Author's Notes: Thank you to all who have been following this. It's been a long road! Hopefully it's been a satisfying one. Am quite happy with this chapter.
A cacophonous noise erupted from Thor's larynx; the sound of a hundred sleipnirs charging across a roughly hewn field. Loki hesitantly lifted his pillow and considered whether to place it over Thor's face…and then apply a little amount of pressure.
Just the tiniest amount.
No. It wouldn't be right.
He was, after all, being good. And being good entailed not ceasing Thor's breathing.
Even though he was certain he could bring Thor back, using his magic, he was equally certain that if Thor awoke to find himself at the gates of Valhalla, upon arriving back at Asgard, he would not be amused.
Punching Thor had worked on three other occasions. (In two of which, he'd used his magic to repair any corresponding injury, before Thor woke up). However, of late, he was attempting to at least develop a conscience. He decided that Asgardians with consciences did not punch their partners, to cease them snoring.
Loki sighed, grabbed Thor about the shoulders and rolled him to his side.
Being good was starting to be rather difficult, even in the simplest of scenarios. Thor curled an arm around Loki's waist, burying his face in his throat and murmuring indistinguishably. But then, he had to admit; Thor could be adorable, at times.
At least, for now, the snoring had ceased.
Loki closed his eyes, in the knowledge that sleep would not be forthcoming. Too much raced through his mind. Certainly, on Earth, it had seemed much simpler. He had his plan. He had stooges to help him enact the plan. Then, it was simply a case of sitting back and letting it unfold, to complete chaos. A part of him, at the time (buried beneath the rage and pain) still held onto enough sanity to realise that the overall ideal of ruling would, in reality, not come into fruition. That part of himself was content to simply toy with the Avengers, manipulate them into unwittingly enacting the exact actions that he willed them to. At first, it amused him, to see them (at times literally) running around, with no real direction. However, as he had told Thor the night before, the amusement soon turned to boredom.
They could have at least given him something of a challenge.
Finally, after the death of Coulson, they did.
As the battle raged on, the still sane part of him became aware that, at some point, the most gallant way out would be simply to surrender. When the ridiculous green monster came into his tower to be, attempting to threaten him, he allowed pride and anger to overcome reason, and humiliatingly paid for it.
He liked to think that one thing the Avengers could not say about him, was that he wasn't noble in defeat.
The drink that they gave him, courtesy of Tony Stark, was dark, with a frothy, creamy top layer. It tasted pleasantly bitter.
It had been a rather agreeable, if not a little awkward, moment, him sipping his drink, while the others stared at him, as though they wanted nothing more than to rip his innards out.
No, he corrected himself. Not all of them stared at him that way. Thor cast angry, yet worried glances in his direction. Tony Stark kept attempting to engage him in conversation. He got the distinct impression that the man loved the sound of his own voice. Bruce Banner wouldn't meet his eye at all. Loki suspected that he was feeling, in his mind at least, rightfully shamed of his actions, while being that green monster.
Then, the ridiculous chains and gag were placed on him, and Thor informed him that he would be taken back to Asgard, to face justice.
Loki knew instantly what that meant. The elders would be determined that he be sent to their dungeons.
He shuddered, wrapping his arms around Thor's broad back. Thor murmured once more, his lips glancing across Loki's neck.
Fargo had told the truth, when he had said that he intended to torture and defile him. Though Loki was aware that threatening such things could be used to great effect, Fargo's pleasure derived from actually enacting them. He recalled going to the dungeon, that one time, seeing the horrored scream of the prisoner, as Fargo-
He pushed away the mental image. He had felt sickened, horrified. But he had not told anyone, at the time. Really, who was there to tell? Thor was on earth, Odin was in Odinsleep and Frigga had too much to deal with, as it was.
He is dead. He cannot trouble you any more.
As though hearing his thoughts, Thor's other arm shot out and wrapped around his back, pulling him closer. He relaxed into the embrace.
This… whatever was happening between him and Thor, did not fit into any parameters that could be analysed, in his mind.
He had been, admittedly, terrified of Fargo's sexual deviancy, but at least he had worked the elder out. Thor, however, continued to perplex him. He would think that he knew all of his facets but then Thor would say or do something that he had not anticipated.
In a way, it made him all the more intriguing, and Loki all the more excited to discover more of those Facets-of-Thor-I-Did-Not-Know-About-Before.
He recalled the first time that Thor talked of his true feelings. Loki had been rather overcome by the beautifully spoken words. Overcome…and, at the same time, fearful. He had certainly denied it, when Thor had very cleverly picked up on his terror. No, the intense feelings permeating his body did not make him want to jump from the bed and run as far as he could, preferably to one of the outer lying worlds….
No no no. He was…
He was actually in bliss, if he was to be honest with himself. To be looked at with such adoration and love. To have Thor say such constant endearments to him. To reciprocate the feelings felt so right.
And yet, so wrong.
Why me? After everything that I've done, do I truly deserve such endearments?
Yet, like an addict, he needed to hear them, to be close to Thor, to feel the proof of his love.
To, in turn, prove himself worthy of Thor's love.
He had decided to start by telling Thor the truth, as he saw it. Only, it seemed, the more he told Thor the truth, the more Thor seemed to be angry with him for lying to begin with.
He recalled the day when Thor decided to allow him to be King for the day (Loki had conveniently not reminded Thor that he had, in fact, ruled, when Thor was on Earth). Thor had seemed determined to teach him a lesson. Not wanting to upset Thor further, Loki had gone along with it.
Only, in doing so, he'd once again, lied.
"Thor…" Loki moved his arms from around him and gently shook his shoulders. "Thor, wake up."
Thor did not move.
"THOR!" He resorted to punching the tender flesh.
"Mm…sleep." A hand reached up to gently touch his lips.
"I need to tell you something."
Thor opened one eye, then the other.
Yes, he can be very adorable, at times.
"What is so important that you had to disturb my sleep to say it?"
Loki frowned. "I did know about the letter room."
Thor's brows furrowed. "What letter room?"
"If you'll recall the day that you decided to allow me to be King? First you took me to the letter room. I feigned ignorance. But, the truth is, I did know about it. I knew that the King is meant to read letters sent by his constituents."
"Why did you allow me to think that you were ignorant of such a room?"
"There's more. I knew the financiers. I knew of their purpose in the palace. I knew of the drought and the failing crops. I knew it all. Altos and Orcon were clearly baffled to see me feign such ignorance, in regards to monetary matters. When you were being taught, as a child, about such matters, I secretly studied. I know about budgets, trade embargos, even hedge funds."
Thor's brow creased, his mouth downturned.
"I don't understand. Why would you pretend to be ignorant of such things? I truly believed that you had no clue what Altos and Orcon were talking about."
Loki sighed. "Because you appeared determined to teach me a lesson, so I figured I'd go along with it, even if it meant feigning stupidity."
Now it was Thor's turn to sigh. "Loki…." Loki's stomach clenched.Yes, I know you are angry-
Thor surprised him by kissing him on the forehead. "That was, indeed, a ridiculous response to have."
"My hurt and anger were real enough. I realized that you honestly believed that I would not have the appropriate knowledge in such matters. The fact that I did only served to increase my hurt. Does this make sense to you?"
"It would not have upset me, if you had simply told me the truth."
"I feel it would have. You were determined that I be humiliated."
Thor averted his eyes. "My actions were unbecoming, that day."
"We have already discussed this. I only brought it up, because I am continuing in my efforts not to lie to you."
"Good, then you can answer this simple question for me."
"Yes?" Loki's heart started to pound, in his chest.
"Do you love me?" Thor affixed him in his blue irises.
Loki swallowed, clenching his fists and locking the muscles in his legs to cease from bolting.
"It's ok…" Thor lightly stroked his cheek. "It was not genial of me to-"
Loki's heart now felt like it was about to burst out of his chest. "Yes, I do." He said, so quietly, it was barely above a whisper.
The grin grew wider. Thor kissed his throat, his nose, his cheeks, repeating his daily mantra.
"You are loved and needed and wanted."
Loki mewled. He needed to hear it. Needed to believe it. The more that Thor said it, the more he was starting to think that he could believe it.
His lips hungrily pressed against Thor's, tongue roughly seeking entry. Both started to roughly strip each other of their night attire. Loki had known, from the moment that Thor had claimed him over the elders, that their relationship would become physical. He had, initially, been concerned that Thor would wish for it to commence straight away. Though Loki could not, even at that point, deny his attraction to Thor, he was still so full of poisonous bitter hate, that any physical affection from Thor would amount to defilement. Thankfully, Thor had taken it slowly, allowing Loki to take the lead. Loki had expected the lovemaking to be good. He had certainly not expected it to be outstanding.
He had not expected, such as he was enacting now, that he would be able to roll Thor over to his front and penetrate him using his fingers, curling up to hit that spot that made the king shudder and moan, as his other hand stroked him to hardness.
Loki had always imagined Thor to be completely dominant, in regards to his passions. To give but not take.
Loki slathered his erection in lube, and gently eased his way into the tight heat. He certainly never suspected that Thor could be submissive too. That, he could, as he was enacting now, moan and thrust back beneath him. Loki leant forward, so he could feel the warmth of Thor's back, so he could taste the sweat of his shoulders. He started to move. It always felt so good...so tight and warm… but the ecstasy went beyond the physicality of the feel of the body beneath him. It was clear that it took a great sacrifice for Thor to give so readily of himself. Though he couldn't be entirely sure, Loki suspected that, other than one other, Thor had not allowed another man to take him in such a fashion.
He started to thrust faster, hand stroking in time to his movements.
Many a year before, when both he and Thor were just out of their youth, a rather handsome warrior had come into town. Loki had, at one point, overheard him bragging to his friend.
"I just had Thor. Not a bad lay. Tight… wouldn't be surprised if he was a virgin…but not exactly wild, in the sack. Just sort of lay there, whimpering."
"You going to try for the other brother? Now that one would be wild!"
"Loki? I guess as long as I didn't have to look at his face. Come on, Thor's the looker. We both know it."
Loki had rushed away, before he could hear any more.
Beneath him, Thor cried out, thrusting up abruptly, causing Loki to whimper from the stimulation.
The most beautiful man in Asgard is currently moaning beneath you.
Thor reached around, clasping Loki's hand in his own, as he continued to thrust up and down sharply, in an attempt to pull more of him in. Loki felt him tremble and realized that he was close to completion.
And you're thinking of a man who disappeared many a year ago.
He redoubled his efforts, deliberately slamming against Thor's prostate. Thor yelled out, his erection jolting in Loki's hand, as his tightness pulsed around him, sending him over the edge in a whimper of ecstasy.
Both lay a moment, panting, before Loki gently pulled out. He always vowed to be gentle, in his lovemaking, be it with a female or a male. The way he saw it, he enjoyed himself the most, when his partner was likewise writhing in ecstasy.
Thor rolled onto his back, pulling him to his chest.
I do not care to make love to any other than the one I'm with right now.
"You are beautiful." Loki said, stroking his hair.
"As are you."
Thor's the looker. We both know it.
"For someone so beautiful, smart, funny and talented, you have such appalling lack of esteem!" Thor sounded irritated. "No matter. We'll work on it."
Loki whimpered, biting down into Thor's shoulders. He could feel the sharp edge of the bedside table sliding under his thighs and buttocks, Thor's hardness move frantically within him, filling him so magnificently, Thor's hands caressing his chest, his stomach, his own leaking erection. He felt close, so close. He whimpered louder.
Yes, yes… so good….
A loud knock sounded on the door.
"Don't stop!" Loki commanded, moving his legs from where they were spread wide, to curl around Thor's waist.
Thor continued to thrust, slamming against that one part that increased his whimpers even louder.
The knock sounded again, louder.
Only Loki didn't care for the cursed door knocker. He moved his face to bite down hard into Thor's neck, moaning loudly, as ecstasy flooded over him. Thor waited until he ceased in his orgasmic convulsions, before gently pulling out.
"Don't worry about it." Loki said, gesturing to the door.
Thor grabbed one dressing gown off the bed and threw it to Loki, before putting his own on. Loki could see his erection, poking out from the cloth and could not help but grin in mirth. Even the most dimwitted of the guards would be able to work out what they had just been up to.
"Yes?" Thor asked, after he flung open the door.
"Odin wishes to see you and Loki both, in his chambers."
Loki did not move from where he sat on the bedside table. He looked around Thor to the messenger.
"Yes, tell him we will be there as soon as we are able." He then slammed the door shut.
"Where were we? Ah yes…" He grinned, rushing back to Loki and flinging off the gown on the way.
"I must complete this business first." He thrust Loki's legs apart and entered him in one swift move. Loki gasped a little in pain. Then Thor started to frantically move. Loki lay back and allowed himself to be taken. In some ways, he felt this was the more dominant position, feeling Thor groan, bite at his nipples, grab and pinch at his flesh. That Thor could want him that much, be that desperate to be with him. Be in him.
He sat up and started to move up and down, in time to Thor's thrusts.
"Yes," Thor moaned, moving his mouth up to bite him on the neck. He then lifted him up by the buttocks and walked him to the other side of the room, slamming him against it to take him against the wall.
"Poor Odin…" Loki whispered into his ear. "Taking me is more important than going to him."
Thor groaned. 'You completed. It's only fair that I get a chance to."
"Oh yes…" He whispered. "I want to feel the warmth of your seed deep within me."
Thor cried out, now moving so fast it was a somewhat painful, but it was a pain that Loki could take. He placed his arms around Thor's back and accepted the frantic thrusts within him, as Thor roared his completion. Then Thor gently withdrew, allowed Loki to stand.
"Shall we dress and go to Odin, now?"
"You devastate me." Thor said, grinning.
"Let me speak to him." Thor said, as they approached the chambers.
"He is no fool. He will already know why we are late."
Loki quelled the rest of the sentence with a look and knocked on the door.
"Ah, Thor, Loki. If I could talk to Loki alone, for a moment."
Thor and Loki caught eyes, blue on green, both displaying compete mystification.
"It will only be a moment."
"As you wish, father. I will be outside." Thor said.
As he stepped into the room, Loki considered his strategy. He figured that his best option was to not say anything, and simply allow Odin to talk. That way, his father could not manipulate him.
Odin closed the door behind them and walked over to stand by the bed. He took a deep breath.
"This has been coming for a long time."
Loki inhaled deeply, his stomach cramping viciously.
Leave this world! We will not tolerate your actions any longer, frost giant!
"It is the most difficult thing, to accept when one is wrong. For to accept blame, is to acknowledge the guilt that accompanies it, the realization of the hurt and devastation one has caused others. Especially loved ones." He paused. "I will never regret taking you from that temple, as a child. You would have died. However, my other actions were more duplicitous. I should have told you, from the beginning that you were Laufey's son. For that, I am truly sorry."
Loki blinked, feeling rather taken aback by his expectations not matching up to the reality before him.
"My idea of uniting our worlds, by marrying you off was despicably cruel. I hurt you deeply. I'm so sorry, Loki." He whispered.
Loki continued to stare, unable to formulate any response, in his mind.
"For all the times I favoured Thor over you. For allowing Fargo to come into your cell, to attack you as he did. I was wrong."No no don't say that, don't…
Loki felt tears prick at the edge of his eyelids.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." A line of tears ran down from the single eye. "I hope that one day you can find it within yourself to forgive me."
No, Loki told himself. Don't cry, damn it! Don't cry!
The tears now escaped from his eyelids and ran down his face.
"You deserved better. I only think, if I'd have said this sooner, you wouldn't have… when I thought you were lost to the abyss, the pain was as though my very heart had been ripped from my body. I was in agony. Every day. Then, we discovered that you were alive. Your actions were, frankly, despicable. But I knew, as did Thor, as did Frigga, that, with time and love… we could bring back the Loki we knew."
Loki felt an odd weight lift off his shoulders. He wiped his eyes.
I never thought I'd hear it.
"My actions were… I was crazed… I cannot even begin to comprehend he magnitude of what I did."
"To truly comprehend it will be to feel a remorse so devastating that is worse than any torture the elders could have concocted." Odin said. "And you are already starting to comprehend it. Which is a good thing. It is in pain and suffering that we acquire our grandest wisdom. And I will be there for you, in your darkest of hours."
Odin tentatively put an arm around his back.
"I will try and be better for you, my most beloved son."
Loki looked up into the wise face. He saw no manipulation, only love and sorrow.
"As will I, father."
A warm smile quirked the thin lips (so similar to his own, Loki thought), and he fell into Odin's embrace.
After an evening of jesting with Thor's friends, Loki was more than glad to retire to what was now his and Thor's shared room. Though the four were genial with him, Loki could sense that they were mainly acting that way for Thor's sake. They still didn't entirely trust him. He completely understood. If he was in their situation, he wouldn't trust him, either. Not that he particularly cared for them, or how they felt about him. In the past, he had only tolerated them because they were Thor's friends. Now was no different.
Still, it did become tiring, entertaining an evening of awkward conversation and suspicious looks, every time that Thor left the room.
He lay down on the bed, relishing in the soft lumpy mattress. On Earth, he could never find a comfortable enough bed. He supposed he should take a bath, then change into his nightclothes, but, for now, could not find the energy to move. The door silently opened and he heard the familiar tread of feet. The bed tilted a little as Thor put his weight on it. Loki rolled to the side. Both lay together, face to face.
"I saw one… earlier…"
Loki paused for effect. "A Fury."
"Oh no, don't start that again! Last time I had nightmares for two weeks straight! But then, I was nine."
Loki laughed, reached up and ran a gentle hand through Thor's hair.
"It is odd to think that barely a month ago, if someone had told either of us that we would now be lying together, we would have laughed at them!" Thor remarked.
Loki recalled what Tony Starke had said to him, before Thor ripped through the helicopter, in an attempt to take him back to Asgard.
"Have you ever heard of the phrase 'there's a thin line between love and hate?' It seems to me, that you despise your brother Thor so much that there… there may be a little something else there. After all, if you truly don't care for someone, you don't give them any thought, whatsoever."
Loki had said nothing but had thought it to be a ridiculous statement. In the case of Thor, it proved to be true. But it was still a ridiculous statement. If Fargo had defeated Odin and chopped his head off, Loki was certain he would have hated him for it. Furthermore, he would have given a lot of thought to his revenge.
There would have been no love involved.
Thor reached his hand out and lightly curled a finger around a couple of curling strands of Loki's hair. Loki closed his eyes, relishing the soft touch.
"Don't ever leave me again."
He opened his eyes, stunned to see tears in Thor's eyes.
"I could not bear to lose you a second time. I'd go mad with grief."
"I'm not going anywhere, Thor!"
"When I saw you, in that helicopter… blissfully alive… and still so painfully beautiful…. I could barely stand it-"
Loki rolled his eyes. "Please, Thor. I am well aware that I'm not that beautiful-"
"I'd forgotten, you see. How the very sight of you clenches my heart. You are a jewel, whose glow vanquishes the darkness around it."
Loki allowed the words to create their own warm glow within him.
People say I am the great wordsmith.
"Even in opposing you, I was adamant that you not be hurt-"
"We did fight each other-"
"I meant hurt within reason."
"As in… falling, in a glass cage….a vast distance."
The good humour instantly left the face.
"I'm sorry, Thor. I don't know why I said that. You know, I never truly thought you'd die. You're Thor. I knew you'd get out of it. If I wanted to kill you, I would have stabbed you… in the heart, that is…. Rather than the stomach. I'm making this worse, aren't I?"
Thor shook his head, grinning.
"When you asked me to join you… I wanted to. I truly did."
"I know, I saw it in your face… for a moment, anyway."
"But I knew that it would not be feasible. .Think about it, Thor. The Big Bad, who killed hundreds of their own, suddenly fighting on their side? Besides, I truly did believe it to be too late. But you… and Odin and Frigga. You never gave up on me. Despite everything I did. And they were, truly terrible things. You thought me to be redeemable."
"And you proved us to be right."
But I still have a long way to go, until I am truly redeemed. I know that.
Thor kissed him about the face, repeating his daily mantra.
"You are loved. And needed. And wanted."
Loki captured Thor's face in his own. This time, he felt no need to run.
"I truly do love you. Passionately. Equivocally. I am going to prove to you that I am worthy of your love."
Thor leant in and brought their mouths together, lazily lapping tongues. They pulled apart. Thor lifted his hand and kissed it.
"It would be my pleasure to make love to you… starting by kissing every inch of that gorgeous body."
Loki felt a wave of pleasure at the words wash over him.
"Yes… that would be acceptable."
Thor grinned and jumped down, grabbing his foot and planting tiny kisses all over it. Loki started giggling.
"That… ah…" The feeling was not pleasurable, and yet he could not stop laughing.
Thor looked up. "Well, well… are you…?"
He suddenly jumped on Loki's waist fingers searching under his armpits. "Ticklish?"
Loki squawked with laughter, attempting to buck him off.
"Mercy?" Thor relentlessly used cunning tickling fingers under is armpits and on the sides of his body.
"No! Ok ok mercy, mercy."
Thor looked down at him, grinning wildly.
"Aha! Now I have something to use against you!"
"You wouldn't dare…" A sudden ball of light shot out from Loki's fingers, targeting Thor's own body. He squawked as it rolled over his chest, tickling as it went down.
"Ok, mercy, mercy."
"I'd say that I won that round."
"Oh, so it's to be a competition, is it? Who can out trick the other?"
"Don't even bother. You won't win. I am the master of tricks!"
"I know a few surprises."
Loki laughed. "If you insist on being utterly demolished, then I accept the challenge. In the morning, let the trick war commence"
Thor looked at him fondly.
"I missed this. I admit, it's a lot more fun, when you're around."
"And not too angsty… or insane?"
Thor laughed. "Oh, that's a part of your charm, Loki."
Both stared at each other a long moment. Loki still found it hard to believe that he could be looked at with such love and caring.
But he did feel wanted. Most importantly to him, he felt safe.
"I realise, as rulers of Asgard, we have a lot to do tomorrow but I'm certain we can be fatigued for one day." He said.
"What is your proposal?"
Loki reached up and stroked Thor's stomach, moving his hand further south. "I propose we spend the rest of the night making love, in every way possible, and on every possible surface of this room."
"I feel that is a very just proposal." Thor grinned. "I accept."
Loki returned the grin, pulling Thor down for a very satiating kiss.