This story jumps right into the action - probably a little too fast - and may be slightly OOC and/or melodramatic (though I tried to keep it true to character, as well as I could).

Nevertheless, I'm pretty happy with it, and I hope you enjoy it, for all its flaws, as much as I do.


This is set - in my reckoning - after a bunch of stuff has happened in "Thor 2". Once, after The Avengers, Loki reached Asgard as Thor's prisoner, he escaped, with his spear and a set determination: bring down Odin's empire. Of course.

At this point in the movie, Thor has gone through this rather good character arc in which he tries to decide whether he would kill Loki, or not, if he got the chance. In the end, he comes to the conclusion that, well, it would be the right thing to do, hard as it is.

Loki has recruited some evil dudes, who are a bit more reliable than the Chitauri, and is attacking Asgard. He's not exactly a contented soul (as we saw in The Avengers), and no matter what he does, he can't really bring himself to peace and healthy self-esteem. His pride doesn't deliver.

But he won't admit this to himself, or anyone.

At this point, the climax, Loki's army has broken into the palace, but Loki is not yet come. Thor is on his way, with a few good guys, and is planning to help Odin's beleaguered forces out. But he's not here yet, either.

Some Asgardians hide in the chamber of the palace where the Frost Giants' casket once was kept - the most secure place they can find - including Frigga, Loki's adoptive mum. Odin goes to visit them, and tell them what's going on. And as they hear the sounds of battle in the halls above, a little child asks if they will be all right.


Frigga ruffles the girl's hair. "The only thing to do is hope, and pray the wind is behind Thor, and not Loki."

.

"What do I need wind for?"

.

Frigga's heart sinks, but not from fear. She expected terror and a warlord she did not know, a boy so changed his face would not be recognizable. Instead, she sees little Loki. He's covered in scars, his hair chopped unevenly, the faintest, fading traces of the Jotuns' facial patterns on his cheeks. But he's her son. And he's soaked in blood. What she really wants to do is get him a chair and nurse his injuries, not run in fear. And so, as the other women and the children run to the escape route made when this room was fortified, months ago, Frigga stays in a shadow, watching Odin approach the storm standing on the stairs.

"Oh, hello, father," Loki says. "Do I get a welcome-back kiss?"

Odin stops. "Son. You have returned."

"Yes, to take your throne. Step down, old man."

"You and I both know the answer I will give to that," Odin replies.

Loki raises the tip of his glowing spear. The light gives him a haunted appearance, like he hasn't slept in years. "I will do this," he says. "It won't be hard."

Frigga sucks in a quiet breath.

"I would not have you with the blood of another soul on your hands," Odin says.

Loki laughs. "So, in plain Asgardian, you're too coward to die?"

And lashes out.

Odin makes to block the blow, but Loki is not trying to fight - he merely catches the tip of the spear on Odin's chest, and the older man freezes, then fall on the stairs.

Frigga's heart does something uneven and painful in her chest, and she shrinks further into the shadows, holding her breath 'til it burns.

"I am so much more powerful than you think," Loki says, looking down at Odin.

So is he still alive, to hear? Frigga thinks - hopes.

"Remember when we were last here?" Loki's ghost-blank gaze drifts from Odin to explore the room, and his feet carry him listlessly a few feet down the stairs. "You fell into your sleep? Did you know that I called the guards, to bring you safe where you could rest without harm? Did you know that I killed Laufey? Did you know that I did it all for you?"

"And what happened?" Loki whirls around, muscles all tense, lethal. "You pushed me off the bridge, let me fall, half-dead, to Midgard - sent Thor to kill me. How did I earn it? After all it's done for me, why should the world not fall? Why should you not?"

Raises the spear, lets the sharp end drop on the white, old head.

"I've waited so long for this," he says, and his voice is gravel on granite. "So - long." The spear falls at the words' beats, drawing dark blood.

Frigga sinks down, behind the stone pillar on which the Frost Giants' casket used to rest, tears in wide eyes.

"Your kingdom dies," Loki says, behind her. "Sleep for the last time. I won't be taking care of you anymore."

And, like that, where two souls in need of help had been, there is only one.

Deep, trembling breaths fuel Frigga's pounding brain, and she raises her head (high, like a queen should). Steps out, towards her boy. Perhaps it is too late. But she has to try to save him. She will not lose them both.

The hand he holds out to her (as if announcing her arrival) is red, as are the fingerprints on the shaft of his spear.

"Lady Frigga." He sounds a little bit happy. Mocking her, most likely.

She cannot tell anymore.

"What have you done?" She says.

"I think I have come to avenge myself," he says.

"Your father did nothing to you!" She is nearly in tears. "Nothing that would warrant that repayal!"

"Nothing?" Loki's teeth glint in the light from his spear - she could almost swear he has them bared, like a wolf.

"Have you killed him?" She whispers.

"He is dead," Loki says, looking down. It is almost as if his head is bowed.

Frigga gives a noise of despair, of disbelief.

Crosses the floor to meet Loki, almost running.

His gaunt, pale face hardens, and he makes a faint defensive movement with his spear, but she is already too close to him to be harmed. She pushes the hideous thing away, and wraps her arms around her son and holds on tight. And she is crying now.

His spear clatters to the floor, but he stays tense, arms hovering above her back. If she could have seen his face, she would have sobbed all the harder, but she doesn't see the expression on his pale, starved features - not the empty eyes stretching 'til they're round, not the thin, open mouth.

"Get off me, woman," he hisses (breathless).

She simply clings tighter.

"You don't know who I am," he says.

"You're Loki Odinson," she says. "You're my son."

His arms shake, inches from resting on her.

"I don't care what you've done," she says into his bloodstained cloak. "You're my son, and you've always been, from the day you were born."

She will mourn Odin till the hour she dies, but if she holds this lost man accountable, he will never find his way again.

"I wasn't born to you," he says.

"I don't care. You were always mine."

He staggers down a step. She doesn't let go, just moves with him, pouring all she can into the embrace.

His hands drop, hesitating, to lie stiff and cold like a corpse's on her back.

"Loki," she says.

"Get off me," he says again, but doesn't pull away.

There's a long pause.

Then he tenses his muscles in the way he thinks he remembers you do - you do when you want to return a hug.

Frigga smiles up at him, through tears.

He blinks, and almost lets go.

Instead, he closes his eyes and presses her closer, and it hurts, because he's making himself very, very confused.

.

Maybe he likes to be confused.

.

There are noises from upstairs. Shouts. Screams.

"He's coming," Loki says, and then, with a banging sound, the door to the chamber swings open and hits the wall. "Let go of her!" Comes a voice, and Loki holds on tighter.

"No, Thor!" Frigga cries, but Thor has advanced, quick down the steps. He casts a look, accompanied with a heartbroken cry, at Odin, lying on the floor - a pause, where the Prince turns his grief to anger, steeling himself for what he must do. Then his hand closes around Loki's shoulder, wrenching him away.

Loki stays limp. Giving into Thor.

"I'm sorry, brother," Thor says.

And before Frigga can scream and Thor can understand Loki's soft, "It's all right," the hammer has crushed Loki's ribcage, and he is lying on the floor, trying his best to breathe. His armour has unconjured for the first time in so, so long - leaving him in plain black leather.

As if he had let his defences start disappearing before the hammer struck him. (Like he wanted to die).

"Loki!" Frigga falls to her knees, wipes away the thread of blood that's seeping from the corner of Loki's mouth, tearfully places his head on her lap.

He screams like a child, but it's short, bitten off, shamed. Embarrassed at the pain.

"I am so sorry," she says, and starts to cry again. Oh, why did she move him? His neck might be broken.

She strokes back his hair, as gently as she can. "Can you hear me?" She says. He opens his mouth.

But it's only to breathe.

She can hear every burst of air drag on his throat.

"Loki, stay with me," she says.

His eyes meet hers for a second, then, with an effort that turns him ice-white, reaches for his spear, which is quite close. Within arm's reach.

Slowly, agonizingly, Loki gets it in both hands. Frigga tries to help, but he makes a sharp movement with one hand that clearly says, "Don't!"

Grasped in both fists, the tip starts glowing blue.

He screams again, this time with effort. Frigga can see him pouring himself into the spear, and wants to stop him, but logic tells her not to.

The spearhead glows brighter and brighter - it's white hot - Loki's scream reaches a tone that it hurts to hear, so much pain is obvious in it - and then a force-field of energy blasts outwards from it.

The force-field passes through Frigga with no harm - bumps Thor a little off-balance - and rushes out of sight, walls being no hinderance to it.

There is a silence, as Thor and Frigga look after it, with only the sound of Loki's spear clattering to the ground to break the quiet.

"What was that light? Was it magic?" Frigga wonders out loud, then looks down at Loki.

.

He is stiff and colourless, eyes and mouth open, head hanging back.


They laid the prince out on the floor with his blank eyes closed and his arms resting on his chest, covering (best they could) the horrible, horrible crushed place that stopped his heart - and Odin beside him. They left their mourning after many hours, wondering, through their grief, why they were not dead, why enemies had not come - and they found the news: the soldiers all said some mysterious, impossible energy field had come, wiping most of the enemy forces out.

That magic like that would cost any man his life, and more - it would take someone powerful, terrifyingly skilled, with an unheard of commitment.

.

And the legends in the land, many centuries later, were not of an innocent, and not of a devil. They were of Loki, grey Prince Loki, destroyer and saviour of Odin's empire.