Even though Camp was cold and dark, Loki had no problems navigating from one location to another, the glimmer of his hands keeping his bearings as his boots crushed ice and snow. Before, the sound made him wince, a deep twinge in the place where he had a soul. Now, it is simply a sound and it fades from thought as soon as it appears. Loki was too distracted to pay it heed now.
Now he was looking for someone.
A boy leapt from branch to branch, tipping the browns and greens with white ferns of white and crystal, his laughter like a wind chime fluttering in the breeze. Loki threw a bolt of magic at him, which the boy dodged with a twirl, his staff whirling like a blue star. The laughter threw him (it sounded like his and Thor’s, intermingled in sweat and blood and golden days, under a sky that could never break, because he was never so carefree and Thor was never so desperate). It made him pause far too often and he had frostbitten fingers to thank for it as the boy continued to bound away, his footsteps so light that he was invisible from sound as well.
“Catch me if you can!” Jack’s voice rang out (and it sounded like a plea, catch me, find me, please, please please)
Loki doesn’t ache anymore (he gave up those pathetic thoughts and dreams long ago. He doesn’t need them) but neither can he bear seeing a similar ache. So he chased him, felt his hair cling to his skin, thinking let me not be too late, just once, let me do this. He has delusions and delusions, but this one, this one that cannot break. He’s already broken enough.
It took a few hours to find Jack, sitting in the middle of the lake, his hood thrown over his head, making him look frightening small (and Loki cannot imagine what it must be a like to be a child forever and he can), his staff clutched tightly by pale fingers like a lifeline. Loki sat down across from him. The close proximity washes his face in blues he hated, but no one could see but Jack. And only Jack would smile at it, coo at it, flash white teeth at the markings because they call to him like a siren and to him, the cold is warm.
“You didn't catch me,” Jack said.
“Perhaps I will, next time,” Loki replied.
It was neither accusation nor apology but Jack smiled anyway, his eyes lighting up.