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Strange Children

Author: ciaranbochna
Title: Strange Children

Length: 1209
Characters: Loki, Thor

Warnings: References to grieving
Disclaimer: I own neither the characters nor the world of the Marvel universe

Feathers wick up the outside of his glass. Branching ice nestling around the swirling green liquid within. The glass is tall, tapered toward the bottom and wider at the top. He takes a drink and breathes fire back into the glass. The alcohol’s blue flames dance in the glass and touch his lips.  He lets them brush over the scars on his lips before blowing the fire out.

The table he sits on is made silver-veined black stone. Three chairs sit around the small triangular table.  Its surface is scarred and burned. He drains half the glass in one draught.

The door opens. He knows only because he feels the air on the back of his neck.

“Loki. What are you doing in here?”

He takes a stuttering breath and makes a sound. Something involuntary. Weak. He tries to speak again.

“Sit with me.”

“Are you sure?”

“Just do it Thor.”

Thor sits down beside him. He runs a hand over the surface of the table.

“I remember this. How many times we sat here. Many of these scars are mine.”

“Not all of them.” Loki finishes his drink. The glass refills itself. He does not set this one alight.

“No. You are the one who mastered her magic. I—disappointed her.”

“Never. You were not meant for magic. I was not meant to lead. Or be.”

“Loki. Why must we always—“

“Have you ever tried absinthe? I found it on Midgard. Intoxicates their minds. I just fancy the taste.  And the burn. Little rituals.”

“Not. I haven’t tried it. I prefer mead or scotch.”

Loki waves a hand and a glass filled with scotch and three stones appears, as well a horn of mead.

Thor raises an eyebrow. “What are we drinking to, then?”

Loki breathes fire over his absinthe again. “Do you—“ He closes his eyes and tries again.

"Do you remember her stories?”

Thor empties the glass of scotch and it refills itself once more. “Some. Not as many as I would wish.”

Loki sees new lines at the corner of Thor’s eyes. It draws on each of them differently.

“Do you remember the first?”

Thor frowns and looks away. He traces a deep gouge in the table.

Loki coughs. “I see that you do, at least a little. I remember it all. I thought we might—“ He waves a hand at the table and drinks the rest of his glass.

“I’m not very good at this sort of thing, but I understand that alcohol is generally involved.”

“Research again, brother. You could have just asked me.”

“Really? And you normally trust me, volunteer to spend time in my presence do you?” Loki’s smile is mismatched shards. An honest expression his brother rarely sees.

“You know I don’t. But we are navigating the space between us as best we can. Mother made the distance seem less. How strong is this drink?”

“Well. I did alter the chemical composition slightly, given our nature.”

“Mmm. Perhaps that is best. Go on then. Story.” Thor finishes his mead and smiles when the glass appears full.

“First, there was dark and light. But always more dark than light.”

“That isn’t the way I remember her telling it.”

“Do you want the story or shall we just drink ourselves senseless? Wait. I know that’s what you want so I'll just leave you then.”

“Shut up Loki. Go on.”

“It is physically impossible to both shut up and go on“

The cup stem bends under Thor’s grip.

“Have it your way.” Loki leans back, glass of green fire in his hand. “There is always more darkness.”

He hears Thor move closer.

“But the darkness tired of its own company. Everything the same; eternally. Then it felt something new. The opposite of what it was.”

“Light.”

Loki glares at Thor, who grins back.

“Light had also tired of only its own company. Everything too static; bright. So it reached out into the dark, through billions of tiny holes. They searched, as lonely elements of creation often do. Though why they should bother, I don’t know.” Loki drains his glass.

Thor waves a finger at him, loosely. “No changing the story. No personal commentary.” He shakes his head and frowns. He stares at his empty glass.

Loki sighs and refills it. It takes him two attempts. He tries to remember how strong he made the experimental alcohol, but can’t.

“They didn’t speak at first. They just watched each other. Curious, afraid. Children who had never seen another child.”

“Better.” Thor punches Loki’s arm.

“Yes, that is how we express ourselves. Violence. Thank you for the reminder.”

Thor laughs and stares at his hands and then Loki, one eyebrow raised.

“This may have been an ill-advised idea.” Loki pushes his chair back and attempts to stand. His vision blurs. No alcohol. Ever again.

Thor reaches out and pulls him back into his chair. Both of them end up draped more over the table, less in their chairs.

Thor waits until Loki is more or less settled before he speaks.

“You expect me to laugh and drink, so I do. But it is not what I feel. I will drink with you, but I need you to finish the story more. I won’t interrupt. Much.” He winks at Loki.

“You surprise me. I’ll make a note, since it won’t happen again.”

“The story Loki.”

“Yes, of course. Though you remember it all, don’t you?”

Thor pushes the glasses away. “Every word. Though some of it falls away now, as much as I try to hold it close.”

Loki sets his glass aside.

"Some of it does. No matter what you do.” His laugh unravels until he gasps. “The story.” He stares at Thor’s hand, close to his.

“Children. Who have never seen another child. Have no idea how to speak to each other. So millions of years passed, until one of them, for lack of a better analogy, threw a ball to the other. The light found darkness comforting, quiet. The darkness found its opposite irresistible, energizing. More points of light broke through the shadows, and the light found joy in watching world’s form from the ether. It loved watching the creatures that lived on those worlds play in the warmth it shed as the worlds spun around their suns. Darkness and light shared worlds, and danced together in the twilight. Though light are dark are infinite, stars last merely millions of years, and must die themselves. After playing so long together, listening, and growing among the darkness the stars dimmed, and began releasing shadows from their hearts. Pieces of the darkness they loved and welcomed when they first met, playing catch. Eventually, the stars turned inside out, pulling in both light and dark, releasing nothing. Selfish with their memories. Because after spending so much time with their friends, light and dark could no longer be alone.”

Loki feels Thor’s hand on his shoulder and jolts back.

“Thank you brother. You are much like our mother. You know what we need without asking. When it suits you.”

“Mmm.”

“Silver tongue has lost his words. I shall mark it well, it may never happen again."

Loki smiles and they leave their mother’s library together.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
caffienekitty
Nov. 26th, 2014 10:44 am (UTC)
Utterly gorgeous.
ciaranbochna
Nov. 26th, 2014 04:02 pm (UTC)
Ah..thank you.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )