 2012 01:58 (UTC)

Everything IS better with Sif. I still have some pre-movie Sif/Thor I need to finish for my Boo. And eventually, assuming The Avengers doesn't break my love, there will be some epic post-Thor Sif fiction from me.
hiddencait: Jeremy Renner Hawkeye slidehiddencait on 27th January 2012 04:22 (UTC)
Re:
Yeah it's a little scary to contemplate right now. This is the only time I think I've ever seen such major fannon hit BEFORE the actual cannon material is out lol.
ljc: star trek (pike/number one bed)taraljc on 27th January 2012 04:25 (UTC)
Re:
I'm used to it, actually. I wrote a ridiculous amount of Pike/Number One based on one episode of TOS and Pike from Star Trek (2009). I'm VERY good at latching onto supporting characters and making a meal out of a morsel :)
Everyone's lost but me!seriousfic on 4th February 2012 23:58 (UTC)
Somewhere Kirsten Bell is crying
Loki as a baby sloth. Either he's firmly on the side of light or he's the most diabolical mastermind who ever lived.
layla_hotep on 25th February 2012 04:20 (UTC)
"Fine, you get cuddles."
Darcy for the mother f--king win!
Leave it to Loki to make Darcy be his wing girl.
Clint, like the rest of the hetrosexual male population, is no match for a huge rack.
( 42 comments — comment )