Author's Note: I don't have my beta reader at the time. This will be sliding into ThorXLoki as we go, just starting out slowly. All mistakes are mine, no characters belong to me.
It seemed any more that only the darkness was his friend. It had been his friend, when the truth of his life had decended upon him, he'd chosen to spend several hours in the darkness of his own chambers as he thought and evaluated his life and plans. It was in the darkness that the jealousy had built, that envy against Thor had grown. The desire, the need not to dwell in his brother's shadow.
When he had been told he was neither Asgardian or one of Odin's son, that sudden thirst to prove them all wrong had come upon him. He'd wanted nothing but to prove he could be Odin's son. But he hadn't thought as clearly as he could have. And the result was to fall into even more darkness, mad at the worlds around him. Mad at the only people who had once possibly understood him. Odin's words had reverated in his mind for hours, days, perhaps months. He'd never pursued how much time he'd spent in the void.
And coming to the realm of the Chatari, he hadn't bothered to ask about time there. He merely schemed and found a use for them. He did his best not to show his doubt in his own abilities, knowing if he failed, pain like nothing he knew would be inflicted upon him.
Or at least he thought he'd never know. He'd been defeated and caught by his brother...no not his brother...There was no blood shared between him and Thor. If he stopped thinking of the man in such a way, the guilt and pain wouldn't be so bad. And then he could focus on the rest of his pain.
The pain from having his magic sealed off, the pain of being kept down in the dark cell for time unknown. No one to keep him company but the rats, bugs and the occassional guard who took pity on the fallen prince of Asgard, the speak to him.
It was through one of the guards, that he'd learned of the council's push for punishment, one most harsh. They could not, have him exacuted, with out Odin's say. And so far, the old man had been mute on that subject. But the council was pushing for something to be done. And the pushing was making the All-Father weary again.
Then there was the quieter talk, the talk only the guards had among themselves, unaware of ears that were listening. There was talk of the murmers and aggravations at the All Father's lack of actions were showing. A talk of needing a stronger leader...and not exactly in the Golden Prince and future king of Asgard either.
This, did not set well with Loki. And since the gag had been mercifully removed when he'd been shoved into the cell, though not the shackles as he later learned they were what restrained his magic, he'd managed to talk a guard into parchement and ink.
The idea of a coupe against Odin and Thor, was wrong. He'd known that by his own actions, though in the end his actions were not for the same purpose. He understood his actions had been preceived in such a way, because no truly understood how and why he felt the way he had. Loki wasn't entirely sure he understood the reasons when he really thought about it. But lately, his head had been such a muddle of thoughts, none making sense from the other that the only clear thing in his mind at the moment, was the fact the fact that as long as he was in this cell, in this palace, in this realm, the Chatari could not touch him. He hoped.
And so by the dying light of a candle placed outside his cell by the sympathetic guard, Loki lay on his stomach, adjusting his arms in the shackles as comfortably as he could and began writing.
Letter to be inserted later
When he had finished, he rolled to sat up, folding his legs under him as he heard the step of boot returning. He folded the parchment carefully. "Will you take this to Thor?" He asked the guard with out looking up. He was appaled by how weak his voice sounded, but he couldn't remember the last time he'd had water.
"If I am caught baring messages for you..." The guard started.
"Prince Thor would never persume to turn you over for one small note." Loki injected calmly, despite the broken quality of his voice and he flashed the guard an ever charming smile, despite broken skin of his lips and the stark scars that stood out where once his lips had been sewn shut in his youth. Despite these conditions, it still must have worked as the guard quickly took the message and the candle and vanished from sight. Loki mused he at least still had his charms to rely on.
He stretched out his legs and leaned back against the cold wall as he settled into the darkness once again. He willed himself to relax, knowing his brother would answer...ugh! Knowing Thor would answer, he could not with the cryptic message Loki had sent. He would want answers.
Again time passed unknown to Loki, yet he didn't feel quiet as annoyed this time. He thought perhaps he had napped. Slept with out dreaming. Because when the sound of boots and the light appearing brought him to, he felt as if he'd been roused, from just falling asleep. Both annoyance and relief feeling him at the same time.
He raised his head only enough to keep the light of the torch from hurting as the key sounded in the lock. And could see Thor on the other side of the cell door, about to open it with one hand. Thor looked rather annoyed, though more confused then anything and he was cluthing the parchment in his other hand.
"What is the meaning of this?" Thor growled as he yanked the door open.
Loki shifted, stretching his legs a moment, before drawing them up to wrap his arms around them and lean forward some, the chains of the shackles hitting his legs. "What does it look like, Thor? Surely you haven't forgot putting me in here, so soon. Or did you drink yourself into a stupor in celebration of my capture shortly after dragging me back here?" He asked, the sarcasim dripping from his lips.
He saw Thor crumple the parchment in his fist. "You know, to what I'm refering, Loki. Why the message?"
"The message should have been clear, Thor. Or you really are to daft to see it." Loki retorted. And shot back as Thor suddenly lunged forward at Loki, catching him by the collar of his tunic before he could scramble away and hauled him to his feet. Loki's legs felt a little to weak to be standing straight and he pulled away from Thor while swatting his hand away from him, to lean upon the wall of the cell beside him heavily.
"You warned of a storm, what mischief do you intend to cause now?" Thor demanded.
"Thor, you really are a dumbass. What I'm warning you of, is not my doing, but something you should seeing for yourself." Loki replied, catching his breath from being hauled so quickly to his feet after sitting so long.
"There are those up top, that mean you harm." He added, giving Thor a patranizing look.
"And I'm supposed to take your word for this?" Thor replied with a surprisingly scathing tone.
Loki raised an eyebrow as he looked up at him, a breif look of contempt flashing over his face. "Would I lie at time like this?" He asked in return.
Thor took a step closer to him, leaning into be heard. "Your word has been less then truthful these past months..." He hissed.
Their eyes met, green against blue in the dimness, the single torch in the wall behind them the only light to be seen by. But the fiercness in both their eyes, the determination to be heard at the moment sparkled something between them. An understanding neither had had with each other in a long time. For the first time in maybe years, Thor saw his brother behind the mask Loki had been wearing all this time. For Loki, he saw a chance to be believed once again. If only by Thor.
"Tell me the truth, Loki." Thor breathed.
Loki took a breath, and tilted his head up, in a noble display that amused Thor privately. Loki, ever the prince. Which was as it should be as far as Thor was concerned. "I do not lie. Not to you, not at this moment." Loki replied. Their eyes held again.
Thor released the breath Loki had held. "And what do you prepose I do about this problem, Loki?"
"I have a plan, but your cooporation will determine it's success." Loki replied, relaxing a bit now, leaning back against the wall.
Thor snorted faintly, crossing his arms over his chest. "I'm listening..."
Loki rolled his eyes. "Take me from here, back up top, I will be your eyes and ears."
"Loki, you are a prisioner and your punishment has not be decided." Thor replied bluntly.
Loki gave a little aggravited noise, supiciously like a whimper. A noise he'd always made when annoyed by some small flaw in his plan. It had always amused Thor. "Alright, take me from here, as your slave, collar me if you have to."
Thor eyed Loki a moment, as if trying to decern if this were a game. Loki hadn't been right in his mind as of late, this could quiet possibly be a plan of some time. "Swear on it, Loki. I must have your word first."
"Oh, really Thor? Is that nessasery?" Loki asked in iritation.
"Swear on it."
"I swear on Asgard-"
"Swear on the All-Father." Thor cut in. He saw Loki's eyes flash, a blistering green light mometarily and knew he'd hit a nerve.
"I swear on the All-Father. I will be your eyes and ears." Loki said through clenched teeth.
"And that this is no scheme of yours..."
"I wouldn't be this stupid..." Loki started, but Thor held up a hand. Loki sighed dramatically. "I swear on the All-Father that it is no scheme of mine." He finished.
"I will be back soon." Thor said, turning to leave the cell.
Loki hesitated, then reached out, laying a hand on Thor's arm to stop him. "You can not treat me as your brother up there, Thor...I know I am already talked about, when the people of Asgard see me, they will treat me as the monster I am. You can not stop this treatment...not if we don't wish to arouse suspicion..."
Thor felt a rage bubble up inside of him. He wasn't quiet sure if it was over what Loki was saying, or that he knew it to be the truth, and that there would be little he could do to stop the people from tormenting his brother. He decided it would be best to leave, he couldn't quite deal with the pleading look hidden in Loki's eyes as he gazed at him, because he didn't quite know what it was Loki was asking of him. "I know." Was all he said in reply with a curt nod, before leaving the cell.
Loki watched him go, taking the torch with him, plunging Loki back into darkness as he sighed, sinking back down to sit, wondering just what he'd signed himself up for and why he cared at all that this coupe was being planned. He had no love for the All-Father...didn't he? Did he still wish for him to be fatherly toward him? Or was this all because of Thor? Was the bond of brothers still there despite the truth?
It was some time later, the sound of boots and the light of a torch returned. Loki opened his eyes to see Thor unlocking the celldoor. This time, there was a red braided leather collar, with rubies set into the clasp and hing of the collar. It looked suspiciously like the collar Thor's bull of a dog had once worn a very long time ago. Loki eyed it with dread and disgust. "What. Is. That?" He annunciated each word.
Thor smirked at the look on Loki's face as he eyed the collar. As Thor stepped into the cell, he twirled the collar around on his finger. Loki actually staggered to his feet. "It was, your idea, Loki. Remember?" Thor replied, ceasing the spinning and undoing the collar as he moved forward.
"Why did I let you talk me into this..." Loki muttered, for a brief moment looking as if he were talking to some one else. Thor had started to reply, when he'd caught the side ways look and the God of Thunder raised an eyebrow. "Yes, I know it was my plan." Loki finally said to Thor. "Fine...fine...collar me..." He said, lifting his chin.
Thor hesitated, before he moved forward all the way and lifted his hands with the collar. "Do not think I take pleasure in this, Loki." Thor said.
"I know you don't." Loki replied rather softly, sincerly. He simply left his chin raised and his eyes on Thor, though there was a flinch as Thor closed the collar around Loki's neck. The God of Thunder did up the collar, before stepping back.
"I wont heel when you call me..." Loki said, his eyes flashing at Thor.
"I could find a leash, if you like." Thor replied in weak banter.
Loki bared his teeth at Thor and hissed like a cat, but for a moment there was no real malice in the brilliant green eyes. And Thor relaxed. Some. "You are definitely more cat, then you are dog. Perhaps I should have gone for something...flashier...or belled." Thor said, in a rare playful gesture, running his finger over Loki's neck above the collar, briefly.
"Do not push your luck, Thundergod." Loki replied pulling away from Thor's reach. Thor merely let his hand drop to his side, knowing he had pushed the old memories of playfulness between them a moment to long.
"Come along, Silvertongue." Thor said in reply. And saw a brief dark sneer from Loki at the nickname as his brother began following him from the cell. Thor grabbed the torch and led the way out of the dugeon.
The first couple of steps into the light of the halls above the dugeons, Loki drew back into the darkness with a hiss of pain. Thor stopped and turned to look at him. He started to take a step back, to offer a hand to help Loki, but a withering green piercing gaze meets his own and he again dropped his hand and stepped back.
He waited for a moment or two before the trickster stepped into the light, manicaled hands raised to ward off the light on his eyes. As he stepped into Thor was able to see just how bad Loki's appearance was. He was thinner, paler, dark circles around his eyes. His raven black hair hung listlesly in his face. And the glamor he held for so long since they were young men and a serious accusation had led to Loki having his lips sewn shut, was gone with his magic repressed. The scars were stark around his lips.
Thor remembered that day. Mlojnir had gone missing, and in a fit of anger over it, Odin had blamed Loki. In a fit of his own rage, Thor had blamed Loki. The younger prince had stormed off, to find and bring back Mlojnir and prove to them hadn't taken the hammer. Before Thor could go to retrieve his erst while brother, Loki returned. Not just with the hammer, but his lips sewn shut as well. And no blade any one had in Asgard could cut the string. Only after a year, did it break. Loki had lived on water and broth and Thor had sworn to himself he never wanted ot see Loki in such a devastating state again.
Thor had learned later, from two dwarven brothers, that Loki had made a wadger for the hammer's return, when discovering they had it. But he'd lost, and his penance for loosing was his trecherous mouth sewn shut for a year. He'd stolen the hammer anyway and escaped. And that while they'd been sewing his mouth shut, he screamed for Thor's help. Thor's guilt over not believing his brother had ate at him for a long time and seeing the scars was a vicious reminder over those days.
"I am sorry, Loki...I will talk to father, about the shackles, and your magic..." Thor said softly.
"Don't even, you fool." Loki hissed, giving Thor a look. "You remove the shackles from a slave, and there'd be to much suspicion." He added. Thor clenched his jaw a moment, but saw Loki's reason and sighed, nodding.
"Come along, Loki." He said, taking Loki's arm and began escorting him toward the upper halls. Guards stopped to stare at their passage and despite his very nature, Loki kept quiet for now. It was as they entered the upper halls and the people of Asgard saw the fallen prince bound and slaved to the heir to the throne that tongues began to wag and the hisses followed them along the passages.
Loki felt a great clausterphobia sinking upon him as he heard the whispers, and saw the looks shot his way. He could see out of the corner of his eye, Thor's jaw was set in a hard clench. But the God of Thunder managed to keep his gaze directed on the path they were walking, rather then at the people around them.
Loki was surprised, to see Thor was leading them in the direction of his chambers. Not to the throne room, not to parade him around the palace. When they reached Thor's chambers, the blonde god allowed Loki to enter first.
"Why here?" Loki asked as Thor entered behind him and closed the door.
"There is not much changed with the palace these days. In fact, its much quieter then it should be." Thor said.
Loki snorted faintly and wandered over to the desk, pulling out the chair and flopping down. "There's a surprise. You'd think with my return, this place would be abuzz with activety."
Thor shook his head, taking a seat on the edge of his bed, watching his brother. "Between the council driving for your punishment and the impending war with Niflheim, there is to much for father to bare. He stays mostly in his chambers or study. Mother fears the stress of all this will force him into yet another Odin sleep." Thor said.
Loki shot up straight where he was lounge in the chair. "War with Niflheim? No body told me this." He hissed, his eyes flashing.
Thor snorted faintly. "It is you who brought us to this point, Loki. They are outraged by what happened to Jotunheim. They are saying not only will Svartalfheim join with them, that even Nidhogg will march against Asgard." He replied.
If anything, Loki paled a bit more. "Svartalfheim is nothing against Asgard's forces...but Nidhogg..." Loki looked away, his mind turning his information over. It was no lie or exaggeration from Thor, the man was incapable of such...at least with Loki. Loki felt a wave of guilt wash over him. Not for Jotunheim, but for the very idea of the great Nidhogg tearing through Asgard, if Nilfheim could not be stopped.
He bit his tongue, resisting the urge to say he was sorry. He wouldn't be weak in front of Thor. "It shouldn't matter, we can put a stop to the war as well as finding those stagging the coupe." Loki said, with a dismissive wave as he slouched back down in the chair.
"Oh, I hope you're right, brother. Because if we fail...if you fail, to many people will suffer because of you." Thor replied bluntly.
"Don't shove all of this upon me, Thor. Might I remind you, it was your fault to begin with." Loki hissed in return a trace of heat rising in his cheeks with his anger.
"My fault?" Thor raged, coming up from the bed. "And how is any of this my fault, Serrure?" He advanced toward him. "This is all a result of your choices!"
Loki drew back in surprise, not at Thor's anger, but the name, a nickname from his youth. The word meant Luck. Their mother had bestowed it upon Loki when they were children. "Do not call me that? Why do you use that name?" He questioned in return and Thor was stopped by the bewildered tone in Loki's voice.
"The name is yours, is it not. A nickname our mother bestowed upon you." Thor replied, watching Loki. The trickster seemed to be uncomfortable with the reminder of better times, their youth and he flinched away as if some one had touched him, getting up from the chair and moving away from Thor, toward the window.
"Do not use the name again." Loki replied, with a surprising venom to his tone as he turned to face Thor. He looked quite troubled by such a simple thing.
"Very well." Thor said softly, conceeding for now, though he watched Loki in a new way as the raven haired god moved about the room restlessly. "I think you could do with some rest, brother. And some food. Not to mention a bath." He added after a moment, turning to head toward the door.
"Oh shove it!" Loki snapped in return.
Thor laughed at that. "Take a bath, Loki. You'll find one waiting in the dressing room." He replied as he left his room, pulling his doors shut, and locking them. He nodded to the guards waiting outside. He knew Loki wouldn't try to escape. He didn't know how he knew it, but he did. He was willing to trust him. At the moment, he wished to speak to his mother.