surprise, there’s fic, too! warning for possible spoilers into the Thor 2 plot.
”I will return,” Loki says.
Thor watches him across the fire as he stands, waves of light shadowed across his face. He looks very tired.
"Where are you going?"
"A walk," Loki says.
Thor doesn’t try and stop him, though perhaps he should. Loki leaves the warmth of the fire, boots crunching against rock and dry leaves. He turns the side of the cliff and then Thor can hear nothing, as though he wasn’t there at all.
It has been three days. Three days, and they have traveled all three. Tonight is the first night they have rested. It has been three days since the attack on Asgard from the Dark Elves. Three days since Thor broke Loki free from prison with the plea, help me.
Three days since their mother died.
When Thor told Loki, something in his brother seemed to freeze, to curl up inside him and then drop. Then, just as quickly, he appeared all too calm. A truce, that is what Thor had suggested. Vengeance for them both, if only Loki would get him to the far side of Asgard.
Loki had agreed, and in the three days they have traveled, he has barely spoken more than four words to Thor.
There is an anger in Thor now that terrifies him. It feels like a fire, a great fire that starts in his heart and then spreads across his chest like the branches of a tree. He wonders if this is the anger Loki has felt, and if it has always been so suffocating. He wants to avenge their mother, avenge Asgard, but Thor knows that won’t bring her back. He will never see her smile again, not even when he passes into the halls of Valhalla.
In the silence, Thor notices that Loki has yet to return. The fire he conjured still burns bright. Thor stands and follows Loki’s path, turning around the curve of the cliff and following the darkness. He moves slow and quiet, as if Loki is an animal who could be frightened away.
Thor thinks it’s a mistake at first, the noises he hears. But as he listens, the noises come again. It’s just west of him, maybe twenty feet. Thor moves cautiously still, stepping underneath some dead brush. The noises, he realizes now, are sobs.
It’s Loki. Thor sees him now, cross-legged on the ground, shoulders drawn in and shaking. Seeing his brother like this, Thor forgets stealth and moves forward quicker.
Loki’s head snaps up, eyes bright and wide. Thor stills. His brother doesn’t move for a moment, but then his expression hardens, almost a sneer.
He opens his mouth to speak, but Thor does so first:
"I am sorry."
“Leave me,” Loki says, bitter. Angry.
Thor doesn’t listen. He closes the distance and sits beside Loki, looking at the tracks of tears down his cheeks like rivers. He spreads his legs out between his brother’s body and wraps his arms tight around Loki’s waist. Loki goes stiff, hands gripping Thor’s arms tight to wrench him away.
"This changes nothing between us," he says. "Leave me."
"I am sorry," Thor says again.
"It’s okay," Thor says, and leans forward, pressing his forehead into Loki’s shoulder.
When Loki struggles, Thor just tightens his grip, whispering to him, murmuring things like it’s okay andI’m sorry. Calming him, as if Loki is hysterical. Even when Loki stops struggling, Thor still says it, his voice a lull. He says it until the words no longer make sense to him. Then he stops speaking.
Eventually, Loki goes limp. He buries his face into his hands and lets out a sob that is raw, ugly, sad. Thor turns his head so his cheek is pressed against Loki’s shoulder, holding him still, feeling the way his body shakes. Listening, to the sound of Loki crying, Loki mourning for his mother.
We are such children still, Thor thinks. Such children.
They walk back to the fire without a word.