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Helix

Title:  Helix
Author: ciaranbochna
Characters: Loki, Frigga
Disclaimer: I own neither the characters nor the world.
Length: 782

A/N: Based vaguely on this interview: http://www.cineplex.com/News/Thor-2-gets-a-few-extra-helpings-of-Tom-Hiddleston-s-Loki.aspx?cmpid=contenttag
I have imagined their relationship the same way. Dedicated to caffienekitty and J, for intangible reasons.

It is the largest room in the palace, next to the vault or the throne room.  Also the least occupied, which is precisely why he loves it.  He has spent ten years exploring the nearly infinite rooms and levels, and lost days climbing the stacks (ignoring ladders and more arcane methods).  He has taught himself every language he encounters on the shelves (svartálfar has many similarities with German.  The violent syllables in both languages are delicious).

The books are bound in hide of every colour, with pages of vellum, silk, glass and light, as much as paper.  There is no room or volume he cannot plumb here. Granted, the room of Odin’s personal journals took him a month to force his way into. He was thoroughly disappointed by that.  It won't occur to Thor to look for him here either.  He has spent so long in the library that he smells of lignin, leather and raw unbound knowledge.  He prefers this now to the smell of the forge.

As he wanders the 30th floor, he finds  a gap between two stacks that spiral together like a double helix.  He is uncertain how he knows there is something between them, as the shelves are so close together there should be no space at all. But he has already discovered the library seems to have infinite capacity for storage, since looking in from the window the library should be the size of a bedroom, but obviously isn’t.

He can feel something reaching for him from between the books, writhing in his chest. There--between a copy of Jotun war tactics and how to speak to a newly–born nebula (he saves both books for later reading).

He reaches out, pushing his fingers between the books. His hand disappears between them, and then his arm as he leans further forward.  A smile creeps across his face.  The world is always trying to hide from him, and it always fails. He pushes the toe of his boot into the gap—it follows his arm.  Well then, it is time to see what the forbidden depths hold.

The room is nearly without light. There are globes of green and blue fire in silver bowls hovering in the air near the walls. There are shelves, but no volumes on them.  There are, however, a multitude of boxes.  Some of stone, others of volcanic glass, and one that appears to be composed of opaque flame.

The room wavers for a moment, and he realizes that he is unsteady on his feet. Perhaps it has been too long since he last ate. It may even be a couple of days. He sighs and gives up his explorations for the moment, in favour of food.

When he emerges from the library, the torches lining the hall have dimmed for evening.  At least two days gone then, by rough estimate. He shrugs and heads for the dining hall.  There is always a table laid at all hours of the day or night.  Odin’s other son isn’t the only one who keeps strange hours.

He smells a waft of saffron and vetiver before she speaks.

“Loki, where have you been?”

He fills a plate with meat and cheese, trying to walk away from her as he answers.

Frigga stands before him and he stops, sighing heavily.“Not out adventuring like the rest, obviously.”

She waits.

“Fine.  I was in the library.” He picks up some smoked cheese and pops it in his mouth. His eyes close and he nearly starts shaking. Definitely needed food. Irritating.

“And how many locks need repairing now?”

His hand freezes on a piece of meat. Frigga smiles and puts her hand on his other arm.

“Fill your plate again and come with me. I know exactly which room you’ve just found.”

“How can you—“

“My nose is as sensitive as yours, Loki. I can smell it.  I’m the one who created the wards on that room and bound all its contents. I can show you how to do anything in those books you are so recently obsessed with.  After all, I am the one who engineered the library and collected the majority of the volumes within.”

“I repaired all the locks. No one will know I was there.” He pauses as they near the library. “Except you.”

“You are a brilliant man, Loki.  If you wish to learn the arcane world, I can show you things no one would believe.”

He smiles at his mother, and they enter the library. Frigga snaps her fingers and they appear instantly in the room of boxes and floating fire.

This time they lose four days together, between the spiraling helix shelves.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
caffienekitty
Nov. 26th, 2013 08:36 am (UTC)
*so much flailing everywhere*
ciaranbochna
Nov. 26th, 2013 04:00 pm (UTC)
:)
lurkingwombat
Dec. 1st, 2013 11:48 pm (UTC)
beautiful.
ciaranbochna
Dec. 2nd, 2013 02:07 am (UTC)
Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed it.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )