As soon as Loki removed his hand from Darcy, she got up and fled to the top bunk. With even that little bit of separation between them, Darcy finally felt like she could breathe.

She wondered if this was what she had to look forward to. If Loki did intend to take her with him, wherever he was ultimately going, would he continue to never let her out of arm’s reach? Was she just going to have to get used to always being right next to him, with his hands on her body like he owned it? Or would she be allowed a little more freedom, once the risk of SHIELD and SWORD finding them went away?

Or would he keep her close so she didn’t tell someone she’d been kidnapped?

Or would a world full of elves and gods think that was a perfect normal thing to do?

She wondered if Loki intended to marry her, and her stomach did a flip at the thought of it. Something told her that Loki came from a world where a man could do whatever he wanted to his wife, without consequence. He still seemed to think she was a slave. Would Loki just continue with that assumption instead? Keep her chained up somewhere just for the purpose of trying to get a kid out of her?

A treacherous little voice in Darcy’s head asked what if. What if their biology wasn’t so different? What if he did get her pregnant, and what if it was a girl? Would he go all Henry VIII on her? Or would he just try again, as many times as it took.

Darcy tried to push those thoughts from her head. There was no way they were compatible. It didn’t work like that.

But what if he figured that out? What would he do when he realised that no amount of trying would work?

As thoughts swirled through Darcy’s mind, she tried to push them all out, telling herself again and again that it wouldn’t be like that. He’d get bored with her, and it wouldn’t be as awful as all of the scenarios in her head.

She wondered if maybe she should try to hedge her bets with SHIELD. Maybe if she was lucky, they’d take pity on her. Or maybe once Loki got back to his own planet, or realm, or whatever, Thor would come and bail her out.

But Loki wasn’t going to his own planet. He was going to some elf planet, and as far as Darcy could tell, Loki wasn’t an elf. Unless space elves were something else entirely.

She had to force herself to stop thinking, and threw all of her brain power into reading her terrible book. She’d blanked out and glossed over so much of it already that she had no idea what was going on in it, but she knew that she hated it. She held onto that hatred, powering through as a means of distraction from everything else. If she let herself think about anything at all, her thoughts would circle back to where they’d been for days, playing out the same horrible scenarios of doom and gloom and destruction. Her destruction, Earth’s destruction. It didn’t matter. In the end, it might as well have all been the same.

Loki left her alone for the rest of the night as they sped onward ever north toward whatever awaited them at the end of the line. As the sun began to rise again, Darcy became acutely aware of the way that being locked in a box for two days without a clock had seriously messed with her ability to judge time. She’d never been so far north before, and in the middle of winter she had no idea if the sun rising meant that it was breakfast time, or time to start thinking about getting off the train. Too antsy and anxious to sit it out, Darcy slipped down from her bunk, careful not to wake Loki where he’d passed out again on the bunk below her. As quietly as she could, Darcy picked up their trash from the last two days of plastic-wrapped meals, but all she could find in the tiny cabin were cubbies for luggage. If there was meant to be a bin, she couldn’t find it. Instead, she piled the trash up onto the table that covered the sink, hoping to remember to gather it up again when they left.

There were crumbs everywhere, and Darcy didn’t even want to think about what the poor attendants were going to find on the bottom bunk. She was half tempted to find a pen and leave a note for the sheets to all be burned. But as soon as the thought crossed her mind, Darcy realised Loki wouldn’t allow it. Even something as innocuous as that, he’d probably see it as some sort of defiance or disobedience.

She was sick of sitting in a bed. After two days of it, Darcy wanted to move around properly. She’d even settle for sitting down in a chair. But she knew as soon as she touched the door, Loki would be awake, and his hands would be on her, and that would be the end of that. Instead, she paced nervously around the cabin, staying as far from the bunks as she could, just in case Loki woke up enough to want to pull her down with him again. When pacing around didn’t do anything to ease her mind, Darcy peered out the window at the frozen landscape that seemed to go on forever. Under any other circumstance, it might have been beautiful. But trapped in a train cabin with her captor mere inches away, all Darcy could see was miles and miles of isolation. A visual metaphor for what lay ahead of her no matter what happened when they stepped off the train.

Shuffling behind her told Darcy that Loki was awake before he felt the need to announce anything to her. Even feeling better, he didn’t seem to have a whole lot to say to her unless it reprimand or chastise her for something though. She was his insurance, and little more.

Darcy turned to watch him figure himself out, shuffling around the tangled bedding while he searched for something. Whatever he was looking for, it didn’t seem to be there, and when he gave up and looked at her, Darcy tried to take a step back. Instead of putting distance between them, she found only cold perspex and hard wall behind her.

“Good morning,” she said.

Loki frowned and grumbled. “How much longer until we got off this accursed thing?” he asked.

Darcy found it difficult to disagree with his sentiment.

“I don’t know. A few hours maybe?” she said. “I don’t know what time it is.”

Loki grumbled again and hauled himself from the bunk, tossing the blanket aside as he got to his feet. Without another word, he slipped out of the cabin, leaving Darcy once again alone. She didn’t want to look at the bed, for fear of what she might see. Instead, she turned away to look out the window again, and wondered if she might see a polar bear.

She wanted to try to put the bunks away and get the chairs set back up, but Darcy knew she wouldn’t be able to manage the top one on her own, and didn’t want to even touch the bottom one. She thought about climbing back up into her bunk, but every muscle in her body rebelled at the idea. She’d spent so much time in beds already. And when she wasn’t in a bed, she was sitting down.

Nobody had ever told her that being on the run would be so sedentary.

This time, Loki did not leave her alone for quite as long. He returned to the cabin, looking just as grumpy as ever, with more snacks from wherever he kept getting them.

“Did you find out when we’re getting there?” Darcy asked.

Loki stepped close, invading her space to look out the window. “About an hour,” he said.

Darcy held her breath and tried to shrink herself as much as possible. Loki had trapped her between the window and his own body, and with no room to run away, Darcy tried to pretend she didn’t exist at all. She knew it was some sort of deliberate action on his part, because everything he did was deliberate. He was playing with her now, reminding her once more that he was in charge. Darcy had no intention of fighting him on that. If he wanted to take charge, he could do just that. Whether or not he knew what he was doing was another matter entirely, but that was a problem to deal with when it arose.

What Darcy didn’t expect was for Loki to lean down toward her. He tilted her head up so she was forced to look at him, and then kissed her. Completely frozen, Darcy resisted the urge to fight back and let it happen. He wasn’t forcing his tongue down her throat, but it wasn’t exactly chaste either. He lingered, trying to draw her into participating, but she refused.

Finally, Loki backed away and handed her one of the same dry sandwiches he’d brought her each time before.

“We’re running low on currency,” he said, returning to his bunk and letting Darcy breathe.

“That’s fine,” Darcy said, looking down at the sandwich and trying to decide if she wanted it. “We’re probably about to leave the country pretty soon anyway. The money we have won’t be any good once we’re somewhere else.”

Loki frowned, apparently not liking that answer for some reason. But with all his talk of elves and whatnot, his world probably used something a bit more tangible as currency. If they used something like gold, Darcy would not be even a little bit surprised. But if Loki was in the habit of travelling to entirely different planets, the concept of crossing a land border and finding your money worthless was probably one more foreign concept in a very long string of them.

Darcy wanted to ask Loki about putting the beds back, but he was already settled where he was, and she didn’t want to irritate him any further. Instead, she slid down to rest against the wall as she sat on the floor, contemplating her sad little sandwich and the situation she’d found herself in.