Loki dropped face first into snow, and shot to his feet. He whirled, eyes darting around the sky to see if he'd been followed. Finding his portal closed, and himself out of the Chitauri's reach, his knees gave way and Loki hit the snow once more.
His eyes flickered open sometime later. He was in an extravagant room made entirely from ice, geometric designs carved out of the ceiling. If he had landed in Jotunheim, he would massacre the demons on his way out.
Loki rose to a sitting position and cringed as his stomach contracted around his beaten organs. A flash of a spiked ball slamming into his gut flew through his mind, and he swallowed against the urge to throw up. Loki rested an elbow on his knee and looked up, towards the balcony.
A girl with light blond hair stood at the balcony, facing away from him. She wore her hair in a messy french braid, and an icy blue dress. Her neck was a light cream color. She was no frost giant. Her hands gripped the balcony railing, her knuckles tense.
"Aren't you in the habit of greeting your guests, or were you going to get me killed by your neglect?" Loki asked. Unwise as it might be to antagonize his savior, he couldn't resist. And really, who was expecting the God of Mischief to show restraint? It wasn't in his nature.
She turned to face him, and stepped inside from the balcony. "I would have done you more harm than good. Who are you, and who sent you here?"
Loki leaned forward. "Do I threaten you?" Oh, these games were fun. He hadn't enjoyed himself this much since before Thor had returned to Asgard. Watching Thor's friends kneel before him was perhaps equal to this moment.
"You're free to leave. Get out of my castle."
"No, I don't think so." Loki stood and took a step forward.
"Just go!" She slammed her hands forward at him, and a wave of ice struck towards him.
He held his hands up, and the ice shards stopped and shattered against the floor. She stared at the shattered pieces, and then looked back up at him.
"How did you do that?" she asked, eyes wide.
"Now that," Loki said, "was the most interesting thing I've seen in quite some time." The mortal could use sorcery? Few could, and most of those were petty humans who'd made a deal with the more powerful races of the nine realms. Frost giants, however, were unable to transfer their powers to other beings. The bifrost was gone, thanks to a certain blond moron, so only extremely talented sorcerers could move freely. There were only about eight who could have done so, and none of them had any good reason to leave their home realms. None of them preferred ice as their first element, and usually marked their mortals in some fashion. He smiled and started to stalk around the room, keeping his eyes on her the whole time.
"Who are you?" she asked.
"Won't you introduce yourself first? It's only polite," he said, eyebrows raised in mock sincerity.
"You're in my-" she broke off. He annoyed her, but she had been raised to be queen. She shouldn't let it bother her. "I'm Elsa," she said instead.
"I am Loki, of Asgard, and I am burdened with glorious purpose."
"How did you stop me?"
Loki smirked. "Trade secret."
Elsa growled and slammed a hand towards him. He waved a hand and the snow fell to the side. She glared and flung another hand towards him, and ice flung at him once more. He tilted his hand down slightly, and it collapsed. Elsa swept her hand into a half circle and an ice spear materialized in her hand. She grabbed it in both hands and with a battle cry, she sprang at Loki with it.
He pushed the spear to the side and kicked her in the stomach, sending her sprawling across the floor. "You are a child! I am a god, you foolish mortal."
"A-a god?" she asked.
Loki turned away and started for the door. Now that he'd rested, he could manage on his own. He'd bide his time and kill Odin with his own two hands. Then he'd destroy the Chitauri for thinking they could control him. He slipped around the corner and headed for the stairs.
When he reached the bottom of the stairs, Elsa rushed out and started down, her hand sliding along the railing. "Wait! Teach me, please! I'll give you anything."
"You can't give me anything I want." The words slipped out, bitter and cold like the unforgiving climate. He wanted Odin dead, he wanted Frigga's acceptance, Thor's recognition, the throne, everything. He was greed incarnate. The God of Mischief had a better ring to it, than God of Greed.
"I'll help you. Whatever you need me to do, I'll do it," Elsa said. If he could help her, if she could be normal... she'd do anything. She could maybe, finally, build a snowman with Anna without freezing her to death. Anna... She could build a snowman with her, if Anna was alive. If only he had come a few days sooner. Please, be alive, Anna.
Loki paused. She had talent, truly. He could figure out where he was, and formulate a plan. It would keep him from Thor-like rashness. And he was wanted here. "Elsa, is it? Perhaps we could arrange something, for a few days."
She gave a deep sigh. "Uh, yeah. I mean, I'll make a room for you." She made a chair out of ice for him to sit. "I'll be back shortly. Don't go anywhere."
"And miss out on the fun? Never."
Elsa snorted, and left to make a room in the same fashion as hers. As she raised her hands, she smiled. God or mortal, he would live up to his promise. When she returned, she found him inspecting the detail on the stair rails. "Everything okay?" she asked.
"Perfect," he said. "Although I am compelled to ask if you wish to starve me to death. I assure you, I would outlast a mortal every time."
Elsa pulled a face. He had a funny way of asking for food. She walked over to the door and opened it. "Marshmallow?" she asked. Her giant ice guard turned to face her. "Go get us some more food, please. Anything canned is good." He started off into the snow, and she shut the door.
To Loki, she said, "It's being taken care of. In the main time, why don't we get started?"
Loki laughed. "Forward, aren't we? You would have me teach you while I languish in hunger?"
"You don't look like you're languishing to me."
"Question: where does your giant get food from?" Loki asked. "Do you let it plunder the town at its will?"
"He doesn't plunder! He only takes what I need. It's not like I had time to pack before I left," she said.
"Then you haven't been here long?"
"No." She gave him a pointed look. "Weren't you going to help me, or are you some sort of beggar?"
"By all means, let us start. What would you like to learn?" Loki asked.
"How do I control it?" She couldn't keep a tremor out of her voice. She had to know. One small question, but it took everything she had to ask it. She needed this.
"You seem to have a pretty good grip on it to me," he said.
"I don't. Any time I take my gloves off, anytime I feel emotion, they just sort of- sort of explode out of me. I can use them on purpose, now, but I don't know how to stop them. I don't know how to be normal." She looked away.
It struck a chord in Loki. For a second, he was back in Asgard, wondering why he didn't want to kill things the way Thor did, why he couldn't make friends the way Thor did, why he couldn't be normal. No, this was something different entirely. He left the thought behind. "Why don't you start from the beginning?"
"I've always had these powers. A long time ago, I accidentally hurt my sister. She was healed, but... lost the memories of my power. I've lived my whole life hiding this power, trying to learn how to stop it, but I just don't know how. A few days ago, I struck out at my sister, and everyone saw. I had to run away. She... she came to visit me two days ago, and I attacked her." Elsa squeezed her hands into fists, and choked back a sob. "I don't even know if she's still alive."
Loki could remember a similar incident. As a child he'd struck Thor and he'd fallen into a coma. After eating one of Idun's apples, Thor had recovered and almost immediately sought revenge in a sparring match. Loki had struck him again with magic, and merely stunned him. After that, Loki learned control. Not that it did anyone much good. The way Loki wielded it in the name of mischief had probably caused more damage over the years than accidents ever would have.
"Well, there's your problem," he said. "What's the use of a power if you never have any fun with it?"
"I'm having fun with it. I just can't when people are around."
"You're a closet addict," Loki grinned. Elsa made a noise of protest. "Oh, yes you are. You've got to use your powers, or they're going to rebel against you."
"Rebel against me?" she asked.
"Magic was made to be freed, only those with freedom can wield it. Poor magic, locked inside a host unwilling to use it. No wonder it exploded. That's unhealthy."
"Well, then, what are we waiting for? Let's go for a walk. We should get back before the food gets here," he said.
"I can't endanger people like that! I have a duty to them."
"Oh, I'll stop you from killing them, if I must. You are such a kill joy. You don't happen to be related to muscled, blond idiots, do you?" He'd had enough of that to last him another century.
Loki rubbed his hands together. "Splendid."
They walked down to a wooden house with a sauna off to the side, and a stable in back. Loki grinned. "Ready to let loose?"
Elsa frowned. "No. I mean, what have they ever done to me?"
Loki rolled his eyes. "Assume everyone has done something terrible, because they have. Besides, you're not here to kill them, you're here to give them a sense of humor." He opened the door to the cabin.
A large, bearded man sat behind the counter. "Hello. What can I do for you?"
"No, it's what I can do for you." Loki rubbed his hands together and blew on them. Suddenly, rats and mice flew out of nowhere and scurried around the cabin. The man behind the counter shrieked like a girl and jumped on top of the counter. Loki chuckled, and then grabbed his stomach as it twinged in pain. "Your turn."
Elsa turned and saw the window into the sauna. The idea hit her. She turned to the sauna and raised a hand. It stopped steaming and froze over. The people inside screeched and scrambled to get out of the iced water. She snorted in amusement. "Imagine, bathing in a sauna in this cold weather."
"Now you're catching on," Loki said. They left the cabin. "It's not that magic makes us cruel, it just makes it impossible to live inside of the normal boundaries that everyone else lives by. We have to be creative and spontaneous with our magic, or it will destroy us." Not that anyone besides himself had ever understood that principle. But Elsa was nodding in agreement.
"Now, you stood no more than five feet away from that man on the counter. Did you hurt him in any way?"
"No." She smiled. She hadn't hurt him. And while she couldn't base all of her future interactions with people because of that one event, it certainly helped.
"Because you were too busy thinking about how to use it in a way that was fun. You were planning on expressing your magic, and it responded to that. If you continue to do so, you'll never have any magic problems ever again."
Elsa's eyes widened. That was the secret? She tackled Loki in a hug. Loki was unprepared for it, so they toppled over onto the snow. Elsa squeezed her arms against him. "You're incredible! I can never thank you enough. I can't believe it!" Tears pricked at her eyes at the thought of never having to be afraid for anyone ever again.
Loki had never been in more of an uncomfortable situation- wait, take that back. He had, a few centuries ago. It involved Thor being his usual idiot self and losing his hammer, some stupid giants, and cross-dressing. But still. "You're... hurting... me. Stomach still... injured," Loki gasped, his face red.
Elsa let him go. "Sorry! But, if you're so good at magic, why haven't you fixed that yet? And how did you end up outside my castle in the first place?"
Loki winced. "Let's just say that someone wanted the use of my services, and thought using physical force could get me to use it." He could hear their beastial cackling in his ears; he could hear their raw delight in bashing his body while keeping him blindfolded. He hadn't known where the next blow would come from. He shuddered.
"Why didn't you use your magic to get away?" she asked.
Loki gave her a fixed look. "Magic binders. They aren't pleasant, let me tell you."
"Do many people have them?"
"Of course not." He watched her bite her lip. "Oh, for heaven's sake, they aren't here. I came here to get away from them, and in the unlikely event they do show up, I'll have a surprise or two waiting for them. How do you think I got away in the first place?"
"Don't be. Information is power. Tell me then, Elsa, where are we?"
Elsa raised an eyebrow. "You mean you don't know? Who's the powerful one now?"
"Still me. I could force the truth from your throat, but in light of our civility, I thought I'd try diplomacy. Would you like me to ask again?"
Elsa swallowed. "You're in Arendelle, on Earth."
Loki scowled, though he'd already known she was a mortal and he had to be on Earth. Where Thor had been banished and fell in love with a foolish mortal woman, and then acted in a completely unpredictable manner when compared with the last hundred years. Which ended up with Loki falling into the Void and the hands of the Chitauri. It had completely blindsided him. Thor was always destroying his brilliant ideas, smashing through them with his idiocy and arrogance like Mjolner through frost giants.
"Are you alright?" Elsa asked.
"Perfect." He stumbled in his next step, and Elsa laughed. "Let me rephrase that. When I get food and my magic finishes sewing me up, then I'll be perfect."
"By perfect, you mean you'll be scaring some other poor soul with another of your tricks?"
Loki flashed his white teeth at her. "Exactly."
Considering I have another fan fiction that I should really be updating first, I may not give this story the attention it rightly deserves. Besides that, I always have to copy and paste the story, and then fix the stupid formatting which takes sooo much time. However, I'm pleased that I was able to write something with energy, because I haven't been able to do that in a while. If I decide not to continue, I'll put it up for adoption and let another writer know where I was planning to take the plot. My goal with this was to keep Loki and Elsa as much in character as possible, which was a bit difficult with Elsa because she changes from being super uptight to super free to super concerned for Anna. How do you think I did?