He falls first.
And there is incredible, blinding pain. The kind that speaks of vital damage. All of his seiðr is expended on keeping him alive until it is depleted. He is able to heal the shattered cage of his ribs, so that he can still breathe clearly but that takes all his magic.
Loki’s aesir form falls away until he is left in blue skin, his natural jotun form. A Halfling. He cannot even twitch his fingers, but he lies in the centre of a great cavern, the crevasse above of which he crashed through painfully and sets his mind adrift.
He can survive some time without food or water. His seiðr will return, and he will use it to heal the more pressing injuries. Until he is able to sit up.
He has no urges to relieve his bladder, though if he did, he has not the power to do anything but soil himself. The cavern is dark and he cannot see well in the limited light but from the odd sounds it is clear that there are small things scuttling about.
Loki is well aware of how vulnerable he is to attack. But he has made too many enemies to think of friends coming to his rescue. Perhaps Thor, but he will view any message as a trick now. He is learning.
He lulls his mind into a mediative, inactive state to conserve energy while his magic slowly returns.
But it is slow going.
Death might have been a kindness.
On the second week the scuttling stops and Loki knows there is danger.
After so long Loki welcomes it, the boredom of being unable to move or do anything but lie and think has grown quite tedious. He is convinced at this point that death would be more interesting.
Then he hears the slither of something across the ground, the slither of many things at once, a steady slap of movement and tilts his head curiously towards it, the only part of his body he is capable of moving at the present time.
There are lines of light from above, slipping through the cracks and from this he can make out a vast looming shape. Something bigger than a jotun fully grown. A formidable beast then.
Loki sighs and turns his head back. “Yes, very well. Go on and kill me then. But luck was on your side today, and I happen to be incredibly bored and already warming to the idea.”
The creature does not respond but it’s long limbs glide towards him, tentacles stretching out and Loki cannot make anything of its eyes. As he’s fairly confident it has none.
When the first tentacle reaches towards him and touches his face it is extraordinarily hot and he gasps at the sensation just as the tip shrivels and curls in on itself, solidifying into a strange shape. Abruptly, Loki remembers the sub-zero temperature of his skin and when the creatures stretches out a second tentacle to touch him, that shrivels up and freezes too.
It tries for a third time and Loki does not even bother to look at it anymore, for it is clearly some manner of unintelligent lifeform. It does not even understand Loki’s skin is cool to the touch, cold enough to burn the stupid thing every time it extends itself. The tips of four tentacles are shrivelled now and when the creature withdraws and shakes them out, the dead sections seem to break off all on their own.
It’s only useful quality, for it seems to have no sense of self-preservation.
Loki at once appreciates the defence mechanisms of his own skin in this form when his body burns the tip sliding along his bare arm before it recoils. In all his years, he has never had need to use of it.
What little seiðr he has left, he uses to probe the creature’s thoughts for its intentions. Perhaps it is merely curious. Or perhaps it is hungry.
Loki casts his mind out but all he finds is a vast nothingness where sentient thought should be. So it is even more dull than he presumed. There is a gentle lapping in the stream which tells him of more tentacles nearby and Loki idly wonders if he is surrounded.
A tentacle hovers over his face and Loki feels the splashes of coldness before anything else. Surprised, he licks out at his top lip, tasting the first burst of water in two weeks. His mouth falls open automatically as the tentacle drips water onto his face, as if it intends to let him drink. The creature makes no attempt to touch him, but it does bring further wet tentacles to hover over his mouth, cool water sliding soothingly down his throat.
He does not require food and water to completely sustain him, but undoubtedly it would speed up the healing process.
Eventually however, the tentacles retreat and Loki hears the creature slide away, leaving him alone in the cavern again.
He waits, suspicious of more. But it does not return.
It seems little interested in him beside the strange fluid from the tentacles now rubbed into his skin and the few droplets of water it let fall onto his lips.
Idly, Loki puzzles over what it eats and wonders if when it returns again he will soon find out.
The creature reappears two days later. By then Loki has restored some of his seiðr and used it on his worst injuries. His skin is no longer burning to the touch but when the creature leaves droplets of water on his lips again, he feels parched.
When he opens his mouth to pant suddenly there’s a tentacle on his tongue, slipping quickly into his mouth and excreting foreign liquid from the tip. He chokes at the flood of fluid, and twists his head away, but that’s all he can manage.
The tentacle retreats and Loki waits to see what it has done to him. What kind of poison it has forced him to ingest. His magic does not flicker or respond to the new liquid in his belly, but it has a surprising taste to it. His skin feels warmer and he expects that is the method of the venom before he realises that some of the aches in his body has lessened.
Loki waits a few more minutes but nothing else happens. He feels content, as if he has eaten a hearty meal. There are drops of the sweet liquid still on his mouth. Hesitantly, Loki licks it up.
And then he is certain. The creature is feeding him. And whatever it is, some manner of nutrients or nourishment, it will sustain him.
When the tentacle edges out towards him again, Loki lets his lips part. It eases in slowly, gently and lays itself upon his tongue before it starts to gush in his mouth.
Loki shudders and swallows, drinking his fill. When the tentacle is drained it slips from his lips and Loki pants and tries to get his breath back, feeling warm all over.
He eyes what parts of the creature he can see from light shining through cracks in the cavern, but it is already slithering away, leaving him alone again.
Loki is warm for the rest of the night.
The creature returns every few days to feed him. After the first time, once Loki was certain the liquid had no lasting effects, he opens his mouth eagerly and drinks until the tentacle is drained.
He realises soon enough that it is not liquid at all, for he never has the urge to relieve himself no matter how much he drinks. His body seems to absorb every bit of the nutrients the strange creature provides.
Some days the creature gives him another tentacle after he has drained the first. Others, it leaves before Loki is quite finished but only when other odd sounds in the cavern have disturbed it. Loki is always disappointed on those days.
He believes there might be some kind of additive to make him crave the creature’s nutrients, but he suffers no withdrawal from its absence. It’s very likely this is the same way the creature would feed its own young, and it has taken to treating Loki like an injured babe.
There’s humiliation in that but as his strength is returning much faster with the nutrients than it would have otherwise, Loki is happy to be nursed as such.
His seiðr is slowly returning to full strength too. Soon he might use his own magic to heal himself completely.
It is weeks before he sees the danger.
Loki’s mouth is stretched wide around the tentacle in his mouth, pressed in deeper once he realised how much more he can take in his throat when his seiðr returns in full force.
And then he realises the soft caress against his skull is not another tentacle cradling his head as assumed, but that it comes from within.
The creature is inside the walls of his mind, comfortably situated and soothing him to swallow more down.
Loki chokes in surprise and the tentacle withdraws immediately, sensing his reaction. He realises that this sensation has accompanied every instance with creature, from the first moment it had appeared.
He pushes against its mind determinedly and meets the strongest impenetrable wall that he has every encountered before. It is not a brainless lifeform as he’d assumed after a fumbling probe of its formidable mind, and he has not been guarding against it ever since.
What a fool he’s been.
“Think yourself clever, creature?”
“I am Cephalos,” a clear voice echoes in Loki’s mind, sliding through his mental wards as if they were butter. “And with my assistance your wounds have begun to heal.”
Loki’s mouth falls open, astonished by the confirmation, by the sheer strength of its thoughts in his mind. He did not think it was this powerful. Or that is has been inside his mind for so long without him ever being aware of it. He had not believed invasions like this could be so unobtrusive and painless. But to this beast, Loki is probably considered to be of a lesser intelligence.
And Loki still has no inkling of what it desires.
“What manner of creature are you?” he wonders. “What is your kind?”
“I am one of the Ancient Ones,” Cephalos says. “We spread across worlds and have been here since the dawn of the planets.”
“What world is this?” Loki asks, glancing about the darkness as if the secrets of the cosmos will reveal themselves to his gaze.
When he fell he did not recognise the planet. Or the dimension upon which he landed.
“It has no name among us,” Cephalos tells him. “But it’s seventh from the sixth sun.”
Loki is not familiar. “And what do you want of me?” he asks, for surely if this creature is clever enough to shield its own mind and to break through Loki’s metal barriers, then it must have its own agenda.
“I want you to heal,” Cephalos says cryptically. “I wish to ease your suffering.”
There are a lot of ways to accomplish such a task, death included. Loki does not have the strength to be wary.
“Rest,” Cephalos commands, easing his tentacle back into Loki’s open mouth.
He hums softly at the familiar taste, lets it slide gently down his throat, knowing that it is indeed helping him heal faster.
For now this will work until he may find a way to shift the power to his advantage. And he will find some way or other. Cephalos might be clever, but Loki had underestimated him then. He has not intention of doing so now.
"You plan to devour me," Loki says one day after Cephalos has slipped an emptied tentacle from his mouth. "You wish me happy and fat so you can gnaw on my bones."
The tentacles stroking him flinch away at the words. "We are a peaceful race," Cephalos says. "We fight only in rare circumstances, and we do not consume living things."
Loki frowns at that, disbelieving. "Then what do you eat?"
Cephalos scoops his tentacles beneath Loki's sides, gently lifting him onto a bed of tentacle limbs and carries him out of the last rays of light. Loki's heart pounds with excitement and fear even as he is dragged to another section of the cave where it was too dark for him to see before. When his eyes adjust it is clear from the features collected there that this is Cephalos' nest.
"Here," he says, and suddenly there is a strange type of moss being pushed onto Loki's hand. His finger twitches.
"You eat this?"
"We require little," Cephalos tells him. "We are near immortal beings. Death occurs very rarely for Ancient Ones."
Loki settles further into the tentacle bed Cephalos has made for him. Presently he is quite comfortable. "And what of other planets? Can you only sustain yourself here?"
"We can live anywhere if the conditions are suitable."
So if he wished, he could take Cephalos with him.
Loki jolts at the unexpected thought and pushes it to the back of his mind. "So what do you want of me then? You and I both know your intentions go beyond mere assistance."
Cephalos does not respond straight away, and it strikes Loki just how mysterious a creature he truly is. "I wish to claim you," he admits. "I wish to make you my partner. My breeder."
A spasm twists through Loki's body at the words, raw heat burning him up inside. "I- you dare-"
“You wish to be bred,” he says without preamble. “You think of it often, but for your mixed blood and noble lineage they leave you untouched. I can keep you fed, protected, stimulate your mind and keep you full. I only ask that you carry my offspring.”
Loki realises that Cephalos has seen into every recess of his mind, has uncovered each hidden desire and need of his body. Then he seriously considers the offer. And the ache that has been sitting in his lower belly ever since Cephalos first swept into his thoughts. It is not unreasonable.
“The liquid, you have given me,” he says. “It is controlling me? It has addictive properties.”
The tentacle at his arm, curls and tightens as if in reflex. “It is nutrients,” Cephalos says. “Your body is still weak and craves it for healing.”
“I think it hardly fair, to trust the word of some manner of beast, when it has not allowed me into its mind, but has roamed uninvited through my own for weeks.”
Cephalos slips back until only the longest tendrils caress Loki’s thighs. He fears for a moment that it intends to go away again, to leave him in this nest. Until he senses the wall between their consciousness fade.
Loki stumbles into the mind of the ancient creature, sees its thoughts, its memories for what they are. It has bred others before, strange, unusual beasts which Loki himself has never seen. Some were successful for a time. Some did not survive. Some died of old age. But they were always willing.
And suddenly he sees himself through Cephalos’ eyes, though Loki had first thought he could not see. He is in jotun form, the form of gods who live for eternal, Cephalos can taste his longevity when he puts his feelers to Loki’s bare skin for the first time.
When he spreads healing salve across the broken form, unmoving and unprotected on the cavern floor. When the creature accepts the nutrients he offers, how the sweet swell of its mouth opens to take one of his most potent limbs. When it sucks greedily on it, eager for more as he maps out the injuries of its body and senses the strength there.
With such damage the creature should be dead, and half starved, but it has strength. Immortality.
His feelers linger on the creatures’ hips as his limbs trail along it, and he feels the briefest prick of magic as it clumsily searches out his intentions. The hips are strong, the body is sturdy and resilient. It could bear his offspring. For all eternal. He imagines the way it’s stomach will swell with his seed and feels a deep, encompassing pleasure.
Loki reels away from Cephalos’ thoughts with a gasp.
“So you are male then?” he says, heart pumping wildly in his chest at what Cephalos has planned for him. Has planned from the very beginning. A slow seduction, it seems. “And you’ve already been giving me your seed.”
Cephalos rumbles pleasantly. “My seed is a small part of the nutrients you require to heal. Harmless. But I have an organ for breeding only.”
“Birthing is painful, yes?”
“It is intensely pleasurable,” Cephalos explains. “And you will be so slick that no pain will come to you. My eggs lie dormant within, they do not require regular extraction. You may select the time for which to take my offspring.”
Heat coils in his pants. Loki can imagine it all. The pleasures it would bring. How this creature seems to have been constructed to answer all of his desires, however deeply hidden within his heart.
“And if I deny you?”
Cephalos’ mind does not close to him. Loki can read his disappointment, but that is all. Even now, he is beginning to understand how Cephalos’ thoughts are more complex than his own, the knowledge and make up of his mind far outstretches what Loki could ever have imagined. And Cephalos has no interest in a partner that is unwilling.
“Then you recover, you heal and I lead you from this place. But I hope you will still think of me in time.”
“Let me contemplate your offer,” Loki decides eventually. “I will reach my own conclusion.”
Cephalos withdraws and Loki is left alone in his nest with his frustration.
He dreams of tentacles encasing his body, wrapping him up in their embrace as one slides wonderfully into his ass, slick with its own juices, painlessly working inside him.
There’s a tentacle pushing into his mouth and this liquid tastes different than the nutrients, makes his cock fill, burns him hot inside and leaves Loki with a desperate need to come on the thick tentacle as much as he can.
Loki jolts with a little cry, gasping with pleasure as he’s filled up so deeply, so perfectly, the thick heat of it twisting and wriggling inside his ass. It glances off his prostate and Loki whimpers, begging Cephalos to keep going.
“I’ll keep you so full,” he promises, speeding up the movement of his tentacle. “You will want for nothing. I will stimulate your mind, warm your hole and fill you up with my young.”
Loki comes then, gasping and panting as his eyes slide open and he realises that Cephalos is within reach and has been feeding those lovely images into his unprotected mind.
He groans, realising that his pants are wet with his precome and that amazingly, he’s still hard. He feels as if he’s had a mental orgasm. The feeling works its way through him so sweetly, leaving him warm and lazy and content.
“I merely wished to show you,” Cephalos croons softly in his thoughts. “What it might be like to be with me.”
Loki certainly hadn’t expected this. Carefully, he builds up the strength of the wards, sectioning off a place in his mind.
“Do you feel that?” he asks once he is finished.
Cephalos presses against the barrier but does not attack it. “Yes.”
“If you wish for me to trust you, you will not ever invade this section of my mind,” he says. “I am aware this is how you communicate but I wish to have some place of my own where I can guard my thoughts privately. Would you agree to this?”
“I will not violate your boundaries further,” Cephalos settles. “I agree to these terms.”
Loki waits a moment before Cephalos is in his mind again, offering more thoughts, feelings, and images of the nature of his lovemaking. Loki features heavily in them all.
“I underestimated you,” Loki admits with a gasp, smirking and stretching his body out to reveal that he is properly healed. Has been for some days now. Even the great Cephalos did not comprehend that. Loki can hear the surprise echo in his mind. “I suppose you’d better breed me up then.”
Cephalos shifts closer but does not reach out.
“You wish it?”
Loki can’t believe how much. “Oh yes.”
The tentacles slide forward to tug on the material of his filthy clothes but Loki clumsily gets his fingers to work, hands shaking as he slips out of his undershirt. He is still weak but Cephalos knows when to assist him and when to stay out of his way.
Much like the dream, once Loki is naked, the tentacles are wet with their own kind of liquid coating which means the first slides into Loki’s hole easily.
He arches with a cry, feeling other tentacles wrap around his knees, his ankles, his arms, gently lifting him into the air until he is fully ensnared in Celphalos’ grip. The thickness inside him renders him speechless, sobbing through the delightful pressure, desperate for the creature to flood him with seed.
“We are perfect for one another you and I,” Cephalos murmurs, as his tentacle buries deep within him. “You who craves to be full, and I who will never run dry of seed. I can give you every tentacle, breed you until your stomach swells and you are drenched with it.”
“Please,” Loki whimpers, mindless with his pleasure. “Oh do it.”
Cephalos it seems, is amenable to instruction and by the time he is finished and truly spent, Loki is incapable of movement, his skin buzzing at the sensation of seed dripping sweetly down his thighs, belly distended by the sheer amount of it inside him.
Cephalos leaves one of his thicker tentacles plugged in Loki’s hole, sealing in his precious come, while Loki lolls gratefully in his hold.
“Okay,” he says eventually once he recaptures his breath, trembling hands tracing over the noticeable mound of his stomach with a degree of satisfaction so strong it is staggering. “Perhaps I’d better stay after all.”