a/n: This story was originally written when Thor hit theaters in 2011 and was riddled with plot holes and errors. It is the first Lokane fic I ever wrote, and now I have decided to clean it up. Thank you to all the readers who have trafficked it. Title comes from Mumford & Sons.
(This story has been edited for minor plot fixes and errors.)
'awake my soul'
"How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes,
I struggle to find any truth in your lies.
And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know;
my weakness I feel I must finally show"
The ground under his head is hard and covered in a thin layer of dirt. His body feels heavy, as burdensome as Thor's hammer felt upon his chest. He is not his brother; he had always been lean, he should have seen earlier that he could have never been the son of Odin. Still, his anger at both his pseudo father and foster brother is quashed by the unbearable pain of knowing that he would never belong anywhere or mean any thing to anyone.
He opens his eyes, knowing what he'll see when he lifts his head. Earth had always seemed such a futile planet to him. Humans were so obviously weak it seemed an insult to humor them by putting up the facade of being a benevolent deity. They did not deserve the gracious way the All Father had always saved them. They were greedy and selfish, allowing the thoughts of old gods to fade to almost nothing more than children's stories. Yet, Thor had protected their race with such fury it had nearly destroyed him.
Perhaps there was something more to be found on this planet.
His head is throbbing, part of the human body he seems to be left in. He waves his fingers and watches as a flower grows next to him. Odd, Thor's powers had been stripped from him when he was thrown from Asgard, but Odin had not removed his own, only weakened them greatly. Odin had always thought too much of the enemy, he muses, as he stands and surveys his location.
It was a desolate land scape, no trees sprouted, only dirt every where. He is positive this is where Thor stayed, he remembers it from his previous journey. He wonders why he should land here too, was it just the cosmic dump of all alien life forms? Loki doesn't believe in fate, he finds that he rarely has anything to believe in. The one man he ever believed in had only been lying to him and planning to use him as a bargaining chip and not as the powerful son he is.
The thought still burns hate into his heart. He uses his hate to fuel him, to push him, but sometimes, he finds that being full of hate is not near as satisfying as being full of the love he once felt as a child. Those moments flit through his mind, but it wasn't true.
He decides as he walks towards civilization to figure out the next phase in his existence.
She searches for him, day and night, and sleep seems to mean little to nothing to her anymore. He had promised, he promised, she chants over and over in her head.
Erik tends to look at her sadly, but he knows not to stop her; she believes in him as a child does in fairy tales. So he follows her, to dead ends and hopeless theories. She never gives up though - she won't, because goddamn it, he promised.
She remembers what he looks like, sometimes only barely, but other times the image is so powerful it causes her chest to ache in a familiar way. She had been taken with him the moment she met him, his eyes sparkled like the sea where she had once gone on a vacation - a sea in this place only surrounded by desert.
His accent and way of speaking were burned into her memory, along with the kind way he had once thanked her. His strong hands and his blond hair - all of it haunts every move she makes. It keeps her looking, keeps her hoping - even in the darkest of her nights.
She works late most nights, watching the skies for a familiar light that means he's coming back. Or maybe that he hasn't forgotten about her. She spends time researching worm holes and solar phenomenons trying to find an answer to all the questions she has, all the questions only he can answer.
Sometimes she feels desperate, like he's never going to return. She's a mere human, but he is basically a god, and while he may be everything to her, she has nothing to offer him. Thor can control thunder and lightning, but Jane only knows what the books tell her; sometimes she thinks she'd be better off not knowing magic is real.
She must have read the book of the tales of Norse mythology a hundred times. She feels like she knows his world, but in reality she can never know that world. It is not hers, and she is and forever will be an outsider to it. She throws the book down in anger and lets the emptiness of the sky wash over her, giving up for the night.
He hates this planet, it doesn't suit him - it's too fragile and pointless.
However, until his strength can rebuild he's stuck here. He's learned the place he had the misfortune to land is called "New Mexico" and is full of dirt and heat and not much else, it is very much opposite to Asgard, which had been a place of life and green. He had never belonged there either, so it seemed a bitter irony that Earth didn't hold much for him either.
His footsteps lead him to a tiny town, it becomes very blatant that these people have no idea who he is and what he is capable of. He likes it this way, they don't cringe as he walks by, they don't compare him to Thor. He lives in anonymity, adopting human fashions instead of his green cloak. It is too easy to pretend to be a human, so much so that it bores him, but his magic is weak on this planet and it feels like leaving it shall never come to pass. He steals money by magic at the restaurants he goes to and stores he shops at.
It's all very easy. He misses being challenged.
Loki has been on Earth for a month and every day feels more and more like hell, but he doesn't really mind that. He's dealt with worse; Loki is patient, another thing that separates him from his brother. Thor had never liked waiting, even as a child. He had always had to do everything first. Loki, however, often allowed this. He didn't mind waiting, because Thor became bored easily and left Loki the things he had craved and then tired of. Good things came to those who waited, he knows this and so he waits.
He walks around the small town, getting to know more and more about it with each passing day. He stumbles upon the lab one day, he finds it surprising he's never noticed it before. He knows what it is the moment he sees the bulletin board which holds many things including a drawing of the universe and it's nine realms. He also knows whose it is and thinks he understands how he's going to get home.
She is working alone, which isn't abnormal for her. She's been alone most of her life, her love for the galaxy out weighing her desire to be near people. She glances up during one of her reading sessions and swears she sees a head of dark hair disappear from around the building edge. She stands to abruptly and feels her mind go woozy, causing her to stumble and eventually collide with the ground.
"Are you okay, madam?" A soft voice asks from the glass doors. It's a gentle and concerned sound, she looks up and sees him for the first time. He is lean and tall, his hair is black and falling loosely in his eyes. She thinks he's beautiful in a god-like way.
This synapsis causes her to gasp, because she knows his face. She's seen it a hundred times in that book Erik gave her so long it feels like forever ago. Sure his hair is hanging loosely, and he's in jeans and not wearing a helmet, but she knows that face.
Her breath catches in her throat - this is her connection to the man she misses with all her heart. His brother is looking at her with concern and she looks back at him with hope.
She breathes his name in a curious tone, he knew that she would know his identity, how could she not? He was infamous in folklore, but her eyes held no animosity, only hope. This fragile human did not fear him, despite what she knew of him. How very curious she was.
"How very astute of you, Ms. Foster." He speaks cordially, pulling her to her feet and brushing his hair from his face.
"How are you here?" She blurts, her hope for the Bifrost too much to keep her tongue from slipping up.
He chuckles, an odd sound coming from his lips, and it's then he realizes that he can't remember the last time he laughed.
"I fell to Earth from Asgard when my brother destroyed the Bifrost." He speaks the truth to her and watches as her face falls.
He knows she's waiting on Thor, he also knows that she thinks he can lead her back to the god of thunder. She would never be accepted in Asgard, she is not immortal. The people would never accept her, just as they had never accepted him.
"I- I don't understand." Her voice sounds raw to him, a pain he senses to be familiar radiating from her. He doesn't expect her to understand, because she is a human, after all, and they are so often blind to every thing around them.
"He can never leave Asgard again." Honesty spills from his lips once more. "Only I know the other pathway between worlds, but I am far too weak to travel home." She looks like he's slapped her, but he can't quite bring it within himself to feel guilty, because for once he had told the whole truth.
"No, he promised me. He promised me." She speaks with a fervor in her voice that he's never heard from a human. Her determination touches him a little, he knows what it feels like to love Thor with such reverence. For him, though, that reverence has long since died.
"He is a god, Ms. Foster, it's better that you accept that you will never belong in his world just as I never did." His voice wavers at the end of his statement, but he simply turns from her to leave.
She watches him turn away as the tears begin to sting her eyes with the truth in his words. She knows that he's right, she's known it all along but that does nothing to lessen the pain that crashes over her like a furious tide.
She contemplates his sentence, 'You will never belong in his world just as I never did.' How could this be true of Thor's brother? She had too many questions to allow him to leave now.
"Wait!" She says, desperation taking over her voice. He stops, his body rigid, before he turns to look at her again. It sends chills up her spine, because it's almost as if he can see right through her.
"You say only you know the way to Asgard, but are too weak to return? What if I help you regain your strength in exchange of your knowledge of exploration between worlds?" She asks hastily, praying to whatever god exists that he'll agree to this. She knows that he is right, but that can't keep her from finding him. She loves Thor, so quitting isn't an option.
She watches him calculate his response as he studies her. He is much different than his brother, in physical appearance but also the way he looks at her. He seems to be logically sizing up his choices, whereas his brother would have just dove into the challenge. He seems calculating and almost cautious. She understands a little more why he didn't feel at home around his brother.
"I accept your offer, Ms. Foster." He says after a moment, looking at her with interest blazing in his eyes. She smiles a little at him, putting her guard down a little.
She knows this is unwise, she knows what he did to Thor, but he's her only hope, so she pushes her reservations back.
"It's Jane." She says comfortably, and he nods in acknowledgement.
"Where should I sleep then, Jane?" He asks, and she busies herself with getting him settled in, hoping this is a good idea.
The human woman is interesting, he thinks as he watches her busy herself with his sleeping chambers. She knows that he almost killed his brother, yet she still allows him house room? Either she's idiotic or determined, perhaps a combination of both. He chose to stay with her for several reasons; the first being a free place to stay, the second being a safe place to practice and rebuild his magic, and the third reason stems from curiosity for the woman who had changed his brother. Of course, getting back to Asgard and gaining revenge were other motivators but mostly he wished to know what was so special about this one frail human.
"Okay, I know it's not much but it's not forever." She says embarrassedly, but he simply shrugs, he's slept in worse places. She steps back from him, something is clearly on her mind as she turns to look at him.
"I know what you did to your brother. I also know that he still loved you, so there must be good in you. I don't trust you, but can understand some of your actions. Just... just know that I'm willing to be your friend." She says shakily as if it has taken her every ounce of courage to tell him this. He feels shock more than anything.
He's never had a friend before, all the others had liked Thor much more. He is used to being alone. In a depressing moment he ponders that he doesn't even know how to begin being a friend to anyone. His life feels meaningless again.
"I understand, Jane. I am also willing to try the path of friendship with you." He says smoothly, his faux-confidence easy to make her believe him. He feels guilty that he's using her, but as she picks up her book of fairytales he realizes that she's using him too.
Erik leaves her within the next week, saying he has urgent news from his colleague and needs to return home. She hadn't told him about the deity currently sleeping in her guest bedroom because she felt like Erik wouldn't approve of having the alleged god of lies and mischief in the next room over. Mostly she's relieved when he goes because it means she has more time to focus on Loki and the paths that will lead her back to Thor.
Sometimes she finds herself watching this strange being - he doesn't ever speak much, he's always watching. He can watch animals outside for hours and never move. She thinks that he must have been a quiet child. She can't help but compare him to the man she spends most of her time thinking of. She pities him if that's how he spent his whole life- never being able to measure up to his father or brother's names.
He's beautiful in his own ways though, his quiet attitude is comforting to her, like a familiar song. He listens to her theories and he offers input that Darcy never did when she had been her intern months ago. She appreciates his honesty, occasionally she feels herself being pulled in by him and has to remind herself that Thor is still out there.
That's hard to do when it seems like he's given up on her. She feels guilty at night, when she's left alone to her thoughts. She has put all her trust into Loki, but she has been neglecting getting him back to Asgard because she wants to know more about his world and himself. When Loki's around she doesn't feel quite so alone.
She shakes her head and pulls the covers up to her chin wishing Thor was still here and things could be easier.
He's spent nearly four months with her, little by little he's becoming as powerful as he was on Asgard. What would have taken days to heal on his home planet takes months on this useless world. He doesn't mind waiting, Jane has proven good company to him. He finds her fascinating; she's brilliant and yet so innocent.
What could such a logical girl have seen in his brother? Thor was never one for logic or learning, he preferred action and gut feelings. He hates the thought of becoming attached to her, as she's desperately in love with his brother. Even so, she is his first true friend, so he eases his conscious by telling himself it's natural to feel connected to her.
He sees her reading that damned book again, as if it will tell her everything she needs to know. Humans were so predictable to him, but he knows she wants to understand the universe and respects her thirst for knowledge greatly. He sits next to her and waits until she glances up at him.
"Do you miss your father?" She asks gently, pure curiosity lacing her tone. For some reason her soft gaze feels like a hole punched in his heart. He sighs a little, glancing at the book once more.
"Odin is not my biological father." He breathes, he's trying not to look at the shock that lines her face. "He took me when I was a baby from the frost giants. I was to be a bargaining chip for peace between worlds - I was never enough, not a son to be proud of." He spits the last part of the sentence and she feels her heart contract. He's bitter and angry because he's alone, he suddenly makes more sense to her.
He doesn't understand exactly why he tells her about his father, but he feels like she deserves to know why he is here. Why he hurt Thor. However, he hates being vulnerable, he hates being exposed. He has always been independent, because he knows first hand how easy it is to manipulate the vulnerable.
She lays a small hand on his arm and he feels electricity shoot up his spine, he stands quickly. He has to leave this place, but she's looking at him with hurt and he walks away with a pang in his chest because he always seems to hurt people.
"I think you're enough." She whispers just before he turns the corner to his room. He freezes in place because her words pierce his heart like ice and he wonders what this relationship even is anymore.
She's not really sure what compelled her to speak so candidly, but she can't take it back now. She watches him freeze, her heart stops beating for what feels like an infinite moment. She can hear the blood pound in her ears like waves upon a weathered rock at sea.
All she knows is that after four months in his presence he has finally open up to her. He just spoke more words than she's ever heard come from him, somehow that touches her to her core. She simply stares as he stands rigid in the same place.
Jane's started noticing things about him, and once she starts she just can't seem to stop. His green eyes contrast greatly from Thor's blue, they remind her of trees and cool spring air, like an oasis in the dry heat of the summer. He has delicate, milky hands with long fingers. His muscle tone is light but still very noticeable; he speaks in short sentences, but his voice is always gentle.
The thing that scares her most is that the more she notices about Loki, the more she forgets about Thor. It scares her even more that she doesn't even care that much, because even though he's called the god of mischief, he's kind of wormed his way into her heart and she can't see herself letting go of him any time soon.
She feels like a silly girl on a soap opera who can't chose between the bad boy brother and the good brother. The lines between Thor and Loki blur for her, however, because Loki has only been kind to her, but Thor broke his promise.
She allows her gaze to drop from his back to her hands. She hates this emotional warfare that is constantly raging within her chest; guilt and danger blend and sometimes she doesn't even know who she is anymore.
"You don't know me, Jane. I've done terrible things; you have no idea what I am capable of." His words are laced with a trace of menace, and she feels like he's knocked the wind out of her. He continues from the room, but she feels no relief at his absence.
If anything, she misses him more.
The people of Asgard had always called him the liar, the mischievous one, and perhaps these were accurate descriptions of him, but more than anything he felt like the truth only belonged to those who deserve it. Jane deserves this from him, so as the words fall from his lips like poison and he feels his heart crack slightly. He briefly wonders how much it will take for the wretched organ to shatter all together.
When he awakes the next morning he finds her sitting out in the morning sun. She has a soft glow to her that he's never taken the time to notice before. He's always been pale - his icy skin never particularly felt warm to him. He's not the god of sun, after all, so there's no need for him to wield warmth. The only time he feels warm is when he channels magic, but it's also the only time he ever truly feels alive.
"I miss flowers." Her voice breaks his train of though like it's glass and she's hurled a stone at him.
She's looking out at the dusty ground, but he knows that she's speaking to him. Her eyes hold a far away wistfulness that he's seen in her before, especially when she gazes at the stars.
"Lilies are my favorites. They are so simple and beautiful." She continues, he supposes she takes his silences as curiosity. He feels his palms tingle and thinks that if nothing else he can do something nice for her today after how he behaved the previous night.
He walks towards her carefully, his steps nearly silent as he crosses the steps to where she sits in the sun covered ground. With out a word he bends and touches the soil, he closes his eyes and focuses on that single piece of soil. Her gasp is enough for him to know that he's succeeded in his task. He opens his eyes to see three lilies blossoming at the spot where his hand had rested a moment before.
Her next move confuses him, he hasn't often had contact with another being, especially not a woman. Her fingers rest over his hand and he feels the warming sensation run down his spine. He doesn't shy away from her touch, it feels wonderful after so long of no intimacy with anyone else. He watches her fingers wrap around his and glances up to see her smile at him.
"This is beautiful. Thank you, Loki." She sighs to him, not letting go of his hand.
For once, Loki son of Laufey feels nothing but warmth.
He's back to full strength once more, but she can't face it within herself to tell him goodbye. She understands why she doesn't want him to leave now. She loves him, with more passion than she ever had regarded his brother. He's been such a constant fixture in her life, it only made sense that she would have to depend on him. He, too, is essentially a god and can't stay with her forever, he has other things he needs to do.
"I'm leaving tonight."
She turns quickly at the sound of his quiet tone. He looks torn, but she doesn't have the courage to ask him what's wrong.
"I'll miss you." She feels like her whole world is going to come crashing down around her. She voices the truth to him, not particularly in hope that it will make him stay, but more that it will make leaving harder for him.
His green eyes soften as he looks at her, and he takes a step forward, extending a cautious hand to feel her warm face. She loves the feel of his cool skin against her fiery cheeks, she revels in the intimacy of their touch. He sighs softly, even his breath is chilly, but she doesn't particularly care. She's found there's not much that she cares about anymore.
"I'll tell Thor how to find you." He says gently, pulling away from her, his face trying to mask the hurt she knows he must be feeling at the thought of Thor coming back into her life.
He wants to give her what he thinks she deserves.
"You said I would never belong in that world." She states calmly. There is no pain in her chest anymore when she admits this because she no longer desires to be part of that world. She only wishes to be part of Loki's, wherever he may go.
"Yes, I did. But if," He pauses for the moment, trying to collect his thoughts into a coherent statement, "If you love him, then you'll want to at least have the chance." His voice sounds weary, much older than his body reveals. He takes her small hand in his own and smiles softly to her, "I understand why my brother changed for you. You've changed me too."
His admission doesn't come easy, she's sure of it. However, the words seemed to infect her heart and swell her heart. Her whole life, all she has wanted was to make a difference to somebody. It was why she has devoted her entire life to the universe and understanding what made her life unique. She understands all of it as she glances into his dark eyes, his black hair framing his face.
She brushes a strand back, her heart thudding loudly within her ribcage.
"You've changed me too."
Her words are simple, as is the kiss she proceeds to place upon his lips. She knows the second their lips meet that she never wants to kiss anyone else ever again. He is nothing like his brother whose passion felt as if his lips were on fire, but rather gentle like the rest of him.
This, she thinks, is much better than anything Thor could have given her.
Her lips feel like sunshine against his chilly mouth, but he's so far lost in her hair and scent and body that he doesn't even care to stop. As pathetic as it was, she is the first kiss to ever ghost across his lips, and he hopes she will forever be his last. She truly shifted him, to his very core, to the deepest parts of him. Above all else she's given him a place to belong.
Leaving her for Asgard seems like a worthless choice, why go back to where he's never felt at home? She is his home now, which he supposes he should have known all along. He leans into her hair to smell the scent that will forever be burned into his mind. She smells like sun and apples, it has become his favorite smell in the entire world.
"You are the most beautiful creature I've ever seen." He speaks from his heart, which is not something he's accustomed to doing. It's like he can't stop himself from speaking so openly with her. She's so different than anything he has ever known, because she just as much an outsider as he is.
"Please, please stay." Her voice is small and there are tears in her eyes as she looks up to him, a pleading hope stretched across her face. He looks back down at her and thinks that maybe this could be his life - just living with Jane, loving her forever.
But he is a more than this and so extraordinarily not human. He knows it is not his place to stay on Earth and play house with her. They were both destined for more than that goal and it is not his place to stop it. He steps back from her, knowing that it'll probably devastate her when he tells her this.
"I know that you can't, but I needed to ask." She says, and she seems stronger than she had been before.
He knows that she can handle his leaving, but he also realizes that he can't handle staying away from her forever.
"I am coming back. I know how to find you," Her face holds a gaze of concern at his words. "I am not my brother, when I make promises I always keep them." He speaks adamantly and she nods to him as a sign of understanding that this time she wouldn't be left to just wait forever.
She trusts him, despite all the books and histories in this world, because she knows him now.
He lets go of her and begins to move his hands, feeling magic spark between his palms. He looks back at her once before he closes his eyes, knowing that he's going to disappear within the moment.
The last thing he hears from her is: "I love you."
More than anything, he counts down the seconds he has before he gets to say it back.