Everything had been preordained, and Loki had never suspected a thing.
The God of Mischief, of Trickery, being tricked. The mere thought was repulsing and an embarrassment. He never thought that he would see the day where his own father sent him off to be a prize for a simple-minded Asgardian prince. No, he wasn't even important enough to be called a prize. A tool to unite Asgard and Jotunheim under a reign of peace; a gift, an object so despised he was only useful for a good barter.
Loki's father – no, he couldn't even be called a father anymore – Laufey, had claimed that Loki was to travel to Asgard and negotiate the return of the Casket of Ancient Winters. Loki had seen this as a chance to finally prove himself worthy; to make his father proud. He was so eager to perform the given task that the Jotun prince had overlooked the possible hidden meanings behind the assignment, and what might happen. It was an irrational mistake.
Loki arrived with two Jotuns chosen by Laufey himself, by use of the Bifrost. Just the manner of transport should have warned him of the potential danger he was in. But Loki paid it no mind. Instead, he was far too focused on the task at hand. He had been reckless and idiotic, so fixated on his assignment that anything potentially threatening wasn't even given a second thought. Heimdell - the all-seeing Gate-Keeper - was waiting for them, as were four burly Asgardian guards and the All-Father himself.
Odin All-Father should have been the second warning that something was amiss, though Loki had barely registered his general appearance as a threat. Such a fool he was, to think that.
His Jotun brothers led him forward, moving in uncomfortably close to Loki's sides. Loki did not realize why until he saw a pair of shackles dangling loosely in one guard's hand. He felt the restrictive magic pulsating sickeningly from the metal contraption and stopped dead in his tracks. But it was too late to sneak out of this particular trap.
The Jotuns gripped Loki's forearms in an iron hold and forcefully held his hands out. No matter how much Loki struggled, he could not escape, and the cuffs were attached to his wrists.
Their effect was immediate. The magic that had flowed through his veins slowly dissipated into nothing, leaving Loki feeling weak and light-headed. He fell to his knees, a belittling and humiliating position for a prince such as himself to be forced into. The gold of the cuffs contrasted harshly against his blue Jotun skin.
Loki's so-called "brothers" left him and returned home without so much as a backward glance, leaving the small mischief-maker to be hauled in a patronizing way into the halls of Asgard's great, golden palace. There was nothing he could do to escape. His magic was sealed off, brute guards surrounded him, the All-Father leading them through a maze of gold corridors. When somebody happened to pass by, they would automatically stop in their tracks, move over to the side of the hall, and bow deeply until they had made their way. Whether they respected or feared the All-Father, Loki could not tell. Perhaps it was both, or neither.
Loki himself was opting for the latter.
They eventually reached a set of doors at the end of a dimly lit hallway. All the guards but one peeled away and strode back the way they had come, boots clicking obnoxiously against the polished floor. The one guard remaining opened the doors, stepped aside for Odin and Loki to enter, then silently closed the door behind them.
Loki watched carefully from the doorway as Odin made his way down a small set of stairs, hands clasped thoughtfully behind his back. The man wandered the room slowly, orbiting an empty, circular table in the middle. He looked weary as he stopped and looked out a tall, narrow window, up at the night sky.
"Do you know why it is that you are here, Jotun prince?" The All-Father's voice was soft, yet it rang out around the room like a bell – clear and precise. He still gazed out the window.
Loki silently stepped down the stairs in a slow and deliberate fashion. He answered only out of pride, his voice as soft as the king's, but not as strong; it was nothing more than a whisper. "I have a hunch."
The All-Father was silent for a heartbeat, then slowly turned to face Loki, one blue eye looking him up and down, as if reading everything that he possibly could about the trickster. "May I hear it?"
It was only out of fear that Loki held in an exasperated sigh and kept himself still as the king of Asgard made his way closer. "An arranged marriage, I assume," Loki said softly, as if he were even afraid to say it aloud, as if it would seal his fate were he to utter those three words. "Jotunheim and Asgard must have peace, after all. If not a marriage to unite the two realms…" His gaze, which had been directed at the floor, shot up to the All-Father, who stood no more than three arm's lengths away. "Then a trade – myself for the Casket of Ancient Winters. Perhaps even both of these are to occur."
Humor twinkled in Odin's single eye, the corners of his lips twitching in a refrained smile. "An intelligent boy, Laufey has. You will make a fine gift for my son – perhaps you may even cancel out some of his hard-headedness." The All-Father suddenly stepped forward and pressed three fingers to Loki's forehead, making him freeze up.
It felt exactly when his magic was taken from him – the feeling of something being leeched from beneath his skin. In fact, it was his skin. The blue was fading into a soft pink like that of an Aesir, starting at his fingertips, toes, and forehead and slowly crawling towards the center of his chest until it faded away all together.
Piercing green eyes stared, shocked, up at the All-Father, thin black eyebrows knitting together in confusion and disbelief. Very slowly, Loki looked down upon his body, the familiar blue hue and the raised Jotun markings vanished from their usual places. His fingertips lightly skimmed over his chest, arms, neck, face, anything they could touch, as if searching for what was no longer there. His horns had even disappeared, the realization of that simple fact almost enough to make him fall to his knees. But the trickster didn't budge.
Loki was distracted by his current appearance. He hadn't noticed that Odin had left, and was now returning with a bundle of green and black cloth folded neatly in his hands.
"Some proper garments," he said simply, setting the pile of clothing on the table, then moving towards Loki and removing the shackles from around his wrists; Loki still couldn't feel his magic. Odin then made his way to the door. "In ten minutes, a guard shall arrive to escort you to the throne room." The king then slipped into the hallway and the sound of a lock echoed around the empty room.
Loki stood where he was for a few moments before nearly collapsing to the floor, lurching forward and barely catching himself on the table. Tears threatened to spill down his cheeks but the trickster held them back and stood straight. If he were to become the pet of the Asgardian prince, then he would do so with dignity, and not like a blubbering, helpless fool.
With that in mind, he let his simple Jotun clothing fall to the floor and took up a pair of black leather trousers. He held them in front of his face, examining them closely and thoroughly before slipping them over his legs. A rather simple vest followed, then a jacket of some sorts layered with leather, black and green cloth, and along with small squares of silver inlaid in several places. With everything in place, all Loki could think of was to just sit and wait for Odin's aforementioned guard.
He didn't find himself waiting for long, though had enough time to discover that his magic was still out of reach to him; still no hopes of escaping. Even if he could escape, however, Loki had no place to run to.
So, he obediently followed the guard out of the room, not even flinching as a thin silver circlet was strapped around his throat – another magic suppressor. They soon reached the throne room, and Loki was harshly shoved inside, almost losing his footing at the top of a set of stairs, barely able to catch himself from falling. Once he stood straight and steady he looked around
The throne room looked like much of the palace – gold plating every surface, amber fires dancing in their holds on shining columns. The only difference was that the air in this room felt warmer, almost more friendly, and it was empty, save for two people standing up by the throne. Loki automatically assumed them to be the queen and prince. He simply stood at the top of the stairs, waiting to be acknowledged. The trickster didn't have to wait long, the queen spotting him and waving him over.
There was nothing Loki could do but obey. He silently slid down the steps and across the large, empty expanse of the room to stop at the base of two more sets of stairs on the other side. The prince held a small, lazy smile to his lips, crimson cape swaying softly as he turned to look at Loki. The queen's smile was softer, more kind, her hands clasped gracefully in front of her.
Both were looking down on him.
It was degrading, something Loki loathed with all of his being. But he could do nothing about it – nothing but stand and behave. How desperately he wished to leave this place, to escape from this golden hell he'd been forced into. Without his magic, however, he was nearly useless.
The queen stepped down one set of stairs to stop at a landing between the two small staircases. "This is him?" she breathed, pride running deep in her calm voice. "He certainly is a beauty." She looked over at the blonde prince, whose smile faltered slightly. Loki held back a sneer and directed his gaze at the floor.
"Mother, who is this?" Loki heard heavy footfalls on the steps and the swish of a cape. "Do you have a name?"
The trickster almost scoffed, biting his tongue at the last second. One slip-up and they might throw him out. So he played nice, forcing himself to bow slightly from the waist up. "I am called Loki, my prince. It is a great honor to be in your presence, as well as the Queen's." Every word after his name was a lie being driven through his teeth. He could practically feel the prince's eyes boring into his skull.
"State your business here, Loki." The prince's voice was commanding, strong – like his father's.
Loki came up from his bow, slowly straightening his back but keeping his gaze pointed at the steps in front of him. It was the queen that spoke.
"Your father offers him as a gift for your upcoming coronation." Her voice was laced with pride, and Loki did not have to look up to know that her head was held high. "He is yours to do with as you please." Even as she spoke, Loki's eyebrows knitted together and his shoulders unconsciously sagged in defeat. He stole a glance up at the prince, whose smile had disappeared and was replaced with a stony expression.
"And if I do not wish to have him?" came the prince's pointed reply. Loki's eyes dropped back to the floor. The circlet around his neck suddenly felt exceedingly restricting.
"Thor, you must," the queen pressed. Her tone was urgent; commanding, but still soft. "This is your father's gift to you, as a symbol of good faith. You must accept."
All was silent for a long moment before there were heavy footsteps coming down the last set of stairs. Loki found himself staring at a slightly worn pair of black and grey boots. He saw a large, calloused hand reach out and touch his chin, lifting his face upwards to be exposed to the two of royalty. The prince still wore a small frown on his face. Loki refused to make eye contact.
After several minutes of silence Thor dropped his chin and forcefully turned Loki around to face the doors. "As you wish, Mother. Come Loki." The prince started walking away, and Loki followed obediently, glaring intently at Thor's shoes.
He did not once break his eyes away from Thor's heels, even after they stepped into what Loki assumed to be the prince's bedchambers. The lighting was poor, only coming from a small fireplace set into a far wall. Loki did not move from the door until Thor had verbally called him over. When he did, the trickster slowly moved to the couch in which Thor sat, standing behind him.
"Yes, my prince?" He had to force himself not to sound disrespectful – who knew what punishment would fall onto Loki's shoulders were he to dishonor the crown prince of Asgard.
"Where do you hail from?" was his question. Simple enough, seemingly innocent, though Loki did not want to answer. He would have lied, but didn't have his magic to get him out if the lie were to turn back on him.
The truth was all he could offer, in a soft voice not unlike a whisper. "Jotunheim, your highness…"
As to be expected, Thor turned in his seat to look up at Loki, though instead of looking surprised he seemed rather vexed. "You, a Jotun? Do not make me laugh. Jotuns are monstrous blue giants. You are neither giant nor blue!" When Loki said nothing, the blonde prince stood and walked around the couch to stand in front of the trickster. "Do I look to be in a gaming mood?"
Loki snapped – a foolish, impulsive mistake on his part – and lunged at Thor, knocking him to the ground and grabbing his throat. "I do not jest, Odinson. I am Jotun, stripped of my heritage and made to wear this repulsive pink flesh by your dear father."
Thor easily pushed Loki off of him and pinned the smaller to the ground. The blonde wore a sneer on his face. "My father would do no such thing. He has more honor and respect than you claim of him."
Thin black eyebrows knitted themselves together in a glare, aimed directly at the Son of Odin. "Honor? Respect? Your father knows nothing of the two," Loki hissed, wrinkling his nose in distaste. "He gave me as a gift to you, without my consent. He took away my magics, the only weapon I had to defend myself with. Were it not for the blood of the House of Laufey running through my veins, I would be naught but a mere mortal."
The disbelief that crossed Thor's face was priceless, though he did not let Loki up. Within moments the blonde prince's gaze hardened once more. "How will I know you do not lie to me about all of this?"
Loki almost laughed and instead just smirked. Thor may have been thick-headed, but he certainly knew when to question somebody of lying. "Why not ask your father, my prince? I am sure he would love to tell you everything." A slight frown replaced the sneer as a quick thought popped into his head. When Loki spoke again, his voice was soft and small. "And if you do, may I ask a small favor?"
There was a brief flare of confusion that crossed Thor's face, but once again, all signs of possible weakness for the blonde were eliminated within seconds. However, the prince released his hold on Loki and stood, letting the trickster find his feet before speaking. "Perhaps I shall. And what is this favor you ask of?"
Loki was almost reluctant to say it, slowly finding his way to the edge of the couch and sitting down gingerly. The dim firelight just made Loki's foreign skin tone appear even more repulsive. He missed the deep blue almost as much as he missed the coldness of Jotunheim. "I would know if the Casket still resided within Asgard, if it is not too much to ask of..."
All was silent between them for a few moments, the only sounds the crackling of the fire and their soft breaths. Loki stared into the burning heat in front of him and waited for an answer.
"It shall be done."
Loki didn't bother looking back at Thor as he exited the room, leaving him alone with his thoughts. If the Casket was gone, then the deal was carried out and there really was no returning home for the trickster. Though somehow, he knew that there was no purpose in looking, for it was already gone from Asgard's golden, gleaming halls. There really was no way for Loki to escape without his magic. Asgard was now his home, and would be until he could find out how to be freed from the wretched place.
AN: First Thorki fic I've ever written~ I hope you all like it!
My Beta decided to flake out on me, so it's not Beta'd, though if you wanna do that for me, just let me know - I'd greatly appreciate it~ ^^
Inspired by: kisu-no -hi. tumblr post/ 25327 973006
((Dunno if it'll actually work but it's worth a try ^^;))