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“Good to have you back, how did it go?”

Steve holds out his hand, then thinks better of it, and pulls Thor into a one-armed hug, slapping his shoulder.

“I believe we made a difference.”

Tony shakes his head. “I hope so. We’re gonna do this either way, but it will be a hell of a lot easier with the Coalition behind us.”

“And Asgard,” says Thor, quietly. That will be the next trip- one he’s been putting off making. Home .

In London it had seemed like the leaders of Midgard would vote in favor of allowing the Avengers to extend their reach beyond the planet’s boundaries, and even allow them to recruit their own team with minimal interference. The extent of Odin’s good-will towards the Avengers remains to be seen.

Loki. It all comes down to Loki.

The whole peace pact between Midgard and Asgard had teetered when S.H.I.E.L.D. accepted Loki’s surrender in exchange for the Tesseract, and it had taken Thor weeks of cajoling, reasoning and downright pleading to get his Father to see the harm of storming Midgard and dragging Loki back in chains. He’d hoped that the All-Father’s wisdom would outweigh his fury at Loki’s defiance when he’d escaped Asgardian justice, but his grief and humiliation over his son’s behavior has blinded him, and Thor is now left in the difficult position of assuring the Midgardian authorities that Asgard will have their backs in any interplanetary war, while not being quite certain that it’s true. The whole of their agreement hinges not just on Asgard’s nominal good-will, but their active support. 

He’s spent the last week telling politicians and military leaders that they can take Odin’s support for granted, and he knows all too well that without these reassurances everything they’ve worked so hard for will be for nothing. It galls him- they’d been greedy accepting Loki’s bargain, shortsighted, and disrespectful of Asgard. The All-Father has legitimate cause to doubt the intentions of his allies, and yet Thor knows that the two worlds must work together or be torn apart by Thanos.

You’ll have to go back there. There’s nothing else for it....

And he’s beginning to suspect that Loki will need to come too. Odin’s wounded pride will accept nothing less but to wound Loki equally. If he can go there, perform some act of contrition that will cool the flames of Odin’s anger, perhaps things can be mended. He’s known it for months, but hasn’t managed to find the courage to bring it up with Loki.

Can I really ask that of him? And if I do, is there the smallest chance he’ll agree?

If there is, it will be out of love for him-Thor, and isn’t that a sort of betrayal? Blackmail, almost? If you love me, you’ll do this for me . It doesn’t sit well with him, but something will need to be done.

Speaking of love, Thor is a little surprised that Loki isn’t here in the palatial common room to greet him. Even Bruce has dragged himself away from his papers for long enough to share a drink. He shakes his head, smiling to himself. Loki , Loki will you ever feel secure enough in my love that you don’t need me to chase you?

As he walks towards his own quarters, travel-weary and looking forward to a hot shower and his own bed, he cannot help but picture the sight that awaits him. Because what he’s missed most of all on this trip was Loki.

Has his Brother missed him? He suspects he won’t be able to tell even if he has. Maybe he’ll be slumped in a chair pretending to be asleep as though waiting for Thor is far too tedious to stay awake for. Perhaps he’ll be engrossed in a book, barely glancing up as Thor drops his suitcase on the floor.

Oh are you back today? I thought it was tomorrow.

Maybe he won’t be there at all, waiting for Thor to come to his own rooms. He isn’t always the easiest of romantic partners, but Thor supposes he earned this with his rejection of Loki all those years ago. Any insecurity Loki feels is his own fault and he hopes that one day he can atone for it. His fingers move to the pocket of his jacket where the large square box distorts the leather. He’s going to hate this.  

If he does, he does. If Loki doesn’t see the meaning in the gift and accept it, then the gift is worthless anyway. Thor is aware that he’s nervous- far more nervous than he had been during any of the negotiations.

Perhaps it will be better if he isn’t there. My courage will fail and I’ll put the box away in a drawer and forget it a while longer.

In fact, when he opens the door he thinks at first that Loki isn’t there. The couch by the vast picture window where he likes to sprawl with his book is empty, although the lights are on and irritating fiddly violin music of the type Loki favors is playing softly.

“Brother?”

He takes a step into the room, which is all he manages before Loki is in his arms, shoving him back into the door, his arms wrapping around Thor’s shoulders, his tongue pushing into his mouth, hot and eager.

So much for pretending disinterest.

Thor is astonished, yet it’s certainly not an unwelcome surprise. He grabs Loki’s ass and yanks him up into his arms. Loki’s long legs wrap around his hips right away, and Thor can feel the hardness of his cock rubbing against his belly.

“You missed me then?”

“Brother, you’ve no idea.” Loki’s voice is breathy, sincere . It troubles Thor a little. He knew that things might change once they’d spoken the words out loud; I love you . And yet the power he has over Loki now...it’s an incredible thing, and perhaps a dangerous thing. Their relationship barely survived his first betrayal of Loki. Hell, Midgard barely survived his first betrayal of Loki, what if he fouls things up again?

“You’re thinking,” says Loki, squirming in his arms. “Stop thinking and fuck me.”

To hear him talk so crudely mashes all of Thor’s buttons as thoroughly as it always does when Loki drops his haughty act. He carries Loki into the bedroom without another word and dumps him onto the bed where he bounces a couple of times before Thor is on top of him.

He rips Loki’s T-shirt up over his head, trapping both of his arms against the bed with one forearm so that he can run the other hand posessively up and down Loki’s bare chest, twisting at his sensitive nipples so that Loki’s eyes squeeze shut and rocks his hips against Thor.

Mine.

He has no patience to deal with Loki’s belt, and simply snaps it in a single sharp twist. He thinks Loki will protest at the purr of ripping cloth as he yanks his jeans down.

Those are designer, you know.

But Loki only moans, the naked need in his tone making the hair shiver up on Thor’s neck.

He flips him over onto his front.

“Use your magic, get yourself ready for me. I’m in no mood to wait.”

Apparently Loki isn’t either. He squirms himself up against Thor’s cock when he frees it from his jeans and shoves it up against Loki’s hole.

“Do it now,” gasps Loki.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” says Thor.

“I want you to hurt me,” says Loki. “Make me take it. Make me submit.”

The words go straight to Thor’s cock and he doesn’t bother to argue, the heat of Loki’s need frying flimsy concepts like caution to ash.

 

Loki is tight, and it takes him a couple of thrusts to work the head of his cock into the snug circle of muscle. The slender body writhes deliciously beneath him and he pins Loki’s wrists to the bed roughly, feeling the bones grind in his grip. He can tell from the harshness of Loki’s breathing and his small bitten-back whimpers that this must be hurting him, and yet thanks to his magic, he’s slick and ready and his body’s protests are no match for Thor’s strength, as he shoves himself in through the first tight ring of resistance, feeling it clench and quiver around his length as he pushes on until he’s buried to the hilt, opening Loki up to him by sheer force.

“Is that what you wanted?” he hisses. “Like that?”

“Yes, Norns yes, Thor. Please .”

“Please? You’ll have to do better than that. Beg for it properly.”

Loki whimpers and squirms and Thor sees stars as his cock is squeezed even tighter.

“Thor, please fuck me, I’m begging you. I’ve waited so long for it, I’ve wanted you every minute since you left. I’ve needed you. I’ve needed this .”

“This?”

Loki is silent, and Thor treats him to an ungentle buck of his hips that makes the God cry out.

“By ‘this’ do you mean being held down and fucked like a whore? Being used and dominated by your Brother’s cock?”

“Y... yes ,” spits Loki. “ Yes , damn you.” There’s a little of the usual vinegar in his reply, and Thor is glad. It would be no fun to bully a pushover into showing his belly in this fashion- but to force it out of Loki, so proud and defiant in every other way is a delight. It drives him wild to reduce him to this, to make him admit what he wants. To make him beg for it. 

He has his Brother repeat his words out loud, and then again, louder still, relishing every bit of the shame and want that trembles in his voice.

I want to be held down and fucked like a whore.

He can hear how much Loki struggles with it, always so eager to cling onto the last scraps of his own pride, and he feels a great wave of love for his complicated, irresistible lover.

“Loki?”

“What? What else would you have me say?”

“Nothing more. Just know that I’ve missed you too.”

He’s not gentle. Now that Loki has put the idea in his mind he’s in no mood at all for tender lovemaking. He fucks himself into Loki’s body without a care for the other man’s satisfaction or even comfort, and when he comes it feels like his spend will never stop flowing. The sight of Loki’s ass and thighs painted with his cum when he finally pulls out is almost enough to start him off again, but he’s tired and feels sticky and travel-stained and ready for a shower and some sleep.

He’s still wearing all of his clothes, and he sheds them in an untidy trail from the bedroom to the shower.

“Loki?”

Loki still lies face down on the bed.

“Get your ass over here.”

Normally his Brother would chide him for using such base Midgardian slang, but perhaps the aptness of it impresses him.

Either way he sits up gingerly and follows Thor into the bathroom, wincing at each step.

The warm water is a relief, especially when Loki joins him. The way he looks at Thor, abashed and obviously still in the grip of his arousal and so yielding, so unlike the self that he shows to the rest of the world banishes all of Thor’s cares. He thinks again of the square box in the jacket of his coat. Perhaps the gift will be accepted after all. He crooks a finger under Loki’s chin, tilting his face up so he can claim a kiss.

“I love you in this mood. I love you always.”

A flash of discomfort crosses Loki’s face. “I don’t deserve you after everything I’ve done. But I’m glad I have you.”

“Neither of us are blameless,” says Thor. 

Loki laughs. “Your blotter is pure white compared to mine. But let’s not talk about it now.” he shakes his head feigning disgust. “I was going to pretend indifference to your return.”

Now it’s Thor’s turn to laugh, delighted to be proved right. “Why didn’t you?”

Loki sighs. “What’s the point? Lies are only fun if they’re believed.” The look he gives Thor makes him shiver. “I would hope that by now you know how I feel about you.”

Thor’s looks at him, assessing. “I believe that I do. But we’ve never really talked about it, have we?”

“Do we need words?” asks Loki rubbing himself against Thor. The slide of his wet skin is intensely distracting, but Thor mean to have his say.

“I’m not as clever as you, as you’ve often reminded me. I need to know where we are.”

“Together,” says Loki, quickly.

Thor taps him on the nose. “No deflection, Brother. This...the kind of love we have. You like to submit to me.”

Loki’s frowns, the blue eyes darting away from his own. When he answers his voice has lost much of its teasing, combative tone.

“I do. I don’t know why...”

“It doesn’t matter why. I like this too. I like to control you. But you’d tell me if it was too much?”

“Yes,” says Loki. He pauses. “Could I also tell you if it wasn’t enough?”

Now it’s Thor’s turn to frown. “What do you mean?”

Loki colors. “I don’t want you to hold back with me. Norns, to ask for it like this... I don’t know if the depth of your proclivities matches my own. I wouldn’t be telling you this at all, except that it’s been an odd week.” He laughs. “An odd week for showers, especially.”

“What?”

“I’ll tell you later.” Loki rests his head on Thor’s shoulder. “If you want to rule me, then rule me. I’d do a lot for you. Things I can’t put into words.”

He nuzzles into Thor’s neck his lips tickling Thor’s skin as he speaks. “If there’s something you were wondering about, thinking ‘is it too far?’ the answer is likely no. And I’d like it if you’d ask me..no, tell me what you want of me without holding back. Just trust me, as I trust you.”

He steps back from Thor.

“There. I can hardly make myself any more ridiculous.”

For a minute the only sound is the hissing of the warm water. An incongruously soothing backdrop to the whirring flash of erotic images in Thor’s mind. Does he really mean...? I can ask for anything? Finally Thor says “Do you remember the bathing pools back home?”

Loki nods. His shoulders are hunched inwards and his head bowed. He’s taken a huge chance making himself this vulnerable, and seeing him like this gives Thor the confidence he needs to continue.

“Do you remember the water servants?”

Slowly Loki nods. His eyes flick towards Thor’s and drop.

“Do you want...?”

Thor nods. “Serve me.”

It’s not the most perverse suggestion he can think of by any means, but in a way perhaps the request is more charged because of the mundanity of it. This is a servant’s role and Loki is a Prince. His equal. 

Loki can’t meet Thor’s eye as he picks up the soft sponge and covers it with soap, but when Thor glances down, Loki’s hard prick curving up towards the flat plane of his belly provides all the reassurance that he needs that his Brother spoke true when he said that he wanted this.

Thor turns his back on Loki abruptly, lifting his arms to rest his palms lightly on the shower wall. The first gentle stroke of the sponge across his shoulders makes him growl happily. It’s so warm and so soothing, and so very exciting to know that it’s Loki serving him so tenderly. The sponge moves in firm luxurious circles, seeming to coax the life back into his exhausted muscles. It glides up and down his ribs, the undersides of his arms, the back of his neck, then back down to the base of his spine. Before it can dip lower Thor turns round again, hands on the back of his head. He’s pleased by the hungry, adoring way Loki drinks in his body, as he smooths soap over Thor’s chest and belly with his palms, then applies the soft sponge.

“Good boy.” 

Loki’s eyes widen a little at the words and the faint spot of color deepens on his cheekbones.

“Now the rest of me. On your knees.”

Loki obeys as if in a daze, sinking elegantly to his knees. The warm water streams down his face and Thor smiles to see him blinking against it, shaking back the long black hair that hangs in damp curling strands. A slave’s position, kneeling at his master’s feet, his own comfort of no concern whatsoever. It brings Thor’s cock fully hard again, and he strokes it a couple of times as Loki goes to work on his legs and thighs. He can see by Loki’s desperate little glances that he wants to touch his cock, but he’ll have to wait for that.

Thor lifts a leg and plants a bare foot on Loki’s chest, giving him a little shove. 

“Lie on your back.”

Loki blushes more fiercely, then obeys, the water pattering on his smooth skin. Thor slides his foot up and down Loki’s chest enjoying the way he tenses up and then relaxes, accepts this new degradation. The slight swell of his pectoral muscles are smooth and firm, and the gentle rill of his abdominals is pleasing as Thor runs his foot downwards, to trace the trail of dark hair beneath Loki’s navel with his great toe. He’s gentle when he puts his foot on Loki’s cock, but he can see how the God’s breath quickens. Not from fear if the way he gasps and moves his hips is anything to go by as Thor squashes it back and forth.

“Look at you. Loki of Asgard, beneath my feet at last.”

It’s rhetoric of the highest Asgardian type- the kind Loki particularly despises- and yet it seems to be working for him now. Thor gives his hard prick an affectionate flick with his toes. 

“Where you belong, Brother.” 

Thor steps away and sink down onto one of the warm stone seats enjoying the feeling of the water on his shoulders. The weariness has left him and in its place is a deep feeling of contentedness. Of rightness. We were meant to be together in this way- two like souls grown on the same branch of Yggdrasill, as Loki always said.

“Come over here. No, don’t get up. Turn over and wriggle your way across on your belly like the worm you are.”

Loki makes a desperate little noise in his throat, but he does as Thor says, squirming his way around to face Thor again, his body sliding over the wet soapy floor until he’s lying at Thor’s feet, his breath tickling Thor’s toes.

They’ve played a lot of curious pillow games together in the past, but this one feels different somehow. Perhaps because Loki hasn’t bothered to make any of his usual little shows of defiance. There’s no pretense that he’s being forced into it. He’s obeying Thor because he gets off on it, perhaps needs it in the same way that Thor needs to dominate him.

Thor begins to stroke himself again. He means to spend himself in Loki’s pretty mouth, but he’s too turned on to keep his hands off himself.

“You can continue now,” he says. “Wash my feet.”

Loki’s hand gropes for the sponge, but Thor traps it gently beneath his foot.

“No. With your tongue.”

Too far, he thinks almost at once. And indeed Loki pauses, but apparently only to collect himself, for he lets out a single long shuddery breath, then inches himself forward to apply his warm tongue to Thor’s toes.

Thor closes his eyes, but the sight of Loki on his belly using that clever tongue in such a way is far too good a sight to miss out on. He still can’t quite believe that Loki obeyed him. What more will he do? How far will he go? How far will I go?

The sensation is ticklish, but not unbearably so. Mostly it just feels good , soothing and shivery. Loki takes his time, he’s loving and worshipful and Thor feels it in the Seidr that binds them. A great warm wave of submission rising up to meet the stormfront of his own dominance.

They’ve flirted at the edge of this before, but never embraced it so fully.

“You look good down there.”

Loki hums a pleased noise, and plants a kiss on the sensitive skin of Thor’s arch.

“I never knew you wanted this,” Thor says. “Beyond a game, I mean.”

“I’ve always wanted this. I wasn’t ready to admit it before.”

“I’m glad that you did.”

“As am I.”

Thor reaches down to stroke Loki’s hair affectionately.

“Up, Loki. On your knees again.”

Loki obeys him at once.

Oh Loki, the things I might do to you. The things I will do to you.

He wants to ask why things have shifted between them, what triggered this admission in his Brother, but that will wait. Right now all he wants is to spend himself in Loki’s mouth, but first he makes him finish his task, standing now with Loki kneeling beneath him. It’s a task that Loki seems all too happy to perform. His tongue is artful and insistent as it goes to work, slipping between the Thunder God’s buttocks to pleasure his hole, lathering itself over the tender little strip of flesh between his hole and his sack, lapping at the sack itself. When he pushes himself into Loki’s mouth he’s almost ready to cum and it takes only a few thrusts until he’s emptying himself down Loki’s throat as he swallows obediently.

He can tell that Loki is more than ripe for his own orgasm, but it amuses him to make the God wait...and it might be more appropriate to what he has planned. 

He’s doubted his gift ever since he’d bought it in that discrete little shop in Soho in that dark distant city, but now the rightness he’d felt when the idea had first come over him returns.

He turns off the water and reaches down to stroke Loki’s face. 

“Get a towel. Dry me off, and then yourself. And then come into the bedroom. I have something for you.”

Chapter Text

Loki feels dazed, as though he’s been drinking deeply from a bottle of something potent, or something enchanted . But what he’s drunk on is Thor.

Each hour until his Brother’s return stretched out almost endlessly, and he’s spent the whole of the day moving restlessly from room to room, unable to settle down to anything. When he heard the helicopter landing in the grounds outside he’d hurried to Thor’s rooms, with the vague thought that he might fein being asleep. Better to pretend nonchalance than to admit the depth of his pining. Thor might like it- but might also be discomforted. Plus, it’s not a good look for him, such slavish devotion. In the years of the rift between himself and Thor he’s become used to being the object of declarations of undying devotion, not making them. Everything he’s feeling now- every fluttering, trembling, quivering adjective is something he thought he’d put behind him forever. Had been glad to put behind him, to become cold and strong in his coldness, protected, adored but never adoring.

But now....

He’s no stomach even for his own lies tonight. His need for Thor is all-consuming and he greeting his Brother as a platonic comrade in front of the Midgardians would have been unbearable. Perhaps impossible. They’ve tolerated much from him since he’d been foisted upon them by S.H.I.E.L.D. but Loki suspects that flinging himself on top of Thor in the compound entryway would be pushing their forbearance.

 

He hadn’t meant to say what he had as he stood pressed against the body he’d spent the last seven days dreaming about, but the words poured out of him anyway. He supposes he could have kept the war of attrition going longer, made Thor work for his final surrender, but what’s the point? He’s learned a lot about himself in the week of Thor’s absence. The hollowness in his spirit that being parted from Thor has created is a powerful teacher- as is Stark’s singular construct, J.A.R.V.I.S. He’ll tell Thor all about that little escapade soon, but tonight is for Thor and Thor alone. The seidr that links them together- two like souls- can be denied no longer. 

 

Thor is waiting for him. The bedroom is dark except for the light of Midgard’s strange pale moon. The heat of his lust still burns as hot as ever within him, but the mood of the evening has shifted. He feels slightly ashamed at the completeness of his prostration minutes before, but instead of struggling against it as he usually would, he accepts the shame. It’s but one of the gifts he’s freely offered to Thor after all.

And speaking of gifts, it seems like Thor has something for him. He has a small suspicion as to what it is- or maybe hope is a better word. Whatever mystic bond connects them seems to be strengthening, and with it the affinity they share. It isn’t like he can read Thor’s thoughts, but there’s a certain accord between them now. 

Fate it would be if I were correc t. On the very night I give myself to him, and he arrives with such a gift...

And perhaps it’s some mundane thing? A new book or some strange delicacy from over the ocean . And if it is he’ll thank Thor and mean it, and they’ll go to bed together and he certainly won’t feel disappointment.

Certainly.

Thor looks so beautiful clothed in nothing but the silver of the moonlight that it takes all of Loki’s resolve not to throw himself into his arms again. His brother holds a square box in his hands. He looks excited and perhaps a little nervous, and Loki’s hope grows stronger.

The box is about the right size. Perhaps...?

“Come here, love.”

Love . Will the word ever thrill him any less? Loki hopes not. He moves towards Thor as gracefully as he can while naked, damp and painfully hard, and sinks to his knees in front of him.

He’ll always struggle with it a little- this submission to the one who’d been set above him both by Odin and by some older, more mysterious power, but perhaps this is a part of it? If it was easy it would be less exciting.

He closes his eyes as Thor rests a hand on his head, gently stroking the sleek wetness of his hair. 

“How lovely you are. How I missed you.”

Loki makes a noise that’s almost a purr. There are other parts of his body that need Thor’s touch far more urgently, but the strong hand petting his head is blissfully soothing. It traces the curve of his ear, strokes gentle circles on his cheek, smoothes his brow until he leans into it.

“Look at me.”

It’s difficult to meet Thor’s eyes while lost in so much bliss, but it gives him a thrill to obey.

“This gift I have for you...I only want you to accept it if you truly want it.”

Loki smiles. “If there’s one thing you never need fear it’s that I won’t do exactly what I want, when I want to, saving your permission, of course.”

Thor smiles back. “Nevertheless, I want you to be truthful with me. It’s not something I’m commanding you to do, or even asking...”

Loki presses a kiss to Thor’s palm. “Brother, stop worrying. Just ask me what you wish to ask me.”

Thor frowns. “You’ve guessed what it is, haven’t you? How?”

Loki shrugs slightly. “I won’t know until you show me, but I believe so. As for how...I always told you we were linked together. This is part of it. But perhaps it’s a box of chocolates and fate is even more fickle than I thought?”

Thor gives his hair an affectionate tousle. “Very well.”

He holds up the box. It’s made from thick black card- an innocuous enough beginning.

“It was after one of the meetings,” says Thor. “We’d finished late and it was nighttime. Raining. My kind of weather. I decided to take a walk around the city. Tony had been on the phone with Pepper every night and sometimes it grows tiring to be around people outside of our group. They all want my attention, and they’re all so excited to meet me no matter how exhausted I am.”

“How dreadful,” says Loki, dryly. He hardly ever leaves the compound himself. Midgard’s leaders might have accepted him in return for the Tesseract, but the people of this planet are slower to forget his wrongdoings- perhaps rightly so.

Thor chuckles. “It was so dark that night, that I thought I might get lost in it for a while.”

“Let me see it, Brother. As though I were with you.”

Thor nods his assent, and Loki reaches up to grasp his wrist. In the past he’s used this power to see into the memories of others to harm them- to force them to relive their weakest, most desperate moments. This is different. It’s a coupling, not a violation, and now it’s like he’s with Thor, walking the rain-slicked streets of the faraway city that smells of soot and stone and age.

The night sky and the great looming buildings are a black canvas, splashed with the shimmering rainbow confusion of the lighted signs reflected from the streaming rainwater. The streets are narrow and meander back and forth following more ancient tracks, where the bones who lie a fathom below the concrete roadways once drove their cattle to drink at rivers that now course underground.

They pass a Public House, like a little cave of homely brightness in the inhuman dark and the dazzle. The warm hum of voices and the smell of stale beer drift outwards, and Thor pauses for a moment, considering going inside. Wondering if he might fold himself anonymously into the sea of close-pressed bodies. But something in the night calls him onwards, down an odd little collection of narrow streets that smell of frying food and rubbish and piss. It should be an unpleasant smell, but it excites him somehow. Humanity in all its debauched, gaudy glory is to be found here. All sorts of peculiar things are being sold in the shops that line these streets- women, men, clothing and devices to inflame desire. But one shop is different from the others. A simple wooden door is set into a blank stone edifice. There’s no sign advertising the shop’s wares, just a neat little plaque fogged by age that reads ‘ Open .’

Inside is a long, narrow space, more like a corridor than a room. A grey cat blinks dismissive green eyes at him from a listing armchair. The dark creaking wood of the floors and the walls seem to swallow the light put out by the elegant brass fittings, and even the air smells of ancient oak and leather and it reminds Thor, oddly of Loki. And what the shop sells, is...

 

“Well,” says Thor, gently but firmly breaking the bond. “Perhaps you know.”

He opens the box. 

What Loki feels when he looks upon it is recognition, and yet it still takes his breath away.

The collar lies on the black velvet like a coiled snake, a slim, elegant marvel of deep green leather so dark it’s almost black, with filaments of gleaming gold describing an intricate pattern of swirls and loops, like crawling vines.

“It’s perfect.” He almost whispers the words.

Thor lets out a long breath. “Do you truly want this?”

“How could you doubt me? I’ve always wanted this.”

“So have I,” says Thor. “I’m sorry. For letting go of you. For driving you away from me. I thought...”

“Never mind that now, Brother,” says Loki. “Let’s bury the past here. Forge a different future.”

Thor takes in a shuddering breath. “I feel like there should be a ceremony of some sort. Grander surroundings than this little room.”

“All it needs is you and I,” says Loki. “And I’m ready.”

“Are you certain?

Loki considers Is he certain? It would be easy to dismiss Thor’s gift as a continuation of the bedroom games they’ve enjoyed. A more elaborate version of the collar Tony had put on him for the peculiar evening in the laboratory....but this is different. They both know it- know what it will signify, and Loki suspects that the seidr does too. One does not make bargains of this kind lightly. He can feel the power that swirls between them prickling on his bare skin, quickening his heart.

It’s a power that would be brooked no longer.

“Yes, Brother, I’m very certain. I’ve waited for you for most of my life. Don’t make me wait any longer.”

Thor takes the collar from the box, and frowns at it. “It was almost like it was waiting there for me. Or for you, I should say. Lift up your hair, would you?”

Loki nods and gathers his damp hair into a knot holding it up at his nape with one hand. The vulnerability of his position, unclothed and kneeling before Thor, his head bowed as though offering his neck up for Mjolnir to strike a killing blow is powerfully exciting to him, and his breath comes in shallow little hitches. His desire feels like a flood of molten metal spreading from his painfully hard sex to his heart.

When Thor’s fingers brush his collarbone he shivers.

“Be still, love.” The note of command- affectionate, loving, but still command- has returned to Thor’s voice and Loki feels himself falling into it, trusting in it. The collar is backed with a padded brocade of green silk that feels like cool lips whispering against his own when Thor holds it up for him to kiss.

A soft breeze stirs against his skin, and outside the rain begins to pour in a great hissing sheet. The thunder cracks only a second later, so powerful that it made shrink closer to Thor.

“Relax, love, it won’t harm you. It will never harm you.”

Loki feels a peculiar tingling spreading across his skin. “Brother, do you feel that?”

“I do...is the room growing brighter?”

But as Thor speaks the light flares for a second in a great white flash as though the lightning is flickering inside his mind, and when he can see again, the two of them are somewhere else entirely.


Above .

That’s the first instinctive word his magician’s mind comes up with. Above what he isn’t sure. Everything, possibly.

He’s no longer kneeling on the plush tasteful carpeting of the Avengers compound, but on a swirling miasma of mist that glows softly in a myriad of colors. 

Thor still stands before him. He looks a little taller here, his eyes a clearer blue, his hair is like living gold. 

“Brother, your...your skin!” Thor says.

Loki looks down at himself.

Blue.

Blue with swirling patterns of silver that form shapes like those on the collar. He knows what Thor is seeing as he gazes wide-eyed at him. His eyes ruby red, the horns jutting from his forehead. He can feel the weight of them as he tilts his head.

His Jotunn form, despised and shameful. And yet here he feels no shame. 

Behind Thor is the world tree.

Impossibly tall, the trunk many miles high, the topmost branches lost among the swirling nebulas that spell out the fate of every world that ever was and ever will be. There’s a sound as of far-off singing. A song once-familiar but long-forgotten that makes him feel melancholy and glad at the same time.

“Where are we?” breathes Thor.

“Where we’re supposed to be. Where all souls spring from and return to,” Loki smiles a little. “You did say you wanted something grander. After all, if Loki Laufesyson is willing to obey you, why not the whole of creation?”

“You, you don’t seem surprised.”

Loki considers. “I am. I never thought I’d see this place. Even the most powerful of sorcerers are only allowed small glimpses behind the curtain while we live..and yet we are two Gods. The sons of the Allfather and his shadow, Laufey. Our concordance is pre-ordained and carries great power.”

Thor shakes his head. “It frightens me.”

Loki takes his hand. It’s hot against his Jotunn skin. Thor shivers a little at the touch of his own frigid skin but doesn’t pull away.

“It frightens me too, but it’s right .”

“Yes, it’s right.”

He drops Loki’s hand to hold up the collar. It too has been changed by this place. The golden designs that look like vines move gently, as though blowing in an unseen wind.

“Now?” asks Thor.

“Now,” says Loki, lifting his hair up once more.

Thor is gentle and the collar fits as if it’s been made for him and yet Loki still feels a moment of panic as the smooth fabric constricts his neck. It’s a feeling beyond the physical, a soul-deep sensation of binding. When Thor fastens it, there will be no going back- not without cost beyond what might be possible to pay.

“I love you, Loki Laufeyson,” Thor says, perhaps sensing his nervousness.

“I love you too, Thor Odinson.”

When the clasp is fastened Loki feels it somewhere within. It’s a warm, exhilarating feeling, oddly like freedom. He doesn’t have to fight anymore. The battle has ended. 

His need for Thor’s body against his undiminished, in fact it’s grown stronger than ever, and although by rights the moment calls for solemnity, they’re neither of them used to staying solemn with each other for long.

“Mine. My own Loki. I want to take you here, at the foot of Yggdrasil,” says Thor.

“Then take me, Brother,” says Loki. “Take me as my true self for the first time. I believe that it’s supposed to be this way, or we wouldn’t want it so badly.”

In truth the question of whether the fates want them to consummate this here doesn’t really matter to him. He can wait no longer.

Whatever the true nature of the misty ground beneath him it’s deliciously soft, and allows him to relax enough to yield himself totally to Thor when he pushes him down into it. Thor’s hot mouth burns against his icy lips, but the feeling is more exhilaration than pain, and from the way Thor gasps and his hard cock rutts up against Loki’s own, he guesses the sensation is every bit as exciting to Thor.

He wraps his legs around Thor’s slim waist and pushes himself closer. When Thor’s fingers slip beneath the collar and give it a tug he feels himself starting to leak spend. Thor’s tongue presses its way into his mouth, marvellously hot and he surrenders himself to being overpowered.

“On your belly, Brother. I don’t want to make love to you. I want to take you like a master takes his slave.”

He doesn’t even wait for Loki to comply, merely sits up and flips him over. The misty cloudstuff beneath him tickles at his belly and chest and the hard aching length of his cock. Thor enters him in one swift thrust. The pain he’d felt from their hasty coupling earlier ought to rekindle, but what he feels is an overwhelming sense of rightness and pleasure.

Thor’s fingers twine into the back of the collar, lifting his head, and that’s how he takes him, fucking himself in deep powerful thrusts into Loki’s body, holding him in place by the collar around his neck. As a master takes his slave.

Pillow slaves are not unknown in Asgard, but have fallen out of style in recent years. Loki has seen but few of them, and although a prince of the realm would be within his rights to trail one after him on a chain, Loki has never felt the urge. 

Perhaps you always knew that you were meant for the other end of the chain?

His senses are so exquisitely heightened by the seidr that courses between that he feelsThor stiffen and swell inside him as his spend begins to flow, and this tips Loki over into his own orgasm. Perhaps in the future he’ll be made to beg for his releases, but for now, this is right, both of them reaching their peak together, Thor filling his hole, his own seed spilling into the swirling dreamstuff beneath him.

Perhaps it will spawn a new galaxy? That would be something to see. Or at least lend some truth to the peculiar Midgardian legends of his unlikely progeny.

As their pleasure fades, so too does the glorious realm that surrounds them, the lightness fading to black, the starry nebulas and distant galaxies dwindling to nothing, Ygriddssil vanishes into the blackness and is gone.

I’ll see it again one day. We both will. What will the years ahead of us bring? He hopes that when they are joined together under the towering branches for the final time it will be in love.

 

And just like that they’re back in the darkness of Thor’s rooms, lying side by side on the carpeted floor. Darker than usual in fact- the security lights beyond the windows are out and the retreating lightning storm is the only source of illumination.

“Light’s are out,” says Thor. “I wonder what happened?”

“Lightning strike to the power grid. Back-up generators are powering essential functions,” J.A.R.V.I.S.’s voice sounds slightly apologetic. “I expect to have us back to full power within the next half an hour.”

“Thank you,” says Thor.

J.A.R.V.I.S. makes his polite little throat-clearing noise. “It’s good to have you back, Thor. And congratulations.”

“Congratulations?”

“Yes.”

“What do you mean?”

But J.A.R.V.I.S. remains silent. Loki is glad that the dark hides his smile.

“Did Stark’s machine really congratulate us on what just happened?” says Thor. 

“I believe he did,” says Loki. 

“It’s ‘he’ now, is it?” asks Thor.

“Yes,” says Loki. “Look, let’s at least get off the floor. I’ll tell you all about it in bed.”

“Tell me all about what? Have you been up to something while I was away? Is J.A.R.V.I.S. involved? Stark said something about a programming error. Please tell me you didn’t break his machine.”

“Oh, I didn’t break him .”

Thor groans. “Loki, what did you do?”

“I think you’re going to enjoy it.”

Thor sighs. “Am I going to have to punish you for it?”

Loki rolls over and kisses Thor’s hand. “Like I said, I think you’re going to enjoy it.”

Chapter Text

When Tony had suggested the idea of a private chef for the Avengers team, Steve had been horrified. 

“We can eat in the canteen with the other staff,” he’d said, sounding as shocked as if Tony had suggested cannibalism.

Tony rolled his eyes, barely unable to hide his delight at this example of peak-Cap behavior, and the matter was dropped. 

The compromise is a private kitchen in the Avengers’ living quarters that is kept well-stocked by the small army of largely unseen staff who also call the compound home.

Tony will sometimes order food up from the staff canteen, but he never eats there, and certainly never bothers to cook for himself. More often he orders take-out which he eats hunched over the latest lab project, or he’ll go out on the town to the kind of eye-wateringly fashionable restaurant that Steve would happily see burned to the ground and replaced with a soup kitchen.

Banner and Nat are entirely uninterested in food, and usually concoct something only vaguely approaching edible in the private kitchen. Sometimes they join Steve eating with the security guards, maintenance workers and techs who keep the compound running at the long tables of the staff canteen. Steve has made an effort to remember the names of these men and women, and asks after partners and children. Nat eyes them suspiciously, and Bruce barely seems to notice them, usually lost in a sheaf of research notes.

And so Loki and Thor eat together, usually alone. At times it amuses Thor to ask Loki to prepare something for them from the well-stocked fridge, and to see him grow increasingly irritated by the intractability of his ingredients. I was a Prince, once . There ought to be a servant for this sort of menial task! But this morning Thor isn’t in the mood to leave his rooms, or to allow Loki to do so. 

The food you can have sent up from the canteen if you haven’t the time or desire to prepare it yourself isn’t half bad. Not exactly the fare a private chef- or indeed an Asgardian palace cook- would conjure, but good enough.

This morning it’s fruit and cheese and rolls of warm bread. 

“These red ones, I can’t remember what they’re called...”

“Strawberries,” says Loki with a frown. He’s propped up on one of the fat white pillows, his hair tousled by sleep, the new collar glinting around his long neck, making it look longer still. “A foolish name. They don’t look like straw.”

“What would you call them, then?”

Loki considers. “Skullberries, because they look like little flayed goblin heads.”

“Sounds delicious.”

“Well it’s better than strawberries.”

“Would you like one?”

Loki squirms. “Are you going to make me eat eat the whole of my meal this way?”

“If I want to. What are you going to do about it?”

Loki wriggles again, then goes limp against the silk ties that fasten his wrists to the bed frame. “Nothing.” His voice has an unaccustomed note of softness in it. Surrender. Thor likes that Loki has lost none of his asperity, but loves the effect the collar is having on him.

It’s like your hands are on me all the time , Loki had said as they’d lain together, sleepy and sated the night before.

Thor grins and taps the strawberry against his nose. “That’s right. Nothing. You’re going to do nothing but what I tell you, correct?”

Loki nods, his eyes cast down.

“Words, silver tongue.”

“Yes, Brother, I’ll do what you command me to do. Nothing more.”

“Good boy.” Thor gives Loki’s hard cock a squeeze through the sheets, gratified at the moan it produces.

“Still wanting more? Well, you have to finish eating first. You need energy if I’m going to fuck you again before the meeting.”

Loki sighs. “Must we go to the meeting?”

“Sadly, yes. This is your duty now, Avenger.”

Loki makes a face. “I’m not really an Avenger. None of the rest of them think so.”

“Well I say that you are,” says Thor. He gives Loki’s collar a tug. “And as we already established, you’re mine to command.”

Loki smiles in spite of himself. “Mmm, I wonder if anyone will notice your little gift? The thought of wearing it in front of them is..”

“I can feel what it is,” says Thor, giving Loki’s cock another squeeze. “Tony might know what it means, I suppose, but the rest of them won’t guess.”

“Do you think not?”

“No.” He frowns at Loki. “Are you tired of being my dirty little secret?”

“Never,” says Loki. “I am hungry though.”

Thor suspects that he’s changing the subject, but he’s enjoying demeaning the proud Loki far too much to refuse to continue the morning’s game. He holds the berry to Loki’s mouth. He’s learned enough now to wait for permission and Thor feels a thrill of pure power. To train and toy with Loki in this way is every bit as exciting as he’d dreamed it would be. He traces the berry over Loki’s lower lip, loving the storm of emotions in those wide blue eyes. Shame, excitement, rebellion battling with the deeper desire to obey.

“Alright, you can take a bite, but just a small one.”

Loki takes a small, neat bite. Too neat really. He always tries so hard to be dignified, but that can be changed. “Hold this a second, will you, love?”

Thor pushes the berry against Loki’s lips, staining them with sweet red juice. He opens his mouth to accept it, holding it between his teeth, frowning at Thor.

“No nibbling. Just keep it right there.”

The white top sheet is pulled halfway up Loki’s chest. Thor draws it back slowly, letting the fabric whisper over Loki’s sensitive skin, loving the way every tiny hair on his body stands up to attention. He pulls the sheet lower, exposing the flat, muscular belly, the top of the trail of dark hair that leads to the seat of Loki’s pleasure. He doesn’t expose the cock yet. It’s more of a tease to stop just short of it. To stroke along the trail of hair with one finger and enjoy Loki’s shivers.

“Don’t drop your breakfast now,” he says softly “If you stain my sheets I’m going to be displeased with you.”

Loki makes an outraged noise and Thor smiles.

Where to start? Loki’s body is spread out for him, the most perfect of playthings; And he can do absolutely anything he chooses with it. This morning he means to be gentle- well, mostly . Loki had told him all about his little escapade with J.A.R.V.I.S. in Thor’s absence, and although Thor is amused by it- not to mention turned-on- Loki is going to pay for his adventures. He doesn’t intend sitting down throughout the afternoon’s meeting to be a comfortable prospect for his unruly lover. 

He leans up on an elbow next to Loki, his fingertips drawing whispery circles around Loki’s navel. His Brother squirms at the ticklish sensation, and Thor reaches up to give the collar a tug. “I don’t think I told you to squirm about.”

Loki makes a noise of protest, muffled by the strawberry. 

“Look at you, like something ready for the feasting table with an apple in your mouth.”

Loki glowers, then gasps- as much as he can- as Thor’s fingers tickle at his belly more aggressively, dancing up his ribs and back down to his navel. He can see the muscles in Loki’s bound arms tense up with the effort of holding himself still. He pushes him a little harder, relentlessly teasing the most sensitive spot right above where the tantalising trail of hair begins, but time is running short and spending hours torturing Loki in this way will wait for another day. Instead he moves his attention to Loki’s nipples, knowing how intense the slightest touch there is for him. Loki stares at him pleadingly as Thor lowers his head to Loki’s chest, and Thor gives him an evil wink. His Brother’s lips are decidedly wet, and in another minute he’ll start to drool. 

So much for dignity.

He wets the left nipple with the tip of his tongue, loving the slightly salty taste of Loki’s skin, then blows gently on it, watching it stiffen and grow harder. He pauses to kiss Loki’s chest which rises and falls as his breath quickens before doing the same to the other nipple.

They seem so vulnerable, these dusky little nubs of tender flesh, helpless and unprotected. Thor teases them first with a fingertip, making them harder still, and then begins to pinch and twist, gently at first, and then more cruelly as Loki arches his back and pulls against his bonds.

“I told you once to keep still. I won’t tell you again.”

Loki replies with a muffled whimper, and Thor goes back to his task. How much abuse will they take? He’s looking forward to finding out, especially when barely using any of his strength is provoking such an intense reaction from Loki.

His Brother is soon trembling as Thor continues to squeeze and tug, rolling the hard nubs between his thumb and forefinger, stretching and pinching until they begin to grow rosy, the areolas puffy and pink instead of pale brown.

By the time he’s finished Loki is breathing hard, and his chin is slick and wet.

Better.

 He takes the berry out of Loki’s mouth gently. “What a mess you are.”

Loki just stares at him pleadingly, his words scattered by his arousal. 

“Are you a mess down there too?” Thor flips back the sheet to uncover Loki’s cock which looks almost as stiff and swollen as his abused nipples. Sure enough, a string of cum is already leaking from the head.

“I see that you are. We shouldn’t waste it though, should we?”

Loki jumps when Thor runs the strawberry across the slit of his cockhead.

“Now put out your tongue.”

Loki blushes fiercely- it’s still a wonderful surprise to him that someone with his Brother’s composure can blush- but obeys. The dazed, dreamy look of the previous night is back in his eyes, and Thor know he’ll do anything he tells him to without protest. The strawberry is a sticky mess by the time Thor has finished using it to feed Loki his own dripping pre-cum. 

He closes his fist around it, red juice squirting between his fingers, then mashes his palm into Loki’s face.

“Lick.”

And Loki does, his clever tongue lapping at Thor’s palm, slithering between his fingers, cleaning him attentively, his face a smeared mess.

“Good boy. I’m going to untie your hands now and you’re going to use that beautiful mouth of yours to make me come. And then I’m going to punish you.”

“For what?” Loki murmurs.

“For allowing Stark’s machine to couple with you. It’s not like I plan never to share you with another, but you’re mine. You don’t get to decide who you lay with any more, I do. Do you understand?”

Loki nods slowly. Thor unknots the cords binding Loki’s wrists and settles back into the pillows, arms folded behind his head. 

“Now make your Master come.”

He sees Loki’s eyes widen at the word ‘ Master ’ but he makes no objection, merely shuffles down the bed to press his lips to the underside of Thor’s cock, kissing and licking along the length just as Thor likes best. When the cool mouth closes over his shaft Thor sighs in satisfaction.

It’s good to lie here, relaxed and lazy, the morning sun spilling into the room as Loki attends him obediently. If being a King felt more like this and less like this afternoon’s tedium is going to, perhaps I’d accept the throne of Asgard after all.

He’s had many other lovers in his life, but no one ever memorised the pleasure map of his body quite as assiduously as Loki. He knows just how to nudge Thor’s pleasure up to the peak and then keep him there just shy of spilling over, every sensation almost unbearably pleasurable. Again, it’s only the thought of the afternoon's duties that make him bury his fist in Loki’s silky hair and push himself more firmly into his mouth until his orgasm billows through him, Loki swallowing obediently as Thor’s spend fills his mouth, his tongue flickering at the underside of Thor’s cock to draw the last of his seed from him.

He tugs on the hair in his fist until Loki gets the message and crawls up his body to lie on top of him, cheek pressed to Thor’s shoulder. He can feel the hot nudge of Loki’s over-ready cock pressed up against his own satisfied, softening one and it pleases him.

“Kiss me Brother, I want to taste myself on your lips.”

Loki obeys, his tongue sliding into Thor’s mouth, his skin smelling like sweet strawberry juice and Thor’s own musky amber scent. Thor toys with the collar around Loki’s neck, amused by the helpless little twitches of Loki’s hips as he rubs himself against Thor. Does he even know he’s doing it? Thor thinks not.

“Enough,” says Thor, pulling Loki’s head back by his collar. “It’s time for your punishment.”

Loki licks his lips. “Please...”

Thor presses a finger to his lips. “No bargaining, no begging. After we’re done you’re going to thank me for punishing you. Those are the only words I expect to hear from you.” He kisses Loki’s mouth. “You can cry as loudly as you like though.”

Loki looks scandalised at the thought of crying, although Thor has pushed him that far before now. Oh Brother, it’s unwise to present me with challenges such as that.

“Go and fetch the silver cane from the bottom drawer.”

Loki’s eyebrows quirk upwards, but he wisely doesn’t say anything.

“Yes, I know you hate that one. That’s the point. I want you to remember who you belong to every time you feel the burn of the stripes I’m going to give you.”

Loki sits up and is about to stand when Thor gives him a shove with his foot. “No walking. You’re going to crawl. And I’m sure you can guess how I’d like you to carry the cane back to me.” 

Loki glances back at him, then his eyes drop away and he slides off the bed onto his knees.

Thor loves that look- submission and shame. He’s going to enjoy this- not because he likes to see Loki in genuine pain, but because he loves to give him what he wants but cannot ask for.

He sits up in bed to better appreciate the rear view of Loki as he crawls on his hands and knees towards the dresser where Thor keeps the specialised items they’ve acquired during their time here. The pale perfection of his high round buttocks makes the thought of reddening them all the more enticing. As Loki searches for the implement of his destruction, Thor moves to sit on the edge of the bed, taking a deep swig from his cup of coffee. If only all breakfast times could be this relaxing! Although perhaps Loki doesn’t think so. He crawls back towards Thor with the cane held daintily in his mouth.

“Mmmm, how lovely you look. I wish I could lead you into the meeting this way. Find you a pretty chain to match your collar and have you kneel naked at my feet.”

The look Loki gives him is pure desire, and he’s sorely tempted to forgo the cane altogether and take Loki right there on the floor, on his hands and knees. His cock is already hungry for more, and Loki looks past ready, but he’s promised Loki a punishment and it would not do to disappoint him.

“How do I want you? Over my lap like the disobedient whelp that you are? Over the edge of the sofa? Perhaps not- far too dignified.”

Loki kneels before him, saying nothing, awaiting his fate. Good .

He takes the cane from Loki’s mouth, wiping the wet part of it on Loki’s hair and swishes it through the air a few times. It’s a slim, evil thing and you don’t need to swing it hard to break skin. He won’t go that far- not today at least, but Loki is going to feel this.

 

“I think I want you at my feet,” says Thor, deciding. “Turn yourself sideways. Perfect. Now get that head down, I want your lips on my foot. You can kiss your Master’s feet as he punishes  you. Perhaps it will help you to remember who owns your pleasure.

Loki makes a dismayed little noise. He’d used his tongue on Thor’s feet willingly enough last night, but by daylight and with the first heat of their reunion faded, it seems a more difficult order for Loki to obey.

But he does obey, arching his back nicely as he presses his chest and forearms to the carpet and kisses Thor’s feet softly, almost tentatively at first, and then more ardently as he accepts his position.

Thor leans over to caress Loki’s buttocks, squeezes the warm, firm flesh and smiles as his Brother parts his legs and arches his back higher. “ Very good. So good that I’m going to give you fifty strokes instead of twenty.”

Loki lets out the smallest moan at this, too clever to protest the unfairness of the situation.

His lips and his excited breath feel wonderfully sensual on Thor’s feet. 

The angle isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough. He lines up the cane with Loki’s buttocks and brings it down with a crack. Straight away the bright red welted line begins to rise, and Loki gasps.

“Don’t stop your task,” warns Thor.

The second blow he lets fall a little lower than the first, on the fleshiest part of Loki’s backside, enjoying the way the flesh jiggles and begins to redden. Loki’s breathing has grown a little heavier. Thor listens carefully to him. There will be times when he wants to overwhelm his lover with pain, but this is not one of them. He wants Loki to keep hold of his pleasure and his submission. He waits until he judges that the sear of the previous blow has faded before giving Loki another slash. Nevertheless the God is soon trembling, his kisses on Thor’s toes and arches turning to licks as though performing the only type of begging left to him.

Soon the red skin that halos each welt of the cane has spread to become one scarlet blush that covers both of Loki’s cheeks. Twenty five cane marks stand out, some of them already beginning to purple.

When Thor reaches down to run a hand over the raised, flaming flesh Loki gasps.

“We’re only halfway through,” says Thor. 

Loki says nothing, but his tongue works faster. 

“You’re good at that. A much better use for your tongue than your lies.” Thor leans back onto the bed, raising his feet to give Loki access to his soles. It’s a little ticklish but very pleasurable, and Thor begins to stroke his cock as Loki attempts to soften his resolve with his artful tongue, which licks softly from Thor’s heels to his toes, flicking between them, warm and soothing.

It’s almost a pity to resume, but Thor knows what Loki truly needs even if he may not think he wants it in the moment. He sits up and traces the cane over Loki’s tender flesh, observing the way Loki tenses in anticipation and then forces himself to relax again, knowing that it will only be more painful if he doesn’t.

He doesn’t give Loki any warning before he starts again, or even any time to recover as he gives him five punishing, intersecting blows that blossoms right away into bruises where they cross each other until Loki is squirming, fighting against the urge to break his position.

“Remember Brother, you earned this, by giving yourself to Stark’s construct. I want you to think about him while you take the rest of your whipping. Perhaps you can imagine him spreading you open and taking your hole while I punish you?”

The next ten blows are hard and Loki is soon whimpering and moaning. His lips are pushed up against Thor’s foot, but he’s lost too much control for anything more. Thor stops to give him a rest. If he goes much harder on the welted skin he’ll break it and he doesn’t want to make Loki bleed today.

“You have fifteen left. Perhaps I’ll be merciful and let you take them somewhere else. Would you like that?”

He smiles as He feels Loki nodding desperately.

“Very well. Lie on your back, legs towards me.”

Loki shuffles around to obey him, wincing when his raw flesh brushes the carpeting. He still moves gracefully, but almost like one in a dream. Thor is gratified to see the blue eyes are wet with tears. “How lucky that you should be mastered by one of the few beings on this planet capable of physically hurting you. I really do spoil you.’

Loki nods dazedly.

“Open your legs, Loki. I shouldn’t have to tell you that.”

Loki does as he’s told, in too much pain to be embarrassed at spreading himself for Thor. His cock has lost a little of its hardness and lolls on his belly.

“Stroke yourself. As you did for him in the shower.”

Loki can’t meet his eye as his hand slides downwards to stroke his own cock. It’s fully hard again in a few seconds and Thor can see how close he is to his peak.

“No,” he says, “don’t close your eyes. Look at me. You don’t touch yourself for your own pleasure anymore, but for mine.”

Loki moans and strokes himself harder.

“You’re going to get five on each of your thighs, and the last five on your chest,” Thor tells him. And then I’m going to fuck you so hard you won’t be thinking of straying for the forseeable future. Open your legs wider, unless you want ten on your prick instead.”

Loki gulps and does as Thor tells him. How he loves those long, muscular legs. The flesh of Loki’s inner thighs is especially pale and soft and it excites him to stripe them with vicious lines of red. Loki cries out as the cane bites into the tender flesh of his thighs, but he doesn’t stop touching himself and he doesn’t go soft.

“Good boy. Up on your knees, hands behind your head.”

When Loki is in position, Thor stands up. When he traces the cane up and down Loki’s swollen cock the look of fear and lust in his eyes is like nothing Thor has seen from him before. Not just submission, but total acceptance. Thor traces Loki’s nipples with the cane’s tip. “Still so red and hard. They’re going to be like this always from now on. Every time you put on one of your elegant shirts you’ll think of your Master.”

Loki’s eyes slip closed. “Yes, Master.”

Thor is frozen for a second. It feels even more wonderful than he’d dreamed of to be addressed that way by Loki. No matter how intense their games had been had he ever truly believed that this would happen?

“Good boy. You’ve pleased me very much this morning, so I’ve changed my mind. You’re getting two on each of your nipples and the last one on your hole.”

Loki’s eyes go a little wider but he makes no protest. He’s in the zone where he’ll accept whatever Thor tells him, and it makes him feel oddly protective and tender towards him, instead of sadistic. 

The blows to Loki’s nipples are light ones that he administers while holding onto Loki’s collar, but the flesh is sensitive and the tears roll down Loki’s face. Thor doesn’t even have to ask him to position himself for the last blow. He presses his face to the carpet as soon as Thor releases his collar, reaching behind himself to expose the little knot of his hole.

It’s a tap more than a blow, and the only true pain caused is to Loki’s pride, but for a man like his Brother such pain runs deeper than any other kind, and the tears are flowing in earnest when Thor sits back down on the bed and calls Loki over to his feet again. 

“Now, thank me for punishing you.”

“Thank you for punishing me, Master.” Has Loki ever sounded so small? Thor doesn’t recall such a time. Maybe when he’d taken his virginity all those years ago. Thor strokes the side of Loki’s face, wiping some of the tears off with his thumb.

“I love you. And you’re mine.”

“Yes Master. I love you too, and I’m yours, always.”

“Do you still wish to spend?”

Loki looks abashed. “I...if you wish me to, Master.”

“Good answer. But you’re going to come with my prick inside you.”

He makes Loki ride him even though they both prefer Loki underneath. He wants to see every expression on his Brother’s face as his bruised flesh slaps up against Thor’s hips. He’s half a mind to forbid Loki from coming anyway, but in the end he lets his Brother fuck himself into his hand while his tight little hole brings Thor off.

He’s not a monster after all.


“Loki? There’s something I need to talk to you about.”

Loki stirs and squirms around to face him. They’ve been lying like this for almost an hour, wrapped tightly in a tangle of arms and limbs, sometimes kissing sometimes just luxuriating in each other’s closeness. 

“What is it?”

“The meeting.”

Loki groans. “Talk to me about literally anything else.”

“Caning you again?”

“Alright, let’s talk about the meeting.”

Thor laughs and gives Loki’s bruised ass a pinch. “You’re so much fun.”

“True. But what was it you wanted to say? It’s something I’m not going to like, isn’t it?”

Thor sighed. “Yes. It’s about Asgard.”

He feels Loki tense up right away.

“What of Asgard?”

“Midgard needs the assurance of the peace pact.”

“And they don’t have it, do they?” says Loki smoothly. “Because of me.”

“Because of you and Father.”

Loki is silent a second. “You’re going to go back, aren’t you? Win his assurances.”

Thor feels wretched. “Yes. I don’t want to, but I have to,” he pauses, summoning his courage. “And...”

“And you need me to come too. To beg Father's forgiveness. Or he’ll refuse you. He never could stand being made a fool of.”

“How did you guess?”

“I’m cleverer than you. Ow.”

“You earned that pinch. Although it is true.”

Loki props his head up on the pillow. “Even if I was willing to do it, it wouldn’t just be a case of asking for a pardon. He’s more likely to send me back to my cell without talking to me at all.”

“I know,” sad Thor. “Which is why I’m telling you now. The others might want you to go...”

Loki laughs. “Of course they’ll want me to go! The fate of their whole foolish mission depends on Asgard!”

“But I wouldn’t put you in danger for anything. I didn’t want to spring it on you in front of them, make you feel like you were being coerced into doing something you didn’t want to.”

Loki laughs again. “As if anyone can persuade me to do something I don’t want to.”

Thor gives his collar a tap. “You might feel that you had to, because of what happened last night. But I want to be very plain that I’d never order you to do something I thought would harm you, and I won’t order you to do this.”

Loki is silent a long moment. His blue eyes study Thor’s. Finally he leans forward and gives him a deep lingering kiss. “I know that. It’s why you’re my Master.”

“But...”

Loki kisses him again. “Thank you for the warning, but we’ll discuss it in the meeting. I've no wish to talk about Father twice in one day. And don’t worry, whatever happens we have each other.”

“We do,” says Thor. 

He means it. No one will come between them again. Not Asgard, not Midgard, not the Avengers, not even Odin. 

Chapter Text

The perfection of his Brother’s jawline, furred at the moment with a golden beard that Loki finds almost irresistible is a familiar distraction during these interminable meetings. The deep, burning throb where the cane has left its untender kisses on his flesh is not unfamiliar. But what’s distracting Loki today is something different from either.

Home.

It’s not your true home, never was.

And yet...and yet the heart is treacherous and stubborn and doesn’t bow to logic.

He despises Asgard, and yet he craves it. The mesmerising surge of the deep green ocean as it thunders over the world’s edge into the cosmos, the multi-hued spray of the stars above, the graceful terraces, and towering vaulted halls where he and Thor had played together as boys. Mother. Even Father.

No. Him you cannot miss. He’s not your father and you don’t need his love or his approval.

And can never win either. Even if he goes back, he’ll never find what he’s looking for. Asgard is closed to him; perhaps it always was. Thor is the only part of Asgard he’ll ever be allowed, and to be fair, Thor is more than enough. It’s not just the potential damage to his pride that is kindling the unease within him, but the thought of being so close to everything he’s ever loved, before he learned that love was too wounding a game to play.

The swollen stripes that mark his flesh are nothing compared to the injuries that Odin’s lies ripped open.

And Thor expects me to go back—to beg Odin’s forgiveness for being the monster he made of me.

And yet he can’t hate Thor. He can’t help his nature any more than Loki can. This planet, and its strange people who are so weak in some ways yet so strong in others is under Thor’s protection. Loki believes his Brother when he says he won’t force him to return to Asgard, yet he knows Odin, perhaps better than Thor does, and he knows what the price of peace between the two worlds is likely to be. The Midgardian leaders were fools to accept his surrender and allow him to escape Asgardian justice. The Allfather will not forgive the slight easily, especially since he will no doubt blame himself for Loki’s actions.

It rankles all the more that Odin might believe it was all for him. That it was his attention he craved during his madness. 

He looks over at Thor who is listening to Steve with a small frown creasing his brow. What I wouldn’t do for you.

Will he do this ? There’s a risk he won’t survive it. Thor doesn’t understand the depth of the powers at play here. The forces that created Asgard back when time began run on a larger scale than even a Magi can comprehend, but ultimately all of them-Loki, Thor, Odin- are merely avatars of these greater forces. Playing pieces in a game larger than any of them can understand. Something has been stolen, the balance tipped; Only a sacrifice will suffice to atone. Odin senses, it and Loki senses it. If Thor knew, he’d never ask Loki to take the risk of putting himself in Odin’s power, but who else could his Brother enlist to help the Midgardians? Anyone who’d dare displease both Odin and Thanos to fight alongside Midgard would be an untrustworthy ally indeed. No, if he wishes to serve Thor as he promised he would, body and soul he has to do this. There’s no other way.

 

“Loki?”

He jumps a little, startled out of his reverie. 

Thor is looking at him expectantly. “Is it alright if we discuss Asgard?”

“Asgard? What about Asgard?” asks Banner.

“It’s nothing to worry about,” says Thor.

Loki smiles. “You’re a terrible liar, Brother.”

All eyes turn towards him. Bruce and Steve look confused, Nat is as unreadable as usual. Tony gives him a tight, sympathetic smile. Evidently he and Thor have already had this discussion. Thor himself looks purely miserable.

“Our Father is unhappy that you’re sheltering me here,” Loki says when Thor remains silent.

“What do you mean, unhappy?” asks Steve, his frown deepening. “This is the first I’ve heard of it.”

“I escaped Asgardian justice, and used the Tesseract to buy sanctuary on your world. Just because Odin hasn’t sent an invasion force to bring me back, it doesn’t mean he’s forgiven your leaders for the insult.”

“He was furious,” says Thor, softly. “I reasoned with him for days, and if my Mother had not stepped in there would have been war.”

“A very short war,” says Loki. 

“But this whole deal we have hinges on Asgard’s support,” says Steve. “And you’re saying that not only will they not support us, but they’re on the brink of war with us?”

“I told you he was a terrible liar,” says Loki with a shrug.

“I’m sorry,” says Thor. “I should have told you. I kept trying to think of a solution, but there’s only one that will be acceptable to Odin.”

“Well hey, at least there is one!” says Bruce. “What is it?”

Thor glowers at the table, not wanting to say the words.

“Thor buddy? What does he want? You’re making me nervous,” says Bruce. 

“He wants me,” says Loki. “I’m not sure what will satisfy him. Some act of contrition, perhaps. My head on a platter more likely. An eternity in an Asgardian prison cell is only the outlier, because I have this terrible habit of escaping.”

“That’s it?” asks Steve. “He wants you to go back there so he can...”

“So he can recover the face he’s lost in front of the Nine Realms by taking some sort of vengeance upon me, yes,” says Loki, coldly. 

He wonders if they’ll return the Tesseract to Odin as eagerly as they’ll return him. He hopes not. Odin will only lock it away. Whatever the Midgardians do with it is bound to be exceedingly unwise and amusing.

Steve folds his arms across his impressive chest. “No.”

Loki blinks. “What?”

“We’re not sending you back to die, or be locked up, or anything else.” Steve’s jaw is set and he shakes his head, disgustedly. “You’re an Avenger.”

Loki laughs, incredulous. “I killed hundreds of your countrymen. I almost killed all of you.”

“Don’t give yourself too much credit,” says Bruce, mildly.

Steve looks almost as angry as Thor. “You’re paying your debts by fighting with us of your own free will. All of us have blood on our hands and all of us have been given the chance to atone for it. He seriously thinks we’d send you back so he can throw you in prison, or, or butcher you? It’s not right, and it’s not happening.”

 

Loki feels stunned, cold. He looks around the table. Tony is nodding, and Nat gives him a smile.

“Steve’s right,” says Bruce. “It’s not acceptable. We’re gonna have to come up with something else.”

Loki has seldom felt less comfortable in his life. Even on his knees before Thanos bargaining for an army (and his life) had been less fraught than this.

He can’t even look at Thor. His mind is whirring, examining the Midgardian’s words from every angle, looking for any alternative to the unacceptable notion that... .just say it, coward . That they accept him. That he’s truly one of them. That they won’t sell him out for their own safety, even though it’s the sensible move- the one he’d surely make himself.

“There isn’t anything else,” he says at last. “I’m his son. I escaped his justice. He wishes to punish me and he sees it as his absolute right.”

“You might be his son, but you’re not his property,” says Nat.

“Dads are the worst,” mutters Tony.

“You don’t belong to him,” says Steve. “You don’t belong to anyone. We don’t own other people here on Earth.”

Loki can’t help but smile as he looks slyly at Thor. Perhaps there’s one that I do belong to ...

And then it hits him. Perhaps there is a way out of this afterall.


“Must you bring her here?”

“It would hardly be advisable for me to leave Midgard with things as they stand,” says Loki. “And I need to know if I’m right about this.”

“How does she have the tomes anyway?” asks Thor.

“I might have suggested she borrow them.”

“Borrow?”

“Permanently borrow. Against the unlikely event of my exile.”

“You mean you had her steal them?”

“I bound them to her for safekeeping. No one ever read them anyway. Do you have a better way for me to study the minutiae of Asgardian law?”

Thor sighed, deflated. “No.”

Back on Asgard Thor had been surrounded by his band of hearty warriors who rode his coattails to glory and adventure, but Loki too had been a Prince and he’d had friends and hangers-on of his own among the Asgardian courtiers. Nari was the cleverest of them. He’d tutored her in the siedr himself and she’d proved an apt and cunning student. He thought he might still have her loyalty.

Bringing her into the compound is a risk, but one worth taking. At least J.A.R.V.I.S. was easily persuaded to relax his security protocols.

“You can owe me a favour,” he said smoothly when Loki asked him, trying to avoid Thor’s amused look.

They wait for her in the observatory, yet another laboratory, this one perched at the very top of the compound. The glass domed roof gives a spectacular view of the dark grounds of the compound and the glittering lights of the city beyond.

“You don’t need to be here,” says Loki. “You two never did get on.”

Thor glowers. “Because she’s a witch and a troublemaker.”

“So am I.”

Thor gives Mjolnir a swing, as he always does when he’s nervous. “So you are, but I always could put you in your place. Can’t you at least tell me what your plan is?”

“No.”

“Because I won’t like it?”

“Yes. What’s the point in us quarreling if I’m wrong anyway?”

Thor drops Mjolnir with a thunk, and pulls Loki into his arms. “You finding some way to make it up to me. That would be acceptable.”

He loves the feeling of being overwhelmed by Thor’s strength. The muscular arms pulling him up against Thor’s chest, their lips coming together as though drawn to each other by some invisible force. “Thor, please I need to have my wits about me,” he says at last.

“Thor? Is that what you’re calling me?”

“Master.” He looks up beseechingly into Thor’s eyes. “Please Master, let me make it up to you later.” If I’m right you’ll have more of your share of this.

“Very well. But what does it say about your friends if one must keep their wits about them when asking for aid?”

“That they have wits,” says Loki. “Which is more than I can say for your Warriors Three.”

“Fandral has his moments,” says Thor with a shrug. 

Loki pulls a face and Thor laughs. “You only despise him so because you’re attracted to him.”

“I am not,” says Loki, firmly. “Now let me concentrate, I need to let her know where we are. Hiemdall will be watching and I won’t be able to keep her shielded for long.”

Projecting himself into Nari’s mind to summon her was easy. His student is skillful and they are used to conversing in the astral realm, although it’s been a while. Bringing her here will be trickier, but it’s the only way. She isn’t powerful enough to read the tome herself, and (not that he’ll ever admit it) it will be good to see her even if for a short time.

Thor sits on one of the ubiquitous black leather sofas as Loki lays out the runes, the shimmering golden lines lighting the room with dancing gold flame.

“My magic feels different,” says Loki, frowning at the glowing shapes on the floor. “Stronger. I think our coupling has increased our power. Do you feel any different?”

“Happier,” says Thor. 

Loki is torn between annoyance and delight. “Your magic, I mean.”

“I don’t know. I don’t make a study of seidr the way you do. It’s just...there. I expect I’ll find out next time we’re in battle.”

The spells come easily to him tonight, almost too easily. He can feel the power twisting in his hands as he binds it to his will. It’s wild, old magic of a flavor he only rarely experiences. It seems there are to be some unexpected compensations for his pact with Thor.

“There, he says,” eyes scanning the circle of runes. “It’s done.”

“Very well,” says Thor. “Call her. We haven’t long. Fury will be displeased if he discovers we let her in here.”

Loki claps his hands and golden light flashes. When it dims again, Nari stands before him. Her black hair is cropped short, but other than that she’s unchanged, slender as a knife blade, clever grey eyes flickering around the room, taking it all in. They stop for a second on Thor and her eyebrow quirks upwards. Her expression only softens when she sees Loki.

“My Prince. I’ve missed you.” She bows low, and it feels good . He may enjoy being Thor’s plaything but being worshipped by those incapable of mastering him has always been pleasing to him.

He allows her to press her lips to the back of his hand. “I’ve missed you too. I’m sorry this can’t be a longer visit, we’ve much to talk about.”

“Indeed we have.” She glances impudently at Thor, who makes no move to greet her. “Naglfar is hidden beyond even Odin’s reach and those loyal to you are waiting.”

Loki nods, pleased. Naglfar is his own spacecraft, a cunning warship, half metal, half magic- Not too dissimilar to Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S. now that he thinks of it, although Naglfar does not speak and think, (and certainly doesn’t fuck him.)

Let the Nine forbid his acolytes ever find out about that little escapade!

“Do you have the book?”

Nari frowns. “I do. It’s not my place to say it, My Prince, but you can’t be thinking of going through with this. After all you’ve fought for!”

“I have little choice,” says Loki, evenly. “If the Midgardians wish to secure peace with Odin, then I must make my own peace. And this is the only way I know of to ensure he won’t simply kill me or throw me into prison the second I cross the Bifrost.

“Let him imprison you! We will free you.” She glares at Thor again. “ Him , of all people!”

Thor looks puzzled, but says nothing and Loki is grateful.

“It’s no use my returning to Asgard at all if it’s to anger Odin more than I have already. Which my escape would certainly do,” says Loki as patiently as he’s able. “I appreciate your concern, Nari, but this is the best way. The only way. Now give me the book. I need to study the lore to make sure there are no loopholes.”

Nari looks unhappy still, but her hands dance in the complex pattern that will summon the book. She shakes her horned helmet as she gives it to him, but wisely doesn’t argue, taking a seat as far away from Thor as possible.

Loki sits cross-legged on the floor. It’s good to handle a tome of magic again. One does not read it as one would a mundane book. It’s more a melding of the minds- the mind of the one who wrote it, and the mind of the reader. If the reader’s mind is too weak it can be overpowered and your soul sucked into the book to reside there as a new chapter, but Loki is more than a match for this dry old ledger of obscure Asgardian etiquette and law.

An hour later he’s sure he has his answer. “It can be done. I’ll be quite safe if the conditions are met.”

Thor startles awake with a grunt and Nari rolls her eyes. “My Prince, there must be some other way. You can’t go back there like that. After everything! The shame of it! And to do this for him . I don’t know why you wish to aid him at all, let alone in such a way as this.”

Her fists are clenched at her sides and Loki feels a flash of pity mixed in with his irritation. It can’t have been easy for any of his old circle of supporters after his exile. They hadn’t been forced to leave Asgard, but what kind of life remained for them there, linked forever to his blackened name? Generally the less others know of him the more he likes it, but he has the feeling that unless he shows her the truth- and allows her to tell the others what has happened between him and Thor, he risks losing them, and he’s likely to need all the help he can get when the true battle begins.

“It’s not the sacrifice you think, Nari,” he says. “It’s already been done in the seidr. It needs only the formal mundane ceremony to complete it in Asgardian law.”

She gapes at him. “What are you saying?”

“That I yielded myself to Thor. To the destiny of our two souls.” He holds out his hand to her. “He’s my Master already. See the truth of it if you wish to.”

She still looks at him uncertainly, but she takes his hand and they both flinch at the jolt of the seidr that flows through them. He doesn’t show her everything- nothing close to it, but he gives her a glimpse of himself kneeling before Thor in that far-off realm of power, Yggridssl towering above them, of the collar being fastened at his neck. She steps away from him, blinking, her grey eyes darting to the collar that he wears even now. “You loved him? All this time?”

Loki nods. “And it’s my fate that we’re linked in this way. I’ve cheated many things in my life, but even I cannot cheat my way out of this.” He smiles at Thor. “Nor do I wish to.”

All sorts of emotions flicker on Nari’s face. He knows how she feels about him, but it can’t be helped. There’s only ever been one soul for him. 

Finally she nods. “Very well then. If it makes you happy, My Prince, how can I possibly object? And if it’s the will of the fates, which I see it is...”

“Returning to Asgard on these terms does not make me happy,” he says. “It will be excruciating. Yet he makes me happy.”

She looks at Thor again, a different look this time, uncertain and a little fearful. “I suppose congratulations are in order, My Prince,” she says to Thor, making him the slightest bow.

Thor nods stiffly and gets up to join them. “Thank you, Nari.” He turns to Loki. “But I still don’t know what it is you’re planning.”

“A formalisation of our pact, says Loki. “Keeping a slave fell out of style on Asgard before our time, yet it was never forbidden, and the laws surrounding the ownership of a slave are quite clear.”

Thor looks at him, uncomprehendingly. “A slave? What do you mean, Loki? Our pact was never one of slavery.”

“I wear your collar,” says Loki, uncomfortably. As much as he wants it, it will never be entirely comfortable to a nature such as his. “I kneel to you, call you Master. The seidr has ordained my submission to you. What else would one call it?”

“Love,” says Thor.

“Yes, that aspect will be tricky,” says Loki. “Odin cannot know of that. If he even suspects it, then his wrath will be unbound. All the laws in the land won’t save either of us. But if he thinks that you gave me no other choice...”

“I would never do that to you!”

“I know,” says Loki patiently, “But don’t you see? Under the most ancient protocols a slave is no longer a subject under Asgardian law, but the chattel of his owner. He can’t move against Loki Laufeson without defying his own laws, because there is no more Loki Laufeyson, only the rightful property of Thor.” He shakes his head. “His beloved son, Thor Odinson. He’d never do you the insult of confiscating your property. The Realms wouldn’t stand for it even if he did, especially in places where such practices are common. The laws are very precise on the entailments of giving yourself up to the ownership of another.”

“Which is why I could never allow you to do it,” says Thor.

Loki laughs. “But as I said, it’s done already. You know it, Thor. Don’t fight me on this.”

Thor shakes his head. “I won’t taint what we have between us in this way. Your submission to me is a gift.”

Loki glances at Nari who doesn’t seem to know where to look. Ah well, there will be greater humiliations than this to come.

He drops to his knees and takes Thor’s hand, kissing it. “A gift given freely, and in love. So what harm will it do to give us the protection of the law? What do we care if they know we did it for love?”

Thor strokes his face gently. “I can’t make you do it. You ought to be on the throne alongside me. Father...”

“Will be pleased. Tell him you made it a condition of my surrender. It might be enough for him to feel justice has been served. Either way he will be unable to harm me or imprison me.”

Thor pulls Loki gently to his feet. “Does it have to be this way?”

“It does.”

“There must be another path,” says Nari. “Loki, my Prince, we could attack instead! Take Asgard for ourselves! If you ruled then you could promise your help to the Midgardians freely.” 

“Not that I‘m not tempted,” says Loki. “But we aren’t strong enough. We might serve to weaken Asgard before we were defeated which would hand the Midgardians to Thanos on a platter. And I suspect my brother here won’t allow it anyway.”

“Of course not!” says Thor, with a glare at Nari, “But I can’t let you do this either.”

“As I’ve told you, it’s already done,” he brings Thor’s hand to his mouth again and kisses his fingers. “I don’t relish the prospect either-there are many I despise in Asgard who will relish seeing me humbled, but it’s the only way I’ll be safe. Is it worth losing Asgard’s good will- Midgard’s good will over? The leaders of this planet could make things very difficult for the Avengers if we fail to deliver what we have promised”

“You’re worth the Universe to me,” said Thor, softly.

“And you to me,” Loki shakes his head. “But I owe the Midgardians a debt. They were willing to protect me from Odin, and I’ll not make a shield of their sacrifice.” 

He smiles at Nari, who looks aghast. “As you can see, Midgard has changed me. But if any of them think me weak, tell them to start running now because I’ll be all too happy to prove them wrong.”

Nari swallows. “This isn’t weakness, My Prince. It looks uncomfortably like nobility.” She shakes her head. “Before we know it you’ll be carrying Mjolnir into battle yourself.”

Neither Thor nor Nari are happy with the plan, but as neither can think of a better one, Loki has his way. Nari agrees to witness it, and this is the most difficult part. He’d rather it was almost anyone. She’s his student, his admirer, one of the few on Asgard who saw him not just as Thor’s equal but his superior. To do this in front of her is a taste of the poison he’ll have to swallow on Asgard and he doesn’t relish the prospect of it.

I should have run somewhere else- anywhere else in the Multiverse. Why did I come back here? To live among these people? To become as weak as they are.

But it’s done and there’s no going back. And would you go back?

He looks up at Thor and is overwhelmed as always by the great, woozy flood of love and desire that undoes him totally.

Never.

He already wears the collar, so all that’s needed is the rune. Nari recites the coda, sounding none too happy about it. Loki kneels at Thor’s feet. His shirt is folded on the chair nearby. He’s worn less than this before a far larger audience, but he still feels oddly vulnerable and small stripped to the waist like this, and the urge to cross his arms over his bare chest is one he works hard to resist.

“I’m not sure I can do this,” says Thor. “I’ve never put my rune on anyone before.”

“It hasn’t been done on Asgard in three centuries,” says Nari, scathingly. “Are you sure you even know how?”

“He knows how,” says Loki, warningly. It’s a little unfair of him to expect her to adjust to this so swiftly. Most of his crowd flocked to him during the years of his opposition to Thor. They’re used to thinking of him as the enemy, but if they mean to stick with Loki they’ll have to accept that he belongs to Thor, and that their own fealty must be given in turn. If he loses them, he loses them. He’s made his choice. 

“Let the lore witness that Thor Odinson is the owner of this man and all his properties and chattels until such a time as...” Nari loks to Loki for help “You’re supposed to set a term.”

“For all time,” says Loki.

“What’s the shortest term allowable?” says Thor.

“A year,” says Nari.

“What is it, Brother?” asks Loki. “You don’t want me longer than that?”

Thor shakes his head. “If in a year from now it’s something you still desire we’ll make the vow again, in love and not under duress.”

“I keep telling you it’s already done,” says Loki. 

“Nevertheless, in a year from now you may choose to continue to wear my rune or not. And I won’t hide this any longer. Odin may do what he likes, but I won’t hide my love for you.”

Loki tamps down the rising flood of his emotions as best he can. “They’ll never accept it.”

“I don’t care,” says Thor. “Do you?”

Loki sighs. “No. But...”

“But what?”

“You’ll lose your throne. Asgard.”

“Perhaps I’m meant to.”

To this Loki has no answer.

“The seidr works in peculiar ways,” says Nari. She looks at Thor. “You surprise me. I’ll admit it. You’ll...you’ll look after him, won’t you?”

“Always.”

Nari nods. “Then you should do it.” she clears her throat. “Until one year has passed.”

Thor still looks unhappy but he closes his eyes. Thunder rumbles as the storm gathers. The night sky beyond the domed roof is as clear and starry as ever; this storm is closer. Thor’s skin has taken on a strange sheen and his eyes are almost silver. Loki is unsurprised to see his own skin beginning to change to the pale blue of ancient ice.

“By the Nine the seidr flow strongly, it seems you are fated,” says Nari, softly. “Do you have the rune, My Prince?”

If Thor notices the change in her attitude he’s good natured enough not to show it.

“Aye I do,” says Thor. He lifts Mjolnir. Loki can feel the power humming through it, dangerous and compelling. Electricity arcs up the hammers’ handle, playing over Thor’s skin and in a flash the rune appears on Mjolnir’s head, a symbol written in glowing lightning- Thor’s name in the ancient tongue. 

“Then Mark him as your own.”

Loki tries to slow his breathing, to be calm and still, but he can feel the power crackling between them, something far greater than even Thor’s lightning. When the star-forged metal presses against the skin over his heart he hisses. It isn’t pain exactly- it’s something deeper than that. Whatever chains he allowed to bind him during their earlier conjugation have grown a little tighter. He can feel the rune burrowing into his skin, melding with him, and the room begins to spin. Thunder and frost combine, the lightning shooting great bolts through fractured ice, the roar of the thunder dislodging an avalanche.

Thor drops to his knees next to him catching him before he can fall, cradling him as he shivers and tries to gather his composure.

“Loki, are you alright?” Asks Nari. 

“Perfectly,” he says, faintly. “I wasn’t expecting it to feel quite like that .”

Thor places a hand on his chest. It’s warm and comforting and goes a long way towards reviving him. “I wasn’t expecting it to look like that.”

Loki peers down at his chest. “I match Stark now,” he says, finally. The rune shines over his heart, like part of his skin has turned to quicksilver. He traces his fingers over it, and winces at the unaccustomed sensation. It’s not unpleasant exactly, but it’s raw somehow, like gentle fingers brushing directly over every nerve ending in his body.

“Is it done?” Thor asks.

Nari nods. “It’s done. Under Asgardian law, Loki is your lawful property and stands beyond the reach of Odin’s justice.”

Thor sighs. “I wish there was a better way.”

“Perhaps, as you said yourself, this is meant?” says Loki. “Perhaps it’s the atonement our friend Captain Rogers mentioned. The universe seeks balance, always. One day chaos, the next order, and so on.”

Thor kisses his forehead- almost a chaste kiss. “I’ve come to appreciate chaos. Promise me you’ll always fight me a little?”

Loki smiles. “How could I not? Losing is too much fun.”


That night they put in a work order to have Loki’s possessions moved to Thor’s rooms. They might have to hide things on Asgard, but both of them are past worrying what the Avengers think.

“Are we going to tell them, or let them figure it out for themselves?” Thor asks.

“The latter,” says Loki. He yawns. He’s rarely felt this exhausted in his life. The magic required to bring Nari here, not to mention the assault of having Thor’s rune scoured into his flesh has drained him utterly.

“Go to bed,” says Thor for the third time. He’s splayed out on one of the low comfortable sofas in the living area, reading a magazine. He’s been carefully giving Loki his space ever since Nari left, and Loki has appreciated it. The silver mark on his skin is thrilling to him...but it’s a lot . An even more permanent reminder of the bond they’ve forged than the collar around his neck. Loki is curled up in the chair opposite trying to force his mind to slow down long enough to concentrate on the book of Midgardian science he’s reading

“I won’t be able to sleep. My mind won’t settle.”

“Are you alright?”

Loki smiles. “Yes. More than alright.”

“Are you frightened?”

“Of what?”

“Going back to Asgard.”

Loki puts down his book with a frown and takes a sip from the glass of wine on the side table. 

“I wouldn’t say frightened. But I don’t want to go.”

“Nor do I,” Thor shakes his head, brows knit together. “It’s not right. You made a mistake when you did what I did.”

“Something of an understatement,” says Loki.

“But...we might have been kinder to you. Father. Myself.”

Loki says nothing. Truths of this kind are always more excruciating than physical wounds.

Thor sighs. “Is there something I can do to help calm you? If I’m to be your Master, I mean to be a tender one.”

Loki feels a thrill at the word Master as always.

“More wine? Perhaps you’re hungry?” asks Thor.

“I don’t think you know quite how this relationship is supposed to work,” says Loki with a smile. “Once we’re back there I’ll have to serve you at the feasting table, not the other way around.”

His smile fades as he pictures it. It isn’t the thought of serving Thor in this way that makes his spirit shrivel, but the thought of them all watching- not knowing that he does it for love- is proud to do it- but thinking him resentful, defeated .

Perhaps it will be good for me? Everyone always says my pride could use trimming to size .

“I don’t want wine or food,” he says, “but I’d like to be touched by you.” He glances up to meet Thor’s eyes. “Master.”

This is the way to make it better. To remind himself what it is he’s bargained for-the truth of it and not the purely cruel and demeaning version that the rest of the world will see.

Thor sits up. He’s dressed in soft cotton pants and a faded T-shirt that clings invitingly to his chest, and he looks exceptionally warm and inviting, like a great golden lion, his claws sheathed for the time being.

He pats his knee. “Come over here then.”

Loki is minimally attired himself, in the pale grey silk dressing gown which is another of the gifts Thor brought back with him, and a pair of the odd black undershorts the Midgardians wear. Soon I’ll be dressed in real clothes again - or maybe not? He’s seen slave attire before- visiting guests would bring their bondsmen and women and sometime pillow slaves with them from time to time, and he feels a fresh jolt of nerves at the thought of being dressed so in the halls where he’d one been a Prince.

“You’re worrying again,” says Thor. “Come here.”

Loki tries his best to push his worries aside and concentrate on Thor. As he approaches he feels the rune over his heart tingle. The sensation is growing more familiar and it makes him gasp a little in pleasure. He can feel his nipples growing harder, and the stir of his cock, and the comforting pressure of the collar at his neck.

Thor stops him with a hand on his thigh before he can kneel. “How do the stripes I gave you feel?”

Loki considers. “They sting. But I’d almost forgotten it. A lot has happened today.”

“It has,” said Thor. “But we can’t have you forgetting so soon. I’m not in any mood to hurt you tonight, but perhaps we can find another way to make you remember?”

As much as pain is an aphrodisiac to him, Loki feels grateful. His mood is fragile and it wouldn’t take too much to break him in an ugly, jagged way that might spoil the evening entirely.

Thor pushes the edges of Loki’s robe back. It’s odd how someone else’s eyes on you can feel almost like touch. Thor looks first at the silver mark on his chest, then his eyes travel downwards taking in Loki’s swelling cock, his long legs and bare feet.

“I’m a lucky man,” he says finally. “Of all the lovely things a Prince of Asgard might own, you are the loveliest.”

“I’m glad you think so, Master.”

Thor leans forward and gently tugs the waistband of Loki’s undershorts down, the tight elastic sliding over his hip bones and his bruised and welted buttocks, then snagging on the head of his cock. Thor adjusts the fabric so that he can keep going, the slide of the garment against the underside of Loki’s erection making his knees tremble.

When Loki is bared, Thor sits back against the plush sofa cushions, just looking. Loki wants to cover himself with the robe, his hands, anything, but he knows what is required of him. His Master wishes to look at his naked body and so he must endure it, for as long as Thor desires. Thor smiles when he clasps his hands behind his back.

“Good, you always did learn quickly.”

Well, if Thor is making a study of him, why shouldn’t he return the favor? His eyes drink in Thor’s body, the strong chin and the soft glem of the gold of his beard. The wide chest that rises and falls above that tantalisingly flat expanse of belly. He can see the heft of Thor’s cock against his thigh, beginning to swell. Curse my name if it isn’t all worth it.

 

Finally, Thor pats his knee again. “Here. On my lap, sideways- yes like that.”

The welts on his backside burn as he sinks onto Thor’s lap, throwing one arm around his Brother’s neck to steady himself.

Firmly but gently Thor pushes his thighs apart. It’s a position that makes him feel self-conscious; it’s childish somehow, or maidenly perhaps, sitting side-saddle on Thor’s lap, not as a fellow warrior, but as...well, his toy. His slave.

Loki gasps as Thor’s fingers brush his cock, which is achingly hard. He knows how it amuses Thor to tease him with light, unsatisfying touches such as these, but it doesn’t seem to be his plan for tonight. He handles Loki’s prick gently, stroking and lifting it, stretching the lose skin back to rub his thumb gently over the swollen red tip until Loki sees stars. He’s examining me. Taking stock of his new possession.

He knows it, suddenly, and knows by the challenging look Thor gives him that Thor knows he knows. Instead of objecting or demanding Loki merely spreads his legs a little wider, dropping his head. Thor smiles.

“Good boy.”

His hand dips lower cupping Loki’s balls, playing with them, stroking, stretching the skin of the sack to the point of pain, but never quite beyond it. The sensation is overwhelming, a dull hot throb of need that leaves him feeling dazed and wanton. If he had the words he might beg Thor to fuck him, so perhaps it’s better that his arousal and abashment have tied his tongue.

“I know your body so well, Loki, but I’ll know it better than you do yourself before long.”

He leaves a pause as if to give Loki the chance to argue, but Loki’s far past that. He submits himself to Thor’s touch, his aching, sensitive prick throbbing in time to his heartbeat as Thor continues his intimate inspection of Loki’s body. Thor takes his time, even teasing apart the little slit at his cockhead to see the cum that’s beading there. 

“Always so eager for it, aren’t you?” he says finally. “I’m going to take you soon, but first I want to see the results of your punishment.”

He shifts sideways and pushes Loki off his lap onto his back on the sofa.

“Hold your legs up to your chest, but keep them nice and wide for me. And don’t pull that face. I know you like to look elegant, but I like you to look as debauched as you truly are, and it’s what I like that matters.”

 

Loki can only nod, a little stung at the accuracy of Thor’s assessment. It’s true he prefers a more dignified position than this one with his legs in the air, especially when Thor shoves one of the sofa’s tasteful cushions under his buttocks to raise them higher still. He traces the welts the cane has left on Loki’s skin with a fingertip. Loki tries not to squirm at the sting- in truth the humiliation of such a degrading position is the deeper sting.

“Good, you’ll wear these for a few days more, but you’re already less red than you were. Tomorrow I’m going to put you over my knee and spank you until you’re pink again.”

Loki lets out a noise that he’d never himself call a whimper, but it turns into a moan as Thor’s finger brushes lightly over the tight little knot of his hole.

“But not tonight. Tonight, I want you to relax.”

He bends down and Loki jumps as Thor kisses the bruised welted flesh of his buttocks. When Thor’s tongue teases at his hole Loki gasps.

Usually it’s the other way round, with Loki pleasuring Thor in this way. He’s aware that he’s blushing, and the urge to squirm away from Thor is overwhelming.

Why is it always easier to give pleasure than to receive it?

Thor however has preempted him, grabbing Loki’s thighs to hold him in place. His lips brush Loki’s sack, kissing gently, and then his tongue is flickering up the underside of Loki’s cock.

“Master, no,” Loki manages to say. “I should be serving you.”

“You’re mine,” says Thor simply. “If I want to taste you, I will.”

And indeed the nature of the power that sparks between them doesn’t seem to have shifted. He doesn’t feel as though Thor is servicing him, more like he’s being made to surrender something- everything . Even when Thor’s mouth slides down over his prick, almost unbearably warm and wet he feels nothing but absolute submission.

They’ve certainly never done this before, and if Loki wasn’t so overcome he’d be wondering where his Brother picked up these skills. Thor sucks him slowly, his tongue rubbing excruciatingly up and down Loki’s cock and he’s soon bucking his hips feeling the hot helpless roll of an orgasm building, but Thor doesn’t intend to let him come yet. He releases Loki’s cock and moves lower, his tongue flickering again against Loki’s spread hole, licking gently until Loki feels he’ll die from the pleasure of it. As his body relaxes Thor’s tongue pushes its way deeper and deeper inside him, fucking into his hole in short thrusts. He doesn’t care now how he looks or sounds, he’s on the very edge of spending, and Thor seems determined to keep him there, changing his thrusts to more of the lingering, tender licks from his hole to the tight throbbing heat of his balls that make him groan.

“Good boy. Don’t tell me you don’t enjoy that. Do you want something more inside you, Brother?”

“Norns, yes Master,” Loki pleads. Thor’s tongue is enough, but if Thor wishes to fuck him then he’s all too happy to oblige. But it seems Thor has something different in mind. He sits up again. “Over my lap, on your front.”

Loki scrambles to obey gasping a little as his hard cock is trapped beneath him against Thor’s thigh. Thor’s fingers nudge up against his hole, and there’s no resistance left in him now. They easily spread and enter him, curling and stroking, teasing him wider and wider.

“I barely have to prepare you at all any more,” says Thor. “Before long you’ll be ready for me always.”

Loki can only whimper, pushing himself back onto Thor’s fingers. Thor gives his collar a tug with his free hand. “No, not like that. I had an idea earlier.” The hand holding his collar stays where it is, but the other one withdraws. Loki feels a strange cold tingle in the rune above his heart and hears a familiar metallic noise somewhere behind him, and then something cold and large is pushing its way between his buttocks. “Mjolnir left its mark on you, so I think it’s proper you thank it properly.”

Loki can hardly believe what’s happening. The cold rigidity of Mjolnir’s handle is stretching him open, little by little, pushing through his ring and nudging inside. It reminds him for a second of the metallic appendages of Stark’s prototype, but this is different- Mjolnir is part of Thor, part of the magic that binds them. To be penetrated like this with Thor’s weapon is a new level of his Brother’s dominance over him, and he submits himself to it completely, pushing himself back onto the unyielding handle as it claims him and opens him up. He can feel the power of the enchantment bound up in the weapon and the way his own magic bends to it.

Loki can feel the hardness of Thor’s prick pressed up against his thigh and the excitement in his ragged breathing and it fills him with a wild joy to know this is as powerful for Thor as it is for him.

“Yes, that’s it. Now fuck yourself onto it. Thank me properly for claiming you.”

Loki is more than willing to oblige, working himself back onto Mjolnir’s shaft, his cock rubbing against Thor’s lap. The room is filled with the sound of his moans and the slick sound of his body being defiled. Thor keeps hold of his collar and he has to use his hips as best he can to work Mjolnir inside himself, crying out as the unyielding metal bruises his prostate.

Beyond the mundane pleasure (if you can apply a word like ‘mundane’ to the toe-curling sensation) is the overwhelming flood of magic, Thor’s thunder subsuming his own quicksilver, the natures of the two Gods entwining, flickering into new thaumaturgical configurations that leave his highly attuned mage’s senses reeling. 

“Do you wish to come?” Thor asks him, and he can only moan in reply.

“Come then. My good, good boy. My slave.”

The orgasm seems to lift him, shatter him apart and then draw him back together. For a moment he feels as if he might spin off the planet entirely, but Thor is easing Mjolnir out of him, pulling him upright back into his lap where he sinks against Thor’s chest, glad to be anchored by the strong arms.

“Master.” Is all he can says.

“Yes,” Thor agrees. “Master.”

 

Chapter Text

The bright Midgardian sun wakes him. Not for the last time. We’ll be back here in this room, in this bed together again before long.

When Loki’s asleep he looks like the boy he once was. All the guile and guardedness vanishes from his face, the cool, assessing eyes are hidden behind the smooth lids. One hand is flung up on the pillow and the fingers open and close minutely. Fighting, loving? He dreads to think what dark dreams might play themselves out behind that innocent mask of sleep.

Loki has orchestrated such ruin and destruction, but it spilled out of the cracks he himself helped to create. Him, and Odin, and Asgard- imperious, eternal Asgard which offers glory, but seldom delivers.

When did you grow so cynical?

Thor blames Midgard. If it’s made his Brother softer (as he often complains it has) perhaps it’s made Thor harder.

Thor is always pleased to wake before Loki. Just as some men relish rising before dawn to see the sun rise, so does Thor like to see Loki return to him.

He’s waking up now, a slight frown creasing his forehead. He stretches out, feline and graceful, and the eyes slit open, fixing on Thor’s right away. For a second they’re still soft and drowsy, but then they harden. Not quite the chips of solid ice he turns on the rest of the world, and for that Thor’s grateful.

Does he remember what day it is? Undoubtedly. But it seems like he won’t allow it to disrupt their morning routine.

Loki sleeps naked except for his collar by Thor’s command. Will it ever be less pleasing to see the green and gold leather against the pale flesh? He hopes that the pact they’ve made- and the scrutiny of the Asgardian court- won’t spoil this. It’s a tender, private thing for Thor, and to parade some awful parody of it before all of Asgard sits ill with him. But the sacrifice is mostly Loki’s and he knows it will hurt his Brother more if he creates difficulties. 

 

Thor pulls back the covers, and Loki shivers theatrically, but turns himself sideways to slide over Thor’s thighs, a warm, sleepy weight. This is how the start their mornings now; Loki across his lap to receive his daily reminder of his place in their relationship. Thor has a lazy half-erection already, and it feels like Loki is catching him up. Thor tucks an arm behind his head and settles back into his pillow luxuriously, his other hand sliding up Loki’s thigh to rest on his buttocks. The cane marks he gave him a week ago have all but faded, but the skin is rosy pink, the pale lavender flowers of the bruises of the past few days overlaying one another.

It was a good idea of his to start each day with this ritual. Loki heals quickly, and Thor likes to keep vital parts of his anatomy pre-tenderised. Loki gives his hips an impatient wiggle, and Thor feels his cock responding as Loki’s rubs up against it.

“No. Be patient. I’ll spank you when I’m ready, and not before.” 

Loki tilts his head to look up at him pleadingly, his mouth quirked in a smile. You’re ready now , that smile says. I can feel it.

What he wants to say when Loki is a brat is I love you, but what he actually says is “If you’d prefer to take a cold shower on your own instead, we can do it your way.”

Loki’s eyes narrow, but he shifts his position, spreading his legs wider, pressing his face and chest to the covers, signalling his submission.

Thor gives his ass a fond squeeze. “Good boy.”

He can tell by Loki’s breathing that he’s still tender. Good. It’s even more fun to punish him- not to mention fuck him- when he’s balanced on the edge of more and too much right from the beginning. He doesn’t spank Loki hard, but hard enough that he can see his muscles tighten as he works to hold his position. He can always tell the exact moment that Loki stops fighting him and relaxes into the pain, stops the flinching and the desperate little twitches of his hips and submits to the punishment, his body turning soft and pliable again. Loki has a very shapely backside, and it never looks better than when he’s punishing it, making the flesh dance and quiver helplessly as Loki clutches at the bedcovers and gasps. 

The skin under Thor’s hand is hot and red when he finally relents.

“What do you say?”

“Thank you Master,” Loki pants. His face is almost as red as his backside and it pleases Thor.

“You’re welcome, love. Come up here, next to me. I want to play with you.”

Loki squirms off his lap and turns around to snuggle in next to him. 

“I want your hands tied behind you.” One of the many benefits of having a lover adept at magic is that he need not pre-plan the mundane elements of their lovemaking. It’s an extra thrill to make Loki complicit in his own torment by having him conjure rope or other practical accessories of the pillow arts.

Loki tucks his arms behind him, frowning a little as he works the spell. The first few times he asked Loki to do this he’d checked to make sure the God had made the bonds tight, but now he knows there’s no need. 

Gently, he pushes Loki onto his back, his bound arms trapped beneath him.

“Beautiful boy.” Loki tries to look away but Thor catches his face tilting it towards his own. “You are.”

“What am I compared to you?”

“Why do you say that?” He knows why though. Asgard. Home

“Don’t deny that you aren’t the most attractive man in this or any universe,” says Loki. His tone is flirtatious, but Thor can see the old pain in his eyes and curses the fact that they have to make this journey- stir up all the old squabbles and inadequacies.

He bends to kiss Loki. “You flatter me, but you’re my equal in that respect- as in every other barring one, of course.”

“I don’t...”

Thor silences him with another kiss. “Don’t let me hear you say such things about yourself. You’re mine after all. When you insult yourself, you insult your Master.”

Loki blinks. “I...”

“You don’t need to speak. I know what today will be like for you. Let this part of it be free from pain. Don’t think of Asgard right now. Let your world be my hands on your body. Like this.”

Loki’s chest is as cool and smooth of that of a marble statue. The silvery rune that spells Thor’s name glimmers more brightly as he traces his fingers over it. Loki’s eyes flutter closed and he makes a pleased, helpless little noise.

“It feels good?”

“Yes, but almost unbearable.”

“More so than this?” Thor toys with his nipples until they stand out hard from his chest. It’s tempting to twist and to pinch, but he wants to be tender with Loki right now. There will be hurt enough before they sleep again. 

Loki sighs and arches his back as Thor continues to tease the sensitive little buds.

“You like that, don’t you? Almost more than having your cock touched.”

“Yes, Master.” Loki’s voice is low and breathy, and it’s hard not to simply flip him over and shove inside of him. How can anyone this irresistible doubt their allure?

He forces himself to be patient though. Loki needs soothing- so does Thor if he’s honest, and this gentle petting is comforting for both of them.

He runs a finger around Loki’s navel, loving the way he squirms as Thor draws ticklish featherlight spirals on his belly. 

“I hate when you do that,” Loki protests.

“Hate it or love it?” says Thor.

Hate .”

“Should I stop then?” he crooks his fingers, tickling the flat belly.

Loki swears and squirms again.

“I can stop if you want me to.”

“I...don’t want you to.”

Thor smiles. “I know you don’t.” He slings a leg over Loki’s own. With his legs trapped and his hands bound there’s nothing he can do as Thor tickles his belly and his ribs, loving the way his body looks as he tries in vain to twist away from him. The area just below his navel is the most sensitive and he concentrates his attention there until Loki is begging in a low urgent voice. He’d like to play more of this game with Loki- it’s so much fun seeing him lose his composure and dignity in this way- but they haven’t much time this morning. They’re expected.

Instead he wraps his hand around Loki’s cock. 

“Mmm, Master, please .”

Thor could make him beg properly, but he’d rather keep him distracted with his own pleasure for as long as possible.

He strokes him just as he knows Loki likes it, slow and firm, letting him fuck himself into Thor’s fist. Without stopping Thor nuzzles in close to Loki, kissing his shoulder, the long neck above his collar, and then his mouth, a deep lingering kiss that continues until Loki is moaning into his mouth and coming in his hand.

“Good boy. Shower.”

“Don’t you want me to...?”

“You can attend me in the shower. We shouldn’t be late.”

Loki’s expression darkens for a second, and then clears. “Oh no, we shouldn’t be late. Your Father might be angry . How very unusual that would be.”

“I hope you’re not going to talk that way in front of him.”

“I might. He deserves it.”

Thor shakes his head. He’d predicted Loki would be a handful today, but he hadn’t thought he’d start so soon.

Loki flounces off towards the shower room. The view is a pleasing one, but if Loki thinks he’s going to bluff his way through the remainder of their morning by being a brat, he’s mistaken.

He catches up with Loki just inside the door of the shower room, grabbing him by his wrist and tugging him towards the shower stall.

“Wait,” says Loki. 

“You’re telling me to wait?”

Loki gives a small shrug. “Just a second, then I’ll do whatever you want.”

“You’ll do what I want now. What is it that’s so important?” 

Loki rolls his eyes, looks away, embarrassed. “I need to piss.”

Thor shakes his head, considering. “Did you ask me if you could?”

Loki looks scandalised. “Ask you? I don’t need to ask you.”

Thor hesitates. This is something new, and he’d probably never have thought of it if Loki hadn’t given him the idea, but it’s getting him hard as hell, and Loki looks fascinated in spite of himself.

“In the mornings, from now on you’ll ask me for permission.”

Two spots of color blaze on Loki’s cheekbones. “I...I can’t do that. It’s too...”

“What? Humiliating?”

Loki nods.

“Ask me. Unless you don’t really need to go.”
Loki huffs. “I do.”

“Better ask me, then.”

Loki looks too adorable when he struggles with something like this, and Thor almost relents. He doesn’t want to push Loki too hard, just remind him who is in charge, but before he can tell Loki that he’s teasing, Loki speaks. 

“Very well, can I please have your permission?”

Thor considers, almost unable to believe they’re really doing this. “No,” he says finally. Loki’s tone is still far too insolent for his taste.

“No?”

Thor laughs. “Come on that can’t have been totally unexpected.” He pulls Loki into the shower stall, and pushes him down onto the floor. “Just sit there like a good boy.”

Loki does as he’s told, jumping when Thor turns the water on.

“That isn’t helping.”

“I know. That’s the point. Stop fighting it. You don’t have control of this, or anything else. You’re clever enough to see that the quicker you acknowledge it the easier it will go for you.”

Loki frowns, but doesn’t argue.

“Now, clean me.”

The feeling of Loki’s hands on his body is heaven. Loki takes extra care, caressing and stroking, evidently hoping Thor will show mercy if he changes tactics and performs this task well. He finishes as he always does on his knees in front of Thor, his hand stroking Thor’s prick, blinking against the water that falls on his face.

Thor lets him keep stroking, enjoying the sensation all the more because he knows how uncomfortable Loki must be by now. Finally Loki speaks.

“Master please ?”

“Ask for what you want.”

“You know what I want.”

“I seem to have forgotten. You’ll have to ask.”

“Please can I piss.” He sounds and defeated that Thor is on the verge of taking pity on him again. Not yet though . He needs to be pushed. In fact he’s curious how far Loki will go. His cock his half-hard so there must be some part of him that is enjoying this.

“You really need to?” He asks.

Loki nods, keeping his eyes on the floor, clearly too ashamed to meet Thor’s eyes.

“Stand up then. You can go, but not until your hole is filled with my spend.”

He helps Loki up with a rough tug on his hair, whirling him around and shoving him so that he’s bent over with his hands on the bench.

“Get ready for me.”

He gives him only a second, but Loki works his spells quickly and he’s wet and slick as Thor pushes in through the tight ring of muscle that offers only token resistance. He fucks Loki fast and hard, pulling his head back by the hair, driving himself in as deep as possible, wanting to increase the pressure on Loki’s bladder as much as he possibly can. You make a sadist of me Loki .

Loki moans and struggles, but Thor only makes him take it harder, the slap of their bodies echoing in the steamy room. He can only imagine how it must feel on Loki’s tender backside.

“Do you think your friend J.A.R.V.I.S. is watching us now?” Thor growls. “Perhaps we should have Tony watch some time? Watch as I fuck my insolent brother until he pisses himself like the helpless little whore he is.”

He’s on the edge of coming, but all of a sudden he wants to watch Loki obey him. Grabbing Loki by the hips he pulls him away from the bench, then turns around. “We’re sitting down,” he warns, before sinking onto the bench, pulling Loki with him. Loki gasps as his weight forces Thor even deeper inside him. “Get your feet off the ground, take every inch of me,” Thor orders, and Loki obeys, sinking onto Thor’s cock as far as his body will allow. Thor’s fingers dig into Loki’s hips as he jerks him backwards driving himself into Loki’s body without mercy. The hot shivery feeling of his orgasm builds and builds as Loki’s ass squeezes him helplessly.

“I can’t hold it any more,” Loki moans, and this pushes Thor over the edge. Lucky for you, Brother.

He wraps an arm around Loki’s chest and the other around his cock. “Don’t wait, then slave.”

Thor groans as he shoots into Loki’s ass, but he manages to keep his eyes open long enough to see the piss finally flowing from Loki’s semi-hard cock. It floods down over his hand as he gently tugs Loki’s cock, shockingly hot. Much more of this and he’s going to want another round.

 

They need another shower after they’re done. Neither of them speak, and Thor feels almost as bashful as Loki, but afterwards when they tumble back into bed again Loki is more loving and plient than he’s ever seen him.

“Did you like that?” Thor asks as they fondle and pet.

Loki nods. “Yes. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I did.”

Thor kisses him. “There’s nothing wrong with you. Or if there is the same thing is wrong with me.”

“Hardly a comforting truth.” 

Thor gives Loki’s nipple a pinch. “Do I need to punish you again so soon?”

“I wish you could,” says Loki. “But we’re out of time.”

It’s true. They should have been up and dressed fifteen minutes ago. Asgard is waiting for them.


Thor doesn’t think he’s ever seen Tony Stark nervous before. The three of them wait together in the Compound’s communal living room, which the others have tactfully left empty. After Tony glances at his smart watch for the seventh time, Thor speaks.

“It will be fine, Tony.”

“You don’t know that,” says Tony. “Fuck, I never was good at meeting the parents.”

“If you could avoid making remarks like that it will help,” says Thor. “No one on Asgard can know Loki and I are lovers.” He thinks again of the scene in the shower. If only it was as simple as ‘lovers!’ “It would anger my Father beyond reason.”

“Hey, I’ll give it my best shot.” He raises his hands when Thor gives him A Look. “I told you you should have asked Steve.”

Secretly Thor agrees. When they’d decided that they needed a Midgardian ambassador along for the trip, Steve had been the obvious choice, but Loki’s clear preference for Tony had caused Thor to take his side and insist that Tony be the Avenger to join them. Thor understands why- Steve might be exactly the type of warrior Odin will respect and respond to, but Tony knows.

They’d been purposefully vague with the other Avengers when they’d explained the pact they’d made, or rather Loki had, spinning a pretty tale of Thor magically vouchsafing his good behavior on Asgard. Tony already knows the true nature of their relationship, and although Thor knows Loki detests the idea of even one more audience member in this mortifying pageant, at least Tony has seen Loki on his knees before.

And-not that Loki is likely to admit it- there’s a sympathy between the two of them that is different from the grudging mutual respect between Loki and Steve. Tony has always stood up for Loki, and Loki respects Tony’s intellect and irreverence. The risk of Stark angering Odin is worth the cost if Loki feels he has one more friendly face to look upon in what’s sure to be a sea of hostility. Besides, Thor tells himself, Stark is a shrewd fellow when he wishes to be, easily capable of flattering the Midgardian authorities. Why would Asgard be any different?

 

“Is it time?” asks Loki.

“I don’t know,” says Tony. “He told me to quit looking. Although with you dressed like that it’s not exactly difficult.”

Thor is dressed once more in his Asgardian finery. Loki too has put aside his stylish Midgardian suits, but not for his silks and armor. The slave costume is a fine one, made in red brocade to match Thor’s ceremonial colors, but there isn’t much of it. Just a silk toga that fastens with gold clasps at the shoulders and a gold silk cord at the waist that shows lot of Loki’s bare skin at the sides. When he leans his arm on the back of the sofa Thor can see his nipple, still hard and slightly puffy from the attention it has received. The hem of the toga just skims his upper thighs and the briefs he wears beneath are very brief indeed exposing the lower half of his well-spanked buttocks. If he bends over very far at all the results of Thor’s punishment are going to be easily visible. His soft leather knee boots only seem to highlight the expanse of naked thigh above them. It’s the kind of costume that makes the observer fixate on what you’d find if you pulled the flimsy fabric away, how sweet it would be to spread those long legs. In other parts of the Realms, slaves wear more modest-not to mention practical-costumes, but on Asgard slaves were kept mostly for pleasure, and the traditional garments reflect this all too well. The collar has a chain attached to it now. Loki holds the end of it for the time being, but soon Thor will have to. It angers him all over again- under any other circumstances at all he’d want this, but it worries him, to have something that’s so precious and new exposed to the scrutiny of the whole court- especially this false version of it.

Loki looks like he’s struggling whether to be flattered by or angry about Tony’s comment. 

“I know you hate it, but it does suit you,” says Thor, quickly. “And I told you that you don’t have to wear it.”

“I do have to,” says Loki, acidly. Father will be suspicious that I agreed to this. No offense Brother, but the idea that you could trick me into accepting this arrangement is laughable. It will go easier for all of us if we play it as straight as can be. If I turn up dressed as a Prince he’ll be on the offensive from the beginning. Whereas if I look like this ... Well, I’ll be humiliating myself enough that he might take pity and send us home in time for dinner.”

Thor is stung by his insult, but he can tell how difficult this is for Loki already, and they’re not even on Asgard yet.

“You don’t have to do this at all,” Tony says. “We can do this without Asgard if we have to. Without the security council too. You don’t have to do this just for us.”

Loki smiles, bitterly. “You think I’m doing this for anyone but myself? Thanos is coming for all of us, but first he’ll come for me. He promised me so himself. I don’t know if he can be defeated, but if Midgard and Asgard stand alone they will fail. Whatever this is, it’s better than death.”

He glowers down at his clothing. “Barely.”

Thor hasn’t heard him talk like this for a long time- the angry bravado that masks that bottomless wellspring of fear and insecurity. “You look beautiful, and you’ll always be a Prince of Asgard,” he says softly. 

Loki looks startled and slightly guilty. “You don’t need to lie to me.”

“I’m not. I love you, Prince.”

Loki frowns. Glances at Tony., then back at Thor “I love you too, Brother.”

“Do you guys need a minute?” asks Tony, delicately. 

“We don’t have a minute,” says Thor. “It’s time.”

He can tell by the way Loki tenses up that he knows it as well. It’s a risk doing what he does, but he needs it and he thinks Loki needs it too. As the air around them shimmers, stirring their hair up, rippling his cloak, he pulls Loki into his arms for a final kiss, and then the shimmering light refracts into a thousand rainbow prisms, and they’re traveling through the Biforst.

He and Loki have done this before of course, but the thrill of it never leaves him. The power of hurtling through space as the seidr surges around them, dazzling and vibrant. Tony’s jaw is set, but his eyes are wide as he gazes curiously about him. They grow wider still when the Bifrost disgorges them into Heimdall's Observatory. Even Thor who was born and raised here feels his heart beat faster upon his first glimpse of Asgard. It’s a wonderful as he remembered, the soft glimmer of the cosmos all around, the marvel of the rainbow bridge, the elegant golden spires of the city. He glances at Loki and sees such a look of pain and longing on his face that he wishes he hadn’t looked at all. The next second Loki’s face is a careful mask again. He’d love to reach out and comfort him, but the only thing he can touch is the cold metal chain attached to Loki’s collar which he takes from him wordlessly when Loki presses it into his hand.

“Holy mother of God, it’s like Star Wars on acid.” Tony goggles around him. “Is too much of a cliché to say ‘take me to your leader?’ It is, huh, but when am I going to get a better chance?”

He jumps a little at the noise of a throat being cleared behind them.

“Heimdall my friend, it is good to see you again,” says Thor.

The guardian of the Bifrost nods. “It is good to see you again too, my Prince.” He fixes his blank eyes on Tony. “Welcome to Asgard, Tony Stark, Avenger of Midgard. You are most welcome here.”

“Thanks. Nice place you have here,” Tony manages to say. 

Heimdall makes no mention of Loki, exactly as protocol demands, but Thor feels the insult like a twist in his heart. Perhaps though, it’s a kindness? Loki and Heimdall had never exactly gotten along even before Loki caused the Bifrost to be destroyed, and it must be excruciating for Loki to be seen by him under these circumstances. Heimdall is not vindictive and Thor gets the impression he’s doing Loki a favor by pretending not to see him.

The Guards on the small skimmer that awaits them stare openly. He knows how fast gossip travels through the city. Everyone will have heard of the bargain he’s supposedly fooled or coerced Loki into making, but seeing the former Prince in chains is a different matter.

“Wow,” says Tony, eyeing the skimmer. “Flying cars. You know Stark Industries talked about doing that on earth, but the insurance premiums would have been crazy. I guess if you come from a culture where you don't put safety railings on your magical space bridge you don’t worry so much about stuff like that.”

Thor is glad suddenly that they have Tony with them. He’s always been good at covering over awkward silences.

The Guard Captain bows low. “If you don’t mind my Prince, Tony Stark of Midgard, The Allfather is waiting to see you. And er, your....” She looks at Loki, eyes wide.

“Then let us not keep him waiting any longer,” says Thor as neutrally as he’s able. “It will be good to see him again.”

Loki makes some dismissive noise behind him, and Thor’s heart sinks further. Loki has spent the last week coaching him in exactly how to play this, but with a nature as chaotic as Loki’s it’s entirely possible he’ll blow the whole thing up himself, Thanos or no Thanos. 

If you love me Brother, then stick to the plan , he urges silently. The connection between them has deepened in the past few days. It’s not like Loki can hear his thoughts, but they’re beginning to suspect that they can feel a little of what the other is feeling. It would be handy indeed if that were true.

The Guard Captain clears her throat. “The Allfather has asked that your... er that Loki of Asgard wear these.” He feels a little sorry for her as she thrusts out a pair gold cuffs, linked by a short length of chain as though she’s holding a venomous serpent that might bite at any second.

“Why?” he asks as neutrally as possible.

“They’re...that is to say...”

“They’re enchanted,” says Loki coldly. “Odin suspects this is some sort of trick or illusion, and these will weaken my magic. Perhaps he believes this is some sort of elaborate assasination attempt? Not really my style to do it this way.”

Thor hears the edge of threat in his voice and wills him to be silent.

“It won’t be necessary,” he says. “Loki is under my control.” He hopes that his Brother catches the note of warning in his tone.

“Beg your pardon my Prince, but your Father was very insistent.”

Thor hears the gentle clink of the chain as Loki moves to stand before him. He holds out his wrists. “At least they match the leash you have me on, Master.”

His tone is teasing, but Thor can see the flat fury in his eyes, and perhaps the Guard does too, for she thrusts the cuffs at Thor with another bow and scurries to mount the skimmer.

“Seems kind of an overkill,” Tony mutters as Thor fastens the golden cuffs around Loki’s wrists. He sees Loki wince as the enchantment binds him. He can feel it himself, a stifling, uncomfortable sensation that can’t be doing anything for his Brother’s self-control. He makes a show of checking the cuffs are fastened correctly, and strokes Loki’s hands, gently. Loki looks at him and smiles sadly.

“Ultimately, I do deserve this,” he says quietly. “No need for that generous heart of yours to break on my account.” There’s a sliver of hostility hidden in his reassurances, and Thor tries his best to ignore it.

Ultimately I deserve it too.

Thor climbs into the small open craft and takes a seat on the plush padded bench. Tony joins him, looking at the craft with interest as if drawing up schematics in his mind- which he possibly is.

Loki is last to board. Thor moves over to make room for him, but Loki shakes his head very slightly. Instead of sitting next to Thor he kneels at his feet, cuffed hands resting in his lap, his face arranged in an expression of bland indifference. Of course. A slave would never sit on the same level as his Master.

“Probably safer down there really,” says Tony. “This thing doesn’t appear to have any seatbelts. We hit a rainbow bump and there’s going to be dead space guys spread all across this disco road.” He sounds embarrassed, but Loki gives him the smallest of smiles. 

Thank the Nine for Tony Stark.

“The Hall of Asgard,” says Thor, nodding towards the palace as they shoot along the Bifrost “We grew up there.”

“Knocks my Mom and Pop’s place into a cocked hat,” says Stark. “No wonder Loki is so hard to impress.”

Loki glances towards the palace. “A false coin sparkles just as brightly as a true one. Although I do hope I’m to sleep in the chamber where you deflowered me, Brother. It’s my one fond memory of the place.”

Thor gives Loki a warning nudge with his foot. The Guards don’t appear to have heard him, but they will if Loki continues in this way. “Hold your tongue. What will the point of any of this be if you let your anger win?” he whispers.

“Good question. Perhaps this plan needs amending? These cuffs are weak. I could summon my blades in a second.”

Tony raises an eyebrow. “If you’d told me there was going to be fighting I would have worn something more deadly than Levis.”

Thor opens his mouth the argue with Loki, then closes it. You know him in this mood. Rising to his bait never works . Instead he reaches out and hooks a finger into Loki’s collar. It’s a huge risk, to both their plans and their relationship, but he needs Loki to master himself, and if he can’t then Thor will have to do it for him.

He gives the collar a tug. “Have you forgotten so soon? Was your love for me really so flimsy as that? That Odin can destroy it without even laying eyes upon us.”

Loki stares at him confused. “It’s not...I’m not angry with you. Master.”

Thor runs his thumb down the side of Loki’s face. “In love , remember? Do this in love. Be my brave one.”

Loki’s brow is knitted in confusion. “I didn’t realise how much it would hurt,” he says, almost too softly for Thor to hear.

“Use it then,” says Thor. “You’re no stranger to pain. Endure it for me, as you have before.”

“It’s different in your bed,” whispers Loki.

A whisper is good. It means he’s at least trying.

“Not really,” says Thor. A lie, but a necessary one- their lovemaking in Thor’s bed this morning feels like it happened years ago, not hours. He gives the collar another tug. “Just remember who you’re doing this for, and remember how proud I am of you, and how much I love you.”

Loki leans his forehead on Thor’s knee for a second. “Very well. I’m sorry.”

“So am I.”

The skimmer passes through the gates and into the city beyond. The roads are as wide as ever, the terraces as green, the waterfalls as sparkling and yet it’s tainted for him now. Stark gazes about him in wonder, but Thor thinks Loki has the truth of it. This glittering collection of ziggurats and pleasure gardens may be beautiful, but there’s a cruelty behind the facade that renders it ugly. If only that meant he loved it less this whole ordeal might be easier. He suspects Loki feels the same way.

The streets are crowded with Asgardians, all of them hoping to get a glimpse of the returned Princes. There’s no cheering, Thor’s return won’t be official until the Allfather has welcomed him, but the people have come out nevertheless. The babble of voices would normally be joyful, excited, but today it’s hushed and there’s an air of disbelief and tension as people whisper and point. He’d love to squeeze Loki’s shoulder now- do anything to comfort him, but he can’t. The eyes of the whole city are upon them, and they must stick to the story. That he’s dragging Loki here in disgrace to accept Odin’s punishment. His only comfort is that Odin cannot harm Loki or keep him here. The closer they get to the towering golden palace, the smaller the comfort seems.

Chapter Text

Loki had thought- or perhaps hoped that Odin would receive them in his private chambers, but no. He’s plumped for a full State reception, which means he’s as unlikely to forgive and forget as Loki feared he might be. This isn’t a family squabble that can be patched behind the scenes, but a dramatic event that Odin means to play out on the public stage.

So be it. He doesn’t care. He can’t care.

He’s trying to keep up his customary shield of amused detachment from the ridiculous spectacle, but his temper simmers away, threatening to bubble over at any minute. His palms itch with the urge to summon his daggers and lop some gawking heads off Asgardian shoulders. Who will that help? Certainly not himself. Nor Thor. Nor Midgard.

I don’t care about Midgard.

It would be nice if that was true, and certainly less infuriating.

The skimmer slows down to bank into the grand courtyard, and as it turns Loki is thrown against Thor’s legs for a second before he can right himself again.

All of Asgard has seen me like this, kneeling at his feet, collared and leashed like a lapdog.

The sensation is on one hand utterly mortifying and on the other...it feels right. The fact that this might be fated on a higher level than he understands does nothing for his temper or the miserable confusion of his feelings. The silver brand of Thor’s name on his chest throbs and twinges, and he’s both furious with Thor for the same old reasons he’s always been furious with the golden son of Asgard, and desperate to press himself more closely against him, seeking any comfort he can get.

His plan had seemed so simple when he’d come up with it- he’s not ashamed of his submission to Thor when it’s just the two of them, but it’s different actually being here- The Kingdom he might have ruled.

He steals a look up at Thor, who looks every bit as miserable as he feels himself. Even though there’s just inches between them he feels like he’s being dragged away from Thor, the stress and strangeness of the situation sundering the newly forged bond.

You can’t let that happen. You may have lost your birthright, your past, your titles, your army, but you can’t allow yourself to lose him.

He puts his hand up to his chest and touches Thor’s mark through the thin cloth of his slave garments. This mark and the collar at your neck. They’re gifts, not punishments. Don’t conflate them with whatever mortification Odin demands.

He looks away from Thor and catches Tony’s eye instead. The Midgardian gives him a sad, sympathetic smile that twists in his heart like a barbed blade.

The hatred of Asgard might be easier to bear than the sympathy of these two. He doesn’t deserve it. When he told Thor that he deserved this he was speaking the truth. He might be a God of chaos and lies, but one has to know the truth to be an effective liar, and he’s well aware of the sucking chasm of inadequacy that rests alongside the towering ego. They are the forces that drive him away from wisdom, and this is his punishment for allowing himself to be driven. His crazed battle against Thor for the throne was only ever going to end one way, and this is it.

He doesn’t have to like it his present predicament, but the deeds of Asgard follow the Edda as much as the Edda follows the deeds of Asgard, and he’s read the tales the Midgardians write about him- no one with his nature could resist. 

The trickster in chains.

Perhaps he’s one of the few not entirely surprised by it. Certainly the assembled throngs gawk openly enough. The eyes of the Guards shift towards him, some of them look perturbed, some amused. There are plenty among the Guards and Servants here who’ve borne the full brunt of his haughty behavior over the years, and he knows how much they’ll be enjoying this.

The nobles and worthies have turned out in their droves too. The courtyard is packed with those who haven’t greased the right palms to gain admittance to The Hall of Asgard itself. The crowd whisper to each other and crane for a better look as the skimmer comes to a halt in front of the towering Barbican.

An honor guard of gold-armored soldiers marches forward to greet them...or at least to great Tony and Thor, and to make sure he’s not about to do anything foolish and bloody. 

“You’re supposed to give me permission to get down,” he mutters to Thor. “Unless you and Stark feel like vaulting over me.”

“You have my permission,” says Thor. He gives the chain attached to Loki’s collar a small tug. Loki gleans the meaning behind it well enough. 

Behave .

Insulting, annoying, and a little exciting if he’s honest. He hops down from the skimmer, very aware of the chains that link his wrists together in front of him, and the collar at his neck. In other circumstances it would be unbearably arousing to be dominated by Thor in front of all of Asgard, but the fact that they all think this is against his will makes it more of a genuine humiliation that the kind he craves from Thor. Not that there isn’t enough of a tinge of the latter to make the whole situation extremely confusing.

What’s not confusing is the thought of seeing Odin. Alright, a small lie . He hates him, yes. Loathes him, with every fiber....and yet clean, simple hate would be easy. What’s truly galling is that his hatred is still mixed up with his need for Odin’s approval. His love

It disgusts him and mortifies him more fully than chains and the ridiculously scanty slave costume ever could.

He lets Thor lead the way, as custom dictates. Thor is a Prince, Tony an honored guest. Loki must walk behind them. He’s certainly not hiding behind them.

The talk in the Hall of Asgard is louder. These warriors and dignitaries are high-ranking enough to feel secure in openly jeering at an ex-prince. The whispering is excited, and there’s even some hastily muffled laughter. 

He breathes out slowly, trying to calm his hammering heart and walks a little closer to Thor. Before him is the throne where Odin sits, Frigga at his side. Facing her disappointment will be more painful than Odin’s wrath and he’d hoped she wouldn’t be here. He’d sat up there once himself with Thor, watching other supplicans beg for mercy from Asgardian justice. It had amused him at the time.

You deserve this. You paid for it and now you own it. 

True, but I’m not going to beg. Not him.

“Am I supposed to curtsy?” Tony whispers as they approach the throne. 

“Just do as I do,” mutters Thor.

“Does he look angry?” whispers Loki.

“Ohhhh yes.”

The Hall feels roughly three miles long, but eventually they reach the foot of the thrones, the crowd falling quiet as they stop. Thor drops to one knee, and after a second Tony copies him. Loki is very tempted to remain standing, but he’s doing this for Thor, not Odin, and so he sinks to his own knees, making sure that he’s bowing a little lower than Thor.

If I’m going to be a slave here, I’ll at least be a competent  slave.

Tony Stark of Midgard,” says Odin. “You are welcome in my Halls. Please rise, you owe me no such obeisance. Come and sit, I’m told the journey through the Bifrost is a difficult one for mortals.”

Loki feels a twinge as Tony is ushered away from them to a seat of honor to the side of Odin’s dias. It feels like Odin is stripping him of his allies, and he has to resist the urge to shuffle nearer to Thor.

“Thor. My son. You may rise.”

Thor stands, Loki’s chain hanging from his fist.

“Loki.” Odin sounds old. Almost defeated.

No, you don’t get to mourn this. Let us hate one another, it’s the easiest way.

He doesn’t give Loki permission to stand and so he stays where he is, kneeling next to Thor. 

“Is this truly what you wanted for yourself, Loki?” Odin asks, wearily.

Loki tries for a glib reply, but can’t seem to find one.

“And Thor, I hope you understand what it is you’ve taken on. If indeed you have taken it on.”

“What do you mean, Father?” asks Thor.

“I know how you shield your Brother. Not that he gives you much cause to. Does he truly bear your rune?”

“He does,” says Thor.

“Show me.”

There’s a murmur at this. 

“I do not lie, Father.” 

Loki hears the edge of anger in Thor’s voice and is comforted by it.

“No,” says Odin. “But he does.”

Loki’s palms prickle again. I could have the daggers in my hands in an instant. It’s ten quick steps to the throne.

Instead he unfastens the left clasp at the shoulder of his toga and allows it to fall open, baring his chest where Thor’s mark blazes silver on his flesh.

“It’s true,” says Frigga softly. She sounds even more sorrowful than Odin, and Loki feels a lump rising in his throat.

“It was part of the terms we agreed upon,” says Thor. “Loki would stay on Midgard, under my power.”

“Unfortunately,” says Odin, “It is Asgard’s power which ought to determine a traitor’s fate. My power. And you have moved him beyond that. Or you both have, conspiring together.”

“Father, I...”

“Silence!” 

Even Thor jumps at Odin’s sudden fury. 

“I cannot understand why , Thor. I’ve long since given up attempting to decipher your Brother’s betrayals, but for you to do this...I cannot understand it.”

“I thought it best,” says Thor. Loki has coached him on what to say, and he can only hope that Thor will remember it.

“You thought it best? You persuaded me not to make war on Midgard. Not to send a force to recapture this traitor, for fear of offending their leaders. You said you would watch him, to make sure he did not compound his crimes, but you never said that you would claim ownership of him. And now, when you want my assurances of peace for your new friends you bring him back here, under your protection...”

“As my slave,” says Thor. Thunder growls outside There’s no doubt in Thor’s voice now. Just the assurance of the warrior. “Loki is mine. He must obey me or suffer consequences beyond any of our control.”

“That is the nature of such a bargain,” says Frigga. “The rune binds him.”

Loki closes his eyes. Thank you, Mother .

“You may not think it is fitting punishment for his crimes, but it was my way of ensuring the safety of the Midgardians.”

“The Midgardians who took him in in exchange for an object of unknowable power which did not belong to him in the first place? The only reason I did not strike them down was your pleading, but I will not make peace with them while they bargain with him .”

“They struck a fool’s bargain,” says Thor simply. “They were tricked by Loki. They aren’t the first. But now I have changed the terms of the pact that it might suit both our causes- Yours and Midgards.”

“And how did you talk your Brother into these supposed terms? Shall I ask for his version of it, or am I already hearing it?”

This is uncomfortably close to the truth. The Hall is in dead silence except for the thunder which continues to rumble outside.

“You doubt me as much as that, Father?” says Thor. “Loki is clever, yes, but he’s impetuous. Chaotic. He isn’t impossible to trap. As you can see.” 

Thor gives his leash a hard jerk and Loki is yanked forward, just catching himself on his chained hands before he tumbles onto his face.

There are some gasps and murmurs at this. They planned this, rehearsed how it would go, but the shame he feels is real.

“You think this is a fiction? Some fraud he has concocted and duped his foolish Brother into?”

Odin is silent, and Loki feels a sliver of hope. If Odin sniffs out the lie entangled with the truth they have no hope at all.

 “You know Loki,” Thor throws his arm out toward the Hall. “All here know Loki. Do you believe he’d submit himself to me by choice? Appear here in chains as my slave by design? Loki of Asgard?

There’s some laughter at this, and Loki grits his teeth, hating them all.

“Perhaps he might endure playacting for a short while if it meant he escaped his punishment,” says Odin. He sounds uncertain though. 

Do it. Give him the show he craves. This is going to be painful, but the pain will be worth it if Thor gets what he needs. He has to remember that.

“He will not escape his punishment,” says Thor. “He’s here to await your judgement. He’s my property and I won’t have him slain or imprisoned, but Asgard will have her justice, and when it is served my hope is that our relationship with Midgard can be healed.”

Odin snorts. “My judgement? My justice? You mean the justice you will allow. You have a soft spot for him. You always did. And if this is an act, on either of your parts...”

 The thunder crashes so hard that it reverberates around the room. 

All at once Loki is being yanked forward again by his collar.

“Why don’t I ask him?” says Thor. He sounds furious and Loki feels a shiver of alarm even though he knows it isn’t him Thor is truly angry with. He tosses the handle of Loki’s chain to the floor with a clatter, to pace around him, and Loki shifts uncomfortably feeling very vulnerable all of a sudden.

“Who do you belong to?” Thor’s voice makes him jump and he can feel his face turning red.

It feels like the whole Hall is holding its breath. His voice sounds very loud in the silence.

“To you, Master.”

“What are you?”

He swallows. “Your slave, Master.”

Whispers fly back and forth like flame in dry grass. They’ll have spread to consume the whole city by nightfall. 

“Is this some clever plot of yours you’ve tricked me into? Our father is curious.”

“No Master,” says Loki. He doesn’t have to fake the tremor in his voice. He feels none of the triumph over their subterfuge that he thought would protect his ego from the avid eyes of the courtiers, because ultimately it’s the truth. 

“Why is my mark on your chest?”

The mark itself throbs as Thor says the words. He’s suddenly aware that with his chest bared like this he’s more than half naked. Are the marks on his backside visible below the short hem of the garment? The thought makes him dizzy with shame.

Thor’s boot thuds into his thigh and the court gasps. “I asked you a question.”

“I’m sorry Master,” he says. “I wear your mark because I have submitted myself to you. Because you own me. You...” the words catch in his throat. Don’t think about the crowd. Don’t try to understand the whispers.

“What?”

“You defeated me. And now I’m yours.”

“Words,” says Odin, but the self doubt is even thicker in his tone.

“Then how about a deed?” says Thor. He comes to a stop in front of Loki. “On your belly, like the dog you are.”

He’s almost there anyway, but lowering himself to lie prostrate on the cold marble floor seems to take an eternity. The babble of the crowd increases, chairs scrape back as those seated at the back of the crowd try to get a glimpse.

“Show your fealty to your Master.”

Thor’s boot is a few inches away from his face. He closes his eyes, trying to overcome his shame enough to crawl forward.

“Unless you’d like me to whip you in front of the entire Court, I suggest you hurry.”

He hears his Mother’s murmur of dismay and this goads him forward. Thor might actually do it, and he doesn’t think he could stand it.

Remember it’s Thor, Thor who you worship anyway . But although he can’t see them he feels the fascination of the crowd upon him as they chatter and jeer.

He presses his lips to the smooth leather and kisses it, ignoring the babble of excited voices as best he can.

“Is that enough for you Father? Is there more you’d see? He’s quite obedient. I can have him do whatever you wish.”

There’s a noise of shock from the crowd and familiar swish of air and suddenly something heavy is resting on his back, pinning him to the floor.

“Do you doubt that he’s mine?”

Loki struggles, but Mjolnir is immovable. Not just immovable, it’s crushing him against the floor. He can feel his ribs grinding and his spine bending as the hammer presses him flat. He struggles to breath as the dull pain builds into something that feels close to breaking bones. His head starts to pound and his vision blurs as Thor’s seidr overwhelms his own, flowing through the hammer into his body.

“Enough, Master please have mercy!” He manages to gasp.

“Does he look as though he’s faking this?” Thor thunders.

“Please!” cries Frigga, “that’s enough.”

“Yes,” says Odin. The voices in the Hall fall silent for their King. “Yes, enough. It seems you speak true, My Son.” 

The pressure is gone from his back in an instant but he hasn’t the strength to raise himself. Hasn’t the strength to do anything but lie there, gasping. 

Odin sighs. “We’ll discuss this tomorrow. Tonight we feast to welcome you home. You’re still my son and it gladdens me to see you. I wish I could say the same for my other son. Look at me, Loki.”

It’s a measure of his defeated state that he does. There’s pity in Odin’s eyes, contempt, weariness. Perhaps Odin would call it love, but it doesn’t feel like that to him.

“You foolish boy. It never had to be like this.”

You’re wrong there, Father. Mother knows the truth of it- she studies the seidr. She’s read the Edda.

But he wouldn’t speak the words even if he had the breath for them.

“Perhaps you imagine it makes me happy to see you reduced to this, hmmm? If you think so you are quite mistaken.”

He sighs again, rubbing at his brow. “Show them to their quarters,” says Odin. “There will be a feast tonight in our Midgardian Guest’s honor.” He inclines his head towards Tony.

“Uh, thanks?” Tony manages to say. “Looking forward to it.”

“And we’ll discuss this again more privately, my sons. I’m a long way from satisfied.”


Somehow he manages to stagger to his feet, and follow Thor, who tugs him along on his chain once more. Thankfully a servant ushers them through the private doorway that leads to the royal quarters, and he’s spared staggering back past the entire court.

“You Okay there, champ?” mutters Tony as they walk down the cavernous corridor. 

Loki nods. It’s all he dares do surrounded by servants and guards.

The man who leads them wears white robes edged with gold- the livery of an upper servant who beams obsequiously at Tony and Thor and  ignores Loki entirely. Technically, I suppose he outranks me , thinks Loki, bitterly. 

“Your rooms are still in order for you, My Prince,” he says to Thor. “Just as you left them. We’ve lit a fire- the night threatens to be a cold one.”

Loki wonders what became of his own rooms, his books, his fine clothes. Did anyone keep any momentos of him, or were they picked through by his servants to be stolen or discarded?

They follow the Servant up the grand, sweeping staircase in silence.

“Mr. Stark will be in here,” says the Servant, bowing Tony through the elaborate set of doors. Mister Stark- someone has made sure that the servants have learned the proper Midgardian forms of polite address. Probably Frigga. If she’s on their side they have a better chance of securing Asgard’s support, although he’s never seen Odin as furious and disgusted as he had been just now. What sort of price will he exact, and will Loki be able to pay it?

Thor’s own quarters are next to Tony’s. Loki remembers these rooms well. The wide four poster bed where Thor took his virginity all those years ago is visible just through that door to his left. A fire roars in the stone fireplace before them and low comfortable sofas spread with furs are arranged around a table laden with fresh fruit and ale.

“Is there anything you need, My Prince?” asks the Servant.

“No, says Thor. Just some time alone. I’ll ring if I need anything.”

The Servant nods, discreetly. “And, uh...your slave? Is he to bed down in the Servant’s quarters?

Thor looks startled for a second, but recovers quickly. He strides through the arched door to the bedroom and pulls a fur off the bed, dropping it onto the floor. 

“My slave will sleep here, where I can keep an eye on him. He needs to be reminded often of his new place in the world, don’t you?”

“Yes, Master,” Loki murmurs.

The Servant’s expression is oddly triumphant. He looks familiar to Loki. Was this one of the men he had at his beck and call as an arrogant youth? Did he scold this man once for running his bath too hot or bringing his soup too cold? He suspects that he knows the answer to that question.

When the door closes behind the Servant Thor strides over to couch, dropping Mjolnir to the floor and sinking into the furs and cushions with a groan.

“Oh Norns, Loki, come here.”

Loki feels oddly hesitant. His skin shivers up into goosebumps as he skirts around Mjolnir. He doesn’t think he’ll forget how it felt to have the weight of it crushing him flat for a long time. He isn’t sure whether to kneel in front of Thor or sit beside him, but before he can act, Thor grabs his hand and pulls him into his lap.

“I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be,” says Loki, emptily. “It had to be done, and you did it, just as we discussed.”

“I didn’t think it would feel like that. Those courtiers! They disgust me.”

Loki lifts Thor’s face so he can look into the sorrowful blue eyes. “They don’t matter.”

“I can see from your face that it matters to you, Brother. I never wanted it to be like this. I want you to be mine because you love me, not because I bully and torment you.”

“I like it when you bully and torment me a little,” says Loki. He feels safe in Thor’s lap, with the strong arms cradling him, and a little of the shame of the last hour is melting away as he leans his head into the crook of Thor’s neck.

“Brother,” groans Thor, you don’t have to make light of it for my sake.”

“I’m serious,” says Loki. “This will all be over soon if we’re clever. We need never come back here again. Unless it’s to put the heads of our enemies on spikes. That Servant would be much improved by a spike.”

Thor sighs. “Are you alright? Tell me truthfully.”

Loki considers. “I’m shaken, and a little dazed. I didn’t expect it to feel like that.”

“Would you like some ale? Something to eat?”

Loki considers. “Not that. Thor?... Master ?” He won’t let the word be sullied by this. Is determined not to.

“What is it?”

“Would you take me to bed?”

“Now?” asks Thor, gently. “Are you sure?”

Loki nods. “Now.” He shivers. “I need something to get all those voices out of my head. They were laughing at me. They loved to see me destroyed. If you’d split me in two right there in the Hall I believe they would have applauded. I need you to love me. How they loved to see me suffer. I knew that I was despised here but not how much.”

“If you wish it, of course I will, only let me be gentle with you. I’ve no appetite for cruelty after that shameful display.”

“The shame is all mine,” says Loki. “You’ve no cause to feel guilty. This was my idea, remember?”

Thor still looks dubious, but he stands up, lifting Loki in his arms.

“What are you doing?” asks Loki throwing his arms around Thor’s neck to steady himself.

“Taking you to bed.”

Loki doesn’t bother to argue. It feels too good to be carried so tenderly, and even better to be laid down gently on the soft mound of furs. The room is cleaner than it was when the brash young warrior Thor had inhabited it, but it hasn’t changed that much.

“We might almost be boys again,” he says.

“This boy isn’t foolish enough to lose you a second time,” says Thor, stripping off his clothes, and then what little Loki wears, including the chain and cuffs until he’s naked but for his collar.

They’re soon pressed together in the cosy cave beneath the furs. Thor is gentle, but Loki lets him take control, enjoying the tenderness of his conquest. Thor’s hands run posessively over his body, and when he kisses Thor’s chest and his neck and mouth it’s a far deeper submission than the kiss he’d been compelled to press to Thor’s boot in the Hall. He wraps his legs around Thor’s waist, begging him with his eyes, and when Thor enters him he sighs, their bodies rocking together, a perfect fit.

For this one moment they know peace, and he lets his shame and his fear go in the face of it, knowing they’ll be waiting for him, and that they won’t have to wait for long.

Chapter Text

Frigga summons them as dusk steals over Asgard. He ought to have expected that she’d seek them out, but the meeting with their mother will be as painful as the audience with Odin in its own way.

Loki has barely said a word all afternoon and Thor is worried about him. 

“I’m studying the seidr,” he’d said when Thor had asked if he was alright. Perhaps it’s even true. The city looks very lovely from the wide balcony, the lighted windows of the buildings a reflection of the stars above and below, but the evening is indeed a cold one, and after a few minutes he goes back inside where the fire roars.

“We shouldn’t keep her waiting,” he says to Loki, who barely even looks up at him as he enters. 

Thor shrugs off his fur-lined cape. “You can’t doubt her love for you. You always were her favorite.”

Loki glances up at him, swirling the dregs of his wine around the golden goblet he’s been filling and draining for hours now. “It isn’t her love I doubt.”

“You’re ashamed to face her?” asks Thor.

“I suppose I am.”

“Can it be worse than the whole court?”

Loki grins. “What say we find out.”

Thor wants to forgo the golden chain, but Loki insists he attach it to his collar.

“We must keep up appearances, Master.” His time is ironic and it saddens Thor.

He gives the leash a gentle tug. “I want you to wear it because you’re mine, not as part of some charade.”

Loki smiles. “I do. Truly. For now, it will have to be both, but you can’t doubt my love for you .” He sighs. “It’s a sad day when I’m quoting the wise words of Thor Odinson.”


 

The corridor is mercifully silent. Loki walks close to Thor, occasionally their fingers brush. He’d love to take Loki’s slim hand in his own, but of course cannot.

It reminds him of all the other times they walked these halls together- as boys playing noisy games in the pillared galleries, as young men on the way to their lessons in combat and magic and reading the scrolls. That night before his abortive coronation, when Loki had told him he’d loved him, and Thor had chosen to skip over the true meaning they both knew lay hidden in the words.

The Palace is familiar and yet entirely changed, for Loki walks beside him dressed not in his silks and finery or his battle armor, but a collar and chain and the short robes of a slave.

“Are you cold?” he asks, mostly to distract himself from his memories.

Loki shakes his head. “One of the benefits of Jotun blood is that I do not feel the cold.”

 

Frigga smiles when she sees them, but her eyes are sad.

“My boys. Home at last.”

Thor bows, but she hurries forward, robes rustling to pull him into a hug, forgoing the formalities.

“Thor, how well you look. Midgard must be suiting you.” Her eyes are already moving away though to Loki who stares at the floor arms clasped in front of him.

“Loki.” He stiffens when she hugs him, but she doesn’t relent and finally he relaxes in her arms, wraps his own around her.

“Mother.”

“It’s good to see you. Both of you. I’ve worried so much.”

“Perhaps you’ve cause to worry still?” says Loki.

Frigga shakes her head, but she’s smiling too. “Not as much as I thought I would. You’ve arranged thing rather well. Come, sit down, my sons.”

Thor takes a seat on a low sofa. When Loki hesitates Frigga says “I sent my servants away for our meeting. You don’t have to kneel.”

“It’s proper,” says Loki, stiffly.

“It’s more proper to obey your Mother and your Queen.”

Loki sinks into the cushions next to Thor looking decidedly uncomfortable, and Frigga takes the sofa opposite them. 

“These aren’t the happiest circumstances for a reunion, but I’m glad to see you both. As is your Father.”

Loki makes a derisive noise.

“He worries about you- both of you. He worries some days that the Midgardians are manipulating you, and others that you are manipulating them.”

“Perhaps he’s right on both days?” suggests Loki, acidly.

Thor gives him a nudge with his elbow.

“The Midgardians are our allies and our friends and they need Asgard’s support.”

Frigga nods. “I agree. You did the right thing, coming back here. Your absence was only inflaming his anger.” She looks unhappily at Loki. “This rift can yet be mended, but it will not be easy.”

“It's not enough for him to see me put in my place in front of the whole court?” says Loki bitterly.

“It gave him no pleasure.”

“You lie less well even than Thor, Mother. Perhaps he did not like that once again I have brought his family into disrepute, but I know he thinks I’m getting what I’ve always deserved. It must please him to see his favorite son triumph.”

“Hardly a triumph,” says Thor, softly.

Loki only sighs, irritably.

“You judge your father too harshly. This rift has troubled him.” Frigga frowns, looking now at Thor.

“He suspects that you helped Loki on Asgard. That you brokered the deal between him and the Midgardians.”

“Why does he believe that?” asks Loki, evenly. “Does he not think I might have reached them on my own?”

“He doesn’t think they’d have listened to you without Thor’s assurances,” says Frigga. “You’re both in a precarious position here. He held off making war with them only because you begged him to, Thor. If he ever finds out that you had a hand in Loki’s ploy, he’ll never forgive you or Midgard. He allowed this visit because he wishes to observe you- to see if he can discern the truth in your behavior. You’ll have to work hard to convince him of your innocence. And you, Loki of your contrition.”

Loki reaches to his neck and gives his chain a shake, the metal links jingling. “Is this not contrition enough?”

“No,” says Frigga. “But it has given you a certain measure of safety, as I’m sure you know. He cannot act against you without acting against Thor, and he isn’t sure enough of Thor’s involvement to risk the scandal of casting out both of his sons. Sons who he loves, despite what you might think.

“If you continue to play your parts well then you might succeed, but he’s hurt and he’s suspicious. Don’t give him any excuse to suspect that your allegiance is split between Asgard and Midgard, or that your ownership of Loki is not as it appears. You must show him that you Thor, are his diligent son, and you Loki are contrite and bound to obey.” She pauses.

“Perhaps it won’t be so very difficult to pretend?”

Thor feels a surge of shame. He remembers the way he’d crushed Loki into the floor, with Mjolnir. The way Frigga had cried out to him to stop.

“It is difficult,” he says “I did not want to torment him in front of the crowd! I never wanted to compete with Loki for anything. I...he’s my Brother, not my enemy.”

“It isn’t that she speaks of,” says Loki softly. “She knows. Don’t you?”

Thor looks wildly back and forth between the two of them. They sit very still, the two masters of the seidr, and whatever passes back and forth between them is unknowable to Thor.

“Knows what?”

“Everything.” Loki sighs. “How could you not? You taught me to read the seidr after all.”

Frigga smiles down at her hands. “I did.”

“What do you mean, everything?” asks Thor.

Loki fixes him with a pitying look. “ Everything . The bargain we made. The true bargain before Yggdrasil. The...the love between us.

He looks back to Frigga, more collected than Thor’s seen him since they arrived here.

“I’m not ashamed, if that’s what you expect from me. I never was.”

“I know,” says Frigga softly. The smile she turns on Thor is sympathetic. “It’s not what I would have chosen for you. Your path will never be an easy one, I fear, but it seems that you’ve been called to walk it, and I’m glad that you do not walk alone.”


“So, let me get this straight,” says Tony. “Your mom knows you’ve been hooking up?”

Thor groans, “Please don’t speak of it.”

Loki looks at him, testily. “Does it shame you?”

“Nooo, not exactly. But...”

“Be careful how you finish that sentence, Brother.”

They’re back in Thor’s rooms, sitting on the low comfortable couches in front of the fire. The food and the wine have been replenished in their absence. He’d never have noticed it a year ago, but now that he’s used to life without Servants it’s peculiar to him.

“Come on Loki, give him a break,” says Tony. “It’s never cool when your mom finds out you’ve been slipping it to some girl. Or guy. Or adopted Brother. I remember the first time my mom caught me in bed with a girl. Well, it wasn’t so much a bed as a waterslide, but...”

Thor frowns. “A waterslide?”

“Yeah. It was a brief but passionate affair. The waterpark were very understanding.”

“Can I have some more wine?” asks Loki.

“No,” says Thor. “You’ll need all of your composure for the banquet.”

“Must we go?”

“You heard what Mother said. I have to play the part of Odin’s son.”

“Huh,” says Tony. “Odinson. I just got that.”

“And I your devoted slave?”

“It was your idea, Reindeer Games” says Tony. “You can’t give him shit for it now.”

Once again Thor is grateful for Tony’s presence.

“Plus, it’s a banquet in my honor, and I’d be hurt if you didn’t show up in that cute little red miniskirt.”

Loki glowers at Tony. “You don’t have to call attention to it.”

“I sure don’t. It kind of calls attention to itself.”

Anyone else would be wearing Loki’s dagger through their eyeball by now, but Loki’s always had a soft spot for Tony. Instead he merely rolls his eyes. 

Tony pats Loki’s leg. “Perhaps it won’t be as bad as you think? I get to meet your friends at least.”

“All of my friends left,” says Loki, darkly. “Exiled to the outer reaches of the galaxy. And Thor’s friends are...well. You’ll see.”

Thor feels a twinge of irritation. “My friends are good people. True warriors.”

“Meatheads?” asks Tony.

Loki nods. “Sif has her moments, and Hogun has the virtue of silence but the other two.”

In truth Thor isn’t particularly looking forward to this reunion either. His friends’ relationship with Loki has always been uneasy, and he doubts this peculiar new dynamic will make things any less awkward.

“How are you liking Asgard?” Thor asks Tony, to change the subject.

Tony considers. “It’s honestly a little weird. After New York I knew conceptually there were all these other worlds out there, but to actually see one is kind of a trip. It’s pretty amazing. Here we were thinking The Avengers might solve all of Earth’s problems, and now we find out Earth is just one little speck of plankton in this huge ocean.” He frowns. “Speaking of oceans, how come yours falls over the edge? Where does it all come from? Or go?”

“It’s magic,” says Thor.

Loki closes his eyes. “It’s part of the immutable seidr of Asgard. Everything here is representational on an elemental level. The flow of the water represents change. Change is a continuous state. It can’t be halted, there’s no end to it, and no beginning. Life doesn’t begin to change or cease to change, life is change.”

Tony looks at Thor. “...magic?”

“Magic,” Thor agrees.

“The two of you are hopeless,” sniffs Loki. “Here I am, the finest mind in Asgard, with the possible exception of my Mother, reduced to your plaything.”

“Such a terrible fate,” says Tony. “Uh, was that a collective ‘your’?”

“Hmmm, I don’t know,” says Loki, teasingly. “Would you like it to be?”

There’s a moment of silence in which the crackling of the wood in the hearth seems very loud. The tryst the three of them shared has been the last thing on Thor’s mind, but this is the first time they’ve been alone together since it happened and he supposes it was bound to come up eventually. It doesn’t seem like a very appropriate time to Thor, but with Loki so fragile he hasn’t the heart to chide him for flirting with Tony.

Tony is smiling at Loki from under furrowed brows. “Would I like it to be? Maybe. Although I hear you prefer hooking up with my AI these days.”

If Tony had hoped for a guilty reaction from Loki he is disappointed.

“Really?”

“Yup. Not that I mind. I’m actually impressed. J.A.R.V.I.S. self-guiding like that is a new thing. I’ve wondered if an actual emotional response was possible to program.”

Loki yawns. “Are we going to talk about that machine, or are you going to distract me from this tedious mission?” He shifts closer to Tony.

Tony glances at Thor who is sitting on a sofa opposite the one Loki and Tony share, eyebrow raised. “I mean...I’m up for it. Thor?”

“I don’t see how it could make things worse.”

“Sweet-talker,” says Tony with a wink.

“I just worry that it might complicate things. We are on a serious quest here. Mother advised us to present the picture of two dutiful sons.”

“All the more reason to work out my frustrations now ,” says Loki. “What’s so complex about that? I’m about to get bent over and fucked by Asgard. Why not let Midgard have a turn?”

There’s a brittle edge in his voice, the old bitter enmity is still inside him somewhere, and being back here on Asgard is stirring it to the surface. He’s about to shrug his shoulders and tell Loki he may do as he wishes if only to avoid the argument Loki so clearly craves, when he feels a twinge, like a flicker of lightning running through him.

No, this is not the deal you made. If he wants this he must ask for it appropriately. It isn’t your indulgence he needs to get through this but your mastery. 

“Loki.” He speaks softly, but the tone gets Loki’s attention straight away. He sits up a little straighter on the furs that cover the sofa and regards Thor warily.

“What?”

“Who decides who you lay with?”

Loki licks his lips. They’re stained red with wine, and Thor longs to kiss them roughly, to make them part in a sigh of pain or pleasure. Loki’s eyes dart towards Tony, then back to Thor.

“You do. Master .”

“So. Come over here and ask me respectfully and I’ll make my decision.”

Tony smiles, taking a swig from his own goblet. “This right here is why you guys are my favorite kinky space wizards.”

Loki favors him with a withering look, before sliding off his own sofa and crawling to Thor’s feet to kneel on the furs that are heaped on the floor. Thor reaches down to caress his hair.

“Good. Now ask me for what you want.”

Loki looks at him pleadingly, clearly not wanting to beg in front of Tony, but Thor doesn’t relent.

“I want for you and Stark to bed me, Master. Please?”

“To bed you? You’re being too coy. It’s unlike you.”

“Alright. For you and Stark to fuck me.”

“What do you think?” Thor asks Tony.

“I think that someone has been working that tight little supervillain ass over.”

Loki looks startled. “What?”

“Well,” says Tony. “That outfit doesn’t cover much, especially when you’re leaning forwards, and you’ve got bruises for days.”

Thor laughs. “Turn around, Brother. Show me.”

Loki frowns, but obeys. Tony’s right. The bottom edge of the purple bruises are easily visible beneath the hem of Loki’s garments.

“Do you think anyone noticed?” Loki asks.

“I hope so,” says Thor.

Loki makes a small noise of mortification. “You can’t mean it. What will they think?”

“I thought you no longer cared what Asgard thinks of you? But, since you ask, they’ll think you’re my slave, and that you require frequent discipline, which is true enough. I’ve half a mind to give you some more where they’ll definitely see.”

“Only half?” asks Tony, teasingly. “Sounds like a good idea to me. Show the old man you’re serious.”

“We have a consensus,” says Thor. “But you ought to come and sit over here, Tony and take a proper look.”

Tony snags the pitcher of wine as he crosses the floor and settles down next to Thor who can’t help but steal a look at his compact little body. There’s something innately sexual about Stark, and he can understand why Loki’s so fascinated with him. Once Tony’s settled he leans back on the soft cushions, his thigh pressed up against Thor’s. He’d doubted the wisdom of doing this, but he has to admit that it’s relaxing him more efficiently than the wine has. Loki looks back over his shoulder at the two of them, impatient as usual.

“Take off your robe,” Thor says. “And your underthings. You can leave the boots on.”

Loki slips the red embroidered robe up over his head and wriggles out of the plain silk shorts. The leather knee boots and the collar seem only to highlight his nakedness. The curve of the small of his back as he settles back into a kneeling position and the red, bruised buttocks below are mesmerising, but Thor wants him in a more submissive position.

“Bow down,” he says. “Face on the floor. You know how I like you.”

Loki gives a little shiver, and obeys, burying his face in the thick furs, raising his ass and spreading his legs wide.

“Already hard,” Thor says, amused. “What do you think, Stark? Did I beat him well?”

“I think if I’d been spanked like that I’d behave myself better than he does.”

“Perhaps I’m not spanking him hard enough?” Thor says.

“Maybe. The data pool seems insufficient. Speaking as a scientist.” Tony’s voice wavers a little, and Thor is not surprised to see that he’s as hard as Loki is.

“Come up here,” Thor says. “Lay over our laps. Face up to start with.” 

Loki climbs into his lap, giving his hip an impudent nudge against Thor’s cock. He lies back, his upper body splayed across Tony’s legs.

“Hands above your head,” says Thor. “Keep them there.”

Instinctively he knows that Loki is going to need some kindness mixed in with any cruelty he bestows. Thor must bolster his sense of his own beauty and worth enough that it lasts beyond Thor’s own chambers. Tonight’s banquet will be a test even for Loki’s will. He’s tender as he strokes Loki’s belly and the smooth scallops of his hip bones, combs his fingers through the dark hair that grows above his cock. Tony follows his lead, caressing Loki’s chest and neck, the tender undersides of his raised arms, the hard pink nubs of his nipples, until Loki’s eyes flutter closed and he’s sighing in spite of himself. Tony seems fascinated with the silver rune on Loki’s chest and especially by the way that Loki hums and arches his back when he touches it.

Thor catches Tony’s eye, and both of their hands move to Loki’s cock at the same time, stroking together as Loki’s breathing becomes heavier.

“Such a pretty little toy,” Thor says. 

“You’re a lucky son of a bitch,” agrees Tony.

Thor notices that Loki’s eyes are still closed, which won’t do at all. 

“Brother, you’re to look Tony in the eye while he touches you. You know that you don’t get to hide inside your own head.”

He can see what a struggle it is for Loki to keep his eyes locked on Tony’s as the two of them play with his cock. Soon he’s leaking and wet and Thor can tell that he’s close to coming. As amusing as it is to him to keep Loki desperate and unsatisfied, he’s still in the mood for kindness...but perhaps not too much.

“I’m going to let you have your pleasure, but you’re going to tell Stark what I did to you with Mjolnir while we touch you.”

Loki winces.

“Do I have to?”

“Yes.”

His words are halting a first but as Tony and Thor continue to stroke his cock, Loki loses his self-consciousness. Plus, he never can resist showing off, especially if his exploits are likely to scandalize his audience.

Tony however seems less scandalized than turned on.

“Damn, first my suits, now that hammer. Are you going to be polishing Cap’s shield next?”

Loki’s withering reply is lost in his moan as Thor grips him harder. He looks very beautiful splayed across both their laps and Thor tells him so. When he comes, they hold their sticky palms and fingers to his face, making him clean his own spend off them with his tongue.

“And now for your real reward,” Thor says. “Something for you to think of this evening when you need to lose yourself.”

He has Loki strip Tony, and all three of them move to the bed. 

“I’m digging all this fur,” says Tony. “Don’t tell whatever the Asgardian version of PETA is, but I could get used to this.”

His tongue is mercifully silenced when Loki begins to suck his cock. For now Thor is content to watch the two of them. It’s pleasing to him to conduct the ballet of their congress. He has them kiss, Loki laying on top of Tony, his tongue pushing into Tony’s mouth. He makes Tony suck Loki, enjoying the discomfort of both of them at the unaccustomed dynamic.

“Is he good?” Thor asks, stroking Loki’s hair. Loki can only nod.

“We’re both going to fuck you, because you’re my pretty little slave and your body is made for fucking, but first I’m going to mark you. Do you want it?”

Loki nods again, and Thor slaps Tony’s ass. 

“Enough.”

Tony wipes his mouth. “I could get used to that.”

“I bet you could,” says Loki.

“That’s enough from you. You’re on the bottom here, Brother.”

He looks at Tony, considering. “Lie on your back.” It’s a request bordering on an order, but Tony doesn’t seem to mind. They’ve fallen naturally into the same dynamic as last time, Loki on the bottom, Thor on the top, with Tony apparently eager to play the middle.

“I’m going to need your magic,” he says to Loki.

“What would you have me do, Master?” asks Loki, wisely deciding against preening.

“One rope from your collar, to be fastened around the beams above us. Another binding your wrists behind you. You’ll make both of them tight, of course. And I’m going to need something to whip you with. That can be your choice, but if you choose poorly I’ll make you regret it.”

Loki’s eyes widen, but he makes no objection. “And how do you want me to arrange myself?”

“You’re going to be riding Tony.”

Tony makes a pleased noise and settles back in the furs. “Hop on then, Reindeer Games.”

Loki frowns slightly, but Thor can tell he’s more than eager to obey. He climbs astride Tony’s hips, reaching down to stroke Tony’s cock, lining it up with his hole as Tony groans.

When he sinks down onto it both of them gasp. They look so good together, Loki elegant and spare, his head thrown back, his eyes squeezed shut as he adjusts to take Tony’s prick, Tony with his animal charisma and his compact, masculine body unselfconsciously taking what it needs from Loki. Tony’s fingers dig into Loki’s buttocks, spreading him wider, forcing him to sink lower still.

“Good,” says Thor. “The ropes.”

Loki crosses his wrists at his back, muttering his spell, and the slender black ropes twine around his wrists, another rope unspooling from the dark rafters above to twine itself into the loop at the front of his collar.

“Tighter,” says Thor.

Loki obeys, gasping a little as he’s forced to sit up straighter. He can breathe well enough so long as he doesn’t move around too much.

“You’re going to have to do most of the work,” Thor tells Tony.

“It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.”

“We’re still missing one thing.”

The whip Loki summons exceeds Thor’s expectations- A short singletail with a thick handle.

“You must be feeling masochistic.”

Loki’s collar is too tight for him to nod. It’s a tricky position from him. With the rope at his neck and his hands bound tightly at his back he’ll be at Tony’s mercy, relying on the other man to steady him, unable to control the intensity of the thrusts into his helpless body.

“Can I start?” asks Tony with a raised eyebrow.

Thor nods, testing the weight of the singletail.

“Uh, you’re good at aiming those things, right?” asks Tony.

Thor grins. “Let’s find out.”

Tony doesn’t seem truly worried. Loki’s hole wrapped around his cock is too much of a distraction, and soon he’s shoving his hips up into Loki’s defenseless body, using the God’s own weight and the springy bed beneath them to force Loki to ride him.

Thor gives the whip an experimental crack, pleased at the noise the supple leather makes. It will sound even better on his Brother’s flesh. 

He’d be lying if he said the thought of making Loki parade his stripes in front of the whole Royal Court wasn’t getting his prick painfully hard.

His pulls the first lash, wanting to test the whip’s power before he puts his strength behind it. It connects with Loki’s thigh with a snap, and Loki cries out, squirming as best he can in his restricted position.

Tony swears. “Do that again, huh Thor? He feels so fucking good when he wriggles about like that.”

The whip has left a livid red line on the pale flesh of Loki’s thigh, and Thor lays another alongside it. The welts are slimmer than those left by the cane. Thor doesn’t think they’ll bruise as deeply, but he could break Loki’s skin very easily.

He avoids the already damaged skin of Loki’s ass, but the rest of his body is a blank canvas and Thor covers almost all of it, Loki writhing deliciously as the whip bites into his back, his shoulders, his heaving chest. He even lets the whip lick at Loki’s nipples, until tears begin to spill from his Brother’s eyes.

“You hanging in there, Loki?” asks Tony.

Loki gasps out a yes .

“Do you want more?” Thor asks him.

“Yes. Harder .”

“Harder?”

“As...as hard as you can.”

“Fuck, that’s hot,” grunts Tony. He’s picked up his pace and Loki bounces helplessly on his cock.

“Truly?”

“Truly. I...I won’t break. I’m a God, after all.”

Thor still pulls his next stroke a little, but only a little.

Loki wails as the whip cracks against his thigh. Blood beads up along the bright red welt and Thor feels a burst of distress.

“Loki? Are you..”

“Don’t stop. Please Master.”

He won’t go that hard again, but he lets Loki have it, striping his thighs with bright red welts.

“Oh God, I’m close,” Tony pants.

‘Wait,” says Thor. “We’re both going to fill him together.”

He drops the whip and clambers onto the bed, straddling Tony’s legs. When he runs his hands over Loki’s welted skin, the God shudders.

Thor kisses his shoulders and his neck.

“Are you ready to have both of us inside you at once?”

“Yes,” gasps Loki.

“Tony?”

“Fuck yes.”

Both men moan as Thor’s finger eases into Loki’s hole, which is already stretched wide around Tony’s cock. He’s very wet, and very eager, and it only takes a few gentle nudges before he has a second finger in there.

“Wow, that feels weird,” pants Tony. “But good weird.”

“Just wait.”

He spreads his fingers slowly, stretching Loki’s hole, gaping it open.

“That’s a good boy. I know you can take it.”

Loki’s hole is twitching, the abused ring of muscle trying to close itself, but Thor won’t relent. His presses his cock in between his own fingers shoving the head into Loki’s body, and once the head is inside there’s no way of preventing the rest of his prick from following. He can feel the underside of his cock sliding against Tony’s, the two members squeezed snugly together by Loki’s body. He starts off slowly, but soon the sensation is too good and he’s fucking himself as deeply into Loki’s overstretched hole as hard as he ever has. Loki is helpless to do anything other than take it, and Tony too lies almost still, letting Thor do the work, their pricks sliding slickly together.

Loki comes first, his untouched cock spilling come over Tony’s chest as he’s fucked and stretched helplessly.

Tony and Thor finish almost at the same time. He can feel his own hot seed mingling with Tony’s as they fill Loki’s body.

“I need something else from you,” Thor pants. He whispers to Loki what it is before he pulls out, and Loki summons the object as quickly as he’s able to.

Thor lifts him off Tony. As soon as the Midgardian’s cock leaves his body, Thor replaces it with the plug he’s had Loki create, a thick little phallus that slides effortlessly into his abused hole.

“There,” says Thor, giving Loki’s nipple an affectionate pinch. “Your hole is filled with our come, and you’re going to stay that way for the rest of the evening.”

“What..what if it comes out?” Loki falters.

“If you think it’s going to then you have my permission to make your plug larger.”

Tony chuckles.

“Remind me never to get on your bad side, Thor.”

“Oh, this is my good side. He loves it. Don’t you Loki?”

Loki swallows. Glares. “Yes, Master.”

“You can get rid of the ropes now.”

 

The bliss lasts a good long while. Loki lies between the two of them, on his front, lazy and sated. They stroke his body, tracing the vicious red welts, teasing the base of the plug that stretches his hole, and Loki sighs, beyond words, and hopefully beyond worry.

For now.

Chapter Text

“You look beautiful,”

Thor’s breath against his ear makes him shiver. 

“You don’t look terrible yourself,” he says. “Either of you.”

Tony gives him a quick smile. “We’re gonna be the three best-looking guys in the room. Again. It’s a burden.”

Tonight will be a trial. Yet even dressed as a slave (the evening costume is a flowing knee-length robe in green and gold silk, belted at the middle with a jewelled chain to match the leash he wears at his neck.) he’s almost proud to be here with these two.

Thor has never looked more Princely; Midgard has tempered him. He’s no longer a spoiled young Prince or a brash warrior, but a man in command of a quieter and deeper kind of strength. Tony too is attracting all sorts of curious and hungry glances in his exquisitely cut Midgardian suit. If either of them are nervous they don’t show it, and this calm transfers itself to Loki.

Knowing that they’re here with him, on his side- and that only an hour ago they lay in Thor’s bed together kissing and petting- gives him a kind of power. Or so he feels. Secret from everyone but Mother, and not even she knows about Tony. Let them laugh at me if they will. The last laugh remains mine.

The banqueting hall is arrayed in finest Asgardian style. Candles blaze, the flames multiplied into a galaxy by the polished black mirror of the floor. Long tables gleam with golden dishes and goblets, but for now the worthies of Asgard laugh and flirt and gossip in their silks and armor in the low chairs and couches that occupy the center of the vast room. These chairs will be removed while the worthies feast for the inevitable dancing.

At least no one will expect me to dance tonight.

Odin and Frigga sit in the center of the room on low golden thrones. They look up as the Herald brings his horn to his lips. Frigga is unreadable. Odin frowns.

“Announcing his Royal Highness, Thor Odinson, and his most Honoured Guest, Tony Stark of Midgard.”

Loki fixes his own face into a bland smile.

Go on, toast them, cheer them, flatter them, praise their honor. They were both inside me an hour ago. It’s me they care for, not any of you.

In a way they’re inside him still. He’d thought the sly nudge of the plug Thor pressed inside him would add to his anxiety, but it’s having the opposite effect. Every step he takes shifts its position, and it feels like Thor’s in there, fucking him in front of the whole room. He registers the looks of pity or triumph that his former subjects give him, but they’re somewhat buffered by the warm non-thought of his submission to Thor-and to Tony too. 

They both had him, filled him with their spend, and it’s within his body still, the plug that fills his tender, overstretched hole keeping it in place.

He’s grateful that tonight’s robes are of a more generous cut, because he can feel the throb of his desire begin to quicken, and his cock growing hard. The thick draped fabric will hide it, but he still feels deliciously exposed. 

He almost relishes the small shocked murmurs as the three of them approach Odin and Frigga. The fresh marks of the whipping Thor gave him are easily visible on his legs and his arms, and the plunging neckline of his robes shows most of his well-lashed chest as well, the welts crossing one another like a lattice of flame on his pale skin. Certainly they still burn like fire.

Not only is it like he’s fucking you in front of the whole court, it’s like he’s whipping you too.

Norns, if that was to be my punishment, to be beaten and fucked by him right here on the floor.

He blinks, trying to gather his wits, but the rub of the phallus against his prostate is making it exceedingly difficult to concentrate. He thought that he might grow used to the feel of the plug, but the sensation fails to dull. He’s throbbing around it, his hole forced open to accommodate its length, the exhausted muscle sending hot little rills of excitement through his loins as it flutters around the unshiftable, unflagging cock that spreads him. As his desire grows the welts that mark his body feel more like caresses. Thor is very close to him and the compulsion to touch him is utterly maddening.

Instead he sinks to his knees as Thor bows low to Odin and Frigga. 

He’s still aware of those who watch him, and the shame is still there, but his body and his mind are attuned to Thor, weak with need.

Tony is ushered to a low golden sofa in the place of honor next to Odin, and Thor is placed by Frigga. Loki follows him obediently, shuffling forward on his knees to sit at Thor’s feet.

Thor winds the golden chain tightly around his fist, not looking at Loki as he listens to Frigga’s polite speech of welcome, and Loki finds himself pulled firmly backwards to lean up against his Brother’s leg. He’s slightly shocked by Thor’s boldness, and shocked still more as the weight of his buttocks against his heels drives the plug more deeply into his body. The broad end of it snubs up against his prostate, and he has to bite back a startled a gasp.

“Your slave does not wear his restraints,” Odin says querulously.

“He does not need them,” says Thor. “Hands behind your back.” 

He gives Loki’s bruised buttock a kick. “I should not have to tell you.”

Loki obeys, although being so close to Odin in this state of mind is difficult. His father is the rock on which his spirit splits in two- half submission, half defiance. How easy it had seemed when he’d laid out this plan. His official bond of slavery was intended to be a piece of personal insurance, quite separate from their bedroom pleasures. He should have known better than to assume he could separate the two. 

“You’ve punished him I see. What was his crime?” Odin continues.

Be careful Brother. He’s looking to untangle our web. If only he knew that the only one entangled in it is me.

“He need commit no crime to be punished,” says Thor. “He’s my slave. He behaves better if he’s disciplined frequently.”

“And you treat him so on Midgard? It must take up a lot of your time.”

“Fortunately I’m not without assistance.” 

The toe of Thor’s boot still rests against Loki’s backside, and now it slides beneath him, working its way between his well-whipped buttocks, pressing right up against the end of the phallus which barely protrudes through the stretched knot of his hole.

“Really?”

“Yes, Father. Tony Stark here has been valuable in guiding Loki. I’ve told you a little of his work, and the wondrous thinking machines he creates. He’s been running some experiments on Loki’s abilities. Not only will his findings aid us in our fight against our mutual enemy, his machine has proven adept at controlling my wayward Brother. You’ve truly no need to worry, Father. Loki’s bargain was made in haste, and has been his undoing more than his triumph, as you can see. He has not escaped justice. Just received a different kind to that which Asgard intended.”

 

Loki’s face is hot and his heart beats wildly. For Thor to speak of Tony’s ‘experiments’ in front of Odin! Probably it sounds virtuous enough to everyone else, but Loki knows that the words are for his own benefit. That Thor is teasing him with the memory of their coupling. As if to confirm his suspicion, Thor flexes his foot, the leather tip of his boot pressing harder against Loki’s hole, shoving the plug deeper inside him.

“It’s a useful kind of justice too,” puts in Tony. “We don’t know much about what you call magic on Asgard. Having Loki to study has been a game-changer. I’m only sorry our communication wasn’t better. You should have been informed the moment he became an asset of Earth. This is all kind of new to us. Asgard has known about us for a long time, but we’re not really at the stage of hopping on the phone to share intel down on Earth.”

“Yet your man Fury contacted my son, and instead of coming to me, Thor went alone to aid his Brother.”

“Not to aid,” says Thor. “Loki had endangered Midgard once on my account and I couldn’t see him repeat his crimes. I should have asked your assistance, I know it. Mr rashness is my error, and mine alone for which I beg forgiveness. I thought that the more time Loki had to gather his wits the worse our chances were of brokering a bargain that could bring him to heel.”

“He certainly seems at heel now,” says Frigga, flatly. “Your Father knows that I do not approve of it, and yet it’s done.”

“Done? It is barely begun,” rumbles Odin. “He shall not escape Asgardian justice as easily as that, slave or no slave. It distresses me to see him reduced to this, but there are prices that must be paid, and he has not yet begun to pay them, as well you know!”

“We will discuss all of this later,” says Frigga, soothingly. “but we’re hosting a feast right now. A feast to celebrate our Midgardian Ambassador. Our world must be strange to you, Mr. Stark, but I hope you’re as pleased to be here as we are to welcome you. I wish you had come here during less trying times.”

“Times are always trying one way or another. Something our two worlds have in common,” says Tony. 

Thank the Nine for his easy way. 

“It’s a beautiful place, and I’m grateful you’ve given me- and my planet- a second chance..”

Odin clears his throat. “My apologies, Stark. It’s a shock to me to see my son like this. He’s still my son, even after all of his crimes. But perhaps it is necessary?” 

He sighs. Loki can just imagine the rueful look on his face -the wounded bloody nobility- and wants to spit 

“I certainly never found a way to curb him myself. But my wife is right, let us speak of more pleasant things.”

Loki has to admit he’s surprised and more than a little impressed by Thor’s diplomacy. It’s hard to dwell on it though. The nudge of his Brother’s boot against his backside doesn’t relent. He longs to put his head back, to rest it on Thor’s lap.

If I’m to be a slave, let me be a slave fully. He sounded like a King just now, so let him rule me. More of a King than our father ever was.

The flame of his rage against Odin wants to kindle into a fire, and yet that too is damped by the warm feeling of submission that floods his body, as the plug is nudged relentlessly into his prostate over and over, Thor’s trick hidden by the cover of Loki’s robes. He prays the fabric is thick enough to conceal his hardening prick. With his hands clasped at his back, and his body pulled upright by his chain he can do little to conceal it himself.

Soon however Thor’s boot retreats and the throb of his need lessens. It’s a mercy truly, and yet he can’t help but crave more, and if he were alone with Thor he’d be begging him for relief by now. He longs to do it anyway- to spin around and press his lips to Thor’s boots.

He barely hears the rest of the polite conversation between Odin, Frigga and Tony. In fact he’s startled when Thor nudges him forward and rises from his seat.

“Come Tony, you must meet my comrades. Will you crawl Loki, or do you deserve to walk?”

“Whatever you wish, Master.” The quaver in his voice is entirely genuine and lets lose another warm, beguiling wave of shame. 

“Oh let him walk,” says Frigga. “This must be difficult enough for him to bear.”

“Less difficult to bear than the pain of those whose families died at the hands of his army,” Odin growls. 

Thor gives his leash a tug. “Walk whether you deserve it or not, Brother. I haven’t the patience to wait for you.”

Thor pulls his chain roughly, forcing him to stand, and Loki stumbles against him. For the briefest moment Thor’s fingers grab his own and squeeze, and Loki squeezes back, and then he’s being tugged along in Thor’s wake through knots of courtiers, who bow to Thor and Tony, and ogle him with open curiosity and amusement. He hears Volstagg’s laugh before he sees him, and hesitates. Thor too pauses and looks back at him. His eyes are steady. There’s no pity there, but no cruelty either- just the patient mastery that Loki has come to know so well over the past few months. 

This is no charade- no ruse to fool Odin or anyone else. Loki isn’t here in the guise of Thor’s slave. It’s real. Just as he said himself to Nari, but didn’t truly understand until now. Thor loves him and wishes to protect him, but he’ll not stint from using this chance to master Loki, and Loki would love him less if he did.

The enormity of it is a little staggering- far more unsettling than the unfriendly and curious eyes on him.

Perhaps Thor understands, for he moves close to Loki, so close that Loki can feel the heat from his body, smell his clean, familiar scent. 

“You’re fighting it, aren’t you?” he murmurs.

Loki shakes his head. He glances around to see if anyone’s listening.

Of course they are- they’re always listening in this hall of whispers.

“Not fighting. I’m torn. Between the necessity of this ,” he inclines his head towards the crowded room, “and...the bargain we made. I want to...”

He trails off. I want to be ruled by you openly. To cast off the masks. The lies.

“I know what you want,” Thor says softly. When he speaks again, it’s a little louder for the benefit of those who might be listening. 

“My Father is concerned that you are not properly bound. We ought to fix that.”

Before he has time to doubt or question Thor pushes him over the back of the nearest sofa. The shift of the phallus inside him as he’s bent over is excruciating, and the pressure of his erect cock against the plush fabric makes him moan- the sound luckily muffled by the cushions and the excited laughter and muttering of the crowd. There are people sitting on this sofa, Eydis, one of his Mother’s acolytes who has long been jealous of his prowess, and Sten, the chronicler who is a wretched old pervert and is probably enjoying this immensely. The look he shoots Loki as he leans back to get a better view of the spectacle is so hungry that Loki turns his head the other way. Better to look on Eydis’s hard, triumphant smile than the old lecher’s obvious enjoyment.

I’d love to see your face if he really did fuck me, you pitiful bawd.

The grain of truth hidden within the sentiment makes it is less venomous than it might have been. Thor is pulling his arms back, pushing them in place in a familiar position, each of his hands gripping just below the elbows of the opposite arm so that his arms are crossed tight and high on his back- a far more restrictive position than the golden cuffs he’d worn earlier. He hears the jingle of Thor’s belt buckle and for one dizzying second he thinks Thor really does mean to take him right here. It’s almost a disappointment when the supple leather belt, still warm from Thor’s body is wrapped around his arms and pulled tight.

Thor slaps his bare thigh. 

“Tight enough? Have a wriggle, Loki like the serpent you are. See if you can escape.”

Sten titters into his wine. “Oh very, good Your Highness, very good indeed.”

Have a care, old man. You’re close enough to bite, if nothing else. 

But knowing Sten he’d probably enjoy it, besides, Thor’s slapping him again, the welts sizzling like fire and he’s squirming in earnest, pulling against his bonds.

“He’s not even trying,” says Eydis. She’s always been in love with Thor- trust her to curry favor by joining in this game. Better her and Sten though than the Warriors Three.

“Harder. Put some effort into it,” says Thor, and Loki obeys, his humiliation only fanning the flames of his need. The phallus seems to have grown inside him, and as he strains and squirms to free himself from his bonds it feels like it’s moving inside him. Much more of this and he’s going to come, in front of the whole court, bent over the back of the sofa. 

Thor seems to realise his predicament and hauls him roughly to his feet again.

“Better?” he asks. 

Loki is aware that his face is miserably red as he nods. 

“Much better,” Sten says. “Odin was right- as always. Jotun blood will always out. If I were you I’d keep him trussed day and night.”

Loki doesn’t care for the emphasis he puts on the word ‘night’ but Thor’s right; This is better. The illusion of control has been put beyond further his reach. The more debased he is, the more controlled, the easier his lot. There’s a peace in accepting it, and being bound like this cuts through the ambiguity.

He’s almost calm as Thor leads him onward, towards the boisterous group of revelers centered around his old companions. Tony walks next to him. Every now and then his hand brushes Loki’s leg and it soothes him. Possibly Loki is a welcome distraction for him too- Being thrown into the deep end of the Royal Court of an advanced alien planet can’t be easy, even for someone with Stark’s overabundance of confidence. 

Volstagg gives a roar of excitement as Thor approaches, slopping ale out of his tankard.

“Old friend, how good it is to see you again!”

Loki finds himself tugged unwillingly forward as Thor throws his arms around his companion.

Fandral grabs Thor’s arm. “It is indeed a pleasure. You’ve been missed.”

Even Hogun gives a rare smile and a nod.

Sif is the only one who looks at Loki, a distrustful glower, and then she too moves forward to take Thor’s hands.

“Come sit with us. Give us a little of your time before you must play the Prince again.”

“I’ll be glad to,” says Thor. He puts an arm around Tony’s shoulder. “I’d like you all to meet my good friend Tony Stark. A brave warrior and a true companion.”

Tony smiles through the introductions, accepting the flagon of ale that’s shoved into his hand. Normally Loki would be seething by now. It was bad enough to be underestimated by his Brother’s idiotic warriors, but to be ignored by them totally! He feels oddly emptied though- emptied at least of everything but Thor. 

Why shouldn’t he simply stand here, waiting for Thor’s command? It’s right, somehow. Finally he’s found a place in the Asgardian Court that feels right.

Thor sinks into a chair at the center of his circle of companions, and Loki’s obliged to kneel at his feet. He feels Sif’s eyes on him still, but instead of anger he experiences an odd kind of triumph. He’s always known how Sif has longed for his Brother. And here he is, Thor’s possession. Sharing his bed every night.

Perhaps she senses his thoughts for she suddenly cuts across Fandral’s attempt at an amusing anecdote to say.

“I think this situation is very unfair on you. To be beholden to him for the rest of your life.”

“Him?” asks Thor.

“Your Brother.” 

“He is beholden to me, not the other way around.”

Sif sighs, impatiently. “You think so? You’re going to have to watch him all the time. You think you have him tamed? That he’s not just storing up revenge?”

Loki can’t help but smile slyly at her. She glares at him like she’d like to slit his throat.

“He seems tamed well enough,” says Fandral, dryly.

“Even if he is-which I doubt- it’s unfair to expect you to watch over him at all times.”

“He’s not alone,” says Tony. “We’re all keeping an eye on him.”

Loki feels a tug on his collar and realises Thor’s tossing the handle of his leash to Stark. 

“Good idea, you hold him for a while.”

He feels the first fresh flush of shame at this- being at Thor’s mercy is one thing, but to be controlled by Tony in front of all of Asgard is another.

“How are you liking the ale, Tony?” Volstagg asks. “Better than the swill on Midgard, I’ll wager?”

“So far, but I think I’ll be able to give you a more accurate answer if I sample more of it.”

Volstagg and Fandral roar laughter at this.

“One of many reasons I’m glad to be back,” says Thor. He raises his tankard to Tony. “Not that Midgard is without its pleasures. 

“Is there a girl?” Fandral asks.

Thor shakes his head.

“Two girls?”

“No girls, but I’m happy enough as I am.”

“How about you, Tony?”

“There’s a girl,” he says. “But she’s pissed with me. Angry,” he clarifies. 

“What did you do?”

“Oh, a bit of everything.”

Even Sif laughs this time.

“A toast then, to your woman,” says Volstagg. “May she forgive you.”

“But not too soon,” adds Fandral.

He jumps a little as Thor’ boot nudges his thigh. “My slave should drink too. It’s bad luck not to drink to a toast. Tony?”

Tony pulls on his collar, and Loki looks up to face him. Tony’s dark eyes are intense, although he looks relaxed enough, sprawled on the furs next to Thor. Loki realises Thor is testing Tony here as well as himself, and marvels at his Brother’s confidence. 

Tony leans forward and holds his flagon to Loki’s lips. A quick glance up at the faces that look down on him shows him that the Warriors Three are fascinated with the spectacle in spite of themselves.

They never did like me. As disgusted as they are at the spectacle of my shame they can’t help but enjoy it.

It’s certainly humiliating enough to sip docilely from Tony’s flagon, but apparently it’s not enough to satisfy Thor. He tips the grapes off an elaborate gold plate and tosses it onto the floor in front of Loki.

“Pour a little on there, friend.” he says to Tony. “You shouldn’t have to share your cup with a slave.”

Loki swallows and closes his eyes, and Volstagg whistles softly through his teeth.

“Remind me never to get on your bad side, Thor.”

“It’s not like he hasn’t had this coming,” says Sif, coldly. “Perhaps it will do him some good?”

Tony pours a stream of ale onto the gold plate.

“Go on,” says Thor “Drink.”

Loki takes a deep breath then bends forward. It’s a tricky position with his arms bound tightly behind his back, and he has to spread his knees wide to reach the plate and keep his balance. The phallus seems to pulse inside him and he struggles to master his arousal. The plate is too shallow for him to actually drink from it- instead he’s forced to lap up the ale with his tongue, while Lady Sif and the Warriors Three toast Thor, Tony, the glorious battles of the past. Every time he finishes his ale, Thor or Tony refresh his plate, and soon his head is swimming. He’s not yet as drunk as the rest of the revelers, but he can feel the ale beginning to unknot the last of his resolve. He wants even more than ever to crawl to Thor’s feet, to entreat him for the satisfaction that his overstimulated hole and cock demand. He’d do it even in front of his old rivals. 

Shame? He deserves shame. He craves it. If it’s Thor who metes it out, then let him have more.

When Tony pulls him upright again he sways a little. “You alright there champ? Not wasted already, are you?”

“Perhaps he needs to be fed?” says Thor. 

Loki darts a look at him. Thor regards him steadily, a knowing smile on his face.

Thor knows exactly what it is that he craves to have shoved into his mouth, but it seems he’ll have to make do with the grape Thor rolls between thumb and forefinger.

“Catch, Brother.”

He flicks the grape into the air. 

Damn him, it’s either catch it in his mouth like an obedient puppy, or let it hit him in the face. He opens his mouth and catches the grape as elegantly as he can. Thor grins.

“Well done. Again.”

Fandral laughs. He’s well into his cups, his handsome face flushed with wine. “You certainly have him a lot better trained than that war hound of yours. Remember the one? Shaggy grey hair.”

Loki has no time to dwell on the mockery- he’s soon shuffling this way and that, catching the grapes in his mouth as Thor flicks them lazily into the air. Other courtiers have turned around in their chairs and there’s laughter and applause as Thor puts him through his paces.

I’m going to lie awake tonight reliving this. Every laugh, every jeer.

Perhaps. But he’ll be lying next to Thor, naked but for his collar, adored and adoring. Sif is right- he’s had this coming for a long time. He needs it.

He’s panting by the time Thor holds up the last grape, but not from exhaustion. The phallus has been nudging and stroking his prostate with his every movement, and his head is swimming with desire for Thor. Thor too is breathing a little fast. He takes the chain back from Tony, and tugs Loki forward roughly, to kneel up against his legs, Loki’s chest pressed to Thor’s knees. Thor holds out the last grape and runs it over Loki’s lips, then pushes it into his mouth, followed by his thumb. Loki can’t help himself, he closes his eyes, and sucks the thumb gently into his mouth, worshiping it with his lips and his tongue. He feels Thor’s hand cup the side of his head...and then Tony is speaking.

“Hey guys, how about you show me where the little boy’s room is?”

“The little boy’s room?” asks Volstagg, doubtfully.

“Thor knows what I mean,” says Tony. “Come on, buddy.”

 

The water chambers lie just outside the main hall. 

“A servant could have shown you the way,” says Thor. “You need only ask.” Loki trots along after him in a daze. He can still taste Thor’s skin on his tongue, a familiar salt alongside the sweetness of the fruit.

“I needed to talk to you both,” says Tony. “Alone.”

Thor shrugs and leads him to the furthest of the chambers.

“Does the door lock?”

“Of course.”

“Then come inside and lock it”

Once inside the small stone room Tony shakes his head at the two of them. “You guys need to cool it down. Like, way down.”

Thor raises his eyebrows. “I don’t know what you mean.” His sounds distracted. He’s not even looking at Tony. His eyes are locked on Loki’s own. How handsome he is. How Loki wants him.

“This is what I mean!” says Tony. “You look like you’re ready to jump him.”

“I am,” says Thor.

“Well you can’t. Not in front of the whole court. Jeez guys, you ever heard of subtlety? I should never, ever be lecturing anyone on subtly, but here we are.”

“Not in front of the court?” asks Thor taking a step closer to Loki.”

“Pretty sure not.”

“So here’s fine then?”

“Here...could work,” says Tony.

Chapter Text

The feasting Hall of Asgard is thronged with the beautiful, the ferocious, the rich and the clever, all of them come to honor him. To welcome him home.

And amongst all of them there’s but one man he has eyes for.

Loki.

Thor barely hears the banter of his companions as they toast his name; He’s transfixed by Loki. The air between them seems to thrum with a heady, all-consuming power, that draws them together. He can’t keep his eyes off Loki’s body, so vulnerable in its scant covering of green silk. The hemline is a little longer tonight, but the neck is open almost to Loki’s navel and he’s captivated by the muscles of the narrow chest, thrown into relief by the belt that keeps Loki’s arms pulled tightly behind him. Every now and then he gets a glance of the tender little nipples, still swollen from his earlier torment of them. How he’d love to reach out and twist them. To make Loki gasp and blush. 

When he’d thrown him over the sofa to bind his arms it had taken all of his will not to yank up his robes and slap his well-whipped buttocks. Or in truth, to shove himself inide Loki and give him the brutal fucking he so clearly craves. 

It’s torturous to have Loki on his knees before him in this chaste fashion. He wants the true cruelty, not these foolish games. He wants the passion. The love. 

Has he ever felt love like this? Every moment not spent on top of Loki feels like a moment wasted. This whole trip is beginning to feel more and more like wasted time. Thanos is out there somewhere, and Loki’s name is on his ledger, writ in blood red. Who even knows how long they have together? It could all end so quickly. He knows that their chances of survival are far better with Asgard’s aid, and yet...

He glances at the towering window and the view of the cosmos beyond it, golden Asgardian battle ships hanging in the sky, patrolling.

We could leave here tonight. Steal a ship. Put all of this- Midgard and Asgard both- behind us. 

Perhaps Tony would understand. Hell, perhaps Tony would come with them? He certainly looks at Loki hungrily enough. At Thor too for that matter. But he’d never truly leave Pepper. Thor knows that he’s just marking time until she takes him back. Tony’s a hedonist, but these little distractions are as much a game to him as they are to the courtiers of Asgard. 

For Thor it stopped being a game a long time ago. For Loki too, if tonight is anything to go by. Thor can feel his Brother’s need as acutely as he can feel his own. The magics that bind them are more powerful here on Asgard. He can tell how much Loki longs for him to do all the terrible, wonderful things that he craves to, and it makes the space they’re obliged to keep between them all the harder to bear.

He knows he’s pushing things as he has Loki bend to lick ale from the golden platter. He can’t keep his gaze from the long white thighs striped with the marks of the lash, spread wide just as he spreads them for Thor to mount him.

He knows he ought to lose himself in the conversation of his friends, but his need to give Loki what he so clearly wants is too great, and when he feeds the ripe fruit into his mouth and Loki sucks on his thumb, his eyes closed with pleasure Thor can hardly keep from pulling him into his lap and kissing him

Tony was wise to drag them here to this secluded space. The water room-being intended for the use of the high-born only- is a large, pleasant chamber with a low stone basin, and a gently flowing trough of clean water in the floor fed by an ornate pipe in the shape of a dragon’s snout in the wall. There’s even a small window that gives a view out over the ocean. More crucially there’s a sturdy locked door.

He barely hears what Tony’s saying to him; He can see only Loki. As soon as Tony seems to be done with his little speech Thor has Loki in his arms, hoisting him up to sit on the edge of the stone basin, loving the way he cries out as the phallus he wears is forced deeper into his body. Loki’s cock is a rigid bar of iron that presses desperately against Thor’s belly as Loki’s legs wrap around his back. Their mouths come together fiercely, biting and sucking, Loki imploring him wordlessly to be rougher, to kiss him more deeply still, and Thor is happy enough to oblige. 

Finally he breaks away from Loki, breathing hard, his damp forehead pressed against Loki’s own. 

“One day I’ll rule this world as I rule you,” he says.

“I believe it, Master”

“And when I do, do you know what my first act will be?”

Loki shakes his head.

“I’m going to sit on my throne and mount you on my cock and make you ride me in front of all of Asgard. I’m going to take you as you need and deserve to be taken. Norns, I’d do it right now if I could.”

“But you can’t,” says Tony, somewhere behind him. “I don’t know exactly what’s going on between you two-maybe it’s magic space guy mating season or something? But you need to dial the P.D.A.s way down.”

“Just in front of the rest of them!” he continues when Thor growls in protest. “Do whatever in your room, but you guys can’t blow this. Uhhh, unfortunate phrasing. But you get me, right?”

Thor runs his thumb down Loki’s cheekbone thrilled by the need he sees in his Brother’s eyes.

“So you believe my good little slave here should go unrewarded for debasing himself so utterly in front of the entire Royal Court? You think I ought to waste this opportunity to give him what he so clearly wants?”

Tony’s silent a second, then he says. “Well I guess that depends.”

“On what?”

“On how nicely he asks.”

Thor grins. “I’m so glad we brought you with us.”

“I’m kind of enjoying it myself. I’m not sure your dad’s crazy about me, but your mom seems cool, and your Brother has been extremely welcoming.”

Loki makes a small pleading noise, and Thor kisses him again, reaching down to unclasp the golden chain at his waist, letting it drop to the floor, then undoes the belt binding Loki’s arms and discards it likewise. He pulls Loki to his feet, and shucks his green silk robe up over his head, leaving him naked except for his collar and knee boots. He smiles to see how Loki’s hands twitch forward as if to cover his erect prick, then fall back obediently to his sides.

“Good boy. Kneel.”

Tony laughs. “Now that takes me back. Remember that, Reindeer Games? First time we ever met you were trying to force the people of Earth to their knees. I thought that was kind of kinky at the time if I’m honest, but now I get it”

Loki licks his lips, as he always does when he’s ashamed, and drops abruptly to his knees. Thor knows that he’s not at all ashamed of his attempt to take over a planet and subjugate its people. It’s Tony’s insight into his motives that truly shames him. He loves his masks and his mirrors, does Loki and it gives Thor great pleasure to strip them away from him. To leave him as psychologically naked as he is physically so.

Thor walks over to stand next to Tony, both of them looking down at Loki, whose eyes flick back and forth between them.

 “Did you like to wear that device inside you as you knelt at my feet?” Thor asks.

Loki frowns a little, but nods.

“Is it starting to get sore?”

Loki nods again.

“Words, Brother.”

“Yes, Master, it is beginning to pain me, but it’s good too.” He darts a look up at Thor. “It’s like you’re inside me, like you’re taking me in front of all of them.”

Thor smiles. “Good boy. Turn around, show us.”

Loki does so, graceful even when prostrating himself. A few months ago Thor would have had to tell him exactly how he wanted him positioned, but now Loki does it automatically, spreading his knees wide, pressing his face to the floor and arching his back. The vulnerable little knot of his hole is red and swollen around the base of the plug. They’ve used him hard, and even a God has his limits. He leans down to run a finger over the abused flesh and Loki gasps.

“You’ve done well, and I’m pleased with you, but I think you ought to continue to wear it. Your body is still filled with our spend, after all. I wouldn’t want you to disgrace yourself by letting it out in front of everyone. Now come here.”

Loki turns back towards him, crawling closer to kneel directly at Thor’s feet.

Thor runs his hand through Loki’s hair and he leans up into it, closing his eyes. Tony too begins to caress Loki’s head and face and Thor smiles to see Loki’s flesh shiver up into goosebumps. 

Tamed? I don’t think so, he’ll never be tamed all the way, but trained, yes.

“You like it, don’t you? To be petted like my obedient dog.”

Loki pauses, then speaks. “Yes, Master,”

“A good little dog,” he grins as Loki reddens. He knows how much Loki both hates and loves this demeaning talk.

“I think you need a reward.”

He glances now at Tony. How far can he push him? He isn’t quite sure how deep Tony’s adventurous streak runs, but there’s certainly no uncertainty about the way he stares at Loki, fascination making his eyes glitter. 

“It was your idea to come in here, Tony, you who dragged me away before I could give my slave what he so sorely needs, so maybe you should be the one to make amends?”

Tony raises an eyebrow. “Me?”

Thor nods. Waits. He’s used to the expressions that cross Tony’s face- curiosity, denial, trepidation, excitement-Loki used to wear those masks too. 

“What did you have in mind, exactly?”

He wraps an arm around Tony’s waist and yanks him close.

“Whoah, guest of honor here, remember?” 

But Thor can feel the hard nudge of Tony’s cock against his thigh, and it’s Tony who makes the first move to kiss him. His mouth tastes of Midgardian ale, and he smells expensive . Fine cologne and the good, clean scent of his exquisitely cut suit.

“It’s almost a shame to do this to you, when you’re the guest of honor and looking so handsome, and yet my Brother here is a Prince, and perhaps it’s fitting that you kneel to him , here in the halls of Asgard?”

Loki looks up, questioning. Thor wonders if this will be difficult for him. It’s far easier for Loki to give pleasure and pretend it’s against his will than it is to receive it and admit what he wants.

“Stand up, Brother. I’d like to see you kiss Tony. Thank him nicely for what he’s about to do.”

Both Loki and Tony give him questioning looks, but he’s pleased to see that neither of them hesitate to do what he says.

Loki rises, and wraps his arms around Tony’s shoulders. Tony’s hands run down his bare back, lingering over his welts, squeezing his punished buttocks so that Loki hisses.

Their mouths come together gently. They’re more comfortable with each other now, and their kisses are soft and exploratory. Loki’s eyes stay open, and his hands move up and down Tony’s chest, stroking his compact, well-muscled body through the fine suit.

Brother, I believe you’re falling for him a little.

Thor feels no jealousy- they all three know who Loki truly belongs to, and it excites him to see his fractious, cunning Brother letting down his defenses for Tony. It’s almost as intimate watching them kiss as it is watching them couple, and he enjoys the sight for a minute, before he steps up behind Loki, kissing his ear, curling his fingers around the scallops of Loki’s hip bones.

“Good. Now Tony is going to give you your reward.” 

He feels Loki go tense.

“What reward?”

“You wanted the Midgardians to kneel, did you not? But as Tony said, you’re going to have to ask him nicely.”

“Ask me to do what?” says Tony.

Thor snorts. I’m asking you to kneel before an extremely attractive naked God and you must ask what to do once you’re down there? I thought you were clever.”

“Fair point.”

“You wish to?”

Tony considers. “Yeah. I’ve never done this before. But I guess I want to. God knows, we’ve done just about everything else.”

“Never?” murmurs Loki.

“Nope.”

Loki squirms in Thor’s arms, and he can tell that the idea excites him.

“Thor was my first. He taught me everything. I suppose it’s fitting that I initiate you at his command.”

Thor’s surprised. It’s not at all like Loki to give so much away.

“Ask him, Loki.”

He doesn’t expect Loki to need much coaxing, and yet he’s still a little surprised at the way Loki rubs himself up against Tony.

“Please, Stark will you get on your knees and suck me? You fucked me so well earlier that I’ve been able to think of nothing else. In fact...”

“In fact what, Reindeer Games?”

“Ever since I failed to rule you with the Tesseract I’ve been mourning the missed opportunity. We might have had so much fun together. If only you’d knelt.”

Thor chuckles. Damned Loki. He may love to be on the bottom, but damn him if he doesn’t keep on clawing his way topwards.

He kisses Tony’s neck, stoops a little to bite at his mouth. “Will you kneel to me now?”

Slowly, Tony nods, and sinks to his knees.

Thor wraps his arms around Loki’s chest, capturing his nipples which he pinches and tugs.

“Don’t go getting any ideas about this being permanent. You’re on the bottom here.”
“Of course, Master. Oh, Norns!

Thor guesses that Tony must have begun his task.

“Lean back into me. Relax. This is your reward and you’ve earned it. You might be my slave, but you’re also an object to be worshipped.”

Thor.

He cannot mind that Loki uses his name instead of his title when his tone is so worshipful. “What is it, precious one?”

“I love you.”

“I love you too. How does it feel to have his mouth on you?”

“Wonderful.” Loki purrs. “I think he was lying about not having done this before.”

Tony makes a muffled noise of dissent.

“Well, he’s a natural then. It truly is a waste.” Loki’s tone is dreamy. “Think what a world I might have ruled, had things gone differently in New York.”

Thor gives his nipples a tighter pinch. “Only you could speak those words while we’re here to beg forgiveness for that whole disaster. Did you truly learn nothing from it?”

Loki shrugs. “I learned that eventually I get what I want- one way or the other.”

His tone is teasing, but Thor is a little troubled by it.

Never underestimate him. He’s not the monster others see him as, but he’s certainly no tame pet, either. As much as he resents Odin’s unwillingness to forgive, much of the fault here lies with Loki too. His crimes were terrible ones. Odin’s punishment-whatever it turns out to be- cannot atone for them. The savage, broken side of Loki can’t possibly be mended by anything so simple as justice.

Perhaps Sif was right about the burden of ownership?

Whatever he is, I’m proud to call him mine. True, but he’s beginning to see that his own side of the bargain is not without cost.

But now Loki is all pliant limbs and sweetness. He relaxes back into Thor’s arms, sighing as Tony pleasures him.

“You’re to have your peak as soon as you feel like it.”

“In his mouth?”

“Tony?”

“Sure why not,” says Tony, his words cut off as Loki pushes back inside him.

Thor can feel the way Loki grows still just before he spends, and then he’s crying out, going loose in Thor’s arms.

“I guess I’m more talented than I thought,” Tony says, weakly.

“You’re certainly more talented than I thought,” says Loki.

Thor gives his thigh a slap. “But now Tony needs attending. On your knees, slave.”

Tony, is rougher than he usually is, taking Loki’s mouth hard, his fingers knotted tightly into the God’s hair.

Perhaps that will teach you to curb your tongue?

It’s highly unlikely though. One day something might teach Loki the wisdom he lacks, but Thor doubts if it will be any day soon.

Loki is certainly submissive enough as first Tony and then Thor fill his mouth with their spend. He knows that their absence has probably been missed by now, and yet he can’t resist having Loki bend over with his hands braced on the basin to be spanked, first by Tony and then by himself, the shift of the phallus inside him bringing him hard again. He’s soon begging Thor for mercy, and he’s happy enough to relent for now. There’s still the rest of the evening to get through, after all.

“Are you ready to return?” Thor asks Loki, as he pulls his robes back on.

Loki nods.

“I believe so.” He nuzzles against Thor’s neck. “It will be hard for me not to touch you.”

“And I you. But we won’t be here long.”

Happy as he is to see his companions, he hopes it’s true.

“Give me a second,” says Tony. “All this running water has got me needing to go. Uh, this is a bathroom, right? I’m not about to piss in some holy fountain or anything?”

Loki rolls his eyes.

“The font by the wall there,” says Thor. “And don’t act so superior, Brother. You had difficulty enough with Midgardian customs to begin with.”

“Especially the showers,” says Tony.

Loki glowers. “That was the fault of your machine, not...”

“We should get back,” Thor says before a squabble can begin. He too has drunk his share of ale, and he steps forward to show Tony how it’s done.

“See? The water carries it away instantly. Far more sanitary than those Midgaridian privies.”

“Kind of wasteful though,” says Tony stepping up to stand next to Thor. The water bill must be through the roof.”

“We’re Royalty,” says Loki, disdainfully. “Who cares for the cost?”

Thor shakes his head.

“You forget yourself, Loki. You may be a Prince, but what else are you?”

Loki’s head drops. “Your slave,” he replies, softly. 

“Yes. So come here and attend me, and the next time you feel like using that tongue to lash Tony, remember what it’s truly fit for.”

Loki’s cheeks burns bright red as Thor makes him suck his cock clean.

“Now Tony.”

“Master, please.

“You wish to argue with me?”

Loki shakes his head and shuffles towards Tony, sucking his prick into his mouth, licking him clean.

“Mmmm, that’s kinky as hell. You’re going to make me want another round,” says Tony.

“Tonight,” Thor says. “After the feast. But not now. They’ll be wondering what we’re doing.”

Tony laughs. “Let’s hope they don’t guess. Come on then.”

Loki clears his throat. “I need to go too.”

Thor smiles. “Do you really? Yes I suppose you did drink rather a lot. Ale. Wine. More ale.”

“You made me drink it,” says Loki.

“Did I? How cruel of me.”

Loki waits.

“So are you going to ask me?”

Tony looks at Loki and laughs. “Wait, he has to ask permission?”

The look on Loki’s face is almost more delicious than the feeling of his tongue on Thor’s cock.

“He does if he doesn’t want to hold it for the next four hours.”

Loki bows his head. “Please?”

Thor considers. “It would be fun to make you wait. You’ve had so much to say for yourself this evening. I liked how you were when we first came in here- So eager to please. When I give you what you want, your behavior grows worse. What lesson am I to take from that? Maybe I should have you wait.”

“I can’t wait,” says Loki. “ Please, Master?”

Thor sighs. “Alright. But you’re going to owe me a punishment.”

Tony shakes his head. “You two are twisted, you know that? It’s a compliment. You know when I first met you Thor I thought you were like Cap. A big, blond virgin.”

Loki snorts a laugh. “Rogers? He can’t be, surely? Nobody that pure can be just as they seem.”

“Cap’s a special case.”

“Now that’s a waste,” says Loki.

Tony shrugs. “If you say so. I don’t see it myself.”

“It’s you who brought him up,” says Loki, slyly. “I wonder why? I could look like him you know. Sound like him. Feel like him. If you were curious.”

Tony holds up his hands. “Okay, time out, safeword. That’s....well, that’s something.” He shakes his head fondly. “Twisted. Let’s get back to my party-it kind of is my party remember? I have a feeling the evening is a long way from over.”

Chapter Text

As the evening progresses Thor falls deeper into his cups, relaxing into his old way of being; Surrounded by his companions, telling tall tales of triumphant victories and unlikely escapes. The Warriors Three seem to take to Tony- probing him for his own tales of daring adventure, and after he’s downed a good portion of Asgardian ale he’s all too happy to oblige them- although Loki is amused to note that he carefully avoids the Battle of New York. Whether he means to spare Loki a rehashing of his crimes or avoid admitting that he was bested in combat by the disgraced God he’ll never know.

The boastful bravado of Thor’s little band would usually annoy him, but tonight it’s a welcome distraction, and it’s good to see Thor less careworn than he’s been of late. 

Despite Tony’s warning, Thor’s hands find ample excuses to light upon Loki’s body- grazing his wrist as he pours ale into Thor’s flagon, brushing against his bare thigh as he fills Thor’s plate. He’d thought it would be humiliating to serve his Brother at the feasting table. It is, and yet there’s a part of him- a large part- that relishes it. 

When he’s not needed for anything else he kneels at Thor’s feet, his Brother’s hand resting on his head, absently stroking his hair, and while he knows they’re playing a dangerous game he can’t quite bring himself to put a stop to it. 

The ever-observant Lady Sif notices. Loki sees her noticing and does his best to keep his smirk hidden. Who else will have observed those small caresses and improprieties tonight? What tales will be whispered tomorrow in the servant’s quarters? He knows it ought to worry him, but the chaos in his heart rejoices. Imagine Odin’s wrath if they are discovered! It will be the scandal of the ages. The only thing stopping him from flaunting himself as heedlessly as the drunken Thor is knowing how it would hurt his Brother to be exposed.

Perhaps he deserves to feel a pain equal to the one I felt when he rejected me all those years ago to preserve his own reputation as Asgard’s Golden Son?

A vindictive little thought. However much Loki worships Thor, his heart will always be run through with the needles of malcontent. It’s part of his seidr. Impossible to change.

 

Sif claims Thor the second the dancing begins, and Loki (his leash looped around Thor’s chair) watches from the shadows as she mutters into his ear, frowning all the while as they circle the ballroom.

Perhaps she’s talked sense into him?- a terrible pity- for when he returns he’s careful to keep some space between them. Not that it’s a difficult task now- every maiden in Asgard is keen to dance with the newly returned Prince- not to mention the mysterious, other-worldly guest.

Loki watches Thor and Tony being swept around the room through narrowed eyes. He’s never cared for dancing, but it still hurts to be sitting here like furniture, while all of High-born Asgard disports herself without him.

He feels as abandoned and forgotten as he ever has- and is surprised when the sound of rustling silks alerts him to the approach of a guest. But he isn’t really surprised to see who it is that sinks into Thor’s abandoned chair.

“Not dancing, Mother?”

Frigga smiles at him. “You need to be careful.”

“Me? He’s the one soused on ale.”

“He is Thor.”

“I know who he is,” Loki snaps. “Thor is allowed to be imprudent. I am not. Is that correct?”

“Thor is imprudent whether he’s allowed to be or not. He loves you and he’s never been one to conceal his feelings. The last time he attempted it the results were poor for both of you.”

“Fair point.”

“You must be clever, Loki. Serve him if you mean to serve him- not just at table or...however else you’ve been fated to serve. Give him your mind . Your cunning. He needs you.”

Loki drops his head feeling a flash of shame. “Very well. You’re right, I know you’re right, but..”

Frigga nods. “You’re hurt and you’re angry. You’ve allowed that to be your undoing before. I would have hoped you were clever enough to learn from it.”

“Well, that’s me called to account.”

“Am I wrong?”

“No, you’re not wrong.”

“Good,” says Frigga. She sighs. “I presume you’ve been reading the seidr?”

“I..not as closely I should have been. Why?”

“Your judgement is almost upon you.” She touches his shoulder, gently. “The scope of this goes beyond your Father’s wishes.”

“He’s not my...”

“Hush, son. This is important. It goes beyond Odin’s wishes. You made a pact with Thor that unites you upon the same branch of Yggdrasil. You’re handling larger powers than you’ve ever worked with before, and it could mean both your salvation or your destruction. The World Tree has given you a gift, yet you still owe Asgard a debt for your betrayal of Odin’s trust.” 

“Odin’s trust?”

She holds up a finger. “It doesn’t matter how you feel about him. He is the All-Father. You know this. Even if your Father forgave you, your debt-your debt to the magic that holds the Realms together- would still need to be paid.”

“I know .” 

Of course he does know. If this trip had been purely about diplomacy he’d not have agreed to it so readily.

“Have you told Thor?”

“No, of course not. He’s fearful enough without me telling him the stakes are higher than he imagines.”

Frigga smiles. “It makes me happy, you know. To see the love between the two of you. I try not to follow the threads of fate too closely- it does not profit one to dwell too much in the future, or in the past, but there darker futures so close at hand that they may still come to pass. I need you to trust me, and to accept whatever trial Asgard metes out to you. You’ll be stronger for it. Both of you.”

“A trial?”

“Yes. To prove your worth-that you deserve what Asgard has bestowed upon you. But you have it within you to triumph; I’m sure of it. It will not be easy, my dear, but not impossible either.”

Loki shakes his head. “You read the seidr better than any. How could I not trust you?”

“Even if you did doubt my skills, I’d hope you wouldn’t doubt my love.” 

She glances around to see if they’re being observed. “I have something for you. I can’t prevent this- nor would I wish to- but I can aid you. It’s part of the pattern.”

Loki frowns. “How exactly?”

“Three gifts.”

Loki smiles in spite of his trepidation. “Ah, that old classic. What are they?”

Frigga glances round again. Odin is laughing with a gaggle of sword maidens, paying them no mind. 

She takes Loki’s hand and he flinches as the flesh on the inside of his forearm prickles and sears. When he turns it over, three fresh sigils have appeared beneath the skin in glimmering gold.

Mirror.

Dagger.

Crown.

“A dagger is a good start, but as much as I’m enamored of fine trinkets and my own reflection, I’d prefer armor. Or a warship.”

Frigga laughs. “Hold on to your humour. It’s more of a shield to you than any armor. Need I tell you that everything you require exists inside you already, even without my gifts?”

“It seems like the type of thing a dutiful Mother would tell her son in a tale from the Edda. Magic is such a cliche at times.”

“Such archetypes are powerful, trickster.”

“So they are, enchantress.”

“Conceal them, and use them when the time comes.”

“How will I know when the time comes?”

“Because you’re my son. Hush now, the Bold Fandral approaches us.”

Loki groans.

“Your Majesty? Would you do me the honor?”

Fandral is out of breath and his golden hair is in disarray. 

Frigga smiles at him. “Since that husband of mine won’t dance, I’d be happy to.”

Fandral nods to Loki- the first time he’s acknowledged him. “You bear this bravely. I’m sorry to see you so.”

“Are you truly?”

“Yes. No one wanted this.”

I did. So did Thor. Ask him- you might be surprised.

He won’t speak the words, tempting as it is.

As Fandral leads Frigga out onto the ballroom floor Loki gazes at the three fresh runes on his arm. Temporary things. He can feel the shapes behind them embedded in the weave of his seidr, ready to be used. He just hopes that Frigga is correct and that he’ll know when and how to use them.


Thor’s steaming drunk by the time they collapse into bed and falls asleep after only some perfunctory manhandling of Loki. It isn’t until the sun wakes them that he notices the fresh runes on Loki’s body.

“What are these?” He asks, grabbing Loki’s wrist.

Loki wrestles his arm back. “You stink of beer. Nothing you need worry about- a little gift from Mother.”

“Mother?”

“Yes. To help me through my punishment.”

“I see,” says Thor. 

He clearly has more questions, but Loki’s relieved when he doesn’t ask them. “I like this one better,” Thor says instead, pressing a kiss to his name rune over Loki’s heart. It does peculiar, shivery things to him and for a second his fear recedes, but it soon floods back.

Their love-making is tender, Thor giving him what he wants without making him work for it. Perhaps Thor senses his need for comfort.

He isn’t surprised when the Servant who brings their breakfast also delivers the news that his trial will be held in the Hall of Asgard in an hour’s time.

He knew already that it was close. He’s never felt the seidr this powerful; It makes his hair stand up and his thoughts race. Vast forces are shifting themselves, coming to bear upon him. He’ll be judged, not just by Odin, but by Asgard. By the ancient magics that govern this world and her powers. Frigga spoke of a trial to be passed. Is he worthy? 

His eyes move to Mjolnir, propped by the fireplace. There are many forms that tests of worthiness take in the ancient legends. He’s never heard of any that could be solved with a mirror, or even a dagger for that matter, but Frigga is unlikely to be wrong.

“Would you wear your armor today?” Thor asks him as they ready themselves.

Loki raises an eyebrow. “Why?”

“I don’t know. I just have a feeling.”

Oh Thor- never quite the fool you’d have him be.

“I’ll wear the garb of a slave.” 

He lifts Thor’s hand, kisses it. “More specifically your slave. I’m not ashamed. Well, if I am it’s because you want me to be.”

Thor touches the collar at his neck, strokes Loki’s cheek with the back of his fingers. 

“We could be out of here by nightfall. Back on Midgard. Odd, but it’s beginning to feel more like home to me than this castle.”

Loki shrugs. “If you say so, Master.” 

He’d never admit such a thing himself even if there’s a grain of truth in it.

“If I were the sentimental type I’d say that home is at your side.”

“But you’re not,” says Thor with a grin.

“Not at all. And neither is Odin, so please try not to get your hopes up.”

Thor’s grin fades. “He can’t take you from me- you’re mine by law.”

Loki kisses him. “True. But...”

“But what?”

“Whatever it is, let me face it. It’s important. Mother said so.”

“How can I promise that?”

“If you love me-”

“I do.”

“Then you’ll make this easier, not more difficult.”

“Very well then,” says Thor with a sigh. “I’ll do my best. But I’ll not see you harmed.”

“Really?” asks Loki. “That’s a shame, because I have not yet received my morning beating.”

Thor’s happy enough to throw Loki over his lap, and the distraction is fun while it lasts, but all too soon they’re out in the corridor hurrying towards the Hall of Asgard.

Tony walks behind them, yawning.

“Sorry, guys. That Asgardian ale hit me like a freight train.”

“That’s why you’re so tired?” asks Loki. “The two maidens you had back to your room had nothing to do with it?”

“Three maidens, actually. How did you know about that?”

You just confirmed it,” says Loki with a smirk. “Not a difficult guess though. You’ll have a following to rival my Brother’s if you stay here much longer.”

“Jealous?” asks Tony, with a wink.

“Hardly. However many comely sword maidens you lie with you’ll always be thinking of me. You can’t resist me and we both know it.”

Flirting and bickering with Tony takes them to the grand entryway of the Hall. Although it’s even more packed than it was on the day of their arrival the crowd is almost silent. Conversations are whispered behind hands. He’s not alone in sensing the shift of the seidr, it seems- all of them can feel that something is about to happen. Has a Prince ever been banished before? Loki supposes so. Asgard has more than her fair share of secrets- who knows how deep the dungeons beneath Asgard really go?

A banishment is the very lightest punishment he can hope for, and Loki suspects his sacrifice will be a little more involved than Asgard’s door slamming in his face yet again.

 

Odin sits on his dais, Frigga at his side. Munnin perches on Odin’s shoulder, black, dagger-like beak near to his ear, no doubt whispering the secrets of the Nine Realms. Huginn sits on the back of Odin’s throne. Even from this distance Loki feels a prickle of dread when the huge raven cocks his head to fix Loki with a fierce eye. Huginn, haunter of gallows, drawing the last secrets from the hanged man’s lips. Say what you like about the All-Father but his power is mighty, even in his dotage.

I was a fool to cross him. 

Aye, but a fool for love.

He glances at Thor who looks even more apprehensive than he feels himself, his brows drawn into a scowl, his hair knotted back as if in readiness for battle.

Tony is lead away to his place in the gallery. When the Herald tries to usher Thor after him, he brushes him off impatiently, and when he speaks it’s loud enough for the whole hall to hear. 

“Loki is mine. I’ll stand alongside him for his judgement.”

He doesn’t need to loose Mjolnir to make his point. The warning is there in his tone, the rumble of thunder beyond the walls stirring the crowd into uneasy murmurs.

Might the two of them actually fight for me- The old King and the new? That would certainly be amusing.

He can’t believe in his own jocularity though. Thor is powerful, but not powerful enough to challenge Odin, and certainly not powerful enough to absolve him of his debt to the seidr of Asgard.

Odin merely nods at Thor’s challenge. Possibly he was expecting this.

“Come forward then, my sons.”

Loki struggles to keep his anger off his face. 

I’m no son of yours. Don’t pretend it.

Thor ignores the throngs of worthies craning to catch a better view, striding to the foot of Odin’s throne, where he drops to one knee. Loki copies him, aware that his heart is beginning to speed up, that his legs don’t feel quite steady beneath him.

He can pretend indifference all he wants but he’s afraid.

“Loki, bondsman of Thor Odinson, you come before us to make amends for your crimes against Midgard and your betrayal of Asgard.”

Odin’s voice echoes around the great hall- perhaps around the whole city. They’ll all be gathered out there, awaiting the verdict. Will any among them mourn to see him fall? Was there ever a time where he might have won their love, or has he been marked as the outsider in some indelible way since the lie of his birth?

None of these are questions are particularly comforting, and he’d do well to forget them. 

He concentrates instead on the steady pulse of the runes seared into the flesh of his forearm, and the stronger throb of the one above his heart.

They always loved me at least, whether I deserved it or not.

“I have weighed the testimony of the Midgardian Anthony Stark, and I have heard much from your Brother and your Mother, my Queen, both of whom have worked so thanklessly to shield you, but I’ve not heard from you, Loki. What do you have to say for yourself?”

The tremor in Odin’s voice might be rage or grief. Loki doesn’t care. 

“To say for myself? What can I possibly say? You made up your mind about me long ago.”

“Loki,” Thor whispers, warningly.

“You dare ,” rumbles Odin. “Midgard was under our protection. You made war upon them. You turned the eye of a powerful enemy towards us. You imperiled all of the Nine Realms. For what?”

Loki shrugs. “You raised me to rule, Father. And then you took my throne away from me. You took everything away from me.”

“You blame me, do you?” Odin sighs. “ I blame myself if it eases your mind. You’ve learned nothing. You show no contrition. No compassion for the lives that were lost to your vainglorious folly. You don’t care that your selfish, heedless bargaining has jeopardized an alliance that has lasted a millennia.” Odin laughs, mirthlessly. “Is there anything you do care about?”

Loki closes his eyes.

“Yes,” He says.

“Well?”

“I...”

“Please Father, he knows he’s done wrong,” says Thor, swiftly.

“Does he? I see no proof of it. You have him in check for now- but how long will it last? His hands are steeped in blood, and the fault is partly his and partly my own. If I allow him to continue along this path, the fault will be mine entirely, and that I cannot allow.”

Odin stands, descending the stairs of the dais. Loki has to fight the urge to shuffle backwards away from him. He won’t appear a coward.

“Look at me, Loki.”

Unwillingly Loki does. 

“Your life ought to be forfeit for your crimes. If it did not belong to Thor I would have taken it, much as it would have broken my heart. I cannot order your execution and I cannot banish you to the cells for eternity without your Brother’s permission, and I know better than to ask for it. For some reason he still sees some good in you.”

He’d expected to feel the anger and the shame, but the sudden wave of grief that sweeps over him almost undoes him. 

He does see the good in me- as no one else ever has. If there’s anything there to be seen. You might be surprised, Father by how closely we agree on that topic

For a second his defenses are shattered apart and he squirms on the knife-point of Odin’s disdain. It takes the greatest effort to regather his will, and when he speaks again his voice trembles.

“You’re wasting time. Tell me my fate and let me pay my penance. And after this you need never see me again. It will be as though I’m dead to you, just as you want.”

“It’s not what I want,” Odin says softly. “But the price must be paid.”

He speaks more loudly now, so that the whole of the Hall can hear again. “It is Asgard you have wronged, and Asgard who will judge you.”

They all feel it-the quality of the light in the Hall shifts. The air is heavier somehow. 

Loki hears a noise behind him and looks over his shoulder to see four of his Mother’s acolytes bearing a vast golden dish into the Hall.

Raw power rolls off the dish in waves. Loki feels the runes on his skin pulse more hotly, his clothes and his hair stirred by an unearthly wind.

“The Augur,” announces Odin. “Let the Augur of Asgard pronounce your fate. Stand up, Loki and approach.”

Thor helps him to his feet, and keeps his hand locked round Loki’s arm as they approach the gold dish that has now been set down at the very center of the Hall.

It’s easily seven feet in diameter and although it’s shallow enough one can’t quite see the bottom of it somehow. 

He’s heard of the Augur, but never thought he’d see it. It’s said that the strongest mages can use it to glimpse other worlds, other futures, but that it shatters the reason of the weak and is too dangerous to truck with for all but the most powerful.

Odin draws a knife from his belt, a thin, deadly looking blade, and Thor’s hand tightens on Loki’s arm.

“It’s alright,” Loki says softly, but he’s shaken too- not by this small ceremonial blade- he’s read enough about the Augur to know what it will be used for- but by the sudden image of Odin holding a larger blade- a greatsword perhaps. Would he truly have put him to death? He shudders, suddenly more glad than ever of the collar around his neck. He’d spoken of it as a possibility but there was still some small part of him that couldn’t quite believe Odin would do that to him.

“Your hand, Loki.”

Loki holds his left arm out- best to keep Frigga’s gifts hidden, and Odin draws the blade across the palm of his hand. He doesn’t wince as the blood wells up from the shallow cut. Thor’s taught him much about tolerating pain, and he won’t show weakness in front of Odin.

Next the All-Father whispers to Munnin, who still sits on his shoulder. The huge raven plucks out one of its own feathers, which Odin accepts and holds out to Loki.

“You must...”

“I know how it works,” says Loki curtly. He closes his hand around the feather, wetting it with the blood that beads up from the cut.

When Odin drops the feather into the Augur the crowd cries out as one at the power that flows forth. Even Thor takes a step backwards as the air above the dish begins to shimmer and boil. The sound of an invisible hurricane fills the Hall and some of the more timid souls are leaving now, hurrying away from the Augur and the dreadful power that flows out from it, but Loki, ever curious leans forward. Can he see shapes in the maddening shimmer that clouds the bottom of the dish? Like images reflected in the surface of a stormy lake. 

That’s him is it not? He stands beside Thor upon a clifftop, and there’s another there, a woman with an elaborate black headdress. When Thor hurls Mjolnir towards her she catches it and shatters it into fragments. 

Here he is again aboard a spacecraft. Thor kneels in chains, and it’s Loki who approaches the Thanos, blades flashing into existence in his hands as the Titan reaches out to close his vast fist around Loki’s neck, crushing...

“Have a care, my son.” Frigga’s hand touches his shoulder. 

“Are they real, those images?” he asks above the roar of the Augur.

“Real? Yes, they’re real. But those fates do not have to be yours. Don’t think of them now. Your test is upon you and you need your mind in the here and now to pass it.”

The air above the Augur is calmer now, and a new shape begins to coalesce in the bottom of the dish. No mere vision this time- but something solid. Something alive ; a lithe slithering shape, deadly black with a flickering tongue like red flame.

“A dragon?” asks Thor.

“Not a dragon, a serpent,” says Loki. He can hardly claim to be surprised- he’s read the Edda after all.

The vast snake uncoils herself to rear up from the Augur, hissing, her blood-red eyes locked on his own.

“Must you fight it?” Thor asks, bewildered. 

“The serpent is not the test, it’s a sign of what the test will be.”

“What does it mean?”

“You’ve never explored the catacombs beneath Asgard, have you?”

“A little.”

“You’ve never seen Jormungandr’s tomb?”

“I’ve heard of it,” says Thor. “Is that where you must go?”

“It is,” says Odin before Loki can reply. He sighs. “An ordeal then? A proving.” He frowns at Loki. “Perhaps there’s something of worth left inside you after all? Asgard is giving you another chance it seems.”

“It’s some sort of test?” asks Thor.

Odin nods. 

“And what if he fails it?”

“Thank you for the vote of confidence, Brother.”

“Failure means death.”

The snake writhes, scales whispering against the burnished gold, spinning around to sink her fangs into the flesh of her own tail, and then she fades away to nothing leaving the Augur empty.

“No,” says Thor. “I won’t allow it.”

Loki turns to him. “Please, Thor, you promised me.”

Thor scowls at him. “I said I couldn’t promise.”

“You’d defy my will?” asks Odin. “The will of Asgard?”

The silence in the Hall is palpable. Thor still looks furious. It will do no good to argue with him- he can’t use the words and the guile he’d need to employ with all of these people looking on, but he has to do something . He must face this trial. There’s no question of it; He can feel the seidr tugging on him like a riptide. He must submit to it or be drowned.

Instead of arguing he kneels, taking Thor’s hands in his own.

“As my Master the decision is yours, but I’d ask you to be merciful.”

 He kisses Thor’s hand, not caring about the chorus of whispers that arises from the crowd. 

“Remember what we talked of? Remember the pact we made?” He takes Thor’s fingers and presses them to his collar. 

Remember how we lay together beneath Yggdrasil? Do you think the bond we forged could be sundered so easily as that?

Thor frowns down at him. Does he hear the thoughts Loki wants so desperately for him to hear?

“It has to be this way? There’s no other choice?”

Loki nods. “Please.”

Thor slumps, shaking his head. “Very well. But if I lose you I’ll be demanding a price of my own, and it will be paid in blood.”

Thunder growls beyond the walls and Munnin lets out an uneasy croak.

“If your Brother is all you think he is, it will not need to come to blood,” says Odin, dryly. “This is not what I would have chosen, but you have forced my hand. Perhaps you will remember that the next time you speak of battle beneath my roof?”

Loki lays a warning hand on Thor’s leg.

Frigga likewise moves forward to place a soothing hand on Odin’s shoulder. “It’s as you said before Loki, we waste time with these squabbles. The Augur has spoken, and it must be obeyed.”

“Very well then,” says Odin. “To the Tomb of Jormungandr. Your trial is at hand.”

Chapter Text

The procession winds its silent way down black obsidian stairways and through ancient catacombs, the masonry becoming rougher and cruder as they descend into the forgotten halls deep beneath the kingdom. Odin and Frigga take the lead. Loki can feel his mother casting out spells to soothe the powerful spirits who slumber here. Even the Allfather must be wary so close to the heart of Asgard’s power. Tony walks near to Frigga, uncharacteristically solemn. Does he sense the magic here? He’s certainly a curious type of Midgardian, far more perceptive than most of his kind. Loki thinks again of the tales they tell on Midgard.

The trickster god tormented by the dripping venom of the world serpent, freed only by Ragnarok.

Prophecy foreseen by some Midgardian magician, or merely the ebb and flow of time, lifting the same mysterious flotsam to the surface again and again? For as any magician knows time is not a straight line, but a vast and endless ocean, and prophecy is merely casting a net.

Loki and Thor follow behind Tony, Thor’s hand brushing his own every now and then. This and the collar around his neck, and the rune that throbs above his heart fortify him. 

The runes that Frigga gifted to him prickle beneath his skin, rawer than Thor’s name rune like badly healed wounds instead of a part of him. He wonders if they’ll be of any use to him during his trials. His mother is almost as tricky as he is, and taking the gifts at face-value is probably unwise.

Behind him is a phalanx of warriors- as if it’s warriors he’ll have to fear should he attempt to defy Asgard’s will! Most of the worthies have remained above in the Hall of Asgard. The dark tales of the spirits and monsters of the old times who dwell far below the palace are mostly fanciful, yet there are few who’s willingly come down here.

“Except for you as a boy,” says Thor softly. “Brave or foolish, Brother?”

Unsurprising that the connection between them should be stronger down here- strong enough for them to share coherent thought. Yggdrasil is close, reality is thin here.

“Always a little of both,” Loki murmurs.

Thor’s hand closes around his, squeezing. How Loki longs to be in his arms, pressed against his chest, skin to skin, safe. Home.

“We’ll be home before long. You can do this.”

“With my bravery and my foolishness?”

“With all that you are.”

I love you, Loki.

He hears Thor’s words in his mind like the most intimate of whispers. Will it be the last time he hears those words? No- he can’t afford to think that way. He must be strong.

The Tomb of Jormungandr occupies a vast cavern lit by eerie blue flames that hover above the gleaming black floor like phantoms. It’s cold down here and the breath of the Asgardians rises like plumes of smoke. Loki doesn’t feel the cold. He never does, although his skin has taken on the despised faint blue shimmer. The monument itself towers above them- a monstrous stone snake, mouth open ready to strike. Her eyes are sapphires the size of a man’s head and her fangs have been polished to a deadly gleam. A low stone slab rests below the raised head of the snake, cuffs of moonstone on quicksilver chains affixed at the top two corners.

“I’m to lie down on the alter, I take it?”

Frigga nods.

“The chains will not be necessary.”

“You know better than that, my son,” says Frigga, gently.

He nods. “Ah yes- symbolism! What would any ritual sacrifice be without it?”

Thor glowers up at the stone serpent as though wishing it was some living beast he could smite with Mjolnir. Certainly it looks realistic enough. Loki tries to suppress a shiver as he brushes past Odin and Frigga, glancing back to Thor.

“Will you secure me?”

He can’t abide the thought of Odin doing it. But perhaps if it’s Thor it will be alright.

No one speaks, and the only sound is the pad of their boots on the stone floor. The silence is an uncomfortable, watchful sort of silence and Loki has to resist the urge to glance up at the snake- he can feel it looming above him and he’s plagued by the feeling that as soon as he’s in reach it will snap at him. Perhaps it will- trial by combat would suit him nicely, but as he told Thor back in the hall of Asgard he suspects the trial will not be so simple as that.

The stone slab is cool, and has been polished smooth as glass by some ancient hand. He feels terribly exposed and vulnerable as he lies down upon it. The mouth of the serpent gapes above him the vast fangs poised directly over his head. Thor’s touch is comforting as he gently positions Loki’s hands and locks the cuffs around his wrists.

“Does it hurt?” he asks when Loki winces.

“No, but the enchantment is powerful.”

Thor nods. His fingers brush Loki’s collar, move gently downwards to trace the name-rune above his heart.

You’re mine and no one will take you from me.

He’s sitting on the slab at Loki’s side- a far fairer sight than the gaping maw of Jormungandr. The thought of being left alone down here in the darkness with that hideous effigy is suddenly overwhelming.

You won’t be alone. I’ll stay here at your side.

They won’t allow it.

I’m a Prince. And your Master. I’ll keep vigil here as long as I have to.

But...

Thor leans down over Loki and kisses his mouth.

Too much. We must be brotherly, remember?

Fuck brotherly.

Thor’s kiss is gentle, but lingering- a lover’s kiss tender and slow, and Loki’ heart thrills to it.

No one could see this and mistake it for anything but what it is ... 

He can’t worry about it now- let that problem keep. Perhaps he won’t be around to reap the consequences anyhow.

You will be. You’d better be, or I’ll follow you to Valhalla and drag you back myself.

The kiss lingers on his lips even after Thor has moved away beyond his sight. He supposes that the others are still here, watching him from somewhere in this eerie chamber, but lying on his back with his wrists tethered all he can see is the head of the snake. The vast eyes are just visible and in fact it’s curiously difficult to drag his gaze away from them. Small lights seem to dance within the monstrous gemstones, and as he follows them he feels the room begin to spin around him.

Part of the magic. He mustn’t fight it, although it’s hard not to. He’s aware that he’s straining against the quicksilver chains, but they hold true.

The fangs...do the fangs gleam brighter than they did before? Is it possible they’ve grown longer? They no longer appear to be fashioned from stone, but some thick viscous fluid, and even as he watches a glittering black bead gathers at the tip of the left fang, swelling until it falls.

He cries out when it hits his neck. The sensation is not exactly pain, but it’s certainly far from pleasure. The fluid burns in a way that’s neither hot nor cold. It clings to his skin, and no matter how much he twists he can’t do anything to shift it. Another spatter lands on his cheek and begins to spread.

He feels dizzy and numb. Someone is talking- Thor it sounds like, but his voice is very very distant. The room has grown darker, a thick liquid darkness that seems to suck him down into it...


He stands on a vast plane of ice, clad once more in his battle armor. The sky above boils with storm clouds and shards of glittering black rock thrust up through the tundra like fangs.

He knows where he is. He’s been here before. Was born here, in fact.

Jotunheim.

And now the Frost Giants appear, a great horde of them swarming towards him from every direction, battle cries ringing out into the freezing air, crude heavy blades and axes raised.

So, it is to be battle then.

He grins. This is surely what Frigga’s dagger is for. If the seidr thinks it will be any great trial to slay my kinfolk it’s less formidable than I imagined.

He slashes a finger across his forearm, shuddering as he draws the dagger forth into reality. It’s a narrow blade made of what appears to be bone. Not what he’d have chosen for himself to face odds such as these, but it’s been a long time since he’s bathed himself in the blood of his foes. This will be more of a pleasure than a trial.

The cruel, savage side of his nature has been kept in check for so long and the hunger to destroy and to dominate rises up in him like a song. He meets the first wave of attackers with a glad cry, ducking and leaping like a shadow, the bone blade severing limbs, flaying muscles from bone, opening jugulars to vent the frigid blood of the frost giants onto the ice.

Before long he’s standing atop a heap of corpses. His face is bruised and his chest heaves for air, but he’s still grinning, the tang of blood is in his nostrils, his hair thick with it, hanging in sodden ropes.

“More! Send as many as you will.”

And more come, rank upon rank to die on his blade which seems to guide his hand, as hungry for death as he is himself. The weapon is like a part of him. Does Thor feel like this when he wields Mjolnir?

The weaklings die quickly, then the warriors and finally the ice groans and shatters as the ancient ones emerge. Vast giants with beards of rhimed frost, small cunning womenfolk with eyes like rubies- though none so small or cunning as himself.

They die. They die in their hundreds.

Has he been fighting for hours or days?

No sun rises here. The snow piles up on the bodies of the slain. He moves through the Jotun like a reaper through a field, cutting them down, piling the bodies behind him.

The memories of a thousand battles surround him- He and Thor, two Princes killing in the name of Odin and the mighty realm of Asgard. Glory, they call it in the drinking halls. Glory in the songs of the bards. Never murder. On Midgard they called it so. Is that the difference? Whether or not one does it at the command of a King?

Don’t think. In battle one mustn’t think too deeply. Let the dagger lead you, the blood.

He fights on and on until finally he’s alone.

The cries of the dying and wounded are replaced by the wind. The only soul drawing breath is himself.

“Is that it? Is that all you have to throw at me? Pathetic.”

Movement at his feet. A sightless eye bulges in the severed head of a Jotun who looks not unlike Laufey. Loki’s not entirely surprised when a small golden snake slithers out of the frost giant’s eye socket, looking up to regard him with small sapphire eyes.

Loki laughs. “Jormungandr? You’re smaller than I imagined you.”

I am not Jormungandr. Merely her emissary.

“So. Have I passed it then, your first test?”

It was not I who set the test. But no, you have not passed it.

The snake speaks directly in his mind, a sibilant whisper. It sounds smug.

“I killed them all. All who dared challenge me.”

So I see. With Frigga’s dagger.

“Well then. If you wish me to kill more then send them to me.”

The dagger was not meant for this task.

Loki kicks at the severed head so that the snake has to whisk itself clear. It glares up at him.

“The crown then?” says Loki. He nudges the severed head with his toe. “ He certainly doesn’t need it.”

Not the crown.

An unpleasant feeling begins to break through Loki’s battle high.

“The mirror? What good would a mirror do?”

Surely you know what a mirror is for? It will show you what you look like.

“I know what I look like. Irresistible.”

The snake’s laughter is an unpleasant sound, like dry leaves on a tombstone.

And yet you resist. 

Loki’s fast as he stamps down on the snake, but the magical creature is faster and his boot smashes through the caved-in ribcage of a fallen warrior instead of crushing the sinuous body.

“I passed, curse you!”

No reply. The snake has vanished for now, but Loki expects it’s watching him. Judging him. He stares down at the dagger, now stained with blood.

The dagger was not meant for this task.

What if it’s a lie?

But a liar recognises a lie when he meets one, and Loki has an unpleasant feeling the wretched serpent spoke the truth, despite its forked tongue.

He dismisses the dagger with a wave of his hand, feeling the rune pulse under his skin as the blade returns to him. He glances at the rune that means ‘mirror’ but does not touch it.

It will show you what you look like.

Why should I care? I know what I look like.

Why don’t you want to do it then?

Arguing with himself is even more futile than arguing with a snake. If he can slay an army he can look upon himself in a mirror.

Just as the dagger was smaller than he’d anticipated, the mirror is much larger, as tall as he is himself. A simple thing with no frame or ornamentation- merely a reflective oval of dark glass that hangs in the air before him.

And there he is. The blood and wounds of battle are gone. So too are the bodies of the slain- he stands alone again on a vast empty tundra.

Not quite alone- there’s your reflection, after all. 

Thin, pale face. Suspicious blue eyes. He raises a hand and his reflection does likewise. 

White skin and black hair- the opposite of his beguiling, golden brother. What is it Thor sees when he looks at me? It can’t be this.

“Is this it, then?” He says aloud. “I’ve looked at myself. Was something else supposed to happen?”

Silence, except for the wind.

He glowers at his reflection and it glowers back.

Of course it’s not your true reflection, is it?

Is this his own internal voice, or that of the snake?

Here of all places I would have thought you’d be able to cast off the lie.

His sense of disquiet grows. 

“Really. That’s the test?” He feels his temper bubbling up- the madness that’s apparently been biding its time instead of retreating during his blissful time with Thor as he’d hoped. The name-rune over his heart pulses warningly, but Thor isn’t here. He’s alone. Alone again, the outsider. The loathsome one. And those blue eyes of his-the only feature he ever shared with his supposed Brother- are a lie.

He glares up at the mirror and his reflection glares back. Savage eyes- beastly. Red.

He hisses as the illusions that cloak his Jotun form are ripped away from him- could you even call them illusions any more? The enchantments Odin placed upon him as an infant are meshed deeply in the weft of his sedir. This Jotun form is alien to him.

The figure in the mirror is a man of ice, pale blue skin whorled with the strange geometric patterns that channel the crude magics of Jotunheim. Two long curved horns jut from his forehead- not the facsimiles of Asgardian battle armor, but part of his own body.

How does Thor see you? Never like this. No one must see you like this.

The pain he feels is deeper than any wound.

What could be crueler than to raise such a beast to think it is a Prince? To set it up among the galaxy’s gilded overlords, to laugh at it in secret.

This is the test- he knows what it is now and it sickens him. 

To look. To accept.

To love.

Definitely the snake’s voice this time, although he can’t see the nasty creature.

“What is there to love?” he whispers. 

The mouth in the mirror moves too, silently repeating the question.

He sees movement to his left- the snake again, twining its way up a shattered spear to stare at him.

How is it one who has the self-importance to think he should rule a planet can find nothing to love about himself?

Loki smiles. “A foolish question. Why would anyone who loved themselves need a planet to worship them?”

So you understand the root of your madness?

“Understanding it does not tear it out.”

Avoiding it does?

Loki says nothing. 

Coward .

“I’m not a coward.”

You can face an army, but not yourself.

“I can face myself!”

He drags his eyes up again. It’s almost unbearable to look at himself like this. The fine Asgardian battle armor makes even more of a mockery of his hideous form.

Take it off then. See yourself.

Loki barks out a laugh, astonished. “I’ve no wish to see more, thank you.”

Having no shoulders the snake can’t exactly shrug, but the twist it gives its body is expressive.

You’ll be here a long time, then.

And with that it’s gone again.

He’s there a long time. 

He paces the ice, searching for an end to this realm, but no matter which direction he chooses he always comes back to the mirror. To himself. He lies on the ice, but he cannot sleep. He feels no hunger or thirst. Naturally- wherever he is now it isn’t a real place and the rules of reality do not apply.

It’s a test, and he’s failing.

Worse still the reflection in the mirror no longer retreats when he does, instead it stands there watching him, like an uninvited guest hovering outside the door of the feast.

He knows full well who it is that is supposed to invite the figure through, and yet he can’t .


“I’ll die of boredom.”

He’s not sure how much time has gone by, time not truly existing here, but it feels like years.

I know the feeling , says the snake. It comes and goes as it pleases, but this is the first time it’s spoken to him in a while. He finds himself pitifully glad of the conversation.

You might try talking to him.

“Talking to myself, you mean.”

The snake laughs. Good. You accept your Jotun form as yourself. Progress .

Loki glares at it. “I didn’t mean....fine! What do I have to do? Invite him through? Make peace with him? Very well! Anything to leave this place.”

The Loki in the mirror sits cross legged on the ice, watching him as always. As he approaches the mirror it rises to its feet, its movements conforming to his own once again.

He can look at it now, he finds. He’s grown used to it somehow. Which doesn’t mean he’s enjoying this.

“Alright, you win. Come through if that’s what you want.”

To his surprise the figure scowls at him, shaking its head.

“You don’t want to?”

It shakes its head again. Arrogant look on its face. Alright, his face.

“I’m not going to beg you- either come through or don’t.”

Mirror Loki leans on the invisible edge of the mirror and examines his ice blue fingernails.

Loki glowers over at the snake. “Well? What am I supposed to do?”

Love yourself.

“He doesn’t want to be loved. Look at him.”

The Loki in the mirror favors him with a smirk.

“Is this how Thor feels? No wonder he beats me so thoroughly.”

There’s your answer.

“My answer? You mean I have to fight him?”

I thought you were clever , hisses the snake, and then, infuriatingly it’s gone again.

“How is that my answer?” Loki says aloud. Mirror Loki watches him, head cocked.

“I’m supposed to love you. And the answer lies in how Thor... Oh .” 

Loki shakes his head. “That can’t be it.”

And yet...the one person he’s allowed to love him truly, soul-deep is Thor. Even Frigga he holds a little apart, the lie of his birth driving a wedge between them. But Thor...Thor taught him how to love. Thor taught him how to feel beautiful. Desired. Even if he does not think himself so, he believes in Thor’s love, because of the way he shows it. No- not just shows it- demands it.

 

When Loki speaks the words that will divest him of his battle armor his voice falters. Did Thor feel this way the first time he tried to breach Loki’s defenses?

He looks down, willing himself to see the beauty in the pale blue skin with its raised whorls. Thor’s rune still glows at his breast and it gives him courage.

Make him proud. Use what he taught you.

The Mirror Loki is bared too. Long, slender body, taught and well-muscled in an elegant way. Not unattractive. He can see it-almost see it-how others would find this creature compelling. The red eyes are ferocious, challenging. He takes a step forward and Mirror Loki does likewise. He raises a hand to the surface of the enchanted glass, and his Mirror copies him, but instead of cold sterile glass, his palm presses against his Mirror’s own. The skin is softer than he’d imagined- more yielding.

“I’m supposed to love you, am I?” he murmurs. The look in the Mirror’s eyes is less challenging now, more timid.

“This is a little perverse, even for me,” Loki says, and then before he has time to doubt himself he leans forward and presses his lips to those of his mirror image. He can feel the Mirror’s body stiffen, but before it can draw away he reaches out and takes its hands, pulling it through into his own realm. Tentatively its hands slide around his waist and its tongue flicks forward to meet his own. Loki realises his eyes are shut and understands that this won’t do. If he’s to heal this rift then making love to an anonymous phantom is no good. He must love himself.

He didn’t realise his trial was going to be quite this literal, and yet the touch of this other excites him almost as much as it shames him. Has he ever felt so shy about any tryst since Thor took his virginity?

He pulls away from the Mirror, pushing its long black hair back from its brow. It looks confused, frightened, just as he is himself, but he can feel the hard nudge of its cock against his own. The Mirror reaches up and runs a finger down one of the horns that juts from Loki’s forehead, and it takes all of his will not to flinch away. It’s an odd sensation- apparently the horns have nerve endings in them, and the feeling is almost as intimate and pleasurable as if the Mirror had taken his prick in its hand.

How little you know this body.  

Well then, let us amend that.

In the normal course of things it’s tedious for Loki to be the master in bedroom matters. Mastering others doesn’t move him the way being mastered does- perhaps because so few are capable of calling him to heel. This however is different. Here is his own body, in a manner of speaking. Who knows his body like he does himself? Perhaps Thor. Naturally this is not the first time he’s touched himself, but even the most pedantic would have to admit that the current circumstances are very different.

The snow they stand in would chill the flesh of an Asgardian, but to Loki it’s wonderfully soft. He tumbles his Mirror self down into it. He’s tender but firm as he brings the Mirror’s hands up over its head.

Just as I like it myself.

He whispers to the ice and it obeys, rising up to capture his Mirror’s hands so that they’re bound above his head. Just as mine are on that slab in Jormungandr’s tomb, back in reality. A mirror of a mirror of a mirror.

He straddles the Mirror’s long legs, sitting atop its thighs, the pale, beautiful body stretched out before him at his mercy.

Beautiful. I would not have said beautiful before . It angers him that this is working, but he’s too intrigued by the prone figure to be too resentful. The chest rises and falls with the Mirror’s breathing- fast it is, in anticipation of what Loki’s going to do to him. He knows that feeling all too well, fear and excitement the most powerful aphrodisiac he knows. The cock is a perfect reflection of his own, hard and ready, faint lavender at the tip. When he brushes his thumb over the head of it the Mirror writhes, biting back a moan.

Loki trails a fingers down the Mirror’s chest, enjoying the way it squirms. The nipples are also faintly lavender and have risen to hard little points. So sensitive they are. He leans forward to tease them one after the other with his tongue and his lips, and his teeth, bringing them fully hard. His cock rubs once more against the Mirror’s own, and soon they’re sliding slickly together as the pre-spend begins to flow. 

Too fast. Make it slower. Love him as you wish to be loved.

He moves back and the Mirror begs him with his eyes. Loki gives his nipple a pinch.

“No, you must wait.”

The Mirror cocks its head.

Why? It seems to ask.

“Because you like to be made to wait. Impatient creature. I’m going to give you what you want.”

Why?

“Because...because you deserve it. I deserve it.”

He moves back and parts its legs to kneel between them, and it lets him. It’s an odd feeling to touch his tongue to what is essentially the tip of his own cock.

Finally I have achieved a feat that Thor never will.

He teases the head, knowing just where to use more pressure and where to go softly, and the Mirror Loki arches his back and gasps as Loki tongues the leaking slit, then sucks it into his mouth. It’s hard and cool and tastes of salt and iron. He pushes the Mirror’s thighs further apart wanting it to feel its subjugation to him. This is not service he’s offering it, it’s a demand that his Mirror surrender to him, and it certainly offers no resistance. He leaves it wanting more, and now his mouth moves lower tasting the vulnerable knot of the hole, knowing the shame and the need that his Mirror feels as he teases it open with his clever insistent tongue. He uses his thumbs to spread it wider so that he can push his tongue inside, lower the resistance of the helpless little band of muscle that strives to keep him closed, chaste. 

“Don’t fight me, precious one. You must open for me.”

Open, yes because he means to take it here in the snow. To love it how it wishes to be loved, rough and dirty and shamefully shameless.

He licks at the hole until the tense thighs begin to relax beneath his hands, until the Mirror stops fighting him, entranced with the sensation of having its most intimate parts explored and enjoyed. 

“Good.” Loki kisses up and down the heaving chest, nips at the tender flesh of the inner thighs, and then leans forward to cover the pliant body with his own, kissing the neck, the lips, running his hands up and down the trembling creature beneath him.

He commands the ice to release the Mirror’s arms, and as soon as it’s free it returns his embrace, exploring his body as hungrily as he explores its own. For a while the whole world is his own ardent mouth, his clever hands, his smooth blue skin, and now it’s time. 

“On your hands and knees,” he commands, and the Mirror obeys. He rubs his cock up against the Mirror’s hole and it presses itself back against him, silently begging. His cock pushes through the last of the Mirror’s resistance in one long, delicious slide. He’s tight, dazzlingly wonderfully tight. Thor is a lucky, lucky bastard. Thor and Stark both. He knows what the Mirror must be feeling, the pain battling with the pleasure as he forces himself inside, making the Mirror yield to him. When he reaches around the Mirror’s thigh and grabs its cock the tight sheath surrounding him clenches and trembles and he cries out himself, balanced on the edge of his orgasm.

“No, not yet. I want to feel you around me as I ride you. I want to spend myself inside you, but not yet.” He releases the needy cock and slaps the Mirror’s flank.

“Arch your back.”

When the Mirror positions itself he leans forward and grabs the curling horns. It’s a stressful position for his double no doubt, but he knows himself too well to be concerned. The Mirror trembles with effort as Loki begins to fuck himself into the struggling body. It can’t repel him, can’t squirm away from him, must kneel in the snow with its back painfully arched. He jerks it back by the horns onto his hard cock as he uses its tight, sensitive little hole to pleasure himself. Both of himselves. 

Is whatever mysterious force that governs the fates of Asgard watching this coupling? He suspects that it is, just as it watched him couple with Thor beneath Yggdrasil. A wave of the familiar submissive feeling floods him. He’s putting on a show for somebody. Swallowing his pride- among the other more prosaic things he’s swallowed here.

Better to concentrate on the body beneath him. How it strives to please him. And does he love it? 

Yes, yes I do. It is beautiful in its own way, and deserving of love. Born of Jotunheim raised in Asgard- a melding of the two, and not a monster after all, but a lost broken thing, that might mend if only it would surrender.

He quickens his pace and feels the body beneath him tremble harder. 

When he comes it’s not the usual burst of savage passion, but a great overwhelming sensation of peace. They come together, not two beings but one. The form beneath him is melting- or perhaps it’s him who melts, flesh flowing into flesh. The whole planet is melting, the snow, the depthless ice, even the blasted rock beneath the tundra. He feels the rune on his arm vanish as the enchanted mirror tumbles away from him into the darkness. The world shifts, the light fades and Loki’s alone in blackness once again.

Chapter Text

For a while whether a long while or a short one he can’t tell Loki is suspended in darkness, hanging in an endless silent void, the taste of his Mirror’s lips still on his mouth, the small waves of pleasure ebb away as the heat of his desire cools and finally winks out. What replaces pleasure isn’t fear exactly. What he feels is a deeper, quieter feeling than simple dread.

This is no simple punishment for his crimes against Odin- He’s being called to account in a deeper way than anything he’d expected. If overcoming his own self-loathing is the first part of his trial, what will the rest of it be like?

The feeling that overwhelms him now (all the stronger for the perfect stillness of the black void) is a similar emotion to the one he feels bent over Thor’s knee- the near-calm that descends before fighting the pain and the indignity finally dissolves into submission.

Does he mean to submit to this trial? Perhaps. Not to please Odin, but because there’s a lesson here, perhaps one he’s been too stubborn to learn on his own. He doesn’t like it, doesn’t feel that he ought to be accountable to anyone or anything, and yet he’d be a fool not to heed what the deepest magic of Asgard is trying to tell him.

“Asgard herself is taking me over her knee,” he murmurs as he floats in the blackness, and perhaps his it’s his words and the acceptance they signify that causes solid ground to form itself beneath his feet once more. He taps his bootheel it appears he’s dressed again at least, and in highest Asgardian finery as well on the surface beneath him.

Stones, it feels like. Rough, loose stones. Is that the sound of cartwheels? Perhaps the clatter of a horse’s hooves behind it. His senses are returning one by one. A warm ocean breeze lift his hair from his face. It carries with it the tang of brine which is soon crowded out by the verdant perfume of ripe summer fields, and dung, and ale. Finally the blackness begins to recede and a blur of colors resolves itself into a country road at the crest of a hill. Fields of golden wheat bordered by overblown ditches of wildflowers surround him, and far off the city of Asgard glimmers like a jewel.

Asgard! I’m back on Asgard!

Loki spins in place and sees a low slung wagon pulled by two squat grey ponies trundling up the rise of the hill towards him. 

The carter looks to be the roughest kind of peasant, his robes a utilitarian brown, his face lined and weathered beneath a battered straw hat.

When he notices Loki standing in the road before him he yanks his team to a halt so suddenly that they snort fractiously, putting their ears back and champing at their bits. The man’s eyes roll almost as wildly as those of his beasts. The color has drained from his face and his mouth hangs open.

“Y...your Majesty!”

Well, that’s certainly an improvement.

The man half-falls from his cart to land on his hands and knees on the roadway. He bows lower still, his beard dipping into the dust.

“No need for that...what was your name?” says Loki.

“Aron, Your Majesty.”

“Aron, then. You may stand.”

The man does so, but his eyes stay fixed on the road and he cringes away at Loki’s slightest movement.

“Please forgive me if I didn’t see you at first, your Majesty. I meant no disrespect.”

The man’s all but quivering now. What a strange fellow, not that’s unpleasant to be treated with respect after being paraded through Asgard as his Brother’s slave.

“That’s quite alright, but perhaps you’d convey me back to the palace?” 

“Of course, your Majesty.”

Aron scuttles around to the back of the cart, fussing with barrels and boxes to make a space for Loki among his wares.

“I beg your indulgence that my carriage is not as fine as you deserve.”

“Little is as fine as I deserve,” says Loki, hopping into the back of the wagon. He feels a twinge as he says it, remembers his Mirror beneath him, the delicate blue body yielding to him. You are lovely and beloved. What need have you of preening?

Are all his boasts going to feel hollow from now on? What is he going to do with his time? 

“Are you part of my trial?” he asks as he saunters around to the back of the wagon.

“Your...your trial, Your Majesty?”

“Never mind.”

He’s about to climb into the cart when Aron hurries towards him, falling to his hands and knees once more. “Climb up, your Majesty.”

Loki frowns. He grew up being treated as a Prince, but no Asgardian was ever quite this subservient. Ah well! He plants a foot on the man’s back and climbs into the cart. As soon as he’s settled Aron scuttles back to the front, clambering hastily onto the spring seat, lashing the startled ponies into a hurried trot.

“Will it take us long to get there?” asks Loki.

“No Sire, an hour’s travel.”

“Is Thor at the Palace?”

Aron’s darts a look back at him, eyes wide. “I...I beg your pardon Majesty, but I believe so.”

“Odin?”

Aron gulps. “I...is Your Majesty jesting with me?”

“Why would I be jesting?”

The reins shake in Aron’s hands and his face is so pale Loki fears he’ll faint dead away. 

“Never mind. Just drive.”

“Of course, Your Majesty!”


They make good time, and before the hour is up they’re approaching the city gates- But not the city gates he knows. Loki stands up in the cart to survey the vast gold statues that flank the gateway.

“It’s...it’s me .”

Aron glances back but says nothing. Whoever sculpted these towering monuments was rather flattering with his nose. Oh if only I’d seen them before I’d learned to love myself! This would keep me going for years!

A thousand emeralds stud the statues and they sparkle in the sunlight. The streets of the city are also different from those he’s familiar with. There are more guards patrolling for a start- Guards in an unfamiliar livery of green and gold. Green and gold silk banners are hung above the streets, shifting gently in the breeze. His own face stares back at him from countless statues and friezes in the architecture of every building.

He’s still staring around him in puzzlement when his eyes lock with those of a young woman- highborn by the looks of her clothing. Her eyes go wide as if she’s been pinched and she drops to her knees at once, bowing low on the cobblestones. 

“Long may you rule, Your Majesty!”

Others are looking now, and as they catch sight of Loki they follow the woman’s example, falling like dominoes, excited murmurs flying back and forth. He isn’t quite sure what to make of it. An hour back he’d have basked in the adulation, but now it unnerves him. The Royal Family of Asgard are respected as guardian warriors, but they’ve never been worshipped like this. Odin and Frigga might merit such tribute, but he and Thor are used to moving through the city with no more obeisance paid than a simple bow. Guards too take a knee as the little wagon passes, finely attired nobles sully the raiment on grimy roads. By the time the wagon is at the Palace gates it’s practically a parade. His name hangs on a thousand lips.

Loki, Loki our King. Long may you rule!  

It’s both dazzling and disconcerting for one who’s spent most of the past year locked up in a small Midgarian bolt hole. More green and gold pendants hang from every ramparts of the Palace, and the familiar statues of Odin the Allfather have had the heads smashed clear off.

At least whoever did this has taste.

He isn’t entirely surprised by the figure who stands in the Palace door awaiting him. 

“Interesting. The seidr predicted your coming, but I thought that I was mistaken,” the Seidr calls out as the cart comes to a halt.

The other Loki is garbed identically to himself. Gleaming gold plate and sumptuous green silk. The eyes of his Guards dart back and forth between the two them in confusion.

“In the normal course of things I’d have a man killed for failing to kneel to his King, but I suppose you’re something of a special case.”

“Indeed I am,” says Loki, trying to match his new Mirror’s predatory smile as he jumps down from Aron’s wagon. The Mirror walks towards him, his eyes glittering fiercely. Loki knows this look well- This Loki is excited, pleased, but ready for blood if it seems blood will be required. The God of Mischief at his most capricious.

“So, you’re King here,” he says, deciding a diplomatic approach is best.

We’re King here,” the Mirror says. “For you are me, are you not? From another reality-Or so the sedir informs me. You know I thought about killing you when my spies wanred me of your approach- what could be more thrilling than a battle to the death with oneself?”

“I can think of something,” mumbles Loki, thinking briefly of that cool blue body beneath him.

The Mirror laughs. “Yet how can I kill you? The only being worth talking to in the universe. As you can see I’m surrounded at all times by vermin.”

He throws his hand out towards the Guards as he says this and Loki notes how they flinch away.

“Miserable animals. Disloyal, tedious, incapable of providing any kind of real company to one such as I. But you...perhaps the seidr sent you to me to reward me for the glory of my rule?”

“Perhaps so,” says Loki smoothly.

“And it is glorious! Come and see, I’ll show you. If ever there was any other being capable of appreciating it!” 

The Mirror is like an excited child as he grabs Loki’s hand and pulls him through into the Grand Hall. 

And like an excited child Loki suspects that this one might have a fondness for breaking his toys when he’s bored with them .

He is you, you know that, don’t you?

Loki sighs. The new Mirror doesn’t respond to the soft hissing voice of the snake so presumably can’t hear it. Loki wishes he couldn’t hear it either. The snake slithers along next to him, just too far away for him to step on it.

Of course I know it, he thinks furiously at the snake. Leave me be, can’t you? I believe I’ll need my wits about for this trial- whatever it is.

The snake laughs a laugh like whispering leaves and stays right where it is, sliding over the marble floor at his heels.

The snake is right though- this Loki is himself. The sedir tells him so when he reaches out to it. This Asgard is no vision or dream, but a different version of his own, where Loki has somehow managed to win the throne of Asgard. He’s heard of parallel realities of course, but never expected to journey into one.

So he rules here, while in my own reality I’m reduced to a slave. What would this Loki think if he found out? What would he think if he found out that I love it? The Mirror seems delighted to see him- suspiciously delighted. If he’d won the throne would he welcome the arrival of anyone whose power matched his own?

“A riddle, isn’t it? ” The snake hisses.

“Go away!” Loki mutters.

A man who stands above others stands always alone.

“That’s not a riddle, it’s a saying.”

“What?” his Mirror looks back at him, smile fading.

“Nothing,” says Loki, quickly. “Well, you’ve certainly made some changes in here.”

The throne room is no longer the sparse cavern of Odin’s time. Opulence all but drips from the walls. There isn’t a bare spot between the huge tapestries depicting Loki in glorious battle, battered shields and swords won from Loki's defeated enemies, and the mounted skulls of wyverns and trolls and crag giants. The plunder of a hundred worlds has been arranged in cases around the walls. Some of it is powerfully arcane and draws Loki’s attention like a magnet draws iron. He comes to an abrupt halt next to a crystal cube inside which the Tesseract shimmers. Even now it makes his palms itch. On Midgard it’s stowed away somewhere within SHIELD's headquarters and he’s not likely to see it again, let alone use it.

“Yes, a pretty toy, is it not?” says the Mirror. “It won Midgard for me. But I’ve prettier ones now.”

“You speak of the other stones?”

The Mirror smirks, nods.

“What of Thanos?” asks Loki.

The Mirror frowns. “Thanos? A bestial thug, nothing more. I ground his bones to dust years ago.”

“How?”

“I’ll tell you all about it over wine.”

The throne is different too- even vaster than Odin’s throne. There’s room enough for the two of them to sit side by side on the plush velvet seat. There are slaves here, Loki notes, dressed much as he was himself back in his own version of Asgard. They move almost silently, eyes to the ground, refilling the jeweled goblets with cool crisp wine whenever they seem in danger of being drained. It seems a little early in the day to get soused, but Loki feels compelled to keep up with his Mirror who drinks almost as heartily as Thor himself. And where is the Thor of this world? Is he proud of me that I rule? Aron said that he was here and yet I’ve seen no sign of him.

“And so I discovered his plot and gained the stones for myself,” his Mirror is saying.

“I’m impressed” says Loki. “Where did you find them?”

“Oh here and there. Two on Midgard, so that made things easy. I’ve only two left to find, and then the Gauntlet that I might wield them. Perhaps now that you’re here we’ll make some headway.” He leans in closer. “There’s no one I can rely on. No one I can trust but myself, you see.”

“And once you find the stones, what then?”

“Then? We’ll rule more than the Nine Realms. All of existence will all be ours to remake as we see fit.”

Loki feels sick. The wine isn’t helping but here it is, the answer to the question that has plagued him ever since the battle of New York. What if I’d triumphed?

Not just his own kingdom, but his own... everything . Thanos defeated, the infinity stones safe, worlds beyond number to rule. The fight that still lies ahead of them in his own reality is already won in this one.

“Your Kingdom is impressive,” he says. He takes a swallow of the wine- excellent it is, too. “What of Odin?”

“I killed Odin,” says the Mirror, levelly. “A regrettable battle. Much was lost, but with the three stones I possessed at the time I overpowered him, stubborn old man.”

“I see. And what of Mother?”

The Mirror frowns. “It’s...too painful to relate. I couldn’t save her.”

Frigga, dead! Even here in a world that is not his own it fills him with grief. He can well understand why his twin would not wish to dwell on it.

“And Thor? I heard that he was here?”

The Mirror shrugs. “Thor is not important. Not now.”

“I’d like to see him. Is it perhaps possible?”

 For Thor’s the final piece of this puzzle, isn’t he? In his own world they’re lovers and Thor his Master to boot. Clearly things are different here, but how different he’s fascinated to know.

The Mirror’s face is blank. “You’d like to see him?”

“I would.” He meets the Mirror’s gaze with one just as unyielding, and finally the other Loki smiles.

“Very well, I suppose it’s natural you’d be curious. Was there ever a rivalry like ours? He’s changed a little in recent years. Has the Thor in your world changed much...if he still lives?”

“He lives, but I don’t believe he’s changed much.” Loki considers. “It’s my perception of him that has changed, if anything.”

The Mirror nods, frowns. “Ah. You know, I believe you’re right. It’s the same here. Thor’s as he always was. It’s just that I see him more clearly now. As he really is.”

He smiles and squeezes Loki’s shoulder. “You don’t know how nice it is to speak with one who understands.”

And it is nice, despite his dismay of seeing what he might have won had he vanquished the Avengers. 

Where are they now? Back on Midgard, licking their wounds? But safe at least, with Thanos destroyed. He feels entirely bewildered. The last lesson he expected his trial to impart was that his vengeful, ambitious plans to ravage and conquer were a force for good .

 

The Mirror leads him below the keep into the dim stone vaults most Asgardians never see.

“The dungeons,” says Loki. 

The Mirror shoots him a look. “Not the dungeons, precisely. Thor is still a Prince afterall. My Brother has his own private quarters.”

Perhaps the room the Mirror leads him into is a little finer than the basic cells hidden beneath the palace, but the door is guarded by a quartet of sturdy warriors, and the heavy iron door is sealed with powerful magic.

The small room beyond it has chairs, a bed, a table heaped with congealed food, and even a small shelf of books.

“He doesn’t eat,” the Mirror says, following Loki’s gaze to the spoiled banquet. “He knows it irritates me, so he refuses to accept the fine food I lavish upon him.” The Mirror claps his hands together. “Brother! Rouse yourself, you have a visitor.”

Loki had assumed that the room was empty, but as his Mirror speaks the furs piled on the bed shift very slightly.

“Now, Brother. I’m sure you don’t mean to embarrass yourself in front of my Guest.”

The Mirror’s tone is mocking. He used it on Thor often enough himself in the years of their rift but it grates on him to hear it now. 

All that strife and jealousy and all it would take you to end it is to forgive and to yield. To love him instead of fight him.

And yet this other Loki has outstripped him on every count. What basis has he for offering advice to a being who rules the Nine Realms, who defeated Thanos? Who holds all but two of the Infinity Stones in his grasp?

Who gets drunk at sunup and is so lonely he’s falling over himself to persuade you to stay, even though you’re likely the only being whose power could threaten his own.

The snake is back. Hissing at him this time from beneath the table. Loki ignores it, and is soon distracted anyway as his Mirror speaks again.

“Must I bring the guards in to whip you, Brother, or will you greet your King?”

He smiles apologetically at Loki. “He’s not the sharpest of blades these days, I’m afraid. A slow learner, our Brother. His lessons were necessarily harsh and they have taken their toll. That’s why I keep him here, it’s for his own protection. Sad, really to see him so.”

He doesn’t sound sad though, in fact his face is twisted into a handsome smile.

The blankets move again, and then the figure in the bed sits up, swinging a pair of gaunt legs onto the floor. White scars crawl up and down the wasted shins. The arms too are thin and they too are knotted with scar tissue. A shaggy pelt of matted hair and a filthy beard hides the prisoner’s face, and it isn’t until the tired blue eyes rise warily to meet his own briefly that Loki can believe this emaciated man is truly Thor. He gasps, taking a half-step forward before he manages to stop himself.

Thor’s eyes move slowly between the two of them then sink to the floor. He seems dazed as if from a heavy blow.

“He looks ill,” Loki says as smoothly as he’s able to. He closes his eyes against thoughts of his own Thor, so hale and strong, his eyes so filled with love.

“Ill? I believe he is?” says the Mirror, acidly. “Wasting away for want of adulation.”

The Thor sitting on the bed appears not to hear.

The Mirror turns to Loki. “How is it that I survived centuries in exile, and he, the one that all called strong cannot? Banishment, hatred, imprisonment- we survived it all you and I- yet him it has broken. It’s proof, is it not, that we were right all along. We are strong and deserve to be King, and he is nothing. Even when he was showered with praise and undeserved adulation he was nothing .”

“He’s...” Loki pauses. “Have you no love for him?”

He thinks he sees something shift in Thor’s blank eyes, but the Mirror only laughs. “Love? What love has he ever shown me ?”

“When we were youths together...” Loki trails off.

The Mirror’s mouth twitches. “We’re youths no longer. I...I know what it is you speak of. That old mistake. I allowed him to hurt me once; Why would I give him a second chance? Don’t tell me that you have in your own world?”

Loki says nothing. After all he is no King. He’s not even a Prince any longer.

The Mirror puts a hand on his shoulder. “It’s better this way. He never wanted to rule, not truly. But he could be used against me by those who seek to undo my glorious purpose. That’s why I keep him here, where he’s safe.”

“May I talk to him?” Loki asks.

His Mirror sighs. “You may try. He hasn’t spoken in a long while.”

“Alone?”

The Mirror’s eyes narrow. “Why alone?”

“Because two of us is perhaps bewildering him in his current state. Besides, what could the harm be?”

The Mirror grins. “You’re asking me to trust the only man in the multiverse as cunning as myself?”

“Well I’m sure you’d be no kind of ruler if you couldn’t even trust yourself,” says Loki.

His Mirror’s face falls.

Perhaps I do have some sort of advantage over him after all.

“Very well then,” the Mirror says. “But when you’re finished with him I’d like you to join me in the Throne room. We have much to do, you and I”


Thor sits hunched like a gargoyle on a castle wall, eyes blank and unseeing. He flinches very sightly when Loki kneels before him and takes the thin hands in his own. The skin is an elder’s skin- papery and thin enough to show the veins beneath.

“Brother?”

Nothing.

“Thor?”

The glazed eyes make no attempt to seek him out, but of course he needs no words to read a mind, especially the mind of one tied to him as Thor is. The name sigil at his heart pulses faintly. Whatever version of Thor this is the seidr recognises him, but not as Loki’s Master. Not as his own Thor.

Yet it could be him, if I’d done things differently.

He can’t bear to think of the Thor he loves as this broken husk, and yet... In this world I rule the Nine Realms. The multiverse is safe from the scourge of Thanos. Who better to rule than me? Thor certainly never had any taste for it, just as the Mirror said. Who’s to say this is not Thor’s fate whatever course I take?

He has to know- has to see it for himself, and so he pushes forward, pushing his consciousness into Thor’s own mind. It’s a weak, fragmented thing that puts up no resistance.

Show me. Show me all.

He sees Thor and Loki in the Hall of Asgard, weapons drawn, Guards ranged around them, seemingly unsure of which side to take. He sees them come together, Thor swinging Mjolnir in a great arc that should end with Loki’s head knocked clean off his shoulders...but then another appears. A woman in gleaming black armor with an archaic elaborate headdress like something from the most ancient of scrolls.

The sedir around her bewilders him. It’s familiar somehow. And she’s catching Mjolnir in her outstretched hand as though it were nothing. She’s...

No, it can’t be? Who is she?

But the memory is fading.

Show me more, show me Midgard!

The hands in his own clench, and his mind is hurled through blackness to the surface of a barren planet. The ground is charred and cratered and what once may have been buildings stick up in places through the rubble. The oceans have been boiled away, and no life remains in the thin grey dust that shifts restlessly on a toxic wind. 

It’s gone? All of it?

He sees his own face now, speaking to Thor. “I’m sorry Brother but they would not kneel. I gave them every chance. My mission is too glorious to risk their interference.”

Thor, with tears on his cheeks. Not as gaunt as they are now, but becoming so. “You spared none of them?

“How could I? They never would have stopped opposing me. It was your task to persuade them. Your job to save them, and your failure that ended them. Remember that, Brother.”

Loki swallows. He can’t believe that Midgard is gone. That the Avengers are gone. 

But the stones! We still have the stones! It can be put right. When the battle is won for good we can put it all back.

He gasps as what’s left of Thor’s mind suddenly pushes back against his own.

“What is it?” he breathes. “Is there something you would show me?”

The images come slowly at first, small meaningless snatches of light and sound, but soon he understands what it is he’s seeing. Not just one world destroyed, but dozens, hundreds. Men and women put to the sword, cities razed, the survivors boarding vast slave ships in shuffling ranks.

But if it means gathering the last of the stones. ..

A fresh image appears. Four figures stand at the precipice of a vast cliff of black rock. Two of them are bound in enchantments. Thor, stooped and already broken, and the other.. .Mother?

He sees his Mirror standing face to face with a hideous red demon.

“The payment for the Soul Stone demands sacrifice. The life of one you truly love.”

The Mirror nods. “I understand. His voice is unsteady. He glances behind him at the two bound figures.

“Don’t do this, son,” says Frigga softly. “It will buy nothing but your doom.”

“It will buy peace,” says the Mirror. “Peace for the whole of the multiverse.”

“Make your choice,” says the demon.

Loki can’t watch as his Mirror drags Frigga, unresisting towards the cliff edge, and as his grasp wavers he finds himself pushed firmly but gently out of Thor’s mind. 

When he comes back to reality he’s startled to find Thor’s eyes locked upon his own. The broken God says nothing, but he turns Loki’s hands over, running a thumb over the runes on his forearm.

Crown.

Dagger.


“How did you find our Brother?” The Mirror says.

“He didn’t say much.”

The Mirror shrugs. “As I expected. 

“He showed me plenty, however.”

The Mirror’s eyebrow arches. “Such as what?”

“That you seek peace. That you’d do almost anything to achieve it.”

The Mirror sighs. “I don’t relish the burden that has been placed upon me, but I’m no weakling, like Thor. I’ll do what it takes to bring harmony to the galaxy, surely you understand that?”

“I do.”

“So?” says The Mirror. “Will you join me? There are two more stones to find, and the Gauntlet to forge.”

“Who was the woman in black?” Loki asks. “The one who crushed Mjolnir to dust.”

The Mirror looks taken aback for a second, then he smiles. “Oh, her. No one you need worry about. One of Odin’s little parting gifts. She’s safely put away until I need her again . I am the ruler of Asgard, not her. Loki is the ruler of Asgard. Both of us together.”

“You seem to be doing a fine job alone. Why split your power with me?”

“Because you are me. The sedir tells me so.”

“I suppose I am.”

The Mirror shakes his head. “You’re...you’re the only one I can trust.”

Loki smiles. “A thousand worlds under your rule and not one soul you’d call friend?”

A flash of anger crosses the Mirror’s face. “I have everything I’ve ever wanted! This path is not easy, and it’s true...” he falters. “It’s true that I walk it alone. Until now. The sedir sent you to me for a reason!”

He takes Loki’s hand in his own. “I’ve done so much good already. Think what we might do together!” And now he runs his hand up Loki’s arm, touching the runes as Thor did.

“Don’t think I did not see these. A crown for you to rule. A dagger for you to carve your name on the hearts of our enemies.”

His expression is almost innocent. The glad face of a boy who’s been alone with his broken toys for far too long.

“Please, Loki. Think what wonders we might work together. All of our dreams made real.”

He wonders how many years it’s been since anyone has heard this tone in the Mirror’s voice. True gladness and warmth, true vulnerability and hope.

Loki does not need the snake to tell him which rune to use this time. The dagger is in his hands in an instant, and in the Mirror’s throat in the next. He f eels it. Feels the enchanted metal severe plunge through the skin, sever his jugular, rupture his windpipe. Feels his own frigid blood pumping out, filling his lungs, drowning him. Feels the betrayal more acutely than the agony of the rising blackness that will soon claim him.

The Mirror’s expression is one of confusion, shock, and finally a resignation so complete that it seems a small death in itself.

Ah, but we were never meant to win, you and I.

He sees the life leave the Mirror’s eyes seconds before he’s whirled away into the blackness again, his own lifeblood still slick on his shaking hands.


You did well , hisses the snake as they hang in the blackness.

“Say another word and I’ll make you regret it.”

He’s trembling and feels a hair away from losing hold of his sanity entirely. The feeling of it! To sever one’s own branch of Yggdrasil, and to live on. To die and not to die! He feels numb, but not numb enough. His hands want to rise again and again to his throat to check that it’s still whole.

He deserved it. It was the only way.

It was peace.

Wisely the snake says nothing more, and in fact this time Loki barely has time to wipe his own blood off onto his coat before a new world coalesces around him.

This world too is familiar. 

New York. And not only does he know the where , but he also knows the when .

Shattered glass sparkles on the pavements. The fronts of some of the monolithic buildings are sheared away. Off to his right a Chitauri warship smokes in the crater of its own final descent.

The Battle of New York has just ended and he stands in its aftermath. Is he to see himself arrested and lead away in chains? Bizarrely he hopes so. It will mean that he sees Thor again, whole and strong- perhaps dispel the presence of that wasted ghost. It takes him a minute or too to realise what’s wrong.

No people.

The city is silent. No sirens wail, no taxis blare, the hoards of the injured and the terrified he remembers from his own dazed surrender are missing. The only thing that moves is the columns of smoke from the downed war ships and the masonry that falls every now and then from damaged buildings.

Oh there are people , says the snake. It’s dangling from a bent traffic light. They’re coming. Can’t you hear them?

He can hear something. A soft, insinuating sound that grows louder and closer. Soon he sees them as well as hears the shuffling sound of their footfall. Their clothes are tattered, soaked with blood or basted white with concrete dust. Shattered skulls loll on broken necks. Limbless sleeves flap in the wind. Loops of intestines dangle from ruptured bellies. Some of them are charred so black they scarcely look human at all.

“Who are they?” asks Loki, swallowing. His taste for death has been sated perhaps permanently and he’d see no more.

The dead of New York. The dead of your Battle . Not warriors, but the women and men who lived in this city. No Valhalla for them, you see. The snake speaks softly.

“And what do they want?”

To witness your coronation, Conqueror.

“I’m no Conqueror,” says Loki swiftly. The dead are closer now and his nostrils prickle at the stench of them; Charred flesh and old blood. 

“I was defeated.”

You Conquered them, did you not? Took their lives from them. And now they come to acknowledge their King.

Loki touches the final sigil on his arm. 

“The Crown?”

The snake nods.

“How can I? How can I wear a crown before them?” His voice trembles. He’d like to pretend indifference, to put up his usual front of arrogance, but the slaying of his Mirror has undone him entirely. That and the living eyes set into the faces of these walking corpses. All of them are fixed on him. What does he read there? Weariness? Fury? Accusation?

A true King pays the price for his crown. And you wanted to be King, did you not?

“It’s not fair!” Loki says. “You showed me already- I’m not fit to rule. If I follow that path all I’ll ever win is pain. I understand!

The figures are closer still. In a few minutes more they’ll be close enough to touch him, and he shrinks away from them.

“I don’t want it,” he tells them. “I...I’m sorry.”

The sigil on his arm suddenly flairs with a white-hot pain and he cries out. He does not summon the crown, but it appears nevertheless upon his head, a foolish trinket of glittering gold and oversized jewels.

“No!” 

He grabs it with both hands, attempting to wrench it free, but it’s immovable.

The dead are closer now. The long line of them stretches back out of sight between the long avenue of shattered buildings. The first corpse stands close enough to touch him now. A woman, he thinks. Her legs are charred matchsticks, her remaining teeth gleam where the left side of her jaw has been partially torn away. Her brown eyes regard him with a dreadful patience.

“I’m sorry,” he tells her. “I don’t know what you want from me!”

The corpse cocks her head and he can hear the sound of the exposed tendons in her neck creak. She reaches out the pulpy mess of shattered bone and flesh that was once a hand and touches a finger to the crown.

Her name is Hannah Adams. Here she is with her parents at the train station holding a suitcase that’s too heavy for her. They’re pleased for her that she’s got this new job in New York City, but they look so small and old as the train pulls away from the platform and she wonders if she’s making a mistake after all. Here’s her small apartment in Jersey. Her cat, the furniture she picked out for herself not having to please anyone else but her. She takes a night class in dance even though she’s terrible at it, and at the class she falls in love with the only man there, and miracle upon miracle he falls in love with her. They stand under an awning as the rain comes down and they kiss and the neon reflects back from the puddles and it’s just like a movie. Life can be just like a movie! Her first real boyfriend and she knows she ought to see more of the world before settling down, but if he asks her to marry him she will. If she could have seen herself as she is now when she was that lonely, bullied girl! But it’s different than she thought it would be. Everything is more difficult, but it’s exciting too when it isn’t terrifying. She doesn’t call home as often as she should, and when her parents visit they seem uncertain of her tiny apartment, the furniture that looks suddenly cheap, of John too, who tries too hard and talks too much. But she’ll show them that it’s OK. That she’s happy. She has time. 

It’s dark and she’s choking on smoke and concrete and she can’t even sob from the pain of her own shattered bones. She can’t breathe. One minute sitting at her desk, the next a confused chaos of pain and fear. Something hot and sticky covers her belly. Blood? Is it my blood? She’s coughs and struggles for air. Help, someone will help. Someone has to come. Mom and dad. They’ll come. They’ll find me. Someone has to find me. I can’t die now. It doesn’t make sense. 

Loki pulls away with a gasp. His own lungs feel clogged with phantom smoke, his bones ache as though they’ve been shattered by a thousand tons of falling stone. No one came for her. She lasted almost ten hours before the building finally collapsed.

He opens his mouth to tell her he’s sorry, but how could his words ever pay for the life he stole from her? The tawdry crown he wears balanced against her whole world.

Instead he drops to his knees. It’s right. He knows that it’s right. No matter how bitter.

“Forgive me,” he manages to whisper.

Whether she does or she doesn’t Hannah Adams is done with him. She walks past him and fades away, and the next of New York’s dead shuffles forward to meet his King.