Chapter 90

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Several days past, Loki was trying to manage the people who had been badly affected by the war, and he was doing a fine job, but Trinity could tell he wasn't Alright. He wasn't sleeping, he always looked exhausted, and he was jumpy. He was jumpy when she first met him, but she'd gotten use to him being more confident. At first she didn't know what was causing his nervousness, but then one night she was walking past his room late at night and she heard him muttering to himself. She couldn't understand him, but she could tell that he was talking himself down, probably after a dream, and she put the pieces together; he wasn't sleeping because Ilkay was in the dungeons, she was here in the palace, right below him, and it wasn't sitting well with him. Sure he might be able to live a normal life, but the things Ilkay and laufey did to him would never truly leave him, and having her here must be terrible.
It had been a few days, and things were finally moving forward, and Trinity was glad to know that they'd be rid of Ilkay soon.
Tritnity walked down to the dungeons, a small tray of food in her hands. Everyday one of the guards were sent down to give her a meal, but today Trinity had asked to carry out that duty.
She walked over to Ilkay's cell and took down the barrier.
"Here" she said as she dropped the try to the ground. Ilkay looked up at her and then stood up.
"You're not a guard" she said. Trinity shook her head.
"No, I'm a healer" she said "I just wanted to see you before you die" she said. Ilkay laughed.
"What makes you think I'm going to die today, or any time soon?" She asked "Loki won't have me executed, no matter how much Loki pretends to be powerful, he'll always be afraid of me." She said as she picked the food up off the brought and started eating it. Trinity wanted to wring Ilkay's neck for even mentioning Lokis name.
"You're right" Trinity said, which got her a confused look from Ilkay. "You're right, Loki is afraid of you, he hasn't slept a single night since the war ended because he knows you're here and that terrifies him. He can't rest knowing that you're living here in his home. He is stronger than anyone I know, but the things you did to him will always stay with him, the memories of how you abused him will always haunt him, the scars you gave him will never heal, and for some reason you think that means he'll keep you alive? How does that make any sense? He wants nothing more than to get rid of you so he can move on" Trinity told her, but Ilkay shook her head.
"He won't have me executed, he told me himself. He dressed it up to make himself seem tough, but he's afraid to kill me because I have convinced him that he has no power over me. All I'd have to do is mention the lower dungeon and all his strength will crumble" Ilkay said back. Trinity wasn't sure what the lower dungeon was, but she would have to find out later.
"You delude yourself. Ilkay, you're nothing but a bad memory, you're just a nightmare. Loki doesn't want to order your execution because he knows he won't be able to be objective, but it's not in his hands now. He won't kill you, but that doesn't mean he has to save you" Trinity told her.
"What's that supposed to mean? Are you planning to murder me? Is that why you're here? Killing a prisoner without a trial is very dishonorable, and I doubt Loki would want his lover committing that kind of crime" Ilkay said with a pleased smile. Trinity didn't appreciate being called a 'lover', her relationship with Loki was much more than that.
"For one thing, I'm not his 'lover', I'm his fiancé. And for another, I won't have to kill you, because Odin has woken up, and tomorrow you're are going to be out on trial, and you will be sentenced to death, and Loki will do nothing to save you" she stated. Ilkay tried to keep looking like she wasn't taking Trinity seriously, but if Odin's as awake then she can no longer depend on Lokis fear, and it was clear in her face. Trinity smiled.
"Enjoy your last meal" she said as she kicked the tray closer to Ilkay, then closed the barrier and turned around to walk away. Ilkay pounded on the barrier.
"You think Loki would kill his own mother?! Is that really the kind of man you want to be so close with?!" She shouted. Trinity sopped.
"He would never hurt his mother, but he would hurt you. You're not his mother, you're just the person who made him want to die every single day" she said over her shoulder, then left the dungeons.
She got back to the palace and saw Fandral.
"Have you seen Loki?" She asked. Fandral nodded.
"Yeah, Yeah I've seen him. He's the tall guy with blue eyes and dark hair, he's been carrying a staff around lately" he said jokingly, but Trinity didn't seem at all amused. "Alright, clearly you're not in the mood for jokes. He's in the training room" Fandral told her. Trinity just nodded and walked toward the training room. Most of the soldiers trained outside, even Loki normally trained outside, but he liked to use the indoor training room when he needed to calm his nerves. A long time ago, Thor got him to let out his built up pain by punching a bag, and since then, any time he needed to calm his mind he spent some time exercising.
Trinity went to the training room and saw Loki doing his routine. She wouldn't have minded just standing there watching, but she wanted to talk to him. She walked up behind him and slid her arms around his torso. He stopped what he was doing.
"You Really don't want to hug me right now, I'm pretty gross" he told her. He'd been here for a while so he was sweating quite a bit.
"I don't mind" she said, pulling up his shirt and putting her hand on his stomach where the scar was. There were actually many scars, but the one from Thor's impromptu surgery was the most prominent right now.
"Can I ask you something?" She asked. He nodded as he unwrapped his hands.
"Of course, you can ask me anything" he said. She held him a little bit more tightly so that she was all the way up against him.
"What's 'the lower dungeon'?" She could feel his entire body tense, he stopped unwrapping his hands, and she could tell that he wanted to run from the question.
"It was just a solitary dungeon below the palace on Jotunhiem" he said, he tried to sound normal, and she would've believed him, except she was holding him firmly and could feel how tense he was, and she could tell by his voice that his mouth was dry. If it was really that simple, he wouldn't react like this.
"Loki... talk to me" she said softly. He pulled away a bit.
"I can't talk about that." He said as he reached for some water.
"You said I could ask you anything" Trinity said.
"Okay, almost anything then" Loki said back, looking very disturbed.
"She's going to use this against you tomorrow" Trinity said. Loki was having a hard time when Trinity mentioned it, if Ilkay brought it up during the trail he might fall apart.
"I'll be fine. I can't-" Trinity didn't let him finish, she turned him around to look at her.
"Talk to me. We're about to be married, and I don't mind the things that come with that. I don't mind that you have baggage, I don't mind that you might wake up in the middle of the night because of the nightmares, I don't mind any of that, I don't think less of you for any of that, but I have to be able to help you, and I can't do that if you don't tell me what's wrong" she told him. He was quiet, he looked like he was digging up a very old, very dark memory.
"The lower dungeon was where traitors were sent... the people that went there- they rarely come out alive... or in one piece" he told her. It wasn't much, but she was at least getting something out of him.
"If they didn't come out alive, how do you-" Loki cut her off.
"I had to clean up the messes. When they were done, they sent me inside to mop up the blood, or to pick up the bodies- Well, what was left of the bodies. It smelled like death in there, sometimes Laufey would leave remains in there for days before sending me to clean it up. It made me sick. I could see the claw marks on the walls from people trying to escape, I saw the tools laufey used to take people apart, I saw bodies with limbs bent the wrong way... I don't want to get into detail about it, I don't want you to have those images stuck in your mind too. But- think of the worst thing you can possibly imagine, then multiply it by ten, and that's what the lower dungeon was. It was the absolute worst that Laufey was capable of" he told her.
"And.... did he ever send you there?" She asked. He nodded.
"Once... I think I'm the only person to come out alive, and that's only because laufey wanted to keep hurting me. Again, I don't want to give you the mental images of what went on there, but.... being there made me wish I could just be whipped" he told her. He didn't give her a lot of detail, but it was clear that this dungeon was a new level of horrific, and she didn't want to press him to much. There was a long pause between them, then Trinity put her hand on his arm.
"The trial is tomorrow, Ilkay will be executed, and with her will die the last thing tying you to Jotunhiem." She told him. He nodded and let out a long breath.
"Yeah, Yeah they'll all be gone..." he smiled weakly "and we can start planning our wedding"

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