From my lovely friend, Elle and co-writer of Loki's Reformation story, I bring you a lovely gift! =D
This is a new years gift for my dear Jenna! Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are days associated with penitence and I thought Loki could use some repenting and it's nice to share things with those we care about. In fact, the title comes from a very long prayer said during this time called "My Father and King," about a remorseful prince.
Day of Atonement
"So, what can I do for you?" Steve asked, pouring his friend a cup of tea. He wasn't sure what else to say to a mountain of an Asgardian warrior that towered over him and yet, still managed to look like a nervous kid. Ever since the Prince of Thunder had returned from his planet, Thor had been strangely quiet and pensive.
"I seek your counsel," Thor rumbled, folding his bulk into one of Steve's favorite chairs as he wrung his hands nervously. 'I am told your creed is based on forgiveness and brotherly love."
Steve nodded, wondering if Thor wanted to attend Sunday services with him. He was torn between delight in sharing a meaningful experience with a friend, amusement at the look of Reverend Evens at the sight of the Asgardian lumbering down the halls of Trinity church, and a lingering feeling of dread that this could not be so simple. "I like to think so," he said evenly. He didn't believe in forcing his religion on anyone else, but it would be a good knowledge for Thor to learn about Earth based faiths.
"Well, brotherhood and forgiveness have been on my mind for many days. For as long as I can remember, my younger brother was at my side, through good and bad. We learned together, trained together, fought together and laughed together. He was not always a monstrous force of destruction," Thor began, the words tumbling out of him miserably as he looked around Steve's new apartment.
Steve sighed. He didn't hate many people, but Loki's spree of destruction had cost thousands of lives, wrecked the city Steve loved and had taken the life of a good friend. It was hard to believe any good could be found in him. "Did your father execute him?" he asked gently.
Thor looked up at him with broken heart. "Is that what you wish had happened?" he asked softly.
Steve was not sure how to answer that and still keep his friendship. "I believe that justice needs to happen. I am a soldier, not a magistrate," he finally said, the closest to lying he could do without actually partaking in deceit. "On the battlefield…it's kill or be killed. If I take someone prisoner, it's up to a judge to decide their fate."
Thor nodded, relieved. "Loki was sentenced to the Room Without Doors. He will remain there, until he feels shame and remorse for what he has done," he explained.
Steve nodded, satisfied with the punishment. "I guess you're convinced he has gotten a life sentence," he deduced, knowing that Asgardians were nearly immortal. That was…a tough stint and he imagined Loki was too proud to ever feel remorse or shame for what he did.
"I know that he has done great evil, and I believe he must be punished. Yet, I confess that despite his deranged behavior, I cannot stop my feelings of remorse. Loki was falling long before he went into the abyss and we failed to save him."
Steve shook his head. "You can't blame yourself," he said lamely, even though he imagined that was useless advice.
"I do, because I am charged with saving others and I cannot even save my own family. Perhaps we even pushed him further into madness's embrace, we were thoughtless and cruel at times. Now it is too late to seize the chance to make things right. There is good in him and that eternity in confinement is too cruel," Thor almost pleaded, and Steve knew that this speech had been said before and denied. "There is much good in him. "
Steve bit his lip and pondered how best to phrase his answer. "I think your brother made his choice and he has to live with the consequences," he said as gently as possible. "I know it's harsh but he did the crime. He should do the time. Whatever good there is, there is a lot of evil that made itself apparent."
Thor bowed his head in grief. "Then I have no choice. I will do what I must to give justice and mercy both their due." He fingered his hammer in a white knuckled grip. "It is hard to die young."
Steve gulped. In the field of battle, he would have struck down Loki without hesitation but Thor euthanizing him seemed wrong. Maybe there was more to Loki than wholesale destruction and an eternity of punishment seemed too cruel, even for Steve's thirst for vengeance. "How young is he?" he asked. Considering legends about the two gods were around for centuries, he couldn't imagine Loki was that young?
"In human years, he is eighteen hundred years old, very young," Thor explained. "One century to you is a year for us."
Steve gulped. Sending an eighteen year old to his death was becoming very unpalatable. Loki was a kid. A very bad kid, but one just on break of adulthood, who likely needed a woodshed a lot more than an execution block. In fact, that was not a bad idea. "Perhaps what your brother needs is not death or solitary confinement but atonement?" he offered.
Thor's eyes widened. "Continue," he commanded, seizing onto this information with desperation.
"From what you tell me, Loki can be a force for good and that you believe his evil came from rejection from others,' Steve said. "Perhaps instead of pushing him away more, you could reach out to him and work with him to become a better person. He does need to be punished, but he needs something more personal."
"A fine idea! You will come to Asgard and present your plan to my parents," Thor said eagerly. "Verily, you shall be the first human to see the land of Aesir. It shall be a grand adventure."
Steve drummed his fingers on the desk nervously. "I may have…unique abilities but I am still human," he began, trying how to explain this to an alien being that came from a culture where discretion was the least part of valor.
"That is nothing to be ashamed of, Steve Rodgers. You are the Great Hero, all shall be kind to you or face my wrath," Thor assured him.
Yes, this would be harder than he thought. "Your world is not suited for humans. I need oxygen and gravity," he continued. He wanted to go, he was drawn to correcting problems and Loki was a problem who needed a lot of correction. He had no problem dying for a cause, but he would like to not die needlessly.
"I have already considered that, Steve Rodgers. I have a talisman that will grant you the ability to journey safely, " Thor said with a grin, holding out a red ruby necklace. "I am aware of human fragility." So, he had planned for Steve to come the whole time?
Steve returned the smile happily. "Count me in," he said as he put it on. This was everything he lived for, writing wrongs, helping families and promoting good values among others. He might actually enjoy this. "So…how do we get to Asgard?"
Thor's grin only widened. "Take my hand," he said. "Heimdell!" Before Steve could even blink, he had the sudden sensation of being sucked up a drain.
Steve debated whether believing in Asgard broke a commandment and decided that there might have been some stuff not mentioned in the bible. Aliens were just one of the subjects.
If this was just a taste of heaven, he was in for a treat. Asgard was incredible. Steve tried not to boggle at the sheer vastness and luxury of this incredible palace. Everything was made out of precious metals and stones, it was like Babylon itself. He was even more boggled by the throne of gold and the imposing figures upon it and the awareness of how dangerously powerful they was.
"Your majesties, I present the Avenger Steve Rogers, Captain of America and great hero," Thor said, kneeling down and pressing his fist to his barrel chest. "He has come to discuss Loki."
"Your Majesty, Thor told me of your sentence on Loki and the worry that the punishment will be eternal," Steve said, kneeling on one knee, as well. "I wish to offer advice that would make that less likely." And he would prefer to do it without being torn limb from limb for interfering.
"Rise." The King of Asgard stared at him with one cold eye and Steve found himself wondering if he would be turned to stone or something equally horrible. Loki was a monster, but speaking truth to power was not completely a safe option. It was just the only option. He rose, bowing from the waist the way he would if at a formal dance. "I have heard of you, Captain. You are a true hero," the aged king said "But there can be no mercy. My son is lost to Asgard and he must find his way back on his own." The pain at such a command was palpable.
"Father, please consider his wisdom. Loki will never find his way home," Thor said, not rising from his knees. "Steve Rogers is a man of great wisdom. He can be trusted."
"Why would you plead for Loki? He has done great evil to you," The King asked coldly. The room had been cleared, giving an eerie emptiness in the vastness.
"Because I believe that no man is beyond redemption and I trust Thor's judgment. If he believes Loki can atone for his crimes and become a force for good, I believe him," Steve explained. "I think there is a method of punishment that would allow justice and mercy to be combined?"
"And how would that be accomplished?" The King asked, his tone mixed with skepticism and hope.
"Your majesties, the idea of this is reinforcement. An Earth…Mitgardian scientist named Pavlov discovered that reinforcement should be used to modify behavior. Positive motivation encourages certain actions and negative motivation reinforces the avoidance. The goal is for Loki to associate bad behavior with an unpleasant consequence that he does not like," Steve explained. "Therefore, he won't do it."
"Like banishment?" The King asked and Thor visibly paled and studied his boots most intently. "It was used quite admirably in my elder son's case. Thor found his way home and profited greatly by it."
Steve shook his head. "Every person needs different treatment and in Loki's case, I think separation only hurts him more. From what Thor told me, Loki…was always different. Smart and not much of an athlete, compared to everyone else?" he asked. "He did not fit in."
The Queen nodded sadly, taking her husband's hands. "Loki was always different. He was never intended to be king and I suppose the attention was always concentrated on Thor. We never knew how much it hurt Loki to be smaller and weaker and bookish, or perhaps we just felt he would deal with it on his own," she trailed off, looking not like a monarch but just a broken hearted mother who realized how badly she had hurt one she loved. "I do not imagine we understood what it was like to be different and we were not thoughtful to his feelings."
Steve nodded. "Ma'am, I know that story well. I lived it. Before I got my powers, I was quite a weakling and I felt like I did not belong. I did foolish things to get attention, to distract attention from feeling…small. I think Loki found out that it was easier to make people laugh with him than laugh at him," he mused.
The King and the Queen nodded. "He was always very entertaining. His mischief was adorable and he was just a sweet little scapegrace, always in trouble but too pert for a grudge to be held long. Then it started getting darker, and the mischief became more…violent," Thor explained. "It soon became malicious and then…Mitgard."
"Loki craves attention and validation. If he can't get it from positive reinforcement, he will get it negatively. He is just an angry kid who wants to be noticed and banishing him to a cell makes him less noticed. He needs to know he has your full attention," Steve said, ignoring the fact that he was lecturing super powered other worldly beings who had the ability to crush him into gravel.
"My attention is a reward. Bad behavior cannot be rewarded," The King said, his voice growing cold. "I want to help my son, but I will not show him unfair treatment."
Steve grinned savagely. "I said attention. I didn't say positive attention," he said with a very satisfied feeling. He did like seeing justice done. "As I said, Loki needs reinforcement. With my plan, he will soon associate displeasing you with a very unpleasant result."
"Father, I beg you, for the love you bear your family to show mercy this once and allow Steve Rogers to help us. I cannot stomach Loki suffering eternally and neither can you," Thor pleaded, to his father's stony visage.
The Queen turned to her husband. "We ignored Loki for too long. We owe him this," she said softly. "What is the harm in trying? If it fails, we will not have lost anything. If it succeeds, we gain beyond measure."
The King nodded. "Your words ring true, madam. I will agree," he said tenderly, before giving his son and a very nervous Steve a smile. "I cannot deny you have awakened hope in me. I love my younger son as fiercely as my wife and my Thor, but I have to be a king as well as a father. If you can save him…I will forever be in your debt. Come, let us visit our errant Loki."
Thor tugged at Steve's shoulder as The King and The Queen got up, and began walking down one of the vast ivory and gold halls of the palace. "As for the unpleasant consequence…you will not mutilate him…." he ordered quietly. "Loki may deserve your wrath, but I will not see him maimed or tortured."
Steve shook his head. "This is controlled. Loki will suffer quite a bit but he'll be fine in a few hours. There will be no permanent damage, I swear it on my Holy Book. But you can't interfere. No matter how much he pleads, he has to finish treatment."
Thor nodded suspiciously. "I am curious to your methods. You have my full trust," he said, as if convincing himself of it as they followed him and caught up to the royal couple. Apparently, Loki wasn't being kept in a dungeon but was in his own private wing. Being royalty had his perks.
"Loki acts like a spoiled child. I intend to treat him like one. On Earth, we have a very effective method with curbing those tenancies," Steve explained.
"So…which one of you is going to do it? I'll direct you."
"Will you demonstrate?" The King asked curiously, stopping before one door, which seemed to glow and sizzle with what must be a magical force field. "I think we would all benefit from your expertise?"
Steve shrugged nervously. "I'd be happy, sir. Problem is, I need Asgardian strength. Otherwise, it would feel like more of a tickle," he explained. Actually, it would be more of a death wish.
The Queen stepped forward. "I, Frigga, Queen of Asgard bless you with strength," she said, taking Steve's by the shoulders and kissing his forehead. "All that has been graced to me, I share with you for as long as you remain within our realms."
Steve felt a glow fill him, from his toes to the ends of his hair. It was the same feeling he had known when he had been powered up to become a hero. "Thank you, ma'am." He felt a bit overwhelmed with this trust.
With that, The King taped the door and it became transparent. "We can enter, but he cannot leave," the elderly king explained as Steve peered inside.
Loki's cell was quite well appointed for a prison cell. Elegant furniture decorated the room, with a well-stocked library covering the walls. Curled up on a chaise longue was Loki, who glanced up over his book venomously. A silver chain snaked around his left ankle, binding him to the wall. That was enchanted to hold him till he felt remorse. It was a pretty effective punishment, all in all. But Steve could do better. "Come to gloat?" he asked insolently.
Steve had deduced that a knee not hitting the ground when The King entered the room was a cry for death. Loki truly didn't care if he lived or died. "We came to help you, Loki," he answered.
"The man out of time, now just out of the world," Loki drawled. "I have no need of your help."
"Loki, mind your tongue," The King commanded harshly, his voice thick with authority. "You can still be brought lower."
"Oh yes, the king who kidnapped me and lied to me, your help has been well appreciated," Loki sneered, turning his back on the king. "Do as you wish."
The Queen stepped in between her husband before his wrath could be poured out upon a well deserving and likely suicidal Loki. "No," she commanded, as the king looked quite eager to strangle his younger son. "He's just a boy!"
"A foolish boy who knows not his place," The King thundered as Thor joined his mother in standing between him and Loki. To his credit, the younger prince barely blinked at the maelstrom given human-like form storming his way. Steve gave him credit, Loki had guts.
"You're right, sir. We need to teach to him. That is why he is going to learn to associate being bad with suffering," Steve said soothingly. "Loki, your family has asked me to discipline you. We believe you are a spoiled child and need a good spanking and we intend to give it you," he continued, turning to Loki.
Loki was a lot more aware of Earth than the rest of his family, and looked vaguely disgusted. "What is a spanking?" The Queen whispered to her elder son, who shrugged curiously.
"Loki knows what it is. It means he's going to be put over a knee and smacked until he can no longer sit down comfortably for a period of time. It is used to make children on…ummm Mitgard see how foolish misbehaving is. I'm hoping one of you will do the honors from now on," Steve said, realizing he was no longer outmatched physically by the God of Mischief. This might actually be fun, in addition to righteous fury.
"You brought this pathetic little creature to annoy me?" Loki demanded, picking up his book to begin reading again. "I would have preferred the isle of silence right now."
"This is your punishment. If you cooperate, this will go a lot easier on you. I'm offering you this chance once. Obey now or suffer accordingly," Steve said in a firm tone.
Loki burst out laughing. "Do you intend to make me laugh myself to death? On Mitgard, I easily defeated you. Give me a second chance and I'll snap every bone in your body and give you to Fenrir as a chewing aid," he mocked.
"So be it. I just administered a command and a warning. If he obeys at that, the punishment will set at a lower level. Now, it has to be more severe," Steve explained, ignoring the venomous look Loki was fixing on him. Happily, Asgardians lacked the ability to kill with mere sight or Steve, Thor and The King would be having drinks with St. Peter.
"Loki, please do not do this," The Queen pleaded. "Do you really wish to spend eternity in here?"
For the briefest moment, Steve saw what everyone else saw. The hate in Loki's eyes faded and he could see the frightened young prince who had dug himself into a hole and had no way to climb out. Then it faded and Loki's eyes turned cold. "I will escape and I will bring nightmares to life," he drawled. It was posturing, but it was clearly upsetting his family.
The Queen looked horrified. "Captain, do what you must," she commanded, clearly terrified at how numb her son had become to reality.
"Yes, ma'am. Now, it's very important to make sure this is about punishment. All threats will be ignored, all pleas will be ignored, he has to get his due and nothing he does will halt or mitigate it. No matter how much he cries, it does not change the fact that he will be punished. Apologies can come after he has paid his debt," Steve said.
Loki looked like a shark during swimsuit season. "A new toy, Lord Odin? You shouldn't have," he hissed.
Steve opened the cell door and stormed in, filled with righteous fury. "All right, Loki, it's time you paid the piper," he said, happy the chaise chair would be perfect.
Loki got to his feet. "This will be amusing," he said, cracking his knuckles. "I'll do you a kindness and send you to the rest of your dead friends."
Steve ignored the barb and stood firm. "I have my orders from your parents," he said.
Loki grinned savagely. "Then we shall see which of us is right," he said, grabbing Steve's shirt to slam him into the wall. "I am going to truly enjoy this, mortal."
Steve took Loki's wrist and applied a fair amount of pressure to make him let go. "Loki, do you really think they would let me in here without a little help?" he said, watching the little brat grimace in pain. Still grasping Loki's wrist, he twisted his prisoner's arm behind his back. "And believe me, you need help."
Loki howled with pain, struggling in Steve's iron grip. Unfortunately for the prince, Steve had been trained in how to restrain young punks and easily dragged him over to the chaise. "You will pay for this," Loki was sputtering, as Steve sat down and with a firm pull, had him in position.
"That was quick. Well, I suppose you're trying to think of how to escape. No magic, no weapons, no way out," Steve reminded him, pulling up so that Loki's bottom was centered perfectly for target practice. He twisted Loki's hands under him, leaving him helpless. "You might as well just give in."
Loki was still kicking so Steve used a technique Mr. Barnes had used on Bucky during their youth, and opened his leg, catching Loki's squirming legs and pinning them down. "Notice I am not attempting to hurt him. I just want him restrained. Press his hip to yours so he can't pull away from the swats." Thor, King The King and The Queen were watching like statutes, torn between worry and amusement. "And of course, we do have to make sure you receive this treatment with humility."
Luckily, in the privacy of Loki's cell, he was just wearing tunic and breeches and those were simple enough to fold up and pull down. Steve took no pleasure in disrobing another but did enjoy seeing the hiss of shock as Loki finally got what was coming to him.
Resting his gloved hand on Loki's squirming white bottom, he looked up at his shocked audience. "Loki is now effectively pinned, and prepared for punishment. For struggling, he is going to get extra swats. So, Loki, what is this punishment for?" he asked.
Loki hissed a stream of profanity that would have made a sailor blush. Steve sighed. "Suit yourself," he said, bringing a mighty hand down and slapping it down.
Loki let out a howl much like something out of Dante's inferno. Steve had not used his full strength but there was nothing like a spanking to make people realize their life and their choices. "So, now you see what you are in for?" he asked, accompanying it with a ringing slap. "Well, you are in for a lot more."
Steve lifted his hand and the milk white bottom clenched in fear. "You dare touch a prince of Asgard," Loki shrieked, trembling with rage. "I will make Nifleheim seem like a pleasant dream!"
Steve just kept slapping, making sure to be slow. Half the pain was the anticipation, the waiting and the helpless knowledge that nothing but more pain was in the future. "I truly doubt it," he said, hoping that wasn't too much of a taunt. He was trying to be stoic
Loki began to mewl through his clenched teeth as Steve concentrated on the sensitive under -curve. "Notice the more tender areas. This one is one of the most effective," he explained placidly as he slapped his hand down, a satisfying crack echoing across the room.
Loki wriggled in Steve's tight grasp but was effectively pinned. "I will tear the skin from your bones and use it as a throw rug," he shouted, but his voice was bathed in agony as Steve slammed his palm in. With the Queen's magical strength behind him, he was quite sure Loki was feeling the burn. He was careful not to go overboard, he wanted this to be a long punishment.
"Let him say what he likes, it matters only that you do not stop the punishment. Although if he gets on your nerves, you can increase the severity of the swats accordingly. In fact, he should always feel that the next one will be worse and dread it," Steve said, crisp smacks raining down on the rapidly pinkening bottom.
"I hate you, I hate all of you," Loki shouted, but was too pinned to do more than curse up a storm. "I will have revenge."
"You know, you have a choice. You can be a whining petulant little brat. Or you can stop being boring and start acting like an adult. You have the potential to do good, and win respect from others. You should have been executed for your crimes but you were given another chance. Your family is going to make sure you utilize it. And in the end, you are going to submit. The question is, how long do you need to be tossed over a knee?" he demanded, as the bottom draped across his lap turned a deeper shade of pink. "Because it only gets worse from here."
"How could you allow this mortal swine to do this to me?" Loki howled, squealing like a stuck pig. "You hated me, you only want to see me suffer. You stole me, you abuse me and then you invite others to abuse you."
"Enough with the pity party." Another crisp smack made Loki shriek miserably as Steve concentrated on one single spot over and over again. "Notice, the swats are of medium strength, I'm trying to make it sting thoroughly, but not wound."
Loki managed to free one hand to throw back, but Steve was quite prepared for that. He grabbed Loki's wrist and pinned it to the small of his back. "There is nothing you can do but lie here and take it. So why not just give in and take your medicine?" Steve challenged. "Don't you think you deserve this and more for what you did? You hurt people for your own pleasure."
Loki just wailed miserably. "But you're hurting me!" he finally said, and his voice was high and confused as Steve struck him even harder for disobeying. "I thought you were supposed to be a hero."
"If I was hurting you, you'd be like Agent Coulson. You are getting a chance, but you need to pay the price and a sore bottom is an excellent start," Steve snapped, giving Loki a new level of agony. "And it's going to be very sore." Loki just howled more as Steve plastered his bottom with punishing strikes, unable to move. Steve methodically adjusted Loki every spanks to make sure that new tender places were tenderized anew. "I've been gentle, you can take a lot more."
Loki was gasping for breath by the time Steve decided that he needed a break. Lifting Loki easily, he put him on his feet and walked him to the corner; pants still around his ankles and well spanked bottom bared and testifying to his misery. "It's not over, but I think you need a chance to think." He neglected to mention that restarting a spanking after a short respite hurt so much more. Why spoil the surprise? "You will stand, facing the corner. There will be no rubbing. Hands on your head and nose to the wall. If I catch you disobeying, you will be sorry."
Loki was clearly in distress, and he did not even respond as Steve placed him in position. Looking up, Steve saw the rest of the Asgardian family standing in shock. "That was effective," Thor said, biting his lip at the sight of his suffering sibling. The guy really did love his brother.
Steve flexed his fingers. He had super strength, and he had gloves, but his palm did need a rest. "You haven't seen anything yet. This was just the warm up, he still needs some instruments," he said.
"Instruments?" The King asked. 'If the palm laid him so low, I imagine this would be an even more salutary effect."
"He already seems more humble," Thor admitted, but his heart was breaking for his brother. "Do you need to do more to him?"
Steve wished he could back down, but that was not in his vocabulary. "Believe me, he needs this. Do you have something like a butter paddle? If not, a belt would work just as well," he explained.
The King nodded. "I shall have one commissioned. But this leather belt I wear will do?" he asked, his hands on a thick strap that made Steve wince a bit. Well, it couldn't happen to a worse person.
Steve nodded. "That will do nicely," he said. He actually had begun to truly pity Loki. He had been spanked quite a bit by his father for fighting (all right, for trying to fight and getting the stuffing beaten out of him) bullies at school and there was little fear like being laid across a knee, feeling the cool air on your bare skin and knowing things were about to get a lot hotter. He just knew he had learned from it and was a better person for it now. "Believe me, he will be fine in a few days. This is not about permanent injury, this is about learning a lesson," he snapped, noticing Loki's hands creeping back. Hooking an arm around his prisoner, he turned him around, bent him over and slapped his rear sharply. "What part of obey do you not understand?" he asked. "You need to learn to follow orders." Loki's eyes met his mother's with and a silent plea of mercy.
The Queen looked resolute as her son mewled piteously. "Loki, we need you to just cooperate," she pleaded. "The next time you go mad, there might not be hope for redemption."
"I'll make him learn. In fact, I think you should all give him a spanking as well, to make sure he understands that this is a joint effort. My lady, perhaps you should go first," Steve said softly. "I'll supervise. Let's see how much he learned. Loki, I want you to go over to your mother and climb over her lap without protesting," he commanded.
Loki looked less defiant and more much torn, but he refused to move. So, with a sigh, Loki was lifted, scrabbling over his mother's lap. "Perhaps my lady should use a hair brush. Very effective and it will spare your hands pain," Steve suggested, taking one from the bed stand as The Queen adjusted Loki accordingly.
Loki was introduced to another level in pain as the hairbrush slapped into his bottom, splotching out. "You have hurt your family grievously, my son. Now you can pay your debt and we can all move on," she said, finding her confidence. "This treatment is exactly fitting the crime, you behaved shamefully and your punishment is filled with shame."
Loki only screeched as a new level of pain ignited his bottom. "Stop," he pleaded, his voice cracking. "You are not my mother, you have no right."
The Queen sighed. "Oh, but I am and I do and I will," she said, punctuating each 'I' with a swat. "Taking you in hand is my right, my duty and your fate. You had your chance to reduce your punishment. You made this bed and now you are surely lying in it."
Loki just squealed miserably as his mother peppered his bottom with firm and stinging strokes. The Queen was a quick study and ten whacks were firmly delivered to each of Loki's quivering cheeks. He was beyond speech for the moment and it was now a shocked and whimpering young prince who was finally lead back to the corner. He even put his hands on his head before Steve commanded him. His bottom was faintly glowing with heat.
Servants brought in food and drink for them, staring wide-eyed at their sovereign traitor prince's well-roasted bottom and a few of them looked overjoyed. Steve didn't talk much, actually feeling enormous pity for his prisoner now. Loki's chin was at his chest and he was choking back tears. He imagined Asgardians didn't cry much and he was feeling sick to show weakness. Well, no one else seemed to comment on it.
All too soon, the meal was over and the roast was back on. "Loki, I want you to climb over Thor's lap without being lead. I also want you to explain why you are getting this punishment." Loki glared at him blisteringly. "I know you have a habit of being obstinate and therefore, I am going to explain it clearly. Refuse and I will start from the beginning. Me, your mother and then we return to Thor," Steve said, his voice resolutely menacing. "And you know I keep my word to the letter."
After a moment of weighing the odds of shame verses pain, Loki shuffled over; shoulder hunched in misery as Thor then took his place. "I am being punished for betraying Asgard and trying to destroy Earth," he whispered as he obediently climbed across his brother's lap. He even placed his hands at the small of his back so Thor could pin them accordingly.
"Very good. I am very proud of you, Loki. We all are. Therefore, Thor will only use his hand and give you ten swats," Steve said, as Loki visibly quivered at his brother's strong arm hovering menacingly above his abused bottom. He howled as it crashed down and Thor's handprint made a thorough impression on his rear. Loki screeched and mewled as Thor slapped again and again.
Loki vocalized his distress quite thoroughly as Thor's hand made short work of any lingering haughtiness in his brother's posture. Again, a now tearful Loki was led back to his corner for a longer break. The King and The Queen sat with their elder son, whispering a conversation that looked painful. He wouldn't intrude on them, so he just pulled a book from Loki's shelf and was engrossed in Asgardian art. He'd have to copy some of the designs, they were amazing.
After around a half hour, Steve knew it was time for a talked. He walked over to the corner, and put his hand on Loki's shoulder, feeling the misery induced shudders. "I know you must hate me right now. I bet you would love to get your hands on me and make me suffer a very long and painful death," he began. "What if I gave you the chance to stop this, now?"
"You mock me, mortal," Loki hiccupped, trying to maintain some dignity as he stood in shame. "Come to gloat at my suffering?" He winced as the words came out and a flicker of fear passed him. He did dread Steve's palm and he had finally gotten brindled enough to avoid a willing second dose.
"I'm serious. Answer one question and if you can best me, you go free. I'll even take off the magical spell protecting me and you can take your revenge," Steve said confidently. "You do like a good wager, I hear?"
Loki didn't answer but a small curiosity alighted his features. "And if I cannot?" he asked, hoarsely.
Steve shrugged. "Then you don't go free. You risk nothing here," he offered. "I'm offering my life. You can speak freely, I won't punish for anything you say here."
Loki stared at him, wearily. "Name your question," he finally said, nearly collapsing in exhaustion.
"Your goal is to take over. Take over Earth and make everyone worship you. No freedom, no choice, you get unquestioned adoration," Steve began. "You want everyone to cower before you. I imagine you want Asgard too. Your foster family in chains, craving mercy. You defeat everyone. And then what?" he asked.
Loki raised his chin defiantly. "First, I will find peace. Second, that will take time and I will find meaning along the way," he whispered back. "You want to release me now."
Steve shook his head. "Where is the end?" he asked again. "When you're all alone, at the top? With no family, no friends, just bitterness and conquest to numb the pain. That won't bring you peace."
"Peace was never an option. I will take what I can get," Loki hissed, the pain written on his face. "I have no need of family, I have no need of friends."
"How can you be so smart if you're willing to accept life like that?" he asked. "A life, alone. You may think you know about what it means to be alone, but you have no idea what it is like to wake up and find everyone you care about gone. And pray you don't."
"Spare me your sob story," Loki hissed. "I do not need such base sentiment. I will have the worship of everyone."
"They call you the Lie-smith, but I think you're quite aware of the truth. How can you stand to live in a world that's a lie? Yes, everyone will fear you but they will also hate you," Steve reminded. "You will be their oppressor."
"What is it your Machiavelli said? It is better to be feared than loved? I am a prince, after all," Loki retorted, his voice weak.
"And it's all a lie. You want power and recognition? You want the real stuff? That has to be earned. I get it; you want to show everyone your mettle. You want then to be sorry for how they treated you," Steve urged.
Loki shrugged. "I want what is due to me," he finally said, but he was looking less confident.
"You still haven't answered my question. What is the end goal? To see your parents, your brother destroyed? To destroy everyone who disagrees with you? That's pathetic," Steve challenged. "You can earn respect, but you chose to steal it."
Loki glared at him. "I will escape here and I will make sure I kill everyone you care about in front of you," he said, but it sounded a lot less credible from some princeling that had his red bottom on display.
Steve ignored the threat. "One, you aren't escaping. You have three very powerful...beings that are pretty keen on keeping you under lock and key. Two, if you escape, the Avengers will bring you down and bring you right back here. Three, I said you could speak freely but I can change my mind at any time and bring back the hairbrush," he said, ticking off on his fingers. "Keep a civil tongue in your head.'
Loki just stared back at the wall, miserable and completely backed in. "Why are you doing this? Slay me. Surely it is beneath you to toy with me?" he finally said. It was almost pleading.
"I want to help you. You and I have a lot in common. We both were the runts to bigger stronger brothers. We both had brains and used it to overcome brawn. You are what I could have become if I didn't have people who got me in the right direction. So I want to help you get in the right direction. If you keep following this path, you won't need me to slay you. You'll destroy yourself. And that is a darn potential for you to make the world a better place," Steve said, trying to comfort his enemy.
"I do not wish to make the world a better place, " Loki whispered. "Why must you try to do this to me?"
"Because here is your end, there is no other place to go. You destroy and destroy until something bigger swats you down or you are alone with nothing. That is why you keep losing. Because in the end, you will always lose following a bad path. And deep down, you know it too. Tony told you, there is no throne. But there is hope."
Loki opened his mouth, but for once, had nothing to say. He looked up at Steve with horrified eyes, filled with anger and fear and a thousand emotions. Steve just patted his shoulder. "You lost the game now. But if you work hard, this could be the start of you winning. I know, I laid a lot on you, physically and mentally. I plan to come back for a lot more talks. But I think you made excellent progress," he said soothingly. "But now, you have to finish this penance."
Loki's eyes only darkened with fear once more. "One more person and then we'll be done," Steve said. "You're making excellent progress, Loki. I would like you to go to your father, and ask to be spanked. I would also like to hear an apology for the cruelty you did against him. I'm afraid that this will have to be the belt. I know it's harsh but the more memorable this spanking is, the better impression it will make to change your behavior. I've had everyone hold back so you can still have the strength to get fatherly discipline that you truly need. Then it's all over and you can begin healing. Please don't give me any trouble. I don't want to start over. "
Loki nodded, desperate for the punishment to be over. He shuffled back to his father, who was sitting on the chaise. "Please…forgive my transgressions against you," he whispered, humbled and exhausted by the event. "I am truly sorry." His eyes were cast down, to avoid looking at the belt in his father's hands.
The King nodded. "My heart swells with pride to hear you admit your guilt," he said tenderly, patting his lap. "Now, shall we be finished?"
Loki miserably crawled over his father's lap and placed his hands back to be pinned. He whispered something and his father shook his head. "Please spank me," Loki said in a louder voice, his voice shaking with terror.
The King nodded, and adjusted his son. He then folded his belt as Loki whimpered miserably. "Please, no, oh Gods," the poor prince begged as the strap came whistling down on Loki's torched backside.
The king continued with another stinging blow and the prince nearly wrestled out of his grip. "Now you finally see the error of your ways," he judged as he made sure to give his son another blow, in the tender cleft between thigh and rear.
Loki just wept. "I am sorry, I swear I shall never disobey again," he begged, as another slash joined the symphony of pain, this time across the broadest part of his bottom.
The King nodded. "We will have such a paddle immediately commissioned as a symbol of reinforcement," he said, slapping his belt down on his son's crimson bottom again. "My son has improved greatly, but will need reminding about what happens when he seeks attention improperly. "
"Please, Father, I beg you," Loki pleaded, his voice thick with tears. "I cannot take anymore." He writhed most painfully and even Steve was feeling sorry for him. For his first time, The King was meting out punishment with a vengeance.
"Nay, my precious son. I know you require more, and I shall administer it with love," The King said, slapping it down. "You know you require it. The captain is correct; I have ignored your faults and not done my fatherly duty to correct them. You will get your just due and nothing less."
Loki just wailed miserably, exhausted and in terrible pain. "Please, no," he begged, but it was to no avail. "Father, I beg you!"
"Now, we have come to understanding. What will happen in the future if you misbehave?" The King asked, adjusting his son to find new tender areas to season with pain.
Loki shrieked as the belt curved around his bottom, hitting his thigh. "This," he wept, convulsing in pain.
"Exactly," The King said approvingly. "Every time a mischievous thought passes your mind, understand that this will follow with swift and severe certainty," he said, striking again. "Consider yourself constantly in the shadow of my palm."
"I'll be good," Loki pleaded, his voice high with pain. "Please, Father, I'll be good. I swear it!"
"He is calling Father by proper name and truly apologizing," Thor noted with approval. "This treatment is most effective. I have never seen my brother so contrite."
"It's amazing what simple discipline will do," Steve answered, finally feeling his anger fade into pity. Loki had a hard road ahead of him, but he was in excellent hands and had a good chance for full penitence.
Thor's eyes were glassy. "The chain is gone. Loki is truly repentant," he observed with wonder.
Truly, he was. Loki lay limply over his father's knee, only twitching miserably at the belt and giving hoarse sobs, but the chain binding him to the wall was gone. He was truly humbled and sorry and had reached his limit. "I think he's had enough. You can tell when he's broken and has no fight in him," Steve said, quite satisfied. "Now, he requires comfort."
Loki didn't even notice the end to the blasting sear of his rear end. He just wept miserably. "Father," he managed to choke out.
"At last." The King gently lifted his trembling son and tenderly carried him to the bed. "My precious son," he whispered soothingly, laying him on his stomach. "I hope you can profit by this example and become a proper prince of Asgard again. I only did this out of love to make you remorseful."
Loki sobbed into his pillow as his mother rushed to the other side. She had been watching silently, but now was eager to provide comfort. "My poor boy, you know you had it coming. Now it's over," she soothed as she rubbed Loki's back. "Now, we can start fresh."
Loki whimpered under their ministrations, but his posture was humbled. He even accepted a kiss from his mother and held his father's hand, all without a single nasty word.
Thor smiled through his tears. "I imagine this isn't the end. Loki will recidivate, and will need thrashing quite a bit to get through his thick skull, but it is a good start," he said satisfied. "Although I suspect my brother will find sitting a most disagreeable prospect for some time." Poor Loki was sobbing too hard to remember his well-spanked bottom was still bare and on display. He thought to speak to him, but it was better for his parents to comfort him now.
Steve nodded. "Keep him under guard, he will need to be watched to make sure he does not go back to seeking revenge. I'll come back to visit. He'll be needing family and friends a lot now." Was Loki to be his friend? That was a topic to consider once he saw his friend's brother's reformation. "Remember to be kind to him, but any disobedience and he goes back over a knee," he directed. It was a long road for Loki, but Steve was filled with hope.
Thor nodded agreement. "I admit, my heart echoes with pity, but I cannot deny Loki got what he deserved," he said. "Now, we can build anew. Asgard is in your debt. Come, let me give you a tour of my home!"
As the two walked out, Thor suddenly colored when he overheard his parents. "Wherever did he get such a fine method of control? Next time Thor displeases us, we finally have a proper method to deal with him too," The Queen said softly to her husband.
Steve bit his lip and made for the exit, trying to keep the grin off his face. His larger Asgardian friend might not appreciate the joke. "I'll just wait to return home."