Telling Tales


Still there.

Blink again.

Nay; it was still as it was.

There seemed to be a vague giggling echoing from behind him as he walked out only to return and repeat the process.

"Say brother?" the (...likeness? Vision? Oneset of a nervous breakdown?) boy leaned forward on his forearms against the back of the couch, head tilting against his shoulder "If you're gonna be wearing holes in the carpet all night; can I watch Team America?"

"Loki?" blue eyes peered increduliously as he finally approached; looming slightly over that grinning little face,

"'Bout as sharp as the hammer, huh?" another laugh laced his remark, prompting a seemingly lost glint to those piercing orbs and Thor, almost reflexively, crouched in a bit as if it would help him make any more sense of the situation.

"Here we are!" two glasses of iced tea came to be on the coffee table as Jane glid in, rosy cheeked and cheery smiles all 'round "On the house,"

"Better make it a double for this one," Loki swept forward for the glass, taking a moment to joyfully swirl his ice with the striped bendy straw "Looks like it was a day and a half!"

"So I heard," she came to settle by Loki, turning towards the ever perplexed Thor "No worries though Thor," she caught his attention almost a little too sharply "I've just been introducing Loki to the wonderous world of daytime TV," she had to roll her eyes in amusement "'Educational' I know,"

"Was for me!" Loki leaned over towards the blonde once more "'cos like; there was this show where like this dude, he lost his car man! It was like, sick!" a snicker escaped him briefly at Thor's apparent mystification before turning back to Jane to ask "What's the 90's?"

It took all her effort not to snort ice-tea through her nose; choking warmly on another laugh "Aw Thor," a shake of the head, beaming, "How come you never mentioned your little brother was this little?"

"He's usually not," standing, he came around to stand before the child; straight backed yet as bewildered as ever "Loki..." another set of blinks, just to be sure "What are you doing?"

Now it was the younger sibling's turn to turn a puzzled look "What?"

"You, here," he motioned briskly to the small form "So...young!"

"Oohhh," Loki's demeanor subsided a little, glancing down contemplatively "Right; you haven't actually seen me like this yet,"

"Not since our last encounter brother,"
Jane watched as Thor's posture stiffened a little, his chin tilting up in reservation "I take it that you lost what you so desperately clung to?"

Loki winced visably, slouching back into the couch "It was a rough day."

"Guys," the friction snapped slightly at their female companion's leaning forward "Maybe this is more 'morning after' sort of talk?" there was a worried grimace staining her features as she motioned Thor to Loki's dejected state, his laugh lines sagging in stark comparison.

The thunderer let out an audiable sigh, brow softening as he regarded his now very little brother; green form tucked tightly into itself, the bitterness wasn't lost on him. Deftly, Thor came to sit on the cushion next to Loki who made no effort to avoid him

"Does father know?" a decidedly gentle tone as the younger one's gaze flitted awkwardly to the side

"Dad...knows enough, kinda,"

"But he didn't send you himself?"

"Not exactly, no."

"You've run away," Jane's brow knitted softly together as she failed to meet his eye.

Thor ran a hand thoughtfully through stray locks of his own hair, jaw setting in uncharacteristicly, focussed contemplation "You cannot keep this from the Allfather for long," stiff blue met sharp green with a grim set "You will have to go back."

Loki's gaze did not waver "He'll just throw me back out..."

"He'll be concerned." Jane tried, discreetly edging off from the renewed tension

"He'll be outraged." he never broke eye contact with the older male who seemed to be bristling in mild fluster

"Which will only worsen the longer you put it off,"

"I can't go back."

Thor stood sharply, once more looming over the smaller form in adamant frustration "No lies Loki; I've seen you flitting from realm to realm with-"

"Thor." his green orbs were glassy, he noted, failing to hold as firm a stature as his counterpart "I can't go back."

"Thor," Jane stood to rest a placating arm on his back "C'mon; you know better than anyone about dad-issues, surely," she fixed him with a look of her own, soft but chastising. He met that gaze with a gradual calm ebbing over his stiff features. He took another breath as he turned his attention once more to the boy. The younger one's posture had opened up significantly,leaning forwards as his legs drew up and in; his lip jutting slightly but eyes wide and worried. Loki was pleading.

"You approve of him staying here then, Jane?" a sense of soft laced the otherwise solid resolve of his tone; Jane knew him well however, and her brow merely quirked as a hint of that smile began to quirk at her lips,

"Ofcourse I approve," a trace of a chuckle "Safest with you isn't he? 'Mighty Thor?'"

While he didn't shift his expression per-say; she could see a glitter of pride reaching his eyes, a flash of responsibility soon followed as he stepped a little closer.

This time he couldn't really bar an almost nostalgic tenderness for the boy; It was Loki, no doubt, but a state of old that in lew of a few events appeared to have been forgotten. Thor set himself into a steady stance but this time regarding the child with much more familiarity "Alright brother," a large hand reached to brush against the back of his head "I'll protect you,"

Loki's disdainful gaze flickered almost instantly in a relieved laugh, slackening visably beneath the thunder god's palm, "But!" he didn't leave off just yet however "You must behave, agreed?"

"Oh totally! Best behaviour; scout's honour and all!" that mischevious gleam once more kissed his features "Hardly know I'm here at all,"

Liar. But Thor clapped his back affectionately all the same.

"Well now that's out of the way," Jane beamed between them both "Thor come see what all the fuss was about," she set herself wistfully into the troublesome chair as Thor chuckled, looking it over

"Aye! Quite a saga for it,"

"Really?" Loki scampered over; taking the liberty to bounce into Jane's lap with an ever impish smile "Tell me all about it!" he looped his arms around her neck.

Jane was smiling as Thor set a hand on his hip with lowered lids.


(Note: Thanks to JannaKalderash for the awesome review! =D )