Disclaimer: I do not own Thor and am making no profit from this.

AN: This was going to just be a short epilogue. Then it grew. Then it grew frustrating, and I was like 'why won't you end, damn you' and then it became a full, final chapter. And it's the end. Hope you like it!


His Eurydice

Chapter Three

by Evandar

Thor kept his word. On the first night after he had returned to Asgard, he retired to Loki's chambers instead of his own and once the door had closed behind him, he slipped a betrothal ring onto Loki's finger. It sat with unfamiliar weight, and Loki couldn't stop himself from running his thumb over the metal even as his heart swelled with joy in his chest.

He kissed Thor, then; finally giving in to the temptation that had plagued him since Thor had taken him in his arms in the throne room. Thor groaned against his mouth and pressed deeper, winding his arms around Loki's waist and pulling him flush against his body. Lust – not entirely his own – ignited in Loki's blood and he stepped backwards, guiding Thor to his bed. Fingers tugged urgently at ties and fastenings, clothes were shed and kisses pressed to every inch of revealed skin.

The backs of Loki's knees hit the edge of the bed and he collapsed back onto it, dragging Thor down with him. He parted his legs willingly for his beloved not-brother and wondered at how well they fit together as Thor settled between his thighs.

It felt like he was trapped in an inferno. The heat of Thor's body surrounded him and filled him. Emotion and sensation blurred within him until he could no longer separate the two of them. He gasped Thor's name in a litany of desire until the feel of their combined pleasure robbed him of speech and left him screaming in incoherent ecstasy.

Afterwards, he laid panting and shaking in Thor's arms, feeling the thundering of Thor's heart and an overwhelming sense of peace. Thor stroked and kissed his sweaty hair as Loki pressed his pace into the crook of his shoulder. Contentment flowed between them, satisfaction, and love. So much love that it brought tears to Loki's eyes; he didn't let them fall, choosing instead to breathe a soft sigh over Thor's collarbone and to swear to take his own words to heart.

"Never doubt that I love you."

He watched the next morning as Thor took up the mantle of kingship and listened to the pleas of his subjects. There weren't many, and their problems were such that Thor did not need Loki's advice to deal with them. So Loki sat in silence in the chair usually reserved for his mother, fiddling with his betrothal ring.

The Warriors Three and Lady Sif had graced the hall with their presence that morning as well, and he couldn't quite stop himself from smirking as he caught sight of their repeated glances in his direction. They were wondering why he was by Thor's side, why he had abdicated so easily. It would be interesting, he supposed, to see what conclusions they would come to. He doubted that any of them would hit on the truth – they so rarely did, particularly when he was involved. They did so love to believe the worst of him even when he acted honestly and for good.

Thor reached out and wrapped his fingers around Loki's hands, stilling their movement. He could feel Thor's amusement and his faint irritation, and it made him laugh softly.

"My apologies, brother," he murmured. "I did not realise it bothered you so."

"If you're that bored, Loki, you may read," Thor replied. Even though he spoke quietly, his voice seemed to carry in the hall. "There are no more supplicants for us to hear, after all."

Loki smiled at him, and glanced towards Lady Sif. She was watching them, more specifically, she was watching their hands where they rested entwined in Loki's lap. "Unless," he said, "your friends have any complaints to make. They were certainly eager to escape my tyranny."

"What tyranny?"

Thor was the only one who knew exactly what Loki had spent his time as King of Asgard doing – save for Queen Hela, and she was worlds away – and he knew that his friends had no real right to complain of Loki's rule.

"Oh, you know," Loki replied. "Using my power for heinous plots that would bring these golden halls crashing down around us had you not arrived so timely to rescue the throne from my clutches."

Such thoughts about him had caused centuries upon centuries of pain, until he realised that the only one who mattered had never looked upon him in such a way. Thor may have been dismissive of Loki's 'tricks' in their youth, but never had he found them sinister; now that he knew of Loki's true capabilities, he was awed instead of frightened, and it had created a balm for the wounds in Loki's heart.

He could jest about those accusations now. His bond with his not-brother was changing him as much as it was changing Thor, but Loki found it hard to believe those changes for the worse.

"Is that a confession I hear?" Thor asked, humour glinting in his eyes.

"Is a confession what my King wishes to hear?" Loki replied. He glanced once more at Sif before he leaned in and pressed his lips to Thor's ear and hissed. "I have done such wicked things, Your Majesty. I cast forbidden magic on a Prince of Asgard and used my position to keep it a secret." He bit down lightly on the lobe of Thor's ear and relished in the gasp it elicited.

It would be so easy to get carried away, he thought, but he allowed Thor to nudge him away with an admonishing "Loki!" though he could feel Thor was as reluctant to separate as himself. "You're terrible," Thor told him.

Loki gave his most wicked grin. "So I have heard, brother mine."

"What are you up to?"

It had taken longer than he'd thought for Sif to confront him. He turned to her, and raised an eyebrow in question. Her hand tightened around the hilt of her sword. She feared him, and oh how he hated her for it.

"What makes you think I'm up to anything?" he asked.

"I know you, Loki," she replied. "You would never act this way if there was nothing for you to gain from it. Giving the throne up to Thor, placing yourself by his side… He may be blinded by his affection for you, but I am not."

"Or perhaps you know less of me than you believe," Loki said. "I have never desired the throne of Asgard. It is Thor's by right, and to Thor it will go. He is doing a rather splendid job so far, is he not?"

Her eyes narrowed and her grip shifted.

"I hope you aren't going to draw that, Lady. It would grieve my brother greatly to have you executed for treason."

She looked down at her sword, and then back up at him. Her hatred was etched over every line of her lovely face. "I would give my life so that Thor would be safe," she said, her voice barely more than a snarl.

"And in that, Lady Sif, we are equals," he told her. He raised his hand and she drew back defensively, the blade of her sword ringing as she drew it from its sheath. He simply smiled at her and snapped his fingers, letting his magic carry him away through the worlds.

They dined with their mother that night, in the chambers where their father lay sleeping. Their mother was more animated now that Thor had returned, though her gaze still strayed to Odin with every lull in the conversation. Thor was telling her of his time on Midgard, and Loki kept silent save to voice an occasional question.

"It sounds so very different from how it was when our people were last there," Frigga mused.

"They have progressed much in our years of absence," Thor admitted. "I would like to return once Father has awoken. There is much I think we can learn from them, and Loki would find their world as fascinating as I do."

Loki smiled at that. "I would like to see it," he said.

His last visits to Midgard had been too frantic and tortured for him to gain much of an impression of the place, and it would remove him from Odin's immediate vicinity if his foster-father was angry with him for his actions.

Frigga smiled at them both. "Still so adventurous," she murmured. She bit delicately into a slice of apple. "You would take your friends, as always?"

Thor cleared his throat awkwardly, no doubt feeling the surge of horror that filled Loki's breast. "Not this time," he said. "The Warriors Three did not make the best of impressions when they came looking for me."

Frigga looked surprised. "They went to Midgard?" She looked to Loki for confirmation, and he bowed his head in admission.

"They came to demand Thor be brought back to Asgard," he said. "I did not wish to undo Father's last act as King, and so I refused. I hope I do not offend, Mother. I did not want to interfere in the lesson that Father set for Thor."

"I, for one, am glad Loki did not," Thor said. He placed his hand over Loki's squeezing gently. "I learned much, particularly that there is always more to learn."

Frigga smiled faintly. "I am glad to hear it," she said. But her gaze – like Sif's – had fallen upon their hands and the ease with which they had entwined, and though Thor drew away, it did not remove the suspicion from her eyes.

Particularly, Loki thought, since she had now spotted the ring that adorned his hand.

"It is harder than I had thought to deny myself your touch," Thor admitted. They lay together in Loki's bed once more, tangled in the sheets and each other, sweat and semen cooling on their bodies. Loki hummed in agreement and pressed a kiss to Thor's shoulder.

"We knew we wouldn't be able to keep it a secret," he said.

"I know," Thor replied. "But still, brother, we have not lasted a day."

The word 'brother' had taken on a different meaning now: that of 'beloved' or 'darling' rather than a declaration of their relation.

"Does it bother you that much?" he asked. "That Mother suspects the truth?"

"I don't know," Thor replied. "I was surprised, I think, about how upset she seemed. She knows of your adoption, does she not?"

"So I assume," Loki said. "Though I do not know what Father told her when he presented her with me. If it was the same story he told me before he fell into the Odinsleep or not. Whatever it was, she did raise us as brothers; to think of each other as brothers. She does not know of my, ah, transgressions either." He traced the nauthiz rune that decorated his brother's chest – it had healed and left a brilliant, shimmering green scar – with the tip of his finger. "She is surprised, brother."

"I hope it is only that," Thor said.

"And if it is not, our impending jaunt to Midgard will give our parents time and distance to accustom themselves to the idea," Loki told him. "They will never stop loving you. Such a thing is impossible."

He suspected they would – as always – be easier on Thor than they would on him. Loki would be blamed for this, never mind that without him they wouldn't have Thor at all. He was the one who would be punished and reviled.

Thor's arm tightened around his waist. "Stop thinking like that," he said. "You are too maudlin, brother."

Considering it had been Thor who was miserable not moments ago, Loki snorted with laughter at his words. He shifted to press a kiss to Thor's lips. "I can live with whatever sentence they pass," he whispered, "as long as you stay with me."

Thor grinned up at him. "Always."

Odin awoke two days later. He came upon them in the throne room, being observed in their duties as they always were by Lady Sif and the Warriors Three. Their mother was at his side as she always was, and her lips were pressed thin together, nearly white. Loki stiffened automatically, only to have Thor's hand close gently upon his own.

His brother released him as he stood. "Father!" he called out, joy in his voice. He stepped down from the dais looking as fearless as he always did, but Loki knew his lover's actions for a lie. He could feel Thor's heart pounding next to his own; feel his worry twisting in his stomach.

He slipped from his own seat, to approach at Thor's side. Spells ran through his mind. Seidr to defend and escape before a blow could be struck.

Odin looked at them gravely, and not for the first time that week, Loki wondered at how old the All Father suddenly appeared.

"Father?" Thor asked. "What is it?"

Odin was looking at him closely, studying him. Then, without speaking, he turned his gaze to Loki. Loki winced – there was no love there. Thor shifted, angling his body between them and drawing the All Father's attention back to himself.

"Loki has done nothing that either of us regret, Father," he said quietly.

Loki raised his eyebrows at his lover's back. There were many things he regretted. He regretted letting the Jotun into Asgard, regretted conspiring against Thor; he regretted every action that had led to Thor's premature death. Perhaps Thor meant that he did not regret the results of those actions – he did not – and the ties that now bound them together.

"He has broken the laws of Asgard," Odin replied, not so quietly. On the other side of the hall, Thor's friends exchanged glances. They began to approach, and Loki sighed softly at the familiar sight of Sif's hand upon the hilt of her sword. "He has committed treason, and broken the laws of magic for his own gain."

Thor opened his mouth to argue, but Loki closed his hand on Thor's forearm. "Don't," he said. "He's right. But that's not all, is it All Father?"

Odin gave him another of those long, assessing looks. Then he smiled, finally, though it was sad. "Loki may have acted for himself, but his actions have served to better all of Asgard," he said. "For that, I can only be grateful."

Behind him, Frigga relaxed. She raised trembling hands to her breast and closed her eyes, as if wishing to hold the moment forever. Loki was tempted to do the same. He felt the muscles in Thor's arm loosen, felt his brother's confusion and then his joy.

From Thor's other side, Sif spoke up. "My King? Prince Loki has –"

"My full support," Odin replied. "For all of his actions, most of which, I suspect you know nothing about." His tone brooked no argument, and Sif fell silent.

Thor had never been one to wear long sleeves before his death, preferring to keep his arms bare if he was not in battle or participating in a ceremony, and revealing his strength to all who would look. But now, to hide the scars Loki's magic had left on him, he chose long-sleeved tunics that he clearly felt awkward in. As such, it was not overly surprising that, during dinner, he chose to shove the sleeves up over his elbows to get them out of his way without thinking of what he might reveal.

Loki saw the action and rolled his eyes, but did not comment. He would have to get used to his brother's inability to keep secrets, it would seem – though Odin at least was aware of what he had done already.

The green of his magic shone pleasantly on Thor's golden skin. The lines of the runes he had cut were perfectly straight and of even size. The scars were, at least, attractive.

And noticeable.

Odin saw them first, and after a brief moment turned his gaze away as if he had not noticed. Then their mother, who almost dropped her spoon before collecting herself once more. Volstagg choked on a leg of pheasant. The commotion he made drew Thor's attention – at last – to what he had done, and he cleared his throat awkwardly as he moved to hide them again, glancing shame-faced at Loki as he did so.

"Hopeless, brother," Loki murmured, a small smile twitching at the corner of his lips.

"Not all of us can be as subtle as you," Thor grumbled in reply.

"Norns forbid," Loki said. Thor felt so utterly embarrassed that Loki was hard pressed not to laugh at him, or kiss him – both were tempting, the kissing more so. He nudged Thor gently with his elbow instead and returned to his dinner, though the gentle contact – through clothing as it had been – had left his arm feeling warm and tingling.

There would be time for kisses later, and for more than just kisses. He smirked as he bit into a sliver of pheasant, and bowed his head to hide his expression as – under the table – Thor's thigh pressed wantonly against his own and sent heat spiralling through his whole body. They were sitting closer together than brothers should, and the gravity of what had happened between them – what was happening – sat heavily on the whole table.

Loki could see the realisation starting to dawn upon Thor's friends, and upon those guards and courtiers close enough to see the way they interacted and the glitter of green upon Thor's skin. There would be confrontation, of course. There had to be. The only question was whether or not it would happen before or after they managed to escape on a visit to Midgard.

He hooked his foot around Thor's ankle and continued to eat as if nothing was happening. It wouldn't do to be too provocative, after all. So when Thor gave in to frustration and pushed his sleeves up once more, he didn't even spare his wrists a glance – he was the only one who didn't.

"Sif doesn't like you," Thor informed him as he entered Loki's chambers that night. Loki glanced up from his book, eyebrows raised. He was dressed already for bed, in a loose spun tunic that had slipped down over his shoulder, and he had been waiting for Thor for a while.

He'd known Thor would come of course. Why wouldn't he?

"I've been telling you that for years," Loki replied. He marked his page and put the book aside. "What made you finally take notice?"

Thor locked the door and started to remove his armour. Loki slipped to the edge of the bed and reached for one of the buckles himself. He could have removed the whole lot by magic, but there was something infinitely more satisfying about stripping his lover the hard way.

"She drew me aside after the feast. She believes that Odin is wrong to trust you, and that you are plotting against me."

"Hardly," Loki muttered, focussing on a particularly stubborn strap. "You would know, would you not, if I was?"

Thor's hand briefly rested over his own. "I never said I believed her," he said.

Eventually the breastplate came free, and Thor left it propped up against the corner of Loki's desk. It was followed in short order by the tunic that had annoyed him so much during dinner. Loki watched the pull and flex of the muscles in Thor's back as he removed it, and licked his lips.

When Thor was in his breeches only, he joined Loki on the bed they now shared. "I used to think you were exaggerating when you told me how she distained you," he said softly. "I was wrong. I thought, surely, that my friends could see in you the things that I did and that you were only insecure."

Loki shook his head. "Do not think on it," he said, but when Thor reached out to card his fingers through Loki's hair, he leaned into the touch, humming softly with pleasure.

"She claims you have enchanted me somehow," Thor said.

Loki laughed softly. "Have I not?" he asked. "She is right, in a way."

How could he deny it, when his magic was so clearly marked on Thor's skin? When their souls were bound so tightly to one another that they could not ever be separated? When the line where Thor ended and he began was so blurred that he could no longer entirely separate their feelings from one another – could not tell unless Thor was feeling something completely at odds to Loki's situation.

"Perhaps she has always been right," Thor mused. Loki raised his eyebrow, even as he let Thor push him down onto the blankets. The hand that wasn't in his hair brushed over his thigh, and he shifted slightly so that Thor could rest between his legs. "It seems I have always been enchanted by you."

Loki couldn't help it. He laughed, helplessly. "You have no need to say such things to seduce me, brother," he said between giggles. "I am yours already." He leaned up for a kiss, which Thor bestowed upon him gladly. "And that was the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard you say."

Thor chuckled, slipping his hand further up Loki's thigh. "I doubt that," he said.

He began to kiss down Loki's neck, open-mouthed and wet and utterly perfect. Loki gripped his shoulders, scratched at them gently and arched his hips up against Thor's as the hand on his thigh slipped underneath him to tease at his entrance.

He flicked a hand, and Thor's fingers became slick against his skin. He felt Thor's surprise; his appreciation, and the grin that he pressed into the crook of Loki's neck before he bit down and pressed in at the same time. Loki's body arched. The noise that escaped him was half gasp, half desperate moan, and a surge of lust flooded through him, knocking yet more air from his lungs and making it hard to breathe.

He clawed desperately at Thor's back. He tugged fruitlessly at his breeches until Thor got the hint and finally – finally – removed them, proud cock springing free of the constricting leather. Loki reached for it, wrapped his long fingers around the hard shaft and stroked as he guided Thor back to him, back between his trembling thighs. His not-brother was beautiful, long and thick, and he filled Loki perfectly – stretching him open and drawing sharp cries with every thrust.

Strange, how he could barely draw breath, but could still manage to scream his pleasure into the night as he spilled between their bodies.

They left for Midgard not two days later, encouraged by Odin and Frigga and the growing tension within the court. Questions were starting to be asked, and rumours were beginning to circulate, and the whole situation was made worse by Thor's inability to not fiddle with his sleeves and the ring that Loki refuses to remove.

The rumours were, for the most part, hugely inaccurate.

They say that Loki has turned Thor into his thrall, that Thor had fallen under a spell and was a slave to Loki's will. They say that Loki could never have earned the throne in his own right – true: a Jotun cannot inherit Asgard's throne, though his heritage was still a secret – and so he was trying to gain control by using Thor as a puppet. They have forgotten how Loki willingly abdicated; those few that remembered it twisted the tale to suit their purposes. They have seen the glimmer of green magic on Thor's wrists and, unable to read the runes from a distance and unknowing of the exact seidr used, assumed the very worst.

That Thor's temperament changed after his death and the entangling of his emotions with Loki's own doesn't help. Neither did the sounds of their love-making at night, though neither of them cared enough to try and hide anymore.

They stood in the Bifrost observatory. Odin was there, commanding Heimdallr to send them to Midgard. The gatekeeper was silent as he obeyed, and grave, and he was no wiser than any of the people at court. He had been so distracted by Jotunheim that Loki hadn't even needed to use his magic to hide his actions when he had been returning Thor to life, and not even Heimdallr could see the truth of the magic that bound them together. Nor could he see the reverent kisses Thor placed on his skin every night, or the way that Loki craved Thor's every touch and gentle caress – Loki's rooms had long been warded against the gatekeeper's all-seeing eyes. He wasn't planning on changing that any time soon.

Loki knew Heimdallr hated him for his ability to cloak himself, but there was little to gain from ever mentioning it to anyone. After all, the rest of Asgard had to suffer under Heimdallr's gaze, so why shouldn't he?

He held his tongue and tried to listen to the All Father's words. They were not to return until he sent for them – he would pass a message through one of his ravens and they would know to call for the Bifrost. Odin would soothe the chaos they – Loki – had caused, and Odin would make way for them to return as lovers rather than the brothers people thought they were. It was all well and good – and irrelevant: Loki would never be popular or trusted – but he kept getting distracted by the tension that was flowing from Thor.

He remembered, too late, feeling something similar just before Thor arrived home. It had been enough to make him lower his book and focus his magic inwards, onto the bond, at the time, but he had forgotten it when it had vanished under the joy of Thor's return.

But he remembered it now, and understood. The Bifrost had killed his brother once; it made sense that he would fear it.

When they were allowed to return to Asgard, they would walk through Yggdrasil instead. He would not have Thor suffer unnecessarily.

He took Thor's hand with his own, when Heimdallr finally opened the bridge, and squeezed Thor's fingers gently before blinding rainbow light carried them to the other end of the universe.

They landed in a desert.

The night air was crisp and cool and the stars that lit the indigo sky were further away than on Asgard, reduced to tiny pinpricks of cold light. Loki took a deep, slow breath, inhaling the scents of dust and residual magic. Thor was still gripping his hand, far tighter than was strictly comfortable, but he was beginning to relax again. There was a tightness in Loki's lungs – not dispelled by his deep breathing – that suggested that Thor had been holding his breath for the entire journey.

He tugged Thor closer, pulling him into a kiss that left them both shivering and panting, and the tightness in his chest slowly faded.

"So," he said. "Where to now, brother?"

They had landed, it seemed, close by place where Thor had died, and to the town where Loki had returned him to when he breathed once more. It was easy enough for his magic to return them both there, and once they had arrived, Thor led him in search of lodgings.

They were found first. A sleek black vehicle slowed to a stop next to them, and a man in plain Midgardian clothing stepped out of it. He gave Thor a long look. "You came back sooner than expected," he said.

Loki's eyebrows rose slightly, and he glanced curiously at his lover. "My Father was interested by what I had to say of your people," Thor said. "He sent me here to learn more, so that one day our realms may be allied."

And Thor had made sure that he would. In his innocent, bumbling naïveté, he had made sure of it. Loki felt so proud.

The look the man gave them reminded Loki eerily of Heimdallr, only without the deep-seated loathing that lingered in the gatekeeper's eyes. It felt as though he was looking right through them both to see some sort of truth written on their bones. It was slightly unnerving, but it stirred the first inklings of respect in Loki's heart. This mortal would be interesting. It gave him hope for the rest of them.

"Who's your friend?"

"My betrothed," Thor corrected, and Loki felt his heart skip. Judging from the smile that tilted the corners of Thor's mouth, he'd felt it too. "Loki. Loki this is Agent Coulson. He is a…defender of this realm."

The man may not have looked like much, but Loki could easily believe that.

"It is an honour to meet you, Agent," he said, and he stretched out a hand. After a brief moment, the mortal took it.

They were taken to a town that wasn't quite a town, just a short way outside of the one they had just been in. It is a strange place – it seems temporary and without purpose. There are no shops or taverns or amusements of any kind, simply dark, squat buildings made out of strange material.

They were introduced to people there, so many faces and strange names. Mortal patronymics were so different from their own. Briefly, Loki wondered if he had any right to 'Odinson' anymore, but pushed the thought from his mind.

They followed Agent Coulson into a room filled with primitive mortal technology which beeped and traced patterns on glass screens. There was a woman there, small and with long brown hair. Loki glanced at her oddly, finding her familiar, but ignored her in favour of the machine that looked like it was showing the energy surge of the Bifrost as it reached Midgard. The mortals had learned to track it, it seemed. It was impressive, though the calculations he managed to glimpse weren't entirely accurate.

The mortals wouldn't be building their own any time soon, at least.

"This is Jane Foster," Coulson said, indicating the woman. "She's an astrophysicist. She's been helping us study your method of transportation."

Loki glanced at the screen again. "Quite well," he murmured.

Was magic the realm of women here as well? He sighed inwardly.

The woman finally turned away from the data she had been perusing. She stared at them, open-mouthed, and Loki recognised her a split-second before she pointed at him and shrieked "You!"

Mortals no longer believed in magic.

Thor had tried giving a vague explanation that – while not entirely accurate – should have stopped the questions that flowed forth. It didn't. The mortals were rather curious about how Thor had managed to return from the dead, and they all knew that he had. Apparently, Thor had been walking around Midgard for days while under the surveillance of completely baffled mortals, some of whom had decided that Thor's resurrection would lead to him eating their brains.

Loki found it funny that they could believe that, but not in the magic that he wielded with ease.

He rested his head against Thor's shoulder and closed his eyes, glad that there would be no retribution here for the affection between them. The woman, it had transpired, had been the one to find Thor's body in the middle of the desert. She had been coming to study him – her machines having recorded him falling through the Bifrost – as evidence of her wormhole theory when she had interrupted Loki healing Thor's body, and he had knocked her out.

What she had thought he'd been doing, given that his magic was apparently 'impossible', Loki didn't want to know. He could imagine, and the thought made him shudder.

Eventually, Agent Coulson grew tired of the circus that had sprouted into existence around them, and began ordering people back to their posts. The woman refused to leave, as did her side-kick – the one who had suggested the brain-eating – and a man that carried himself like a warrior.

"Whatever you did, can it be repeated?" Coulson asked.

Loki had – after Foster had dismissed him for a liar – left Thor to answer the questions directed at them. This, however, was one that Thor could not reply to, and he cracked his eyes open to look the mortal in the eye.

"I sincerely doubt it," he said.

"Why?"

Loki wondered how much of the truth to tell, and decided on all of it. Thor would be upset, but his brother's moods led to lovemaking now rather than day-long silences and Loki thought he'd quite enjoy the consequences.

"Every sorcerer who attempted it before me died," Loki said. Sure enough, he felt Thor stiffen – felt his distress well up to choke him. It was so strong that Loki had to clear his throat before he could continue, but even then he had to raise his voice slightly so that he could make himself heard over the sudden patter of raindrops on the roof. "It is dangerous, and can only be attempted once by an individual. If they fail, they are lost forever. If they succeed, there is still a price." A price he would not be telling them. "The books those seidr are in are forbidden for a reason: the spells within them take far more lives than they save." He closed his eyes again. He could feel Thor trembling under his cheek. "Self-preservation instincts are quite difficult to set aside, you see."

And let them take from that what they would. He slipped his arm around Thor's waist and dug the tops of his fingers hard into his hip to remind him that they were both real, both alright, and slowly the tremors stopped. The rain continued.

When he opens his eyes again, the humans are looking at him with expressions that range from stony (Coulson) to pitying (Foster and her cohort). There is no disgust anymore, which he finds curious, but then they do not know just how unnatural the magic he has done is. Not like those on Asgard would.

He smiled, and judging from their sudden wariness, they found his contentment unnerving. Loki pretended not to notice.

He rather thought he could come to like Midgard.