Who: Darcy and Loki What: Valentines Day. Where Loki offers to take Darcy to another realm. The ultimate way to impress your date and get a second date. When: Valentines Day. Rating/Warnings: Green
Valentines Day appeared to be a specific holiday for rituals meant to invoke feelings of romance with one's so-called significant other. Loki made it a point to study this realm as studiously as he had once studied weaving spells or lore of the nine realms in the libraries. Midgard wasn't of much interest so he was sadly ill informed. Or, rather, Odin lost interest other than to keep an eye from afar, and not meddle in Earth's affairs. For all the good that did, seeing as where they were, now.
Even so, there were still some good things that this realm had to offer. Pastries and coffee were two. It also was the realm that his Goddess of Sarcasm, Darcy Lewis, tread upon, and that made it worthy of further study and of further interest.
That was why he was waiting just outside a coffee shop nearest the central park of the city, after texting Darcy the location. She was likely working at whatever task Stark or Strange appointed her to now, so he was studying on his phone that one should not go overboard when taking the first tentative steps toward dating. He only wished he could be as bold as Thor was in that capacity, but he was far too mindful and guarded. He had dressed nicely for the occasion, but not too nicely. Not a suit, but a form fitting deep green sweater and black pants and shoes, with a long overcoat thrown on. It was the Midgardian equivalent of his usual Asgardian attire, or the closest approximation of such.
Darcy couldn’t remember the last time that she had a Valentine’s Day date. It wasn’t one of those things that she worried too much, because she had other things to think about. Like gods showing up and time being all messed up. In fact she’d barely realized that it was that day until Loki asked her out. It was kind of amusing that this was going to be their first date. She still wasn’t sure why he was taking her out, of all people. Surely there was Valkyrie, or Sif or … anyone really but her. It was flattering, and she liked him, despite the fact that he drove her crazy.
She got herself ready, wearing a casual dress with a sweater over top that showed off her finer assets, but not too much and went to meet him for coffee and whatever else it was they were going to do. In truth she was a little nervous. It was one thing to just be around him and hang out, this was something else. She kept telling herself not to be nervous and just be herself.
Spotting him outside of the coffee shop, she wandered over with a smile. “Hey.. you look nice.”
Although he would never admit it, he was nervous as well. It didn't show outward, and he was looking like his usual godlike aloof self as people passed around him. That was until he saw Darcy approaching and he looked her over from head to toe with an easy smile, even before she was close enough to say anything.
"Thank you. And may I say that you are truly a sight to behold, Lady Darcy." He locked his gaze with hers, taking her hand so he could place a kiss there. He didn't let go immediately, since he was busy sort of looking at her as a whole and not just lingering on those finer assets. "I thought that we might have coffee and a walk through this city's central park. Unless you have other ideas?"
That was meant as an innocent question about other places to see. Of course.
Normally the whole hand kissing thing was a turn off, but that was usually because the guys that did it were into that whole m’lady thing and it was horrible. This wasn’t so bad though. She kind of liked it. “Thank you,” she said with another smile. Darcy could appreciate the way he was looking at her, like she wasn’t just a set of boobs, or someone that he could get into bed. It was nice.
She shook her head, “No other ideas. That sounds perfect.” It had been a while since she’d been to the park anyway. But she was sure that other couples would be out and about too. Since they were getting coffee, she turned and went inside so that she could get some, figuring he was right behind her. That didn’t take too long, and once again they were outside. “Have you been to Central Park before?” He’d been on Earth for a while, but she didn’t know what he saw and didn’t see.
He knew all too well that Darcy was much more than a set of boobs and someone to quickly bed only to leave before the break of day.
As they left the coffee shop and walked into the park, Loki had fallen into step beside her, eyeing their surroundings while also stealing several glances at Darcy.
"Indeed, I have. It is where my brother and I met Tony Stark upon Thor's arrival," he replied, pausing to take a sip of coffee. "He took us to a tavern on the green for drinks, and certain matters of were spoken of. I confess that I've not seen all of this park, nor much else of the city."
Darcy ooh’d slightly. “Tavern on the Green huh? I don’t have the money to eat there.” And it sounded a little too high class for her, come to think of it. But it sounded nice. “There’s a zoo, and there’s a couple of gardens. There’s an Alice in Wonderland garden that’s pretty neat. Uh.. that’s a book.. Written by a guy on a lot of drugs. It’s a kids book though.” Go figure. “And there’s horse drawn carriage rides, but I feel bad for the horses. I think they get worked too much.”
There were a lot of cool places that she could take him though, she loved this city. Maybe not as much as some people, but it was the one that she grew up in. She couldn’t help but love it. That being said, she’d gone to Virginia to go to school, so that also had a special place in her heart. “I can take you around to other places sometime, if you want.”
Loki's eyebrows raised up at certain statements, and furrowed at others, like the Alice in Wonderland mention. He never left Darcy's side, listening to her speak her mind with far greater ease and openness than he was ever capable of.
True, the Man of Iron had been most generous, no doubt due to being his brother's comrade. He made a mental note that perhaps he should acquire more wealth and take Darcy to that tavern, someday.
"I never minded carriage rides. And I would very much like to see any of these places you mention," he replied, sounding intrigued by all of it. "Was the one who penned the children's tale ill? I have seen many advertisements for drugs for all sorts of maladies. The list of side effects are mind-boggling. It made me wonder if the ailment is worse than the treatment is."
Darcy started heading off towards the statue, since it would take a bit for them to get over there. “Not ill to take drugs. Taking drugs like.. To get high. Recreationally. He liked the way it made him feel. And it made him feel all kinds of weird things. Alice is about a girl who goes to this make believe place called Wonderland. She meets all these animals that can talk and have jobs.. She grows really big and really small. It’s kind of hard to follow.” But she loved that book anyway, because of how weird it was.
Maybe Lewis Carroll had been sick, she had no idea really. Literature was only a side thing that she didn’t get to do much of. “But basically there’s a statue of Alice and the little animals she meets over there. It’s near the zoo, so we can see that next.” She was a little hesitant about the zoo, only because she thought the practice was slightly inhumane and thought they could treat animals better.
"Taking drugs for recreation. I can't fathom it."
The entire concept of medicine was a foreign one, since he hadn't ever been ill. But to take something for fun? Well, perhaps it was akin to the much strong drink they had to celebrate victories or festivals. He looked as though he was trying to wrap his mind around it, while taking a long drink of coffee.
"You speak fondly of this tale, written by a man addled by drugs," Loki noted as they walked, letting her lead him to where the statue was. This was definitely for the pleasure of her company, and it was pleasing indeed, but it also was helping him get his bearings more and more. He couldn't resist a bit of fond teasing. "This must have been a favorite tale of yours as a child. Enough to leave a lasting impression, for it seems as whimsical as you are now."
“Well it’s a pretty common thing around here. And it’s not so bad. Not that I’ve done a lot of it, but getting stoned isn’t a bad thing.” Let’s face it. Darcy looked like the kind of gal who smoked a lot of weed. She didn’t, but she’d tried it before. It was hard to do things like that when you were busy playing assistant to astrophysicists.
She was going to have to break it to him about the coffee being a drug itself then. Poor guy. “It’s a classic book.. Somehow. I don’t get it, but it’s fun.” She wasn’t sure that she would go that far, and no one had ever called her whimsical before. “You think I’m whimsical? Really?” That was definitely not in her vocabulary as a kid growing up. More like giant pain in the ass, and completely chaotic. That kind of thing.
Sadly, he only drank the coffee for the taste. More so when it contained cream and chocolate and sugar. Things that wouldn't affect his body in the slightest, either. But telling him might make him doubt that there was a lack of affect, because he did seem to develop quite the craving for the stuff. Enough that he went out to get coffee. A lot.
Or maybe it was because he was sneaking around parts of New York, and not really for sightseeing purposes. Because that was a thing too. Not that he's volunteering that tidbit of information.
Loki couldn't volunteer that information even if he wanted to - which he doesn't - because he was too busy staring at Darcy with raised eyebrows while blinking profusely.
"Your definition of stoned is probably quite different from mine. Stoning typically isn't a thing one volunteers for." He leaned down enough to say as close to her ear as possible, "I do think you whimsical, and perhaps a little rebellious as well."
Suppose she shouldn’t mention that the craving probably came from the caffeine then. Cause it was addictive, that was kind of the whole point about coffee. Darcy drank it mostly so that she didn’t fall asleep all the time, then she drank it for the taste. And she was absolutely addicted to the stuff. And there was no shame in it what so ever.
“Oh.. yeah. It’s a .. we have that kind of stoning too. Or we did. People don’t really do it any more, now it mostly means smoking weed and relaxing and eating food. But yeah. Not real stoning where they like throw stones at you.” Yikes. That would suck. “I’m not sure why they decided to call it being stoned. Other than maybe it makes you dazed like you would be if you got hit in the face with a rock.”
She smiled, looking a little pleased with herself. Rebellious was good. “I can accept that.” They were at the Alice in Wonderland statue now. She pointed to it, “That’s it!”
Loki was about to comment about stoning and her rebellious streak when he looked to where she was pointing at the statue. He found her excitement over something he thought was so simple to be rather infectious. As he drew closer he noted it was charming...if not a bit silly. He studied it closely, moving around it with interest, wondering such things as why that hare was wearing a coat. Or why was there some silly dwarf-like creature with a comically oversized hat on. The mushrooms seemed overgrown, but he had seen some almost as large on Vanaheim when he was much younger. He smirked at the mouse, and then smirked right at Darcy so much, that he fully expected for her to slap him senseless rather than continue the date. Sometimes, it was hard to refrain.
"The only shred of normalcy is the girl and what I imagine is her kitten." He turned to look at Darcy, a thought suddenly occurred to him. "It reminds me of you. You are surrounded by all manner of oddities and strange persons, yet you seem to remain yourself. One must wonder if that is part of your rebellious nature."
The statue brought back a lot of fond memories. She always liked coming to Central Park and having fun when she was younger with her friends. Though of course there was a lot of shit that went on in the park. New York was a pretty dangerous place if you didn’t know how to take care of yourself. It was a nice day though and people were enjoying themselves. She’d never actually been here on a date, so that was nice. She didn’t know why he was smirking, so she didn’t bother smacking him.
“I never had a cat, but yeah. Well she’s a little more vapid than I have. I may have the big boobs, but I was never as wide eyed and innocent.” It was a cute statue though. And she’d never thought about it like that. “You know.. You’re right. I’m myself, even though I’m surrounded by weird people.”
Loki wondered if Darcy Lewis was a lightning rod for weirdness, and somehow had some magical means of deflecting it all, even as it was simultaneously attracted to her. He didn't feel like there was anything abnormal about her, with no subtle magical manipulation or incredible vessel holding some secret power. Perhaps sarcasm and odd streams of thought were a considerable power all their own.
"You are surrounded by increasingly odd and dangerous situations," he pointed out, throwing his empty coffee cup toward a nearby garbage container. It arched through the air and landed with perfect precision, though he had already turned his back to it. His gaze was on Darcy and Darcy alone. "Yet I believe each strange incident has led us to this very spot. If they never happened, for better or worse, I would not find myself in such good company."
Certainly things had taken several turns for the worst, and due to his own meddling going wrong. Things might go terribly wrong again. This time, as he held one hand out to Darcy so that she could take it if she wanted, he was determined to not let things run afoul again.
That was certainly possible. Maybe it wasn’t some kind of coincidence that she’d decided to be an assistant to Jane instead of staying with Political Science. She’d needed the credits, but it had set her down this weird path that she hadn’t expected. There was that whole thing where she had a degree and didn’t use it of course. All that experience and she was basically still a gofer. Still she’d gotten to meet all these cool people, and that had to count for something.
“That’s definitely true,” she agreed. Thor had just kind of fallen from the sky nearly on top of them. That was pretty much fate. “I think you’re right. I mean I try not to believe in fate, but yeah.. It seems like a bit coincidence for all this.” Though she hadn’t thought he was capable of being anything but evil in the beginning, she was warming up to him.
She put her hand in his and smiled. “Okay, want to go see the animals?”
"To think, I thought so little of fate," he confessed. "Other than I once thought it cruel, or that which was idly tempted. I might stand corrected."
He returned the smile as while holding her hand in his, and decided that he liked doing this. Something about it felt right. And although it was a sunny day and nothing seemed amiss, he told himself he would never let anyone or anything hurt Darcy. Even if she was surrounded by monsters - of which he still told himself he was one, or could be one - or strange happenings, like sharks in tornados. Or the far worse things, which he thought about when he pretended to be alone, reading.
"By all means. Lead on." He didn't hold tightly to her hand, letting her have the freedom to either keep holding on or to let go. "I quite like animals."
Which was true. He studied them closely. He had in every realm he had been to, becoming adept at shaping himself into many forms, even his favorite serpents that Darcy was afraid of. He had no concept of what a zoo was, but there was a first time for everything. Even on a very first date.
Darcy liked holding his hand too, so she didn’t let go as they went to off to the zoo. “Yeah? Me too.” Unless they were snakes. Well that wasn’t quite true. She liked looking at them when they were on the other side of the glass and she could look at them without having to actually hold one or worrying about them crawling up her leg or anything. They freaked her out a little bit then.
She headed with him over to the zoo, which wasn’t that far away. It was a small zoo, but they had some neat animals. “We should look at the snow leopards first, they’re my favorite. Well those and the red pandas.” They were just so cute. And they startled so easily. She might have watched a lot of youtube clips about them. “One day I hope I get to see alien animals. That would be neat.”
He liked the sound of whatever a snow leopard was, and as they walked closer to the cage and he laid eyes on them, he decided he liked the look of them as well. They were beautiful and deceptively deadly predators, and he smiled at them in such a way, that it was like he was looking upon some sort of kindred spirit.
"Ah, I quite like these. Someday, I wish to obtain a Midgardian feline," he said, half-tempted to find a way into the cage these poor beasts were contained in.
They didn't seem harmed in any way and looked quite well fed and cared for, but he imagined being kept as a pet and being gawked at by passersby was less than enjoyable. The only thing stopping him was that his first order of business was to be on a date with Darcy, so that she might desire further companionship. Which he was enjoying just as much as his temptation to cause trouble.
When she said it would be neat to see alien animals, a sudden thought occurred to him. Certainly, he could cast illusions of such animals to show her, but that was hardly impressive or immersive. Loki looked at Darcy and gave her hand the briefest and slightest of squeezes, hoping to get her attention.
"Would you like to?" he asked, one eyebrow raised slightly higher than the other. "I know ways to do so."
Certainly, the thought of never being able to show her Asgard was a somber one. He didn't want to dwell on that, because now wasn't the time for that. In fact, it was the time to think that this might be a bit of fun, having a partner in harmless mischief making. True, there were certain places he would never ever take her unless he absolutely had no other choice, but other realms were much safer options.
Leopards were very pretty, but she’d told him it was better to have a domestic cat, than one that would eat your face and rip off your limbs. Same went for having any kind of monkey in the house. Nothing that could kill you. Just maybe eat your dead body when you died of natural causes. That was okay. Cats were cute though, she wouldn’t mind having one. When he squeezed her hand, she turned to look up at him.
“Uh.. yeah, you do? You can take me to see alien animals?” She had thought they were all kind of stuck here on Earth, she hadn’t thought that one of them might have a way to get to the other planets. If the Guardians of the Galaxy were stuck here, she didn’t know how the others would come and go. Huh. She was curious though.
She would have liked to see Asgard too, but when Thor told her about his planet being gone, she could only sympathize. It was a horrible thing what had happened. She hoped their weird sister didn’t show up.
If he knew that she had been thinking any of those things about leopards and monkeys? He really would have been amused beyond belief. It's a pity he can't read minds.
"Uhh, yes. If you can keep it a secret," he said, looking around like he was wary of anyone overhearing their conversation. He lowered his voice to explain why, "It is no simple task, nor can we linger long. I am certain can take another person with me, just the once. There are realms that are safe to traverse to. Such as Vanaheim, or Alfheim, where the Light Elves dwell."
Surely one jaunt couldn't hurt.
Her eyes went a little wide, but she was nodding enthusiastically. “I can totally keep a secret. Wow. Well I mean yeah, as long as you’re sure it doesn’t involve like.. Almost getting killed horribly, I’m in.” She was picturing some kind of weird thing where she would be crushed by a black hole. Darcy’s imagination always ran away from her though, it wasn’t her fault.
Yeah. One jaunt couldn’t hurt. She would make people so jealous if she got to go to another planet. Not that she was actually going to tell anyone. But still.
She didn’t care for the dark elves but Light Elves seemed like they could be nice. “As long as it has animals.”
Darcy wasn't too far off in thinking that they might be crushed by a black hole if things went wrong, but he could find a much more stable path to take, that would be safe enough for the both of them. The items he needed for his plans were gathered, and so this would be a simple visit, there and back again.
"There are a great many animals in either realm," he assured her. "It will take time though, to find the correct path. When I do, then you will be the first Midgardian to ever lay eyes on such sights. Perhaps you can write some charming tale for children about it."
He didn't expect any adventures to come from it, but where he was concerned, things tended to happen all on their own.