Chapter 46

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Later that afternoon, Loki and Trinity met up again at the pool for lunch. The afternoon was a little warmer than usual, but it wasn't terribly hot and they were both able to enjoy each others company anyway.
Loki was able to make a little bit of conversation, he asked Trinity questions about the palace, about her job, and about the different customs of the realm. Trinity was happy to answer any question he had to ask, and she was pleased to see that he was pushing himself outside his comfort zone. A month ago, he wouldn't have been able to ask anything, fearing that he'd be punished for wasting time, but he now had no problem with it, and he asked quite a lot.
They had barely finished eating when a coworker of Trinity's came by and said that her break was over. Trinity seemed annoyed to leave, but the woman who had come to get her didn't seem to care very much.
After Trinity left, loki cleaned up everything from lunch and returned it all to the kitchen.
He then went back outside to watch the soldiers train. He enjoyed observing them, and he found the techniques and strategies to be interesting.
Loki stood on a balcony a floor above the ground level so that he could watch the soldiers train form an above view. He found that he could detect people's habits and patterns better this way, and he could get a better view of what was happening. He didn't know why he found this so interesting, maybe it's because he was never allowed to learn real fighting skills, and he was starting to consider taking Thor up on his offer to teach him. or maybe it was because all these men fought so differently than he did. Whenever he was put in the arenas, he was only able to win by outsmarting the creature he was fighting, he couldn't use strength because... well he didn't have any at the time. But every one of these soldiers just seemed to depend on their physical build; they only ever out muscled each other.
Thor had the same idea as Loki, he liked to watch from a floor above to get A better view, and when he came up to watch, Loki was already there. When Thor saw Loki standing there he reconsidered approaching.
Loki was standing very straight with his hands behind his back, he was looking out instead of down, and he didn't flinch or seem to be at all bothered by the noise from below, even when it was someone yelling from the pain of a hit. Thor could only see him form the back, but he looked clam and collected, and very comfortable, and there was an air about him that Thor hadn't seen in him before; he seemed stronger. Not physically, but mentally. He wasn't so jumpy, he wasn't wringing his hands or glancing around to see if anyone was approaching. Something had changed in him that gave him confidence in his position.
"Good to finally see you today" Thor said, deciding that he wanted to know if Loki had actually started to get more comfortable, or if it was just because he was alone. Loki turned around to see Thor, but he didn't look startled, and he didn't apologize for being there.
"Where were you this morning? You didn't show up for breakfast" Thor said as he came over and stood next to Loki.
"Oh, right. I uh... I wasn't very hungry" loki said, looking at Thor for a moment and then back to the training soldiers.
"And?" Thor said, he knew that there was another reason Loki wouldn't come to breakfast.
"Well.... I don't know, I just don't really know how I'm supposed to act now that I'm.... your bother" he said, hoping he didn't make Thor uncomfortable.
Thor put a hand on Loki's shoulder like he often did when trying to make him feel more at ease.
"Look, just act in whatever way makes you comfortable. We brought you into our family so that you would be sure in your freedom, and so you would know where you stand in the eyes of the people around you. It's not supposed to put pressure on you. Nothing is expected of you right now, and if at some point my father decides to give you responsibilities, he'll tell you and explain it all clearly." Thor told him.
Loki just nodded a bit. "And I know you still aren't a fan of socializing, so if you don't want to attend the celebration, that's fine" Thor added, people had been talking about the upcoming celebration in honor of Thor's birth, and Thor knew that Loki had heard about it. People walked around all the time discussing things, and Fandral never shut up about the long list of people he could bring as a date.
Loki was at first relived to hear Thor tell him that he didn't need to come, but then he felt a little bit guilty. Thor had done a lot for him, he was keeping secrets for him, he gave him a name, he taught him to read, and he's the one who talked to Odin and Frigga about bringing him into the family. Loki knew he should at least try to be there, he owed him that much.
"I'll be there.." Loki said, which shocked Thor. Loki saw how surprised he was "well I'll have to get used to it eventually, and you've been a friend to me, so I'll be there" Loki continued, deciding in his mind that he would attend and not coward out.
"Well, I'm glad to hear that. I hope you end up enjoying it" Thor said back, very pleasantly surprised to hear that Loki would come. Loki just nodded in agreement and continued to watch the soldiers train.
"Why does that one only ever attack from the left?" Loki asked after a few quiet minutes of observation. "It probably makes him really predictable to the opponents, why doesn't he change things up more?" He questioned. Thor hadn't been paying much attention, but now noticed that loki was right. One of the men only ever attacked from one side, and his opponent was starting to see the pattern and take advantage of it.
"It's probably just the most comfortable to him. A lot of people have a specific fighting pattern" Thor said. Loki looked like he was thinking about that and deciding how he felt about it.
"If I were fighting, I'd try to keep myself unpredictable. Half of the fight is making sure you know more than your enemy" Loki said, he was talking more to himself, but Thor was listening, and he wished Loki would agree to start training.
"Are you sure you won't consider this? You'd make a really good warrior if you got proper training." Thor told him.
"Actually... I was considering it" Loki told him. Thor looked surprised but very pleased.
"Really? You changed your mind?" He asked. Loki didn't nod but he didn't shake his head either, he kind of just did a half shrug.
"I was thinking about it. I'm not entirely sure it's a good idea though" he said, getting a little more nervous about the idea now that he told Thor he was considering it.
"No, it's a great idea. Look, I can teach you everything about fighting. I can teach you techniques, and proper form, and then you'll be able to find your own style of combat on your own. If you hate it, you don't have to continue, but you should at least try" Thor said.
Loki took a deep breath and let it out slowly, thinking about what he should do.
"Alright... I'll give it a try" he finally said after a minute of quiet. Thor seemed pleased, but Loki also saw another emotion in Thor's face; Thor was relieved. And Loki was starting to wonder why it was so important to Thor that he learn combat.
"When do we start?" Loki asked, not sure if he felt excited or nervous or both.
"Whenever you want. I'll have the forges craft some armor for you, but until that's complete, I can teach you the basics" Thor said. Loki nodded a little bit.
"Then... could we start in the morning? It's already been an interesting day for me, I wanted to go read for a little while after this" Loki said. Thor nodded and clapped Loki on the shoulder.
"That's Excellent. Will I see you at dinner?" He asked. Loki just nodded, and Thor turned and walked away to go have Loki's combat armor made.
Loki stood on the balcony a little longer and then went to his room to read. It had been quite a day; first he woke up with the feeling of being a new prince, then he had lunch with a woman that he was continuing to grow more fond of, and now he's going to be trained in combat. He didn't know what got into him that made him able to go so far beyond what he's used to, but he liked it a lot.

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