Oh, how could it have come to this…

He – Loki of Asgard, and Jotunheim and...Helheim?...stranded in this gods-forsaken realm, another frozen wasteland...together with his more or less evil mother whom he didn't even know existed until a few months ago. Just splendid. Loki had managed to screw up his life, and death, royally.

The Norns must die laughing about him.

Dumbfounded, he watched a family of frozen ducks passing him. What the hel was going on here? Was he now loosing his mind completely?

The male duck noticed his stares and quacked threateningly, eying him warily with its one good eye. Wait...what?

Loki blinked...and the ducks were gone. He lifted his head when he heard snickers.

"Don't worry, my son. The air in Helheim can cause hallucinations for those who are not used to it. It will subside in a few months."

Loki opened his mouth to tell Hela that he was not her son and that she should refrain from calling her such, but something stopped him. Maybe it was the memory of Frigga, standing before him for the very last time...He had claimed not to be her son, he had pushed her away and hurt her with his words, the last words before her death.

Instead he said, "I assure you I have no intention of staying here. I am only waiting for you to release me so I can go to Valhalla. By the way, you have still not told me about your so called 'offer'"

"I see."

Loki quirked an eyebrow. She avoided his gaze.

"Listen Loki, I know it doesn't seem to be very homy here..."

He looked at her incredulously. "It's Hel."

"That it is", she said drily.

He snorted. "I still don't know how you managed to interfere." When she didn't answer after a few seconds he got a bad feeling again. "You...did interfere, did you not? I mean...Surely I wasn't destined to rot in Hel." There was a slight note of panic in his voice.

"No, I was destined to rot in Hel. You might remember that I, too died in battle, but I chose to not go to Valhalla because..."

"Father would have kicked you out?" He regretted his words instantly as he noticed the hurt in her eyes that she masked quickly.

"No. Because I knew that I would never find peace there."

That gave him a pause. "What do you mean? Surely there are people you would want to be reunited with?", he spoke cautiously unsure of how she'd react.

"Only one."

Absolutely nothing could have stopped him to roll his eyes because of her sentiment. It earned him a laugh.

"I have heard you do not appreciate sentiment, but I have contained my thoughts and feelings for too long. Either because of Odin or my own foolish hate, I will not do so any longer." She gave Loki a large smile that looked totally misplaced on her features.

"But if you wanted to reunite with me", speaking it out loud sounded wrong for so many reasons, "Why did you not join our family in Valhalla? You must have known that I would end up there at some point."

Hela sighed. "I told you before, but I will say it again. I would never find peace...and you would not either."

"What are you talking about..."

"Think it through!", her tone was harsh, "Do you honestly want to go back to those who treated you as someone inferior, who lied to you for all your life? Do you really wish to spend eternity with them?!"

"Mother is there, waiting for me, and Thor will be there too! Why would I want to be parted from my family, even in death?"

He knew she had a point. It's not as if he had ever felt particularly at home in Asgard. Still, he couldn't stop thinking about Frigga. He had missed her so much with the only consolation being that he would see her again in the afterlife.

But those thoughts didn't take the guild away that he felt looking at Hela's expression of utter betrayal and hurt.

"And am I not your mother?"

Loki had to swallow the lump in his throat. He didn't know what to answer to that. He was terrified to say yet again the wrong thing and push another member of his family away, but for him, Frigga was his mother and nothing would change that.

"You...are family, but so are Frigga and Thor, even Odin. Why do you make me choose?"

She lowered her head as in shame and sighed. "I understand, believe me, I do, but you must see that I only wish to protect you."

"From what?!", he was loosing his patience. He didn't have the slightest idea what Hela was talking about.

"They broke you before! They broke me! And with time they will do so again."

"How can you say that!"

She sighed heavily. "We do not belong there, darling, can't you see?"

"Maybe you don't, but I do. I am still a prince of Asgard!"

She sighed again and shook her head as if disappointed. "Fine."

"'Fine'? Does that mean you will send me to Valhalla?"

"If you wish", Loki didn't like the defeated tone in her voice.

He ran a hand through his hair. "Listen, Sister...Mother, you don't have to stay here all alone. I am sure Odin would..."

"No. I am not welcome there."

He frowned. "How can you say that? Clearly, you have changed."

"It doesn't matter. Half of Asgard must be there now."

Oh.

"And I have a responsibility in this realm. I am the queen of the dead", she gave a humorless laugh. "I will not keep you here against your will, Loki, however much I wish to." She smiled slightly.

Loki nodded slowly. "Alright."

"Yes."

He cleared his throat awkwardly, "I guess that's goodbye now"

Hela closed her eyes for a second and when she opened them again, Loki saw the mist in her eyes. Was she crying?

She stretched her hand out and formed a circle in the air. A green stream of seidr followed her movement and a portal opened before them. Loki couldn't see the other side, but decided to trust that it let to his destination.

He turned to Hela and studied her intently. He could tell she tried desperately to hide her tears, but it wasn't working that well. He sighed and rolled his eyes again. "No word to anyone", Loki said before he made a step towards her and drew her in an embrace.

To be honest, he had expected her to grow stiff or to not react at all. What he didn't expect was for her to hold on for dear life and to squeeze all air out of him, but he didn't draw back. He just held her for a few minutes before she hesitantly let go. She looked him in the eyes and touched his cheek in a motherly fashion. "I guess I'll miss you, little one."

He rolled his eyes because of the nickname and she gave him a mocking smile.

"Now go, little warrior. Perhaps we'll see each other again."

He just lifted his eyebrow. Seriously? Which one of them was the little one?

"I hope so, little Princess." Loki gave her his trademark smirk and she punched him playfully.

"Go."

"Of course, my Queen. At once, my Queen."

And with another smile in Hela's direction he stepped through the portal.


So...I guess that's it? I really hoped you liked it and thank you all so much for reading until the end.

Now, let us all pray for our Loki...may he survive more than five minutes of Infinity War!