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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12. Shadows of Doubt

“We are being watched.” Came Loki’s guarded tone as the cloth was replaced and the night time chill banished from the hut. He regarded the small dwelling with disdain, grimacing at the wanting space between the two cot beds pushed, as best they could be, to opposing sides. In the small circle of ashen dust that lay between the cots someone had piled some hastily gathered kindling in a haphazard conical structure, but Synneva seemed to have no inclination to light it. Instead, the only source of light and warmth came from the flickering torch fixed to the wall opposite the doorway. 

Loki’s survey concluded with the back of Synneva’s head as she busied herself with the bed that she had obviously claimed for the duration of their stay. It was the nearest bed to the entrance, the trickster god noticed, and the one that he would have to pass should he choose to leave for any reason. He refrained from sighing and, instead subjected his guide’s raven hair to further scrutiny. He watched her as she removed her cloak, belt and breastplate, fitting them in the wasted space left between the bedside and the concaved wall. Lastly, the woman removed her circlet and her dagger, placing them into the duffel bag which was, in turn, pushed beneath the bed beside her boots. 
“Did you hear me?” The god of mischief seethed.
“Yes Loki. I did hear you.” Synneva offered, finally pivoting to face him. She then lowered herself onto the bed and perched cross-legged atop the straw-stuffed mattress, reaching upwards and releasing her hair from its bonds. She continued to run her fingers through it until she was satisfied that most of the knots were gone.
“But we are not being watched; we are being guarded.”
“Why?” 
Loki’s hasty reply was met with a bemused frown from his guide, but this faded after a second or two into something of a smile in amusement. 
“Because they don’t trust us.” Synneva replied finally, catching a flash of anger and accusation in the trickster god’s emerald orbs. 
“I thought you had met with these people before.”
“I have.”
“Then how is it that they do not trust you?”
Loki watched as Synneva raised her eyebrows and shook her head a little.
“I said they don’t trust us, Loki. Us; We have arrived in the middle of the night, seeking shelter. We don’t belong to their clan, they have had little contact with anyone like us before and can’t understand where we have come from; we are strange to them, Loki…” Her voice trailed off and for moments it seemed as if Synneva had finished, but then she gave a shrug of her shoulders and met his gaze, “Are you saying that if someone had arrived under the same circumstances at the palace back on Asgaard, that you would not have done the same?” 
Synneva took note of the venom in Loki’s eyes as she mentioned the Realm Eternal and for a second it looked as if he might leap across the space and chide her for her insolence, but there came no attack. Instead, he turned his gaze from her and stood for a moment, studying the dome ceiling above his head. 
Synneva took a breath and twisted, lowering herself to a position in which sleep might be easier achieved, pulled the blankets over her shoulder and lay on her side facing away from the god of mischief. 
“Good night, Loki.” She offered, expecting silence and receiving as much. She could feel the itch of Loki’s disgruntled gaze on her, but she made a conscious effort to ignore him.
Synneva waited patiently, slowing her breathing and feigning sleep, but all the while listening as Loki eventually succumbed to fatigue and lowered himself onto the opposite bed. She imagined a faltering narrowed gaze at her as the trickster god fought the inevitable weariness that came from lack of sleep and the lengthy distance the pair had travelled that day. 
Synneva remained still, but smothered the torch on the wall. The flame flickered a little before dying, leaving only the whisper of the wind outside. She heard Loki shift, the ancient and ill-maintained structure of the cot creaking beneath him, but whether this was a gesture in surprise, resentment or just an attempt to get comfortable she could not glean. So instead, she settled into a sleep deeper than that of the night before, confident that the people of the village would alert her to any movement or escape attempt on Loki’s part. An unease remained however; the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach akin to that which she had felt back in the clearing. Perhaps the Allfather had been too rash, too eager, too pressured by the people of Asgaard to be seen to act quickly. Perhaps he had chosen her, not because he trusted her, but because he had to be seen to be doing something and she had been the quickest solution to the problem. Perhaps, Odin did not even expect her to succeed after all. She could be a scape goat for all she knew. 
Shame and guilt overwhelmed the self-doubt. How could she even think that of the Allfather? He was a good and righteous king, who would never abandon his subjects so long as it was in his power. Wasn’t he?
Synneva made a conscious effort to shake these thoughts from her mind and it was not long before unconsciousness found her completely, but even then, her dreams were haunted by a vast pair strange rune-inscribed doors, carved of metallic black stone. 

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