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Two sides of the moon

Chapter Text

Loki let out an indignant groan as he walked up the stairs, knowing that if he lagged at all he would simply be pulled along by his captors. His feet slid on each shiny step.

Looking down at his hands, the cuffs that bound his wrists together were made from a smooth, black stone, as well as the chain that extended in front of him. The chain was wrapped around one of his captor’s huge, crystal arms, the links clinking together as the crystal giant walked.

They were giants that were seemingly made entirely from black crystals, two of them. The stairs shook under their feet.

“This one… It is almost as ugly as the prince…. Wouldn’t you say?” said the horned one, who walked in front of the other, in a strange, shrill voice.

“I would say it is uglier,” replied the one that held the chain.

Loki sighed. “I can hear you.” Amongst the many things he’d been called, many quite true, nobody had ever said “ugly”.

Truthfully speaking, Loki was quite sure he’d be able to escape this situation without much effort. He’d gone through many handcuffs, chains and cells by now and he had a feeling these creatures weren’t aware of who he was. However, like with everything, Loki had a reason for allowing this treatment. Despite being dragged around like a prisoner, from what he’d gathered, he’d apparently won something.

When Loki first found himself in this mysterious land after using the tesseract to escape the Avengers, he’d decided to explore. The ground was hard and sandy in places, huge crystals jutting out all around, some rough and others more defined and pretty. He’d even found that there were patches on the ground that were like broken geodes and quite painful to walk on. Other than that, there weren’t any signs of plants or anything of the sort. Though did spot a few small, rocky creatures scurrying around.

Through his small exploration of what he’d decided must be another planet or even a whole other realm, he’d found a small, perfect sphere of a black stone. Of course, this whole damned area seemed to be entirely crystalline, so, at first he just kicked it away. Except, as it rolled away from him, he noticed it had the most brilliant, electric colours inside that glistened and changed in the light. Now, this caught his attention and he pocketed it.

When he was found by one of the crystal giants, taken to the castle and introduced to the king - who was the biggest of the crystal giants by far - he quickly found out that him finding this rock had crowned him ‘the victor’.

Victor of what? He didn’t know… But Loki certainly liked victory.

Although, he didn’t understand why they treated their victors like prisoners. Was it because he wasn’t a massive, lumbering, crystal oaf? Rude.

They reached the top of the stairs and the horned giant turned to him, almost blinding him with it’s bright, glowing eye. Ah, yes, that was another thing about the giants. Their eyes.

Loki squeezed his eyes shut and turned away. “Would you mind turning back around?” he hissed.

The giant remained facing him. “Do you understand what is happening here, ugly one?” it‘s voice harsh and shrill.

He brushed off the insult. “I understand that I am the victor and have won… Something. I’d love to know what that something is.”

The other one also turned, and Loki complained as it did so.

“Is that really necessary?”

It ignored him. “Our prince’s hand in marriage.”

They had mentioned this prince a few times. All Loki knew was that he was supposed ugly, although, if they thought Loki was ugly then who knows what the prince truly looked like. Perhaps he was more beautiful than any Asgardian.

“I’ve won… Being married to your prince? The one you keep calling ugly, or is it a different one?”

“The ugly prince. Our only prince. He is your prize.”

“Right.” Loki sighed. Disappointing… “Well, I suppose with that, I will be on my wa-”

The horned giant cut in. “In marrying him… He will belong to you, as well as his power and… Our land.”

Now… That sounded interesting.

“Power?”

“Yes, power… He holds the strongest… Bred for power… And our land… Rich…. Vast… Created from war…. This is a great honour, ugly one…”

“A great honour,” the other giant echoed.

Loki’s mouth twisted into a smirk. “...I am truly honoured.”

To his relief, they both turned back around and continued walking, leading Loki down a long hall. Loki looked around, admiring the walls. They were clear and shone with a whole rainbow of different colours, pinks, blues, yellows, purples, reds, greens… Pictures were carved into them, depicting crystalline armies destroying enemy armies, planets, monsters. Loki realised it must be a recording of their history. It reminded him of the paintings on the ceiling of his home. Well, what used to be his home.

They stopped in front of a stone door, at least twice the height of him.

Loki shielded his eyes best he could, muttering in annoyance as the giants turned to look at him again.

“Your prize is through here,” said the one that held his chain. “I will let you go now and you will walk through.” It shook it’s sharp, pillar of an arm and the chain slid off it with a loud clunk.

“And… Are you going to take these off?” Loki asked, raising his still cuffed hands.

“No.”

Great. Whatever. He’d play along for now. Loki approached the door, then paused. He gave it a push.

“I’d appreciate some assistance.”

The horned one opened the door and Loki walked in.

Or, well, he had begun to walk in. Instead, he found his feet slipping out from under him and he fell flat on his back.

Loki hit the ground hard. He winced and sat up, looking around. He could see the sky above him and feel a breeze against his skin. He was on some sort of large balcony… Or perhaps a very flat roof. He stood up.

He heard something that sounded like a horn, deep and booming. He turned to see that there were crystal giants of all sorts of shapes gathered below, watching him. The king was in front of them all, holding what looked like a glass flute. Loki had to look away quickly to avoid their horrifically bright eyes.

“Our victor,” he announced, gesturing up at the balcony.

The crystal giants erupted into sounds that Loki could only assume were cheers.

“And…”

Loki could faintly hear something beside him. When he looked, he noticed there were two large doors. It sounded like there was someone on the other side. Presumably the prince.

Oh, he hoped his eyes weren’t like theirs.

The doors opened and for a moment, Loki held his breath.

“My son, the prince!” cried the king in his shrill, terrible voice.

The prince stepped out from the doorway and all Loki could do was stare. The first thing he noticed was his hair. It was pulled back into dozens of braids that were then curled around each other, forming what almost looked like patterns. A large, black jewel was woven into the centre of them. Then, at the front, a few long strands hung in perfect ringlets, crystal charms hanging off them.

However, it wasn’t the peculiar styling of his hair that most astonished Loki. It was the colour. It was white mostly, yet had an iridescent quality, shining with millions of little flecks of colour. Like an opal.

Beyond the lightness of his hair, he was dressed in a long, black robe with long sleeves that reached the floor.

He stepped forward, looking straight ahead, making it hard for Loki to see his face. He placed a hand on the railing of the balcony, his skin was brown. Pointed ears stood out, reminding him of elves.

“... Hello,” Loki said.

He didn’t answer, although his shoulders shook a little.

Loki turned to look at the crowd below. There was a lot of noise coming from them. Then, the king called out, “Take off the cuffs!”

The prince shuddered, then whipped around to face him. Loki prepared to shield his eyes but was thankful to see that the prince’s eyes were not like the giants’. No, instead, the eye he had was black, the other… Was covered by an eyepatch made of gemstones.

He certainly wasn’t ugly. Defined cheekbones, long lashes, neat and thick eyebrows. There was a long, black crystal protruding from his forehead, some kind of horn. From this angle, he could now see that he had some muscle on him, broad shoulders and a narrow waist.

He was actually rather beautiful.

Loki realised he was staring and shook his head, offering him what he hoped was a warm smile. “Hello.”

“It… It’s an honour to meet you, king-to-be,” said the prince. His voice was soft and melodic. Loki saw that he was holding a key.

King-to-be? Had it really been that easy? Had so much power really fallen right into his lap?

The prince reached out, put the key in the cuffs, twisted it and they immediately snapped off, falling to the ground. Loki rubbed his wrists, relieved to be rid of them.

“Thank you.”

A sigh escaped the prince and he looked away, staring blankly at the giants below. Loki wondered how he’d even come to be prince here. Was he really one of them?

“The celebrations commence,” stated the king. “The wedding will be held in a dimanity.”

Loki wanted to ask what that meant but he felt a small tap on his shoulder. He turned to look back at the prince.

“You are to come with me…” he said.

“Ah.”

Loki followed the prince, only ideas of what power could now be in his reach playing in his head… And all the things he could do with it.

Chapter Text

The prince lead Loki through a long, winding hall. The walls, like everything, were made of crystal, clear and smooth.

Loki admired his own reflection in the walls as he walked, before he flicked his eyes to the prince’s, who walked a little ahead of him. He was walking slowly, his back ramrod straight.

He decided to break the silence. “May I ask your name?”

The prince replied, although he spoke a little too quick and what he said sounded almost like gibberish.

“What? I’m sorry, could you repeat that?”

He stopped in front of Loki and looked back at him, his one black eye locking onto his eyes. “Yuulmenieva'aery." He then sounded it out. “Yool-meh-nee-va-ahh-ree.”

Loki stared at him, raising an eyebrow. Well, he didn’t know what he’d expected. He’d probably find that ‘Yuulmenieva'aery’ is a common name here, like ‘Astrid’ or ‘Bjørn.’

“I see... I’m Loki.”

Yuulmenieva'aery just stared for a moment, like he was waiting. After almost a minute, he spoke. “Just Loki?”

“Yes.”

“That’s a strange name.”

Loki bit back a snicker.

The two of them continued on through the castle until they arrived in front of a door, much smaller than the others. It was about his size. Yuulmenieva'aery, who Loki had decided he would refer to as ‘Yuul’, pushed the door open and stepped inside, then gestured for Loki to follow.

The room was probably the most normal thing he’d seen since he’d teleported here. There was a large, circular bed, a few tables, a chair and lots of books crammed into two bookshelves. Quite honestly, it was a mess, books on the floor and small trinkets scattered everywhere.

Yuul reached around and pulled the crystal pin from his hair, releasing all of the intricate braids, which hit his back with a soft ‘thwump’.

“This is where I spend my time,” he said, looking around the room. “Most of these things are from other planets. I’m different from my people, so, I need different things.” He looked at Loki.

“Well, I can see that,” Loki commented, a little distracted by one of the books on the floor. It was pink, with pictures of childishly stylised animals on the front. Odd. Then, he spotted a thick book titled “dictionary” on the table. Midgardian books.

Yuul sighed and turned, opening a large box. He began pulling out clothes.

“The… My people don’t cover themselves but… My mother always told me I had to, because I’m shaped differently, more like her.” He glanced back at Loki for a moment. “You look like me, so, I came to the conclusion that you would cover up too.”

“Yes.” Loki nodded. “I would.” Most of the time, anyway.

Yuul stood straight, holding up a long, yellow dress that was embellished with all sorts of gold charms. He looked at Loki questiongly.

Quickly, he shook his head. “Oh, no, no. Definitely not to my tastes.”

He put the dress down. “You will need something appropriate for the celebration…” he muttered, kneeling to look in the box again.

Loki walked over. “Are these your clothes?”

Yuul nodded, keeping his head down.

Loki knelt beside him and had a rifle through the different clothes. It was all a range of different colours, different shades and styles. A lot of them looked like cultural garbs for different celebrations, all taken from different planets, made for different species of people.

“Are my own clothes not suitable?” he asked.

Yuul gave him a look. “Well… I really do enjoy them. However… You’ve already worn them now, I think it’s better that we come back out with something new. At least, that’s always how I’ve done it.”

Loki gave a shrug of his shoulders, deciding to indulge him. “Let’s go with that green robe, then.”

Yuul pulled it out and handed it to him.

“Thank you.” Loki slipped his coat off, then worked at removing his breastplate and the woven leather that made his top.

Yuul watched for a second, flushed and quickly walked out of the room. “I’ll wait until you’re done…” he murmured as he exited. Loki chuckled under his breath.

Slipping the robe on, he stood in front of the wall to look in the reflection. It was a lot lighter than the thick, heavy clothes he usually wore, but still elegant enough for him. It would do. Before he called Yuul back in, he got out the tesseract, just to check on it.

Looking around the room, he decided his best bet would be to just keep it in his coat pocket. It wasn’t like any of them knew anything. To them, it would just be a boring, square crystal. One that glows, of course, but a crystal nonetheless. He slipped it back in and neatly folded his coat and top, placing the breastplate on top.

“You can come in.”

Yuul came back. He’d unpicked most of his braids now, his long, curly hair looked a little messy. Loki rather liked mussed hair.

“Where did you learn to do braids?” he asked, genuinely interested.

“My mother taught me… And I also like to copy the hair in the elven books that my father brought back.”

“Are you not part elf?”

He shook his head. “I’m not. My mother was a faun.”

“I see.” Loki had heard of fauns but… They’d never had anything to do with Asgard. They were a secretive people, only really caring for nature. He wondered what it was like, for a faun halfling to be in such a barren world.

“I assume you were created through magic?”

Yuul looked at him. “Yes… My mother and father created me with a combination of themselves, hoping to create something more powerful than them.”

“Did they succeed?”

“Yes.”

Loki grinned. Ah, an all powerful husband alongside being king. Could his situation get any better? Hm… He only hoped Yuul wouldn’t grow any attachments to him.

Yuul picked out a dark blue dress and looked at Loki, expectedly. Loki was quick to get the message and left the room so he could get dressed.

When he came back, Yuul was wearing the dress and had put his hair all in one braid, made up by lots of little ones.

“Lovely,” Loki said.

A hint of a smile tugged at Yuul’s lips. “Me?”

“Why, yes. You.”

He laughed. “My title is the ugly prince.”

Loki wanted to say ‘and they are all oafish piles of stone with hideous eyes and voices that could shatter glass,’ but decided against it. Instead, he went with, “Well, I disagree.”

As they walked out, Yuul looked less stiff. Loki watched him walking ahead.

“As winning your hand is so valuable… Might I ask why it was so easy? It was only a stone.”

“Oh!” Yuul stopped in his tracks. “That’s not a stone… It’s… My eye. I forgot about it… Can I have it back?”

“Your eye?”

“Yes. My father took my eye out and hid it somewhere treacherous, where it would be extremely hard and dangerous to find. That was the challenge,” he explained. “You must be very capable…” he added.

Loki decided against telling him that he’d just found it lying around on the floor and handed it to him. A part of him was a little disappointed he couldn’t keep it. It was pretty.

Yuul took it and then lifted his eyepatch. Loki averted his gaze.

When he looked back, he saw that the stone, now set in his socket, began to take the form of an eye again, the sclera returning around a black opal iris. Yuul blinked a few times.

“Does it not hurt? Having your eye pulled out?”

“It does,” he said, blankly.

Loki frowned. “I’m sorry.”

He tilted his head to the side, furrowing his brow in confusion. “It’s okay?”

“Well… You have it back now.” Loki continued walking and this time Yuul followed.

It made better sense now, he supposed. It was actually meant to be a big challenge, something must have just happened.

When they stepped outside, Loki had to put his head down to avoid the bright glares from the crowd of giants.

The celebration was very different to what he had been used to on Asgard. There wasn’t drinking, for one. The sounds that played throughout, which he could only assume was their idea of music, were loud and disjointed, like a bizarre clunking of metals.

However, he enjoyed being practically worshipped. Even with their squealing voices, he took great pleasure in it.

Soon, he had learnt all about their powerful army, how their culture was built on war and destruction. They had a few ally planets, where he assumed Yuul got his things from. Otherwise, they were mostly invaders and conquerors.

Eventually, Loki took a break from talking to them, walking around what would be the castle’s garden if there were any plants. As he walked, he heard a trickling sound, like water. Following it, he found Yuul, who was sitting by an actual fountain.

Emerging from behind a pillar, Loki flashed a smile. “Hello.”

Yuul looked up. “Are you not celebrating?”

“As lovely as the company of your… People are, I needed a break.”

Yuul turned his attention back to the fountain, dipping his hand into the water. A shudder went through his body.

Loki moved in closer. “I didn’t expect to see a fountain here.”

In the reflection of the water, he could see him smile. “I made it myself. It was a quest of my own… I wanted to replicate the water-shooters they have in Auriul.”

“Water-shooters?”

“Yes… This, it shoots water, doesn’t it? Water-shooter.”

“Oh. They’re called fountains where I’m from.”

Loki sat down next to him, looking at it. He could tell it had been handmade somehow, parts of it looking slightly awkward and crooked and the water seemed to only just manage to pour out in places. It was still impressive, however.

Then, he noticed movement in the pool and saw a small, round creature break through the surface of the water. It had what looked like flippers at the front and large back legs. It’s head was reptile-like and it was covered in small, crystal scales.

Yuul made a cooing sound and scooped it up in his cupped hands, carefully petting it’s head with a finger. “There you are,” he muttered to it. The creature nuzzled Yuul’s finger, then used it’s back legs to hop up onto his shoulder.

“What is that?” Loki asked.

“It’s a Terayph! He likes the water…”

He smiled. “I see.”

“The Terayph are currently dying out…” Yuul frowned, looking down. “My people harvest them for their hearts and… They do not listen to me, as my father’s word is more powerful than mine.” He looked up again, looking at Loki. “Now you’re here… You could make a change.”

“Well, I could do that…”

“Would you? It would really be good! I don’t care much for anything beside the creatures that live here, so, that’s all I’d ever ask you for!”

It didn’t seem like it’d be an issue. “I will, then. No sooner I am king.”

He beamed. “Thank you!”

For a moment, Loki smiled back. Then, he shook his head and quickly stood.

“I’m going to go back to the celebrations.” Swiftly, he turned and stalked off.

Yes, he would protect the animals of this planet but that was all. Loki already had plans for how he could destroy his enemies once he was crowned. He would make them sorry, all of them. Just thinking of it made him smile to himself.

Chapter Text

Loki wasn’t surprised the crystal giants didn’t sleep. Unfortunately, he did, and it was rather annoying he didn’t have anywhere to do it.

He wandered the castle, hoping in vain for somewhere comfortable to sleep, but only finding more sharp, hard surfaces. He was sick of seeing crystals. Everywhere he turned, it was a glittering, hellish wonderland.

Outside wasn’t much good either, as the celebrations were still roaring loud.

He found himself feeling a little strange. He hadn’t spoken to anyone in a few hours... He thought of Yuulmenieva'aery and wondered if it would be strange to go see him. He had a bed, so, surely he must sleep. He wondered if he was sleeping now…

Coming up with the excuse that he needed his clothes back, Loki knocked on Yuul’s door.

There was no answer, so, he knocked again, a little louder.

The door opened, revealing a wide-eyed Yuul. He stared at Loki for a moment. “What was that?”

“What was what?” Loki asked.

“That sound…”

“Oh. Me knocking?”

Yuul tilted his head to the side. “Knocking?”

“Yes, knocking. Like this.” Loki demonstrated a knock against the door.

“Why?”

“Well… It’s… A question, sort of. You do it to ask if you can enter a room. It’s polite.”

He listened, nodding his head. “I suppose that is something my people don’t do. You can enter.” He stepped aside, allowing Loki into his room.

It was still a mess, with even more books strewn across the floor. Loki desperately wished he could tidy it.

Yuul crossed the room and sat down on his bed, looking up at Loki. His hair was down and hung in ringlets over his shoulders, colours sparkling throughout it. Yuul’s top was low-cut, showing his neck, collarbone and the top of his chest.

“Ah…” Loki averted his gaze. “I just came to get my clothes.”

“Oh, I put them over there.” He pointed at a corner.

Feeling uneasy with the knowledge that Yuul had touched his clothes, Loki retrieved them. Discreetly, he slipped his hand into his pocket and felt the tesseract, cool in his hand. He shot Yuul a smile.

“Thank you.”

He answered with a small smile.

Loki walked towards the door, then paused and turned. “Do you sleep?”

Yuul raised an eyebrow. “I do. Do you?”

He nodded.

His eyes lit up. “Do you… Dream? That’s what my mother called it. When you sleep and awaken in another world and strange things take place.”

Loki chuckled. “I do dream, yes.”

“Oh! What do you usually do when you dream? I often get to experience what I really want to do, exploring other worlds, learning more about nature… I get to touch lots of soft things!”

He felt a little pang of envy at Yuul’s pleasant dreams. “I… Not much. I don’t do much.” He paused. “Soft things?”

“Yes! It is a rarity to find anything soft to touch here. I really like soft things…” He frowned.

“Hm. I see.”

“Do you have soft things in your land?”

“Plenty.”

Yuul smiled, a dreamy look in his eyes. “I hope I can see one day, as we are going to be married and all.”

“I’m sure you will.”

Oh, yes. After attending to those little mortal do-gooders, Asgard was next. Yuul would have the chance to see it all.

“I’d best leave you to your sleep, then,” Loki said.

“Right...”

He turned and left.

Eventually, Loki found a place outside that was at least relatively flat and that managed to block out a lot of the loud sounds. Using his folded clothes as a pillow, he dropped asleep.

In the morning, Loki was glad to wake up to complete silence. He sat up and stretched, his joints protesting the night on the ground. Changing back into his clothes, he considered his next move. He didn’t know anything about this place. He decided he’d better talk to Yuul more.

He walked towards the castle and was about to go inside when he spotted Yuul by the entrance. He approached him.

“Good morning,” he said.

He was on his knees, rooting around the ground with his hands. He turned his face to him.

“Loki.”

“Are you looking for something?”

“I just thought I saw a kritia… But I lost it. Which is a shame…” A frown settled on his face.

“A kritia?”

“Oh, it’s a tiny…. Insect? They’re very rare around here.”

He nodded. “Well, come. I want to walk with you.”

Loki offered him a hand and pulled him up. Yuul fell against his chest and looked up, accidentally jabbing him with his horn.

“Ow!”

He frowned. “Sorry.” He stepped back.

Loki chuckled. “That’s alright. Come.” He offered him his arm.

Yuul blinked at him.

“Take my arm.”

“Oh.” He did so, a little awkwardly. With that, Loki began to lead him away from the castle, not that he was sure where they’d go. Thankfully, Yuul guided him into what reminded Loki of a forest, though the ‘trees’ were more crystals.

After a little bit of a tour, Loki decided to ask the question that had been on his mind the entire time.

“What sort of powers do you possess?”

Yuul had been studying some sort of stone growth when he asked. He looked around at him.

“Ah… I have a combination of my mother and father’s powers. I can manipulate the natural environment around me… Speaking to nature, my mother called it. As for my father’s… That’s more of a destructive sort of magic. Energy blasts, force fields, that sort of stuff…” He sighed, resting his back against a crystal. “I don’t use my magic for destructive purposes, not anymore. I’m a bit of a disappointment, really... I like that I can talk to creatures of any species, though.”

Loki frowned. His powers sounded extremely helpful, yet… What use would they be if not for tearing his enemies limb from limb?

“Why?”

“Hm?”

“Why don’t you use your powers for combat?”

Yuul looked at him. “I… Just prefer not to.” He looked down, folding his arms.

Loki furrowed his brows. Hm... “Well, you clearly have a lot of potential. Are you struggling with controlling it?”

He looked up again. “You have powers too?”

“Oh, yes.”

“I suppose I should have known… After all, you did win my hand… Even my people couldn’t do that, the obstacles my father set up were so deadly. It’s really quite impressive, especially since you’re small like me.”

Loki raised an eyebrow. Ah. When he teleported, he must’ve skipped the obstacles. Hm. Well, it wasn’t cheating if it wasn’t intentional. He doubted the giants would see it that way. Best keep it to himself.

“Well, I am powerful. I could teach you if you’re struggling.”

He shook his head. “I probably shouldn’t say this but… I don’t trust my father with my powers. If I went back…” He ran a hand through his hair, pushing it out of his face. “If I went back, it wouldn’t be good.”

“I’ll be king soon,” Loki reminded him.

“I know…”

“It’s your choice. If you want my opinion, though, you shouldn’t let your father effect your life. He clearly doesn’t understand you.”

“Why do you say that?” Yuul asked.

“How does he? You’re powerful, you’re full of such potential, yet he marries you off with such ease. Like… Like you’re a bargaining chip. It’s only pure luck that it was me that won his little challenge. It could have been anyone.”

“He marries me off because I am a disappointment. I cannot be the weapon he made me to be. He needs a new ruler and I am not fit for it. However, anyone that could win my hand, that could complete that challenge… They would have to be the most brutal, worthy person. He made a good choice.”

Loki shook his head but decided not to argue further. He couldn’t risk looking suspicious.

“If you change your mind, I will train you. Your powers can be useful. Some people deserve to be hurt.”

“Do they?”

“Yes.”

After a little more of a walk, which was mostly in silence, they returned to the castle. Yuul was quick to depart from Loki and despite the fact he shouldn’t, Loki felt a sense of guilt. He reminded himself that the wedding would be soon and then he would have it all. Nothing needed to matter besides that.

Anyway, Yuul would probably enjoy a visit to Midgard.

Chapter Text

A dimanity, Loki had learned on the morning of his wedding, was a collection of days, similar to a week but shorter. He hadn’t been counting the days closely enough to know how many.

He’d been woken up far too early by loud announcements about the wedding. The sky was still dark and his body ached from another night on the hard ground.

First, he made sure his things were still with him then stood and approached the castle.

Inside, the celebrations were deafening, Loki resisted the urge to cover his ears. He attempted to get the attention of the king but was drowned out in the noise. Instead, he pushed his way through the crowd until he found Yuul.

Through a series of gestures, he attempted to communicate to him that it was too loud and they should go somewhere else.

Yuul stared blankly at him.

Loki sighed, grabbed his hand and pulled him into the hallway.

“The wedding is today?” he asked, still shouting over the only slightly muffled noise.

“Yes,” Yuul confirmed in a nervous tone. “It will be…” his voice was lost in a particularly loud drumming sound.

Loki groaned, snatched up his hand again and lead him away from the party. He only stopped when they could talk without yelling.

“Now… What was that?” Loki asked.

“Hm? Oh… It will be when it is light. You should get ready.”

“Yes, well, I don’t exactly have many clothes.”

Yuul tilted his head, giving him a thoughtful look. “You could borrow mine again.”

“Ah… No, no, that won’t be needed. I just… Remembered I do have something else to wear.” He’d summon some new clothes, he didn’t much like Yuul’s.

“Oh!” Yuul smiled.

“I’m still rather unfamiliar with your people’s culture, so forgive me for asking… But what do you do for weddings here?” Loki asked.

“Well… Normally, my people will cut a piece of themselves out and exchange it. However… I suppose we will have to do it differently, as we are soft. Then, I’ll place the crown on your head.”

He nodded. “Is that all?”

“Yes.”

“No vows?”

“What are vows?”

“Vows…” He sighed. “When you promise to love and take care of each other, that sort of thing.”

Yuul frowned. “Love? We don’t love each other, this is only an arrangement of power. We don’t have to take care of each other either. If you wish it, you could never see me again after this. The rights are yours.”

“Only mine?”

“Of course. You’re our victor.”

“I see…”

Yuul folded his arms, his eyes cast down. He lifted a hand and twirled a ringlet of his hair around his finger. He was very elegant. It was a wonder that he came from a rock giant.

“I should get ready, as should you,” he said, before turning and going off down one of the halls.

Loki watched him leave for a moment, just to make sure he was definitely gone, before simply shifting his clothes with his magic. He went for a simple, black leather top and pants that were both adorned by tiny, gold scales in places. Then, threads of black cord that were woven into an intricate design around the waist. After that, he conjured up golden, decorative armour around his arms and black, knee high boots. The real treasure for his attire was a long, green cape that was embroidered with detailed snakes in gold thread. Of course, he topped it all off with his horned helmet.

Then, he had to just wait.

Soon enough, the light began to rise up in the sky. It wasn’t quite the same sun, it was redder. Though, it was no dimmer.

One of the giants came to him and lead him outside, down a path and through a door into a large arena like space. Above, the giants were all lined around it, their eyes on him. He made a mental note not to look up again.

The door on the other side of the arena opened and Yuul stepped out.

He wore a dress that fell down to his feet. The skirt of it was dark blue, whilst the top was transparent and covered in silver bead work. The sleeves were long and dragged along the floor as he walked. On his head sat a large headdress, a disk that glistened with pearlescent colours. Chains were woven into the braids in his hair, tiny charms hanging off of them.

Yuul looked like an ethereal bride that would only ever be described in legends. These garments were unlike any Loki had ever known. He wondered what type of people they originally belonged to. Perhaps each piece was from somewhere separate.

He stood before him and lifted his head, slowly, like it was heavy. His eyes locked onto Loki’s. Loki was so transfixed that he didn’t notice that the king was behind Yuul until he spoke.

“As you all know, I am withering away. Soon, I will return to our natural state. Thus, we are gathered today to gaze upon our new king, who bested our challenge and thusly, proved himself worthy of our land. On this day he will be given the crown, as well as married to my son in order to truly become one of our kind.”

The king continued on but Loki had stopped listening. He mouthed a “hello” at Yuul and then smiled. Yuul flushed and looked away, chewing his lip. Hm, he hoped it was only wedding night jitters and not suspicion.

After a sudden, loud applause, Yuul broke away from Loki and took the crown from his father’s massive hand. He gestured for Loki to step forward, which he did, pulling his helmet off.

Yuul lifted the crown above Loki’s head, which at first made him nervous as it was so big, however, as it was lowered, it shrunk to fit him perfectly.

There was more applause from the giants.

Then, Yuul pulled out a dagger, cut from a clear crystal that was like glass. He lifted a hand and positioned the blade at the base of his finger.

“Wait!” Loki said, quickly. “Don’t do that. I have a better idea.”

Taking the dagger from him, he cut his own palm open, then he took Yuul’s hand and did the same on him. Yuul’s expression was blank but a wince still escaped.

“We’ll exchange blood. That’s better.” Loki took Yuul’s hand in his, pressing their cuts together. “It’s more… Eternal that way. Better than fingers.”

“Oh…” A small smile tugged at the corners of Yuul’s mouth.

“Your new king,” announced Yuul’s father in an awful shriek.

~♚~

Loki looked into his reflection in the wall of Yuul’s room. The crown, which was made of jagged crystals, sat on his head so perfectly.

The celebration had surprisingly been rather fun. Left and right, Loki was being praised. He was finally getting the worship he deserved. These beings were so gullible, it made him chuckle to himself.

He wore a prideful smirk on his face as he studied himself. He really looked like a king. His eyes flicked over to look at the reflection of Yuul, who sat on the bed behind him.

He’d taken his headdress off and was now busy unfastening all of the braids and chains in his hair. He had already changed into a more comfortable robe, which looked like it was silk.

The room was actually a little tidier now, much to Loki’s relief. The bed was made up with a new quilt. Loki longed to just collapse upon it…

“Are we to share a room now?” Yuul asked.

“Would you mind that?”

“No… It’s all up to you.”

“Let’s share, then. I promise I’m a quiet sleeper.”

Yuul nodded his head.

Loki sat next to him. Suddenly, he felt slightly awkward. As it was their wedding night night, should he not be allowing his lust to take over? But, no, it didn’t feel right to do that sort of thing with Yuul. He may be using him, but he wasn’t interested in using someone in that way.

Once his hair was free, Yuul rested down on the bed, gazing up at Loki.

Loki lay back beside him, then gave him a smile.

“I’m sorry… I should have offered you my bed before.”

Loki shook his head. “That’s okay.”

Yuul rolled onto his side, facing Loki. “I’m not used to others that are like me. I’ve only ever known my mother… Or people that I’ve caught glimpses of during negotiations.”

“Are you relieved to marry me, then?”

“Well… Yes. It’s a comfort that we’re so alike.”

“I agree.”

Yuul smiled, then closed his eyes. Loki did so too. Soon, he fell into sleep.

~♚~

The next day, Loki summoned his new subjects to give a proclamation. Yuul was by his side. “My people! It is I, your king.”

They cheered. He assumed it was cheering, anyway, it was hard to tell with them. He spread his arms and basked in the attention.

“Kneel before your king.”

They did so. A smirk spread across his lips.

“I thank you, truly, for your hospitality-” He raised a hand for quiet. “and taking me in, despite being an outsider.”

“However! My husband, Yuulmenieva'aery, has informed me of something that greatly concerns me. He tells me that an animal native to your realm, the Terayph, has been hunted to near extinction. This will stop, immediately.”

He paused, expecting protests.

They didn’t come.

He looked to Yuul, Who was beaming. His smile was wide and genuine, he was practically bouncing with joy.

“Thank you, Loki,” he said.

Loki nodded.

He turned back to the giants and stalked along the balcony. He felt the weight of the tesseract in his pocket and his lips spread into a grin.

“I have come to learn much about your ways. That you are a battle loving people, I feel it is fitting I lead you into a glorious battle!”

The sounds of cheers echoed off the castle. He allowed it for a moment, then raised a hand.

“I was greatly wronged before I came upon your realm. I would like to exact my revenge and extend my kingdom!”

He allowed the cheering to continue this time, simply enjoying their adoration.

Yuul stepped in next to him and whispered, “Where are we going?”

“Ah!” Loki laughed. “Of course...”

He quieted them again.

“We are invading Midgard!”

Chapter Text

Loki gazed up at the castle that he now possessed. It stood tall, in jagged shards of solid black crystal. Despite it’s magnificence, he doubted he would be returning to it at any time soon.

It was through a large portal that these beings would travel through to get to other planets. It seemed you could quite easily just tell it where you wanted to go and it would open up there. However, their methods were quite barbaric and a little too graceless for Loki’s tastes.

So, he instructed them that he would be the first to enter Midgard, that he would watch the Avengers from afar and get back his sceptre, then he would give them a signal when it was time. After that, they would have their way and the Avengers would be destroyed.

He’d been given a stone, which would supposedly send out the signal once broken. The army he had gathered muttered words of impatience in harsh voices, however, not one dared to question the orders he gave.

Loki was just about to enter when Yuulmenieva’aery approached. Oh. He’d forgotten that he was coming with him. He flashed him a smile.

“Have you travelled between planets before?”

“Only a few times… I have never been to ‘Midgard’,” Yuul answered, staring ahead at the portal.

“It might be a lot to get used to, in that case.” Loki straightened his back. “Come.” With that, he stepped in.

Teleporting was a strange sensation. It was light, airy and tingly, yet fast and sudden. As if you were a feather caught up in a whirlwind. Loki could remember what it felt like when he was a child and when he was still only getting used to it. It seemed so huge back then, so intimidating. His mother, Frigga, had taught him how to get used to it. Remembering that, Loki felt a bitter stab in his heart. He hadn’t seen his mother in so long…

Loki found himself standing, both feet firmly planted on the pavement of a city, a car rushed past, yet he was not startled. Mortal people passed him, going about their day without a single shred of knowledge that they had just passed a god.

Whilst teleporting, he’d shifted into a smart, black suit. He took a moment to straighten his tie and adjust his cufflinks. Whilst midgardians were nothing in many respects, he did enjoy their clothing.

He heard a whoosh sound behind him, accompanied by a small thud. Looking back, he saw Yuulmenieva’aery, who looked like he had almost fallen over.

“I really… Need to get used to...” he trailed off, looking around the city in confusion and amazement.

Loki realised that people were beginning to stop and stare. Quickly, he grabbed Yuul’s arm and walked him into an alleyway, shooting people a few casual smiles as they went.

“We can’t have you walking around looking like that… I’m going to shift you, okay?”

Yuul stared at him, then nodded. “You can do that?”

“I can.” He smirked, waving his hand, just for show. Before Yuul knew it, his hair had turned a dark, almost black brown and his eyes had turned a lighter brown. In place of his horn was a dot on the forehead. He now also wore a suit, although Loki had opted for a dark blue one for him. He looked just like any other mortal man. A fine one at that, as mortals went. Loki stepped back, admiring his work.

“Come on, let’s go,” Loki said.

Together, they walked down the street, albeit with a little too much stopping for Loki’s taste. Yuul stopped and looked into a shop window, staring at his reflection.

“I’ll change you back when we’re not in public,” Loki assured him.

“Yes… This is all very intriguing. I look so different… And these garments are particularly strange.”

Loki chuckled. "You look fine. Come, we have business." He took his hand and pulled him in the direction of Stark Tower.

He slowed his pace as they got closer, Stark had always been a paranoid man and would surely have security systems in place to warn him of approaching dangers. After that damage he did last time, Loki would count as highly dangerous. He smirked to himself.

Glancing around, he noticed a few security cameras. Perhaps they were nothing, but he wouldn’t take that chance. He flicked his fingers in their direction, presenting them an illusion of the same street, minus himself and Yuul, as they passed by.

“One of my worst enemies resides in this building,” he whispered to Yuul as they stopped in front of one of the windows.

“I’ve never seen a castle built in such a material,” Yuul murmured, resting a hand on the wall.

“You’ll soon see more of it. We’re going inside.” He stopped and thought for a moment. “We’ll need to find two people that work there, so I can shift our forms to look like them… We’ll have to sneak around for a bit to do that. It’ll be a lot less difficult if I shrink down. Give me a moment.”

With that, Loki shifted into a snake. He looked up at Yuul.

Yuul gasped, a big smile appearing on his face. “What sort of creature is that?” He knelt down, poking gently at his scales.

“A snake.” Loki slithered onto his hand and under his sleeve.

Yuul stood up. “Do I just walk in?”

“Yes. Try not to be seen… But if you are, act like you are new.”

Yuul took a deep breath before slipping into the building. It was fairly busy, with people chattering and walking around. This worked in his favour, as he was able to sneak through into another room with ease.

“He’ll be keeping my sceptre in a secure room. If we can find someone that has a key, we’ll be fine,” he whispered into his ear. Loki had secured himself a place on Yuul’s shoulder, coiled up beneath his clothes.

“This enemy of yours… Is he very powerful?” Yuul asked, quietly.

“In a way, however… He is still only a mortal. He relies on his technology to do the work for him. Take that away and he is nothing.”

“My father has told me of rulers that are the same way.”

Yuul went up a flight of stairs, walking past a group of people, who didn’t even bother to look at him.

Walking into another room, Yuul walked right into a woman and a man, who both donned uniforms that told Loki they worked here.

The woman, a tall brunette, looked Yuul up and down before narrowing her eyes. “You shouldn’t be back here.”

Keeping a cool, somewhat icy demeanour, Yuul replied with “Why not? I was told to find something.”

“Find what? By who?”

“That’s not your concern.”

Loki was surprised and impressed. He’d somewhat expected Yuul to get flustered when confronted…

The man looked at the woman, chuckling a little, although she looked completely unimpressed. “If it’s so important, I’d assume you have one of these.” She held up a card. Ah, the key!

“Uhm... “ Yuul turned his head, looking for Loki. However, Loki had already made his way down Yuul’s arm and was now on the floor. He slithered behind the people and shifted back into his regular self.

“I’ll be taking that,” he said.

They turned, both staring in horror when they saw him. The woman quickly reached for something in her pocket, yet she stopped, froze and fell to the floor, along with the man.

Yuul walked around, looking at them. “What did you do?”

“I just made them fall asleep. They’ll be fine.” Loki plucked the card from her hand. He then opened up a door to a storage room and put them both inside.

Shifting his form into the man’s and Yuul’s into the woman, Loki shut the door, locking it with the card.

“Now, let’s take back what’s mine,” he said, a smirk on his face that didn’t match his new appearance.

 

~♚~

After wandering the building for quite some time, Loki was frustrated. Why Stark felt the need to have so many rooms, he didn’t know. However, he finally had a stroke of luck when he found a computer.

“This should have the information we need…” He poked the keyboard. The security was surprisingly difficult to break, but he got there. This computer didn’t even acknowledge the sceptre’s existence, but by a process of elimination, he was pretty sure he found it. This room was a little big for a ‘supply closet’. “Okay. It’s on the top floor.”

Quickly, they made their way up the stairs and they eventually reached the top floor. Hearing noises through the door, Loki could tell that some of the Avengers were inside… Oh, how he hoped Thor wasn’t there.

There were footsteps, approaching the door, he realised. In seconds, Loki decided they’d better hide, suspecting that even workers wouldn’t be allowed near the sceptre.

The door opened and out stepped Stark, followed by Romanoff, Barton and… Ugh, Banner. They were all talking about something that he didn’t care enough to listen in on. Stark shut the door behind them, noticeably not locking it. If he wasn’t securing it, there was likely to be others inside the room still…

As Loki watched them walk downstairs, he had a realisation and quickly, he shifted him and Yuul into the forms of Barton and Romanoff. Him as Romanoff and Yuul as Barton.

“Are these your enemies?” Yuul whispered.

“All of them are. We need to act fast, we’ll be trusted in these forms but if they come back… It won’t be good. Just act serious and don’t say much, they won’t suspect anything.”

The two of them walked in.

Rogers was sitting in one of the chairs, Thor beside him.

Great. The last person he’d ever wanted to see today was his brother. He looked so smug too, drinking some sort of mortal beverage, his feet up on the table.

“Back already?” Rogers asked, looking up. “I thought you were getting coffee?”

Loki spotted a mug on the side on the table reading “World’s Greatest Hero.” Ah, that had to be Stark’s. “Yes, Tony just forgot his cup.”

Thor looked up at them, making it hard for Loki to avoid glaring. Rogers stared for a moment, then chuckled. “Alright.”

Looking around, Loki’s eyes fell on the sceptre, which was sitting on a table. Discreetly, he gestured with his hand behind his back, hoping Yuul would see it. Thankfully, he did.

Thor furrowed his brows. “I still do not understand that cup. What makes him so sure that he is the greatest hero?” He took another swig of what Loki assumed was beer.

Rogers turned to Thor, beginning to explain how the cup was a joke or something. Funnily enough, this was perfect. Loki flicked his hand at the sceptre, creating an illusion upon it. He gave Yuul a subtle signal and he picked the sceptre up. To them, however, it looked like the sceptre was still in it’s place and that Yuul was holding nothing.

They made their way out of the room, shifting quickly back into their previous stolen forms.

~♚~

Loki was relieved to finally leave the building and even more relieved to have his sceptre back. It was only a matter of time before the Avengers realised it was missing and they would likely figure out that it was his doing. Oh, they were in for a surprise, though.

Once they’d walked quite a distance, they shifted back to their real forms or, well, their midgardian selves, anyway.

“We got it back… What’s next?” Yuul asked, kneeling down to admire a flower that had grown through a gap in the pavement.

“We find somewhere secure, where we can stay. Then, It would be time to initiate the attack.”

“Must it be so soon? It’s going to be difficult to analyse this world when it’s being destroyed…”

He looked at Yuul and grinned. “Oh, Yuul. I’m not going to destroy it. Just make it mine.”

“I see.”

A man walked past them, stepping on the flower and crushing it under his shoe. He kept walking, only stopping to glance at his watch.

Yuul frowned. “Why did he do that?”

“Do what?”

“Step on it.”

Loki shrugged. “Midgardians don’t care about a single flower.”

Looking sad, Yuul put his hand over the crumpled flower and light glowed from it. Then, the flower grew again, bigger than before. He then beamed.

Loki couldn’t help but let out a small smile. “Careful. You don’t want them to see. They’re dreadfully scared of magic here.”

He stood up.

Loki took his arm. “Let’s find somewhere we can stay.”

Yuul nodded. “Okay.”

Chapter Text

It was fairly easy to find a place to stay. All Loki had to do was find a house with a ‘for sale’ sign at the front and hypnotise whoever owned it into giving it to them. The house was big enough, although Loki didn’t care for anything midgardian.

He held up the sceptre, gazing at it with satisfaction. His mind went to Thanos, who he’d been working for before. A bitter feeling came over him and he placed the sceptre on the table. Some help he’d been.

Yuulmenieva’aery was in the lounge, kneeling in front of the television which was on some sort of cartoon channel.

“Is this some sort of teleportation device? Or perhaps some sort of stone that sees into other planets and worlds?” he asked when Loki entered the room.

“It’s a television.” Loki had been a little confused about that too, once upon a time. “It plays visual stories as entertainment for the mortals.”

Fascinated, Yuul placed a hand on the screen. “I see. These midgardians are rather advanced. I have a few books from here and they always made me think that midgardians were rather simple. Although, I still don’t think it beats Exlectaion technology.”

Loki plucked up the remote and handed it to him. “Press the buttons on this, it will manipulate it to do things.” He sat down on the sofa and watched as Yuul began experimenting with the remote, flipping through channels, turning up the volume too loud, rewinding and fast forwarding. He smiled to himself. Admittedly, he had been enjoying having a companion, especially one that he hadn’t needed to hypnotise or something.

Yuul had proven himself to be useful in intellect, too. He was able to create a map of the stark building from just one trip around it, effectively marking where the supposed weak spots were in the walls. How he knew that, Loki didn’t quite know. He assumed it was something to do with his powers.

Eventually, Yuul settled on an animal programme, making loads of comments and asking plenty of questions about each animal shown. When Loki informed him it was real, he was ecstatic.

“Tell me, where are the lions? I want to meet them.” He sat down beside Loki on the sofa.

“That I don’t know. They’re not here, that’s for sure. I’m sure we could find one, though…”

Yuul smiled and leant back, staring at the TV. “These creatures are a lot different from the ones I am used to. It seems the midgardian wildlife is often furry…”

Loki nodded along.

“Do any of these live around this part of midgard?”

Loki thought. He’d never really paid attention to the animals… Ah!

“There’s cats, which are essentially miniature, less aggressive versions of lions.”

Yuul beamed. “Where can I see those?”

“Well… They’re all around, really. People keep them as pets and let them out, I’m not sure why they do that.”

“Pets?”

“Yes. Creatures that are owned by someone and taken care of by them. Pets.”

Yuul frowned. “I’ve never heard of anything doing that. Are these creatures happy as pets?”

“Yes. Most of the time. If they’re well looked after.”

“Do you mean to say that some people don’t look after their pets?”

Loki felt regret. “Well, yes. I imagine there are some that don’t.”

Yuul stood up, looking enraged, it was the first time Loki had ever seen him look angry. “Where would these people be? That can’t be allowed to continue!”

Well, he supposed his anger was justified. “I imagine they’re all around the world, Yuul.” He stood up with him and put a hand on his shoulder. “Come, everything is going to change now we’re here. Besides, I thought you didn’t use your powers for violence.”

“I don’t. I just wanted to order them to stop… Or take their pets away from them.”

“Soon.”

Yuul relaxed and smiled. “Okay. Can I see a cat now?”

Well, there was no harm in it. “Very well. Let me shift you.” Loki shifted Yuul into his human form.

“Loki… I was meaning to ask you, when you changed us into the forms of your enemies… The first one. Can you make me more like that but still me?”

“Do you mean a woman?” Loki paused. “Well, really, there isn’t any wrong way to be a woman, however, I’ll change your body, if that’s what you’re asking.”

“Well… Yes, I suppose? I’m just curious.”

Raising an eyebrow, Loki did so, changing Yuul’s form. Yuul looked down at himself and smiled a little.

“How interesting… Would you ever allow me to experiment with your powers and analyse them?” Yuul asked.

He chuckled. “I suppose I could. Do you like this form?”

“I think I do!”

“Prefer it?”

Yuul shook her head. “I like both equally.”

Loki offered her his arm. “Come. Let us see if we can find some cats.”

After a walk around the block, Loki and Yuul were able to see some cats. Some were friendly and allowed Yuul to pet them, the others would run away or keep their distance. Either way, by the end of it, Yuul seemed content, having even taken some weird notes in a language that Loki couldn’t decipher.

“They were so soft…” Yuul said as they came back to the house. Loki opened the door for her and she stepped in.

“Do you want to be shifted back?”

“Yes, please.”

Loki did so, his mind was on other things, however. During the walk, all he could think about was that this was likely the perfect time to strike. He wouldn’t want them to be expecting an attack after noticing the stolen sceptre. Not that he felt like they had a chance against his new army.

Yuul, now in his real form, placed some papers on the table and spread them out. They were his notes about the cats, Loki realised. He watched him for a moment. His hair fell in such lovely ringlets down his back, soft and shimmering. He was a beauty, really.

He stood straight, looking back at Loki and meeting his gaze. “Loki. I’ve done more work on the attack plans. I’ve calculated that midgardians tend to be less active when it is dark, making them sleepers. I also think it would be best to attack Stark’s castle from the back. There were weak points within the metal there.”

He nodded. “I see.” Of course, he knew the humans slept already.

Yuul leant over the table again.

Loki sat down on the sofa, leaning back into it and sighing. “I thought you didn’t like destruction.”

“I don’t like using my powers for it. However, I am married to you now and thus you have my loyalty. I was born and raised with war, I know how to go about things.” He offered Loki a small smile.

Loki smirked. “How perfect.”

Yuul paused. “The natural elements of earth, as well as the innocent creatures won’t be hurt alongside this, will they?”

“They won’t.” Loki was telling the truth! He didn’t intend to harm earth itself or the animals.

“Thank you. You will be a fair ruler. It sounds like Midgard needs it.”

“Oh, it most certainly does.”

After a bit more talking and planning, Loki decided that he’d order the attack late that night. Sooner than later was better, after all.

He’d shifted his clothes into his asgardian wear, with gold armour all across it. Looking in the mirror, he grinned. He looked like a king, powerful and strong. Yuul stood next to him, looking at the reflection too. He was dressed in all black with accents of dark blue, silver armour across the chest and shoulders. He’d put his hair up in an intricate pattern of braids. They looked good together, the two of them, ready to go to war.

The two of them marched down the empty street and into the town, heading straight for the stark tower.

Loki reached into his pocket and pulled out the stone that would call upon his army. He stopped at the back of the tower. He and Yuul exchanged looks.

He snapped the stone in half.

Chapter Text

It was a beautiful kind of chaos.

The sky tore open to make way for the circular opening of the teleporter. It was like a window into another world. Deep and vast with glittering hints of crystal.

Then, the high pitched roar of his new army.

Crystal beings of all shapes, all gigantic leapt from the opening. The ground shook and cracked beneath the impact of their feet.

“Loki…” Yuulmenieva’aery murmured, watching everything with wide eyes.

“Oh, how wonderful.” Loki grinned and raised his sceptre, locking his eyes onto the stone. He could feel it’s power filling him all over again, strengthening his mind. He looked to his army and pointed at the Stark tower.

“Destroy it.”

The horde charged instantly, crashing into the building with satisfying force. It shook and creaked, the metal screaming as it tore, then, as if in slow motion, split down the middle. .

For a flicker of a moment, Loki wondered if that had been the right thing to do. Then, his eyes fell on the sceptre again. Something shot from the rubble of the top part.

Stark, all decked up in his little suit.

Loki grinned.

He saw Romanoff, Rogers and Barton, followed by The Hulk. They shouted things at each other, before launching themselves at one of them.

Wearing a smirk on his face, Loki approached, slowly. “Well, well, isn’t this interesting?”

They looked over at him.

“Is this your doing?!” Romanoff spat, barely avoiding a crystal arm lodging itself into the ground. The Hulk leapt at the giant the arm was attached to, hitting at it, with little effect.

“Who else would it be, Romanoff?” Loki laughed.

Stark flew around them, shooting at them with everything he could. He was suddenly struck with one of their arms and was catapulted across the skies like a little tennis ball. He hit the ground harder than one, though. Rogers sprinted towards him but found a giant standing in his way.

All this time, Loki had dreamt of revenge and imagined it unfolding in many different ways, yet, actually seeing it was beyond his wildest dreams.

The Avengers continued their fight, although it was clear that there was little they could do. Eventually, it seemed they were moving back. Stark had joined them and was, by the looks of it, arguing with Rogers. Instead of attacking, they were on the defensive.

Suddenly, the sky crackled with thunder.

Loki sighed and rolled his eyes.

A lightning bolt struck the ground, leaving a dent. In the middle stood Thor.

“Late to the celebrations, brother? How unlike you.” Loki was quick to advance on him.

“Loki…” Thor looked up in horror at the destruction around him. “What have you done?”

“What does it look like? I’m getting my revenge, brother.”

Yuul looked around at them and came to Loki’s side, looking at Thor with confusion. “I’d advise you to stay back…” he said.

Instead, Thor stepped in. “It doesn’t have to be like this!”

“And how else is it supposed to be? I allow myself to be captured so ‘father’ can have me executed?!” Loki glared. “You deserve this.” He raised his sceptre and fired an energy blast at him. Thor was hit and went flying but quickly recovered and flew back at him.

Loki dodged Thor’s attack, pulling Yuul with him. Yuul fell to the ground and watched, wide-eyed as they began to fight, Thor trying to hit Loki with Mjolnir and Loki firing off energy blasts at him.

Distracted by his own rage, Loki didn’t notice the heavy footsteps of Hulk behind him.

But Yuul did.

He raised his hands, sprouting a thick, sturdy tree from the ground and blocking Hulk’s attempt to smash Loki. Hulk shouted in frustration, then his eyes fell on Yuul.

Yuul stood up quickly taking a few steps back, still holding the tree in place. “Sorry,” he said.

“Helping the puny god!” Hulk yelled, ripping free of the branches that restrained him. He crashed back onto the ground and charged at Yuul.

Yuul dived out of the way, his heart thudding in his chest. “I’m not going to harm you!” he shouted.

However, Hulk charged again. Yuul sighed and using the same tree, wrapped branches upon branches around him. Hulk yelled and began to tear at them.

Yuul whimpered, beginning to feel the pain of the tearing as if it was from his own body. “Stop it… I said I won’t fight.”

Spotting Yuul’s distress, Loki caught Thor by the neck and flung him, firing a blast in his direction. It wouldn’t kill him, but... Just in case. He stomped over to Hulk and placed the sceptre on his chest. Hulk’s eyes changed to a bright blue.

He stepped back. “Release him,” he said to Yuul.

Yuul did so, cautiously.

Hulk stood in place, not doing anything.

Loki grinned and pointed at The Avengers. “Destroy them.”

Hulk let out a roar and stomped off, leaping into the sky and crashing down onto his own friends. He managed to catch Rogers and flung him.

“Are you controlling him?” Yuul asked.

“Yes, all thanks to this beauty.” He lifted the sceptre.

Thor joined the rest of the Avengers, trying his best to help them restrain Hulk. Meanwhile, Loki’s army continued to rampage. The Stark tower was nothing. Stark’s employees were fleeing left and right.
It didn’t take long for The Avengers to accept their loss and beat a hasty retreat. Loki let them go, watching with a satisfied smile. He’d enjoy hunting them down.

Yuulmenieva’aery drew a shaky breath. “I believe we’ve won.”

“Yes,” Loki said, turning to him. Behind him he could see his army, the destruction around them. He took Yuul’s hand.

“It would appear we have.”

Chapter Text

Yuulmenieva'aery started his day by stepping outside into the garden, ready to do some research on the plants that grew there.

He knelt down, gently touching a small white flower with his finger. He'd seen a lot of these around midgard. Daisies, Loki had said.

He then turned his attention to a cluster of tiny, pale blue flowers. He hadn't seen them before... He got out his notebook, which Loki had given him the previous day for his research. Yuul did a small sketch of the flower, managing to draw it in perfect detail and dimension despite not being much of an artist. This was one of the gifts he possessed, a brain capable of rapidly understanding the different depths and elements of things... Especially things born from nature.

He put his hand over the blue flowers, closing his eyes. He began to connect with them, coming to an understanding that they were also quite common on midgard. He'd have to ask Loki what the midgardians called them.

The sound of the door opening came from behind him. He looked up, his eyes meeting Loki's.

"Good morning, Yuul."

He smiled. "Greetings, Loki."

Loki's eyes flicked to the notebook in his hand. "Ah. Making good use of that, I see."

"Of course."

"Would you like to walk with me? I have some things to attend to and I'd like my husband by my side." Loki had a sly sort of smile, hiding many things. He extended a hand to Yuul. He took it, allowing Loki to pull him up.

Behind Loki's grip he could feel the raw strength he possessed. It made a shiver run down his spine.

"I'll walk with you." Yuul said.

They left the house. This time, Loki didn't bother shifting his clothes, nor did he bother shifting Yuul's form. The two of them walked down the street, headed towards the city.

Towering above in the sky, the crystal giants could be seen in the distance.

Yuul caught glimpses of faces in the windows of the houses they passed, looks of suspicion and fear. He frowned. They weren't going to hurt any of them...

They reached the city. The remains of the Stark tower were still scattered everywhere, now nothing but pathetic ruins. The streets were clear, not a person in sight.

One of the giants, commander Ikamuirie'aol, stepped towards Loki.

"My king..." it said, sinking a little to look at Loki, although Loki didn't seem to like it.

"What progress have you made in these last three days?" he asked.

Ikamuirie'aol rose back up to it's actual height. "We destroyed the last area your enemies were spotted in. However, they still escaped."

Loki laughed. "Of course. Continue!"

Yuul waited until it was gone before turning to Loki. "The Avengers really hurt you a lot..."

"They... I wouldn't say hurt me. They angered me."

Feeling a little bold, Yuul asked, "Your brother... What did he do?"

Loki looked at Yuul, then averted his gaze to the ground. "Thor was always favoured over me. I grew up like that. Thor didn't do anything about it, he revelled in it, in fact." He laughed bitterly. "He is nothing but arrogance. I only ever wanted to be his equal... But instead, I suppose I will be superior."

He frowned and put a hand on Loki's shoulder. "That sounds terrible..."

"Hm."

They continued walking.

"I can see why he would deserve this..." Yuul said, thoughtfully. "He disrespected you."

"Yes."

It made Yuul feel anger. Their marriage might be nothing more than an arrangement of power... Yet, Loki treated him better than he'd been treated for most of his life. He took a deep breath.

"Forgive me if this comes across badly... But I think I would be better at finding the Avengers than the army. That is what you intend, correct? To find them and punish them."

"This is punishment, Yuul."

Yuul furrowed his brow in confusion. "You are only chasing them."

"Is it not more fun this way? To chase them around, letting them wallow in their own uselessness."

"Are you not simply giving them a chance to get stronger?"

Loki looked at him. "Oh, what? You think they're going to happen upon a super weapon that can destroy my army of invincible giants?" He chuckled.

"I suppose not."

"However, if you would be so kind, I would like help in tracking them."

Yuul nodded. "I will do that, then."

"You are so against fighting, yet you are so ready to plan for war."

"Well..." Yuul tensed. "I know they have wronged you and that they should be punished for that. Is it really a war when it is only a few bad people? Besides, I just don't want to hurt others myself. I don't mind if those that deserve it get punished."

Loki smirked. "I like you."

As they walked, Yuul found himself walking closer to Loki. Occasionally, they would brush against each other. It made him feel chills.

He wasn't quite sure how a marriage was really supposed to be. On his planet, the crystal giants didn't love. They didn't show any sort of affection. Everything was based around power and what would produce the strongest offspring. However, he knew that on other planets, they would link arms, connect lips and gaze at each other in a way that a part of Yuul longed for.

It was intriguing and felt special. Looking at Loki, he wondered what it was like in his own culture. He wondered what it would be like if they shared a bond of love, rather than power. He wondered if he was capable of feeling love, being raised in the land of crystal.

Eventually, they parted ways and Yuul walked back to their base. His mind was full of thoughts, contemplating what he could do, how he could find these Avengers.

He opened the door. That was strange, it was unlocked. He must've forgotten to lock it was he went out. He brushed it off and went upstairs to find his notes.

However, as he opened the door to the study room, he was met with the sight of Thor himself. He stared at Yuul, hammer in hand.

"Hello..."

Chapter Text

The first thing that ran through Yuul’s mind was to attack. It was an immediate urge, knowing that the man before him was an enemy. Still, he didn’t, feeling a hint of shame at the urge in the first place.

He stepped closer, cautiously, watching him. “What are you doing here?”

Thor took a few steps forward, regarding him with suspicion. He turned the hammer in his hand.

“You were fighting alongside my brother. Who are you?”

“I wasn’t fighting,” Yuul retorted. “I don’t think I should be talking to you. Leave.”

Thor’s expression was tense, his heavy brows furrowed and his gaze cold. He stayed quiet for a moment, not moving. Then, he spoke again.

“Listen… I do not know what lies my brother has fed you but the things he is doing... They are not right.”

Yuulmenieva’aery narrowed his eyes. “What reason do I have to trust anything you say? It wasn’t as if you were a good brother to him, was it?”

Thor looked taken aback, then, Yuul was shocked to see that he looked sad.

“No… Perhaps I was not.” He lowered the hammer, letting out a sigh. “However, that does not mean that innocent people can be hurt.”

“No innocents are being hurt, simply those that deserve it.”

“He crushed Stark Tower in front of you, did everyone in there deserve it?”

“Probably! Loki said so.”

“And how does anyone get the right to choose who deserves to be harmed?” Thor barked. “The homes of innocents are being destroyed.”

“No, they aren’t!”

Thor walked forwards, somewhat scaring Yuul at first. He stopped in front of him, glaring. “Yesterday, one of those giants crushed a building whilst there were children in it. It was only by my strength that none were harmed too severely. These mortals have done nothing to deserve this.” His expression softened when he saw the horrified look on Yuul’s face. “I take it that you are not privy to the true nature of my brother’s actions. Quite honestly, I do not think he truly knows what he is doing himself.”

Yuul frowned. “L-Loki wouldn’t harm innocents. My people must be acting on their own accord.”

“Perhaps so.” Thor put a hand on Yuul’s shoulder, at first hesitant, then firmly. “Loki needs help… But enabling him and supporting him in this is not going to do that.”

For a moment, Yuul wondered. Then, he glared and pushed away. “What? And locking him up in a prison cell is? I’m not going to help you. I’m not your ally.”

Thor didn’t get angry again, however. He just sighed, turned and walked away. He went to the window, stopping just in front of it and turning to look at Yuul.

“Think about what I’ve said. You’re not doing him any favours.” Then, he jumped out from the window. Yuul approached it, just in time to see Thor shooting off through the sky, a crackle of lightning in his wake.

Yuul had a brief look around the house to make sure nothing had been tampered with. To his relief, everything seemed exactly as it had been left.

He did think about Thor’s words. He wondered what he meant, that this wasn’t helping.

Factually speaking, this was what helping was. Yuul was tracking down Loki’s enemies, helping to bring justice.

He went through a few of his files, arranging them. Half of it was to just pass the time, the other half was to get his mind off it. As he flipped through his journal, he stopped on a small drawing he had done of Loki’s sceptre. Yuul stared at it, frowning a little. Loki was very attached to the sceptre…

He traced it with a finger, pondering over the blue stone that sat in the top part of it. It seemed to be of great power. He wondered if Loki would perhaps allow him to have a closer look at it.

The door opened and Yuul looked up, listening to the approaching footsteps. Loki walked into the room, flashing Yuul a small smile, causing the dark circles under his eyes to wrinkle. Yuul frowned and stood, walking over to him.

“You look like you need rest, Loki…”

“I’m fine.” He waved a hand dismissively and put the sceptre down on a table.

Yuul looked at him. “Loki… I…”

“Did something happen?”

“What? No.” Yuul felt bad for lying, but by the time he realised he shouldn’t, the words had already left his mouth.

“Really? You seem rather shaken up.”

He shook his head, composing himself to the best of his ability. “I simply heard something about the army destroying a building whilst innocent children were inside. Do you know of this?”

Loki frowned. “I didn’t know…” Then, he looked angry. “Those blasted oafs, are you telling me they are really not listening to my orders? I think I was very clear about finding my enemies!” He balled his hand into a fist. “I’ll have words with them tomorrow.”

Yuul stared at him. “We aren’t hurting innocents, are we?”

“No, we’re not meant to.” Loki sat down and sighed. “My apologies.”

Yuul sat down next to him. “It’s okay… You should rest, Loki.”

“Perhaps later…”

Eventually though, Loki seemed to slip into sleep anyway.

Yuul watched over him. For a moment, he wondered if he really was helping him. Was what they were doing wrong?

He shook his head of the thoughts.

No, it had to be okay.

Resting back on the sofa, he looked at Loki and smiled. He then closed his eyes, finding sleep himself.

Chapter Text

When Yuul woke up, Loki was gone.

He sat up straight, groaning as his muscles ached from his sleep on the sofa. He stood and stretched before rubbing his eyes.

Yuulmenieva’aery’s morning routine was straightforward. He washed, changed, then got straight into work, analysing and arranging every bit of data and information he’d collected since being here.

He had seen so many more forms of life on this planet and he knew that he’d barely scratched the surface. Today, he decided he would tell Loki that he needed to go out and discover more, so long as he wasn’t needed for anything here.

After finishing up writing a study on one particular flower, Yuul stepped out of the house and walked towards the city. Looking up at the sky, he saw that there were only three of his people there, towering menacingly over everything. He felt a twinge of bitter disdain.

Distracted by it, he collided with something, almost falling back. He steadied himself and looked to see that it had been a young midgardian girl. She stared at him with wide eyes, trembling as she backed away, scrambling to her feet.

“Are you alright?” he asked.

“I-I’m sorry,” was all she said.

“That’s alright but… Are you okay?” he asked, stepping forward.

Clearly that was a mistake, She turned on her heel and ran. He watched her go, frowning to himself. He hadn’t even done anything. Yuul looked up at the sky, this time glaring as his eyes fell on the crystalline giants.

He continued his walk, making it into the heart of the city, where he saw Loki who was pacing, sceptre in hand. As he got closer, he could hear what he was saying.

“But what business did you have in destroying that school?” he snapped up at commander Ikamuirie’aol.

“It was in the way, my king.”

“In the…” Loki stopped in his tracks and looked up at him, then groaned and looked away when he met the commander’s bright gaze. “That does not mean destroy!”

“How come?”

“Because I say so as your king. These are simple midgardians, nothing more than a waste of time.”

“Yes, however…”

Loki glared. "They were innocents! They...." He trailed off as his eyes fell on the sceptre. “Cease this mindless chaos, I gave you an order! Find the avengers!”

He stalked off, towatrds Yuul. When he saw him a warm smile replaced the previous look of rage on his face.

“Yuul. How is your work coming along today?”

“Loki.” Yuul thought for a moment. “I was thinking that I would like to explore more today, discover more things. Besides, how am I to track your enemies if I’m just staying here?”

Loki smirked. “I was thinking exactly the same thing.”

They began walking together, side by side. Yuul felt that it was right, being beside someone like this, instead of trailing behind like he always had done before. He didn’t even notice that he was smiling as he spoke to Loki.

“I am beginning to connect to this planet. I am beginning to feel this ground, these plants, these living beings all around us. I think that if I could explore more, I will begin to be able to create detailed maps through my connection and possibly… I can track where about the Avengers are.”

“You could do that? That power you possess really is very impressive…” He locked eyes with Yuul, coming to a stop, which made Yuul stop too. “You’re capable of so very much, you know.”
Yuul looked down, realising only now that he was smiling. “I have never thought of myself like that. Just deadly.”

“Sometimes deadly is useful. I saw a flash of your deadly when you were confronted by the Hulk… And I liked what I saw.”

“I wasn’t fighting then, only keeping him away.”

“Exactly! Which makes me think…. What if you had been fighting? What capabilities do you have inside, untouched, locked away?” He smiled. “I could teach you. You would be in control.”

Yuul felt his face going hot. “Ah… Thank you for that offer but… I’ve already said…”

Loki shook his head. “I am not aiming to goad you into fighting. However, I think it would be... Helpful if you had that choice. If you learnt to control it… It would always be there, available to you.”

Yuul thought. “I suppose that is true…”

“You are capable of so much more than you think, Yuul.”

For some reason, Yuul could really not stop himself from smiling. He met Loki’s eyes, finding that they made him feel warm.

“Thank you. I suppose I would allow you to help me control them.”

Loki grinned. “Wonderful! We’ll start when you choose.”

They walked back to the base together and after deciding which direction they would go, they began to pack everything up. It didn’t take long, since it was all really just documents and studies.

Yuul stepped outside to say goodbye to the garden and to thank it for giving him so much to study. Then, he left the house with Loki and they went on their way, plans of exploration and bringing justice against the Avengers heavy on his mind.