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"We Lost."

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Thanos was gone.

The Mad Titan’s words filled Thor’s mind until it was the only thing he could think of.

You should have gone for the head.

You should have gone for the head.

You should have gone for the head.

You should have--

“Thor.”

Steve’s voice cut through the thunderstorm of thoughts flooding his head.

“You’ve been sitting there for a while. You okay? We should be heading back now.”

Sitting? Oh right, he was on his knees. Huh. He didn’t remember falling to his knees. Thor tried to respond but his tongue felt like a lead weight. He stayed silent. His limbs were paralyzed with the sheer wrongness of it all.

“We lost,” He mumbled, barely managing the words out.

Steve inhaled sharply.

“Yeah. We did.”

 

Steve eventually managed to lug Thor to his feet, and even then, Nat had to lead him back inside by his hand, like he was a child. They sat him down and draped a blanket around his shoulders to help with the shock. They then set to murmuring about the situation and what to do now.

Thor wasn’t listening.

For the weeks that followed, he stayed put. He was given food and water, which he numbly, shakily put into his mouth. A new lady showed up. Stark came back at one point.

You should have gone for the head.

You should have gone for the head.

For the head. For-- For-- F-- Failed. You failed.

Failed.

He perked up when the discussion changed to the location of Thanos. They’d found him. And off to space they went. As the constellations raced past him, he allowed himself to feel a tiny spark of hope. It was dangerous, to feel hope. He knew that. But they’d found Thanos. So it was going to be okay. Right?

And oh, he should have known better. Because hope is a dangerous thing. It can quickly turn into despair and kill you as fast as it healed you. He knew he should have known better as Thanos explained how he’d destroyed the infinity stones so that there was no going back.

Thor quivered with rage as the Titan looked up at Nebula with a grateful smile. He had no right to do that. He had no right to look up and smile and be grateful and call her “daughter”. He had no right to even still be alive. The Thunder God couldn’t take it. He couldn’t stand the way he snarled “You should be grateful!” and thank Nebula and call her his daughter.

So in one clean swipe of Stormbreaker, the Mad Titan’s head rolled lifelessly onto the floor, his body falling close behind with a thump. It was done.

“What did you do?” He heard Rocket faintly murmur in horror behind him. For a moment, Thor’s throat was dry and numb.

“I went for the head.”

 

Failed. Failed. Failed. Fail-- Fai-- L-- Loki.

Loki. For the head. Head. Dead. Loki. Loki’s dead.

Failed.

Fail--

“Thor!”

Right, they had been calling his name. But he refused to look into their eyes. What could be there but disappointment? Blame? He could never look anyone in the eyes again.

“Thor!”

Thor Odinson. Thor, God of Thunder. Thor, Prince of Asgard. Thor, King of Asgard. He deserved none of those titles. There might not even be an Asgard left, anyways. Pathetic, that’s what he was. Thor the Pathetic.

“Thor!”

Why were they calling his name? Why was Nat shaking his shoulders? Why were they all watching in concern? Why did it matter? There was no point. They’d lost. He’d lost. He failed.

“Thor, listen to me! You need to calm down!”

He looked up. And, with the hopelessness of the situation, he chuckled.

“Right, of course, calm down. Why didn’t I think of that?” Thor laughed harshly. His blanket fell off as he rose to his full height. “But pray tell, what would be the point?”

“So you can keep a level head. We might still be able to fix this,” Nat told him firmly, not missing a beat as always.

“There is no fixing this. We lost.”

“Maybe not, but you can’t just wallow in self pity for the rest of your life,” She argued. “I’m done letting you do that.”

“You can’t make me do anything,” Thor spat angrily. “If I want to wallow in self pity, I will.”

“I can’t let you do that,” The assassin narrowed her eyes sternly. “You have to at least talk to us.”

“About what? About my family being dead and my planet destroyed, is that it?” He snapped, electricity dancing at his fingertips. The room fell silent. “My mother, my father… Loki. My planet is in ruins, the small remainder of my people, if they’re even alive, are drifting in space somewhere. How do I calm down, Romanov,when I failed?!

A shocked silence struck everyone dumb.

“I’m sorry about your planet. And your family. And your people,” Natasha’s voice was soft, gentle, hesitant, as if poking an angry bear. “But this isn’t your fault. We all failed.”

“Half of the universe is gone. My family and friends are gone. My planet is gone. Loki, just when things were going to be okay, just when it felt like he might be good again, had to go and sacrifice himself, and now he’s gone too. How can it not be my fault when I should have gone for the head!” Thor was yelling now. No, not yelling, he was screaming. He was screaming at his group of friends who had just been trying to help him. Why was he screaming? Why couldn’t he stop screaming?

“Half of the universe is gone because of me, and you want me to calm down?! You somehow fail to understand that half of the entire universe died because I didn't go for the head! They’re all dead because I failed, I… I…”

Thor slumped to his knees, a few stray tears rolling down his cheeks, his lungs heaving for breath. He wiped his face shakily.

“I suppose it’s only fair. We’re not the Protectors or the Preventers. We’re the Avengers. We avenge,” His voice was bitter and weak as he lifted his head. “I killed Thanos. I avenged. Yay for me.”