Ek, Loki

Ek, Loki
I, Loki

Chapter One

It wasn’t as warm as it should be. Loki frowned slightly and pushed an eyelid open, his curiosity the only reason he was able to do so. His body felt like molasses. He had tried molasses on Midgard once. Did not care for it at all. Still did not. Wait, was not he trying to do something?

This time Loki managed to actually open his eye enough to see out of it. There was—white. A lot of it, in fact. With greys and blues blurred in. He must be more exhausted than he originally supposed. Hmmm… And wasn’t Asgard gold? Not even the healing ward possessed this much white. It was a bit of white with a lot of gold. So was Moðir’s, actually. Thor’s were a bit of crimson with a lot of gold, and his were green with a lot of gold.

Yes, he was not doing terribly well. If Loki’s sporadic thought process was not information enough to reach that conclusion, the pounding in his head as he attempted to sit was. Certainly, he had had headaches before. Only Æsir he had ever met to have such a mortal condition, but he had them from time to time. Had his headaches ever ached so much, though?

Loki collapsed back onto the fluffy… fluffy, while not being uncomfortably fluffy. What was this? He wanted one.

Anyhow, he collapsed back onto the bed he had woken upon and froze. No, none of the Æsir he had known had ever had a headache. But he wasn’t an Æsir.

In seconds Loki was standing beside his cot, the aching of his body pushed aside and his mind sharply activated. It was no bed he had been placed on, but a simple ice-work frame filled with packed snow. Loki tried to forget that it was the most comfortable bed he had ever laid on, but his mind decided it had followed enough of his orders for the time being and promptly slowed again, leaving him to count up every type of substance he had ever slept on.

As an infant, he likely slept on a cot of phoenix feathers inside a lavish cradle. His childhood bed had been stuffed with fleece from Asgard’s finest flocks. As a youth, he began to travel. A yarn-stuffed cot on Vanaheim (my, had that been an experience), an Elven bed made of wood, and a Dwarven bed of metal. Once in the army, rocks, dirt, moss, tunics, and once, water he had magicked to hold his weight.

“Why are you sitting on the floor?”

Loki jerked his head up, eyes wide, and saw a small, very blue boy standing in a doorway he had not noticed. He was feeling quite foolish for that lapse of awareness until his head began to pound again and he recalled why he had been unaware.

“Helgi! That is no way to address a stranger!”

Blinking dazedly, Loki observed that a woman had come up behind the boy. Huh.

“And see, look at his eyes. He is clearly injured. Do you not recall what your Aunt showed you?” the woman asked, sounding quite distressed. Loki wondered why. Maybe he could help?

“I do remember, Moðir! When somebody’s eyes are all sleety, it means their head hurts and you should give them some meðal. Can I go get some from Aunt?”

The woman sighed. “Yes, Helgi. Remember your manners!” she finished as the boy darted off. “I do not believe I have ever heard unfocused eyes referred to as “sleety.” He certainly is a creative young boy.” The woman’s murmuring softened as she turned and approached him. Or maybe his hearing was departing? Loki thought that possible, though he could not recall why.

“Sir, would you like me to help you back onto the bed?” The woman sounded kind. Perhaps he should accept her aid. And she was quite attractive as well. Odd, that, considering she was blue. The blue was even odder. And the tribal markings were the oddest. Vanir marked their bodies similarly, but only for festivals. Was Loki on this Realm to attend a festival? Well, he would not mind so much if all the women were similar to this one. He could see intelligence in her red eyes—red? Huh—and would bet she could carry on an interesting conversation. Perhaps she could even tell Loki why his head hurt so.

She sighed. Again. Did she sigh as often as Thor shattered mugs, or more? Or perhaps she was simply in the mood to sigh.

“Mmp!” Loki exclaimed in surprise. When had the woman bent down? Why was she trying to pull him up? He liked the floor just fine. And why was she so cool? Normally Loki found others to be quite warm, but her touch was almost cold.

“Sir, I am not strong enough to lift you entirely by myself. You must help me as much as you are able. Sir? Sir, are you well? Ah, Helgi, thank you. I believe I underestimated his injuries—sir! Sir, do not fall asleep. It will be dangerous in your condition—sir! Helgi, hurry, fetch the most knowledgeable healer you can find. This man needs assistance beyond my capabilities. Sir, stay awake a moment longer. You must drink this. It will help your head. Sir? Can you hear me? Sir?”

Her voice registered, but Loki could not understand what it was she said. He was delightfully cool, his head did not hurt as much now, though there was a substantial amount more molasses, and… Oh. Drink. His throat was quite dry, now that he thought about it. And the liquid was just warm enough to be pleasant, and so very sweet…

“Aid! Hurry! He is falling asleep! I need aid!”

This time, Loki was far more aware when he woke. He had seen himself cast from Asgard a thousand times as he slept, and realized where he was and who had cared for him the moment he awoke.

Fortunately, the room he was in was empty when he woke up. Swiftly, Loki sat up and assessed his situation. The Jotunn must not realize who he was, or they would never have aided him. He was in hostile territory still, but that was an advantage. They would likely have placed him in a regular healing room rather than a cell.

Loki had had nothing with him when he was cast to Jotunheim, so he would be able to leave unburdened. Once he had escaped… Well, he would manage. It would be better than inside this compound, at the least.

Quietly, Loki stalked out the door of the room he had been placed in and began to creep in the shadows along the walls of the twisting passage he found. Every so often Loki would come upon a doorway or another passageway, but he resolutely continued to follow the passage he had first entered.

After a quarter hour, Loki finally heard voices. A negative thing, really, but he may be able to follow them to an exit. He called upon his magic and murmured a spell of invisibility. Moments later, he entered a cavernous room, just as empty as the rest of the compound but for a long table in the room’s center. Loki was unimpressed, to say the least. The table appeared to be fashioned out of rotting wood hastily tied together with string. It was hardly a table at all.

Clearly it was used as one, though, for a dozen Jotunn lined its sides, talking to one other in hushed tones. Well, mostly hushed.

One Jotun raised his voice to be heard by all at the table.

“I care not if it would be a cruelty! That creature inhabiting our healing room is a son of Laufey! There is no mistaking his marks! Bekkhild declared his origins before all of you, and yet you still allow her to tend to him! He is the son of a monster who would have us all fed to his beasts! And you allow his son into our nest? The monstrosity will run right to his father and disclose our location, and I, for one, have no interest in allowing Laufey’s army to hunt us down like the snow birds!”

The room was silent for many moments after the Jotun’s declaration, which Loki supposed was a positive thing. His mind was roaring so loudly he would not have heard a word said if they had been speaking.

They knew he was a son of Laufey, the ridges were apparently patriarchal symbols, which he could use to his advantage if he learned how to decode them, they did not know Laufey was dead, they apparently hated Laufey, they did not revere their army as the Æsir did, and they had shown him kindness despite believing him to be a no-good rat who may cause their deaths.

…Loki was not certain which piece of that information was the most difficult to wrap his head around.

He did not have the time to decide, because a softer, but far firmer, more noble voice spoke up.

“Atli, you know well we all share your concerns. However, you also know that if we killed the man, son of Laufey or son of Bekkhild, we would be committing murder all the same. He was severely wounded, and unable to tell us of his intentions. If we were to kill based off of assumptions, we would be no better than the Æsir, or even than Laufey. We have no cause to live for if not the cause of those such as him. Left by Laufey in the snow to die. Whether he was left as a sickness, to destroy us from the inside, or because Laufey assumed we would kill him is undeterminable simply by looking at the situation. Simply looking at the situation, he is a victim of Laufey’s cruelty, not a perpetrator of it, and in your heart you know that. You are letting your fear cloud your judgment, Atli.”

Once more, the room was quiet, and once more, Loki’s mind was not.

Left by Laufey in the snow to die.
Left by Laufey in the snow to die.
Left by Laufey in the snow to die.
Left by Laufey in the snow to die.

Why did every barbed word have to hurt him like it did? Why could he not be Thor? Blissfully overconfident and immune to mere words?

Left by Laufey in the snow to die.
Left by Laufey in the snow to die.

“I apologize, Helblindi. The resemblance of this man’s situation to your brother’s had not occurred to me.” Atli sighed and fixed his gaze on the table. “I suppose Byleist is the only one who will ever match up to your father’s expectations.”

Helblindi smiled slightly. Had Loki ever seen a Jotun smile? He did not think so.

It did not look as strange on the man’s blue skin as Loki had expected it to.

“Atli, no son will ever live up to his father’s expectations. That is why so many fathers leave for Laufey’s army.” The table started laughing. Loki did not see the joke in Helblindi’s statement, but did not care that he missed it.

Left by Laufey in the snow to die.

Loki did not have one brother, but four. Or three. Well, three biological. One was dead, another was likely evil, and the third standing before him had not caused Loki to dislike him yet, but likely would sooner or later.

“Helblindi, Atli, you have shown that we should not kill him before he is well—but what should we do with him then?” another Jotun asked. Loki snapped his gaze back to the Jotunn around the table. This answer would control a great deal of his short term future.

“Well,” Helblindi replied, “I would say we should speak to him and see how he came to be where we found him. From there, we can either chain him somewhere, or… I feel as if I am being too optimistic to suppose he would willingly help us, but perhaps we can coexist with him if he means us no ill will.”

The Jotunn murmured their agreement, and Loki’s breath caught.

He could sneak back to the room they had put him in, weave a story about himself, and earn their trust, and through their trust, their supplies. However, he did not know enough about Jotun culture to guarantee that his story would hold up to scrutiny….

He could flee this place and take care of himself….

Or he could reveal who he actually was. So far he had not felt a single tingle of magick. If the Jotunn had no mages with them, his magick would give him an advantage, and he could hold far more power over his situation than he would any other way….

Loki straightened his back and made a decision.

“I would be interested in knowing what precisely I would be helping you with before agreeing to do so. Coexisting, however, sounds quite lovely. I was not looking forward to living off of Jotunheim’s ‘land.’”

All of the eyes in the room were on Loki as he unwove his cloaking spell and made himself visible.


It Started at the Well

The air was crisp, the sun was bright, and the grass was green. Such was the day fate had chosen.

He had had yet another argument with his father, the King. Since he had discovered his true heritage, he had been volatile, and likely to burst into anger at any moment. Those precious few who had even pretended to enjoy his presence before the incident ceased their acting, not deeming it worth the threat of one of his explosions of temper just to endure being around him. Though he had believed himself to be alone before, now he truly was. Even his “brother”, who had claimed that he would love Loki despite their not sharing blood, had begun to avoid his company.

So, after receiving this treatment for many weeks and having a particularly unpleasant argument with Odin, Loki decided to escape the castle and meander through the village for the day.

In stark contrast to the luxurious gold-plated castle, the village was a mud pit. Houses built of sticks and small trees tied together precariously by twine and lined with hay and pitch, offset by rundown wooden shops. The people who walked about all wore shades of brown. All the men looked unkempt, and wore simple trousers and torn shirts, with an overcoat if they were lucky, and cracking leather boots. The women wore dresses that went from just below their knees to down to their ankles, with full length sleeves rolled up, their hair tied up in buns, and bare feet.

In comparison to the beautifully clad women with bright silks, soft slippers, and hair tied back and braided with silver and jewels, they looked like the brown mice that ran across the dirt streets.

Loki, unlike every other member of royalty or nobility he had ever met, did not mind their uncleanliness, nor their informal mannerisms. He found them endearing: An observation he wisely kept to himself. As a boy, he had often snuck out of the castle to enjoy village life for a day, and was not finding any difficulty now in blending in.

He wore a brown shirt with a tear down the front and sleeves torn at uneven lengths to just below his elbows, dark brown trousers that were rolled up to just below his knees, and an old pair of worn brown leather boots. His raven colored hair was not slicked back as it normally was. He had let it stay loose, the curls bouncing freely down to his shoulders until enough dust from the road was caught in them that they were weighted down.

After a few hours of milling around the village of Midgard, Loki decided he was thirsty, and began to make his way toward the well. The sun was directly overhead, making it the hottest part of the day, and the most unpleasant to be drawing water. Even still, he silently prayed that someone would be there, whatever their reasons, that he might ask for a drink from their pitcher.

Though it took him some time to make it across the village and up and over the hill separating Midgard from the valley with the well, it was still insufferably hot when he reached his destination. Fortunately for him, there was one other person unfortunate enough to also be at the well at this ungodly hour.

A young maiden, just barely younger than the Prince himself, was just pulling her pitcher from the well when Loki approached her.

“Good afternoon, milady. Might you spare me a drink from your pitcher to quench my thirst?” he asked, his silky voice somehow managing to make his request sound like going out of her way to give him a drink was an honor. Which, in reality, it was.

Quickly, she turned to face him, some water sloshing out of the pitcher as she did so. He was instantly entranced by her beauty. Her mouse brown hair was swept up in a tight knot, but some strands were hanging down her forehead and matted in the thin sheen of sweat that had built up in her time under the harsh sun. Her brown eyes sparkled with an amount of life he had only ever witnessed—in a female—in his mother. Her lips were a light pink, and her complexion fare. In his eyes, she was stunning.

“Of course, sir,” she replied kindly, extending the pitcher out to him. He smiled gratefully and thanked her, taking the pitcher and quenching his thirst. When he was finished, she smiled at him, accepting back the pitcher and laboriously refilling it. Loki watched from a distance as she lifted it to her head and began to painstakingly ascend the hill with it, still transfixed with her.

Even as he made his way back to the castle, Asgard, hours later, the kind-hearted maiden was still on his mind. Only at the oppressively cheery dinner that night did he realize he had never gotten her name. Not being one to back down from a challenge, he decided to return to Midgard once more the next day, to see what else he could discover about this girl.

Recalling vividly the happenings of the day before, Jane Foster of Midgard had purposely waited until all of the other mistresses had already fetched their water to fetch hers. Yesterday, they had been violent to her, and her pitcher had been cracked when she was shoved down. Now, though oppressively hot because it was noon, she should be safe.

Because her parents had died when she was a child, she lived with a family friend, her “Uncle” Eric Selvig. He loved her, and was a fairly accepted man in the village; but his reputation was not renowned enough to cause the people of Midgard to be kind to Jane. They had always been rude to her, but as she matured, it began to be more and more of a problem. She was 22 now, and of age to be married. Because she had, thus far, denied all her suitors, she was further cast out. And of course, to add to all that, she studied the night sky; an occupation frowned upon for men, and considered unacceptable for women.

As she drew her pitcher out of the well, a young man came up to her and politely requested a drink. She gave him the water he desired, sparing but a moment to think that he was quite handsomer than most men in her village. Tall, like nearly all the men were, but slender, with a darker air to him.

Later that night, when resting in bed, she began to think more on the man from the well. She decided that he was indeed handsome, and giggled at the thought that she would be far more likely to accept him as a suitor than those who had previously requested such.

That she might actually see him again never crossed her mind.

The Cost of a Mistake

It was early in the morning, and the sun had not yet risen into view. The clouds were a rosy peach color, and everyone was still fast asleep. Well, not quite everyone.

“Psssssst. Pitch? C’mon, wake up, wake up!”

Jack Frost Lunanoff was the youngest of five children, merely 5 years of age. He was unusual in appearance; his hair was of the purest shade of white imaginable, and his skin was a ghostly pale. There was a reason for his appearance, too. Jack had been born with the incredible gift of being able to control winter. Ice, snow, frost, and even the wind could be created and controlled at his command.

He was an energetic lad, and loved to play, as many children of his age did. Unlike most children, however, Jack was a prince. He was the youngest in line, having three older brothers and an older sister, but he was a prince all the same.

The brother he was currently trying to wake was Pitch Black Lunanoff, the second oldest in the family. He was 16 years of age, but was extremely close to Jack. Pitch had a striking appearance as well. His hair was jet black, and his skin a pale grey. His looks were also related to a supernatural gift. He could control the shadows, and peoples’ nightmares. He could even give nightmares.

Neither’s abilities caused their relationship to be the least bit stressed. Quite the opposite: Their favorite occupation was playing with their powers together. Every day they would discover a new trick, and found immense joy in showing the other. They were also comrades in crime: They were known throughout the castle for their constant pranks.

“Go back to sleep,” Pitch grumbled. Unlike Jack, he was not at all a morning person. He despised mornings. And the fact that he would often stay up far into the night to observe the stars and take advantage of the darkness for using his powers didn’t help his ability to wake the next morning.

Pitch rolled over in his bed, turning away from Jack while simultaneously dumping him off the bed. Pitch settled down to go back to sleep, but Jack wasn’t going to left him off that easy. He sat on the floor for a moment, pouting and thinking.

An idea came to Jack, and he climbed back up onto Pitch’s bed. “Do you wanna have a snowball fight?” Pitch couldn’t help but smile. He had a soft spot for Jack, and Jack had a soft spot for snowball fights. With a faked sigh, Pitch sat up, causing Jack to- quietly- squeak in success and slide off the bed.

He grabbed Pitch’s hand and dragged the half-asleep prince down several flights of stairs to a large ballroom. Running to the middle of the room, Jack stomped his foot onto the ground. Ice climbed across the ground from where he had stepped to the walls. It swirled in beautiful patterns, decorating everything. Jack then held up his hands. Face scrunched in concentration, Jack formed a glowing blue sphere in his hands. Once satisfied with its size, he moved both hands sharply upward, throwing the sphere up into the air. It exploded, and snow began to fall heavily onto the two princes.

Pitch stared around himself in awe, now fully awake. He had taught Jack how to make an impromptu snow storm, but the ice rink was new.

His thoughts were interrupted when a snowball smacked Pitch in the face. He laughed and ducked into a nearby shadow. Their snowball fights were quite a sight to behold. Jack could control the snow and fly, but Pitch could disappear and reappear anywhere using his shadows.

After nearly an hour of having snowball fights, building snow-people, ice skating, making snow angels, etc., the two had settled on playing one of Jack’s favorite games. He would leap through the air, and Pitch would use his shadows to catch Jack before he could fall.

This time went no differently than normal… until Jack started jumping faster than Pitch could conjure shadows to catch him with. “Slow down!” Pitch yelled. His tone was frustrated, but his face showed his worry. ‘What if I’m not able to catch Jack?’

Jack ignored his brother’s warning. With the next leap he took, Pitch panicked. He sent a burst of shadows Jack’s way… but in the process, he slipped on the ice. His aim was off, and the blast hit Jack in the head.

“Jack!” Pitch’s voice was filled with terror and dread as he ran to his brother, now curled up, unconscious, on the floor. He was old enough to know well how badly his brother could be hurt.

For years, all of the staff of his castle, and even his own siblings, had been wary of his powers. They feared them, and most disliked Pitch for them. He had always ignored them because his father- the just king Manfred Lunar Lunanoff- had always been supportive of him. His mother had always been as well; but alas, his dear mother, to whom he had been very close, had died while giving birth to Jack. But rather than disliking Jack for his mother’s death, he became exceedingly close to the boy. Closer than any of the rest of his family, or the staff. And for years, he hadn’t even thought about the harm some had claimed his powers could do.

But now, it was all he could think of.

Pitch pushed his thoughts and concerns for Jack’s health before all else. He lifted his brother up in his arms and ran through the palace until he found his father. His father was a morning person, like Jack, and was already awake and about.

When Pitch burst into the room his father quickly turned round in surprise. No one ever rushed into his room like that. But seeing his two sons- namely Jack- those surprised thoughts instantly disappeared.

“What happened?” King Lunar asked Pitch, taking Jack from his arms.

“We were playing in the ballroom and- and I accidentally hit him in the head with my powers,” Pitch panted. His crystalline, golden eyes were glassy and brimming with tears that were threatening to spill; his voice edged with terror and concern. “Will he be alright?”

King Lunar lay Jack on his bed and looked him over. He gave a small sigh. A grave sigh. Pitch’s fear grew even greater. “He will be fine. He will simply spend the rest of the day, and possibly into the next, in an undisturbable sleep. Likely having nightmares. Once the nightmares have run their course, I will be able to wake him with little problem.”

“Is there nothing I can do? Can I take them away from him?”

“No, we must simply wait.” Pitch nodded brusquely, and glanced at his brother again, before running to his bedroom. He closed the door and curled up into a ball, his back to the door. He cried into his arms, soaking his black nightclothes with his tears. Shadows engulfed the room in a still, eerie darkness.

Normally, Pitch’s shadows were a strange, beautiful, almost warming substance. They were very different from normal shadows. But now, these shadows were cold, and dangerous. They both looked and felt different, changing due to their master’s emotions. He was afraid. So, so terribly afraid.

He knew that he had hurt his brother. Thousands of thoughts swirled around inside his head. ‘What will everyone say?’ ‘Will Jack be angry with me?’ ‘I should’ve been able to stop that from happening!’ ‘Are my powers evil, like they always said?’

When the rest of his family met for breakfast, they groaned at the absence of their two brothers. Pitch missing wasn’t completely strange, he missed meals often. But when he and Jack both were not there, it usually meant that they were preparing a prank.

Their concern for pranks was soon wiped from their thoughts when they saw their father’s face as he entered.

“Father, what is the matter?” Asked Toothiana. She was the only daughter of the royal family, and the youngest, next to Jack. She was 9 years of age, but wiser than most her age. She, like Jack, could control the wind. However, her control over it was far superior to Jack’s. She had long, waste length hair of a deep, rich brown color. Her eyes were an unnatural, but very beautiful, amethyst. She was rather small in stature, but could talk more than anyone in the entire kingdom. Her nickname was Tooth, both because of her name and because of her strange fascination with teeth, even at her young age.

On her right was the eldest of the Lunanoff children, Sanderson. He was 17 years of age, a mere year older than Pitch, and heir to the throne of Kuu. -The kingdom was named for the moon. The moon was the center of life there, but I shall get to that later.- Sanderson was small, about the size of Tooth. He had a lively, golden complexion, and a mop of sandy-golden colored hair. His eyes were a brownish-gold. His physique was a bit rounded.

Like his siblings, he too had powers. He controlled light and dreams. His specialty was more dreams than light, though he could bend and create it. It took the staff years to become accustomed to him randomly glowing. He had been nicknamed Sandy, mainly because he created his dreams using what he called ‘dreamsand’.

The most important thing one must know about him was that he was mute. He always carried a small book and ink pot with him, and had to write anything he wanted to say.

He and Pitch were complete opposites in nearly every way. Pitch was tall and thin, he was short and rounded. He was light, Pitch was shadows. He was dreams, Pitch was nightmares. He was kind, Pitch was narcissistic. He preferred company, Pitch preferred solitude. Well, both had exceptions to that rule, but still. They did not get along in the slightest. They had always been more like enemies than brothers. Pitch was the one person missing from the list of people that Sandy was unconditionally sweet to.

That being said, next to Pitch, Sandy was the closest to Jack. Because of this, the two had been on civil terms recently.

On Tooth’s left was their other brother. His full name was Aster Bunnymund Lunanoff, but most called him either Aster or Bunny. He was tall and sturdily built, especially for only being 13 years of age. After spending several summers in a distant kingdom undergoing military training -The program was designed to start teaching princes how to fight at a young age, so that it was a part of life for them, and not something new to them when they were older and received more training at the traditional age.- he had picked up a strong accent. He had a fiery temper, and often spoke things he regretted. His hair was an unnatural grayish-blue color, and his eyes strikingly green.

Next to Sandy, Bunny hated Pitch more than just about anyone else. He believed him to be a lying, cheating, despicable person. Unlike the rest of his family, he did not particularly like his youngest brother, Jack, either. The pranks and ‘cute’, ‘childish’ things that he did were very frustrating to Bunny. He could be rather harsh and sharp with Jack. Despite this, Bunny refused to tolerate anyone else, beside himself, being the slightest bit unkind to the boy. He couldn’t stand that Jack and Pitch were so close and spent so much time together.

Bunny didn’t spend much time with Jack himself, even when given opportunity, because of Bunny’s powers. Bunny controlled plants, and adored nature. Unlike Jack, who loved winter, spring was Bunny’s signature season. Warmth and color were up his alley- not snowball fights and iceskating.

“There has been an incident this morning involving Jack and Pitch.” Their father’s announcement drew instant reactions from all three children present. Tooth disliked Pitch like her brothers, and adored Jack. She knit her brow, her face a mix of anger and worry. Sandy and Bunny were simply furious. They didn’t wait for King Lunar to say that Pitch had done something; they just automatically assumed so.

King Lunar’s expression saddened more at his children’s reactions. He knew their dislike for Pitch, and found it disappointing. He loved Pitch as much as all of his children. He could never quite grasp just why Pitch was hated, either. Were his powers really that important to them? He had never- never– done anything more than pull a simple prank. He loved to scare his siblings and the staff, but had never caused a single one of them actual harm. Nor had he ever intended to.

“They were playing as normal, when Pitch inadvertently struck Jack with his powers.” Bunny leaped from his seat in anger, but the king did not give him time to speak before continuing. “Jack will be fine by morning. He is locked in a nightmare right now, and we must let it run its course. He will be good as new when it is over. Because Pitch was not trying to hurt him, he will forget about the events that occur in his nightmare.”

“That sick-” Bunny began, but King Lunar cut him off once more.

“It was not done on purpose.”

“Said who? Pitch?! Why would you trust tha word of that lia’?!” Bunny yelled. He stormed out of the room, quickly followed by his siblings. Tooth and Sandy normally wouldn’t leave without first being excused… but they forgot their manners as they jumped up and followed Bunny.

King Lunar shook his head. Someday. Someday they would understand. He was a wise man, and knew no little amount of magic. But there was nothing that he could do to make his children see reason. He would just have to wait for them to understand on their own.

Locked in his room, Pitch was trying to calm himself down. He had managed to force the shadows back to their correct places, and had cleaned himself up, so that there was no evidence of him ever having cried. He was 16 years of age: He was far too old to cry.

Pitch heard a hard knock on his door. He straightened himself, pulled back his shoulders, and walked to the door. He opened it, looking as princely as one can in their nightclothes, but before he could register who was at the door, he found himself roughly hitting the floor.

His head span from its impact on the floor, but the haze soon faded enough for him to hear yelling and recognize the voice. Aster. Dread filled Pitch from head to toe. Aster. Aster.

“You monster! You bloody monster! He adores you! An’ what do you do? You hurt him! At least maybe now Jackie’ll understand how terrible you are!” A blunt object made impact with Pitch’s ribcage, and he buckled from the pain. A fist slammed into the left side of his jaw, just barely not too hard to cause him to lose consciousness.

Pitch felt a hand lift him from the floor by his neck. Then his back made him aware that he had been thrown into a wall.

He had lost his eyesight upon realizing who had entered his room; he was too disoriented. But when Pitch felt a foot impact his ribs before he had even fallen to the floor after hitting the wall, something inside him snapped.

His vision cleared, and his eyes narrowed at the enraged figure before him. He may only be 13, but Aster was big for his age, and far fiercer and better trained than Pitch. Pitch had never had an interest in warfare.

Eyes locked with his brother, Pitch silently began to give his shadows commands. A thin band of shadows slithered across the floor and wrapped tightly around Aster’s ankle.

Pitch and Aster’s eye contact was broken as Aster looked down in shock. The shadows gave a tug, and sent Aster crashing to the floor on his face. Pitch didn’t notice Tooth or Sandy standing, shocked, in the doorway staring at them. Pitch’s gaze was fixed on Aster as he darkly glared at him. Making a snap decision, Pitch willed the shadowy rope to drag Aster out of the room, before he commanded another clump of shadows to close the door.

The unlocked door was immediately opened, but Pitch created enough shadows over it for the people trying to open it to be unable to overpower them and get in.

He pulled himself up off the floor, trying his hardest to ignore the splitting pain from his likely broken ribs and badly bruising jaw. His back hurt too, just not near as badly.

Pitch’s mind whirled. ‘What have I done?’ Or more importantly, ‘What can I do now?’

Suddenly, something happened that would change the course of Pitch’s life. A new voice suddenly spoke in his mind. ‘Run awayyyy,‘ it hissed. ‘Leave thisss placccce.’ Pitch did not have any idea what this voice was or how it got into his head, but those really weren’t his greatest worries at the present moment.

After a moment’s thought, Pitch did what would really actually change his life. He followed the voice’s advice.

He grabbed several things he thought he could use, and changed his clothing. Then Pitch shadow-traveled out of his bed quarters. But before he left the palace; his home; he stopped by one room. The room where Jack lay.

Pitch walked up to his brother’s bed, lightly kissed the young child’s forehead, whispered to him something the sleeping boy couldn’t hear, and, with one last glance over his shoulder, Pitch left the castle that had housed generations of Lunanoffs. He planned on never returning, though he didn’t know where he would go.

With the disappearance of Pitch began a very troublesome time for this small kingdom. The great Golden Age of prosper and glory that had been in Kuu for so long ended with the whispered words from Prince Pitch to his brother Prince Jack.

“I am so sorry for everything that I will do from today on. But never forget that you, my dear brother, shall always hold in my heart a very special place.”

Ek, Loki

Ek, Loki
I, Loki


I was entirely lacking fear as I was brought before my fóstri. The electric blue webbing that had been spun through my mind was gone: I was well aware of my situation, and my self-preservation should have been rising within me. Instead, I felt hollow. I was drained of my anger, though I clung to it as much as I could. I did not feel despair, nor panic, nor regret. I had felt those emotions so much in the past two years that I seemed to have none left to feel.

Holding my head up high, I pushed my shoulders back, and walked with as much faux confidence as I could force my battered body to walk with. I had been paraded through Asgard’s golden streets as a public spectacle. The faces of women and children appeared in windows as I passed. Men stopped their work and stared. Even the various birds and beasts halted their proceedings to watch me walk by. It was obvious from their not-so-quiet whispering that everyone now knew of my true heritage. “Monster,” was the most frequented name they called me. I almost winced at the unbidden thought, “That was always their favorite title as well.”

I had not looked at a single Æsir, nor had I looked at Thor, who was leading me like a horse. My gaze had remained fixed ahead on whatever was directly before me the entire way.

As two geyma opened the enormous double doors that separated us from the Throne Room, Thor spoke to me for the first time since I stabbed him on Stark’s Tower. If you could even consider that to have been me.

“Should you ever require assistance—I shall come to your aid,” he said quietly. Behind the muzzle, I smirked humourlessly. He wasn’t forgiving me. He wasn’t telling me he still considered me his brother. He wasn’t saying that he would fight the Court for me. [But really, why should he?] And yet he was not calling me a monster, or wishing that I had been left in that Jotunn temple to die [like I often have]. No, he was being his usual insufferably perfect self and being as kind to me as was possible, while still inwardly furious at me for my actions. How typical.

The All-Father was speaking to a small group of drengskapr when we entered. The conversation silenced the instant they turned and caught sight of us. “I bade all leave except my sons,” he commanded. Instantly the Courtiers rushed to do as he had told them, and I felt an unwanted pang of jealousy. Because no one would listen to me like that. [But why should anyone listen to a liar?]

Óðinn looked me in the eyes, and to my disgust, his eye was filled with emotion. Now I had two sentimental fools to put up with. “Minn niðr,” he murmured. I scowled, pulling on all of the anger, bitterness and hate I had. “For lying to me.” “For letting them take me.” “For your blindness.” “For all of the mistreatment I have had since childhood at you and your countrymen’s hands.” “Because I am an Óvættr.”

“Ykkarr fóstriniðr,” I hissed in my mind. My expression must have adequately displayed my sentiment, for Óðinn’s face hardened. I almost smirked at my victory. Clearly, I had not lost my touch.

“You have committed crimes against the entirety of the population of a second Realm,” he began. Oh, how wonderful. I get to hear that speech again. It is almost reminiscent of the speech Móðir—my fóstra used to tell me when I had turned the spoons into snakes.

“Before, you were unable to face judgement,” he continued. If not for the muzzle, I would have spat at him. I endured much worse torture while in Thanos’s land than any punishment anyone in Asgard could ever dream of concocting.

“But now, you shall face the cost of your crimes.” Was he joking? This was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard him say. I was beginning to understand where Thor received it from.

“Loki; son of Laufey; who was slain by your own hand; I now and forever henceforth banish you to the Realm you tried to annihilate.” I froze. He couldn’t mean… A glance at Thor, and I saw his face was mimicking my own’s horror. He couldn’t. He wouldn’t.

He stood—with an amount of effort that showed how much he was truly aging—, and finished, “Be gone!” Gungnir was slammed into the floor, and I only had the time to glance up at Thor’s face, a sadness seeping into my bones that I could not understand, before I felt magick pulling me from the Throne Room—from the palace—from Asgard—and at last, into an endless abyss of nothing. The Void.

I was yanked from the Void and found myself on my knees in snow. I knew where I was, and the realization terrified me. My eyes widened and became wild as I screamed, unable to see anything but more, more, more ice in every direction I turned.

My mind blurred, and I was only half aware that the muzzle was gone, and my hands were no longer tied. Only half aware that I was screaming for Óðinn, for Móðir, and mostly for Thor. Less aware as I realized I would never see them again. Scarcely aware at all as I crumpled, collapsing onto the ground of Jotunnheim. As I sank deeper into the snow with a crunch. Not noticing that I did not feel the sting of cold that I should have.

The haze shut down my mind completely, and I let my eyes droop closed.

Fóstri – foster-father
Geyma – guard
Drengskapr – noblemen
Minn – my
Niðr – son
Ykkarr – your
Óvættr – monster
Fóstriniðr – foster-son
Móðir – mother
Fóstra – foster-mother