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Last Alchemy

Author: ciaranbochna
Characters: Loki, Frigga, Volstagg, Fandral, mentions of Thor and Odin
Fandom: Avengers movieverse

Length: 958 words
Disclaimer: I own neither the characters nor the world of the Marvel universe

Warnings: Grief, suicide and discussions thereof, mental instability.  This may be very triggery for most. I cannot warn strongly enough about that.
A/N: This one was close to the bone, so there may be more than grammatical errors here. Apologies and further warnings. I also realize this is very similar to To Burn, which is referenced here. I may delete this later.

He has no true expressions, now. Rage and the great void keep him upright, or mostly so. Once he possessed something besides layers of steel and fractured ice. A home between vellum pages. A chiding voice (concerned?). Something like love.

“Loki.”

A shelter in two syllables. How she managed it he will never know. Now, she hangs in the black above him. Speaking to the wonders she gifted him with.

He remembers when his cell was painted red. Gasping, clawing his way back. He prefers the emptiness. This unwanted thing is past. Done. Eternal. A squalling childlike voice that knows nothing of endings. It needs more than he has. He has nothing to offer it.

There is comfort in destruction. Makes the world burn brighter when no home remains.

***

After the lightning, and the weeks beneath the soul forge, he tried to hold in his desire, hunger for more. He wasn’t enough in himself. In everything father had taught him, that lesson he knew  better than his own name. The knowledge he gained didn’t matter. He wasn’t tall enough, strong enough. And their whispers…

“There is nothing so disgusting as a frost giant, is there Volstagg?” Fandral tosses his cup on the floor beside him, laughing.

Volstagg grins. “Well, maybe a Bilgesnipe.”

Loki drinks his mead in one swallow, staring above their heads. He will not see the looks they cast his way. He is too familiar with contempt.

He promised his mother not to wander too far, but in his 200th year the weight of their disgust breaks him.

***

The transformation is easy enough to memorize. A general other-than-you-are temporary shift to another form. Loki changes the language so it will be  permanent.

No one knows of his cave, still. Other than her. The only problem with the transformation is that your belief in who you are couldn’t waver. He played at confidence, never missed a step, but when he paused…

Arms/legs…tendrils of green and blue. Red. Everywhere---stretched agony. Eyes. Carved...tattooed skin. Wind on the steps as he screamed---snow. Exhaustion. Why should I be—

***
It isn’t the soul forge this time. He is in another cave. Vast enough that he can’t see the ceiling. He can’t move his head. In a distant room, someone is screaming. Flesh and metal smoldering. Can’t speak. Panic.

“Loki hush. You can’t move yet, the threads are still growing inside you.”

Threads?

He hears mother sits down beside him. She leans forward so he can see her. She wears a thick plain brown linen shirt with sleeves nearly covering her hands. Leather gloves are tucked into the belt of an ancient apron. The layers of leather are so old he can see cracks running down the apron's sides from the heat of the forge. He sees tremors under the skin beneath his mother's eyes, along her neck. There are deep blue shadows under her cheeks.

“I brought you to my mother’s cave, Loki, because even the soul forge cannot knit a spirit when it is bent on destruction.”

She says his name as though it means something. Gives it weight it shouldn't have. Worth. If he could laugh—

“STOP.”

Loki closes his eyes, but can’t block out her grief. He remembers a song. Her voice the only sound he believed in.

“You were the only one who quieted when I sang. Your brother laughed.”

Loki rolls his eyes.

“I wasn’t sure you were breathing, then. But your eyes, my son. It was more than love. You saw me as your only anchor. That you could not exist without me. I didn’t create the desire for knowledge, the hunger in you. I nurtured it as best I could. I loved you with everything in me. But we both know what lies beneath hunger that powerful. If you have no anchor in yourself…”

He can’t—she shouldn’t love a thing—

His mother makes a sound and the air shakes with it. Loki knows it well, but he doesn’t know why she would feel it for him.

Her hand turns his head a fraction. His eyes open in shock. She forces him to keep his eyes on her. He remembers the soul forge. Always, she must pull him back.

“There were no runes to hold you together when you are determined to pull yourself apart, Loki. I love you enough to heal you. One day you will see and understand the net of star metal and light binding you together. I…cannot force your to stay if you chose to undo it. I only ask that you remember moments. Build yourself a path out of despair. It will never be easy, and you will fall, but I will always walk with you. Please let us have that. Please.”

He doesn’t know if he can. Loki extends a thought and feels metal threads and a strange language pulling him together. There is no pain now. She spares him that, somehow. He can spare her another night wondering if he will abandon her. It isn’t enough, but for now…

“We will survive, Loki. The fire can be turned. I found a way, and I can show you. Now, listen.”

When Ymir walked the world stars shone on his path
When he grew cold he drank the sun
He consumed the day, yet in his eyes the light remained


***

Beneath his skin, under the runes Loki inscribed while floating in the void, the net of light and stars remains. He knows he may fall again, break her love and join her. But today…he rubs his thumb over a stone in his palm. He leaves it on the burnished argent table where he lay as she watched over him.

His mother had a giant’s bones.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
caffienekitty
Jul. 21st, 2014 10:31 am (UTC)
Yes. Beautifully excruciating.
ciaranbochna
Jul. 21st, 2014 02:13 pm (UTC)
I don't know if anyone else will read this, thank you (and sorry).

*Hugs*
caffienekitty
Jul. 21st, 2014 08:08 pm (UTC)
Don't be sorry. It's a good kind of pain.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )