Chapter 1: Unbearable Things to Witness
Heimdall watches as Thor gets banished from Asgard, the All Father's anger roaring in his ears as he banishes his heir. Heimdall watches as the other son, Loki hides his grief behind white-faced fury and looks to his father. The All Father says nothing. He only gives his remaining son a look before he walks away.
Loki stands there, his eyes still fixed on the closed Bifrost. His hands clench into fists, the only sign of his rage and despair. He stands there for a long time before finally walking away. His face is dead white and his expression is as if it was carved out of stone.
It is only then that Heimdall wishes he didn't see all.
Jane, Darcy and Eric see what they think is a shooting star and rush towards it, curious to see if it's the last piece of Jane's puzzle.
What they find is a wreckage of sand and stone and a broken woman covered in blood, dust and bruises.
Darcy is the one that calls for the emergency services while Jane tries to give what little first aid she can in her state until she gives up. She knows if she does anything more, she can end up severely hurting the woman. So she steps away and tells a shocked Darcy to call an ambulance.
Eric is the only one that notices the black cars and the suited man that steps out of the first one.
He is determined to get questions, especially after a short conversation, there are vehicles everywhere. Men are coming with a stretcher and medical paraphernalia and shove the girls away. Darcy fought back, but Jane went with barely an argument.
When they took the woman past Eric, he could see why Jane had acquiesced so easily.
The woman had been strapped down and bandaged and it was a miracle that she was still breathing, even with the aid of the oxygen they had hooked up to her.
It was a miracle that the woman was still alive.
She wasn't human, that was now all too painfully obvious.
And it was also obvious that someone wanted her and all that she presented. She came from another realm and the government wasn't going to let her go so easily.
That was when it all clicked and Eric understood why the agent introduced himself as Agent Coulson of SHIELD and offered them all jobs on the spot.
Agent Coulson stands outside the plexiglass walled room and watches the medical personnel work on the woman that had tripped their radars as she had crash landed in the desert.
Tripped them up was an understatement, if he was being honest. For some reason, her presence had fried quite a bit of their mainframe and weapons database as well as disrupted satellite feeds all over Western North America. They had quite a bit of work ahead of them and even though Stark Industries and Stark was good, he was still human and had his limitations.
That was the main reason why SHIELD had gotten involved and dragged the physicists and their assistant along for the ride. They needed all the information that they could get from this intruder and figure out the best way to shore up their defences. Just in case another being that wasn't as messed up as she was.
The medics all cleared out of the room and the head of the team pulled him aside to explain that they had done their best, but only time would tell whether she would even wake up. And if she did wake up, there were a host of other complications they would have to deal with later.
He didn't have time to ask what else the complications could have been since his phone rang.
Another crash landing had been reported and this time, it wasn't human.
Coulson was on his way to see what it was, leaving the woman in the hospital bed with equipment monitoring her vitals and keeping her alive.
Loki was hiding in the library again. The book he had been trying to read for the past hour was open, but he had read the same paragraph three times and not absorbed anything at all.
He was trying. Trying with every ounce of his being to find Thor and bring him and Mjolnir back and start dealing with the fall out the revelations had caused in Asgard. Already, their father was starting to fail. It had cost him quite heavily to send his son away. Despite his personal revulsion at Thor's supposed crime...
Thor was still his son. The supposed heir to Asgard.
"You are my heir now, Loki." His father had said days after both of them had enough time to deal with their emotions and meet on a civil level.
"Thor is the oldest." Loki had replied, his tongue clumsy for once in his distress. His father's eye had narrowed and he had shaken his head.
"Thor is no longer fit to rule. Nor is Thor worthy. Of anything that allowed him to be called an Odinson. You are my only son and heir now."
That should have been the end of the conversation, but there was something about that phrasing that kept bothering Loki. It just wouldn't leave him, the double meaning behind those words and the exact phrasing that was used to negate the familial link that Thor had to them.
There was also how the memory of Thor had been allowed to fade from Asgard's collective memory. Even the Warriors Three and Sif had long stopped talking about Thor. It wasn't because of their disgust of Thor's fall from grace.
But rather because there was a sorrow so deep that they could only bury it with their silence.
He could understand sorrow. He was grieving for his brother too.
But he wasn't going to simply let his memory fade away and forget him.
He was going to look for him. To bring him back and damn the consequences.
He was the heir now and would use his silver tongue to justify his reasons.
Despite having finally gotten the praise and adoration that he had craved for so long after living in Thor's shadow...he couldn't live without his brother. Despite resenting him and loathing him at times, he was still his brother. His other half. Their connection was much too tangled and complicated to ever be severed.
He had fought against that knowledge for far too long and was now inherently ashamed that after all the times he had wished Thor gone and gotten all that Thor had...he didn't want it since it had come from the complete defeat of his brother at their father's hands.
And it wasn't as sweet a victory as he had once hoped it would be.
In fact, it was downright bitter.
And that was not something he had foreseen.
Nor had he foreseen how limited and trapped he was in his new role as the favoured son, having to shoulder all the expectations and pitfalls alone.
He had to get his brother back.
Heimdall knew why Loki was coming to see him after such a long absence from his sight.
"I cannot see him, Prince Loki."
"Has my father forbidden you to seek him? Is that why?"
Heimdall shook his head.
"Only the All Father can see Thor now."
"How is that possible?"
"He not only banished Thor. He stripped Thor to his most basic essence and flung him into the universe. I can see far, but even I have my limits."
Loki nodded and took his leave from Heimdall, who knew that Loki would find some way to see what was hidden even from him.
Once the prince had gone, Heimdall turned his gaze back to the world, but his sight was directed towards Midgard. It was a faint spark, so faint that he imagined it and moved his great sight onto the other reaches of time and space.
Darcy clutched her coffee cup and took a sip as she slowly walked past the ICU room that the woman they had found was in. She felt a bit weird at coming to see the blonde woman, but the pity she felt at overshadowed anything awkward she might have felt at regularly visiting a comatose alien, if Coulson was to be believed.
She didn't believe it herself. Not when the alien in question was hooked up to several machines and had tubes and wires running in an d out of her. Not to mention the casts and braces around her battered body. If the woman ever woke up, she would be lucky to even be able to sit up by herself. Yes, she had survived the landing...but there had been damage.
And something else. But that she wasn't really supposed to know about, so she didn't speculate.
It wasn't that Darcy wasn't curious, but rather she was more pragmatic than anything else.
Not only was it NOT her business to speculate, but she figured that the woman had enough problems that weren't a mystery or theoretical, so what was the point in wondering?
She took another sip and entered the room, careful to not get too close to the ventilator or lines.
"Hey. You're looking better, Blossom." Darcy commented as she put her coffee cup down on the nightstand and took her usual seat beside the bed.
Jane hadn't liked it when Darcy started calling the woman that. It made sense to Darcy though. Since the woman really did look like Sleeping Beauty to her, with her long gold hair and strong, but beautiful features once the bruises and contusions had faded.
"Besides, she technically IS sleeping and we're just waiting for her to wake up." Darcy concluded, making Jane shake hear head and laugh ruefully at the logic.
(And also due to the fact that she was surprised that Darcy, of all people, knew the name of a Disney Princess)
Darcy had found it odd to talk to her, but in time, it got to be a routine. She liked having someone to talk to about anything that was going on in her mind and not be interrupted. Or be worried that she wasn't being listened to or that the other person thought she was stupid and strange.
There was comfort in that and she had also read somewhere in a long forgotten psych class that talking to the comatose actually did help in stimulating the brain and hopefully help in bringing back the person to consciousness again.
So it wasn't just selfishness on Darcy's part and besides, she really hoped that the woman would wake up and be okay. Even though the evidence was there that it was more than likely not going to be the case. Blossom may have survived the fall, but even she must have some limits.
Darcy shook her head and looked closely at Blossom again. It wasn't just her imagination. Blossom was looking much healthier. Her skin had lost that pale waxiness and was looking almost healthy. Her eyes had started to move behind her closed eyelids. Darcy frowned and moved closer to her and realized that even though the ventilator was breathing for her, Blossom's breathing would occasionally hitch before smoothing into that mechanical breathing pattern again.
"That's not right." Darcy murmured to herself as she stood up to take a closer look. In the last two months that she had been coming, she hadn't seen this happening. She knew she should get a nurse or a doctor in there, but she also knew that it could just be an autonomous response.
She waited to see if anything else would happen, but when nothing did, she sat back down and grabbed her coffee. Her fingers had just closed around the cup when the loud sound of the ventilator beeping filled the room.
She whipped her head around to see Blossom's eyes were wide open and shocked as she fought the ventilator and her hands scrabbled weakly against the tube. Darcy forgot her coffee and pressed the nurse's call button to get help and once the nurses and doctors started flooding in, got out of the way.
Once she was in the hallway and watching the medical personnel work, she went straight to the nurses station and picked up the phone, dialling the number by memory.
"Jane, get over here! Blossom's woken up!"
Loki's eyes open at the sound of his name and he gasps when he sees who has woken him up.
Thor is lying in bed next to him, looking like the last time they had shared the bed together: messy hair spilling over his shoulders, bite marks all over his neck and upper chest and mouth swollen from kissing.
He knew it was a dream. There was no way that Thor himself was in his bed. He was gone not just from Asgard, but from all the other realms.
He had tried to look for him with every spell and trick at his disposal.
But he was gone, It was as if he hadn't ever existed and although part of him wanted to give into despair and stop...the larger part of him was still determined to find Thor and bring him back.
"Where are you, brother?"
Loki asked, sitting up and looking at his brother.
"I've looked everywhere for you, Thor! If I knew, do you think I'd be asking you?"
Thor shook his head.
"You aren't looking properly Loki. Try again."
Thor replied, his shape shifting and blurring before it disappeared into nothingness.
That was when Loki woke up and cursed himself for being so obtuse.
"Well played, brother. I didn't think you had it in you."
Chapter 2: Not Quite What I Expected
Loki picks up the trail and where the trail ends wasn't where he thought he'd be. Or find.
So Loki, I suspect would have a heavy arsenal of tracking spells that he'd employ to find Thor. I don't see evidence of him leaving Thor alone, no matter how much animosity there is between them. I also suspect that he'd not stumble over pronouns, because he doesn't care about forms, since his own is in flux.
I see Loki as just caring about Thor. Not what Thor is or looks like and that emotion is strong enough to overcome his usual prickly nature.
Also, the medical stuff is research and pseudo/quasi/semi autobiographical and fictionalized. I did do my homework, but medicine isn't my field (education is) so if there are any mistakes, I apologize.
It's all filled with pain. Everything around him and inside him feels like the worst pain he has encountered and this is pretty bad. It's right up there with the time that Jorgmungard bit him in the last cycle. It hurt and he had no way to stop it, since it wasn't just a localized agony he could pinpoint, but rather, it was spread out all over his body. Inside and out, it felt as if he had been turned inside out.
As if he had been remoulded and gutted at the same time and he was missing something. There were spots were the pain was distorted and strange. Like a reminiscence of bruising and old injuries. He had been badly hurt from his fall off the Bifrost. He understood what his father had done. Stripped him off everything that had been divine about him.
He knew that there was damage. Serious damage that only Idunn's apples would be able to fix. That is, if he could get them. He had no way and no hope of being able to do so. Even if he was able to find a way to get word to Loki. How was he to do so, now that he was surely mortal and with grave injuries.He wished he could open his eyes and see what had gone wrong. What his hurts were. But his eyes remained stubbornly shut.
He floats in this hazy limbo of intermittent pain and euphoria until he loses track of it and only becomes aware when he hears the rapid cadence of a woman's voice saying things to him. He doesn't understand any of it, the language being one that he's never heard before. It doesn't sound like Norse at all. But he finds himself not caring if he understands what she is saying. Her voice brings him comfort and he is sorely in need of it.
At first, her voice was a lull. A background noise that soothed him and kept his mind from the pain. But when he didn't hear it, he began to miss it. He found himself looking forward to hearing her voice and in doing so, became more aware of his surroundings.
He could tell that he wasn't breathing on his own and there were tubes, like snakes, going into different parts of his body. They were beginning to get highly uncomfortable. The ones he could sense at any rate. And a machine that kept making chipping sounds. Those were accompanied by whooshing sounds from the machine that he could tell was right beside his head.
It all confused him and he tried to move his eyes more. Tried to get them unstuck and finally see what all of the noises were. He would have gone mad in his efforts if it hadn't been for her voice.
She hadn't spoken much since the last time. Only had said what sounded like a question, if the intonation going high at the end was any hint of it. He wants to respond. To have a voice again and be part of the world rather than be something lesser than a spirit or a familiar.
He was close. From all the time that he had spent fighting, he could tell that it was close this time. Not like the other times when he had first started hearing the sound of the woman's voice.
It was time.
He forced himself to open his eyes and this time...
He was awake, staring at a white tiled ceiling and unable to move his head. He tried to speak, but panicked when he felt and saw the tube coming out of his mouth.
He was horrified and lifted his hands (weak and slender hands. More like Sif's hands than his own) and tried to find purchase to get the tube out before his horror and feeble strength ran out.
There were loud noises and voices and many people dressed in white rushed into the chamber and held his hands down. Which shouldn't have even been in the realm of possibility, but there it was.
He struggled, and fought and jerked, but all he got was that cool relief flooding his veins before he was unwillingly dragged into the darkness again.
Loki had to plan everything to the 9th degree before setting out to find Thor in Midgard. He couldn't let Odin even have the slightest hint of what he was planning to do lest the All-Father found a way through the hidden paths to stop him or divert him. Loki may have been powerful, but Odin was the All-Father. He'd be a fool to even presume that he had the upper hand in any scheme he would be concocting.
So he waited and bided his time, making the calculations needed to locate Thor. He got a hint, in that dream, where he could be. But nothing more. So he worked and waited until Odin was more consumed with the ruling of the realm before he located the path way in Yggdrasil and set off with as little fanfare as possible.
When he arrived in New Mexico, he had to stop himself from wrinkling his nose in distate at the barren and hot land. It was certainly a place fit for punishment, he mused as he changed his appearance to one of a well-heeled mortal-a lightweight suit, slicked back short hair and briefcase. To all intents and purposes, he was just another business man.
He'd landed in the largest city in this barren place, where the spell burnt out as it was supposed to. The others had simply kept on burning and it has been months of intricate spell work to get him this far. Thor had to be here. If he wasn't, then Loki would be out of luck.
It would take him years to get all the materials ready to cast the spells again and by that time, Thor may not be there. He was mortal now and unless he had been exceedingly fortunate, he wouldn't have the skills necessary to survive. Not like Loki.
Loki had always kept his eye on Midgard. had gone down on occasion and lived some time there, so he knew what he needed to do to survive. But Thor wouldn't and that knowledge was pressing enough for Loki to keep at his search with alacrity.
He adjusted his suit and pretended to be another person on his way somewhere. One thing he had learned was to simply walk as if he belonged in a place and he wouldn't be bothered. He didn't want to be bothered at this moment. Not when the last traces of his spell were starting to fade out.
Loki looked around himself and made sure that he wasn't attracting undue attention when he disappeared and appeared again in an underground complex with sterile concrete block, metal and plastic. Many people were running around and Loki found himself fighting the urge to curl up his nose in distaste. There was a strong scent of antiseptics in the air and the scent of blood and pain in the air.
He would have ignored it, if it hadn't been for the faint trace of ozone and electricity wafting through the corridors. He stood still and sniffed the air, trying to pinpoint where the scent was coming from.
When he found it, he couldn't believe what was in front of him.
A broken Valkyrie lay in a hospital bed, her body bandaged and machinery that was monitoring her vitals surrounded her. He swallowed the sour taste of bile that flooded his mouth at the sight and moved forward to get a closer look. Surely this wasn't his brother.
Surely the All-Father wasn't that twisted to do this to his beloved eldest son. To change him and then fling him mercilessly from Asgard to live out his life as a broken mortal woman. This just...
Loki's mind stuttered to a halt as he tried to untangle the sight of Thor and the disgust and horror that was overwhelming him at their father's actions. Thor's only mistake had been in not following the path that had been decided for him exactly. He didn't deserve to be completely stripped of his very identity because he had the temerity to follow his desires.
He truly wanted to weep when it all had hit him. For surely, this was his brother. There was no way that the spell was attuned to the wrong person. Not when he had used Thor's blood to make it.
Loki got closer to the woman on the bed and studied her features closely, realizing with a pang that despite the feminine delicacy of them…they were unmistakably Thor’s features he was looking at. He reached out with trembling hands and pulled down the neckline of the gown she was wearing. Although he knew, without a shadow of a doubt this was him, he wanted one last confirmation to drive the knife deeper.
Thor had a scar from an old training accident right by his left collarbone. It had been from one of Loki’s throwing knives and had never, despite the years, healed properly. It was an ugly knot of keloid scar tissue and Loki had always found his eyes drawn to it whenever Thor was shirtless. It had been in the shape of a star, since Thor had pulled it out carelessly and infection had set in afterward.
He pulled the gown back and found the star shaped knot of scar tissue in the exact same spot as it had always been and the sight was enough to make him let out a small choked off snarl. Thor stirred at the noise, but didn't wake due to all the drugs that they were pumping into her body. Loki could smell the underlying sweetness of morphia and the harsher smells of synthetic drugs coming from her skin and although it made him angry, he was thankful Thor wasn’t awake to see what had become of her.
With gentle movements, Loki replaced the gown and smoothed the fabric down carefully. He knew he could hurt Thor if he wasn’t careful. Thor’s body, he had to remind himself, was fragile and would be until he got her back to Asgard and fed her Idunn’s apples. She needed them badly, he saw as he glanced through a clipboard that listed all the trauma she had undergone.
He winced at the long list, his anger growing as he kept on reading it-broken limbs, broken spine, ribs. Contusions. Bruises. Cranial fractures. Possible brain injuries. The list kept going and it was blurring together until he saw the last item.
He dropped the clipboard with a clatter and it was the noise of the cheap wooden tablet hitting the cement floor that roused Thor from her drugged sleep.
She opened her eyes to slits, but her mouth curled up into a crooked half-smile that made his heart crack. He’d never seen that expression on Thor’s face before and it made the stark words scribbled on the page real. Much too real for his comfort.
Thor opened her mouth and her jaw went slack as she tried to slur out what Loki assumed was his name. She raised her hand shakily and reached out for his steady one. Despite the revulsion and shame he felt at his reaction, he held on to her fragile hand. Her voice was thick and graceless and Loki wanted to run from this nightmare. He had found Thor, but she was cracked and damaged and he wasn’t the one to fix her.
He couldn’t stay and look at his shining golden brother be this crippled mortal woman. He had to leave and admit that the All-Father had won. He would return to Asgard and bury the memory of his brother. Then, he would plot his revenge for all of this. He could do that, at least.
He should have left right when the thought struck him, but he stayed holding onto Thor. Despite his resolution, he couldn’t force himself to pull away from her weakened grip. She knew him and he wasn’t going to add to her distress by leaving her when she so obviously recognized him.
Her mouth moved again and this time, she did manage to say his name. But the rest of her words were unintelligible and to his horror, her face crumpled and tears began to slip down her face as Thor finally realized through her drugged haze that everything was completely wrong.
He couldn't go through his plans, seeing her like that. He might have been chaotic and occasionally nasty, but the sight of Thor so helpless and weak and so mortal made up his mind for him. He wasn't good, like Balder. Or noble like Thor herself was. But he had compassion and much love for Thor and it hurt him to see Thor like this.
"It's going to be well, Thor." He found himself comforting her, smoothing her hair away from her pale face and wiping away the tears while she watched him with glassy eyes.
"It will be well, I promise you that."
"Who the hell are you? And what the hell are you doing here?"
Loki turned to look over his shoulder at the voice and only smiled when he saw a young woman with long dark hair flanked by an older man in a suit.
He supposed he would have to deal with the mortals that took Thor in sooner or later. Although it galled him to do so, he knew he had to co-operate with them in order for them to fix Thor well enough to bring her back to Asgard to get Idunn's apples in her and restore her completely. He knows he can't do it and if they want to do the work for him...
He smiled and turned to look at them, his hand still in Thor's grasp, not letting her go and providing the comfort he could give her with simply touch.
"My name is Loki and I am here for my mate. Now who do I meet with to make this possible?"
Chapter 3: Negotiations and Hard Realities
Now that Loki has gotten the news of Thor's condition, he needs to negotiate with Fury for her release. While Darcy and Jane have a heart to heart in regards to Darcy's attachment to Thor.
Loki stood beside Darcy as they waited impatiently for the doctors to look over Thora again and make sure that she was stable and hadn’t ripped anything up. He winced slightly at the name change, but decided that he needed to address her as such even in his head if the lie was to be believable. Simplest lies were built on half-truths, he knew that all too well. If he wanted to get Thor to Idun and fast. he was going to have to play upon these mortals with all their little quirks. He needed Thor.
“Where you really looking for her?” Darcy asked as the nurses removed most of the equipment and left a few monitors and I.V. Poles in the room. Thora herself was awake, but didn’t look as lost as she had prior to waking up.
“Every single day.” Loki admitted softly as he forced himself to remain patient and wait for the nurses and doctors to pronounce her well for the time being before they could go back in again.
Coulson himself had disappeared, presumably to find the proper channels to fulfill Loki’s request, and had left them waiting with Thora as he did so. That was fine with Loki. Although it was a childish sentiment, he didn’t want to be separated from her of keep her out of his sight if he could help it. He only wished he could touch her again and assure that this was simply temporary and things would be back to normal sooner, rather than later.
“What happened that she ended up here?” Darcy asked him, making him turn his attention toward her rather than to Thora and the doctors who were now coming out of the room.
Was all that Loki said before the doctors motioned that he should follow them to another room labelled “Family room.”
Darcy took a deep breath and let it out before she jerked her head in the direction of Thora’s room.
“I’ll stay with her. I’ve been sitting with her for a while. You go ahead.” Darcy assured him.
He didn’t even hesitate. She spoke the truth. Thora hadn’t acted out of sorts when she had seen the girl. In fact, Thora had smiled that lopsided smile and had received Darcy’s attentions happily. If she wasn’t to be trusted, that wouldn’t have happened. Thora always had that innate sense of knowing who was and who wasn’t good for her to be around.
Unfortunately, it hadn't extended to their own father. At least they had been right to trust mother.
“Thank you.” Although it was hard to say it, he managed it.
Darcy smiled, her red lips curving up into a warm smile before she entered the room and started to talk to Thora again and fuss over her.
He watched them briefly before he entered the room and faced the doctors.
“So you’re telling me her name is Thora and that her husband is there to bring her back to wherever it is that they come from?”
Jane asked as she picked up a stack of papers and wrestled them into a manageable enough stack.
“Exactly that. She’s one lucky girl. The man is hot!” Darcy exclaimed in high falsetto that made Jane laugh despite herself. She cradled the phone between her shoulder and cheek as she tamped down a stack of her notes into a semblance of order. Normally Darcy would be the one doing this, but since the excitement of Blo-Thora waking up and now her husband appearing, there was no way that Darcy was going to be coming into the office anytime soon. Besides, her own research was stalled, so she figured that she could at least do some housekeeping rather than calling it a day.
“But that won’t happen for awhile, I would assume.” Jane replied, finding a large enough metal clip and clamping it around the sheaf of papers.
“Obviously not. She’s just woken up and still has quite a few of those tubes in her. Not to mention the being able to talk and do stuff for herself. Which she really can’t.”
Darcy sighed and Jane put the papers down on the table, sensing that Darcy needed to talk about Blo-Thora.
“It’s kind of fucked up, because I mean…I shouldn’t care this much about her. It’s not like we were friends or anything before she ended up in the hospital. She was just the girl in a coma that I talked to…but I still do. It’s just not fair. She’s probably never going to be what she was before, you know? She’s almost like a baby and it’s great that her husband’s here, but that must be hard for him also.”
She paused and her breath hitched, making Jane clutch at the table. She had not once seen Darcy get overly emotional in the past months and the fact that she was nearly crying was worrying Jane badly.
“I just…I mean, I tried to get her to say my name and she just slurred it all. She wanted a drink of water, but she couldn’t hold the cup with the ice chips herself, never mind feed them to herself. It was just heart-breaking to see a grown woman so helpless.”
“Darcy…she just woke up from a coma. It looks bad now, but you have to remember that if she can at least do that, there is still hope that she can be well again.” Jane reminded her.
“Yeah…I guess I forgot to look at it that way. It was just stupid to expect her to be fine. I blame it on the media. Inaccurate portrayals and all that.”
She laughed quietly and Jane had to shake her head. She knew Darcy’s diversion tactics, but let them go. Darcy didn’t have to hide why she felt compassion towards Thora to Jane. But she could understand why Darcy would think it weird to feel such a strong connection towards Thora. It just wasn’t what she was known for, so she understood. But she still felt the responsibility to let Darcy know that.
“Of course. Listen, do you want to go for coffee once you are done visiting Thora? My treat.”
“I’d jump at the chance and you know it, but I can’t leave. Loki got called away to talk to the doctors and then the man in black is supposed to take him to Director Fury to talk about taking her back home. I…sort of promised to stay with her until he came back.”
Jane made a noise of agreement before she replied with her plan B.
“Oh. Well…how bout I bring it and some pastries and say hi to Thora also? It’s not a big deal for me to do so and besides, it has been awhile since I visited her.”
“Oh would you? That would be heavenly! Thank you so much Jane! You are a saviour!”
Jane laughed as she moved to her chair and picked up her satchel and jacket.
“Remember that when I have you fill out my grant and research applications.”
Darcy laughed. “Will do! Now hurry up and get me my Chai Latte and chocolate danish!”
“Don’t worry. I won’t forget. See you in a few.”
Loki kept his hands in his pockets so that the doctors wouldn’t see him clenching his hands into fists as they explained to him what Thora’s situation was now that she was conscious once more.
“Let me repeat to you what you have just said about my wife’s condition. Just so that I am clear,” Loki said to the doctors once they had finished explaining what was wrong with Thora and what the treatment and expectations for her recovery would be.
“My wife’s extensive injuries make it highly unlikely that she will be able to be independent again. She cannot walk. She cannot speak due to brain injuries. Her arm movement is limited and she has severe internal injuries that prevent her from eating solid foods. She is also pregnant and could lose the child even now. Even if it does live, there is no way of knowing if it will be healthy. Am I correct in my summary?”
The doctors as one nodded. One of them pulled out a form from the thick file folder that contained Thora’s medical records and pushed it towards Loki.
“What is this?” Loki asked as he snatched it up and read it.
“We think that it would be in your wife’s best interest if she underwent an abortion. Considering the scope of her injuries, it would tax her body greatly if the pregnancy was to continue. You are her husband and this form is asking for your consent-”
Loki tore the paper and pushed the two halves towards the doctors, who fell silent at the gesture.
“If you cut that child out of her, you will most certainly kill her. My child is the only reason why she didn’t die when she landed. I refuse to give consent for you to kill my wife and child!”
Loki hissed, his eyes narrowing as he spoke. He hadn’t made the connection until he had read the words scribbled at the end of her chart.
“Pregnancy-15 weeks. Fetal development is good, despite bleeding when first brought in.”
The words still haunted him, despite knowing that was the only reason she hadn’t expired the minute she had crashed on earth. The All Father had not realized that in his rage. It had been a lucky thing indeed that Thora was breeding and that Loki’s offspring had always been survivors.
“Mr. Laufeyson, I don’t think you understand. Your wife will require full time care once she leaves this hospital. I want to be optimistic, but at the moment…no. It would-”
Loki stood up and glared the doctors into silence.
“You have reached the limits of the medicine in this place. But it is not hopeless for us. My wife will be better once I get her home. So do your best and stabilize her until that is the case. That is all. Do not do anything else but that. Or you will regret it. Trust me on that.”
There was no time to hear what the doctor’s answer to that was, because the door of the room opened to reveal Coulson bearing what was possibly only one message. A message that Loki most certainly wanted to hear.
“I will take my leave of you. But I stand by what I said.” Loki warned them quietly, before he exited the room behind Agent Coulson, leaving the doctors sitting in silence and the consent form in pieces on the table.
Director Nick Fury reminded Loki all too well of the All Father. And not just because both were missing an eye. He had the same patriarchal demeanour and was used to dealing with absolutes of life and death on a daily basis. He also had the air of being able to command forces at the snap of his fingers and expected them to follow his orders to the letter.
Loki sighed inwardly. This was going to be the hardest obstacle he would have to face and he hoped that it didn't lead to anything that would require the All Father to get involved in.
"Agent Coulson has appraised me of the situation while you were conferring with the doctors on your wife's condition." Director Fury said, leaning back in his chair and intertwining his fingers as he looked Loki over; his expression and tone giving away nothing.
"You aren't here to cause an interplanetary issue. Nor are you here for any other purpose than to bring your injured wife back to your home world of-"
"Asgard." Loki supplied, knowing full well that he was expected to answer at that point.
"-Asgard. Right. Nothing else. You don't care about what we are doing here, other than how it affects your wife. Am I correct?"
Loki inclined his head. "I just want my wife back. She is with child and badly injured and I am sorry for the inconvenience. But all I came here to do was take her back where she will be taken care of."
He was being honest in his sentiments. As honest as the trickster and the liar could be. He didn't want any problems with the Midgardians. He just wanted to squirrel Thora away and feed her Idunn's apples until she was healthy and strong and back to normal. Nothing more and nothing less. All he cared about was her. She was all that mattered to him.
"That is fine. But what I want to know is how she ended up crash landing on earth in the first place. She should have died and despite having a few abnormalities…she is human. Can you explain this?"
Loki sighed and rubbed his eyes. "She displeased her father and she was cast out of Asgard. Stripped of all her powers and the only thing that has kept her alive as far as I can gather, is that she is carrying my child."
"Are you sure it is yours?"
Loki smiled at that. "A father knows his son, Director Fury. Asgardians more so than others."
Director Fury frowned slightly at that smile and that reply. He decided to not push that avenue.
"How do I know that you weren't the one that she displeased, rather than her father?"
Loki sat back at that, the smile disappearing from his face to be replaced by a cool and neutral mask that let no emotion bleed through.
"I'm here, Director Fury. After months of searching. If I didn't care, I wouldn't have bothered to show up. Much less beg for her return, which we both know very well that is what I am doing."
Director Fury nodded. "That is either very true, or you are the best liar I have met. I want to give you the benefit of the doubt in this situation. But your wife doesn't leave until she has that child and she is in a better condition than now. Those are my stipulations for her release into your care."
This chapter contains quite a bit of medical stuff. Again, I did do my homework on all the terms and whatnot. The tags have changed to reflect that the doctors suggested abortion due to the physical state of Thor in this one.
Also, Loki is a liar and he knows that the more he keeps acting as if Thor is "Thora, his wife," the better and more believable the lie will be.
That's all for the notes here.
Chapter 4: Hard Truths, Confusion and Schemes.
Thor is learning to cope with not only his disabilities, but his changed form and pregnancy. It's not going that well, but it's something. Meanwhile, Loki is scheming to make everything right and even goes so far as to enlist new allies.
He watched as Loki kissed his forehead and murmured that he would be back in a few minutes and let the girl (Darcy. Her name is Darcy.) into the room. He forced his mouth into a smile-
(But why was it so difficult? To force muscles and teeth, tongue and lips into a gesture that had come by so easily before? Was it because of the body he was now inhabiting? Or was it the mortality?)
-and thought he succeeded when Loki smiled back at him, despite the shadows in his eyes when he did and left him with Darcy.
“Morning! Hope you slept well, Thora!” Darcy greets her cheerfully as she sits down beside his bed and smiles at him before she starts talking rapidly about everything and anything as she pulls out basins and towels and other toiletry supplies. Even though other people come in and do things to him and for him…Darcy always helps him get clean and wash his hair, which is now down to his waist, despite shaved patches hidden under bandages.
(He remembers Loki positively glowering when the doctors attempted to suggest that they should cut off the rest of the hair to even it out until they had backed off the issue. He hadn’t ever seen Loki feel that strongly about his hair before. He also didn’t explain why, but it was nice to have Loki card his hands through his hair over and over until he fell asleep that night)
“Jane is coming by later, just to let you know. She just wants to see how you’re doing.” Darcy’s monologue cut into his thoughts as Darcy carefully wiped Thora’s face and rinsed it.
He tried to respond, but all that he could manage with his clumsy tongue and lips was an approximation that Loki had told him sounded more like a slurred version of “Gut” than the actual word. But he could make himself understood and that was all that counted.
He wanted to be angry that he was nothing more than a baby now, with all the physical limitations imposed upon him by his broken body. He felt like being petty and refusing to let anyone do anything for him…but what was the point? After several tantrums where he had feebly tried to make his displeasure known, it had resulted in him being strapped to the bed and being able to do nothing but close his eyes as nurses cleaned him up like a child while Loki waited in the hallway.
It was a hard lesson to learn and afterward, despite being angry and embarrassed that he had to be handled like a fragile kitten…he tolerated it. Especially when he was sure that Loki had an idea on how to fix the situation. Even if he hadn’t spoken it out loud, he just had a feeling that Loki was planning on how to help him. He just knew and that usually made things tolerable.
Well, most of the time, at least.
The other thing that had him fretting more than his physical health was his changed form.
Loki had understood the unspoken question in Thor’s eyes right after he had finally gained consciousness. Loki hadn’t addressed it until everyone had been out of the room and it was just the two of them later on.
He had explained to Thor quietly, everything that had been told to him: the injuries and the prognosis and about the child he now carried.
“I know you can’t respond verbally. But I know you understand, Thor. “ He looked up at the corner of the room and noted all of the possible cameras and bugs in the room and flicked his fingers, frying the cameras and audio. The conversation was only between them and them alone.
“I promise you, that you won’t be like this permanently. I will bring you back to Asgard. I can promise that much. “
Here, Loki paused and gently took Thor’s hand, smiling faintly when he felt the light tightening of Thor’s slender fingers.
“But I can’t change your form. The All Father has power that is beyond even my capabilities. And even if I could-” Loki broke off and placed his hand lightly on Thor’s abdomen, which only then he noticed the hard curve of and the light fluttering that he had assumed was part of his new form. He had been in pain and honestly hadn’t figured out if it was phantom pain, or something that happened because he was smaller and more fragile. But now he knew that it was due to Loki’s child he now carried inside.
“We’d lose him. And in losing him, I’d lose you as well. You’re mortal and the fall should have killed you, that is certain. But only he, the link to me, is what kept you alive for me to find.”
Thor felt his entire body grow cold at the realization of what exact punishment his father had crafted for him. He was helpless, a mortal and a woman. A crippled woman and one that would be a mother quite shortly, if he were to go by what Loki was saying.
He didn’t want this and he didn’t know how he could even start to cope with the situation of being another sex and being a mother. Not that he had been sexist when he had been a man, but he had never even thought about being a woman. Nor what it would entail. And here he was, dependent and mute and not in his true form at all.
He wished that they had never been seen. That his father would have been able to listen, rather than to act upon his anger and disappointment. But he couldn’t wish for Loki’s love to be gone. Nor could he even force himself to wish for the child to disappear also.
It was his and Loki’s flesh and blood and he couldn’t wish an innocent dead. He wasn’t that selfish to wish that, even if the price felt too high to pay at that moment. Not when it was what led Loki to him. Not when it guaranteed his own survival also.
“If I could have spared you this, I would have, Thor.” Loki whispered as he wiped the tears that were coursing down Thor’s face.
Thor forced himself to swallow and forced his mouth to shape the words, which sounded off and dissonant, but were enough to convey their meaning to Loki.
“I can only help you regain what you have lost. I promise that you will be whole again. But for now, you are to be Thora. It hopefully won’t be that long, min kjaerlighet.”
Loki whispered, raising Thor’s hand to his lips and pressing a gentle kiss on the limp fingers before he leaned forward and carefully gathered Thor into his arms and let him mourn for who he had been and who he now was forced to be.
“Do you want me to braid your hair?” Darcy’s question pulled Thor out of his remembrances and he nodded stiffly.
“Yes.” He whispered, the one syllable word coming easier than most, making Darcy smile.
“Allright. I’ll do that and maybe we can get some light in this room then!” Darcy exclaimed as she went to the drapes and opened them, only to reveal clouds and drizzle.
“Funny. It’s never rained this much before. I wonder why it’s been like this. Oh well. Let’s get this started, shall we?”
Thor nodded and looked out the window, wondering if it really was because of who was in his womb, or whether there was still some of his power remaining.
He didn’t know which one he was hoping for, in the end.
Loki stood in the coffee shop, a warm and spicy concoction in his hands as he weighed his options. He could leave right now, go to Asgard and somehow wrangle a few apples from Idunn. He had gone earlier, right after Fury had made the decision in regards to Thora and had been horribly unsuccessful.
Odin had forbidden Idunn from letting her apples leave her orchard. If anyone was to consume them, they needed to do so in the perimeter of her land, under Heimdall’s watchful eyes. Odin was aware that Loki had some plans, but not exactly what the plans themselves were. Only that they involved the apples and he had made sure that Loki wouldn’t use them in any of his schemes.
So he has to come up with a plan to transport even just one to Midgard and feed them to Thora.
He frowned and took a sip of his drink. That was also another problem, since she couldn’t eat or swallow. He winced at the memory of Darcy trying to give her ice chips and the betrayed look on Thora’s face when she had nearly choked on them. He had felt badly for both of them, since Darcy was simply trying to be helpful and Thora was simply puzzled and upset at not being able to even swallow small chunks of ice.
She had looked at him afterwards, the question clear in her eyes and Loki had done his best to explain the brain injury and how it affected the way she spoke and swallowed. Thora understood, which was a blessing in itself that her mind was still intact (although lacking certain memories and knowledge) even if she could barely communicate and still had a tube for feeding.
She didn’t like that she was mute, for all intents and purposes. At least Loki could understand most of her words and translate. But to everyone else, she was simply unintelligible and that frustrated her badly.
“It will be better once you start speech therapy.” The doctors had told her. Thora had nodded, but it was a long way from making the situation good. Loki himself understood how it would feel, since he relied on his words for survival and to have them taken away was one of his biggest fears, even if he kept it to himself. Well, he reflected as he sat with Thora, he had kept it mostly to himself.
Thor had known. There were few secrets they kept from each other.
He wondered, if Thora remembered that conversation. She had given him an undecipherable look after that, but he really wasn’t sure what it meant. He wanted to believe she did. He had to cling on to that belief, because the alternative would have been to harsh to take.
Loki shook his head and returned to the present. He didn’t want to leave Thora just yet. Not when she had just woken up and recognized him and clung to him as a saviour. He was unable to get the apples, and even if he did have them, they would be useless. He had a feeling that in this case, the cure would probably be worse than the disease.
He opted to wait. Surely he could see an angle while bonding with his lover again. Besides, he was determined to keep her in his sights unless otherwise necessary. Those months without her had been hell.
Having decided on a course of action, he took one last gulp of his coffee and chucked the empty cup into the rubbish bin. Once that was done, he went inside, just narrowly missing the downpour.
Heimdall frowned as he looked upon the nine realms looking for the lost princes of Asgard. Despite all of his magics, there was no sign of either of them. Even the faint light that he had seen before was gone. This was not a good sign and he had to wonder how it could have happened. Loki could and often had cloaked himself. And Thor, even with the All Father’s magic, had always been faintly traceable. But now, there was simply no sign of either of them. They were simply gone and he wasn’t looking forward to reporting the lack of his findings.
“Do you see them? Is there any way to find them?” Sif asked urgently, While Volstagg, Fandral and Hogun kept an eye out for Hugin and Mumin.
“Nothing, Lady Sif. Loki hides himself and his brother all too well. He won’t let me see him until he is ready to be seen.”
Sif hissed like a wet cat. “When would that be?”
“Sooner than you expected, Sif. I’m in need of your help.” Loki announced, making Sif scowl even harder at him. She opened her mouth to deliver a scathing retort that Loki had anticipated and prepared his own pre-emptive attack. He hadn’t come to Asgard to fight. Not when there were more important things to take care of.
“I’m not asking for myself. I’m asking for Thor.” Loki continued, making Sif look at him sharply.
“What do you have in mind?” She asked, making Loki smile. This was easier than he had expected. Much easier.
“I’ll explain in a second. I can’t afford to have this plan fail.” Loki explained, winking her and the Warriors Three out of Heimdall’s sight.
Heimdall frowned, but said nothing. Loki had at least been courteous enough to give him an out if the All Father would come looking for his elusive son. At least the Trickster had planned that far in this instance. He just hoped that Loki had the end game in sight and didn’t lose sight of it.
Thor isn't quite accepting of himself as a woman, that is why his scenes are written in the male POV and he's not quite ready to accept that his entire being has changed. He's still a man in his mind, so there's dissonance going on. Also, gender in Asgard is a bit different, that's why he's not completely depressed or freaking out.
Also, thank you to all that have commented. I greatly appreciate the comments and the ideas that have come from the comments. Cheers!
Chapter 5: The Sacrifices We Must Bear
Sif agrees to help and learns some painful truths about herself, while Loki learns that sometimes, not all good intentions end up completely good. And Frigga learns and plans.
“It gets easier with time.” Loki told Sif as he watched her fall to her knees and take large gulps of air to ease the nausea she was attacked with after landing on Midgard. She had travelled to other realms, but never to Midgard and the atmosphere was hard to get used to at first.
She glared balefully at him and coughed a few times before the queasiness was gone and she felt steady enough to stand up under her own power. Once that happened, she turned and looked at Loki and had to prevent herself from gaping at him.
“What are you wearing?” She asked as she took in the plain tailored, but expensive looking clothing he now wore instead of the Asgardian robes or armour.
“We’re in Midgard, Sif. The less attention we draw to ourselves, the better.” He looked at her and muttered a spell and Sif’s own clothes were transformed into a business suit and heels that almost matched his own clothing. The only difference was that the satchel where she was now carrying the apple of Idunn was now a sleek designer purse.
“You will do. Now.” Loki said before they took a couple of steps and ended up in the hospital lobby that he had learned to tolerate in the past four months that he had first shown up. The smell of antiseptic was still a nuisance, but he had learned to block it out fairly well. Besides, he had learned to be attuned to Thor’s own unique scent of milk, faint ozone and the crispness of wintergreen that had always been his own and that made it bearable.
Sif gasped and covered her mouth with her hand, taking shallow breaths until she had been able to tolerate the sharp scent. Loki didn’t even give her a second glance, but waited until she had gotten herself under control before he started walking to Thor’s room.
“Do not let your emotions get to you. I gave you the preliminaries on Thor’s condition. But you have to remember to call him Thora, since she is a woman. She’s also about six months pregnant and a mortal. There are more problems than that, but you will have to see to understand why I needed your help.”
He paused and looked at her sharply.
“And one more thing. They will ask who you are. Your name will be Sylvia and you’re a cousin of Thora’s. If anyone asks why you’re just now here, you had business in Oslo you couldn’t get away from just yet.”
Sif nodded, taking all the information in as they walked down the hall and towards an area that was less part of the main body of the hospital and more of a private part of the building.
“Why so many lies?”
Loki only glanced at her before looking straight ahead.
“Half truths are more potent than whole truths, Sif. Also, I don’t want to have them know everything about us and renege on the deal we have made. So just play your part and help Thor.”
Sif swallowed hard, knowing that it was a low blow, but not denying the truth of the statement.
She had agreed to help him once he had explained how he had found Thor and what state he was in. Although Loki and her hadn’t ever really been friends, and even less after Thor’s banishment from Asgard; he had been banking on her love for Thor to give her that extra incentive to help. That had been the deciding factor in the end. The love and respect that most of Asgard still had for the banished Thor.
He would have minded before and resented the situation if he hadn’t spent those months at Thora’s side. He had seen her mangled and broken and had done his best to get her help so that she could at least do small tasks, speak and eat. She was still a long way from being healed, but she was getting there. The resentment had instead turned into a fierce determination to see her well at any means at his disposal and to bring her back to her former glory.
Sif had been surprised at this determination. Despite knowing all too well that Loki was capable of love, she had known of his deep-seated rivalry with Thor that would occasionally spill out into resentment and mean-spirited actions. Actions that would take a very long time to heal over. She would have expected him to take his time in rectifying the situation and gloat, rather than find compassion and aid.
But then, no one could ever claim to know Loki’s mind. The closest was Thor and even he wasn’t sure most of the time.
“So do you think one apple will do the task?” Sif asked, breaking the silence between them.
“I don’t know, but I’m willing to try. Both of them deserve that much.”
Loki replied, making Sif give a strangled choking sound at how casually, yet fiercely he spoke about Thor and the unborn child in Thor’s body. Theoretically, they all could have children. She just never thought that Thor would be the one carrying a child for anyone. She had hoped, maybe that one day it would be them sharing the joy over a pregnancy…but that dream was now truly and completely gone.
She shook her head to clear it. There would be enough time for that. Right now, she had to focus on the task ahead. Only when she was safe in the forests of Asgard would she give into her grief of what could have been.
She took a deep breath and concentrated on following Loki into the third room down the hall. It wasn’t what she was used to associating with Thor, that was for certain. It was decorated in muted colours and was very feminine and soft. Very soft. It made her own rooms look far too masculine.
“How are you doing, love?” Her head snapped towards the direction of Loki’s voice, her eyebrows rising at the tone that she wouldn’t have ever thought to hear coming from Loki’s mouth. She felt her mouth fall open in shock when she took in the sight of Loki leaning over a woman sitting up in a wheeled chair and dressed in a soft gown that was very clearly the female counterpart of Thor.
She didn’t have much time to take in the sight, since Loki’s next actions completely made her jaw hit the floor in shock.
Loki was smoothing her hair away from Thor’s face with gentle fingers while he kissed her temple and murmured to her words that were too low for Sif to hear, but were no doubt tender and meant for Thor’s ears only. Sif also noticed how Thor leaned into the touch and closed his eyes, giving out a thick purr-like sound in contentment while he clumsily guided Loki’s hand towards the bump that wasn’t covered by the blanket someone had laid over his lower body.
Seeing Thor’s simple and uncomplicated happiness at having Loki’s attention upon him made Sif’s eyes burn and her throat close up. He had never looked that happy with her. That unguarded and that trusting with her. It hurt to see that no matter what she had ever wanted to believe…Loki had captured Thor’s heart without any effort at all.
Even though he was broken and changed…he looked happier than he ever had been in Asgard. If crushing and punishing his son into misery was the goal of the All Father, then he had failed horribly. His failure had destroyed his son in the process, for a petty revenge that was never going to work out in the way that he had expected or foreseen.
She closed her mouth and swallowed hard as she forced herself to come closer to Loki and Thor, who was silent as she ran her hands through Loki’s hair and whispered something in his ear. The words were unintelligible to her, but must have meant something to Loki, who smiled sadly. It cut her to the core of her to see this, but she had promised to help Thor. Thora.
This woman wasn’t the Aesir she had known. She never would be Thor. Nor was she Sif’s. She was Loki’s woman and it stung and it hurt…she would still keep her part of the bargain. And remember the grave hurt that had been handed to her by the All Father’s whims.
She pulled out the apple and pressed it into Loki’s hand, making him look up at her, his eyes dark and wary at her actions.
“Do it quickly. We can’t afford to have anyone be suspicious of our whereabouts.” Sif told him, making his expression soften fractionally.
“Thank you, Lady Sif. For helping.” Loki whispered before he did a couple of complicated hand signals and she was back in Asgard.
He turned to look at Thora, who was watching him as he took a bite of the apple and chewed it carefully, his eyes never leaving her face before he pressed his mouth to hers and pushed the pulp into her own mouth. He tilted her head and with his thumb, rubbed her throat so that it would encourage her to swallow like the nurses had taught him to do when he would help her eat.
He pulled away from her to see the results and he breathed a quiet sigh and prayer to the old gods when he saw improvement already. Slight improvement, but it was visible enough in the renewed lustre of her hair and skin and how her fingers twitched in her lap.
He took another bite and repeated the process, pleased when he could feel her throat working out of its own volition once the fourth bite had been given. After the sixth piece had been swallowed, Thora’s hands moved to keep Loki’s lip pressed upon hers as she tasted and licked the juice off his mouth. He stayed still, stunned at her actions and letting her to do what she wanted until she finally let him go.
He pulled back then and nearly cried in relief as she reached out for the nearly finished apple in his hand.
He gave it to her and watched as she shakily brought it to her mouth and took the last bite. He watched her anxiously as she chewed and swallowed and waited to see if her voice was finally back.
She sat still, her gaze turned inward. As if she was taking stock of everything that had been changing and been repaired inside her before she jerked violently, nearly falling out of her chair with the movement.
“No. No. No.” Loki cried as he frantically rushed to Thora and grabbed her before she could fall and hurt herself, placing her onto the bed and calling the nurses and doctors as he watched her seize.
“She’s having seizures! Stabilize her! Quick!”
Loki was pushed out of the room and all he could do was slump against the wall in the hallway and hope that he hadn’t destroyed Thora with good intentions.
Frigga stood at her window and looked out at the sky in Asgard. She kept her eyes on that dark expanse, hoping to get some kind of sign that her son was alive and out there somewhere. That he was happy and thriving even if he wasn’t in Asgard. She missed him horribly, but she too had to abide by the rules of the All Father. As much as he was her husband, he was also her king.
And even though her heart was bloody and broken over the loss of her son, she had to remain silent and suffer his loss in the private chambers of her own heart.
She wished that she could run away and hide herself in her grief and mourn him for the rest of her days, but she was a queen and queens were not afforded the luxury.
Besides, there was the case of Balder in the nursery. He needed her as much as her eldest and her
kingdom. Her own wants had to wait for the time being.
She shook her head and moved away from the window. Balder would be fussing already and she needed to suckle him before he settled for the night.
She had just gone to the doors when they burst open to reveal Sif.
“Lady Sif. To what do I owe this visit?” Frigga asked the warrior goddess, who was looking murderous as she stood, trembling with anger so great that she was shaking with it.
“I have news, my queen. Of your son. or rather, your daughter. Who will soon be a mother.”
I actually really like Sif and when her presence in regards to helping Thor was needed, I wanted to be fair to her and explore what she was going through seeing all of what had happened to Thor and more realizations that she would have gone through. As for Frigga, I also adore her and even though she's not canonically Thor or Balder's mother...in the myths she is, so I'm going with that.
Sorry this is late. I had to cross the international time line and I'm still jet lagged and out of whack. Cheers!
Chapter 6: So it comes to this
Frigga starts weaving her own plans for her missing children with Sif's help. Loki and Darcy wait for Thora to wake up, but the results are bittersweet and have Loki asking for help from an unusual quarter.
Frigga’s hand covered her mouth as she took in the news that made her double up as she took in the news that were like a physical blow to her. She had given up hope of ever knowing anything about her oldest son and to hear that he had been so changed and carrying her grandchild…it was enough to stun her.
Her lovely golden son was gone. The child she had weaned at her breast and watched grow up from a baby to mischievous boy and to a man was gone. Odin’s magic was born out of the world’s essence itself. If he chose to change reality any way he chose, it would be done. And she doubted that he would ever change his mind once it was set on a course.
She had always tried to change his mind before it ever got that far, but his temper had worked quicker than she had anticipated and her son was gone.She had never believed that his desire to have him be a certain way would lead him to twist his son into what he felt Thor should be. And now her son was forever out of her grasp. Lost to her and remaining alive only in her memories. She now had to accept she had a daughter and a grandchild on the way.
A child born of her step-son and her daughter. If she could, she’d laugh hysterically. But she was afraid that if she gave into that impulse that she’d never stop. She took a deep breath and straightened up, getting her emotions under an iron grip of control. She needed her mind clear if she was going to do anything to help her so-her daughter and grandchild.
Sif respectfully waited for Frigga to regain her composure and thought back to the woman she had left with Loki. She still was in shock over the cruelty and preciseness of the All Father’s punishment on his son, but she also knew that she needed to keep a presence of mind if anything was to be done about the situation.
And what Loki was planning, she could see as plain as day, was nothing more than treason against the All Father. No one, as far as she was aware, had ever dared to turn a decree back onto the All Father and Loki, with his plan for Idunn’s apples, was doing just that.
He might have been the new heir, but Sif seriously doubted that Loki would come away from this situation blameless. Especially if he was trying to bring his banished sibling back to Asgard. Now that she was fully aware of the situation, she had to decide for herself whether she had that much strength to fight alongside Loki and defy the All Father when the time came.
“How is my…child?” Frigga asked her, once she had finally straightened up and had absorbed the news Sif had brought her.
“Broken. Voiceless. Content. In love with Loki. The happiest I have ever seen her, to be honest.”
Frigga managed a watery smile at that. It wasn’t what she had been expecting to hear, but it was better than what she had expected to hear and that counted for something.
“But Loki is with her?”
Sif nodded. “She is well taken care of. She is loved and she will heal.”
Frigga nodded. “That is good, to hear that my sons, despite everything, still have that bond.”
Sif nodded. “That bond is too deep for it to be broken, my queen. Loki’s love for Thor has changed him in ways that I do not recognize at all.”
Frigga nodded as she began to pace her chambers.
“I have a duty for you, Sif. On top of whatever else my son has asked of you.”
Frigga said, stopping in front of Sif, who looked at her in surprise.
“I will try to do whatever task you set before me to the best of my ability, my queen.”
Frigga nodded and waved a hand, leaving a slight shimmer of light in the air before she spoke.
“Not only Loki can keep Heimdall’s gaze from him.” She muttered before she look at Sif.
“I shall talk to Idunn for apples that you will get to Loki whenever he asks for them. Thor needs them, especially in a mortal shell while carrying a child that may or may not be mortal. It could kill him in the end and that simply won’t do. It will be a difficult task, but my presence is as much part of Asgard as is the All Father’s. I cannot leave. That is why I am asking you to fulfill this task.”
Sif looked at her queen.
“And if the All Father finds out?”
Frigga’s eyes glittered with a harsh strength that Sif was sure she had never seen in the queen’s eyes before.
“He won’t be an utter fool to kill a goddess. And certainly not one under my protection. Now will you go?”
Darcy bit her lip as she walked over to a slumped Loki, who looked like he hadn’t slept in weeks, even though it had only been days since Thora had suffered the seizure. It had hit him pretty hard and had basically lived in her room, according to the medical staff that they had talked to. She understood that it was hard for him to take that set back. Thora had been making slow progress, but it was progress. Having her seize and fall back into unconsciousness was not an easy thing to see and she could sympathize with him. Especially now that she had gotten to know Thora.
If she got worse, she was sure that it would not only break Loki’s heart, but also her own and Jane’s.
“Here. You look like you need it.” Darcy told him, making him look up and accept the large cup of coffee with almost no expression on his face.
“Thank you.” Was all that he said as he took it and drank what looked like a quarter of it in one gulp. Darcy pretended to not see it as she slumped down in the chair next to him. She cast a look at Thora, who was still unconscious.
“No change. But at least she’s not in a coma.” Loki murmured, making Darcy look at him sharply in surprise. She didn’t think that she had been that obvious when looking at Thora. But then, Loki had always been uncannily observant when it came to his wife.
“Do they know if she’s going to wake up soon?” She asked quietly. Although it was obvious that Thora wasn’t conscious to hear her, she didn’t feel that she could speak above a whisper in her presence. There was something about the uncertainty she faced that made Darcy and Loki be as silent as they possibly could be.
Loki shook his head and took another drink of the coffee. Darcy took a sip of her own hot chocolate and looked at Thora, who for all intents and purposes, was sleeping. But it was different than before, when she was in a coma. The machines weren’t there, for one thing. The other thing was Thora’s own appearance. She looked, for a lack of a better word, healthy. Not sickly and waxy like she did before.
“The doctors think she’s recovering from the seizure. Even though there was no bleeding in the brain…she still needs time to recover. After that, they aren’t sure. She could be fine, or she could be back to how she was before. It all really depends when she finally regains consciousness.” Loki replied, startling Darcy out of her reverie.
He put his cup down and gently took Thora’s hand into his own, stroking the back of her hand with his thumb. He kept on stroking her hand, murmuring a song that was in a language Darcy assumed was Norwegian. He kept on murmuring that song, making it be a background noise for him and Darcy, who pulled out reports that she had neglected earlier and started to work on them.
They passed the time silently, the only sounds being Darcy’s papers shuffling as she finished them and Loki’s quiet singing. They sat that way until Thora sat up, her grip tightening on Loki’s hand as she did so.
Loki asked her something in Norse and Thora replied, her words clear and fluent before they were lost in sharp cry of pain as she doubled over, her arms now wrapped around her as if she was hoping that would keep her together.
“Thora? Darcy! Get the doctors in here now!” Loki ordered her as he got up and rubbed Thora’s back while the woman breathed heavily through her nose. That was also when Darcy noticed the heavy, coppery smell of blood. Loki noticed it too and he scowled in worry.
“Loki? Is she having the baby?”
Jane had just put the finishing touches on her last equations when she heard the phone in the office ring. She let it ring for a couple of times, so absorbed was she in her work when she finally realized that it could very well be Darcy and picked it up.
A choked sob and her name being whimpered were her answers. This made Jane get up and start rushing around the lab to find her coat and her messenger bag at the sound of that.
Darcy took a deep breath again to get herself under control before she finally was able to speak.
“It’s Thora. She’s. Uhm. Oh God. She’s not going to make it. There were problems…when she was having the baby. She’s gone and Loki’s disappeared, the baby’s in the neonatal ICU and I don’t know what else to do.”
Jane was stunned. Those were not news she had expected to hear.
“Okay. Uh. Just wait. I’ll be there in a bit. Just keep and eye on the baby. Don’t worry, Darcy. I’m sure everything will be fixed. Just wait. Okay?”
Darcy sniffled and whispered her agreement before they ended the call.
Jane didn’t waste anymore time and simply scribbled out a note before heading out to the hospital, not noticing the tears that had come unbidden to her eyes.
Loki appeared in Helheim and went looking for his daughter, praying that he wasn’t too late to ask for her aid in this matter.
Thora was not quite in the realms yet. They were keeping her alive at his request and he hoped that he could work this plan through in time. He had to, or else forfeit anything he had hoped to achieve.
Hel heard her father and climbed down the stairs of her throne in Helheim, her indigo blue robes swirling about her as she walked, showing all the deepest shades of night.
“To what do I owe your visit, father?”
Hel greeted him politely, curtseying at his presence.
“Thor’s soul, my daughter. It has just passed here and I have come for it.” Loki took a deep breath and forced himself to look at the face of his beautiful half-dead daughter.
“So I ask of you, as your father: Thor’s soul. All I ask of you. His soul.”
I tend to mix comic book, film and myths together. So my Hel isn't the comic book version, but the mythological one as well as being Loki's daughter by Angreboda. Also, the one way that women ended up in Valhalla was through death in childbirth, if I recall my books of myth correctly.
Chapter 7: I'd Like To Fall Asleep To The Beat Of You Breathing
With Thor's soul in limbo, Odin puts his grudges aside and galvanizes his wife and Sif to figure out how to save his son. Meanwhile, Loki must answer the simple question put to him by Hel-What is so special about Thor?
"I'd like to fall asleep to the beat of you breathing
In a room near a highway"-The Weakerthans
Odin dropped Gugnir the second that he felt his son's soul dim and start to fade. He hadn't thought that this would have happened and he hadn't planned for it. The idea of Thor having been with child when he had been cast out of Asgard hadn't crossed his mind.
He had believed that he had dealt with the situation in time to prevent that from happening. He had been a fool again. And now, Thor was on the verge of being taken from all of them.
He knelt to pick up Gugnir and had just straightened up in time to see Frigga and Lady Sif walk into his study.
"I know." He told his wife as he walked over to her and to Lady Sif.
"What will you do then? Once he's gone into Helheim, it isn't a matter of asking for him back. Hel isn't one to let go of her prizes so easily."
Frigga replied, her eyes wet with tears that she wouldn't let herself weep. Not until she knew that nothing could be done in the nine realms to bring her child back.
"She has to obey the laws as we do. Use your seidr and look at your weaving, Frigga. Lady Sif, go to my daughter and guard her and my grandchild."
"And where will you go, All Father?"
"To the Norns. I must see if his thread has been cut."
Frigga nodded at the answer, but stayed where she was and asked the question that she wasn't sure she wanted an answer to.
"And who will plead Thor's case to Hel?"
Odin straightened his shoulders at that query.
"Do you actually think that Loki isn't down there already? We aren't the ones to plead his case. Not when we caused all of this and banished Hel to her realm. Do you think that she would give us that much of a boon? No. Only Loki can do that and even then...I fear that may not be enough."
"So that's Thora and Loki's son?" Jane whispered as she and Darcy stood in front of the NICU and looked at the baby lying in a clear bassinet, with wires and tubes attached to his small body. He was wrapped loosely in a blanket and there was a small blue cap on his head.
He was sleeping, but he occasionally moved his arms and opened and closed his mouth. He seemed, despite all the equipment he was surrounded by and hooked up to, healthy.
"Yeah. Isn't he adorable?" Darcy asked as she pressed her fingers against the plastic of the nursery window.
"Yeah. Is he out of danger now, though?" Jane asked, not wanting to get attached in case that the baby was in danger and wouldn't live long.
Darcy pursed her lips and shook her head.
"They thought that he was, because he was born blue. Lack of oxygen and some other stuff that I can honestly say went over my head. But he's doing better and they said that he should be here maybe a couple of more days."
Darcy confirmed, her mouth trying to force itself into a smile, but failing.
"But Loki's not here and Thora's...she's on life support now. If nothing changes, Fury's talking about putting him up into fosterage with some special school up in Westchester or something."
Darcy said quietly, her eyes still fixed on the child.
"It won't come to that, Darcy. Loki loves his son. Even if Thora..." She trailed off, not wanting to verbalize the fear that hovered over their heads.
"Look, it's all going to work out and the baby's not going to be taken away. Don't think like that. It's all going to work out. Trust me, okay? It's all going to work out."
Darcy nodded and bit her trembling lower lip. She took a deep breath and sighed as she steadied herself.
"Okay. Yeah. It's going to be all fine. It's going to be all okay."
Jane nodded as she wrapped her arm around the younger woman.
"Let's get something in you. I'm sure that you've not had a proper meal or proper coffee. It's the least that I can do for you at this moment."
Jane told her, wanting very badly to take care of Darcy and to share the burden that she wished Darcy hadn't chosen to undertake.
"Okay. Yeah. Let's do this."
It was a shadow of her old enthusiasm, but it served its purpose and that was good enough for Jane at that moment.
She knew that it was simply an interlude in the storm, but she knew that Darcy needed it badly. She had grown severely attached to Thora and Loki and if things didn't work out, she would need someone to help her and Jane vowed that she would return the favour.
Hel stood and looked at her father with her still whole eye as he stood there, in the pose of a supplicant as he begged for Thor's soul to be returned to the land of the living.
She studied him as she looked at him, bending the knee to her and looking up at her with naked longing and hope etched on his pale face, making his eyes huge and green in his fine boned face.
"Would you have done the same for Angreboda? Begged for her soul?"
Hel whispered as she knelt down in front of Loki and caressed his face with a hand that was more bone than flesh. Loki didn't flinch and instead tilted his face into her touch, his eyes closing half way as he did.
"If you had been in charge of Helheim, yes. I would have. She was more than a mate to me, Hel. She was your mother and I loved her as much as I was able to love anyone at that time."
Loki answered truthfully, opening his eyes and looking up at his daughter once he had admitted as much.
"What makes him so special that you'd come for him?"
Loki had to pause and think about that for a moment. What had made Thor so special that he would beg for his soul back? That he would give up his books, his schemes and his place on Asgard to come and take care of the broken being that he had become?
He knew that Hel was asking why it hadn't happened with her mother, but had occurred almost effortlessly with Thor. Try as he might, he had to admit that he had no real answer to the query. Not one that was easily slotted into a few words and phrases and left at that.
"He is the only one that has always stood by me, no matter what I have done or said. He is my light as I am his shadow. He sacrificed everything without a second thought for my sake and the sake of the love that he bears for me and I bear for him."
He placed his hand over his daughters as he looked at her straight on.
"How can I not come to you as a supplicant and ask for his soul back? Even I am not made of ice, Hel. So I ask, again: Please, his soul. His son is waiting for him to return. As am I."
Hel placed both of her hands on her father's shoulders and bade him rise after he had spoken.
"That is enough."
"Thora Laufeyssen. Do you know where she is?" Sif asked the nurse at the desk, who was looking at her with a mixture of admiration and lust mixed into one.
"Just give me a minute to check." The nurse told Sif as she tapped away at the keyboard to find the information that was asked of her.
"She's in ICU. Fourth Floor, Room 4D7. Are you Sylvia Radvassen?"
Sif blinked at the name and nodded, her surprise at Loki's forethough rendering her mute for the moment.
"We just have to confirm, since she is in ICU. Only relatives can come in and her husband has already given us a list."
The nurse explained a touch apologetically, making Sif nod automatically, despite the words only barely sinking in.
"You can go up and see your cousin. The elevators are to your left. Go up the fourth floor and follow the signs. You can't miss them."
Sif muttered something that passed as a thanks and followed the directions to the letter, pausing only to collect herself before she stepped into the room.
Loki looked up only briefly from his spot on the bed where he was curled up around Thora, who was near sleep and with her hand intertwined with Loki's own. The machines were still there, but not as many and the ones that were not being used had been pushed out of the way and weren't in use.
"Lady Sif. To what do we owe your presence?" Loki murmured, careful to not disturb Thora with loud words or sudden movements.
Sif moved forward and opened the bag that she was carrying, showing Loki its contents and for once, making the other God be at a loss for words.
"From your Lady Mother as well as a message: The exile is over."
Loki looked at her mutely, stilling Thora's stirrings by carding his fingers through her long hair.
Home stretch time! I think RL may have bled a bit into my writing here and also the fact that I'm a sucker for hurt/comfort and happy endings. I will eventually post a sketch of what my Hel looks like and why she spoke to Loki like she did. Also, Odin's not quite off the hook, but after reading "Fear Itself" and "Journey into Mystery" (The old and new issues) I can admit that my writing has been influenced a bit by all of that.
I also couldn't resist to bring up Thor's Half-Jotun heritage within his son, who right now, doesn't have a name as of yet.
Thank you all that have read and commented. Cheers!
Chapter 8: Falling Into Place
Loki and Thora are close, so very close to having their journey finally end and all they need to do is return to Asgard, where Frigga shares news with them that may or may not shatter their identities more and make them question whether Asgard truly is their home and whether duty can be balanced with love.
He woke up first, the sounds of the morning taking him out of the deep doze he had fallen into sometime during the time after Sif had shown up with the apples and her departure. He blinked and looked down at the blonde head that was currently underneath his chin. Thora was still asleep, the sounds of the hospital coming to life for the day not jarring her from the sleep she had sunk into after he had fed her two of the four apples that Sif had brought. Two he had eaten himself and it was then that he had realized how much his stamina had suffered, being down on earth and worrying after Thora and their son.
He didn't resent it and he was already back to full strength. He was glad that their Lady mother had seen fit to intervene and have Sif bring the apples that would give him strength and return Thora to health so that they could return to Asgard. Although Midgard had provided them with aid and helped their bond grow stronger...he wanted to go home and he was sure that Thora would want to as well. He also wanted for Narfi to cement his grasp as second heir on the throne of Asgard. It was his birthright and he was damned well determined to not let it go.
It wouldn't be nearly enough to make it up to Thora, but it was something to continue to show his gratitude for what had happened. Thora had acted rashly and impulsively, facing off against the All father as he had done. But Loki could appreciate the sentiment behind it.
Even Angreboda hadn't dared to express that much emotion towards him, being his wife. Yet Thora had done it without a second thought. And despite the tragedy that had befallen her...she still loved him without reservation.
Loki saw it in her eyes everytime she looked up at him. Even in her broken speech and graceless gestures, he could see it. Her eyes always had reflected total trust and affection and remembering that made him wonder if she could see the same in his face when he looked at her.
Thora stirred then, making him look down at her. He found himself looking into her sleepy grey eyes and heart-shaped face when he did and he felt an unfamiliar ache in his chest. He didn't have to wonder, he realized when she smiled up at him and moved to touch his face. Her movement was fluid and graceful and her fingers sure and clever as they touched his cheek and lips.
“Min eskelde” Thora whispered to him, her thumb brushing against his bottom lip as she spoke, her voice low and husky.
Loki found himself smiling back at her before he bent down and kissed her forehead.
“Min eskelde” He whispered back, making her eyes crinkle with a smile so bright that he nearly found himself lost in.
“Where is Narfi? I would like to properly greet our son.”
“He is adorable! Seriously! You two make cute babies!” Darcy cooed as she snapped picture after picture of Loki, Thora and Narfi.
“Thank you, Lady Darcy. I think.” Thora replied, distractedly. She was too busy looking down at her son, who was latched onto her breast and nursing hungrily. His eyes, the same dark stormy grey as hers were wide open as he nursed and Loki was sure their son was doing that to keep them both in sight. He was only a day or so old, but he could already see precocious intelligence in his eyes. This made Loki ridiculously proud, since this was the first of his children not a monster and a true son of his blood.
It was also the first child that he had ever created because he loved his partner and he had to wonder if that had much to do with the appearance of his child. He wasn't favouring his Jotunn heritage, despite the faint blue shading of his skin when he was born and the suggestion of marks on his skin. He was more Aesir, with his honey tinged skin and dark hair and Loki was surprised. He and Thora were part Jotunn and he'd expected that trait to come out, but it hadn't. Maybe in their next child, perhaps?
He shook himself from that train of thought and looked at Thora, who was smiling indulgently at Narfi and whispering parts of old poems to him as she held his hand and stroked it with her thumb. He could see that they had bonded, finally and he had to breathe a sigh of relief. It wasn't going to be the same as it had been with Angreboda. It was going to be different, finally. He would be able to do it right for once, even if they had Asgard's judgement to contend with once they went back to Asgard.
“What troubles your thoughts, Loki?” Thora murmured, tearing her attention away from Narfi with difficulty. She was in awe at how this child had come from her own body and how he had, without trying, captured her heart. She was besotted with her son and having him in her arms had cemented her love for him into an unshakeable bond. She didn't want to put him down and feeding him and soothing him had made her determination to protect him and her family even fiercer than before.
“Asgard. We will have to go back and present the newest heir to the throne.” Loki murmured, as he bent his head and whispered the words in her ear.
“Ah.” Thora murmured, looking down at Narfi again. “In time, we shall go. But not now. Not when I'm still weak and your son so young.”
“True. But it is something we must think of.” Loki replied.
Thora nodded and complied when Darcy again asked for another family picture of them to go on that facebook place she always chattered about.
“When the summons come. Then we will worry. But for now, we bide our time and plan.”
Loki had to lower his eyes so that she wouldn't see the surprise in them. He had forgotten that he was dealing with the Aesir that planned the raids and was the first to be out in the battle field, obeying the All Father's commands. He had been stealth. But Thora had been an inborn planner and general.
She had learned from her last defeat. She wouldn't make the same mistake again.
Especially not now that Narfi was in the picture.
“So when will Thora be released from the hospital wing?” Jane asked Darcy as they worked in the labs, with Darcy filing and typing up reports as Jane calibrated her equipment to search for more wormholes that would support her research.
“Soon. A week or so. The doctors are completely baffled. Apart from muscle weakness and some atrophy, she's basically healthy. No speech problems or motor skills lost.She just needs some physio. Even Narfi is disgustingly healthy for being a premie. Loki of course, is smug as all out.”
Jane had to snicker at that description. She hadn't seen the man be as smug as he had been in the past couple of weeks as he relentlessly bullied the doctors to release his wife. It had gotten even more so when Thora had joined in, threatening anyone that came near her son with the fabled Mjolnir ( a fact recognized by Selvig and then shared with Jane and Darcy when they had called them in to diffuse a fairly heated situation) that had materialized once the rain and thunderstorms had finally died down and the normal desert weather had re-appeared once more.
“So is Thora really the god of Thunder?” Selvig and Jane had finally ventured to ask when the dust had more or less settled and Loki had managed to wrangle a signed promise that no one was to do any testing on his son in the guise of medical care that was not needed. A drop of his blood mixed in with Thora's milk had been enough nutrition for Narfi and the doctors had to concede that the baby was healthy and developing normally as a child his age was wont to do. Despite it looking barbaric to them, they couldn't force the issue. Not when Thora had made an impossible recovery from what they had deemed horrific injuries without their intervention.
Loki had raised an eyebrow at the question and smirked. “The rain and thunder has finally stopped and she's carrying Mjolnir. What do you think, Dr. Selvig, Dr. Foster?”
Loki had countered before leaving to go back to his wife and remind her that Narfi didn't quite need to learn about Mjolnir just yet. He also doubted that it was healthy to let a baby chew on an Uru forged hammer at such a young age, even if his mother used it to command the elements.
“Well, I guess when you're dealing with the Goddess of Thunder and The God of Mischief and they constantly get the better of you, I guess that they would be smug as all out because of that” Jane concluded, shaking her head at the memory of Loki's reply.
Darcy made a noise of agreement deep in her throat as she slowed down her typing.
“I'm going to miss them when they go, you know.” Darcy finally threw in the silence.
“Narfi's cute and Thora and Loki are just so adorable and in love. It's just...it's nice to see people finally get a happy ending, you know? It doesn't happen that often and when it does, it needs to be cherished, you know?”
When no reply was forthcoming, Darcy looked up from her work to find Jane staring at her with soft eyes and a dopey expression on her face that was reserved for her theorems and research.
“Jane, I swear that if you ever repeat what I have just said, you will regret it. I don't need to ruin my reputation anymore than I have with all the pictures of Narfi I've been taking.”
She gave Jane a gimlet stare before she pointed a file folder at her.
“Remember that I know where most of the files and passwords reside.”
“Fine Darcy. You win. Now can you please hurry up with the grant application?”
Frigga had been making the final preparations for winter for her gardens when Loki showed up.
She had expected him to be alone, but to her surprise, Thora was beside him, her hair brilliant over a thick cloak that hid most of her and her child, whom Frigga could see when the cloak moved.
She stifled a small sound of surprise at seeing them, but that didn't stop her from walking up to Thora and reaching out her hands to her. Thora smiled, even though it was a tight smile, the expression didn't falter as she reached out with one hand. The other was occupied holding Narfi against her breast. Frigga was surprised at seeing them all in her garden. After all, her weavings had changed to an almost unrecognizable pattern after Thor had been exiled and Loki made the heir. They were patterns she had to re-learn to read again and it was taking up more of her time than before.
“Mother.” Loki greeted her, a cloak carelessly thrown over his shoulders as he bent at the knee to greet his mother. Frigga let go of her daughter's hand and went over to her second child.
“Loki! How do you fare, my son?” Frigga asked as she clasped his hand and helped him rise.
“Well, my lady mother, here we are so that you can see for yourself. Greeting Narfi properly will have to wait, since it is far too cold in the garden, even if he is an Aesir” Loki replied, his eyes softening almost imperceptably as he gave their mother the news.
“Those are news to gladden my heart, as well as your younger brother's. Asgard shall be pleased that you have an heir.”
Loki frowned at the cavalier acceptance of Narfi and he had to admit that he was slightly disappointed at how mild of a splash the announcement had caused his mother.
“Even if he is my son?” Thora broke in, her voice low and husky as she spoke.
Frigga stopped and looked into Loki's face and then at Thora's before cursing, making Loki blink in surprise, since his lady mother was always impeccable in her behaviour. It was...shocking, to say the least, that his mother even knew such curses to hurl at his father...
“Where is the All-Father, mother? I would want to share the news of Thora's well-being and Narfi's birth with him and hear his judgment on the matter.”
Frigga's eyes went cold at the mention of Odin.
“He's no longer the King of Asgard. He has gone and now you are the King of Asgard.”
Loki looked at his mother and laughed harshly, still not believing what she had just shared with him. Thora frowned at the news.
“This is...unprecedented! The All-Father-”
“Is no longer the King of Asgard. As his heir, you are now the King. You need to fulfill your duties, my son. Just like your bro-sister, I suppose, now has to fulfill her own now that she is whole again.”
“But what of Narfi? Will Asgard and the Aesir accept him? He is born of incest after all.”
Frigga shook her head at his words.
“The only tie that either of you have to each other is through the All-Father. But mothers, you don't share.” Frigga noted before she looked at her children.
Thora and Loki only looked at each other, curiosity evident in their faces as they waited for her to explain what she meant by that comment.
“I raised both of you as my sons, but I never bore you. Only Balder. Jord is the mother of Thor. While Laufey is yours, Loki. We were forbidden by the All-Father to speak of it to either of you. It was in his wisdom, he saw your futures and knew if you were to be told, it would not be your wyrd. So we all swore fealty to the All-Father and I took you in and raised you as my own.”
“Did you ever regret it? Raising two half-Jotunns as your own children?”
Thora's face darkened and she put her hand on Loki's own. “Loki. Please.”
“Did you ever regret having me for a mother? The question cuts both ways, Loki. When you can answer it honestly, I will answer you.”
Frigga replied and Loki had to clamp his mouth shut. She had a point and even though it was hurting, to be told that more than half of his heritage was owed to that frozen world that had been his and Thor's childhood nightmares...it didn't sting as much as it would have if her had found out another way. His mother had been honest. It was a harsh truth to swallow and she hadn't dragged it out. He could appreciate that more than whatever subterfuge the All Father had been perpeuating all their lives.
He looked at Thora to see how she was taking it and despite her silence and her inward focused gaze, she didn't look like she was about to explode or do anything rash and impulsive as was her wont before everything had occurred.
“I wish that there was more time and explanations to give. But there are none. Not when Asgard's throne sits empty and you, my children have duties to fulfill.”
“We could leave.” Loki offered to Thora, coming closer and murmuring the offer in her ear. “We could make a life in Midgard. Leave the throne to Balder and live our lives.”
It wasn't something he truly wanted, if he was honest with himself. He would miss Asgard too much. It was his home and Thora's home and Narfi's also. He didn't want to make such a final decision. Not when it felt like they were running away from an unpalatable truth that had clues to its existence long before their mother had told them of it.
“If we didn't know, would it have changed our desire to come back to it? To see Narfi settled rightfully as an heir as is his right?” Thora whispered back. Loki had to stifle a smile at that, since it was only natural that she'd be looking at every angle of the equation before making an attack.
“This is our home, Loki and exile hurts. Despite Darcy and Jane and you...it still hurtWe'd forever be outsiders, despite having them around us and I don't want to pass that pain on to you or Narfi and it is what we were raised for. We are the Heirs of Asgard.”
“Your child, is now ruling Asgard.” Frigga told the figure that was hiding in the darkest and coldest corners of the garden once Loki had led his small family indoors.The figure inclined its head and headed to its home. But not before saying its last piece.
“It completes the wergild, Queen. Although I will offer my condolences to you for the loss of your husband and the father of our children.”
Frigga brushed off snow from a branch by her hip.
“It was wergild and it had to be paid. I understand. Thora is also my child, after all. Even if I didn't give birth to him.”
“You are a wise woman, Frigga, to understand that. I will take my leave of you now, Queen. Fare well.”
First, thank you all who have read this series. I had quite a bit of fun writing it. Secondly, I did mix up some of the old school myths in here, in pulling Thor's real mother Jord into the mix. She was the personification of earth, but was also a Frost Giant. Loki is always a half-brother of Thor's in my stories. That was the version I have read and it has always stuck with me. Narfi is Loki's human son and I figured that he fit better than the other names.
Thora's situation is a bit touch and go, since she did die and come back as a new personification of her old self. So her being alive changes all of the visions and foretelling that anyone could do for her.
"Min Eskelde" My love. In my head cannon, they speak Norse or Norwegian. I think Icelandic would make more sense, but I like the sound of this endearment better.
So that's it and thanks again for sticking with me in this story! Cheers!