Of Fire and Ice

I’m taking it slow
Feeding my flame
Shuffling the cards of your game
And just in time
In the right place
Suddenly I will play my ace

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1. Chapter One

The cloud was almost invisible in the darkening sky. It started as a distant storm and quickly began to churn in unseen currents until it nearly resembled a tornado, stretching down to the ground below in a swirl of lightning and darkness. A loud crack of thunder broke the silence and a light, brighter than that of the absent sun, burst through the cloud. Just as quickly as it appeared it was gone, and nothing remained but the slowly swirling mists as they returned to their previous state. The hills rolled up and down through the landscape, and the sound of thunder rumbled through the trees until it faded into silence.

A woman stood just on the edge of a thicket near a drop off that looked out over the valley. She was hidden amongst the trees but watched the cloud from above. She didn’t flinch when the lightning struck. She watched without emotion, and when the clouds returned to the sky, she wrapped her long fingers around a tall wooden staff and began moving back into the trees.

A man sat in the center of the blast for a long time without moving. His hands were still bound behind his back; his mouth was still secured behind a metal muzzle made for the worst kind of criminals; the type with silver tongues. His body felt weaker than it ever had before. He could feel the chill of the air against his skin. He could feel hunger rumble in his gut. But he waited. He knew someone would be there waiting for him, and he had no intention of fighting them at all.

Loki admittedly expected SHIELD. He wondered what they would have in store for him; another glass prison, perhaps even death. Worst of all he found that he did not care what they chose for him. Everything had been taken from him; his magic; his immortality, the throne that was rightfully his. They had taken what belonged to him and banished him to Midgard to live out the remainder of his life as a weakling human. He had no idea just yet how he would retaliate. He knew he still wanted his vengeance, but at that moment, he felt truly and completely helpless.

A twig snapped somewhere off in the woods behind his back. He turned his head, listening and knowing for sure that someone was out there now. He waited for them to speak or turn their weapons on him, but they never did. He wanted to call out and taunt them with that silver tongue of his, but his mouth remained fused shut by the metal that bound him. He stayed on the frozen dirt in the circle of smoldering symbols, waiting in silence.

He heard another crack of twigs alongside him and turned his head in that direction. A woman walked along the outskirts of the circle that had been left on the earth. She wore a hood over her head so that hardly any of her face was recognizable in the lingering twilight. But he knew it was a woman by the way she walked so gracefully and carefully. Almost like a feline, circling her prey. His tired green eyes followed her on her slow journey around the circle until she stood just before him.

“It’s been a long time since an Asgardian has come to Midgard,” she spoke. He had not known where they had planned to send him, but her accent was unfamiliar to him. His eyebrows rose in surprise. “Well,” she continued as she slowed and turned to face him. “Aside from your brother and your trip to New York.”

She stepped into the circle and leaned down on her knees before him. She pulled the hood back and revealed her face to him. Her hair was a vibrant red. Like the color of fire and blood. The irises of her eyes were dark and black so that he could not see her pupils at all. She reached behind his head, trailing her long fingers into his thick and tangled black hair. Then she released the muzzle from his mouth and slowly removed it, running her fingers over his face as if she were searching for something hidden deep within his eyes.

Her skin was warm against his. So much, in fact, that he almost recoiled from her touch. He searched her eyes as she examined him, trying to find a place in his memories for her face. Finally, her night-black eyes met his, and she held the palm of her burning hand against his frozen cheek.

“You don’t remember me, do you?” she asked.

“No,” he admitted, finding his voice again. She stood and walked around him to his back where she released the chains binding his wrists together.

The moment he was free he sprang into action. He spun around and grasped her firmly by the throat, lifting her to her feet as he stood. He held her body out and away from him so that she couldn’t reach his face if she got the idea to scratch him. But she kept her hands wrapped around his arm and her dark eyes widened though they were not filled with the fear he had hoped for.

“Where are they?” he growled through his clenched teeth.

“Who?” she asked as she tried to breathe.

“Your Avengers.”

“I’m alone.”

“You’re lying.”

“I swear it. It’s just me.” He squeezed his hand tighter and cut off her breathing so that she could no longer speak.

“Don’t lie to me!” he shouted. “I know my identity was kept hidden from the public. You would not know of me unless you were told. Someone you work for. Your precious Avengers? Your SHIELD? Tell me where they are!”

He shook her body and her hands twisted around the sleeve of his tattered tunic. He watched with a sudden realization. She had stopped struggling. She ran her fingers under the fabric of his sleeve. The hollow beneath her cheeks began to glow like fire, and before he could pull away, her skin started to burn hotter. He felt his own skin sizzle and bubble beneath her hands. His fingers around her throat began to burn, and he yanked himself away from her. She stood tall and straight as he clutched at his charred skin.

“Monster,” he spat. “I should have trusted Fury to send someone like you.”

She thrust both of her hands out as if to strike him. She was too far from him to reach, but he felt her blow on his chest with a force stronger than most humans should be allowed. He was sent sprawling backward onto the cold ground where he landed with a thud on his back. She stepped over him as he boots crunched against the blackened grass. She sat over him and pressed both of her knees against his upper arms to hold him between her legs. He smiled up at her now angry face.

“The last man who put his hands on me died a very painful death,” she warned him in a singsong voice. A laugh, cruel and not amused, escaped his lips. She leaned over him and her eyebrows creased in wonder. “What have they done to you?” she asked. “What did they do to reduce a prince of Asgard to a cackling madman?”

She did not wait for him to answer. The moment the words left her lips, she ran her fingers down his face. In an instant, he was asleep.

...

Okay, I’m going to apologize before I even get started.

First of all, I’m sorry for the title. I didn’t know what else to call this. I know it’s not very clever and probably over used. But it’s at least better than my usual “just name everything after songs.”

Second, Loki has been banished. As you might have guessed. I didn’t want to write out his banishment scene for numerous different reasons. But he was banished much like Thor was in his movie. Also, SHIELD has been made aware of Loki’s return to Earth.

I can’t promise frequent updates. This story isn’t finished and I usually complete them before posting them. Also, I don’t exactly know where I’m going with it just yet. I have the general idea but I’m afraid it might be too much for my capabilities. I’m definitely going to give it a shot though.

Also this is the first fan fiction I’ve ever written that was not a band fiction. So, bear with me. My knowledge of the Marvel Universe comes from X-Men. X-Men was MY Marvel. And my Marvel included Wolverine in The Avengers. So, while Loki originally referred to her as a "mutant" I decided to go with "enhanced" to keep with the MCU stuff that ties into my other stories.

And I hope you like it? I’ve never written out of my comfort zone before so I’m kind of nervous about this.

:)

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