Title: Eternal Realm
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters are copyright Joss Whedon and ME. Thor and all related characters are copyright of Marvel Entertainment, Paramount Pictures and Stan Lee. No infringement intended.
Note(s): This takes place in the Thor movie’verse with bits stolen from the comics and Norse mythology. It’s also a quintessential Buffy falls through the portal and ends elsewhere type of story. These will be a series of shorts written as the prompts to the livejournal community ‘tamingthemuse’ inspire and for FaithUnbreakable
Synopsis: She died—this was the way she died.
The waters beneath the Bifröst, that which linked Asgard to all realms, surged upward, striking the burning bridge and creating a fine mist to shroud Heimdall as he brought forth Hofud
, the sword gifted to him by Odin himself, and prepared for battle. The watchmen of the gods narrowed ochroid eyes and observed as Ullr fought their way back from Odin’s banishment in an attempt to once again bring forth utter destruction and chaos across the nine realms.
The once male deity had thought the mere changing of one’s sex could fool Heimdall’s gaze and mask his true visage, but Ullr had always been a fool and overly presumptuous. This was proven as the god, now called Glory, fell beneath the might of a human, but not before he’d awoken the resisting Bifröst.
It brought with it a shower of lightning as an unstable bridge was established to Midgard’s present and all
of the other realms’ past, including Jötunheim, the realm of the Frost Giants. The bridge had torn a hole, releasing moments from each realm for Heimdall to gaze upon and to quickly comprehend how dangerous the Bifröst had become. Ullr’s foolish and desperate attempt to return home could unravel all of time but, more importantly to the eternal realm, it could break the uneasy truce between Odin and King Laufey.
Odin’s greatest triumph may have faded into myth and legend on Midgard, but those old enough to remember the last great war saw no use for another. Heimdall remembered a time when all those that passed through the Bifröst stank of blood and death and he’d slept less than a bird as he watched over the realms.
This was not a tale meant for retelling.
Heimdall stepped back from the entry to Asgard and turned Hofud
so that tip of his uru
blade sat against the bridge and prepared himself to destroy that which linked all realms rather than allow Asgard to fall to war once more. He knew his king’s will and so he would enforce it, but his movements slowed as he heard the desperate plea of the human that had defeated Ullr as she willed her blood, her world to live.
Behind him the eight hooves of Sleipnir struck the rainbow bridge and the colors burned brighter as Odin came forth to protect his realm. Heimdall lifted his blade from the bridge and turned, blocked Odin’s path and listened as the human sacrificed herself for her blood, for her realm. It was the act of a king and Heimdall could not ignore such an offering, even it meant the displeasure of his own.
The steed reared, four legs leaving the bridge to strike at the air as Odin demanded, “Stand aside—” The order was cut short as the Bifröst sputtered, the bridge falling dormant and Odin slid from Sleipnir’s saddle to stand beside Heimdall who turned to follow his king.
Together they entered the gilded archway and Heimdall’s gaze first found the barest ember of lightning still arching against the vaulted ceiling above them and Odin observed, “That is not the Bifröst.”
His chin dipped in agreement with his king as Heimdall explained, “This is the one that saved all the realms.”
“Yes, my king. Ullr,” the very name narrowed Odin’s eye and Heimdall continued, “thought to bring the bridge to him, but he brought it to all worlds. He set in motion the destruction of all nine realms merely to return here. To Asgard.”
“He was a fool.”
“I thought much the same, my king.” Heimdall agreed and continued, “Ullr located the key to the Bifröst that had been entrusted to the descendants of those that once followed our ways. They made the key human and the sister-child of this one spirit.”
“Who sacrificed herself for the one she cared for most.” The brow above the metal protecting his still healing eye arched as Odin asked, more to himself than Heimdall, “What am I to do with a human spirit?”
Heimdall answered his king regardless, “Perhaps she may find a place in this realm.”
“Spirits belongs in Valhalla, Heimdall.” Odin continued to study the slowly dying lightning and offered, “Shall I summon the Valkyries?”
“If that is what my king wishes,” the trepidation in his words turned his king’s attention from the spirit to him and Heimdall inclined his head, felt the cold metal of his helmet come to rest against his cheek as he watched the spirit continue to fade.
Odin’s gaze remained on the gatekeeper as Heimdall continued to gaze upward before he inquired, “The spirit is female, yes?”
That question tore ochroid eyes from fading light to their king as Heimdall replied, “Yes.”
There was a soft, almost put-upon, sigh from his king before Odin stated, “Frigga always did want a daughter.”
A gauntlet covered hand rose and Heimdall stepped back, a small smile playing at the corners of his mouth, as he watched the lightning, the spirit drawn to his king as he manipulated the Odin Force and the spirit before them burned brighter. They cast long shadows against the wall and ceiling as the lightning narrowed to a single burning force before it dissipated with the crack of thunder and left behind a small child.
She stood barely higher than Odin’s knee and she gazed up at them with green eyes wide with wonder and Heimdall turned a considering look on his king. “I believe she was older.”
Another resigned sigh expelled from the king. “It is far easier to teach a child in our ways than an adult. You well know this.”
Said child’s head inclined and she looked first from Heimdall to Odin before asking, voice hesitant, “Papa?”
Heimdall stepped back and knelt, keeping his head down, which allowed his king to keep his honor as he did the same and offered, “I am here, child.”
Bare feet struck the gilded floor as the little girl rushed forward to be pressed tight against Odin’s chest. He rose and Heimdall followed the act a moment later and followed the pair. Odin paused at the entrance of the Bifröst before he turned and stated, “You did well this day, Heimdall.”
His chin lowered in appreciation of the praise before Heimdall retook his place at the entrance and watched, always he watched, as his king left to bring his new child before the masses of the eternal realm.
Little hands walked their way across a gilded wall with wide green eyes trained on their own reflection in that paneled surface. Frigga watched the child explore her bedchamber with an amused smile tugging at the corners of her mouth before shaking her head. A line appeared between her brows when she felt her plaited hair tug at the back of her dressing gown and her hands rose, pulling the thick braid forward to hang over her shoulder as she turned to her husband, the bearer of peculiar gifts.
“I suspect I am to raise her?” She had asked similar questions when presented with Loki and Thor and same as before her husband nodded his head and laughed. There was such joy in it that she didn’t question the why, but simply the how, “From where did such a daughter come?”
Odin took a place beside her on the bedding and she found a hand engulfed and cradled by his battle worn ones. Her nails plucked absently at the calluses as her gaze returned to the child who still found such delight in her refection—perhaps they had a match for Fandral in this little one.
“The child, who was not always a child, comes from Midgard.”
Frigga turned, her brows raising as she gazed into her husband’s eye and questioned, “An Asgardian has not been to Midgard in many, many years.” Odin’s eye slipped from her face to the child and Frigga’s widened as she realized who had last been exiled from their realm. “Ullr…” she trailed off, stunned a moment and Odin’s grip tightened around her hand, prompting her to lay the other over his clasped ones. “How did Ullr amass such power? His banishment has lasted less than a century.”
“Beloved, he activated the Bifröst in all realms. He was attempting to return to a time in which he still had followers.” A hint of mockery could be heard in Odin’s tone and Frigga rose, tugging her hands free and herself away from his foolishness. “He used the Bifröst to link himself from Midgard’s future to Asgard’s present.”
All warmth left her face, brought with it a chilling tingle that turned Frigga’s gaze back to him as Odin continued, “His attempt to return was thwarted by a human. A human gave themselves in the stead of all realms, but not without sacrifice.”
Frigga turned her gaze on the child, whose attention had been drawn in from the excitement in their shared voices. She rose barely high enough to reach Thor’s waist with a tangle of pale hair that would be a challenge to tame this night, but hopefully not the next. Frigga went to her knees, the gold of her dressing gown spilling around her as she offered the child her hand and waited, patiently as ever, for her to accept it.
Her voice was coxing even as she responded to Odin’s revelation, “What of Ullr now?”
“Perished.” She turned her gaze from the child to her husband, blue eyes wide with surprise before he explained, “Humans have far more perseverance than most realms believe them capable.”
“She was not always a child.” The statement was made as the child took a few hesitant steps towards Frigga and green eyes studied her much as she had her own reflection.
“She was not.”
A little hand found its way into her own and Frigga drew her closer. She ran a knuckle down a round cheek and beneath her chin, lifting the child’s head. She gazed in her eyes, through her eyes and simply knew it had been Odin’s power that created this child, their child. He made her from wind and starlight and she held the shadows found in the darkest of realms and a persevering human spirit.
In that one glance Frigga saw her past and a future that was unchanging and it hurt and it burned. She saw no future in her eyes such as Loki’s, but her pain, Frigga flinched and drew the child into the cradle of her arms before she lifted her fearful gaze to her husband and spoke truth, “I fear her time with us is finite.”
The brow over his scarred eye drew inward as the other rose before he stated, voice certain, “Then we shall show her such joy that time shall be meaningless to her. She will know peace as she never knew on Midgard.” Odin rose to stand over them and Frigga felt the comforting weight of his hand cup her shoulder before he asked, “Have you thought of a name?”
He surprised a chuckle from her and Frigga rose, settling the child on her hip and those green eyes returned to her face, such a watchful child and curious child as her small fingers found the stitching of her gown intriguing. She cupped one hand around the girl and drew gentle circles on her back with her thumb as she replied, voice a mocking contrite, “Not as of yet.”
“I’ve always been fond of Brunhilde.”
Her brows drew down, her mouth falling into a frown as Frigga turned to her husband to show him her displeasure and ignored his smile as she offered, “That is not a fitting name for one such as she.”
Amusement laced his reply, “And what, Beloved, would be?”
Frigga turned her face back to the child, met her gaze and remembered her fate. “Freyja.” Her searching hands found the large braid and began to unravel it as Frigga turned to Odin and declared, “All the nine realms shall know her as Freyja.” Odin’s nod of agreement freed Frigga return her gaze to the child, their child.
“Welcome home, Freyja Odinsdottir.”