"I should not wish to attend his high and mighty feast."
Prince Loki of Jötunheim scoffed in his spot, holding onto the already empty chalice. Word had just come to him of a mighty feast being held by Prince Thor of Asgard, for absolutely no reason – and it bothered Loki that he had no received an invitation. Of course, he never expected to get an invitation – he and Prince Thor had known each other for nearly all their lives, both their fathers hoping to arrange a future marriage or at least a partnership between them, but that didn't mean he enjoyed the other's company. No, Prince Thor was far too conceited and unashamed, something which made it no surprise that the mighty Prince would hold a grand feast for absolutely no particular reason.
Despite that he and Prince Thor had never exactly gotten along, Loki did find the man quite interesting. They had always been rivals, but even Loki had to admit there was some sort of sexual tension between them. Both Princes were always at odds with each other – who had the greatest amount of admirers, who had the greatest strength, who was more cunning. No doubt Thor had a greater strength, but Loki was no doubt more cunning, though Thor had the greatest amount of admirers so the elder prince had always assumed himself to be the better of them. Prince Thor was only one year Loki's senior, but he had a habit of making Loki seem years and years younger than he was.
"It's an outrage – why would my intended not invite me?"
It was a hypothetical question, of course – Loki knew very well that Prince Thor would not invite him to any formal activities, the only time in which Thor had ever tolerated his presence was when their fathers forced them to spend time together. Simply calling Thor his 'intended' was another thing – not that Loki believed they would ever go through with the marriage their fathers hoped for, but he had always been told by King Laufey, "Prince Thor is your intended, you must tolerate him." That was the image that Loki gave off, that he was simply tolerating Thor. In truth, he actually wished to spend more time with the prince, and get to know him as more than a mighty wannabe warrior.
Tossing the chalice to the icy floor, Loki began to formulate ways that he could get into the feast unnoticed. It would not matter if he used his Aesir appearance over his Jötunn appearance – most times that he was forced to spend time with Prince Thor, he used his Aesir appearance anyway, since the Asgardians were unlikely to to avoid apprehension with a Jötunn present in their court. Whereas many people wouldn't recognize Loki, Thor and his intolerable friends definitely would. Perhaps he could disguise himself – he was a great shapeshifter, only between different forms, and each form had a similar physical appearance. He hadn't yet figured out how to shift between sexes, either, but that did give him an idea.
"Someone!" he called out to what servants were lurking around. "Find me a maiden's gown!"
"Thor, who is that dashing young maiden by the corridor?"
Hearing Fandral's question, Prince Thor looked away from his group of friends, and toward the entrance to the nearest corridor. Standing there was a young maiden he had never before seen at his court, wearing a gown of deep green and gold, having dark hair that was hidden under a headdress matching the colours of his gown. The outfit itself was not typical for those of Asgard, and it seemed similar to those he'd seen in books about Midgard. Not that he spent an awful lot of time reading about Midgard, but it was crucial for him to know at least a little about each world if he were to someday be the King of Asgard. The maiden seemed to be all by herself, alone at Thor's great feast.
"I do not believe I've seen her before, Fandral," he responded to his friend.
"Perhaps you should go speak to her. Welcome her to court."
That was an excellent idea, Thor was thinking to himself. There was something captivating about this unknown maiden, and he felt himself compelled to meet her. Standing from the long table where he, the Warriors Three, and the Lady Sif sat, Prince Thor made his way across the large room filled with people, just as the maiden turned away. She seemed to be heading toward the public table, and Thor watched as she grabbed herself a chalice of wine. Most maidens at his feast were escorted by a man who was able to bring wine to them, not very many maidens ever fetched their own wine. Of course, as he made his way closer, Thor was thinking about how she didn't seem to be an average maiden anyway.
"Excuse me, my lady, but I don't believe I have seen you at court before."
The maiden turned to face him, revealing the most captivating green eyes, "No, I don't believe you would have."
"Would you like to introduce yourself to the mighty Prince Thor?"
"Perhaps, but the only Prince Thor I have seen here tonight doesn't seem so mighty."
The prince was momentarily put off when the maiden spoke against him, and turned away. How dare someone speak so of him? This maiden had never even met Prince Thor before, and already she had ill things to say of him? There was also something about her – Thor felt as if he had met her before, though he knew he hadn't. Her appearance seemed familiar, but he was absolutely certain he'd never met her. Thor had never been particularly good with his words, often using a warrior's actions to show off, but he felt that something of that sort wouldn't exactly work on this fair maiden. Reaching out and cusping her shoulder, he turned her toward him again – the maiden looked unamused.
"You are very beautiful," he told her. "For a maiden with no bosom, you are unmatched in beauty."
"Oh, and why should the bosom be such a deciding factor?"
Why should the bosom be such a deciding factor? That was a question Thor had never thought about before. Every man, every warrior, always went on about the beautiful women they had come into contact with – and often those descriptions included the bosom, among other things. Thor had obviously seen the attraction in the bosom, though he obviously didn't rely on it for the overall attraction of a woman, if this maiden was any indication or proof of that. She seemed very annoyed by his presence, but the prince had yet to prove himself to her. It was in that moment that Thor realized he didn't even know her name, and it would be difficult to find her again sometime without it.
"May I have your name, fair maiden?"
"No," she quipped quickly. "You may not have my name."
Thor faltered a moment, "But...but what if I were to prove myself to be worthy of your time?"
It was very different to have a prince asking for the chance to prove himself worthy for someone else, rather than the opposite. Of course, Prince Thor had always been different – and there were rumours of his many conquests, so there was certainty that he was skilled in the art of persuasion. Many maidens at court also weren't too bright – they were by no means unintelligent, but lacked the braincells needed to see through simple persuasion. There were the occasional exceptions – the Lady Sif being one, though she was different from many maidens as she herself was a warrior. Looking upon the maiden impatiently, Thor waited for her to finish her thoughts, and look him in the eye again.
"Very well, Prince Thor. You may prove yourself worthy."
"And how is it that you are so knowledgeable about the other worlds?"
Prince Thor had listened to the maiden speak for a couple hours about different subjects, and she appeared quite knowledgeable about a great many things. Though women often spent more time being educated on Asgard than men, seeing as the men were taught to be warriors, he had never met a maiden who was quite so intelligent. The sky was now dark, as they walked through the garden. Thor had remembered this garden to be Prince Loki's favourite place on Asgard, where he often escaped from Thor whenever he was forced to be there. This maiden seemed to enjoy the garden as well, taking the time to inspect every different plant as they walked by, and to watch the constellations in the sky.
"I read, of course," she replied to him. "I spent a great deal of time reading."
"You are quite an interesting being."
"Do you not read, Prince Thor? How is it that you learn?" she asked.
"Well, I prefer to hear stories than to read them. I just do not have the concentration to stay still long enough."
He chuckled as he spoke, and she nodded to him, as if she understood. Obviously she was not the same way – she seemed to stay quite still when observing anything in the garden – but likely she knew people of the same way, or had read of some. Most Asgardian men were as Thor was, so that also would make him no different. Despite being the heir to the throne of Asgard, Thor was very much like any other warrior in their world – he was conceited in a way, but also quite sure of himself and his abilities. The one difference was that Thor was actually a very soft being on the inside – one thing he wanted more than anything else was love, though the only being he could love would not have him.
Though he barely knew this maiden, he felt that maybe he could love her – that maybe if he could not have the one being he wanted, then he could have this maiden. She was very similar to the other in some ways – she seemed just as educated, and as indifferent – but Thor found himself to enjoy her presence more, as he found himself always irritated around the Jötunn prince. It didn't help that Prince Loki never seemed to want to be around Thor either, and he could not find himself to be happy in the presence of someone who was not happy to see him. The young maiden seemed to be mesmerized by the stars at the moment, and Thor took the advantage to lean in from behind.
His breath met her cheek as he spoke softly, "Am I deemed worthy enough yet for your name?"
Placing his hand gently on her arm, he turned her so that she was facing him. The starlight upon her face gave her a beautiful glow, and lit up her gorgeous green eyes, and Thor could not help himself from leaning in and pressing a soft kiss to her lips. He was delighted when she didn't pull back, and opened her lips slightly to nip on her lip. He couldn't contain himself any longer and pulled her closer, tightly, opening his mouth and kissing her even harder. She responded just as hard as he gave – Thor had never kissed a woman so demanding in her own kiss. The prince was so caught up in the moment, he had barely noticed when she pulled away abruptly, as if she had been burned.
"I'm sorry, Prince Thor. I really must depart."
"But father, I am not in the mood to tolerate his presence today."
Thor had been standing at the balcony of his sparring room, after having practiced alone, when his father – King Odin of Asgard – had entered and informed him that King Laufey and Prince Loki were coming for several days. It had been a week since he met the mysterious maiden at his great feast, and he was still quite distraught – angry at himself for not having gotten her name, angry at her for having left and never having returned, and angry in general at the fact that thinking about her reminded him of Prince Loki. The last thing he wanted to think about was yet another being he could not have. Looking out at the Bifrost, he fantasized being able to run away and leave, find somewhere else to be happy without responsibility.
"Is that so?" he heard. "Well, Prince Thor, I suppose you'll just have to deal then, won't you?"
Prince Loki stood in the entrance of the sparring room, making no notice of King Odin actually leaving. He took a few small steps into the room, but Thor still had his back to him out on the balcony. The other prince seemed so different today, and Loki felt he knew why, but he wasn't going to let Thor just ignore him. Despite that neither of them ever had fun being around each other in the past, they wouldn't allow themselves to be ignored by the other – both were incredibly stubborn, which made it difficult for them to communicate since they often had opposing view points. The silence was weird at first, since Loki was not quite used to Thor being anything besides loud.
"Prince Loki, I would appreciate if you would leave me be for now."
"No thank you, Thor. I think I will stay right here."
Turning to face Loki, Thor gritted out, "It's Prince Thor to you, Jötunn! And you will leave or else!"
"Or else what?"
For a moment, Loki was certain that Thor was going to grab his favourite hammer – Mjölnir – and attempt to smash him in the head, as he had done often enough when they were younger. Instead, the elder prince's dangerous face faded away as he sighed, and turned back to look out over the balcony. This Thor was definitely different than the Thor that Loki had known for most of his life – this Thor behaved like he had feelings, like he was capable of thinking of more than just battles. Slowly, Loki approached the balcony, and stood beside the blond, looking out at the view of Asgard. Despite all the times he had been to Asgard, he very rarely got to see the view from the higher levels of the palace.
"I believe myself to be in love," Thor spoke so softly that Loki almost didn't hear him.
"In love? That doesn't sound quite like the Thor that I know."
It didn't sound like the Thor that Thor himself knew, but he knew it to be true. He very much believed himself to be in love, as these feelings had been building up for a long time – he just wouldn't allow himself to admit it before. Already he had come to the conclusion that the reason he had been drawn to the unnamed maiden was because she reminded him of Prince Loki – even the way Loki held himself now was similar to the way she held herself. It was then that Thor noticed Loki wasn't wearing the armour he usually wore when they were together, and in that he noticed how small the younger prince's body actually was. He seemed fairly frail, though he knew very well that Loki was not frail.
"Well," Loki began, "At least you can wed someone besides me, then."
"You can wed this person you love, rather than going through with the marriage our fathers hoped for."
Though it hurt Loki to say that, he knew he had to get it out there. If Thor was in love with someone, then this person deserved to have him more than Loki did. Their fathers would never force them to get married if either of them had affections for someone else – they had just hoped to gain partnership through a marriage, considering a marriage would be binding and lasting, meaning that they could not break the partnership. Loki wasn't sure anymore if he could stand Thor marrying another – Thor may have been conceited and irritating, but he was to be his conceited and irritating partner. If the Asgardian prince loved another, though, Loki would never hold him back.
Thor sighed again, "It's more complicated than that, Prince Loki. There is someone...and this maiden I met..."
Prince Loki felt incredibly guilty in that moment. Was Thor saying that he had fallen in love with the maiden he had met at the feast, the one he never even got the name of? How could he possibly break the news to Thor? The elder prince didn't seem to know what to say, considering he had broken off in a couple sentences already – Loki wasn't sure what he could say either. Perhaps he could pretend he knew nothing of what Thor spoke of, and leave him be. Of course, Loki wasn't one to give up so easily, so he decided not to do pretend he knew nothing. If need be, he could make up an excuse when the time came – but Loki absolutely had to know the truth behind Thor's words.
"Is this about the maiden you met at your mighty feast?"
"How did you hear about..." Thor trailed off as he turned to face the younger prince.
He knew those eyes – he found himself speechless when looking into the bright green eyes of the Prince of Jötunheim. How had he never noticed Prince Loki's eyes before? The man was absolutely gorgeous, but Thor had never quite looked at him as he should have – that much was evident in the fact that he had never noticed the man's eyes until then. It was unmistakeable then, and it made so much sense – the reason the maiden had reminded him so much of Loki was because it was Loki himself! Now that he knew what to look for, he could definitely see it when looking at the prince. Loki looked so scared, and Thor could figure out why – the Jötunn prince had never intended him to know the truth.
"That was you."
Loki nodded shamefully, "Yes, I was the maiden you met at your fest."
"But Prince Loki," Thor thought for a moment, "Why?"
"Because I wanted to see you, but you would never have allowed Prince Loki into your mighty feast."
At that moment, Thor didn't know what to think. Loki had wanted to see him? Why wouldn't he have said so? That was a stupid question, even within his head – just as he would never tell Loki that he wanted to see him, the younger prince had likely assumed that Thor wouldn't want him around. He hadn't invited Loki to the feast because he had assumed that Loki wouldn't want to go – that Loki would simply laugh at the invitation, and crush his heart. Of course Prince Loki would have been welcome at his feast, though he knew for a fact that had Loki shown up, he would have made some sort of scene about the Jötunn being there. Their friendship – or lack thereof – was a very complicated thing on it's own.
Not knowing what else to do, Thor brought his hand softly to Loki's cheek, trailing smoothly against it before leaning in to give him a soft kiss – just as soft as the one he had given the maiden Loki a week earlier. This time, it was Loki who instantly deepened the kiss, demanding more and more of Thor as he opened his mouth and pushed forward his tongue. Thor would have none of it, and fought his tongue for entrance into Loki's mouth, both men pressing against each other until there was no way they could possibly get closer. Thor broke away from Loki's mouth, and instantly began biting at his neck – sucking, leaving any mark that he possibly could to claim the prince as his own.
"We should have done this a long time ago," Thor murmured into his neck.
Loki moaned, "If only neither of us had been so stubborn."
There was nothing more that Thor wanted to do now than to ravish Loki like he had a fair few maidens in his pubescent years, but he couldn't do so in the sparring room. Removing his mouth from Loki's neck, he grabbed the younger prince's hand and lead him from the room, out into the corridor. It was a long enough walk to Thor's chambers – the Asgardian palace was far larger than the one on Jötunheim – but Loki didn't mind, as he was happier now than he had been in his entire life. As soon as they had entered Thor's chambers, the elder prince closed his doors as quickly as he could, and pushed Loki up against him with his body. The Jötunn prince moaned loudly, only increasing Thor's arousal.
"Loki Laufeyson, Prince of Jötunheim," Thor began, between nibbles to Loki's neck, "Will you do me the honour of marrying me?"
"Everyone, please, I have an announcement!"
It had been time to feast – an everyday feast, not a grand one like Thor enjoyed to host – when Thor ran into the great room, filled with all the highest members at court. King Odin and Queen Frigga sat at the main table, alongside King Laufey as their esteemed guest – two chairs remained empty, on either side, for both the princes. Everyone turned their gaze to Thor, not missing the fact that his hand clasped the hand of another – Prince Loki was being dragged in behind Thor, looking as happy as the Asgardian prince. There was also a bashful look to Loki, but the members of the court could not focus on anything besides the two hands that would not let each other go.
Thor grinned and looked to his parents, "I have asked Prince Loki to marry me – we shall be wed in one month's time!"