And so I've returned again, for the final time for this series! As far as this story should go, it should be about as long as the first one or longer, so lot's to look forward to! Many things were left yet unsaid last time, such as who left the memories inside the necklace, Halios' life after the war, and of course, their ongoing relationship with the mystery of her dreams and the Norn's predictions. I suspect by now that all of you have read the other two parts that preceded this, but if not then I such you go to my page and read the other two (Stealing Me Softly is not connected to this series!) I welcome you all back for one last journey, sit tight, it's going to be a long one!
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my OC
Three hundred and forty-one days. Halios sat outside, breathing in the air of the countryside she was currently placed in. Rather isolated and alone, she had spent nearly a full year without contact to anyone of her friends in the outside world. The sky was dove grey, a storm perhaps approaching while she otherwise sat amongst the flowers she had grown in the backyard. Sweet peas seemed appropriate since they were the last thing in her garden on Asgard. The soil on Earth was different through, and she had gone through a number of batches before she was successful at having them sprout. Now they grew in abundance, and she was sitting in the grass while they encircled her in a pungent, pink jungle. She wiggled her toes before her, having returned to her old habit without wearing shoes around the home. It reminded her of different days, and different times in a world beyond all recall to this one.
Her legs were bare in a pair of light wash cut-offs, and a fuchsia V-neck T-shirt clung to her torso loosely. Her blues eyes often watched the sky, it seemed it was awaiting her entrance again; Asgard was begging for her to come home. Had it been her home though? She often felt neglected there, and the status quo had never been in her favor. Whether her life as a peasant, or as the apprentice to the lofty Freyja, she had always felt a deep sadness. It loomed in her constantly and picked at her veins like a mouse picking at wire. Still, the nostalgia for the place she once resided in was a strong and heavy burden atop her piles of concern she was laden with.
Halios rather cherished her life on Midgard now, even if she was under a secret assignment by Fury. So secret, that she hadn't felt any action at all, and it left her feeling dry to the bone. She had come a long way from starting out as the fledgling Faye. Now she was the superhero Starlight (Thanks to Tony Stark), and she also had close ties with SHIELD. Technically speaking, she supposed she was still with SHIELD on paper; the Avengers had disbanded since the end of the war. The war; that brought back other memories that she wasn't always so quick to think of when they stirred. Loki had crossed her mind between most of her days, but after a while, she found herself forgetting him, or at least, the sound of his voice. It had been almost a years' time, so that meant about seven years on Asgard. She never had been delivered the news of his sentencing, and it was a quiet blessing, no matter how badly she suffered to know the worst. If this was to be her last memories of him, she'd rather think of the good, and not of him in some wretched place, tied down and possibly tortured until he could no longer stand on his own feet. To think him weak and vulnerable felt almost like a bloody sin, and she tried not to dwell on such melancholy thoughts. Her love was undying, but even the heart had its limits. To be overly fond of someone was destructive, and she tried to stay those emotions, but it seemed they were irrevocable. Every so often, she would touch the faint scar on her outer thigh, and remember how he mended it so affectionately, even when they had been at an impasse. Was it so true, that he would always care just the same? She thought it sad, how neither had been able to tell the other "I love you" just once, and it wasn't just Loki, for she took equal share in the blame. Was it because she was so certain they would be united in each other's embrace again? Even so, it was no viable excuse to never share the most intimate of words with the one you love and Loki would have had good use for them before he was sent on his way.
Her dreams had returned again, and she was filled with much aggravation for her Vanir blood. The cursed stuff was spoiled, and had never brought her much good at all. She was left with unpleasant visions of Loki in a state peril. It was not of the same fate she had foreseen for him on Asgard, but this was justly as excruciating to bear. Blinding white light barred in her a prison, and her body was caught in a state of rigor mortis, unable to move or reach her fingers to him. He summoned such an anguished cry, that it rattled down to her core, numbing her heart in its usual dance. She tried to prevail to him, but she only grew more cold, and further away from him. The black tunnel expanded, and the expanse was now too great a distance for her to cross. She always awoke abruptly after he disappeared from her vision, and she would be in a pool of her own sweat, even on chillier nights. Dreams were no longer just dreams; everything had its own meaning in some way, but she had neither the skill nor tact to decipher the hidden meanings within.
Due to her undercover assignment, she had had no contact with any of her friends. She hoped that Steve, seeing as he was the last to see her off, would tell them that she was OK, even if it was an uncertain truth to his knowledge. Perhaps they had all separated, and this feeling of isolationism was not only hers to bear. They all shared it in some way; after all, the Avengers could not always be as a united one in the telling, they needed abandonment, craved it even. It did not mean she didn't long for their company, but theirs was an unhappy ending right now. Perhaps in some bleak future, the cards would finally turn in their favor.
Her smart phone buzzed at her side (it was an untraceable, and had only one number), she knew who was calling, pressed her finger on the button to answer, "Hello, Nick."
"Agent Starlight, it's been awhile since we last spoke." Fury said in a bland candor. He never called out of importance, only to inquire if she was obeying his instructions, though it wasn't as if she had anywhere else to go, so why bother Halios thought irascibly.
"Yes, and everything is the same as the last time you called as well."
"Not entirely." She sat straighter, bringing her legs to her chest and holding the phone tighter to her ear, "What we have been waiting for is finally happening. Apparently they haven't got to you yet."
"No, apparently not. Do you know where they are now?" She asked, all the while her hand gripped the fire arm that she kept with her. The one rule she was not allowed to break was letting go her powers. It was all a part of Fury's plan to elude others of what she could do, and keeping a low profile to not attract any more unwanted attention to SHIELD. The Government was still set in their pig headed ways to make the Avengers pay for the ruin in New York, and any indescribable power emitted from her were surely attract the wrong kind of attention.
"We are tracking a small group headed northeast, coming your way. You know the laws of which you must abide on this Halios." Oh, she knew too well, and it had been the part she was dreading for unspeakable reasons.
Before she could answer, the sound of a gun clicking was right behind her ear, and she turned her head slowly, to see five intruders in her home, masked and cloaked beyond identification. She smiled tightly, while one came up to her and took the gun from her right hand, and another forced her up to stand. "Halios, they are there now." Yeah, tell me something I don't know, she thought to herself.
"Sorry Nick, I'll have to call you back." She said and ended the call before his conformation. One of the armed soldiers took the device from her as another pointed an assault rifle in her face. She gave a weary look, though her insides were burning to be set free and unleashed upon them.
"Not even gonna fight darling?" One of them taunted. They had a blaster shield down over their face, and the words were muffled, diluting the voice to sound like smokers cough.
"Do I have a choice?" She countered.
He scoffed back at her, while another from behind came up alongside her, and she felt a pinching in her neck. Knock out drugs, her favourite. The thin needle seeped into her flesh and vain, while the plunger sunk down, pushing in the beguiled drug into her system. She would have rolled her eyes at the practical, hindrance of use they were, but her lids were already fluttering shut, and she felt her body float down. Every muscle was a feather stuffed inside her flesh, and she bared no weight or trivial matters as she met the ground. The last of what she saw was of the grey sky, turned to night, and inside she was wishing Loki was gazing out at such a pleasant view as this.
Loki was not looking up at a pleasant night sky, but he had some feeling in his heart that he should have been. It would have been a blessing to see stars, but all around him was the endless white, like his own personal purgatory. The Isle of Silence was but a cruel fate, and he had sat like one of the stones, for seven long years in his banishment. More often than not, he found himself not wanting his immortality, and wished suicide was a viable options. He would never have been that desperate he supposed, but with nothing else to do but be ventured in by ones thoughts, the morose and despair began to dwell. The grey and white surrounded him in a small forest of which he could not escape. The leaves made no rustle as the wind blew, and it caressed his face in a silent howl. He even pitied the birds that were jailed in this endless grief, they'd open their beaks wide, and not a decibel left them. He would have been enticed to hear a cock crow if it meant noise and would have gladly got down on his knees to begging so.
He never craved food, nor thirsted for water. For such a prolonged amount of time, all he had managed to do was sit very still, until he became integrated in the grey, in this fabricated way of living. No one had come or gone, and he suspected he was a part of the forgotten, a deep black pit that was in the back of everyone's heart, for ever giving a damn about him in the first place. Loki was content with that, seeing as he wasted no well discomforts in his heart for those very same people. He spent his time, counting the days, and knew it had been almost a year since he left Midgard, and Halios. He had made a promise to return for her, though as he continued to sit in this wasteland, the chances of that oath being fulfilled grew dimmer, like a flame running out of wick on a candle.
He was not in touch with his own emotions anymore; rather, he was apathetic to any and everything that went on in his mind. Mostly he focused on every detail on when he first was brought back from Earth. Thor wasted no time in bringing him to the Throne room, where an audience was summoned steadfast. He concluded it was always a forthcoming arrangement here, for they prepared so quickly. Always pleasant to know that the All Father assumed he'd fail, and it made Loki ever so bitter for the old King to be correct. His eyes remained fixed on Loki, and Loki never cowered his own eyes down from the arrogant man who raised him. The Queen, though strong she appeared, had many a flaw and her dominant will was not so convincing. A small crack was in her well trained guise, and Loki knew she wanted to embrace him still. A small part of him would have liked to allow this contact, but he reminded himself that she was an equal traitor to his inelegant descent to darkness. Just as well, the warriors also surrounded the All Father as protection, and he found it unlikely that they'd allow their Queen to show tolerance to a traitor. They were all so unsavory to him. He didn't find it worth his time or ability, to look upon such people. There was Sif, shouting out obscene things that a lady of the court should never utter while the others let her rant. He was unaffected though, after so many years of being the maladroit wheel of their group, he had gained an affective immunity to any harsh words.
The All Father looked like he was on the steps of Valhalla, and Loki understood well that the reason was because of summoning dark magic for Thor's return to Midgard. With any luck, the old fool would die soon enough, leaving an uncharismatic Thor to attempt to rule Asgard. Loki suddenly felt stung by his own words. They were uncommonly cruel towards the man who had raised him. He used to hope and pray for an ounce of respect from this man, and now he was celebrating for his death. It was at that small moment, that he questioned his own mind; had he fallen so far beyond all recall?
The guards unclasped his mouth from the distained gag, and Loki cracked his jaw back and forth, enjoying the sensation to move his own lips once more. He forced a smile, but it always appeared as a grimace or smirk of someone jaded.
The All Father sat somewhat straighter with the assistance of Frigga, and his cracked lips opened to speak, "Loki, the palace halls of Asgard are not so welcoming for your return." His voice was rasped, and sickly, even beyond the times when Loki had witnessed him before the Odin Sleep.
"Then you should have left me on Midgard, for I was quite content." He jested.
Most eyes turned stormy towards him because they were awed at his talent to still finding the gall to have cheek, and he wondered what buffoons he was really dealing with. Hadn't they known him at all? Being held up in chains certainly wasn't going to stall his silver-tongue, and it was pathetic of them to think so, "You have robbed this world of its Prince, and their very hopes have been shattered. I speak for my family when I say our hearts too have been shattered, by the betrayal you have pursued so keenly." The All Father continued.
"My betrayal?" Loki said in calculated disbelief, "It was not I, who held the truth from his would be son, or the peoples of this realm. You have given them something to fear in me, Great Odin." He seethed between clenched teeth.
The room shifted uncomfortably from his words. He wondered in his absence, of how many of the citizens now knew the truth of his lineage, or if it was only the few people in the room still keeping it hushed behind closed doors, "Loki, you are still my son, and no blood can change that. It is of the actions and words that set a parents love for their child, not the connection of womb and seed."
"Blood is thicker than water." Loki bit in an acerbic tone, "Your actions and words have failed greatly All Father. I see before me, a man of penitence, who would seek to cloak his mistake, and shield his Kingdom from I, the would be son and King of Asgard."
"Then it is your curse to throw love away. We can only bring what you would accept my Son, and it saddens me to see you are without pardon for our mistake." The Queen now spoke, her voice shaking like the blade of a saw, and her face pure.
"It is to your husband whom you should give thanks for that." Loki said spitefully, and he was surprised that she made no physical response to his smite.
"Be how things presently are, atonement and sacrifice must be paid by you." Odin started now, into the sentencing, "I am with my own blame for the travesties on Midgard, and it forever grieves me that you stand before me today, as a man I have raised, to now face punishment for the unspeakable crimes against an inferior race. The free peoples of Midgard will always have reason to fear you now."
"As do the peoples of Asgard." Loki said darkly. The All Father summoned down his staff, creating a thunderous wave that rippled the marble floor, "See here boy! You will not see amnesty for such an immoral atrocity. Your dereliction for this realm will also not go unspoken for. I sentence you, Loki Odinson, for crimes against your endearing home, Asgard, and of the mortal realm Midgard, to the Isle of Silence. A place in which you and others may be free from your ill-favored tongue, and words of blasphemy. There you shall remain, until such time of when the King of Asgard, may find even one redeeming quality inside your blackened heart. What say you?"
Well, he had many things to say, for one, why call him by Odinson when everyone present knew this to be a great lie? Loki didn't ponder this though, instead he responded with what was to be expected from him, "Can I not plead innocent?" He asked wickedly. Frigga and Thor closed their eyes in union, to his untactful reply. He cared little if he burdened them now, and saw no escape from this sentence anyhow to force him to speak with any benevolence. They looked in such agony and despair for his loss now; where was all this before when he feel to his doom on Midgard? Had they shown him the remorse he had wanted in the past, things may have been different, but this too was a doleful hope.
The guards surrounded him once more, chaining him back in a bind of no avoidance. When he first heard footsteps marching his way, he assumed it to be Thor, and was solemnly surprised when he met Fandral's steel eyes. His look was pleading, regarding him with interest and wonder. Loki stared back coldly, "Halios?" He questioned with urge.
"No." Loki mustered with all the hate of Helheim. He would not divulge that information when she was his to keep. Halios was his last desire worth guarding, and they would not take her from him as they had tried to do in the past. He found even no friendship left to share for Fandral, and wanted to keep this man's care for Halios at bay. Loki thought it justified, that he was allowed to be selfish of her now, when he had nothing else left.
"You know where she is, tell us!" Sif cried to him, and then turned to Thor for the answer. Thor looked to Loki, and shook his head to Sif. It seemed, at least for now, that the God of Thunder would allow him this one mercy, "You still take his side Thor, after everything that he has done?! He would have destroyed Jotunheim and you along with it, if things had turned in his benefit." Sif said incredulously.
"She was my friend, and I deserve the truth! He would not have been graced by her if it hadn't been for me." Fandral said aloud, in response to both Loki and Thor.
The conversation was not allowed to continue though, for the All Father was conjuring his magic. Loki had small hope that he would not be well enough to summon the portal, but alas was disappointed when an orb appeared in the center of the room. Another realm was on the other side; it was drab and grey as the pages of books. Loki cast his last glance to the room, and spotted the silhouette of a woman with red hair, before he was lost to the dolorous world without color.
So, I actually loved how this turned out, which is rare because I question all of the work I put out here most of the time. This should set the tone for most of the story, and I know everyone is looking forward to their reunion again. As one of my reviewers said best (DanAlaya) This story will focus on how far Loki has fallen, to the point that even Halios was not successful at bringing him back to the light. Lots of this story will be about his own redemption this time and be taken from his POV, which I don't think anyone will have qualms about. As for the Isle of Silence, that was actually taken from the Marvel universe and it seemed a fitting punishment as opposed to the Snake venom, or him being banished to Earth all the time. Let me know what you think so far; was it good to hear my own original plot again and how does the tone compare to "The Hate Inside Me"? Also, if you PM me and I don't answer for a few days, it's because I am quite busy right now, but I should return by next week! Reviews yeah!