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In the Dark, Behind Glass Walls

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The last thing Loki had seen before his sight had been taken from him had been his body reverting to its Jotun form. He had screamed in rage and tried to place an illusion over himself, but his magic had been bound. Darkness fell over his vision as he was forced to his knees. Hands grasped him from every side so that he couldn't move. He couldn't even twitch. Loki knew what was coming and screamed his defiance, but strong hands forced his jaws together and his mouth shut. He felt the first painful lance of the needle as it pierced his lips, sewing his mouth shut with enchanted golden thread. Each painful stitch was followed by the sickening pull of the thread through the piercings in his lips. Loki refused to make a sound throughout the process, instead concentrating on how he hated them all: his father Odin for ordering this done to him, his brother Thor and even his once beloved mother Frigga for allowing it. He hated all of Asgard. When he escaped, he would seek his revenge.

The same hands that held him in place ripped his clothes off of him. He was shoved this way and that arms wrapped around him from behind and an unfamiliar voice called him a Jotun whore. For one frightening moment, Loki thought his father meant to let him be raped in the middle of the throne room, but Odin must have made a gesture or Thor's temper got the best of him because bodies were suddenly being pulled away from Loki. He could hear them landing non too gently.

"Loki is my brother still. None will touch him!" Thor lifted his brother gently in his arns. "I shall protect you as I can, brother, but the rest of your sentence must be carried out."

If he could have spoken, Loki would have eviscerated his brother with his silver tongue. Thor, his perfect, golden brother, his father's true son, unsullied by loathsome Jotun blood. His brother was a fool for still loving him. Loki wanted nothing more than to destroy his brother completely.

Thor carried his brother to the small 8x8 glass room that stood in the corner of the throne room. It was almost a physical pain, knowing that he had to place his brother in that prison to be mocked and reviled by all who came there. A guard opened the door, allowing him to carry his brother into the cell where he set him down gently. "I will come visit you at night as often as my duties permit. Mother will visit you when she can get away from father. Do not despair."

Loki turned his head away, wishing his brother would just go. He didn't want their visits. He hated them both.

With a sigh of resignation, Thor stood and left the cell. His brother would never cease to rip the heart out of him.

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Loki could tell by the silence that court had ended for the day. He sat in the furthest corner of his cell, his legs crossed, his hands on his knees and his head tilted back against the glass. In a way, he missed the catcalls and jeers. They had kept his anger hot and burning throughout the day. Now, in the silence, his thoughts began to wander.

The mages had bound his magic, but they had done worse than that. They had used it to blind him, but even that was nothing compared to what he considered now. They had left the conduit open that allowed his magic to sustain his immortality. Soon the hunger and thirst he felt would grow to and obsession. His stomach would cry out in pain and his mouth would be forever dry, but no matter how bad it got, he would live on, centuries, a millennium, until the Allfather finally either surrendered his throne to Thor or Odin died. Loki would have laughed out loud at the thougt had his mouth not been sewn shut. He wondered how long it would be before he succumbed to true madness.

At least Loki wasn't cold. Being in his frost giant form spared him that discomfort, though it pressed other indignities upon him. The only taunts that had pierced his mental shields throughout the day had been the ones that referred to him as an ice maiden. There were those who had said he should be given over to the army and used in the manner of a woman. Loki was no woman! It didn't matter that he could become pregnant, he had been raised as a man and made love as a man. If he could have placed his hands on the individuals who had taunted him so, he would have killed them without a moment's hesitation.

He heard the sound of footsteps as they drew near his prison. He could tell by their heavy, determined sound that they belonged to his not-brother Thor. Loki sneered and got to his feet, taking two steps away from the corner where he had sat all day and facing what he believed to be the front of his cell. When Thor stopped in front of his cell, Loki didn't deign to acknowledge him in any way. He was still far to angry with the thick headed man for allowing this to happen to him.

"Brother, I have come to see how you fare," Thor pronounced in his booming voice.

Loki turned to face his not-brother almost as if he could see him. The look on Loki's face clearly indicated his scorn for Thor's ridiculous question. He stepped forward, arms outstretched, until he felt smooth glass beneath his hands, then he balled his hands into fists and pounded upon the glass. With a sneer, he pointed in the direction he thought the great doors to the throne room stood, then he turned his back on his brother.

After several long drawn out moments, Thor retreated, saying in a defeated tone, "I will come again as soon as I may, brother."

When his footsteps had faded completely, Loki collapsed to the cell floor, his hatred for Thor burning even hotter than before.

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In Loki's dream, he rested with his head in someone's lap, a strong arm draped across his waist. He felt safe, somehow, protected. He could see his own hand stretched out before him and it wasn't Jotun blue, but the pink flesh of the Aesir. Loki brought his fingers to his lips and there were no stitches sealing them shut. He sat up abruptly and looked to see who had been holding him.

Thor met Loki's gaze with his own. He gave his brother a bright smile. "I promised you I would protect you, brother." Thor's blond hair glowed as if alight with an inner fire and his blue eyes looked upon Loki with fierce protectiveness and something else, something that looked like love.

Loki didn't feel the anger here that he felt in the real world, or if he did, it was so muted as to be nonexistent. Instead, he felt a vulnerable shame that he kept hidden at all other times, in all other places. "Why do you care?" he asked of the golden god of thunder. "I am nothing, less than nothing. I am an unclean thing, a monster."

"You are my brother, not a monster. I care because I love you." Thor's words rang with truth, but Loki wondered what his brother meant by 'love'.

"How do you love me, brother?" Loki crept close, placing his hand on Thor's cheek. Do you love me as a prince loves his brother, another prince, or do you love me in a different way. A way that you fear to express?" He brought his lips a hair's breath from Thor's. "You can have me. You can have me like this or," Loki changed to his Jotun form and gazed at his brother through red eyes, "you can have me like this. What is your pleasure?"

Thor shoved Loki away and leapt to his feet. "You are fevered in your mind, brother. Your actions are unseemly. I cannot... I must go." With those words, Thor faded away into mist.

"You are a coward, Thor! You are afraid of what you want!" Loki started pacing. After a few moments, he looked up, seeing leering warriors closing in on him. He tried to change back to his Aesir form, but couldn't. Hands reached out for him from all sides, closing roughly on whatever part of his body they could reach. Loki screamed out, only to wake up, a pitiful, muffled sound trying to escape his sealed lips.

Though the dream hadn't been real, Loki felt the full sting of his brother's rejection. It was a reflection of the real rejection he was subjected to every day by everyone. Loki crawled blindly back into his corner, full of anger and no little fear. He half expected to be given over to the army or a single warrior as an occasional reward. There would be nothing he could do to protect himself if that day came except plan his eventual vengeance.

In an unacknowledged part of himself that Loki kept well buried, he longed for his brother, Thor. He longed to be held as he had been in the dream, safe and... loved.

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For the trickster god, days and nights melted together in unending darkness, their turning marked only by the sounds of court and the silences of an empty hall. Currently, it was noisy and Loki sought to ignore it all. He had one hand pressed to his ear while he ran the fingers of his other hand over his lips, feeling the rough, unforgiving stitches under his fingertips. The stitches was a horror to him, piercing his lips as they did and sealing away his voice. Each night Loki was visited by nightmares that drove him to try to scream. Each day following, he wiped away flecks of dried blood from his lips that his attempts at screaming wrought.

Almost nothing being said in court mattered to Loki. Wars and battles didn't touch him in his prison. He ignored the complaints of the petitioners and appeals of the warriors with equal disdain. The only time he troubled himself to listen was on the rare occasions that Thanos was mentioned. To those discussions, he listened avidly. The last thing he wanted was to fall into his hands once again. That prospect was one that fuelled his nightmares.

The night before, Loki had dreamt that he was a 'guest' of Thanos once more. He had experienced in his dream his mind being ravaged from the inside as it had been once in the waking world. To say it had been unpleasant was to say having one's guts spilt by a sword was akin to receiving a paper cut. His every senses had been mangled and confused, his nerves scrambled and his most private of thoughts ripped from his mind. There had been physical pain and mental anguish, both of which had seemed to go on forever at the time. If there ever seemed to be even a small chance of him falling into Thanos' hands again, he would have to find a way to end himself before it could happen.

The faint sound of tapping came from across Loki's cell. He dropped his hands and lifted his head as though looking in the direction from which the sound had come. It felt as if eyes were on him which made him laugh silently, there were always eyes on him, but this felt different. It felt... possessive. Loki put on his most haughty, dangerous expression. He would not be cowed in his own space, though there was little enough of it. Abruptly, he lunged towards where the sound had come from, beating his fists upon the cell wall when he encountered it and growling. He didn't care that he must look like an animal. Loki laughed deep in his throat. Perhaps he was going mad. He felt like an animal and it was glorious! Let them approach him inside this space and he would tear them apart with his bare hands. Where was his not brother, Thor? He would rip him to pieces. He would destroy him, then mourn him, then destroy himself. He would end it all.

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Thor approached Loki's prison with a heavy heart. He had spoken with the Allfather again during a private audience, pleading for clemency for his brother. It had proven useless as he had been told it would by their mother, Frigga.

Still, he had achieved something. In recent days, Loki had become something dreadful to look upon, haggard and unkempt. Thor had played on Odin's sense of pride to win a small concession: he would be allowed to take his brother this night to his chambers, see to his physical needs, let him rest and clothe him before being required to return him to his cell in the morning. It wasn't what Thor had hoped for, but it eased his aching heart.

"Release my brother from his prison as Odin hath commanded it," Thor orderd the guards as he took the final steps across the throne room to stand by the small cell.

The guards had already gone into motion, lifting manacles from a nearby chest. "The Allfather has ordered the prisoner be bound in chains before he is released," the guard in charge replied in a most respectful tone, "then we are to provide escort to your chambers and stand guard."

Inside the cell, Loki clapped his hands. His head was thrown back as if in laughter. He seemed to be darkly amused at the guards words.

Thor was not. Having his brother chained and paraded through the hallways had not been his plan and it sat ill with him that Odin was requiring it. "Peace, Loki," he urged his brother. "I will remove the chains upon reaching my chambers." He glared at the guards. "There will be no argument unless you fear yourselves incapable of guarding a single door."

The lead guard bowed his head in Thor's direction. "As you command." He turned and opened the cell, then entered, the other two guards following with the manacles.

Loki held out his hands in front of him, unresisting. The entire time he was being chained, he kept his unseeing eyes upon Thor and a slightly mad smile played upon his stitched lips. It wasn't until the guards had finished that he growled deep in his throat and lunged towards where he had last felt hands on his wrists. When his arms were grasped by two of the guards, he looked highly amused with himself.

The guards walked him from his prison to stand before Thor where they released him and stepped back. Thor stepped forward and embraced his brother, not caring about Loki's less than pristine state. "My brother, I have come to offer you a night's respite, such as I may. The Allfather has allowed it."

Loki remained stiff in Thor's embrace. A night's respite was nothing in the face of his sentence. He would be imprisoned for centuries, millennia unless he fell into Thanos' hands or some other deadly fate befell him. His not-brother was a fool to think a single night mattered. Of course, Thor was always a fool and always would be.

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Loki stood in Thor's quarters, free of all fetters and chains except the ones that mattered to him most. He was still blind, his magic bound and his lips were still sewn shut, stealing away his voice. Worse, he was still forced into his hated Jotun form.

"Come, brother, rest a while." The god of thunder led his brother to a seat and urged him to sit. His brother's hair was knotted and tangled and he stank of stale sweat. He knew such things, as simple as they were, must horrify Loki who always took such pride in his appearance. "I will draw you a bath that you might refresh yourself." Thor turned on his heel and stepped through to the large bathing chamber and prepared his brother's bath with care.

Loki waited in the chair, his left hand curled into a fist, the fingers of his right hand playing over the golden threads that sealed his lips. His imagination was vivid as it had to be for him to work his magics. When he had cast his glamours, he had had to be able to hold detailed images within his mind of those he wished to imitate. Now, he used those same skills to reconstruct his not-brother's quarters within his mind. He placed each item where he had seen it last, from the chair he sat on, to the rug, to the placement of decorative weapons about the room. They might be decorative, but they were still weapons.

Before Loki could finish the reconstruction of Thor's chambers, the thunder god returned and took his hand. "You may relax in hot, perfumed waters, brother, whilst I tend to your hair. I fear it has become a hopeless mess that will take some time to set to rights." As he led Loki to the bathing chamber, he thought of the other things he wanted to tell his brother. He wanted to share news of the war and their friends, but most of all, he wanted to tell him of how their mother worried for her younger son and sought to leave Odin's side long enough to visit him.

Loki let himself be led to the bath, though a sneer played across his face. There would be time to explore Thor's chambers later. As he allowed his not-brother help him into the hot water, however, something in him shifted. He sank into the heat with a sigh and leaned back against the edge of the enormous bath. It felt so good and, despite himself, he felt his tense muscles start to relax.

Hateful tears welled in Loki's blind eyes and he loathed them. He had survived the humiliation and cruelty of the Allfather only to be undone by Thor's ridiculous, thick headed kindness. When Thor began washing Loki's hair, the trickster god lost his battle to contain his tears. They fell from his eyes and ran down his cheeks to drop from his chin into the hot water below.

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It wasn't until Thor had finished washinh and untangling his brother's hair that he noticed Loki's tears. "Oh, no, dear brother, cry not." The god of thunder brought the corner of his cape up to dry his brother's tears. "Forgive me. I meant to bring you peace, not torment."

Loki turned away from his not-brother, ashamed of his weakness in showing his despair. Suddenly, he felt Thor's strong arms lift him from the water and carry him, dripping, from the bathing chamber. He clung to Thor instinctively, his arms slipping around his neck, and burried his face against his neck in a desperate bid for comfort.

The god of thunder placed his brother on his bed and pulled the thick bed coverings over his trembling form, heedless of the dampness. He cared only for his brother's comfort. When he started to pull away, Loki reached for his hand and clung to him, not wanting to be left alone in his hateful darkness. Thor relented and climbed onto the bed next to his brother. Soon he lifted Loki into his arms and held him. Without planning it, he started making soothing sounds as one might make to calm a child who had woke from a nightmare. Much to his surprise, his brother didn't protest, but calmed in his arms.

Despite himself, the trickster god, Loki, the one time brother of Thor felt safe. It was the first time he had felt that way in so very, very long. He knew it was but an illusion, in the morning he would have to return to his cell and the endless taunts, but in that moment he felt... he felt loved. Loki began crying again. He hadn't felt so completely loved since he had been a child. If he had had access to his powers, he would have appeared as a child of no more than eight. As it was, he was stuck in his Jotun form.

Thor was unbothered by his brother's appearance. In truth, he thought Loki's true form quite stunning. He studied his brother's face, the patterns of blue and his red eyes. Why did so many believe the Jotun ugly? They were far from it. If only he were permitted to remove the golden thread that bound Loki's lips, if he could only hear his brother's voice... Thor sighed. He knew it was impossible. If he did, his brother would only be forced to endure having his mouth sewn shut once again. It was a cruel reality that he came close to despising Odin for.

The next thing Thor knew, Loki shifted and wrapped his body around him, he didn't know what to make of it, then his brother's hands began to wander to places they didn't belong. "Loki, no." Thor grasped Loki's wrists and held them to his chest. "I offer you comfort. Don't mistake it for something more."

Loki balled his hands into fists, trying to jerk them away. He had wanted comfort and he had intended to take it in any way he could. Why was his not-brother being so resistant? Thor had wanted him for years. He knew he had, he had seen the looks the thunder god had cast his direction over the years. It was this hateful Jotun body. He gave another mighty heave and broke away from Thor's grip, then rolled across the bed, his feet hitting the floor, and stood there with his back to his not-brother. Oh how he hated him! He hated him for rejecting him time and time again.

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Thor was distressed by his brother's reaction. He climbed out of the bed and walked to Loki's side. "Brother, please, do not turn away from me. I cannot give you what you desire, but that does not mean I do not care."

When Thor reached out towards his brother, Loki snapped his hand and closed it around Thor's wrist. It was eerie because Loki couldn't have seen it coming. The trickster god's grip was incredibly tight and Thor couldn't shake it off. Before he knew it, his arm had been twisted up his back and he had been thrown down on the bed, Loki falling atop him.

The god of thunder protested, his voice rumbling in his throat, "Let me up. I don't wish to harm you, brother." He tried to throw Loki off his back, but to his great surprise, his brother was able to keep him pinned to the bed.

Loki brought his other hand up and gripped a fistful of Thor's golden hair and lifted, pulling his not-brother's head back painfully. At the same time, he shifted his hips against Thor's ass in an unmistakeable manner, rutting shamelessly.

"Your imprisonment hath unhinged you brother, in truth. Stop this madness." Thor gave a great heave and threw his brother backwards and onto the floor.

Loki started laughing silently. He fell back and lay on the floor, his face turned towards the ceiling. His chest heaved with silent laughter and his eyes ran with tears of mad mirth.

The god of thunder approached him slowly. He reached out and took Loki's hand. "Be not so disturbed in your mind." He pulled Loki to him in a fierce embrace, his hand cupping the back of his brother's head. "I do love you, but you are my brother. We must remember that."

Loki shook his head vigorously and shoved himself free of his not-brother's gasp. Standing back, he flung out his arms and slowly turned, putting his Jotun form fully on display. It was all he could do without the gift of his silver tongue to make his point.

Thor chose to misinterpret his gesture. "Yes, I promised you suitable apparel. Come." He grasped Loki's upper arm and tried to guide him to the clothes that waited on a nearby table. His brother resisted, still feeling hurt and angry, but Thor simply continued tugging until he relented.

The clothes Thor had been allowed to provide were simple, but he had made sure they were in the colours that his brother preferred. He passed them to Loki, placing them in his hands. "Here, brother. I will be watching, should you need my assistance."

The trickster god raised an elegant eyebrow at that, then turned and, feeling his way, set the clothes on the edge of the bed. He took his time getting dressed and did so in such a manner as he was sure would make his not-brother's blood boil. At least he knew it would have if he had appeared as he normally did. Once again, he cursed his Jotun appearance, not knowing that Thor found it captivating.

Behind him, the golden god if thunder watched on, hating himself that he enjoyed it as much as he did.

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Thor had eventually got his brother back in bed and calmed enough to sleep. He knew Loki could survive without it, his brother's bound magic would see to that, but he was convinced that the lack of true rest was part of what had twisted his brother's mind even further. He could see Loki's madness on his face even as he slept and it terrified him. It seemed more evident than it ever had before, more stark, somehow.

The hours of the night passed quickly with Thor watching over his sleeping brother. When the guards came just before dawn and sought addmittance to Thor's chambers to collect Loki, it seemed far too soon. They followed him to his sleeping chamber despite his protests, citing Odin's will.

The god of thunder bent over his sleeping brother's form and placed a hand on Loki's shoulder. The sleeping prince's unseeing eyes flew open wide as he struck out at Thor in self defence. Before the golden god could react, the guards were upon his brother, wrestling him to the floor and doing it none too gently. They soon had Loki manacled and shackled, kneeling with his head forced down between his shoulders. Much to Thor's horror, the silver tongued god had started laughing behind his sewn lips.

As the god of thunder started to move towards his brother, the guards yanked Loki to his feet. Unheeding of Thor's obvious anger, they started marching the Jotun from the room.

"The king awaits you in the dining hall," the guard in charge said. "He has news of the war. News that he said touches on this one," the guard said, shoving Loki in the back so the blinded god stumbled.

Thor's fists closed in rage as he struggled not to strike the guard for his treatment of his brother and his insolent tone. "Have a care in your treatment of my brother," he told the guards, followingthem. "My memory is long and my father will not be king forever."

Those words were sweet to Loki's ears. It was the first time he had heard his brother speak of vengeance in a time after the fall of the Allfather. Had they been looking, the smile that crept over his face would have chilled the guards. It was so large that it pulled at his stitches, causing blood to ooze around them. If only he could get his dim witted brother to take the next step, to move from acceptance that Odin would one day perish to contemplating how to hurry that day along.

As they journeyed down the corridors, the trickster god could tell he was being taken to the dining hall along with his brother. He was less than overjoyed at the prospect of being in such close proximity to Odin. It could bode nothing well for him. Perhaps he was to be used as a bargaining chip in the war. The thought chilled him. He would rather die than fall into the hands of Thanos. If it came to it, he would find a way to do exactly that.

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Loki didn't struggle as he was shoved down into a chair at the large dining table. He knew where he was from long acquaintance with the many rooms and corridors of the palace. He kept his face expressionless until he heard Odin's voice. At that, he smiled coldly, not caring how the golden thread pulled at his lips and made them bleed.

"Thor. Come. Dine with me while we discuss the fates of the realms." Odin gestured to the nearest chair effusively, clearly expecting his son to comply.

For a moment, Thor kept his gaze locked on his brother, then he gave himself a shake and took the indicated seat. "Father, we must talk."

"You are hear to listen, not to speak." Odin took a large bite of a bright blue fruit. He chewed it slowly as he stared at Loki, then he swallowed. "The next battle will be the deciding factor in the war, I can feel it. I have, therefore decided to offer my warriors an additional incentive. The warrior who comports himself to the best of his abilites and outshines the rest shall be granted a gift." He gestured towards Loki with the fruit. "Loki. He shall be that gift, to be used as the warrior sees fit." He leaned back and watched his fair haired son react.

"No!" the god of thunder shouted, leaping to his feet. "I will not allow this!"

Odin stood slowly, anger clear on his face. "What you will or will not allow is of no matter. My decision has been made. If you defy me in this, I shall banish you once again and this time there shall be no return."

"Father, reconsider," Thor demanded.

Where he sat, Loki began to laugh deep in his throat. His not brother was so naive. This outcome had been inevitable, this or being given over to Thanos. He threw back his head and gave his muffled laughter free reign, clapping slowly.

Thor rushed to his brother's side. "No, Loki. Stop this. Do not let tge madness take you even more. I shall win you. I shall be the most victorious on the battlefield. And when I return, I will claim you as my prize. I will set you free, brother. I swear it." He gripped his brother's shoulders. "I swear it!"

Loki merely kept laughing.

Odin waved at the guards. "Return my one time adopted son to his prison. His madness is like poison and I would be rid of it."

Taking the trickster god by the arms, the guards pulled him roughly from his seat and manhandled him from the dining hall.

"I shall be victorious, father," Thor informed Odin. "I pledge it so."

Resuming his seat, the Allfather looked at him with scorn. "Why you persist in caring... It is pointless to feel compassion or pity for one so mad and full of darkness."

"He's my brother," Thor declared. "He is a prince of Asgard. I will stand beside him so long as we both live."

Odin took another bite of fruit. "The greater fool you, then. You may leave my presence."

At that, Thor stormed from the hall.

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Loki sat in the corner of his glass cage. The level of noise in the throne room was the highest it had been since the day he had been sentenced. He picked up words here and there, enough to know the latest battle had been won and the war was over.

The throne room suddenly fell quiet. Loki knew only the arrival of Odin could have brought about such silence. He listened carefully to the Allfather’s words, waiting for the announcement that Thor had proven himself the greatest warrior in battle. It never came.

Odin paused speaking and held out his hand towards the warriors who had gathered in the throne room.

All the mightiest warriors were there, save Thor. He had stayed behind at the Allfather’s request to oversee the surrender of the opposing forces.

“All of you have proven your might in battle, but one of you has exalted himself beyond all others.” Odin walked forward. “Fandral, come forth and receive your prize.”

The golden haired warrior approached the Allfather. As he approached, he glanced towards Loki’s prison and an evil grin spread across his face.

In his prison, Loki stood to his feet. This was impossible! Thor was the mightiest warrior in all of Asgard. Fandral was a poor second. He expected to hear his brother raise his voice in complaint, not knowing Thor was absent. Not hearing any protest, he shook his head. His brother had abandoned him. Thor, with all his promises, didn't truly care at all.

Loki shook with fury and hatred. Fandral had always wanted him, chasing after him when Thor wasn't looking. The trickster god had harshly rebuffed him time and time again, finally earning Fandral’s loathing.

The cheers subsided in the great throne room and it got eerily quiet. Loki heard the door to his prison open. He stepped forward out of the corner with determination. He wouldn't be taken without a fight, no matter how futile the gesture.

Loki listened to the guards approach and the moment one of them touched his arm, he struck out at him. Even as that guard fell, two more fought to subdue him. The outcome was inevitable and he soon found himself wrestled to his knees, his wrists cuffed behind his back. Still he sneered as he heard yet another person approach. He couldn't see that it was Fandral himself.

The blond warrior looked down at his kneeling prize. “Take him, get rid of those filthy clothes and have him cleaned, then deliver him to my quarters.” He stepped forward and grabbed a handful of Loki’s hair. “You’re mine at last, so called prince of Asgard, a prince no more.”

Loki growled low in his throat. He belonged to no one! If Fandral thought any different, he was a fool.

Hearing him, the blond laughed. “I can't wait to teach you your place, you Jotun whore.” He released his grip on Loki’s hair and strode from the glass prison.

The guards pulled Loki to his feet and marched him towards the prison door none too gently. As he was manhandled from the throne room, another sound of cheers went up from the onlookers in jubilation for both the end of the war and the disposition of the trickster god. Loki hated them all, each and every one.

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Loki kept fighting his guards as he was stripped of the clothes his brother had provided him. He continued to struggle until he was shoved unceremoniously under a fall of cold water. It’s sudden onslaught, not the cold, took his breath away and he stood under it, shaking with fury. His fury was soon fuelled by the addition of humiliation as one if the guards began to bathe him. He resumed his struggles, only to be forced to his knees. The guard’s hand strayed to the most private parts of his body, lingering longer than necessary.

Inside his mind, the trickster god railed against his so called father and all of Asgard. He hurled a stream of mental invective against the owner of the hands that violated him If he had had his freedom and his powers, none would have dared to treat him thus, he would have torn them to shreds, scattering their remains far and wide and he would have laughed as he was doing it.

The guard that bathed Loki bent forward and licked a line up his throat, then spoke into his ear, “When Fandral becomes bored with you, perhaps he will give you to us.”

Abruptly, Loki pulled his head back in a quick motion and slammed it forward, bringing their heads together in a resounding crack. He smiled at the resulting howling scream, knowing he had broken the guard’s nose. It gave him a deep sense of satisfaction to inflict even that small injury.

Another guard jerked Loki to his feet intent on paying him back in kind.

The guard in charge stopped him with a few words, “As much as I would like to make this traitor scream, we must deliver him to Fandral unmarred.” He grasped a handful of Loki’s sodden hair and pulled him upright where he knelt. “You,” he said to the wounded guard, “go get your injury seen to.” He thrust the trickster god beneath the downflow, rinsing him off, then wrenched him to his feet by the arm.

Loki growled deep in his throat. He filed the voices of his guards away in his memory for later when he would be free to take his revenge. As he was roughly dried, he considered his fate. He knew what Fandral wanted of him and determined to resist him with all his might. What matter was it that he would surely fail, hobbled as he was both physically and magically? At least the blond warrior would be forced to fight for what he sought.

A comb was pulled roughly through the trickster god’s hair. Other than that, he was left as he was, naked and chained.

The guards manhandled Loki into the corridor,then towards Fandral’s quarters. He was a terrible sight so see. Loki’s smile, along with the mad glint in his eyes made all those who saw him turn their faces away in dread lest they be tainted by it.

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Fandral opened the door to his quarters at the guard’s knock on the door. He broke into a broad, lecherous smile at the sight of Loki standing before him in chains. “Bring him in,” he ordered the guards, stepping back from the door.

Loki pulled his arm from the grip of the guard who held him and stepped through the door of his own volition, following the sound of the blond warrior’s voice. He stopped a few steps inside when he judged himself to be in the middle of the room that he had seen on numerous occasions before.

“Get those chains off of him,” Fandral ordered. He had cuffs and a collar that would look gorgeous against Loki’s blue skin and he intended to use them.

“But, sir…”

“Do it!” the blond warrior barked.

The guards did as he ordered, remaining in place in case the trickster god tried something.

Loki turned his head, following the sound of Fandral’s movements. When the warrior came within reach, he struck our in a sweeping motion with his leg and brought him down.

The guards were upon Loki in a flash, wrestling him to the floor and into a kneeling position.

Fandral just laughed. “Oh, Loki. Fighting me is useless.” He approached the kneeling god and ran his fingers along his jaw, then he fastened a golden collar around his neck. It closed with a snick and the seam where the ends met disappeared. He crouched down in front of him and did the same with golden cuffs on each of Loki’s wrists. “Pull his wrists together behind him, he ordered the guards.” When they did, the cuffs snapped together, holding the trickster god’s arms behind him. The last thing Fandral did before dismissing the guards was to attach a leash to Loki’s collar.

The moment the guards had left, Fandral yanked in the leash, hard, pulling Loki to him. He lifted him to his feet and grasped him by the upper arm.

Loki let himself be led along. He'd bide his time and fight back when the opportunity arose.

Soon, they arrived in Fandral’s bedroom. He shoved Loki down backwards upon the bed and fell upon him.

At that, the trickster god began to struggle, realizing he had waited too long to act. He was unable to use his arms and Fandral had him pinned neatly beneath him.

The blond warrior struck Loki across the temple repeatedly until he lay beneath him, stunned. “I told you fighting me is useless.” Fandral bent his head forward and licked along Loki’s neck, then he bit down hard. At the same time, he reached between the god’s legs, bypassing his cock and balls and seeking out the warmth of that secret place. He pushed his fingers into that warmth, into loki. “You were always so beautiful. I wanted you and you turned me away. Now, in this form, I can take you as a man takes a woman.”

Loki tried to buck Fandral off of him, but it was no use. He was screaming inside, refusing to believe that this could happen. He'd kill Fandral. He'd tear him apart. He'd…

The blond warrior sat up and started unfastening his trousers. All too soon, he had taken out his cock and was stroking it.

Loki tried tried to roll out from under him, but got struck across the temple again for his trouble.

Fandral had leaned forward and hovered over Loki, ready to take his prize when the door to his quarters burst into splinters.

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Fandral stood and spun around just as Thor entered his bedroom. The look of rage on the thunder god’s face should have been enough to strike fear into the warrior’s heart, but he was feeling brave and that made him foolhardy. He wasn't about to surrender his prize, not without a fight.

Thor looked pointedly at Fandral’s open trousers. “Surrender and I shall give you a quick death.”

The blond warrior tucked himself away and fastened his trousers. “Why would I surrender to you? Your father has given Loki to me as a prize for my prowess in battle.”

Laughing darkly, the thunder god held out his hand. In the distance, crashing and clanging could be heard as Mjölnir flew through the air. Fandral leapt for his sword, but Thor’s hammer had already slammed into his hand. The god of thunder swung Mjölnir catching Fandral on the arm. The blond warrior swore, jumping back. Fandral shifted his sword to his other hand and swung it at Thor, only for the god of thunder to sweep it aside with a glancing blow of his hammer. Thor’s concern was for Loki, so he sought a quick end to their fight. Swinging Mjölnir with both hands, he struck Fandral a crushing blow to the side of his head. He dropped his hammer as the blond warrior fell to the floor, dead.

Loki had curled himself into a ball on the bed as best he could with his arms bound behind his back. He was still shaken from how easily Fandral had manhandled him into position and how he had violated him with his touch. Only part of him was aware of the small skirmish that had taken place just a few feet away.

“Loki,” Thor said, tears thickening his voice. “Brother, you are safe now.” He approached the bed cautiously, not wanting to startle Loki. He sat on the bed gingerly. When his brother didn’t react, he felt emboldened. Reaching out, he rested his hand on Loki’s shoulder.

The trickster god started at the touch on his shoulder, then relaxed. He knew the hand touching him belonged to his brother, one of only two people who wouldn't actively seek to harm him. He settled almost immediately.

“I’m going to take these cuffs and collar off you, then I'll take you to Mother. She'll be able to remove the binding spells that were put on you.” Thor reached behind Loki and, after several moments, figured out how the cuffs worked and removed them, throwing them across the room. He did the same with the collar. Next, he wrapped the cover from the bed around Loki’s naked form, then lifted him carefully in his arms, carrying him from the room.

The trickster god was grateful for Thor’s intervention, but he was still angry with his not-brother. He both loved and hated him in equal measure. Didn't Thor realize that Odin would simply imprison him once again and likely exile Thor as well. His not-brother was a fool. Even as he thought these things, he clung to the thunder god as if he were afraid he would let him go. He craved his nearness and his gentle, loving touch more than anything. He didn't want to give it up.

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“Mother!” Thor shouted as he burst into Frigga's chamber, Loki in his arms.

Sad and pale, she turned from where she gazed out over Asgard to see her sons. “Set him down here,” Frigga ordered, gesturing to her bed.

Thor placed his brother on the bed and backed out of his mother’s way.

“No, sit with him and hold his head,” she ordered, business like.

The golden haired god did as his mother ordered, cradling his brother’s head in his lap, his hands grasping either side of his head.

Loki didn’t struggle against his grip. For the moment, at least, he knew himself to be safe. Odin wouldn’t rip him away from both Thor and his mother, not immediately.

The touch of Frigga's hand to his forehead made Loki inhale sharply. He could already feel the familiar warmth of her magic flowing into him. It twisted about, seeking weaknesses in the spells that bound and redirected his own magic. Abruptly, he felt one of the bindings snap and had to close his eyes against the sudden brightness that assailed his senses. He tried to turn his face from the light, but Thor held him firmly.

Frigga kept searching with her magic, breaking layer after layer of bonds. With each layer she broke through, she grew more angry. It had been overkill, what had been done to her beloved son. Finally, the last bond broke and Loki’s magic flowed freely, but uncontrolled.

To Thor's eyes, his brother suddenly looked even more frail and helpless where he lay. “Mother, what’s happening to him,” he said in alarm.

“His magic is no longer being used to sustain him.” Frigga brushed Loki’s hair back from his forehead. “And he is too diminished to focus it for himself. He requires true nourishment that he might regain his strength and control.”

Loki's arms and legs felt heavy to him and he simply wanted to sleep, to slip into forgetful oblivion, perchance never to wake. He jerked when he felt soft fingers slide over his lips.

“Hold his head firmly, my son,” Frigga ordered. She had fetched the scissors she used when performing needlepoint. Carefully, she began cutting the golden thread that had for so long silenced her son.

No matter how carefully she worked, the threads pulled, causing Loki pain. He tried to remain stoically silent, but now and again a whimper escaped him. It was worse when Frigga started pulling the threads from his lips. Skin had grown to the threads as his lips had healed. The taste of blood spread over his tongue as his mother worked. Finally, though, it was over and he rested, trembling on the bed.

“Stay with him.” Frigga cupped Loki’s cheek with her palm as she used a cloth to wipe blood from his lips. “I will arrange food for him. Something that his stomach can accept after so long without food. I’ll get him clothing as well.” She bent forward and kissed Loki’s forehead. “You are safe now, my son.”

Those words did just the opposite of reassure him. Suddenly his sense of safety fled. He felt very afraid and he was too weak for anger to sustain him. He tried to claw his way from the bed to flee, but Thor grasped him and held him in his arms.

“You are safe, brother. No one will ever harm you again. No one,” the golden god said fiercely.

With a voice unused to being used, Loki painfully croaked out a single word, “Odin.”

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Thor cradled his brother’s head in his lap. He brushed the dark mass of hair back from his forehead and tucked errant strands behind his ears. All the while, he kept telling Loki he was safe.

Several minutes after Frigga's departure, the golden haired god noticed the faintest of change in his brother: Loki’s blue skin had paled ever so slightly and his fingertips and the frame of his face had taken on a pinkish tinge.

“No, my brother. Do not drain yourself so. What matter is your appearance if your health falters?”

“What do you know of it?” the trickster god said, his voice still rough from disuse. He fought to control the magic that flowed through him. It was a great struggle and exhausting, but he refused to look like the hideous Jotun that all Asgardians so loathed. “I will not look the part of a beast.”

“You are no beast, nor do you look like one.” Thor bent down and kissed his brother on the forehead. “You are beautiful in all your forms. Your Jotun form... I would keep its beauty for myself.”

Loki looked into Thor's eyes, seeing only truth. He let go of the magics he struggled to hold and ceased fighting to change his form. It was impossible for him to look away from his brother’s sincere gaze. There was something there that the trickster god had long longed to see and he was afraid if he looked away, it would vanish, never to appear again.

Frigga returned with a tray on which was a glass of the sweetest water and a bowl of broth. “Thor, help Loki sit up.”

The golden haired god positioned himself with his back against the great headboard of his mother’s bed, then he helped Loki settle between his legs and rest back against his chest.

Frigga noticed the odd positioning, but said nothing. It was long past time the brothers stopped bickering and acknowledged how they felt about one another. She set the tray over Loki’s lap, then sat on the edge of the bed herself.

“You need to eat slowly, my son,” Frigga warned her adopted son as she raised a spoonful of broth to his lips.

The simple broth tasted like the finest meal Loki had ever eaten. He swallowed it down and felt it as it travelled to his hollow stomach. The spoonfuls of broth and sips of water as given to him by Frigga soon had him relaxing back into his brother’s embrace. For the first time in centuries he let himself feel loved. It was almost terrifying because he knew how easily in could be taken away.

No sooner had the thought occurred than Odin came charging into Frigga's quarters. Immediately she stood between him and her sons. “Husband. We did not expect you.”

“Move, my wife! You stand between me and the traitor. I am done with him.” Odin shoved Frigga aside and drew his great sword.

In that short period of time, Thor had managed to rise to his feet, moving Loki gently aside, and he stood with his arm outstretched, his hand open and waiting. The look he gave his father was one of determined fury. No one would bring harm to his brother. No one.

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Even as Mjölnir slammed into Thor's hand, Frigga drew her dagger. Her feelings as a mother had been bruised and battered these many years and what had been done to Loki this time had fanned her mother’s rage beyond any possibility of cooling. She took her place by the side of the bed, standing guard over Loki as her other son squared off for battle with her husband at last.

“I will not be defied by my own flesh and blood.” Odin shifted his sword to his left hand and reached out, willing Mjölnir to come to him.

When it didn’t, Thor laughed bitterly. “You may no longer command Mjölnir, Father, for it knows you are no longer worthy.” His face contorted in a twist of anger and anguish. “Please, turn back from this. Leave Loki to me and Mother. Forget about his existence for I do not wish you harm.”

Odin roared with rage, lifting his sword in both hands and striking down towards Thor. The god of thunder swung Mjölnir which clashed in mid air with the Allfather's sword, deflecting it.

The Allfather pressed him hard, his sword flying in swift, deadly swings, deadly had they connected. Thor managed to block them all.

Guards crowded in the hallway. Some of them even managed to enter the room, but none dared to intercede. It was clear to all of them that Thor acted only defensively. They could see that he did not wish to bring his father harm. The only clue they had as to what had brought on the battle was the sight of Frigga standing protectively over Loki.

Odin's sword struck Thor a glancing blow that left a bleeding cut along his upper left arm. It knocked the god of thunder back into the wall. He ducked to the side just in time to avoid a killing blow.

Thor's heart grew heavier as he realized only one of them would walk away from their private battle. He changed his tactics accordingly. “I am sorry, Father.” With that, he rushed Odin, his hammer swinging hard and making contact with the side of the Allfather's head.

Odin went flying across the room, his sword dropping from his hand. He remained unmoving where he lay, his gaze seemingly locked on the ceiling.

All went absolutely quiet, Thor, Frigga, Loki and the few guards in the room.

The god of thunder approached his father and fell on his knees beside him. He set Mjölnir aside and reached to cup Odin's face. He could see he had dealt him a fatal blow. “I am sorry, Father. I never wanted this.” Tears fell from his eyes and splashed on the Allfather’s cheek.

Odin reached up and grasped Thor's wrist. His eyes glazed over, then his hand fell away.

Frigga fell back, sitting on her bed, her dagger falling from numb fingers. She didn’t cry, for she had mourned the loss of her loving husband many years ago.

Loki had curled himself into a ball and covered his head with his arms, his recent traumas having taken too great a toll on him. He didn’t even realize the small battle was over.

One of the guards approached Thor. “We saw how it was, my Lord. You had no choice. We will see to it that all know as we do.” He hesitated. “Allow us to remove the body of the king.”

Numb, Thor nodded and watched as his father’s body was carried away.

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Thor knelt on the floor, staring at the pool of blood that his father’s body had left behind. He felt numb and unsure of himself. All he could see was the replay of the final blow as it felled Odin, bringing him to his death. He didn’t respond when Frigga placed a hand on his shoulder and called his name.

His mother gave the god of thunder a small shake. “Thor, my son. Your brother is in need of you.”

That, at last got Thor's attention. He wiped the tears that stained his eyes and heaved himself to his feet, leaving Mjölnir where it lay by his feet. He made his way to his mother’s bed where Loki had curled himself into a tight ball, his arms sheltering his head in an attempt to block out everything that had happened. “All is well, brother. None can hurt you now. Any who would try must needs first get by me and I swear to you that will never happen.” With those words, Thor scooped up his brother in his arms. “I shall take him to my quarters where I can better care for him. He needs to be away from the reminders of what has happened here.”

“Yes.” Frigga placed a hand on her blond son's arm. “I'll see that the room is cleaned and all appropriate arrangements are made.” She looked around the room. There was no way she would ever use these chambers again. She would see to that change as well. “Take care of Loki. I’ll be along as soon as I can.”

The once silver tongued god clung to his brother, his face buried against Thor's strong shoulder. Loki couldn’t control his trembling. He should be glad the Allfather was dead, but he couldn’t bring himself to believe it. He kept expecting him to appear and drag him from his brother’s arms and back to his glass prison, or worse, to the army barracks to be passed around like a common whore.

Many people stared at them as they passed through the hallways to Thor's rooms, but the guards who had witnessed the battle had been true to their word. The silence that greeted them as they passed was respectful and many of those in the hallways bowed their heads.

Still, it was a great relief to Thor when they arrived at his chambers and he had carried his brother safely and deposited him on his bed. He sat down on it beside him and rested his hand on Loki's cheek. “Peace, be at rest, brother. Look around you. You are safe in my chambers.”

Despite his weakness, Loki sat up and clung to Thor. He never wanted to let go. Despite his fears, he understood what his brother had done for him. Thor had chosen him over his father, something the trickster god had never dreamt he would do. Odin was dead. He truly would never harm him again and all because of his brother’s love.

Loki found himself weeping. Not just from relief, but in a great wash of centuries of bitterness flowing from him. Thor truly loved him as did their mother. It was almost more than he could comprehend.

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Once Loki had fallen asleep, Thor stood quietly so as not to wake his brother. He wanted nothing more than to bathe and wash the blood of his father from his flesh.

As he walked towards the bathing room, the weight of what he had done settled over him and brought him to his knees. He covered his face with shaking hands as he wept silently. If only Odin had relented, if only he had found some vestige of love in his heart for Loki, things would have turned out so differently. As it was, Thor would have to live with what he had done.

Loki whimpered in his sleep as if in pain and started thrashing about. Wearily, the god of thunder regained his feet and returned to the bed, sitting by his brother’s side. He brushed his hand Through Loki's hair. “Be still, my brother. All is well.”

When Loki had calmed once again, Thor stood and returned to his main purpose. This time he made it to the bathing room and stripped himself of his armour and clothing. He bathed hastily, but thoroughly, not wanting to leave his brother alone for long. When he had finished, he dressed in casual night clothes, for he was weary, and returned to his brother’s side.

Again, Loki's sleep was disturbed by what had to be nightmares, but this time, Thor's touch didn’t soothe him. The trickster god's eyes flew open and they were full of fear. He rolled away from his brother to the other side of the bed and settled into a crouch, his eyes wild.

“Loki, brother, tis only I, Thor.” The golden haired god held out his hand towards Loki, palm up. “You’re safe now. Father is... Father’s dead. Remember? No harm will come to you.”

Slowly, Loki's eyes cleared, though the look in them couldn’t be called sane. He scrambled back across the bed and wrapped his arms around Thor and hid his face against his shoulder as he began to sob.

Thor found Loki's crying distressing. His brother had always been so strong, meeting hurt with his cutting wit. He tried to get him to lay back down, but in the end he was forced to lay down with him. That, at least, seemed to calm him and he soon fell asleep.

Loki existed in a cold, magicless darkness. It wasn’t a silent darkness, but one clamouring with the promise of pain. He knew Thanos was out there, waiting for him to walk into his hands. His was the threat that most chilled Loki’s blood, but there were others. He had made many enemies after all.

As he stumbled barefoot over a rocky terrain, he tried to call out for his brother, but his lips were sewn together and he managed nothing more than to cause himself pain. All he wanted was for it to be over, no matter what that meant.

Stumbling again, he fell to the ground, the rocks biting into his hands and knees. Weeping, he curled up into a ball, determined to die there.

Strong, familiar hands lifted him up and placed him on his feet. Those same hands cradled his skull as lips were pressed to his. The darkness fell away as his lips parted, golden threads no longer sealing them. He felt a golden warmth suffuse his body as the kiss deepened and his magic was freed. The perfect moment stretched out for minutes, then the kiss ended. When he opened his eyes, he was himself again as he normally appeared and wearing his finest. It only took a heartbeat to realise the beautiful eyes he looked into were the blue eyes of Thor.

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Loki woke to find himself peering at Thor's face. His not-brother was sleeping still. A smile tugged at the trickster god's lips. He still thought of Thor as his not-brother, but for completely different reasons. It wasn’t anger and resentment that made him use the phrase, but a deep seated love and longing that he had denied for centuries.

Reaching out, Loki brushed a stray strand of golden hair back behind Thor's ear. The god of thunder stirred and opened his eyes and gave a start. Their limbs were entangled like lovers. He pulled away from Loki. “Brother. I apologize. I should not have...” His words broke off and he grasped his brother’s hand, looking at it in wonder. “You have your magic back.”

Loki hadn’t noticed. He smiled as he realized the full implications of what Thor had said. He reached inward and grasped his magic, joy rushing through him, and made himself disappear. Laughing, he reappeared.

Still unable to fully express himself with words, he threw himself at Thor, pressing him down into the mattress by the shoulders and straddling his hips. Before the god of thunder could protest, Loki bent forward and kissed him. At the same time, he tilted his pelvis and rubbed their cocks together.

Thor gave a helpless moan, his hips thrusting up to meet Loki’s. Their cocks rubbed together through their night clothes as he pressed bruising kisses to his brother’s lips.

His brother...

The god of thunder broke off the kiss and pushed Loki off of him. “No! We can’t. We’re brothers.”

The once silver tongued god shook his head, wishing he could find the words to say. “Not brothers.” He moved close to Thor and grasped him by the chin. “Love you. Always.” Tears welled up in his eyes and he went in for another kiss.

With gentle hands, Thor stopped him, cupping his brother’s face. “If you love me, why have we been at cross purposes for so long?”

“I was afraid.” Loki closed his eyes, knowing his actions of the past had lost him all his hopes for the future. His tears flowed freely at the loss.

Thor wiped the tears from the trickster god's cheeks with his thumbs, then he leaned forward and kissed him gently, stretching it out long and sweet. He drew back and spoke. “I love you too, Loki. I always have, in every way. I never dreamt you felt the same way too.” He cupped the back of Loki's head and pressed their foreheads together.

When the trickster god opened his green eyes, they sparkled with renewed joy and he finally found his voice. “You can have me. I’ll do anything for you, be anything. Even if you want this,” he shifted to his Jotun form, “you can have it.”

Thor kissed Loki all over his face. “I want you every way possible, but I want you first as I have always known you.” He smiled as his brother shifted back to his familiar Asgardian form. “I'll have to stop thinking of you as my brother. You are my lover, my...” He shook his head at a loss.

“Concubine?” Loki asked, laughing again.

“Okay. Why not?” It lifted Thor’s heart to hear his ‘concubine' laughing. It was the second time in a handful of minutes that Loki had done it. He rolled them over and ended up on top of the trickster god. “I want to make you feel good. You deserve it more than anyone.”

With great care, Thor divested Loki of his clothing, stopping to kiss him in various places as he worked.

When the trickster god was completely naked, he tugged at Thor's night short. “Off,” Loki demanded.

“Who am I to deny my concubine?” the golden haired god asked playfully. He stood and stripped, smiling as Loki watched his every motion. “Now, I will treat you as you should always be treated.”

Thor knelt between Loki’s legs and cupped his concubine's balls in his hand. He teased them, rolling them around, then stroked up Loki’s cock. He pumped it a few times, enjoying the look on Loki’s face. “You know how I want you. How do you want me?”

Loki looked at him with his bright green eyes. “Inside me.” There was nothing he wanted more.

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The way Thor looked at Loki, possessive and heated with want, was how the silver tongued god had dreamt of it in his most hidden thoughts. He’d suppressed his desires and covered them with a veneer of hate for so very long. Now they were out in the open and his body was responding to the golden god's gaze as if it were the most intimate caress.

Thor pressed their lips together in a kiss, supporting himself with one arm, his hand pressed against the mattress. His other hand came up to tangle in Loki’s hair. He tugged on it gently to guide his concubine as the kiss drew out and became heated. Their cocks were pressed between them and they both moved, seeking friction.

Though Loki appeared as an Asgardian male, beneath the illusion, he was still a Frost Giant and he had what the Asgardians would consider to be both male and female anatomy. He could feel himself growing wet in his hidden places and, for the first time ever, contemplated what it would be like to have sex in that manner. He had never desired it before, not with anyone he had lain with, but with Thor... Yes, he wanted to try that at a later time.

The god of thunder began kissing along Loki’s jawline, then down his neck and all the way down his concubine's torso until he reached the proud jut of Loki’s cock. Looking up and locking eyes with Loki, he swallowed him down, causing the silver tongued god to cry out in ironic incoherency as he arched up off the bed. Thor chuckled around Loki’s cock and set to work, trying to drive his concubine mad in the best of ways.

While Thor had Loki thoroughly distracted, he moved his hand beneath Loki’s ass and found the pucker of his entrance. To his surprise, it was slick with lubrication.

Loki laughed through his pleased gasps. “Magic.” It was the only word he could manage as Thor did something particularly pleasurable with his tongue.

Soon, the golden god had a single finger worked into his concubine, then two. He spent quite some time working him open and teasing his prostate, but as Loki’s cries grew more frantic, he both pulled out and off of him.

“Thor! I should kill you!” Loki said, hitting the mattress with his fists in frustration.

“If you kill me, Loki, you’ll miss out on this.” The god of thunder knelt up, his own cock achingly hard and jutting out proudly in front of him.

“I want you in me. Now,” Loki demanded.

“Patience.” Thor lifted his brother's legs by the knees and angled his hips just right so his cock was aligned with the trickster god's entrance. With one long, insistent thrust, he drove himself in until he bottomed out.

Loki threw his head back and cried out his pleasure. Let everyone in Asgard know what they were doing. It was beautiful and glorious and not to be denied. He was very vocal as Thor pounded into him, fierce and unrelenting, just as the golden god did everything.

To Loki it seemed to go on forever. To Loki, it was over far too soon. He cried out Thor's name as he came, splattering his own chest with come. He felt himself clamp down on Thor’s cock and he felt his hidden places as they tried to grip something that wasn’t there. That had never happened to him before. It felt like his orgasm was ripping him apart in all the best ways.

Thor felt his concubine's insides clamping down on him over and over. It was like a cascading waterfall that magnified his pleasure until he came so hard his vision went white at the edges. He heard Loki call his name and it sounded different than it ever had before. Thor rode out his orgasm, then disentangled them and lay at Loki’s side.

The Asgardian and the Frost Giant peered at each other, ridiculous smiles on their faces. Their relationship would have to be announced and it would never be accepted by some, but that was a worry for later. For now, they had left behind bitterness and found true happiness for the first time.

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Loki fell asleep, his body still weakened by his long ordeal and the sex they had just indulged in. Thor lay there, watching him for a while. His newly claimed concubine's face looked peaceful and absent of both pain and centuries of anger. He wanted to make Loki’s life such that it remained that way during waking.

Some time later, the silver tongued god awoke. When he opened his eyes and saw Thor, a smile spread across his face, reaching even his eyes. “You stayed with me.”

“Of course I did.” Thor pressed a kiss to Loki’s lips. “I would not have you wake without me, not after what we have shared for the first time.” He raised his hand and tucked an errant strand of hair behind his concubine's ear. “Mother will be worried. It is late in the day. We must needs make ourselves presentable. And we must tell her of our relationship. She will know how it should best be announced.”

Loki suddenly seemed very small as he moved close to his new lover and hid his face against Thor’s chest. He didn’t want to leave the safety of Thor's chambers, but he knew they couldn’t remain there forever. Oh, if only they could!

Thor was king now and had yet to be introduced as such, nor had he been crowned. That would have to happen soon, likely this very day. Loki knew he would have to be present for the ceremony. He would have to stand there and face the scorn of many. He began to shake.

With a hand used to the harshness of battle, the god of thunder grasped Loki gently by the chin and turned his head so that he could look him in the eyes. “You are strong, Loki. How else have you survived for so long? I know you dread the scorn fools will still harbour for you, but how much easier will it be to ignore them now that you are certain of my love?” Thor kissed him again, then climbed from the bed. He held out his hand towards his concubine. “Come, let us get ready to face Asgard together. Besides, we have the joyful task of greeting our mother first.”

Together, they bathed, then dressed. Thor faced Loki, resting his hands on the trickster god's shoulders. “I've always thought you beautiful. Beautiful and deadly when need be. Never think that I would not want your sword at my side simply because we have lain together. I admire all of you, everything that you are. Wear your most self assured face as we go to see our mother.”

“I will, broth... Thor.” Loki amazed himself that after all this time, after last night in particular, he had almost called his king ‘brother'. Thor was so much more than that. He was his lover, his king, his anchor to sanity. Loki looked down when the god of thunder took his hand, then he met Thor’s eyes. “Thank you.”

Thor winked. “Thank you.” He pulled his concubine out into the corridor, gripping his hand tightly in reassurance. The guards outside his quarters snapped to attention. None gave away their thoughts upon seeing their king's hand gripping Loki’s. None dared.

The god of thunder turned to the nearest guard. “Lead us to the Lady Frigga.” Thor knew she would not have returned to the quarters where Odin had died. The memories would have been too painful and conflicting for her. He and Loki followed the guard who lead them unerringly to his mother’s door.

Knocking, Thor waited until they were bid enter, then he and Loki stepped into Frigga's quarters still hand in hand.

She looked her sons over from head to foot, noting how they clung to one another. With a great sigh, she sat and smoothed her dress around her. “Sit, my sons, for I see we have much to discuss.” This had been a long time in coming, centuries in fact. She had long known it. What mattered now was getting the people to accept it.

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Volstagg, Hogun and the lady Sif were shown into Frigga's chambers where she stood ready to greet them.

“Thank you for coming in so timely a fashion,” Frigga said gesturing them forward to the middle of the room.

“It is our pleasure to serve you, my lady,” Hogun replied, making a slight bow.

“You are not here at my call, nor to serve me, but to serve your king.” Frigga raised her hand and gestured beyond Sif and the warriors. When they turned and saw Thor, she slipped quietly from the room, knowing the rest was up to her son. If these three couldn’t be won over, it boded poorly for the future.

Sif and the warriors rushed to stand before Thor.

“Thor!” Volstagg started to give him a warrior's embrace, but stopped, remembering that Thor was now his king. “It is good to see you my friend. We have been worried. The rumours...”

Thor smiled grimly. “Are you my friend? Are any of you, truly?”

Sif and the warriors all objected at once.

“How can you ask that?” Sif demanded. “We have fought by your side through the ages. We have been with you through battle and celebration. We are your truest of friends”

Thor shook his head. “Fandral...”

Sif growled. “Fandral betrayed all that he stood for when he went along with Odin's mad desires. Had I been there, I would have cut off his manhood and fed it to him myself.”

Volstagg and Hogun nodded their agreement.

“Whatever madness possessed Loki, he didn’t deserve what the Allfather did to him.” Hogun looked angry on Loki’s behalf. “If he was set on destroying him, it would have been kinder to kill him outright. Odin's own madness was revealed by his actions.”

Thor looked to Volstagg. “What say you?”

“Odin was indeed mad. He should have sought a cure for Loki’s madness whilst keeping him safely confined.” Volstagg shook his head grimly. “What he chose to do instead... It does not bear thinking about.”

For long moments, Thor looked at them, taking his time. He considered each of them in turn. Finally he raised his hand, gesturing behind him. “Come forward, Loki.”

Releasing his magic, Loki stepped forward, seeming to appear from within the wall. Neither the warriors nor Sif reacted with surprise, too used to Loki’s tricks were they from many centuries' association. It was when Thor took Loki’s hand and kissed it, that confusion fell across their faces.

“Loki is not as he was. The cause if his malady has been revealed to me. T'was not jealousy, as was believed by us all, but longing that drove him to madness.” Thor looked into Loki’s eyes and his expression softened. “It is a longing that, happily, I returned.” Returning his gaze to his friends, his tone grew harsh. “If you cannot accept Loki as my concubine, then speak now. I would know the truth.”

Sif stepped forward and gazed into Loki’s eyes. After a moment, she moved to press her palm to his cheek and he allowed it. “You are not completely whole, not yet. There are remnants of madness there, I can see it, but there is no malice.” She stepped back, dropping her hand to her side. “I will not say to you, harm Thor and I will kill you, for the intent is genuinely gone from you.” To Thor, she said, “I accept him, my friend. My king.”

Volstagg and Hogun agreed, trusting in Sif's assessment and both Loki and Thor relaxed.

“Though we accept it, others will not,” Hogun warned. “There are many who would see him dead.”

“Or worse,” Volstagg ventured. “They would see Odin's sentence carried through.”

Loki shuddered at the thought. He’d rather die than fall into the hands of anyone besides Thor. He reminded himself that he was free and far from helpless. He would not allow himself to be taken by anyone.

“That,” Thor said, “is one of the reasons I have asked you here. I am charging you with Loki’s safety. I can trust no one else with one so dear to me.”

With that, they began to plan for Loki’s safety when Thor officially took the throne later that day.

Loki kept his thoughts to himself. Everything seemed to have gone far too easily. He couldn’t help but think that disaster lay just ahead.

Chapter Text

Loki stood to the right of the throne along with his mother and the Lady Sif. He was prepared to adopt the illusion of invisibility at a moment's notice and he had his fighting knives up his sleeves, ready to drop into his hands. He didn’t trust the gathered crowd. He trusted very few people as of yet.

The same could be said of Thor where his brother was concerned. For Loki's sake, Heimdall stood on the other side of the throne with the great sword Hofund held before him. At his slightest movement, Loki and the others would be removed to safety, employing all means of self defence necessary.

The people of Asgard started filing into the throne room. They came in droves, filling the great room from side to side, front to back. The ceremony would be simple and brief, but all of Asgard was excited.

When the time came for the ceremony, Thor stepped out into the throng, flanked by Hogun and Volstagg. The people quieted and parted before him, making a pathway to the throne.

Thor walked towards the throne, his red cape rippling behind him. When he reached the dais, he mounted it, Hogun and Volstagg taking up places at either end of it. Thor, having climbed it, bowed first to Heimdall, then to his mother and the Lady Sif. When he went down on his knees before Loki, a collective gasp swept through those assembled. The only person Thor should be kneeling to in this ceremony was the one who would crown him. Traditionally that was one of three people: the candidate's mother, the Keeper of the Bifrost, or the candidate's intended mate.

Loki stepped forward, ignoring the mutterings of the crowd, and lifted the crown from the throne. With a smile meant only for his brother, he placed the crown on Thor's head. “Rise, King of Asgard and greet your people.” He stepped back, letting the moment fall to his brother.

Thor stood, turned and faced his people. There were cheers from almost everyone present. Heimdall's sharp eyes noted where danger lay and noted it for the future.

With a wave to his people, Thor took the throne. He gestured to Loki who moved to stand at his side, a further sign of his intended place in Thor's kingdom.

Heimdall lifted Hofund a couple of inches, then let it drop, signalling the end of the ceremony. The people cheered, then began exiting the throne room to enjoy the many parties that would be held in celebration of the coronation of the new king.

When the throne room had mostly cleared, Thor turned to Heimdall, removing the crown in the process. “What did you see?”

All the others gathered round to listen.

“Most were accepting of Loki's new position,” Heimdall said, his golden eyes glowing. “But there were some who were less than pleased. Of those, a handful bear watching. I will, of course, do that, my king,” Heimdall said, bowing his head to Thor.

“Thank you, my friend.” Thor stood. “Come, let us forget these weighty matters for now and retire to celebrations of our own.” Thor took Loki's hand and led him from the dais. The rest followed him, Frigga picking up the crown for safekeeping. She thought the coronation had gone well, but she couldn’t stop herself fearing for her sons, especially Loki.

Chapter Text

The celebration went by without disruption. Under Heimdall’s watchful eyes, the next fortnight passed in seeming peace as well. Though his vision reached far and wide, he could not watch everywhere at once, nor was he drawn to watch those who had concealed their loathing for Loki and his new position. Hence it was that a small group conspired, unwatched, to do him harm.

Loki gave the young woman who delivered breakfast to his chambers a sincere smile. They came more easily to his lips now than they did before. “Thank you, Svea,” he told the young woman who smiled as she nodded at him. As soon as she set the tray down, he lifted the juice to his lips and drank. Immediately, Loki bent double, the cup falling from his grasp as fire travelled through his veins. By the time he hit the floor, his magic was working at full force, trying to fight off the poison that threatened to take his life.

Svea screamed and fled the room, calling for help. “Lord Loki has been poisoned!”

Loki didn’t hear her words. He only knew the burning pain that ravaged his body and the blackness that shrouded his vision. As he writhed on the floor, a stabbing pain pierced his chest. He gasped for breath and pain seared his lung. Loki didn’t hear the footsteps running to him or feel his mother's hands press to his wound just before he passed out.

Frigga released her magic into a focused flow, slowing Loki's loss of blood. She could tell that something else was wrong, but not what.

When Thor rushed into the room, he fell to his knees at Loki's side. “Mother, what is to be done?” He reached out, taking Loki’s hand in his. “Do not leave me, brother.”

“We must take him to the healers. I can slow the bleeding, but only they can repair the damage. Lift him, but slowly. I must not lose contact with him.”

As Thor lifted Loki in his arms, Frigga kept her hands, now slick with blood, pressed to Loki’s wound. His magic focused entirely on fighting the poison within him, he had returned to his Jotun form. The way he hung limp caused him to feel cold and lifeless in Thor's arms.

Together, Frigga and Thor sped as fast as possible to the healers’ alcove and placed Loki on the soul forge. The healers moved in swiftly and shouldered Thor aside. Frigga, they left to her work until the soul forge could take over for her and start healing the stab wound. As the tissues healed and closed the wound, the blood flowing from Loki’s wound slowed to a trickle, then stopped flowing altogether. Still his eyes remained shut.

Thor stepped forward and spoke loudly enough to make himself heard. “There was talk of poison. Svea, our chamber maid, was near hysterical in her haste to get him help.”

“Indeed,” Frigga agreed. “Had it not been for her, I would not have found my son before he had bled too much for my magic to help.”

One of the healers, Heidrun, raised her hand and ran it through the shimmering light of the soul forge. Loki’s circulatory system was brought up along with his major organs. They were in a slightly different configuration to an Asgardian's, but all the healers knew them well.

“He is fighting the poison, but it has attacked his magic. Whoever chose this poison knew its particular effects on frost giants,” Heidrun said, frowning. She manipulated the soul forge again and watched Loki’s response closely. “They used mistletoe. We shall have to wait and see.”

Chapter Text

Loki became aware. He became aware of darkness and pain. For several long moments, he thought he was back in the glass prison, subjected to some new torture, his recent memories nothing more than the ephemera of a dream.

When a fresh wave of pain swept through him, Loki’s body arched, leaving only his heels and shoulders in contact with the souls forge. At the same time, his eyes flew open and he heard himself scream. Eventually, he collapsed back to the surface of the soul forge.

Though his eyes were open and Thor pleaded with him to speak, Loki turned his gaze inward as what had happened in his chambers rushed back to him. He remembered falling victim to poison, then had come the stabbing. He sent his awareness throughout his body and found he had been healed of the stab wound, but that the poison was still present and fighting both his body and his magic. Were it not for the steady stream of energy being fed to him from the soul forge, he would have succumbed to the poison already.

With a great exercise of will, Loki gathered control of his magic and the incoming flow of energy from the soul forge. He set it afire in his veins so that it burned away the poison.

To those gathered around him, it looked as though he was succumbing to the mistletoe. Loki’s face was twisted into a rictus of agony as the fire burned through him.

“You must do something!” Thor demanded of Heidrun, his heart aching for his brother, his concubine.

Frigga placed a hand on his arm. “Wait. Heidrun, what do you see?” She had noticed the look that had crept onto the healer's face.

Heidrun wrenched her eyes from the soul forge display. “The poison. It’s being cleared from his system at a prodigious rate. I’ve never see anything like it.”

“Yes, Loki, yes,” Thor urged. He stepped close and placed his palm on Loki’s cheek. “You are strong. You always have been. You are stronger than anyone has ever suspected. Keep fighting. Keep…"

Loki’s eyes snapped open and locked with Thor's. He was close to winning his battle and it showed by a slight relaxing of his face. Thankful for Thor's presence, Loki turned his face towards his palm as he let his eyes fall shut again. Knowing Thor was there with him, he redoubled his efforts. The fire burned and burned, the poisonous mistletoe in his veins giving way before it until it was finally consumed. Loki passed out as the fire in his veins was abruptly extinguished.

Thor pressed his lips to his concubine's temple. “Loki? Wake up. Please.”

Frigga wrung her hands as she looked on. From her knowledge of the soul forge, she could see that the poison was gone from Loki’s blood, but she could also see that all was not well. “Heidrun, tell us. What are those shadows I see?”

The healer worked with the soul forge and examined each one. “Many of Loki’s internal organs have been damaged. They are not beyond repair, but he has been drained by his struggle against the poison. His body must be given time to restore its resources before he may be healed further.”

“Is his life in danger?” Thor demanded, looking at the healer sharply.

“The immediate danger has passed. However, he must be watched closely lest that change.”

“That, I will leave to you. If he wakens, send for me.” Thor turned to leave.

“Where are you going?” Frigga asked, her voice full of concern.

“To find the cowards who struck thus at my love. I will find them and dismember them,” Thor said with certainty.

Frigga nodded. “Good. May your vengeance land with haste.”

Chapter Text

Once again, awareness came over Loki, but this time he remembered. He remembered what had happened to him and why his body was weak and ached. Unlike so many others who had found themselves in such a weakened condition, Loki didn’t let himself sink into healing darkness. He fought against it, fury driving him. He wanted to seek out those who had dared to strike at him and deliver vengeance upon them.

Loki drew desperately on his magic, what little was left of it, to heal himself as best he could. It wasn’t enough, but still he persisted. He let fall the simple glamour that he habitually kept in place, freeing up that bit of magic, then he struggled to pull magic from the air around him, little though it was, until suddenly he felt a great surge of magic wash through him. He recognized its source immediately. It had the familiar and safe feel of his mother’s magic. Loki accepted the gift readily and healed himself as much as he could before breaking the flow between them. He daren't draw too much from his mother without weakening her too much.

Loki opened his eyes and sat up painfully, meeting Frigga's eyes. “Thank you,” he croaked, his voice raw. Without waiting for a reply, he sought to stand, feeling momentarily dizzy. It passed, mostly, and he soon stood on his own two feet.

Both Heidrun and Frigga rushed forward. “Lord Loki, please, you must lay down. You’re still far too weak for such exertion,” Heidrun urged, his voice full of concern.

Frigga agreed, but she knew her son well. He had pushed himself far beyond his limits too many times in battle to expect him to comply with such advice now.

Loki scoffed at Heidrun's words. He pushed himself away from the soul forge and, without another word, headed towards his and Thor's shared quarters.

Heidrun started after him, but Frigga stopped him. “Let him go. You’ll not be able to talk sense into him. Not when he is like this.”

Loki heard the exchange, but didn’t care. He made it out into the corridor and concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. It was more difficult than he had imagined. Still, he fully intended to get into battle gear and find the would-be assassins before his brother did, because if he knew one thing, Thor had gone off in a hot-headed rage to find and destroy them. What Thor had forgot was Loki's fury was cold and would not be denied.

Thor had summoned Heimdall to him, seeking the aid of his all-seeing eyes. Heimdall sought to discover those who had made the attempt on Loki's life. Unfortunately, he could see no one who acted suspicious or as if they had anything to hide. The people involved were very good at hiding their anxiety, if indeed they felt any. “I cannot find them, my King. They have hidden their involvement too well. Our only option is for me to keep looking and hope the would-be assassins give themselves away while my eyes pass over them.”

Thor paced the corridor outside the royal quarters, his anger blazing. He swung Mjölnir, wanting nothing more than to break the skulls of those who had dared to harm Loki.

Just as he was about to give Heimdall an order, Loki appeared looking far too pale for his Jotun form. The beautiful blue that Thor so admired was more a sickly grey. Before Thor could comment on Loki’s appearance, Loki staggered and went down to his knees, exhausted and forced to give in to the pain that he still felt.

Thor swept him up in his arms and carried him into his quarters. “They were supposed to tell me when you woke.”

Loki managed a weak smile. “I never gave them the chance.”

Chapter Text

Loki was unhappy to be placed on his bed by a concerned Thor. It made him feel infantilised, a feeling against which he automatically rebelled. “I am not a child to be tucked away at the first sign of weakness.” He tried to rise from the bed despite a wave of dizziness that overtook him, causing him to fall back on the mattress.

The god of thunder watched on with concern. “You cannot stand, my beloved brother,” Thor said, sitting on the bed beside his concubine. “I know your skill at ignoring pain and injury. I have seen it oft enough in battle. You must be truly affected if you cannot hide it from me. Please, don't risk yourself, not now that we have found one another as we are meant to be.”

The silver-tongued god slammed his fist against the bedding, words for once escaping him. He let his head fall back against the pillows. Eyes falling shut, what energy he had left fled him, and he lay there in defeat. "Whoever did this will be mine," he promised his brother. He was determined to get vengeance. With the last of his strength, he opened his eyes and peered at Thor's face. "Do you understand me, brother?"

"I understand, but I do not necessarily agree. If I should find them before you recover, I will deal with them." Woever had done this could not be allowed to remain a threat to Loki no matter what.

Loki laughed weakly. "You do not change. Ever you charge ahead without thinking." Where in centuries past this would have been said with bitterness, this time it was said with fondness. "Go, then. Seek those who did this." He did not fear that Thor would find them. If Heimdall had seen them, his brother would have already been on the chase. The traitors must be truly adept at hiding their intentions and actions, but time would reveal them to Heimdall's watchful eyes. When that happened, he would be ready.

"No, Heimdall will have gathered the others. They will have things well in hand. My concern now is for you." Thor reached out and cupped Loki's cheek which had regained some of it's natural colour. "Allow me to help you out of your clothes and into bed propper."

The god of mischief's mouth quirked up at the corner despite how miserable he felt. "Do you have designs on me, dear brother," he teased.

The god of thunder gave a broken laugh. "It is ever so with you, making jokes in dire circumstances." He leaned forward and helped Loki sit up, then he helped him strip and put on clothes more suitable to resting. "Would that I could remain with you, but you are right, I must oversee the hunt. I will send Sif to guard the door. You may rest easy."

In response, the trickster god produced his blades. "I an not entirely helpless, brother."

"I know this better than any, but you are weak." Thor bent forward and kissed his concubine on the forehead. "Rest and heal. Soon you can join us in the hunt."

Loki nodded. He kept his weapons at his side, a fact that elicited no comment from the Asgardian king. He approved of the precaution, though he did not intend for said weapons to be needed.

Thor stood, obviously reluctant to leave Loki's side. "I will be back soon. I must see to the search and be sure it is conducted properly. Until Heimdall sees something useful, we will have to search the hard way. When I return, I will stay by your side until you have fully recovered."

"There is no need" Loki protested.

The god of thunder shook his head vehemently. "Yes, there is. I need to be here, even if you think you don't need me."

The royal concubine relaxed. Secretly, he longed for the comfort that Thor's presence brought. "As you wish."