A/N: So, this is really just an excuse to torture Loki. It seems to be a trend, and while I'm not a trend follower, I do like a good whump story with plenty of comfort at the other end. This is pre-Thor. Loki and Thor are upwards of teenagers, maybe around 17 and 19 or so in Midgardian ages. I haven't seen any pre-Thor Loki torture stories, so I can at least say that I'm not on a band wagon, per say, just enjoying a good bout of whumpage.
The song title comes from a Mumford and Sons song of the same name. You don't have to listen to it to understand this by any means, but it reminds me of Loki in many ways. I'd recommend it if nothing else.
Gave You All
The room came slowly into focus, but he had to blink several times to clear away the haze. He didn't recognize his surroundings and he was sure that he had never been in this place before. For that matter, he wasn't sure how he had come to it. The walls were stone, from the looks of them, but the light was dim so they could have been some form of brick. They didn't use brick on Asgard, but he had seen it used in other worlds and thought that it was just as likely used in this place as not. The space was small, but not in a warm and cozy sort of way. Instead, it was cold, even to him, which meant that it must be downright freezing, and he was laid out on what felt like a table. His arms were stretched and his wrists were tied over his head, secure and unmoving. There would be no wiggling out of that.
Magic. He had lost his connection to it he realized as soon as he tried to shift himself from his restraints. Panic threatened to set in and he took what he hoped was a steadying breath. Everything was okay. Everything would be okay. He would find a way out from... wherever this was. Where was he again?
He forced his mind to conjure up its most recent memory before he had awoken here. He had been fighting with his father. Their voices had rose loud and angry as they seemed to do when life became unbearable. It sounded silly, of course, because he was a prince. He had servants that would do most anything he would ask, but it seemed to matter very little as of late. He hadn't noticed it entirely in his youth, but he was sure that his father had always treated him differently. He wasn't sure exactly why, but it probably had something to do with the fact that his elder brother was everything that their father wanted in his heir and he was... not. Father spent quite a bit of time these days at him, urging him to be more like his elder brother, and finally he would just snap. The yelling would begin and usually it was he that stormed off to some part of the palace to sulk until that either his mother or brother found him and pulled him back into the open.
He had left the palace grounds that day. He had meant to storm off to the edge of the forest where even Thor couldn't find him. He would climb a tree or just make himself invisible, it really didn't matter. He just didn't want to be seen.
"Hello, Prince," a voice greeted him, pulling him out of his thoughts.
Loki tried to turn, to find the voice but found that he could not. It had come from where he assumed the door to the room was, and that was behind him. "Where am I? Who are you?" he demanded in a surprisingly strong voice. He might not be as tough or as brave as Thor, but he was an expert at illusions.
The voice chuckled, echoing strangely through the room. "So many questions. Do you really think you are in a position to ask them?"
"You seem to know who I am, so you know that if you do not release me that either my family or I will kill you. I'm giving you one chance to save yourself."
The laugh continued, this time accompanied by cold hands on bare shoulders. Loki hadn't even noticed that his tunic was missing. As were his shoes, now that he looked. It appeared his captor had left him only with his trousers and nothing more. No wonder it was chilly.
"No one is looking for you, little prince, and I think you know that as well. They expect you to be gone for a bit after all of that."
"How could you-"
"Your palace has eyes and ears, little one. I'd say you've noticed the magic suppressors by now. I'd heard that you were quite talented, so I took precautions. Those cuffs on your wrists will dampen your magic to nearly nothing. You won't be able to pull them off, either, even if you free your hands of the restraints. I'm the only one with the key. I'm the only one that can free you."
"What did you bring me here for?"
Loki snorted. "What in the nine realms do you think you can pull from me?"
"There is a treasure in the vaults of your father's palace. I need access."
"If you're polite to the guard and say please they may even provide you with your own living arrangements for your would-be theft," the dark haired trickster snapped. "They're very accommodating in that way."
The hands that had been set lightly against his skin - making it crawl - clenched down and nails bit into tender skin. Loki winced briefly but gave no real reaction. He could tilt his head back far enough to see his captor's face.
"Such a clever tongue," the voice said and his grip released, almost as if he had briefly lost control. "Be careful or I'll cut it out."
"Is that what this is? You'll torture a bit of information out of me to gain a trinket? Who do you think I am? I am a prince of Asgard and do not break so easily to dull-witted schemes."
"You're a child that thinks he's become a man," the voice said smoothly and he moved around. His boots made no sound on the stones below him, but as he circled the table the flames that lit the room dimmed, shadowing his face. He was tall, somewhat imposing, but Loki had seen worse. He was sure of it. He was not afraid.
"I won't tell you anything, and I'm worthless to you dead."
"I'm not going to kill you Loki. You don't mind if I call you Loki, do you? I feel that this just isn't the place for titles." He sighed at the determined look that crossed the young prince's face and made a motion that might have been rolling his eyes. It was difficult to tell in the shadows. He reached behind his captive and pulled a tool from its place. It glimmered in the torchlight and Loki felt his muscles clench up, but forced his outward expression to show calm. His captor inspected the thin knife for a moment before placing one hand on the prince's left shoulder. "You are an appreciator of magic, yes?"
"I've studied it at great length," Loki answered stiffly.
"I'd imagine." The blade bit shallowly into the skin and green eyes struggled to turn and see the damage he was inflicting. "I've studied as well. In my studies I found something useful. A rune that can be etched into the skin that will... insure the length of time one might need to pry an answer out of a stubborn mouth."
He spoke a few words and Loki felt the place where the rune had been drawn burn into his skin and the spell wash over his entire body. It wasn't warm such as a spell used to heal, but biting and sharp. It made the prince want to squirm, to begin fighting against whatever this man had planned for him. He wasn't even sure what he was after, but he did know that he wouldn't say a word of truth about it. His father may find many faults with him, but he couldn't call him a traitor to the kingdom. He would prove himself, even if it killed him.
"Such determination in your eyes," the voice said and its owner leaned over, shadowed face inching closer to Loki's. "Shall we?"
"You're wasting your time."
"So you say. We shall see." He moved behind Loki again, rummaging through things that clinked and clattered. He reappeared with several tools, all sharp and dangerous looking.
Loki strained to see them. He still retained the knife that he had etched the marking into his skin with, and had added a much larger one that looked painful in every way possible. The tip looked to be sharp, but the rest dull and well-used. There were also several very small, cone shaped objects that he was inspecting now.
"Have you seen these before, Loki?" He waited until his captive shook his head before flashing white teeth. "They're quite spectacular. Very small in appearance, yes? They will expand in any direction that I command them to once placed under the skin. They can become a long, sharp knife or unfold within you like a flower. This will all depend on you, Loki, you see. I need an entrance into the vaults that will not alert the guards."
"Good luck with that," Loki answered flippantly.
The shadowy figure shook his head and sighed. "You've really done this to yourself, you see. My request is not difficult."
Loki watched as he held the cone up for inspection before placing the sharp tip of it against his abdomen. It cut through his skin with surprising ease, causing the prince to gasp. He stayed silent otherwise, reminding himself that he was Asgardian royalty and he would not stoop as low as to allow this man to receive anything from him, not even the satisfaction of acknowledgement of pain. He closed his eyes as the contraption sunk deeper, seeming to be magical linked to the man's fingers as it was pushed lower without him physically touching it.
When it stopped green eyes slowly opened. His teeth were still clenched tightly shut against the cry that was threatening to bubble up in his throat. Thor wouldn't scream. Thor wouldn't give him the satisfaction.
"Am I wasting my breath?"
"Yes," Loki snapped.
His finger trailed upward across bare flesh and the cold steel followed. Loki couldn't stop a small sound of pain as the cone expanded upward through his insides towards and under his ribcage. He could feel it cutting a path for itself, following the finger that trailed along the skin on the outside. Finally it stopped, not quite reaching his quickly beating heart.
"Still," Loki choked out, not bothering to open his eyes.
The acknowledgement was accompanied by his finger moving back to where the first wound was made. He pressed down on it, causing the prince to tense up and gasp, hands clenching and unclenching at the ropes that bound him. He took a trail of blood with him across pale skin as he dragged his finger downward, bringing the blade along beneath. The pain was extraordinary and as it cut through him and he could feel every muscle clench up, making the pathway more difficult and even more painful.
"Relax, Loki," the voice said softly and the finger stopped. "It will hurt less if you relax. In fact, it will hurt less if you simply tell me what I need to know." He waited a moment, watching his prisoner gasp against it, trying to remain in control and finding it difficult as his body rebelled. Loki was trembling now, blood coming from the open wound and trailing down his sides. His captor snorted and gave a sharp tug down, bringing the blade with his finger. It cut with such speed that Loki wasn't prepared and a short scream made it past his clenched teeth, quickly cut off but heard nevertheless.
The room was still for a moment, the only sound Loki's shuddered breaths as he tried to regain control of himself. His entire body was shaking now and he could feel every inch of the steel within him. Every movement he made - voluntary or otherwise - made new, small cuts as it shifted within him, the center of it staying steady where the shadowy man had put it. It dawned on him that he didn't even know his name. This man was going to kill him and he didn't even know who he was.
"Who..." he gasped, finding much less breath in his lungs than he expected. Certainly less than it required to speak. The effort was rewarded with a sharp cough and he tasted copper on his tongue.
"Say again," the figure prodded softly, as if he were caring for the wounded young man instead of torturing him.
"I don't know who you are," Loki finally gasped out.
"No, you do not. This is true." Surely there was a smile behind those shadows. "Was there a question in there, Loki?"
"What about it?"
Loki winced. The man had brought his finger back to the cone itself and seemed to be teasing with it. It was moving just a little, shifting the entire knife within him and causing an unbelievable amount of pain with each movement. It radiated into all parts of his body, making it difficult to even think, much less speak.
"What about it?" he repeated at last, giving a vicious twist that moved everything and opened new wounds wide. "Finish the question, Loki, or the pain will only get worse."
"Yes you can. You are a prince of Asgard. You do not break so easily." He paused for half a moment to listen to the young prince's gasps of pain. "So, you see, you must finish your question, little prince, or I will bring it around the other way."
It began to shift slightly.
"What is your name!" Loki nearly shouted, trying to quell the rising panic of the oncoming pain.
"You may call me Tyr." He chuckled. "See? That was not difficult, was it? Perhaps we can try this again now that you see how productive it can be. How do I travel to to reach the vaults beneath Odin's palace without alarming the guards?"
Loki only glared. He hated this man. Hated him more than anything he could come up with for that moment. The pain was more than he had ever felt in his life - and being the younger brother of Thor, that really did mean something - and he could feel his body trying to shut down and the rune not allowing it. He should be dead, but he was being kept alive against all odds. He would make him regret it. Somehow. He had to come up with a way to distract him and send Thor a message. He had lost track of how long he had been down there now.
A cry left his lips when the cone shifted back to its centered positioning that it had begun in. His mind flew into overdrive, trying desperately to come up with a plan. Anything that would save him. It struck him just as the knife shifted again, ripping through him and his voice echoed in a pain yelp throughout the room and it seemed as if it had come from someone else.
"The south east," he gasped out, choking against the blood rising in his throat. He was going to be sick.
"South east what, Loki?" Tyr demanded, civility only barely in place as he continued to twist.
He could feel the blade touch against his lung. How could he feel that? Surely Tyr knew he couldn't speak if he ripped his lung in two. As the top blade pressed against it dangerously, the bottom touching his hipbone, he decided that Tyr did not care. "South east side of the palace," he managed. "There's a door. Difficult to find. The entrance is... overgrown. By the lake."
"What of it?"
"Don't know it's there."
"That's a lie, little prince." Tyr twisted the knife and Loki felt it cut into his lung, the blade instantly plugging the hole, but making it nearly impossible to breath. "Speak now or I'll rip it to shreds and you'll drown in your blood at least ten times over before the rune can heal it."
"It was closed up. I opened it. Thor and I used it to sneak out... when we were younger."
"And there are no guards?"
"No. That's why... we used that one." Loki swallowed hard, forcing the words from his blood covered lips. "Through the door. Immediate... left. Up the corridor there are steps." He stopped, feeling the chopped words taking their toll. The entire room had begun to spin and he was going numb. Numb was not good. "Right at the top. It's a back entrance to the vaults. Guards will be further ahead, so don't go past that room. Everything should be there."
Tyr smiled in the darkness, finally leaning so that Loki could see at least that much of him. "Good boy," he praised and pulled his hand away. He wiped the blood off on a towel and started out.
He turned back to the desperate prince, waiting for what followed.
"You can't... leave this thing in me."
"You'd prefer I take it out?"
The smile returned, as did Tyr. He leaned over, his lips very near Loki's ear and his hand hovering over his midsection, poised to control the weapon within him. "Beg me, little prince."
This was a trick, Loki knew. He didn't know if it was meant to see if Tyr had truly broken him or if it was just to be cruel, but it was a trick nevertheless. One that he would have to abide by if he were to live. "Please."
"Little louder, and with a bit more feeling, boy."
Loki felt his entire body give a terrible shudder and he choked, hard. He turned his head and felt the blood in his mouth trip to the table. "Please... remove it. I... beg you to."
"Why should I? A real reason. It'll hurt if I leave it in or take it."
"The spell will heal around it."
"I'll just have to put it back in if you're lying about this."
"Very well." With quick movement of his fingers Tyr had the knives pulled back into the cone, centered up deeply in Loki's abdomen. The prince gasped and choked against the shock as his body shook violently. His captor pulled the cone from him and patted him against the cheek. "You'll sleep soon and when I return, should I have my prize, we'll talk about sending you home to tell your father what you have done."
Loki watched the retreating form and felt a tear trail down his bloody cheek as the torches went out all around him and plunged him into darkness.
A/N: I don't delve into out-and-out torture very often. Curious to know your thoughts though.