Hidden Within

Compliance

"You certainly took your time."Loki snapped, as both brothers glared thoroughly at one another, arms resting on the sides of their sofa chairs, legs and arms folded attentively.

"I had a rather in depth conversation with our father."Thor stated sharply, and Loki smirked in a mocking manner, "Your father. And we also had a rather in depth conversation, Thor."The older prince raised both eyebrows in suspicion.

Loki nodded, scoffing bitterly to himself, as Adeline shifted in her seated position next to Darcy, "Little visit from the Tieflings."

Thor sat up as straight as possible when he heard the words spoken by his younger brother. "Are you jesting with me, Loki?"

Loki seemed overly irritated now, simply rolling his eyes. "Of course not, you witless oaf!"

Adeline was sure Thor had just overstepped his welcome on Asgard, and had a very stressful conversation with his father; she didn't believe he was in the mood for Loki's aggravation and/or mockery. As for the others, she wasn't sure where Jane was, or frankly, where Eric was. She knew Darcy was still in disbelief mode after witnessing what she witnessed last night, and Loki remained utterly silent in his angered soul, of which Adeline knew was hard to comfort. Herself? She was merely set on exacting revenge on the bloody vile creatures, as is her duty, whether they got near her or not.

"And just how did this conversation conclude?" Thor questioned, eyes narrowed, as he was eager to acquire more information from the enemies.

"Oh, it was very Broadway."

Everyone (Loki, Adeline and Thor, that is) turned to gaze at the rather small-appearing Darcy Lewis, hands folded innocently in her lap, legs crossed over, her knee-length, purple pajama pants creasing due to the position.

Thor raised an eyebrow, "I do not understand."

Loki merely scowled.

Adeline however, turned sideways to face the woman beside her, was oddly intrigued in the mortal's description.

Darcy swallowed and cleared her throat, "Yeah, it was all medieval like. You know the whole, 'I'm threatening to kill you and take over the world' jazz."

She shrugged and watched as each Asgardian's eyes widened in curiosity.Obviously, foreign to the comparison.Darcy only shook her head with a sigh and waved the brothers onward.

"He threatened to kill you?" Thor asked, eyes twisted into concern now, as he glared at his sibling once again.

Loki groaned, "Quite the opposite actually."

Thor cocked his head to the side, and ushered the younger man on.

"He revealed his plans to take over the world, and I threatened to kill him, well mainly his leader."Loki's words sent Thor into a fit of rage.

"Are you mad?" Thor snapped, standing up now, to stare down at his guilt-ridden adopted brother.

Loki scoffed, "That's debatable."

Adeline strained to hold back a small, innocent smirk.

"Brother, you have urged them on! Do you really wish for Asgard's demise?"

Loki rolled his eyes and exhaled sarcastically, "Do calm down, brother dear."

Thor shook his head and continued to stand, yelling now, "No! Loki, no! I will not calm down! These are the same monsters that killed our mother, and declared war on our home!"

Loki got to his feet as well, his own voice rising.Adeline flinched, anxious as to how the situation would eventually pan out."Do you not think I am aware, brother?"

Thor's expression softened as he gazed into his sibling's eyes. Adeline could guess what he saw. Sincerity; a genuine look of honest guilt, and honestly full understanding. Thor slowly lowered himself into his chair again, and observed his brother closely, awaiting further procedure in their current conversation.

"The Tiefling's wish to, if you will, hire me." Loki began with a sigh.

Thor tilted his head in confusion, "Hire you?"He shrugged, "I do not understand."

Darcy suddenly had input, as this was the second time he had said the four reoccurring words. "You should put that on a T-shirt."

Adeline couldn't help the single giggle that escaped her, and quickly hid her face from the view of both brothers. She knew now was not the time to be jesting, but she couldn't help but laugh at the humor behind this small human's snide comments. Frankly, she was just proud she knew what a T-shirt was now.

Thor only furrowed his eyebrows, seemingly confused by the statement, and turned back to his rather upset brother.

"I mean they wish for me to join them in their crusade." Loki moaned impatiently.

Thor cleared his throat and grunted gently, "I still don't understand."

Darcy sighed, "And there's the back of the T-shirt."

Loki was immediately glaring at the mortal named Darcy Lewis, and thankfully Adeline had managed to keep her giggling under complete control.

With a roll of his eyes, the darker prince whirled back to face Thor."Thor, the damn creatures wanted me so that I could join their army."

Adeline nodded and finally joined into the conversation, "Yes, they said he would have been a powerful ally."

Darcy grinned and also leaned forward to add, "But Loki told them to stick it where the sun don't shine."

Needless to say, no one understood that reference.Loki blinked, cleared his throat, and nodded, "Indeed."Thor was about to reinstate, 'I don't understand', but immediately held his tongue.

Adeline decided she would break the awkward silence, "Honestly, we got nothing out of the meeting,"

Darcy sighed and shrugged, "Other than the fact that the Tiefling's, or whatever, have a severe Loki fetish."

Loki swallowed visibly and glared Thor down, "Brother, these monstrous beings want me as their wingman. They wish for me to accompany them while they bring down the realms."

Adeline shot forward; a light bulb flickered on inside her utterly dark, distracted head of ideas."I don't think they have an army."

Loki whirled to face her, mirroring Thor's own movement.

Adeline grinned rather wickedly, "I think it was all a ruse to scare Asgard into giving up Loki. Sure, maybe they have an army of sorts. A scattered number of Tiefling warriors, but wouldn't they have attacked by now? They are probably dying to get their hands on fresh blood."

Adeline beamed when she spotted Loki nodding intelligently toward her. "She's right."

Thor perked upward, ready to listen to further explanation.

"Think Thor. For once, think." Loki began mockingly, "The threaten us with big words. War. War. War. But never take any action, besides the execution. But that was a mere handful compared to the number of guards we have inside palace walls."

Thor cleared his throat, and added to Loki's description, "So we think it's all a façade? Some act to get us to give you up?"

Loki sighed and bit his lip, "They called me a powerful destroyer, Thor. They thought I was still my lowly, dark, hidden self. The man that would plunge thousands of innocents to their death all to claim their realm." Loki shrugged, caught up in his own amusement toward the Tiefling's and their thoughts, to realize what he had just said.

"Are you not still this side of yourself?" Thor asked, hope twisting his tone of voice, after almost minutes of unnoticed silence had passed.

Loki gulped, suddenly taking in the severity of the question. It was deep, personal, and frankly ill suited for Loki's current mood.

Adeline simply sat silently awaiting a response as well, rather interested in the answer as much as Thor. But no reply came.Loki just gazed down at the ground, eyes rounded in a desperate shock.

All were spun out of the moment, by the front door flying open in brute force.Adeline was ready for a fight, fists raised in preparation, and Thor had already called Mjölnir. Darcy simply sat, firmly on the couch as if she expected the sudden act of violence. Loki was standing tall; ready to face whomever approached him with their arguments.

In this case, Jane, standing awkwardly with a rather unconscious older man in her arms.

"Thor." She choked, as she obviously struggled to hold the being up.The man was still partially with it, laughing softly as the mortal woman passed him over to the strong, brawny arms of the blonde prince.Thor dragged him over to the couch where he had just been sitting and propped him up, so that the elder man sat properly and snugly.More laughter; baritone chuckles that inferred that this man was utterly drunk.

"Hold on, wait. I thought he went to the supermarket." Darcy exclaimed, rather shocked, glancing at an exhausted Jane who strained to get a glass of water. She flew over to the older man and smirked subconsciously. "Jane, I think they put something in their free-samples. Eric is wasted."

So this is Eric. Adeline was rather intrigued.She was yet to meet the man, and that was, apparently, because Loki had brainwashed him way back in the past in order to use him in a well-planned plot against the whole of humanity. No big de…okay, yeah. That's a big deal.

"He texted me, Darcy. He was most definitely not at the supermarket."

Darcy scoffed and raised an eyebrow. "Strip club, then?"

Jane's eyes widened and she shook her head in hesitation, "Darcy, don't say that sort of stuff!"She exclaimed, before her face fell and she sighed in defeat, pausing before nodding and uttering, "Yes."

Darcy grinned and giggled, "Well, well, well, Eric. Good for you."

Adeline could hear the faint chuckling of the older man as Darcy left his side, to sit back down again.Eric looked up, his ruffled hair a mess, and his bluish eyes glowing in the artificial light. He pointed slowly with a small smile toward Thor, then turned to Adeline with furrowed eyebrows, and then turned to Loki with eyes opened farther than Adeline could have thought possible.

"That guy was in my brain." He slurred, stuttering over his own words.

Jane groaned and nodded, "Fascinating, Eric. Come on, let's get you to bed,"Jane sighed as she lifted the old man again, Thor stepping over to help her.

Adeline watched as the two walked away, dragging the man and their own feet along the floor.Loki was silent still, as Adeline faced him once more, his eyes closed, as if drowning out the moment.

"Loki?"

Darcy's laughter interrupted Adeline's further questioning.The warrior turned to her with widened eyes and raised eyebrows, "What?"

Darcy simply shook her head, "I was just picturing you two drunk."

Adeline rolled her eyes and looked away, only to spin back around in disgust at Darcy's last words.

"And at a strip club."

No, they won't be going to a strip club... ;) lol

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