Five hundred years after Loki is dead and gone, Thor wakes with his chest aching. He’s been dreaming, and remembers something quite suddenly. He rises from his bed, body bare, trailing crimson blankets across the floor carelessly. He stuffs his hand into the one bookshelf in his room, and grasps a small brown volume of insipid poetry he knew, in his youth, he would never care to look on. Except for one reason. He sits back down on the broad, empty bed, turns pages delicate as dead leaves, and with each unfruitful turn his breath comes shorter, until, near the center of the book, a loose sheet of parchment, paper-thin and feather-smooth, falls out. Catching it between his fingers with the delicacy of a lion lifting a cub between its teeth, he turns it over from its blank side, allowing himself to imagine that there might be words on the other side.
Meet me at the west garden gate at sundown. Wear a hood, for what little good it will do you. I’d rather you make it without half of Asgard knowing your affairs. Brown, not red.
Don’t be late.
The ink shimmers a color that seems black to the unskilled eye, but Thor knows (his chest constricts) it is deepest green. The hand that wrote it (finely boned, nails that grew black from their beds, ah!) was not in the habit of signing correspondence other than when absolutely necessary, (such as writing a letter to Odin, all oil and vinegar, suggestion and sympathy, words that would soon be law, by the All-Father’s will, but the Liesmith’s tongue). Thor’s hand spasms and he puts the parchment back between the leaves of the book, for fear of damaging it. All these centuries of life have given him no reprieve from his swirling mass of irrationality, his hunger. And he knows for what he hungers, good and ill alike, why he must undo what he has done. He hungers…
The warmth of Loki’s adoration when they were children, his burning eyes - When you’re king, you’ll have the finest flocks, a horse that can traverse water and air, and the Sun itself will come down and bend knee to the true shining center of the universe.
The soft well of passion when they became men, the gentle kisses on his floor, his feet, his mouth, his cock. How quickly that softness gave way to the wicked gears and wires underneath, and making love became teeth and claws and winning and losing. Loki won if he drained Thor until even the slightest breath on his sex caused him pain - Thor won if Loki’s tongue was too exhausted to form words that could erase him from his bed. He would hold him to the mattress, their hearts stacked one on top of the other, Loki’s always pulsing twice for each beat Thor’s took, one step ahead, weary eyes clear and already looking to the future. Thor shut his own, breathing only musk and sweat and Loki and now.
You rut with the delicacy of a bull, brother. Thank your luck that it’s a challenge to fuck you. You will be nothing to me if you ever become boring.
The desolation of their older years, the time spent beaten, tortured, and in chains. Both of them decrepit, both of them with no pleasure left in their bones other than the aching, searing, brutal joy of blood. Mjolnir, his lover then as she ever was, her soft whispers and battle cries now the hoarse whisper of a woman dying. His lungs filled with bile as her face met Loki’s skull, splintered it, and ended him.
How his arms sang with pleasure. How he was the carnage, the chips of bone, red to the core. How for many glorious moments, he looked on the red maw that was once his brother’s beautiful face and felt nothing but thunder in his ears and in his loins. Those moments passed, and afterwards, he felt nothing.
And now memory is back. Now he realizes, perhaps for the first time, just who he is. He is Thor, commander of storms. Thor, son of Odin and the Earth herself. Thor, husband of Sif, but father of the half-Jotun Magni. Thor, ruler of Asgard, protector of the innocent, hero of Midgard and a shining name in all the nine realms. There is darkness enough in these realms to pit himself against, but even Sutur had fallen centuries ago, trapped in limbo by his fool of a father who was satisfied to battle the monster for eternity, to find inner peace in eternal destruction. He longs for eternal destruction. But not in peace, not ever in peace. If he cannot be tortured, and torture in return, his blood could not live. Loki’s beauty, Loki’s ugliness, Loki’s love and Loki’s hatred are all that can satisfy. He will have him back.
He stands, dresses, calls tired Mjolnir to his belt, and walks the halls of cold Asgard alone.
He will have him back.
Heimdall is waiting before Bifrost like an obsidian headstone. Thor has no intention to speak, but Heimdall hails him with a hand on his shoulder.
“I beg you reconsider, Thunderer.”
Thor stands and gazes upward, towards the cosmos, towards celestial energy pricking its bright way through nothing, nothing, nothing. His brother is that energy, he can smell him like sharp ozone, and for the first time in a millenia, he feels alive.
“No man or beast in all the realms could stop me, my good friend. Tell me nothing of your visions, because I care not. Your king is ever as selfish as he was since he was born, and today I will retrieve what belongs to me. So here is my command to you: suffer in silence.”
Heimdall is unreadable, for the stars live in his skull and obscure his emotion. Thor shakes off his friendly hand, and Heimdall uses his golden blade as he is bid, and sends the king of Asgard into a swirling abyss. At the end of his journey, he is in no realm at all, but in the space between the stars. Here is black. Here is cold. Here are no sounds that the ear can perceive, only whispers that the mind imagines. He imagines brother. He imagines sharp teeth and liquid tongue. Mjolnir is in his palm before he can summon her, vibrating her eager delight.
Invoke me. My love, my only, let us have him.
He stretches his arms out wide, he thrusts his chest in the direction he is certain is up. He throws his head back and allows lightning to pierce him; to pierce darkness thicker than the blood of a thousand generations.
“LOKI. COME FORTH.”