A/N: This takes place just after The Avengers, so if you have not seen it I would recommend not reading this, unless you do not care about spoilers.
Loki awoke to a cold hard darkness. His entire body ached, and his head felt as if it had been hit repeatedly with Mjölnir. He did not know where he was, and for a split second he feared that he had fallen off the Bifrost again. He quickly dismissed that idea as the events of the past few days crashed over him. He had been shackled and muzzled and returned to Asgard with Thor. He remembered being taken straight to a cell. Thor had given him a long, and surprisingly indecipherable look before he walked away, leaving Loki alone. Loki couldn't tell if he was angry, sad, disappointed, or some combination of the three.
Not that Loki cared. He was finally being treated like the monster he is. And though he knew it was not good, he was happy about it.
He opened his eyes and saw that he was lying on his back in the same cell he had been put in the night before. The shackles had been removed after they had put him to sleep – he assumed so that they could decide exactly what to do with him. The muzzle, however, had been left on.
This irritated Loki more than he would have thought. He had times where he stayed silent of his own volition, for thought, study, or other such practices. But never had he had his ability to speak taken forcibly from him. He was the Liesmith! Silvertongue! His greatest strength was in his ability to speak and craft any sort of tale or spell. Without his voice Loki was nothing. He felt humiliated with the metal shackle around his mouth, and as ridiculous as it was, Loki felt naked without his voice.
He sat up and saw orange light coming out of the one small window at the top of the cell. It would take four of Loki standing atop each other to reach it, and even then it was too small for him to fit through.
He did not know how long he sat there. He had spent some time fiddling with the muzzle, but it was of no use. The thing was locked in the back and only a key could open it. Loki did not know who now possessed the key, but he guessed that Thor had given it to the Allfather.
After a while Loki gave up on the muzzle and simply sat and waited. Unlike Thor, Loki was quite adept at sitting still and waiting. Eventually someone would come.
He did not count on that someone being Thor. When Loki heard the familiar thunderous footsteps approaching he sat up straight on the stone bench. Thor entered and came straight up to the iron bars that held him in the cell – they were not unlike the iron bars that held the Destroyer in the weapon's vault.
Thor stopped right in front of the bars. "Hello Brother, " Thor said. Loki inclined his head, unable to return the greeting – not that he would have been so polite. "I've come to bring you to your sentencing. If you come easily I won't have to shackle you again. However the muzzle will stay on."
Loki glared at Thor for a moment, but then he nodded and stood. Thor gestured to one of the guards who banged his staff on the polished floor and the bars in front of Loki disappeared. Loki stepped out of the cell and Thor turned to leave. Loki stayed just behind and to the left of Thor.
It was a long walk from the prison cells to the Allfather's throne room, but it was not unfamiliar to Loki. He had had many years to travel around and memorize every inch of Asgard.
When they finally reached the throne room, Loki could hear a great many voices inside, and it seemed as if all of Asgard had come to see him punished.
It was then that he remembered that the last anyone in Asgard had heard, Loki had fallen into the unknown off of the broken bridge. He guessed that some simply wanted to see that he was truly alive. He was not as popular as Thor, but he was still the son of Odin – or at least all of Asgard thought so. Loki would have grimaced were his mouth not held immobile.
They stopped right outside the doors, and Thor nodded to the guards and they opened the massive doors and everyone inside went silent. Loki followed Thor into the middle of the room. He did not, however, follow suit when Thor bowed to the Allfather. Loki made the mistake of glancing at Frigga, but immediately looked away at the look of immense sadness and pain in her eyes. Instead Loki looked up into the eye of the man who had stolen him from Jötunheimr as a baby. The man who had lied to him his entire life, and then denied him as he hung from his staff on the edge of the Bifrost. Oh, how Loki hated him.
"Loki Odinsson," The Allfather began. Loki shuddered and looked away at the use of his false surname. "You have committed many crimes against he realms of Asgard, Midgard, and Jötunheimr. These crimes include murder, and treason. I, Odin Allfather, hereby strip you of your powers," Odin's staff came down to the ground with a thunderous crash, and Loki felt his magic draining out of him. He sunk to his knees, no longer able to hold himself up, the loss of his magic and his already aching and broken body becoming too much to bear.
"And I sentence you to fifty years of silence, wherein your poisonous tongue will no longer be able to weave your beloved lies. Your lips will be sewn shut." Odin paused at the collective gasp that went around the group of onlookers. "You are no longer permitted to leave this palace. I hope you learn from this Loki, for you will get not third chance."
Loki stared wide-eyed at his adopted father. His breathing was speeding up and he could tell he was beginning to hyperventilate. He glanced at Thor, who was looking at him with hard but sad eyes, and then at his mother who was looking down. Her shoulders were trembling slightly; Loki could tell she was crying. He looked back at the Allfather, who conveyed no emotion through his one eye.
Loki looked down to the polished floor and tried to consentrate on anything than what was about to happen. He was pulled to his feel by two guards and led out of the hall. He did not look where they were taking him; he only stared at his own feet and let himself be led.
They came to a stop in a room, and Loki looked up to see that he was in the healing room. There was a table against one wall with a simple chair next to it. Loki was led to the chair, and pushed down into it. He looked straight ahead as the healer walked up to him. She was preparing the needle and thread when Odin and Thor walked in. They stopped in front of him, but Loki refused to look at either of them. Thor handed a guard the key, and Loki's muzzle was removed. He stretched his jaw for the last time before it was to be closed for fifty years.
The healer finally had all of her tools in order and she nodded at the Allfather. "Loki, have you any final words?" Loki stared at Odin for a long moment. He glanced at Thor, who was looking at him with the same hard, sad eyes. He looked back at Odin.
"I hate you," he looked straight into the Allfather's eye. Then the guards stepped up and one took Loki by the shoulders and the other held his head in place.
Loki tried to go to a better place in his mind, but when the needle first pierced his skin his eyes ripped open and it was all he could do not to scream.
Stitch by stitch the Silvertongue was silenced.
Loki looked up, trying to keep his tears from spilling. He tried not to notice his father and brother, but he saw that Thor had averted his eyes; Odin just stared. Loki met his gaze and glared, putting all of his pain and rage into his eyes. He tried not to flinch every time the needle pierced the sensitive skin just above and below his lips.
When the healer was half way finished Loki could hold Odin's gaze no longer. He looked down; he squeezed his eyes closed and felt the tears flow down his cheeks.
A few minutes later the healer stepped back, announcing that she was finished. She placed a cloth over his mouth to staunch the flow of blood from the new holes in his skin. She took the soiled cloth away a few moments later and replaced it with a clean one. She wrapped gauze around his head to hold the bandage in place and tied it behind his head.
"You are to leave the bandage on until tomorrow and then you will return here so that I can check your stitches and put a salve on them so they do not get infected. It will be hard but try not to pull on them, that would only end in more pain for you." She walked away to another end of the room and Loki was happy to forget her. He looked back up at Odin, and narrowed his eyes. He had never hated the Allfather more than he did in that moment.
"Spend your silent years wisely, Loki. Because you will not receive another chance."
Odin nodded at the guards, and they let Loki go. Then Odin turned around, put his hand on Thor's shoulder, squeezed and left the room. The guards followed Odin out and when the door shut it was just Loki, Thor and the healer.
She came back over to where Loki was slumped in his chair. "I sewed it loose enough that you can drink. However, solid food is not going to be a luxury you can enjoy anymore." She nodded once and gestured as if Loki were free to go.
Loki stood and looked up at Thor. They stared into each other's eyes for a long moment, until Thor spoke.
"I am sorry, Brother," but he stopped when Loki snorted and pushed past Thor to leave the room. Thor followed, however, much to Loki's distaste. Thor fell into step with Loki as he walked through the palace. Loki did not know where he was headed, only that he wanted to be alone. He was still aching all over his body, and now the excruciating pain of the new stitches in his face added he wanted to just die. Anything would be better than how he felt at that moment.
Loki was not able to walk extremely fast, but before he knew it he was standing in front of the door to his own room. He slumped against the thick wood door, feeling completely drained.
"Brother, are you alright?" Thor took a step towards Loki and tried to place his hand on Loki's shoulder, but Loki swatted it away.
"I am not your brother!" Loki wanted to yell. He wanted to rage and scream until he became so exhausted that he passed out. But something inside him snapped. He put everything he had left into a punch that landed on Thor's side, but it was barely enough to sway his larger brother. Thor grabbed Loki's forearm, but Loki jerked away. He slammed his fist into his door and then pointed as forcefully as he could away. Nowhere in particular, just away so that Loki could be alone.
"Brother-" Loki slammed his fist again. Thor backed up a step and fixed his eyes on Loki for one tense moment before he turned and walked away. Loki jerked his door open, staggered inside a few steps before he succumbed to the pain and fell to the ground. He sat where he had fallen for a few minutes. He gingerly placed his hand over his bandaged mouth and whimpered. He was thankful that no one could see or hear him because he was sure that he looked absolutely pathetic. Not that anyone would care... Loki had never been the Golden Child. No, that was Thor. Loki had been getting into trouble for his mischief for as long as he could remember, but never had his voice been taken away. He guessed that Odin finally learned his lesson when it came to punishing Loki. Or perhaps Loki had just gone too far...
He tried to get up, and managed to stagger to his feet and shuffle to the other side of his room to his bed. He did not bother changing, just slumped onto his bed and passed out.
The first few days of Loki's punishment were excruciating. He returned to the healer the next day to have his bandage changed and the salve put on – which burned like fire on his still-fresh stitches. He did not leave his chambers during the day, but he took nighttime walks around the palace.
On the seventh night after he was silenced he was standing on one of the many balconies looking out over Asgard.
He thought about what was to become of him. It did not seem that he was to be treated any differently, however he had not ventured out into the slight chaos of court yet. He would have to test that...
He longed to leave the palace and go ride far out away from where he was. He did not wish to be here, among his false family who he was sure hated him for all of his crimes... Although, Loki had seen the look on Frigga's face when he had been brought in for sentencing. In fact, Loki was certain that the only reason he was not locked up indefinitely was because of his... Frigga still felt motherly towards him.
Loki sighed. Odin may have always favored Thor, but Frigga never showed it if she favored one brother over the other.
"It is beautiful, no?" Loki jumped. He had not heard Thor approach. The thought of Thor being able to be sneaky disturbed Loki.
He glanced at Thor. He was wearing simply his leather everyday pants and a cloth tunic; he wore no armor. Loki looked back over Asgard and nodded his head.
"Loki, I am truly sorry that you must go through this pain. I argued for simply stripping you of your magic, but the Allfather did not feel it was enough." Thor stopped, as if he had surprised that Loki was allowing him to speak, since he had thwarted every other time that Thor had tried to be heard.
If Loki were honest, he simply did not wan to fight his brother any longer.
"I wish you could tell me what happened after you... fell from the Bifrost," Thor had paused, as if he did not want to acknowledge that Loki had let go. Loki turned his head and just stared into his brother's eyes. They stared at each other for a few minutes, but as Loki thought about what he had gone through – how he had landed on an unknown world full of hostile aliens and had been locked up and played with until he had been able to worm his way out through lies and empty promises that he had not thought he would need to carry out- the more he felt the emotions building until his eyes watered and he blinked, allowing the tears to fall. Thor hesitated for a moment, but seemed to make up his mind and gathered Loki into his arms. Loki did not return his embrace at first, but as he began to cry harder, he also began to relax into Thor's grasp. He put his arms around Thor's waist and pressed his face into the crook of Thor's shoulder and neck.
Eventually his tears stopped. He dropped his arms, and Thor let him go. He felt truly drained, and after one last glance out over Asgard he looked at Thor, who was watching him warily – this was obviously not how he thought this "talk" would go. Loki turned and started walking back to his room. Thor followed. When they reached his door Loki paused and glanced at Thor. He nodded, and Thor said "Good night, Loki," and walked off. Loki opened his door, and disappeared into his room.
He had not even gotten close to reconciling himself with what he was, what he had done, and what his father had done. But this tiny victory with Thor left him feeling hopeful.
A/N: I felt that the Avengers ended much too suddenly. I couldn't stand to leave Loki without knowing what was going to happen to him when he got home... even if I just tortured him some more... This is unbeta'd so if there are any mistakes please point them out to me!