Small note: Loki-14, Thor-15, Sif-15, Volstagg-16, Fandrall-16, Hogun-16
Asgard could be a beautiful realm, full of gold and sunlight.
Other times it was a magnificent battlefield. It was the perfect place to train the heros of tommorow.
So it was no surprise when Thor defeated the eight hundredth enemy in a training battle that Odin was bursting with pride.
"My Son!" He laughed, taking Thor in a head-turned-headlock and ruffling his hair, "you have made me proud this day."
The fifteen year old smiled, "Thank you father."
Nearby, a young dark haired warrior issued a battle cry, thrusting his sword towards the opening his teacher had left open. Loki couldn't help but smile as he swept the teachers feet out from under them and had his sword at their throat before they could even cough from the impact of hitting the floor so hard.
"Loki seems to be improving." Thor grinned at his father as Loki withdrew and helped the instructor up.
"Yes, so he seems." Odin smiled, "Good job Loki!" Odin called, waving at the young boy who smiled even wider. Loki then dashed after the instructor who was calling for a rematch. Loki threw himself into the fight with gusto. Too much gusto, Odin suddenelly noted.
"Tell me Thor," Odin said leaning down to Thor's ear, "Has your brother been into the sugar lately?"
"Fed him three cups before we started myself." Thor laughed, and after a moment Odin joined in. They both felt sorry for the instructor, who had to endure a hyper Loki with a sword.
"Very well, but you know what the concequence is don't you?"
"Loki! C'mere!" Odin set a hand on Loki and another on Thor, then placed them equal distance from eachother.
"You now have to endure him!" Odin cried, giving them the signal to start.
Loki, a wild look in his eyes, raised his sword to Thor's and the two battled wildly, Loki easily gaining the upper hand. Within a minute Loki had Thor on his knees and their swords inches from their faces. Loki's eyes had taken a feral turn and his grin was wider.
"Give up brother?" Loki asked lightheartedly.
Thor struggled, a hyper Loki was much stronger than he'd realized, and he began to look for anything that might give him the upper hand.
Without breaking contact eye contact from Loki, Thor swung one leg out and tripped his brother, moving quickly so the swords between them didn't cause any damage. Loki cried out and face planted on the floor, turning his head to see Thor standing above him pointing his own sword at Loki.
"I think I like you better with the hammer." Loki said from the floor before Thor laughed and helped him up. Odin laughed louder from a safe distance and put his arms around both boys when they approached,
"Good show boys! Good show!"
Loki had never been much of a social person, and as all anti-social people learn sooner or later, that makes you a target for teasing at one point or another in life.
It probably didn't help that Loki had chosen to venture out of the palace in regular Asgardian clothing that only made him look scrawnier with his brother and was currently sitting on a stone wall alone with nothing but a large, complicated looking book and a sack of food he and Thor had planned to share later.
Or that he was so deeply emersed in it that he didn't notice three older, burly looking boys approach, thinking they'd found an easy meal.
And it certaintly didn't help his case when, uppon hearing the rude calls of the lead boy, had merely sneered apathetically in his direction and returned to his book.
"Hey!" The lead boy, a rough looking face with matted hair and filthy clothes, shouted, grabbing Loki's ankle and yanking him down from his sitting place, "I asked you if you thought you could eat all that yourself!"
"And I thought that by not answering you would get bored and leave as most small-minded animals do." Loki said with a sneer before turning back to the wall so he could climb back up.
This, inevitably, proved to be a mistake, as the leader grabbed him by the shoulders and threw him to the ground, knocking the wind from the Asgardian Prince. Loki coughed, fighting to regain his air, but the other boy merely kicked him in the stomach and reached for the sack of food still sitting on the wall. Loki, not one to lay down and stay down, grabbed the kids ankle and clawed at him with his fingers before remebering he had magic and casting a large flare of red light to blind him while Loki grabbed his book and the sack and scurried away.
The other two boys gave chase, refusing to let lunch run away. With a loud roar they ran after Loki, their leader following once he regained his sight.
Loki ducked down a alleyway, panting and trying to slow his heartbeat. The boys had been big, and Loki had defeated them without the allmighty Thor! Loki chuckled at this.
And quickly wished allmighty Thor was with him when the three boys rounded the corner, murder in their eyes.
"Listen pip-squeak!" The leader shouted, shoving Loki to the ground and stepping-more like stomping-on his stomach, "Your gonna hand over the meat, and your not gonna pull any of that fancy shmansy on us again."
His friends held Loki's hands down so he couldnt use them to cast anything. Loki was powerless.
Loki groaned under the weight and struggled to remove the offending boot from his solar plexus. The leader chuckled and his friends leered as he leaned in closer.
"L-urgh-lemme go!" Loki shrieked, reduced to pointless struggling.
"urgh... THOR!" Loki screamed in desperation.
"Calling for help won't make any difference you little- wait, Thor? Like the Prince of Asgard Thor?"
"The same!" Someone shouted beind them. The three bullies turned to see a fifteen year old blonde boy standing at the mouth of the alley with a wood plank in one hand and a hammer in the other.
Thor looked down at the objects in his hands, "Oh, you like 'em? When I couldn't find my brother I figured something was going on. And I was right. Now," Thor put down the hammer and hefted the heavy board, "Who's first?"
The leader got off Loki, letting him breathe again, and stepped forward, sizing the teenager up. The leader was alot bigger than Thor, easily outweighing him too.
"You don't look so tough."
"No," Thor shrugged, then swung the wood board like a baseball bat, "But I pack a mean swing."
The leader of the group hit the stone wall, causing it to shudder. The other two boys looked at eachother and left Loki to charge at Thor, who easily sent them the same way as their leader.
"Are you done?" Thor asked, walking past them and grasping Loki's hand. Effortlessly he pulled his brother to his feet and helped dust him off.
"Are you okay?" Thor asked, Loki nodded grimly, rubbing his stomach, "I just hope it doesnt bruise." Loki smiled weakly. Then his face grew angry and Thor turned to see the three attackers had gotten up, wiping the blood from their mouths and ready for more.
"Tell me brother, do you feel ready for battle?" Thor asked cooly. Loki cricked his kneck and rolled his shoulders, "Very brother."
"Well then," Loki grinned as Thor shouted, "Charge!"
The two brothers ran at the three and within minutes Thor was wiping the blood from his hands while Loki turned the three beaten attackers into helpless rats and sent them scurrying.
When Loki made no move to transform them back, he recieved a questioning look from his brother.
"It'll wear off in a few minutes," Loki shrugged, "Hopefully they'll be in a rather embaressing postion by then." And with that he took up his book and waited for Thor to reclaim their bag of food and join him in walking down the street.
"I'm just saying!" Thor protested as they walked through the palace doors, "You need to be more careful! Your not that strong in magic or strength, and I'm not always gonna be there to take out the bad guys."
"Thank you brother but I think I can look after myself." Loki said icily before walking ahead.
"Like you did today?" Thor shouted after him. Loki didn't answer, merely shot him an icy look and magic'd himself out of the hall and to who-knows-where.
"FINE BE THAT WAY! THAT'S GRATEFULNESS FOR YOU!" Thor shouted at the ceiling, hoping Loki could hear him and his parents could not.
"Thor?" Someone said gently behind him. Thor turned to see Frigga standing there, walking slowly towards her son.
"What happened?" She asked, seeing the bruise from the lucky shot one of the three attackers had managed to get in before he'd been beaten to a pulp and transformed into a rat.
"Loki antagonized some local boys and I had to save him."
"That's not true!" Loki shouted from somewhere, "They came at me first!"
"Loki! Out!" Frigga shouted and they could both feel a presence disapait and then they were truly alone, "Now Thor, what's this all about? What boys?"
"I don't know! I left Loki sitting on the wall for a moment and when I got back I heard him screaming in an alley down the road!"
"Well then you should have helped him."
"I did!" Thor said incrediously, pointing at his forehead. Frigga raised an eyebrow and rolled her eyes, taking her son by the shoulder and driving him out into the garden.
"Now Thor," She said, sitting him down next to her, "You realize Loki's only trying to be like you right?"
"He sees his big brother, all rough and tumble, and he thinks he can do it too. But what he doesn't realize is he's not you, he's not the big lug you are. So you know what you need to do?"
"Hit him over the head and knock some sense in to him?"
"Heavens no!" But Frigga couldn't help but smile a little at the comment, "You need to watch for him. He'll figure it out, but until he does, and maybe even after he does, he's gonna need his big brother there."
"So I'm a babysitter?" Thor asked angrily.
"You're an older brother." Frigga corrected, "Which is like a babysitter, but with no pay and all the struggles, worse yet you're never off the clock and you don't hold alot of authority."
"This isn't helping." Thor said and Frigga laughed, and after a moment, Thor did too.
"I know. But it's the truth. So please be nice to him?" Thor appeared to consider it and when Frigga leaned into him going "Eh? Eh? Eh?" he laughed and nodded his head.
"Thank you." She kissed him on the cheek and got up, "And as long-term Loki-sitter, I think you should go see what he and your friends are up to." She pointed at a window where they could see Loki and Fandrall talking about something, a smile spreading across their faces.
Loki wasn't in the mood for games, that is until Fandrall and Volstagg had come running in, shouting about something.
"Loki! It's amazing! We have to go now! Nownownownownow!" Fandrall said excitedly, jumping up and down. Volstagg and Loki just stared at him until he got tired and stopped, then Loki stood up.
"You know, for an-almost adult, you sure act like a six year old." Loki notted smiling.
"Yep! Lady's love childishness!" Fandrall said, only recieving odd looks from the other two.
"Anyway," Volstagg said slowly, "We wanted to show you and Thor something."
"Well good luck finding him, mother dragged him who knows where when we were walking through the hall." Loki said returning to his books.
"Ok, then we'll just show you." Volstagg said, walking over and slinging Loki over his shoulder, ignoring the indignant protests screamed at him.
Volstagg carried the prince down the hall and out the doors and to the front grounds nearest the gate of the palace. There stood Siff and Hogun with a large brown bag.
Volstagg finally set Loki down and the fourteen year old grumbled angrily, straightening his messed up clothes and hair. Siff smirked, Loki could be more worried about his hair than even her sometimes. When he'd fixed everything, Siff opened the bag dramatically and pulled out what looked like hand-held thin brown bars and handed one to Loki.
"You eat it." Siff said. Loki took a wary bite, but his face, along with his toungue, exploded into amazement as he tasted it.
"What is it?" He cried, eating the bar quickly, then began clawing at the bag, "Is there more?"
"It's called Chocolate, it's something the Midgardians go nuts for. But there's only one other for Thor," Siff said absently, then quickly pulled Loki out of the bag and confiscated the other chocolate bar, "But that's not all there is! We wanted to show you guys some other stuff!"
"I want da chocolate." Loki said gravely, and everyone, even Hogun, began to question the intelligence in giving the youngest, childlike member of their group chocolate with out his hulking brother around to stop him should the sugar make him go nuts.
"We'll get more later!" Siff said quickly, "But first we wanted to show you and Thor what my father and I got when we were visiting Mid-"
"What's all this? And without me!" Thor cried, running up to them.
"Finally!" Siff said, "Thor I wanted to show you guys what me and my dad got while on Madgard!"
"You went to Midgard?" Thor asked.
"Yes! Why do you think I haven't been around for the last few days?"
"Uhh... Girl stuff?" Thor tried, recieving a quizical look from Sif and a frantic shaking of heads from Fandrall and Volstagg while Hogun waved his arms for Thor to stop. Sif gave them a quizical look as well before it dawned on her and she began to beat the boys.
"What did you say?" She cried.
"Nothing! Nothing!" The three screamed, covering their heads and trying to protect themselves from the onslaught of violence.
"What did they say Thor?" Sif cried. Thor put his hands up in defense while Loki stood there sniggering.
"Nothing. Just that, y'know... you had Girl stuff to do... like making yourself-"
"Stop! Stop! You know what? I don't want to know! Never mind!" Sif cried, reaching for her bag while her face turned red, "Anyway," She continued, trying to get back on track, "I wanted to show you the stuff we got." She pulled out Thor's chocolate bar, which Thor ate without protest to the dread of his little brother who sat there open mouthed and looking more and more depressed. "That's called a chocolate bar. Basically they have all the same foods we do, but they've messed with them so much, they come in all different sizes and flavors. Like this!" She pulled out a large lump wrapped in wax paper with weird symbols on it. She unwrapped it to reveal a strange sandwhich, with gray meat in the middle.
"This is a cheeseburger." Sif said.
"A what?" Thor and the rest asked.
"It's cow, I don't know where they cut it from the beast, but it's from a cow. And it's really good!" She handed the burger to Volstagg who downed it in a second and nodded his approval. Then Sif pulled forth three small green pieces of paper and metal coins.
"This is the money they use down there. See? They've decorated them with their past leaders and their land's symbols." Siff said pointing to the pictures engraved on the coins. Loki took special interest in this, rubbing his fingers over the bumps and grooves of the coins and feeling the paper money between his fingers.
"It doesn't feel like paper." Loki said. Sif nodded, "I don't really know why that is. But isn't it weird?" Loki nodded vigourously.
Thor reached inside the bag and took out a doll. It was dressed in a frilly pink skirt and bodice. Pink shoes were painted on the dolls feet and it's hair shined blonde.
"I never took you for a doll person Sif." Thor said. Sif blushed and snatched the doll away, "My dad gave me that! Anyway, see her outfit?" The boys nodded, "That's what the Midgardian female preformers wear. They dance on the tips of their toes and spin around."
"That's entertainment?" Fandrall asked.
"Apparently." Sif shrugged, placing the doll carefully back in the bag.
"Midgardians are weird." Volstagg said picking up a rock and tossing it through the bars of the palace gate.
"Still," Fandrall said, "It'd be interesting to go there. Atleast for a short visit."
"That's impossible." Hogun said icily.
"Yeah," Siff agreed, "My dad only went because the Allfather thought there was suspicious activity there."
"Was there?" Thor asked.
"Nope, just a Midgardian celebration called New Years. They shoot fireworks in the sky and let this ball drop down on this building in one of their major cities. Allfather thought it was a battle or something but we were wrong. So my dad let me stay with him for a few extra days while we explored the city."
"Your dad's been there before right?"
"Yep, checking up on the Midgardians for the Allfather. Want's to make sure the Jotuns don't show back up." Siff smiled when her companions looked impressed.
"Now I really wanna go for a short trip." Fandrall said excitedly.
"That's impossible!" Siff said, echoing Hogun, "The Allfather only grants passage to people who have to go, and Heimdall only lets warriors and the like pass of their own free will."
Thor drew himself to his full height and puffed out his chest, "I am a son of the Allfather."
"And your fifteen. Heimdalls not gonna accept that." Sif said flatly.
"He doesn't have to." Loki finally piped up, a sneaky smile spreading across his face. "I know another way." Quickly Loki lifted his hand and shook it gracefully around. The air around the group turned blue for a second and Loki quickly continued.
"I can sheild us from Heimdall's vision and we can sneak out through another exit I found."
"How?" Sif asked shocked.
"A few years ago when Thor and I were playing hide and seek, I found father's 'emergency exit'." When the others still looked confused Loki elaborated, "It's an exit he could use if something happened to the Bifrost or Heimdall or something of the nature. Anyway, I found it when Thor was hiding and I was looking for him, I almost fell through it actually. We could try using it. I know how to operate it."
"How?" Fandrall asked amazed.
"Remember last winter when there was that big fiasco with on Alfheim when the light elves found tons of torches in random piles all over the realm and notes saying 'Should it ever get dark'?"
"So it was you!" Thor cried, "And I had to endure all that yelling and interogating from father because of it!"
"Hehehe." Loki sneered playfully.
"Then it's settled," Fandrall said cheerily, "We'll all go tonight! Loki, you can show us the way there and when we get there, I invision a chocolate bar with your name on it."
Loki drooled like an excited puppy the rest of the afternoon.