Loki slept on Darcy’s shoulder for the rest of the ride. Her arm hurt and her hand was completely numb, but at least he didn’t snore. When he was quiet like this, and not acting like he ruled the world, it was easy to forget that he was dangerous. Listening to him sleep against her side just reminded Darcy all over again that he was lost and hurt and probably scared out of his mind.

Lost and scared and probably ready to turn her inside out the second she stopped being useful.

Except… Except he hadn’t actually threatened her with anything. He’d implied and insinuated some pretty foul things, and even tried to cop more than a few feels, but never threatened, and never implied any actual bodily harm.

Well, no. That, he just went right on and did, didn’t he? Darcy had the bruises to prove it. Any time he touched her, it hurt. He grabbed too tightly and pulled too hard, and sooner or later, he was going to pull her right apart. She felt like that mug Thor had thrown to the ground at Izzy’s. Sooner or later, whether he meant to or not, Loki was going to smash her into a million little pieces.

But actually. The realisation hit Darcy like a slap in the chest. Every time she told him — actually used her words and said it — that he was hurting her, he stopped. He was from another planet. He’d looked like roadkill the night she’d picked him up, and then looked perfectly fine the next day. He was probably the very definition of not knowing his own strength. He came from a world where people were harder to hurt and break. Loki probably had no idea how fragile humans were.

And on top of all that, he must have been experiencing some serious culture shock. Thor was kind of a rude bastard at first, too. Rude and scary, actually. And then Darcy tased his scary, testosterone-raging ass and they took him to the hospital in Bloomfield.

Christ, if they hadn’t gone back for him, it could have been Thor under SHIELD’s knife. Darcy looked back over at Loki, wondering once again how he’d managed to get away. If he’d actually used his magic or whatever and just bamfed himself away, why didn’t he get farther away? And what would have happened if someone else had found him?

"You’re pretty damn lucky I’m the one who found you," she said.

Loki didn’t react at all. He just kept right on sleeping, looking like a perfectly normal guy just taking the train to Seattle.

Darcy shifted under his weight, trying to ease the pressure on her arm. Aliens were apparently really heavy. Who knew? She managed to get marginally more comfortable and picked her book back up. She’d already completely forgotten what was going on in it, and wasn’t really feeling the mood to read trashy romance anymore, but the alternative was sitting in silence and looking out the window at nothing. At least trashy romance would keep her busy.

It was almost 10:30 when the King Street Station was announced. Darcy was on the verge of falling asleep as well, and jerked wide awake at the announcement. She looked around at everyone getting ready to get off the train, even though they were still moving, and turned to Loki again. She shook him, trying to wake him without startling him, but the guy slept like a stone.

"Hey, wake up," Darcy said, tempted to smack him with her book. "Loki, come on. Time to go."

She shook him until he started grumbling and tried to wave her off.

"We have to get off here," Darcy told him, shaking him just a little bit more to make sure he was really awake. "We might even get to sleep in a real bed and everything tonight."

Loki pulled himself up to a proper sitting position and Darcy shook out her arm. She had no idea it was possible to be completely numb and still hurt like fuck all at the same time, but there it was. Loki was messing with his wrist, which didn’t even look cut open anymore, but was still covered in blood. His raccoon eyes weren’t any better, but they were less noticeable against the copper smear of blood on his face.

"You look like hell," Darcy observed with a grimace. "Might want to try to wash your face somehow."

Loki grumbled again and reached for his backpack. He pulled a shirt from it and used it to clean himself up as much as possible. When he was done, he looked for a place to stash it, but there weren’t many places to hide a nasty, bloody shirt, so he just crammed it back into his bag.

The train slowed into the station, and Darcy tried to herd him toward the door stairs without drawing attention.

"Where are we?" asked Loki as they stepped out onto the platform.

Darcy looked around, not sure who to look for. It was dark, and still raining, so maybe their mystery help was waiting inside somewhere.

"Seattle," she said. She could see Loki’s next question before he even asked it. "We’ve still got thousands of miles to go. It’s like, eight time zones away. At least."

Loki seemed less than impressed. "How far have we travelled?" He asked.

Darcy started walking toward the first door she found, with Loki immediately grabbing her arm and following her.

"You’re hurting me," Darcy said forcefully as she tried to pull his hand away. She was still a little surprised when he loosened his grip and let her move his hand to hers. That way, at least he didn’t look so obviously like he was trying to kidnap her.

Satisfied that she wouldn’t suffer any broken bones, she considered his question. "What? Since we got on the train? I don’t know. Couple hundred miles maybe "

Loki sighed tiredly. Darcy agreed with his sentiment, but decided not to say anything about it.

"Come on," she said instead as she pulled Loki into the station. "Let’s look for our tour guide."