Despite her tiredness and her dreading for the day to come, the sun ran to catch up with the horizon and before she knew it, it was peeking up over the edge of the dropoff, blasting light into her last night. She sighed and turned over in Loki’s arms to look at him. As always, he was sleeping soundly. He had no idea everything was about to change, and he would remember nothing of the past 3 years. The last thing he would remember was the fight with Thor on the Bifrost the day the observatory fell into the abyss. There was no fight with the Midgardians, no deal with the Chitauri, no warping to Muspelheim. Thor would have pulled him up from the edge of the Bifrost and they would have settled the problems like civilised men, with no running and hiding. The way it should have been.
That was the story they were going to tell him when he woke up, asking what had happened. She lay silently with him taking in every moment. Two and a half years ago when he warped onto Muspelheim, she would never have imagined loving him as much as she did this moment. She would never have thought she would do all this to spare him. She hated him back then, but he won her over completely, so much so that she was not thinking about herself or her children. She cared only for him, and his heart. His damaged heart.
He stirred and she smiled as he opened his beautiful blue eyes.
“Morning.” she whispered to him.
He glanced over at her and smiled.
“Good morning.” he whispered back, reaching out and grasping her torso before he pulled her up against him. He noticed the rings under her eyes immediately and frowned.
“You didn’t sleep, did you?” he asked her and she smiled weakly and nodded.
“Morning sickness.” She lied.
She had become very good at it. It seemed he had brushed off on her more than she had anticipated.
“I was up all night.” She sighed and looked at him.
“Sorry.” He apologized on the baby’s behalf.
“It’s okay, I was expecting it, but I was also not expecting it, if you know what I mean.” She said brushing his hair out of his eyes.
“No I don’t.” he smiled, taking hold of her hand and kissing it softly.
“When I was pregnant with Eldur, I didn’t feel sick at all, until the very end, but then again, I wasn’t eating in the end.” She reasoned with herself.
“You just promise me you’ll take care of yourself and the baby in Muspelheim.” He asked her, looking down at her still flat belly.
He placed his hand on it and smiled.
“I promise.” She smiled at him.
“So…” he sighed and lifted himself up slightly off the bed, looking out over the ocean.
“What do you want to do today? Riding in the forests, or I can take you out on my ship.” He suggested.
She rolled her eyes and sighed at him.
“You have a boat? Why didn’t you suggest that weeks ago?” she asked him sweetly.
“It was my trump card, I wanted to save it for a special day.” he smiled wickedly at her. She smiled and blushed, rolling her eyes again.
“Can we see it from here?” she asked him and he shook his head.
“It’s in the harbour behind the palace.” He said, holding out his hand suddenly.
He then projected an image of the ship into the space between them. She looked at it and was in awe of its splendour. It was exactly the way she expected it to look like. Gold accents and dark wood, with green sails flowing in the breeze with the angry and ravenous waves lapping at its bow, threatening to pull it under the waves, but its tall sides made sure that it was safe.
“I was going to take you out on it today, but with you feeling so poorly, maybe it’s better if we postpone it for another day. When you come back.” he said, looking up at her as she stared at the boat.
But there was no sparkle in her eyes. He dropped the projection and she frowned and looked at him.
“Tell me what’s wrong.” He said, propping himself with his elbow on the bed.
“The same as yesterday. I don’t want to leave.” She said, mimicking him and smiling.
“But it’s okay. I’ll be coming back soon. Then we can go on that ship.” She smiled at him.
“I want to rename it. To Vara.” He smiled at her.
She was flattered, but she wondered what it was called right now. She didn’t want him to change anything or it would mess with the plans that Odin and the others had.
“What’s it called now?” she asked him.
“The Naglfar.” He said, looking at her.
“The what?” she asked him, chuckling slightly, wondering what it meant.
“Don’t ask me what it means, my father… Odin, named it when he had it commissioned for me.” he laughed with her.
“No, don’t change it, that’s much better than Vara. Funnier.” She said to him, giggling slightly.
“Okay.” He laughed with her.
“You will slay your enemies with bellows of belly laughter as you go.” She joked with him. He laughed with her, seeing her spirits lift as she joked.
“So what do you want to do today?” he asked her again, seeing her wipe a laughter tear away.
“Nothing, everything, anything. Just so long as it’s with you.” She smiled at him.
He smiled and reached around her, pulling her up onto his body as she straddled his hips and looked down at him. He smiled seeing her blush.
“I think we can find something to do.” He said, kissing her softly.
They spent their last day holed up in their palace, doing things that they always did. Talking, joking, and making love, making plans. It was as if it was an ordinary day. But the sting of the end hung thick in the air as the sun drew closer to the horizon once reaching its zenith.
Vara had finally undressed out of her prisoners clothes and slipped back into her battle armour. The one she had worn when she came to save Loki. Thor had ordered it to be repaired and it was, as if nothing had happened at all to it. She was strapping herself into her armour looking out over the view of the ocean. To her right, she caught a glimpse of someone heading out to the Bifrost observatory. Thor, Odin and Frigga were on their way.
Vara sighed and looked down at her last strap, tightening it swiftly before slipping her common sword into its scabbard. Loki was leaning against the door frame, his one leg propped up against it and his arms crossed over his chest as he watched her dress. It was almost as sensual to him as watching her undress.
“Why so serious?” he asked, pushing away from the door and walking up to her.
“I miss you already.” she said, looking out as the others neared the observatory.
Time was creeping up on them.
“You’ll be back soon.” He said, wrapping his arms around her from behind and looking out over the group riding out.
“And when the time comes, we will make them all pay.” He said to her, not taking his eyes off them. He was referring to Ragnarök of course.
“I can’t start that war, Loki.” she said, looking at the riders.
“Why not, with the rations, you grow in strength and numbers sooner than expected. Asgard will be its own undoing.” He smiled, kissing her softly on the cheek.
“I have more to lose than anyone.” She said, finally turning to face him.
“Thor said he would kill you himself if that day came. So it won’t.” she explained to him, pulling his coat right.
“All this, just for me?” he asked, referring to her leaving as well.
“You have no idea what I had done for you. To spare you.” She said, leaning her head against his forehead with her own.
“What I’m going to do.” She added, closing her eyes and enjoying his touch.
“Or not going to do rather.” He corrected her and she giggled.
“Yeah, something like that.” She smiled at him.
That’s when she saw her wedding ring on a chain around his neck. She lifted her hand and grasped it tenderly before looking at it.
“And this?” she asked him.
He smiled and took the ring from her fingers.
“To keep you close to me, even though you are away from me.” he whispered.
“We will always be married. No matter what realm you are in, or which realm I escape to.” he said, meeting her eyes.
“Giving me back the ring means nothing. The tapestry of our life has already been woven.” He said to her, dropping the ring against his chest.
“I will get back to you. Someday. And when that day happens, the realms better prepare. We will burn them all for the wrongs they have imposed on us.” He made her a promise that she had feared hearing.
She smiled and nodded. She wished she could burn them all for denying her right to him. But that was the problem. Peace was the one thing that was sorely needed in all the realms. Their war would destroy everything. And that was something she didn’t want.
“Yeah.” She said to him.
This plan had to work, it just had to. For the safety of the nine realms and all the others they didn’t know about.
“We better go, before they think we’ve run off.” She said, looking back to the group of riders that had reached the observatory now.
He looked at them and then he felt anger bubbling up again from his core for the people who claimed to love him. The people forcing a wedge between him and his soul mate.
“Let’s.” he said suddenly.
She nodded and began to walk off, but he grabbed her hand and pulled her back.
“Let’s run off.” He said to her, looking at her red eyes.
She looked at him and for a spilt second, her feelings fluttered and she felt like agreeing, but the risk was too great.
“Loki no. We can’t.” she tried to reason with him.
“Let’s go, and begin the preparation for Ragnarök. They will all burn.” He tried to seduce her to his plan, but she wasn’t budging.
She shook her head and looked down at the ground.
“No. Not at the risk of losing everyone I love.” She said, looking up at him.
“Vara, we have a dragon.” He reminded her. He laughed and placed his hands on her shoulders.
“We have a dragon.” He said again.
“No one will try and take the three of us when he is fully trained. Not even Thor.” He smiled at her but her mind was set.
“We can’t.” she said again.
He let go of her shoulders and dropped his hands. He did’nt understand it, he was offering her an option to save her own heart as well as his, but she was flat out refusing. Why? A thought crossed his mind.
“You don’t want to.” he said, stepping back from her and frowning. Did she not love him enough to be with him?
“No, I do, but I can’t risk them killing you and Eldur.” She said, reaching out and taking hold of his hands.
“Let’s play by their rules for now. And then, like you said, eventually, they will all burn.” She smiled at him, giving some sense of security and hope for the future.
“We have nothing but time.” she added, rubbing his hands tenderly.
He sighed. She was right. He nodded to her and stepped up to her, pulling her into a hug.
“This is not the end. This I promise you will all my being.” He whispered into her ear.
A tear ran down her cheek and she turned her head away from him so he wouldn’t feel its wetness.
“I know.” She gasped, holding him tightly.
“Can we go now, before they come looking for us?” she asked him while resting her head on his shoulder. He nodded.
“Have you got everything, the rose, and the jewels I gave you?” he asked her.
She smiled and nodded. He had a little golden box commissioned from the finest jeweller in Asgard and embedded in the lid, the pearls from their wedding, and inside that box, he had added to those jewels, diamonds, and emeralds, gems of every colour, shape and size. But her most prized jewel was the blue rose he gave her yesterday.
“Yes, I’m ready.” She said to him as she grabbed a brown leather bag that held all his gifts.
He nodded and opened up a warp hole behind her. They broke the hug and he stepped towards it, pulling her along with him. She hoped he had not opened it to somewhere else, and running from Thor yet again. But to her surprise, when they stepped out of the other end, they were with the others at the observatory. They all turned and looked at them.
“Loki, where is your mask?” Thor asked him harshly.
“I removed it.” Vara challenged him.
He looked to her and frowned.
“You know the risks with him being able to use his magic.” He began to lecture her.
“Do not lecture me on threats. Not today.” She said to him harshly.
They held their warring gaze for a few moments and for once, Loki didn’t know what was going on. She had never liked Thor, but she was acting like she hated him suddenly. Her eyes shot to a guard at his side, carrying her staff. She guessed they wouldn’t give it back till the very end. And she knew she would never see her mother’s sword again.
“Frigga, Odin.” Vara greeted them, looking past Thor and inclining her head.
“It was, interesting, knowing you all. It is something I’ll never forget.” She said, not meaning it was a pleasant experience.
She turned to Loki and smiled, taking hold of his other hand with her free hand, the other hand holding a bag with her things.
“These last few weeks have been, wonderful, to say the least.” She said to him, tears beginning to flow freely now from her eyes.
“I will miss you, more than what should be allowed to be felt by a heart.” She said, looking at their hands interlocked with each other.
“I’ve enjoyed this reprieve too. But you’ll be coming back, sooner than you think. I want to see our child.” He said, smiling at her.
He didn’t know why she was crying so much.
“And Eldur. Don’t forget Eldur. I want to see him grow into a strong dragon.” He added, making her look at him with a thumb under her chin.
She nodded to him and smiled.
“You’ll see it. You’ll see it all. But for now, I’m needed on Muspelheim.” She said, trying to comfort herself more than anything else.
She stepped closer to him and hugged him tightly, knowing it would be the last. She kissed him tenderly on the lips. He wrapped his hands around her waist and lifted her feet off the bridge.
“I’ll be back soon.” She whispered to him, knowing it was nothing but lies.
“Get the rooms ready for me and the children.” She whispered, tears streaming down her face and falling onto his black leather jacket. But it didn’t help; he could hear her whimpering under her breath. He broke the hug and held her at arms length.
“Why are you crying so much lately?” he asked her, wiping her tears away with his fingers.
She laughed and touched his hand.
“Pregnancy is hard on emotions.” Frigga said looking at Loki.
He looked at her over Vara’s shoulder and nodded, knowing exactly what it was like.
“It’ll all be over before you know it.” he whispered to Vara, trying to comfort her, rubbing her shoulders.
She nodded, crying harder than before. So much so that shudders began to ripple through her body.
“It will be. I will never forget you, Loki.” she whispered to him, confusing him even more.
He frowned. She could see that he was confused and she had to offer him some sort of explanation as to why she was acting so strange. She smiled weakly at him and leaned forward, planting a soft and tender kiss on his lips. It lingered but eventually she had to pull away from him.
“You’ll understand in a minute.” She whispered to him.
She looked at him; lingered slightly, taking in the shade of his beautiful eyes and then she turned and walked up to Thor in the observatory. She turned and looked at Loki, Odin and Frigga as Odin walked up behind Loki, his staff at the ready. Everything seemed to be moving so slowly, and the silence called for one last sign that she loved him.
“I love you Loki.” she said to him, seeing Odin lift his staff off the ground.
“I love you too.” He said to her, smiling.
Finally, she had heard it. Proof that he did in fact love her. His actions had said it to her, but very seldom, his lips. Odin lifted the tip of his staff to Loki’s temple and a bright flash of light flooded everything out, blinding everyone there. Vara closed her eyes and turned away, not wanting to see him lying motionless at Odin’s feet. Then came the thud that signalled that he was down and unconscious. The light faded and Vara still looked away.
“Is it over?” she asked Thor.
He looked over to where Odin and Frigga were standing over Loki. He was indeed lying on the bridge lifeless.
“Yes.” he said to her, looking at her.
“I’m sorry.” He said sadly to her, taking her staff from the guard and handing it to her, placing it in her hand. She wrapped her fingers around the shaft and clenched it tightly, tears running down her face.
Odin reached down and grasped the wedding ring around Loki’s neck and pulled it from the chain. He then slipped the one from his finger off and held onto it as he walked over to them and handed her ring to Thor, who then handed it to Vara. He knew she found it special and would want it.
She took it from him, still not looking at Loki. She felt his warmth lingering in the metal of the ring, and then felt it fade. She still didn’t turn to look at him; she didn’t want to remember him that way. She slipped the ring onto her finger and looked at the blue stone. She smiled at it.
“Farewell everyone. Remember, not one word about me to him.” Vara said, still not looking at everyone as Heimdallr activated the Bifrost. She was pulled suddenly away from them, and sent spiralling back to the hot waste of her home realm.
“It’s a pity it came down to this. I still can’t believe it.” Frigga said sadly as the Bifrost closed and Heimdallr pulled his sword from the machine.
Thor walked back out to his parents as Heimdallr took up his position yet again.
“They looked so happy together.” She said, looking to Odin and Thor.
Odin nodded and turned to face the ocean. He lifted his fist with Loki’s ring in it and tossed the ring into the ocean below.
“This is the only way for them both to live happy and full lives.” He said, turning back to Frigga, looking at Loki lying at her feet.
“The only problem is Vara will live a half life, full of pain, knowing her heart is realms away.” She said, looking down at Loki, sleeping peacefully, like he used to when he was a child.
“It’s sad, but it’s for the best. And you know it.” Odin said to her sadly.
Thor bent down and lifted his brother up onto his shoulder before the four of them began to make their way back to the main palace.