Chapter 19

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Chapter 19
"Loki" Loki was asleep but he woke up as soon as he heard someone say his name. He couldn't remember what happened very well and he was confused, why was he outside? He woke up a little bit more and remembered that the night before he had gone outside to get some air, he must have fallen asleep.
"Loki" he heard he same voice again, but this time he recognized it, it wasn't Frigga or Thor, it was Odin. The king. He quickly realized that he had ignored him the first time and was worried about what punishment that might bring.
"I'm- I'm sorry your highness" he said as he scrambled to his feet "I didn't- I fell asleep and-" Odin cut him off.
"Its fine Loki. You didn't do anything wrong, though maybe you can tell me later why you slept outside. For now I only came to tell you that it's time for breakfast" he said. Loki wasn't sure if he should be relived or worried. He wasn't in trouble yet but he said he wanted and explanation, and that's rarely good. He didn't say anything though, he just nodded.
"Alright, well Frigga will be in in a few minutes to help you clean up in the shower and get dressed in clean clothes, and then come to breakfast" Odin told him. He wasn't being harsh but he was the king so Loki was naturally afraid of him. Odin didn't wait for Loki to say anything else, he just turned and left so Loki could get ready for the day. As Soon as odin left Loki sat back down on the floor, he was healing, yes, but he was still far from healthy and being on his feet was something he wanted to avoid. After a few minutes Frigga came in, she wasn't sure why he wasn't in bed and she was very confused as to why he was sitting on the floor.
"Are you alright?" She asked as she came over to him and put an arm around him so he wasn't holding up all of his own weight.
"Yes ma'am, I'm fine" he said, which seemed to be his answer no matter what was wrong with him.
"Alright, well I'm going to help you with a bath and then we can go to breakfast" She said, he just nodded.
Frigga knew Odin had been the one to wake him up, she tried to talk him out of it but then they both agreed that Loki needed to be comfortable which each of them, and he had already gotten to know Thor and Frigga. But because she knew Odin had woken him up she understood why he seemed a little on edge, the king has the most authority so he's probably really nervous about Odin.
Frigga brought Loki into the bathroom and helped him get his clothes off and then assisted him in getting himself clean. Surprisingly he seemed to know what to do (Frigga assumed there was a horror story behind the reason), so Frigga only had to help him when his injuries prevented movement. After a little while she had gotten him clean again and helped him back into some clean clothes. They were still a bit baggy on him because of he was so skinny, but since he started eating he'd been gaining some weight and it wasn't quite as bad. Once he was dressed she put an arm around him again and walked him out to the breakfast table. Odin and Thor had already taken their seats and Thor got up to help Frigga with Loki the way he had the day before.
"You're looking a lot better today Loki" Odin said to him "how do you feel?" He asked. Loki wasn't sure what he was supposed to say, but over the past few days he had noticed that when these people ask something they actually want an honest answer, not ammunition to torture him.
"I- I feel fine" he said quickly, making very brief eye contact with Odin before looking back at the table. Odin looked to Frigga and Thor, he wanted to have a conversation that consisted of more than four words, but he didn't want to push him too far.
"Did you enjoy seeing around the palace yesterday? Thor said you seemed pretty interested" he said, trying to act normal. Loki was a bit confused but he answered the question anyway.
"Yes. Yes sir, I- I enjoyed it" he said, nervously messing with his hands under the table. Thor could feel the tension rising in the room and Odin was starting to look a tiny bit irritated, though it was so slight that only his son would've been able to notice. Thankfully he didn't say anything to Loki, he knew he had a life that few people could even imagine and it was too soon to put pressure on him. But to everyone's surprise, Loki was the one who spoke up. He cautiously looked back up to Odin and gathered up the small amount of courage he had gained since coming to Asgard.
"You- your highness, uh, can- can I ask you something?" He asked, looking like it was the most dangerous thing he'd ever dared to do. Odin looked surprised and pleased.
"Yes, please do, what do you want to know?" He asked. Loki looked only slightly less terrified.
"Have- have I- met you before?" He said, and Thor could tell by the way he was gripping the arms of his chair that he was ready to make a run for it. Odin seemed to suddenly get uncomfortable, Thor had no idea that they had in fact met before. odin had met when Loki was just an infant, but that was an unknown fact to anyone else.
"What do you mean? I've known you for a few weeks now, of course we've met" he said, but it was clear to both Thor and Frigga that he was intentionally playing dumb, probably in the hopes of discouraging loki from asking further questions. But if that's what he was hoping he was greatly disappointed.
"No- I mean yes, yes we- we've known- we met a few weeks ago but- but before that... did I ever meet you when I was younger?" He asked. Now Thor and Frigga were confused too. He wouldn't be asking such a strange question if there wasn't a reason to believe that they had met when Loki was a child. But as far as Thor and Frigga knew this meeting hadn't taken place.
"Loki, why are you asking this?" Frigga asked after a moment of silence from Odin. Loki looked nervous again, maybe he should've kept quiet.
"I- I didn't- I just-" he stuttered for a minute before gathering his thoughts "I have this dream" he said, he had had a strange dream he never understood since he was a baby, and any time he asked Laufey about it he was punished severely, it was obviously a topic that Laufey didn't want discussed so he quickly learned not to bring it up, but they keep telling him that they aren't Laufey and he wanted this dream explained to him. "It's- its hard to make anything out clearly in the dream, but- but it- it's a memory from when I was a baby and- and I'm crying, its cold, and then- then suddenly there's this- this man there.... when he picked me up I wasn't scared anymore.... but then he- he gave me back to Laufey" Loki explained, nervousness in his voice. "I- I always wanted to know who the man was but- I recognized you when- when you came to Jotunhiem. You're-" Odin interrupted him.
"I had never seen you before I came for the meeting a few weeks ago" he said shortly, Loki seemed to shut down quickly, and Odin felt bad that he'd snapped.
"Listen" he said more kindly "your life has been... torturous. When you were young your mind needed some hope to latch onto because Laufey forced you to live a hopeless life. That's all that dream is Loki, the person in that dream isn't real, it has always been your mind trying to give you a pleasant memory to hold onto through the tortures of your life" he explained with real sympathy in his tone. Loki almost believed him, except that he had had the dream last night. Why would he still have it if it was just his mind faking a sense of hope? He almost said it, he almost argued that it couldn't be that as that he'd had the dream the previous night, but then he decided against it. He had already spoken more than he should in one sitting. Breakfast came after a few minutes and Loki let the other three have conversations while he kept quiet. Still thinking about the fact that he had seen Odin when he was just a baby.
=*****=
"When did you meet him?" Frigga asked Odin after breakfast had ended and they both went to their chambers. Frigga knew he was hiding something concerning Loki. Odin, however, was not wanting to tell her the story. If he hadn't felt guilty about it before he certainly did now.
"Never, just forget about it" Odin said to her.
"I know when you're lying Odin!" She said angrily, wanting answers "tell me when you've met Loki, why does he know you? What happened? And why did you lie to him?!" She demanded.
"After the war!" Odin barked "I met him right after the war and I gave him back to Laufey. Everything that has happened to the boy is my fault. and I'm not going to let him know that the reason his life has been hell is because of me"

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