Nightmare by *Oriental-Lady
Lovely piece :D
"Awake" Rated: Mature (gore, angst, punishment, fluff at the end)
It was better than being beheaded.
It was better than having his lips sewn shut.
It was better than being tied down while poison dripped from above.
This had been Loki’s punishment - to lay until he had been purified. It sounded reasonable to Thor, until he witnessed what it was actually like. It had been horrible.
Loki stood in the centre of the throne room, on his knees in front of Odin, gagged and bound with guards on either side. When Odin declared the punishment, his eyes had blown wide in a frantic frenzy of green as he tried to say something against his mouthguard, but Odin paid no attention. With a final stomp of Gungnir, Loki was wrenched upward by an invisible force, his back arched and head thrown back, screams muffled by the metal around his lips. The walls of his throat were bleeding from his efforts to plea, as he felt the magic being torn from every single fibre of his being. The gathered witnesses of the trial gasped as they saw the black strands of magic seeping out of Loki’s skin as the humiliated god trembled and wept.
Now he lay, for once, looking at rest. No sinister looks or wicked smiles, just a placid mask of sleep. Thor had visited daily, naturally. He was eager for his brother to wake up, since nobody really knew. It was to be this way until he was pure again, but what would that take? Thor desperately searched for the answer, but Odin would say no more. How was Thor to know that “purified” meant stripped of his very essence and locked to slumber for a lifetime? And the thought truly sickened Thor. A lifetime. What if his brother never woke again? Would Loki ever forgive him for agreeing to Odin’s terms?
"Awake, brother," he whispered to no avail, as usual. Over time, the black strands of magic that floated out of Loki became less and less, and Thor found this a hopeful sign. Then one day, they stopped completely, yet Loki still did not wake. Instead, he would sometimes catch his brother tense only the slightest, his eyebrows would come forward only in a small furrow, and it broke Thor’s heart that he could not shake his brother from his nightmares.
Help me, Thor! Help me! Stop them! Loki cried out for his brother, over and over again. But Thor never came. Not when he was thrown in a rusted cage hoisted above enchanted fire, not when he was being poked and prodded with electrical shocks, not when they forced him to lay open on the steel operation tables while they strapped him down.
Each cut was so deep, the blood was endless. As if it weren’t enough to break him, and tear away everything he loves, they had to taunt him, to threaten him with the only thing he cared about - Thor.
'Give us Thor'
'Go find him yourself!' he snarled.
'Only you know where he is… Give him to us.'
Don’t come for me, no matter what you do, don’t come for me. Because if you do… They’ll take you away from me.
Each day was a stab to the heart, each day Thor could not see his brother’s beautiful eyes made him feel like he was incomplete. He wondered what his dreams were about, wondered about what else he could do than to simply hold the almost lifeless little hand that was cold to the touch.
Seven sunsets had gone by, and Loki had not so much as stirred. The small flickers of pain across his face were the furthest he had ever gotten, despite all of Thor’s desperate attempts to wake him.
No, Thor, stop, you can’t come this way, they’ll -
He had had his mouth sewn, he had screamed himself hoarse, but none had taken away his voice like this. The gash across his throat was deep as he felt the warm blood gushing over his neck and pooling onto the table, drenching his hair.
'Give us Thor'
See, Thor? They would take you away from me. We can’t have that now, can we? Don’t tell me where you are. I already know, but at least I can pretend like I’m not certain. If you’re there, stay there. I was never good at keeping secrets.
His magic was gone, Thor was sure of it. He was scared for Loki to wake up, find his magic completely gone, and in an empty room. So he stayed.
He stayed, and he watched, but he never mourned. He would not allow himself to give up on Loki.
It is time, brother.
He laid on the slab of cold metal, the horizontal burn marks on his back were itching, the deep wounds from whipping his feet stung. His fingers were sliced open, black with infection, some missing from his hand entirely. His shoulders had been popped out of place so that his arms were useless in fighting the restraints, scars littered his arms and his eyes were glassy and his head lolled around, unable to make a conscious effort to look up ahead. Each movement caused more ligaments to tear, as if he were trying to dismember his head completely.
"Awake, brother, please," Thor murmured as he sat on the edge of the bed, staring down into the still face of his brother.
'Give us Thor'
'Never. You will never take Thor away from me.' He thrashed and threw his head back, snapping what was left of his life.
Be safe brother. Mourn for me. I shall miss you, but this is the only way to protect you - you, the one thing I love.
He placed his fingers into the destined spots between Loki’s, leaning down to place a gentle kiss on his brother’s slightly parted lips, which seemed to warm at the touch.
When Thor pulled back, he could hardly believe it - threads of magic were shooting into Loki like golden vines dancing against a castle.
Loki’s eyelids fluttered before opening slowly to take in everything around him.
"You came for me?" he asked softly, his throat raspy from disuse.
"I never left."