Title: A Perfect Victim
Summary: Post-Avengers. Loki had always been unstable, but with hallucinations and painful memories assaulting his mind, will he continue to remain sane? Because even with Thor's help, it felt like a punishment he deserved. Loki-whump.
Warnings: Psychological & Physical Trauma, Psychological Repression, Psychosis, Paranoia, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Insecurity, Anxiety, Self-harm, Not Explicit Non-Con (Non-consensual/Sexual Abuse and Assault), Maltreatment and PTSD (Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Chapter 1 – Insanity
The clock was ticking.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
How long had it been?
With the length of time he was locked up, it might have been years. You see, time passed differently in Asgard and it was inconceivable and severe if years truly had passed.
Could it be? It was hard to question the time when you have nothing to count the days on. It got boring after a while when you know that no one cared enough to answer.
A foolish question! With that much time in their hands, it was nearly impossible for it to be limited to days.
Do you jest?
If you counted every agony, every pain, and self-pity, then it would officially count.
He felt every single one.
Why was he blamed for trying to keep the peace between two lost kingdoms?
He had only picked up from where his so-called-brother left off in his attempt to salvage the destroyed relationship between Jotunheim and Asgard, and yet he was the one who had fallen so far. Having his heart broken and stomped on for decades was nothing compared to the punishment he was now enduring. Even those he had considered his family and friends never came to see him.
It took him a while to embrace that reality.
He had dreams, you see.
The one he tried the hardest on was living up to their expectations. But despite all those years, those decades, it was all for nothing. After having seen the truth, he realized he would never be good enough for anyone. Not as good as Thor. Yet if he was honest, he had already come to terms with it.
When the cold surrounded him, memories of the day he returned to Asgard after his defeat from the Avengers flashed from his mind. He remembered walking through the hall with people cheering for Thor. When the attention focused on him, all he could hear was the sound of their disdain.
Anticipation weighed on him when he stood in front of the All-Father, waiting for his judgment with his head held high.
Judgment never came.
Instead, he was ripped from Thor, dragged away like a common miscreant. His previous status didn't matter as formalities were quickly ushered aside. Thor protested, yet his efforts were also easily dismissed. Ripped from the crowd into a more isolated area, something collided with his head.
Darkness embraced him, and he gladly accepted.
When he woke, he was inside his very cell in the deepest darkest part of Asgard's underground prison. Blood dripped from the side of his head and as he wiped it away, he waited. Yet… no one came.
Not to this day.
He was exhausted, vulnerable, and no matter how much he tried to make them see the truth, no one cared. He learned the hard way that his very existence didn't matter.
Time moved on without him.
He was alone.
In the cold dark prison box with Odin's golden barriers, there was no sunlight, no warmth, just dim lit torches illuminating the hallway and the lights inside his cell. He saw guards every now and then, but there was no pattern to their patrols.
They rarely visit anymore too.
As if he was forgotten— like a memory… a bad one.
He was sure that if someone were to hoist him up, which was unlikely, they would have no problem. He had gotten thinner with time and only fed when remembered. It was unfair and abusive, but nothing short of what he deserved.
They usually gave prisoners good food, but for his notorious crimes, they gave him other left over substances instead. When he refused and tried to starve himself, they forced it down his throat and nearly killed him.
They were ruthless, but that wasn't surprising given how they were trained in Asgard. All he could do was laugh. It was the only thing he could do after a hard day, because his perception on reality was fast fading. He begun to hear whispers, murmurs, and other sounds he never heard before.
Weeks after, they got louder and more vocal.
He submitted to the sweet reality of conversing with himself because it felt good. He needed something to do or he'd go mad. Having no one but himself was rather lonely.
By the end of the day, it just felt better to end it.
Loki sat in the corner, staring at the dimly lit hallway. He whispered several escape plans and blatantly disregarded them the next. Slowly, he drummed his fingers together.
"Perhaps you could convince them?" He whispered to himself, but shook his head a moment later. "Better to kill them first, far easier than plotting."
He pondered the thought.
"Do not like the idea?"
It went on.
He asked several questions and gave the answers afterwards. This madness, this loneliness, was effectively driving him crazy. He knew there wasn't any cure, nothing easy anyway, but there was one and it was called freedom.
Yet his was long in the making.
To drown the silence, Loki begun to hum, and this went on for hours. But the moment he noticed a familiar shadow walking towards his cell, he immediately stopped.
"How fares my criminal brother?"
The malicious threatening tone of Thor's voice echoed in the hall, making Loki look up. There, just behind the barriers, was Thor. Loki's usually bright-eyed brother now had dark malevolent eyes staring down at him.
"You wonder why I'm here." Thor laughed.
All of a sudden, Loki felt light and saw stars. He wheezed, clutching his aching head. Thor's blurry image focused and Thor was now inches in front of Loki. He wondered how he got past Odin's barriers, but soon let the thought go when he remembered Thor was always the favorite.
He remained silent.
Maybe Thor would go away if he did.
But he didn't.
"Do you not want me here?" Thor whispered soothingly into his ear. "Did they cut off your tongue?" Thor gently grabbed a lock of Loki's hair and twisted it about his fingers as he stared at Loki's lips. "You used to love to speak."
Why did Thor feel like nothing?
His breath when he leaned in to whisper, felt like a dream.
One that Loki didn't want to wake up from. It was too good to be true. Had they finally come to get him? Was he finally free? Did they absolve him of his crimes? Because whatever other punishment they had in store for him, he was ready to accept just so he could leave.
"You're in shock." Thor grimaced. "I'm not surprised."
Thor stood up and eyed the entire cell with disgusted curiosity.
Trembling, Loki shut his eyes and opened them again to see if it was real. This person— no—this stranger, wasn't Thor. Thor would never act like this. He would never mock and stoop so low.
"I wonder," Not-Thor mocked. "If Asgard was in flames, would you be set free?"
"Leave me alone." Loki weakly protested.
"Why should I?"
"You're not Thor."
"But I am," His voice softened, but grew darker. "Look at me— see me as I am— whole and strong."
Not-Thor walked back to Loki and lifted Loki's chin. As soon as he touched him, Loki's eyes shot open and pulled away from the ghostly touch. When he looked back, Thor's eyes were empty, save for his pitiful reflection.
He drew back.
Loki wondered if his Seidr was acting up.
It happened every now and then. He probably got so lost in his illusions that he trapped himself in his dreams by accident. His fantasies were the only thing making him happy enough to survive the rough days, but even that wasn't enough.
And this… this was different.
He was always in command of his thoughts, his dreams and his illusions. He was careful, yet this was happening.
"Are you having a crisis?" Not-Thor chuckled.
"You're just a figment of my imagination." Loki mumbled.
"You will want me back."
And then, he was gone, just like that. The echo of his voice faded and Loki lifted his head. He rubbed his eyes in apprehension. He was so sure he heard amusement in Thor's voice. Rather, Not-Thor's… All Loki knew was that his Seidr must be acting up.
He violently shook his head.
Loki buried his face on his knees and took a deep breath.
Hours later, the guards delivered his meal and left him alone. They could never deal with his pitiful state, not an ounce of kindness or compassion was ever left for him. One thing the guards knew, as well as Loki did, was that he was slowly becoming unhinged.
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