A/N: Hi again, everyone! Here's chapter five, I hope that you'll enjoy it. Beta'd by GoTDance45 once again. xx
Loki walked through one of the castle's many secret passages in Asgard, silent with a candle in his hand. The flame flickered when he passed a crack in the walls, and Loki hurried past it before his skin turned blue.
As a boy he had learned Asgard's corridors by heart, and this one was his favourite, because it led to Thor's room. When they turned twelve, Thor and Loki got separate bedrooms, but they usually snuck into each others rooms anyway, so they could lie awake and talk for hours before they finally fell asleep. If Loki ever had a nightmare, he knew where to go, just as Thor did. Odin and Frigga probably knew what was going on, but never said anything. If they forbid it, the brothers would just have found another way. They needed each other, even at night.
As the years passed, they stopped visiting each other after midnight. They never decided to end their meetings, they just stopped. When Loki looked back at it, he wondered why. Sure, they grew up and got lives of their own, as people do, but there were nights when Loki felt lonely and missed Thor's snoring next to him. Had Thor ever felt the same?
Even though he hadn't walked through this corridor for fifteen years, Loki knew exactly which part of the floor that creaked, or how many steps he had to take before he was past Alfrún's bedroom, one of the nannies who took care of the children at court. How could he not, after all those times he had avoided her observing eyes in here?
Eventually he reached the end of the passage. Loki pushed the second brick from the left with his shoe, and the wall slowly started moving. The bricks were pushed aside so it created a narrow opening, just big enough for Loki to squeeze through.
The room was bathed in darkness, except for the fireplace that crackled homely and the night sky with all its dazzling, white stars. It was as if something warm spread around his heart, and for the first time in many years, Loki felt welcome.
Thor sat in the window, just like Loki had seen him do so many times before, but it wasn't the same Thor that he had fought against at the battle of Asgard, not the same Thor that had looked at him with compassion before the light in his eyes died away. No, this was Thor the way he had once been before things started going wrong, and it was a little boy who looked up at him when Loki silently closed the wall behind him.
"Loki, come!," he smiled and pointed at the empty spot opposite himself.
Loki hesitated for a second before he walked towards the window. Thor looked so happy, he didn't want to ruin it. It was such a long time ago either of them had been truly happy.
He sat down in the window; he could no longer have his legs up as Thor had, and it felt like if his heart would break. What would he not do, to make the clock reverse and get the chance to be young with Thor again and make things right?
But it was too late for that. It had always been too late.
"What is it, Thor?," he asked.
Little Thor looked up at the night sky with fascination and Loki followed his brother's eyes. An asteroid fell somewhere far away, which wasn't an unusual sight from Asgard's windows, but as Loki looked closer something seemed wrong with this one. After a while he realized that it slowly turned into blue, like if it froze on its way down to ground.
"Father says that when an asteroid turns blue it's too close to Jotunheim," Thor explained. "It's so cold there that no fire can burn, so the ice embraces the asteroids' flames before it has even landed."
Loki had never heard Odin say such, but, of course, Odin never told him anything about Jotunheim, so he just nodded and answered shortly:
"The cold and the heat have always been enemies."
Thor looked at him with his big, blue eyes, stared into Loki's soul the way only he could, and said seriously:
"Some say the world will end in fire, others say in ice. What do you say, brother?"
Loki woke up so violently that he almost fell out of bed. He breathed heavily and tried to calm himself down, which did not work very well.
Fuck, fuck, fuck.
The night before he asked the camp's nurse for something to get rid of his dreams, and he offered him essence of nightshade; a substance that the rich in Westeros sometimes used. In large doses it was deadly, but three drops in a cup of wine would be just enough to create a deep, dreamless sleep, she said. Loki trusted her and drank his cup right before he went to bed, but the dream had been even worse tonight... so much more intense and... real.
He heard footsteps outside and Llyrtmlor saying with his usual broken voice:
"Your Grace, is everything alright? I thought I heard a noise."
"Bring me a bottle of water, please," he called back and rubbed his eyes, as if the dream was still there, inscribed inside of his eyelids.
In the day Loki could usually keep himself busy to keep Thor out of his head, but after he entered the world of dreams he could no longer control his thoughts. He was always there; centered or in the background, judging him in one way or another. Loki had seen too much of that disappointed look already; from Odin, Frigga, Thor, Laufey, from everyone. He did not want it to follow him even in his dreams.
He fought his way out of bed and wrapped himself in a warm robe, but he realized that he was still sweating after the gusty wake up so he unbuttoned it again before he settled down in the armchair with shaking legs.
Some say the world will end in fire, others in ice... where had he heard that before?
When Llyrtmlor came with the water a few minutes later, Loki asked him about it while he quenched his thirst with deep gulps.
Llyrtmlor's mouth opened and closed, obviously trying to remember what his teachers had taught him.
"Well?," Loki said impatiently.
"I'm sorry, Your Grace, I'm not completely sure... but I think it's from a poem from Midgard."
"Yes, Your Grace."
Loki grimaced. He had nothing of bad experiences of Midgard; even when he was younger, it was always Thor that amazed the humans with his thunder and lightings, they just feared Loki and what his magic could be capable of. Oh, if they had only known...
He thought that Thor should be out of the way by now, but he was still with him in every decision he made. Some say in fire, others in ice... The ice was clearly a hint for Loki himself, but what about the fire? Was it Thor? Daenerys?
It's just a stupid poem in a stupid dream. It doesn't have some hidden message, get over it.
"Are you sure you're okay, Your Grace? Should I get more water? You look so... distressed, if I may say."
Loki shook his head. Of some reason he couldn't even figure out himself, he was distressed, but Llyrtmlor had nothing to do with it.
"No, just... just help me to get dressed please."
Loki spent the rest of the day alone with Daenerys. Viserys had been sent back to Magister Illyrio's hold, since he would've just been in the way anyway. Loki did not dispatch him himself, but Dineneth told him that Viserys seemed furious and highly unwilling stepped inside the palanquin.
"Please forgive me Your Grace, but Lord Targaryen is very afraid of you, even if he does not show it well," she said when she carried out the remains of Loki's breakfast.
"That's good. If he wasn't, who knows what he could've done to the servants that carried the palanquin."
Dineneth smiled pitful.
"The princess is afraid of you too. Last night she whispered your name three times into her pillow."
Loki looked up.
"Why would she do such thing?"
"It's a prayer, Your Grace, for her gods. Forgive me, but she doesn't trust either you or her own feelings. If you want her to be a loyal queen you must change that."
He stopped for a second to think it over. He had definitely experienced something new yesterday when he touched Daenerys' arm; a warmth that filled his veins in a way it hadn't done for centuries. It scared him at first, and it must've scared her too as she obviously prayed to gods she knew didn't exist. Once again Loki was reminded of that his bride was different from the rest of her kind.
"And why should I take advice from a bootlicker like yourself?," he said, suddenly snotty. Lately he had been unnecessarily courteous to his servants, and that wasn't not how a true king should act. Loki blamed it on his nightmares with Thor. Thor had always had bad influence on him.
Dineneth curtsied politely.
"I'm very sorry if I offended you, Your Grace. But please keep in mind that I am also a woman, and I can imagine how Lady Daenerys must feel. You should go and take her for a walk, Your Grace, because nevertheless she finds you and your world interesting, and it would be a shame if a bootlicker like me told her all about it when you could do it so much better."
She smiled, curtsied again and left him.
It was a clear and sunny day, and Daenerys' hair glistened as it floated over her shoulders, draped in a thin shawl to protect her from the burning sun. Based on Dineneth's recommendations, Loki tried to teach her about the Nine Worlds while they walked through the camp.
"There are nine worlds, all unified by a big tree called Yggdrasil. That's the dwarfs, for example", he said and pointed at their tents close to the kitchen.
"They come from Nidavellir. It's almost identical to Svartalfheim, which Dineneth must've told you about?"
Daenerys did not answer. She didn't say much at all actually, only nodded or shook her head, and sometimes she said "Yes, Loki" or "No, Loki". As much how scared Loki understood that she must be, it started to get on his nerves. Targaryen was a significant house in Westeros, or at least was, and Daenerys must've inherited something from her strong, confident ancestors, but Viserys had ruined her so badly she might as well had been a simple farmer's daughter. There was only a very few times when she dared to raise her voice and speak her opinion.
He sighed and continued.
"You have obviously heard about the frostgiants from Jotunheim, Llyrtmlor and most of the guards are from there. Their skin is so blue because they are used to a very cold and dry weather. I myself was born in Jotunheim, but as I grew up in Asgard my body can much easier adjust to Westeros' climate. Asgard is the capital of the Nine Realms, and that's where the gods and the royal family lives."
Daenerys bit her lip as she wanted to say something but forced herself to hold it in. Loki noticed and it reminded him of the night before. How many questions did she kept secret to him?
"You wonder, my precious princess," he said and Daenerys hastily turned her head. Loki smiled at her.
"You are my bride-to-be, if you have any queries I beg you to please bother me with them."
Daenerys laughed jumpily.
"Oh, it's nothing really, I was just... no, it would be inappropriate to ask. I don't want you to think bad of me, Loki."
"With such a sweet face as yours, nothing could make me think bad of you."
He stopped and Daenerys blushed.
"It's not a suitable question for a young lady like me...," she started.
"I think I can handle it," he smirked ",Trust me, I've heard a lot of young ladies say things that are not very suitable for them."
"I was wondering... if you're a god, can... can you still die?"
Loki looked at her. He had expected a silly question, maybe about sex or their future together, but to hear a little girl with silver-blonde hair and big, purple eyes talk about death was... bizarre, in a way. It shouldn't be, but it was, because Daenerys contained so much life and youth to Loki, that death shouldn't even be in her mind.
Loki chortled it away and slowly started walking again. Daenerys followed.
"Not caused by an innocent child like you, if that's what you want to know. But... yes, I can die."
Thor's dying scream flashed before him, and he heard the battle cries die away. "In the end, we must all die."
"And what happens then? When you die, I mean?"
"That depends on who you are, where you come from, which element you are: fire or ice."
Another flashback; Loki quickly blinked it away. They troubled him almost as much as the nightmares, because no matter how hard he tried, Thor did not go away. There was too many things in Loki's life that reminded him of his brother, and the life the two of them used to have together. "If you were kind, brave, justice, and ready to fight for the things you loved, Valhalla welcomes you with open arms. The rest of us has no other choice than spending forever in Hel. Most frostgiants and swart elves automatically goes to Hel after their death, simply because they don't belong to a very nice kind of creatures."
Something seemed to move in Daenerys' eyes. Loki began to wonder what all of sudden gave her enough courage to take part in their conversation, when she had been almost complete quiet for hours.
"My entire family died before I was even born", she said quietly ",Mother died after giving birth to me, so I basically killed her myself. Viserys is the only one I've ever had. Please forgive me, Loki, and I know that it's not appropriate for me to wonder about after-life, but-"
"Are you afraid of death, my princess?", Loki asked, and her answer came straight away without hesitation.
"No. I have no reason to be. Valar Morghulis. All men must die."
"All men must die, indeed", Loki repeated. "Your culture is very interesting as well, I must say, Daenerys. Would you like to show me the harbour, perhaps?"
Daenerys nodded and Loki grinned at her.
"It makes me happy that we finally have found something to talk about. I want us to be as close as possible, dearie."
He took her hand, and just like the day before, the feeling of burning ice filled him.