Title: The Frog and the Scorpion

Summary: Even when he knows it will hurt him, Loki can't go against his nature. One-shot.

Fandom: The Avengers

Word Count: 468

There is a tale of the frog and the scorpion. In it, a scorpion needs to cross a river and asks a frog to carry him across. The frog refuses at first but finally relents. When they get half-way across the river the scorpion stings the frog. In the last moment before they both die, the frog asks the scorpion one thing, "Why?" The scorpion's answer is simple: It was just in his nature to sting.

Loki thought often of his fable; usually when he clashed yet again with his so-called brother. Thor was the frog and he was obviously the scorpion. Thor wanted to know why. Why was he evil? Why did he want to bring about such destruction and war? Why couldn't he go back to being his little brother? Why did they have to fight?

And Loki thought – it was just in his nature.

Even before he'd found out the truth, Loki had always been so very different from Thor. Loki was the trickster god. His role was from the beginning a wicked, villainous one. While others excelled in feasting and combat, Loki sprung far ahead all others in the subtle illusions of magic and strategy. Once his strategic abilities had been hailed as a blessing throughout Asgard. Now he could only assume they were cursed.

The scorpion stung the frog – it was just in his nature. He knew he would drown. He did it anyway.

Loki knew he was drowning – dying under his own schemes and hatred. Part of him - the hidden part of him that had loved his brother and fought beside him and hugged him and healed him and wanted nothing but the best for him – that part of him urged him to turn back now. Put his hatred aside and step into his brother's forever open arms. Thor would forgive him. Thor loved him.

Loki loved Thor too. They were brothers, after all. There was no one in the world that Loki cared about more than his brother.

But he had to fight and he had to deceive and he had to be the villain – he couldn't help it – it just in his nature.

So he pushed aside those painfully sweet memories, when he and Thor were inseparable, and cursed on the name of his brother. He shut out the part of him that screamed for him not to hurt Thor, to let go of this need for revenge, to forget and forgive and love again. He shut it away in a box where no one could reach and he donned his armor and persona like a snake slipping into new skin.

He could not go against his nature. He could not escape his fate.

He was the scorpion and, whether he wanted to or not, he would always sting.