Heal Your Wounds
It seemed rather irrelevant at first, what with how time is spent on Asgard, and when nearly all of its habitants are immortal, time seems unnecessary in this world. All the mourning, all the feasts, all the daily activities
They all roll into one, for the lack of time, since there's not one that differentiates from the other.
Only once you lost your dearest possession you could feel time wrapping and strangling you, separating you from the rest, leaving you in a dreamy state, where you long for those happy times, calm times, with no worries
At least that's how she felt all over. Once he left, she mourned, just like his brother and mother and father; they all mourned. They all felt his anger, his disappointment, his sadness, his madness, only after he had left, after all the chaos had been brought to Asgard, all the destruction.
Amalthea felt foolish for acting so passively during this time; she felt had she gone and talked to him, and perhaps, maybe, he would have changed. How foolish.
She remembered her last encounter with Loki, with him in the throne room, having taken control after the AllFather fell into sleep. She went up to him, alarmed.
-They say your brother has returned. Frost giants are attacking the palace! Loki, what is happening?- it wasn't helping that screams and crushing noises were heard throughout the hall. The prince got up and gave her a cold stare.
-Do not worry, dear lady. Everything shall be solved. Have faith.- Amalthea got closer to him, grabbing his face with her hands.
-Loki, please, tell me, what is it!? Lately you are troubled, tell me what it is, I might help you.
-Just be calm, lady. Do not worry, I will protect you of any threat around.- he tried to caress her cheek, but she put her hand over; she didn't need any sweet actions now.
-I can protect myself. But I'm worried about you, please tell me!- And then he left.
It was the last time she saw him, because then, what happened, what his brother, Thor, had told her
If only she could have been there, to pull him up, to assure him everything will be alright, that she would be there to help him, that he could stop any wicked deed, that they would talk
All now fell into the sea of what-ifs and could-haves of Amalthea; and it was a deep sea.
As she walked from her bed to her balcony she reminisced another moment; there she was, some time afterwards Thor's return to Asgard and Loki's fall, she sat along with AllFather and the Queen and Thor. She wondered why they requested for her to sit with them and not another member of the house. Why wouldn't, for example, be Sif here?
Odin eyed her, expecting a reaction, but she only clutched her hands over her lap. She whispered faintly:
-So, he was adopted.- She kept looking at her hands. At this moment they seemed more interesting than the conversation at hand.
Frigga put a comforting hand on Ama's shoulder; the girl could feel the Queen's pain: of the loss of a son, the lies, the broken family that was left.
-Yes, he was a Jotun. I found him, when he was but a newborn, after battling Laufey. I never planned on telling him
But he discovered it by himself. Odin gave a sad smile.- Clever boy.
Amalthea rose her head up slightly. She felt her cheeks warm, but that didn't matter for the time being.
-He never told me anything
Yet the last days, I saw him acting very strange: he seemed nervous, anxious, angry, bitter
He wasn't the Loki I loved.
Thor gave a sigh. He suffered the most of all, of course; most of Loki's hate had fallen onto him, the preferred son, the mighty one, the one people looked up to. And Thor had to watch his brother's process of falling deeply into an abyss impossible for him to enter.
And more memories came over Ama as that one finished: memories of long walks under the moonlight, cheerful conversations while lying on the grass, warm nights under silk bed sheets that were roughly grabbed by her hands
It seemed more like a pleasant dream, with a forced end.
And in the last days, not only was Loki gone, but also Thor. She couldn't believe the god to leave to Midgard again, so soon after his latest adventure, but he left, and it seemed that it was definite for him to return in a long time.
Amalthea got up and kept walking in circles over her room. She had more, of course, to do in her life, but on this day she couldn't stop bringing all these thoughts and memories to her. She ruffled her hair and walked fast towards her mirror. She saw herself, with her lilac eyes with bags underneath, and her messy white hair, uncared for. The hair covered the mark on her forehead that demonstrated her half unicorn status.
Amalthea thought, having been blessed with unicorn blood was enough for her to spark attention anywhere, but also being a sorceress at the All Father's palace was adding cream to the top. Yet the Lady was always humble, and never brought up her position in flatulent ways.
Yet, what she saw in Loki, what he saw in her
Maybe it was due to her repetitive talks over magical abilities, or their further investigations over the last unicorns. Or how secretly she enjoyed it whenever he started one of his speeches about how wonderful tricks are, or when he started one of his usual tricks. Or maybe it was of their constant talk, how Amalthea listened to him when he was lonely, how they sat together to discuss the matters of life
And then about feelings, how they worked
To how could love properly function in anyone.
It was a dedicated, sweet, calm love. It had everything
Until that day.
If only she could have listened, if only she could have used her magic to prevent any tragedies
She sighed as her head titled down.
A knock on the door brought her back to the present and out of her dreams and thoughts and she got to see the Lady Sif entering her room. The warrior lady gave a small smile to Ama as she sat in the bed. She carried her sword at her left, as usual. Amalthea didn't mind that at all; yet she wasn't in the mood for anyone to stay in her room and socialize with her, so she asked, though rather dry:
-What are you looking, Sif?- Sif herself widened her eyes; Amalthea normally didn't use that tone of voice while talking to her
while talking to anyone really.
-Forgive me, my lady, but I came here looking for you. I bring you much needed matter.
-It can wait.- The white haired maiden declared while she avoided Sif's stare, following her all through the room.
-No, Amalthea, it can't. All Father has asked us to reunite in the Main Hall. We have guests.- that didn't cause a reaction in Amalthea. But Sif didn't abandon hope; she got up and grabbed Ama's hands, taking her by surprise.
-If it is an important matter, then Molly would have come to tell me. Why isn't she here?
-Because Molly is downstairs, lady Amalthea. You must come, I beg you.- Sif was not one to beg, Ama knew; for Lady Sif's actions weren't for begging. Still
Amalthea thought it better to know what the damn commotion was about.
-Alright, then.- The two women left, and though neither spoke a word through the journey, they got to an understanding about what each will do once on the Hall.
They entered through a small passageway door (to pass unnoticed and not draw attention from the main event), and they saw almost all of Asgard had arrived at the Hall. They seemed pretty interested in something or someone that was standing in the middle of the Hall, though the ladies couldn't see clearly. Sif directed Ama to were the Royal Family and friends stood, also watching. Ama saw that Odin seemed shocked and furious over the matter of the reunion, while Frigga seemed tensed and breathed heavily. Ama spotted Molly, her handmaiden, a curly haired woman, and got near to her. Sif accompanied her.
Molly was taken aback when Ama appeared behind her.
-Oh thank goodness you arrived! I thought you wouldn't come! Thank you so much, Sif.- The lady mentioned gave a smile while Molly directed Ama in front of her. The unicorn lady wasn't pleased.
-Molly, what is it?- Molly only responded dryly:
-See it yourself!- Amalthea directed her eyes towards the crowd, and after moving a bit between the tall Asgardian avoiding her view, she saw and was as surprised as everyone else.
It was Thor! He came back, unbelievably! He seemed to be alright, despite having a rather dirty and unkempt look and a few bruises here and there, but nothing a few healing potions couldn't handle. She could even heal him with the proper spell; unicorns are well known for being healers. He was panting heavily; she could hear his breaths coming in and out. She felt glad that the prince had arrived, safe and sound, over his adventure at Midgard. But that cheerful moment vanished once she saw who was next to Thor. She felt her entire self falling and crushing hard to the floor and she couldn't react, not even mutter a word.
It was Loki.
But he seemed so different from the last time she had seen him: where once there was pride and power, now shined defeat and shame, as his tattered and torn clothes shown. He had injuries just like his brother, but his seemed deeper: she managed to get glimpses of cuts and dried blood on his skin along dark bruises. Finally, to make it worse, he was chained and muzzled, like a savage criminal, a beast unable to tame; he wasn't like the deductive strategist, skilled magician and quiet prince she once knew.
She couldn't react. Was it real, was it possible? He was gone, that she admitted herself after a time of denial and pain, and she went on with her life. Sometimes she imagined the possibility of him being alive and returning, or her leaving Asgard in search for him, but these fantasies of hers usually ended up with a merrier, beautiful ending; not this moment, that was more confusing and shameful than anything.
But he was there. That was him, all broken and beaten. It wasn't a dream, it wasn't an illusion. He was back; to home, to his people, to his family, to her.
Just not how she envisioned it.
She grasped some faint sounds. Voices, more like. After a moment of wondering she listened for a while, and got to the conclusion that somebody was talking. She viewed the scene. Yes, Thor was talking to his father, while Loki was sitting in a fetal position on the floor, hiding his face with his arms. She knew that they were talking about Thor's mission specifically: something about Midgard and about a team, yet she couldn't concentrate. Something didn't allow her. Or maybe she didn't want to know more than that. She just kept staring at the God of Mischief, expecting a move, yet he didn't produce any.
At one moment, he raised his head and gave a general view to the entire Hall and all its inhabitants. She could follow his head, and jumped slightly when their eyes crossed. His green eyes, they were tired, they were in suffering, they were angry, and they could tell so much at the moment. Yet when their eyes met, she gave him a desperate glance, wanting to see if he was the Loki she once knew, if he had returned, if he would never leave. Yet the green eyes kept staring, now a new emotion shown in them: interest. She wondered why he was viewing her like if it was the first time. Now he had amnesia as well?
It was all too soon, as Odin declared a sentence she couldn't fathom and the public quickly left the Hall, walking outside through the main golden doors, with the help of the guardsmen. She looked back, and now the only ones remaining in the room were the Royal Family, friends and household, and the remaining guardsmen. Thor was still in the middle of the room, apparently exhausted. He seemed to have finished running a marathon. Loki was still in the floor; having stopped watching Amalthea he hid his head underneath his arms once more.
Molly turned to see the unicorn dame and pat her on the shoulder:
-Amalthea, you're falling asleep standing. Wake up!- Amalthea reacted too slow to that movement; she only muttered:
-Our princes have returned! Show yourself properly.- she lowered her voice so only Ama could listen.- I know what you're feeling right now, it's hard, but please don't show it in public.
Ama just gave a loud breath, loud enough that everyone heard, and she darted towards the brothers; not knowing nor caring what was she doing, what was happening, only she wanted to be assured again. She didn't want to be in confused pain ever again.
She bended over Loki and roughly seized him while shaking him:
-Why did you return? WHY!? Why are you doing this! Why did you come!?- And she kept raging against, losing her calm posture once and for all. Thor quickly darted to her and separated her from Loki, who had acted passively at her action.
-Calm down, dear Lady! All shall be explained to you, soon! Trust in my words, Amalthea!- Thor tried to explain to her, but all was in vain: as he carried her off she kept trembling over, wanting to be released from his firm grip. She saw Loki lying still in the floor, acting as though nothing had happened. What was he doing!? Now not only he had amnesia, but now he couldn't act on defense!?
She couldn't stop, until she was taken back to her room, where only Molly accompanied her. The others were alarmed at her reaction, expecting her to explode at any moment. Ama felt truly ashamed, very few times had she lost control of herself, and in public of all places! She sat on her bed waiting for Molly's criticism, yet it never came. Instead her handmaiden pat the lady's head.
-It's normal for you to react that way.
Ama stopped thinking and looked up at Molly:
-So I am blameless for my actions?
-No, you know much more than to act so rudely in public like that. I'm just saying that given how much Loki means to you, how you've felt ever since the day he left, it's an expected reaction.
-But the queen, and the king, and everybody
-Lady Frigga isn't mad at you, if that's what you're saying. She's always been fond of you. She understands your feelings at this moment. Even more, she is their mother. Seeing that scene was enough for her, as well.
-And the king?- Molly gave a vague shrug at that:
-I do not speak with Ser Odin. I do not know what goes on in his mind
Yet he didn't seem angered at the moment.
-He hides his emotions well.
-And I think you're just imagining that everyone was repulsed by your reaction. I was taken aback, sure, but it was more due to not expecting that action at that specific moment.
Amalthea couldn't think of a proper reply at the moment, she felt still ashamed and confused and heartbroken over the last minutes. So he came back, as a prisoner, with no apparent explanation?
-Why is he chained like that?
Molly answered after thinking for a whole.
-Thor told me some things, after we left you here alone, before I came
Apparently, Loki caused much mayhem in Midgard, he took away innocent lives, manipulated others' minds, and was about to destroy that world
Until Thor and his comrades from Midgard came over and stopped him. He said Loki is like that for his danger; he has to be restrained.
Ama carried an emotionless expression on her face
So Loki couldn't stop and let his madness go wild
provoke chaos...slaughtering innocents
all because of jealousy, she believed.
Amalthea sat down, and reached for Molly's warm hands. She came to a decision.
need to be alone first. And then I want to see him, by myself.
Molly agreed, and before leaving the room she added:
-Then, I'll see you at dinnertime, my lady.
Amalthea got up and left as well. While Molly went to her own room, Ama headed towards the gardens.
When she arrived, she sighed relieved. The gardens, wide and open and large, much more like a forest than common gardens, were empty, save for few small animals that lived on the trees, but she didn't mind that. She enjoyed their company.
Once there, she walked towards the tallest and biggest of the trees, the golden oak tree, a branch belonging to Yggdrasil, and brushed a hand over it. Its warm presence filled her with so much vital energy she missed, and while concentrating, her mark on the forehead started glowing, in a matter of seconds where the lady stood, stood a white unicorn in her place.
When she said "alone", she meant to be in this form, on the forest. She needed to contact with her unicorn self more often, she felt. And in the calm forest, where no disturbance would occur, here she was at peace. As a unicorn she could think calmly about any disturbance at hand, and not let such weak matters as emotions get in the way of her planning.
The unicorn gazed at her reflection upon the lake near the tree. So Loki was alive
He didn't leave that time on the Bifrost
Yet he went and spread chaos among Midgard, taking innocent lives in the intent of conquering that realm. Yet, she couldn't feel that angered towards him, because the past still beat in her heart
along with sorrow, with pity.
Yet, still, if he was alive, why didn't he return? Why he wander off to different realms, why couldn't he come back? Sure, the AllFather might question him and judge him for his actions, but she would always welcome him with open arms. But Thor would forgive him, yet Loki would never speak to his brother again
If he had stayed, the House of Asgard would still be a broken family
She stood there over thinking all the possibilities and answers, until finally she turned back into a human, rose up, and went towards the prison. It was time, as she saw the sun about to soon set down, dusk was coming.
It wasn't long the journey from the gardens to the prison. The lair was built underneath the palace, and you could arrive after passing down swirly staircases and dark passageways. Still, gold was incrusted in the marble pillars holding the ceiling. At least a bit of luxury was permitted down here.
The entrance to the prison cells was guarded by two men holding silver spears the size of an alligator. They shake their heads at Amalthea:
-Forgive me, my lady, but you cannot enter here. It is dangerous.
Amalthea didn't have time for their words of caution:
-I came here to inspect the prisoner who once was one of the princes. It is my duty; I am obligated to be here. I cannot return upstairs empty-handed. - The other one lowered his head:
-Then, pass, and do as you must.- They let her in, and she nodded thankful for their change of mind.
Almost all of the cells were empty, so it wasn't hard to imagine where they kept him. She went to the end of the passage and turned to her left. There it was. She knew, her unicorn instinct might have helped her.
She got closer to the cell. On the other side of glass case see-through cell, there he was. He had been disposed of his armor and regal clothes, instead given a simple one piece for the stay at the prison. Yet she saw his injuries hadn't been cured, and were slowly infecting, and he was still chained and gagged. Did he eat at all this time wearing the muzzle? He would sooner die of dehydration if nobody gave him a drink.
There it was. Soon she was about to know all the answers to her painful questions and doubts; with just one simple action. She gave a small sigh, and muttered:
-Loki, it's me, Ama.- her voice sounded calm and soft, almost like a ballad, so lovely, it seemed as her old self had come back, her present confused and depressed self was hiding at the moment.
Her words didn't react him at first (as she sadly expected), but after a while he raised his head and looked at her intensely. Now, in that glance, she didn't see a ragged inactive doll, seeing her for the first time, as he was in the Hall; no, she was seeing Loki the trickster, the Liar, the mischievous, the sorcerer, the man overshadowed by his brother, a man thirsty for power, and finally she saw her Loki in those eyes. She smiled internally, as a small emotion was slowly creeping its way up to her and choking her in her throat.
With a small spell, she opened and entered the cell, closed it (she wanted it to be intimate between them), conjured up a glass of fresh cool water, and lay down, near Loki, who was in a position that one takes while sleeping. He looked anxiously at the water, and attempted to grab it. She stopped him:
-No, I will give you. Just lay your head on my lap.- he obeyed, and she tapped over his muzzle. What a horrible instrument; only vulgar beings should wear it, not the prince of Asgard. With a wave of her hand, he was free, and swallowed air while his dry tongue passed through his cracked lips. He coughed:
-It is quite irksome to bear. Hopefully I won't get to use it again, now?
-Maybe, maybe not. Now, be quiet. You need to drink this.- He sighed and slightly left his mouth open, enough for the water to pass. Ama didn't hesitate as she spilled the glass carefully, avoiding for the water to drop in anywhere else except his lips. Once finished, he gave her a weak smile:
-Thank you. I have longed for the sweet taste of fresh water upon me.- She laid a finger over his lips and shushed him:
-Don't speak, you're tired. Just let me help you
I will heal you, your wounds are slowly getting infected.- He nodded absentmindedly, not caring what would happen next. Ama then directed her hands towards her birth mark and concentrated for a while. Out of the mark and into the hands came a white cream that smelled fresh, like a morning drew, and was so soft at touch. Ama sobbed her hands between them with the cream and then starting massaging Loki where he had been hurt, in all of his injuries after removing his clothes left. She held her breath at the sight of his back: too many cuts, too many bruises, too much blood everywhere. Still, she held her head high, and passed her creamed hands over the wounded parts; he winced in pain, and began shaking. Yet Ama didn't stop until she finished rubbing all of his back and then passed over to his chest that was still filled with more wounds. Once she actually rubbed all of his body, she said:
-There. You can dress now. It'll take time, but this cream will disinfect the wounds and heal them quicker.- Loki gave a smirk:
-It's one of your unicorn tricks.- Ama lowered her gaze:
-Yes, you were always fond of them.-
-I still am
-he paused- Would you
please?- he raised his hands showing the chains. Ama understood perfectly what he was trying to say.
-No, I freed you from the horrible muzzle because you were in need of drink. But your wrists can hold a little more.- Loki seemed disappointed, but then he gave a relaxed smile as he laid his head softly down on her lap.
She was confused. A moment ago he didn't seem to recognize her, and now he was acting like he was on a holiday? She softly commented:
-I don't know why you are acting.
-I am myself; I don't need to act around you.-
She closed her eyes and whispered faintly. No, please, don't do that, not to me. You can do it to others, but not to me. You know how much I ache at this.
-You didn't seem to recognize me back at the Hall. Why was it?
-Honestly, I didn't expect such a steamed reaction from you. Frankly...-
-Please. Have you forgotten about me? Something has happened to you in Midgard. No need to lie, I know: Molly told me.-
-Molly wasn't in Midgard.- Loki grunted. He seemed annoyed that the woman would know about his doings.
-Your brother told her.- At that he seemed very angry, without a doubt.
-Oh, of course, my ideal, perfect, worthy brother had to go and tell everyone.
-Loki, you attacked an innocent race just because of your jealousy. Why do you think you made good?
-It was good, at first
Then it went out of hand, and I was trapped in it
I couldn't get out.- she stroke his hair, dark as ebony, soft under her snow white fingers.
Ama gave him a sad glance:
-Why didn't you come back first? We all missed you terribly. I was broken, believing the worst. Why did you cause all that mess?
-I had a purpose. At first, it was a reasonable one
Subject Midgard to him, and then I get my rightful throne. The throne that belonged to me, but Thor took it away, as always. He always takes away everything I own.
Ama didn't know who was "him", didn't care about Loki's desperate need for the throne, but she interrupted at the last part:
-Not always. Ama gently smiled. He didn't take me.
Loki seemed surprised at her comment, and she sadly frowned:
-Why are you reacting like that? Don't you remember, Loki? We were together. We loved each other, so much
What happened in Midgard for you to forget about us?
-No, I do remember, it's just that
I thought you had stopped caring for me.
Every day I wished for you to return, for you to be alive and safe, for us to be like we are right now, forever
You only had to come, I missed you.
-But Father would
-You have committed serious crimes; that is right, but we can talk it. I was always ready with open arms for your welcome. And yet you came back
On the most hurtful way.- She was confessing her heart to him, she knew it, and yet she wasn't scared; only talking would these horrible feelings get away. She kept stroking his hair while silent tears came sliding down her cheeks.
He passed a hand gently over a few strands of loose hair she had on her front, and said:
-You know you still hold my heart to this day. When in Midgard, I hoped against all that you would be safe.- she didn't react. He muttered:- I love you
I still do.
-Then why did you leave and cause so much harm? If you loved me, you could have come back, assure me you were alright
-But it wasn't so easy, you know that. Besides, how can you still love me? That's weak.- he frowned and clenched his fists.
-You just said you love me, and yet your reaction is hateful. Why do I still love you? Perhaps I still hold myself to the past; to remember those times we sat under the trees, when we talked, when you touched me in the middle of the night
I hate you for your actions, yet I also feel pity
And I still love you.
-Surely Father told you what I am. Or do you want to know yourself? Loki was getting angrier by each comment he said, at that she raised her head high. No, he wasn't going to mistreat her with his comments, she wouldn't allow it.
-You're not the only one who is out of place. Or have you forgotten what I am, as well? I do not care which species you are. You're still my beautiful one, no matter what.
Loki now started caressing her wet cheeks, and she didn't mind how cold his hand felt; it was a good contrast against her warm body. She had longed for this moment a long time ago, imagining what would happen, how it would lead to, how it endured, when it finished, if it finished. If only they weren't in a prison, if only he hadn't committed so much atrocities, if only there weren't so many walls between them
She lowered her head towards his, and both heads contacted in harmony. She whispered:
-Show me your true form, then. He avoided her glance, but anyway, as he used his magic to transform, and now a blue skinned, red eyed Loki was staring back at her. She gasped. He did resemble the Jotuns, he was one, and she remembered the day in which she saw him slaying Frost Giants at Jotunheim
Killing his own species, without knowing
And then she was reminded of how the unicorns were gone
She felt tears in her eyes
She smiled and held his head with her hands.
-It is perfection.- With that, she planted her lips on his cold cheeks and kissed them furiously, attempting to eat his whole face with her lips, until she found his. Their lips instantly locked; cold against bright warmth. She felt them cold, colder than usual, but it was so good, she had forgotten how much pleasure she felt while kissing him. And now she would taste him again, he wouldn't run this time, he wouldn't leave her broken again, that night he was hers, all hers, and nobody would tell her otherwise.
They parted at the moment. Ama felt annoyed at this interruption, but she stopped thinking that once she saw his expression. He seemed to have enjoyed the kiss, but he was searching right now for something else. And he was:
-Show me your true form as well.
Ama took a step back, yet she didn't mind the request. She answered:
-As you wish.- With that, she began concentrating. It wasn't a difficult task, but she never liked transforming in another one's presence, she felt it was something very personal. But then she thought that Loki was the one that she could share her privacies with, since by transforming, he showed her something very personal (and hated for him) of his. She owned him in that regard.
Soon, the unicorn was standing in the cell, her body covered in a glow. Loki got near to her with slow, uneasy steps, apparently afraid that Amalthea would attack him. But she simply kissed his cold arm that was close to her face.
It was an odd combination, the two of them, but only at that moment they felt more united than before. They felt stranded, among strangers, their real homes far away from them. Just then they realized how similar they were, yet still different. That point, of them being among strangers, was their union, their link
Maybe also why they bonded over all these years? No, Amalthea shuddered; we've got so much more than this. Our friendship, our unity
Neither of them said a word while he pat her silver white mane. They stared at each other for a while
Loki then gave a smile; one similar to the old ones that she loved, that promised mischief would come.
-This is beautiful, my sweet.- They both laid at the hard floor, not caring about anything else, both of them were together, that was all that mattered, no more lies, no more goodbyes, no more chaos. Just them, and time could pass on between them, but they didn't care.