Chapter 29

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Loki stayed in his room for the next several days. Thor felt bad hat he didn't stop his friends from questioning loki about his past, and he'd clearly been forced to relive some bad memories that he probably wished he could bury. So he decided he'd leave him alone and not suggest he leave the room, and just hope he'd want to leave on his own. But unfortunately he didn't ask to leave and go see people, Thor wasn't sure if he was too afraid to ask, but he didn't want to suggest it because he didn't want to pressure him again. At least not yet. Thor came by in the afternoons every day to continue going over the alphabet with him, after a few days he had most of it learned, but he still had to think pretty hard to remember some things so Thor kept him on it.
"Thor I want you too have Loki come to breakfast with us today" Frigga said, it had been several days and Loki hadn't left the room and she was starting to worry about him again "he hasn't left for days, what happened? You were able to get him out a few times but now he's not even leaving for meals" she said, Thor hadn't told her what happened with the warriors a few days ago, mainly  because he knew she'd be mad at him for making Loki vulnerable.
"I think he'd rather be by himself" Thor said, which was obvious, Loki always wanted to be by himself, he was scared to death of any living thing that was even a little bit bigger than him, and because he was still under weight that meant pretty much everyone.
"I know, but it's not good for him to be like that, he'll start thinking he's- I don't know, I just want him to come to meals at least, he doesn't have to do anything else if he doesn't want to, but he can't just be alone forever, he has to know he's among friends" she told him.
"I know, but.... maybe we've been trying to force him to do a little too much, he's still really nervous around people" thor said.
"I know, but he's not going to get any better if he stays alone. He can only get used to people by being around people" Frigga said "I'll bring him if you don't want to, but I want him at breakfast" she added definitively.
"That's probably a good idea, I don't think he likes it when I tell him to do things, he's still intimidated by me sometimes" he said. He remembered the first time they met and Loki tried to flee the room like Thor was there to eat him alive. He'd gotten much more comfortable with Thor, but there was still a bit of fear behind his eyes when they were together.
"I thought he was getting better" she said, she thought they were becoming friends. Thor shrugged a bit.
"Yeah he is, but he's still nervous. He just knows I could hurt him if I wanted to and he's not used to being safe yet" he said. Frigga was quiet for a few minutes, she knew Loki was struggling to adapt, but she hoped he wasn't faking it with her, she wanted him to be comfortable.
"Alright... I'll go see him then" she said as she turned away from Thor and walked to Loki's room. Once she got there she knocked lightly on the door.
Loki was sitting on the floor trying to remember everything Thor had taught him over he past few days. As soon as he heard the knock he scrambled to his feet and moved to a chair and pretended to be busy. Everyone told him to stop sitting on the ground but he was more comfortable there so he stayed there when no one was looking.
"Yes" he said as soon as he was off the floor. The door opened and Frigga walked in. Loki wasn't sure why she was there, and he was a little afraid he might have done something wrong, maybe Thor decided to tell her about him lying about knowing how to read.
"Good morning" Frigga said with a small smile as she came into the room. "I haven't seen you for a few days. Are you okay?" She asked him as she came closer to where he was sitting and stood next to him, putting a hand on the back of his shoulder.
"Oh, I- yes, I'm- I'm fine. I just- I've been-" Frigga cut him off.
"It's okay, you don't have to explain yourself. But I wanted you to come to breakfast if you're feeling alright. Would you be willing to do that?" She asked, subconsciously moving her hand up and down his back as she stood next to him.
Loki felt a bit anxious, he felt better when he was alone and he didn't really want to leave the room, what if they stared questioning him about the things laufey had done? He didn't like talking about it and he didn't want her to ask him things.
"I- I'm not hungry" he lied, he could skip a meal if he had too, he just didn't want to see Thor's friends again.
"Loki, did something happen?" Frigga asked as she pulled up a chair and sat down in front of him, putting a hand on his knee.
"No I just- I don't- can- can I please stay here?" He asked, offering no explanation as to why. Frigga wished he would start to feel more comfortable, but it seemed that he still had a long way to go, he still stuttered when he spoke and he was obviously still very nervous to ask her for permission to stay in his room.
"Loki.... I won't force you to do anything. You have the right to make your own choice, but I care about you and I don't want you to be alone all the time, that's not good for you" she told him kindly. He couldn't express what he felt, it was more than just being nervous around people. He hated being spoken too, he saw everything as a potential threat, he felt sick any time someone mentioned Laufey, it was exhausting.
"If- just- please- please don't talk about Laufey" he said, looking even more uneasy as he said Laufey's name. She didn't know if he was afraid at the thought of Laufey, or if he was just afraid to ask her for a favor.
"Of course, no one was planing on talking about that. It won't come up" she assured him, not sure why that was such a concern, she hadn't talked about Laufey at all since he came.
"Okay...." he mumbled, looking like he was thinking about a lot at once. Frigga was quiet for a minute and then took Loki's hand.
"Come on, you'll be fine" she said as she stood up, having Loki stand up as well. By now it was easier for him to walk, he still had a few injuries left to heal, but he could walk without pain shooting up his leg.
They both got up and left Loki's room and headed to the dinning room, Loki kept his eyes on the ground most of the time and responded to Frigga with very short simple answers when she spoke to him. After a minute they got to the dinning room, Loki remembered where Frigga sat and so he went over and pulled out her chair for her. Frigga wasn't really expecting that, it was polite and she appreciated it, but there were servants for that so she was just expecting him to take his seat as soon as they entered the room.
"Thank you" she said as she sat down. Loki saw that there was a servant waiting to do that for Frigga, and he realized he'd done it again, just like with Fandral's wine, he'd forgotten he wasn't a servant for a moment. Thankfully Frigga didn't think it was weird like Fandral  did.
"Um, you're- you're welcome" he said with an unsure tone as he took his seat next to Thor.
"Good morning" Odin said from the end of the table, Loki was the least comfortable with Odin, mostly because he had he most power.
"Good morning" Loki mumbled in reply. There was a quick silence as they all gave Loki a chance to speak, but when he didn't they started their own conversations. Loki was listening to Odin and Thor discuss some kind of law that was apparently under consideration, but Loki knew nothing about it so it didn't make sense to him.
"What are you going to be doing for the day Thor?" Frigga asked when there was a break in his and Odin's conversation. Thor turned to Frigga.
"I'm going to go out riding for the afternoon, the weather is finally getting better" he told her. He saw Frigga glance to loki for a second and Thor knew what she was thinking. Sure it would be good for loki to get out of the palace for a while, but he also feared he'd have a nervous breakdown. But To Thor's surprise it wasn't Frigga who spoke up, it was Odin.
"Loki, do you know how to ride?" He asked, Thor immediately wanted to start talking so Loki didn't have to answer, he was sure he had no idea how to ride a horse, he doubted he'd ever even been near one and he wished Odin hadn't asked. But contrary to what Thor thought, Loki nodded.
"Yes sir" he said, but he was looking anxious again and Thor (because he was sitting right next to Loki) saw him wringing his hands under the table as he looked at Odin.
"You should join Thor then. I'm sure he wouldn't mind and you'd probably enjoy getting out for a day, the healers tell me your healing surprisingly well" Odin said. Loki felt his mouth go dry and he lost any ability to speak. He couldn't argue or say he didn't want to, the king hadn't given him that freedom yet. Thor and Frigga both told Loki to tell them when he didn't want to do something, but Odin hadn't.
"Y-yes sir" Loki said with a slight nod, looking thoroughly miserable. Thor wished he'd mentioned that Sif and the warriors were also joining him, Loki probably wouldn't have agreed if he'd known that.
"You don't have to come if you don't want to Loki" Thor told him, but Loki seemed to have completely cast aside what he wanted and had gone back into the mindset of following orders. He would rather do just about anything else, but the king told him to do this so he would do it, he didn't want to find out what would happen if he said no.
"It- I'll go" he said simply. He looked down at his breakfast and suddenly didn't really want to eat.
Thor didn't understand how his father couldn't tell Loki was about to pass out from fear, but Odin either didn't notice or didn't care because he didn't assure Loki that it wasn't required for him to go.
So Loki would go out with Thor and his friends, he'd be terrified the whole time, he'd feel trapped and out numbered, and he'd probably loose any courage he'd managed to build over the past few weeks.
Just perfect.

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