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comment_fic 873: Avengers movieverse

Title: from the ashes, a fire
Fandom: Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Tolkien
Warnings: AU after The Dark World; implied violence/death
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1320
Point of view: third
Prompt: MCU, Loki, "Mischief is a small thing, a toy i have used and discarded. This isn't mischief. This is mayhem."
Note: this started out a completely different fic and then got away from me.

There once was a boy who played tricks because it was the only time anyone acknowledged him. He could have lost himself in the library, in the ancient histories and forgotten magicks – but he wanted companionship. Father was busy with ruling, Mother with the smaller details, and Thor with his friends. And so Loki went unnoticed except by librarians and historians who shushed him when he asked questions because for all his untapped genius, he was but a boy.

What everyone forgot until it was too late is that boys grow up into men.

.

There once was a boy who watched his older brother approach the throne with an arrogant tilt to his head, a smug grin twisting his lips, shoulders revealing his belief that he’d waited too long for his due. Everyone cheered, as they always did, no matter what Thor did.

There was sadness in Mother’s smile, apprehension in Father’s eye, but Thor never noticed. Those small details, easily missed, proved Loki right in not calling off his trick.

.

There once was a boy who fell from a bridge. No one sought for him. No one found him. Very few mourned him.

He landed in nothing and nothing happened there.

(The boy has always been a skilled liar.)

.

There once was a boy who tore open a hole in the sky. His older brother fought him, without once asking why he did such a thing, and then dragged him before the throne in chains. Not even Mother asked him why he’d done any of it, or what happened after he fell, or expressed relief that he lived.

Those large details, not easily overlooked, only proved to him that he – as always – was on his own.

.

There once was a boy who mourned his mother. Thor pretended that Loki didn’t, but Thor is a skilled liar, in his own way. Thor’s friends betrayed their king for a second time, as did the gatekeeper, but who kept count? Certainly not Loki.

The greatest trick of all is convincing an entire sky of stars that you’re dead. Loki managed it twice.

.

There once was a boy who sat on a throne he’d never wanted, wearing a face that he abhorred. He’d always practiced small magicks, minor tricks, illusions. But as King of Asgardr, he wielded the ancient magicks. Thor’s oathbreaker friends kept policing the realms; the traitorous gatekeeper watched the cosmos. The people of Asgardr never questioned their king, no matter what he did.

So he fell into the Sleep and there he died.

.

There once was a boy who walked along a road, smiling as he hadn’t in centuries. What is the true face of Loki, son of no one? Not even he knows.

What face shall he wear? He decides when he wakes, and never the same twice. War rages as the nobles of Asgardr battle for a throne, as the other realms try for their own piece, as Midgardr makes itself felt for the first time.

Loki, son of no one, is dead. But Loki is a common enough name, if he wants to keep it. Does he?

What if some nobody from some backwater town on some small planet begins to make a name for himself, rallying his kin and clan to battle? As they win, honorably, sparing their enemies and fighting in the name of peace?

No tricks. No traps. And if the nobody is gifted with small magicks, well… everything starts small, after all.

Better still, what if the nobody is the only survivor of the small backwater town? And he fights with honor still, oh such a good man, that nobody. Yes. His tiny wellspring of magick saved him, and now he uses it to defend others, and if he happens to turn the tide of the war?

What might the reward for such a man be?

.

There once was a boy who ruled honorably and well. The people loved him. He came from some little village on Múspellsheimr, the only survivor, and by the end, Múspellsheimr was his for all the people clamored for him to rule. From Múspellsheimr, he ventured to Vanaheimr and Niflheimr, taking by force only to give it back once peace fell. His armies marched from one side; Asgardr’s and Midgardr’s from the other. In the middle they met and wrote a treaty that all the realms signed.

“And who are you?” the King of Asgardr asked, Midgardr’s representative nodding.

“I am Fenrir of Múspellsheimr,” the champion of three realms said.

The King of Asgardr held out a hand. “I am Thor, son of Odin. This is my shield-brother, Iron Man of Midgardr.”

“Let this peace be long-lasting and prosperous,” Fenrir said, and they set to work making it so.

.

There once was a boy overlooked by all unless he did mischief. He grew to be a man overlooked by none, a man adored and worshipped, a man beloved by nine realms.

“We have much to thank you for,” Thor, King of Asgardr told him one night, well into his cups, centuries into the cosmic peace. “I shudder to ponder what might have been, had another led your army.”

“Another could not have,” Fenrir assured him, smiling just a little.

Thor peered at him curiously. “Sometimes,” he said, “sometimes I almost think – but no. No, he died long ago.” He turned his stare to his mead, shaking his head. “Long ago,” he repeated softly.

“Who?” Fenrir asked softly, gesturing away the guards. Kings should not be heard when they spoke of secrets, of fears, of regrets. And here, in the heart of Múspellsheimr, there was no danger.

“I had a brother, once,” Thor said, slamming down the mug. “We were just boys, and I don’t – I think of it often, and I don’t know what I could’ve changed.”

“I had a brother, too,” Fenrir murmured. “He was golden and I stood in his shadow, always.”

Thor glanced back up at him and Fenrir shook his head, chuckling. “It doesn’t matter now, my friend. But you, I think, have enough drink for this night.”

The Lord of Múspellsheimr escorted the King of Asgardr to one of the guest beds, tucked him in, and then, when Thor was mostly asleep, pressed a gentle kiss to his brow. “Sleep well, brother,” Loki whispered, wearing that face of centuries ago for one heartbeat.

The following afternoon, the representatives of all nine realms met to discuss the great threat coming: Thanos the Eternal.

.

There once was a boy who stood at the head of the greatest army ever gathered. Beside him stood the King of Asgardr.

“If we are to die now,” Thor told him without turning his head, “I want to die knowing that you know this: you are Loki of Asgardr, as you have always been. As you will always be.”

For the first time, Thor had surprised him. He turned to face his ally, his friend, mouth open in shock, and Thor simply met his gaze calmly. “I mourned you once, brother. I refused to do it again. And then I saw you, cloaked in another face, with the fire of Múspellsheimr behind you – you lived, and you prospered, and I knew that I could not… I could not ruin it for you, as I had ruined everything else.”

Fenrir’s face fell away to be that boy Thor alone remembered. “If we are to die now,” he said, “know this: I never hated you. I only ever wanted to stand beside you as your equal. To counsel you, to guard you.”

“I know, brother,” Thor said, pulling Loki into his arms for the hug he’d been craving since Loki fell on Svartálfaheimr. “We are equals,” he murmured. “And if we die here – it shall be side by side.”

Loki laughed, pulling back Fenrir’s face as he took his place again. “Come, brother,” he said, eyes on Thanos. “We’ve a war to win.”

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
emeraldarrows
May. 1st, 2014 09:19 pm (UTC)
This is perfect. <3
tigriswolf
May. 2nd, 2014 02:05 am (UTC)

Thanks!
akatsuki210
May. 1st, 2014 11:37 pm (UTC)
Very, very nice! I love how Thor figured it out, but decided not to tell anyone.
tigriswolf
May. 2nd, 2014 02:05 am (UTC)

Thank you for reading!
ciaranbochna
May. 2nd, 2014 03:35 am (UTC)
This is exactly what I would hope for Loki. Wonderful!
tigriswolf
May. 2nd, 2014 06:51 pm (UTC)

Thanks so much!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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