Thanks to my beta, irite, who's pretty much the best. I'm running out of ways to say that. Someone should get me a thesaurus for Christmas.
"Sometimes I wish for falling,
wish for the release.
Wish for falling through the air
to give me some relief.
Because falling's not the problem;
when I'm falling I'm in peace.
It's only when I hit the ground
it causes all the grief."
Florence and the Machine, "Falling."
Steve remembered falling.
He remembered it, like he remembered all things, in crystal clear detail. Etched into his brain as if by indelible ink, something that the passage of time did nothing to erode away.
Steve remembered saying goodbye to Peggy in a way that almost wasn't saying goodbye. Almost. The way her voice broke, the tears creeping in, told him that he'd missed the mark, no matter how close he'd gotten.
He'd said goodbye, and then he'd pointed the nose of the plane down so that his windshield was full of ice.
It had been the right thing to do, he knew. It needed to be done.
That had made it easier.
But it still had not been easy.
And the memory of falling was there, always, and Steve sometimes wondered if he'd ever stopped at all.
Bruce remembered falling.
The whole day had been a disaster, from the unsafe taxi ride through New York to his meeting with Dr. Sterns, to Blonsky doing whatever it was that he had done to himself. And Bruce knew it was within his power to mitigate some of the disaster, maybe, or maybe make it worse, but he had to try. That's what he did. He tried. And his whole damn life had become this horrific mistake that he needed to rectify, which meant he would do whatever he could to make that happen.
So he'd made them all see things his way, had made them see that they had to let him do this. That they had no other choice, really. Then he'd kissed Betty, and then he'd taken a step backwards, and then—
This is a very bad idea.
It had seemed like a good idea, or, at least, as close to a good idea as he had these days, but upon exiting the helicopter in mid air, it had become immediately apparent that it was, in fact, a bad idea.
The fall towards Harlem was long. More than long enough for Bruce to do the math—acceleration due to gravity, estimated height, air resistance—and decide that yes, this would either work or kill him.
He didn't transform until he hit the ground.
Bruce remembered every second of that fall.
Thor remembered falling.
First had come the feeling of having a part of himself, a crucial, central something, ripped away. It all happened so quickly that he almost—almost—didn't understand what was happening. But no, he understood. His father, that foolish old man, was banishing him from Asgard.
Later, when Thor had seen the error of his ways, he had been regretful. His banishment had been the start of the path that led to Loki's downfall. At the time, though, he had not had that levelheadedness. What had been happening to him had seemed egregiously unfair. His anger and self-righteousness had cocooned him from the true impact of his actions, from the consequences he had to face.
But it did not shield him from falling.
He thus remembered flying through the dimensions in a blaze of orange fire, hurtling towards some unknown fate, and yet being consumed not with fear of the unknown, but with indignation and anger.
He had not been shielded from falling, only from understanding.
Understanding was not dissimilar to falling, really.
Loki remembered falling.
Perhaps it had not been falling, per se. There had been no wind against his face or back to tell him which direction he was traveling. Indeed, he may have just remained frozen in space, drifting, dazed, time dripping away from him with every beat of his damnably still-living heart.
But he liked to think of it as falling, whether that was an accurate description or not. Falling had direction and purpose.
And really, his long, long, endlessly long fall was an apt metaphor. For what had happened before he had taken the plunge. For what he allowed to happen after. For all of it, for his entire existence, from the day of his birth, to the day he bowed and called another 'Master,' to his failure, to the day his 'family' locked him away like a dangerous artifact.
His fall from grace had been both literal and metaphorical, and he relished that with a vicious glee that made it all almost bearable.
Yes, Loki remembered falling.
Tony did not remember falling.
He remembered flying, soaring, nuclear missile clutched against his body with one exhausted, armored arm. Leaving the battle behind, clearly focused on his goal, all distractions falling by the wayside as his mind was consumed with please please don't let me fuck this up.
He remembered the portal, a gaping chasm opening onto a black, empty landscape.
And he remembered stalling, the suit stuttering to a halt, the sudden pain in his chest, as he sent the missile off towards a distant ship.
He remembered his lungs burning as they tried to breathe in nothing.
He remembering passing out, his vision fading to grey, thinking this is it.
But he did not remember falling.
Thanks for reading my pointless little drabble! Please review if you're so inclined.