(LokixReader) The Breath Of Winter: Chapter 29
The light beyond the window had begun to sink below Asgard's waters, and clusters of stars had started to waken in the heavens. Despite the tranquil beauty of the view, your thoughts remained tempestuous.
You sat on your appointed bed, lamenting your poor choice in words. Had you never mentioned Frigga, Odin may have listened to you. Loki may have been spared.
No. Your more stubborn side interrupted such regrets. You had said what needed to be said. It was no fault of yours that the Allfather did not want to hear the truth.
Frustrated, you lent another kick to the leg of the dressing table adjacent from the bed. It almost muffled the sound of someone knocking on the door, but you still heard it. The sound filled you with foreboding, but you opened it anyway.
Thor stood outside the door. He was not alone; behind him stood the Warriors Three and Sif, all crammed into the narrow corridor beyond.
"What did you say to my father?" Thor inquired, his voice disbelieving. You looked at the floor, a mixture of shame and indignation rising in your chest.
"Look, I know I shouldn't have brought Frigga up, but he needed to hear it. I-"
The blonde man shook his head hurriedly. "What I meant was, what did you say to make him change his mind?"
Now it was your turn to be disbelieving. "...What are you talking about? Odin was angry, and he sent me away."
Sif folded her arms from behind Thor. "Well, you must have done something right. The Allfather has requested that you speak with him in the gardens. He is waiting for you as we speak."
It took a few moments for you to comprehend what was going on. Odin wanted to speak with you, which meant you may have had some influence on him after all. Something akin to hope warmed in your heart. In moments, your sullen and grieving mood had brightened considerably.
"Well, I suppose I can't keep a king waiting." You concluded, stepping out of the room and closing the door behind you.
The others fixed you with a range of expressions, from bewilderment, admiration, suspicion, and, in Fandral's case, a roguish grin. You returned the smile, and proceeded down the corridor, Thor, Sif, Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg all following you like an odd group of ducklings after their mother. Such imagery made you close to laughter, but you suppressed it.
"When Thor told us you were alive, Lady (y/n), we did not believe him." Volstagg spoke from behind you, as you descended a flight of stairs. "It would seem that we were wrong."
You gave a light laugh, turning your head to look at him. "I'm sincerely glad you were, Volstagg. It's good seeing you all again."
"And it is utterly charming to encounter you too, lovely (y/n)." Fandral commented, attempting to reach for your hand to kiss it, but instead receiving a frosty glance from Sif.
The hallway soon became wider, and soon Thor walked in step beside you, seemingly confused by events but also subtly pleased at the prospect of his brother being spared death.
"I never imagined a girl from Midgard would be able to persuade the Allfather." Hogun commented, in his quiet and solemn tones. Thor looked at you then, giving you a small smile that the others didn't see.
"Perhaps she has learned from the best." The thunder god said, earning a playful punch on the arm from you.
It wasn't long before you reached the familiar archway that lead out to the gardens. Here, you halted, giving your companions a small smile. "Wish me luck."
Leaving them behind within the palace, you paced out into the open air, looking for the king that you sought.
You found Odin standing beside Frigga's statue, his back turned to you and his head inclined, as though looking up into her face. That saddened you for a moment, but you soon reminded yourself to harden your heart as you stepped closer.
"You asked to see me?" The tone you used was monotonous and without any titles. You wanted this conversation to be straight to the point, without any niceties. It made everything simpler.
Odin did not turn to look at you, but replied with a tone very similar to yours; emotionless and abrupt. "I have had time to reflect on your defence for Loki."
Night had truly fallen now, but the shadows of the garden were illuminated by the palace windows and the galaxies above. "And?"
The Allfather sighed. "Though I do not fully understand your motivations for saving him, and I did not appreciate you bringing any mention my late wife into the argument, I concede that you do have a point."
All afternoon had been spent cursing the King of Asgard, but, now, as he stood wearily beneath the statue of Frigga and took your views into consideration, you felt a small glimmer of admiration for him.
"We are, none of us, without our mistakes." Odin continued, his voice solemn. "Some of those mistakes are worse than others. But it would not be be fair of me to say that the mistakes that I have made are any less than Loki's. He was once a son to me, though he is quick to dismiss it, and it is a father's duty to forgive his children's wrongdoings."
You remained silent, taking in every words with increasing respect. The man suddenly turned around, and you saw that his face was grave. Something sank in your chest.
"However." You had always hated that word, you thought as you comprehended what Odin would say next. It was just a cue for bitter disappointments. "Though you believe Loki is capable of changing his behaviour, I cannot be so sure. His past actions have proven him to be remorseless. It is therefore imperative that he remains in imprisonment until he is deemed worthy of his freedom."
Such words were not a shock to you, nor did they seem particularly unfair. Despite the heaviness of your heart, you conceded that such a fate was better than execution, and gave a small nod.
"Another thing is this." Odin took a step towards you, looking you in the eye as though testing your resolve. "I am not blind, (y/n). I can see the connection between you and Loki. Don't deny it." You had tried to interject, but fell silent again at the Allfather's command. "It is something I have seen many times in my life. But I feel I must tell you, child, that nothing good can ever come of it. Everyone that loves Loki suffers for it. It is just who he is."
The silence grew between you, as something began to ache inside your chest. Composing your thoughts, you broke the lull in conversation. "What do you need of me?"
Odin's eye seemed to bore into your face. "I know that you cannot be seen by Heimdall, which in itself is troubling, but paired with your affections for Loki such a fact makes you a liability to the safety of this kingdom."
"Who is to say what we wouldn't do for someone we love?" Odin asked rhetorically. "All I want is for the safety of Asgard. Which is why you must promise never to return here."
The full weight of what Odin was asking you to do descended, and though it seemed inevitable, it still managed to shock you. Your gaze fell to the ground, suddenly blurred with tears. "So I'm guessing I wouldn't be seeing him again, then?"
"No. I am sorry."
You looked up then, to catch a glance of the beautiful star-strewn sky beyond the palace walls. "Can I at least say goodbye?"
Odin sighed. "That would not be wise. It will be better for you both if you left quietly, without any prolonged farewells. I am sure Loki will forget you soon enough."
It was meant as a comfort, but the king's words felt like another knife to the heart. "Very well."
You turned from him then, running back into the palace, covering your mouth with one hand. Stupid girl, your mind told you bitterly, as you sank against a wall. Have you forgotten everything?
All the training you had ever received, that of MI6 and S.H.I.E.L.D, had taught you to never show emotion. That was a weakness, they had said. To wear your heart on your sleeve was to give the enemy their greatest advantage.
Now you understood why they had told you not to have a heart.
Because you now knew what it felt like to break it.