Loki had lost track of time. It was an easy thing to do considering that he had no idea what was going on when he had first been introduced to his new existence. It was made easier still when one took into account how difficult it was for him to form distinct thoughts anymore.
It hadn't always been like this. At times he remembered being angry, of having the strength to speak so that he may lash out at his captors at least verbally. Yelling, and later screaming. Attacking them physically never had been an option, or at least he could not remember a time that would have been possible. He so rarely had any visitors.
He knew his captors were mortals, knew that they thought their treatment of him was justice. They had told him so, or at least the ones that would speak to him did. They had been few and far between, and always angry and cruel but Loki had been too thankful to have someone respond to him to care how they did it. Any information, little as it was, was better than nothing.
They told him that he'd attacked their planet, nearly destroyed an entire city. Killed hundreds.
He didn't remember.
Sometimes there were flashes, brief periods in which he saw images of a large city with a beam of light in the middle of it leading to a hole in the sky. Or flashes of doing battle with Thor. Or a large green beast lunging forward…
It hurt to remember, but then again, everything hurt so there wasn't much of a difference. He remembered Thor. He remembered talking, but not knowing what he was saying. He remembered Thor looking down on him, surrounded by strange mortals.
It had been Thor who had put him here. He remembered the look on his brother's (notmybrother!) face and the feeling of cold metal encircle his jaw. He remembered Thor's words then, he remembered that more than anything else.
If he concentrated he could still feel the bite of the metal on his skin, the weight of Thor's grip on his arm. He remembered how his head had begun to clear and if he'd had the opportunity, he could have opened his mouth and words he controlled would have come out. But the gag was already in place, and Thor was already speaking.
"You have done their people great harm brother, and they would seek to bring you to their justice. When you have paid for your crimes here, I will return and we will go home."
Loki could never tell if Thor's final words had been a promise or a threat. All he knew was that Thor was the one who'd sent him to this place. And he was certain that the justice the humans sought to inflict upon him would be his death.
How inventive these humans were. Thor must have learned the truth of his heritage and told his captors. That was the only explanation as to why they had taken him directly from Thor's custody and straight into a small humid room.
The heat had hit him right away, and he'd been strangely thankful that the mortals had removed his heavy clothes and replaced them by thin flimsy cloth. It wasn't long before it was clinging to his skin, soaked through with sweat. At first he'd thought it a ridiculous punishment, he'd only been uncomfortable at first. But then it began to seep into him, that never-ending heat. It made his head swim and ache, making it hard to think clearly. Then the nausea came, and he continued to be sick long after there was nothing left in his stomach. They did not feed him after that; rather they placed a needle within his skin that fed directly into his veins from a small hanging bag.
Next his limbs began to swell, his hands and bare feet looking strange to his own eyes. He knew enough to elevate them, so he took to laying on his back, his swollen feet propped up against the wall. It worked a little, but only just.
He was left alone almost entirely, the only visitors he had were the nameless men who came to replace the bag that fed him. To pass the time and get his mind off the heat, Loki would mentally go over complicated spells and rituals. Unfortunately his mind began to betray him as well, and he found it hard to concentrate. He tried instead to go over less difficult spells, and then he made lists in his head. Then he tried to recall stories Frigga used to tell him and Thor, and then songs. The songs were the easiest to remember for some reason. At times he could almost swear he could hear them still.
And then he had realized that he could hear them, because Frigga was in the room with him. He had opened his eyes one day and there she was, sitting on the ground, facing away from him and singing. Loki's heart had nearly stopped when he saw her, and with a weak arm he reached out to touch her but she was just out of reach. He tried to call her name, but his throat wouldn't work. He hadn't been able to speak in a long time, the humidity had gotten deep into his lungs and made it so hard to just breathe, speaking was out of the question. But she was right there, so Loki marshaled all of his remaining strength and moved his body closer to his mother. This time he could reach her, and did so with a shaking hand.
When she turned to face him, Loki found he had the ability to make at least some noise, and let out a cross between a wheeze and a shriek when he took in the creature's appearance. It was a Jotunn, a Jotunn dressed in his mother's clothes, singing with her voice and reaching for him with sad expression.
Loki jerked away and closed his eyes against the image, praying that the monster would leave. When he opened his eyes again, he was surprised to have gotten his wish, and he was alone in the room again.
That had been the first hallucination, but it had not been the last. Eventually Loki began to wonder if they were hallucinations at all. They were so very real. One day Odin was there, staring at him silently while Loki tried to choke out an apology. Tried to explain that he'd never meant for things to go so far. Another day Thor did not even give him a chance to try and speak, instead he listed off all of Loki's crimes. All of them. Every terrible thing he had ever done, even the ones Thor couldn't have possibly known about. He told Loki how he deserved this punishment. That he never learned, never belonged. That they had never been brothers.
Somehow, despite his dehydration, Loki found some tears to cry.
It all changed one day. The door to his cell opened, and remained open for some time, letting cool fresh air in. He ignored the several men that entered and turned his face towards the door, closing his eyes in bliss as he felt a breeze brush over his skin. There was noise from above, and subconsciously Loki knew they were doing something to the ceiling of his cell. He didn't care though. He shivered as cool air passed over his damp clothes, and gave him a delightful chill.
Then the men left, shutting the door and taking their beautiful air with them. Loki nearly wept again. Then the light turned on above him, and Loki wondered if they had removed the roof. Somehow, the mortals had harnessed the sun itself and brought it directly into his little room. The humidity burned up and disappeared and Loki gasped against the sudden dryness. He couldn't breathe!
It wasn't long before his skin blistered under the heat, burning and cracking wherever the light could reach. His lips dried out and cracked, and his vision faded out so he kept his eyes closed. He wouldn't last very long with this. A part of him felt joy at that thought, because at least then it would be over. But still, he didn't want to die.