Greetings, all. I wrote this story for a friend of mine. I know it's not Thorki, but I hope she likes it. ^^
When Odin came home from Jötunheimr, Frigga was shocked. She had expected her husband to be wounded from battle, and she had expected him to be solemn and worn after the horrors he had seen, but she had not expected him to be carrying a baby in his arms.
Frigga listened as Odin explained how he had found the baby after the battle, alone and abandoned, crying for comfort, and of how the baby had changed as he had picked it up, the blue skin and red eyes melting away as the baby took on the guise of an black-haired, pale-skinned Æsir. He had felt obligated to bring the baby home to Asgard, for the alternative would be to let it perish in the frosty wastelands. After so much death, Frigga knew that Odin couldn't have let the baby die, especially not when it looked like an Æsir.
The baby in Odin's arms shifted and fussed. Frigga hesitated, then she stepped closer. She was wary, for it was a Frost Giant's offspring, after all, but it truly looked no different than a normal baby. Gently, she took it from her husband, and, since it seemed not to have burned him, she cradled it. She used the same soft cooing noises she had used with her son, Thor, when he was an infant, and the baby quieted down and opened its big, green eyes, looking up at her.
"What will we do with it?"
In response to Frigga's question, Odin told her of his plan: They would raise the baby as their own, teach it to have loyalty to Asgard and the Æsir, and then, when the time was right, they would return it to Jötunheimr and place it on the icy throne to rule over the monsters. They would have an ally amongst the Frost Giants, and finally, after so many years of blood and war and death, the feud between the Jötunns and the Æsir would come to an end.
But Frigga did not like the thought of keeping a Frost Giant, even a baby one, so close to Thor. Odin insisted, promising that the baby would do no harm, and she reluctantly agreed. Shortly after, Odin went to the healers, and Frigga took the baby to Thor's old nursery, fed it, and made up the crib with fresh linens.
That night, they announced to all of Asgard that they had been gifted with a child.
Grand celebrations were held. Odin played the part of the proud father; Frigga, of the excited new mother, doting on the baby and showing it off to everyone. A few commented on the baby's black hair and unusually light skin, but none suspected that it was not Æsir. Frigga constantly worried that the baby would change back into a monster and ruin the whole plan, but it seemed to like its disguise. It liked the name she and Odin had chosen for it, too: Loki. Each time she said it, the baby would smile and laugh.
After the celebrations, it came time to introduce the baby to Thor. Frigga and Odin woke up their son and told him he had a brother. Thor, only three years old, goggled at Loki, then he overcame his amazement and reached out, touching Loki's dark hair. Loki squirmed and grabbed Thor's hand with both of his own, tiny hands. Frigga's heart leapt into her throat, but nothing happened. Loki held tightly onto Thor, and Thor smiled.
It was many years before Frigga could put Loki and Thor together and not dread that Loki would hurt her precious child. In reality, since Loki was so small for his age and Thor was bigger than the average three year old, it was often Loki who got hurt, but she kept worrying. Even when Loki began to walk and talk, constantly babbling Thor's name and tottering around after Thor as fast as his little legs could carry him, Frigga could not put away her fear.
Slowly, she realized that Loki was actually a very gentle child, and she stopped being afraid. Loki cried if he accidentally stepped on a butterfly, and whenever Thor played too rough and hurt him, Loki never fought back. However, as Loki learned how to say words other than Thor's name, Frigga found that Loki could have a very sharp tongue, if he chose, and that he was very good at repaying Thor's abuse with barbed comments and insults.
Even as a child, Loki was extremely clever. Frigga often found herself spending hours with him, reading in the gardens, answering his endless questions about the world. It was so hard to think of him as a Frost Giant, as a monster, when his green eyes were wide and shining and looking up at her with such innocent curiosity.
Frigga's heart grew softer towards Loki. When he was happy, she felt joy; when he was sad, she held him close and dried his tears. He was still too small, and when the other children teased him, she stroked his black hair, murmuring words of comfort.
Odin seemed to be growing more attached to Loki as well. Frigga could understand why: Loki positively adored the All-Father. Whenever Odin came into the room, Loki's little face would light up, and he would run to greet his father, eager to share what he had learned in that day's lessons. Though it was mainly a woman's art, Loki was studying magic, and he loved to show Odin the glittering flowers and birds and fish that he could conjure in the air. Odin, being a magic-user himself, had once confided in Frigga that he was astounded by Loki's talent.
When Loki had grown out of the nursery, he moved into the chambers next to Thor's. He and Thor were inseparable, and they could always be found playing together, running off on pretend adventures, slaying imaginary beasts. It troubled Frigga that many of the beasts they hunted were Frost Giants, but she knew that Odin needed Loki to be loyal to the Æsir and not to his own kind, and so she allowed it.
Then one day, Loki came down with a terrible cold. At first, it was just a cough, but the next morning, he was too weak to get out of bed. Odin and Frigga sent for the best healers in the palace, but there was little they could do; the sickness was unfamiliar to them, and they knew of no cure.
Frigga stayed with Loki day and night. She fed him thin broth and coaxed him to drink hot tea mixed with honey, but no matter what she did, he got worse. Soon, he was too weak to eat or drink. Frigga tried to use her own healing powers to lower the fever that burned through Loki's body, but it did not help.
Thor was forbidden to enter Loki's chambers, for fear he would be stricken with the same illness. Odin looked after his son and comforted him, but Thor was so worried about Loki that he constantly trembled and wouldn't speak a word to anyone. Every night, after Odin put Thor to bed, the All-Father would join Frigga at Loki's bedside, and they would watch helplessly as Loki deteriorated before their eyes.
After a week of battling the sickness, Loki no longer woke, and he struggled just to breathe. All of Asgard was in mourning for the young prince, for all seemed lost. Frigga and Odin were suddenly confronted with the very real possibility that Loki would die. Frigga could not hold back her tears, and she sobbed into Odin's embrace.
What would life be without Loki? To not see his smile, or hear his laughter, or hug him close and feel his arms around her? Frigga found that she could not bear to imagine it; the very thought made her shudder, and Odin held her even more tightly. She looked up at her husbands face, and saw that tears were streaming from his single eye.
"We cannot lose him."
Odin looked over at the small, still body of Loki, then he nodded and closed his eye, burying his face in Frigga's hair.
They spent the remainder of the night in a haze of grief, not expecting Loki to survive, but the sun rose, and Loki was still breathing. Frigga could not resist feeling a spark of hope. She took the warm cloth from Loki's forehead and soaked it in fresh, cold water, then she replaced it and touched the back of her hand to Loki's flushed, hollow cheek. She thought that the fever may have gone down slightly, but it was too soon to be sure.
Odin made her promise to send word the moment Loki's condition changed, for better or worse, then he kissed her, stroked a hand over Loki's sweat-soaked hair, and left to care for Thor. Frigga spent the day painting water onto Loki's chapped lips, trying to get even a few drops into him, and routinely soaking the cloth on his forehead to keep it cool and clean. By night fall, it was clear that Loki's fever was breaking, and she sent a servant to inform her husband of the news.
Within the hour, Odin was at her side, checking Loki's temperature for himself, for he could hardly believe it was true. That night, they wept with relief.
Loki was improving.
Loki might not die.
The fever continued to go down, and, shortly before morning, Loki woke up. He was exhausted and did not stay away more than a few minutes, but Frigga managed to get him to drink a glass of water before he fell asleep again, which soothed his aching throat and eased his previously harsh and rasping breaths.
Later that day, Loki woke up again. Frigga had a bowl of broth ready, and she fed him patiently, often pausing to make him drink more water. Loki could only handle a few spoonfuls of broth, but it was more sustenance than he'd had in days.
Another week passed before it was clear that Loki had beaten the sickness and was going to live. Asgard rejoiced; Thor stopped trembling and began to speak again; Odin and Frigga were beside themselves with joy. Loki, who was still very weak, continued to spend most of his time sleeping and so remained unaware of it all.
Thor begged to see his brother, but Odin and Frigga wanted to be sure that Loki was truly well. They called on the healers to examine Loki, and the healers assured them that the sickness was completely gone from Loki's body. Thor was allowed into Loki's room at last, and he raced over to the large bed and climbed onto it, crawling across the covers to snuggle in next to his sleeping brother, hugging Loki as though he may vanish at any moment.
In his sleep, Loki shifted closer to Thor, but he did not wake up. Frigga looked on from the doorway with Odin, and she thought her heart might burst with happiness. They had never intended to fall in love with Loki, but that was what had happened. Loki had come into their lives as a tool, as a means to bring peace for their realm, but he had worked his way into their hearts. She knew that they could never give him up. Not for Asgard. Not for peace. Not for anything.
It didn't matter that Loki was a Frost Giant, and it didn't matter that he was different.
Loki was their son.