A/N: Loki is my absolute favorite character from the Marvel movies, and this scene in The Dark World devastated me. I just wanted to write a short fic about what might have been going through Loki's mind during the scene, and how he might have survived. I wasn't planning on writing any more for this story, but if enough of you want me to, I just might. So please leave a review telling me what you think of the story and if I should write more. Thank you!

Regrets, Revival, Return

When I saw the Dark-Elven beast looming over my brother, preparing to deal him a fatal blow, I did not think for Thor's life no more than I thought for my own. I thought only of Frigga. I saw the creature that took away the only person who understood me. At that moment, nothing else seemed to matter.

My lips twisted in a snarl and I furiously grasped the blade-tipped staff of one of the fallen Elves. Then I surged towards the beast and thrust the blade through his back with all the strength I could muster. The beast shuddered and slowly turned towards me. I faced its gaze unwaveringly. My teeth were bared and my eyes glittered with mad vengeance. When it took that first step towards me, I knew what was to come.

It didn't make it any less jolting. He picked me up like one might grab a doll, and drove the head of the staff through my chest. My eyes popped open; I gasped, and a shock rang through my body.

The strange thing was that I couldn't actually feel the pain at first. I could feel a burst of wet warmth flowering across my chest and soaking my clothes. I was dimly aware of Thor's devastated scream, but none of it truly registered. The only two things that seemed to exist were my ragged breath and the fiery rage in the creature's eyes. He slid my body off of the blade and threw me onto the ground. I twisted my mouth in the grotesque resemblance of a smile when he glanced down at the grenade I had activated on his belt.

I allowed myself the satisfaction of saying, "See you in Hell, you monster," before he was swallowed into black nothingness.

Then the pain came. It fell upon me suddenly and relentlessly. It surged through my muscles with such ferocity that I felt like my veins would burst. The simple act of breathing became a chore, and my whole body convulsed with pain. I heard the thunk of heavy boots, and suddenly Thor's hand was holding me up. His face, bloody and beaten, hovered over mine. He talked, but I could not hear him.

Thoughts whirled through my head. I have to admit, I was disappointed with myself. I had always planned ahead, always been one step ahead of everyone else. But these last through days had spun out of my control faster than I had thought possible. I had lead the creature to my mother's doorstep, unknowingly causing her death. I had failed her, betrayed her trust and her love. And in my frantic struggle to regain control of myself, I had failed to predict this outcome. I hadn't even considered that I might not be able to control myself, that I would act without thinking. Nothing could have prepared me for this.

I knew I might die. I knew that I probably would. But how, in all the Nine Realms, could I die honorably?

I gazed into my brother's eyes. My brother, who had given me more chances to redeem myself than I deserved, who loved me more than anyone, possibly even more than Frigga, and he could do nothing to help me now.

A thought dawned on me, and I realized that I could not die without forgiveness. I would find no peace in the afterlife if my brother never knew my regret. "F-fool," I managed to choke. "I was a fool…"

Again, Thor's lips moved, but his words were beyond my understanding. "Forgive me…forgive me…" I whispered when my voice began to fail me. Thor nodded as he spoke, and a calmness fell over me. I had earned his forgiveness. I could go in peace. And so I did.

At least, that's what I thought. Really, I had just lost consciousness from all the blood loss. Stupid me, thinking of an honorable death and all that foolishness. How could I die then? I still had so much to accomplish.

I awoke what must have been only a few hours later when a boot nudged my side. "Eh! This one's still alive!" shouted a voice from above me. I opened my eyes with difficulty and made out a tall figure in Asgardian armor. Standing over me, spear in hand. My mind swam and the world seemed to spin around me. A weak groan escaped my lips.

"Oh, you're awake, are you?" grunted the Asgardian soldier. "Care to tell us what happened here?"

I tried to look him in the eye, but it was rather difficult when his face kept shifting. I thought up the perfect snarky remark. "You…" I began, but the rest of the sentence was lost in a gasp when pain constricted in my chest.

"Does that hurt, traitor? I hope it hurts," said the soldier.

At this, I was able to growl, "I am no traitor…"

"Oho!" chuckled the soldier. "All of Asgard might disagree with you."

I shot him an irritated look. "Are you just going to stand there and insult me, or will you get me out of this dismal place?"

"Oh, I don't mind at all, traitor. There's a certain king who I imagine might have a few words with you," responded the soldier before turning his head and shouting, "Bjarni! I need some help with the captive!"

Captive. The word rang through my mind as two pairs of strong hands grasped me roughly by the arms and hauled me up. Agony rippled through my torso, making my muscles spasm. I hissed, and not just from the pain. When the guards took me back to Asgard, the healers would mend my wounds, and then I would be a prisoner once more. I would be questioned and tormented and despised. I could only imagine Odin's face…

But if I were to remain dead, if I could somehow prevent the news of my survival from reaching Odin, then I could do so much. The whole universe would be open to me. Nobody would pursue me; I would be free. I looked at my captors, my decision made.

"You know, friends–" I began, my voice strained.

"We are no friends of yours," interrupted one of the guards – Bjarni was what the other one called him.

I chose to ignore him and continued, "Just a word of advice. When dealing with a dangerous criminal, be sure to check him for weapons first." As I talked, I slid out my dagger and whirled it around in a swift circle, slicing both of their throats within seconds. The movement made it feel as if my heart was splintering open, and I crumpled to the ground, gasping for air. The soldiers fell on either side of me, blood gushing from their open necks.

I tried to shove the pain to the back of my mind as I struggled to my feet. "Sorry, Bjarni," I rasped. I looked over and saw the mark on the ground where the two soldiers had been transported, the intricate swirl of knots and patterns left by the Bifrost. I glanced down at the soldiers once more, carefully considering my options. Finally, I thought up a plan.

Dressing myself in their armor was a long and painful process, but I eventually managed to pull the heavy metal plates over my blood-soaked clothes. I staggered to the circle of designs from the Bifrost. "I have finished my search!" I yelled to the heavens as loud as I could. As the energy of the portal began to swirl around me, I thought gravely, Time to return home.