For my cousin Maddie. This story is yours.

A huge thank you to Mr. Tom Hiddleston, the one who brought Loki's character to life, and the only Loki in my book.

And sincerest thanks to A., the friend who sparked the flame of storytelling in me, and helped me shape this story... I shall never forget you.

This is my first full-length fanfiction, and my grand opus to Loki. I cannot wait to hear from you, my dear readers!

Enjoy the ride.

VVV

TRENGSEL

by Hannah Sophia, DarthxErik

CHAPTER ONE

"FOR HIM"

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"I don't think anyone,

until their soul leaves their body,

is past the point of no return."

- Tom Hiddleston

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"I didn't do it for him."

The words had just escaped Loki's graying lips. His body lay calm and motionless in Thor's arms.

Thor trembled, pain shooting up his limbs as he struggled to support his brother's head.

Then the icy hand that lingered about the outside of Thor's arm fell, and landed soundlessly in Loki's lap.

Thor stopped breathing as Loki's pale features turned darker, as ash spread through his brother's veins like poison. Loki's stained complexion only seemed to intensify the bright hue of his eyes...

They shone brilliantly and unmistakably green. Their earnest, mistful gaze shot straight up into Thor's heart. They locked on each others' eyes until the very last possible moment.

Then, with conviction, those emerald eyes shut themselves forever.

And Thor felt Loki's body let go.

The world stopped. And a violent tremor coursed through Thor's entire body.

"NOO!" he bellowed-his face twisting painfully. He slumped forward, choking on tears.

Thunder rumbled high above, the storm of Thor's heart taking on physical form.

Soon an enormous hurricane of ash and dust filled the sky, sweeping across the wasteland of Svartalfheim. Approaching.

Thor did not move at all until he felt Jane's tender hand rest on his shoulder, and even then, he felt no strength in him to stand.

She couldn't understand, Thor thought.

Thor's brother... his little brother, whom he had known for a thousand years... was gone.

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"I didn't do it for him."

Loki's spirit, as in a dream, was all bound up.

"I didn't do it for him..."

The words pulsed through Loki's being...

Then his mind gasped.

He felt warm, all over...

Light.

Loki's mind frowned.

Lightheaded.

He felt dizzy, disoriented... feeling like he'd been spun in a million directions, and was just starting to regain balance, and awareness. He couldn't tell which way was up... or down... every sense distorted.

His eyes were closed, but opening them would hardly make a difference. He sensed nothing but pitch black surrounding him.

He breathed in... deeply.

The sensation filled him.

A strange sense of peace, overwhelming him. He would've been perfectly content if he could remain in this sleep-like state forever...

But then he felt something.

Something tangible.

Something, he realized, that he was holding in his right hand. His fingers curled gently around it.

His mind couldn't quite place it. It was hard like metal... cylinder-shaped... and smooth.

Like a pole, or a spear...

Familiar in his hand.

It was the only thing that felt real in the midst of this present fog.

His being gasped, his fingers tightening around the spear... a sudden panic filling his heart with dread.

He knew suddenly that if he allowed himself to slip... if he let go of the spear... he would be lost forever...

But the abyss around him began to change. Pitch black brightened into a maroon shade.

His eyes opened, staring wide, but everything remained veiled in shadow.

But his feet came to rest on solid ground. It felt hard, like stone beneath his riding boots.

Then he became aware of the rest of his body. He commanded the fingers of his left hand to flex, and they torpidly obeyed. He felt his armor in place, leather coattails dangling at his ankles.

Maroon vision turned red. Then a glowing, golden-brown. He saw everything in large, filtered shapes. The growing light made him squint.

He directed his focus somewhere to his right... hoping that if he squinted long enough, he could make out the object in his right hand.

The weapon began materializing, enough to where he could make out its form. The rest of his vision remained out of focus.

It was, indeed, Odin's spear... Gungnir.

Loki studied it up and down, frowning.

Narrowing his eyes, he noticed that something dark, like rust, covered its tip. Which he had never seen on it before.

Loki drew in a breath through his nostrils... the scent forced him to shut his eyes.

Asgard.

He was in Asgard.

He knew because he could smell the salt of the sea... he could almost hear the gulls crying... and waves crashing from afar. The aroma brought many memories.

He sighed. The smell always seemed most powerful after having been off on a year-long quest, finally returning home...

When he opened his eyes again, his surroundings were no longer veiled in fog.

He stood in the great hall of Asgard. In front of him, he could make out a row of columns, inlaid with weaving, snakelike patterns. Symbols he had memorized since childhood.

As his sight moved ahead, where the entrance to the hall flooded with daylight, Loki realized that a good majority of the columns were not in their rightful place.

They lay in ruins.

He could still hear the way his prison ceiling crumbled. How Asgard's foundations quaked, presumably at the very moment the Dark Elves flew one of their ugly ships into the great hall. That was the day he had lost his mother. Just hours ago.

Loki felt his heart catch in his throat, fresh pain filling him...

But it occurred to Loki that the pain wasn't the crippling... not like the pain he had experienced on Svartalfheim. A gaping, bleeding hole through his chest that paralyzed him with agony...

Loki no longer felt that pain.

If he really was dead, he reasoned... he might be experiencing a vision of some kind. That would surely explain what he was seeing. While passing through death, people were known to see all sorts of impossible things.

Perhaps he was being granted one last, momentary glimpse into the life he had.

Loki carefully surveyed the throne room now that his vision was nearly clear. The last time he had been in the great hall was when he was brought before Odin. That was also the last time he had seen his mother... that is, not through an illusion.

Past the steps below him, Loki stared upon the spot where he had stood in chains, nearly a year ago. Illustrious triangles were carved into the floor, their forms weaving together into the symbol of the Three-in-One. It was widely regarded as the royal seal of Odin. Yet it also held some kind of ancient mystery... Having to do with the origins of the universe.

Yet another symbol Loki had memorized from youth.

The throne, now laying in ruin, was situated just behind Loki. He turned over his left shoulder, still holding Gungnir in his right hand.

As he rotated, his left boot bumped something on the floor, behind him.

Loki halted, looking down.

There lay a man on his side, facing away from Loki. He wore the best quality of Asgardian armor, and on the shoulders he wore broad, golden plates. Round discs adorned his collar, from which hung a crimson cape, obscuring the rest of his form.

Loki's limbs froze as he noted the man's silvery hair, falling past his shoulders in braided waves. His eyes widened.

It was Odin.

Loki withdrew half a step, instinctively.

CLANG!

Odin's spear met the ground, the sound of the impact ringing through the stone hall. But Loki didn't glance down.

Loki's eyebrows twitched together.

This sight felt familiar.

Is this the Odinsleep?

Loki stood, absolutely alone in the throne room, above Asgard's king... who lay at his feet... Asgard's king who didn't even appear to be breathing.

Reality slapped Loki in the face.

He got to his knees, falling next to Odin, hands twitching, uncertain of what to do, but certain that he had to do something.

Overcoming his hesitation, Loki reached out. He took a hold of Odin's shoulders.

He grimaced as he pulled, turning him over to face the ceiling.

The All-Father's face was one he recognized immediately. It filled his earliest memories.

A golden eyepatch covered the All-Father's blind eye. His soft, white beard contrasted with the hard lines in his forehead, giving him an ever-present look of sternness. Yet, Loki recalled catching glimpses of genuine affection in that old, blue eye of his... hardly ever directed at him.

Loki watched Odin's mouth, looking for signs of breath. But every muscle in Odin's face stayed absolutely still.

Loki licked his lips, eyebrows drawing upward.

"Odin," he whispered carefully.

He waited. The silence dragged on.

He reached out with his right hand.

It shrunk back, hesitating several times before it finally landed upon Odin's weathered hand. He tried again:

"Father."

Odin's skin felt warm underneath Loki's palm. But then again, Loki's hands would always be considerably colder, by comparison.

Loki glanced at Odin's chest. It didn't rise, or fall, as it should.

Gripping Odin's hand tightly, he shook it.

"Wake up," Loki urged, "Wake up, Father..."

It drew no response.

Loki tore away, kneeling backward, on his heels. His palms trembled, filling with sweat.

He glanced off, to one side... eyes watering, unseeing.

This is a deep sleep, indeed.

Loki's pinched the bridge of his nose with his fingers, to clear the fog. When he pulled his hand away, he saw blood.

Blood.

It ran down, along his fingertips.

He stared blankly at the disturbing sight.

Before he could think too much on it, he wiped his hand briskly on the side of his pants.

Quickly adjusting his kneeling position, he leaned forward and began to inspect his father's body closely, looking for a wound...

There it was. Like the blood shining in his hand, a red liquid coat on Odin's breastplate.

Then he saw a deep hole at the center of Odin's chest. Fresh blood still oozed from it.

Loki's vision blackened in and out.

A thousand scenarios filled his mind.

This could be a vision, he thought. Before entering Valhalla's gates, people saw things... Yet he knew whatever test this was, it was still vital to pass through it.

But he had no time for speculation. He had to work fast, if he wanted to save Odin.

Loki thrust both hands forward, palms facing down. They hovered just above Odin's chest. He waved them horizontally, in slow circles, assessing what wasn't immediately visible.

He shut his eyes. Focusing deeply, he tried sensing Odin's lifeforce. There was a good possibility that Odin's tendrils of magic were already at work, healing his body from the inside out.

It was like knocking on a dozen bolted doors... and Loki alone held the key. He navigated his mind through each unseen dimension, mind searching for traces of magic.

Seconds passed... Loki felt the time crawl.

His heart began to sink. No golden strings, no tendrils of magic appeared in his mind's eye.

Odin's life force was undetectable, or vanished.

Loki sighed harshly, wiping sweat and blood on his pants again.

His mind raced. If Odin's tendrils were no longer present... it would be pointless for him to use his own magic strings to tie him up. Even if he could conjure up a healing stone, it wouldn't help his father in the state that he was in.

At this point, most healers would've declared their king dead.

But Loki knew he hadn't tried one thing yet.

He placed his right palm on Odin's chest; his left on his father's forehead. Leaning all of his weight into his arms, Loki pressed with his magic.

A flaring green light emanated from Loki's palms, blasting life-force directly into Odin's body.

Loki pumped his own magic into Odin's veins. He had already saved several Aesir in the past using this powerful healing method. But it always demanded a heavy price. It had the dangers of draining Loki of all his magic, to the point of death, if he stayed connected for too long.

But if Loki could hang on... just long enough... Odin's magic might be able kick in, and he wouldn't have to risk death. And Loki had nothing to lose if he was already dead.

His eyes screwed shut and his head lowered, Loki's body bent over Odin's. Green light continued to blaze. He grunted, exhausted, as he continued to drain his power...

"Gah—!" he gasped, breaking from the spell with a jolting force.

His heart pound violently, and his hands were numb.

Odin's body sizzled with energy, but his eye still remained shut.

And Loki was spent. His eyes stung sharply, on the verge of tears. He, on the verge of collapse. His hands curled in his lap, surrendering open. He stared at the ceiling, lost, forcing himself to breathe.

But he was ready to try again.

With a quick inhalation, Loki readied himself. This time he placed both his hands on Odin's heart.

Green light blinded him. He ducked his head, pushing as hard as he could, pulsing as much magic as he could conjure. It shot through his arms like bolts of lightning, straight into Odin's chest. Green lifeforce left Loki in waves, each one depleting his strength faster than before.

Loki's lowered head shook back and forth... a sob breaking past his throat.

"Please— you must wake up!"

But Loki's hands burned too hot, and the magic thrummed too loud in his head.

His spell burst with a loud crack, ending itself.

The force of the blast threw Loki off his knees.

He landed on the floor, knocked nearly unconscious... arms sprawled to one side.

His eyelashes fluttered open. Broken pillars spun above him, coming in and out of focus.

"I could have done it, Father! I could have done it..."

Loki glanced sideways. Odin's spear lay directly across from him... its golden surface polished brilliantly, all the way up to the blade. But at its tip, where Loki had seen rust... he now saw clearly as a fresh coat of blood.

His stomach lurched.

Regaining an ounce of strength, he sat up to a kneeling position, and reached for the spear.

He swallowed, holding Gungnir with both hands close to his face.

The blood on his left hand had matched the blood on Odin's breastplate. And now there was blood on the spear, the one in his hand...

Various explanations slammed into Loki's mind. But only one of them grew and grew until it consumed his mind with certainty and dread.

Loki shook his head once, mouthing a word of denial.

But how could he have done it... if he couldn't remember doing it?

Words he did not wish to conjure up, echoed through his mind:

"All I ever wanted was you and Odin... dead at my feet!"

"No," he uttered, as a single tear escaped his eye, rolling down his cheek.

That next instant, Loki heard voices echoing.

Footsteps.

Turning up sharply, he glared in the direction of the sound's source. His senses sharpened, heart pounding wildly.

His left hand pushed off the ground. His right arm trembled, taking hold of the spear for support. He could hardly stand, much less run.

Several men approached from beyond the pillars, behind. He had less than ten seconds.

Mind racing, he knew what this scene looked like.

Asgard's traitor, broken out of prison... who by all accounts should've been dead, in saving Thor on Svartalfheim... now stood over the kin'gs body, red-handed with Odin's blood, holding the lethal weapon.

The weapon that his hand held, before he had even awakened.

Why couldn't he remember?

If only he could make it all disappear...

Swallowing hard, Loki forced himself to take even breaths.

He could hear the guards twelve paces away. Loki knew he had made his presence known. They were surely hoping to speak to Odin.

Turning to his bloodied hands, he knew whose hands Gunghir belonged to. And they were not his hands.

He knew what to do.

His mind flipped a switch, and soon a green flash ran from his fingertips up his arm, transforming Loki's hand to that of Odin's. The spell spread through the rest of Loki's body, and in a matter of seconds, Loki appeared like Odin.

Then, with the sharp twist of his left hand, the real Odin disappeared from the floor.

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To be continued!
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