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Darkness, Flooded in Light

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Time ceases to have all meaning.

Sometimes Loki is awake. Sometimes he sleeps. It is dark and it is light. Poppy talks to him. He may answer back or he may not. He is not really sure.

From time to time he probably eats. That seems likely. It doesn’t matter, though.

Others come and go. Eleanor appears. Beverly, too. Oscar comes once and talks to Poppy, then stands over him looking anguished. Tom is a silent shadow in the background.

Dimly he knows that he must be frightening everyone. Poppy must be beside herself with worry. Those thoughts register on the same level as the weather or the color of his shirt.

Sometimes he cries. Occasionally someone holds him. He still cannot remember his children’s names.

Most of the time it hurts too much for tears. From time to time a memory floats to the top of his brain, newly significant with his recovered memories. He remembers the sting when one of the Warriors mockingly referred to him as a woman. Odin’s voice says It is past time your brother learned to defend himself. He remembers Thor not understanding what was so terrifying about Odin’s anger.

Such bad things happen when Odin is angry.

He remembers the incandescent fury when he found out he was not Odin’s son at all and the fear when he realised it meant he was expendable. It all makes a lot more sense now. Everything does.