"What are you doing?"

Darcy had expected Loki to actually sleep for the entire trip. She had no idea he was even awake, or if he’d even even gone to sleep, but when he spoke she jumped so hard that she accidentally threw her highlighter across the car.

"Jesus Christ," she said as she fished the highlighter out of the footwell. She spread the map back over the dash and finished tracing her chosen route. "I bought a map, so I know where the hell to actually go," she said.

There was a much easier-looking, more direct route across Canada, but it was also the main route across Canada, and thus probably crawling with Feds. She had no idea how much more time the northern detour would take, but it would probably be less-travelled than the main highway.

"You can read a map?" Loki asked incredulously.

Darcy wanted to hit him. "Go to sleep," she told him instead.

She looked at her traced route and frowned, knowing there was still one major problem. The map she’d bought was a national map, and she had no idea how to actually get out of Calgary, except for that Route 2 kind of looked like it went north.

Darcy looked around, hoping to find a compass or something that might tell her which way north was.

"Where the hell is north?" she wondered out loud.

Loki opened one of the back doors, and for a second Darcy thought he was just going to start wandering away. Instead, he just poked his head out and looked skyward at the clouds. After he was done letting all the warm air out, he slammed the door shut and pointed over Darcy’s shoulder. "There," he said.

Darcy looked in the direction he pointed and slid back over to the driver’s seat.

"No, seriously though. You should go to sleep," she said as she started the car again.

"You’re hopeless without me," Loki said, lazily climbing back into the front seat.

"Hey, I got a map," Darcy defended.

"But you still can’t navigate," said Loki.

Darcy ignored him and pulled back out onto the road. There were more cars out now, making Darcy more than a little nervous about being on the road with them.

"God, I’m so scared someone is just gonna run right into us because they won’t see us and decide to change lanes," she said.

"We’re not invisible," Loki said. "That’s a different kind of magic."

Darcy felt a little better about changing lanes so she could turn at the next light, but she still moved extra cautiously as she did. "There are different kinds?" she asked.

Loki didn’t answer. He just closed his eyes and leaned back into his seat.

Darcy continued to head vaguely north, keeping her attention on the road signs. She didn’t see anything helpfully telling her that Route 2 was just right around the corner, so she kept going in the same direction.

"So, how does it work?" she asked eventually.

Loki barely looked up at her. "It just does," he said irritably.

"Okay," Darcy said.

She pulled up to an intersection as a big, black, definitely SHIELD SUV pulled up beside her. She looked over out of the corner of her eye and saw Sitwell in the passenger seat, without his glasses and looking kind of green. A part of her was glad to see he was still alive, but the rest of her felt like she was going to have a heart attack.

"Loki. Loki, Loki. Loki," she said, slapping at him and trying to wake him up.

He slapped back, a little harder than he needed to, and slowly sat up. As soon as he saw what Darcy saw, he seemed wide awake. Grabbing her leg again and digging his fingers into her skin, he looked around.

"Turn. Now," he said.

Darcy looked around wildly, not even sure if she could turn legally. But there wasn’t anyone next to her in the turn lane, so she made a right when the signal turned green, trying to make it seem like she was totally planning on doing that. She kept her attention on her mirrors, watching as the SUV turned left at the light. It gave her just enough time to breathe before she checked again to see it turning around right in the middle of the street.

"Shit, fuck, shit shit shit," she said, gripping the wheel so hard it distracted her from Loki’s bony fingers still digging into her leg.

He turned round in his seat, watching out the rear window. "What did you do?" he asked stiffly.

"Me?" Darcy demanded. "Why does it have to have been me? I didn’t fucking do anything. It’s your busted fucking magic or whatever."

There was a major looking road up ahead that would take them north, so Darcy started looking for the on-ramp or the turn signal, or whatever would get them where she wanted to be. But whoever had designed the intersection had apparently never taken multiple lanes of traffic going in multiple directions into account. There was no place to turn left, and soon they had gone straight over the highway or whatever it was. Just as she was getting ready to flip a seriously illegal U-turn, she came to a random left turn at a gap in the median. Not even caring if it was the right one, Darcy took it. It led straight to the highway below, which was both a relief and a new source of panic all at once. Trying to balance merging into traffic without getting killed and watching the SUV that had been trailing them, she watched as it drove right on by, apparently never even seeing her get onto the highway. She relaxed into her seat and let herself breathe, but Loki stayed where he was, still trying to poke his fingers straight through her flesh and watching out the back window. He stayed that way for several minutes before finally letting himself relax as well. As he settled back into his seat and looked at the cars around them, Darcy rubbed the spot above her knee, half expecting to actually find blood. It still hurt like a motherfucker, and even if she wasn’t bleeding, she knew she’d find one hell of a bruise as soon as she took off her pants.

"I think," she said slowly, pausing to breathe deeply a few more times. "I think we might actually be on the right road. Can you check the map?"

Loki glared at her before reaching for it. He looked out the window at the sky where the clouds had got even heavier, took one look at the map, and then threw it against the dash. "No," he said flatly.

Darcy sighed. "Then hold onto it so I can look at it." She didn’t even care if he wasn’t being deliberately irritating. He was still being fucking irritating.

Loki did at least hold the map for her. She looked at it, and then out to the road and what lay on either side of it. There weren’t much around, and it was starting to thin out even more, but what there was seemed to match with what the map said would happen for this particular stretch of this particular highway.

"Kay," she said, nodding. "I think this is it. This should take us exactly where we want to go."

Loki folded the map with no regard for the creases already in the paper and tossed it back on the dash. "And where’s that?" he asked.

"I don’t know," Darcy admitted. "If I can to an internet connection, I can figure that out, though."

"Figure it out now," Loki demanded.

Darcy only didn’t close her eyes and count to ten because she was driving, and did not want to die after so narrowly escaping with her life once already that morning. "I can’t. Did you miss the part about nobody knowing where we’re going until we get there?"

Loki crossed his arms over his chest and sank down into his seat.

"And pouting like a three-year-old isn’t gonna change anything," Darcy said. "You’re annoying as fuck when you’re tired, you know that?"

"And you grow less useful by the minute," Loki told her. It was definitely a threat, but Darcy ignored it. He got mean and cranky when he was tired, and they both knew it. She knew he needed her a hell of a lot more than she needed him.

"Great. Then I’ll just pull over and you can walk your happy ass to Norway," she said.

Loki looked away and turned his attention to the scenery out his window. Taking that as some kind of feeble victory, Darcy decided to ignore him as well, if that was what he was going to do to her. It would make the drive a little less stressful, at any rate.