Thor hadn’t meant to upset his brother so much. Sure, he was fed up with the rumors that Loki was a recluse, even if it was true. But he didn’t mean it to sound so bad when he addressed Loki. This day had always been awful for Loki, even when they were young. He could recall being sent to his room after the festivities without as much as a word to his brother. It bothered him when he was younger because Loki always seemed to be alone. It wasn’t until much later did father explain that Loki’s presence wasn’t going to be welcomed by the warriors who accompanied him that day, and that it was best to allow the young man to stay in his chambers. Thor now realized it was because father and mother hadn’t told Loki about his finding, and were probably trying to keep him from the truth. Though it royally pissed him off, he didn’t confront them about their actions and Loki’s outburst when he arrived at the ceremony in his well shined armor and new cape.
He tried to ignore the pang of guilt at the idea that he, once again, received new armor for his battles and a new cape, while Loki was left to his virtually unused battle regalia. Even though his mind noted that he wore through armor like undergarments, Loki never seemed to get anything new. Then again, he did seem like a man of little needs and few wants.
“Thor?” Sif’s voice broke through his little trance. His head snapped up in attention, not realizing that he’d been standing in the same spot now since the Allfather’s speech about honor and living for the future had ended. He must have looked like a fool, just standing there, spacing out. Someone could have hung a coat on him and he would have made a marvelous hanger for the evening while he sorted through his thoughts.
“I’m- I’m here.” He stated like a fumbling oaf. He didn’t mean to give such blank answer, but he was too focused on other issues to think.
“You seem ill. Is something bothering you?” Sif inquired. Thor tensed for a moment, unsure if he should tell one of his best friends about Loki’s odd outburst. Assuming the ever vigilant Sif would discover what happened sooner rather than later, he relented his guilt.
“I had a fight with Loki.” He blandly stated. Sif stared at him for a moment, taking mental note of what had been broken in the palace recently. When she realized that, for once, it was just a verbal fight, she shoved the blonde man gently with her shoulder.
“And you have fought many times before. May I remind you how long it took to fix the last round of damage to the courtyard gardens after you two shattered the stone work?” Sif jested, attempting to lighten the mood with her recollections.
“Yes, but this time it was different. He didn’t throw a spell, he just yelled. Apparently, he hates this day and everyone involved in it.” Thor sighed while rubbing his eyes in frustration dissipation.
“And this surprises you? He’s Loki. He’s the resident drama king. Just let him mope. We can enjoy our mead while he enjoys his misery.” Sif scoffed with another sip of the spicy drink.
“It’s not that, Sif. He sounded really hurt. And his points were-well, valid. In all his years here, we’ve never celebrated his birthday. Not just on the day, virtually at all. And, well, compared to my yearly celebration, I can see why it hurts.” Thor confessed.
“So, let’s drag him down here to drink and feast. It seems to be his choice to stay up there.” Sif retorted rather bluntly.
“It’s not the same. All these years, I thought Loki just didn’t want to come to the celebration. But recently” Thor’s voice dropped to a whisper as he pulled Sif behind a curtain to block any wandering ears. “Recently, Father and Mother told Loki where he came from.”
“Thor, we’ve all had the ‘talk’, I don’t see why this is a big-“ Sif began.
“No! No, not that talk. Loki was left on the altar of a religious palace in Jotenheim. He’s a Frost Giant, Sif. They left him to die.” Even buzzed as she was, Sif’s mind placed the pieces together quickly while her mouth gaped open.
“Oh, dear Odin. So this isn’t about the celebration.” She answered with a guilty tone. She recalled their last conversation on Frost Giants ended with the condemnation of the entire race, and a promise to slaughter any they encountered. Loki was sitting less than five feet from her when she’d agreed to the promise, and had his nose buried deep in some huge tome. She hadn’t thought of it until now, but Loki must have been informed earlier that same day. He’d been so uncharacteristically quiet, she’d thought so little of it with his eyes set sternly on the pages in front of him.
“Well, yes and no. Loki thinks he’s unwanted, and, well, I can see why. I mean, every year I get a big party. Everyone in the kingdom comes! We make merry until the following week! Now, of course many are just playing up to the future king, but Loki doesn’t even get a cake anymore. He just stays up in his room, alone, all day. And before he was old enough to fight, Father wouldn’t even allow him to come down because of the warriors feelings towards Frost Giants.” Thor explained.
“So, what do we do for Loki?” Sif asked, sincerely worried for the supposed loner.
“Well, after tonight, I want to start celebrating Loki’s birthday. Just the six of us. He likes quiet parties. If we keep it small, he’ll be safer and happier. Other than that, I do not know. There might have been too much damage done.” Thor sighed as his shoulders dropped in defeat.
“Come on. Up up. Let’s take him something to eat. I don’t want him starving.” Sif briskly offered after a few moments. Not only would this give them some much appreciated distance from the heat of the party, but it might lighten both men’s moods. She hated seeing Thor upset, but knowing that Loki was feeling so dejected hurt her. She felt as though she’d failed to see what was really going on, and in turn, failed a good friend. A friend who’d healed her when she was injured on missions. A friend who often tried hard to be like the older, stronger men- who received no encouragement from anyone. Not even her. Damn, she’d failed.
After gathering two plates chocked high with grapes, fruit, and sweet bread; the pair took off for Loki’s room. The journey up the stairs was only interrupted by an occasional nod to adjust the other’s plate before it toppled.
When they arrived, they knocked on the door after shooing the guards away. Thor noted that the ice on the outside of the door had melted since he’d left, leaving a large puddle in its wake.
“Loki!” Thor called out as he knocked on the door with a heavy hand. Not one sound came from within. Perhaps he’d fallen asleep after his outburst? With all the energy he’d expended, Thor wouldn’t have been surprised. Surely he at least had a headache after that screaming rant, and a beckoning bed would have felt magnificent under a sore head.
“Loki! We brought you something to eat! Let us in!” Sif knocked with her hand. Thor made a mental note that they’d forgotten to bring anything to drink, but Loki never enjoyed the thick, heavy mead that clogged every sense available.
“Maybe he’s asleep?” Thor suggested. Sif handed him her plate of food and backed up. One swift kick to the door sent a crackling of ice shattering on the other side. One more kick opened the door, which sent off more alarms in Thor’s mind. Loki never left his door unlocked, much less able to be kicked in. There was always a spell to keep intruders out and allow him to rest well. It should have stopped Sif’s kick without injuring her severely.
“Loki!” Thor called as he handed both plates back to Sif. He barged into the icy slushed room, his feet hitting the soggy stone floor with wet sputters. He looked around, barley able to see in the dark.
“Thor.” Sif nodded towards the empty corner. Thor gazed there, finding it vacant of Loki’s barely used travel gear. Sif’s ears rang as Thor called for guards, questioning and fretting as she just stared at the two plates in her hands.
Chapter 2- not as great as the first one, but it’s a stepping stone.
I got an interview today! Happies!