Thank you a million for all of your reviews and support! U was iffy about this chapter, not sure why, but give me your feedback! :)

Loki's eyes fluttered open briefly, and upon seeing a mass of golden locks, he closed them quickly again. He didn't stir, stalling the inevitable onslaught of emotions when his brother awoke. He'd regained his lucidity, he remembered what he'd done. He remembered all of it.

He furiously debated whether or not he was better off being innocent-minded and abused or tortured by the memories his murderous actions. His punishment may have sent him into a primal mindset, but once that was gone, the punishment still did its job. He had no intentions of harming anyone. In fact, at that very moment he was absolutely terrified that when his brother awoke and saw he was sane, he'd be angry with him. His mind told him it was an irrational fear but some instinct forced him to cower back when Thor shifted in his sleep. His previous self would have hated that action—all that they'd reduced him to—but his present self didn't think much of himself in the first place.

There was still the part of him inside that loathed the fact that Thor saved him. What little dignity he had suffering out his sentence alone was gone now, and soon everyone in Asgard would know that the golden prince had to bail his weakling not-brother out of yet another punishment. Although their attitudes might be more swayed towards anger, not mocking. Another reason for them to hate him. Just what he needed.

All the switching of tenses and mulling things over in his head gave him a migraine, so eventually; he opened his eyes and looked around. He was in a bed. Not the one he first awoke in, a bigger one; with a much fluffier blanket. He turned over to his side and faced his brother. Thor's eyes were darting back and forth behind his eyelids and his soft lips were murmuring things silently. His brow was furrowed, and Loki wondered if he was having a nightmare.

"Sleep now, Liesmith. We will come again." The voice retreated into the back of Loki's skull. He laid out on the cold stone floor, immobile from his recently broken spine. He had nothing but his memories; thoughts and—no, no dreams. He could not sleep, for he knew what waited behind his closed lids. He knew what they'd make him dream after a beating so severe.

He couldn't fight it much longer. The pain in his body was pushing him towards unconsciousness faster than it usually came. He did not give in, ultimately. He was pulled into sleep by the taunting disembodied voice echoing throughout his mind: "Sleep."

And he slept. And in his dreams he didn't dream of his pain, the pain they'd inflicted on him for years and that very night. No. He dreamt of watching. Watching his tormentors inflict the blows, broken bones and burns scored all over the quivering and silently sobbing body. Who's body was it?


It was always Thor's.

Thor awoke with a start, cold hands clutching his arms and trying to shake but not doing much to move him. He looked into his little brother's tearful eyes and realized he must have had a nightmare. He enveloped him in a hug, careful not to hurt his previous wounds, but Loki fought it. Loki wound his arms around Thor's body instead, head buried in his shoulder but murmuring words. Thor was confused but listened.

"Were you having a nightmare? It's all right. It's always all right. It's never real." Was his brother's mantra, voice hoarse and barely audible. His body was shaking.

"I wasn't, brother. I'm fine." He had no recollection of his dream, but he was sweating so maybe he just didn't remember. Loki comforting Thor in his condition perplexed the blond god; but he was glad his brother was talking to him, at least. Thor looked down at him and noticed the scared look was back in his eyes.

"They always hurt you in the dreams. Do you feel it when they do?" Loki asked, settling himself properly in Thor's embrace but glancing up at him questioningly as if asking permission.

Thor was no fool, not near as stupid as he was always made out to be. He caught on rather quickly. "No, brother. I never felt any pain."

Loki's nod was a quick jerk of his head, followed by a wince.

"How do you feel, Loki?" Thor asked, noticing his brother's discomfort.

Loki didn't answer. He stared blankly at Thor's chest as if he hadn't heard him. Thor gently grabbed his chin and brought him to face level. "Brother? Are you in pain?" His voice was so gentle it was heartbreaking.

Loki's eyes focused and sense drained into them. He opened and closed his mouth slowly, then moved his eyes away from Thor's. "No."

Thor, of course, noticed the change and changed his position accordingly. He let go of Loki and gave him some distance. Loki's brow furrowed and he worried his bottom lip, staring down shamefully at the bed.

"Shall I get you some water?" Thor asked politely.

"No, I'm fine." Loki's answer was just as polite as Thor's question and it shocked Thor. He at least expected some snark, some attitude, even some wildly construed curses.

Thor decided he'd get him some anyways, and moved from the bed.

Behind him, Loki's eyes watered and he internally berated himself. 'Idiot, I'm such an idiot. Now I'll be all alone. I should talk to him, let him know I need him.' "Thor?"

Loki's plea came out as a whisper, just as Thor was pulling on some socks from his dresser. He turned around with hope on his face and blinked rapidly. "Yes?"

"I, uhm," Thor looked at him quizzically as Loki continued to struggle for words. "Please don't," He sighed and covered his face and muttered out, "Don't leave me again. Please."

Thor's always been one to go with his heart. He gets by on emotions and they usually lead him in the right direction. His emotions at that moment were tear-wrenchingly strong, and they brought him back over to his brother's side in the bed so that he could cover his brother's small frame completely in a gentle but firm hug.

"I won't leave you, Loki." He openly sobbed and Loki felt a bit awkward.

"Forgive me." He said with a weak joking air.

Thor pulled back. "For what?"

"For making you cry." Loki knew it wasn't his fault, but felt compelled to apologize anyways.

Thor shook his head and kissed Loki's head. "You have nothing to apologize for."