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The Aftermath

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LOKI'S POV

And suddenly it is over.

A shattered visage of the glory I dreamt of, that he made me dream of, lay crumbled around me.

I remember how, as a child, I promised myself never to lose my dignity, my pride, for anything foolish I planned on doing. On changing my plans to accommodate and increase my self-worth.

Yet, as these people bind my hands and silence my tongue, all the tattered remains of self-worth and pride are blown away by the dust of destruction.

I know what I have accomplished here is the worst thing that I have ever done, yet there is a small sliver of hope in me that at least HE will let me explain. But alas, who wants to listen to a monster huh?

Only disappointment and hurt swam in those stormy orbs. I flinch despite myself. One of my greatest fear had come true today.

As we come back to our, no, His homeland, I feel myself becoming strangely numb. When we start walking towards the Great Hall, I keep my head bowed and my eyes trained to the ground. I hunch my shoulders in resignation of my punishment, recognition of my, or rather, our crime, and not so small amount of self-loathing.

As the time for the final judgement grows closer, I look through my lashes and see only hatred and disgust in the court's eyes. To my surprise, I hear the word Jotunn mentioned only once but Frigga interrupts and says that despite whatever happened, I am still a Prince of Asgard.

Very Slowly, hesitantly, I meet the eyes of the only person on the judging panel yet to speak. The Allfather was apparently already watching me, but I still flinched violently on seeing the absolute nothingness in his gaze.

At that moment, I knew.

The Judgement had already been passed.

This was a mere formality.

They gave up on me.

He gave up on me.

Before even listening to my defense, my explanation.

Because, they don't care.

And that hurts.

I gasped.

The Allfather smiled.
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It was a pleasant smile, not a mocking or cruel one that I had been expecting. I had always like that smile and had done my level best to put it there. Whenever he was frowning, I would rush up to him and tell him some anecdotes or the latest fiasco of His. I would sometimes even entertain him with my magic tricks.

But I was confused on seeing that smile on his face today. Why was he smiling like that? Wasn't this supposed to be my—

No!

It can't be!

He can't be happy with the thought of my execution, can he? His own son?

Oh. OH. Ohhhh.

But I never was his son, was I?

I was, am and will forever be a Laufeyson, not Odinson. That name is only for the purest of heart, like Him.

But if now even the Allfather wants it, I will take my punishment, without complaints, glad to put that smile there, for the last time in my pitiful existence. I want him to smile. If only for a few moments at my execution, then, so be it.

As I thought, my already tattered heart shattered. A sudden pain flared in my chest.

But before I could even gasp, the Allfather made a statement.

"LOKI IS BACK!"

My Brain shut down.

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After the initial ruckus had been contained, he continued explaining. He explained, how after the Fall, Thanos captured me. How he tortured me and made me susceptible to further possession. How the tesseract continued to influence my battered mind. My brain caught up to the proceedings and I looked up fully for the first time. I was shocked to see relief on the courts faces. I expected to see mutinous and furious faces so I was now suitably baffled and confused.

After twenty more minutes of discussion, the Allfather stood up, silencing the Hall.

He waited for a few moments, then finally said,

"As Loki is not actually responsible for any of the destruction on Midgard, he won't have any punishment. But he will still go to a healer once a week for any lingering illness, for a year."

I must have made a face because his eyes shone with amusement. He continued,

"As for that Titan, he is now on the Official Hit List of Asgard for deliberate harm of the Royal Family and will be tried for his crimes later. Dismissed."

A guard came over and took off my binds, while He watched anxiously. As the court members scattered, He led me towards our wing.

I walked behind him silently, the whole way. Once inside the chambers, I closed the door and shut the door. I didn't want to watch His disappointment again.

I was thus surprised when his arms wound around me and turned me around. He hugged me and murmured in my ear, "Forgive me, please."

I hugged him back and said softly, "I forgive you."

Then I gave in to my tears and let them flow freely. He pulled back and used his thumb to wipe the tears. He kissed my brow and said, "I love you."

I smiled weakly and put my forehead on his and whispered, "I love you too, Thor."