Warnings/Notes: Crossover/AU. Methos/OC, Clint Barton/Natasha Romanov implied, Methos & Duncan. This is set before The Avengers, and contains no spoilers for the movie.
Character(s): Methos, Loki, Nick Fury, Duncan MacLeod, Clint Barton, Phil Coulson, Natasha Romanov, Charlotte Sparrow
Summary: Methos doesn't believe in fairy tales – or gods.
Standing in a high place, Methos took a deep breath, looking up at the night sky, the sound of the ocean has it buffeted the hull of the hellicarrier rising up to meet the wail of the wind. When had his life gotten so damned complicated? He'd never planned this, any of it. Fury had lured him in with promises of knowledge, and that had always been his weakness. Being the selected target of a demi-god was not something he could have ever anticipated. And yet, despite the situation he found himself in, he was forced to admit that there was also a sense of exhilaration that came along with an experience that was totally unique.
Closing his eyes, he set his mind free, centering himself, before he must once more be in the world. But when he opened them, the floor was gone—Earth was gone. A dim landscape, with nothing but ice as far as the eye could see. From behind him, Loki said, "Welcome to my birthright." The acid bitterness in those words was as black as the sky above them.
Methos turned towards his nemesis. Loki was sitting on a throne carved of ice, the ever present scepter in his hand. Drawing his coat tighter around himself, Methos walked towards him. "What did you do to her?"
"I think the question should be: what will I do to her?" His smile was all teeth. "I think you would do whatever I bid to keep her safe from me. Would you not?"
Exhaling, Methos stretched out his fingers, aching to feel the hilt of his sword in his hand. "You know I would."
Loki looked smug. "I am pleased we understand one another. As to what I did to your lover; that was quite diverting. I delved deep into the arts of the Frost Giants, rediscovering that which had been long lost. A poison, Svefn af Snærr, the Snow Sleep. It quite exceeded my expectations."
"So I do what you want, you give me the antidote."
Laughing softly, he replied, "In a manner of speaking."
Methos practically ran to Fury's office after Loki had released him from wherever they had been. Pushing open the door, he found Phil Coulson with the SHIELD director. "I've just spoken to Loki."
Coulson and Fury exchanged a look. "Sit down, Doctor," Fury told him.
Nodding, he sank into a black leather chair, and began to speak, telling them what had happened.
"So there is no antidote," Fury stated.
Methos shook his head. "The cure, like the poison, is tied to the essence of its maker, or so Loki told me."
"Assuming Loki will come through with a cure," Coulson said sourly
Methos shook his head. "No, I refuse to believe that! He has to if he wants me to cooperate. I need to know that Charlotte will be well when all this is over before I will do anything he wants."
"And you think he'll keep his word?" Fury asked.
"I think so, as long as I avoid any loopholes." Methos ran his hand through his hair wearily. "He'll be contacting me soon."
"He's just been waiting until you knew there were no options left," Coulson said
Nodding, Methos got out of the chair, standing up. "Well then, gentlemen, it's time I made myself available."
After Methos left, Coulson looked at his boss. "So that's the plan? He wanders the streets waiting for Loki to make contact?
"More or less." A thoughtful expression settled over his face. "I sure as hell would like to know just what Loki finds so fascinating about Adamson. If all he wanted was an Immortal to play with, he could have snatched a random one with none the wiser. But he goes to all this trouble to get the good doctor. Why?"
"It might not just be about Adamson," Coulson offered.
"What do you mean?" Fury asked.
"He knows a lot about us, sir. Knows a lot about you. Maybe Adamson is just the door prize, and targeting Miss Sparrow is aimed at you. Playing on your past together in the SSR – she was a part of your team, someone you have a bond with, emotional ties to. It would keep you off balance, distracted." Fury raised an eyebrow at that. Coulson cleared his throat. "Sir."
"Killing two birds with one stone? It's definitely convoluted enough for the bastard." Then he shook his head. "Get Barton in here."
"Not good news then," Duncan MacLeod said as Methos entered Charlotte's room.
"No." He looked at Charlotte, sighing tiredly. Then he turned to Duncan. "I'm glad you're here," he said, squeezing Duncan's shoulder gratefully. He'd got the clearance for the Highlander to be here not long after Charlotte had been brought in.
"I wouldn't be anywhere else, you know that." Duncan reached up, putting his hand over Methos' reassuringly.
"Yeah, I do." Then he asked, "Where's Ezra?" The younger Immortal had flown in from China as soon as he'd been informed of what had happened, and hadn't left her side since he'd arrived. Ezra hadn't needed Methos to gain access; he, along with Charlotte, and his late wife, Molly Tanner, had served with Nick Fury during World War Two. When it been time for the two Immortals to move on, Fury had been sure that they had ironclad new identities. Fury meant it when he said SHIELD looked out for its own.
"I made him to go get something to eat." Duncan stood up. "He needed a break."
"You're more convincing than I am, apparently."
Duncan chuckled. "I can't take all the credit; Agent Romanov helped to persuade him. She's one very determined woman, and a little scary too."
Methos cracked a smile at that, before turning serious once more. "I have to go, Mac, play out this hand so I can get an antidote for the poison. I need you to take care of Charlotte for me if anything happens…I don't come back… I need to know you'll watch out for her." He was assuming nothing when it came to Loki. What worried him was that the God of Mischief reminded him all too much of himself when he's been not much younger—full of anger at the universe, raging at the cosmos, demanding retribution for injuries both imagined and very real.
"I will." He nodded sharply. "You don't need to worry; I'll watch over her till you come back." There was no doubt in his voice that his friend would return, and it gave Methos a sense of certainty he hadn't felt since Charlotte had fallen at his feet on a bed of rose petals.
Walking to the bed, Methos leaned down, kissing Charlotte's cold lips. "I will do whatever it takes to bring you back, dearest Charlotte. If you can hear me, wherever it might be that your spirit wanders, remember our love, and know that I always do."
The wind moaned, as if in grief, stripping all hope from any that might hear its desperate wail. The cloaked woman, pressing on through the drifting snow, was the only being in the forest to hear; neither fox nor squirrel stirred under the snow laden boughs. Wrapping her arms around herself, trying to ward off the sense of doom that the wind brought with it, she halted. She had walked and walked, though for how long, she did not know. The sky neither lightened nor darkened; all was perpetual gloom. Excruciating cold had settled deep into her bones, her blood, leeching away the will to carry on. Hopeless. Closing her eyes, she sank down into the snow, her grey cloak billowing around her like a storm cloud as it settled around her. She would let the wind carry the news of her death to whomever there might be that had known her. As she fell into unconsciousness, words of comfort drifted past her, and her last thought was that someone had loved her, once upon a time.
Arms lifted her, a beautiful voice whispering reassurance at her ear. She tried to open her eyes, but the voice said no, told her to sleep, that he would take care of her now that he had found her again. It was if she had no will of her own, and obeying the soft command, she fell down into a dreamless sleep.
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