Loki paced around his cell as a lion paces around his den. Dying to find a way out, a loophole in the old man's defenses, he scanned his surroundings again and again. Finally giving up, he flopped down into a corner and decided a nap would suit him best. Unfortunately for Loki, that would not fall in sync with Odin's plan.
"Loki!" The wise king shouted.
Loki raised himself up off the ground, only slightly, so as to see the old man below and smiled to himself knowingly. He knew his "father" had some new plan for him. Loki's head swam with different scenarios trying to guess what might come next; but he definitely did not predict this.
Odin stood in the halls, staring sternly at Loki but with a faint glimmer of hope still in his good eye that his son could be helped.
Loki's brows furrowed as the Asgardian soldiers dragged a small, broken-looking, girl into his cell. Well, not a "girl", probably mid-twenties he guessed. He said nothing, but watched as the soldiers walked her in, let her drop to the floor, and left. Odin remained only a moment longer with a final knowing stare. Loki had no clue what this man's intentions or hopes were but he was thoroughly confused.
He didn't touch the girl, she looked human, instead he scoffed at the rudeness of putting a measly human in a cell with a should-be-king. The nerve of them. It has been an hour now since the girl had been dropped into his cell and still she had not stirred. Loki began to grow curious and after taking a quick glance around, he got up and took a casual stroll over to her crumpled, sleeping form. Using his boot he nudged at her arm until a small gasp escaped her lips, but that's when "the noise of the human" began.
"Wha..." the human girl gasped out half-words as her head snapped around her while she slowly rose from the ground, "what the... what the fuck?! Where the fuck am I?!" Her head shot to the right, attracted by Loki's movement, and she let out the most shrill scream he had ever heard. "You! I saw you on TV! You-you were, you were in New York and you... you killed my family!" Straight-up anger flamed up into the girls eyes as she jumped to her feet to shove Loki back, "You fucking prick! How could you?! You fucking ASShole!"
Loki's head rolled back as he withstood all the obscenities and accusations being sent his way. He's heard it aaaall before yadda yadda yadda... it was the usual for Loki.
When she finally ran out all her energy she slumped down against a wall and sobbed into her sleeves. Loki once again let his head fall back, being burdened with her clatter for the past hour or more was torture enough but her staying in his cell with him was just pure evil.
Once she had calmed down she looked up at Loki and spoke, not because she wanted to talk to the green-clad murderer, but for lack of anyone better.
"Where am I?"
Loki didn't even bother to lift his head or open his eyes, not worth his time. "Asgard."
"It's... far from Midgard."
The girl looked away and was silent from then on.
After two days of them sitting in corners as far from each other as possible, Loki finally decided to test the girl.
"So, who are you and why have you come here?"
She looked up at him, finally with strength and defiance in her eyes. "Who am I? I'm the orphan you left behind in New York."
Loki smiled his mischievous smile and looked away, "Ah yes, it's a delight being an orphan isn't it?" She looked at him curiously before he continued, "I'm not of Asgard. I grew up here, but I too am an orphan. My true parents are dead."
"But you had parents that raised you."
"One might say so."
"Well I've been alone for 5 years because of you."
"I did you a favor."
"A favor? You call beaming an army of aliens that killed thousands including any and all family I have a FAVOR?!" The girl stood up from her corner with eyes fixed on Loki, he wasn't scared, but he should have been. Only seconds later, his face turned bright red and burned with the sting of a hard slap. "Fuck you." With that she sat down in her corner again and it was days before the two of them spoke again.
Loki stood from his spot on the ground and stalked past the wide window-like front of the cell, a small habit he hadn't practiced for days. He stopped and looked at the heap of human in the corner and scoffed again, but this time, a nagging shred of self-doubt crept into the back of his mind. The thought of sentiment frightened him so he shook it off and decided to prod the girl for information again.
"So, do you have a name or shall I make one up?"
Silence followed Loki's small talk until he was only steps away from her.
"Emily... and what brought you here Emily?"
"I don't know. I was in solitary back on Earth, and then I was here."
"Prison, but by myself."
"Ahh, yes that sounds familiar," Loki looked around his surroundings as he mused. "And why, might I ask, were you in solitary?"
"I defended my country, and for that I was punished."
Loki's brow furrowed once again, punished for defending?
"How does that work..."
"I got in front of a soldier and beat the shit out of some nut job attacking him at a peace rally of all places, and because I don't have a little metal flag pinned onto my collar, I got sent to prison. Solitary, to be exact, because I don't play nice."
Loki thought about this for a moment; he's an orphan who apparently has a chance at a "family" and was imprisoned for rising up and leading an army to rule against those meant to be ruled. She's an orphan who has no family and was imprisoned for defending the rule she believed in.
"Oh Odin, you are good," Loki muttered to himself as he smiled at the realization. Odin has put this girl in here with him in an attempt to open Loki's eyes to what he has.
"And you?" Emily turned her head to look up at the tall figure looming over her.
"I was taken from my home. It was destroyed by the very man who took me."
"But he raised you."
"The man who took you... He raised you, you had a mother and a father to teach you and to love you?"
Loki stood still staring at the girl, thinking.
"I suppose, but he took me for his own selfish gain, I was to be his bargaining chip for peace between worlds. He didn't love me. He still doesn't." Angry that things were getting to him, Loki spun in the other direction and knocked over a table for spite before landing back in his corner.
Emily stood with her forehead leaned against the wall out of boredom. "This blows."
Loki didn't even look up at her, he was too busy sorting things out in his head. This little scheme of Odin's couldn't really be working, could it? Was it a scheme or was she just there? No, of course it's a scheme. It has to be. Suddenly he felt very sick with himself, he's Loki for Valhalla's sake, if anyone is to recognize a scheme it should be him.
"Hey, Killface, c'mere." Emily waved Loki over to the see-through wall overlooking the hallway. Loki curiously obliged but once he got there, he really wished he hadn't.
"Must you continue to hit me?!"
"I was bored. My fist, your face," Emily shrugged and dodged around Loki back to her corner, "just seemed like a good match."
Loki glared after the girl but didn't fight the slight smile that began to emerge, he admired her fight.
Every night after Emily fell asleep, Loki found himself stressing over minor things in his life. He didn't understand it, why is this suddenly so important?
He soon realized that in comparison to her life, his own was quite full. Yes, he was stolen as a child, but he was also raised and loved- at least by his adopted mother, Frigga.
Emily, however, had her parents stolen from her and was left to her own devices; complete opposite from himself. She had no hope for familial love or a sense of belonging, and yet she still fought to protect the people around her.
He, on the other hand, chose to believe in the absence of love or belonging and strike back with vengeance wherever possible. Is he in the wrong?
Soon Loki's eyes grew dark circles beneath them for lack of sleep, and his hair strung out from being grabbed and pulled at in frustration, his muscles were constantly tensed from strain, and his voice came out almost as a yell he was so mad. What has he done?!
One morning Emily awoke to Loki growling in frustration and pulling at his hair. She walked closer from behind him and gently placed a hand on his shoulder, unfortunately for her, a startled and frustrated Loki jumped to his feet and slammed her against the wall. Emily dangled in place, held by her throat, legs swinging a few feet off the ground.
"He told you to say those things didn't he?!" Loki roared.
"What?" The word coughed out of Emily's mouth as she began to choke under Loki's firm grip.
"Odin. He told you to tell me those things to make me think."
"I don't even- COUGH -know who... who Odin IS!"
Loki threw her to the side as if she were a simple sack of rice. He heard her smash into stacks of books but he didn't care, he was thinking. Scheming his own scheme.
"I am sorry."
Emily looked up from her cross-legged position on the floor, confused by the sudden 3-day-late apology. In front of her, Loki stood looking modest; he had fixed his hair and straightened his clothes, his hands were held neatly behind his back, and shoulders held perfectly aligned. The dark circles remained, but those will take time.
"I am sorry for throwing you."
"And for killing your family."
Emily just blinked at this, where is this coming from?
"And for killing half of New York."
"You're... actually sorry... ?"
"...Yes." Loki nodded reassuringly. (Mostly reassuring himself)
"Are you sure? 'Cause you can't take back apologies."
There was a moments pause as Loki looked off to the side to think on it once more.
"Yes. I," He strained on the upcoming word, "apologize."
A small smile swept its way across Emily's face, and it was only then that he noticed just how beautiful she was. The way her brown hair cascaded over her shoulders, and her blue eyes twinkled in the light, his eyes gazed over her pale skin and he noted how it contrasted with her hair. Maybe Thor was onto something with these human girls.
Just thinking of his "brother" was enough to darken his mood once again and he turned away. He stood in a corner, clenching and unclenching his fists by his side over and over until he finally decided to make proper small talk. He turned again to face her only to find her preoccupied with one of the books his mother had brought him earlier. Well now what?
Loki stood awkwardly for a moment before finally speaking, "How was your life down there? Do you long for it?"
Emily had to think for a moment before remembering she wasn't on Earth, or "Midgard" as he called it. Eventually she looked up and spoke, "It was good, until a certain someone came and unleashed a certain army that killed a certain family I cared for but hey, that's life I guess right? Gotta deal." She smirked at her own words before going back to her book.
Loki however, didn't leave.
She closed her book and left it on her knees while she looked up into Loki's suddenly nervous eyes. Emily smiled through her own frustrations as she noticed the shift in his behavior, she recognized the all too familiar signs of attraction from when she went to the bar in a tiny dress; the fidgety shift in stance every few seconds, frequent blinking, awkward small talk filled with slight stutters.
"It was a fun life," slowly she rose from the ground as she spoke to Loki, "I remember playing in the backyard with my sisters as if it were yesterday." Emily gazed off at the wall with a small smile playing at her lips as she replayed memories in her head against the wall like a projector.
At this comment, Loki immediately thought of Thor. He may only be his adopted brother but he must admit, before he knew about his true parentage and before he caused all of this chaos, they had some fun times as well.
Emily took a deep breath and it was at that moment he realized she had been watching him. "Loki, obviously I know what you did to my world, and I know what kind of qualities are needed in a man to inflict that," she put the book down, took a step forward, and slowly and gently held Loki's face in her palms, "and you are not that kind of man. Not anymore."
Loki's face was blank, it's as if she knew exactly what he was battling with ever since their first few conversations and she knew exactly how to fix it. The perfect words to say, the perfect inflections and body language. The perfect facial expressions and the way she smelled was so soothing... Loki's face suddenly went from blank to horrified as he threw himself blindly backwards. He knew it. He'd fallen for her. Somehow, somewhere along the lines, he had been sucked in to the idea of sentiment.
"Loki?" Emily questioned calmly with her now empty palms still raised in the air.
He said nothing, simply stumbled back, glancing at her every now and then. He never knew this could happen to him, he always thought himself immune to any such feeling, especially towards a human girl.
Loki spent the next few days avoiding Emily, which was difficult in such a small room. He managed it though, by keeping his back turned or pretending to be asleep, sometimes even throw a meaningless projection of himself to the other side of the cell to keep her occupied. There had to be a way out of this.
"Loki, c'mere," Emily waved him over.
"You're not going to hit me again, are you?"
Emily smiled but Loki didn't see it, she had her face pressed against the front of the cell to watch the new prisoners being ushered in.
He took one glance at the men, "Dull," and wandered back to his seat.
"No, Loki, look at that guy! Check out his mask!"
Loki stood up once again, hands behind his back, and walked along the cell length eying up the strangely clad prisoner. There was something different about him, Loki could tell. He smiled that devilish smile and slowly hatched a plan of escape based off every outcome that could take place because of that man.
It was later in the day now and Emily sat, bored of prisoner-watching, and picked up one of the many books she'd already read. Loki watched her through his peripherals, it's become his new habit, until the move was made that he was waiting for. Loki shot up from his seat with a grin as the masked man burst into flame and rot and began smashing at the cell fronts, releasing prisoners. Emily scooted back from her current position until she hit the back wall, she wasn't used to extra-terrestrial acts like masked men spontaneously combusting.
"Loki?! What's going on?"
"I'm not too sure yet," Loki paced back and forth all the while watching the man until he stopped right in front of the cell.
"Loki?" Emily slowly rose, eager to cling to Loki's arm for comfort.
Loki said nothing, simply stared at the flaming man until a deflating realization hit him, "He's not going to break us out."
"He's not? Why?" Emily casually pressed a palm against the invisible wall separating Loki and herself from the man. "He's shattered every other cell, why not ours?"
Loki said nothing in response to her question, only continued to stare angrily, he had been hoping to be broken out.
Fortunately, but also unfortunately, his realization was wrong. The masked villain shot one molten fist through the barrier and in seconds Emily was grabbed by the wrist by the burning man. An awful scream rang through the prison room as her flesh was being burnt right through, the smell was terrible. Quickly the mysterious man grew tired of her noise and threw her to the side and into a walls edge where loud cracks of bone were heard from all around.
The entire time this happened seemed so fast to Loki, he hadn't foreseen any of this, no predictions or thoughts of this outcome. He had no idea what to do, by instinct all he could think to do was run to her.
"Emily?!" He lifted her shoulders to turn her over onto her back. Small whimpers of pain were choked out of her as she turned, something inside her definitely broke when she hit the corner. He looked her up and down, surveying the damage, there wasn't much visible except her wrist that was charred right through to the bone. Remnants of flame sentenced the rest of her arm to continue to burn.
"Loki," she mumbled, she tried to reach out to touch his face with her good arm before she painfully realized she couldn't move any of her limbs.
Loki touched his forehead to hers, "I will avenge you."
He held his face back and watched hers twist in pain and fade. The twinkle from her blue eyes stood still as her pupils ceased to move, her hair fell limp, and her skin drained paler than ever. Loki took a deep breath as small pools surfaced in his eyes and he blinked a few times, curious as to why his face was reacting this way.
"Love," he murmured to himself before he glanced down at Emily. "It was love."