mjolnir_retriever: Thor and Loki kneeling before (and dwarfed by) the gold steps leading up to Odin's throne (brothers before Asgard's golden throne)
Thor returns from Milliways to Asgard, and the same instant he left. The portal works the same here as on Midgard, then.

He will have to speak to Heimdall about the place, and to his parents. Sometime.

Thor closes his eyes for a moment, in the hallways, with no servants looking. Then he goes down to the training halls.

He leaves Mjölnir on the floor. In this mood, on this day, if he starts to break things he may not stop for far too long. His fists alone, here in the middle of the night where none will see or hear.

(He breaks three pells anyway.)






He goes back to his chambers. He cleans his formal armor of the dust of New Mexico, the sweat and grime of his fight with Loki; he polishes the gleaming disks of his breastplate. Servants could do this work just as well, but Thor wants the work for his hands. He wishes it felt like more of a penance.

Morning comes, and Loki is still gone.






Thor skips breakfast. There's no joy in food for him right now. He goes instead to speak to his friends. (Their friends.) To Sif, to Volstagg and Hogun and Fandral. To Heimdall, briefly.

He tells them, haltingly, of Loki's madness. Of Loki's fall.

It's awful telling it again, as he knew it would be. Every word is something he has to say, to acknowledge, to bring out again into the open as something that happened.

And yet it's a relief, as much as anything can be, to have his comrades to share his grief. Milliways denizens -- not even Diana, kind and noble as she is, and a friend already -- can't compare to the friends of centuries, friends who love Loki dearly themselves.






Odin summons Thor. He goes, of course.

There is something charged in the silence between his parents. Disagreement, he thinks; he knows the signs of it well enough. Odin's word as king (and Odin's stubbornness, like both his sons') usually carries the day, but Frigga has her own quieter stubbornness. It will come to resolution sooner or later, whatever the matter is, and Frigga may have her way after all.

But perhaps he's only grasping for the normalcy of argument. Loki is fallen, mad, probably dead. There is tension in every silence. A dozen times, Thor thinks for an instant he sees a dark slim shape in the corner of his eye, or hears a familiar tread, or forgets that his brother won't flicker into visibility to drawl something sardonic; a dozen times, he's wrong.

Odin Allfather speaks to the people. Thor stands behind him, in formal armor again, and Frigga beside him in her own most regal raiment, both of them sober and silent.

Every word Odin says is true. But the entire impression is misleading -- a rogue band of frost giants, the treaty that Asgard will hold to as long as Jötunheim does, the Bifrost controls damaged and the whole of it destroyed to prevent tragedy, and Loki Odinson lost to terrible mischance. Asgard is safe, Odin says. Asgard mourns, but it is safe.

When they speak to the court from the golden dais, immediately after, Odin gives a few more details, but the heart of it is the same. They will mourn, he says. Loki may by some chance live, but unless Heimdall sees him soon, they must assume him dead. He will be mourned as the prince he is: feasts celebrating his life, sober ceremony in sorrow for his death.

Thor knows this balance is as it must be. The people deserve truth, and only truth is honorable to give them, but Loki's private pain and madness is a personal matter, not to be shared with those who didn't know and love him well. Odin is wise to choose his words, and wise to be able to speak them as he does, as if there are no deeper secrets to complicate anything.

But Thor doesn't think he could speak so.

He holds his tongue, and none asks him for words, though they watch the faces of all the royal family -- the king, the queen, the only remaining prince. Loki's absence feels raw as the stump of a missing limb.






When he follows Odin and Frigga back into the semi-privacy of the hallway that leads to their apartments and his own, the doorway doesn't take him to where he expects.
mjolnir_retriever: Thor and Coulson talking (son of Coul)
"We must go to the Bifrost site," Thor tells his friends. All his friends, but mostly his old comrades, the ones who will accompany him to Asgard, the ones who know what all this means. The ones who were betrayed too. All amusement has leached out of him now, leaving only grim anger. "I would have words with my brother."

He notices the approaching hum, but it's nothing dangerous and nothing Asgardian, so it hardly demands attention at the moment. )

Thor strides into the maelstrom of wind. The Bifrost catches him up on its rushing path, and he flies, Sif and the Warriors Three half a heartbeat behind, between worlds and stars and towards home. Towards a reckoning.
mjolnir_retriever: Thor in armor looking shiny with a dramatic sky behind him (Thor Odinson of Asgard is shiny)
He's sinking gradually, comfortably into blackness. It feels like sleep, like floating in a warm bath; all the pain and noise drifts somewhere above him. Time stretches into irrelevance.

Something tugs at his mind, from far away. )

"We must go to the Bifrost site," he tells his friends. All his friends, but mostly his old comrades, the ones who will accompany him to Asgard, the ones who know what all this means. The ones who were betrayed too. All amusement has leached out of him now, leaving only grim anger. "I would have words with my brother."
mjolnir_retriever: Thor in t-shirt and plaid and jeans, walking forward on a devastated street (showdown at the OK corral)
Since long before Thor was born, the Destroyer has lain hidden in Asgard's treasure vault. It can be sent out at need, and has been, but mostly it remains behind its screening wall there. It's both one of the great treasures of the realm and a last protection for the rest, under normal circumstances. A great figure of hollow metal and sorcery, shaped like a man but twice as tall as an Asgardian, it has no true brain nor personality. But the magic in it will follow simple orders.

Protect. )

One last glance at his friends -- old and new, all brave and valiant, all dear to him, some since childhood and some only in these last days of Midgardian strangeness -- and then he goes to finish this.
mjolnir_retriever: Thor in t-shirt and plaid and jeans, walking forward on a devastated street (showdown at the OK corral)
The sky over New Mexico is clear and blue -- except in one spot north of town, where a stormy spiral of dark grey reaches down a straight finger toward the dry ground. Thor can't feel the storm under his skin the way he's always taken for granted, can't feel the changes in the atmosphere and the potential building in ions and airflow, but this isn't a normal storm anyway. This is the Bifrost opening.

The question is why, and for whom. )

It's good to have his friends at his back again. Even if he can't stand at their side.
mjolnir_retriever: Volstagg, Sif, Fandral, and Hogun, with a rainbow arching over them (comrades in arms)
Jane corners Erik as soon as he's sufficiently alert to embark on an argument of great passion and duration about what exactly the storm surrounding the Bifrost site was, and what the Bifrost is, and how the cosmos is arranged, and what the other scientists of Earth will accept and under what circumstances. The word evidence comes up a lot.

Thor drinks coffee, and (with the aid of directions and some discreet experimentation with the bright blue soap) cleans the dishes, and makes more coffee, and listens with half his attention. )

Thor turns towards the glass doors, seeing out of the corner of his eye his friends falling in behind him, following his lead -- and that's when the sky over the desert opens up.

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Thor, son of Odin

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