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.
Loki led her to the first room she remembered waking in, the one that held the full length looking glass. "When first you saw this, you told me it was the first time you believed in magic." His fingers twined gently into her hair. "Such a simple thing, and yet, you were enchanted, saying it was if the faerie tales of old had been made real."
Charlotte looked into the glass at their reflection, almost startled at the gentle, faraway look on Loki's face. She allowed herself to lean against him as he wrapped an arm across her waist. A smile tugged at his lips, and he kissed the top of her head, the arm around her squeezing reassuringly.
"Perhaps you can be enchanted again" She looked up at him in question. "Look into the mirror, my queen," he commanded softly.
Doing as he bid, she looked once more into the glass, but this time, it was not their image she saw.
There was a blur of green, which swiftly coalesced into a vista of green trees and rushing waters, the tall grass a carpet of wildflowers that held all the colours of the rainbow. It was beautiful. In the distance was a figure on a horse. The figure grew closer, and she realized that it was her.
She didn't have to ask, as Loki answered her unspoken question. "This was what I consider our first meeting, my love. Oh, we had a passing acquaintance in years past, but I did not really know you till this moment. I had recently been made King, and had decreed that we reach out to our Midgardian brothers and sisters. You were part of a delegation, sent to treat with Asgard."
The image in the mirror drew closer. She had dismounted, whirling in place amongst the flowers, her long blue skirt billowing out around her, unaware that she was being observed, Loki having ridden into view of her. He rode closer, but her attention seemed to be fixed on the horizon, the glory of the nebula sitting low in the sky, entrancing her. She finally realized she was no longer alone, whirling, a hand on her sword hilt, to see Loki before her. With no hesitation, she sank into a deep curtsey.
The Loki in the mirror held out a hand, raising her to her feet. Then, bending down, he plucked a flower from the grass, tucking it into her hair.
"I could not stop looking at you," he said. "Such joy, such delight in my world. It was if I saw my home for the first time through your eyes."
"Then what happened?" she asked.
The mirror blurred, before revealing a new image. The two of them stood on a balcony, overlooking a golden city, arms around one another.
"You agreed to stay as a liaison between our two worlds. I had hope that your staying was to be with me, and not for duty alone."
"And was it so?"
"It was," he whispered at her ear.
"More than a hundred of your Earth years." He released his hold, coming to stand next to her. "I believe it destiny that you and I came together at that time, the Nine Realms in peril, as our enemies grew ever stronger."
"I do not understand."
Loki pointed to the mirror. "That is our hope; the child…our child."
His words swirled around her as she looked. A girl, maybe four years old, was sitting in the grass under a tree, laughing in delight as a small red bird alighted upon her finger. Charlotte reached out, a pain in her heart.
"Do not touch the mirror," his voice said from somewhere far away. "You will break the spell."
She pressed her fists against her lips, as tears welled up. How could she not remember her own daughter?
"Mother says she has our eyes and hair, but your mouth and my chin." He kissed her cheek. "I, however, believe she looks exactly like you."
"No." Her voice cracked. Not possible. "Immortals cannot have children," she stated numbly. Charlotte knew not from where the knowledge came, or the certainty with which she knew it to be true.
"Shhhh." He brushed a tear from her face with a fingertip. "Do not weep, Charlotte. It is true that your kind cannot have children…with one another."
She looked at him sharply. "What do you mean?"
"A child from the union of our two peoples is rare, it is true, but such a child is a vessel for a power far beyond yours and mine; a power capable of saving the Nine Realms."
Turning once more to the mirror, she asked, "May I see her?"
"Soon, my queen; all in its time."
The child looked up, as if seeing someone, a huge smile on her lips as she ran towards them. Then, a large man, with long golden hair, scooped her up in his arms, twirling her around till she was breathless with laughter.
"Thor is a doting uncle and her Protector till she is grown," Loki told her.
She just nodded, unable to look away from the mirror. "What is her name?"
"She is called Verthandi."
The heavy door to their cell groaned and squealed as it opened, revealing nothing but darkness on the other side. Looking at one another, the three men stood, cautiously approaching the opening. As they peered out, the light in the cell went out, leaving them in total blackness.
"What game are you playing at this time?" Methos muttered. A hand on his shoulder pushed him to the left.
"Look," Barton said. "A light."
Barton was right; in the distance was a light, bobbing like a lantern. "Shall we?"
"Do we have a choice?" Duncan asked.
Methos shrugged. "We haven't had a choice since he poisoned Charlotte."
"Let's go," Barton said, beginning to walk.
As they walked, the flagstones of the hall became a dirt path, and that path was soon covered in snow. Somewhere, somehow, they now found themselves outdoors. The light they were following blinked out, leaving them once more in total dark. No, not total, Methos realized, as his eyes began to adjust. In the sky, he could see some stars, though most were covered by cloud. Above them, trees towered, their outline black against the horizon.
"Now what?" Duncan asked. "Wait, the light's back!"
And so it began. They'd follow the light, only for it to go out, being replaced by one further away, each one leading them deeper into the woods. At some point, it had begun to snow, and the temperature had dropped precipitously. None of them were dressed for this sort of weather, and it wouldn't be long till hypothermia set in. But the consequences for the mortal would be final if they didn't find shelter soon.
Duncan muttered something in Gaelic, before saying in English, "We're being pixie-led."
A few days ago, Methos would have laughed at such a fanciful notion, but now, he wasn't so sure Mac was wrong.
"Pixie-led?" Barton queried through chattering teeth. He wasn't walking so much anymore as he was shuffling though the deepening snow.
"Will-o'-the-wisp," Methos explained.
"I'd say you were crazy, but…." Barton shrugged.
"Yeah." Methos looked sharply at the bobbing light. "Does it seem we're actually catching up this time?" he asked, quickening his pace.
"Yes," the other two men said, using what little reserves they had left to gain on the light.
The light flared before them, blinding in its brilliance, and from all around, they could hear the sound of giggling, like the chiming of small bells.
Once more, she was alone. Charlotte never knew where Loki went; only that she was certain he was not anywhere to be found in the hunting lodge. She stood in front of the mirror, trying to will it to show her something other than her own reflection. Biting her lower lip, she reached out a hand, remembering Loki telling her not to touch it. Squaring her shoulders, she defiantly placed her palm against the glass. It felt warm, comforting, and she sighed.
"What is it you wish to see?" a voice whispered at her ear. She gasped, but the warmth from the mirror soothed her fear. "Your bidding I shall obey." No, not at her ear, the voice was in her head.
What I have forgotten, she replied silently.
"As you wish."
The glass of the mirror turned icy cold, and she pulled her hand away, but now, the image there was not a reflection. Images flashed by so quickly, she could barely make one out before a dozen more had passed. The flash of a sword…a pool of blood on terracotta tiles…a ship with black sails…a veil being lifted from her face as a man with warm dark eyes smiled down at her…a grave and overwhelming grief. "Jack," she whispered. Still, the images swept by: there were children, horses, a young man whose smile flashed with gold, another man dressed in black with pale eyes who kissed her in a stable. The pictures from her past now moved so quickly that it was painful, but she did not look away. A ginger haired man with a gentle face walked with her down a line of hospital beds, a war, the sound of guns deafening. Then the mirror blurred, like looking at a pool of water.
"Do you wish to see more?" the voice asked.
She just nodded, and the images began again. It was different this time, this time, she could see herself. She was dancing, her partner dark haired and dark eyed. This, she felt as if she could almost touch, closer, more recent. "Tony." Then the mirror flashed, and she was holding a woman in her arms, they were both weeping. Don't give up hope, Pepper, we'll find him. Another flash, a man dressed in black with an eye patch. It's called the Avengers Initiative. She needed to remember this! Now she was sitting on a bench, holding the hand of a lean, tall man. Are you sure about this, Methos? Joining SHIELD? It seems so…." The man, Methos, he laughed. So not me? I am sure, Charlotte. I think I'm needed.
Charlotte sank to her knees. "Methos," she whispered, remembering. Not just what she'd been shown, but her own memories. They cascaded over her, full of joy, grief, the face of everyone she had ever loved; all of them there before her. And now, finally, she remembered him. Loki. The name hissed at her, and fury welled up. There was no child, another trick; a crueler one than he could know. The image of her daughter that never was would be one forever seared into her memory.
"I underestimated you; foolish of me," the object of her fury said from behind her. "I did not think you capable of controlling the mirror."
His hand appeared, reaching down. She took it, letting him draw her to her feet, controlling her emotions. "What is it you want of me?" she demanded, turning to face him. "Where are we?"
"What I desire, you are incapable of grasping. Yet." He pulled her sharply towards him, his grip painfully tight. "But soon, little Immortal, when I rule your pathetic realm, then my plans for you will be made apparent. As for where we are—" he smiled unpleasantly "—a dreamscape, a prison…your fate, should you defy me."
Her face was white with rage. "Do you honestly believe I would ever do your will?"
Laughing, he shook his head. "But you have, you shall; do you think time a straight line? Foolish child; your people live in ignorance of their power, what they are capable of. But that lesson is for another time. Now—" he drew closer, his lips hovering so close, she could feel his breath upon her skin "—sleep, my queen, till I awaken you once more."
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