by Mistress Ace
To Love Loki
The first time he saw the face of God, Death stood close by. The gleaming silver thread of his life lay neatly severed by Atropos' shears and Thanatos had come to collect him. A pale rider on a pale horse, patiently waiting for him to alight so they could begin their journey to the underworld.
But he soared higher and higher and when he came back to Earth, Adonis knelt beside him. With warm, wet hands on his chest and honey-sweet breath on his face, he felt the stirring of the purest love he'd ever known. Turning his head he watched the pale rider disappear into the brush, and gave the specter of his own mortality no further thought.
The second time he saw the face of God, madness followed on the heels of revelation. Bedlam beckoned, calling to him in many voices, its sibilant whispers living within his dreams. He fought mightily against that siren call, tried to salvage his sanity and keep his freedom but after an age of pointless struggle, he gave in.
And sank gratefully into the transitory peace granted by the serpent's kiss.
Locked within his lunacy, the gibbering voices were joined by bodies that writhed and danced and painted strange symbols on the walls of his prison. Those symbols made his eyes hurt and his throat raw. The play of shadows all around him drove him further and further into the abyss...
Until the day he woke, his body so sore he could barely move. Above him, with a face drawn in dolorous lines, his father explained patiently, and in great detail, of how he'd suffered a psychotic break and how lucky he was his aberrant behavior had been detected before he'd hurt himself or someone else.
When he asked his friends about it, they all turned away and repeated what his father had said.
Eventually, he believed.
The third time he saw the face of God, he knew enlightenment. For his god floated above him, enrapt in Morpheus' embrace, mouth still rosy from their passion play and those guileless eyes hidden behind thick lashes, soft and sooty against a flawless cheek. Delirium took up residence within his soul, calling for him to dance and sing in sheer joy at finally knowing the truth.
His friend, his shield mate, his beloved - was a god.
He considered waking his god, but in repose the face he adored was even more beautiful. Their fall into sleep had been a battle hard won. No, not even he had the temerity to disturb a deity.
He would watch.
He would wait.
And come the dawn, he would worship.
But as the night gave way to glorious day, his devotion was ill received. That well of sweetness from which he'd gorged himself upon honeyed kisses while enfolded in night's velvet bosom - upon the touch of dawn, spewed forth a flood of honeyed lies.
Slick and cloying, their sugared stench proved too thin a fragrance to conceal the corruption that lay beneath the wide-eyed trappings of false innocence.
A vengeful god he could understand.
A god who demanded terrible sacrifices as proof of an acolyte's conviction he could easily revere and obey.
But who could love a god who lied?
The last time he saw the face of God was at the end of all things.
Death had come to call again, hovering on the edge of their last battlefield. The same pale rider waited with utter patience as clear emerald clouded, as the fierce inner light dimmed.
That beautiful body, the altar he'd been forbidden to worship at, now lay irreparably shattered.
Once-flawless skin crawled, black lines radiating from even blacker holes. Hundreds of them, blood boiling and bubbling under the surface. Mortally wounded, his age-old enemy... his beloved clawed at the blasted earth, dragging useless limbs in a final effort to escape the inevitable.
Breath rattled. Sweat stained the ground, mixing with the blood of millions - so many petty little lives the price paid in their relentless war.
Cracked and bleeding lips moved, the voice forever muted. One silent word formed over and over again. The only question. The same question he'd been asked for decades.
The answer was, as it had always been, simple.
And in being simple, it completely escaped the divine one's understanding.
Even now as his immortal lover lay dying, he held it back. Kept it still and quiet within his heart while he watched and waited for the light to go out.
When the body at his feet had long grown cold and the eternal stars served as his only companions, he knelt. His hand, the afflicted one, trembled as he touched that ravaged face.
Still so very beautiful.
The silent killer within his veins, the poison that twisted and turned and burned within him, made him weak. It sapped his strength, forcing him to move so very slowly.
Even so, he drew his beloved avatar into the circle of his arms. The smooth skin at his temple remained as soft as its memory, the taste exactly the same. A stolen kiss from those honeyed lips - a final caress before he laid his only friend down to rest on the barren earth they'd both fought so hard over.
He - to control it; his god - to protect it.
In the end, neither of them had won.
Ragnarok had come to pass. But unlike Loki the trickster, Clark wouldn't die friendless and utterly alone.
Kneeling in supplication and in perfect love for what he had destroyed, Alexander, son of Lionel and Lillian, waited for the sun to rise. Blood flowed freely from wounds too numerous to count, soaking into the cold, cold ground as he watched the pale rider approach.
He raised his hands to the Heaven denied to him.
And offered up the only sacrifice worthy of a god who lied.
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