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Loki wakes up warm. There is a body pressed against his back, a hand on his chest, a leg hooked over his hip. He is also very sure that there is a nose buried in his hair. 

Anthony.

Turning his face into the pillow, Loki smiles. He slept well in the bed in his bedroom the night before, but that was nothing against this. This is so much better; not because the bed is bigger and the fabric softer, but because this is Anthony's bed, and Anthony wanted him to sleep here. Anthony also wrapped himself around Loki as if he doesn't want him to leave the bed anytime soon, and the possessiveness of it all makes Loki's ears burn. The blush crawls into his cheeks, drips down his neck and to his chest, and in the end his toes curl against the mattress as he tries to stay silent.

He is wide awake now, but he won't move; not until Anthony wakes up. Loki knows that it's early and that his human needs his sleep - he gets by far not enough of it -, and so he will stay where he is and just… enjoy, for a little while. Sink into the pillows and avoid thinking anything serious or coherent, much like walking through the streets of a city and letting himself be calmed by the rush of it all. (And again: This is better.)

Anthony wakes up after who knows how long - who cares, anyway? - and Loki feels it before Anthony is even fully awake yet. The fact that Anthony's body is awake is quite insistent, right there against Loki's lower back. Loki has stilled, and he doesn't move when Anthony stirs, either. He listens to the handful of noises Anthony makes, soft and surprised and pleased all at once, and holds his breath when the hand on his chest starts moving. Loki can feel the warmth of Anthony's fingers through his shirt, and that alone is almost too much.

“Loki?” Anthony murmurs into Loki's neck, and Loki can't not shiver at the feeling. “You awake?”

“Yes,” Loki answers, the word half muffled by the pillow, eyes pinched shut. He can feel Anthony's smile.

“How're you doin'?” Anthony asks, voice still sleep-soft and unhurried.

Loki doesn't reply, because Anthony's hand has started wandering lower. He can feel it on his stomach, the touch light and soothing, and it doesn't take long until -

“Oh,” Anthony breathes, his fingers just shy of brushing the tip of Loki's cock that peeks out from beneath the waistband of his pants. Anthony is grinning now. “Having a good morning, are we?”

Loki, not liking the teasing tone - or maybe liking it a tad too much -, huffs and pointedly grinds back against Anthony's crotch, to remind him that he is not the only one 'having a good morning', thank you very much.

Anthony gasps in response and grabs Loki's hip to keep him close. He nuzzles Loki's neck, breath fanning over already warm skin. “This alright, then, Lo?”

Loki gives an affirmative hum and rubs against Anthony's hardening cock again, finding that he quite likes the feel of it. He keeps thinking about what it felt like in his mouth, yesterday, when he knelt at Anthony's feet with Anthony's hand in his hair. Anthony makes an appreciative noise - much like he did yesterday - and rolls his hips, pressing himself against Loki’s ass. He’s mouthing at Loki’s neck, one hand sneaking under the god’s shirt to stroke his chest and stomach while the other grasps his hair, both to keep it out of the way and to angle Loki’s head to his satisfaction. Loki gasps when he feels teeth scraping his neck.

“Pity that I can’t leave any marks,” Anthony murmurs, mouth close to Loki’s ear. “They’d look so good on you.”

Loki can't help but agree, but thankfully this is easy enough to set right; he makes his skin a little less resistant with but a thought. His breaths quicken when he realizes that he didn't even hesitate, not sure if he likes what the combination of lust and trust can make him do. What respectable mage makes themselves less vulnerable by choice?

“Try again now,” he says, voice a little rough.

“Wait, did you just -”

“Yes,” Loki says, impatient, hoping that Anthony will distract him from his own thoughts.

Anthony does not disappoint. He lets out a sound that's somewhere between a moan and a growl and pushes Loki onto his back, his mouth on Loki's before Loki can even gasp in surprise. He lets himself be pressed into the mattress and kissed, lets it happen when Anthony straddles him. His weight on top of Loki is delicious. Loki hesitantly reaches up, and only when Anthony doesn't push his hands away Loki puts one of them on the back of his human's neck to pull him closer. Anthony lets him, mouth already traveling down to Loki's throat where he bites and nibbles and sucks until Loki is sure that there will be marks. He likes both the feel and the thought of that.

Anthony's hands push up Loki's shirt and suddenly his mouth isn't on Loki's neck anymore but on his sternum, kissing him there almost too gently. He climbs off and fiddles around with Loki's pants; after a moment Loki lifts his hips so Anthony can simply pull them down.

“Perfect,” Anthony mutters, now kneeling between Loki's now parted legs. His eyes are greedy, but when he lets his hand wander over Loki's hipbones and down to his inner thighs, the touch is soft. “I want to suck you off. Color?”

“Green,” Loki says at once, because really, what kind of question is that?

Anthony smiles and - frustratingly - kisses his way up Loki's body again. Loki wants to touch his hair, but now Anthony does take hold of his wrist and stops him, smiling up at him before he straightens again to kiss Loki. As he does so, he guides both of Loki's hands to the headboard, making him hold onto it.

“Keep them there for me,” he murmurs against Loki's lips, “until I tell you otherwise.”

Loki nods before the order has even fully registered.

“Good boy,” Anthony says and then chuckles, which may have something to do with Loki's blush. It earns Anthony a minor glare, but his smile just widens. 

He ducks his head and bites down on the patch of flushed skin where neck becomes shoulder, hard enough that it actually hurts. Loki can't stifle a startled gasp, let alone keep his keep his hips from bucking up. Anthony makes a sound that is thoroughly smug and not at all surprised.

“That's what you get for glaring at me in my own bed,” he says, just as smugly.

Loki touches his neck and feel the imprints of Anthony's teeth; a little harder and there would have been blood, he thinks. “And you think this will stop me from glaring at you?” He asks, trying to cover up his breathlessness with a challenging tone.

Anthony laughs against Loki's skin and shakes his head. “Nope, but,” he grabs Loki's wrist and brings it up to the headboard again, “maybe this will. Move your hand again and my mouth won't be anywhere near your cock today. Understood?"

Oh.

It doesn't quite keep Loki from glaring, though it's more directed at himself than at Anthony this time. Anthony lifts a brow. Loki nods and looks away, and to his mild surprise Anthony lets him. He just lets go of Loki's hands and slides back on the bed, finally coming to lie on his stomach between Loki's legs. 

He doesn’t waste any time - which doesn’t mean that he’s in a hurry, because he definitely is not. Loki can feel Anthony’s lips on the inside of his thigh, open-mouthed kisses on sensitive skin while calloused fingers wander over Loki’s other thigh. The touches are so light that Loki feels like he has to hold his breath to feel them properly. He is acutely aware of how hard he is, and Anthony’s breath ghosting over skin so close to where Loki’s cock is curving against his stomach already bears some resemblance to torture.

When he finally, finally feels Anthony’s mouth and tongue - Norns, that tongue, it’s almost as clever as Loki’s own - where he wants them most, Loki stifles a moan against his arm, holding onto the headboard even tighter.

Anthony’s nails scrape over his thigh. “Hey. I want to hear everything, got it?”

Loki swallows and nods, then worries then Anthony may not be able to see him from where he’s lying between Loki’s legs. “Yes,” he gets out, breathless, and Anthony chuckles and mutters some more praising words that have Loki digging his heels into the mattress.

Without further ado, Anthony takes him into his mouth, and a part of Loki believes that he’s just found the entrance to Valhalla. The rest of him doesn’t really know what to do with himself - it was easier yesterday, when the roles were reversed, when Loki was between Anthony’s legs rather than the other way around. Loki didn’t have the chance to think then, at least not about unpleasant things, just like he stopped thinking at some point during his punishment. And it’s not like this isn’t good - it very much is -, and maybe he would stop thinking now too if he just let himself, but -

Anthony’s mouth is gone, suddenly, and then he bites down on Loki’s inner thigh, rather hard. Loki hisses, remembering only last second to keep his hands where they are.

“You’re not paying attention,” Anthony says.

“I am,” Loki replies, then winces and amends, “I’m trying to, but -” He cuts himself off. This is ridiculous. He is being ridiculous.

“You want me to do something else?”

Loki lifts his head, finding Anthony looking up at him with a raised brow and concerned eyes. The sight is incredibly distracting, and he needs a moment to form words. “I thought you wanted -”

“I want to make you feel good, and if this doesn't make you feel good, we’ll do something different. Simple as that.”

Loki lets his head fall back again, unable to hold Anthony’s gaze. He squirms a little; the position of his arms is starting to get a bit uncomfortable. “You want -”

“Yup.” Anthony kisses his thigh, the exact spot where Loki can still feel the imprints of his teeth. “You deserve it.”

Loki closes his eyes and takes a breath. “Could you - go on, then?” 

His voice a little smaller than he would like. It annoys him greatly, but he’s distracted by the smile in Anthony’s voice when he says, “Sure.”

And he does go on, and it is a little easier now. It’s splendid, in fact, and Loki loses himself in it a little; in the warm, wet heat and clever swirls of tongue, in the small vibrations whenever Anthony makes a sound, and maybe even in the finger that wanders between Loki’s cheeks as if it has any right to be there.

That’s what does it.

Loki moves his knee without thinking, and then there’s an unpleasant cracking sound and a tirade of curses that make Loki’s blood run cold. He jolts up to look at Anthony, who is pressing a hand to his face and making angry and painful noises.

Well.

Damn.

 

-

 

It takes a moment until the shock wears off.

“Anthony,” Loki manages then, almost stumbling over the word as he comes to kneel in front of his human with his hands hovering in the air between them, unsure what to do. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to -”

He tries to touch him, but Anthony snaps, “Hands off!” and Loki flinches hard, even though Anthony’s voice is muffled by both his hand and the blood dripping from his probably broken nose.

The headboard is too far away now, so Loki puts his hands behind his back, wide eyes still staring at Anthony. He has forgotten how to breathe. Anthony notices it, and the sharp look in his eyes softens.

“Sorry,” he mutters from beneath his fingers, “Sorry, it’s fine, I’m -,” A few droplets of blood hit the bed, “ah, shit.”

“Let me heal you,” Loki blurts out, and before Anthony is even done nodding Loki moves closer to him on his knees. He reaches up and takes Anthony’s hand away from his face, then runs his own fingers over Anthony’s still bleeding nose, as gently as possible. “This may tingle,” he warns, trying to keep the nervousness out of his voice.

Fixing the broken nose doesn’t take more than two seconds and a thought. Loki vanishes the blood with another gesture, then puts his fidgeting hands in his lap. Dread is creeping up his spine, but Anthony doesn’t seem angry anymore. Right now he looks fascinated, touching his nose as if he can’t believe that it is already whole again. He probably can’t.

“That’s really handy,” he says. “Thanks. Hey, you okay?”

Loki stares at him. “I broke your nose,” he says, very slowly.

“It’s fine,” Anthony tells him, then, “Well, it’s not , obviously, because this could’ve gone better, but I’m not mad, that’s what I’m trying to say. We’re going to talk about this, and everything’s going to be alright. Alright?”

No, it is very much not okay, but Loki swallows and nods, avoiding Anthony’s eyes. “I am sorry.”

“Accepted,” Anthony says, his tone gentle, and holds out his hands. “Come here.”

Loki obeys and lets himself be pulled against Anthony’s chest. They end up lying down again, Loki’s face buried in the crook of Anthony’s shoulder. His arousal is pretty much gone now, but this is still nice, and slowly, very slowly, Loki calms down.

 

-

 

“So,” Anthony says later, when they are in the kitchen eating breakfast, “What was it?”

Loki glances at him, then takes a sip of tea. He sat down across from Anthony this time, and was honestly relieved when Anthony didn’t tell him to get on his knees instead. Loki doesn’t reply.

“I’m guessing the finger,” Anthony says. “Am I right?”

Loki nodded.

“Okay. I’m sorry, I should have asked. I just thought it wouldn’t be…” Anthony pauses, and the silence stretches on for a moment. Then he says, “That's a no-go zone, then? Something you absolutely don't want?”

Staring into his tea, Loki shakes his head. “It just caught me off guard. It's not of importance.”

Anthony leans back in his chair, crossing his arms. “You keep doing that.”

Loki gives him a questioning look.

“When I first told you not to lie to me,” Anthony says, “I had kind of bigger things in mind. Things like - no, I wasn't responsible for all water in Oslo turning green and tasting like woodruff, you know, lies like that. But you keep telling me the exact same lie, and it's always that you're fine, that there's nothing wrong, that it's not important. Why do you keep doing that?”

Loki blinks. “You know that the water was my doing?”

“It was green,” Anthony repeats. “Answer my question.”

Loki frowns, shoving his scrambled eggs around on the plate. They were a little burned; Anthony made them while Loki was in the shower. “It's not deliberate,” he says, annoyed. 

“It's a habit we'll get rid off,” Anthony says, then sighs. “Okay, look, it's not like - I mean, I understand. And I've got the same habit, really. But it can't be like that between the two of us, okay? So, I'm going to ask you again, and you're going to give me a honest answer.”

The tone doesn't allow any talking back. Loki doesn't want to meet Anthony's eyes, so he scowls at the countertop instead. “Fine,” he says. His tone is tetchy, but Anthony doesn't comment on it, except for a quirked brow.

Is that something you absolutely don't want?”

Loki glares at him for a second, then looks away again. “I'm not opposed. I just don't… go that far so soon, usually.”

“That far,” Anthony echoes. “Okay, I think here's something that I don't really get, so if you could go a bit more into detail, that'd be great.”

“Where I come from,” Loki says, “well, where I was raised, it would be… a great risk. I only did it with men I could trust to keep silent about it.” He lifts his shoulders. “Or, well, convince to keep silent about it.”

“Okay, I have a feeling I'm not going to like this, but why was that necessary?”

“I told you. Degrading oneself, even for pleasure, isn't something the Aesir encourage. Submitting to another man in this way could easily get me exiled.” He frowns. “Well, I suppose that is not entirely true anymore. Things have changed, and the Aesir have bigger problems than these matters, but -”

“Stop, wait a second,” Anthony interrupts, stern enough that Loki looks at him with widening eyes. “I spend enough time with Thor to know that Asgard has some really outdated opinions on a lot of things, but - I didn't know it was - Is that why you don't want anybody to know? Because they could throw you out for this?”

“I'm not scared they could throw me out.”

Anthony squints at him. “Not sure if that's a lie or not, but okay. So, do I get this right - me fucking you, even with fingers, that would - what, make this even worse?”

“In an Aesir's eyes, yes,” Loki says with a sigh. “Although, what I did yesterday would already be bad enough, I think, given that it's me. They do not know lenience when it comes to me.”

“But you - you enjoyed what we did yesterday, right?”

Loki nods, willing himself not to blush. “I do not really mind these things, Anthony. I'm used to the risk of it. But… a warning would have been appreciated.”

“Okay.” Anthony takes a breath, nodding. “Okay, yes. That's on me. I'm sorry.”

Loki shakes his head. “You couldn't have known.”

“Still.” Anthony reaches over the table to take Loki's hand. “Won't happen again, unless we've talked about it. But, er. Next time I overstep, try to use a safeword instead of, you know, kneeing me in the face.”

“I'll keep it in my mind,” Loki says faintly.

“Also, when you're in Norway again, beat someone for me. Doesn't matter who, just,” Anthony waves his hand, “one of the biggest assholes.”

Loki arches a brow. “Is that an order?”

Anthony opens his mouth, then closes it again. “That's a trap,” he says finally. “Feels like a trap. You just want an excuse for hitting one of them.”

“Actually I would rather not waste my energy on hitting one of them, no matter how satisfying it would be. But if you wanted me to, I would gladly obey, of course.”

“No, it's not an order,” Anthony tells him, reaching for his coffee mug. “Also, don't say things like that at breakfast.”

“Why not?”

“Because it makes me want to have you on your knees,” Anthony says, “and you're not done eating yet.”

Loki considers that for a moment. The spark of power is back, together with satisfaction curling in his chest. He smirks, then pushes his plate over the table to Anthony and slides off his chair. He kneels and plucks an imaginary lint from his pants. Looking up, he finds Anthony staring at him. 

“Well?” Loki asks, only just keeping from smirking. “This is what you wanted, isn't it?”

Anthony blinks, but after a moment he recovers from his mild shock and smiles. “Yeah. You want the rest of your breakfast?”

“Yes, please.”

Shaking his head, Anthony pulls the plate with Loki's scrambled eggs closer to himself. “You'll be an absolute menace,” he declares, sounding like he's looking forward to it.

 

-

 

They spend the next hours on the sofa, going through a list Anthony pulled up on one of his tablets. It's long, and some of the things listed are either disgusting or just not-in-a-good-way weird , but the  better part is… interesting. Many are on the list twice, and Loki is actually surprised that his list doesn’t only consist of receiving, but also of giving. Then again, Anthony did say that he is 'a bit of a switch', whatever that exactly means in practice.

There are two boxes next to every item, one for experience, the other for interest. The first one is easy enough to fill; Loki hasn’t done many of the things on the list. The other box is a little more difficult, but Anthony makes sure that Loki knows what every term means, and then makes him think about it, no matter if that takes three seconds or a handful of minutes. 

“Do you like this one?” Loki asks at some point and Anthony shakes his head in a way that isn't a no, just the denial of an answer.

“We'll compare later,” he promises. “But for now that's not important, okay? I need you to be -”

“Honest with this,” Loki finishes, sighing as he marks ‘tickling’ as uninterested by putting a 1 in the according box. “Yes, so you said, several times. And I am.”

Anthony smiles and puts his arm around Loki, who leans against him more or less reflexively. He frowns at the next item on the list - zapping - and raises a brow at Anthony.

“Electricity,” he explains. “You said -” He pauses when Loki quickly fills in a zero. “Yup, so I thought.”

Loki hums marks ‘ice cubes’ as willing to try. “This is tedious,” he complains.

Anthony hums. “You'll get a reward when you're done.”

Loki looks up from the tablet. “A reward?” He repeats, eyes narrowing.

“Yes. I didn't get to see you come this morning, I'd like to remedy that.”

Loki swallows and turns back to the tablet. “Oh.”

“Would you like that?” Anthony asks. He starts playing with a strand of Loki's hair.

“Yes,” Loki says; there's no point in pretending he wouldn’t. “I just thought -”

Anthony's hand stills, and he sounds mildly worried when he prompts, “Yes?”

Loki stares at the screen of the tablet for a moment. “Can we talk about it when we are done with this?”

There is a pause, but then Anthony says, “Alright,” and continues playing with Loki's hair.

It doesn't take that long until Loki is through with the full list. He immediately thrusts the tablet into Anthony's hand and proceeds to tuck himself properly against his human's side and rest his head on his shoulder. Anthony chuckles and lets him, even pulls him a little closer.

They compare Loki's list with Anthony's first, or rather JARVIS does it for them. Anthony seems pleased and a tad relieved - “I think this will work out well,” he says softly before kissing Loki's temple -, but Loki is mostly just busy inspecting the boxes Anthony ticked off. 

“No water?” He asks, curious.

“Mhhm. Not a fan of showersex. Just don't put water anywhere near my head and we'll be fine.”

“Breathplay?”

“I don't like being on the receiving end. Other way around is fine.”

And no blindfolds, Loki sees, but he doesn't ask about that. He guesses the reasons for that are the similar to those for his dislike of gags. He closes his eyes and turns his face away from the tablet, nuzzling Anthony's neck.

“Are they dead?”

“What?”

“Those who did that to you. Are they dead?”

Anthony takes a breath. “You're too clever.”

“I am just the right amount of clever. And it was not very difficult to figure out.”

“I guess.”

“So?”

“Yeah. I killed them when I escaped.”

Loki frowns. “You are not proud of that.”

“Are you proud of killing people?” Anthony asks, and Loki can tell that his answer will be important.

“I'm proud of surviving,” Loki says, carefully. “And I think you should be, too.”

Anthony hums, but doesn't say anything for a long while. He begins stroking Loki's hair and eventually his fingers wander down to Loki's neck and shoulders, rubbing meaningless patterns into the muscles. With a smile, Loki relaxes into the touch and the attention.

“Tell me, then,” Anthony says after a while, tone quiet. “What was the matter earlier?”

Loki sighs; he kind of hoped that Anthony would forget about it. He would like to lie and say that it was nothing, but Anthony would most definitely notice. 

“I merely don't understand,” he says in the end, dismissive.

“What exactly?”

Loki huffs and shifts a little, feeling uncomfortable. “You said I would get a reward.

“Yes, and you will. So?”

“I broke your nose this morning,” Loki reminds him.

“Ah,” Anthony says and, to Loki's dismay, pulls back so that Loki has to sit up properly. Anthony looks at him, calm and attentive. “You think I'll punish you for that.”

Loki frowns at him. “That sounds like you will not.”

“I didn't plan to, no.”

For a moment, Anthony just watches as Loki tries to make sense of this, but eventually he takes pity on him and says, “I wouldn't punish you if you had safeworded out, either, and this is basically the same thing.”

“So ignoring your call is intolerable, but breaking your nose is fine.”

Anthony laughs and shakes his head. “Not what I said. Break my nose on purpose and you won't like the consequences, you can bet on that. Context is important, honey.” He shrugs and props his elbow up on the backrest of the sofa. “Okay, fine, maybe your reaction was a bit over the top, but  - like I said, I'm not mad. You panicked because of something I did; I won't punish you for that. Unless -”

Loki is still trying to wrap his mind around the concept of context. (Context never really mattered when it came to punishing him, at least not to Odin.) At Anthony's questioning tone he focuses, though, and inclines his head. “Unless?”

Anthony seems to think about it for a moment, Eventually he finishes, “Unless it would make you feel better?”

Loki doesn't know what to make of that. “Better?”

“I don't want you to beat yourself up about it.”

“I am not beating myself up, I -” He stops. He doesn't really know what he is doing, or rather feeling. Just that thinking of this morning makes him feel restless in a way that is achingly familiar. I ruined something; that's a feeling that slipped into his very first pair of boots and followed him around ever since. 

Anthony takes his hand. Turns it, runs his fingers over Loki's palm, rubs the touch into his wrist. “Did you feel bad about ignoring the call? And for the lies?”

Loki frowns slightly, looking down at their hands. “Yes.”

“Why?”

Because he knew that Anthony was angry, perhaps, but more importantly disappointed, and disappointment is so much worse than anger. (Anger fades in time.) Thing is, Loki doesn't know why that would make him feel bad. He is used to disappointment, it doesn't bother him anymore, or at least it shouldn't.

“I'm not sure,” he says, and it's only a half lie.

“Do you still feel bad about that?”

Ah. Understanding what Anthony is getting at, Loki sighs and shakes his head. “No, I do not.”

“Come here,” Anthony says, just that, and Loki moves closer until he's all but sitting in his human's lap. Anthony's hands are on his chest, then come up to each side of his neck, the warm touch holding him still.

Loki waits. Anthony is looking at him, and his slight frown is already dissolving into gentle determination. It's a look that makes Loki's breath catch in his throat. He doesn't know what to do with this - this isn't his decision, he knows, but he can't say why he knows it, can't say why this feels like one of the few truths he could actually be comfortable with, in time. He isn't used to accepting decisions other people made for him. In fact, he always hated that they even tried, because nobody has the right to order him around and expect him to blindly follow. 

Well. Anthony is the exception now, apparently, and only because Loki gave him said right. He knows that he could take it back, he just has to say the word and Anthony would hold up his hands and let him go.

Loki doesn't say anything. He doesn't need to. And, for the first time, silence doesn't feel like a restriction. (Perhaps he has to give more thought to the gags business, but not now. Later.)

“We'll do something in between,” Anthony says softly, thumb stroking over the patch of skin where he could feel Loki's pulse. “Bit of both, yeah?”

Loki nods, helpless. 

“Do you remember what I told you this morning, about your hands and the headboard?”

It takes Loki a moment to figure out what Anthony means. He swallows, but that doesn't help to make his voice less rough when he says, “You said that if I moved them, I wouldn't get your mouth today.”

"That's right," Anthony says, his lips now close enough that Loki can almost taste them. "And did you move them?"

Loki nods.

"And you broke my nose."

"Yes," Loki says, trying to keep his voice even.

Anthony smiles. "Maybe you really don't deserve my mouth today, then," he says. His tone is still gentle, which is simultaneously the best and the worst about this. He pulls back, and when Loki tries to follow after him, wants to kiss him, there is a hand on his chest that pushes him back.

"Maybe not even my hands," Anthony continues. "Not where you'll want them the most, at least. What do you think, is that fair?"

Is that what you need? is what he really asks, Loki can translate it. He nods, even though there is a burning feeling low in his stomach that hasn't yet decided if it wants to be arousal or mortification. 

"Good," Anthony says. "I still want to see you come, though." He cups the back of Loki's neck, pulls him closer again. "And it'll be all for me. I decide when and how, and if at all. Is that clear?"

All at once, the feeling in Loki's stomach decides that it is definitely arousal. It also slithers down a bit, and Loki realizes that he is already half hard.

"Is that clear, Loki?"

"Yes," Loki manages, and Anthony withdraws his hands.

"Stand up," he says.

Loki obeys, but slowly. Not because of hesitation, but because he isn't sure if his legs will hold him. Thankfully, they do. He doesn't know what to do with his hands, so he just keeps them at his sides as he waits for the next order. It comes quickly.

"Strip."

Loki stares at Anthony for a second, at his relaxed posture and the attentive look in darkening eyes. He doesn't expect Loki to disobey. Loki would consider disobeying just to see where it would lead them, but he doesn't have time for that because his hands are already pulling his shirt over his head.

There's something flaring up in Anthony's eyes that makes Loki want to go slower. He isn't shy about this. He knows that he looks good - by Midgardian standards, at least - and he has figured out by now that Anthony finds him attractive. He can see it right now, in the way Anthony's gaze travels over Loki's chest. Being wanted like this is a thrill Loki isn't used to. It makes him lightheaded, and he can't keep his hands from trembling a little as he puts his shirt aside. He can't keep from smirking, either, not when he hooks his thumb under the waistband of his pants to slide them down and sees Anthony's eyes track the tiniest of his movements.

He gets rid of his pants and underwear in one go and puts them to his shirt, then makes a subtle show out of stretching a bit and running a hand through his hair to get it out of his eyes. 

"Stop teasing," Anthony tells him, and there's a laugh hidden somewhere beneath the words. He puts both of his feet on the ground and pats his thigh. "Come here, lie down."

Loki doesn't hesitate. He drapes himself over the sofa, his head resting on Anthony's thigh, feet dangling over the armrest. He tries not to squirm, but now he starts getting a little nervous under Anthony's gaze.

Anthony slips his hands under Loki's head and gathers up his hair, arranging it so that it fans out over his thighs. Loki looks up at Anthony and finds that his eyes are dark and his breaths already a little shallow. 

"You know," Anthony says, "not that I'm complaining, but it's almost unfair how beautiful you are."

Loki snorts and turns his head, trying to hide what is definitely not a blush.

“Stop that.” Anthony spins a strand of Loki’s hair around two of his fingers and pulls - hair pulling, Loki remembers; there were fives next to the word on both of their lists. 

It doesn’t hurt, but Loki still feels it, of course, and he has to bite his tongue to keep from gasping. Anthony tugs until Loki is looking at him again.

“Eyes on me,” he says then, with a smirk. “I like seeing you blush.”

Said blush intensifies, and Loki glares. Anthony doesn’t seem impressed.

“Does this hurt?” he asks, tugging at Loki’s hair again. Loki shakes his head. “Would you like it to?”

Loki takes a quivering breath, and nods.

“Then shift.”

Loki does - convincing his body to feel a little more pain gets easier every time, and that both thrills and embarrasses him. The slight burn he feels now is worth it, though, and he can’t keep the gasp inside anymore. Anthony seems incredibly pleased; the expression on his face is so adoring and possessive that Loki can barely stand to look at it. But he doesn’t look away, solely because Anthony told him not to.

“Yes,” Anthony says softly. “Perfect.” 

He puts his hand on Loki’s chest - doesn’t move it, doesn’t do anything, just keeps it there and lets Loki feel the warmth of it. Loki’s own hands are still at his sides, both searching for purchase on the leather sofa. He still doesn’t know what to do with them. Which is not entirely true, because of course he knows what to do with them, but he doesn’t do it. Not yet.

“Look at you,” Anthony murmurs, eyes flickering down to where Loki’s cock rests on his stomach. “So hard already. I bet you’re aching for me to touch you, hm?”

He obviously expects an answer, but it takes a moment until Loki manages a quiet “yes”.

“It’s a pity that I won’t.” Anthony’s hand wanders lower, calloused fingers stroking over Loki’s stomach and making him hold his breath. “I’d love to.”

Loki squirms and presses his hands into the leather. He regrets broaching the topic of punishment immensely, what the Hel got into him there?  “Anthony -”

“Shh,” Anthony interrupts, hand coming up to cup Loki’s face. “Not a word from now on. You basically asked for this, Loki, and I decided you’ll be denied. I won’t reconsider.”

Loki presses his lips together, frustrated that Anthony knows that Loki wanted to try to make him reconsider. He knows he could do it - just a few words could already be enough, he could promise so many things in return. Anthony wants to touch him, it wouldn’t be difficult to get him to do it. If he didn't know, that is. Manipulating someone who knows that he is being manipulated is much more difficult.

“I could still deny you completely,” Anthony says, tone even. His thumb brushes Loki’s lips. “Leave you just like this, the whole day. I could make you beg if I wanted. You know that.”

And here it is, the truth - Loki does. He knows, they both do, that his words aren’t the only ones that hold power. If Anthony wants him to beg, Loki will, whether it would take a few minutes or several hours. The knowledge makes it impossible to suppress a sound that’s both excited and frustrated, and Loki tries to turn his face into Anthony’s hand, hide it against his palm. Anthony tugs at his hair again.

“Eyes on me,” he repeats, and Loki opens his eyes and looks at him. 

He doesn’t know what to do with himself, what to think of his own thoughts. They feel scattered, pointless, maybe he would panic if Anthony’s hand wasn’t there to ground him.

“It’s alright,” Anthony tells him, softly. “We won’t do that today. I want you to touch yourself for me.” He smiles. “But you already figured that out, didn’t you?”

Of course Loki did, he isn’t stupid. He nods.

The smile widens. “You didn’t make a move yet,” Anthony notes, his tone almost casual. “Do you know why?”

Loki doesn’t muster a reply, not even a nod. He just stares up at Anthony, feeling the heat in his face seep down to his throat and chest. He can’t even try to think clearly anymore.

“You’re waiting for permission,” Anthony helps him out, sounding so pleased that Loki’s heartbeat quickens. “Waiting for me to tell you what to do. You’re being so patient, Loki. So good for me.” He pulls his hand back, and Loki already mourns the loss of the touch, but then Anthony says, “Give me your hand.”

Loki does so without hesitation and lets Anthony take hold of his wrist. He then proceeds to run his tongue over Loki’s palm a few times, as if that is an ordinary thing to do, as if it doesn’t make Loki’s blood turn into liquid heat. His breath stutters audibly; he has to put this on his list of things he probably isn’t supposed to find arousing. He will need a whole folder long before Anthony is done with him.

“Go ahead, then,” Anthony says with a knowing smirk. 

Loki doesn’t even manage to glare at him before he obeys, a strangled groan falling from his lips when he wraps his fingers around the base of his cock. Hel, that feels good, it doesn’t have any right to feel this good. It’s just his own hand, nothing he hasn’t felt or done before, so Loki should be able to control himself. He isn’t, though, and also already too far gone to care.

“Start stroking,” Anthony tells him. He sounds amused. “But slowly. We don’t want this to be over too quickly, right?”

Loki agrees with a soft whimper, squeezing his eyes shut and then opening them again because he isn’t allowed to look away. He stares up at Anthony, whose eyes are fixed on Loki’s hand. It has started moving, and Loki can barely keep himself from bucking into it, just making a fist and fucking it until he comes. But that doesn’t seem to be what Anthony wants so Loki keeps his strokes slow and measured, massaging that spot right beneath the tip just when he doesn’t manage to control his trembling fingers.

“I want to see what you do when you’re alone,” Anthony says, his voice rough. He meets Loki’s eyes again. “I want it to be mine.

Loki curses, and Anthony grins.

“Was that Asgardian?”

Loki gives a few rapid nods, his hand speeding up. 

Anthony’s nails scrape over Loki’s stomach. “Not a word, I said. Stop.”

The order needs a few seconds to register, but as soon as it does Loki forces his hand to stop, biting his lip to keep a desperate moan inside. Anthony echoes it with a quieter sound of his own, his grip on Loki’s hair tightening even as the touch of his other hand on Loki’s chest becomes gentler.

“See?” Anthony says, breathless. “You stopped, just like that. For me. To please me.”

Loki has to take a few breaths, but then he nods again.

“Mine,” Anthony repeats, and Loki wants to hear it again. He wants to hear it a million times more.

Anthony’s hand find one of Loki’s nipple, and the pain when he twists it between two fingers makes Loki’s back arch. He thinks he hears Anthony chuckle, but he isn’t sure anymore. He has lost his focus, and at the same time he is too aware of everything, especially of the arousal that is dripping through his veins, making his cock ache and his hands shake.

“You can go on,” Anthony tells him. “Show me. Do you use your other hand?”

Another nod, and Loki’s other hand is already moving. He shifts, spreads his legs - lets out a frustrated noise, the sofa is too small for him - and cups his balls. He starts stroking again, too, and flicks his thumb over the head, searching for the places he likes the most. It’s a little too dry, but that hardly matters at this point.

“Yes, that's it,” Anthony mutters. "Just like that, perfect."

Other praises follow and Loki is positively drunk on them. They are the only thing he hears when the feeling low in his belly starts to clench and tighten, when his hips start thrusting up, when Anthony takes hold of his chin and tells him to look at him, sharply.

Loki does.

“You’re close,” Anthony states, and Loki nods. “Do you want to come? Get yourself off for me?”

It’s the last part that does it, the for me; Loki comes. He can’t keep his eyes open anymore, but Anthony doesn’t reprimand him, he just strokes his chest and waits until Loki is done spilling all over his hand and stomach. He also doesn’t stop Loki from rolling onto his side and hiding his face against Anthony’s hip, which Loki is thankful for. His head is blank, and he feels blissfully pliant. Just enjoying this - Anthony’s hand in his hair, the other stroking over his back - is easy, at least for a while. Eventually he starts feeling a bit sticky and squirms a bit, causing Anthony to speak up.

“You okay?”

Loki isn’t entirely sure. His voice is not more than a raspy whisper. “I made a mess.”

“I can get something to clean you up?”

Loki is about to say that he can use magic for that, but then he changes his mind and nods. He regrets the decision a second later, because obviously he has to move for Anthony to get up. Anthony just chuckles in reaction to Loki’s reluctant grumble and gets him to move.

“I’ll be right back,” he says, and his steps are quick when he walks away.

Loki sighs and sprawls out on the sofa, trying not to fall asleep. It doesn’t take long until Anthony comes back and crouches next to Loki. He begins to clean him, and Loki just lets it happen, keeping his eyes closed and starting to enjoy himself immensely.

Anthony sighs. “You’re already spoiled, aren’t you?”

“Not my fault,” Loki mumbles, turning toward the touch when Anthony strokes his hair.

Anthony snorts and pokes his side. “Make room, Crookshanks. Other people want to sit on the sofa, too.”

Loki pouts, but he does sit up so Anthony can make himself comfortable next to him. Then, Loki puts his head on his human’s lap again and looks up at him, pleadingly enough that Anthony starts playing with his hair after just a few seconds.

“How was that?” Anthony asks, his tone gentle.

“Do we have to talk about it?”

“That’s part of the package, yeah.”

Loki huffs, and Anthony tugs at his hair. Loki gets the message. “Good,” he says, a little reluctantly. “I liked it. But you know that.”

“I like to hear it,” Anthony says. After a pause he adds, “You were a bit fast there at the end.”

It doesn’t sound like a complaint, not at all, but Loki still tenses up a bit. “You wanted me to hold out longer,” he says slowly, but before the fear of having messed up can settle down between his ribs properly, Anthony shakes his head and takes Loki’s hand.

“I didn’t expect you to,” he says, smiling. “You already held out longer than I thought you would. I thought you’d put up a bit more… resistance.” He kisses Loki’s wrist. “But you listened so well. You’re fucking brilliant.”

Loki swallows thickly. The look in Anthony’s eyes makes him sit up and then turn to look at Anthony properly. “What about you?”

Anthony inclines his head. “I loved it. Definitely one of the -”

“No,” Loki cuts him off. “I mean - do you not want me to…?”

Understanding flickers up in Anthony’s eyes. He shrugs. “It’s fine.”

Loki shakes his head. “I shouldn’t have forgotten about that,” he says. “That was… inconsiderate. I’m -”

“It’s fine, Loki.” Anthony takes Loki’s face into his hands and kisses him, just briefly. “Really. This wasn’t about me.”

Loki frowns at him. He doesn’t agree - Anthony is already becoming the center of everything Loki knows, how can he say something like that? Hesitantly, Loki reaches out to touch him. Anthony lets him take his hands, watching as Loki kisses the knuckles. Loki keeps his eyes cast down.

“I want to,” he says softly and adds, because Loki doesn’t do things half-heartedly, “please.”

Anthony stares at him for a moment, then slowly raises his brows. “Are you trying to manipulate me into, what? Letting you get me off?”

“I am not manipulating you, but that would be a welcome development, yes.”

“Okay, listen,” Anthony says, putting his hand on the back of Loki’s neck to pull him closer, with just the right amount of roughness. Anthony’s eyes are dark again. “Don’t play-act. Give me the real thing, or nothing. Do you want to suck my cock?”

Loki’s breath hitches. “Yes.”

“Ask me again.”

Loki glares, and realizes too late that that’s exactly what Anthony wants. 

Anthony grins, his other hand stroking Loki’s cheek. “Yes,” he breathes. “That’s it. Come on, ask. You want to. And look me in the eyes, this time.”

“I thought you wouldn’t make me beg today,” Loki snaps, and immediately there is a hand in his hair again, its grip tight enough that it burns.

“You started it,” Anthony reminds him. “Pretend to beg and I’ll make you beg properly, every time. Understood?”

“Yes,” Loki says.

Twenty-eight minutes later, Loki is indeed begging, and thirty minutes later he’s on his knees.

 

-

 

Loki wakes up in the late evening. Anthony is still right next to him, exactly where he was when Loki fell asleep. He’s reading something on a tablet, but he notices it as soon as Loki moves.

“Hello there. You alright?” He sounds concerned.

Loki nods. He is still tired and several parts of his body hurt - his throat and ass being the most prominent - but he feels good , all in all.

Anthony doesn’t seem convinced. He sets his tablet aside and watches as Loki sits up. Loki blinks at him. “Is something wrong?”

Norns, his voice is rough. And his throat really does hurt. Maybe he should remember to shift back into something less vulnerable before swallowing Anthony down next time. And sitting would be a lot more comfortable if he hadn't been spanked just a few hours ago, too. Then again, the pain is not… unpleasant. Loki doesn’t want to heal himself just yet.

“No,” Anthony says, careful. “I’m just concerned that it was… I don’t know, a bit too much? Today?”

“Too much?” Loki echoes.

“I don’t usually… I mean. We didn’t even make a real pause, and I didn’t let you recover properly before putting you under again. It’s just that you’re still new, and I don’t want to push you too far to soon. I’m kind of waiting for -”

“I’m fine,” Loki says, rubbing his eyes. “Stop fussing. Can we get something to eat?”

“Oh. Yeah, sure. Whatever you want.”

So they order something to eat, and then spend the rest of the evening watching ridiculous cartoons. It's more than pleasant, and maybe Loki enjoys Anthony's concern a little too much. But it's nice, knowing that someone worries about him. Also Loki likes being spoiled, so he takes the back rubs and scalp scratches and gentle kisses - and if he thought he felt well after waking up earlier, that was nothing against how he feels when they crawl into Anthony's bed not long after midnight.

In the morning, he is woken up by the most annoying sound of all annoying sounds. His first reaction is wanting to press closer against Anthony and just ignore it, but then Loki recalls that his brother is an idiot who will probably plunge the already fragile remains of Asgard into ruin without Loki keeping him from doing so. Norns, Loki has been gone for four days now. Maybe New Asgard is already on fire.

He groans, disentangles his limbs from Anthony's and gets out of bed. His phone has stopped ringing, but it starts again just a second before he enters his bedroom. He picks it up from the nightstand.

“Yes?”

“Good morning," Thor greets him. “Please don't be mad.”

Loki narrows his eyes. "What did you do?”

"I didn’t do anything.”

“Thor.”

“Well, I kind of lost - okay, no, I didn't lose them, they just aren't here anymore, and now the police called.”

“The police called.”

“Yes, because some of our people caused trouble in a bar in Kautokeino - I spoke to Agni, she said she challenged a human but he -”

“Kautokeino? That's in the north! How did they even get there?”

“Good question,” Thor says. “I am not sure. But Fundinn got lost on the way, and we don't know where he is.”

Loki pinches the bridge of his nose. Breathes in. And out. 

“Alright,” he says then. "Don’t do anything. I will be there in ten minutes.”

He doesn't give Thor a chance to answer. He picks up and turns to find Anthony standing in the doorway. His hair is a mess, but he looks very awake, and very worried.

“What's wrong?”

“Thor,” Loki says.

“Ah.” A crooked smile. “Yeah, that explains it.”

Loki looks at him, and realizes with sudden force that he does not want to leave. He swallows. “I have to go,” he says.

“That's okay. You can come back. Whenever you want.”

Loki's shoulders sag a little with relief. He nods and looks for his bag. He drops it on the bed and throws some of his things into it. 

“Can I?” Anthony asks, and Loki looks up to see him standing in front of the closet. He nods, and Anthony opens the door and looks at the clothes. “You can leave them here if you want.”

“Oh. Yes, fine.”

“Come here.”

Loki goes. 

“Take off your clothes,” Anthony says, and Loki does. He puts his sleep clothes on the bed.

Anthony hands him one piece of clothing after the other. A shirt, slacks, even underwear and socks. Loki silently puts them on. Anthony pushes his hands away when they want to close the buttons of the shirt, and does it himself.

“Do you want a jacket?” He asks, his hands still on Loki's chest. “A tie?”

Loki looks at him. "Do you?"

Anthony smirks and turns back to the closet. He procures a suit jacket, and Loki turns and lets Anthony help him into it. Anthony fiddles around with the sleeves until he's satisfied with them, then runs a hand through Loki's hair.

“Could need a comb,” he says.

Loki inclines his head, and a second later his hair isn't messy anymore. Anthony hums and adjusts the lapel of Loki's jacket, slips his hands beneath it. They feel warm on Loki's side.

“Don't forget the shoes,” Anthony says. 

Loki uses magic for that, too.

Anthony smiles up at him. “Perfect. Call me tonight, when you sorted out whatever is going on there.”

“I will,” Loki says, and Anthony stretches to kiss him.

No, Loki really doesn't want to leave. But he does, after a few minutes. His phone disappears from the nightstand, but that is the only thing he takes with him. 

Well, the phone and the clothes Anthony chose for him.

 

-

 

In the evening, after both the police officers’ irritation and Agni’s wounded pride have been soothed, after Fundinn has been found and the car they stole returned, after Loki has almost (only almost!) drowned his brother in the nearest lake (Loki likes Norway because there is always a lake or some other waters near enough to drown someone in), Loki can finally retreat to his room and call Anthony.

He picks up after the second ring.

“I am going to kill someone,” Loki greets him.

“Okay,” Anthony says. “I think I wouldn't get around punishing you for that, but at least I could get you a good lawyer.”

“I don't need a lawyer, I need a knife.”

“Huh. And who exactly do you want to stab?”

“Stupidity.”

“Yeah, okay, that's fair.”

“I'm glad you agree.”

“Tell me what happened,” Anthony says, and Loki doesn't stop talking for half an hour. 

 

-

 

“They cannot even drive,” he says, nearing the end of his tirade. “They crashed the car - twice! - but somehow got it to bring them all the way up to Kautokeino. They crossed not only Sweden's borders on the way, but also Finland's, even though they know that they are not allowed to leave our territory, let alone Norway. It's all over the news, of course - barbarians that cannot go anywhere without picking a fight. I have been trying to make them see us as something else for months, and now I can start all over again. Thor understands, but he is not good at these sort of things. It's upon me to appease both countries, the public and the woman whose car they stole. We need to pay the reperature. And the bar! The bar is in shambles , and naturally the owner demands we account for the damage, and naturally not a single Aesir gets how these things work.”

“You don't have the money,” Anthony says.

“No, we do not.”

The Aesir are a poor people now - fugitives who haven't yet gotten a foothold in a world where everything is different, where combat and honor doesn't matter all too much anymore. And Loki can't just make a whole nation think the way he does. They will learn, in time, but the Aesir are slow learners. They have been here for months and the progress they have made is minimal.

“Give me the names,” Anthony says. “And the bank data and everything. I'll take care of it.”

Pulled out of his thoughts, Loki frowns. “I did not tell you this to get you to -”

"I know. Text me the stuff. You know what, I'll ask Pepper to take care of it - she's good at these things.”

Loki closes his eyes, and lets out a breath. “Thank you. I can try to -”

“I want nothing in return. Not from you and not from your people, okay?”

Loki's mouth twitches into a smile. “They are not my people.”

“No? Then why does Thor call you when shit's going down?”

“Well.”

“Yes, well.” Anthony us smiling, too; Loki can hear it. “What about that integration program? Sounds like it's really necessary.”

“It is,” Loki agrees. It's another thing he has been working on - the Aesir need work, whether they like it or not, but they have not a single clue how humanity works. They need to be taught everything from social rules to tax systems. “But the Aesir are still not fond of that idea. The only time we tried it was a disaster.”

“Yeah,” Tony says, pensive. “I wouldn't let doms do the job, I think.”

“I was explicitly told that only doms would be suited,” Loki replies, a touch bitterly. (Some humans tend to speak down to him when they talk to him for the first time, nowadays. He mostly always manages to convince them that speaking up to him is more appropriate, but it's still annoying.)

“Yup, I think that's bullshit. The Aesir are all a bit… dom-y, you know. I don't think they even have subs, at least not like we do. Doms don't like being told what to do, especially not by other doms.” He snorts. “But place some polite subs in front of them, and they'll eat out of their hands in no time.”

Loki sits up. “They probably wouldn't feel threatened, at least.”

“Nope. Just let them think that they're in charge, then they won't have a reason to act up.”

Loki gives a hum in response, but otherwise stays silent. He will give more thought to this later, he has to think about something else right now.

“Loki? You still there?”

Staring at his knees, Loki nods, and remembers only after a second that Anthony can't see that. He takes a breath. “You know, then.”

"What exactly?"

"That I am not an Aesir."

"Oh," Anthony says. "Yes. Thor mentioned it at some point. Ages ago."

Loki keeps staring at his knees. "Do you… mind?"

There is a pause. "You know, I…" Anthony says then, hesitant. "I don't really care? I mean, not that it doesn't matter , of course it does. But it also doesn't. You know? Am I making sense? I don't feel like I'm making sense."

Loki is already smiling. "I understand."

"Okay. Great. So, uh. What are you wearing?"

 

-

 

"Call me tomorrow," Anthony says, just seconds before they hang up.

"I will," Loki replies.

He doesn't keep his promise.

He is too busy the whole day; busy informing Fundinn that he cannot keep stealing cars just because he misses his horse, busy convincing the rest of the Aesir that they will be integrated into humanity whether they like it or not, busy calling several people and getting them to do exactly what he wants.

His phone rings once in the evening, but he doesn't hear it, and when he finally gets a quiet moment, he is tired and grumpy and not in the mood to be looked at or talked to, so he hides in his room and tries to sleep. When he wakes up, he feels even more tired, even more irritated, but there are more calls to make and mails to answer, so he does just that and then goes to explain to the Valkyrie why she can't raid every alcohol shop in southern Norway. He leaves two messages unanswered: You okay? and Call me when you have time.

Three more days pass in a very similar way. A week. He leaves many more texts unanswered, and ignores several calls. Then, one evening, it isn't Loki's phone that rings; it's Thor's.

It's just a coincidence that Loki is in the same room; they don't spend the evenings together often. Thor fiddles around with his phone for a while until he manages to take the call, and Loki's ears are good enough that he hears and recognizes the voice on the other end of the line. And, sure enough -

"Er, Loki? Tony wants to speak with you."

Loki stares at Thor blankly for a few seconds, then manages a nod. Thor hands him the phone, but Loki doesn't lift do anything but hold it. Seeming concerned, Thor shuffles around a bit, but after a moment he stands up and leaves Loki alone. (Contrary to popular belief, Thor is anything but stupid, and he has gotten very good at telling when Loki needs privacy. And since that is one of the few things Thor can actually give his brother, he does just that.)

Loki lifts the phone to his ear. "Yes."

"Are you okay?" Is the first thing Anthony asks. His voice is even, but it's an icy sort of calmness. Loki feels the hairs on his arms and neck stand on end.

"Yes," he lies.

"Did something happen?"

"No," Loki says, slowly. He recognizes the iciness as hidden anger. "Just the usual problems." Realizing that that might not have been a good thing to say, he adds, "I have been trying to set up the integration program, but the -"

"I don't really care right now, Loki," Anthony interrupts him. "You will come here as soon as you have time. I expect you to tell me beforehand, and if you need more time than a week, you will text me. Do you understand?"

Loki clenches his jaw. "Yes."

"Good," Anthony says, and ends the call.

 

-

 

Twenty minutes later, Thor finds him sitting on the same spot, still holding the phone. Loki wordlessly hands it over, and Thor sets it aside.

"Are you alright?" He asks, his tone careful.

Loki can't decide whether a grin or a snarl is an appropriate reaction, so he just frowns and lifts one shoulder.

"You can leave if you want," Thor says. "I'll manage on my own, for a while."

"Just as well as you managed a week ago?"

"Patience, brother," Thor says with a crooked smile, "I'm still learning." He nudges Loki's arm. "I mean it, you can go. Work on your project."

"Tomorrow," Loki replies, and Thor nods.

(Contrary to popular belief, Thor isn't stupid. He has seen the look on his brother's face when somebody mentions Tony Stark.)

 

-

 

Loki teleports into the hallway of the penthouse, but Anthony isn't there to greet him. He looks for him in the living room, but doesn't find him there, either.

“In the workshop, Loki,” JARVIS finally helps him out. “He is waiting for you.”

So Loki straightens his back and goes down to the workshop, where Anthony is indeed waiting. Or, well, it looks more like he is simply working, actually. He lifts his head and looks at Loki when he enters, but only for a second before he turns back to his project. Loki stills.

“Come here,” Anthony says and, like every time before, Loki walks over to him.

He stops next to Anthony's desk. Finally, Anthony sets down his tool and turns on his chair, wiping his hands with a cloth that lay around on his worktable. He looks up at Loki, shouldn't be at all intimidating with his tired eyes and stained clothes. Loki has to resist the urge to duck his head.

“Do you have any idea how worried I was?” Anthony asks. Slowly, as if he has trouble keeping himself in check.

Loki looks down at the floor between them, his teeth clenched.

“At first I thought you’re just too busy saving the day. Then I thought your people cut off your head in some sort of revolutionary act, which - ridiculous, I know, but I really thought that. And now -” He snorts, shaking his head, and tosses the cloth away again. “Now I just think you ignored me this past week for shits and giggles.”

No , I -”

“If you don't want this,” Anthony interrupts him, speaking with that same sort of cold calmness that makes Loki want to drop to his knees and apologize, “if you don't want me, then tell me. Right now.”

Loki digs his nails into his palms, but he doesn't look up, and he doesn't say anything. Almost a minute passes like that.

“This is not something you can use when you feel like it and then throw away. If that's all you want - a bit of relief every few weeks, some sort of - of casual guidance or whatever, that's - then that's fine, Loki. Some subs do that, some doms do that, there's nothing wrong with it, but this - you and me, it won't work. I'm not - I can't do that. I can't give you that.”

Loki finally manages to raise his head. The look in Anthony's eyes is angry, desperate, hurt, and Loki realizes what he has done. He doesn't want this, he doesn't want Anthony to look at him like that, he didn't mean for this to happen. His chest tightens and his legs give way beneath him. He falls to his knees, feels just a little better, still can't breathe properly. His hands are in his lap, he can't keep them from fidgeting.

“That's not it,” he gets out. “I swear it. I swear -”

Anthony is suddenly right in front of him, also on his knees. He takes Loki's hands - he does manage to keep them from fidgeting - and strokes his fingers, his knuckles, the imprints Loki's nails left in his palms. Loki can’t look at him, but Anthony makes him look at him by cupping his face and lifting it. Loki still tries to look away - he can’t stand Anthony’s eyes, not like this, they’re too much - and after a moment Anthony gives it up with a sigh. He tugs at Loki, lets him hide his face against his shoulder, wraps his arms around him. Loki tries to keep breathing, but that’s about all he does. For quite a while.

“I’m sorry,” Anthony murmurs after who knows how long, “I’m sorry, I didn’t want to be too harsh. But you - you have to tell me what you want. I can’t read your mind.”

Loki turns his face and presses his nose into Anthony’s neck. He can’t think straight. “I want to keep you,” he whispers, because that is the only thing he is entirely sure of. A second later he adds (corrects), “I want you to keep me.”

“Loki,” Anthony says, gentle enough that Loki starts feeling a little better. “I am keeping you. As long as you want to stay with me, I’m not letting you go. You can bet on that.” He pulls back a bit and makes Loki look up again. Anthony’s eyes are softer now. “Okay?”

There are a dozen what if’s crossing Loki’s mind - what if you don’t want me anymore? What if you die? What if -, but he doesn’t voice any of them. He can tell that Anthony believes what he says and for now, that is enough. Loki nods.

“Okay,” Anthony repeats. “So. There are two things we have to do. We’re going to talk about this, and I’m going to punish you. You can choose what we do first.”

Loki averts his eyes again. It’s not a difficult decision. It will be another spanking, probably, or something similar - and given that his first punishment wasn’t unpleasant through and through, Loki would rather endure that right now. Conversations can be much more bothersome than physical pain, as far as he is concerned. 

“Punishment first,” he decides quietly. 

“Good,” Anthony says. He kisses Loki’s forehead. “To make this clear, I’m not punishing you because you were busy with kingly stuff. I understand that that’s more important than texting me back every ten minutes. And it’s also not because you’re hurting, which you are, don’t even try to convince me otherwise. This is for ignoring me and letting me worry for a whole week. Understood?” Loki nods, and Anthony stands up and goes back to his desk. “Dum-E?”

The robot rolls over to Loki, who eyes him warily. But Dum-E just tugs at his sleeve, very carefully, until Loki stands up and lets himself be pulled to the small kitchen nook of the workshop. Dum-E lets go of him, then, and beeps a few times, sounding almost sympathetic. Loki stares at what is obviously supposed to be his punishment for a moment, then turns back to Anthony.

“You can’t be serious.”

“Shh,” Anthony replies, not even looking over to him. He’s already hunched over his work table again.

“But -”

“Do you really think talking back to me is a good idea right now?” Anthony cuts him off. Loki glares at him across the room, and after a few seconds Anthony says, “Thought so. Now, the earlier you start, the earlier you’re done.”

Pressing his lips together, Loki turns back to the kitchen. Dum-E inclines his head and beeps again. Loki glares at him, too, because this is obviously the robot’s fault. Or maybe Anthony allowed him to let the mixer explode and make a mess of the whole kitchen just so Loki can clean it up now, who knows.

Loki looks back over his shoulder. “I would prefer a spanking.”

“I would prefer silence,” Anthony counters, his tone absent.

Loki huffs and crosses his arms. He just has to stand here long enough, eventually Anthony will understand that this is absolutely ridiculous. Loki will not clean anything. Especially not dirty kitchen tiles.

Two hours later, he rolls up his sleeves and gets to work.

 

-

 

“I’m done,” Loki says, far too much time later (cleaning is so horribly time-consuming), and Anthony stops working immediately.

He leads Loki upstairs and makes him tea and something to eat. He lets him keep glaring for a while, too, but eventually he starts stroking Loki’s hair and massaging his tensed up neck and shoulders, and Loki can’t help but melt into it. He feels better now, mostly because Anthony doesn’t seem mad anymore. Which is the whole point of these punishments, Loki supposes - do something wrong, bear the consequences, then be finished with it. It is… an oddly relieving concept.

He still would have preferred a spanking, though, and he tells Anthony so.

“You’d have enjoyed that too much,” he replies, chuckling. 

Loki frowns and tries to look up at his lover (because that is also what he is, yes?), which is a bit difficult since Loki’s head is still resting on Anthony’s shoulder. “So there will only be punishments like that from now an?”

“You really hated that, didn’t you?”

“I am a prince.”

“Sure.” Anthony pats Loki’s shoulder. “And, no. There’ll be more spankings like that first one, don’t worry.”

Loki huffs. “Don’t sound so smug.”

“I’ll sound as smug as I want, thanks. Anyway, we’ll try some tools out, too. See if you like them or not. I just didn’t want something like that for today.”

Loki just gives an acknowledging hum in response. It’s silent for a while, then he asks, “Did you really think I died?”

Anthony shifts a little; he’s uncomfortable. “I was worried,” he answers. “That’s what I do, I worry.”

“I don’t die that easily. You should know that by now.”

“Yes, that part was just me being dramatic. But still.” Anthony buries his nose in Loki’s hair. “I need to know that you’re safe. And - if you’re hurting because of something, anything, you can… tell me, always. Same goes for if you messed up, or if I messed up and you’re angry with me. Tell me what’s going on so I can try to fix it, then I’ll always freak out less than when you just ignore me.”

He cares.  

That is what Loki thinks now, and it hits him with such strength that he momentarily forgets how to breathe. He knew that, sort of - because of course Anthony cares. It’s been obvious. But hearing him sound like this now is different than knowing it in theory.

“I’m fine now,” Loki murmurs, turning a little so he can wrap his arm around Anthony’s middle. He isn’t entirely sure if it’s a lie, so he adds, “I think.”

“Why didn’t you call?” Anthony asks, still gentle. “If it was something I did -”

“It wasn’t. You did nothing wrong.”

“What was wrong, then?”

Loki sighs and buries his face against Anthony’s shoulders. He isn’t certain. It is a little clearer now, in hindsight. The shock and the shame, the returning reluctance. The restless nights. “It is… difficult,” he says in the end, his voice barely audible. “When you’re not there. I felt like… if I just didn’t talk to you, I could pretend that… nothing happened.” He realizes how that sounds, so he lifts his head and adds, “But I did not want that, not truly. I wanted to talk to you.”

“Why didn’t you?” Anthony asks again, returning Loki’s gaze with not the slightest hint of judgement in his eyes.

Loki lifts his shoulders and hides his face again. Being honest is easier like that. “You disarm me,” he admits hesitantly. “It frightens me.”

“Loki,” Anthony says, very softly.

“It is alright, like this. But when you aren’t there, I…” He takes a breath and closes his eyes, presses closer to Anthony. “I get lost again.”

Anthony makes a distressed noise and wraps Loki up in his arms, holding him as close as even possible. Loki blinks, a little surprised, but lets it happen. It’s on him to stroke Anthony’s hair now, to offer comfort, and honestly it is rather nice to know that it works the other way around, too.

“I didn’t mean to upset you,” he says quietly.

“I’m not upset,” Anthony says, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have let you go. After those few days, I shouldn’t have left you to deal with that on your own. I knew that this could happen, but -”

“It’s not your fault. You tried to look after me, I didn’t let you.”

Anthony pulls back so they can look at each other. “Still,” he says. He seems pensive, and after a moment he sighs. “This can’t happen every time you have to go away. I feel like - maybe we just shouldn’t be apart for so long, at least not in the beginning. What do you think?”

Loki rests his forehead against Anthony’s, closing his eyes. “I already don’t want to leave again.”

“Okay.” Anthony strokes Loki’s back. “Okay. So. Either I’ll come with you - we can do that every few weeks, maybe, otherwise the Aesir will probably get suspicious, huh?”

Loki opens his eyes again. “Probably. Though I think that Thor already suspects something.”

Anthony stares at him. “Oh. That’s… not good? You don’t sound bothered, is it not good?”

Loki shrugs. “I think he has known for some time now. Not about us, onlly about my,” he searches for a word for a moment, “preferences.”

“He does know that I’m a dom though, right?”

“I am not sure if he has connected the dots yet.”

“Okay,” Anthony says, biting his lip in thought. “Well, if you want me to talk to him at any point, I can -”

“I’d rather you do not talk to him at all,” Loki hurries to say. “Not about me, at least.”

“Then I won’t.” Anthony makes a pause, then adds, “We can’t keep this a secret forever, though.”

Loki nods. He knows that, of course he does - he has seen too many human couples in public not to know. 

“We’ll take care of that at some point,” Anthony says, his tone soothing. “But we should take care of ourselves first, right?” It earns him a smile. “So. I think I have an idea.”

 

-

 

The next morning, Loki is back in Norway. In the late evening, he returns to New York.

“See?” Anthony, who is waiting for him in the hallway this time, greets him with a grin. “It’s just like coming home from work. I feel like a househusband. I don’t have dinner ready, though.”

“I already ate,” Loki says, smiling. “And didn’t you have a meeting today, too?”

“As if I go to meetings,” Anthony replies as he walks up to Loki. 

He grabs Loki’s tie and pulls him down, and Loki notices that Anthony’s eyes are already dark. He swallows. Anthony doesn’t kiss him yet, but Loki can feel his lover’s breath on his own lips.

“You look too good in this suit,” Anthony says. His tone makes Loki shiver. “Take it off.”

Loki’s hands move on their own. He shrugs off his jacket and then begins opening the buttons of his shirt. His fingers tremble a little too much, but he manages, and soon enough the shirt is on the floor as well. Anthony doesn’t let him loosen the tie, so Loki slips out of his shoes and opens his belt. That’s when Anthony’s other hand travels down, following Loki’s treasure trail. Loki’s breaths become shallow. Anthony gives him a sharp smile as he opens the pants and slides his hand inside, palming Loki’s hardening cock through his underwear. Loki moans and leans in for a kiss, but Anthony’s hand on his chest pushes him back. 

“Ah,” Anthony says, grinning now. “Later. He rubs Loki’s cock, his touch firm, confident. Possessive. “Take a shower. Keep the tie on.”

“The water will ruin it,” Loki says, frowning.

“Do I look like I care?” Anthony’s hand comes to rest on Loki’s nape. “I’ll buy you a dozen new ones if you want.”

Loki nods. He will take Anthony up on that.

“Touch yourself and you won’t sleep in my bed tonight. Understood?”

Loki tries to keep a rather undignified sound from passing his lips and sort of manages. He nods - several times -, and Anthony laughs and lets go of his tie.

“Go,” he says, then turns around and walks into the direction of the living room. Over his shoulder, he adds, “Use my bathroom.”

Loki looks after a him, for a second, breathing heavily, then vanishes his clothes with a wave of his hand and makes his way to Anthony’s bathroom.

He turns the water as cold as possible, but since any sort of cold has never had a real effect on his body, it doesn’t help him out now, either. He half-heartedly curses this rule as he washes his hair, but anticipation and the knowledge that Anthony doesn’t give out empty threats have him keeping his hands under control.

He hurries, and he’s lost enough in his thoughts that he doesn’t hear the steps nearing the bathroom or the door when it opens. When Loki turns off the water and moves to leave the shower, he nearly slips on the wet tiles when he sees Anthony leaning against the door frame.

They look at each other through the steamy glass for a moment, then Anthony says, “Come out.”

Loki gets out of the shower at once. He reaches for a towel, but Anthony makes a step forward and grabs his wrist. 

“Lean over the counter,” he says, and Loki goes and does just that. 

Bracing his arms on the countertop, he can see himself in the ridiculously big mirror, and he can see Anthony, too. Loki sees, almost feels Anthony’s gaze wander over his body as he comes over to him. The look in those brown eyes makes Loki feel more naked than he is, which shouldn’t even be possible. 

Anthony’s hand settles down between Loki’s shoulder blades. Loki shivers in reaction; his skin is still cold from the shower, and Anthony's hands are blissfully warm. Anthony puts his other hand on the back of Loki's head.

“Down."

His tone is quiet but allows no talking back, so Loki yanks his eyes away from the mirror and rests his head on his forearms.

"Stay like this," Anthony murmurs. "And shift."

Loki obeys. After a few seconds, Anthony hooks his thumb under the tie Loki is still wearing and tugs a little, until the blade of the tie lies on Loki's back. The slight pressure on Loki's throat makes Loki gulp, but he lets Anthony do as he wishes.

And that's all there is to this, really - he lets Anthony do as he wishes.

Loki relaxes against the cold and hard counter, enjoys the touch of Anthony's hands as it wanders down his back.

"Would you like to hear what I want to do to you?" Anthony asks, his voice low and calm, almost unaffected. 

Loki shifts on his feet, trying to grind his cock against the counter, but then Anthony's hand is on his lower back, and suddenly his voice is sharp.

"Stop that."

Loki bites down on a whimper, but he obeys.

"Good boy," Anthony says, and Loki's knees turn soft. He is thankful for the counter beneath him. "I asked you a question."

Loki nods against his arms. He feels Anthony's nails on his back, then his warm fingers on his ass.

"I want to finger you until you come," Anthony says. "And then I want to fuck your thighs until I come. How does that sound?"

Loki already let out a moan. His toes curl against the wet and cold tiles as he tries not to push up into Anthony's touch.

"Do you want that?"

Loki nods again, frantic this time.

"I want to hear your voice."

Loki has to take a few breaths first. His voice comes out muffled. "Yes. Yes - please?"

"Good," Anthony says, finally a little breathless now. "There's lube in my nightstand. Summon it."

He does not actually expect Loki to use magic while he can barely think, does he? Judging by the silence that follows, Anthony expects just that, so Loki concentrates as well as he can and hopes that he won't summon anything else. The lamp on the nightstand, for example. That would be embarrassing. 

"Amazing," Anthony breathes, taking the bottle from the counter.

Loki waits, his breath held. It doesn't take long until he feels a wet finger slip between his cheeks and probe at his entrance. Loki spreads his legs a little and keeps his eyes closed. He doesn't want there to be any broken noses today, and it seems that Anthony is thinking about that, too, because he is even more careful than necessary. His finger slips in soon enough, though, and Loki doesn't try to keep from moaning.

"Tight," Anthony notes. It sounds like he is smirking. "It's been a while, hm?"

Loki nods. It's been ages. His fingers dig into his arm, and he pushes back against Anthony's hand, wanting him to move. Anthony chuckles and carefully pulls his finger out again, then rubs over Loki's hole, his touch slick and firm. Loki's cock is as hard as it can possibly be, and the noise he makes is desperate enough that he will be embarrassed by it later.

"Please," he murmurs again, breath hitching.

Anthony pushes his finger back into him, and Loki lets out a sigh. He melts against the counter as Anthony starts fucking him with his finger. Anthony's other hand strokes Loki's back and eventually takes hold of the tie. He wraps it around his fingers and pulls, just gently, but still firm enough to make breathing a little harder. Loki starts to pant, and Anthony loosens his hold.

"Color?"

"Green," Loki grits out, and the pressure on his throat returns.

"You're perfect," Anthony replies, sounding like he actually means it. "Absolutely perfect. Tell me what you want."

Loki moans and shuffles his feet. "More."

Anthony laughs, "I can give you that," and gives Loki a second finger. Then a third, shortly after, and norns, he knows how to move them. He finds Loki's prostate soon, but makes a point of avoiding it until Loki considers begging again.

He is almost disappointed when Anthony lets go of the tie, but then his hand trails down Loki's spine and caresses his ass, with the occasional hint of nails. Loki half expects it, but he still curses when Anthony smacks him, the burning pain surprising him. Just a blink later, Anthony's fingers find his prostate, and Loki's curse becomes a moan. 

"Do you like this?" Anthony asks, steadily moving his fingers. When Loki doesn't answer, Anthony grabs the tie again and pulls until Loki has to lift his head. "Answer me."

"Yes," Loki gasps, "Yes -"

"Do you want me to hit you again?"

Loki searches Anthony's gaze in the mirror. Anthony's eyes are almost black and he's breathing raggedly, too - he's a vision, and Loki wants to keep staring at him, wants to see exactly how much Anthony wants him.

"Do you?" Anthony says, and Loki whimpers and nods.

Anthony pushes him back down, one side of Loki's face pressed against the countertop. The fingers inside him stop moving, instead Anthony slaps him, again and again, until Loki feels like he is reeling. 

When Anthony stops, Loki whines and stands up on tiptoes, searching Anthony's hand.

"Shh," Anthony says, and starts moving his fingers again. 

The drag of them is almost too much now, the feeling whenever they hit Loki's prostate too intense, but Loki doesn't try to get away. He lies on the counter more than he stands on his feet, letting out gasps and whimpers and not even caring anymore.

"Can you come like this?" Anthony asks him, and Loki tries to listen, tries to concentrate. "Or do you need to touch your cock?"

Loki makes a sound of effort, pushes back against Anthony's finger. He's close, but -

"You can," Anthony says. "Whatever you need."

Loki squirms, but doesn't move his hand. He's waiting for -

"Do you want me to -"

"Yes," Loki says before Anthony has even finished speaking.

Anthony snorts. "Spoiled," he mutters, but reaches forward and takes hold of Loki's cock, making him cry out.

It's entirely too much. Loki's ass still hurts, both of Anthony's hands are merciless and glorious and Anthony's. When Loki comes, Anthony has to wrap his arm around his middle to keep him on his feet. 

It takes a while until he comes back to himself. Anthony, after carefully withdrawing his fingers, just holds Loki, murmurs soft words and kisses his back. When the room has stopped spinning, Loki turns his head and tries to remember how to form words.

"You wanted to…"

"I didn't forget," Anthony says, pressing his smile into Loki's skin. "Just giving you a moment."

Loki scoffs; he can feel how hard Anthony he is. Loki needs to shift just a little to rub his burning ass against Anthony's crotch. Anthony sucks in a breath, then grabs Loki's hips with both hands, hard enough that they may or may not leave bruises. The thought fills Loki with smug satisfaction.

"Can you stand?" 

Loki nods, and shortly after he hears a zipper. Anthony reaches for the lube again.

"Spread your legs," he orders.

Loki does. He rests his chin on his arms, watches in the mirror. Anthony catches him looking, but only gives him a knowing smirk in reaction as he slicks Loki's inner thighs. Loki lifts his ass, offering himself, sees Anthony's eyes flare up. Loki can't stop staring. He drinks up Anthony's moan when he pushes himself between Loki's thighs, his hands back on Loki's hips, holding him still. Loki shifts, presses his legs together, hears Anthony's pleased hum. Anthony starts moving, fucking Loki's thighs, using him for -

Loki cries out softly, then bites his lip; he doesn't want to miss a single sound Anthony makes. Loki is getting hard again, but he ignores it, watches with rapt attention as Anthony fucks him. And Anthony doesn't hold back, soon he pushes Loki against the counter with every thrust, the edge pressing into Loki's stomach almost painfully; Loki doesn't care. He lets out an approving moan when Anthony grabs the tie again. Maybe that is what makes Anthony slow down a bit. Loki makes a protesting sound, but Anthony hushes him and reaches down again, feeling Loki's hard cock. He huffs a laugh.

"Stamina of the gods, huh?" He says, breathless, and puts his hand back on Loki's hip. "Touch yourself."

Loki obeys without thought, squeezing his hand between the counter and his body. He strokes his cock in time with Anthony's thrusts, which are already getting more irregular. Not much later, Anthony stifles his moan against Loki's back, teeth scraping his skin, and Loki feels wetness spill between his thighs. He comes soon after, quiet except for a gasp.

Anthony's forehead is resting on Loki's back now, and they both need some time to catch their breaths. Eventually, Anthony pulls back and procures something wet and soft from somewhere to clean them both up. Loki lets him, too tired to do anything as long as Anthony doesn't tell him to move.

"Are you okay, Lo?"

Loki hums. "Fine. Tired."

"Come. Let's go to bed."

Letting out a sigh, Loki allows himself to be pulled up and dragged into the bedroom. Anthony makes him lie down and proceeds to wrap himself around Loki as if he doesn't intend to let him go, which is the most amazing thought.

"You could have," Loki murmurs. "If you wanted to."

Anthony smiles into his hair. "What? Fucked you properly? "

"Hmhm."

Anthony caresses Loki's stomach. "I'll have you tied to my bed for that," he promises.

"Oh," Loki says.

He is… surprisingly fine with that idea right now.

Anthony laughs quietly. Then, "Are you hurting somewhere? Did you shift back?"

"I'm fine," Loki says with a soft sigh.

"Okay." Anthony fiddles around with Loki's tie for a moment, turning it again so the blade is back on Loki's chest. "Do you want this off?"

Loki shakes his head. He searches Anthony's hand and makes him wrap his fingers around the tie, then makes a questioning noise.

"Of course." Anthony's tone is soft, and he doesn't let go of the tie again. He nuzzles Loki's neck. "You're goddamn amazing, sweetheart. You did so well."

"I have a name," Loki remarks absently. The better part of him is busy basking in the praise.

"Come again?"

Loki sighs. "You keep calling me these ridiculous things."

"Oh." Anthony sounds like he is grinning. "Well, if you don't like it, I can come up with even more ridiculous things, sweetcheeks."

"Please don't."

"Why not, sugar-butt?"

"Anthony."

"Come on, that even rhymed!"

"You are insufferable," Loki murmurs. He is faintly aware that he is already dozing off. "Only the Norns know why I put up with you."

"Brat." Anthony tugs at the tie. "Go to sleep."

And Loki goes.