I apologize for the slightly late update. I just finished my exam week, plus I lost over half of this chapter. I then found it later, but after I had frustratingly re-written it from memory. Which kind of annoyed me to the point where I left it for a while. But hey, it's here, it's short, and it's an actual spike in excitement (god forbid this story has those).
But yes, I'm sorry it's shorter than usual, but I needed to end it there. I'll make it up by uploading the next chapter earlier.
Lovin' any new followers/favourites/everything, as always, and hope you continue to enjoy this story.
Later ❤ - Hades
A FRIENDLY REMINDER THAT ASKGOAT ON TUMBLR IS THIS STORY'S ASKBLOG (and can foreshadow the story, as well as (sometimes) pretty art)
Three vicious bites, five kicks and two solid punches to the jaw later; Thor was well acquainted with 'Grid'. He was currently hovering over his breakfast on the staff cafeteria table; two fried eggs and a piece of toast. Not hungry, he pushed one of the eggs across the plate with his fork, wincing when the bite on his forearm flared up from the movement. His eyelids drooped; his body had finally come to the realisation that he had woken up in the middle of the night, been harassed, and then spent the rest of it harassing other people. His body was weak as it was; he hadn't left the building in a long time, or even trained or stretched it. Eventually he had to eat, and he knew this, so he forced down bite after bite until it was just the last bite of toast, which is when Richard appeared, a happy look on his face for the first time in… forever. Quickly eating the piece of toast before talking, as per Richard's earlier request, he questioned, "You seem pleased," he raised a tired brow, leaning on the table with his elbows.
Richard focused on him, though ignoring the obvious wounds, and slid into the seat on the opposite side of the table, "Well, my body has finally realised it's not getting back to sleep today, and has begun running on empty. And drugs," he chuckled, "Also, you can see Loki if you wish!"
Thor had lowered his eyes to the crumbs on his plate, spacing out, but came to attention when Richard mentioned Loki. He kept the tired expression on his face and wearily raised an eyebrow, "Oh? That is wonderful, Audolf," his gaze fell back to the plate and his eyelids drooped.
Richard raised a brow this time, "You aren't as… enthusiastic as last time. Is everything okay?"
Thor didn't look at him, but caught a breadcrumb on the end of his finger, raising it to his face to examine it, "Everything is fine, Audolf, I am simply weary. I apologise, but I have had trouble sleeping as of late."
Richard frowned ever so slightly at the parallels between 'brothers', but nodded, "We all have, now, would you like to see him or not?"
Thor flicked the breadcrumb down and focused on Richard properly, straightening his back, "Yes, lead."
Loki was frustrated, he had been trying to disappear and reappear out of his lower bindings, but he didn't seem to be able to tap into his magic source. He tried to change his clothes, something, anything, to show he still had his magic. All he received was a sharp sting in his heart, causing him to wince and groan. Slamming a hand down on his heart brutally stopped the pain, but awoke something new. When he had committed suicide he hadn't felt pain, as it seemed he was unable to intentionally cause physical pain to himself while on that plane. Now however, a sharp jolt of his own pain had echoed throughout him briefly, before everything went neutral again. He breezed through his memories of what had happened recently to keep him grounded, if he could prove to Richard and "Thor" that he was of sane mind, then they might let him go. He had ended his life, and then Audolf had been there. He hadn't felt bad, he had felt free, and it was nice. He remembered that Audolf had been bruised and scratched, and he remembered wondering silently about it. His body had hurt when he moved it, but it was well stretched now.
He remembered the last part before Richard had left; he was going to get Thor.
Thoughts returning to his internal magic-struggle, perhaps these bindings are restricting his powers? He reached down and pulled on his leg restraint, frowning when it held fast. He had seen Richard unbuckle them, but he couldn't reach over the bed and unclip them himself. Growling with rising frustration he slammed his fist down onto the binding, sending spears of pain through his body. He snapped his eyelids shut and arched his body, feeling the realness of the pain. It was real. What had happened in that pit wasn't.
But he had control over the pain here, no mortal could harm him. It was his.
He smiled curtly to himself, lifting a finger to his mouth to bite it, feeling his teeth sink into it. He had control over this. The pain in his finger grew, and he felt his teeth pierce the skin. Almost enjoying the control he had over his own misery here, he began to move his other hand down to his leg restraints, to jolt it again.
His thoughts were smashed when the door slid open and Richard entered again, and he whipped his finger out of his mouth, slicing it and leaving heavy indentations of his teeth. Sliding it under his legs he smiled at the doctor, before peering around him to view Thor. The man looked uncomfortable, shifting his eyes and trying not to look at Loki sitting upright on the table.
"Well come on in, brother," Loki's voice dripped with malice. He could abuse this Thor as much as he wanted to the super powered figure-Thor, and he would.
Thor shifted again, moving around Richard and staring Loki dead in the eyes. He frowned, "What happened to your eyes? Are you blind?"
Loki chuckled, "No, unfortunately, though it looks like you had a run in with a particularly angry beast," he kept staring at Thor, trying to make him feel uncomfortable.
Thor broke first; he looked away at Richard, who had been watching closely, "Richard, you said he was somewhat healthy. He looks dead," he ignored the unnerving feeling he felt; similar to when he had been in Grid's room.
Loki frowned, "I am NOT dead. Not here. But aha, you will have a surprise when you find my corpse in that pit!"
Richard frowned now, "Loki, Thor doesn't want to hurt you, he never has," he glanced at Thor, flashing him a dark look, "You are in the real world now, not in that pit, you are safe. There is no need to be harsh."
Loki smirked, looking at Richard now, "Never has?" he muttered slyly, trying to set seeds of doubt in Richard's mind.
Thor growled, and moved forwards now, in front of Richard, pain flaring from his bites, kicks and scratches, "I never have, Loki, and you know it! I did nothing but care for you! You were the one that came to Earth to destroy and rule it!"
Loki frowned and raised his lip into a snarl, "How many times do I have to keep telling you, figure or not, I NEVER CAME TO MIDGARD!" he yelled at Thor, "I am here now, but that is because you brought me here as some sort of… of… punishment!" he was clearly furious now, oblivious to the recent events on Earth, so Richard stepped in, standing between them, though he realised the danger.
"Stop," Richard raised his hands to each man, eyes flickering between them to determine which was more dangerous, "Loki, tell us what you do remember, Thor, admit that you hurt him, even if you didn't mean to," his voice was blunt, his tone harsh.
Thor narrowed his eyes at the doctor, but spoke, "I apologise if I hurt you in any way, brother, but your recent actions on Midgard have shown that I am not solely to blame for your destruction."
Loki matched Thor's narrowed eyes, keeping them on the blonde. He panted slightly, still excited from his outburst, "You will never be sorry enough for what you have done to me, " his voice dripped with an unspoken horror, one that Thor could only imagine what Loki thought he had done, "I remember you and father pleasantly letting me fall into a pit of darkness! You kept me there! But no, it wasn't enough to defile me, body and soul! You rubbed it in, you and that whore of a wife, Sif!" Loki bellowed now, and Richard dared to raise a hand to block Loki's dagger-like view of Thor. A small trickle of blood from Loki's finger had started to show beside him.
Thor stumbled back, horror on his face, almost the same as when he had first seen Loki snap, but then, it had been more animalistic, this was directed at him. His eyes were wide and confused, "L-Loki! I never let you fall! You let go!"
Loki's panting cut short, and he weaved around Richard's hand to stare at Thor, but now in anger mixed with confusion, "What are you talking about?" he spat.
Richard looked as well, worry on his face, "Thor, is this the time…" he muttered, trying to tell him to stop now, before it went even more into hell.
Thor sighed, ignoring Richard, concern still clear on his face, "You tried to destroy an entire world, Loki! I had to stop you. We had fallen, and our fath… Odin, held us. You… You let go and fell into that hole yourself," he looked down, clenching his jaw, arms limp at his sides.
"You're lying," Loki was spitting in anger now, short growls escaping and eyes glazing over.
Richard saw this and moved to Loki's side, carefully putting a hand on the trembling man's shoulder, he realised the risk, but Loki needed physical contact, "Loki. Loki, it's okay. Thor, I think it's time to leave."
Thor frowned in sadness, guilt in his eyes, but turned without a word and left quickly.
Richard stayed with Loki until his breathing returned to normal, muttering words of encouragement and calm. He had seen the blood and was worried, but after seeing it was just his finger, he decided to ask and treat it later. Loki had started to weep, but anger was still on his face, "T-They…" he growled, unable to think.
Richard kept a firm hand on Loki's shoulder, "Whatever they did, it's over. It's in the past. What you do now is you. Not them. Are you going to let a memory or thought control you?" he attempted to make sense in a way Loki would understand, but not knowing his personality beforehand made it extremely hard to determine what to say. He didn't want to sedate him, that would just make things worse, but Loki was in no state to consensually accept medication.
Loki looked down, eyes flittering from side to side as he thought. After a moment, he raised his head and looked at Richard, eyes wet, "I… No. They won't. You can tell Thor to go jump off a rainbow bridge, "He laughed at that, a sobbing, cracking laugh. Once it started, it didn't stop, and he bent over, hands holding himself as he laughed and laughed, tears still streaming down his cheeks.
Richard was and looked very worried, but understood that laughing would help him. Sighing, he rubbed Loki's shoulder, looking away.
Loki just kept on going until he couldn't breathe, choking, torso bent over onto his legs as he sobbed and gasped, a broken smile on his face.
Thor had stumbled and pushed his way outside, ignoring the angry guards who thought he was a patient. His face contorted in worry he looked at the sky, clouds of grey glaring in the overcast sky. It was cold, and small specks of snow had begun to fall. A tear rolled down his cheek and he fell to his knees, head bowed. It was his fault. If he had just cared. If he had just noticed. None of this would have happened; all those people wouldn't have died. They could still be a family. Taking a shuddering breath he felt anger rise in him, it was his fault. His fault. His fault. HIS FAULT.
He raised a hand, face deformed into fury, and waited and listened as the smashing and breaking of stone and concrete as his beloved hammer came racing towards him. He heard a cry of pain as someone was caught, but his mind had fogged over with anger and guilt. He didn't care; just add them to the pile. Maybe if the amount of lives he had taken was closer to Loki's, he might feel better. More equal. HIS FAULT. You killed thousands.
Mjölnir flew to his hand, a crack of thunder resounding when it made contact. More concrete and parts of the building fell, more screams were heard. This is nothing, remember the frost giants. Thor got to his feet, eyes darkened. He began to march forwards, towards the pine forest surrounding the facility. He kept going, thoughts growing darker, until he came to a clearing, a light covering of snow on the ground. It was too peaceful, too happy. Unlike what he had caused. HIS FAULT.
Roaring, he raised his hammer and brought it down, sending the ground cracking and rolling around him. A bolt of lightning came down and struck nearby, felling a tree into another and setting them both alight. Stones flew, trees fell and the sky around him darkened and cracked. There was a screeching as birds escaped and wildlife fled for their lives. The trees burnt brightly, melting the light snow and catching onto their close neighbours. The ground was scorched and had shattered and warped, a huge crater expanding past the small clearing, causing the trees around to bend at odd angles due to the shaken ground.
He stood among the carnage he had caused, eyes staring into space, panting.