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Thor fic: A Mother's Concern (1/1)

February 27th, 2014 (06:07 am)
amused

feeling: amused

Title: A Mother’s Concern

Disclaimer: I do not own Thor.

A/N: Beta thanks to lena7142. Set preseries.

Summary: For Thor would have to fall many times before he understood the cost of his brashness.



-o-

It wasn't hard to find him.

Then again, it never was. Thor was many things, but quiet and withdrawn had never been among them. Loki could find many nooks in the palace, retreating by himself for hours with nary a sound. Thor, though -- he was loud and boisterous. Frigga could scarcely find a quiet room to escape from her oldest son’s presence.

Though today, he was neither loud nor boisterous. He was easy to find all the same. For Loki was in with the healers, and there was no other place Thor would be.

He was seated outside, pressed up against the railing that overlooked the city. A member of the guard stood at the door, watching Thor surreptitiously, undoubtedly to make sure the boy didn't do anything foolish.

Anything else, at any rate.

Frigga sighed, and crossed the corridor. She nodded knowingly to the guard, who bowed and took his leave. When he was gone, she stood before her son for several long moments.

The boy looked worn. His armor was chinked, and his hands were smudged with blood and grime. His blonde hair was loose from its ponytail, falling into his face. Though he knew she was there, he refused to look up.

Frigga waited still. Loki could outlast her, but Thor--

Thor always caved.

"I am sorry, Mother," he said finally, head still bowed. "I assume you know what happened."

Frigga lifted her chin. "I know that you convinced your friends to take you and your brother hunting, against your father's explicit orders. I know that you stole weapons, a transport and lied to your palace guards, letting your friends risk their freedom and their safety for your own selfish pursuits. And I know that on this hunt for game your father has deemed too dangerous, your brother was gravely wounded."

Thor flinched slightly, his shoulders slumping even further in dejection.

"Well," Frigga said sternly. "What have you to say for yourself?"

Thor didn't reply.

"If you would rather, I can bring your father back to finish this conversation with you," she said curtly.

Thor looked up, wide-eyed. He'd been crying. Her oldest and strongest son had been crying.

Everyone said Loki was the sensitive one, but it had always been Thor who wore his heart on his sleeve, emotions burning brightly for all to see. Frigga almost felt guilty. Stern words were the best way to make Thor understand, but she realized suddenly that he'd already understood.

Thor understood far too well.

"Does he still live?" he asked, voice threatening to break. "Please, you must tell me at least that, and I will confess to everything."

His utter desperation was so unlike him. Thor was a defiant child, brash and impulsive. He rarely listened, and he rarely thought rules and regulations applied to him.

And yet, he was a good son.

More than that, he was a good brother.

He had a strong heart, which made him bold and likable. He was loyal and far too sheltered. His failures had always been met with safety nets. He knew nothing of actual loss, so the sight of his brother's blood....

"Oh, my son," Frigga said with a sigh.

Thor's face crumpled and he inhaled raggedly as he dropped his head again. "I never should have gone," he said. "I never should have brought Loki along. It's my job to protect him, and I was foolish--"

"Yes," Frigga said. "You were."

Thor looked up again, fresh tears burning in his eyes. "I had thought we were capable. We had made up a plan. Nothing bad was supposed to happen."

"Do you think our rules are to torture you?" Frigga asked. "Do you never think that maybe we know better than you?"

Thor's look was anguished. "I had never had troubles before," he said miserably. "And it was going fine. We had the beast cornered. Everything was going according to plan..."

"And then?" she prompted.

Thor swallowed miserably. "And then the second beast arrived," he said. "I didn't see it until too late, and the others were holding the first one down. I couldn't get there in time, before it--"

He couldn't finish, the words choked in his throat.

"Before it mauled your brother," she supplied for him.

Thor dropped his head again. "How can you look at me?" he asked. "You should send me away. I am not fit to be an heir to the throne."

"Oh, hush," Frigga said.

Thor looked up. "But my brother has perished--"

"Your brother is recovering well," Frigga said. "The healers are optimistic."

Thor stopped, blinking at her in confusion. "But, you said--"

Frigga sighed again. "I said nothing," she said. "What have I told you about making assumptions?"

"But," Thor fumbled. "Loki lives?"

"Yes," she said, matter of fact. "He should make a full recovery."

Thor's face brightened and he scrambled eagerly to his feet. "That is wonderful news!" he said. Then, he tempered his exuberance, as if remembering himself. "Though it does not change my mistake. I still assume full responsibility."

"Of course," Frigga said with a curt nod of her head. "And I'm sure your father will have some creative punishments in mind."

Thor shook his head, though, fully sober again. "This was no childish act," he said. "I broke a royal decree. It resulted in the endangerment of one of the sons of Odin. My sentence should be harsh."

"And are your father's punishments ever lenient?" Frigga asked.

"I am serious, Mother--"

"As am I," Frigga said. Many on Asgard were cowed by Thor’s brashness, but he had no such effect on her. His persistence was no match for her own, not even in his anguish.

"But I nearly got Loki killed!" Thor protested.

"And you are the one who saved his life," Frigga interjected forcefully, willing her son to understand that this was not about punishment; this was about learning a lesson.

Thor blinked in surprise, by all accounts stupefied.

"You think I didn't know everything when I came to find you?" she asked, arching an eyebrow. "I knew how you talked everyone into going with you. And I knew that your actions led to your brother's extensive injuries.”

Thor’s shoulders slumped again, as he seemed to fold in on himself. How such a thing was possible for such a brute of a boy, she was never sure, but for as big as Thor had grown, he was still very much a boy.

Frigga did not slow, her voice dropping with more than a hint of compassion now -- and maybe just a touch of pride. “But I also knew that you abandoned all sense of self preservation to save your brother's life,” she added. “You killed that beast with your bare hands, nearly ripping it to shreds. And you were the one to tend to your brother's wounds, scarcely letting him go until the healers pulled you away. You are a disobedient child, a spoiled prince, a foolhardy hunter and an impulsive son, but you are not a bad brother, Thor. You never could be."

Thor breathed in. "He nearly died for my mistakes," he said, the words wavering slightly. "I do not know if I can live with myself."

"Of course you can," Frigga said, just a bit sharp. "For there will be plenty of other mistakes, both yours and his. And you would leave him to face those alone? You think that is what I want? For one son to be without the other?"

"But it was my folly--"

"So learn," Frigga lectured. "Learn and get better. Remember that in all you do, the consequences are not just yours. They also belong to the people you care for most. If you are not willing to sacrifice them to the cause, then perhaps it is not a just cause after all."

"I should still be punished," Thor said stubbornly.

Frigga rolled her eyes. "And you shall be," she said. "In good time."

Thor's brow furrowed. "What else is there to do?"

"Well," Frigga said, doing her best not to smile now. "There is the small issue of your brother. He asks for you, even now."

Thor's eyes widened hopefully. "You mean--?"

"Yes," Frigga said, unable to keep her own smile at bay any longer. For she was angry, but she was also relieved. So very, very relieved. "So go. Enjoy your time with him."

"Thank you, Mother!" Thor said, reaching over to hug her.

Frigga chuckled. "Don't thank me," she said. "Just go. And when you are dismissed, come straight your quarters to expect your punishment."

Thor pulled away, beaming. "Yes, of course."

Frigga hesitated, reaching out and fussing with his stained tunic. "I do hope you learn from this.”

Thor winked at her. "You know me."

With that, he turned away, bounding excitedly through the doors. She watched him until he disappeared from her sight, then listened to him ask the healers loudly for Loki.

You know me.

She did. She knew him well, which was what she was worried about in the first place. For Thor would have to fall many times before he understood the cost of his brashness.

Not that Loki was much better off. He would fall less, but he would also never gain the trust of anyone by sneaking about and keeping secrets. Thor fell because he dared to fly; Loki tempered each of his steps on the ground and yet craved the time Thor got in the sun.

These flaws were innocent now. Cheating lessons and running off on hunts. But they would not stay this way forever. Her sons would grow; their faults would deepen. This accident, she feared, was just the first of many for her sons.

Her two boys. So different, and yet so inseparable. Their love was unique and intense; it would protect them until the end.

Or it would cost them both everything.

She did not wish to think about how close they came this day.

No, she did not wish to think at all.

Sighing, she turned to make her way back to her quarters. For such thoughts were better saved for another day.