Returned and Lost
Kona gasped and closed her eyes, her grip on the scepter tightening so much her knuckles turned white as she started to shake, seeing images flash through her head, the 'truth' or so the scepter would want her to believe. Thor took a step towards her, about to pull the scepter out of her hand when her eyes shot open and she stepped back, out of reach, and did something they were…quite frankly…NOT expecting.
In one swift move, Kona turned and…smashed the scepter against the floor, over and over again, before she swung it out before her, making them all jump back to avoid being hit, watching her in confusion as she shuffled back, still swinging…till the edge of the scepter struck the corner of Stark's bar. She let out a grunt and moved closer to it, swinging and bashing and smacking the end of the scepter on it.
"Break!" she cried, letting out a frustrated scream as she kept swinging, over and over, clearly starting to get weaker with each crash of it against the corner of the bar from the force she was exerting and the trauma she just endured, "Break!" she gave a strangled sort of sob and they could see tears in her eyes as she swung, "Break! Break! Break!" she hit it against the corner as hard as she could…
And they could hear a cracking noise as the gem in the end of it flickered, the crystal starting to crack.
The sound only served to spur Kona on even more as she gripped the scepter tighter and swung harder, knowing it was close, "Break! You! Stupid! Piece! Of! Shi…" she barely even finished, gasping and panting between each word, punctuating every word with a slam against the corner, when the gem shattered completely.
Kona fell to the ground, onto her knees, soundly bruising them, as a flash of light went off from the crystal, sending out the smallest of energy waves through the room as it fell apart…
And Loki gasped awake, his eyes wide, sitting up with a jolt, panting, looking frantic and…out of sorts, shaking his head and looking just…entirely horrified.
"Loki…" Kona breathed, hearing him wake, and his head snapped to the side.
The Avengers watched, completely stunned, as Loki, wincing from the beating the Hulk had dealt him, scrambled out of his small, Loki-shaped crater and up a small bit of stairs, not even seeming to notice them gathered behind him as he made his way to Kona's side, the girl too exhausted and spent to move from where she'd fallen back against the bar.
"Kona," Loki gasped, kneeling before her, reaching out to touch her face, taking it in both his hands as she reached up, curling her fingers around his wrist, tears falling from her eyes now as she looked at him.
Kona's eyes shifted over Loki's face as though she could see him, her other hand coming up to trace his features, "You're back," she whispered.
He nodded, "I am," his nods turned frantic as he stroked her face, searching it for something, "Please…please tell me I did not harm you," he murmured, pleading with her.
It was a…haze, inside his head, everything, every single memory was like he was looking at a blurred image, like he was squinting at an event playing through a fog. It was…jarring to realize that nearly a year of his life was so…vague to him.
He closed his eyes, vague or not, it was coming back to him. He started to shake, as though he were feeling it all, reliving every moment of it. The Chitauri…his mind was clear now, clearer than it had been for…so long. They were the enemy, they were not and never would be his allies. They had USED him, they had played on his desperate desire to get back to Kona and manipulated him. Worse than that…they had controlled him, and…not just from the Tesseract.
No, the Tesseract was Asgardian, was of another Realm than Earth and…it didn't have quite the same affect on them as it did on humans. For humans, it took them over completely, as it had Barton, but an Asgardian, for them to be even slightly controlled by the Tesseract was something. It was like…it was like the Chitauri, through the gem in their scepter, were able to tap into its power and 'show him the truth.'
He felt bile rise in him at what that 'truth' had been.
They had altered his mind, warped his memories, blocked some, twisted others, manipulated all of them. They had twisted his memory of when he'd fallen from Asgard, made him see Thor holding his hand instead of himself grabbing Gungnir. They'd made him think that Thor had let go of him instead of him letting go of that staff. They had taken the simplest of moments, the most minute of details and made them appear different than how they had really happened. And in doing that…they had completely changed everything he'd felt. To imagine his brother actually and physically casting him out of his home had made him feel differently for his brother, had made him angry and hateful, when it had been HIS choice.
It had warped his feelings for Asgard, for humans, for Thor, for everyone except Kona really. It was like it had taken his emotions and heightened them at times, made him blindingly angry and hateful, it made him jealous and feel…raged. It had taken everything he'd done for Asgard, from the Frost Giants to saving Odin, and twisted it, made him think the 'truth' in it was that he actually HAD wanted the throne, the FARTHEST thing from his mind.
Worse yet…the Chitauri…they hadn't just used the Tesseract to do that to him, they'd…tortured him, they'd tortured him to the brink of madness and…he hated to admit it but…they'd broken him. They had actually succeeded in breaking him, and through that, they'd fractured everything inside him. They whispered in his ear while he was in pain, made him associate it with Asgard, with Thor, with failing his 'allies.' They had made him believe that THEY were his friends, made him think his family the betrayers. They had cause him such pain that…he would have believed anything if only it would stop.
He pulled Kona closer, hugging her tightly, "Please tell me I did not harm you…" he begged, his voice breaking as he held her.
Kona had been his safe haven. No matter what the Chitauri did to him, the memory of her remained untainted. He had fought with all he had to keep her his, to keep her essence in his mind and heart free of their influence. He'd fought harder to keep her memory safe than he had anything else. Because, the Chitauri were right about one thing, even he could admit it, both before he'd found them and now, Kona had been the ONLY one to keep her faith in him unshaken, to trust him without a shadow of a doubt, to stand by his side and listen to him in his entirety before making decisions or judgments.
Even now, even now his beloved had vouched for him, fought for him, stayed true to him. He felt tears in his closed eyes building again at the thought. Kona, without her memories, without any idea who she was or who he was, had sat there as he had…told her the horrible things he did (he was sure he would never be able to repent killing those men and women that he had, for harming so many other, for all the destruction he'd caused) and she had known, she had just KNOWN, that it wasn't HIM. She had known from the start that that man who had attacked the Earth truly wasn't HIM, it wasn't the real him, it was the version of him that the Chitauri had created. It was the version that the Chitauri had used as a puppet to do their bidding. She had seen through it, despite her lack of sight, she had seen right through ALL of it and held firm in her belief that something was wrong.
And because of that, because of her faith in him…he was free.
He saw it, the scepter, the scepter that had once held the gem that contained the properties of the Tesseract. The second he had taken up that scepter…he had sealed his fate. The moment he accepted it…the Chitauri had won, they'd had control of him, they'd had him on their side. He hadn't been able to see what he was doing, the Tesseract's control and the Chitauri torture had done a number on him. His mind refused to accept anything that told him the Chitauri were the enemy, that everything he knew and remembered was wrong. In his mind, they were his allies, why would they betray him? They were both obtaining mutual benefits and he owed his life and his strength to the Chitauri…their torture had worked, he'd broken and they had put him back together in the model they wanted.
Oh he had raged in his head, HE had raged. HE had fought, HIM, the REAL him, the one that had hidden away with the memory of Kona in his mind, the him that had sought protection and comfort and relief in her memory. He'd escaped to the recesses of his mind, had been forced to watch everything happen as though he were seeing someone else, someone who looked like him doing it, and been helpless to stop it. He'd shouted, he'd screamed, done what he could to try and get through to himself. He could remember a vague voice in his head that had sounded like Kona, because that was the only voice he knew he had a chance of listening to.
But it hadn't worked, because the other him, the one the Chitauri controlled, had believed it a trick of Thor's, he had so deeply felt himself indebted to the Chitauri. And now…now the scepter and its connection to the Tesseract, truly the thing binding him to their will, making him believe all the lies they'd told him in the haze of his pains, had been destroyed. And he could see all that he'd done.
But the one thing he NEEDED to know…Kona…the one person who had ever been there for him, if he had harmed her…if he had harmed even a single hair on her head…
"No," Kona whispered, hugging him just as tightly, "You protected me," she told him, taking a deep breath as she held him tighter, her eyes falling closed as she turned and buried her face into the crook of his neck, "You made sure I was protected."
He let out a breath at that, nodding, though he felt himself shaking worse, imagining all the devastation he had brought to Earth that she had had to be protected from. It was his fault, his entire fault. He had been so weak and distracted in his exile that he hadn't been able to fight the Chitauri off, he hadn't been strong enough to withstand their torture, he hadn't been quick enough to escape, he hadn't been clever enough to see though their lies…he had fallen into darkness and now…now he was paying the price for it.
He hurt. Everywhere. Ever part of him hurt. His head throbbed from being released from the Chitauri's commands, from being released from the Tesseract's control, his memories reverting back to how they should have been. His body screamed in agony, not quite as badly as it had been when the Chitauri had first started conditioning him, but it hurt terribly from the brutal beating he had endured by the Hulk. He held no ill will towards the beast though, at that point he had been screaming in his mind, begging for someone, anyone, to do something, anything, to stop him…and the Hulk had. He truly owed the green man a debt, if he hadn't stopped him when he had, how he had, it wouldn't have given Kona time to free him. His heart hurt as well, it was so…heavy, with the knowledge that HE had killed others, he had attacked them and killed them when he could have subdued them. He could have easily used magic to sneak around the people he needed to get past, but instead he had killed and had orchestrated for others to be killed. It hadn't been him, the REAL him, but the Chitauri puppet but he could still remember it…HIS hand reaching out, HIS hand stabbing and cutting and tearing down others.
He squeezed Kona tighter, needing to feel her comfort, needing to feel the reassurance that SHE didn't think him a monster. He knew she didn't, she had stood by him, had protected him even after learning all that he'd done. She STILL had faith in him. He had…heard her, he'd heard her even as he'd been lying there unable to move, unable to fully wake, he'd heard her arguing with the Avengers, standing strong against them, had heard her fight for the scepter just to free him.
"Thank the gods," he murmured, pulling way to look at her, his one hand moving to the side of her face as she reached up and held it there, leaning into it, his face still so close to hers that he could rest his forehead to her own, "How…" he swallowed, "How did you know?" he knew that her memories were still gone, he knew that she didn't really know who he was or who she was so...how had she known?
Kona sniffled as she took a breath, so…relieved she'd been right, so…thankful that her feeling about all this, that what her gut was telling her had been correct, "I just…know you," it was all she could say.
She did, she knew him better than anyone. She had seen it (well, not SEEN it but still…), all the signs the others had missed. It just wasn't right, it wasn't HIM, the way he talked, the way he held himself, the things he was doing…they weren't the Loki she felt she knew, even if she didn't remember knowing him. Everything about what they had all been saying was just SO wrong, his actions, his excuses, they way he went about things…she honestly couldn't explain it any other way but that it just WASN'T him.
She had said it so many times but only Barton had listened.
"And this…" she continued, "It wasn't you. It couldn't be you."
He nodded, feeling a tear fall from his eyes as he smiled at her softly, "You are the only one who has ever truly seen me Kona."
Thor watched his brother closely at that seeing a...change in him, a true change, it was like...the man who had stood before him in the dead of night, spewing hatred against the humans and spouting his claims to the throne was just…a figment of his imagination. This man…this man who was looking at Kona like that…THAT was his brother. He felt the air leave him, as though he'd been punched in the gut by Mjolnir itself as he realized…Kona had been right. The entire time she'd been insisting that it wasn't Loki but, he hadn't listened, he…hadn't had faith in his brother.
He closed his eyes, he'd even said it himself, 'who controls the would-be king?' He'd asked Loki that, he'd KNOWN even then that something was NOT right about his brother. And the way he spoke, the way he flinched, the events he remembered and HOW he remembered them. He'd been aware the entire time that Loki had been manipulated. He just…hadn't thought it was to this extreme. What did that say for him? That he believed his brother fully capable and a willing participant in something like this, in such destruction and death. Loki had always been mischievous but this was something else entirely.
And Kona, a woman who didn't even remember who she was or who Loki was had been able to tell. She…truly knew his brother, he saw that now. He should have trusted her 'sight' as well, on Asgard often her vision led to her determining the truth of things as well, 'seeing the truth' in what people said or did...she WOULD know if the Loki the were seeing was the real him. Even without her memories, without her true abilities, she still retained a phantom sense of what she'd had, she had KNOWN the entire time. And even if she hadn't...her faith…HE should have been the one to trust Loki that much, it was his duty as the elder brother to look out for his younger brother, it was his job to watch over him and trust him and encourage him. And he'd failed. He'd failed even before this event, he…he truly was doubting everything he'd been told by Sif and the Warriors Three about what Loki had done on Asgard. He was starting to doubt what his own eyes and ears had told him when he'd returned to Asgard to find him and Kona celebrating in Odin's chambers after slaying the Jotun king.
He had seen it here, he had heard it from Loki, everything he'd done on Earth…Loki had killed people, Loki had spoken such terrible things…he had seen it and heard it, but everything he had seen and heard wasn't what was really happening. And if what he thought was true here was false…perhaps what he thought was true on Asgard was also false. But now he had quite the conundrum. As Loki what happened, he would be unable to fully believe him, Loki often lied, and he would no sooner be able to convince Odin of Loki's innocence than he could convince Sif to wear a dress when one wasn't required (he'd nearly had his throat slit the last time). No one on Asgard would believe him or Loki even if he vouched for him.
And the only other person he could ask about what happened, the only other person that the Asgardians would believe if she were ordered by the King to speak the truth…was Kona. And Kona had had her memories wiped…by his own hand. There was no way he'd be able to bring Loki back to Asgard as anything but a prisoner…and there was no way to get the truth until Kona's memories had been restored. As she was banished, she would be refused entrance to Asgard until the King lifted it, and Odin had not. And that…left him with only one option.
He would have to return Loki to Asgard, as his prisoner, until he could gather enough evidence of the man's innocence to put doubt in their father's mind. It would prove hard, Odin had become embittered against Loki for the threat he'd posed Asgard in letting the Frost Giants in when he had, how he'd manipulated everything. But he was sure he could do it, just enough doubt to get Kona's banishment lifted and her memories restored. Then he could bring her back and have the truth out, finally.
And then…perhaps…he would get his brother back.
"Do YOU see now?" Kona looked over at the Avengers, "Do you? It wasn't HIM."
Loki turned to face the men and woman that he had spent the better part of the last few days trying to destroy standing there, with various expression on their face. Some were warring with confusion, others disbelief, some shock…though Agent Barton had the smallest of smiles on his face (though he couldn't be sure if it was because he'd just proven he WASN'T compromised or if he was just relieved that Kona had been right). He looked at each one of them, seeing their glances flicker to the broken scepter and he reached over, taking it in his hand, containing his flinch when he saw them all stiffen at the move, clearly still expecting the worst.
He couldn't blame them either, he had…attacked them. They had spent so long seeing only him, the him the Chitauri had controlled, doing that, seeing the person who looked exactly like him but…WASN'T him. All they would see was that man even still. He stood, his hand in Kona's, gently helping her up as well. He eyed the team and took a step towards them, a small one, a slow one, and another, and another, till he was right before them. He looked at each of them, "If it's all the same to you," he glanced at Iron Man, "I'll have that drink now," before he held the scepter's remains out to Captain America.
The Captain looked at him, long and hard, as though trying to gauge any sort of treachery in his actions, before he slowly reached out and took the scepter from him, "This doesn't change anything," the Captain warned him.
Loki nodded, bowing his head, even as Barton stepped up, "He was being controlled the same as I was," the man argued, "You're not punishing ME."
"Because you weren't the one in charge," the Captain argued, stating what they were all thinking. The Chitauri had been across space, had needed Loki to open the portal to their world. It wasn't hard to work out that Loki had been afforded a certain amount of control, that HE had been the one in charge and making plans on how to go about getting the portal open, "He could have done this differently," he turned a hard look on Loki, before glancing at Kona, who Natasha had stepped past, "I AM sorry for this Kona."
"For what?" Kona shook her head too tired to really try and work it out…when she felt a sharp sting in the back of her head and the world went black.
The last thing she heard was Captain America ordering, "Seize him."
Loki stood, silent, manacled before Thor in Central Park, apparently where Thor had appeared when he'd been sent to Earth after him. He was solemn, silent, only really his hands restrained, something he'd allowed to happen. He knew that he would have to stand trial for all slights, he knew this was coming and he knew...he had to face his crimes. Even if he'd been controlled by the Tesseract, HE had still done the crimes, and now...it was time to face them and pray the gods would be kind to him and allow the others to realize that he hadn't WANTED to do what he had.
He looked over, watching the Avengers and Selvig gather near a car. Selvig pulled out a glass cylinder as Banner held the Tesseract out with tongs, having been warned by Loki not to touch it, and put it in the cylinder. Selvig smiled and put a cap on it, heading over to hand it to Thor, grinning as the man shook his hand goodbye. Thor turned to him and held out the cylinder to him, gesturing for him to take it.
Loki just looked at it, then Thor, "Must this always be my punishment brother?" he asked, his voice hollow and just…tired, pained, "To keep being parted from her?" he was torn as well, from being distressed to leave this way, to leave Kona, and being thankful she wouldn't have to be there to witness his shame, to hear all his crimes listed, to see how little the others would believe in him. He wanted to spare her that, to spare her the distrust of those that she had cared about.
HE didn't care if the others didn't believe him, as long as Kona believed in him. But he knew, it would hurt her (memories or no) to be around the people she had given her life (and her memories) to protect and have THEM not trust her as much as they didn't him.
Thor actually looked like he felt guilty about that, "The Tesseract can move only two," he reminded Loki, recalling what Selvig had stated about the power left in the Tesseract, how long it would take for the power to build up and it was too long for Thor to wait, "I am sorry Loki," he spoke, earnest, actually meaning it, "I will try to convince father…"
"He won't listen," Loki cut in, looking at the Tesseract again, though Thor had to smile at how he hadn't contradicted him that time about Odin, how he had called him brother again, "I will never see her again, will I?" he swallowed.
"I will do everything I can to see you reunited," Thor promised.
Loki gave a small, disbelieving smile, clearly either thinking it an empty promise or an impossible one, before he sighed, "I am sorry Kona," he whispered, taking the end of the Tesseract, knowing if they didn't leave now, Odin might send more people after him, and he couldn't risk others harming Kona.
The Avengers watched as a light emitted from the Tesseract and the gods were shot into the sky in a beam of light…
Kona awoke with a small inhale, blinking despite not seeing, as the dream she had, of Loki disappearing in a flash of light, played out in her mind, before she swallowed, feeling tears gather, and turned in her bed, she could smell she was in her apartment. She curled up, closing her eyes, realizing, once more, she had lost Loki. She shook her head, feeling tears gather and let out a quiet sob, not even her kitten able to cheer her as he jumped on he side and climbed over her to curl up by her stomach.
Why did this always happen? Why did he keep getting pulled away from her? Would she ever see him again?
She inhaled sharply at that, taking a breath before she sat up, yes…yes she would. She would make sure of it.
She didn't know how but…she WOULD see Loki again.
No…actually…she DID know how. That man, one of the agents, when she had been brought in to that ship the first time…she had heard him speaking to Thor about a woman a…she scrunched her face trying to recall it…Jane Foster. Thor had seemed very concerned about her and…if he felt for her what SHE felt for Loki (and vice versa)…then Thor would go after her, he would do everything he could to get back to her, to get her back.
Thor would come to Earth again, for Jane, and when he did…she was going to make sure she was there too.
She was NOT going to lose Loki a third time.
To be continued...in...Is It Redemption?
A/N: And there we have it, the end of the Avengers :( Poor Kona and Loki, STILL separated...but I think it was hinted...not for long ;) The next story will be up on Saturday :) I'm going to give a day between this one and that ;) But really, poor Kona, getting him back, losing him, and now she has to find an impossible (or maybe not that impossible) way back to a place she still doesn't remember :(
I hope you enjoyed the little twists here, with Loki being both manipulated and controlled. Seems Kona was right the whole time, it WASN'T Loki ;) I sort of got the feeling that he'd been tortured early in the movie, and then when he woke up at the end and asked for that drink...it just FELT different. The way he spoke and held himself and looked, his expresions just felt different than they had been. So I thought, maybe it might have something to do with the Tesseract, with it stopped, maybe its control was stopped too, and if he was THAT different, maybe he WAS being controlled as well.
But now Thor is sorry! And Thor is 99 percent sure that he was wrong to do what he did. There's still some red tape to cut through, but Thor is ready to prove Loki's innocence and get Kona back ;) I wonder how that will change Thor 2 }:)
And I can say the official pairing name for Loki/Kona is...Loka! ;)
I just want to add a big old thank you to all of you :) To anyone who read/reviewed/favorited/followed/anything the story :) I'm really glad you enjoyed it and it really means a lot to me to know you liked it :) You guys are awesome!
Some notes on reviews...
Nope, the scepter didn't affect Kona too, I think it tried to but her gift of sight in Asgard allowed her to already 'see' the truth and it didn't work ;)
I hope they make a Loki movie too, I would love it if he was in all of the movies to come, but he definitely needs at least 2 more :)
Lol, I have no idea why I torture you all, just think, could be worse...I could have made you wait weeks or months to find out what happens next if I was really evil }:)
Not imprisoned just yet, but now we'll get to see a Kona who as no memory possibly going to Asgard, so I can't say if her memories will be restored or not, but I think Thor does take blame a bit here yup :)