Chapter 25: Father
The first few days of having to share my mind were difficult. Loki and I tried to keep to ourselves as much as we can, but the more we thought about keeping our thoughts to ourselves, the more we ended up thinking and not being able to.
And then there was another problem: Loki and I were unused to being so connected, feeling our own feelings and each other’s. It was overwhelming, always feeling Loki’s presence. And that was when we were away from each other. Being in the same room was harder.
It had happened a day after we stayed up all night figuring out what happened. We met in the library, as per usual, to practice magic. As I walked into the room, I could feel myself getting closer to Loki. It was like there was a tracker in my head, telling me if I was getting hotter or colder. I was maybe halfway across the room from him when I couldn’t get any closer. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to. My mind became so overwhelmed that I had to sit down on the floor. Loki ended up doing the same. Blood was roaring in my ears and I became dizzy.
It turns out that because we were so unused to being this close mentally and aware of it, when we got close physically, it sent our minds and emotions into overdrive. We ended up sitting there, not moving. Just staring at each other, trying to get a sense of things. It wasn’t easy.
But after a few days we started to adjust, and I didn’t notice Loki in my mind as much. It did take a little longer to not overwhelm ourselves by being in the same room, but we had to make an appearance together, or the Allfather would notice something.
We had kept our binding a secret. Loki doubted the Allfather would be able to sort out our souls again, and even if he could, I knew Loki didn’t want to face his father with another problem. I knew Loki didn’t want to feel like he had disappointed his father again.
Besides, Loki and I were adults; we could handle this on our own.
“Concentrate.” Loki said, silently pacing around me as I struggled to attempt creating an illusion of myself. I had improved in magic rapidly, due to the fact that Loki could show my mind what to do, instead of leaving me guessing.
I had been at it for days: trying to duplicate myself entirely. The first few times I duplicated myself, only my face or half my body showed up. It wasn’t very painful, but it was freaky.
I felt a shift in the air, which apparently signified something magical was happening around me. I kept my eye closed and tried to keep up my concentration, despite the fact that my head hurt. ‘Open your eyes.’ Loki whispered into my mind, cool and collected. I obeyed, coming face to face with a duplicate of my head, face, torso and lower body. My arms were missing.
I gasped, shaking my head, dispelling the illusion. Loki chuckled, amused. “Are you ever not going to be alarmed when you see another of yourself?”
I shook my head again, in response and to clear my mind. “I do not think so.” Loki and I tried to equally use our voices and our minds to communicate. People had already caught us in public just staring at each other, lost in space. It was something we had to adjust to seem normal.
“You’re getting better.” Loki grabbed my hands and drew me to him slowly. He planted a kiss on my lips. ‘Much better.’ I took a few deep breaths, before returning the kiss. It was still a bit overwhelming to have our minds connected while we were being intimate like this. Loki seemed to master more control than I did, but as I raised my hands to his chest, I could feel his heart fluttering.
He pulled away, his face serious. But I could see the desire and emotion in his eyes, growing with every moment. I kissed his jaw and he ran a hand through my hair, putting his hand at the back on my neck, pulling me in again. I could feel the love he felt for me running through our connection, and becoming dizzy with love and desire for Loki. But there was something else too. Something I couldn’t make out, that Loki didn’t seem to realize was there. I went to access it, whatever this thing was, when a throat cleared.
We broke apart. Loki kept a hand on my waist as we turned to see Thor standing in the doorway, grinning. "Shall I come back later?” He asked, smirking. Loki smirked back, more annoyed than amused.
“Your timing is impeccable, brother.”
Thor leaned against the door. “I have come to fetch the Lady.” He smiled at me. I smiled back happily. Thor and I were friends, and since the whole binding thing, I hadn’t seen much of him, or anyone else for that matter. Loki looked at me suspiciously. ‘Have you gotten yourself in trouble?’
‘No.’ I think back, becoming concerned. Had the Allfather noticed something off about us?
Thor laughed. “Do not look so alarmed, both of you.” He walked into the room, his arms out, pulling us both into a big, bone crushing hug. “I believe I bring good tidings.” Thor then led me away from Loki, pulling my arm. “Come now, I would like some wine before supper.”
I looked back at Loki, who shrugged. ‘I will be with you the entire time.’ I nodded. I knew Loki would be watching whatever went down. I didn’t think I would be in danger, or that Thor would be happy if it was something serious, like me being in trouble. But it was reassuring to know that whatever it was, Loki would be there with me.
Thor led me down into the outer palace, chatting about his coronation coming up and how excited and nervous he was. I knew that Thor was being crowned king in a few short weeks. The event was going to be announced to the public at a feast, which would be held in a week.
We were almost the outside of the palace, where the grand steps were, leading up to the palace. And that was when I saw him: the man standing at the bottom of the steps with short golden hair and a clean shaven face. He wore a dark blue tunic and black leather pants. At first I didn’t recognise who I was staring at. The man smiled, his blue eyes twinkling, crinkling around the edges. And that’s when I knew him. Thor chuckled, along with the man, but I didn’t care. Cut me some slack, it had been thirteen years since I had seen that smile.
I hurried down the steps, careful not to trip on my dress, into my father’s open arms. “Daddy.” I felt my dad chuckle again, picking me up and spinning me around, like I was a little girl again.
“It has been too long, my child.” His patient voice said to me, holding me. We rocked back and forth a bit, and I was glad to see my father. It really had been too long.
“I shall take my leave.” Thor smiled, nodding graciously to my father, before leaving us.
My father sighed. “We have much to speak of.” He smiled, offering me his arm. I grinned and took it, as he led me into the golden palace and to the feasting hall. We didn’t say anything, and it was a little awkward. We sat down at a table next to each other, and I realized my father hadn’t aged a day. Or at least he didn’t look it. I knew my mother was getting grey hairs, and her eyes were getting laugh lines. But Tyr still looked like he had the day he left us. “When did you arrive to Asgard?” He asked, pouring two cups of wine.
“A little over a year ago.” I swirled the wine in my cup, before taking a sip. He nodded. “The Allfather found out who you were and sent a message to inform you. I expected you a little sooner.” I said to him, slightly joking, though I did want to know what had kept him.
He ran a hand through his hair. “Yes, I have been traveling much. I received the Allfather’s message not long ago, and left as soon as I could to see you.”
I nodded, unsure what to say. I wasn’t going to give him a hard time, since he was my father, and because he was an ambassador. But I felt like his story was missing something. I didn’t have time to question it though. Questions were being thrown my way. “How are you adjusting?”
“I’ve adjusted well. I have friends, I am learning magic, and I have earned my rank.” I was proud to tell my father I had accomplished things here. When I first got here, tons of people doubted I would ever accomplish anything here. We talked for a while, my dad asking questions about magic, training, my friends. It was nice to catch up with my dad and spend time with him.
I didn’t realize how much time had passed until I saw Sif and the Warriors three out of the corner of my eye, walking into the hall. I waved to them, before turning back to my father, who was scrutinizing them. “My friends, the Warriors Three and the Lady Sif.”
My father nodded, smiling. “Are you friends with Prince Thor as well? He accompanied you personally.”
I nodded. “I am. He is a good friend.”
My father leaned in. “Just a friend?” He grinned
I tried not to roll my eyes at his question. “Yes. Just a friend. But while we’re on that topic…” I bit my lip. I had never had to do this: tell my dad I was seeing someone. I opened my mouth to tell him, when I suddenly felt the familiar warmth behind me. I chuckled to myself. It was getting more used to being bound, that I could go hours without thinking about it. I could think of it when I pleased.
“I believe I have dropped in at the right time.” Loki’s musical voice was behind me. I smiled as my father stood up to greet Loki.
“Prince Loki.” My father bowed to Loki, who then made a dismissal gesture, motioning him to stand up straight.
“Please. I am the one who has come to beg forgiveness from you.”
“Forgiveness?” My father was confused.
Loki smiled warmly, and looked my way. My heart picked up at the warm feelings I felt coming from him, and I knew his had too, from the warm feelings I sent him. “For courting your daughter without permission.” He held out his hand. “But, I am told it is never too late to ask. Would you, Tyr Fetson, give me the honor to continue courting your daughter?”
My father took his hand, and shook it. “You have my permission.” He then turned to me. “I must go meet with the Allfather. I will speak with you soon.” I got up and hugged him. I had missed my dad. Then he warned Loki to look after me before departing.
Loki sighed beside me. “Well, that went well. Have you enjoyed your time with him?”
I nodded eagerly. “I missed him. I missed having a father.” My mom had done a great job raising me. But there were some things only a dad could do for you, like meeting your first boyfriend. There was some kind of ritual I felt like I was going to miss if Loki didn’t officially meet my dad. “Thank you for doing that.”
“Doing what?” Loki sat down at the table my dad and I had been at, and pulled some food forward.
“Officially asking my father permission to court me. I appreciate it.”
“Your father’s approval is that important to you?” Loki asked.
“Yes and no. I’ve done plenty in my life without having his approval. But this was something I had wanted to do; have him meet the man I love.” My heart was complete. I had Loki, I had my friends, and now I had my father, as well as my mother. I was exactly where I wanted to be.
‘Exactly?’ Loki looked at me. His face was cool and composed, but his mind felt entirely different. ‘You would not change a thing?’
‘What is there to change?’ I couldn’t think of any change that would make me happier. Loki looked pointedly at Thor, who was being cheered on by friends and warriors alike. I shook my head. ‘I may love Thor like a brother. But I’m in love with you.’
‘It isn’t the fact that it is Thor. It is his future.’ Loki looked slightly put out. I stood up and motioned him to follow me. Loki needed comfort, and I couldn’t do it in front of the court. He followed me to gardens, our usual spot. I turned to face him, gently placing my hands on his shoulders. He was avoiding my gaze.
‘Loki. Look at me.’ I put my hands on either side of his face, tilting it to look into his eyes. “I don’t want anything Thor’s future has to offer. I don’t want the throne, I don’t want to be queen.”
He looked at me, and I knew he felt inadequate. I could feel it from him. He felt useless, and small compared to Thor. “I have nothing to offer you that can compare to Thor’s future.”
“Loki, did you even hear me? I don’t care about the throne.” I said it softly. “You’ve given me everything I’ve wanted in this past year. There isn’t anything else I need.” I put my forehead to his, closing my eyes. ‘I only need your love Loki. Yours. I only want to share your future; I couldn’t care less about anyone else’s. You are the only one I want.’
I wanted him to feel wanted, and cared for and happy, just as he made me feel. But I also wanted to be enough for him. I wanted to be exactly what he needed. ‘You are. Noelle you are what I want and need.’ He responded to my gentle thoughts, pulling my body closer to cradle in his arms. ‘And I will not want for another. But there are some thing’s no one can replace.’ I saw images on his father flash before my eyes, scenes of Odin praising Thor.
I understood, and Loki was right. I could never replace his father, or fill the need for his father’s approval. ‘Oh Loki.’ I wished I could help him, take away some of his hurt.
‘You do by understanding.’ He leaned in and kissed me passionately, and we were lost in our own little place. When we broke apart, we held on to each other, trying to stay in our place in the world, our own place for us. ‘I can do anything when I’m with you. I can forget the world.’
“Don’t ever forget that I love you Loki. That I love you the way you are, and I don’t need you to change.” I needed him to know this, to hear me say it. Loki would never be inadequate to me.
“I won’t forget.” He said, cupping my face. “For as long as I live.” He kissed me once more. “Now, I am famished, let us go eat!” I laughed as Loki led me to the palace once more.
I sighed, finishing my message to Groa. I had hoped she had been lying when she said she had accidentally bound Noelle and Loki. She hadn’t. I could tell as soon as I saw them. Noelle had smiled as he entered the room, she felt his presence.
I got up and paced my room. I had kept it paid for, in case I had to return to Asgard for matters such as this. It was close to Noelle’s rooms, and I would be able to reach her in time should something happen. I rubbed my temples, feeling overwhelmed.
Thanos definitely had a presence in the young prince’s mind. While we spoke, I had been able to peer into his mind, quick enough for him not to notice. I felt the dark cloud hanging over his thoughts. I didn’t know how Thanos planned to convince the boy to go along with his plans. But he would succeed. The prophecy had predicted it, and so far the prophecy had been correct.
I knew it wouldn’t be long before Thanos would take complete control…and then he may go for Noelle. I couldn’t bear to think of that: my only child, my daughter, subjected to the mental torture of having little control over her actions. No, I cannot let her fall victim to that. Not only because the prophecy depended on it, but because she was my daughter.
I sat down again. Thanos could not have them both at once. I had to keep her mind safe for a while longer. I was tempted to free Loki, but refrained. The boy didn’t know he was in danger, and would resist my attempts to rid his mind of Thanos. I would have to wait until he was ready. Until the time was right.
I tried to stop the raging thoughts in my mind. Follow the prophecy Tyr. It has never steered you wrong. Continue following the prophecy.
I would come up with a solution sooner or later.