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we can't breathe when we come around

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"So it's a problem," said the Captain, which was an amazing amount of understatement even for him. Loki disliked him. He was too much like Loki's brother, and yet not enough like him at all. It made Loki's skin itch.

Loki leaned forward, steepling his hands. "Allow me to clarify, Captain," he said. "You have allowed my brother, a prince of Asgard, to be ... infected ... by a creature not unlike your Midgardian leech, and he now requires the blood of others to survive?"

"See, I told you to let me talk to him," said Stark to the Captain.

"Tony," said the Captain, between his teeth.

"I'm afraid I agree with Master Stark," said Loki. "I'm also afraid I don't understand why you've come to me with this problem. I've heard of your blood banks. Even if my brother refuses to drink from a live person, surely he could drink that instead."

"Well, that's the problem," said Stark, speaking over the Captain. "One, we'd really like to get it so the poor bastard isn't drinking the blood of anything at all, and secondly, he's throwing up the blood. It's kind of bad."

Loki blinked, once, twice.

"Okay, it is super fucking freaky when you do that," said Stark. "Like, I know you're Jack Frost or whatever, but when you do the slow blink thing I keep expecting to see your tail flickering."

Loki decided against asking.

"So what do you expect me to do?"

"Fix him," said Stark baldly. "Or donate enough blood so he can get by until one of us can fix him, I don't give a flying fuck."

"Since you ask so politely," said Loki. He stood up. "Come, let us go then."

"Asshole," said Stark, but from him that was nearly a compliment.


Thor … did not look good. His face was pasty white under his tan, and his hair was dank with sweat. Whatever creature had infected him had left him with fangs like razors, which had cut into his skin and left blood around his mouth.

Loki observed him for a minute, from behind the safety glass -- Mjölnir was by his side, because not even his brother's companions were foolish enough to separate his brother and the hammer, but Thor looked almost too gaunt to pick it up.

"After this," he said to the Captain, "we will discuss how this happened to my brother, sir." He looked at Stark. "Is the creature dead?"

"Well," said Stark, "your brother was pretty upset, you know."

"Good," said Loki. "Let me in the room, and depart."

The Captain opened his mouth. Stark stepped on his foot with enough force that he winced. "Sounds great," said Stark. "Don't, uh, please don't destroy the cameras completely, I just installed them. Come on, Rogers."

Stark pressed a button and the door slid open silently enough that Thor, his head bowed in his misery, didn't hear it, hooked one gauntleted hand into the Captain's collar and dragged him off. Loki thought that it probably took a great deal of effort, even in his enchanted armor, to drag someone the size of the Captain off. He could hear Rogers' boots dragging.

Loki stepped into the room, and spoke a spell to cloud the cameras as the door slid silently closed behind him. Thor looked up. His eyes were red, red as Loki's true form, and he bared his fangs at Loki as if he was in the midst of bloodlust.

"You should leave," said Thor.

"Come now, brother," said Loki, walking closer. "When have I ever agreed with you?"

"Brother," said Thor.

"I told you no good would come of playing with these mortals," said Loki. "But there, you never listen to me either." He was in front of Thor now, close enough to breathe in his scent, now oddly corrupted, as if the blood Thor had tried to drink had spoiled in his mouth. He felt, he realized distantly, quite murderous. It was a strange, not entirely unpleasant sensation. He wanted to let go of his false Æsir form and freeze his brother, to keep him perfect and safe in ice.

Instead, he shed his armor with a thought, stripping down to his shift and braes and boots, pulling the lacing of his shirt loose to expose his neck.

"It won't work," said Thor, his voice raw, as if he was trying to convince himself. "You -- if human blood won't keep me, what will Jotun blood do?" He looked at Loki's neck, as if forced, and dragged his eyes away again. "You'll be hurt for no reason."

"Brother," sighed Loki, pushing Thor back against the chair so he could slide luxuriously into his lap, straddling his hips like he remembered doing so often. Thor was cold now, another mark against the beast that had done this to him. Thor should be warm, almost hot against Loki's skin, even though his clothing. He should wrap his arms around Loki's back and hold him tightly enough that Loki could feel the power in his arms, the solid muscles of his biceps. Instead he was cold and flinching away from Loki. "I want to kill them for letting this happen to you," Loki said, combing his hands through Thor's hair. "I want to drain them of blood and give it to you in a diamond goblet."

"Loki --" said Thor.

"But I won't," said Loki. "I'll let them live, but you must let me help you."

Thor shuddered.

"Come, brother," coaxed Loki, and pulled Thor's head gently to Loki's neck, feeling the touch of Thor's mouth against his throat. He hummed, deep and pleased, and Thor took a breath like a sob. The next instant Thor's fangs sank deep into Loki's throat and Loki arched up against the pain-pleasure, hissing a breath out. His body fought to change from his false form, to freeze this attacker, but Loki held to his Æsir form by sheer will alone.

He mouthed the words of healing, gasping them out when he was able to take a breath, and slowly, slowly, Thor's body began to warm against his. The fangs in his skin retracted and it was just Thor's mouth open against his throat, his tongue pressed against the wound as it closed.

Loki was dizzy from loss of blood, but Thor's arms were crushing tight around him. He let out a long shuddering sigh, and Thor said, "Rest now, brother."

"For a little while," said Loki. "Just --"

"I know," said Thor.

Loki closed his eyes.