The moment he finds out there is a way for Thor to go to Midgard (and that is literally the moment before he is sent), Magnus is glued to Thor's side. He doesn't say anything, doesn't have to. Thor says it's not safe. Thor asks him to be reasonable. Odin stays silent, looking away, not interfering.
It's Frigga who takes his side, who clasps her son's hand, gently reminds him that Asgard is not Magnus' home.
"Not that you are not welcome here", she amends, sparing a look at Magnus, and he gratefully smiles, though it's not truth. Thor looks uneasy. But it's decided, it seems. Magnus knows they would have to pry him off of Thor to make him let go (not that it would be much of a problem for them but still. Home. There is a way to go home.) Odin deigns him a nod.
"Hold on tight", he instructs.
And hold tight is what he does. Through dark, cold places of the universe, through storm and thunder. This is the most frightening experience of his life, and he believes he will die. Thor's hand is firm and steady around his waist as they travel faster than sound, faster than light. His bones rattle when they land on top of plane.
Thor doesn't give him a moment to recollect before he unceremoniously drops him inside, and he catches a first glimpse on the infamous Loki before Thor takes him away. He violently vomits while two more figures rush past him, and then a woman's voice demands answers.
He can't answer. Black dots dance before his eyes and then he loses consciousness.
Waking up is hard. He is aware of someone slapping him lightly, calling his name. He groans, nausea returning. Magnus retches again, though there is not much left to vomit. Acid burns his mouth. He hears derisive laughter, and unknown voice telling him "Hang on, soldier".
"Always knew how to pick your pets, brother", another voice says, and then Thor's voice, booming, "Quiet, Loki!"
Hands on his forehead. He shivers. Blacks out again.
Dreams are intermittent and unconnected. The first day of job; walk among Frigga's beautiful gardens. Kurt, annoyed as usual, demanding informations he later disregards; fire in hearth illuminating Thor's chamber.
He wakes up irregularly and for short periods of time, disoriented and sick. Mostly alone. He is thirsty. When he tries to get up after the last waking, he crashes to the floor. Thor shows up, finally, followed by someone Magnus thinks might be paramedic.
While the person checks his pulse, blood pressure, blood sugar, gives him some water, promises to get him something to eat, Thor tells him "I warned you."
Magnus has to try thrice, drinking in between, before he manages to answer "I know."
"Still, I'm sorry. It pains me to see you like this."
Magnus opens his mouth, but says nothing. When the paramedic is gone, he lies down again and asks "So what did I miss while I was out?"
Thor is radiating confusion when he says "You weren't out, you were right here the whole time."
Magnus manages a weak laugh at that. Thor smiles too, and gently kisses his brow.
He feels much better once he has eaten. Thor tries to convince him to stay in bed and rest more, but he wants – needs to stand. He still trembles, but it's not as bad as it was. They reach a compromise.
No one comments, but Magnus feels eyes following them when they walk by, Thor's hand casual around his waist. He doesn't let it bother him, not as it used to bother him in Asgard. He is back to Earth, and it's finally starting to feel true.
A man with eye-patch looks at him oddly when Thor leads him to the ship's bridge, then glances at the screen. Magnus can guess what he is thinking.
("Do they think us stupid, do they think we wouldn't recognize the trickster, look at him parading around, he doesn't even try to hide, does he think we will be fooled if he turns his hair golden? A mortal in Asgard? Bah!"
It's the steady beat that echoes in his mind, that follows his wake, ever since he woke in the place of gold and might.)
He introduces himself as Magnus Martinsson, of Ystad Police Department, his English accented. The man doesn't shake his offered hand. Magnus wonders why he tries at all.
Thor is a comforting presence behind him. Red-haired woman ignores him, looking at pictures of a man on the monitor; blonde man in blue spandex is keeping an eye on him.
Home, he thinks. I'm home. Almost. It doesn't taste as sweet as it should.
"Thor's little pet", a voice whispers in his mind, and he startles. He is aimlessly walking around, stronger and more grounded every minute. He is away from the cage where they keep the god imprisoned. He is safely away.
"Foolish little mortal", and there is so much poison there that he feels ill. His feet carry him to the cage. He doesn't want to go. He feels a pull in his insides. He can't not go.
Nobody stops him. Somebody, anybody should stop him. Where is Thor? Thor should stop him. He stops when he catches sight of Loki – though the twisting and pulling at his guts intensifies. He grabs the handrails, fights the nausea. He is so, so sick of being sick.
The feeling dies, and Loki's eyes are burning a hole through him. For a moment, they just stare at each other, and Magnus can finally compare the face before him with the reflection he sees in the mirror – find out just why did everyone assume he is Loki. They do share prominent cheekbones, and high forehead. Eye colour? Thor said so – but he can't confirm from here. The god opens his mouth and then Thor charges in, and it breaks Magnus out of his trance – he moves out of the way, watches in horror as the doors slide and Loki steps out; he winces when Thor falls for Loki's trick.
He reaches for his gun – but he doesn't have it. Of course. Loki's smile is a thing of nightmares while he leisurely walks to where Magnus is standing, useless and helpless.
Magnus can't breathe past the lump in his throat as the god touches his cheek. Cold, so cold.
"Magnus, is it?", Thor's brother inquires, softly. His eyes are tinted blue, and Magnus has half a second to think it strange – didn't Thor mention –
There is a hand over his chest – no, not a hand – a spear. Spear. Not stabbing him. Just. Touching. Wave of coldness spreads up, up his neck and over his face, and then it's gone.
"We are nothing alike", the god whispers, strange expression on his face, and then a fourth person walks in.
"Move away, please", says an endlessly brave man. "Do you like this? We started working on the prototype after you sent The Destroyer. Even I don't know what it does. Do you wanna find out?"
Magnus watches, horrified, frozen, as Loki exchanges words with him, as Loki reappears behind the man and the man collapses.
Magnus just stands there as Loki turns to Thor, says "The humans think us immortal. Should we test that?"
No, no, no no no no no no no, please don't, please I'll do anything, he wants to plead, but his mouth is not cooperating, and the lunatic turns to smile at him as he pushes the button.
"Yes", the god says. "Yes, you'd do anything, wouldn't you. Pathetic little Magnus. I could have made you do it. I could have made you push the button. I could have made you like it."
Never is what he'd like to say, but he catches sight of the fallen man aiming at Loki, the machine flaring to life, and his body moves of it's own accord to push Loki out of the harm's way
(wrong wrong wrong wrong; why would he do that; Linda crying and Kurt crying and he, shooting; no no no, this is not Linda or Kurt, this is not someone he needs to, wants to protect; but this is his king and he must protect him at all costs…)
and then, then he is burning.
In the evenings he can often be found wandering the gardens - a little child lost in the woods. Not that many would try to find him – Frigga occasionaly joins him, tells tales of her children, their childhood; explains the rules that govern the life in Asgard. He listens in silence, tries to wrap his head around the idea, the fact, that she is so, so old – all of them are so old – tries to take in all that history but it's too much. He cries, only once, and she pets his hair soothingly, and he tells her this is crazy, he is crazy, do they expect him to just accept all this insane bullshit, demands to go home, please let me go home, everyone here hates me anyway, let me die, and when he raises his face to look at her, he ends up crying harder, because she looks so broken.
Thor likes to have Magnus at his side, though his friends do not share his enthusiasm. They try to include him in their activities, but it's obvious they do it only to please Thor. Magnus would rather spend his time alone, but Thor won't have it.
"I promised you', he reminds Magnus. "I promised I will take care of you. You just need some time to get used to this. To us."
Magnus has his doubts.
Once they invited him to train with them, and he even looked forward to it – a chance to vent off, to turn helplessness and despair and loneliness into sweat and muscle sores. He doesn't know swordplay, can't use a spear or axe, so they settle on some hand-to-hand combat.
His body still remembers things he was taught at the academy, and years of judo before that – he has Hogun on the floor in a matter of minutes and there is a stunned silence. And then lady Sif says: "How did you do that? I've never seen someone fight this way before", and he can see the curiosity on her face, but also wariness. He does his best to explain, but later on he overhears 'tricks' and 'unmanly' and never sets foot to the training grounds again.
Thor's bed is enormous. Magnus spends more time in it than in one he was given. He feels disapproval of everyone whenever he exits Thor's chambers, their eyes following and judging and sneering, but the good thing is – Thor is the crown prince.
And really, Thor is good to him – better host than he was to Thor, lifetime ago, back on Earth (Midgard, as they call it here). Magnus thinks that Thor's presence is the only thing keeping him together at this point; his presence, and his strong hands that hold him down, keep him whole, remind him he is still alive and breathing.
Days are long and most of them he spends at the Gatekeeper's feet, staring into the abyss. Sometimes he even wonders what it's like, seeing everything, hearing everything. His brain is not up to the task of comprehending it. He decides he'd rather not know, and besides, all the privacy-issues aside, he concludes it must suck.
(He is going crazy crazy crazy here.)
Nights are even longer, though he burns most of them with Thor. When he sleeps, he dreams of his team. In the mornings he wonders do they miss him, do they remember him at all.
He wakes up in a hospital room.
The burns are extensive; his left arm, his chest – some are bone-deep; neck and lower half of his face are also bandaged.
Thor visits him once, and he looks tired, defeated, even though he informs Magnus they've won; that his brother is captured and bound and will be returned to Asgard. After that, they are quiet – there is not much left to be said. He does hold Magnus' hand, very gently, in his strong, larger one.
"Sometimes I wish I've never met you", Magnus confesses, and Thor sighs weary – hurt but not overly surprised.
"I'm sorry I brought so much misfortune and pain in your life, it was never my intention", and really, Magnus is on the verge of tears, because he knows Thor is honest.
"I'm not blaming you", he retorts, his voice a little rough. He feels wetness on his cheeks – and he is sick of crying! – and Thor leans in to kiss his forehead, and then his lips.
Magnus knows this is goodbye, and feels a bit guilty when relief is what washes over him, mostly.