“I want you to do it.”
The words were the most natural thing in the world for Tom to say and the surprise on his lover’s face made it even better to utter them in the first place. It wasn’t often he was able to shock the God of Mischief, after all.
“You what?” Loki asked, dark brows arched as he lounged in the car beside Tom on their way to what the actor had called ‘Comic Con.’
“I’m supposed to go on stage as you to introduce the new Thor film, right? I think you should do it. You can make me invisible backstage so no one suspects.” Tom’s blue eyes glinted with mischief, knowing Loki would be keen on the idea once he was convinced.
“Why would I care to do such a thing? Entertaining mortals is beneath me.” The high and mighty act came out in full force with a snort before the god turned his eyes out the window to look at the passing scenery.
Tom maneuvered the car through the San Diego streets, chuckling at Loki’s response. “Yes, but this isn’t entertaining them, love. You’d be tricking them, technically. They’d never suspect a thing. I’m fairly certain you’ll enjoy the outcome as well.”
Green eyes peered at the human sidelong and wary. “What outcome might that be exactly, Thomas?”
“Why...they’d adore you, of course. And I’m sure they’d be eager to show you that...” Tom said, as if this were a foregone conclusion that should be obvious.
From the gleam that shone in his lover’s eyes, Tom knew he had him.
“Why are you so adamant that I do this instead of you? You love connecting with those who deem themselves your fans,” Loki continued, determined to be stubborn.
“Because you deserve to see that I’m not the only one who adores you,” comes the actor’s immediate response, the words given so sincerely and in a tone so heartfelt that Loki felt any token resistance that remained dissipate. Damn the human for knowing just how to get to him, which buttons to push. But Loki had given Thomas that power the second he realized he loved the actor who wore his face.
With a put upon sigh that they both knew was feigned, Loki shook his head and shifted to make himself invisible to all but Thomas. “As you say then,” he muttered. He’d never admit aloud that the smile Tom gave him in response was worth any task or trial.
Either way, both were sure this evening would be interesting.
“All right, they gave you the script. You know what you have to say, yes?” Tom asked, peering at Loki later that evening. He was invisible to everyone backstage thanks to the god’s magic and he had to admit, it was always both strange and intriguing to know he could see everyone but they couldn’t see or hear him.
Loki rolled his eyes, clad in the costume Tom had worn for Thor: The Dark World. He made a show of adjusting his sleeves, giving a slight nod of his head in the process. “Yes, for the hundredth time, Thomas...” he muttered under his breath in response.
The actor nodded, though he had a feeling nothing ever went according to plan where Loki was concerned. After being involved with him for so long, not to mention being in his head while playing him on screen, that should have been a given. He could only wonder what the masses of people on the other side of the screen would be in for once his lover took the stage.
One of the backstage assistants gave Loki a thumbs up before Tom could speak again, however, waiting for Loki to give him a nod before the talk from the stage died as the microphones were cut off and the hall was plunged into darkness. Sounds of shock and curiosity followed from the audience, but Loki spoke, cutting them off.
“Humanity,” he began, muffled cheers coming a few seconds later from the crowd. Loki shifted and moved to the edge of the stage quietly to continue.
“Look how far you’ve fallen...” The screams came louder from the crowd and Tom smirked to himself as he listened.
“Lining up in the sweltering heat for hours...” And with these words, everyone knew that this wasn’t something recorded, something put together days in advance for this screening. This was the real thing, or, as the crowd thought, the real Tom. The screaming and cheering rose in volume, drawing a laugh from Tom that wouldn’t have been heard even were he not concealed in Loki’s magic.
“Huddling together in the dark like beasts!” There was a flash of light, then Tom felt his lover’s presence move as Loki took his place on the stage. And oh, how the screaming became louder still when the lights came on once more and the God of Mischief stood before the hall full of surprised and elated fans. There was a brief grin on Loki’s face before the god raised his hands and stepped forward toward the edge of the stage, flashes from cameras going off like mad.
Loki swept one hand out, pointing across the crowd as the grin returned to his face. Then they started chanting his name. “Loki! Loki! Loki!” It warmed Tom’s heart that his fans cared so much, but also that he was able to give his lover this. The smile seemed permanently etched on the actor’s lips as he continued to watch.
Loki lifted one finger to his lips and immediately, all was silent, his presence on the stage commanding, though Tom knew the god was enjoying this immensely. He’d already gone off script, but so far, none of the muttering from directors and crew had been anything to worry about. The crowd was thrilled and it was getting a positive reaction overall by far.
“I am Loki...of Asgard,” the god continued and the screaming resumed. “And I am burdened with glorious purpose.” Then, after a few more seconds of cheering, Tom heard, “Stand back, you mewling quim.” The actor watched, shaking his head as the stage was turned over fully to the god, who was clearly in his element.
Loki grinned once more as he faced the crowd. “The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for a place in this chamber. In this...meager palace of Midgard. The arena they call...Hall H.”
The god certainly knew how to work an audience, leaving enough pauses in his speech for reaction from the multitudes gathered, a smirk on his face. “You should have let me rule you when you had the chance. Yet here you are!”
Loki walked the stage a bit, then paused, pointing to one section of the audience. He lifted that finger to his lips once more with a short shh sound then pointed once more before commanding, “Kneel!” Tom was giddy with laughter when they actually did as Loki said.
Loki resumed his pacing of the stage amidst the cheering. “Your ears yearn for untold stories. Your eyes crave unseen sights. Your imaginations ache and hunger.” Loki stopped his pacing, then turned to the crowd again, voice almost a purr. “Where are your Avengers now?” Tom hadn’t thought the screaming could be any louder, but the audience eagerly proved him wrong.
“Claim loyalty to me—” the words had barely been uttered when shrieks of agreement came without hesitation, though Loki pressed on, grinning, “—and... I will give you what you need.” Loki held up a hand to halt the cheering after a few seconds, pointing to the right side of the stage this time where a man shouted out something Tom couldn’t quite make out.
Then Loki gestured for silence once more, giving another command. “Say my name.”
“Loki!” the crowd screamed as Loki walked the stage once more. Yet he was not satisfied, giving a go ahead gesture with his right hand for more. “Say my name.”
“LOKI!” they screamed again excitedly, yet still, it was not enough for the God of Mischief.
“Say my name!” he demanded louder, receiving an even louder response in return, though Loki was not finished.
Loki stopped center stage, arms raised, hands clenched into fists as he called out to them louder still, “SAY MY NAME!”
The audience screamed his name as loud as they could, followed by a random gentleman shouting “My wife loves you!” It made Loki grin for a moment before he spoke again. “It seems...I have an army...” Then Loki began making his way off stage before pausing and giving his last command to the cheering of his ‘army’, “Mortals! Feast your eyes!” He pointed to the big screen behind the stage then stalked off, the screams following him.
“So not what was on the script,” Tom said as Loki stopped beside him, though the actor was grinning from ear to ear as the new preview for Thor 2 began to play for the fans.
“When have I ever done as I was supposed to do, Thomas?” Loki quipped, a smirk on his face. Tom could tell the god was thrilled with his performance and the reaction the humans had given him, despite the fact they thought it had been Tom in front of them. That was all part of the game in any case.
“Good point. Think you could handle a few moments with Samuel, Scarlett and Chris before we switch back, love? They want to say hello...” Tom nodded further back behind the stage, in the direction of his co-stars.
“Of course, though, a moment first...” Loki took a split second to make himself invisible along with Thomas then stepped up to his mortal, cradling that beloved face between his hands before pressing their lips together softly. The god lingered there, thumbs stroking the soft skin of his lover’s face for a few moments before leaning back with a smile on his face; a rare, genuine smile that still melted Tom’s heart each time he saw it. “Thank you for this, my Thomas,” came the god’s quiet whisper against his lips before Loki stepped back and was visible again, shifting to go greet the other Avengers stars.
Tom remained where he was for a few seconds, watching Loki easily act as Tom, then spared a glance for the excited crowd in the hall, grinning. Indeed, it had been more than worth it.