Life's Final Star
The crest and crowning of all good
-- Edwin Markham, "Brotherhood," 1899.
Disclaimer ~ These characters belong to Marvel, and probably a whole bunch of other people. They do not belong to me.
Comments and feedback to Ralkana47@yahoo.com would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Author's Note I ~ My first foray into this fandom. I fully admit I know nothing except what appeared on the screen. If something is wrong, please tell me!
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In the instant that Loki's finger hovered over the switch, Thor lived an endless lifetime.
He stared into his brother's blank eyes and wondered how they had come to this place. How had the brother he so loved fallen so far that he could snuff out a life as easily as he put out a candle?
What had happened to the mischievous youngster who had stared up at him, eyes alight with awe and admiration?
How had he become so trapped in his own cares and concerns that he had not seen that light changing and hardening, crystallizing into jealousy, into bitterness?
He was so weary. He was tired of the tricks, and the blows, and the scornful jibes. He was tired of mourning and regrets. He did not want this fight.
He did not want to wound his brother, to spill his blood. He wanted to sling an arm over his shoulder and share a drink, a song. A joke.
He wanted Loki to laugh with joy instead of malice.
He wanted to rejoice that his brother lived.
More than anything, he wanted not to see the evil his brother had wrought. The evil his brother had become.
Loki's finger began to descend, and for the merest fraction of time, a hundredth of a blink of an eye, Thor wished for the death his brother wanted for him. He hoped for oblivion at the end of this fall, for darkness when he met the earth he loved so much.
He was so weary.
And then he thought of Jane. Of Professor Selvig. Of Natasha, and Stark, and Rogers, and even Dr. Banner, misbegotten wretch that he was.
He thought of the man named Coulson. Even in this airless cage, he could smell the sharp tang of his blood in the air. He could see the bright mocking sheen of it staining his brotherís blade. Staining his brotherís hands.
He thought of all the suffering and all the deaths that would be hastened if he gave in to this darkness. If he gave up.
Earth might not win this battle with him, but it would certainly lose it without him.
He knew that he could not give up. He would not. He would find a way out of this and back to the fight.
He would find a way back to his brother, and there would be a fierce and fearsome battle, and he would prevail. He would vanquish Loki.
He would see Loki bloodied.
He would see Loki broken.
Everything in him cried out at that thought, at that terrible, inevitable image.
Loki's finger hit the switch, and the winds began to roar, and Thor knew that no matter the outcome of this battle, he would not -- could not -- break the spirit of his beloved brother.
He stared into the abyss of Loki's eyes, and he thought, Somehow, I will find a way to help you, my brother.
I forgive you.
And the world fell away.
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Author's Note II ~ I chose the title and the opening quote in a somewhat ironic mood, but the referenced poem, while not a great fit for our Asgardian siblings, is a remarkable foreshadowing of the Avengers as a whole. Read it here.