“Uncle Thor, when is Daddy going to be home?” (Name) asked, sitting in front of the fireplace and coloring with Aunt Jane. Her cousin, Berwald, was nowhere to be found for whatever reason. Probably taking his nap or something.
“I do not know, my dear niece, but according to my brother’s last words before leaving, he was supposed to be home tomorrow.” He replied, shutting the door to Ber’s room. Oh, so he was taking a nap. Cool.
“Tomorrow?” She repeated, looking up from her beautiful little drawing, “But that’s a whole ‘nother day away!”
“Yes, my dear, I am aware, but it just means that your reuniting will be all the more sweeter. You know, the longer you are apart, the better the rejoining? Or, something to that effect.” Thor replied, sitting next to Jane and enjoying the lovely flames. Jane couldn’t help but give a sad smile when (Name) looked down, obviously upset that her daddy wasn’t going to be home for an entire day.
“Hey, sweetheart, how about we read that story you like so much?” Jane suggested, and (Name) looked back up, a smile on her face.
“Y-Yeah! I wanna read about the train dog!” She exclaimed, brightening back up immediately. Thor glanced up at Jane, who’d left the room and quickly returned holding a small children’s book.
“The ‘train dog’?” He repeated curiously as she sat down again, opening the book.
“It’s about a dog named Hachiko who waits for his master at the train station!” (Name) explained with a happy bounce, scooting closer to Jane and leaning her head on Jane’s shoulder.
“This sounds like a lovely story. Your father took the train to travel, you know.” Thor mentioned with a smile. (Name) nodded sharply.
“I know! He did because I asked him to!” She responded with a giggle. “Daddy said that he thinks all Midgardian transportation is dirty and filthy and that he’d never want to use one. But then I told him that I wouldn’t give him any more hugs until he took a train to go and buy the present I wanted.” She said happily, leaning closer to her aunt.
“Oh? And what present is that?” Jane asked.
“It was a really cute thing I saw on the other side of town.” (Name) chimed.
“And what ‘thing’ is it?”
“I can’t tell you. It’s a secret between me and Daddy!” She said mysteriously. Jane just shook her head with a laugh.
“How about we start reading now, okay?” She suggested, and (Name) cheered, snuggling up to her as she began to read.
“There once was a dog named Hachiko…”
It was about 5:00 a.m. when (Name) woke up that morning. She wasn’t too surprised to be in her cousin Berwald’s room, but she didn’t quite recall falling asleep.
‘It must have been while I was reading with Aunt Jane.’ She thought to herself before hopping out of bed.
‘Which reminds me...’ She thought again, running over to the small desk and pulling out a piece of paper and a green marker. A grin crossed her face as she scribbled a little note and stuck the note under her pillow.
See, she wanted to let her aunt and uncle know where she was, but...she didn’t want them to know where she was just yet.
So hopefully, hiding it under her pillow would buy her a little bit of time. With a quiet laugh, she padded giddily out of her room and grabbed her puffy coat, wool mittens and little boots, pulling them on excitedly. Then, with a final glance around the house, she crept out of the house as silently as a ninja.
‘Now I can wait for Daddy just like Hachiko!’ She concluded with a mad little giggle.
“It’s almost 8:00 a.m….I wonder if (Name) is awake yet.” Loki wondered aloud, glancing down at the little paper bag in his hand. He was dressed up in an ensemble rather similar to the one worn when Thor was cast to Earth awhile ago. The tissue paper inside crinkled merrily, and he couldn’t help but crack a small smile. (Name) was going to love her new gift.
Thankfully, he just reached the station that was only a few blocks away from Thor and Jane’s home, and he stepped off the train as soon as possible. It would take about 10 minutes or so to walk down to their house, but he didn’t mind. If it meant he would reunite with his baby girl, he would gladly walk for hours. He would also teleport, too, but unfortunately teleporting was deemed a big no-no by S.H.I.E.L.D. and doing so would result in some serious punishment.
He shook his head with a small laugh, realizing just how ridiculous the inability to teleport was. It was rather inconvenient, you know. He could have already been to the house by now, but he guessed that just wasn’t going to be an option.
He turned the corner from the platform, heading towards the entrance/exit with a slightly quicker step than usual. The sooner the better, after all. But suddenly, a flash of (h/c) caught his eye, and he paused, looking behind him.
‘That...wasn’t (Name)...was it?’ He asked himself. But as soon as he’d seen it, it was gone again. Loki blinked, then just shook his head before continuing on.
‘I must miss her so much that I’m merely seeing things. Ah, well. It won’t be too long before I find her again, so it doesn’t matter anyways.’
And with a final little smile, he was off to his brother’s Midgardian abode.
“Thor, what are we going to do?? Loki is going to have our heads if he finds out we lost her!” Jane cried, frantically running about the house. She left no table, chair or pillow unturned in the kitchen or living room. They had closed off the basement, so she couldn’t have gone down there...right?
“I know, Jane, I know. But she couldn’t have gotten out of the house, could she?” He asked seriously, carrying a very sleepy Berwald in his arms. Jane shook her head, but strode up to the front door nonetheless.
“No, there’s no way that she could have gotten out. She doesn’t know where the key is, and the door was locked last night.” She replied, reaching for the door knob and assuming it wouldn’t move, but...the knob turned...and the door opened.
“Thor...the door was locked...wasn’t it?” She inquired darkly, as if she already knew the answer. He nodded quickly, but then froze, paling, as he realized that he had completely forgotten to do so.
“I-I’m afraid that I did not, Jane...I suppose that story you read went a little too late into the night, and...it must have slipped my mind.” He explained lamely, more or less using little Ber as a shield as Jane stormed towards him.
“Are you kidding me?! Thor, how could you forget to do that?? What if Berwald had gotten out, too? Just...ugh, when we find her, you are so grounded from story time.” She scolded angrily, taking the little boy out of his arms and making her way back to the boy’s room.
“Jane? Where are you going?” He asked cautiously. A deadly glare was sent his way.
“I am going to get our son dressed. Then, I’m going to get my shoes on, and go and look for your brother’s daughter. You have t-minus two minutes to do the same thing.” She ordered murderously, and without another word, Thor rushed into his room, pulling on his best Midgardian winter apparel.
Jane huffed sharply, buttoning up the small boy’s coat. Berwald stared at her quietly, earning a confused look from his mother.
“Ber? What’s wrong, sweetheart?”
“...You mad at Daddy?”
“A little bit, yes, but when we find your cousin, we’ll be just fine. It’s his fault she’s missing now, so we’ll have him fix this, okay?”
“...S’not missing.” Ber said shortly, holding out a crumpled note in his hand. She stared down at him in surprise, taking the note gingerly and skimming over it carefully.
“Ant Jane and Unkl Thor, I am goyng tu go miit Daddy at the chrayn stayshen. I will bee back hir soon, and thin I will sho you thi prezent. I will be like Hacheekoh, so I will be O.K.! Lov, (Name).”
She gasped aloud when she finished, realizing what (Name) was going to do (despite the terrible toddler hand-writing).
“Berwald, why didn’t you show this to us earlier??”
“...Just woke up.”
“Right.” She replied with a shake of her head. She was about to open her mouth again, but was suddenly met with a loud and unfortunately familiar voice.
“Brother! I have returned! Where is my daughter?”
It was Loki.
“U-Um, hey there, Loki!!” Jane called from Ber’s room, peeking out to greet him nervously. Loki glanced over, giving a curt nod and a polite smile.
“It is a pleasure to see you, Jane. And you, too, young Berwald.” The little Thor nodded slowly, waving tiredly at his uncle. It was shortly after that that Thor walked into the hall.
And promptly performed a double take.
“B-Brother! You’re back home!” He said as nonchalantly as he could. But Loki could hear the nervousness in his voice.
“Yes, it seems I am. Is...something wrong, Thor? You’re acting strangely.” Loki asked, tilting his head curiously. His face hardened when Thor shifted nervously, looking away.
“Well...there may have been some complications before you returned today…” He mumbled, averting his eyes. Loki’s heart sped up dangerously as he advanced towards his brother.
“Thor Odinson...where is my daughter?” He demanded, glaring up at his brother with anger and worry in his eyes.
"(Name)...disappeared this morning." Thor dead panned, expecting some sort of attack from his brother's rage. But what he noticed instead was a completely shocked Loki. Who looked like he'd just seen a ghost.
"You...she...she what?" He finally whispered, backing away from his brother. Thor looked down shamefully.
"We lost her, Loki, but I promise you that we will find her agai--"
"No, no! (Name), she-- she cannot be missing! You can't lose her!!" He cried, desperation taking over his voice. "Have you forgotten what happened when Odin stole her away from me??" His voice rose, and he dropped the bag in anger.
"I can't go through that again! We must go out and find her now, before someone or something finds her first." Loki declared, regaining his emotions once again. He refused to go through that fear and worry again. He couldn't. He wouldn't.
"W-Well, we're in luck. Ber here just found the note she wrote before she left. She's at the train station!" Jane said determinedly, earning a grateful nod from the fallen prince.
"Alright then, let us return to the station! We haven't a moment to lose!" Loki called, and with that, they were off to the street, sprinting as quickly as they could towards the slightly stupid little girl.
Okay, so, this whole "I'll be like Hachiko!" idea had started out pretty well, but ever since she'd seen the man that looked an awful lot like her dad, she had been wandering around the station, worry and fear consistently building up in her little body.
'What if Daddy...isn't even here?' She wondered at the terrible idea, feeling the tears bubble up in her eyes. A little cry squealed out, and she began to run around frantically.
"Daddy!!" She called loudly, earning some glances from strangers nearby. But she ignored them, running towards the exit. If he left or he was coming back, he would be able to see her in by the doors. She hoped.
Over and over, she called his name, finally dropping next to the doors sobbing. However, there just weren’t any people that seemed to notice the little girl crying in the entrace/exit.
She was about to just give up and try to go back home, but then…
“(NAME)!! (Name), where are you?!” Loki called out over the ruckus of the train station. He swore he would never ever let (Name) convince him to use the train again. If he ever found her, that is.
‘No, don’t think like that! She’s definitely here! We just have to find her.’ He mentally scolded himself, turning the corner sharply. Thor and Jane followed suit, a very drowsy Ber trailing along behind them (holding Jane’s hand, of course).
“Brother, we’ve been searching for over 20 minutes. It’s entirely possible that (Name) has left the train station already.” Thor spoke, his voice scratchy from searching for his niece. Loki shook his head determinedly.
“No, (Name) is definitely here. If it’s anything like that story that you spoke of, then there is a good chance that she’s still waiting in the stati--”
Loki froze, his eyes widening as he swiveled around. He didn’t see anyone, but...he definitely heard his daughter’s voice.
“That was (Name)!” Jane exclaimed, whipping her head towards the call. But instead of seeing her niece, she caught sight of a certain Loki sprinting full speed toward the sound.
“(Name)?!” Loki cried, searching around the sea of people frantically.
“Daddy!!” He gasped, recognizing the puffy coat and mitten wearing toddler as his daughter, who was currently wailing next to the exit.
“(Name)!!” He repeated, rushing towards her and quickly wrapping her up in his arms. She inhaled sharply, pulling back to see just who exactly had rocketed her up from the ground. And promptly cried again.
“Daddy!! Daddy, you found me!!” She wailed, burying her face into his neck as she wrapped tiny arms around him pitifully. Loki sighed in relief, holding her as close to his person as humanly possible.
“(Name), I’m so glad you’re alright! When you weren’t at the house, I thought something had happened to you!” He confessed, rubbing her back soothingly.
“I-I’m sorry, Daddy, but I wanted to c-come and meet you at the s-station and take you home with m-me!” She hiccuped, smiling through her tears. “I won’t do it again, okay? Just don’t take the train a-anymore, and I won’t have to wait for you like Hachiko.” She promised, earning a curious look from her Daddy.
“Oh? So this is my fault now, is it?”
“Yes...you shouldn’t have taken the t-train.”
“But you’re the one that wanted me to, remember?”
He laughed, jostling her in his arms and wiping her tears away as Thor and Jane came up to them as well.
“(Name)! Thank goodness you’re alright! What on Earth were you thinking coming all the way down here by yourself?” Jane scolded like the mother she was, and (Name) looked down.
“I’m sorry Aunt Jane...I just wanted to see Daddy.” She apologized, hugging Loki closer. Jane couldn’t help but smile. (Name) never said anything that wasn’t sincere, so she knew she meant it when she apologized.
“It’s okay, sweetheart, but next time, how about you just come and get me, then we can both go visit your Daddy? He was worried sick when you disappeared, you know.” Jane said, and (Name) looked up at her father in surprise.
“You got sick, Daddy?? Are you okay?? Are you warm?” She asked, clearly misunderstanding. Loki laughed, shifting her carefully.
“No, my dear, I’m not sick. And how could I ever be warm? I’m Loki; Warm isn’t exactly my thing, darling.” He replied, kissing her on the forehead quickly. Thor smiled, happy to see his brother being so affectionate towards his daughter.
“Well then, I’d say this turned out quite well, don’t you all? How about we return to the house? I don’t believe we finished that Hachiko story last night, either, so we can read that as w--”
“Thor!! Have you learned nothing from what just happened?!” Jane asked, smacking him on the back of the head. Loki nodded in approval.
“Yes, if I’m correct, the entire reason why she came to the station was because of that story.” Loki mused, watching Thor’s shoulders sag.
“Oh. Right. Sorry.”
“It’s fine, Brother. But I would like to second the notion to return to your home, at least. I’m tired of this train station, and I do believe I will be for a while.”
“Good idea, Loki. Let’s go, guys.” Jane agreed, and with that, they returned to the house happily.
And it was only 10:00 a.m. in the morning.
“By the way, Jane, am I still grounded from story time?”
“I don’t know, what do you think?”