Sorry about making you wait so long!

He was barred from seeing her again.

Seething, Loki rounded on one heel and paced to the far opposite side of his cell.

So, he'd finally done it. Nothing surprising in that. He'd made a maudlin fool of himself, weeping over it in the AllFather's presence. But he was uneven on his feet, and the sentence had come as rather a shock, at the time. It ought not have, he considered, but with the grace granted by hindsight all things were clearer.

Tears boiled at the edges of his eyes. His bowed his head, whirling to face the other side of the cell, he would not let them fall. He hated this new weakness in himself.

He reached for his magic. It was a move of impulse – he'd often in his youth distracted himself or given vent to his emotions through its workings – and he did not expect to be answered. His magic had not been taken from him in his imprisonment. He was barred from contact with the widest reach of Yggdrasil and thus reliant only on his own strength. Thus the simplest healings and glamours were the limit of his current scope.

What he drew to hand was an illusion, a glass – solid to his grasp – which he flung to the floor. It shattered with a terrific sound, and evaporated into tendrils of greyish-green that writhed from the floor like smoke.

It was a moment later that Loki realized the impossibility of what it was he had done. He turned back to the place the glass had landed and watched the tendrils of magic in amazement so great that he all but forgot his latest grievance.

Crouching – as thought proximity to the place could tell him something of it – he traced the ground with his fingertips.

Seithr traced shivering up the veins in his arm, delicious, cold and wild. He caught his breath. Glancing furtively about the cell, he drew back.

Cherishing the hand as though it had been wounded, Loki retreated to the far side of the cell. Fear pounded in his chest. He couldn't have said why. Lowering himself onto the bed, he watched the place. All traces of the work he'd cast were gone as though it had never been. He traced the pad of one thumb along the inside of his wrist, following the path followed by the seithr. It hummed in his blood – wakened by the proximity of greater powers.

Something must have happened to weaken the dampening capabilities of the cell. Some slight crack or fissure. Enough to bear an illusion and allow its release. Nothing more, he judged, as he prodded at it. Nothing that was of true use…but still.

It had been so long.

Carefully, tentatively, Loki traced the shape of a flower, and drew it to life, above the opened palm of his hand.

He watched it, the magic humming in his blood and rising to his head.

He watched it in spellbound wonder for several moments.

He remembered the first time he had managed it on his own. His mother had taught him to draw straws from the air. They were simpler. More straightforward in design. But he had known that he had the ability to go further. He remembered the surprise and excitement that had shone on her face when he had brought it to her. He had been no more than a small boy.

Shaking his head, Loki closed his fist and the flower vanished in a cloud of shimmering lights. Irritably, he dropped back onto the bed.

Was he to pass the time with parlor tricks?

He had been meant for more. Capable of more.

But, by the decree of the AllFather, he was relegated to this.

Flowers. Parlor tricks.

Loki spent the following days secreted in his mind. He searched for the space through which the connection he had felt had come. The only spaces he found were infinitesimal. Discouragingly so. If he had had millennia he might have done something with them. But this?

In the throes of frustration, he created illusions. Small ones, that he could feel in the tips of his fingers and along the paths of his veins. When they were no longer enough, he crafted illusions that were larger. Images that played themselves out before him for his entertainment. Stories, dreams, memories. With the power of his mind he could make believe to rewrite the past.

Frigga sent things to him. Furniture. Books.

He was sorely tempted to touch them, but he did not. They were an attempt at conciliation for her absence. They only fanned the flames of his frustration. He was to remain here for the remainder of his life, and she sent books? Within him, he wanted to scream. He needed movement and collision. Something against which to strive that would oppose him. Not this wall. Not books.

The illusions were just that. Illusions. A drug to dampen his own terror.

He knew it.

His mother's voice – so true to her that he almost looked for her presence – chided him that he was above such things.

Had been above such things, he returned.

He didn't care anymore.