There are those who are meant to be stars.
Not the legends of stage and world, though they may be that. Truly: Stars.
Stars are beacons, and they shape the universe. They radiate light, warmth, inspiration, curiosity. Each star burns differently, but still each wants eir place in the world. Each wants to be seen.
I have three stories to show of two who were meant to be stars. But first, the universe that is as they were meant to be, in simplest terms:
The two stars circle each other. One is golden, larger, and radiates warmth. One is smaller, blue-white, and burns with strength. They should, by all rights of probability, collapse, fall into each other. They do not. They simply fit.
The two who should be stars still circle each other--as brothers, as enemies. Forces contrive, or one of them does.
Loki is cold, and it makes him feel empty, wrong, he should not be cold.
Thor radiates, still, and barely feels the difference until Loki falls.
You know this story.
Loki is not aware that he should be a star. He is aware that he wants to pass the wall, to see the world, to go out and be something. But he assumes it is the same restlessness all adolescents weather, and keeps it to himself. He runs through jobs rather than places; gets very good at each thing and then makes a mistake big enough to be fired. The only thing he stays around for any length of time is Sigyn.
Sigyn is...she is lovely, he supposes, though there are lovelier. Intelligent, there are more intelligent. She is...understanding, welcoming, curious, splendid, splendor. If Loki knew he was meant to be a star, he would think her the same, or his planet, or his moon. Something bound to him in an obvious way.
(He would be wrong. In any world where Loki is a star, Sigyn sees him when she is young, and writes verses to/of/for him. They are beautiful and inspiring while he lights the sky, heartbreaking if/when he falls.)
When Loki finds the promise tripping from his lips, he is as surprised as she. Sigyn's excitement grows at his smile--not earnest, which means a lie, but cocky, which means he faces a challenge. "Really? A star?" (In a hundred worlds, the star falls within Asgard's wide walls, and it takes Loki days longer than it should to realize she said, I can get a star? and not, You would do that for me?)
Loki springs to his feet, plans clicking into place now that he has a goal to hook them on. "Of course." Sigyn's glowing smile is worth much more than the burden of tipping his hand and the trouble of coming back. (He wants that bright, inspired look on her face; it is right.)
The trickster goes to his father, then feigns surprise at the fact that his father (man-who-raised-him) is not his father (man-who-sparked his creation). Honestly, Odin made it so obvious that Loki would have to try to be hiding to miss it. But then, his father never did quite understand how clever he was.
Odin assures Loki that this means nothing to their relationship as father and son, and Loki believes it because he is the only recognized heir. Odin does not know how clever Loki is, but he knows his son clever. Loki has never been second.
Then comes the candle that will teleport him outside the walls--no need to deal with guarding Heimdall, so long as Loki pretends that Odin's description of its workings is a novel thing. Loki knew his father was not his father; he found enough scraps of details to figure out where his mother was born, and some of her history. He knew the magics; all he had to do was reverse-engineer.
Outside the walls, he spends a night as his charming self and leaves with all the information he needs. They still think of him as her child, and the tears come easily,
because he is her child and will never know her because he has practiced long to make them so.
The directions to the crater are remarkably precise, enough so that he wishes they could help him when he looked for something a bit more difficult to find than an absurdly large crater, surrounded by a place devoid of any wildlife, any noise. The Asgardian Jötunn knows how to follow silence. He looks in.
(In those hundred worlds where Loki need not cross Asgard's walls, he sees a glittering rock. A novelty, but one that disappoints Sigyn. It hardly strikes her as a star, and it is not anything she wanted. She wants her star, her blue-white furnace of a star, not some golden, half-glowing thing.)
The first thing Loki sees is golden hair. That's all he needs; Loki knows a star even if the trickster isn't one here. Loki binds their wrists together before it wakes, because that is the most efficient way to drag the prize back to Sigyn, who will smile at him the right way. Loki smiles in anticipation, and at how easy it has been.
As he journeys, there will be many points Loki will claim he fell in love. The first time a prince--one of Loki's brothers, technically--tries to kill him, or his star. When Thor leaps to his defense, nearly dying. When he heals Thor with what little bettering magic he knew, because he touches something so intimate in the process, something so very much Thor.
True blue eyes open and Loki's heart stops. The gold star smiles groggily.
Thor is restless, and does not care why. He knows he is meant for something better. When Sif and he are flirting with/challenging each other one day, she sees the star streak across the sky and tells him even he could not bring it back to her. Thor grins his guileless grin. "It will be yours, Lady Sif."
Heimdall guards the gate, but every youth knows the hole the Vanir made that he chooses not to watch. (In the worlds where Loki is not a star, he tricks a Jötunn into rebuilding it, but here it is still broken.)
Thor sprints away (and so never knows his mother's people), following the star's trail and then chasing where it might have gone. He's off by much, but close enough to see the crater, still fresh enough to be steaming some. Next...
(In the worlds where Loki Light-Shedder lands in the walls, Thor finds a diamond. The gem is beautifully faceted and the size of his fist. Thor and Sif marry, eventually, and he still ducks the wall: sometimes with her, sometimes without. Thor is warmth turned in, not cold burning, and can be content without his counterpart, if not happy.)
Green eyes, brighter and clearer than any leaf or blade of grass, like lightning cutting through a hailstorm.The man sits tall, with one leg out as if he just finished stretching. "Greetings." Something odd about the eyes, beyond color.
"Greetings," Thor replies with an amiable nod. "Have you seen a star? It should have landed around here."
The oddity in the eyes strengthens, and Thor sees it for silent laughter. "It did."
The man pauses. "Where is it?"
Loki spreads his arms in the universal gesture for, 'Here I am.'
The star who is still a trickster smiles, nods, and takes off running. Thor, because he is a simple enough creature, chases.
The princes get to Loki first, and Thor fights for him. Then come the witches, and Thor fought for Loki again. He becomes so used to fighting for his star that it seems perfectly natural to fight Sif for him, and Thor would even have fought Loki for Loki (as he fought Sif for Sif in a hundred worlds), but Loki makes perfectly clear that there is no need.
Loki learned something important from the witches, though he waited until he and Thor had at least one night together before murmuring it. "I cannot enter Asgard, you know."
Thor shrugged. "You're more important."
(Sigyn writes beautiful verses of Loki's light, heartbreaking poetry of his fall, and soaring songs of the two stars together.)