What Once Was Mine
In the aftermath of it all Thor’s feet return him to this place – treacherous feet, marching him like gaolers to what is left of Loki’s cell. As if he has not mourned enough, no less painfully for it being in silence, his heart must bring him here to break loudly in his chest. For no, he cannot mourn enough; nor, he suspects, should he ever stop.
Because he cannot share this; not with anyone. Because all that remains of Loki now lingers in these few scattered things in this ever since untouched cell.
He stands in the centre of the room like one at a graveside, fingers gently brushing broken furniture and golden trinkets as though they were hallowed objects. Here is a goblet, the wine not quite yet evaporated completely, here a book lying crookedly on the floor, spine broken like a tortured insect.
He strokes the sheets of the crumpled bed, fingers tracing the crinkles where he lay but never smoothing them; not daring to straighten out an inch lest he destroy what last of Loki might remain here. He kneels at the bedside with knees that shake with grief, his face pressing instinctively into the pillow where the ghost of his scent still tentatively lingers.
It clutches his heart and crushed the pieces to dust, and he cannot hold back the tears that never seem to stop nowadays, bringing storm clouds to every day he has survived since then. His fists ball into the sheets as if to hold close some last hint of him –
Loki –he thinks – it has been the only song his heart will sing or his brain remember ever since – you were the only secret my heart could ever keep, the only dream it ever held.
Now the dream is ash in his mouth, bitter poison on the back of his throat. How many times must I mourn you? he thinks – how often can my carelessness get you killed? He even half hopes there could be another time just to see Loki restored to him for that while.
And here he is again; the crashing grief coming down dull, heavy and inevitable – boring even as it brings him to his knees by what was once Loki’s bed. In the lines of the sheets and in the ever torturing eye of memory he sees Loki’s hand clutching for whatever he can cling to, fingers sinuous and strong, fisting and tense as they clench, his uncontrolled cries muting in a song of the all too distant past.
No – Thor cries back at the traitorous memory – do not show me this now. Do not make me remember what was. But that no is the key to pouring still more memory into the brain in an unforgiving deluge –
“Gods Loki –” he hears his own cries like a ghost howling in his ears, hears Loki’s screams of pleasure like excited birds wheeling through the half of his mind, feels his brother’s skin against his as beautiful and perfect as he was back then. He remember himself, too, as he was then – a him that is as gone now as Loki is. He remembers that arrogant young man returning from the hunt, fresh and brash, on fire from the chase and ever ready to start another, flirting showily with every girl who greets him and ignoring them all for the only one who can truly take the force of his desire.
He hears in own footfalls in those halls, echoes in the mind, as he makes for Loki’s rooms, hears the voice that was his ring out –
“Loki? Loki I need you.”
He sees him in memory as he saw him then, sometimes reading in the window seat as the light fades outside, the last red flare glowing behind him; sometimes practising his magic by the fire, sparks and spirals of light dancing from his hands. How he looks up as Thor comes in, with the flicker of a smile and an air of otherwise indifference that shatters to the winds at the first touch, first kiss. Loki crackles like the fire in his arms and there is always some hint of a battle in his seeming submission, some hint of the fight in this just as there is always that tingling hint of sex when they fight.
Thor kneels in Loki’s cell, bowed and broken by the memories that besiege him in all their tactile form and substance, the silk and sinew of that body beneath his hands, the taste of honey on Loki’s lips, his breath hot on the skin, the gasps that bely his attempts at indifference. How completely Thor believed he would always be there, how unthinkable it would have been to imagine needing Loki – for anything – in any way at all – and Loki not being there to taunt and ultimately satisfy that need.
The roar that broke from him at Loki’s passing still wrecks him in the echo of its wake. He had thought he would have to stop screaming eventually, thought that this would have to get better in time – instead it has simply latched onto his heart, sickening his system like a poisonous leech.
He remembers – and oh the stupid, mean memories – will they never let him rest? He reminds himself of all the points at which he failed. Reminds himself how Loki would still be here if it was not for him. How he let him die twice. How he must have failed him time and time again – and did I complicate you? he thinks – did I mangle our childhood, loving you the way I did? Or was it you, brother, complicated me? Did we twist each other to the point where there was not room enough in all the nine realms for us to both exist? It does not feel like it can be right. But nowadays nothing feels right.
He remembers – he was a tiny child, no higher than the window seat he could not reach to clamber into, though Loki, even smaller than he was, always managed. Thor never did see how he did it. That day in autumn he had wanted to go on the foot – hunt with the adults and when, after all pleading had failed, he had run determinedly after them all the way down the road leading out of the palace and towards the woods – he had not only fallen behind them all but had tripped and fallen flat across the stony path. He had sat there in the dust, knees and pride smarting, manfully succeeding in not crying only by a hair’s breadth. Nobody would surely have dared speak to the petulant little prince at such a moment and so he had been startled when a gentle little hand rested on his shoulder and Loki had knelt down beside him;
“They wouldn’t let me come either,” he had said before Thor could shout at him for coming close to him in such a mood.
He hears Loki’s voice now in his ears as though he kneels beside him still.
“Does that hurt?” Loki’s little face scrunched up in a sympathetic consternation Thor would have accepted from nobody else. He shook his head, clenching his teeth, for his knees had hurt – even now he can half remember it.
“Here, let me,” Loki had said, almost pleadingly, and Thor had let him press oak leaf and bandage to him and something else that sparkled slightly. It had felt better instantly, magically even, and Loki’s face - so sweet and careful in the morning light.
“Why do you carry such rubbish?” Thor had huffed in lieu of thanks.
“You should be grateful for my rubbish,” Loki had smiled, slightly smugly, to see how quickly it worked – “Now. What shall we do with the day?”
Thor had been planning to sit and sulk until the adults returned but Loki had pestered and pestered until Thor had agreed to play with him – so much so that it never once occurred to Thor that Loki was really doing this for him. They had snuck back up to the palace, pilfered food from the kitchens they had no need of pilfering and ran, whooping, back down the paths for all to know of their misdeed. They had spent the day in the woods after all, conducting their own hunt which they became sure was far more exciting than the one the adults were on – alternating who played hunter and who played prey.
Thor cannot hold back the tears he held back then; he feels weaker now than he was as a child. He weeps until the skies over Asgard crash and drench the Realm Eternal, weeps for that shy, loving child with the impish grin who had gazed at him with such worshipful adoration, weeps for his lover and brother and life and yes – for what is left of himself without him.
“The sky betrays your return to Asgard.”
Thor starts at his father’s voice behind him, and he turns and rises on shaking legs, wretched.
“It is good to see you back, my –” if Thor’s head had been clearer he might have noticed the waver in his father’s voice, but he does not – “Son. Now tell me; what in all the nine realms is it brings you here of all places?”
Yes this fic is shaping up to be fairly tragic, though as always with my stories I can never be so tragic that it won’t get a happy ending! I just really felt after multiple re-watching of tdw that we didn’t get to see Thor mourn enough after Loki died and my feeling is this has to be more bad putting together of the movie than that Thor would not mourn. So that was the initial thought behind this, needless to say it will go in many directions some of them explicit! Watch this space! O_o
Also I apologise for the unoriginal title – I was watching “Tangled” and titles are not my forte! :-)