It started on Jotunheim, though only you noticed.
Of course, only you noticed. But it took your breath away, if only for a moment. This was a battle after all, there were no time outs. You would discuss it later. And it was always later with Loki.
But as you countered the ice spike in front of you with a side step and a hacking of your sword, you found your mind drifting back to what you saw.
His hand and forearm were… blue. Not the same inky blackish-blue of Volstagg’s arm, but a brilliant blue, the same hue as the frost giants. It faded back to pale white almost as quick, and if you hadn’t seen the look on Loki’s face, you would have thought you imagined it.
The frost giant in front of you fell with a groan as you ran your blade through him, and as you looked for the next opponent, you saw Fandral, swordless. Before you could rush to his aid, he slid between the giant’s legs, picked up his sword and downed the giant. His victory was short lived, when he turned, ice spikes shot from the ground into his chest.
Loki retaliated reflexively with his throwing knives, seemingly unphased by what you had witnessed. Had he even noticed that you saw?
Hogun and Volstagg reached Fandral first, pulling him out of the spikes, while Sif tried to get Thor to stop fighting. You reached Fandral and placed a hand over the wound, muttering a healing spell as fast as you could.
“We must go!” Loki shouted to his brother. And he was right, you were no master of magic, and with more and more frost giants coming, you could only do so much.
“Then GO!” came Thor’s response, as he chucked his hammer.
With an earth shattering crack, the iced over figure in front of you began to crack, and you froze. The beast broke its way through the ice, and Volstagg lifted Fandral up into his arms and took off. Hogun and Loki were just behind him, and you helped Sif to her feet before following.
Thor was still swinging his hammer.
The beast roared, bearing its glittering fangs before giving chase. You followed the warriors three, not quite sure where you were running to, but not giving it much thought, as anywhere else was better than back there.
Back where Thor was… still swinging his hammer.
In front of you, there was a vast nothing, a cliff, and behind you, the beast. And that’s when the ice began to crack, rapidly catching up to the beast, The beast lunged out at Sif, and you tugged her out of the way, and into you. The beast toppled over the cliffside, falling to its demise.
“Sorry,” you said, a little breathlessly, as you watched the beast fall under the crumbling ice. Thor must have done some damage in the meantime.
“Don’t apologize for saving my life,” she replied, slightly impressed at your quick reflexes.
The frost giants continued their siege upon you, and Thor finally joined your side. Fandral, Volstagg, Hogun, Sif, Thor… and Loki? Where did he go? A quick scan of your little circle showed the young prince at Thor’s side, a nervous energy practically radiating from him, though he played otherwise. An injured Fandral drew his sword, as the rest of the warriors readied for what seemed to be their last stand.
In a bright flash of light, the Bifrost opened, and Odin arrived, clad in battle armor you hadn’t seen in years.
The rest of the events on Jotunheim passed in a blur, you were crashing from the adrenaline surge and couldn’t be bothered to strain to hear Odin and Laufey’s talk. Sif noticed your staggering, and drew you in by your waist until your head was resting on her shoulder.
Back on Asgard, Sif led you out and to the healing rooms with the rest of the warriors three. Turning back to see Loki, you caught his eye for a split second, but he looked away, down to the ground. The last thing you heard was Thor and Odin bickering.
“It’ll be alright,” Sif assured you with a tight lipped half smile. She didn’t seem so sure.
You nodded numbly, not feeling reassured at all.
“We should have never let him go,” Volstagg speaks up from his seat. You were sitting next to him, your hand extended to hover over his arm as you healed his frostbitten wound.
“There was no stopping him,” Sif replied.
“At least he’s only banished, not dead. Which is what we’d all be if that guard hadn’t told Odin where we’d gone.” At least Fandral had some sense, you thought.
“How did the guard even know?” Volstagg asked. You stood up then, having finished your spell, and turned to see Loki staring at his own arm. The one that had turned blue.
He quickly put his arm behind him and spoke. “I told him.”
And the sense Fandral had was gone. Was Fandral… angry that Loki had ended up saving our lives?
“I told him to go to Odin after we’d left. Though he should be flogged for taking so long. We should have never reached Jotunheim,” there was a slight venom in Loki’s words, and it unsettled you a little.
“You told the guard?” Volstagg shouted.
We’re well past that…
“I saved our lives! And Thor’s. I had no idea Father would banish him for what he did,” Loki defended himself, and you silently agreed with him. You would be dead if he hadn’t told the guard.
“Loki, you’re the only one who can help Thor now. You must go to the Allfather and convince him to change his mind!” Sif chimed in, a gleam of hope in her eye.
“And if I do, then what? I love Thor more dearly than any of you, but you know what he is,” Loki spat. “He’s arrogant. He’s reckless. He’s dangerous. You saw how he was today. Is that what Asgard needs from its King?”
While the warriors exchanged glances, you looked to Loki with sympathy. You hadn't yet approached him about what happened in Jotunheim, but you knew you needed to. Before you can jump to his defense, he leaves the room in a huff.
With a backwards glance to your friends, you chase after him.
The hallway is empty and you have to follow only the faint sound of footsteps, but you manage to track Loki. You follow him down three flights of stairs and through what seems to be endless hallways wrapped up in a maze.
The hall of treasures stands before you, and you conceal yourself behind a pillar as Loki approaches the Casket of Ancient Winters.
“Stop!” Odin rounds the corner, and you realize you weren’t the only one tailing Loki.
“Am I cursed?” You can only hear their exchange from your hiding spot, and so you assume Loki is talking about what happened on Jotunheim, with his arm.
“What am I?”
“You’re my son.”
“What more than that?” Loki was on the move now, stalking toward the Allfather. “The Casket wasn’t the only thing you took from Jotunheim that day, was it?”
Odin hesitated.“No, In the aftermath of the battle, I went into the Temple, and I found a baby. Small for a giants offspring, abandoned, suffering, left to die. Laufey's son.”
The tone of Loki’s voice is enough to make your heart break.
“Why? You were knee-deep in Jotun blood. Why would you take me?”
“You were an innocent child.”
“No. You took me for a purpose, what was it?”
Odin stayed silent.
His shout startled you, nearly enough to knock you over. But you remained still, though your heart was racing a million miles an hour. Loki was…. Laufey’s son. He was a frost giant, all this time and he was lied to? You shook your head, you could think about this later, for now you needed to hear Odin’s explanation.
“I thought we could unite our kingdoms one day, bring about an alliance, bring about a permanent peace, through you.”
What? Odin planned to use Loki as a pawn in his own games?
“But those plans no longer matter.”
“So I am no more than another stolen relic, locked up here until you might have use of me.”
“Why do you twist my words?”
Shut the fuck up old man, you thought.
“You could have told me what I was from the beginning. - Why didn't you?” Loki was crying now, of that you were sure.
“You are my son. I wanted only to protect you from the truth.”
“What? Because I...I...I... I'm the monster that parents tell their children about at night?”
“Dont…” Odin started, but Loki was too far gone now.
“You know, it all makes sense now! Why you favored Thor all these years. Because no matter how much you claim to love me, you could never have a Frost Giant, sitting on the Throne of Asgard!”
With no response from Odin, you peeked out, and saw him lying on the stairs, Loki crouched over him.
“Guards! Guards help!”
The guards rushed in, carrying away Odin and you watched with bated breath as Loki stood there silently.
He looked back to the Casket of Ancient Winters before storming off.
This time you didn’t follow him.
You knocked on his bedroom door softly, a part of you worried you were waking him; the other part of you, the part that knew better, knew he was still awake. Loki never slept.
“Go away, ” Loki responded.
You didn’t say anything as you pushed open the door. At first you didn’t see him anywhere and then a shift of movement on the other side of the room caught your eye. He was on the floor, by the side of the bed that was hidden from view of the door. He was sitting somewhat casually, his eyes on you via the mirror in front of him.
“That was clearly not an invitation to come in,” he stated, bitterly.
“Loki, you’re obviously going through something here,” you gestured to the unkempt room, the drawn curtains, the empty wine bottles. “I’m your friend.”
“I don’t have friends,” Loki retorted, sounding empty and alone.
“Loki…” you desperately wanted to talk to the real Loki, not this bitter front he was putting up. You sat next to him on the ground, crossing your legs. “Tell me,” you urged, using his own words against him.
He sighed, swallowing his tears and averting his gaze to the ceiling. “Would…. would you still call yourself my friend if… I were not of the heritage you presumed?”
“Of course, Loki,” you didn't know it would be that easy, though Loki and you did have past of confiding in one another.
“Even if I were Jotun?” When he says the last word, it's almost a hiss and he turns to you, his skin blooming into a bright blue. There's delicate patterning tattooed on his skin, and his eyes, ruby red now, bore into your mind, heart and soul.
You fix your jaw and nod. “Yes, even now, Loki,” you pledge without hesitation. You decide then to not ever tell him that you heard everything. The fact that he was sharing his true form with you, meant more than anything. If he wanted to tell you Odin’s true intentions, then he should have that right. For now, you would comfort him. You reached out a hand, and placed it on his forearm, where the frost giant had originally grabbed him.
He was… oddly cool to the touch, but it didn't bother you.
Loki whispered something you didn't quite catch.
“What did you say?” you asked, your eyes on your hand, though you were acutely aware of his eyes on you.
“Heal me, please,” his voice came out broken and cracked and you looked up to see tears streaming down his face. “Heal me,” he begged.
You shook your head, a little shocked but mostly confused, your heart breaking for him, “I can't,” you shifted so that you were sitting on your knees in front of him now, hands on both of his arms.
“Why not?” it was a half demand, half question.
“Loki,” you said gently, “there's nothing to heal.”
He looked at you with disbelief written on his face and you could see in his eyes he wanted- no, needed, for it to be true. He tugged you closer then, and wrapped his arms around you.
Oh, you thought, Loki was hugging you.
You embraced him back, stroking his back in what you hoped was a soothing manner. It was odd, Loki wasn't the type for physical affection, but you realized that that probably meant he was starved for it. You hugged him tighter then, and closed your eyes.
Loki was sniffling in your ear, and though there were likely to be tear stains on your dress, you didn't care.
“Thank you, [Name].”