The first time he opens his eyes he wakes with a start.
His eyes are staring directly at the dark sky above him, reflecting the twinkling stars above him. He gasps and feels an intense pain moving through his body as he tries to incorporate.
As the pain makes him weak and dizzy he decides is not the best of ideas at the moment so he tries to relax and not give his body any more reasons to protest. His mind is starting to clear, trying to isolate anything that it isn't his thoughts.
His memories are not better than the physical pain however. And just as he is remembering Odin's disappointed stare Loki, Son of Odin, falls back into unconsciousness.
The second time he wakes up is with nightmares in his mind.
He doesn't know where do they come from, he doesn't understand why he is having them and, the worst of all, he doesn't remember a single thing.
Only pain, loneliness, fear and anger.
He is not happy and his body screams out in protest when he tries to move once again. It is then that he realizes the fall has done some serious damage to his body, tossing him into an unknown realm at the mercy of whoever may come his way.
He doesn't care, though.
Whatever physical pain he is feeling is better than the thoughts trying to invade his mind. Whatever his body is feeling is better than the memory of Odin's disappointed stare, Frigga's pleas for her youngest son to stop and Thor's broken-hearted eyes.
Whatever is better than the bitter feeling trying to spread out on his chest and, thus Loki falls unconscious for the second time.
The third and final time he wakes up is to a rapidly clearing sky, night giving way to the day.
Blinking briefly he tries to move, once again, because really? He doesn't like the feeling of helplessness he is getting from his current situation. He doesn't like the tingling sensation he is getting from his surroundings, much less the lack of contact he is having with his magic.
However, his idea about moving seems to be a pretty stupid one. His body hasn't healed yet and his magic seems to be static to do it on his own. The sharp pain he feels moving from his neck down his spine to his limbs is a blinding one. He bites his lower lip because, Bifrost or no Bifrost, he knows the Gatekeeper is watching and he doesn't want to give him the pleasure of seeing Loki weak.
With a glare direct to the sky, Loki takes deep, slow breathes one after the other. His mind is ordering his magic to start moving, to start healing him but, after a few moments, all seems in vain.
Loki frowns because he can feel the warm and tingling sensation of magic all through his body but, it's not as strong as it uses to be. His magic is failing him and for a brief instant Loki debates himself between laughing or crying. In the end, he decides laugh is the best solution. A deep, almost maniac laugh as he embraces the pain in his body.
He can't use magic to heal himself.
"Was this the punishment you wanted for me, Father?" He speaks for the first time and his voice, once deep and luring, becomes a soft painful whisper.
"Do you even care?"
Loki gulps tilting his head to his left side mainly because he really whishes there can be an answer. Another part of him, the one who is still insistent of the treason of the way Loki has been overlooked and tossed aside, just wishes that Heimdall or the Allfather can 't hear him.
The night finally allows morning to touch with its warm light the lying form of the God of Mischief. Loki isn't sure as to what he should do, moving can be a painful process but something he can do nevertheless. As the fresh air of the morning, the sounds of the nature around him and the warm sensation of the light coming from the sun Loki decides he needs to know where the hell he is.
Even as he bites his tongue holding the groans of pain inside him, even as he staggers forward trying to point something familiar in the panorama, his mind is trying to escape his thoughts, his memories.
Because, Loki Odinson, younger son of Odin Allfather doesn't want to think of the misery and regret, of the anger and loneliness he is feeling at the moment.
It hasn't been easy task to move his body. After all, Loki has fallen from who-knows-how far and who-knows at what speed. He has left a sizable print of his fall on the ground. A hill hidden in between a forest and a mountain chain.
He feels blood pouring from his wounds, he can feel the broken bones and the discomfort is enough to make him stop and rest for a while. He tries to access his magic once again, because, really? His magic is one of the things he needs to get out of this realm and to actually heal quickly. Without magic Loki feels lost…even more so without Thor and the others beside him.
Loki clenches his jaw hating the fact his weakened state makes him betray himself. He has cut ties with his family and his no-really-his friends.
He feels pathetic. And he blames it on the fall and the wounds that resulted from it.
He feels weak. And, again, he blames the fall, and his fight with Thor and the fact traveling down the space, down a non-existent path was painful in itself.
And yet, he walks. Because, really? He wants to know where he is and what he can take from this place.
Loki soon learns the realm he has fallen over is familiar yet different at the same time.
He can compare it with Midgard but there is something no Midgard-ish about it. The scenery, for one, seems cleaner than Earth. The atmosphere is charge with something akin to magic and, while Midgard has had its own charge of something Loki knows it isn't magic.
This place, however…
There is sweat and dirt all over him, he purses his lips when he sees his reflection on a small river near the place where he had fallen. He takes a little on his mouth and the cold water feels like fresh beer after a celebratory feast in the halls of Asgard.
As soon as the images appear Loki drowns them down, a heavy bubble forming on his chest before he stands up and giving his back to the river. He doesn't need any reminders, he doesn't want them. The only thing he wants is…
"Damn." He whispers because he knows he doesn't want to look deeply into what he really wants.
Night is quickly to fall and the God of Mischief sits heavily on top of a small trunk. He sighs, trembling hand moving carefully to his side where he can feel the broken ribs and blood pouring from the wound. He thinks he has been walking for the better part of the morning and part of the afternoon. No food and only one stop to drink some water. There hasn't been any sign of civilization nearby, and the god is starting to get restless, annoyed and weak.
He doesn't like the idea of another night out in the open; he doesn't like the idea of his body being weak. He tries, once again, to produce some kind of magic but his body only answers with a faint green light. Nothing he can do with it unless it was to illuminate the darkness of the night.
Loki scowls, he has been in situations such as this one countless of times. Loki can get out of this one with his pride, his dignity and his power intact. With some determination he turns around and decides to keep going, he doesn't need the rest or the food or the water. He just needs answers and by the Allfather he is going to obtain them.
But, apparently, the universe isn't done with Loki's punishment. And just as he is stepping forward he doesn't realized of the dangers to his left side. He is too distracted by the sound of waves hitting rock, by the sudden smell of salt in the air. He is staggering again because his legs are about to give in exhaustion, that's when he slips and without enough speed to grab onto something, anything, Loki falls.
He wakes up at the sound of voices around him.
This is the first time in whatever time he has spent in this forsaken world that he has some contact with something alive. He can very well call them intelligent because the ability to communicate through words doesn't mean these creatures are intelligent. His brother was a living proof of that. Thor isn't the most subtle or accomplish of communicators after all.
"Shinji, I'm telling you this is gold." Loki decides to stay still and pretend he is still unconscious. His ears twitch as he hears the creatures beside him. The language is an unknown one, a language Loki actually doesn't know too well. He can place some of the words spoken but some of the meaning escapes his mind.
Loki doesn't like not knowing what is being said. So, he readies himself, weaken or not, there is no way these creatures are enough to face a god.
"What the hell is he wearing anyway?" By now Loki has recognized two different male voices.
They are talking about him, obviously, and by the way they are touching his armor he is suspecting it has something to do with the metal it has been forged. It was gold of course, but a kind of gold Midgardians can't really appreciate much less put a price on.
But, is he really in Midgard?
"Look at these daggers…" The first male says and his hand goes directly to Loki's dagger holster, the one Frigga had given to him when he was still a teen. It is all it takes for Loki to spring into action.
Loki grabs the hand of the unknown male catching him by surprise. Loki can help the smirk drawing on his face as he pushes back while stopping a thrusting punch straight to his head. He knows he is being slow, has he been at full power these mortals would be dead. But, as it is, he just had enough time to push them back, take a once over and throw his daggers directly to their hearts.
It seems easy enough. But there is a problem. The moment one of his daggers hits the target the man goes 'puff' in a show of white smoke. For a single moment Loki looks surprise because he is sure as hell that Midgardians can't do this sort of sorcery.
Loki ducks another attack, a kick coming from behind him and the god has enough time to stand up and capture his attacker by the neck. The man's eyes are wide, holding tightly onto Loki's forearms, he is mumbling something that Loki doesn't really bother to understand. In a situation like this one it's quite obvious what the mortal is saying.
The second attack comes silently, is as if Loki is being surrounded, stalk and then…a flash of fire. He uses the other man as a shield and the screams of pain are an inter-realm language Loki understands.
He drops the man and, once again, launches two different daggers, the first one goes straight to the nearest tree. The second one hits its target straight to the head. This time there isn't any 'puff' or white smoke; there is only the smell of burn flesh and blood.
Loki looks at the two dead men, his mind already looking on the different places he knows. These creatures have the appearance of Midgardians yet they aren't. This planet has some familiar aspects to Midgard but it is only coincidences. If Loki isn't in Midgard then, where the hell is him?
It takes him a few minutes to recover but when he does he finally looks around. There is a smile forming on his face when he realizes there is a fire nearby along with something that looks like food. He turns his green eyes to the bodies and notices the full pockets, the rucksacks and the weapons.
"It seems as if I just got myself something to eat." Loki turns around and goes over what the men would probably eat if he hadn't killed them.
Later on, Loki would discover an aid kit, and some other instruments he intends to find out how they work.
He decides to just wait.
He already knows there are people with human appearance in this world. Now, the only thing he has to do is to wait patiently before looking for what he need. His mind is still a whirlpool of thoughts, some of them are pretty define some others evade him. He knows among those thoughts are his memories, the recent events that led him to this place. He knows, what he needs is probably not what he wants and the decisions he must take he must take them carefully.
So he waits. Eats the food, drinks the water and drinks the strange beverage these men had with them. It is kinda sweet, and it is soft to the contact but when Loki feels it settle in his stomach he also feels the well-known effect of alcohol. He looks at the bottle thinking this is way better than he expect from an alcoholic drink from another realm.
His hand work quickly on the pockets and the bags he can see. Some of the instruments are starts, fighting stars, sharp and pointy. There are some kind of knives, long, sharp and pointy. He also discovers scrolls. Several of them with some strange writing on them. He wonders about its uses and decides to take them with him anyway.
He looks at the bodies, they're starting to reek and for a moment Loki turns his back ready to go. He hesitates, however.
They were warriors. And Loki, traitor or not, it's still an Asgardian if not by conviction at least in the darkest part of his mind and heart. He can't leave them there, to the scavengers.
A few minutes later there are to pyres burning and Loki is nowhere to be seen.
As the days pass by, Loki starts feeling better.
His wounds are closing, his muscles aren't aching anymore. He can feel the magic in him starting to tingle, to actually pulsate. There is still something that bothers Loki.
Even if he can feel his magic he isn't sure why isn't all of its power there. He is well-aware that something or someone (he remembers what Odin did to Thor and wonders briefly if maybe the Allfather had done something to him) is tampering with his magic.
He can't have full access to it, which explains the slow recovery. The physical effort he has to make to keep moving.
But, his thoughts are interrupted by the sight in front of him.
A town. People. Civilization.
Well, as far as this ancient architecture can be called civilization. The buildings seem to be made of wood and rock. The people looks…dull. There is no other word to explain how they hold themselves while walking to their different destinations. There isn't either a way to explain the lack of interest into doing something different that the task at hand.
Loki wonders if this is common from all the mortals living in this realm. There is something else Loki notices.
Once in a while he would come across some of the warriors he had encountered a long time ago. The dressing seems to be different in some occasions but the way they carry themselves is the unmistakable stance of someone who knows fighting.
He also realizes these warriors are pretty good in the art of lying.
As Loki makes his way through the main street of the town he catches some of the lies, he sees some of the deceitfulness behind their smiles, their appearance, their words.
His footsteps take him to the busiest part fo the city, he frowns seen his clothes, his face and his body in general. Dirty, thirsty and hungry. He also needs a place to stay the night so he starts looking around, not sure how to ask for a place to stay or where exactly he can find an Inn. The answer to his predicament comes in the form of a smiling stranger.
"Young man, are you looking for a place to stay?" Loki raises an eyebrow, there is an old man smiling at him, there is eagerness in his tone and posture, his hands open in invitation. He has his head tilt to one side pointing at decent looking building, there is pendant with a drawing of a horse, the same calligraphy from the scrolls he has.
For a moment Loki contemplates the place, he looks around and sees some people are looking at him and Loki smirks. Of course they are looking at him, he stands up in the middle of these people. His hair, his eyes, his body and his clothes are remarkably different to what the others are dressing. He knows he is different and he tries to like it because this time around he would make sure his uniqueness is appreciated.
This is what he is looking for. A place where he can hide for a while, where he can recollect information…where he can run away from his thoughts.
At least for a while.
He glances back to the old man, "A place?"
The old man narrows his eyes, he can't place the abruptness of the accent. The young man speaks as if he doesn't know exactly how to say it. The old man gives the god a once-over before shaking his head, lips quirking up in amusement.
"You're not from around here, are you?" For a quick test, the old man spreads his arms showing the surrounding area. "Not from here, right?"
Loki's smirk grows showing some teeth and for a moment his smile is a mixture of amusement and madness. So Loki does what he thinks is the most logical step. He shakes his head and bows his head in acknowledgement to the old man.
The old man glances once again at him, shaking his head while lifting his chin. "You don't look well. And you don't look like a ninja either. I'm Hiraku Tora."
The old man points at himself before giving an expectant look to the black-haired god. For a moment Loki hesitates, not sure if he should give his real name or not. In the end he shrugs, it doesn't really matter.
"Loki Odison." The old man blinks, confused, before shrugging and leading the way inside the Inn.
And thus, Loki takes the first step that would lead him to…chaos or order.
~ A year later ~
He is running fast.
As fast as his little legs would take him down darkened, dirty alleys, full with different obstacles that he can't evade properly because he isn't yet at the Ninja Academy.
He can feel the tears rolling down his cheeks and he knows he is sweating. His sensitive ears can grasp the sounds of his pursuers, the screams of words he doesn't understand the meaning of. He knows, since he starts getting aware of his surrounding that he isn't liked by the people of the village.
Apparently he did something and people is always mad at him. For a long time he cared about it, because the pain he feels on his chest is too much to wear without having some explanation about everything. Why he doesn't have a mummy or a daddy? Why people look at him as if he is bad?
Demon. Monster. Freak.
Uzumaki Naruto puts his little hands on his ears trying to silence the screams in his mind but in doing so he distracts himself and the next thing he knows his face is colliding against the hard road surface.
Usually Naruto ignores the screams, the whisper words, the hateful glares. He can pretend nothing is going on. He can pretend the kids don't play with him because he is way too cool to play with them. He likes to pretend he doesn't need anyone.
That's why; even if he is whipping, scare look in his deep blue eyes he doesn't scream or ask for help. He doesn't give his captures the satisfaction because, even at his five years of living, he has learnt how the world works.
Deception is, after all, the best weapon a ninja can have to his favor.
Never let them close enough to hurt you. Never let them see you are hurt.
So, Naruto stands up, he is still a child so he doesn't know, exactly, how to guard his feelings. He is trying though, but his eyes are gleaming with terror when the two men circle him.
There are laughs, there is some mocking…there is a man lowering his pants while the other hits him in the face. Naruto whimpers but as soon as he does he bites his lip. The men laugh and laugh, they say to him things he doesn't think their mums taught them when they were kids.
Brat, idiot, joke.
Everyone hates you.
No one cares.
He has no one. Not a warm bed, not a warm home, and not even a warm meal. The only one who cares to show some kind of interest is too busy ruling the village to come to his help.
Naruto knows something terrible is about to happen, he feels it behind the punches. He feels it when his clothes are ripped from him.
Naruto feels something inside him stir. It moves violently, it starts burning from deep inside almost hurting but not quite doing it. His blue eyes tinge with red, his whiskers marks more pronounced.
Then…a sound of two heavy bodies falling on the ground.
Pretty slowly, as if he isn't sure he wants to see what happen, as if he isn't sure he wants to know who is there, he raises his head.
There, in front of him, is a man. The coldness behind the green eyes sends a shiver down Naruto's back. There are no visible emotions on his face and he is cleaning the strange staff he has in his hand. It's filled with blood and Naruto gulps as his eyes move to the now dead men then back to his savior.
They look into each other's eyes. Blue and green eyes staring for what seem a long time, and the man standing to his full height can't help but think of his brother. If he didn't know better he would say this kid was Thor's son.
Naruto for his part is trying to decide what to do. His little mind is only going over the most immediate and obvious answers. He can't think about scaping because this guy has just killed two big men. Bad men who were about to do something nasty to him.
So Naruto does what comes naturally to him.
The smile is big, showing most of his teeth, but it never reaches his eyes. The smile may be convincing for some but for Loki it's just a clear sign of a lie.
There is too much happiness behind the intended smile to be anything but a trick.
"Thank you, Sir." The boy lifts his head and Loki sees a strange gleam in his blue eyes. "I'm Uzumaki Naruto. And you?"
Loki lifts an eyebrow, he bows forward to Naruto's height. Tthe God of Mischief and Lies can't hide the sudden, predatory smirk that appears on his face as he places a soothing hand on Naruto's shoulder.
"I am Loki." And then, there is a flash of green and Naruto and Loki are nowhere to be seen.