Loki finds Freda

Recorded: May 7, 2014
Characters: Frigga, Loki
Location: Manhattan
Summary: Loki follows the trail to Freda Barker.

The delicate thread that moves through time and space has gone a long way from the cold, dead landscape of Niffleheim. It has floated into Midgard's atmosphere, wound its way through New York City, and trailed along Manhattan's residential neighborhoods. Nearing a series of townhouses, the thread has gotten weaker until it completely flickers out of view. The afternoon sun is comfortably easing its way across the sky and the weather is comfortable enough for light clothes.

Loki is so tired and sad that as he follows the thread all the way to Midgard, he walks almost like a zombie, eyes half lidded. When he follows it until it disappears, he looks around, perhaps a little desperately. "Nono, nonono…don't disappear…don't disappear on me now!" He growls, punching a brick wall. "NO." He turns around and thumps his head against the wall, looking up at the sky with a pained expression, closing his eyes.

"What the hell's wrong with you?" The question comes from a teen-aged boy carrying two bags of groceries. He's tall enough to be considered a legal adult, with long black hair and black fuzz over his upper lip that's threatening to become a mustache.

"Don't be rude to the man, Terry. He looks like he's having a hard time." The statement is from a middle-aged woman carrying a few bags of her own. Freda wanders up to stand alongside her young charge and offers Loki a warm, familiar smile. Though she is dressed modern and sensible in a pair of jeans, long-sleeved blouse and frumpy sneakers, her golden brown hair is done up in a style of endless curls favorably worn by the All-Mother of Asgard. "Everything okay, dear? You look like you could use someone to talk to."

Loki opens his eyes at the sound of the voices and stares at 'Freda'. "M…mother?" He asks, pushing away from the wall and approaching, his wide eyes welling up. "You're here. I've found you. Are you all right? We've been so worried…" He looks her over to ensure she is all there despite her frumpy look. "I've missed you so much…"

Freda's eyebrows lift in surprise, then lower in sympathy towards Loki. "Oh, sweetie… The only children I have are temporary."

"He's losing it," Terry says with a chuff. "We should call the nut house."

"I said be nice," Freda says in a firm but calm tone, then directs her attention to Loki. "What's your name? Is there anybody we can call to come get you?"

Loki's face falls, looking absolutely devastated. "Oh." He says in a tiny voice. "My name is Loki. There is no one to call. Please forgive me, madam, I mistook you for someone else. You look just like her. I'm sorry, Terry, was it? I thought she was someone I recognized, but no."

Terry chuffs, his fuzzy upper lip spreading into a vindictive smirk. "Heh. Crazy guy can't keep himself together."

Freda rolls her eyes, then shoves her bags on top of Terry's already abundant load. "Take the groceries in. Get the boys to help you put them away. I want them all away by the time I get there, got it?" She gives him a look that commands his compliance, and the teen marches off with a grumble. This leaves her free to place a hand on Loki's shoulder and lean towards him with a kind smile. "Did you lose your mother recently, Loki? I understand if you don't want to talk about it, but sometimes it can be very helpful."

Loki has to figure out what's going on here, so he nods. "Yes, she succumbed to an illness recently. I wasn't there when it happened. You look just like her, so I mistakenly thought…" He is only partly putting on a routine as he sighs and looks away. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be in the way. You didn't have to send your friend away."

Freda chuckles at Loki's earnest naivety. "He's not my 'friend,' he's my foster son." She reflects somberly on his words about his mother. "So you didn't have a chance to stay goodbye. It can be very difficult when you miss the opportunity for that closure, especially if you were close, and I can tell that you were."

"Foster son. I see. I don't have anywhere else to go, my father is gone most of the time, and I doubt he will want me around even when he is here. He isn't my real father, anyway." He scuffs his foot on the ground, looking down. He has to test her, so he casts his eyes down the street. "I should let you get back inside to your son. Thank you for speak to me, perhaps I will see you again. I know of a place in the city where people seek shelter in a large room together."

"So do I and they're usually pretty terrible." Freda shakes her head. "You should go home. Even if your dad's not your /real/ dad, he's still a part of your family, right? Was he married to the mother that passed away? Because he could probably use as much comfort as you could right now." She briefly glances in the direction of her home. "But if you still need someone to talk to, I'd be happy to be a listening ear. My name is Freda Barker. You can call me Freda." Her warm smile re-merges when she looks at Loki again.

"I can't go home. He was married to her, and I'm sure he's upset but he's not here. I don't know where he is right now. He isn't exactly the kind of father who would comfort his adopted son. It is a pleasure to meet you, Freda Barker. I am Loki Odinson. I appreciate your kindness."

"Nice to meet you, Loki," Freda replies calmly, "And I'm sorry to hear that your family situation isn't exactly positive. I'd let you stay at my place but you're not exactly a minor, and even if you were, there's a lot of paperwork involved in the foster care system. I don't exactly get to shop for kids like I do groceries." She grins and chuckles. "My door's right here, though, so if you find yourself in the area again, feel free to knock. Right now I have to go make sure that what I said to do is getting done. It's the only way to reinforce good behavior."

"I suppose you're right. I am sixteen, so I am more or less an adult." Loki alters his features just slightly so that when he steps away from the wall and the shadows are off his face, he looks younger than he even did before. "I will remember where you are, though. Thank you for the offer. I shall see you another time, mo-er..ma'am."

Freda chuckles at Loki's slip, then turns towards her townhouse. "Keep your chin up, Loki. Life is full of moments that will make you want to collapse, but if you keep putting one foot forward, you will find that you still have the strength to go on."

"I suppose." He's having one of those moments right now. "Goodbye." Once he turns away from her, he drops the shapeshifting and starts walking away, folding his hands behind his back as he trudges toward the Avengers Mansion, where he'll stay for a few days until he procures a smelly apartment somewhere.

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