That One Adventure Thor and Loki Swear Never Happened

Rating - M

Tags - Sif/Loki, kind of but not really Sif/Thor, Loki & Thor, trope bingo, cliches, body swap, accidental powers, humor, angst, nudity, Thor might be scarred for life, brotherhood, unhealthy sibling rivalry, pre-canon, artistic license with Norse mythology, why is this so long?, this was really meant to be a one-shot, bad attempts at using Old Norse names for things

Summary - For once, it's one hundred percent not Loki's fault. Mostly. If you look at it the right way, anyhow. (Or, that one where Loki and Thor accidentally swap bodies and awkwardness happens)

Author's Note - This will be 5-6 chapters, which is 4-5 chapters longer than I had originally expected. The second chapter is nearly done. I hope to have this finished in its entirety relatively quickly (within a few weeks). This is the second challenge in my Trope Bingo Blackout attempt (filling both the "body swap" and "accidental powers" squares).

It's Thor's fault.

That's what Loki will maintain later, anyhow, and it's not as though Thor will argue it because that would mean acknowledging the whole thing happened in the first place. And frankly? That's not something Thor will do.

It starts in the palace on Alfheim because most of their adventures begin in seemingly innocuous places. It's proof that Loki can start trouble anywhere, really, even if this time completely isn't his fault.

"I cannot imagine this to be a good idea," says Loki, but he doesn't break his stride next to Thor because - good idea or not - it's certainly mischief and so that means it isn't precisely a bad idea either.

Okay, so maybe it's a little his fault, too.

"You worry too much, brother," Thor says, which in itself should be proof enough that Thor is wholly focused on his task at hand and not thinking before speaking.

It is a silly thing, to risk angering the Ljósálfar and their father, for a glimpse of some long ago locked away treasures. Nevermind the dangers of the treasures themselves.

"Or perhaps it is that your head is too full of glory and adventure to worry at all," Loki counters.

"You tell me the elves have the great and cursed sword Tyrfing. You tell me you know where it sits and yet you expect me to let such a thing lie without seeking it out?" Thor questions. "I presume you to know me far better than that, brother."

"Surely even you must realize you cannot unsheath it," Loki asks, eyeing his brother warily. "If you intend to, I must decline to follow along on this little jaunt as the sword has a rather well-known history of fratricide."

"Nay," Thor assures him. "It pains me to say as much, but I shall not wield the thrice-cursed bloodied blade. Though a sword which shall not rest until it has quenched its thirst for blood and dispatched a soul to Helheim or Valhalla ought not lay forgotten in some treasure trove. She ought sing upon a field of battle 'til such time as Ragnarök meets its dusk."

Count on Thor to wax poetic about death and war and the end of days, Loki thinks dryly.

The halls of the Elven castle are long and winding and have no shortage of guards, but it is a small thing for Loki to distract them. An illusion here, an errant shadow there, a clamor of noise down the hall, a snuffed out candle at an opportune moment. It's not even a challenge really. The only real danger is that Thor's bombastic voice will echo off the smooth stone walls and gain more attention than Loki's spells, but even the God of Thunder can be stealthy when its required.

Loki likes to think its his influence.

"Your proficiency with the seiðr grows stronger with each passing century," Thor compliments in a subdued tone. "I admit, understanding of it eludes me even at the most basic level, and yet I can admire that you have developed it into a most useful skill."

If the compliment throws Loki at all, he doesn't show it.

"Yes, well, battles are not only won by muscles and steel, are they?" Loki asks.

"Nay," Thor agrees good-naturedly. "And yet I will take the might of a hammer over the bending of shadows in any brawl. However, you cope quite finely by playing to your strengths in order to balance out what skills you are ill-equipped with. It is most impressive how you have managed in spite of your shortcomings."

The backhanded compliment is one of Thor's worst and Loki smiles thinly through gritted teeth because it is that or stab his brother in the gut to make a point and Loki is not terribly fond of the road that might set him upon. If he going to start Ragnarök it will not be because Thor made him do it.

"We are here," he says instead, twisting the lock on the vault doors with his magic and soundlessly throwing it wide as if to make a point.

To be fair, it's a valid point to make. Thor's mighty hammer might have been able to pound the blasted door open, but it most assuredly would have caused a racket that would have brought the Elven guards running and wouldn't that be a fine diplomatic mess.

The room is dewy and bright, but with no obvious light source, and filled with treasures, each on pedestals of their own and spaced just a few paces apart from each other. Directly in the middle of the room sits the obvious point of this entire expedition.

Thor's eyes widen, much as they had the first time he'd been given a horse of his own, and he takes a few trance-like steps toward the sword until he's close enough that he could easily grasp the thing if he chose to. Given the weapon's history, Loki rather wishes he'd back up a few steps, for safety's sake.

Even sheathed, it is clearly a lovely thing. Legend tells that it is of Dwarven craft and Loki can immediately see the truth of that, even from a few paces away. The hilt is gold and very fine, with brutal designs of battle carved into it. Though gold itself is a rather delicate metal, there are no nicks in it, nor any damage to its scabbard. Were it not for the magic the weapon reeked of, he'd have thought the blade had never been used.

"Can you imagine such a thing in the hands of Fandral or Lady Sif?" Thor asks in wonderment.

Loki gives a sidelong glance to his brother.

"Lady Sif needs no enchantments upon her weapons to banish souls to Hela's realm," Loki replies smoothly.

"True enough," Thor says boisterously, clapping his brother on the back. "In fairness, there are times she needs not weapons at all, for she is deadly without her steel as well."

Yes. Loki is well aware of this.

"I wish that I could but glimpse upon the blade itself," Thor says longingly and a tremor of foreboding works its way down Loki's back.

"And if you could glimpse upon it, then you would wish only to weigh and balance it. And if you could weigh and balance it, then you would wish only to spar with it. And if you could spar with it, then you would wish only to bring it along on a small skirmish. Need I go on, brother, or have I made my point?" Loki drawls.

"Nay," Thor sighs pitifully. "Your point is made and there is truth in it."

"Tell no one," Loki smiles. "I've a reputation, after all."

Thor snorts, sounding more like an amused horse than a Prince of Asgard to Loki's ears, and smiles broadly in return.

"I fear most would sooner believe me a liar than call you a truth-teller, Loki," he says.

Loki smiles back. There's something pleasant in knowing one's reputation is secure.

"Come, we ought-" Loki starts, but is cut off as Thor turns and his arm hits a nearby dais holding some other treasure.

They had been so focused on the one artifact they knew of in the room, that they'd all but forgotten the hidden dangers of the ones around it.

In hindsight, this will be where things went very wrong.

It's always why it was all Thor's fault.

Both Thor and Loki can see that the intricate and delicate looking cup perched atop the pedestal is going to fall. Thor is closer and makes an immediate grab for the thing. A strange sort of glaze works its way across his eyes as as he touches it and the God of Lightning's fingers go slack against the chalice as his eyes roll back into his head and he starts to collapse. Loki has but a moment to make a choice whether to try and save the cup or halt his brother's fall.

He makes the obvious choice and grabs for the cup. Thor's head has suffered far worse than a smack against a stone floor.

But then, with the cup clenched in his hand, the strangest feeling washes over Loki, like his soul or his magic is unanchored. He feels adrift, as though the tides might be washing him over the edge of Asgard's oceans and into the abyss.

Well… isn't this just perfect, is the last thing Loki thinks before losing consciousness.