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It was unending, this darkness, falling through barren rocks that had never seen starlight, never seen life, would never see life again after he'd fallen past. And he'd thought he'd be dead by now, falling through this emptiness, this timeless existence, but the curse of the Æsir's immortality and his own magic kept him alive without food or drink, without but scattered pockets of air.

Loki was something new, here, but that wasn't necessarily a good thing. With no way to defend himself but a stolen relic and weary magic, he was ripe for the picking. And, maybe, Loki wanted to be plucked. Wanted this wretched life to be over and done, suffering no longer the curse of his heritage.

Jötun; the monster come to snatch children from their beds, come to freeze the naughty in the act and cart them off to eat. Loki was the monster he'd grown up fearing, dreaming of putting an end to, hating. Loki, the forgotten prince, forever in Thor's shadow, the whisper in the golden prince's ear. Forever causing trouble, and was it really any wonder that Odin had always seemed so resigned to Loki's pranks? He was Jötun, uncivilised; he couldn't be expected to act well.

He had not acted well. Or maybe he had? The golden prince wanted the Jötun dead, would make war so they might have peace. But Thor had always rushed into things, hadn't stopped to look at the whole picture as Loki had. He'd seen a way, had twisted his words and polished his silver tongue and got what he wanted: A would-be murderer dead, a cause to destroy a race of monsters.

But Thor... Thor, Thor, Thor. It was always Thor who rushed past Loki's carefully laid plans. It was always Thor who unwittingly ruined the most convoluted of plots. (Maybe, one day, Loki would learn to plan for Thor. Or maybe he could have – should have – but no more.)

Thor, who returned from a world of mortals with a new-found sympathy for monsters. Thor, who had always held his wants and needs above those of others, destroyed his only path to a woman he'd fallen in love with. (And who but Thor would fall for a mortal and love a monster?)

Loki had been king. He had proved himself, had shown the Jötun for what they truly were. He was worthy. More worthy than Thor, surely? Thor, who had been banished for his rash actions. Thor, who had been stripped of his powers.

Thor, who had held Loki's only chance at life, and had let him fall.

Loki hated his brother, but no more than he hated himself. No more than he hated the Allfather. No more than he hated–

Loki hated.

And Loki fell, fell through the unending darkness, through minutes and hours and days and months.

And when he finally hit against a rock, creatures out of nightmare looking curiously at him, Loki was filled with nothing but hate. He laughed, broken and low, and said, "Well, this is something new." And he laughed and laughed and laughed.

And when he was brought before Thanos, and the red monster said, "I would destroy a world."

Loki replied, "It will be done."

Loki was just a monster amongst monsters; Thor couldn't best him here.