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The King and the Fallen Prince

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For days the falling star made the night brighter, but wise-folk could not discern its meaning. Some said it foretold of darker days ahead, others that it was the dawning of a new era. The dwarves of Erebor took it as a sign that their reclaiming of the Mountain was blessed, while the people further east took it to their hearts each in his own way, as was the custom of the peoples there.

When the star finally fell, its path took it across the sky to the east. Many were afraid at seeing its fiery trail, but as it led away from all good folk and landed where no man saw it, people quickly forgot it had ever appeared in the sky at all.

Only a wizard walked the long way to find its final resting place. It lay just beyond the peaks of the Blue Mountain, overlooking the sea of Helcar, on whose eastern shore lay the Waters of Awakening where once elves had awakened to the world. It was not an elf that awoke in the Mark of the Star, but a being from another world.

The wizard was an old man in appearance, white of hair and beard, with blue robes and a brimless blue pointed hat that flopped backwards in the wind and did little to protect his ears. He carried always with him a brown bag slung over his shoulder, and his wooden walking stick, topped with a blue stone.

The blue-clad wizard found the Mark of the Star on the top of a mountain, or what was left or it. The top of it had gone completely, replaced by an enormous crater, which he called the Mark. He climbed all the way to its ridge, and saw that in its centre lay a man, or a creature alike in shape at least.

He used his staff to quickly descend the gravelly side of the new slope.

The man in the middle of the crater was long and slim, wearing green armour. His hair was short and black, and his skin pale as the elves, and as beautiful. He looked young, no more than twenty for a man.

The wizard looked him over, walking all the way around him to observe from every angle, before poking him not-too-gently with his stick. The young man opened his eyes.

At first he seemed confused, then amazed, then afraid. He sat up quickly, taking in the strange place he was in before noticing the blue wizard. He looked at him as if he was a ghost.

'Where am I?' the man asked in the common tongue, or by some magic made it seem that way.

'I take it you mean somewhere wider than this particular mountain,' the blue wizard said with a kind yet mischievous voice. 'So, I shall begin as wide as I can go. You are on the world called by some Arda. For most of its inhabitants, it is the only world they know. You are on the second continent, which by some is called Ennorath, or simply Middle-Earth. You are in the north-eastern part of that continent, in an area known to some as Rhûn, or East-Dorwinion. The mountain you are on is part of the lesser Blue Mountains, overlooking the inland sea of Helcar to the east. The land and climate are good, and well-suited to the making of wine, but I would warn you of creatures that travel by night. Orcs and goblins they are called. There are bears and wolves as well, but they seldom trouble those with fire and blade. Some men of this land serve the Darkness to the south, but mostly they are a friendly, if reserved folk.'

The long speech left the visitor wide-eyed and even more confused. He looked about himself as if to spot the joke. He rose and tested his footing, but the ground was solid.

'I am alive,' he said.

'Indeed. You do not appear to me as a ghost or spirit.'

'I... I fell,' the young man looked up at the sky.

'Yes, for many days.'


'Almost a week.'

'The Bifrost must have done something to me.' He looked about the ground for some sign. 'It was broken, but there must have still been vast amounts of energy-' he stopped, fixing his stare on the wizard again. 'Do you know of what I speak?'

'I have not heard of a Bifrost,' the wizard said. 'I have the ability to travel to only one other world, and that is only once, and in one direction.'

'But you have magic? I sense it.'

'Indeed, I am known as the Blue Wizard. Some call me Morinehtar, or Alatar, or for a more dramatic naming, they might use Darkness-Slayer.'

'Darkness-Slayer?' the man almost smiled. 'You have great power?'

'As great as my brother, Pallando, but we are not the greatest among our Order. If it is a way home you seek, then it is the Head of our Order you must ask.'

'Home,' the young man looked stricken at the thought. He looked to the sky. It was a cloudless day, and far too bright to see which star he had come from. 'Yes, I suppose I must get back, somehow. To one of the Nine Realms at least.'

'I will take you to him,' the blue wizard offered.

'Why? Why would you help me?'

'There is a Darkness in this world,' the blue wizard said, 'its power grows almost daily. A foreign magic such as yours can only be trouble. For you, or for us.' He gave the young man such a fierce look, the man knew at once the old wizard was more than just old, he was ancient. 'Be warned, He does not share power. To survive unspoiled, you would do best to go back to the heavens as quickly as possible, and only Saruman can help with that.'

'Then lead me to this Saruman,' the young man said. 'Is it far?'

'Many weeks even as the crow flies. We would do best to stay out of the wilderness, and there is no direct road out of the east. We must go north first, then west, then south.'

'That sounds like a long way round.'

'A safer way usually is.'

'So be it,' the young man looked frustrated by the news, but resigned. He looked up towards the edge of his crater. 'Which way off this blue mountain?'

'That way,' the wizard pointed. 'Might I have your name before we set off?'

'I am Loki, of-' he stopped himself a moment, but then pushed through. 'Of Asgard.'

'Asgard is your world?'

'Yes, one of many united together.'

'Well, Loki of Asgard, until you are returned to your home-world, I would caution you against speaking of it. Elves and wizards are accustomed to another world above our own, but men and other folk are not. If you must call yourself anything, say Loki of Cuiviénen.'

'What would that signify?'

'It means you are an Avari elf. They are seldom seen by men, even those who dwell here on the shores of Helcar, and many myths surround them. They are dark of hair and pale of skin, like you. Cover your ears with your hair, or create a pointed tip with an illusion, and most will accept the fact with due reverence.'

The man touched his hands to his ears, closed his eyes a moment, and then removed them. His ears were now slightly pointed. 'Will this suit?'

'Well enough for simple folk,' the wizard said amicably. He began climbing the side of the crater. 'Come along, we have a long way to go.'


The walk off the mountain was conducted in absolute silence. Loki was trying to remember his fall from the Bifrost, but everything after he had let go was a muddled mess. Darkness and light, flashing back and forth, was the only thing he could recall. The blue wizard, Alatar, seemed like a simple old man, but Loki feared that was a disguise. Magic radiated out from him, most of it from his staff. The blue stone on its end was clearly very special. Although it was likely he was being led to his doom, he could not do much else but follow. Sitting on the mountain the rest of his existence was not appealing, and until he found some other creature that could be of more use, this was his only route.

The landscape around grew more and more lush as they descended the mountain east and north. Sometimes, when they traversed the peak of a smaller mountain, they could glimpse a glittering promise of a wide inland sea. Alatar said this was lake Rhûn, and by its shores they would find the Men of Rhûn. With any luck, the men would could be hired to take them up the river Celdiun, or river Running, as the locals named it. It would take them as far north as they needed to go, and long on their way west.

Once down into the shallow valleys, the landscape alternated between wide open fields and dense forests. There were farms on all the best eastern-facing slopes, but the wizard kept them on the small dirt road and would not seek shelter. He claimed many of these men served the Dark Lord, the ruler to the south, and he was not welcomed among them. In such uncertain times, it was best to brave the forests at night, even with the threat of Orcs.

Loki saw few people, and he wondered if they did not hide away when they saw someone unknown approach, or if they saw that it was the blue wizard.

Once over the last high hills before the Sea of Rhûn, they saw a wide dense forest on the western slopes, but the wizard said the path was easy to follow. Beyond the forest lay the Sea, almost wide enough to reach the horizon. There was one big island to the south-west, and Loki could see settlements all along the eastern shores, moving north and west. Far in this direction he spied the river. So far, everything the wizard had told him had been accurate.

They slept on the hill before going down. Loki's dreams were troubling. Fingers slipping, Thor's stricken face, Odin's unfeeling gaze. He woke in a sweat, and the wizard gave him some tea, but Loki declined. He would only drink water directly from good streams they passed.

He should be dead, but instead he was on a planet not part of the Nine, full of magic. He could not help but be fascinated, and that helped push the Fall from his mind.

The Men of Rhûn were wary of them, and even with many gold coins, they would not take them on their boats. They seemed primitive to Loki, and reminded him of Midgard in many ways. But they made better wine than most. They eyed Loki with undisguised fear and suspicion. Alatar managed to purchase horses and supplies, and they set off along the river's eastern shores. They would cross it when they came to Lake Town, according to Alatar, underneath the great dwarfish kingdom of Erebor. Loki had little contact with the dwarfs of Svartalheimr, but he knew them to be stubborn and greedy. From the way Alatar described them here, they must be very similar. Alatar hoped to avoid contact with them. They mistrusted wizards, and elves even more so.

At night they did not light fires, for Alatar feared orc-packs or unfriendly men. The dark put Loki in a sour mood. He gazed up at the stars, but their arrangements were foreign to him. He must be far away from the Nine. A part of him wondered if it was his fate to die here. Thor and Odin most likely thought him dead already. They had no doubt given a sigh of relief at his loss. The frost-giant was no more. He had to wonder what they had told Frigga. Although it pained him, he wished she had no love for him, to spare her all grief. It was surely better this way.

Remaining on Arda was not an option. He did not belong – he didn't belong anywhere, but least of all here.

The journey was long, but the landscape easy and beautiful. The river was wide and slow-flowing, and the wizard even fished once or twice. He continued his jovial mannerism. One evening, while risking a short fire to cook his catch, the wizard decided to teach him a little Elvish, to fool the men of the lake.

After a short lesson, the wizard lapsed into silence.

'How did you come to fall?' he asked abruptly. Loki hesitated to answer.

'There was a great calamity,' Loki said. 'The bridge we use between worlds broke, and I fell from it.'

'I see. And will no one look for you?'

'No.' Loki glanced up at the stars. 'They think me dead.'

'I am sorry for that.'


'Being alive when people think you are dead is very troublesome. But, it has a tendency to reveal true friends and allies.' Loki gave a soft snort at that idea. The wizard lapsed into silence, and they ate their fish.

For several days, they could see Erebor rising above the horizon. It was called the Lonely Mountain, and Loki could easily see why. It was taller by far than the hills surrounding, and it even dwarfed the nearest mountains to the east, the Iron Hills. According to Alatar, they would pass beneath the mountain and enter the forest of Mirkwood, taking the great east road as far west as was needed. They would have to sell their horses to the people by the shores of the lake, as the forest was no place for them.

The people of the lake had heard rumours of their coming from the boat-men that traded in goods and wine from Dorwinion. They were friendlier than the Men of Rhûn, but offered little actual hospitality. To Loki they appeared marginally more advanced. The town out on the lake looked a bit hodge-podge, but it had to be somewhat well-engineered to stand for what looked like a long time. So far, Loki had seen very little to suggest he would want to stay on this world. There was a lot more magic here, he admitted, and the people seemed aware of it, even if they made little use of it, but it was hardly enough to tempt him.

The people eyed Loki as a mythical creature. Alatar bought a green cloak for him to wear over his armour, to appear less threatening. It helped very little.

After resupplying, they crossed the river and entered the forest of Mirkwood on the old forest road. Alatar told him to keep a watchful eye, as the forest had grown darker and they would encounter horrid creatures within. The elves Alatar hoped to avoid, and he cloaked them in a heavy enchantment to let them pass unseen.

The forest was unlike any Loki had entered. The dark magicks made the air thick and intoxicating, though Loki knew how to shield against its power. It grew with every step, and according to Alatar, this was the brighter side of the forest.

They travelled for an hour before Alatar suddenly stopped short, holding up a hand for Loki to remain quiet. Loki searched the dense forest, but could not see anything. He tried to listen, but there was only a little bird-song and other animals. Nothing of note.

He heard the crunch of footsteps just as a dozen tall elves stepped into view, surrounding them with ready arrows. Loki had to be impressed. No one had sneaked up on him since he was a child.

The leader stepped onto the path in front of Alatar. He was as tall as Loki, with long blond hair and shining blue eyes narrowed suspiciously. He wore leather armour, with a metal shoulder guard. At his hip was a beautiful sword, and on his back a bow like the others. He eyed the wizard up and down, then looked over his shoulder at Loki. He frowned deeply. Loki disliked him immediately. He was prettier than any elf on Alfheim, he'd give him that.

'What business brings you on the forest road?' the young elf asked.

'We are traveling to Isengard to seek the head of my Order, Saruman the White, and we would rather stay on the road than brave the shorter way.'

'I have heard of three wizards of the Order of the Istari, but the last two have never travelled this far west. What is your name? And who is your companion?'

'I am Alatar the Blue,' the wizard gave a low bow. 'This is my assistant, Loki, from your eastern kin.' Loki pursed his lips at the “assistant” remark, but kept quiet. The elf eyed him dubiously.

'No foreign travelers may walk the forest road without the king's consent. You will hand over your weapons and follow me to the Elvenking's Halls.'

'I only have my walking stick,' the wizard said, leaning heavily on it. 'I use no weapons. I am not a great member of our Order, unfortunately. I have no skill in fighting. We are both peaceful travelers.'

'I will have your stick regardless,' the elf said, taking it with little resistance. Another elf stepped up to Loki and he handed over the one small blade he still had on him when he fell. The elf frowned at the blade, checked him over quickly, then gave the blade to their leader.

Loki was more than a little uneasy, but kept his face a mask. He noted that all the elves wore their hair long, and all save one had blond hair.

They walked hidden paths through the forest. Even Loki was having trouble following it. He had a feeling they would discover he was not an elf fairly easily. The question then was what they would conclude about his presence.

The sight of the gates of the Elvenking's Halls silenced all thoughts. As they entered, Loki was for the first time appreciative of the world he had fallen to. The architecture was exquisite, and the way they weaved together rock and wood was unlike anything he had seen before. They followed a path along winding bridges and ledges. He could not see where the work of the elves ended and the natural wonders of the cave began. His head turned this way and that to take it all in, and he didn't even see the way all the elves looked at him.

When they arrived at the throne, Loki finally felt the hostile environment he was in. The elf – the king – lifted his head and Loki swallowed. This was definitely a king, and far more impressive than the king of Alfheim. Odin was the more powerful, easily, but Loki had never seen any creature inhabit a position of power so gracefully. Loki did not know what to make of his reaction – he failed to realise he was intimidated.

The leader elf stepped forward.

'This man claims to be Alatar the Blue, a member of the Istari, and his assistant, an elf from the east, called Loki.'

'The Blue Wizards have never been seen west of lake Rhûn in my life-time,' the king said, his voice slow and melodious. 'As for his assistant,' the king smiled slightly, 'he is no elf.'

'King Thranduil,' the wizard spoke. 'I am but a humble servant to my Order, I am bringing this person to Saruman. He is in need of our help. We mean no harm to your kingdom.'

'Of that I have little doubt,' the king said. 'But I am surprised you would leave the east without your brother. What of the people there you shepherd? Gandalf the Grey has spoken of your work there. Have you abandoned the people of Rhûn?'

'No, my brother continues the work,' the wizard replied. Loki could sense he was uneasy.

'The reports from the river men would suggest you are losing influence. Our wine stores are at an all-time low. The people grow suspicious and follow the dark.'

'There is a growing shadow,' the wizard admitted.

'We feel its presence even here,' the king said. 'It creeps up from the south.' He looked to Loki, and the Asgardian felt paralysed by his stare. Slowly, the king uncurled from his throne and stepped down. The wizard was pulled back by the guards, leaving Loki alone in front of the king. He was slightly taller than Loki, and of the same build. His eyes shone by some unfamiliar magic.

'You weave a thick illusion about you,' he said, looking Loki over from head to foot. He reached out, and Loki forced himself to stand still. The king moved so slowly, but it was calculated, as if he would move too fast for you to see if he let himself move thoughtlessly. He touched the tips of Loki's ears and to Loki's astonishment the illusion crumbled, revealing his true ears. The king leaned back as if to admire what he had done. 'Better,' he murmured. 'Tell me who you are, and not what the wizard has told you to say.'

'I am Loki of Asgard,' he said, hoping his voice did not sound as light as it felt. 'I come from a different world. I fell here by accident. I seek only to return home. The wizard said his Order might have enough power to help.'

The king stared at him for a long time, and Loki met his gaze as best he could.

'You are a man?'

'No- I am Asgardian. Our lives are far longer than men. On some worlds we are as gods.'

'I feel your power,' the king said. 'It is impressive. Your illusion is almost a part of you.'

'I wear no illusion.'

The king tilted his head in contemplation. 'I see.' He turned towards the wizard, leaving Loki feeling ill at ease.

'I would keep you here as my guests until such time as the forests are safer to travel. My warriors are clearing the path as we speak. A few days delay, no more.'

'We will brave the path now,' the wizard said.

'No,' the king replied, ascending his throne. Loki glanced at the wizard. 'And I will send a few of my warriors with you on your way, to make sure you arrive unharmed.'

'King Thranduil is most generous, but such protection is unnecessary.'

'I insist.'

The wizard looked about to pop. Suddenly, he raised his hand and his staff flew from the hands of the guard. He raised it high, the blue stone shining bright enough to blind them, striking the floor with it. A blast of energy shot out, and when everything had settled, the wizard was gone.

'As I suspected,' the king sighed. 'It appears he was more interested in your power than your journey. Does this surprise you?'

'Hardly, but I had little else to do but follow him.'

'He was correct about the Order,' the king said. 'If you wish to go home, the Istari are your only hope. Reluctant though I am to admit it, Gandalf the Grey would truly help you. I would urge you to Imladris, to seek out Lord Elrond. He will know where the wizard is.'

'This Lord Elrond is an elf?'

'Of the Noldor,' the king looked sour. 'There is little love between our kin.'

'And you will let me pass through your kingdom?'

'You will stay the night and dine with me,' the king said. 'Tomorrow Prince Legolas will lead you to the western gate. From there you must make your own way over the Misty Mountains.' The leader – the Prince – made a face at the order, but kept silent.

Loki bowed low. 'You are most generous, King Thranduil.'

'Tauriel will show you rooms where you may bathe and dress.' The red-haired elf stepped forward, eyes wide and staring. Loki bowed once more to both king and prince, and followed her. The guards did as well.

As they walked the magnificent hallways of the Elven King, Tauriel kept glancing behind her, giving Loki curious stares. He was led to an apartment worthy of Asgard, except in place of gold, there was silver, marble and carved wood. It seemed like every piece flowed into another, room and furniture as if carved from the same rock. Tauriel watched him as he circled the room. Servants entered bringing clothes and a plate of fruit.

'Are you truly from another world?' Tauriel asked. Loki looked at her, and saw that she was not afraid.

'Yes, it is... far away.'

'What is it like?'

'Not like this,' Loki said. 'We have elves, but they are not quite like you.'

'What are you?'

'I... I am Asgardian.'

'Such a strange word,' she said, smiling. She bowed. 'I will come collect you for the evening meal.' With that she left him. He explored the rest of the apartment, finding the bath already filling with warm water.

He bathed and contemplated his position. These elves saw much more than they let on. The thought chilled him. Unbeknownst to him, his mind was on the edge of a precipice, and by the smallest push, it would break.

After his body had recovered some from the long journey, he got up and put on the robes they had left for him, glad to be out of his armour.

The robes were of a shimmering fabric, with a tint of lavender in colour. There were details on the cuffs and collar, beautiful knot work. The robes were buttoned tight all down the front with glass buttons.

He was just finished putting it on when Tauriel knocked and led him down to the King's dining hall. Thranduil and Legolas were in deep conversation in the corner of the great hall, but stopped abruptly when Loki entered. Legolas had changed out of his armour and was wearing a knee-length tunic of a shimmering green colour, with matching breeches and high boots. Thranduil looked Loki up and down, and Loki felt a blush rise to his cheeks.

'Your stature suits our clothing well, Loki of Asgard.'

'Thank you, King Thranduil.'

'Come, we shall sit.'

The table was laid out for three, and Loki was seated to Thranduil's right side. The food was foreign, but Loki's keen magic and sense of smell would alert him to most substances poisonous to him. Besides, they could have killed him off a dozen times by this point.

Thranduil ate in the same way he seemed to do anything, sensually and slowly. Legolas spent the entire meal staring distrustfully at Loki, and he in turn avoided the Prince's gaze.

'Tell me of your world,' the king commanded.

'Asgard is the leader of a union of planets, which we call the Nine Realms. On Alfheim there are elves who look much like you.'

'Strange to think of our kind beyond the stars. What other races are there?'

'Many strange races, probably beyond count. The dark elves of Svartalfheim are... quite different.'

Thranduil asked many more questions about Alfheim, and Loki kept him entertained for the evening. Loki was escorted back to his rooms after.

There were no windows in the caves, but several walls were painted with the most pretty murals. He guessed they depicted myths or important moments in their history. He was studying one of them while unbuttoning his robes when the door opened the King Thranduil entered silently. Loki froze.

'Is there something else you wished of me, Your Majesty?'

'You fascinate almost beyond reason,' the king said, head tilted as if considering how to eat his cake. Loki swallowed and almost did up his buttons, but instead forced himself to let his hands fall to his sides. 'A man fallen from the sky. Your star shone in the heavens for almost a week. Many of my people thought you portended doom upon us.'

'I swear I do not mean anything.'

'I believe you, though your disguise tells me you favour lies over truth.'

'I told you I wear no disguise.'

'I do not claim to be a great teller of truth myself,' the King said, walking closer, 'but your foreignness betrays you easier than if you were one of us. The key to a good lie, after all, is to let the audience fill in the blanks themselves. But I do not know what to expect of you, and so I see only the cracks.'

Loki's heart was in his throat as the King stood before him. His eyes pierced him, drawing him out. Loki's fragile mind was about to crack.

'Show me your true self,' the King said.

'I- I wear no disguise.'

Suddenly, the King began muttering words in a language Loki's magic could not translate. The power in the words swirled around the room, closing in on Loki like spiders crawling all over his skin. He gasped and looked down at his hands, horrified to see them turning blue. It spread up his arms, and he could feel it on his face. He looked up at the King, knowing his eyes were now red. The King stared back with the same curious expression.

'What are you?' he asked.

'Jotun,' Loki snapped, almost shouting. 'A creature of Jotunheim'

'Why do you hide the most interesting part of you?'

'It is not a source of fascination to me!' Loki growled. 'Now release me.'

'There are species of Orcs that are almost as blue as you,' the King said. 'But you are far too beautiful for an Orc.' He narrowed his eyes. 'Why did you fall?'

'I will not be your toy,' Loki said. 'Release this magic.'

'Tell me the truth and I will.'

Loki made a noise of frustration. The King was completely unmoved by Loki's anger. He was utterly confident Loki could do nothing to hurt him while in his kingdom. Oh, if they had but met on a battlefield.

'I fell because I had to,' he said suddenly. In his mind he felt Thor's fingers slip out of his own, knowing with that relaxing of muscle he had condemned himself to death. For what? He honestly did not know – a million reasons clouded his mind. Shame. Despair. Revenge. They had all seemed enough in the moment. 'I had no place on Asgard,' he whispered. 'I am a monster.'

'These Jotuns are evil?'

'They are the enemies of Asgard,' which was the same, to Loki.

The King reached out to touch, and Loki flinched back. 'Do not touch me. Your skin will burn.'

'You are warm?'

'Cold. Jotuns are known as frost-giants. Your skin would blacken and die.' He gazed at the King's flawless skin, growing sick at the thought of marring it by touch alone. But that was what monsters did.

'You fell with purpose,' the King said. 'I see the despair in your eyes.'

'You know nothing of me. If you did you would be afraid.'

'I have burned before,' the King said. 'I prefer the cold night to the heat of the day.' His hand shot out suddenly, so quick Loki almost didn't see it, and grabbed his bare wrist. Loki struggled, but in his shock the King's grip was firm. But after several seconds Loki stilled as he realised the King was not burning. 'It seems my elven skin is hardier than you think.'

'Let me go.'

The King stepped up close, face inches from Loki's. His eyes captured Loki completely.

'Your fall has not ended,' he said softly. 'I see a long and dangerous path ahead for you.'

'I do not believe in the gift of foresight.'

'I need not see forwards to see you now, and the inevitable road you will take.'

'And what is my destination?' Loki mocked.

'That is unclear. But you will either think yourself strong, and be burnt, or rise from your fall with wounds you will carry forever.'

'I despise those who speak in vague promises.'

'I speak from experience.' The King closed his eyes in pain, turning his left cheek towards Loki as he let an illusion slip across his face – or was it an illusion? Loki did not understand this magic. Thranduil's cheek was almost gone, a horrid wound appearing and disappearing in the blink on an eye. Loki had a vision in his mind of great beasts of the air, spewing fire and taking down a hundred men with one lung-full.

When the moment was over, Loki was no longer certain he would want to meet the King on the battlefield. He realised the King was still holding his wrist and glanced down at it. When he looked back up, the King was even closer.

'Are your people well versed in the arts of pleasure?'

'I- I suppose there are those who claim mastery of it.' Loki in truth had not lain with man or woman in a thousand years.

'How old are you?' the King asked, as if reading his mind.

'About two millenniums, we don't tend to count.'

'Hmmmm, about my son's age.' That gave Loki pause. Odin was over five thousand years and he was beginning to look old. The elves of Alfheim grew much the same. 'I will have you regardless.'

'I-' Loki's answer was stopped with a kiss. Not too hard, but it broke no argument. The King's lips were warm compared to Loki.

His heart was going a million miles a minute, and the thought of making love as a frost-giant was making his stomach churn. But the elf magic would not release him, and the King would not accept a refusal.

And Loki did not want to protest.

The King was undoing his buttons, he realised. The kiss deepened, and Loki opened his mouth. The King hummed, the sound hypnotic, and Loki gasped as his warm hands glided up his torso and pushed the robes off his shoulders. His undergarments were undone next.

The King stepped back and admired his naked body. Loki did not wish to look down at it.

'What are these markings?'

'I- I do not know.'

The King leaned forward and kissed one of the lines by his collarbone. Loki shivered.

'Your Majesty-'

'Please, no formalities in bed. Thranduil sounds so nice on your foreign lips.'

'Thranduil,' Loki said. But the elf did not listen, and instead turned towards the bedroom, disappearing inside. Loki glanced down at himself, shivering again at the sight. Blue all over. He followed, and found Thranduil shedding his own robes. His skin was absolutely flawless, paler even than Loki used to be, and his white hair matched. He gently took off his crown and placed it on the bedside table. His bare back was... enticing, Loki could not deny it.

Thranduil turned and reached out. Loki tried not to flinch. He was guided onto the bed, on his back. Thranduil straddled him, his hair falling over his shoulders, tickling Loki's chest.

'You are unlike any creature I have seen,' he said. 'After millenniums of solitude, you have awakened something within me I thought dead. I did not think I would lay with another until I joined my lady in the Halls of Mandos. I will explore you as I once did these woods.'

His long fingers explored Loki's chest and arms, tracing the markings. He leaned down. 'Are you sensitive here, I wonder?' He sucked on Loki's left nipple, and it was definitely as sensitive as it had been in his Asgardian skin.

He tried to keep his mind focused, to remember what he was in that moment, remember why he fell, but Thranduil's beauty and utter focus on the giving of pleasure overwhelmed his broken mind. He fell into a haze.

Thranduil always seemed to know when he needed a kiss to shut him up before he spoke a protest. Thranduil's skin was like warm silk.

'You may touch me as well,' he whispered, and Loki's hands went almost straight to the man's backside, earning him a chuckle.

Thranduil gripped Loki's member, stimulating it while doing something with his tongue and Loki's ear. It made his world spin.

'How- What is this magic?'

'Pleasure is no place for magic,' Thranduil whispered. He got on top again, making sure their hips aligned and Loki keened as Thranduil helped him lift his knees so they fitted better together. His skin was too warm. He was desperate for release. Thranduil kept him on a leash, seemingly unaffected, until Loki with a frustrated growl rolled them over. 'Is this the frost-giant I see?' Thranduil asked, framing Loki's face with his hands and gazing into his eyes. 'Yes, good. Unleash it all.'

'You do not know what you ask.'

'Neither do you.'

Loki growled, ending on a muffled moan as he was pressed closer by Thranduil wrapping his legs around his waist. They rocked together. Loki started kissing Thranduil everywhere he could reach. He found a particular good spot on his neck, and sucked. This finally produced a gasp and moan.

'Inside,' Thranduil gasped. 'Now, at once.'

Loki did as he was told, and entered Thranduil, finding it as smooth as the rest of him. Thranduil threw his head back, teasing Loki with that neck of his. Loki stared at it transfixed as he started thrusting into him. Thranduil closed his eyes and Loki enjoyed seeing his whole body rock as he increased the force of his thrusts.

'Unleash it all!' Thranduil commanded. Loki braced himself, one hand on the bed, the other on Thranduil's hip. He thrust as hard as he could, but Thranduil only moaned and made no protest. Loki finally reached the precipice he was grasping for, just after Thranduil's release. They collapsed in a heap, Loki rolling off, all his senses blurring.

He must have fallen asleep. Thranduil was gone when next he became aware. He was returned to his normal colour, but a tiny sliver of him was disappointed.