Poison & Wine

By Mara_DragonMaster

Adventure / Drama

Chapter 1

Thor stared up into the sky. He had almost given up on coming here, to this place in the desert, but still he came every day, waiting for hours and hours. The message had been brusque and to the point. So like the sender.

"Your aid is required. Wait for me."

So he did. For the first time in a month he had something to do, something to direct his mind away from the terrifying numbness that had encompassed it. Even if the 'thing' was only to sit in the sand and wait… and wait for what? He didn't know. But if Loki was actually requesting his help, he would wait forever. So he had come here, had made camp in the ruins of Puente Antiguo, and posted his vigil at the long abandoned bifrost site outside of town.

Thor blinked, squinting his eyes in the blinding light. Sand swirled around him where he sat, his legs crossed and tucked in, with Mjolnir resting on the desert earth beside him.

As still and as silent as a statue, Thor waited.

It was on his twelfth vigil that it happened. In the middle of a great wind that twisted his hair into tangled ropes and scoured his skin with unforgiving sand a voice suddenly spoke over his shoulder.

"So you've come."

The only response was the closing of Thor's eyes. Then he moved, gracefully pulling his feet beneath him and rising to his full height. He turned, Mjolnir in hand, and looked upon the fair, sharp featured face he'd never thought to see again. For a moment he said nothing. The ache that filled his being seemed to deepen, but it was hard to tell, as it had become such a part of him that he hardly felt it any more. Yet looking upon his brother's face there was also a deep glow that seeped through him, warming his chilled core. Loki looked good. Healthy, strong, clear; his eyes were still mocking, but Thor could ignore that right now. As casually as Loki stood there, feet apart, hands held behind him, head tilted, he could almost believe that it was just another adventure. An adventure like they used to go on, just the two of them, fraught with peril and the unknown and possible death, and wonderful because it was just them.

A small smile, the first in a long while, touched his mouth. "When do we start?"

Loki's face fell a fraction, his eyes sharpening. "Don't you want to know what I require of you?"

Thor shrugged. He really did not care. "You will do what you will regardless, and I will end up following anyway."

There was a huff. "You know, I always knew you were impetuous, but this is really taking it to a new height, Thor." Loki walked a few paces, shaking his head, his eyes full of reproach. "One would think you'd learned to look before you leap, what with all of the glorious fallout from your decisions of late."

Unbidden memories and regrets came with those words. They rushed through his mind like a wind, and were gone just as quickly. Thor clenched his fingers around his hammer, willing them not to shake.

"What, no protest? No rush to ask the questions you know you should be asking? To test if the word of the Trickster is worth trusting?" Loki's grin disappeared at the answering silence. "What is the matter with you?"

"You said you required my assistance." Thor said, shrugging. His hands and feet itched with pent-up energy.

White teeth bared, indignation and frustration flashing in green eyes. "Yes, unfortunately." He said. "That doesn't excuse your idiocy."

"If I asked, would you tell me?"

"If I told you, you might not go. Distrust of your evil brother, and all that."

"Are you going to destroy the Nine Realms or harm any innocents?"

The grin was instant and feral. "Wouldn't you like to know."

A flash of frustration rose up at his brother's deliberate difficulty, but the response died on Thor's tongue, heavy and empty. It would only add fuel to Loki's fire, and Thor was weary of getting burned. So he said nothing, only watched as Loki waited for his response.

When none came Loki gave him a look. "There have been some disturbances." He said. "Hela acting up again."

Ah.

"When do we start?"

Loki smiled.

The sand swirled. When at last it settled, the desert was empty once more.

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