My breath caught in my lungs, the world seemed to stop as I watched him. He seemed so relaxed, no tension in his shoulders, though he was going in to face his sentence in a few short minutes. From this distance, I could clearly see he had changed, just as I had; he looked like he had grown up. His hair was longer, reaching past his shoulders. It looked good on him, and I wanted to get closer, to be reacquainted with each feature again, the curve of his lips, the lines that appeared by his eyes when he laughed.
As I mustered up the courage to get closer, his head whipped up to my direction and his eyes lingered, darting here and there, before landing on me. His piercing green eyes kept me still, my blood froze. He can see me. Of course he could. He was still the Master of Magic. I stopped breathing again, and felt at a loss for words. I didn’t break his gaze, his eyes emotionless. Without meaning to, my soul seemed to reach for him, yearning for him, to be whole again with his presence. I hadn’t reached out to Loki for a long time. I had stopped when keeping our connection open started to keep me from sleeping.
His eyes betrayed him for a few seconds, and I knew he felt it. He felt me reach for him, in need. And those beautiful, mischievous green eyes looked more vulnerable, tender. But it only lasted those few seconds, before his eyes turned hard and emotionless again, and I didn’t feel him reach back. Instead I felt as if there was a wall between us.
And then the doors opened and he was ushered inside, his head turning slightly to look at me one more time. As soon as the golden doors had closed, I felt my lungs begin to function properly again. My hands shook, and I felt exhausted. I sunk down to the ground, careful to still keep my illusion.
Nothing could have prepared me for that.
Loki walked into the throne room slowly, taking his time. He didn’t want to rush. He wanted to keep Odin waiting, just like he had been kept waiting by him for years.
“Loki.” Frigga spoke softly to her son, seeing how much he had changed. Her heart realised her little boy had become a man. A man who made bad choices.
“Hello mother.” Loki turned to look at the woman who had raised him, the only mother he remembered having. What an actress she is. Though Loki no longer heard the voice in his head consciously now, his thoughts were still streaked with the raspy voice, his conscience. “Have I made you proud?” He should have been nervous, afraid even. He was about to be sentenced. About to answer for all he’d done. But he couldn’t find it in him to be serious. To him it was all laughable.
“Please.” Her tone and eyes gave everything away. “Don’t make this worse.”
He leaned in closer to her. “Define worse.” He dared her.
“Enough. I will speak to the prisoner alone.” The king glared down at the prisoner from his throne, dismissing his wife. She dutifully left the throne room, but she still listened in to find out her son’s fate. Loki watched her leave before turning to look at his so-called Father. He took a few steps forward, before clapping his heels together in mock attendance.
Before breaking out laughing. Then seriously, he added. “I really don’t see what all the fuss is about.”
“Do you not truly feel the gravity of your crimes?” Loki smiled in response, and Odin wanted to smack him on the back of the head. He was trying to treat Loki like a common criminal. He had to. He couldn’t let Frigga’s feelings and his fatherly feelings towards Loki cloud his judgement. “Wherever you go, there is war, ruin and death.”
“I went down to Midgard to rule the people of Earth as a benevolent god.” The prisoner countered. “Just like you.”
“We are not gods.” Odin cursed himself slightly. He had been the one who put that in his son’s heads when they were children. It was a mistake on his part. He made a lot of mistakes on his part. “We are born, we live, we die. Just as humans do.”
Loki pretended to consider this for a moment. “Give or take five thousand years.”
Odin didn’t want to give in to Loki’s argument, but found it hard to resist. They had had arguments before, and they were frequent. “All this because Loki desires a throne.” He was getting to the heart of the matter. He was getting Loki’s reasons, his testimony, so they could finally close this investigation and get on with more pressing things.
“It is my birthright.” Loki was curt, his tone serious and razor sharp. Odin had aimed at one of Loki’s hang ups.
“Your birthright.” The king emphasized the t. “Was to die!” Then he calmed himself, and almost in a mocking tone. “As a child. Cast out onto a frozen rock. If I had not taken you in, you would not be here now to hate me.”
Loki couldn’t take this much longer. His patience was wearing thin, and he was getting more annoyed by the second. Being told he owed Odin was more than insulting. Mostly, it bothered him because it was true. “If I am for the axe than for mercy’s sake just swing it.” He partly hoped he was for the axe, or at least, deep down he did. No you don’t, you fool. You want to live! “It’s not that I don’t love our little talks. It’s just that…I don’t love them.”
“Frigga is the only reason you are still alive and you will never see her again. You will spend the rest of your days in the dungeon.” Odin couldn’t bring himself to sentence Loki’s execution. Frigga would have never forgiven him if he had. He would never have forgiven himself if he had. Unknown to everyone, Odin blamed himself for Loki’s predicament. It was his idea to hide his true heritage, his idea to raise Loki to think he could claim the throne one day. Odin knew he had misled the boy, and though what Loki had done was terrible, Odin couldn’t kill him for it.
Loki was in shock. He had expected to be executed, or exiled. He didn’t expect the live by the end of the day. The guards tugged him back, ending the barely there trial. He just couldn’t believe it. Odin should have, by nature, rid himself of the problem that was his adopted son. “And what of Thor? You’ll make that witless oaf king while I rot in chains?” How convenient. Having me around to make fun of. To play the fool.
“Thor must strive to undo the damage you have done, he will bring order to the nine realms, and then yes. He will be king.” By this time, the guards were physically putting their hands on his shoulders, pulling Loki away from the king. The matter was done and over with.
Loki let them practically drag him away, looking Odin in the eye the whole time. He didn’t fight, he didn’t struggle, just let himself be dragged out. The reality of his situation was becoming apparent to him by the second. He was going to spend roughly the next 3950 years in the dungeon. He would never be let out. He would never be allowed to see the sun again. He would waste his existence in boredom.
As they dragged him out of the throne room and into the hall, he realized there was one more string attached to his sentencing, one more thing that would be taken from him.
The young woman, invisible to everyone untrained in magic who was watching them. The young woman with hair of old gold, and eyes as deep and boundless as the starry night sky. The one who was slumped against the pillar, watching him. He caught her eyes, blue looking into green, trying to memorize them. As much as Loki tried to tell himself he didn’t need her (he had been doing so the past two years), he couldn’t look away. He couldn’t help but let the desperation sink in.
No, Loki couldn’t accept this. He could accept, to a certain degree, of being locked away and forgotten. Of never seeing the palace, the court, the sunshine or his horse again. But he couldn’t accept never seeing Noelle again. His soul wouldn’t let him.
He began to struggle a bit. “Noelle.” He breathed her name. Their eyes never left each other’s, even when the guards tried forcing his head down. “Noelle!?” He called desperately, trying to urge her do to something, anything. Call his name one last time, give him one last kiss, tell him she loved him. One last action.
But she remained invisible. He watched as she sighed, not looking away. What Loki didn’t know or see was the tears collecting in her eyes, spilling over.
“NOELLE!” He screamed this time, and the guards muzzled him again. He fought against it, only the have the cold metal pressed hard again his face. He was pulled away from her, and when he was further down the hall, she stood up, made herself visible, and turned her head. Loki’s heart shattered in his chest.
He didn’t fight the rest of the way to the dungeons, letting the guards half escort him, half carry him. He was dumped unceremoniously in the rectangular cell, and he watched as his chains were removed and the impenetrable magic wall formed in front of him, sealing him in.
Surprisingly, his cell had a bed, a table and a chair. More than the other cells. His cell was also private, him being the only occupant, while the other cells were crowded. But none of that mattered to him. There could be maniacs in the cell with him, threatening to kill him, and it wouldn’t matter. He felt like dying anyways.
Loki had locked his heart away for so long, that one glance, one look from the woman he loved, the woman who owned his heart and soul, had him undone. He had forgotten how she made him feel. How much he loved her. And without her, he had nothing.
She’s given me up. He felt so numb. She looked away. She did nothing to help me. She gave me no farewell. No hopeful message. No optimistic idea of the future, of our future. Loki felt himself crumple. He felt like he was bleeding from the inside out. It’s over. There is nothing between us to her. After all we’ve been through. He couldn’t help think of the memories he had with her. It was all gone, over with.
Loki attempted to create an illusion, and he found himself successful. He shielded himself in it. To the occupants outside of the illusion, it looked as though Loki was pacing restlessly, looking around for an escape.
In reality, behind the illusion, Loki was crying and screaming his heartbreak.
I watched him being dragged away, screaming my name. Calling me, trying to get my attention. Our eyes had been locked the whole time, and I tried to remember them. I tried to remember the luminous green eyes, filled with emotion. Because I would never see them again.
I had eavesdropped during the trial, using a spell. I had heard every word, and when Loki suggested being hurried to execution, I had to keep myself from crying out. There were guards at the door and I didn’t want to be escorted away. I wanted to hear the trial, and I wanted to see Loki before he was imprisoned.
In my opinion, there was no trial, not in the true sense of the word. There had been no questions, no arguments. Odin proclaimed Loki to have committed crimes, Loki didn’t defend himself. It was a complicated matter put into simple terms: Loki had done all the crimes he was accused of, though none were explicitly named and Loki accepted it.
It made me angry, because I expected something from Loki. An attempted defense, an explanation somewhere, even a flat denial, or passing out blame. None of that surfaced.
And it just cemented everyone’s theory. That Loki was guilty of treason, attempted regicide, fratricide on 3 counts, murdering innocent Frost Giants and humans and attempted enslavement of a realm. And that was only the charges Asgard was laying on him. I couldn’t imagine what Earth would find him guilty of.
I guess it made me angry because I had been hoping there was an explanation, or someone else to blame. Anything to get Loki a shorter sentence. But really, I had known he was guilty all along. I just couldn’t admit it to myself until now.
When Loki screamed for me, I watched the guards put a metal muzzle on him, and I couldn’t look any more. I had to turn my head away. The tears had begun falling from my eyes, tears I didn’t even realize I had been collecting. When he was no longer in sight, I made my way back to my room. There was nothing left to see here.
The halls were empty today, and luckily I made it to my room without anyone seeing me. I shut the door gently, and felt my legs wobble. I let myself stagger into my room, in a trance, before falling to the floor and laying down.
I would never see Loki again. He would never be released. There was no hope for us, for a future together. I would most likely die before he did, since I was only half Asgardian. And all this basically meant that whatever was between us, was no more. We couldn’t be together.
I started to cry, to sob. Tears of sadness, tears of mourning, tears of anger flowing freely as I cried for the first time in two years.
Sad tears for what had happened to us. Sad for Loki, who would never leave his cell. Mourning tears for what could have been, a future lost to us, a future killed when Loki committed treason. A dream destroyed. And anger. Anger for this ultimately being caused by Loki’s decisions. Loki had single handedly ensured we would never become more.
If Loki had really loved me, would he have done all this?