While it might have been just past sunset as you and Loki left Norway, the six hour time difference left you with an early evening in Manhattan. All appeared normal as you and Loki reentered your apartment, and you were a bit surprised that no one from S.H.I.E.L.D. had come here. Surely it had been little wonder who had caused that little incident in D.C., and if they knew that it had been you and Loki, wouldn’t they have come for you by now? Anderson had stayed behind to keep things intact, and Steve and Natasha might assist more if need be. That, added to you having no intention of staying in Midgard for more than a few hours kept you at ease.
You sighed with relief as you collapsed into a tired heap on the couch, staring at the ceiling with a tired and relieved look. With all that happened, it was hard to fathom that you had left the apartment only a few hours before. Well, with Loki involved, things were certainly never dull.
“That was exhausting,” you sighed as you glanced to Loki. “Is this what your life is like all the time?”
Loki smirked as he walked towards the couch, pushing your legs away slightly as he sat at the other end. “Sometimes,” he answered. “Though compared to half of the things Thor often found himself in – and of course I had to be involved as well – I’d say this was a ‘mild’ adventure.”
You laughed softly. “Then what was Nidavellir?”
You gave a laughing groan as you tilted your head back and kicked your legs into Loki’s lap, sighing heavily. It had been a long, stress filled day and you were tired from it, but for the first time, you actually glad to be tired, even if it meant that there was about a 78% chance you would fall asleep here and now.
Loki noticed this, and had a partially concerned look on his face. “Are you well, __________?” he inquired.
You lifted your head slightly and nodded as you looked back to him. “Yeah, I’m fine,” you replied. “Just tired.”
“What sort of tired?” Loki asked, his thoughts likely turning back to the enchantments and all.
You let your head drop back down again. “The sort of tired that comes after ridiculously long days like today,” you answered. “Not the other kind of tired.”
Loki gave a satisfied nod. So long as this was not some work of the enchantments that he had somehow overlooked, he wasn’t going to be too concerned by it. “Do you wish to rest?”
You shrugged slightly. Despite not eating much through the day, you weren’t really hungry at the moment, though you figured you should eat something just to keep your strength up. There was, of course, the hot bath that you still had in mind, and you wouldn’t even mind a rather short nap just for good measure of relaxing. Before you could settle into those comforting thoughts, you remembered that there were still a few things left unfinished. “I suppose,” you answered Loki slowly. “But I was also hoping to return to Asgard.”
“Tonight?” Loki inquired, a little surprised by your somber way of saying it. Usually, your insistence to return to Asgard had some sort of perky insistence to it, but that seemed to be lacking at the moment.
You nodded slowly. “I just…don’t you think it would be better if we returned as soon as we could?” you asked back. “S.H.I.E.L.D. might not be here right now, but there’s no telling if or for how long Anderson can keep them away. I don’t much care if they want to raid this place, but I’d like to not be here if they do.”
Loki gave a slightly amused smile. “Putting it that way, I suppose you’re right,” he replied thoughtfully as the clever wheels of his mind turned. “Though would you be well enough to travel there tonight, even after all of today? Three trips in one day would be much, even for me.”
You nodded again, more assuredly this time. “I can do it,” you answered. “We don’t have to leave right now though. I’d like to rest a little bit first, but I don’t want to spend tonight here.”
“Would there be any other particular reason that you are so eager to return?” Loki asked incredulously. He sensed that something was going on with you, but he was still guessing at what it could be. You’d had enough out of character moments to assure to him that something was going on, but you weren’t quite ready to admit any of it to him.
You smirked as you sat up and sat cross-legged on the couch beside him. “I might, I might not,” you replied smoothly. “But the point still stands – were aren’t done with this whole quest. We found the seal on Midgard, but there are still two left. We can go to Jotunheim next, but I would like to return to Asgard to make the proper preparations first.”
Loki’s face was somber, but that clever, knowing look in his emerald eyes still remained as he inclined his head slightly. “There are times I could be convinced you are Asgardian, ___________,” he remarked passively as he looked you over.
You felt yourself become tense at the statement, though (for once) you didn’t show it in the slightest. “You’re saying I’m not?” you asked. “Then what am I?”
“You could be anything,” Loki replied as he stood up from the couch slowly. “Or you could be nothing. We have to control our own destinies if we are ever to become anything.”
“Is that what you did?”
Loki paused, turning back to you slowly, his face completely somber for a moment as he met your gaze. “Yes.”
You kept your eyes focused on his, as though you could not look away even if you had tried to. There was so much to Loki that you did not understand, and yet, there were likely no others that understood him as well as you did. No one knew the sort of things that he had endured and still endured. Loki had done so well to keep himself isolated from everyone he came into contact with, and while it might have protected him, his loneliness must hurt as much as his body. It hurt you nearly as much to think of it, because you would give anything to have the ability to heal him – both his body and his heart.
Loki turned his head away from you suddenly, as if your last question and his reply had never happened. “If you intend to rest or bathe and still leave in good time, I would suggest you do it now,” he said as he stepped away from the couch, his clothes – which until now had been more of a casual Asgardian attire (or it could have been cleverly disguised Midgardian clothes…you never were great with fashion styles beyond what you knew looked good on someone) – transformed to his usual Asgardian clothes, minus the armored portions.
“Going somewhere?” you asked as you leaned back against the couch a bit more.
Loki glanced over his shoulder towards you and smirked. “Perhaps,” he replied smoothly. “You have your ways of relaxing, and I have mine.”
You grinned slightly as you stood up from the couch running your fingers through your hair as you stepped over to him, kissing his cheek as you held to his arm for a moment. “Fair enough,” you whispered. “But don’t be away too long. I’d hate to leave without you.”
“Would you?” Loki inquired, not believing a word.
“I won’t be late,” he assured you as he slipped his arm around your waist and pulled you even closer to him. “I’d hate to see what mess you’d find yourself in if I weren’t.”
You laughed softly. “Oh, an argument for another time, my dear,” you teased as you slipped your arms around his neck. “But I think I would find myself in less trouble if you weren’t here.”
“And you would drive yourself mad with boredom,” Loki added on, as you both knew that he was likely correct.
You shrugged slightly, pretending not to care. “So I’ll buy a gun.”
Loki raised his eyebrow curiously. “And what of the ‘moral high ground’ you spoke of before?”
“It’s theoretical,” you whispered as you stole the moment and kissed his lips quickly before pointing to the door. “Okay, you go that way, and I’ll go that way,” you then pointed towards the hall way. “Meet here in two hours?”
Loki smiled faintly. “You are rather amusing sometimes, __________.”
“I would hope it’s more than sometimes,” you laughed as you slipped away from him with some reluctance. “Don’t do anything troublesome, alright?”
(Really impressive transition to Loki’s P.O.V.)
Loki’s faint smile continued. “I make no promises,” he replied in an undertone as he watched you walked back down the hall towards your bedroom, waiting nearly two minutes after he heard the door close completely before he dared to leave.
He had little doubt that he would be followed, but of all the times to be cautious, now was it. He used his magic to leave the apartment, leaving Manhattan as well, and returning to the place he had just come from – Norway. The sky was darker now, but the last traces of the daylight remained, casting shadows across the dark mountains. Loki stood atop the same plateau that you and he had arrived at before, though this time, he used his magic to go down the one hundred feet instead of walking down. The distance meant nothing to him, but it was just a little more time that he could not afford to waste.
When he had come here with you before, he had almost been surprised to find that the seal was still intact. Algrim had been very…assertive towards keeping their plans moving forward when they had last spoken in Nidavellir. Though the Dark Elf had also said that he was no longer going to do Loki’s tasks, so really, it should not have surprised him too much that the seal had not been touched. It had been his job to break all the seals, and after he had failed to do so in Nidavellir, Algrim had begun to doubt him.
That doubt made little difference to Loki, however. He still intended to see their plans through. So what if he had other things on his mind as well. Yes, the girl that he was coming to care for was one of the few who could stand in their way, but she still knew nothing of their plans. As long as things remained this way, they were safe, and Asgard would fall.
With narrowed eyes focused on the ancient runes, Loki stepped towards the seal and couched down, his slender fingers running along the cold stone. “Yes, I feel the magic you put here, Odin,” he said to himself, imagining that Odin was watching, though he knew that none could see him now. “You want this place to be forgotten…but perhaps my memory is better than yours. I will unravel the threads of this great tapestry you call your kingdom until there is nothing left, and I will make it into something new...something that is mine.”
As he continued to keep his fingers touching the runes, he summoned his own magic – enchantments weaved with dark energy that would counteract the protection over the seal. It took his concentration, but not much of his time, to accomplish this, and with the seal now vulnerable to attack, Loki lifted his other hand, and his scepter appeared.
“Asgard will be mine,” Loki hissed as he turned the scepter upside down, so that the point faced the runes on the ground. He brought the scepter’s point down as hard as he could, colliding it with the Asgardian seal, and severing it. Dark energy seeped from the scepter into the newly formed crevice, leaving its taint as the seal’s power quickly drained.
He stood slowly and pulled the scepter out, waving his hand over the weapon so that it disappeared. He walked out of the cavern as calmly as if nothing had happened, and looked out across the dark sky. There were only a few stars that could be seen now, and it would not be long before they were all gone.
Loki’s lips parted in a broad, cunning smile. “Asgard will be mine,” he repeated to himself in a soft whisper.