Hidden Within

Inarguable

"Loki." Thor breathed softly, inching his way up to the cell wall.

Adeline stood back and watched the scene pan out before her.

"Come to visit me, Thor?" Loki smirked, but it quickly faded into that of a scowl. "Why? To mock?"

Thor sighed and shook his head, further closing the distance between him and the glass cell. "No, Loki." He swallowed.

Adeline suddenly grew uncomfortable, as though she should leave the two relatives in privacy, but she stayed put, merely interested in what would be shared between the two.

"You are my brother." Thor began, receiving a small scoff from Loki. "I wished to make sure you were okay." He finished and suddenly the god in the prison cell, was glaring, his face twisted into an expression of rage.

"Okay?" He exclaimed at the blonde-haired man gazing up at him.

Adeline shuddered at the desperation in his voice.

"Okay!" He repeated and slammed his fist into one of the white walls, "I am forced to stare at dullness, consume nourishment you would never dream of, and receive beatings from men who find it amusing!"

The corridor fell silent. It was like all had stopped moving; like the people of Asgard had stopped walking, stopped shopping in the markets, stopped cooking in their homes. Adeline felt her skin burn as she gulped and closed her eyes, part of her angry and the other simply expressing pity. Thor took a step closer to his brother and shook his head slowly, unable to look into his eyes for a moment.

"Loki." He sighed, and that was all he could say.

More silence flew by, until the prisoner shifted in his hunched position against the wall, and swayed over to his cot, where he sat with his head hanging in his hands, his black hair falling down beside him. Thor cleared his throat and stood up straight, regaining his nobility to speak.

"You brought this upon yourself." Thor mumbled, much to Adeline's disbelief, and now she glared at him from the side of the cell, utterly confused as to how he shared his "brotherly love". Loki raised his head, to gaze at the other man, his expression twisted into an emotionless state.

"How dare you?" He hissed, and his eyes were soon glowing in ferocity. "I yearned to improve Midgard, to upgrade the puny world! To be better than father!"

Adeline flinched, shaken by the outburst.

Thor grunted, "Was that what it was about?"

Loki narrowed his eyes in confusion.

"Impressing father? Rubbing it in his face that you are better than he is?" Thor breathed in disgust.

Loki flew to his feet, "I am better than he is! He is a coward and a liar! Is that what people want in their king?" Loki was glaring at his brother, eyes still fixed in unexplainable rage.

Thor shrugged his way and shook his head, "If that is so, then the two of you have a lot in common."

Loki froze and swallowed, his expression suddenly falling flat with despair. He dropped effortlessly to his cot once more, and gazed down at the floor, emotion sinking from his features.

Thor sighed and leaned forward, "Loki, why do you act this way?"

Loki looked upwards and suddenly his face was altered by sadness, and an expression that said, 'I've given up'.
Adeline cringed and shifted in her stance.

"You were never so sinister; never so angry."

Loki swallowed and turned away, "I have my reasons."

Thor sighed and hunched his shoulders, "Then please, brother, share with me those reasons!" He pleaded but Loki simply kept his face hidden. Adeline could hear the desperation in his tone of voice, and she cleared her throat quietly in an act to hold back her own speculations.

"I want you out of this cell, as much as you wish to be out." Thor croaked, "I want you to be my brother again."

The silence was excruciating, as Loki kept his back turned, his dark hair blocking any view of his expression. Thor simply stared at the ground. In one movement, he turned to Adeline, blinked, and then stood up straight again, in an act to gain back his courage.

"But for now: I need to inform you of suspicious news," Thor uttered, taking a deep breath as he spoke.

Loki tilted himself slightly to the side, to glance partially over his shoulder.

"It appears, an army is forming outside Asgard's barriers." Thor explained, causing Loki to whirl around. His skin was pale, his eyes were encircled in red, and his stance leaned downwards, lacking confidence.

Adeline perked up at the flowing news as well, as, technically, this did apply to her.

"What of?" Loki mumbled, almost inaudible, but Thor raised his head, showing that he had in fact heard.

"Tieflings."

Loki furrowed his eyebrows together and took a step forward.

"Tieflings? But they've never been a bother." Loki stated aloud, as if thinking to himself, "What is it they want?"

"Father is," Thor cleared his throat, "the king is to speak with their leader and find out." He announced to the prisoner, who only glared at the mention of Odin.

"I see." Loki swallowed and suddenly posed an utterly random question, straying from the discussed topic. "What of the queen?"

Thor froze and raised an eyebrow, "Mother?" He asked and shook his head with a shrug, "Well, mother is fine, I suppose."

Loki grunted, "You suppose?

Thor tilted his head to side with a sigh, "She feels guilty. Same as I."

"And for what?" Loki snapped, rolling his eyes angrily.

"Your punishments. Your actions." Thor replied sternly and Loki silenced.

Adeline swallowed awkwardly and gazed at the prisoner's attractive features.

"We simply wish to have you back, brother."

Loki peered up at him and went to open his mouth, instantly interrupted by loud clamoring footsteps, armor, and opening doors.Adeline whirled around to notice the same guard as before. With a sigh, she shook her head. She knew what time it was.

"Prince Thor. We are incredibly sorry but we must take hold of the prisoner for the time being." The man grunted firmly, not before smiling softly to Adeline, at which she inwardly rolled her eyes. Thor stiffened but nodded intently, not wishing to go against his father's orders. He watched as they engulfed Loki in chains once more; muzzle, ankles, wrists, neck. Adeline winced and turned away, simply listening the movements of clinging metal.

When she saw them drag Loki away again, she couldn't help but let out a short sniffle, much to her own disbelief. A hand suddenly caused her to jump out of her skin as it landed on her shoulder. She turned around to see Thor smiling wearily her way.

"My brother is in good hands with you watching over him."

Adeline beamed back sadly, but shook her head, "Your majesty, that may be, but I cannot stop this from happening." She gestured towards the guards pulling Loki along and through the doorframe.

Thor nodded dryly, "Yes."

Adeline turned away, only to be whirled back with a question from Thor.

"Do you care for my brother, Lady Crow?"

Adeline felt her skin burn, and her mind fall blank. She couldn't hold back the words that poured from her mouth, "Yes, your majesty. More than I should." She bit her lip and gazed down at the floor, cringing internally at her confession.

Thor lifted her head back up again with a gentle hand.

"Then there is still hope for him yet." Thor smirked, bowed his head with a return from Adeline, and swayed away.

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