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Breath; Memory

Author: ciaranbochna
Characters: Loki, Odin
Fandom: Avengers movieverse
Length: 655 words
Disclaimer: I own neither the characters nor the world of the Marvel universe

A/N: Another prompt from the  comment_fic archive - any, any, I prefer to explore the most intimate moments, the smaller, crystallized details we all hinge our lives on. – Rita Dove


The first time his father takes him to the stables he knows he is expected to fail.

Odin brings him to the last stall furthest from the door. Loki walks up to the door and puts his eye to the crack between the stall door and the panel beside it. The top of the knot work on the door looks like it has been chewed—thoroughly.

 “I would not stand so close to the door, Loki.”

Loki can hear the laugh in father’s voice. He sees a large grey shape before the door rattles in its frame as something pushes against it. His hair is blown back from his face by hot, clover-scented breath. Loki hears father inhale sharply behind him. He doesn’t think this is what father expected by bringing him here.

Loki smiles and blows back through the gap, into dark grey nostrils. He hears thumping hooves and a surprised snort.

Father’s hand pulls him away from the door. Loki’s heart is beating so fast he feels dizzy.

“Enough Loki. Tomorrow I will properly introduce you to Helix.”

“No.” Loki looks up at his father. “It has to be now. He would be insulted if I left.”

Odin squeezes his shoulder briefly. Loki thinks he almost smiles.

“As you wish. If he breaks any bones—”

“It will be my fault. I know."

Odin opens the door and harnesses Helix. Helix is so tall Loki has no idea how he would find his way to his back. Loki follows Helix and his father out to the neighbouring field. He stops when they do, 30 feet apart, facing each other.

“If I let him go now he will rush you. Helix carries a rage as great as mine, and he is very proud. I don’t want him to—“

“It’s fine. Let him go father.” Loki smiles briefly at Odin and nods. “What is life without the edge of ruin?”

Odin’s hand tightens on Helix’s mane for a moment. Loki sees his cheek twitch as he drops the lead.

Helix rushes full speed at Loki. He doesn’t notice the sound of the horse’s hooves.  All he sees is a grey blur, dark tail flying, and a hint of black eyes focused on him. Daring.

Loki is shaking but he doesn’t run. Helix slams to a halt a breath from Loki’s head. The horse stretches his neck and turns his head until he and Loki are eye to eye. Loki’s breath falters for a moment. He feels something there is no name for. He never wants it to stop

Helix blows into his face and kneels down beside him. An invitation.

Loki grabs a handful of man and scrambles up onto Helix’s back. Father shouts his name but it sounds muffled, as if in another room.

Loki clamps his legs around Helix and whispers. “Go.”

He doesn’t know how he stays on Helix’s back as he flies down the field, and he doesn’t care. Loki never wants to be anywhere else but on the back of the wind.

***
“How is it you stay on your horse while sitting cross-legged, brother?”

Loki smiles at Thor. “You see your horse as a means to an end. The destination and how to achieve it. Have you asked if it wants to bear you, or go where you tell it?”

Thor snorts. “Ask a horse? I wonder about your mind, Loki.”

“And I yours, Thor. But would you challenge me to a race?”

Thor looks away. “I remember Helix. No.”

Loki turns, uncrossing his legs to sit astride Sigurlin’s back. Helix’s granddaughter has her father’s fire. He touches a finger to her neck and she turns to look at him, blowing on his outstretched hand.

“A proper introduction is the first step Thor.”

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
caffienekitty
Apr. 27th, 2014 09:19 am (UTC)
Wonderful bit of backstory. :-)
ciaranbochna
Apr. 27th, 2014 06:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks. Wrote another last night, because apparently I cannot help combing through the archive...lol.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )