Hunting is hard. Hunting is hard and dangerous and if you’re not prepared, you end up with your intestines strung out on the ground.
Thor and Loki Odinson have been hunters since their father had fallen under a curse placed by a witch. That’s right, their father- they’re brothers. People mistake them to be many other things- gay life partners, for example- but at the end of the day, they’re brothers. Brothers that rely on each other for safety; brothers that would die to keep the other alive.
Loki hadn’t meant to go to Hell.
It just happened.
Thor was dead.
Loki didn’t get to him in time and now Thor was dead, stabbed in the back, his body lying on a bloodstained mattress in an abandoned shack.
“You remember when I was young… I started asking questions. Why did we move around so much, what’s really wrong with Father? And you didn’t want to tell me, for my sake, but I kept asking…” Loki’s voice cuts off as it breaks. “We were supposed to save Father, not go and live this life. And now you’re dead. What am I supposed to do?” Loki asks the silence, tears falling from his eyes.
“What am I supposed to do, Thor?”
Hell is another thing you have to be prepared for, but no one can really prepare for what’s coming. It’s not all chains and knives and fire. It’s your deepest fears and darkest secrets coming to light, twisted into a reality so vivid, you’re not entirely convinced the demons around you are lying.
Loki knows it’s reality when a light brighter than any he’s ever seen cuts through the ranks of demons and suddenly he’s underground, in complete darkness, he can’t breathe-!
Loki breaks through the ground and desperately pulls himself out of a grave. Gasping for air, he lays on the ground for a few moments, then sits up and looks around. All the trees in the surrounding area have been flattened, as though by an explosion, with the grave- his grave, he realizes with a chill- at the epicenter.
Wait, a grave?
Thor was supposed to burn his body. Salt and burn, it’s the only way you can be completely sure that no hauntings will come out of it. Thor buried him. What an idiot.
An idiot that Loki died to save.
Finding Thor had been hard. But it’s harder listening to him speak.
“It’s been four months, brother,” Thor explains, watching Loki worriedly.
Four months. That’s all.
It had been forty years in hell.
The thing that had pulled him from hell- the thing with the blinding white light, the thing with the voice so powerful it shattered windows- it is here.
Loki thinks that maybe the exploding lights are a little bit of an overkill, though.
When Thor and Loki can’t stop the creature- in its guise as a normal human- with traps and bullets, Loki pulls out a demon knife and stabs it directly into the man’s heart.
The man looks into Loki’s eyes and smiles, pulling the knife out of his chest and dropping it to the floor. Thor rushes him from behind, and the man brushes his fingers against Thor’s forehead, causing Thor to fall unconscious immediately.
“Thor-” Loki rushes to check Thor for injuries, but finding none, he turns toward the man. “What are you?”
“Castiel,” the man answers, examining a machete they’d brought with long, thin fingers.
“No, I mean, what are you?” The man- Castiel- looks up, his bright blue eyes boring holes into Loki’s.
“I’m an angel of the Lord,” Castiel answers, very seriously, then turns back to place the machete on a table.
“Angels don’t exist.” Castiel glances up again with a surprised look in his eyes, but Loki knows he has to be lying, because there’s no way angels could exist, he must be lying-
“This is your problem, Loki,” Castiel decides. How does he know my name? “You have no faith.”
Loki stands in silence for a moment before the full implications of angels rescuing him from Hell hit him, and he just asks the question he’s been meaning to since he pulled himself out of his grave. “Why?”
Castiel must sense that Loki feels as though he must pay for this. “Good things do happen, Loki.”
“No,” Loki answers, seething, “You must’ve had a purpose, what was it?” Castiel doesn’t answer immediately, all the frustration pent up inside Loki’s head boils over and he screams, “TELL ME!”
Castiel tilts his head quizzically, eyebrows drawn together in confusion. “What’s the matter?”
Loki can’t vocalize his internal struggle, can’t put into words how unworthy he feels. I willingly made a deal with demons to keep Thor alive, how can the angels just pull me out of Hell and say I am saved?
Castiel’s face clears of confusion. “You think you don’t deserve to be saved.”
And Loki knows that, even standing here alive, he’d rather be back in the never-ending abyss of his own, personal Hell.