mjolnir_retriever: Thor stuck in a glass room, fist resting on the glass. (unaccustomed to helplessness)
Thor, son of Odin ([personal profile] mjolnir_retriever) wrote2012-09-20 06:06 pm
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The bridge shattered even more explosively than Thor thought. He realizes, as they pinwheel towards its splintered end, that both he and Loki are going to miss it -- going to miss, and below them is still the starry chasm, not even ocean.

But Loki is, barely, within reach. Thor grabs, falling, and manages to catch Gungnir's haft in his free hand just below its keen spearhead. Together they plummet, connected by the spear's long shaft, and Thor shifts his grip on Mjölnir -- he needs to start it twirling, to get up the momentum to throw them both shorewards before they fall too far and make the job harder --

Something clamps hard around his ankle, and with a jerk they've stopped.

It's a hand. Someone's grasping his ankle -- Heimdall, Hogun or Fandral or Volstagg, a guard or friend. They dangle over the wide-scattered stars, the distant expanding nebulas and the killing void. Thor, and below him Loki, dangling by one hand from Gungnir's shaft and staring up in shock.

In spite of everything that's just happened, Thor can't help but grin down at his brother. He's full of breathless adrenaline, bruised but whole, and so is Loki, and debris is raining gently around them. This might almost be another of their shared scrapes, something to laugh about later; everything might be all right after all.

But Loki doesn't grin back. Instead he stares up past Thor, and his face goes raw and open with a pleading fury that's painful to see. "I could have done it, Father!" he yells, and Thor realizes with a jolt that it's Odin holding his ankle. Odin, awake again just in time to save his sons. "I could have done it!" Loki yells again.

Done WHAT? Thor wants to demand. Nothing Loki has done these past few days has been to a good end, so far as he can see. What did Loki think he was doing?

He doesn't say it. Now isn't the time, with both of them dangling over this precipice, and Loki so fragile and desperate. He waits for Odin to pull them both up. He'll be weaker than usual, newly awakened as he is, but he's strong enough to hold both his sons' weight in one hand for all of that, and once Thor is up he can pull Loki to the bridge easily. There's no answer to give; let them have this out on solid ground.

Whatever Loki sees in Odin's face, his fierce pleading vulnerability ratchets in on itself. "For you!" he shrieks, and the horrible brittleness is back. Thor's fist tightens around Gungnir of its own accord, as if he could hold his brother together by main force. "For all of us!"

Father, pull him up.

But Odin didn't see Loki in the gateroom. Odin doesn't know how madness has clenched its fist on Loki's heart, doesn't know what a thin brittle edge Loki is on.

Thor doesn't realize that -- doesn't even think of it -- until his father's soft, regretful voice above him says "No, Loki."

Loki's mouth closes, and his lips thin, and Thor goes cold with dread. He doesn't know what's going to happen, but he knows, from the bitter, vicious vindication in Loki's set face, that it's going to be awful. "Loki," he blurts, flinging Mjölnir away into the ocean so he can reach futilely downwards, "no--"

Loki, staring deliberately upward, lets go.

Thor screams negation into the wind of the void. Loki is far beyond his reach, a small figure staring back as he plummets farther and farther beyond all help, but Thor reaches anyway. Odin's hand is a vise on his ankle.

"No," his father whispers, and Thor has never heard him sound so old. He's never felt so ripped apart. The wind feels as if it's blowing straight through him, as if tattered shreds of Thor might drift away. This can't be happening. It can't be real. Just heartbeats ago his brother was --

Thor's vision blurs, as the tiny dark shape of his brother winks out of sight.

Odin pulls him up, but Thor can barely bring himself to help. When he summons Mjölnir back to his hand, it's a leaden afterthought.

It's a long time before either of them turns away from the abyss, and the nebula-strewn blackness where Loki should be, and isn't.

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