Loki didn't want this. He'd never wanted any of this. But what is a 'second-born' son supposed to do, when you come to find that you are the monster you were always taught to fear? Loki ran, or tried to run, rather…but he ran the wrong way, and much too fast.

And because of that mistake, the council took his voice from him. He didn't dare to leave his bedchamber. He was afraid of what the people of Asgard might do, might say…he was afraid of them…they used to be his people, but now they saw him as an enemy. He was no longer Loki, Son of Odin. He was Loki, Scum of Jotunheim… he was their prince, not Asgard's.

But Jotunheim didn't want him. Asgard didn't want him. And Midgard certainly didn't want him.

He had nowhere to go…no one to turn to.

The only one that cared for him now was Thor. For some unknown reason, his adopted brother still loved him. But not in the way Loki loved him. For as long as he could remember, Loki had pictured himself by Thor's side. Not as a brother, not as the Second Crowned Prince, not even as the future All-Father's advisor. He wanted nothing more than to be Thor's wife. Given Loki's prowess with the Magic Arts, the dark-haired prince would have no problem carrying Thor's heirs…but Thor would never wish to bed Loki Laufeyson.

But Thor never called him by that name. He still announced Loki as Odinson, which both stripped away Loki's hope because that meant Thor still thought them brothers, and filled him with the same hope because Thor didn't think he was a monster. Either way, the guilt of all that he was and all he hoped to someday be weighed heavily on Loki every waking moment, and even when he slumbered.

He wasn't allowed to practice his magic, either. It was not something they could take away, but they could forbid it. And they did. And the only thing that made Loki comply was the simple fact that if he acted out against Asgard again, it would break Thor's heart. And Thor was the only living, breathing thing he cared about anymore.

The only one. Loki did not care for himself. He would willingly give himself to Death if it meant saving Thor…or if Thor wished it. Not that the golden God ever would. But often, Loki found himself dreaming of dying whilst birthing Thor's heir. In this scenario, everyone got what they wanted. Loki would have been loved or at least bedded by his beloved, was able to give him a son…and Thor and Asgard would be rid of the Jotun abomination that haunted the halls of their palace. And the young Son of Thor would never have the misfortune of knowing the monster that birthed him.

There was a knock on his door, which was followed by a deep, vibrating voice.

"Brother? I am coming in." It was Thor. Oh, how Loki wished to hear that voice whisper promises into his ear. Everything would be alright then.

Loki could not respond. He just fisted the blanket on his bed as his door opened and his glorious brother filled his field of vision. Thor shut the door behind him and suddenly Loki felt more nervous than he ever had before. He was alone with this man. This God. And here Loki was, nothing more than a freak…a prisoner.

"My dear brother, you were not at supper. I was worried for you." Thor was dressed in his casual satin and silk robe, which was woven in rich gold and maroon. Loki himself was clad in green and black as always. Yet another reason to feel inadequate.

Loki could not answer. He only turned his head away, ashamed and guilty.

'Of course I wasn't there,' he wished to say, 'They don't want me there. They don't want to see me sitting there, at the head of the table, by your side. But that is the only place I want to be.'

"I want you to be there tomorrow, brother. I want you to take your rightful place by my side." Thor said gently. He was walking ever so slowly towards were Loki sat on his bed, which he always thought was much too big for just himself.

At Thor's request Loki shook his head. He wouldn't go to supper in the Main Hall. He would never step foot there again. Not after what happened…not after what he had done. At this, Thor sat down next to his adopted brother.

"If you do not show your courage, they will never accept you as the Second Crowned Prince." The older sibling said seriously. Loki clenched his fists once again, scooting away from Thor.

'I have no courage. I am a spineless liesmith. And I am not who you say I am. They will never accept me!' He willed his voice to work, but his struggle was fruitless. All that came out was a pained wheeze.

Thor tried to reach out to touch his adopted brother, but the smaller man retracted even farther. There was a pleading look in Loki's bright green eyes. He didn't want the temptation of Thor's hands on him. He would end up a whimpering mess, reduced to nothing but moans and quivers. Deep down Loki knew he wasn't the only one who acted like this around Thor. Many of the wenches in the palace did the exact same thing whenever Thor was near. Hate, shame, and jealousy suddenly erupted deep in Loki's stomach. Jealousy was the most prevalent, and he soon found himself clinging possessively to Thor's strong arm. Thor looked down at him with wide blue eyes.

"Loki, what has gotten in to you? First you back away from me as though I disgust you, and now this. Are you well?"

Loki wished he could explain himself. He wished they hadn't taken his voice from him.

'I don't want those harlots touching you. I don't want their filthy, vile hands on you. Nor that mortal woman you seem so fond of. I want you all to myself. But who in their right mind would trade a well-trained whore for a tainted Jotun?' He ended his thoughts with a scowl, to which Thor's eyebrows knitted even more.

"Brother. Something is wrong. I wish that you could tell me. Why do you cling to me in this way? You haven't done this since you were very small. It's hard to believe that the God who nearly destroyed all of Midgard is now reduced to a quivering child." Surely he meant it in jest, but to Loki, those words grated against raw nerves. He shot up off of the bed, and landed an open-handed smack across Thor's cheek. Tears stung at green eyes as stared at the larger God.

Blind rage fueled Thor as he rose to his feet and grabbed Loki's neck all in the same motion. He pressed the smaller male up against the wall, fury radiating from his skin. It wasn't until he saw the fear and hurt etched in his precious brother's face did Thor realize what he was doing. Shame kept him rooted where he stood, but his grip on Loki's neck was loose. The look in Loki's glossy eyes stole his breath. It conveyed exactly what he was thinking.

'Go on, my love. Do it. Rid the world of me. I would rather die by your hands, than by any others. I would rather die by your hands than by illness, or execution."

"Loki…Brother…I am sorry." Thor whispered, his voice pained. He could read the despair on the younger man's face. Loki took no solace in Thor's apology. He averted his gaze to the ground, and mouthed the words,

"Do it. Kill me." Loki knew very well that Thor could read his lips. That fact was only confirmed when Thor gasped, and a look of shock and fear crossed his handsome, regal face went unnoticed by the darker brother.

"Y-You know that I would never kill you, Loki. We are…well we may not be brothers in blood, but we were raised together. Loki…never doubt that I love you." Thor shifted the position of his hands so that he was no longer grasping Loki's neck, but rather cradling it on either side with both of his large hands. "You said those very same words to me once. Have you changed your mind, Loki? Do you no longer love me?"

Loki tried to avoid it, but within seconds his gaze was caught by Thor's own endless blue eyes. The only time Loki found himself unable to lie was when he was looking into Thor's eyes. The mighty God of Mischief could be undone by only one person, and that person is Thor Odinson. Loki could not fight that truth any longer.

"I love you." Loki mouthed. Oh, how he wished he could somehow reclaim his voice. In this moment, he wanted to come clean, to tell Thor everything. He wanted to beg the Aesir to make him his wife, his Queen. He wanted to plead with Thor to bed him, make love to him, take him.

All that came out was a strangled moan. A whining sound that sounded so pathetic that Loki couldn't help but blush and hang his head. Smiling softly, Thor hooked a finger under Loki's chin and lifted the younger's head.

"Loki. There is nothing you've done that can't be forgiven. No one here hates you. Many people asked for you at supper tonight. The councilmen miss your wit and intelligence. Mother just misses you. You are her pride and joy, Loki. You should have seen her when you were a baby. I was five when they brought you home. Mother could not get enough. She said to me, 'Thor, you will protect him. He is yours for all eternity.' I have taken those words very seriously, and I will continue to do so."

Loki began to shake. He couldn't stop the tears that came streaming down his face. He leaned forward and buried his face in Thor's broad neck, balling his fists against the older man's chest as he sobbed. Thor wrapped him up in his strong arms. Burying his nose in strands of thick, black hair. Through his sobs, by some grace of the God's, Loki managed to choke out,

"Please have me, only me, for all eternity." It wasn't his voice that made the words, but rather the ghosts of his strangled sobs. He forced each word out on the back of a gasping breath. Thor looked down for a moment, before pulling away to look straight into Loki's face.

"What do you mean, Loki?" He sounded slightly shocked. Loki felt his heart sink, and he felt fear rise in his throat. Thor did not sound pleased with his confession. How could he pleased? Loki's thoughts were obviously unhealthy, wrong, vile! Disgusting! Just like he himself was!

Suddenly, Loki wanted nothing more than to drive a knife through his heart, to cease its beating. He would rid the world of himself…rid Thor of himself. Without Loki lurking in his shadow like the monster that he is, Thor could finally be a great King. And the time of his coronation was not far off. Odin grew tired, and would without doubt slip into Odinsleep once more. Loki must be gone by then. And there is no time like the present.

Shoving Thor's hands away from him, his gaze tore around the room wildly, searching for his dagger. Ah. He spotted it right where he'd left it; on his nightstand. He grabbed it, gripping it in his hands. The cold steel felt so good against his skin, like redemption in physical form. He would soon redeem himself…redeem Thor. He heard Thor shift.

"Please…brother. Do you think to use that on me! You know you are too weak without your magic to harm me. I am sorry that I upset you-"

Loki turned to face him then, and he heard Thor gasp. The expression on Loki's face was heartbreaking, to say the least. Tears were still running down his cheeks, pouring from his emerald eyes. A millennia worth of unshed tears now broke forth. He almost looked…sorry. Which, he was. He was sorry for everything. For attacking Midgard, for falling from the Bifrost…for being born. He turned the blade inward, so that the tip of the blade faced his heart. He gripped it tightly with both hands.

"It is not meant for you, my love." He mouthed the words to Thor. Realization dawned on him, and his eyes widened. He jumped forward quickly, grasping Loki's wrists just as he flexed them forward, ready to plunge the blade into his heart.

"LOKI! NO!" Thor hollered, the tone heart-wrenching as he knocked the knife away, pulling a shaking Loki against his strong chest. If he could have, Loki would be shouted, cursing Thor. But he could not, so his mouth was open in a silent scream, and he clung to the front of Thor's robe with trembling hands.

"Loki…why? Why would you think…do you know how lost I would be without you? You are mine for eternity. Eternity cut short with you would surely drive me mad." He whispered softly against Loki's soft black hair. This did not assuage Loki's fears of rejection, nor did it rid him of his deep-seeded self-hatred. He shook his head, trying to shove himself away from Thor. This only made the older man hold on tighter.

"Loki, please. Stop this! What must I do to convince you that I love you, that I want you to stay alive…to be happy! What must I do?" Thor pleaded, looking down into Loki's bottomless eyes. Loki looked so scared, so embarrassed, so…ashamed. He couldn't stop the words from forming on his lips, though. It was now, or never.

"Make love to me." He mouthed, grabbed Thor's robe once again, as if it were his last anchor to sanity. "Make me your Queen."

Thor's expression was shocked. He looked away from Loki, and said man felt his whole world come crashing down.

"Loki…Loki, no." He sounded so apologetic, but that didn't do anything to stop the waves of total despair that washed over the younger man. Even more tears fell, but Loki didn't sob. He was too far gone for that now. He stepped away from Thor, with his head hung and his hands shaking every-so-slightly. After a few moments, Loki lifted his head, staring into Thor's deep blue eyes with his own. They were dead, now…lifeless.

"Then send me to death." He formed the words slowly with his lips, so that there would be no mistaking what he'd said.

Thor could not believe his ears. He knew that Loki loved him…but he didn't know it was that kind of love. It was not as though men did not have sexual relations with one another in Asgard…he just didn't feel as though he loved Loki in that way. But now, Loki wanted to die? Because Thor would not lay with him…would not make him his Queen?

"Loki…I will not send you to death. As I said before, I cannot live without you. I'm sorry that I do not…love you in that way. But I will not let you die because of that." He said softly, approached his younger not-brother in the same way that one would approach a frightened wild animal. The disparity in Loki's eyes was enough to strangle the eldest 'brother'. He was breathing heavy, as though he'd just run for his life. And perhaps he had. Perhaps that admission was the last straw, his last way to cling to the pathetic shell his life had become. And here Thor was, denying him again. Guilt washed over him. Why was he denying Loki? Thor had laid with men before, so it wasn't his younger brother's sex. He had loved Loki all his life. Thor knew he could never live without this Conjuror. That had been proven true when Loki had fallen from the Bifrost…when Thor was certain Loki was dead. He mourned for him and only him. Jane Foster hardly crossed his mind.

He know took a honest look at Loki, drinking in the sight of him with his eyes, which were no longer blinded with the expectations of Brotherhood. Loki was a creature of beauty. His inky black hair had grown since his rampage on Midgard, and it now reached his shoulder blades and curled slightly at the ends. His eyes were just as green as they always were, shining brilliantly in the darkness of the chamber. Loki's lithe frame was elegant. He had lost whatever muscle he'd had during his time being possessed by the Tesseract.

"Loki…" Thor reached a large hand out, slowly, and touched the side of the Trickster's face. "You are beautiful."

Loki's eyes now held contempt, but there was another emotion there that Thor couldn't place. He had never seen it before.

'You would not say that if you saw what I truly am! I am Jotun! Laufeyson!' Loki screamed in his mind. Thor had not seen him in his Frost Giant form. To show him would drive him away, but Loki did not want to seduce Thor with his body. He wanted Thor to love him for everything he was, which would never happen. But he was done living a lie. He had lived one all of his life, and he grew tired of it.

So he dropped his glamour, he let the deep blue of his heritage seep over his once-pale skin. His eyes went red. He knew the etchings on his face were showing, matching his father's, and marking him as Laufeyson. He didn't grow in height or muscle. He was the runt, always the runt. He was no longer beautiful, he thought. Thor would now run, and then Loki would drive that dagger through his treacherous heart. He dropped his gaze to the floor, ashamed.

"Loki." Thor didn't sound disgusted. In fact, Thor's voice, in this moment, was the softest Loki had ever heard it. He glanced up slowly, to see not disgust or pity in Thor's endless blue eyes…but rather understanding.

"Oh, Loki. You are beautiful like this, as well. Perhaps I could make you understand." He was still speaking so gently, but there was no pity. He pulled his brother forward gently by the hand that rested against chilly blue skin. Loki stepped forward on shaky, unsure legs. Thor brought the Jotun prince close, holding him against his broad chest. Loki was shaking almost violently. He was not used to being in the form. The cold nature of his body was shocking.

"Let me warm you up, Jotun son of Odin." Loki made to protest Thor's choice of words, but Thor pressed a finger to Loki's voiceless lips. "Hush. You may not be his son in blood, but he raised you. And also, you will soon be his son in marriage. He will have reason to love you even more, if that is possible."

Loki's heart stopped. Did Thor just say…did he suggest…Loki looked up at him, his now-red eyes desperate as they searched Thor's for any hint of deception. He was, after all, the God of Lies. Thor merely chuckled.

"Yes, Loki. I will make you my Queen, and we will live forever as Mother and Father have. And we will have a love like theirs. We will raise a family, we will rule Asgard…and you will never have another reason to doubt my love for you. Asgard will love their Queen. Their King will love their Queen. In fact, he already does. And he has since he first laid eyes on him, and he never ceased to. Even when Queen Loki descended his rage unto Midgard, it will be told that he did so out of hurt and pain…he wanted King Thor to love him, but Thor was much too stupid. It was only through Queen Loki's actions that the glorious Second Age of Asgard was forged. They will see you as the hero you are."

Loki broke into tears, burying his face in Thor's neck, fisting his silken robe as hard as he could. His body shook. His reality shook. Everything he'd ever wanted was being laid at his feet. He felt warmth explode in his chest. It spread to his fingers and his toes. The blue of his skin faded back to alabaster, and he suddenly gasped.

His voice!

"Th-Thor!" His first spoken word in months. His voice was hoarse from disuse. Thor looked down, a warm smile spreading across his face.

"It looks as though the spell has been lifted." His voice was a rich as molasses, and Loki broke out into the first real smile he'd worn in years.

"I love you, Thor. I love you! From this day forward until I take my last breath, and even then into Valhalla! I will change my way! No longer must I lie! No longer must I deceive! If you promise to love me forever! If you promise to hold onto me, and keep me until the end of time! Turn my silver tongue into gold. Make an honest man of me, for I've forgotten! Oh, Thor…Thor!" Loki was smiling and crying all at once, and Thor had to admit to himself, the sight was appealing. He leaned down, and claimed his First Love's lips for what would be their first kiss. He heard Loki make the most delicious sound, somewhere between a moan and a sigh.

"To hear you speak my name like a chant, dearest Loki, is to feel like the luckiest man in all the Nine Realms."

Loki reached up with a slender hand and smiled such a delicate smile.

"To have you love me, dearest Thor, mends my broken heart."