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FIC: Looking After You (7/13?)

Title: Looking After You (7/13?)
Fandom: Thor/Avengers/Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: PG-13
Characters (this chapter): Darcy Lewis, Thor Odinson, Loki Odinson/Laufeyson, Odin Borson, Romana, 
Pairings: (this chapter)  Darcy/Loki, Darcy/Aaron

Warnings: Strong references to Avengers film, so you will be spoiled if you read this and haven't seen the movie.

Author Notes:  I was planning on waiting till I finished chapter 8, but as Chapter 8 is not happening at the moment, I decided to post this chapter anyway.  Hopefully my brain will kick start and start figuring out what of the many plot possibilities for the next chapter (Frigga has quite a few subjects she wants to talk about when with her son) and there won't be that long of a wait for the next chapter.
At this point, I think this story is going to be about 13 chapters (subject to change of course).  I'll be posting status updates on my tumblr account (I'm Sokorra there as well) if you want to stay updated as to where I am in the eternal struggle that is writing ;)  IF you choose to follow me, I should probably warn you that I tend to reblog things.  Alot.  And of half a dozen fandoms too.  
Thanks to HarbingerLoki for once again beta'ing

~&~


Chapter VII: Loki Vs. Aaron
Thor was starting to wonder if he would be able to help his bother when Darcy appeared, a worried look on her face, her attention directly on Loki. Clearly she had heard the voice as well. Between the two of them they could keep his brother afloat. While Thor boasted him up, Darcy turned herself to the voice and pushed back at it, putting herself between Loki and the attacker. The voice seemed to be muffled, as if Loki and Thor had been put behind some kind of shield, deflecting what the person was saying.
After a few minutes, the voice retreated, and slowly the cold receded after it. Thor felt drained of energy, and he could only imagine what his brother's lover felt. His concern for his brother grew as he now knew his brother had been a victim of the voice's attack beforehand.
Thor took a moment to look around him. All three of them were curled around one another on whatever the bottom was of where they were. He could hear their breathing. Though he knew it was just a trick of the mind to make it seem real to him. Loki was in the middle, curled around Darcy with one arm still in Thor's grasp.
"Thor, you should probably go and take a nap. I took one while you were in here, so I'll be fine. I don't think we should leave him alone for a while."
"I do not need a babysitter." Loki's voice was weak, but his dislike for people trying to help him was still clear in the tone of his voice.
"Who said babysitter? Thor needs a nap, and you are too weak right now to keep yourself in any kind of hospitable environment." Thor smiled slightly. Darcy could hold her own against his brother. Perhaps his mother was right, perhaps this relationship would work out to the positive. He knew his mother was hoping for a marriage, and of course, more grandchildren. Odin's thoughts on the matter were less clear, although he seemed to have some sort of respect for Darcy which was better than his ignorance of Jane.
Thor nodded a goodbye to Darcy and squeezed his brother's shoulder before releasing himself from the trance. He opened his eyes to find himself back in the healing room, the solution flowing around him in a calming manner. He felt tired, very tired and almost wanted to nap right there. Before he could give into temptation, he felt the arms of his father and Romana help him out of the tub. Romana whisked away the left over liquid and allowed Thor to walk towards the dressing area. Thor turned back only once to see Darcy, lying beside his brother's tub, their hands connected on the rim. The rest of his brother was submerged, but was slowly being reveled as Romana drained the tubs to be refilled with fresh solution.
Once dressed, Thor helped his father carry his brother (dressed in sleeping garments himself) into the sleeping chambers; with Romana leading Darcy who still kept a hand on Loki's and kept her eyes closed, still within the dream world. They were both put on the bed.
"Darcy will remain with him tonight. She has a more powerful barrier and can protect him. Their connection will aid as well so neither will be overly tired out by being together." Romana watched them for a second. "I was surprised he attacked while Loki had defenses. Thor was more in control of his own thoughts, could defend himself better than Loki can currently."
"He?" Odin asked, noticing that she had given the voice a gender for the first time.
"Yes, the voice appeared to be coming from a male person, but without a direct connection I can't be sure. When we continue the meetings, I shall confirm with Darcy. "
Odin said nothing, instead remembering how they had been eating in the ballroom, many of the warrior friends of Thor and Loki with them. It had been a more formal announcement of Thor's engagement. Jane had been tested and found worthy, so they had a meal in her honor. Most of the main family had barely been up to the task, but had done so to keep those who were unaware still so.
He recalled how Darcy had been in the middle of relating a funny tale about Jane and Thor and a RV when she had suddenly paled and put a hand to her head. She had looked at him, panic in her eyes and rushed out of the room, nearly knocking Vostagg down as he returned to the table from the dessert buffet.
"What about Ariana?" Thor commented, breaking his father's thoughts. "Darcy said she has been able to feel the attacks."
"I feel it might be best that Ariana remain inside the Tardis. The trans-dimensional field will protect them. In fact, it might be a good idea to move this entire task into the Tardis." Romana turned to Odin. "All-father, could you allow a few of your warriors to help me disassemble and reassemble the tubs within my Tardis?"
Odin nodded solemnly. This was a private family matter, one he did not want used as gossip fodder around Asgard. The men he chose must be ones who would not share.
"The Warriors Three and Sif would be a good choice, Father," Thor stated, knowing his father's thoughts. "They are already aware that there is a problem. There would be no need to share the information with anyone else."
~&~

Loki was shivering. Darcy kept herself close to him. The attack had left her drained, but not nearly as much as Loki. She could tell that had she and Thor not been there, Loki would have sunk into the nothingness like he had before.
"You needn't stay," he stated opening his eyes to look at her.
"I'm staying, so deal with it. Although we probably should imagine up something a little more comfortable then this rooftop if we are going to be laying down in here." She paused, biting her lip slightly as a grin grew on her face. "What does your room look like?"
He seemed to catch on to her amusement and managed after a few seconds to alter the scenery around them so that they were in his room.
It was larger than Darcy's room, probably about twice its size. Two of the walls were completely filled with book shelves that crisscrossed the wall and reminded her of a large wine rack. They were filled with books of all sizes, and a few had loose paper. The door to the bedroom was hidden behind the one book case. She could only tell because the door was open slightly, reveling the door shape cut into the wall.
The two bookcase filled walls faced each other. One of the remaining walls had floor to ceiling windows overlooking the cliffs and waterways of Asgard. One of the windows opened to allow one to step onto a bronze balcony. Inside was a desk on one side, covered in papers and writing instruments (part of her was curious – in this medieval yet way advanced culture, did they write with pens or feathers?). On the other side sat a large chair, one that looked very comfortable and perfect for reading on lazy summer mornings.
The bed sat against the opposite all, a four poster with actual curtains. It was done up in Loki's favorite colors, Green and gold, but she imagined this was what the Slytherin dorms looked like. The bed was amazingly comfortable, even in this recreation so she couldn't help but wonder what it felt like in real life.
Above the bed, in between two of the posts was a display of various throwing knives, and a pair of swords she was pretty sure were more ceremonial then practical.
"Do those ever fall on you?" she asked, still staring up at the arrangement. He seemed to feel better, as he pulled himself up to look at what she was pointing at.
"No, it has been magically sealed onto the wall. It won't fall down, and no one can remove it except me."
"Had trouble with that?"
"When I was a kid, Sif and I would constantly would try and take the other's swords," he responded with a smile. It made her smile that he was remembering good memories. "Actually, it didn't really ever stop. I believe the last time was right before Thor's failed coronation ceremony. She never did give me my one knife back."
"So, what's the deal with you and Sif?" Darcy decided to ask. He was talking after all, she might as well make use of it. She knew there was something there between the two of them.
"There is nothing between Sif and I," he responded, settling himself on the bed so his head was held up by one arm and he was looking down at her. "Not anymore."
"So you were together once."
"A few hundred years ago, yes, but neither of us was ready or willing to try to be in any sort of relationship and our affection for each other lessened. We have barely been friends the last decade or so."
"She talks well of you," Darcy said, confused. Sif had not said anything about Loki that Darcy hadn't already been aware of or was really negative in nature. In fact, according to Frigga, it had been Sif who had finally told the All-father that his acts were not in fact as wise as he believed them
"I am her prince."
"I think it's more than that, even if it's just in memory of your past friendship. Your friends care for you."
"Now there I would have to argue." She shifted so she was level with him and could look directly in his eyes.
"Sometimes, I don't think you see as much as you think you do," she finally said. "You only see what you believe you should see, and brush everything off as some kind of obligation rather than real love and affection for you."
"You don't know me," he said, becoming angry.
"No, you are right. I don't know Loki, I know Aaron. I have no way of knowing how much of Loki was in Aaron. I am however becoming more familiar with your family. You are your brother's best friend, your mother's favorite son and your father is helping Romana every day trying to bring you back to them. Your ex-girlfriend has been watching over me, making sure your daughter is safe. These ex-friends of yours have been nothing but kind to me, asking me every day how things are going. Well, Volstagg and Fandral ask. Hogun just looks at me. I think you are a little biased against yourself."
"Fandral is in love with you," he stated, ignoring the slight flare of jealousy. He was trapped here while she got to be with his family and friends was responsible for part of it, but also the idea that Fandral was capable of courting Darcy away from him, like he had in the past.
"Fandral is in lust with me, not love. Even if he was, it's not like I'm able to return his feelings. Sadly, for some odd reason, I had to fall in love with you." Clearly this discussion was rousing her anger too.
"I'd free you from the obligation if I could," he stated, his tone clipped and his words coming out faster in his anger.
"Didn't we already cover the fact that love is not an obligation?" she countered, unknowingly shifting herself forward as if her words would get into his brain better if she was closer. "It is not something you can control like your magic and words, Loki. It just is. Sure, you can help it along, or try to defend yourself against it but in the long run, it just exists and it will pull you up or under no matter what you have to say about it." She got out of the bed and walked towards the window.

She looked at them for a while, enjoying the scenery while trying to calm down. She knew she was considered a romantic, and that there were probably people who thought her view of love naive and impossible. How else could she explain how she could still look at the man behind her and feel the love she had for the man he pretended to be? She turned back to face him finally, only to see he had followed her out of the bed, and was currently leaning against the front left post.
"Why do you believe so much in the idea that people do things out of obligation rather than other reasons?" She asked her voice low.
"After millennia of living I have found that most people do not act out of anything but obligation and self-interest."
"Even yourself?" Loki wasn't an idiot, he knew she was asking more then was his actions self-serving. Truthfully his actions usually were, even when they were for other people. What she was really asking however was did he love her back. Was Aaron Rogers a thin disguise or was she just something to pass the time with while he waited for the right moment to take the tesseract?
"Most of the time, yes." He answered truthfully. "Although I have found that sometimes what is best for me also means doing the best for another." Mostly Thor, he had to admit and perhaps his mother. Not many people were held in high enough affection for him to do something that went against his self-interests.
Darcy was probably one of them, as he suddenly remembered a few things about their relationship. It had been shifting in and out of his brain during his conversations with Thor, bare memories which he hadn't really been able to put into any sense of order, but he had remembered one thing.
He had left because he hadn't wanted to hurt her. He had failed there, just as he had failed to win his father's approval, or the reigns over Midgard itself. Somehow, he was suspecting that it was this failure that would cut him the deepest of the three. He hadn't wanted to rule that much, he had just wanted to be seen as an equal to Thor, even if it meant being a destructive force to Thor's restorative one.
"No wonder you can't trust anyone's love," she commented after a few minutes of silence. "I'm not sure you know what it is." She turned back around, and when he grasped her hand to make her face him once more, the memory she had been thinking of herself had transferred itself to him, widening as his own memories rose to join it.
Loki leaned over the counter, spitting out the water he had used to rinse his mouth out. His body still shook with tremors and his head still felt like someone had smashed it with Mjolnir. He looked up at his reflection in the mirror and noticed his eyes were blood shot and his skin a shade paler then he had thought possible. However it was still a pale white, not blue.
"Aaron?" He turned and looked at the doorway, which he had left open in his rush to relieve his stomach of its contents. Darcy stood there, dressed only in his work shirt, hair messy from sleep but alert and concerned. He closed his eyes and lowered his head down so it could lean against the cool countertop. Had his head not been pounding she would have made an attractive image.

"I'm fine, love." He didn't speak louder than a whisper, as the raging headache he now had was made worse by loud noises. He thought briefly about taking some of the pain pills Darcy had in her medicine cabinet, but Midgardian medicine was far behind that of Asgard. One of the many reasons why he hated it here. Everything was so…devolved… that he felt like he was taking a trip to the past rather than a trip to another realm. The pills would do nothing against this headache, at least not the over the counter ones. He had yet to try any of the multitudes of prescription varieties.
"No, you're not," she stated, walking towards him. Her soft hand rested on his shoulder, and he sighed at the feel of it. At the moment her skin felt so much cooler than his own, though he knew in reality her's was so much warmer.
Darcy was about the only thing about this realm he could stand. He could admit to himself he felt some guilt in using her, but sometimes the nights with her were the only thing keeping him somewhat sane. The Other were growing impatient. No matter what he did, his meetings with them always caused him pain. It was getting better. Now he just vomited and had a severe migraine. When he first arrived, the meetings left him nearly paralyzed on the floor. And often a faded shade of blue.
Eventually he figured he'd be able to meet with them with only a twinge.
"It is just a migraine. Go to sleep." He didn't need to look up to know she wasn't about to let it go like that. He felt her place her other hand on his empty shoulder and attempt to lift him away from the counter.
"For once let me take care of you", she stated, leading him to sit on the lid of the toilet, his eyes closed at first, finally opening slightly to watch her. She turned around and walked to her linen cabinet and reached to the top shelf and brought down a white tub with what looked like faded lettering. It was no doubt some odd food or product container. Darcy was a pro at recycling containers. She shifted through its contents for a while, before grabbing something and putting the container back on the top shelf.
She then took a plastic cup she had on hand for rinsing and filled it with water before handing the cup and two white pills over to him.
"It's a heavy duty pain-killer. Normally I wouldn't share, but the other stuff doesn't seem to work for you. You aren't allergic to anything are you?"
"Surprisingly, no," He responded taking the pills and swallowing them dry before drinking the water. Darcy made a slight face at him, not understanding how he could take his pills like that. She took the cup from him after he was finished and put it back on the counter, before leading him back into the bedroom. Leaving him to lay on the bed himself she walked around the room, pulling the shades closer to limit the light allowed in the room, and turned up the AC so the room was cooler, but not cold. She had him lay on his stomach on the bed and left the room.
The quiet of the room was helping, as well as the cool air that he felt on his skin. The medicine hadn't kicked in, although he assumed it would soon. Midgardian's had slower metabolisms then their Asgardian and Jotun counterparts.
"Lay still, hon. I'm going try and relax some of your muscles, hopefully it will help the pain away. He didn't move, not really wanting to anyway. He was sure that there was very little that she could do to harm him. There was also very little she could do to help either.
He jumped slightly though when he felt a cold substance being poured onto his back.
"It's just lotion. Unscented, so don't worry about having to smell like me," she answered his non-verbal question. He had to smile at the teasing tone in her voice. Darcy often tried to inject humor into tense situations. It was her way of redirecting things into more sustainable levels.
She started to rub the lotion into his skin, pressing lightly on some areas as she went along. It appeared to be working, slowly loosening the muscles in his back that had tightened during his visit to the Other. The medicine also kicked in, oddly making him feel drowsy. The visit must have worn him out more than he had suspected, because he had never felt drowsy before.
He fell asleep soon afterwards. When he awoke, he found himself alone, with the curtains still drawn. On the nightstand beside him were a glass of water and another set of white pills. He drank the water, and forwent the pills. The headache seemed to have dissipated. He stood up and walked towards a window, testing to see if he was still reacting to light. That too appeared to have improved.
He walked out of the bedroom towards the kitchen where he heard noises. He walked in on Darcy, still in his shirt, trying to find pancake mix. Now that he felt better, he could admire the fact that someone had placed the mix on the top shelf, and Darcy had to reach up to get it.
He walked behind her and reached up and got it, but decided not to move away, effectively trapping her in the space between him and the counter. There was just enough room for her to turn around and face him and take the box of mix from him.
"Thanks," she said smiling up at him. "Feeling better?"
"Much thanks." His smile reflected hers and he leaned down and kissed her lightly on the lips. "Thanks for taking care of me," he said straightening.
"No thanks necessary," she responded wrapping her free hand in his t-shirt. "But I do expect a better kiss." With that she pulled him back down and kissed him back. After a few moments, he decided to lift her onto the counter, making her slightly taller than him and making it easier on both of them to continue this. Her hands soon found their way to his hair, like they always did. She had an obsession with his hair. Particularly when had just gotten out of the shower, and it was slightly wavy. The first time she had admitted that she was attracted to that look he had just rolled his eyes and told her she really should her glasses on. However he did learn to use it to his advantage over the past couple of months that they had been seeing each other.
Apparently his lack of attention was noticed, and she brought it back with a slight nip of his bottom lip. He smiled into the kiss as he returned the favor. When they finally let go of each other, they said nothing, just smiling at each other.
It was a moment he would have liked to stay in for a while, but it was broken when Darcy spoke and his heart felt like it stopped.
"I love you."

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