Hello and welcome to the revised version of Out of Sight. I decided to go with a darker story and a darker Loki. So here it is and I hope you like it!
Let me know what you think!
"They're bringing in Loki - from now on, every agent should carry a weapon at all times."
That sentence changed the atmosphere aboard the Helicarrier. It shattered the barrier between dreams and reality. For months they had been chasing the notorious god of mischief and he was always a shadow - looming in the background. Now, the shadow had made its way on to their safe haven. Having caught Loki should have caused an eruption of euphoria, but it didn't. They should've been celebrating, but no one did. This was just another reminder that war had lodged itself in every crevice of the city below, between the ribs of the soldiers.
Truth to be told, the atmosphere hadn't been bright up until that point but after that one sentence everyone started tip-toeing. Their nerves were tightened to the point of snapping and that was exactly what they did - they snapped. Every single disagreement ended in a fight, in yelling, in bruises. Alliances were formed and dirty looks exchanged.
Lips were tightened, as was security. S.H.I.E.L.D.'s headquarters was ready to handle Loki and all his wicked ways.
Jolene had been preparing all night, as were 11 other soldiers aboard the massive flying ship. Sometimes it seemed unreal that they were hovering in the air on the Helicarrier that looked more like a metal turtle with propellers. Today was finally the day. The air in the locker room was buzzing with excitement. Her uniform was lying beside her and she checked her gun for the tenth time that hour.
Around 0900 the alarm went off and it took her brain only a fraction of a second to recognize what was going to happen. She followed the rest through the endless metal hallways until they could climb the stairs that led them onto the deck. The sun was hanging low in the sky and was stinging her eyes. They had been below deck for far too long. The wind lashed out at her and it got hard to breathe. With a fast pacing heart she waited not so patiently until the hatch opened. Stuttgard had been an easy victory, maybe a little too easy.
First Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, came walking out. His suit had a couple dirty patches and his immaculate blonde hair was ruffled but all in all he seemed fine. Jolene kept her expression blank, but secretly she was thanking God that they all seemed fine. Tony Stark's suit was blinding as the sun reflected off it. Natasha Romanoff's attitude was still in place.
But there was another newcomer to the party - Thor, Loki's "brother". Jolene had heard the many tales told about him, everyone had, but she had never seen him and therefore didn't really know what to expect. Thor came parading out of the back of the jet. His armor was something from another time, another place. He didn't fit in the picture of bullets and computers. His one hand was gripping tightly onto Mjölnir and the other one onto the scruff of Loki's attire. Thor was met with a couple of greeting nods.
Now his brother was a different tale altogether. Whereas Thor could've been compared to a mountain, Loki was more of a giant snake. His eyes slithered all over the place - looking for a way out, mapping this place for later use. You could see the gears turning in his head. His hands were bound behind his back, yet he didn't look captured. Jolene was standing at the back of the line but his eyes still found hers and they were staring at her, not through her. She held tighter onto her gun and tried to inhale an even deep breath. For that one second Jolene felt exposed. Then he smirked and that smirk had an odd effect on her body - she felt scared. For the first time in a long time a shiver of fear started at her tailbone and slivered up along her spine like a snake.
"They didn't tell us he was this ... tall," Sammy beside her stammered. Jolene knew 'tall' wasn't the word her friend was looking for but Loki was too unpredictable to be described in words.
"He is rather tall, isn't he?" She breathed back and then focused her attention back to Maria Hill, who had joined this parade by now.
"To the soldiers who will be accompanying Loki to his cell - keep your eyes open. Do not look directly at him, do not speak with him and above all do not listen to a word he says. He will be staying down in area five, you will receive a schedule of who is to guard the room and when. Loki is a level one threat and please, treat him as one."
While Maria was giving out instruction, Jolene was already breaking one of her rules - she was looking directly at him. All these precautions, all these soldiers - they were just stroking Loki's ego. It was large enough as it was, without their help. She shifted her weight slightly.
Eventually, Thor led Loki over to them and let him go when Loki was safely surrounded by soldiers. Jolene found herself walking right alongside Loki. She could only see up until his neck but that was enough. Their footsteps cascaded from the walls and Jolene had her finger on the trigger. Everything about him made her feel on edge. Loki wasn't the least bothered with his current situation. He was strutting forward like he was actually glad to be here. They rounded a corner and went past the lab where doctor Banner was working on finding the Tesseract. Jolene could see Loki's expression in the glass window. She could see Loki smirk at Banner, who in turn stiffened in his tracks. Another soldier who was transporting weapons on a trolley nearly derailed at the sight of the not-so-much of a god. At least she wasn't the only one whose feathers were ruffled.
When Loki was finally put away it was time to exhale, but no one did. Jolene sat down at her usual place in the locker room.
"Doesn't this all seem a bit ... weird to you?" Elliot asked, while taking off his helmet. His brown hair was too long but in a state of war, no one cared about a few centimeters more.
"What exactly?" Jolene asked and took off her own helmet. She wiped the sweat off her forehead with her sleeve. It has been a long night and she was wired.
"Well, for instance - Loki came along quietly," he trailed off and started undoing the Velcro tape.
Jolene saw her forehead crease in the mirror as she brushed back her blonde curls in a ponytail.
"I would come along quietly too if I was faced with a tin can full of rockets," Sammy commented, not interested in Elliot's endless over-analyzing. Jolene couldn't control the snort that left her mouth. Sammy shook out her auburn hair that stuck to her forehead.
"No, but he has a point," Jolene spoke up and eight pairs of eyes looked at her, "I just - I don't know, something bothers me about this too." She fumbled with the bulletproof vest.
"What then?" Elliot perked up.
"If I knew what it was I would've already told you," Jolene snapped and cast the vest aside.
"Jeez, lighten up - you've had a stick up your ass ever since he took your dad," Elliot mumbled and picked up his helmet again. Sammy threw him a dirty look.
"Do you honestly blame her though?" Michael huffed, "we're at war, Loki is aboard the Helicarrier and so is the guy that broke Harlem - we all have a stick up our ass."
"Hey, doctor Banner is a nice guy!" Sammy raised her voice.
"God, I'm not saying anything about your precious Banner, I'm talking about the green shit he turns into!"
The entire locker room went silent and Jolene dropped her gaze to her shoes. It had been a long day. No, in fact - it had been a long year.
That night, Jolene would be guarding Loki along with other soldiers the first half of the night. With a weapon placed firmly in her hand and her emotions on stand-by, Jolene descended staircases until she reached the big door. She swiped her card and entered the code. The air conditioner was blasting through the hallways here and the same unfamiliar shiver ran up her spine. Jolene couldn't hear any other footsteps so she assumed she was there first. She couldn't figure out whether this was a good thing.
The room Loki was kept in looked much like an elevator shaft. In the middle of the room was a glass cage, suspended from two metal arms. There was a staircase leading up and a path that wrapped halfway around the cage. The railing that was once painted a bright yellow was faded and the paint was peeling. Jolene looked up at the cage and the man that was imprisoned in it. The only sounds detectable were the whirring of the machines and her footsteps as she climbed up the staircase. Her footing was steady but she could feel a tremble coming up. She couldn't be scared - Loki could smell fear like a shark could smell blood. So, she held onto her gun a little tighter.
Loki had noticed her from the moment the door opened. He had also noticed the small tremble in her fingertips as she pushed the button to close the door. Perfect. Jolene had reached the top platform and took her position near the wall, opposite to the cage. She was near the control board. So if something happened, all she had to do was push the red button and Loki would be airborne. Loki had started to pace the cage, hands clasped behind his back. The green-ish light emphasized the circles under his eyes and made his skin ashen. His hair was curled up at the tips and his suit was wrinkled. He looked almost ... human. It was until he focused his green eyes on her that she remembered who and what he was. Above all, she remembered what he had done.
"I expected you to come looking for me sooner." His voice was soft but as soon as it registered in her brain it demanded her attention to be focused on him.
Jolene straightened her posture. "I am here to stand guard, that is all."
He stopped pacing and stood facing her. "You could've done so from downstairs. Either way, that is no reason for us not to have a civilized conversation."
"I wasn't aware you were capable of one." Her voice was stronger this time.
His smirk stretched out into a sneer. "Just look at you, Jolene Barton - all grown up and wielding a machine gun. All the while your voice still trembles. And there's no daddy to turn on the nightlight."
Jolene hadn't noticed how fast she was breathing until she heard the echo's ricketing off the walls. His eyes were ablaze. Then it was silent again, apart from the machines. She wanted to have a smart retort, something that would shut him up and show him she wasn't just baby Jo with a water gun. But there was nothing in her mind but pulsating fear and it was slowly suffocating her. Loki was still staring her down, reveling in his victory. Suddenly, the room was too small and her suit was too tight. Jo, get a grip! You've been in the army, you've heard worse that this petty insult. But she couldn't shake the feeling that Loki was chocking her with nothing more than a snide remark.