Summary: Loki doesn't know how to deal with the aftermath of the destruction and te narrow escape of war with Jotunheimr.
Disclaimer: Thor and all accompanying characters are copyrighted to Marvel.
He visits Father because Thor asks him to, not because he wants to himself. It bothers him, as he knows he loves his Father, and his Father loves him. He's not disturbed by Odin's injuries, though he winces whenever he sees the horrible burns and scars. Loki knows Father will heal, but his face will always show what happened to him. The Sword of Surtur, and he's the one who wielded it, to kill the traitor in their midst.
Is it really true? Would he, could he do the same if he were in Algrim's position, like he told Thor? His brother is off somewhere, probably joining the Warriors Three, at either the training grounds or at the city square, telling stories about their trip into Jotunheimr. Loki shivers. It feels wrong to tell such stories, even though he knows they are tall tales. It feels wrong because he's been there - and saw the frost giants himself. He also saw them getting killed, when Thor wielded the Sword of Surtur for the first time.
His brother hadn't meant to cause such destruction. Loki believes in the good-natured, kind nature of his brother. Rambunctious he might be, Thor means well; the whole quest for the Sword hadn't been to gain himself some kind of reputation or boost his ego, but because he was genuinely curious about the artifact... well, that and he wanted to leave the Palace to see something more than just the realm of Asgard.
It's a rare moment that he's alone, actually. Thor is at his side when Loki's not occupied with his studies or magic training, the only two things that doesn't share his brother's skills or interest. Even mundane chores are done in each other's presence, as they're brothers and well, it has been like that for as long as Loki can remember. It has changed, or it is changing, he can feel it. That stupid, damn Sword has changed everything: between him and his brother, Asgard, Father, Mother, everyone..! The destruction is still visible, and not even the gods can work fast and hard enough to restore Asgard to its previous splendor. Odin's face will forever be scarred, and Algrim has died. How can anyone think lightly about that, how could anyone be not affected by it, and move on?
He retreats to the temple, to his favorite spot. The water basin is still there, and without a second thought, he uses his spell to give magic to the water. It starts to ripple, small waves skirting the edge of the basin, until it takes form. He doesn't even need to say the spell out loud, not even a whisper. Amora was right; a true master only needs to think. But is he a true master? There's so much more to learn, more than he can ever fathom. But this isn't about learning or wisdom right now. He would trade all his magic in the nine realms to just understand.
Understand why he had no need of warm clothing when crossing the cold plains of Jotunheimr. Understand why after his return, he could freeze water without giving it a second thought. It is a triple threat, for as water can turn into ice and into fog... His hand moves and the water snake shapes itself, swinging back and forth as if moving to some unheard music. It leers, looking for an opportunity to bite. With just a single movement of his finger, Loki keeps the snake in the basin, as silent and still like a statue.
Thor thinks that as soon as Father has healed, everything will be all right again. Thor thinks that telling tall tales with the Warriors Three is harmless. Perhaps it is so. Perhaps this is his brother's way to deal with the aftermath. He has shown his regret, what more can he do? What more can he do to realize that the King of the Frost Giants was more than benevolent, and showed more mercy than Thor actually deserved? Why does nobody see that Asgard only survived because of the kindness of one Frost Giant, not even a man or a god?
He doesn't notice that the water is changing, splashing over the edge. His thoughts are disturbed and dark, as he tries to piece the puzzle together. No need for warm clothes. The Frost Giants' King showed mercy. We were at the brink of war and there have been casualties. Nobody, nobody cares? They all act like it's something natural to have happened, and why is nobody punishing him? He, Loki Odinson, who killed and murdered? He who wielded the Sword of Surtur and killed KILLED?
"I would kill for my Father," he says out loud, but it sounds like a snarl and lacks every conviction. "I would kill for my brother."
By then, he hears a deep, rumbling growl that startles him out of his thought. When Loki looks up, he sees that his water snake has grown bigger, using up all the water in the basin. It has turned into a monster, towering over him, and he only has a few seconds to use his new skill to freeze the abomination. But it's huge and he doesn't master the spell completely yet, and he all but yells when the creature lunges at him. In the back of his mind, Loki knows that the only danger he's in, is to get soaking wet - but it feels so real, and it scares him and he doesn't want this to happen. In a last ditch effort, he throws up both his arms in front of his face, bracing himself for what's coming.
It doesn't come. Nothing happens. When he dares to look up, he sees why not and he doesn't know what scares him the most: that the water snake has turned into a dragon, frozen at the last moment, or the shield of ice that is protecting him.
Part 1 |