Fandoms: Avengers/Marvel Movies, Highlander
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. I can't quite remember what had me interested in researching Snow White, but I did, and came to discover that many cultures have a similar story, and that immediately bred a plot bunny. This is my take on the Snow White folktale with a Loki spin - is he Prince Charming, the Wicked Queen...or both?
Character(s): Methos, Loki, Duncan MacLeod, Clint Barton, Nick Fury, Phil Coulson, Natasha Romanov, Original Characters.
Summary: Methos doesn't believe in fairy tales – or gods.
This was getting old. Methos took a shuddering breath, his body convulsing as life rushed back. He was lying on the platform, this time restrained. Loki was next to him, on one knee, the same crystal as before in his hand. He seemed to be running it over Methos' body like some sort of scanner. The light from within was a darker purple now, nearly black. Methos wondered what it all might mean.
"Welcome back." Loki stood, looking down at his captive.
Exasperated, Methos gritted his teeth, tugging at the restraints. His mood was not enhanced by the amusement in Loki's eyes. "If it's all the same to you, I'd be happier sitting up."
"Believe me when I say that you won't." Loki pressed the point of his spear against Methos' bare chest. "It really is better this way." Methos couldn't contain his scream as a bolt of energy blasted into him.
This time, when he revived, he was not bound, but slumped in a chair, leaning over a table. Memories of burning, nerves being stripped, screams–his screams, assaulted him. Groaning, he pushed himself up onto his arms as he tried to focus his eyes. It seemed as if the room was shifting, the walls fading, and he blinked. Trees? Snow? He blinked again, but this time, when he opened his eyes, the room was the unpleasantly familiar one of before. Hallucinations, that can't be good. He wondered if it was the serum of earlier, or if Loki had scrambled his brain to the point of delirium. Maybe both.
"Once upon a time, there was a great treasure in Odin's vault," Loki's voice said softly from behind him, "the Tesseract. It was said to contain a power capable of remaking the universe itself."
Methos forced himself to pay attention. Was this finally a hint as to why Loki seemed so fascinated with Earth's Immortals? "What happened to it?" he rasped.
"It was lost. Lost to the deepest reaches of the cosmos. Except—" Loki came round, sitting next to Methos, drawing close "—for an echo."
He peered up at his captor. There were lines of strain that hadn't been there before, and Loki's eyes held the dullness of exhaustion. Maybe the god wasn't quite as omnipotent as he'd seemed. "Wait, let me guess," Methos said, hope strengthening his voice. "The Elves made it into a Ring, to rule Middle Earth."
Obviously, the sarcasm was lost on Loki, who seemed nonplussed by Methos' statement. "Yes, actually. But that was something else entirely."
Methos wanted to laugh, god! But it hurt too much. He settled for kneading his temples and trying to feel less like Alice. "Then what?"
"What? Why merely a power which dwells within you and all your kind. Spun from the fires of the universe, lying dormant, awaiting your embrace!" Loki's voice had risen to an almost fanatical note, reinforcing Methos' growing belief that all was not well with Loki.
Burying his head in his arms, Methos made an unintelligible sound. "That's just wonderful – I'm a Duracell."
Charlotte stood outside, wearing no cloak to ward off the bitter cold. Trees, their branches laden with snow, encircled the hunting lodge like silent guards; guards set to hold her here. Why can I not remember? It was hopeless; chasing mist, trying to grasp it in her hand, and failing to, over and over again. Every day like waking to a morning that had no night before.
A hand took her arm in a painful grip, and she couldn't quite hold back the gasp of fear that the sudden appearance of Loki had caused. She looked up at him, shying back at the rage that darkened his face, certain he would strike her. He said no word, and she held herself still as his eyes bored into hers. Then, the rage was gone, and he sighed.
"Why must you continue to defy me?" He let go of her arm, taking her hand in his. "I want only to make you well, keep you from harm."
She looked down at their entwined hands. Where before, his touch had seemed like ice in her veins, now, she felt warmth spread through her. It was like being in the summer sun, not standing in the desolation of winter. "The walls close around me, my memories, who I am, is veiled. The same winter that is all around us, freezes my very soul. Perhaps I thought to find solace here in the cold." Her voice was not much more than a whisper.
"Can you not even bring yourself to gaze upon me?" Loki asked in a voice that held a bitter sadness.
Shaking her head, she looked up at him. He was bowed over her, like a shield, dark locks of hair falling around his face. His eyes were tired, dim, with none of the sparkle they'd held before. She felt a stab of empathy, reaching up to brush his face, pushing his hair back behind one ear. "I am sorry."
"I would that you seek solace from me, not turn to the frozen wastes."
Taking a steadying breath, she asked, "Did I? Before I was as I am now, would I go to you?"
Placing the hand he still held in the crook if his arm, he said, "Let me show you something."
"The Tesseract?" Barton said, sitting up straight on his bench.
They were no longer being held in the cage, their quarters being upgraded to a windowless stone room, the one Kronos had kept his monkeys and vials of the pathogen he'd created in.
Methos shook his head sharply, a warning to Barton. The agent nodded his head in understanding, and then continued, "What is it, and why is Loki interested in it?"
"He claims it's some all-powerful artifact, lost from Asgard." Methos decided he wouldn't be revealing the rest – that Loki also thought what powered the cube was also the basis of an Immortal's power. He didn't trust SHIELD enough to give them that particular bit of knowledge. They didn't need to know that Earth's Immortals had any connection to what lay in the depths of the SHIELD base in New Mexico. "Apparently, my research into the Múspellsheimr is somehow connected – or so he claims."
Behind Barton, Duncan gave Methos a searching look, apparently not believing that Methos had told them everything. He could only hope the Highlander would keep that to himself.
"So what? He thinks you can find it?" Duncan asked.
"I don't know, Mac. Maybe he thinks I have some memory of it, from so long ago, I wouldn't know what it was."
"Just how old are you, Doc?" Barton asked.
"Older than dirt," Duncan replied dryly as Methos just smiled and shrugged.
Series Link On AO3