He wanted to reach out to her.
He wanted to pull her against him, hold her in his arms, and whisper a spell to ward off the chill of the desert wind. He wanted to feel her wrap her arms around him with perfect familiarity, standing on her toes to meet his lips, even as he leaned down for her. Was that so much to ask? To want something so simple, so meaningful to him again? Why did it seem that whenever he found something good, something he could not taint or warp, the universe saw fit to strip it away from him?
He just wanted to see her smile for him again.
To see her smile because of him again.
Loki felt a deep pang in his chest when he saw Jane’s eyes glisten with tears in the moonlight. He could feel her sorrow acutely—and frustration at the fact that he could not use his silver tongue or his quicksilver daggers to defeat the cause of it.
The doctors, knowing so little about memories and how the brain works, said that he had to be patient and that a brain injury of this magnitude was to be handled delicately and with caution. Anything overly stressful in the coming weeks could cause more psychological or physical damage beyond a concussion. His fingers twitched. A few gestures, a few phrases and he could probably cure her.
Probably. That was the rub.
Even Frigga had once warned him against using magic on the mind. Even if they were unsuspecting, even if they trusted you, the mind rebelled against magic being used directly on it. That was why illusions worked so well. One could trust their own eyes, could they not?
But how could he be patient when she looked at him like a stranger? How could he not want to comb the nine realms for a cure when she instinctively regarded him as something to fear? How could he keep calm when the center of his whole world was ripped away from him? How could he—
Jane was lost.
For once, he wanted to be the pillar of strength she had become for him. She might get lost in her work and forget dates and appointments, she might babble endlessly about data and anomalies when they needed to speak about rent or other bills, but she was not a being without compassion or sympathy. She encouraged people to go after their dreams. She encouraged him to rebuild his brotherly bond with Thor.
She told Odin to go read some modern parenting books.
Science and the night sky were two of the most important things in the world to her, and seeing her struggle to remember her own research and understand her own notes was a new level of hell. He could see that it was a wound to her own pride when she had to pull out basic level books once more when she used to recite them by heart.
And they expected him to keep his distance and remain quiet.
He approached her quietly, purposely stepping on a rock to alert her of his presence, so she would not jump and scream like last time.
She jumped, never the less.
“I’m sorry,” she suddenly sobbed.
It felt like a stab in the heart.
“No, Jane, you do not…”
She did not turn around, instead, hugging her blanket about her shoulders tighter. “No, I do—I… I found a diary of mine. I-I can’t believe it, but that’s my handwriting… and…”
His breath caught in his throat. The doctors suggested hiding anything that might trigger too many memories at the same time and he had done so. How did he miss something like a diary? What cruel deity allowed him to overlook it? Had this discovery of hers answered the dozens of questions she begged him to answer? Had it triggered something in her mind and sent her further away from him?
She finally turned around, tears running down her cheeks.
He pulled her into his arms, deciding to damn the consequences.
“It is alright,” he whispered softly. “You have no reason to blame yourself, Jane.”
“But… I read everything. You have no idea—how can you be so patient? I keep jumping every time you come near and I can see how it hurts you, but I can’t stop myself!”
“Jane, stop it,” he said firmly. “You have no reason to apologize to me. What happened has happened and it is not your fault. Whether you remember is a matter of time, as much as we both may hate it, but I am sure they will return.”She bit her lip, looking away guiltily, but she did not step away or pushed him away either. Loki took this as a step in the right direction. It may take weeks, it may take months, but she would become his again. He had not worked so hard to change himself, to become worthy of her, and to win her heart, just to lose her to something as simple as a baseball to the head.