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Silent the Tears That Fall

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As far back as Thor could remember he had always had a brother.

His very first memory of his brother was of this tiny little toddler, sitting in the middle of their grassy backyard, and crying so loudly that Thor's ears were hurting. There were fat tears rolling down his reddened cheeks and snot out of his nose and looking so hurt and sad.

Thor remembered, vaguely, that he, being two years older, had wandered into the backyard to play in the clubhouse his father and uncle had built for him. His brother had wanted to play with him but Thor had said no as he was still a baby and Thor was already in kindergarten. Then his brother started crying.

Their mother had heard him and came out to the backyard to comfort his brother while lecturing Thor to be nicer to his little brother. When Thor had started complaining his mother had scolded him in her gentle and loving voice.

"You have to watch out for your little brother, Thor," he remembered her saying to him as she finally got his brother to quiet down and was wiping his face with a handkerchief, "he looks up to you and merely wants to be by your side. You're brothers and that'll never change."

Thor had pouted but he had dutifully grabbed his brother by his tiny, pudgy, little hand and led him into the clubhouse to let him play with him. He remembered how happy and big his little brother's smile was the entire they played outside and Thor remembered being happy as well. He also remembered that first feeling of protectiveness as he realized what it meant to be a big brother. He had wrapped his brother in a tight hug, ignoring his cry of protest, and swore to himself that he would protect him, that Loki would always be safe by his side.

He had failed.

 

 

 

Kidnapping At Borson Family Mansion

Police were called to the Borson's residence shortly after 7 pm after Frigga Borson, wife of famed businessman Odin Borson, noticed that their two young sons were nowhere inside.

The family had been throwing their annual holiday gala, a large event Odin Borson threw not only to bring attention and donations to several of the charities he and his wife both advocated in but were quite active, but also as a treat for their employees and business associates. Dinner had just been served and the first of their entertainment had just started to play music to encourage dancing when Frigga last noticed her sons wandering across the floor with their desserts still in hand.

Only a few minutes later Frigga excused herself from her husband's side to gather her sons and send them to bed only to find them nowhere inside their large home. Bringing her worry to her husband he sent asked the steward of the mansion to gather one or two of their men to search the grounds as he had suspected that his sons had wandered outside to escape the party. Only one son was found outside.

Thor Borson, age 10 and the oldest of the sons, was found lying face down just at the edge of the Borson's large backyard. There was a shallow cut just above the young boy's right eye and he was breathing shallowly from bruised ribs. The youngest son, Loki Borson, age 8, was still missing.

Sending the other two servants to search for the youngest son the steward of the family mansion carried the oldest son inside and the holiday gala was quickly put to an end as an ambulance and police were called to the scene. Odin Borson himself would later join the search for his youngest son while Frigga Borson stayed inside with their oldest. Only when the boy woke up did his parents and the police learned what happened. 

"Some men had jumped over the back gate," Thor Borson said, "I grabbed Loki's hand and started running towards the house but one of them grabbed Loki from behind and pulled him back. I tried getting him back from them but they hit me."

Police would later find evidence of a scuffle where Thor Borson was found, as well as tire tracks at the back of the estate and single unidentified boot print. They have confirmed the disappearance of Loki Borson as a kidnapping.

Three days have passed with still no sign of the young boy or any attempt by the kidnappers to demand a ransom in exchange for the safe return of the boy to his family. All guests and those hired for the Borson's holiday gala have been thoroughly questioned by the police and none have been named as a suspect. The Borson family and the police ask for the public's help in searching for the missing boy and the Borson's are offering a large reward for the safe return of their son. Pictured below is a photo of the young boy taken the day he was kidnapped.

Loki Borson, age 8. Photo provided by Odin and Frigga Borson.

 

 

 

Police ask that if there are any sighting of the young boy to immediately call the police station and they ask that the public not attempt to confront the kidnappers themselves as it is yet unknown how dangerous they are.

 

Chapter Text

"Come on Thor, one last set." Steve said as he held one of the punching bags steady.

Thor let out a loud growl, jumping on the balls of his feet for a while, before planting his feet down firmly, clenching his hands into fists, and started punching the bag. He focused on nothing but the feeling of the punching bag against his knuckles. The loud smacks it let out. The way it pushed Thor's fists slightly back but stayed in place with Steve's help. The way he could see a dent forming where Thor focused all his punches on. He focused on nothing but hitting the bag over and over and over-

"And we're done!" He heard Steve shout and made himself stop and look over at Steve who was sweating slightly but had a smile on his face as he moved from behind the punching bag. "Good job tonight, Thor," he smacked Thor on the shoulder who nodded in response as he began removing the tape around his hands off, he hated the boxing gloves. "See you again on Friday?"

"Can't," Thor said as he picked up his towel and ran it over his face. He was dripping in sweat and knew he would have to jump into the shower as soon as he got home. "It's my brother's birthday Friday."

Steve's expression went a little somber a bit at hearing that. Thor looked away, grabbing a water bottle for himself and throwing one for Steve over his shoulder. He heard him catch it and then silence for a while before Steve spoke. "Then Monday," and Thor shut his eyes, feeling the tension that was building up inside him slip away, grateful that Steve knew him enough not to try and offer him any comfort or pity. Thor have had and heard enough of that and it never helped. It didn't change the fact that his little brother was still missing.

It has been nine years since Loki was kidnapped the night of his father's holiday gala despite his parent's best effort to find him. Odin had used his vast influences to spread the news of Loki's kidnapping. There was news coverage on every different news station and time. Various pictures of Loki were printed on newspapers, magazines, billboards, and flyers. Search parties were organized by Frigga with volunteers constantly appearing to help search for Loki. Odin and his brothers traveled the country whenever they had received a possible sighting of Loki. Odin and Frigga constantly kept in touch with the police to make sure they were still looking for their youngest son. Frigga had even insisted in getting the FBI to help after a year had passed but with little results. And Thor...

Thor had simply been known as the kid with the missing brother. He remembered after Loki's kidnapping how the phones in their house were constantly going off from reporters and news stations and papers calling to ask for an interview with Thor as he was the only witness to his brother's kidnapping. His parents constantly said, wanting to protect Thor from that kind of attention and Thor had been grateful for that. The only time his parents had ever made him speak about what happened was to the police and other authorities and Thor had hated it. He hated having to relive what happened. To have all these different adults, his classmates, and neighborhood kids throughout the years asking him over and over what happened that night. To constantly be reminded of how he had failed as an older brother.

"I better head on out but I'll definitely be here Monday, might even show up a bit early." Thor bent over and threw his gym bag over his shoulder before holding his hand out to Steve. Steve slid his hand against Thor's before meeting his fist with his own.

"Sounds good, goodnight Thor."

Thor headed on out.

Chapter Text

Friday was a somber day in the Borson household. When Thor woke up, rather earlier then he would have liked, he could already hear movement in the room across the hall to his and knew it was his mother. He hesitated for a second before getting up and heading out of his room to join his mother. She was sitting on Loki's bed, she had had his old bed moved out and replaced it with a full size bed a few years back. Back when she figured that Loki was probably to big to fit in his old kid bed and he'd need a new one when he came back home, because he would.

Throughout the years Frigga had slowly, and somewhat reluctantly, had made small changes in Loki's room. The first few years she hadn't wanted to touch anything other then to keep it clean. "Loki's always been so sensitive to having his things moved around without his permission. He likes keeping his room tidy himself with a place for everything." Once Loki's 10th birthday passed she started bringing in bigger clothes for him. "Remember when you were 10, Thor? You hit a growth spurt right after your birthday and we had to buy you some new clothes. I'm sure Loki would rather pick his own clothes when he's home again," his mother's voice had wobbled slightly but she kept the bright smile on her face nonetheless, "but these should hold him over a few days until we take him shopping."

She had replaced Loki's wardrobe and dressers with his new clothes and pulled out his old clothes, saving them away in these lovely storage boxes she had bought where she kept all of Thor's and Loki's old things. She also slowly started moving out some of Loki's toys she would think he might have outgrown, were he back home already, and replacing them with things he might like. Every year on his birthday and Christmas Frigga would enter Loki's room and very carefully try to guess what Loki would no longer want and fill his room with things he would.

They didn't stay long.

The clothes and shoes she bought she'd move out with them never being worn by Loki. The puzzles and art supplies she bought for Loki would be taken away with Loki never opening them. The older and electronic toys would be put away until not a single toy was in Loki's room with him never having played with them. The bedspread and sheets would change without Loki having ever slept in them. Loki's room and things were slowly changing without him having set foot in it for years until Thor realized this was how his mother was experiencing Loki growing up. She could never, would never, witness him growing in person because even though she believed they will find Loki one day he had already left childhood behind. Had already gone through most of his teenage years. Those were years she would never get back, would never get to witness. But she could imagine by the little changes she added to his room without making it seem as if it wasn't Loki's room anymore.

"Hello, darling," Frigga greeted Thor as he sat down next to her, picking up one of the boxes she brought in and placing it on his lap. "Did you sleep all right?" she asked. Thor shook his head and Frigga pushed some of his hair off of his face. 

"Is that Loki's?" Thor asked, gesturing towards the slice of cake on Loki's desk, still the same tiny desk he had picked out himself when he was seven. 

"Yes, I know your father thinks it silly but it is your brother's birthday... even if he isn't here for us to celebrate it fully... it's still his birthday..." Thor wrapped his arm around his mother's shoulder and pulled her close to him as the tears started to fall silently down her face. "He's turning seventeen today..." Her voice broke slightly and Thor held her a little tighter. There was nothing he could say to make her feel better. To make either of them feel better. Loki was still not home.

Once Frigga had managed to stop her tears she let Thor open the boxes to reveal a few sweaters she had gotten for Loki as well as another pair of jeans and another set of pajamas, all in various sizes. Thor then helped her put them away before leaving Loki's room with the slice of birthday cake left in front of a picture of Loki taken on his 8th birthday.

The rest of the day was spent quietly. Odin made no mention that he knew it was Loki's birthday but Thor could tell he knew by the tightness around his eyes and mouth. Thor knew that his father had taken Loki's kidnapping just as hard as his mother did. Though Odin had never shown either of his sons as much affection as Frigga did there was no denying that he loved his sons. Odin saw himself as the provider of the family, their protector, and the fact that one of his sons had been kidnapped from their very own backyard and, no matter what they have tried, he still hasn't been found... Thor knew his father was hurting. He was simply refusing to show it.

Thor couldn't help but feel guilty, whenever he saw how much his parents were hurting. It was his fault Loki had ever been taken. And not just because he hadn't been able to protect Loki from those men but because it had been Thor's idea to go outside in the first place. Loki hadn't wanted to. Loki had wanted to stay inside and finish eating his dessert, and Thor's, he barely managed to catch Loki trying to steal his, when he suggested they go outside. And kept suggesting it until Loki finally agreed after making Thor promise to do whatever he wanted to do the next day. A promise Thor was unable to keep because of those men...

If Thor hadn't talked him into going outside, if they had stayed safely inside and seated at the table until their mother told them it was time to go upstairs, Loki would still be here. Loki never would have been kidnapped. Thor would never have had to see his mother crying so much. See his father becoming more and more stressed and withdrawn. None of that would have had to have happened if it wasn't for Thor.

Thor kept his guilt hidden. He knew his parents would try to assure him it wasn't his fault, but he also knew they'd be lying. His parents never said they blamed Thor, they didn't have to. Thor blamed himself. His friends, and especially Sif, tried to be there for him. Tried to help him. The ones who knew about Thor's nightmares. His anger. His guilt. Who had seen him torn between hiding from strangers and wanting to chase after them when he thought it might have been one of those men, one of his brother's kidnappers. Who have seen him turn his head abruptly around whenever he saw a flash of black hair and sworn it could have been Loki. Who sometimes spent their weekends with Thor helping him look for Loki wherever they could. And who knew that, sometimes, Thor just wanted to be alone.

Sif had already texted him earlier today to let him know she'd head on over to his place if he needed her to. But that was all it was, a suggestion and not a push and Thor was grateful for that. He knew that in her own way Sif missed Loki too. The three of them had played together a lot when they were little, Sif lived, and still lives, down the block from them. Sif and Loki didn't exactly get along but they had liked each other, or had at least liked arguing with each other.

When the news first spread about Loki's kidnapping Sif had come over to his house and said in her demanding voice that they were going to go look for him and she was going to kick Loki's ass as soon as they find him, even though all of the neighborhood parents had been keeping an even closer eye on all their children at the time and none of them were allowed to play outside for a long, long time. Let alone go join the search parties for Thor's missing brother. Sif still sometimes said that she would kick his ass as soon as Loki was found and Thor actually found that comforting. It meant that Sif still cared.

Because even though Thor's parents were still adamant about looking for Loki no one else was. The search parties had been getting smaller and smaller as the years went by. Newspapers no longer printed the full story of Loki's disappearance, just placed him under the missing kids ad with vague information and numbers to call. No picture. News stations wouldn't talk of it since it was considered "old news". The police still looked, or at least said the investigation was still ongoing, but it clearly wasn't a priority to them anymore. Just last week the police chief told them that maybe it was time to give up. That they had to face the fact that after all these years Loki simply wouldn't be found. Or even still alive.

That had been months ago and neither of his parents had talked to the police chief since they kicked him out and insisted that they wouldn't stop looking until Loki was found alive and well. But hope was dwindling in the Borson, household. Thor could feel it. And it frightened him. Because without that hope, how were they going to find Loki?

The day was nearly over and Odin had already retired to his home office to catch up on some paperwork. Frigga had gone back to Loki's room to take the slice of cake out before any ants should get to it. And Thor was thinking of asking Sif if she wanted to go for a drive after midnight when they all heard the house phone ring. Thor froze and he could have sworn he felt the entire house freeze as well. This was no regular phone call. They all knew that.

The phone kept ringing until someone, Thor guessed Heimdall, answered it. Silence, and then, sure enough, Heimdall climbed up the stairs to Odin's office to hand him the phone. Thor quickly exited his room and saw that Frigga was already following closely behind Heimdall. 

All three of them stepped into Odin's office and Heimdall held the phone out to him, simply saying, "The police wish to speak with you."

Odin took the phone and said a brusque hello before his eyes widened in shock and he asked, sounding slightly choked up, "Are you positive it's him?"

Thor heard his mother let out a sharp gasp, her hands flying to cover her mouth and a heartbreakingly desperate hope filling her tear filled eyes. She began to sway a little and Heimdall helped her to a chair while Thor kept all his focus on his father, his own hope threatening to overwhelm him but he needed to know. Needed to be sure.

Odin spoke on the phone for several seconds more, Thor didn't hear the words, his ears were starting to ring, simply kept his gaze on his father and as soon as he saw him put the phone down he asked, "What did they say?"

His father still seemed to be in shock but he seemed to also know that he needed to get the words of his mouth as soon as possible. Time, this was costing them precious time. Odin looked to Thor first but he swept his gaze to Frigga who was looking at him with fierce hope but also like she already knew what her husband was struggling to say and was urging him to say it already. So Odin did.

"The police believe that they have found Loki."