Takes place after Original Sin 8
The grief overcame his stubbornness.
His arms fell at his side, aching and weak. His legs gave out and sunk to the ground, his lowered head nearly touched Mjolnir's handle.
It was his fault. How could he be so foolish to believe that something so good could last? He had sworn to protect and the one most dear to him was gone. Gone. Gone forever.
Thor let out a howl. He violently sobbed, his hands digging into the surface of the moon and squeezing at the dirt. He did not care if the other Avengers saw. He did not care for anything else at all. His brother was dead and it was his fault.
But no one came and Thor fell apart. He shouted until he lost his voice, and let his tears fall until his eyes stung. He had collapsed next to his hammer, rocking back and forth. With shaking arms, he imagined that he held his younger brother. A hand patting the back of fluffy black hair, another on a shoulder; two arms wrapped tightly around the back. Like he had embraced his brother last, remembering the final words that the boy had spoken to him.
Oh Thor. You really are the biggest, sweetest idiot in the whole nine realms
Why did he not see? Why didn't he see that his brother's fear was more pressing than he thought? If only he had been a better brother, the child would still be alive.
A hand lightly tapped his back. Still Thor did not move. Two strong arms lifted him up, carrying him back to the ship. He did not notice that he was helped into his seat, that the ship took off, that Mjolnir was still stuck on the moon, that the others whispered about him:
"Should we ask him about what Fury said?"
"Does it matter? The bastard's dead."
"Thor is not ok. Look at him! He has never been this out of it."
"Let him deal. I never asked to deal with the shit that came from Fury's murdering ass but I dealt with it."
Thor let out a raspy cry. His arms had crossed his chest and he rested his cheek on his shoulder. The others stared. One made a movement to put a gentle hand on his free shoulder. It didn't matter. His brother was dead and it was his fault.
He had shut himself in his chambers for three days straight. He emerged with a solemn look on his face. With heavy feet he walked towards the AllMother's throne. He knelt, avoiding their gaze.
"I need a spell," he told them.
"What for?" Freyja asked.
"I need a spell," he repeated in a low voice.
His eyes finally met the Allmother's gazes.
"For time travel."
"Do not be rash Thor," Freyja told him sternly. "You are not to interfere with the past."
"But I have to," his voice had become agitated. "I made a promise. I intend to keep it."
"There are some things that cannot be fixed."
"If it cannot be fixed then I will fix it," Thor growled.
"Don't be so stubborn child. You cannot save everyone."
Thor stood up with an angered expression on his face.
"How dare you!" He shouted. "How dare you mock my grief!"
"We are not--"
"For all I know you may have had a hand in it! Hiding secrets about my sister and now my brother! How much blood is on your hands?"
"We did not know about it!"
"Then let me go! "
"What do I need to do to convince you?" Thor asked. "Weep? Pull my hair? Draw blood?"
"I had one duty! To protect the ones I love! And my heart aches that the brother I loved the most not only lies dead but that every day I have to look upon the evilness that inhabited his body. There is no grave I can go to to pay my respect. Please. If you ever loved us Mother. I won't change anything. Let me see him. Let me see him one last time."
He lowered his head in a gesture of humility. The three rulers of Asgard looked upon him, but their glances were warmer.
"We will grant you your request."
Thor's face flushed red. He blinked back tears and knelt again.
"Thank you Mother."
The force of the vortex left a queasy feeling in his stomach as he landed. He swallowed back his fear and took several calming breaths. He wasn't sure where or when he was. He felt the rocks underneath his feet and peered through the fog.
Thor began to walk. His heart began to beat fast. His steps were short and his legs felt numb. He walked and walked for what felt like miles until he saw the blood on the ground.
The fog began to clear. He looked up and his heart sunk.
There laying against a stone column was a child. Blood dripped from his mouth and hands that ran into the puddle of blood and feathers on the ground. The boy's breaths were shallow, his eyes hollow.
Thor took a shaky breath and headed towards his brother. The boy looked up and let out a slight smile.
"Brother?" He weakly said.
Thor knelt down next to Loki. He reached out and placed a hand on Loki's cheek. The boy's skin was cold.
"Don't worry. I'm here."
"It doesn't matter," Thor tried his best to smile. "I'm here. I'll look after you."
"You always did."
Thor gently took Loki's hand.
"Does it hurt?"
"A little," the boy breathed.
"Squeeze my hand as hard as it hurts."
Loki did. Thor felt his hand clench but made no move to release it.
"Why didn't you tell me?" He asked mournfully.
"I couldn't," the boy said.
"I would have helped you."
"There was nothing you could have done."
"I could have. I could have helped you."
Thor stared into Loki's eyes. They were bloodshot with white swirls where the pupils would have been. Tears streamed down his bloodstained cheeks.
"I should have been there for you," Thor felt his voice choke up.
Loki squeezed Thor's hand again. It was a gentle squeeze. It took Thor a second to realize that Loki was comforting him.
"It isn't your fault. It was my choice," Loki whispered. "Please don't blame yourself. The only one at fault is me. Promise me."
"I promise," Thor nodded.
Loki squeezed Thor's hand again. This time, Thor's fingers turned red. Thor's free arm placed a hand on Loki's shoulder.
"Tell me something," Loki said.
"A story," the boy suddenly seemed much younger than his twelve years.
"Once there was a boy who lived in a magical kingdom," Thor began. He placed his free hand on Loki's cheek and stroked it. "He was a prince, and his palace was full of riches. The walls were made of gold, the furniture of silver, and he dressed in the finest silks and furs. The boy was known for his marvelous adventures and was loved by all--"
"No. I don't like that story. Tell me the real one," Loki interrupted.
Thor let out a sad sigh and blinked back his tears for the thousandth time.
"Once there was a boy who was bought to live in the court of a mighty kingdom. He was the enemy of the kingdom and the people hated him. He grew up hardened and rejected those who had cast him out. But there was one who cared for the boy. His brother. His brother loved him dearly and even when they fought, his affection never wavered. And that brother--" Thor's voice trailed off. His eyes watered.
"I'm hurting you!" The boy cried.
"No. No. You're not," Thor tried to console Loki. He felt his fingers grow numb from Loki's tight grip.
"I don't want to hurt you! I've never meant to hurt you!" Loki sobbed.
"I know," Thor wiped away the tears on Loki's face. "I know."
"How does the story end?" Loki asked.
"I don't know," Thor admitted. "Do you want to come up with your own ending?"
"The boy will be happy. I know he will be. And he loves his brother more than he'll ever know."
Loki let out another smile. Thor grinned through his tears.
"Stay with me until I go," Loki whispered.
"I will," Thor said.
Loki squeezed Thor's hand once more. Thor's fingers turned a deathly white close to the color of Loki's skin.
And Thor stayed. And he held Loki's hand until the boy gave one last gasp and his hand loosened. The tears fell harder, but they did not overwhelm Thor as they did on the moon. He took Loki's body and held it close to him in one last embrace.
"Goodbye Loki," he wept. "I'll close your eyes so you awake anew."
He set down Loki against the column and straightened his posture. Thor leaned in and cupped his hand against boy's face. Loki's eyes were now green again. Thor closed the eyelids with the tip of his fingers. He kissed Loki's forehead and stood up. The older brother walked back into the fog, finally at peace.