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Did you Mourn?

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Odin Allfather sighed, leaning heavily on his staff. His face throbbed from the wound where his eye one was as he turned to face Laufey. The peace treaty lay on the table where the frost giant had pushed it,

 

“It is done Allfather. Now collect your dead and LEAVE.”

 

Odin took the paper and rolled it up, tucking it away safely within his armor and walking slowly away from Laufey. The others were already walking towards the site where the bifrost touched down, many wounded, still more dead. The war had lasted too long and Odin was tired. As he passed by the temple he heard a pitiful sound. It sounded no bigger than a wounded kitten and as ready as he was to go home, he could not help but to look inside. Stepping inside the barren chamber he heard the sound again and, looking down, discovered a tiny child. The babe was even smaller than his own son Thor and covered only in snow and ice. He knew right away this child had been abandoned, left to die because of his stature. He knelt and picked the crying child up, holding it firmly to him as the child stopped crying. Color flowed through his dark blue cheeks and his red eyes turned the palest green. The child smiled and grasped for the beard of the man in front of him, knowing only that this was different from the anguished cold it had known for it’s short life. Odin brushed the tears from the child’s face, his heart breaking at the sight, and in that moment knew that it could not be left to die. Stowing the babe away safely in his cloak he left quickly towards the bifrost and stepped into the circle of light.

 

Light faded as the bifrost powered down. Heimdallr bowed low to his king as Odin made his way swiftly to the healing room. Frigga met him there and it took everything she had within her not to gasp at the wound on her husbands face. As she reached out towards him he placed the small child, which was still wrapped in his cloak, to her. The babe looked at her and whimpered from hunger and fright. She carefully wrapped him tightly and took him to the nursery where her own son lay sleeping. An hour later the boy was fed, clothed, and wrapped securely in a soft green blanket. Only his face peeped out of the top of his swaddling as she held him, rocking back and forth and singing a quiet lullaby. She caressed his tiny face as he closed his eyes in content, yawning as he did so. Frigga smiled as Odin stole in softly to gaze at the new child and reached out his hands to hold the now sleeping child.

 

“I think we should call him Loki.” She whispered. Odin repeated the name as he placed Loki in a cradle lined with soft furs.

 

The months passed quickly as the boys grew. Near the approach of Thor’s first birthday the boys were playing in the nursery with their parents close by. Thor was walking on unsteady feet by himself while Loki, who was 4 months behind, was barely learning to crawl backwards. It was always a sight to see Thor toddling towards Loki, yelling in his baby speak as Loki crawled away from him as fast as possible and then sit down in frustration as his brother barreled towards him. It came as a surprise though to hear Loki speak first as Thor was still only cooing and making random sounds. The elder thundered towards his brother as usual and had reached over to grab the toy that Loki held. The younger brother had repelled him by reaching out his hand and yelling “NO TOR!” and setting up a wail that caused Frigga to come running. She laughed and picked Thor up, chiding him gently as Loki lifted his hands to be held. He found himself lifted up by Odin, who was smiling, and snuggled down into the soft leather grasping at the red cloak his father wore and yawned.

 

The boys were finally asleep and Odin was rushed away to handle a pressing matter. A young girl in the service of the palace was known for dabbling in sorcery and magic. While the practice was not forbidden in Asgard, using it on another Aesir for devious purposes was. She had been caught torturing a young boy whom she believed was a thief. She had taken in upon herself to punish the boy whose life now hung in the balance. Worse yet was that she seemed to have no remorse for her actions and glared defiantly as Odin tried to make her see the error of her ways. Odin saw no other way than to strip her of her power and banish her. He hated to do it but there was no alternative. As he reached for his staff to hand down the punishment she disappeared in a wisp of smoke, her laughter filling the halls with a menacing echoes.

 

“FIND HER!” He bellowed, standing to his full height and sweeping out of the hall. It took an hour before she was captured and brought before Heimdallr. As Odin walked into the chamber she whispered a complicated spell, unseen to everyone but the small bundle that was cocooned near her hip, hiding it from everyone’s sight, including Heimdallr. The judgment was swift as the bifrost opened, and Odin brought down his staff, casting her out of Asgard permanently and stripping her of her magic. As the bifrost closed Odin sighed and turned to return to the palace.

 

As he entered he heard the muffled cry of Thor who was just waking up. He arrived at the Nursery door as Frigga approached from the other side of the hallway and smiled at her. She returned his smile as they opened the door and stopped short. Thor sat in his bed crying but Loki’s bed was overturned and the child was nowhere to be seen. No time was lost in setting up a search for Loki but after hours of calling, searching, and overturning the palace the child was nowhere to be found and a sense of dread washed over Odin understanding at last what had happened.

 

“HEIMDALLR” He bellowed, racing towards the bifrost chamber.

 

“I’m sorry my liege, I have searched for her but she has disappeared from my sight. She has hidden the child with the last of her magic and I cannot see him.”

 

Tears formed in Odin’s eye and for the first time he felt truly helpless.

 

“We will find a way, I don’t know how or when but I will find my son Loki.”

Chapter Text

Years passed in Asgard as time always does. Odin kept up the search year after year and always the answer came back with disappointing results.

 

“Nay m’lord we have not found your son.”

 

Desperation gave way to exhaustion and resignation. Odin knew that he would never give up searching but the news was getting harder to bear.  Thor grew into a strong, handsome, arrogant boy. He was approaching the day when he would be crowned Asgards next ruler. The day before his coronation Thor took it upon himself to take up the hunt for his brother in the one place that was forbidden to all Asgardians. He, along with Sif, Volstagg, Hogan, and Fandrel made the perilous journey to Jountenheimr. They had ignored the warning from Heimdallr and now, standing on the frozen wasteland, wished they hadn’t. Thor stepped forward, curiosity overwhelming every inch of his body. This is where his brother had come from. His father had told him of the treachery of the fight and the cruelty of leaving a child to die which only fueled Thor on further into the barren planet.

 

“You should not be here Odinson.” A growl came from behind a frozen pillar. Laufey emerged and glared with his blood red eyes at the five before him.

 

“T-Tell me what you have done with my brother!” Thor shouted against the wind that chilled him to the bone. His bravery was faltering and he wished nothing more than to be home.  An angry laugh echoed throughout the valley where they stood causing heavy chunks of ice to break off and crash down around them.

 

“You mean MY son?” Laufey wheezed as he came face to face with Thor. “Your father is a murderer and a thief! He stole that which did not belong to him. And you have the NERVE to come here demanding to know what’s been done to the little runt? Whatever happened to him, I assure you, we had nothing to do with it.”

 

Laufey paused before turning away. “Now leave my presence before my patience is exhausted with you Odinson, and never come back.”

 

Thor’s face fell and all sense of bravado was lost as Laufey turned away from him. He spun and motioned to his friends to follow as a younger frost giant whispered “Run home to daddy little princess.”

 

The hammer descended and the fight began as Thor threw the first blow. Chaos erupted throughout as the warriors and Thor fought their way to the bifrost site. Realizing they were surrounded, Thor suddenly felt very cold and very stupid.

 

“Heimdallr open the bifrost!” He yelled, his voice cracking in desperation. The giants advanced, their ice daggers glinting in the dim light of the icy world. Sif shivered and backed up to the edge of the cliff and Thor could see the fear in her eyes. His heart soared as the bifrost descended and sunk when he saw Odin land, rage in his voice and anger on his face.

“Enough!” He shouted and the frost giants retreated. Laufey though built a bridge of ice and ascended to Odin’s eye level. They spoke for a minute and Thor could see the cost of his mistake written on Odin’s face as Laufey spoke the word “war.”  Without another word Odin struck down his staff and the bifrost ascended taking Thor and his companions with him. As soon as they stepped through the portal Sif helped Hogan and Volstagg carry Fandrel to the healing room as Odin turned a weary eye on Thor.

 

“Do you realize what you’ve done? What you’ve started?” He asked angrily.

 

“I was trying to find my brother!” Thor yelled back, though he knew in his heart of hearts that he had put all of Asgard at risk.

 

“All you did was give them reason to start a war! There was a reason Joutenheimr was forbidden! To guard against arrogant fools like you! You are vain and cruel to put our world in danger!”

 

Thor drew himself up and screamed at his father. “You sit back and do nothing while my brother remains lost out there and do NOTHING! YOU ARE AN OLD MAN AND A FOOL!”

 

Thor watched in horror as he saw his father sag under the weight of his words. Tears sprang to his eyes as Odin spoke in a low voice heavy with anguish.

 

“Yes I was a fool to think you were ready. Thor, Odinson, you have betrayed the express command of your king. Through your arrogance and stupidity you have opened these peaceful realms and innocent lives to the horror and desolation of WAR! You are unworthy of these realms, you are unworthy of your TITLE, YOU ARE UNWORTHY; of the loved ones you have betrayed. I now take from you your power! In the name of my father, and his father before, I Odin Allfather CAST YOU OUT!”

 

The bifrost spun and Thor was thrown backwards into the light erasing all memory of his former life. He awoke in a small apartment surrounded by books and medical texts as Donald Blake.

 

Ten years passed as the young man struggled and persevered, even with his injured leg. He became a doctor and in time a renowned surgeon with the help of Jane. At last came the time where Odin revealed his past and Thor, having learned to love the earth and the people on it vowed to protect them by remaining in the guise of the good doctor. Odin allowed him to continue, pleased to see that Thor had learned his lesson well and would be doing justice on Midgard and protecting their people.

 

Donald sat at his desk preparing for the day. It was a slow Wednesday and he only had a few patients lined up in the morning. His phone rang and Jane patched him through to the local hospital.

 

“Don? Yeah I need a favor.” The voice said over the receiver. It was of a close friend of his who worked in the E.R. and often called on Donald to consult over difficult cases. He hung up the phone and shook his head, ringing Jane to ask her to reschedule his appointments and close the office for the day. At her look of surprise he offered that he had been called to do an emergency surgery on a 7-year-old boy and it would likely take him all day. She nodded and began calling his clients, hoping they would understand.

 

A half an hour later he entered the E.R. and began scrubbing up. He was not prepared for the sight that met him when he walked into the tiny curtained off room. The child was thin and pale and had tubes sticking out everywhere. He read the chart on the boy, whose name was Landon, and grimaced at the damage the boy had suffered. The mother and her boyfriend were in custody after a neighbor had heard yelling and had called the police. Looking back through the records though, it was easy to see that this was not Landon’s first time to the hospital.

 

Seven hours later the surgery was finished. It would take weeks of healing and countless more months of therapy for the child to be well but Blake was convinced that he would make it. As he turned to leave the child’s room the boy stirred and opened his pale green eyes. Staring at Blake for a moment the child began to cry quietly and, almost impossibly, reached out his hand towards the doctor.

 

“Why do you cry Landon? Are you in pain?” Blake’s heart went out to the boy immediately and he touched the hand that was outstretched. The boy spoke haltingly through his tears.

 

“No, you just reminded me of my father.” He said before closing his eyes again and falling asleep.

Chapter Text

Dust scattered as the young woman landed on the barren ground. She looked around and realized that she would have to walk quite a ways to get to civilization. The sun bore down mercilessly in the hot New Mexico desert and beads of sweat had already begun to form on her brow. She unwrapped the tiny bundle at her hip and saw that the child still slept though he was beginning to stir. She didn't know why she had taken him except that she was angry with the Allfather for his punishment and wanted some way to hurt him back. She didn't even like children but it had seemed at the time an easy way to strike out at her king. Muttering angrily she started forward towards the tiny town. She hoped to be able to use the child as a way to get temporary lodging and food for the night, and possibly a ride to somewhere that wasn't as useless as this place.

By the time she arrived her dark hair was blown back wildly and hung in tangled knots. She was covered in a thick layer of dust, and Loki was wailing at the top of his lungs. A older woman spotted the pair and took pity on them. She offered to help the woman who said her name was Shana and her child was Landon. She spun a story of despair and being cast out of her home.

Soon they were fed and cleaned up. The woman had taught Shana how to change Landon's diaper and feed him with a bottle. As she helped the pair out she chattered about her own grandchildren and asked where they were heading. Shana answered that they were heading back east to family but didn't have money to travel. The old woman fell for it and the next day she was on her way to New York with a suitcase full of clothes and food for Landon and a pocket full of money for the trip. It was too easy fooling these mortals and person after person fell for her pitiful story. Within weeks she was in a high rise apartment and had found someone to bankroll her. All she had to do was give him what he wanted and she has everything she could ask for.

Landon grew up isolated and alone, partially due to being ill most of his young childhood. He had a nanny who cared for him and took him for walks or on tiny day trips to the park but for the most part he was alone, locked in his room and a prisoner of his home and fear. At night, after his nanny had left, he would lock his doors for fear that in a drunken rage his mother, or worse the man she forced him to call his father would come in and beat him. It had happened too many times before and each time it got worse.

The one place he stood out was school. Even as a very young child in nursery school, he impressed the teachers with his speech and behavior. He was always quick to defend others with his silver tongue to keep them and himself out of trouble. His favorite thing to do was draw in his journal and weave magnificent stories about the pictures he drew. He would talk until the teacher had to stop because she had run out of room on the page. Afterwards he would act out his drawings and stories in the dress up area, often talking about kings and gods and magnificent cities with streets of gold and rainbow bridges.

He learned quickly though that stories such as these would only garner anger and strikes from his mother at home. He never understood why she got so angry when he tried to tell her of his dreams. The first time he had been sent to the hospital with a broken arm was when she had found him drawing a picture of a man wearing a horned helmet and an eye patch standing near a golden throne. She had thrown the drawing away and beat him so severely that she shattered his wrist and broken his arm. She had forced him to lie as he was so good at spinning words and told the hospital that he had fallen down the stairs and landed on his hand.

After that he kept to himself, stashing away the drawings under his mattress or in the back of his closet. Every so often he would slip, talking about something he had done at school or a book he was reading and the cycle would begin again.

A few weeks before his seventh birthday his teacher in second grade gave the children an assignment to study a book or historical story and write a report about it as well as make a vignette that would be displayed at open house. The teacher had laid out many different books and Landon didn't know why but he was drawn to it but he chose the large book on Norse Mythology. He drank up the stories of Odin and Thor and Freya. His favorite story though was on the child demigod Loki. The story said that he had been born of Jotünn heritage and adopted by the Allfather only to be stolen by a vindictive witch as an infant and transported to one of the nine realms when she was banished for her crimes. Because of the nature of her sorcery she had concealed the child and her location and that all attempts to find the child had been met with failure.

His report took two weeks to research and write and his vignette was an elaborate scene showing different parts of Asgard such as the throne room, nursery, and bifrost chamber. He had also decorated wooden dolls in elaborate costumes including an infant Loki and Thor playing in the nursery. He also began to fantasize that he was the kidnapped child and that his mother was really the wicked sorceress and that she would be brought to justice one day when he was old enough to call down to the Allfather himself.

The night of open house his mom actually showed up much to the horror of Landon who thought it was just going to be his nanny. She went to the opening ceremony and followed Landon with as much polite contempt as she could muster, muttering angrily that his nanny was fired for bailing on her because of her idiot sick mother. The teacher gushed about Landon and his dedication in the classroom, his focus and amazing talents as Landon nervously stood behind his mom, biting his lip and tugging at his jacket. Words couldn't describe the horror on his mothers face as she read through his report and saw the vignette but she managed to keep it under control until they got to the car with it. She screamed the whole way home about the report, berating him for his choice and asking what she had done as a mother that so failed him that he could even think to do something like this.

"THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A GOD!" She screamed when they got home, throwing his vignette to the ground and smashing it to pieces. Landon burst into tears as she dragged him inside screaming and cursing and hitting him. An hour later the police had arrived to a violent scene. Both Shana and her boyfriend had been arrested for child cruelty and endangerment as well as a host of other crimes and Landon had been immediately transported to the hospital. He was in a medically induced coma until after the long surgery needed to repair the damage done by his mother. It was heartbreaking to see the young boy so battered and the hospital staff did everything they could to make him as comfortable as possible.

He finally awoke long enough after the surgery to look around and answer a few questions to the social worker who had stopped by to visit him. Though he was on heavy pain medication, he was lucid and looked around curiously at his doctor. The man was tall, with had short blond hair and a cropped beard. His name was Dr. Blake he seemed so familiar to Landon that be began to cry. It struck the doctor when Landon did so and he reached forward to grab the child's outstretched hand.

"Why do you cry Landon? Are you in pain?” Blake said, his heart melting as he stood near the boy.

"No, you just reminded me of my father." Landon said sleepily, closing his eyes and falling once again into a blissful sleep where he dreamed that he was sitting on the knee of Odin himself as the man played a game of "bounce the baby" while his mother stood nearby laughing.

When he awoke next he was surprised to see the young doctor once again at his bedside smiling. The two talked lightheartedly for a while before Blake dared to ask the question.

"Who is your father that I remind you of him so much?" He asked, a merry twinkle in his eye.

"I think his name is Odin."