Hidden Within


Loki gazed at his brother in utter confusion, his eyes widened and his eyebrows furrowed. Adeline cleared her throat and cocked her head to the side, watching as Thor's angry expression twisted aggressively. He flew forward, and before Adeline could realize what was happening, he was in the cell with Loki. With Mjölnir in hand, he pinned Loki to the wall in a steady, threatening grip, his long cape swaying to the side as he angrily yelled into his brother's shocked expression.

"What did you do?" He growled and pushed Loki back once more, receiving a gasp and a choke his way.

Adeline froze in her spot, eager to move forward, but completely paralyzed by a lack of understanding. Loki began to smirk and snicker in his own confusion.

"Brother," He croaked, "I'm afraid I fail to speak your gibberish." He mocked, causing Thor to throw him back even harder against the plain, white walls.

"Prince Thor!" Adeline called out, causing the future king to spin around and glare directly at her. She swallowed and cursed inwardly. She couldn't let her feelings get the better of her.

Thor sighed and dropped his brother, turning and walking in another direction, away from Loki.

The prisoner let out a chuckle and shrugged, "Please use your words, brother." He teased and glanced over at Adeline with a small wink, which she translated into a 'thank you'.

Thor whirled back around and jabbed his brother in the chest with his finger, accusingly. "What did you do to enrage the Tieflings?" He snapped, slightly calmer now.

Adeline narrowed her eyes and shook her head in confusion.
Loki swallowed noticeably and stood up straighter.

"Enrage them?" He asked with furrowed brows.

Thor growled at his brother, "Do not play dumb with me, Loki!" He took the dark-haired man by the shoulders and shoved him backwards.

The outburst caused a shiver to crawl up Adeline's spine.

Loki froze and pushed Thor off of him, "I do no such thing, Thor!" He roared back and glared steadily into his eyes.

Thor stepped away and tilted his head to the side, "Then why do they ask for you?"

"For me?" Loki narrowed his eyes and began to pace around the cell.

Thor nodded and shifted in his stance, his eyes following his brother's movements, "Well, yes."

Loki spun around and gazed intently at Thor's altered expression, "I assure you brother. I have never interacted with the Tiefling race," He spoke the words softly, with his hands raised in a silent surrender.

Thor took a step toward him with narrowed eyes, "Then why do they force father to give you up?"

Loki raised his eyebrows and shrugged honestly.

"Loki, they have threatened Asgard with war."

Adeline shifted, eyes wide, concerned for the upcoming discord.

Loki swallowed, "And will the King obey to the terms?" He said the words slowly and hesitantly, as though dreading a horrific answer.

Thor looked down at the ground, "I don't know, brother."

Loki nodded, "I see."

Thor raised his chin, in authority over his younger sibling, "Do you?"

The prisoner gazed into his brother's eyes, appearing slightly confused by his question, despite his own response, "Certainly. I would not be surprised to find that the Allfather has decided to hand me over." He shrugged, in an attempt to rebel against his father's likeness.

Thor shook his head, and took his brother by the shoulders again, however this time kindly, "Then Loki, you do not see this clearly."

Loki raised an eyebrow.

"We haven't the slightest idea what the Tieflings plan to do with you. For all we know, they could simply wish to see you dead."

Loki nodded, understanding Thor's explanation in full.

Adeline swallowed and cringed at the concept of Loki's disappearance. She quickly wiped the thought clean from her head and sent her attention to the princes again.

"I will speak with father," Thor stated firmly, clearing his throat.

Loki drooped forward, allowing his shoulders to hang effortlessly, his back arched over, hunched. Adeline winced and dropped her eyes to the ground beneath her. As Thor exited the room, Loki plummeted down onto the white cot sitting patiently in his cell.

The older brother swayed out and towards Adeline with a sad, desperate smile. He stopped in front of her and glanced once more at the prisoner. He sat there, still as a boulder, staring down at the floor, face hidden, black hair hanging, and hands on his head. Thor sighed and leaned forward to Adeline for a word, inaudible to Loki's ears.

"I fear the outcome of this situation, Lady Crow."

Adeline froze, and grimaced. Not what she wanted to hear.

"I trust whatever decision is made by the king, you will be on my brother's side?" He asked her, to which Adeline choked inwardly.

"I-" She paused and gazed up at him, into his blue eyes.

Thor only smiled with a small nod, "As will I, Lady Crow."
With that, he swayed away and out of the long, white corridor.

"I am utterly confused." Odin sighed as Frigga took his hand with a small smile.

"I know, husband." The queen winked and then slowly fell into a somber mood. "I am sure you will make the right decision," She stated and the king squeezed her hand tighter, both of them sitting comfortably in their thrones.

"What is the right decision?" Odin asked, cringing at the answer he expected.

"We protect our son, my king," Frigga answered sternly with wide eyes. Odin swallowed the knot in his throat, desperately lacking a thought of action.

"We cannot give them what they want," The queen added and let out a small sigh of frustration. "Once they threaten my family, they have asked for their own death sentence." She snapped and the king smiled softly, however dissatisfied with the result of their conversation.

This wasn't an answer.

War would be deathly.

But what choice did that leave him with?

He needed more time.

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