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Worthy

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You find yourself staring into an unfamiliar face – one that could be anyone's, really. It's generic, yes, but...handsome at the same time. Something pulls on your heart. You're sure you've seen that handsomeness somewhere before. It's very unique.

Unearthly, even.

You rack your brain, but come up empty. Instead, you sink down into the nearest chair, trembling slightly. You can hear your heart roaring in your ears.

“Who...are you?” You breathe, your voice quivering.

“You...don't remember me.” The voice is deep and soothing. It's fullbodied and rich – like a chocolate you've eaten before. You're about to respond to the words, but as you lock your orbs onto the man's blue ones, you realize he's not asking you a question. The man blows out a breath, raking one thick hand through a blond mane of hair as he turns away from you. He walks a couple paces, his muscular frame slightly slumped. “I'm Thor. This is Asgard. This is...was...your home.” He can't face you as he says the words, and something in your heart jolts again.

“Thor,” you murmur, turning the word over on your tongue. It's short and sweet, appropriate for the man in front of you, somehow. The Norse god of lightning? No. Thunder, yes, thunder, that was it. “Thor.” The name draws up no more memories than it had the first time.

“Nothing?” He asks you, turning again. His eyes are desperate, pleading, his mouth parted in anticipation. You don't know why, but it hurts you to shake your head no.

“The prodigal child returns.”

A second voice resounds, this one a bit like Thor's, but older, wiser, aged, like a fine wine. You can't take your eyes off of the god of thunder's desperate expression in favor of looking upon this visitor. It's only once he strides into your line of sight, with regal, measured steps, that you notice how alike the two men look.

Father and son, perhaps?

“Please, don't call her that.” Thor's voice breaks as he says the words, and you wonder how a man you don't even know could possibly care so much about you. He sounds, for all the world, as if he loves you.

“Then what shall I call her?” The gray-haired man booms, his voice echoing across the golden rafters of the vaulted ceiling. “She is what she is, my son. She made that choice long ago.”

“Please, Allfather,” Thor intercedes. “A second chance. If you are to grant Loki one, then surely -”

“Loki's fate has not yet been decided.” The words are clipped, harsh, and curt, and though you aren't thrilled at your own situation, you're also very glad you aren't this Loki fellow.

“All the same!” The blond deity roars, his eyes alight. “A second chance! Surely, you cannot believe it is by accident alone that she returns to us?”

Something in the Allfather's face softens at his son's pleas. You aren't sure why, nor do you understand why you let out a breath you hadn't been aware you'd been holding.

Very well,” the Allfather murmurs. “Your intercessions, beloved son, have earned her a month among us, to prove her worth. If, by the next full moon, she fails to do so, I will cast her down to Midgard again, never to return.” In a few swift, measured strides, the gray-haired man is standing in front of you, pressing three fingers to your forehead. Barely suppressing a scowl, he tells you to concentrate.

Your eyelids flutter closed, and your eyebrows knit into a frown.

Concentrate on what?

But then you understand, and when you open your eyes, the first thing out of your mouth is,

“Where's Loki?”