Author's Notes: I know there's probably not a lot of people out there that remember this exists, but hey! I figured I'd post this update just the same. I've decided to change it to Jane's POV, since she's so lulzy and adorable and fun to write, so I'll go back and edit the rest of the chapters to fit this new POV change. If you do remember this story exists, and haven't yet given up on me, then I do hope you enjoy this long overdue chapter. Thanks for sticking with me!
Disclaimer - I do not own the characters Loki or Jane Foster.
It's never been like this for me – to give up so easily. But here I am…stuck at a dead end and there's no off ramp (this isn't a freeway, Jane, who knows where the hell Loki has taken you?). My arms are locked in a painful twist behind me. Hours of tugging and pulling and beating on the shackles has left its mark. I don't think I've ever been this miserable - bruised and half-frozen and my brain is quiet for the first time since…well, since before I can remember. Have I ever been unable to think my way out of things? No…no this is a first for me. There's a whole list of things I'm not. Coordinated? Check. Able to form a cohesive sentence in the presence of strangers? Check again. I'm Jane Foster. I draw stick figures on dinner napkins and eat cereal in my socks out of mixing bowls and I can always think of an escape plan. But here I am – blank. Completely empty. I never knew that silence could be such an effective form of torture.
I throw my head against the tower of ice rising up behind my back.
"God, Jane, what have you gotten yourself into?"
Silence. The echoes whisper through the tunnels, hard and sharp like the ice that throws them back at me, but there's nothing else. No smooth, poisonous reply from my captor. Not a murmur of life in my head. God, what have I done? Why did I have to go out in the rain like an idiotand get myself captured? Again, like an idiot.
Because I thought it was Thor.
Because you let your guard down, you idiot.
Face it Jane – you're an idiot.
If I were thattype of girl, I could cry. I'd let all the tears that have my heart wrenched in a vice grip freeze on my cheeks and make them sting with the salt in the hoarfrost. That would be punishment enough for my stupidity.
"For such a smart girl, you make reallybad decisions."
Again, nothing. As if insulting myself would get the gears working. But they seem to be frozen solid – like everything else in my body. Is my blood even moving anymore? I shake my arm a little. Don't be silly, Jane. If your blood was frozen your heart wouldn't be beating.
Frustration wells up instead of tears. I squeeze my eyes shut and shake the chains again, testing the strength of the icy clasps around my swollen red wrists. If only I had some Neosporin for those…
The sounds of my struggle can be heard throughout the cave, but still there is no sign of Loki.
"Damn,"I hiss through gritted teeth, letting one single chatter free. Nope, they won't budge. I'm stuckhere.
If only I could thinkwith all this cold pressing down on me. It feels claustrophobic, like I can't breathe, and the world is a big sheath of ice crushing me down into the snow.
Okay, Jane. Don't think about the snow. Just think about something else.
A dark, secret voice pops up out of the blue. You could think about Thor…that would get you warmed up.
My cheeks flush.
No. Not here. It's not safe to think about Thor.
It's stupid to hope for Thor to come to my rescue anyway. Like he had, once, haloed in scarlet with the sun catching on his golden hair. Like Prince Charming in those books mom used to read me, when I was little.
But he's not coming. I know better. He's as much a prisoner to his world as I am to this cave.
I'll have to rely on myself this time.
Shut up. No one asked you.
If only I could find a way out of these chains…
"I heard you talking to yourself again, mortal."
I open my eyes. Had I fallen asleep again? Damn.
Around me, the ice has seemed to pull back, receding like white waves. As my vision adjusts, I realizes it's the light playing off the glistening walls. There's a candle, lit and already beginning to sputter out, sitting in the corner. It's the only warmth in the room. Outside, dusk has fallen again.
"Are all humans as pathetic as you? Or are you just a specialbreed?"
Don't answer him, Jane.
"I suppose you think you're better than me, don't you?"
Stupid girl. Don't you ever listen?
His eyes light up, and a cruel, mocking laughter booms like thunder, rolling easily off the thin, crumbling snow. My heart sinks, plummeting down into the depths of my stomach. I'm still not used to his ridiculing, his constant demoralization. It still stabs like a knife and the hurt digs down deep until it stirs up the tears in my eyes again. God, I wish I didn't want to cry every time he reminds me how feeble I am here, how low my chances of survival, of seeing my friends and family again, of even leaving this caveever again really are. Every time he opens his mouth, I'm reminded – of the fact that I am renowned for my intelligence and yet I can't even think of a way to get out of these chains.
"Oh, but my dear Jane. I ambetter than you. Haven't you learned that yet?"
"I'm a slow learner."
"From the way your race seems to go on about you and your research, I would say the opposite."
"So you have heard of my work?" I snort. "I wasn't aware you had any interest in the inferior knowledge of mortals."
His eyes roll. "Please, don't be if I have the time to waste on your useless interests. I want to go straight to the source, Jane. I want you."
"What use am I to you?"
"Don't be so hard on yourself, my dear girl," he says softly, in that voice that makes my legs turn to jelly and my palms sweat into the snow. He lowers himself to the ground, wrenching my knees apart so that I am straddling his waist. Pressing his chest against mine, I swear he can feel my heart pounding like a drum, over and over, as his heat crests over me in soft, sensual waves.
He whispers in my ear, his breath tickling against the skin as if the words were touching me, skimming the curve of my earlobe, taking it into its fingers and rolling it between them. I squirm, my eyes wide and unblinking as I stare over his shoulder (at anything but him, at anything but the fact that he's so close to me staring me straight in the face), and I swear I couldn't move even if I wanted to. Sometimes I forget how powerful Loki is, that with just a word, he could turn me to stone, to ash, to nothing. And at once I'm afraid - what is he going to do to me? Oh god, I don't want to die. I don't want to -
Snap. Out. Of. It.
"You are very useful to me."
Okay. Jane, breathe. He doesn't want to kill you. Come on now, be real - why would he go through all the trouble of kidnapping you just to kill you? He's not stupid. No, in fact he's the opposite. He's cunning and ferocious and there's a lot of anger in him that keeps him going. Yes, he's not going to hurt you. He's only doing this to intimidate you. To catch you off guard. And then, when he's got you on your ass, he's going to mess with your head. Just because it's fun.
Don't let him. Don't let him get in your head, Jane.
Erik's voice. And I don't realize how much I miss his weary smile and the notes of his aftershave lingering on his shirt collar – little things about him, little things that I've come to find comfort in after my parents died.
I steel myself against him. The smell of him, the sound of his voice, his heat so palpable that it sticks to my tongue and I can taste him. He's like a ghost in my head and I can't get him out. Haunting. Slithering in and out of corridors where common sense and reason used to reign like kings.
Don't let him in, Jane.
I won't. I promise I won't.
"Oh, and Jane?"
His whisper hangs heavily on the air, like folds of crushed velvet.
I struggle to keep myself as far away from him as I can with the length of his body eclipsing me in its dark, eerie shadow.
"I hope you are not too attached to Thor, my dear - "
"He is coming. And when he arrives at long last, I promise you – you will never see him again."
He's going to kill him, Jane.
"But you knew that already, didn't you?"
Because you were an idiot.
"That you would never - "
Because you went out in the rain and you let yourself get captured by a madman.
"See your precious Thor ever again."
It's your fault. Thor is going to die because of you.
I start to struggle against my chains as Loki stands. His laugh, even more malicious than before, peels through the frozen air and everything trembles around us. I wish it would cave in, the whole mountain. Just crush us down into the earth and let no more of this torture go on. At least I'd be warm. I'd be dead, but more importantly he would be dead, and Thor would be safe.
I hate him. I wish I had the strength to kill him, but I don't.
"No! No!"I scream, thrashing my legs, beating my arms against the wall. "You can't do this! Why are you doing this! What have I ever done to you?"
And then, the chains come free. They slip away from my wrists and I barely feel it, that's how fast it happens. My arms are a dead weight, slumping to the ground.
But in my fury, I lunge for him with all the strength I have left in my body.
And much to my horror, start to tumble down the very steep hill that lies beyond the entrance to the cave...