Hidden Within

Reluctance

Thor had eventually left, taking Jane with him. Frankly, his human had been overly excited.Part of Adeline told her that he was slightly nervous about saying goodbye to his brother, so he simply didn't.

She couldn't help but worry. For his life and Jane's, that is.The Tieflings could plan another attack, or even worse, Odin could have them killed on the spot.But somehow, she knew that was highly unreasonable.

She also knew, Loki didn't enjoy it here, so far from home. She felt that he did, however, enjoy the simplest things, like breakfast and "soft drinks".But that wasn't enough to comfort him. And now to be here without his brother, the sole purpose for this trip, and the man who had made a vow to keep him safe, she couldn't help but think he was silently frightened.

And that's why she found herself striding towards his bedroom.

"Hey," Darcy called after her from the living room couch, where she was watching a strange "movie" with flying sharks and shrieking people.Adeline glanced over her shoulder, a mere few feet from Loki's bedroom door, and raised both eyebrows.

"Nothing awkward, okay?" Darcy added with a small, rather mocking smile.

Adeline narrowed her eyes, "What do you mean?"

Darcy cleared her throat, as if feeling slightly awkward herself."I mean, nothing inappropriate. Especially not when I'm in the house and trying to watch a movie."

Adeline froze, eyes instantly widening as she shook her head, coughing hysterically now.She hurried to the bedroom door, and flew inside.

Loki jolted up from his position on the soft cushions, lying flat on his back, legs crossed over at the ankles, and one hand behind his head.He seemed to realize what had happened by just gazing at Adeline's terrified expression, and only smiled comfortingly.

Adeline sighed and approached the bed, moving herself to sit on the edge. "Loki." She breathed playfully, grinning at him.

"Crow." He teased and smirked widely. He patted the empty space beside him, and her eyebrows rose in surprise.Slowly, gently, and rather cautiously, she leaned downward, turning herself over to lie on her back, Loki spreading his arm just underneath her neck.

She exhaled in relief. It was relaxing, calming, satisfying to lay so close to him, both of the Asgardians staring blankly at the ceiling above them.Adeline tilted sideways, stretching her arm across his torso, and placing her head right in the crook of his shoulder and jaw.Her long blonde hair sprawled out wildly behind her, as she gazed up at the somber expression on the man's face.

"Are you okay?" She asked in a whisper, not wanting to break the silent, peaceful mood.

Loki scoffed and shook his head wearily, careful not to shake Adeline from her cozy position, "No."

Adeline squeezed him tighter, "Talk to me."

Loki's eyes flinched as they rested on her own, redirecting their way from the mundane ceiling.They peered down at her nervously, leaving her quite sympathetic.

"Come on, Loki. You know you can talk to me."

He chuckled softly, and gracefully, "You're the only person I can talk to, really."

Adeline smiled a wary smile.

"Or rather, the only person I want to talk to." He added, shutting his eyes for a mere moment.

"Then talk." Adeline breathed, and shut her eyes as well.

When he stayed utterly and eerily silent, Adeline stepped in."Look, I know this is bothering you. Thor returning to Asgard and all."She swallowed and continued, "Is it what Thor said? Are you afraid of being abandoned?"

Loki chuckled and sighed, "It is jealousy, Lady Crow."

Adeline narrowed her eyes, "Jealousy?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

Loki winced, "Because I know he will return unharmed. Not a scratch."

Adeline stayed quiet.

"I know it is selfish of me to think this way, but I cannot help it. If I returned, the Allfather would not give me a second glance."He grinned darkly and mocked, in a commanding tone, "Loki is to be executed, on the spot this time so that there are no further interruptions."

Adeline gulped and twisted her fingers in the soft cotton fabric of his black shirt.

"I am the adopted child, thrown to the side to loath himself in unwanted pity. The bastard's son. Living in the mere shadow of royalty."

Adeline gazed up at him, eyes cringing at his words as she placed a hand on his cheek, in an act to comfort him."You mean more to your father than that, Loki."Though, when she said the words, she wasn't sure. Had she just lied? Or was this the truth?

Loki shook his head defiantly, "He's not my father."

Adeline smiled sadly, "Yet, you call him this."

Loki narrowed his eyes, "Matter of habit, that is all."

Adeline sighed and caressed his jaw bone softly, "No, it is because you are heartbroken. You were betrayed. Though I am sure, somewhere inside the king, he feels the same way as you do."

Loki seemed to contemplate this for a moment before speaking again."Do you know what Odin said to me when I returned from foolish mission here, in Midgard? Before I was imprisoned, before I met you?"

Adeline shook her head slightly.

"He told me these words exactly, 'your birthright was to die.'"

The words caused Adeline to wince, her heart constricting in a thoughtless anger, raging on like a storm inside her.

"He told me that wherever I go, there is war, ruin and death." He scoffed, "And I'm beginning to think that's true."

Adeline curled inwards on him, hugging him tightly into a firmer embrace.She slapped his face lightly, and his eyes widened in gentle surprise.

"Hey," She snapped playfully, "Don't you ever think that."

Loki smirked and slowly ran his finger through the warrior's soft blonde hair.He leaned into her ear and chuckled quietly beside her, "Adeline Crow, will you ever stop ordering me around?"

Adeline giggled, immediately trying to suppress the obnoxious sound, and turned to gaze into his nearly colorless eyes."Never."

He grinned widely, and it was genuine. She could tell.

She tucked her nose back against his throat, his skin sensationally cold to the touch, resulting in a quick tug of the covers over her.She shut her eyes as his arms wrapped safely around her.

And that's how they spent the night.Curled into each other, like a blanket of safe keeping, mixed with the hot and cold auras of fire and ice, as if sitting before a heater on a snowy, winter day.

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