Loki reminisced on all the events of the past few years. There was one single moment, one single word, where everything could be traced back to. On the Bifrost, when Odin had told him no and Loki had let go in response. That moment was when the cascade of events truly began. Perhaps if Odin had said something else, if Loki had returned to Asgard instead of fallen, then things would have been so much different. Better.
Still, it was a wish and there was nothing he could do to go back and change that moment. The past was the past, and Odin was gone. Loki sighed, biting his lip for a moment to keep the emotion it still drug up in. He was only partially successful. There were things it was best not to ruminate upon, and this was one of them.
All his hopes and dreams, all his efforts, dashed in two words. It was at that moment that he'd decided there was no place for him in Asgard and that there never would be. If neither Odin nor Thor could see that he was trying to protect them, that he could defeat Jotunheim, then they would never see. He would always be Loki the failure, Loki the lesser, Loki the monster and outsider. Better to fall and perish than to live in shame and ignominy.
It was that fall that brought him into the hands of the Chitauri and ultimately, Thanos. It was those two words that began it all. If he'd never fallen, then Thanos would not have agreed to his plan to steal the Tesseract from Midgard. He would have never been given the Chitauri scepter. His mind never would have been tampered with using the Mind Gem housed within the scepter.
Loki would have never invaded Midgard. It was only a ruse after all, to escape Thanos and get back to Asgard. The mad Titan had made Loki truly appreciate his home and long to return, regardless of what he'd find awaiting him there. It couldn't be worse. Nothing could be worse.
Had he not invaded Midgard, the Avengers wouldn't have formed. The Tesseract would have remained inaccessible from afar. Thanos wouldn't have decided to collect the Infinity Gems himself. Loki wouldn't have been imprisoned when the Dark Elves attacked Asgard. He could have fought, could have protected Frigga. He wouldn't have been crushed by her death and bitter enough to banish Odin when given the chance. Hela wouldn't have been freed upon his death. Asgard would yet live, would yet be whole.
All because of the power of one simple word. This was no magical power; this was the power of words as blades used to cut straight to the heart. And that power lingered. Regret was too weak a word for what Loki felt, and penance was not a strong enough word for what he felt he owed.