Pairing/characters: No pairings. Loki, Frigga and Thor
Summary: Loki is scared of the storm and Frigga comforts him.
Song Prompt: Sleep (Poets of the Fall)
Author's Note: This actually turned out as lot softer and fluffier than I thought it would. It started with a very dark idea and it turn out that way, which is odd because it tends to go the other way for me. I've gone on the assumption that Thor and Loki were probably raised more by a nurse rather than their mother and father.
A small deep rumble as he was placed into bed was his first warning, causing the beginning of nerves to bubble in his gut. The nurse looked to the large open balcony, a small smile on her lips. "It seems as if we will have a storm tonight, my prince. Your brother will be very happy."
Loki bit his bottom lip as he glanced towards the approaching clouds, little more than a dark smudge at present. Such weather was rare in Asgard, he could only remember two others in his five short years, but the small boy dreaded each occurrence. Thor adored them. He had no doubt that his brother would be out on the balcony, most likely on the balustrade if he could, arms raised to the heavens as he laughed and shouted, standing tall. The fact that his brother relished the storms did little to ease Loki, often it simply made him feel worse, more isolated. Thor would be oblivious to his plight, too caught up in the tempest and the younger brother would merely become upset that the elder boy took so much joy in something he hated so.
The nurse moved to the balcony, drawing the large shutters closed, plunging the room into near darkness, the only light radiating from the dying fire and the moonlight that streamed through the small gaps. The nurse chatted happily away as she worked. "It would be best to keep these closed tonight. I know you would prefer them open, but we would not want your chamber to be flooded, now do we?" Loki shook his head, her comment merely adding to his worries. Was it really possibly for the storm to flood his room? His nurse gave him a bright smile, "Sleep well, your highness," and she slipped from the room. No doubt to attend to his brother and try to stop the boy from venturing outside during the squall.
Another rumble rolled across the room and Loki swore he could feel it vibrate through his bed. He chewed on his lip. He would not be scared this time. He would not be frightened by a little bit of light and noise. He would not be frightened. He would not be frightened. He wou-
He jumped as the thunder clap came closer, louder, and he pulled the thick woollen blanket up to his eyes. One...two…three…four…five..si-
The sudden flash of lightening filtered through the shutters, harshly illuminating the room for no more than a second. A small gasp escaped the boy and he retreated under the safety of the blanket, crawling to curl in the centre of the bed. He tried so hard to ignore the thunder, he truly did, but with a rumble the tempest drew closer and closer. The noise became louder until it seemed to rattle the wooden shutters, the lightening intensified until it penetrated the soft wool that covered him and the rain pounded furiously against the stone walls. He covered his ears, but to no avail; the sound would not be blocked. He screwed his eyes tighter and he was sure he could hear his brother laughing in the room opposite his.
Perhaps if he could sit in his brother's room… Though Thor would be bad company under these circumstances, at least he would not be alone and maybe, just maybe, he would notice Loki's discomfort and sit with him. While his brother was obtuse, he was not unkind.
Another roar of thunder reminded him that Thor would be outside on the balcony at this very moment, his shutters thrown wide open and he wondered briefly if his brother's room would be flooded as his nurse had warned. The elder boy's room would be wet and cold, at the mercy of the elements and the storm more prominent there than anywhere in the realm, but he didn't want to be alone.
The young child crawled to the edge of the bed, peeking out at the door from under the blanket, debating his conundrum. A sudden loud clap startled Loki, sending him falling to the floor. It was so different from the ones before that rumbled through the sky like boiling water, or deep laughter mocking him. This one was a sharp short noise that seemed to cut through the air like the crack of a whip, slicing through the very walls of the palace itself. It was followed a hair's breadth later by a flash of lightning that flooded the room with a sharp light, trying to reach the little prince to strike him down… Or at least, that was how it seemed to the boy.
The room faded back to darkness and Loki scrambled forward to the door, half tripping over his feet as he went. A whimper caught in his throat as he fumbled with the door handle above him, which broke into a sob as another crack and flash swarmed around him. The handle finally turned and he tumbled into the hallway.
If he was truly honest, the child had little idea of what he was doing and where he was going. He screwed his eyes shut once more and covered his ears where he crouched in the middle of the corridor. He just wanted to get away.
The child's wide eyes turned up, his hands falling away from his ears as his gazed up at his mother. It was a strange sight to the boy; he spent the majority of his day with his nurse, as was the way with these things. Kings and Queens did not have time to spend their day indulging their children. When he was in the presence of his mother she always seemed so … regal. Not now.
Her hair was pulled back into a single, simple braid and she did not wear her court regalia, but a simple night robe. In one hand she held a lantern, bathing her face in a warm glow, while her other hand clasped the front of her shawl. The expression was not that of Odin's noble queen, but a bemused mother.
Another crack of thunder ripped through the hallway, scaring Loki back into his huddled position. So determined to block out the tempest, he never noticed her approach and crouch down beside him, but he felt the soft hand on his shoulder. "Do you fear the storm?"
He nodded, not wanting to look up. There was a soft sigh that wasn't unkind and he heard the soft clink of the lantern being laid down. Her gentle hands slipped under his arms, picking him off the ground and pulling him against the warm of her body. His arms found her neck and clung to his mother, who took a hold of the lamp once more. He buried his face into the crook of her neck in a feeble attempt to hide from the squall raging outside. She gripped him a little tighter as she walked, quietly telling him how she too feared storms when she was a small child.
From a brief glance up, he was aware that they had entered his room again, and for a second he feared that she would simply place him back into his bed and tell him to go back to sleep. Instead she made her way to the fire place, setting down her lantern once and for all and adding another log to the fire, allowing heat to seep back into the room. As she took the nearby seat, she shifted her shawl so that it enveloped both her and her son.
Despite the elements that barraged the palace, growing wilder every minute, he felt his fear fade ever-so slightly, held as securely as he was. He listened, ear against her breast as she hummed a lullaby, soothing the bite away from his terror. The storm did not seem quite as terrifying as it did when he was alone in his bed. Just as he thought that perhaps he was no longer scared, the storm reasserted its presence and he tightened his grip on his mother.
Frigga laughed softly. "The more you grow, the more I am convinced that you and your brother are like night and day."
"Which am I?"
She hummed before replying. "I believe you will be more like the night."
He turned his face back into the cloth of her robe. "I do not like the night," he muttered, breathing in his mother's fragrance of flora and… honey? "Why does Thor love these storms?"
He knew she was smiling; her voice was laced with love and affection. "On the evening of Thor's birth, there was a mighty storm, far stronger than tonight's. It was as if the very heavens were announcing and welcoming their new god into the realm. He was greeted into the world with thunder and lightning, they are like an old friend to him whom he must greet. They are as much a part of him as his very soul."
"How was I born?" came Loki small reply, for surely all gods must be welcomed into Asgard in such a dramatic fashion. If Thor's was thunder, then what was his?
Frigga did not answer for a moment and her son looked up in confusion, wondering why she hesitated. He caught something in her eyes, but it was gone before he knew it, replaced with a small smile and a loving voice. "You joined our family on the closing of the last great war. Your father won a war and welcomed you into the realm."
It certainly didn't seem anywhere near as dramatic as thunder and lightning; it seemed positively dull in comparison. As if to confirm his point the storm outside gave another almighty crack and Loki buried his head further into his mother. Frigga lifted her hand, her fingers caressing the child's dark locks. "You may not think it's as worthy a claim," the woman continued, now rocking back and forth a little, "but winning a war is no mean feat and peace is far harder to maintain. However, it is worth more than all of the riches in all of the realms. In an era of peace, we need sharp minds and smooth tongues. We need men who are clever and subtle in their ways who can hold the peace that so many died for. It is the learned men and men of wisdom that become the pillars of the realms, not the warriors. You arrival heralded the era of intelligence; not brawn."
Loki thought on this, still unimpressed by it all. It still seemed to him that the warriors were respected more than the scholars, but something inside him was pleased by the comparison. He just wished it wasn't so…mundane.
"I still do not like the storm." Loki mumbled, his voice muffled against her body.
The queen rested her cheek against his head. "I did not expect anything else, but if we cannot vanquish your fears, I will have to soothe them. My nurse used to sing to me when I was frightened girl," and she started to hum an old lullaby, one she hadn't heard since she was young. She dug into the corners of her memory for the words, coaxing them to the surface as she softly sang, rocking Loki gently as she did so.
She watched him, his body relaxing, his eyes drifting shut and his breaths becoming deep and even, and she continued to sing softly to him as the storm passed over them, retreating to leave Asgard to sleep in peace. Still she watched him and silently mused to herself.
To think that this small frightened child was the son of Laufey. Seeing him sleep now, it was hard to imagine that he was the same creature of which mothers whispered to their children to make them behave. She broke into a wide smile as she tried not to laugh. She imaged parents setting Loki on their sons and daughters to make them go to bed. They would have more trouble than when they started and Loki would probably have an army of restless children by now. Oh what a terrifying thought that was; Asgard would never know peace from her son.
Her smile became soft, almost melancholy. Yes, Loki was her son, her very own clever little boy. She tightened her grip on the child, drawing him closer to her breast. He was hers and nothing would ever change that. The boy didn't belong to the frost giants or Laufey. He was Odin-son, her son. Even if all of Jotunhiem came marching to their doorstep, demanding their prince back, she would never give him to them. They had abandoned their chance and she would not let her boy be taken away, no more than she could give up Thor.
She pressed a kiss to the top of Loki's head. He was her boy now and nothing would ever change that; she had grown very attached to him. Everything that Thor lacked, Loki had and she was so proud to see them in him. Between them she had everything she could wish for in her children and more.
She would have to make more time for him, for both the boys. Loki had yet to start lessons, perhaps she would tell the nurse that she wished to see him in the afternoons, or perhaps that both her sons should be left with her after the evening meal until they were put to bed. Yes, both sounded promising. She would have to speak to the nurse.
The door suddenly jerked open. "Lo-…Mother?"
Frigga looked up to see her eldest standing in the doorway, staring wide-eyed at the two sitting calmly in the chair. His grin fell from his face in favour of confusion, clearly never suspecting that he would find his mother when he burst into his brother's room. He stood there, one hand still on the door handle, dripping wet. Frigga sighed, that was another thing the queen must speak to the nurse about. It really was not suitable for Thor to be outside during storms, and she had no doubt that he had been doing just that. His night clothes were soaked through, raindrops running down his skin while his hair clung to his face. There was a quiet pit-pat as the drops of water hit the marble floor, forming a growing puddle around the boy, but the clearest indication of the boy's activities was the air of excitement and glee that could not even be smothered by confusion.
Thor opened his mouth, but Frigga held up her hand to stop him. "Quietly, son. Your brother sleeps and we do not wish to wake him, now do we?" She was amazed that he had not done so already. Ever the boisterous one, Thor had not entered the room in what one would call a quiet manner.
Her son closed his mouth and moved towards them, leaving behind a trail of water, his feet slapping damply against the cold stone floor. He stopped by the arm of her chair, eyeing Loki, and Frigga could see a hint of jealousy in those eyes.
"Why are you here, Thor? It is late."
The blond's eyes suddenly lit up, joy radiating from him as he forgot about his brother and turned to his mother. He opened his mouth wide.
"Quietly," she reminded him.
Thor nodded, closing his mouth a little, but his excitement never diminished. "Was it not a splendid storm, mother?" He grinned widely and Frigga noticed that the rain had died away' and the thunder was once again just a gentle rumble in the distance. She had not been aware that the storm had moved so far. How long had she been sitting here?
"I did not see it; I was inside with your brother."
The boy looked up at her curiously. "Why?"
"Loki was scared of the storm, so I sat with him and sang him to sleep."
The confusion returned to the boy's face. "Loki is scared of storms?"
"Yes, many are?"
Thor blinked up at her. "But…why?"
She brushed his soaking blond strands away from his face with her free hand. "For many different reasons." She watched him, a light frown appearing on his brow as he tried the digest and understand why anyone would fear his beloved storms. "We all fear something; some of our fears make more sense than others."
The boy thought about this a moment before nodding and moving on to more important matters. "You sang to Loki?"
Thor's face split into a wide grin. "Sing to me as well," he demanded a little too loudly, making the sleeping child stir, though thankfully he did not wake.
He started to climb up, but she raised her hand to stop him. "Not like that. I do not sing to young princes who are soaked to the bone or who speak too loudly near their sleeping brothers."
"Then I shall be neither," he declared in a stage whisper before spinning round and running from the room.
She shook her head as she heard Thor slide, slip and fall on the floor with a small 'ouf', but before she could react he was back on his feet and out of the room. It wouldn't be long before he was changed, dried and demanding a song.
Holding onto her sleeping son, she stood, barely noting the dying fire that hinted at how much time had passed since she entered the room. Carrying Loki back to his bed, she deposited him on the mattress. Reaching down, she picked the blanket from where it lay crumpled on the floor, no doubt when Loki had rushed from his room, and laid it back over her youngest. Smoothing down his hair she placed one last kiss on his temple, taking in his peaceful form and there was a deep tug at her heart.
Yes, Loki was as much hers as Thor and she would never let either of them go easily.
Though not really how I imagined it, I'm still happy with this one.