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The Western Shore

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“Loki, please?”

For the ninth time that night, Loki rolled his eyes at the question. “No.

Still, when he looked over at the prone form of his brother lying in his bed, gloriously naked and streaked with white from their previous three orgasms of the night, he had to fight back a smile. It didn’t help that Thor was looking at him with such big, pleading eyes that would put a puppy to shame.

But Loki wouldn’t take the bait. “First of all, you should have been asleep two hours ago. You can’t attend your own coronation ceremony struggling to stay awake. As your brother, that’s my job.”

“Hang on!” Thor protested. “Who was it that invited me to his bedchamber tonight, with the promise of ‘such delicacies befitting a future king?'”

“What was I supposed to say in front of Mother and Father? ‘Fancy sucking your brother’s cock when you’re finished with dinner?’”

Thor smirked. “I would have paid a handsome sum to see the look on Father’s face if you did.”

“Right,” Loki scoffed, “like I need another reason for him to be disappointed in me.” He could feel Thor about to argue that point, with the familiar reassurances of ‘He’s not disappointed in you,’ and other such niceties that older brothers are supposed to say. Well, maybe not just older brothers. Maybe that was just a Thor thing.

Whatever. Loki didn’t feel like hearing it. He was getting sidetracked, anyway. “Second of all, you have been perfectly content with my mouth and my ass for the last four hundred years. Why you need to add a third hole to your prized collection is beyond me.”

“That’s not what this is about!”

“Then what is it about?” Now Loki was heading away from gentle exasperation, and more toward true annoyance.

At his tone, Thor grew sheepish, and shrugged. “It’s special.”

Loki’s eyes started hurting from how hard they rolled at that. “Why do we bother praying to the Norns at all? We might as well build temples to vaginas, the way every man seems to worship them.”

Thor laughed at that. “I don’t recall any complaints about how I’ve worshipped yours.”

Loki hit Thor with the nearest pillow, which worked well to distract Thor from how hard that made Loki blush. Oh, how arrogant Thor could be about his skills in bed!

The worst part was that he had every right to be arrogant. Thor was a master at deepthroating a cock, and an artist with his tongue when he ate out a cunt. Loki had never had anyone half as talented between his legs, and he used to bed Fandral!

“But in all seriousness,” Thor said, though he looked prepared to flinch from another pillow assault promised by Loki’s warning glare. “That’s not what I meant, that penetrating your cunt is special in itself. Well, it is. But it’s because it’s with you.

Loki raised an eyebrow, in an expression of What bullshit is about to come spewing out your mouth now, Brother Dearest? But he didn’t say anything, thereby allowing said bullshit to continue unchallenged. For now.

Thor started caressing Loki’s thigh, the gentle touch enough to make his skin break out in gooseflesh. “It’s such an intimate act, shared between lovers. I would not want to share it with anyone but you. And since this is our last night as two princes, I wanted to make tonight special. That’s all.”

Right. That’s all. As if the ideas of intimacy and equality and feeling special to someone weren’t the wishes carved into Loki’s heart. All it took was someone speaking them to send that heart racing. Particularly if that someone was his stupid perfect idiot of a brother.

Well, if he could get the one concession from Thor that was required, then…maybe…

“If we were to do this-”

Thor jolted upright and lunged for Loki’s lips. But Loki stayed him an inch away with a hand on his chest. “If we were-”

Thor nodded eagerly.

“Will you promise to pull out?”

Loki caught the microexpression of disappointment on Thor’s face before he could cover it up. But he quickly said, “Of course, of course, Brother!”

Ah. So that was an important part of it for Thor, as well. Loki couldn’t entirely blame him for it. It always felt so much better to have an orgasm while clutched in another’s clenching heat. Loki had done that with enough men and women to know that, Thor included.

And on the receiving end, he welcomed that spreading heat inside him when Thor released his seed deep in his bowels. He’d never had it in his cunt from anyone, but he imagined it would feel just as good.

However, though they were not mortals and therefore had no venereal diseases, there was one potential side effect of Thor coming inside his womb that Loki most certainly did not want.

“I mean it,” Loki said. “I’m not negotiating on this.”

Thor was already climbing on top of Loki. “I will not spill my seed inside you in this act, Brother. I promise I will pull out.”

But just as Loki tried focusing on relaxing his vaginal muscles, preparing for Thor to take him, Thor leaned down and licked a long stripe up the middle of his quim.

For the rest of his life, Loki would deny that he ever made such an undignified yelp as he did in that moment.

Thus began another of Thor’s masterpieces, brushing and licking and delving and circling all the right spots in Loki’s feminine sex that had Loki mewling for mercy. He had always tended toward oversensitivity even long after an orgasm. And Thor knew it, damn him.

Thor didn’t tip him over the brink, just kept him on that edge while coaxing out Loki’s generous offerings of slick. He’d pump Loki’s cock every so often as well, keeping both his sex organs fully interested in the proceedings. Norns damn him.

Finally, Loki couldn’t take another second of teasing. “Fuck me, Thor, fuck me, fuck me now, you insufferable-”

And just like that, Thor’s mouth left him. That was even worse. But Thor didn’t leave him bereft for long.

He leaned over Loki’s body, guiding Loki’s thighs along with him, till his knees were near Thor’s ears and he was bent almost in half. Loki grabbed Thor’s hair and yanked him down, kissing him hungrily. Thor growled into it as he kissed back.

And Loki shouted into it as Thor penetrated his cunt. He didn’t draw it out, either, just pushed in and took him in one smooth motion. Loki wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Thor paused there when he was fully sheathed. Loki could feel him trembling with the effort to hold still. If Loki had been at all coherent, he would have rolled his eyes for the eleventh time that night. Now was not the time for chivalry, now was the time to pound into his little brother without an ounce of shame!

Loki tried to voice that sentiment, but all he managed was “Fuck, go, just fucking go-!”

Fortunately, Thor got the message. He started pistoning into Loki’s cunt in smooth, powerful thrusts, grunting with each one. Loki met each grunt with a moan of his own.

He could hardly keep his eyes open, as the pleasure kept dragging them closed. But when Loki could catch glimpses through delirium-blurred vision, he could see Thor in all his glory. His rippling, bulging muscles, his sweat-damp skin, his mane of golden hair that rocked with their lovemaking…

But it was his eyes that did it more than anything. Thor’s usual sky-blue eyes were blown black, his lids heavy with desire. And all that passion, all that devotion and raw lust was aimed squarely at Loki, as if he were the only person in the world who mattered.

That, combined with the sweet burn in Loki’s cunt as it stretched to accommodate Thor’s impressive girth, sent Loki hurtling toward an orgasm faster than he’d ever experienced before. He was almost there, almost almost almost-

“Loki, I’m…” Thor panted between thrusts, “I’m close, I’m-”

Yes yes yes good yes-

Then Thor started to pull out. No! Why was he leaving, why?

Loki did the only thing he could think of in that moment: snap his legs around Thor’s hips to pin him inside his cunt. “Don’t you dare pull out, or I’ll cut off your cock and you’ll never come again!”

Thor paused. Loki whined in need. “Thor, please, please give me your seed, please!”

Then Thor was kissing him again, and he was fucking him again, yes right there just like that yes YES!

Loki had learned over the years that neither one of them was very quiet in bed, so when this secret affair had begun, he had doubled the strength of his silencing spells in his chambers. Once again, they came in handy, as he and Thor screamed out their orgasms together for the fourth time that night.

xxx

The next thing Loki knew, Thor was shaking his shoulder. “Loki?”

Loki’s brain might have been made of molasses. He couldn’t even summon the effort to open his eyes. “Mmm?”

He heard the rumble of Thor’s chuckle. It usually turned him on, but the state he was in, his nerves were far too devastated from the force of his orgasm to even think about more sex. “Just checking you’re still alive,” Thor said from somewhere next to him. “I’ve never seen you come so hard you passed out.”

Oh. That explained it. He’d passed out. That had never happened as a result of sex. In his usual state of mind, he’d curse Thor because the oaf would never let him forget this. But at the moment, he was too blissed out to care.

He chuckled lazily as he curled toward Thor’s hand on his shoulder. “Are you alright?” Thor asked. He sounded concerned. What in Hel did he have to be concerned about? “I know you said I shouldn’t-”

Loki rolled toward Thor, still laughing in his pleasure-drunk state. “F’course m’alright.”

He felt the heave of Thor’s chest as he sighed. “Alright,” he said, though he didn’t sound convinced. “Just let me know if-”

But Loki was already asleep.

Chapter Text

“NORNS DAMN YOU, YOU IMBECILE!”

Loki hurled the fifth cup of wine at his bedchamber wall. It shattered and spilled everywhere, joining its four brothers on the floor.

He was shaking as he seethed over the spilt mess. He’d probably pop a vein in his forehead if he kept this up.

Of course Thor hadn’t been there when he woke; today was Thor’s Special Big Day, which was even more important than every other one of Thor’s Special Big Days. He was off getting each hair combed perfectly into place, while every speck of dust was polished off his armor.

Loki should have been doing the same right now, except he’d not allowed any of the servants in. Not that they were forlorn about it; none of them ever liked being assigned to the second-best prince. Considering the frightful mood he was in, maybe he couldn’t blame them.

But how else was he supposed to react, when he woke to find the dried remains of Thor’s semen where it had trickled out of his cunt?

Out of his cunt? In other words, it had been inside his cunt the night before?

And how the Hel had it gotten there, except that Thor had put it there, WHEN HE HAD SPECIFICALLY ASKED HIM NOT TO?

Loki stalked over to his workbench. He had brewed many a poison and cursed many an object here to take revenge on those who slighted him, Thor included. But this? This called for something special.

Weeks ago, he’d promised a few Frost Giants the chance to steal the Casket of Ancient Winters. They would never actually succeed, considering the Destroyer guarded it, but that was why Loki had specifically said the chance to do so. He’d told them that, should events work out in their favor, he would send them word no later than this morning that the plan was a go.

He’d been waiting to see if he wanted to ruin Thor’s day. After all, Thor had been remarkably well-behaved lately. He’d be a terrible king on his own, but there had been a chance that, if he kept listening to Loki as he’d done in the last few weeks, he might have done alright.

But then he’d gone and ruined it all last night. No matter how good of an orgasm he’d given Loki in the process. He also might have given him something far more terrifying.

Loki decided to ignore the voice in his head that told him this wasn’t the worst predicament he was in. He’d memorized the ingredients to a contraceptive potion centuries ago, ever since Mother had explained to him how babies were made. It would be simple, and take no time at all. He could nip this in the bud before it was too late.

But that wasn’t the point. The point was that Thor was an arrogant, greedy, selfish lout who needed to be put in his place. Loki would show him. He could make the potion tonight, once it had all played out.

He picked up the scrying mirror and murmured the required incantation. The message would get to the Frost Giants. Loki just hoped they would act before Thor was crowned king.

xxx

The Frost Giants did act before Thor was crowned. But that was the only part of the next three days that went according to plan.

It was amazing how Loki had lived for over a thousand years, and yet three days could hold such significance in his life. More had happened to him in that span of time than had happened for the last century.

He wasn’t Odin’s son.

He wasn’t Frigga’s son.

He wasn’t Thor’s brother.

He was a Frost Giant of Jotunheim. His entire existence was built on a lie.

And even when he’d tried to make things right, tried to settle the royal family’s mess by killing Laufey and the rest of his race, it still hadn’t been enough.

Now, as he held onto Gungnir at the edge of the Bifrost, trying not to look at Thor’s pleading face in favor of Odin’s hardened stare, he begged the Allfather to take him back in. Childish, perhaps, but he had no further recourse. “I could have done it! For you, for all of us!”

And then, the two words Loki had heard all his life, which had crushed his spirit each time he heard them. The words Odin threw away like brass trinkets, though they cut like iron in Loki’s heart.

“No, Loki.”

That was it. All he would ever amount to. A simple 'no.'

Thor must have seen his decision on his face, for he started pleading so prettily. “Loki, no!”

But Loki had no home anymore, no family. There was no hope left for him. Thor couldn’t mean for him to keep living. He couldn’t.

So he let go, and let the void of space take him, trying not to hear Thor’s screams follow him down.

xxx

He fell for what felt like eons. Maybe death took longer to arrive in space than he’d calculated. Maybe his Jotun blood kept him from freezing in it.

It didn’t matter. He’d keep falling till he died. There was no other option.

But that wasn’t what happened. He’d expected to fall till he couldn’t feel anymore. He didn’t expect to land.

He landed so hard he couldn’t move. It must have broken bones.

It didn’t matter. He’d die from exposure out here. One way or another, he would die.

His eyes were jolted open when a harsh grip dug into his chin. His gaze met that of a bald woman with blue skin. One of her eyes had some cybernetic components surrounding it.

She smirked. “Dad?” she called out in a voice that carried echoes of machinery. “This one’s still alive.”

Chapter Text

Thus began The Routine.

He had a small cell he’d be thrown into, left for a few minutes or a few hours at a time. There wasn’t anything in there - no bed, no sink, no toilet - so Loki relieved himself in one far corner, and slept in the corner opposite.

He wasn’t in there very often. Most of the time, he was being tortured.

How he was tortured varied widely. It depended on who was doing it.

A huge hulking beast named Cull would just beat him. It would break every bone in his body and rupture his internal organs with the fragments. Still, it was the easiest to deal with. He’d faced similar on hunts or in battle, and healed within a few days.

Once they realized that, he didn’t see Cull as often.

A man and woman would drag him out of his cell together sometimes. They’d take turns deciding which part of his skin they wanted to electrocute next, laughing as he convulsed in agony. While terrible, he’d been on the receiving end of far more power from Mjolnir, so he could bear this with relative silence.

But the worst was the one they called ‘the Maw.’ From what Loki could tell, he worked with pain the way a sculptor worked with clay. He was a master of his craft.

He yanked fingernails from Loki’s digits. He sliced off toes from each of Loki’s feet. He peeled strips of skin from Loki’s chest. He poured acid into Loki’s eyes. Each time, though he tried so hard, Loki couldn’t stay silent. He’d scream, and scream, and scream.

One day in this realm of eternal night, Loki was horizontally suspended in midair by the Maw’s telekinetic powers. Glass-like needles were inching toward his face. He trembled, though he knew it wouldn’t help matters.

The Maw crept toward him, just behind the needles. “Do you know why we have not killed you yet?” he asked in his reedy, serpentine voice.

Loki didn’t answer. He had asked himself that very question between bouts of agony, but didn’t feel it was useful to ponder.

The Maw stopped a foot from Loki’s face. His gaze down at his captive was almost kind, were it not for the instruments of pain he was aiming straight for Loki’s cheekbones. “My master has noticed that your looks and durability are distinctly Asgardian. He requires information about an Asgardian artifact you may be familiar with. But first-”

A needle pierced Loki’s left cheekbone, and he couldn’t help his whimper at it.

“-I must discern whether you would possess such knowledge of Odin’s weapons vault.”

The needle pressed in, and in, and in. The Maw calmly regarded Loki’s attempts to steel himself against the pain, knowing that such efforts had never worked. “Tell me, young one-”

More needles pierced him, and Loki groaned.

“-what is your name?”

Loki felt tears escaping his eyes, felt blood dripping from the needles’ punctures. The first needle at his cheek just kept going. Was it going to pierce his skull, cut into his brain?

The pain kept mounting, and mounting, and Loki couldn’t take it. “Loki!”

All the needles paused with that one word. The Maw grinned. “Loki, what?”

Loki panted through the pain in his face. The needles had stopped, yes, but they hadn’t been withdrawn. They burned now.

“Laufeyson,” he gritted out. “Loki Laufeyson.”

“He’s lying.”

The Maw turned, and Loki looked toward the newcomer, as well. It was a green-skinned woman he hadn’t seen before. From one of her hands dangled a burlap sack, which glowed faintly with a golden light.

Her eyes narrowed at Loki. “Laufey was the King of Jotunheim,” she said. “He was killed three lunar cycles ago by an Asgardian agent.”

Three lunar cycles ago? Loki had been here for three months?

The Maw tilted his head at Loki. “Why claim to be the offspring of a deceased Jotun king, Asgardian?”

More tears gathered in Loki’s eyes as the needles resumed their movement inward. “It’s true, it’s true!” he pleaded. “I am a Frost Giant, I only look Asgardian, please!”

The needles paused again. Loki gasped in relief.

But the Maw’s leering smile at him was no cause for rejoicing. “Show me.”

Loki’s eyes closed in despair. He’d never worn his true skin except when in contact with a soldier or artifact of Jotunheim. He’d never forced the transformation by himself.

Still, the Maw wasn’t giving him a lighthearted suggestion. So he had to try. He called up all his dwindling reserves of magic, and poured his power over his flesh. Trying to undo whatever enchantment he’d unknowingly worn his entire life.

He immediately felt heat in his face at every point of contact from the needles. Indeed, the whole room felt warmer.

When he opened his eyes, the Maw was looking at him with triumph in his gaze. Loki knew it must have worked. He tried not to think about what he must look like now.

“You see?” the Maw said to the green-skinned woman. “He speaks the truth. A Frost Giant at least, if not Laufey’s son.”

The woman smiled. But all warmth in it ended before it reached her eyes. “Still. There’s something else he’s not telling us. He did have an Asgardian appearance for some reason.”

She turned to the Maw. “Find out why. My father will want to know.”

The Maw grinned wider. “Oh, I shall find out, don’t you worry.”

The woman left, and Loki’s heart sank lower with each click of her shoes.

xxx

It only took three more days for Loki to tell them everything.

He’d always known he was less sensitive to cold. He hadn’t ever realized it was because, as a Jotun, his body was designed to live in sub-zero temperatures.

He also hadn’t counted on the opposite being true, that he was even more sensitive to heat.

Now he knew. Once the Maw learned he was a Frost Giant, he’d designed several new tortures for him.

He’d pressed more heated blades into his skin. He’d branded him with hot irons. He’d even arranged to have the temperatures in his cell raised to hover just on the edges of his comfort, so he was slowly being cooked as he slept.

It was when he was suspended an inch above a sheet of searing-hot metal, while molten steel was dripped onto his back, that he broke.

“What is your name?” the Maw was crooning over Loki’s screams. “The name you held in Asgard, what is your name?”

“ODINSON!” Loki wailed. “LOKI ODINSON!”

Chapter Text

Fully dressed once more, he was thrown onto the rocks at the feet of a floating throne. “Behold!” the Maw crowed. “You now gaze upon the might of your master! In your captivity, you have been raised up to the honor of becoming a servant of Thanos!”

Loki trembled as he caught a glimpse of the gigantic being sitting on the throne. The creature must have been at least eight feet tall, with golden armor contrasting with his purple skin.

“So,” the being named Thanos rumbled, “my honored guest is a son of Odin.”

Honored guest? Is that what he called it?

Loki swallowed that retort. He didn’t want any more pain, which would surely come if he gave voice to it. So he bowed his head, and stayed silent. It was difficult to do so when his stomach kept roiling with pain.

Thanos leaned forward. “You will be familiar, then, with the object I seek. It was the crown jewel of Odin’s treasures, though it was lost over a thousand years ago.”

The pain in Loki’s abdomen mounted. He could hardly think through it, let alone summon a reply to Thanos’s words.

A sudden flash of golden light broke through Loki’s haze. He looked up to its source. Thanos was holding up a small yellow jewel, which glowed so brightly in this barren realm.

“This is one of six,” he said with a smile. “My dear daughter was able to find this one. One of its sisters is contained within a cube, which can summon portals to anywhere in the universe. Do you know of what I speak?”

Just as Loki was about to reply, a sudden wave of pain wracked his abdomen. He bit back most of his whimper, but some of the pathetic noise escaped his throat.

Thanos frowned. “Perhaps it would be easier if I showed you.”

The yellow jewel glowed brighter, and Loki saw.

He didn’t physically see, however; he had used enough memory-glimpsing spells to know that these images were being shown directly to his mind. But it was so much more potent than his spells. This jewel carried powerful magic to be utilized thus.

He saw just as Thanos had described: a luminous jewel, identical to the yellow stone except for its blue light, encased in a cube-shaped structure. When activated, the cube sent its blue light to a fixed point several feet away, creating a portal to the other side of space.

The Tesseract. Loki had heard the story of its uses in Asgard, long before his people built the Bifrost. He had also heard of how its power was so great, Odin had hidden it away on Earth, to protect it from being found by power-hungry tyrants seeking to conquer other worlds.

Perhaps this Thanos was one such tyrant.

But Loki couldn’t focus on that for long, for his pain-induced delirium started loosening his grasp on the visions Thanos was trying to show him. At the thought of Odin and Asgard, his addled mind started bleeding into memories of home.

Reading stories with Odin as a child. Learning magic from Frigga as an adolescent. Sparring with his friends as an adult. Sharing secrets with Thor at all ages, chasing him through the palace, chastising him for his follies, inviting him into his bed each night.

Was it all a lie, considering they had never been his family in the first place? Had he lost such happiness, or had it never been his to begin with?

All at once, the memories faded from his vision. Thanos leered down at him from his throne.

“So,” he said, “the Tesseract is on Earth.”

Loki blinked hard through his blurring vision. His abdomen hurt.

Something softened in Thanos’s face. “You have suffered a great many losses, Odinson. And in so short a time.”

He rose from his throne. Loki quivered.

But Thanos was gentle as he tilted Loki’s chin up to face him. “I can help you claim a new home. You could have a new world that would love you. If you are willing to help me in return, to claim that which I seek.”

Home? A new world? Love?

Loki tried to open his mouth to say something. What he was going to say, he wasn’t sure, because it was suddenly stolen from him by a fresh roil of pain, worse than the previous ones. All that came out of his mouth was a harsh gasp.

Thanos smiled. “I’ll give you some time to consider my offer.”

He backed away from Loki, returning to his throne. The Maw’s power started pulling Loki away.

“Consider it carefully,” said Thanos, with a smile that promised what would happen if Loki did not.

xxx

Once he was thrown into his cell again, Loki didn’t bother holding back his cries of pain. He clutched his abdomen, as if that would provide any relief. It didn’t.

The pain only worsened. Loki had been leaning against the wall, but eventually he couldn’t even manage that. He collapsed onto his hands and knees, panting.

He’d suffered such pain at the hands of his torturers, but it hadn’t been concentrated in his stomach like this. Even when the man and woman aimed their electrocuting staffs directly onto his abdomen, the pain mostly abated once they were withdrawn.

The only time he’d felt anything close to this was when he’d been five hundred years old. That was when he’d first started menstruating. His cycles had been terribly irregular for the first several years. Every few weeks, he’d be laid up in bed, unable to do anything but moan and complain.

But this was so much worse. And the pain was only growing.

Not only that, it was moving downward. Into his lower abdomen. Was it his bladder? His intestines? His uterus?

A sudden stab of pain made him scream. Something was seeping between his thighs. Definitely his uterus, then.

He hadn’t been menstruating the entire time he’d been here. Presumably from the torture, not to mention the lack of regular meals and sleep. Now it seemed his body was deciding to catch up on three months’ worth of bleeding, and was letting it loose all at once.

He soon lay down on his side, facing away from the transparent forcefield that served as the cell’s door. He just had to bear through this, as he’d borne through all the other tortures in this place. He could do this.

He didn’t know how long he lay there, writhing through the pain. More and more blood and menstrual tissue kept running down his thighs. His uterus and vagina kept shooting such agony through him as they worked to dispel their contents.

Eventually, so much blood had soaked into his clothes that they clung too tightly to his skin. He clambered to his knees again, and fumbled to slide his trousers and smallclothes down partway for some relief.

Once he did, another stab of pain ripped through him. He screamed. He clutched a hand to its center in his lower belly.

This was the worst one yet. He could only watch as more and more blood started collecting on the floor. But it felt almost like something was lodged inside him, working its way down. A larger clot than he’d ever passed.

When it finally fell out of him, Loki saw what it really was. But his brain couldn’t comprehend it.

No.

No, it wasn’t.

No. No. No. No. No. No no no no nonononono…

Loki didn’t realize he’d started babbling the word out loud. He collapsed on his side again. Tears flowed freely down his face.

Three months he’d been here. Without menstruating. With little food, though he’d kept the same weight. So he would have been gaining weight otherwise.

Three months ago, Thor had planted his seed in Loki’s womb. And now Loki had lost it. He’d truly lost everything now. No part of Thor belonged to him, not even this part he didn’t know he’d had.

It was so small, hardly two inches long. Loki could barely see it through his tear-blurred vision. He could hardly breathe, he was choking so hard on his sobs.

Something compelled him to touch it. He regretted it as soon as he did so. It was so small, and wet from the blood. Still, he kept his hand covering it, as if that would suffice for more protection and sustenance than his womb could provide.

The cramps - he would not call them what they really were, another word starting with a c - kept coming. More blood trickled out of him. Loki kept screaming, sobbing, howling in agony. His hand stayed in its protective position on top of what he’d lost.

He heard a gasp behind him. He stiffened. He hadn’t known someone was watching him.

With dread, he turned his head to look behind him. It was the green-skinned woman who called Thanos her father. She was looking at him, at the blood, at what his hand was trying to cover.

“Please,” Loki whispered. He didn’t know what he was pleading for. Whatever it was, he knew he wouldn’t get it. That’s not how things worked around here, not for him.

The woman’s mouth drew into a thin line. She stood motionless for several seconds.

When she moved, it was to remove her leather jacket and hold it out to him. Her arm was able to breach the forcefield without resistance.

He was too stunned to react at first. She shook the jacket in her hand. “Take it.”

Somehow he found the will to move. He grabbed it with a shaking hand. The hand that had been covering…

Her eyes widened as she saw what he uncovered. Loki didn’t understand why she wasn’t reacting with delight, as she and his other captors had done when seeing him in pain.

She drew herself up taller, as if resettling herself in her own skin. “Clean yourself up,” she finally said. “My father will want to speak with you soon.” And she left.

Loki didn’t follow her advice right away. He let the jacket fall next to him. He curled up into as small of a ball as he could manage, and wept.

Chapter Text

When he was brought before Thanos again on his knees, tears were still racing down his cheeks. He tried to stifle his sobs, but a few kept rattling out of him.

Thanos sat in silence. The Maw stood behind Loki, while the green-skinned woman and the blue-skinned bald one stood by their father’s left side.

The blue-skinned one was tilting her head at Loki, as if curious about his state of devastation. The green-skinned one was looking down at her feet.

Finally, Thanos spoke. “Gamora told me what happened.”

Loki looked up, barely making out the blurry image of Thanos through his tears. He blinked, clearing them a bit.

Thanos was looking at him with solemnity. There was no glee in his captive’s suffering, none that Loki could see.

“It was your brother’s child, I take it.”

Loki sobbed again, as much of a confirmation as he was able to give. The blue-skinned woman raised a robotic eyebrow. The green-skinned one - Gamora, was that her name? - darted her eyes to him, with a look Loki could almost call pity. But she lowered them again before he could tell.

Thanos rose from his throne. “I know what it’s like to lose a child. Many of my children have long since perished. They could not endure what was required of them.”

Gamora’s jaw clenched.

Thanos must have noticed, for he smiled lovingly at her. “I am fortunate that my favorite daughter was strong enough to survive. If something happened to her…” He touched a hand to her face. “…I would never forgive myself.”

Gamora looked up at her father with a smile. But Loki did not see the same love reflected in it.

Thanos lowered his hand and turned back to Loki. Loki didn’t flinch. He was already in the worst agony of his life. What else could they possibly do to him?

“If you are to help me claim the Tesseract,” Thanos said, “you will need to put this loss behind you. You cannot allow such emotions to cloud your judgment.”

Loki tried to speak through his tears. “It…it was all I h-h-had of…my brother-”

“He is not really your brother,” Thanos said. “Isn’t that what you learned in the days before you came to us?”

Loki sobbed again.

“You will need to forget him, Loki. Clinging to such memories will only bring you more pain. And pain will draw your focus away from what needs to be done.”

Loki drew in a shuddering breath. He found himself nodding. Whether he would agree to help Thanos willingly, or would be physically forced to do so, it would be better in the long run to forget all that came before. He’d go mad otherwise, sitting with all this pain.

But how does one forget the love of one’s life? Loki had no answer to that.

Thanos must have been on the same page as him, for he smiled. “I can provide you with the help you need to forget. In time, Thor Odinson will only be a name to you, nothing more.”

His grin rose to the Maw. “Bring him to the Outriders. Make sure they treat him well.”

Gamora sent a startled glance her father’s way. Her blue-skinned sister’s eyes widened.

“Of course, Exalted One,” the Maw said. As his power started dragging Loki away, an unsettling feeling grew deep in Loki’s core.

The Maw sounded delighted. Which only promised one thing for Loki.

More pain.

xxx

The Outriders, as it turned out, were vicious, mutated beasts. The Maw said they were bred for physical prowess in all things. At first glance, Loki took that to mean as soldiers in battle.

But as he soon found out over the next several months, it was also meant in terms of sexual activity. They were meant as beasts of pleasure as well as instruments of death.

At least, that was what the Maw had promised. In reality, all they brought Loki was more pain.

He was left alone with the creatures for months. All the sustenance he received was their filthy seed in his mouth. All the sleep he could claim was when he was too exhausted by the continual rape to stay conscious.

They ravaged his mouth and ass, but it was his cunt they gave the most attention. They didn’t care for his cock, or for giving him any kind of physical pleasure. All they did was hurt him.

Their seed tasted sour and acidic. It burned Loki’s teeth and throat when he was made to swallow it. When Loki saw it running down his thighs in between rounds, he couldn’t tell if it was colored black or red. The red could have just been from his own blood. It was as if they were pumping black bile into his body.

He never stopped bleeding from his cunt the entire time. And each time it wasn’t occupied, small pieces of something were falling out of him.

It took him a good month and a half to realize that it was pieces of his womb.

But they were blackened and smoking. They looked like the charred remains of a roasted pig, rather than parts of one of his living organs.

The cramps never stopped, either. It was as if he was trapped in a constant state of menstruation. Except this wasn’t healthy bleeding; it was draining him.

When this had first started, Loki had worried they might impregnate him, and that he’d be forced to carry one of these creatures’ hideous offspring. But he soon realized the opposite was happening. They were killing his womb from the inside, tearing it to pieces that fell out when they withdrew. Ensuring he would never carry any man’s child for the rest of his life.

Months later, Loki had stopped screaming. His mind had fragmented enough to block out the intense pain. What remained of his consciousness was focused on what he would say to Thanos next.

He would take the deal, of course. A realm that would worship him was his due, yes? And the Tesseract was a fair asking price.

He would need an army, however. Perhaps one of the creatures right now choking his throat with its vile cock, while two more were stuffed into his cunt? They were certainly vicious enough; the Earth would never stand a chance.

His mind was made up just as the creature in his mouth released its acrid seed. He swallowed it all down as best he could. Once his throat was clear of the burning sensation, the other two in his cunt had come, as well. He tried not to focus on the dull ache as the semen ate away at his insides.

“I’ll take the deal!” he shouted hoarsely, hoping the Maw or Gamora was somewhere nearby to hear him.

All at once, the creatures backed away from him, letting him fall to the floor. He coughed as the sudden movement unsettled his stomach.

Once he was settled, he tried to reach for his magic. It took some focusing, but he managed it. He summoned his clothing, creating as regal an ensemble as he had ever worn. He might as well try to reclaim some dignity for this.

As his armor settled into place around him, the Maw appeared. He was grinning at Loki. “What was that, now?”

Loki rose to his feet with shaking knees. He could feel another piece of his uterus descend into his vagina. He ignored it.

He drew himself up to his full height. “I said I’ll take the deal.”

The Maw grinned wider. He beckoned Loki to follow him with a curled finger. He didn’t use his telekinetic powers to drag Loki along. This was a good sign.

Even as he felt the thumbnail-sized piece of his womb fall out of him, and roll down his trouser leg to fall on the floor in his wake, Loki knew he’d made the right decision.

xxx

He was given the Mind Stone in an elegant scepter, which Thanos had designed specifically for Loki’s use. Which meant he’d been counting on this particular method of torture to work.

With the scepter, Loki could send his consciousness across vast distances that he couldn’t manage with his usual projections. He did so to search for the Tesseract’s location, as well as to scout for potential threats that would hamper the invasion.

There was a biologically-enhanced soldier with durability approaching Asgardian levels. Loki made a note of him.

There was a man who had attempted to replicate such an experiment, but something had gone awry. He now transformed into a green behemoth whenever his adrenaline levels spiked. He could be a problem if provoked, but he might be useful if Loki played his cards right.

There was a man who claimed to have ‘privatized world peace’ using his own technologically-enhanced suits of armor. Loki didn’t foresee too many problems from facing him.

Most interestingly, there was a large organization full of people with specialized skill sets. They were used to fight and manipulate other humans, but they were the closest thing to a planet-wide army that Earth had. And they were the ones who had located the Tesseract.

He used one of the human scientists who was researching its abilities. Dr. Selvig was his eyes and ears, even if he wasn’t aware of it. He would be a useful pawn once Loki got on the ground.

Thanos was not going to give him the Outriders. He had, however, set him up with a mysterious masked creature who only referred to himself as ‘the Other.’ He commanded a war-hungry race called the Chitauri. They would easily win Loki the Earth.

As for how to actually get to Earth in physical form, Thanos had instructed him to use the Mind Stone to call out for the Tesseract. The sister jewels could sense one another, and could be used to locate each other with relative accuracy.

As Loki used his magic to don more casual armor (though it was no less regal), Thanos peered at Loki’s face. “Are you prepared for this, Asgardian?”

Loki took a deep breath. He was still sweating from the aftereffects of the heat-based torture exacted all those months ago. His body was still recovering from its repeated reproductive traumas. He was still shedding small, blackened pieces of what remained of his womb. He probably looked quite the worse for wear.

“Of course,” he said with a smile. “Within two days, the Tesseract shall be yours.”

Thanos grinned. “And the Earth shall be yours.”

He left the unspoken threat hanging in the air, of what would happen if Loki should fail. Loki suppressed his shudder.

He called out with the Mind Stone, and the Tesseract answered.

Chapter Text

Though he kept stumbling as he walked, his plan set off rather smoothly. None of the humans he encountered stood a chance against him, especially with the scepter.

He decided the enhanced humans he’d noted in his reconnaissance would be most easily put down if he pitted them against each other. They certainly had the egos for it. So, he allowed himself to be captured and brought onboard their floating base.

But before he got there, he hit the first snag in his plan.

He was strapped into one of their smaller flying craft, and two of the humans were bickering already. But as they flew through the night air, thunder started to roll all around them.

It made the plane shake. But as the lightning kept flashing, over and over again, Loki got the prickling feeling that there was more to this storm than the usual Midgardian weather.

It couldn’t be…

He looked around nervously as another lightning strike illuminated the skies. The enhanced soldier turned to him. “What’s the matter, scared of a little lightning?”

“I’m not overly fond of what follows,” Loki replied.

Sure enough, a telltale thud echoed on the roof of the ship. Loki’s heart started to sink.

The armored man opened the jet’s back entry ramp to meet this threat head-on. But Loki knew it would be useless.

And there, at the back of the jet, dropped the one person Loki had hoped to never see again.

Thor.

xxx

Thor was not gentle with him. Loki decided he preferred it that way, rather than Thor trying to cajole him back to his side with tender declarations of love. Such a love did not exist, anyway. They were not brothers.

Loki said as much when he mockingly asked if Thor mourned him. Thor said he did, they all did. Pfft. A likely story.

Thor even said “Our father,” which Loki could not tolerate. “Your father,” he hissed. Thor looked stricken, but Loki took the opening to brush him off.

Still, as he kept talking to Thor, he was confused by how much Thor clung to the idea that they were still brothers. Or at least, that they were still something. Loki cut him off at every turn. To acknowledge those words with anything other than derision would stir those pangs of longing in Loki’s chest that he had silenced long ago.

It will only bring more pain. And pain would draw your focus from what needs to be done.

So he did what needed to be done. He boasted of conquering the realm Thor loved. He jeered the name "Odinson" to emphasize their separation. Sure enough, it got the rise out of Thor he’d counted on, as he yelled at him to give up his bid for power.

But then he did something Loki did not expect, what Loki had dreamed of having through each stage of his torture. Thor placed his hand on the side of Loki’s neck, and gently pleaded with him. “You come home.

Home.

What Loki had longed for for months, even if he no longer belonged on Asgard. Where his brother would jest with him, and laugh with him, and whisper softly to him. Where he would bring Loki such comfort, and pleasure, and joy.

Loki realized too late that his mask had slipped. Still, he quickly recovered himself, and returned to speaking of the Tesseract. “I don’t have it.”

It worked. Thor let go of him, and reached for Mjolnir. Back on schedule.

xxx

In the end, he failed.

The mortals were broken apart, only to rejoin together stronger than before. With Thor among them, they were easily able to overcome the Chitauri, close the Tesseract’s portal, and beat Loki into the floor.

So not only had he lost possession of the Tesseract, he’d lost the Mind Stone, as well. Thanos was down two Infinity Stones for his trouble.

Knowing what he would probably do to Loki should he ever find him again, Loki decided that his best bet was to cut his losses, and surrender to Thor.

He and the Tesseract went back to Asgard, locked in their separate vaults. Two stolen treasures, safe among the hoard.

The one thing he dreaded was having ample free time to contemplate what he’d suffered at Thanos’s hands. But it turned out most of the pain from that time was deadened. So what if he twitched thinking about molten steel dripping onto his back, or shuddered each time he imagined blood and mangled pieces of his uterus falling from between his legs, or tried not to scream as he remembered what a tiny little thing it had been-

No. It was fine. Most of the time, he didn’t think about it, anyway.

But once the Dark Elves came and went, he was of course overcome with grief when Frigga was killed. But his selfish heart was also concerned with his own welfare.

If Malekith and his forces had so easily overwhelmed Asgard’s defenses and killed Odin’s beloved queen, how easily could Thanos and his forces do the same, with their sights set on one of Odin’s prisoners? A least-loved prisoner at that, whose birthright was apparently to die anyway.

As long as he was Loki, even Asgard could not keep him safe.

So, when Thor came asking for his help, Loki began formulating a plan of his own. If he couldn’t be safe as Loki, he could be safe as someone else.

xxx

He didn’t expect the full force of Thor’s grief, crying over his supposed dead body. That waif of a mortal ended up having to drag him away from Loki.

He also didn’t expect how easy it was to bewitch Odin and send him to a retirement home on Midgard. But, when he saw into the mighty Allfather’s mind and saw such immense grief for a wife and son, the ease of the ensnarement made sense.

Loki tried not to think about how Odin grieved for a wife and a son. Even though he knew Loki wasn’t really dead, he grieved the loss of a boy he could have saved. He wished he had broken the truth of Loki’s parentage in a gentler way centuries ago.

Well, Loki had once wished for a reality in which he could marry his brother, and that wish never came true, either. Wishes from the heart were always too little, too late.

But in posing as Odin, Loki was allowed too much time to be alone with his thoughts. He couldn’t even scream out his frustrations, because they wouldn’t make sense coming from Odin’s mouth.

So, he hid himself in the ornate bedchambers of the king, and screamed there. Screamed, and wept, and cursed, and thought.

Everyone who heard of it assumed Odin was grieving Frigga. And that was in part true for Loki, as well.

But he wasn’t just grieving his mother. He also grieved his own chance to be a mother.

Did he even want that?

His mind traveled down dangerous roads spurred by that notion. Odin could have reached out to him in his moment of need. He could have gently coaxed Loki back from the brink, rather than coldly rejecting him on the Bifrost that night. Loki would have found out he was pregnant in a less painful manner. Thor would have been overjoyed, and would have convinced their parents to let him keep it.

Maybe with the knowledge that they were not brothers by blood, but both still of royal stock, they could have been permitted to marry, and make the child Thor’s trueborn heir. But even if Loki had to raise a bastard child, and pretend to all others that Thor was the uncle, it wouldn’t have mattered.

They could have had a family. The child would have had a chance at life, a chance at being loved. Not dropped on a cold, stone floor months before it could survive, before either of its parents knew of its existence.

Loki cried as he remembered what it had looked like. What it had felt like as it left his body.

It was too much to remember, and far too much to dream of what could have been. But Loki couldn’t stop himself.

Over the next four years, the immensity of the pain faded, as the grief worked its way out of his system. But he never forgot. He probably never would. His one and only child would haunt him for the rest of his days.

xxx

Of course, Thor caught onto his ruse eventually. And once he did, he dragged him along to find Odin.

Loki found that he didn’t really mind. Some part of him yearned for Thor’s presence, which he never thought he would again.

Though Thor was angry with him for appearing to die (again), and tricking his way onto the throne (again), and bringing Midgard into his plans (again), he was gently chiding him the way they used to do when they still thought they shared kindred blood. Even the jest that he dressed like a witch in his choice of mortal attire was so achingly familiar.

Maybe, one day, they could be something like brothers again. They would never be lovers, though. Loki would never be prepared for that. He was far too broken.

But once they found Odin (no thanks to an arrogant mortal who called himself a sorcerer), Odin decided it would be a great time to die in front of his sons.

And, in typical Odin fashion, he had one last family secret left to spill. Another of his children who had been cast out for trying to conquer other worlds.

Never mind that Odin was the one who had raised them all to think that conquering other worlds was a noble endeavor. He’d died without suffering the consequences of his parenting methods, leaving his children to deal with the fallout.

So, when Hela’s attack left Loki stranded on a foreign planet at the edge of space, he decided the best way to deal with this fallout was to make a new life for himself here, far from Asgard.

Chapter Text

He wormed his way into the parties of this planet’s ruler easily enough. He quickly gathered that the man - who went by such a gaudy, ostentatious title as ‘the Grandmaster’ - was a lunatic who could smile at you one moment, then murder you the next. Loki couldn’t let himself fall victim to that. He just had to work out how to win the man’s favor.

That part was easy. But the follow-through would prove more difficult. Because the way to win the Grandmaster’s favor was through sex.

Six years ago, this would have been the easiest game for Loki to play. While his cunt had been a virgin before that night with Thor, the rest of his body had been anything but. He was a Prince of Asgard, after all, and not one above playing games of seduction to get what he wanted.

But after what Thanos’s creatures had done to him, the thought of anyone touching him like that made his skin crawl. There was the risk of too many painful memories overwhelming him with a vengeance.

What other options did he have, though? To wait until the Grandmaster decided he wasn’t worth keeping around, and threw him to his scavengers for their next meal? Or to be thrown into the arena, where he’d be torn to shreds? Or to just be vaporized with the aptly-named ‘Melt Stick,’ which by all accounts was among the most painful ways to go?

No. Loki would just have to buckle in, seduce this Grandmaster at tonight’s party, and hope for the best. He’d survived far worse, after all.

With his goal in mind, he conjured as much sleazy confidence as he could muster, and headed over to the Grandmaster’s synthesizer. A few partygoers had crowded around, cheering at whatever inane riffs the man could come up with on the spot. It sounded godawful to Loki’s ears.

He listened politely to the next melody, and when it concluded, he clapped along with the rest. “That was fabulous, Grandmaster!” he said.

Sure enough, the Grandmaster heard him. “Oh, look who’s joined us! It’s…wait wait, don’t- don’t tell me!” His finger gesticulated wildly as he paused to think. It was quiet among the group for the most awkward fifteen seconds as he thought.

At last, he said, “Lionel?”

Loki shook his head no.

“Lucas?”

Again, Loki shook his head.

The Grandmaster tapped his blue-streaked chin. “Lucy? No, no no, what am I thinking! That’s a girl’s name!” Everyone laughed, and Loki politely joined them.

“Of course,” continued the Grandmaster, “unless you’re one of those progressive parents!” Everyone laughed harder. “Okay, okay, okay, give it to me, c’mon! I give up!”

“It’s Loki,” Loki said with a grin.

“Aha!” The Grandmaster clapped his hands in delight. “Loki! That’s right, that’s the sneaky little devil, I gahahahah…” He started babbling senselessly as he tweaked Loki’s chin. “Now, we were just jamming over here, giving a few riffs a go, and I was wondering, do you think you could, ah, help me lay down a beat?”

Loki cringed inside at how ridiculous this man was, but he didn’t let that show. “I would be honored.”

And so Loki and the Grandmaster started doing what the Midgardians called ‘beatboxing’ together. They went back and forth for a few rounds, with the Grandmaster soon adding his synth to the mix. A growing crowd started flocking to the strange performance.

When they finally concluded, everyone applauded. The Grandmaster was laughing at it all. “Wow! That was just peachy!” He grinned at Loki with a certain twinkle in his eye. “You’ve, uh, you’ve got quite the talented mouth!”

Yes! The Grandmaster had left him an opening, to see if he’d take the bait. And Loki was a fish more than willing to be caught by this particular hook.

“So I’ve been told,” he said with a coy smile.

The Grandmaster grinned wider. “Really? Who’s told you, who’s told you that?”

“Oh, a great many people,” Loki said. “I’ve lost count, really.” He started stroking a finger over the edge of the synthesizer. “I could show you just how talented, if you have a place we could, ah…talk.”

The Grandmaster waggled his eyebrows. He truly did not possess a single bone of subtlety in his entire body. “Now, I like the sound of that! Say, uh, Topaz?”

The woman in charge of the Melt Stick walked over from another conversation.

“Why don’t you take over the synth for a little bit,” the Grandmaster instructed her, “I’m ah, gonna be a little bit…well, a little bit occupied for a spell!”

With that, he grabbed Loki’s elbow and whisked him away from the party.

xxx

When he’d made it into the Grandmaster’s tackily-decorated bedroom, he decided it was best to let the Grandmaster set the pace with what he liked. Of course, he wanted a show. Loki could have guessed that, considering the man pit warriors to the death for entertainment purposes. So, Loki obliged.

The Grandmaster sat on his lavish bed in nothing but his golden bathrobe, while Loki stood by the foot of the bed and slowly, playfully stripped. Before he started, the Grandmaster halted him, and reached for a remote on a side table. One press of a button started some slow, sultry music that could have come straight out of a Midgardian porno.

Loki took the hint, and stripped to the beat. With each garment he eased off, he threw it over to the Grandmaster with a smirk. The Grandmaster chuckled as he tried to catch them.

As Loki revealed more and more of his skin, he started feeling a low heat in his belly. Though all of this - the gaudy interior decor, the cheesy music, the fact that he was doing this so he wouldn’t be brutally killed - wasn’t the most ideal of circumstances in which to be exploring his sexuality again…

…it wasn’t the worst thing, either.

When he flung his smallclothes at the Grandmaster, he purposely missed in his aim. They landed on the edge of the bed. The Grandmaster blindly fumbled for them, never taking his eyes off Loki. “I’m gonna…” he said as he grabbed them, “…I’m gonna hold onto these!” He shook them up at Loki’s amused grin, laughing. “You ain’t getting these back, baby!”

Loki laughed in return. “Whatever shall I do?”

“Well,” the Grandmaster said as he set the undergarments on the side table with the music remote. “You could start by, uh, parking yourself over here, on, uh…” He patted his lap. “Over on the bow of this, this ship.”

“Mmm, I could,” Loki purred, and crawled over the bed like a cat to his destination. When he took up his seat of straddling the Grandmaster’s lap, he took a chance, and leaned in to kiss him softly.

The Grandmaster giggled into his mouth, and responded in kind. It was…nice.

But the Grandmaster quickly broke it. “Now, that is…” He gestured between Loki’s legs. “That is quite the package deal you’ve got on offer there! Is that…” He picked up Loki’s half-hard cock to start squeezing it, while his other hand snuck further back to feel Loki’s cunt. “Wow. Is that something all of your species has? A double feature, so to speak? On, uh, Yodel High, or wherever?”

Loki chuckled at the Grandmaster’s mispronunciation. “It’s Jotunheim. And I…” He gasped as the Grandmaster’s index finger pushed into his cunt. After so long without these sensations, he was quickly becoming overwhelmed by it all.

But he quickly forced himself to focus. “…I’m not sure. I was kidnapped as an infant and raised on a far-off planet. My only contact with them was-ahh!”

He was caught off-guard when the Grandmaster’s finger found that spot in his cunt that made him see stars. The Grandmaster laughed. “There you are, my little minx. There. You. Are." He pumped his finger in and out with each word, pressing into Loki’s G-spot.

Loki lost his balance from the force of the pleasure, and fell forward to brace himself on the Grandmaster’s shoulders. The Grandmaster took the opportunity to steal a kiss, which Loki gave freely.

“What was that?” the Grandmaster murmured between kisses. “Your only contact with your people?”

“Oh,” Loki said, both to reclaim his train of thought and in response to the pleasure. “It was when I tried to kill them all.”

The Grandmaster’s finger stopped. Loki bit back his whine at the loss of pressure. But when he noticed the sparkle in the Grandmaster’s eyes, he knew he wasn’t in imminent peril. Especially from the sound of the man’s warm chuckle.

“Y’know,” the Grandmaster said, “I thought I would like you, Loki.”

Loki grinned in response. He hadn’t counted on regaling the Grandmaster with his tales of near-genocide, but it made sense why they appealed to such a man.

To show his appreciation, Loki clenched his internal muscles as best he could around the Grandmaster’s finger. He felt a rush of his own slick leave him. The Grandmaster withdrew his finger, and kissed Loki deeply. Loki reciprocated with all he had.

“So,” the Grandmaster crooned, “shall we, ah, get this show on the road?”

Loki smirked. “And which road would you like to travel tonight?” He rose slightly on his knees, hovering his nether regions over the Grandmaster’s hardened cock. The meaning of his question was clear: my cunt, or my ass?

The Grandmaster grinned wider at the offering. “Oh, right, well…that is a tough one, but here’s what I’m thinking, let’s start with Main Street first, see how that goes, and then…” He snaked a hand around Loki’s ass to squeeze one cheek. “…Then we’ll see if we can sneak around back later, if we’re feeling up to it.”

That was fine by Loki. His cunt would take less time to prepare, anyway.

But just as he rose further, gripping the Grandmaster’s cock to line it up with his dripping cunt, the Grandmaster stopped him with a hand to his hip. “Woah woah woah, this won’t, um…this won’t get you knocked up, will it?”

Loki froze.

“Not that I’m not good with kids, it’s just I’m not sure if I’m ready for that kind of commitment, y’know whaddamean?”

Loki had to breathe. He had to stay calm.

Somehow, he managed it. “I’m afraid that’s not possible for me. Not anymore.”

If the Grandmaster caught any of the sorrow in Loki’s voice, he didn’t offer any sympathy. “Oh, okay then, let’s get this started!”

And he bucked up into Loki’s cunt, making Loki shout in surprise.

It wasn’t a bad surprise, though. Not bad at all.

That night, the Grandmaster had Loki’s cunt twice, and his ass once. Loki only had a single climax to the Grandmaster’s three, but that wasn’t the point. The point was to attain a position in the Grandmaster’s inner circle. He’d have been satisfied with that even if he didn’t come at all.

Beyond that, the one thing he’d been worried about was how it would feel when the Grandmaster spilled inside his cunt. The Outriders’ semen had burned him, had eaten away at his insides. He’d worried some of that pain would come back.

But it didn’t. He didn’t feel any heat from it, either, not the way he had with Thor on that first night so long ago.

He didn’t feel anything. His nerve endings up there had likely been damaged beyond repair. He’d never feel that particular source of pleasure again.

xxx

Of course, Thor had to show up a few weeks later and ruin everything.

He had to go and fight the Grandmaster’s champion directly (who of course turned out to be the creature who had traumatized Loki on Midgard). He also just had to break out of his Sakaarian chambers and launch an escape attempt. Thor was so single-minded in his determination to die on Asgard fighting their demoness of an older sister. Loki could have admired it if he weren’t so exasperated with it all.

But deep down, he had to admit that he was so, so, so glad that Thor was alive. He’d thought for sure that Hela had killed him in the Bifrost. Without his hammer, what chance did he stand?

Well, Loki knew that Thor could have unleashed his natural powers of the storm. He knew Thor had that in him. But Thor was only starting to learn that himself.

And yet, though he was glad Thor was alive, and eventually agreed to help him return to Asgard, there were some bridges between them that they just couldn’t mend.

Loki’s fingers nearly slipped on the wrong keycode buttons when Thor said, “We should talk.” Loki brushed it aside again, and again, and again. He was probably talking too much, but it was the only thing he knew that would protect himself against the topics Thor was sure to bring up.

But eventually, it became clear that Thor knew Loki, in some ways better than Loki knew himself.

Thor said his piece, saying Loki should stay here on Sakaar. Loki’s eyes nearly welled with tears when Thor said “I thought the world of you.”

In an impulse of revenge against that, Loki made to spring his trap for Thor. But Thor sprang a trap of his own. Leaving Loki writhing in the hangar bay as Thor left for Asgard.

As he lay there at the mercy of one of those damn obedience disks, he couldn’t stop thinking about what Thor had said. Life is about growth, it’s about change.

You could be more.

Was he really going to be stuck in these same patterns for the rest of his life? Acting out on childish impulse every time he perceived a slight? Cringing from the memories of his immense losses? Pushing away the one man whose affection he had truly hungered for all his life?

Was that all Loki was? A simple ‘no’?

Suddenly, the electric current stopped, and the obedience disk fell off his back. He groaned in relief.

He saw a group of the gladiators the Valkyrie had liberated standing nearby. They must have turned off the disk. “Thank you,” he panted.

Their nominal leader was a large and surprisingly soft-spoken Kronan. He happily accepted Loki’s offer to lead their little band in their escape attempt.

As they flew out of the hangar and into the Sakaarian skies, the Kronan named Korg turned to him. “So, which one of those holes in the sky are we goin’ out of, man?”

Loki looked at them. Two caught his eye.

One was a wormhole he knew led to Xandar. It was the capital of a prosperous and cosmopolitan empire, full of wealth and resources. Loki could set himself up nicely there.

But he knew now where his heart truly lay. Rather, with whom it lay.

And today, he would not say no to that man.

So, he pointed to the largest wormhole in the sky. “We’re going through the Anus. The Lord of Thunder needs our help.”

xxx

It turned out Thor really did need his help. In a typical Thor move, he’d had the brilliant idea to go up against Hela on his own, and had lost a fucking eye for his trouble. And he had the nerve to walk up to Loki with his bleeding hole of an eye socket, and simply say, “You’re late,” by way of an explanation.

He may still be an idiot. But he was Loki’s idiot.

Allfathers, give me strength, Loki prayed.

Fortunately, fate was on their side that day, as Thor had the actually-brilliant idea to purposely trigger Ragnarok once the Asgardian people were evacuated. And he tasked Loki with starting it all.

Loki didn’t have time to think about what that act of trust could mean. His feet flew under him as he raced to the weapons vault.

But as he picked up Surtur’s crown and headed toward the Eternal Flame, he paused as a familiar blue light caught his eye.

He’d never wanted to see the Tesseract again. It reminded him too much of the worst days of his life, and the Titan who had caused them.

Who would still be looking for him. And who would still be looking for the Tesseract.

It had been safe in Asgard’s vault. But that vault was about to be blown to smithereens. Not the Space Stone, though. Infinity Stones predated the universe; nothing in that universe could destroy them, not even the world-ending power of Surtur. The Space Stone would be floating in the wreckage until Thanos arrived to collect it, easy as plucking an apple from a tree.

And if Loki left with Thor today without any kind of insurance, Thanos would just come to kill him, and who knows how many other Asgardians. Even Thor himself wouldn’t stand a chance.

Whereas, if Loki had the Tesseract, he could at least have something to bargain with.

He could at least save Thor’s neck, if not his own.

Chapter Text

After everything settled that night, after Asgard-the-Place was no more, after they set a course for Earth, after they decided to leave the necessary organizational tasks for when they’d all gotten some sleep, Loki was invited to the king’s quarters. Thor’s quarters.

Loki wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Thor had been so warm and familiar with him when he’d stopped in here a few hours ago. Yes, he’d thrown a bottle stopper at Loki’s head, but he hadn’t thought Loki was actually there. Not until Loki had caught it.

Loki slid the doors closed behind him. Thor was pouring two drinks. Loki didn’t know why he felt so nervous. “I hope you’re not going to throw one of those at me again,” he said offhandedly.

He caught a glimpse in the mirror of Thor’s smile. “I hope you don’t give me a reason to.”

Well. That was a fair point.

“Still,” Thor said, as he set the bottle of alcohol to the side, “that’s not why I asked you here.”

“Then why did you?”

Thor finally looked over at him. It was still so disconcerting for Loki to see his older brother like this. His usual bright mane of hair had been neutered into a dark blond shadow scarcely an inch long. The eyepatch startled Loki, though he’d seen it mere minutes ago. There were more lines on Thor’s face gathered in six years than there had been in nearly fifteen hundred.

Where there had been a wayward prince, there was now a wiser king. But it was still his brother in there. And he didn’t look bad at all. Far from it.

Especially when Thor gave a mischievous smile that might have been stolen from Loki’s face. “Because, as I recall, you still owe me a hug.”

Loki couldn’t help his grin. He also couldn’t help a rolling of dread in his stomach. That last one he couldn’t explain.

Thor put their drinks down, and crossed the room. Loki braced himself for one of his brother’s bear hugs, which he would always loudly protest but secretly crave when they were younger. But just as Thor came up to him, he stopped.

For a second, Thor just looked at him, his one remaining eye flitting over Loki’s face. Loki quickly became uncomfortable with the scrutiny.

“Every time I lost you,” Thor murmured, “I told myself I’d remember every inch of your face. So even if you never came back, it could be like you’d never left me.”

The admission took Loki’s breath away.

But then Thor gave one of his dazzling smiles. “But my mind’s eye could never do you justice. Not the real you.”

Norns damn Thor and all his sentimentality!

Then Thor was touching Loki’s face. Not just his neck, which was intimate in itself. But his face. It couldn’t be explained away as brotherly affection. It was a lover’s touch.

But just as Thor inched closer to Loki’s lips, Loki broke the tension by hugging him. Maybe the contrarian in Loki hadn’t vanished entirely.

Indeed, Thor sounded surprised, almost petulant. “What are you doing?”

“Hugging you,” Loki said into Thor’s shoulder. “Isn’t that what you asked me here for?”

Thor chuckled. Norns, Loki could feel it in his chest, and it did things to him. Wonderful things. “Um…” Thor said, “technically, yes, but I was hoping for…something more besides-”

“Would you rather I stabbed you instead? Because I still haven’t ruled out that possibility.”

“Okay, okay,” Thor laughed. Loki found himself laughing with him. And it felt so good to do so.

He pulled back to look at Thor again. But his arms were still around Thor’s shoulders, so he was much closer. There was hardly an inch between them now.

And the closer Loki got to Thor, the less sense it made to not go ahead with the ‘something more besides’ that Thor had tried to initiate.

“But maybe you’re right,” Thor said.

Loki sighed. Their intentions had just crossed over at the same time. Could they never be on the same page?

Thor shrugged. “Maybe we should talk first.”

Was he fucking serious?!

“What in Hel would you want to talk about?” Loki asked.

Thor’s face reeled back a bit at the question. “Seriously? After all we’ve been through the last few years, you really think there’s nothing to talk about?”

“I think there’s too much to talk about,” Loki said. “Too much to be so easily solved with a single conversation.”

He felt Thor start to deflate in his hold. He knew Loki had a point. “Still, we have to start somewhere.”

Loki shrugged. “True.” But then he smirked. “So how about starting with this?”

And he softly pressed his lips to Thor’s.

Thor responded against his mouth, which sparked such heat in his veins. But just as he really started to get into it, Thor withdrew. “I thought you didn’t want to do this.”

Loki resumed the kiss. “I changed my mind,” he said between kisses.

Thor hummed a laugh. Still, he murmured, “You’re sure?”

Loki surged his lips even harder against Thor’s. “What part of this-” Another kiss. “- gives you any indication-” Another kiss. “-that I’m not sure?”

At his next kiss, Thor overwhelmed him with his mouth, delving his tongue in past Loki’s teeth. Loki moaned into it without meaning to. He’d forgotten how good Thor was at this!

The next thing he knew, Thor had walked him backward onto the bed, and was smothering his little brother’s body with his bulk. Loki was fully prepared to lose himself in the ecstasy that Thor was promising him tonight. Then, once they were sated and curled up languidly together in their post-coital haze, then they could talk.

Or they could just fall asleep afterward and rest for the next three days. That was an acceptable option, as well. They’d have months of this voyage to Earth to catch up. What was the rush?

Thor quickly bared his own torso, which had Loki salivating. Thor then started fumbling in Loki’s clothes for the fastenings. “Why do you always create outfits that are so difficult to remove?” he grumbled.

Loki snickered. “To watch you grow frustrated trying to remove them.”

Thor shoved his shoulder. “You have magic, don’t you? Use it.”

“But then what would be the point? Maybe watching you work for what you want turns me on.”

“And maybe seeing you naked as quickly as possible turns me on.”

Loki smirked. “No can do. You want this, you play by my rules.”

“Oh, right, like you don’t want this too?”

“I’m willing to bet you want it more.”

“Take your damn clothes off, Loki!”

You take them off, you impatient child!”

Somehow the warmth in their banter had given way to true irritation. They stared at each other in wordless challenge, waiting for the other to give in.

Well, for maybe five seconds. Then they burst out laughing. Laughing and laughing so hard they couldn’t stop.

Thor soon fell forward to hold Loki as he laughed. The force of it turned Loki’s laughter into more of a wheeze as his breath was squeezed out. Sometimes Thor still pretended he didn’t know his own strength.

“Okay, okay,” Loki said, and slapped at Thor’s shoulder to get him off. Thor obliged, allowing him to breathe. “Fine. How about this: I’ll take my shirt off, but my pants are your problem.”

“Fine,” Thor said. As soon as Loki twisted his fingers to vanish his upper half’s clothing, Thor’s hands were on him.

“I should warn you, though,” Thor rumbled as he nuzzled along Loki’s jaw, “I might just resort to ripping them to shreds.”

“Might you?”

“With my teeth.”

Loki shivered at the darkening lust in Thor’s eye as he said that. He suddenly felt lightheaded as all his blood rushed south.

“Is that a promise?” he asked in an unsteady voice.

Thor slowly grinned, and the darkness in his eye was morphed from mere lust into pure, undying love. “Yes,” he breathed. He leaned closer to Loki. “And so is this.”

His next kiss was so sweet that Loki was sure he would die from it.

Fortunately, Thor took pity on him, and left his lips to suck kisses onto his neck. Loki’s breath could hardly keep up with his body’s demands.

He only panted harder as Thor’s mouth traveled further down, tracing his midline past his chest, to his stomach. His hands kept pace with his mouth, stroking and squeezing and caressing all the places he knew Loki loved. Loki had almost forgotten what kinds of touches in which places turned him on the most, but Thor certainly hadn’t.

It felt strange, knowing that his own body was more of a stranger to himself than it was to Thor. Especially considering Thor had missed out on some crucial events in that body’s recent history.

Just as the thought crossed Loki’s mind, Thor’s lips had descended past his navel, right above the waistband of his trousers. His hands, meanwhile, had traveled to knead at Loki’s thighs.

Loki broke out in a cold sweat.

“Stop.”

Thor’s teeth gently gripped Loki’s waistband, preparing to tug.

“Thor, stop!”

Now Thor heard him. He immediately let go with his hands and teeth. Loki sprang into sitting up, forcing Thor further down the bed.

Loki couldn’t look at Thor. He turned to swing his legs over the edge of the bed, and hunched over his knees. He felt far too exposed even with his torso bare, so he twisted his hand to conjure his shirt again.

He conjured Thor’s too, for good measure. He didn’t need to be tempted right now.

He heard Thor’s sigh of irritation when his own upper half was suddenly covered again. But Thor didn’t give voice to it beyond that. Instead, he asked, “Did I do something wrong?”

Loki scoffed. But the sting in his retort petered out quicker than he’d intended. “You’ve done nothing wrong. Not tonight, anyway.”

He waited for Thor to prod further, but he didn’t. He let the quiet sit for a while. It helped Loki get more settled in his skin, for his breathing to calm down.

When Thor did speak again, it was soft. “Maybe we do need to talk first.”

Loki was on his feet before he knew he was doing it. “Or maybe,” he snapped, “we could not do that.”

But before he could take two steps, Thor had grabbed his wrist to hold him back. Loki glared at him. His anger was only stoked by the firmness leveled back in Thor’s gaze.

“I thought these days you were prepared to let me go,” Loki hissed.

But Thor was as unmoveable as his erstwhile hammer. Still, some distant pain crept into the edge of his eye, giving the iron in his gaze even more weight.

“We’ve been shutting each other out for the last six years,” Thor said. “What good has that done, for either of us?”

A thousand retorts readied themselves on Loki’s tongue. They all died before they made it out the gates.

Because Thor was right. Damn him.

Thor must have seen his acknowledgement of that fact, as he let go of Loki’s wrist. Loki slunk back to sit on the bed, like a beat dog returning home with his tail tucked.

But just as he sat down, Thor left the bed himself. Loki panicked. “What the Hel are you-”

Thor picked up the two drinks he’d poured earlier, and held them up with raised eyebrows to say See?

“Oh,” said Loki. He felt so foolish for thinking Thor was leaving. But if they were going to talk, alcohol was probably a good idea.

Thor settled back in, sitting propped up against the headboard. Loki mirrored the position. He downed half his drink in one gulp. Thor did the same.

They nursed the rest of their drinks in silence for a while. Loki did so out of spite. Thor was the one who wanted to talk, right? Let him make the first move.

Loki wasn’t staying quiet because he was scared of this type of conversation. Because he wasn’t.

Fortunately, Thor was the one to break the quiet. “I suppose it was foolish to think we could just pick back up where we’d left off.”

Loki let his silence speak for him. Yes, it was foolish, on both their parts.

“We’ve both changed,” Thor continued. “We’re different people now.”

Loki half-laughed at that. “You’re you and I’m me,” he quoted. Usually throwing Thor’s words back in his face was a cause for triumph. But there was no victory in this.

There was a sudden heat where Thor took Loki’s hand. It was such a simple gesture, but Loki’s heart ached from it.

He looked up at Thor. Thor was looking at him with a slight smile. “That may be,” he said. “But whoever you are, whatever you are, I will always see you as the most important person in my life. Just as you always have been.”

His words made Loki feel more naked than when he’d had his shirt off. Even if it was a confession from Thor, it was Loki who was made so vulnerable by it.

He tried to stave it off with a snide remark: “That’s not saying much, seeing as most of your family and friends are dead.”

But it immediately backfired, as such pain bloomed in Thor’s face from it. Loki reeled back from it, as well. He hadn’t intended to wound so much with his words.

So why had he even said it?

He cursed himself. He knew exactly why: to protect himself from getting too close to Thor. Even though he craved exactly that.

He looked down at his lap. “I’m sorry,” he murmured. “That was unkind.”

Thor shrugged. But he squeezed Loki’s hand, in wordless thanks for the apology. Loki knew he was lucky to even get that.

“I’m sorry, too,” Thor murmured. Loki was puzzled at what he meant by that, so he looked back up at Thor to figure it out.

Thor was looking down at what remained of his drink. “Six years ago, you thought you had lost all your family and friends.”

Loki frowned. “I did try to take over the Earth.”

“I’m talking about right after I was banished.”

Loki’s eyes widened. Thor met them, and gingerly proceeded. “You never lost us, though. Not really. You didn’t fail us because of who you were born to.” His gaze softened, with a sting of regret filling its depths. “We were the ones who failed you, when you needed us most.”

Loki looked down to Thor’s shoulder. He was suddenly seized by an impulse of a little brother to bury his head there. He barely managed to refrain.

“Mother and Father failed me,” he said. “They knew the truth, and kept it from me until it blew up in their faces.” He shrugged. “You were lied to just as much as I was, and not only about me. Look at what we just survived, because Father failed to mention he had a murderous daughter locked away all these years.”

Thor raised his eyebrows in agreement as he took another drink. Loki’s eyes were drawn to Thor’s eyepatch. Some of the skin around its edges was still an angry red. Loki wondered if it still hurt.

When Thor put down his glass, his voice was soft. “Still. I don’t suppose it was memories of our sister that caused you to tell me ‘stop’ just now.”

Loki’s face drew inward. He’d really hoped he could avoid talking about this tonight. But fate wouldn’t ever be that kind to him.

But just as he opened his mouth to start scrambling around with his words, Thor asked, “Was it the Grandmaster?”

Loki froze, his mouth gaping open like a goldfish.

Thor was looking at him with such concern. “You need not be ashamed, Brother, if he hurt you-”

Loki couldn’t help it. He burst out laughing.

Thor’s concern quickly became bewilderment. “Wait, Loki, what are you-”

“The Grandmaster?” Loki howled with laughter. “Oh, Thor, you- I can’t believe you just-”

Thor started to relax, and grinned. “Okay. So I was wrong. That’s a relief, then.”

Loki wiped at his eyes. “You really think he, what? Forced himself on me? Played some sadistic game with me in his bed? Oh, brother, you slay me.”

As if in triumph, Thor drained the last swallow of his drink. And Loki couldn’t resist. “Now, don’t get me wrong, he did fuck me.”

Thor spat out his drink, spraying it everywhere. “W-what?” he spluttered.

Loki shrugged with a shit-eating grin. “I had to gain the Grandmaster’s favor to survive. How else do you think I managed it?”

“I-I thought you meant you whispered the right words in his ear, or something!”

“Well, I did, but then I also gave him a strip-tease and let him pound my ass.”

Thor ran a hand over his face. Loki could hardly keep from giggling at how worked up Thor was getting over this.

“So wait, you…” Thor said, his hand still on his face, muffling his words, “…are you telling me you enjoyed it?”

Again, Loki shrugged. “It wasn’t bad.”

Thor peeked at him from between his fingers. For a moment he looked almost like a child, as if he weren’t an Asgardian king in his prime with the weight of his people’s destiny on his shoulders. “That’s not the same thing as enjoying it.”

“What do you want from me?” Loki shot back. “I found some pleasure in his touch. I even got to come once. And it ended with my survival, which was what I was after.”

Thor didn’t say anything in reply. Loki knew he was in the right here. How they’d started arguing about this, he wasn’t sure. But even when they’d assumed they were brothers by blood, it never took them long to reach that point.

He saw Thor open his mouth, then close it. Swallowing his words. Loki sighed. “What?”

“Nothing.”

Loki rolled his eyes. “What was it you said about shutting each other out?”

He threw back a swallow of his drink. Meanwhile, Thor said, “Forget it, it’s stupid to even think this.”

“Well, you are stupid,” Loki said, and playfully cuffed his fist against Thor’s head. Thor gave a halfhearted smile. “C’mon, what is it?”

Thor heaved a sigh, staring at his lap. “Was he better than me?”

Loki went still for a second, before he snapped out of it and looked at Thor. Was Thor really being so insecure that he was comparing himself to that madman?

Loki let out a single breath of a laugh. “Thor,” he said, and waited until Thor looked at him before continuing. “He could never hold a candle to what you can give me.”

Thor’s smile found a proper home on his face then. The whole rest of the room seemed brighter for it.

Loki glanced quickly at Thor’s lap. “Your cock is bigger than his, anyway.” Thor laughed. “I mean, not by much, but still!”

Thor whacked his shoulder at that, but Loki could tell Thor was preening inside at the compliment. Loki let him, with an exasperated brand of fondness reserved for the big lug sprawled next to him.

“So,” Thor said, slapping his own thigh to punctuate the transition, “while we’re on the subject, are there any other recent sex partners of yours I should know about?”

Again, Loki froze. His heart stuttered in his chest. Back to that again.

Maybe one day, he could tell Thor about the Outriders. He probably wouldn’t be ready to for centuries, but it was still possible. What had happened in the cell, however…

He only now noticed Thor peering closely at him. “Loki?”

Loki knew right then that what happened in the cell needed to stay hidden for the rest of his days.

Not knowing how else he could talk his way out of this, he said quietly, “I don’t think I’m prepared to answer that question tonight.”

Thor was caught off-guard by that answer, he could tell. They’d pivoted again, from playful banter to balancing on a tightrope. Maybe it would always be that way with each other.

But Thor said, “Okay. That’s fine. We can talk another time.”

Yes. Another time. Hopefully in a thousand years.

Loki levered off the bed then. He took Thor’s empty glass along with his own, replacing them on the table with the liquor bottles. After that, he took his chance to head for the door. He might as well try to find a place to sleep on this ship.

“Aren’t you staying?”

Loki stopped in his tracks at Thor’s question. He tried to play it off with a laugh, saying, “I’m not fucking you tonight, Thor. Nor will I fuck you in the morning.”

“That’s not what I meant,” Thor said. “I just meant to sleep.”

Loki sighed. It did sound nice, to fall asleep beside the brother he had felt so safe with for so many centuries. They’d shared a bedchamber as children, and even when they were separated at a certain age, they would always sneak into each other’s rooms at night anyway. For playing pretend games of adventure as children, and for sex as adolescents and adults.

All told, Loki had spent more nights of his life with Thor than without him. It was his default sleep setting. Although, if the last six years had taught him anything, it was that his previous status quo no longer applied to him.

“Besides,” Thor said, “we haven’t yet assigned permanent sleeping spaces for anyone but me. I doubt you’d find a place with the solitude you crave.”

“I wouldn’t get that by staying with you, either,” Loki retorted.

But he already knew he would give in and stay here. He knew it, and Thor knew it.

Still, Thor put in one last plea. “Stay, Loki. Please.”

Dammit. Thor just had to use his soft, vulnerable, I-need-you-so-much-I-can’t-stand-it voice. The same tone he’d used on the cliff on Midgard, when he’d said “You come home.” Loki could never refuse Thor for long when he used that voice.

“Fine,” he said. “Just don’t snore.”

Thor rolled his eye at the familiar complaint. “I can’t control if I snore. Because I’m asleep when I do it.”

“Prop yourself up, then,” Loki said, even as he twisted his fingers to conjure pajamas for them both. “If I wake tonight from one of your thunderous noises, I will bury a knife between your ribs.”

Thor set his eyepatch on the side table nearest him. “You do that,” he said as he climbed under the covers, “and I’ll electrocute you so hard your hair will be sticking up for a week.”

Loki’s mouth twisted as he climbed in after Thor. “Fuck you, Lord of Thunder.”

“I thought you said that’s off the table.”

“You know what I mean.”

But Thor was laughing at his own jest. “Goodnight, Brother.”

Loki sighed. All their empty threats dissipated as soon as they’d been established. He reached over to his own bedside table, to slide his finger over the Sakaarian runes that controlled the room’s lighting. The lights dimmed into nothing as his finger reached the table’s corner.

“Goodnight,” he said softly.

He was facing away from Thor, but Thor soon reached an arm around his middle, spooning him from behind. Loki huffed in a token show of protest, but he didn’t move away.

Thor’s breath tickled at the back of his neck when he whispered, “Hey.”

“Mmm?”

A pause. Then, “I do love you, Loki.”

Loki froze yet again. He’d had a record number of those reactions tonight. His brother’s open affection tended to do that to him of late.

“No matter what you’ve done,” Thor continued into the darkness, “and no matter what’s happened to you. I love you.”

Loki’s face felt quite warm. And he knew the thermostat wasn’t to blame. Or the blankets, or Thor’s body heat.

He could hardly hold his voice together enough to ask, “Why did you have to say that?”

“Because I don’t think you know that sometimes,” Thor whispered. “And I want you to know. I love you.”

That was the third time he’d said that in the span of thirty seconds. Loki didn’t know which he would prefer: to never hear Thor say that again; or to hear him keep saying it, over and over, for the rest of Loki’s life.

He wondered if Thor expected him to say it back. He knew his brother hoped for it, but a hope and an expectation were two very different animals. Particularly where Loki was concerned.

In the end, he didn’t. All he could manage was holding his brother’s hand where it lay on his chest. Thor squeezed it in acknowledgement.

They drifted to sleep like that. And somehow, that gesture felt like it had been enough.

Chapter Text

Loki woke up in the same position, with his brother plastered against his back, snoring softly. It was such a familiar feeling that Loki couldn’t help but relax into it.

Indeed, just being back with Thor was soothing. They so easily fell into many of their old rhythms, gently teasing each other as they did when they'd thought they shared blood. Loki didn’t expect to have missed this so much.

But he did. And he knew this meant he might screw this up. He couldn’t let that happen.

And yet, the makeshift council meeting that day did just that.

Thor picked those he trusted most, and those with the most experience in essential areas of knowledge. Heimdall, the Valkyrie, Banner, and Korg; navigators, healers, and technicians. And Loki, of course.

They picked a schedule of sleeping and waking. They delegated those who would inventory their food and fuel, to later calculate how they would ration them and when they would need to stop and resupply. They determined how disputes would be moderated, and how they would assign sleeping spaces. (Loki stayed mum on that last issue, and thankfully, Thor let him.)

It was when they were discussing how they might honor the dead of Asgard’s destruction, that an elderly gentleman spoke up. “Although we must make do with what we have, traditionally the Allfather and Allmother would preside over such memorials. My king, have you anyone in mind to take up the latter position?”

Silence descended over the table for a beat too long. Thor blinked. “What?”

The man leaned forward over the table. “I mean to say, have you anyone in mind who might make a suitable queen?”

Loki had to tamp down hard on the urge to vomit, though he tried to be discreet about it.

He must not have been discreet enough, however, as the Valkyrie raised her eyebrows at him. But she quickly turned to Thor again. “Yes, Your Majesty,” she said in that cheeky tone she always said the title in, “which lucky woman would you like to sleep with for the rest of your life, so we can adhere to tradition for a single day’s funeral?”

“It’s a legitimate question,” the man who had spoken up said. “Now that Thor is king, he must have heirs. The future of our people is at stake.”

Loki stood up before he could think about how prudent such an action might be. Everyone turned to him. Loki purposely avoided the eye of his idiot of a brother-king seated next to him.

He gave a slight laugh, preparing to let his silver tongue do the talking for him. But before he got the chance, Thor spoke up. “I may have a solution.”

Don’t you dare, Loki thought, as if Thor could hear him. Don’t you dare, don’t you fucking dare.

“However,” Thor said, “it needs to be discussed with the party involved. I will report back when I have an answer.”

The man who had brought it up nodded graciously. No one else had anything further to add, so the meeting was adjourned.

Loki promptly ran out of the room.

xxx

Loki had developed quite the talent in his youth of avoiding Thor. No matter where they found themselves in the universe - in the halls of the palace, in an encampment of a military campaign, or on this Norns-forsaken spaceship - he could always put it to use.

Unfortunately, over the years, Thor had also developed the skill of finding Loki. And Loki hated him for it.

Loki played his part under the guise of staying useful, finding a myriad of tasks he could assist with. Over the course of the afternoon, he’d inventoried half the medical supplies, helped install a privacy curtain between two families’ living quarters, and rewired a shorted circuit in the engine room.

He was on his way from this last task that evening, magicking his hands clean of engine oil, when the Valkyrie intercepted his path. “Oy, Lackey!”

Loki rolled his eyes. She knew his name was Loki by now. “If you call me by what my name actually is, I might be inclined to answer you.”

“You did just answer me,” she said as she sauntered over to him. “And if you’ve got a minute, there’s something we need your help with on the other end of the ship.”

Loki sighed. He considered giving a scathing reply, but he was in search of excuses to not return to his and Thor’s sleeping quarters. So, he instead replied, “Lead on.”

She took him through a circuitous path, which Loki knew wasn’t the most direct way to the other end of the ship. Eventually he stated that fact, but all she said was, “Nearly there.”

Loki followed her round a corner, and found himself face-to-face with Thor.

He froze. Thor did not look amused.

But before he could attempt an undignified escape, the Valkyrie had caught his wrist. He reacted on instinct to fight off her grip.

One headlock and several contusions later, Loki remembered how bad of an idea it was to fight this woman.

Thor’s firm grip on his bicep was all it took to release her chokehold. “Enough. I’ll take it from here.”

“As you wish, Your Majesty,” she said, and with a smirk at Loki, she headed back the way she’d come.

“I thought you didn’t help anyone!” Loki couldn’t help yelling at her retreating back.

She turned on her heel, walking backwards as she leered at him. “I do if it means you’ll get knocked down a few pegs!” She flipped him off, and disappeared around the corner.

Without warning, Thor started dragging Loki toward their quarters. It wasn’t far from here. No wonder the Valkyrie had been leading him on such a peculiar path; it was to disorient him.

Loki tried to stammer his way out of it. “Thor, I really don’t think this is the best way to-”

Too late. Thor had shoved him inside, and closed the door on them both. Dammit.

Loki looked at the door at Thor’s back, gauging whether he could sneak his way around his mammoth of a brother before he got his ass kicked. It didn’t look like it.

So, he fixed his ire on Thor. “Is this your way of handling our reconciliation?”

“It is when you leave me no other option, by hiding from me the entire day like a child.

Loki did not deign to acknowledge that comment with a response. Mostly because there was no arguing with it.

So, he smirked, stepped away, and headed over to Thor’s (and his?) vanity to fiddle with a silvery instrument atop it. He wasn’t retreating. Of course not.

“So,” he drawled, “you have me here. What could you possibly want to say to me that is worth our beloved king’s undivided attentio-”

“You know what.”

Loki’s fingers paused in their movements. Of course he knew. But that didn’t mean he was at all prepared to broach the subject of Thor’s fantasies. “You’re going to have to be more specific, Brother, if you want to have a conversa-”

Thor’s hand was suddenly shoving his shoulder, spinning him around to face him. He was now effectively pinned against the vanity by Thor’s intoxicating bulk.

But Loki was ready. He summoned one of his daggers to his hand, and held it to Thor’s jugular quick as blinking.

Thor was breathing hard through his nostrils as he attempted to keep his frustrations in check. They were so close that Loki could feel each exhale against his face. He had to use all his focus to suppress his shiver.

“You know what I’m talking about,” Thor growled. “What Drunnar spoke of at the meeting.”

His pretense now stripped away, Loki gave the matter a single laugh. “And this is how you decide to bring it up with me? By tricking me into meeting with you, and cornering me until I hold a knife to your neck?”

You forced my hand when you-”

“And why do you think I’ve been avoiding the subject?” Loki bit out. His own frustrations were overtaking him now. It caused his knife hand to quiver. The blade only grazed Thor’s neck, hardly even a tickle, but it was enough to make Thor hold still.

Good. Let him be on the defensive for once.

But it didn’t achieve that end entirely; it just let the wind out of Thor’s bluster. Made him soften his approach. Which, for Loki, was even worse, because it had the most chance of being effective.

Thor sighed, and moved his hand from Loki’s shoulder, to hold the side of his neck. Loki stiffened. He should have sliced open Thor’s throat while he had the chance. Now he was done for.

“I don’t want to start a fight over this,” Thor said softly. “I just want you to consider this option.”

“And what option is that?” Loki hissed.

Thor’s eye started sparkling, becoming even bluer, if that were possible. “That we could marry.”

For a horrifying second, tears started to spring to Loki’s eyes. He quickly blinked them back down. But he couldn’t be sure if Thor had seen. Knowing Loki’s luck, he most likely had.

Thor kept talking. “I know we used to talk about it when we were young-”

“We were literal children,” Loki retorted.

“And we had a king for a father who would never allow it,” Thor said. “But I am king now. I can allow this if I want to.”

Loki rolled his eyes. “If that’s the perspective you have about ruling, you’ll make a terrible king.”

Thor grinned. “I know. But I think I have a better idea now of what to allow myself.”

“That’s up for debate,” Loki said. “How would you imagine our beloved citizens would take it, when you tell them you’re planning to marry your brother?”

Thor was quiet for a second. He shrugged. “I don’t think they’d care too much.”

Loki reeled back at that. “Seriously?”

“Even if they would care in any other circumstances, they just lost almost everything they had,” Thor pointed out. “All the rules we used to live by are now up for debate.”

Loki was reminded of what he’d once said to Sif, back when Thor was banished. Our people need a sense of continuity, in order to feel safe in these difficult times.

Sure, at the time he’d been giving a flimsy excuse to not reverse Thor’s banishment. But the idea was not without merit. Could Thor marrying the only other member of Asgardian royalty, one who had already held tenure over the throne for several years, count as ‘continuity’?

“Besides,” Thor said, “everyone knows we’re not brothers by blood. The incest taboo wouldn’t really be broken by us having children.”

All the blood drained from Loki’s face at that last word.

Thor must have seen his reaction, for he bit his lip. “Loki, I-”

“Is that why you’re doing this?”

Thor stumbled back at the sudden tongue-lashing. “I’m not-”

“You think you could trap me in here, whisper a few sweet nothings, and I’d fall at your feet and agree to become your baby-making machine?” Loki seethed, slowly advancing on Thor with the dagger till he had him backed against the opposite wall. “Is that what you thought would happen?”

“That isn’t why I want this!”

“Isn’t it?”

“Well, it’s not the only reason!” Thor shouted. “And it’s not like I have much of a choice! I’m king now, I have to have children!”

“Then have them with someone else!”

“I don’t want them from someone else!”

“WELL, YOU CAN’T GET THEM FROM ME ANYMORE!”

Thor opened his mouth to shout his reply, but he cut himself off before he could get any words out, as he realized what Loki had just said.

Unfortunately, it took Loki seeing Thor’s reaction to realize the same.

Thor’s brow creased. It took a few tries for him to get his words out. When he did, they were so quiet. “What do you mean, ‘anymore’?”

Loki’s jaw stuttered on any retort or deflection. He hadn’t meant to say the last word. Why had he? How could he have been so utterly foolish?

He shook his head. “I’m not doing this.”

He tried to push past Thor to head for the door. But Thor wasn’t having it; he shoved a hand onto Loki’s chest and forced him to stay still. “What do you mean, ‘anymore’?”

The look in Thor’s eye was so concerned, hopeful, and terrified all at once. But Loki had nothing to offer him to soothe any of it. “Let me go, you animal.”

“Only if you answer my question, Brother.”

Loki’s jaw set. But he knew he wasn’t getting out of this. The only way he was escaping this room was if he tried to fight or trick Thor, and neither of those options had worked recently.

So, it looked like he would have to fight Thor with the truth.

“Fine,” he snapped. “You want the truth, I’ll give it to you. And when I do, you’ll wish I had given you lies. Just remember, you asked for this.”

Thor gave a nod. But Loki could detect the uncertainty in it. Good.

To his credit, Thor dropped his hand from Loki’s chest. But he didn’t move away from his proximity to the door. Just in case Loki tried to make a run for it.

Well, by the end of this tale, Thor would probably be the one bolting out the door.

Loki turned away from Thor, and vanished away the dagger. He took a breath to steel himself. “Did you ever wonder where I ended up when I fell from the Bifrost?”

He waited, but Thor gave no reply. Probably because Thor expected him to just give his answer.

So he did, as he ambled across the room, toward the large window that yawned out at the universe. “It was not a pleasant place. A barren crevice of a realm. It was the domain of a powerful being named-”

He stopped. Why did he stop? It was only a name. A name that had haunted his mind for the last six years, but still just a name.

“Thanos.” He ended up whispering it.

He looked up, over at the distant stars near the top of the window. Any one of them could have contained the rocky little world he’d fallen to.

“He had his minions torture me,” he said softly. The phantom sting of molten metal sent a shudder down his back. “They wanted information about the Tesseract, and thought my Asgardian appearance meant I could furnish them with such knowledge.”

He let the silence settle for a while. Maybe waiting to see if Thor would accuse him of the damage he’d caused on Earth, for revealing such information. But Thor didn’t say a word.

Loki knew it was because Thor was still waiting for his explanation. Yet his next words stuck in his throat.

So he chuckled, which ended up prying them loose. “It took them three months to find out I was really a Frost Giant. Then they started torturing me with heat. In the end, that was what broke me.”

He realized he could see his own reflection in the window, if he looked at it right. He looked away, fixing his attention to the stars again. “I think that’s also what brought it on. I thought they were cramps, at first. I hadn’t bled for three months, but I thought it was because of the torture. I hadn’t known-”

He had to bow his head as he remembered it. Remembered how much it had hurt, and what it had finally looked like when-

He shook his head. “I hadn’t known we had conceived a child until it fell out of me.”

He felt cold inside as he said that. He didn’t feel like screaming, though, not like he had the previous times he’d thought of it. The fresh edges of the sorrow had granulated in. Now he was just numb.

“Do you know how big a three-month-old fetus is?” he found himself asking. There was no sting in his words, no spiteful glee at hurling them at Thor’s face. There wasn’t anything.

He answered his own question, by showing the size between his thumb and pointer finger. “About this long. It fit under the palm of my hand.”

He waited. But Thor stayed silent.

So, with a deep breath, Loki crossed his arms and pressed on. “Thanos found out, of course. And he said I needed to forget, so I could focus on finding the Tesseract. He had a rather…unusual solution in mind.”

Now came the revulsion, as he remembered what those beasts had done to him. How loud he’d screamed the first time they’d raped him, knowing it would go on, and on, with no end in sight.

“He gave me to a race of beasts he’d bred.” He kept his voice neutral well enough. “They raped me in every hole I had, and they did it for months. I think their seed was acidic, because it burned inside me. And…”

He could almost feel that ache in his lower belly right now, remembering what that seed had done. “…And eventually, small pieces of my womb started falling out of me. They were blackened and smoking. And they kept falling out, even when I fought you and your little friends on Earth. It didn’t stop till I was in Asgard’s dungeons.” He looked down at where that womb would be. “I don’t know what’s left of it. Probably a mangled mess, suspended with my viscera by a thread. Or maybe there’s nothing left at all. Maybe it’s closed off, with just a mass of scar tissue where my cervix was.”

Now more bitterness crept into his tone. “I haven’t bled since then, so if my ovaries are still in there, they’re not functioning. Clearly, I can’t bear you any children.” He turned to face Thor again. “So if you’d be so kind as to put these inane fantasies out of your hea-”

His words were stolen as he laid eyes on his brother.

Thor’s eye was closed, and one hand was clasped over his mouth. His shoulders shook as he tried to contain his near-silent sobs.

It would have hurt less if he’d kicked Loki in the chest. Loki wasn’t sure what reaction he’d expected, but certainly not one as painful as this. He didn’t know what to say or do in response.

He ended up crossing the room to Thor. Thor didn’t seem to notice; he was still quietly sobbing with his eye closed. Loki hesitantly put his hands to Thor’s shoulders.

Thor’s eye flew open, and there was such immense grief and sorrow in its depths that Loki wanted to run from it. Run far away, the way he’d done with his own pain for so long.

Thor’s hand left his mouth. He gasped in another sob. “We…we had a child?”

A lump rose in Loki’s throat. His eyes stung. All he could do was nod.

Thor started crying in earnest. Before Loki knew what was happening, Thor had locked him in a desperate embrace, as his tears started falling without restraint. Such broken sounds tumbled out his throat, and each one hurt Loki’s heart all over again.

He returned the embrace, and let his brother cry against him. There was nothing else to be done.

xxx

They ended up on the bed together, holding each other desperately. After nearly an hour, Thor was still shuddering with sobs, though he’d pushed through the worst of it.

Loki also had some tears running down his face. But they hadn’t been forced out by sobs; they’d just fallen of their own accord. He didn’t remember shedding them.

Thor’s head was tucked into Loki’s neck, which meant he was staining it with his tears. Loki couldn’t bring himself to care.

“I’m sorry,” Thor was whispering. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…”

Loki wasn’t sure what Thor was saying that for. It could be a number of things.

I’m sorry I’m crying on you. I’m sorry I got you pregnant. I’m sorry I let you fall from the Bifrost. I’m sorry you were tortured, and raped, and forced to miscarry. I’m sorry you were alone with all this. I’m sorry you’re infertile now. I’m sorry I can’t marry you.

Maybe he meant all of them, and more besides.

“If I had…” Thor said through his shudders, “…if I could have stopped you from letting go-”

“Don’t,” Loki whispered.

“If I had said something that night, if I could have convinced you to hold on-”

“You can’t do this to yourself,” Loki pleaded. Already he felt that ache in his belly returning. To distract from it, he started stroking his fingers over Thor’s scalp. He used to play with his brother’s hair in years past, but there was so little of it left. The spiky strands he had now would have to suffice.

“You can’t go through every permutation of how things could have been different,” he murmured, “or what we could have had, or what she would have been like. It won’t change what really happened.”

Thor stiffened in his arms. He didn’t understand why, until Thor choked out a single word:

“She?”

Fire burned in Loki’s throat as he realized what he’d said.

He’d tried so hard to forget that detail, by calling her an ‘it’ in his head all these years.

Thor seized up in his arms with a fresh wave of sobs. This time, Loki joined him.

Chapter Text

Loki woke late the next morning - or at least, what they’d decided to count as ‘morning’ when they’d set up the ship’s schedule. The first thing he was aware of was fingers stroking through his hair.

He opened his eyes. Thor was looking at him with such melancholy. Last night came rushing back.

Loki just looked at Thor. Thor just looked at Loki. What was there to even say, after a night like the one they’d had?

Though every cell in his body protested, Loki moved to sit up. He couldn’t rest in this atmosphere for long, or he feared he’d never rouse from it.

Besides, his and Thor’s more romantic attachment now had an expiration date. It had to, what with Thor’s reproductive mandate and Loki’s reproductive abilities now rendered incompatible. What could be gained by prolonging this?

But Thor followed him into sitting up. And reached to hold his face. Loki closed his eyes, as if that would shut Thor out.

It didn’t, of course. A fact only confirmed when Thor kissed him. It wasn’t on his lips, but instead landed on the corner of his mouth.

“I still don’t want anyone but you,” Thor murmured.

Loki’s eyes flew open, to his brother’s tender gaze less than an inch away. He huffed. “You know that’s not possible.”

Thor’s response was a beat too late to be sincere in its hope. “We’ll figure something out.”

“Thor-”

“If I have to find a wife, I’ll have thousands of years left to do so. There’s no reason I need to right now.”

“So I’m to be your harlot until you cast me aside for someone more fecund?”

“Loki,” Thor sighed. He suddenly looked so tired. “Don’t twist my words.”

As he said that, he reminded Loki so much of Odin.

Loki quickly moved past that observation. “What about the memorial?”

“We don’t need an Allmother for that,” Thor said. Something in his face shrank in as he added, “I don’t even know if I count as an Allfather.”

Loki’s brow quirked at the admission. Yes, Allfathers usually reigned from the golden throne of Hlidskjalf in Asgard’s Great Hall, anointed with the dark sorceries needed for rule. Whereas Thor had no Bifrost-opening powers, no palace, and hardly even a throne.

Still, Thor was being foolish to doubt his position. “You are the King of Asgard,” Loki said. “That makes you the Allfather, whether you like it or not.”

Thor gave him a sad smile. And something spiteful in Loki’s pain reared its head, causing him to quietly add, “At least you get to be someone’s father.”

The smile vanished. Loki cursed himself. Why did his tongue always betray his heart like this?

Thor reached to cradle Loki’s neck, but Loki couldn’t stand this pretense of being welcome here any longer. He levered off the bed and fled the room.

xxx

He made himself scarce over the next few days. He even found a small storage closet he then repurposed as his new sleeping quarters. At first, he made sure to avoid the Valkyrie, as well as Korg and Heimdall, in case they were roped into Thor’s efforts to find him. But surprisingly, none of them came seeking him out for veiled purposes.

Which meant Thor was leaving him alone. He’d hoped for it, but it still crushed his heart to arrive at that realization. If Thor gave up hope on something, it meant there was no hope left.

But, the memorial for Asgard’s fallen came upon them soon enough. Even Loki couldn’t avoid it. So, he put on a neutral expression, and eased into the gathering.

They had no orbs of light they could float into the air, so they made do by holding Sakaar’s version of flashlights. Nor did they have the wooden boats to be lit aflame for each fallen loved one. Instead, they collected a pile of tattered clothes and blood-stained bandages discarded in the battle’s aftermath, and lit them into a blazing pyre in the center of the bridge.

Thor led the proceedings alone, saying the words that brought the fallen souls to Valhalla. Everyone offered the names of their slain loved ones. The room grew heavier with each one. Loki could hardly stand it.

There was a pause after everyone had said a few names, the silence punctuated only by a few sniffles. “Are there any more names to be offered?” Thor asked.

Loki looked around. None were offered. But then his eyes landed on Thor, to see his brother staring straight at him.

Oh. That’s what Thor was asking him.

He barely reclaimed the wits enough to shake his head. He’d never named her. What would be the point? To make the loss feel even more significant?

It still took a few seconds for Thor’s eye to leave him. “We bid you all, named and unnamed, to take your places in the halls of Valhalla, where the brave shall live forever.”

“Nor shall we mourn, but rejoice,” every Asgardian said in unison, “for those who have died the glorious death.”

Loki stared at the pyre as it ate up their words. Thor’s choice of phrasing was not lost on him. Named and unnamed.

Was that tiny little thing in Valhalla now? Had it - she - died in battle? Had she been brave?

Loki turned from the pyre and ducked into the nearest corridor. There was one thing he knew, which Thor could never understand:

Her death had not been glorious.

Chapter Text

Long after everyone had fallen asleep, Loki still couldn’t. He found a large porthole with enough of a ledge for him to sit on. There he sat, curled up the way he would in the window seats of Asgard’s palace. Watching the stars around them.

“A beautiful view you’ve found.”

He didn’t look up to Heimdall’s voice. “I thought even you needed to sleep sometimes.”

“Sometimes, yes,” the former gatekeeper said as he joined Loki on the ledge. “But tonight it eludes us both, as we mourn our losses.”

Loki’s eyes shot over to Heimdall. He was met by exactly what he’d feared: a knowing look, with such sorrow on its edges.

“I was sorry to hear of what you suffered,” Heimdall said.

Loki didn’t quite know how to respond. There was a chance that Thor had said something to his friend, but it was unlikely. He and Loki had kept their affair a secret for so long, it was now a reflex to hide it from others.

Which meant Heimdall had seen into Thor’s quarters the night Loki had told him. Loki hadn’t thought to cast the usual concealment spells around the room that night. Now he was paying for that carelessness.

Come to think of it, he hadn’t hidden them from the Allsight the first night on this ship either, when he and Thor had almost fucked for the first time in six years. So Heimdall may have seen that, too. Lovely.

“How long have you known?” he asked. He might as well find out how long he’d been deluded.

“About you and Thor?” Heimdall asked. “Since the first night on this ship.”

Phew. That was better than the alternative.

“But I suspected for centuries.”

Fuck.

Loki’s brow crawled up his forehead at that. But before he could ask why, Heimdall answered that very question. “Every night you would enter each other’s chambers, I could not see what transpired inside. Which meant you had something to deliberately hide from my sight.”

“That could have been anything,” Loki pointed out.

Heimdall smiled. “Yes. But from the way you both are with one another, it was easy to guess the truth.”

Loki couldn’t easily refute that. He and Thor were almost always at each other’s sides when they were younger. Even if they spent half that time at each other’s throats, the other half was often spent, well…down each other’s throats.

“And you saw no reason to report this to Odin?”

“There was nothing to report,” Heimdall said. “I could not see into your chambers. And I did not look often.”

“No?” Loki bit out. He found that hard to believe, considering all he had done over the years behind Heimdall’s back.

“No,” Heimdall said. “Believe it or not, I am not in the habit of spying on the royal family I serve.”

Loki was about to argue that point, but Heimdall’s next words cut him off: “Nor will I do so tonight.”

Loki was left there with his mouth hanging open, as Heimdall rose to leave. It was only when he was headed back down the corridor that Loki managed to ask, “What will happen tonight?”

Heimdall stopped, and looked back to Loki. “That’s up to you.”

Loki shut his mouth. Heimdall nodded a goodnight, and left.

xxx

Loki didn’t stay long at the window seat after that. He wandered the corridors, traversing the ship’s length and back twice over.

What did that mean, ‘it was up to him’?

It wasn’t anymore, nor was it up to Thor. Thor needed a sweet little queen who could give him children. Loki was neither sweet, nor able to give him that.

Ever since that Frost Giant had touched his arm that day in Jotunheim, nothing in his life had truly been up to him. Not his identity, not his power, not his body. Not even now, when he was faced with the choice of staying on this ship or leaving. He couldn’t realistically go anywhere without risking Thanos finding him.

Everything terrible about the last few years was because of that madman. He was even preventing Loki from being with his brother the way he wanted.

And oh, how he wanted.

As a child, he’d always believed that going to Thor would make everything better. And in truth, he’d never really grown out of that belief. Not even now.

He realized he was standing outside the little broom cupboard he’d commandeered as his own. It was nothing special: a few blankets made into a pallet, some fairy lights magicked into the air. He’d made his peace with its lack of extravagance. After all, he didn’t do anything in there but sleep.

But looking at it now, he realized it was about the same size as that cell had been.

He shuddered. And looked down the hallway. Toward where Thor’s quarters were.

It was probably a bad idea. He was setting him and Thor up for eventual heartbreak. He didn’t even know if he could go through with it tonight.

But he wanted to try. He wanted.

He was heading down the hallway before he could talk himself out of it.

xxx

He was silent as he slid the door open, then closed it behind him. The room was dark, but not in total darkness. The stars through the window provided some sparse illumination.

As Loki’s eyes adjusted, he saw Thor asleep in his bed. His chest was bare, and Loki wondered if the rest of him was, as well. Thor usually slept naked when the option was available to him.

He padded over to sit on the edge of the bed. He had planned to shake Thor’s shoulder to wake him up, but he found himself doing something even gentler.

He stroked a hand over the side of Thor’s face. “Thor,” he breathed.

Thor shifted toward the touch, even when asleep. But he soon rumbled awake, both eyelids fluttering open even though only one eyeball appeared. That eye blearily focused. “Loki? What is it?”

Loki swallowed. Last chance to turn back.

He let that chance pass him by, as he pressed his lips to Thor’s.

For a few seconds, he worried that he’d harbored false hopes. But soon, Thor was gently responding to the kiss, just as he always had.

Loki only broke the kiss so he could straddle Thor’s lap. He rejoined their lips when Thor sat up to meet them. Thor’s hands held his face, and that tender touch was enough to make Loki gasp into the kiss.

That’s all they did for a few minutes, though their tongues started weaving together before long. But as they did, Loki began to feel that familiar simmering low in his belly, as his cock started to stir and his cunt started to unfurl.

He ground his hips down into the sensations. The action was met by Thor’s length poking him from under the sheets. Definitely naked, then. Good.

Loki twisted his fingers to vanish his own clothing. Upon realizing that, Thor clutched onto Loki’s back, running his hands up and down the now-exposed flesh. “Loki,” he whispered into Loki’s mouth. “Loki.”

There was so much tenderness and longing in the way he said Loki’s name. Loki bit back his sob at the sound.

He busied himself with moving back just enough to remove the sheets from Thor’s lap. Thor let him. He clutched Loki close when they were both completely bared, moaning softly as skin met skin.

Loki could feel the usual wetness now. His cunt was soaking Thor’s lap. Both their cocks were drooling on each other’s stomachs. He rutted forward for some friction on his cock, and couldn’t help his small moan at how good that felt.

Thor reached down between them, probably intending to take both their cocks in his hand, but Loki grabbed his wrist to stop him. “Not like that,” he whispered.

Thor nodded. He didn’t offer anything further, though. He was letting Loki take the lead with this.

And Loki knew what he needed tonight.

He rose up on his knees, and took a gentle hold of Thor’s cock to line it up with his cunt. He had to take a moment to revel in having Thor’s firm cock throbbing in his hand. He hoped it would feel half as good inside him.

But just before he could sink down and find out, Thor paused him with a hand on his hip. “Wait.”

Loki stilled, panting. “What?”

Thor glanced down to Loki’s genitals, then back up to his face. Some concern was lurking in his too-blue gaze. “This won’t hurt you, will it?” he murmured.

Loki’s heart beat even louder in his chest. His cunt pulsed out another offering of slick.

He shook his head. “You won’t.”

Some distant longing came to the fore in Thor’s eye. Loki wasn’t quite sure what to name it.

So instead, he braced himself on Thor’s shoulders, and sank down onto his cock.

Thor probably couldn’t help his quiet “ah!” as Loki’s heat engulfed him. Loki certainly couldn’t help his own whimper.

He had to stay put once he was fully seated. Thor was generously endowed, and Loki could feel every inch of that endowment, splitting him open as his cunt fluttered to accommodate it all. For a moment, all he could do was focus on breathing as his body scrambled to adjust.

It was perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Thor’s hands started rubbing on his flanks, gentling him through it. Thor was breathing just as hard as he was. He could feel Thor’s heartbeat pounding in his cock, pulsing at such a frantic tempo.

How Thor was able to wait so long for him to move, Loki had no idea. But he was eternally grateful for it.

It may have only been thirty seconds, though it felt like three hundred years. But eventually, Loki was able to rise back up a few inches, and lower back down.

Thor groaned at the sensation. Loki cried out with such a vulnerable moan. He was unprepared for the sharp pleasure that came from having Thor dragging inside him like that. How had he gone so long without this?

He was soon able to work up a steady rhythm, though it was still much slower than he would have liked. Thor probably thought so, too. But it was all Loki could manage right now.

But then Thor’s hands moved up his back. Up, and up. Though his cock was impaling Loki over and over again, his touch was still enough to make Loki shiver.

Thor brought both his hands to hold Loki’s face. Loki looked at him. Pleasure was casting a haze over Thor’s eye, but it just made his gaze that much more intense. His mouth was hanging slightly open as he gasped with Loki’s movements.

His whole attention was fixed on Loki’s face, with so much devotion and yearning and love reflected in it. It overwhelmed Loki even more than the pleasure itself.

Then Thor started to move with him.

Though it was a gentle movement, it punched Loki’s breath out of him with a small “Oh.” But he kept moving with it, meeting each of Thor’s thrusts with his own.

Their lovemaking was not usually this quiet, nor this tender. But tonight, this was what they both needed. Loki drowned himself in the slow dance, as he and Thor twined together and shared breath. Moving together as one being, reunited after six years of anguish and loss tore them apart.

Loki’s orgasm took him by surprise. He’d kissed Thor, then saw Thor looking at him, mouthing his name but unable to get the word out. And Loki was lost.

Thor held him through it, rolling his hips in slow circles as Loki spasmed around him and spilled between them. Loki’s small, high-pitched cries soon tapered off in the darkness.

But Thor wasn’t done. His cock was still so hard inside Loki it must be painful. But he didn’t try to take his own pleasure right away. He just kept holding Loki close, peppering uncoordinated kisses to his jaw.

Loki returned the favor with a blind kiss right above Thor’s mouth. “Go,” he whispered.

Thor did, resuming his slow thrusts into Loki. Loki let himself be moved by them. His own orgasm had left him oversensitive, to the point that this almost hurt. But he needed to feel this. Needed to feel Thor recarving his place inside him.

Thor’s thrusts grew a bit sharper toward the end, and he groaned with each one. Loki knew he was close. He clutched Thor’s head where it was buried in his neck, and clenched around Thor’s cock, trying to milk out his brother’s climax.

It worked. Thor shuddered, and went still in his hold with a low cry, as he spilled deep inside Loki.

Loki gasped.

He felt it.

He could feel the splatters of Thor’s seed inside him.

It was warm.

But it was only there for a flash. Then it was gone. Loki might have imagined it. Maybe his memory was filling in the gaps of what it used to feel like.

Thor was groaning into Loki’s neck with his own aftershocks. Loki held him through it, pressing a kiss to his temple.

Tears started to prick Loki's eyes.

He didn’t know where they were coming from at first. There had only been a few times in his life when he’d cried after sex. Yes, they had all been with Thor, because of course they were.

But those moments had come from a heady mixture of pleasure and deep shame about that pleasure. Because he’d received it from his brother, which at the time was an idea with which he’d still been trying to reconcile.

Whereas now, there was no shame in this at all. There was everything else.

There was the immense relief that they’d finally shared this after so long without. There was the grief of their losses that had driven them apart in the first place. There was the opening of the pressure valve on Loki’s emotions, from handling that grief on his own for so long.

But now, he could finally grieve with the one person who mattered. With Odin’s other son, with Frigga’s other son.

With his daughter’s father.

With his brother. With the love of his life. With Thor.

Thor sniffed. Loki reached to Thor’s chin to tilt his head up. Thor blinked at him through his own tears, as much of a mess as Loki was right now.

Loki kissed him. Thor cradled the side of Loki’s head as he kissed back. He tasted salty from their combined tears. Loki didn’t care.

Even when they broke apart, they just breathed together. Holding each other close. Together at last, the way they’d always wanted.

Chapter Text

“Are you alright?”

Loki broke from his reverie to focus on Bruce Banner’s words. “What?”

Banner looked like he was about to dart away from him. The man usually looked quite pathetic, but even more so when he was unsure. Especially wearing Tony Stark’s clothes. “You just…you’ve been a lot more…smiley lately.”

“And that means I’m not alright?”

“Either that, or it means we might not be,” Banner said. “Just…the last time you were this happy, you were trying to take over my planet.”

Loki smirked. Of course, Banner wouldn’t know that Loki had been anything but happy during his bid for power over Midgard. But Loki wasn’t going to let on about that. Besides, it was much more fun to string this little mortal along, provided he didn’t piss him off.

So, he put his feet up on the array of instruments he’d been sitting in front of on the ship’s bridge. “You’d rather I was irritable or dissatisfied?”

Banner’s eyes widened comically. “No no no, I think that’d be worse. Well…I don’t know what would be worse. Just…” He drew his palms close together in a narrowing motion. “Maybe stay more toward the middle, okay? Y’know, neutral.”

Loki gave a single laugh. “Forgive me if I don’t think it wise to take advice on emotional regulation from a man such as yourself.”

“Hey!” Banner said, stepping forward. “You wanna try insulting me? See how far that gets you before we go for Stark Tower 2.0.”

Loki scoffed, even as he stiffened at the reminder. The only reason that beating hadn’t knocked loose half his uterus was because it was nearly all gone by that time.

Still, he found his smile quickly returning to him. It had been doing that the last several weeks.

Banner was just staring at him. “You’re doing it again.”

Loki just hummed in acknowledgement. His thoughts were drifting far away.

It made Banner shift uncomfortably. “What are you even happy about, anyway?”

That recaptured Loki’s attention. He arched a brow at Banner. For a second, he considered telling him the truth: I’m imagining my brother’s fat cock splitting me open, like it’s been doing the last few weeks.

But, while Thor was convinced there would be no consequences from their citizens if they knew the truth, Loki wasn’t so sure. Besides, he could still pull an amusing reaction from Banner if he kept his answer vague.

So, he settled for giving the man a sly grin and saying, “Wouldn’t you like to know.”

Sure enough, Banner looked horrified. Norns only knew what complicated scheme to destroy them all he thought Loki was cooking up.

But before he could express his concern, a familiar voice rumbled from across the room. “I didn’t know you two were on speaking terms.”

Loki’s cock twitched at the sound. He grinned wider.

Banner turned to Thor, and pointed an accusing finger at Loki. “I’m about ninety-nine percent sure he’s plotting something.”

“Plotting?” Thor asked, as he made his way toward the two of them. “Brother, I thought you weren’t going to do that anymore.”

“I’m not,” Loki said. “Your friend just thinks I am.”

Thor pushed at Loki’s feet, nudging them off the navigation instruments. Loki shot him a spiteful grin.

“I mean…” Banner said, “he didn’t exactly say it, but…” He gestured toward Loki’s smirking face. “Look at him! When has he ever been happy about something that didn’t involve stabbing people?”

Thor tilted his head in consideration of that point. But Loki could see the amusement lurking in Thor’s eye. He knew exactly what was making Loki so upbeat of late.

“You have a point,” Thor said to the mortal. “A grin like that on Loki’s face is not to be trusted.”

Though it was meant to be part of the facade, Loki couldn’t help his eye roll. So what if he tended to backstab his way into positions of power whenever he wanted? He had the right to smile if he felt like it!

Still, he let Thor manhandle him out of his chair. “I think you and I had better have a talk, Brother,” Thor growled. Loki put up a show of huffing in reply, and let Thor drag him away.

As he did so, he gave Banner a menacing grin. Just to keep him on his toes.

He could hardly resist giggling the rest of the way to his and Thor’s quarters. By the time the door sealed them inside their bedroom, he was flat-out belly-laughing.

Thor interrupted his laughing to kiss him. Loki allowed it, though he still giggled into Thor’s mouth.

“Why do you feel the need to antagonize everyone you meet?” Thor asked him between kisses.

Loki hummed his next chuckle as Thor started walking him backward toward the bed. After another kiss, he replied, “Because it’s fun.”

“But Banner?” Thor asked him. “You really think it’s wise to get on his bad side?”

Loki reclined back onto the bed he’d felt behind his knees. A twist of his hand was all it took to vanish their clothes. “He didn’t turn into the Hulk, did he? It was fine.”

Thor gave a long-suffering sigh, even as he leaned down to shove his tongue down Loki’s throat. “You’re far too reckless, Brother,” he murmured between kisses.

“Oh?” Loki said. “And who could I have gotten that from?”

Thor chuckled. But as he did, he suddenly withdrew from Loki’s lips. Loki was about to complain, but Thor’s purpose was made clear soon enough, as he flipped Loki over quick as blinking, manhandling him onto his hands and knees.

If Loki’s cunt was wet before, it was positively drenched now. He couldn’t help his wanton trembling in the anticipation of what Thor would give him next. Sweet, playful, rough, teasing - he didn’t care. He wanted it all, and even more after that.

He felt a dip in the mattress as Thor knelt behind him. Then there were calloused palms on his back, rubbing up and down in easy strokes. Gentle, then. Loki could roll with that.

Thor leaned over his back. Loki could feel his brother’s hardened cock against the back of his thigh. Oh, yes.

“We don’t need holes smashed into the floor of this ship,” Thor chided into his ear. “Loki-shaped or otherwise.”

Though Thor was being more dominant, Loki could hear the undercurrent of desperation in his voice, how it shook with the force of his desire. It made Loki grin, even as he shivered.

Not that his own voice was doing that much better as he retorted, “Why don’t you tell that to your friend?”

He gasped as Thor smacked his right ass cheek.

“Banner’s not the one who will start something,” Thor uttered into Loki’s ear. “You, on the other hand…”

He swatted the left cheek this time. Loki whined.

But Thor’s next touch was back to gentleness again, as he rubbed both cheeks to soothe the sting away. “Was that too much?”

It took Loki a second to realize what Thor was asking. He was almost insulted. Why would getting spanked twice be too much for him? It was still quite vanilla by their standards, and even the more risky practices they’d experimented with throughout the years couldn’t be counted in the realm of physical torture.

He glanced over his shoulder to Thor’s concerned gaze. “You stop now,” Loki growled, “and I’ll cut your balls off and wear them around my neck as a trophy.”

Thor was already grinning halfway through Loki’s threat. By the time Loki had finished, he had brought his hand back down onto Loki’s ass. Loki groaned with delight.

Thor didn’t let up. It took a good twenty or so smacks before he stopped. By that time, Loki had lowered onto his elbows, and was moaning and drooling into the sheets, delirious with the endorphin high.

And though he welcomed the soothing motions of Thor rubbing his reddened flesh afterward, Loki didn’t want a break. He pushed back on Thor’s hands. “More,” he pleaded, “more, damn you, give me, I want-”

Thor grabbed Loki’s hips, and yanked him back onto his cock. Loki howled out his rapture. “Yes, yes, yes!”

Thor hardly paused to groan his relief before he was pounding into Loki’s cunt at a frantic pace. The slapping sounds of skin on skin echoed around the room. Each fuck inside him punched another moan out of Loki.

He’d missed this so much. The passion, the frenetic pitch of their desire, the animalistic way Thor could express his devotion. It spoke of a deeper and more unyielding love than the most lavish gift or most saccharine poetry ever could.

And yes, having a large cock that could split him in two helped. But when that large cock belonged to the brother who knew him best, whom he would love for the rest of time? There was nothing better.

Eventually, Thor hauled him up from his elbows, pulling him into an upright kneeling position with his back flush against Thor’s chest. Thor was moaning just as loudly as Loki as he hurtled them both toward their peaks. Loki clutched a hand over Thor’s on his chest, and the other dug into the meat of Thor’s ass, spurring him on.

Loki didn’t bother touching himself; he knew he’d come from the fucking alone. But he didn’t want to hurry it along. He staved it off as long as he could, while clenching around Thor’s cock with each thrust inside him. He still needed to see if…

Thor’s thrusts became more erratic, and thus even more jarring inside Loki. Loki welcomed it all. Almost there, almost-

There it was. Thor yelled into Loki’s shoulder as he came in violent spurts. He pushed hard into Loki’s cunt as he did, which would have hurt if it weren’t so goddamn perfect.

Loki closed his eyes as he felt it. The unmistakable rush of warm semen inside him. With it came a different kind of euphoria, one that had him moaning brokenly into the room. In the end, that was what made him come untouched onto the sheets, as he went taut in Thor’s hold and shivered through it with hoarse cries.

They were both panting as they came down from it. Loki realized belatedly that he might have drawn blood from where he’d clawed into Thor’s ass. Well, now they’d both have trouble sitting down. At least they were equal in their debauchery.

Thor was careful as he pulled out. As he did, a trickle of his come slid down Loki’s thigh. Loki didn’t know if he preferred being marked with it everywhere, or if he wanted to keep it all inside him.

Either way, he slumped onto the pillows as soon as Thor stopped holding him up. Thor followed, collapsing next to him. He still held Loki close with an arm around his waist as they caught their breaths.

Loki was the one to stir first. He looked over to Thor’s blissed-out face and said, “You’re becoming downright mischievous.”

He could tell Thor’s eye was only now coming back into focus. When it did, Thor gave him a lazy grin. “Now, who could I have gotten that from?” Loki weakly chuckled with him in response.

They lay there together for a few minutes more, neither of them moving except to absently caress each other. Loki let himself drift. He hadn’t felt this happy in a long, long time.

Thor stirred after a while. He rolled Loki more on his side, and used a corner of the sheets to start cleaning off their drying come. Loki sighed at the gentle treatment.

But no matter how gentle it was, he still hissed with oversensitivity when Thor started cleaning between his labia. “Sorry,” Thor murmured. He settled for cleaning the remains of slick and spend from the outside of Loki’s vulva, and left it at that. Loki assumed Thor would clean the rest of it later.

And knowing Thor, he’d probably do it with his tongue. Loki smiled at the thought.

“Banner’s right, you know.”

Loki looked up to Thor at the comment, watching as his brother settled back down onto the pillows. Thor was looking at him with a curious expression. “You have been abnormally happy the last few weeks.”

Loki raised an eyebrow at him. “Well, I have been getting at least three good orgasms a day.”

“I gave you three good orgasms a day for centuries,” Thor pointed out. “And you were still a moody prick half the time.”

Loki opened his mouth to protest, but no words came out. Because Thor was right about that.

“And it’s not just that,” Thor said. “You’ve been almost bouncing off the walls. You have more energy, more of an appetite.” He gave Loki a lopsided grin. “Not that I’m complaining, because I want you to be happy. It’s just…different.”

Loki shrugged. “It’s been a long time, I suppose. My cunt hasn’t been properly fucked in six years.”

Thor stiffened. It took a second for Loki to realize why, and it made him regret his last comment.

Yes, his cunt had been fucked in the last six years. But with the Outriders, and even with the Grandmaster, none of it was entirely his choice. Perhaps instead of saying 'properly' fucked, a better qualifier was 'consensually.'

“That’s another thing,” Thor said softly.

Loki braced himself. It still wasn’t completely comfortable for either of them to talk about. Loki would rather avoid the subject altogether. It had happened, and it was over. That was that.

But Thor went somewhere else entirely, which caught Loki off-guard: “It doesn’t always have to be you getting fucked.”

Loki shot him a quizzical look. Thor clarified: “Since we’ve started this again, I’ve always been the one to fuck you. I just want you to know that I’m willing to do more than that, if you want. You can use my mouth, or you can have my ass-”

“No!”

Thor was struck dumb by the vehemence in Loki’s tone. Loki was surprised by it himself.

“No,” he said again, softer this time. “I’m perfectly happy with our current activities.”

“It’s just been one activity.”

Loki rolled his eyes. “I know that. Weren’t you the one who said penetrating a cunt is something special?”

Thor scoffed. “I was mostly bullshitting you that night, to get what I wanted.”

“You think I don’t know that?” Loki asked, raising an eyebrow. But he grinned at Thor, who grinned back, as they each remembered Thor’s arrogance and foolhardiness in those days.

Loki shrugged again. “But you might have been onto something. It does have a certain…appeal.”

Yes, a certain appeal. Such as relieving chronic pain he didn’t realize he still had. Such as reviving nerve endings which he thought had been destroyed.

Thor reached to pull him closer. “Okay,” he said, “if you’re sure.” He pressed a kiss to Loki’s forehead, then met his eyes. “But if you ever want to come inside your brother’s ass, you let me know.”

Loki laughed. “Will do.”

But he knew he wouldn’t want to. He was addicted to the feeling of Thor’s semen pulsing against his insides, how warm it was as it ran down his leg. Even pushing his cock into Thor’s warm body couldn’t compare.

xxx

And so it went for the next several weeks. Loki kept getting fucked by Thor, and always in his cunt. Every night, most mornings, and even some afternoons, they’d seal themselves in their quarters, losing themselves in each other’s flesh.

As the weeks went on, Loki felt stronger and healthier than he’d ever been. He had a spring in his step. He smiled more. His usual sparse appetite approached what was considered ‘normal.’ He slept more soundly through the night, curled up in Thor’s arms.

Thor even joked that Loki’s hair looked healthier. “It’s shinier!” he’d said one morning, as Loki magicked it dry after their (shared) shower. “It looks like the Lake of Mimir did in the late afternoon sun.”

“If you think flattery will get you another quick fuck, think again,” Loki shot back. “I just showered, and we only get one of those a day.”

Thor chuckled. “I’m not just flattering you.” He tucked a lock behind Loki’s ear. “It looks good, that’s all.”

He did get another quick fuck that morning. Loki had semen staining his thighs for the rest of the day. He could have cleaned it off with magic. But he didn’t.

Yes, he was healthier, in every way. And more than that, he was happier. Which was throwing off everyone around him.

Banner kept looking at him with confusion. So did the Valkyrie. She cornered him one day near the medical bay. “I don’t know what’s gotten into you,” she intoned an inch from his face, “but if you’re planning to make anyone’s life a living hell anytime soon-”

“Nothing’s gotten into me,” Loki lied smoothly. Nothing except my brother. “I’m simply adjusting well to life on this ship.”

She looked him up and down, trying to pinpoint his subterfuge. When she couldn’t, she sighed and said, “Maybe. But you’re just acting weird. So don’t get any weirder, or try anything. Unless you want to answer to me.”

Loki fought hard against the urge to roll his eyes. She would probably break his nose if he did. “Understood.”

She raised her eyebrows at him in a challenge, and let him be.

That night, he told Thor about it. Thor laughed and said, “And I thought it was strange that Heimdall keeps smiling at us.”

“Oh, I didn’t tell you?” Loki panted, gasping as Thor gave a particularly hard thrust inside him. “Heimdall knows about us.”

Thor stopped fucking. “What?”

“I forgot to use my concealment spells the first night on the ship. He absolutely saw us about to fuck.”

“Why didn’t you tell me this?”

He almost pulled out, but Loki snapped his legs even tighter around Thor’s hips, trapping him inside. “I…forgot?” Thor scoffed at him. “Well, he wasn’t even upset about it! I don’t think he disapproves. He said he suspected for centuries, after all, and never did anything to put a stop to it.”

Thor was shaking his head with an incredulous laugh. “You amaze me, Brother, with what you think is worth telling me.”

“Just as you amaze me, Brother,” Loki retorted, “with how you think now is a good time for talking, instead of fucking.”

Thor grinned. He was so beautiful that Loki nearly came right then at the sight.

Thor didn’t say anything further after that. He leaned in to kiss Loki, and started rolling his hips again. Loki sighed into it.

When they both came, Loki lost consciousness.

When he came to, Thor assured him it was only for a few seconds. He cuddled Loki close, pressing kisses to his brow. Loki let the warmth in his limbs and heart tow him under, and fell asleep.

Chapter Text

Three months into their journey to Earth, they stopped to resupply at a trading post on a small, gray planet. It was dusty, windy, and desolate. Loki hated it.

But, they were only going to stay for two days, to trade for fresh supplies and to stretch their legs. The children were happy to play in the dunes on the outskirts of town. Even the adults were relieved to have fresh air, and scenery that wasn’t the empty void of space.

They’d scrounged together enough valuables salvaged from Asgard worth five hundred thousand units. Loki’s silver tongue managed to sell them for seven. But that still wasn’t enough; the supplies they could buy with seven hundred thousand units wouldn’t last until the next stop they’d planned. They would have to adjust course in the coming days.

After the two days were up, everyone boarded the ship with a heavy heart. Rations were even more limited to last till the nearest inhabited planet. Still, the Asgardian people were a resilient, hardy bunch. They mustered smiles for each other, even in these leaner times.

That is, until some of the children started getting sick.

What started as a few runny noses and sparse coughing turned into fevers, chills, and vomiting within three days. The healers did all they could, but they’d skimped on medical supplies at the trading post in favor of more fuel. All they could do was hold the children close, and tell them it would pass.

But then some of the adults started to fall ill. They also got fevers and vomiting, but a few started breaking out in red, itchy splotches on their faces and necks. One older woman even started growing lumps in her abdomen. If they hadn’t built a modified soul forge in the medical bay to detect it early, the poor woman might not have made it.

Though no one had died, almost a quarter of their citizenry was bedridden within two weeks. Thor decided to quarantine anyone who showed signs of illness to one end of the ship.

Loki snuck in to tend to the afflicted several times before Thor caught him. “They’re in quarantine for a reason,” Thor told him, grabbing his arm to stop him entering the infected ward. “There’s nothing more we can do for them, anyway, besides give them food and wait for it to pass.”

“Banner and Korg are helping,” Loki pointed out.

“Yes,” Thor said, “because one’s a human, and one’s a Kronan. And only Asgardians have gotten-”

He cut himself off, as he realized what he was saying.

Loki raised his eyebrows, as if to say, You forgot about that, didn’t you?

Still, Thor sighed. “I don’t like it, Loki. Frost Giants are more similar to Asgardians than they look. You could still get sick, and it could be even worse-”

“Who are you, my wife?” Loki snapped at him. “Stop nagging me. I’ve been helping for the last week, and haven’t caught anything. I’ll be fine.

With that, he yanked his arm out of Thor’s hold, and went to feed some children more broth.

xxx

The next morning, Loki was hunched over the toilet bowl, puking his guts out.

He’d tried to be quiet so Thor wouldn’t hear. But it was hard to control the volume of an involuntary reaction. Soon enough, he felt a warm hand on his back.

He heaved again. Thor held his hair back as he suffered through it. It was still another thirty seconds before it stopped.

Loki coughed when it was done. “Can you-” More coughing. “Can you get me some water?”

Thor obliged without a word. Loki drank some, and used the rest to rinse his mouth out. Some of the vomit was still in his nose, so he blew it clear as best he could on some toilet paper.

After he’d flushed it all down the toilet, Thor quietly spoke. “You need to go to the med bay.”

“No,” Loki rasped, “I’m fine.”

“You just threw up last night’s dinner!”

“I don’t have a fever, or chills, or a cough.”

Thor put a palm to Loki’s forehead. Then he used the back of his hand. He frowned. “You’ve always run cold. I can’t tell what’s normal for you.”

“Well I can,” Loki ground out. “And I’m telling you, I’m fine.

“Loki.”

Loki heaved out a measured breath as he scowled at Thor. But there wasn’t any smug I-told-you-so hiding in Thor’s gaze. There was just worry.

Loki looked down, considering. “If it happens again,” he said quietly, “I’ll go to the med bay.”

Thor didn’t say anything. He just squeezed Loki’s hand. He knew it was a large concession on Loki’s part to agree even partway.

xxx

Over the next three days, Loki stole away to throw up no less than eleven times. The twelfth time, Thor caught him.

Once he’d helped Loki rinse out his mouth and blow his nose, he’d hauled him to his feet. “Med bay. Now.” Still lightheaded from the sheer force of the vomiting, Loki couldn’t do anything but comply.

The young woman who counted as the head healer looked exhausted. Her face fell even further when she saw who her next patient was. “I had hoped the royal family would not be affected by this,” she lamented.

“So did we,” said Thor. He guided Loki to sit on the metal examination table, where he was subjected to the usual tests.

But each one puzzled the healer even further. Loki had a slightly elevated temperature for a Frost Giant, but no fever. He had no dizziness, no fatigue, no swollen lymph nodes. Everything seemed normal, except for the vomiting.

When she directed Loki to lie back on the table, Loki started getting nervous. “What for?”

“For an internal scan. We’ve been checking everyone for cysts after Nali came down with them.”

An internal scan. Oh, Norns. “I don’t see why that’s necessary, I’ve only been vomiting-”

“It’s just a precaution, my prince-”

“Loki, let her do it-”

“I don’t see the point-”

Thor grabbed his shoulder as he tried to sit back up. He glared at Thor, only to be met with that soft concern in his brother’s face.

Thor’s hand started rubbing his shoulder. “It’s alright,” he said, “I don’t mind seeing it.”

The healer, meanwhile, was looking back and forth between the two men, clearly unsure as to their meaning. Well, it would become clear soon enough.

Loki looked away from both of them, down at the polished metallic floor. “I want you to leave, Thor.”

“Loki, it’s fine.”

“That’s not for you to say.” Loki still didn’t meet Thor’s eyes. “If you want me to get the scan, you have to leave.”

He heard Thor blow out a long sigh. But then he felt Thor squeeze his shoulder. “Okay,” he murmured. Loki heard his slow footsteps carry him toward the door.

Only when he heard that door close did he let his held breath out. “Go on,” he said to the healer.

She nodded, and started operating the soul forge.

Loki had been checked over by such a machine enough times in his youth to be familiar with it. His whole body tingled as his essence was imaged above him. Then, each part of his body would vibrate more intensely as the healer imaged it in more detail.

She started at his head, and went down from there. Since the images were above him, staring at the ceiling wasn’t an option. So, Loki looked to the side, to stare at the room’s far corner.

The dread started mounting once she started on his chest. He knew his abdominal cavity was next. He couldn’t help tensing to prepare himself.

“Please try to relax, Your Highness,” the healer said.

Loki huffed, and tried his best. But once his belly started tingling more, he tensed all over again. Especially when it went down to his lower abdomen.

“Oh, Norns.”

The healer’s voice was soft. Loki closed his eyes.

“Did you know of this, my prince?”

Loki let out a joyless chuckle. “Well, I was there when it happened, wasn’t I?”

A pause. Then, “I suppose. And this would explain your nausea and slight temperature increase.”

Hm. Loki wasn’t so sure about that. If his remaining uterine tissue had given him an infection, it would have done so years ago. It didn’t make sense that it would happen now.

“Have you been making the necessary changes to your diet?”

Okay, Loki was seriously beginning to doubt this woman’s know-how as a healer. “And what changes would those be? More nutrients aren’t going to grow my uterus back.”

There was a longer pause this time, before she said, “What do you mean, ‘grow it back’?”

What? Could this woman not operate a soul forge?

Maybe there wasn’t anything left of his womb at all, and she didn’t know he used to have one. “I’m assuming you know I was born with both sets of sex organs? I’m supposed to have a womb, but as you can see, it’s not all there anymore.”

“Your Highness, what are you talking about?”

He sighed in exasperation, and looked over to her. He made sure to do so quickly, so he could avoid looking at the image above him. “Can you not see where my vaginal canal leads? Or at least, where it once led?”

She reeled back a bit, though she looked more amused in her confusion now. “Perhaps you should look at what I’m seeing, my prince.”

He rolled his eyes. It wasn’t his job to show her how to do hers. But, if it would get this over with, he would have to.

He looked. And squinted.

There weren’t any blackened bits, no pieces hanging lifeless near his pelvis. Nor was there any scar tissue. If he hadn’t seen the remains falling out of him years ago, he would have thought his abdomen in perfect condition.

She must not be showing him the right cross-section. “Why did you move the scan detail?” he asked.

“I didn’t,” she said. She pointed at the image floating above him. “That is your uterus. And not any pieces of it, mind you. Your whole uterus.”

“That’s ridiculous,” Loki said. “Such a thing is not-”

But as he looked at it, he realized she was right.

There was his uterus. The cervix, the body, the fallopian tubes, the ovaries…

All of it. Undamaged. Whole. Just as she’d said.

He put a hand to his abdomen, and gave it some pressure. Sure enough, the image above him flexed slightly as he pressed on the organ.

“That…” he stammered, suddenly feeling quite lightheaded, “…that should not be possible.”

She smiled. “Do you see what else is there, Your Highness?”

He blinked at her. She returned her attention to the soul forge, zooming in slightly. He could feel the tingle in his belly grow even more pronounced.

“There,” she said, pointing at a spot within his womb. “Do you see?”

He propped himself up slightly on his elbows to get a closer look. Perhaps there was some evidence of the previous damage that could explain his womb’s sudden reappearance.

But once he saw what she was pointing at, his mouth fell open.

“Congratulations, my prince,” the healer said with a smile.

What had she said? Congratulations?

Her next words were a blur, something about “eight weeks or so” and “healthy placenta,” but she might as well have been speaking to him from the other side of the ship. His mind couldn’t hold onto anything but the image in front of him, trying to understand it.

Abruptly, it disappeared. He sat up, trying to see where it went, but dots swam into his vision as he went up too quickly. He had to lie back down again.

“Deep breaths, my prince,” the healer said. “I imagine it’s a bit of a shock.”

She headed toward one of the cabinets on the walls. Loki just breathed. Once he felt enough blood return to his head, he levered back up. Slowly.

As he did, the healer returned to his side, proffering a few paper pouches. “I know there’s not much variety in our food stores at the moment, but we do have these supplement packs for the first trimester. Sprinkle them in your food at each meal. I’m told they should be tasteless.”

He grabbed them with a nod. Both the action and the gesture felt automatic.

“I’ll see you in four more weeks for another scan?” she asked.

Again, another nod. He was on autopilot now. Everything else was happening in a fog.

As he stood from the table and started to walk to the door, the woman called out to him, “My prince?”

He stopped.

“I wish you and the king the very best.”

Not enough of his brain was working in the conscious realm to understand her meaning. But enough of it was to keep him from acknowledging the truth.

He didn’t say a word. He just continued on his way out the door, nutrient packs clutched tightly in his hand.