“How is he faring, All-Father?”
“He will recover in time. We must exercise patience.”
Odin’s hand hovered hesitantly over the small boy’s face, moving a strand of dark hair away from his closed eyes. The boy laid in a large bed, its overflowing purple sheets cradling him as he slept. Odin remained seated by his side, the golden canopies casting shadows over their bodies by the firelight along the stone walls.
“It is not often that an angel of Heaven frequents this realm. What is your purpose here? Be quick in your answer.”
“If I am to be honest, I was not aware that such a realm existed until I was sent here,” the angel replied. “I have only ever known my Father’s kingdom and its reign over Earth.”
“I see.” Odin’s gazed moved from the boy to meet the angel’s eyes, its strength commanding attention; certainly that of a king. “Would my assumption be deserved if I were to think that the purpose of your visit was not known to you?”
The angel considered him for a moment before answering. “Indeed, it would.”
Odin nodded, looking back down at the boy. “It would not be a stretch of the imagination to gather that your visit coincided with my son’s peril.”
The angel stiffened, his head lifting fractionally. “My Father would not purposefully harm those of such innocence.”
Odin raised his head once more. “Do not mistake my meaning. It was my son’s choice to leave the city without permission. I was not implying that your Father caused the rockslide that sealed him in the Cave of Time, therefore placing his life in danger. Rather, He foresaw that the destinies of the angels and Asgardians would entwine.”
“You deem that I will be of importance in the future, in regards to both Heaven and Asgard,” the angel stated, his tone turned quiet.
“Essentially, yes. It was not by chance that you came here, Castiel of Heaven.” Odin caressed the boy’s cheek with the back of his hand. “Perhaps your fate and the fate of my son are fastened.”
“Perhaps,” Castiel agreed, glancing down at the polished, marble floors. Odin stood up from the bed and stepped over to Castiel, placing a hand on his shoulder.
“Do not question your worthiness. You are a loyal and brave warrior, and I am in your debt.” Odin’s face was impassive, but his eyes blazed with emotion. “Loki would not have survived, I fear, if not for your courage.”
“I did only what was right.”
“Many would not have the heart to do so.” Odin led Castiel to where the boy called Loki laid, his voice softer. “When he wakes, he will want to thank you. Many tales will be told, stretching far across the Nine Realms, of how Castiel of Heaven selflessly aided the Son of Odin in battle. Of how he saved the life of Loki.”
“I do not deserve such praise, All-Father,” Castiel interjected, staring at him intently.
“Do not belittle your actions,” Odin responded, his eyes remaining focused on Loki.
“That was not my intention. I simply do not wish...” Castiel trailed off, stepping closer to the bed. He felt the need to be closer to the boy, gravity seeming to pull him forward. He rested his hand on the pillow beside Loki’s head, his voice feeling strained as he proceeded. “I have the ability to remove memories. I do not wish for the boy to remember me.”
Odin glanced at him, regarding his wish. “State your reason.”
“I...feel as though it will only cause you and your house further distress. No doubt Loki would seek me out, when he would not be ready to venture into the realm you call Midgard. His brother would be curious as well, I assume.”
A faint smile crossed Odin’s face. “You assume correct.” He paused, glancing over Castiel’s form. “You must accept some form of reparation, in a gesture of my gratitude.”
“I had thought of an alliance between Heaven and Asgard. An enduring peace, and a duty of my own to raise arms if Asgard finds itself in peril.”
“And what if Heaven is in midst of peril?”
“I do not think some of my brethren would take kindly towards those who are deemed gods; they do not know of any other realms beyond our Father’s.”
“Then, when you deem it suitable, seek us out,” Odin insisted. “You will always find assistance in Asgard.”
Castiel nodded. “Thank you, All-Father.” He looked back down at Loki, the boy unknowing of the events transpiring around him as he dreamed. “Only with your permission, Odin King.”
“Proceed,” he approved, watching silently as Castiel place two fingers upon Loki’s forehead. A few seconds passed before Castiel withdrew his hand, turning to face Odin.
“It is done.”
“Then make your leave, Castiel of Heaven, before he wakes.” He placed his hand upon the angel’s shoulder once more. “Take care, and be sure to remember that you are welcome here at Asgard, if you find it acceptable to return.”
“I will.” With one last glance at Loki’s sleeping form, Castiel then disappeared from the House of Odin.