Beautiful Monster

Darcy and Loki. TaserTricks. Just one way in which the two could have met. Title is from the Ne-Yo song of the same name.

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Darcy Lewis had never considered herself as lucky. Sure, she'd met Thor - who is dating her boss, by the way, -  and helped stop the Dark Elves invade Earth, but she'd also been drawn into the maelstrom of secrets and lies that was S.H.I.E.L.D. Forced to sign document after document ensuring her silence on what she had witnessed. Tossed from her life as a Political Science student and intern into safe house after safe house. At least she still had Jane. Darcy was sure she'd have gone mad ages ago if it hadn't been for the comforting presence of the slightly erratic Jane Foster.

Now, she was alone. Summoned to Stark Tower - Stark Tower, for Christ's sake! - for reasons unknown, surrounded by high-profile, intelligent people, feeling very out of place. Agent Coulson met her at the door, smiling his emotionless smile that was just as annoying as it had been the first time she'd met him.

"Miss Lewis. I hope you had a pleasant journey." She ignored his gesture towards her bags, preferring to keep her belongings close to her. She still hadn't forgiven him for taking her I-Pod.

"As pleasant as it could be, considering nobody has given me a clue as to why I'm here. S.H.I.E.L.D seems to be more adept at threats than it is at information."

Coulson gave no indication that he'd heard her, only turning towards the lifts to their right in the enormous lobby. Despite the mist surrounding the reasons for her visit, she still allowed herself to gawp shamelessly at the building, knowing it had probably cost more to build and run than she would earn in her lifetime. She stayed where she was in the foyer.

"I'm talking to you, Mr-I-Know-More-Than-I'm-Saying-As-Usual," frustration clear in her raised voice.

Coulson turned, still bloody smiling. "You're here for you're own safety, Miss Lewis. We have reason to believe you are in danger, and we need to keep an eye on you." He beckoned her to follow him. "I'm sure you understand."

There was an icy edge to his tone that hadn't been there before, and Darcy shuddered, remembering just how powerful the man in front of her was. Her mouth had opened to give a smart retort, but she closed it with a resigned sigh. So much for answers.

Darcy sighed, slumping on the really comfortable, really big bed in her room. She'd been shown there by a blushing young man on that first night. He'd been blushing because she'd used her 'talents' to flirt with him, trying to get an answer, any answers as to what was going on. He'd stuttered, looking away, but had given her nothing to work with. Of course, there was the possibility that he knew nothing but a girl has to be optimistic. That had been three days ago. Being in Stark Tower was all well and good, but what was the point? She was confined to her room, which had an en-suite, and the dining room/kitchen space down the hallway. At some point her meals were delivered to the table, but try as she might, she never saw anyone. No one to answer the questions burning in her mind, inducing nightmares as her imagination went into overdrive. What exactly was it she was in danger from? How long was her confinement here going to last? Not knowing was driving her insane.

Void of the human contact she craved so desperately, Darcy took to talking to herself. She lay on the bed, staring up at the blank slate of the ceiling, as if it would, by some phenomenon, give her answers.

"I wonder what Jane's doing," she murmured. "I bet she's in some lab somewhere, working miracles and talking science-y talk." She sighed longingly. "I miss her." An ironic laugh bubbled up inside her. "Hell, I even miss her science-y talk."

"She misses you too."

The voice, silky and dangerous, startled Darcy so much that she fell off the bed. Once she'd recovered, pushing her glasses back up her nose, and trying not to look too stupid as she got up, she looked around for the source of the voice. Night had crept up on her, and the room was dark. Shadows leaped and danced on the walls, distorting her vision. She could see no-one.

"Who are you? What are doing here?" Her voice came out stronger than she felt. "What do you know about Jane?" She cursed her lack of foresight in not bringing any weapons with her. She didn't even have her Taser.

"Oh, you don't need that Midgard weapon, Darcy Lewis. You're smarter than that." She jumped. The voice was closer, almost a whisper in her ear. A laugh echoed around the room, soft, deadly, but not threatening.

Darcy shivered, but not from fear. Something told her she had no need to be afraid. She should be, and some, rational, part of her mind was shouting at her to get away, call for help, but curiosity won over.

"Show yourself!" she cried, turning in circles. "Or are you a coward?" The taunt was one that had worked plenty of times in the movies she'd watched with Jane, but would it work in real life?

He laughed again - Darcy had come to the conclusion that it was definitely a man - a laugh that reverberated through her body and sunk into her soul. A sudden bought of want drew an involuntary shudder. God, that was sexy. She banished that thought to the dark recesses of her mind. Bad Darcy. Not the right time.

"Oh, Darcy. My Darcy. You have so much to learn. I will be happy to teach you." This time, his voice seemed to come from all around her. Darcy wondered whether this was the threat Coulson had been talking about.

"Yes, little one, I am the danger he spoke of. S.H.I.E.L.D should learn to keep it's nose out of things that don't concern it."

She flinched. That was the second time he'd done that -

"Read you mind? Yes. One of my many talents. But you're not scared of me." He sounded puzzled, intrigued. "You're a mystery, Darcy. One I wish to unravel."

Her curiosity made her bold. "Who are you? You know who I am, so it's only fair you return the favour."

The shadows grew. Shapes seemed to curl out of the walls, only to disappear when she focused on them. Vines of darkness reached out to caress her, twining around her in a twisted lovers embrace. But she was done playing his game. "Quit stalling. Show yourself!"

"But I do so love a little game, don't you agree?" A hand materialised on her shoulder, the voice right behind her, murmuring in her ear. She swivelled, refusing to let him gain the upper hand once again. The man stood in front of her could only be described as gorgeous. Dressed head to toe in green and gold leather, armour glinting in the light that seemed to pour from him, she could see every detail of his lean, muscular body. His face was angular with a chiselled jaw-line and eyes that changed colour as the light danced on them - ocean blue, emerald green, a mixture of land and sky that eddied and swirled, mesmerising her. His hands were extended, as if to say well, here I am, and a smirk danced on his lips.

Of course, she recognised him. She remembered the way he had looked in the TV footage from Stuttgart, the danger in his eyes, the arrogance in his stance. She remembered the way she felt when she saw him, the stutter her heart gave, her attraction despite, or maybe because of, the threat he possessed. The boyfriends she'd had - the 'bad' boys, dressed in leather, as he was now.

"Loki," she whispered, stumbling backwards.

He pursued her, prowling silently forwards "I have no intention of hurting you, my dear. I only wished to see you, in person. The girl who knocked my br-Thor unconscious. The girl who is always underestimated, underpaid, overworked. The girl who piqued my curiosity."

Darcy stopped, still, quiet, tilting her head to the side, confused. "Why? I mean, I'm just the intern who knows too much."

Loki stopped just inside her personal space. He reached out a hand to cup her chin. She stayed stock still, heart beating like a rabbit caught in headlights, well aware of the power he wielded. Or was it that kind of beating heart when you are caught in the caretakers cupboard with a boy you are supposed to hate? 'Cause that had also happened to her.

"And that is exactly why. You are so much more than that. I can unlock you're potential, help you find who you are meant to be." His hand moved to card through her hair, soft, gentle - disarming. She relaxed into his touch, finding comfort in his hands after the time alone. "The things I could show you, Darcy. The things we could do."

"We?" she asked, still unsure of his intentions, his motives, but she didn't move away.

"You are beautiful, Darcy Lewis. I know you desire adventure, you are attracted to danger, to the adrenaline rush it gives you. With me, I promise you'll never be bored." He sounded so sincere that Darcy almost forgot that he was the God of Lies.

She looked away. "You attacked Earth. Killed hundreds of people. Betrayed your own brother. Why should I trust you?"

"Thor is no brother of mine," Loki spat, letting his hand fall from her head. "I am no hero, but neither am I the villain. Thor only ever told his version of the story." His voice softened, suddenly aware of the terrified look on Darcy's face at his own look of rage and sadness overtook his. "You don't have to trust me, not yet. Just believe me when I say I mean you no harm. Let me in, Darcy. Allow yourself to give in to the darkness within you. I'll keep you safe."

Darcy had no time to consider what his word meant before he was kissing her, pulling her closer, devouring her every breath like a drowning man. It was a passionate kiss, filled with fire and emotion. His lips were cold on hers, but instead of repulsing her, it drew her in. She kissed back, finally, when her brain had adjusted to the fact that she was being kissed. He was first to draw back, breathing only slightly more noticeable, whereas Darcy was gasping for breath. The feeling of want she had experienced earlier came back, more insistent, licking at her skin like flames.

Loki smirked, but his hand was gentle as he pushed a lock of hair out of her eyes, the gesture so tender she almost kissed him again. Before she came to her senses and realised exactly who it was. Her eyes widened and she backed away.

"I-I shouldn't have done that. You...You must go."

Was it the light, or did the fire in Loki's eyes dim slightly, his smirk replaced for a split-second with a look of disappointment, of regret, of sadness.

"I expected more from you than for you to be so shallow as to overlook our obvious attraction for the prejudice and hate of your friends and S.H.I.E.L.D." His voice had turned cold, and an icy wind blew through the room.

He turned away, glancing around the room, the light that spilled from his skin casting shadows in the dark recesses of Darcy's thoughts. Although he maintained a disinterested expression, she knew he was taking in every detail, everything that showed her presence. Which wasn't much.

"They keep you locked up in here like a prisoner." His voice held disgust as he ran his hand over the few clothes she'd packed, hanging in a wardrobe. "You owe them no loyalty, Darcy. You could be mine, but you still choose them. Why?"

The last word was a whisper floating around the room as his whole body seemed to shrink, no longer the imposing figure of Loki the trickster, but a mere shadow. Darcy could see the whirlpool of emotions running across his face in the mirror on the door of the wardrobe, the regret in his eyes. He had never looked more like the boy Thor had described - aloof, but so alone. In that moment, her heart bled for him. The god that no one wanted. Despised and cast out. Alone.

Her feet moved, though she'd given them no instructions. Tentatively, her hand reached out to his shoulder, mirroring his earlier actions. Swift as a shark, and just as deadly, Loki twisted, seizing her wrist in a vice-like grasp. He pulled her towards him. His face contorted into a snarl. All Darcy's scattered fears came rushing back, tangling on twisted vines in her mind.

"Do not push me. You are not in control here, Darcy." As if to illustrate that fact, he brought his hand up, causing Darcy to flinch. Loki stopped before he actually hit her, noticing how she cowered, her hands coming up to protect herself.

"Who hit you?"

She glanced up, her brow furrowed. "What?"

Loki released her, and her body collapsed. Quick as a whip, he caught her again, his grasp gentle. "You've been hit before. You are used to it. Tell me who."

Darcy barely registered his cold hands holding her up. Images flashed before her eyes.

 

"Tell me!" he screeched, bringing his hand down again in a slap that would bruise before the day was out. She fell to the floor, scrambling backwards until she felt the wood of the door behind her. He advanced, face red and angry.

"Jake, I'm sorry! I don't know what you're talking about! Please stop!"

"Bitch. You know exactly what I mean. Tommy."

She blinked, eyelids sticky with the beginnings of a black eye. "Tommy? We're friends, that's all."

Jake shook his head, snorting in disgust. "I can't believe you're still lying. Lying to my face. How dare you!" His voice reached a crescendo. She tried to make herself as small as possible, pretend it this wasn't happening. That it hadn't happened before. That it wouldn't happen again. That proved impossible when Jake reached her and grabbed her ponytail, dragging her painfully upright.

"Tell me the truth, Darcy."

Now she was really in trouble. No longer was he shouting. The deadly calm he was emitting was even worse.

But he loved her. Of course he did. He told her so, over and over, as he helped her put ice on her bruises.

And of course she repeated it back to him. She loved him. She had to. He loved her because no one else would. She loved him because, before Jane, she had had no one else.

She didn't have to say anything. Loki could see it in her eyes. She couldn't see the cogs turning in his head, his plan changing even as he spoke.

"It's alright, Darcy. I won't hit you. I would never do that. Not to you. I can't promise you won't get hurt, by me and others, but I will keep your safe from your fears."

She stayed silent, attempting to get her tears under control.

Loki held her, content to let her calm down. After that, things could get started. But plans change all the time, as he knew all too well.  But that didn't mean he had to like it. He cursed colourfully in his head as the hands around Darcy darkened in colour, the frost he kept at bay most of the time emerging at the wrong moment.

Darcy felt his arms stiffen around her. Only then did she become aware of the bone-numbing cold emanating from his body. She yelped and jerked herself from his grasp.

"So cold."

She turned to look at him and could not help the gasp that left her. He met her gaze.

"Darcy..."

"I knew you weren't Asgardian, but I never..."

Loki's blue lips turned up in his usual sardonic sneer. "Thor didn't mention I'm half frost-giant then?"

Darcy didn't miss the hint of bitterness in his voice. "I - "

He turned away, walking towards the window. His form was silhouetted against the moonlight just visible behind the curtains.

"You have every right to detest me. I'm a monster; there's no denying that."

Darcy found herself shaking her head. "Only because you let everyone around you decide who you are. I've learnt the hard way that you cannot live like that."

Loki smiled then. A proper smile, lifting his eyes and lighting up his face. A rare sight, it only made him even more beautiful. But Darcy couldn't see. Darcy would never be allowed to see that weakness. For weakness it was. And he could never show weakness. Especially in front of her. So he let his features slide back into the coldness they were used to, echoing the frost of his skin, before turning back towards her.

He held out his hand, blue and all.

"Come with me."

Darcy stayed where she was. He eyes didn't move from his form, and she had to remind herself to breath. Danger emanated from his every word and gesture, his stance - even his clothes. Darkness radiated from his icy exterior and his frozen heart. But still she found herself drawn to him. Still her body would not obey her mind, screaming at her to run, get help. - get out. He was like a black hole, and she was a star about to be engulfed.

"I - "

He didn't smirk. Nor did he frown. His features stayed impossibly still, even as hers dithered between want and fright, desire and reason.

Time slowed down. Nothing moved. Her eyes never left the whirlpools of diamonds in his. But the moment had to end. A decision had to be made. Fortunately for Darcy, the decision was taken out of her hands as the moment shattered and broke around them.

"Miss Lewis? Are you alright? I am detecting an alien presence within your room."

The spell was broken. Darcy stumbled, blinking. She looked around stupidly for a second before realising.

"JARVIS?"

"Yes, Miss Lewis. Mr Stark is on his way."

Loki seemed unfazed by this new hurdle when she finally turned back towards him. The corners of his lips turned up, a sneer of some sorts. Darcy blinked again.

"Are you finding it hard to grasp what's going on, my dear?" His voice was back to it's silky, smooth seductiveness.

"Why...how...?"

"Oh, I disabled that silly AI Stark calls technology before I even entered the building. It seems I may have underestimated Stark's resilience though."

The AI's disembodied voice rang out again, startling them both.

"Loki Laufeyson. Mr Stark is uttering some very choice words about what he'll do when they catch you. Step away from Miss Lewis."

Loki, of course, stepped towards Darcy. He'd never been one for following orders. He cupped her chin gently and leant down. Darcy closed her eyes.

"Until the next time, my love."

When Darcy opened her eyes, he had gone. The remnants of his laugh echoed around the room. She shivered.

"Miss Lewis? I am no longer detecting the presence of the Asgardian. Are you ok?"

Darcy didn't speak. Gradually, her mind caught up with what had just happened. She started shaking, tears coming unbidden to her eyes.

"Oh my god."

Her legs no longer seemed to want to support her body and she collapsed, shuffling on the floor until her back met the corner. She stayed there, clutching her knees, face buried in her arms, crying. The enormity of the events came rushing in all at once and the outpouring of emotion was overwhelming.

This was how Tony Stark and Steve Rogers found her, several minutes later; almost comatose, uncontrollably sobbing. But her heart was warm. He head was filled with his smile, the way he made turned the butterflies in her stomach to a herd of stampeding rhinos - in the good-but-scary-I'm-crazy way - the way he made her feel; attractive, special, wanted - loved. The darkness in him filled her, consumed her in a way that left her wanting more.

That was not the last time Darcy would see Loki. However, destiny kept them apart, as destiny always seems to; keeping the innocent safe from the devils, however much they belong together.

Darcy and Bucky? Well, that's another tale entirely...

 

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