Hidden Within

Alliance Part 3

Adeline Crow opened her eyes once more, just as the fire was being lit.The flames instantly engulfed the platform Loki was tied above, searing everything in its way.

"No!" She screamed, watching as Loki simply stayed frozen still against the thick wood of the plank he was chained to.She began to step forward, only to be interrupted by the loud shriek of lightning. She whirled to face the palace. Out from the shadows, came the one man she thought she might never see again. His face was twisted into that of determination and rage, as he sprinted towards his brother, currently engulfed by flames.

Sif and the Warriors Three trailed behind in order to act as back up.

Adeline sighed in relief, and observed before making a single move.Asgardians panicked, running out the palace gates in fear for their lives, screaming slander as they sprang from what had now turned into a battleground. Guards flew towards Thor, but he simply launched them out of the way, swinging Mjölnir aggressively, and with perfect poise.

Adeline dashed forward, removing her sword and swinging it at more guards flying her way.She stood by Thor, both of them continuously fighting off the oncoming army of men.

Thor turned to glance at her with a soft smirk. "You take the ones on the right, I'll take the ones on the left?" He questioned with a chuckle.

Adeline let out a deep breath, and shook her head. "Loki comes first!" She ordered and Thor sent her a nod.

Just as she turned to run up to the man engulfed by blistering flames, as she, herself, was fireproof, more guards came racing toward her."Thor!" She exclaimed, and she caught sight of his eyes on hers, as she began trying desperately to inform him of what he needed to do.He knocked two men off of himself before sending her another quick nod.

In one smooth movement, he flew upwards, flying into the air, and plummeting swiftly down into the pit of flames.Adeline huffed a breath of worried air as he hurried to unlock the chains holding the prisoner at death row.

However, the fire was growing too powerful and soon both princes would be consumed.

Adeline swallowed nervously and lunged at more guards dashing her way. She twisted herself around them, knocking them down with a good kick, and swinging her sword beneath their legs, causing them to fall to the floor, slamming their heads firmly against the gravel.She smirked at her own talent, but it quickly faded when she caught sight of Thor struggling with the chains.She saw Loki dangling unconsciously as the edge of the wooden stake.

"Loki!" She exclaimed, fear and a burning sense of determination overtaking her, as she launched the guard whirling towards her into another who was approaching; her hands flew into the air forcefully and without hesitation.

Suddenly, the flames surrounding both princes dissipated into smoke, fading in black clouds up to the dreary Asgardian sky.She observed with wide eyes, trying to register what had happened, same as Thor, going by the shocked expression broadening the features lining his face. She furrowed her eyebrows at the sight, just as Thor was beginning to lift Loki from the wooden pole.

In an instant, the pain from a powerful blow against her ribcage sent her flying backwards. She peered up from her position on the ground to catch sight of Lovetson glaring down at her. With a small scoff, she pulled herself to her feet, the force from the blow causing her to breathe heavily; panting in exhaustion.

"I see you're still around then." Adeline mocked with a small smirk to which Lovetson only grimaced in anger to.

"Guess so." He snapped and lunged for her, but she quickly blocked his sword with her own, dodging his forceful motion forward.

"I think you're losing your touch, Joseph." She remarked, attempting to enrage him even further.

Through the corner of her eye, she checked on Thor and Loki.The older brother was still straining to unlock the tightly fixed, Asgardian chains, while fighting off guards at the same time.

Adeline winced and jabbed her sword forward at the man she was dueling with. He quickly blocked it just the same and the two encircled one another.

Just as he was about to lunge for her again, a red blur cascaded across her vision and she was immediately knocked to the side.Her head smacked against the gravel and her blow from earlier winded her completely.She gasped for air and raised her head to catch sight of the new attacker.

Peering down at her was the red-skinned being, tail flinching in excitement, and horns glowing crimson as it smirked devilishly.Adeline's breath caught as she watched the Tiefling bound toward another guard, knocking him to the floor, and clawing at his torso in utter, tasteless violence. She cringed and lifted herself to her feet once more, eager to get away from the situation and back to Thor and Loki.When she stood, she took in the sight laid out before her eyes.

Maybe ten, or twenty, Tieflings were flying at the guards who were attacking Thor's position as his brother hung helplessly in unconsciousness.

Fighting…with them?For their own benefit, no doubt.

Adeline turned to walk away, just before catching a glimpse of the man on the ground.Lovetson.His eyes still open, blood falling from the corner of his mouth, as he laid dead on the ground.Adeline swallowed the knot in her throat and immediately turned away, bile rising in the pit of her stomach.

She took a deep breath and sprinted toward Thor and Loki, Mjölnir ramming into the approaching guards, and Tieflings springing onto the further acting army. Adeline skidded to a halt before the two princes, staring helplessly at Loki, his eyes shut tight as if he were in agonizing pain.

"He's out of it. Delirious. The heat of the fire is too much on the mind of a Frost Giant." Thor informed her, as Mjölnir returned to his side only to be cast off again towards another approaching group of men.Adeline nodded and bent down to gaze at Loki, his features contorted into that of despair.

She glanced quickly to observe the small war, taking place around them.Sif and the Warriors Three were fighting strongly against the palace guards, and the Tieflings still seemed to be helping, and in a way, Adeline knew this was not good. What would the king think then? That they were traitors of Asgard? Really teaming up with the enemy?

She shook the thoughts away, only eager now to fix Loki's dismantled state of mind.

Thor peered down at her with stern eyes, "You need to get the chains off of him. It'll restore his magic." Thor informed her and quickly sprang into action, leaving her to hold the unconscious body weakly in her arms. She exhaled deeply and shut her eyes for a mere moment. You can do this, Adeline Crow.

Her fingers trembled as she gently pulled Loki into her arms, so that she could reach his wrists tied together tightly behind his back.She dragged out a small dagger that sat on the band around her waist, putting down her larger sword, so she could focus thoroughly on Loki's release. She began to stab at the lock clasping his hands beside one another, anxiously struggling to break the chains from their hold on him. She cringed in eagerness, continuously and blindly scraping at the metal. It was no use.

She let out a deep breath of desperation, her eyes narrowing in agony, the corners of her mouth falling downward in loss of hope.She couldn't give up now, she couldn't.Her hands blistered against the grip of the dagger as she continued grasping at the lock, Loki's head resting on her shoulder, completely drained and unconscious. When she still couldn't free him, she dropped to her knees and shrieked quietly, inaudible over the sounds of battle.

She wrapped her hands around the metal lock, tossing her dagger to the side, and shutting her eyes as she rested her own head on Loki's shoulder, in a movement that said, 'I've given up'.

She wasn't sure how long she stayed like that, but a suddenly unexplainable heat burning the rims of her palms knocked her back into reality. Her eyes flew open in confusion, sniffing as the tears dried on her cheeks, mixing with the layers of dirt from falling to the ground earlier.

She gazed at the metal chains in her hands.

Melted. Melted? How in Helheim could they have melted? Unless…

They fell to the floor and in an instant she heard the croak of a familiar voice."Adeline." Her head whirled to face him, pulling him back from her shoulder, and staring him longingly in the eyes.

"Loki." She smiled faintly, and threw a fist over one of her eyes, removing any evidence of a fallen tear. He smirked softly and cringed, eager to get to his feet.

"Wha's happenin'?" He asked, slurring subconsciously as he gazed out at the battle. Adeline held him close as he stumbled, rising upwards.

"We stopped your execution. Thor and I." She whispered to him and he began to stand of straighter, obviously gaining more and more strength.

"Tieflings," He murmured and Adeline nodded."Yeah, see that part is a little more difficult to explain." She teased and smiled faintly at him, to which he returned kindly.

"Loki!" A voice boomed from across the dozens of battling guards and Tieflings.There were far more of the King's men than there were of the red demons, she noted, however they moved quickly. One needed a partner if they wished to fight the Tiefling in battle.

Adeline's sighed in relief as Thor sprinted towards them, knocking a few members of the opposing army out with Mjölnir.He approached his younger brother, and placed a firm hand on his cheek, smacking him gentle with a wide grin.

"I am glad you live, brother." Thor stated firmly and bowed his head slowly to Adeline who simply nodded in confirmation.

"Wish I could say the same brother," Loki jested with a wink, and Thor punched his shoulder softly, aware to take it easy as he had still not fully recovered.

Suddenly, the mood fell somber and Loki was shaking his head, "Thor, this is a bloodbath."Thor sighed and nodded gazing out at the small battle that wasn't supposed to end in any deaths whatsoever.

"Gallien wants you, so I am sure it was mandatory that the execution was interrupted." Thor announced with some hesitation.

Loki swallowed visibly, and turned away from both Adeline and Thor. Adeline grimaced; he was obviously feeling guilty.Instantly, some of the uproar decreased as those battling turned to stare up towards the palace doors.

Odin stood, guards at his every corner, as he glared directly into he army.Adeline, Thor and Loki froze as a Tiefling stepped forward.

"Your majesty." His voice was rectifying and crude as he hissed the words. Odin raised his chin to the lower being.

"Why do you attack my men with such hostility?" The Allfather asked gently, his eyes just glancing over at the bodies lining the palace square.

The Tiefling chuckled and raised both arms into the air, speaking to the king as if he were a clueless child.

"We have come to see that Loki keeps his life." The red demon grinned wickedly, "Once we have him in our grasp, we will be on our way."The devil then laughed devilishly, "Since you weren't very cooperative with our one simple request."

After added the last few words, Odin's features contorted into rage and he gave a short gesture to the guards before him, causing them to lunge forward.

Thor turned rapidly to his brother. "Loki, now would be good."

Loki nodded, understanding his brother words. He snapped his fingers and instantly a duplicate of himself appeared.Adeline's head whirled to the second Loki in confusion and then she peered over at the real one.He was smirking widely at her and quickly shook his head, "Just what I needed."He muttered softly, rolling his shoulders as if using magic had releasing all stiffness.

Adeline couldn't help but smile in admiration.Thor narrowed his eyes at his brother, "And how have you made us appear?" He asked, to which Adeline furrowed her eyebrows."Humble guards securing the perimeter." Loki shrugged mischievously and Adeline quickly chuckled under her breath.

"An illusion." She uttered with a wide grin.

Loki nodded with a wink, "Precisely, Lady Crow."

With that, the three of them took off through the small battle at hand, eager to disappear from sight, leaving the duplicate of Loki behind, standing oddly still, in an attempt to distract the Tieflings with a decoy.

"What about Odin, and the guards?" Adeline asked quickly, not that she was too concerned with what happened to them; more curious.

Thor glanced over at her and then fixed his focus forward. "Once the Tieflings find out Loki has escaped, I am sure they will leave. It is only natural."He grunted as they ran onward, now disappearing from the war zone and into the shadows and chaos of the town, and market place.

"But I fear they will return. With a larger army." He added, and she thought she saw Loki cringe.

Adeline cleared her throat and shook her head, "Where are we going?"

Thor gazed over at her and then at Loki, as he wasn't sure either. "We need to get to the Bifrost to travel to Midgard."

As soon as he said the words, Loki froze in his steps. "Midgard?" He spat, his eyes narrowed in disbelief. "Brother, have you gone insane?" He questioned, quickly glancing at Adeline's own contorted expression.

She stepped forward, "Thor, are you sure this is a good idea? I mean considering…" She trailed off, her eyes darting over to Loki and then back to Thor.

Loki didn't protest with her argument.

Thor sighed and shook his head, "We can safely seek refuge there. The Tieflings will not find us, I am sure of it." Thor boasted and placed a comforting hand on his brother's shoulder. Adeline winced and then nodded with a shrug.

Loki's face twisted into a look of disgust with the idea of Midgard and humans, but he didn't further argue.

Now both of them, the broken warrior, and the deranged prince, followed their loyal friend and brother towards the globe shaped building, just across the length of the rainbow road, gleaming in waves of magic beyond imagination.

Adeline's eyes marveled at the sight as she hurried to keep up with the two princes before her. Heimdall was revealed, standing ever so straight as the three of them sprinted forward. Thor approached him, a faint, weary smile lining his features. Heimdall only kept his gaze on Loki, glaring at the convict dryly.

"Thor, what is the meaning of this?" He asked with raised eyebrows, adding more to the statement before Thor could respond, "Your father has been threatened with war, the Tieflings are murdering palace guards as we speak, and you are running off with two traitors?" He interrogated and Thor froze, his eyes glancing over at both Adeline and Loki.

Adeline swallowed. That's what she was now. A traitor. She'd broken every rule. Allied with, in the king's mind, the enemy.

"Heimdall, the Tieflings are after Loki. They will disperse once they know he has fled." Thor stated firmly, with full on confidence.

Adeline peeked down at Loki's hanging hand, eager to grab hold in an act to comfort both him and herself, but she stayed still.

"And you wish to drag him down to Midgard with you? The very place he waged war?" Heimdall snapped at the older prince, with narrowed, golden eyes.

Adeline saw Loki flinch, his eyes turning gray for a moment, as guilt came flooding back again.

"Why are you so sure they will not attack Midgard in hopes of finding Loki?" Heimdall asked and Thor nodded quickly.

"Look, they attacked, with only a few in their army, when Loki's life was in danger. Hence, they must need him for something. And what is Loki known for?"Thor asked confidently with raised eyebrows, "He's known for destruction and violence; the Tiefling's only real moral code."

Heimdall watched as the blonde-haired man explained the situation.

"They must think him powerful." Thor sighed and shook his head, causing Loki to smirk mockingly."So why attack the one planet he didn't succeed in overtaking?" Thor questioned with a small smile, as he knew he'd gotten his point across.

Adeline raised her head in understanding and quickly nodded, "They would think that if he's not strong enough, then they are not as well."She pointed out and Thor grinned widely as she finally fell from her confusion.

Loki only sighed in annoyance at the precious time this conversation was taking."Look, Heimdall." Loki beamed, in a mocking manner yet again, "I am sure the Tieflings figured out that my illusion was a decoy by now. I think it best if you allow us passage now." He explained accusingly, as he glared at the dark-skinned man, shimmering in his regal Asgardian armor.

Heimdall nodded, and swayed towards the middle of the globe like room.With a jab forward, the area began to glow in bursts of golden light, and instantly Thor sent a nod to Loki, who took a step forward towards him.Adeline did the same, only to be met by Thor's impatient hand, blocking her way. She raised an eyebrow.

"You are not to come, Lady Crow."

Adeline scoffed teasingly. "You're jesting?" She questioned in all seriousness and when Thor shook his head she was suddenly angry.

"There is no way in Helheim you are leaving me here." She snapped at the older sibling, catching a glimpse of Loki's small smirk.

Thor looked slightly taken back, "Lady Crow, you have a family to take care of. I cannot let you abandon them."

Adeline raised both eyebrows and let out a mocking laugh, "My family can manage on their own. Besides, I would only be a danger to them."

Thor titled his head, "How so?"

She shook her head in irritation. "In case you haven't noticed Thor, I'm a traitor now too. The king would have my head if he got his hands on me."She argued, causing Thor to turn his head and stare at his brother.

Loki nodded and instantly held out his hand. Adeline glanced at it; his palm pale in the golden light, the creases of his fingers sticking out considerably. She longed to take hold and wrap her arms around him, but she placed herself under control.

She gently reached forward, placing her hand in his, to which he rapidly pulled her towards him, just as the entire room bursted into a symphony of colors, cascading with one another to form amazing new blends of shades.

The light was chaos surrounding her, until she realized the side of her face, her blushing warm cheek, was placed firmly against Loki's chest.

She swallowed the knot in her throat, and worked up the courage to glance up at him.The smile he wore as he peered down at her warmed every inch of her body, her eyes glowing their crystal clear blue shine back his way.

And that's how they stayed, their entire trip, towards their new destination. Midgard.

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