Hidden Within

Sufferance

Loki allowed his cape to sway behind him; hearing it ruffle in the wind was soothing to his ears, and even his body, as he had grown tired of the overbearing, and rather monotonous Midgardian clothing. It was good to be back in his regular attire, striding away from Heimdall and the Bifrost. However, he seemed to ache all over, feeling as though he'd left something behind, and he had really. He had left – he rolled his eyes at the melodrama – his heart in Midgard, among the puny mortals and rather forgetful-of-personal-space Darcy and Jane. He didn't like it. He didn't like not having everything precious to him in his midst. He felt as though he was locomotive steering slowly off the tracks, with a lack of transport and destination. But he merely reminded himself; he was doing this for her more than anything. Yes, it was for the place he called home, for his – dare he say it – family, and to put the Tieflings in a corner: block them off from what they dare to claim. But most of all, he was doing this so that he could be beside Adeline Crow – the fire elf, and warrior from Muspelsheim – and forever live away from the gaze of the dreaded Allfather, and his far too protective brother. He didn't know where, he just knew that that is what he desired.

He barely heard Thor's booming, and rather mindless, voice drifting over his thoughts.With a quick turn of his head, he faced his sibling, smirking mockingly, "What is it brother mine?"

Thor huffed, his eyes narrowing in agitation and a hint of exasperation, "I simply wished to ask how you were doing. You seem nervous."

Loki own eyes widened and he quickly took notice of his eager steps, clenched fists, and hunched shoulders; not to mention, he felt as though his whole body was trembling. They then walked through the great lengths of a long, spiraling, and intricately designed corridor, a guard acting as a guide leading the way, and Loki soon felt the need to speak over the daunting silence.

"I am no such thing Thor. The apprehensive emotion is for mere skittish Bilgesnipe with a lack of good hygiene and common sense."Loki snapped, glaring at his brother through half shut eyes, as they continued to saunter on behind the stiffening guard, most likely far more cautious now based on the tone of Loki's voice.

Thor scoffed and shook his head, watching his feet as they passed far more detailed paintings and tiled hallway walls. "You have a real way with words, brother."

Loki simply ignored the response, and stomped on, his hair bouncing slightly above his shoulders, and his cape continuing to sprawl out behind his every step. He was growing far more agitated by the second.Thor cleared his throat, obviously attempting to speak again, which only gain an eye roll from the darker prince.

"There is no reason to be afraid, Loki, father and I-"

Before the blonde haired god could finish, he was thrown up onto the wall with brute force, slamming his head on its marble surface, and cringing at the sudden and unexpected blow. Loki was staring wide-eyed, directly through him, his eyes now a colorless shell emptied of everything but pure and frightening rage. He grasped onto the beginnings of Thor's long, red cape, his hands cold against the metal he wore on his chest, and his arms aching as he held the rather heavy weight to the wall.

"I am not afraid!" He shrieked in the older being's face, feeling the guard, of whom had halted at the sudden violence, stiffen behind him."I. Am. Not. Afraid!" He exclaimed, pronouncing each word with every bit of the same hatred.

Thor simply watched, appearing almost dazed by his brother's surprise reaction.

"I will never, and I have never, been afraid of that old man. He is coward! A disgraceful, and utterly displeasing coward, and I will grant him no such benefit to my fear!"

Thor nodded slowly, moving a hand to place it firmly on his brother's shoulder, inching a little out of his harsh grip. "I know, Loki."

Loki shook his head in denial, and continued to glower at his sibling, "Don't you ever assume you understand how I feel, Thor Odinson. Never even attempt to pretend you no of my foreboding horrors, do you hear me clearly?" The younger brother ignored the guard's quick jabs at him from behind, commanding him to ease down and lower the should-be king to the ground again.He merely observed, awaiting a decent reaction from Thor.And he got what he wanted.

Thor sighed, softly clasping onto Loki's hands, and removing them from the hinges of his cape, dropping them down at his sides. He then shook his brother slightly; his fingers still wound around his sibling's shoulders, and then moved his hand upward to pat Loki on the back of the neck."I promise you Loki. And I am sorry, brother." His tone of voice was sincere and earnest, and Loki quickly backed away, storming off to continue following the guard, his head hung in acceptation, uneager to look the other prince in the eyes any longer.

Thor followed, his features etched in empathy.

xXx

Adeline groaned a loud and rather prolonged groan, as she lay sprawled out next to Jane and Darcy on their living room couch, her eyes seemingly dying as they couldn't stay open to watch the movie displayed on the screen of their TV.She felt a slap on the side of her shoulder, boosting her upward from her slouched position to glare daggers at the dark-haired woman beside her.

"What was that for?" She scoffed playfully, rolling her eyes in a tease.

"This is a classic, and you're not appreciating it." Darcy lifted her nose to the warrior in contemplation, and then turned away, back to the screen.

"This portrayal of pictures is all too boring to me. I am not even sure what it is about." Adeline sighed, dropping her hand into the bowl of, what the Midgardians called, popcorn, a snack she had grown to absolutely adore. Darcy huffed in irritation, glancing over at Jane who simply smirked and kept her eyes fixed on the screen, now displaying a man and a woman, both rather drenched by rain.

Why didn't you write me? Why? It wasn't over for me; I waited for you for seven years. But now it's too late.

I wrote you 365 letters. I wrote you everyday for a year.

You wrote me?

"No, he just said that to be romantic." Adeline moaned sarcastically, uncomprehending to the fact that she just asked him a question he had already answered rather clearly. She heard Jane snicker, but Darcy was surely scowling.

"Adeline." Darcy growled, and shook her head in frustration.

"I also don't understand the title. The Notebook? Rather uncreative." Adeline admitted, rolling her eyes, and rubbing her fingers across the bridge of her nose.

"It's a love story, Crow!" Darcy exclaimed with a long 'gyahgra' sound to follow.

Adeline simply chuckled and pouted a raspberry with her lips, the fart-ish noise carrying out in an echo throughout the house.

This set Darcy off, causing the mortal to turn to her with stern eyes. "If you don't want to watch, then don't watch."

Adeline let out a deep breath of relief and nodded firmly, "Thank you!"She smiled blissfully and hopped from the couch, skipping toward the front door, and proudly grabbing a scarf from a small wooden coat hanger. Darcy stared at her flatly, eyes wide with confusion, and mouth gaping slightly. Jane only grinned at her friend's irritation.

"I'm going out!" Adeline exclaimed with a smirk, feeling rather independent as she whipped the door open, and disappeared out into the foggy London weather, now quite chilly as small flakes dropped down from the sky. She shut the door behind her and gazed upward, staring up and the stars, her mind only landing on one thing. Loki. Was he with his father right now? She hoped he was okay, she hoped Odin's wishes to rid himself of his son didn't consume him, and she hoped she would soon see the man that held her heart again.

She lifted a finger to catch the small white drop of snow; it's cold sensation immediately reminding her of the dark prince.The warmth of her skin didn't help to keep her cozy, but she prodded onward, dodging larger clumps of snow, and breathing out smoke clouds as she ventured forth for a silent walk around the neighborhood, entirely eager to rid herself of any further distractions.

Simply…utopia.

xXx

The large doors opened and the man was revealed, perched upon his throne, lips drawn up in a half-smirk as he took in the sight of the two princes, and they took in the sight of him. Loki thought he looked older, like his wrinkles had spread in a lack of smiling, or laughing. His white and grey speckled hair was darker and his eyes appeared to glower in uneasiness.

The raven-haired prince swayed beside his older brother, suddenly weary under his proclaimed father's stare.

They made their way up the long out-stretched corridor until they were only a few feet away from the golden seat of royalty, where Loki felt Thor glance over at him in an attempt to understand his roving emotions.

"I see you have returned to Asgard without falter." Odin's voice seemed to boom over the loneliness of the deep ceilinged hall.

Loki's eyes shot up to glare at the man, aggravated with the fact that the king's voice had shaken him so. "It would seem so, my king."He spat out the words like they were poisonous and threatening to claim his life.

The Allfather's eyes dropped to Thor, acknowledged him, and then turned back to Loki."I have promised Thor that I will not take any rash action toward you so long as you are here with good purpose."

Loki smirked at this and shook his head, inwardly rolling his eyes at the words erupting from the king's mouth. "Ah yes, good purpose."Loki paused and then nodded, "I came to speak about the Tieflings. Is this a good enough purpose for you?"

Odin visibly swallowed, eyes dropping to the floor in regret of the topic. "I suppose. Do not waste my time."

Loki snickered, "Wouldn't dream of it, your highness."

Thor shifted uncomfortably, clearing his throat to speak, "Father, Loki and I have debated this discrepancy of war for many hours. Loki was approached by a first hand anchor to the king himself, and it seems they wish for his destructive side to work as their ally."

Odin let out a bellowing laugh at this and shook his head, "And Loki didn't agree to it in a matter of seconds? Oh, this is something to debate about."

His sarcasm twisted Loki's expression into that of disgust. "Excuse me, your majesty, for putting my good nature aside for a moment."

Thor instantly jumped in, quite eager to keep the conversation – or more so argument – from getting out of hand."Father, I believe it honorable that Loki declined, and you should feel so as well."

Loki glanced over at Thor for a moment in solemn, wavering surprise and then turned to glare at the Allfather once more.

"It also seems apparent, to both Loki and I," Thor continued, somehow feeling obliged to keep Adeline Crow out of this, "that the Tieflings lack this army of which they have flaunted around."

The Allfather was suddenly laughing in, perhaps, disbelief and perplexity.

Thor ignored this and continued, watching as Loki began to stiffen. "I think it a wise choice if we were to attack now. Bring the fight to them."

The king was on his feet, hovering in front of his throne, his eyes burning holes through both of the men anxious before him."You wish me to wage my own war on a group of warriors known in legend to have made nothing but death their profession?"

Thor winced, hearing it said aloud quite degrading, but still nodded, "Yes, father."

The king chuckled wickedly, shaking his head in surprise, and falling back down into the cushion of his precious throne."How remarkable. Now the other one has lost his head as well." The Allfather mumbled to himself, enraging Loki even further.

"This is the smartest decision! And you are nothing but a coward if you do not see that!" Loki shouted at the man in the throne, and Thor quickly took hold of his arm, pulling him back and stepping forward as well, however, his voice lowered far more than his sibling's.

"Father. It would seem that this is the only choice." The blonde haired prince shrugged in exasperation and stared pleadingly at his king.

The Allfather shook his head once more, and pointed to the exit of the long corridor, all the way down the hall of pillars and intricately designed stairways, "Leave. Return to your precious Midgard. Let me handle this, as a true king would." Odin commanded, displeased with the gods before him.

Loki snatched his arm away from Thor with a shrug of his shoulder and took a few steps toward the throne."You will only get someone killed. Is it not better to attack unexpected than to wait for a lacking army to gain more warriors to attack you instead?"Loki spat out, glaring in confusion and incomprehension.

Odin scowled, frowning as he observed his presumed son.

"You do not understand ruling, Loki. You simply desire the throne to make an impression. You know nothing of compromise, or honor. You are merely hidden in a shell of ignorance." Odin snapped harshly at the Frost Giant, and watched as Loki took a step backward in defeat, his face scolded by hurt.

"You do not see the point, majesty." Loki bit back, "This is not a matter of my rule, or my desires, of which you know nothing of. I do not wish to speak of the throne, I wish to speak of the wrong you commit by not striking first against a clan of defenseless monsters."

Odin glanced at Thor, narrowing his eyes sternly, and then flinched back toward the darker prince."If you do not leave here, now, I will have you imprisoned for life, and sentenced to daily payments once more."Odin flared, his eyes lighting up like a blast of freshly lit fire, eager to rid himself of this being's presence.

Loki smirked and nodded, bowing slightly before his king, and chuckling under his breath as he swayed away, Thor quickly following.

Before the raven-haired god shoved open the doors, he turned once more to yell down the hallway, his voice echoing in utter eeriness, "You, my king, are making a grave mistake."

Thor winced, glanced down the corridor at his father's exhausted and frankly conflicted expression, and then disappeared after his brother.

xXx

Okay, it was getting cold now. At this point, she wasn't sure if she could sprout a single flame for another century.She shuddered, gazing out at her surroundings to establish her location.Not too far from Jane's; just a few blocks right and straight ahead.

She began trotting forward, still smiling up at the consistency of the falling snow flakes, before ducking her head down to follow a specific speck's journey to the ground. It reminded her of her very first moment here, in Midgard.

"So?" He questioned in a hushed tone. Adeline raised her eyebrows, relaxing as Thor continued to explain the situation to the human. "What?" She asked with a small shake of her head. Loki snickered and flinched his head towards the object on the shelf. "What is it then?" He questioned with a wide smirk. She shrugged and grinned faintly, "I cannot be sure, but it seems as though there is a whole other world going on inside." She pointed gently to the small trees, and landscape inside the globe. When she turned back to Loki, he was smiling quite magnificently. It was genuine, without fear, and oddly 'at peace', bringing her ultimate joy and easing her nerves with everything going on in their upside down lives.

A sharp crack of a branch sent her flying from the deep, appealing memories.She arched a brow, her eyes searching the small neighborhood for any sign of life.It was dark, eerie really, with a rather unsettling feeling, as a lone dog barked or howled, and far off traffic whistled in the wind.

Crack!

Again, her head went whirling in a different direction, and she felt her heartbeat quickening now, as every step forward picked up in pace.Crunches on fallen leaves now, then a small slither of movement; each sending her in a fit of panic, in a hurry now as she rushed for Jane's little home.

Then her name.

"Adeline Crow." The same deep, baritone voice hissed in its own secret rage, daunting her with each syllable, each word.The horror of her name being said aloud, causing her to spin, facing the creature that was so elegantly trailing behind her every footstep.

She stopped mid-walk and glowered at the red, horned monster before her.

"Rollnick." She still remembered his name, she wouldn't have forgotten, as he was the one to threaten Loki and plead for him to join their suspicious army.

When the snickering started, his approaching stance rather horrifying, Adeline spoke again, "How do you know my name?"

He chuckled under his breath and shook his head in disappointment."Oh, that's right. You never told me." He mocked, "I have my ways, Lady Crow."

Adeline nodded, blue eyes narrowed defeat, "So it would seem."

The creature laughed a rather magnificent laugh, and leaned closer to the frozen still warrior.

"Which reminds me," He breathed, and suddenly a hand was clasped around her arm, "King Gallien of the Tieflings would like a word."

Adeline's eyes widened, and she quickly went to summon as much energy for a flame as she could, but it wasn't fast enough; the cold air scolded her every movement and she felt herself drifting into exhaustion. The Tiefling's tail whipped forward, his horns following.

The last thing she remembered was a black light closing in around her, turning her bones to dust with fear and utter torment.

End of Part 2

A/N: DUN DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUNNNNNN...(Beethoven, am I right?)

Seriously thank you to everyone who reviews and hangs with me through those absolutely horrifying nights.Thanks again. MUAH. Love you all. :3 Kittens!

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