In battle, Thor is fierce and glorious. Blood decorates his torso and drips from his hammer as he takes on foe after foe.
Above the battle, a grand master of chess, Loki watches as Thor fights.
This has always been his place - distant and watching. Before, he used to watch Thor’s thunder from the shadow. Now he stands above it all: a god above gods. He fights against Thor instead of with him, but apparently this is the only way in which he can ever be seen as an equal. To be a friend is to be inferior. At least a foe has earned respect.
He doesn’t allow himself to flinch as blood rains down upon the battle field. The grounds before him are a blood-soaked swamp, swarming with warriors, but it is always easy to locate Thor in the throng. Loki need only look for the sign of the men being thrown and broken with ease to know where his brother fights.
At the top of the cliff, the wind whipping by his face, Loki works his magic to control the scene before him. From such a distance, it is so easy to pretend that none of this is real. It’s nothing but a game. The screams on the air are only a soundtrack.
His brother would never stand for such folly.
To his brother, war is life.
Loki can take his own enjoyment out of battles, but it isn’t in the visceral flow of blood or smash of bone. His pleasures have always been more intellectual. A beautiful plan come to fruitition: is there any sweeter joy than that?
Loki knows the answer to that question. He knows that, with victory, will come the greatest joy at all.
Thor will bow before him and recognise him as king. Once Loki has defeated him, he will have no choice.
Loki watches Thor, glorious in battle even when inevitable defeat rises before him. He watches him fight to the bitter end - and feels the victory sing through his blood.