Darcy watched out the windows as they cruised along the freeway, every flash of red or blue looking like a cop, only taking her eyes off the road when Loki leaned against her tiredly. She looked over and started to push him off, but stopped when his hair got in her face.
"Loki, where’s your hat?" she asked.
Loki shrugged against her. "How should I know?" he asked.
Darcy sighed, something just on the verge of breaking into tears. It wasn’t Loki’s fault, except it totally was. Everything was his damn fault, even if it was victim blaming. But he started the whole mess in the first place. The least he could do was keep track of his fucking hat.
"All right. Here," said Darcy trying to stay calm. She reached for her bag and dug around the bottom of it. Eventually, she came back up with a hair tie that was supposed to be for her. But with his big patch of missing hair, Loki needed it more.
She reached over without even bothering to ask first and tried to find a way to pull his hair down over the missing patch and tie it into a ponytail. The first part worked. The second part, not so much. Loki’s hair was too short to pull into a ponytail at all, even without having to try to use it to cover the side of his head.
"What are you doing? Get off," he said, trying to slap her away. It felt kind of good to turn the tables on him, in a petty, vindictive kind of way. Darcy wasn’t usually that kind of person, but Loki seemed to bring out the worst in everyone.
"Your hair is all fucked up. We have to fix it somehow," Darcy said, reaching for his hair again.
Loki slapped her hands away and leaned away from her. He glared at her for a few moments, but his resolve crumbled quickly.
"Fine." Sighing, he rolled his eyes and shook his head. It probably would have had more effect if he wasn’t missing a huge chunk of hair on the left side of his head, but that never stopped him before.
He rubbed his hands together and then quickly feathered out and teased his hair, shaking it into a huge mess. Once he was finished with whatever he was doing, Loki leaned back in his seat and glared at Darcy some more.
"There," he said flatly.
"Okay," Darcy said slowly, not sure what teasing out his hair was supposed to do. She reached out for it again, stopping short when she found the missing patch completely filled in again.
"What the hell? Why didn’t you do that two days ago?" she asked.
Loki didn’t say anything. He turned his head to look at her, and even without much light coming in from outside, the dark circles under his eyes stood out starkly. He needed rest, and Darcy knew it. But here he was, doing all his impossible magic again, even though it always seemed to make him even worse.
"Does it hurt?" Darcy asked carefully.
Loki closed his eyes and breathed deeply. "If I say yes, will you let me sleep?" he asked.
Darcy didn’t respond. She knew Loki would never get better enough to really be useful unless he got the rest he was constantly being denied. Eating nothing but junk food probably wasn’t helping either. Hell, for all Darcy knew, all the human junk food was actively making him worse. Darcy sat back and watched dreary, dark Seattle pass by outside and envied Loki’s ability to fall asleep almost instantly. After several years of college, Darcy thought she knew what exhaustion was, but all that time, she had been wrong. She had not slept a full night since her personal Space Viking literally fell into her life, and she was too worried and nervous to even try to get a nap in while she had the chance. A problem Loki obviously didn’t share, since he was already snoring again.
They pulled off the highway again, back down into another neighbourhood that couldn’t have possibly been Canada already. She felt bad about it, because he was obviously so miserable, but Darcy started to nudge Loki awake again. While she struggled with that, Dennis started wrestling with his phone, eventually managing to make a call.
"Yeah, hey. Get ready. We’re leaving early," he said. There was a pause before Dennis told the other person to turn on the news, and then hung up.
"Where are we going?" Darcy asked, trying not to sound nervous and failing.
"Picking up the boat, unless you want to swim to Canada," Dennis said.
"No," said Darcy. She cast a nervous look over to Loki. He looked like he was debating between going back to sleep and diving out the door.
A few more turns and detours into a safe-looking neighbourhood later, they pulled up in front of a house with its own yard and garage, and a boat parked in front. Not some big, safe looking powerboat, but a tiny metal thing with a painted red stripe, and the motor tacked to the back. Dennis hopped out of the car to meet the guy that was just coming out the front door, leaving Darcy and Loki alone in the car.
They quickly hooked up the boat to the back of Dennis’ car, scraping metal against metal and making everything lurch back and forth. Loki sat up straight and went for the door, having to take a few moments to work out how it opened.
“No, wait,” Darcy said, grabbing his arm before he could get out.
Loki turned to glare at her. “We’re finding our own way,” he said.
Darcy reached over to close the door. “What do you want to do? Walk to Canada?” If Loki hadn’t been from outer fucking space, and actually knew how Earth worked, she might have considered it. But he was from outer fucking space, and he acted like it.
“How far could it be?” asked Loki.
Darcy had no idea, which was exactly the point. She shrugged dramatically and pulled Loki more toward the middle of the seat. “I don’t know, but we obviously need a boat. And this guy’s got one, so we’ll go with him.”
Dennis and his friend both got into the front of the car and quickly shut the doors. Before everyone was even settled, Dennis started the engine and got the hell out of there.
“Everything all right?” Dennis’ friend asked.
Before Loki could answer, Darcy clamped her grip down on his arm and nodded. “Yeah, just kinda scared, and don’t really know what we’re doing,” she said.
She could practically feel Loki roll his eyes.
“Well, this is the easy part,” said boat guy. “I’m gonna take you up the lake, which is kind of closed right now, because the water’s low and ice cold. I’m dropping you guys off a few miles from the border, and then you’ll hike across with Dennis.”
Darcy looked over at Dennis and nodded. “Kay. It—it doesn’t sound very safe.”
Boat guy laughed. “No, it’s not. Next time, try to wait until summer to piss off the government. There are about a dozen more ways to cross the border, then.”
“Why does it matter?” asked Loki.
It was Dennis’ turn to laugh. “Because it’s like he said. Everything’s closed right now.”
For about two seconds, Darcy thought Loki would let it go. But he didn’t. “How does a lake become closed? Who has that authority?”
“The government, dude,” said boat guy.
Dennis looked back over the seat at Loki for a few seconds. “You’re really selling this space alien thing, aren’t you?”
Darcy hadn’t mentioned that part to Dennis at all. She assumed he knew because whoever had contacted him within the Rising Tide had told him, but it still wasn’t really information she thought he should have been flinging around with someone else in the car with them.
Taking a deep breath to steel herself, Darcy changed the subject. “Who are we meeting when we get across the border?” she asked.
“Don’t know,” said Dennis. “There are a few people who meet us, and I wasn’t told who to look for.”
“That… Wow.” Maybe Loki had the right idea after all. “Sorry, this is all super weird and not how I planned on spending my week. I wouldn’t even be here at all if this asshole hadn’t crash landed in the desert and got into my car.”
“You invited me in,” Loki pointed out.
Darcy waved her hand at his face to shut him up. “And you’re not talking right now.”
Boat guy turned round in his seat and looked at both of them for the first time. “Wait. This is really some kind of Roswell thing?” he asked. He looked over to Dennis, and then back to Darcy. “Why Canada? What’s there?”
Darcy shrugged dramatically. “Our ride to Norway or whatever. That’s where he needs to go.”
“It’s not in Norway. It’s on an island,” Loki said.
“Same thing,” Darcy said, knowing that it wasn’t anything close to the same thing. At least Loki didn’t argue with her.
Boat guy eventually turned back around in his seat, and the car fell into an uneasy silence. Darcy went back to watching out the windows for any sign of police lights or big, black SUVs following them.
Leave a Reply