Relations, Only Relations.
Odin looked at his most hated daughter-in-law wannabe from across the party and mentally grimaced, trying not to let it show because his wife would chew on him. Again. He spotted his second son, who he also hated, and had a sudden idea. He had a good way to embarrass that uppity human woman who his son supposedly was in love with. He had barely conquered her, how would he call that love? But he had a great idea.
He smiled to himself, going to his special vault to find that artifact. He brought it out and called for Thor and Jane to appear, handing the gift to Thor. "Upon your marriage, your aunt wanted your wife to have that," he said dryly. "As she had no daughters and neither did I, that should go to Jane, son. If you intend to marry her." He went back to his throne. "I'll expect her to wear it tonight to dinner as a sign of your favor."
"Thank you, Father." He looked at Jane, letting her open the box. Inside was a gorgeous five strand diamond choker with a ruby in the center. "Oh, that's beautiful," Thor said.
"It's very expensive and showy, Thor," she said, looking up at him.
He smiled. "You'll be a princess when we marry, My Jane. They do wear such jewels."
She nodded. "I'll figure out what to wear with it to dinner. Thank you, Odin." She left with Thor, looking at the necklace. It seemed to twinkle more than it should under the flickering lights in the hallway. They ran into Loki and Jane glared.
Loki stared at that artifact then at Thor. "You know that's chaos magic, correct?" he asked quietly. "Meant to screw something up?"
"What does it do?" Jane asked.
"It changes you while you wear it, Jane Foster." He smirked a bit. "To anyone you wish to be. But it comes with one caveat. If you put it on someone, you must take it off them. Or else it cannot be removed." He left, going to find a good spot to watch that chaos start from. He had heard Odin giving it to them and had wondered why he was gifting Jane jewels.
Thor blinked. "That's interesting."
"I want to test that." She got them back to their room and sat in front of the vanity mirror to try it on. It fit her well. She had a long neck so it looked good on her. She hitched the last one and didn't change. Then decided to try the image of someone she knew very well, unhitching the last clasp then redoing it with that image in mind. She squeaked as she became her assistant Darcy. Thor moaned, sitting on the bed. "Oh." She took it off. "That's what he meant."
"Jane, do try something? Try to become me?" He watched her put it on and do that, then winced as she did, but shorter. It didn't compensate for height. "Oh, dear." She walked over and picked up his hammer to hand to him. Then took off the necklace and put the hammer back anyway. "I had forgotten that. That could cause much chaos, My Jane." He put the choker back in the case and shut it, then looked at her. "How will you honor Odin's wishes tonight?"
"I can wear it and not think of someone else," she said. "It didn't change me until I thought of someone else. Unless you think someone can switch it on me?"
"No. Not with you putting it on yourself." He stood up to kiss her gently then smiled. "We could have much fun with that gift."
She nodded. "Maybe." She patted him on the chest with a smirk. "But you'd be going into it too for that sort of fun you're thinking of." He shivered but nodded, going to the bathroom. She settled in to consider how to deal with this tonight. She could wear it, and wear it well, and not use it to change anything about herself.
She got up to find an appropriate dress, finding something loaned in her closet from Frigga. It was obviously Frigga's, it was her favorite color and in the gauzy shape she tended to wear. She tried it on with the choker then took the neckline down a bit to show it. That worked better.
Thor came out while she was fixing her hair and makeup and put on his own dinner suit. Then they went to dinner together. She smiled and kissed Frigga on the cheek. "Thank thee for the lending, Lady Frigga," she said in her ear.
"You're most welcome, Jane." She spotted the choker. "Where did you get that, dear?"
"Odin said Thor's aunt meant for him to give it to his wife."
She nodded once. "Oh, dear."
"I know what it does. Loki warned us." She winked. She was settled into her chair by Thor, who sat next to her, holding her hand. She smiled. "Darcy will want to try it on once."
"Aye, she should. Just so she's warned," he said dryly with a smile for her. "Her curiosity does her well but could be dangerous with some things."
"Oh, there's a lot more than that under her beanies, Thor." She smiled, sipping her water delicately. Thor gave her an odd look but oh well.
Frigga smiled at Odin when he stomped in. "Husband, I saw the gift you gave to Jane and Thor." She stared at him. He smiled back. Oh, he was going to do something stupid. Very stupid. She sat down when he did and settled in to counter whatever plot he was brewing. She noticed where Loki had positioned himself so he was waiting as well.
Odin stared at Jane then at Thor. "Did you help her into it, Thor?"
"Nay, Father, I was showering when she dressed. She does not need help even if my fingers were small enough to work that set of clasps."
"It's a darling necklace, Odin. Thank you for lending it to me to wear tonight," Jane said with a smile for him. He stared at her. She stared back.
Odin called dinner to order and everyone dug in, eating and drinking and telling stories. It was a fun meal. Odin had a plan though. He could set off that necklace remotely if his wife cooperated. He glanced at her and saw she wasn't going to help him this time. Or Loki. "Jane Foster, I know you have many ladies in waiting."
"No, I only have my one lab assistant." She smiled at him. "Darcy's quite special to put up with me when I'm in the middle of a science binge. She's a humanities person so understands people a lot better than I do."
"Aye, Darcy is quite motherly at times," Thor agreed with a nod. "Yet very strong as she felled me. Did I tell you how she felled me, Mother?"
"You have, Thor." She smiled and patted him on the hand. "It's sweet she taught you some subtlety."
He nodded. "She did try and did show me many things on Midgard." He dug in again, glancing at Jane. Then at his mother, who was staring at Odin.
Jane smiled at one of the courtiers on the other side. "Tell me of Thor's last girlfriend?" she asked. "I've met Sif but I figure he had many before me and I hope not to make their same mistakes." Up the table Sif gave her a pointed look but was trying not to smile.
"No, not really, Dr. Foster," the woman said, eyes wide. "He didn't much see anyone specifically or socially. He ...talked to many women but had none on his arm at all times."
"I'm well aware that warriors fool around more than they eat," she said quietly, making the matron choke but nod. She grinned at that. "I don't want to compare myself to them, but wonder what flaws they had to make him not keep them."
"He was not minded to keep anyone I believe. Perhaps Lady Sif could tell you better." She looked at Sif.
"As you think of warriors, he did much of," Sif told her then shrugged. "You're the first that's kept his attention for more than a few hours, Jane."
"Aww." She smiled at Thor, who was blushing. Then she looked at Sif again. "You hear such wild things from the myths on earth."
"You probably do," she agreed with a nod and a smile.
"I know they got you wrong, Sif. They said you were Thor's blonde wife. That Loki had cut off all your precious blonde hair and had to have some dwarves make you more."
Sif blinked. "I have not seen that myth but that is horrifying in many ways."
Jane nodded. "Darcy and I thought so too. After he came in New Mexico, Darcy got into a deep study of mythology and made me read it with her." She sipped her water with a smirk. "There's some very wild things in there."
"I would assume so." She shook her head quickly. "People make up myths to explain things to themselves."
"That's what Darcy said." She smiled. "She asked if I find any cute lesser warriors I bring them to introduce her before the wedding."
Sif nodded. "She would run them all over, Jane. Darcy was quite...firm in her willpower. Many men would not know what to do with that."
"Aye, including me," Thor admitted. "I had a nightmare about her turning into Jane one day." He sipped his mead as he shook his head. "Absolutely terrifying at that time."
Jane looked at him. "She's going to swat you for that."
"Probably." He smiled and nodded. "She could very well swat me quite a lot. It was a nightmare about our wedding day. The doors opened and you walked down the aisle in a veil and dress, then when I went to move the veil it was her and she hissed at me. Then everyone in the wedding chapel fell down dead except myself and my mother." He frowned. "I know Darcy would not but it was most horrifying when I remove the veil and found her."
Jane looked at him. "You need to quit eating before bed, Thor. You really should."
"Too true. And it would keep down indigestion during the night."
"Another good effect." She patted him on the hand before she let slip the theory that he had made her go sleep on the couch a few times thanks to his farting all night. "At least you don't usually snore."
"No, that's something I've grown accustomed to hearing," he quipped.
She shrugged. "I have a sinus thing going on. It happens." She looked at Sif again, who was trying not to laugh. "I'm sure you've seen that while you traveled and fought near him."
"Many nights he drove others out of his tent with his gut," Sif agreed dryly, making Thor huff but roll his eyes. "If I remember right, someone bet Thor fifty coins that his gut would send a dragon running but they could not find one to test that."
Thor stared at her. "Behave, Sif. That was a silly bet between battle friends."
She laughed. "Yes but true and I can't wait until you try thus, Thor."
"I would not. Dragons would run from me before I could try."
"If you're sure that's why they'd run," Sif quipped with a smirk. Thor huffed but looked amused. "Jane, you must watch out for him and perfumes."
"Oh." She flapped a hand. "I'm sure you saw Darcy going off on the kid who used Axe bodyspray." Sif moaned but nodded. "He let Thor try some. I didn't realize before how bad that smelled and why that stuff got a few schools shut down from chemical release alarms but then he tried it." Sif burst out giggling into her cup, shaking her head. She smiled at Thor, who smirked back. "Darcy said not even a whole group of teenage boys was that strong."
Frigga smiled at that story. "What is this spray?"
"Axe is a body spray for young men," Jane said. "Smells horrid really. Like a woman's perfume but for a guy. It's easy to put on too much and it's very strong. We've had a few school that *literally* shut down after a group of teenage boys put some on and got caught by the chemical release alarm at their schools. So very strong, Lady Frigga."
"Darcy's dragon side was showing, Mother. She is quite the fierce dragon sort." He sighed. "When she wants to be."
"Yes she is very much a dragon, a gold dragon," Jane quipped. "Since she looks good in golds."
Thor nodded. "She does." He dug into his dinner again.
"I would like to meet your assistant, she sounds interesting," Frigga said.
"Sure, come down with us," Jane offered with a grin. "Darcy would probably bake if we warned her in advance."
"You should call her later," Thor offered.
"I should if Heimdall would let me. It's been a few days and I know Darcy worries about things." She went back to eating.
Thor nodded. "She does like to bake and sing." He shook his head quickly. "Darcy is very full of life."
"What other myths did she find?" the matron asked.
"Well, there was one about a stallion that was somehow attacking and defeating warriors so someone in the royal family, someone male, changed into a mare to lead him off and ended up having an eight-legged foal from him."
The matron looked at her oddly. "They did what?"
"Yes. We thought it very odd and probably due to someone's bitter gossip against a rival but there was that one. One about Thor losing his hammer so he had to pretend to be Freya for a bit to get it back because the dwarf or whoever had Mjolnir hostage wanted Freya's hand in marriage and would trade the hammer for it.
"The myth said Thor dressed up as a woman to go get it back but didn't shave and the dwarf didn't even really notice that Thor behind a veil wasn't a woman. Apparently Loki helped him with that ruse but not enough to make him shave his beard." Thor was choking but shaking his head at that. Jane sipped her water with a grin. "There's a lot that sounded like malicious, jealous gossip really."
The matron nodded at that. "I cannot imagine Thor dressing up in flirty clothes and a veil to go get his special hammer back."
"Me either," Thor noted. He cleared his throat with another sip of mead. His mother poured him more. "Thank thee, Mother."
"Welcome, dear." She smiled at Jane. "Much of it does sound like jealous gossip. Though I read that myth and had a good chuckle. Dwarven women can have beards so that would've thrilled him, he would've seen it as a great omen. Though I'm fairly certain my other son could've just snuck in to steal it."
Thor nodded. "He probably could have." He looked down at Loki then at Jane. "Which royal family member had the stallion story about them?" She flicked her hand toward Loki's end of the table. "Oh!" He winced. "I believe I know where that one started. He had a rival who hated him muchly when he was about ten or so." Loki groaned loudly but nodded at that idea.
"According to myths, there were a few kids born that way. Then again there's myths of your two future sons too, Thor."
He shook his head. "I would enjoy having sons I could train to hunt and battle."
She patted him on the hand. "They'll also learn science and people things. Because you know Darcy's going to teach them people things."
"Aye, she would. Her studies of politics could help them some year in the future as well. I should have her find books for them to study when they're of age." He smiled and sipped his mead, letting Jane get back to eating. Before she gave more people bad ideas. "We should get Lady Darcy to send us a book of those myths so we can be amused and figure out where they started, Mother."
"We should, dear. When you go back for your honeymoon you can ask her for one."
"I can, yes." He nodded. He looked at Jane. "Did it say Loki had other children thanks to such things?"
"A daughter and another son. The son with a giantess was born a bit...furry. Very furry. The other is probably not nice to mention in the company of others since she was supposedly the Goddess of Death."
Loki shook his head. "No, I believe that one got ripped from somewhere else," he said dryly. "Though my daughter was dark haired and pretty, plus able to defend herself."
"She probably still is unless she's in a coma or magical sleep or something," Jane told him.
Loki blinked. "I have no idea. Her mother took her and fled from someone trying to kill them in my name when I had nothing to do with that."
"Sounds like politics," Jane said with a grimace. "I hope no one has to deal with that anymore."
"Nay, I doubt we would," Thor said, looking at Loki. "I had forgotten you had a wife and daughter, Loki."
"Many have." He sipped his wine, letting the rest of the table talk about her. He felt Odin's magic try something and yet nothing happened.
"We should get to know Jane Foster's handmaiden," Odin decided. "We should bring her up here."
Jane smiled at him. "That's very kind of you, Odin. I'm sure Darcy would be thrilled to come up for a visit. I can ask Heimdall to tell her if you want."
"Nay, I can do that." He sent a message to Heimdall. Who he did not get to see wince at that order to pull the handmaiden up at the most embarrassing moment. Instead, Heimdall walked her in. She was wearing a pretty basic set of jeans and t-shirt, a big jacket, a knit beanie, and boots with her usual messenger bag slung across her chest. She walked in like she owned the place and bowed to Odin. "Hey. You had me sent for? That's really cool of you. I worry about Jane a lot." Odin stared.
Frigga stood up. "Hela," she breathed.
Darcy grinned at her. "No. Though some have made that mistake before, Lady Frigga." She held up a finger. "It's the dark hair I got from my father. Everything else came from the maternal grandma; everyone said she was kinda Fae." She winked at her then hugged Jane. "Cool chaos artifact, Janey. What's that one do?"
"Changes your form."
"Awww. I wonder if that's one of the official ones or not." She touched it then nodded. "Yeah, it is. Huh." She grinned. "That's a precious artifact. Totes Restricted Artifact vault sort of stuff. It's said six chaos gods got together to make that thing as a future reparation for when one of theirs got screwed over greatly." She ran a finger over it, nodding a bit. "Looks good on you, Janey."
"Thanks, Darcy. Dinner?"
"Sure. Though I'm not dressed." She smiled at Frigga. "Sorry. Heimdall didn't give me a chance to change. I would've at least put on a dress and heels if I had the time."
"You can do that for the luncheon tomorrow, dear. Go ahead and sit."
"Thanks, Queen Frigga." She curtseyed then sat in a free spot, smiling up the table at Thor. "Eric sends his greetings, Thor."
"Tell him I said hello back when you go back, Lady Darcy." He smiled like he didn't realize something was going on. Though, he mostly didn't. Jane didn't know either apparently.
"Of course I will. And Ian of course." She smiled at the others. "I'm Darcy, Jane's assistant in her search for the Einstein-Rosen bridge." She waved with a smile. "I've just finished my primary degree in political science." She smiled. "Though Jane keeps nudging me towards a harder science than the humanities are." They smiled and chatted with her about Jane's things. Which was sweet. They were trying to get to know their future queen. Though she noticed one person was paying more attention to his plate. But she'd talk to him later.
The next day, Darcy was ready to play dress up. A dress had appeared. With proper shoes. Which didn't fit but she easily fixed that. Then she pulled out her mother's little bag that she had given her and put it on the dressing table next to her hairbrush. "So, Mom," she said quietly. "How far are we showing our hand?" She touched the bag and pulled out the necklace to put on. Hands clasped it for her. "Thanks, Dad."
He sighed. "Why did you not show yourself to me in that town?" he asked quietly.
"Because it's a desert. Not like I could grow something to stop you." She stood up to stare at him. Then she kissed him on the cheek. "The myths of my siblings are really amusing, Dad."
He nodded. "They were malicious gossip." He stared at her. "I barely spotted you then. You were busy saving innocent animals."
"Does that really surprise you?"
"No. Your mother would do the same thing." He sighed, staring at her. "Odin gave her that necklace as a curse."
"I figured. Your mother isn't that much of an asshole."
"True." He swallowed. "I miss your mother."
"You should go to Virginia and talk to her then."
"Yeah. She's a nymph but yeah. She decided to give up and become a forest nymph I guess. Saved her from another boring faculty mixer at the college she was teaching at."
He blinked a few times. "I thought she was dead," he said quietly.
"She knew that. That way we were safer." She shrugged but grinned. "By the way, there's only me. That spell did make her miscarry the baby brother." He nodded, biting his lip as he looked at her. "Should I pull out the other gifts she lets me wear? And can we go talk to the other grandma?"
"I think they're sealed in to protect themselves."
"Probably. It could help Jane though. Especially with that chaos artifact around her throat."
"She hitched it on herself. I did warn her."
She winked then pulled out the tiny gold thing to put into her hair. It sighed and spread out into a small gold dragon shaped tiara. He moaned at that. "Or I could wear my formal one."
"No. You're very much like your mother, dear."
"Then you should probably not be seen with me just in case someone else breaks that memory spell. Though I'll let you visit."
"Do you like them together?"
"As long as Jane's happy and healthy, it's fine with me. He hurts her again, and well, I am Mom's daughter." She smirked. He shivered but nodded and left. Darcy fussed at her makeup and hair. The dragon fussed back at the movement but oh well. It fell back asleep again. It'd wake up fully if it had to protect her.
She stepped into the shoes and looked at herself in the mirror, seeing the illusion over the dress that hid that it was ripped, torn, and in rags. Then she sighed and cast the magic to fix it. The dragon hummed but liked that. Now she looked like a princess. A true princess. Someone knocked. "I'm nearly ready," she called. "I'll follow Jane in since I'm all but her handmaiden."
"Yes, Lady Darcy. Thor will meet you up there."
"That's fine." She checked her back, adjusting the train a bit. It didn't need to be long today. She might have to kick a butt in it. She made sure she had her tazer in her pocket and then tied on the belt from the bag, tucking it into her bra. She walked over to stare at Jane, who gasped when she saw her. "Mom's people's stuff."
Jane swallowed. "Oh, shit. Your dad's up here."
"Yeah. We met him before though. He didn't realize it. I couldn't grow much in the desert." She shrugged and grinned.
Jane got up, staring at the dragon then at her. "That's...."
"Horace. He's a sweetie. He hatched in my nursery."
"Awww. Is your grandmother around here?"
"No. They sealed themselves off to stop a war." They shared a look. "So I'm your handmaiden, Jane." She looked then adjusted her jewelry and makeup look, then put something in her hair, which was turquoise and silver. "There. That looks good. Let's go? I want to see his face."
"I don't think he realizes." They walked out together, Darcy humming as they walked. Though she was humming the Emperor's theme from Star Wars. Jane shot her a dirty look. She grinned back. "What? I can be a Sith Lord."
"Uh-huh. Try not to?"
"I always *try*, Janey."
"True. You do try." She sighed, pausing outside the doorways. The pages there stared in awe. She caught her breath and nodded so they opened the door to announce her.
"Dr. Jane Foster, Betrothed of Thor. Lady Darcelina Adronica Lewis," the page said then winced as the truth had to come out by her true name. She winked at him and it canceled the truth saying spell slightly for her. "Handmaiden to Dr. Foster."
Jane walked in and smiled at Thor, kissing him on the cheek. "Thor. Didn't Darcy do so good with my hair?"
"She did," he agreed, cuddling her. "You look lovely, My Jane." He smiled at Darcy, but frowned at the thing in her hair. "What's that?"
"Horace. I've had him since I was about two days old when he hatched next to me in my crib." She touched the tiny dragon 'tiara' then grinned at him.
Thor blinked. "I suppose it's not that weird. We have one who wore a peacock on her head once." He walked Jane to their table with Darcy following.
Odin and Frigga stared at Jane. "That's lovely, Jane," Frigga said.
"Darcy's necklace she leant me to put into my hair." She smiled. "She does great with that stuff. I barely pay attention to my hair at all until it annoys me while I'm trying to do math sometimes." She let Thor sit her down.
Darcy winked at the page who helped her into her seat. "Thank you, sweetie."
"Welcome, ma'am." He stepped back.
Frigga smiled at Darcy. "You look lovely as well. Is that the dress we leant you?"
"It's more of my grandmother's style of dress, but mostly." She smiled. "It's very kind of you to lend me a proper gown, Lady Frigga. Thank thee for the honor."
Frigga nodded. "You're welcome. Darcy wasn't it?"
"Yes. Everyone calls me Darcy instead of Darcelina. It's a bit of an older name and a mouthful. But Mom wanted to name me after a favorite aunt so..." She shrugged with a smile. "I grew into my name."
"I can see that. Do we know of your grandmother?"
"She's not from Asgard, Queen Frigga. In your immense lifetime you may have met her sometime in passing though. I never got to talk to her."
"That's a shame you lost her."
"Well, Mom wasn't really the favored daughter anyway," she said dryly. "In fact, I think my father met her braiding reeds beside a river into a rope so she could escape the house during the night."
Jane looked at her. "Really?"
"Yeah. No other way for her to make a rope to run away." She shrugged but grinned. "Mom was not happy with that life. She loved being an academic until the politics drove her into the forest the last time."
"What did your mother teach?" Thor asked.
"Literature." She smiled. "Specifically Middle Ages English lit, Thor."
"Ah. There's a great many works from that time." He nodded and sipped his mead. Darcy didn't usually put him at ill ease but today she wasn't happy and bouncy like usual.
Odin stared at Darcy. "What is that you're wearing?"
"Horace?" she asked with a smile. "I've had him since I was two days old, King Odin. I inherited him by him hatching next to me."
She touched her necklace. "My mother's necklace? She gave it to me when I hit sixteen. Said I was of age to wear it finally." She smiled, sipping her water. "It's the most fancy thing I own."
"It's most...delicate looking," he said.
"Not really. It's crystals." She smiled. "Some sort of asteroid crystals I think."
Jane looked then nodded. "It looks like it." She sat up again. "I haven't seen that."
"Not like I'm going to wear it around geeks, Jane. I don't want to seem too impressive. They might steal me from your lab."
"A few try every single conference," she sighed. "That's very mean but then again they need help because they're stupid and think I'm easy." She sipped her wine. "Hmm." She looked in the glass then put it down. Darcy subtly touched her hand and the poison she had just drank went away. "Bit warm for it I guess." She looked down the table, nodding at Sif when she came in. "Good afternoon, Lady Sif."
"Good afternoon, Jane Foster. And Darcy." She stared at her. She blinked. Oh, dear. "I had no idea you were built like that, Lady Darcy."
"Yes, I am. I got it from Grandma." She shrugged but smiled. "Mom's still saying she's going to stay a nymph to get away from teaching."
Sif nodded once. "That's charming of her. Nymphs usually have great peace and happiness as long as what they guard is safe and healthy."
"We do try. Mom was always a bit like that."
Sif smiled at her then at Thor, who just nodded. That's when she realized Thor had *no* idea what was going on. Or why. She looked at Darcy and saw the eyes. That told her a lot more. She looked down at Loki, nodding at him. He nodded politely back. Yup, she was right. And this was probably going to get messy. She wasn't wearing any weapons, it was protocol. Oh, this might get very messy.
Jane smiled at Darcy, who looked at her necklace then hitched it on her. Jane blinked at her. Darcy winked with a grin. "It was coming undone, Jane."
"Oh, that clause," she muttered. Darcy patted her on the arm. She sighed but nodded. "Anything good going on at home?"
"Eric was pouting with Ian about having to do all their work themselves even though I did it all for them," Darcy said dryly. "The same as usual."
"They'll figure it out someday," Jane decided. They dug into the food that was put in front of them with nods and smiles for the servers. Darcy hummed as she ate, something she did a lot of, and the flowers on the table seemed to perk up. She kicked Darcy under the table. "Did you remember to pull my readings off?" she asked when Darcy looked at her but glanced at those flowers.
"I did, Jane. I've worked with you now for three years. I know how to do that."
Darcy nodded, getting back to her lunch. She was counting until the next insult. It wouldn't take too long. The first had been the rags she had been loaned to wear. The second had been the poison in the shoes. The third... She'd have to see how bad it was before she did anything like sing. Or emote. Or craft.
"We were talking about myths yesterday," Frigga said. "Jane said that you researched them to show her?"
"I did. Even though the ones that got passed down were sanitized by the Church and others trying to erase the pagan histories, it still has a lot of information. Like family trees and things like protocols for group events like this one." She sipped her water. "I also did an intense cultural history session to help Jane with things like expected customs from the ancient Norse times. That way she didn't make any major faux pas like wearing a culturally insensitive color or image."
Frigga nodded. "That's what diplomats do. You taught her well."
She smiled. "Jane's like my sister, Queen Frigga. I'd never want her hurt."
"I feel much the same about my own siblings." She dug into her soup again. Darcy did the same. Frigga was trying not to be mad. Her bad decision had just come back to her and Odin. She glanced at her sons, and realized Loki had to know what she was. She caught sight of that necklace again and a pinprick of memory hit but she wasn't sure why. "Darcy, how did your mother get that necklace?"
"I'm told it was a gift from their wedding, Queen Frigga." She smiled, touching it gently. "Her husband's family gave it to her."
"Oh. That's charming. I've seen the like in some of our craft shops."
She smiled. "Even if it was cheaper materials it's sentimental."
"True, it's a young woman's prerogative to wear sentimental pieces," Jane agreed. "I wear some of the rose quartz pieces my grandmother left me for that very reason." Darcy smiled at her for that. She looked at the necklace again. It had an inner glow. Then she glanced up at Horace, who was pretending to sleep. She could see his eyes half open. So there was clearly a threat going on. She looked at Thor again. He looked very amused and happy. "I'm sure you'd wear things that your grandparents left you."
"Aye, a few shirts they sent me until I outgrew them," he said happily. "Most men don't get pretty, delicate things as presents but you women do wear them well."
Darcy looked at him. "We've seen many men wear jewelry, Thor. Including your ring."
He looked at it then nodded. "I hadn't thought of that. It is jewelry, though manly and tougher."
Darcy snorted. "You can break it the same way we break ours. Or in your case melt it during a battle I'd guess."
"Yes, I must take it off for those," he agreed, sipping his mead. "My brother looks better in jewelry than I do."
Darcy looked down the table then at him. "He does have the build for glamor. He's built more like the runway models."
Thor nodded. "I've seen such and they were nicely fit but seem not very warrior-like. Loki at least learned the art of war."
Jane looked at him. "There's more to life than war, Thor. People should be well rounded so they learn about multiple fields. The same as I do more than science. A lot of that thanks to Darcy introducing me to things like tea ceremonies and the like."
"I had not thought on that."
"It's more the Greek ideal than the modern one," Darcy said with a smile for him. "But it is very handy." She licked her lips and then wiped her mouth off, finding the piece of food to get off. "Sorry. Bit messy there for a second. I'm sure Sif is more than her weapons."
Sif nodded. "I am. I find I like many things outside my weapons. It makes one a more full person to learn more than one subject in life and nothing can stop even warriors from reading."
"True," Thor agreed with a nod. "I've spent much time reading the long sagas of our history over the years."
Sif looked at him. "Did you read the book I got you for the holidays two years back?"
"I believe so. The Art Of War?" She nodded. "It was an interesting look at the philosophy of being a warrior."
"That book also extends into other areas in life," Jane said. "I know many who think of it as a roadmap of how to handle negotiations for services and marital fights."
Thor considered that while he drank more mead. "I can see that idea. It does give you how to think about battles and how to see yourself winning. It was an interesting enough book."
"Written in Ancient China, about when the Norse were pillaging England," Darcy told him. "There's historical documents saying that there was limited trade between the two cultures and with the Middle Eastern ones." Jane smiled at her for that. "Many misinterpret the Norse cultures to their own degradation but they do have some fascinating true history."
Thor looked at her. "I have no idea," he admitted with a smile. "I was but young then, Darcy."
"You said you had read the histories, Thor. I thought you meant those too. Sorry, my mistake."
"No, not those yet. I'll work on those next so I can defeat strange ideas from Midgardians who believe me simple."
"We don't think you're simple, they think you're a himbo, Thor," Darcy joked with a grin. "Just the hair and the hammer and nothing holding your ears apart."
He burst out laughing. "Aye, that is what they think sometimes."
Jane patted him on the hand. "I fought that infection a few times. They expect women to be pretty and not smart."
Darcy nodded. "They still don't give Marie Curie the benefit of her true title of Doctor Curie usually. Which is a shame, she had two doctorates."
Jane nodded. "She did and she was a fairly decent woman. Left home to study because her people weren't into that yet but found a husband she outdid at the university." She sipped her water and went back to eating. "I got a copy of her biography for my tenth birthday."
Darcy nodded. "I had to do a report on her in school and totally nagged the science teacher each time he called her Madam Curie in high school." She grinned. "He had to give her due props for her mad skills."
"That's always a great thing," Jane agreed, grinning at her. She glanced up but Horace was still watching around them. Darcy grinned at her. "What're you doing when we get back?"
"Applying to two more grad programs?"
"I didn't think about that. Can you remove our files from SHIELD again?"
"Already done," she assured her with a hand flap and a wink. "Twice. They tried to put it back so they can't now. In either of our names."
"Awww. That's sweet. And not like they help us anyway if they cause problems. So they can ignore me."
"Us, Jane, us." Darcy grinned. "Culver totally blew them open in the press for me. They agreed, in a news article, that they had been requested by secret warrant to ignore I was a student there about to graduate and only needed two credits. The lawsuit made them end that and the judge did make them pay off my student loans in compensation for the aggravation of dealing with SHIELD."
Thor looked at her. "Again?"
"Yup." She sipped her water. "Again. They'll probably show up once we get back for a bit to try something new."
"Jane could stay up here," Sif offered.
Jane looked at her. "I have commitments for the next year for some observatory time and all my equipment down there, Sif. So I'd have to be down there long enough to pack and find a new lab space up here, then ask Heimdall to nicely let me move everything. It takes a bigger U-Haul trailer to move my equipment."
Sif blinked. "I did not think on that. You won't be giving up your science for Thor's crown?"
"No. A queen has to have a life outside the crown. Modern queens on Earth do that. They have hobbies and sometimes full time jobs with their charity work." She smiled. "I'll be there when Thor needs me to be but I'm not totally giving up science. I have to prove to others that I rebuilt the bridge. Plus I have other things I want to explore. I have three live's worth of studying to do in my single one."
"I had not thought on that," Sif admitted. "You are driven by your calling."
"My calling is much like yours to be the best swordswoman you can be," Jane told her. "And if I had to choose I'm not sure which would win."
Thor cleared his throat. "I appreciate Jane's mind," he assured Sif, who smiled and nodded at that. "The same as she appreciates my warrior skills."
"It's the things that we have in common that make us work," Jane agreed.
Darcy looked at her. "Speaking of, your mother called to complain we didn't introduce them yet about a day ago."
"Oooh." She winced but nodded. "When we go back I'll let her and Thor meet so she can talk to him. Thank you for reminding me."
"Not like she was going to come back from the Bahamas early. She deserved the vacation."
"She does." She dug in again, smiling at Thor as she chewed. "My mother will love you."
"I hope so. A mother can often hate their child's spouse." He looked at Darcy.
"No, I'm like her sister and you know what I'll do to you if you hurt Janey," she said with a grin and a wink. "It'll be epic, in the original meaning of the word if you hurt Jane."
"Aye, it should be," he agreed. "You are all but family to her." He dug in again.
"My own mother threatened Odin's head with a heavy log," Frigga sighed but smiled at Odin.
"Aye, she was quite verbal about how much my brains would stain her carpets." He sipped his own wine. "Jane, does the wine not suit you?"
"It got a bit warm, Odin, and I rarely drink unless science is failing me that day. I'd never drink enough to seem drunk in such a setting; it'd look bad on Thor and myself."
"Point." He looked at his son, who was drinking mead. A lot of mead. Then at Darcy, who sipped her wine but it was clearly not affecting her. "Did yours get warm too, Darcy?"
"No, Father Odin. Thank you for that." She dug in again. He had no need to know she had taken the alcohol out of the drink. And the poison out of Jane's. Something burst open the doors and she stared at it as the warriors hopped up. "Jane, behind me." They got out of the way and backed against a wall. The thing came towards them so she emoted, making it sleepy and fall down as one of the warriors hit it on the head. "Awww, that's sweet of you to save us. Thank you." She walked over to kiss him on the cheek. Then made sure Jane was all right on the way back to their seats.
Jane smiled at the warrior. "Great job. Thank you."
"Welcome, Dr. Foster." He looked at Darcy then at her. "It's rude to treat guests inhospitably." He got help dragging the being from the room.
Loki nearly moaned at that statement. That one clearly realized what Darcy's mother was. The warrior glanced at him but he smiled. "Good work, Skurge."
"Thank thee, Lord Loki." He glanced back but then at his prince again. They finished dragging the being out of the chambers.
Darcy smiled at Jane. "Skurge is such an evocative name. I need to ask him if it's his given name or if he chose it. That's a name a warrior would pick to make himself even more impressive than his skills showed."
"He chose it when he was a new warrior," Sif said. "To not make anyone note his family name, but he has trained to become every bit worthy of it."
"He seemed it," Darcy agreed with a smile for her. "He seemed very competent and very strong. Like one who could guard others like Jane."
Sif nodded. "I would agree he'd make a tolerant guard for Jane once he got used to her staring at her little boxes of numbers on sheets for days on end."
Darcy grinned. "I do make her stop now and then for food and sleep, Sif."
"Aye, you mother her well." She smiled. "Fandral would say hello if he knew you were here."
"Tell him I said hi right back." She grinned. "He was nice to try to calm me down after that battle when I was a bit bouncy."
Loki looked down at her. "He did?" he asked casually.
"He did. He let me do a bit of stress crying on his shoulder to calm down and patted me nicely on the shoulder."
"That's sweet of him but Fandral is well known to know women's minds." He sipped his wine.
Thor smiled at him. "He did quite the knightly bit, Loki. He would not touch a maiden against her will."
Darcy looked at him. "Not that innocent, Thor. Thanks." He rolled his eyes. "Just because I hadn't been that near to a battle before then doesn't mean I was some doe eyed innocent girl."
"Nay, you were not, Darcy. Though the idea of you being a young girl like that is amusing."
Darcy grinned at him. "I was a happy child, mostly." She sipped her water. "My mother was great about that."
"Not your father?" Frigga asked.
"No, I was about two when he left the family."
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that, dear."
"Mom never wanted to remarry. I guess she decided no one was going to make her that happy." She shrugged. "I would hope my mother does find someone to flirt with again. It might bring her out of the trees for a bit."
Jane smiled at her. "I like your mom. Even if my mom's very confused by her I like your mom. She's very nurturing the same as you are."
"I am quite a lot like her," she agreed happily. "Though she has red hair."
"Have I met your mother?" Thor asked.
"No, Thor. She's in Virginia. She's retreated back into some trees to become a nymph for a bit because her students were driving her nuts. She's claimed a large plot of the nearby forest to protect."
He nodded. "That's sweet of her. I'm sure she's protective like you are of Jane."
"She is. She's where I get it from. My father's protection side I have no idea about. He could have been."
"I'm sure he was, dear," Frigga agreed. "Is she living in the trees?"
"No, she's still living inside. She's slowly moving away from the house but doesn't want to give up her library." She shrugged. "She taught literature, Queen Frigga. She loves books. I usually joke I was named after a guy in one of her favorite books when people ask instead of talking about my former aunt."
"Hmm." She nodded. "She sounds interesting."
"She does try." She smiled. "Sometimes. Sometimes interesting takes too much energy."
"I can see that, yes. It can." She went back to eating, thinking about that.
Darcy smiled at her. "My mom had to tell people I was her actual child and not a changling often because the other professors at the college thought I was less weird than my mother was. She got *so* huffy about that sometimes."
Jane shook her head. "Just because your mother dresses like it's a Ren Faire every day...." She stuffed her mouth.
"Being a nymph means she got to ditch the corset finally," Darcy quipped back. "She likes it for that much alone."
"I would too," Jane agreed with a nod. "Corsets can annoy you."
"Yes they do. But I do rock one very well thanks to Mom's tutoring."
"You do look better in those things than I do. It's where I'm too skinny," Jane sighed.
"We can put weight on you, Jane. You just have to eat while you science more often."
"Good point. We can start doing that." She smiled at Thor. "It'll help if I someday have to give you an heir."
"You are a bit skinny but it makes you easy to pick up and carry when I want your attention on me," Thor joked.
Darcy grinned. "Or a strong gust of wind to blow her away. We almost had a flying nun incident thanks to a tea hat."
Jane moaned. "Darcy!" She swatted her on the arm. "He does not need to know about that." Darcy just grinned at her. She sighed, looking at Thor. "My mass was too little at that time so I had an aerodynamic event where the hat was hitched down hard enough. Darcy caught my foot as I was lifted off." She sighed. "I don't wear hats anymore. Or at least ones that can give me lift."
He patted her hand. "Hats aren't like that up here and we don't often have storms that blow severe winds, Jane. It'll be fine."
Darcy grinned at him. "But that could be handy sometime in the future."
Jane looked at her. "Don't tempt fate."
"Fine." She waved a hand then went back to eating.
Frigga shook her head. "I have no idea of what you're talking about ladies." Jane leaned over to explain how aerodynamic lift worked and how it had worked in that instance thanks to her hat and being too skinny. Frigga smiled at her. "That's...very unusual."
"Darcy made me gain five pounds in a week to make sure it didn't happen again."
Frigga smiled at that. "It's good of her to not to let you blow away, Jane. We'll make sure you don't have to wear hats like that up here."
"Thank you. That'd be sweet of you, ma'am." She went back to eating, patting Thor's hand since he was staring outside. "The stars are coming out?"
He smiled. "They are. We can walk and see some later as I know you like them." He glanced at Darcy.
"You two don't need a chaperone. You're both adults who know your own mind about tupping before a commitment. You don't need me to make sure you don't kiss," Darcy said dryly. She waved her fork a bit. "Take Jane for a romantic walk. Woo your woman, Thor."
"Aye, that is a good idea." He smiled and Jane smiled back. "After dinner." They dug in to eat again. Odin was being slow to eat tonight so dinner was taking longer than usual.
Frigga smiled at Odin. "Do eat, you have petitions tomorrow, Odin." He nodded, digging in again. She finished her own dinner and put her fork down properly. Darcy finished hers and put her fork down oddly but then glanced and adjusted it. "That must be a Midgardian way of putting cutlery?" she guessed.
"I don't do too many fancy dinners, Queen Frigga, but yes. I was taught not to put the fork anywhere but on the plate afterward. As my mother said, it's not good to put anything from your mouth on the table. Sorry to use the wrong manners."
"It's fine, dear. Though that is a charming sentiment. I can see why some peoples do it that way instead."
Darcy smiled, then sipped some water quickly to remove the food stuck to her teeth. "Cultural manners are a great topic to study about why they evolved that way. Especially slurping. Some cultures you do and it's a compliment. Some you never do it unless you're totally unclassy. Some it depends on what you're eating."
Jane looked at her. "Tea slurping is always bad, right?"
"Yeah, from what I've been told, yes." She nodded a bit.
"I thought so." She dug in to finish her dinner. She noticed the dress changing color. "That's weird."
Darcy looked then smiled. "It's fine, Jane. Sometimes fabrics change with the humidity. That's not sweat or anything I spilled. Must be from the humidity of the night."
Jane nodded, looking at her own dress. "Thankfully I haven't had that yet." She finished up and looked at Thor, who was still sitting there. So apparently they were meant to stay until Odin was done eating.
Sif smiled at Darcy. "So is your mother a tree nymph or a forest one?"
"I think she decided on a full glade instead of a single tree. She's claimed about a quarter-acre of the forest behind the house." She smiled. "We'll see how that ends up in the long run. Mom's a bit quirky but fun." She sipped the rest of her water.
Sif nodded. "All parents seem a bit eccentric to their children. Mostly because ways change. In my childhood days, women who were busty were feared as being a member of the Little People."
Darcy grinned at her. "My grandmother's too but she still found a decent man to be married off to. As far as I know, they were happy. I never got to meet them, Sif."
"Oh, that's a shame."
"Well, that happens. Old age and moving events happen to everyone sometime. Parents are emotionally destroyed if they outlive their children. It's unnatural and they fade."
"They can," Sif agreed with a nod. "Did you get to meet your father's family?"
"Once." She smiled. "They weren't *bad* but they're a bit uptight. They live pretty far away too so I hardly ever get to see them." She grinned. "It happens. I made a great family outside my mother when I went to college and then I met Jane to make a fuller family."
"Many do make their own families. Those they marry and the ones that gather around them."
"Some day I'll be a fond auntie to Jane's kids." She shrugged but grinned. "I'll teach them all sorts of humanity things instead of science things so they understand people from the start."
"That would mean you'd have to have a very long life," Frigga said.
Darcy smiled at her. "I can be an auntie at eighty, Queen Frigga. Or ninety. Humans can live that long and I'm pretty healthy so I should live at least that long. Maybe I'll make one-ten like some people do."
Jane grimaced. "That'll be sad though. You'll be without me, or Eric by then."
Darcy smiled at her. "I doubt you'll die before me, Jane. You have a built in bodyguard with Thor."
"True." Jane smiled at Thor then at her. "I can see us being old ladies sipping margaritas on a beach somewhere while we stare at the stars."
Darcy grinned. "That's a great future vision to hold onto. So don't get sucked into a portal?"
"I do try, Darcy," she sighed. "Nag."
She smiled. "That's another word for assistant, dear. Just like nanny is."
"You do that very well," Jane joked with a smirk for her. Darcy smirked back.
"Oh, dear, was the wine too strong?" Frigga hissed. She even tried to look less than amused.
"No, Queen Frigga. I'm nowhere near even tilted toward tipsy." She smiled. "The wine was refreshing but light so I thank you for choosing such a mild drink when compared to the mead Thor usually drinks."
Thor moaned, shaking his head. "She and Jane drank with me one night, Mother, and nearly out drank me."
Jane nodded. "I have no idea how I held that much mead but it was very warm feeling that night."
Darcy nodded. "It does lend a mild warmth to you," she agreed happily.
"Dear, are you perhaps partially Asgardian somehow?" Frigga asked with a smile.
"No, my family were Irish and Scottish, Queen Frigga." She smiled back. "My father... I believe he was adopted but his original family wasn't Asgardian unless he was a changling or a foundling." Sif moaned at that idea. "It has been known to happen in the old days," Darcy said with shrug. "Many orphans were found and taken in during bigger problems like plagues."
"I had not thought of that," Sif said. "It would be a good thing to do by bringing in an orphan during a plague. Make sure they grew up well enough." She looked at Darcy. "I almost thought you fey when we came in."
"The kind with the 'y' or the 'a' kind?" Darcy asked with a smirk.
"The 'y' kind. The other are myths even to us."
Darcy nodded. "I've read myths of them as well. My original degree would've been history and mythology. To be that sort of fey I'd have to be willowy and yet stacked, Sif. And like farm animals like a Brownie." She scrunched her nose then let it go. "I do like animals to pet but not to farm. I can't be that practical at harvest. All my furries are pets even if they're useful pets that help me get cheese."
"Which is why we don't have any pets," Jane said. "We had a hamster and his many begets as she usually calls the grandkids." Darcy sighed but nodded. "But he had to be left in New Mexico because it'd take a whole lot of vet visits to get them into England. Plus probably a quarantine. The older ones probably wouldn't have lasted that much longer." She poured herself some water and sipped it. She sighed, looking at Darcy.
Who grinned. "I'm going to start rescuing dogs."
"Not until I've moved up here please. I love dogs as much as the next geek but only one or two at a time please."
"Thank you. Though Eric would probably love dogs."
"Ian doesn't. He said he's not allergic but he's against dogs who sit in the lap or kiss you or want to play."
"That's rotten of him," Jane agreed. "Huh. I didn't know that about him. That's weird." She shook her head quickly, sipping more water then putting the glass down.
Darcy nudged her with a grin. "Your Nobel, if you've married, you get to wear a tiara."
"Point. Royalty wears tiaras to the Nobel banquet. Huh. I didn't think about that."
"What is that Nobel thing?" Frigga asked.
"Our most prestigious award set," Jane said with a smile. "I'm nominated for next year's award in physics. The others are men but did lesser things that were important but not as stunning or noteworthy. Though the selection committee can go for those small things that we all build on. So I've got two main competition for that one right now." She shrugged. "If not this year, maybe next. Or from the next discovery."
"There's the Peace Prize, the Economics, the Literature, the Medicine or physiology, the Physics, and the Chemistry," Darcy said. "Only four have won it more than once, only one woman - Doctor Curie -, and only one of them won the same prize twice, in physics."
"Which is my goal to beat all those and be the first woman who wins the same prize twice and the fifth overall." Jane smiled at Darcy. "It's great that I'm nominated so young for my first one."
Darcy patted her on the wrist. "I'm pretty sure you're going to win. Even the non-science magazines are pretty sure you're going to win, Jane."
"That would be nice. I'd be honored to join that honored list." She smiled. "And I can make sure the machines don't have as much duct tape in the future." Darcy nodded.
Frigga stared at her. "Your science is possibly being honored?"
Jane smiled and nodded. "The bridge is only theoretical. Me rebuilding it will prove it, which is momentous, and will actually create a new branch of science, Lady Frigga. Most of us are into less theoretical applications and a lot of people think the bridge itself is a myth. Though I've already rebuilt a prototype."
"Yes, that's how we got up here," Thor agreed with a nod. "It's not a fully solid remake but it can be deployed for a few minutes at a time."
Frigga stared at her son then at Jane. "It still exists."
"Well, it does and it doesn't," Jane explained. "It's light so therefore not really *tangible* most of the time. Making a new permanent, tangible version is going to take longer. I created a temporary bridge that can get us to any of the nine realms without Heimdall's help." Frigga blinked then opened her mouth.
Jane smiled. "It's been my life's work so far, Lady Frigga. Heimdall praised me getting it fixed in that way while it rebuilds itself. And with Asgard coming back to earth's attention, people are looking towards your theories as well. My next one may be a theory of how our sciences merge and where on the quantum plane that happens."
Frigga blinked. "What?"
"Quantum physics is ...a bit weird," Darcy said. "It's still a lot of theoretical because it's so nano particle focused that even staring at it can change it. It's where our magic and your science merge according to Thor."
Frigga looked at Thor, who explained that to her.
Odin shook his head. "That is very strange, Jane Foster."
She smiled. "Yes but the world works on science. Physics is one of the fundamental ruling features of the universe. We've found science of nearly everything and while Asgard has knowledge of foreign and alien sciences, there's still usually a fundamental linking theory, King Odin. What works on your worlds works on ours, though not always in the exact same way.
"Some of that's due to mineral inclusions or what minerals are being acted on. Some of it's solar related by the galaxy's strength of pull and heavenly bodies exerting forces. But science rules it all somehow. Even if it's not been found yet. We study those to find the rules and make sure others know them so they can find how they change and for what reasons."
"I had no idea on any of that," Frigga admitted.
Jane smiled. "I've been fascinated with it since I was a young girl. I always wanted to find *the* rule that meant that things worked however. It's why I have a slight tilt toward engineering as well and can build my own measurement devices."
Frigga nodded. "That's a bit unusual. Thor, have you seen her machines?"
"Aye, Mother." He beamed at Jane then at his mother. "She has quite the machine laboratory and is well regarded by all but those who are jealous of her mind. She and Eric have both found much of the fundamental rules of the world."
"Which is why Jane's been honored with lesser honors and now waits on the top honor coming to her," Darcy agreed with a slight nod.
"Would your mother be eligible?" Frigga asked her.
"No, the award for literature is for those who write, not those who teach. Those who write about how life is and yet make it readable and understandable. Who inspire and make future teachers want to show them to future students. My mother and I do tend to book club the winner's works after they're announced but she's the reader of it, not the author of it."
"Oh." She nodded. "I can see that ideal." She looked at Odin. Who nodded back. "We do not have such awards or many who study science."
Jane smiled. "Many can do it in their home lives but not for a career. There's always something new to figure out."
Lady Sif nodded. "Many do such as hobbies, my queen. Only those who teach it study it these days."
Darcy smiled at her. "If they found something new they'd probably announce it?"
"Probably," she agreed. "It would seem they would."
Jane smiled and nodded. "Which can sometimes be fun to watch when you blow people's minds with new ideas. Some react out of hand and the yelling is often quite amusing. Annoying when they're doing it at you but amusing."
"The conventions you announce things at are often fun too, though there's a lot of drunken people coming up with ideas that may not always be the most good things," Darcy quipped. "The last one she attended had people who nearly destroyed the hotel with their invention then got drunk, tinkered it into being stronger, and did destroy the hotel's rival when the manager asked them to please do that instead of their hotel.
"He was...not fully amused that it happened but he asked them to. Lasers." She clicked her tongue. "Took out the foundations. Boom splat goes the empty hotel building across the street." She sipped her new glass of water. Jane was giggling about that. "At least it was empty. Someone called in an emergency call to make sure the hotel was empty when they set their device off. Only one person got hit with a tiny bit of rubble and had a tiny bruise."
"They're probably still hiding from military people who want that device," Jane said dryly. "I've told a few off who wanted my bridge device." She smiled at Thor.
"Thank thee for that, Jane. We would not want to wake up to curious soldiers who were confused about where they were," Thor said dryly. "The last ones were annoying." He shook his head quickly. "The bridge accidentally split due to a crystal malfunction. The other side ended up at a military base for a few minutes."
Jane looked at him. "The sigil that marks the bridge's landing. Does the bridge burn it when it lands or does it come out of the earth to meet the bridge and that's the mark of their kissing?"
Thor shrugged. "I have no idea. You can ask Heimdall that the next time you see him."
"I can put it on my list of questions for him," Jane said happily. Darcy pulled out a small notebook to add that to the list. Then the notebook went back into Jane's handbag. "Thanks, Darcy. Your handwriting's so much neater than mine."
She smiled. "You write sloppy as a way of keeping people out of your ideas. I don't have to do that. Me reporting on how current political and social structures work isn't going to get me much attention."
"Which sucks but the social sciences aren't as awarded as the harder sciences are," Jane agreed. "It really needs to be taught more firmly so more people understand others. It might solve a lot of social problems if people understood they were all the same and they all deserved the same benefits of being human."
Darcy nodded. "It's a hope all social scientists have. I study politics and their structures to make a better difference in the world. Use the system as it stands to benefit humanity and change it so it's more fair to everyone."
Thor stared at her. "Is it not fair?"
"Thor, I'm sure you saw the idiots who think certain races were superior," she said dryly. "And how many of them are in politics is horrifying."
"I did not think on that topic, Darcy. I had hopes that all humans were seen the same way."
She shrugged. "Many do but some are stuck back before the middle ages," she said dryly. "And made up science to back up their faulty thinking. So we're rewriting it while moving forward."
Jane nodded. "I hate so many are ignorant and hateful. Eric's been trying to undo some of the harm that's been done too."
Darcy nodded. "It does add stress on top of the usual science stress but it's gotta happen."
Odin stared at her. "Why must it happen?"
"Because those faulty ones decided race, skin color, was a determining factor for intelligence, humanity, and abilities, Father Odin." He winced but nodded. "If our children come out of different races, it's seen as someone cheated, probably the mother, and it's considered an inferior child."
"I see. We thought that done."
"We all wish they were," Jane admitted. "More are against those ideas, but there's still a minority who believe they're superior for being pale skinned. They often take Norse culture and bend it to their wills and then huff when you correct their ideas of stupid."
"One threatened her last month," Darcy told Thor with a smile. "She borrowed my taser to spare her hand because it was sore."
Thor looked at Jane, then kissed the back of her hand. "I will hit them for you, My Jane."
"Thanks, Thor, but I want to hit some of them myself."
"Aye, it's a strong woman who can. I'll save you a few you can punch, My Jane." She smiled and nodded. "Or that Darcy can tase for you."
Darcy grinned. "Thanks, Thor. That's very gentlemanly of you." She sipped her water.
"Darcy, your necklace seems to be glowing," Frigga said.
She lifted it to look at then shrugged. "Sometimes it does that. Usually when the lights go down. It apparently stores light to glow in darker rooms." She put it back in place. "I think it's sweet of it."
Frigga blinked. "You think inanimate objects have sweet intentions?"
"Not intentions, they're inanimate." She smiled at her. "Things can be sweet unintentionally. It's just what they are and why we appreciate them. Do you not think flowers are sweet for being pretty?"
Frigga blinked then tipped her head. "I had not thought on that. That's very philosophical." Darcy smiled and nodded. "I thought you both a bit simpler of women than you seem to be. You're both fairly philosophical."
"At times," Jane agreed. "It's something to discuss during long dinners. Science dinners like this often have speeches by people who have no idea what they speak of so we have to ignore it and find something else to talk about. So we got into the method of talking during dinners."
Frigga nodded. "I needed to do that during many dinners over the years. I had not thought of that." She smiled at them then at Odin.
"I usually end up glaring at whatever blowhard is talking such things," he admitted. He finished up and put his silverware down. Thor sighed in pleasure and got up, helping Jane up and out to take their walk.
Darcy grinned, smiling at Sif. Who smiled back. "Let me retire. Unless I need to help with something tonight, Queen Frigga?"
"No, dear. Go ahead." Darcy smiled and nodded, going back to her suite with others who were leaving the dinner. She looked at Sif. "She is one of them?" she hissed loudly.
Sif shrugged. "I cannot see, Lady Frigga. If so, she may not be aware."
"Hmm. We are still at war."
Sif looked at her. "Do you wish to see the realm destroyed if she is one of them?"
"They are locked in and cannot come out," Odin sneered.
Sif stared at him. "I doubt that. They never would have left their kin fully alone. As we did not and kept watch on ours down on Midgard." She stood up. "It would also earn Thor's ire."
"He will forget them both some day," Odin declared.
"You never forget those you love, Odin. As you never forgot your other girlfriends." She walked off. This was going to be so very messy. If Odin attacked Darcy things were going to go very poorly. Darcy was not going to cry and beg. She'd probably destroy. With Jane's help. Especially if she was Fae as they thought. Or Loki's daughter.
Though it was weird that Darcy had almost answered to the name Hela the first night. She looked up the myths of Hela on Midgard and found she was said to be Loki's daughter. Oh. That explained much to her. She went to find Loki in the middle of the night.
He was not going to be pleased.
By the way, HET but not graphically.