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deep in my heart (there's a burnin')

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Sometimes, Hank’s skin turns blue.

Sometimes, there’s a dark shape that sits just out the corner of his eye.




He swallows another pill, fights away the feeling of falling.




Hank’s skin is blue and he screams as memories rush in and threaten to swallow him whole.

The dark shape nickers softly.




“I don’t know who I am,” he says to the bottom of his glass.  Maybe he says it to Audrey, maybe he says it to his new fiddler. 

“When does anyone?” someone asks; it may have been Audrey, it may have been the fiddler – Hank can’t tell, can’t be bothered to check as he presses the heel of his hand to his eye, tries to ignore the feeling of a fist against it.




There’s a thrumming just under his blue skin and, with his scream, he freezes the forest around him.

Behind him – there’s a shuffling of a horse’s hooves, a soft huffing.

“Sleipnir,” he says, the name falling out of his lips without conscious thought.




Hank watches the video of Captain America, doesn’t think too hard about why big blondes with blue eyes make him yearn for something that he can’t quite articulate.




What have you done, far?

Hank wipes vomit from his lips.  “Nothing that concerns you, boy,” he rasps.

Sleipnir glares and Hank (or maybe he’s Loki now) shudders and fights against another wave of nausea.

You will not live long like this.

“Then so be it,” Hank-maybe-Loki yells, turning on his son.  Sleipnir snorts and tosses his head before he blinks out of sight.

Hank-Loki spits and wipes his mouth again, his back screaming in pain as he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a bottle of pills. 

Hank throws back one and then a second.




“Want me to order you anything, Hank?”

“No,” Hank says, not bothering to open his eyes.  “I’m not hungry.”




He feels it when it happens – feels the exact second when his heart fails him.  Loki feels it when Hank Williams dies.

With a wave of his hand, Loki leaves them a body to mourn and bury – and then he’s getting out of the car.  He presses a soft kiss to Sleipnir’s nose, holding their foreheads together for a beat, and then he’s pulling back – he has work to do.