Author's note: So I saw TDW last night. I don't want to give any spoilers, since I know it isn't out everywhere yet, but this story just became officially AU. Not that I don't like where the movie went and how it ended - in fact, I thought it was all nine realms' worth of amazing and raised some very interesting questions - but it just doesn't work for what I've already written or for where I'd intended to go next. Maybe I'll base a future story off speculation about the movie's ending. ;)

Oh, and as soon as it opens in a cinema near you, GO AND SEE IT! Nine realms' worth of amazing, I promise you. (And oh, my Loki feels!)

She was drowning. Dying perhaps. She didn't know anymore. Then again, she didn't really care, either. Loki was being as good as his word, and she was awash on a sea of pleasure. She could barely think, and certainly not of anything not centred on the wonderful, terrible things he was doing to her.

He had conjured a blanket on the ground before lowering her onto it and proceeding to touch and taste every inch of her body. Almost every inch, she corrected herself. Also true to his word, he had raised her to a fever-pitch of arousal without touching the one place she was desperate to feel his hands or his mouth. Or both. He was creative and ruthless and, from the glimpses she'd caught of his face in the moonlight, enjoying every minute of it. Which was good, because she wasn't in any condition to return the favour just now.

"Loki, please..." She had resisted begging until now, unwilling to let him have everything his own way, but it was becoming unbearable. And the one time she'd tried to do something about the problem herself he'd threatened to secure her hands above her head if she didn't behave. While that image wasn't entirely without appeal, she knew she couldn't bear it tonight. At least this way she could still touch him - could still run her hands through his hair or over his back and shoulders. To be completely helpless would surely drive her completely mad!

Loki looked up with a dark chuckle at her whisper. "Oh, so you can speak!" He moved over her and gave her a lingering kiss. "Your determination to stay silent for so long is most impressive," he whispered once he was done. "Now, please what?"

Karla hissed and arched against him as he continued to tease her. It was difficult to put a coherent sentence together, but somehow she just knew that he wasn't going to do anything further until she asked for it. Which would probably be sweet if it didn't currently make her want to throttle him. "Please..." She licked her lips, trying to focus on forming words. "Want you. Need you, Loki..."

From his soft intake of breath she could tell she'd chosen the right words. He shifted so that she could feel him at her entrance, but his weight on her hips meant that she couldn't move any closer than he was allowing. "Is this what you want?" he asked. His tone was teasing, but his voice was rough with desire.

"Yes. Please!" That last came out as a gasp of pure desperation, and he finally took pity on her and drove into her with a single hard thrust. She couldn't help the cry of pain that escaped her - she had noted early in the evening's proceedings that he was impressively endowed, but she hadn't followed the thought to its logical conclusion until now - and he instantly stilled.

"Karla? Little one, are you well?" He sounded concerned, and she found herself unexpectedly smiling.

"It's just been a while," she told him, caressing his face. "And you're... quite impressive."

His face was mostly shadowed at this angle, but she could see his teeth flash in a quick grin. "I'll go slowly," he promised. "I'm not about to undo all my good work."

Her attempted response turned into a soft whimper as he began to move inside her, and even she wasn't sure whether the sound owed more to pleasure or pain. As he continued, though, the pain faded as pleasure very definitely gained ascendency. His boast about his skill hadn't been an empty one and she found herself clutching at his arms and involuntarily raising her hips to meet each thrust. "Dear gods..."

Loki paused and cocked his head, his teeth catching the moonlight in another of those quick, feral grins. "Only one god you need to concern yourself with just now, my sweet girl. Me."

She laughed and was rewarded with a soft groan of pleasure from him. "My god," she murmured, running her fingers along the edge of his jaw. He growled and thrust into her again, and she drew his head down for a kiss. The fact that he let himself be drawn was as heady as the feel of his lips on hers, since he'd already made it clear that he was the one in control of the proceedings. She broke off with a cry as he slipped a hand between them and the extra friction just there sent wave after wave of fire racing along her nerves.

Dimly she was aware of an echoing cry from Loki. He held himself very still for a moment, breathing harshly, then carefully lowered himself until his forehead rested against hers. They lay like that for a while, muscles twitching, breath slowly returning to a more even rhythm, until he lifted his head again and shook it. "That was... unexpected," he said with a rueful chuckle. "I hadn't intended for it to end so soon, but..." He drew in a quivering breath, shaking his head once more.

Karla smiled dreamily. "Let's take a little time to recover before trying again, shall we?" I'm not sure I'd survive round two right away, she added to herself.

He threw back his head with a bark of laughter. "You are full of surprises," he chuckled. Rolling to lie beside her, he gathered her against his chest. "I might almost have to revise my opinion of mortals after this."

It was a wonderful feeling to be encircled by strong arms and pressed against firm muscle. So tempting to just let herself drift in post-coital bliss, but a statement like that couldn't possibly be allowed to pass without a response. She raised one eyebrow and said, "Only 'almost'? I obviously need to try harder."

"I look forward to it." The other advantage to their new position was that she could see his face more clearly, and the challenge in both his eyes and his smile made her shiver. His smile grew as he felt it.

Looking to change the subject before that recovery-time became non-existent, she asked, "So am I allowed to ask why you were standing naked on the bank of a Midgardian lake in the middle of the night?" She felt a little proud that she remembered enough of Norse mythology to use 'Midgard' instead of 'Earth'.

Loki raised one eyebrow and said blandly, "Like you, I was going for a swim." She snorted and gave him a mock glare. He returned an innocent smiled, then relented. "I have only recently been accepted back into Asgard's court, but that acceptance is incomplete. Few like me, fewer trust me." He shrugged. "Not entirely undeserved, but that's beside the point. But such scrutiny, day after day, is wearying. I sought some peace and quiet and time alone, that's all."

"Sorry I messed that up for you then."

"Don't be sorry." He grinned. "While I can't exactly say your company has been restful, it has certainly been restorative."

She laughed and replied cheekily, "Glad to be of service." Considering his explanation, she hesitated before saying, "You said accepted back... Do you mean after what happened in New York?"

His expression darkened. "Yes, after that and... other things. Would it please you or bother you to know that I was imprisoned for my transgressions?" His tone was harsh, and it seemed to Karla that he knew which answer he was expecting to hear.

"Both and neither," she murmured. He made an interrogative noise, and she smiled sadly as she clarified, "I can't be entirely unhappy that there was some punishment after New York. That was a lot of destruction, a lot of death, that you were responsible for in one way or another. But I'll admit I'm a little relieved that it was only imprisonment. I know that our myths about your people probably aren't entirely accurate, but there's a lot of inventive and truly sadistic punishments in there. I'm glad that didn't happen to you."

Loki gave an odd, choked little laugh. "That's probably greater understanding and forgiveness than I have any cause to expect in this realm. Thank you."

She dropped a kiss on his shoulder. "Well, I'll admit I'm probably biased, since I've just had utterly amazing sex with you, but then again I also didn't entirely disagree with your goals." She shrugged. "It would never have worked, but the idea was nice."

"Oh?" There was an intensity in his expression now that was incredibly compelling. "What makes you say that?"

That's got his attention, she thought with an inward chuckle. I wonder if anyone's bothered to sit down and talk this through with him, or if they just shouted at him and threw him in jail? She settled back comfortably into the curve of his arm. "When you said that humanity craved subjugation, that we spend too much time and effort scrambling for power, you weren't entirely wrong. That scramble for power causes trouble time and time again, for individuals as well as nations. And there is a certain relief sometimes in just sitting back and letting someone else call the shots. Make the decisions. But you missed one vital point."

"What's that? And can I add that I'm intrigued that you're so familiar with my speech? You weren't there, were you?"

She chuckled. "Even with you intimidating the crap out of everyone, there were still people with the presence of mind to film it on their phones. I saw it, and I spent a fair bit of time thinking about it. Which brings us to the bit you missed: humans are perverse creatures, to the point of being downright contrary as all get-out! If you try and impose something like that there'll certainly be those who fall into line. But there'll be just as many who will fight against it with everything that they are simply because personal sovereignty and individuality is so very much a part of our make-up."

"I had a way of dealing with that problem." He looked down at her with a wry smile. "It may have taken a while, but it wouldn't have been insurmountable."

"I'd heard rumours of mind control of some sort..." She trailed off questioningly. When he nodded, she said, "So you'd have enslaved the minds or wills or whatever of everyone? Still wouldn't have worked. You've just as much as said you couldn't do it to the whole planet at once, and once people realised what you were doing they'd have fought. There's probably no surer way of getting large groups of people to rise up against you than to threaten human individuality, and you'd be amazed at how tenacious humans can be when we feel threatened. The idea of a society remade into a horde of mindless clones has been a popular horror story trope for ages. That has motivating power like you wouldn't believe."

Loki looked thoughtful. "But you agreed that it would be a beneficial thing for humanity to be ruled over in that way? Why then should they fight?"

Karla wrinkled her nose. "As a species we're not really geared towards the greater good as a rule. And while I do say that I can see the potential benefits, that's true, I don't necessarily hold that it would be altogether good either. Human individuality and striving has its value as well." She frowned as she tried to capture a stray thought, then added, "It's been said that the absolute best form of government is a benevolent despotism, which is kind of what you were talking about establishing - one person at the top who has all the power and makes all the decisions, but that those decisions would be made with the welfare of society at heart." She eyed him sidelong. "At least I hope that's what you were proposing."

He chuckled. "Of course. It wouldn't have suited me to rule over a realm to its destruction. And as much as anything else I was looking to... prove my worth, shall we say. But you're implying that, although this is a known fact, it doesn't actually happen. Why not?"

"We have another saying: absolute power corrupts absolutely." She grimaced. "The chances of finding someone who could wield that sort of power and not succumb to the temptation to use it for selfish ends are vanishingly small. And even if you did, even if you found a veritable saint who had only love for their people and no desire for self-aggrandisement, what of their successor? Will the next ruler be equally restrained? What of the next? Sooner or later you'll have someone in the position who just can't resist."

Loki grinned. "Well, I have something of an advantage there. No need for a successor."

"And how are you at resisting temptation?" she teased. "This evening suggests not very."

He laughed and gave her a squeeze. "This evening has been unusual in a number of ways, but I take your point." He continued to chuckle for a moment, then sobered. "You've given me much to think about, though. I had several reasons for targeting this realm, but perhaps one of them was based on... erroneous information?"

"You mean because we're not quite the pushovers you assumed we'd be?" She gave him an innocent smile. "Yeah, that sounds about right."