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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? I'm using what happened in the tag of Thor for my jumping off point - Loki has spent some time spying on various SHIELD members, coming across some useful nuggets of intel to use against our heroes.
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.
Methos threw his arms over his eyes, protecting them from explosion of light. It dissipated, and slowly, he opened them, lowering his arms. He was back in the same place he'd encountered Loki when back on the Helicarrier; a realm of ice and darkness. Looking around, he realized he was alone – Barton and MacLeod were nowhere to be seen. Ahead, was a massive construct that looked like a megalithic circle carved from ice, and from somewhere in its depths, a light gleamed, its rays reflecting off the ice monoliths. He walked towards it.
Entering the circle, he stopped dead in his tracks at the sight before him. In the center of the circle was an altar, carved in one piece from black quartz, its surface sucking in the light that danced around the circle; a light seeming to have no source. But it wasn't the altar that held him temporarily paralyzed; it was the body that lay upon it. Shaking his head in denial, he approached. "It can't be," he whispered to himself. "Charlotte is on Earth, lying in a hospital room." This had to be another one of Loki's tricks. He reached out a hand, only to encounter an invisible shield.
"What are you playing at, Loki?" Methos demanded.
His question was met by laughter. "She's quite lovely, is she not?" Loki asked from the other side of the altar. "Skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony; that is how it goes, isn't it?"
Stupid! Methos berated himself for having overlooked the obvious. The poison, Loki had called it Svefn af Snærr, the Snow Sleep. He'd said it was something ancient.
"The mortals of Midgard rationalize the power of their Gods through nursery tales, and stories told round the fire when the fury of winter beats at their doors," Loki said conversationally. "But you know that far better than I, don't you, Methos? Death, the Four Horsemen, the hoof beats of the Apocalypse, all stuff of ancient tales; I am but a youthful amateur compared to you."
"This isn't a fairy tale, Loki!" He looked down at Charlotte, as still as death, her black hair fanned out over the white fur she was laying upon, clad all in white, the dress in a medieval Norse style, and a silver circlet of stylized swans upon her head. He could not feel her Immortal presence, and fought back the whispers telling him she was truly dead.
"Is it not? Long ago, they forgot the truth, Methos. But soon, I shall remind them."
"And what of Charlotte; how does her story end?" Methos demanded.
"Why, with a kiss from her prince, breaking the spell and returning her to life, of course. Surely you're familiar with the tale." He was now standing next to Methos. "But first, we have a task yet to complete."
Loki had motioned with his spear, and it had seemed to Methos as if space itself twisted. Then, the presence of another Immortal rang out, and as if from nowhere, Dr. Vogt appeared, standing next to Loki.
"The end is near, Herr Doctor," Loki told him. "Now, for the final step."
The man's eyes brightened, a hungry look on his face, one Methos recognized all too well. The prize for the former HYDRA physician was to be Methos' Quickening; there was nothing else Loki could grant him.
"I am ready," Vogt said.
Loki looked slyly at Methos, before saying, "Yes, I am sure you are."
There was an expression of absolute shock on Vogt's face just before his decapitated head fell from his shoulders. Methos was sure there was a similar look on his face as well. Loki had used the curved blade of his spear like a sword, severing Vogt's head in one smooth motion.
"I promised the Other I would return you, but he never specified in how many pieces," Loki practically spat at the corpse.
The energy of Vogt's Quickening gathered over them and Loki threw his face to the heavens. "And now, the finale," he shouted over the sound of the nearing storm, holding up the spear, the blue orb set in it pulsing like a heartbeat.
The Quickening slammed into Methos, throwing him to his knees, but he wasn't alone. Somehow, Loki was there, using the power to twine their thoughts, their very being. The Quickening seemed to be coursing through the orb and then through Loki, before entering Methos. He tried to resist Loki, but was unable to ward him off entirely. The orb pulsed stronger and stronger till it seemed as if all around them was an ocean of blue fire.
Then it was over, and Methos struggled to his feet, Loki exultant. He didn't know what had just happened, but the possibilities both terrified and enticed him. Loki had manipulated the power of the Quickening, controlled it. Such a thing had never occurred to Methos, and now that it had…. He shook his head; thoughts for another time, when this was over and Charlotte safe from the machinations of Loki.
Loki whirled, thrusting the spear into the sky, an energy bolt shooting into the star encrusted firmament. "It begins!"
"No! It ends! It ends now. I've done as you asked. Release us, cure her." Methos pointed to Charlotte. "You gave me your word," he reminded Loki.
A cheerful grin settled on Loki's lips as he came to stand next to Charlotte. "True, I did. But we are not quite done here, ancient one. You see, I've come to appreciate your company, your wisdom. There will be a place for you in my court when I rule Midgard. I will have need for men such as you in a population of mortal sheep."
Methos couldn't hold back the snort of disbelief. "Serve you? You are insane!"
Loki only laughed softly, his eyes holding a secret. "Come now, Methos – we both know you always go with the winner."
His breath caught in his throat; sure the choice of words was no coincidence.
Loki pointed to Charlotte. "She knows about your past, but she has not lived it. I assume you would like to keep it that way?"
Methos swallowed. "What are you saying?"
Waving a negligent hand at the spear, he replied, "The Quickening was illuminating. The transfer of power, of knowledge, was not one sided. What I now know about you, Methos…." He quirked a brow. "Let us just say it's rather comprehensive." Placing the point of the spear against Charlotte's heart, Loki looked almost regretful. "I can remake her, ancient one. Give her your memories, let her feel, see, everything. The death, the blood, the screams of your victims, their faces as you took what you wanted from their bodies." Leaning over the altar, his eyes captured Methos'. "But I am not without compassion—promise me your allegiance when I rule, and I shall spare your lady love."
"Done." Methos didn't even hesitate. He would deal with the ramifications if and when they came.
"A wise decision." Loki's eyes hardened. "But be warned, Methos—should you break your vow, the woman shall be forfeit. And there will be no power in the Nine Realms able to stop me from taking what is mine."
"I understand," Methos replied tonelessly, swearing to himself that Loki would never rule the Earth, no matter the price.
Loki seemed pleased. "I think you do."
"Fine, then get on with it! Give Charlotte the antidote," he demanded. "Return us to Earth."
Tapping his chin with a finger, Loki said, "Antidote? Don't you remember, Methos? The fair maid is awakened with a kiss from her prince." He pointed to himself. "And since I am the only prince here…." Leaning down, he pressed his lips against Charlotte's.
Charlotte looked down at the roaring cataract, a torrent that fell off the edge of the world. No matter how many times she came here, looking at the falls, she was both delighted and awestruck. "Surely there can be no more beautiful place than Asgard," she said softly.
"In your company, I can only believe you are correct, my love," Loki replied, putting his arm around her.
"Truly, Loki, how can you not be enchanted by your world?" She turned to look up at him.
Smiling, he stroked her hair. "No enchantment of Asgard can compare to you, beloved."
She shook her head, eyes twinkling. "Flatterer."
He seemed suddenly serious, searching her eyes, and her breath caught at the intensity of his gaze.
Loki…," she began, a feeling of unease crawling up her spine.
"All is well," he assured her. "One day soon, we shall be together in this place. We have destiny within our reach."
Then he kissed her, and warmth blossomed, where before she had been cold.
There were voices, beeps, and the sounds of people moving to and fro. A voice called her name, "Charlotte, can you hear me? You need to wake up now. A lot of people are counting on it." A hand squeezed hers.
Wake up? Had she been sleeping?
"Come on, Charlotte, don't do this to me. You have to wake up now." The voice again – it was very insistent. And annoying. Grimacing, she tried to pull her hand away, but the grip was unbreakable.
Then she heard another voice, the one from her dreams. Dreams? Maybe she had been sleeping. It was very confusing. 'Wake now, my Queen.'
"All right," she whispered, trying to remember how to open her eyes. Finally pulling them open, she quickly shut them again, the light too bright to bear.
"Turn down the lights," the unknown voice ordered. No, not unknown….his name was there, within reach. The voice made her feel safe.
"Nicholas?" She wasn't sure she'd said it out loud.
Apparently, she had. "Charlotte! Yes, it's me. Can you open your eyes for me? The doctors need to check you over."
Doctors? Why would she need a doctor? That was ridiculous. But she tried to open her eyes again, for Nicholas. He sounded so concerned. Peering up at the face of her old friend, she said, "Don't need a doctor." Her voice was raspy, like she hadn't used it for a while.
Nick brushed her cheek with his fingertips. "Humour me, okay?" The smile on his face looked drawn and tired, and she wondered what was wrong.
Nodding, she asked, "Where's Methos?"
"He's out trying to find an antidote – for you." Before she could ask, he added, "You were poisoned, Charlotte. I know it's hard to believe, and I'll explain everything later. But for now, let the doctors look you over."
Methos watched impotently as Loki kissed Charlotte. He couldn't remember the last time he'd felt quite this helpless, and it ticked him off. His only hope was that Loki was telling the truth, that Charlotte would awake from the hold the poison had on her.
Then Loki straightened, a haughty expression in his face, one possessive hand lying over her heart. "'Til we meet again, ancient one."
God, he was getting tired of this! Once more, he was grasped by the gut wrenching pull of space twisting around him. But this time, when it stopped, he was finally home. The clicks of a dozen weapons sounded as he gathered his wits.
"Late again," Clint Barton groused, a half smile tugging at his lips as he lowered his bow.
"I'm a busy guy," Methos shot back, clapping his friend on the shoulder. Turning serious, he said, "Glad to see you here. Mac," he nodded at the other Immortal, who had joined them.
"You missed us? I'm touched, Doc." Clint was smiling outright now.
"Hey, you're my number one patient! I'd go out of business without you!"
"Really warms my heart, how much you care."
Duncan smiled at the banter between the two men. Then he said, "It's been two days since we saw you last."
Methos raised an eyebrow. "It was only a few hours, or so it seemed."
"We got sent back here to the warehouse more than two days ago," Clint explained. "Found the cavalry already here." He pointed to the gathering of armed SHIELD agents with his chin.
Agent Romanov joined them, and Clint grinned. "Tasha thought she'd finally got rid of me."
She just shook her head, signing off the comm she'd been speaking into, what might be termed a fond look in her eyes for her partner. "Ready to go, Doctor? There's someone back at base who's missing you."
Methos grabbed Tasha's shoulders. "Charlotte…?"
Now there was an outright smile on her lips. "She's awake."
Charlotte stood on the deck of the Helicarrier, looking down at the ocean rushing by, breathing in the salt air. It calmed her, as it always did, the sea. "He's all right?" she asked the man next to her, for what was probably the sixth time.
"He's fine," Nick Fury assured her once more. "Promise."
She just nodded, feeling her strength returning. Once the poison was gone, her natural healing abilities had kicked in. It had only been a few hours, but she felt almost herself; physically, at least. Mentally, she wanted to beat the hell out of someone with her sword.
"He'll be here soon."
Nodding again, she turned, sweeping her gaze over the vast expanse of the Helicarrier in front of her. "It's amazing."
"You should see her in the air," Nick replied with a touch of smugness.
"Wait, don't tell me; I don't have the clearance to see that," she said dryly.
Nick shrugged, a smile tugging at his lips. "I have connections—I might be able to make it happen."
"Do tell, Director Fury." She punched him lightly on the arm. Then she straightened, looking for something, her face like the sun after a storm on finding it. She ran straight to him, flinging herself into his arms, not caring if it were undignified.
Holding her tight, Methos buried his face into her hair. "Charlotte," he breathed.
Pulling back a little, she put her hands on either side of his face. "My dearest dear." A tear ran down her face. "Long I sought you in the dark."
"I will always find you, my word to you."
Nodding, she reached up, kissing him, whispering against his lips, "My Guardian Angel."
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