There was just SO much tension after The Scene in Thor: The Dark World. I felt like a major emotional break was coming; and just because we didn't see it on the screen doesn't mean it didn't happen, right? But not seeing it on the screen left the tension sitting there. At least for me. All bottled up, needing some great emotional release. So to break it I wrote this, after letting it mull around in my head for a while.
I hope you like it.
She could see when it happened.
There is a stillness, a laxness, that betrays it.
For a moment she felt frozen. It was over… and yet it wasn't. There was still Malekith to deal with, the aether to regain and destroy (or hide, at the very least).
And yet somehow, right now, that was the furthest thing from her mind.
Thor sat, holding Loki, a figure of ruin in a landscape of ruin.
His roar, his wail of anguish, echoed across the land and off of the mountain peaks.
And suddenly Jane saw him with new eyes. Suddenly she saw him, not as her Thor, the man, but rather— in a sense— as he truly was. Before her now she saw a hero of ancient days, cradling in his arms the brother of his youth. Two ancient beings, whose beginnings had passed out of mind, whose boyhood adventures had passed into myth and legend. Years and ages and days.
The one who was left held fast in his arms his other half, now cold. There was no one now to hold and share those many years. He was truly and fully alone.
All of this filled Jane's mind in the rush of a moment, and the sheer weight of that insight stole her breath and caught her heartbeat. She could not think, but her feet followed the guidance of her heart, and she went to him and settled slowly upon her knees. His face, now in view, was more composed than she had thought it would be; but still she knew better. Her observant gaze caught the way his eyes were bluer than before, how they shimmered and caught the light. It caught the twitch of a muscle in his jaw as he stared, unseeing, out across the landscape, and how his hand over Loki's chest was as hard as granite and trembling with tension even as it barely skirted the torn and bloodied fabric. Thor's lips parted as her presence drew near and settled beside him, but he could do nothing but pull in a quiet, quick breath. He swayed; the faintest of rocking, his strong arm pulling Loki closer, the muscles around his burning eyes tightening and lining. His breathing grew heavier as though his lungs needed to draw more into themselves to satisfy his need for air. A line appeared on his face, catching the light and sparkling. He pulled in another breath, opening his mouth, and another line fell and carved its way down his other cheek.
Jane's mouth was tensely set, her brows pulled and furrowed and her vision swimming. She didn't know how to help. If only… dear, sweet Mercy… if only she knew how to help! His shoulders began to roll forward, and another harsh breath broke the silence. Jane reached out and laid a hand on his shoulder, her fingers gently pressing and holding, and his eyes closed tightly as the calm facade broke, his face pulling and his head dropping, and she could feel the build up. The silent coming of the storm as he bent over the body of his brother, his face tight and his body trembling, sparkling lines coursing and burning new paths down his face. He laid his face on Loki, pressing his forehead into the torn fabric. His free hand fisted the cloth.
This silence, this crackling, rolling, waiting silence, was almost more than she could take. Jane clutched his shoulder, slender fingers spasmodically closing in the thick, red cloth of his cape. She lifted and shifted, drawing closer, letting more of herself lean against him. Trying to give him warmth. Trying to give him what little comfort she could.
"I'm so sorry." she whispered. A sound broke the silence. It was a low, rumbling groan, a sound she had never heard before, a terrible sound, and she knew then and there that she never wanted to hear it again. It keened through the emptiness of the air, low and unending, pausing only in a moment of breath and then continuing on. The great shoulders did not move except in tandem with the breath, to shudder when the breath choked and shook. The sound continued, mourning and crying in its heavy note.
A grief unlike anything she had ever experienced rose up within her, and Jane found herself sobbing silently, one hand on her face, the other holding his shoulder with the strength of a vise.
His great body shifted, and she pulled in a sharp breath, reigning herself in. Biting her lip she watched as he moved and lifted his head, revealing his face and the damage of grief upon it.
Blue eyes looked up into the sky and saw something she hadn't—the blossoming storm rising in the sky and coming quickly nearer—and immediately those beautiful, marred features tried to right themselves, his breath heavy and painful to listen to as he attempted to regain his control.
"That storm will be upon us soon." he rasped, shifting and turning as though to rise. "We must go."
And for a moment it appeared he would rise, but then it seemed leaving his brother now was still more than he could bear, for he froze and closed his eyes, fresh moisture upon his cheeks. Thor shuddered, and Jane wanted to cry again.
Loki was his brother.
It wasn't fair that they had to leave him.
It wasn't fair that Thor could not stay and let his grief take its course. To say goodbye. To recover from this… this reeling realization that it was over.
That Loki would not be coming back from this.
The sound of his sob snapped Jane from her wandering thoughts, and she reached for him, but Thor sharply shook his head— turning his face from her— and then with a decided but gentle movement he lowered his brother to the ground and pulled his arm free.
Jane stood and stepped back.
Thor paused, and looked at Loki then— and he laid his hand heavily upon the still chest, a tear falling from his face to Loki's as he drew in a breath. "I'm sorry I have to leave you here." he murmured, swallowing back another wave that threatened to break his regained control. Then he cupped Loki's cheek, his touch firm and demanding. "If I am able, I will return for you." he promised harshly. "My brother."
He pressed his lips to Loki's brow, lingering.
Then he rose, and Jane let him take her arm, and let him take her away. Far away. Away from the fast rising storm. Away from the emptiness and the darkness. She let him because she knew she had to. The danger was not over; they had to move or they would be caught in the storm. And they had to move because Malekith was not yet defeated, and they must find a way. Somehow.
They could break later. When it was over.
To be continued? I can leave it as a one-shot, or attempt to add to it. You decide and let me know.