Darcy didn’t know how long she’d been left alone, with thoughts that only grew more and more confusing by the minute. When the door finally opened, and a doctor in blue scrubs stepped inside, Darcy was almost overwhelmed by the bitterness and resentment of seeing him. Of course they would send a man in to invade her space further, to touch her body in ways she had already refused to allow. She didn’t care why they thought it was needed, or if he was the only doctor in the entire building. Darcy already knew the entire military was criminally incompetent, but they didn’t have to be so damn rude about it on top of everything. She wrapped her arms around her chest and looked away, refusing to even look at him if she could help it.

“I understand you’re refusing an exam,” he said, sitting down on a small stool by the computer.

Darcy continued to ignore him. He didn’t deserve anything from her. She just wanted to be left alone.

“That is your choice, but I strongly recommend against it,” he said.

He kept his voice quiet and soft, and all she could hear was Loki and his false assurances and pretty little lies. Darcy took a deep breath and continued to ignore him, staring at a little black spot on the floor a few feet in front of her. She knew he was right. She knew the exam wasn’t just for putting on record what Loki had done to her, but also to make sure he hadn’t hurt her in ways worse than she already knew he had. She also knew it would be invasive and degrading, and entirely too much like what she had already been through. It would be clinical and sterile, but also still an invasion upon her body, scrutinising every part of her.

Even as she sat defiantly, she could still feel him. She could still feel what he had done to her. Even the smallest movements highlighted the burning, stinging pain deep inside her. She had to find precisely the right way to sit so she did not unwittingly put pressure against a part of her she had never even been conscious of before.

“What about pain. Are you experiencing any of that?” the doctor asked when Darcy didn’t respond.

She shrugged. Of course she was in pain. She was covered in bruises and marks from what Loki had done to her. Wrapping her arms more tightly around herself, Darcy continued to look at the spot on the floor. She wanted to scream about the amount of pain she was in, inside and out. The words longed to burst from her chest, in all the vivid detail about how Loki had gone out of his way to hurt her and use her, but she could not force even a sound.

He had done that to her as well. She knew it.

He had hurt her and used her, and forbidden her to tell a soul. It was their own sick little secret, just between the two of them. Not for anyone else to know. And Darcy knew it was going to eat her alive.

“Okay,” the doctor said finally, and he sounded almost glad to not have to deal with her. “There’s not much I can do if this is how you want it to be. But if you do start feeling any pain around the abdominal region, you’ll want to go back to the ER, because it could be very dangerous.”

Darcy shrugged again, hating the way he talked as though she were a disobedient child. It had been hours (days?) since Loki had raped her until she bled. If she were going to die from it, she figured it would have already happened. She didn’t need someone else to tell her she’d been raped. Even if they did know for certain, what would they even do with that information? If he were going to be careless enough to hurt her that badly, he would have done it days ago. She thought with a rising sourness that Loki knew exactly what he was doing; he knew exactly how to hurt her so it lasted, but without leaving serious damage. And that was exactly what he had done.

"I’ll write up some recommendations and leave them with your escort," the doctor said.

He sounded done with her in a way he wasn’t allowed. He hadn’t been there. He hadn’t gone through what she had. What did he know of any of it? What did he know of hopelessness and despair? He was just another one of them, sent in to do a job so Darcy could be shunted off to the next place.

She took a deep breath, keeping her vision on the spot on the floor while the doctor left her alone again. Only once he was gone, and the door latched between them, did Darcy look up at the rest of the room again. There was a window, large but high up along the top half of the wall. She hadn’t remembered going up any stairs, and didn’t think emergency rooms had a tendency to be too high up from the ground. It might have been a five foot drop, at most, on the outside.

But she’d have to break the window to get outside. Nothing about it looked like it had a single moving part, and Darcy didn’t feel like getting up to examine it more closely. There was no point in getting her hopes up when she already knew it wouldn’t open. The only way out of the room was through the door, where on the other side her guards were almost certainly waiting. Coulson, she thought, was probably getting impatient. He probably had a dozen better things to be doing than babysitting her and having his time wasted. On that alone, Darcy could take a little bit of satisfaction. She could waste his time forever, if it meant he wasn’t out harassing someone else.

Erik had hated these guys, and Darcy fully understood why. She wondered what had happened to the gamma ray scientist who had never been heard from again. She wondered if he was in a concrete box somewhere, or endlessly running across the globe as well.

She wondered if Loki had made it to Alfheim. And she wondered why she cared. She wondered if anyone would tell her if he’d been caught too, or if she’d just have to spend the rest of her life wondering.

She wondered what she’d be doing, were she on Alfheim as well. She wondered if Loki would have rushed right into marriage, or if he would have finally gotten that nap he wanted. Either way, she knew she would have been raped again, and she knew that she would have let it happen. Maybe then, he’d have left her alone. Maybe then, she’d have been able to get some rest as well.

She wondered what SHIELD were going to do to her when they found out the full extent of what he had done to her. She was certain they knew she had been raped, or else they wouldn’t be pushing the tests so hard. But would they have suspected that she could get pregnant from it? Or were they counting on it?

She wondered what SHIELD knew that she didn’t.

She wondered if SHIELD knew that she hadn’t always fought back; that more often than not, she played along. And she wondered if that information would convince them that she had been with Loki out of choice, willingly following him, instead of being dragged along with no other choice.

Once again alone in a strange place, Darcy buried her face in her hands and tried to simply breathe. She had no idea what would come next, but whatever it was, she knew she’d need ever last ounce of wit and strength she had left. When Solomon stepped back through the door, Darcy sighed, but didn’t get up.

"You all right?" Solomon asked, full of fake concern and care that made Darcy want to scream.

Rather than responding, Darcy only shrugged. All right was about as far from her reality as was possible to be, but it wasn’t worth getting into an argument over. She just wanted to be taken to whatever hole they were going to throw her into so she could curl up into a corner and forget any of it had ever happened.

"Come on," Solomon said, inviting Darcy to do just that.

Still, it was more difficult to get up than she had anticipated. She had to force her body to move, to find her feet and stand, to make that first step. Then the next. And the next, until she finally met Solomon at the door. Darcy noticed that she was holding onto a small stack of papers that were probably handed off from the doctor. Darcy didn’t care what was on them. She knew what was on them, and didn’t even want to look at it.

Coulson was there too, standing just outside the door and looking like he was trying not to look bored. He glanced over to the two of them and nodded before walking away. Rather than following him, Solomon nudged Darcy over in the opposite direction.

"Where’s he going?" Darcy asked, unable to stop herself.

It was becoming an infuriatingly common motif in her life. She was so constantly unable to stop herself, and nothing good ever came from it.

"We lost eyes on Loki, but the case isn’t closed yet," Solomon said as they walked along a twisted path through the ER.

But Loki had got away. He was probably living it up on Alfheim at that very moment, laughing about everything he’d done during his time on Earth. And Darcy was left behind to deal with whatever came next.

What came next was short hallway, and a closed door. Solomon knocked twice on it before opening it, revealing a small, private waiting room. For a long moment, Darcy’s mind utterly shut down, and she stared blankly ahead as one of the people in the room quickly rose to her feet and pulled Darcy into a tight hug. It took her mind entirely too long to catch up, and when it did, she started crying all over again. She hugged her mother back, burying her face against her shoulder. There were more hands on her than there should have been, and when Darcy pulled away enough to look up, her dad pulled her into a tight hug as well.

"Oh my god, baby," her mom said, and Darcy realised she was crying too. They all were.

Darcy wanted to say something; anything. But words were beyond her capacity. She cried and sniffed and nearly choked on the wave of confusion and relief that crashed over her. She didn’t know what they were doing there, or how they got there, but all she could do was hold on for dear life. It didn’t make sense, but nothing had made sense for a very long time. From the moment Jane had run over some random guy in the middle of the desert, nothing had made sense. But they were there, and she was there, and that’s all she needed.

Eventually, they found their way to the small, scratchy sofa against the wall, and moment by moment she calmed down.

"I wanna go home," Darcy managed to say finally.

"I know. We’re going home," her mom said.

She reached out and ran her fingers down the side of Darcy’s face, overwhelming sadness written upon her own features. Darcy reached up to meet her, knowing what wasn’t being said. She couldn’t say it, and she knew her mother was too afraid to ask.

"I wanna go right now," Darcy said.

She knew she was being petulant, but she didn’t care. She deserved a bit of petulance, and neither of her parents seemed to disagree.

Her mom nodded, and on her other side, her dad stood back up.

"We’re going home," he said, already heading toward the door.