Boltedfruit Archive

The Dead Stay Dead and Wanting

Published: 2021-07-17

Category: M/M

Rating: E

Words: 3,992

Fandom: Thor

Ship: Thor/Loki

Characters: Thor, Loki

Tags: Post-Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Blood and Violence, Hate Sex, Dubious Consent

Summary:

“What is that?” Loki can’t stop staring at Thor’s head.

 

“A grave for the world. For you. For things I can no longer grasp.”

Author's Note

Originally posted around 2018-2019.

The first time it’s been three weeks and Loki can see the start of a wispy beard on Thor’s young face. Thor is broad in the shoulders. His hair is long and shines in the sun, glints in the light of the moon, and glistens after emerging from the baths. Thor’s thighs are strong from bracing against Sif’s spear against his shield, preparing for a war Asgard hasn’t seen in millennia, has expected for eons.

 

Thor eats more than Odin and Frigga combined and Loki stares and stares until his knuckles are whipped for it.

 

Loki still stares, curious gaze hidden behind books and tendrils of magic.

 

An afternoon of teasing has Loki showing off to his brother. His brother who claps and grins and laughs as he watches green smoke twirl all around them, conjuring all manner of things.

 

Odin burns him for the show of it. Of powers he didn’t ask for.

 

He still has the scar. Small and red on the back of his right knee. Something that would rarely be seen, and never willfully shown. Odin always made sure of that.

 

Frigga makes him stop the torment, eventually, but still Loki focuses on Thor. Only Thor. Because Thor is his reprieve of the darkness of their home, and he knows all the sun in the world could shine on them and would still be no brighter than Thor’s weakest smile.

 

Especially when aimed at him.

 

 

The second time it’s a year and Thor thought him dead.

 

 

The third time is a little longer, for the same reason.

 

 

The fourth, well. The fourth time is fifty years and the world has rotted and Thor is alone and afraid and grieving for a family Loki was never that fond of to begin with.

 

He thinks of Frigga and it stings, then, that small betrayal. He never meant her. Never means her.

 

Thor is older. It’s in the grey of his eyes, changed somehow from the entrapping blue they’d once been. Loki wonders if his own echo such a change. Maybe dying—really dying—rendered that result.

 

He wonders what would have happened, had he returned when he was needed. He knows some of what happened, after. He remembers the staccato tweak-twinge-snap of his vertebrae, the feeling of his blood rushing and then suddenly stopping, seeming too heavy for his face before going all at once. The rush of his heart, thundering behind his ribs before he felt nothing at all.

 

Distantly, he’d known he was dead, but the fact he’d known at all was what confused him. What still does.

 

He suspects it had something to do with Thor’s sorrow. There’s great magic in belief, in vile grief and Thor’s was the greatest the Tree had known in a very long time. Perhaps the Norns were afraid of what a god of thunder could do with such sadness and rage.

 

Render a creature with all the power in the world immobile with a single strike, yes. Eviscerate him two years later, even, another yes.

 

He’d seen it on the news. Midgardians certainly loved their news. In the new world, in Thanos’ new gleaming world—there was murder, thieves, a shortage of vaccines, of doctors, scientists, world leaders, historians, starvation—the thing he’d wanted so valiantly to eradicate.

 

Thanos was a fool. A dead one.

 

And, watching the pit Thor’s dedicated to digging for himself, Loki knows he helped it right along.

 

 

Loki was floating, before. Then he’d heard a snap and it was like light had flooded in. He’d been nothing, existing in a place where he had no form. Then he heard Thor’s voice cry out and he’d been aware, as if no time had passed at all.

 

He’d felt some sort of exchange in that moment. Something dark, menacing, cloying at him to stay, stay, stay before finally he opened his eyes and was alive again.

 

After, he’d seen their faces, in shop windows, on shirts, on newspapers that went ignored in their little metal bins. Wept when he didn’t see Thor’s among them.

 

 

The only two still alive were Banner and Rogers.

 

Rogers looked much the same, but Banner had aged some. His hair was white and he secluded himself to a sanctuary in the mountains of Brazil. He hadn’t spoken in years, to anyone outside of the immediate radius of his house, and seemed to prefer it that way.

 

Rogers still helped people, but Loki saw in his eyes as he followed him that there was less there. He remembers Rogers from before. He’d been all fire, all fight but now he was missing something.

 

Loki watched him for a week, went through his things the second night and found a turned down frame of him smiling with one arm slung over a man with long dark hair and a metal arm. He wonders who it is. Who it was.

 

Pain was common for people like Rogers. Like Thor.

 

Then the bomb dropped on Manhattan, and the best of them died, from what he heard the others say. But then the others died slow, lonely deaths, from what Loki observed over the years.

 

The world had stopped fighting, but once an apple started to rot from the inside, there was little to stop it besides throwing it in the bin and ignoring it was there until someone else took it away.

 

But no one could take this away.

 

 

The fourth time ends at fifty-one years with the first time Loki steps into the low light of Thor’s small living room—a shoddy little thing tucked away in the corner of an island that had barely twenty people left on it— Thor blinked and turned away. Kept watching out the window into the night.

 

Loki sat down at his kitchen table and stayed there for ten days.

 

Thor left the third morning, tears in his eyes.

 

Loki ends up staying longer than ten days.

 

 

When Thor comes back, his once long hair is short. Shorter than Loki’s ever seen it. But his beard is still long. He can see the skin of his scalp beneath and there’s a winding rune starting at his neck and spinning from temple to temple, spelling out the disaster of the end of the world to Loki and he wants to scream at Thor for immortalizing his pain in such a way.

 

Thor reaches inside the cloak he wears and removes a fistful of braided blond hair. He drops it at Loki’s feet and his eyes are very grey indeed. He spits at Loki’s feet.

 

“You’re not welcome here,” is what he says. It’s good to hear his voice.

 

“What is that?” Loki can’t stop staring at Thor’s head.

 

“A grave for the world. For you. For things I can no longer grasp.”

 

Thor’s lips twitch and he sneers then. The look is so utterly foreign to Loki, he takes two steps back, afraid. He’s afraid of Thor, more than he’s ever been. For a moment, his brother isn’t there, in those grey eyes of his. It’s something else staring back and Loki doesn’t know what to call it. Doesn’t dare to.

 

Thor knows. He offers up a single nod, a short, stilted movement. When he moves past Loki, he’s very careful not to touch him.

 

Loki hears the bedroom door slam and the one window rattles.

 

 

When Thor comes out, it’s the middle of the afternoon and it’s hot. Hotter than usual. Thor goes to the fridge and digs around until he brings out a water bottle, presses it to his neck.

 

Loki wonders why he doesn’t just call for rain. Loki knows the last time he commanded the sky was thirty years ago.

 

“Why don’t you do it anymore?” Loki asks him and Thor goes tense in the shoulders. He understood Loki just fine, but he’s still ignoring him.

 

“I went to see Rogers,” he says softly. Thor’s head turns enough Loki knows he has his full attention. “And Banner. They’re in good health.”

 

Thor snorts at that.

 

“Banner is researching flower pigments in New Rio. He breeds hybrids and cures dyes, so the local farmers have more opportunities for income.”

 

He sees Thor’s eyes slowly lower to the floor.

 

“Rogers is still in New York, despite the bomb. He champions the disenfranchised,” Loki says. “Doesn’t do much outside of that. Says little to few and seems to persist in coming home late enough all he has cause to do is pass out before starting over again, too early in the morning. Sometimes he doesn’t sleep at all, just reads. He doesn’t watch the news, avoids it in fact, I suspect.”

 

Thor swallows and Loki can almost hear it, the way his throat bobs.

 

“Banner does much the same. He talks to the farmers but that’s it. Haven’t seen the green guy in ages.” He takes a leap then. “They both keep pictures of the dead, hidden away but readily available if they want to look. Why? You haven’t seen them in decades, I know. I know that none of you speak for pleasure, only out of necessity, but you—you,” he mutters, desperate for Thor to turn and look at him, “You don’t even keep pictures of them, do you? Rather they’d just vanish into the air, like they did, like none of it ever happened?”

 

Thor crushes the water in his hand and sets it on the counter. His shirt is wet now, and he glowers down at himself.

 

“Before they died, the others…they at least had each other.”

 

Thor’s voice is sharp then.

 

“You don’t speak for them!”

 

Loki drinks in Thor’s voice. Wants to hear more.

 

“I watched them. For years.”

 

Thor finally turns, and his face is all fury. He looks feral with his shaved head and long beard, shirt wetted through.

 

“They died alone, in the end. Trust me. Loki,” he hisses at him. “You don’t know their names. You don’t know what happened in the end, for any of them.”

 

“I do,” Loki breathes, a lie. A truth, maybe. He feels like he knows, knows them, but he doesn’t, he can’t—he doesn’t remember their faces.

 

“Natasha Romanov.” Thor’s lips turn downward when he gets the response he was expecting in Loki’s silence. “And James Buchanan Barnes.”

 

Natasha, that woman, yes, he knew her but the other one. He knew, he did, didn’t he? Who was he, Loki screams at himself.

 

Thor answers his unvoiced question. “The pictures they turned down.

 

Bruce, Natasha. Steve, Barnes. You don’t know a thing about any of them.”

 

Loki feels his eyes go wide, his chest constrict with something hard and painful.

 

He hated them all, once. Hated them with such a righteous anger he isn’t sure when he let that go. It made up a part of him for so long, had caused so much chaos in such a small handful of years so very long ago. There were others, in their fights. Always the others, like insects that kept coming up from their hole in the dirt, unable to die. But die they did. He knows their faces from the news, from the fights before…but worse still he knows them from after.

 

When he came back, something filled the space after he left, and in that split second instant of not here and here again, he’d had such a tremulous pain as if he knew them all. He did. Why was it him?

 

“I felt something, when I came back. Something terrible.” Thor doesn’t seem swayed. “I felt their souls pass through mine, by mine? When I came back. I don’t know how it happened. If it was the seidr in your blood, or something I’d planted along the way for insurance. I can’t remember, Thor.”

 

Time had been missing for him. He knew that, he knew. But soon enough it was four years, ten, twenty, fifty-one and all that mattered was the little inconsequential details of the lives of those left and Thor—his Thor, his brother.

 

But he doesn’t care, he can tell. And the Thor staring back at him now is not his brother. He can feel it, cold and skin deep where he sits now.

 

Thor walks to him, towering over him in a stance meant to intimidate, and it does. Loki knows what those hands can do.

 

When Hela was ripped from her tower with the pure power of a god, Loki remembers the jolt of fantastic terror that ran through him. It had been elation, then.

 

Thor leans close and he can smell his breath, sour from sleep and hot and it’s dread he feels. Sinking its bloody teeth into his neck and ripping it wide for his brother to feast on. And he hates it. And he wants more of it.

 

Thor looks like he can smell the fear on him and maybe he can. His head fills with wild things, vile thoughts fit for the dead and dying and he thinks then that Thor might seek vengeance upon him. For all the many lies and misdeeds he’s done. For all the death he’s wrought.

 

“Do it,” he pleads. “Do it, Thor.”

 

And Thor doesn’t recoil like he expects, and he has his answer before Thor even bothers to voice it.

 

Thor’s hand comes down heavy on his shoulder, and he feels dwarfed in comparison to the grip as he always does. “I might yet.”

 

“So why don’t you?” he manages. It comes out a rasp, for his throat has gone dry.

 

Thor’s grip goes tight enough Loki knows he’ll bruise. He could snap his clavicle in a moment, and it’s a tense thing, waiting for it to happen.

 

“You deserve far worse.”

 

Loki sucks in a breath and then he’s alone.

 

 

It’s another week before something happens.

 

Loki remembers something one day, when they’re in front of the house. A feeling more than anything, small words in a small voice.

 

He asks Thor who Parker was, because he woke to a shadow and the voice of a child, a mere boy he never knew, and he doesn’t understand why it keeps happening. Thor’s lips thin to a line and his eyes go hard.

 

Thor turns for a short moment. Looks like he wants to say something.

 

“He was the youngest of them,” Thor whispers. Loki doesn’t miss the way he refers to his old team as them, something he is no longer part of. He wonders when that happened. “Steve told me later about him. He was a kid, smarter than Stark.”

 

“But he died too, didn’t he? I saw the video of it. When Manhattan was leveled?”

 

Thor doesn’t move for a long time and stays silent even longer.

 

 

Another month before Loki gets what he’s been waiting for, been wanting, been expecting for so long.

 

Loki is walking through the kitchen and he bumps shoulders with his brother. Thor’s eyes flash and it goes fast from there.

 

And then he’s crashing through the front entry to the living room. Breaks Thor’s front wall in a heap of cheap drywall and wood and Loki can barely catch his breath from the surprise before Thor is just there all of sudden. Thor is heaving wrath above him, hand coming down tightly on the front of the shirt he wears. It tears as he sends him flying back again, this time to form a small crater in the far wall separating his bedroom.

 

“Stop this,” Loki pleads weakly. It’s a lie in itself, the want, the desire for Thor to stop. And Thor grins something nasty because he knows what it is just as much as Loki does.

 

They both need this.

 

Loki doesn’t try to stop Thor’s hands, those thick arms from coming at him. Something quick and dangerous flashes in his mind when he feels those two hands, so familiar, wrap tight around his throat.

 

He remembers vertebrae cracking, the soft squelch of tissue rendering undone to his ears alone. Like the sound of a blade piercing the flesh. Something so close and so intimate a sound, only for him to hear.

 

His mind goes blank for a long moment as he loses breath. His arms go limp and Thor sniffs suddenly, roaring in his face.

 

He’ll bruise. He’ll bruise so badly. And he wonders if he bruised the first time.

 

“Stop,” Loki begs again, this time sincere in a way he wasn’t before.

 

But Thor keeps choking him, tighter and tighter and tighter until he suspects he might be blue in the face, his eyes bulging. He remembers this most of all. The pop of his brain like a balloon, no air left to process the simplest thing. There hadn’t been pain then, just distant echo of Thor wailing and then nothing at all.

 

He meets Thor’s eyes and they’re still that hushed grey and Loki hates it. Hates he can’t see the sun there anymore.

 

Loki decides, then. Claws at Thor’s hands, at his arms, tries to reach for his face. Anywhere to get purchase and find it finally, he does. In the dip of his forearms, Loki drags and scratches until Thor’s blood shows itself and his brother, his dangerous, raging brother doesn’t even realize the bitter scent of it cutting through the humid air.

 

I won’t leave a fifth time, he tries to say with his eyes, his frantic arms. Never mind dying. Leaving is the worst part. It always had been.

 

Thor’s grip only tightens, crushes him further into the wall. Loki can’t breathe but there’s yet for any bones to crack. Not like him, not like him at all. Thor is the golden sun, the star in a universe far away, bright and beautiful and devastating, but not like him. Never like him.

 

Thor seems to realize the same thing at the same moment and then Loki is being suffocated to the wall until he’s collapsing through, sent to the floor. Then it’s both of Thor’s hands on his neck again with renewed strength and Loki thinks he sees a spark of blue somewhere amongst the chaos.

 

His brother, his Thor is there, somewhere above him, and Loki leverages his weight up, up, until his legs are wrapped around Thor’s waist. Thor curses and still more of the floor caves in beneath them. Still, his neck does not snap and Loki knows Thor is controlling himself, still refusing to let go.

 

Why, he wonders. Why is he keeping him alive?

 

Thor must feel it then, in the way he tenses at Loki’s squirming.

 

“You’re a sick thing, brother,” he mutters darkly. But he’s not removed himself from the space between Loki’s thighs, where they can both clearly feel his arousal pressing hot against his stomach. Thor grips harder and Loki squeaks out a word, something unintelligible.

 

“I should just have done with it. Break your neck and leave you here just as you are. For someone to find you, in all your sinful guilt.”

 

Loki’s eyes go wet, tears forced out from the force of Thor’s strength surrounding him. There’s shame, there, all around them, but Loki still tries to grin.

 

Loki summons all the strength he has, still considerably less than Thor’s, though mighty they both are. He presses forward, his hips grinding deliciously into Thor’s abdomen, his breath caught tight in Thor’s hands.

 

Thor brings him up, holding him by the neck and slams him back down and Loki feels his limbs wobble.

 

“Finish it,” he hisses, spit flying. “What he started all those years ago.” He sucks in what breath he can and wheezes out the rest. “You keep bringing me back. Only you can end it.”

 

Thor’s gasp is soft but there and Loki knows he’s won.

 

“I should let you drown in your own blood for all the trouble you cause me,” he says, voice dark and low. But Thor’s hands finally remove from around his neck to busy themselves with tearing at the belt he wears. Loki bucks and gasps and sucks in lungful’s of burning air, nerves on fire for everything Thor is doing to him, has done, will do.

 

When Thor kisses him it’s the first time, and it’s with the taste of blood in his mouth, the humid air thrumming with such a storm that the Earth has not seen in thirty years.

 

“Midgard has their protector again,” Loki mocks, even as Thor pulls himself free of his own trousers. He’s hot against him and Loki sucks in another deep breath. It’s insane, what they’re doing right now. He’s never been so close to chaos before, no matter how much he’s tried. He should have known it was down to Thor, down to him alone to render final judgment for the two of them.

 

It was only ever them, he knows.

 

Loki is hard and straining where he lies, waiting for Thor to take what he wants, but he’s not doing it, he’s hesitating and that’s not what Loki wants at all.

 

“Kill me, Thor,” he voices to the air. Thor’s cock is hard where it barely presses into him and then a tight hand comes down to wrap itself about Loki. He squeezes and Loki winces with the pain-pleasure of it.

 

“Why should I?”

 

Loki looks up from where their bodies are about to join and meets Thor’s eyes. There’s storm in them again, and they’re bright and they’re blue and Loki fucking loves him.

 

“Because I want you to do it,” he tells him. And it’s the truth.

 

Thor makes something like a wounded sound, deep in his throat, before he’s all weight on top of him. Thor pushes into him roughly. Loki cries out, because it’s pain and its fire and it’s good, and it’s what he wants, what he needs.

 

Thor pushes a hand through his hair, his fingers lingering by his jaw, a warning. His brother’s teeth latch onto his neck and he wants that knifehot pain of the way Thor drags in and out of him burned forever in his mind. In the memories he’s fighting to make sense of. In the rotted world they’ve come to know.

 

Loki’s cock is still trapped in Thor’s tight hold when suddenly he pumps his fist once, twice and Loki is spilling in the midst of it all. The way Thor is throwing little tendrils of tingling light all over their skin, the way his teeth have latched onto his neck and not let go, the way he’s groaning and pitching his hips against his. Loki grips tight, tight as he can, and it’s still not enough.

 

Thor spills inside him and he feels the teeth at his throat tear into him, and it’s still not good enough. He needs more, needs Thor to do what he’s asked of him. He’s crying and he doesn’t really know why.

 

Loki is sated and a bloody mess, covered in his own spend. Thor doesn’t look at him, but he knows in the way Thor tosses a rag from somewhere at him that it won’t be the last time. It will happen again.

 

Loki waits, hoping he’s wrong. Hoping he’s right. Thor needs to do what he’s asked. Thor needs to end it. Needs to be the one to do it.

 

Thor just looks down at him, watching. Watching the way Loki lies there, eyes suppliant, still, legs quaking and fingers clutching at the rubble beneath him. The way the blood that paints Thor’s lips and cheek runs already half dried across Loki’s neck and torn shirt. He licks his lips and Loki sighs because he knows when he does, he’s tasting his blood.

 

Thor looks down his body, farther still, to where he’s surely dripping and it hurts there. He doesn’t know if he’ll be able to stand. Thor won’t help. He doesn’t expect him to. Loki wants it to happen again.

 

He’ll take all he can have.