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Making It Up As We Go

Chapter Text

He doesn’t spend much time in his quarters, but gets to know the innards of the ship very well, those first few weeks. There’s something about the idea of sleep that makes him feel vaguely... unsafe. He does his best to avoid the decks where the people are housed. Does his best to avoid people entirely, as a matter of fact, but especially during ship’s night. He has the oddest feeling that getting to close to anyone in the dead of night might wake his sleeping demons on the world.

The only person he sees consistently is the Valkyrie, and she’s usually in one of two places: either in the officer’s lounge, raiding the wet bar, or else on the bridge with a drink in her hand. Loki is wary of her fists and anyway he’s never been a big drinker. Just another way he’s different from everyone else: he’s got the alcohol tolerance of a sparrow. So he avoids the lounge and the bridge at night, and sticks to the navigation deck. He pours over maps and star charts, ransacks the ship’s mediocre library, and goes through endless cycles of combat exercises in the gym-cum-sex dungeon. He knows he has to sleep sometime, and if he’s lucky, if he exhausts himself enough, maybe he can keep the demons asleep long enough to get some rest of his own.

One night, the Valkyrie is waiting for him on the mat. “Need a sparring partner?”

“No.”

“Good, me too.” She lashes out with a foot to his jaw before he has time to think of a sarcastic reply, and all he can do is react. And react, and react. Holy shit, she’s fast.

Finally they drop to the mat, flat on their backs, gasping and sweating. His hair is a rat’s nest. She’s at right angles to him, with her head pillowed not-very-comfortably on his chest. “Well,” Loki manages, after a bit, “I hope that was good for you.” Valkyrie lets out some noncommittal noise. It might be a laugh, he’s not sure. “What brought that on?”

“I needed something else to do besides drink, or else the ship’s going to be dry long before we reach Earth.”

“We’ll figure something out. Maybe we could rig up a distillery.”

This time she definitely laughs. And he wonders if perhaps the Valkyrie has demons she’s trying to keep dormant, too. Hence all the alcohol.

“We need to get up,” Loki says, not moving.

“Mhmm... I could do with a shower. Care to join me? We could have some fun...” she murmured, before nodding off.

“Oh,” Loki sighs, slipping into a deep, dreamless sleep, “that sounds... lovely...”

Chapter Text

Nothing existed before that moment, Brunnhilde thinks. She didn’t exist, the Valkyrior were nothing, before that moment. How she had come to that moment, she couldn’t remember. How could she, when there had been nothing before?

And in that moment, nothing else existed in all the universe, except her, Brunnhilde of the Valkyrior, and Frigga, respected and honored among the leaders of the Valkyrie, wise, merciful, just, and the press of their lips as they stood molded together on the battlefield.

When they parted, Brunnhilde stared up at Frigga in awe. The golden, queenly warrior smiled and touched Brunnhilde’s face, and then the world rushed in on them, and they ran back into the battle.

Chapter Text

“Why are you doing this?” Brun demanded, panting, from within the cage of Loki’s arm. (She could break free, if she wanted to.) (So why didn’t she?)

He laughed, soft and low against the side of her neck, his breath and his amusement and his arousal sending ice and fire dancing over her skin. “Because you need it,” he said. With his free hand, he stroked delicate circles over her clit, not stopping her hips when they jerked to meet him, but not obliging her, either. “I need it when you chain me up and use me like a tavern whore, and you...” He dragged his lips lightly across her shoulder. “You need this.”

“You don’t know...” (Norns, he was so gentle, when had he become so gentle and why did it feel so fucking good?) “You don’t know that...”

“Don’t I?” He left off teasing her, and she whimpered, embarrassingly loudly, at the loss. Loki lifted her thigh and slipped into her from behind, filling her in one smooth, perfect stroke. “Don’t I always know what you need?”

And he did. Damn him, he did.

Chapter Text

“Mac.” Phryne Fisher nudged her friend. “Look over there.”

Dr. Macmillan looked. She saw a brown woman of about middling height, dressed like a dockworker, sitting at the bar of the unlicensed establishment for ladies of particular persuasions, her sleeves rolled up and her elbows on the counter, drinking alone, putting away shot after shot of questionable rum. “What about her?” she asked, hoping Phryne was not about to try and set her up with a date for the night. Phryne’s taste in men was unerringly entertaining, but her choice of women was not exactly up to Mac’s standards.

“She looks familiar.”

Mac looked again, a little more closely. The woman’s complexion was certainly a little unusual in that particular establishment, so she thought she would have remembered seeing her there before... Then Mac spied the odd tattoo on the inside of her left forearm. “Oh my god. Yes, I do remember her. Hilda something? Something Hilda? I don’t even know... but it was that tavern in Provence, after the armistice.”

“She got us out of a hell of a scrape,” Phryne said ruefully.

“Yes, one that you got us all into, as I recall. God, I’ve never seen anyone fight like that, woman or man.”

“As I recall, Mac, you practically swooned in admiration. And then didn’t come back to the hospital that night.”

“You’re delusional.”

“Was she good?”

“Oh Christ, yes. What’s she doing in Melbourne, I wonder?” Mac winced inwardly as Phryne stood up. “Don’t. She really doesn’t look like she’s in the mood for wartime reminiscing. Or for renewing old acquaintances.”

“Come on, Mac. She did save our necks. I’ll just buy her a drink. For old time’s sake.”

Mac groaned, and then bowed to the inevitable. “All right. One drink. That’s all.” Even though as soon as Hilda looked up and met her eyes, and smiled, she knew damned well that wouldn’t be all.

Chapter Text

“You’re my Wednesday night special.”

“And Thor’s Thursday. Cute.”

“He insisted.”

“Of course he did.”

“Jealous?”

“Oh, just disappointed. I’d hoped you had better standards.”

Valkyrie rolled her eyes and handed him a full glass. “If I can see my way to screwing you once a week, my standards are already too low.”

Loki’s lips compressed into a thin line. “Did I really deserve that?”

“Probably. But that says more about me than it does about you.”

Chapter Text

The prince is learning her style of fighting, faster than she can learn his, and Valkyrie doesn’t like that at all. Loki’s slippery, like oil on her blades, and more than once he’s shucked her daggers out of her grip, twisted her legs out from under her, and planted his boot on her chest.

For no more than a second - she gives him that much time to gloat - before her heel meets his balls and brings him down. But he’s getting the best of her, and she doesn’t like that.

But what is it he’s always saying? ‘Cheaters live?’

So the next time they spar, Valkyrie plays him, dancing just out of reach, teasing him. Loki doesn’t like to be toyed with, or so he says. Then a one-two feint, and a jab, and her lips are on his.

For no more than a second - she gives herself that much time to savor him - and then he’s on the floor with her knees on his chest and her knife at his throat. And then he laughs.

This? This, she likes.

Chapter Text

They had ended their affair mutually. It was over and done with and for the best. She was tired of Loki’s secrets (“Just tell me.” “It’s none of your concern!”), he was tired of Sif preferring his brother over him (“I don’t!” “You do.”). This was better. Apart would always be better for them.

Except…

Except when there was too much ale around the campfire or too little sleep in the saddle. Except when the night watch was long and uneventful and lonely. Except…

Her hands in his hair were strong, his lips on hers were soft, and their eyes spoke so many words they could never say aloud.

And then the sun came up.

And apart was better.

Chapter Text

The shot from the Ravager's gun missed them entirely, but it tore a hole through the bulkhead and sent shrapnel spewing everywhere. They flew to duck and avoid it, unsuccessfully. "Gah, fuck!" Loki shrieked, clutching his thigh.

Brun pulled him close and then pushed him behind her, hiding him in the alcove of a utility closet and crouching down to shield him with her body as the Ravager approached to finish them off.

"Don't move," she muttered, hunting her leathers for something to push against the wound, to stop the bleeding.

"Damn it, go!" he snarled, pulling long square scraps of cloth from out of his sleeves. It took Brun a second to realize that they were the silk handkerchiefs he sometimes used to entertain the refugee children. He balled up the scraps and pressed them against the shrapnel wound, snagging the thin fabric against the metal protruding from his leg. "I've had worse, I'm fine, just go kick his ass for me!"

The worry in her eyes stayed, but she nodded quickly, and the grin he gave her had all his teeth in it.

She prowled forward on her hands and knees, waiting for the invader to get closer. Behind her, Brun couldn't see clearly what Loki was doing, but she didn't think he had his daggers. Amid the chaos of the firefight, she saw the heavy boots of the Ravager approaching. Closer and closer, as she grew more and more tensely coiled, preparing to spring. She readied her finger on the trigger of her gun, and shot.

And missed his head by a foot, catching the pirate in the shoulder instead.

"Fuck," she muttered, diving back into the alcove as he ran to finish her off. Brun landed hard on her elbows and knees, and then flipped around, gun pointed where she hoped the Ravager's head would be. But then he was there, kicking the weapon from her hands and planting his boot on her chest.

Suddenly, a sound she'd never heard an Asgardian make burst from behind her, and at the same moment, a blaze of green fire shot out from somewhere behind her, slicing the pirate in two from hip to shoulder. The pieces of him fell to the deck plating, still writhing and screaming.

Brun rolled over, ready to attack if she had to, and saw Loki, one hand hand thrust forward, and his lips peeled back from his teeth. He jerked his hand upwards in a slashing motion, and another blaze of seidr took off the Ravager's head, silencing him.

Carefully, Brun pulled herself into a crouch and crept towards him. There was something animalistic in the way he breathed as she approached, with his eyes glowing an unnatural green.

"Sometimes I forget you're actually dangerous."

Loki tried to laugh, and then gasped and gritted his teeth. He pressed her hands down hard on the blood-soaked silk. "Hold still," he ordered tightly, and without giving her another second to think, he gripped the protruding piece of shrapnel and pulled.

His eyes rolled back in his head, and he slumped against the wall, unconscious. As Brun sponged away the blood, she saw the jagged wound glowing green, and watched as the deep cut filled in and the edges knit themselves back together.

When the all-clear sounded, Brun carried the unconscious prince to his quarters. She laid him on his bunk and peeled off the bloodstained clothes. The wound on his thigh had scarred over nicely and would likely be entirely gone by tomorrow. There was a faint green glow about it.

"Very dangerous," she murmured admiringly.

Chapter Text

“Please don’t,” said Loki quietly.

Valkyrie glanced at him through the glass wall, one eyebrow raised. “This isn’t right. I can get you out of here, make it look like an accident.”

“They’ll know.”

“I’ve taken out all the cameras.”

“Accidentally?” Loki laughed softly to himself. His hands were folded behind his back, and somehow he’d managed to make the Earth-issue prison jumper look like it had been tailor-made for him. “Fury’s expecting something like this, you know.”

Valkyrie didn’t step away from the control panel. “It’s not right. After everything you did, for Thor to just give you up like this—”

“He didn’t. This was my idea.” The prince of what remained of Asgard smiled, almost serenely, at the last of the Valkyries. “Earth was going to want collateral, in exchange for letting us settle here. I knew that. So did Thor. It makes sense for it to be me.”

“So... what. You’re just going to stay in a giant fishbowl for the rest of your life, as some sort of assurance of Thor’s good behavior?”

“It’s better than the alternative.”

“Which is...?”

“My execution.”

“...I can still make that happen, you know,” Valkyrie said, after a moment. Though she had not moved, a dagger suddenly gleamed in her hand. “I’ll let you out, and... right here. You won’t feel a thing. You don’t deserve this, Loki.”

“That won’t look very accidental.” But he suddenly looked very touched. “You called me Loki.”

“Yeah, well. You’ll forgive the sentiment.”

“I will, yes.”

A hand touched Valkyrie’s shoulder. She whirled around and laid the edge of her blade against the intruder’s throat— “You... son of a bitch.”

“What, you didn’t think I’d really put myself in a glass cage, did you? Again? No thanks.” Loki smirked and pushed her hand away. “It’s an impressive double, don’t you think? Completely autonomous.”

“How long will it last?”

“Oh, until I get bored with the joke. Then Fury will have the honor and privilege of telling the God of Thunder that his brother died in SHIELD custody. Accidentally, of course.”

“Does Thor know?”

“I’ll tell him. Eventually. Once I’m done enjoying myself.”

Valkyrie raised her dagger again. “I’m coming with you.”

“That’s not really necessary—”

“I say it is. You know. Just to make sure you don’t get into too many ‘accidents’.”

“...You know, perhaps that is a wise idea.” Loki curled a very respectful arm around her waist. “Shall we?”

The two of them winked out of existence, just as the SHIELD technicians repaired the fault in the surveillance system. The cameras in the detention level winked back on, showing Loki in his cell, standing at the glass and smiling at nothing at all.

Chapter Text

“No. No! Let me say it again: no. I am not sharing a room with you, Lackey.”

Loki rolled his eyes ceiling-ward. “No, as a matter of fact, I’m sharing a room with you. And I’m no happier about it than you are. But apparently there are a finite number of berths on this ship. We’re not the only ones who have to double up.”

“Okay, but why do we have to bunk together? Go share a room with your brother.”

“Because A: he’s bunking with Bruce, and B: Thor has refused to share a bedroom with me since we were ten years old.”

“Probably because he thought you’d stab him in his sleep. Which is exactly why we’re not—”

“I’m not going to stab a Valkyrie in her sleep – what are you doing?”

“Taking the bed. You can have the floor.”

“I think not,” Loki said, with a laugh and a winning, warning smile. “You may be the last of the Valkyries, but I’m still a prince of Asgard. I outrank you. You can have the floor.” Loki glared at her, but she didn’t move. “I said, get off the bed.”

Valkyrie calmly folded her arms behind her head and laid down, crossing one leg over her bent-up knee. “A: Make me, and B: make me, your highness.”

“...I’ll take the floor.”

Chapter Text

“I need you to do something for me.”

Loki’s smile curled up his cheeks. “Gladly.”

“I need you to let me talk.”

“...All right...”

“And to not interrupt me,” Valkyrie added, staring at the ceiling.

Loki slid his hands beneath the sheets and pushed himself into a sitting position. Valkyrie rolled onto her side, away from him, so that all he could see was the line of her spine, screaming tension and disappearing under the covers.

He licked his dry lips. “I’m listening,” he said coolly, his fingers gently stroking that tense, curving line. She flinched at his touch and he drew back with a silent curse. Well, it had been fun while it lasted.

“I think...”

We should see other people, Loki’s mind supplied, complete with sneer. Well, you’ve got a whole ship full of possibilities. Happy hunting.

Savior of Asgard or not, he couldn’t imagine who among their number might want to take her place. Or anyone who possibly could.

“I think I’m in love with you.”

Loki’s bitter internal monologue promptly dropped dead of shock. I beg your pardon? “I beg your—” She kicked back viciously at his shins. “Ow! Sorry, sorry.”

Valkyrie curled into a tight ball, still turned away from him. “I think I’m in love with you,” she whispered again. “And I’m... terrified.”

“...Of me?”

“Of... me.”

Very slowly, Loki laid back down, and curled his long, lean body protectively around the Valkyrie. “That makes two of us,” he said huskily, and kissed her shoulder.

Chapter Text

Brun cracked one bleary eye and looked over at the man who she vaguely remembered having enthusiastically dragged into her bed at some earlier point in the day. "Loki," she muttered, "what the hell's the matter?"

He stopped his squirming at once. "Nothing."

"Then stop wriggling and go to sleep. Or go into the bathroom, if you need to get off again."

Loki didn't blush often, but when he did, it was a full-body flush, in a very attractive shade of pink. "It's not that. I've, er... got an itch between my shoulder blades."

"And what, you can't reach it? With those long arms?"

"Apparently not." He squirmed again, trying to rub the sensation away against the sheets, which were far too smooth to provide any kind of relief. "And normally, I'd just spell it away, but magic's out of the question right now."

"Why?"

"Well, someone wore me out..."

Brun grinned at the compliment. "Here, turn over," she said, scooting closer.

Loki hesitated for a second and then obeyed, exposing the beautifully-muscled shoulders and back that, frankly, she didn't get to see often enough. "I need to get you on your knees more," she murmured, gently scraping her nails down his spine. "Let me know when I hit the spot."

"Uh... down? No, sorry, up. Right... right... now left..."

"Make up your mind!"

"It's moving! I – oh fuck, there, right there." Loki arched against her fingernails, practically writhing under her hand, and making the most delightfully indecent noises Brun had heard in... well, since about half an hour ago. "Stop, stop," he panted.

"You good?"

"Mhmm." He flopped onto his back, still gasping. "Norns, that was almost better than sex." He rolled onto his side and pulled her close for a cuddle, burying his face in the spot where her neck and shoulder met. "All the poets and singers of my youth did nothing but rabbit on about the raptures of the heart and the delights of the bedchamber. Not one ever mentioned the bliss of having someone around to scratch your back."

Brun snorted and pulled his arms more tight around her middle, pressing back into his embrace. "They missed something important, then."

"I'll say. Barking mad, the lot of them." He brushed his lips lightly across the side of her neck. "Of course, as the saying goes, you scratch my back and..."

Sleep was a long time coming.

Chapter Text

"...What happened?" Valkyrie asked, after someone moistened her cracked lips with a damp cloth and dripped a little water down her throat.

"You don't remember?"

"Not really... there was a fight?"

"There was, yes." She felt a familiar hand, long and sure and slightly callused, stroke her forehead. You drank too much."

"...That can happen?"

"Brun, you literally drank a tavern dry." She heard footsteps from somewhere behind him. Boots struck metal, and she realized she was on the ship. Whoever it was approached and then retreated. "And then you drew a knife on the bartender, tried to fight six burly Vanir guards at once, punched Thor in the face, and ended up electrocuted for your troubles."

"...'kay, I guess I had that coming. But why do I feel like I've been turned inside out and shaken?"

"Eir and Bruce had to pump your stomach." She carefully opened one eye in the direction of his voice, and was startled by the worry she saw on Loki's face.

"Hey," she said, trying to smile. But everything about her face hurt. "I'm okay."

"You were suffering from acute alcohol poisoning, which I didn't even think was possible for Asgardians."

"You know me... over-achiever."

"You could have died, Brun."

His voice was utterly calm and level, even disinterested.

He was terrified.

"...I'm not okay," Valkyrie whispered, closing her eyes again, this time against tears.

Chapter Text

Through the rush of her climax she heard a high, startled groan and then two sharp snaps, and Valkyrie opened her eyes just in time to see Loki reaching for her and pulling her down. He kissed her hard, his hands tangling in her hair, and then he rolled them both over. He knelt into her and Valkyrie writhed against the sheets, sprawled on her back with her thighs hooked over Loki’s hips and his hands gripping at her ass.

"Nice," she said drowsily, afterward, and because she was warm and half-asleep and pleasantly drugged with sex, she didn't much care that he had come inside her twice, once by accident and once on purpose. Instead she just grinned at him and touched his lean face with a hand that was almost fond. "That was nice."

He stretched out slow, his full weight pressing her into the mattress. His hands with their metal cuffs caught her wrists and pinned them to the pillows. His spent cock moved inside her gingerly, and the eyes that looked down at her were confused and soft.

This was different. Valkyrie felt a frisson of pleasure jolt through her and didn't know if it was hers or his. His smooth cheek rubbed across her jaw as he bent to kiss her throat. She couldn't move him off, even if she'd wanted to... There was a curse in her throat, an angry cry, a demand that he get the fuck off of her, that this wasn't the deal, but she just felt so damned safe that she swallowed her protests and kept meeting each slow thrust of his hips with one of hers.

***

"Touch me," she said, hoping he would hurt her during sex that night. Instead he treated her like glass, like she might shatter beneath him if he took her too hard, and his hands and lips were almost too tender for her to bear.

"Damn you," she muttered when she came down, shuddering in his arms. Hot tears oozed from under her eyelids and dropped onto his chest. She hoped they burned through his skin. "Why can you ever just give me what I want?"

Loki ghosted a hand over her stomach. "Do you not want this?"

He knew. Of course he knew. Valkyrie pushed away. "Bastard."

Leaving his touch was like peeling off a layer of skin, and she heard it in his voice when he spoke. "I won't force you."

"Liar." The weight of his eyes bruised her.

He ignored the question. "What do you want from me?" he asked. "I've done everything you asked."

"Except leave."

"You never asked me to leave. You only asked why I didn't. And you know the answer to that. So what do you want?"

She didn't know. Didn't know what she wanted or was supposed to want. Didn't know who she was or even what she was anymore. She wanted to go back to hating him, and couldn't, so she crawled back to his embrace instead. "Love me," she begged, beginning to shiver.

"Always have," Loki said, kissing her.

And that was the truth, Valkyrie knew, as much as either of them could understand it.

Chapter Text

Valkyrie shook, and clutched at his head and back for balance. Her fingers slipped through his long, tangled damp hair and she could feel his blood pounding through veins in the thin skin of his scalp. She held him, with his ear pressed to her lips. “I love you,” she whispered.

Loki’s sigh and smile on her collarbone were like a secret. Valkyrie gritted her teeth. “I love you, but it doesn’t change a thing. If you fuck us over, I swear, Lackey, I will cut out your godsdamned heart.”

His soft laugh ghosted over her skin, and the sound and the touch of his palm pressed to hers made her want him again. “Wouldn't make much difference.”

Chapter Text

Valkyrie stared at the open door of the safe. “All right, I have to know: how did you do that?”

“Trade secret,” Loki smirked. “If I tell you, I’d have to kill you, and I don’t really want to do that.”

“No?”

“Oh no, you’re much too beautiful.”

Valkyrie rolled her eyes. “All right, you get points for that. It’s been a while since I heard a pickup line quite that obvious.”

“‘Obvious?’” said Loki, quite affronted.

“But you have to tell me how you managed it.”

He offered his right hand. “I’ve got eyes in the tips of my fingers,” he grinned as Valkyrie studied the digits and palm.

She glanced up briefly, her brown eyes suddenly sparking with mischief. “Is that a promise or just a boast?”

His smile only widened. “Oh, I’ll leave that up to you to decide.”

Valkyrie traced the line around his thumb. “You cracked that safe in under two minutes with no magic and barely any tools—just an antique set of pick-locks.”

“You almost make me want to blush.” It was only half a joke. It had been a long time since he’d gotten a compliment like that. “It’s not really the tools that make a successful cracksman, you know. Or a master sorcerer, for that matter. It’s the hands holding them.” Valkyrie looked up and tilted her head to one side, listening carefully. She was still lightly gripping his hand. “Opening a lock or undoing a spell is more than just forcing a laser tumbler or blowing a ward open. It's about understanding who built the lock, what they built it to protect, why they designed it the way they did. It’s mostly brains and patience and fine muscle control. Once you’ve got all that, the tools become secondary.”

She nodded begrudgingly. “No small wonder I’m not in your league. Patience is definitely something I lack.”

“You and everyone else I know,” Loki grumbled. “No one has any respect for fine work anymore. It’s always ‘Loki, get this door open in fifteen seconds or we all die!’”

“Anyway, you’re good at it.” Valkyrie looked him over appraisingly. “It’s nice, getting to see a master at work.”

“Oh, now, I don’t like this.” Loki pushed the credits safely into a dimensional pocket and sat back on his heels. “All this flattery doesn’t sound quite on the up-and-up.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, I think you’ve got an ulterior motive.”

“Maybe I do,” Valkyrie shrugged. “Maybe I’m asking you for a night out.”

Loki thought about it some more. "Well, as it’s you, that sounds rather terrifying... but as I’ve done all the hard work tonight, it also sounds rather pleasant.” He raised her hand, still on his own, to his lips.

She really did have lovely eyes, especially when they crinkled up in a smile, like they were now.

Chapter Text

"You're joking."

"Nope." Brun held her glass up to the light, appreciating the play of colors and feeling very content with life. "Not a bit of it."

"You have got to be joking."

"Look, you repeating that over and over doesn't make it true. And I get that you're jealous, but first off, you weren't invited, and secondly, Sam wouldn't have been interested."

"Yes, that's what he keeps telling me." Loki smirked. "He'll come around eventually."

"I doubt it. He says he's already got two crazy white boys and that's his limit."

"Well, if it's crazy Sam Wilson wants, I can do that much better than Steven can."

"You're just jealous because you weren't there."

"I beg your pardon? I can have Steven or James any time I like!"

"But at the same time? He hates that you call him 'James', by the way."

"Yes, at the same time. Frequently."

Brun raised her eyebrows at that. "But recently?"

"I... well, no..."

"And with a third good-looking, nicely-hung man in play? And with me in bed with you all?"

Loki crossed his arms over his chest and looked very put out. "All right, all right, you can stop bragging now."

Brun leaned back in her chair and grinned. "It's not bragging if it's true. And just because you're still orgied out from Sakaar doesn't me I have to limit my options."

Chapter Text

Loki draped a blanket around Valkyrie’s shoulders and pushed a mug into her hands. Then he immediately snatched it away before it could tumble from her shaking hands and shatter on the deck plating. Instead, he crouched down before her and held the mug to her lips.

Valkyrie felt a sarcastic retort rising in her throat, but it shriveled and died under his steely gaze. Shivering, she allowed him to feet her the hot medicinal tea, drop by drop.

When the mug was empty, Loki finally smiled, and leaned forward to kiss her forehead. “Rest,” he murmured against her skin. “You're safe now.”

Chapter Text

Loki turned groggily and wrapped his arms around Steve’s waist.

Great, Steve thought. Just great. “Hey, d'you mind? I need to–” He put his hand on Loki’s head, to push him away, but Loki only curled his legs up on the quinjet’s seat and clung to Steve more closely. He let out a sound of immense sleepy satisfaction.

“Oh my god,” Tony muttered from across the jet, “is he purring?”

“Don’t get up,” Loki said, still more than half-asleep. “I’m comfortable like this.”

Steve sighed, and shot a stern glance at Tony and Clint, who looked like they were about to pass out from holding in their giggles.

Chapter Text

Valkyrie turned the prone prince over onto his back with an ungentle foot and then planted her boot hard on his chest. "How have you made it this long without someone throwing you out an airlock or something?" she demanded, her voice hard and her eyes annoyed.

Loki laughed, a bit hoarsely for the treads grinding into his sternum, but still cheerful enough to put Valkyrie's hackles up. "Do you have any idea how many things I've been shoved out of or thrown off of? I think an airlock would almost be anticlimactic, at this point."

Chapter Text

Steve paused as he passed the open French doors that led to the balcony. There was a man standing out there, a single slim man dressed in a well-cut black suit, his long, lightly-curling hair slightly ruffled by the early evening breeze. He made a very pretty picture, the black form silhouetted against the liquid red-gold of the sunset.

A very princely picture.

He swallowed and started to continue on his way.

"Please stay." Loki's voice was soft and infinitely gentle, and held a depth of sadness that Steve would never have expected. "I'd like some company."

Steve's jaw tightened in thought for a moment, and then he turned back and walked slowly out onto the balcony. He came to a stop beside Loki, who was leaning on the metal rail with both hands.

To Steve's surprise, he could see the obvious traces of tears on Loki's cheeks.

He touched the back of the prince's hand with the tips of his fingers, just briefly, and then slid his palm over Loki's hand, covering it entirely.

"It's gonna be okay," Steve said simply.

Loki's tear-stained face creased into a wry smile, and he even laughed a little. "Ah, Captain. I wish I had your confidence." He glanced briefly at their joined hands, and then returned his gaze to the sunset, leaning ever so slightly into Steve's touch.

Chapter Text

"Please tell me you know how to diffuse a bomb," Loki muttered through clenched teeth, trying to keep his pain to a manageable level.

"Can't say that I've ever needed to before, so... no," said Valkyrie, as her fingers flew over the ship's control panel. "I'm surprised you don't, though, Mister 'I've Got Eyes in My Fingertips.'"

"Oh, I can, but unfortunately, I'm also currently busy trying to keep my internal organs from spilling out of my stomach."

"Y'know, Lackey, you get yourself gut-stabbed so often, I'm beginning to think you've got a fetish." Valkyrie slammed the heel of her palm onto a touchscreen, and a few moment later, Loki felt the ship shake as the shockwave from the ejected bomb hit their hull.

He sighed in relief and slipped into the blissful warmth of unconscious healing seidr, and the last thing he saw before he slept was Valkyrie glaring over her shoulder at him with a comforting mixture of love and concern that he would die before she could kill him herself.

Chapter Text

"Ugh." Loki reached for his water glass and chugged half of the contents, trying to wash the foul taste from his mouth. "Why did I eat that?"

"Uh, because it's all I have on-hand?" Darcy looked up briefly from her laptop to glare at the Asgardian... prince? Criminal? Alien supervillain? – sitting at her shitty kitchen table. "I stopped stocking anything more substantial than Pop-Tarts after Jane told your brother to take a hike."

"And he ate these willingly?" Loki looked at the box in disgust. "I always knew Thor had no taste. Apparently he also has no sense of taste."

Darcy rolled her eyes and clicked through the AirBnB listings, hoping to find one that had neglected to include the now-standard 'Super Person Insurance Fee.'

Chapter Text

It was often said of the Valkyries that they were wedded to the throne.

Thor wondered if that had been as true in the past as it seemed to be now. Then he remembered who had been king before him, and decided it was best not to dwell on such things.

Besides, he was comfortable.

"I could spend all day between your legs," he murmured, tangling his hand in Brunnhilde's hair and kissing her slowly.

"Mmm, you could," she agreed, with a sly warm smile. "But you're a bit heavy for that."

"Ah, what's a little weight to a legendary warrior?" And he moved his hips with clear intent.

But she only laughed and pushed him off. "No heavier than a feather, Your Majesty. But I have a date with Prince Loki tonight, and you know he hates to be kept waiting."

"You and your determination to play fair. This would be easier if you'd pick one of us and have done with it."

"Easier for you, maybe. But insulting to Loki, and far less fun for me." She grinned and slapped Thor's thigh. "Now off! I need to shower."

He raked his eye longingly over her limber brown body. "Just once more, my lady. Please?"

Brunnhilde looked at him and slowly grinned. "The king is begging for my favors, hmm?" She laid back and looked at Thor appreciatively. "Well. I suppose the prince can wait a bit longer, after all."

Chapter Text

"Hey. Stay. Please."

Loki stopped halfway through the act of pulling on his shirt. "Why?" he asked suspiciously.

Valkyrie shrugged. "Maybe I just want some company." She filled two glasses, knowing that he was watching her very closely, to see if she was adding anything to the drinks.

"It's a big ship. Full of people. People far less dangerous to life and limb than I."

"I... honestly can't tell if you're proud or ashamed of that." She held out one of the glasses.

After a moment, Loki shrugged the rest of the way into his shirt, and took the drink.