Jim was having a bad day.
Normally, bad days contained hangovers, bloody lips and an ache that lasts until morning. Today, it was none of that, but the lingering ache remained, draining him completely. He rubbed his eyes, trying to blot out the images of jettisoning Spock's body out in space, his death, his last weary-worn words that were drawn out in shuddering breaths and eyes. Jim picked up the bottle, swung it for a long drink and slamming it on the table.
He rather have hundreds of bad days instead of burying his friend.
"I would like to have that drink now."
"Holy shit!" Jim reeled back, clutching the bottle, "Loki?!"
"In the flesh." He looked the same, though his helmet was missing, "Do mortals drink in the morning?"
Jim gripped his bottle tightly, suddenly angry, "You son of a bitch."
"I thought we agreed you would not insult my family," Loki's eyes flashed, "What has gotten into you?"
Loki said nothing. He didn't so much as twitch and it only made Jim angrier.
"Did you hear me? I said he's--"
"Where were you?"
"It is not for you to know," Loki chided, "I had business to attend to."
"Nothing should have been more important than him."
"You are mistaken," And Loki's voice was so soft and deadly, it would have shattered glass, "We both have things more important than each other."
Jim couldn't deal with him. He snapped another long sip from his bottle, ignoring him for a moment.
Loki waited, almost serenely. It was disturbing.
"He asked for you," Jim said finally, trying to get the words out, "He said Tell him I'm sorry and he mumbled something about the Academy and katras. I couldn't follow. It got too hard for him."
A flicker of sorrow passed through Loki's face before it vanished, "I see."
"Do you know what he meant?"
The look Loki gave him now was extremely patronizing, "Of course I know."
"Obviously," Loki's voice was dry. It didn't shake. When did he get so strong, "I need to retrieve the body."
"Wait, what? Why?"
"That is not for you to know," Loki snarled, "But I can assure you, this is not his end. Not as long as I live."
With that cryptic statement, Loki vanished. Jim blinked.
"Gods," he muttered as he raised his bottle to his lips.