Actions

Work Header

Night of Kings

Chapter Text

 

Loki’s hold on the throne of Jotunheim was finally strong and secure. The last days of Laufey King, with his stubborn refusal to pass on the horned crown, in spite of his sickness, had done great damage to the realm. It had taken Loki long, strenuous months to set it to rights. Once Loki had proven his worth, only then had the lords sworn the oath of loyalty. The foreign ambassadors had all come to court, to bring word that their masters saluted his coronation and his rule. The kingdom was at peace, and industry and commerce once again prospered. There was but one thing left to do: renew Jotunheim’s alliance with Asgard.

The Asgardians themselves had known some upheaval in recent times, after the death of old Odin King. His heir Thor had had to prove himself as well. First and foremost, that he wasn’t the hotheaded, harebrained, war-thirsty pup his enemies claimed he was, but wise and prudent, for air had no place in the head that bore the winged crown of the Aesir, and guaranteed the peace across the Nine Realms.

The land of Yggdrasil was one vast steppe, frozen to the north, warmer to the south, surrounded by the sea of Jormungand. Seven kingdoms stood on its coasts, Jotunheim on its own icy isle. And in the middle of them all, on the immense, empty plains, dwelled the ferocious nomadic nation called the Asgardians. They journeyed the trade routes that were the bloodlines of the coastal realms, keeping bandits, pirates, and rogue warlords at bay. Without them, trade and communication among the peoples of Yggdrasil would all but cease, and the lawless would fall upon their cities, pillaging and plundering to their heart’s content. The age of darkness and isolation would return.

The Asgardians were amiable overlords, which was why the other eight realms and smaller city-states did not usually resent their rule. Asgard did not abuse its superior military strength to take over what was not theirs. They expected tribute, of course, disguised as trade balanced grossly in their favour. If one realm refused their protection, the Asgardians didn’t raid and plunder their lands in retaliation; they would simply let it be known that they owed no allegiance to that city or that kingdom, and any bandit would know where to head for to ply his trade. Their terms were not extortionate, Loki guessed, for what they offered in return. 

And so, now that his house was in order, it was time for Loki to visit the Asgardian King. Yes, in person. No ambassador or envoy, no matter how close to the throne, now matter how exalted his name, could take the king’s place. Asgardians were people of honour. For the really important business, they wanted to be able to look at a man or woman in the eye. In not-so-olden days, a handshake had been enough to seal any deal. They did not believe some scribbling on a paper would make any difference if one of the parties wished themselves out of an agreement, and they certainly didn’t believe any court of law would resolve the matter of a broken promise more efficiently and satisfactorily than a few hundred of their riders in arms. Thor King was a modern man, however, and he believed in keeping an efficient, organised operation, so a contract had been put in writing, renewing the friendship of Asgard and Jotunheim, establishing clear, detailed terms, and now it was before Loki to sign and seal. But it had to be Loki’s own hand to stamp his name, and Thor King still asked for Loki to look him in the eye and hold his wrist while he pronounced the words.

Well, it was done. There was much cheer and celebration in the yurt where the Asgardian court gathered, and three times, their names were called out loud by all present. Loki’s brother Helblindi and his sister Byleistr both joined in the general merriment.

The interpreter leaned closer to Loki.

“Thor King wishes to enjoy the company of your majesty at a private dinner tonight.”

“Very well,” said Loki. “I would be most honoured. But before we dine, I am very interested in Asgard. I have never seen anything like it before, and I have heard many wonderful things that I wish to see with mine own eyes. Would Thor King object if I wished to spend the rest of the day exploring the nomad city?”

The interpreter had conveyed Loki’s words as he spoke them, in an unobtrusive murmur. The Asgardian king gave his reply, and the interpreter conveyed that too.

“Thor King is happy to offer the services of his interpreter to guide your majesty through the city. When your majesty is satisfied, he would offer the use of his bath chamber, should your majesty wish to refresh before dinner.”

“Tell Thor King that is very kind of him. I accept.”

 

* * *

 

Loki had heard many tales of the wandering city. With his keen intellect and eager, all-encompassing curiosity, he was relishing this rare chance of seeing the world. He left Hel and By behind, because adventure.

The city was immense, a vast spread of tents and yurts and wagons, and small shelters for one or two, enclosures for the cattle, and many other precarious constructions besides. It was hard to believe such an intricate complex could be set up and taken down in a matter of hours, and carted off and rebuilt and taken down again and again. Such a life was unimaginable for him, whose bed in Jotunheim stood in a building which had existed, in one form or another, for thousands of years.

Loki asked many questions and was awed again and again by the things he saw. He learned much that may be useful, even for his own city of long stone houses with thatched roofs. 

 

* * *

 

The sun set early on the prairie, and the sounds of dinner and chatter came through the walls of fabric and hide. After their bath, the small Jotun party was lead to the complex of yurts and structures they called the King’s quarters, the heart of the city everywhere it went. Inside awaited the King, and his four closest friends, whose names, Volstagg, Hogunn, Fandral, and the Lady Sif, were familiar to Loki as those of great warriors of much renown and fame. 

It quickly became apparent to Loki that he was overdressed for the occasion. He had put on his ceremonial best –woven black leather, the heavy embroidered cloak of kings, and several gold and bronze pieces of armour. Thor, for his part, wore a red cloak clasped at the chest with a gold chain, leather breeches dyed in a most unusual shade of blue, his boots, and not much else, besides the markings and intricate designs inked under the golden skin. Gulps. Not only was nudity rare among the Jotnar, but it would seem that the legends about Thor King’s golden beauty were just. ...Perhaps even a little short. Between one thing and the other, the Jotun king had no idea where to look.

The Asgardian King welcomed him in, as he eyed Loki from head to toe with a broad, toothsome grin. (Was that like a show of respect in Asgard, or…?) 

While By and Hel were invited to their places to one side, facing the Asgardian notables, Loki was led to the place of honour, the pile of rugs, furs, and plush cushions at the end of the tent. For all they seemed unafraid of a hard life, the Asgardians surely liked their softness. Thor made a gesture.

“Thor King wishes your majesty to be comfortable.”

Loki expressed his gratitude and reclined on the pile of furs. Thor King took his place right beside him, rather close. The rest of the guests followed suit. Four servants walked in, carrying between them a large flat gold dish piled with a steaming mountain of meat, roasted in honey if that glaze didn’t lie, surrounded in a mixture of spiced pulses and vegetables. They placed it just in front of Loki. (Oh, of course, the guest of honour first. Bugger. Loki had counted on watching Thor for social clues.)

The Jotnar had the food placed on their own plates and they used knives and spoons to eat, and some even used forks (Loki, for sure, always with an eye to the latest technological developments), but the steppe people brought food to their mouths with a piece of flatbread. Loki had read about it. He was proud that he was not shocked or discombobulated by the exoticisms. After only one attempt, he managed to bring an appropriately sized morsel to his mouth. Thor King nodded in approval. The rest of the guests were invited to start as well.

More plates with delicacies sweet and savoury were to follow. Thor King wished Loki to see he wasn’t stuck in the ways of the past, and that his people knew dining as fine and sophisticated as any of the coastal cities. They would eat until they were satisfied, and the remainders would be for the riders. 

There wasn’t much conversation during the meal itself, apart from the king presenting every dish to his foreign guests, and the guests showing their polite appreciation, all through the interpreter, whose mouth apparently never ran dry. To ensure there were no heavy silences, soft music was played at one end of the tent, not loud enough to disturb.

Once the diners had all expressed their satisfaction, the king gestured, and the still half-full plates were taken away for the riders outside. Water basins and towels were offered to each guest to wash their hands. The music was still playing, but now conversation could begin. 

The king spoke, the interpreter translated.

“Thor King wishes to know if the food of his kitchens is pleasing to your taste.”

“Tell the king it is excellent, thank you.”

“Thor King wonders whether your curiosity and interest were sated with today’s tour of his city, and inquires about the suitability of your guide.”

“Oh, my visit to your city was interesting in the extreme. For one such as myself, coming from a land of settlements the foundations of which were laid many centuries ago, it is most baffling, and utterly fascinating, the idea of an entire city being uprooted and carted around all the time! I found so many clever devices and ingenious novelties to facilitate the lives of your nomadic nation, that there was a surprise around every corner. Also, I must say I have never seen such an orderly settlement, organised along such rational lines. Our settlements grew in the course of many centuries without planning or direction, and to this day so many problems are caused by this lack of rationality. I learned much. My guide was very helpful, and I am quite assured that, with his aid, I missed none of the remarkable sights. His efforts to interpret not only what I was told, but what I was seeing, were invaluable. I’m very grateful.”

“Thor King is pleased.”

“As I am.”

“Thor King wonders whether perhaps your majesty will one day show him around your great kingdom.”

“It will be my pleasure.”

“He has heard fabulous tales about houses built out of snow. Are they true?”

“Yes, indeed. And entire palaces made of ice. Far north, in the lands of perennial frost.”

“Thor King expresses his amazement and his great desire to behold such marvels with his own eyes.”

“It will be my pride to show you personally.”

“Thor King is grateful. He wonders whether your majesty would share his bed tonight.”

Loki choked on his mead. He looked around, stunned, waiting for the translation of what had to be an obvious cultural misunderstanding. By and Hel just returned interested stares, the fuckers.

“Does ‘sharing the bed’ have a different meaning in Asgard?” asked Loki. His voice had come out in a higher pitch than his usual bronze notes.

“I have striven to find the Jotun expression closest in meaning and intention to that used by Thor King,” said the interpreter, with modesty. “Thor King’s literal words, although perfectly acceptable in our culture, may sound a bit too brash in your language, but I will relay them gladly if Loki King wishes it so.”

Loki looked around again, searching for clues, directions, something, anything. Hel and By were still no fucking help. They didn’t look particularly shocked either.

“I… don’t understand,” he admitted.

“It is the custom among our people, if the parties find each other agreeable, to seal a deal not only by words, but with an intimate embrace,” explained the interpreter. “Asgardians believe sharing the pleasure of their bodies deepens and cements reciprocate friendship and loyalty better than any piece of paper or spoken oath.” 

Loki looked astonished from the interpreter to the king, to the guests, to his goddamn, very extremely fucking quiet brother and sister. 

“Thor King is concerned he may have offended you somehow,” translated the interpreter.

The silence was lasting much too much. Was Loki going to cause a diplomatic incident and throw away the deal? Think fast, son of Laufey.

“I… uh… I’m… I wasn’t expecting this. It’s… not the custom among our people,” he stuttered.

“Thor King wonders if your majesty doesn’t find him agreeable.”

If Loki looked as he felt, he was probably a bit green right now.

“He… is most comely to look upon,” he tried.

“Is it his manner? Has Loki King heard unfavourable reports about his character?”

“N-not at all, they’re all most effusive in his favour, and h-his manner is, uh, easy and winning.”

“Does his body not appeal, then?” 

(Was this for fucking real?)

“W-well, he… is, a, uh, male,” noted Loki.

Both king and interpreter seemed confused.

“Thor King is indeed a man,” confirmed the interpreter.

“S-so am I.”

Several pairs of blank eyes peered at him as if expecting the punchline.

“Yes, Thor King is counting on that,” translated the interpreter.

Oh dear. Asgardians are one of those peoples. Surely that should appear in his reports somewhere? Loki cleared his throat.

“Uh, men do not bed men among the Jotnar,” he informed.

(Was that a muffled snort from Helblindi? And that flicker Loki caught out of the corner of his eye, had that been Byleistr kicking Hel in the shin?)

A moment of conference between the king and the interpreter. 

“Thor King wonders what is it that Jotnar do, then, when men become enamoured with one another.”

Loki frowned, concentrating really hard to follow that conversation.

“Uh, well, they… don’t?”

The interpreter interpreted. Thor laughed. He addressed his friends, and they laughed too. Helblindi and Byleistr had their mouth pursed to hold back a grin. Loki contemplated being offended by it all, but he was much too baffled and thrown off. 

The king spoke once more to the interpreter, but stared at Loki, his gaze piercing and sultry and very fucking direct. It made Loki want to cover himself. And he was covered, from the tip of his toes up to his neck.

“Not even when they look upon one as beautiful as your majesty?” translated the interpreter.

Loki blushed. Thor grinned. (Another snort. By kicked Hel’s shin again.)

“Thor King enquires if intercourse between men is considered a crime in Jotunheim, as it is among some of the Midgardian nations.”

“Uh, not really,” said Loki. “That I know of.” And he would know, right? He had studied those bloody law books hard enough. Something like that would have stood out.

“Is it considered shameful, then?” asked the king through his interpreter.

“Uh, it’s just… not done.”

Thor grinned with fondness, as if Loki was a silly little boy, the patronising fucker. (Oh, Loki had heard that! Helblindi had fucking sniggered!)

“But there are no laws or customs, either of the land or the gods, that prohibit such an act between the Jotnar?” insisted the king, through his interpreter.

Loki contemplated lying, but it would be easy enough for the king of Asgard to find out the truth. If he didn’t know it already — Loki had the distinct impression that he was being led on.

“N-no,” he admitted.

“Is your majesty devoted to a lover already? It is not the Asgardian way, but Thor King knows some cultures place enormous importance on fidelity to one single partner, to the exclusion of all others.”

Another chance to lie, but a very poor one, since it was the talk of the Jotun court that Loki did not fuck. (He didn’t have time, alright? He had an entire country to rebuild from the ruins of what his father had left! It was hard enough to handle the Lords, and he would rather not throw sex politics into the mix! It wasn’t even that much fun anyway, for all he knew.) ...Not to mention that whatever lie he came up with, Helblindi was going to fucking give it away with his goddamn sniggers.

“Not really,” recognised Loki. “I-I mean, uh.”

Thor was grinning like a wolf, his stare heavy and heated, making Loki feel very small and very, um, edible.

“Thor King understands, then, that this would be your majesty’s first night with a man.”

“Well, of-of course!” replied Loki, indignant, blushing bright pink.

Thor put one hand to his heart, and bowed his head. He gestured, threw orders around, then he addressed Loki again through the interpreter.

“A first night is a great occasion among Asgardians, a great honour, and a responsibility not to be taken lightly. A King’s first night would be an honour beyond words, and a tremendous privilege. Thor King wishes your majesty to know he would strive to become worthy of his majesty’s first night with a man. He is willing to bring forth seven elders who will speak for his character, his intentions, and his lineage, and seven lovers who will speak for his attentiveness and his skill. Of course, he offers the full ceremony and many gifts.”

The Asgardian king stood up and offered his hand. Loki blinked quickly.

“Thor King respectfully asks your majesty to follow him.”

Where the hell had Loki got himself into? And why oh why didn’t his father consider a good idea to enlighten him about this particular Asgardian custom when he was still willing to train Loki for the succession, before he went completely mad? And would Helblindi stop fucking sniggering already, or was Loki going to have to fucking stab him on the foot to get him to think of serious things, for example bleeding to death?

Loki accepted Thor’s hand (what else could he do) -he found it hot and dry, and very fucking strong, by the frozen rocks of Nilfheim!- and followed the king to the entrance of the tent. A long queue of servants was piling valuable goods from around the realms, laying them in a crescent  —sumptuous rolls of material, magnificent weapons, caskets full of bottles of perfume cut in rock glass and rimmed in gold, precious gems and jewelry, rare pigments and spices, bales of exotic hides and furs… The king spoke, and two stable hands came forth, leading one monster horse each, as big as a damn bilgesnipe, black the one, grey the other, with a lustrous white mane. A muted, awed “oh!” rose from everyone gathered there.

The king spoke again, eyes keen and intent on Loki, and the interpreter translated.

“There is of course no treasure equal in value to the first night of the king of the Jotnar, with his astonishing beauty and his delightful manner, for nothing on sea nor sky nor land could be as precious and perfect as your majesty, but he hopes Loki King won’t be offended by these gifts. Let your majesty know that, though they may seem humble in comparison to your majesty’s virginity, these represent the best Asgard has to offer, and it is with the best intentions at heart that Thor King places them before your majesty now.”

Loki turned to the Asgardian king, who was definitely taking the piss out of him this time. Humble presents? Get out of here. Of course Thor must know that Loki, in his frozen rock of an isle, or any other Jotun for that matter, hunter or king, had never seen such luxury in his life. Loki did find a playful smirk on that golden face, as he had expected. Meanwhile, the square before the tent had been steadily filling with nosy Asgardians.

“Thor King invites your majesty to assess the worth and quality of the offerings himself.”

Loki was pretty sure he wasn’t sophisticated enough to really appreciate the quality of a rather embarrassing number of the offerings, or even their fucking nature (what the hell were those red things there? And were those long golden tubes a weapon or a musical instrument?) and Thor probably knew it as well. Loki was not going to make a fool out of himself in front of all of Asgard trying to obtain a tune from a fucking spear, or taking aim with a bloody trumpet.

“Th-that won’t be necessary,” he said. “I fully trust Thor King’s discernment.”

“Thor King wishes to know if your majesty deems them sufficient.”

Loki was getting a headache. He rubbed the bridge of his nose. There must be hundreds of Asgardians gathered around the king’s quarters now, waiting for the answer of the king of the Jotnar.

“Perhaps we can continue our talks inside,” he suggested.

“With pleasure,” said the king through his interpreter. And while the interpreter’s voice was perfectly collected and devoid of emphasis and expression, Thor’s face was very much not. He looked… rather naughty. Loki’s throat was as dry as the western plains by now.

 

Once inside, he meditated (agonised more like) on whether to dare or not ask this question. Since Thor King seemed to value directness, Loki said fuck it, and went for it.

“Is-is the trade agreement dependent on whether I accept Thor King’s proposition?” he asked, only after his throat was refreshed with a drink.

“Of course not!” said the interpreter, for once with a voice that wasn’t entirely flat, and communicated some of the king’s agitated protestation. “In the olden days, perhaps, but that is not done anymore. Thor King is a modern, enlightened monarch. A treaty has been signed, and Asgard will honour it. But Thor King also believes, as his ancestors did, that friendship among nations, as among men, is much strengthened when it is not founded on paper alone, not just with the words of the mouth, but with pleasant embraces and shared intimacy, which is able to forge a much deeper bond. For when words may waver, the sweet memory of a night of passion comes to freshen their meaning when they were originally sworn. And if words may be ambiguous, tender lovemaking is not.”

Loki swallowed.

“Thor King is most eloquent.”

Thor bowed with a hand on his chest. His naked, broad, muscular, undoubtedly masculine chest.

“Thor King expresses his desire to know the touch of your majesty’s lips and the warmth of your majesty’s body close to his.”

“Oh, for all the snow in Gurla,” mumbled Loki. “Don’t translate that!”

“Thor King will have your majesty know he takes pride in being a generous and considerate lover. He will see to your majesty’s pleasure with as much dedication as his own, and even more.”

(This can’t be happening.)

“Thor King yearns to savour the secret moistness of your majesty’s-...”

Enough.

“Does Thor King bed his every partner in trade?” interrupted Loki, with some bite in his words.

“Oh no, your majesty,” protested the interpreter on behalf of his master. “Thor King has had a friendly agreement with the queen of the Vanir for many a year, and he sometimes visits Lord Rogers of Midgard, but when he took the crown, he let the realms know that the ways of his father would not be his own.”

(So, Odin used to…? You mean, Odin and Loki’s father…? Oh. My. Holy. Fjords.)

While Loki was mentally stuttering, the king of Asgard went on another tirade.

“Thor King was struck by your majesty’s beauty from the first moment his eyes beheld your majesty’s face and enticing figure. He was then besotted further by your majesty’s manner and grace, and he enjoys your majesty’s conversation and company immensely. The sound of your majesty’s laughter is unspeakably pleasing to the king’s ears. He is consumed with desire to know the sounds of your majesty’s pleasure. With his considerable experience and extensive schooling in the arts of lovemaking, and his enormous passion, he is confident he would extract many sounds of delight from your majesty’s utterly bewitching mouth. Your majesty will know in Thor King’s bed satisfaction of his every need and desire more perfect than he has ever known, and call the king's name in ecstasy three times three before dawn.”

Loki gaped like an idiot, heat creeping up his neck, soon coloring his goddamn cheeks, and spreading to the very tips of his ears. The even, unaffected tone of the interpreter made it all so much more unreal. Not that Loki wasn’t grateful for it. He wasn’t sure what he would do if the interpreter was to try and match the rumbling, husky, intense speech of the king. In any case, whatever was lacking in the interpreter’s delivery, the king’s penetrant stare, fixed on Loki, fucking undressing him right there with his deep, hungry blue eyes, more than made up for it.

“Thor King wishes to know which aspect of his offer troubles your majesty.”

Where do I even begin

“Oh, I’m just, uh, overwhelmed by such an impetuous courtship. We Jotnar are modest, shy people, you see. If I could, uh, have a moment, to, uh, to collect my thoughts and (harrumph) compose myself.”

“Thor King accedes.”

Loki turned to his siblings, still standing there trying (and failing miserably) to keep a straight face.

“Hel, By, with me,” he hissed.

 

They were lead to an adjoining tent, in thoughtful silence.

What was he going to do? Loki had been thoroughly schooled in diplomacy since childhood, but he was pretty sure none of his books contained any lessons about how to handle an indecent proposition from the overlord of the Nine Realms. He didn’t recall his tutors mentioning that eventuality either. He could almost imagine his father, rolling in his frozen tomb, laughing at him. The bugger kept this little diplomatic detail a secret on purpose, Loki would bet his life on it. 

He guessed there was always the excuse of Sigyn. Their marriage had been arranged by their families since birth, as it was the Jotun custom, especially among the propertied classes. Loki could argue that he couldn’t possibly cheat on his betrothed. But wouldn’t Thor know that, precisely because of the political foundations of their marriages, monogamy was really not a big concern among the Jotnar? With the perennial dearth of little Jotun babies, adultery was a hugely respected institution in the northern kingdom. Nah, he could not use that.

“What the hell am I going to tell him?” he groaned to his brother and sister, once they were alone and away.

“You’re saying yes, aren’t you?” said By.

What?!”

“He’s dreamy,” added Hel.

“...What the hell are you talking about? What would our people say?”

“They’ll say you’re a lucky bitch,” said Hel, elbowing him in the side.

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

“Everybody was sort of expecting it,” said By. “What did you think were all those winks and sniggers about, when you announced you were coming to meet the King of Asgard?”

Loki was lost for words.

“Has the entire world gone mad?”

“What are you so upset about?”

“You talk about it as if it was normal!”

“Well, it’s very common,” said Hel.

“… Is it?” gasped Loki, utterly baffled.

“Oh yes, it happens all the time," said his brother. "I mean, so I’ve heard."

“Common? Really? You mean in Asgard,” ventured Loki.

“And in Jotunheim too,” said Byleistr. 

“What, among the commoners?”

“Among… anyone who feels like it, as far as I know. Had you never wondered why Lord Thrym and Lord Skjord are always together?”

Loki covered his mouth.

No…?!” he gasped. “You mean…?”

“Oh yes. It’s well known.”

“What do Lady Vor and Lady Snotra think about that?”

“Oh, sweetie…” sighed By, palm on her face.

“Loki, Lady Vor and Lady Snotra, they’re also…” said Hel.

Loki’s jaw was going to hit the floor.

“When was anybody going to tell me any of that?!” he cried.

“You never asked,” said By.

“And to be fair, we all thought you, well, that you already, uh... knew,” added Hel, with a puzzling inflection in his words.

“What the hell do you mean, I knew?”

“You just… give off that vibe,” said Hel, explaining himself very little and very poorly.

“Vibe? What fucking vibe?”

“Oh Loki, please,” sighed By, who always seemed short of patience with her kingly brother, for some reason. “You’ve only ever been with, what, three girls?”

“Four!” claimed Loki.

“Darling, the first one doesn’t count,” said his sister.

“What do you mean it doesn’t count?”

“If we’re counting pitiful failed attempts, Helblindi is the best laid man in Jotunheim,” said By.

“Oi!” protested Helblindi.

“Is everybody in Jotunheim counting how many fucking people I take to my bed?!”

“Well, of course, sweetie, you were heir to the throne, and now you’re king…”

“So people thought I was… doing that? With… men? I can’t bloody believe this...”

“Called it,” said By.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I guess you win,” grumbled Hel.

“What the hell are you on about now?”

“We had a bet.”

“A what?!”

“Hel said you were being incredibly discreet. I said you were a shy, awkward, lonely baby penguin.”

Loki gasped out loud, in outrage. Then he narrowed his eyes to a murderous squint.

“Alright, I’ve heard enough from both of you,” he hissed. “Get the hell out of my sight. Now.”

His siblings scuttled.

 

Alone in the tent now, Loki tried to take stock of the situation. He was feeling as if a rug had been pulled from under his feet, and he was teetering, about to fall on his arse. Life as he knew it had ended. Life as he knew it had never been what he’d been told. Or not fucking told. And what else was going on in his own fricking kingdom just under his bloody nose? ...He couldn’t think about that now, he had to focus.

For all the Asgardian king might regard himself as a modern and enlightened monarch, he had admitted that he held this particular Asgardian tradition of fucking your trade partners in high regard. Just as he felt that a night of intimate embraces (oh dear tidal gods) cemented an alliance, wouldn’t that imply that being denied would have the opposite effect on such alliance? Sure, Asgard would honour the treaty they had signed, but who’s to say that, should the Vanir queen and the Jotun king need his aid at the same time, Thor King wouldn’t feel more inclined to honour his agreement with Vanaheim first! 

And how many things had Loki done already to secure his rule that would have shocked his younger, more innocent, princeling self? How many precious possessions had he gifted to show he favoured men he wouldn’t waste spit on, was he not a king in need of ensuring his hold on the crown? How many concessions to pushy, entitled lords of the land, who rather deserved a kick in the butt instead? How many neverending banquets and feasts he had endured, with a fake smile plastered on his face, to flatter and appease and curry the favour of people he despised? How many arses had he thoroughly kissed to get where he was now? Was spending the night in the bed of the king of Asgard such a huge departure from all those sacrifices? Loki son of Laufey, King of the Jotnar of the great realm of Jotunheim, you consider yourself a clever, keen politician, devoted to your kingdom, always putting the good of the country first, without a second thought. You know what you have to do.

Sigh.

Loki had himself for a man hard to unsettle, who had seen much and learned much. He had seen cruelty and senseless violence, back in the days when his father’s hold upon the realm started to unravel, and every lord fashioned themselves a king or queen in their land. He had listened to wise ones and travelled ones telling their learnings and their tales of the great beyond. He had read vastly about the world and its ways. He had felt reasonably confident that he was duly informed and up to date. He had thought he was ready for, well, any unforeseen situations.

Well, Loki, your young green majesty, think again. And how he wished he had done a bit less of listening and reading, and tried to gain some more first hand experience instead! By the Midnight Sun, how his father liked to mock his bookishness, blast him, but oh how Loki wished he had listened to the old conk a bit more whenever he told him to get his nose out of his books and up a few more skirts! But Loki had just been very bloody busy learning the business of ruling, and, and, and, and, well, he just wasn’t that interested, alright? Even after he had done it, all he thought was, is that it? Is that all? He honestly did not get why people were so crazy about it. He surely would not waste his time on pursuing it. (Busy. Kingdom to rule.) But god, yes, alright father, I guess you have a point. Because it felt to Loki right now that his efforts in the bed department were painfully insufficient, and entirely inadequate, to face a man with fifty wives (and husbands, Loki surmised in the light of this new information about Asgardian custom), whose sexual appetite and prowess were sung with either mirth or scandal across the Nine Realms. Oh goodness gracious me, what have I got myself into this time?

And so, the head of the politician in Loki was cool, and knew the way to go. Loki the man, however -or the boy, as he still saw himself sometimes, under the appropriate kingly demeanour he displayed, hoping to grow into the part- was presently a teeny tiny teensy bit nervous, and perhaps hesitating to acknowledge the decision King Loki had already made.

Deep breaths, Loki, deep breaths.

Alright, fine. Nervous or not, it was not the time to chicken out on this kingship thing. He would do what he must for the good of Jotunheim, as he always had. 

 

He called a page, who led him back to the tent where dinner had been served. Thor King rose to greet him and bowed, showing deference, but always managing to appear dignified and proud.

“Thor King,” began Loki, putting in his tone an aplomb he did not feel, “you have succeeded in flattering a king to a fluster.”

“Do the gifts satisfy your majesty?” asked the king through his interpreter.

“They are magnificent and worthy of a king, yes.”

“Thor King is glad. Thor King respectfully asks to hear your majesty’s answer to his offer. Will your majesty share Thor King’s bed tonight, that you may know each other’s bodies as is only possible between lovers, and by the babes in their mothers’ wombs?”

Loki contemplated Thor’s perfectly earnest expression with the firm suspicion that he was being mocked again. He had to reply.

“I, uh, yes. Yes, it will be a great honour. And a pleasure, I’m sure.”

The king’s face illuminated with a broad, dazzling smile. That twinkle in his eye, though… Loki felt a shiver. Thor voiced some orders, and a page brought a pitcher and two cups, all made of gold. Fragrant mead was poured, and they raised their cups.

“That the union of our bodies brings forth a new age of eternal friendship between our kingdoms,” toasted Thor.

“Hear, hear,” said Loki.

Then the king illustrated how to entwine their arms, his blue eyes firmly locked on Loki as his lips parted to drink. Another shiver.

“If your majesty pleases, Thor King wishes to share his happiness with the people.”

(Oh, fjords. Yes, sure, proclaim it far and wide, why don’t you.)

“Yes, of course.”

They went outside the tent, where a crowd had gathered. The king’s voice rose easily above the noise. He made a little speech. The interpreter whispered its meaning to Loki.

“Thor King is the most fortunate among the men of Yggdrasil tonight, for Loki King will share his bed on his first night with a man. He has ordered honey cakes and mead for one and all.”

“Most thoughtful,” mumbled Loki.

“Thor King will strive to do honour equally to the precious gift of your majesty’s virginity, your majesty’s exalted lineage, your majesty’s crown, and your majesty’s arresting beauty. He vows to endeavour to give you great pleasure and full satisfaction, proof of which will be provided in the morn.”

“Par-pardon me? H-how...?”

“It is tradition to lay a clean white sheet on the bed of your union, which should be blessed with the yields of—”

“Alright, yes, I understand.” Loki hoped the twilight was dark enough that his deep fluster wouldn’t be overly noticeable by the populace.

“Thor King is impatient to retire with your majesty to his bedchamber,” conveyed the interpreter.

“W-what, wait. I thought there was a ceremony?”

“That was it.”

“Weren’t seven elders and seven lovers going to speak for his character?”

“Your majesty already took Thor King's word for it.”

“And-and… isn’t there some dancing and merriment or something first?”

“Thor King would much rather get on with the private festivities. He is most impatient.”

“Yes, I can see that.” Loki sighed. His heart was pounding. “Alright. Could I, perhaps, have another glass of wine…?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

The king’s bedchamber was a massive red yurt with gold trimmings, covered all over in embroidered gold-thread runes. 

“Fertility spells,” answered the interpreter, when he noticed Loki looking.

“Great, just what I need,” grumbled the Jotun King to himself. He had a picture of his royal ass on the throne of Jotunheim, with a chubby blond baby cooing on his lap. Norns

Two pages opened the entrance of the yurt with considerable ceremony. Thor King offered his hand, and one of his looks. With a deep inhale, Loki held his hand, and stepped in. He noticed that the interpreter followed them, and he wasn’t sure if that made him even more uncomfortable, or a little bit more at ease, or a confusing mix of both. The heavy drapes that served as doors closed behind them with an ominous thud.

Inside, the place was like a jewellery box, thick rugs and piles of cushions and plush fabrics on the floor from end to end, rich tapestries dressing the walls, flimsy gauze curtains dividing the space here and there. Nobody could mistake the purpose of this tent, but just in case, in the middle of it all stood the biggest bed Loki had ever seen. Did Thor King take his wives and husbands a dozen a night or something?

Thor’s eyes on him had become even more intense, if that was possible. Without meaning to, Loki was backing away. He looked around for distraction, and as it often happened to him, he found refuge in art.

“These are… very interesting,” he said, pretending that he needed a closer look of those tapestries, lush with depictions of an exuberant garden, full of birds and animals, and tiny people dancing or something.

Ah, right. Or something. After a more careful observation, turns out they were erotic tapestries, of course. The subject matter wasn’t too common in Jotunheim. Well, these things existed, of course, but ‒ but let’s just say the King’s Palace didn’t have them, as far as Loki knew, and if there were any in the houses of other lords of the land he had visited, they hung in rooms he had not been shown, and... and... oh my, what the hell were these people doing? Loki looked closer, half in shock, half in fascination, his belly churning… Then he felt Thor King’s presence next to him. He turned and there the king was, with a knowing smirk. Loki’s stomach took a plunge.

The temperature inside the yurt was considerably higher than any other tent Loki had been to in the city so far. He counted seven bronze braziers, no less! Why so warm? …Oh. Oh. No clothes required in this tent. Loki tugged at his collar, suddenly too tight. In his leathers, fitted around his body and close around his neck, it was so very fucking hot, it was getting hard to breathe. Loki felt his head light, began to see sparks... 

“Is your majesty indisposed?” enquired the interpreter on behalf of his master.

“I-I… I just need to…”

 

 

Where was he? Everything had gone black. He was lying down, everything was awfully soft… A glass of cool water was put against his lips, a cold wet towel pressed on his forehead. He opened his eyes. The golden face of the king of Asgard was leaning close. Ah, so it had not been a dream, then.

It was all coming back to Loki. He started to sit upright.

“Thor King begs your majesty to take a moment to recover. It seemed that perhaps the mead didn’t sit well with your majesty.”

Loki did lie back down again, and closed his eyes. He remembered where he was, and what he was doing here, and although his practical side was insisting that there was no escaping, that he should stop fucking about already, and that the sooner he got on with it, the sooner it would be over, his less practical side was going to take another minute if that was alright, please and thank you.

Thor King spoke, but the interpreter’s voice didn’t follow. Loki opened his eyes. He spotted the interpreter a distance away, at the entrance of the tent, relaying instructions perhaps. Loki risked a look at the king from under his lashes.

“This is not how I expected to spend this night,” he mumbled, while the translator wasn’t there to convey his secret thoughts to the king.

Thor spoke again.

“I have no idea what you just said.”

Thor replied something with a smile and a shrug. A charming gesture, gave him a boyish air. Loki blinked nervously. Why did he feel so… (what even was that sensation!), when the king did certain things? It made no bloody sense. 

The interpreter was back. Thor spoke.

“Thor King wishes to know if your majesty is feeling better.”

Loki took a deep breath, and sat upright.

“Yes, I am.”

“Would your majesty like a glass of mead to regain his vigour?”

“Better not.”

“Wine? Oat drink? Water? Any other refreshments? Fruit perhaps? Cake?”

Loki rubbed his face.

“I’m fine, thanks.”

“Then perhaps your majesty would like to slip into something more comfortable.”

Loki lifted his eyes from king to interpreter, suspicious.

“There is ceremonial garb for First Night,” explained the interpreter. “It has been provided. If your majesty would like to follow your humble servant.”

 

Which is how Loki ended up behind a curtain at one end of the tent (Thor King was behind a curtain too, at the other end), with three giggling, baffled Asgardians trying to work out how to get him out of his leathers. 

“No, this goes under this bit, and this… Wait, don’t pull this! No no no, wait! Oh, for goodness sakes…”

Good job Loki wasn’t one of those rulers who let other people do everything for them. He may need assistance with the back clasps and some buttons and laces, but at least he knew his way around the bloody thing. He didn’t relish the idea of having to call By and Hel in to lend a hand, or any other Jotun of his train, for that matter.

Under the leathers, the Jotnar wore woollen shifts and tights that covered them from their ankles all the way up to their necks. And Loki was not going to need the servants help him out of those, thank you very much. They still insisted on bathing his feet, for some reason. 

“Convey my appreciation for their services, and let them know they’re dismissed,” he asked the interpreter when they were done. “I-I’ll do the rest.”

“As your majesty wishes.”

There were a tunic and a robe made of golden linen ready for him. Handsome garments, and what is more, long enough to cover him from head to toe. Excellent. With relief, he picked them up, only to find, when the light hit them, that the material was so delicate and fine, you could see right through it. He pinched the bridge of his nose, sighing deeply.

Okay, fine. Still better than just his skin. He checked around for prying eyes, and finding the coast clear, he slipped the linen shift on top of his woollens, then proceeded to struggle out of his undergarments, while hiding under the tunic as if inside a tent. It wasn’t the most efficient way to do this, but no inch of skin of his upper body was visible during the entire process. The tights were easiest, but as he pulled them down, Loki’s heart was in his mouth. Bare naked legs, bare naked everything dangling down there, all that air flowing freely around his...

Oh, Norns, he was so fricking nervous. He had been nervous his first time, with Angrboda, which explained why it didn’t go so well (or according to his sister, it didn’t go at all, blast her), but this time… Well, for one, he had already fucking fainted. He held his hand in front of him — it was shaking badly. 

Calm the fuck down, Loki. You’ll be alright. You’re okay. You’re not a blushing virgin. You’ve had… experience. Granted, not for some time, and not exactly this kind but… but you’re a strong man in control of your own sexuality. A goddamn king, for Nott’s sake! You-you can do this. 

He put on the robe, the fronts widely overlapped as if trying to put as many layers of fabric as he could between himself and the world, and tied the belt tight around his waist. With a triple knot.

Inhale, exhale. He stepped out from behind the curtain. 

He found king Thor on the bed, reclining easily on his side, propped on his elbow. He wore nothing but a red robe, which showed a powerful triangle of his golden, tattooed chest, and one mighty thigh. His hair, which earlier he had worn braided, and pulled away from his face in an updo, was loose on his shoulders now, like a sleepy golden storm, only a few slim plaits here and there, woven with leather and gold thread. 

Loki stared. He stared, and he gaped. For quite a long time. And speechlessly, for some reason. The fables didn’t even come close, he thought. 

“Thor King admires the way the linen suggests, without fully revealing, the very pleasant forms of your body,” informed the interpreter.

Loki wrapped his arms around himself, and tried to swallow. His throat was dry as dust.

“Uh, th-thanks. Same. I mean...”

“Will your majesty take a seat, and make himself comfortable.”

Comfortable, hah. Funny man.

Loki approached, and with jelly knees he gingerly lowered himself down until his butt rested at the very edge of the bed, about one full step away from the king. Back straight, knees together, one hand on top of the other on his lap, every bit of him stiff and tense. In all his long years, for all his tireless attempts, his tutor had never managed to get Loki to sit so primly and properly.

He must indeed be looking just like a shy schoolboy right now, and he could feel the king’s smarmy grin without having to see his face. He heard his low rumble from somewhere on his left.

“Thor King as King would never allow himself to express a thought that’s on his mind right now, lest he caused terrible offence, but as a man, he hopes that, if he should voice his thoughts and they be inappropriate, Loki King will just dismiss them, as he would the innocent comment of a foolish little boy full of curiosity, but devoid of malice.”

Loki turned to the king, found big inquisitive eyes, indeed quite innocent, for a change.

“Thor King may express his thoughts,” granted Loki.

“Thor King half expected your majesty to be blue under his leathers,” translated the interpreter.

“Oh,” said Loki, lips pursed to refrain a grin.

“Such do Aesir legends speak of the Jotnar. Thor King supposes it’s just primitive ignorance and superstition.”

“Well, actually, there is a basis of truth to this belief,” said Loki, happy, oh so happy for this stay of the execution coming in the form of cultural exchange. “In Jotunheim, we know the secret of an ointment which allows us to survive in the coldest regions of our land. We apply it on the parts of our skin exposed to the elements, and on our extremities, to combat frostbite. It provides a pleasant sensation of warmth, and it can even revive partially frozen tissue. This ointment is indeed coloured a deep shade of blue, by virtue of the mineral that infuses it with its protective qualities, which is only found in the secret, holy mines deep in the heart of Jotunheim. It is very precious to us, and many other magical properties of protection had traditionally been attributed to it, which is why we put it on for religious ceremonies, and warriors wear it to go into battle. It’s even applied on our hair, flattening it against our scalps, which is why, I think, many peoples in Yggdrasil believe Jotnar to be completely bald!”

Thor laughed expansively, throwing his golden head back with childish abandon. Loki felt an urge to sigh that he could not explain. When he looked at Loki next, the king’s eyes seemed to stroke down Loki’s hair.

“Thor King is pleased to call the lie to that particular misconception regarding your people. What a loss to the world, should the glorious mane of hair that crowns your majesty’s head had never existed.”

Loki felt his cheeks heat up.

“Thor King is most kind.” A bloody smooth talker is what he is, never missing a chance. “Any other Asgardian legend about my people that Thor King would wish to have elucidated?”

“Thor King has seen depictions of Jotun warriors in arms in the books. Their faces and bodies were covered in strange markings.”

“Oh, indeed. You see, when covered in blue, all people look quite similar. Those markings are particular to each clan, house, and family, they show allegiance and lineage. They may appear meaningless and all the same to you, but they are quite easy to distinguish for us. They make it possible to tell apart friend from foe in the thick of battle. And again, they are also painted on for rituals and ceremonies.”

“Does Loki King also wear the ointment and the markings.”

“Indeed, I do, when the occasion demands it,” he smiled politely. “With pride.”

“Thor King is confident he could spot your majesty in any place, at any time, even under his blue ointment. Were it not for the striking, harmonious features of your majesty’s face, his silken voice would set him apart. And should your majesty wish to play a game and be quiet, Thor King would recognise for sure his proud, elegant bearing. And should your majesty affect a slump or a hunchback, Thor King would just follow his heart.”

Loki would put money on the word the king had actually used not being 'heart'. Call it a hunch, call it Loki's growing understanding of Asgardian culture, call it that bloody cocky smirk on the king's face, and the playful squint in his eyes. Loki would have liked some of the blasted stinky ointment on his own face right now. If only he could stop fucking blushing. It wasn’t even the cheesy lines, it was the goddamn looks, and that accursed lion’s rumble… Loki was known in Jotunheim for his skill with words! He had been able to reduce grown men to tears with nothing but a verbal lashing! And here he was, silver tongue turned to lead and all tied up in a knot, like a shrinking violet at his first ball! Come on, boy, say something!

“Perhaps Thor King could attend one of our ceremonies one day, and we shall see about that,” murmured Loki, managing to give his voice a touch of insolence.

Thor smiled broadly, and bowed his head, acknowledging the challenge.

“Are green eyes such as your majesty’s common among the Jotnar?” asked king Thor through his interpreter.

“No. They come to me from my grandmother, who was Vanir.”

“They are most striking. Thor King has a weakness for green gems, and can’t quite decide if your majesty’s eyes are more akin to emerald, opal, or jade.” 

Thor voiced an order, and a servant appeared as if by magic, from a fold in the tent which Loki hadn’t even realised was there, to bring a delicate casket. He opened it, and it revealed a treasure trove of gemstones in all shades of green. Loki’s eyes opened wide in astonishment. The king of Asgard looked up to him.

“Would your majesty lean a bit closer, that Thor King can have a better look at the colour of his eyes?”

Loki had to admire to smoothness. With a little eye roll to let it be known that he totally saw him coming, he complied.

“Closer,” translated the interpreter.

With trepidation, Loki leaned in. His face was now less than one foot away from the king’s, and it took no little effort to hold the king’s gaze, which was really rather intense from this short distance. Loki's heart was pounding hard. 

Thor broke the stare to examine his gems. He picked two. Held one up as he spoke, then the other.

“In the light of day, Thor King thinks your majesty’s eyes most resemble this one. In the lamplight, this other one is their truest mirror.”

The king voiced an order, the servant came in for the box, and returned to his invisible fold. Another servant approached with a small gold dish in which Thor put the gems he had picked. (How many more people were hiding in that tent?!)

“Thor King will have them mounted in a pendant, that he may remember your majesty always by them, that he may wear them close to his skin and feel their warmth, as your majesty's gaze is warm upon his tonight.”

Loki looked away, demure, awfully flustered. Thor King had a talent for this courting thing, he thought to himself. And with some cruelty, his brain added, sounding awfully like his sister, well, he surely has abundant occasions to practice, doesn’t he?

The king was looking at him again as if Loki was coated in almonds and honey.

“Is your majesty comfortable?” translated the interpreter.

“Yes. I’m fine. And-and yourself? I mean…” (You idiot. Silvertongue indeed!)

“Is there anything your majesty needs?”

“Uh. N-no.”

“Then perhaps we could dismiss the interpreter.”

Loki gulped. The time of truth was upon him.

“Y-yes, of course.”

Thor voiced an order, and the interpreter backed away from the bed, bowing down as he went. Loki did not see him leave the tent ‒ god knows where he was hiding. The lights became dimmer, cosier, as a number of the lamps were put out by hands discreet to the point of invisibility. Loki shivered a little, hands held tightly on his lap.

Thor reached for Loki’s hand, which was shaking embarrassingly, as the Asgardian king wouldn’t fail to notice. Thor brought it close to his face, and as his gaze examined it adoringly, he rumbled a few words, probably some exaggerated, slightly cheesy, very nicely worded flattery about how nice they were or something. Then, with his eyes fixed on Loki’s face again, he traced a slow circle on the inside of Loki’s wrist, sending goosebumps all the way up to Loki’s shoulder. How. Why! His bloody wrist, nothing more! It was embarrassing that he was reacting so much. Next, Thor King kissed the palm of his hand, and it felt so shockingly, unexpectedly intimate, for the great serpent of the sea! The warmth of his skin and his breath and… god, was that a lick of tongue? Loki was feeling things. His legs just went and crossed themselves, without asking. 

Thor King stared up at him, smiling like Loki was as transparent as spring ice. Then he pressed his lips on the delicate skin of the inside of Loki’s wrist, and started climbing. Loki gasped at the feel of that beard, so much softer than he had imagined, and the king’s warm lips, slightly chapped from the elements. Up, up, up Loki’s arm went the king’s kisses, light as the brush of a butterfly’s wings, a pleasant tickle spreading from the point of contact to the rest of Loki’s body. It was so very nice. Loki’s eyes became heavy, as did his breathing, and he sort of forgot to be alarmed by the kings big, golden hands clasping his wrist, and the rest of him getting closer and closer… And suddenly, Thor King’s mouth was on his neck, sending a jolt of electricity down Loki’s spine, making him shiver and squirm, and fold in half when a hot wave seemed to crash against his middle.

Gasp.

He blinked awake, suddenly very fucking aware of the heat of the king’s body just fricking there. And his eyes, always his eyes, boring into his as if trying to get under his skin. Loki’s heart was beating so hard, he could fucking hear it. Thor smiled, and pulled back. Loki surprised himself when relief was only half of what he felt. The rest was… confusing at best, but disappointment was definitely there, and that he had not expected. The king said something to him, gesturing to the belt of Loki’s robe.

“Oh, right. Yeah. I guess we-we won’t be needing that. Hang-hang on a moment,” murmured Loki. 

But that was a tight triple knot he had made, and his hands were shaking. Holy fucking caves of Ulfheim, but he was clumsy tonight!

Thor said something, touching his chest, offering his hands.

“Oh. Okay,” said Loki. And nodded.

Thor drew closer. Hands on Loki’s belt, his eyes rising slowly to Loki’s face as knot after knot let go easily for him, little buggers. The tightness of the belt around Loki’s waist gave way; the robe stopped pulling so much; it felt like shedding the armour after sparring. Loki felt exposed, tender, a snail out of his shell. Thor pulled at one end of the belt slowly (eyes on Loki, always eyes on Loki), the drag of the cord around Loki’s back and his side as it went, like an intimate caress. Loki’s breathing was agitated now, almost panting.

Thor said something in that rumble of his, with that bloody smile that made things tumble in Loki’s stomach.

“If you say so,” he muttered, his voice choked.

Thor grinned, and put his hands on Loki’s shoulders —Loki held his breath. After a moment and a little inquisitive look, Loki gave permission with a nod, and Thor’s warm hands pushed the robe off Loki’s shoulders and arms. Loki was still wearing the linen tunic, long down to his ankles and sleeves down to his wrists, but if Loki could see his own freckles through it… He was trembling like a leaf. And as he was prone to do when he got nervous, he started blabbering.

“We-we’re not used to nudity in Jotunheim, you see. Mine is a cold country, and with no wood to burn or coal to mine, we must save our fuel for cooking and smithing and all that. The last time we are ever completely bare is when we’re born. We wash in portions, and we-we go to bed fully dressed, even for-for making love. But since we do not waste precious lamp oil just for-for that, not much is lost in the way of, uh, the view.”

Thor King said something. A murmur came from somewhere in the tent. The interpreter! Loki’s head whipped around, searching for him. Thor said something else.

“So how is the act of coupling accomplished in Jotunheim, without nudity?” There he was, behind that fucking curtain. 

“We have special garments for that," he said.

Loki’s blush was fierce now. That was a subject that mortified him to this day, as it mortified every little boy or girl in Jotunheim. It was heavily associated with old aunts pinching cheeks and commenting on how big one was getting, and how very soon one was going to be breaking lots of hearts and making many little Jotnar; it echoed uncomfortable talks about the facts of life, and finally, the pinnacle of embarrassment, it reminded one of the coming-of-age ceremony, in which several rituals related to fertility were held, engagements were confirmed, and the fucking garment was gifted, amid giggles and innuendo, while poor little Loki wanted to fucking die, sitting there in a room with all eyes on him, knowing that all through the day, what was in every single relative’s mind, young and old, was sex. It had been hell

“What’s special about those garments?” asked Thor through his interpreter.

Loki was feeling irritated now. He wished he had never fucking mentioned it.

“It has, uh, strategically placed openings,” he pushed through it, cavalier.

Thor smiled broadly, the bugger.

“Thor King finds this notion delightfully suggestive and most enticing, tantalising in the extreme. He would like to try one.”

Loki frowned at him. You’re hilarious, your majesty, he grumbled internally.

“I’ll make sure to have one sent,” he said between his teeth.

“Thor King will come and get it, if your majesty will allow it, and thus your majesty can teach him how to wear it and use it properly,” translated the interpreter. And then Thor winked.

Loki rolled his eyes, huffing. Can you believe this guy.

Thor purred something then.

“Would your majesty like to touch Thor King,” invited the interpreter on behalf of his master.

That focused Loki right down, alright. Thor’s eyes were very close again, and the rest of him. His own robe was beginning to hang off his tremendous shoulders, more of his chest now on display, and the skirts had parted, revealing his mighty legs almost in their entirety. That was a lot of flesh. Loki would have expected to feel dizzy, and quite overwhelmed. Yet he couldn’t deny that he was… curious. His own body was lean and wiry, hard and sharp. He had never seen such an imposing array of musculature, let alone touched it. And, well, this was how this was done, wasn’t it? He’d better just…

An inhale, and he put his hand flat on the king’s chest, under Thor’s unerring gaze. Warm, wow. Smooth. Hard! Uuuh, let’s see what else is down there… The bulging mounds of his chest, the many lumps on his stomach, oh Norns, that was the-the navel, then a whisper of soft fuzz… and up again, with his heart beating rabbit-fast! He brushed a nipple by accident. Thor King made a guttural, encouraging hum. 

“Oh, you liked that, didn’t you?” purred Loki now, feeling a bit more confident.

“He does, very much. Please, again.”

Oh my fjords, that was rhetorical! 

…But yeah, okay, I can do that. He brushed his palm again on the king’s nipple, and witnessed with something quite indistinguishable from pride as Thor’s lids got heavier.

When he blabbered this time, Loki did so in a whisper, so that the interpreter could not hear.

“I may not know a lot, but I know to do that,” he murmured. And in a dash of bravery, he went for the nipples with his lips.

Thor exhaled deeply, then a groan. Rumbled something.

“Your majesty’s lips are exquisite.”

Loki stiffened right up. He pulled away. Turned towards the interpreter.

“Look, do you mind leaving us alone? Everyone, actually. Please.”

The interpreter conveyed Loki’s wishes to the king. The king voiced an order, and about two dozen people crawled out of all sorts of hiding spots around the tent, and walked out.

“There,” said Loki. “At least you won’t be making me blush with your fucking compliments anymore.”

Thor smiled, perhaps reading his tone. Loki smiled in turn. He realised he wasn’t feeling that uncomfortable right now. He might be able to pull through this with some dignity after all…

He wondered whether he should resume what he was doing just then, but the moment was gone, and he didn’t dare. Thor, however, didn’t let the awkward pause linger. With a smirk, he started to climb down the bed.

“Where the hell are you going?”

Thor was kneeling on the cushions. With the palm of his hand, he cradled Loki’s foot, and began to trace the ankle with one fingertip, rumbling something, probably more smooth-talk. Loki bet it featured gazelles or deers or something lissome and svelte like that. The voice was soothing, as was the touch. Thor’s fingertips began to venture up Loki’s leg, slipping under the tunic, one eye on Loki, to gauge his reaction. Loki’s linen shift had risen just a bit, revealing some skin, and hinting at much more still left to be discovered. With a sultry gaze from under heavy lids, Thor indicated that he knew very well what that was doing to the nudity-shy Jotun. Indeed, Loki’s pulse was racing with trepidation.

Just then, Thor’s hand touched his knee. The impulse to flee was there, but it wasn’t very strong at all. Perhaps it was Thor’s eyes locked on his own like a magnet, fixing him in place. Thor’s touch became more insistent, heavier. Loki’s breathing became shorter. He was feeling waves of heat again, from his legs up to… 

Again, Thor withdrew his hands, returned them to his ankles. Damn him. But then he lifted Loki’s foot up, and began to suck his toes with such sinful delight, with such lewdness, that Loki shuddered deeply, and his cock tugged and twitched as it heard the call to arms and filled, in spite of his nerves, in spite of everything.

“Ah…” he couldn’t help but let out the softest sigh.

The sound wasn’t lost on Thor, who smiled wickedly, and then his mouth was climbing up his foot, up the side of his calf, up the sensitive flesh of his inner thigh… And Loki had entirely forgotten that the linen tunic had been rising steadily, and was now bunched up well above the knee, his erection prominent and clearly visible through the translucent material. And he didn’t fucking care. He watched the king, who was looking back, smiling, delaying, Loki’s breath short and sharp with anticipation. Then the king put his head under Loki’s tunic, and his mouth kept sliding up. 

Loki dropped onto his back, with his eyes closed. He just guessed where this was going. He had read about it in books. And right now he was so fucking up for it.

He felt heat before he felt any touch, he felt air, hot breath. Then a brush of tongue from root to shaft. Loki threw both arms over his face.

“Gods, yes,” he said, nothing but the tiniest whisper, rather like a thought voiced out loud. “Yes, yes, do it…”

Another brush of tongue, right under the head.

Ah…”

He arched into it, desperate for more, for all of it. He had read about it, he had jerked off thinking about it, he had never been offered it, he had never dared to ask for it. Now he was getting it. Boy, was he getting it. Thor’s tongue was devilish, mischievous, intent on tormenting him. It touched so lightly, flickered quickly here and there and was gone. Oh, Loki was going to go mad. He grabbed the king’s head with both hands, sunk his nails in his scalp.

“Stop teasing…” grumbled Loki, desperate. “Norns, give it to me…”

And then his cock was surrounded in moist, tight heat, and he was fucking dying. After about three fucking seconds, it came crashing on him like the breaking of the glaciers in spring. A broken, breathy moan, a deep shudder, and he was coming like a geiser in the mouth of the king of Asgard. Bodily jolts as his body kept spending, as Thor King’s mouth kept sucking. 

By all the flaming coals of Muspelheim...

His climax ebbed away, his breathing began to slow down, and he opened his eyes to see Thor’s head popping out from under the tunic, with a dazzling, cheeky grin. The king of Asgard helped himself to a drink from a tray nearby, his eyes always on Loki, letting the Jotun king see him swallow. And the Jotun king was looking, alright, fascinated by the wondrous reliefs of that strong, golden neck. Women did not have necks like that. Theirs were pleasing to look at, sure, but Loki couldn’t remember ever wanting so desperately to bite one of them...

Oh, that smirk on Thor King’s face, probably reading the thoughts behind Loki's awed face, smug as fuck… Loki, even melting into the mattress and boneless as he felt, had a strong urge to slap it. 

Or maybe even… Yes, why not? Perhaps still a bit drunk on the afterglow of that intense climax, emboldened, Loki dragged himself upright and leaned in to kiss the lips of the king of Asgard. 

The king returned the kiss with enthusiasm, enfolding Loki strongly in his arms. And boy, did he knew his way around kissing too...Oh, it was making his head spin, he couldn’t get enough. Never had a mouth felt so perfect on his, never had the press of lips and brush of tongues made Loki so delirious, never had Loki wanted to kiss someone so much. 

They fell together onto the bed, their mouths never more than a breath apart, Thor’s weight crushing Loki breathless, which in fairness shouldn’t feel so nice; and in the middle of it all, with any potential instinct of alarm muted by the lovely afterglow, Loki felt the huge, hard rod of iron pressed against him, the king’s erection making its presence felt between their bodies -the Hammer of Asgard, he had heard it called-. Thor was rolling his hips against him ever so gently, with lazy purpose, massaging himself, and Loki again felt surprise at his current lack of terror, reluctance, or discomfort. In fact, he was… responding, pushing his hips up to help the king find his pleasure, all while they kissed and kissed and kissed some more. Loki could feel the king’s beard on his face, and soon enough it wasn’t weird at all, but so very soft and pleasing, and Loki’s arms were tight around the king, barely able to surround him, and his hands seemed to have acquired a mind of their own, and they were eager to know the feel of the king’s hair, and then the curve of his back through the velvet of his robe, and then the perfect, hard roundness of his arse… And oh, how inebriating, how fun, to rest his hands there, and feel the muscles shift and bulge and cave in turn, as the king kept rolling his hips, grinding his erection between their bodies. Loki wanted to reach under the velvet and…

The king said something.

“Yes, whatever,” sighed Loki absently.

But then he heard a rustle, and servants walked in, bringing refreshments, the interpreter in tow. They all kept their eyes to the ground, but Loki rushed to cover up again. King Thor’s robe was spectacularly tented.

“Wait, that’s not it, is it?” asked Loki, with a note of disappointment in his voice that he was unable to conceal.

With one arm still around Loki’s waist (and the most beautiful blush around his thoroughly kissed mouth, which made Loki want to giggle foolishly, and wonder what he himself must look like), Thor spoke to the interpreter, who translated.

“It’s as your majesty wishes. Does your majesty wish the night was at an end?”

Loki muttered demurely, gaze low.

“Well, those offerings are so splendid… And it is called ‘first night’ after all, not ‘first couple of hours’…”

Thor was grinning, and he looked so irritatingly endeared.

“Then perhaps your majesty might wish to have a rest?”

Did it feel like I needed a rest?, grumbled Loki internally.

“I am perfectly alright, thank you,” he replied, throwing his arms around Thor’s neck again, impatient to continue.

“It will be a long night, your majesty,” translated the interpreter evenly, while Thor gilded it with a playful, heavy grin. “Please, do take a moment to catch your breath…”

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

“Thor King will have you know this tea is renowned for its virtues. It’s a blend of jasmine and oat straw, horny goat weed and saffron, fennel and coriander, anise and cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, all blended with rose, lavender, and orange blossom oils, and it’s flavoured with apple and lemon, as the king prefers it. It provides great vigour and wakefulness, and it stirs desire. They call it the Tea of Lovers.”

“Oh really,” said Loki, wrinkling his nose at the waft of steam rising from his cup. It smelled like an entire garden had been scalded in there, weeds and all.

“Please, try it with honey. This is brought from Ydalir, where bees make it from a rare flower that is sacred to a local goddess of love and fertility.”

“Fascinating.”

“It is believed to have aphrodisiac powers.”

“Is that so?” Loki smiled bashfully. “Does the king feel I must be plied with love philters to fall under his spell? Does he not trust his manner and his appearance to be aphrodisiac enough?” he batted his long lashes at him, and gazed demurely from lowered lids.

Thor grinned at the translation.

“Thor King is most eager to ensure success in all endeavours.”

Loki smiled again, coy.

“I shall welcome the vigour and the wakefulness of the tea, but I’m afraid the rest of its effects will be quite lost on me, and unnecessary,” he teased.

Thor gave him one of those dazzling, wolfish smiles that made Loki’s run blood faster.

“Drink up, then, your majesty, for Thor King, for his part, has no intention to rest until dawn.”

“I do hope Thor King lives up to his word.”

Thor raised his cup, and so did Loki, for a toast.

There was a moment of companionable silence, savouring the many blended flavours in their drinks. Loki was feeling at ease, and also braver. He dared observe the king without reserve for the first time since the night began, delighting in his pleasant features. His beauty could stun one into an awed dumbness, but right now it appeared most welcoming to Loki, fully-fleshed and within his reach. Emboldened by the intimacy they had shared, Loki asked,

“How does Thor King pronounce his own name?”

The interpreter translated.

Khal Tuur ,” said the king, approximately.

“It’s most pleasing,” said Loki.

“Can your majesty pronounce Thor King’s name in his own accent?”

“Thor King.”

The king smiled, a twinkle in his eyes. He spoke.

“Thor King much likes how your majesty’s mouth and voice and native language shape the sounds of his name. He would beg you not to alter it to resemble the Aesir way, for it quite sounds to his ear as a secret endearment.”

“Very well, I will not,” said Loki, with a flutter in his heart.

“Thor King wishes to hear how your majesty pronounces his own name.”

“Loki.”

Low-kee ,” repeated the king, that husky lion’s voice taking care around each syllable.

Loki felt goddamn butterflies in his belly now.

“It sounds best when Thor King says it,” he muttered.

Low-kee ,” repeated Thor, creeping closer. “ Low-kee , Low-kee …”

Loki giggled, his head light. The tea? Or perhaps Thor’s closeness? Delicately, Thor put his hand on Loki’s ankle and stroked his leg. Loki’s laughter hitched, choked with anticipation, aware that this gesture announced the beginning of another bout of lovemaking. It was as if Loki's entire body was aflame tonight, and Thor’s mere proximity made him flicker. Through the tunic, Thor stroked down Loki’s thigh. Loki observed that big, strong, rough hand over his body, the touch careful, but confident, and experienced, and self-assured, and his body, that knew so little, trembling between its natural timidity and this newborn greed for more. His heartbeat picked up. He bit his lip.

Thor spoke in a muted murmur, rather like thinking out loud. (The interpreter, of course, enunciated his translation as if the king was delivering a speech to his council.)

“Thor King much admires your majesty’s fair, graceful proportions. The magnificent length of your majesty’s legs, and the wiry musculature of his body, together with his proud bearing and his elegant stance, they’re all the qualities one seeks in the best horses.”

Loki raised an eyebrow. Thanks, he supposed?

“In his early transports with your majesty, Thor King could not but notice with immense glee that such proportions and harmonious resemblance to the ideal of a horse did indeed extend to encompass your majesty’s person whole.”

Loki frowned now, confused.

“Uh, I’m afraid you quite lost me there.”

“Your majesty is very well hung.”

Loki spat out his tea. Thor was grinning, the naughty bugger.

“Thor King most admires a lover with a generous manhood, of a girth and length that seem made to bring pleasure and joy. How fortunate the ladies of Jotunheim, who have been blessed with a King of such beauty and such magnificent endowments.”

Loki was awfully flustered. A triangular conversation with that imperturbable interpreter about his… Oh, Norns.

“Uh, thanks. Yes, well, one does one’s best to-to spread the joy, as it were,” he said, just to fill the silence, the tips of his ears burning with the blatant lie.

“Thor King would much desire to experience such bliss himself.”

Loki frowned again. He… what? That could not possibly mean what Loki thought it meant, right?

...Right?

“Beg-beg your pardon?”

“Thor King wishes your majesty to penetrate him, to either lay him down and plough him to your majesty’s heart’s content, and the king’s pleasure, or that your majesty lay down and let Thor King ride him until your royal bodies both find perfect satisfaction in each other. Thor King is a strong rider with powerful stamina, both on the field and in bed. He is assured he would soon have your majesty in raptures, such as Loki King has never experienced.”

Loki had gone blank. He had seen Thor galloping on his mastodonic horse when the Asgardians came to meet the Jotun delegation (his golden hair blowing in the wind, his armour sparkling in the sun, the red cape flaming behind him), and he had a vision now of that proud, magnificent man, on top of him... Gulps . And yet, he was puzzled.

“But Thor King… does that?”

“Indeed he does.”

“R-really…?”

There was a spark of knowing humour in Thor’s eye. He was playing dumb, but he was on to him.

“Why should it baffle your majesty so much that the king of a nation of horsemen, upon beholding such a gloriously tempting mount, was overwhelmed with a desire to ride?” he asked.

Loki blushed red. So many things he could not think how to bring up delicately.

“B-because… Well, because…”

The king rescued him from his muddle.

“In his many travels, Thor King has learned with astonishment that some nations place a great burden of significance on who is penetrated and who penetrates in the act of coupling. Not only do these cultures usually seem to have a very narrow understanding of what coupling is, and very little imagination regarding the practice of it, but they also seem to equal being penetrated to being passive, and similar to a woman, and therefore less than a man, and so, shameful and undesirable. All these notions are entirely foreign to Thor King, and to any Asgardian, who neither consider women to be lesser than men in any way, nor see any shame in a man who resembles a woman, nor a woman who resembles a man; who know well both man and woman are fashioned by nature with bodies able to give as well as receive pleasure in many forms, through a variety of means; and who most assuredly do not envisage being penetrated as a passive exercise. We Asgardians believe that, while there are many things in life that bring sorrow and pain, our makers wished their gets to know happiness before our journey to the land of shadow, and to that end, they gave us a body that is made to experience pleasure, be it from food or drink, or the smell of flowers, or music, or pleasant sights, be it from contact with other bodies or our own. We Asgardians believe it is a crime, and a gross disrespect and show of ungratefulness to our makers, to have been granted such generous gifts and not rejoice in them. And so, we Asgardians do not understand those cultures who enforce limitations or assign shame or taboo on the ways the body is allowed to seek its pleasure. The only limitation we understand is each individual’s tastes and natural preferences. Indeed, Thor King is very fond of being penetrated, and rides as happily and keenly in bed as he does on the plains.”

Loki gawked, blinking after a long minute. 

“Well, that’s… well.” He was rather hot around the metaphorical collar.

Thor sat up and put down his tea. Then he got on his hands and knees and scooted closer. Loki’s heart rate began to spike up. Thor was straddling him now, eyes only a few inches away. He rumbled something.

“Is your majesty finished with his tea?” translated the interpreter.

Loki cleared his throat. A servant materialised by his side, with a tray. Thor took the cup, still hot, still half-full, from Loki’s hand, and set it on the tray. The servant de-materialised. Thor mumbled something.

“Thor King’s explanation has put many pleasant visions in the eye of his mind, and has much aroused him,” translated the interpreter. Loki would have glared at the man and told him to shut up, but the king’s face and his fierce eyes were just so very close, hovering above him, that words just would not come. Thor stroked his face with the back of his hand, and spoke.

“May Thor King kiss your majesty?”

“I really fucking hate the goddamn interpreter,” grumbled Loki, mostly to himself, as he grabbed Thor by his ears and pulled him down to, hopefully, eat the king alive.

They rolled onto their sides, tangling their arms and legs in a frantic embrace. Norns, sighed Loki, that mouth. It was as forceful and energetic as Loki would have expected in such a man, but it was also so bloody… generous. One could not but feel, when being thoroughly ravished like that, that giving pleasure was just as present in the King’s mind as taking it.

Thor rumbled something that stood every hair on Loki’s body (what few there were) on end. Then the fucking translator announced, in that even, dispassionate tone,

“The things Thor King wishes to do to you majesty.”

“By Ymir’s cow, shut the hell up!” groaned Loki. "Leave us alone!"

Which the translator translated, as he did with the king’s response, muttered straight into Loki’s ear.

“Thor King says he much relishes for his humble servant the interpreter to remain, that he may see your majesty fluster and preen from his words. That your majesty be most enticingly sensitive and, uh, very… what’s the word, cute ?”

Loki couldn’t fucking believe this in general, but whatever protestations he may have had died a pretty sudden death by choking, when Thor sat straddling his hips, tugged at the skirt of his red robe, which was trapped beneath him, to pull it away, and then pushed up Loki’s tunic, and… oh, sweet halls of Valhalla, there was nothing between Thor’s flesh and his own, and Loki was quite excited , and… Thor pressed down, with a roll of hips.

Gasp .

Thor was smirking now, most amused. He voiced a soft order, and a servant approached with a tray covered in small flasks. There was an adorable scrunch on his nose as he meditated, then he picked one of the flasks, and with one gesture he dismissed the servant.

He uncorked the flask and poured some oil on his hand. He said something.

“Would your majesty smell this? It is cool and sharp like Thor King imagines your majesty’s land to present itself to the eye, but when applied to the skin, it feels warm and pleasant as velvet, and transfers a deep heat, much like its king’s touch.”

But he didn’t offer it to Loki to sniff. He stood on his knees above Loki, and reached behind himself, under the skirts of the robe. Loki frowned at first, baffled, completely ignorant as to what was going on. But inexperienced as he was, a fool he was not, and only a second later, his eyes opened wide and his jaw dropped when he finally realised what Thor was doing. Thor met his shock with a brazen smirk. And when Thor persisted there, and his eyes grew heavy and wanton…

“Oh,” squeaked Loki, his own arousal making him feel choked, “by the great serpent…”

“Is your majesty ready?” asked Thor through his interpreter.

“Ready? Uhh…”

He had no idea what for. Until Thor poured some more oil on the palm of his hand, and drew it close to Loki’s half-hard erection. He mumbled something.

“May Thor King...?”

“Yes! Shut up!”

Thor laughed, and Loki would have swooned, but then that big, hot hand was on him, slow, lazy strokes, sleek and indeed very fucking warm, and he was fully hard in no time at all and pumping up into that touch. He whimpered in protest when it went away, which, again, Thor found most endearing and quite amusing, and met with a chuckle. Loki’s mind was clouded by an aching, hungry haze now.

Thor crawled up his body and Loki realised he was taking position. Thor took hold of Loki’s erection and lined up.

“Oh Norns,” squeaked Loki, his heart beating so fast, “oh…”

Thor bore down on him, let Loki in so easily, but still gripped him tight enough that Loki just stiffened up beneath, overwhelmed, as more and more of himself was taken in by the king’s body, until Thor’s weight was resting fully on Loki’s hips.

After a moment, their eyes regained focus and met. Thor was panting slightly above him. He took Loki’s hands, clutched in fists on the sheets beside him, and guided them to his waist, still clothed. He whispered.

“Your majesty may touch Thor King at leisure.”

Loki clasped that waist, surprisingly lean for one so strong and bulky. Thor rolled his hips, and Loki’s nails sunk into the velvet robe. They both gasped, huffed, groaned.

“Your majesty’s length was made for Thor King’s body, or Thor King’s body was made for your majesty’s length,” translated the interpreter.

And Loki couldn’t find the breath or the fucking concentration either to formulate an answer, or to send the interpreter away, because Thor had begun to move, quickly gaining speed and force.

“Is this pleasing to your majesty?” asked Thor through the interpreter (or at least Loki hoped it was Thor asking), full-on bouncing now, the friction stimulating Loki’s senses like he couldn’t even believe was possible.

“Norns, yes …” muttered Loki in a whisper, holding back (all those listening ears).

“Thor King desires that your majesty expresses his enjoyment freely. He finds it most stirring, to hear his lover’s sounds of delight. Do not be shy.”

“Oh, fuck …” groaned Loki, “Thor…”

“Thor King wishes your majesty to make free with his body.”

Loki half-opened his eyes, which had been firmly closed in pleasure. Thor was riding him hard and fast, his robe had fallen off one shoulder. And Loki had that rippling, muscular, fucking superhuman body working itself into a sweat over him, and he was frustrated that he couldn’t fucking… As he shuddered in the onslaught, Loki reached for the robe and opened it fully, to see Thor’s body without concealment. Thor stopped for a moment, still rolling his hips, to help him. They both tugged and pulled, their hands meeting over Thor’s flesh to disrobe him. Still impaled on him, his gaze impaling Loki in return, Thor crunched his robe into a ball and threw it over his shoulder. Then he stood upright, propped on Loki’s chest, showing himself (and rolling, rolling).

Loki stared, his breathing straining. From those broad shoulders and wide chest down to that slender waist, Thor was golden and fashioned like a god, and Loki was in awe. A god who had him now, tightly held in the most intimate fashion. When Loki dared, he gazed lower still, where the king’s own manhood towered proudly, of a furious shade of red, veering to purple at the head, and pretty fucking huge, its colouration darker than Loki’s, its shapes and textures fascinating to him, who had seen so little (let alone in such an exalted state), for how it both resembled and differed from his own.

“It’s beautiful…” he sighed.

Thor’s held Loki’s hand and gently put it on himself. Enfolded in Thor’s hand, Loki’s fist closed around that magnificent girth; with some hesitation at first, but less so as Thor’s hand demanded a tighter squeeze. Then he leaned closer for a kiss. Soon, as Thor hummed and sighed, helping Loki touch him, Loki’s fist forgot its shyness, and became even bolder, stroking up and down the length at a pace that, whenever he applied it to himself, meant business. Moaning, breathy, Thor began to bounce again.

Loki didn’t know where he was at, between the feel of Thor’s body clenching around him and pumping him, and the sight of the beautiful king impetuously wringing his pleasure from Loki’s body, all of it going to Loki’s head like a potent spirit. Whenever he sensed Loki’s climax was looming close, Thor altered his pace and his rhythm to prolong the exercise. Loki had never had much time or opportunity (or great motivation) to try to improve his endurance and stamina; had he not spilled only a short moment ago, and had Thor not taken so much care in administering his efforts, their coupling would surely have ended already. As it was, Loki had lost track of time, drunk on sustained pleasure.

Thor fucked himself with fury for a very short burst, groaning and huffing, their flesh thumping loudly as they clashed. Loki’s moans, short and sharp, were growing plaintive, and turned into a desperate plea when Thor abruptly stopped.

“Oh Norns, please…” he begged.

Thor unmounted, much to Loki’s confusion and greater despair. Then Thor grabbed Loki by the neck and dragged him over himself, as he laid on his back.

“Thor King wishes your majesty to plough him like the great plough in the sky breaks the land of sun and moon and readies it for…”

“Shut the fuck up!” roared Loki huskily, as he laid between those mighty legs and easily slipped home. He began to move straight away. “Oh fuck, fuck,” he panted. “Norns this is good, this is…”

He was fucking quickly and furiously, Thor’s husky moans and groans, and his nails on Loki’s back spurring him on. When he began to tire, Loki sat upright to catch his breath. Imitating Thor’s movements from a moment ago, Loki rolled his hips. Thor planted both hands on Loki’s butt and arched his back beneath him, groaning some words.

“Thor King much enjoys this, again, please.”

Loki didn’t even take a moment to feel uncomfortable or put off by the interpreter. Instead, with his eyes fixed on the king, squirming and writhing beneath him, he rolled and rolled and rolled some more, grinding, pressing, trying to repeat whatever it was that had pleased the king so much. The arch of Thor’s back bent higher, and his moans reached higher pitches.

“Thor King says ‘right there’”

Loki shuddered at the sight of Thor’s undoing. He could feel his own climax closing in now, rising from deep within. Taking some cues from Thor, he altered his pace; he began to fuck hard and deep, and not too fast, to make it last.

“Thor King would have your majesty go harder.”

Loki threw a glare in the interpreter’s general direction, but harder he did go. Thor’s gasped breathy ‘ah, ah, ah ’ sounds in response practically made Loki’s brain pour out of his ears. And before he knew it, he was going wild, fucking like a dog, propped on his stretched arms. Thor’s face contorted in ecstasy beneath him, his eyes heavy, his mouth wide.

“Thor King says yes. Yes, again. More, yes.”

Those mighty legs spread wide open, and Thor grabbed his own ankles to set them up and apart, allowing Loki to hit deeper.

“Thor King praises our most beloved deities.”

“Fuck, Thor, oh fuck, Thor …”

“Low-kee…”

“Now Thor King curses our most beloved deities.”

Loki’s balls were so fucking tight he was going to burst. He fucked frantically chasing his release.

“Thor King begs your majesty to fill him with his seed.”

“Mother of f…!” groaned Loki, and he exploded . And how he exploded! He came for Jotunheim, for Asgard, and for Yggdrasil entire, sobbing as he kept jolting, every shudder another spurt.

His body heaved as he gathered his breath.

“Thor King wishes your majesty to stay inside, that he may reach completion from his hand while your majesty still fills him.”

Propped on his arms, Loki opened his eyes to the sight of Thor’s fist working his own erection fast. Finding himself most unusually still hard, Loki began to move inside him again.

“Thor King is blaspheming.”

And after a moment,

“Thor King is most effusively positive. Yes, yes, yes, repeat, ad infinitum, et cetera.”

“Low-kee…!” he cried as he came, his head thrown back in his climax, copious seed painting his stomach and chest. Loki couldn’t tear his eyes away from that expert hand as the King stroked, and squeezed, and twisted, and milked his orgasm down to the last drop.

The king opened his arms, inviting, and Loki let himself collapse on top of him, and buried his face in the crook of the king’s neck. Thor’s hard breathing pushed his mighty chest against Loki’s own, his powerful arms wrapped around him, the vibrant musk of fresh sweat as heady and intoxicating as the fumes of any aphrodisiac tea. In Loki's mind, an idle thought. Now that was a first time, goddammit.

“Is your majesty feeling well?” came the interpreter’s words, voicing Thor’s own intimate rumble in the shell of Loki’s ear.

“Oh, by…” Loki couldn’t even think of an appropriate expletive. “Out! All of you! Get out!”

And damn, it was hot in here! The sweat made the tunic stick to his skin, and it was most un-bloody-pleasant! With a huff, and a moment of decision, he slipped it off and threw it away.

“There! Much better!” he declared, when a breath of cool night air from the flaps of the tent, open to allow interpreter and servants out, touched his bare body.

“Much, much better,” he muttered to himself, seeing how Thor was staring.

Loki could not remember the last time he had been fully naked, before another, or before himself, it had been that long. Thor’s eyes were stroking his skin with a gaze as heavy and intense as if it were made of flesh. Then the king raised his hand, and let it hover but a breath away from Loki’s chest. He enquired with a look (a most wicked, mischievous look, that fully knew the answer to his question).

“Thor King is a fucking tease,” grumbled Loki. He grabbed Thor’s hand and pressed it against himself. “Goddammit, yes . Fucking touch me…”

Chapter Text

 

“Goddammit, yes. Fucking touch me…” 

Loki had closed his eyes, panting, clutching the king’s hand against his body. Thor’s laughter at such eagerness arrived, warm as his touch on Loki’s chest. He rumbled something low and caressing, which sounded to Loki like the king felt when Loki was inside.

The king sat upright. With the change of position, Loki’s softening cock slipped out, and the spell he had been under suddenly lifted. He blinked awake and found those piercing blue eyes only a couple of inches away. The heat and the lusty haze was clearing, and Loki was entirely naked.

He forced a little snigger and pulled apart, reaching for a sheet to cover himself without making it too obvious that he was doing it. Which was entirely impossible and quite ridiculous, but there you go, there’s no reasoning with feelings of embarrassment. Thor said something.

“Yes, whatever,” ventured Loki, no idea what Thor said. “If you must.”

Thor voiced an order. Servants popped up at once; the one carried a big, lidded terracotta implement, which must be hot, for the woman was protecting her hands with a thick cloth; the other carried a tray with a glass teapot decorated with golden filigree full of a golden liquid and a plate with a few small cakes. The servants withdrew immediately after.

The king opened the lid of the terracotta pot, releasing a waft of steam. With wooden pincers, he retrieved a cloth from inside, also steaming, and offered it to Loki. With his eyes and a nod, he let Loki know which area of his body was this towel intended for. Blushing badly, Loki accepted the steaming cloth and perfunctorily performed some ablutions, still hiding under his cloak of sheets. He tried to make it clinical. Thor was cleaning himself up too, with no more shyness or awkwardness than beasts when they bathe with their tongues.

Next, the king poured some tea and offered a cup to Loki.

“More love philters?” Loki mused. 

The scent was like nothing he had ever encountered before. Except perhaps for the delicate, jasmine-like undertone of white tea, he could not name the ingredients, for they were unknown in Jotunheim; should the interpreter have been here, he would have told him strange names Loki would have wanted to remember: mint, lemon, lime. And he smiled with delight when he tasted it, for this drink did not incense the nostrils alone, as many oftentimes happens with tea, which smells divine but tastes of nothing but hot water, much to Loki’s disappointment. But not this, this was sweet and tangy and refreshing and bodily, almost, with flavour. He moaned in appreciation. Then he realised how Thor was gazing at him, and felt much like a shy schoolboy once more.

“I-I had never tasted something like this before,” he muttered, the silence unnerving. “Back home, I might try to have it reduced to a syrup, and serve it on a snow dessert we are very fond of.” The king smiled serenely, his eyes on Loki’s face, here and there. Loki blushed some more, closed the sheets around his neck. He began to ramble. “You should try it, if you should ever come to my country. Some-sometimes we mix the ice with cream…”

Thor mumbled something.

“Yes, I’m sure that’s quite true.”

Loki drained his cup, and didn’t say no when Thor poured him another, or when he was offered one of those flaky, nutty, delicious honey cakes. He devoured it.

“I’ve been known to have a sweet tooth,” he admitted, when Thor offered another.

When both the second cup of tea and the second cake were finished, Thor said something to him. Loki stared blankly. The king smiled, took the cup from Loki’s hand, and with a gentle push, he slowly coaxed Loki to lie on his back, as Thor laid next to him, on his side. Then Thor kissed him, lingering, sensual kisses that couldn’t fail to drain the tension away from Loki’s limbs. 

“Thor King is most deft at this,” muttered Loki between kisses.

Thor said something back. Then, with an eye on Loki, he began to tug the sheet away from him, uncovering Loki’s body. Loki’s breathing spiked up, but it was hard to tell if it was nervousness or arousal. Maybe both. 

Then the king reared his head and let his gaze wander over Loki’s body, now utterly bare and exposed to his sight. Loki’s chest was heaving with exhilaration. He kept his own eyes fixed on Thor’s face, that he may ignore his own nakedness a bit more easily. He could not say there wasn’t excitement, perhaps even pleasure, in lying there without a stitch on, under the blue, greedy eyes of the king of Asgard.

Thor began to ghost his fingertips over Loki’s skin. He traced veins and tendons, bone ridges and muscle, lumps and crevices, calling goosebumps anywhere he touched. And through shivers and soft sighs, Loki was transfixed watching him.

“I’m quite sure I have never seen anyone so beautiful in my entire life, man or woman,” he babbled. “And King Freyr came to court once!”

Thor smiled at him, no indication of understanding in his expression. He kept tracing. 

“Have you ever beheld him? I guess you must have. His skin is the colour of cinnamon, his hair is dark as night, his eyes of the deepest, most striking black, with lashes as long as a deer’s...” Loki rambled on, his eyes closing down in a daze. “He’s built like a gazelle, and the bones of his face are... Ah…

The touch had changed. Loki opened his eyes again. It was Thor’s mouth now, dusting Loki with kisses, his beard so soft. Loki put his hands on Thor’s head. He was not guiding at all, just stroking the soft locks of golden hair. Thor needed no guidance from him. 

“Norns, you play me like a lyre…” sighed Loki, his blood truly singing.

Thor’s kisses climbed down Loki’s leg, all the way to his toes, and back up again. Without clear thought on its owner’s part, Loki’s thighs were parting, tempting the king’s mouth to take the inner route. The king was nothing if not obliging. Loki was panting as the king’s golden head ascended, delicious tickles sparkling under his skin, setting him on fire… 

Loki’s eyes opened wide. It couldn’t possibly be, not so soon! But yes, yes it was. Against all previous experience, Loki’s cock was twitching, filling up once more.

“What the hell was in that tea…” he muttered, though in fairness he knew the one to blame for that prodigy was the king and the king alone.

Thor’s face was now in the area. He had spotted it, Loki’s cock resting plump on his hip, raising its head like a little animal, curious at Thor’s attentions. Thor raised his eyes to Loki, with a disgusting, unbearably smug grin. Loki would like to slap him, except that Thor had put down his head again, and…

“Bastard,” groaned Loki.

Thor had passed right by, without so much as a lick or a nudge. And he was there now, burying his face in Loki’s neck, kissing it with the depth and insistence of the baker kneading his dough. Loki threw his arms around him.

“I’faith,” he sighed. “I cannot tell what is so different. I mean, I’ve been kissed before, and Angrboda said I had a delicious neck, and did a lot of what Thor King is doing now, but it just… It wasn’t like this!” He babbled, he sighed, he babbled, he whimpered, he babbled some more. He was free with his tongue, since there was nobody here to hear him. “It’s like… it’s like… like porridge made with water… or porridge made with milk and honey… yes, the same thing in principle… nourishing both, sure… One could live on watery porridge in good health for many years… and one doesn't need milk and honey for survival, not really... But this, oh… this makes it worth it...”

Thor’s lips on his nipple now, tongue flicking. Loki clutched the sheets and arched into it, with a high-pitched, strangled moan, not a very kingly sound. Absurd, undignified words wished to spill from his lips, and he let them.

“Ah, Thor… my King… You have sorcery… in thy lips! ...Fuuuck!”

He was fully erect. Like, straining. Again. How

After wreaking havoc on Loki’s body and senses by way of his nipples, Thor’s mouth resumed its voyage. He brushed his beard on the sensitive skin of Loki’s sides, he nuzzled into Loki’s belly button. Loki giggled like a foolish little boy, and Thor rewarded him with a smile one could read by at night, and a look of such tenderness and adoration in his eyes that Loki’s breath ceased abruptly.

Thor sunk his teeth gently into his side, breaking the spell. Loki squealed and squirmed and giggled some more. Now, Thor was kneading the flesh where stomach meets hip, and Loki’s cock leaned towards him, as if magnetised. But Thor again ignored Loki’s erection. 

“Ugh!” groaned Loki, frustrated, and sunk his nails in Thor’s scalp, guiding him.

Laughing, Thor clutched his wrists and pulled them away. Loki struggled to release them, and found he couldn’t. He also suddenly found he could not breathe, a sudden surge of boiling hot something flooding the cradle of his hips. 

What was that

Thor looked up at him, inquisitive, intense. Panting slightly, Loki wrestled again to set himself free, and whimpered with pure, overpowering arousal when Thor’s grip didn’t give an inch. Thor’s expression had sharpened to that of a big, hungry snow wolf on the prowl. His heart pounding, Loki snickered shyly. He cleared his throat.

“Well,” he said. “Uh, that was… Well.”

Never releasing Loki’s wrists, Thor led Loki’s arms over his head and settled his weight on Loki’s body. And he waited, eyes always fixed on him. Loki had an inkling of what he was waiting for. His breathing heavy with exhilaration, and almost afraid of the flow of excitement that would surely be burning him from the inside out, Loki struggled to get free. It was absolutely impossible, the king’s body crushing him, his strong hands holding his wrists. Loki was at his complete mercy, lying there naked and his prisoner, and… He made a noise he didn’t even know could ever come out of his throat, like a moose’s dying call. He couldn’t emit any other, not with his arousal having taken a physical existence separate from his body, having developed claws, and currently attempting to choke him. His movements sluggish with lack of real intent, and sabotaged by the floaty, heady feeling in his head, Loki struggled. He squirmed, he writhed, he twisted, he pulled, he pushed, and he moaned like a cat in heat, as Thor grinned above him, and never gave an inch.

Hazy with lust, his attention much slackened, Loki found himself suddenly manhandled onto his front, his erection crushed beneath him. His heart jumped in alarm, revving up to a rodent’s speed. His wrists were now being held on the small of his back, his legs kept parted by the king’s body lying between them, Thor’s erection nudging against the back of his thigh. He swallowed on a dry throat, suddenly in terror.

“You’re not going to…” he squeaked, panting fast. “Are you?”

And he suddenly felt something there where he most feared, and froze solid. But his flight instinct was suddenly eased, and then overrun and drowned, when he realised it was… Thor’s tongue.

“Oh!” he squeaked again, whatever remained of his dread quickly dissolving, dispelled by that sensation, the hot, playful wetness of the king’s tongue on his… 

And his wrists were still held. 

“Thor King…” he whimpered, beginning to shiver. “I’m quite certain… this isn’t even legal… in many realms…” The tongue hardened to a point, and prodded, and flicked. “Oh, by Sleipnir’s many hooves...”

Loki lifted his butt and parted his thighs wider, full of shameful eagerness. He buried his face in the pillow to muffle the sounds Thor’s tongue was drawing out of him.

“Well, my father did always say... all Asgardians were lewd, filthy demons,” He moaned a prolonged, desperate sound. Thor released his wrists, and used his pinky finger to keep him open for his tongue to dip inside. “I know why he said that now… Oh… Norns, so dirty, so… Aaaahhh… You animal…!”

Loki’s wrists were now free, so he put his hands to good use, spreading his butt cheeks apart for Thor’s mouth. Thor sucked, flicked his tongue, laved from ballsack to tailbone, dipped his finger inside again. 

“Oh for all the pearls of the necklace of the skies…” growled Loki.

 Thor’s pinky had dipped further in, and had found a button to push that made Loki sob and whimper. His cock, fully hard, straining and throbbing, was dripping wetness on the king’s bed.

Thor pulled out his finger.

“God, don’t stop now!” roared Loki.

Thor voiced an order. Loki scrambled to hide beneath the sheets, face burning at the thought that someone might have spotted him in that position.

A servant walked in, the same one who had produced the box of green gems earlier. Now she retrieved another box from her nook, her eyes lowered discretely and her face inexpressive. She put it on the small stand beside the bed and withdrew.

“What the hell have you got in there that could not wait?” snapped Loki in a mood, sheets clutched to his neck, still jolted.

Thor opened the box. On a velvet lining of exotic purple, a collection of small glass objects in assorted colours, shapes, and sizes, arranged from smaller to biggest. Loki had no idea what they were or what they were for. He picked up a couple to examine them. The one reminded him of a small spindle, the other resembled the tip of an arrow, only rounded, the other was shaped as a mushroom…

“What do you want with these?” he asked.

Thor picked the smallest one, a short, lean-footed mushroom-like thing in red. He picked the jar of oil on the stand, and coated the foot in it.

Oh,” gasped Loki, who suddenly realised what these things were for. And his attention began to catch the details… The different textures, ridged the one, lumpy the other, the bulbous head of this one, the hooked arm of that one there… Goodness, the black one was as thick as the handle of his sword! And those ridges... Loki found his throat dry, and the area Thor had been lavishing his attention on only recently filled with anticipating tingles.

Thor was smiling, mostly with his eyes. With the glass mushroom in one hand, slick with oil, he leaned closer. He kissed him, one of those deep, experienced, soul-searching kisses that seemed able to suck every care and worry and rational thought out of Loki’s mind. Loki didn’t need much coaxing to lie on his back again. Encouraged by the king, he wrapped one leg around Thor’s waist, and his arms around Thor’s body. With his neck now ravished and plundered by the king’s mouth, Loki noticed, but didn’t react much, to the feel of the cold, oily tip of the glass mushroom brushing on the smooth inches of flesh beneath his ballsack. Then it was insisting on the pucker of his arse, teasing it. It all came to Loki through the headiness of the king’s kisses, the heat of Thor’s body pressed against him. He felt the pressure, and then the intrusion, a drop of cold. His body clenched instinctively around the foreign object.

Ah,” he drew a sharp breath.

Thor said something, still, one big hand rubbing circles on Loki’s back, soothing.

“It does not hurt,” said Loki, as if the king could understand. “It’s just so weird…”

His erection had wilted, mostly nervousness. Thor’s kisses on his neck and jaw and mouth resumed, and after a spell, he began to twist the mushroom inside Loki’s body. 

“Ah,” gasped Loki again. “Tickles…”

But not ha-ha tickles, more like… He sighed deeply, his eyelids growing heavy. Thor’s kisses like the flow of a tidal wave, the object being spun and twirled inside him. Loki was at ease now, tension had left his shoulders, his breathing had deepened and grown more relaxed. 

Thor withdrew the object, discarded it, and picked another with a bit more girth and length, and smooth lumps moulded onto its surface. Loki bit his lip in anticipation as the king coated it with oil. He nodded to Thor when he was given an enquiring look, requesting permission. Loki lifted his knee and held it up. The glass stroked him a few times, Loki’s head reared up to see the movement of Thor’s hand between his legs. Then Thor prodded gently, until the ring of muscle gave, and inserted the object slowly. It robbed Loki of breath, though not in a bad way. When he felt it spin inside this time, the smooth lumps provided a new sensation, so enticing, not unlike a maddening itch you know cannot be scratched.

And now Thor pulled the object out half an inch and pushed it back in. Loki’s eyes closed and his head fell backwards as the king repeated the motion.

“Oh,” sighed Loki, his fabled eloquence having deserted him. Thor worked him like that patiently, while he watched Loki’s erection stirring and rising again, his breathing turning short.

Loki whimpered in lazy protest when the object came out, but his eyes snapped open soon, eager to see what Thor had in store for him next. Another mushroom-shaped one, bulbous head, long ridges all along the shaft, quite thicker than the last.

“Oh,” is all Loki could say.

And the king’s smug, insolent grin didn’t even faze him. Loki held both his knees up and apart. Thor slicked the object with oil, and inserted it in slow increments, but doing away with the teasing this time. The stretch had the pleasant, flavoursome burn of hot spice. Loki arched his back as Thor began to fuck him with it.

“Fucking Helheim…” panted Loki.

He was moaning softly in time with Thor’s motions, and suddenly thought of Thor beneath him a few moments ago, as Loki fucked him, that strong jaw clenched in tension as friction intensified, the huffs when Loki’s hard thrusts pushed the breath out of his chest.

Loki reared his head and dipped his eyes now, seeking. Even lying on his side, Thor’s erection was towering, half-hovering over his thigh. It was huge, purple, and it seemed to be staring at Loki with his one eye. It looked kind.

Loki fumbled blindly for the box, and shoved it in Thor’s direction.

“Another,” he commanded.

The following was the shape of a fruit Loki had seen once. It had been pickled and preserved in a jar, and the Vanir called it a cucumber. It was also most pleasantly ridged. The blunt head and the round, girthy shaft offered a new challenge, which Loki met with enthusiasm, celebrating the fullness with loud (and lewd) sounds of delight. 

  There were three more objects after that one, each slightly thicker and longer than the last. Loki held onto his knees, digging his fingers into his own flesh, sobbing as Thor explored new motions. 

“By the roots of Yggdrasil…” sobbed Loki, as the big black sword shaft was thrusted in and out of him relentlessly, with a sharp, hard push and a twist at the end.

He was a whimpering, shuddering mess when that one too came out. He could only but register hazily that the object Thor was slicking up with oil now was the one that grew between his legs. The king took position on top of him, between Loki’s open thighs. Loki put his arms around him, helping himself up to see, as Thor took himself in hand and lined up. How very fucking tough that felt ‒ was Loki ever that tough? Damn. The very hard flesh was nudging at him, almost intimidating. Thor stole near to kiss him deeply, matching the press of his lips with that of his erection against Loki’s flesh.

Loki was well worked and relaxed and lubricated inside and out, and so was Thor, and thus the head slipped in all too easily, causing Loki’s breath to hitch. Thor was still now, but his kisses never relented. When Loki recovered his breath, Thor pushed inside a bit further. There was a slight burning edge that itched like mad. Loki sunk his nails into Thor’s back, and kissed him as if he wanted to devour him. Slowly Thor went, controlled, gentle, a bit deeper each time until, with a huffy breath, he stopped, as he could go no further. 

Loki was full to the brim, lying there, unmoving, shivering. Thor reared his head to check in with him, and his own expression was dozy and quite unhinged, his brow pearled with sweat, a glaze over his eyes. Loki took in that handsome, noble face, feeling something he could only remember feeling once before. It was on the day of his coronation, as the highest in the realm bowed his head. He could only express that feeling as “fuck, yessss!”

His body seemed to know better than him what to do next. He put his hands on the king’s butt and writhed and bucked beneath him.

“Come on…” he urged, “come on…”

Thor complied, the drag of his pulling out setting Loki on fire, the re-entry taking his breath away. That unbearable, unscratchable itch grew more insidious.

“Oh fuck, oh fuck…” he gasped. “Oh, Thor, faster…”

Thor propped himself up on his arms, Loki’s legs high around his waist, and started to pump a bit quicker. Loki looked up, taking in the sight of that glorious body, his every move and all his strength devoted now to servicing Loki.

“Holy… Fjords…” he moaned, breathless. 

He was being properly mounted now, strange thought. 

“Fuck, fuck… Why had nobody… told me… about this…”

Thor was tireless, ruthless, his vigour and rhythm unfaltering. Sensation was building up, and up, and up, making Loki groan like an animal. He surrendered to the onslaught, offering all his being, body, soul, his bloody kingdom if Thor should ask right now. Just don’t stop it, don’t stop it…

“My king, fuck me… oh Norns, please, fuck me…”

Thor’s hand on Loki’s cock. Loki meowled without shame.

“Fuck, Thor! Oh Thor, oh Thor, oh Thoooor…!”

He burst, moaning desperately, his body still finding some seed to spill onto his own stomach, and he sobbed inconsolably as the climax washed over him, satisfying him down to his bones, like nothing ever before.

Then he heard the cheering outside the tent.

“What the fuck?”

Thor was mounting him now with purpose, short, sharp thrust, groans and huffs, chasing his own release. Took Loki’s mind away from the sounds of celebration without, that expression on the king’s face, almost angered, as he fucked Loki fast and dirty like a dog. However did he manage to make it look regal, only the Norns know.

Loki kept watching in awe the king working for his own climax, his bulging, rippling muscles pearling with sweat like the walls of the southern-facing walls of the frost palaces in the spring. Suddenly, he growled, he gasped, he buried himself inside, his whole body shuddered sharply. Then the strain of his expression eased, as he ground his hips some more. His frown broke with a dozy, blissful smile, and he collapsed on top of Loki, crumbling.

It was hard to breathe with the entire weight of the king resting on top of him, but Loki didn’t want it to go away. He could feel Thor’s hot breath against his neck, and he fucking loved it. 

“That was epic,” he mused, still enfolding the king with his arms and legs, the king still hard inside him. “And I mean it quite literally. It should be sung in ten-syllable verses of assonant rhyme by a renowned skald, with many metaphors and similes and oh, I can already imagine the epithets.” 

Thor chuckled. Maybe it was Loki’s tone. The ripples of laughter felt so good against Loki’s chest and stomach.

“Isn’t it lucky we live so far apart,” he mused some more. “If we were neighbours, I’d spend my days in the borders begging for your cock. I can’t see much kingly business being done.”

Thor laughed again.

Now Loki sighed, gloomy thoughts suddenly in his mind.

“I’ll probably just wither away remembering this night anyway,” he whispered. “I almost wish that you should steal me, declare me your hostage, and throw me in your harem with the rest of your wives. I’m afraid I am in deep trouble here, Norns be cursed.”

Thor didn’t laugh this time.

Outside, Loki could still hear cheering, clapping, and now it seemed there was some music and singing as well. And he was suddenly in a mood.

“What the fuck is that about?” he grumbled.

“I made you call my name three times in ecstasy on First Night,” said Thor against his neck, with a flawless eastern Jotun accent. “As per our custom, I must gift them all a jar of mead and a silver coin, so they’re celebrating.”

“Oh,” said Loki, his brain still soft and hazy in the afterglow, much like a glob of warm rice pudding.

 

Until it caught up with him.

 

Wait a minute.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

“You treacherous, lying bastard,” hissed Loki, a poisoned whisper, his voice robbed by astonishment and a growing rage. 

Realisation slowly dawned on him. Thor had understood all the time, from the very beginning, every word. Every word, oh my fuck. The interpreter. Thor had had the interpreter there with them while they… Oh, Loki was livid. And also still lying on his back beneath Thor, his legs still wrapped around him, Thor’s seed dripping from…

“I speak fifteen languages, but don’t go telling,” said Thor sheepishly, with a little shrug.

“I’m going to fucking…!” roared Loki, as he became a flurry of fists and claws and writhing muscular anger, trying to hit, bite, scratch, and kick whatever part of Thor he could get at.

Thor retreated hastily, trying to escape the onslaught. Loki went right after him. The liquid feeling and the remote throb between his legs, a reminder of all he had given in good faith, only added more kindle to the fire of his wrath. 

“Why didn’t you fucking tell me!” he yelled, while he smacked and slapped and punched.

“I’m telling you now…” said Thor, hands up to protect his eyes.

There weren’t enough words in all of those goddamn fifteen languages combined for the many ways in which Loki wished to see Thor skinned and bled and minced and sliced and diced and marinated and seared and fucking cooked and garnished and served right now.

“Shh, easy…” said Thor, as he easily took hold of Loki’s wrists. 

Which only enraged Loki more. The fucking condescension. Fury was giving him strength beyond the usual reach of his muscles. Thor realised he would be needing to bring out the extra guns. He held Loki’s wrists behind his back and threw himself on top of him, trapping him with his body. It wasn’t the least bit arousing for Loki. Not at all. …Much.

“Calm down…” begged Thor.

“Like hell I’m going to calm down!” screamed Loki, struggling like a mad dog. “Un-fucking-hand me, brute! Get off me! Let go this instant!”

But it was pointless, as the waves in a storm unleash their might in vain against the unyielding cliffs. 

“Shh, Low-kee, Low-kee,” cooed Thor, and then he added a purr in his own language.

“What the fuck did you just say!” 

Moon of my life,” whispered Thor. 

“UGH!” roared Loki. “Shut the Helheim up!! Unhand me now!”

Much to Loki’s surprise, Thor relented. Slowly, adopting a defensive stance, he cautiously let Loki go and pulled back, hands up in surrender, but also ready to stand between him and another burst of rage. He was still stark bollock naked as well, incidentally, not that this was distracting Loki at all.

Now that he wasn’t struggling like a man possessed by demons, Loki felt a bit out of sorts for a moment. (Focus, muttonhead.) He saw the linen robe strewn on the floor, snatched it, and strode away as he put it on. He stood away from the bed, huffing and puffing from his rage and his strenuous struggles, arms crossed, legs splayed, his back to Thor. Again the liquid feeling, the fucking drip down his thighs, and the dull throb. Fuck that shit.

“Why did you lie to me? Why the big farce? Why didn’t you fucking tell me you understood me all along?”

“I’m telling you now,” said Thor softly, from the bed.

“I mean before you fucked me!”

“The queen of the Vanir still doesn’t know…”

Loki felt a bloody surge of white hot molten metal inside at the mention of her. When had he developed such a possessive streak? For Thor?

“How is that supposed to make anything better?” he snapped. “And does the queen of the Vanir mind having the interpreter in the room with her?”

“I doubt it,” said Thor, with a shrug. “We usually have like fifteen chambermaids around at all times. Sometimes they join us…”

Loki gasped, the molten metal inside bubbling. He reached for the first thing his hand could find (a heavy goblet of gold, encrusted with gems) and threw it at Thor’s head. He had an excellent aim, by the way.

“Ow…” said Thor, rubbing his forehead. It was utterly satisfying.

“What about Lord Rogers?” asked Loki, his hand already seeking for another heavy object.

“Oh, Steve knows. He’s known pretty much from the start,” said Thor casually. “There is no need for subterfuge with him. He’s straight as a ramrod. Politically and morally, I mean.”

“You mean I am not?!” Loki’s fingers closed around… what the fuck was that, an engraved hammer?

Thor raised his hands in appeasement.

“I didn’t know you, my love. I had heard of your wits and your cunning, and I had heard you showed a natural aptitude for the business of politics. I had heard you had been thoroughly schooled, and that your first decisions in power showed great promise. But I didn’t know your spirit and your heart. I didn’t know if you were honest or dishonest, devious or straightforward…”

You talk about honesty?” chided Loki.

“My father was determined that I should be well learned, but he used to say this too, that some fools labour to be known for wits they do not have, and that’s their bane, and some wise men are taken for fools, and that’s their good fortune. He let everyone think I was a boorish oaf, with the brains of a hare and only a basic grasp of politics, that the people of Yggdrasil would all underestimate my capabilities and be less guarded in my presence. Put a man before one he thinks more ignorant than himself, and watch him show his true colours, that’s what he always said. Thus I would weed out those who are honest from the dishonest, the honourable from the dishonourable, those who seek to make a fair deal that’s mutually beneficial from those who are only out to take advantage. I always let the dishonourable walk away thinking they’ve succeeded in pulling the wool over my eyes, unaware that they fooled no-one but themselves. So I play the unschooled boar and watch people be who they truly are, and I am able to rule better for it.”

“But I’ve been nothing but fair and honest with you!” protested Loki. “Before we even met!”

“Yes, you have. You were when we were trying to agree on the terms of the treaty, and you were again when you answered truthfully all my questions about your kingdom and its customs.”

“How do you know that for sure,” said Loki with a suspicious squint.

“Because I mostly only asked questions I already knew the answer to.”

Oh, Loki was going to strangle him!

“My love,” said Thor, “you must not be so open and forthcoming, either in a trade negotiation, or a-…”

“…A bloody fucking trap!” interrupted Loki. “And now you patronise me as well, and offend me by giving me advice on the ways of ruling? I was straightforward and honest with you because that was the best way to deal with your royal asshole self! I know my goddamn job, and I’ve been doing it pretty fucking well before you came along, you half-eaten mouldering Vanir gutcake!”

“You are right, my love. I speak out of concern for you, that’s all.”

“Concern? Concern?!” gasped Loki. “So when you were letting me make an absolute asshat out of myself before your friends tonight, was that out of concern? And when you let me go on and on and say… all those things, were you concerned then too? Let me get this straight – it’s perfectly alright to spill the beans to you, just not to anyone else, after you’ve used me so appallingly?”

Thor stood up and approached him, still in nothing but his skin. Which was quite enough, frankly. Loki turned his face, refusing to see his beauty.

“When you were first babbling all those sweet nothings, I let you speak. It delighted me no end to listen to them, and it carried no danger,” whispered Thor. “But then you began to truly open your heart to me, and you did it so candidly… I had to put a stop to it. Not because I didn’t wish to hear it, but because those emotions belong to you alone, and they can only be revealed willingly.”

“Who gave you the right to make that choice, between what was my secret and what was not?!”

“No-one. I apologise for the liberties taken. I do not have an excuse, only a reason; that I did what I’ve done for long years, to protect my interests, and be able to best serve Asgard. This is the way I conduct my business, and there wasn’t more to it when the night started. But then, my love, the more you talked…” Thor took two more steps forward. 

“Don’t bloody remind me!” Loki clenched fists, stepped away, and turned his back.

“The things you said…” insisted Thor.

“I was lying, all lies!” roared Loki. “I am compelled to babble when I’m uncomfortable, in unpleasant situations, when I am nervous and I wish I was somewhere else!” He made sure there was a vicious emphasis on those words, that Thor didn’t miss one of them. “But I didn’t mean any of it, not a thing!”

Thor took another step, and held Loki’s hand. Oh, Thor King carried around him a certain aura, like a heat, or an animal presence, perhaps a smell… It made his head light. Loki tried to escape it.

“Let go of me.”

“How easy and free came your thoughts and emotions, how light and charming your humour and wit, how warming your vulnerability, so delightful,” said Thor, an intimate whisper, as he stroked Loki’s hand between both of his own, and gazed at him with glowing tenderness. “And I cannot regret it. You let me have a glimpse of your private self, a chance I never would have had otherwise, for I sense you are a guarded, secret man who keeps his heart to himself. But now I’ve seen you as you are…”

He pressed a kiss on the palm of Loki’s hand. Loki’s eyes drooped, he was dying to melt into it. He was not going to melt into it. He snatched his hand away, and strode off. Not too far, though.

“And who the hell is that false, meddlesome interpreter?” he grumbled.

“Wise Heimdall, whom my father also relied on for counsel. A trusted advisor of our house for many years, loyal and discreet.”

“And great fun, I’m sure, when the two of you reconvene after the festivities, to have a good laugh on the backs of morons like me! Is that how he gets his kicks, then, watching you fuck your trade partners?”

“In fairness, he doesn’t look.”

A blunt object flew, hit Thor right on top of the head. Oh, it was a book bound in leather with the corners finished in brass, how about that.

“He likes to be well-informed and he doesn’t trust second hand reports, for they are only as truthful and reliable as the informants,” explained Thor, rubbing his head, where the book had hit him. “He prefers to observe with his own eyes, and hear the words as they were spoken, firsthand. And he has seen and heard much, so nothing much fazes him anymore.”

“Oh, I’m sure he’s seen plenty,” sneered Loki.

“Oh, Low-kee,” begged him Thor. “You do what you must for the good of your realm, do you not? Had you that advantage, to be able to better gauge a stranger whom you are forced to decide quickly whether you’ll trust or not, would you not press it?”

“Fucking me under false pretences, all for the good of Asgard!” scoffed Loki.

“That’s not what…” began to protest Thor, then let it pass. He said weakly, “I had to find out whether I could trust you.”

“Well, you cannot trust me!” roared Loki. “You’d better not, now less than ever! We are not friends, Asgardian!”

Thor approached again. Loki turned his back to him and shut his eyes, his fucking retinas flooded with rippling, bulging, naked golden flesh. Thor’s arms surrounded his waist, the warmth of his body enfolded him, and pressed against his back.

“Unhand me,” hissed Loki, stiffly. But all he could do was try to hold himself back and not return the fucking embrace. Shoving Thor away right now, for reasons Loki could not explain, was an impossible feat.

“Low-kee, Low-kee,” muttered Thor, and pressed a kiss to Loki’s neck.

“Shut up,” grunted Loki.

“I cannot wish I had told you the truth from the beginning. My scheme has brought me much fortune with you, my love.” And he whispered right against Loki’s neck, “I knew when I first set eyes on you that you would be trouble.”

“Me?” gasped Loki, affronted. “Me?!”

“Your elegant self-possession, and then those little flickers of awkwardness. Your poise and your coolness, and then that childish enthusiasm for all the new things you saw and learned. Your irresistible arrogance and haughtiness, and then the visible pride you took with every little hurdle conquered, every little challenge met, both in our dealings with the treaty and then between ourselves here tonight, in my bed. I am powerless against you.”

He spoke between kisses, deep and giving, which seemed to find again and again the spots that connected with Loki’s core and slowly called them to wake, like the early sun rays that touch on a flower still closed within itself for the long winter night, causing it to open and blossom.

“I do not trust one word from Thor King’s mouth,” muttered Loki stubbornly in reply, though his voice was becoming hoarse and breathless. “And I never fucking will again. Let alone words of love.”

“Then let us speak no more,” whispered Thor.

As his lips laboured on Loki’s neck, his hands parted the robe. 

“I hate your lying, deceiving mouth,” sighed Loki, tilting his head in offering, his blood coursing from the touch of that mouth he claimed to hate. “Ignoble, villainous son of a dog, peddler of lies and tricks…”

The robe had dropped, Thor’s body was pressed against Loki’s, skin to skin, his strong arms enfolding Loki, whose breathing was becoming shorter and shorter.

“Letting me go on and on, and make a fool out of myself…” he said, more for himself that for Thor to hear, trying to remember why he was so fricking angry.

“If you made a fool out of yourself, you also made me a fool for you,” whispered Thor, between kisses. “I am in your thrall.”

“I thought you said no more talking,” chided Loki.

“You showed me your mind and your spirit when you made free with your tongue, when you let your words come out without pretence, without disguises… And now I am bewitched.”

“I’m sure that’s what you have your interpreter say to the Vanir queen and all the others,” hissed Loki.

“Low-kee,” sighed Thor, kissing, kissing, sucking at Loki’s throat, stealing his breath away. “There isn’t another like you. There could never be another one like you. There never will be again.”

“Talk is cheap! Why should I believe one word you say?”

Thor was relentless. He slipped his words in between more deep, hot kissing, his arms so strong around Loki.

“Moon of my life,” he whispered, “won’t you cease to struggle against yourself? You know I speak the truth – you feel it, deep within.” Thor’s growing erection was pressing against Loki’s arse. “Did my passion feel false to you before? Didn’t you sense it, how strong and deep it ran, how true?” Thor’s hand reached down for Loki’s growing hard-on. “The fire of my skin is a true match for the fire in my heart. My blood sings and quickens with your touch, and also when I hear you speak, and sigh, and laugh. I feel such hunger for your flesh as for your precious company, as much greed for you…”

Loki turned around in his arms.

“Norns, first you wouldn’t speak at all, and now… Will you just shut up!”

He proceeded to silence Thor with his mouth.

 

_________________

 

 

The game of cards was still going strong in the tent where dinner had taken place, gathering Thor’s closest friends – the Lady Sif and the Warriors Three, Thor’s young brother Balder – and Loki’s siblings, Helblindi and Byleistr. Balder, fluent in the Jotun language, had served as interpreter to begin with, but for a while now his attention had been much caught in his private conversation with Byleistr. Both younger siblings to a king who was larger than life, they had found much in common. The rest managed to understand each other sufficiently with gestures, smiles, and lots of good will.

  They were pleasant enough company, Hel thought, and the atmosphere was easy and engaging, for sure, but he could not but keep turning his gaze towards the entrance of the tent with anxiousness. How must Loki be faring with Thor King? 

Before tonight, Hel would not have fretted. He was older than Loki by four years, so he had been there from the very beginning, to witness that skinny little runt grow into an unstoppable force of nature. Extraordinarily gifted in every way, Loki had shown promise since his tenderest years, and Helblindi had never resented how much attention and devotion was lavished on his training and education, not when he also watched Loki’s days laden with hour upon hour of work and study, while Hel himself was granted much time for idleness and freedom. Loki was a natural born king, and Hel was happy to follow him wherever. He would have never thought he’d fear for him. 

But that was before he learned that, in the case of Loki’s private life, absence of evidence amounted for once to evidence of absence. What a shock, to find out that his seemingly suave, worldly little brother actually didn’t have a clue! That he was a green, inexperienced little seabass! And the hunger in the Asgardian King’s eyes, his bulk and might, his eagerness… Hel’s gaze sought the entrance of the tent again, as if he could learn about Loki’s fortune in this way.

“Do you think he’s alright?” he asked By when he caught her alone for a moment.

“Why wouldn’t he be?” she shrugged.

“Well,” harrumphed Hel, suddenly afflicted by the same timid bug as his kid brother.

By was their little sister, and she was rather fierce, with no patience for squeamishness or faintness, let alone for Loki, whom she adored in her very own, outwardly contemptuous way, but from whom she tolerated no hesitancy and no fear. She simply did not conceive that Loki could be weak or anything less than superhuman, and if there was any sign of that, she’d punish Loki with the threat of her disappointment. It had always spurred Loki on, that threat, but Loki was only human after all… 

“Well,” tried Hel, “he has so little… experience, and if Thor King is… not patient...”

She gave him one of her looks. She despised people who minced words.

“I’d like to see anyone try anything on Loki that he doesn’t approve of,” she declared. “That is, if there was anything left to see, after cleaning up the blood splatters.”

“You think?”

“Yes. And Balder says Thor is really most kind and caring, and that all his lovers speak of him with much praise and lots of longing, and that they all pray for a second night in his company. Loki will be fine.”

“I’m not sure,” said Hel.

“Oh, stop worrying. What’s the worst that can happen?”

She returned to her spot beside Balder. Hel observed her giggling like a silly little girl, eyes full of stars. He would have bet on By veering rather towards girls! (…They needed to talk more about things, nobody had a fucking clue here. How was that a family. When they got back to Jotunheim, he’d have them all sit together around the table for breakfast or supper or both, and they were going to talk.)

 

Although he tried, Hel couldn’t ease the concerns in his mind. Perhaps this wasn’t a matter for ruthless little sisters, but for caring older brothers. 

He made his way to the king’s tent, its rich red dye turned to purple in the moonlight. It was surrounded by groups of revellers, drinking, conversing, dancing, many more just toppled over and snoring. There were two sentinels at the gate. Would they deny him access? They had a look, recognised him for a prominent member of the Jotun party, and let him in.

The sounds of distress coming from within put Hel’s hair on end. His eyes were drawn instantly to the commotion at the back, on top of the massive bed. He approached, his sight blurred and teased by veils and translucent hangings. 

He looked closer. On the bed, unaware of any interruption, or impervious to it, swearing colourfully enough to make auntie Menja proud, and without so much as a thread of cloth on his skin, his brother bounced furiously on Thor King’s lap.

 

_________________

 

 

When Hel returned to the tent, he looked as if he’d seen a ghost – all the colour drained from his face, a faraway, blank, stunned expression.

“Are Loki and the King well?” asked By, alarmed.

“Y-yeah, they’re, uh, good, I-I think” stuttered Hel.

“And you? What happened?”

Hel stared blankly.

“Don’t ask.”

 

________________

 

Loki’s was flat on his back, trying to recover the use of his senses. His thighs were trembling, he was leaking again, and he was pretty sure he had seen an otherworldly white light at one point during his absurdly prolonged orgasm. Apparently, it was even better when he was angry. Wasn’t there an end to the ways Thor was able to tear him apart?

Lying by his side, Thor was panting just as hard, and seemed just as shaken.

“Moon of my life?” came the husky voice.

“Shut up. I still hate you,” snapped Loki.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

“Moon of my life?” tried Thor, yet once more.

Again, no answer. Loki had been lying on his side with his back to him for some time now. Besides accepting a couple of steaming towels and cleaning himself all over, even wiping the kisses away from his mouth, he had refused every other opening from Thor. He had refused his tea, he had refused his cakes, he had refused to even acknowledge Thor’s presence.

“Will you not even speak to me, my love?”

“I think I’ve said quite enough tonight,” said Loki tartly. “It’s time I gave my tongue a rest.”

“But my dearest one…”

“Not listening.”

“Punish me if you must, but admit you understand why I acted the way I did. We’re both kings, and we do what we must. Grant me that at least.”

Nothing. I’ll grant you not one single thing. I’ve given away too much already. How dare you ask for anything else.”

“But I do,” said Thor. 

“Verily, across the Nine Realms talk used to be rife about what a spoilt brat we had in the heir of Asgard. To think that, when I first met Thor King, I had believed the talks mistaken!” jabbed Loki.

“Oh, Low-kee…”

“I’d rather you’d call me by my title. I’ve made many sacrifices and endured much unpleasantness to earn it.”

Thor exhaled sharply to purge this latest affront.

“Well, they didn’t lie, those who said your tongue could cut,” he muttered between gritted teeth.

“Friends and foes alike have said it was made of silver. If only they knew about you, they’d surely say yours is made of gold! Or perhaps some other metal that’s just as pliable, but much baser.”

Thor huffed again, Loki’s vicious taunts not failing entirely to rattle him. He laid on his back close by, but not touching him. He had tried to spoon Loki after their latest romp, but Loki had made it clear he would not be having it, and Thor had not tried since.

“You know,” mused Thor, “once I couldn’t quite understand the people of those nations who join with one single partner for life. It is not our custom. But now-…”

“I’ve lost all my interest in learning about Asgardian culture,” cut Loki.

“…But now that I have met you,” continued Thor, undeterred, “I could only call that a bliss, to have you beside me every day and night, to share with you woes and struggles, joys and…”

“Thor King’s accent is so awfully thick, I can’t understand a word he says. It would seem he speaks of fidelity? How can that be? I think we must fetch the interpreter to shed some light on this cultural misunderstanding, because in my language, fidelity and trust are one, and they’re both at odds with duplicity and lies,” jeered Loki.

“No more lies,” declared Thor.

“Is what a liar would say.”

Thor sighed.

“I hurt you, moon of my life, even as you said the sweetest things to me, by pretending I could not understand them. I shall pay my penance, whichever you see fit to impart, but must you punish yourself as well?”

“Punish myself?”

“‘Like porridge made with water, and porridge made with milk and honey’,” quoted Thor. “One can live on watery porridge, but why must you, when honey and milk are right here?”

“You’re so fucking full of yourself!” roared Loki, sitting up in bed. “You weren’t supposed to hear that! And I lied! I lied through my teeth! They were nothing but mindless rambles, absolute nonsense! It meant nothing!”

“Oh, Low-kee…” Thor sat upright too, and tried to stroke his face. Loki shook him off brusquely. The king let his hand fall, defeated. “How you wound me, even when I know the truth of your heart. But never mind what you say now, I did hear, I heard it all, and I can’t unhear it. And I feel the same for you. That’s why I revealed my secret. What else did I stand to gain by speaking out?”

“I don’t bloody know!”

“I have known much pleasure from the body of others in my time, and thought this form of intimacy held no more mysteries for me, no more surprises. I was wrong. What I have know with you is entirely new. It’s not just my flesh and blood that crave you and shiver and sing with your touch, but something else deep within, something no lover before has ever woken. And now I fear no other body will sate me ever again, that I shall hunger for no other lips but yours, that no other body shall ever warm me…”

“Norns, shut up! Enough! No more! Why must you say all these things!” Loki covered his ears and shut his eyes like an infant.

“Because I feel them, and I must have you know, because I hope you feel them too,” said Thor, regardless.

“What does it matter, what we feel!”

“It matters much to me.”

“Well, not to me! All we have done tonight, whatever we might have… felt, it is of no consequence, don’t you see?” Loki’s voice faltered.

“Why?”

Loki tried to muster some rage to blanket over his despair.

“For the sun will rise tomorrow, and this will be over!”

“I cannot bear that thought.”

“I’m sure you’ll manage somehow,” gritted Loki, thinking of Lord Rogers of Midgard, and Queen Freya of the Vanir, and a harem stuffed with forty wives and husbands, and possibly every pretty, excitable young thing like himself throughout the nine realms, all preening and sighing for a moment of Thor’s attention.

“I must see you again, moon of my life. It cannot be just one night. It cannot. I must have you again.”

“There cannot be another night,” sighed Loki, defeated, his anger tempered by hopelessness. “You cannot leave your throne and your people, and neither can I. Nor will I linger in my land awaiting your visits, alone, tormenting myself with thoughts of your other lovers, and pondering whether or not you are aching and longing for me as much as I for you, withering away, and then one night of bliss and nothing more to make up for months and months of yearning. And I would never trust you enough, I would always suspect you, and it would soon poison us both. No, my lord, I shall not suffer that. I know my own temperament far too well to put myself through that agony. One night is all we have.”

Thor’s eyes were reddened and wet, his expression forlorn, and if he be faking his devastation, he was apt enough to persuade. Loki looked and looked, but try as he might, he could find no pretence and no falsehood. Instead, he felt his heart shrinking from seeing Thor in true pain. 

But why wasn’t Loki feeling triumph? Why wasn’t he basking in the sweetness of revenge? Why did his arms ache to soothe and comfort? How could Thor’s suffering beg to Loki for relief even more urgently than his own? After all that had happened between them, how could it be that Thor’s plight right now mattered so much, and called to something primeval within Loki as impossible to ignore as if it was his own infant child waking up scared and crying in the middle of the night? Oh, Loki had expected his own body to betray him, to remember the bliss it had known in Thor’s arms and crave for more. The body is an animal, and that’s what animals do, alien to the conflicts that afflict and twist people’s minds and keep them from reaching for what brings them pleasure. Yes, that his body should double-cross him was no surprise. But his heart? 

He stroked the noble face of the king, and as Thor returned a broken smile, Loki knew that it was true and inescapable: he loved him.

And he scoffed softly to himself. What a night of firsts. He knew now that whatever he had felt before was no more than a childish infatuation, for in the light of the tenderness and the passion he experienced now, all those previous crushes paled into nothingness. The landscape of his soul was quaking violently, crumbling to a ruin, being changed forever, and a new geography was emerging, one that would forever bear the landmarks Thor had been putting there since the moment he had come into his life. 

And it all had to end in the morning.

There would be time to harden his heart, time to learn Thor his lesson, time for Loki to punish himself for his foolishness. They would be parted and hurt, and that would serve them both well. But there was tomorrow for that, and the rest of their lives. Why hurry. Loki’s own words compelled him, ‘One night is all we have’.

“The sun will rise inevitably, but for now, it’s still dark,” whispered Loki. “Tonight is still tonight.”

Thor turned to look at him with a flicker of hope, searching Loki’s face for the new light Loki knew shone there. Ah, when Thor found it, the celebration in those eyes and smile put the sun itself to shame.

But the light of love was not the only thing on Loki’s expression. One night is all we have. The elation and hope in Thor’s face was crushed a blink later by their perfect opposites. And it broke Loki’s heart to pieces. He threw his arms around the king, knowing his pain would be soothed by soothing Thor’s pain in turn, and closed his eyes for a kiss. He didn’t hold anything back. It was much too late for reservations and caution anyway. There was naught but ruins inside, and the knowledge that what Thor had shaken and toppled, no other would be able to rebuild or even touch. Only one night, and that was it. Loki would let himself have it all. 

 

_____________________

 

 

“Come back to bed,” Thor’s voice behind his back, hoarse from sleep.

“It’s the morn,” said Loki.

Thor turned his sleepy attention to the noises outside and the light trickling from the openings of the tent. He looked as exhausted as Loki felt.

“But it’s early. You don’t have to rise yet,” said Thor, rubbing his eyes, puffy and reddened.

“Yes, I do,” sighed Loki miserably. He reached for the linen tunic and the robe (and ouch, ouch, ouch, fucking ouch. Bending over was fucking torture. There wasn’t a single inch of his body that didn’t ache or burn, but there was one specific area which positively sizzled.) “Will you please send for the servants. I must wash and dress.”

Thor kept rubbing his eyes. They were wet.

“I shall have a hot bath drawn for you,” he muttered. “If you’d like.”

Loki sighed again, exhausted and forlorn.

“I won’t say no to that.”

Thor awaited for Loki to be completely dressed, then rose too, to cover him in his red robe, hold him in his arms, and press a long kiss to his hair. You would think Loki would be used to his touch by now, but he quivered and melted into it like the first time.

Still gloriously naked, all the marks of love stark on his body, Thor voiced an order. The servants poured in.

 

 

Thor had put on his cloak and his breeches to step outside. They were greeted by the king's closest friends, and by a burst of cheers and chanting – from the expression on the revellers’ faces, mostly of a lewd and obscene though joyful nature. Then four old women popped out of the tent, armed with the sheets of Thor King’s bed, and exposed them to the eyes of the crowd. Loki reacted to the renewed eruption of celebrations with no more than a tetchy huff. His deep immersion into melancholy and forsakenness seemed to have made him immune to embarrassment. At least there was that.

Thor’s friend Fandral was addressing the crowd, garnering many laughs, but Loki just wasn’t interested. He barged through, the tightly packed wall of festive Asgardians parting to allow him passage, and made for the tent he and his siblings had been allotted upon arrival to the camp.

 

 

“Hey! He returns!” said Helblindi with joviality. He also seemed much flustered and of a deep pink shade, and he struggled to make eye contact for some reason.

“I hear it was quite an event,” noted Byleistr, still from her cot, stretching her arms.

“I’m not in the mood,” grumbled Loki. He was busy seeking for a special salve he knew was in his trunk somewhere, which he had the foresight to pack, anticipating chafing from riding for hours on end. (Aaaand the joke quite made itself.)

“He didn’t hurt you, did he?” enquired his doting brother.

Loki felt a choke (oh, brother, more than words can say), and forced out a self-effacing, sour chuckle. 

“I don’t wish to talk. I have an awful pain in my head.” 

For starters. He found the salve, thank goodness. As he walked out of the tent, he threw over his shoulder, “Have my traveling clothes sent to the king’s bath. And raise everyone, have them make ready. We set off by fourth hour of daylight.”

He heard Byleistr’s mumble behind his back.

“I thought this would take the stick out of his arse, not push it further in.”

Loki replied only to himself: It’s not a stick up my arse, dear sister, it is an arrow through my heart. And I would choose the stick, anytime.

 

_________________

 

 

The camp simmered with activity as it rose for the day. Inside the tent, however, it was quiet and peaceful. Loki floated in that enormous tub of gold-coated brass, and let the warmth and weightlessness ease the kinks and knots that riddled his muscles. He had hissed at first when the contact with hot water had set some of the most intimate nooks of his body on fire, and he was still most uncomfortable and, predictably, would be for many days. Thor too must surely be reminded of Loki at every step, and he wouldn’t be sitting happily at council for some time. So it was not a dream after all, and they bore their sore spots and bruises, burns and aches, that proved it did happen.

Even if their latest couplings had not been quite as frantic, they had been fucking all night long. They had tried every possible configuration they could come up with, and they were surrounded by inspiration in those tapestries, and Thor had books about this stuff to boot. Illustrated. On their knees, on their fronts, on their backs, on their sides, lying down, standing up, sitting down, upright against a post, face to face, and back to front, and all the possible permutations in between, using a wide assortment of body parts. It was as if they wished to exhaust a lifetime together in one night. Thor’s stamina was prodigious, and as it would seem, Loki’s own didn’t lag far behind. But when the watch outside announced the ninth hour of darkness, Thor had surrendered to sleep. 

Loki had not. He had stayed awake, from so many emotions, and from the anxiousness of wasting so much as a precious wink of the little time they had. He had stared at Thor’s face, wishing to memorise it down to the smallest detail, that he’d be able to conjure it up in future days. The very thought of those long, empty days ahead weighed heavily in his mind. He knew he’d know no peace and no lightness in his spirit for a long time to come, that a dull emptiness would follow the pain, and that real joy was far beyond the horizon. 

Oh, dammit. This was supposed to be nothing but a bloody formality, a fucking administrative procedure. Get there, sign the fucking thing, shake hands, go home with a renewed treaty under his arm, get on with business. Why couldn’t they just fucking leave it at that? Why did Thor had to mess everything up? And if he absolutely had to fuck Loki, couldn’t he just… take what he wanted and leave Loki’s feelings alone? Oh no, it was not enough to have Loki’s body, and his first night with a man, oh no no no, he had to have Loki’s heart as well! Why be content with one night, when he could have Loki’s eternal devotion and every shard of his fucking peace of mind! Such a Thor thing to do, the arrogant bastard, the greedy son of a dog! 

So, did Loki buy Thor’s reasons for his trickery? Yes he did – he couldn’t help it. A politician born and raised, with a practical mind, and every bit a realist, Loki knew to expect more cards at play than those on the table. He kept his own up his sleeve at all times. Refusing to understand why others did what they did, refusing to accept the rules of the game as they stood, would amount to foolishness on his part or wilful blindness, either way a serious mistake he wasn’t going to commit. Was he angry that he’d been had? Well, nobody likes to be made an ass in public (or in private, as it turned out. Whenever he remembered the fucking interpreter…). But beyond that, as he floated quietly in the tub, he struggled to muster any real reproach. 

Though he tried. Oh, did he try. Harden your spirit, Loki, he told himself. Think of the humiliation, not the warmth and scent and beauty of his body. Think of his deceit, not the skill of his touch and the artfulness of his kiss. His arrogance, not the sweetness of Loki’s name on his lips. Hate him, dammit, hate him! How dare he fill your ears with words of love and cheap poetry, when he knew as well as you that there was no future for the two of you! 

And he was crying again, great. Oh, go home, shy awkward baby penguin, go home. Go home, find a lover. Perhaps now that you know what was missing with your four girls, you’ll find bliss and oblivion in another man’s bed, and learn to forget last night. Now that your eyes have been opened, you understand why the Lord Svaldifari always tries to be alone with you, why he bats his eyelids so much, why he insists on those long rides alone with you in the countryside, and what that pointing at the stars is all about, and referencing the old poets and all that bollocks. It would be far from a hardship, seeking comfort in those arms. The man is built like a horse, his dark mane of hair and huge brown eyes have always drawn your attention, and perhaps you knew not why before, but you do now. There are more bodies besides the king of Asgard’s. They should be just as able to warm and liven up the long winter nights. 

Moon of my life. The words were seared in his mind, and echoed with Thor’s husky voice and the music of his particular intonation. 

What does the beloved reply?” Loki had asked some time before dawn, curled up in the king’s arms.

My sun and stars,” Thor had mumbled, first in his language, then in Jotun. His eyes were already becoming heavy, the light outside turned to silver his hair of gold. He seemed softer like that, almost offering a glimpse into what he would look like as an old man. Someone will wake beside you when you’re old and grey, thought Loki, and this will be the first sight to greet them in the morning. But not me. How bitterly Loki envied that nebulous, unformed rival who may not yet even walk the earth.

My sun and stars. Loki had asked him to repeat the Aesir words, and had tried to say them himself. And though Thor was tired and melancholy and those emotions washed down his joy, his smile had still managed to dazzle Loki, damn his bones.

 

_______________

 

The Jotun party was finalising preparations for departure. Alone in his tent, Loki whiled his time examining the day’s dispatches from Jotunheim. Nothing much. There had been a great storm last week that had destroyed several ships of the crown, and marauders were again bothering the shepherds of the Blue Mountains. But the lords were at ease it seemed, in spite of Loki’s absence. A relief.

There was a minor commotion without, and the drapes at the entrance of the tent flew open. Thor King burst in. Loki would have thought he’d seen enough of Thor only a few hours ago to build up a measure of immunity, and would not experience such a disarray inside at the mere vision of the king. Ah, what an unmitigated disaster he had become.

“I hear you’ve given order to leave today?” Thor asked, approaching briskly, his brow furrowed.

“My business in Asgard is concluded,” said Loki with curtness.

“I wish you would stay a while longer yet.” 

“What for.” 

“I was hoping, for the pleasure of my company,” said Thor, though his overall demeanour, slumped and sullen, wasn’t really selling his company at all. “And should that not suffice, there are many wonders of my city still left to discover, and much to learn.”

“I do not have time for leisure,” said Loki. “And as for your company, well, I thought that issue had been discussed, agreed on, and concluded.” The shortness was intentional. Loki feared that, if he gave in an inch, he'd lose his entire self.

But Thor was headstrong as an ox, and the notion of surrender quite alien to his nature.

“Then think twice, for your own sake,” he insisted, “about the wisdom of setting off on a week’s long ride on horseback after the night we’ve spent.”

A low blow, bringing that up. Loki stiffened up, those words too similar to a jest, and an indelicate one at that; he was in no mood for jokes.

“The pain cannot be more excruciating than what I would have to endure if I was to prolong my stay,” he retorted. And though it was phrased unkindly, it exposed his heart.

“Oh, you are tragically wrong about that, trust me,” said Thor. “I speak from experience.”

“Experience is a torch that only lights the way of he who carries it,” said Loki, quoting a Midgardian proverb. “I’ll take my chances.”

Thor nodded heavily, knowing that was that; this battle he would not win, and he believed in retreating, that he may live to fight another day. He stepped closer.

“When will I see you again, my love?” he asked.

“Read the treaty,” said Loki curtly. He did not appreciate Thor prodding in the wound. “Chapter twelve. Should our nations find themselves on opposite sides in a war, either directly or indirectly through our allies, the current treaty would be void and we would have to meet again to agree on mutual reparations and negotiate new terms.”

“That is not what I had in mind.”

“Oh, isn’t it,” deadpanned Loki. “What was it then.”

“You have seen my dominions – I would see yours. I have heard and read much about the marvels of the land of the Jotuns; veils of rainbow-coloured light that hang from the night sky; colossal sea monsters larger than a row of houses, some with long white horns on their heads; entire palaces built of ice in a country where the sun does not set for months on end, and then for months hides beneath the snow and sleeps; sweets made of ice beat with cream and syrup; and in a long house of stone, a lonely king as beautiful as the moon; and as the moon rules with mysterious, invisible forces the tides and the crops and the moods of beasts and men, so does the king know the secret strings that bind my heart to his, and lords over them.”

Loki sighed deeply, wrung out, and exhausted. Could Thor not let it go already? Didn’t he know how hard it was for Loki? That he couldn’t battle himself, and also Thor? Why couldn’t he make it easier on him? Cruel man. Loki spoke affecting nonchalance, and if that should hurt Thor, well, he had fucking started it.

“Thor King can visit whenever he likes. Lord Mimer is much knowledgeable about all the beasts that live on the island and in the sea;  Lady Jarnsaxa has conducted many studies on those veils of light you mentioned, and Lord Thrym makes excellent sweet ice desserts. They would be delighted to be your hosts, I’m sure.”

Thor attempted a little smile, much dimmed by his sadness, fed by his stubbornness.

“I would so wish to behold your majesty’s beauty in the blue ointment and the markings of his kin.”

“They painted a good likeness on coronation day. I could order a copy made for you.” 

“I would like to try on one of those wedding robes-…”

“I’ll have one sent for you, and another forty for your wives.”

“Oh, Low-kee, Low-kee…”

“Enough, Thor!” snapped Loki, at the end of his tether. “I am not going to put my entire life on hold because you’d like to see how the exotic Jotuns live! I have no time for… for… frivolous dalliances! I am surprised that you do!”

“A frivolous dalliance – is that what it was to you?”

Loki clenched his jaw, and let the full force of his heartbreak and his wounded pride, still tender, pour through in the form of spite.

“It was business, Thor King, to strengthen the bonds of friendship between our nations! Your words, not mine!” He exhaled heavily. “That’s all it can be.”

“How you wound me, Low-kee.”

“Something to remember me by, as I shall remember you.”

Thor’s brow furrowed at this last remark. 

“Can you not stop this hurtful speech, and open your heart as you did last night? Can you not let your true self speak now, in the hour of our parting?”

“Thor King is out of place, demanding sincerity from me.”

“Not demanding,” muttered Thor, “begging.”

“Oh, no, never a beggar,” hissed Loki. “A king through and through, from the cradle to the grave. All is due to Thor King; he speaks his wish, and it becomes so. This cannot be, he says, and I must see you again, and fuck sense, and fuck reality. Both shall bend to your will! Isn’t it so?” he taunted. “Well, not with the king of Jotunheim. I am not going to be one of your rotational seasonal fucks.”

“Do you really think that’s what it would be like?”

“What evidence have I had of the contrary? Just words, words, and more words.”

“Moon of my life, can you not let your pride be quiet for a breath, and let my Low-kee speak instead?”

Oh, if only. He wished for nothing more. Loki sighed deeply, his shoulders slumping. His anger was spent – dejection was all he had left.

“Perhaps in a different world, in another life,” he muttered.

“Is that all it would take?”

“It is enough.”

Thor kneeled before him, and held his hands. He whispered.

“I am Thor King. I bow to no-one but the skies above. I will take the world and this life and break them down, and rebuild them, that we both fit in them together, you and I.”

Loki shook his head, unbelieving.

“Your arrogance is quite endearing in the bedroom. Beyond, it grates on the nerves.”

Thor laughed, and kissed Loki’s hands with devotion. Loki let himself close his eyes for a moment, that all would cease and vanish but the touch of Thor’s lips on his skin.

“One more kiss until next time,” whispered Thor, now standing up close to him.

“Haven’t we kissed enough?” grumbled Loki.

“There can be no such thing.”

Loki closed his eyes again. It wasn’t one kiss – it was many.

 

 

_________________

 

 

The Jotun party was on horseback or on their wagons, their caravan almost doubled in length with the additions of Thor’s first night gifts. The two ginormous gift horses bore no rider, and occupied a place of honour among the nobles in the Jotun king’s train.

Thor King and his friends had come to see them off, as well as the most important men and women of Asgard, and a sizeable crowd of commoners. They had enjoyed this state visit a lot more than they had foreseen, richer now in silver, in mead, and in stories about his king to tell around the fire.

Loki was trying to present a steely, detached demeanour, but he feared the entire city were aware of his heartbreak, just as they had been witnesses of his ecstasy in Thor's arms (oh, Norns, don't remind him).

“I bid goodbye to the great nation of Asgard, assured that I leave behind nothing but friendship and goodwill,” declared Loki, in his public voice, which had also been painstakingly trained, polished, perfected, and exercised at length, to a pitch that carried easily and clearly, and seemingly without effort. Thor looked upon him with admiration. As for the words themselves, Thor must know of course their secret intention, and their coldness must surely not have slipped him by. 

Thor had his eyes unerringly fixed on him, and one hand on the reins of Loki’s horse. The intensity of his emotion was not filtered by modesty or discretion. Thor lived his private life in the open, the city a theatre to play out his passions and entanglements, without shyness or shame. It was a way of living entirely alien to Loki, but he could see the merit of it, now that they had to part, and the king felt free and uninhibited, and able to exhibit his attachment to Loki, and Loki was able to see it, and take with him a sense of pride.

In a voice just as schooled and proficient as Loki’s, but kindled with raw feeling, Thor proclaimed an oath:

“Loki, King of the Jotuns, I wish you a safe journey home, and though I must bid you goodbye today, know this: that I am Thor son of Odin, king of the Asgardians, overlord of the Nine Realms, kin of the gods, and Fortune’s favourite. The stars bend to my will, my wish is the Norns’ command. And if I have to wake the Serpent of the Sea, if I have to stir the bones of the earth that they give out their fire, this I swear, and with the skies as my witnesses, it shall be so: that we will meet again, and as I am yours, you shall again be mine.”

Loki would have to be made of ice not to be stirred by this passionate pledge. And though some liked to say so behind his back, Loki was not made of ice. Deep inside, he shuddered. Perhaps everyone who heard Thor that day did. It was as if the skies had turned to listen, as if the Serpent had heard its name and twitched in its slumber, as if the tree of the world itself had heard the call of its master. There had been a change in the air.

May the Norns hear you, prayed Loki, though he was without hope. Be it so.

His gaze took in the features of Thor’s face one last time. Thor himself was observing as if he wished to burn Loki’s image in his eyes to carry with him.

“Until we meet again,” whispered Thor. His hand slipped along the reins, and stole one touch of Loki’s hand.

“Farewell, Asgardian,” was all that Loki said. 

Thor let go of his horse, and Loki dug in his heels. The beast set off at a trot.

 

Thor may be an obstinate, presumptuous oaf, but Loki had to grant that he was very fucking right about the wisdom, or utter lack thereof, of getting on horseback so soon after last night. Loki tried to retain a blank expression and remain dignified, even as he stabs to his poor behind threatened to bring tears to his eyes. And he had an entire week of this ahead. Norns have mercy.

Thor followed the party to the edge of the nomad city, and then for another mile or so. He kept his distance, but Loki could see him at all time out of the corner of his eye. And when he could resist no more, and turned his head, there the king was, radiant as the sun, gold mane of hair billowing in the wind, bright red cape flaming behind. Loki felt the luckiest of men, and the most unlucky. Either way, he was fucked. 

He should cut his heart out, he thought, for he had left it behind, and it kept tugging at him, and he feared he was going to be ripped in half.