I know I really shouldn't be starting a new fanfiction. Sorry(notsorry)
Coffin nailed shut, I couldn't even get a last look at him. Sure, he was probably partying up in Valhalla and 'was in a better place' but I surely was not. Why did people even say that? "Yeah, your brother is having the time of his life in Valhalla, but sorry kid, you're left here to suffer."
The room was packed to the brim, and a long line trailed out the narrow archway. Everyone in Asgard wanted to say their goodbye's to the former prince. It wasn't just because of his royal status, it was because he was friends with everyone. That means the eleven year old servant girl to the ninety eight year old guard. Thor had brightened everyone's day and marked everyone's life.
While everyone's eyes were meant to be trained on the coffin, they were all on me. How would Loki react? they were all thinking. They probably hadn't even expected me to show up. I hadn't either. But here I was, armorless and vulnerable.
Hogun arrived at the coffin. Harsh tears pooled down his cheeks, but he cried soundlessly. In a way, it proved how strong he was. I envied him. On his way out, he brushed me harshly on the side, without even looking at me. I was a disgrace. What the people of Asgard hadn't suspected was that I knew how horrible a man I was. That's why I stood at Thor's funeral baring no armor. Anyone could fight me, abuse me, hell, if someone produced a knife I'd let them plunge it through my chest. And when I were to cross, I would not meet Thor in the afterlife as those narrow minded people at this ugly funeral insisted. I was smart enough to know that Valhalla would never welcome a man like me.
"What, Thor, dear?" Frigga made her way to the both of us lying on the fraying carpet.
"Why can't I do that?" Thor whined, tears beginning to fall. Accusatory eyes fell upon me. Carelessly, I was using magic to bend my water through the air. It twirled and swirled like wind that kissed your skin when night fell. With an accidental twitch of my fingers, the water dropped from the air and splattered the floor.
"Loki," Frigga started, though her voice was gentle. Much gentler than Odin's would've been.
"What, Momma? Thor can do tons of things I can't do," I protested.
"Like what?!" Thor fired back, arms crossed in annoyance.
"Papa takes you to Midgard for your birthday and lets you walk the rainbow bridge by yourself."
Thor gave me a splintering look that was difficult to place. Though he couldn't deny the truthfulness of my words.
It was obvious that mother was much gentler to me, and it bugged Thor to no end. When I saw the frustration cross his face I wanted to take him by the shoulders and shout into his face about how obvious it was that Odin favored him over me! At least momma loved us both equally!
"Hug each other," Frigga demanded. "Hug, and tell your brother you love him."
"Momma!" Thor cried out, arms still folded tightly over his chest.
"Please, Thor. Hug your brother."
More than willing, I reached my arms out wide and offered a smile. That got to Thor, the happy puppy dog he remained to be until his death, and hugged me so tightly we toppled on our sides in a fit of laughter.
"I love you, Thor," I whispered into his ear, loud enough for Frigga to hear but to me it had to be top secret.
"I love you, Loki."
Sif eventually made her way to the casket. Sure, Thor had dated Jane, but it was always evident how much Sif truly loved Thor. Even when I tried to pursue her, I realized too late how blatantly obvious it was. Of course the one person who couldn't notice was the one who really should've. Now he never would know. Bawling, regret was apparent in her face.
"Lady Sif…" I started, and I did use effort to gentle my tone. She looked quite lovely decked in a black gown, and her hair hung in dark ringlets to her waist. The urge to twirl a tress of hers struck me, but I held back.
"Do not speak to me, Loki," she growled firmly, trying to push past me to the exit. Tears still rushed from her eyes.
"Sif, please… talk to me. I have no one left."
"You did this to yourself."
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry about Thor."
"Me too," and this time she was successful in shoving me out of the way. I turned, intending to follow her out the building and just sit with her, offer a shoulder to cry on. But why would I do that, when I needed a shoulder? Who would be my shoulder? I had no one.
"THOR! I WILL NOT TOLERATE THIS! LOWER YOUR VOICE!"
"ONCE YOU LOWER YOUR VOICE, MOTHER!"
Dejected and panting, Thor dropped to his knees on the cold tile. Sweat slicked his hair to his face. When Frigga saw her son so vulnerable, she began weeping and fell to the floor beside Thor in a flurry of long robes and cloth.
"Don't cry, mother."
"I'm s-sorry, Thor. I can't tell him…"
"Yes you can. It's for Loki's own good. His whole life will feel like a lie."
"It's not my secret to tell."
From where I was hiding in the withering cupboard, I could see the fury return to Thor's face in a red flash and he hurled his hammer in anger. Mjolnir tore through the wall, carving out a round hole. Horror lit Frigga's face, but she didn't respond aloud.
Even from behind all of the clothing hangers and stray articles I could see the hot tears falling from Thor's eyes. Never, NEVER had I seen my brother cry. It sent a shiver up my spine.
"Thor, please don't cry…" Frigga attempted to stroke his shoulder but he jerked out of the way. "If you were in Loki's position, wouldn't you want to be kept in the dark?"
"NO!" Thor roared, and this time I truly believed he was going to raise a fist to his mother. But a teenager at the time, his strength was outrageous. Disgusted by himself, he dropped his poised hand to his side. "Would you?"
"Yes. Of course."
"Think, mother, think. For once in your life, THINK DAMMIT! WOULD YOU WANT TO BELIEVE YOUR FAMILY IS NOT YOUR OWN? THAT YOUR BLOOD DOES NOT RUN IN YOUR OWN BROTHER'S SKIN?"
Frigga was silent. By then I had to strain to hear over my pounding heart. Surely, this would be the death of me.
Anger was evident in the stance of his frame as he walked out on his mother, and unknowingly left me crying so hard I couldn't breathe right. Fortunately mother couldn't hear me over her own heavy breath.
Darcy was next. Oh, how beautiful she really was. We had kissed, just that one time in Midgard when I had tagged along with Thor. What an enchanting evening. If only we could've carried on together. If only I hadn't thrown a fit and destroyed a city. If only.
Darcy did not cry, but it was obvious how hard she was fighting the tears. Her lip trembled threateningly, but she held tight. Leaning over the casket, I wondered what she was searching for. It was nailed shut, after all.
"I'm sorry about Thor," she murmured on her way out, not meeting eyes with me, but she had acknowledged me, being one of the first today. I nearly smiled, a twitch of the lip being all I could conjure.
Fierce footsteps, almost stomping, gradually increased in volume until the sound cut off close to my ear. Too frightened to turn, I waited for the voice that I paired with the footsteps to shout at me as it so often did.
Thankfully, instead of an attention drawing shout, an ear splintering whisper arrived at my ear.
"Why are you here?" Odin demanded.
"Because my brother is dead," I replied coldly.
"He is no brother of yours."
"And you are no father of mine," I asserted without hesitation. "You never have been and you never will be."
Before he could argue further, I simply walked away, something that had taken me years to realize I had the power to do.
Following Darcy was Jane, and it was difficult to watch. Red faced and smeared makeup, the girl was a mess to say the least. Eric held her elbow tightly, though nothing could stop the flow of constant tears.
Standing in silence was pointless, it did me no good. "Jane…" I rested an arm on her shoulder consolingly. "Thor wouldn't want you to cry for him like this."
"Why are you here." Her sharp words didn't even invoke a question, they were a rough accusation. They were the same words Odin had used, but her tone changed them into something much more evil.
"I'm not allowed to mourn my brother?"
"You deserve to mourn no one. You do not have the heart to mourn."
Her words struck me harder than any words I'd ever heard. The blow left me reeling for a long moment, and the sympathy I once felt towards Jane was nonexistent. My voice erupted in a low growl. "A monster can't mourn? Ah, I may be a cold blooded killer on Midgard but that doesn't make me heartless."
"Get outta here," Eric demanded, his eyes brimming with hatred. I had made a mistake, okay? My therapist helped me through it… I no longer yearned for subjugation, for being king of Midgard or any of the other nine damn realms. "I said, get outta here!"
If eyes hadn't begun to turn, I would've stayed with feet planted beside them. Crestfallen, head down, I left them weep alone, and sat myself on the tile.
"Brother," Thor's tone was soft, but anger brewed within its depth. I could feel the tendrils of his fury wrapping around my neck as it always did through tender words, through hidden meanings. "Why must you act in this way?"
Digging my face deeper into my palms, I considered whether I could reply without having the tears spill. "You don't understand, Thor." I murmured quietly, calmly.
"Why not? You always say that. Maybe I do."
"Forget it," I stood and readied to walk through the narrow doorway.
"Loki, wait. Talk to me, talk to me one last time before…"
"Before I get locked away? Hidden? All memories of me forgotten, erased, burned away?"
"You will always be remembered, even when behind bars."
"Maybe that's true, but I don't wish to be remembered. Not by you, Frigga, Lady Sif, Jane; anyone."
"Everyone wants to be remembered."
I sighed, this time opening the double doors and actually leaving. Thor called after me, relentless as he always was.
"I'll come visit you in prison, brother!"
Under my breath, I mumbled, "They always say that."
Just as the doors slid closed, I heard Thor say, "I love you, Loki." He probably figured it was too low for me to hear, but I heard loud and clear.
The line was narrowing, only a handful left to pray over the casket. Balder was weeping like a baby, endless tissues falling from his pockets and clutched tightly in his fist. I didn't want any interaction with Balder, so I strayed to the far corner and hung my head in a 'Don't talk to me' kind of way. Not that he would've. After all, Balder was the one who tore Thor from me in the first place. He took the longest at the casket, strangely since it was nailed shut. The body was too gory and limbless to display after the battle. Blood that had seeped through Thor's shirt was still matted in the beds of my fingernails. Thinking about that day did nothing but send me spiraling into another anxiety attack, which had become a daily occurrence. I grasped the banister to steady myself and my breathing.
Frigga finally made it to the front of the line, and her face was so painful to look at I simply had to step outside into the cool air. From there, I could still see her hugging the casket, sobs tearing through her chest like the knives that had plunged through Thor's. Odin didn't even offer a hand, he stood back and let her cry.
"How you holding up, buddy?" A voice behind me interrupted my thoughts, and Darcy hopped into view. A lot of the guests were crowded outside, mourning together and sharing memories. Eric held Jane as she cried, leaving Darcy with me.
"I've been better," I sighed, running a hand through my thick unwashed hair.
"I understand, man."
"You know, you're the only one being nice to me today."
"Well, you might not deserve it, but everyone needs someone to talk to in a situation like this."
"Thank you, Darcy," I told her, and it was the first time I'd said something sincerely in a long, long time.
Awkward silence enveloped us, and instead of breaking it, I simply went back inside.
"Who is there?" I called out, my voice hoarse from not using it in months, only to whisper things under my breath. Fear overtook me, sitting alone in the cell, being away from civilization caused paranoia to bloom at every noise.
"Thor." I repeated, the name sounding sour and overused in my mouth. It took me a second to connect the name to the face. "Thor…" The dull black and white memory of him promising he'd visit me in prison flashed into remembrance. That was four years ago. "My brother Thor."
"Yes," and finally, finally a man appeared. A dark hood cloaked his face in shadows and anxiously, I darted to the bars to pull it down myself. I hardly recognized the man in front of me. Around two years ago, Thor's face began dimming in my memory, his voice unrecognizable, and the silence constantly surrounding me convinced me that Thor was just a dream, he had never existed.
Relief flooded my voice as I cried out his name one more time. "Thor."
"I'm sorry brother…"
"Well, it has been four years." I didn't try to hide my anger. He nodded, understanding.
The shade of his eyes was new, refreshing. I didn't recognize it. I didn't recognize most of him.
"How's Odin? Frigga? Sif, the others?"
"Frigga cries often for you. Sif and Hogun and friends all miss you dearly. Odin, too."
I nearly doubled over laughing at his crap answer to cover up the fact that Odin truly did not miss me, not at all, not a little. He had banished me after all. I could never be the perfect son, why had I even tried? Why did I even want his disgusting approval?
"That's funny. I'm sure they are wishing that my banishment was another century more."
"Don't be silly, Loki. Even Balder wishes for you."
I scoffed, feeling sick. "Please leave."
"I'm sorry, Thor, I'm too damaged. Broken. No one can fix me, not even you."
Thor was quiet as he studied his feet, not meeting my eyes.
"I cannot save you but I can be there to pull you along," he finally replied. I rested my palms in between the bars and reached out with trembling fingers to seize a strand of his long, blonde hair. My lengthy hair had since fallen out and was now choppily short and thin. Having his hair slip through my fingers felt like sitting with him as a child, brushing through his hair with mother's silver combs.
Last, but certainly not least, Odin stepped up to the casket, him and I being the only ones left in the room. It was drop dead silent; the organist had packed it up, the servants had left after a quick sweeping, and all of the mourning outside had gone to feast in the main hall.
Odin did not cry, but I had heard his sobs from his bedroom the day I carried Thor's carcass back to Asgard, and he hadn't left his room for another day and a half. Maybe if I had died, all of this would've been simpler. Thor would still been heir to the throne. Odin would stand taller. The others wouldn't have to carry my burden on their backs.
Carefully, Odin knelt before the casket and dropped his head in respect and grievance. Minutes ticked on and he didn't move from his place. Silently, I strode to his side and knelt with him. Odin did not deserve my respect, but we were both alone. Thor was the person we relied on to keep us stable, to hold us together. Without him, we were nothing. Alone. And since the both of us were alone together, it made us quite drastically less alone.
No one spoke. I didn't dare spit a word between my teeth.
Fifteen minutes must've passed before Odin finally got to his feet shakily and left. Once again I was very alone, my dead brother lying lifelessly in front of me, the brother I couldn't save and the brother who couldn't save me.
There was nothing left to do but cry. And cry I did. It seemed the steady stream of water would never end as it poured from my eyes. Gasping for breath and choking on air, every attempt to stop failed. It seemed like centuries I sat there, head crossed under my arms howling for my lost big brother back. The big brother I hadn't acknowledged until it was too late.
A cough erupted from the back of the room, stiffening my spine immediately. Someone was here?! Embarrassment clouded my vision red.
"It'll be okay, Loki," a deep voice boomed, surprisingly deeper than Thor's. I recognized it as Heimdall's. The Heimdall who had resented me just as much as Odin had, probably due to Odin's orders.
"Why should I listen to you?"
"I never said you should. Just remember… I see all," his deep eyes seared into mine.
"I see that you will be okay."
"You will strive, you will survive, you will be what Thor always thought you'd grow up to be."
"Thank you, Heimdall."
"Do not thank me. Thank Thor."
"He may be dead, but that does not stop him from watching over you."
My voice was quiet, too quiet for him to hear, but naturally he did. "He watches over me?"
"Of course, Loki. Of course."
The battle was as gory, bloody, and horrific as I had imagined. Though nothing could prepare me for the moment I saw the knife soar through the air and plunge deep into Thor's chest. The reaction was immediate; blood spurted and doused his body in red. My reaction was much, much more languid. I stood agape, unsure of what to do. I started shrieking for help, and I rallied up the good guys and we carried Thor off the battlefield. I was too petrified to cry. After so many years of wishing Thor dead, seeing it occur before my eyes was unexplainable. No words can define the feelings burrowing throughout my body, electrifying my mind with fear.
How could I live without the one person who had hope for me?
What more was there to live for?
Shivering, tremors rocked through Thor's body. He lay splayed on the grass, and we glanced knowingly at each other. There was nothing else left to do but let him die.
"Lok-k-ki," Thor managed between teeth chatters. His voice was hoarser than Heimdall's. "Am I… going to die?"
Sif glared at me, her eyes telling me not to say the words but I knew Thor would only want the truth. "Yes, Thor. You will die. You will die a brave warrior."
He forced a chortle, then his tone was serious. "Tell mother and father I love them. Do not let them cry for me. Jane, also." He sucked in a difficult breath. The color was draining from his face at an uncomfortable pace. "Loki, I'm… sorry… for all of the… pain…" his words were hardly audible, his breathing was too heavy. "the pain… I have caused you. I love you, I love you so dearly. Please… be good…"
I held Thor's torso in my arms, arrows and knives still ascending above us in war. Our bodies were both smeared in blood, though my tears washed away quite a bit, as it was impossible to stop them from falling for hours.
Never would I get to thank Thor, and I never did while he was alive, so he would never know what he'd done to me and how his words painted me a new soul.
I held his body until it grew cold, as cold as my heart once was.
"I promise," I shouted to the sky, not caring who would hear. "I promise, Thor, I will be brave for you. Thank you."
Before the casket was lowered into the ground, I placed a red rose on top of the wood and secured it into place. Red being the color of bravery. Making sure all eyes were turned away from me, I slipped the photograph I had kept since I was a child between the slates of wood and heard it hit flesh. It was a picture of Thor and I, him laughing so hard he's doubled over, and me simply smiling for the photo. I realized I didn't need the picture of Thor and I to keep his memory alive. And maybe, if I worked hard…I'd join him one day in Valhalla, where I know he'll be waiting with open arms.