In Asgard, soul mates were revered. Not common in recent days, but still known.
Loki was so proud when he told his father he had a soul mate. He saw his father's widened eyes, and heard mother cry of delight.
Loki had rubbed his finger gingerly over the mark on the small of his wrist, and smiled at the memories of his first ever Soul Dream.
Loki never would have even dreamed of such a blessing.
He knew his mate, wherever they were, no doubt was amazing in every way.
His mother had tears in her eyes as she hugged him tightly. Thor clapped him on the back, though his eyes were distant.
Loki inwardly smirked, for once he had something Thor did not.
Odin watched with wary eyes.
"Are you sure?"
Loki bristled. To fake a soul mate was the biggest taboo.
"Of course I am" he snapped.
However, even as he said that, doubt worked its way into his heart. What if it was a joke? A cruel trick? What if he was mistaken? By the Nines let it not be so.
Loki desperately hoped that out in the universe, someone made just for him was waiting. Someone who would love him and he in turn could love.
He brushed the raised skin on his wrist once more. It was a interesting design, a a triangle, with a circle and a line through it. Around that, intricate swirls and runes branched out. He had recognized some on sight, and the others he researched.
The triangular symbol he found no reference to, but the runes were of Loki. They spoke of him, in his truest way. Loki smiled at his wrist, in the safety of his rooms. His mate had marked him, and his mate had been marked by Loki.
Loki worried his mate may hate him. But, he supposed if such a thing happened, he would simply win them over. If they wished to not pursue a romantic relationship, he would be the best companion.
That first year, he enjoyed the occasional vision, which gave entrance into the world from his mate's eyes. He knew they were only a child now, but Loki was young himself. A child in Asgardian standards. He would wait eons for them anyway.
Then, the visions changed.
A green light and scream.
And then, Loki knew what helplessness felt like.
He ran to mother's rooms and the woman was up and cradling him in an instant.
He stuttered out the details, begging to find them, help them, please. His mate was hitting hismatewasindanger
Odin was there, imposing and wary eyed.
Even as Loki screamed and begged he held firm.
Frigga glared openly at her husband and swept her and her son away.
They sent tracking spells, enchantments of all sorts. Even Heimdall could not find them, with the little they knew.
So Loki suffered.
It only worsened.
When the dreams came, so did the dread.
He didn't want to see this.
He didn't want to see his precious mate suffer.
Yet he did and dutifully recorded it, and searched
Five years drew to a close, and Loki woke up in a cold sweat, dried tears on his cheeks.
The room shook and trembled. Windows broke and Loki screamed.
The utter horror and darkness Thor saw in his brother that night brought a spark of fear. Not much for himself, but for what would happen should Loki's mate die.
Thor knew only vague details of what his brother saw that night. It was enough for him to pull his brother into a rare hug, and squeeze him tight. He felt the harder he hugged, the more of Loki's pain would be squeezed out.
It would seem his hugs were not as magical as they had been when they were children.
The dreams only got even more terrible and Loki still did not know even the realm his mate resided in.
He became thin, and eyes dark with pain and grief. His pranks grew increasingly more cruel. Odin sat on his throne and watched with eyes of a resigned man.
Frigga stood by her son's side and forced him to sleep.
She reviewed all the dreams, several times a year, searching for the girl who would be family.
She cast her most powerful magic, and when Loki shook with grief after a new vision, she held him and sang a song from long ago.
Loki slowly got better, but that darkness lingered. Eleven years later he was as young as ever, and had rejoined the hunts with his brother, even as he tore apart his room when his mate screamed in pain.
He pretended to be fine, and not notice Odin drawing away from him and focusing on Thor. He pretended his brother wasn't a complete idiot no doubt going to doom all of Asgard. He pretended he didn't hate the names they gave him, or hear the whispers of how pathetic he was. Loki pretended he belonged there, even as he knew his only home may be with his mate who would likely die before Loki even knew their name.
Loki was truly of many faces. He perfected and refined his masks, and became the Liesmith.
Loki met Hel, a girl not unlike him, and helped her escape.
He was unmoving as his lips were sewn shut, his mother furious and fighting, brother not looking at him, and Odin staring at him with empty eyes.
It would be fifteen years since he found a mark on his wrist, and a rope on his soul.
Loki stared at blue fingers and wondered how he had ever believed anyone could love him. What being could love a monster?
As he fell he hoped his mate felt nothing, yet at the same time hoped they did.
He screamed and begged when that monster made to burn his soul mark. He pleaded desperately. He offered the world, the people anything but that please. Pleasepleasepleadpleasepleaseplaseasepleasepleaseplease don't take that from him too.
He felt empty, staring at a scarred wrist. He could still see the mark, but it was defiled now. It was ruined and his mate had definitely felt it. His precious mate who had enough scars if his visions have any ideas, now had a scar on the one thing connecting him to Loki. And it was Loki's fault. He did this.
It was all his fault.
A dark chuckle that made his body flinch and tremble with fear.
'You're ready Odinson'
A eerie blue light descended.
Loki closed his eyes, and stopped fighting.
No one could love a monster like him.
He would make sure of it.
The time after that was a distant blur, he was doing things, he knew. He simply didn't care.
The dreams filtered through. Terrible as usual. A man with a face of a snake. A scream. A large figure grunting behind his mate as they cried. Loki wished once, what must have been centuries ago to see their face.
Now he wanted to see anything but.
How could he look them in they eye?
Then he was awake and he hated it.
He was trapped and alone and Odin the bastard!
He seethed and hated even as his mother watched him, a sad smile in place.
"Loki, how's your mate?"
He yelled at her. Spat insult after insult.
Frigga sat straight and confident. She listened and nodded.
"I haven't stopped looking for her. I haven't given up. Yet, you have. "
She hoped her son's redemption came in the form of a matching mark on a left wrist.
Frigga died, and smiled as she did. She could not protect one sons love, she would simply protect the others. Loki would be fine, she knew. Thor was no longer a child playing at prince. She died sad that she never met Loki's mate. Yet, she died happy for dying for your family is the most honorable way to go.
He broke and nothing could possibly put him back together.
Except he didn't.
He was in realm chosen by random, laying on a field. He stared at the stars, and wondered why he even lived.
Raising his wrist to the sky he examined it.
He ran a thumb over it, now married with scars.
He let his hands drop. Soon, his eyes became heavy and he slipped to another place.
It was dark, and delightfully so.
Then a soft light, not too bright, came.
He couldn't see much, but it wrapped around him like a warm blanket and Loki let himself be taken away.
It was a pleasant dream, with a hummed lullaby. It wasn't mother this time though...
Loki looked at the light. Informed a bit more and a figure lay next to him. It was small, and fuzzy around the edges. The eyes seemed closed but, where an arm would be, was a mark, dark black against the light.
Loki let a trembling finger trace it.
The light figure smiled, eyes still firmly shut.
"please don't cry anymore" they whispered.
Loki shot up, heart pounding. He was shaking, and dried tears were on his cheeks.
That had to be...It had too....After all this time...
Loki lay back down and stared at the starry sky once again.
Then he rose, and began to walk.
An accent, a British English accent.
His mate was on Midgard.
Loki smiled, a bit dangerously.
No one could love a monster like him, but he didn't quite care. He would rip anyone who had harmed his mate apart.
Monsters don't deserve love. But Loki knew a Monster could do something a hero couldn't. A monster could rip apart those that threatened it. A Monster could protect their mate.
Loki wondered if Odin was laughing. He didn't doubt he had known all along.
Loki quickened his pace.
His mate was awaiting him.