A Test You Did Not Know You Were Taking

Recorded: March 4, 2014
Characters: Frigga, Loki
Location: Asgard Palace - North Corridor
Summary: Frigga tries once again to get Loki to show himself worthy of Ambassadorial responsibilities.

Loki is walking down the corridor, holding a rolled up parchment of some kind. He turns on the balls of his foot and begins pacing back and forth, gripping the parchment. Back and forth, back and forth, it's enough to make anyone dizzy. Should he give Frigga the map or should he burn it and tell her to go pound salt in Niffleheim? Or perhaps one of the colorful phrases he picked up from Midgard…

He'll have to make his decision soon. A familiar procession enters the northern hallway with the All-Mother of Asgard leading the march. She carries an ongoing conversation with her maidens about something womanly, and their chuckles fill the halls. The sound of their amusement is abruptly halted when Frigga spots Loki pacing. "Why does my son seek to wear a path in the palace halls," she asks with a calm but amused smile.

Loki stops and looks over his shoulder, then back at Frigga. "Me? No reason in particular. I was just attempting to decide whether or not I wished to deliver this to your chambers." He offers the rolled up parchment and says, "It is what you wanted, is it not? Have I now satisfied the queen's wishes?"

Frigga tilts her head curiously and waves away her entourage. The maidens whisper and chuckle to each other as they walk away, and their queen reaches forward to take hold of furled scroll. "Will it satisfy me," she wonders aloud and studies Loki's face. "What is writ here, my son?"

"If you wish to be satisfied, it will. If you have no trust in me at all, then I doubt anything I do will satisfy you. I have marked the locations of the portals. As I said, most of them are inaccessible to the average Asgardian." He closes his eyes and sighs. "My apologies, my queen."

Frigga continues to study Loki's face. The scroll's contents seem irrelevant in this moment, though she grips it firmly. "Why do you give this to me now, Loki? Is it because I ask? Because I demand?"

"You demanded it. I would most likely have given it to you at some point anyway. I know now that my sacrifice in Jotunheim was all in vain. I hope you can make use of the information. Will there be anything else, my queen?"

Frigga shakes her head slowly, and as she does, the scroll turns to embers within her hands. "Then it is of no use to me." The paper withers away into ash and is scattered on a wind that was not previously evident in this hallway. The Queen of Asgard approaches her son then, reaching out a rest a hand along his jaw. "My troubled child. I do not ask you for these things because I am in need of them. I ask you for these things to be sure that you truly have your people's best interests at heart. Giving this information begrudgingly… Who does that aid? Why must I demand what is right for Asgard from someone destined to come to its aid?"

Loki's brow furrows as he remains still when she touches him. "I told you about the pathways because I felt you would trust me. I would not have revealed them at all if I did not. I gave it freely and you still did not trust me. It does not matter if I am truthful or not, not matter what I do it is either ridiculed by your sons or still assumed to be bad."

Frigga remains calm despite his words. Softly, she reaches her other hand up and holds his face as she often did when he was younger. Her lips spread in an earnest smile as she says, "I am sorry that you have been made to feel so in defense of yourself as of late. Your are my son, and I love you, and I wish you to achieve greatness beyond anything your father and I could conceive for you."

At her words, Loki closes his eyes, which overflow and allow tears to roll down his cheeks. "No, it is I that am sorry, mother. I will achieve greatness. For you. For all of us. I will bring peace to our realms, but…if I am going to live in Jotunheim, will I not lose my status as a god and no longer consume the golden apples?"

Frigga arches a single eyebrow and asks, "Is that truly all you are concerned with? If Laufey were to perish this hour, and you were sent to take his place in Jotunheim, is your only regret that you will no longer taste of the fruit on a single tree?"

"No, of course not. I have many concerns and regrets. I would worry that I would fail in my task. The Jotuns have been at war with Asgard since before my birth. How can I undo centuries of hate? What if they reject me? Laufey abandoned me to die because I am malformed. I am not any less malformed now than I was then unless I use my shapeshifting ability, which is exhausting."

"And would you not miss your home? Would you not miss me?" Frigga's hands slide away from Loki's face and rest along her own abdomen. "My son, I know things have been strained between us as of late. It is only because I wish you to find your worth. It is more than you know. Once you know it, you will think beyond the questions of what you will or won't have, or who will or won't accept you. As a king, these notions should never deter you." She shakes her head. "But I should not fill your mind with such lofty ideals. Laufey is alive and well, and what we wish for you is to become an ambassador to his people. That is where you will begin. Anything beyond that is too far in the future to behold."

"Of course I would miss you. As I said, I have many concerns. I could of course leave a portal open that is only large enough for me to pass through. That would keep the Jotuns from invading. I could become an ambassador, but I know not where I would start with such a task, especially after I killed so many giants. Do I look as myself or take the form of a full sized giant?"

Frigga replies, "You must be as yourself, but most importantly, yourself must care for this duty for what it means to all of Asgard, and Jotunheim." She steps back towards the door of her chamber. "When I asked you for those portals, Loki, I wanted you to give them to me as a symbol of your dedication to the people. Your father and I have sent sorceresses and their escorts out to seek and map every weak point in the realm's barriers. If I needed only you to tell me of these places, my heart would be truly broken that you were not so eager to give that information. It would be broken, because it would mean that the son that I raised did not care for anyone other than himself. Instead, my heart is only disappointed, because you continue to show yourself not ready for the great honor I wish to bestow upon you."

"You and I are similar in many ways, mother, but we do not always share the same logic. What you take to be thoughtlessness, greed and foolishness is often just a part of my plan which I have not yet carried out. You always speak of how I break your heart, but you and Odin often break MY heart. I kept the information about the pathways silent for centuries. If I wanted to betray the realm, I would have done so many times by now. I just wanted to do the right thing, which I thought I was…but you and father and Thor do not interpret my actions in the same way."

Frigga stops with her hand on the handle of her bedchamber door. "And you think, with your years in this universe, that you know better the result of your actions than I and your father? That with misdirection and subterfuge, you will usher the realm into a new age of peace and prosperity?" She shakes her head. "You have many millenia ahead of you before you may claim to know better than me, my son. Until that era of understanding dawns upon you, I may continue to break your heart still." The All-Mother draws open the door of her bedchamber and disappears within.

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