Warning: canon character death
Chapter 1: The Void
His illusion barely hung onto the edge of the every-colored road pitifully pleading, "Brother!"
Loki was never above trickery to get the upper hand. He stabbed Thor in the side and multiplied himself to confuse the great oaf. He cackled—for was it not wholly appropriate for the god of mischief to laugh at all times?—knowing that the cacophony coming from all sides would befuddle and distract his not-brother.
It seemed not to be though, as Thor broke through his enchantments and flung him off with the force of a thousand normal Aesir. Loki was slammed onto the changing colors, his back convulsing in pain. He watched with apprehension as Thor approached him and—the indignity of it!—left infernal Mjolnir sitting on his chest. He struggled to sit up, to roll over, to do anything, but he found himself as powerless and weak as he had always been.
"Look at you," Loki tried to taunt him. He was straining his neck to see above that accursed hammer. "The mighty Thor! With all your strength, and what good does it do you now, huh!" Thor could do nothing to stop the Bifrost! It would destroy all evidence of that terrible race having existed. All save one, he thought nastily, but that could be amended easily enough. Loki strained under the weight of that thrice-damned hammer, wishing that he could lift it without his many groans. He had both hands pulling on either side of it, but it was to no avail, as his efforts had always been. The hammer was crushing his sternum and he could feel its mass pressing down on his lungs, constricting his breathing.
Even so, with the last of his strength—for what purpose had he his negligible physical strength if he could not even use it to project his only real strength, his honeyed words—he cried, "Do you hear me brother? There is nothing you can do!" He hated how rough his usually silky voice sounded, how he had to shout above the noise of the Bifrost destroying the so-hated Jotunheim.
Then, suddenly, he could breathe again as the metal streaked away from him and to Thor's awaiting hand. So relieved was he by the lack of pressure that he did not question the hammer's flight until he felt the bridge shudder. He sat up slowly, seeing with growing horror that idiot Thor smashing the ground beneath them.
"Wha-What are you doing?" he wheezed, out of breath.
The bridge shuddered once more.
"You're going to destroy the bridge!" he warned. His mind raced; if the bridge fell away, both he and Thor would both be lost to the void, the nothingness. No doubt, their safety was far from Thor's mind. What, if not their imminent deaths, would convince him to stop? "You'll never see her again!" Thor might have hesitated the slightest bit, but he continued his mindless demolition of the shimmering path.
Loki's eyes could not leave the form of his brother. How desperate he was to save those monstrous Jotuns! What worth could they possibly be to Thor?
Thor would kill the both of them, break the connection between Asgard and every other world, alter the path of destiny by destroying it before Ragnarok—all for those ice beasts? Loki, though winded, ran as fast as he could to prevent the death of the bridge. A death which would lead inevitably to the destruction of their universe.
"Forgive me Jane," Thor said, because surely Jane was the only one Thor thought deserved his apologies. Raising the hammer, he brought it down for another almighty swing. Loki lunged at him; his spear was close, so close.
A bright light overwhelmed them, and a gargantuan blast blew both him and Thor back. Their trajectory was a miracle; Loki held fast to the spear, and its end was caught precariously in Thor's hand. He blinked more than once, amazed that Thor had laid hold of Gungnir so perfectly. Lo, miraculously at the top was his dearest father, his only father as far as he was concerned. Odin knelt there at the edge of the broken color, his aged hand wrapped around Thor's ankle. Loki's eyes did not stray far from Thor's struggling form. He took the few necessary moments to realize that Thor was weak, and Odin as well. Neither was pulling away from the menacing void.
How the man had awoken at the perfect time, Loki could not know. Perhaps Thor's plight had roused him from sleep, for the man looked far from well-rested. "Father!" he cried, though his voice was hoarse from shouting and panic. "I could have done it! For you! For all of us." He looked into his father's good eye, searching for approval, for pride, for anything. He had almost wiped out their age old enemy, and he had restored Thor's place in Asgard. What more could the man ask of him?
Weary, Odin did not hesitate to scold him. "No, Loki." And that was it. It looked like he might say something else, but the Allfather's voice was still.
What was in that indiscernible eye? It seemed so small now, so weak and sad. Disappointment? Odin was disappointed in him? Loki could feel his face falling. Although he always tried to keep his emotions to himself, he could not help but let his dismay play upon his face. A sad calm settled upon him at hearing those bare words. He stared up at his father for a moment longer, but already his resolve was set.
It was his hopelessness that finally loosened the moisture that had been gathering in both his eyes.
Thor's eyes widened. "Loki, no." When did Thor learn to read him so well? How could he see Loki's intentions so clearly? He uttered the same words as his non-Father, but they held something different. No matter. He had failed. Odin would have nothing to do with him, and Thor...
He let go.
And he did not fall, so much as drift. He let none of his anguish show. Despite everything, he was still a Prince of Asgard and the rightful king of the Jotuns, and he would perish looking like the royalty he was. If Thor really wanted to, he could have used Mjolnir to traverse the space, but even as Loki thought of this test, he knew it would not happen. Was that shock painted on his non-brother's face? And Odin, how passively he allowed his once-child to be swallowed by the abyss.
Loki would regret none of it. At that moment, he just wanted everything to be over. All of his careful planning, his schemes, all of it came to naught in the face of the All-father's displeasure. As the darkness took him, Loki could hope for nothing more than an end to his struggles. Relief. Calm.
Instead, he had emptiness and the maddening void.
How he wished he had the resolve to kill himself. Meeting his sweet child Hela would be thousands better than his aimless drifting.
He did not know how long he fell, for sometimes it felt like a herd of gusty horses was rushing past him, and other times it felt like the faint summer breezes he experienced an age ago upon his balcony at Asg—
Anyway. He did not know long he fell before he encountered a someone.
Loki could have done the calculations, found the probability of such a thing: that he would encounter matter at all in the void, that the matter would be living, that it would have freedom of motion, that it would be sentient. And yet, here before him was that gross improbability.
"So mate, how'd you get stuck here?" asked the man, for he sounded like a man. He radiated nothing godlike, and did not speak the All-Tongue. Rather, he spoke just like those mortals on Midgard. There was little light in the void; the only light generated was that Loki made himself so that he would not yield to insanity in the complete darkness.
Loki ignored him. Although he was surprised to see another being in the abyss, he still had not recovered from his non-father and non-brother's callous neglect. At least his company had the sense to stay silent when Loki did not respond.
He did not know long it took, whether it had been a mere moment or the equivalence of several centuries, but eventually he found himself considering the man's question. Relenting, Loki sighed. "Family issues," he said with mild humor. "And you?" Language had never been a problem for his people, even in ages past.
The other man did not hesitate and laughed heartily, as if it had truly been a mere second. "Oh hey, you're actually alive! And you speak English!" The man twisted in the void, and adjusted himself with his head resting on one hand so it looked like he was reclined even as he was falling. "So family issues? Me too! My cousin actually. Listen, I've been drifting for a while, and I think it's high time I died. Care to help a bloke out?"
To think, Loki had been longing for the same thing. "Can you suggest a means?" he humored the strange human. He wondered which of the two of them had drifted longer. He doubted there was even a way to count.
The man laughed with a slight wheeze. "If I had my wand, I'm sure we could work something out." Loki wondered what kind of wand the man had. Was it something like the sleek metal that sent out tiny metal projectiles he had seen upon Midgard? He had no doubt that such a wand would work, for surely, this man could not be thinking of a magical wand.
At Loki's pensive look, the man said, "Wow, are you a muggle? Didn't think a muggle could find his way into this hellhole."
"A muggle, you say?"
"Non-magical person." This man seemed far too happy to encounter a supposed muggle. Loki had no idea that there was a race of men like this one. Surely, it was not one recognized by the Aesir. He was not clothed like the Vanir, and his size seemed like that of a man, not a giant or dwarf. He had the appearance of a Midgardian, but the only magic that had touched those lands presumably departed centuries ago with a stern warning from Odin to leave the poor Midgardians alone.
Loki considered this man. Perhaps he was simply mad. "Prove it," he dared him.
The man's smile grew into a smirk and in a few seconds, a huge black dog had taken his place. He had transformed, his mouth lengthening, his skin growing fur, and his size almost doubling.
"Impressive," Loki conceded. Then he was a shape-shifter of some sort. Perhaps it was a race of magical dog creatures who had acquired the mortal tongue? Loki knew that the Midgardians he faced had no such magic.
The canine transformed back into his human form. "Yeah, but I can't do anything else without my wand."
The man's language was the same as that of those on Midgard, but no one had spoken quite like this one. His vowels were longer, and his entire way of speaking sounded more Aesir. "How interesting."
He whispered a few sounds and made a subtle sweeping motion with his hand. The man stared at him for a few seconds before he realized that a pair of snakes was winding up his legs.
"Whoa!" He tried to shake them off in vain, and when that failed, bent down to pull away the reptiles. As soon as his fingers touched the first scale, both dissipated. He snapped his head up to Loki and grinned. "Wicked."
Edited 12/8/2014. If you like any part of this story, just drop me a comment! I love hearing what you readers think. Thanks for reading!