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Six Inches Deep and a Touch of Light

Title: Six Inches Deep and a Touch of Light
Author: ciaranbochna
Characters: Loki, OC
Disclaimer: I own neither the characters nor the world.
Length:  747
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Thor and The Avengers


"They will only grow here in Asgard?” Loki turns the apple in his hand, admiring the golden skin before taking a bite.

Idunn smiles at Loki, touching the bark of the tree. “No one ever asks as much as you do, young prince. Yes, the apples will only grow here, and only I can care for the tree, and bring its fruit to all of you.”

Loki feels the warmth spreading under his skin, burning slightly, as if has swallowed a star. “What does the tree need,to grow?”

Idunn settles herself beside him, back against the tree. She runs her fingers in the grass between them.

“The light of stars, love, stories, water that has tasted iron, and the heart of the world. All the necessary things.” Idunn takes the apple core from him.

“When you are done, I take this and return it to the tree.” Idunn plunges her hand into the earth; when she pulls it free the apple core is gone.

Loki looks at Idunn, and then stares at the earth – not a mark between the roots of the tree. He feels the apple seed under his tongue, and smiles at Idunn.

***

He knows where to take it, even before he is captured and returned to Asgard (temporary inconvenience, really).  Loki presses his hands against the smooth wood around him. He feels a little like Merlin, though Loki always has a plan for every eventuality. He does see the humour, being encased in a tree, but Yggdrasil has always listened to him, and this time is no exception. After all, if he cannot leave, he will run out of stories, and Yggradsil would never allow that to happen.

Loki smiles, and feels blood trickle into his mouth. He spits it as his feet and whispers. He may have no water, but all trees need iron now and then, to temper them against the storms.

He curls his tongue into his cheek and pulls out the apple seed. No safer place to store such a rare thing. Then, he settles in to tell it a story, Yggdrasil listening intently around him.

He barely notices when there is stone beneath his feet, and not wood. Now, he must find that courtyard. Loki passes through the silent halls, sliding his hands along the rose-coloured stone as he goes. Such an extravagant civilization, the Nabateans. Almost a shame they were conquered by the Romans in the end, but then again, everyone ends their days in chains, of one sort of another.

Loki enters the courtyard, with the stone-encircled garden at its heart. All the drainage systems are intact (he had ensured that on his first visit to Midgard), and now all he needs is to revive the well.

Loki closes his eyes, pouring himself deep into the earth, curling his fingers around the buried water miles away.  He coaxes it to return to its abandoned channels, and follow him into Petra. It tries to tell him how happy it is to return, all the places it has been since.

Loki opens his eyes, and barks out a laugh. Talkative little element, that one.

He spits the seed into his hand, and plunges his hand into the earth (six inches).

“I will be your keeper little tree. No one will know of you but I. I will see you as often as I can, but you may be here alone for a very long time. You can bear it, but it will not be easy, Ask the water to tell you stories, ask the wind where it has been, and when I come to you, I will bring you gifts.”

Loki reaches into his chest and pulls out a silver light, setting it above the stone and earth circle, where it hangs in the air.

“This is a piece of the star where you were born. It will make you strong. And this –“

Loki takes a dagger from his pocket and plunges it into his chest, pulling it out again quickly. The wound closes in an instant.

Blood drips into the earth where a sprout has pushed through.

“--Is a piece of me, so that you will know your father.”

Loki leans down and blows over the tiny leaf. “You are a secret that will fracture the world. But I am yours Borghild.”

The courtyard is empty. The tree (now a foot high), admires its hidden city and listens to the whispering star above it.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
lurkingwombat
Sep. 10th, 2012 11:42 pm (UTC)
WANT MORE!
ciaranbochna
Sep. 11th, 2012 12:30 am (UTC)
Might be, you never know;)
samalander_dawn
Sep. 11th, 2012 03:38 am (UTC)
oh I _like_ this :)
ciaranbochna
Sep. 11th, 2012 05:25 am (UTC)
Thanks:) Loki is always rather fun to write.
caffienekitty
Sep. 17th, 2012 06:06 am (UTC)
Oh very cool. Magic realism suits the Asgardians.
ciaranbochna
Sep. 17th, 2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks:) I usually consider things fantasy, but there is that fairytale element to it too;)
suchaprince
Sep. 20th, 2012 10:51 am (UTC)
This was so very beautiful!
ciaranbochna
Sep. 20th, 2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
*blushes* Thank you!
lokifan
Sep. 22nd, 2012 11:40 am (UTC)
Love it!
ciaranbochna
Sep. 22nd, 2012 06:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much:)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )