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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.

Chapter Text

Though few in the court had reason to remember, Frigga had not come from her homeland alone. A small throng of handmaidens and an honor guard had come with her, vowing loyalty to Asgard's future queen and no one else, from the elderly healer who had watched over her pregnancy to the small child who was her trusted spymaster's son.

From the collection of perfumes, cosmetics and lotions, Frigga pulled out a simple stone mortar and filled it with herbs and felt her vanity mirror. She could feel the heat of the glass and conjured a small flame, igniting the herbs and opening a portal between two mirrors.

“Greetings Hogun, what news have you for me.” Frigga said with a warm smile. She had not planned to plant him amongst her son's friends but on his own, Hogun had endeared himself to them.

“I bring you troubling news.” Hogun said with a slight bow. “Thor's allies from Midgard have poisoned his mind in his grief over the Lady Jane Foster.” Frigga's mouth straightened into a firm line.

“How so, Hogun?” Frigga asked steeling her nerves.

“Thor is convinced that Loki bears far greater blame for his lover's death than what the court of Asgard, one with little love for your youngest son, could reasonably assign to him.” Hogun answered , casting his eyes downward. “My shield-brother has taken rash actions to correct this injustice, ones that knowledge of has only recently become known. Loki has been removed by the dungeons by Thor's command.”

“Where are my sons now?” Frigga asked, turning from the mirror to retrieve her blade. 'Wake now, my old friend, for a feast of blood shall be before you soon.'

“Thor remains upon Midgaurd, but I know not where Loki lays.” Hogun said through gritted teeth.

“Who must I question to find out that answer?” Frigga asked, grip tightening upon the blade.

“Thjazi, he holds some deep grudges against Loki and his estate lies on the outskirts of town. With your leave, I shall interrogate him at once.

“No.” Frigga said with a deathly calm. “You shall remain here, keeping watch upon Thor's closest friends. Find out what they may know and be ready to summon them for the task of rescuing Loki. Thjazi shall answer to me.” A flicker of something like pity for the noble crossed Hogun's face.

“As you wish, my Queen.” Hogun replied with a bow.

“Keep your eye especially upon my husband, do what you can to keep him from taking MY vengeance, without endangering yourself. I have future need of your services.” Frigga warned coldly.

“My services are yours, but what task would you have me perform.” Hogun asked, curious but careful not to question his master.

“When we retrieve my son, your task shall be to watch the traitors whom will be drafted in the effort. Make sure that for any who hesitate or raise their hand to harm Loki the last sight they see is your weapon and their own blood.” Came the cold-steel reply.

“As you will, will be done my Queen.” Hogun vowed solemnly to the clouding mirror.