I'm forcing myself to get back to writing after a long hiatus. So yes, a changed fandom and a wonderful beta-read by the brilliant Night's Darkness (thanks for all your AMAZING work), I'm getting back on the horse and back to writing.

Important

Loki had always been a prince. This made him the fourth most important person in any room. Everyone deferred to the All-Father and to his Lady Mother, and, of course, to the great and glorious Prince Thor, the future lord of all that could be surveyed. He came an afterthought forth, a trickster spare, a symbol of a failure to be worthy

And in a few short hours, he had traded everything. He had lost his family, his surety of who he was and who he should be. In exchange, he lost his nagging doubts and gained a purpose. More importantly, he had gained a crown.

Now he sat on the throne of Asgard and all was his. Mother (he could not bear to think of her as anything but Mother) wept over the All Father's body. As for Thor…he was in a place where he could no longer be a thorn in his side. He focused on Gungnir, his new possession and admired its power. It was the symbol of power and importance, its weight and power a testament to majesty. It felt good in his hands, affirming his place.

"Allfather, we would speak to... a shrill voice said as the Lady Sif and the Warriors Three lumbered in.

"My friends, due to recent events my father has had to undertake the Odinsleep. Mother fears he may never awaken," Loki said mildly, silently daring them to question his authority.

And as always, Sif rose to the challenge, "We would speak to her," she snapped, her eyes filled with hatred.

"She has absolutely refused to leave my father's bedside. However, any enquiries you have you can take up with me, your king," Loki said, trying to hide the shiver of excitement at saying those wonderful words. He stared down at them questioningly, waiting for proper acknowledgement.

"My king," all four said, Sif the most reluctantly. He knew why they were here. Their beloved Thor was banished and they wanted him home. He wondered if they would have done the same for him. "Be not troubled, dear friends. I assure you, I have not forgotten Thor," he said in a soft voice.

"So he will return?" Sif asked, her eyes clouded in suspicion. She had always been a quim about Thor, not knowing how quickly a mortal wench had replaced her. He would have to tell her sometime.

"Quite soon, as soon as I can manage it. I gave the All-Father my word I would not revoke his banishment, but I did not swear I would leave him helpless. Thor is safe. He is well and sends you all his greetings. I have seen to his considerable comfort myself. Think of it as a short detention, much like any naughty schoolboy," Loki said wryly, giving them a mischievous wink. "I assure you, he has found Earth quite charming."

Fanderal laughed. "We always knew you would not leave him," he said, bowing his head in thanks. Hogan even looked less grim. "He must be feasting and wenching. How I envy him."

"As well you should, my good man. He will be home as soon as I can solve the Jotunn…issue. Once I do, I plan to use that favor in my lord father's eyes to restore my brother's place," Loki said jovially. "I imagine we shall all get a good smile when Thor must thank his younger brother for a rescue."

"Thank you, my king," Volkstagg said, bowing again. "Odin left a wise leader in his place."

Sif stared at him, still suspicious. "How soon do you believe he will be home?" she asked again.

Loki stared at her. "Is this the way you speak to your king?" he asked pleasantly. "Are you trying to make me exile you so you could join Thor?"

Sif colored with rage, but restraining hands of the Warriors Three stopped her from committing treason. "My king, she is weary. We will conduct her from your presence immediately," Fandarel said soothingly.

Loki waved them away. Sif was stupid but she was starting to irk him. She had no idea what happened on Earth. Still, her eyes seemed to shout his guilt.

Loki easily slipped past the guards minding his foolish brother. Being invisible had it perks. He had to admit, seeing his brother was wonderful. He felt whole with his older, more important brother there, sucking up attention.

Thor looked up as soon as he entered. "You've come," he whispered, his eyes wide. "I knew you would come. Has Father asked you to bring me back?"

Loki nodded kindly. "Father has entered the Odinsleep and the throne has fallen to me. Of course my first decree would be to come for you," he said with a sad smile. "Do you really think I would abandon you to this…horror?" He looked around the cell.

Thor leapt to his feet and hugged his brother. Once bone breaking, now it was barely felt. "Thank you, brother," he cheered. "Take me from this horrible place and bring me home."

Loki handed him a flask. "Drink this. It may hurt a bit, let us restore you to your proper form," he said gently.

Thor drank greedily, his eyes clouding as soon as the tonic went down his gullet. "What is it?" he asked curiously.

Loki cocked his head. "Cobra venom, cyanide, hemlock and some cinnamon for flavoring," he said brightly as the light departed from Thor's eyes. "Apologies, brother. I had no choice." Before Thor could even comprehend the betrayal, it was finished.

Loki knelt down and eased his brother's frame to the floor, tears falling down his cheeks. "It was always us. It was always you. This was the only way."

As his former friends walked away, Loki sat back on the throne and wanted to smile. He had won the game. He was the most important person in the room. All he had to do was wait for the attack on his parents' and the trap set to end Laufey forever.

He could sit here, on the throne and look out into his kingdom and revel in his power. He clapped his hands in victory and heard them echo in the empty room, taunting him, mocking him, echoing again and again.

The silence after a long while was worse.

Reviews are welcome and cherished!