Time… Time is pain.
The first time the seasons come full circle is the hardest. Sneaks up on him quietly, softly, ripping the wound open and leaving it to fester. Thor can hardly believe it’s been a year already. All of it is so vivid in his memory, every image with all their tiny details etched painfully into his mind in a silent sequence of still frames.
The sounds come to him only when he dreams, the hum of the bridge’s power, the cracking of metal, the roar of the waves, the sound of his ragged breathing and—
If his friends see how his attention wavers on days that follow his nightmares, they don’t mention it. How he falters, sometimes, how he exchanges words for thoughts, how he carries his brother’s fall in his eyes.
What is a year? What is its weight compared to the everything that has been ripped from him in the blink of an eye? Only Loki, only he could be so cruel, ruin him so cleanly and beyond repair. Trickster, Liesmith, foolish little brother.
Now, everything is broken.
When the day comes, there are no festive fires. There is no gathering in the mead halls and no songs of praise. They pretend there is no reason to, there never was a reason to. Thor knows better, can see it in their averted gaze, their uneasy stride.
Thor may have forgiven his brother, but Asgard does not forget and does not forgive that easily.
If they see him heading out, they don’t speak of it. There is a lot of silence in the halls these days, stretching like cracks between the shattered pieces of what used to be. Clad in full royal garb, Thor passes unhindered, cape billowing in the wind that carries fat droplets of rain. The sky is dark and the distance rumbles with thunder.
He kneels by the fractured end of the Bifrost, the trapped power of the bridge pulsing beneath the palm of his hand. The abyss down below is beautiful, endless. Dark. Cold. Mesmerising. Just like—
Thor remembers, mind awash with recollections of green eyes and laughter and touches and promises and words spoken in anger, and he aches, lacks so much it hurts.
“Forgive me. For failing you, brother.” The words spill from his lips and they fall like unshed tears, disappear in the abyss where they belong.
Time is pain, and in Asgard, time is neverending.
MY FEELS, SPHINX. MY. FEELS.