I just wrote a semi-evil Loki into Cupboards and Cryogenics, so it was a lot of fun returning to this Loki again.
Jotunheim is beautiful. The moonlight glistens off the snow like when Elsa ran to the mountains.
Loki strokes Sleipnir's neck, reassuring him. It's not a bad dark now, with the moon above. He glances at the arc reactor in the Iron Man suit, its own little moon. The eyes are lit up, too, of course, and the repulsors as Iron Man hovers in the air.
Simba stands, perched on Sleipnir's back, his own reactor giving Sleipnir a private glow.
"That moon's not glowy," Loki turns his gaze up to the sky. "That's suns-light."
He slides off Sleipnir's back, slings an arm over Sleipnir's neck to keep the reassuring hug.
Loki's feet slide a bit on the ice. Sleipnir's eight hooves slip out in every direction, like a rag doll. Loki moves to hoist his horse boy up, frowning. Hadn't Frigga made him stronger? She gave him muscles and fat he'd been sorely lacking from the other dark.
Once Sleipnir gets his feet under him, he stands tall, though he scuttles like a spider across the ice.
"No swimming." Loki whispers to Jormungandr as the snake slides smoothly across the slippery surface. Loki wants to dip into the ice, pull it up into his own castle, but it has to wait. He has to find Fenrir.
Sleipnir watches Jormungandr's effortless sliding before rolling on his side. His eight legs flail as he thrashes.
"Uh, you okay there?" Tony asks.
Sleipnir tosses his head, snorting. He sends Jormungandr a look that asks how do you do it?
"I've been to the sssssssouth pole," Jormungandr replies.
"Did you eat penguins?" Loki frowns, remembering the adorable flightless birds at the zoo. Does Jotunheim have zoos? "Fen, you eats penguins here?"
Loki wants his children to eat, he hopes none of the rest starved like Sleipnir did, but penguins are so cute. He can picture a penguin shaped lump traveling down Jormungandr's body, except he could grow big enough that the penguin wouldn't even show. He could probably eat a shark even, or a whale.
"I've feassssted on ssssharks." Jormungandr sounds pleased, and Tony whistles in his suit.
Sleipnir tries to stand, but keeps slipping and falling. Tony flies close to help hoist the horse up, and Logan lifts him from underneath.
"Lifting you is harder now." Logan grunts. Sleipnir looks sorry, but Logan says "That's good."
"Warmer?" Loki looks around, thinking of the game he'd played with Lila, Cooper, and Jarvis. He's waiting for the illusion of the wolf to pop up and tell him he's getting closer.
"It is very cold here," Thor says, as if Loki doesn't know what warm and cold mean. Words can be tough to get out, and Allspeak doesn't always work with his brain, but he knows those. "Do you not feel it?"
The cold doesn't bother Loki. Something else does.
They could be walking away from Fenrir, for all Loki knows. Jotunheim is huge, after all, and they could be on the wrong side of it. "Gettin' colder, colder, colder, cold, cold, colds!" he chants, over and over, stomping his bare feet.
Frigga wraps her shaw around his shoulders. She magics some boots on Loki's feet that he immediately kicks off. All the magic she could've done over the years, and now she gives him boots? He picks them up, but only to give to Fenrir to chew on later.
"Tony?" Loki asks the suit flying next to him. "What's if my Fen's all the ways over?"
"Then we get Scotty to beam us up again," Tony replies. "I've got a heat tracking view on this. Works especially well here. I don't know if it'll detect Frost Giants, if they're not particularly warm blooded, but I guess you're showing up."
"I'm not blue." Loki says, looking at his bare toes on the ice. He's the only one with visible toes. Sleipnir's are in horseshoes. Thor's wearing his armor and cape. Not even Logan is barefoot, he's wearing boots and a leather jacket, claiming he's Canadian. That means he doesn't have to bundle up as much as Bruce, who has a snowsuit that makes him look like a stuffed toy. He's way more squishy than Simba, and Loki couldn't resist hugging him.
Some of the others trudge over the ice. Loki starts to jump and eventually, Sleipnir gallops alongside him, not sliding at all. Loki flicks his fingers in the air, shooting flurries of snow. Thor makes no remark, and Loki tries a daring prank, forming a ball of snow and shoving it right in Thor's face.
He doesn't curl in the ground in fear. He tenses, but springs away as Thor sputters. Thor doesn't punish him, and Loki grins. Their in his world now, even if it's a world he's never been to. He thinks that Midgard is more his, that's where his newer family is, but well, this was where he was a baby, and where his own baby's been kept for a long, long time.
"You've never seen this much snow before, have you?" Tony asks.
"I've seen this much mores snow." He's seen lots of snow in movies, and when Thor tried to dump him off here before. What if he had been left here, and found Fenrir earlier?
"Sorry." Loki says. He could have saved Fenrir way back then.
"No need to be sorry," Tony says. "It's nice, seeing you in your element. Literally. I mean, you're always yourself, but now you're-"
Loki flicks his hands in front of his eyes. Snow swirls from his fingertips, but they're still pale like the moon, not blue like Tony's arc reactor. "I'm not blue,"
The eyes of Tony's suit study him, the face unmoving metal. Tony's voice, coming from the speakers, is a warm as ever. "You'd fit right in here, if you were."
"And Kurt an' Hank." Loki nods. He waves his fingers in front of his eyes like the dancing snow. "Hank's big, big like a Frost Giant. You alls want me blue?"
Loki glances from Tony to Bruce. Bruce, who never wants to go green and let Hulk out, gives something between an encouraging smile and a grimace in the cold.
"Your choice, Snoopy." Tony says in the suit.
Loki curls his toes against the ice and shoots snow down to cover his feet. They're hidden now, and he thinks about them being blue when he lifts them out of the mound.
Loki starts repeating "Let it go,", singing Elsa's song, but not for long. It turns into his own. Let me show, over and over as kicks the snow. His feet are blue, and the blue creeps up his legs, over his arms.
Loki flicks his fingers, watching them turn blue. Snowflakes dance from blue fingertips.
His song becomes becomes let him go.
The sooner Fenrir can join them in their romp, the better.
Loki makes snow explode against Tony's suit, then laughs as Tony blasts chunks of snow with his repulsors.
But Bruce looks worried. "Do you want them to think we're here to fight? Bringing your suit is already sending a message that you're up for battle."
He'd brought this up several times when they were packing and Loki was helping conjure Bruce's stuffed snow suit. And Tony gives the same reply.
"I'm using this for tracking purposes,"
"I told you I could sniff him out," Logan growls.
"How?" Tony shoots back. "You don't even know what he smells like."
Fenrir's going to be a great tracker, when they find him.
Finally, they find an ice palace. It's broken, in ruins, but the ruins look like they were once beautiful too. Loki traces a hand over intricate carved lines in the ice pillars. Like the lines on blue skin. The pillar was broken, shards sticking from the smashed part. Loki wonders if Odin broke it, during that war long ago.
This is far from only thing Odin had broken.
"Broken," Loki mutters, fingering the jagged ice. "Broken up, all sharp. It's got smashed, tored, ripped."
"Yeah." Tony flies close to the pillar, inspecting it.
"It's a graveyard?" Loki pokes at Simba on Sleipnir's back. The place is ruined, maybe everyone here is dead from a war. Or they're going to be chased by hyenas.
"They're hiding." Thor says. Loki flinches, then tries to stand tall like a giant.
"I told you not to return, Asgardians." a deep, menacing voice comes from somewhere among the ice pillars. Then the voice chuckles. "You brought mortals to fight your battle."
"We are not here to fight, King Laufey." Frigga remains calm, and inclines her head in the direction of the voice.
Two Frost Giants emerge in the darkness. They're at least as tall as Hulk. Taller, probably. Even if they're thinner, they seem just as strong. They form large spears of ice with their magic, so large they seem to grow out of their arms, hiding their blue hands.
Logan clenches his fists, but his claws stay inside.
Red eyes stare at Loki, who's pretty sure his eyes are still green. He peers at an ice pillar to check, but it's not quite that reflective.
"The Princess came back," the deep voice mocks.
"Who?" Loki strokes Sleipnir, and pokes Simba. "He's the prince."
Did he mean Elsa? She's Queen. Anna?
Then Loki remembers when Thor went last time, it only took one time of them calling Thor Princess for Thor to start swinging.
Loki wonders if any of these Frost Giants are Laufey, the king. His born father, who was around just as little as Loki was for his kids. Only Laufey hadn't seemed to care at all that Loki was taken, and hadn't wanted to take him back.
Frigga greets one as Laufey. Loki bounces on his toes. It feels weird, knowing his born-dad's there. What if Fenrir feels weird, seeing him? Did Sleipnir or Jormungandr?
"I want my Fen!" Loki interrupts Frigga's diplomatic speech, then scowls at himself, smacking his thigh. He sounds like when Thor used to throw tantrums, even on his coronation. But if Fen's listening, he wants Fen to know he's wanted, that he won't be dragged, chained, before his parent only to be rejected.
Sometimes, movies lie. Loki might have been lost royalty, like Simba and Rapunzel, but he sure hadn't gotten the reaction they received. The Jotun hadn't wanted a damaged prince, and didn't even fight Asgard for hurting him. They fought Asgard for any reason, but he'd been worth less than nothing to them.
Frigga stops to look at Loki, and Tony quickly jumps in.
"You're a devoted father, if I've ever seen one, Snoopy. I mean, some fathers want their kids out of their sight, but-" Tony turns to address Laufey now, "Loki's not going to stop until he has all his kids back."
Loki rocks back on his feet, surprised. Tony's making him sound like some sort of hero, like all the Disney characters who start out getting pushed around or lose their family before being the hero.
"He sired the wolf?" Laufey asks.
"If you take him, you're stealing." Loki borrows Lilo's line, but was Laufey the one to steal his kid, or was it Odin?
"It seems my runt of son has done more than I give him credit for."
Loki knows he's Laufey's son, but it really doesn't feel like it. He doesn't like Laufey suddenly liking him, just because he made Fenrir. Tony was his friend back before Loki knew Fenrir and the others were real.
Loki keeps his arm over Sleipnir. He doesn't like Laufey looking at him like he can make him a bunch of creatures. Does he know about Sleipnir and Jormungandr? Laufey's not telling them where Fenrir is, so Loki simply starts to walk away. He can hear Tony flying after him, and Logan sniffing the air.
"I'm sensing a large wolf in there," Tony nods toward the ice fortress.
Loki's almost jealous that Fenrir's gotten to hang out in an ice palace already, and he's sure Sleipnir is jealous as well. "I'll make one later," Loki promises, rushing toward the entrance.
Sleipnir can run faster than Loki now, and tosses his head for Loki to ride. Loki jumps onto Sleipnir's back as the horse gallops across the ice.
They charge into the fortress, and Jormungandr starts to stretch, his tail still at the start of the fortress, "ssssssooo we don't get losssssstt."
"Warmer," Tony says as they enter a hallway. Sleipnir goes left, until Tony tells them it's getting colder. They turn the other way.
The fortress is full of confusing turns, but steadily they get warmer, warmer, burning, until Sleipnir crashes into a large icy cave.
Fenrir lays in the center, chains around each paw and his neck. Sleipnir skids to a halt and Loki jumps off his back, crouching by Fenrir's side.
Fenrir looks fed, at least. He stands easily, but he doesn't seem strong enough to break the chains.
"Scar put Zazu in a-" Loki strokes a hand over Sleipnir's less-prominent ribs until he remembers the word. "In a rib cage."
He can't decide if being chained is worse than Zazu's fate or not. Were the Jotuns here telling Fenrir to be quiet?
Loki tugs on a chain. Are they ice? Metal with a coat of ice? He smashes his fist over one, but that doesn't do anything.
Fenrir starts gnawing at one, just to show it didn't work, and scratches at another. Loki gives him the boots from Frigga, and Fenrir chews and shakes one with vigor.
Snickt. Logan's claws shoot out of his fist before he stabs them into one chain. Tony shoots a laser out of his gauntlet, cutting through another chain. Sleipnir stomps, ineffectively, on a third chain.
Loki throws his arms around Fenrir, burying his face in the fur. He feels Fenrir's heartbeat, strong in his chest, and his gentle panting.
Two things clang on the floor. The cut chains. Logan hacks at another chain with his claws, and Tony starts firing his laser again.
Loki reaches to grab Tony's arm, and the laser stops. "Please be careful." Tony warns. "You don't want to be in the way when my laser goes off."
"Hey, a laser. How come you don't have a laser?" Loki points his own finger, to no avail. He wants to help cut the chains.
He clings to Tony's arm as Tony aims the laser at the metal links. Loki freezes the hot ends where the metal was severed, so nobody gets branded.
Fenrir lopes across the cave. There are still cuffs around his legs and the collar around his neck, but he's no longer chained to the wall of the cave.
Sleipnir headbutts Fenrir, glancing around the cave. Where did you poop?
Fenrir claws at the ground, and Loki sees a hole that had been hidden under Fenrir's bulky body.
"Let'sssss go." Jormungandr starts shrinking, his head slithering backwards toward his tail. Loki doesn't hop on Sleipnir this time. He walks between Fenrir and Sleipnir, chasing Jormungandr's retreating head.
At last, they're back out in the open mountains, in the snow. Fenrir lopes off, turns, and barrels back toward them. Sleipnir dances out of the way, but Loki lets Fenrir tackle him, rolling around and wrestling. Nobody's ever played this way with him before.
Loki laughs as he rolls tumbles through the snow.
Logan joins in, without his claws, and Loki thinks it could be a movie. The Wolverine versus the Wolf.
"Get Tony," Loki whispers, and Fenrir pounces on the Iron Man suit.
"Is this your way of saying thanks?" Tony's voice comes through the speakers. "Just don't turn my armor into your chew toy, okay?"
"The boots!" Loki shouts, and Fenrir playfully puts his mouth over Iron Man's boot. There's no fire coming out, now.
Then Fenrir chases Loki and Sleipnir around as Jormungandr tries to playfully trip them. It's nothing like getting tripped or tackled in Asgard was, and Loki's enjoying himself quite a bit. He flings snow at everyone. Tony hurls snowballs back, and Sleipnir kicks sprays of snow at them, tossing his head with a whinny.
Loki stops playing, lifting his hands in the air. Ice rises from the ground, and he starts forming his own fort. This was his home, when he was a baby. It was Fenrir's home, better than Loki's or Sleipnir's in Asgard. Fenrir should have his own fort here, one where he isn't chained up.
Slowly, the fort forms, with glistening pillars and shining ice walls. Iron Man flies around, impressed. Logan folds his arms and waits.
Loki smiles at Fenrir and hums softly to himself as he searches for the words. When he finds them, he sings "He's locked up but he's saved by me... we're free!"
I hope you enjoyed. I wanted to get this out around the holidays since I sort of thought of it as a holiday chapter, what with all the snow and the family and everything.
I was debating about holding it off til New Year's Eve, because December 31, 2015 was when I started posting this on FFN and I'm weirdly obsessed with updating on certain dates, but the holiday part won out.
I'm on break but I'm not sure if I'll get another chapter out by New Year's Eve or not. I want to update Cupboards and Cryogenics on January 2, since that's a significant date in my posting history of that story.
I'm juggling three different Loki's now. Talk about confusing, but then again Loki can cast illusions of himself.