Welcome to 'Bad Romance - is It Madness?'. I wrote this story during National Novel Writing Month in November 2016. It is also the first full-length fanfiction I have ever written. I have taken heavy influences from many other Loki fanfiction writers. Kudos to especially Alydia Rackham. Marvel owns the Marvel stuff. About the song lyrics: all the credit goes naturally to their owners. I own the typos :) And Diana, my OC.
Dedicated to K, L and N. You know who you are. This story wouldn't have been written without you.
Chapter 1 background music suggestion: Patrick Doyle: Science and Magic
I have a background music playlist on YouTube! Just search ursula albus.
Let us begin!
- Edited 08.09.2018. Also changed rating from 'M' to 'T'. The story deals with some themes of self-harm and suicide but I think these themes are dealt in a way that remains very much 'T'.
Song of the New Beginning
He planted the Tree,
One Beyond Time,
And realm after realm,
He filled it with Magic
He filled it with Life
But the realms they all fell
One after another
Hearts grew cold
Was no more
But He would never abandon,
The lost and the broken,
And beyond the stars and Time,
He still calls them.
And it shall be yours.
A new beginning.
A new heart.
- Variation of an Asgardian Poem, by Unknown
Chapter 1 - Turning points
The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear,
I've seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to your door
- The Beatles: The Long and Winding Road
"How dare you...Do you know who I am?" the tall dark-haired man hissed. He was clearly enraged. Two rather large male nurses were dragging him from the van. He was wearing a straight-jacket and his raven black hair was glued to his face.
"Have you any idea…" he was about continue his rant when the other nurse interrupted him.
"Yes. You told us."
The younger nurse gave a glance at his older colleague.
"The impudence," the tied-up man scoffed and threw his head back to regain some eye-sight. The two men continued escorting him towards a staircase that lead to a large double door. The morning was cold.
"I am…" he said with a raised voice.
The air was so cold one could see his breath.
"Loki of Asgard..." he continued while they marched up the stairs.
The two nurses gave a bored look at each other.
"And I am burdened…" he continued even angrier.
The door was opened to let them in.
"...WITH A GLORIOUS PURPOSE!"
His last words remained echoing in the chilly winter air.
"Darn, I'm late again," the girl muttered and sped up on her bike. She was riding it like her life depended on it. Frost crackled under the tires. The air felt cold on her cheeks.
"Late, late, late..."
Finally she arrived to the courtyard and threw the bike onto the ground.
"And where were you?" the solemn looking man said at the dining table.
"I was at the library," the girl said and sat down.
They were the only people in the rather large house.
"This again?" the girl said and winced at the look of the gravy.
"We should get an au pair."
"Or you should help me," the man said looking tired.
The girl's expression turned to an empathetic one.
"I'm sorry...Did you have a bad day?"
The man nodded.
"There was a new patient`," he said quietly. "A difficult one."
The girl nodded once in an understanding way. The man gazed outside the window, furrowing his brow, his thoughts obviously returning to the person he had mentioned. He took a sip of water and cleared his throat.
"But enough about work. What about you? How was school?"
The girl was silent and didn't answer.
"I'm not going there anymore."
Loki could not believe what had happened. He had expected to be thrown into the dungeons for an indefinite time. But his mother had...Yes, she had intervened, so that did not happen. And now here he was, in a Midgardian asylum for mentally deranged. Odin had made a bargain with the council of humans. Loki was sure he had planned this exile to be as humiliating as possible. There were several closed doors between himself and freedom. But there were actually more than just doors.
Loki walked to the mirror and examined the wounds on his face. Luckily they were not that bad, in fact they were already closing. He was still more than these puny mortals. If only he had his magic...But of course Odin and the humans wouldn't allow it. Not after everything. Thor had wanted to escort him here but Odin didn't trust him. Well, Thor was an oaf.
No one at the asylum knew who he was. They thought he was a madman. A lunatic. He was told this was for his own protection, the anonymity. But he was sure there was no good intention here. This was just a way to show him his place. Beneath everyone. He paced around the room. It was an old building on Midgardian standards. The rooms were lofty, windows stood tall. He gazed out of the window. The glass distorted the image slightly, it looked like it the material had slowly deformed in time, like a flowing liquid.
For a brief moment Loki felt like a trapped animal. But he took a deep breath and calmed himself. He knew there had to be a way out. There always was. It might be a slow way, a way of cunning and patience. And he knew Heimdall's eyes could watch him now any moment, since he could no longer hide himself with his magic. But there had to be a way out.
There always was.
Loki walked in front of the window and looked at the eerie landscape. It was so bland, lacked all life and colour in his eyes. It was death compared to Asgard.
But then, suddenly, another thought crossed his mind. A thought of freedom. He was no longer under any influence of the scepter. He felt...relief, if he was honest with himself. Also, he knew Thanos could not find him here, because his mother had demanded several spells of concealment for his protection.
He sighed. After hearing what his punishment would be, he had been filled with rage. And he had let it out. He had screamed. He had protested. Finally, they had sedated him with something.
There had been no time for contemplation.
Now it seemed, there was time for nothing but it.
Truly, it had all been madness.
Loki took the older woman's hand and shook it. In some other conditions, he might have kissed her hand, but Loki suspected this was not the place for that. Somehow he felt what Midgardians called normalcy was expected, and that didn't include the manners of Asgardian court.
The woman minutely raised her eyebrow and greeted him.
"Good morning, Mr. Laufeyson. Please sit down."
She gestured towards a black leather sofa. Loki sat down. He was wearing a white t-shirt and comfortable trousers to go with it. His pale skin combined with the whiteness of the clothes made him quite a contrast with the sofa. He made a mental note to request black clothes as soon as possible.
"My name is Dr. Allsop"
"Good morning, Doctor", Loki said with a calm voice.
"How are you feeling today?"
"I am fine, Doctor," Loki said neutrally.
He had think of a scheme. But he didn't yet know of all the factors involved. So he knew he had to play along. Just play. And he was the best actor he knew after all.
"You can call me Elaine or Doctor Allsop or just Doctor, whichever way you prefer. We'll be spending some time in each other's company and I'd like you to feel comfortable."
"Thank you, Elaine." Loki said, pronouncing each syllable softly and at the same time leaning back on the sofa. Doctor Allsop was sitting on a sturdy wooden chair that had some padding. Loki assessed his surroundings quickly. There was a fluffy crimson rug and some paintings on the wall. The room had the feeling of good taste.
The doctor cleared her throat softly. She had grey hair, delicate features and a warm glow in her eyes.
"I'll be honest with you, Loki. I am actually under orders to keep an eye on you. I know who you are."
Loki scoffed internally. So much for his anonymity, but he didn't let his face give away any of this feeling away. On the surface he remained calm, serene.
"But I am the only one in this hospital, who knows your true identity, and I'd like to keep it that way."
He straightened himself on the couch.
Could he use this to his advantage?
Could he use her?
"And I want you to know that I do want to help you," Doctor said. He raised his gaze to meet her eyes. His eyes were so emerald, his look so intense.
"Who exactly gave you these orders?"
She didn't immediately answer but looked out of the window instead. She seemed to weigh something in her mind, looking out to the grey distance. The silence felt heavy in the room. Then, she spoke quietly.
"It is someone who cares about you. That is all you need to know."
Loki thought it had to be his mother. And he felt he had had enough of this. So he stood up, slowly and gracefully, and walked to the door, his movements cool and collected. He stopped at the door, his back facing the doctor.
"Why were you honest with me, good doctor, about being a spy?"
There was a moment of silence, but finally she answered.
"It was the only way…if I ever wish you to trust me."
Loki turned so the doctor could see his profile.
"If you cannot help me leave this place, I do not see how you could help me."
Then he exited the room.
Doctor Allsop closed her eyes and sighed.
"You want to be home-schooled? But why now?" Alan Knowles asked his daughter.
"You know very well why," Diana said trying to hold back her emotions. She was determined to remain firm in her decision.
Tears began to glimmer in her eyes.
"But I thought things had…" her father began, with a voice filled with surprise and sadness. Diana cut him off.
"Nothing has changed in two years. Two years that should have never been. You know...Yesterday I just had enough."
Diana was sitting by her desk, her father was in the doorway.
"But you're only fourteen. As your father..." Mr. Knowles began.
But in his voice she could already hear he actually understood her.
"Yes, as my father you can support my decision to study at home. And a very good decision that is."
Her lips were graced with the faintest of smiles.
Mr. Knowles stood there and looked out of the window. He saw greyness, absolutely greyness. Her mind was set.
Loki was studying the borders of his cage. The hospital stood in the middle of a rural landscape and the grounds were mostly bordered by a stone wall. Loki had been told this wall was the border of the magic that restricted him to leave. He hovered his hand close to the cool stones, but without his magic he couldn't feel anything. He didn't risk touching it though.
He thought about how long he would have to remain here and a memory surfaced.
"Loki Odinson" Odin's voice roared majestically.
"Laufeyson," Loki interjected.
Odin was silent for a moment. One could almost see the weight on his shoulders.
"Loki," he began again.
"You are exiled to Midgard for the span of a long human life, 120 of their solar years. You will spend it in an asylum for mentally ill as we have settled with the council presenting Midgard. They have agreed to this, partly because you are still my household. And because it is proven your actions were not entirely of your own making."
"You truly think so?" Loki said and gave his most devious smile.
But inside of him the memory of the scepter's hold on his mind was very vivid still. But he would never acknowledge this to Odin. Never.
Odin walked down the steps to face him.
He looked at him with his one good eye. Then, Odin glanced sideways at Frigga, who was standing not far from them. Loki knew she was crying. He could not look at her.
The All-Father continued in a lower tone.
"If we will find that your heart has changed before that, we will consider if you could serve the rest of your sentence here."
At this point the concept of a Midgardian mental asylum had not yet been fully clear to Loki. But the way he was welcomed on Midgard soon cleared it up for him. Having released his rage, he was straight-jacketed and put into a van with two bulky figures.
But still, all was much better compared to what had happened back when...Loki shuddered at the memory. There were places in his mind that he just didn't want to touch. After all, if the mind didn't try to protect itself...Well, one would go kind of mad.
They cut his hair shorter. He didn't like that. It made him look...younger. Like his former self. He didn't like that at all. His mirror image reminded him now too much of the days when the days were happy and idle and filled with practice of magic and jesting with Thor. But he had to admit, it did make him look ten years younger. And he did get black clothes after requesting them. There were moments when having a silver tongue didn't hurt.
He continued his stroll following the stone wall. Behind small woods, at the edge of the area, there was rather a large two-story house. Still, it had the atmosphere of a cottage. The house had its own yard that was bordered by a picket fence and partly by a smaller stone wall. The mailbox on the fence had the name 'Knowles' on it. Loki had heard this name. This house belonged to the head of the institution. Someone had thrown a Midgardian pedalled vehicle to the pathway leading to the house.
Does the sun ever appear here, Loki wondered. He had now remained in the area for a fortnight and he had not seen the sun once. It was just the grey, dull sky. He was quite bored with it. These puny mortals and their grey planet, he thought to himself.
He turned back to return to the main house and his chambers.
Diana was reading by her desk. Her room was located on the second floor so she had quite a nice view towards the front yard. There were some woods and rolling hills that could be seen in distance. She loved the view. Every now and then she would rest her eyes a bit and look into the distance. She was almost about to return to her book when her eyes darted back to the front yard.
Who was that?
There was someone looking at their mailbox. A tall, lean figure. Diana could discern that he was probably in his twenties or thirties, all dressed in black. He couldn't quite figure out his face from this distance though.
It was not unusual that every now and then patients might walk past their house. Their yard was of course off limits and the patients understood that. Anyone who couldn't understand that wasn't even allowed to have walks on the grounds unsupervised.
The dark tall stranger continued past their house back towards the main house. Diana could see him walking in the distance. She tried to continue reading, but her eyes resisted and lifted to stare at the person's back. The way he walked was somehow different. Like he didn't quite belong to this world. Diana thought this did apply to many of the people who resided there, but still...
The stranger had soon walked into the distance and she returned back to her book.
Thank you so much for reading. Please follow/favorite and review! Edit 08.09.2018 - Please still do - it continues to encourage me so much!