Warnings/Notes: WIP, Crossover/AU. This is probably set after The Avengers, but trying to avoid getting totally Jossed, so I'll withhold a firm decision till May. This takes place after my story, The House of Keebler.
Character(s): Methos, Loki, Nick Fury, Duncan MacLeod, Clint Barton, Thor, Phil Coulson, Natasha Romanov, Charlotte Sparrow
Summary: Methos doesn't believe in fairy tales – or gods.
Methos leaned against the hood of his SUV, scanning the deserted old warehouse. Streaks of sunlight through broken windows were the only light that made it into the gloomy brick building. He could hear the scrapes and rustlings of rodents up in the beams, but it seemed that they were his only company.
It had taken nearly twelve hours for Loki to contact him, twelve unending hours that had left him as taut as a bow with anger and frustration. He'd gone back to SHIELD HQ to report in and to check on Charlotte, and there it was, in her hand, a rolled parchment. It was as if it had appeared by magic – no person or security camera seeing where it had come from, or who had put it there. It contained his instructions – in Asgardian no less – directing him to this place. After he'd read it, the parchment had caught flame, dramatically burning up in a green flash; Loki's idea of humour, apparently. Now, Methos waited. He had no plan, not really. Just to get through whatever lay ahead, however he could.
Just as he'd been not there in Methos' office, Loki appeared before him. This time, he was dressed in Earth garb; a black dress shirt and emerald green tie peeking from under the buttoned forest green wool overcoat. Methos straightened, but didn't offer any other sign of surprise at the suddenness of the arrival. "Nice of you to join me," he said dryly.
"Things to do, people to see," Loki replied cheerfully. "But I promise that you shall have my undivided attention for the foreseeable future."
"Thrilled to hear it." He waved a hand impatiently. "Shall we get on with it?"
"Just like that? You aren't going to demand to know what my plans for you are, or make any tedious threats to my person?" Loki seemed disappointed.
"Surprise me." Then he took a step forward. "As for threats, I think you already know how I'll react should you renege on any part of our agreement." The words held the promise of a retribution that would be both ruthless and unforgiving.
"Do you honestly believe you could be of any threat to me?" Loki dismissed Methos' warning with a bark of laughter.
"Do you really want to find out?" he asked softly, leaning in. No. His eyes widened as he felt it. This could not be happening. It took only a few seconds more for Loki to.
"You dare?" Loki snarled. Before Methos could react, the rod in Loki's hand glowed with a blue light and a crackle like compressed lightening, the bolt it ejected hitting Methos square in the chest, throwing him to the ground, paralyzed by pain and the shock to his central nervous system. "We had an agreement, you and I, but now, oh but now, your lady will sleep 'til the last days of this pathetic realm!"
"Didn't know," Methos managed to choke out. Groaning, he tried to get his limbs to work. "I swear to you." This was a nightmare. He didn't know who the Immortal was for certain, but he'd bet money it was Standish. Stupid, stupid boy!
"Then you won't mind if they die, will you?" Loki raised the rod, the crackle now much more powerful than before, pointing it at Methos' SUV.
"No!" Methos pulled together every ounce of will to overcome the paralysis, throwing himself against Loki's legs. It was enough to throw him off balance, the bolt of energy grazing the front bumper. Not enough to destroy the vehicle as Loki planned, but enough to hurl it twenty feet into the air.
The sound as it crashed to the ground made Methos' ears ring. It bounced, the rear door flying open, two figures tumbling out. Methos stumbled towards them, making it there a few moments behind Loki as they scrambled to their feet. Not Standish, but the last person he had expected. "MacLeod! What the hell are you doing here?" he demanded. "Barton—" he nodded towards the SHIELD agent "—I get, but not you."
Duncan shook his head. "Couldn't let you do this alone, Methos."
"Yes, you could! You promised me you'd take care of her!"
"Charlotte has Ezra, Tanner, Stark – and she'd kick my ass if she ever found out I didn't have your back, and you know it!"
"Man has a point," Barton opined, a little out of breath, but not looking the least bit worried that Loki would kill him as soon as look at him.
"And this was your oh so brilliant plan?" Methos waved at the wreck of his SUV behind them. "Hide in the trunk with a dead Immortal?"
Barton and Mac exchanged an embarrassed glance. "It sounded good at the time," Barton protested.
"The compound that killed me wore off a little faster than we anticipated," Mac admitted ruefully.
"Oh, that's just perfect, isn't it?" Methos snapped, before turning to Loki. "Please don't punish Charlotte over this; I've done my best to keep my part of the deal. Is it my fault I have friends without an ounce of sense?" He pointed an accusing finger at Barton and Mac.
"I find that I believe you. And you misjudge me, ancient one; my intention has only ever been to protect your dear lady." Loki looked pleased with himself. "She seemed so distressed at the prospect of once more being an experimental subject, that I, as a gentleman, could do nothing less than shield her from this very necessary unpleasantness."
Methos wanted to rip the smug expression off Loki's face, but restrained the impulse with an iron will. "I ask you to extend your consideration to my friends. Agent Barton is susceptible to peer pressure, and MacLeod just can't help himself; he was brought up that way."
Loki looked at the Highlander sourly. "He reminds me of Thor – I don't think I like him." Then he turned his attention to Agent Barton. "This one, I suppose, was following orders. And being human, one can't expect much."
Barton rolled his eyes, and Mac looked as if he'd like to teach Loki a few manners, but both men held their peace. Methos nodded. "They mean well."
Loki considered for a moment. "Very well, I am nothing if not merciful in my dealings with lesser beings. Your Immortal friend may prove useful, and as for the human, you will require a servant whilst in my care."
"Just call me Jeeves," Barton muttered. Next to him, Mac snickered.
Loki looked at him quizzically. "As you wish."
Methos couldn't help himself, laughing, as the ridiculousness of the situation, coupled with the trauma of the last days, merged. If he got out of this alive, he'd never claim his life was boring ever again.
The warmth of fire pushed away the cold, the scent of smoke, mingling with that of damp fur tickled at her nose, and the pop and crackle of burning wood stirred fragmented memories. But it was the gentle hand brushing back her hair, the soft words whispered at her ear, which drew her up from that dark well she had thought to be forever trapped. Then his lips brushed hers, the snow and the wailing of the wind that haunted her dreams, falling back at the touch. Eyes opening, her breath caught at the sight of the face that looked down upon her. His gaze held reassurance and warmth, and for the first time she could remember, she felt safe.
Reaching up, she touched her cheek, pondering her reflection in the looking glass. There was no familiarity there, nothing that brought any memory to the fore. He stood behind her, his hand coming to rest against hers, his thumb stroking her face. Leaning in, he said, "All will be well. Your memories will return, I swear to you." He put a hand at her waist, coming closer. "I blame myself for this relapse. You were improving, and thinking it safe, I left you alone for a short time. I returned to find you gone." His brilliant blue eyes caught hers in the mirror, and she shivered a little. "My heart froze, realizing you were lost in the blizzard."
Drawing away, she nodded, turning to look out the window at the snow that still fell. The man had explained that some accident had befallen her, leaving her with no memory of her past, or even who she was. He seemed to care for her, and had promised to answer her questions, though not right away, and not all at once. He was worried that too much information too soon would hamper her recovery. "My only memories are of that—" she waved a hand towards the window "—of cold and despair. And there was the wind; my only companion."
"It will not always be so," he promised, standing next to her.
"I do not even know my own name."
Placing a hand on her shoulder, he said, "You are called Charlotte. And I am Loki, your husband—" she looked up at him, and his smile seemed to hold a secret "— and your King."
Sighing, Nick took Charlotte's hand. He had made a point of checking in at least once a day, talking to his old friend, reminiscing about their time together in the SSR, believing that somewhere, wherever she was, she might be able to hear him. He looked up at the beep, the lines on the monitors above Charlotte's hospital bed momentarily spiking, before settling back to the same pattern they'd maintained since she'd been brought in. Nick felt hope rise just as briefly, before crashing back down. Nothing had changed.
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