Father stumbles into me, his wings beating forward, encapsulating us both for a moment. And in that second his eyes meet mine I see—I think I see—a glimpse of who he once was. I remember when I loved him. When he loved me. Before the madness overtook him, causing him to deny Odin and steal away a third of Asgard. His Shadow recedes and I see behind him where Hel lies on the floor, her beautiful gown ripped and torn, blood splattered on it like raindrops.
“Are you all right?” Father actually sounds sincere. I let my Halo recede and lean into him, allowing myself to believe, for just a second, that he’s the person I remember, the one who was my friend. I’d always wanted this. More than anything. For Father to choose me for a change, to think of me before himself, before his great disagreement with Odin.
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