“Stop this madness, Loki,” Thor rumbled, his cloak whipping in the wind that accompanied the lightning that was crackling across the navy and violet clouds of the stormy sky. “Give this up before it is too late!”
“Stop my poisonous dream?” Loki sneered coldly, whatever warmth you had brought to his face gone as he glared hatefully across at his adopted brother.
“You are a fool to think the Nine Realms will willingly fall under the command of one man,” Thor declared, gripping the handle of his hammer tightly in his strong hand.
“And you are fool to return to Asgard!” Loki hissed, “The city has fallen under my command! The entire army is at my disposal along with innumerable jotuns and other creatures to match your strength. Your companions, the Warriors Three and the Lady Sif, cannot come to your aid. Do you really think you can defeat my forces by yourself?”
Thor’s face darkened as Loki laughed coldly. The lightning brightened the sky with peals of threatening thunder, “Did you truly think I would come alone?”
Perfectly on cue, the golden doors to the throne room flew open and the enormous green Hulk bellowed a challenge, leaping into the hall and landing with a crash. Captain America led the rest of the Avengers, his shield reflecting the light of the flashing storm clouds, as they raced through the doors. Your heart leapt when you saw Natasha, her red curls fluttering about her face as she slid gracefully to a stop next to Hawkeye, pulling her guns from her thigh-sheaths and training them on a stunned Loki. Hawkeye notched an arrow, the muscles of his arm rippling as he drew the bowstring up past his serious, scowling face. Iron Man swooped in through the open doors and hovered behind the scowling blond god.
“We humans on Earth like to say the third time’s the charm,” Stark announced sarcastically through his helmet, “So, do I really even have to say it, Frosted Flake?”
“Loki, stand down,” Natasha said clearly, her eyes focused on him without the slightest twitch down to you.
“Don’t make this any harder than it is.” Captain America said, the muscles of his arm standing out as he clenched his fist on the straps of his shield.
“Hulk smash puny god!” the green monster roared, his gigantic knuckles cracking as he flexed his arms and pummelled his fist into his palm. “Again!”
Loki’s hand knotted in your hair, dragging you to your feet as you twisted and cried out in pain. He pulled you against him, using your body as a shield, and you felt his cool, peppermint breath ghost past your cheek, his other hand holding the cold blade of the spear against your throat. “I will kill her.”
“Yeah, you’ve said that before,” Stark said snarkily, “But she looks perfectly healthy to me.”
“Loki, let her go,” Natasha said, “this doesn’t have to get any worse than it already is.”
You gasped as he dug the spear into the soft skin of your throat, twisting your hair painfully. His nails dug into your scalp and you whimpered softly. Thor’s eyes softened and he held up his hand to the other Avengers, “Hold.”
“Thor,” Natasha said, “If he was going to kill her, he would have done so already.”
“He’s just stalling,” Hawkeye grunted, his shoulder tensing as he strained to check himself, keeping himself from releasing the bowstring and sending the arrow through Loki’s eye socket.
“Less talk,” the Hulk bellowed, “more smashing!”
“No, friend,” Thor rumbled, “stand down. There is a look in his eye which I mislike. I believe he will cause her harm.” The Avengers looked around at each other before slowly straightening. The Hulk cracked his knuckles threateningly and Natasha’s eyes never left yours as she lowered her guns, her leather covered breasts rising and falling with her deep breaths. Thor raised his hand in a placating gesture, taking a cautious step forward, “Please, brother, there is no need to cause more bloodshed and suffering.”
“How did you get here?” Loki hissed. Perhaps it was because his face was so close to yours, or maybe because he was slipping slightly, but you thought you heard a note of fear under his words. “Did you bring your Midgardian pets with you, Thor? Do you think they will help you? They will die here and it will be your fault for bringing them here!”
“It was not I who brought the Avengers here,” Thor said, “I had no part in this.”
“Then who brought you here?” Loki snarled, his hand tightening in your hair.
Loki’s grip loosened and he stepped away from you, looking stunned. You turned slowly, seeing the betrayal in his eyes even though he struggled to hide it. You felt rather than heard the Avengers shift behind you, but Loki spoke before any of them could say anything. He murmured your name, his brows drawing in and his fists tightening, “Why?”
“You were so sure I wouldn’t do anything to resist you,” you said softly, “you were so sure that I’d just let you use me as a part of your ultimate plan. But I won’t. I won’t be used. If I had to take you down to show you that I’m not blindly going to allow you to control me, then I had no qualms about doing just that.”
“Then you betrayed me,” he said accusingly.
“No, you’re the one who betrayed me,” you said sharply. His eyes narrowed, his head twisting slightly to the side and you mirrored him, somehow finding a way to soften your eyes and voice, “You’ve changed, Loki. You’re not the man I knew on Midgard. When you wore the face of Luke Koenig, you were kind and compassionate. You were the gentlest man I knew. Then you tore that away. I should have seen your ambition at once, but your silver tongue charmed me, you offered me the answers to all my questions. You showed me the stars. You snared me with your words and gifts I could never have dreamed of. I loved you, Loki.”
You heard a sharp intake of breath from behind you, reminding you that you had an audience, but ignored it, drawing Loki’s attention back to you.
“I did, Loki,” you insisted when he looked wary, “I loved you. But your lust for power has changed you, twisted you. I hardly recognise you anymore.”
“I should kill you for betraying me,” Loki hissed, his face hard and cold and very, very dark.
“Maybe you should,” you shrugged, then smiled and shook your head, “But you won’t.”
“Oh, won’t I?” he snarled threateningly.
“You can’t,” you smiled gently, never dropping his gaze.
“You cannot tell me what I can or cannot do!” he flared angrily, “I can kill you and I will!”
“Then do it!” you challenged, watching him as his eyes betrayed the turmoil boiling beneath his skin. He clenched his fist around the shaft of the spear and lifted it to press the sharp point against your heart, where it beat a frantic, nervous tattoo beneath the flesh of your breast, the healing wounds of his carved name tingling strangely. The Avengers shifted behind you, making noises of concern, but you held up your hand, stilling them. You watched, emotionless, as Loki’s arm began to shake, his jaw clenching. After a heart-wrenching minute, you shook your head gently, “You see? You cannot bring yourself to kill me. You love me, Loki.”
You heard Stark give an appropriately dramatic gasp, but it was almost instantly drowned out by Loki’s furious voice, “I do not love you!”
“You’re denying yourself.” You said, not making any move to push Gungnir away from your chest, “I can see it in your eyes. You’re denying what you feel because you’re afraid. You fear me.”
“You presume to think that I fear a weak woman like you?” Loki looked like he was trying to force himself to laugh condescendingly, but he couldn’t force the sound from his throat.
“Yes, I do.” You said coolly, your voice smooth and calm, “You fear me because I make you happy. You, who have been betrayed and pushed aside your entire life, you fear happiness.” His lips parted, but no sound emerged. His eyes were widening slightly, his brows lifting as he stared into your eyes. You had a feeling that he was grasping onto every one of your words, forgetting everything else in the world except your eyes and your voice. “You deny what you feel when you look at me. What I make your heart do. I know the way it dances against your chest when I look at you. The way it skips a beat when I draw near to you, like this. The way…the way it feels like it will explode out of your chest when I…..when I touch you.”
You had slipped past the spear as you had spoken, drawing close to him. You lifted your hand slowly, tentatively, and your fingers brushed his cheek, caressing his pale skin. His eyes slid shut and the spear slid from his grasp as he gave a cry, sinking to his knees and cradling his head in his hands. You watched, feeling a lump begin to rise in your throat as he twisted his fingers through his raven hair, his face screwed up in a grimace. You heard a choking sound emerge from his throat and thought for a moment that he was still trying to laugh, then you saw the shaking of his shoulders and your heart broke as you realised that he was weeping.
“What have you done to me?!” he wailed, looking up at you with child-like eyes glittering with tears and you bit back your sympathising sob as he gazed up at you with an expression of tortured confusion and heart-wrenching desperateness that made you want to take him in your arms and hold him until he had cried himself to exhaustion. “You have broken me!”
“No, Loki,” you managed somehow, holding back your own tears, “No, I have mended you.”