"How am I supposed to do this?"
"Laney, you know him as well as I do, he'll come around to you."
"I have not seen him in a very long time. Years… since we were children," she replied. Laney sighed as she fretted with her dress, trying to tie the strings together behind her back on her own. Just as she was about to groan out in frustration she felt two gentle hands begin to take over.
"That's why I think he would benefit from seeing you. He's all alone down there and I have done everything that I can to make him comfortable. But books can only do so much for him."
"I'm still not sure. I really don't think it's going to go very well," she turned to face the woman she had grown up to think of as a second mother with a soft smile. "What is your motive for me to visit him?"
"I want to show his father that there's still good within him. We've scorned him just as much as he has us, and I know he's hurting. I want to believe that the boy I raised as my own is still there."
Laney furrowed her brow. "What do you mean when you say 'as your own' Frigga?"
Frigga took a couple of steps back from her and motioned for her to sit in the chair that sat beside the full sized mirror. When Laney did so she took a deep breath. "Loki is adopted."
"Adopted? Why are you telling me this?"
"Because I want you to know sweet girl," Frigga replied, "But yes, Loki is adopted. Odin found him abandoned and alone during the last battle at Jotunheim. He was so tiny, the poor little thing was just a week old."
"So… Loki isn't Asgardian then," Layla stated.
Frigga shook her head. "Not genetically no, but I know in his heart that he is, whether he feels like he is now or not."
Laney looked to the wood floors as she gathered her thoughts, then looked back up at Frigga. "If Loki is Jotun, wouldn't he be blue like they are?" she asked curiously.
"When Odin found Loki on that planet, he was blue as the ocean that surrounds our home. But as soon as he brought him into his arms, Loki's inner magic turned him to look like you and me. I only know of this because Odin let me see it through his eyes in a memory. I have never personally seen Loki turn blue, all his life."
"That's… unheard of," Laney countered, "I've never heard of magic like that."
"Me either dear. But I believe that Loki knew he was safe as soon as Odin cradled him in his arms that day."
"So… I'm guessing that Loki never knew he was adopted?"
Frigga furrowed her brow in thought as she clasped her hands tightly. "I wanted to tell him when he was old enough to understand. Odin wanted to keep it from him, said that he wanted to protect him from knowing where he came from, so I was overruled. Loki found out about his heritage in such a wrongful manner and I wish that I could change it, I really do. When he found out, he was on Jotunheim with Thor, because Thor was angry about ice giants getting into the palace on the day of his coronation a few years back."
Laney nodded. "I think I remember hearing about the ice giants. I was at the coronation but I never got to speak with any of you due to the interruption towards the end."
"Long story short, Loki realized he was Jotun because he didn't burn at the hands of a frost giant or when he held the Casket of Winters that we keep in the vault. His anger and dejection was rightful but the stress put Odin into Odinsleep. A battle was fought on Midgard due to Loki's anger because Thor had been banished there for his behavior on Jotunheim. In the end, Loki proclaimed he did all he did for his father, but Odin saw it to be rash, which it was, but it put Loki into peril. So he fell into the void."
"That's… that's a lot of information Frigga."
"I know dear Laney, and I am sorry for that. I know most of it through Loki telling me bits himself and seeing the memories that Odin and Thor has let me see."
Laney nodded and moved to tuck her feet beneath her in the chair. "That's when everyone thought Loki to be dead isn't it?" She watched Frigga nod. "So… what caused Loki to be in the dungeons now?"
"I don't know all of the story… Loki holds a lot of it within himself and will tell no one. All I know is that this year, nearly a year after Loki's fall, he arrived in Midgard with a staff as a weapon and announced war. He wanted to rule over the people of Midgard. Thor has told me that while on Midgard, he did not fully act as himself, that there was something in his eyes that was not right."
"I imagine it was a lot for Thor to take in once he realized he was alive… once all of you realized he was alive."
"We were relieved… then saddened to see what he had become." Frigga looked at her hands for a moment, feeling tears well in her eyes. "We should have told him about his heritage when I wanted to. Then maybe everything that happened would have been avoided."
Laney quickly stood and moved to sit beside Frigga and grasped her hands with her own. "Don't blame yourself Frigga. None of what happened is your fault."
"I want to believe that," she murmured, "But something inside me tells me that Odin and I carry a lot of the reasons why everything transpired." She turned slightly to face Laney and gripped her hands. "I believe that the person my son truly is within his heart, is still there buried within. This is why I want you to see him. I want him to have someone that he can talk to that isn't one of us who he feels betrayed by. I know that he has always cared about you Laney. The both of you used to be inseparable."
Sitting back against the couch, Laney pondered over Frigga's words. The large sitting room grew quiet as Frigga patiently waited, knowing she was thinking over everything. The only other sound in the room became the crackling of the nearby fireplace and the birds that sat perched in the trees outside of the large bay window to their right. "What makes you so sure that the real Loki is still within him?"
Frigga thought for a few moments before speaking. "It was his mannerisms when he spoke to me. I'm not allowed to see him by Odin's orders, but I have been projecting myself to him when I know that I am able to. He may shout and say hurtful things, but it is his eyes that give him away. He's never been able to hide his feelings from me with those emerald eyes of his."
Laney smiled at Frigga's words. "I can recall that a little if I think hard enough. You could always tell that we had been up to something rotten, even with Loki's clever words."
"I can also recall that you could see through him too with one look into his eyes," Frigga countered.
"That was a long time ago Frigga."
"Ten years can seem long for a lot of people," she agreed, "But I am willing to bet that if you two met eyes again after all this time, the feelings would still be there." Laney scoffed and shook her head, making Frigga narrow her eyes at the young woman. "You cannot hide from me. I know that you still care about him, you always have."
"I doubt that he cares for me in return."
"You do not know that Laney. I know for a fact that he's always missed you. I can even prove it to you that you have always been in his mind somewhere, if you will let me do so."
Laney quickly met Frigga's blue eyes. "How could you possibly prove something like that?"
Frigga stood and held out her hand for her to take. "Let me show you."
She stared at Frigga's hand for a moment before she reached up and let Frigge help her to her feet. As soon as she was standing, Frigga turned and walked towards the door. "Where are we going?"
"Just come child."
A silent sigh left Laney's lips as she followed Frigga out of her sitting room and into the vast hallway of the palace. They walked the length of the hall before they made a left turn and came to a pair of hunter green double doors. Why is she taking me to Loki's room?
Frigga opened the door and walked inside before she turned and watched as Laney reluctantly followed. "What I want to show you is small, but it holds great meaning."
"What are you talking about?" Laney watched as Frigga walked over to a large mahogany desk and began to filter through the books that sat atop it until she found the one that she was looking for and held it to her chest.
"This is the book that Loki was reading last, before everything happened," Frigga explained, "I plan on giving it to him to give him some semblance of joy, even if it has to be given to him by a server."
Laney walked up to Frigga and eyed the large tome in her hands. "What does a book have to do with me?"
Frigga smiled as she handed the book to Laney and watched as she felt the smooth leather against her hands. "Open it to the bookmarked page." She watched intently as Laney did so, and watched as her eyes widened at what she saw.
"He kept it?" she questioned. Inside the book sat a thick royal purple ribbon, velvet on one side, smooth on the other. "I gave this to Loki on the day that I left. It used to hold the snake pendant that he gave me."
"The same pendant that is now a ring on your middle finger?" Frigga asked with a small smirk on her face. She watched as a blush came to Laney's cheeks.
"The same," Laney confirmed as she looked down at her right hand. "Down to the emerald in the snake's mouth. I had it configured into a ring by the blacksmith in Yamir once we were settled in."
"Loki always uses this ribbon as a bookmark to whatever he is reading. I know that he will be happy to have it back in his possession. Even if he doesn't show it."
A soft smile came to Laney's face at the thought of Loki keeping her choker after all that had happened. She quietly shut the leather book and held it to her chest. "When would I see him?"
Frigga's eyes widened. "You'll help?" she asked.
Laney looked into Frigga's eyes, her own full of unshed tears. "I will try."
"Let me talk to him tonight. I will see what his reaction is, knowing that you are here. Then we will go from there. It's not going to be easy… but I have faith."
"For both of our sakes, I hope that you are right."