Genre: Romance, Hurt/Comfort
Loki is pregnant, coming back as an exile in chains from the final events from the Avengers movie. Nobody seems to know about his ongoing pregnancy, nor the father of the child. Loki doesn't know how to handle it, from bearing the child, to his constant thoughts that he will be killed, surely, for the crimes he had committed.
But what is he to do when he's welcomed back home with open arms? What if, although still at fault for the horrors he had done in childish vengeance, his old friends, his family, still missed him so incredibly? Would Loki have the growing courage to speak of the unborn child? And, above all else, would he manage to fix the broken bond and heart he once had with not only Thor, but with himself?
The sun feels almost foreign on the pale skin, what little there is to fall upon. Loki is covered up with his seeming normal garb. His long black jacket curls down the length of his arms, barely allowing just the tips of his slender fingers to poke through into vision.
“Remind me,” The man begins in a light spat of sound from his pale lips, head covered with a dark hood from his thick jacket (a modification only recently placed when Sif decided to drag him outside of his room for the first time in weeks). He grumbles once and tries to pull the hood further over his face, as if trying to hide from the bright sun that spills out around him, but the cloth complains in the fact that it couldn’t be pulled any further over his face. “Why exactly have you in purpose for dragging me out here?”
Sif rolls her eyes as she walks beside him, feet lightly clicking against the firm white stone of the walkroad through the gardens surrounding the All-Father’s home and castle. They are alone. The Warriors Three is off upon their own duties, leaving Sif seemingly the only of Loki’s friends to take the useless time to try and pull him from his room. After a moment she scoffs and crosses her thin arms, peering back at Loki with a genuine look of curiosity.
“I had thought that some sun might finally burn sense into your heart.”
“My heart has already been burned, but not by pitiful ‘sense’ as you so claim.” Loki feels himself wince again at the brightness of the star above, how it almost painfully glinted against his sensitive skin, so long having been used to the darkness of the outer realms and space, lost in dark clouds of misery and regret. The castle looms on in its golden glow behind their walking forms, almost as if to gloat before Loki of its true pristine over his bastard birth and raising in Odin’s hand. Feh. The All-Father and his horribly weak will. Loki doesn’t understand still why he had been allowed so much freedom so early after the crimes he had committed, but has not argued against them in any way through the seemingly endless days.
With a light growl against the soft wind on his cheek, Loki steps onward until he passes Sif and continues to walk past the overhanging limb of the old tree where he and the others had played when they were little. He spares it as little thought or memory as he does the small ants underneath his feet, which he tries so very to crush. Midgardians and their simple ways, their sharp tongues, their….their minds and wills and hearts and-
Emotions. Memories. Feelings.
Loki stops for a moment as he reaches the shadow of the old tree above his head, allowing himself just a simple moment to look up and see how the branch sags, how the leaves have started to wither upon the mighty tree before him. He does not look away. Not even when the lady warrior walks up slow and gentle behind him, a hand soon finding its way to lay upon the man’s shoulder.
“There is more in your heart than you give yourself credit for, Loki,” Sif tries with a soft voice, a gentle attempt to speak, but Loki is quick to pull his body away from hers. It is almost instinctual, the primal sense to cower and yank himself away from any sort of physical contact; it is one that Loki has taught himself in the years away from hom-….Asgard. It is something that he has only forced himself to learn for the sheer need of it. But the woman is quick, almost as if she had predicted his movement, and speaks firmly. “Whatever ill feelings you hold, please do not hold them in silence.”
“You know naught of any silence this realm has offered me,” Loki growls lightly, poisonously, his eyes turned only towards the old tree. “I only recall the sting of pain.” The bark is old and dark, years of live having drained it of the ability to seemingly keep itself together. Like how Loki had seen galaxies fall apart in glorious eruption, the tree too is dying. The tree that he and Thor had climbed upon as young children, the very one where they had sat upon its long spiraling branches and told eachother the most darkest of their secrets until the sun came up again.
Loki recalls, in his ignoring of Sif’s words (she is speaking about Odin now, something about how the old man has loved him in the entire time Loki was gone, but he isn’t paying much attention), Loki begins to remember that one night on the tree. The night where the wind was cold and his brother’s arm, wrapped around his shoulders in a more-than-brotherly hold was so very warm. Warm and soft.
There had been words. Lots of them, back and forth. Words of dark secrets, jokes, happiness and joy. Words that Loki suddenly doesn’t want to remember at all.
His mind focuses again onto Sif and her continuing voice (the woman can really keep going, can’t she?). He is back on Asgard again. An adult; no longer a senseless, naïve teenager lost in the ways of simple affection and spiteful fondness. After listening to her speak on and on longer, Loki interrupts. His mind flares sharply.
“And what is the meaning of all this drabble you spout off to me? What am I to care if ‘father’ loves me anymore? He was the one to send me into that dark abyss in the first place.” There is detectable sadness in Loki’s voice as he speaks, barely noticing how it began to break and shatter into a vulnerable confusion. “What am I to care if m-…if mother misses me? What…am I to care…?”
The emotions again, too much to bare, all pressing and pushing at Loki’s brain like hard driving nails. It hurts, hurts so much. The tree sways against the breeze above his head, and then suddenly there are words with the driving pain. Words of secrets. Words of longing. Words of love.
His heart suddenly breaks.
Before Loki can realize what is going on, Sif’s arms are around him. He is crying. When had he started crying? When had he finally broken with the immeasurable pain? As much in his frozen movements as the small god tries, he simply couldn’t find it. For the first time in Loki’s life he cannot think, cannot fathom why his brain, his heart, his body all hurts so very much. There is so much pushing on him, everything like a shattering waterfall against the fragile thin hold that he tries to keep upon his sanity.
He doesn’t hug her back. Even if he had desired to, Loki is sure that his arms don’t work. They are frozen to his sides, unable to do more than feel the gentle twitch of his fingertips, jolting in realization for every little tear the god finds that is rolling down his cheeks.
And Sif is speaking again. She is cooing and hushing and embracing her warm arms around Loki. They are not Thor’s arms, but they are warm and soft. They are loving. They are…they are the arms of a friend.
“Loki,” The woman whispers in his ear after a moment. She doesn’t bother to wipe his tears away, but the mere sound of concern and affection in her gentle tone is enough to have the same effect on the man. He listens at last, taking not a breath to speak. He just listens. “You are loved. You’re actions are hated, mistrusted, but you yourself are loved.”
It is those words that make the man’s mind reel back. The wormhole. The falling. The sound of his father’s voice. No. Thor hanging on the edge of the broken bifrost, trying to pull Loki back up. The look of pain that settled over the golden god’s face like a stone when he told him his plans.
He had just wanted to be Thor’s equal. He just wanted to make his family proud, to overcome the realization and handicap he held simply due to his birth.
And then he remembers everything earlier. The trip to Jotunheim. The truth. How he watched when his big brother was banished to Midgard. The pain, the treachery, the betrayal. The lies. The truth. Everything and nothing in the very same instance.
But Loki is here now, on Asgard. He isn’t falling, he isn’t being pulled apart, torn atom by atom in the lonely darkness. He isn’t being taken into scrap and barely rolled back together again. He is….he is on Asgard. He is not surrounded by darkness, but light. And he can feel that light against his skin feel how it glitters down from above his body in the sky.
And suddenly, the sunlight doesn’t seem to burn any longer. If anything, Loki feels as if it…if it feels nice. Warm even, a feeling that the trickster hasn’t felt in a genuine long while, having been covered and hidden away by cold wrenching guilt and pain.
He is warm. And he is home.
Home. Asgard. He is…yes, he is home.
Sif slowly loosens her grip around Loki’s body, and for the first time he doesn’t try to quicken the parting of contact by stepping away, jerking his body from her hold as if he had been burned. Instead, he merely looks up at her as they part. Their eyes meet for a moment in the cool breeze of the simple air. Leaves fall to the ground from the tree above, gentle and quiet.
“You are loved,” she repeats again, one of her gentle hands lingering upon Loki’s shoulder. “You are so foolish, so selfish not to see that, outside your childish jealousy.” Her words move mountains.
It had taken a lot to allow himself to realize it, if at least a little (a start was better than not starting at all). He is…loved. To what extent, and by whom, he has still to understand completely. There is still pain deep in Loki’s soul and heart, he knows that greatly as he and Sif begin walking down the brick pathway again. And there are sins, painted and permanent, but there is a sense of redemption in kind.
But he thinks, with a soft smile on his lips, face turned away from the woman so she couldn’t see; the pain is just a little bit less. The man places a hand cautiously upon his stomach, still flat and unshowing.
Yes. That pain was just that little bit less.