I shut the door to the room, trusting Thor to be able to keep the peace while I escaped to take a breather. I couldn’t listen to anymore. Not right now. If I heard one more word about ‘prophecy’ I would probably lose it. I needed to take a break.
I walked a few steps down the hall, intending to take a long walk when the door burst open. Loki came tearing out after me, with Thor restraining Tyr and shouting after Loki. I sighed and rolled my eyes. So much for that plan.
Because I was walking Loki caught up to me fairly quickly. “Please Noelle. Please let me speak with you and explain-”
“Just give me a few minutes to process this.” I didn’t even look at him. I just needed to be left alone.
“No amount of alone time or thinking will help you grasp this. I have had this knowledge for months and it has never gotten any easier.” He grabbed my arm. “Just come back and speak with us.”
“I told you I would. When I’m ready.” I rolled my eyes when Loki continued to follow me. “Alone please.” We turned a corner and Loki quickly sped ahead of me, just enough to block my path.
“You want to be alone?” He tried to sound serious, but the hurt seeped through his voice. “You don’t want to walk with me?”
“Not especially.” I was still angry at Loki and I couldn’t see us walking amiably together at the moment.
I watched Loki’s face morph from sad to angry. “I know you are angry with me but I don’t like this either. I understand how you feel better than anyone else.” I huffed, trying to get around him, but he just stuck his arm out and pulled me back.
I decided to finally give in and I turned around to return to the room. There was no point in fighting with Loki. He really wanted me to turn around and talk with them. I must have surprised him by not arguing with him, because he just stood there for a bit before following me.
Thor and Tyr stopped struggling and arguing to watch me walk back into the room and sit myself down on my chair. I crossed my legs and waited for the three men to return, Thor looking slightly confused at my sudden reappearance and Tyr looking pleased. When Loki shut the door and sat down again Tyr got back to business.
“Now that you are both informed of this prophecy, things will be much easier.” Thor opened his mouth to say something but was quickly silenced with a look from Tyr. “Everything is falling in to place. Thanos is scrambling. His plans have been stopped multiple times and he is now getting desperate. He needs to Amaranthe.”
“What does he need to Amaranth for?” I asked.
“The Amaranth is able to replicate any of the gems of power. It is the ultimate defense and weapon. In Thanos’ hands the universe would be at his will. But in your hands-” he glanced at Loki and I. “the universe will survive Thanos. He needs to be destroyed once and for all.”
“And how are we supposed to do that? Thanos isn’t going to lay down and let us destroy him. How do you expect us to ‘destroy’ him if he’s this all powerful being?”
“With the Amaranthe of course.” I wanted to pull my hair out at how simple he made this seem.
“How?” He wasn’t really getting my point.
“We lead him to us.” Before Loki or I could protest how stupid of an idea this way, Thor was up and shouting.
“We are not leading him here! I will not endanger our people for this!” I had never seen Thor so scary looking, even in battle. “My father has already paid for this prophecy with his life. I will not have millions of Asgardians caught in the line of fire because you cannot think of a better plan!”
“I was not suggesting we lead him here.”
“It’s still a terrible idea.” I put in. Everyone stared at me. I had never been so blunt or sounded so cold with my father. But as I was staring at the man I so resembled, I didn’t recognise him. I didn’t see my loving father, but a man who had a job to do, no matter who got hurt or what it cost. It made me wonder if he even saw me as his child and not a tool. “We aren’t prepared. It will take time to plan this, find people who are willing to risk their lives for our cause, find a place to hold this showdown away from people-”
“It’s a lot of negotiating and deal making, in short.” Loki finished for me. “Why are you telling me now that this was your plan? I thought you had this figured out.”
“Because if I had told you before you would not have stayed with Groa. You would have done something reckless. It doesn’t matter that you were not truly behind the attacks in Midgard and the near destruction of Jotunheim. That is what people around the realms believe. I couldn’t have you running around in a panic.”
Loki silently glared at Tyr. “If you were in our position, would you not do the same?”
He smiled back. “I was in your position centuries ago. I’ve only gotten used to this reality quite recently. I know this is hard for you to comprehend and overwhelming. But it must be done. This is your destiny. It’s the reason you were born, the reason you were brought together.”
“Did you even love my mother?” I asked him. I wanted to believe he did. I had believed he had for years. But hearing about this whole prophecy thing, it made me wonder.
“I did, but that’s beside the point. We need to focus on the task at hand.”
“You can’t just throw this on us and ask us to stay focused.” I argued back. “What if I don’t want to be a part of this?”
Loki sent me a sympathetic look. “You don’t have a choice. We must do this. It is the reason we were born. It is the reason we were all brought together. There is no other option.”
I stood up. I was too restless to sit down. “Maybe you’ve accepted this as your only purpose, but I haven’t. This sounds way too risky. I get it, the universe hangs in the balance. But you’re asking us for a huge favour. If one of us dies…”
My father looked down into his hands. “If you, my child, die, Loki will have nothing holding him here anymore. He will die too.”
“And if Loki dies?” Thor was the one to ask.
“Then Noelle will continue on in her existence. Her soul is still intact, with both parts living. It is Loki who is dependent on her.” Loki sighed, avoiding my gaze. “I can see you are both weary. We shall meet tomorrow. We must plan our attack soon, before Thanos comes looking here himself.”
I walked out the door, glancing at how troubled Loki looked. As pissed as I was with him, I still loved him. It still bothered me that he was troubled. When I noticed he wasn’t heading to his rooms, I decided to follow him. I wanted to keep an eye on him, make sure he didn’t do anything reckless.
He probably knew I was following him, but he didn’t pick up the pace or slow down. Upstairs, left and right turns, I followed him until we stood in front of the large double doors of the library. His library. This time he waited for me and opened the door to let me in. I hesitated, before deciding to go in.
The library was covered in a film of dust, and I immediately began to brush it off out of habit. It kind of made me sad that no one had really kept it clean while we were gone. But in other ways I was happy. This had been our place. Loki and I had spent hours here together. The fact that no one else came here made it more special and memorable.
“Do you remember when you first attempted magic?” Loki’s voice echoed through the large room as he walked among the shelves, brushing his long fingers over the volumes.
“I do. You had to carry me to your room that night, I was so exhausted.” I smiled, remembering that I fell asleep in his arms.
“I knew from that moment that you would be great. That there was something special about you.” I glanced between the rows to look at him and give him a look.
“If this is some sort of flattery to win me back-”
“It isn’t.” He interrupted. “I was…just remembering. But I knew from the very moment I met you that I was drawn to you. Like a moth to a flame. Did you not feel it?”
“I knew when I first met you that there was something about you that I liked.” Again, I smiled fondly. But the revelations I had received earlier echoed in my mind. “But I don’t want to believe the only reason I loved you was because a prophecy said so. I’d like to think love was unplanned.”
“You don’t like the idea of having no control. Of everything being chosen for you.” I agreed with him. “I know how you feel. I know every evil thing I did was not truly me…but I wish I hadn’t been the tool used in Thanos’ plan.” His grit his teeth at this. “I don’t want to think that when all this is over…you won’t love me anymore. Because it was simply part of a plan.” Loki had snuck up behind me, and I turned away from my dusting to face him. “Do you still love me?”
I closed my eyes, sighing. “I do… but it isn’t the same as before. You died. I started moving on. Its…in different now. But I do love you. I always will.” I confessed. “Now I wonder if I ever even knew you at all. You were under someone else’s control all that time…”
“Will you ever love me again? The way we were before?” Loki grabbed my hands, squeezing gently.
“I don’t know.” I whispered. “I’m not sure if I can. Like I said, you were under mind control all that time. Do you even know if you actually loved me?”
“Yes. Whether I was of my own conscious or not, I knew I loved you. I loved you so much, they tried to make me forget, to hate you. But I could never hate you. Noelle, you are my soulmate! You were before all of this and you are now!” He brought my hands to his lips and gently kissed them. “I want to spend eternity with you Noelle. I’ve always wanted that. I never want to part from you again.”
“I don’t know if I want that Loki. I just…I need time. This is all so sudden and I…” I couldn’t get the words out.
“Then tell me how I can help. Let me fix this, fix us.” He urged.
“I don’t know Loki. I don’t have the answers. I just need time to…work through this. One day at a time.” I couldn’t jump back into a relationship with him. Not right now.
“Then I will wait. I will wait for when you have answers. I will fix this, Noelle.” I let him kiss my hands once more, before letting them go. As he backed up a bit, I couldn’t help but feel a small spark of hope ignite.
We could never be as we once were. But maybe, just maybe, we could find our happy place again.