oOo

Odin sits on his bed, as he thinks of the pain he has already caused Loki. The Rhythm of secrets he plagued the poor boy. Not only that but he had torn what little bond they had left, and it was tearing him apart bit by bit, knowing that the boy he raised would soon be no more.

Not a single word had been heard from Loki and it had been gutting the Kings mind since.

The news from the Council wasn't enough, they claimed that soon, the kingdom would be safe and Loki would no longer harm them but their words just couldn't be taken.

They lie.

The Queen sat by the King, holding his old frail hand as she hummed in defeat. Losing all hope that her son would ever come back to her, her tears have dried up and her heart had gone cold. She and the King mourn for the loss of their son, yet again.

Be it not by death, but by loss.

Not only have they lost one but they will soon lose another if this continued. Loki had been lost once and now, he was lost yet again, but this time it was Thor who will soon fall prey to the bitter defeat and pain.

Thor's heart aches for his brother and he has lost all will to fight for Asgard and for anybody else, all his heart craves is the safety of his brother, Loki.

To have him be free.

To see him.

To touch him and cradle his brother in his arms.

He wished to shed tears for his brother, but his heart had turned into stone. He could no longer feel any other emotion for his hope was slowly withering away and dying. The sheer thought of his brother would cause him to break, the mere mention of Loki's name would result in anger and the insult anybody would make would result in chaos.

None had dared to come near Thor, for they all fear what he might do.

The council had used this opportunity to say that the son of Odin is not suitable to rule if Odin were to die, for he is unstable at the moment with the thoughts of Loki clouding his mind.

Odin did not find this acceptable, nor did anyone else within the palace walls.

They knew that Thor loves Loki to the point that he would do anything for him but Thor had a strong mind, he will not subject to such an act of violence all for his brother's sake. Thor knew his limits and the conditions surrounding Loki's punishment.

He wouldn't abuse it so idly.

This brings us back to his parents, Odin and Frigga. They are at lost for words and ideas, they have scoured every book in the library and spoke to many of their trusted friends but no idea had been shed any light.

Each moment that passes, turns them to a corner.

The council would threaten such a peace but they would not stand so idly with this threat of power looming within the palace walls. Odin would do, in all his might, the very thing that none would dare do.

In this moment, he would fight, if not for Asgard, then for his family.

"Odin." Frigga's soft voice murmured to Odin's ears. "What are we to do?"

Odin sighs softly, gently putting a hand to Frigga's light touch and giving her the softest and calmest smile he could give. With his brow knotting and his wrinkles creasing, he lowered his head as a bow of respect and silence, which Frigga understood.

She waited for him to speak, for she knew well that her husband was thinking. They were at a point where they were already desperate for a miracle to happen.

This wasn't something that the Norns would easily correct.

"I have something-" Odin whispers.

"What is it my dear?" Frigga says quickly as her hands tighten around Odin's hand.

"It is a chance to overrule the council." Odin lowers his voice even more.

"W-what? Truly you mean that Odin. We may have a chance to throw them off of their advantage towards us, surely you jest, my dear?"

"Walls have ears, my queen, trust me that I may fix this, but we must need to unite this family first. I hope that you would trust me enough for this plan to settle out. This may be our only hope to return what was lost to us and in hopes that we may free ourselves from this cage the council had put on us."

"And Loki?" She cries. "What of him?"

"He will come back to us soon, we must reach out to Thor first."

"But we have put it off for so long."

"I know."

He comforts her as he held her hand tightly, rubbing his finger against her skin, Frigga's tears slowly dropped to her cheeks as Odin wipes it away.

"A year and a half Odin!" She begs. "Please tell me this plan would work."

"I have hope still." He says. "First we need to let Thor know."

"Let me speak to my son." Frigga bows her head. "I know not what it is you plan on doing, but I will alert him of it regardless."

"Perhaps it is best." Odin nods. "I suspect the Warriors four have already told Thor of it, or at least have tried but in order for this to work, it is best if we all stand together as one."

"Then we will follow, for you are King."

Whatever their plan would be, they would all follow, for Odin is their King and they would stand by their King. And in order for them to remain as a whole, they must continue to fight for what they have and not let other trample on their way.

The Norns would not help them, the realms would not stand for them and their people would not fight for it. There is always fear lingering and it is best if they stop whatever madness this has caused them to separate.

Frigga stands, letting go of Odin's hand as she walks, elegant as always and away from him.

Odin stares as she leaves their chamber, he had high hopes that he would be able to restore what little they have left in this family.

Odin grabs gungnir and slams it on the ground, it echoes within the room and the guards have entered.

He stands and he walks, head held high as he would call a meeting within the throne room.

No longer will they wait for this to play out.

This is a Forbidden game that they would not willingly entertain.

It is time to battle fire with fire.


oOo

Loki lay on the ground, his lips dried and his whole body ached. The guards had taken off the cuffs and left him on the floor to rot, Loki was lost. His stare was off the place and his body physically trembling, his body was cold, bruised and battered and he no longer had the will to fight anymore.

For once, Loki had managed to remember what had transpired days ago.

He had lost it.

But he still had that little hope that things would soon return to the way they were even if it was a far fetched dream in his eyes. The thoughts leave Loki's mind for a second as he chuckled, his throat aching with thirst but he keeps on laughing and his eyes unfocused.

"Liar." He thinks.

Not-Thor had lied to him, he had spoken that he would not return but when he had appeared again, playing with his hair, Loki was silently thankful that he came back.

If Thor had not been there, he would have been nothing without him.

Unresponsive.

Crazy.

Delusional.

Which he already was, but he dared not think of it for he knew he was normal. That was something everyone in the world fears, and it was denial.

There were stages of this insanity that Loki was going through and Loki was way past it, he was the definition of insanity already.

He may not be aware of it, but the truth was in front of his eyes all along, he just couldn't see it.

"I see you are still you." Thor says, as he sat next to Loki, playing with his hair and pretending to braid it, which Loki thought was comforting. His eyes closing to try and feel Thor's warmth but it wasn't there. It was never there in the first place and Loki wondered why.

Thor was always warm.

His hugs were warm.

And for once, Loki wanted to be hugged by his brother. He didn't care how childish it was or how foolish it may be, he wanted one simple thing and soon, if Thor would allow it, he wanted that warmth.

Loki reached out for Thor, but he moves away.

Loki coughs.

"You're thirsty." Thor says and Loki nods tiredly. "Get it yourself."

"You do it." Loki urges.

"I cannot get it for you, weakling." He snorts and points. "You go get it yourself, stand up and crawl if you must, warriors would do anything to get their greedy hands on what they want."

"I'd rather not." Loki's voice croaks, his throat half healed from the boiling water.

"Why? Because you fear they may return?"

"The g-guards don't bother me, the slightest."

Loki lifted himself up with his elbows and leans on the wall heavily breathing while Thor shuffles next to him and sits by his side.

Loki smiles at this, no matter how many insults he still doesn't care for this Thor always stayed by his side, threatening to leave him and proving his sanity gone, then unable to resist coming back days later.

He then thinks and realizes that there was no water and he couldn't get it, not until the guard comes and gives him some. Only then will he be able to drink. They have refused to give him water for fun before and they had done so again, this time Loki waited patiently and in hopes that they would soon give him the water he deserves.

Loki licks his lips in anxiety, pretending to taste the water on his lips again.

Being depraved of everything he needed.

Everything he wanted.

And everything he hoped for.

"Then what do you fear?" Thor asks so suddenly but Loki refused to answer. "Fine be that way."

He was unsure of what he wanted to say to him, so he leaves it to the silence.

Thor snorts and stands up as one of the guards stopped in front of the bars, holding a bowl of water. Loki eyes this hungrily as he blinked his eyes, trying to stand up to get it. The guard was grinning at Loki struggling to stand and in annoyance and fun, the guard threw the water on the floor, causing Loki to shout.

"No!" He said, tears threatening his eyes. "Why w-would you-"

"Good luck."

The guard laughs and walks away, Loki walks forward and kneels, touching the water with his fingers and bringing it to his dried lips.

"When I get out of here-" Loki mumbled.

"You were too slow." Thor insulted. "You're useless and you know that. Why do you think they're keeping you alive here? I wonder."

Loki blinked the tears away as he felt Thor creep behind him. Loki was momentarily paralyzed as he felt the coldness surround him. He knelt still like a rock, his eyes forcing to shut but wouldn't for fear that he may never see anything ever again.

"It was not my fault." Loki trembled to say. "H-he threw it, I would have been able to get it if not-"

"Excuses Loki." Thor crept to touch Loki's shoulder with his ghostly touch.

"I swear it w-wasn't-"

"What does your heart see, brother?" Thor whispers.

"Nothing but lies." Loki mumbles not wanting to say it, but it slipped out.

Loki covered his lips as soon as he blurted it out, he trembled again, thinking of the worse that Thor might do to him. So far, Thor had done nothing to hurt him, just hurt him with words but now, Loki wasn't sure anymore as he feared for the outcome of this day.

"You fear, you suffer, you hurt."

"S-stop."

"You feel Pain. Death is close but she would not accept. No love from anyone." Thor continued. "No care from anyone. Just Loneliness. No Acceptance."

"Why are you being so cruel, brother?" Loki slips with his words unconsciously.

"But Loki, you need to see the truth."

"S-stop this, brother." Loki begged.

"Oh Loki, have I hurt you so? I care not. You know I never cared."

"Why are you being so cruel to me now of all days, brother?"

"I'm not your brother." Thor hisses.

"B-but-"

"You said so yourself Loki. Not to call you that and yet you accept it so greatly as if it were comfort to your ears. You crave being called that. You love ever moment of its whisper. Yes?"

"No."

He couldn't admit it.

Admitting it would bring defeat.

As if he wasn't already defeat, he shook his head.

Loki cowered to his corner, he was still thirsty and it was being a pain to think. His actions were irrational and rash, he was drowning in self-pity and remorse. He was at lost and his mind shutting down. He stared at nothing while Thor laughed at the side.

"Your heart belongs to me, Loki." He chuckles. "You are nothing without me."

"I am-" Loki hugs himself tighter. "I'm n-"

"Say it Loki."

"I'm no-"

"Forget it." Thor shrugs. "You are pathetic."

Before Loki could say something, he felt cold water thrown at him and he was drenched from head to toe. Loki shook off the water from his arms and stared at the bars, wondering who did this, momentarily forgetting his thirst.

He saw two guards laughing, one holding an empty bucket of water while the other was slapping his thighs in amusement.

Loki frowns.

"Time for you bath!" The guard joked. "You missed the water before so I took the liberty of giving you some more. Be thankful that I have such a kind heart for a monster like you."

Loki spit some of the water that got into his mouth.

"Such a filthy animal you are." The other laughs. "Stop talking to yourself, it's annoying."

"Aye." Agrees the first. "Half the year we have endured your constant self-talk."

"And you are annoyed by that?" Loki hisses.

"He speaks!" The guard sarcastically said.

"Wait till the others hear of this." Laughed the other. "It will be a revelation."

Loki glares at them while Thor laughs at the side, clearly amused by the jokes the two guards were making. Of course, at Loki's expense, who understood what Thor had meant, he needed to fight back and prove to them that he wasn't to be pushed so easily, so he does what simply popped into his head.

His lucid mind thinks as he says.

"You're doing this in front of my brother." Loki says. "Pay your respects."

"You're the one who should pay respect traitor!" The guard shouts, clearly offended. "The son of Odin is not even here. You are delusional to think so. They have not visited you in over a year and a half."

"I wonder how long he thinks he has been here?" The other asked.

"I don't know." He shrugs. "Here, I think he needs to wake up."

The guard took another cold bucket of water and threw it at Loki, who coughed some water that got into his mouth. He glares at the guards who laughed as they walked away, talking about how they would tell this story to their other friends.

"Is that really the best you can do?" Thor shakes his head.

"What would you have preferred I do?"

Thor shrugs.

"You could have said something far more intelligent than that."

"They should have stopped." Loki twisted his the rag up his mouth to drink the water that fell from it, content that he had at least managed to intake some.

"For what?" Thor raised his eyebrows. "For your petty insults?"

"No, because you are here."

"And so what if I am here?"

"You're a prince." Loki says. "They should have payed respects to you."

Thor shakes his head and so this proves that Loki has truly lost his sanity. To think that Thor is real, to think that all would have been made well with his presence. It was absurd but at the same time, heart-wrenching and painful. For a man such as Loki, reduced to a man with nothing.

Thor looks at Loki's begging eyes.

Comfort.

That was what his eyes were asking.

Thor, as a figment of Loki's imagination, does nothing to help the situation. He may laugh, he may insult, he may do things, but he isn't real. There were no emotions, there were no activities.

It was all in Loki's head.

The fears that Loki would think that Thor might do, ends up in Not- Thor. Every hurtful thing, every snide comment Loki's ever made, ever painful memory...

It's all trapped within this Not-Thor.

And Not-Thor is using this to his advantage.

For Loki's sanity.

"What did they mean that it had been a year and a half?" Loki asks almost innocently.

"Be silent." Thor says. "Sleep it off."

Loki disregarded the question all too quickly. His body shook because of the coldness of the water, it doesn't help with his aching body either but it had also been disregarded.

Loki squeezes himself in the corner to get some sort of warmth and it did little to help. He closes his eyes, peeking a little to see if Thor would stay or not but again, Thor disappears.

"He will be back." Loki thinks.


oOo

Frigga has spoken to Thor and little did it help the situation because Thor had physically rebelled with the new confirmation of this knowledge. Thor, Frigga and the warriors four sat around the table within the dinning area of the palace and the tension in the air was thick.

It had been days since Odin had said he had a plan yet no word from the king.

Odin had traveled upon the realms using dark energy to fulfill whatever plan he was making. It didn't help the situation because Thor was completely anxious and annoyed that his father wouldn't allow them to get in with the secret.

The warriors four have desperately been trying to cheer the god of thunder but their efforts were in vain. Thor would yell at them and slump in defeat. Frigga would often try to comfort her son in hopes that he would understand the severity of what Odin was doing for all of them. In the end, Thor understood but it had been weeks that had passed.

"I cannot sit here so idly." Thor yelled as he tore through a piece of meat.

"Please, your father will return soon." Frigga comforted.

"It has been weeks, mother! Close to another month or so!"

"Do not lose hope with the All-father." Sif says softly.

"Aye." Fandral agrees. "The All-father did send a letter coming from Alfheim."

"Indeed!" Volstagg piped. "The letter spoke of his coming arrival soon."

"He had given a letter before that from Nornheim." Hogun spoke grimly.

"From what I understood from these letters-" Frigga started. "I believe your Father is planning to gather the heads of the realms to witness the power and strength that he possess, whether it is political or not, he would not have the council rule over us."

"See, Thor." Sif says. "We mustn't lose hope!"

"Things will return to the way it should be." Fandral smiles sadly.

"We are behind you as always Thor." Volstagg raises his glad, as does the others.

"We have rights." Thor says. "I know that, but Father is taking too long. I cannot just sit here knowing that my brother will need more than ever."

"Please, Thor." Frigga whispers, fearing someone would hear.

"The council should have never gotten involved!" Thor slammed his hand on the table.

"We need to wait a little longer."

"For how long?"

"I don't-"

"Loki has been waiting for us, he hasn't seen or heard from us yet nor have we from him. For how long does Loki have to wait for this punishment to end? Will we wait until he is dead?!"

"Do not speak like that in front of me, Thor!" Frigga shouts, as tears fell to her cheeks.

The dinning area suddenly goes quiet, the warriors four all bow their heads in defeat, not wanting to get into their family feud. The maids within the area all silently cower in fear, as they also don't want to get into the feud.

"M-mother-"

"Do you not know how a mother feels when her child is lost to her?" She says. "I have lost my son once and I will not lose him again and neither will I lose you! Both of you mean the world to me and it breaks my heart to sit here so idly while they torture him so."

"I meant no disrespect mother. It is just that-"

"I know you miss Loki as much as I do, but we must have fate in your father that he will make this mistake right again. Do you understand that?"

Thor nods.

"It is not too late." Frigga whispers as she addresses it to all who were in the room.

"But I fear it is." Thor's words escapes his lips, his heart aching.

"Thor." Frigga says sternly.

"He might as well be dead by nightfall."


oOo

Loki was slowly drowning, he just couldn't accept it. No, he wouldn't accept it. He shouldn't be depraved like this. Days, weeks, he couldn't remember anymore. He couldn't think, he couldn't speak, he couldn't even breath properly.

"Why? Why? Why?!"

He thought that he would come back, back no, he didn't.

"Come back, please!"

That's what he feared the most, being left alone in the most dire of situations. He had begged, shouted and screamed his name that the guards would gag him and tie him up before he hurt himself. He kicked, screamed with the gag but no, he never came back.

"Why won't you come back?"

Loki pulled at his hair in frustration as he cowered in the corner, Thor's name threatening its way out of his lips.

"You said you'd return? Why haven't you returned?"

Why did Thor leave?

Loki kept asking the same questions all over again.

"Please come back. I c-can't-"

It had been so long that Thor had appeared but now, no voice, no appearance, no nothing. He cradled himself to sleep without Thor, he cried himself to sleep without Thor and even tried to engage a conversation with himself but it only drove him insane.

"Not without you." Loki shook his head, eyes shut tight as the tears fell.

"Why did you leave me?" He hears himself ask.

Was it because this is who Loki became? Because Loki couldn't stand up for himself and all that Thor had said, he disregarded and shoved aside.

That's what Loki feared and he just couldn't accept it.

"Wasn't I good enough for you?"

Loki lay on the cold damp floor, whispering and muttering. He clawed at the floor, marking Thor's name, wishing he'd come back until his nails bled.

Maybe if he hurt himself enough, he'd come back and laugh at him.

"What did I do to push you away?"

He wasn't good enough for anyone and he thinks that maybe he wasn't good enough for Thor. He wasn't sane enough to be able to think and make a decision for himself.

He was confused and lost, irritable, insane and weak.

"What did I do wrong?"

That's just it.

He didn't know.

Loki cried and cried until he had no more tears left. "Thor, please, I will be good. Whatever it is that you wish of me. I will be good. I would harm no one, I will follow whatever rule there is, just come back. Why would you not answer? Why are you so cruel?"

He couldn't remember things anymore, his mind was jumbled and so were his memories. He was trying to piece things together, where he was from and who he was with but it was all a blur.

"Illusions. V-vague de-descriptions. An-naly-lysis." He whispered. "T-Thor? W-who's? W-Why did? I don't-"

He cradled his head as the tears couldn't stop falling.

He couldn't remember anymore.

"Till we meet again."He could almost hear Thor say.

Why is it that he couldn't live without his brother?

Why?

Because Thor was a place of safety. He felt safe, he felt useful, needed and loved. Thor's voice was like a Siren's song within the silence. Loki needed someone to desperately talk to and Thor was there, through thick and thin, he was there but now...

He wasn't.

And Loki couldn't handle it.

"Go away! SHUT UP!"

He muttered more, whispered more, shouted and screamed, rebelled, scratched, pulled and bit. Everything Loki could do to kill some of the pain, to drown the pain away, he would do. The voices screamed in his head, the horrible sentences they worded, the memories they pulled out.

"LEAVE ME ALONE!"

He was desperate for something to happen.

The vows of silence that he was willing to take all for the sake of Thor coming back into his life. Thor was his last thread to the insanity wrapped around him and now that the thread was cut, he wasn't himself anymore. Rocking himself on the floor, staring emptily, like his soul was ripped from him so suddenly. He became unresponsive to the

Equal love.

Where was the equality now?

There was no love, it was one sided.

Time is a river and it is ever flowing and is eternal and pure. This felt like a darker dream, waiting to be waked upon the nightmare and breathe calmly when awoken, but sadly this was the reality of it. He had his moments of madness but this time, the madness was circling around him.

He would be dead by nightfall.

Loki laughed.


oOo

Loki lay there on the ground, eyes staring straight at the bars. His hair a mess, it stuck to the sides, draping over his eyes and the rag that he used to warm himself was wrapped around himself tightly.

He felt warm, his whole body was warm.

A fever, perhaps?

He just couldn't move anymore, even lifting his arms were hard. His head ached in all sides and he just wanted to lay there and die. The new torture that the guards came up with was whenever he slept, they would throw water at him to prevent him from sleeping.

They had deprived him of this for days now and Loki was tired.

The fever was so high that his body had given up. He was paler than before, he was about ready to cough his whole lungs off if he hadn't been so dire to survive. The guards didn't care about him and Loki didn't care either, all he wanted was to die in peace.

If they would allow him that.

Not-Thor still hasn't come back and Loki was close to not caring too.

He had given up hope that anyone would come.

He had completely forgotten Thor.

He was past the point of blaming himself when Not-Thor left. He was at the point where he'd just push anyone away for even trying to come close to his heart. He had shielded anything and everything that he would care about. He just closed off, he didn't want to try, he didn't want to think.

He just wanted it all to end.


oOo

Thankfully, the end was near, or a new beginning.

Odin had come back with more than they bargained for, with him were the highest powers within the realms. He had with his side the King of Alfheim, King Freyr. Queen Karnilla, the Norn Queen. Even with him was the Queen of death, Hela, from Helheim which was the lowest of all the realms. Svartalfheim, Vanaheim leaders were also there and Odin had even managed to strike a deal with Jotunheim's next King, Helblindi. Everyone within the kingdom was gathered around the palace of Asgard in the throne room, everyone was watching intently.

The people of Asgard were questioning how in Valhalla did Odin managed to gather the power-fullest leaders of the nine realms in one realm.

They feared to question it any further when they gazed upon the serious look of the All-father when he slammed gungnir on the ground.

The council of Asgard stood on the other end, all of them with their head held high with power and confidence, while on the other side, the most powerful leaders stood just as tall. With each, resembling their own home world.

Odin's family stood behind him. Frigga held Thor's hand, and his son Thor, who was anxious resisted the urge to speak ill, for this was their only chance to get Loki back. The Warriors four stood closely, lest a battle began, they were there to defend the rightful king of Asgard.

Now, the meeting has begun, everyone was nervous.

Everyone in Asgard was silent, knowing that this wasn't just some sort of meeting, for it was to be the greatest meetings of all time. For All the nine realm leaders were there, despite their actions to try and kill each other, they were dignified and united in a way that none know of.

Power was something.

None of the leaders wanted to be controlled by their own council and by someway through the All-fathers words, he had managed to convince these leaders to testify and give their own on why the All-father should remain as a leader.

Many have explained that the council were only there to give advice but they cannot out-rule the king.

Some have said that the council should mind their own business for they don't know how to rule a kingdom, no matter how good it may sound that a realm would diminish because of their poor rule, no one wanted an easy take on a realm.

It would only mean taking something useless and it wasn't in honor, it would be a shameful take. A cowards way for an easy win and none liked it. They would rather have a glorious battle than have an easy take on a poorly ruled world.

Many have also decreed that the council was to be taken off their position for ill suggestions and threats upon the king and his family which was greatly addressed upon by King Freyr, who in all means, knows what he's talking about when it comes to families.

Despite all of these testifies, it will only lead to a decision.

The fight was great and the feud was equal.

Though their many problems rose when Loki's name was mentioned, an uproar of people began to shout their pleas, and have their voices be heard by all the leaders present that day.

Odin slammed gungnir on the ground, silencing everyone.

"Loki, the trickster, killed my Father!" Helblindi spoke. "I may agree upon you being the King, All-father, but I will not stand here so idly knowing that your son has killed my father!"

"I know that and I send my deepest-"

"Apologize as much as you want but we Jotuns would never accept it." He venomously spoke, as everyone listened. "Your sons waged war upon our realm and I would not let it happen again."

"Isn't power all that we crave?" Karnilla voiced. "We are bordering on personal matters here."

"Indeed we are." Freyr spoke.

"Be not worried." Hela smiled. "Your loved ones are kept safe in my realm, if you wish to see them, which I rather you not, you are more than welcome."

"That is enough." Odin slams gungnir again.

The people of Asgard had spoken, some have threatened and some voiced the truth that the All-father was biased because Loki was his son and he would give up protecting the realm for him. The All-father denied some and accepted some of those words as well. He spoke the truth of what he had wanted but never had he said that Loki wasn't his son. Truth be told that only the family and the warrior four know the truth about Loki's parentage. None other do, therefore, this would have been an easy win for them.

Sadly, the squabble became more and more aggressive for the mentioned of lands, crops and people's needs were also added. Straying them far from the problem itself.

"I speak before you all!" Thor shouted, silencing the squabble.

"What have you to say son of Odin?" Karnilla raised an eyebrow.

"You who waged war upon our realm." Helblindi growled.

"I am not here to fight and neither are all of you." Thor stepped forward, pushing his mother away from him gently. "I speak that you hear me out for I will only say this once, so that it may end this fruitless argument."

"Speak dear boy." Odin says thankfully. "Make me proud."

"We have all wandered far from why were are truly here. The All-father had gathered you all to testify that he is worthy to rule Asgard and we have all established that as true. Does anyone but the council oppose to that decision, you may speak so you may be heard."

None spoke, so Thor continued.

"Then it is true that my Father is worthy to rule this realm and that none but the council squander lavishly at the power to overthrow my father. You speak of your personal matters at another time, when you have all decided to once again unite, for now I ask this of you to put your differences aside and make a decision."

Everyone listened to Thor's powerful speech.

"You may take seconds, minutes, hours, months or even years to settle your personal matters with each other but I would not have it here within this day. I have a brother who is locked up for the crimes he did not fully commit to. Yes, Loki may be mischievous in ways that would create chaos but he is my brother. His emotions had gotten the better of him and have we not experienced that ourselves within our lifetime?"

Some of the people whispered to each other agreeing.

Odin smiles, how his son has grown.

Frigga giggles, tears falling down.

The Warriors Three, cheer silently as Sif wipes her own tears.

"Loki means the world to me, and I cannot sit here so idly while he is trapped in the deepest darkest prison of Asgard. The All-father may not have said this but what pushed Loki to the edge to do treason was because of the emotional state he was in, which we all agreed upon, that we have all experienced. This was not the end to this emotional turmoil for when all Asgard mourned for my brother, that very year my brother had been tortured by the one known as the mad Titan!"

Whispers embarked within the palace.

"We had all thought that the Titan was lost!" Karnilla shouted.

"He has been trying to court death since and till now, you speak truth." Hela says. "He roams the realms, searching and giving."

"The conqueror of all realms." Freyr growls. "We cannot let that happen."

"If he were to devour our realms to offer death, we would not squabble here knowing that he comes."

Helblindi narrows his crimson eyes.

"Enough!"

Thor shouts as thunder roared around the skies of the palace.

"The mad Titan may be out there but I say that is it not the time that we settle our differences for one chance that we may all save ourselves from death. The mad Titan means to conquer realms and will not stop until he has pleased death. Do you not understand what this means? My brother, Loki, had fallen at the hands of this Titan and yet my brother is alive."

"What are you trying to say?" One of the council spoke.

"I am trying to say that, is not Loki brave to stand up to this mad Titan. He had survived his awful torture and almost to the brink of insanity. Had it been any of us, we would have been dead by now. My brother had no choice but to give in therefore, his attack on Midgard was because of the Titan himself. My brother had only followed orders. The gate keeper Heimdall can speak this as truth!"

Heimdall nodded at the side as Thor continued.

"He had heard glimpses of the truth from the Titan's mouth that he had tortured my brother so. Asking to reveal Asgard's secrets but my brother had never given in, he led them to Midgard in hopes that Heimdall would see, for Loki was shrouded from Heimdall's gaze."

"And your point thunder god?" The council man said.

"What I am trying to say is that, my brother is innocent! He has spent about a year almost bordering on two years by now in prison! I know not what the council has done, but all for the sake of proving the safety of Asgard, my brother had to endure this punishment without even being held a trial."

"No matter how much a person is a criminal, there must always be a trial." Freyr speaks. "One must be given a chance to speak and defend themselves."

"The council hadn't given my brother a chance."

"That is absurd!" Karnilla said. "A trial is a trial no matter how foolish the crime could be."

"Even in Jotunheim." Helblindi stars. "You may call us a cruel realm, but we have standards and rules that we also abide by. Trials are often held to have the criminal speak thy words to defend themselves. We know that it is not right to condemn oneself for what they did without proof."

"Wise words from all of you." Odin says. "It is true that there was no trial that was held. As I was blind to agree thinking that this was for the safety of Asgard and it is a cruel thought and action that was done."

"To condemn even your own kin." Helblindi strikes at him with words.

"It is our matter." Odin says. "We were wrong, that we know."

"May I speak?" Hela said.

Odin nods and everyone, the people, the leaders, the council and the family listened.

"For the good of all, I say that I have been seeing dear Loki in my realm far too many times than I could count. Glimpses as one may call it."

"No!" Frigga shouts. "Please tell me it is not true."

"Queen Frigga." Hela continues. "Before I had heard of Loki's attack on Midgard, I have been seeing glimpses of him before, injured, and for me to see someone in my realm, they would have been close to death. Or to the point of death already. Had he been to Hel longer, I would have taken him, but even with the glimpses he would disappear. This proves true to the thunder gods words that he might have been tortured."

"You have no proof!" The councils began to yell.

"You have no right to say that!" Thor shouted as thunder roared the skies again.

"He committed an act of treason!"

"He endangered all of Asgard!"

"The Mad Titan comes for us because of him!"

"If you had let my brother speak, then this would not have happened!" Thor shouts. "My brother is innocent and you have put him in a situation where he could not speak for himself. You have twisted my Fathers ruling and words and you by all the laws of Asgard, betrayed and lied upon manipulating the people around us. It is you who should be condemned to prison"

"By standards, death be suited." Helblindi grinned viciously.

"YES!" Karnilla screamed. "Such a high spirited council you have Odin. I would praise you but that would only insult you further."

"Death is far too merciful." Freyr speaks.

Odin nodded and motioned for the guards to arrest the council and they will decree a befitting punishment. Death was far too merciful. Hela eyed the All-father, and Odin understood what will soon transpire and so he nods. Hela grins.

Odin places a hand on Thor's shoulder.

"I will take it from here." Odin said.

Sif and the warriors three ran to Thor and applauded him.

"You did well Thor!"

"Splendid job!"

"An amazing speech!"

"Worthy to be a king!"

"I believe we have settled this meeting." Odin slams gungnir. "May all personal matters be dealt with another time. For now, I thank you all for being here to help shed light on the subject."

He takes a deep breath.

"For now, we all prepare for the worst to come. I pray you all have a safe trip and be warned and warn all that the Mad Titan roams the realms still. We settle this another time. I thank you all for your words and actions will forever be remembered within these halls!"

"This bout isn't over All-father, know that the Jotuns watch." Helblindi growls as Odin raises gungnir, the Jotun disappears in a bright light, sending him back to Jotunheim.

Freyr bows to the king, with his men they all part their ways, hoping to prepare.

The same goes to Karnilla and the rest of the leaders who know their way around the realms.

Soon, the matter was dealt with and the people of Asgard have returned to their homes.

The last of the leaders to return was Hela as she offered her hand to the All-father.

Frigga, Thor and the warrior four watch as Odin motions the guards to hand over the council to Hela. She smiles as she takes the chained Councils with her, she offers a small bow.

"I thank you for the gift." She grins. "They will have a special place in Hel."

She said as she disappears.

Odin strode to Thor and hugged him tightly followed by a crying Frigga, praising her son that he did well with his speech.

The warriors four cheered him for a job well done.

Thor after so long finally smiled but then the thought of Loki appeared in his mind, his brother, begging for help and he couldn't help but turn to run.

"Loki!"


oOo

Loki was leaning on the wall, his fever and condition getting worse. He had been hearing many voices calling out to him, but still no sight of a hallucination. He tapped his fingers on his knees and hummed a familiar song that he couldn't remember where he got it from.

He kept hearing voices.

Screams and shouts, cheering, thunder roaring through the skies and gusting wind that he could only feel as a breeze in the prison.

He wasn't sure where they were coming from but he didn't care anymore.

Loki laughed as he took the rag, wrapped it over himself, covering his face. His hair damped across his eyes as Loki played with his fingers, still humming the song.

"LOKKI!" He hears.

Loki stops drumming his fingers as he tilts his head, letting the rag fall from his face to his shoulders. He eyes the halls as he sees shadows, Loki giggles as he plays with the rag, wrapping it around his eyes again, pretending not to hear anything.

"Loki!" He hears it nearer, closer. "Brother please! Are you well?"

Loki drops the rag and turns to look at very familiar faces crowding at the bars. Thor, Odin, Frigga and the warriors four have gathered within the outside of the prison cell and Loki didn't know how to respond to it.

He ignores them, humming the same song again and again.

Odin turns to Frigga and the others. "I fear we are too late." He says, but Frigga shakes her head, trying to stop the tears from falling.

Thor was visibly crying and the warriors four were desperately trying not to be emotional.

"Brother, please look at me." Thor opens the bars and walks forward.

Loki turns again to look, scrunching his eyes and rubbing at them like a child. He mutters and everyone turns to each other, shrugging, not hearing what he had said. Loki continued to turn away from them, hiding to his corner.

"What have they done to you?" Thor whispers and turns. "Mother, please-"

"Loki, my darling." Frigga steps forward, she happily wiped the tear of her eyes. "Look at how thin you've gotten. We'll fix that soon when we get out of here."

"W-who?" Loki's eyes spelled fear. "I don't-"

"It is me your mother, Loki."

"I have no mother." Loki tilts his head and said in a singsong way.

"N-no?" Frigga shockingly breathed.

"No. I'm alone."

"But I am here my dear. I am your mother. I have come to see you. And you are not alone. We are all here to free you."

"She left a long time ago." Loki glares, hoping to get his point. "She's gone. Just like everyone else. Everyone left. Left me alone. Long time ago. I've grown past caring where they are now. I don't care. Leave me alone."

"No, Loki I am here." Frigga reaches out and Loki lashes. "Please, my son, I-"

"STAY AWAY FROM ME!" He shouts. "You're not her! You're not her!"

Thor pulls Frigga away and pushes her back behind the bars safe and sound. Odin hugs his wife as she cries in his arms. What has happened to make Loki so? Loki couldn't recognized them and Thor was so sure that if Odin would come near Loki, that the same result would happen.

They all turn to see Loki humming inside the cell, ignoring them all.

"Why doesn't he recognize us Odin?" Frigga whispers.

"I fear that this prison may have affected him too much." Odin says. "It has brought him to insanity."

"We should at least try to get through him." Thor breathes, wiping his tears and trying to act strong.

"I cannot see him suffer anymore."

For now, they have all agreed upon letting Thor get near Loki. The rest stayed outside, their hopes strong that Loki would return to them, but now, they only see a deprived man. A desperate, tortured soul trapped in a prison.

And it was painful to watch.

"Loki." Thor said softly. "It is me, Thor."

Loki snapped his attention to Thor.

"Thor?" He asked curiously.

"Yes, brother. It is me. I am here to take you home."

"I don't have a home." Loki said bitterly. "This is my home. It has always been my home."

"A prison is no home."

"Then why was I left here?"

Thor's heart was breaking, slowly it was shattering. This was Loki, or what was left of Loki. He wasn't even sure how he would approach his brother anymore. He was so afraid that a single touch would cause Loki to break, and that he feared that Loki may truly be lost with his mind.

"Please Loki. Come home." Thor cries. "I am Thor, your brother."

"Thor left me." Loki whispers, covering his ears and shutting his eye. "You're not Thor."

"I am Thor."

"No. No. Thor hates me. He insults me. He watches me get hurt. He laughs at me." Loki says quickly and happily.

"I would not do those things, Loki."

"Thor sees me as a worthless nothing. You're not Thor, you're not him! He left me and he will never come back. You're not him!"

"Loki, I have always been here trying to reach out to you and I will never leave you again."

"Liar. Yes you will." Loki says, digging his fingers on the ground. "You left me before, you would leave again. You watched me get hurt. You told me things."

"Please, stop this brother."

Thor cries and kneels in front of Loki, touching a lock of hair that stuck to his brothers face. He could feel the heat of his brothers skin.

A fever, Thor suspects.

"You said I wasn't your brother." Loki looks into his eyes. "You didn't come back. Why would you change?"

"I am here now and I will never leave you again."

He caresses Loki's cheeks gently, hoping to not scare him off. It was working and Loki was calm, he had eyed the hand, closing one eye when the finger brushed near it, Loki looks again at Thor's eyes.

"You're so warm." Loki says and tries to touch Thor.

"Aye."

"Warm. Not cold."

"I am so sorry for leaving you like this Loki."

Thor couldn't help but hug Loki, whose eyes widened in shock at the hug. He could feel Thor's warmth surrounding his body and it was such a heavy feeling. Loki's eyes were tearing up and his lips quivered as the tears fell from Loki's eyes, he hugged his brother back.

"I am so sorry. Please forgive me for leaving you Loki. I'm sorry."

"You left me." Loki trembled as he dug his face into Thor's chest.

"Y-you're n-not real."

"I'm real Loki. As real as I will ever be." He says.

"No. No. No. N-not real. Thor hates me."

"I don't have the heart to insult you nor to hurt you or say any of the things you said. You are my brother and I will forever love you."

"L-liar." Loki cried and sniffed. "You lie."

Loki struggles to push Thor away with his weak limbs, only managing to pull them away within inches. Loki rubs at his eyes to stop the tears from falling. He had though that the tears have dried up and that none were left. He had also thought that his heart would stop caring...

What was this feeling?

What was this warm feeling?

What was the heaviness filling inside him?

"T-the t-tears-" Loki cries. "W-why won't they stop?"

"Please Loki."

"T-they w-won't stop. Why won't they stop?" Loki said in panic still crying.

By then, Frigga had gotten closer, kneeling to Loki and bringing her gentle hands to Loki's and tries to stop him from scratching at his eyes. Loki eyes Frigga with fear, only to be gently hugged by the woman that Loki couldn't seem to remember.

"My dear boy." Frigga sniffs.

"W-who are you?" Loki sobs, trembling at her touch.

"I'm your mother."

"I d-don't ha-have one." He sobbed until he felt her warm touch. "M-mo..."

Frigga doesn't stop the hug when Loki gave up struggling, trying to think of who she was in his life. She stroked his hair gently as he continued to cry in her arms. Loki gave up, dropping his head on her shoulder, crying and sobbing.

She just couldn't let him go and soon Odin had strode forward, to touch Loki.

Loki flinched.

"N-no..." Loki cowers to the corner, three of them were surrounding him. "STAY AWAY! YOU'RE NOT REAL!"

"Loki please." Frigga whispers. "We are only here to keep you safe. Take you away from here."

"L-leave me alone. You're n-not r-real. All of you. Just no more. N-no more."

"Brother please stop." Thor's heart ached. "Stop this Loki."

"Every one of you left me!" Loki shouted, crying. "You all left me in here. None of you care. You plan to use me. You used me. I'm worthless. I'm nothing. I mean nothing to you."

Odin drops to his feet, the warriors four shocked at where they stand. Odin pulls at Loki, who was also shocked to see him. The hug was tense and Loki squints his eyes, he cried and cried until he could no longer feel his eyes. The mere touch of Odin set his emotions on fire, he just couldn't stop.

When Odin and Frigga tried to explain what happened, Loki had weakly leaned over to Thor. Thor stroked Loki's hair until the younger one fell asleep, they were barely able to get half the story done. Frigga wiped the tears from her eyes.

This was so emotional.

It would take time, for Loki to get used to them again and they were so sure that if Loki woke up to a new surrounding that he would freak out but at least he will be in good hands. They would take care of him, they would give him the love that he deserves.

After all the saying is true.

You don't know what you have until you lose it all.

Thor carried Loki gently and as far away from the prison as possible.

"I will never leave you again Loki. I'm sorry."

For once in Loki's time in prison, while he was being carried by Thor, he felt the warmth and satisfaction. His face soft and young again like all the worries had gone. Unconsciously, he feels the safety that surrounded this people and for once, Loki would return to who he was before.

They would make sure of it.

"B-brother..." Loki mumbles, stirring awake. "T-thor?"

"I am here Loki." Thor smiles, tears still visible. "I am here."

"Y-you wouldn't l-leave? Y-you will be here w-when I wake?"

"I will stay here with you."

"P-promise?" Loki says as his eyes fall back asleep.

"I promise."


oOo

The Sequel is called...

"What the Heart sees"

Please check it out if you have time. :D

So, please review and tell me what you think.