The lab at Stark Tower is unusually quiet. There are no experiments going on, no quiet discussions between Loki and Jane regarding magic versus science, and Darcy isn’t swamped with data that needs to be entered into the computer. Thor and Loki are in a meeting with the other Avengers and so Darcy and Jane are using the time to wrap some last minute gifts.
Jane’s worktable is neatly organized. Ribbons and tape and name tags are placed in specific spots within reach. Her boxes are neatly wrapped, the corners precisely folded as though she calculated each bend of wrapping paper before making it.
Darcy’s worktable is the complete opposite. Ribbons and bows and scraps of multicolored paper litter the surface as well as the floor below. She doesn’t bother finding evenly shaped boxes to wrap her gifts in. Instead she gets creative, wrapping each oddly shaped gift with a perfect lack of precision.
“Do you think Thor will like his gift?” Jane says as she adds an impeccably placed bow onto the medium sized box in front of her.
“Does he like Pop-Tarts? Of course, he’ll like what you got him,” Darcy assures her. Then again, Darcy doesn’t see how the large man would dislike anything Jane gives him. He is that besotted with the scientist. Darcy thinks it’s cute, in a puppy love kind of way. And that thought causes her to snort softly because of its relation to Jane’s gift.
“I know. It’s just that a puppy is like a serious commitment, I don’t want to pressure him.” Jane looks completely worried and Darcy gives her a stern look.
“You listen to me, Miss Foster. Thor pined away for you the entire time he was stuck on Asgard and the Rainbow Bridge was broken. He waited for you. You are the sole owner of the God of Thunder’s heart, lady. I don’t think a puppy is going to ruin it for you.” Darcy gives her a winning smile and Jane laughs.
“You’re right. I’ve never felt this way about anyone, I want everything to be as amazing on the outside as he makes me feel on the inside.” Jane’s expression is so sincere that Darcy actually gets a lump in her throat. She swallows once, twice to clear it before speaking.
“Aww, Boss Lady. You deserve the best.”
Darcy’s thoughts turn to Loki. They haven’t seen each other since yesterday and the kiss they shared at Jane’s. Thor and Loki had been called away shortly after to help Stark subdue a creature from one of the other realms who was wreaking havoc on the Upper East Side. According to Jane it had been late by the time Thor returned to her, so Darcy assumed Loki had returned to the apartment he shared with Thor rather late as well.
“What’s that last gift you have to wrap, Darcy?”
“Oh, it’s for Loki. I found it in an out of the way bookshop in the Village like three weeks ago. Look it even has this gold insignia on it that makes it look awesome.” She holds up a leather bound book that has thin leather straps to tie it shut. The paper inside is more like parchment, and there is something classy and elegant about the book.
“You bought him a journal?” Jane’s tone was slightly incredulous. “You really don’t think he keeps a journal do you?”
Darcy shifts uncomfortably. Telling her friend why she bought Loki a journal is tantamount to admitting that she’s been watching him longer than anyone else realizes. And perhaps it means the attraction between them isn’t as ‘new’ as some might believe.
“It’s not a journal per se. It’s more of an idea book. I think grimoire would be the appropriate term in this case.” Darcy’s explanation makes Jane’s forehead wrinkle in thought.
“A grimoire? Isn’t that like a book of magic? Why would you give him that?”
“Haven’t you noticed all the scraps of paper he keeps on his desk? He even steals my Post-Its™ just to write on. He needs a better place for his spells that won’t get lost or thrown away.”
Jane is surprised Darcy put in this much thought. Loki’s normal modus operandi with them was polite disinterest, up until recently with Darcy anyway. Then something Darcy said sticks out in her mind.
“Wait, Darce. Three weeks ago? He still wasn’t acknowledging you for the most part three weeks ago.” Darcy smiles ruefully.
“I know, but he always gest this little frustrated look on his face when he runs out of room on the sticky note pads. It’s cute. You know I’m defenseless against the cute!”
The women laugh and the conversation moves on to other things.
Out in the hall two men exchange surprised glances with each other. It’s clear by their expressions that they have heard the entire conversation.
Loki notices Thor grinning like the fool he is, but he doesn’t even bother to needle him about it. Instead he is busy contemplating Darcy and the insightful gift she is giving him for Christmas and the fact she bought it three weeks ago.