A/N: I’ve narrowed down the events that need to get into Around to finish it off; I’m pretty sure 22 (will be 23 on AO3) will be the last or at most second-to-last chapter. That said, I need a little time to catch my breath, look over the events list, and in some cases heavily edit bits of 22 I’ve already written. So… I spent some time getting one of my several hunks of Bridge into one coherent bit. Have a confused trickster. Or two. Or four….
Bleach/ Thor crossover. (I own nothing.) Yes, I am playing with timelines. Break a transgalactic bridge, you have to be playing with time as well.
He wasn’t cold.
It took time to unravel why that was important. Cold had been etched into blood and bone and magic; even the winds of space hadn’t stirred it.
Falling. I fell. And then….
He didn’t remember impact. Though he must have hit something.
Or something hit me?
Something of magic. He could taste the power even now, like drops of moonlight. Not Aesir. Not jotunn. So what was it?
There was darkness. And someone touched me.
Or he’d touched them. He vaguely recalled an instant of pure stillness, like dropping a pebble on a centuries-still fault line. Just before everything let go.
I think… that was a defensive reaction.
Which was, in a way, even more daunting. Unshaped, uncontrolled power; an untrained will wanting only to make it stop. If he hadn’t had centuries of practice twisting others’ magic awry, it would have crushed him.
He hurt. Part of him wanted to die. But not without knowing, first.
Somewhere nearby is enough power to flatten a… a frost giant.
What in the worlds could it be?
Curiosity was going to get him killed one of these days. He just knew it.
Opening his eyes, Loki stared up at stars.
I’m in a bed. Shouldn’t there be a roof?
“Heck of a hole, isn’t it?”
An unfamiliar, cheerful voice; yet there was an undertone in it that clutched at him. Pain and loss and – no, nothing he knew. Not at all.
And it was indeed an impressive hole, punched raggedly though ceiling and roof as if a meteor had… oh.
Warily, Loki took a good look at the… colorful… speaker. White coat; he’d seen something like that before, when he’d walked unseen in SHIELD’s domain. Unruly black hair and beard-stubble; nothing you’d see on those of Asgard, but not out of place on humans like Stark.
Midgard, then. How did I end up here?
And how could he look away from that violently floral shirt, that somehow matched so well that mischievous grin….
A trickster never trusted just his eyes. Loki’s abused magic reached out, brushed the man’s ever-so-human-faint aura, recoiled-
Moon-shards. Shattered power wrapped in a shield of night.
He flinched, pain or no pain.
“Easy. Easy!” The not-human held up empty hands. “I’m a doctor. I don’t go around attacking patients. Even if they do put holes in my clinic and give my son frostbite.” He shrugged. “Isshin Kurosaki. Nice to meet you.”
“No,” Loki said precisely; one liar to another. True names rang; like struck crystal, like the singing of the stars. Isshin Kurosaki wasn’t one. “You’re not.” Green eyes narrowed at brown. “What are you?” Frostbite. That much was truth; he could feel that in the wisps of father-protecting-child seeping from Isshin’s aura. I hurt a child… I destroy everything I touch….
It was too much. He had to get out of this too-generous bed, no matter what the pain-
Braced on the coverlet, his hands weren’t blue.
His hands weren’t his. Aesir-pale again, but smaller, thinner; a youth of only eight hundred, rather than his own near twelve centuries. “What did you do to me?”
“Lie down.” Isshin pushed him back one-handed, the other snagging an extra pillow from somewhere to tuck behind Loki’s head. “Ichigo’s fine. And you were like this when you went splat here. Well, except for being blue. And chilly. I thought I was going to have to drop you in the penguin exhibit. Antarctica, not Galapagos. But then Ichigo came in to see about the noise, and….” Isshin smiled ruefully. “He’s fine. Right over there. See?”
He couldn’t help but see. A small, orange-haired boy curled up on another cot, fingers swathed in bandages and tear-streaks down his face. Prickles of expended power hung in the air around him like dust from a Valkyrie’s sky-ride; Loki wasn’t surprised to see the boy out cold.
I’m rather more surprised he’s still breathing. All that power, from a child? “He should know better than to touch dangerous strangers,” Loki said harshly.
“Eh, takes after his old man,” Isshin waved it off. “Can’t leave a mystery alone. This time he got out of it with just sore hands.” The doctor moved into his line of sight. “Stop beating yourself up over something that wasn’t your fault.”