Ketil (695 words) by LokiOfSassgaard

Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Thor – All Media Types, Norse Marvel
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Hogun & Loki
Characters: Loki (Marvel), Hogun (Marvel)

Summary:  Prompt fill: “There are very few things Loki will admit to holding a deep respect for. This was one of them.”

Hogun was out with his bird again, using the creature to hunt something small for dinner. Loki watched from a distance as Hogun held up his arm as a perch for the eagle.

It was a large bird, as birds went on Asgard, but it was small for a bird of Yggdrasil. Hogun strained as it landed, bracing to keep his arm from falling under the eagle’s weight. He fed the eagle a morsel and sent it off again, watching as it climbed on golden wings into the heavens. Only once it was riding the air currents high above did Loki finally approach Hogun, pretending his friend’s pet didn’t make his skin crawl.

“You feed that beast more meat than it brings in,” Loki called out. “The only man on Asgard to hunt at a loss.”

Hogun turned his head as Loki approached, watching him from the corner of his eye.

“It’s for sport. If it was a real meal I was after, I would be hunting boar,” he said.

“It’s been a while since I’ve had a good goring,” Loki said.

Hogun rolled his eyes and looked skyward again. Loki followed his gaze, still acutely aware of the eagle circling above them. Something deep within him, something that would never truly leave Jötunheimr, told him to flee and find a hole to hide in. No matter how many times he told himself he was on Asgard, where the eagles were only big enough to carry off a toddler, he could not quell the instinct-driven fear within him.

The eagle circled around and then started to dive back down toward them, rather than any rabbit in the field stretched out before them. Loki wanted to run, but his dignity forbade it. He stood stiff, as if the sight of razor sharp talons bearing down on him wasn’t a nightmare he’d had ever since he was a boy.

With neither warning nor permission, Hogun took Loki’s arm and wrenched it up above his head, as if he expected Loki to retrieve the eagle. Loki froze, only regaining control of himself as Hogun’s bird landed with a flurry of feathers. Loki ducked his face away, acutely aware of the talons circling his arm and pinching his skin. He stood stiffly, eyes closed and facing the ground, while Hogun shoved something into Loki’s free hand.

“Reward her,” Hogun commanded.

“For what? Not destroying me?” Loki bit back.

He looked up at the eagle, it now seeming even bigger than it had when Hogun held it. Forcing his hand steady, Loki held out the morsel of dried meat for the bird, snapping his hand away as soon as its hooked beak came in contact with the meat. He stared at the bird as it swallowed the jerky and settled on his arm. He could feel the weight of it through his entire body, every movement it made echoing through him.

“She is just an eagle. You should stop being such a child,” Hogun chided.

Loki shot a glare at him, but it was a fleeting one, as he dared not take his focus off the predator on his arm.

“I am Loki. And you’re an ass,” he said.

“Send her off again,” Hogun said.

Loki moved as he’d seen Hogun do a thousand times before, trying to push the eagle into the air with his arm. The first time, it only ruffled its wings, but when Loki tried again with more force, it took flight and climbed back into the sky. Loki let himself fall back into the dirt, panting with the shock of still being in one piece.

“I don’t like your bird. And I don’t like you,” Loki said.

He heard Hogun snort somewhere above him. “Good. Your form is terrible anyway. You would make a terrible falconer.”

Despite it all, Loki bristled. “And you make a terrible archer,” he said bitterly. Catching his breath, Loki stood again and turned his attention back to the sky.

“Fine. If you’re such an expert, tell me what I did wrong,” he said, dusting himself off and apparently determined to give himself a heart attack before the day was through.