With a Grain of Salt

It's been only a year or so since Loki's war on New York. But a year is a long time. A very long time. And Mia has found he attack hard to forget. Now the Asgardian has returned to finish what he started and is planning on enlisting the help of Mia, whether she likes it or not.

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3. Involving Potential

An intense throbbing in Mia's forehead slowly awoke her. She was no longer sleepy. In fact, she had no idea how long she had been sleeping. She was, however, incredibly tired. Even while lying motionless, she felt a soreness and aching in her joints and a burning in her throat. She let her eyes crack open. An intense flood of white light burned her eyes. It was a hotel room. The blinds were opened, leaving room for sunlight to pour in and reflect the white blankets and sheets in which she was lying. The room itself was immaculate, as far as she could see, and the smell of food was strong. On recognizing the smell, Mia sat herself up, ignoring the increasing pressure in her head. She turned her head to the plate and pitcher sitting on the bedside table. Toast and water. Nothing special. Of course, she wouldn't have been able to handle a heavy meal anyway. At least it was food. She first took the pitcher and drank. She was thirsty more than anything else.

"Now are you going to thank me?" Mia heard Loki's voice from the corner of the room. She turned back. He looked as if he'd been sitting there for a while, she noticed. The fact that he'd been sitting there watching her sleep made her a bit uncomfortable, but she decided she'd ignore it and continued drinking. He raised an eyebrow. "Is that a 'no'?" She waited to finish the pitcher. Obviously she wasn't in any hurry to humor him by acknowledging him. She didn't want to be there, anyway.

"No; it's not," she said. She paused to wipe her mouth off and put the empty pitcher back. "Thank you." She held up a hand. "However. I'm not so sure about that favor you want me to do. I'll bet money I'm not going to like it."

"And I would bet you also wouldn't like being on the street. Or being chased. Or killed for that matter. The action certainly isn't beneath me." The uncomfortable sensation she had tried to ignore returned and brought with it a twinge of fear. That realization hadn't quite sunk in yet. He killed hundreds, maybe thousands? And all in less than a day. Snapping her neck right now wouldn't present much of a challenge, especially with her being near-death as it was.

"I get it," she said hoarsely.

"Do you really?" He stood and approached her. Mia's natural response was to jump up and run, but she managed to stay put. She didn't want to worsen the situation by making him angry. As if she had the strength to jump or run anyway. The throbbing in her head still hadn't stopped, and the panic that grew with each of his steps certainly wasn't improving the situation. He paused in front of her and let his hands ghost over the prominent collarbone her V-neck had exposed. Cold fingers trailed up and around her neck until they rested against the fragile cord of bone below her skull. Her posture stiffened. “I am a god, and you are a weak, dying mortal. Your life rests in my hands. If I so choose—" The pressure of his cold hands on her neck increased and Mia sucked in a breath and shifted her gaze upwards to the ceiling. “—I can end it. You need to keep in mind that you are not indispensable.”

“I’m sorry; just let go,” she said.

“Perhaps if you’d look me in the eyes and ask nicely,” Loki responded. A second cold hand reached out and tilted her chin down until her eyes met his. She remained silent for a short while. Some expression hidden among his features had rendered her both motionless and speechless. “I can’t seem to hear you.”

“Please, Loki,” she said slowly. “Please let go.” He eased the pressure on her neck and let her fingers slide off her skin. She reached her own hand to the back of her neck and lightly rubbed the spine she found. She could still feel the chill of his hands on her and a soreness in her bones. Loki sat on the bed a few inches in front of her while she continued her attempts to relieve the soreness. “What do you need me to do?” she asked, finally.

“You have gifts,” he began. “I’ve seen them. I don’t mean last night. No, long before then. I even saw what you did to get those agents on your trail. How many people would you say you’ve killed?”

“I don’t like to think about it,” she admitted. “More than zero. That’s all that matters to me.”

“That’s not what matters to SHIELD, though is it? You’re a monster to them. You’re abilities have turned you into an animal.” Mia pursed her lips and took a heavy breath. “But I know how to make turn that curse into a powerful tool.”

“Weapon, you mean,” she corrected. “I’ve seen what you’ve done, too. I know where this is going.”

“I mean to make full use of your gifts,” he explained. He took her wrists in his hands and faced her palms upwards. Something strong suddenly rushed into her wrists. The power frightened her, and a cloud of smoke shot from her hands. Mia gasped. “Now, you kill sloppily. Unintentionally. And you’ve let innocent people die because of it.” The feeling stemming from her wrists changed just as suddenly as it had appeared, and the black clouds condensed into a single, black, glowing flame. A crease formed between Mia’s brows. “But I can help you change that.”

“What’s in it for you?” she asked, pulling her hands away. The flame disappeared. Loki leaned closer towards Mia and pulled her closer to him by the chin. He let his lips hover near her right ear before speaking.

“You’re abilities are eating you alive, and they’re taking others down with you,” he stated. “Without me, you’ll die, and you’ll die a monster. You’ll do exactly as I say. Then, I’ll help you control that monster inside of you.”

A/N: Please don't hesitate to leave a review. After all, I am posting it here to get better. Next chapter will be a bit shorter.

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