I sit in the dark, damp cell in silence. My heart aches with worry over my missing husband, my mind racing with fear. The soldiers that brought us here claim that it is for our own protection, but I am no fool. If they really wished to protect us, they would have taken us to a room within the castle, not deposit us in the dungeons like common criminals. Something terrible has happened, and I can't help but feel, deep within my heart, that Loki is to blame. The very thought of it makes my stomach writhe like snakes near a fire. Loki has done many things before, but never before had his father's soldiers taken us away to "protect us," even though there have been several occasions when I believe they should have.
"Mummy…?" My son Narfi's voice, small and wavering, tugs at my heart like a ravenous bilgesnipe. He has only called me mummy once since he turned twelve, and that was when he had fallen very ill. I take a deep breath before looking up at him as he steps into the dim torch light, shivering with a heartbreaking mixture of fear and cold. I try to ignore this and greet him with a smile. Stay strong for him, Sig.
"Yes, my child?" I whisper to him gently as he approaches me, reaching a hand out to comfort him as he sits next to me. He quickly buries his head in my lap. "What troubles you, little one?" I ask, fighting off the small tremor in my voice as best I can.
"Why have they brought us here?" Narfi mumbles into my lap, whimpering. I rub his back to comfort him, and, I suppose, to reassure myself that he is still here with me. I parrot back to him the lie that was told to me when the soldiers cornered me in my garden.
"Why, to keep us safe, Narfi. Apparently there was a group of frost giants spotted near our home. They want to make sure we are safe, so they brought us here."
"Why didn't they just take us to see grandfather? He could keep us safe at the castle, why do we need to stay here?"Narfi asks, looking up at me helplessly. A lump begins to form in my throat as I look into his eyes. I can tell that he is even more frightened than I am; even more unaware of what is happening. I swallow hard before looking into his eyes and answering him.
"Well, the frost giants were able to break into grandfather's palace before. Your father wants to make sure that the frost giants can't find us, and they would never think to look here." I say with a small smile. Narfi just frowns at looks across the room at the wall.
"If he wants us to be safe, then why doesn't he just stop leaving Asgard all the time and stay at home with us?" I frown back at him and sigh. I wish I knew, sweetheart.
"I know that you're father has been absent for a while, Narfi. But I can promise you that he loves you more than anything in the nine realms, and he will do anything and everything he can to keep you safe. We both will. Do you understand, sweetheart?" I manage to say this by talking in a hushed whisper close to Narfi's ear, for any louder and my emotions would have gotten the better of me. Narfi nods weakly, looking down at the ground.
"Where is Vali, though, mother?" His question catches me off guard, for until now, I had tried as hard as I could to avoid thinking about it. I take a deep breath and look up at the ceiling.
"I do not know, little one…" I whisper softly, tears threatening to flow down my cheeks. Narfi closes his eyes and rests his head in my lap once again. I continue to stare at the ceiling as I try to remember the last time I saw my eldest son, but as I do, I hear a commotion from down the hall. I can hear a struggle as two guards drag someone past our door and throw him into the cell next to ours. A familiar voice is shouting at the men from the cell. The moment I hear it, my heart drops. I sit here for what feels like hours, listening for a voice from the cell next to ours.
"V-Vali?" I ask the wall behind me. Please, don't respond. Please, don't be him. I desperately think as I sit in silence for a few dreadful moments.
"Mum?" The familiar voice responds from the neighboring cell. I try to hold back a sob.
"Did you enjoy your ride, sweetheart?" I ask, obviously trying to avoid the present situation.
Vali chuckles bitterly. "Well, I was a bit disappointed when there weren't any apples on the table when I got home." I laugh through my tears, comforted by Vali and as he plays along and pretends to also be oblivious to what is currently happening. I can't see him, but I know he is smirking. He's just like his father in that way. If it were any other day, I would have mistaken him for Loki.
"I'm sorry; I got a bit preoccupied in the gardens and completely forgot about them," I say softly to the wall as I wipe tears from my cheeks.
"It's alright; I managed to find a cherry tree on my way home," Vali replies with a small laugh. "I was surprised that it was in bloom at this time of year."
I want to continue this boring, everyday conversation, but the guards outside our door are causing a commotion. Someone is walking down the hall, shouting at the men. I strain my neck in an attempt to look out the small, barred door at the man as he approaches.
"How went the funeral?" One of the guards asks sadly. Funeral?
"Rather awefully, I'm afraid. Nanna has died out of grief for her lost husband."
I stop breathing for a moment out of shock as I break down what the man has just said. It takes me a moment, almost as if the words were spoken in a foreign tongue. Nanna, wife of Balder, Odin's youngest and most beloved son, dead out of grief for her lost husband. No…no it can't be…
"And what of the murdering traitor, Loki?" The other guard asks.
"They've found him," The man says, stopping in front of our door and looking at the two guards, who straighten themselves. "They're bringing him back to the castle now. Odin wants the children brought to him when he returns."
"When will that be, sir?" One of the guards asks. I can barely hear him over the pounding of my heart, which has been slowly moving up my throat.
"Sometime around day break, I believe. Until then, let them alone," The man peers into our cell at glances at me. I give him a look that feels something like a frantic cross between glaring and pleading. He catches it, and turns his back to the men, adding as he leaves. "She will want to say goodbye to them before they depart."
I close my eyes, suddenly pulling a sleeping Narfi closer as I bite my lip, unwilling to let an audible sob escape my lips in front of my children. I want more than anything to be woken up from this nightmare. The present situation is now completely clear. My husband has killed his brother, one of the most beloved of the Aesir. He's always been jealous of his little brother, even more so than he ever had been of Thor. But I can't be brought to believe that he would do something as horrible as kill his own brother. Odin is most assuredly furious with Loki, more so than he's ever been before. It could be argued that the All- Father loved Balder more than either Loki or Thor. This had brought the two brothers together again, in a way, for Odin's sudden shift in favorites had caused Thor to care little for his youngest brother. A sleeping Narfi suddenly begins to stir in his sleep, whimpering softly. I pat his back as I press an ear against the wall, hoping Vali didn't, by some grace of fate, hear the guards' conversation. Were the walls any thicker, I wouldn't be able to hear the muffled sobbing from the adjoining cell, which told me he had heard and understood. I hug Narfi and kiss his forehead, wishing I could do the same to my eldest son as he lay in his cell, his proximity to me is borderline unbearable.
Narfi turns over and opens his eyes, looking up at me through half- open, glazed- over eyes.
"What's wrong, Mum?" He whispers. I bite my tongue and try to come up with an explanation as to why I am holding him like a selfish child holds his favorite toy in a nursery.
"You were tossing and whimpering in your sleep, little one," I say with the best fake smile I can muster. "Were you having a bad dream?"
The young boy nods, rubbing his eyes as he sits up. "I had a dream that a wolf was chasing me through the forest again…" he mumbles, hugging my side. I wrap my arm around him and rest my chin on his forehead. "Can you sing me a lullaby like you used to when I was little, Mum?"
I swallow the large lump in my throat and nod violently, rubbing Narfi's back. "Of course I can, sweetheart."
Narfi looks up at me and grins, then shuts his eyes and waits for me to begin. I sit in silence for a moment, before I begin one of the most painful, heartbreaking tasks I have ever done.
Now let the day just slip away
So the dark night may watch over you
Velvet blue, silent true
It embraces your heart and your soul
I look down at Narfi, taking in each and every feature slowly as I sing him to sleep. His dark hair, slicked back just like his father's. His small smile as I pull him closer to my side, reassuring him that I am still there. Every so often, his sea green eyes looking up at me, that almost seem to glow in the dark.
Never cry, never sigh
You don't have to wonder why
Always be, always see
Come and dream the night with me.
I can feel the tears roll down my cheeks, feel them land on my leg. My world seems to be falling down around me, and I have completely lost control of my fate. I haven't the slightest clue what is to happen to me at sunrise, but I'm not worried about my own well being at the moment. All I care about are my sons, and according to the men outside my door, they will soon be ripped away from my side. Gone. The thought alone is enough to send me over the edge for good. But I can't lose control now. I must be strong for my children, my husband, and myself.
Have no fear, when the night draws near
And fills you with dreams and desire.
Like a child asleep; so warm, so deep
You will find me there waiting for you.
TO BE CONTINUED ...
A/N: OK I'M SO SORRY! I am FINALLY updating this story because I haven't been able to AT ALL. I wrote this about a week after posting the first chapter, if that tells you anything-at about 3 am, granted, but hey, thats when the overemotional Loki/ Sigyn feels hit hard. I was going to add more to this one, but seeing as I am frantically typing this A/N so I can get to my theatre class(which is in Estonian today), I'm afraid I may not be able to update for a bit. Don't hurt me! _
Lyrics from the song Nocturne.
REVIEWS AND OTHER FEEDBACK ARE WELCOME! FIRST REAL FANFIC... WOULD LOVE ADVICE! ! ! !