Fifteen years had passed since Nik's life fell apart. Every day had been fairly similar. Each morning Nik would be kicked out of sweet unconsciousness to be dragged to the 'torture room' to endure whatever suffering the guards deemed necessary until he passed out again.
The one thing that kept Nikolas going was the rune necklace the guards allowed him. The same necklace Loki had given him so long ago. Through the magic in the pendant and the soul bond, Nik could still feel Loki's essence. He could sense the prince's emotions and know his love still lived.
Fifty years had gone by while Nik rotted away in Vanaheimr. He still clutched the necklace in his hands every night. Talking to it. Willing his magic, his emotion, or his voice to reach Loki in some way. Nik vowed that one day he would find a way to escape and make it back to his beloved. He would not give up hope.
Loki had grown bitter and cruel. He was determined that the Norns meant for him to suffer. Betrayed by his soulmate. Humiliated because of foolish love. The second prince stood out now more than ever. Fandal would flirt with him. Sif would mock him for losing his soulmate.
Volstagg gave him looks of pity and sorrow. Hogan was indifferent. Loki could not tolerate it. He could not stand being in Asgard. He hated his chambers for the awful reminder of what was. He felt as if he was going crazy. He became angry easily. He had decided to close his heart off and never be ruled by sentiment again.
One hundred and seventeen years slipped by painfully slow. Nikolas was surprised they had kept him alive this long. Things had somehow gotten worse. The guards had discovered that he had magic. Nik was not entirely sure how they found out. Perhaps his magic had tried to heal his body while he was unconscious.
Now they took joy in using a whip soaked with Magebane and studded with bits of metal. Magebane took away a mage's ability to use their seidr or magic. Nik was barely able to sense the magic from the rune necklace or from his soul bond. He wanted to give up, but he knew for Loki's sake he couldn't.
It had been one hundred and forty-three years since Loki had seen Nikolas. He had counted the years with distaste. And now came the day of Thor's coronation. Loki had not wanted to be king while he had Nik, but things were different. He wanted all of Asgard to know that he was worthy. He did not think Thor was ready. Still to rash and childish to rule. He came up with a plan to show his father that. It was with a grin on his face, that Loki snuck off to Jötunheimr.
Nik was woken up by the intense emotions coming from his pendant. Anger. Panic. Fear. It made his throat dry and his stomach turn. He clenched the rune and tried to force feelings of calm and comfort through it. He pulled at what little seidr he had left, desperate to give Loki his all. He compelled the Fates to send his magic and love to his prince. Eventually Nikolas blacked out.
Loki didn't know how or what to feel. His plan had backfired. And for reasons he never would have thought of. The frost giants had accessed Asgard with no problems. The Destroyer had killed them just like it was supposed to.
Thor was furious at the Jötuns for breaking into the eternal realm and interrupting his coronation as planned. Thor had even been overly zealous about going to Jötunheimr and teaching them a lesson.
What Loki hadn't expected was for his skin to turn blue when grabbed by a frost giant. He had stood in an almost stunned silence as he watched Odin banish Thor. He had so many thoughts and emotions running through his mind, he was sure his head would burst from the immense weight of it all. He took off towards the vaults. He had to know if it was true.
When Nik came to, he knew something was different. He opened his eyes to figure out what and instantly shut them tight again. ~Too bright. And warm.~ He gingerly opened his eyes again and gasped. He was laying in a sun-soaked grass field. He laughed. Nik hadn't seen or felt the sun in more than a century. The smell of fresh grass was bliss. He wasn't in Vanaheimr anymore.
Loki was shocked while holding the Casket of Ancient Winters. His pale skin was replaced by blue. He. Was. A. Frost. Giant. His mind was split in half with thoughts. One part refusing to believe it was possible. He couldn't be a Jötun. The other half imploring him to see the truth. It all made sense. The reason why he didn't fit in, why he didn't look like the other aesir. This was it. The doors to the vaults slammed open and he turned tear filled eyes to the man who had called himself his father.
Nikolas wasn't sure what to do. He didn't know where he was. Fortunately he was found by a nice elderly couple. It had been their field he had landed in. After taking in the state of him and his clothes, they were adamant about him staying with them. Giving him food, clothes, and a hot bath. None of which Nik was used to receiving in some time. Nik profusely thanked the couple and allowed himself to reside with them until he could go off on his own. Letting his body heal and his seidr to return. Then he would search for Loki.
Loki needed answers. He was intent on getting him. He felt physically and emotionally exhausted, but his need for answers was unwavering. He yells at Odin to tell him everything. Only for the All-Father to collapse. Was it his anger or seidr that did this to Asgard's King? He hadn't meant any harm towards the older man. ~The Odinsleep! That has to be it!~ Loki frantically calls the einherjar for help. He watches as they carry the All-Father away. What is he to do now?