Boltedfruit Archive

Birthright

Published: 2021-07-17

Category: M/M

Rating: M

Words: 2,645

Fandom: Thor

Ship: Thor/Loki

Characters: Thor, Loki

Tags: Jotun Loki, Asgard, First Meetings

Summary:

 

Loki is finally old enough to train.

 

The warrior rite is long and difficult. It will take years. He will bleed. He will cry. He will be broken and come out stronger. Or he will die.

 

Laufey gives him a hug all the same, a final farewell after such harsh words.

 

But Loki has heard them since he was very young and has anticipated this day for so long he can feel nothing but great excitement. Hope.

 

And, as he waves at Laufey and Farbauti on the rear of the wagon that carries him from his homeland, he feels valued too. He will bring honor to Jotunheim, and remind the First Realm of Asgard what its old allies still rear in the cold lands.

 

Promise, glory, and strength.

Author's Note

Originally posted around 2019.

   Loki is finally old enough to train.

 

The warrior rite is long and difficult. It will take years. He will bleed. He will cry. He will be broken and come out stronger. Or he will die.

 

Laufey gives him a hug all the same, a final farewell after such harsh words.

 

But Loki has heard them since he was very young and has anticipated this day for so long he can feel nothing but great excitement. Hope.

 

And, as he waves at Laufey and Farbauti on the rear of the wagon that carries him from his homeland, he feels valued too.

 

He will bring honor to Jotunheim, and remind the First Realm of Asgard what its old allies still rear in the cold lands.

 

Promise, glory, and strength.

 

 

 

   The road to Asgard is bumpy and winding. It’s hilly, and mountainous—almost too much as he discovers his stomach upsets easily with every winding curve the wagon takes. The vegetation is too green, the sun far more golden than what he’s used to.

 

Jotunheim’s lands are nearly in perpetual shade, and it snows almost year-round. The clouds are the greatest difference though, and they are beautiful here. They seem to glow a strange sheen of green and pink, like when his father’s reading lamp knocked over and the oil was left to spill on the white marble flooring before an attendant cleaned it up.

 

Asgard is a golden kingdom, his parents had told him. And it’s true. The palace is the size of a city itself. He wonders if birds are blinded by the shining spires that twirl into the sky, reaching above even the clouds. He hopes they don’t.

 

The King’s envoy is sent to meet them, as Loki knew would be the case. The man is tall and broad and severe. He wears a large horned helm and the branches of Yggdrasil are carved across his chest in sloping metal arcs. He is astounding, Loki thinks, and terrifying too.

 

The man is Heimdall, he learns. And he leads Loki to the palace by the hand.

 

Loki takes one last look at the wagon as it leaves the golden realm. The last piece of home he’ll see for a very long time.

 

 

 

   He is given a barracks that is shared with ten others, both boys and girls around his age. He wonders for the first few nights if they do not know who he is, Loki of Jotunheim. They speak to him as if he was another commoner, another child of Asgard’s families, sent away to learn from Odin Allfather all the many ways of war.

 

One in particular, Sif. She is loud and bold and brave and he dislikes her immediately for she shoves him hard on his bottom the second they meet. She helps him back up but the damage to his ego is done. He does not like her. Not even when she hugs him quickly afterward through a flurry of apology. She is also a little taller than him, and though he is wider at the shoulder and longer in the leg, he hates that he must look up to her. Doesn’t like her even a bit.

 

She throws her bedroll down beside his that first night, and says she will protect him, if he protects her. He agrees, but only because she is a girl of course. Not because he thinks he made a friend.

 

Not at all.

 

 

 

   Their training begins after the first week. They are tossed shields and wooden hand-and-a-half swords—silly to not be using the real things—and told to fight. He is consistently knocked down.

 

Again and again.

 

“I am the Prince of Jotunheim!” he shouts on the third fall. Sif pulls him to his feet and claps him on the back.

 

“Here you are another soul due for Valhalla,” she tells him with a grin.

 

“My people do not go to Valhalla.”

 

She gives him a confused look before they reset to their starting positions. Again they go.

 

“I am from Vanaheim,” she says after he is knocked back again. “My people sometimes said the same, but I will prove them wrong. I will earn my place in the halls of Valhalla with a good death.”

 

And what of a good life, he does not ask.

 

 

 

   He hears tell of the Allfather going to war over the next year. Loki has never seen him. But it is normal now, to see new bedrolls replaced each week when the new ones arrive. He looks at them now like he imagines he must have been looked upon then; amused, if not fond. They are frightened and frazzled in turns, and it takes a week or two for the proudest of them to realize they are here for the same reason that the rest are.

 

To fight and die for Odin.

 

“For Asgard!” comes the rallied cry from the onlooker’s stands, high above them. He does not recognize the voice this time.

 

He spies the back of a blond head, walking away.

 

He wonders who it is.

 

 

 

   The next four years pass much the same. He has settled into routine, and it is a comfort. Sif and he are the best of friends, and he worries for her. Worries too, for himself and the others, for their time as trainees is coming to an end. The new arrivals look like babes to him now, soft in the face, short in the arm, soft in the belly too. Soft all around when they cry when they are knocked down. Loki wonders if he looked so young when he first arrived, only a boy with a few whiskers to call his own across his flat, pale chest.

 

Now he is a head and half taller than Sif, and they both groan from aches as they take turns massaging each other’s sore muscles from long days of jumping, dodging, dashing, and sword-skill.

 

Sometimes he is reminded of his parents. Of his home. But Asgard is his home now, his place. It is nothing he ever expected. And it is so much more.

 

Odin’s warband arrives back in Asgard on the day Loki shocks himself with a great heat leaping between his thumb and forefinger. It had been a flash, quick and bright and gone. Looking around, no one, he realizes, noticed.

 

He wonders for a moment if he has gone mad. Spying fire where there is none. But his fingers are undeniably warm and he feels the lick of something clever dancing inside him after it happens.

 

Soon the raucous cheering of the court and yard distract him from his concerns. Chants of victory ring throughout the realm and Loki wonders for the first time in months what lies beyond their training villa.

 

Sif drags him away to sneak their way through the gathering crowds. They find the edge of the Bifrost and watch in awe as the Allfather and his shining army march through the streets of the city. Loki is overwhelmed by the noise and smells and joy of its people.

 

He sees a boy around his age run to the forefront and leap to embrace

 

Odin and Loki gasps. It is brazen and untoward, he thinks. But then Odin pats the boy’s head and returns the hug and Loki realizes the boy must be his son.

 

The boy’s long golden curls sway about his cheeks as he grins, nearly jumping as he walks alongside his father. Loki is close enough he can hear them speaking.

 

“Father, I have something to show you. I can finally control—”

 

And then they are past, and Loki places the boy’s voice as the one who sometimes shouts to the would-be warriors in the yard. Startling deep and rich, the tone never far from Loki’s turning thoughts.

 

“Who is that?”

 

Sif gasps. “That is Odin’s son, Crown Prince Thor! He will be leading us into war one day.”

 

Her voice drips in reverie, her words painted with it. Loki feels it catch, infecting him. He is intrigued, very much so.

 

 

 

   For a year, Loki hides away the flame he summons. It is a secret he keeps close. He remembers how mages were treated in Jotunheim, and to be the Prince of his home, with the worst of gifts, weighs heavy on him. He focuses on the sword and shield and his friends in the barracks.

 

And all the while Loki tries to catch Thor’s attention. He hits extra hard, blocks better than he ever has, and knocks the girls down same as the boys, new recruits and the old. No remorse. That’s what Sif taught him.

 

Thor watches the training most days, and Loki thinks he sometimes looks at the warriors with yearning. Loki had wondered at the look the first few times he’d seen it, but one day Thor decides to wander down the steps to the yard.

 

He looks very suspect, Loki notes, and spies his chance.

 

“You,” he calls and Thor trips to a stop, looking caught. “You’re Thor.”

 

“Yes,” Thor says on a nod. He angles his body towards the shrubbery and tugs at his collar.

 

“Are you trying to hide?”

 

Thor’s eyes widen. “No! Well, technically yes, I am not meant to be down here just yet.”

 

“But you are the Prince?” Loki asks. How can royalty not be allowed on their own grounds?

 

Thor lowers his hand when Loki is close enough to speak to privately. He smiles and Loki stares at the way it lights up the Prince’s handsome face. Full lips and dimples.

 

His neck feels too hot.

 

“As I yet aim to remind my father,” Thor sighs. “It took an age to convince him to let me observe the sparring. And you are?”

 

Thor wipes at his forehead the longer Loki does not answer. He is sweating, though it is not hot out.

 

“You do not know?”

 

Thor smiles oddly. “I lied, I know you. You are Loki. I’ve known of you a long time.”

 

Loki allows himself an instant to feel the satisfaction at that wash over him, before shutting it down and away.

 

Clouds gather overhead and Loki squints up at them through the light. The sun is swallowed up by grey and Loki feels the humidity in the air pick up. Thor wipes his forehead again, swiping quick fingers down his nose and chin.

 

“Are you alright, Prince?” he asks, watching beads of sweat appear on his exposes skin. Drops form and roll down his wide shoulders.

 

“Just Thor. And I am just fine, perfectly alright,” he says with some difficulty. He squints and laughs, wrings his collar. “It’s just very hot, is all. Do you not feel overheated?”

 

Loki shakes his head, no. In the sky beyond them there are dark storm clouds gathering and he wonders at the sudden change in weather. The last year he’s seen storms come and go, so different than when he first arrived in the realm—but never like this.

 

“Should we get inside?”

 

Thor waves a hand and scoffs. He jostles his leg and stares at Loki’s face, trying very hard to focus. Thor’s face has gone very red and Loki sees the flush has travelled down his arms as well. “No, no it will pass. They always do.”

 

Loki narrows his eyes. Something about the change in the air, and in Thor, has him on edge. He can feel the nervous energy rolling off Thor in waves.

 

“You’re very red,” Loki warns. He raises his hands, hovering. He’s not sure what to do. The Prince looks ready to collapse. Thor suddenly stumbles off a weak leg and Loki catches his arms to right him. Thor clings to his forearms, steadying himself and breathing hard.

 

The touch is like fire and Loki tries to snap his hands away from it. But he is rooted, stuck where he is. His hands will not move.

 

“Thor.” He shudders out a breath, feeling very hot indeed. He feels the fire in his blood focus on his fingers, like that first time and the few since. He cannot summon flame here or he will be found out as a mage. He will be thrown out and his father’s deal for peace will be thrown out with him. And calling flame to the hands currently stuck to Asgard’s heir was never a good idea. “Thor, you must let me go.”

 

“I feel it,” Thor gasps. He blinks and Loki sees his eyes are glowing a bright blue, before it is gone again back to their usual stunning seafoam. “Loki I can feel you. Your seidr—”

 

“Shut up!” Loki hisses. He squeezes harder and when he looks around he sees they are gathering the attention of wandering eyes. “Shut up. No one knows about that.”

 

Thor is confused. He reaches up to clasp Loki’s neck. “But why? You can be trained. I will—I promise I—” He grimaces and falls forward and Loki must hold him in strong arms to keep him standing. “I do not know what’s happening. They usually pass.”

 

“What usually passes, Prince?” Loki asks, voice edging into the embarrassing realm of desperate. “Thor, what is happening?”

 

Thor jerks his chin up and Loki spies the distance bright web of lightning. Then the roll of thunder booms as if on cue.

 

“You’re the storm,” Loki breathes and Thor nods hastily.

 

“It’s all rather terrific, yes,” Thor rushes out. “But at the moment annoying. Do you think it would be a bother to go summon Eir?” Thor gasps, his eyes flashing bright again before Loki sees him shut his eyes tight, tears squeezing free to roll down his red cheeks.

 

Thor chooses that moment to collapse and Loki goes down with him. There is a flurry as those sparring gather around. Loki cradles Thor’s head in his lap, a hand going to his chest to feel for a heartbeat. There, and strong, but too quick to be comforting.

 

“Eir,” Loki shouts. “Someone find Eir!”

 

Several run off, yelling orders and pleas for the Prince.

 

Without knowing why, he feels a pull. He places his hand upon Thor’s chest, tugging aside the laces that tie the fine material of his tunic together. He spreads his palm flat over Thor’s hot, flushed skin, splotchy and painful looking. Above them thunder booms so loud it shakes his bones.

 

Thor’s fingers find his wrist as his hand begins to glow. Thor blinks up at him, and smiles something far too fond to be given to just anyone. Loki feels it is unfair, to be receiving it. To even be laying eyes on it feels a theft in itself.

 

“Save your strength, fool.”

 

He knows he will be gone soon. There is no hiding the fact he is a mage now. Not with his treacherous hand glowing unprompted, healing though the touch is. They will likely blame him for the Prince’s ill health and toss him from the Bifrost. Loki is already anticipating all the many calls to war against Jotunheim that will be up before the night is upon them.

 

“Loki,” Thor gasps. “I’ve been watching you fight. I will get you a teacher. I—”

 

“Quiet.”

 

Thor laughs weakly. He covers Loki’s hand with his own and closes his eyes.

  

 

   When Eir arrives she takes in the sight of Loki holding her Prince. She does not look upon him with hatred or contempt. Nor even anger, as he expected.

 

Thor opens his eyes when she kneels at his side to help.

 

And Thor says, “He is mine. Loki is mine. I want him trained. I want him by my side.”

 

Eir just nods. When she looks at Loki then it is a look of pride and Loki feels it fill him to every beaming corner of his relieved limbs.

 

Thor squeezes Loki’s hand where it glows, just a little brighter.