A/N: To those of you who think I am some lying, traitorous snake, please calm yourselves.
However, an apology is in order. I extend my sincere regret for not having updated sooner. I fear I suddenly became extremely busy at an inconvenient time in my career as a writer. So I am so sorry for the delay in an update even after my previous offer.
This brings up another issue. To those of you who think I am only in it for the money towards my novel, I would like you to compose yourself and then take the time to consider that I have ten free stories here on FF, since 2014, that I dearly love. I do confess, that yes I have been paying less and less attention to them but that is because as I grow older, I fear that my attention is now diverted to school work (first year of university WOOT WOOT) and my family life, as well as my job. But, as I am updating today I would like to remind you and prove to you that these stories shall always remain free (since that's the legal way anywho) and will never be abandoned permanently unless I can't come up with a plot line. My previous offer is simply a reward, such as that offered by many of the contests here on other FF authors' profile and stories. If you don't like that, then you don't have to contribute to my original work and can simply continue enjoying these works, but please refrain from saying anything hateful over the comments. It is crass and horribly horribly rude and demeaning.
With that out of the way, THANK YOU to those who have continued to support me both here and elsewhere, I appreciate all of your kindness.
So, without further ado, the 10th chapter to There Be Demi-gods.
Chapter 10: You Call, I Follow
From where they were, Toothless' ears perked up. His head swiveled from side to side and he crooned softly. Stepping forward a bit, his nostrils flared slightly, in taking and sorting through scents.
Loki paused from eating his modern meal of 'spaghetti'.
The dragon disguised as a dog, shook his head back and forth, barking grumpily.
"Yes, I understand that," Loki tilted his head to the side, agreeing with whatever the creature was telling him.
"What'd he say?" Astrid asked, looking up from her own plate, before rolling up the sleeves to her sweatshirt for the umpteenth time—she couldn't say that she altogether liked the future's clothes. They were quite uncomfortable.
"He says he smells Hiccup's scent to the west of this village," the Trickster said, turning to his brother and the shield maiden.
"To the west?" Thor looked confused. "If he knows the general direction of his home, would he not have tried to have gone north?"
"By the gods above, you said something smart for once," marveled the raven head.
"That is incredibly rude, brother, as Thor I know many things!" the blonde man crooned with pride.
"Oh my gods," Astrid rested her forehead against the palm of their head before looking at Toothless from under her bangs. "Do you think they ever shut up?"
The black dog whined a bit before resting his head on the ground, covering his ears with his forelegs.
"So we head west then," the thunder deity said.
"Not exactly," the so-called god of mischief murmured. "If Toothless can sniff out Hiccup, that means that he's close. If that's it, it'd be wiser to find a field or something a bit more secluded so we can retransform him to his dragon form. From there, we'll sneak in wherever we have to break him out from, and then be on our way."
Toothless tilted his snout up slightly, a bit intrigued.
"Have you tried scrying to indicate his exact location, brother?" Thor wondered.
"My, my, the future has made you smart indeed," Loki smirked a bit before tilting his head back. "I did try to scry for Hiccup, however, my magic is not strong here like it is on Berk or Asgard. My belief is that we are in the realms of other high beings, thus rendering our powers…"
"Defective?" Astrid supplied.
"Not exactly defective," drawled the Trickster who turned his attention to the shield maiden. "But rather, less efficient. Such as I could pinpoint Hiccup's general location however not the exact place. Should this have been in a realm where our powers are at the highest potential, no doubt I would've been able to track his precise whereabouts."
"So back to good old Viking know-how," grinned the young girl. "'Bout time we start doing stuff my way."
Toothless lifted his head, an animalist grin spreading across his face.
"Tracking time," she nodded, turning to the two Viking deities. "Alright you two, since Toothless can clearly smell a trace of Hiccup, we're going to rely on him to find a better location. So, c'mon then."
Standing up, and placing the fork she'd been using back on the plate, Astrid abandoned the table with her meal. Toothless also stood, lifting his snout into the air before trotting away in the direction he'd turned to earlier.
"But we didn't get to finish our lovely meal!" Thor shouted, clearly distraught. "I am quite enjoying this modern food!"
Loki pulled himself to his feet, shooting a nasty look at the thunder being. "You, seem more concerned about your stomach than your nephew. If it is really that much of a problem, then track us down when you are done gorging yourself."
"Loki, I am beginning to detect a sense of hostility from you," the blonde lifted a suspicious brow.
"Genius," muttered the Trickster, turning away to follow the shield maiden and disguised dragon.
Sighing in disappointment, the burly blonde placed his fork back on the table, straightened out his lumberjack shirt—curtesy of Loki's magic—and followed the Jotunn, the Viking, and dragon. Quite frankly, as they walked along in silence, Thor didn't pay too much attention to the others. There were so many new sights and smells, that he knew he would live to see mind you, however they were so unfamiliar and exciting! As a young Asgardian, he couldn't help his roaming curiosity. Much less when it came to all the women of the modern day. By the gods! They were beautiful.
And scantily dressed compared to the Viking women and noble women of Asgard, he thought to himself, observing a woman who ran by then with only a binding around her breasts and tight pants. Not that I will complain…
"Thor, a little decorum please!" Loki shouted, not even turning his head slightly.
"Oh, but Loki, you have eyes as well!" Thor returned with a pleased grin.
"Yes I do have eyes," agreed the raven-haired being. "That's how I knew you had decided to lag behind so that you could ogle."
Astrid snorted, keeping herself a little closer to the black dog.
Toothless chuffed with amusement.
Once the company left the more crowded area of the city, the popluation began to die down. As they walked along, taking in the new sights, it slowly transformed into something more home-like.
The buildings began to shrink and spread apart, and the trees began to thicken as well as grow in size. Clearing, the sky started to blush a pretty rose—color no longer dampened by the harsh smoke that had loomed in the city. Birds and other creatures called to one another, hidden by the more abundant space.
"Now this is a much more welcomed sight," murmured Loki.
"I agree," Astrid affirmed with a slight smile. "Glad I can see the sky again."
Toothless barked with a nod.
"I like both—it is good to know where both sacred forest and worshippers are," Thor supposed, crossing his arms.
Loki and Astrid decided to ignore him.
The time in silence gave the young shield maiden plenty of time to think, as well. The current matters were certainly complex in how everything had played out. Moreover, as she thought about it more, they made little to no sense.
So, Stoick is actually Loki. And Loki is the biological father to Hiccup. And Hiccup was kidnapped by, Loki's adoptive father, Odin—and he did that because he has a grudge against Mr. Trickster over her, she recalled. And Thor got involved because he was searching for Loki, which brought Odin to Berk. And as a result of all that over depressing chaos, this mess happened. Wonderful, did I leave anything else, me? Oh yeah, so in order to save Hiccup, we had to travel to the gods forsaken future.
She sighed, shaking her head. But I said whatever it takes. And I meant that. Hiccup, he has to be saved. There is no possible way he couldn't be. He's the next chief of Berk, leader of the one and only Night Fury…my…well, and he's mine.
We have to save him.
Interrupting her thoughts was a gentle hand to her shoulder. She looked up to see the dark emerald eyes of Loki staring at her. She blinked, the glazy haze of thought induced eyes clearing. He smiled softly.
"We will find him."
She allowed herself a small bit of hope, before frowning. "Why should I trust you?"
Loki blinked, taken aback, his warm demeanor all but melting away back into his cold and untelling expression.
"You are the god of Lies," she added pointedly, her jaw rigid as she walked faster to catch up to Toothless. And the absolute reason Hiccup is gone.
Falling back a bit, Loki cursed.
"It is not entirely your fault brother," Thor uttered, resuming a pace to match the Trickster's. "Admittedly, I will take most of the blame for young Hiccup's capture. If I had not gone to search for you, Odin would have never found you and your son would be safe."
"Tell me something I do not know, you oaf," the Trickster growled, glowering at the other.
Puffing out his chest a bit, Thor replied, "Your son is alive."
Loki turned his head quickly, eyes widening in shock. "How…how—"
"Not so eloquent now, eh Loki?" Thor grinned, before swing his arm around to point to the entire area. "I have sent out my storms to scout for him. And while your statement is true, about our powers for some reason being limited, I am still able to detect the electric charges from the beings around the area. The storms detected young Hiccup's static about an hour ago. I felt I would wait to tell you until you were in a better mood, however you seemed in need of the assurance now."
Speechless, all Loki could do was stare.
"I am not as idiotic as you believe me to be brother," Thor muttered, keeping his attention trained ahead. "I know my priorities and I know what must be done and how one must do them."
Chuckling without mirth, Loki allowed himself a small smirk. "Well…I suppose you are not a dumb blonde after all."
"No, I am not," this had pulled a barking laugh out of the thunder being, before he gestured to Astrid. "And neither is she."
Turning his attention to the young Viking girl, Loki smiled again. "No, she is not either."
"Your son made a wise decision in choosing her as his future spouse," the blonde noted.
"Yes, I believe so too," huffing with a little bit of amusement, the Trickster look wistfully at the girl. "She reminds me of Val."
"Does she now?" asked the thunder controller, his voice quieting—how rare it was for the Mischief god to open up.
"Head strong, determined, ready to change the world? How could I not? I look at her and I realize however, of how starved Hiccup is of any cherishable memories of his mother," he murmured. "And my son could not realize how similar their personalities are, Astrid's and Valhallarama's. I thought that it might have been Frigga's or Freya playing some poor joke, or perhaps even a blessing to my son, to give him someone so alike to her."
"I think," Thor said, his tone lilting kindly, "it may have been just a kind deal of Fate's hand."
Laughing, Loki turned his head slightly to face the blonde. "Perhaps so."
Blinking in astonishment, the blue-eyed man grinned.
Smirking a bit, the green-eyed man returned the amiable glance.
The moment was ruined all too soon however, when Toothless turned around, his ears erected urgently. He barked loudly, demanding the attention of the Trickster. Noting the importance, Loki listened to the insistent yaps.
He frowned, "Retransform, you, but—"
The dog interrupted him with a low growl.
"Fine, fine, you over grown fire lizard," the Trickster complained distastefully. Nevertheless, he raised his hand, pointing it at the creature. His fingertips glowed grin, his body beginning to hum with magic. A sizzling pop resounded in the air, and by the time the companions blinked, Toothless stood in all of his glory as an adult Night Fury.
Raising himself to his hind legs, Toothless' feelers swished back and forth, trying to detect whatever it was he had heard. It didn't take him long for his pupils to narrow and widen instantly. Tossing back his head, the dragon let out the loudest screech he could muster from his lungs.
"What in Valhalla's name?" demanded Thor, covering his ears at the same time Astrid did.
Loki's green eyes narrowed with the determination, his hands forming fists.
Toothless again reared his head back, wings flaring dangerously as he roared again.
Astrid blinked, recognizing the call immediately.
"What is it, Loki?" Thor yelled above Toothless' consistent yowls.
Loki turned to the thunder deity, emerald eyes blazing.
A/N: I don't know why, but I've always thought that since people give off minescule electric charges through electrons, Thor can sense themXD