Loki walked out of the dank, shady looking bar and down the dark street, swaying slightly. He and Thor had a fight. Another fight. They had been doing that a lot recently. Instead of going to bed angry and keeping as close to the edge of the bed as he could without falling off, he pulled on his shoes, grabbed his wallet and phone and walked out. Thor didn't follow him. When they first started dating and they were in that insane, passionate, almost obsessive stage, Thor would always follow him. He's not sure when Thor stopped. Probably a few months after they moved in together.
Maybe this was the beginning of the end.
The bar he had walked to was far from their shared apartment. He had never been there before, the only reason he stopped was because his feet had begun to hurt. He sat there for way to long and drank way too much. He didn't want to go home, he didn't want to face another fight with Thor. Let Thor get sick with worry, fuck if Loki cared, he started it.
Loki shivered and shoved his hands in his pockets with more force than necessary, causing him to lose his balance and stumble.
Loki was too drunk and lost in his thoughts to notice the other set of footsteps following him.
He walked the eerily silent street for twenty minutes before he noticed the footsteps that were coming closer to him, and by then it was too late. A knife was at his throat and he was shoved against a wall. A gruff voice and an unfamiliar face demanding he give him his wallet. He fumbled, his hands clumsy from adrenaline and alcohol, the mugger slammed a fist into his face. Loki saw stars, making it that much harder for him to get his wallet.
There was yelling, then Loki felt a sharp, searing pain in his gut. He looked down. Blood was pouring out of him, staining his gray shirt a deep red. Then, another stab. He slid down the wall, his vision began to blur and darken around the edges. He felt the man reach into his pockets and dig out his wallet. He heard the man running away.
His last thoughts were of Thor.
Thor was jerked out of an uneasy sleep by the ringing of his phone at 5am. He rubbed his puffy eyes with one hand as the other grabbed for the phone that was on the nearby bookshelf.
He looked at the screen and his heart raced a bit at the number on the phone. "Hello?" Maybe Loki just got in a bit of trouble and they put him in the drunk tank, he thought.
Thor nodded, then cleared his throat. "Y-Yes?"
"Do you know Loki Laufeyson?"
His heart pounded harder. He willed his voice to not shake as he spoke, "yes, i-is something wrong?"
The voice on the other end sighed and said softly, "it's probably best if you came to the police station Mr. Odinson."
He felt his stomach drop.
Thor nearly ran into the station, his heart hadn't slowed since he had gotten the call. He tried convincing himself that it couldn't possibly be as bad as he was thinking it was. He had just gotten himself thrown in jail, all he needed was someone to bail him out. That was all.
A tall, clean cut, blond man stood in there, waiting for him. "Mr. Odinson?"
"Yes." Thor couldn't stop his voice from wavering. "What happened? Is Loki okay?"
The man looked solemnly at Thor. "Detective Rodgers. Let's go somewhere private."
Thor followed the detective, his body vibrating from fear and worry.
Rodgers took him to a small room, rooms they probably used to interrogate people in, Thor thought.
"What happened?" Thor begged.
Rodgers sighed. "We believe Loki was mugged, his phone was the only thing we could use to identify him. He only had two numbers in it. A bookstore, and yours."
"He works there." It hurt to talk over the lumped that had formed in his throat. He was mugged. Maybe he's just in the hospital.
"Are you family?"
"No, he doesn't speak to his family. I'm his boyfriend."
The detective nodded. "Would you happen to know any of their phone numbers? Perhaps this job would be best suited to them."
Thor shook his head and swallowed hard. Job. "I've never spoken to them, I'm not even sure what any of their names are. What... What do you need them for?"
Rodgers sighed and looked away from Thor, steeling himself, it seemed before looking at Thor again. "We need someone to identify the body."
The body. Thor went numb. Body. He stared at the other man.
"I'm sorry to ask you to do this, sir. We just need to make sure the name on the phone matches. We could track down his family if you'd rather-"
"No. I'll do it." Maybe, somehow, it wasn't Loki.
Rodgers nodded again. "Follow me." He stood and walked out of the room, Thor following closely.
They paused at the door to the morgue. Rodgers Turned around. "Are you sure?"
Thor nodded and the other man opened the door.
There were a few tables in the ice cold room, other bodies, covered in white sheets. Thor shivered. The detective lead him to a nearby table and looked at Thor again, waiting for him to give him the go ahead to pull the sheet away. Thor nodded and screwed his eyes shut, willing it to not be Loki.
"Sir?" Thor opened his eyes and nearly choked on air. There, still as stone, was Loki. The little warmth he had in his skin was gone, his lips a disturbing shade of blue and a sickening, dark purple, bruise along his cheekbone. Thor went to cover his mouth and felt that his face was already wet with tears. He let out a sob and touched the unmarred side of Loki's face, it was smooth and ice cold.
Loki was dead. Gone.
His head dropped to the still chest that was just pressed against his, warm, breathing and with a beating heart, under 24 hours ago. He sobbed. He wouldn't have believed it if he hadn't seen him for himself.
Why hadn't he followed Loki that night?
Why did he have to pick a fight over something so stupid he couldn't even remember what it was now?
Losing Loki wasn't worth it.
He felt like he had died along with Loki.
Detective Rodgers drives Thor home and as soon as he walks through the door he just stops and stares at the spot where Loki last stood before stomping out the door and leaving him forever. Part of him still wants to believe that it's all just a nightmare. Loki is gonna come home, call him an idiot and kiss him before he smacks his arm.
But that's not gonna happen. Loki's not coming home. He sinks to the floor and sobs into his hands so hard he can't breathe.
The first person he calls is Sif. His longest and closest friend. He could barely speak through the tears but she understood him instantly and is there soon after he calls.
He latches onto her and she hugs him as close as possible. They stay like that for hours.
It's getting dark by the time he's calmed down enough to tell her what happened.
She sits close to him, rubbing his back as he stares at the Loki's scarf hanging on the coat hooks near the door. "What happened, Thor?"
He swallows, but it doesn't help with the roughness of his voice. "We had a fight and he left..." He took a deep, shaky breath. "He was murdered, Sif. Stabbed and left on the street." His eyes widen and fill with more tears. "I should've went after him. If I just had followed him-"
"Thor. Stop. You didn't know this was gonna happen."
"I should have went after him, Sif."
She hugged his head to him again and he cried into her shoulder.
Sif calls his mother, telling her what happened and she vows to be there the next morning. Sif tells him she'll be staying for the next few nights and Thor is thankful for it. He doesn't think he'd be able to handle the night alone. She makes him drink glass after glass of water and they lay and snuggle on the couch together like they did when they were teenagers. They watch tv and, despite his best efforts, Thor ends up crying again while Sif runs her fingers through his hair and shushes him, quietly reminding him to breathe.
Her holding him is a great comfort and a terrible reminder that Loki's not the one holding him. It's not his fingers running through his hair or offering words of comfort. It only makes him cry harder.
He wakes up on the couch alone, his mother and Sif Talk quietly to each other until they finally notice that he's awake. His mother offers him a sad smile and meets him halfway as he gets up and goes to her. She hugs him tightly and he buries his face into her shoulder, breathing deeply the scent of her floral perfume and feling the tiniest comfort from it.
"Is there any way I can help, sweetheart?"
He swallowed, his was like a croak. "Loki does-didn't speak to his family. The detective said he'd call around but I don't know if they'll want to do anything with his funeral... I-I don't know..."
"Shh, it's okay, I'll help you with it. I'll just need you to approve some things. You just focus on you, alright?" Thor nodded and she kissed his forehead. "This is what mothers are for."
Later that day the detective connects him with Loki's younger brother, who offers to help with expenses as best he can and asks to come along with his mother. Thor says yes, and his mother tells him the when and where of the funeral.
Thor still can't quite wrap his head around the words 'Loki's funeral.' He still thinks Loki is going to walk through the door at any moment and that all of this will wash away and become a bad memory.
The funeral was quiet and small. Thor sat in the front, his mother and Sif on either side, some of his friends from his work were there too, supporting Thor. Loki's coworkers and boss from the bookstore came too, offering words of condolences and gentle hugs. Thor waited to be the last to view Loki before he'd be locked away and buried in the ground forever. That's how he met Loki's mother and brother.
She looked like him, tall, pale, her hair jet black, save for the silvery streaks that ran through it. Her eyes were bright and clear like his were too. It almost hurt to look at her, it was like looking into Loki's eyes again.
"You must be Thor."
He nodded at her. "You must be Loki's mother."
She looked back at the casket and smiled sadly at him. "Yes, I am." She took a deep breath and grabbed his hand, squeezing it gently. "Thank you. For doing this. If you hadn't..." She stopped, choking back a sob. His brother hugged her shoulders and nodded somberly at Thor. "Thank you." His brother didn't look much like Loki, he was tall, but broader, his hair was messy and wavy and a bit lighter than Loki's or his mother's.
She grabbed a slip of paper and a pen, writing a number down on it before handing it to Thor. "Call me, please. I want to know what what my son's life was like."
He took the paper and put it in his pocket. "Yes, of course."
She smiled weakly at him before his brother led her away.
He stood next to Loki's casket. He could hardly believe it still. The stillness was unnatural. Makeup had been put on to cover the bruise on his cheek, but the shadow of it was still there. The pink on his lips was entirely too fake looking on him and it was all he could do to not cry right there at the slightly off image of his love. The same yet completely off. Skin too pale, lips too pink, his body too still. It hurt too look at and he couldn't tear his eyes away. Sif had to pull him away as he finally lost control and the tears fell again.
The casket was closed, put in a hearse and driven slowly to his final resting place.
He thought of how Loki would be laughing at him for getting a priest for his funeral for his 'nearly atheist ass'. He didn't even listen to the words the priest was saying. All he could think of was Loki's laugh.
He stood there watching as the coffin was lowered down into the ground and buried. He stood there watching until the last shovelfuls of dirt were piled onto his grave and Sif and Frigga pulled him away again.
After the funeral he goes home alone, despite Sif and Frigga's insistence that one of them stays with him, curls up in the bed he shared with Loki and cries into Loki's pillow, breathing in the still lingering scent of him between sobs until he can't cry anymore.
He called Loki's mother two weeks after the funeral, she asked questions and he spent hours telling her about everything he knew about Loki. He tells her how they met, fell in love, fought. He tells her about Loki's last night.
She tells him about Loki growing up. They both cry. It hurts to know that he's the one telling her about all this, it should've been Loki. He ends the call hours later, throat raw, heart aching, and even more in love with Loki than before.
He calls Detective Rodgers for weeks, asking for updates. No leads come up. Rodgers promises him that he will tell him anything that happens.
Nearly two months after Loki's murder, Thor gives up on his killer ever being found.
It's been almost three months since Loki was killed. Three months since Thor saw Loki, warm, angry, alive.
Thor's lost weight since Loki died. Partly because all food tastes like ash in his mouth now, and partly because he discovered that if he works himself hard enough he can be numb to everything for a while. He can just not feel anything for a few hours. Loki leaves his mind and he can focus on the rhythmic ping of a his hammer or the shrill whir of a saw. The physical labor helps him get what little sleep he can.
His bones stick out more, his eyes have dark bags under them, his hair gets long and stringy. Sif and his mother worry over him constantly. His friends at work try to get him to go out with them, try to cheer him up. He's gone with them a few times, thinking maybe that it will help him forget. But he always sees a flash of jet black hair and Thor feels his heart stutter. He wonders if he'll eve feel less lost and alone.
People tell him it'll get easier with time. He doesn't believe them. Everyday without Loki feels longer and darker than the last.
He dusts now. Loki used to do that. He takes more care with Loki's things than with anything else. He carefully dusts Loki's books. He leaves the book that Loki was reading right were it was, refusing to touch it save for the little duster he sweeps across it every other day.
Loki's scent is almost gone from their home. Thor will grab his scarf and inhale deeply, but it started to smell more like himself than Loki after a while. It breaks his heart to think he will never get to smell him again.
He visits Loki's bookstore sometimes. His coworkers offer him a sad smile and he always leaves before anyone can talk to him.
He visits Loki's grave constantly. He sits in front of Loki's gravestone. He stares at it. He runs his fingers over Loki's name and remembers when Loki said he was crazy for wanting to marry him. He remembers how, later in bed, Loki said he would marry him too. He doesn't visit for a while after that.
It's, what would have been, Thor and Loki's 4th anniversary. Thor hasn't eaten anything in almost 48 hours and he's not drank nearly enough water for how hot it is, so it's not surprising when he gets dizzy and falls off his ladder while at work.
He wakes up in the hospital a day later. Sif sits next to his bed. It's the first time he wishes he hadn't had woke up.
"Thor, I think you need to get some help."
He nods. He does need help. He's just not sure there's anyway to help him.
He goes to a doctor and he comes home with pills.
He takes them.
That night is the first time he feels Loki.
He was trying to sleep and that's when he felt the brush of fingers down his spine. He flipped over to see Loki's side of the bed still empty and untouched.
He sees him a few days after that. While getting ready for work. Just a flash of Loki's face behind him in the mirror.
He stops taking the pills.
He sees Loki in an aisle of the store. He runs down and stands where Loki stood a moment before. Loki's favorite coffee sits before him. He grabs a bag.
He feels Loki's fingers in his hair. Hears Loki voice murmuring nonsense. He sees him in reflections and standing in his favorite places sometimes. It's just enough to make Thor wonder if he's going insane or if Loki is haunting him. He tells nobody. He get's better at making everyone think that he's getting better.
The first time he smells Loki, he cries in the middle of the laundromat. And he knows he's not crazy.
He folding his t shirts when he catches it. Loki's cologne. But not just that, Loki too. He sniffs the clean shirt in his hands and nearly falls to his knees. Somehow, It smells just like him. He holds the shirt to his face and cries into it.
Loki is there. Out of his reach.
Somehow, that makes the days even harder to bear.
It's been nearly six months since Loki was killed and Thor has finally managed to put on a strong face. He forces himself to eat regularly, he gains back some of the weight he lost. He smiles and laughs again, though less frequently and when he does they're hollow and fake. He goes to work everyday, jokes around with his coworkers and pretends he's getting better.
The facade is lost the moment someone walks into his home. Loki's stuff hasn't moved but it's strangely clean. To people who didn't know what happened it would look like the other man was just at work and would come home eventually. To Thor, Loki is already home, he feels his presence constantly. There, with him, but painfully intangible.
He still hasn't told anyone that Loki is haunting him. He knows their reactions and he doesn't want their pity or disbelieving looks. He knows that they'd tell him he needs help, he needs to move, to move on. He needs Loki. No one understood that. Everyday without him becomes more painful than the last, his only salvation was the possibility of a ghostly caress or a flash of his pale face in a reflection.
He didn't think soul mates existed until he met Loki. That's why he feels so cold and alone. Half of him was taken away. The nearly four years he spent with Loki were the most whole and alive he'd ever felt. That he'd ever feel. He can't imagine feeling like that without Loki.
Everyday that passes is another day where Thor wishes he was dead with Loki.
Thor's first Christmas without Loki is spent with at home with his mother. She dotes on him, he indulges her with smiles and laughter and she looks relieved.
It makes him feel even worse when he thinks of how badly he wishes he was dead.
Sif watches him, she checks on him constantly and always asks him how he's doing.
She knows, somehow she knows he wants to die. She can see through his facade and he knows it scares her. He knows she wants him to get better.
But she has to know that could never happen. He can see the look on her face, the resignation, the sadness, the acceptance.
Part of him feels sorry that he can't get better for her.
He's not sure what's scarier, forgetting Loki or never forgetting him.
The thought of letting Loki fade from him, letting Loki be forgotten and moving on to someone else feels unbearably painful. He can barely fathom the thought of having anyone but Loki on his mind.
And the thought of never having Loki off his mind. Never being able to forget him and living a hollow life with only his memories to keep him company feels even more painful.
The thought of living years without Loki at his side seems impossible.
He's barely managed and it's not even been a year.
He feels a cool breath of a kiss on his shoulder.
Loki's birthday comes and Thor drinks himself into a stupor at the bar he spent his last night alive in. He stumbles down the street where Loki walked his last steps.
He sits on the spot Loki died. The blood has been washed away for a long time, but Thor swears he can see it. He cries again for the first time in months. Sobs so hard he can barely breath. He knows Loki is watching him. He want's him to see how much it hurts.
He's disappointed that he comes home that night.
It's two weeks before the anniversary of Loki's murder and Thor makes a decision. He packs up a box of Loki's things and sends it to his mother. He gives a notice to his boss, who is left utterly baffled and worried. He packs up everything in the apartment and tells the landlord he'll be moving in a couple weeks.
He writes letters. Apologizes to everyone he can.
He labels the boxes, some are for Sif, some for his mother.
He only leaves out the book Loki never finished.
Loki's presence feels nearly overwhelming.
It's been a year since Loki was murdered. Thor remembers the yelling, curses being thoughtlessly spat back and forth, the slam of the door. He remembers going to bed alone and waking up at the beginning of the end of his life.
It hurts. But he feels more peaceful than he has since Loki's death.
He spends the day going to their favorite spots in the city, he goes to the coffee shop they met in. He has lunch in the restaurant they had their first date in. He stands in the spot where he first kissed Loki. He practically feel it again. He goes to the park and walks for hours. Breathing in the slightly cool air.
He goes home, grabs the book, a bottle and one of the notes. He locks the door and leaves the key under the mat.
He walks to Loki's grave, he lays down next to Loki as it starts getting darker.
He reads until he can't keep his eyes open anymore.
Steve gets sent out as soon as he enters the station that morning. Body in the cemetery, possible suicide. He did not expect to recognize the man laying on the ground, but he can't say he was surprised.
The groundskeeper who found the man is being interviewed as Steve slowly walks up to the body. He crouches down next to him. He remembers meeting him, a year ago exactly, and showing him the body of the man whose grave he lies next to. He remembers seeing him break at the sight of his boyfriend lying cold on the table. He'd seen it too many times, the look of someone losing part of themselves. Most manage to mend themselves with some time, they have a scar, but they can pick up and move on.
An empty pill bottle lays at the man's hip.
For some, the loss is too great, the crack goes so deep it can't ever be mended. Or they can't let it mend.
He clutches a book to his chest. A piece of paper sticks out of his shirt. Steve pulls it out and opens it.
Kin: Frigga Odinson 678-1359
Tell her the key is under the mat.
He folds the note back up and sticks it in his pocket. No explanation. Not that he needed it. The name on the grave was enough. He looked at Thor again. If it weren't for the pale, blue tone to his skin Steve would think he was sleeping.
He looked peaceful.
"I hope you're with him again, Thor."
Steve stood as the coroners came. He pulled out the note again and his phone. Taking a deep breath before dialing the number on the paper.
The song that inspired this fic is "Dark Paradise" by Lana Del Rey. I do not suggest listening to it while reading this.
Unless, you know, you like putting yourself in an emotional hell-hole.