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Chapter Text

A heavy feeling hangs in the air of the room, it rests in Stephen’s stomach, causing the knots already present to twist tighter. The hopeful glint in Thor’s eyes only intensifies the sensation- he’s absolutely backed into a corner.

“I’m still not sure about your...proposition.” He states carefully, attempting to hide his unease.

“My people need to settle somewhere, Strange. Before my father passed he told me to remember the place of his death, I believe he meant to rebuild there.”

“That part I have no qualms with, it’s the other part I think we need to discuss.”

Thor lowers his head, focusing his eyes on the floor for a moment as he dug deep into his mind for a hardy argument. “I understand why Loki isn’t welcome, he himself thought that his return to Midgard would cause issue, but I can assure you he no longer means any harm.” The god searches the sorcerer's eyes before continuing. “He wishes to rule by my side, to help our people. I believe with everything I have in me that he wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize that, especially when it involves the people of Asgard, whom, might I add, he saved from Ragnarok before-”

Another heavy silence falls over the two men. Stephen can physically see the sorrow Thor feels- the guilt, the worry, the hopelessness. “Thor-”

“I can’t do this alone. I need my brother.” Thor’s gaze returns to Stephen’s, holding eye contact very deliberately. “Please, I’ll do anything it takes.”

A deep sigh escapes the sorcerer as he mulls it over. He trusts Thor, he has no reason not to. He simply wants his people to be able to recover as much of their lost lives as possible, which he finds respectable, admirable even, but the thought of a threat such as Loki returning to Earth… Could he really allow it?

Stephen stands from his seat and paces alongside the surrounding bookshelves, eyes scanning the spines as if some sort of easy solution would magically appear before him.

“Strange?” Thor asks, growing worried that his request would be shot down. Stephen sighs again.

“He can return.”

“Thank you, you have no idea-”

“Under one, condition.” The sorcerer interrupts, holding a finger up. “Loki must remain under my supervision at all times. He’ll live, eat, sleep, whatever here and I will personally escort him to you when possible. I know it’s not what you had in mind, but I refuse to trust him.” He expects Thor to fight the suggestion, but the god’s face never loses it’s wide grin.

“Consider it a deal, it’s more than I ever expected to begin with.” Thor beams, extending his hand to Stephen. The sorcerer raises an eyebrow in surprise as he takes Thor’s hand and shakes it.

“You’re seriously willing to hand him over?”

“If it means I can have him a little closer, then yes. Absolutely.” The god confirms, releasing Strange’s hand. “So, when shall I bring him to you?”

Stephen sighs at the thought of dealing with the troublesome god, but for the betterment of humanity he swallows it down. “As soon has he steps foot on this planet.”

“Of course. I’ll be seeing you again soon then.”

With that, Thor turns on his heel and rushes out of the room, leaving Stephen to his thoughts. (How he’ll find his way out, Stephen isn’t sure.) He doesn’t even consider escorting the other man out, instead he returns to his seat, slumping back into the cushions. He feels the Cloak of Levitation bristle around his back.

“I’m not happy about it either, but it’s the best middle ground I could think of.” He mutters to the cloak, attempting to calm his companion. It settles back down as Stephen rubs at his temples.

Loki of Asgard. Loki, God of Mischief. Loki, God of being a pain in Stephen’s ass, is about to be a live-in guest for the foreseeable future. The thought makes his stomach churn, partly because he’s agreed to allow such a threat to walk on Earth, but mainly because he knows he’s about to be dealing with the perfect definition of a handful. He allows himself to mentally roll in self-pity only a few moments more before forcing himself to his feet- he does, after all, have a guest to prepare for.

And with that, Doctor Stephen Strange decides that he is indeed an idiot.

Chapter Text

Three days have passed since Stephen’s meeting with Thor, and his anxiety seems to grow with each passing moment. It’s ridiculous, he thinks, that he’s working himself up over this “godly” fool- he’s already detained him once, and his power has only become refined since that encounter, so logically there should be no issues.

But he has to remember who he’ll be dealing with- the god of mischief and trickery.

For the sixth time today he physically shakes his head to clear it, trying his hardest to refocus his mind on the books he has spread out before him. His desperation to get lost in the words makes it impossible to do so, furthering his frustration more than he could have imagined possible at this point. With a huff he slams the book in front of him shut and shoves it aside. He hears the faint sound of the Cloak of Levitation approaching behind him, and a faint twinge of guilt hits him.

“Sorry.” He mutters to it, pushing back his chair. A disgruntled sound leaves him as he returns to pacing anxiously- which seems to have become his most common activity recently. “Thor said ‘soon’, I just wish he’d given me a date or at least an estimate.” He explains to the floating fabric. It simply shrugs at him, eliciting another sigh. “Why did I agree to this? That guy- that thing has caused absolutely nothing but problems on this planet I willingly invited it?” The cloak suddenly reacts to that remark, seemingly trying to silence him. “I mean for fucks sake -”

The sound of a throat clearing shatters his train of thought. “ Strange ?”

Stephen spins to the direction of the voice, stomach sinking a bit. Before him stands Thor, shadowed by... oh shit ...

“Loki, wonderful to see you again.” Stephen forces out, voice trembling a bit as he tries to stand a little taller than usual. How or when the two arrived he isn’t sure, but here they stand, staring him down. His discomfort only grows when Loki chuckles under his breath.

“Are you certain of that?” He asks vexingly, eyes flicking up and down Stephen’s form, making him shift uncomfortably. The sorcerer swallows his pride and ignores the question.

“Are the people of Asgard handling the transition well?” He asks Thor, eager to move past the tension.

“They’re trying their best. Rebuilding from nothing will be a challenge, but their hearts are open to it.” Thor replies, eyes occasionally glancing over to Loki, whose eyes have been on Stephen the entire time.

“It’s good to hear that, if there’s anything I can do to help don’t hesitate to reach out to me.” Strange says, eyes still working hard to avoid the amused gaze of the other god.

“Well you’ll definitely be visiting, according to the custody agreement that’s been arranged.” Loki spits, grinning devilishly in Strange’s direction. Thor sighs audibly at the catty remark and casts a warning glance over to his brother, almost as if to say ‘ We’ve talked about this .’- a look very easily brushed off by the trickster god.

“Yes, well, that depends on you.” Stephen reminds, finally finding the strength to turn his back on the brothers and pull books from one of the numerous shelves, trying his very hardest to look as if it’s a necessary action. Thor clears his throat.

“I should return to Norway, the people of Asgard are probably in need of some help.” He chimes in, hoping to ease a bit of the tension. (Or at least open a window of escape from this painfully uncomfortable situation.) “Brother, I look forward to your visits. Remember what we discussed.”

Stephen glaces over his shoulder and raises an eyebrow at the last remark, but doesn’t ask. He once again turns his back to the pair as Thor pulls his embrace, wanting to give them some privacy for their temporary farewell, but when he glances back Thor is already gone.

“How are you two doing that?” Stephen asks, exasperated. Loki idly looks around the room, finally taking the time to observe his surroundings.

“Do what?” The god asks, entirely uninterested in whatever Stephen wanted to ask. The sorcerer decides that it isn’t worth the time.

He stands there, arms filled with books and eyes scanning over Loki. His hair is neatly combed back and he’s, once again, dressed in a full black-on-black suit. No doubt the same one he wore when Stephen had first encountered him, which causes a sudden realization.

“Do you have any clothes?” The sorcerer blurts, catching Loki off guard. The god chuckles under his breath.

“What do you think I’m wearing?”

“A full suit that’s not exactly suitable for day-to-day life in this society. And from what I can see it’s all you have with you.” The god only laughs harder.

“That’s not true, Doctor .” Loki teases. With a snap of his fingers glowing energy appears around him, magically exchanging his suit for his armour. The trickster extends his arms outwards a bit to better display his new attire, a satisfied grin sitting heavy over his features. Stephen remained unimpressed.

“And some leather armour that’s even less suited for this society. The same armour you probably wore while trying to take over the planet.” The sorcerer smirks as his words wipe the satisfaction from Loki’s face. He drops his arms back down by his sides, obviously annoyed. Strange continues his lecture as he starts sorting through his books on a nearby table.

“When we leave this building you’ll have to disguise yourself- different face, different clothes…” The sorcerer turns on his heel to face the god, who is, to Stephen’s surprise, much closer than the was before.

“Not an issue.” Loki mutters, eyes once again scanning over Strange- not exactly sizing him up, yet not exactly glancing casually either. “I’ll be in charge of what I wear, yes?”

Strange cocks an eyebrow. “What are you trying to say?”

“Red cape, blue outfit, yellow gloves? It’s a...bold choice, I suppose.”

“Are you really going to school me on clothes when you’re dressed like a posh member of an emo band?”

That remark caused Loki to shoot the sorcerer a confused look, but he kept his questions to himself. The two stand there in uncomfortable silence, quietly calculating their next moves. As Loki’s lips slowly curl into a smirk, Stephen realizes that he may have bitten off a fair amount more than he can chew.

He suddenly brushes past the god, eager to be at least a few feet further away. He hears Loki’s sound of amusement but ignores it, instead prompting the god to follow him to his new living area.

This entire experience, Stephen decides, is going to be fresh-fucking-hell.

Chapter Text

Loki’s nail quietly scrapes the page as he subconsciously runs his fingertips along it’s edge. His eyes scan through the book half-mindedly, looking over the spells and incantations described with very little interest. Most of these things he’s known since childhood thanks to Frigga, others he picked up from his own studies on Asgard. The repetitive information is a nice, welcome distraction, but does little to truly entertain him.

It’s been nearly two weeks now since Loki’s arrival, and, aside from some minor spats, Stephen and the god have coexisted rather peacefully. Once the sorcerer had acquainted Loki with his new living quarters he had barely seen him for a few days, usually in the kitchen or library where the god would quickly come to retrieve food or books before disappearing once more. He gave the other man some space, after all, the culture shock he’s feeling much be immense. The transition from a princely lifestyle of lavish bedchambers and royal clothes to a quaint little bedroom and sweatpants hasn’t been easy for him by any means. (The sweatpants thing was his own fault though, as the god refused to leave the sanctuary to go shopping with Stephen, leaving the sorcerer to guess sizes. Guessing what sweats might fit is much easier than guessing the size of jeans or slacks.)

As much as he’d like to break the tension, Stephen can’t seem to make himself approach Loki- even the thought of approaching the god sets off warning sirens in his mind. The few conversations that took place between the two were fleeting, brief like Loki’s appearances. He would ask how he was going, usually receiving a quick “fine” before the god would turn on his heel and leave, he’d try to ask friendly questions, only to once again receive a short reply, either extremely sarcastic or completely blank.

Today, however, Stephen managed to convince Loki to join him in the study area. While a part of him considered it a small victory, another part of him regrets doing so. The two now sit quietly, awkwardly, on the large couches before the fireplace. Due to the temperature outside there is no fire burning, limiting his options of distractions as he fishes for something to say or do. The book he’d grabbed sits limply in his weak hands, and for some reason he can’t muster the mental strength to open it.

Strange eyes Loki’s fingers as he fiddles with the fabric of one of his new sweatshirts. The god’s eyes are staring blankly at the grey fabric as he twists and stretches it mindlessly, thoughts drifting in hundreds of different directions. Part of Stephen is pleased with the god’s silence, but another part of him worries; it’s highly unlike Loki to be so absent. With every second he can feel uncomfortable, and borderline hostile, energy develop. He swallows his pride and anxiety.

“Loki? Are you alright?” Strange asks, fully expecting to be ignored, but to his surprise Loki’s green eyes snap up and meet his.

“Define ‘alright’.” His tone is as vacant as his gaze, devoid of anything aside from what seemed to be slight annoyance. Stephen shifts uncomfortably.

“You’re quiet. It’s weird.”

“That’s not a definition.” Loki challenges, irritation leaking into his words. Strange sighs, slightly defeated.

“I’m just trying to be polite. You look upset, I-”

“Oh? I look upset , do I?” Loki interrupts, voice filled with venom. “Imagine that, after two weeks straight of being locked in the same fucking building I’ve started to feel a bit ‘upset’ . Not everyone is built to be a secluded hermit, Strange .”

“I offered to take you shopping for clothes, you refused. And that’s something you should have thought of before acting like a maniacal tyrant those years ago, if you wanted freedom you’d-”

“Exactly, those fucking years ago! It’s been years since I’ve posed a threat to anyone in this society. I’ve followed all of your stupid rules perfectly, I haven’t fought you, I haven’t attempted to escape. Why keep me here?”

“You’re a threat.”

“To what exactly? Your paranoia? Your ego ? Grow up , Strange. You and I both know damn well there are actual threats in this universe. I, however, am no longer among them.”

“This has nothing to do with me, I’m trying to-”

“-be a thorn in my side? A thorn in the side of my brother? My people?”

“Your people are in Jotunheim.” Stephen corrects, standing from the couch to return his book to the library, obviously finished with the conversation. He only takes two steps before his face is slammed hard into the carpeted floor, burning slightly as he skids from the impact. He feels Loki’s full weight forcing his body to remain pinned to the ground. A pained gasp leaves his lips as the god shifts his knee to press it impossibly deeper into the sorcerer’s back.

If I were you, my next words would be chosen with extreme caution .” The venom in Loki’s words send shivers down Strange’s strained back, sending his mind into panic mode. He struggles, trying to choke out a response when all of the sudden the weight is off of him, allowing him to take in the breath he so badly craved.

Stephen rolls onto his side to see the Cloak of Levitation tangling around Loki, covering his mouth and eyes before swirling down to entangle his limbs and torso in it’s fabric. The god seems to caught off guard to think anything through and reaches for the fabric as best he can rather than trying to disarm it with magic.

“Get this fucking rug off of me! Strange!” Comes Loki’s muffled voice from behind the aggressive cloak. If Stephen wasn’t so pissed off, he may have laughed that the humorous tone behind Loki’s voice.

“Only if you guarantee me you’ll stay over there.” The sorcerer replies, nodding to the cloak, prompting it to relax a bit, giving Loki more wiggle room.

“I will, I swear, just tell it to get off !”

Stephen pushes himself to his feet as he motions to his companion to release the wiggling man from it’s grasp. When he’s released, Loki takes a deep, aggravated sounding breath, eyes narrowing as he meets Stephen’s amused gaze.

“You realize that did nothing to help you leave here anytime soon, right?” The mortal asks, eyebrow cocked in an attempt to appear more confident than he felt at the moment. Inside he fought to control the shaking that dared to give away the shock that still lingered in his mind. Loki chuckles as he shifts his weight onto his knees, kneeling.

“As if you were truly planning on it.”

Strange and Loki remain glued to their spots, eyes locked in a non-physical fight for dominance. Stephen weighs his options.

Loki won’t be calmed until he gets what he wants. He could continue to hold the god in the sanctum as some sort of “grounding” punishment to prove a point (and his hold over him), or he could cave in an allow Loki a trip to Norway. His eyes scan over Loki once more, who’s still kneeling on the wooden floor. An unknown part of him simply enjoys the sight for an indistinguishable reason, but another part acknowledges the position for what it is- subtle, and somewhat desperate, submission.

He wants out of the sanctum. Only Stephen can make that happen. A resigned sigh escapes him.

“Tomorrow. Early. Meet me in the library and I’ll take you to him.”

A wide, triumphant smile spreads across Loki’s features.

“As you wish.”

Chapter Text

The first thing Stephen notices when he wakes up is a feeling of caution, but he isn’t sure why. He rolls over and glances at the clock on his bedside table- 6:07 a.m., much earlier than he’d usually wake up naturally. Something is making his skin crawl, so much so that his hair slowly stands on end and gooseflesh prickles across his skin. Everything in his mind is telling him something is off in the room.

He slowly pushes himself up and props up on his elbow to scan the room. His eyes lazily cover the room until-

Loki what the fuck ?! ” Stephen spits, scrambling to sit up properly. Directly across the room from his bed sits Loki in the armchair that Strange typically keeps in the corner. The god’s removed it from its usual place next to the bookshelf that houses the sorcerer’s personal book collection and is lounging in it, legs and arms crossed in obvious annoyance. He’s wearing that black-on-black suit again, hair neatly combed back and styled in a nearly regal do.

“You said early.” Loki’s amused grin is almost more apparent than it is on his face, which Stephen wouldn’t have thought impossible if he hadn’t heard it himself. He notices Loki’s gaze focus on his hands and he quickly removes them from view.

“I did. And if I remember correctly I also mentioned to meet me in the library, not to rearrange my bedroom and watch me sleep like a fucking freak .”

“You took too long.” The other man states matter-of-factly, grin still spread on his lips. Strange rolls his eyes and forces himself up, disregarding the fact that the god is seeing him in only a pair of briefs.

“Out.” He spits, yanking Loki’s arm the best he can with his weak hands and leading him to the door. “I’ll come out when I’m ready.” He pushes Loki by the shoulder to force him out of the door. The god chuckles and faces him, hands in the hair as a mocking sign of defeat.

“Not a very firm grip- are you not angry, or are you just insanely weak?”

With that Strange slams the door in his face, smiling victoriously when he hears a loud thump followed by Loki cursing. “Stupid fucker.” he thinks to himself bitterly, lifting his own hands to look over the scars. He sighs and drops his hands back down to his sides.

He’s never truly stopped grieving his life before the accident- he’s grown, accepted that it was his doing, that he should have been more careful, but it still stings to wear the constant reminder. He forces the thoughts down as he prepares for the day to come, hoping that the whole ordeal will go as smoothly as possible.

Then again, he’s still dealing with Loki, asshole extraordinaire.

It takes him half the time to dress and groom himself as usual due to the nervous energy buzzing through his veins. The stands briefly before his bathroom and considers pep-talking himself, but can’t bring himself to waste the energy. With one last anxious sigh he leaves his bedroom.

The scowl locked onto Loki’s features when Stephen enters the library almost makes him chuckle, but he remains mature for the moment and steps up to a bookshelf to begin looking for what he needed. He feels Loki’s icy glare boring into him from behind, but he chooses to ignore it.

“I’m going to need a strand of your hair.” Stephen says, trying his hardest to make is sound mandatory. Which it is, he just doesn’t want to have to argue over it.

“You haven’t done enough damage to me this morning?”

“Shut up and do it.”

Loki begrudgingly pulls a single strand of hair from his head, extending it out to Stephen when the sorcerer approaches him, book in hand. When the sorcerer reaches out to retrieve it Loki’s hand shoots out, grasping onto his wrist. Instinctively, Strange tries to pull away, but Loki’s grip is solid.

“Why is it that you wear these gloves, Stephen? Does it have something to do with those scars?” The god asks, but strangely enough Stephen can’t read the emotion behind the words- whatever it is, it isn’t his usual sarcasm. The sorcerer snarls, gaze locked on Loki’s mischievous eyes.

“Let go.”

“Why? Break my grip, hit me, make me let go-”

Loki . Drop it.” Stephen warns, eyes narrowing. Wordlessly, the god releases the other man’s hand, leaving the hair between his fingers. He also takes a step backwards, the first sign of respect Loki’s shown. The sorcerer doesn’t dwell on it, deciding to focus his attention on the spell and opening the portal.

He turns his back to Loki- another first- and begins conjuring the portal as Loki watches over his shoulder, curious as to how the process worked. (He’d read various books since his arrival, but it shared only advanced knowledge- completely skipping the basics.) Within seconds a portal appears before the two, offering a glimpse into what the Asgardians have built. Loki accidentally sighs in relief.

“Well, let’s go.” Strange prompts, taking the first step through the glowing opening, leaving Loki to nearly trip over his feet in a hurry after him. Strange cocks an eyebrow at his strange behaviour, having never seen the god like this.

Loki looks past Strange, eagerly scanning the slowly building town for something- his brother, Strange assumes. Before the sorcerer can lay down any ground rules Loki pushes past him, walking so fast that he’s nearly jogging towards the settlement. Stephen stands there in near-awe as he watches people look to Loki and smile, some approach him and hug him.

Never had he ever considered someone other than Thor caring about that greasy son of a bitch, let alone be excited to see him return. Strange continues to watch as people thank him, ask about his well-being, and point him in the direction of his brother- this snaps him back to reality. He quickly chases after the god, worried about losing him in the steadily growing crowd. His eyes stay locked onto the black mass of hair as he not-so-gracefully pushes his way through the crowd, earning more than a few disgruntled sounds and annoyed looks from the Asgardians.

“Loki! Let me catch up to you!” Strange calls out. He doesn’t feel a single bit of surprise when he’s ignored, he just picks up the pace and manages to catch up just as Loki enters a large tent at the very end of the settlement. “Loki, I-”

Stephen stops mid-sentence when he opens the tent’s flaps. He hardly believes the sight before him- Loki holding his brother in an embrace so tight that the older god nearly looks out of breath. Immediately Stephen feels like he’s sticking his nose into what should be a very tender family moment, so he quietly steps out to give them some privacy.

He finally takes time to observe his surroundings- small houses and other building are in varying phases of construction. Some seem to be entirely built while some are mere skeletons, hinting at the structure to come. People bustle about doing various tasks, and, as Stephen can tell, they all seem happy, at peace, relieved to have a place they can eventually call home. Though many temporary tents and huts are still very obviously in use there’s great progress.

Stephen saunters off to a nearby tree and sits, leaning his back against it. Much to his surprise, he feels no need to monitor Loki here. Judging by the people’s reactions alone Loki seems to be less of a threat than he imagined.

He lets out a content sigh, enjoying the wave of relief that washes over him at the thought of not playing babysitter for a bit- he’s determined to enjoy every second of it.

Chapter Text

Dark. Cold. Pain. It's all around him, swallowing him, biting at his arms and legs and shoulders, it swirls around his throat and squeezes. He can feel glass slicing into his hand, cutting through flesh and tendons and in some places boring into his bones. He watches with terror as the water level in the cab rises quickly, covering his legs, his hips, his abdomen. Panicking, he takes a final breath, struggling to not cry out in pain as the water stings his wounds before filtering in over his head.

He holds on as long as he can, fighting to hold his breath or escape, but eventually stills. His eyes look up to the twinkling lights above the surface of the water and releases his last breath.

“Stephen!” A voice calls, far away. “Stephen wake up!”

Stephen awakens with a start, cradling his cheek. He glances around, panting. He's in Norway still, under the same tree, breeze gently tickling his neck. His cheek stings- did something hit him?

“Are you ok?” The voice from his dream calls from above him- Loki is kneeling beside him, hand resting on his shoulder. There's something behind those green eyes again, the same strange glint from before.

Strange’s hand drops from his face. “Did you hit me or something?”

“I had to. Shaking you and yelling wasn't working. You looked like you were having some sort of attack.” Loki explains, hand unconsciously tightening on the sorcerer's shoulder. “You didn't answer my question.”

Stephen sighs, leaning his head back against the tree. “I'm fine. Are you ready to go?”

Loki searches over Strange’s face, brows furrowing. “I am.”

“Let's go then.” The sorcerer says, slowly pushing himself to his feet. Loki stands and extends his hand, but Stephen ignores it.

He brushes past him, unwilling to deal with the pity and the questions, focusing instead on opening a portal back to the sanctum. The god approaches behind him, making Stephen hyper-aware of him- what the fuck is going on?

Relief slowly blossoms in the back of Stephen's mind when the portal opens wide enough to reveal a glimpse of the library- he's more than ready to lock himself away in his room, to curl up under the covers and curse his life and what it all could have been.

The second the portal is open he dashes through it, leaving Loki to chase after him. He doesn't stop when the two re-enter the sanctum, he can't, he wants, no, needs, to be alone right now.

“Stephen, wait!” Loki calls from behind him, only to be ignored once more. Strange just wants to rest. And possibly drink. Maybe mainly drink, he has yet to decide.

“I'm fine. It was just a dream.” His attempts at shrugging the topic off seem to have no effect on the god, as he continues to follow Strange into the kitchen.

“I'm the god of lies and mischief, do you truly think you can lie to me?”

“Fuck off.”

“No.” Loki spits, slowly approaching Stephen who's already near the refrigerator. The god reaches over to the counter and takes an apple from the basket of fruit. He turns it in his hand before looking up to Strange. “Catch.”

Stephen barely has time to turn around before Loki tosses the apple to him. Instinctively, he reaches up to catch the fruit but his fingers simply can't move quickly, or well, enough. It bounces off of his hand and falls to the floor with a disappointing thunk. His eyes follow the apple as it rolls until it bumps his foot. He can't look up- he doesn't want to see the stupid smirk that he's sure is on Loki’s face.

A long break of silence passes. Strange can practically hear his heart beating more than he can feel it- all he can feel is red-hot embarrassment. His eyes slowly flick up to Loki’s face and what he sees is worse than he imagined.

Pity. Sadness. Something akin to worry, even. It makes Stephen’s stomach turn.

“I know I haven’t been even remotely friendly towards you, but I’m curious-”

“It’s my fault.” Stephen interrupts, mind slowly filling with the memories of the crash. It haunts him daily, it haunts him when he rests, perpetually playing over the endless scenarios where he could have, no should- no, deserved to die. He saw his own death thousands of times, but every time it ripped a new hole in his psyche.

“Is that so?” Loki asks, slowly approaching, inch by inch. Stephen notices the advance but doesn’t acknowledge it. “Was it a battle? Training?”

“Arrogance.” Stephen sighs, eyes flicking down to the tacky yellow gloves he hides behind, trying his best to move on. How pointless.

Loki’s eyes join his gaze as the sorcerer removes the articles, loosening the fingers before sliding the wretched things off. He holds his hands out for Loki to inspect, still unsure of why he’s even doing this. Maybe it’s because he was “caught”, or maybe it’s because he’s so starved of meaningful human interaction that he’s now willing to open up to a previously power-hungry psycho.

Whatever the reason, he manages to not flinch away when Loki’s fingers delicately trace down one of the scars, eyes filled with the same heavy emotion as before. The touch is so delicate that he almost sees it more than he feels it. His eyes watch as the god’s long fingers run up and down the lines decorating the back of his hands, paying equal attention to every mark.

“Can I ask what happened?” Loki inquires, eyes still glued to the web of marks. Stephen shivers when the touch becomes a little bolder, pressing down curiously in the places where the scars overlap.

“Only if you let me drink.” Stephen replies, chuckling despite himself. Loki chuckles too.

“Only I can join.”

They gather back in the library- it only takes one bottle of cheap vodka shared between the two for Stephen to finish his story, and for some reason, he holds nothing back. He tells Loki about him and Christine, he tells him about his arrogance in his career, his continued arrogance in what should have been his recovery. He tells him about the fights with the people who were trying to help, he confesses every single misstep between his wreck and his time with the Ancient One, and it just might be the most soul cleansing moment of his life.

There’s no judgment from Loki- he has no room to mock how Stephen handled his issues when he allowed his personal issues with his father to nearly destroy the human race. (Although it was much more complicated than that, he finds it easier to just bear the blame.) The god watches with interested, but hazy eyes as the sorcerer’s lips spew every secret, every pain, every regret. More and more he finds himself understanding the words a little too well.

That’s when Loki began talking to- he too unsure as to what made him do so. He explained the ordeal around his so-called “adoption” in detail, sharing with the other man every moment of betrayal he felt. He even went so far as to explain why he did what he did on Earth, and if Stephen wasn’t wasted he’d be truly touched by the sentiment. But at the moment, he’s growing dizzy.

He slowly slumps down onto the couch as he continues to listen to Loki’s tales, no, confessions. As Loki begins to recount the most recent ordeal involving Hela, the sorcerer rearranges himself to lay down on the large, plush couch, catching Loki’s eye.

Stephen should move when Loki slowly approaches, but he doesn’t. He should push him away when the god curls up beside him, but he doesn’t. He should jump off the couch when Loki’s head comes to rest on his chest, enjoying the warmth and the sound of the other man’s heartbeat, but he stays put. His arms slowly slink around the god as he continues his story as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening, as if he wasn’t currently cuddling up to the same asshole who trapped him here.

But he is. And for some reason he’s perfectly fine with it.

Everything felt as if it were blurring together, he eyes couldn't focus on the anything, his mind couldn't focus on Loki’s words, his nose was distracted from the scent of the vodka- every scent was filled by Loki.

Loki’s touch on his chest, Loki’s scent filling his mind, Loki’s honeyed words accompanying it, the way Loki nuzzled into his chest was the only thing he ever wanted to bear witness to again- but taste…

“Loki.” Strange slurs, shifting slightly. The god lazily lifts his head, eyes asking what the other man wanted.

And then he did it. He's not sure what made him want to or what in his mind allowed him to go through with it, but before he knew it he was catching those lovely lips in a kiss.

It was chaste, unprepared on both ends- but it was wonderful. Loki’s eyes flutter shut once he realizes what's happening, pressing closer to Stephen to feel even more of the other man pressed against him. Stephen’s arms pull the god impossibly closer, shivering a bit as the cooler temperature of the god chills his flesh in the most heavenly way possible.

Both Stephen and Loki decide that they could get very used to this.

Chapter Text

Stephen is surrounded by cold again. This time it’s everywhere- cloaking his body, filling his lungs, chilling him to the core. The water is above his head again, leaving him descending slowly into the darkness. He does everything to flail and kick and yell but he can’t move, he can’t speak, he can’t do anything but watch in horror as the lights above him slowly disappear. If he were able to cry he could, he’d cry, he’d beg for mercy from whatever divine beings in existence-

Then there’s a sensation, it’s cold, but not nearly as cold as the water around him. In fact, it’s almost warm in comparison. He focuses on that feeling, on the comforting touch that draws him out of his panic. Slowly he’s pulled up, out of the darkness.

Stephen’s eyes flutter open, slightly blurred with tears. His head is pounding, but a gentle caress on his cheek draws him into focus.

Loki is still curled up against him, head resting comfortably on his chest. The sorcerer sighs as the god continues trailing his fingers across his cheek, soothing his overactive nerves. He’s not sure when Loki’s touch became his comfort, nor is he sure of when he became interested, but at the moment he can’t force himself to care.

He relaxes his grip when Loki rearranges, maneuvering himself to nuzzles his nose under Stephen’s chin. For some reason it’s the most comfortable the sorcerer has felt in a very long time. The naturally cool temperature of the frost giant’s body was a nice sensation against his too-warm skin, and at the moment he can’t think of a single thing he’d rather be feeling.

Loki, however, was uncomfortably warm, but willing to deal with it. There was something about this proximity that kept him unwilling to move. Stephen’s cheeks were wet with tears under his touch, making something in his chest twitch- he hates seeing him like this. He hates that he still suffers.

He hates that he has to watch someone else suffer with thoughts that he himself has lived with for far too long.

“What was it about?” Loki questions, eyes flicking down to watch the rise and fall of the human’s chest. “The nightmare.”

“My wreck. Again. Same as always.” Stephen’s fingers twitch instinctively at the memory, so he distracts himself with a strand of Loki’s hair. “Drowning, being surrounded by cold. Feeling alone, like I could scream for years and it would never reach anyone.”

Loki nods thoughtfully, words hitting him a little too strongly. “I understand.”

Stephen pulls him closer. “I know you do, and I’m so sorry.”

The god smiles despite himself and tilts the human’s face down to connect their lips. The moment is tender, so incredibly fragile the Stephen holds his breath as if the air alone would be enough to break it. Everything about it is intoxicating and it isn’t until Loki’s tongue brushes against his lower lip that Stephen remembers to breathe.

He welcomes the advance eagerly, opening his mouth to let Loki in, but the god pulls back. Stephen cocks his eyebrow at Loki, his way of asking what was up whilst catching his breath.

“What is this?” The god blurts between pants, face somewhere between confused and worried.

“Kissing?” Stephen asks (rather dumbly), mind still hazy.

“No shit, Sherlock. I meant this intimacy. What is it? Where did this even come from?” All of a sudden Loki is pulling away completely, forcing himself off the couch so quickly he nearly trips over his own feet. The action is too quick for Stephen to register with his still hungover mind, so he stays put.

“I’m-” Stephen pauses, remembering that he isn’t sure either. “You started it, I think?”

The god shoots him a confused look. “On what planet does you getting intoxicated and kissing me make me the one who started it?”

“You were showing concern.”

“And that made you think I was romantically interested? Is kindness all it takes for you to assume someone has those feelings for you? Truly?”


Loki’s look of annoyance fades as one of near-shock replaces it. He has to be fucking joking. However, judging by the embarrassed expression the human’s face, he is not .

“That’s-” Loki digs in his mind to find something meaningful, cohesive. He fails. “That’s sad .”

Stephen chuckles lowly, managing to look even more emotionally trashed than he did the night before when uttering his darkest memories. “It is. It’s pathetic. I’m pathetic.” He slouches back down on the couch and closes his eyes.

“Me too.”

Stephen feels the, somehow familiar, weight of Loki’s body return to the couch. The human’s arms wrap around Loki’s waist once more.

Being with Loki, Stephen discovers over the next few weeks, is quite like owning a cat- Sometimes while he is reading Stephen could find his lap occupied with an increasingly familiar weight. At those times he’d run his free hand through Loki’s hair, gently massage his shoulder, at times simply look down at him and watch him rest…

Other times, however, Loki wanted space- lots of it. He’d disappear to his bedroom for hours at a time. What he did in there, Stephen never asked. He simply respects the god’s privacy and focuses on whatever his tasks are for the day.

The two visit New Asgard more frequently as well, nearly once every three days at this point. Stephen suspects Loki’s need of space stems from those trips, having freedom then having it revoked hours later. Maybe he’s being a dick, but even with the major change in their relationship, if it could be called that, he still isn’t ready to let Loki out on his own.

Was it due to responsibility or selfishness? He may never know.

What he does know is that Loki is a wonderous kisser- every touch, every peck, every tug of the lip is enough to bring him to his knees. That has been happening more often as well- the kissing, the deep talks, the cuddling…they even share a bed most nights. Yet he still has no idea what all this is or how it even started.

It’s been four weeks now since that drunken first kiss, and Stephen is beginning to question a lot of things. Since when has he liked men? Since when has a trickster god and ex-psycho been his type? Since when has he been so willing to throw his feelings and fears and thoughts at someone?

Since Loki, he supposes.

But where does he stand?

That, he decides, will have to late for later. RIght now he’s focused on the way Loki’s breath is brushing against his bare chest. He looks down at the sleeping god, appreciating the softness of his features and the lovely curve of his collarbone, his raw and unfiltered beauty...

Whatever this is, he loves it.

And he thinks he may love Loki too.

Chapter Text

Stephen’s arm flexes uncomfortably as he forces his hand to obey- but it’s truly useless. There’s so much he would give to be able to just use the fucking things… The pen slides from his hand once again as his arm relaxes.

“Need help?”

The sorcerer looks over his shoulder to Loki, who’s been hovering over him for nearly 10 minutes now. A defeated sigh slips past the human’s lips as he nods, embarrassed. He glances over his shoulder as Loki reaches around him and wraps his hand around his own, controlling the movements.

His muscles relax as he allows Loki’s hand to help him form the letters, producing what may be the most attractive handwriting he’s seen emerge from his hand in a long time. The handwriting isn’t entirely his own, of course, it’s a mix of his and Loki’s, and, to him, that makes it that much more beautiful. Loki helps him finish off his note quickly.

“Thank you, love.” Stephen cringes when the petname falls from his lips, but Loki doesn’t seem to mind- opting out of teasing to kiss Stephen’s cheek affectionately.

“You can always ask, you don’t have to wait for an offer. Recordkeeping goes much faster with more nimble hands.” Loki says casually, assisting Stephen further as the two rearrange all of the handwritten notes and manuscripts into proper stacks.

“I know I can, I just-”

Stephen’s words are interrupted, this time with a proper kiss. Everything has been insanely smooth between the two men recently, and neither could be happier about it. Days are spent equally in New Asgard and the sanctum, the daily visits allowing both men to feel less claustrophobic and making their proximity less of a requirement and more of a choice.

The nights are almost exclusively spent in Stephen’s bedroom, filled with kisses and tender embraces- nothing sexual. Every touch and kiss and caress is fueled by adoration, not lust, so much so that Stephen can barely stand to sit still.

He’d forgotten how wonderful it felt to be so incredibly in love, how lighthearted and wholesome it felt. The words “I love you” have never left his lips, but he’s sure Loki knows, and he’s sure Loki feels the same.

They’re nearly finished clearing off his desk when a notification pops up on his barely used laptop. Stephen glances at the screen briefly, but chooses to ignore whatever the message is. Loki raises an eyebrow at the sorcerer.

“I only keep it around to make me feel better at this point.” He explains, taking the stack of parchment from Loki. “I still get emails and updates from old colleagues, which are useless, but it’s nice to have a bit of a reminder. In fact you can open it if you’d like, it’s probably nothing confidential”

Loki tries to act disinterested, but the fact that Stephen is so willing to share something meant to be private makes him giddy. The relationship truly has progressed farther than either man had expected.

“It may have pictures of surgeries or something of the sort, but I doubt that would make you squeamish after…” Strange struggles to finish the sentence, but decides against it. “...yeah.”

He finishes shelving the manuscripts in silence as Loki reads over the email. The silence continues after he’s finished, and worry grows in his stomach when he notices Loki’s unreadable expression.

“What’s it about? Did something happen?”

“What does ‘colleague’ mean on this planet, exactly?” Loki asks, scrolling through the email once more. “I seem to have misunderstood what you meant by that.”

Stephen’s concern grows as he approaches the laptop. “Someone you work with professionally, basically. Why?”

He barely has time to look over Loki’s shoulder before the god starts reading out the message.

Dearest Stephen, I made mistakes, we both did, but I think we can work past it. I hope we can, because I miss you. ” Loki reads, tone flat. Stephen freezes, muscles growing tense. “ I remember every moment, the good ones, the bad ones, the ones where you were so broken you pushed me away- I forgive you. I don’t blame you, you were hurt and scared and I want to try again-

“Stop. Please.” Stephen interrupts, becoming more paranoid by the second.

“This Christine Palmer, is she that ex-girlfriend?” Loki asks, annoyed, but not angry.

“Yes, and I haven’t heard from her since I abandoned everything, it’s been months, I-”

“Stephen, I’m not upset, just curious.” Loki’s tone softens when he notices the slight panic in the human’s voice. “Is this really that out of the blue?”

“It is. The last time I saw her was the night the Ancient One passed, as I said, months ago. I haven’t tried talking to her since then, I assumed we’d tied up all the loose ends then.”

“That’s understandable.” Loki’s eyes scan over the lower portion of the email, the part Stephen hasn’t read yet. “Should I delete it?”

The cursor barely makes it to the small trash can icon before Stephen’s hand covers Loki’s, stopping the movement. The god looks over his shoulder at Stephen, eyebrow cocked in surprise. But Stephen’s eyes are locked on the sign-off of the email.

I suppose a part of me is still yours. Sincerely, Christine.

His heart does something in his chest, but he isn’t sure what. It’s a strange mix of anxiety and residual excitement. This is the first time anyone from his past life has tried to contact him at all since he took his leave.

“Yeah, go ahead.”

Loki doesn’t hesitate to dispose of the sentimental email, concern bubbling in his stomach. A heavy discomfort sits over the two, making Stephen more anxious than he thought possible considering the situation.

Loki makes the first move, closing the laptop and leaning back, resting his head back onto Stephen’s abdomen. The human’s hand instinctively comes up and brushes through Loki’s silky hair.

“What now?” Loki asks, desperately wanting to put the awkwardness behind them.

“Well, I have other manuscripts to work through-”

“Actually, would you mind terribly if I went to see my brother? Alone possibly?” The god interrupts, eyes hopeful.

“I’m sorry if I’ve made you uncomfortable.” Stephen’s words are timid, concerned that the affection in Christine’s words upset him.

“No, not at all love. I just want to talk to my brother, it’s already been a few days since my last visit.” He assures, standing from the chair.

“You don’t want me to come along?”

“If that’s alright.” Loki admits, eyes still hopeful, almost pleading to let him go.

Stephen sighs. “Yeah, I don’t see why that would be an issue. Are you sure you’re alright?”

Loki answers his question by leaning in to capture his lips in a loving kiss, easing the human’s nerves. “Positive.”

The sorcerer relaxes a bit and steps back, comfortable to stop questioning Loki. “I’ll see you in a bit then.” And with that, Loki is gone.

For the rest of the day, Stephen is on edge, mind constantly tracking back to Christine’s email. He’s considered restoring the message a few time, but doesn’t have the courage to do it. He feels like he’s read enough to taunt him for a good, long while.

He feels bad for not replying, she wrote so sincerely, with so much honesty, is it really alright to simply trash it and leave her hanging? But what would come of replying? A friendship? Not likely, not after everything he’s done. There’s no way she could truly be alright with how he ended things.

Hour after hour ticks by without Loki’s return. Stephen would usually be worried, but his mind is still so occupied with the Christine situation that he assumes the god is doing fine without him. By now he’s settled into a rhythm of unshelving, organizing, and reshelving the multitude of tomes in the library, mind slowly relaxing until a knock is heard at the door of the sanctum.

Everything in him freezes- who would ever stop at this place?

He phases down to the entrance of the sanctum, befuddled and insanely annoyed by the disturbance. With a huff he opens the doors.

“You’ve got the wrong addre-”

His words catch in his throat.

“Hello, Stephen.”

Everything stops. His breathing, his heart, it feels like time itself may have stopped as well, but no, the seconds tick by as he stands there in the doorway, staring in shock.


He stands before him in scrubs, obviously fresh out of work, eyes bright and hopeful at seeing him. “I’m glad you’re still alive, you haven’t checked in at all, I was worried!” She reaches out to hug him, but he takes a sharp step backwards. “Stephen?”

“How did you find this place?” His eyes scan over her again, still shocked by her sudden appearance. She chuckles under her breath.

“It was difficult, but people don’t just disappear.” Her smile fades. “Or at least they shouldn’t .”

The sorcerer looks up and down the street, finding it empty. He takes another step backwards and motions for her to come inside. Her smile returns as she does so. The door is hardly shut before she’s on him, pressing him against the door and pressing her lips against his.

He can hardly believe what’s happening, he can hardly think at all. Her lips were so familiar, so warm, so inviting, so reminiscent of what his life once was. He instinctively wraps his hands around her hips, his body pulling her closer while his mind continued to work out the situation.

Something is wrong. Terribly wrong. She tenses up at the touch and makes a disgusted sound. Before Stephen can pull away she’s pushing him, forcing him away brutally and nearly knocking him from his feet.

“Christine, I-”

His words catch in his throat. He watches with horror as Christine fades away.


“Are you disappointed?” The god chokes out, voice straining to hide the emotion that his face betrays him by revealing. There’s too many emotions behind those storming eyes for Stephen to even begin to comprehend. “Have I ruined your fantasy? Wasted your time, perhaps?”

Loki .”

“Stop talking. Stop saying my name.” He spits, hot tears of anger and betrayal threatening to spill down his cheeks. “It’s the only part of myself I don’t hate yet . I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t take that away from me too.”

Stephen panics, his heart is pounding so hard he can hardly breathe at all. What does he do? What does he say? Does he say anything? Will it make it worse? Can it possibly get worse?

“I’m sorry, I should have reacted, it just happened fast, I-”

“You aren’t sorry. If you are sorry it’s that your perfect little lay of an ex isn’t truly here to suck you off. You don’t care.”

“I do care, Loki, I love you.”

Loki laughs. It’s a hollow, broken laugh, one that you’d hear from someone that’s truly lost it all.

“What a convenient time to finally say that, huh?” The first tear fights it’s way down Loki’s cheek. “Manipulator.”

“No, I’m not-”

“You are. You’re caught in your lie. You can’t hide from this, Stephen.”

There’s no words, none at all that can describe any of the thoughts or feelings felt by either of them.

“Why? Why do this? Was your trust always nonexistent?” Stephen utters, eyes glued to the floor. “You could have asked more about her, we could have talked...why do this?”

“I wish I had an answer. I suppose it’s how I’ve learned to function. Just another instinct that pushes people away. But I also suppose I’m not entirely in the wrong this time.”

“You really think that? You lied to me just now, you fucking shapeshifted into my ex-girlfriend to fuck with me . Do you not realize how disgusting that is?”

“I know it’s disgusting, but I’m disgusting. I’m a thing , remember? You said that.” Loki reminds, voice raising at the accusation.

“I said that months ago, Loki, you’re bringing up something from months ago that I said before I met you .”

“You think it hasn’t haunted me? That I haven’t thought of it?”

“We could have talked about it. Not revisiting it was your fault.” Stephen spits, voice slowly rising to the level of Loki’s. “It’s not my fault that you choose to handle your issues by blaming everyone but yourself and playing the fucking victim.”

“Fuck you.” The god’s voice breaks, as does his facade. There’s no point in being composed anymore, no point in pretending that he’s in control of this situation. “I trusted you, I wanted to fucking have something, someone , in my life that had been through hell and back and understood why I act the way I do at times, why I build emotional walls, why I fight when it isn’t needed. I didn’t have that until you.”

“You still have that! I’m standing right fucking here, you just aren’t being logical right now, you’re making every wrong fucking step to fix it.”

“Fix what? Fix the fact that you’re hung up on an ex you threw to the curb months ago?”

Stop .”

With that one word, everything did. Both of them simply stood there, eyes locked, hands trembling, hearts pounding infinitely harder than either could handle at the moment.

“Loki, can we please just stop? Let’s just-” Stephen is caving, breaking into smaller and smaller bits of himself with each passing moment. What has he done? “We need to not talk about this right now. We need space.”

“Space? I’m your prisoner here in this place. Not much space to be had there.” Loki reminds bitterly, eyes falling to the floor.

“Then leave.”

Strange regrets the words as soon as they leave his lips, partly because that’s the last thing he wants, but mostly because the look on Loki’s face breaks him entirely. He doesn’t look surprised that Stephen’s telling him to leave, he looks at Stephen as if to say “Finally broke you, have I?”

“If you want.” He adds, not wanting to lose the one person he’s grown close to in so long. “I won’t stop you, I don’t want you to leave, Loki, I don’t. But if what you need is to be away from me, then please, go. I want you to be ok. I want this to be ok- but if you feel like it won’t be, you can go.”

The silence between them is sharp enough to slice into the sorcerer’s heart, and his nerves are so overwhelming he looks down to his feet. He can physically see his scarred fingers tremble, even some veins visibly bulge with the frantic beating of his heart.

When he finally gains the courage to look up, Loki is gone.

Chapter Text

In all the years of Stephen’s life, the word “empty” had always been a descriptive term, never a feeling. Even after the wreck, true emptiness was something he’d never felt.

That’s changed. Devastating doesn’t even begin to describe it.

His mind won’t rest. It can’t. There are always so many different things forcing their way in- the last words he said to Loki, the way the god’s beautiful face twisted into a look of utter brokenness, the way his breath refused to come back after he looked into the empty room Loki left behind.

He hasn’t slept. He doesn’t want to. He knows as soon as his eyes shut Loki’s memory will be standing there, eyes watery, lips repeating “ Why? Stephen why? What was the point? ” so many times the words stop sounding like words at all. His nightmares have returned with a wicked vengeance as well, propelling his fear even further than his anxiety could alone.

These nightmares were different, they weren’t about self-centered fears of drowning or dying, they were worse, infinitely worse. They reminded him of every word he said to hurt Christine. They reminded him of every mistake he made with Loki. They reminded him of every touch he took advantage of, every word he didn’t cherish. They reminded him why he would always be alone, why everyone in his life would eventually leave, why everyone in his life hates to be around him.

He’s a selfish prick. He’s shallow. He’s hateful. He’s a fool.

It only takes two days after Loki leaving for his breakdown to hit full swing- he yells, he curses himself, he curses life, he throws books and papers and eventually collapses onto the floor, useless. He stays there, naively hoping Loki will magically reappear and help pick him back up.

But he doesn’t.

The Cloak of Levitation floats by his side, but he swats it away.

Day three is no better. He sits idly, looking over the mess he’s made in the library. He looks at every place he and Loki and stood, had spoken, had shared little, intimate moments, now tainted with putrid regret. He hears a crunch under his foot as he stomps back to the kitchen to get another drink.

Under his foot is the crumpled remains of one of the manuscripts written with Loki’s guiding hand. He exhales through his nose roughly. Some people may have mistaken it as a laugh of sorts, when in reality it’s the sound of his last bit of sanity slipping away.

Day five is the hardest by far, with everything around him reminding him of Loki. The couch still has a book on it, left open to the page Loki had been reading. The refrigerator still has food in it that Loki chose, some of which has already gone bad, but Stephen can’t bring himself to dispose of it. Walking down the hallway to his own room makes Stephen sick, passing by that room that he’ll always call Loki’s breaks him impossibly more with each passing.

Surviving this is more than impossible.

He throws up on day seven, so wrecked from not eating or sleeping properly that even one bite of food is enough to send him running to the restroom- and passing by Loki’s old bedroom to get there definitely doesn’t help. He lays there on the cold bathroom tile, begging to no one in particular that this will all come to an end, that the world will stop torturing him. He yells again, sobs until his throat is raw and his eyes are swelling up-

But, once again, his cries go unheard.

Day eight is the first day that he considers reaching out, he thinks of rushing to New Asgard and begging him to come back. He would crawl for miles on his knees and beg for years if it meant he’d be forgiven, but he knows better than to push Loki. He’s already made the god hate him, he fears that trying to force his hand would only anger him further, if possible. So instead he continues suffering in silence.
Then again, this is the punishment he’s earned for himself. He deserves to bear it. He deserves to hurt this way. He always has, and he always will.

This is all his own doing.

On the night of day 10 he finally gains the courage to enter Loki’s old room. It’s a punch to the gut, seeing everything just how Loki left it- clothes still hanging in the closet, bed still unmade, all so fucking casual, like he could walk back in at any moment. He only makes it a few timid steps inside before he’s shaking. If he were properly hydrated he’d surely be crying, but tequila can only do so much for the human body before it dissipates.

His body is damn near it’s breaking point, drained and weak from the constant alcohol abuse and lack of food. As he approaches the bed, he wonders how long it’s been since he’s actually slept. Since day seven? Day eight, perhaps?

His fingers gently trace over the bedding, but he’s too numb to feel it. He slowly sits on the plush mattress and leans back, letting the faint smell of Loki left behind fill him to the core. The Cloak of Levitation floats limply, almost sadly, in the doorway, but Stephen ignores it. He closes his eyes and finally surrenders to whatever nightmare awaits him.

By day 12 he can’t even recognize himself anymore. The mirror before him feels more like a grotesque painting of a corpse rather than a reflection of the once great Stephen Strange. His eyes and cheeks are sunken in from lack of sustenance, the circles under his eyes are so dark he looks like he’s lost a nasty fight, his eyes themselves are so incredibly void of anything remotely human that he’s beginning to think he’s really lost himself.

He’s pathetic. Utterly pathetic . There’s nothing left that he hasn’t single-handedly destroyed.

His career. His relationship with Christine. His budding relationship with Loki-

He decides he never deserved any of those things, he never deserved the glory of being a renowned surgeon, he never deserved to have Christine by his side, in his bed, in his life, and he absolutely never deserved Loki’s trust, as imperfect as it all was.

He was always undeserving of the loving looks, the tender touches, the intimacy the god had trusted him with. He was entirely unworthy of his voice, his laugh, his shining emerald eyes, the cunning wit, his presence at all...

He stays in Loki’s room almost exclusively now, only leaving occasionally to open another bottle of vodka or eat a few crackers to keep himself from vomiting again. Days are spent remembering every mistake. Nights are spent mentally beating himself in that once-comforting bed.

Day 14 ends in that bed again, surrounded by the steadily fading smell of Loki. His tears have been dry for days. His mind and body are numb. He's so drained that his thoughts are incoherent. The building could be burning around him and he would stay right there in that bed.

It’s why he doesn't react when the door opens.

It’s why he doesn't react when the blankets are pulled back from his body.

He shakily raises his head when a body joins him in the bed, but soft fingers press him back down into the bedding. The same fingers cover his eyes and trace down his jaw, comforting him silently. As arms slide around his waist and pull him close he slips into a deep sleep.

This time, there are no nightmares.

Chapter Text

Stephen doesn't want to open his eyes. He's been awake for nearly 15 minutes, but he knows as soon as he opens his eyes whatever hallucination he’s feeling will disappear. It feels so incredibly real- the breathing, the heartbeat, the cool breath on his neck...

He's not sure when he got to the point of hallucinating, but he's not fighting it. Perhaps this is his mind trying desperately to find relief, maybe it’s the drinks from last night that have yet to wear off, maybe he’s just entirely broken down. Regardless of the reality of the situation, he’s happy to feel sane for the first time in two fucking weeks.

He really hadn’t realized how safe being in someone’s arms made him feel. Maybe he’s weak, or maybe just human. He’ll figure it out eventually, right now he’s too content emotionally to stir anything back up..

He shivers instinctively when the figure moves, moving the sorcerer a bit as it does. It's not until he hears the figure sigh that his eyes finally force themselves open.

The arms are still wrapped firmly around his waist, pulling him back against a cool body. A pair of long legs are tangled with his own, and the breath on his neck disappears as the figure rearranges once more. Large hands and long fingers press into the slightly exposed skin of his waist, giving him gooseflesh in the most pleasant way imaginable.

Panic should be setting in, but it isn't. He should be thrashing, yelling, pushing the limbs away, but he doesn't. There’s a strange comfort in the embrace, something that makes him feel sound, sturdy, like he’s alright for the first time in weeks. He doesn’t want it to go away- he’d truly rather be in the arms of a stranger than alone at this point. He’s truly lost his mind.

It takes every ounce of willpower he has left, but he slowly turns his head, glancing behind him. When his eyes meet half open shining emeralds, his heart nearly stops.

His entire body freezes.

His eyes immediately well up with moisture, blurring his vision along the edges. Is this real?

“Hello, Stephen.”

Alarms in his head ring off immediately, screaming at him to react, but he can’t make himself move. He’s frozen in place, frozen in Loki’s arms. Then it hits him.

Rage. Hot, burning, putrid rage . After everything he has the audacity to slide back into bed beside him? After leaving him to sob and vomit and barely eat and sit up festering in regret night after night for two fucking weeks ?

His arms react as suddenly as he makes the realization, forcing Loki’s arms away violently as he scrambles to escape his embrace. The god recoils quickly, moving backwards in the bed rather than trying to come closer to the panicking human. Stephen stands shakily, heart hammering hard, sending adrenaline flying through his veins so fast it almost hurts.

Loki raises his hands up slowly as to say “That’s ok, I surrender.” His hands are shaking too. Stephen doesn’t notice.

“Why are you here?” The human spits, lip twitching with contempt. The god keeps his gaze to the sheets of the bed- his bed- unwilling to look up and meet Stephen’s burning glare.

“I came to apologize.” He says, hands remaining in place, eyes still cast down. It’s a clear act of submission, but Stephen sees no reason to give a shit.

“So you crawl in bed with me when I’m too broken to stop you?”

“I don’t know.”

“What the fuck do you mean you don’t know ? I fucking suffered after you left. I offered to let you stay and fix things after you shapeshifted into my ex-girlfriend and threw yourself on me . I had no reason to offer that, Loki, no reason !” The sorcerer’s voice slowly raises in volume, nearly growing to a shout when he’s finished. His breath comes in pants, his head is throbbing, he can’t focus on anything other than the sound of rushing blood.

“It was disgusting of me. Absolutely unforgivable.”

“Yet you come seeking forgiveness?”

“Yes.” Loki’s words don’t falter. “I came asking for forgiveness because I care. I’m here because I know you care too.”

“And you want to take advantage of that? Again ?”

The god’s eyes finally snap up to meet the human’s glare. “I have no intention of taking advantage of you. Not ever again. I can assure you of that.”

Stephen laughs for the first time in weeks. “Loki, god of lies, promising me he’ll be nice this time. That he’ll heroically fight his inner urge to be a cunt just for me ? What an honour .”

Again, Loki’s gaze falls to the bed. He slowly shifts, pushing himself up to a kneeling position. At first Stephen assumes he’s going to stand up, maybe even fight back, but he’s wrong. Instead Loki simply kneels. His hands are resting on his thighs, fingers shaking hard enough for Stephen to notice. The human cocks an eyebrow when the god just kneels there, head bowed down, showing no intention to do anything other than take the verbal beating.

“You have nothing to say to that?” Stephen pries, eyes focusing on Loki’s visibly trembling fingers. Silence stretches on for a full minute before Stephen continues, slowly pacing back and forth, trying to use up some of this anger-fueled energy. “Sitting there quietly won’t make this any better. I want answers, Loki. Why did you do that? Did you really have so little trust in me that you had to test me? Did you really think so lowly of me ?”

“Me.” Loki finally says, bringing the human’s attention back to him. Stephen’s resolve finally cracks a bit.

Loki actually looks miserable- his entire body is trembling now, his shoulders heave a bit with each deep, pained breath. It isn’t until Stephen spots small, wet impact marks on Loki’s loose pants that he realizes that the god is serious.

It’s obvious that he’s trying hard to disguise his crying, but it’s useless, his breaths are coming out rougher and rougher, his body betrays him.

“I didn’t trust that I could have something like this- like what we had.” Loki explains, forcing the words out as his sobs become audible. “I thought that there had to be something else. That I could never truly have something so good in my life after all I’d done, that it was all some sort of lie. That it was too good to be real.”

Stephen’s boiling rage subsides considerably as he approaches the shaking god, whose sobs are becoming hard to witness.

“I don’t know what I was thinking. I don’t know what I thought would come of that. I don’t know that I thought at all- I just fell back into old habits that I wish you never had to see. It was part of a side of me I promised you had been locked away, but I was wrong. I broke your trust. I broke you . I’m disgusting. I’m so sorry, Stephen, I’m so fucking sorry .”

The sorcerer stands before him for a while longer, trying to gauge the situation. He thinks Loki is telling the truth, he wants badly to reach out and collect him into his arms and shush him, tell him that it’ll be ok, but he can’t. He’s not sure about anything at this point.

What he does feel sure about, however, is that he can’t deny that he missed Loki. He hoped and prayed he would come back, that they could try again, and he wanted that badly. Based on this display, Loki wants that too.

But he doesn’t know.

A sigh slips from his lips as he mulls through his options, eyes looking at anything but the pathetic display before him. Loki slumps down further, muttering more apologies, begging for forgiveness. Stephen makes a decision.

The human reaches out, fingers gently wrapping around one of Loki’s violently shaking hands as he takes a seat on the bed beside him. The god’s hand clinches around it as another painful sounding sob rips through him- he hasn’t been this vulnerable in a very, very long time.

“I’m willing to try this again-” Loki’s head snaps up, meeting Stephen’s gaze, but the human puts his hand up, “-wait. I’m willing to try again, but we can’t do this ‘non-communication’ thing. Neither of us are good about opening up, I get that, but we need to figure out how to. I need you to use words instead of actions when you’re unsure. I need you to talk to me. I need to be able to talk to you in the same way, agreed?”

Loki nods his head, bringing his hand up slowly to wipe the steadily falling tears from his face, but Stephen’s hand beats him to it. His eyes flutter shut at the touch. “Agreed.”

“It’s going to take time to fix this.” Stephen explains, knowing well that Loki understands, but just wanting to put it plainly. “I want to forgive you, I want this- I want us to be able to work out, we just have to work for it.”

“I’ll do what I have to.” Loki assures, and he’s sincere.

The human seems satisfied with the reply, but stays quiet. The two sit there silently as they both simmer down, their breathing levels out, tears stop flowing…

“What now?” The god’s words are timid, still submissive. Stephen squeezes his hand.

“We try again.”

The two spend the rest of the day apart, Stephen in his quarters bathing, eating, even doing some brief exercises to try to normalize his body again. Loki spends his time reacquainting himself with the space. The god had brought back a bag from New Asgard (that Stephen managed to miss) filled with clothes, personal affects, things of the like. He’d never planned to make this place his home for long, but things certainly have changed.

The following week is spent with just as much space between them. Stephen slowly returns to his work in the sanctum, slowly catching up with the work he’d neglected during his breakdown. Loki remains distant, but present. He stays in the same room as the human most of the time, but doesn’t engage physically unless Stephen engaged it. They would occasionally hold hands, never for longer than a few brief moments, but it was progress nonetheless.

The week after that shows even more progress. Stephen asks Loki to help him write manuscripts again, and the god happily obliges, proud to know that he’s proved himself enough for Stephen to want him close. Things progress further as the days go on- the two hold hands casually when reading or lounging about, Stephen even kisses Loki’s cheek affectionately one night before bed. Things are looking up.

It isn’t until the third week that Loki begins engaging the physical contact. Everytime he does it’s hesitant, respectful, unwilling to make Stephen thing he’s being coerced- and not once does Stephen feel pressured. He’s open to Loki’s gentle touches and slow, hesitant embraces. He’s open to the way the god slumps comfortably against him when they cuddle on the couch to watch movies off of Stephen’s laptop.

When week four brings about their first kiss since the fight, it’s deep, passionate, full of acceptance and warmth. Things finally felt normal again- they’ve even returned to using Stephen’s bedroom as a shared room again.

The two sit in Stephen’s-no, in their bed, idly watching a series on Netflix. The show is primarily ignored, the two opting to talk over it, sharing random thoughts and plans for the next day. Loki’s head is nuzzled perfectly into the nook of Stephen’s neck, tickling the human’s skin with soft breaths and whispered words.

“Have you checked in with your brother?” Stephen asks. He feels Loki shake his head.

“I haven’t left since I came back that day. I promise.” The human nods at the reply.

“Does he know about us? At all? I mean, what did you tell him when you came back?”

“Everything. I told him everything. I couldn’t lie to him.” He explains, tensing up. Stephen’s fingers massage Loki’s shoulder, letting him know it was alright.

“I was just curious. Did you want to visit him tomorrow? So you can let him know everything is alright?” Stephen offers, glancing down at him. The god leans up, catching the human’s lips in a sweet kiss.

“That would be nice.” Loki hesitates before speaking again. “Can you come with me?”

Stephen smiles. “Of course, love.”

Loki’s heart leaps at the pet name- it reminds him…

“Stephen, that day I...did what I did, you said you loved me-”

“I still mean it.” The human turns a bit, eyes locked on Loki’s. “That never changed.”

Loki smiles, leaning up once more to capture Stephen’s lips with his own.

“I love you too.”

As naive and desperately-romantic as they both felt thinking it, they are right where they are supposed to be.

Chapter Text

Things are sweet, so sticky sweet at times it all feels synthetic, but it’s far from it.

Stephen awakens every morning with his arms wrapped firmly around Loki’s waist, holding the god close as his cold nose nuzzles into his neck. He’s grown to appreciate the chill of his partner’s unusual skin and it feels more and more like home as the days go by- regardless of its appearance.

The first time Loki felt comfortable enough to let Stephen see him without his Asgardian facade he’d been shaking like a leaf, scared sick that the sorcerer would find him revolting, monstrous. However, Stephen was excited. He watched with awe as the pale skin morphed to blue, as green eyes faded into red.

He decided then that every version of his lover was truly magnificent.

A few days later they had visited Thor again, only the second time that the two had announced that their relationship had worked out. Stephen had always worried that Thor secretly disapproved, but judging by the hugs and affectionate banter, that wasn’t the case. He briefly wondered about asking Thor how to go about Asgardian romantic traditions, but he decided then wasn’t the time.

Currently, the couple is lounging in bed, laptop balancing on their thighs playing a movie that’s being ignored. Loki is practically in Stephen’s lap, an occurrence that only happens when the god is feeling particularly affectionate- which has been often, these days. Neither of them are sure where it’s coming from, but neither are complaining.

The laptop tips slightly to one side as Loki’s legs shift. Stephen cocks an eyebrow at the constant wiggling of the god, but doesn’t ask. His eyes simply return to the screen, but not quite focusing on it.

His attention is stripped from the show again when Loki’s hand shifts from his chest down to his stomach. It’s not a new sensation by any means, but it feels different for some reason. The god moves again, twisting a bit so that he can hide his face in the crook of Stephen’s neck, breath tickling the hairs at the back of his neck.

“Are you alright, love?” Stephen asks as gooseflesh crawls up and down his limbs. Loki’s fingers trace gentle shapes over the sorcerer’s navel.

“I’m brilliant. Are you?”

Another shiver shakes Stephen’s body when Loki’s fingers explore the flesh just under the hem of his shirt. This isn’t new either, they’ve ventured beyond clothes a few times now, promptly followed up by heated, open mouthed kisses and sloppy, but passionate, blowjobs.

But, yet again, this feels different too.

“Yeah, I’m great.” The sorcerer replies, voice weaker than he thought it would be. There’s something new in the motions, some sort of intensity or intimacy that they haven’t explored yet, but Stephen is more than willing to chase the feeling. He leans down to capture the god’s lips in a fiery kiss, it’s hungry, searching for something.

Loki pushes the laptop off of their laps absentmindedly, nearly knocking it to the floor, but Stephen couldn’t care less at the moment. Right now he’s focusing on the feeling of Loki’s fingers trailing through the trail of hair leading down his navel, shivering with anticipation when the god’s fingers nudge at the waistband of his sweats.

“How far is this going?” The human asks between heated kisses, slowly losing coherence due to the lack of air and the fact that all of his blood is heading straight to his cock.
“As far as you’d like it to, love.” Loki replies casually, as if his hand isn’t pushing it’s way into Stephen’s pants.

The human moans at the remark, but doesn’t respond, wanting to think it through before deciding. He’d be lying if he said he hadn’t imagined pushing Loki back onto the bed and fucking him into the mattress, but at the same time he isn’t sure how to go about it. He was technically prepared (he has lube and other such things tucked away in the door of his nightstand, just in case), but he doesn’t know if Loki’s ever done anything in that realm before.

In fact, he’s not sure Loki’s even had sex before at all - he’s never asked. Stephen himself has had a few gay experiences sex wise thanks to his old college roommate, but it’s been a while. He grunts and loses his train of thought as the god palms his cock through his boxers.

“How far are you willing to go?”

Loki’s fingers wrap around Stephen’s dick and give it a teasing tug. “As far as you want.”

Stephen’s member twitches at the words, cuing Loki to start stroking it as the god’s lips are caught in another hungry, bruising kiss. The human briefly considers holding off on taking it all the way, but the way Loki whines when Stephen’s hands grip his ass wipes the thought from his mind entirely.

He shifts the two of them, grabbing Loki by the hips and pushing him down into the mattress. The god breaks free for a split second to remove his own sweatshirt, giving Stephen access to the full expanse of his milky abdomen. The human lets out a groan when he sees the still fading marks on Loki’s skin from their last sexual encounter, allowing a brief wave of possessiveness to wash over him before he catches one of Loki’s nipples in his mouth.

Loki gasps at the sudden movement, arching his back as the sorcerer’s hot tongue swirls around the pink bud, making it harden. The other bud hardens along with it as Stephen’s fingers tug and pinch and twist it lightly, teasing at pain but never really hurting. (Even though, as Stephen has discovered, Loki would more than enjoy that.) His moans come out in puffs across the god’s chest as his cock is tugged at once more- Loki’s growing impatient. Who’d have thought it.

“More.” Loki commands, body writhing beautifully as Stephen continues kissing and sucking and licking his way down his chest. The human chuckles.

“You aren’t going to boss me through this baby, not tonight.” Stephen asserts, not willing to let Loki have his way this time. “I’m going to take you just how I want to.”

Satisfied with the groan Loki lets out at his words, the sorcerer finally moves to pull down Loki’s jeans. (And by Loki’s jeans, he means the torn up black pair of his that Loki keeps stealing. Stephen only lets it happen because they cup the god’s ass so fucking well .) He smirks as Loki’s cock immediately bobs out, unobstructed by underwear of any type. “Slut.” He mutters jokingly. Loki smirks back.

Your slut tonight, apparently.”

Now that Stephen could listen to forever on repeat.

He wastes no time turning his attention to Loki’s neglected cock, tracing the vein slowly with the very tip of his tongue, not wanting to completely give into Loki’s requests just yet. The god hisses and rocks his hips up, desperately chasing the wet heat, but Stephen pushes his hips back down roughly. The sorcerer continues teasing the leaking member before him with his tongue and mouth, sucking under the head and tracing the vein once more, but with considerable pressure this time.

It takes all of his willpower to not take the entire length into his mouth, but he fights it off- he wants Loki to be as wound up as possible when he finally has him. Stephen gently lifts Loki’s hips and motions for the god to hand him a pillow. Once he does Stephen props his hips up, giving him a clear access to the god’s twitching hole.

The human presses his thumb against the opening, but only hard enough to tease.

“Have you done this before?” He asks, eyes looking over Loki’s sweat-slick body hungrily.

“Sex in general or anal?” The god asks bluntly, eyes meeting Stephen’s. They’re already half lidded and unfocused, but his voice sounds clear as ever.

“Either.” Stephen doesn’t wait for a reply before leaning down to lick across Loki’s opening, slowly working the muscle from the outside. Loki hisses and clenches.

“Sex- yes, a few very forgettable women in Asgard who wanted a piece of one of the princes, anal- no.” The god’s voice trembles a bit as Stephen’s tongue pushes in just a bit before the human pulls away entirely, making Loki huff in annoyance.

Stephen leans in for a kiss when he crawls over Loki to retrieve the small bottle of lube from the drawer. The human half expects Loki to push him away in disgust considering where that tongue just was, but instead her returns the kiss eagerly, all teeth and tongue and hunger. Stephen pulls back after nipping at Loki’s bottom lip, ready to move on.

He settles between Loki’s legs once more, glancing over his lover for any signs of worry- but the raven-haired man is panting, eyes focused completely on Stephen’s scarred fingers as he pops the cap on the lube. He takes his lip between his teeth as the sorcerer spreads the substance across a few of his fingers.

“This may sting.” Stephen warns, dropping the bottle somewhere beside him. Loki chuckles.

“I’ve been through way worse.”

“I’m aware.” Stephen ignores Loki’s attitude and begins massaging the god’s opening again, this time with the pad of his middle finger. He waits for Loki to relax before pushing it in slowly, knuckle by knuckle, until the finger is seated completely in the cool passage. It’s an odd sensation to feel- soft, slick, but chilled. The sorcerer eyes the god’s reaction before moving the finger and adding a second. There’s no reaction from Loki aside from a whimper, so the human begins fingering him, scissoring the god open with the two fingers, watching in awe as Loki’s body comes alive.

He’s bucking back against Stephen’s fingers now, low groans slipping past his lips occasionally as he shifts his hips slightly. The human adds a third finger and Loki finally shows a bit of pain, but not much. He slows his pace to a crawl as he allows Loki’s tight passage to adjust to the intrusion, but continues working him open. His fingers twist slightly, pressing up just a little more and-

“Oh fuck Stephen, there there there-

Stephen chuckles a bit to himself as he stops thrusting his fingers, instead focusing his attention on massaging the little bundle of nerves inside Loki. The god moans and throws his head back and wiggles so wonderfully, already nearing his orgasm- but the human isn’t ready to let him finish just yet.

The god whines pitifully when Stephen pulls his fingers back, leaving him empty and in desperate need of something- anything - to fill him again. His head raises to watch the human remove his loose sweats and boxers, finally releasing his length from the confines.

Loki can’t help but moan at it. After all the times he’s had that cock in his hands or mouth he still loses his mind at the sight of it. It’s truly perfect, long enough to hit the back of his throat when he takes it down all the way and thick enough to make his jaw ache from use- even the curve of it makes his mouth water. Part of him wonders when he became such a fucking cockslut, but every other part of him can’t care less.

He continues watching as the human lubes it up, grunting a bit when his hand finally makes contact with the swollen member, relieving it of some of the tension that has been building up. Stephen’s eyes flick up to meet Loki’s gaze, waiting for Loki’s consent.

The god swallows thickly before nodding at his lover, giving him the go-ahead.

The head of Stephen’s cock is immediately pressing against his stretched hole, breaching it slightly before pulling back, teasing. His hips press back, searching for pleasure, but the human seems to be in a teasing mood.

“Stephen, for fucks sake-”


That word. That one, simple word makes Loki’s breath catch in his throat. His eyes flick back up to meet Stephen’s and he moans from the sight alone.

The human’s eyes are dilated and hungry, but still very much dominating. He’s in control of this situation, and he knows that damn well. Loki whines and throws his head back, but a pinch on his inner thigh regains his attention.

“I said, beg .” Stephen reiterates, pressing the head of his length against Loki’s hole again to remind him what’s at stake. The god’s mouth falls open, but no words come out. The human keeps teasing with all the patience in the world, almost as if he were willing to sit here all fucking night and wait for Loki to submit to him.

So he does.

“Stephen- please, I need you.” He moans, eyes locked on Stephen’s. The sorcerer hums in approval and pushes in an inch before stopping again.

“Keep going.”

“I’ve always wanted your cock in me- always- even from the moment I saw you I knew I wanted you in me.”

Another few inches. Stop.

“And-” Loki’s struggling to think as the width of Stephen’s cock stretches him open, burning a bit, but filling him sweetly. “And I’m yours so take me, use me, fuck me into the stupid fucking mattress!

It’s all Stephen needs to hear before he presses the rest of the way into Loki, slowly filling the god up until his balls bump his perfect ass. Loki makes a sound like he’s dying, but his fingers dig into the flesh of the human’s hips- he loves it.

Stephen feels like he won’t last. As dominant as he’s wanting to appear, seeing Loki’s ass speared open on his cock is pushing him to the brink rapidly, and he can only hop Loki’s as close as him. He continues sitting still until Loki’s hips start moving, letting him know to move as well.

He pulls out until only the tip of his length is inside before slowly pressing back in, relishing in the sweet sound of the god’s voice cracking mid-moan as his prostate is rubbed.

“More- please.” Loki whines, hips grinding down on Stephen’s cock, desperate to be pleasured- and who is Stephen to deny him?

Stephen pulls out once more before slamming back into Loki, making the paler man cry out in ecstasy when his prostate is nothing short of rammed by the action, and Stephen doesn’t hesitate to do it again. He sets an absolutely punishing pace, one that he things is too rough for their first time, but judging by Loki’s sweet cries and pleas he has no issue with it, so the human continues.

He’s getting far too close far too fast, he knows he’s riding the brink, so his hand closes around Loki’s weeping cock, tugging it in time with his brutal thrusts. It only takes three for Loki to cum hard, screaming out Stephen’s name as thick, white ropes of semen spurt out of him as the human continues pounding into his sensitive spot. Loki’s eyes are watering from overstimulation when Stephen finally cums, burying his seed deep inside of his lover.

The god whines when Stephen’s hips still, pressing as deep into Loki as he can get. They stay there briefly, too tired to move and unwilling to break the fragile atmosphere around them. Stephen focuses his gaze at the spot where they stay connected, appreciating the way Loki’s puffy hole is still stretched so nicely around him, even as he slowly goes flacid.

“Stephen?” Loki pants out, slowly tugging at the sorcerer, pulling him closer. He takes the hint and lays beside the his god, making sure to not pull out just yet. His arms wrap around Loki, trying to dodge areas of his flesh where cum has pooled up, but he’s too out of it to pay attention. He feels one of Loki’s hands curl around one of his own.

As Loki’s fingers intertwine with his, he knows those thoughts from before truly are gone- the fears, the regrets, all of it. He no longer fears what is future might be, because now it rests alongside him. He leans in, pressing a loving kiss against Loki’s flushed cheek.

He’s home.

Where he’s meant to be.

Curled up beside the one person in the universe that warms his cold soul and brings him back to life.

And he decides in this moment that he will never be happier than he is in the moments where his god, his lover, his muse is by his side.

He’s at peace.