Even with all the tea they’d drank over the course of the day, Darcy realised she was exhausted. By about ten o’clock, she was struggling not to fall asleep on the couch. Kevin and Tina both disappeared to their room, leaving Darcy alone with Loki yet again. At least he’d wandered off to go sulk in the bedroom, because he didn’t like jeans and Kevin didn’t want him naked anymore. She felt bad about not telling them the full story with Loki and what he’d done, but she knew that if she did, they’d kick her out along with him, and then she’d be fucked again.

She always thought she was the sort of person who would do the right thing no matter what, but she was turning into the sort of person who did the right thing for her. Just one more thing for her to ignore, then.

Darcy was tired enough to fall asleep right there on the couch and not feel bad about it. It was a small couch, and didn’t have much room to stretch out, but she didn’t care. She just curled up against the arm-rest and let herself sleep, blessedly alone for the first time in days. Or at least, that was the plan. It was like he had some kind of sixth sense for it, because almost as soon as she drifted off, Loki was all up in her space again and getting way too buddy-buddy. She shot upright and swung her fists a few times to get him to get the hell away from her.

“Oh my god, what the fuck?” she demanded. “No, you fucking nut.”

“I don’t trust these people,” Loki told her, barely backing off.

Darcy blinked at him, wondering if it was possible for him to be any more of a pain in the ass.

“Too bad,” she said.

Loki responded by glaring at her, as if it was meant to intimidate her into doing something. It didn’t.

“Jesus Christ, no. I just want to be left alone. With you somewhere else. I think you owe me that after fucking up literally everything.” As soon as she said it, Darcy regretted it. She was still at his mercy, even if he did look like something that crawled out of the morgue.

“We need these people,” Darcy said, trying to be quiet so Kevin and Tina didn’t hear. “I have no idea where we are. I have no way of getting us anywhere that isn’t here. Be nice. And go away.”

Loki grit his teeth and glowered at her for a few long moments before getting up and starting to stalk back to the bedroom. He stopped about halfway there and turned back around. Darcy glared at him as he sat back on the sofa, and got ready to kick him right in the nose if she had to. She almost did anyway, until he bowed his head and held out one hand, as if offering her something. No, he was definitely offering her something.

“What trick is this now?” she asked, not trusting him to stay on the sofa any more than she trusted him to stay in the bedroom.

“No tricks,” he said. “You’re right. You may as well sleep in comfort tonight.”

Darcy glared at him suspiciously. She wanted to tell him to go fuck himself, but she wasn’t actually sure when she might get another chance to sleep in a bed. Maybe after SHIELD finally arrested her.

The temptation was ultimately too much, pulling her to her feet before she could stop herself.

“If you step one foot in there while I’m asleep, I’m breaking your goddamned jaw,” she threatened.

Loki held his hands out innocently. Darcy didn’t buy it for a second, but she did want to sleep in a proper bed without having to worry about getting felt up or fucked in her sleep. She was half-tempted to go to the kitchen and find a knife, but that might look strange if Tina or Kevin noticed it.

“Fine. Stay,” she said, pointing an angry finger at Loki. He stayed, so she made a hasty retreat to the bedroom and closed the door. There was even a lock on it, which she wasted no time in using. It probably wouldn’t stop Loki if he really wanted in, but it would give her some warning.

Almost as soon as she flopped down onto the unmade bed, she fell asleep, and did not wake until very, very late the next morning. When she stumbled out of bed, she was almost surprised to find the door still shut and locked. Almost afraid of finding some sort of trap on the other side, she carefully opened the door and stepped out to the hall. Everything seemed quiet, but not suspiciously so. She could hear Tina talking, but it wasn’t until she got back out to the living room that she could tell what was going on. Tina had a hair trimmer in her hand, letting it buzz away menacingly while Loki tried to fend her off with a kitchen chair like some sort of deranged lion tamer.

“No, it’s not going to hurt. See,” Tina said, holding the clippers against the palm of her hand.

Loki just held the chair up higher, with a look on his face that Darcy had seen once before, when he took out a few SHIELD agents with a shower curtain rod.

“Woah, woah,” she said, rushing over to step between them. She tried to pull the chair back down to the floor, but Loki wasn’t budging at all, so she just turned to Tina and shook his head. “I don’t think that’s a good idea,” she said.

Tina nodded and turned off the clippers. “It stands out,” she said.

Darcy looked up at Loki, and had to admit that there wasn’t much that could be done for his hair, short of shaving it all off.

“Yeah,” she said despondently. Darcy turned back to Loki and tried to get him to put the chair down. “Okay, that thing we talked about last night? This isn’t helping.”

Loki looked away from Tina just long enough to flash Darcy a suspicious glare. Darcy pushed down on the chair again, this time finally getting him to slowly lower it.

“Why don’t you go outside for a little while?” Darcy suggested. “You’ve been inside all week. It’s not even raining now.”

Loki’s suspicious look was fixed back on her, but Darcy ignored it and shoved him in the direction of the door. “Just go,” she said, making it less of a suggestion and more of a demand.

He hesitated for just a few moments longer before finally slinking out the door to go wander about the small back yard. Once the door was shut, Darcy looked back to Tina apologetically, hoping they wouldn’t be kicked out for Loki’s constant stream of crazy.

“Sorry,” Darcy said. “He’s new here. He doesn’t know what… any of this is.” She flapped her arms helplessly at her side and looked out the window at him. Already, he’d found some sort of insect to poke at. It was like dealing with a very large six-year-old.

“Hey, if that’s a spider, it stays outside!” Darcy called through the window.

Loki looked up at glared at her again, before taking his new pet somewhere else. Darcy rolled her eyes.

“I’ll talk to him. See if I can get him to calm down about it,” she offered.

Tina smiled wanly. “Good. Your train leaves at six, so you have to be ready before then,” she said.

At first, Darcy wondered what that meant, but she wasn’t left wondering for long. Tina reached for a carrier bag on the table and pulled out a box of cheap, blonde hair dye.

“Man, this is some serious Twelve Monkeys shit. Do we have to glue a fake moustache to Himself out there?” Darcy asked.

Tina laughed. “I don’t think he’d let us, and I don’t want to try. Come on.” She led Darcy back to the bathroom. Darcy could have done the dye job on her own, but it was kind of nice having Tina do it for her. Even if they didn’t really know one another, being treated gently was such a huge difference from how the rest of her week had gone that she was glad to go blonde, even if she did look terrible with blonde hair.

“I’m sorry. Again. About all of this,” Darcy said as she tried to pretend she wasn’t being choked by hair dye fumes.

“Oh, no. Don’t be sorry. I’m glad you guys got out of there,” Tina said as she worked the dye into every last strand of hair on Darcy’s head. If not for the smell, it would have been amazingly comforting. It still kind of was.

“You’re from New Mexico, then?” asked Tina.

“Me? God, no. I’m from New York. I was in New Mexico for an internship that was supposed to keep me from burning out of college,” Darcy explained.

In a terrible sort of way, it had worked. Darcy added that to the list of things she wasn’t thinking about.

“Guess I don’t have to worry about that anymore,” she said. It wasn’t funny at all, but she couldn’t quit laughing at the thought of it. Maybe this was what it felt like to be hysterical. Nothing made sense, and she couldn’t even crawl back into bed and hide until it all went away.

“What do I do now?” Darcy asked.

It took a few long moments for Tina to say anything. She stopped working the dye into Darcy’s hair and sat down on the edge of the bath.

“You’re just helping him get to Norway or whatever?” she asked.

Darcy nodded. “Yeah. If I leave him on his own, he’ll just wind up back in a SHIELD prison getting chunks cut out of him. But I’m not staying with him, once he gets there. But I can’t come back, either. I’ve already helped him, so I’m in just as much trouble.”

She felt another fit of despair coming on, and tried to push it away.

“You should go to England,” Tina suggested. “You won’t have to learn a new language, at least.”

“Yeah,” Darcy repeated. “How does that even work, though? I mean, how do I get a bank account and a job? This isn’t just, like, making up a fake ID.”

“You change your name,” Tina said simply. “Take the identity of someone who died, usually. More people get away with it than you’d think.”

“Gross,” Darcy said. She couldn’t pretend to be a dead person. “Don’t they do like, background checks and stuff?”

“Only criminal, usually,” Tina said. Darcy frowned, which seemed to remind Tina of something. “It’s probably best not to question it too much. The more you think about it, the more it would probably get depressing.”

Darcy decided to take that advice and nodded. “So, what’s the plan, then? Now that I’m all hot and blonde?”

Tina stepped out of the bathroom to check a clock. “In about fifteen minutes, we rinse your hair, try to get your friend to cut and dye his, and at five, we’re taking you down to Union Station. When you get off in Seattle, you’ll meet up with someone who will help you across the border.”

Darcy looked at herself in the mirror, her hair all scrunched up and foul-smelling. “I never thought I’d be involved in human trafficking,” she said flatly.

Tina shrugged and reached out to fiddle with Darcy’s hair some more. “Could be worse,” she said.

“Yeah,” said Darcy again, though she was really struggling to see how.