Tom dreams of Loki, but it isn’t real. He knows it isn’t real. His god is dead and his own heart is broken. Loki is gone, and he left a wound in Tom’s mind.
But he dreams of Loki, murmuring sweet things against his neck as he sleeps. Running his long fingers through Tom’s curls. Always so fascinated by the differences in their hair. By the way the his curls wrapped themselves around the god’s fingers. The way Tom’s hair changed color depending on the light. Like his eyes.
Tom dreams of the way Loki’s long black locks glided over his hands like silk. The starkness of raven hair against alabaster skin. The way his muscles moved under the pale surface, just a little different than a human’s would. Of the way he didn’t respond the way that Tom would, but his own way. Of all the ways they were the same, but totally different.
Tom knows Loki will try and save himself. But he will also save those he loves.
That is what doomed him.
Loki saw Tom as a reflection of himself. That’s how it all started. The god looked into another reality and saw himself mirrored. And Tom looked back.
They saw one another and knew that it was good.
Tom had offered Loki everything that he had, everything he was. He’d loved the god before he knew that he was anything beyond fiction, and when presented with the reality of Loki’s existence, how could he do anything else? He understood more completely than anyone else did, or possibly could. He could help.
But he’d failed.
He may have made things worse.
Their mirror is broken. Shattered. Tom can feel it in his mind. They had been connected, and now they are not. He suspects he knows why: Loki did this to protect Tom. But oh it hurts. And now he can do nothing but wonder and feel the pain.
Has it happened yet? Has Thanos’s ship come? How many days, hours, minutes, seconds are left?
And that’s why he knows he’s dreaming when Loki whispers against his skin - my beloved - and the dream isn’t real. My precious mortal, how I miss you. It’s a lie his mind has made for him, not the god’s voice in his ear.
Tom wonders if he should have told the god what fate had in store for him, but he doesn’t know how far destiny will bend. One way. Only one way. He’d tried to rewrite Loki’s story as it was, and causality stepped in. No, the reality had been too dangerous to be told, but maybe he would have stayed…
But maybe the god was right to quit this universe. To abandon Tom to his solitary life. To leave and face Thanos. Maybe if he had stayed, Tom’s world would have fallen to the Titan’s wrath. Fiction might have destroyed reality, and wouldn’t everyone be surprised!
Or maybe Tom would have just been taken, as Loki feared. Tortured. Vanished. And nobody would have been the wiser. His family, friends, and fans would have mourned, but that would have been the end.
But that scenario hardly seemed likely. No, chances are it would have gone much, much worse. This world had no protectors. No Avengers to defend it. It would fall so easily to the Titan and he would revel in the destruction. Take glee in his “balance”.
Even if it wouldn’t be much of a challenge. But challenge was hardly the point.
But the whispers in his dreams continue. My dearest, I miss you. My love, my mortal, my beloved. Mine. I am here. Yours forever. Never gone.
Lies lies lies.
Perhaps what passed between them has changed something for Loki. But even if the god’s fate has been altered, he cannot come back. No matter how time might rewrite itself, Loki will be unable to return to him. Might not even know that he had a home beyond the Nine Realms.
And so Tom dreams.
I’m sorry. My beloved, I’m so sorry I left you. I was wrong. I’m sorry I’m sorry. I love you. Oh beloved, I’m sorry. Goodbye.
The dreams grow darker.
Why did you not tell me? Why? I would have stayed if you had said.
And he wakes, alone and shivering. With no one to share his bed but tears.