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One for sorrow

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Thor gets home from school, drops his bag, drinks a glass of milk. Mum and dad won’t be in till late. He climbs the stairs in threes, and opens the door to find his pain in the ass little brother sitting at his desk, in front of the computer.

“The fuck are you doing in my room?” snaps Thor.

“The fuck are you doing in your room?” says Loki, without even turning to look, still scrolling. “Who the fuck is Amora_The_Enchantress? Because from that pic, I can tell it’s definitely not Jane…”

Thor strides to Loki’s side; his eyes widen. The chat is open, and Amora’s tits are filling the screen. Shit .

“None of your fucking business!” he roars, and brutally shoves Loki aside.

He turns the chat off as Loki rolls away on the swivel chair, rubbing his shoulder where Thor’s fingers sunk in. He has that little-shitty expression of his plastered on, not quite a grin, more like a glint in his eye that never fails to make Thor’s blood boil. Oh, Loki has no idea how much trouble he’s in.

“I’m going to fucking kill you. Get the fuck out of my room!” Thor snarls.

“You said I could use your computer for the art project!” protests Loki, fucking brat.

“Permission fucking rescinded. Fuck off!”

Loki is still rubbing his shoulder.

“You should be nicer to me,” he says.

“Says who.”

“I just wonder what Jane would make of this hobby of yours.”

Thor pales – he’s really going to murder him now.

“It’s not like I’m cheating!” he argues. “This is just…”

“And I am sure she would see your point, of course,” says Loki, a coy blink in his eye.

“Are you fucking threatening me?” groans Thor.

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” says Loki, hand on his heart, and that tone, oh, that fucking tone…

“You little shit,” hisses Thor. “You have no idea, do you? No idea. Have you never stopped to think why you’re not getting bashed in the head more often, with that goddamn attitude? Did you think they’ve warmed up to you in school or something? Who do you think protects you in that place, you stupid idiot? Who do you think keeps them away? Would you like me to tell them that from now on you’re on your own?”

Thor smirks when he sees the tension in Loki’s face, the furious squint. Bam , bullseye, right where it fucking hurts. Oh, it’s so so sweet.

“You’re an asshole,” mutters his little brother.

Is that all he’s got? Feels too good, leaving Loki speechless. Thor can’t help hammering it in.

“And you’re lucky we’re blood related, and that mum sort of likes you, otherwise I’d be the fucking first in line to put you in your fucking place,” whispers Thor, leaning in. “I’m very, very tired of your shit, you hear? Maybe if you could get some pussy, or some dick, or whatever the fuck it is you’re into, you’d have less time to be such a nosy little dickwad! Get your own fucking life, and keep the fuck out of mine!”

“I don’t give a fuck about your pathetic sex chats!” hisses Loki, too angry and humiliated to get much of a voice out.

“No, all you care about is being a jerk to anyone who tries to be nice to you, right? You think your shit smells better than anyone else’s, and that’s why you don’t have any friends! Go back to your fucking books and your fucking phone and your dark little corner, where you can be happy making believe you’re alone because nobody gets you, because you’re so cool and clever, when the fact is nobody fucking likes you because you’re a mean, pathetic shit .”

Loki’s chin quivers, his lips thin. He looks eight years old.

“You’re an asshole,” he whispers thickly, and he finally stands up and stomps out the door, with a slam.

“And stay out!” yells Thor.

He hears Loki stomping in his room right behind that wall for some time, throwing things around.

Ah, fuck. This stupid war of theirs, they’ve been waging it for years, and it never ends. Thor guesses he’s won this round. A crushing victory. Doesn’t feel like winning. When does it ever.

Oh well, it’s done now. It’s not like he can take it back. Sigh . Why does he have to do this every time?

 

 

*     *     *

 

 

For about half an hour, Loki is a concentrated ball of ugh . Rage, heartbreak, humiliation, fury, hatred, bloodlust. Thor has cut into everything he know hurts the worst. Loki can hear his own stupid words, and still running through his head are all the things he should have thrown back at Thor and couldn’t, because he couldn’t, because his fucking body betrayed him. While Loki tried to fight back, his body wanted to cower in a corner and cry, and it wouldn’t let him talk, wouldn’t let him think. He is fucking pathetic, and Thor is a fucking asshole, and nobody can hurt him as bad Thor can, nobody, and fuck you, fuck you, fuck yooooouu!! (He screamed that out loud. Thor bangs the wall.)

Loki paces, huffs and puffs. He will tame this fucking thing — he will tame it. Stick it right in, hold it back, bottle it down. He won’t shed a fucking tear. He won’t.

Calm down. Calm down. Think .

Thor is so, so stupid. He has no idea how much trouble he’s in. He has pissed you off real bad, and you’ll get your own back. You’re going to fucking obliterate him. You’re going to rip him to shreds. You’re going to find the way to do to him what he’s done to you. He’s going to fucking learn not to fucking mess with you. He’s going to hurt. He’s going to bleed .

 

It has taken a while, but Loki finally feels calmer, cooler. He has crushed his anger into a tiny, ultra-condensed, superheavy ball of a brand new, deadly metal. It gives off a kind of sickly heat. It’s like ballast. It grounds him. It helps him feel in control. Comes out as a kind of sour bitch face (“starving supermodel pout”, Thor called it once), but he can keep it buried deep. Even if it throbs and burns, and he never forgets it’s there, he can hide it under his accustomed teenage ennui .

At dinner, nobody mentions how quiet Loki is, how glum. Nobody asks how he’s feeling. He’s told them to leave him alone often enough, but still. He feels mum casting looks his way as he chats with dad about their day and the leak in the kitchen tap, but Loki stubbornly refuses to engage.

He wishes mum would ask. Not that he would tell her anything. But she doesn’t.

Later, lying in bed, Loki meditates. He entertains and discards several ideas. It has got to be something special. A fuck-you-very-much from yours truly. Something Loki can look back on with satisfaction. It’ll come to him, when it's ready.

____________

 

Thor is driving them all to school the next morning in his third-hand red pickup. Loki sits surly in the back seat, doesn’t even bitch about the heavy metal shit music his brother enjoys first fucking thing in the morning.

They pull up by Jane’s house. She and Darcy hop in.

“Morning!” says Jane. Always so bubbly.

Thor kisses her slowly with his eyes closed, like it means the world. Signature move. Makes them all melt. As for Loki, he wants to puke.

“Are you o-key, Lokey-dokey?” sing-songs Darcy, as she slumps by his side in the back seat, always too close. No concept of personal space, this girl.

Thor drives, smug as fuck with the flush on Jane’s cheeks and the sparkles in her eyes. He’s got her right where he wants her. God knows why he wants her. I mean, Loki can see the attraction, sure, but he’d never think that Thor would. Then again, Thor was only yesterday chatting to a girl online with tits bigger than Jane’s head.

Thor and the two girls are chatting. Loki puts on his earbuds and takes himself away from this place.

 

“Are you alright, Loki?” asks Jane as she unbuckles, after they've parked in the school lot. She has this older sister vibe with him, condescending and patient and sweet. Loki loathes it. He’s not fucking twelve. And it prevents him from hating her as fully and freely as he would like.

“Got a headache,” grunts Loki.

“Need a pill or something?” says Thor, looking at him through the rearview mirror.

Loki glares at him. Like you even care. He just grunts again. “‘M fine.”

They walk to the building. Loki walks a few of steps behind. Darcy is glued to her phone. Thor and Jane walk hand in hand. He carries her bag, coos at her, whispers in her ears, kisses her neck. He even gets the fucking door for her, and he sends her on her way to Chem class with a long wet snog and kissing her hand. And she giggles and flusters and toys with a lock of hair and she hovers one foot above the ground, she’s so in love. Lucky lucky Jane, the envy of the entire school; she has landed the perfect boyfriend.

...Too bad that only just yesterday, and god knows for how long, Mr. Perfect was jerking off to strangers on the internet who send him nudes behind Jane’s back. Sweet, earnest, honest Jane. She deserves to know who she’s dealing with, what he gets up to when she’s not looking. She deserves to know the full, ugly truth about Mr. Right.

And so, it hits him. Eureka. Loki knows how he’s going to teach his brother a lesson.

He can’t possibly tell Jane outright what Thor gets up to online, of course. For one, he’d like to survive this scheme. This needs to be an anonymous tip. And two… She needs to see the actual words Thor was writing to that girl, to fully fathom the extent of his filthy trespass, things Loki wishes he had never had to read with his own two innocent eyes in the vicinity of even the mere concept of a blood relative. Like, he needs brain bleach. Unfortunately, Loki didn’t take a screenshot of the chat with that Amora girl, and he doubts that he’d still find it there if he somehow gets access to Thor’s computer again. So he’ll have to think.

 

He hears giggling behind his back in class. He sits with his head high, back straight, and does not turn. Inside, he’s seething. Loki doesn’t try to draw attention, he really doesn’t. He keeps to himself and doesn’t react, or interact much at all for that matter. He just wants to be left alone to do his own thing, but wherever he goes, there are always people waiting to make him pay for… for existing, basically. For not minding if he fits in or not, for not submitting to their petty, idiotic unwritten rules of behaviour. For not being easy to pin down. For being quiet and clever. For breezing through classes other people struggle with. For having all those girls swooning for a passing look or a minute of his time (yes, he’s not blind), and not sparing any of them either.

Thor says he’s stupid for making things hard for himself. Loki tells him to fuck off, but the truth is, he doesn’t know how to act any different. He doesn’t like to make things hard for himself — he doesn’t. He tries to blend into the background. He’s just not very good at it. People are so fucking stupid, and vulgar, and mediocre, and petty, and bland. Loki simply could not manage to pass for one of the herd if he tried.

And yes, he thought things were getting better, that maturity was beginning to reach some of the assholes that used to make his life in this place a living hell, that they were developing interests beyond bullying, harassing, and pestering. You dumbass. It stings, like, a lot, to think he owes Thor for his peace of mind. He hates it. He doesn’t want to owe Thor anything. He hates Thor. Himself. This place. His fucking life. He wants to fucking burn it all down, everything, raze it to the ground.

 

 

As he walks to the bus later that day, the idea presents itself, with the elegant simplicity and obviousness of the most beautiful scientific theories, something that seemed always plain for anyone to see, once they managed to clear their minds and their sights: A trap.

And so, that afternoon, after school, he downloads the app Thor was using for his sleazy sex chats, and creates a profile. Sex, female. Age, 18. So good so far. Favourite music, favourite films, favourite books, hm. What should he put in? He knows pretty well Thor’s tastes, but he can’t just copy those, can he? Besides, who’s to say that’s what will draw Thor in? Look at Jane, they’re not exactly two peas in the pod, are they? What does his brother like?

(…Loki, he used to like Loki. He used to say Loki was his favourite person in the world. Then high school happened, and apparently super-cool captains of the rugby team don’t have their kid brothers as their favourite anything. Actually, they would rather pretend they don’t have brothers at all, especially when they’re awkward and unpopular and hated by everyone. Right? Fuck you, Thor.)

Anyone can tell a lie. Not everyone can tell it well. And not many people can tell one lie after another without ever being caught. The trick is for people not to suspect. The moment they pin you down for a liar, they won’t even believe you when you’re describing the rain falling on their heads. So lying isn’t hard, but you have to weave in enough threads of truth to keep people guessing. And so, to create Miss Honeytrap, Loki fills out her profile mostly as himself. Because Thor does not suspect what Loki is up to, so he won’t be on the lookout, and because it’s not like Thor knows what Loki likes or doesn’t like these days, does he? Loki’s done some growing up since they were close like that.

Pic. He needs to find the right pic. He browses Instagram trying to find one. What is Thor’s type? His dick doesn’t seem too picky when it comes to hookups, but for girlfriends, he seems to have a type; Sif was his first, then Lorelei, then Jane. They’re all brunettes, not overly curvy, bit boyish even, beautiful but not central-pages pin-up beautiful. Classy, aloof. Bit forbidding even. Challenging. Loki looks for the perfect representation of all those qualities in one single pic. It takes him hours.

Finally. There she is. That’s the one. Long legs, long black hair, feminine enough, but not too much. Cute, beautiful, and in that pic, where she’s leaning to fuss a big wolf of a dog, just that hint of cleavage, enticing but not too slutty. Perfect.

Her alias. One_for_Sorrow5654. Makes Loki grin. He knows what he’s on about, but Thor will never get it.

Click on CREATE to update your profile.

Next, let’s message Thor. Loki types in Thor’s alias, Storm99, and there he is, first on top. He clicks on the thumbnail and the profile appears. Behold, the asshole in full glory. Not bashful, is he? A poolside pic, just his swimming trunks, a broad white smile, hair down, tanned and muscled and oh so dreamy . Makes you want to retch. And the info on his profile is also true, as far as Loki can tell. He shakes his head heavily. Favourite Books: The Goblet of Fire. Favourite films: E.T., The Goonies, Braveheart. Such a derp.

Do you want to leave Storm99 a message?

Yeah, yes he does. But what.

‘Hey there stud’ — nah, too brash.

‘Hey there, you seem cool…’ — lame.

Dammit. Finding the right balance is hard. And Loki is probably overthinking this, right?

‘Hey there. Nice pic, cool profile. I’d like to talk! Send me a mssg if you’re interested’ — and a kissy emoji, and a winky one. There. Send .

Now we wait.