Hidden Within

Perseverance

The sensation was incredibly intimate. She didn't want to stop. She could very well say that this was the best feeling, the best moment, the best memory she's ever had. Holding his cheeks in the palms of her hands, she drew closer to him, adding to the passion of their embrace. He went along with it, still caressing the side of her cheek with the soft imprint of his thumb. They then drew back to catch their breath, their eyes still closed tight, but kept their foreheads touching, and their closeness still standing.

"Adeline." Loki croaked and Adeline's eyes quickly regained her vision, staring up at the prince's painful expression. She tilted her head to the side in confusion. What was wrong? Had she done it wrong? She shivered inwardly at her thoughts. But was it just because of her thoughts? No. She felt…oddly cold. Freezing, actually. Her skin felt like she'd just crawled out of a terribly frigid pool of water, an icy lake, or a snow-touched river. She narrowed her eyes and watched Loki's own twinge so close her touch.

"Your hands." He whispered and she glanced down at her palms, still holding tucked beside his chin. Smoke? Were they smoking? She instantly drew back and watched as Loki silently cringed. She stared her red hands with wide eyes, a wave of clouded air rolling off of them, as she found herself so unsure and yet so truthfully positive. A quiet, eerie moment passed, not a word was shared, as both solemnly stared at one another.

Adeline finally cleared her throat and took a step forward, "What happened?" She thought she knew. But she wanted to hear it.

Loki sighed and shook his head, "You said the passion you feel for me drives your flame to ignite."He paused as Adeline somewhat blushed at the passing statement, "The intimate…position…caused some…excitement."

He swallowed and glanced down at the floor, just as embarrassed as Adeline felt.

"But not only in me." She added, squinting at the fact, as her arms quickly spiraled down into more goose bumps and her skin stayed still unexplainably frigid.

"No." Loki took a deep breath and shut his eyes for a mere second, "Not just you."He reached back and dragged off his long gray trench coat, immediately lunging forward to place it around Adeline's bare shoulders. She'd idiotically forgotten to grab a coat earlier, too worked up by the situation at hand. She'd merely been focused on speaking to Loki alone.

"Fire and Ice." She breathed softly, wincing as the words exited her lips. Loki nodded and again, the mood fell terribly awkward and insanely silent.

She'd just confessed her childish crush on this man, her admiration for everything he was, and now something had happened, snapping her mind into reality and at the facts she had never processed before.Really, they were enemies.Everything they stood for, everything they were.They were not physically supposed to be bonded by love.

Fire was combustion, the ability to burn, to melt, to destroy.It was a powerful source of destruction, which Adeline was never typically too fond of but tied to because her heritage.Ice was frozen water, a brittle, transparent crystalline solid.It was a method of reserve, to keep something in place, never lost, only still; something of which she was sure Loki despised as well.He felt a mundane hatred for who he was, his real family, his true upbringing.

Two things so opposite, yet so easily fond of one another.

Why? What was there for them? What could they possibly gain? Whether they were enemies or lovers?

They would always be looked upon as villainous, treacherous beings of whom gave into temptation.But Adeline wanted this. She wanted this with Loki. To her it was…happiness, bliss, and well-deserved peace.But it was also selfish of her.The place she once called home was and still is threatened with war and she had sided with a so-called criminal.She was an idiot to believe something or someone wouldn't attempt to intervene.So what was she left with? What choice did she make?

She was knocked from her thoughts as Loki cleared his throat, shifting uncomfortably forward. "This probably won't work."

Adeline nodded and inched her way nearer to him, "I know."

Loki gulped, growing closer and closer to her, "Thor and the others will torment us."

Adeline nodded again and swallowed the lump in her throat, "I know."

Loki kept his expression blank and they stepped even further toward one another, leaving barely any space between their stances."Fire and Ice are the definition of opposite."

Adeline bobbed her head up and down, "I know."

Right that moment, their lips were only inches apart, and she wanted more than anything to lunge forward in the embrace, but she knew it was better if she didn't. Loki chuckled, his laughter rushing over Adeline's features, causing the corners of her mouth to perk upward in amusement.

"We're a mess." Adeline breathed softly, and Loki's eyes gleamed in the still-morning sunlight.He bowed his head in defeat, a playful smile still present on his expression.

"As impossible as it sounds," He began, "I still don't believe I have solved the puzzle that is Adeline Crow."

Adeline giggled inwardly, her grin growing in size, as their noses almost touched. "Maybe I'm not as easy to solve as you seem to believe."

Loki's smirk widened, and his eyes sparkled in playful enthusiasm, "Too true. Your difficulty level was what caught my eye."

Adeline winced in pure amusement, fond of their ongoing metaphor. "So what am I? 1000 piece puzzle, perhaps 5000?"

Loki shook his head, taking both her hands in his, and ignoring the burning sensation beneath her skin, "I haven't found out yet."

Adeline's eyes widened and she grinned wickedly, "Oh, you are slow."

Loki chuckled darkly, and placed one of his palms on her cheek. She instantly felt the rush of cold air spike her body temperature. It wasn't painful, but it wasn't comfortable either, but she knew Loki was going through the same irritating effect.

"No, you're just that complex."

Adeline turned her face into his palm, her nose just grazing the side of his thumb, her long blonde hair rushing out around her in the wind and tucking itself into any crook of Loki's trench coat. They both had already fallen into a trance, eager to touch lips again, but not quite there.

"We should head back." Adeline nodded at Loki's words, "I suppose we should, shouldn't we?"

Loki smiled and sighed, "They'll be curious as to what took so long."

Adeline chuckled softly, still dazed by the longing look in Loki's now colorless eyes, "I suppose they will."

He grinned and dropped his hand back down, in a way so that it gently slid down the side of her face. She shivered and took a step backward. He smiled softly and offered his palm, which she took instantly, and the two slowly swayed back to where they had come from.

"Quick question." Loki remarked, causing Adeline to flinch at the break in silence.

She raised her eyebrows, "Yes?"

He smirked a rather menacing smirk, and pointed at a trashcan near the small white form of a picket fence, outside a rather small old-fashioned cottage-home. Adeline narrowed her eyes and smiled crookedly.

"What?"

Loki shrugged, "Can you set it on fire?"

Adeline fell back, gazing at him, rather shocked by his blunt question.

He scoffed and shook his head, "What? You have to practice it sometime."

She wearily bit her lip, and then nodded, acknowledging his words as the truth. "Alright, I'll try."

She took a few steps closer to the innocent, green trashcan that was about to fall victim.Without flinching in the slightest, she eyed the plastic cylinder, falling into a concentrated, deeply fixed gaze.Nothing.

"Come on," Loki chuckled, "Do it for me."

She turned to smile at him, looking away from the trashcan just as it burst into flames.She flew back in surprise, and Loki gracefully caught her by the shoulder with a bright laugh.

"Nicely done!" He grinned and observed the charring plastic, its possessions burning and throwing scents of disgust into the air, which ultimately caused the two Asgardians to scrunch their noses in revulsion.Suddenly the door of the home opened, and an elderly lady stepped out, still in her dressing gown with her hair in rollers, as her gaze stared in disbelief.She then turned to glare at both Loki and Adeline.

"Oi! You two!" She gasped out and came hurling toward them.

Loki whirled to face the warrior beside him with a dazzling smirk of mockery. "Run." He whispered, receiving a knowing, excited look from Adeline, and they took off sprinting toward Jane's humble abode, the cries of an angry old woman sounding out behind them.

"Sir, we have Tiefling spies scattered throughout the different realms." Rollnick declared with a firm tone of voice.

The king raised his head from the shadowy darkness of the throne, and glared at the guard before him. "And?"

Rollnick cleared his throat, "And we've found him in Midgard."

Gallien arched upwards, his grin cascading over the sharp features of his red-skinned face. "Well, well, well."

Rollnick shifted uncomfortably, "What would you like to ask of me, majesty?"

Gallien chuckled darkly and stepped forward, pulling himself out of his giant, wickedly threatening chair. "Approach him. Explain my wishes. Report back to me with his answer."

Rollnick nodded, "Yes sir."

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