(A/N: A HUGE THANKS TO SHULAMITHBOND ON TUMBLR FOR BETA READING MY FRIGGA AND LOKI SCENE! THANK YOU SO MUCH! :D )
It was the bright light of the sun that first awoke her, followed by the sounds of birds she'd never heard before. Some trilled notes that sounded like a piccolo, others gave grand calls for their mates. At last, one sounded recognizable, and very near by. She opened her eyes and looked up. There, sitting on the edge of one of the golden chairs, looking at her, was a huge black raven.
Ellie rubbed her eyes and pushed herself up, feeling the blanket around her fall backwards. She blinked, completely unaware of the time or her surroundings. She wondered for a split second if she was in a dream, before everything came back to her again, crashing into her. She sniffled once, hugging her stuffed turtle to her chest. She rubbed her eyes, still red and puffy.
The raven jumped off the chair and hopped over to her on the bed, watching her closely. Its gaze, as far as she could tell- Ellie didn't know much about ravens- was more out of interest than any kind of anger. As though it saw her as a curiosity, not a threat.
Feeling braver, or at the very least, curious, Ellie reached out and stroked the bird gently on the top of its head, feeling a little better as she did. The bird cooed a little, walking over and settling itself on her knee as she continued to pet it. It reminded her of all the times Tobey would come to wake her up in the morning. He'd sit by her bedside and whimper and eventually bark until she got up to feed him. At the thought, Ellie could feel a few more tears come to her, but she took a deep breath and pushed them back. She'd been crying for a while now and she really didn't want to cry any more. Wallowing in sadness never helped anyone, she reminded herself. She allowed herself a couple more tears before rubbing them away, resolving herself to be strong… as strong as she could be at least.
After a few more pets, the bird let out a call of thanks, turned and flew from the room, out the open balcony doors. Ellie blinked. She knew she'd closed them before she'd opened her book bag. How'd they get open? And for that matter, where had the blanket around her come from? She guessed she'd have to get used to a lot of things she guessed she considered unnatural but the rest of Asgard found them commonplace. She looked out the balcony window again. The sun was high in the sky, giving off a morning light.
Ellie pushed herself up, rubbing her eyes again. How long had she been asleep? She noticed everything had been taken off the bed and laid next to her bow and arrows or on the bedside table. On the desk, a tray had been laid for her, the dishes all covered to keep in heat. Ellie felt a pang of guilt as she realized she'd missed dinner. She sat there for a few minutes trying to figure out exactly what she should do next before she decided that the best choice of action was to at least make contact with some one and find out a little bit more about her new… living space.
Ellie got up from the bed and went over to the room that Frigga had pointed out as the washroom. She shouldn't have been surprised, but the sight of the room, covered in blue and white tiles, mixed with gold, it would have made the finest hotels in the world jealous. The sunken-in bath, Ellie figured, was about two inches deeper than she was tall and there were at least twenty different bottles of soaps and perfumes to choose from.
Rather than running a bath, Ellie opted to simply wash her face and brush back her hair, at least to make herself look presentable. It was a better option than risking possible flooding of her new bathroom. As she left, she looked down at her clothes. They seemed kind of wrinkly from the previous day and didn't exactly smell the best… No sense in not looking.
Ellie went over to one of the wardrobes and while it was mostly empty, Ellie did find a simple yellow dress which she quickly changed into. She'd have to keep with her tennis shoes for now, but she was happy that she at least looked a little nicer. Feeling more confident at her appearance, Ellie walked from her room…
And quickly found herself completely lost.
Massive was not an appropriate word to describe this palace. She doubted there that actually fit the grandeur of this place. It seemed to her more like a never-ending labyrinth of gold than an actual palace and within a good ten minutes, Ellie realized she not only had no idea where she was, but had no way of knowing how to get back to her own room.
"Great," Ellie mumbled to herself. "First day and already I'm-" Suddenly, the found of footsteps caught her attention and she saw a woman in brown and golden robes walking through the hall.
"Oh! Excuse me!" Ellie called out, running towards her. The woman stopped, surprised at Ellie's approach. Ellie eventually caught up with her.
"Hi," She breathed out, giving a smile. "Listen, uh, I know this is a weird question, but can you tell me where I am?"
The woman stared at Ellie, blinking a minute before addressing Ellie as gently as she could. "You are in the Palace of Asgard, Miss."
"Oh," Ellie smiled. "I know that. I meant, where in the palace am I? I kinda got lost from my room."
The woman blinked. She looked over Ellie's dress and spoke again. "And… where would you like to go, miss?"
Ellie paused. That actually had been one thought that had not passed her mind. She knew she wanted to find someone who could help her… but she had no idea where anyone was. She blushed deeply. Suddenly, she recalled Frigga from the previous night.
"Queen Frigga," Ellie said. "I'm looking for Queen Frigga."
This, to Ellie's surprise, prompted a small smile from the woman. She looked over Ellie's ensemble again and lifted her hand to her mouth to hide the budding smile. There was a hint of laughter in her voice as she spoke. "The… The Queen, Miss? I'm afraid I don't know where she is."
"Do you know where I could find her?" Ellie said. "I really have no idea-"
"You needn't look far."
Both Ellie and the woman turned to see Frigga standing there, dressed in a fine forest green dress, her hair done up carefully while several strands ran down her back. The woman bowed low and Ellie followed in action. Frigga raised her hand to dismiss it.
"I was coming to see if you were all right," Frigga said, approaching Ellie. "You were quite exhausted last night."
"Oh," Ellie said, wondering if Frigga had been the one to cover her with the blanket. "Yeah, I'm… I'm sorry I missed dinner."
"Nothing to apologize for," Frigga said. "I'm simply glad you at least seem a little more comfortable now."
Comfortable might not have been exactly the right word, but Ellie did feel more at ease, a little bit at least. She nodded. "Yeah," She smiled. "Actually, I was just looking for you."
"As was I," Frigga smiled. "I'm about to have tea in the library. You're more than welcome to join me if you wish. You must be hungry after last night."
After a day and a half without really eating anything, tea sounded amazing.
"I'd love that," Ellie said. "Thank you."
"Not at all," Frigga said. "However, I'm sure we can find something a little nicer for you to walk around in." Frigga gave the woman beside Ellie a smile. "I'll admit, seeing someone walking around in a nightgown isn't something one sees every day."
Ellie's face turned beet red.
Soon enough, Ellie found herself dressed in a simple, yet elegant light blue gown with a small jeweled belt and a soft blue cape clasped with a sapphire brooch. The low sleeves and sweetheart neckline left her shoulders bare, yet she didn't feel overly cold. Her hair had been done up in the back and one of the young ladies of the palace had placed a flower clip in her hair and brought her a pair of soft, slip-on shoes to wear. A young man then guided her to the palace library where she found Frigga sitting next to a set of wide windows, a table set for two with tea and pastries was laid out. She was reading quietly from a small brown book which she put to the side as soon as Ellie entered.
"Lovely," She said, looking at the dress. "I thought it would fit you well. I was roughly your size back then."
Ellie had to bite her lip to keep herself from gasping. Was she wearing-
"Sit, please," Frigga motioned her to sit across from her as a servant filled both their cups with tea and placed a few pastries upon Ellie's plate. At first, Ellie could do nothing but stare. Stare at the lovely layout of the tea and treats before her, stare at the beautiful woman who'd been so kind to her, and stare at the library itself. It felt endless, as though every book in the world was contained within this room. Frigga simply watched her in return, smiling at her awe.
"Asgard's library houses texts from every world and realm known to us," she said. "We have a whole wing dedicated to Midgardian authors."
Ellie didn't doubt it. A whole wing of this Asgardian library looked as though it could house six or seven large libraries back on earth; books AND the buildings.
"It's… I don't think I know the right word for what this is," Ellie said. "It's more than incredible, it's…" Ellie struggled to find a strong enough word to describe everything she was seeing, but ultimately she guessed there wasn't one. She gave an embarrassed smile and started to drink her tea. Frigga smiled kindly back at her.
"Did you sleep pleasantly?" She asked.
It took Ellie a moment to find her answer to that question. Despite the emotional roller coster of yesterday's events and the apparently endless stream of tears, she did feel strangely rested. She couldn't even remember having a dream last night.
"I… I actually did," Ellie said, more surprised than anything else.
"I am glad to hear it," Frigga said, passing her a plate of pastries. Ellie took two rolls and put them on her plate, collecting the butter and jam afterwards. She took one bite and nearly tore herself apart internally to not shove the whole thing down her throat. They were amazing. Like the Sugar Rolls her mom made at her bakery, with just enough sugar on the top. She took small bites, trying to savor it. Back at home, she would have already been through five of them.
"You've been through much and I can guess a good deal of rest would be welcomed," Frigga added.
"Well, having a really comfy cloud-bed helps too," Ellie said, smiling. She looked up from putting jam on her roll to get a look at the puzzled expression on Frigga's face. "Oh, it's… it feels really soft."
"You're not on earth anymore, dummy," Ellie thought to herself.
Frigga smiled. "As I said last night, I am not as familiar with current terminology's and popular cultural on Midgard as I would like to be."
"Oh. Well," Ellie's mind raced to find a good counter-point. "Well, that was just something I made up on the spot, actually. And not all of the popular culture on earth is that interesting… You probably know more about… Midgardian popular culture than I know about all of Asgard's history and customs combined ma'am."
Frigga nodded. "That is probably true." She smiled. "Which is why I believe there is much we can learn from each other."
Ellie blinked. "What?"
"I should like to know about Midgard from the point of view of one who has actually lived there and, if I am to guess correctly, I would guess you'd like to know more of Asgard, yes?"
Ellie nodded furiously. "Yes, yes, I would, absolutely!"
Frigga laughed. "If you would like, I would be happy to teach you about the history and customs of Asgard. I have scheduled appointments throughout the day, but if you'd like I could set aside several times for us each day to meet. In between those times, you'd be free to study, explode, I could even arrange for you to have some riding lessons if you wished. In exchange, I'd like to know more about Modern Midgard, its current comings and goings-" Her eyes softened a little. "As much as you know, of course, and its current popular culture."
Ellie's smile grew as large as it could possibly go and she felt her heart pounding in her chest, like she'd just been awarded a blue ribbon at an art fair. "You.. I don't know what to say! I.. Yes! Yes, I would love that! Thank you! That would be amazing, Thank you so much!"
Frigga smiled. "Very well then, it's settled. We'll begin tomorrow at midday."
"Awesome!" Ellie smiled, forgetting for a split second that she was in the presence of royalty. "What should I prepare? What would you like to know? I don't know where the best place-"
Ellie fell silent as Frigga placed a finger to her lips, stopping them in mid sentence. "Whatever you feel is best, we will begin there. I've heard a great deal about Midgardian Literature, but never experienced it. There seems to be a great deal of emphasis on magic and creatures of the dark arts, is this true?"
Ellie nodded. "Oh, yeah. For years, every one I knew wanted to go to Hogwarts. Even my dad! He said we'd both be in the Ravenclaw house, but I always thought I was more of a Hufflepuff."
Frigga's blank expression made Ellie mentally slap herself.
"Oh…. they're both houses in a school for witches and wizards in a popular book."
Understanding came to Frigga's eyes. "I see. I suppose the lack of magic on Midgard, or at least, it's limited use, has made it a great desire for so many."
"A lot of kids want to be witches or wizards, at least from reading "Harry Potter"- Oh, that's where the terms "Ravenclaw" and "Hufflepuff" come from. A lot of girls also want to be Princesses."
This seemed to intrigue Frigga. "Really? They are that interested in properly governing a kingdom and learning about the different elements that come together to create a strong society."
"Eh…." Ellie gave a sheepish smile. "Most of them just wanna wear pretty dresses and marry a prince."
Frigga frowned. "Is that what a Princess does on Midgard? A poor representation of the word."
Ellie nodded. "They've been trying to change the image. Kind of, at least, Disney keeps going back and forth-"
That was where their first lesson began. Or introductory lesson. After an hour, Ellie had barely scratched the surface of both the "Disney" Company and the "Harry Potter" series. Frigga found much of it interesting, especially Midgard's interest in Magic, but after hearing more about it, she bore mixed feelings for the "Disney" company.
"And why change the story so drastically?" She asked, pausing a moment to eat a small slice of fruit.
"I think they found the original ending of the story too grim. No one wanted to see Ariel die," Ellie told her.
"But it shows her honest love for the prince and how she held no distain for his choice. She would not take an innocent life to save her own soul. True, in choosing a woman, he wronged her deeply, but it seems a stronger message."
All Ellie could do was shrug on that one. "Happy endings sell better," she said. Her cheeks grew pink as she smiled. "And I didn't want to see Ariel die ether… She was one of my favorite princesses."
After a moment, Frigga nodded. "Well, she wanted to expand her horizons and know of a world beyond hers… Though I would have preferred more emphasis on that than her desire for a prince, but I see its appeal."
"A lot of people have mixed feelings on Disney and their movies," Ellie said. "For various reasons."
"I can see why," She said. "And I thank you for speaking to me of it. You have a strong mind for it."
"Oh, well, I got really interested in their art style in college. For my Sophomore final, I created a collection of works that combined Disney's animation style with several of the most popular artist of the respected time periods of several select films."
This caught the Queen's attention. "You are an artist?"
Ellie nodded. "I graduated as a Visual Arts major. I like doing some sculpting, but really, I adore painting."
Frigga nodded. "I shall have to remember that. And if you are planning to continue your work here on Asgard I should like to see the final products."
"Painting here would be incredible," Ellie said, looking out the window. They must have been talking for quite some time as the sun was directly above them, shining an afternoon-ish light. "I've never seen so many colors in the scape of one city, with such a mix of hues. I mean, San Francisco has incredible colors but this…." Ellie smiled. "It still feels like a dream."
Frigga looked at her. "A good one?"
Ellie had to think for a moment, but when she spoke, she answered honestly. "One that's… getting better. I mean, one that's always improving."
Frigga smiled brightly. "I'm glad for that."
At that moment, the door to the library opened and a young man came in, approaching the table and kneeling to the queen.
"I am deeply sorry for the interruption, my queen, but I know you wished for me to remind you-"
"Oh," Frigga nodded. "Yes, of course, I thank you. I'll be there very shortly."
The man rose and bowed to Frigga. He nodded his head respectfully towards Ellie.
"I'm so sorry for the interruption, M'lady," he said before turning and leaving. Frigga sighed.
"Meetings call, unfortunately," she said, rubbing her brow. "And time flies too quickly." She looked back at Ellie. "Shall we continue this tomorrow?"
Ellie nodded. "That would be great."
Frigga smiled. "Thank you for joining me today," She said. "I had a lovely time."
"So did I," Ellie said. "I…" She looked down. Her fingers fiddled with the broach on the cape. "You're being, I mean, You've been so kind to me… I don't know how to thank you."
"Kindness is the result of wanting to be kind," Frigga said. "Not out of want for thanks."
"But… I mean… I've barely been here a day and… You've been so welcoming to me. I mean, not that everyone hasn't, I-"
Frigga stopped her again with a finger on her lips.
"Tell me, Daughter of Conner. If I were a stranger in your land, baring a great loss upon my shoulders and hoped to find peace and comfort, would you offer it to me? And expect nothing in return?"
Ellie stared up at the beautiful woman before her, nodding after a moment.
"I would not wish the loss of ones home, ones family on any of mine enemies, let alone an innocent. But, even if I bore the strength of the All-Father and then some, the past can not be undone." She put a hand to Ellie's cheek. "But I can look to the now and the future and hope that with aid, you might come to give Asgard the name of "home".
She wasn't sure if it was the words, or the ernest or the warmth in the Goddess's expression that brought the tears back… or simply the hope, deep within her heart, that the same wish might come true. But she felt several of them come down her cheeks, staining the beautiful blue material of the dress. Frigga smiled and handed her a napkin, allowing her to dab her eyes.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I… I cried so much last night, I didn't think I had anymore tears."
"Share as many tears as you wish," Frigga said. "It's better than making yourself drown in them."
That brought forth a smile from the young woman. Suddenly, remembering the gentleman who had just came in. "Um…"
"Yes?" Frigga responded.
"How- this is a silly question but, how would I address you?"
"I mean," She bowed her head respectfully. "You're the queen. Do I call you "Your Highness", "My Queen", "My Lady?"
"Ah," Frigga nodded in understanding. "Well, since you are not of Asgard, I am not your queen by the strictest definition. And since you are not serving me, you needn't say "My Lady." But I suppose as your teacher, you would address me as "Lady Frigga."
Ellie smiled. "Okay. Thank you, Lady Frigga."
"You are very welcome, Ellie, Daughter of Conner."
"Oh, 'Ellie' is fine."
"Very well, Ellie." Frigga poured herself one last cup of tea before lifting it in a toast. Ellie did the same before drinking. They finished their tea and rose together to leave the room.
"Lady Frigga?" Ellie asked as they reached the door.
"… Would there happen to be anywhere in the palace where I could practice my archery?"
The meeting didn't lasted all that long. She hadn't expected it to. Another tasting for another banquet to be held soon, nothing out of the ordinary. When she'd finished, however, she'd turned to the young guard who had accompanied her there, handing him a few gold coins.
"I thank you for your company," she said. "I wish to be on my own for the time being."
The man accepted the golden coins, kissed her hand and turned to go.
The man turned and faced the queen, bowing once again.
"If anyone comes seeking my company," she said. "I wish not to be disturbed."
The man nodded again and left, leaving the queen on her own. Frigga left the room and walked down the golden corridor to the Eastern Wing of the palace. A few servants passed her by, but other than that, the wing was completely empty. Eventually, she passed by the few remaining doors and climbed up a long, winding staircase till she came to a single door, locked with magic and guarded by two men. Shocked by her appearance, they fell to their knees in a gesture ofrespect.
"Leave us," She said simply. One of the guards opened his mouth to challenge her request, but a simple glance from her silenced him. They both bowed their heads and rose, walking away. She knew they'd wait in the stairwell for her return and that they'd prepare themselves in case things went awry. It was their duty to protect her.
They did not need to. She did not need protection here.
Using her magic, she waved her hand over the door and unlocked it, stepping into the chambers as the door closed behind her.
Her son was reclining casually in a green arm-chair, an open book in one hand, his other palm bare- At least of anything of physical substance.Instead, constructed by threads of shimmering green light, was a projection of a young woman dressed in a simple blue tunic and dark pants. She carried a bow in one hand with a quiver of arrows slung over her shoulder and was walking to her desired destination. He had not yet looked at her, assuming, possibly, that it was his brother or father who'd come to see him. She'd rectify that assumption at once.
"A constant gaze is never welcomed," she said, drawing his attention instantly. "And I am certain she will have quite a few pairs of eyes upon her in the days to come."
He rose quickly from his chair, the book toppling to the floor, the figure in his palm vanishing. He stared at her, his expression blank as she approached him, though his eyes never broke away from hers. She reached out and touched his palm, her fingers soft.
"You needn't worry about her." She said.
A very small smile came to his lips. "It is not worry."
"Perhaps," Frigga said. "Though I hoped you would say otherwise."
Loki lowered his head for a moment, clearing his throat. "I know not why-"
"You have never played me for the fool, Loki," Frigga said, her tone still soft, but her words full of strength. "Do not begin now."
Loki lifted his head, his eyes, for the first time in a while, truly soft. "Come to proclaim your hate?" The drop of fear in his voice was so small, only a master could have picked it out.
Frigga was a master.
"Yes," She said. "I hate that you killed those midgardians. I hate that you tried to bring a planet under your rule. I hate that you turned from your brother and I hate that you tortured and enslaved an innocent." Her eyes never left her son's face. She reached up and touched his cheek. "But, Loki, my son, I could never hate you."
Loki placed his hand to her's. "Your heart is one of gold, mother."
"A mother may forever hate the acts her son committed… but a mother's love for her son is eternal. And you are my son, Loki. Accept or deny it, it is forever how I shall feel."
Loki's fingers connected his mother's hand tenderly, brining it to his lips like a gentleman. "I have never, nor shall I ever view you as anything but my mother, my Queen Frigga."
She looked up, a spark of hope in her eyes. "And your father and brother?"
Loki looked away, choosing not to respond. Frigga did not push him on it further.
"Her mind is a very interesting place." Frigga mused. "Very creative and willing to learn. She's an artist by trade."
Frigga looked back at her son, his face still blank. "You never asked her about that? She finished school with an…" Frigga paused a minute to recall the words. "An 'undergraduate' degree in the fine arts."
Loki's face softened. "I recall her mentioning an interest in the arts once," he said. Back in his base on earth, he'd often found his flower in the library, reading books about famous Midgardian painters or browsing through books about art and sculpture.
"I assume you asked her about herself."
Loki did not respond.
"Even guards ask questions about their prisoners."
"She was not-" Loki caught his mother's gaze and paused.
"If not a prisoner, than what, Loki? A slave? A bargaining item? From all I know from both yourself and her, you never lifted a hand against her… Well, once, but even she admitted to your kindness in that regard. Why take away the life of someone you barely knew?"
"I did not-"
"Keep her eternally bound to you? Force her to leave all she knows and loves? Making her choose between a trapped life on her own world and becoming a stranger in a world of which she knows nothing? I may know you, Loki, but even I cannot make sense of this. You have never been so cruel!"
"I do not expect anyone to understand my acts. What one views as cruelty, another might view as kindness."
"Kindness in captivity?! Were you so desperate for something to own and rule over? I know there are those who would fall to you instantly, why choose one whom you know so little of? Who never wanted this? Do you feel nothing for the acts you have done?"
Loki stopped mid-sentence. The image of his flower crying last night crossed his mind. His strange nature in that moment, how he had wanted to comfort her. He'd seen her tears before and not cared. Well, maybe not a great deal at least. They had been tears of anger, hate for him and his acts, the tears he'd seen last night. Her face came to his mind again. As well as the smile he'd seen on her face today. When she'd been dining with his mother. She'd never, never given Loki such a smile, one of thanks and gratitude.
She did look lovely when she smiled.
"Loki," Frigga's voice was calm, but her tone could bring a room of rowdy drunks to order. "Do you hold any regret for what you have done? I know Odin denied you a great deal and that shall not be forgotten… but does life mean so little to you that you would take it at a whim?"
Loki looked away. "Not all life."
"And her?" Frigga watched his every moment. "If you could reverse time and stop yourself from doing what you did to Ellie Conner, if you knew there were others who would do anything to take her place… would you let her go?"
If anyone else had asked him that question, he would have responded instantly. But Frigga, to her he would not show such disrespect. She wanted an honest answer, something he was not good at. Still, he closed his eyes and began to think. True, his flower was one face in millions and millions of Midgardians. True, he knew there were many, many others who would have fawned over him and praised him like a king willingly. True, he knew very little of her and he hadn't asked many questions of her, his mind had been wrapped up in other things. His plans for Midgard, the Tesseract…
The pleasure of her presence.
But… his mind kept returning to the first day they'd met. His presence had horrified her, she hadn't screamed for help nor completely submitted to him. She'd even challenged him. The only mortal he'd beheld that day who'd acted with caution rather than rash courage or complete submission.
And he hadn't been able to get her out of his head. He'd wanted to find this lovely little mortal again, show her where her place and the place of all her kind was, at his feet… but she'd only fallen to him at the mention of her family, Not even the power of the Tesseract, the object that brought Agent Clint Barton to his knees before Loki, had swayed her.
That ability alone, one mind he could not tame. One constant challenge that outwardly accepted her circumstances, but was always looking for a way out, some way to get away from him.
He'd found a treasure. Something all his own. Something no one could touch nor take away from him. He'd always have one creature whom he'd have power over.
There were a great many more Midgardians and for his mother's sake, he tried to picture another in her place… he could not. He tried, he forced his mind to think of someone else, but the moment she appeared, the moment he saw another in that dress and not his flower, his mind revolted, bringing his treasure back instantly.
"Do you not think that I did not consider my actions? Did I not say before I could have had any mortal I desired? Yet in the end, I chose you."
He had. Before her capture, he had considered it. He'd tried to put her out of his mind in the possibility of finding another treasure…
But there had been none. He could not think of any. And the thought of her not drinking the potion, not binding herself to him, remaining with the mortals.
The very thought brought an ache to his heart.
Loki paused, mentally attempting to shake off the feeling. Such a violent reaction over a simple thought? A foolish way for one such as himself to view a simple question. He'd simply have no other but his Flower serving him, such was his wish. Collecting himself, he turned back to his mother. "No."
Frigga didn't move. "You'd take none of it back?"
Frigga nodded slowly. "She must be something great to you."
Loki turned away, a small smile on his lips. "You are the second person to insinuate that."
"I insinuated nothing."
Loki blinked, looking back at his mother. Her face was bare, honest even in her looks. "I merely said she must be something of great worth to you. What did you believe I said?"
Loki stared, his mouth open only slightly as his mind began to race. She had… no, she had not. His mind had gone back to what that fool Stark had said before. Why would he think his mother-. He shook his head.
"Nothing," he said. "Thor suggested I viewed her as a treasure as well."
Frigga smiled, always able to see through her son's lies. "And how do you see her?"
Loki met his mother's gaze. "She is my flower."
Frigga's smile faulted a little, but she nodded once again. She walked to her son and kissed him on the cheek, embracing him as he returned it. She turned to leave.
"Can I trust that you will look after her for me?" Loki asked.
Frigga paused, choosing not to look back. "I will look after her for her sake." She said.
Loki managed a smile. "You have my thanks."
He watched his mother leave, the door closing and locking again behind her, the magical barriers doing their work once again. He shook his head, trying to make his mother's words leave him, but they remained strong. She had not insinuated anything… where had that come from?
He was still trying to dismiss it when he summoned his Flower's form again. No longer walking, she was standing in an archer's position, holding her bow carefully as she loaded her arrow…