What: Thor follows Loki into that vast expanse of outer space.
When: Set directly after the movie.
Word Count: 800
Warnings/Notes: PG-13. WIP, spoilers for Thor 2011, mild language. All characterization is based entirely on the movie. Inspired by a prompt from my good friend sin_unforgiven. I'm working on the next chapter as we speak. ^^
It feels like rebirth itself is crushing him in its arms, milling him into a minuscule, pulverized slab of ungodly flesh and bone.
The universe -- with its bespeckled night lanterns, its fairy-dust breath and glistening blips of distant fire, with its swirls of dark magenta, plum-gut violet, and forest-at-night green -- is a cold, cruel bitch.
When Loki lets go of the All Father's staff, when his tightly furled fingers loosen with the same kind of finality as the perpetual smirk he'd once donned slipping from his lips, he's aware that, though bold and beautiful as a backdrop to his home, space is first and foremost an uninhabitable wasteland.
It feels like rebirth itself is crushing him in its arms, milling him into a minuscule, pulverized slab of ungodly flesh and bone. Breath becomes a distant dream -- if he'd thought his death would have been quick, he was sadly mistaken. Frantic, his mind lashes out, clinging onto every sifting memory with watery solidity -- Odin's large, calloused hand grasping his child fingers, Thor and him rolling around on the bed, wrestling like all brothers did (Thor always won), young nights spent sipping tea and playing games of strategy with his doting mother. All of these thoughts leave a bad, bitter taste in his mouth as his trajectory spins out of control.
His Jotin blood boils in overtime -- it is because of his lineage that the deep, chilling grip of starlit void hasn't slowed his heart and claimed his life. The unbearably healthy flush of his pink, donned skin starts to recede, overtaken by the sinewy bloom of startling blue. His eyes are red with tears because he knows his eyes are red. They crystallize on his cheek, break apart while the effort of inhale-exhale, inhale-exhale takes up most of his attention.
He's aware, in a hypersensitive way, that he's been sucked into the last fading remnants of the Bifrost, now nothing more than a vacuum tunnelling aimlessly through the vastness of space. The little dregs of oxygen taunt him, inflate his lungs just long enough to prolong his suffering.
Loki curls in on himself, a wave of nausea overtaking him. His head is cradled by his unnaturally shaded arm, and he's already dried his tears and has started ticking off the many gruesome deaths awaiting him, when something solid bumps into his shoulder.
Startled, he glances back, neck creaking with the effort.
A moment passes where Loki simply cannot comprehend.
His red eyes widen, zeroing in on the hunk of shivering flesh that had knocked into him by what appeared to be sheer coincidence.
The idiot had jumped in after him.
Loki blinks at the dark, ugly idea that crawls inside his head -- push him out of the broken Bifrost and watch his lungs collapse. It's an urge he has to bite his cheek against, and out of spite for his own mentality, he does the exact opposite by dragging the unconscious body closer.
Spindly fingers dance across his brother's chest, clinging to fabric that has gone stiff with chill.
The glitching gateway between worlds is limping along on one leg -- a fickle supply of oxygen keeps the two inhabitants alive, but the innumerable holes littering the fabric of energy have drained the area of most of its warmth. Loki is still functional because of his ancestry. Thor is on the verge of debilitating hypothermia due to the same.
It's more of a reflex than a conscious thought that prompts Loki to drape himself over his brother -- had he been thinking, he might have been able to reason away the wish to keep Thor alive. But the effort is unquestionably necessary, a simple matter of need.
Space -- still as cold and cruel a bitch as ever -- starts a slow suction on the outer rim of the Bifrost, dissipating its energy in the same moment it guides it. Loki is aware of a stickiness clinging to the joints between his limbs, aware of the shortness of Thor's breath and the coldness of the other man's cheek falling against his blue clavicle.
He clings tightly to his brother, gritting his teeth as the intricacies of space veer the rainbow bridge sharply in a jarring direction. Heat starts to burn away the cold -- harsh, screaming electricity mixing with the first taste of fresh atmosphere. Loki clenches his eyes shut, orange light dancing just beneath his eyelids. When the awareness of propulsion switches to a distinct sensation of falling, Loki becomes mindful of three things.
One, they've just broken into someone's stratosphere.
Two, Thor is gripping his arms in a manner too conscious to be, well, unconscious.
And three, they're going to die.