"Rise" by Hans Zimmer.



Loki's voice echoed across the field, but the battling warriors took no notice. It was only after he stepped into the fray that the fighting was quelled, spreading out in a wave from where Loki and Darcy walked. When they saw the couple, the warriors knew to stop. They knew why they fought. They knew who Loki and Darcy were. And they knew the meaning of the cloth-covered bundle in Darcy's arms.

In the center of the battle, Titania and the tricksters were the last to stop fighting. The others, when they realized what had happened hurried over.

"Is that—" Sif began.

"It is done," Loki said harshly. He gritted his teeth and met Titania's eyes without wavering. "The prophecy is fulfilled." Beside him, Darcy's eyes were dry, her tears replaced with a hollow, stony ache that froze her face like a statue's.

Titania's eyes narrowed. "I'll have no trickery from you, Laufeyson."

"Odinson!" Loki roared. He clenched his fists to keep them from shaking. "I am no son of Laufey," he said in a raw voice. "You heard the prophecy's words. Odin's son." He laughed bitterly. "I finally got what I always wanted. Recognition as Odin's son. Look where it has gotten me."

Titania stood her ground pitilessly. "Let me see." She raised her chin in the air. "If the child truly is dead, let us see."

Loki pulled away the sheet. Darcy finally reacted, flinching so she wouldn't have to look at her son's face, dead. Titania peered into Darcy's arms. After studying the body for a long time, she nodded. Loki's hands trembled as he replaced the sheet.

Thor sniffed audibly. Rogers did not cry, but his eyes were rimmed with red. Sif grabbed his hand for comfort.

Titania cleared her throat. "Well then," she sighed. "It would appear that my business here is done. I will take my army and return them to their rightful home."

"I doubt they'll be happy about it," Fury pointed out.

"That is a problem you need not worry yourselves with. I will handle it." She lowered her head in a semi-bow to those surrounding her. "I take my leave."

Nobody returned the gesture.

Titania's lip curled. "Well, if you're all going to be—"

"Get out," Thor growled.

Titania looked affronted, but did not protest. With a wave of her fingers and a small sonic boom, she and her army vanished.

Róttækir drew near, clutching his side. "What happens now?"

Thor swallowed. "Now? We pick up the pieces." He turned to the others sorrowfully. "Come. We have dead to bury."


Seven Years Later

And pick up the pieces they did. The dead were buried. The injured healed.

Róttækir, having slain the General in battle, became king of the jotun. Some tribes protested. In time, however, he made progress towards uniting the people, and even those who did not accept his rule were treated justly under his rule.

Aelwyd, left heirless, fell to civil war. For six years, Vanaheim was divided by bloodshed. The war ended in stalemate. Weary of the seemingly endless slaughter, both sides agreed to split the kingdom—the South belonging to House Isilyth, the North to House Brenin.

The daughter of Thor and Jane was named Genevieve. She grew up to become a girl of impossible strength. By age seven, she could lift boulders that even Thor struggled to raise. When she did this, her father would laugh, tossing the giggling child into the air, her thick blond curls trailing behind her like a comet until Thor caught her.

And Loki would look on with a wistful smile before turning away sadly. He would walk alone across the newly-repaired Bifrost until he reached the observatory. Once there, he would look down on the stars, searching for something only he could see.

Or so he thought.

"I know why it is you come here."

Loki whirled around, his heart pounding.

Heimdall crossed the room, his footsteps slow and serious. "Hermes is a good father," he said.

He opened the door of his mortal apartment, his merry green eyes widening in shock when he saw the basket on the doorstep.

"Will you tell them?" Loki asked in a clipped voice.

He stooped down, his hands brushing past the metal feathers of his winged sandals as he reached out to pick up the dark-haired child.

Heimdall paused solemnly. "It is my duty as gatekeeper to protect the Nine Realms from harm." He stared at Loki with his owlish amber eyes. "If the prophecy is to remain broken, no one else may know what I know. I will keep my silence."

He smiled at the baby's round, innocent face. He noticed a scrap of paper that had fallen into the basket. Taking care not to wake the sleeping boy, he picked up the piece of paper to read it.

Heimdall turned to leave.


It was one word, but Hermes knew immediately what it meant. He crumpled the note in his hand. Shaking his head slightly, he took the baby inside and closed the door.

Loki called after him. "Heimdall!"

The gatekeeper stopped.

A note of desperation crept into Loki's voice. "Can you see him?"

Heimdall smiled. "He is happy."

A boy, his green eyes alive with energy, clambered to the top of the craggy rock, panting in satisfaction as he looked out over the valley beneath him. He was tired, and his wavy brown hair stuck to his sweaty forehead, but he had done it. He grinned.

Several moments after Heimdall had departed, Loki was joined by another visitor. He didn't look up as Darcy twined her fingers with his.

"He's alive," she murmured. "He's alive, and that's what matters."

"Do you think he will ever know?"

Darcy considered him seriously.

Loki continued, turning to look at his wife in agitation. "Do you think he will be ashamed if he finds out the truth? Do you…do you think he'll be like me?"

"Leif! Lifthrasir!"

The smile fading from his face, the boy guiltily turned to look in the direction of his father's voice.

"I think he will be like you." Darcy squeezed Loki's hand. "And that is nothing to be ashamed of."

"Come get your breakfast!"

"Coming, father!" Leif shouted. He scampered down the rock he had climbed, the mischievous smile returning to his lips. He ruffled the fur on his dog's head. "Come on, Fenrir." He threw a stick in the direction of his house and began running.

The boy's feet pounded against the hardened ground, his breath rising in icy clouds as he raced home. It began to snow. Leif crinkled his nose against the snowflakes hitting his face.

If one had been looking at him from a distance, his skin might have appeared to flash blue for an instant. But then again, with the sunlight glinting as it broke over the icy horizon, perhaps it was just a trick of the light.

The end.