Thor’s gone. Thor’s gone and they think it’s his fault (they always think it’s his fault).
And then Father.
Oh god, Father.
He laughs. He laughs and laughs and has to lean against the wall so the shaking doesn’t knock him to the ground.
He is king.
The toy is king. The little piece of driftwood to distract the child prince.
Sif will not stand for it- no, she won’t- he will have to do something about that. Have to stop them from telling.
He is in more danger now than he has ever been before.
Anything, anything they say might ruin him- would they do it? When their real king was at his weakest, would they cast doubt? Frigga hasn’t (he giggles, Mother).
(Make your Father proud.)
They might not, but they will go for Thor. He will have to fix things before they do.
Who else. Who knows. No one?
The gardens. She knows. She could tell.
And so he walks to the gardens.
He stands by the stone archway until Eir notices him.
“Good morning, my lord.” She turns to look at him and stops, her eyes widen just so. “Loki?”
“I am king.” She nods, still crouched in the grass. “You can’t tell. You can’t tell anyone.” Eir stands slowly.
“Of course I will not. Have I ever given you reason to think so ill of me?”
“You say that, but you might. They talk, they will always talk. The Allfather is vulnerable, I must protect him. You understand that.”
“If you tell there will be more talk, and bad things.”
She says his name again, swallows. His eyes follow the movement of her neck.
I could snap it, he thinks, and then she wouldn’t talk.
He rests his hand on her throat.
When his fingers are wrapped around her neck, she freezes. Any movement, she thinks, any at all could be seen as a threat.
More worried than frightened, the only thing Eir can think of is her little boy. Her small child with dark hair and bright eyes that clung to her and asked questions and hugged her around the waist until he was too big for it. I will protect you, she told him on nights when he was restless and would not stay in his new room, when the dark and aloneness of it drew him to hers.
It is still true, so she tells him again.
“I-” he starts. “I’m not…”
She reaches out as far as she can, the tips of her fingers ghosting across his cheek. “I know, dear.”
Green light bursts from his hand, wraps around and into her throat and it burnssocoldcan’tseevisongonewhite until it’s gone and so is he. Eir blinks, eyes darting around, and reaches trembling fingers to her neck.
She finds herself hiding in the gardens for most of the day, fingers winding fretfully around blades of grass until they snap. Nothing happens.
Nothing happens until after he has fallen (she mourns, holes herself in her chambers and cries for him) and she passes a group of courtiers talking about the mad prince. Her voice stops so hard in her throat that she staggers, choking her with the force of it.
She continues walking.