Darcy eventually did stop crying, and shortly after, Loki took their cash and left her alone. Sitting there, exposed and on her own did nothing to calm her already frayed nerves. She looked around, knowing at any moment she’d see a SHIELD agent lurking somewhere nearby, ready to come running at her with his gun drawn. She didn’t think, after everything else, she could handle having a gun pointed at her.
Loki’s words continued to echo through her mind. Everything he’d said, all the threats and promises and everything else. The same words he had used to terrify her now brought her an uneasy amount of comfort. He wanted her pregnant, and like everything else, had almost certainly got his way with it. And if she were pregnant, he wouldn’t just abandon her. Not if he wanted an heir. Even though Darcy couldn’t see wherever he’d wandered off to, she knew he would not have gone too far. He was somewhere close, keeping a watch on the situation while time dragged on. He said he’d throw her to SHIELD if she disobeyed him, and she wondered exactly how much he’d meant it. He may have wanted to keep her around for his own selfish reasons, but it wasn’t exactly like he’d lose much by letting her go. A week may have felt like an eternity while Darcy lived it, but it wasn’t enough time to even know for sure if he had managed to actually get her pregnant.
No. Darcy knew exactly what she had to look forward to once he took her away to another planet. She would be raped again, and again, and again until he knew for sure. Only now, Darcy knew there was no if. There was no uncertainty. Now her best hope was that she already was pregnant. Her best hope was to know for sure as soon as possible. And then she had to hope that Loki would have other things on his mind, and that he only wanted her for an heir.
Her best hope was that Loki would not continue to behave like a horny teenager with anger problems regardless.
A tiny voice told her that was exactly how he would behave, and that if she was extremely lucky, she’d only get a break from him after giving birth to his child.
The same tiny voice told her not even to expect that.
Darcy’s hand fell to her stomach as she tried to tell herself that it wouldn’t be as bad as all that. The thought of being pregnant at all was awful enough. A month before, being pregnant would have meant her already stressful life as a college student would be all the more stressful and expensive. A month before, being pregnant would have meant finding the nearest Planned Parenthood and spending money she couldn’t afford. Now, being pregnant meant she wouldn’t even be able to pretend none of this had happened. The same man who had held her down as she cried and screamed would be the father of her child. The same man who would no doubt again hold her down as she cried and screamed. The same man who had struck her, and who would no doubt strike her again, would be tied to her forever.
She wondered if that was worth being able to see the sun again. She wondered if that was worth being able to breathe fresh air. Or would the concrete box be better? If Loki had got her pregnant, what would SHIELD do to her then? Would they rip it from her body before it was ready, and run their experiments on something that never had the chance to even breathe? Or would they make her carry to term, and then take it away and do to it what they had done to Loki? The one thing she knew for certain, there was no visit to Planned Parenthood in this scenario. There was no quick procedure to make the problem go away. If SHIELD couldn’t have Loki, they’d want the next best thing. And Darcy did not go through so much hell and pain just to hand SHIELD a new toy in exchange. She had not functionally ended her own life to get Loki out of there only to become complicit in someone else’s suffering. Even if that someone else was her rapist’s child.
Loki deserved hell, but even he didn’t deserve the hell SHIELD had planned. Handing over an innocent child would only make all of it for nothing.
Loki had demanded obedience, and whether he had intended to or not, he had guaranteed it. The only place Darcy could go was with Loki. She might suffer for it, but she’d suffer knowing she hadn’t been complicit.
It wasn’t fair. It was so goddamn unfair Darcy almost wanted to cry all over again, but she was too exhausted and pulled apart to even conjure the energy. Instead, she watched over the crowd, keeping an eye out for anyone that might wish her harm. She sat still and quiet for a long time, ultimately not even sure what she should have been looking for. She wondered if SHIELD agents would be in plain clothes at this point, or if they were obligated to dress like a bunch of spooks.
Eventually, she spotted Loki walking through the crowd. He stood out against everyone else, taller than most of the crowd around him, and his hair a wild, unbrushed mess. She wondered what he did with it normally, since it was that awkward length that was long enough to get in his face, but not long enough to tie back effectively. He looked every bit as scruffy and dishevelled as the night she’d found him walking down the side of the road, and at the same time, looked nothing like he had that night. Something had changed in him. Something that made him seem bigger, more dangerous. He was more alive and alert, but also no less cautious or wary. Darcy wondered what it was he took from her to make all that happen.
But despite it all, he didn’t seem to be attracting much attention as he made his way across the terminal toward her, carrying a pair of takeaway boxes. As he sat down next to her, Loki handed her one of the boxes, saying nothing. Darcy knew she should eat something more substantial than bread and questionable fish, but she was afraid of what horrible thing Loki had found for her this time. When she dared to open the box, she was surprised to find a perfectly bland portion of fish and chips.
“Thank you,” she said quietly.
She was surprised Loki had not only paid attention, but got something he knew she would eat.
“That’s acceptable?” Loki asked, opening his own container with the same thing.
Darcy nodded. “It is.”
She ate one of the fries, testing to see if her stomach could even handle it. When it didn’t immediately make her want to puke, she tore a bit of the fish off and ate it as well. Unlike the fish she’d eaten that morning, this was cooked and hot and didn’t do anything to convince her brain that she’d get sick from eating it.
“We’ll have proper food once we’re off this realm,” Loki said. Despite his words, he didn’t seem to dislike his fries. In fact, he hadn’t seemed to dislike anything he’d been present the entire time she was with him.
“What’s proper food?” Darcy asked, almost afraid of the answer.
Loki shrugged. “Boar. Goat. Rabbit.”
Darcy hummed, not exactly thrilled at the prospect of any of that. But it sounded better than dubious fish, so it would just be one more thing she’d have to learn to deal with.
She broke another piece off of her fish, and for a long moment only stared at it. Loki had got it for her. He had paid enough attention when she’d ordered it for herself to know she wouldn’t find it offensive. He knew she had been running on empty for the last few days, and for whatever reason, wanted her to eat something more substantial before they got to Tórshavn.
Darcy had had boyfriends who hadn’t paid that much attention to what she liked, and Loki had noticed it while being from another planet. She still ached and burned from what he had did to her only hours earlier, and now she felt almost grateful because he had exhibited the bare minimum of decency toward her. It was almost like he was two different people, and Darcy never knew which one she was going to get.
There were a million things she wanted to say, but not a single word of it could be forced from her mouth. She could get up right then and run into the crowd, but she could not force herself to move an inch. The only thing she could force herself to do was eat was airport fish and chips, because she knew it was what Loki wanted her to do, and he pretended to be nice when she did what he wanted. To her endless relief, he didn’t rush her or try to talk to her, and so she picked and poked in silence until eventually it was all gone. Loki took her empty carton away, setting it on the seat beside him, and then pulled her close to him. He held onto her, one arm wrapped around her shoulders, like he was trying to offer comfort. And because she had nothing left to do, Darcy took it. She leaned against him, pretending he was someone else—anyone else. It didn’t matter. He ran his hand up and down her shoulder with a touch so gentle, Darcy could not understand how it was the same hand that had slapped her so hard she thought she could still feel it.
He held her close and kissed the top of her head, and somehow Darcy almost thought she might be okay. And then a woman on the PA said something Darcy didn’t understand, but which seemed to get Loki’s attention.
“Sørvágur. I know that place,” he said, looking around.
Darcy managed to sit up enough to pull their boarding passes from her coat. She couldn’t find anything that looked like “Sawr-vower” written anywhere, but that didn’t seem to mean much when the locals were speaking Viking. Giving up, she handed the pass to Loki. She watched as he frowned at it, scanning the whole thing. Finally he nodded sharply and stood. Darcy knew she needed to get up, but all she could do is bite her lip to keep from crying again. She looked up at Loki, silently pleading for patience she knew he didn’t have.
“We haven’t time for this,” Loki said, reaching to pull her to her feet.
Darcy let herself be pulled along to the gate. She had thought that facing her fears was supposed to get easier with each attempt, but every plane they had to board was more difficult than the previous. She could feel her already tenuous grip on her wits fading fast, and wasn’t sure if she was about to cry or pass out from the rush of abject terror that surged through her.
Loki moved his hand to her back, pushing her along rather than pulling her. He said nothing as she began to tremble beneath his touch, both comforting and terrifying all at once. They soon reached the gate, and Loki took the envelope with the rest of their documents from her and handed everything off to the boarding agent, mimicking what those in front of them had done. As they were once again checked over, Darcy braced herself for something to make a noise or summon security, but again it didn’t happen. The agent smiled and nodded and handed everything back, and waved them through to the gate. But rather than going through a long tunnel to the plane, it led to a flight of stairs directly to the tarmac. Another attendant at the bottom pointed them to another twin-prop aeroplane, though not like the ones they had taken previously. This one was smaller and looked newer, with a bright white and blue paint job. Darcy could feel her step faltering as they walked toward it. She had thought they’d be getting on a big jet. She didn’t know if that would have made it easier, but being surprised by yet another prop-driven plane had overwhelmed her all over again.
Beside her, she could feel Loki tense as he pulled her close, pressing their bodies together as they walked. As they got to the stairs, Loki again handed their boarding passes over to an attendant, because that’s what everyone else was doing. The attendant said something, pointing down the length of the plane as she handed the passes back.
Even as Loki tugged her along, Darcy had to force herself to take those last few steps up the stairs. Once at the top, Loki nudged her in ahead of him, and walked close behind her all the way to the very last row.
"Why are we in the back?" Darcy asked, looking out over the rows of empty seats all along the length of the plane.
"Because we were told to be," Loki said, herding her toward her seat with his body.
Darcy sat and immediately started searching for her belt, while Loki watched what everyone else was doing with their bags and copied them, stowing theirs in the overhead bin. When he finally sat down, the first thing he did was raise the arm-rest between them. Once he was buckled in, he held his arm out, inviting Darcy closer. Lacking any other source of comfort, Darcy took it, leaning against his side as he wrapped his arm around her shoulders. She could feel his own tension as he held onto her and looked around the cabin, and didn’t think it was all down to impatience with her. Even as she trembled against him, Loki sat stiffly in his seat. When she dared to look up at him, Darcy could see his heavy, uneasy frown.
He was watching every single person who boarded after them, and Darcy realised he was afraid they’d been followed. She looked up as well, but didn’t see any faces she recognised. But then she thought SHIELD wouldn’t have sent any recognisable faces after them. SHIELD would want to catch them by surprise.
"Shoes and watches," she said quietly.
"What?" Loki asked.
"Look for shiny shoes, and expensive wrist watches," Darcy said, turning her head down so she’d be less likely to be overheard. "Undercover cops are really bad at being undercover. They want to protect their feet, so they’ll probably be wearing something with a steel toe. But it’ll be shiny because they’re not cops; they’re feds, and they like their shoes really shiny. And they always forget about their watches. They’ll have short hair, and if they’re a woman, it’ll probably be in a pony tail. Also name brand coats, if you know what that means."
Loki nodded slowly. "I don’t. What is it?"
"They’ll have badge on the front," Darcy said. Explaining how to spot a cop was giving her something else to focus on, rather than her impending doom by regional aircraft. "It’ll say something like North Face or Patagonia or something douchey like that."
"How do you know this?" Loki asked, turning to look out the window for a moment.
"I told you, this isn’t my first rodeo either," Darcy said. "I was at some of the Wall Street protests. They had cops all over the place trying to start riots."
Loki frowned again, but Darcy wasn’t sure if it was because he didn’t understand what she was talking about, or because he didn’t like what she had to say. He looked back over the plane again as the hatch was closed and the last few passengers got their stuff together. A flight attendant got onto the PA and said more words Darcy did not understand, though she knew what it meant all the same. Taking a deep breath, she buried her face back against Loki’s chest and tried to think about anything else.
The plane roared to life as the engines on either side got up to speed, and soon they were moving. Loki’s arm around her was little comfort as they slowly taxied toward the runway.
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