Battling it Out

Author: BlackFox

Rating: R

Disclaimer: I don't own anything from the movie The Avengers and I'm not making any money from this fic

Warning(s): Spoilers; some violence; very AU

Verse/Setting: Right after Loki tricks Thor into jumping at his double into the cage. AU from that point


Loki had known he had no chance of fighting Thor, which was why he had created a double of himself and watched as his brother had leaped at it and wound up in the cage. He shook his head as the doors closed. "Are you ever going to stop falling for that?"

There was no answer from Thor... not that Loki had expected one. He walked over to the control panel and looked at the controls, then back at Thor in the cage. Thor just stared at him, as if trying to get through to Loki with a look alone. But the days were long since gone when Thor could quell Loki with a mere look. Still, it was enough to make Loki slightly uncomfortable and he turned to look fully at the control panel. "You know, they think we're gods – that we're indestructible. But that's not quite true, is it?" He reached out to press a button on the panel.

Before Loki's hand could connect with it, however, something barrelled into him with considerable force, knocking him away from the controls. He stumbled and fell, landing heavily on his hands and knees, the staff falling from his hands. When he looked up, it was to see that woman – Natasha – standing over him. As Loki pushed himself to his feet, he eyed her warily – but even as he began to advance on her, she moved quickly to the control panel, slamming her hand down on the button to open the cage.

Unwillingly, Loki found his attention drawn to the cage as it opened and Thor came through. As he came closer, Loki began to back up, only then realising that his staff was still on the floor. As Thor came nearer, he could see the set look on his face and felt a familiar chill go down his spine. Even when Loki had acted out while they'd been growing up, even when he'd acted at his very worst, Thor had never come even close to losing his formidable temper with Loki. He imagined that things were going to change now.

As soon as Thor came close enough, he reached for Loki's wrist. Knowing full well how strong he was and that if Thor took hold of him, he'd never break free, Loki began backing up, flinching as his back collided with the control panel. "Stay away from me!" He injected as much hatred as he could into his voice and was gratified when he saw Thor flinch back, thought he didn't see why it seemed to upset him so much. After all, they weren't true brothers.

"Brother..." Thor started.

"No! We are not brothers!" Loki snarled.

"Yes, we are," Thor replied immediately. "I refuse to believe you feel nothing for me. We grew up together. We were raised as brothers – and you know how much I loved you and still do."

"I know nothing." Loki sneered. "Lay aside your hammer, brother. Let us settle this without weapons." He, of course, would try anything he could to regain his staff... but Thor didn't need to know that. He would pretend to be honourable if it meant that Thor would give up his advantage.

Thor opened his mouth, but before he could say anything, Loki spotted movement out of the corner of his eye. He half-turned to face Natasha, but not quite in time as he felt pain explode across his midriff as she slammed the edge of his staff into his stomach, succeeding in winding him... and not only that. Smoke rose from his stomach, as if someone had brought dry ice into the area.

Loki could hear speaking going on, but he was far more concerned with what was happening to him. His vision was hazy, stained with burnt umber around the edges. He was only dimly aware of being on his hands and knees on the floor, but that was a minor discomfort in comparison to the sick horror that had suddenly taken up residence in his stomach.

"Loki?"

Loki looked up and blinked when he saw five Thors standing in front of him. Had he inadvertently cast the double spell on Thor? He couldn't remember having done so, but perhaps he'd cast automatically when Natasha had hit him with the staff. Hesitantly, he stretched out a hand to the middle Thor. "B-brother..."

Abruptly, there was only one Thor standing there and he reached out with his free hand, clasping Loki's. Loki closed his eyes in despair, shuddering as the horror he felt grew, along with a fierce, deep sense of guilt. It was as if being struck with his own staff had shattered all of his emotional walls and defences. He grasped Thor's hand as if it was a lifeline, clutching tightly enough that it might have hurt a lesser being.

Thor used his grip on Loki's hand to help him to his feet, making eye contact with him. Loki could only hold Thor's gaze for a moment or two before he looked down, ashamed. "I..." He cut himself off. He had been too far gone for a mere apology to be anything but laughably inadequate. Still, despite everything, the fact that Thor wasn't hurling him away in disgust gave him some hope.

"What are you going to do with him?" Natasha asked. "He's a war criminal. He needs to be brought to justice here."

"He is Asgardian," Thor replied. "And he should be brought before our Father for punishment."

Loki chanced a look up at Thor and saw that his brother was no longer looking at him, but had focused on Natasha. Midgard justice would probably result in him being executed... but now that he was aware of just what he'd done, Loki felt that execution would be deserved, at the very least. Most of him didn't want to die, but there was a part of him that...

Well, Loki couldn't find it within him to argue against being taken to justice on Midgard.

"You'll need to take that up with Director Fury," Natasha said, before turning on her heel and stalking out of the room.

"Are you going to put me back in the cage?" Loki asked uncertainly.

Thor shook his head. "Not if it remains unnecessary."

"You're not going to make any friends if you insist on taking me back to Asgard."

"If you remain here, they will insist on executing you. That is what they do to war criminals and that is what you are." Thor looked down at Loki, his face grimly set. "You deserve punishment. You deserve a severe punishment. But you are still my brother, despite the way you've tried to prove otherwise. And I will not allow your life to be taken."

"You've always been stubborn," Loki said quietly, feeling drained. "I don't want you to act like I'm still your brother. I'm not... I'm not worthy of your love or your loyalty. I know that no amount of words or actions can change what I did. You won't want a... a war criminal – a murderer – for your brother."

"You have committed a great many crimes," Thor said. "And you have been responsible for a lot of death and pain here. But I will never stop calling you brother. I do, however, have my own response for what you've done."

"What do you mean?" In spite of himself, Loki could hear how uncertain he sounded.

"You will see our Father for the crimes you have committed against Earth and Asgard, but there are more personal crimes you have committed against me, your brother." Thor spoke quietly, but kept his attention fully focused on Loki. "And I will respond to those now."

Loki felt his stomach flip as Thor tightened his hold and then led him over to the control panel. Even though Loki had a pretty good idea he knew what was coming, he didn't struggle or try to pull away as his brother pushed on his back to force him down against the control panel, the buttons sticking uncomfortably into his stomach.

Thor didn't speak – but then again, Loki guessed he didn't need to. What was there to say? What he had done was hitting over and over at him, battering until he just wanted to curl up in a corner and cry. He flinched when his brother rested a hand on his back and his other hand on his bottom. The next moment, Thor's hand landed in a hard, heavy swat.

Loki jerked, having not expected the smack to hurt so much. He'd never really thought about how big Thor's hand was before, but he found that it covered a good portion of his backside, hurting through his trousers, as Thor smacked all over his bottom and caught his upper thighs as well, setting them to a burning sting within moments.

Burying his face in his arms, Loki could feel the tears pricking at his eyes already – not that they'd been too far off. The pain of the spanking was nothing in comparison to the pain in his heart, awoken by his own staff. He felt everything he'd done and it built up to an almost unbearable level.

The pain built up until Loki's entire world shrank to the sensation of Thor's hand smacking his backside and his own muffled cries of pain. He didn't try to beg or plead his way out of the spanking. As painful as it was, he knew it wasn't anywhere close to what was deserved.

By the time Thor stopped spanking, Loki's entire bottom and upper thighs were burning as if he'd sat in a fire. Sobbing hard, he was only dimly aware of Thor gathering him up, taking him into a tight embrace. Latching onto his brother, he sobbed hard into Thor's chest, feeling the terrible weight on his chest finally beginning to lighten. Somewhere through his tears, he sobbed out a heartfelt apology.

Thor's arms tightened around Loki. "I forgive you. I love you, brother, even despite everything you've done. I just want you to come home with me."

"It's not like I have a choice," Loki said quietly, leaning his head against Thor's chest and listening to the soothing sound of his brother's heartbeat.

The End

Prompt: Staff Meeting

Elements: Five, burnt umber, dry ice