Morning had already arrived when Loki was awoken by childish voices, his head hurt as well as his body, specially his hands and face which had been more exposed to the freezing cold. He tried to get up but his strength failed him as he submitted to unconsciousness.
The next time he woke up he noticed he wasn’t in the stables anymore; but in a bed, his hands and head bandaged and his clothes changed for warmer ones. He could hear voices at the distance, but the weariness won again as he relaxed into sleep once more.
The third time he woke up he felt a pair of curious eyes upon him, a boy and a girl they should be around ten and five for what he could tell and they watched him intensively from the edge of the bed.
-Hi- the small girl said to him a wide smile at her face.
-Umm, hi?- he answered a bit confused
Then the girl shouted. -Mat´, awake!-
A middle age woman approached, she´d have to be their mother, they shared the same light brow hair, although the boys were a bit darker.
-How are you feeling? You had us worried- she asked him
-Better, thanks- Loki answered feeling rather awkward.
-What´s your name? What happened? Were you in an accident?-she poured the questions as she looked at him.
Loki´s heart started beating faster, saying the truth wouldn´t be a very good idea besides he didn´t wanted to scare them so he tried to figure out what to do.
-I .. – he stammered – I … don´t know. Where am I?-
The woman sighed- Maybe you hit your head too hard. Don´t worry I´m sure it will all come back to you. You are in our farm, my name is Irina and these are Misha and Anya-
As she finished her sentence the door opened and two men still covered in snow came in.
-Dedushka- Anya yelled hugging the older man, then turning to the younger as she yelled –Otets- and offered her arms for him to pull her up in an embrace. Father and grandfather for sure Loki thought.
-Well, see who´s finally awake- the older man stated- how are you feeling?-
-Um, better-Loki said still at loss at words- but a bit confused- he added.
-He doesn´t remember his name or what happened to him-Irina explained.
-That´s too bad- the younger man said-It will come back, you hit your head pretty hard. You were lucky we found you-
Misha pulled his father´s coat as he pointed at himself and did some sort of hand signals.
-Ok- his father laughed- Misha found you-
My name is Alexey and he´s my father Sergey, I suppose you already met Irina, Anya and Misha-
-Yes-Loki answered. It would be better to keep it to small phrases until he had decided what to do.
The family threat him as he was just another member, he just couldn´t figure it out, why would they treat him so kindly when they didn´t knew anything about him. They didn´t had much but they were happy to share what little they had with him.
As his strength began to return he felt a notch in his stomach, would they ask him to leave?
Loki asked Sergey if he could help in the farm to repay for their kindness, Sergey was delighted to teach Loki everything he knew about Yakut horses and the farm.
Alexander asked him a few days later if he wanted to stay until winter season was out-It would be a lot easier to look for your family in summer weather, and I´ll be happy to have another pair of hands helping at the farm.-Loki was relief, yes, he would stay.
Loki always had loved horses so it didn´t came much as a surprise to him when he turned out very good at taking care of them.
Though Yakut horses’ weren´t tamed horses, more like semi wild, even if they lived in the stables they were more than able of surviving the cold Siberian winter without human help.
One day as they were eating Alexey asked him – Do you remember if you ever had horse before?-
-We are eating horse?-Loki answered incredulous-
-Yes Sergey answered and started to explain as he noticed the discomfort on Loki´s face- To eat horse-meat is the equivalent of integrating a part of his Spirit, of his soul, in our body, to make him live again. For the Sakha, there are a predetermined number of souls in the hereafter. Each creature, human or animal, who dies re-joins this “bank” of souls. To delay departure towards the Other World is to delay the coming of a Spirit, a soul, into this world.-
-Mm- replied Loki as he took another bite – I´ve no idea if I tasted it before, but it´s quite good. Irina is an excellent cook-
-Thank you Vanyusha- Irina replied. Sergey had started to name him Vanyusha, as they couldn´t keep calling him “hey you” forever the name stick.
It felt so weird, Loki felt comfortable there, humans are indeed intriguing, he thought to himself. No wonder Thor liked them so much, he hadn’t though about his family for a while and the though surprised him. Would they be ok? Would his mother be all over Heimdall to keep an eye on him? He laughed at the though. He hadn´t even realised he hasn´t even missed his magic, not that he didn´t on the first days of his arrival, specially his ability to heal himself, but now he had learned to enjoy the satisfaction of a good days work as Sergey called them.
Maybe it was the fact that because of the weather conditions preventing them from being outside to much that the family was too close, he´d never seen or experienced anything like that before.
Sergey treated him as an older grandson and called him to join them every time he would start telling his grandchildren stories about Yakut horses and shamans that were both entertainment and mesmerizing.
Alexey and Irina treated him like a younger sibling, no matter he was centuries older than them he looked younger than both of them.
Anya and Misha were overly enthusiastic to have him as a playmate on their little adventures around the house which ended mostly with lots of laughter’s and giggles from all of them.
Loki surprised himself as he was captivated by Anya´s new favorite movie “Frozen” which she played over and over again until almost everyone knew most of the characters lines. He felt a special connection to Elsa´s character being an outcast because of her magic, and it made him feel hopeful as everyone ended loving her and her magic.
He even caught himself singing “Let it go” more times than he was willing to admit –A kingdom of isolation and it looks like I’m the queen. … Couldn’t keep it in, Heaven knows I tried. Don’t let them in, don’t let them see. Be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know. Well, now they know! – He would hum the chorus –Let it go, let it go!
Can’t hold it back any more. Let it go, let it go! – He specially loved the part –And the fears that once controlled me, can’t get to me at all It’s time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through. No right, no wrong, no rules for me. I’m free! – It was certainly his favorite –You’ll never see me cry. Here I’ll stand, and here I’ll stay. Let the storm rage on…Let it go, let it go. And I’ll rise like the break of dawn. Let it go, let it go…
-Maybe there´s hope for me – he though at some point and then dismissed it -No Loki, you’re being silly, it´s only a movie, that kind of thing doesn´t happen in the real world.-
-Anya! – Irina called- Where are you? – She started to get nervous as she couldn´t find her daughter.
-What´s wrong?-Loki asked her.
-I can´t find Anya anywhere in the house – she answered
-She´s probably playing hide and seek – Loki said – I´ll help you find her.
-They started looking everywhere bur Anya wasn´t anywhere around, then Irina noticed –Her snow boots are gone – worry crept all over her face.
-I´ll go find her – Loki reassured her as he put his own snow boots and coat –Maybe she´s making a snowman, Frozen had given her a lot of ideas about snow and fun- which he thought weren’t that good ideas considering the Siberian weather.
-Go ahead-Irina told him- I´ll get Alexei and Sergey to help us find her-then she told Misha – Stay here in case she comes back- the boy nodded.
Loki picked up her tracks and found her over the frozen lake a few meters from the edge, she was scared the ice had been too thin and started cracking under her feet so she dared not to move.
-Vanyusha! – She cried as she saw him –Help me! – Tears rolled under her cheeks.
-Don´t move Anya, you´ll be all right, I´ll get you out …-Loki´s weight had been too much for the ice, as he felt under the freezing cold water he couldn’t breathe, he hardly could move, but he had to, he needed to, he´d promise Anya she would be fine, he couldn’t break that promise. He struggled to get to the surface, pain creeping all over his body, the cold air hurt even more than the cold water. Anya looked at him even more scared that before – Vanyusha! – She cried again.
-Don´t worry, I´m ok, we´ll be ok – he answered through trembling teeth as he climbed over the ice towards her.
As he got near her reach Anya hugged his wet head as she cried –I´m sorry, I´m, sorry, I´ll never do it again, I just wanted to skate in the ice as Elsa and Ana, I´m sorry-
-Don´t worry, it´s ok, shh, don´t cry Anya, I need you to calm down, I need your help-
Anya dried her tears with her glove as she nodded –Ok- she replied still sniffling.
Loki looked quickly at the ice around them, he was looking for a safer path to the shore, he had to hurry, he was starting to feel lightheaded, he guided both himself and Anya out of the ice and into the snow covered ground where they both hugged- You scared me –Loki said tears on his eyes – Please, don´t ever do something like that again-
-I won´t I promise – Anya replied as she started crying again.
All the commotion had guided the rest of the family to them, Irina hold Anya in a tight embrace as they both cried.
-We´ll better get both of you inside- Sergei stated and Loki wanted to, but his legs wouldn´t respond.
-Damn! You are soaking wet- Alexey stated as he pulled Loki´s arm over his shoulder.
He didn´t even remember when he lost consciousness but he woke up at the hospital with very familiar and concerned faces around him.
-You´re going to be all right, we had to bring you to the hospital so they could treat you from hypothermia, the doctor says you´ll be out of here in a couple of days- Sergey told him
He had an IV connected to his arm but he didn´t mind – Is Anya ok? – He asked
-Yes, she is, she´ll be grounded for months but she´s ok thanks to you Vanyusha-Irina kissed him on his forehead and hugged him tight.
He´d never felt such a warm feeling before, he was proud of himself and even more important his new found family was proud of him too.
As Anya and Misha went into the room Sergey told them –See, he´s all right. Siberians’ are much stronger than muscovite’s – he said as they all laughed
-I´m Siberian now? –Loki thought to himself
As they were leaving Loki asked Sergey- I´ve never asked before, but why did you call me Vanyusha?-
Sergei smiled as he explained –Vanyusha means God´s gift-
-I don´t think anyone had referred to me like that before –Loki said as blushing came upon his cheeks.
-That´s because they don´t know you –Sergey replied as his smile grow wider.
-Maybe I don’t know myself- Loki thought –Maybe I´ve just started to …-