Loki: The Touch of Destiny (Limited Series)

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Mir
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Loki: The Touch of Destiny (Limited Series)

Post by Mir »

Rated M for Mature

It was a beautiful day in Asgard. Bright light, clear skies, the air was crisp. But to the boy who was running through the woods near the palace of Odin, the day was not beautiful at all. Ugly was more like it. Yes, he understood that the prank that he’d played had not been the greatest, but that hadn’t meant that his father had had to yell at him like that. Tears streamed down his face and he swiped at them, wanting to make them go away. A Son of Odin did not weep like that. It was unbecoming. His older brother never cried. At least, Loki had never seen him cry. He doubted that the other had ever done something like that. Loki knew that Heimdall was probably watching, but he didn’t care. Nothing mattered right then and there.

Even Frigga, his mother, had not been able to console him.

He continued to run, not stopping for a while. His powers enabling him to run fast and far, he was soon quite a ways from the palace and deep in the thick woods. Loki finally tired himself out a bit and slowed. There was much around him that he was ignoring, both flora and fauna. As he slowed to a walk, he felt something in the back of his mind, some kind of prickly feeling. It was like nothing that the’d felt before, but he chalked it up to Heimdall probably watching him to make sure that the boy was okay or that he didn’t cause any more trouble.

Trouble, as if that was what he tried to do.

No, Loki just wanted to have fun and keep himself entertained. It so happened that the people of Asgard were easy targets. Only a few were truly worthy of his talents, of his art. But some days, it wasn’t art. It was just a ten year old who wanted to have fun. There were days when his ability to manipulate, to cajole, made him an artist. Most times his acts didn’t catch up with him, and people were usually none the wiser that Loki had been able to pull the proverbial wool over their eyes. Odin was one that Loki had never been able to successfully prank.

Well, successfully with his father not playing along, of course.

His brother was too easy of a target, already at aged ten Loki was getting bored of it. Thor was smart, undoubtedly, but his talents did not lie in the realm of the mind. A game of wits was not something that Thor was apt to win against his brother. Put a weapon in his brother’s hands, however, and the damage was done. They continued to play fight with their wooden swords and shields, though Thor always won. Loki wasn’t even sure why their father insisted that they continue to do so. It always started out as a good time. It always devolved from there. Better for his brother to play with Volstagg or Fandral.

As he continued to walk, Loki’s eyes took in the view as he started to hike up the side of a mountain. The boy was robed in his traditional daily wear, however a short spell later, and he was now clothed in attire more suited for his activities. As his boots crunched over snow, he wondered why he had been given such gifts, such power. Loki’s ability to weave spells that change the framework of the world was incredible, and according to his parents he was just beginning to tap into the potential that was inside of him.

For a ten year old that was pretty heavy stuff. There was such power inside of him, such capacity and he was always struggling to learn how to use it. Maybe that was why he loved the pranks, they gave him the ability to try new things, to test out new spells. How had he won the genetic lottery and gotten the ability to cast these spells and his brother had won a separate lottery and gotten his immense strength, Loki would never know. It was something that fascinated him, something that he wanted to know more about. Another reason why he stayed up late at nights, reading as much as he could from Odin’s great library. Whereas his brother and his cohorts of Hogun and Volstagg and Fandral might have been more interested in creating their own adventures, Loki read of the adventures of others, learning from their mistakes.

He read every arcane lorebook that he could find. Soon it would be time to ask his father permission to read those that he currently was forbidden from reading. And if Odin said no, it might be time to bend those rules.

Wandering around, he was so lost in his thoughts that the laugh was jarring to the ears. Another man made sound in a world dominated by the noise of nature. Loki’s eyes focused, snapping back to reality as he looked around. Then he heard it again. The laugh. High, lilting. A girl. Moving in the direction of the laugh, he broke through a wooded section of the forest and came upon a large, substantial lake. The lake was big, around a hundred yards in length. Rocks littered the area around the lake, large ones and small ones. Sitting on a rock that had a flattened service was a young girl, about his age from the looks of it. She was dressed in a long, flowing green dress that looked like it was made of some silk or satiny material. Long, long black hair, that was partially gathered in a bun of some sort.

Her eyes were focused on the book in front of her, and every so often her feet moved in some kind of rhythmic fashion. Black slippers lay haphazardly on the ground. As she laughed again, Loki professed in his heart that it was the most beautiful sound that he had ever heard.

“Hello.” He said, finally, calling out across the lake.

The girl looked up and stared at him, a blank expression on her face.

Her eyes. They were beautiful. Deep green, a color that matched her dress perfectly. As if the material for the dress had come from her eyes, or if her eyes had been stitched from some mystical cloth.

“Hello.” She said back.

“What are you doing here?” Loki asked. “These are the lands of Odin.” He said.

“The All-Father.” She said, nodding. “I was just reading my book.” She said, gesturing at it. “What are you doing here? These are the lands of Odin.”

“I am Loki, Son of Odin, Prince of Asgard.” He said, rising up and floating over the waters towards her.

For her part, she showed no response to this development. As if a floating ten year old boy was common place to her. Then again, this was Asgard. It stood to reason that it was common place to her.

“I am Vylene. Daughter of Ruyf.” She said. She smiled then. “I have never met either of the Sons of Odin.” She said. “My father has told me much of you two though. I have seen the palace before but...we’re commoners. We don’t go to the palace that much.” She said.

“Well, Vylene, you are on Odin’s lands.” He said, and puffed himself up in the best imitation of his brother. “What have you to say for yourself?” Loki asked.

“I was just reading my book.” She said, repeating herself. Then Vylene paused. “Loki, were you crying?”

“I was not-I’ll do the questioning around here, Daughter of Ruyf.” He said, with umbrage that she would dare question him, a Prince of Asgard. You didn’t just do that. Unless you were Heimdall. Or Odin. Or Frigga. Okay so maybe there were a lot of people who could, but still. Not someone like her.

“It’s okay if you were. I’m not judging you.” She said. “Everyone cries.”

“I am not everyone. I am Loki, Son of Odin!” Loki said, turning and looking away. “I will not tolerate being compared to a common person.” He said, his voice rising in volume and anger. He stopped then, seeing the look on her face. “I mean...I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it like that.”

“Of course you didn’t, Loki Odinson.” Vylene said, giving him a look that pierced him to the core. More than Freyja’s did. “You’re the mighty and powerful Loki, Son of Odin, Prince of Asgard. No one cares.” She said, saying the last part with a toss of her hair as she sat up. “Everyone goes through problems, Loki. Everyone cries. Even royalty.” She added. Looking down, she smiled and then held up her book. “Look at it like this. The hero of this story is a man who has to save his wife. There are people who want to hurt her, because of what she has become, a monster in their eyes. It wasn’t her fault, she transforms with the moon.”

“That sounds horrible. Why were you laughing when reading it?”

“Well, someone made a joke. That’s not the point, Loki, listen.” Vylene replied, snapping her fingers to get his attention, a flair of being annoyed cropping up in her eyes, before smoothing out again. “This man has to save his wife. He fails, and she dies, so he’s sad.”

“I’m not seeing the correlation.” Loki raised a finger to his lips. “You don’t know why I was crying.”

“So you admit you were.”

He sighed. “Yes. I was crying.”

“Okay.” She said and with her feet dangling over the rock, continued to read.

He waited.

He waited some more.

Patience at fraying end, he spoke. “What the hell?” He asked, kicking at a pebble. “Where were you going with that?” He asked.

“Nowhere. I just wanted you to admit that you were crying.” Vylene replied, not taking her eyes off the book.

The events of the day combined with this, set him off. Loki paced back and forth, fists clenched. He walked up to her and held up a finger and made a noise and then walked away. Walking back, he put his hands up like he was going to cast a spell on her, and then he walked away. The entire time, Vylene kept reading her book, not taking her eyes off the pages. Finally he stopped, standing in front of her. She raised her gaze, giving him an inquisitive look. “Yes?” She asked.

“That was well done.” He said.

“Thank you.” She said with a beaming smile. Then she closed the book. “But what I’d really like to know is why were you crying?”

“I have my reasons.” Loki said, folding his arms across his chest and looking away. He turned back when she put her hands on his arms. At her entreating gaze, he spoke once more. “I played a trick on Solveig, the Goddess of the Sun. It...backfired. It was harmless, I promise. But my father yelled at me. He was very mad. Something about Ragnarok, and the Nine Realms being plunged into darkness. I know the stories, but nothing that I had done would have caused something like that.” He said.

“It’s not good when our parents are angry with us.” Vylene said. “Come here.” She said, and pulled him in to a hug. “I don’t think the All-Father is truly that upset with you, Loki, Prince of Asgard. I think it will be alright.” She said.

“He was very mad.” Loki said. “He said ‘Verily’ a lot. He only says that when he’s mad.”

“Verily, I declareth that Loki, Son of Odin, will not findeth himself in a perdition of the vilest nature.” She said, trying to gruff up her voice. When he cracked a smile, she laughed. “He doesn’t sound like that, does he?” She asked.

“A little bit.” Loki replied. He looked around and deduced the time from the position of the sun. “I should go home.” He said. “They’ll be looking for me.”

She nodded and took her book back up.

“You’ll be here?” He asked. “I mean...”

“I’ll be here.” Vylene replied.

He started on his way back. Vylene. Vylene the Fair. Her beauty had captured his eyes, but her words had captured his heart. She was like him, and he loved her.

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Mir
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Re: Loki: The Touch of Destiny (Limited Series)

Post by Mir »

The water by the lake was calm and cool. Loki sat by it, holding a sheathed sword. He had found that this place calmed him, helped him to focus and keep his mind on what he needed to do. It had been a few years since he had come down to the lake and had seen Vylene the Fair. He hadn’t let her leave his mind, and though he hadn’t seen her since that day, he had always thought of her. In the first few months, he’d gone back to the lake, but had been unable to find her or see her. Her final words had been burned into his mind, and he’d kept trying to find her. Even still, he had had no luck. Then he’d tried to find her in the realm of Asgard, but there he had been unable to do so. Over time, he’d forgotten his quest to find her, but not the object of his quest.

In his hands was a sword, a gift from the forges of Asgard. The metal smiths had crafted him a fine weapon and he was grateful for it. But it didn’t suit him, as much as it did. The weapon was well made, and it appealed to him with it’s aesthetics. Loki wasn’t sure why the weapon didn’t suit him precisely, but there was something about it that just didn’t seem right for him. Was it the sword, the way it was made, or was it the sword itself? He wasn’t sure. That was what troubled him.

He had never been a fighter, he had never been a warrior. That was not to say that he was not an able warrior. Not as good as his brother, but he could hold his own. If and when Frost Giants appeared in the ream, Loki had helped dispatch them on a number of occasions. However, it was not his place in the world. It was not what he was supposed to do. Honored, by the weapon, he was also saddened by the fact that they thought that it was a suitable gift for him.

Truly though, this Son of Asgard needed a new sword.

“You’re always thinking.”

He spun around, recognizing the voice. His thoughts on the matter at hand were cast out, when he saw Vylene walking towards him. Her hair was done in an intricate series of braids that still left a lot hanging. How much hair did this woman have? She was wearing another green dress and she looked even more beautiful than she had the previous time. Was that even possible? She had aged too, so that she looked the same age as he, in his early teens.

“That’s what people tend to do.” He said. “Where have you been?” He asked.

“I come and I go.” Vylene said. “But that’s not the biggest problem in your life, is it, Loki, Son of Odin.”

“No.” He said, looking back down at the sword. “It doesn’t suit me.” Her next words brought his eyes back up to her own.

“Of course it doesn’t.” She said, leaning against a tree.

He stared. “I have suffered insults from you before, but none like this.” He said, his brow furrowing in anger. “Explain yourself.”

“Well, I was going to do just that, however you seem to be having a snit, so perhaps we should let you sort yourself out before I explain.”

With a glare, Loki took a few steps away. He was letting his anger get the best of him. He didn’t know what she had meant by that and he couldn’t let a snap judgment mean that he was without the explanation. That was something that his brother would do, act first, question later. He was not his brother. That much was something that was hammered home to him every day of his existence. Finally he returned to where she was. “What did you mean by your words?” He asked, his voice calm and controlled.

Her eyes, which had been closed, opened and she looked at him. “A sword doesn’t suit you because you are not a warrior, Loki. Don’t misunderstand, there are different types of warriors. You are not a warrior of the physical sense.” She said, and gentleness crept into her eyes, into her voice. She reached a hand out and placed it on his chest. “You are a warrior of a different nature, a man who fights with his words rather than his actions.”

“That makes me weak.” He said. “A boy playing with foolish things.”

“No, it makes you strong.” Vylene said, shaking her head. When he tried to move away, the hand on his chest stopped him, grabbing part of his tunic. “Listen to me, Prince of Asgard. Your brother hits things. It’s his nature. You speak. It’s yours. Words are more powerful than blows from a hammer. Words have the ability to move nations, to change the course of history. A look at Midgard would tell you that.”

“That portal has been closed. My father closed it. You would do well to heed the words of your king, maiden.”

“Do you...always heed the words of your king?” She asked, her tone becoming playful and mischievous. “I have seen what the All-Father calls the Land of Calamity. Truly it is a merciless world, of men who would stab each other in the back for a few parcels of land. Savages and heathens who have no consideration for each other, let alone the honor that comes from living a good life. The All-Father is right in cautioning against going to Midgard.” Vylene said. “You’re missing the point though, just like before.” She said, running her free hand through his hair as she stepped in closer.

“What is the point then?”

“Words are deadlier than swords. Swords do not a thing but cut and destroy. Hammers, even though they build, destroy as well. They do not instill hope, they do not instill courage in the hearts of men who have none. Words can do that.” She said.

“Not on Asgard.” He replied, a bitter taste in his mouth. “Words have no power here.”

“Power still do they have on the lands of Odin. Even more so here.” Vylene said. “Your words are special. People listen to you. You have to learn to cultivate that, to nurture it and let it grow. What need have you for swords or hammers, bows and arrows, shields or axes. What need when you have those who would follow you to the gates of Niffleheim. What need when you have those who would die for you?”

He contemplated these things.

“That is the true power of Odin. His words are magic. In the same way that he casts spells, so too can you. Coincidence? I think not. He is your father, but one day he will pass on. Who will be king then?”

“Thor, of course.” Loki said.

‘But should he be king?”

“He is a clumsy oaf, suited for the smithies.” Loki said. “Unfortunately, he will be king, whether or not he is the right choice. He is the preferred option, the comfortable choice.” He said.

She nodded, letting him go. “I think that that is something that you should be worried about more than whether or not your tool in life should be a sword. You already knew that it was words, you just needed to come to grips with it. It’s not the choice that’s difficult, it’s understanding why the choice was made.”

“You act as though my life is already been decided for me.”

“In a way it has.” Vylene said. “The second son, born to play at being an heir, when in reality his only purpose is to do...nothing.” A frown appeared, a pensive one at that. “Unless, you do something about it. Either way, it’s not for me to say, and I must be getting along.” She said.

“Wait.” He said, as she started to walk away. “I don’t want to wait almost six years to see you again.” He said. “You’re...you’re a comfort, Vylene.”

“Am I?” She asked, turning with what seemed like a genuine smile. “That’s good to know, Loki. I’m glad I’m a comfort.” She leaned in and kissed him on the mouth, slowly, softly.

She tasted like a beautiful spring day. He’d never understood the poets with their tales of love and woe. But now Loki did. He knew that he was going to lose her again, and he didn’t know for how long. When she pulled back, he stepped in closer, but found himself too far away. With a frown, he reached out and grabbed her, pulling her in and they kissed again. This time it was deeper, and she slid her arms around his neck. He closed his eyes, drinking in deeply, his first kiss.

When he opened his eyes, she was gone.

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Mir
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Re: Loki: The Touch of Destiny (Limited Series)

Post by Mir »

On a large balcony in the palace, Loki looked out over the realm of Asgard. The place bustled with activity and he watched it all from where he was. Everyone was going about their day to day lives, no serious thought of what was going on. He was sitting on the ledge, leaning against a pillar. The door to the balcony opened and he turned his head, looking as his mother stepped out onto the balcony. Frigga looked a bit weary, and if he had to guess, he had a feeling that he knew why she was feeling that way. Furthermore, he had an idea as to how exactly he’d caused this feeling to begin.

“Mother.” He said with a smile, knowing that this was going to start soon and that he probably wasn’t going to enjoy this conversation. “How are you today?” He asked. “The weather is wonderful.”

“Did you really tell your father that you’re not going to be a part of the tournament that he specifically asked you to participate in?” She asked, not wasting time and going directly to the heart of what she wished to speak with him about.

He waited a moment. “Yes.” He said.

“But Loki, why?” She asked. “Why would you do such a thing? You know the tournaments mean a great deal to him and that they’re important to the people. Why would you disobey him?” She asked. When he started to speak, she put up her hands, which cut him off. “I don’t even know why I’m asking this. It’s a question I’ve asked you over and over for years now.”

“Why are the only tournaments in Asgard for fighting?” He asked quietly and he saw a look of confusion flit over his mother’s features. “There...there are never any tournaments for anything else. Only fighting or things related to fighting. It doesn’t make any sense.” He said. “My brother always wins the tournaments. It’s a forgone conclusion, so why bother?” He asked, as his brother walked into the room, holding some leg of some kind of animal leg, probably a boar.

Thor looked at the people in the room. “Tis a marvelous thing, this meat.” He said, hefting the leg, easily as big as a Midgardian’s arm. “The way they cook these things, must be magic. Brother, thy word, am I bewitched with it’s flavor?”

Loki rolled his eyes and pointed. “That’s exactly what I’m talking about.” He said, his tone taking on of slight desperation.

“You wondered of it’s flavor as well?” Thor asked, looking at his mother. “And you, mother?”

“No, Thor.” Frigga said. “Loki doesn’t want to fight in the tournament.” Frigga said.

“Nonsense.” Thor said, swinging the leg around. “The tournament shall be glorious.” He said, with Loki mouthing the last three words. “If I am predictable, it is due to my love for the fight.” He said, frowning. “I mean no offense.”

“And how could someone take one?” Loki replied, evenly. He looked at his mother. “I will not fight.”

“Then you shall be the one to tell your father.” Frigga said.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

The heavy wooden doors opened, and Loki walked through them, feeling small and insignificant as he always did when he walked through them. Not as small as he did when he walked through the throne room doors. Those were easily four or five times the height of Thor, let alone Loki. This however, was not the throne room. This was the personal library and study of Odin the Allfather of Asgard. Sitting on a large chair that was covered with furs, Odin himself was reading from a text. As he walked towards his father, Loki saw the cover of the book. All that was visible, not covered by Odin’s hands, were the words “Eye of”. One of the many Asgardian dire wolves lay at Odin’s feet. Wolf was first to acknowledge Loki’s presence, not the man.

Loki sat, cross legged in front of his father, and reached out, stroking the head of the dire wolf, who whined and yawned lazily.

“I understand that thy wish is not to partake in the tournament, son.” Odin said, still looking at the book. Finally he closed it, and his eyes found his son’s own. “Perchance an explanation of thy thoughts?” He asked.

Loki sat, contemplating, marshaling his thoughts.

“Father, I am not a fighter.” He said. “I can fight, but it is not my passion. Reading, studying the arcane arts, this is what brings me joy. I don’t understand why I must fight in such tournaments.” He said. The young man sighed. “Father, there are no tournaments for people like me.”

Odin nodded slowly, the Allfather considering his son’s words. “Loki, you are not a boy anymore. I shall be frank. The tournaments exist for a number of reasons.” He said. “The simplest of reasons is that this is the Asgardian way. We are fighters, warriors. You have heard the tales of the Valkyries. You know of the Frost Giants. Threats are at our door, and we must be ready.”

“But we have had years of peace. Decades of it. You have ensured that for us.” Loki said, not realizing that this was the first time in his life that he had interrupted his father while he had been speaking.

It was not lost on Odin, realizing that one son was maturing far faster than the other.

“My boy, that’s true. But with all you have read, surely you understand that decadence and complacency, those are not the actions of a people who are safe and wish to remain that way.” Odin said. “The tournaments prepare the people, in case dire straits were once again to fall upon Asgard. They are temporary dalliances of minds easily captured. Escapes from the lives that they live.” Odin said, rising and walking out onto a balcony. Loki followed him and watched his father gesture to the rest of Asgard below. “Do not presume that your troubles are the only ones in the realm. All of us experience our own set of problems. I have Frost Giant incursions. Hela to consider as well.” Odin said. The old and wisened face cracked the smallest of smile. “A younger son who I should have named ‘mischief’, instead of Loki.” He said, lightly ruffling the raven black hair.

Loki for his part blushed slightly.

“Your ability to weave spells is astounding. Truly. But accepting change is something that the people must be ready for. I do not believe that a tournament of one is fair.” He said. The smile widened. “Unless...you wish to compete against me.”

At that, Loki laughed.

“Understand my son, all have a role to play.” He said. “There can only be one king.” He added, looking out over the realm and not seeing the smile, that the laugh had caused, die. “Thy role is to be an advisor to your brother. Help him, guide him, as he makes his choices.” He said.

“I understand.” Loki said, after a few moments. “I will compete in the tournament, Father. I would never wish to sadden you.” He said, and turned, leaving his father alone on the balcony, and in the room.

“But you will, Loki.” Odin said, closing his eyes. “But you will.”


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

The grass bent under heavy boot as Loki walked through the forest. His sword was strapped to his belt as he walked, and exiting out of the brush of trees, he reached his secret spot. The beautiful lake where he had meet his Vylene the Fair. Standing on the water’s edge, the Asgardian looked out over the calm waters. Anger pulsed through him, anger at his father, at his mother, at his brother. His whole family. The situation that he was in, the life that he was living. Not knowing what he was supposed to do, what his purpose in life was. All of that went through him, begging for an outlet, some kind of release.

His lips moved, making no sound as he weaved his words, crafting his spell. A rush of energy surged out of him, casting the water up and channeling it into a huge spiral upwards. Then the column of water hung in the air, and spread outwards. With a fury in his eyes, Loki shot what seemed like red and green electricity through the air and into the water.

Everything separated, atomizing, vaporizing. Each droplet was represented, and he’d created a starry night sky of water. The water started to spread out, and encompassed him as well.

He turned, and spoke. “I know you’re here.”

“I’m losing my ability to sneak up on you.” Vylene said as she stepped into view. “That’s good to know.” She said.

The water still hung in the air, forming a background of wondrous view behind him.

“Another prank gone bad, Loki?” She asked.

“No.”



“You didn’t get upset.” She said. When he looked at her, Vylene shrugged. “Usually, you’re always adding in the whole ‘Son of Odin’ thing.” She said, waving her hands at the end of the sentence, her eyes widening in mock surprise.

“What Son of Odin am I?” He asked. “My father basically just stated that I have no chance of ascending to the throne. I am a second rate son. What worth have I?” He asked, and she watched as behind him, droplets connected with each other, forming strands. The strands began to weave but also splinter, forming sharp angles that seemed foreign to the concept of water being fluid and flexible. It hung over his head. She saw spirals, and formations that reminded her of what Midgardians called the Fibonacci sequence. The water began to glow, the trapped energy trying to explode outwards.

“You have worth to me.” She said, stepping up to him and kissing him. “I hold you in a very high regard.” Vylene said.

The shock of the kiss, the second one he’d ever had, caused him to break concentration for a moment. The glow of the energy in the water started to die. Looking at it, straight up, Vylene smiled. “Can’t sneak up on you, but I can break your concentration.” She said. “An experiment, Son of Odin?” She asked, and then kissed him again, this time far more deeply than either of the first two. Her arms slid around his neck, and pulled him in close, her body flush against his.

The water broke it’s formation and dropped, drenching them. But neither seemed to notice, their eyes closed as they kissed.

Finally they broke apart and Vylene started laughing. “What will your mother say?” She asked.

“You should meet her.” He said.

“I don’t....I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Vylene said.

“Why not?” Loki asked, confused.

“I’m far too common for the halls of Odin. But we were talking about you.” She said, stepping away. “Loki, be a dear and start a fire please. Soaked to the bone thanks to you.” She said. “So your father told you that Thor will be king?” She asked.

“Yes.” Loki said as the fire was started, first from his hands and then upon a collection of wood that he gathered, calling to him through the air. “I...It hurts.” He said.


“Undoubtedly.” Vylene said, sitting down on the ground. She sighed as she slid a hand through wet hair. “You damned Prince.” She said. “The braiding is ruined. Oh well. Don’t try to set Heimdall on fire like you did a few years ago. I don’t think that was your finest moment.” She said.

“He walked....into it.” Loki said. “He sees everything, but he didn’t see it coming. That was brilliance.”

“Brilliance, idiocy, fine line there, Son of Odin.” She said.

Seeing that they were back to her insulting him, he sat down across the fire from her frowning.

As soon as he did, she spoke again. “Be a dear, and rustle up something for us to eat.” Vylene the Fair said, giving him the sweetest smile.

With a grumble, he got back up.

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Mir
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Re: Loki: The Touch of Destiny (Limited Series)

Post by Mir »

It wasn’t often that the boy had a nightmare. Even more rare still that he was jolted awake by it. But Loki’s eyes flew open, and his body shuddered. His head swiveled, as he looked back and forth in the shadows of his room. Nothing was there. Shame filled him. It was not right for a boy, no a man of his age to have nightmares. Loki was in his late teens, and his brother didn’t have nightmares. No, Thor slept the sleep of a peaceful, lumbering, obnoxious, vapid, and stupid giant. Unsure if he could add any more adjectives, Loki swung his legs out from underneath the blankets and the furs that covered his bed. Reaching out, he grabbed the clay jug of cold water that he kept by his bed and poured himself a glass.

Rising with glass in hand, Loki walked out onto his balcony, and leaned against the edge, drinking. Beneath him, the palace of Odin was asleep. Beyond that, Asgard slumbered, content in the knowledge that it’s king had assured their safety for yet another day. The peasants would rise when the sun did, and go about their work, none the wiser that their lives were meaningless.

They had no freedom, and yet they were comfortable, because their king was strong. Odin would one day leave the throne, and then that blond boor of a brother of his would ascend. Would the people feel safe? Perhaps. Would they truly be safe? Ah, Loki’s arguments fell decidedly on one side of that debate. Loki continued to drink his water, and turned, when the cup was empty. His father had just assured a better promise lasting peace for the people of Asgard, with a decision that someone with Thor’s panache would have been unable to pull off. The Cask of Ancient Winters had been returned to the Jotuns, the Frost Giants, but only for a period of time, to help them rebuild their world after an incursion from a race of beings known only as the Chrell.

In exchange, Laufey had promised better dialogue and discourse between the Jotuns and the Asgardians, a better chance for peace. Loki had gone with Thor and their father and had toured some of the devastation wrought on Jotunheim. The young man had paid attention to the spells that Heimdall had used to transport them to Jotunheim, whereas Thor had only wished to crush the Jotuns under Mjolnir’s metal, ending any threat of the Jotuns for good. His father and Thor had quarreled on the matter. Loki, for his part, had stayed silent, paying attention all the while reading more from the books concerning the beings that dominated the population of Jotunheim. His father had mentioned something offhandedly to his mother, and that this was out of order and out of sequence. That these Chrell were unnatural, and that had piqued Loki’s interest. He had been reading non stop since then and maybe that was what had spurred on th dream.

He could barely remember the dream; just that he had been running through the woods near the palace, and a group of…something…had been chasing him. It had been cold, so cold. That, he knew, was something that Thor would never dream of, assuming he did have nightmares. No, his brother would have stood his ground and fought whatever it was that had been threatening him. But the problem was that Loki hadn’t been able to see the threat, to understand it. How could he fight something that he could not understand? There was more to combat than just hitting things until they stopped moving.

As he walked back into his room, Loki missed frost starting to appear on the archway of the entrance. Continuing his walk, he set the cup back on the end table and then walked to where the hearth was. The fire had died down, nothing more than just some embers now. He tossed a few logs on, and then muttered some words. Flames sprang forth from the log and he smiled, as he sat down on the couch in front of the fire. Being the preeminent sorcerer on Asgard had its perks sometimes. He leaned back and stretched, closing his eyes. As the yawn came to him, unbidden, Loki’s eyes jerked opened, wide, very wide. His hands came up to his throat, and he clutched, as the air was seemingly drawn out and it became so very hard to breathe. Looking down at the flames, he saw that they were now frozen, and that frost was everywhere. Falling forward, onto his hands and knees, he coughed, trying to draw air into his lungs. It wasn’t impossible anymore, just very hard to do so. Looking to his right, Loki saw something moving, his vision partially obscured by the couch.

Struggling, he rose to his feet and stared directly at three giant blue skinned men. They towered over him, easily twenty feet tall. Loki’s eyes widened, as he recognized them.

“Frost giants.” He said, his voice quiet. “You would dare attack a Son of Odin?!” He said, his voice rising in volume and anger. His fingers worked in complicated patterns, and his eyes glowed a dull green for a moment.

One of the giants flew backwards, and another had a fur rug on the floor snap up and around his legs, pulling him down to the ground. The last charged forward, and Loki dove out of the way. He flung his arms outwards, and knives of magical potency flew through the air, slicing into the skin of the giant that had charged at him. Turning his attention to the one who had been tossed backwards, Loki saw the giant pull out a sword. A muttered incantation as the giant came towards him turned the sword into a snake that started to bite the giant repeatedly.

The giant flailed its arm over and over, trying to get the snake off. Loki took his eyes off the task at hand for a moment too long, letting himself gloat a bit over the spell that he had cast. True workmanship, it was. The result was that the frost giant who had been trapped by the rug was able to shirk the trap, and threw himself at the Prince of Asgard. Loki was tackled backwards and the two skidded out onto the balcony. The boy was forced to look skyward, and saw that there were more of the frost giants. He had to warn his father, his mother.

How had someone gotten past Heimdall? Loki had managed it once or twice, but that was only when he had been doing a prank. He had been also fairly sure that Heimdall had seen it coming, and had allowed the pranks to happen for Loki’s amusement. The young Asgardian scrambled, squeezing out from the grasp of the frost giant. That was when he realized, that the giants weren’t coming to attack Asgard, or the palace, or his family. They were coming for him, and him alone. The young man scrambled backwards, trying to get away, when his head rapt against the heavy stone of the balcony railing. He looked up and that gave one of the giants the opening that he needed.

He threw himself at Loki, and the two went crashing through the stone balcony, falling towards the gardens below. As they fell, they tumbled, and Loki used gravity to turn so that the giant was the one who landed first. The impact killed the mindless brute, and Loki felt his arm give way, the shoulder joint crying out with excruciating pain. Ignoring it as best as he could, he rolled off and looked up. His eyes, not as good as Heimdalls, or Huginn and Muninn’s, allowed him to see the collective of Frost Giants leaping off the balcony. There was no other noise, nothing else that he could see, confirming to him that they were there for him.

So he did the only thing he could do, with an injured shoulder.

He ran.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Branches hit him in the face as he ran, but Loki ignored the stinging pain. Every once in a while, he turned to look over his shoulder, and he could still see the Frost Giants coming. Loki was running through the woods as fast as he could, but he wasn’t sure that it was going to be fast enough. H didn’t’ know where he was going and he didn’t know how far he had to go in order to escape the Frost Giants. There was no time for spells, no time for any of his guile. Even worse, he had forgotten his sword. Knowing that the clearing was coming up, the clearing that he spent time with Vylene in, Loki pushed himself to go faster.

Bursting into the clearing, he saw the lake, and then he looked to his right. Skidding to a stop, his eyes widened. There was the girl. She too had aged since the last time he had seen her, always matching his age whenever they met. Vylene was sitting by a fire, stirring a pot of some liquid that sat over the open flame. He could smell the scent of cooked rabbit stew from where he was, and she looked up at him.

“Loki, Son of Odin.” She said. “Would you care for some-“ She said, and then stopped. “Why are you so out of breath?” She asked. Then Vylene raised an eyebrow. “Why are you sweaty, and why are you…” She trailed off, her eyes widening in fear. “What…in the Nine Realms…is that behind you?” She asked, the first question that had any relevance to the situation at hand.

He had forgotten the Frost Giants, his mind and attention captured, as always by her mere presence. This was, after all, the woman that he loved and had loved for almost ten years. Loki closed his eyes and turned slowly.

The Frost Giants were there, waiting for him.

“What do you want with me, Frost Giant?” Loki asked. “Do you not know that the ground upon which you walk belongs to the All-Father? Do you not know that the air you breathe belongs to All-Father?” He asked. They were silent and Loki cocked his head to the side. “Your sovereign parleys peace with my father, only to stab him in the back one eve after he departs? Have you nothing to say?”

“We have one who would meet with you, Loki Odinson.” One of the Frost Giants said.

Loki narrowed his eyes. “Why would I want to meet with one of you?” He asked.

“Because, boy, you’re lost and you don’t know what’s going on around you.” A new voice said. Deeper, and darker than the rest. Colder, it seemed.

Vylene walked up behind Loki, who put an arm out, to stall her, keep her behind him. Both watched as another Frost Giant emerged from the pack. “My name is Jagrem.” He said. “I speak on behalf of Laufey, King of the Jotuns. Appreciate how much mystical energy was used to transport us here, protected from Heimdall’s vision, just so we can chat with the would be king.”

“What does the King of the Frost Giants want with me?” Loki asked. “I am not lost.” He said.

“I do not question the King of Jotunheim, and neither should you. Now, we’re going.” Jagrem said, and reached a hand out for Loki, who took a step back. “Boy, do as you’re told.” He said.

Loki shook his head. “No one tells a Son of Odin what to do.” He said, and reached his hands out, fire igniting from finger tips. “I’ve read of your kind, Frost Giant. I know your weaknesses. Do you really think you a match for Loki Odinson?” He asked, and the fire spread. They could see licks of flame dancing in his eyes. Maybe it was nothing more than a reflection of the fire that Vylene had her stew cooking on. Maybe it was the wrath of Loki.

“You will come with us.” Jagrem said, and though he had looked ready to say more, he fell silent. There was a chill in the air, a wave of air that was colder than the rest blowing over everyone and Loki turned flames wrapping around his hands to see the King of Jotuns walking towards him from across the lake. A lake that had frozen over.

As soon as Laufey’s feet touched ground again, all the Frost Giants knelt. Everyone knelt, save for Loki and for Vylene who had remained silent this whole time. A part of Loki was almost grateful that there were Frost Giants here. Otherwise Vylene would have been using that sharp tongue of hers to be sarcastic towards him. Though, he might still have been in bed, sound asleep. That would have been nice.

“Loki….Prince of Asgard…” Laufey said.

“Now, finally, we can talk.” Loki said. He looked at towering man before him. “You send lackeys when you wish to discuss matters of importance with me?” He asked. “Do you take me for some second rate imp you can deal with as you like?”

Jagrem showed great displeasure in someone speaking to his master in this way, rising up off of one knee. Laufey caused Jagrem’s motion to cease with a wave of his hand. “I would much rather only be in this realm when I have a suitable invitation, a suitable reason.” Laufey said. “Your father is not one who is quick to anger, but his wrath is…legendary.” He said, with an amused smile. “Now, yes, we can talk.” He said. “I came here because when we met, I sensed a kindred spirit.” Laufey said. “You would tell me that this is not something that you felt as well?”

The eyes of the Asgardian Prince showed that he too had sensed something when the two of them had met earlier in the week. “Go on.” He said, the flames dying down as he folded his arms over his chest.

“What do you know of your heritage?” Laufey asked.

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Mir
KING OF STRONG STYLE
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Re: Loki: The Touch of Destiny (Limited Series)

Post by Mir »

“My heritage?” Loki asked, raising an eyebrow at Laufey’s words. What jokes was this Frost Giant trying to make? Trying to make Loki question his heritage, that was ridiculous. “I know everything of my heritage that I need to know. I know that I am Loki Odinson, crown prince of Asgard….second in line for the throne of Asgard.” He said. “What else is there to know of?” He asked, a smirk on the young boy’s face.

He didn’t notice Vylene grimace at that moment, as if she knew what was to come.

“What if I told you that you could, if you wanted, be first in line for a throne, instead of second in line?” Laufey asked, as he smile, revealing teeth that were as blue as his skin. “You could be the king that you always wanted to be, Loki.” He reached a hand out, fingers splayed. “All you have to do is ask.”

“What lies would you weave with words filled with treachery?” Loki asked, getting angry. “There is no way for me to be first in line unless brother mine were to drop dead this very night. You flatter yourself if you think yourself a wordsmith, Frost Giant. I would play trick on a father or a mother indeed, but I would never think of murder in my desires to be king.”

Laufey shook his head, and started to walk in a slow, lazy circle around the two teenagers, hands clasped at the small of his back. His eyes looked to the skies, as he wore the look of a man who had superior knowledge than that of his foe. After all, it was knowledge that won a war, not strength. Something that Loki’s brother sworn had yet to learn. “I tell you, Loki, that your throne is not of Asgard.” He said, and turned, reaching out to touch the young man on the shoulder. “It is not of glittering gold, but of frozen ice.”

Loki gasped aloud as he looked down at his hands and saw that they had turned the same hue as those of the Frost giants. His eyes lifted up and found purchased in the gazes of those Laufey had brought with him. They all shared similar looks, looks of malicious joy. “What sorcery is this?” He asked, as the color faded.

“Long ago, there was a battle, in Jotunheim. Your father lost the battle and in the same breath, lost his son, taken from him by his enemy to ensure that his foe would not strike against his supposedly bejeweled kingdom.” Laufey said, resuming his walking.

“Odin has never lost a battle.”

“I wasn’t speaking of that so called King of the Nine Realms, boy!” Laufey said, snapping at Loki. His eyes were alight with the fire of anger, a stark contrast to his blue skin. “I was speaking of your father, the King of the Frost Giants. You are not Loki Son of Odin. You are Loki Son of Laufey, the crown prince of Jotunheim.” He said.

“Lies!” Loki said, green wisps floating from his hands, as orange tendrils wrapped around them. “I am not your son.” He said.

“Why is it that you feel so out of place on Asgard? Your father wants you to be like Thor, he wants you to fight in tournaments where you don’t belong. You roam halls that feel foreign though they’re all you’ve known your entire life.” Laufey said, the pace of his speech quickening, as Loki took deep breath after deep breath, trying to hold back the anger. “You know it as much as I do, you haven’t accepted it yet. That’s what I want you to do, I want you to accept it!” He said.

“I…I am a Frost Giant?” Loki asked and turned to look at Vylene, whose eyes were wide with both shock and fright. He turned back to Laufey who had his back to him. “Why would my father lie to me?”

Laufey laughed, as if this was the silliest question that Loki could have asked. “Use the brain you received when you sprung from my loins, boy. Control.” He said, looking over his shoulder. “This is all about control. Odin knows that I will never strike with my full strength against Asgard, for fear that he would kill my only son. Odin knows that he can control the Jotuns’ future by controlling their future King. When I die, everything falls to you by your birthright. How better to ensure peace in his time than to have manipulated my boy since he was born? The Frost Giants have long been the most serious threat to Asgard. Is this not the manipulator at work?” He asked his voice rising, and earning sounds of agreement from the rest of the Frost Giants.

He looked at Loki now, turning back towards him. “Friður Asgardia.”

“My mother would have never agreed to this.” Loki shot back, thinking of Frigga. Tears were welling in his eyes. The wisps and tendrils surrounding his hands were losing transparency and becoming more and more opaque. His mother would never have done this to him. She loved him, she cared about him. She loved him more than anyone he knew. Always she was the one who went to bat for him when his father was angry with him after a prank. Always she took the time to listen to him as best as she could. But was there a reason why even she, who understood him better than everyone except for Vylene, was unable to truly empathize with him?

Was…Was Laufey right?

“She is a weak woman. She took one look at you, as a mewling babe, and thought that you were the prettiest thing she had ever seen.” Laufey said, and then snapped his finger. “Of course, after her own first born son. You’ve never been loved the way Thor has been loved. He’s the one given the hammer. He’s the one given the glory. You’re given the shadows and told to make do. That is not fitting for a king such as yourself.”

The tears spilled over.

“Begone.” Loki said.

“I have waited far too long to-“

“I….said…begone!” Loki said, and the balls of light around his hand exploded outwards, waves of energy that knocked everyone down to the ground so that Loki was the only one standing. The stew pot rocked back and forth, but didn’t fall over. He gulped down air, as if these were breaths that would save his life. “Get out, before I tell my father the lies you spread through his kingdom. Get out, before I make you wish that my brother was here with his hammer, what for the damage I will do to you and these weaklings you consider brethren.”

“Loki.” Vyelene said, reaching a hand out to calm him down, as Laufey got to one knee. “Don't do anything rash.”

“Yes,” Laufey said, as Loki and Vylene locked eyes. “Listen to this whelp.” He said.

Loki and Vylene were still looking at each other and Vylene closed her eyes as Laufey spoke, her mouth thinning. When her eyes opened, they were cruel and she turned to Laufey.

“Don’t forget that I’m the only one keeping him from destroying you and your band of merry misfits.” She said, the tone of her voice sounding like death for the first time in Loki’s memory. “You play with powers you don’t understand with lives you shouldn’t risk to lose. Pray be on your way, your majesty.”

“I will not be spoken to in that tone of voice, wench.” Laufey said, taking a step forward.

Vylene merely jerked her head in Laufey’s direction.

Loki’s hands shot forth blue streaks of mystical force, wrapping around Laufey and starting to squeeze. “You would insult Vylene the Fair? My Vylene?” His eyes glowed blue as well. “Tell your men to leave and you leave with them. My father will hear of this.” He said, breaking through Laufey’s ribs. “Some king you are.” He said, dropping the Frost Giant to his knees.

“Sooner or later….you will see things my way.” Laufey said, wheezing. “I will wait for your call, my son. My patience has lasted this long. What more is a few more years?”

Two of his fellow Frost Giants helped him to his feet, and the the ground departed, fading into a dense fog that appeared to cover their tracks.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Vylene stirred the pot, as the stew finished cooking. Loki was sitting cross legged near the edge of the water, which had returned to its former state, his back to her. She watched him from a distance, pouring some of the rabbit stew into two bowls. “Loki, the food is ready.” She said, and he gave her no reaction. Walking over, she set one of the bowls next to him, before lying down on her stomach next to him., propping herself up on her elbows. His fingers danced, as a smooth pebble floated around his fingers, tumbling around in a complicated but random dance.

He was quiet for a while, the two bowls of stew sitting next to them. Really there was no purpose to them anymore, it wasn’t as if either of them was going to eat. There was far too much hanging in the air to eat.

“Do you think it’s true?” He asked.

“What?” She asked, and he gave her a look. “Oh, that right. It makes sense. It explains why you don’t fit in and why you don’t feel like you fit in. Honestly, I think that you are your own man.” Vylene said. “You have to make your own choices. Odin can’t make them for you, neither can Laufey. Ultimately, you need to decide who you’re going to be.” She said. “Who cares what Odin wants or what Laufey wants, or who anyone wants. What do you want?” She asked.

“I want to mean more than being Thor’s brother. I don't want that to be the first thought when people think of me. I want…I want to matter.” Loki said.

“So do what you have to in order to make that a reality.” She said with a shrug.

“Easy enough for you to say, you’re the daughter of a commoner.” He said. “Vylene daughter of Ruyf. There is no requirement for you in life. You can make whatever choice you want. I may be royalty, but I am more trapped than anyone I know.”

She shook her head. “Only because you choose to be.” Her index finger reached out, dragging across his forearm. They watched as blue skin appeared where she stroked. “Maybe it is true.” Vylene said, raising her eyes up to his. “But it doesn’t take anything away from the fact that your life is your own. Throw it away if you want, but make sure that it’s what you want.”

Loki shook his head. “I can’t believe that my father would lie to me for years. My mother….Heimdall…all of them. They’ve all known this.” He said, his fists clenching in anger. “I refuse to play Odin’s games anymore. I will not conform to his idealized view of what I should be.”

Vylene closed her eyes as if she felt a shift in the wind. Maybe it was the breeze rifling through the trees and across the lake. She opened her eyes. “Thank you, for what you did.” She said after a few moments. “I appreciate it.”

“No one insults Vylene the Fair.” He said.

She smiled and gave him a sly, sidelong glance. Her deep green eyes piercing through him. “That’s not all that you said though.” She said. “You said, ‘My Vylene’. I heard you.”

“And what if I did?” Loki asked.

She lazily rolled over to her back, and pulled a few strands of her hair into her fingers, playing with the strands. Rolling them around her finger, she looked up at him, as innocently as she could for someone in her late teens. “Oh nothing. It’s the first time you’ve ever said that, that’s all.” Vylene said. She waited a beat for him to turn back towards the lake and stare out over the water. “So I’m your Vylene then?” She asked, looking at the hair she was curling around her finger.

“You’re damn well not anybody else’s, that’s for sure.” Loki said, angrily.

“Calm down there, Prince of Asgard.” She said and suddenly leaned up, kissing him. “I’m all yours.” She whispered against his mouth after she broke the kiss. Sliding a hand up around Loki’s neck, she pulled him in closer, kissing him deeply. Falling backwards, she pulled him down with her. “Why don’t you show me?” She asked, with a grin.

He stared down at her.

“Show me.” Vylene challenged him, taking his hands and placing them on her thighs. “We’ve both thought about this for a while, haven’t we?” She asked.

Loki’s breath hitched. “Are you…are you sure?” He asked.

“Have you ever known me not to be sure about what I say or do?” She asked, letting go of his hands and moving her own through his hair. “Are you going to say no to your Vylene?” She asked, sweetly, her green eyes dancing with mirth.

His hands moved up, underneath the folds of the green dress.

He would have been lying to himself if he had said he hadn’t thought of this, on and off for years. Loki had been in love with Vylene since the moment he had met her, over a decade ago. Now, for once, she was not needling him with her words but rather indicating that she too felt the way that he did.

At least there was one thing he was definitely going to beat Thor in.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Vylene and Loki looked up at the stars.

“They’re beautiful, aren’t they?” She asked. “I’ve been drawing them, writing down the constellations.”

“Why, they’re the same every night.” He said.

She shook her head. “No they’re…” She said and then trailed off, as if remembering something. “I mean…yes, they are. But that doesn’t make them any less special. I’m a commoner, just like everyone else, but I’m kind of special, aren’t I?” She asked, playfully nudging him in the side with her elbow. Loki laughed.

Her face was turned towards him, and she studied him, her face sobering. There was a look of sadness on her face, as if she was losing something that she held near and dear to her. “Don’t change, Loki.” Vylene said. “Don’t change for anyone, only change if you want to.” She said.

“I won’t.” He replied, and turned to look at her. “Why has Vylene the Fair’s face become so somber?” He asked, reaching out and stroking her face.

“Because this is the last time I’m going to see you.” She said, and he sat up.

“What are you talking about?” He asked.

“I have to go away now. I have to leave.”

“Why?” He asked, as she started to dress. “I forbid it. I am a Prince of Asgard. I will fight whatever it is that would keep you from me. My father will help me.” He said and when she continued to dress, he repeated himself. “I forbid you to have to leave.”

She laughed, shaking her head. As if it was as easy as Loki was making it seem. But it wasn’t, and she knew that. “Things are more complicated than you think, Loki, my love.” She said, pausing to slide a hand through his long, black hair. “But there is going to come a time when you’re going to have to put those pranks to the side and make a choice. A real choice.” Vylene said.

“What are you-“

“Shhh. There’s not much time left.” Vylene said, interrupting him. She knew that she had things to tell him and that she needed to go. “You’ll know the moment when it arrives. There’ll be a man and he’ll want something from you and you have to choose whether to help him or not. There’ll be others trying to stop him.”

“Who?”

“A man who bring doom upon the world.”

Loki’s eyes narrowed. “And the others?”

She paused. “A man in a machine. A man dazzling of stars. One bursting with energy, one challenging gods. One in all black, fashioned after a cat. And one who tears everything apart.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.” Loki said, shaking his head. Nothing she was saying was making any sense and he wanted to know what was going on. She couldn’t do this to him. They’d just shared something so intimate, so amazing, and now she was leaving him? Telling him that it was the last time he was ever going to see her? Whenever he had needed her, she had been there. Whenever, he had truly needed her. How was he going to…

“You’re good at riddles and puzzles, you’ll figure it out.”

He closed his eyes. She was serious. He could tell. “Will I ever see you again?” He asked.

“The only way you’ll find out is when you have to make the choice.” She said. “It’s time for me to leave.” Vylene said, and stood in front of him, kissing him.

“I love you.” Loki said.

Vylene smiled, the smile of a woman whose heart was breaking. She wanted to stay with him, he could tell. But apparently there was something more powerful in this world than he or more powerful than even his father.

“I love you too, Loki Odinson.” She said, as a dense red fog began to surround them. She took a few steps backwards and his eyes widened, as the fog enveloped her.

What kind of magic was this? He’d never seen it before. He’d never read of it before in his studies in Odin’s library either.

The fog dissipated.

She was gone.

“Laufeyson.” He said, finally admitting what he knew to be true. Laufey hadn’t lied to him.

Odin had lied to him. Frigga had lied to him. All of them had lied to him.

Thor had lied to him.

They were all going to pay.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Her eyes opened, and her body relaxed, from the cross legged position that she had been in. She was back. Back deep within the ground in an undisclosed location, rarely visited by anyone. Only a handful of people really. The woman looked up at the man leaning against the wall, who had been watching her the entire time. He looked tired, so very tired. As if having the weight of the world on his shoulders was finally starting to get to him, finally starting to break through the cracks, like water slowly eroding a wall. It wasn't each individual drop, it was the constant flow of it all that eventually did someone in.

Everything cracked. Everything broke. It was always only a matter of time.

“You told him?” He asked.

“Yes, I did.” The woman clothed in red said. But that wasn’t a true description. Clothed in scarlet would have been better.

The man turned to the only other occupant of the small cell like room. “Hopefully this works, Clark.”

Clark Dennison nodded. “No reason why it shouldn’t, boss.” He said, checking the ammunition on the pistol that he had with him. “Do you need another magazine?” He asked.

“No.” Nick Fury said, turning and looking at the woman who had now risen from the ground. “Thank you, Evelyn.” He said.

“Sure thing.” Vylene, Daughter of Ruyf said. “After all, what kind of a daughter would I be?” She asked. “It’s not like you had a choice in locking me up in this cage, right?” Evelyn Fury asked and Fury scowled. They both knew that she was his closest guarded secret. They both knew what he had done to her. Still she helped him. “How long before HYDRA gets here?” She asked, wanting to change the subject.

“They’re banging on the door upstairs.” Nick replied. “They brought a God damned army with them too. Destiny calls.”

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