Chasing Demons

chapter9

(Bruce)

I don't know how long I was nocked out for but when I woke I saw familiar faces staring down in worry. There was Steve, Clint, Natasha, and Tony but I didn't see Thor and for a second I didn't know why until the battle the had just happened moments before raced through my mind and I remembered everything that had happened. I looked hopefully at Tony who looked at everyone else and as they all left he knelt next to me.

"You didn't save him did you?" I asked sitting up

"I'm sorry Bruce, they were gone when we got here." that was it then, "but I explained to everyone what was going on." he added hopefully

That no longer mattered, it was over, he was gone and I was never going to see him again, I was never going to keep my promise, never hear him laugh, see him smile or see his eyes light up. I hid my face in my hands dissapointed in how far I came to lose it all just like every other time I was left hurt, I shouldn't have let my heart feel, shouldn't have gotten so close but I loved him and I wanted to save him that was all. Tony sat next to me and placed a hand on my shoulder but I pushed it off I didn't like his touch, it was strong and firm not like Loki's which were smooth, soft, and full of care.

"There's still a way to save him."

"How?" I looked up at him

Tony stood and held out his hand unsure of what was going to happen I took it and he led me to his lab. I didn't see why he brought me here after all I had seen every project he had been working on and knew the lab perfectly all except for the sealed, black case which he was leading me towards. He pushed a button and as the black case fell surrounded by a clear case was a small, blue, square and I knew right away what I was looking at.

"Is that the..."
"The tesseract? Yeah it's a part of it. Before Thor took Loki back to Asgard the last time they were here I asked for a small sample for...research. Anyways I played around with it for a while and I think that I've made an accurate replica that should work."
I didn't care about how uncertain Tony was I might have found a way into Asgard and I had a new hope, everything that I had promised Loki I could still keep. I oculd still save him, prove to him how much I care for him, he could start again here in New York and I'd help him fit in, help him start again, just the two of us.

"Than you Tony."
He nodded and I reached out to touch the cube,I was going to save Loki no matter what I had to go through. No one was going to hurt him again and no one was going to keep us apart, not ever again.

(Loki)

My body ached everywhere, my head hurt, and I couldn't move. The ground beneath me was hard and stiff and as my senses came to me I slowly opened my eyes fearing of knowing where I was even though I knew all a long that I would wind up back here, back in this cell, in the darkness surrounded by crude silence, bound in gagged in chains preventing my from using my powers. What hurt the most was my heart, it beat slowly and with each beat it pained as though a knife had been longed into it and it was being pulled in half. I wanted to cry, cry from the pain of my heart and of what had happened over the past few weeks. Those had been some of the best days I've ever had and now they were gone and I would never see Banner again that much I knew.

Odin would make sure that I never left, that I suffered for the rest of my days and no one would come to save me, Banner had no hope for finding a way up to Asgard for I doubt even Thor would allow him to come. I would be alone forever, locked up here, tortured, it was all one big cycle that was repeating itself again. Struggling against the chains I sat up straight and leaned against the cell wall looking into the darkness.

Hello old friend it's been a while since last time

I sighed already wishing that I was dead, that Banner hadn't saved me from SHIELD or that the Avengers had let me fall to my death, I would much rather die now then go through with what was going to happen next.

But then we wouldn't get to play with our favorite toy

Yes what fun's that if your dead

Dead man can't feel pain so there would be no use for you

"I do believe that is my point"
You're of much more use to us alive

Yes yes much more useful alive

"All because you need someone to torment. Go torment the other prisoners I'm sure they'd love the company"
That's why were'e here

Yes to keep you company

"I don't want it. It's better to be alone."

I had never spoken back to the voices and now did I see that I had scared them made them nervouse. usually I would just sit here and let them go on and on about how worthless and useless I am but now I just wanted complete silence and isolation, I wanted to be alone. I waited for them to speak up but there was nothing but pure silence just the way I wanted it. I wonder what "crime" Odin has come up with so that he has a reason to lock me back up in this hell, was it for leaving for so long? Being on Midgard after everything that I've done? For resisting Thor when he came to bring me back? Whatever it was it was probably something stupid after all it wasn't like I had actually cause New York any real damage this time, I just wanted to leave for one night but I couldn't even do that right for that one night had turned into something more. But then again had I not left that night then I would never have ran into Banner and everything that he showed me, everything he did for me never would have happened so I guess one thing right happened that night and it's because of Banner that makes me realize that I wouldn't want to go back in time and change that night nor would I change any of the past because if I did then maybe I would never have found this new feeling for the doctor never would have realized how much we had in common or how human I actually am.

The very thought of Banner made my heart hurt more, I should have froze my heart in that glass cell to prevent this terrible heartache, to prevent these tears fighting to form but I couldn't cry no there would be plenty of time for that and yet I could fell it being torn to pieces. I know it's far to late to admit it and that's the only thing that I wished I could change, I wish I could have told him how I felt but I was never really good with admitting feelings. That was a weakness now I should have told him, should have confessed and now it's too late for I'll never see him again. Never feel his hand on my shoulder, see his eyes so full of worry and lightness, never have him wake me from my nightmares, I would never feel that warmth and comfort that he had shown me.

But this time I was truly alone and I most likely was going to die here as well. No guards, no pain, just isolation maybe Odin was going to allow me this much, no more torture just solitude which I was ok with I could handle the silence but I wasn't alone. I could still feel his hand on my shoulder, feel his arm wrap around me as he whispered that everything was going to be ok. Odin knew that something had happened while I was on Midgard and now this was my torment not physical abuse but left to the destruction of my mind and my now beating heart, the chains weren't meant to keep me in place as lashes whipped out at me they were there to keep me from freezing my heart once more so that I didn't feel. That was his game to push me through a new type of torture one that came with losing someone very close did he think that I didn't know how that felt? I destroyed myself over my mother's death and I was left to the torment of Banner's invisible form.

I didn't want to play this game again, I had already been through so much and yet he was persistent on hurting me, breaking me into as many pieces as possible so that I could no longer stand again but it's not like if I did manage that much that I would stand against him. No I was smarter then that, I knew better then to fight back as some prisoners often tried not heeding my word against such an action only to find themselves locked back up where they were to begin with. Like before I had no hope for escape but then again now knowing Odin's plan I don't care that much anymore it only proves that I was right all along. Banner wouldn't come for me, I was all alone, I was probable going to die here, and no one was going to remember me but it was these facts that made me wish even more fro Banner to come and rescue me. I always enjoyed seeing him come proving that after all I was wrong and that he still cared for me, he still wanted me there but now it was to late and there was no way I was going to be saved again.

I clentched my fists so that the chains lashed into my wrists as I closed my eyes but quickly reopened them when I felt a sharp jab and felt something slide down my wrist, looking up I saw blood. The chains I knew prevented me from magic but maybe they had another purpose as well, now I could drown out the mental torment with physical pain. I would much rather suffer physical pain then go through everyday thinking that Banner's here beside me but realizing that it's all in my mind. As I squeezed my fists tighter more blood dripped down only when it really began to hurt did I relax and feel my blood drip down my arm and onto the floor. I had found my escape and in the darkness smiled, I could now balance out how I hurt and when I wanted to bleed it's not often Odin gives a prisoner such a luxury as this but I was greatful for it.

The one thing I missed the most was waking from a terrible dream to find Bruce right beside me, his eyes so full of warmth with his hand resting gently on my shoulder. The imitation that my mind had created wasn't the same as having him really here next to me and soon along with the blood splattered floor tears had mixed with the stains as well as on my skin. No matter how much I bleed he wouldn't go away, I couldn't find solitude, I almost wished for my old punishment over this hell. It was too much and I just wanted it to end, the last time I was able to close my eyes to the darkness, was able to feel my body go numb, and there was no room for these thoughts. THere was only room for pain and now pain seemed just as luxurious as the idea of freedom which apperently was something I would never get, no matter how much I bleed I never had enough pain.

(Bruce)

We worked on finishing the tesseract but it seemed to take an eternity to finish, who knows what's happened to Loki already during these weeks. Who knew what pain he's suffered, what torture he's gone through, how broken he'd became? Never have I've ever worried so much about someone but I had made him so many promises and now everything that I had promised to keep him from I had failed, I had a rare chance of getting into Asgard, I had no idea where this prison was, what I would have to defeat to get to him, or what he'd gone through. It would be a merical just to get there.

"Are you done yet Tony?" I asked for the billienth time.

"Hold on Bruce there's one last thing I have to fix and then it'll be ready besides you don't even know where you have to go."
"I'll figure it out when I get there. Loki will guide me to him, he always does."
"What if he doesn't have the strength to?"

I shot him a murderous look he didn't know what he was talking about, Loki never conciously helped me find him but in my mind I could hear him as he directed me where to go so getting to Asgard right now was our biggest problem and the tesseract Tony had built was a one way pass, it could get me there and once i saved Loki I would have to depend on his powers to get us out.

"So how do you know this will work?" I asked

"I don't know if it will or not I'm just hoping that it will. Thor explained a bit about it when I asked him for a sample of it. He was really discriptive about it too." he looked up for a moment "What if Loki can't bring you back? After all didn't he say that his imprisonment had deteriated some of his power, what if he doesn't have enough to get you back?"
"I don't know first things first though and that's getting me to Asgard once I have Loki freed from his cell we'll work out the rest."

I knew that he could very well be right but right now all that mattered was saving Loki and hoping that I wasn't to late to save him and that he had enough strength to bring us back here. But what if he didn't have enough strength to bring us back? No I would deal with that latter first things first and that's to save Loki from whatever he's gone through so far and this time he'll stay safe without going through any more pain I swear on my own life that this time nothing will seperate us. Tony came over holding the tesseract well actually it floated above his opened hand.

"Is it ready?"
"I think so but I'm not a thousand percent sure."
"Well that's good enough for me."

Tony put the cube in a container similar to the one Thor used to take Loki back during the battle of New York and handed it to me.

"Good luck Banner. Bring him back safe."
"I'll see you soon Tony, thank you."
"Don't sweat it now go."

I noded, thought of Loki not sure if it would actually work or not as I twisted the handles and watched as everything blurred and I was surrounded by a blinding white flash but I kept focus on Loki he was all that was on my mind. His eyes light up, hearing him laugh, his beautiful smile, I focused on us and what might be in the future. I thought of everything that I could show him and maybe we really could finally escape this world and our monsters and fears. I smiled at the thought and when I opened my eyes I was standing in a whole different world, below me was a rainbow road and before me laid a magnificent city I felt as though I had steeped into a fairytale but I had no time for sightseeing I had to get into the city and find Loki.

I remembered that he said there were two different prisons but which one would he be in now? I looked towards the palace remembering that there was one underneath but it didn't feel right, I turned and looked towards a giant shadow that seemed to devour a small portion of the city but at the same time it didn't seem to be apart of it and so I ran towards it sticking to the very shadows that hide the prison that was keeping Loki captured, the very prison that had led him to seek comfort on Earth and to our very first meeting that had started all of this. I didn't mind the looks some people gave me I didn't care what they thought I just had to get to the prison, I had to save him. When I stopped for a moment I stopped for a moment to catch my breath and I looked up at the darkening sky that was changing multiple shades of pinks and purples that seemed to take my breath away.

"Are you ok mister?"

I looked down and saw a small little boy that reminded me of myself when I was a young boy.

"Hrothmund get back here."

I looked up and so did the boy at an older women wearing rags standing outside one of the houses. Unlike the boy who's eyes shone with happiness her's held sadness and fear, fear of losing the onlything she had left in life.

"Coming mom." He turned back to me "It was nice to meet you mister."

He ran off and inside the house, he was so full of life, didn't no limits or the feelings of pain and loss such as myself or his mother knew to well.

"Would you like to come in for the night it gets terribly cold out."

"Thank you ma'am but I'm looking for someone very dear to me."

"I see I know how that must feel I too lost someone but he never came back to me." she clutched a locket tightly but walked up to me offering me her hand "But I insist that you come in for the night you don't want to be caught out so late especially not in winter."

I noded and taking her hand I let her guide me inside, I knew nothing of Asgardian weather so if she said that it was terrible late at night then I would rest for the night and go back to searching as soon as the sun rose in the sky the next morning. The boy was really joyful to see his mother leading me inside and towards the dining room where they graceiously set up an extra spot and I could tell in the women's eyes that there was a change in the atmosphere just by me sitting there at her table watching as her boy talked excitedly about all the fun he's had but she looked down when he brought up his father. When the boy had gone off to bed I helped the women clean up the kitchen and we sat at the table for a moment staring at one another.

"Your husband that's who you lost isn't he?" I asked

"Yes he left one day and I searched for years trying to find him, I went to both dungeons, traveled all nine realms, I searched everywhere for him but when I found him.."

Her eyes teared up and she burried her head in her arms and as I had done for Loki thousands of times I wrapped my arm around her but it felt strange for she wasn't Loki and she didn't feel the same way as he did.

"I'm sorry. It must pain you greatly...um may I ask your name?"
"Bethild."

"It's very nice to meet you Beth may I call you that?" she nodded "THank you very much for your hospitality but I must continue my search."

"It's reaching the middle of the night trust me it's no time to be wandering around. I insist take Hrothmund's other bed I'm sure he'll enjoy the company."

I nodded and went upstairs to the little boy's room.

"Are you going to stay for the night mister?" he asked hopefully through tired eyes

I went over to him and pulled the blanket up closer around him and smiled.

"Yeah for the night."
"What are you going to do then?"
"I'm going to go save someone very dear to me."
He yawned but kept his eyes on me "My mother tried to find our dad because he was everything to her."
"That's how it is with this person I have to save, they're everything to me but the difference between you're mother and me is that she has you but I don't have anyone else."
"What about your family?"
"My family is my friends but they don't understand what's between me and this person they don't really agree with us but I don't care what they think."
"I haven't seen my mother smile in a long time thank you."
He yawned again and then closed his eyes whispering thank you once more before go off to sleep. I went over to the opened window and looked out and I could see the shadow plane that I would have to cross in order to get to the prison to save Loki, in the dead of night it was impossible to see anything beyond the darkness but I knew that somewhere there was a prison and deep within that prison was the only person that I cared for more then anyone in the entire universe. He was waiting for me and I was going to save him, I was going to give him the chance he wanted to start over, I just hope that he'll still take it and return with me where I can prove just how far I was willing to go just to save him, I really wanted him to stay with me, I wanted to start again myself and I wanted to be by his side every step of the way just as I wanted him to be for me.

"Try and sleep Loki we leave tomorrow." I whispered silently as I got into the spare bed and closed my eyes dreaming of Loki and how happy we'll be once we're back on Earth.

Loki)

The blood was dripping onto the concrete floor as usual and but this time there was no tears to acompany the red drops my eyes had grown to dry for tears and now I hardly even noticed the blood dripping on to the floor or the dried spots covering my arms. I knew what would happen to me so there really wasn't any reason for me to care much about how much I bleed or how much I hurt inside, I didn't really hurt anyways there was nothing to hurt. I shattered my heart instead of freezing it hopeing to never have to use it ever again it was such a useless object anyways what good was a heart if all it did was pain with each breath you took, what good was it if there was no one to love with it, no one to give it to, what good was it when all you wanted to to stop breathing? Hearts where useless and worthless objects that did nothing but hurt people, I was better off when it was frozen, I didn't feel anything and there was nothing to break it but Banner was the one to thaw it out of it's shell and now look where I ended up after trusting the stupid thing to help me heal, I was broken again and this time there was nothing fixed, nothing to help me through the pain, I was nothing more then an empty shell of the former god I used to be.

I knew they would all forget me, that I would spend eternity locked up in this cell for no good reason only so that Odin didn't have to see me. I knew that Thor would forget as well not visiting, not caring if I was alive, not ever caring at all about me. I was nothing more then a distant memory to them, a former friend turned enemy and now I was rotting away in a cell where they didn't have to see me ever again. They probab;y have moved on now forgetting that I was even here at all. I don't blame them for forgetting about me I'd probably forget too but there was one thing that Odin probably didn't expect and that was that while he wanted me to suffer from Banner's invisible form it did the opposite but worked at the same time. While I missed him greatly and it pained me more to know that I would never see him again it helped to feel this much knowing that what had happened was indeed real and not a figment of my own imagination.

I'm looking for someone

That couldn't have been Banner and yet there was his voice but it sounded far away, was he here on Asgard? No that couldn't be I had to be going mad.

The person I'm looking for means a lot to me, I have to find them

I wanted to shout out, tell him that I was here but he couldn't be here there was no way he could have gotten here not without the tesseract or Thor's power and I doubt that oaf would do such a thing as bring Banner here.

Get some sleep Loki we leave tomorrow

It had to be my imagination, had to be my own sick hope that somehow Banner was here and that he was going to rescue me but I knew better then to hope for such a thing. I clentched my fists tighter making myself bleed even more, I cried out in pain hating myself for thinking that anyone would ever come for me, for leaving in the first place, hating myself for everything believing in Banner's empty promises, for hoping that after everything that's happened that there was a possibility that I could escape it all and find the peace that I've always wanted. I was a freak how could i possibly ever find escape, look where I've ended up once again, the very place where I belong, the only place I would ever be for this cell was just a small cell in a prisoned world. Every room I was in was this cell, these chains would always drag behind me, I was a monster and monsters deserved to be locked up, tortured, and left broken and bleeding to die alone in isolation where no one will cry or mourn but instead rejoice knowing that they no longer have to deal with one more freak.

"That's all I am just a monster. A terrible monster parents tell their children about at night." tears came to my eyes remembering all that I was

Yes your a monster

Who would ever love you

Your nothing

"I am nothing aren't I?"
Look at all that blood you've spilled

How much more are you willing to spill tonight

How much further before it's all over

"Not much more."

Might as well die now

No point in suffering any more then you already have

Yes just end your suffering

This time there's no one to stop you

They were right this time I could just close my eyes and bleed knowing that there was no one who would come and stop me, no one to bring me back to life, no one to care any more about me. No one to mourn over my still, lifeless form, no one to cry out and ask why I did such a thing, no one to beg for forgivness for the way I was treated, no one to cry at all or feel even a little saddened by what had become of me. But this is what they all wanted, this was what was best, I could finally find peace, tranquility, freedom from everything that I've been fighting. Free of it all, of the pain, the sadness, the tears, feeling nothing at all. The blood kept dripping down my arm mixing with my tears as I screamed out into the darkness in pure agony but I didn't care, pain was only something worth dying from.


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