He was trapped. There was no where he could escape to, no where he could hide. He was treated like a low-life—something in the back of his mind he supposed he deserved well—and he felt completely humiliated. For the first few weeks in his God-forsaken cell, he wouldn't even look up to see who was standing outside the glass cell wall. But then again, there was only one person who would ever bother visiting him.
"Brother," Thor greeted as he approached the cell where Loki was being kept. It looked an awful lot like the one he'd been held in inside the helicarrier, but this one was designed especially for Loki's magic. If the god of mischief ever tried to escape, he would be struck with a violent shock like lightning and thrown back into the cell. Not that he ever tried to escape.
This time, when Thor visited, Loki's eyes actually lifted to glare at his "brother." His blue eyes seemed icier than normal, holding so much hatred that Thor couldn't help but step back in surprise. Had Loki forgotten their childhood together? Had he forgotten the bond they'd had growing up? Could he possibly have forgotten about the trouble they'd caused together and the laughs they'd gotten from it? And what about the tricks played? From Thor's point of view, everything that had transpired between the two of them had been lost on his adopted brother.
"What do you want?" Loki hissed finally, speaking for the first time in weeks. "What's the point in visiting me? You and I both know I'm only in here until the argument between you and Odin is finished and I'm given the death sentence for treason." Thor shook his head.
"No, that won't happen. I won't allow it."
"You can't do anything about it!" Loki scoffed. "Despite what you believe, you're powerless." He turned away from his brother. "And I'd rather be killed than sit in here like a rat in a trap."
"That's it, isn't it? You're embarrassed being in here. You're humiliated of the faces that pass by only to glare at you, to laugh at your imprisonment." Loki said nothing. He went back to being the mute, and refused to look up again. Eventually, Thor just walked away, leaving Loki once more in silence.
The next few days went by without a visit from anyone. Even Sif stopped walking by the cell only to stare in with a glare on her face. Even though he would never admit it, he knew Thor had been right about his humiliation. He was glad no one had bothered walking by. He could pace the floor and sit in silence without being suspected of trying to find a way to escape.
His long, uninterrupted streak of loneliness was broken when a girl—a mere mortal—came to his cell with a tray in her hands. On the tray sat a small loaf of bread and a glass of water. Loki hadn't found himself feeling hungry in a long while, so when the girl pushed the tray through a small opening, he just stared at it. He looked up at her, waiting for her to walk away, but she stood there, arms folded over her chest.
"I'm not leaving until you eat," she said finally.
"Well, then, you're going to be here for a long time," Loki sneered. He expected that would drive her off, but she took a deep breath and sat down on the floor outside the glass.
"I can wait."
The two sat in heavy silence for a long while, her bright green eyes never leaving him, even when he got bored and dropped her gaze. He sighed and stood up from the small bed that he never used except for sitting on and started to pace. He would look over every once in a while to see the girl's eyes still following him. He started to feel less like a rat in a trap and more like a mouse in a lab with her stare.
"I hope you know I don't get hungry often," he finally said. He couldn't be absolutely sure how long she'd sat there staring at him, but it felt like a long time.
"I know," was all she said. He was starting to get pissed off at this girl. Who did she think she was? She was nothing but a mere mortal, coming to give him bread and water that he didn't particularly need. If she was a proper servant, she would have just dropped off the tray and left.
"Chastity," a voice called from down the hall. Loki sighed in frustration when he heard the voice. He had hoped his brother had gotten the message the last time he visited and just stayed away. But then again, it wasn't him Thor was greeting.
"Over here," the girl called. Thor walked up, glancing briefly at Loki before looking back down at the girl.
"Why are you still here?" he asked, offering his hand to help her up from her spot on the floor, but she just ignored it.
"I told him I'm not leaving until he eats, so I'm not leaving until he eats," she replied, finally pulling her gaze from Loki to look up at Thor.
"He's a lot more stubborn than that, you know," Thor sighed.
"Oh, I know. I've been sitting here for over an hour." Thor chuckled.
"Well, maybe your stubbornness will outlast his." He walked away, and the girl's gaze returned to Loki.
"Strange name," Loki commented after a while.
"My mother liked Victorian-era names," Chastity answered, shrugging. "I had a little brother named Ezra, and a baby sister named Grace."
"If I eat something, will you go away?"
He moved over to the glass wall and sat back against it, the tray next to him. Bit by bit, he tore off the bread and ate it. She continued sitting there even after he had eaten a few bites, and he glared at her.
"You can leave now." She shook her head.
"The whole thing."
He scoffed and turned away from the food, not wanting to give in any more to this girl. He really didn't like her. She was stubborn and defiant and obviously would not give in until she got her way. He realized, with a jolt, that the way he described her…was the way everyone else would describe him. He turned to look at the girl—Chastity—again, and found, not surprisingly, her eyes on him. With a scoff, he ate the rest of the bread bit by bit and drank the glass of water. She finally moved and took the tray through the small opening at the bottom of the glass wall, and disappeared down the hallway.
"She's strange," Loki said to himself. He didn't particularly like her, but there was something about her—he couldn't quite pinpoint what—that intrigued him.
It became a routine. She would bring him his usual bread and water, and he would sit there stubbornly while she stared at him until he finally gave in and ate. Neither one said anything anymore.
Two or three weeks into this routine, Loki was sitting on the edge of the bed the way he normally did, staring at the glass wall. He blinked, wondering why he was staring at it in the first place, and then realized he'd caught himself doing that a lot the past few days. He was waiting for the girl to arrive. He was actually looking forward to her being there. Why? What was so special about this girl that he actually thought her significant?
As he was thinking, someone walked up to the cell, but it wasn't Chastity. Instead, he found himself staring into the blue eyes of Sif.
"Oh, it's you," he said off-handedly, turning away from her.
"What are you up to, Loki?" she replied, narrowing her eyes at him. "What have you and that mortal girl been talking about? It must have been something. Thor sends her here with food and she doesn't come back for hours."
"Talk?" Loki scoffed. "She never says a word, and neither do I."
"I don't believe you."
"Of course not." With that one sentence, Sif looked as if she wanted to barge in there and beat him into the floor. He winced when he remembered the beating he'd received from the green monster…what did the mortals call it? The Hulk?
"Is something wrong, Lady Sif?" came a vaguely familiar voice. Loki looked over to see Chastity's familiar green eyes trained on him, as usual. Her gaze flashed over to Sif for a moment before she leaned down and pushed the tray through the opening in the wall. Loki didn't move. His eyes flashed from Chastity to Sif, waiting for the warrior to leave. Instead, she moved back and leaned against the wall across from the cell. Obviously, she was going to stand there until the routine was over for the day.
Chastity ignored Sif and sat down in her usual spot, staring at Loki as usual, as if the woman wasn't even there. Loki moved to sit with his back against the glass wall and sat there stubbornly, as usual.
Just as he had found himself looking forward to Chastity's arrival, he also found he enjoyed her silent company. Though her eyes were always trained on him, she never glared and he never felt any hostility from her, unlike the hostility he felt coming in waves off of Sif.
Obviously the warrior was growing bored of Loki's stubbornness, because she gave up on the silence and turned to Chastity.
"How old are you, girl?" she asked. Loki felt Chastity's gaze leave him, and turned round to watch her.
"Eighteen," she answered.
"Why are you in Asgard, and not on Midgard?"
"My family died in a car accident. Thor found me by myself in an alley and offered to bring me back here."
"Well, that was awfully nice of him," Sif muttered sarcastically, ignoring the glare Loki shot her.
"I suppose so," the girl answered carefully. She turned back to look at Loki and met his gaze. She was surprised that the look in his eyes had grown so soft towards her. He had always seemed so hostile. She wondered what exactly had changed before pushing the thought away. He turned away from her and started tearing into his bread. This meal was a lot quicker than the ones in the past, because Loki just wanted Sif to leave. And obviously the only way to get Sif to leave was to get Chastity to leave.
"Oh, um…Chastity," Loki called after her as she stood and started to walk away. "I don't…usually say this, but…thank you." She blinked in surprise before smiling.
"You're welcome. And just call me Chaz."
Loki was allowed out of the cell after eight months in there with no bad behavior. Thor had noticed a significant change in his brother. He wanted to say that Loki behaved a lot more like his old self, but that wasn't true. He was still cold and hostile when it came to a lot of people—especially Sif—but he didn't lash out as often as he used to.
The change was especially noticeable around Chastity. The red-haired, green-eyed girl had been given orders to bring Loki food every day for seven out of the eight months that the god of mischief was holed up in that cell, and she'd done it without complaint.
When he'd gone in to check on her the first day, he'd been afraid that somehow Loki had gotten to her and harmed her, or possibly killed her. When he saw her sitting on the floor, staring at Loki intently, he was relieved. When she told him about her plans to sit there until Loki ate, he was taken aback. He hadn't expected the girl to be so…stubborn. She was like Loki in so many ways.
"That's ridiculous," Thor heard Loki say one day as the god of thunder walked through the castle. He paused by the open door of the kitchen and peered in to see his brother standing next to Chastity as she made bread.
"It may sound ridiculous, but it's all completely true," the redhead answered.
"I don't believe you," Loki answered.
"Of course not. Can you hand me the bag of flour, please? I left it over there by mistake." Loki waved a hand and moved the bag of flour onto the counter next to the girl with his magic. Chastity replied with a quick, "Thanks."
"Mm-hmm," Loki answered. "But you're telling me that your little brother used to fall for a trick like that?"
"It sounds mediocre to you, oh great master of magic," Chastity shot back, voice dripping with sarcasm. "But for a human being like me, without any magic at all, to set it up was very complicated. Not to mention, I was seven and he was four."
"Oh, well that's different," Loki replied. "You had me thinking it was something more recent."
"It was difficult to set up! I had to make sure that my mother was busy and not going to go into my brother's room. I had to set the tripwire where Ezra wouldn't see it—because the kid had an incredibly keen eye—and attach the wire to the bucket above the door just right. Then I had to go and fill the bucket with water without my mom suspecting anything, and go and hang it back above the door. Not to mention, I had to find an excuse for Ezra to go into his room."
"What excuse did you use?"
"I went in there and called out as he was passing the door that I was going to take his toys." She caught Loki's amused stare. "Again, I was seven. But it worked. He didn't see the tripwire, walked in and got soaked. It was pretty funny."
"It's still ridiculous."
"I'd like to see you do better without your magic."
"He can, actually," Thor spoke up from the doorway. The two looked over at him. "He used to set up fairly complicated tricks using only his wit and his hands." He grinned at Loki, but Loki didn't return it. He looked over at Chastity, watching silently as she molded the dough into the bread-dish and put it in the oven. That was another thing Thor had noticed changed in Loki. The god of mischief no longer spoke to his brother. He barely ever looked at him.
"Come on," Chastity said. "That should take a while. I'd like to see some of these non-magical tricks of yours." She shot Thor an apologetic look as they passed him, but Thor said nothing.
He smiled as he watched them walk down the hallway, the two talking and laughing. Who'd have thought someone like Chastity could change someone like Loki?