The Spirits Within

Pairing/Character(s): Thor, Loki, Odin, Frigga
Rating: G
Warnings: none
Summary: Thor visits his recovering Father, while dwelling over Loki's reclusiveness.
Disclaimer: Thor and all accompanying characters are copyrighted to Marvel.


"Father, you're awake."

Odin grunted in response. His injuries had weakened him significantly and his body took its sweet time to heal. How long had it been since the royal palace had been destroyed, since the Jotunns stood at the gate of the city?

"Patience, my husband." Frigga's cool hand clamped down on his; such a strong gasp, loving and determined, that put his mind immediately at ease. "I know you want to get up, but the healers told me you need your rest."

"I know," he groaned. The Allfather turned his head to look at his wife, and then turned his head to look at his son. Son. Thor was at his bedside, with an eager, expectant look on his face. Thor was wondering why his recovery took so long, Odin mused; but even if he was a god, there were limits to what his body could take... and the Sword of Surtur had taken out a lot of him.


"Yes, father?" The boy shot forward, almost crawling onto the bed.

"Where's Loki?"

Thor's expression went from eager to sad. He was so easy to read, so unlike his brother.

"At the temple," he all but whispered. "He's... hiding, Father, and I don't know how to get him out of the shadows. It's almost like he... likes it in there."

He doesn't notice his mother casting her eyes down, but not in shame. Odin mimics the gesture, heaving a deep sigh.

"Your brother needs you," he says. "Algrim's death weighs heavily on him."

"Father..." Thor has never thought of going against his Father's decisions. All of Odin's wishes, commands and advice had been nothing but the truth to Thor, and he had never had a reason to believe otherwise. But now... now he thinks his Father's words aren't the right ones. It's not exactly Algrim's death that's been bothering Loki. Algrim had never been his friend to begin with. If I were in his place, I would have done the same.

"Your adventure has brought us on the brink of war," Odin continues. "It has caused the massive damages you see around you. It was reckless to stow away and just take off to search for something that... shouldn't have been searched for."

"I know, Father." Thor bows his head. It wasn't the first of Odin's lectures at this point, and it certainly wouldn't be the last.

"Still, you should be with your brother. I can handle myself. That is... as long as I have this wonderful, wonderful company."

Frigga doesn't bother to hide her smile, and she pats her husband's hand, not disturbed by the horrible burn scars on his face. The healers have tried their best, but there's only so much they could do when dealing with injuries resulting from a mythical sword. The silence isn't uncomfortable, but Thor feels like he's caught between a rock and a hard place. Either the silence of his parents, or the silence from his brother. He doesn't know which is worse.


"How's Father?"

"He's recovering." Thor bites into a piece of bread, having offered the other half to his brother. Loki gracefully accepted it, but he's not eating. His nimble fingers pluck at the piece of bread, rolling the crumbs between them before dropping it to the floor. The temple has its own share of damages, but the front has taken the brunt of it all. All the way in the back, where Loki has his training in the arts of magic, it's still dark and fairly unscathed. "You can see for yourself, you know. Father asked about you."

"He did?"

"Yes, he wanted to know where you were."

Green eyes stare at him. Thor has never seen such deep, mesmerizing green eyes before. Dark, chocolate brown or blue eyes are much more common... come to think of it, Loki really is the only one with green eyes.

"What did you tell him?"

"I told him that you like it in here."

A faint smile crosses Loki's face, tugging at his lips, like the sun trying to shine from behind dark, overcast clouds. It's gone too fast. Thor frowns, slightly impatient.

"Loki... we all go to great lengths to save the ones we love. If our family is in danger, who knows what we'll do to protect them? I would pick up sword and shield to fight off an entire army to protect you!"

"I know, Thor," Loki answers, but there's something amiss. Thor can't put his fingers on it. Loki isn't raised a warrior. He knows not much about battle, right? Perhaps that's why he has so much trouble with death. Loki had cried at that very moment; Thor can't remember the last time he shed a tear.

"I'm glad you do." Thor gives him a pat on the shoulder, as always forgetting about his own strength. Loki coughs and wheezes a bit when he straightens himself again. "So, are you joining me in a visit to our Father?"

"I am," Loki answers, his voice cold. The chill doesn't reach Thor's ears. "Later."



  Part 2 |