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Title: A new beginning
Fandom:  Thor
Chapter:  9  – The voice of the rain  (words: 6660)
Rating:  R
Pairing:  Thor/Loki
Genre/Warning: OOC, fluff, slash, angst, OTP
Summary:  There is a time to take action and fight, and there is a time to sit, restful, and think.

N/A: This chapter took me a lot of work, more than any other. But at last, I managed it. Hope you enjoy it. Thanks for waiting all these months for this update.
The poem I quote in this chapter is “The voice of the rain” by Walt Whitman (from “Leaves of Grass”).

9. The voice of the rain

Far ahead in time, among the futures.
Among the countless possible futures.
Or in the only one meant to be.
His eyes closed, his body abandoned on the pallet inside the little haven he had arranged in the heart of the forest, under the farthest offshoots of the Tree’s roots, he listened to the wind.
He listened to the wind, and he listened to the rain.

“And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower.”

The scent of the rain.
The voice of the rain, the crooning of the rain.
The soft pattering on the leaves, on the grass, on the makeshift canopy sheltering the perfection of his lyric solitude.
Cosy. Calming. Reviving.
Familiar, to him, the only one who knew how to listen to the secret language of the elements. And how to speak to them.
Sometimes, he felt the urge of simply sinking in nature all alone, no thinking, no worrying, no restrain, just letting his soul flow random and free. To breathe with the trees, to sip from the stones, to see through the brooks. To feel the earth vibrating immense across his body, sharing with him the hugeness of its life force. And to delicately add some of his own to the changeling painting of primeval creation.

“Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here translated:
I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain,
Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the bottomless sea,
Upward to heaven, whence, vaguely form'd, altogether changed, and
yet the same…”

Floating over the lines of that poem that suddenly came to his mind, he smiled at the glaring certainty that, still intact even after the many centuries gone by, filled his whole soul with that immutable, divine wellness.
So many battles fought, so many worlds risen and fallen, so many secrets revealed, so many adventures across the light and across the darkness, along the history of the Realms. Riding his powers now grown almost endless together with his knowledge, and with their fame, and with the glory of their kingdom.
And of their love.
That certainty, beyond fame, and glory, and history, that simple, immense certainty was still enough. Enough to make his life worth living.
So strong it had become along the years, and so inalienable, that now it tasted as innate to them as their godhood itself.

“...I descend to lave the drouths, atomies, dust-layers of the globe,
And all that in them without me were seeds only, latent, unborn;
And forever, by day and night, I give back life to my own origin,
and make pure and beautify it...”

He wallowed for aeons in flawless stillness, until the well known whisper of a presence came to move softly the magic of his contemplation. His lids still closed, he welcomed the waft that brushed his lips bringing him back from his weightless journey. He sighed, he trembled in bliss, amazed again in front of the endlessly renewing wonder of that miracle.
And he opened his eyes.
“News from the reality you just woke me up into?”
The smile shining an inch over his mouth brightened at once the rainy greyness around, and with his gaze he caressed those noble features that time had sweetened with a deeper wisdom.
“Yes. Incredible news.”
But those eyes, hanging on his face bluer than the Sea of Space, were talking quite another thing.
He dwelt on their transparency, unable to turn his own away, he giggled.
And the warmness of that voice wove around them a mantle of timeless delight.
“No matter how far our lives and feats have come, no matter how many tasks still lay ahead of us. All I need is right here.” Those raspy fingers, grazing his forehead with the same tenderness of the first time they did it. “I look at you and I see the same lovely face my heart keeps melting on since ever.  Time is being so gentle with you,... little one.”
He stretched his hand out to grab that brawny nape and pull that head down, toward his mouth, so that those golden locks could tickle his cheeks.
He smiled.
“And with you too, my handsome.” Languidly, he moved a bit aside on the pallet to make some place for him. “Won’t you lay down here with me for a while and listen to the rain singing for us?” He whispered those words right on that mouth. “News can always wait.” And softly he bit those lips, chortling, lecherous. “Even the incredible ones.”

“...(For song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfilment, wandering,
Reck'd or unreck'd, duly with love returns.)”


Loki smiled tenderly on his sleeping god’s forehead, unable to detach his lips from it, basking at the sweet weight of Thor’s head peacefully abandoned on his shoulder. Oh, such a hard decision, the hardest ever, to restrain their flaming crave and through the flavour of their thousandth kiss to gently cast on his brother a sleeping spell. The most soothing and warming and enlivening among the hundreds he knew, in order to ensure Thor’s full recovery. Because this time he didn’t want to run any useless risk, this time nothing must be left to chance. And first of all, Thor had to be at his best. Through his uncanny sensitivity he could feel his cherished one gradually regaining his strength while sleeping that magic sleep of life; he could feel him dreaming the tender dreams he sent him to shield his soul as long as possible from the fated anguish that was meant to follow. Besides the lethal fight they were about to face against the darkest and most unpredictable forces in the known universe, he knew a crucial confront would have been inevitable between Thor and the All-Father; and he knew that confront might have turned out more devastating than any other.
He also knew, however, that - once ended that last ordeal - letting their hunger for each other free would have been more impetuous, more ardent than ever; and that single thought erased from his head any concern, making him shiver with irrepressible anticipation. He smiled again on Thor’s quiet breathing, huddling up to him while breathing his skin, and hair, and dreams.
“You know, my handsome?” he whispered on his beloved’s almost imperceptible snoring. “I feel so strong.” He rubbed his cheek on Thor’s forehead. “Stronger than I have ever been. So strong, and so completely conscious of... how much I love you. Trust me. This time, nothing. Nothing will stop us.”
And for a bunch of minutes before yielding to a bracing sleep as well, with lucid resolution he reviewed in his mind every single detail of his plan.

“How many souls did he promise to repay you with?” he asked, a cynical smile on his face.
“Thousands,” answered she.
“Oh. Thousands.” He grinned, raising his eyebrow. “Well, because I do not care about the destiny of any soul in any Realm...” His inscrutable gaze let no feeling show through. “...I can grant you more than thousands. I can grant you all of them.”

The air stank.
How disturbing. And ominous. Because, since the dawn of time and every day, the Realm of the Gods welcomed its citizens with the fresh fragrance of dewy leaves, and musky rocks, and golden waters, all mixed together in an unearthly blend.
Not anymore.
When they stepped into reality, standing tall in their armours on a peak near the city of Asgard, the heavy, lugubrious air saturated with that acrid stench of rotten corpses and souls almost broke their breathing. And the view simply killed any word in Thor’s throat. He woke up just a while earlier in Loki’s arms, feeling mightier than ever, eager to engage the final challenge that would have driven them to fulfil their written fate; they joked about the sleeping spell that broke their ardour up, again they had to fight to restrain themselves from yielding to that ardour and get ready instead, as soon as possible. They talked of strategies, of tricks, of all the odds and forces that might be involved in the battle; their long forgotten eagerness for fight, their unceasing, enthused gazing into the rediscovered awareness filling each other’s eyes while they prepared was enough to make them feel invincible.
But now, in that unbearable stink twisting his bowels, in front of the dusty blackness swallowing the landscape, in front of the ashen grip that had already made part of the city crumble, a grievous sadness seized Thor’s face, while his soul was passed through by a deadly shiver. A never seen before clutter of floating shades coloured the skies with dark brown and violet and black, and the hundreds flying creatures carrying on their backs Hela’s doomed soldiers were squeaking, spitting black flames, and rising hellish whirlpools. On the whole land around, still hardly discernable in the thick fog, feral monsters moved relentlessly forward to the walls of Asgard, gurgling creepy. Hankering for blood, and death, and souls. A confuse rumbling covered any other sound, heavy black clouds pulsated from above all over the surface, as though that immense army of doom suddenly caught their presence and couldn’t wait any longer for the signal to attack.
The grimy wind ruffled Thor’s hair while he, still frozen on the border of the peak and convulsively gripping Mjolnir’s handle, forced his voice out.
“It used to be called the Golden Realm... and now, look at it.” His lips quivered with scorching anger. “Putrescence. Darkness. Chaos. All because of the mad blindness of a father who’s forgotten honour and compassion.”
At once, Loki’s hand reached his one and squeezed it, resolutely. And his smile got lost beyond the horizon.
“While you were sleeping, and dreaming, I also had a dream, my sweetest.” Oh, the blazing rage bursting up inside his sweet god’s soul, and through the tangle of their fingers now shaking his own too. “This is not going to last. For there is a different future meant for this Realm. And us.”
Thor blinked, gritting his teeth, and moved his sight from one side of the plain to the other.
“What are they doing? They are moving sort of... randomly, they don’t seem to have a leader.”
“They have.”
Slowly, he turned his head towards the rocks towering the city from the opposite side of the plain.
“And you know who he is.”
Following Loki’s look, Thor turned his head too. There, on the top, in a rumble of cracking light and smoke, riding a rearing Sleipnir, Odin appeared, gigantic, furious, Gungnir in one hand, the Casket of Ancient Winters in the other. The terrifying roar blasting from the All-Father’s throat shook the whole land and sky, making the two of them sway for a second. In the meanwhile, vague in the black mist, at Odin’s sides and back the mountains’ ridge started moving, sinister, and seemed to come alive, as if a huge, horrendous monster had been evoked from the depths of the earth. Thor and Loki half-closed their eyes, until they caught, emerging from the dust clearer and clearer, the hundreds silhouettes that made that monster ghost: an army of Asgardians, ready to fight on their old king’s behalf. At once, the clouds above growled more ominous; all the dark warriors on the land and in the skies raised their weapons as one and squashed untidily towards the All-Father.
At the same time, as they glanced down inside the city from the top of the peak, they saw hundreds of warriors cramming towards the main portal and hailing to them rising their swords. That warmed Thor’s soul, even if a tide of vexation inflated his chest, for no possible distance could prevent him to feel the ruthless venom of his father’s gaze piercing his heart from side to side.
“...But it’s up to you, Thor, to decide to what extent you are ready to push yourself in order to save Asgard. I am sure you understand what I mean.”
Only then he understood in all their clarity the words that Heimdall told him time before. As only then he had the doubtless certainty Loki was right saying the All-Father had no intention to retrace his steps.
“He’s trying again to tame a source of power that never really belonged to him,” Loki whispered, and closed his lids for an instant, catching the hidden energies moving beyond the visible. He grinned, sarcastically. “He’ll see what I left hidden in there for him.”
But Thor, panting his wrath on the invisible blade that chained his gaze to Odin’s, was thinking elsewhere.
“His hatred,” he snarled. “I feel it in my bones. It is more biting than this fetid air itself.”
Loki got closer to him.
“This is your last chance!” they heard the All-Father shouting, rabidly, far from the distance. “Drop your hammer now and kneel before your father and king! Or burn forever in the frozen flames of Hel!”
Thor spitted out a growl, leaning out of the cliff’s edge so impetuously that for a second Loki was afraid he would have fallen off.
“Father!” Thor shouted back, making the whole valley tremble. “You know I will not!” His eyes blazed with fury and the veins on his neck pulsated dreadfully. “Open your eyes and take a look around you! Are you really going to take arms against your people? Do you really want to sentence Asgard to damnation?” He paused a second, his words echoed in the wind. “Stop this insanity before it is too late!”
Odin’s only answer was to rear Sleipnir up, and roar like a feral beast.
“It is already! Too late!”
There, Loki could feel Thor’s heart almost exploding. He gasped.
“Thor. Look at me, Thor.”
As Thor did it, Loki flooded him with the wisdom of his eyes.
“His era is ending, and even in his madness, he perfectly knows that. His hatred is chasing him. But no matter how ferociously, how insanely he may hate. Or fight. His time, as the ruler of this Realm, is over.”
He grabbed both Thor’s forearms and quivered with elation when Thor, still breathing out sheer anger, grabbed his own back, boldly. He waited for a comforting smile of confidence to shine back on his god’s face.
“And yours must begin.”
Thor inhaled deeply and raised his hand to graze his cheek, softly.
“No.” He slipped his fingers on his nape, under his hair, shivering at Loki’s little shiver. “Ours must begin.”
Their eyes now locked into each other’s, glimmering with ultimate resolution, their capes fluttered in the wind and from the top of the peak their figures stood out haughty against the plumbean sky.
“I’m looking forward to engage and end this challenge,” Loki gasped right on Thor’s mouth, drawing nigh to him so that their chests could touch. He snickered cheekily while, following his magic hint, everything in time and space stopped for a bunch of seconds. “For I’m not sure how long I can survive...” His breath slid on Thor’s neck, and chin, and lips, he shivered at the unbridled tension he felt burning so erotically pugnacious inside that glorious body. “...waiting for what will come next.”
Trapped in that inescapable bubble of timeless sensuality, Thor simply smothered that impudent mouth with a rough, gushing kiss. Certain that his father could see how just only that kiss for an endless moment could drench the gloominess around with the glaring flavour of victory.
And then he smiled, fierce, his gaze flashing with the indomitable flame of lightening.
“Me neither.” His eyes never letting go of his brother’s, Thor secured Loki’s waist in his arm’s grip and raised Mjolnir to the rumbling clouds. “So. Let’s end this.”

“Not only we fixed the thorny problem of my beloved thunderer,” he grinned, ostentatiously sarcastic, rising Mjolnir in front of her eyes. “But also... the All-Father cannot rely any longer on the entirety of his people and warriors. Nor on their loyalty, or on their fear.”
“What do you mean, trickster?” she hissed, almost losing her patience.
“I mean.” He took a deep breath, holding back his annoyance. “Divide and conquer. It’s an old saying, never heard it? Odin will not be able to lead his war from inside the city, for – with my
totally unbiased help - the All-Seer seized the core of Asgard.” He chuckled, gloating on the coils of innuendo curling around her. He calibrated his following words to ensure she could be hit through by their crucial meaning. “And, of course, the Bifrost.”
There, a creepy smile of collusion appeared on her disquieting face. And her improbable eyes fixed in his.
“The Bifrost.”

Centuries later, tales, and books, and songs would have talked of those fighting days as of the closest to a new Ragnarok in the Nine Realms’ last millennia of history. “It has been aeons since the last time the Asgardians fought against each others,” Heimdall’s words went, lugubrious prelude to those days of darkness; words that only then, when Thor and Loki laid their feet right before the gates of the city, revealed entirely their terrifying burden. Because that burden really meant the end of an era. Because that burden took on disquieting surreal shades. Because along with that burden, during those days of darkness, many glorious Asgardians from both the sides walked their last walk into Valhalla after being slain by their own brothers.
But none of such considerations could find a place in Thor and Loki’s mind as they appeared before the gates of Asgard: all of a sudden, in front of them, for an unending bunch of seconds every creature, every warrior seemed to be frozen in a dreadful silence. They were panting as one, as one foretasting the enticing redolence of the forthcoming slaughter, and foretasting as one the most intimate battle waiting for them once ended their task. Thor glanced at Loki, who smirked back at him with total confidence; and then he glanced at Odin, still far on the peak, and apparently not intentioned to move down. He inflated his chest and stretched his hammer out towards the skies, while at the same time the portal of the golden city opened.
From the top of his peak Odin raised Gungnir and roared to the horde at his command.
“Destroy them! Destroy the entire city! Destroy everything!”
He didn’t move an inch from his position, but the massive Asgardian army at his back started rumbling down along the mountains’ ridges.
“For Asgard!” Thor growled in turn, calling the mother of all storms to hit the land border to border. Again, an instant, his eyes searched for Loki’s, and when he saw them sparkling with the green of his charging powers he chuckled, he bashed the ground with all the strength he could let out through Mjolnir and shouted anew: “For us!”
“For Asgard!” answered the rumbling legion of warriors that rushed out of the city rising a huge cloud of dust, ready to grant their lives to their fated prince.
In a sudden rainfall of cracking lightning, the wave that Thor shook the ground with instantly wiped out the first lines attacking overland, and had them swallowed into the deep cracks that opened. At the same time, Loki’s magic fog thwarted the oncoming swarm above their heads; then, side by side, they hurled themselves into the chaos of the fight, wild beasts roaring their blood thirst together with the burning ardour that empowered their limbs. And the turbulent crowd of the Asgardians that came out from the gates followed them.
As the fight exploded, just a confused, tumultuous maelstrom obscured the whole land while Thor and Loki, still back to back in the thunderous cloud of dust and blood, lashed out at everything coming against them, from every side, one with his hammer, the other with his daggers and his magic blades, unstoppable, heedless of the slashes hitting them both as well. In the unchanging atmosphere that surrounded them, they’d never know how long that battle lasted, it might be hours, it might be days, nor on how many frontlines it was fought. Multiform creatures, and misshaped monsters, and hideous ghosts, some wearing rough furs, some rotten armours, some just their scaled skin, tried and unleashed the most unthinkable weapons against them; some were gigantic and moving on their paws, some riding foggy beasts and winged snakes and horsey skeletons. But nothing they could do besides falling to the ground, slaughtered by the hundred, together with dozens Asgardians who chose to turn themselves against the two fated gods. No time to take a break, no time to care about the appalled look shouting in the eyes of those Asgardians an instant before they fell dead. Thor was faster than the fastest of the mountain lions, in leaps and strokes anticipating every attack, roaring, and gloating at every lethal blow his arm delivered; and Loki was an indomitable fury, enflamed by his newly reborn vigour, now stabbing enemies with his unerring daggers, now surprising them with any sort of magic, turning himself into the fiercest creatures and then getting back to his look, now here, now there, laughing in frenzy.
Along the hours, along the days, everything ran amok and they fought unrelentingly: their mutual zeal, their burning eagerness made both insensitive to any exhaustion, to any wound, constantly linked to one another, whether they were fighting as close as one or being distant.
Along the hours, along the days, Odin stayed still instead. Still on his peak, holding back a snorting Sleipnir, watching the chaos from inside an invisible shield Loki could sense, and not break down. A twisted grin on his wrinkled mouth. Watching. While his armies were mowed down with no mercy, the All-Father simply stayed watching. Just that. For all the time.
Something no-one could have seen coming from the most powerful and rabidly conceited of all gods. Something that at some point made Loki doubtful about all the schemes he plotted.
Gone lost any sense of time, of space, of everything else except the fight, at some point in that chaos Loki had a bunch of flying demons breaching his magic barrier and trying to hit the Bifrost, where Heimdall held the defence with a group of rabid warriors; and the black hole forming through the breach announced that Hela was about to break in. Yes!, Loki thought, and glanced down at Thor, “I need to get to the Casket!”, he shouted in fury, “I need Odin to get out of his damn shield!”
“He’s just an old damn coward!” Thor growled back, without treating himself to a break in his bloodshed on the field, “I’ll make him get out!”
He roared the names of Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr, and from nowhere his chariot appeared at once in a blast of light: with a lightning quick leap he was on it, spurring the two snorting beasts in a wild run up across the dusty air, glorious and magnificent before Loki’s eyes that stared at him, glimmering from afar. So fast and so impetuous he flew above to the mountain’s top that Odin had no time escape the devastating blow of Mjolnir, that cracked and in a second shattered his shield; and nothing could do the demons he evoked, for at the same time Loki unleashed his own against them. An enormous black cloud grew all around the peak, wrapping and hiding everything; the last thing Loki could see from his position was Thor launching his chariot in a churning swirl and disappearing into it.
No time to think, a rumble shook the skies from behind him. And she was there.
Her simple moving blasted away half of the warriors fighting on the Bifrost, tugging them down into the gurgling waters below; it got so dark all around that even the profile of the city could hardly be discerned by then, the violence of the wind was terrifying, Loki himself had to struggle not to be hurled off the Rainbow Bridge.
“Now open it!” she snarled, chuckling, right over his head. “Let us reach everywhere and have our spoils of souls!”
“Time to time, my lady!” Loki stood between her and the last defence on the Bifrost, his eyes glistening with endless power, his lips trembling in a brazen grin as he could sense approaching in the mist, closer and closer, what no-one else could sense. At her hint of a jump, he just stretched his open hand out and blocked her. “I said. Time.” And snickered. “Turn around.”
She did it, somehow disoriented, and splitting the fogs behind her emerged Thor’s chariot. And with a fit of pique she suddenly realized that Thor was there, in full power of his strength at Loki’s side, and not trapped in her dungeons.
“Queen of the Doomed...” Loki sniggered at her, sarcastic. “You really thought... you were smart enough to trick the trickster?”
Hela had no time to retort, as Thor darted with his cart right against her, forcing her to swerve, and then under the Bifrost, roaring.
“He’s behind me!”
From the same fogs appeared Sleipnir, running wild in mid air, Odin on him, the Casket still in his fist, about to open. Right after him, a chaotic throng of demons, drooling and grunting and yearning for blood. The All-Father growled, he reined in Sleipnir abruptly in the void and, while flinging blows with Gungnir  at Thor’s cart, he raised the chest right in front of Loki’s flaming eyes.
“You will not live long enough to see the end of this!” His face was blackened by the fetid fog, bloodshot his only eye. “Neither of you!”
Floating over their heads, Hela wavered in confusion, now glancing at Odin, now at Loki, now at Thor, enraged, and clearly unable to place her trust in any of them; Thor violently restrained his raring goats and held his breath, Loki gasped a snarl, burning with spree, for the energy he felt about to spread from the Casket directly into his own veins was overwhelming.
“Do it then!” he shouted in rage against the All-Father. “Do it!”
Before the appalled faces of Heimdall and his maniple, who didn’t dare to do anything else but witnessing the course of things, before the peeved frustration of Hela, before the seething eyes of Thor and Loki, the chest finally opened.
A blast of blue light exploded from the inside, breaking the darkness with a dazzling flash, and Loki’s hidden charm was then released: a distorted mask of bewilderment seized the All-Father’s face, as he realized, too late, that the beam of light fatally aimed at his own chest. And passed through it in a second, to simply freeze what was left of his heart. The recoil was enough to unsaddle him and make him fall right on the translucent crystal of the Bifrost, so befuddled that Loki could call the prodigious box back to his own hand; meanwhile, Thor headed his coach towards him, stretched his arm out shouting his name and dragged him on board.
As the Casket touched the palm of Loki’s hand, his Jotun soul took over, the outburst of power almost overcame him for an instant, and for an instant Thor froze in awe, hopelessly enraptured by the renewing wonder of his mutating skin. A single blink of his red eyes sufficed to Loki to wrap the chariot inside a magic shield, preventing Odin’s demons from attacking, and to throw them back into the darkness from where they’d been evoked. On the field below, in the meantime, his spell was doing the rest: in the woods burning iced all around the city, the trees, the bushes, even the grass took life, becoming frozen tentacles that suddenly snaked against the army of creatures still fighting to approach the core of Asgard. And carried out a massacre of them.
Over the Bifrost, with Odin still at the mercy of disorientation, Hela yielded to her vexation and hurled at Heimdall’s Dome, destroying part of the main wall with one blow, taking down some of the defenders and throwing Heimdall himself to the ground. And then, gigantic, she tried to strike Thor’s chariot. Breathing as one, seeing as one, thinking as one, to Thor and Loki there was no need to talk; a knowing look was enough. Taking advance of the All-Father weakness, Thor raised his hammer and called the storm, Loki raised the Casket at the same time and, while he spoke magic words that no-one heard before, the web of spells he left dormant in Hel awakened all at once.
Unleashed from their blended essences, the combined forces of ice and fire, of light and darkness, of thunder and magic made the skies burst in a sudden maelstrom.
And from the abyss of damnation, for the Queen of the Dead came the final blow.
She screamed, contorting herself while being snared and sucked into the lethal vortex, she shrieked like a thousand vultures, she struggled in vane.
“Today you win, trickster, but remember!” Her rage resounded in her gurgling rattle. “No-one makes agreements with the Goddess of Death... just for the fun of breaking them!”
Loki just sniggered, jeering.
“Farewell, my lady!”
And she disappeared into the depths of nothingness, swallowed up by the flaming iced chasm that gurgled for a while, creaked sardonic and resealed over the echo of her screams.
“Watch out!” Thor shouted all of a sudden, catching a move from Odin out of the corner of his eye; but he let slip a chuckle, as he saw Loki had already trapped the old god inside a circle made of his own clones, each one carrying a cloned Casket in his hand.
Panic, and fury, and derangement, and incredulity alternated on the hallucinated face of the All-Father, now deprived of any help, of any ally, even of any semblance of grandeur; but nothing could force him to give up, now more than ever, for his madness ruled him. He rabidly wiped out some Loki’s clones, that reappeared right away, driving him crazy, then he stroke the shield around the chariot with a first blow from Gungnir, aiming to Thor.
“You are not blood of my blood anymore!”
And then a second, aiming to Loki.
“And you have never been!”
The shield wasn’t even scratched, but Loki could feel that Thor’s heart was. He could feel the fight inside his soul, a fight between the awareness of the present lunacy and the memory of a glorious past, a fight between the calling of his heritage and the last echo of a son’s compassion. A fight so hard that prevented him from retorting to his father a single word. Loki could feel that. And for an instant, a lump choked his throat.
But a third hit shook the shield and made them stagger.
We do not have much time, my sweetest, he whispered with his mind, as warmly and gently as he could. You know there is no other way.
Gripping the Casket with both his hands, Loki stayed still, to look into the blue of his god’s eyes for the sign of approval he could not go ahead without: and Thor just nodded.
“You will not dare!” growled the All-Father, foreseeing the inevitable, but yet not willing to believe it.
Then, from the Casket glowing in Loki’s hands and from every Casket of each clone, a weave of icy strings wrapped the All-Father and in a heartbeat grew thicker and thicker, freezing him into a translucent sphere, a thousand times harder than diamond, a thousand times colder than death.
“Now sleep the empty sleep of oblivion,” Loki stated, gravely. “Be locked into the void, until the end of time.”
With a slight gesture, he ordered the sphere to lift up; he looked at Thor, who pointed Mjolnir at it, and then, together, they casted it up to the skies, the glazed core of a comet that hurtled across the dark leaving behind a trail of sparkling dust. Panting, in silence, they followed that trail with their eyes, until it vanished into the farthest, the most secret part of the space. That part of the space where a long time before, thousands and thousands years, the gods used to imprison those among them whose actions had grown so uncontrollable and mad to put the fates of the entire universe in jeopardy.
Discreetly, almost religiously, because he felt the significance of that act, Loki lowered the lid over the Casket and over the twilight of an era; and, while his skin slowly regained its precious paleness, with a gentle blink he sent it back, safe and untouchable, into the dim inside its secret room.
As the ancestral silence fell, the desolation on the battlefield mutely shouted all its devastation.
Standing side by side on the flying chariot, their armours torn up, their faces and bodies stained with their enemies’ blood and with their own, Thor and Loki just stared at the lifeless landscape for an unending while, unable to force even a whisper out of their mouth.
In the thick fog slowly dissipating, corpses and corpses, and shreds of corpses, scattered on the ground as far as the eye could see, petrified in the most bizarre positions. Not a sigh from the wind, not a blow from the troops that survived the carnage came breaking the freakish silence as though, after the end of chaos, what was left as a view for those alive were a herald to damnation, and not to victory.
Then, at some point, Thor took a deep breath, he looked up to the skies and called the rain.
Not a thunderstorm, not a squall.
Just the rain.
Sparse, at the start, then heavier and heavier; and that became the only audible sound in all the Realm, from one border to the other.
The sound of the rain.
The voice of the rain.
A primeval, purifying rain that pelted down over the whole land, making the doomed carrions dissolve and be absorbed by the dampening soil, and leaving on the field only the bodies of the Asgardian warriors, all of them, had they fought on Thor’s side or had they fought against him.
Little by little, on the rustling of the rain, the skies, the mountains, the forest and the moor began to clear, suggesting the presence of the daylight behind the livid clouds. On the cradling of the rain, little by little, Thor’s panting slackened, getting more and more relaxed, and so did Loki’s, while the tepid deluge soaking their hair, and cheeks, and limbs started melting away the blood and dirt; until they quietly bowed their head, as one, under a burden that only then they could feel clearly in its utter heftiness.

In Heimdall’s Dome, through the dust slowly settling on the floor, the usual shine was gradually awakening back to life the walls still standing. For a long, long while no-one inside the Dome, not Thor or Loki, nor the elders that gathered there, nor the All-Seer himself could utter anything. On the still smoking relics of that momentous trial, only silence could speak. Silence, so deep that almost hurt the ears. Silence, and the gazes of those present to seal that epic moment, mute gazes not yet free from the countless implications bubbling sinister now that the bloodshed ended.
Heimdall stood in the centre of the room, holding his sword, impenetrable. Right in front of him and before all the others, Thor, staring at him implacable, a statue carved from the marble of pride itself. His magnificent body, his face, his arms and legs through the several wounds still bleeding were still talking loud of the most recent fight. Standing by him, looking the same, and carrying the same resolution in his eyes, Loki didn’t move an inch away from his side. Both breathing heavily, both sort of hanging on the wait of a revelation.
“So.” Heimdall started after those that seemed centuries. “You are finally standing before your written fate, prince Thor.” He rose his head a bit, ideally addressing to the royal palace. “Too long the throne of this Realm has remained vacant.”
Frowning his brow, severe, Thor inhaled deeply.
“Not yet, All-Seer.” He spoke with unexpected graveness in his voice. “Too many glorious Asgardians fell fighting with honour, on both the sides of this blameworthy fight.” Despite his demure words, everyone in the room could feel that, unequivocally: it was already the king, he who was speaking. “Our people need the time to mourn their dead, and we must grant them that time, before I can feel ready to celebrate and to accept the crown of Asgard.” At that point, gently, he put his arm around his brother’s waist, dragging him closer to his own flank, not lowering his sight for a single instant. “And when that day comes, let it be very clear, my throne will be his throne. And he will rule as my equal.”
There, the long held back muttering among the Elders grew more resounding, until one of them took a step forward.
“In you we trust, my lord,” he stated, bowing slightly. But the scornful gaze he then pierced Loki with was a stab to them both. “But him...”
At once, with a growl of exasperation and before Loki could retort anything, Thor turned himself vehemently against the one who spoke, who jumped back just in time to dodge the blow.
“We’ve just finished slaughtering each other and you still don’t have enough?”
Burning with renewed rage he raised his hammer, ready to strike, when – pre-empting Heimdall’s move - Loki came between and grabbed his forearms, blocking him, firmly.
“Restrain yourself, my sweetest.” He waited for Thor to calm down and lower Mjolnir, he smiled, locking his gaze straight into his brother’s. “These noble dullards will never be able to look beyond their biases, let them live on in their blindness.” He wouldn’t even give them a second look, all caught in flooding his sweet god with his most convincing argument. “There is a time to take action and fight, and there is a time to sit, restful, and think.” The alluring significance of his voice speaking those words. “About what you fought for, about what you lost and what you conquered. About the new present... that will make the future new.” And when he saw Thor’s nervous grimace sweetening slowly into a pale smile, he just smiled back on it. “Now... it is the time to sit.”
And it is the time... to take some time for us, Loki’s eyes whispered under his spoken words, oozing sensuality, while the back of his hand, unseen, grazed Thor’s thigh.
All of a sudden, no-one existed anymore under the golden dome, not the Elder who spoke, and not the others, not even Heimdall, no-one, but the two of them.
And they walked out of the room in silence, without turning back, completely heedless of the nonplussed eyes following their steps.


Far ahead in time, among the futures.
Among the countless possible futures.
Or in the only one meant to be.
His eyes closed, his body abandoned against the farthest offshoots of the Tree’s roots, he listened to the wind.
He listened to the wind, and he listened to the rain.
The desolation of the rain.
The sobs of the rain, the mourning of the rain.
His tears merged with the raindrops, under the shouting silence of a solitude that thanks to him acquired the colours of eternity.
And void. And non-life.
No-one, nowhere.
Not anymore.
Nor ever.
His weeping throes were tearing him apart, into the depths of ultimate desperation.
Because now, among the countless possible futures or in the only one meant to be, what had been done could not be undone.

“...I can grant you all of them.”
Not anymore.
“All of them.”
Nor ever.
A new beginning - 9 - The voice of the rain
Chapter 9. :heart:


Chapter 2 - Hel

Chapter 3 - Consequences

Chapter 4 - Change of perspective - Part 1 ::: Part 2

Chapter 5 - Whispers of light

Chapter 6 - Fragments in motion

Chapter 7 - Rage

Chapter 8 - Worthy

Chapter 9 - The voice of the rain



:police: WARNING: whoever dares copying or stealing my stuff to post it anywhere as his/her own, know this: I will chase you down to HEL and I will be your RAGNAROK. :threaten:

P.S.: because several times my fractal art has been stolen and I couldn't help it in any way, this time I registered this story under my copyright at the accountable Italian authority. Not because I think it's a masterpiece, or because I'm having mania of grandeur, but just because I'm consuming my life and mind and heart in writing it, and I love it so much that it hurts. So please don't steal it. ;)


Thor and Loki are ©Marvel

All images and text in the gallery are ©Anna Manfredini.
Copying, displaying, redistribution, use, replication or manipulation of any image without permission from the artist is strictly prohibited.

Fractal gifts at my Zazzle Store
My RedBubble Page
Pearldrops from Yggdrasil by Golubaja
Pearldrops from Yggdrasil
Yup, because my mind is always *there* (in Asgard).

Long time no fractal... and back on crackle again :giggle:




:police: WARNING: whoever dares copying or stealing my stuff to post it anywhere as his/her own, know this: I will chase you down to HEL and I will be your RAGNAROK. :threaten:


All images and text in the gallery are ©Anna Manfredini.
Copying, displaying, redistribution, use, replication or manipulation of any image without permission from the artist is strictly prohibited.

Fractal gifts at my Zazzle Store
My RedBubble Page


Golubaja has started a donation pool!
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Buying your prints, calendars and stuff is so hard for me living in Italy.
All those who'll help me donating some points will be featured monthly, on my journal and maybe on a news article. And will have a special corner in my heart. ;)

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Artist | Hobbyist | Digital Art
"There's one thing I always meant to ask Jack. Back in the old days. I wanted to know about that Doctor of his. The man who appears out of nowhere and saves the world. Except sometimes he doesn't. All those times in history when there was no sign of him, I wanted to know why not. But I don't need to ask any more. I know the answer now. Sometimes the Doctor must look at this planet and turn away in shame."

[Gwen Cooper, Torchwood, "Children of Earth" - Day Five]

Keep Calm and Let's Have Dinner by GolubajaKeep Calm and Let's Have Dinner by GolubajaKeep Calm and Let's Have Dinner by GolubajaKeep Calm and Let's Have Dinner by Golubaja

Current Residence: Modena, Italy
Favourite genre of music: Almost all, with a predilection for classical piano music
Favourite photographer: Robert Mapplethorpe
Favourite style of art: Fractals, manips (icons, wp, stamps)
Operating System: Seven
MP3 player of choice: WinAmp
Wallpaper of choice: Depends on my mood...
Skin of choice: Pale, smooth, soft and young... ;)
Favourite cartoon character: Yubaba from "Spirited Away"
Personal Quote: Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.

Journal History

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Jasperinity Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
Happy birthday! :D
Lupsiberg Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015   General Artist
HBirthday by KmyGraphic
birthdays Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
:woohoo: :party: :iconcakelickplz: !!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!! :iconcakelickplz: :party: :woohoo:

It's August 14th which means it's that time of the year again and your special day is here! We hope you have an awesome day with lots of birthday fun, gifts, happiness and most definitely, lots of cake! Here's to another year!

Many well wishes and love from your friendly birthdays team :love:

Birthdays Team
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eReSaW Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
Buon Compleanno. Birthday cake  icon  Vi auguro una bella giornata Happy DeviantART Birthday 
Gerda1946 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy Birthday Anna. Have a very nice day!!! :D :hug: :heart:

loyse Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
Happy Birthday!:cake::party:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
FractalMonster Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015
:wave: :iconbouquetplz: :iconcakeplz: :iconhappybirthdaysignplz: :icongolubaja: :iconhappybirthdaysignplz: :iconcakeplz: :iconbouquetplz: :wave:
lecristal Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Baloons for Bday by KmyGraphic

Happy-Birthday by KmyGraphic

HappyBDayBaloons by KmyGraphic
poisen2014 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015

   happy birthday


Sun Have your cake and eat it too Flowerpot Party 
Bonnibel-Bubblegum Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
     :iconfuncakeplz:    :icongoldenplattercakeplz:  :iconpink-hplz: :iconpink-aplz: :iconpink-pplz: :iconpink-pplz: :iconpink-yplz:  :icongoldenplattercakeplz:   :iconfuncakeplz:
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:iconhappybirthdaysignplz: :iconbummy2::iconbummy3::iconbummy1::iconbummy2::iconbummy3::iconbummy1::iconbummy2::iconbummy3::iconbummy1: :iconhappybirthday2plz:
Destroyer77 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2015
rhunel Featured By Owner May 9, 2015   General Artist
Thanks for the fave on my journal. Outstanding fractals!
Gerda1946 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the fave!! :D :sun:
b33rheart Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014
Thanks for keeping an eye on me!:) (Smile) 
Jojodyne Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2014
Thank you for the Added to my devWatch! and the important part of life 
KlementinaMoonlight Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Hi! I will be glad to see you in my gallery!;) You works are amazing!
palefire73 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I stumbled across you by sheer accident and I think your art is wonderful!
V little time to look now, but I look forward to browsing your gallery :D
Ellygator Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks so much for all your faves!
Lupsiberg Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2014   General Artist
Thank you very much for the :+fav: :+fav: :iconbutterflyplz:
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