Author's note: This story is based on one of Horns of Mischief's lovely artworks (goody good NSFW :3).
“A present to the Prince of Midgard ? Why ? And would it not be slightly inappropriate, this shortly after his father’s death ?”
King Thor of Asgard, hands crossed behind his back, briefly interrupted his evening walk through the palace hallways. At his side, his First Counsellor, Fälinn, patiently shook his head.
“On the contrary, my King. When in moral pain, Midgardians very often try to find comfort in material possessions – most of the time fairly useless ones, too. Besides, it would be more of a token of friendship for the future King than a consolation prize for the grieving son. As for why… Our relations with Earth have been far too distant, for the past decades, and-”
“Midgard has never been a world of significant importance, Counsellor. Just because Howard of House Stark passed away is not reason enough for me to suddenly care about his realm.”
“No, Your Highness. But the very near coronation of his son, Anthony of House Stark, Prince and Heir to the Throne of Midgard, is.”
Thor stopped in front of his harem entrance. He frowned, his fingers already on the doorknob.
“By the Norns, why so solemn ? What makes you think this man is any different from his predecessors ?”
“Our spies are unanimous, my King: the Prince is a genius, a creative mind and a great lover of spectacular explosions. Slightly primitive, you might say, but primitive geniuses are by far the most dangerous, especially when their favorite pastime involves creating new ways of destruction every single day.”
“I now see your point, Counsellor, but Asgard is entirely out of his reach, is it not ?”
“There lays my greatest fear, Your Highness. He is apparently set to build a way for Midgardians to travel though the Realms.”
“I am glad you share my concern, Your Majesty.”
“It is no time for your doubtful sense of humor”, Thor grunted. “Midgardians have never been worthy of the priviledge of travelling the branches of Yggdrasil ! It is about time they remember who they are and where they are supposed to stand.”
“It would not be wise, my King.”
“What did you say ?” the monarch hissed.
“Midgardians have evolved”, Fälinn calmly observed. “Our careless gaze upon them made us blind to their potential – the potential given to them by their future King, at least – for too long. They now have the possibility of becoming dangerous enemies, but also powerful allies. It is my duty to help you take enlightened decisions, my King. A friendly bond with the Prince of Midgard would guarantee us his loyalty and his help, in the event of a war against more troublesome realms. A diplomatic incident, on the other hand, could lead to catastrophic consquequences. I have leafed through many historical records; House Stark is known for breeding very proud and very easily offended spirits.”
“So, you want me to give a proud, mad, destruction-loving and weapon-making Prince a present, in order to weave with him a friendship than none of us will genuinely care for ?” Thor summarised.
“Your father once said politics were to genuineness what adulthood was to childhood”, Fälinn serenely quoted.
Thor lowered his gaze and bit his inner lip. He knew far too well why his advisor had chosen one of his father’s sayings to convince him. Never had he not capitulated, when confronted to his own – respectful and intimidated – memories of Odin’s remarkable reign. A reign he was cautiously repeating, under the careful eye of his preceptors – now his counsellors. Unfortunately, he had inherited fragments of his mother’s very regrettable softness and concern for others, which kept on ruining his efforts to become The Great Odin. Luckily, he was well surrounded, and this persistent flaw soon would disappear. Luckily, yes, they said. They.
They had made him a shadow, the pale reincarnation of his glorified spawner. Oh, he was acclaimed, when he marched through Asgard, with his golden armor, golden hair and golden tales of grand battles, casting his light on the people – the people loved him, but it was not him they loved. Did it keep him awake at night ? It did. Was he willing to break out of his factitious skin, put an end to the mascarade that led his existence – his non-existence ? No. He was a coward.
And they all knew.
“What kind of present should I offer him ?” he yielded.
Counsellor Fälinn smiled in content.
“It is quite easy, Your Highness. The Prince nourishes two passions.”
“Two ? I thought he only loved weapons and explosions.”
“Fortunately for us, there is one more thing he truly cares for.”
“Which is ?”
He furtively glanced at the door. Thor raised an eyebrow.
“You want me to send him a slave”, he deduced, slightly taken aback.
“I am strongly advising you to send him the best. He loves pleasure, he loves weapons. Make him find contentment in the first area and he will very probably make you find satisfaction in the second. He will be your ally.”
The elderly man looked directly into his King’s eyes, silently stating that they both knew exactly who was to be sent. Thor’s lips faintly parted before he jolted his head in utter refusal.
“I am not giving him Loki!“
“Loki has been at your service for decades, now”, Fälinn argued, imperturbable. “He has received the most efficient training. He has survived mutliple murder attempts – and the Norns know he will probably have to survive more in the Midgardian court. He is the strongest, most obedient and most skilled slave you ever possessed.”
“And this is why I want to keep him!”
“And this is why the gift will be doubly appreciated! Your generosity and abnegation will considerably increase your chances of obtaining the Prince’s loyalty. Please, my King. I beg you to at least reconsider.”
Thor clenched his hands into tight fists. He took a dark look through the stained-glass window that covered a small portion of the door. Colorful shadows of tender flesh and flowing fabrics innocently performed for him a deliciously indecent ballet. Between the shadows, a light. Slender white body covered in the golden chains of priviledged slavery.
“When do I have to give him up?” he finally asked in a growl.
“The sooner the better, Your Majesty.”
“Allow me one more night.”
In the panting aftermath of their last encounter, Thor casted a regretful look upon his faithful servant. His strong hands possessively caressed the discreet curves of his thin hips and thighs, as his eyes seeked his gaze.
“I will sincerely miss you, Loki”, he confessed. “You have given me pleasure I could not even have imagined.”
“I only fulfilled my duty”, the slave answered, after a few seconds of tense silence.
Thor sighed in relief.
“I feared my decision had offended you”, he whispered, mouth buried in the warm hollow of Loki’s shoulder, between two locks of his perfumed, dark hair.
“Why would Your Majesty care for Your Majesty’s slave’s feelings?” the younger man murmured in a furtive smile, while he slowly rose from the royal bed.
“Well I- Where are you going?”
“I believe we are leaving at dawn”, Loki replied, eyes lowered, as he closed his fingers around a thin piece of diaphanous, green silk, which purpose was to poorly cover strategic parts of his appealing anatomy. “I must gather all the gifts Your Majesty gave me and hand them back to Your Majesty.”
“They are all yours. Clothes and jewelry. Take them with you”, Thor ordered, shifting towards him to lay a kiss on his lips.
“Thank you, Master.”
“I have told you before: you may call me by my name.”
“I shall not, Your Highness.”
“Even now?” the King sighed.
“Well… I will see you tomorrow morning, then. Loki?”
“Your Majesty?” the slave politely responded, already on the doorstep, set to leave.
“Will you remember me?”
“Of course, my King”, Loki smiled.
He gracefully bowed and stepped back without turning around, keeping his gaze respectfully low until he finally was out of sight. Then, and only then, he frantically wiped his lips with the back of his hand, before furiously spitting on the floor.
“Of course”, he repeated in a low voice, his eyes filled with hellish hatred and his smile growing dangerously wild.