Chapter 27

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Thor stayed with Loki for the better part of the remainder of the day. At first he thought Loki would only want a brief lesson that might take about an hour, but he quickly found out that he was wrong, Loki wanted to learn everything there was to know about reading and writing in one afternoon. of course, that was impossible, even though Loki was an adult and could take in a lot of information at once, it was still very hard to remember everything, and a lot of things didn't make sense to him even though they were just going through the alphabet.
Since Loki didn't know anything about reading or writing or anything that had to do with words, Thor knew he had to start at the very beginning, boring though it was, so Thor spent the rest of the afternoon helping him pound the alphabet into his brain.
Thor knew it would take several weeks for loki to memorize everything about the alphabet, but he figured he should at least give a quick summery of everything just so loki could have an idea of how much he'd be learning.
"There are twenty six letters in all, each one has a symbol, a name, and a sound. Some of the letters are referred to as vowels and they serve their own purpose. There's also an uppercase and lower case form for each letter...." Loki wasn't sure if he was going to be able  to follow, he didn't realize Thor was just explaining what he was going to learn later, he thought he was supposed to remember all this right now and he was forgetting things as soon as they entered his brain.
"Don't worry, for today I'll only go over the symbols and names with you, that's typically the starting point" he said after he'd finished his overview, he saw that Loki looked pretty intimidated so he assured him that they would go as slowly as he needed. Loki was very grateful for that.
So for the rest of the day Thor had Loki memorize the names of each letter and the corresponding symbols and sounds. It might seem like an easy concept, But Loki had never been exposed to this kind of learning before in his life, it was completely foreign to him and everything was seemingly random, there was no way to remember everything other than just simply memorizing it. He had a pretty good memory, but he was still getting a headache after a few hours of trying to retain the new information.
"Loki you don't have to remember everything today" Thor said, he wanted Loki to take a break, someone can only learn so much in one afternoon and Loki was just exhausting his mind.
"But- I should be able to remember this" he said, feeling even worse about himself, Thor said this was the easy part and he's still struggling.
"Not in one day, you're learning something new, of course it'll take a little while for you to memorize everything" he told him, it was obvious that Loki was getting frustrated with himself, but it wasn't realistic to expect to be able to learn in a day.
"But- isn't- isn't this supposed to be easy?" He asked, starting to think that Laufey was right and he was in fact stupid and an idiot.
"Well not if it's your first time learning. Loki you've never even heard the names of these letters or seen the symbols, it'll take you more than one afternoon to learn everything seamlessly. Besides, you're wearing yourself out, you're not going to be able to remember anything when you're tired and have a headache" he told him. Loki was rubbing the sides of his head and he looked like he needed to lay down. Thor forgot he was supposed to be resting and not worrying about things. "And Loki, you can take as long as you need to learn this stuff, I know it's all new and can be pretty confusing, so just take your time alright?" He said, trying to sound reassuring. Loki still looked frustrated but he nodded. He believed Thor when he said he wouldn't get mad at him for taking a long time to learn, but he was still a little nervous that he'd push the limits of Thor's patience. Thor could tell that Loki was considering continuing, so he decided that maybe he should tell him what to do rather than make suggestions.
"No more for today Loki, you can keep going tomorrow" he said in a tone that made it clear that the decision was made and loki wasn't to continue this until tomorrow. Loki nodded a little bit but still looked frustrated.
"Yes sir- uh.... alright" he said, he felt weird not calling Thor 'sir', especially when he was giving him an order. Thor smirked a little bit, at least loki caught himself in saying 'sir' and stopped himself.
"Good. How about doing something you enjoy for the rest of the evening" Thor suggested. Loki's face was pretty blank and Thor knew what he was thinking.
"I don't- there's nothing I enjoy" loki said a little too naturally. Thor felt that same wash of depression he felt whenever Loki talked about his miserable life. There's nothing he enjoys and he says that like it's normal. Had he seriously never once done something he likes? He hated it when Loki said things like that, it made him feel guilty for having a good life, and he suddenly felt bad for everything he'd ever complained about.
"Okay.... well I was going to head to the lounge, how about you come with me and you can meet Hogun and Volstagg. I know you get nervous with new people but you won't have to talk very much and you can start getting more comfortable around people" he suggested. Loki swallowed hard, he didn't want to leave the room again today, and he didn't really want to meet other people either. "I won't leave this time so you won't have to be alone with them, and I won't let them bother you. You can just sit and listen if you want" Thor added, seeing that Loki didn't look too thrilled about the idea. After a minute though Loki nodded slightly.
"Okay" he said, sounding pretty unsure. Thor knew he was pushing Loki outside his comfort zone, but he felt it was necessary. He didn't care if Loki was always an introvert, but he couldn't panic at the thought of seeing a new person.
"Perfect" he said as he got up and returned the chair to its place. Loki stood up as well, he was still holding his ribs because they ached, and he was still limping a bit, but he could walk around for a little while.
Thor made sure he was close enough to help Loki if he needed it as they left the room and went to the lounge. Loki wasn't really sure what to expect, but he wasn't expecting what he was faced with when they got there. He and Thor walked into a large room that was furnished with sofas and chairs and tables, and in the center here was a large fire pit. Since it was warm out there was no fire, but Loki imagined it would be nice when it was cold. There were large windows that let the refreshing night air stream into the room, and double glass doors that opened up to a balcony. Overall the whole room felt very comfortable and laid back, and if he wasn't so terrified of interacting with new people he'd probably be able to relax a bit. There were only four people in the room at the moment besides Thor and Loki, Loki recognized the woman to be Sif, and one of the men was Fandral who he'd met earlier that day. The other two, however, he didn't recognize, but Thor had mentioned the names 'Volstagg' and 'Hogun' before, so he assumed that's who the other two men were. All four of them were laughing and Fandral was clearly in the middle of telling either a joke or a story because he was the only one attempting to speak through his laughter. As Thor and Loki walked in, the story ended and they all looked up to see the two of them walking in.
Loki wished he was back in his room and away from these peoples stares.
Loki took a seat and tried to stay quiet and unnoticed, he just hoped he didn't have to do much talking, hopefully Thor was right and he could just sit and listen.

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