Chapter 16

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Thor could not believe what he was hearing. Over the past few days he'd been forced to believe things he neve  thought he'd be faced with; he now believe someone could be as evil as Laufey, he was forced to believe that a man could take all the beating and torture that Loki had endured for his whole life, he accepted the fact that the same man had lived his whole life without a name. but now he has to believe that Loki had never, not even once in his whole life, had eaten a meal at a table? How is that possible? Loki had mentioned that Laufey never let him eat but he always thought 'never ' was an exaggeration. But by the look on Loki's face he was wrong. It wasn't an exaggeration at all, Loki had literally never had a full meal. The only time food entered his mouth was if someone accidentally left a plate of scraps within arms reach.
Thor looked at Loki for a long time trying to think of what to say. Loki thought he was thinking of a good mockery for him, he wished he hadn't said anything, he wished he hadn't gone to breakfast that morning, he wished he could run and hide and never see another living person again. As Thor stood there in silence Loki slowly started to shrink down into a slouch, hanging his head low like he was trying to be as small as possible.
"I'm so sorry" Thor finally said. It wasn't what Loki was expecting, where was the mockery and the humiliation? There were people walking around, wasn't he going to call them all over to tell them about how stupid Loki was? That's certainly what anyone of Jotunhiem would've done. Loki didn't say anything, he was still waiting for the nasty part to come. But it ever came.
"I'm sorry I made you tell me that... I'll teach you" Thor told him. Loki shifted his eyes from the table to Thor for the first time since lunch came.
"You- what?" He didn't understand, no one had ever taught him anything before.
"I'll teach you. You'll be eating with us three times a day now so I can't walk away knowing you need instruction" he said. Loki looked at him like he was speaking a foreign language. He'd help him learn? Thor tried to look past the amount of shock in Loki's face
and went on to show him how to use a fork and a knife. He first just showed him how to hold them by doing it himself, then took Loki's hands and helped him position them in his hands. Loki was awkward at first but thankfully it's not a difficult concept so he was able to get it quickly. In fact, once Thor showed him how to use them he felt a little stupid for ever needing help, it was so simple he should've been able to figure it out on his own.
"Can- can I ask something?" Loki asked after a minute of getting used to the utensils. He looked nervous, like he was afraid of being broken in half.
"Go ahead. And you don't need to ask every time you speak, you can just talk" Thor nodded old him. That didn't really seem to register to Loki but he went on to ask his question.
"Will- um.. would you- would you please not tell the king and queen?" He asked, he looked like he was going to be sick and pass out from stress and anxiety. He was so afraid to make a request, especially to make a request of the prince, he wasn't supposed to do that "I'll- I'll do extra work and-" he started to panic but Thor held up a hand and he was instantly quiet.
"You don have to do any work. And I didn't plan on telling anyone about this, it's none of anyone's business and it's not your fault that laufey never taught you" he said kindly. Loki was still holding his breath.
"Really?" He asked. Thor nodded and put a friendly hand on Loki's shoulder.
"Yeah. Really. Now take a deep breath to calm down and then eat. You need food" he said, pushing the plate of food in front of him again. Loki was confused but he was also hungry, so he fumbled with the fork until he got it right and then started eating. Quickly. He was eating like he was afraid someone was going to take the food away from him and Thor wondered how he was managing to breath. After a few minutes Loki was less starving and he slowed down, Thor took the chance to ask his question.
"Can I ask you something that would probably be considered really rude?" He asked. Loki looked confused. Why is the prince asking him for permission to do something?
"Um- yes..." he said back as he took another bite.
"Okay.... if you're a frost giant then why don't you look like one? You're shorter than me and your skin isn't blue. Why?" He asked. Loki suddenly didn't want to eat anymore, he was thinking about his mother now and that always drove away his appetite.
"My mother- um.. the queen, Ilkay, she was human...." he told Thor "I got more of her physical traits so...." he looked down at himself a bit "runt" he said as a conclusion to his sentence.
"Why was Laufey with a human woman?" Thor asked him. Loki swallowed hard and licked his lips nervously, he didn't want to think about Ilkay, she was as terrible as Laufey.
"I- I don't know" he said, he didn't know if that would make Thor mad but he really didn't know why a human would want to be with a frost giant and vise versa.
"That's alright" Thor said "I probably shouldn't have asked, I doubt you like talking about it" he could see that Loki was getting anxious again and he decided he should put the topic to rest, Though he was very curious about Loki's past.
thor noticed that Loki hadn't finished his meal, he'd eaten most of it but there was still some left. "You should finish eating, you need to keep yourself healthy" he said, putting the plate back in front of him. Loki looked down at his food, he wasn't in a good mindset to eat and eating so much felt weird and unfamiliar, but his stomach was still aching so he kept eating until his food was gone. After he finished eating Thor had a maid take the empty plate away and turned back to Loki.
"Do you want to keep looking around or do you want me to take you back to your room? You look tired" he said, Loki did look tired but he also looked a lot better, getting some fresh air seemed to do him good.
Loki was quiet for a minute, he hated it when they gave him options because he never knew what the right answer was, they kept saying how there was no right answer and hay it was his own choice, but whenever Laufey said that it ended up being a trick.
"Can- I'd- I'd like to go back to the room if that's okay.." he said. Thor just nodded, well at least he was able to talk without looking like he was going to pass out, maybe he was warming up to Thor, and maybe one day he'll even be able to finish a sentence without stuttering.
"Absolutely, you should probably rest anyway, you're in bad shape" Thor said as he put his arm around Loki's waist and helped him up to his feet again. Loki tensed and Thor could tell he was in pain, but just by looking at his face you wouldn't know he was feeling anything. Thor wondered how he'd gotten so good at hiding his pain. After Thor got Loki to his feet and Loki got his bearings Thor brought him back to the room where Frigga was having him stay, though now that he's able to walk she would have him moved to his own room.
"Mother will probably come by pretty soon to bring you to your own room" Thor told him as he helped him to sit back down in bed. Loki didn't say anything, but he had that look of fearful thinking. Thor wished he could do something to show him that no one here wants to hurt him, he must be dying of anxiety just sitting there waiting for someone to beat him.
"Hey, I'm going to point something out to you that I hope you'll consider" Thor said, Loki looked confused but attentive "I've been with you all day, I've taken you around the palace, I've shown you everything there is to see, and I've given you food. If I had any plans on hurting you I would've done it already" he said, hoping he was giving loki some food for thought "I don't want to hurt you, I don't want to scare you, and I don't want you to think of me as a threat. Not everyone is like Laufey and I'm pleased to say that I'm much different, so maybe try to get your head around the idea of having a friend"
he said. He didn't want to wait for Loki to respond, he just wanted him to think about it, so he turned around and stared to walk out. Loki had something to say but he was afraid to speak up, Thor was leaving so he mustered up all his courage and dared to speak out of turn.
"Your highness" he called to Thor. Thor turned around and waited for him to continue.
"Um- thank you for- for teaching me how to.. um.. eat.... and- and thank you for not telling anyone" that was probably the longest sentence Loki ever spoke. Thor smiled a little bit and nodded.
"Yeah of course, you're welcome. That's what friends do" and with that Thor left the room and left Loki to think about the day and everything that happened and everything that was said.
He didn't understand how the two realms could he so different, he didn't believe it was possible, maybe Thor isn't totally evil and sick like Laufey, but Loki still didn't believe that his life was going to be good and comfortable now, eventually the pain would return, the torture would start again, and he would go back to being nothing but apiece of property to be sold. He was convinced of this even thought it was the furthest thing from the truth

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