The sea around Asgard was usually avoided by the Aesir; rumours were that the water out there had not only been touched by the void and gotten cursed by it. This was why it had such a dark colour, and it was simply better to avoid the sea. That meant though that Aesir went for a bath only in their homes or in the hot baths that were offered in the city, nobody really went for a swim in the sea.
Which in turn, meant that young Aesir loved to challenge each other in the dark of the night to take a bath, knowing that Heimdall’s golden eyes were resting on them with scorn. But no law had been passed to forbid taking a leap into the sea, and so he could not tell them to leave. It was a nice challenge, and Loki discovered he loved bathing in the cold water, whereas Thor and his idiotic friends didn’t love it.
As they grew older, they stopped going to the sea in order to prove to another their virility, until they eventually stopped going there altogether.
But not so Loki. He’d grown to love the eerie silence at the beach and nobody was going to laugh or mock him for being less muscular like Thor was or avoided him and his orders when he ever gave some. He was alone here, could practice his spell after making sure Heimdall’s eyes would always be right next to him but never on him and his seiðr was running free, his thoughts wild and open as well.
The world beneath the gentle waves was spectacular to Loki – fish, he otherwise only saw on his plates were swimming around in lazy movements, plants of many and various colours were thriving in the sea and he learnt to filter much needed air from the dark water and could stay longer there when sun rays turned into green and were less bright in whiteness as they broke on the surface.
Yet, despite swimming there for over four hundred years now, Loki could not claim with a good conscience he’d ever seen a half-man before whose face was torn in pain, his legs – the tail of a fish. It was a gorgeous thing, gleamingly red and gold, a few blue scales here and there, and the fins were painted in gold.
“Look,” the half-man said and he grinned at Loki despite the pain he must be feeling as most of his body was trapped in a fishnet. “I know you’re curious but can you be that after you helped me out of here?”
“Who are you?”
“I promise I’ll answer all questions later?” the half-fish said and wiggled his tail, trapped in the net, for emphasis. “Please.”
People didn’t say, “please,” to Loki. They told Loki to suck it up, to be better, be less jealous of Thor and grow more balls between his legs. So it was the simple please - manners always made Loki feel more inclined to listen to others - and the promise for answers that made him step into the water and kneel next to the fishman in the water.
He ran his eyes over the net and thought about taking out a knife but that would take him ages and Loki did not have the patience for that. Slowly he lifted a hand and took a few twines into his hand.
“Don’t scream,” he told the fishman and focused on the seiðr running in his veins. A voice in his mind told him he had to ask the man for a name, that he could not call him ‘fishman’ forever.
“Oh, I only scream under certain circumstances.” The man winked at him flirtatiously and Loki felt an eyebrow arch in surprise. That was what most people would call surprising, right? A stranger, in need of help and flirting - with him .
Loki shook his head with a small smile and his seiðr ran through the fishnet in a rapid speed, cutting through the strong twine easily. Soon, the fishnet fell off fishman and he stretched his limbs, his muscles glinting in the sunlight from all the water.
That was Loki’s excuse, as he could not lift his eyes from the fishman’s well toned body, his lips parted slightly, and water droplets were running down sun kissed skin.
A few more scales were glinting red on the lower ribs, and gills were seen on the throat. Loki couldn’t stop himself from staring and taking in the gorgeous and wondrous sight before him. Now, with the net gone, his fish was even prettier than before.
“Like what you see?” The fin got dipped into the water and sloshed casually water at Loki.
He stared at him in mock-offence. “An attack against your saviour? Is this supposed to be my thanks?”
“Hmm no,” the stranger purred. “I know better ways to thank others, my dark hero.” He peered at Loki up through his eyelashes, clinging together dark and wet. “But you had questions first, I believe?”
Loki nodded. “What’s your name?”
“Anthony.” A shrug. “Yours?”
“ Loki ,” Anthony purred. “Lovely name for someone as beautiful as you.”
Loki snorted softly at that. “So, you’re a –“
“Merman. Half fish, half man, as you can see.” His fins glinted in the sunlight and Loki let his eyes stray to them. There was the big one at the end of his tail, two smaller ones at the sides of his tail, but no less beautiful or looking less stronger.
“Do you want to touch them?”
Loki startled from his dreamy state and nodded.
“Just, a warning.” Anthony’s dark eyes bore into his and a smirk was playing on his lips. “I’m ticklish.”
“Isn’t that what most people say if they do not want to be tickled?”
“Do I look like most people?”
Loki had to give him that point, it didn’t seem like Anthony was most people . He lowered a hand carefully to the hard scales and marvelled at their beauty. With movements, so slow that it looked like Loki was barely moving his hand at all, he explored the wonderful tail. It was warm, thanks to the sunlight no doubt and Anthony was dunking his tail into water in between and wetted himself.
He didn’t stop Loki’s careful explorations once, his eyes simply resting on Loki with a knowing look in them and eventually, he moved his hand back upward again.
He stopped where scales turned into skin, and it looked smooth and marble, and Loki wanted to touch it as badly but –
“Do go on,” Anthony said in a hoarse voice. “If you are brave enough to see through eventual consequences because I assure you, I am not ticklish there.”
And if that was not a challenge, Loki didn’t know either and his fingers slid over skin, soft and hard, muscles dancing under his explorative touch.
He noticed one of Anthony’s hands settling on his legs as he was still kneeling in the water and soft waves sloshed against him, giving him a gentle squeeze as he ran his fingers over abs he wanted to taste and –
“Loki-“ Anthony said slowly and his hand was slowly moving up, together with Loki’s and oh Norns-
When had Loki fallen forward, his face only a few inches away from Anthony’s? He licked his lips as reaction and Anthony’s dark pupils dilated in response and –
“Do you remember what I said about me thanking my saviour?” Anthony asked in that hoarse voice of his and Loki nodded, mesmerized by the sudden hunger burning in dark eyes. “Can I kiss you?”
As response, Loki leant forward, closing the small gap between them and pressed his lips to salty ones, tasted them in slow movements. His hand was resting on Anthony’s chest and this –
This felt lovely, his craving for salt and more, simply more of salty kisses grew in him and a small gasp fled from his lips.
“Oh Loki,” Anthony whispered as they broke apart. “I have a confession to make.”
“A confession?” Loki whispered back and all he wanted was to taste those lips again.
“The net?” Anthony cleared his throat. “That was a bit of a set-up because I wanted to get to know the single Asgardian who is brave enough to go swimming in my water.”
“Your water?” Loki snorted. “I sincerely doubt that.”
“… That was all you heard?”
Loki sighed and his fingers playing a gentle melody on Anthony’s chest. “You played a trick on me. Do you know what I’m the god of?” He asked with a grin.
“Probably not water.”
Loki leant in close, his mouth hovering over Anthony’s ears, eliciting shivers. “Lies, fire and mischief, Anthony.”
“Mischief?” Anthony purred. “I like mischief.”
“Of course you do,” Loki replied dryly. “Considering that you put yourself into a fishnet to get to know me.”
“Mhm.” Anthony shot him a grin. “Would you like to go on a swim with me?” he asked then, nervousness lacing his voice.
Loki barely hesitated before he answered. “Yes.”
Anthony laughed at that, taken by obvious surprise by the eagerness Loki hadn’t bothered to hide in his voice and slipped into the water, his fin waving at Loki in an invitation to join him.
He let his seiðr wash over him before he joined Anthony under the water.
As Anthony pulled him into another kiss under water, Loki’s hair floating like a dark halo around them, he was gladder than ever before that no other Aesir was swimming in Asgard’s dark water. This was his realm where he could find refuge in and maybe, he hoped as Anthony’s tongue slipped between his lips and made sure to drive him crazy, he could find something else here as well that seemed to be denied to him ashore.