"Can't sleep, Loki?" Jack asked as they nestled together in the expansive bed Jack's quarters. It was four in the morning.

"I could ask the same of you, immortal mine," Loki murmured, burrowing his head in Jack's chest. "For what I imagine is the same reason as well."

Jack held him close, tracing patterns on Loki's pale, bare skin with the tips of his fingers. "Mm. Someone - someone else - I loved, when we couldn't sleep, we'd tell each other things in the dark that we pretended hadn't been said whenever there was daylight. Found it helpful actually. You don't have to if you don't want to."

"Truth for truth? Novel, I suppose. I will try this game. If on your honor you promise silence."

"Same here. Can I go first?"

"As you will."

"Why did you throw Tony out a window? Presumably he was in his suit at the time."

Loki stared at the ceiling for a moment before replying. "Yes. Still there was some talk of me being disciplined. Bar - Clint was the one who defended me, in fact, and once he had Tony decided he would forgive. We had returned to the Tower upon the end of a difficult mission. I steadied Clint when he stumbled, and Clint grumbled that he didn't require assistance. Then Tony said, in what seemed to be his usual jocular fashion but with hidden malice, 'No means no, Reindeer Games, and we don't want to have to get the doll out for Clint to show SHIELD where you bad-touched him. Again.'"

After a pause, Jack said, "It was nice of you to throw him out the window while he still had his suit on. I mean it would have been a bit of an overreaction to kill him, but he could have handled a few seconds of terror before the Hulk or Thor grabbed him."

"Clint afterwards avowed that though I had indeed enthralled him with the scepter, none of the tasks I had given him had been of any base sexual nature, and that I never touched him in a lustful manner. And that he was most displeased with Tony for using his experiences as a weapon against me in any case, when that right is Clint's and Clint's alone."

It seemed the correct thing to do right now was for Jack to kiss Loki, and Jack did, cupping a hand on either side of his face and tenderly pressing their lips together.

"It's my turn to inquire, yes?" Loki asked, their fingers entwining other the covers.


"What is the worse thing you think you have ever done?"

"It's a draw. The first thing is that I killed my grandson in front of my daughter, his mother," Jack replied, as if he had anticipated the question.

Loki squeezed Jack's hand. "And why?"

"To save the children of Earth, I had to sacrifice a single child. At least - at least his death didn't take long."

Jack tried to turn away, but Loki wrapped long arms around him and held him fast.

"I think it was noble of you - not according to what I was raised to believe of nobility but instead what the Doctor showed me in our time together - that if you were to sacrifice a child you sacrificed one dear to you. It would have been worse to steal someone else's for that purpose; to ask someone to give up what you yourself were not willing to."


"The other?"

"I let my younger brother get captured by aliens who tortured him into a monster."

At this Loki could not help but laugh softly. "Perhaps you should speak to Thor about that one. Only if you wish it."


"I grow weary of this pastime. Shall we couple?"

"Mmmm, now that's an idea..."