Chapter 1: At Long Last
Thor is on the Benetar with the Guardians. They had been searching for the wreckage from five years ago for a while now, ever since Thor left New Asgard and made Valkyrie queen. Thor is leaning by the glass window and looking out of it anxiously. He is breathing slow, heavy, shaky breaths trying to steady himself, even if he knows it’s not doing anything for the wave of anxiety, dread, and all kinds of other emotions building up inside of him. There are a few larger ships trailing behind them. The Benetar doesn’t have enough space to fit even a portion of Asgard. Thor is clutching a space suit in his hand and fidgeting with it, ready to go out into the open the moment they’re in position. He turns it over in his hand as he tries to hold back tears.
They arrive at the wreckage. Thor almost breaks down at the sight; all the memories flashing before his eyes like some sick, hellish nightmare; but he wills himself to stay focused. He searches frantically, looking over the wreckage as the other ships get in position around it, murmuring nonsense under his breath. Five years . Suddenly his eyes land on his target and all time stops. Feeling a wave of sickness wash over him, his body freezes over completely and he’s suddenly unable to breathe.
Floating in the wreck among the other Asgardians, they’re all slightly frozen over from the amount of time exposed to open space.
Quill, into the coms : ALRIGHT PEOPLE MOVE YOUR DAMN ASSES! MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!
Rocket attacks Thor’s leg to snap him back into reality and get him moving once they’re in position. Thor scrambles to the exit as fast as he can, slapping his space suit on. Mantis slaps the button and Thor enters the room, the first barrier closing behind him. He yanks the wire into his suit and takes a few heavy breaths before slapping the other button to open the final barrier.
He is immediately pulled out into space and he feels the wire pull him back once he reaches the end. He tilts his head up and, oh god, Loki is right there. Thor reaches out and pulls Loki toward him by his forearm, wrapping his own arms carefully around his torso, before the wire starts pulling them back into the ship.
Arriving back and immediately removing the space suit, Thor drags Loki inside and places him carefully on the floor before scrambling to his side and frantically getting his hair out of the way. Murmuring nonsense again, he places two fingers on the side of Loki’s neck and waits...
bu bum...bu bum...
Instantly Thor makes a sound between a sigh and a cry, and he bursts out into tears, cradling Loki’s chest as the Guardians start getting a table and medical supplies ready.
They pull Loki onto the table and place an oxygen mask on his face. Suddenly, Loki’s chest rises and falls heavily as his unconscious body takes in as much air as it can get in a single breath. Thor takes a wet towel and carefully wipes away the dried blood from Loki’s face, then takes a seat beside him and grasps his hand in both of his.
Rocket places a paw on Thor’s knee before he joins the team, leaving Thor alone by Loki’s side.
Chapter 2: Where am I
Loki wakes up after five long years. But the void of space hasn’t been kind to him.
Thor is sitting on a stool by Loki’s side, still holding his hand. He hasn’t moved from there for days. Loki still hasn’t woken up. The Guardians are discussing (and getting into pointless arguments) in another room by the cockpit. Thor has now fallen half asleep.
Rocket from the other room: Well it’s not MY fault I prefer The Hollies over your oh-so-sacred Led Dabblin!!
Quill: It. Is. LED. ZEPPELIN.
Rocket: THAT’S WHAT I SAID!!
Quill: NO IT IS NOT-
The team keeps arguing while Mantis watches playfully and Drax sleeps. Nebula has been helping the rescued Asgardians recover in the other ships, occasionally popping in the Benetar to see if Thor needs any help or if they’ve run short on supplies. Other times she would just sit by Thor’s side and comfort him, since they’ve both experienced similar things.
Thor feels a small squeeze on his hand and his eyes flutter open. He sees Loki’s eyebrows furrow for a moment and his hand squeezes Thor’s once more. Suddenly feeling fully awake, Thor sits upright and leans in closer, whispering Loki’s name as his eyes begin to water. He was about to see his brother awake for the first time in five years. Thor’s voice is quiet as he speaks.
Thor: It’s ok, brother. I’m here.
Loki squeezes his eyebrows together as his eyes begin to open just a sliver. He blinks weakly a few times and quints. Suddenly, his eyes shoot wide open and he stumbles off the table, ripping out his oxygen, all in half a second. He stands there breathing heavily with his back to Thor as he frantically looks around the room, then he swings around to face Thor with wide eyes and a terrified expression.
Loki: WHERE AM I?? WHAT IS THIS?? HOW DID I GET HERE??
Thor is standing with his hands in front of him, startled and slightly pale. He wants to say something but he’s too taken aback.
Loki, now breathing more heavily: WHERE AM I-
Out of nowhere Loki starts coughing intensely as he falls to his knees, too weak to carry him. He spits out a mouthful of blood and starts hyperventilating. Thor rushes over, shouting his name, and catches Loki before he collapses on his back, shaking uncontrollably.
Thor: LOKI?? WHAT DO I DO?? QUILL HELP ME!! QUILL!!
Quill rushes over with Mantis and the rest of the team. Thor, now sobbing, is clutching Loki, who now keeps repeating the words “ I can’t see” .
Quill, getting the table ready: Mantis, now would be a really great time for you to do your thing!!
Mantis kneels down beside Loki and carefully places her hand on his forehead, and yells the word “ SLEEP”. Loki’s body relaxes as his eyes flutter closed and his breathing stabilizes. Thor puts a hand on Loki’s cheek as tears keep streaming down his own.
Quill after a moment: What the hell!?!??
Chapter 3: Not Now
Loki doesn’t remember what happened all those years ago. At least- not yet.
Quill: What the hell was that??
A sleeping Loki is now back on the table with Thor in a seat by his side. The Guardians are discussing next to them.
Thor: He was confused.
Quill: He was gonna attack you!
Thor: He’s my brother.
Quill to the side: He’s tried to kill him before-
Thor: He’s my brother.
Thor is now speaking more firmly and he grips Loki’s hand slightly tighter.
Quill: I’m just worried he’s gonna wind up attacking me. Not that I can’t take him. I can totally take him. He wouldn’t even get to take one step in my direction. I’d have him on the ground in exactly TEN seconds- you could count them-
Rocket is now rolling his eyes and walking over to lean on the nearest wall.
Quill: -It’d just be a mild inconvenience and I don’t really have time for those you know?
Thor just has his attention on Loki and doesn’t look up.
Quill: I say we strap him up like Hannibal Lecter.
Thor stands and stalks over to Quill, leaving only an inch of space between them as he straightens his back, suddenly towering over him.
Thor: The only person here who has a say in any decision making concerning my brother is me. Is that clear to you?
Quill is now stiff, but he straightens his own back as he clears his throat.
Quill: Well many things do fail to be clear to me most of the time-
Thor takes one step forward.
Quill, voice now higher: -but in this particular instance it’s very clear to me.
Quill heads over to sit on Thor’s chair and spins around in it.
Quill: But we still gotta do something.
Rocket: Yea. If Loki freaks out again, I don’t wanna end up with a knife in my eye socket.
Thor, now leaning on the table: I can keep him under control.
Rocket: He didn’t even recognize you. How do you know if he even remembers you or what happened?
Thor, more loudly: He will.
Quill: Well, either way, we still gotta do something.
Thor looks down at Loki and, after a moment, sighs.
Loki starts to wake up again. Thor leans in and drags a hand across his hair.
Loki struggles to open his eyes and groans.
Thor: Everything’s ok.
Loki manages to open his eyes a little and attempts to move his arms. But something’s stopping him. His arms, legs, and torso are bound to the table. His eyes grow wide again as he struggles to break free.
Thor: Loki- brother- it’s me! It’s Thor! It’s Thor. You’re ok.
Loki looks to the side and relaxes at the sight of Thor. He lets his head fall back on the table as he sighs.
He’s barely audible as he speaks.
Loki: Where am I...?
Thor: In a spaceship with some weird people.
Thor: It’s a long story. How do you feel?
Loki: Like shit. My eyes are burning.
Thor: Oh- Is it the light? Do you want me to turn the light down?
Thor gets up and turns the light down before sitting back down at Loki’s side.
Thor: That better?
Loki, opening his eyes fully: Yea... How did I get here? What-
This is the first time Loki’s gotten a proper look at his brother.
Loki: What happened to you?
Thor smiles, a tear running down his cheek, and a tiny laugh escapes him.
Thor: That’s also a long story.
Loki: Is it actually a long story or is there something you don’t want to tell me?
Thor: Ehhh... It’s both.
Loki: Why can’t you tell me?
Thor goes silent for a moment.
Thor: Just... not now.
Loki: Well, can you at least help me get out of these?
Loki signals to his arms and legs, which are still bound to the table.
Thor: Oh yea right.
Thor gets up and frees Loki from the table, helping him sit up. As he does so, Loki’s head spins and he groans as he presses his palm to his forehead.
Loki: How long was I out?
Thor doesn’t respond.
Loki: Thor, how long was I out?
There is a pause. Thor’s voice breaks as he speaks.
Thor: A long time.
Loki looks at Thor questioningly but he doesn’t push it.
Loki: Well, can you help me get off this damn thing?
Thor helps Loki off the table. As his feet touch the floor, his legs immediately give out and Thor catches him, throwing Loki’s arm around his shoulders and lifting him up by his torso. Together, they walk to a nearby chair and Loki sits down. At that moment, Quill walks in.
Quill: Woah! What the hell is he doing up?! What did I say about Hannibal Lecter??
The rest of the team walks in and Thor holds a hand up.
Thor: He is of no danger to any of you.
Quill: He was just acting Palpatine levels of batshit crazy over there a few hours ago and-
Loki: I’m terribly sorry about all that. I was just terribly confused for some reason and I don’t know what came over me. I can’t remember anything past the destruction of my home world and my brother’s coronation... Where’s everyone else?
Rocket: Being taken care of in the other ships since yours was very unfortunately blown to to the other side of the universe-
Thor: Why don’t we call it a day?
Loki: Thor, what are you not telling me?
Thor, becoming more anxious: I’m starving. Dinner? Anyone?
Loki: Do you know about this? Do they know??
Thor: I feel like that Chinese tonight-
Loki: What happened after ragnarok?
Thor, breathing heavily: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Loki: What are you keeping from me? Why was I so terrified earlier? What are you so afraid to tell me?
Thor, tearing up: I can’t say it!!
Thor: I can’t tell you... Not now.
Thor, shaking his head: Not now.
Everyone goes quiet for a few seconds.
Quill: Alright. I’m just gonna go make dinner with Mantis.
Quill walks out with Mantis and Rocket follows him.
Rocket: Is it something I said?