For an Eye

It was hate at first sight.

That’s what Heimdall tells himself, with the heel of his hand pressed over his missing eye, as though the pressure can massage away the constant, lingering headache. Hate at first sight, which is an emotion as powerful and malleable as love–you don’t have to like someone to be drawn to the easy arrogance of their smile, or the careless grace of their movements.

Hate, certainly, because Loki is an evil god and takes great pleasure in that; if he loves any, it would be his monsterous children, or the giantess he took as his mistress. If he loves, it is not for poor Sigyn, who weeps for the abandonment of her husband.

It is hate, because then Heimdall understands.

Then he knows why Loki allowed him to catch him after months of coy glances and mysterious smiles; knows why, in cool white-shaded darkness, he was allowed a single kiss, which began sweetly and left an aftertaste of poison.

This way, he knows why Loki remained pliant in his arms, despite his reputation as a demanding lover. And most importantly of all, he knows why, when he was distracted, Loki smiled and tore his eye out, why there was sudden pain and pressure that left him screaming as he fell back, and felt blood pulse hotly against his fingers–

Memory makes the pain rise again, stabbing-hot, and Heimdall closes his one remaining eye until it subsides. All the while, he keeps pressing down upon the empty socket, hidden under the fall of his hair.

It was hate at first sight, and it was only the strength of that feeling that confused Heimdall, and made him think it was desire. To comfort himself, he imagines a second kiss, where the blood on his hands will be Loki’s, and the trickster-god will not be smiling at him then; those cool eyes will be darkened, seeing him, and the blood will be so very striking, on his elegant red coat.

Not even Thor, not even the Norns, will be able to argue with him on this. This is fairness, equality stripped to its basest level. An eye for an eye, as the quaint saying goes–once he has that, he thinks, the pain will finally stop.

Heimdall licks his lips and smiles.

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