|ᛚᛟᚲᛁ has a silver tongue. (the_trickster) wrote in avengers_logs,|
@ 2020-04-21 12:01:00
|Entry tags:||-backdated, -complete, loki laufeyson, valkyrie|
Who: Valkyrie, Loki
What/When: backdated! Summary.
Notes: We worked on brief vignettes + convo to catch up where Valkyrie and Loki are with their relationship since February, before further plot development happens. 💖
"You've marked yourself," he says slowly, but not accusatory at all. In fact he sounds suddenly pleased, as though being given an unexpected present. His thumb rubs over the finger where the snake symbol is, and then he studies the wings around her wrist. "Oh, beloved. It is lovely, and I am truly honored."
"Anything else?" she asked carefully, he'd been getting a lot of info out of her this week. She ran one hand through her hair, deftly tugging the falling braids out.
He touches her hands to still them and then finishes combing the braids out with his fingers, so her hair was loose and free. His hands stroked her hair afterward as though he loved the feel of it, yet he looked pensive, as though considering if he should ask every question he's ever had or if he should wait. Not pushing would probably be best. "Not right now. It's only fair if you ask me whatever difficult question in return. If you can think of anything, you want me to answer truthfully."
She thought for a moment, deciding she'd wear her hair down at home for him. He liked it that way. She would have let him push, she was feeling generous, but she nodded instead. "Last night. When we were talking, you said you'd only show me..." She waved a hand, trying to find a better way to say it, "...giving up yourself only when you felt like wallowing in self-loathing. What did you mean?"
She had not, in fact, forgotten.
He froze in place in mid-stroke. He wasn't meeting Valkyrie's eyes, he had been speaking about showing her his true form. He drew in a deep breath as though steadying himself before elaborating. It wasn't easy, just as it wasn't easy for her to answer any questions about her past love...or any subsequent lovers. Which is what he was thinking of asking about next.
"...I meant that I was proud of Asgard, and I desperately wanted to be worthy of the throne. I was taught that the Frost Giants were unintelligent savages, primitive and evil, utterly vicious brutes. And then I found out that I was one, a runt abandoned and left to die. Everything I ever wanted or believed in was shattered. I am not Asgardian. I am lucky that I am even allowed here, the monster in everyone's midst, a beast in disguise." He smiled, and the only way to describe it would be a broken smile. "That is why I would only deign fit to turn into that hated form. If I wanted to wallow in my own self-loathing."
If he was unrelenting in the lines of questions he was going to ask, well, she wasn't holding back either. She lazily popped a knuckle.
"I get the first half - having one's world turned upside down isn't easy for the best of us." She reached up to brush some hair back from his face. "I certainly don't believe half the stories that get told. And I don't think of you as a monster. A troublemaker, a pain in the ass, sure, but a monster? Not really. I'd punch anyone who believes the old wives tales."
"Those are the same wives tales that you were told as a child. Asgard and the Jotunheim were at war long ago. The only reason there was any peace treaty was from Odin utterly obliterating that realm and taking away their source of power. There was nothing they could rebuild with, and it is still in ruins." He glances over at her before looking away again. "I have no idea what I am anymore, other than a monster in disguise."
"Do I look like I really believed in half of them? Also not so much old wives tales for me, love." She snorted. "Odin was a warmonger. And I might remind you, he sent me and mine to our death, then branded us heroes, when really? We were his personal attack dogs. We're all monsters here, in that case." She shrugged her good shoulder. "You're my husband. I don't believe half the things I was told, even as I did my job. I'm not innocent."
His eyes started to sting. Still as humiliated as he was that day he was in the vault confronting Odin, asking what he was and being struck to the core by the answer. And she was used for whatever it was that Odin commanded, even to ride to her death. It was a sheer stroke of luck she was alive right now to shrug at him, which he could see out of the corner of his eyes.
"I never wanted to be a monster. I only wanted to be equal to everyone else. Not a mockery...not lesser...not...what I ended up being. He looks at her with a teary but fierce stare. "You were honorable and dutiful, though. You did as you were ordered to. You may not be innocent, but you are no monster."
She straightened her shoulders and stared at him.
"It is not honorable to just wipe entire realms off the map because your commander said to, Loki. No one starts out wanting to be a monster just as no one is born one. As far as I am concerned? I am far more monstrous than you could ever be." Another knuckle idly popped. "I followed orders without question. I watched as he and Hela took what they wanted until she tried to take just a little too much. She ran a hand through her hair, stretching the locks out. "A good leader knows when the orders are wrong." A sad smile, broken, her voice quiet, "Did you really think I just drank myself into oblivion over a lost girlfriend? A lost team? Sure, that was part of it. Losing them because we got thrown away hurt. I'm not saying..."
She sighed, "I'm not trying to say you aren't entitled to how you feel. I'm not good at this."
He grasped hold of her hand suddenly. Partly to stop her from popping her knuckles again, the other part to stop her line of thinking.
"You're doing well. I know your meaning, but it is difficult either way. For you to know the orders you were given were foul and wrong, nothing that you would have willingly done had you any choice. And me, I was kept like a pet and given no reasons why. They said they loved me, and I know my mother tried to treat me like a son, but...I am Asgard's mortal enemy. And after I fell from the Bifrost...or not so much fell as willingly lobbed myself from it? After Thanos, I wanted to be Asgard's enemy. I wanted my brother broken at my feet, and Odin to suffer, and this world to worship me and...it was like being drunk."
He was staring down at her hand, sorting through broken thoughts and emotions again before speaking further. "I love you, and this hand that wields a sword on Asgard's behalf. You have redeemed yourself."
She let him stop her from popping her knuckles. It was a stress reliever, but she stopped.
"Clearly, we both handled things well. You wanted to take it out on Asgard, and I wanted to die a slow, painful death. I'm not redeemed. Not even close! But I don't need to redeem myself to Asgard. I didn't wrong them, not really. I don't need their forgiveness, but it's all I can get too." She's home. But home is a little wrong too. "I helped save our people - and they are just as much yours as they are mine - but I never once saved anyone from Odin and Hela's greed."
"Astoundingly bad is how we handled it. I didn't only try to take it out on Asgard, I tried to kill myself before that and fell through the void. And you? You carry the burden of guilt after being ordered to your death." He says it like he knows better, thumb rubbing over her knuckles one by one and back again, tracing a path back and forth while longing to touch her far more than that simple gesture. "You may not feel the need to redeem yourself to Asgard, yet you are here trying your best to help them. You are trying to redeem this within your own self, now that you are sober."
"I'm not even sure that is the right description, love. There isn't a big enough word for how bad we handled it." She lifted their hands and kissed the back of his knuckles. "Aye, but it isn't anything I'll ever be able to do and I know that. I helped wipe entire races out of existence. I guess we'll just have to both be monsters together. Sound good?"
He stares at her for a long moment as though he really doesn't want to be a monster, but..he also has a plan in motion to try to prove her wrong. A plan with the Spider-child, and so he isn't saying anything further about it. It's not a lie if he doesn't say it out loud, "Yes, that sounds good."
She gave him a look because he agreed way too fast. "You do realize after telling me how much you hate that thought you accepting me saying that so easily is... Questionable." She ran her thumb over his fingers.
"I wouldn't want to argue with my wife over it. That wouldn't make any sense. Would it?" The look he gives her is one of pure innocence like he's trying to understand her meaning (when he knows perfectly well what she's getting at). "That I love you is without question."
She hummed in response, "Oh, yes, you would." She poked, but she didn't pry it out of him either. "I'll let that lie for now. Your turn."
Inwardly he was phewing a little bit like he is glad to get away with it, even if it's for a little while. He looks thoughtful again and lures their joined hands to his lips so he can kiss her knuckles. "Do you remember your parents or any siblings you might have had...before you were called to duty as a Valkyrie?"
She let him kiss her knuckles as she considers his question. "Honestly? Not really. I don't have many memories of them at all, I don't even have names to go with them. Or faces." She looked thoughtful. She hadn't thought about that for...most of her life, really. "There's not really much before I started my duty."
"...do you not find that odd?" With his other hand, he touches the symbol on her inner arm that signifies her rank as a Valkyrie. "That it was blotted out, or taken away from you like you've been robbed of any other memories? Yet your duty is the only thing left clear to you?"
She shrugged a bit. "I never really stopped to think about it? I am sure Odin stripped it away, who needed a past to get in the way? she should probably be angry about that. "I...don't actually know?"
"And you're not angry or upset that this was stolen from you?" He is tracing a finger along the symbol's edges, testing the magic of it, the same way that one would when trying to unravel a spell meant to boggle the mind. "Have you no dreams that come to you, no fragments of memories? Is the erasure so absolute?"
A vaguely panicked look crosses her face like she's unsure of that whole thing. But she can't even find a shred of anything. "I think I should be angry." The look on her face was like one gets when they are suddenly faced with the absence of knowledge they should know. "I can't think of any, nay, not a shred?"
This makes him angry, more than he even has words to express, and he knows who is to blame for it. The only one that the Valkyries were sworn to serve, Odin All-father, who was the least fatherly figure in the universe, after Thanos. What makes it worse is that he can FEEL it in the sigil on her arm, the traces of magic meant to take things from her that might be deemed important or distracting.
He leans in and kisses her brow, saying softly, "I'll unravel this when you're ready."
She's staring, a little too intensely at the mark on her arm like she suddenly wants to cut it off. Peel it from her flesh like a bandage. She's never been good with facing things she knows is far out of her league, and this just adds layers to the hurt Odin had already laid on her. "This... Perhaps I would have said that was impossible... That he wouldn't have done such a thing... But I can believe it now."
Oh, Loki knew that Odin would, and he apparently did by the looks of it. There is a reason why Valkyries did not wed, nor have children, or did not have a history before they were Valkyries.
It takes every single ounce of self-control to not tear at it with her bare hand. To climb from the bed to pluck Dragonfang from its perch and take the whole damn thing off. But all she does is stare at it, her eyes dark. A bubbling anger just beneath her skin. It's almost palatable. She's mad she can't find a way to be mad about being stripped of things.
"It made us perfect to send to kill. To lay waste to everything he wanted us to," her voice was sharp, laced with hot anger.
"Well, we were all pieces of a plan." He rests his other hand over the mark, but he is staring at her as though he knows what she might be wanting to do. "This is a matter for magic, not for blades. It is more than skin deep. It is within you."
"I haven't moved, have I? I know I can't do anything." She had to force everything down, box up the anger, plug the volcano before it erupted. It takes her a couple minutes before she no longer has a look in her eye, like tearing it off would still be a good idea. "What's it like, being able to do what you want, more or less? To decide to change is a pain and just willing something else into place?"
She even works hard to cut the edge from her voice - both at the previous revelation and the fact she can't touch magic, that it isn't in her skill set.
He quirks his lips a little, his magic testing at it, finding boundaries, which might cause a little tickle on her skin. "How do you mean? That is a very loaded question. In what capacity? Magic?"
Her nose wrinkles, but she just sighs and waves the other hand in a gesture of uncertainty. "Yes? I guess that would be like asking me what it feels like to be able to lift my ship and throw it at someone if I needed to. Hard and more complicated to explain. Ignore that one."
She glanced at her arm. Nope, the desire to lop off the skin was still there.
His fingers trace the mark, and a greenish glow moves over the mark, as though chasing after his touch. "It moves within me and around me at all times. It is energy and light, all that grows and diminishes and is replaced, over and over again. I studied long and hard to memorize every single spell I could, to cast it without the need to speak, to bend light to my will, and to make things manifest. To shift shapes of myself and others, to find secret paths and walk them. It is countless forbidden secrets that would bore warriors to tears, I assure you."
He looks at her and adds softly, "You have your own magic as well, or else this symbol would have never been on you. Only the most talented gods or goddesses can harness magic. Usually, according to their element or realm of influence. And yours is powerful indeed, for it is death." He grins ruefully. "Nothing, my dear, can circumvent that."
Darkened eyes follow the glow, even if she rolled her eyes a tiny bit. Her mind was turning over things slowly; there is a bitter taste left, though.
"How terribly useful death is." It came out a little more bitter than she meant, then she let out a painful sounding sigh. "This is the part I tell you, everything that made me a Valkyrie, not just that but the leader of the rest...." She did know that she'd been the strongest to have been chosen to lead, and she acknowledged that fact, "barring Aragorn anyway, it's well out of my grasp and gone?"
"I do not think it is gone. Merely buried, slumbering within you. It will come back to you in time." He couldn't push the spell anymore. So his seidr withdraws, and he places a kiss against her lips before saying, "We never truly lose what we are, for better or worse."