Light Bringer

Thor/Avengers Fanfiction. Set post Avengers Assemble.

Loki was imprisoned upon his return to Asgaard. Thor stands a daily vigil by his brother’s cage, only to leave heartbroken each evening when the God of Mischief elects to remain silent.
The people of Asgaard cry out for Loki’s punishment and Heimdall tells Odin that the people of Midgaard do the same.
The Allfather seeks the help of Synneva, an Asgaardian who was stranded on Midgaard when the Bifrost was destroyed.

Rated Yellow for safety.

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7. Guiding Light

Loki felt his hand loosen on the cylinder as the world around him solidified and he could not help but fall to his hands and knees. His nostrils flared as he tried to reclaim the breath that had been knocked from him by the landing. 

The journey had numbed him, or so it seemed, and it took a few seconds for the sensation of the ground beneath him to fully sink in. He felt a cold dampness under his knees and the bite of ice below his palms. Sitting back on his haunches, Loki surveyed his surroundings. He gathered little through blurred vision, gleaning only a landscape blanched through snowfall. 
The creaking of footsteps beside him bid him turn his gaze to the right and he witnessed Heimdall walk forth towards a shadowy figure Loki could not yet make out. 
“Are you certain you will keep well in such company?” The gatekeeper asked, venom in his voice as he shot a sideways glance at the fallen prince.
A short laugh that was both dismissive and reassuring ensued.
“Of course, Heimdall. Do not worry yourself. All will be well.” 
Loki’s stomach lurched. The voice was female and the uneasiness in his stomach warned it was the woman who had visited him in his cage. 
“Very well. I will be watching over you. As before, you need only call if you need assistance.”
“Try not to let me get stranded this time, eh?”
Loki watched as the fuzzy mass of gold that was Heimdall drew the smaller, yet equally blurred, female into a short embrace. He then took a few steps away from her and twisted the capsule in his hands. 
Within a second, and a thousand daggers of blue and white light, Heimdall was gone. 
Loki fought to his feet and stood for a moment, waiting for his vision to clear so he could assess his situation better. He tried to find something to focus on, but found only the woman in contrast with his snow wrapt surroundings. 
She bent to her left and grasped at a dark shape at her feet, hoisting it to her shoulder with little difficulty. Loki could only assume it was a bag of some sort. 
He continued to watch her attentively until her shape gradually grew and clarified. It took the god of mischief a further second to realise that she was approaching him. 
The new-found proximity confirmed for the trickster god that the stranger was, in fact, the woman who had visited him in his prison. Though this time, she was dressed differently, her attire now consisting of a white shirt, leather breastplate with scale-like embellishments, bracers to match, brown trousers and brown leather boots. A short sword hung at her belt. She still wore the circlet, but had seen fit to secure her jet tresses in long plaited ponytail. Her attire was completed by a thick mud-coloured, hooded cloak.
She placed a tentative hand on his shoulder. Loki narrowed his eyes at her, but found himself too weak to protest further. 
What are you doing? The trickster god growled silently as the stranger leant gently on the hand on his shoulder and then stood on her tiptoes to reach around to the back of his head. 
The woman gave a smile in response and then took a breath. 
“I’m sure you don’t want to be stuck like this the entire time…” She replied, utilising the more conventional means of conversation. After a second, she gave a sigh in defeat and place her feet flat on the ground. 
“I’m going to have to ask you to kneel again…” 
Loki seethed at this request. Who was this stranger to ask him, a prince, no, a king, the rightful king of Asgaard, to kneel before her? She was a peasant. An asgaardian, for certain, but a peasant. Not royalty. Not nobility. A guard at the very most, but certainly no one with the authority to command him so. 
The woman’s smile faded as she, no doubt, read his thought process. She looked uncertain for a second, a trifle doubtful at his hesitance. With a sigh, she turned away from him and began to walk in the opposite direction. Her pace was slow and thoughtful.
“I’d rather have you able to talk, Loki…” She called back over her shoulder. “…But if you so wish, then you can keep your restraints.”
The trickster god weighed up the options for a further second.
Wait… He projected, resignedly, dropping to his knees a second time. Relief overcame him as the woman pivoted and approached again, moving to stand behind him.
Loki felt a light tug at the device strapped to his jaw and then the muzzle loosed itself and fell to the snow between his kneecaps. 
Subconsciously, Loki tested his aching jaw, opening and closing it with little difficulty. It struck him as strange that the muscles did not resist more so after what felt like an eternity of disuse. 
The stranger smiled to him as she crouched in front of him, turning her attention to the cuffs around his wrists which had been resting in his lap. Loki watched her attentively, wondering how she could have the means to release him. 
Had she a key? 
He lost sight of her hands for a second as she leant forwards in concentration. He could only watch the top of her head, before she leant away from him and stood, a smug smile set on her lips. 
The woman stepped away from him, allowing Loki enough room to stand. She placed her hands on her hips and seemed to be admiring her handiwork. 
The trickster god stood, shakily, allowing the chains to fall to the ground aside the piece of metal that had stayed his tongue. For a long while he stared at his discarded restraints, before his concentration was broken by a voice.
“Did you know that on Midgaard they used a similar device to silence women who nagged their husbands in the medieval era?” 
Loki looked up at her, an eyebrow raised in puzzlement, but the woman’s gaze was on the pile of metal at his feet, oblivious of his attention to her.
“Thank you.” He offered weakly, knowing that he was grateful to this stranger for freeing him, uncertain of her purpose as he was.
She gave a slight nod and turned on her heel to walk away.
Loki took a few steps after her, “Wait.” he called. 
She turned to him inquisitively. 
The trickster god gestured to the bindings, now a few steps behind him. 
“Are you not going to take those with you?”
The woman’s brow furrowed, “Why would I do that?”
“Are you not my guard? What if you should need to bind me again?”
The woman smiled as if she had just been asked an idiotic question by a child, but was thinking on an answer that would not hurt the child’s feelings. 
“Hopefully, I won’t need to…but if I should, I would have no need for them.” She replied, finally, turning away from him again. 
“Now, come on.” She called back, “It’ll be dark soon and this place is hard enough to navigate when it’s light out.”
Loki followed after her, his mind heavy with supposition. He wondered how strong this woman really was. He wondered how strong he was without his magic. He wondered on the woman’s purpose. He even wondered whether she was even a guard. 

----------------------------------------------------

Loki had lost track of how long they had been walking by the time the sky grew dark and they came upon a forest of skeletal trees stripped bare by the winter. 
The stranger led him to a tiny clearing sheltered by a bank of earth. A makeshift canopy of the dirt encrusted roots of a large fallen tree protruded from the embankment.
The woman moved to stand in the centre of the clearing, dropping the bag on her shoulder to the floor.
“We shall camp here tonight and push on to better shelter in the morning.”
“Better shelter?” Loki piped up without thinking, viewing the area with disdain, “Whatever could be better than this?” He asked, the words dripping with sarcasm as he threw his hands out to his sides theatrically. 
The stranger turned to him, her face the epitome of childish glee. 
“Brilliant! Just brilliant!” 
Loki felt his brow knit together in confusion. The woman continued, sensing that elaboration was in order. 
“I’m glad you’re beginning to feel more like yourself, Loki. People kept telling me that you were the talkative sort and I was beginning to think they were wrong…This makes things a whole lot easier.”
Loki was about to question her further when she began to speak again.
“We need to get a fire going, otherwise we are going to freeze to death…” 
In the process of talking, the woman’s eyes had somehow found the sky and she stood for a further moment, looking upwards, arms folded, before turning towards Loki and locking eyes with him. 
“You have a choice; you can help me gather kindling and fuel for the fire or you can wait here and I’ll go by myself.”
Loki scoffed. The woman looked bemused for a moment.
“You are not much of a guard, are you?” The trickster god tested, watching as the woman’s head lilted slightly to the side in inquiry.
“You are truly permitting me to leave your sight if I so wish?” 
The woman gave a nod and a shrug of her shoulders. There was no smile present on her face, but she did not seem angry or offended. In fact, she didn’t appear to be feeling anything. With a sinking feeling, Loki realised he had seen that look before; It was the passive, impartial expression she had employed on their last meeting. 
“What would you do, Loki? Would you run from me? Try to escape?” Came the woman’s reply after a short while.
“If that is what you were thinking, then I would advise strongly against it; without me you are alone on a strange world, stripped of your magic. You have no idea what lurks in the wilderness around here, nor do you understand the people or customs should you happen upon any civilisation. Nor, I should think, do you speak their language.” 
She paused for a moment, taking a breath, before locking eyes with the god of mischief, “If you wish to run, Loki, then do so…but, heed my warning that you would be better off sticking with me. Oh, and, strictly speaking, you are not my prisoner and I am not your guard.”
Loki raised an eyebrow, “Oh? What are you then?” 
A smile tugged at the strange woman’s lips as she pondered this for a second or two.
“I suppose I am here to protect you, that much is true…But, if I had to find a name for it, I would say I was your guide.”
“My guide?” The trickster god repeated, receiving only a nod for his troubles. 
“And your name?” He ventured, eyes narrowed slightly in scrutiny of his ‘guide’.
“Synneva.” 
The reply was flat and informative, nothing more. However, Loki could not help but feel there was something more to the woman. The name seemed familiar to him, but he could not recall ever having met her before her visit to his cage. Did she occupy a position at the palace? A healer perhaps? That would certainly explain her command of magic. 
A bitter wind swept through the clearing, causing both Synneva and Loki to shiver. 
“Kindling.” The woman commanded finally, drawing the cloak she wore tighter around her frame. 

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