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Every summer, Loki waits for the Aesir to arrive.

Loki is a whore year-round—has taken all kinds of cock ever since his father discovered he was barren and realized that his half-breed runt of a child could not even be sold off into marriage.

He has spread his legs for Jotun, stuffed with cocks the size of his forearm; for dark elves and the cold, clinical tools of their pleasure; for all manner of beasts with slithering tongues and tentacles and knots. 

The Aesir are the least awful. The great golden men of Asgard are almost Loki’s size, and their cocks are just large enough to be pleasurable, and small enough that they do not hurt at all. But the best thing by far is their come—hot, almost scorching, leaving Loki dazed and sleepy, hungry for more, always more. There is nothing that drives Loki out of his mind faster than the warmth of an Aesir cock. 

Sometimes, he cradles his come-swollen belly and wonders what it would be like to have a child. To not be a disgraced whore. To be loved.

But he cannot have any of those things, so he instead spreads his legs and waits for the Meltwater, when the rivers swell and the sky, still sun-less, grows a little less gray. When the Aesir come, and Loki can be warm. 

One summer, there is a new member of the retinue from Asgard. 

These past years, Asgard has delivered unto Jotunheim a group of men: diplomats and politicians and soldiers to participate in the tenuous act of negotiating a treaty. It has been a long and arduous process. But this year, finally, the treaty will be signed, and Asgard has sent its golden son, Prince Thor, son of Odin, to ensure that things go well. 

Loki hears all of this from the gossip in the kitchens, where he sleeps beside the great stove, the warmest place in the palace. He keeps a nest of matted furs in a corner, and the cooks and the kitchen hands are kind and good to him, even hiding him if he is too tired to take another cock that day. 

Loki eats with them and helps with the tasks that his smaller fingers are suited for: picking out rocks in the grain, peeling small fruit, plucking thin bones out of fish. Every night, they fill a large tub with hot water to clean their cooking tools, and set aside a portion for Loki to wash with. The head cook, Gyda, keeps the fire banked so that Loki is warm through the cold night. They are the only family he has ever had. 

On the day the Aesir arrive, Loki is fetched by a guard from the kitchens. He only has a moment to wrap himself in his least dirty fur before he is taken through the freezing halls to an opulent room. Inside, a man with bright hair turns from the window at his arrival.

Loki’s mouth waters immediately.

He is beautiful, the prince, for surely this must be him. Only Thor Odinson himself could be so radiant, so warm

“They say you are a prince,” Thor says, when the guard has left. 

“No, sire, only a whore,” Loki says. 

“But you are a son of Laufey,” Thor presses.

Loki only smiles, crooked and sad. 

“If I were his son, I would not be in your service, my lord,” Loki says. 

Thor turns away, abrupt, to gaze outside the window. 

After a moment, he says, “He has offered for you to warm my bed for the weeks that we are here to finalize the treaty.”

“It would be an honor, my lord,” Loki says. It is not even a lie. After months of icy Jotun cock, he can feel his cunt growing slick in anticipation of Thor’s warmth. 

When Thor turns again to face him, his expression is inscrutable. 

“I have come here to ensure the negotiations go well,” Thor says, his tone grim. “I cannot offend my host. Your—Laufey-King…I feel that he would take it as an offense. If I were to refuse your—services.”

He clasps his hands behind his back, as if waiting for Loki to respond.

Loki blinks. 

“Do you have an opinion on the matter?” Thor prompts. Thor asks. Asks Loki, the whore of the House of Laufey, if he has an opinion on the use of his body. 

This Aesir, Loki thinks, is very strange.

“It—it would be an honor to warm your bed, sire,” Loki says again, the only thing he can think to say. 

Thor’s brow furrows. Weakly, Loki says, “Your men have found me pleasing before.”

It is the wrong thing to say. Thor’s expression grows dark and grey, like a portent of rain, and fear lances through Loki. 

He quivers, frozen in place as Thor strides towards him. Despite his fear, he lifts his chin. If Thor means to strike him, Loki will face it with the little dignity he can muster. If Thor means to do worse—Loki will endure that as well.

He gasps when Thor’s palm cups his cheek, instead. He is every bit as warm as Loki expected, thrumming with life, and Loki cannot help but turn his face into the touch.

“I do not wish to hurt you,” Thor says, voice low and gentle. 

Before Loki can think of what to say to something so absurd, Thor continues: “Will you teach me how to make you feel good?”

Loki nods, breathless, and gently guides Thor’s hands to his shoulders. The fur slides off him easily, leaving him bare to the room, heated with a roaring fire for the Aesir prince, and to Thor’s gaze, which warms Loki faster than any fire. 

“How do you like to be touched?” Thor asks, his hands unmoving on Loki’s skin. 

Loki can’t help it: he bursts into incredulous giggles. 

“Anything—anything you do will—oh—”

Thor’s hand trails down his chest, and two fingers play with his nipple, gentle tugs that have Loki whining for more. 

“You are—sensitive,” Thor says, his voice rough.

“Only, ah, only for Aesir, sire—it is the, the warmth—you are—oh! ” Loki throws his head back as Thor’s other hand wanders lower, cupping his meager cock and the lips of his cunt all at once, in the large, balmy cradle of his palm. 

“Please,” Loki gasps, as Thor’s fingers nudge against his slit. He’s soaking Thor’s hand already, just from a few touches. 

Thor hums, thoughtful, his other hand coming up to cup Loki’s jaw and tilt his gaze upwards.

“You will tell me if you do not like this,” Thor says, and waits for Loki to nod, uncomprehending and dizzy. Without another word, the Prince of Asgard kneels down and takes Loki’s cock in his mouth.

It takes three strokes of that tongue, lapping at Loki’s cock with a fiery, terrible warmth, before he’s coming, jerking his hips, his hands caught in helpless indecision in the air. 

“You can touch,” Thor murmurs, muffled against Loki’s cock and cunt. 

Shivering, Loki puts his hands on Thor’s head, stroking dazedly at the softness of his hair as Thor sucks him clean. 

When Thor stands up, Loki rises on his tiptoes to nuzzle at his beard, sticky and soaked with Loki’s own come. 

Then, Thor leads him by the hand to the bed. There, he holds Loki’s legs apart with a gentle strength that threatens to undo Loki entirely—but it is his tongue that achieves that, licking steadily into Loki’s slit until his hips are rising up off the bed and his breath is coming out in ragged pants. Thor’s beard prickles his oversensitive skin, making him gush slick. The sounds Thor’s mouth makes are obscene, even to Loki. 

“S-sire—” Loki chokes out, his hands twitching at his sides. Thor’s hand comes up to blindly close over Loki’s, creating a little pocket of warmth, and Loki grinds up into Thor’s face, his hot mouth, and comes again. 

Thor stays between his legs, his breath puffing out warm against Loki’s twitching cunt, while Loki shudders through the aftershocks of his orgasm. 

“Sssire,” Loki sighs, moaning softly as Thor sits up and cups his cheek again. This time, Loki takes Thor’s hand in his and nuzzles into his palm, purring with pleasure.

Loki almost complains when Thor takes his hand away—he was getting used to the rough, heated press of skin against his—but then Thor wiggles out of his breeches and Loki’s eyes are immediately drawn to his cock. 

His legs fall open as Thor climbs atop him, and Loki almost sobs when he feels that thick, hot cock press up against his skin like a brand.

“Inside me, please,” Loki begs, “please, oh, please.”

Thor ruts against the wet mess of Loki’s cunt for a long while, ignoring Loki’s increasingly-desperate pleas while he gets himself slick. 

By the time Thor guides his cock into Loki, all he can do is make a garbled half-sob, half-moan, and fuck down into it, into the sheer heat, the pulse and throb of sultry pleasure coring into him. 

Thor’s body is a solid line of heat on top of him, encompassing him. It is almost suffocating, but Loki relishes it, greedy for more. 

Then he starts moving, and Loki can barely see through the burning tears that spill out of him. His cunt flutters and clenches, hungry for the thick length being buried inside him again and again. Without realizing it, his arms have gone around Thor, clinging tight, sapping the heat of his skin. 

When Thor comes, groaning softly under his breath, Loki’s eyes roll backwards as he is filled with blistering, molten spend. Every muscle and nerve and cell in Loki’s body melts, fucked senseless.

He smiles hazily, dopey from the warmth, from the sex. He clenches weakly around Thor when he starts to pull out, and reaches down to scoop up the mess that spills between his legs to bring it to his mouth, sucking mindlessly. 

“Hot,” he giggles softly, around his own fingers. “Mmmm.”

Thor is gazing at him with sad, stricken eyes, and through Loki’s come-drunk haze, he manages to ask, “Not good?”

“You were very good,” Thor replies, and Loki relaxes. “You really like the warmth, don’t you?”

“Jotunheim is…cold,” Loki mumbles. He wraps his arms around himself and mimes a shiver. In response, Thor lies down next to him and tucks him against his chest, making Loki purr softly in response. The heat is wonderful. Loki’s cock twitches.

“Jotun cock is cold,” he says, wrinkling his nose. 

“But not mine?” Thor asks.

“Warm,” Loki sighs, cuddling closer. Thor is much better than his nest by the stove, better even than when Loki is fucked by five Aesir men in one night. “So warm.”

Loki spends his next few days in the kitchens, blessedly free of any callers. While the Aesir prince is in Jotunheim, it seems that Loki’s body is for him alone. 

Over lunch, Loki sits on a number of crates so he can reach the table as he eats an egg the size of his fist, listening to them talk about Thor’s prowess in the training field—“pummelled three full-size Jotun to the ground with that hammer of his! ”—and his fascination with Jotun flora—“he drove Vyr half-mad with his questions about seeds”—and rumors of his tenacity in the bedroom—“ah, but little Loki knows all about that.”

Loki rolls his eyes and blushes fiercely as they tease him about the state he’d returned in that first night—wobbling because he’d begged for Thor’s cock in his ass, lips bruised because he’d begged for it in his mouth. Each time, Thor had obliged splendidly, and Loki had carried the warmth of his come and his touch and his unexpected kindness all the way back to his kitchen nest, where Gyda had had to prop him against the wall to get some porridge into him. 

“He was very kind,” Loki says, “and thorough. And warm.” And he says nothing more, because even the memory of Thor is enough to have him soaking through his smallclothes at night. 

“Do you think he’ll take you?” Eista asks in an undertone while they wash the dishes. 

Loki wipes his brow and frowns. “What do you mean?”

“If he likes you well enough, he might take you to—to Asgard with him. Wouldn’t that be nice?”

“Don’t be silly,” Loki says, feeling suddenly irritated. “He hasn’t even called for me in three days. I doubt he’d want to take a Jotun whore to Asgard.”

“You’re not a whore, Loki, you’re—”

Loki plunges his hands back into the lukewarm, soapy water, fixing the larger Jotun with a glare so poisonous that his mouth clicks shut. 

“I’m just saying,” Eista mutters, “he wouldn’t treat you so kindly if he didn’t like you.”

By the end of the week, Loki is sure that Thor has thoroughly forgotten him. 

Everyone appears to think so as well, and Loki begins to receive his usual visitors, the parade of Jotun soldiers and guards, the courtiers and nobles who make their home in Utgard, the builders and stablehands who want a quick fuck. Though, disappointingly, none of the Einherjar that are members of Thor’s party.

The only thing Loki looks forward to every year are the Aesir, and he starts to feel put out, annoyed that he won’t even get warm cock for the summer. 

And some of the Jotun are particularly cruel, likely having heard about how well Thor fucked him. A group of soldiers wakes him from his nest one night and drags him to the barracks, where they drink bad wine and take turns working their cocks into Loki’s ass, a much tighter hole than his cunt. By the end of it, his teeth are chattering from the cold and he is bruised all over, stumbling naked out of the soldiers’ quarters while the satisfied Jotun crow with laughter. 

He just wants to crawl back into the kitchen and lick his wounds in peace, but before he can cross the open training field, a group of Aesir men appear at the other end, exiting from the palace and making their way to their own designated quarters. 

He’s already been fucked open so thoroughly that it would be no trouble at all to take more cock, and just the thought of that warm come filling him up is enough to have him swaying forward. 

Damn. He’s much worse off than he’d realized. Can feel the trickle of mingled come and blood dripping slowly out of him. His vision blurs as he forces himself to walk in the direction of the Aesir. If he could just get warm, he would stop aching so badly. If he could just get warm—

“Loki? Loki—”

“Oh,” Loki says, when Thor swims nauseatingly in his vision. He’s radiant and perfect as ever, and Loki wants his cock so badly he would take it out here in the open.

“I want your cock so badly I would take it out here in the open,” Loki mumbles, or thinks he mumbles, but he’s not quite sure—and eventually it doesn’t matter, because his body decides that that’s a perfect time to give out, and his vision goes dark.

When Loki wakes up, he’s cold. Oh, that’s not fair at all. Did Gyda forget to keep the fire running? Did he pass out on Jotun cock?

He groans, and realizes it’s still dark outside. Inside. He’s clearly in someone’s room, in someone’s bed—there’s some rifling around, and through the darkness he can make out a figure kneeling on the floor. There’s the sound of something crackling, and then a fire roars to life, illuminating Thor’s face as he leans over the fireplace. 

“Sorry,” Thor says, standing up. “The fire died while I was out. You must be freezing.”

Loki blinks, feeling slow and stupid. 

“Does this realm never grow warm?” Thor asks, starting to shed his armor. “Does the sun never come up?”

“Jotunheim has no sun,” Loki mumbles. “Only three moons, reflecting some distant star.”

“Then it is no wonder it is too cold for you,” Thor murmurs. The bed dips as he tucks himself against Loki’s back. 

Loki didn’t think he would end the night being spooned by a human furnace in the form of a strange golden prince. He grinds his ass back against Thor’s crotch, gasping when he can feel the hard line of Thor’s cock through his clothes. Thor places a steadying hand on Loki’s waist and hushes him. 

“Can take it,” Loki mumbles, already drowsy from Thor’s heat.

“Sleep,” Thor says, and draws the blanket over them. 

Loki makes a displeased noise, but he’s too warm and comfortable now to move. 

He sleeps.

When Loki wakes up properly the next morning, the room has warmed up considerably, and he’s kicked the blankets off in his sleep. 

Thor is at the fireplace again, stoking a crackling fire, though he turns his head and gives Loki a small wave when he finds him awake. 

Loki shifts and realizes that the gritty texture on the sheets is his own blood. When he spreads his legs and prods at the soreness between them, his fingers come away dusted with flecks of blood and dried come. 

“Sorry for the mess,” he says, feeling more embarrassed than anything. Did he get it all on Thor too? How mortifying. 

Thor gives him an odd look, like he can’t quite understand what Loki is saying. 

“I got a bath running if you want to clean up,” he says instead. “It should be nice and hot by now.”

“Oh,” Loki says awkwardly. He mumbles his thanks and scurries off the bed, limping past Thor and into the steaming bathing chambers. 

He moans when he sinks into the hot water, submerging his entire body. He can’t remember the last time he bathed like this, completely immersed, instead of dipping a cloth into water and furiously scrubbing himself before it got too cold.

He stays under the surface for as long as he can, coming up only when his lungs are burning. Thor is seated at the edge of the round bathing pool, breeches pulled up to his knees, his legs in the water. 

“Good?” he asks.

“Mrmrm,” Loki burbles. He ducks down again. 

Loki soaks in the bath until the skin on his fingers and toes start to wrinkle, reluctantly heaving himself out of the pool only when Thor promises him a hot meal. He dries himself off and goes, naked, into the other room, savoring the syrupy warmth on his skin.

The steaming pot of stew sitting on the table makes Loki realize just how hungry he is. He eats voraciously, picking out wads of seaweed with his fingers, crunching shrimp and crab shells whole between his teeth. He leaves smears on the goblet of hot wine that he has to lift to his mouth with two hands. 

Thor eats his own portion of stew with a spoon. He’s dainty, the Aesir prince, neater than Loki expected. It’s court manners, maybe, though Loki doesn’t understand why he’d use them in front of a Jotun whore.

“Thank you,” Loki sighs when he’s done, sucking his fingers into his mouth to clean them. He feels warm and full, like he’s just taken a load of Aesir come. 

“Of course,” Thor says, wiping his mouth with a napkin. He sits back and gives Loki another one of those looks, like he’s trying to puzzle him out. Loki slouches in his chair and pats his belly. Maybe it’s because Thor refused Loki’s offer last night, or maybe it’s his strange soft gaze, but Loki feels safe with him. Which, of course, only makes Loki want him more.

Teasingly, he lifts one leg up onto the chair, giving Thor a peek of his cock and cunt. Even that small motion makes pain cringe down his spine. But maybe Thor will be gentle.

“Oh,” Thor says, eyes widening. “That reminds me—” he digs into his pocket and tosses a small jar over, and Loki has to scramble to catch it. He scowls as he pops the lid off and dips his finger into the sticky contents. 

“What is this?” Loki asks, rubbing it between his fingers. “Some sort of lubricant?”

“It’s a salve,” Thor says. “For your—abrasions.”

“Oh,” Loki says, abashed. Awkward again, unsteady in the face of Thor’s kindness. 

Shyly, he asks, “Will you help me put it on?”

He almost expects Thor to refuse, but Thor doesn’t, and he finds himself on his belly on the bed, hugging a pillow to his chest while Thor gently rubs salve on his sore rim. 

The touch is clinical and impersonal, but it makes Loki wet anyway, like the good, dependable whore he is. 

“Can you—inside?” Loki whimpers, and he expects Thor to deny him that too—but after a moment, one long finger slips into Loki’s ass. He buries his face in the pillow, resisting the urge to grind against the bed. 

“Can I ask you a question?” Thor asks, his finger fucking steadily in and out of Loki’s hole.

Loki bites the pillow and nods.

“Is this the fate of all runts in Jotunheim?” Thor asks. He pulls his finger out, giving Loki some reprieve. 

“Being tended to by Aesir who won’t fuck them?” Loki asks dryly. “Or did you mean the whoring.”

“The—yes, I suppose. Do all Jotun your size—?”

“Only those born of Laufey,” Loki says, familiar bitterness curling in his gut. Only for a moment, though, and then it dissipates, leaving behind only a hollow ache. Loki has long tried to understand why his father would force this fate upon him, but the only answer is the obvious one: to punish him for the crime of his existence. 

"I supposed I'm lucky to be alive at all," Loki continues, when Thor says nothing. "Most runts don't make it past their first century."

Thor is silent still, and Loki misses his touch. He exhales, slow, when Thor puts a hand on the small of his back, rubbing gently. 

“I’m sorry,” Thor says. 

Loki rolls over to his back, reaching for Thor’s hand. When he leads it to his cunt, though, Thor holds himself back.

“I cannot,” Thor murmurs, “it would not be proper.”

Loki flushes with shame, letting go of Thor’s hand. Of course. Thor did his duty to keep from offending Laufey, and was kind enough to offer comfort to a cold, miserable creature like Loki. But he does not want Loki. 

“Thank you for the meal,” Loki mumbles, sitting up. “And the bath. And the fire, and the bed.”

“You’re welcome. I’m sorry I could not do more.”

“You’ve done so much,” Loki says. “More than I deserve.”

“Why do you say that?” Thor says, his brow furrowing. 

“Why do you care?” Loki shoots back, swinging his legs over the side of the bed and standing up. 

Thor does not answer. 

Loki sighs.

“Thank you, truly,” he says. Before he goes, Thor offers him his cape to cover his naked form through the palace.

The material is rich and heavy, fit for a prince, a king. Loki hesitates to even touch it. 

“It is spelled with runes,” Thor urges. “It will keep you warm.”

Loki is a greedy creature. He takes the cloak, and leaves Thor’s rooms.

Thor shows up in the kitchens the next day.

Loki is so startled he almost falls off his box of crates and into the large washing basin full of plates. Eista steadies him, and Loki manages to clamber down from his perch with some amount of dignity. But the cooks and kitchen hands are starting to stare, so Loki does what he must.

He shoves Thor out into the hallway.

“What are you doing here,” Loki demands. 

“I—came to see if you were free,” Thor says.

“If I was free?” Loki says, incredulous. “You made it perfectly clear that you don’t want to fuck me!”

Thor sighs, pinching his nose. “Yes. I mean—no, I don’t want to. But I enjoy your company.”

“My company?” Loki asks. 

“Your company,” Thor says simply. 

Loki opens his mouth, then closes it. Opens it again. “I’m busy,” is what comes out. 

“Oh,” Thor says.

“Kiss him!” someone yells from the kitchen. It sounds like Eista, the bastard. Loki’s going to gut him with a paring knife. 

“You can come back tonight,” Loki says haughtily. 

“Or,” Thor says, “I can stay and help?”

There are so many things Loki could say to that. Why would Thor do that? What does he really want from Loki? And doesn’t a prince have much better things to do than spend time with a whore in a hot, coal-stained kitchen? 

But there’s a crate of potatoes twice Loki’s size that needs peeling. 

“Okay,” Loki says slowly, “but you have to promise to ignore anything Eista says.”

“I give you my word,” Thor says, solemn. 

Which is how they end up spending an afternoon peeling potatoes—Jotun potatoes, each almost the size of Loki’s head. Loki has got this down to a science now, almost, knows just the right way to keep the vegetable balanced, to cut a whole strip around without wasting any of the soft flesh. 

“You’re much better at this than I am,” Thor says after his first try, frowning.

“It’s my only skill,” Loki says airily. “Well, this and taking cock.”

Thor gets that sad look on his face again, the kicked-puppy gaze that makes Loki feel bad even though he was only telling the truth.

Behind Thor, Eista makes a lewd gesture with a carrot and his mouth, waggling his eyebrows at Loki—Loki scowls hard enough to make Thor turn back, but by then Eista's head is bent over his chopping board, nonchalant. 

Loki twirls his knife between his fingers in warning. I will kill you, he mouths at Eista, who only grins.

“You seem very handy with a knife,” Thor says, his eyes lingering on Loki’s hands. 

Loki shrugs, lowering his head. “I used to train with them,” he says, focusing on the way the skin of the potato gives way under his blade. “Before—well. Before.” 

“Did you ever learn to fight with them? Most Aesir prefer to bash their opponents with the biggest weapon they can find.”

Loki gives a rueful grin. “I stabbed the first person who tried to rape me. Took out his eye.” 

Loki says nothing more; he doesn’t need to. Both he and Thor can see how well things have turned out for him since. 

“I don’t know if this is even edible anymore,” Thor says with a self-deprecating laugh, showing Loki his mutilated lump of a potato. “I clearly have no skill in this.”

“Maybe you should take up whoring next,” Loki says, then wishes he could rip off his own tongue. What a thing to say to the Prince of Asgard.

But Thor only shakes his head, saying, “I would disgrace you even worse in that.”

“You would,” Loki nods. “What is it that you do all day, anyway? Nothing as strenuous as my schedule, I assume.”

“Oh, it is all talking and speeches and listening to old men, and being asked about my opinion but only if I give the correct one, and memorizing land disputes from a hundred centuries ago to settle cases of two farmers arguing about whether their cows can graze in this field or—”

Thor stops talking abruptly, wincing. “You must think I’m vile for complaining about this.”

“No, no, not at all,” Loki says, with a sly grin. “My life is looking better and better, to tell you the truth.”

“I am wretched,” Thor sighs. 

Loki laughs, surprising himself. “Talk to me about other things, then, about your horrible life.”

“What do you wish to know?” Thor asks. 

“Tell me…tell me about Asgard,” Loki says. He forces his voice to hold steady but he can’t help the way his heart creeps into his throat. 

“My words would do it no justice,” Thor says. “And I have no gift with them, in any case.”

“Can you try?” Loki asks. He’s not above begging. He needs to know, suddenly, about the kind of realm that has borne a man such as Thor. 

Thor is thoughtful for a few long moments, clumsily but earnestly working on his potato. “It is…it is the most beautiful place in the Nine Realms. The life it bears—ah. In the spring, we have flowers, and the summer is heavy with apples. Peaches and berries too, and apricots, which we make into jam for the rest of the year.”

His voice turns dreamy, lilting. 

“In autumn, the fields turn golden with wheat. Even in winter, we have snowdrops and holly and honeysuckle. My mother’s gardens bloom year-round, and she has demanded I bring her back some Jotun varieties, but your gardener does not seem to think they will thrive in Asgard.”

Loki swallows, his work forgotten as he hangs on to every word that falls from Thor’s lips. 

“It will be summer by the time we return home, and the Jotun blooms will wither away. But summer is the best of Asgard, when the sun does not set until the feasting has ended in the halls of Idavollr, and the skies are empty and blue as far as you can see.”

“And the sun?” Loki asks, too desperate to care if he is embarrassing himself. “What does it feel like?”

“It feels—it feels like a gift taken for granted,” Thor murmurs, “something always counted on. Never acknowledged. But we would have nothing without it. It is…it is warmth and light and life all at once. Like a cloak you can’t take off. Like a friend you are happy to see everyday.”

While Thor speaks, Loki can almost forget they are not alone. Can almost forget his miserable existence. Can almost savor it on his tongue, the honey-sweetness of Thor’s words.

Then Gyda slams a basket of potatoes on the table, giving Loki a quelling look. 

“I’m afraid I’m doing more harm than good with these,” Thor says, grinning sheepishly. Gyda huffs, unimpressed, and stalks away.

Loki sighs. He pushes himself up onto the large wooden table and sits closer to Thor, cupping his large hands with Loki’s own. It is warmth and light and life, Loki thinks, to be this close to Thor. It makes him ache. It makes him wet, too. 

“Like this,” Loki says, guiding knife against skin and flesh. 

Thor does not pull away, not until they are done.

Too soon, there is an hour left till the dinner bell, and the kitchen starts to bustle with work. 

Before Thor leaves, he lifts Loki’s palm to his mouth and kisses the very center of it. Loki watches him walk away and realizes, dimly, that he’s soaked through his smallclothes.

Later that night, Loki curls up in his nest and puts his fingers between his legs. Tucks his face into Thor’s cape, rubs his whole palm against himself, thinking of the warmth Thor left there. The warmth he left on Loki.

He stuffs the cape between his teeth to stifle his moans as he comes. 

Soon, it is no longer odd to see Thor-Prince and Loki-Whore together: one regal and golden, the other dark and scorned. 

Loki tends not to stray far away from the kitchen and its roaring fire, so that is where he and Thor spend most of their time. The towering halls and forbidding rooms of the palace are almost as foreign to Loki as the idea of Asgard. Jotunheim is beautiful but austere, and it has never felt like home to Loki. If Thor were to ask him for a tour of the palace, he would not know where to go and what to say. Oh, here is where I first took three Aesir men all at once. And this shadowy corner over here is where that foreign dignitary with the tentacles stuffed his eggs inside me. And this little nook is where I sucked the cock of an elf and almost passed out from the cold. 

And so on. 

Loki doesn’t think Thor would be interested. 

But there are many things to be discovered in the other parts of the palace, the ones meant for servants and common folk. 

The kitchens with their great fires and bubbling pots and hissing coals, where they talk and peel root vegetables until Gyda shoos them away. The freezers, a series of caverns where the colossal bodies of mammoth seals and armored bears are stored, enough to feed the residents of the palace for years. They stay only for a moment—it is too cold for Loki’s liking—but Thor is sufficiently awed. The pantry, where the great bushels of grain and flour are kept, the barrels of oil, the crates of fruit that are imported from other realms. The cellar, with the ale and mead and wine, where Thor and Loki sneak a few bottles of drink and then spend the night playing cards with the cooks and the kitchen hands, who, like Loki, have warmed up to the company of the golden Aesir prince.

There are the stables where the hunting hounds and wolf mounts live, the coop for the wild ducks with razor-sharp claws and bodies large enough to ride, the grazing fields for sheep with wool as dark as the sea of Aurgelmir. 

The best place, though, Loki saves for last. Thor has seen the gardens, having been given the customary tour. But Vyr, the groundskeeper, has a special spot in his heart for Loki—and for Loki’s mouth on his cock. It is not difficult to convince him to leave the gates unlocked one night, so Loki can bring Thor in to see.

They meet in the kitchen as usual, Thor after a long day of negotiations, and Loki after a long day of dealing with Eista’s insatiable need for gossip. (No, he has not fucked Thor again, yes, okay, fine, he would like to very much, oh, damn, Gyda will butcher us if we let the stew burn.)

Before they leave, Loki tugs Thor’s cloak out of his little nest—now also padded with one of Thor’s tunics and a pair of his socks, for Loki’s feet—and they make their way to the outer grounds of the palace. 

The gates to the gardens creaks open at Loki’s touch, to his relief. He murmurs something about Vyr owing him a favor when Thor asks, grateful that Thor doesn’t prod. It’s so cold that Loki can see his breath, and Thor’s, puffing out of their lips as they wander deeper inside, following a path surrounded by ironwood pines. There’s a full moon out, and soon Loki begins to smell what they came here to see: the field of night-blooming flowers cultivated from an island off the coast of Thrymheim, opening slowly under the light of the moon. 

Thor drifts from Loki’s side to kneel in the snow and touch his fingers to an open petal. It comes away dusted with silvery pollen.

“We call them elding flowers,” Loki explains, “because they bloom heaviest just before dawn, then close again.”

“They are beautiful,” Thor says. “I’m sure mother would love to see them.”

“They were my mother’s favorites,” Loki says. “Though I—I have only heard it from other people. I never met her.”

Thor walks back to him, and they take their seats on a bench. Loki yelps from how cold it is, seeping even through his furs and Thor’s cloak, so when Thor pats his thighs in invitation, Loki doesn’t hesitate. 

It is the closest they have been since the night they slept together. Even though Loki is much less naked now, it feels more intimate, and soon he is shivering not from the cold but from the proximity to Thor’s body. 

“Is this all right?” Thor murmurs, one hand on Loki’s back and the other on top of Loki’s, through the cloak. 

“More than all right,” Loki breathes. Every small shift makes him realize how wet this is making him, and he tucks his legs tighter together. And it’s more than that, he knows. These past weeks, they have been journeying closer and closer to the edge of a cliff, not realizing the sheer drop that awaits them until they are nearly upon it. 

Loki does not know who moves first—only that the heat that blooms between their lips is the sweetest thing he has ever felt. 

As good as it feels, Loki soon has to pull away with a quiet giggle.

“Mmm?” Thor asks. He licks his lips. Loki leans in to bite, then pulls away again.

“Your mouth is so soft,” Loki says, delighted. “It is like kissing a cloud.”

“And how many clouds have you been kissing, to know that?”

“Hundreds,” Loki says confidently. “Thousands, even. I have kissed every—mmmnnn—

Thor’s hand caresses his face, making Loki whimper into his mouth. 

“And how do I compare?” Thor asks, after they pull away again.

“What?” Loki says, more breath than word. He feels so terribly wet, positively sodden. It should be around the point when he starts begging for cock, but he only wants Thor to hold him, kiss him, make jokes about clouds with him. 

“How do I compare,” Thor says, teasing, “to all the others you have kissed?”

“I don’t know,” Loki says, soft. “You are the only one who has ever bothered to kiss me.”

Thor makes a noise, wounded, and cradles Loki close. 

“Dear one,” he murmurs, his thumb stroking Loki’s cheekbone. It startles a purr out of Loki’s chest.

“Thank you for bringing me here,” Thor says, his gaze so sad and so soft. “I will always treasure this memory, as I treasure you.”

Loki’s breath catches in his throat. 

He recovers himself, then says, with a quicksilver grin, “I suppose I enjoy your company too.”

That startles a laugh out of Thor, and Loki adores the way it shivers through his own body. 

“I wanted you to see,” Loki says, voice slanting into sincerity. “I asked Vyr to save some cuttings in a special glass case for you. Something to take home to Asgard.”

It hangs between them, unspoken, but they both know: Thor’s days in Jotunheim are almost at an end. With the treaty established, Thor has been invited to a celebratory hunt in the Ironwood. Three days, and then he leaves, taking with him the only light in Jotunheim’s eternal dusk. 

“Loki,” Thor whispers, his eyes fluttering as if in pain.

“If only you could keep me in glass and take me with you as well,” Loki jokes weakly.

“You only have to ask,” Thor says, “and I would do everything in my power—”

“I couldn’t,” Loki says. He smiles, a small sad thing. The gesture makes tears spill down his cheeks. “I’m not meant for Asgard, not someone as cold and brittle as I am. I’d burn, Thor. No, I cannot go with you.”

“I could not bear to leave you,” Thor says, and Loki is surprised to see his eyes shine with tears. “The thought of you alone, cold and ill-used, Loki—”

“My father would never allow it. He hates me more than anything. I suspect more than he loves his own realm.”

“I would break the treaty we have come here to negotiate,” Thor says, fervent, nudging his forehead against Loki’s, rocking them together, “I would take you away, Laufey be damned.”

“And doom two realms to war, for the sake of one Jotun?” Loki laughs sadly. “No, Thor, you would not. You must not.”

“Loki—”

“Please,” Loki says, voice breaking, “it is killing me to argue for my own misery.”

“I’m sorry,” Thor murmurs, kissing Loki’s hair, his cheeks. “I’m sorry.”

“Only promise me that you will return. Promise me that I’ll see you again.”

“I will come back,” Thor promises, “every year, I will visit you and bring you only the sweetest fruits and the warmest clothes and the softest kisses.”

Loki laughs, then sobs, then does not stop sobbing. Thor kisses every tear away, his touch burning Loki. It is the most terrible pain and the most soothing balm at the same time. 

A whimper shivers out of Loki’s throat when Thor’s mouth moves past his jaw, brushing kisses down his neck. His hand quests underneath the cloak, settling on Loki’s thigh, his touch cold because of the air outside—for once, Loki is the warm one. 

“Can I—?” Thor asks, voice rough. His fingers twitch. 

“Please,” Loki whispers. He nudges himself closer to Thor, spreading his legs wider. It should make him feel absurd, spreading his legs in the middle of a garden, tear tracks still shining on his face, but it only makes arousal coil tighter in his stomach. Loki has been taken and used in every corner of the palace. This moonlit meadow, though, with the snow melting on their skin and the scent of elding blooms in the air, this will only be for Thor. 

“You’re—oh,” Thor gasps softly, his hand cupping the sodden mess between Loki’s legs. 

Ah,” Loki sighs, rocking into Thor’s touch, “ah, please.

Thor kisses him again, deep and slow, and Loki moans softly, dripping steadily as Thor slips a hand into Loki’s smallclothes and touches the heat of him with cool fingers. 

They warm up very quickly.

Loki drops his head against Thor’s shoulder, his hands coming to fist at Thor’s clothes through the cloak. His hips work into the gentle, easy strokes of Thor’s hand, the sound of wet and slick growing louder, eclipsed only by their increasingly labored breaths. 

It’s strangely endearing, the way they have to manoeuvre themselves so that Thor can slip Loki’s smallclothes off under his furs, the act of undressing something intimate, a vessel for the love they share between them. Then Thor winks as he stuffs Loki’s underwear into his pocket, “to keep it warm,” he says, and Loki giggles until Thor presses his whole palm against Loki’s cunt and makes him moan instead. 

“What do you need?” Thor asks, breathless. Loki could come like this, he knows. Could come just from Thor’s fingers curling and stroking into Loki’s cunt, his hot tongue in Loki’s mouth and his neck bared for Loki’s teeth. 

Please,” Loki whines, feeling his mind start to slip away, melting into the heat and warmth and pulse of Thor’s body, Loki’s own living sun. “Inside,” Loki sobs, “I need you, Thor, please, oh—”

Loki’s thoughts spin outwards, bursting into stars and galaxies as Thor slowly, steadily pushes into him. He turns his face upwards, staring at the stars, the bright aurora that shimmers and snakes through Jotunheim’s sky. The three moons of the realm, their meager light enough to make flowers bloom. 

I want that, Loki thinks, nebulous and dazed as he goes pliant in Thor’s arms, opening up achingly for the warm cock inside his cunt. Not to be a sun, but a moon, with light enough for flowers.

“Loki?” Thor murmurs, cradling Loki’s face in his large hands. 

“Mmm,” Loki sighs, opening eyes that he hadn’t realized he’d closed. He shifts in Thor’s lap and moans, clenching around Thor’s cock. It’s dizzyingly hot, and sitting atop of Thor makes Loki feel every inch of it stuffed inside him. 

“Hi,” Thor whispers, leaning in to kiss Loki’s cheek, his nose. 

“Oh,” Loki whimpers, rocking back and forth in Thor’s lap. “S-so good. Thor.”

“Stay here,” Thor murmurs, “stay here with me.”

Loki nods, fighting for coherence, trying not to slip away as he often has to. This is Thor, he tells himself, who cares for him. Who is gentle, and kind, and deserves for Loki to be present

Thor’s arms come around him, holding him closer as he starts to rock to a rhythm, and Loki can hear Thor breathing hard, panting open-mouthed, his hips twitching upwards into Loki, hands restless on Loki’s back, and it dawns on Loki that Thor is just as gone on him as Loki is for Thor.

Loki clenches his cunt, tightening himself in a way that he knows men like, and Thor squeezes his eyes shut and shudders, a helpless quake that Loki feels against his whole body. 

Gods,” Thor groans, sounding wrecked. “Loki, gods, dear heart, you’re so, you’re perfect, so good, please, oh.”

I did that, Loki thinks, flushing in shock, I did that to him

Tentatively, he reaches his hands up and guides Thor’s arms lower, places Thor’s hands on his slim waist, his thumbs digging into Loki’s stomach. And Thor’s hands stay there, all because Loki wanted them to. 

He puts his own hands on Thor’s shoulders and bounces a bit on Thor’s cock, grinding his hips, finding his own pleasure, and every movement has Thor’s hands clenching like he can’t help himself. Thor’s proximity and warmth is as lovely as it always is, but somehow Loki has garnered a measure of control here, and it’s intoxicating

Boldly, he strokes Thor’s jaw and pulls him in for a kiss, open-mouthed and hot, and Thor opens up for his tongue, lets Loki lick and suck as he likes, keeps himself still as Loki whines and whimpers into his mouth, shaking as he falls apart on Thor’s cock. 

His thrusts grow erratic, frantic, he can’t help how he’s bucking now, slick and full and burning up from inside, almost unable to comprehend that he is taking his pleasure, not merely receiving what someone else thrusts upon him, and Thor is grunting, animalistic, as Loki seizes up, clutching Thor tight, a hand clawing tightly at Thor’s hair, Loki gushing messily between them, crying out as he comes and comes and comes

Loki groans, aftershocks rocking through him, his cunt swallowing hungrily around Thor’s cock, feeling swollen and sensitive and still needy. Loki nuzzles into Thor’s neck, sighing and purring, and Thor quivers underneath him.

“Gods,” Thor chokes out, his cock twitching inside Loki. He’s so hard, Loki can feel him throbbing. Loki hums and clenches, making Thor’s hands spasm, still on his hips, where Loki left them.  

“Please, gods, Loki,” Thor groans, wound up so tight from the effort it’s taking him not to thrust up into Loki. 

Loki moans in reply, balancing himself with his hands on Thor’s shoulder as he pulls off, immediately empty and aching, cunt fluttering around nothing, baring Thor’s cock to the cold air for just a moment, making Thor hiss and swear before Loki slides down to his knees in the snow, then leans up and swallows Thor down to the hilt. 

Thor makes an unintelligible sound, his hands resting on Loki’s head, tangling into his hair. Loki makes an encouraging noise and begins to bob his head, sucking and purring, looking up only when Thor tugs gently, meeting Thor’s dark gaze with his own glazed, tear-filled, overwhelmed eyes, and that’s all it takes for Thor to come. Loki swallows him down greedily, eyes fluttering shut from the incredible heat of it, the molten spend that burns through Loki. 

Even that, Loki realizes dreamily, was for his pleasure. 

“Gods,” Thor swears, “Norns, Loki,” tugging Loki back up into his lap, plunging his hands underneath Loki’s furs to stroke his skin and tug his nipples.

“I’m sorry,” Loki gasps. “I wanted—I wanted that to be something for us, for both of us, but I only used you, and I didn’t mean to, only you were so—you were so good for me—”

“You were perfect,” Thor insists. “You took what you wanted and it was beautiful, you were beautiful, I’ve never had anyone so perfect—”

The second time is slower, Loki sitting astride Thor once more, rolling his hips, unrushed, their mouths pressed together, taking both their pleasures from each other, the heat building up between them, hotter and hotter until they’re both fevered and fervent, pressed so tight together that every shudder and quiver is passed back and forth and back, such every clench of Loki’s cunt and every thrust of Thor’s cock belongs to both of them, pleasure amplifying with each pass. There is no peak, or perhaps they never come down from it, only pull away and realize they have both spent, satisfied and replete, profound with adoration for each other.

After that, Thor returns the favor and goes down on his knees, ducks under his cloak and puts his mouth on Loki and licks, languid and luxurious, Loki’s thighs quivering against his ears. He cleans Loki of spend and smacks kisses on his cunt, wiggles his tongue inside to make Loki laugh and moan. 

Thor helps Loki slip into his smallclothes again, warmed against Thor’s body, and, invigorated, they take another tour around the garden. Soon, though, dawn starts to creep through the edges between pine trees, and they must scurry back into the palace.

At the threshold to the kitchen, Thor allows Loki to pin him against the wall and kiss him, deep and hungry. Each kiss only leaves them hungrier.

“I wish I did not have to leave Utgard,” Thor says, brow furrowing. Loki kisses him one more time, and aches as Thor sways towards him. “Three days in the Ironwood, cold and miserable without you. But...on the day I return, the treaty will be celebrated with a feast. Would you—would you permit me to take you? I would have you by my side for one last night.”

“I am not welcome in Laufey’s Hall,” Loki murmurs. “But I will come. Not as his son or Jotunheim’s unwanted prince, or its disgraced, filthy whore—”

“As Loki,” Thor says. “Only Loki.”

“Loki-Potato Peeler,” Loki says. “Loki-Carrot Chopper.”

“Loki Card-Cheater,” Thor says, playing along with a small smile. “Loki Ale-Stealer.”

“Loki Thor-Lover,” Loki whispers, punching out a sob through Thor’s chest.

“I love you,” Thor says, fervent, desperate. “I love you.”

And then he is gone, for three of the coldest days of Loki’s life.

While Thor is away, the wolves come out to play.

For the first two days, Loki is left alone. Sif, Thor’s lieutenant and the only woman in his party, takes a station in the kitchen to make sure Loki stays unmolested. On the third day, though, a fight breaks out among the Aesir and the Jotun in the training field, and Sif excuses herself to attend to her duties. 

It is almost the end of the day, in any case, and Loki washes up quickly, hoping to be presentable for tonight’s feast, and starts to make his way to Thor’s room. 

That is when his luck runs out. 

Haule and Ostr, two Jotun that Loki recognizes from their proclivity of spitting on him when they’re done, are waiting to accost him in a hallway. 

Loki tries to run, but they only laugh and grab him easily.

Very quickly, he has his back against the wall, his wrists pulled up high above his head, straining his shoulders and forcing him on his tiptoes, giving him no purchase as he sinks deeper and deeper into the thick cock being forced into his cunt. He tries to breathe through it, hoping it will go quickly.

“What is it, little whore?” Haule rasps. “You think you’re too good for Jotun cock now?”

Loki squeals at the rough intrusion, writhing against the wall. But there is nowhere to go but down. 

“Can’t even talk, he’s too hungry for it,” says Ostr. He bends down to pick up the pile of red fabric pooled on the floor.

“No!” Loki cries. He squirms, but the motion only drives the cock deeper inside him. It’s cold as an icicle, thick and unforgiving. 

“What is this?” Ostr growls, shaking Thor’s cloak. “A gift from your Aesir prince?” 

“No,” Loki chokes out, “please.” He’d known it was so very stupid of him to wear Thor’s cloak through the palace, painting a target on himself. Should have kept it in his nest, under his furs, for him to cling to at night. But Loki missed Thor, and he only wanted to be warm.

Haule gives a curious grunt, abruptly tearing his cock out of Loki with a scoff. Loki gasps as he’s dropped to the floor, his cunt throbbing painfully. But he barely notices—not through the panic that fills him when the two Jotun start examining the cape. 

“It’s mine,” Loki whimpers, clutching at the wall to heave himself up on shaking legs. “Please, it’s mine.” 

“Yours?” Haule says, with a rough laugh. He takes the cape from his companion and drapes it over his own shoulders. “I think I’ll be keeping this.”

Please,” Loki begs, crying in earnest now. “Please, f-fuck me, take my cunt and my ass, you can both—please, just, please—” He’ll never be warm again, not without the cloak, not without Thor. Not in this wretched palace, in this cruel realm. 

He dissolves into helpless, horrible sobs, sinking to the floor in despair.

“It doesn’t suit you.”

Loki’s head jerks up in shock. 

Thor steps up beside Loki’s kneeling form. He holds a hand out, and Loki stares at it, disbelieving, before letting Thor help him up.

“What did you say, Aesir princess?” 

“It’s too short, for one thing,” Thor says. “And it doesn’t go well with your complexion at all. What do you think, Loki?”

Loki gapes, staring at Thor, and then at the Jotun. 

“I—I think he should give it back,” Loki finds it in himself to whisper. 

“Yes,” Thor agrees. “I think you’re right.”

The two Jotun are utterly silent, their red eyes full of unbanked loathing. 

“Fine,” says Haule, finally, ripping Thor’s cloak off and dropping it to the floor. 

“Thank you,” Thor says primly. As the Jotun walk away, Thor bends down to pick up his cloak, shaking it out. Under his breath, he mutters, “I do so love diplomacy, don’t you?”

He drapes the cloak carefully over Loki’s shoulders. 

“Loki?”

“It’s not going to stop,” Loki whispers. “It’s never going to—” His breath hitches and he sobs. 

“I’m sorry,” Thor murmurs, stroking Loki’s neck. “I thought if I gave you my favor, then you would be left alone, but I was wrong. I’m sorry. I should have taken you with me, kept you safe.”

Loki shakes his head, gasping for breath through his sobs. He follows blindly as Thor leads him back to his room. Once they’re there, Thor sits Loki on the edge of his bed, and goes down to one knee in front of him, rubbing Loki’s cold hands, clasped on his lap. 

“Loki,” Thor says solemnly, “I have a proposition.”

“Is it, can I fuck you senseless with my cock?” Loki sniffles. 

Thor’s mouth twitches. “Come with me to Asgard.”

Loki means to refuse, means to push Thor away and leave himself to his sorrow, but he is so very tired. He has endured much, and he knows he can endure still, but for once, Loki wants to do more than that. He wants to live. He wants to thrive.

“Yes,” he whispers. “I want to see the sun.”

Thor smiles. He lifts Loki’s hands to his mouth and kisses them, and his touch burns through Loki. 

A knock on the door has them both looking up, and when Thor calls out for the person to enter, Loki is surprised to see Sif stride in, looking flustered.

“Thor, I can’t find—” then she catches sight of Loki, disheveled and distressed on Thor’s bed, and falls to one knee, a fist on her chest. 

“I’m sorry,” she says at once, “I shouldn’t have left, I should have—”

“Oh,” Loki mumbles, feeling awkward. “It’s okay. You don’t have to do that. People don’t really—” he seems to realize that both Sif and Thor are on their knees now, and finishes lamely, “—kneel for me.”

“Loki, we cannot leave you here,” Sif says, her expression grim. “The number of people I have had to fend off—”

“I’m going to Asgard,” Loki says, his heart pounding just from saying it out loud. He can’t make himself believe, not quite yet. 

“But first,” Thor says, his expression turning thoughtful, “we must find a way to convince Laufey.”

“No,” Loki says at once, when Thor reveals his plan. He strokes Thor’s face and shakes his head vehemently. “It is too high a price. Lady Sif, tell him he can’t.”

Sif grimaces, but shakes her head. “It is his choice. I do not think it is the wrong one.”

“There is no price too high,” Thor says. He puts his hand on top of Loki’s, turns his head to kiss Loki’s palm, his fingers. His mouth sears Loki’s skin.

“It’s not fair,” Loki says. “You can’t convince me with kisses, I can’t think when you do that, you know it makes me—”

“Do you think you don’t make me feel the same way? Do you think there is anything I would not give to see you happy and free?” 

Loki inhales sharply.

“What if it doesn’t work?” Sif asks. 

“If Laufey is as cruel as I think,” Thor says, “then it will work.”

“He is more cruel than you could know,” Loki says.

“Then trust me,” Thor says.

Loki closes his eyes. He tries to imagine Asgard, the sun, the summer. But he only sees darkness behind his eyelids.

Slowly, Loki nods.

There is a great swelling of voices in Laufey’s Hall, a wall of sound that stops Loki in his tracks. The chamber is massive, said to be hewn out of a slab of glacier older than Jotunheim itself. As the children’s tale goes, the ice and snow carved to make the hall was spread all over the land, creating the first and everlasting winter of the realm. 

When Loki was a child, when he was not yet a disgrace and a failure in his father’s eyes, he would sneak into the hall, tiny as a snowflake, and clamber up the rafters to watch the goings-on at court. He’d thought he’d have a place there someday—not on the throne, nor even on the dais. But perhaps a seat at one of the great ironwood tables. Maybe even a place in the corner, hidden by shadows. He used to dream of it, long for it, even though it is cold in Laufey’s Hall, colder than any other part of the palace. 

Loki would have endured it, he knows, for even a scrap of his father’s attention.

When he steps into the hall with Thor by his side, he feels every head turn to look at him. Every head except one.

Laufey sits on his throne, still as a statue, and stares, unseeing, past Loki.

Thor sits at a coveted place at the High Table, beside Laufey’s most honored generals, only two seats away from Helblindi, the Crown Prince. Loki has not spoken to his brother in many years, but Helblindi dismisses him almost as soon as he sees him. This is to be expected. Loki is here not as his brother, but as the Prince of Asgard’s whore.

Thor drinks too much. This is to be expected as well: the feast is for him, after all. For the prince who has finally completed the treaty, for the men of Asgard who have worked tirelessly through the years to bring peace to the two realms. 

Thor touches him. Shamelessly, in full view of everyone at the table and anyone who wants to see. The Aesir has had too much to drink. But he’s earned it, after all. And everyone knows what Loki is. 

Nobody stops Thor, not even when he picks Loki up and pushes him on top of the table. Not even when he rips Loki’s tunic off and starts to work on his breeches. Not even when Loki begins to beg, high-pitched and terrified, for him to stop. 

Thor’s heat is smothering, blistering, suffocating. Loki almost lets it happen. A part of him wants Laufey to see what he has turned Loki into. 

And another part of Loki simply wants Thor

But not like this. 

Loki’s hand flails, grasping at the mess on the table. He touches a cold, sharp edge. Thor’s knife, abandoned by his plate.

Thor drapes his body over Loki’s and presses their mouths together in a brutal crush.

Now, he murmurs against Loki’s lips. 

In one swift motion, Loki brings the knife down on Thor’s face.

Thor roars, reeling backwards, his hand clutched to the side of his face. Blood gushes through his fingers. 

There is so much of it. 

In the chaos that ensues, Loki scrabbles to the floor, weaving and pushing his way through the crowd. He is almost at the door when someone grabs him. It is Sif. She gets a hand in his hair and drags him, snarling and struggling, to where Thor stands imperious in front of Laufey. 

As imperious as he can look with half his face covered in blood. 

Sif throws Loki to the floor, where he scrambles to his feet. Then she kicks the back of his knees, so that when Loki goes down with the sickening crack of bone against ice, he stays there. 

The hall has fallen so silent that Loki thinks he can hear the sound of ice crackling.

“Do you see what your whore has done to me!” Thor demands, swaying on his feet. Blood drips down his chin, his neck. 

Loki, now naked, begins to tremble in the cold. 

Laufey is unmoved.

“Asgard will not stand for this,” Thor screams. There is genuine fury in his voice, and pain. Thunder rolls outside, a siege so deafening and powerful that the walls of the chamber begin to shudder. 

When Thor’s hand goes to the hammer on his belt, Laufey raises a hand, slow, like the earth splitting into two. 

“Justice must be served,” Thor spits.

“Justice will be served,” Laufey intones. 

Loki’s breath rattles through his throat. It is so cold. He wants Thor’s cape. Red, like the color of his blood. 

“He will meet Asgardian justice,” Thor growls. “What is the life of a whore compared to the blood of a prince?”

“Indeed,” Laufey says.

“N-no.”

Thor’s head whips towards Loki. Even Laufey turns to look at him. 

“F-father,” Loki forces the word out through chattering teeth. He stays on his knees, but raises his head to meet Laufey’s implacable gaze. “P-please, if—if you ever had—had any l-love for me at all—please—”

“Take him,” Laufey says, inclining his head to Thor.

Somehow, the hall grows even more hushed. The silence is pronounced, a heavy, physical weight. For a moment, even Thor is taken aback.

Then he grins. His teeth are bloodied, and the coldness in his gaze strikes all the breath out of Loki’s lungs.

“Did you hear that, little whore?” Thor says, with a cruel laugh. “It seems you’re coming to Asgard with me.”

Loki cannot stop shaking. 

The fire is crackling merrily away, and he has covered himself under Thor’s cloak, but he is gripped by ice, frozen down to his bones. 

As if from very far away, Loki can hear Thor arguing with Sif and Eir, the Aesir healer. 

Loki hugs his knees to his chest and rocks himself back and forth, clenching his jaw to keep his teeth from chattering. 

Finally, after what seems a lifetime, Thor gently lifts the cape and pokes his head underneath it. 

There is a pristine white bandage over where his left eye used to be.

“Loki?” 

“I’m sorry,” Loki chokes out. One shaking hand reaches for Thor’s face, and he sobs when it is caught and held against Thor’s cheek. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”

“Oh, dear one, it’s all right, my love, it’s nothing at all, it doesn’t even hurt,” Thor murmurs, helping Loki into his lap. 

Loki shakes his head, curling into Thor’s body, for once not caring about what it does to him, the heat and the warmth, only that it means that Thor is alive. Alive and whole, his heart beating steadily under the hand that Loki presses desperately against his breast. Sex keeps Loki warm—but Thor, Thor sets him ablaze.

“You were so strong and so brave,” Thor murmurs, rocking them gently. “My fierce little Jotun. My own heart.”

“Can you tell me about Asgard? Tell me—tell me what it will be like,” Loki pleads, wanting nothing else except to banish the horrible memory of Thor’s bloody face, his empty socket, his cruel grin.

“Of course,” Thor says, kissing Loki’s forehead, brushing his tears away. “We will arrive in Asgard upon the Bifrost, the great bridge of light. Heimdall will welcome us inside the observatory, which looks out into the fathomless void of space—but on the other side, a splendid bridge connects it to the golden city. There, the sky opens up into a shade of blue almost as lovely as your skin, and the sun will be high amongst the clouds, so warm it will be as if you can taste it…”

Loki sneaks into the kitchen before dawn. 

As he expects, it is already bustling with people; those who feed the realm are awake before anyone else in it.

What he does not expect, however, is the cry that bursts out of Eista’s throat when he sees him. Loki finds himself lifted off the floor, held close to the Jotun’s chest.

“You must hurry, little one,” Eista urges, letting Loki go and scrambling on the table for a pack, filling it with bread and fruits and dried meat.

“What—?”

“We’ve arranged for your passage with Brun, and he will take you away, somewhere the Aesir cannot find you—” Eista’s expression is dark and angry, the first time Loki has ever seen it so. 

Loki’s words falter. 

“We have not always protected as we should have,” Eista is saying, his bright red eyes filling with tears. “But we cannot give you away to that monster—”

“Eista,” Loki cuts in with a helpless giggle.

“We hope you will forgive us, little Loki, and maybe someday—”

Eista,” Loki says, laughing properly now, bent over at the waist. “Thor will not hurt me.”

Quickly, Loki swears his friends—his family—to secrecy, and then explains the ruse. 

“But his eye—” Gyda starts.

“It is truly lost,” Loki says, his heart still clenching at the thought. “But he does not think it is too high a price to pay.”

“No price is too high to pay!” Eista cries, lifting Loki into his arms again. “Oh, what did I tell you! Little one, our little Loki.”

“Maybe not so little, the next time you see me,” Loki teases. “Thor’s healer thinks the sun of Asgard will do me good, might make me a proper-sized Jotun.”

“You will always be our little Loki,” Gyda says sternly. 

“Little Loki-Potato Peeler,” Loki says, smiling wistfully.

“Little Loki-Prince,” Eista murmurs, kneeling to take Loki into a proper hug. “Jotunheim will be colder for your parting.”

The journey to the Bifrost site is a quick one, and Loki is almost mournful for it. He wants to love Jotunheim, and maybe in some way he does, but he cannot be sad for having to leave it. 

“Ready?” Thor asks, slipping his hand into Loki’s as they step into the middle of the symbol on the ground. Even with one eye, Thor is the most handsome person Loki has ever seen. Asgard’s golden prince, not so strange anymore. 

Loki nods, breathless from anticipation, from relief. 

Thor leans down to kiss him, swift and easy, and in his mouth Loki can taste the promise of sunshine.

“All right, Heimdall,” Thor says, squeezing Loki’s hand, “take us home.”