Out the window, Washington State whizzed past in a blur of black smudges and the occasional smear of yellow light. Somewhere out there was a river, its path similar to the one the train followed. Darcy couldn’t actually see the river, but every now and then, she could see lights reflected on its surface.

On their right was the freeway, backed up bumper to bumper going both ways. Darcy couldn’t see much through the people sitting on the other side of the aisle, but every time the trees between the track and the freeway cleared, she looked out at the backed up traffic, and the lake that was once an interstate highway. Shortly after they left the station in Portland, the rain became torrential, and hadn’t let up since.

Beside her, Loki examined every inch of the seats around him. He’d almost immediately found the tray table, and annoyed everyone in the car with it as he let it fall with a clatter and re-secured it, only to let it fall again and again and again.

When he found the electrical outlet, Darcy was half-tempted to give him one of the safety pins from her backpack so he’d jam it in and zap himself. But then that might stop the train and get them kicked off. Or worse.

Now, he’d found the arm-rests, and irritatingly, the mechanism that let him lift them up and down. Of course, he was playing with the shared arm-rest between their seats.

“Would you knock it off already?” Darcy finally snapped, slapping him away.

“How long does it take?” asked Loki, leaning back into his seat like a grumpy teenager.

“You did not just ‘are we there yet’,” Darcy said. She couldn’t even muster the incredulity. “I don’t know. A few hours. Be good.”

Loki glowered at her and jerked the arm-rest down one more time before crossing his arms over his chest and going for the gold in Olympic sulking. Figuring she probably had about five minutes of quiet time ahead of her, Darcy reached down for her bag at her feet and pulled out one of her Salvation Army novels. She grabbed it because the cover was kind of hilarious—some half-naked Fabio, and a willowy blonde woman in a torn gown. And somehow, there were five hands between them. Darcy could already tell it was going to be amazing.

She was about three pages in when Loki finally got bored with sulking. He reached over and wrenched the book around look at the cover.

“Hey, stop it,” Darcy protested, pulling the book away from him.

“More of your pointless drivel?” he sneered, almost certainly just trying to spin discord to amuse himself.

Darcy hit him with the book. “Don’t knock it. They may be stupid as hell, but they have smokin’ hot sex scenes.”

Loki grabbed the book again, this time twisting it so he could see the page. Darcy fought back, trying not to tear the book apart. “No, stop it,” she said, finally wrenching it from his grip. “Should have got your own.”

“You should have ‘got’ one for me,” Loki said. He reached for the book again, but Darcy slapped his hands away.

“All right. Fine. Calm down, your royal ass-ness,” Darcy said. She reached into her bag and pulled out the second book. Before she even had a chance to hand it over, Loki snatched it away.

“Can you even read?” Darcy asked dubiously.

Loki frowned as he thumbed through the pages. “Of course I can.” He slapped the book shut and tossed it back to her. “I’m not in the mood.”

Darcy laughed. “All that drama, and you can’t even read. I’m not reading mine out loud to the class, so you’re on your own.”

Loki sank deeper into his seat and glared straight ahead.

“How are you even for real?” Darcy muttered. Most of the other people in the car were all looking at them now, but Darcy ignored them. If Loki wanted to be a giant ass and attract attention, then fine. Let him. She didn’t care. Once he got where he wanted to go, and got off the planet, she was done with him. She still wasn’t sure what she’d do after that, but ‘be glad that Loki was gone forever’ was going to be at the top of the list.

Especially since he’d started messing with the tray table again. Darcy watched him from the corner of her eye, almost waiting for him to spring up and try to derail the train or something. Thankfully, he stayed seated and just sulked in silence. And the sound of the tray table banging around. After a while, he seemed to be almost fighting unconsciousness; his motions growing sluggish and imprecise. He was probably still hurt in ways Darcy couldn’t see. Actually, now that she thought about it, he probably was.

"Hey," she said, nudging Loki in the side. "Take a nap. You’re acting like a grumpy three-year-old."

Loki snorted derisively.

"You are," Darcy said.

"I’m fine," Loki said. He glowered about the carriage, casting everyone in it a sour, distrustful look. He didn’t say anything else, but Darcy got it all the same. There was no barrier between them and the rest of the passengers. Darcy doubted anyone on board would mess with them, let alone recognise them, but it wasn’t certainty. And Loki must have known it too.

"I’ll wake you up if anything happens," Darcy said.

Loki cast her a dubious look. He probably expected her to run as soon as his eyes were closed. If she didn’t expect Loki to get his stupid ass arrested again, Darcy would even take the opportunity to flee his side. She was fairly certain literally anywhere would be better.

"I’m fine," Loki repeated, betrayed by a yawn he couldn’t quite stifle.

Darcy didn’t even try to hide her laugh. She shook her head as Loki glowered at her again and went back to her book. She hadn’t got far enough into it yet for it to have got to the good bits, assuming it would have any good bits, but she was determined to stick with it until at least the halfway point.

Despite Loki’s protests, he settled back in his seat, less defiantly and more like someone who was contemplating a nap. While everything else seemed to have healed, he still had terrible raccoon eyes, and Darcy was pretty sure they were getting worse.

"What did you do last time?" Darcy asked before she could stop herself.

"Last time what?" asked Loki with extra grump.

"Last time you got sick like this." It was probably. Stupid thing to ask, but she couldn’t stop herself.

Loki sighed, long and put-upon. "How am I expected to get any sleep with you prattling incessantly?" he asked.

"Oh, now you want to sleep." Of course he did. And it was probably his very own idea, which came to him without any outside influence. "I wanna know. Maybe I can help."

Loki gave her another dubious look, but there was more to this one. Something Darcy didn’t want to contemplate.

"I slept for about a week," Loki said after a long moment. "Followed by a good fuck."

Darcy didn’t know what else she’d expected. "Not happening," she said firmly.

Loki gave her a suggestive little grin, which made Darcy want to headbutt him.

"Jesus fucking Christ," she said. She grabbed her books and her bag and shoved right past Loki, taking the empty seat in front of her. "Don’t even think about touching me, or I’ll scream rape."

Loki barely seemed fazed, which only pissed her off and disgusted her even more. She couldn’t even focus on her book now, because of the creep behind her, and all the disgusting fantasies that no doubt filled his perverted, fucked-up head.