The desolate landscape, the scent of death that hung in the air.
One could almost feel any kind of hope die as it entered this place.
This was Niflheim, realm of the dead, and its ruler was Hela. She had many other titles, Goddess of Death, Daughter of Loki. The list could go on for some time, but these were the most important ones…..well atleast to the majority of the world.
You see, Hela had a secret.
She sat in her throne, surrounded by the air of death and decay. Her divine form pulsating power as the realm thrummed with her presence.
Every so often a tap was heard.
In this otherwise desolate realm where only the dead reside, she was the source of any noise. If she wished for there to be silence, no one dared to speak for how could the dead disobey their Goddess.
She sat slumped over, finger rhythmically tapping away on her throne.
Every time her finger came down, the mists that gathered around her were dispersed.
For a Goddess who lumped the years together, the feeling of watching the seconds pass was excruciating.
Her throne room matched the entire décor of her realm, it was completely open, symbolizing that the entirety of what layed around her was her kingdom. There was just one thing out of place.
On a pillar, not far from where she was sitting, there was a clock.
A mortal clock.
In this place where the laws were decided by her, there was this device to measure the time.
It was set to Midgard, more specifically, Eastern-Standard.
Her finger matched the ticking of the seconds as she stared at the annoying device.
The time reading as 5:27 PM.
Why was she so anxious as she watched the clock?
It had to do with her secret, something that not even Heimdall knew about, she had taken some extreme measures to hide everything from his all-seeing eyes. It was one of the few things she had to thank her father for, he was a God of magic and her being his daughter had picked up a few things over the years.
Like Loki's other children, she had been sent away from Asgard. While she was more Æsir in appearance than her siblings, her Grandfather still looked at her with the same disgust that he did with her older brothers. Of course he couldn't just claim her a monster like them, cast her to whatever pit that he decided that evening. No, she was instead banished to the realm of the dead to be its ruler.
She would be the first to admit that it was rather chaotic before her arrival. Frankly, if she were to just abandon her role now, things in the realms would probably fall into ruins in no time at all. Her existence had become somewhat required.
Not that such a thing mattered to the old King of Asgard. He never feared that she would rebel against her position. Attack him and Asgard? That was a possibility, but she could never permanently leave the realm of the dead.
She had been made to swear an oath on her immortal name.
Had she understood what she was doing back then she would have told him to shove it where not even Heimdall could see.
She was young and naïve. Not even her father had warned her off the course, though she now understood why. Besides being a rather disappointment in parenthood, he had very little actual sway in Odin's court.
Yes, in the old man's eyes, she was successfully put out of sight and therefor out of mind.
But, like most contracts, there were loopholes.
Her job was to watch over the realm of the dead and all the responsibilities that came with it. Well, she just needed to interpret her role slightly.
As the clock finally ticked away to 5:30, she lept out of her chair, stretching her back as it usually gets a little stiff while sitting there all day.
A snap of her fingers, and her divine attire changed into a black suite of Midgard variety. And another wave of her hand, a green portal opened up as she cheerfully stepped through.
There was no time delay as she appeared on the other side. An empty building constructed and weaved out of her own magic and sustained by hundreds of wards. She walked through the front doors and onto the streets of New York.
By Midgard standards, her workday was over.
There was no rule that she had to watch over her Realm every minute of every day.
It seemed rather…. stupid on the surface. But this is what happens when you make exceedingly broad oaths. Of course, how could the Old Man ever foresee that Midgard would have something like a standardized workday.
He barely paid attention to this realm anymore, not since her uncles left it all those years ago. Most Asgardians still think that humans wallow around in the mud.
The thought still brought amusement to her. The fact that the lowly humans had allowed her to wiggle a bit out of the oath forced on her.
But this still wasn't the big secret she was keeping.
For that, she had to continue on a small walk, a few blocks away from her 'place of work'.
It didn't take long to come to a quaint little neighborhood. There were children playing in the streets as few cars drove down this way. Parents chatting away as their eyes darted every so often checking up on their kids. She even received a few waves and smiles as she continued on.
She finally arrived at her destination. A small stoop that led up to a red door. There was no knocking as she turned the handle and walked right inside.
A smile lit up on her face as a family figure greeted her sight.
Hela had a secret that no other gods knew about.
With all the titles she could claim, they all meant nothing as she walked through this door. Though, that wasn't entirely correct. She had one title that she held onto, one that she would fight the world to keep.
"I'm home." She declared.
The figure turned around, his smile matching her own. "Welcome home." He returned as he approached.
Warm hands wrapped around her waste with practiced ease. Her own seemed to make their way around his head as he leaned in and their lips connected.
"Mmmmm, you always know how to brighten my day." She said as she pulled back.
"Bad day at work?" He asked.
She let out a groan. "The work just wouldn't stop and it felt like I was dealing with zombies half the time."
He placed another quick kiss on her lips. "Why don't you get comfortable while I make dinner."
"You spoil me my dear husband." She replied, a genuine smile on her face.
He gave her a wink and a smile as he made his way into the kitchen, noticing the white ball of fluff running into the room.
"And theres my little bundle of fluff." Hela cooed as the small animal jumped into her hands.
"Did you miss momma?"
"Of course, you did." She kiss the little animal's forehead and ran a finger down its back.
Hela was many things, Goddess of Death, Daughter of Loki, but she cared not for that right now.
In this particular moment, there was only Hela Ectorius, faithful wife to one Arthur Ectorius. And this is a secret she would protect with her life.
Arthur had a secret.
Granted, it wasn't a very much sought after secret, but it was a closely guarded one all the same.
He was reminded of it every time he saw his beautiful wife. Seeing Fou run up and jump into her arms so happily…atleast it didn't make him wince anymore.
He was the only one who knew of that little furball's true nature.
Arthur had many titles over the years, The Once and Future King, The King of Knights. He had many more he could continue to pile on, but they seemed so irrelevant these days.
Even his true name was something he hid, taking up his adoptive father's name as his own. Well, not his true name either. It was more a translation error of some text that made it's way through the centuries about his life.
Sir Ector had somehow become Sir Ectorius.
He very well couldn't go around calling himself Arthur Pendragon, that would just raise all kinds of eyebrows.
He often wondered how he ended up in his current circumstance, experience would dictate that he could just blame everything on Merlin and call it a day, yet even that seemed unlikely this time around.
What was he even supposed to explain to his wife?
And the novelty of having someone to call that again. A loving wife with no additional responsibilities placed on his shoulders. Frankly, he never thought he would marry again, but love often has a way of catching you off guard.
He sealed his own power long ago, there was no need for the King of Knights in this era and he didn't want to drag his wife into any magic-based shenanigans that this world had.
It took him awhile to realize that this was in fact, not his original world.
A parallel as they call it in modern terms.
He knew of magics that could achieve such a miraculous phenomenon, Merlin was many things but a uninformed teacher was not one of them.
The Second True-Magic, the Kaleidoscope. The operation and manipulation of parallel worlds.
As odd as it was, he simply didn't care anymore.
For the first time in his many years of existence, he was truly happy.
Due to the uniqueness of his arrival to the world, he didn't have to want for much. Waking up in a tomb – his own – and being surrounded by all sorts of objects of worth, most of which were of the gold and jewel variety, had allowed him to live comfortably.
The former King was now a stay at home husband. He pursued his own hobbies while his wife continued her daily work at the law firm she owned.
He liked to learn more than anything. They had a whole room in their house dedicated solely to their ever-growing library.
Arthur tended to take classes at the local universities if something popped up that interested him. He also had accumulated a few degrees over the years by accident.
It was to a point where he was on a first-name basis with many professors and even accompanied the staff for drinks after work on some days.
This was his new life.
Him, the King of England, was walking into the kitchen to cook a meal for his exhausted wife and probably give her a foot rub afterwords.
Arthur was many things some good and some bad, but in this particular moment there was only Arthur Ectorius, Husband to one Hela Ectorius. He knew not of the supernatural part of this world and he did not want to drag his wife into any messes that came with his name, so this was a secret he would keep with his life.
When the muse strikes, it strikes hard.
Had this thought bouncing around my head for awhile and wanted to see if it went anywhere. I like the idea of odd pairings and i think it could actually work in this case.
This world is more like an amalgamation of both the mythology and various Marvel works. But it's mostly going to follow the Cinematic Universe.
This was inspired partly by the movie - Mr and Mrs Smith. I thought the idea of both hiding their 'true' selves while also being more open and honest to one another than with anyone else to be an interesting character development.
So the characters, Hela always seemed kinda lonely to me. Her ruling her realm all by her lonesome. And Arthur also came off similarly due to his pushing away everyone during his own reign. I felt like these two could understand one another even if they didn't share the details of their lives.
And yes, I added in fou, because why not? Something something, Merlin Shenanigans.
So anyways, leave a comment if you have any thoughts or questions. I honestly have no idea where i'm going with this story but i think i'll like the destination. Also, i'm not dropping my other story i just have been busy with moving and work, i plan on updating soon.