The universe is safe; Thor has vanquished Malekith and returns to Asgard with the Aether.
-You once said there would never be a wiser King than me. You were wrong. The alignment has brought all the realms together. Every one of them saw you offer your life to save them. What can Asgard offer its new King in return?-Odin asks Thor.
– My life. Father, I cannot be King of Asgard. I will protect Asgard and all the realms with my last and every breath, but I cannot do so from that chair. Loki for all his grave imbalance understood rule as I know I never will. The brutality, the sacrifice… It changes you. I’d rather be a good man than a great King.-
– Is this my son I hear? Or the woman he loves?-
– When you speak, do I never hear Mother’s voice?-
Odin sighs and casts his eyes downwards.
– This is not for Jane, Father. She does not know what I came here to say. Now forbid me to see her or say she can rule at my side, it changes nothing.-
Odin sinks wearily to the Throne as he says -One son who wanted the Throne too much, another who will not take it. Is this my legacy?-
– Loki died with honor. I shall try to live the same. Is that not legacy enough?
Odin sighs and answers him – I will consider your request Thor, but for the moment you should go to your mother´s side. She needs you.-
Thor nods as he departures to the healer’s room.
-Mother, I´ve returned- he tells her, his heart warms up at her smile.
-Thor, my son come with me We have got much to talk about- she tell shim as she orders everyone in the room to leave.
-I am sorry mother, Loki saved me but I could save him in return- he states as he looks down, his heart heavily burdened.
-Shh, it is all right- she tries to calm him – Please calm down, we have not lost your brother, at least not yet- she tells him as she places a finger over her mouth cautioning silence from him. As the wall from the room shimmers Thor can see a second bed in the room, Loki, his brother is in it.
-But how can this be? I saw him die- he asks her in earnest.
-We all thought he was death, even the guards and we need to keep them all thinking that he is.-
-To protect him- her mother answers
-When Loki though he was dying he finally told me who tortured him, though he made me promise to do nothing about it … it was Thanos …-
-The mad Titan! – Frigga states with a surprised look, then she sighs – We have only bought some time then. Loki was wise to make you promise to do nothing. Asgard is no match to Thanos a war with him would bring utter destruction to all the realms.-
Thor nods in agreement, he really hates the idea of doing nothing, but he knows his mother is right. They shouldn´t be concerned on waving a war against Thanos, but to keep Loki concealed from him.
-Does father knows? – Thor asks her.
-Yes, he does. – Frigga answers him.
-Has he forgiven Loki? Thor asks in hope
-No he has not – She refuses nodding her head – But almost losing a son, even one as mischievous as Loki tends to put things under a new perspective. It reminded him of how much he loved him, though he will not forgive him so easily, he still wants to keep him safe.-
-But something else is in your mind son, what is wrong?-
-I do not want the throne mother, I do not want it to change me, I do not know how father does it-
-Is it because of Jane?-
-No mother, I have already told father that even if he allowed her to came to Asgard and made her immortal I still wouldn´t want the throne.-
-Oh Thor!, I wished that who you really are weren´t such a burden for both of you – she answers him while glancing both at him and Loki- I will talk to your father, but I will make no promises.-
-Thank you mother-Thor heart fully replies and then notices her worrying look when she turns her head towards Loki´s bed.
-He is badly hurt, isn´t he?-
-Yes- she replies as she adds –Sygn is not very optimistic about him. I think she doesn´t expect him to get through the night. I hope your brother will prove her wrong-
-Then I will stay here with you and guard over him –
-No Thor, you have been in battle also, you need to rest. After saving the universe you deserve a night off. Besides if I need you I will send for you-
-All right mother, I will rest- he gets up and kisses her forehead before leaving, then changes his mind and approaches Loki´s bed as he gently leans over he whispers to him – Don not give up brother, things would be very boring without you- then he leaves to his chambers. His mother is right, he´s too exhausted, everything can wait until morning.
Odin sits at his throne meditating his sons’ situations, one of them wants the throne too much, and the other one does not. Then he decides to go to the healers rooms, Frigga always knows how to put things on perspective, he would appreciate her advice.
Odin arrives at Frigga´s room and asks her –Feeling better?-
-Yes I am. Sygn tells me I will be all right to leave within a week-
-She refuses to give me any prognosis until morning. Until now there has been no changes, he hasn´t woke up-
-Did you talk to Thor? – Odin enquires her
-Yes I did, he doesn´t want the Throne.-
-He thinks he actually has a choice about it, and all that´s stopping him is me.-
-Well, you could stay at the Throne for a couple of centuries more.-she answers him half joking
-I certainly can, but you know we are not eternal, when I am gone he will have to step up as I once did.-
-I know, but we could let him grow wiser in the meanwhile, human lifespan is but a heart beep compared to ours, you could let him stay with them for the moment, they have proved to be a good influence on him, he will learn to understand your position.-
-It could be a good idea, I will consider it- Odin answers her
-There is something else I need to talk to you about, Loki confessed Thor who was behind the chitauri invasion … Thanos –
-I was afraid of that – Odin sighs
-You suspected?-Frigga asks him.
-Well, there aren´t that many powerful beings that could both submit Loki and command that kind of army, but from all of them Thanos is the worst. No wonder he was so reluctant to confess, so why did he?-
-He thought he was dying, he tried to protect Thor by making him promise he wouldn´t look any further into the matter nor try anything against Thanos.-
-That was a wise move, Thor wouldn´t have stopped trying to find out. We bought ourselves more time, but we need to prepare a plan in case he …Odin stops before finishing his phrase.
-He survives- Frigga finished the sentence for him.
Odin nods as he closes his eye. Then looks up to her and says- We will figure something out. Right now you need to rest. I will keep an eye on Loki.-
-Are you sure?-Frigga asks.
-It wouldn’t be the first time I have watched over his sleep, don´t you remember?-
-How could I forget? It was the first time I really felt we could lose him-
Odin laughs at the memory – I have never seen you as angry at Thor as you were that day-
-Well, why shouldn´t I? He let his baby brother climb a two story high tree just because his friends taunted him into doing it-
-How old do you think Loki was?-
-No more than six … no more than six and he had a broken arm, leg and a concussion. Any mother´s nightmare.I ca not still understand how he managed to climb so high without any of us noticing-
-I remember the look on the guards face that went to inform he, you would have though he just committed murder “Odin All Father, there has been an accident, your son Loki is in the healing rooms unconscious after falling from a tree” I guess he thought I would kill him for bringing such news.-
-I don´t remember seeing him as still and quiet as he did then, until now, do you think ..-Frigga voice broke into a sob.
Odin comforts her – He will be all right, he is a survivor, he has always beaten all odds and stayed alive.-
Frigga nods her head as she wipes out the tears – You are right. I´d better get some rest I don´t want him to get out of the healers rooms before me.-
Odin smiles and kisses her, then he walks over to his son’s bedside still remembering the first time he guarded his sleep, after the accident Loki had nightmares for moths but it didn´t stopped him from asking not to be treated like a baby any more, he wanted to be treated like Thor. If his brother was going to be punished he wanted the same treatment. It took all of Frigga´s convincing for him to accept that a broken arm and leg that would confine him to his bed for over a month was punishment enough.
-The little rascal! – Odin laugh in his mind – Mm that gives me an idea …-but his train of thought was interrupted by Loki´s sleep growing restless.
-No … no…-Loki started to mumble as he started shifting on his bed.
-Shh, you are ok, you are safe – Odin wasn’t sure he could hear him but the only thing he could do was trying to comfort him.
-No .. Please … no more, don´t hurt me – Odin heart shrank at the words, he is having a nightmare or maybe remembering one.
-Shh, Loki, it is ok –Odin reassured him as he gently stroked his son´s hair, he was feverish, he was about to get Sygn when Loki screamed as he sat up, eyes flooded with panic and tears, shaking as well from fear as from the fever.
-I´m sorry – he cried as he grabbed his father´s arm- I didn´t wanted to … they hurt me … over and over … I should´ve resisted … I – as sudden as he had woken up he collapsed onto the bed.
Loki´s scream had awoken his mother, who sat at her bed a hand over her mouth trying to fight the tears that flooded her, her heart broken after what she had heard.
The scream also alerted Sygn who entered the room and went directly to Loki´s bed- What happened? – She asked as she started checking on Loki.
-He was having a nightmare –Odin replies quite shaken himself at his son´s outburst. – Is he all right Sygn?
-Yes, he is all right. Normally the fever wouldn´t be a good sign, but in his case it means his body hasn´t given up, he is still fighting. It may take a while but I think he is going to make it after all.-
Both Odin and Frigga let out a simultaneous relief sigh.
-I´m going to prepare some medicine to lower his fever, I will be right back, if he wakes up again call me-
-Well, certainly do – Odin answers then walks to his wife bedroom and holds her.
-Are you all right?- he asks to a still shaken Frigga.
-He was so scared … do you think he knew where he was?-
-No, he looked at me as I wasn’t there … I don´t think he´ll remember anything of this night-
-What has Thanos done to him? Frigga pleads to him
-I do not know, all we can do is try that he doesn´t caught him again-
Frigga rested her head on Odin´s chest, as she tried to calm her own heart she closes her eyes as she desperately tries to think of something that could help Loki.