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Gold Over Steel

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Regret lay heavily over Frigga's shoulders as she watched her eldest son return home in from another victory that had cost him a loved one. The mortal, Jane Foster lay dead in his arms, a dried husk from the Aether. There was an ice in his eyes now, one that could someday rival the coldness in her other son, Loki's eyes.

“Father, Malekith has been defeated. I shall now take leave to Midgard to return the Lady Jane to her kin.” Thor proclaimed, his tone allowing no room for argument.

Odin looked to Frigga who gave him a sympathetic frown. On one hand she understood her husband's motives but at the same time he was sealing his family’s doom.

“As you wish Thor,” Odin said, defeat evident in his voice. Frigga knew that her husband was tired of loss and fighting with his sons. “And a great victory feast will await your return. Court is dismissed” Thor barely acknowledged his father's words, his attention to the dead woman in his arms. Frigga watched Odin all but collapse upon his throne while watching Thor stalked out. Asgard may have won this victory but it had not come without cost, one that the royal family would take the brunt of.

“I am proud of you my husband.” Frigga said once the hall had been emptied. “How simple it would be for to slip back into thy old habits and wind up pushing Thor further away. For while now, our son bears a grudge, in time his temper will cool and regain clarity.” Frigga's voice and hands on Odin's shoulders were a balm to his frayed nerves.

“My love, how did this family go so wrong...”Odin trailed off, clearly still lost at all the last few years had done to them all. Frigga could do nothing but watch and rub his back soothingly, as she had done with their sons when they were young and overwhelmed by the worlds at large.

Unbidden, Frigga thought of Loki, her mad son. Likely he was raging and lashing out at any who come near to his cell. Bitter words had passed between mother and son and Frigga would need some time before the pain of his words lessened enough for her to try and talk to him again.

“I do not know dear, but in a way we should be grateful to Malekith for his attack. All of us have come close to death and I hope have gained some insight and the will to communicate before it is truly too late.” Frigga said, hand tracing upon the wound she had sustained trying to save the mortal whom Thor loved.

“It won't be easy and there is much damage that has been done.” Odin said, placing his hand above hers. Frigga knew how precious she was to Odin, how much he truly loved all of his family and how scared he had been of loosing them all. A silent promise passed between husband and wife as he rubbed her hand, the warmth comforting to Frigga. Loki's actions or rather lack of actions had not mitigated his crimes enough to be released but perhaps there was still a chance to save him, to cure his madness and offer restitution to the realms his actions had harmed.

 

Deep within the bowls of Asgard's dungeons, the youngest prince of Asgard glared from over his tome of spells as the guards passed, food tray laying untouched as the serpent that had once been his dinner napping lazily. For Loki time passed in haze, both savoring and loathing the solitude, passing his time in the gilded cage that was to hold him for the rest of his life. Little did anyone know that his situation would soon change.