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Dangerous Toys

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Chapter 1

Now

Looking out his bedroom window, Loki watches the rain fall. He is bored, restless, anxious. He can feel his magic just under his skin, surging, pulsing with his heartbeat. It calls to him to be used, but he pushes down his natural instinct to call it forth and contents himself with using just enough to change from his smart black suit, into a pair of cotton pajama pants that hang low, threatening to slip off his hips unless he keeps them tied and a long sleeve shirt, two sizes too large.

He gets up from the window and climbs under the covers of his overly large bed, whispers a plea to the Norns and goes to sleep.


 

 

Then

Being the second son of Odin was tedious and Loki often felt stifled under the All Fathers rule. His very nature often leading him in to trouble. Still it was not often that he couldn’t talk himself out of what ever situation he found himself in. But this time, even Loki had to admit that he needs help and so he is being sent to Midgard to effectively be watched by Thor, while Odin placates the Light Elves.

It rankled Loki, the way he was to listen to Thor and once again be subjected to following him around, forced to make nice with the blonde god’s friends. If he closed his eyes he might even be able to believe that he was sitting amongst Sif and the warriors three, rather than Natasha, Bruce, Tony and Clint.

They are tolerable, these new friends of Thor’s. He may, after a large quantity of mead, even admit that he likes them. With one glaringly notable exception. And right on cue there is the object of his disdain. Tall, blonde, blue eyed, covered in muscles, almost universally liked and exceptionally handsome. Captain Steve Rogers is the complete embodiment of everything Asgardian, everything Loki himself is not and he cannot stand the man for that reason alone.

 

Thor’s immediate admonishment that he was not to play any tricks, cause any mischief or do anything at all that may somehow disrupt the Captain’s leadership had just cemented Loki’s dislike of the man. He wouldn’t call it hate. The Captain is much too attractive to be hated.

Although, spending weeks around Thor’s new friends and being forced into watching the good Captain everyday was testing that theory more and more. The Captain rarely engaged in the good natured ribbing that went on between the rest of the group, but he never discouraged it. Loki did notice that he was quick to blush when on the rare occasion one of the others, usually Natasha and usually about dating, directed their teasing towards him.

 

In a fit of utter boredom, Loki sat on the couch at Stark Tower, flipping through the hundreds of channels on the television. There had not been any battles of late and he had grown tired of allowing Stark to test his magic. Hearing a noise behind him, Loki turns in time to see the Captain exit the elevator and wander into the kitchen to get a bottle of water.

His shirt is wet with sweat, his face flushed and his hair is sticking up in oddly endearing angles from where Loki assumes the man must have run his hands through it. Watching Steve tilt his head back and consume an entire bottle of water in one go, has him thinking about using his own hands to mess that blonde hair up even more. And where did that thought come from?

But now that he has had it, Loki can’t quite shake it. The Captain is easy on the eyes…. This could be good for a laugh, get the chance to irritate Thor, and who knows, maybe even see just how far he can push and make the Captain blush that lovely shade of pink. Taking one last look at the Captain, Loki decides that, yes, this could be very fun indeed.

 

He starts off subtle, not wanting to arouse Thor or the Captains suspicions. A lingering look, a shy and patently false smile, a brush of finger tips over a bare arm. Loki is disappointed when after two weeks he has not earned a single reaction from the Captain.

Another week has him sitting on the chair closest to the Captain anytime they are in the same room. When Loki starts to sit directly next to him on the couch, slowly inching closer until their thighs are touching, he knows he is pushing his luck.

But still, neither he, nor Thor, say anything. And Loki has yet to see that lovely blush. His next opportunity comes a few days later when the team has gathered for movie night. Loki makes sure to be in the common room early so he can stake his place next to the Captain on the couch when he arrives.

He doesn’t expect Steve to walk past the couch and sit on the love seat instead. Under normal circumstances it would be a tight fit for two grown men, but its perfect for what Loki has in mind and he casually takes his place next to his target, keeping a few inches of separation between them.

As the rest of the group filters in, Steve gets up and goes into the kitchen, much to Loki’s disappointment. But when he comes back with a bowl of popcorn and two drinks, sitting back down next to the dark haired god, Loki cannot be happier with the development. The Captain hands Loki one of the drinks and offers the popcorn, without a word, as Tony dims the lights and starts the movie.

Loki couldn’t say what the movie was about, he spent the entire time observing Steve. Subtly of course. Over the course of the first hour, he shifted his body so that their legs were touching and made sure to reach for the popcorn when Steve did to ensure their hands would touch every so often.

When the Captain went to refill their popcorn bowl, Loki figured he would have to start the process of edging closer to Steve on the love seat all over again. But that was not to be the case, as the blonde sat down so that their hips were now in contact as well.

He couldn’t have planned it better and had to force himself to contain his glee as he casually shifted and rested his arm across the back of the love seat. Loki may have imagined it, but it is possible that the Captain may have leaned in to him, just a little closer. He certainly didn’t imagine the blush that he was finally rewarded with though.

Feeling satisfied with his work for the night, Loki contented himself with watching the rest of the movie, casting the occasional long look in Steve’s direction. When the movie is over and the lights come on, Loki is able to get a better look at the lingering hint of pink on the Captains cheeks.

Steve turns and smiles, then casually leans across Loki’s body, grabbing the gods now empty drink glass from the side table. For a brief moment, their chests are pressed together and Loki can almost swear he see’s a grin flash across Steve’s face, but when he straightens again, there is only a trace of a shy smile and a deepening of that much sought after blush.

Getting up from the love seat, the Captain turns to Loki, “I hope you enjoyed the movie.” And then he is gone, retreating to the kitchen to place the dishes in the dish washer and head off, presumably to bed.

Loki remains on the love seat, relishing tonight’s little win.

“Loki!” Thor snaps, breaking him from his reverie. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Adopting his most innocent expression, Loki looks at his brother. “I’m sure I don’t know what you are referring to.”

Thor frowns and Loki can see the flicker of doubt across his face, before his features turn stern once more. “Do not think I have not seen what you have been doing.”

Loki opens his mouth to protest, but is silenced when Thor continues.

“I will not look kindly upon you amusing yourself at the Captains expense.”

Again before Loki can say anything, Thor cuts him off. “Do not deny it brother. You will not trifle with him.”

This time Loki doesn’t try to speak, which seems to irritate Thor even more than he already is. “Promise me Loki, that you will not use Steve Rogers for your own amusement!”

Its too easy sometimes. Really. “I promise that I will not use the Captain for my sole amusement.”

Thor seems satisfied, but only just. But that’s good enough for Loki.

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 2

 

Thor is taking up the entire love seat when Loki walks in the common area. He has to suppress a laugh as the blonde god glares at him, watching his every move. Stopping in the kitchen, Loki grabs a bottle of water and an apple. Then he wanders in and sits right in the middle of the couch.

The past couple of weeks have been filled with Thor glaring, snapping at Loki, or on one memorable occasion, dragging Loki out of the room when he caught the dark haired god rubbing Steve’s sore shoulder after a run in with a group of arms smugglers.

Loki has to consciously try not to roll his eyes at the cooking show Thor is watching. If he had his choice, he would put on an old movie, something black and white. Not that he has any real interest in watching an old movie, he just knows that there is someone else in this tower that seems to have an incredible fondness for them.

By now Loki has it timed out. The Captain should be finished with his workout and should be emerging from the elevator right about………now….. Loki does love how predictable Steve is. It makes this little game so much easier. Unfortunately, Thor seems to have the Captain’s schedule down as well and has been sitting in the common room every day this week before Loki arrives.

Forgoing his normal stop in the kitchen to grab a water, Steve heads straight to the common room and sits on the couch next to Loki. Out of the corner of his eye, Loki can see Thor stiffen, but the god stays quiet.

“I’ve noticed lately, that there seems to be a lot of tension between the two of you,” Steve tells the brothers.

Loki narrows his eyes, while Thor just looks confused.

“What ever is going on, I can’t have it bleeding over into any missions we may be called out on. Neither of you seem interested in working out what ever this is, so I think it would be best if you got it out of your systems and spend some time sparring.”

“You…. What?” Thor asks.

“Captain, I hardly think that is necessary,” Loki objects.

Steve just smiles, looking between the brothers, “ok, how about this? As your leader, I am ordering you to engage in a sparring match until one of you either yields or you can simply tell me what the issue between you is.”

He picks up Loki’s bottle of water and finishes it off with a smirk.

Neither man says anything and so Steve picks up Loki’s apple, takes a bite and adds, with a sly smile, “I’ll take on the winner.”

And that catches Loki’s attention. He is pretty sure, win or lose, he can turn this to his favor, “well, in that case….” He grins over at Thor, a clear challenge. And of course Thor has to accept.

Forty five minutes later Loki lays face down the ground, Mjolnir sitting squarely on his back while Thor smirks from a few feet away.

“I guess that means you’re up Thor,” Steve announces, stepping away from the wall he had been leaning against while the brothers fought. “Now, if you would be so kind…” He gestures down to Loki, indicating that Thor needs to let him up.

Loki climbs to his feet and makes a show of dusting himself off, all while scowling at his brother. Looking very much like a petulant child. Thor on the other hand is positively gloating over his win and Steve doesn’t like that one bit.

Thor steps close to his brother, speaking low enough that the Captain cannot over hear. “Do not forget this Loki. If you continue your games with the Captain, I will not go so easy on you next time.”

But Thor always seems to under estimate Steve’s enhanced abilities, including his hearing.

Thor is smiling brightly when he claps Loki on the back and turns to face Steve. “When did you wish to conduct our match?”

Steve flicks his eyes to Loki and then back to Thor, “just let me grab my shield and I’ll be right back. I have a feeling I’m going to need it for this.”

“Of course. I shall await your return.”

With a nod to Thor, Steve turns his attention to Loki. “Loki, why don’t you come up with me? I’d like to discuss some of my observations.” He turns and walks towards the elevator, certain that Loki will follow behind.

As soon as the doors slide shut Steve leans back against the side of the elevator car. “You let him win,” he states matter of factly, crossing his arms over his chest.

And that isn’t what Loki expected. He figured the Captain was going to lecture him on using his slimmer build, agility and speed to his advantage, but it would seem the Captain is much more observant than Loki gave him credit for.

“Captain, I….”

“You don’t need to tell me why. I just need to know that the two of you can be counted on to work together on missions.”

Loki inclines his head, “of course.”

Steve smiles, “good. I knew I could count on you.”

The elevator dings and the doors slide open, but before Loki can slip away the Captain reaches out and takes hold of the gods upper arm.

Loki looks down at where Steve is gripping him, “is there something else Captain?”

“Next time don’t hold back. I want to see everything you’ve got. And if you’re up for it, I’d like to take you on.”

Opening his mouth and closing it again, Loki is at a loss for words, as the Captain saunters past him out of the elevator. And oh that blush.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 3

 

Loki spends the next week casually running into Steve around the tower. Not just waiting for him in the common room, but venturing to other areas where the Captain is, with a little help from Jarvis.

In fact, the AI has just informed Loki that the Captain will be exiting the elevator on his way back from the coffee shop on the corner, in just a few moments.

He immediately heads to the elevator and pushes the down button, (it won’t do to have Steve think Loki was just standing there waiting for him).

As soon as the door opens, Loki steps in and runs directly into Steve. Literally. And the collision crushes the coffee cup in Steve’s hand, splashing the hot contents across his chest and then on to the floor.

Steve quickly grabs at the front of his T shirt and pulls it away from his skin and then pulls it off over his head, leaving him in just his jeans and shoes. And that is not the result Loki was expecting. But he is pleased with it, until he notices the way the skin on the Captain’s chest has already turned pink from the hot liquid.

On instinct, Loki reaches out and touches Steve’s chest, “I’m so sorry.” And he really is. “Here, let me heal it.”

Reaching up, Steve places his hand over Loki’s, but doesn’t pull it away. “No need. It was an accident. And it’ll heal up real quick, probably no more than an hour.”

“I feel terrible about this,” Loki tells him, meaning every word. Putting his little game aside, he never meant to actually hurt Steve.

And then the Captain does something that Loki cannot wrap his mind around. The man kneels down, bringing himself eye level to…… oh Norns….. and that blush….

Steve grabs his discarded shirt and uses it to mop up the spilt coffee. “Why don’t you buy me another coffee to make up for it then.” He picks up the crushed cup and then rises back to his feet with a smile.

“C’mon, lets go get me a clean shirt and then we can go.” Steve heads off in the direction of his room, leaving Loki to stare after him. And there is a lot to look at.

Shaking his head, Loki walks quickly to catch up to Steve and steps beside him, matching his stride. They don’t speak and Loki is furiously thinking of what he should do once he is inside the Captains room. He is so occupied with his thoughts, that he misses his brother coming down the hall towards them, until he hears his name.

“Loki!”

Damn. He sounds really mad this time. And of course he is. We are walking to Steve’s room and the man has no shirt on!

Before he can even say anything, Steve speaks up. “Oh! Hey Thor!” Steve says, all smiles. “I spilled my coffee and I asked Loki to go with me to get another one.”

Thor only narrows his eyes at his brother. “I’m going to grab a clean shirt and then we’ll be off.”

Please don’t ask to come. And please don't ask him to come. Loki pleads in his head.

“Did you want us to bring you something back?” Steve asks, still smiling.

Looking over at Steve, Thor’s eyebrows draw together. “Uh. No. Thank you,” he stammers, clearly unsure of what exactly is going on.

“Ok. If you change your mind, just send me a text.” And that’s it, Steve just continues down the hallway.

As soon as he is several steps away, Thor grabs Loki by the arm and backs him against the wall. “What did you do Loki?”

Before he can answer, Steve has reached his doorway and turns back. “C’mon Loki. Quit messing around.”

He still has a smile on his face, but it is decidedly less friendly now. And Thor must have picked up on it because he immediately lets go of Loki and heads down the hall towards the common room.

Loki follows Steve inside his room and tries to discretely look around. He has never been here and has to admit that he has often wondered what the Captains living quarters looked like. The space is clean, exceptionally so, but comes across as warm and comfortable with muted colors and large, oversized furniture. Its in stark contrast to Loki’s own room, with its sleek furniture and dark colors, but he finds that he quite likes it.

Steve disappears into the bedroom and comes back holding a towel in his hand, “do you mind if I take a quick shower? I feel a little sticky.”

And there is that blush. Except this time its on Loki.

“Go ahead. I can wait out in the common room.”

Steve pulls on the belt buckle on his pants, getting ready to remove his belt, “you can wait here. Make yourself at home. I’ll be right out.”

And then he is gone, shutting the door behind himself, leaving Loki alone. The god walks around the room looking at the artwork on the walls and reading the titles of the books on the shelves. True to his word, Steve is back out in only a few minutes dressed in a pair of jeans and a fresh shirt.

“Ready?” He asks, flashing a bright smile.

Loki gestures towards the door, “lead the way Captain.”

The coffee shop is a few blocks away, situated on a corner with tables on an outdoor patio, overlooking the busy street. It’s nice and Loki finds he enjoys the coffee, the atmosphere and the company.

Bringing his cup up to his lips, Loki speaks over the rim, “you weren’t exactly truthful with Thor earlier.”

Steve raises his eyebrows, adopting a look of innocence, “I wasn’t?”

“You told him that you spilled your coffee and asked me to come with you to get another one,” Loki explains.

The blonde shrugs and takes a sip of his drink. “Close enough. Is it an issue?”

“No, I just wondered is all.”

“Oh? Did you want him to come with us? Because I can call him?” Steve grins and takes another drink of his coffee.

Loki sits back and folds his arms across his chest with a huff.

That just earns another smile, “Yeah, I didn’t think so.”

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 4

 

The knock at his bedroom door surprises Loki. With the exception of Thor, no one comes to his room. But he knows Thor is currently off planet. Getting up from the chair where he had been reading, Loki opens the door and is pleased to see Steve standing there, leaning against the door frame, arms crossed over his chest and a broad smile on his face.

“You up for a spar?” He asks.

Loki smiles in return, “let me change into something appropriate.”

With a twitch of his hand, a light travels over his body and his lounging clothes are changed into the armor he usually wears when he goes out in the field with the Avengers. He steps out of the room, closes the door and sets off down the hallway.

In the elevator, Steve leans against the wall opposite Loki. And even though they both sneak little looks at one another, neither man speaks until they are in the training room, facing off.

“Alright, so, rules. No weapons, no magic. Just hand to hand,” Steve announces as he rolls his shoulders and shakes his hands out to start to loosen up.

“Hmmmm…” Loki hums noncommittally. “Are you worried you will lose if I am allowed the use of my seidr?”

“Not at all,” Steve responds as he spins and kicks Loki directly in the chest, causing him to fly backwards where his back impacts against the wall.

To the Captains surprise Loki does not appear to be angry at the attack and instead seems to be attempting to suppress a smile. That still doesn’t stop him from charging the blonde, grabbing him around the waist and slamming him into the ground. Steve quickly becomes very aware of the proximity of their bodies as Loki pins him down.

“Very good Loki, but you forgot one thing,” Steve grins up at him from the ground.

Loki only has enough time to raise a questioning eyebrow before Steve head butts him right in the forehead to topple him off. The god lays on the ground blinking up at the ceiling for a moment while the Captain climbs to his feet.

“Giving up so soon?” Steve taunts.

Loki grins in response and stands. This time it is the god who attacks first. The Captain is able to block a flurry of strikes in quick succession before swinging his fist out. He is surprised to make contact with Loki's jaw.

The god staggers back a few steps, hand coming up to his face as he shifts his jaw around. And then he grins. Loki punches Steve in the stomach and follows up with a kick to the chest that leaves the blonde on the ground. Wasting no time, Loki pounces on him.

Bucking up, the Captain tries to dislodge the god and when that doesn’t work, he shifts his leg, hooking it around both of Loki's, then heaves his body, causing them to roll, leaving Steve on top. Immediately the god rolls them a second time so he has the Captain trapped beneath him again. He holds Steve’s wrists to the floor on either side of his head, but the blonde does not fight back.

Loki searches Steve's blue eyes intently, gauging what his next move should be.

Steve’s tongue flicks out and brushes across his lips, wetting them tantalizingly. He strains to lift his head and shoulders off the mat, bringing himself closer. And then he smirks. “Do you yield?”

“Loki! Release the Captain immediately!” Thor bellows from behind them.

Loki winces and jerks his hands back as Steve groans, letting his head fall back with an audible thunk.

“We will continue this later,” Loki whispers as he gets up and turns to face his brother. “I wasn’t expecting you back so soon.”

“The All Father has sent word, we must talk.” Thor looks past Loki at his team leader, “Captain, would you mind allowing Loki and I to speak?”

Steve gets up off the floor, and dusts himself off, while trying to adjust himself discretely. Loki doesn’t fail to notice the movement though and he smirks, causing the Captain to blush furiously.

“I’ll catch up to you later,” he tells Loki, as he walks past the god, running his hand over his arm as he goes. “Thor, its good to have you back.”

The brothers watch Steve leave and then Loki turns on Thor, “out with it Thor.”

“I have warned you about toying with the Captain. Do not continue to test me, Loki. I will return you to Asgard.”

“The All Father has not said I can go back to Asgard. It is not safe,” Loki answers, hoping that he is correct.

“He is very close to reaching an agreement to satisfy the Light Elves. When he does, if you wish to remain on Midgard, it will be on my recommendation.”

And that angers the younger god, “am I to have no say in where I end up?”

“You forfeited your choice Loki! You play with people as thought they are toys and this is a dangerous game. I will not stand by and allow it to continue.”

Loki doesn’t say anything else. What can he say? He just pushes past Thor and heads out of the training room. Out in the hallway, Steve is waiting for him, a look of concern on his face, “is everything okay?”

Steve’s eyes shift behind Loki and he doesn’t have to say anything for Loki to know Thor is standing there. He gathers his magic around himself and disappears.

The corners of Steve’s mouth turn down and he glares at Thor before yanking the door to the stairwell open so hard the hinges creak. The door bangs closed behind him as he takes the stairs two at a time up to his room. All thirty four floors of them.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 5

 

There is no other way to say it, but the last week sucked. The team had been called out of the country to help with a situation in Germany and in the process, Steve had broken three ribs. But more than that, he had not been able to spend any time with Loki. He wanted to talk to the god about the continued issue between he and Thor, but never seemed to be able to catch him alone.

But tonight the entire team is back and they are planning another movie night. Steve makes a bowl of popcorn, grabs two drinks and gingerly sits on the loveseat, mindful of his still sore ribs. He waits as the rest of the team trickles in and take their seats. Loki is the last to arrive, with Thor, again. It seems as though every time Steve tries to get Loki alone, Thor is nearby lately.

Tonight though, tonight is movie night and Steve figures he can get in a little something sitting so close in the dark. And there is definitely not room on the loveseat for Thor to sit with them. There is barely enough room for he and Loki, and Steve likes it just fine that way.

The dark haired god looks at Steve, who sits up a little taller and smiles brightly. He tilts his head towards the popcorn and drinks. And then his smile falls when Loki sits on a chair across the room from him. That leaves Thor with no where to sit, except right next to Steve.

The blonde god lowers himself down onto the love seat, his thigh pressing against Steve’s in the tight space. And that’s it. The Captain cannot take anymore. He gets up and walks back to his room with out a word. Sitting in his chair, Loki wants to follow after him, but a stern look from Thor keeps him there.

 

Two miserable weeks later, Thor is called back to Asgard and Steve knows this is his chance. He catches Loki in the common room a few times. At first the god keeps his distance, but he eventually warms back up. Its nothing like what they had before and that is disappointing, but Steve isn’t willing to give up. Not yet. Not on Loki.

There are smiles, but not as wide. Touches, but not as lingering. There is conversation, but without the thrill that it had before. Steve tries to draw Loki back into the little game they had been playing. He tries to be patient. Right up until he is pulled aside by a diminutive, but very frightening red head.

“So what happened?” Natasha asks, looking pointedly across the room into the kitchen where Loki is staring into the refrigerator.

“Uh….what do you mean?” Steve tries to act casual, but his eyes immediately go to Loki and he has a hard time keeping them away.

Natasha laughs softly and rises from the couch, pulling Steve up with her, “c’mon, lets go get some air.”

She leads him outside to the balcony where she leans against the railing, looking back into the common room through the floor to ceiling glass.

“We were all pretty sure you and Loki were a thing, so what happened?”

Steve can feel his cheeks burn and he looks away in embarrassment.

“You know its ok right?”

He looks at her, eyebrows drawn together in question.

“To be gay. Things have changed,” she elaborates.

Raising a hand to the back of his neck, Steve tries to smile. “Technically I’m bisexual and that’s not the issue.”

“Then what is it?”

The Captain sighs and looks through the glass at Loki, who takes a bottle of water and walks back into the common area.

“I get the feeling Thor doesn’t like the idea of Loki and I together. And I’m not sure why.”

“Have you asked?”

Steve just shoots her a look.

“How does Loki feel about it?”

Shrugging his shoulders, Steve responds, “I don’t really know. Since Thor’s been gone, it seems like its getting better again. Slowly,” he emphasizes.

They are quiet for a few minutes. Natasha quietly watching Steve as he watches Loki.

The corner of her mouth quirks up slightly when she says, “so what are you going to do about that?”

 

A few days later they have just destroyed the last of a dozen Doom Bots when Steve approaches Loki.

“I want you to see something and give me your opinion,” he says, leading Loki around a corner.

As soon as they are alone, the Captain crowds Loki against the wall and kisses him, hard and fierce. Not soft and tender as he imagines, when he is alone in his room at night. There will be time for that later. At least he hopes there will be. When he pulls back, Loki’s eyes are wide open in shock.

And then he is kissing Steve back, pulling him close so their bodies are lined up against one another, with only the wall at Loki’s back supporting them. When they finally break apart, Steve rests his forehead against Loki’s while trying to slow down his breathing.

Loki pulls in a deep breath and swallows hard. Because this is bad. All bad. “What brought this on Captain?”

“Its been a while, since we’ve……….talked. I thought you may have lost interest,” Steve tells him.

And he’s grinning. Actually grinning. Is he crazy? The rest of the team is just around the corner and could catch them. Thor could return at any time. Is he…… and Loki’s brain short circuits because Steve is kissing him again.

This time his lips part and his tongue swipes out. Loki’s own mouth opens in a gasp and Steve takes advantage of it. When he finally releases Loki’s lips, the god is dazed and he is leaning heavily against the wall for support.

“No. Captain. I have definitely not lost interest,” Loki pants.

And then, Steve stops and pulls back. Loki has just enough time to catch a glimpse of a smirk and that incredible blush before the Captain discretely adjusts the front of his uniform pants and then calmly walks away.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 6

 

The next four days are glorious as far as Steve is concerned and he can't remember ever having so much fun.

Catching Loki in the stairwell, leaning in with one arm braced on the wall by Loki's head, denying the touch of lips on lips that they both so desperately want. Surprising him with stolen kisses in the kitchen while the rest of the team sit obliviously in the common room. Learning that the god likes it when Steve threads his fingers into the hair at the nape of his neck and pulls. Figuring out how to hide bite marks just a little too high up on his neck. Loki realizing that he can cause Steve to shiver just by running his finger tips over the back of his neck. And then proceeding to discover just how often and how subtly he can get away with it in front of the others. And the sparring. Oh God. The sparring. Followed by Steve foregoing the cold shower he contemplates to alleviate his arousal, in favor of a hot one and a release of built up tension.

And then, just as quickly as it started, it all comes to an end with the crash of thunder and a flash of lightening. Loki almost trips with how quickly he jumps away from Steve and practically runs into the kitchen. They hadn't even been doing anything. Just watching a documentary. And while they were sandwiched together unnecessarily close on the loveseat, they were keeping their hands to themselves. Mostly. If you didn't count the long fingers trailing over Steve's neck, keeping him in a constant flux between shivering and over heating.

Natasha strides into the room at a much faster pace then is her usual, takes one look at the two of them, and drops down on the loveseat next to Steve. Turning sideways, she drapes her legs over his lap and Steve hisses at the contact, looking at her confusedly just as the elevator doors slide open. She raises an eyebrow and looks down at his crotch in explanation.

And okay yeah, she has a point. It would be very unfortunate if Thor were to see the blush on his face that runs down his neck, combined with the tenting in his pants while Loki is in the room.

When the blonde god does enter the common area, his eyes dart between Loki, who is now rummaging through the refrigerator and Steve and Natasha on the love seat. None of them miss the change in his expression that shifts from suspicious anticipation to obvious relief. And that, above all else, disappoints Steve to no end.

 

A week goes by and Steve spends considerably more time with Natasha than he does Loki. He can't say that he hates it. He counts her as one of his closest friends, truthfully, one of his only friends. And while her playful and undoubtedly pretend flirtatiousness does throw Thor off his scent, it leaves Steve with a sense of uncomfortable disappointment each night when he goes to bed without being able to steal even a single moment with Loki.

 

He is finally able to catch Loki by himself in Washington D.C. after being called in to assist with an attack on a shipping yard. While not normally something the Avengers would be involved in, this group quickly overwhelmed the local authorities with fire power and weapons of such advanced technology that S.H.I.E.L.D. could not help but take notice.

The Captain grabs Loki by the arm and pulls him down behind an overturned shipping container for cover. The fighting has wound down around them and Steve points to the comm unit in his ear. He then places a finger in front of his lips before flashing a smile so mischievous, Loki doubts he could do any better himself. And then his lips are over the god’s and his hand is pressed over the front of his leather pants.

In their comm units, they can both hear the rest of the team calling out their positions and status. Breaking the kiss, Steve proceeds to tell his team his precise location. All while his hand moves in a rhythmic motion over the front of Loki’s pants.

“What is your status Captain?” Thor asks

And Steve grins, “I’ve got my hands full at the moment, but I should have everything handled here pretty quick.”

“Do you require assistance?”

And his grin just gets wider. “No. I’ve got this. Maybe you should check in with Loki and see if he needs any help.”

And oh how Loki hates Steve Rogers right now. But he wouldn’t give this up for all the power in all the realms, even as he is forced to grit his teeth when he hears his brothers voice again.

“Loki, what is your status?”

The Captain just keeps on smiling and keeps on rubbing his hand over Loki’s arousal. “Quite bored actually.” He shoots a glare at Steve who opens his eyes wide in mock hurt at the insult. He has also by now, started worrying at the laces on the front of the god’s pants. “As a matter of fact, I feel my talents are being wasted here and will be returning to the Tower shortly where I shall indulge in a shower and then a nap.”

“Probably a little more detail than we need to know Loki,” Natasha quips. “Thor, can you give me some help over by the crane? I need some muscle over here.”

“Certainly, Lady Natasha.”

Loki reaches up and deactivates his comm unit before speaking, “I will get you back for this.”

Steve stays silent, mindful of his still open comm, but he does quirk an eyebrow in challenge before snaking one hand in to the front of Loki’s now open pants.

“You better intend to finish me Captain,” Loki growls as Steve works his flesh. “Do not leave me wanting.”

And then all he can do is try to breathe while he focuses on those beautiful blue eyes and the warm hand on his flesh. When it hits him, he lunges forward, suppressing his cry with his lips pressed to Steve’s.

He doesn’t have time to savor the feeling, or the self satisfied smile on Steve’s face, the deep blush that spreads down below the collar of his uniform or the way the blonde casually wipes his hand across the thigh of his own pants, before he hears it. Boots crunching on gravel and the one voice calling out that he most certainly does not want to hear right now. Loki gathers his magic and with a final kiss, he vanishes, fully intending on having that shower and nap back at the Tower. But not before he spends some time contemplating how the Captain is beating him at his own game.

“Captain? Are you sure you do not require assistance?” Thor calls out as he rounds the corner of the shipping container.

Steve tries his best not to sigh, as he responds, “I’m good. Handled everything myself.”

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 7

Steve can’t decide if the days where he and Loki are able to have a few minutes together are better or worse than the days when they cannot. Today he is leaning towards the ten minutes they had as being worse. While grinding against each other in the kitchen had felt amazing, Steve is now left with a very persistent problem.

He had been so close, he wanted to scream in frustration when Loki stopped and vanished, leaving him with a red face, disheveled hair and a very obvious, and very visible through his pajama pants, erection. Standing in the kitchen behind the large center island, Steve waited to see who was coming, but after a few minutes he was still alone and had to wonder if Loki left him that way on purpose.

At first, he had been irritated at the idea, but then he realized, if Loki actually did that on purpose, it would be just another move in this game they are playing. Although, not a very nice one.

For now though, he is alone in his room, so hard it borders on painful. He quickly sheds his clothes, pulls out the bottle of lubricant that has taken up residence in his bed side drawer and takes himself in hand. He thinks about how it felt to have the contours of Loki’s body pressed against his own, moving frantically, driving towards completion. He thinks about the moment that Loki pulled away and Steve’s hand stops as his mind supplies the image of the god leaning back in and kissing him tenderly.

This little forbidden fantasy he keeps to himself, only bringing it out at night. And he never tries to bring it to life when he and Loki are together. For all that his body loves every frustrating second of what they have now, Steve’s heart is a different story.

His hand starts to move again, at a much slower pace than before. He brings himself over the edge thinking about jet black hair fanned out over soft white sheets, about long fingered hands running delicately over his skin, about movements, loving and gentle and pleasure so sweet it takes his breath away. And then he tucks that little dream away for another night.

 

Or at least he thinks he does. Until he finds himself sitting across from Natasha on her bed, while they chat and she flips through his sketch book.

In turns, her expression flickers between sadness, frustration, confusion and amusement. Steve has no doubt that she is purposefully telegraphing her reactions for his benefit and he appreciates the gesture. And then she gets to the last several pages where her expression goes blank and unreadable.

“Hmmmm,” she hums as she flips back and forth between the pages, even turning further back in the book to drawings that are months old, clearly from before this thing with Steve and Loki started.

“So…… when did this happen?” she asks, eyes alternating between Steve’s own blue ones and the images of Loki in the sketch book.

For a moment, he thinks about denying it, about trying to laugh off her suggestion as ridiculous, but she is too good at reading people and he is not that good of a liar. And so he doesn’t. He tells her about his silly fantasies and of all the things he likes about the god. When he finally stops talking he knows, if the sketches hadn’t already convinced her, then his words and the stupid expression on his face would have.

He braces himself for the expected lecture, or worse, the teasing as he is told that he is old fashioned and not cut out to do casual. Even though it irritates him on some level, he can’t deny the truth of it. But it doesn’t come and Steve feels bad for doubting his friend. Instead, she carefully closes the sketch book, setting it aside and pulls him into her arms, hugging him briefly but fiercely.

Then, she enlists the help of one billionaire, Playboy, philanthropist, Tony stark. And if he wasn't already heavily drowning in his feelings for Loki, he could kiss her.

 

"Steve, you didn't forget about the tour of the Captain America Smithsonian exhibit that you promised me did you?"

She smiles brightly at him, hoping he catches on as her eyes dart surreptitiously to the dark haired god entering the common area with Thor.

"Uh, no, I didn't forget. I was just waiting on you."

As they head for the elevator she links her arm through his. "I made us lunch reservations, I hope you didn't have anything else planned for today."

"No, actually, I didn't."

When the elevator doors slide shut and they start to descend, Natasha pulls her arm back and reaches into the pocket of her lightweight jacket.

She hands him a key and a piece of paper with an address.

"What's this?"

"I thought you might want some time alone."

"Oh."

"With Loki," she adds with a mischievous smile.

And with the way Steve's face lights up, she doesn't regret deceiving Thor one bit.

"So I take it there is no trip to the Smithsonian and no lunch reservation?"

Natasha laughs and bumps her shoulder against his arm, "if you want to spend your limited time with Loki at the Smithsonian I'm not here to judge, but you're on your own for lunch. I may be willing to help you make time with your boyfriend, but I draw the line at feeding you."

As the elevator dings and the doors slide open on the garage level, the Captain pulls her in for a hug, whispering, "thank you," in her ear.

They part ways, she in one of Stark's extremely pretentious and spectacularly expensive cars and he on his motorcycle wondering if Loki really is his boyfriend. By the time he gets to the address and makes his way inside the apartment, he has decided that he would really like for that to be true.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 8

 

There is yet another cooking show on the TV and Loki is close to gouging out his own eyes from boredom. And then he is saved by a voice from above. Or more precisely, Jarvis.

“Sir requests the assistance of, and I quote, ‘Rock of Ages,’ in his workshop.”

Loki is so relieved he doesn’t even comment on the irritating nick name. “Tell Stark I shall be right there,” he replies and then heads for the elevator.

As soon as he steps foot in the work shop, Loki is greeted by one of Tony’s robots. It looks like an arm, but acts more like a pet dog. In previous encounters, Loki has learned that the robot is harmless but clumsy.

“Lokes! There you are,” Tony greets from behind one of his armored Iron Man suits.

“Yes. Here I am,” he answers wryly. “Jarvis said you required my assistance?”

Tony walks over to where Loki is standing, “well not so much that, but I do have something that is going to make you pledge your undying devotion to me forever.” Looking around the workshop, Tony calls out for his robot, “Dum-E! Where is that address?”

Dum-E trundles close to his creator and tilts his head to the side and down with a little shake. Loki gets the distinct impression that the robot is sad, or at least it would be, if it had emotions.

“Did you lose it?” Tony asks and when the robot nods his head, or is it a hand, Tony tells it, “I asked you to do one thing. Now how is Loki supposed to meet his booty call?” He points to the far end of the shop, “go stand in the corner and think about what you’ve done.”

“Sir, I have taken the liberty of sending the address to Mr. Odinson’s phone,” Jarvis cuts in.

Tony quirks up the corner of his mouth, “oh well, problem solved then.” He looks back at Dum-E, who has stopped heading towards the corner. “You’re still in trouble.”

“Stark!” Loki snaps to get the man’s attention.

Turning back to the god, Tony grins, “so on your phone, is the address of the current location of your favorite boy toy. And you get to have unfettered access to him for at least a couple of hours.”

Loki pulls his phone out and confirms that there is indeed an address in his messages. And its not terribly far. Without looking up he asks, “and what if my brother comes looking for me?”

The Iron Man suit Tony had been working on turns its head and in Loki’s own voice says, “you will be here the entire time, helping Mr. Stark test out some of the updated systems on his latest armor design.”

Looking the armor over, Loki has to admit that it is a pretty good idea, except one thing, “Thor is sure to notice that I am not that short or…… stocky.” He grins when he says this, knowing that it will irritate Tony.

“You know what? Since I know you’re just anxious to see Capscicle, I’m going to let that go. But not before I remind you that you are, in fact, a shape shifter and would fit in any armor I made.”

Of course. The plan is simple and Loki has to admire Tony’s thinking. He nods his thanks, looks at the address one last time and vanishes.

 

Steve is sitting on the couch, nervously wringing his hands, when Loki knocks on the front door. He practically jumps up and has to stop himself from jerking the door open. Stepping back to let the god inside, he smiles shyly. And then…….nothing.

All these weeks of stolen moments, playful teasing, intense rushes of feeling, brief pleasurable encounters and now here they are. Face to face with no one just around the corner. No older brother to hide from. The are not caught up in the moment. There is no heady rush. No urgency. No games to play.

Just the two of them. And it pleases Steve and terrifies him all at the same time.

“Hey,” he says. And then immediately wants to kick himself for being so awkward. Its not like they haven’t talked before, not as much as he would have liked, but still. And lord knows they have done more than that on several occasions now. Not two weeks ago Loki had Steve pressed up against the wall in the common area restroom, working him to orgasm with quick, rough strokes while Steve sucked dark purple marks into the gods bared shoulder to keep from being overheard by Clint and Natasha. And it was amazing, exhilarating, intense.

This though, this is entirely different. Worlds apart from what they have experienced before. Loki looks at him with one eyebrow quirked up in question and Steve decides to just go for it.

He steps forward and leans in, gently caressing Loki’s lips with his own, the way he imagines when he is alone in his room at night. Immediately Loki tries to press closer, to speed things up. But Steve brings his hands up, one to curl in the gods hair, the other to cup the side of his face. He parts his lips and allows his tongue to slip out just enough to gently seek entrance into Loki’s mouth.

The god responds and Steve can feel him relax, allowing the blonde to set the pace. It is everything Steve imagined, everything he hoped for. And he is painfully aroused because of it. Slowly, he starts to walk backwards towards the bedroom, drawing Loki along with him.

As soon as they cross the thresh hold, Loki stops, raising his hand to create some space between them. Looking in to his eyes, Steve can see many of his own emotions reflected back at him, but for Loki, fear and uncertainty are the most prominent.

“I'm sorry. It doesn’t have to be like this,” Steve stammers, instantly regretting trying to change things between them. “What we have, its good…. Its great. It doesn’t have to change.” He is on the verge of just pouncing on Loki and ripping his clothes off to bring back the dynamic they are both more familiar with. Anything to not lose what they have, despite his desire for more.

But then Loki stops him. In the best way imaginable. By kissing him softly. “Is this what you desire?” He looks back over Steve’s shoulder at the bed.

Steve realizes this is it. This is the line that up until now he has not crossed. Not with anyone else. He doesn’t even have to think about it. “Yes.”

And then they are crashing together. Not with the urgency of possible discovery, not with the illicitness of their secret encounters. But with a passion that has grown beyond the mere physical and into something wild and desperate and emotional all at once. Steve is lost to it and that’s okay because he is not alone.

The bed is comfortable beneath them, the sheets soft against bare skin as Steve brings out his little fantasy and gives it life.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 9

 

Tony is contentedly working away in his shop when the overhead lights flicker and dim for just a moment. He looks up and grabs his Stark Pad.

“Jarvis, run a diagnostic on the power systems, find out what that was.”

“I don’t believe that will be necessary. There are guests on the roof of the tower. Based upon their dress and means of arrival, it is safe to assume they are Asgardian.”

Casting a quick look at the armor that Loki is supposed to be in, Tony grumbles, “I know I’ve told Point Break not to use my tower as a bifrost landing zone.”

He stops to think for a minute, looking back at the armor, “is Thor aware they are here?”

“Thor is already on his way up to the roof.”

“Okay. Maybe its nothing, just a friendly visit. Keep me updated on what they’re doing.”

“Of course.”

Picking up his phone, Tony calls Loki. It rings several times before going to voicemail. “You should call me back. Or better yet, just get your ass back over here. We have visitors from Asgard.”

He hangs up and then tries Steve’s phone with the same result. Then he calls Natasha. She picks up on the second ring.

“Whats up?”

“Some Asgardians just arrived and we need to get Loki back here before Thor figures out that he’s gone.”

“I’m assuming you tried calling him?”

“I’m not even going to dignify that with a response,” he pouts. And then adds, “I left a voicemail for both him and Steve and texted.”

“I’ll head over to the apartment, but I’m about twenty minutes out. How long can you stall them?”

“Thor was just on his way up to the roof, so he-“

“Actually Sir,” Jarvis cuts in, “it would appear Mr. Odinson is now heading to the shop level.”

Tony grimaces, “damn.”

“Try to stall them, I’ll get to Loki as quickly as I can,” Natasha tells him before ending the call.

“How long until they get here J?”

The elevator dings and the door slides open as Jarvis announces, “Mr. Odinson and guests have arrived on the shop level.”

“Thanks,” Tony retorts before pasting a smile on his face and walking over to greet the new arrivals.

“Are you starting a boy band?” he jokes.

By now Thor has learned to ignore most of what Tony says and does so this time as well.

“We are here for Loki. It is time for him to return to Asgard.” He looks around the shop, but doesn’t see his brother. “Where is he?”

“Well, that’s a good question.” Tony glances at his watch, its only been a few minutes and so using the suit of armor to pretend to be Loki is not going to work. “He was here helping me with my armor, but he left just a little while ago.”

Thor’s eyebrows draw together, “Oh? Did he say where he was going?”

“No. Not that I can recall,” Tony responds, being purposely vague.

“So you do not know where my brother is?”

Helping Loki sneak out is one thing, but Tony doesn’t want to blatantly lie to Thor’s face so he does the only thing he can. He changes the subject. “So who’re your friends?” He gestures to the Asgardians as he talks.

Tony can hear the suspicion in Thor’s voice when he answers, “this is Volstagg and this is Fandral. Both of Asgard,” he adds unnecessarily.

And then he looks at the ceiling as he often does when addressing Tony’s AI. “Jarvis can you tell me Loki’s location?”

“The younger Mr. Odinson is not currently located within the tower,” the AI answers.

Thor shoots a glare at Tony, “where is he?”

“My sensors do not extend beyond the immediate perimeter of the building, I am afraid,” Jarvis responds and Tony feels a moment of pride at the way the AI dodges the question with out actually lying.

“Stark, tell me where my brother is. He must return to Asgard.”

Tony can see how angry Thor is getting and takes a moment to weigh his options. He can keep stalling, or…

“I can ask Heimdall to take me too him, but it would be in your best interest to tell me yourself.”

And he knows the game is up. The best he can hope for now is damage control. “Okay, I’ll take you too him.”

As soon as Tony is suited up and in the air he tells Jarvis, “keep trying both their phones and update Natasha.”

 

Tony sets down outside the apartment with Thor right on his heels. The Asgardians had been left at the Tower with Clint to entertain them.

Inside, Steve has his head pillowed on Loki’s chest, both of them deeply asleep. But they jerk awake as soon as the apartment door is thrown open and Thor yells for the dark haired god. There is no time to grab for clothes, no time to dress, no time to hide the smattering of bite marks across Steve’s chest and neck. There is no time to deny what has happened between the two men. There is barely enough time to grab the sheet and pull it over both of their laps, covering their bare bodies.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 10

 

“I am sorry for what ever happens,” Loki says quietly, causing Steve to look at him in concern.

“Don’t be. I know I’m not.”

Loki nods and reaches over to squeeze the Captains hand. He releases it quickly as Thor bursts in the room, with Tony right behind him.

As soon as his eyes land on Steve, Thor’s face contorts in rage, “I told you not to do this Loki.”

“Thor, he isn’t the only one responsible here,” Steve tells him, using his Captain’s voice. It does draw the blonde gods attention, but has no effect on quelling his anger.

“Captain, you know not what he has done.”

“I know what I need to know,” Steve snaps in irritation. He has just shared the most intimate experience of his life and he had just wanted to wake up next to Loki and maybe even repeat the cycle of events that had so thoroughly and pleasantly exhausted them both.

Crossing his arms over his chest, Thor looks between Loki and Steve, “did he tell you why he was sent to Midgard?”

“Thor please don’t do this,” Loki pleads.

He ignores Loki and looks directly at Steve, “so he has not,” he concludes.

“Thor….” Loki tries again.

“Loki was sent to Alfheim as a representative of Asgard. He was to attend a union of marriage between two warring factions. The marriage would have solidified a treaty, bringing an end to a thousand years of blood shed.”

Steve looks at Loki as Thor is talking and the dark haired god looks absolutely miserable. He won’t meet his gaze and Steve knows in his gut that what ever Thor is going to say next will not be good.

“Loki worked his way into the brides graces. On the eave of the marriage, she called off the union. It seems Loki seduced her and took her maidenhood, making her unsuitable for the union. The treaty fell apart and amidst the ensuing battle, Loki escaped back to Asgard. But the leaders of both clans have called for his return to be judged for his interference. It was only the All Father’s intervention that forestalled it. He was sent here, under my watch, while the All Father negotiated with the Elves.”

Thor turns his attention to Loki, “I asked you, pleaded with you, not to do the same to Steven. It is unconscionable for you to do this to him, especially after the damage you have wrought on Alfheim. You are selfish and play with people’s lives as though they are toys.”

Steve’s chest feels tight as his stomach flips. Loki seduced that girl and took her maidenhood. And here he sits in bed with the man, after having giving him his own body. He feels like he is going to be sick, but he pushes it down, not wanting to add to his shame by walking naked to the bathroom in front of Thor and Tony and Natasha, apparently, he notes when he looks over Thor’s shoulder.

“Is this why you are here? To ruin this for me? Or is there some other reason?” Loki hisses.

“The All Father has reached an agreement with the Light Elves. I have been instructed to return you to Asgard.”

And there it is. Back to Asgard.

Loki pulls the blanket away from his lap as a light travels over his body and he stands covered in his leather and armor. Then he walks out the door without looking back at Steve.

Thor steps out of the way and allows him to pass. "I am sorry Steven. I tried to avoid this. I had hoped Loki would behave honorably amongst my friends. It is most unfortunate that he chose to use you in this manner."

There is only one thing that Steve can say to that. "Get out."

"Yeah, I think I'll go too,” Tony announces and then follows after Thor.

Natasha, however, stays. She comes in the room and shuts the door behind herself. Then picks up Steve's clothes from the floor, gently tossing them on his lap.

Steve grabs his boxers and puts them on under the sheet as Natasha sits on the bed next to him.

"What do you want to do?"

"You mean other than curl up into a ball and die?"

The corner of Natasha's mouth lifts up, "I meant after that. Do you want to go back to the tower? Or you can stay here if you need some time. I can order up some food if you're hungry."

God is he hungry. And how embarrassing is that. I spent the afternoon having sex with someone who tricked me into bed and now I could really go for a pizza.

And of course his stomach chooses that moment to growl.

"I'll order some food. Do you want me to stay or go? We can talk about it if you want."

Steve has to think that over, "stay, but I’m not ready to talk about it."

"Ok. What ever you need." She reaches over and ruffles his hair before going back out into the living room to place her food order and to give Steve a few minutes of privacy. Because based on the red, watery look of his eyes, he could use it.

 

When the brothers are on the sidewalk outside, Thor wraps his arm around Loki's waist and pulls Mjolnir from his belt. Loki pushes away from him, snapping " I am perfectly capable of getting back to the tower on my own."

"Loki....."

But then he is gone.

"Jarvis, did Loki go back to the tower?" Tony asks his AI.

"Mr. Odinson has just appeared and is currently located within his room."


It doesn't take long for the knock to come on Loki's door. He had been expecting it. What he didn't expect was to see Volstagg and Fandral standing in the hallway behind his brother. Or to see Tony behind them. Loki scowls at Tony, expressing his displeasure with being betrayed by the man. And Thor sees it.

"Do not be angry with Tony Stark. You should not have coerced him into helping with your scheme."

"Wait a minute," Tony cuts in. "Loki didn't coerce anyone. And that includes Steve."

“When are we to leave?” Loki interjects, already exhausted from the conversation.

“As soon as you can gather your things,” Thor tells him.

Loki’s stomach twists painfully. While he wouldn’t go so far as to say he loves life in the Tower, he has grown fond of most of the Avengers. And the Captain. Steve….

“There is nothing here that I need. We can leave now.”

As soon as the Asgardians are gone Tony picks up his phone, placing a call. "How's he doing?"

"Like he just lost his boyfriend."

“They took him back to Asgard.”

“Ok. I think we're gonna stay here for a little while.”

“Take as long as you need,” Tony tells her. Allowing Steve to stay at one of Stark's Industries apartments is the least he can do. And it does nothing to alleviate the tightness in his stomach. “Natasha, tell him I'm sorry.”

“He knows.”

 

Steve spends the next week at the apartment, not quite ready to face the rest of the team. He feels foolish and embarrassed for being taken in the way that he was. He also misses Loki terribly and hates that he can't get the god off his mind.

On the 8th night, Steve is sitting against the headboard, knees drawn up, clutching a pillow to his chest when Loki appears just a few feet away. At first Steve doesn't react, fairly certain his tired mind has just decided to taunt him now. But when the god sits in the bed next to him and gently pries the pillow from the blondes hands, he understands that this is real.

He is torn between kissing Loki and punching him. He does neither, instead choosing to glare and snatch his pillow back.

"Captain...." Loki starts and then trails off, not sure of how to continue. In his head he had rehearsed what he was going to say over and over until he felt like he could deliver the lies with ease. And what a joke that is. He is the god of lies. Except when it comes to this man. And so he doesn't.

"Please hear me out.”

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 11

 

Steve tries to keep glaring, but the wretched look on Loki’s face makes it hard. That doesn’t stop him from snapping at him, “why are you even here? You got what you wanted from me.”

Loki takes a beath to compose his thoughts. He wants Steve to believe him. He desperately needs Steve to believe him.

“You're right. I did get what I wanted from you.”

He watches Steve's expression crumble. Changing from indignation and anger before settling on a mix of disappointment and sadness. And Loki hates it.

“But if I was only playing with you, if this was only a game then why would I risk coming back? It wasn't just about sex or a conquest. I wanted more. Perhaps I went about it in the wrong way, but I cannot regret a single moment that we had together. None more so than last week.” He pauses as his gaze shifts and becomes unfocused. 

“I don’t have much time,” he tells Steve as he turns back to him.

“How are you even here?”

Loki smiles softly, “I am able to travel great distances through the secret paths with the use of my seidr. And a little help from Heimdall,” he adds, lips twisting into something more mischievous, more reminiscent of what Steve is used to from him.

And that’s interesting. Steve knows who Heimdall is. Loki and Thor both have told him many stories of the great All Seer. “Why is he helping you?”

“He see’s all. Or at least most,” Loki says with a wry smile. “He knows the truth of what happened on Alfheim.”

And that causes Steve’s heart rate to speed up. If Heimdall knows what happened and is willing to help Loki come see Steve, then….. then….. what?

“Tell me. Tell me what happened.”

Loki takes Steve’s hand, holding it between his own and brings it to his lips, pressing a soft kiss to his knuckles. The blonde can’t help the way his stomach clenches pleasantly at the contact.

“Most of what Thor told you was true,” Loki begins. And he can feel Steve flinch beside him. “I did work my way into the brides graces. Her name is Elerin. A lovely young girl, born to the most prominent family in her clan. She was kind and shy and very, very frightened. Her betrothed, Samr was a much older man. Many times her senior with great grandchildren twice her age. He had been married four times previously and rumor was that none of his former wives still lived.

“Samr is an elder leader for his clan, the leader of their warriors. He demanded the girl with the promise of ending the war and her family agreed. Their clan was dwindling, entire families wiped out in the fighting. They did what they thought was best for the greater good. But the idea, the thought of using a child to barter a treaty…… she was so young….. I was sympathetic to her situation. It was only hours prior to the union that I learned she told her betrothed and her family that I had seduced her. In the chaos that followed, she disappeared and no one has seen her since.

“Elerin was desperate and scared and I knew to expose her lie would mean her death or see her forced into the marriage once she was found. And so I did not deny it. I returned home with the intention of seeking the All Fathers intervention, but the clan leaders arrived to present their grievance against me before I was able to and I was sent here while Odin negotiated with them.

“The decision was made that I must locate Elerin and turn her over to Samr and then I am to be imprisoned for a term of no less than five years. Fail to bring her back and I will spend the next twenty years in an Alfheim prison.”

Loki seems less upset over the prison sentence than he does over finding Elerin and turning her over to Samr. And Steve has to ask about that.

The god responds with a smile, “I am technically under guard even now and yet, here I am.” His smile falls and his gaze goes unfocused again, as he continues, “I am being sent to Alfheim in the morning.”

“Then take me back with you,” Steve blurts out, cheeks pinking in embarrassment as soon as the words leave his mouth.

“What?”

“Take me with you.” This time the words are said with more care, more thought, but with no less conviction.

“I cannot,” Loki responds with a dismissive shake of his head.

“You can't? Or won't?”

“I am being taken to Alfheim in the morning. How would I explain when you suddenly appear in my room?”

Steve just looks at him with a combination of puppy eyes and wild determination. And Loki has to admit, those eyes make him weak. But still he tries to fight it.

“I cannot carry someone with me through the secret paths.”

“So ask Heimdall to bring me on the bifrost. You said yourself he knows everything. Would he deny you this, knowing that you are innocent?”

Steve wants desperately to go with Loki to have just a little more time. And having Heimdall bring him over the bifrost will give him a chance to confirm Loki's account of events. Its not that he doesn't trust the god, he desperately wants to, but he also cannot allow himself to fall any farther for him without being sure. Of course, he knows he is really just fooling himself. He was done for, the moment Loki came back.

“Captain…. Steve… I came to say goodbye. And to explain myself. I didn’t want you to look back on our time together with regret. Because I know I never will.” He gazes at nothing again and when he looks at Steve, he tells him reluctantly, “I am out of time.”

Then Loki is kissing him, slowly and with all the desperation and heartache of what they are about to lose. Steve kisses Loki back with the promise of a future, with love and with hope. And then he is gone, leaving Steve as alone as he was before. But not for long.

“Captain Rogers.”

Steve almost falls off the bed, he jumps so hard. Once he has coaxed his heart back out of his throat, he takes a moment to look at the tall regal woman standing at the foot of his bed. She has long chestnut hair with the sides drawn back, held in place by a series of intricate clips. Her muted blue dress flows around her, topped with a corset like piece of chest armor. She is lovely and Steve somehow finds he feels very much at peace even with this stranger in his room.

“It would seem that my son is not only too noble, but also too foolish for his own good.”

“Your son?” Steve questions and then it clicks into place. “Loki?”

“Indeed. I am Frigga of Asgard.”

Steve wants to jump up out of politeness, but he is very aware that he is only wearing his boxer shorts and so he remains on the bed. “Ma’am,” he greets, tilting his head slightly.

“If you wish to come to Asgard, I suggest you gather some belongings. And maybe put on something warmer.” She smiles and Steve knows just where Loki gets his mischievousness from. “When you are ready, please meet me on the roof.”

Before he can even say anything, she is gone. Steve jumps out of bed and grabs his phone. He calls Natasha and gives her the shortest version of the story possible, while he throws on a set of clean clothes and packs a small bag.

He locks up and takes the stairs two at a time up to the roof. When he approaches, Frigga turns and smiles, holding out her hand for him to take. And then he is enveloped in a blinding light before stumbling back to his feet in a daze.

“Thank you Heimdall,” the Queen says and Steve looks up into the face of an impossibly imposing dark skinned man.

“Welcome to Asgard, Captain Rogers.”

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 12

 

“You have questions,” Heimdall states, rather than asks.

Before Steve can answer, Frigga adds, “it is wise to seek the truth.”

“Loki has spoken true. As he always does to you, Captain Rogers.”

It is only a matter of minutes before The Queen has Steve ushered on to a small air skiff and they are flying towards the palace at a fast rate. Steve is torn between gawking at the glimmering bridge below them, the looming palace ahead, or watching the Queen handle the skiff as though she has been flying one all her life.

Before he can comment on any of it, she is pulling the skiff alongside one of the palace walls, adjacent to a balcony and tying it off. Before she steps off the skiff, she points down and to the left to a different balcony some fifty yards away.

“That is Loki’s room. Bringing you in to the palace proper would not be wise at this point, but I trust you can make your way to him.” She smiles brightly and Steve cannot help but return it with one of his own.

“Yes ma’am, thank you,” he replies as he hefts his bag onto his shoulders. He takes a moment to adjust the straps, ensuring it won’t shift around and then gauges the distance before jumping off the skiff.

His fingers deftly grasp on to a small outcropping and he starts his decent. It only takes him a few minutes to make his way to the balcony leading to Loki’s room and he drops the last thirty feet to land in a crouch. He doesn’t land as softly as he would have liked and any thoughts of surprising the god are thrown out the window when Loki emerges from within the room to check on the errant sound.

“Steve!” He gasps, grabbing the blonde by the arm and dragging him inside the room “What are you doing here? How did you get here?”

He can hardly keep the grin off his face at Loki’s questions as he drops his bag on the floor, “the how is The Queen and the what is this,” and then he is stepping forward, pulling Loki into his arms, kissing him.

Snaking his hand up, Steve twines his fingers in the hair at the base of Loki’s neck and pulls gently in the way he knows the god loves. He is rewarded with a moan and a parting of lips as Loki’s tongue flicks out. Steve responds by gently teasing Loki’s mouth open more. Their kisses are heady and passionate and leave both of them fighting for air, but neither one of them want to stop.

Reluctantly, Loki pulls away, but only long enough to rid Steve of his shirt and pull him along towards the enormous bed.

“We have to talk about this,” Loki tries to tell Steve, while the blonde mouths along the shell of a delicate ear.

“Of course,” he murmurs before biting down on the long slender neck before him, sucking a mark into beautifully pale flesh. “Later. Not now.” To enforce his point, Steve runs his hand over the front of Loki’s leggings, feeling the gods already stiffening cock.

He wants to touch Loki everywhere, to feel his cool skin against his hands, his lips, his body. Clothes. Too many and too tight. Steve has to stop and there are awkward minutes spent removing shoes and boots, aggravated by roaming hands and wet sucking kisses on flesh.

When Steve finally lays back on the bed, with Loki over him, he knows he will have several marks upon his body and all he can hope for is to acquire several more over the next few hours. They have until morning and Steve intends to bring to life every fantasy, every erotic dream and every dirty thought that he can during that time. Starting with the one that ended so badly, just the week prior.

Loki has Steve writhing on the bed within minutes, between his talented tongue and his long fingers. Golden skin, hypersensitive to touch, flushes red across Steve's chest.

“Loki….” A whine, harsh and needy. The blonde lifts his hips, a request for Loki to help him take off the remainder of his clothing. The god shifts down the bed, unbuttoning and pulling down Steve’s pants as he moves. Another movement see’s Steve boxers on the floor and the blonde sucks in a breath as Loki licks a stripe up to his hip where he bites down gently and then again, not so gently, when Steve shivers in pleasure.

“Loki…..” A plea, low and breathy. Steve’s hips move continuously as he seeks contact from his lover. The god grants him a small measure of relief, taking him in hand. He strokes Steve with sure fingers and a strong grip. Quickly establishing a rhythm that is meant to bring Steve right to the edge, but not beyond. Not yet. 

“Loki….” A moan, soft and drawn out. The god’s mouth is warm and wet and enveloping his length, while his tongue traces lazy patterns. Steve wraps his hands in Loki’s hair and gently pulls him off. He drags the god up his body and captures his lips in an open mouthed kiss. He is so close. So very close. But he doesn’t want to finish like this. Not this time at least. Later, but not this time.

“Loki…..” A whisper, halting and desperate. Pulling away, Loki strips off his tunic and leggings before padding into the restroom and retrieving a jar filed with an oil, smelling faintly of lavender, Steve notes, when Loki swipes his fingers through it and brings them to the blondes entrance. The oil is warm and slick, aiding in the slide as Loki begins to work the blonde open.

The god is patient and gentle as he works, slowly ensuring any discomfort Steve may feel is quickly over come with pleasure from Loki’s hand or mouth. He continues to stroke his fingers in and out of Steve’s body until he is sure the blonde is on the verge of coming undone again. Only then does he remove his fingers, slick himself and push in.

Steve is sure that this time feels different. More intense. More real. And then he isn’t sure of anything other than the shift of their bodies, the heat of their union, the pleasure of their impending release. They rock their bodies together, keeping as much contact between them as they can. Steve wraps his legs around slim hips and circles Loki’s shoulders with his arms.

He gasps and moans, unable to hold back the sounds of his pleasure.

“Loki….,” A cry, harsh and cut off.

“…..Loki…..love you…..s’much.” A prayer, reverent and true.

“I love you Steve.” A promise, endless and pure.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 13

 

This time when Steve comes awake, its not Thor bursting into the room. This time its Loki pressed close to his back. He smiles and shifts, relishing the feeling. He turns to kiss Loki. He had no other intention than that, but he couldn't complain when the god rolled him to his back and trailed kisses down his stomach until he had his lips wrapped around the blondes already half hard cock. Steve can still see light streaming in through the balcony doors and so he can’t have been asleep all that long.

“What’re you doing?” He mumbles, brain slightly scrambled from the downward rush of blood.

Pulling off, the god freezes.

Steve whines, "don't stop."

That causes Loki to chuckle, “if you don’t know what I'm doing, then I must be doing it wrong.”

Steve opens his mouth to respond, but can only gasp when Loki takes him down to the root. His hands fist the sheets as his hips jerk in little pulses. He tries to stop himself, tries to hold still, but he can’t.

He forces himself to open his mouth and speak, “I thought we were going to try….that… thing…..”

Loki pulls off again. “Do you want me to stop?” He teases.

“No! Please…..I just want…”

The smug tone of Loki’s voice would have been irritating if Steve could muster the will to care. “Oh, I know exactly what you want Captain.”

 

By the time a server comes by with a tray of assorted meats, breads and cheese, Steve is dozing again. He is curled on his side with one leg drawn up close to his body. There is a sheet covering his hips and a series of bite marks and bruises covering his skin.

The god has faired only slightly better. He lays with his chest pressed against Steve’s back, bodies molded together in sleep much as they have been since Steve arrived earlier in the day. The light knock on the door makes Loki reluctantly stir, shifting away from the warmth of his lovers body. Grabbing a robe from his wardrobe, Loki pads over to the door and allows the serving girl to enter.

“Tamara,” he greets. “How did Terin’s sword test go yesterday?”

She smiles brightly at the Prince. “He did well. Second in his class.”

She has worked as Loki’s personal server for several years now, ever since he learned that her husband was killed in battle, while fighting under Thor’s command. She had been left with a young child and no income. Loki brought her to the palace and hired her, providing her with a decent wage and housing.

Her eyes immediately go to Steve and Loki’s own follow her gaze. He smiles fondly at the sight of his lover and then leads the girl over to the table sitting near the balcony. He would have loved to have eaten outside, but even though he trusted the serving staff in general and Tamara implicitly, he could not be so sure of anyone else who may get a glimpse of Steve.

“Is that your Steve?” she whispers as she sets the food out on the table. Over the past week, she has heard much about the blonde man, sleeping in the Prince’s bed. There is an unmistakable teasing set to her expression and that just endears her even more to the god.

“I wouldn’t go so far as to say he is mine, but yes, that is Steve.”

“You’re not fooling anyone, my prince. He is yours, in the same way that you are his.” She picks up the serving tray and walks towards the door. “If I may ask, how did he get here?”

“Mother brought him. Presumably so I could have a proper goodbye.”

Tamara looks thoughtful for a moment. “So you haven’t actually spoken to the Queen about her reasoning for bringing Steve to Asgard.”

Loki looks at her sharply and she just grins in return. “Is it possible that your mother has brought you an ally?”

“Out!” Loki points to the door, but it is said with affection. “Take the rest of the night off,” he gently orders.

“Yes, my prince. Shall I bring breakfast at the usual time?”

“Please.”

Just before she exits the room she turns back, “I’ll be sure to bring extra, I imagine you both will be quite hungry in the morning.” She pulls the door closed with a laugh.

Loki is still grinning when he turns back to the table. “I hope I didn’t wake you,” he apologizes when he see’s Steve is now sitting up in bed.

“I think it was the food. I’m absolutely starving.” He starts to get out of bed and then stops, looking around for his clothes. “Uh, have you seen my pants?”

Going to his wardrobe again, Loki pulls out a pair of black silk pajama pants. Shedding his robe, he puts them on. The way the lean muscles ripple across his back mesmerizes Steve, until his attention is drawn to the rather dark bruise on the back of Loki’s right shoulder. Steve knows where it came from and also knows, with absolute certainty, the mark is an exact match for his mouth. When Loki turns back around, Steve can see a similar mark on the front of his left hip, just peaking out over the top of those low riding pants. The Captain can feel himself starting to stir at the sight and tries to subtly shift on the bed.

He must not be hiding his reaction well, or at all really, because Loki gives a playful laugh and tosses the robe, hitting Steve square in the face.

“Food first. Then bath. Then we’re going to try out one of my little fantasy’s.”

“Oh?” Steve breathes, seriously considering skipping dinner now.

“We’re going to test out how quiet you can be.” He pauses, watching Steve’s eyes dilate and his breath quicken. When the blonde makes no move to get up, Loki gestures to the robe, “put that on and come eat.”

 

Turns out that Steve needs a little help being quiet. But he doesn’t mind one bit. Out on the balcony, under cover of darkness, he grips the low wall in front of him. Loki is pressed against him, keeping him bent at the right angle, with one hand on Steve’s cock and the other over his mouth.

There is a muffled cry each time Loki thrusts forward into Steve’s body. “If I remove my hand, can you stay quiet?” He murmurs close to the blonde’s ear. He punctuates the question with a particularly hard thrust. Loki already knows he can’t, but asks anyway.

The hand over his mouth prevents Steve from answering out loud, but the response is clear based on the way the blonde shakes his head.

“Do you want me to remove my hand? We can go back inside.” He asks, wanting to be clear that Steve has a choice in this.

He is rewarded with a vehement shake of Steve’s head. The god just grins and sets about testing Steve’s limits.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 14

 

Morning comes entirely too soon. Steve extracts himself from Loki’s arms and pulls on the discarded robe. He has to suppress a laugh at the way Loki’s eyebrows draw together and he rolls into the warm spot Steve had just vacated.

He could easily get used to this. Except he can’t. Not really. This would be their only chance. For a long time. Steve’s heart aches at the thought and he briefly considers crawling back into bed, wrapping himself around the god and refusing to let go. Ultimately, he knows that won’t accomplish anything useful. And will only likely make it that much harder to let go when the time comes.

There is a tray of breakfast foods sitting on the table by the balcony and Steve looks it over, selecting a few items. He pours himself a cup of tea and pulls a chair as close to the doors as he dares. Gingerly he sits down and takes stock of his body. He is bruised and sore in places he didn’t think possible and he likes it.

He lets his mind wander over the course of the previous night, in turns feeling happy and sad. By far the best part had been when the god had said he loved him. He loves Loki, he loves him so much it hurts. And when he hears the god stirring on the bed behind him, his mind seizes on one hopeful thought. The Queen had to have brought him to Asgard for a reason, not just to say goodbye. He wants to believe that.

Strong arms wrap around his shoulders from behind and a kiss is pressed to his temple. “Morning love,” Loki says from where he is bent down behind Steve’s chair.

The Captain twists around to give Loki a proper kiss, “g’mornin. There’s breakfast, if you’re hungry.”

Straightening up, Loki eyes the table, “I think I’ll pass. You go ahead and eat whatever you want though.”

Steve won’t ask why Loki isn’t eating. He can guess. He wouldn’t be eating either, except his metabolism requires it of him.

“You know, I’m here for you, right?” He asks, setting his breakfast aside and standing to pull the god into his arms.

Sighing, Loki responds, “I know, but twenty years is a long time by mortal standards. I don’t expect you to wait. What we’ve had, its been…. More than I ever expected.”

“First of all, I’m not entirely mortal. Second, I’ve waited a long time to find the right partner and I’m not going to give you up now. Even if it takes twenty years. But, I’m not convinced that there isn’t something that can be done.”

Before Loki can respond, there is a light knock on the door. He pulls out of Steve’s arms and goes to open it.

“Mother,” he greets. And suddenly he sounds tired and young and it hurts Steve’s heart.

“My son. We will be leaving soon.”

Loki nods and looks back at Steve. And that look is enough to compel Steve to speak. “Can I come with you to Alfheim? I would like to see it for myself. There has to be something we can do to stop this.”

The Queen shakes her head regretfully, “I’m afraid only immediate family are allowed.”

Steve’s stomach twists as a thought occurs to him. “Would I be allowed to visit?”

“Unfortunately, visitation privileges are also only extended to immediate family. Myself, Odin, Thor. If Loki had a spouse, they would be allowed.”

There is an unmistakable gleam in the Queens eye when she says this and Steve catches it right away. “So if we were to get married, I could come with you now? And visit Loki while he is there?”

“That is correct.”

Steve turns to Loki and the hopeful look on his face almost breaks the gods heart. “Steve, no. The light elves view marriage as a sacred union. This is why the accusation against me is so serious. It would be ill considered to do this lightly.”

When Steve opens his mouth to argue, Loki holds up a hand to quiet him, “I will not shackle you to me in such a way. Twenty years is too long to ask you to wait.”

“How is this shackling me? We would be married. And no matter how long you have to stay on Alfheim, I would at least be able to come see you. I’m going to wait for you, married or not, but at least we would have something.”

Loki stalks away towards the balcony, where he stands looking out with his arms crossed over his chest.

“Excuse us a moment,” the Captain asks of the Queen before following after his lover. Instead of pulling Loki into his arms, like he wants to, Steve stands beside him, looking out over Asgard. “If you don’t want this-“ he says softly.

Keeping his eyes forward, Loki responds, “of course I want this.” There is a note of sadness and resignation in Loki’s voice that Steve fully understands.

He feels it too. This isn’t the way this conversation should be held. Truthfully, he feels a little cheated, but he has to focus on the positive. And so he reaches out, inner twining their fingers together. “Then marry me.”

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 15

 

“Mother,” Loki calls back over his shoulder. “am I correct in assuming the All Father is waiting for the Captain and I?”

“That would be correct,” she answers and Loki can hear the smile in her voice, even without looking at her.

He raises the hand he has entwined with Steve’s, turning it this way and that in front of him, while he thinks. “Well then, lets go get married.”

Steve’s heart rate speeds up and his breath quickens. This is happening. This is really happening. He’s getting married. He’s on Asgard. None of his friends are with him. And he’s wearing a robe and smells like a combination of sweat and sex.

“Wait!” He blurts. Loki’s hand squeezes tightly on his own and he can see the question and hint of anxiety on the gods face. “I’d like to shower. And put on something decent at least.”

Loki gives him a wry smile. “I can not think that you brought appropriate wedding attire with you.”

And that makes Steve blush, followed closely by a frown. “No. Actually I only brought jeans and a couple of shirts.” He’s disappointed about that. Not only did he not get to formally propose, but now he is going to rush through the ceremony dressed like he’s going out grocery shopping.

“Captain Rogers. Go take your shower and I will have Tamara bring something more appropriate for you to wear, if you desire it.”

“If its not too much trouble,” Steve tells her with a smile. Then he looks at Loki and the smile turns into a grin, “we’re getting married.” He gives the god a chaste kiss and then retreats to the bath room.

Once Loki is sure he is out of earshot, he turns to his mother. “Was this your plan all along?”

“I had hoped that if the idea was presented the correct way, that the Captain would be amenable to it.”

“And if he was not?”

“Then it was not meant to be,” she states simply.

“If I had refused?”

She smiles knowingly, “I see the way you look at him Loki. If not for this, you would have been married to him within the year anyway.”

He opens his mouth to respond, but closes it again. His mother has the gift of insight and is occasionally afforded glimpses of the future. Maybe this is one of those times. After a moments thought, he decides to believe that is so.

Pulling Loki into her embrace, she kisses his temple. “Now go clean up and put on something nice.” When she pulls ways, she grins mischievously, “and be sure to cover all of this up,” she says, pointing to the bruising on his neck.

Not one to often blush, Loki is grateful that he had the sense to magic on a tunic and leggings before opening the door to her in the first place, hiding the myriad of other marks on his skin. He does, however, roll his eyes.

“I will take my leave. I must find your brother and inform him of the good news.”

“Is that wise?” he questions. “He was very upset with the time Steve and I were spending together. Finding out we are to marry just prior to starting my sentence will not go over well with him, I’m sure.”

Frigga opens the door to leave and as she walks out, tells her son, “I will handle Thor. You go get ready. The All Father expects you within the hour.”

When he is alone, Loki spends a moment taking everything in. Within the hour he will be married and then leave to start a twenty year prison sentence on Alfheim. He takes a deep breath and then heads to the bathroom, fully intending on taking advantage of the opportunity that he has while Steve is already naked, because after all, an hour is more than enough time to get ready.

 

Loki is helping Steve adjust the jacket for the clothing the Queen had left for him to wear, when there is a knock at the door. Expecting his mother, Loki calls out for her to come in.

“Steve, I would like to have a word with my brother.”

“Oh, um, yeah sure. I’ll just, uh…” he gestures vaguely towards the bathroom, but doesn’t move when Loki slightly shakes his head.

Turning around to face his brother, the dark haired god adopts a patently blank expression. “Say your piece, time runs short.”

The way Thor shuffles on his feet, belays his nervousness. “I wish to apologize. I have spoken with mother and she has made me aware of my erroneous assumptions regarding your actions on Alfheim.”

“Has she now?” Loki asks and Steve doesn’t miss the slight mocking tone of his voice. “And what of your assumptions regarding my intentions towards the Captain?”

Thor’s attitude quickly changes, when Steve is mentioned. “You cannot tell me that you were not using the Captain. He is my friend and my teammate and a good man. And I asked you not to play with him as though he were a toy!”

“Hold on!” Steve interjects, holding his hands out between the two brothers. “I appreciate you trying to protect me Thor. I really do. But I don’t need it. Not in this. So what if Loki was just playing around at first? I was too. And it was great! You have no idea what we got up to. And I loved every minute of it.” He turns to Loki and gives the god a lopsided smile, “except that time in the kitchen when you left me there….”

Loki gives Steve his best innocent look causing the blonde to snort out a laugh. “You know exactly what I’m talking about. That was just cruel.” He turns back to Thor, “the point is, you never even asked. You just assumed.”

“I am sorry Steven.”

Crossing his arms over his chest, Steve tells him, “I’m not the one you need to apologize to.”

Thor nods, looking completely abashed. “Brother what would you have me do?” he asks, head hanging low.

He doesn’t see Steve bump his arm against Loki’s to prompt the god into speaking.

“I would have you know that you caused me much sorrow. You are my brother. My closest friend. And you did not think to ask me if I had done as I was accused of. You simply assumed I was guilty.”

“You never denied it!”

“Neither did I admit guilt! You could have asked, like mother did. You could have sought out a way to help me as the All Father did. You could have had faith as Steve has. You could have simply trusted and supported me as my brother!”

Thor’s face scrunches up in this strange expression that Steve cannot quite interpret, but he assumes must be grief based on the way his eyes begin to brim with unshed tears.

“You are right. I should have done better by you. I can only ask that you allow me to stand at your side to lend my strength to you and Steven this day.”

 

It is still only mid morning and Steve is utterly exhausted. Physically he isn’t too bad off, but emotionally he isn’t sure how much more he can take. Surprisingly, he finds he isn’t nervous as he stands before the All Father for the brief ceremony. And while he is happy to be marrying Loki, he knows the end of the ceremony brings them that much closer to Alfheim. When they have both given their oath of marriage, the Queen presents them with a pair of simple gold bands and Steve runs his thumb over the metal on his finger as he kisses his new husband.

“Captain,” the All Father addresses his new son in law. “I am not sure if you are aware, but in addition to being our gate keeper, Heimdall is also All Seeing. I believe he has a wedding gift for you. Be sure to get it from him before you leave.”

And that is the entirety of Steve Rogers’ wedding. All told, it took less than ten minutes. Another fifteen and he is standing in Heimdall’s observatory with Loki, Thor and the Queen, preparing to take the bifrost to Alfheim.

He is so overwhelmed that he almost forgets the All Fathers instruction. Luckily though, Heimdall does not.

“Captain Rogers, it is customary to give a newly wed couple a gift on the day of their union.” He pulls a piece of paper out of a pocket hidden within his armor and hands it to Steve. “Please accept this on my and the royal family’s behalf.”

Steve unfolds the paper and reads it. His heart rate picks up and his expression shifts to a mix of hope and determination. It isn’t much, just a name and a location, but its enough.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 16

 

Traveling on the bifrost is an interesting experience. And hopefully someday, Steve will get the hang of it. The pulling sensation on his body almost makes him stumble, but Loki’s steadying hand on his back keeps him upright.

“Thank you,” Steve tells him sheepishly.

“You get used to it. The first several times Thor used it when we were children, he fell flat on his face.” He looks over at his brother, “Isn’t that right Thor?”

“Aye. And Loki didn’t let me forget about it for several years.” He claps his brother on the back and smiles wistfully.

They have set down in a field next to a small structure built of stone. There appears to be one door and no windows. To Steve it just looks like a square block building, perhaps an armory, based on the outward appearance. 

Given the setting, it would have not seemed out of place to see a cottage sitting out here, but this structure lacks any of the storybook charm he would expect. The Queen leads the group towards the building and Steve can see several people standing by the door. As they approach, two men step forward.

Loki stops several feet back and allows the Queen to address the men, “I’m am Frigga, of Asgard. I have come to remand Loki Odinson to your custody for the agreed upon terms.”

“We accept custody of Loki Odinson on behalf of our clans. The sentence shall commence from this day.”

Steve wants to reach out and take Loki’s hand, if only to reassure himself, but he resists, only casting a glance in his direction instead. The god’s gaze is focused on the stone building at the men’s backs. His expression blank.

The youngest of the group, a young man of what Steve would assume is in his mid twenties if he were from earth, opens the door to the small building. Loki immediately starts forward, striding into the darkened interior. It is only now that Steve realizes what he has been looking at. This is in fact, going to be Loki’s prison.

With a nod from the Queen, Thor follows. “Come,” she beckons towards Steve, who feels like his feet are frozen to the ground. She places a warm hand in the center of his back and speaks lowly so only he can hear, “if you needed motivation to act on Heimdall’s gift, let this be it.”

The Queen passes through the door, but Steve is stopped by a hand pressed to his chest. “Only family,” a voice growls.

Steve’s temper flares as he looks from the hand on his chest and into the rough features of the eldest man from before. His first instinct is to shove the hand away and take a swing at the guy, but Steve knows that no matter how satisfying that may be, it would be bad for Loki.

Instead, he draws a breath, squares his shoulders, standing a little taller and repeats the title he was given just that morning, “I am Captain Steve Rogers of Midgard. Prince consort of Asgard. Husband to Loki Odinson.”

From behind him, Steve hears a snicker, “argr.” Followed by laughter.

This time he does knock he hand on his chest away as he whips around, “what did you say?” He doesn’t need the translation, he’s heard the slurs enough since his youth, to know the tone instinctively.

His attention focuses on the largest of the group, the one who spoke. He stands well over six feet tall and has a similar build to Thor. He is young and in his prime and knows it. Movement behind him, catches the corner of his eye as Frigga comes to the doorway. Reluctantly, Steve lowers his fists, although he isn’t really sure when he raised them. He reminds himself that he is here for Loki and that starting an incident will only make matters worse. He can tolerate a few insults from idiots.

Making a conscious effort to relax his stance, he starts to turn back to the door. And the laughter starts again.

“Look at the Ergi turn his back.”

Steve’s entire body draws taut with tension. Backing down from an insult is not in his nature and everything inside of him is screaming to just let the guy have it.

“Samr, Tryn,” the Queen says from the door, addressing the two men from before. “I believe it is within Captain Rogers’ rights to respond to this slight.” She flicks her gaze to Steve for just a moment and he can swear there is a hint of a smirk. “Do you agree?”

Of course they agree. They have to. Allowing one of their own to provoke the Captain in such a way without recourse, would be incredibly inappropriate at the very least.

“Then it is settled.” The Queen smiles and twitches her fingers slightly. A golden light shimmers over Steve’s body and his skin tingles as his clothing shifts into something similar to his usual Avengers suit, except for the colors, which are black and green. He can feel the reassuring weight of his shield at his back and wonders briefly if it is a replica made of magic or if Frigga somehow retrieved his actual shield. “Captain,” she inclines her head towards the man who insulted him.

For a moment, he just stands there, unsure what is expected of him, but he is relieved of that concern when he hears it one more time, “look at him. Too argr to defend his own honor.”

He does a quick calculation and then swings his arms down for momentum before leaping in the air, spinning and kicking the man square in the face. The impact on his boot is solid and satisfying. As is the startled yelp it earns him. Yanking the shield from his back, Steve blocks a blow aimed as his head and sweeps his leg around, knocking the bigger man off his feet.

The man is up again in seconds and charges at the blonde, drawing a long bladed knife from his belt as he moves. He is strong and skilled, Steve will readily admit that, but he is clearly not accustomed to fighting against someone like Steve. The blondes combination of street brawling mixed with martial arts and acrobatics clearly confuses and overwhelms him. It doesn’t take long before Steve has him disarmed. The blonde faces him, shield held defensively in front of his body, in anticipation of his next move.

“Is that all you are? Just a shield?” The man taunts.

In response, Steve slides his arm out of the straps and lets the shield fall face down on to the ground. And then he charges. They topple to the ground with Steve on top. Three full strength punches in quick succession has the man raising his hands protectively in surrender. The blonde knows he’s won and so he climbs to his feet, offering his hand down to help his opponent up. His hand is brushed away as the man spits out a mouthful of blood at his feet.

Although Steve doesn’t like the way the man brushed his hand away, he just shrugs and walks back to retrieve his shield. While his back is turned, he hears movement behind him and reacts instantly, stomping down on the edge of the shield causing it to flip in the air and then leaping up to catch it in a spinning kick, sending in directly into the man’s chest, knocking him flat on his back again.

“Stay down,” Steve growls as he bends and picks up his shield, placing it across his back. He turns his glare on the rest of the group and takes satisfaction in the fact that none of them will look him in the eye.

He strides to the door and Frigga steps aside to allow him in. “I trust, Captain Rogers will have no further issues?” She asks curtly. She doesn’t bother to wait for an answer as she follows her son in law into the building and pulls the door shut.

Loki already has Steve pulled over by the small sink in the corner, dabbing a wet cloth over a cut on his lip. “I expect you to be better behaved while you wander around Alfheim. You should probably keep Thor with you. You’ll need his levelheadedness to keep you out of fights,” the god jokes weakly as he brings the cloth up to the corner of the blondes left eye where the skin is split open.

“Not to worry Brother, I will keep Steven out of trouble,” Thor smiles brightly, playing along in hopes of lightening the solemn mood. “Mother and I will take our leave, but I will return tomorrow at nightfall so we can begin our search.”

Steve’s hand goes to his pocket to pull out the paper Heimdall had given him, but stops when he remembers that it was in the pants that he wore to Alfheim, not the uniform pants he now has on. When he looks up, the Queen is holding the paper out to him and he has to assume she must have magically retrieved it at some point from where ever his other clothes are now. He makes a mental note to ask Loki about that later.

For now, he takes the paper and unfolds it, reading it once again.

Jarin
The Dark Rift Tavern

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 17

 

When the door closes behind Frigga, there is a sudden finality to everything. Steve senses it as he looks around the room. He’s torn and doesn’t know exactly what to do. Or even what to feel for that matter. It’s his wedding day. To an alien prince. And they’re going to spend it in a prison on a strange planet. The third planet he’s been on in as many days.

Everything, all of the events over the past day and night comes crashing down on him at once. He takes a stumbling step forward as his hand comes up to stifle the undignified sob that threatens to erupt from his mouth.

Loki is there, catching him, murmuring reassurances as he guides him to lay down on the small bed in the corner of the room. Wrapping his body around Steve, Loki strokes his blonde hair, cradling his head to his chest. “I should not have let you come. You deserve so much better than this. I imagine this is not how you pictured your wedding night to be.”

“I’m sure it isn’t what you thought yours would be like either,” Steve sniffles against Loki’s chest.

“In all honesty, I never expected to marry. Or to be imprisoned, for that matter,” he says, trying for a little levity. “In that respect, I guess you could say both have already exceeded by expectations.”

Steve raises an arm and lightly slaps at the gods shoulder. “Stop that.”

“Stop what?”

“Stop trying to make me feel better.”

“I am your husband. Is it not my job to see to your needs?” Loki asks with complete sincerity.

Frowning slightly Steve responds, “I shouldn’t be putting this on you. I should be stronger than this.”

Loki tucks Steve’s head under his chin, “you are stronger than this. But we are all allowed to have our moments of weakness.”

“And what about you?”

Loki hums and contemplates what to tell Steve. Ultimately he decides on the truth. “I am not immune to feeling weak at times. In fact, I am fairly certain that when I find myself well and truly alone here for the first time, I will find I am quite weak indeed.”

He can feel Steve tense against his body, muscles drawing taught with worry. Loki gives him a reassuring squeeze, pulling the blonde closer into his body. “But know that it will pass with the knowledge that you will return to me. In my moments of weakness, I will cling to that and allow it to bring me solace.”

Loki is rewarded when Steve’s body relaxes against his own again. “So will I,” the blonde whispers.

 

He isn’t exactly sure how it happened, but some how, Steve must have drifted off to sleep. Sitting up he first notices that his throat is dry and then he realizes he doesn’t see Loki. He can, however, hear water running.

Steve follows the sound behind a privacy barrier and finds a small bathroom, complete with shower, which is currently occupied by a very naked and wet Loki. His skin glistens under the spray, muscles accentuated as he allows the water to cascade down his back. Images of being pressed up against the god, rocking in and out of his body, come unbidden to mind.

“Absolutely not Captain.”

“What?” Steve’s tries to play innocent despite the way his faced burns as a blush runs over his skin. Never mind the fact that he had been peeping on his husband in the shower, palming his half hard cock, thinking about fucking him.

“This shower is entirely too small for anything other than washing. It is barely adequate for that. But I supposed I shall have time to fix it,” he laments with a playful lilt of his voice.

“How’re you going to fix it?” Steve asks, curiosity winning out over arousal, for the moment.

Loki turns off the water and steps out of the shower. Instead of reaching for a towel to dry off with, he pulls Steve into his arms, pressing his wet skin along the length of Steve’s body. It doesn’t quite have the desired effect, as Steve is still wearing the black and green uniform, but it does make them both laugh. “I still have full access to my seidr.”

He pulls back and gives Steve a quick kiss, “your turn. Get cleaned up and I shall see about dinner. I believe I can make something passable from the supplies that are here.”

When Steve emerges from the shower he gasps. The room is dimmed, darkened around the edges, the center, dominated by a large bed, is illuminated by dozens of candles.

"I will admit, I do not know your specific desire for tonight, but I thought that perhaps we can simply pretend we are somewhere else, if just for tonight."

"It's perfect," Steve breathes. "You're perfect."

Loki snorts out a laugh, "I should think if that were true, it would be unnecessary to pretend we are not in a prison."

"But we're not. We're on Asgard. Outside, under the stars. You've brought me out here so you can show me how beautiful it is. You want to share with me a piece of your home. It's dark and secluded. The air is warm, but there is a cool breeze. Tomorrow when we wake up, maybe you'll show me what it looks like in the day. We can explore it together while you reveal this special secret part of you. But for tonight, it's just you and me and all these stars."

As Steve has been speaking, the candles dim as above them thousands of stars begin to wink into existence. Steve can feel the air stir around him with the breeze. It's perfect.

 

Later, as they lay bodies entwined together, feeling sated and relaxed, the room begins to brighten and the stars fade away. In their place is a high ceiling, crossed with wooden beams. The walls are a muted gray interrupted by large windows. There is sunlight streaming into the room and Steve can see a large wardrobe sitting against one wall and a seating area to the side with two leather chairs, with an enormous bookcase just beyond.

Steve sits up to get a better look, “what’s this?”

Loki sits up beside him and takes the blonde’s hand. “I may not have pictured marrying, but I always had this place tucked away in my mind for ‘someday’.”

An image shimmers into existence in front of the book case. It’s Loki dressed in a casual tunic and leggings. The image runs his hand over the spines of several books before selecting one and pulling it out. He opens the book and begins to thumb through the pages.

“Although, I will have to make a few changes.”

Another image shimmers into being. Steve watches the image of himself wrap his arms around Loki from behind. The god tilts his head, an invitation to Steve, which he takes, kissing the long graceful neck.

It is surreal, watching himself. Steve is filled with such longing for this little scene to become real. Not ‘someday’ in a murky future. He wants it now. He wants it more than anything he can remember in his life. And he vows to make it happen. The figures fade, but the room remains as he gently lays Loki back on the bed, whispering promises in between urgent touches and quiet, breathless moans.

 

Steve is sitting at the small table, in what passes as a kitchen when the knock comes on the door. Loki opens it and steps aside to allow Thor to enter. The blonde god only steps a few feet inside leaving the door open.

“I have brought someone to help us in our search Steven.”

Curious, Steve gets up and goes to look out the door, smiling when he sees who it is.

“So you went and eloped?” Natasha asks with a grin.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 18

 

Steve runs his hand across the back of his neck. He can feel his cheeks heat as he prepares for the inevitable teasing. He doesn’t bother answering out loud, its not necessary any way.

“Good for you,” Natasha tells him and then looks back over his shoulder to where Loki is now standing. “Loki.” She nods her head in acknowledgement.

“I was rather expecting some type of scolding for running off with your team mate,” he admits. There is a touch of playfulness in his voice, but Steve can hear the truth behind his words.

Steve starts when he realizes that Loki truly was concerned. He thinks back to all the months they had been spending time together in the tower. The risks they took, but also the way they snuck around to hide the full extent of what they were doing. There was a thrill to it for Steve, he loved being caught up in the moment with Loki with the idea of being caught in the back of his mind.

He knew his team was aware there was something going on between he and Loki. And no one other than Thor seemed to take issue with it. Heck, it was Natasha and Tony that helped them sneak out of the tower. But he hates to think that Loki had been feeling insecure about his team mates opinion of their relationship.

“Steve’s a big boy. He knows what he’s doing. I can’t speak for Tony. He was pretty upset about not being able to give Steve a bachelors party. Although, it is possible he may have just been looking for an excuse to hire strippers.” Natasha shrugs her shoulders casually.

“Yes, but it was quite sudden,” Loki adds, the corners of his mouth turning down.

“Maybe, but knowing Steve, he probably would have asked you to marry him within a few months anyway.”

That makes Loki smile, at least a little. And there is no mistaking the pleased look and softness of his features when he turns to his husband.

“My mother said something very similar. She said we would have been married within the year.”

Steve loops an arm around Loki’s waist and presses a quick kiss to the gods cheek.

“You should probably take him and go,” Loki tells Thor and Natasha. “Otherwise I will take him back to bed and you will be on your own in your search.” He steps back and twitches his fingers slightly, transforming all of their clothing into something that will blend in better.

Steve leans in a kisses Loki quickly, not wanting to linger and make it any harder to leave. “Try to rest. If you get bored, maybe work on the bathroom?” He asks hopefully before stepping outside.

And then he is gone.

 

Steve had lost sight of Natasha before they even made it inside the tavern with her insisting that she split up from them, because she ‘can do my best work on my own’.

“I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to be doing here. Do I just start asking around for this Jarin guy?” Steve asks.

“It’s a bar Steve. What do you normally do at a bar?”

Steve winces, remembering the last time he found himself in a bar, during the war, trying to drink away the loss of his best friend. Natasha must have been able to read his expression, he was never any good at hiding his feelings. She presses her lips together and reaches out to adjust the cloak he is wearing and then pats him on the chest in a very motherly gesture.

“Just have a couple of drinks and try not to get in any fights. I’ll come find you when its time to go.”

She ducks around the side of the building before Steve can answer.

Thor places a hand on his shoulder, squeezing gently and then he opens the door and leads Steve inside. The Dark Rift Tavern is exactly like Steve imagined. Dimly lit, wooden tables, dirty floors, loud obnoxious patrons and as he learns as the night progresses, a couple of very aggressively affectionate women.

Mostly he sits and watches Thor as he flirts with one woman after the next. He drinks the ale Thor brought him and thinks about Loki, wondering what he is doing back in his room. Steve has decided that he is not going to refer to that place as a prison if he can avoid it. Its just a room Loki is staying in. He tries to convince himself that somehow it makes the situation less terrible.

He startles when a full mug is set in front of him and a woman with lovely caramel skin and large brown eyes sits next to him.

“I’ve never seen you here before handsome,” she tells him.

Steve can feel the blush start to creep over his skin and he looks over at Thor in near panic. The blonde god simply picks up his own drink, lifting it towards Steve, “I see you have found yourself a lovely companion Steven, well done.” He takes a large drink, but keeps his eyes on the Captain.

When he puts the mug down, he is smiling, but Steve can see the tightness around his eyes. And he gets it. He’s supposed to play along. Blend in. Give Natasha time to see what she can find out. Taking a drink from the mug in front of him, he turns to the woman and summons up his best war bond selling smile, reminding himself all the while that he is doing this for Loki. Okay, I can do this.

“Just passing through with my friend here,” he gestures to Thor who is whispering something into the ear of the woman currently giggling on his lap.

A predatory grin creeps across her face and she looks him over, “and you stopped in here for some entertainment. Maybe some companionship. Hmmm?” She leans forward, placing a hand on his knee. Oh no.

“Uh…. I mean really, we just…. Uh….” Steve stammers, unsure of how to answer.

Luckily he is saved by Thor. “We came in for a drink.” But then Thor makes it so much worse. “My friend here is missing his beloved and was hoping for a distraction to take his mind off of it.”

Dammit Thor!

“In fact,” he pulls out a handful of coins, “why don’t you ladies go buy us all another round.”

The girl on his lap jumps up at the sight of the money, scooping it into her hand and heading off to the bar with the other woman right behind her.

“Steven, I know you don’t like this-“

“Of course I don’t,” he cuts Thor off. “My husband is sitting alone back in that, that, room, while I’m out drinking at a bar. I hate it.”

“I know. And if the circumstances were different I would be keeping watch to ensure no man or maiden came near you, for my brothers sake, but we have a task to accomplish. If we are to find Jarin in this bar, we need to at least look like we want to be here. Strangers are suspicious enough, but drunken, happy strangers less so.”

Steve frowns, “I know. It just feels wrong, like I’m being unfaithful to him or something.”

“You aren’t. Besides, I wouldn’t allow it. And if these women become too amorous, I am sure I can handle them both.”

Steve can’t tell if Thor is joking or being completely serious and before he can try to figure it out Natasha is strolling by on her way who knows where, “way to take one for the team.”

He may not always understand, but that reference Steve gets and he huffs out a laugh just as his lap is filled with a brunette and a fresh mug of ale is shoved in his hand.

 

 

Chapter Text

 


Chapter 19

 

Loki is sitting on an overstuffed chair, next to the bed when he hears a commotion outside the door. His eyes narrow and his lips pull down into a frown as he tries to make sense of what he is hearing.

Muttering voices, several of them. A thump against the door, “Ouch!” And then laughter. Another voice, female. Her tone is…. Frustrated? Loki gets up and quietly edges towards the door, straining to make out some of the conversation. 

“….not taking him with us next time…..” Natasha.

“I thought he could hold his ale.” And Thor.

“We’re lucky he didn’t start a fight.”

And that must mean….. “its not my fault. That woman tried to….to….to do things…..to me…..Things I only let Loki do. Like, she tried to-“

”Not another word Rogers!” Natasha cuts him off.

“……and then she put her hand-“ he keeps rambling.

“Stop! I swear if you don’t shut up, right now,” she hisses at him.

"....and she said she wanted to....."

“Come Steven, lets get you inside to Loki,” Thor tells him, hoping to placate the Captain. Instead, he slowly sinks to the ground and sits with his back to the door, legs splayed out in front of him. 

“I don’t want to go inside. Its awful. And I didn’t find that Jarin guy. Frigga said I can only stay for a couple of days, so I have to go home tomorrow. And he has to stay here.”

Natasha crouches down and brushes Steve’s hair back, “you can’t stay out here all night Steve.”

“Yes I can,” he pouts, crossing his arms over his chest like a petulant child. 

She looks up at Thor to see if he has any ideas. “I’ll handle it,” he tells her, full of confidence that he knows exactly what to do. “Loki! Open the door,” he calls out, knocking loudly.

For a moment, Loki pauses. Part of him doesn’t want to open the door. Part of him wants to tell Thor to take Steve home so the blonde doesn’t have to spend any more time here. As much as he wants to be with his husband, Loki doesn’t want it to be at Steve’s expense, if he isn’t handling it well.

But he is weak and isn’t ready to be alone and so he pulls the door open. Without the support behind him, Steve tips over backwards across the threshold. He lays on his back, staring up at Loki. A grin spreads over his face.

“Loki!”

And then his smile falls, corners of his mouth pulling down into a frown.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t find him. I can’t take you home.”

Rolling his eyes, Loki crouches down and pulls at Steve’s arm to help him up. “Come on, lets get you inside.”

Once he is on his feet, Steve plants himself and refuses to move. “Thor, tell him that I can’t stay. Tell him I have to go back out until we find Jarin.”

“You don’t want to go back out Steve,” Natasha tells him. “What if you run into that woman again? Remember what she tried to do to you?”

His eyes widen and his mouth falls open as he shakes his head. Natasha has to struggle to keep a straight face at Steve’s exaggerated reactions.

Loki reaches out and touches Steve’s arm, “why don’t you come inside and tell me all about your night and what that awful woman did to you,” Loki coaxes, raising an eyebrow at Thor and Natasha in question.

Natasha simply waves a hand and gives a slight shake of her head to indicate it wasn’t a big deal. And that is enough to satisfy the god, but Steve is still resistant.

“I worked on the shower while you were out,” he tells the blonde. “Why don’t you go take a look?”

Steve perks up at that and he grins as he breezes into the room, heading straight for the bathroom.

“I’ll need to keep an eye on him,“ Loki remarks as he hears the water turn on. “What did you find out?”

“Jarin wasn’t at the bar. Apparently, he hasn’t been there in a couple of months. Used to be a regular, but no one has seen him recently,” Natasha tells him.

Loki sighs and turns his head slightly when he hears something hit the ground in the bathroom. “So a dead end?”

“No. I’ve got a lead to follow up on. Turns out Jarin is Samr’s great grandson,” Natasha tells him.

Loki’s face is passive despite the little spark that ignites in his belly, “well, isn’t that an interesting coincidence?”

“I don’t tend to believe in coincidences,” Natasha remarks with a grim smile. “I’m going to head back home tonight and I’ll bring Clint with me in a couple of days so we can poke around some more.”

If he were able, Loki would hug Natasha, but all he can do is nod his thanks. Before he can say anything else, there is a loud crash from the bathroom.

“I’m fine!” Steve yells and Loki rolls his eyes again.

“I better go check on him. Thank you. Both of you.”

Thor reaches in and pulls his brother into a hug, “I will be back tomorrow to take him home.”

 

In the bathroom, Loki finds Steve standing under the multiple shower heads, still in his clothes. He stands there, just watching his husband with a sad smile on his face. When Steve turns around and see’s him, Loki perks up and grins widely, hoping Steve won’t be able to see through it.

 

                                                                                                               

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 20

 

Getting Steve out of the shower and his wet clothes had been an ordeal. Loki ended up having to just use magic to get Steve undressed between his clumsy movements and wandering hands.  The blonde was certainly feeling amorous and Loki had a hard time convincing him that he needed to sober up first. He wound up mixing up a concoction that would make Steve sleep, while also purging the alcohol from his system.

And now Loki is sitting on the bed, watching Steve’s back as it rises and falls with each breath. He fell asleep still naked, flopping down on his stomach, clutching a pillow to his chest. It was cute and endearing and oh so temping. Loki hopes that Steve wakes up soon and wants to make good on all the filthy promises he made before passing out because Loki already has something in mind that he can use for bindings and a blindfold.

Loki is dozing when Steve wakes and the blonde snuggles up close to his husband, practically wrapping himself around Loki’s body before falling back asleep.

 

A light knock at the door jars Steve awake and he looks around frantically for his clothes. Loki is laying next to him, in all his naked glory after having thoroughly enjoyed Steve’s enthusiastic attention upon waking up sober hours earlier.

“Loki, where are my clothes?” he asks, jostling the god’s shoulder gently.

Loki stirs but only turns over, murmuring, “you don’t need clothes,” as he tries to burrow further into the bed.

“I do need clothes. Someone’s at the door.”

“Fine,” Loki pouts, jerking two of his fingers up.

The gesture is unnecessary for Loki to use his magic, but Steve appreciates the effort to provide a visual clue. Although in this case, it was not really needed, as Steve looks down at the few scraps of black leather, straps and buckles on his body.

Steve barks out a laugh as he looks down at himself. “The wrist cuffs are a nice touch. But I really need to get the door and you should probably cover yourself up.” He pauses, waiting to see if Loki is going to cooperate, but hastily adds, “don’t, uh, get rid of these though.”

Loki rolls to his back with a dramatic sigh and gestures again, this time clothing them in matching pajamas.

“Thank you,” Steve tells him as he walks over and opens the door. He has a smile on his face, but it falls as soon as he see’s who it is. “Thor,” he says, stepping back to allow his brother in law in. He knows that if Thor is there, it must be time to go.

 

Being back in his room in Stark Tower is awful. But still better than being in the common areas where there are so many memories of time he spent with Loki. When Clint and Natasha left to look for Jarin, Steve couldn’t help but feel useless knowing there is nothing he can do to help his husband.

He splits his time between drawing, working out, and moping. He gets called out with Tony a few times and is grateful for that, even if he feels guilty for it. He counts down the days until Thor is supposed to come back for him. Four weeks. He just has to make it through four weeks.

 

Natasha and Clint come back after being gone for a week, with little to report and that frustrates Steve, but also sends him into a downward spiral for a few days where he was barely able to crawl out of bed. Two weeks later Natasha goes back for a few more days and when she returns with Thor this time, she has news.

“Did you find him?” Steve asks excitedly, only to be disappointed a moment later when she answers.

“Not yet. But I did find Elerin.” Her smile is subtle, but Steve can see it in the brief seconds before he throws himself forward, practically crushing her against his chest in his excitement.

It doesn’t take long before his happiness tapers off. Loki had made him promise not to drag Elerin back to reduce his sentence if they found her. He was adamant about not having the girl forced into marrying Samr despite how she wronged him. Steve flops down on the couch in his room, scrubbing his hands over his face.

“It doesn’t really matter though. Even if we could bring her in, Loki would still be in jail for five years.” He sighs, letting his head drop back against the couch. “This all seems so pointless.”

Natasha moves into the room and sits next to Steve, pulling his hands away from his face. “Not necessarily.”

Steve looks at her with a combination of frustration and interest as she pulls out her phone, selecting a picture for him to see.

“I may not be an expert, but that girl is definitely pregnant.”

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 21

 

“Pregnant? That’s…..I don’t know…..What does that mean?”

“C’mon Steve, you know what pregnant is. Or did they not have that back in ancient times when you were young?” Natasha jokes.

“I know what it is,” Steve responds in his most sassy tone, while he rolls his eyes, “I just don’t understand what it means.”

Natasha smirks at him. “It means-“

“I know what it means!” Steve half laughs and half yells. This is a serious matter, but Steve appreciates the levity. Its been hard and he’s felt isolated as though he’s sitting in limbo, waiting for something to happen. And truthfully, he is.

“Okay.” This time she smiles innocently, deciding it’s time to stop teasing. All business now, Natasha nods once. “Based on her size, I’m willing to bet she was pregnant prior to the wedding day. If we can prove it, Loki would be exonerated. Of course that’s assuming Elves have a similar gestational time as humans.” She gives a slight shrug of her shoulders.

Steve refuses to allow himself to get excited. He already knows the objections Loki will have.

“We can’t do that if she is going to be forced into marrying Samr.”

 “One of the major reasons for calling off the wedding to begin with, was the issue of her maidenhood. So I don’t think that’s going to be a problem here.”

“True,” Steve concedes, “but there is still the possibility that she could be punished and with her being pregnant, there is no way Loki would be okay with that.”

“No doubt.” Natasha drapes her legs over Steve’s lap and picks up the TV remote. “He is almost as stubborn as you.” She turns on the TV and starts flipping through the channels. A clear indication that the conversation is about to end.  “The way I see it, we still need to find Jarin and figure out who the father is.” She turns her attention back to Steve. “And between you and me, I’d like to get a look at that treaty to see if there is a loophole or something we can use.”

That sparks Steve’s interest. “You really think there may be something in there?”

“You never know. But I like to cover all my bases, just to be sure.”

 

Steve has a small bag packed that he drops on the ground as soon as he crosses through the doorway to Loki’s room. The god has him wrapped up in his arms before he can take another step. Thor didn’t bother to wait around and so Steve just kicks the door shut with one foot and allows himself to be pulled towards the bed.

Its been a month. A very long month. And both of them are very aware that they only have three days. Hardly any words are spoken between them for the first hour other than “please”, “don’t stop”, “I missed you”, “I love you”.

When the urgency of their reunion has died down, Steve is laying on his back with Loki pulled up close against his side. He finally takes the time to look around. Loki’s ‘prison’ has been transformed into a version of the study he had shown Steve last time he was there. There are shelves filled with thousands of books, a desk, a sitting area and huge windows, currently covered by thick draperies.

Curious, Steve gets up and opens the nearest set of curtains. He is greeted by sunlight and green rolling hills that are definitely not a reflection of their current location on Alfheim.

“Where is this?” Steve asks as Loki presses his body up against his back.

He can feel Loki’s breath by his ear when he responds. “Anywhere. No where. Any place other than here.”

His tone is even, but Steve can hear the note of sadness in it. His heart absolutely aches when he thinks about spending the next twenty years like this.

“Where would you like it to be?” Loki asks him as he wraps his arms around Steve’s waist and rests his chin over his shoulder so they can both look out the window.

Steve opens his mouth and then closes it again, unsure of how to respond and Loki must be able to sense it.

“This is as much your prison as it is mine. This place is what keeps us apart so often. If I  can, I would like to look upon something of your choosing when we cannot be together.”

“Alright.” Steve takes a moment to think. What would he want Loki to see out that window everyday? And then it comes to him. “Can you make it look like the view out of the windows from my room back home?”

He can feel Loki jerk slightly against him. “I can,” he says slowly. There is a clear question in his voice.

Twisting around in Loki’s arms, Steve smiles softly. “I like the idea that when we are apart we can look out the window and see the same thing. Maybe it will make us feel a little closer.” His cheeks pink a little and he looks down shyly. “I’m sorry. That’s probably not what you had in mind. I’m sure you were thinking more like a beach scene or some tropical landscape.”

Loki lifts Steve’s chin with his fingers and kisses him lightly. “I think its perfect. Better than perfect.” He twitches his fingers and the scene changes to a cityscape, an exact replica of the view out Steve’s windows in Stark Tower.”

With a little nudging, Steve turns back around and Loki holds him around the waist again as they look out the window. And its nice. It also sparks an idea. But Steve will think about that later, in three days, when he returns to the Tower. He’ll make some drawings and talk to Tony, but he’s pretty sure the billionaire won’t mind if Steve does a little remodeling.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 22

 

“I’m feel like I’m missing something here,” Steve sighs as he ruffles the two pages of the treaty in the air. “Like a page……… or three. This seems so vague.” He’s frustrated. Not because he doesn’t understand the treaty, in fact it’s the opposite.

“It is vague. Seems pretty intentional too. Could work in our favor. Once we figure out exactly what’s going on,” Natasha tells him as she takes the pages out of his hands and sets them down on the table. In their place, she picks up the drawings Steve has made to show Tony just what he wants done to his room.

“Right now, I want to talk about this little love nest you’re planning.” She grins at him and laughs, jerking the pictures away as Steve half heartedly tries to grab for them.

 

Two weeks later, Steve, Natasha and Clint are sitting in the common area with several pictures on the coffee table in front of them.

Clint picks one up and shows it to Steve, “this is Jarin. I was able to locate him on a farm about 20 miles to the north of where Loki is located.”

Steve’s head snaps up. “How did you find him? How did you even know where to look?”

The archer picks up a second photo showing a small cottage. Looking closely, Steve can just see someone standing in the open doorway, but the image is too far away to make out any details. Until Clint hands him another one. This one clearly shows the person in the door to be Elerin.

“I wasn’t even looking for him. I went to see if I could gather any more information on Elerin. He just showed up.” Clint shrugs, “lucky for once, I guess.”

“Don’t get excited yet Steve,” Natasha warns, taking the pictures out of his hands. “This is pretty circumstantial. We know they know each other, but that’s all we can be sure of right now.”

Steve has to fight to keep from protesting, his body is fairly thrumming with energy as he thinks over the possible ways they can use this information to get Loki out. But he reigns his excitement in. For now.

“Next week when you go see Loki, Clint and I are going with Thor. He has asked for an official meeting with Samr and Elerin’s father to clarify the treaty terms, since they are the ones who wrote it up. With the wedding called off, the treaty was revoked and the fighting has started to escalate again. Thor may be able to put a stop to the hostilities, at least temporarily. And who knows, maybe he can help negotiate a new treaty.” Natasha shrugs her shoulders as though the very idea of Thor engaging in delicate treaty negotiations wasn’t hard to believe.

 

“Tell me again why my brother is staying here?” Loki murmurs from behind Steve’s shoulder.

“So he can….ah!” Steve has to stifle a cry when Loki wraps his hand around his length and begins to stroke. He takes a breath and tries again. “So he can tell us what happens in the meetings each day.” His mouth falls open in a low moan. “You’re making this very difficult,” he accuses teasingly.

Loki bites lightly at Steve’s shoulder and then a little harder a little higher up. “I could stop I suppose.” The words are spoken against the blonde’s skin and make him shudder despite the warm water of the shower cascading over both of their bodies.

“You wouldn’t.”

“I probably should. You do have a hard time being quiet, in these situations.”

Loki’s tone is low and seductive and does things to Steve. And despite that, he knows the god is right. And Thor is sitting just outside the bathroom, which barely even qualifies as a room since it doesn’t actually have a door, just a wall that shields it from the rest of the room.

He really should put a stop to this before Thor hears them. He really should finish his shower and go back out there like an adult. He really should put up a little more resistance to Loki’s roaming hands. He really should figure out a way to keep himself quiet, since none of those other things are going to happen.

And he knows just the way. He turns around and kisses his husband deeply, leaving them both a little breathless. And then he grins at Loki. “Lets see how good you are at being quiet,” he challenges and then sinks to his knees.

As it would happen, Loki is somewhat decent at staying quiet, so long as he can keep the side of his hand in his mouth to muffle the sounds that keep slipping out. Steve is pretty sure he also increased the noise from the shower itself, but he can’t really blame him.

 

Once Steve and Loki finish their shower, the god conjures a third chair for Thor to sit in so the three of them can discuss the days activities.

“Samr’s faction is stronger and has many resources, but after speaking with both him and Elerin’s father Piotr, it seems as though Samr was more eager to keep the treaty in place or to forge a new one. I spoke briefly with Natasha and she held the same opinion.”

“That’s good,” Steve says and then looks at Loki. “Isn’t it?”

“For the sake of putting a new treaty in place, yes it is good. However that does little for my situation. The allegations still stand,” the god tells him.

“Natasha informed me that she and Clint will be trying to gather information this evening and tomorrow morning before we meet again.”

Steve reaches out towards Loki in the chair next to him. The god reaches out in turn and grips Steve’s hand in his own. Steve gives a little squeeze and smiles. The excitement he felt at seeing the photos of Elerin and Jarin together has not died down and now he can feel his stomach flutter. Something is going on here. He can feel it. They’re going to figure it out and find a way to get Loki out of there.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 23

 

Its not ideal by any means, but Natasha felt it was best for everyone to meet in person. So she finds herself sitting on the ground, in between Thor and Clint, just outside the door to Loki’s room. Inside, Steve and Loki are sitting shoulder to shoulder, also on the floor.

“I think its best we recap what we know so everyone is on the same page,” Natasha begins. Seeing no objections, she begins to list off everything that they have learned. Which doesn’t seem like very much at all.

“Elerin is pregnant and appears to be due at any time. Jarin is with her on a farm about twenty miles from here. We do not have confirmation of the child’s father at this point. Samr seems eager to put a new treaty in to place, but we aren’t sure what his motivations are. Piotr comes across as less interested in the treaty. Again, we don’t know his motivation. Neither side seems to know where Elerin is, but I did hear that Jarin has been around, though not as often as he usually is, which would fit with what we’ve seen of him at the farm.”

She pauses and looks around. “Anything else?”

When no one adds anything, she continues, “okay, so we need to plan our next steps. Clint,” she looks at the archer, “head back out to the farm. We need to know who the father of that baby is and get an idea of when she is due to deliver.

“Thor, I want you to meet with Samr and Piotr. Separately. Get a feel for what their goals were for this treaty. Not just to end the fighting. There’s something else going on. With the smaller, less powerful faction, Piotr should be more interested in a new treaty, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

“I’m going to poke around and see what I can find out over in Piotr’s compound. And Steve, a friend of yours turned up working for Samr.” She looks at the blonde pointedly. “From the tavern.”

He furrows his eyebrows as he tries to figure out who she means. “I don’t…….” And then his eyes widen when he realizes who Natasha must be talking about. “Her?” His face scrunches up in distaste. “Well good thing I’ll be staying here.”

“Actually…..”

“Oh no! I am not going let that woman paw all over me again just to get some information!” Steve is adamantly shaking his head.

“Steve, you may not like it, but she may be able to give us some good information. Maybe even something that could help get Loki out,” Clint tells him.

And Steve knows he’s right, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

“When do you plan on sending Steve to his doom,” Loki jokes with a playful bump of his shoulder against his husband.

“Clint and I are going to head out right now. Thor and Steve can leave in the morning for Samr’s.”

Thor takes the opening and speaks up for the first time, “if it is all the same to you, I will leave now as well, just for the night and will return for Steve in the morning.”

“That seems like a lot of unnecessary travel,” Loki remarks, curious as to why Thor would elect to do that instead of just staying another night with he and Steve.

“Brother, it gladdens my heart to know that you have found not only a virile, enthusiastic and considerate lover, but also one that is vocal in his appreciations, but I have no need to be reminded of it several times during the night.”

There is a wheeze that comes from Steve’s direction and they all turn to look at him. “Oh my god,” he mutters, completely mortified and almost glowing red.

“Just so!” Thor says with a teasing grin.

 

“That was humiliating. How am I ever supposed to face any of them again?” Steve whines from the bed as he watches Loki pull off his tunic and pants.

“I don’t see why. He gave you a great compliment. And now your friends know what a great lover you are. If anything, I should be insulted that he said absolutely nothing about my skill. After all, I’m the one that makes you so ‘vocal in your appreciations’.”

Loki’s tone is pouty as he quotes Thor, but Steve is learning to hear the nuances in his voice and this time he picks up on the tease. He grabs one of the extra pillows and throws it at the god, hitting him in the chest.

“And why didn’t you put up more of a fight about me having to go back and flirt with Giselle? You can’t really be okay with that?”

Stretching out on the bed, Loki traces a hand along the planes of Steve’s abs, “oh….. Giselle?….. is that her name?” His hand drifts lower, but stops just at Steve’s navel. His tone changes from playful to serious in a heartbeat. “Do I like the idea of my husband flirting with another? No, I do not. However, I am willing to spend the rest of the night making sure that when my husband is flirting, he won’t be able to think of anyone other than me.” He punctuates his claim by gliding his hand lower, causing Steve to suck in a breath in anticipation.

His voice comes out husky with need and desire, “then make sure I can feel it. Every time I move. As I walk and as I breathe. Moving or standing still. Make sure my body reminds me that I am yours.”

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 24

 

When Steve has to remove Giselle’s hand from his thigh for the third time, he has to work really hard to remind himself why he is doing this. Its not as though spending the evening with her hasn’t been fruitful, he just wished he didn’t feel so dirty about it. He gets the feeling that she is probably a very nice woman, just a little lonely.

He has already found out about Samr’s first four wives. He married his first wife very young, against both of their parent’s wishes and it was quickly annulled. His second marriage lasted many years and his wife bore him eight children. She and their ninth child died in childbirth. According to Giselle, Samr was devastated.

The third marriage was part of a treaty agreement and Steve can’t help but be curious about that. Unfortunately, Giselle had little information other than that there was talk of abuse and that the woman went home to her family, effectively ending the treaty. His fourth wife had been found dead, only months ago. Giselle could not tell him what she died of.

It seemed odd that Samr would rush into another marriage, but Steve figures he can’t really judge, based on how quickly his own marriage happened. And Samr’s was for the sake of a treaty.

Steve inches a little closer to her, hoping to entice her to give him even more information. “Why didn’t he go through with the wedding this time?” he asks, as though he doesn’t already know.

Giselle smiles and places her hand back on Steve’s leg. Closer to his knee this time, so he allows it. “Well, Elerin, that was the girls name, she said that Prince Loki of Asgard had seduced her.”

He has to stop himself from twitching when she mentions Loki and then also has to satisfy his curiosity. “Do you think he did?”

Her hand creeps up an inch on his leg, “oh, I have no doubt that he could have. If he wanted to. Have you seen him? That man is a dream. Dark, brooding, smart, powerful. And I bet he is just wicked in bed.”

“Yes. He is certainly all that.” Steve murmurs.

“So you’ve seen him!”

Of course I’ve seen him! I’m married to him! And instead of being with him right now, I’m sitting here letting you feel me up so I can get him out of prison!

Steve smiles and shifts in his seat, sinking a little lower, thighs spread a little wider, hoping to draw out a little more information. “I imagine it would be hard for anyone to resist him.”

Giselle takes the invitation, her hand creeping a little higher as she leans in. “Sadly, he showed very little interest in any of the women that threw themselves at him.” She shrugs and smirks at Steve. “He was not very receptive to anyone, except Aaden.”

Steve sits up straight in his chair, “who’s Aaden?” He forces himself to relax again, trying to paste a smile on his face.

The hand on his leg inches higher again. “Aaden is a blacksmith. Tall, blonde, strong. Extremely handsome.”

She leans in and slides her hand up until her fingers are brushing lightly against Steve’s hip. Another inch and Steve can’t take it any more. He jumps to his feet. “I’m sorry. I can’t. I can’t do this. This isn’t right……. I’m sorry…”

He stops babbling when he realizes that Giselle is laughing.

“Took you long enough,” she chuckles.

Steve’s face scrunches up in confusion, “what?”

“I wasn’t sure how far you were going to let me go before you freaked out again.”

Sighing, Steve pinches the bridge of his nose. “How much do you know?

“Well…. I know you are the Prince Consort of Asgard, husband to Loki Odinson. I know that you are trying to figure out a way to get Prince Loki out of prison. And I know that you are completely devoted to your husband.” She laughs again. “I also know that he is apparently amazing in bed,” she adds with a leer.

Steve can feel his face heat, but he doesn’t deny it. “So you know pretty much everything.” His heart sinks knowing that he has blown his chance to get any good information from Giselle.

“You are quite the talker when you’ve had a few drinks,” she grins again.

When Steve’s face falls she reaches out her hand, this time touching his arm gently. “Its okay. You love your husband and you want to help him. It’s a shame that a pretty thing like you isn’t available, but I like you anyway and so I’ll help you.”

“You will?” His face lights up so bright that Giselle can’t help but be envious of Prince Loki. “Wait,” and there is that confused look again, “so everything you’ve told me so far…..?”

“All true,” she replies knowing exactly where Steve’s mind is going.

“So, this Aaden guy…..”

Giselle just laughs and changes the subject. “I have a couple of friends I’d like to introduce you to. Employees of Samr.”

“Okay?” Steve answers, unsure where Giselle is going with that.

“I think you’d be surprised just how much maids and cooks know about those they work for. If you want to get information, I suggest that’s where we start.”

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 25

 

The group splits off in the field just outside of Loki’s room. Clint going off to check in on Elerin at the farm, Thor to Piotr’s village and Natasha to speak with Giselle.

Steve waits until the trio are out of sight and then turns to head inside. Three days a month, that’s what they get and he plans on making the most of every second.

He is only a few steps inside, when the door is slammed shut and he is forcibly pushed back against it. His instincts flair, hands trying to come up defensively, but they are pinned to his sides. A weight presses against his chest and Steve’s first thought it to fight, to free himself, but he holds back, senses on alert.

The weight pressing him back to the door shifts and Steve can make out a dark halo of hair surrounding pale skin. Its Loki, his Loki, shuddering and pawing at him.

“Hey, hey what’s wrong? What’s going on?” He asks, wriggling one hand free to stroke through the gods tangled, unkempt hair.

Loki doesn’t answer, just clings to Steve, holding him with a desperation that makes Steve’s mind spin, trying to catch up with exactly what is going on. The blonde pulls his other hand free and strokes up and down Loki’s back as he murmurs meaninglessly in his ear.

Steve isn’t sure how long it takes, but Loki finally settles in his arms, shaking tapering down to mere sporadic tremors. He gently pushes off the door and guides them over to the bed where he helps Loki lay down before stripping off his shirt and boots and crawling in bed beside him. Pulling Loki close, Steve resumes running his hand up and down the gods back.

“What happened?”

At first, Steve doesn’t think Loki is going to answer, but when he does, he sounds sheepish, embarrassed. “Nothing happened.”

Something unclenches inside Steve’s chest and he lets out a slow exhale. “Okay. Nothing happened…… That’s good.”

It should be good, but it doesn’t feel that way.

“It is not good! I have been trapped in this room for only a handful of months Steve. And I cannot……” Loki trails off as a new fit of tremors wrack his shoulders. “These few days that you are able to come, they are all that I cling too. And the rest of the time I have not but my own mind to keep me going.”

Before Steve can respond, Loki continues, “twenty years Steve. With only a few days with you to keep me going. It is not enough.”

He’s trying to focus on what Loki is telling him, trying to pick up on his tone and decipher just what Loki needs so he can help him, but what Steve hears is ‘you’re not enough’. And his body jerks, pulling away before he can clamp down on the stab of shame and failure that runs through him.

Steve rolls away and jerks to his feet, backing away until he stumbles against one of the over sized chairs and flops gracelessly down. “Loki, I’m trying. I’m sorry that I can’t…..that I’m not…….I’m trying.” He raises a hand and wipes away the wetness from his eyes. “I can’t imagine what it must be like to sit here day after day. I know I count down the days between our visits and no matter how busy I keep myself, how many missions I go on, how many ways I find to distract myself, I feel like I’m about to crawl out of my skin when we aren’t together. And you. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for you. I’m sorry I’m not……..All I can do is promise to keep trying Loki. I won’t stop until I find a way to get you out of here.”

He buries his head in his hands, trying to remember the way he was taught to breathe through an impending asthma attack. He can hear the bed as Loki shifts, but focuses on breathing, hoping to ease the ache in his chest. It isn’t until Loki pulls his hands away and straddles his lap that Steve actually looks up, but only long enough for Loki to brush a kiss across his lips before he presses their bodies close. Steve raises his arms and wraps them tightly around the god, pulling him in, ensuring there is no space between them.

“I love you Steve. I just want to go home.”

“I know. And I’m working on it.”

 

The knock on the door the next afternoon, is so unexpected that it startles Steve, causing his head to jerk. He remembers himself, just in time, before he can cause any real damage. Still, he smiles sheepishly up at Loki, lips red and swollen from where he has been lavishing attention on the god from his knees. They both pause for a beat, eyes locked, until the knock comes again.

Loki heaves a very put upon sigh before affectionately running a hand through Steve’s blonde locks and going to pull on a robe. He tosses a second one at Steve, who is still on the ground. Once Steve has it over his shoulders, Loki opens the door to find Clint standing there.

“Who is it?” Steve asks, tying the robe off as he comes up behind his husband. “Oh. Hey Clint.”

“Hey yourself,” the archer responds, eyeing the two men suspiciously. Then he mumbles under his breath, “freaking newlyweds,” before plastering a smile on his face. “Nat asked me to drop this off to you guys.”

He holds out several pieces of paper which Steve reaches out and takes. The blonde flips through them, brows furrowing. “What is this?”

“So your pal Giselle was able to get Nat in touch with the scribe who wrote both the new treaty and the one prior. They’re pretty similar. Like, very similar actually. And the set we had before was missing a few pages.”

Steve hands the papers to Loki to flip through as Clint pulls out his phone and opens the camera app. “Before I head out, take a look at this.” He turns the phone and displays a photo of Elerin holding a tiny baby. He swipes the screen and the next image shows Jarin holding the baby. He hands the phone to Steve who, with Loki, looks through several more pictures.

“So I guess we can assume Jarin is the father,” Steve muses as he hands the phone back to Clint with the picture of Jarin and Elerin sitting close on a bed, while she holds the baby on the screen.

“I got a little audio recorded. It’s pretty safe to say he is.” Clint puts his phone away and then runs his eyes up and down both men with a smirk. “I’ll let you get back to whatever you were doing.”

Back inside, Steve sits at the table and begins to read through the pages. Loki approaches and stands beside him. He waits until Steve finally looks up at him.

“Is there anything in those pages that won’t be there a few hours from now?” Loki asks, voice low, almost predatory.

Steve doesn’t bother to think about it, he just places the papers on the table and rises from the chair, “it’ll wait.”