So this just came to me this morning and I couldn't not write it.
A/N- I know the Bastet is Egyptian and Pagen Folklaw, which is why I only based this creature on it- I tried to find a similar Norse creature but could not, so made it a sort of myth even to Asgardians.
Spelling mistakes my own and I sadly don't own Thor or Loki. :(
The memory had always plagued Thor with fear. Every time he remembered it, he thought of how close he had come to losing Loki, the brother he held so close. Each night he would see the still form of his brother as Odin's men worked to revive him, he could hear the cries of his mother, and would even picture the single tear rolling down Odin's cheek- though he would never let his father know he had seen this unnatural motion. Now? Now it all made sense. At the time he had been too young to think about what had happened, but since the events and what Odin had told him, he knew exactly what he had seen all those years ago. Unlike before, he could not get the memory out of his head now and laid awake at night knowing that he had seen Loki's true form at the age of 13.
'Thor. I am asking you, not as your Queen but as your Mother, to take Loki with you. You know he has been a little upset recently and I do not want him staying in his room for a day longer.'
'But Mother...he came out of his room yesterday.'
'Do not moan at me. And yes, he did, but only to hide away in the library. Your father found him asleep in there late last night. So please, my darling boy. Take him with you.' Frigga placed her hand on Thor's cheek, which he snuggled into, and looked at him with pleading eyes.
'Ok. I promise I shall look after him.'
'NO! I shall not go. I do not want to go.' Loki had not taken it well to say the least when Frigga had entered with Thor.
'Now now. I will not have you hiding away in here for any longer.'
'I do not want to go with Thor's stupid friends. I hate them and they hate me. They will just bully me and say horrible things.' Thor noticed tears welling up in Loki's eyes. He felt slightly guilty because he knew that what was coming from Loki's mouth was very much true. But he was a small child, and he was not going to let his brother get him or his friends into trouble.
'They do not. You LIAR. Loki the liar.' He moved forward a little but stopped dead at the look his mother was giving him. 'I'm sorry. But he lies all the time so that is what we call him.'
'Even the silliest of names can hurt a person's feelings Thor. Please don't ever call him that again. And Loki. If you do not go with your brother, I shall only allow you 1 book a week.' Thor knew how much Frigga hated bribing the two boys, but when it was these extreme situations, she always knew how to get to them. With Loki, it was lowering the amount of books he was allowed to read; Including being restricted from the library.
Loki rolled his eyes but lowered his shoulders in resignation. 'Ok. Where are we going?'
'Just to the edge of the forest. Where the clearing is. We plan on having a snowball fight. It is not everyday we get snow like this.' He was so excited. In his short 13 year lifetime, he had only ever seen snow twice. Though Asgard got seasons just like that on Midgard, they rarely hit temperatures low enough to snow.
'Fine. I shall be with you shortly, I need to find my snow clothes.' But Thor was already out of the room, running to find his own thicker coat, hat and extra garments.
'Why is he here?' A collective groan and mumble left the group as Loki walked up beside Thor.
'Fandral, he is here because he is my brother and should be included in our adventures more.'
'Your Mother made you bring him did she not?' Sif was the smart one of the group.
'Yes.' Thor's shoulders slumped once again as the Warriors 3 (their chosen team name) and Sif laughed. 'You have no idea how scary she is. I did not want him to come either but I had to.'
Sif nodded in Loki's direction and Thor turned to see his brother walking off, head down, feet dragging. He ran over to him and turned him round. His own back was facing the group so he knew they would not be able to hear or see what he was saying.
'You know I am only saying that so they do not laugh at me. Of course I want you here.'
'And you call me the liar. I know how much mother probably had to persuade you to accept. I can see it in your eyes and the way you are standing. Your whole body has slumped, your eyes do not hold that wondrous blue look they usually do and you look as though mother has been arguing with you for a long time, you even cried for a short while judging by the red bags under your eyes.'
He had to hand it to Loki, he was a very clever and complex 10 year old. 'I did at first, but after a while I realised how much fun it would be. Besides, my friends need to get to know you.'
'Still lying. And they do not want to know me, they mock my black hair and how small I am. I even heard Hogun say that he did not think me your brother once, do you know how that makes me feel? I do love you, and I am grateful for what you do. But you are a completely different person around them.'
'Then I shall try my best to be the brother you know me as. The one who holds you at night to fight off the nightmares, the one who keeps you company when you are ill, and the one who gets into trouble for you and takes the blame so you do not get your books taken from you.' He smiled and hugged Loki lightly. 'Please. Come and play with us.'
At that Loki bent down- as if to tie his shoelace- but grabbed a handful of snow instead. Throwing it at Thor, the pair laughed and the entire group ran off towards the clearing to begin their much anticipated snowball fight. Thor, Loki and Sif versus the warriors 3; forts and all.
Thor had lost track of how long they had been playing. They had decided to take a short while to build their forts and prepare for battle before the attacks. Loki had educated them on how to build a strong fort that would last much longer than their opposition, and they had done just that. Now, they were completely thrashing the Warriors 3, who had lost their own defense by the end of the first round, and there did not seem any end in sight. Loki was laughing, Sif was celebrating with him and even the Warriors 3 were shouting fun gestures to him. It was like he was one of them and always had been.
He ran over to Loki and squeezed him so tight he could practically hear the breath leave his brother. Thor was even more surprised that Loki did not give him the usual 'put me down you oaf.' This was a fine day indeed.
A roar sounded from behind them, from the treeline of the forest they were not allowed to enter. Whatever it was did not show itself, but Thor was certain he saw shadows looming just past the light. The Warriors 3 and Sif gathered around Thor and Loki in a protective stance-this group would one day make a fine team. For good measure, they pulled back to behind the standing fort and hid, hoping whatever creature had dared come this close to the citadel would turn and leave. It did not, instead it padded it's way towards them, whiskered nose sniffing the air.
Thor had only ever seen the creature in books, but he knew this was one terror which haunted Loki's dreams nightly. It was known as a Bastet in popular Midgardian culture, but was far older than any of Midgards inhabitants could comprehend. They themselves had no name for it, for it had only ever been seen once, and that was by an old mentally unstable soldier. Not one drawing was said to be correct and many in Asgard believed it an old myth to scare young children from entering the woods. It was like a giant black panther, with paws the size of a Jotuns head. It's tail was said to sweep anything out of the way, just like a cyclone, and its roar could send even a giant flying back off their feet. The beast was huge, nearly the size of a Biggelsnipe, but it could not be heard and would pad so gently that not even Heimdall could hear it.
Thor chanced a look over the fort and was met by the bright violet eyes glistening out of the shadowed forest. Its pupils were black and he knew, as with any form of cat, that it was about to pounce. As calmly as he could, he turned to his friends. 'I do not with to alarm everyone but I believe it to be the giant Bast.' They all drew in a breath. 'And I feel it is our only chance to run now, she is getting ready to pounce.'
'It will not follow us as far as the citadel, surely?' Even Sif was questioning herself. She was trying to be confident but Thor could see the fear in her eyes.
'I do not know. So I say, on the count of 3, we run for the town.I think we can make it.' He had wanted to say he knew they could make it, but his trepidation had caused him to falter and he stumbled over his words. Grabbing Loki's shaking hand, he began counting on his fingers.
They bounded off in the direction of the town, leaving the forest behind them. Thor did not wish to look behind him, but did not have to when he heard the thunderous crashes of the cat as it chased after them; they were only quiet when they had to be. Out of nowhere, the cat leapt over their heads and landed firmly in front of the group. Without a second's hesitation, they changed course and began heading off towards the cliffs, with any luck there would be some friendly creature who would help fend the beast off- numerous cave dwellers would throw logs and rocks at enemies should Odin ask it of them. Never once did he let go of Loki.
Once again, the creature ran in front of their path, and they were forced too close to the cliffs edge. Looking ahead, he saw they would soon come to a lake, cats hated water did they not?
'Thor?' Volstagg shouted over his shoulder.
'Yes my friend. I was thinking the same.'
'What?' Loki's voice was strained and tired next to him, and the fear had clearly panicked him, as he would usually have figured out what had just taken place between the two older boys.
'The lake is frozen over. It will be able to hold our weight but not the beasts, and if we break it as we go along, it should take it under.'
'But won't we go under too?'
'No. I shall make sure of it.' Giving Loki's hand a slight squeeze, he quickened his pace, making straight for the lake.
It was a good job their boots had a firm grip on them, for sliding would have made this task much harder. The beast had fallen behind after ending up on its side numerous times, but had now realised that sticking its claws in the ice held it firmly in place. Thor knew their lead would not last long and they would have to start breaking the ice soon.
Standing in a line, each held a stick or log they had found by the lakeside and began hitting the frozen lake. They could hear it cracking and took several paces backwards whilst still attacking their only hope of escape. When they felt it was weak enough, they once again took off and ran towards the other side- Thor now hoped the cat was not clever enough to turn back, run around the lake, and meet them on the embankment. He and Loki trailed behind for the younger boy had begun to tire and breath heavily; granted, they were all out of breath, but Loki's much smaller stature played against his fitness levels.
He could hear the ice breaking as the creature bounded after them once more, it was getting louder, and with each break, a new wave of hope surged through him. Water was already beginning to lie on top of the lake from where it had flown through the new cracks and he knew the cat would not last much longer.
The feeling of defeat and success did not last long. One final crack and the first half of the lake they had just destroyed collapsed, taking the huge beast with it and... Loki!
'NO!' Thor lost grip of his brother and saw his small form follow the cat under the water. The creature was far too heavy and was swallowed up instantly, but his brother was just capable of keeping himself afloat. However, he was tired, weak and had little training in swimming, and so the pull of the water quickly grabbed him. Thor knew how cold the water must have been and could see Loki's breathing shortening, his lips turning blue and he began to go under.
Thor began taking off his clothes, knowing he was not going to let his brother drown in this freezing coffin. A hand fell on his shoulder- Sif.
'You cannot do this.'
'I have to. I promised my mother I would keep him safe. He is my brother, whether I had made that promise or not, I have to do this.'
From the corner of his eye, he saw a group of guards leaping from horses and running towards the children. Behind them, he saw his Mother and Father also rushing to the scene. He stood frozen, caught half way between removing his coat and gloves.
'Thor.' Frigga reached him first, took him in her arms and held him.
'We were nearly across. I do not know what happened. He was right beside me Mother.'
Beside him, a guard jumped into the lake and began swimming down into the depths, neither his nor Loki's form could be seen now, they had gone down too far, into the dark recesses of the water. His friends were telling Odin what had happened, how the great cat-like beast was real and had chased them from the woods. They recalled how they broke the ice, taking down the beast, and that Loki should not have gone down at all.
'It is no-ones fault my boy, no-ones.' Odin turned from Thor to his friends, making sure they all knew this could not have been stopped. He placed his hand firmly on the back of Hogun and gestured to a number of guards to take them away. Thor saw they were wrapped in blankets and told to wait by the horses, he half wished he could join them.
'By the nines, NO.' It was Frigga. Thor looked up to see her utterly shocked and openly crying. Turning to see what had caused such a reaction, he watched as two guards lifted the lifeless, blue form of his brother from the water. His whole body was limp, both arms and head fell back, making him look like a doll Sif had once carried round as a young girl. His black hair was plastered against his head and fell over much of his face. One guard laid a blanket on the ice, while another placed Loki on top of it. They stripped him of his clothes and wrapped countless furs around him. Thor had looked away when they did this, he did not want to see if the blue covered his entire body. Frigga broke away from him and ran to hold her boy tightly, she rubbed her hands over him and moved the wet hair from his face.
'Oh my gods, he is not breathing. NO...Loki! Please come back to me.' Odin pulled her away, and she buried her face in his large chest.
Thor just stood there, caught between his grieving parents and the dead body of his brother. He looked down as the palace guards worked to revive him, pressing firmly on his chest, trying to force air back into his lungs. He could hear his mother crying and turned slightly to see one single tear roll down his father's cheek. Odin had never cried in front of anyone, not even his children or wife, and it finally hit Thor how grave the situation was. If his Father showed emotion, it was the worst thing that could possibly take place.
Falling to his knees, Thor did not take his eyes off his brother. The blue was terrifying, reminding him of the images he had seen of Jotun. It covered the skin that Thor could see. He had heard stories of people who had frozen to death and their bodies had been found completely blue, but never could he imagine it. Now he knew it would haunt him for the rest of his life. The guards looked up at Odin and shook their heads, when they got whatever confirmation they needed, they left his brothers side and walked off towards the horses and Thor's friends.
'NO. NO. NOOOO!' Thor flung himself at a guard, hitting him, but to no affect. 'You cannot give up. I will not let you. I am the son of Odin and I command you to continue.'
When the guard continued to walk away, he instead ran to his brothers side. 'Loki. Do not leave me. Please. I love you. You are my brother and I would not have it any other way. This day has been the best and it warmed my heart to see you with my friends. Please. Come back.'
He had lost the one thing that meant more to him than anything.
'ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HH.' He screamed with such rage that his hands came crashing down on the chest of his brother. He began hitting him, full of anger and devastation.
One small cough.
Loki's entire body began to shudder as he coughed up lung fulls of water. Thor turned him onto his side so he would not choke and watched as his eyes fluttered open.
'Loki?' He grabbed his brother and brought the blankets tighter as he hugged him for dear life. Behind him, he heard the gasp of his mother and the footsteps of his parents as they came racing towards the two Odinson's.
'My boy. My beautiful precious boy.' Frigga cupped Loki's cheeks and looked into his emerald green eyes. 'And you. Thor. You fantastic, special angel.' She hugged the both of them and showed no intention of letting go. It was not until he felt the warmth of Odin that Thor realised this family was much closer than the rest of Asgard perceived.
After breaking the embrace, Odin lifted Loki- who was now asleep and beginning to turn to his normal colour. They walked towards the horses and mounted the royal carriage. In the short time it took them to return to the palace, both Thor and Loki were curled up together, wrapped in blankets, fast asleep.
The next time Thor woke up, it was to his brother, now his natural colour and soundly asleep next to him. Though his chest rattled slightly, no-one would have known the boy had been dead just hours before.
The blue form of his brother still haunted his memories, and he knew he would never let Loki go again.
Loki was Jotun. The blue was not the temperature of the lake- well rather it was, but it was bringing out his true form rather than from freezing him to death. Their whole lives had been a lie. Hogun had been right all those years ago, Loki was not Thor's true brother; he was a frost giant.
He cried fresh tears at the memory, how it now made sense, and how Loki's eyes had had a red tint to them when he woke up.
But most of all, he cried at how he had said he would never let Loki go again, and how he promised himself he would never lose him.
It was nearly one moon cycle since he had watched Loki fall from the Bifrost.