This life, part 5
Pairing: Reader x Eventually Loki
Work Count: 3262
Warning: mild language
Your conversation with Loki left your body shaking by the time you closed the doors to Sif’s chambers. Giving yourself only a moment, you allowed a quick breath before you began to remove your armor and leathers. The Queen had laid out a gown, the color of the sky, for you after washing up. It was not what the typical victor wore but you were not typical in any form. Once you had cleansed the filth away and redressed you felt almost ready to meet with the court once more. In the past, the victor had not had time to breathe let alone meet with everyone who had wanted to wish them well after their win. The thought was daunting but you refused to let your fear consume you. Sif met you as you made your way towards the feasting hall; a smile lit her features.
“Are you prepared for what is to come? I believe the whole realm has come to celebrate this eve for you.” Slipping your arm through hers you returned the grin.
“No, but I do not believe I have any choice. I won the Last Battle. Now it is my duty to celebrate it. Just promise me I will have an ale in hand at all times. Without it I do not believe I will last the hour.” The pair of you laughed as you came upon the feasting hall. There were so many people crowded into the room it astounded you. It was little time before everyone had turned towards you, allowing you passage through the crowd. A loud voice boomed over those gathered freezing everyone from word or movement.
“Asgard, I give you, Lady [Y/N]. Your victor! This eve we revel for her!” Odin’s deep voice echoed throughout the hall. The cheers that followed were nearly deafening. However, you could not deny the thrill that they sent up your spine knowing that they were celebrating for you. A mug of dark ale was thrust into your hand. Thor had moved close with his own mug and a hopeful smile upon his face.
“I was told you had better have a mug in hand at all times” You drank long enough that you had to catch your breath before you answered. He was trying to make amends but you knew he had difficulty verbalizing it aloud.
“By the Gods that is good. Thank you, my friend.” Thor dipped his head towards you.
“Do I truly remain your friend or is it meant as a pleasantry?” You stepped close hugged him tightly. It took him only a moment for him to return the effort.
“You are my friend and always have been. Without you and your support, I would not be here. Not just here as a victor but here in Asgard. You have been one of my only family for these years. While I wish we had not argued over your brother and what had to be done, I would not sever you from my life. But I beg you never to ask me again. It takes too much to see the memories that are not mine.” He nodded slowly finishing his own mug.
“I promise you, [Y/N] I will never ask it again.” With that vow, you let the anger towards him dissolve. There was already so many dark feelings within you, you did not wish to harbor more. The two of you spoke for a few moments longer before you were pulled away to speak with the Queen and King. Odin, too, has apologized for his past failings and treatment of you. The king admitting his mistakes nearly forced you to drop your drink.
“I ask for your forgiveness. You have shown me how very wrong I was, about many things.” You were starting to believe you were in a dream realm, perhaps you died during the battle and were currently in Valhalla. Not only had you won today but now the king stood before you asking you to forgive all of the awful things he had said and done over the years.
“My Lord… I… I could do nothing else but forgive. I thank you for the words. I needed to hear them.” Both he and Frigga smiled at you before he moved to embrace you. It felt like when you were young and caused a lump to form in your throat.
“Thank you, child. Enjoy your celebration tonight. For with the dawn I expect an answer to my question.” You bowed your head in respect as they parted, the question heavy on your mind. It stayed there for the remainder of the evening as you drank and danced. Your friends made the evening tolerable. They kept you laughing and smiling when the troubling thoughts would rise.
Loki watched you from the shadows throughout the evening. Not once did you sit and rest. Everyone had wanted their time with you, the victor. Whether they knew you or not. As he watched you, he noted all of the changes that had taken place. The way you carried yourself was different, while you still walked as a lady, now there was far more confidence. Your hair was longer than before and now you let it hang down your back. Before it was always tied back or up upon your head. It was rare for someone to see you with it down. He thought it added years to your face, no longer the girl but the beautiful woman.
While there were many differences what he noticed more now were the things that remained. The way you could not turn from anyone who greeted you this night. You would smile and speak to anyone, though he could see at this moment you were exhausted and using the false smile when you wished to be anywhere else. The way you held the stein in both hands as though you would perish if you let go. So many things he had memorized ages ago, that still made up who you are.
“Your eyes could always find her in the masses before anyone else.” Thor’s deep voice came from behind him. Loki narrowed his gaze looking back to his brother.
“I know not what you are speaking of, brother. I merely watching the crowd that would not welcome the Trickster back within their embrace.” Thor smirked finishing off the drink in his hand, knowing his brother lied.
“Your heart has not changed, Loki. It is her, and always will be her. I never understood until… well I never understood until recently.” Loki’s anger grew as he pushed past his brother.
“You think you know my heart? There is no heart there according to many. She is merely a girl who the misfortune of being promised to you once.” Clenching a fist for a moment, Thor let it relax as he turned back to his brother.
“[Y/N] is far more than a ‘girl’. Never insult her again if you wish to continue to breathe.” The comment surprised Loki as he smirked looking to Thor.
“Did I hit a nerve brother? Could it be after the years, is it she who has captured your heart? Oh how poetic. The prince and the victor. Think of the tales that will be told.” His laugh was cold and lacked any amusement.
“I love [Y/N] as a sister, nothing more. I never have. I refuse to let any insult her, especially you, who knows her as well as I do. Do you think I enjoyed watching your pain as we grew, loving her? Every time father and mother spoke of the betrothal, you would grow angry and run. I was not blind, Loki. As I am not now.” Loki moved to speak, to deny every word, but Thor stopped him. “Look me in the eye, and tell me I am wrong. Look at her and deny your heart and I will never speak of it again.”
Loki looked towards the hall, finding you amidst a large group, including Sif and the Warriors Three. Fandral had taken your hand and kissed it, causing Loki’s blood to boil within his veins. He could not deny it; as much as he wished to, he had been lost to you as far as he could remember. “It matters not. I am the cause of so much of her pain and loss. [Y/N] deserves everything pure and good. I am neither.”
“Brother there is far more to you than you will ever admit. In time you will see it, as will she.” Leaving Loki confused, he walked back to the festivities. His steps echoing down the hall. Loki thought his brother had lost much of his sense in battle. He returned to torturing himself, watching you from afar.
Your feet hurt and your head was pounding as you stumbled down the corridor towards one of the empty chambers to sleep. Far too much ale and not having a moment to sit down were the causes. It had taken well over an hour to pry yourself from the revelry, as it seemed no one wanted to let you leave. It was nearly dawn and you had been awake too long. A wrong step on sore feet and you started to fall. Even in your drunken state, you were prepared to connect with the flooring but a pair of strong arms caught you first.
“I doubt it would be fitting for the victor to wake in the morning with bruises from falling instead of the fight.” In your shock, you allowed him to ease you to standing once more. “Does ale also lessen your temper as it does your faculties?” Loki smirked at you as he stepped back.
“Do you wish to see my temper again, Loki? For I would be quite willing to share it once more.” He laughed, this time sincerely.
“No my Lady. I still bear the marks of your temper. Was merely questioning what else in you had changed.” You picked up your skirts in a huff and stomped further down the corridor. He was close behind to ensure you did not harm yourself. “Your cheeks still flame when you have too much drink. You could light the torches this eve, with them.” With a quick turn, you came face to face with the man. Loki nearly walked into you.
“Why are you following, Loki? Do you wish to torture me further?”
“Torture you?! [Y/N] you have no notion of true torture.” For the moment, his own temper reared its head.
“I have no notion? None? I saw what was done to you. I felt it all. Heard every one of your screams. Now, I hear them in the quiet of the night. I hear them in my dreams… I know torture. The torture that you ensured and the torture knowing there was nothing in my power to stop it.” In your drunken condition, you thought it was wise to leave him standing there after your dramatic admission. However, your body paid little mind to what your intentions were. Your feet only made it a few steps before you fell truly. There you lay face down on the soft red rug for several moments contemplating what you would do. It was all too much and something broke. You began to laugh. Quietly at first but as the moments passed it grew louder and deeper. Your body shook with it as you rolled over to stare at the ceiling above you. Loki looked down at you with a raised brow.
“Have you gone mad?” His question only fueled your laughter.
“Possibly… This life… Oh, this life has so much darkness. Yet here I lay on the ground of the palace of Asgard, drunk and laughing.” He stared at you, unsure of what he should do.
“Do you wish to lay upon the ground or would you allow me to help you to stand?”
“Oh how upset your mother would be if she found me sleeping here at dawn. Perhaps… No, help me up. I cannot do it on my own. I believe your brother was too good in keeping my drink full.” You held both your hands up for him to hold. Loki grabbed them both lifting you quickly, which only caused you to fall into his arms. With a sharp intake of breath at the contact, he steadied you before stepping back.
“You need get to your bed before you force every grain of control I have to take leave.” Noticing the frustration in his words, you looked up to him.
“What is that to mean?” Shaking his head, he took your arm and all but dragged you towards your chambers.
“Nothing you need to think of, [Y/N].” Without another word, he deposited you in the room, closing the door behind him as he left. As soon as you saw the large bed, everything else in the realm was forgotten. You removed the shoes and dress, leaving them in a pile on the floor. As you climbed up, your body relaxed and you slept as though you had not in years.
The pain in your head woke you in the morning. Though perhaps not morning. The sun was on the wrong side of the windows to be morning. The looks of it more like mid-afternoon. By the Gods, your head hurt and your mouth tasted as death. “Damn ale… never again.”
Crawling out of the bed, you had to bathe completely to feel any semblance of your former self. There were clean garments as well, the Queen had prepared everything. As you entered the feasting hall searching for food to settle your stomach, the previous day’s event ran through your mind. Your win and the party, with the crowd of far too many people. One of the servants of the palace sought you out, bowing deeply before you.
“My Lady, the King asks you join him and the Queen for a late meal.” Canting your head, you sighed.
“Lead on then.” You followed him slowly to the separate hall where the King and Queen waited. Thor walked in as you took a seat with Loki following closely behind. The older brother set a large stein in front of you with a smirk.
“Volstagg sent a gift.” Odin and Frigga looked confused as you eyed the stein warily.
“If that it ale… I will castrate that fat bastard with a dull blade.” The whole of the room laughed loudly, even Loki, causing a great deal more pain in your head. Thor took a seat beside you, slapping your shoulder as he did. Loki sat closer to his mother.
“While that would be entertaining, he sent his remedy. Drink that and you will be as you were before the ale. I warn you, it burns like the fires of Hel as it goes down.” It took not a moment for you to open the stein and swallow half the contents. Your body shivering hard when you took a breath. Much effort was needed to keep the contents in your belly.
“Valhalla, that is awful.” Thor smiled once more.
“Yes, but it works.” Odin interrupted then, not wanting to delay further.
“[Y/N], Frigga has made me wait since dawn to ask your answer. I was told you needed rest. Now I grow an impatient man. What have you decided?” The air within the room suddenly grew very thick. You licked your lips as you glanced about the room quickly.
“May I request one thing if I do agree my Lord?” Odin laughed quietly looking to his wife then back to you.
“Already making demands?” Shaking your head, you finished the rest of the stein. It was awful but it helped the pain in your head and the sour feeling in your belly.
“Allfather, it is not a demand. I merely ask that if I become Captain of the Defenders that I be allowed to continue fighting alongside of Thor. When he is called to the other realms I would still wish to go, my Lord.” Thor stopped shoving food into his mouth long enough to look at you in surprise. Odin’s face was difficult to read.
“You are asking me to allow you as a Defender to continue defending the other realms when they need you?” Your gaze did not waiver as you nodded to him.
“Yes, my Lord.” Frigga beside him beamed at you over her wine glass. Odin laughed again this time he shook his head.
“I hardly know the woman who sits in front of me. No longer are you the girl who would have just been the pretty Queen on the throne of Asgard. You may continue your journeys with my son if you wish. I would pick a Second that you trust in your absence. Tomorrow you will meet the Defenders as their Captain.”
“Thank you, my Lord.” You smiled down at your plate though there was no desire to eat it. The “remedy” had settled your stomach but you were in no fashion, able to eat at this moment. Thor nudged your shoulder with his, as a sign of his congratulations. Loki had been watching you closely from his seat across the room, but he looked away now in the instant that you caught him doing so. It was still an odd thing seeing him here, with his family.
“[Y/N] if you are finished I will escort you to your chambers.” Frigga wiped her mouth as she finished her meal. As you glanced over at her, she could see the confusion on your face.
“I am finished, my Lady but I am able to return to the chambers, myself.” Both Odin and Frigga smiled knowingly at one another.
“No my dear. I will show you your chambers as Captain.”
She had slipped her arms through yours as she led you down the hallways. As you stopped in front of a familiar door, you could feel your heart beating erratically in your chest. It was the door to your family chambers. The chambers where you were born and grew from infant to woman. They were given to your father when he had earned his position just before your birth. There were several rooms, a sitting area, a bathing room and a terrace looking over the palace courtyards. Frigga opened the door letting the familiar scent hit you. “No one has been here since you, my girl. I would not allow it. Your belongings will arrive in the morn. Tomorrow starts a new day and life [Y/N]. Do not let it waste away.”
She kissed your cheek before letting you have the time you needed, to let the old memories soak in. The beating of your heart did not slow as you walked quietly through every bit of those chambers. As much as they tried, the old memories would not bring you down this day. Only the light was allowed into your heart. Everything else could wait or burn.
When Frigga left, she had shut the door to the chambers, allowing you your time. As she left the chambers, she could sense her son close but chose to feign ignorance. She had always known of his love for you. Many times over the years, she tried to convince Odin to dissolve the arrangement so Loki could have the chance to show you. Odin, of course refused, saying it would go against tradition and damage his friendship with your father. Now that Loki had returned, perhaps you would truly be her daughter someday as she had always hoped.
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