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Second Chances

Chapter 69

Sigyn had broken the manacle but she wasn’t convinced she hadn’t also broken her wrist in the process. As a result she was currently crying as she made her way to the kitchen to try and find anything she could use firstly as a weapon and secondly as a bandage. The knife was easy to find, she checked a couple that were evidently meant for cooking for weight and sharpness, picking the one that would be easiest to heft left handed. As she found no first aid supplies of any kind she went to the cabinet whoever the fake Loki was had got her dress from. She was more than grateful when she found a leather belt she was able to bind her wrist with, lining it first with a rag. The pain as she drew it as tight as she could was almost blinding, her tears uncontrollable, but she did it all the same. Finally she went to the window nearest the bed, seeing if she could see any movement. She knew going out that one was the least likely, besides the one on the front of the building, simply because of the likelihood of the Anti-Loki coming back to the door. Seeing nothing she went to each of the other windows, checking for any sign of movement and finding none. The window behind the table and chairs looked the most likely. There were two smaller wooden buildings she could seek cover behind before she reached the tree line. She pushed at the locks and they slid out easily, but she didn’t yet open them. She took one last look around the room and her eyes fell on the mirror.
In the dream the real Loki had been trapped in a mirror, but he wasn’t here, she would have seen him by now. But, if there was no mirror, there was no chance of him getting stuck in it. Seven years bad luck was worth it to keep him safe, even if he had been such an ass to her. So, she carefully picked up the chair.
Loki turned as he found himself in a log cabin of some sort, coming to face what looked like a mirror and he sighed, realising where he was. Of course he was inside, looking out, the room held concave edges and as he approached he sensed movement. He sidestepped and saw a chair being hurled at him, badly, and fell back away from it, in time to see Sigyn had been the one throwing it.
‘Sig!’ He managed but it was too late, she didn’t see him and the mirror smashed. The shards fell outward but not to release him, and he could no longer see into the real room from his reflection. ‘Damn.’
Sigyn swore she heard her name. Afraid it might be the other Loki returning she rushed to the unlocked window and climbed carefully onto the remaining chair, clambering outside and dropping down onto her bare feet on grass. It was still dark but she couldn’t do anything about that, there were no portable light sources in the cabin, so she stayed close to the smaller buildings until she could make a break for the trees.
The ground was rough under her feet, broken branches, brambles and damp leaves making her flinch often, but she carried on, not daring to stop.
Loki looked around, trying to work out what to do. He couldn’t disenchant the spell from inside the mirror lest he remained trapped, but perhaps he could move between reflections. He went to the nearest window and pressed both hands against it. Stepping forward with a small nudge of power he felt himself slipping from the room and to the two dimensional surface of the window. He could now see outside, a dark clearing surrounded by trees. All he needed next was another reflection to aim for.
Sigyn was sure she was being followed. Fear had a fierce grip on her and she was terrified of being caught. She was certain her feet were cut to shreds from the pain they caused her, and her wrist continued to ache, throbbing heavily and she had to loosen the belt due to swelling twice. If she wasn’t so concerned with escaping and not getting recaptured she would have worried about having some sort of permanent damage.
The sun began to peek over the horizon, giving a soft light to everything but eerie movement to the shadows which had her jumping at things that weren’t there. She leant heavily on a felled tree, trying to slow her breathing but she knew her heart was hammering too fast to make much of a difference, pain and fear fuelling the adrenaline that kept both so high they threatened to choke her. She rested her rear on the log, the knife beside her, and held her sore wrist to her breast with the other hand, just hoping for a moment of relief. The pain was starting to make her feel queasy and that was not a good thing. She took a moment to examine her feet too, dirty and cut as she had expected, which made them hurt all the more. She wished she hadn’t bothered, and this stupid dress wasn’t helping matters. She really, really hated strapless, let alone being braless entirely despite the corset’s built in support, and it snagged on everything.
She had no idea where she was, or what she was running into, or who from, just that she wanted to get away. She had never found herself in a situation like this, even as Sigyn she always had the rest of the warriors with her; Loki was always by her side; but now she was alone, with depleted power, in pain and no clue where to go. She pushed back tears again, wondering why she even bothered trying her hand at something else. She should have just put up and shut up at Xavier’s. She had a stable job, very little action, friends and a family. Now she had pretty much nothing but a broken heart and a wrist to match.
She growled at herself, for letting her emotions get the better of her in such a desperate situation. ‘Come on, Maia, or Sigyn, either of you. We can do this. We’re going to get home, resume teaching and put all this behind us. Screw Loki, screw The Avengers, screw powers, we don’t need any of this.’ She knew it was untrue but she needed the right motivation and this was the best she was going to get. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, trying to think past it all, concentrate, when she heard her name being yelled.
‘Sigyn! Sigyn, come back!’ It was Loki’s voice but she would have expected him to sound frustrated, she definitely wasn’t ready for the anger that came through in the tone from whoever this was. It did work to spur her on though and she swung her legs over the log then picked up the knife, detangling her dress and carrying on.
She marked the position of the sun as best she could and tried to make sure she kept it in line with whatever she was able, but she only knew the sun rising and setting rules for earth, and as she had no idea where she was she had to assume it might not even be her sun. All she could do was hope for the best and carry on.
As the sun rose there were more reflective surfaces for Loki to utilise; an axe in a log pile, a small window in an outbuilding, even dew on the leaves of the trees, and he was able to make progress, hoping to get as far as he could before the dew began to evaporate. He was wherever Sigyn was and he knew that was on Asgard yet cloaked. If he could get far enough away he might appear in Heimdall’s field of vision, and he would be very grateful of the fact. He was no use to anyone as a reflection.
He could travel quickly through the dew, high in the branches as he could see more that way, even if his view were petite and convex, it still gave him a perspective and wider view, but when he found himself looking down at…himself, he was more than a little surprised, even though he had half expected it. So this was his double that had scared his sweet Sigyn from her dream? If he could reach him now he would have slit his throat, but that could wait. If he was heading this way it was hopefully towards her and as though to prove it the figure below called her name, it echoed around his dewdrop like the memory of his own voice. So, he was on the right path. He redoubled his efforts, travelling faster despite how tiring it was with his reduced powers, darting from side to side to maximise the area he checked, and he didn’t have far to go. He found her on her knees at the edge of a stream, holding her right hand to her chest, her left rested on a large kitchen knife. The closer he drew he realised her shoulders shook as though she were trying not to sob out loud, and as he reached a leaf directly above her he saw her feet were dirty and bloody.
‘Oh, Sig love.’ He murmured and gave a supreme effort to step into the stream itself, appearing just beyond her but moving close enough he could see her eyes closed, tears dripping from them onto the bank. Her wrist was a horrific shade of burgundy with darker shades interspersed, and so very swollen he could only imagine what she had done, a belt cinched around it making him think it may be broken.
‘Sig.’ He said, hoping she would hear him, and she froze, knowing she had heard something, but where from or how close she was unsure, the sound like an echo.
‘Shit.’ She muttered as her hand gripped the knife again.
‘Sig, down here.’ He said again and her eyes darted around first then fell on him in the water, where her own reflection should be. She jumped and slashed out with the knife, disrupting the surface, and Loki’s vision swam for a moment but he tried to talk through it. ‘Sig, love, it’s me, I promise.’ He said but she was apparently trying to push herself to her feet. ‘Sunbeam, stop, it’s me. This is what you needed the enchantment for, I’m in the reflection, the Mirror Realm.’
She leant back on her heels, having not succeeded in rising, and pointed at the stream as it cleared again with the knife. ‘How do I know it’s you?’ She whispered. ‘And not some trick?’
‘I could fit my teeth to the perfect imprints along your spine, if you’d like.’ He shrugged as he came back into focus completely.
‘You arrogant shit!’ She pushed herself up with some effort. ‘Give me one good reason why I should get you out!’
‘Because together we have a better chance of getting away from whoever the Hel that is doing a second rate impersonation of me.’ He explained, then his expression softened. ‘You’re hurt, love, let me help you.’
‘You kicked me out! Or did you forget that?’ She hissed. ‘I was deluded, useless and dismissed, remember?’
‘I…’ He sighed. ‘We do not have time to argue, but if you release me I will aid you and then give you the explanation you deserve.’
‘I am so tempted to tell you to go fuck yourself.’ She swallowed hard, knowing she was going to do it anyway. ‘It would serve you right!’
‘It would, entirely, if I only had the option to fuck myself for the rest of my life. Darcy’s after my balls anyway, so even that might not be an option.’ He said, as she laid the knife by her feet and started murmuring the disenchantment he had taught her. ‘Good girl.’ He said quietly as she went through the spell word for word, pushing a little with her magic, before finally dropping her hand to the water, falling to one knee as she reached for him.
The surface of his reflection shimmered and he pressed his hand against hers, lacing their fingers and pulling himself free, stepping out of the stream as though it were a sidewalk that angled weirdly and he collapsed to his knees beside her, pulling her to him.
‘I am so sorry, beloved, so, so sorry.’
‘Get off me, you bastard!’ She shoved at him but he was far too strong and not letting go. ‘You’re here to help me, not to wheedle your way back into my favour!’
‘Sigyn!’ The other voice came from so much closer behind them and Loki tensed, reaching for the knife but she beat him to it.
‘That’s mine!’ She snapped as he instead got them to their feet.
‘And are you able to wield it, left handed, when you can barely stand?’
She waved the knife at his throat. ‘Fuck off.’
‘Goodness, your tongue can scald.’ He smiled at her. ‘We need to move.’
‘Where the Hel to? It's not like we have a map.’ He led her across the stream, the water relieving yet stinging her feet at the same time, but his arm around her waist took some of the weight from them, helping her along.
‘We are on Asgard, sweet. If we travel far enough in one direction we should reach the edge of whatever magical cloak keeps us from Heimdall’s view, and then we can expect Thor, Sif and The Warriors Three to the rescue.’
‘And in the meantime?’
‘We try and put enough distance between us and him.’
‘Enough distance for what?’
‘For you to see if you can remove this cuff.’
She glared at him. ‘If this is some ruse…’
‘No ruse, sunbeam, we need some sort of protection, and what better way than…’
‘Than to power you. No.’
'I am trying to save you.'
'You're trying to save yourself, as usual.'
'Can we talk less and hurry more?' He suggested. 'You may berate and abuse me once we are safe.'
'Sounds perfect.' She grumbled insincerely.
He helped her on through the trees without another word, refusing to let her go despite her attempts to pull away. The trees began to thin out, the terrain became more rocky, which did nothing for her sore feet, but for Loki this meant a better chance of cover. He stopped them, despite her trying to continue, and looked around.
‘Small direction change, pet.’ He said as he all but lifted her sideways from the direction they had been following. Sigyn didn’t answer, she was quietly seething but she needed him to get out, she just wished him being here didn’t hurt so much. She tried not to watch him as he knocked on several of the giant tree trunks, finally finding one that was hollow.
‘Wait, we’re hiding in a tree?’ She asked as he helped her around the trunk to find the side chewed away by something that must have had large teeth, the gap big enough for them to crawl into easily, and Loki allowed her in first, checking they were not seen before following her.
‘The tree is the perfect place to hide because no one in their right mind would hide in it.’ He whispered as he reached for her ankle to examine her wounds but she drew her legs up to her chest and away from him.
She looked around while a little more memory came back.
‘This is the hole of a giant wolf!’ She hissed. ‘If it comes back…’
‘It’s abandoned, the lichen at the entrance is a sign of that.’ He reminded her. ‘Let me see your wounds, sunbeam.’
She waved the knife at him angrily. ‘Don’t call me that! I will cut you!’
He tried not to smile but couldn’t quite help it. ‘Sorry.’
‘Stop. Smirking.’ She said through gritted teeth.
‘Just relieved you’re alright.’
‘No thanks to you.’
‘Is that what this doppelgänger dressed you in?’ He nodded towards the dress which was now dirty and torn around the ankles. She nodded. ‘Fool, doesn’t he know you hate strapless?’
She glared at him. She didn’t want him here, didn’t want him sitting in front of her, smiling as though nothing had happened. She swallowed hard enough that it hurt, knowing that with the adrenaline and pain more tears weren’t far away but she didn’t want him to know how much she hurt, and not just physically. He didn’t deserve that power over her.
He watched her war with herself, could almost see it in her eyes, that she wanted to stay angry, and strong, but she was hurting in so many ways, and it was all his fault.
‘Sig, please, let me help you.’ He said quietly but she shook her head, not trusting her voice. He went to his knees and moved closer to her, but was careful not to touch. ‘I know I hurt you, but right now we need to think logically. If you remove my cuff I can heal you and replace all the magical energy you use, I can give you a better fighting chance. I will replace your clothes with something more suitable, but there is no point until you are healed.’
‘And if I remove the cuff, what’s to stop you from just leaving me here?’ She whispered but he was unsure whether her voice was low from fear of being caught or emotion.
‘I promise you, I will not leave you behind.’
Her bottom lip quivered and a lone tear escaped, betraying her. ‘I don’t believe you.’
He closed his eyes and swallowed. He had hurt her so much, his sweet Sigyn who meant more to him than anyone in the nine realms, he had to tell her the truth but they were on borrowed time. ‘Sig, please, you have to listen to me.’ She didn’t interrupt and as he looked back up at her his expression was one of regret, but she couldn’t be sure if it was truth or lie. ‘I am so very sorry. My deceit fills me with such regret I cannot even begin to apologise for it. I didn't lie to you when I promised you nothing but truth, but I did when I said you meant nothing to me, I just did what I thought was right. I pushed you away to try and save you from this very thing, but all I succeeded in doing was putting you in more danger, hurting you. Remorse numbs me, and I could never expect your forgiveness for the promise I broke, for the words I said, but please, trust me when I say I am sorry, that you can trust me in this, and once we are free, if you never want to see me again, I understand, but for now let me help. This is our only chance.’
Sigyn cleared her throat. ‘You’re a liar, I can’t trust anything you say.’ She sighed. ‘But I don’t see I have a lot of choice.’ She laid the knife down between them. ‘I’ll try.’
He nodded, unable to answer without more apologies she only thought insincere. ‘What happened to your wrist?’ He asked quietly.
‘Like it matters.’ She held her trembling left hand out to him and after a moment he held out his arm with the cuff.
He had hoped she would take his apology, but she was so scared, angry and in pain she probably couldn’t see past it. He may have lost her forever, a second time, but if he could ensure her safety, return her home, he would be satisfied.
Sigyn placed her hand over the cuff, refusing to make eye contact with him. She knew there was a chance she would wake up alone, or returned to her incarceration, but neither one could hurt as much as having to sit with Loki while he pretended to be sorry for all he had said to get his own way. Her chest burned with the urge to cry and she tried to swallow it, but it came out as a choking sob, and as she called up a burst of energy she hoped would destroy the cuff the tears began to flow. ‘I hate you.’ She whispered, knowing it was a lie. She loved him, she had never loved anyone as much as she did him, but she would never let anyone have that control over her again.
‘I know.’ He murmured and felt her magic rise, a sudden burst of power that pushed him back against the trunk of the tree. The cuff cracked then fell away in pieces, dropping to the mossy floor between them as she fell forward, her eyes closing as unconsciousness beckoned.



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