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Title: Unmaking
Author: ciaranbochna
Length: 1515 words

Warnings: Mental instability, grief, self-hatred/harm, violence.
Characters: Loki, Yggdrasil, Frigga, OC
Fandom: MCU
Spoilers: Thor: The Dark World

Weltschmerz, Waldeinsamkeit, Fingernageltafelquietschen, ephmeromorph, nepenthe. The sound of the vowels and consonants bruising each other is preferred over…the grate against…shattered and reborn…


Hagalz, Anzuz, Naudhiz, Gebo, Kenaz. He will use those runes for the moment. The other components will be less abstract. There must be ruin.

Loki found a bit of star metal in the vault while following the guards one afternoon. It is what remains of the metal when father crafted Mjölnir. He often comes down to the vault. The hum of the artifacts is intriguing. Some of them even appear to be sentient.

Despite Loki being invisible, the guards are wary of even the slightest sound, and he has to be careful when he takes the lump of metal. He leaves a broken piece of bronze from the forge in its place, covering it in layers of illusion that he is a perhaps just a little proud of. He steals away with his prize, taking one of the patrol ships to a cave hidden on a rocky island at the edge of the city. He lands on the water below the cave and crawls up the cliff—to prove that he doesn’t need magic for everything, despite their mocking whispers.

He has spent hours watching the master smiths in the forge. Sometimes he even allowed himself to be visible. Not that it matters, as they ignored his presence regardless.

He knows to carve a vent in the cave straight through to the peak of the island (requiring  the use of the staff Yggdrasil gave him). Changing the cave to suit his image of a forge takes two years. He brings anything he values to the cave, and always leaves Yggdrasil’s staff here. Loki doesn’t leave anything in his room in the palace. Thor is a clod, and constantly invades Loki’s privacy to mock anything he finds.

Loki’s first few creations are pathetic, looking nothing like what he imagines. Every time the bronze, iron and gold mixture returns to its molten state something eases in his chest. Creation has never been his strong suit.

The first casting that he believes adequate does not shine enough, so he takes a tiny hammer and beats it until the multitude of marks catch the light sufficiently.

“Do you think she will--?”

“If you spent five minutes on it rather than the six months you have, she would hold it in the same regard, child.”

”That is not an answer. Will she?”

“Yes, Loki. I am sure she will treasure it.”

Loki stares through Yggdrasil’s branches, seeing the nine realms shift through the leaves. He shifts his feet nervously and shrugs. Yggdrasil’s roots shiver with laughter beneath him.

Loki stiffens, and then relaxes. He knows Yggdrasil’s is the only laughter not designed to wound.

“I will leave it for her when she is alone.”

The tiny copy of Yggdrasil is no wider than his palm, and thicker than he was hoping it to be. It is not perfect, and he knows it never will be.

Loki leaves it in her training room, in the inside pocket of his mother’s tunic. He knows that no one touches that garment but her, since his grandmother wove it for his mother and she maintains the spells that keep it from falling apart.

Loki stays out of sight for four days during the solstice. Frankly, it is too easy with all the celebrations and competition going on.

She finds him suspended under the Bifrost, slung from a net hanging below the bridge. Loki suspects there is nowhere on Asgard his mother couldn’t track him.

“Why aren’t you at the feast, Loki?”

He holds onto the netting with his right hand. His left is too weak to grasp the rope—the forge is exhausting work.

"I don’t care about who can stay conscious longer, either from drink or mock sword battles. It’s also too loud.” He mumbles the last. He knows he sounds like a sulky infant, and not the 20 years he claims.

“Thor asked for you.”

“As an example in his latest joke probably.” Loki’s voice changes to a perfect imitation of his brother. “Don’t be as silent as my brother, remember all opponents should be formidable, not weak as--"

“Loki, enough! He loves you, and wants you as a part of his life.”

Loki laughs. His throat closes. He stares up through the Bifrost over his head. Frigga swings herself under the bridge to join him, tired of leaning over the bridge to speak to him.

He moves over slightly to give her room, but they are crushed together in the small hanging. He looks away to the edge of the waterfall.

“Why didn’t you give me this yourself?” Frigga pulls the miniature Yggdrasil from her robe. It is suspended on a gold chain that he created for it.

Lok winces. The chains links are not symmetrical. They are too large, too rough, and the trees branches—

“Loki.” Frigga touches his arm and he attempts to shrink away. There is nowhere for him to go. He is forced to lean against her again.

“I love you. It’s beautiful and I am proud of anything you give me. Don’t hide them. Just because your brother and father don’t understand all you do doesn’t mean they don’t love you either. Spend more time with us. Visibly. I always know where you are.” Frigga leans against him, touching her forehead to his before swinging herself back up onto the bridge.

There is a spike of metal in Loki’s lungs. He coughs to rid himself of it and twists his hands in the netting.

He leaves her other trinkets before tiring of the forge, but never when anyone else can see. He attempts to be seen more, though he guards himself with words as much as his brother does with frivolity.

During the feast before Loki allows the frost giants into Asgard, he notices his mother watching him. She moves a fold of her cloak aside, and Loki sees a belt hanging around her waist. He sees every necklace, animal figure, and weapon he had ever given his mother in miniature, hanging from the belt. He sweeps from the room, afraid some part of him will betray his plan.


Loki makes an involuntary sound. It is fractured, broken, childish. As it was when he first heard…It is not a sound he will ever make again.


He struggles to draw air. “Here.”

Pierced edges. He can take the runes apart. The essence of meaning, Place in the world. Recombine them. Perhaps.

“I will see you soon Borghild, Yggdrasil.” Loki feels their breath in his lungs. The winds through the realms connecting their triumvirate.

The forge is still where he left it. Untouched. The piece of star metal sitting in a niche in the wall.

In the first few days he leaves as much blood on the stone, and in the casting, as he does metal. Loki finds it amusing that his mother literally kept a piece of him in his first offering to her.

It is only right that he--

He smashes his fists into the stone walls of the cave. The runes under his skin flow with the blood into his casting. He murmurs the spell to unmake each rune as he conjures the fire beneath the forge and places the star metal within. Loki reaches into his chest, pulling out a tiny piece of red and obsidian fluid. It slithers in his bloody palm until he drops it into the forge. Only a touch of chaos can break the heart of a star, and the language embedded in the world.

Loki will remain in the cave for a year.

He remembers the expression on his brother’s face as Loki used Odin’s voice in the throne room. The words Loki gave Thor as his brother confessed his need to leave. Loki will never utter them under his own guise. Every mask has a purpose. Sometimes he loses track of what they are.

Weltschmerz. One word to describe a need to return to the past, the disillusionment with the world as it is. He is too old to believe in hope, or miracles. The scars on the bottom of Loki’s feet ache briefly. She reached for him..

“Will you help me? Both of you?”

“Yes!” Yggdrasil and Borghild embrace him. They pull the remaining runes from beneath his skin, the pieces that hold the universe in its current shape. He will create for her a new rune from the ruins of the old. He will keep it with him. And when he dies, they will immolate together.

“We will keep you safe.”

“I don’t want peace, or safety.”

Whatever you need until…”

Loki finds himself lying prone on the cave floor. His laughter echoes in the cave, ravages his throat.

“Nothing that I can have. The rest we will find, though time.” Loki gathers the discordant pieces and begins fashioning his belated gift. When he crosses the veil, he will present it. His hands. To hers.


Weltschmerz - mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state
Waldeinsamkeit - In the quiet of the woods (I once sang a song with this title, and have never forgotten the meaning).
Fingernageltafelquietschen - the visceral hatred of certain noises
Ephmeromorph - used to describe the lowest forms of life imaginable, so low they cannot otherwise be described
Nepenthe - a medicine for sorrow

Link to info about Elder Futhark: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elder_Futhark


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 12th, 2013 10:00 am (UTC)
This is gorgeous. Love the characters and the tender moments between them are believable. *hugs*
Nov. 12th, 2013 03:08 pm (UTC)
Well..thank you. I don't know what to say. I was worried it would be too much, but apparently Wombat and J agree with you;)

Nov. 16th, 2013 06:50 pm (UTC)
As soon as I saw The Dark World, I started wondering about the things Loki went off to do in his childhood days when he taught himself the secret ways off Asgard. This is an intriguing glimpse into what that answer could have been, and I quite enjoyed the beauty of the prose throughout, although I had some trouble understanding exactly what Loki was up to in the last part. I got that he was creating yet another sort of "gift" to present to his mom, but I wasn't clear if you were suggesting that somehow some of the Aether had gotten inside him, or if the obsidian-red liquid was something else, or simply a poetic way of describing Loki's own blood. Regardless, I got Loki's sense of his own inevitable doom as he forges this thing, and his sense of hopelessness of any happiness anymore, save a reunion with Frigga somewhere when he dies, and that was definitely a gutpunch.

Also, all the moments between Frigga and Loki were wonderfully filled with pathos - with moments of deep connection and deep misunderstanding between them, involving both parties. I especially loved the moment when she revealed that belt with all the trinkets he had made for her. There was something very goodhearted and yet not enough for Loki in that gesture, but I loved in a totally angsty way how catching sight of her wearing those gifts at Thor's coronation threatened to break his composure so much that he had to leave the room.

Wonderfully achy.
Nov. 17th, 2013 08:55 pm (UTC)
It it rare that I receive such a thoughtful and detailed response, so thank you so much!

I was referring obliquely to the Aether, though Loki does add his own blood as well. I am so glad you think that all the scenes work. I am never sure if the emotions will resonate until I read the comments.

All of the Loki stories I write are connected, but I don't assume that readers will want to go through all of them. Here is a link to the rest, if you fancy. The runes under his skin and the OC are explained there (Six Inches Deep, Wyrd, and The Well, specifically).


Again, thank you for the kind words, I appreciate the feedback.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )