Recalibration AKA that awkward moment when you fall in love with your spouse Chapter Three: Freedom as a state of mind (and body)

Story Summary: In this timeline, Loki finds out the secret of his heritage long before Thor’s coronation. Tensions and frustrations lead Frigga to suggest Loki take a vacation for a few years, and he decides that Midgard would be the perfect place to lay low from expectations. The last thing Loki expects is to find herself falling in love with someone she can’t help but find familiar.

This is chapter three! Make sure you start this story at chapter one.

Chapter Summary: Lies are unspun, truths are questioned, old friends meet under new circumstances.

Ask me no questions, I will tell you no lies I’m not asking for a miracle

If there’s no one beside you When your soul embarks Then I’ll follow you into the dark

Author’s Note: I have been so cruel to you all I deeply apologize this chapter has been written for over a month but I was really unhappy with it so I never posted it but I decided that enough was enough and I’m giving it to you now, call it a holiday miracle.

Chapter Three: Freedom as a state of mind (and body)

February 14th 2009

Happy Valentine’s Day Tony. He thought sarcastically to himself. Your present is a car battery. It’s stopping your heart from getting shredded to pieces. A bit late for that, but beggars can’t be choosers. 

He laid out plans for his “Jericho” that he would be building for the people who had captured him and Yinsen and grimaced. This was going to be the longest of the long shots. Before he could do anything he needed to ditch this battery, fast. Which meant building something he’d been holding off on for a while but, well, no time like the present. He did not want this technology falling into the hands of the people like the Ten Rings, but on the other hand…

He did not want to die. Not when he finally knew how much he had to lose.

May 1st 2009

For nearly three months Loki had been scanning the desert, but something was consistently keeping him from Anthony. It was like every time he got close he was turned away, and not even his powerful seidr could break it. There was something that he was being forced not to think about, and every time he tried, or every time he even remembered that he could not think about it, it slipped away.

It was in frustration that he noted the approach of what the Midgardians called Beltane, where the walls between worlds thinned. Taking deep breaths he pulled himself into a meditative pose, and dove into his center.

A mage is someone who is made out of seidr. Their magic is part of the very essence of their being and lives and flows within them as much as their skin, their blood, their muscles, every part of them. And every mage has a center to that seidr, a place where it coalesces, that they can reach deep inside their mindscape. A place where that magic feeds, and where they can collectively encounter the origin of every piece of seidr they put out into the world. 

Loki’s center had changed many times over the years, but it was no surprise to him that currently it took the form of the small apartment he shared with Peter. Loki’s center had always reflected the place that he called home the most at whatever point in time that was. 

As he evaluated his center, all the nooks and crannies, made sure that the ebbs and flows were correct… he paused when he noticed a door. A door that most certainly did not exist in the actual apartment, and which flickered in and out of existence. Almost as though there were a film or a glamor covering it. 

Someone else’s seidr was invading his center.

Loki hissed back in surprise and anger. Who would dare do such a thing? As he examined the flickering door he felt an ever increasing headache and urge to look away. No . He would not be letting this stand any longer. This presence had clearly been gnawing at the back of his mind for far too long. 

Loki spent he did not know how long pulling and pushing and untangling the silken threads around the door before they were released. It was with a gasping breath that he realized that the door had always been there. It was the webbing that was the invasive seidr. Whatever was behind the door… was his.

May 1st 2009

Tony was free. Finally free. He stumbled through the desert, desperately hoping that someone friendly had seen the crash, desperately hoping that the air force got to him before the ten rings did and he was taken back to the cave, this time with no way out. 

When he saw Rhodey, Tony thought he might cry in relief, except he realized that he was too dehydrated for such an action. Instead he settled for hugging his friend, desperate for the connection. It had been too long. Too long.

He dozed on the plane, finally able to rest in a place that felt safe, but still almost unbelieving that it was actually real. That he was here . That he was not still in a cave, in a dungeon awaiting trial.

Yinsen had brought him back from the point of death, but for a brief moment he had been at the gates of Helheim, and had seen the horror stricken face of his daughter. And Tony remembered .

He was born on Midgard in 1974 as Anthony Edward Stark. But he was also Anton Oskarson, Prince Consort, husband of Loki Odinson. He was the father of Hel, Fenrir, and Jormungdr. He had been Second General of the Einherjar, the god of war and innovation. And now he had been shoved into mortal skin. 

His own spouse had found him, stayed with him for three months—because he recognized her in any form, and “Lola” was Loki, no doubt about it. Why had she not said anything? Why had she not tried to reveal herself, tried to break him free? Was the pain that he did not remember her too much? Was it because he was mortal now, she did not want him anymore? 

Still, knowing she was out there gave him the desperation and drive he needed. I would see her again. He would find a way to get his seidr back. He would achieve his godhood again, and he would find Loki. His center was warped and twisted, damaged because of the mortal casing he had been forced into. 

But he had time. He would make time. And he did. He got himself out of the cave, and he would find Loki again, whatever it took. He would marry her again, he would see his children again. Hopefully they had kept themselves safe—he had no idea where they were, which was a large part of the plan. 

After Odin had made it clear that he considered Anton and Loki’s children a threat, plans had been put in place to protect them, but the sacrifice was that they did not know where their children were. Hel, he knew, resided in Helheim, where she had taken on the mantle as Queen. Their eldest child, who they had conceived when they were barely no longer children themselves, was already a ruler of a realm in her own right, despite being hardly 600 years of age. 

She was known, of course, but as a Queen there was nothing the allfather could do to move against her without upsetting all of the realms. 

Tony’s thoughts spiraled and ebbed and weaved tangled webs as he tried to rest on the flight back. He made half-hearted attempts to meditate and settle into his center, to map out his missing pieces. At some point as they drifted over the Atlantic ocean his seidr snapped to attention. His eyes fluttered open as he registered that while everything in him was still messy and tangled, his connection to Loki had been re-established. 

His lips curved into a smile. Well how about that. Guess she doesn’t hate me after all.

May 1st 2009

Loki had not known what to expect when he opened the door. He assumed that it was some kind of block on his memories, but one cannot know what they do not know. He could never have expected the weight of what was waiting for him. 

Anton. His husband, who was—Anthony, Peter’s father and Peter he was not human at all, Loki needed to get back to Peter! He had been assuming that Peter’s life span was progressing at a rate that was a mix of human, Jotun, and Vanir, and with human as the predominant feature speeding him up he was raising him with humans, but what part of him was Aesir? Was Anthony actually Anton in physical form or was he really human? Loki’s baby boy, what was he?

Loki yanked himself out of his center abruptly. His mind was still spinning with information. Anton was Anthony, Anthony was Anton, Anton existed . That last one was big because how had Odin warped reality so that Loki forgot about his own husband? Forgot about the father of his children?

Loki had remembered that he had children, remembered their pain, remembered their deaths, but in his haze had believed that the magic that made him forget them was his own. To a certain extent it was—he had purposefully not known information about where any of his children were, to protect them. Loki was bound by his oaths to the throne. Now Loki knew he would throw away the crown, the throne. He wanted no part in Odin’s schemes. He would take Peter, take Anton, take Fen, and Jor, and run . He would take Hel too, but she had a realm to rule. 

Oh and Anton, did he even know he was a god? He was still in mortal form, he could be out here anywhere— she felt it then. The golden thread that tied her to Anton, re-establishing itself. It had been gone for so long—she had forgotten for so long—that she almost did not recognize the feeling.

A happy laugh came out of her throat. 

She took her phone out of her pocket and wrote out a text to May.

Tell Peter I will be home this weekend. I am sorry things have taken so long.

A few minutes later her phone buzzed.

I can’t pretend I understand. I know he misses you.

Loki’s heart lurched. She did not know how much longer she could keep up the pretense of living in Midgard. She had already been away from Asgard for nearly a decade. Thor’s coronation would be coming up soon and she would be expected.

It has to do with Peter’s father. I will explain everything I can when I get back.

Loki pocketed her phone and teleported back to a mansion in Malibu where she had taken care not to step foot for over eight years. 

It was still dark in California, it being the middle of the night there. She took care as she came in at the bottom of the long driveway, as though she was walking off the road. She made a point to start walking before the point that any cameras could have caught her. She had on a backpack, mostly for appearances, given her access to pocket dimensions, but also because sometimes it was easier to just carry things instead of waste seidr. 

As she made her way up the long and winding driveway she could feel the eyes of JARVIS’ cameras on her, though he did not say anything until she arrived at the front door. Not bothering to knock she looked directly at the front door camera. “Will you let me in, JARVIS?”

“Why should I, Ms. Freyrson?” the AI asked cooly.

“Because you have questions and I can answer them. And you know that Anthony will want to see me when he gets home.” She replied simply. The AI did not say anything for a long moment, but she got the feeling that had he had the ability to do so JARVIS would have nodded his head sharply and huffed as he opened the door. 

“Very well, Ms. Freyrson. Very little has moved in the over eight years since your… unfortunate disappearing act.” He drew out. “You know how to make yourself comfortable.” Nothing about how he was speaking was designed to make her comfortable. But nevertheless Loki did fetch herself a glass of water. 

“Thank you JARVIS,” she took a sip and spoke again, leaning back. “Fire away.”

There was a long silence as JARVIS seemed to think about his first question. “Who are you?”

Loki flashed a smile towards the camera. “Well that’s not a hard question to answer at all, is it?” Running a hand through her hair, he slid into his male form. It was more comfortable for him at present, and it’s not like there was anyone but JARVIS here. And JARVIS would not share this with anyone with Anton, who already knew. Or would know. There is nothing that Loki would keep from him. Not now. Not ever again.

“I am Loki Freyrson, Prince of Asgard and of Jotunheim. I am the god of mischief and chaos and fire. I am Loki Liesmith and Loki Silvertongue. Laufeyson, Friggason, never Odinson, though some call me that. I am over a millenia old, and until recently my memories were bound.” Here Loki faltered. Where before his words had been filled with bravado, now they softened. “The Allfather forced me to forget the name, face, and manner of my own husband, who he had banished to Midgard for reasons I still do not fully understand. My husband was living his life here as a mortal, and even when I found him again, even when I loved him again… I did not truly see him.” A lone tear started to come out of Loki’s traitorous eye and he waved it away with seidr. There was another long pause, neither the AI nor the god saying anything, before JARVIS broke the silence.

“Of all that, I find the fact that Sir is secretly a god the least surprising.” JARVIS mused. Loki marveled once again at how alive JARVIS was. And truly, he should have known that Anthony was not of Midgardian origin, or that at the very least he was a Midgardian with some kind of hidden talent for seidr. The man had fabricated a soul when he made JARVIS, more than a machine or simple code could ever be. 

“I would be surprised if you were surprised, JARVIS.” Loki admitted with a laugh.

“Why did you leave Mr. Freyrson?” JARVIS asked, abruptly. Still focused and on task then. He subdued the residual laughter inside him. He would not eliminate the possibility of the AI kicking him out of the mansion.

“Because I was scared. Because I was a coward.” Loki admitted. “And because of one very, very big and important secret that I would not hesitate to share with you except in this one instance, Anthony deserves to know first. It is not a secret that puts him in any more danger than he is already, but there is someone else who would be hurt if this secret gets out. And I will not risk that.” Loki finished coldly.

“Very well. You may have the third guestroom to yourself.” 

Loki wondered if JARVIS even knew what a stab to the gut that was. How would the AI have any way of knowing that was the guest room that Loki had once held the slimmest of hopes of turning into a nursery?

Well, if Loki’s plans held true, at least one of these rooms would soon become Peter’s, and Loki would be rejoining Anton in the master suite. That is, if his husband would even have him. 

If he could forgive him.

Next chapter: A press conference, a confrontation, and someone has a crush.