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I now pronounce you...

Chapter Text

Weddings. He hated weddings.
Too much positivity in one place, he was the God of Mischief for Hel’s sake. Happiness made him weary and bored. Even worse, he wasn’t allowed to spoil the happiness on weddings for anyone. No little tricks, no pranks to lighten up the depressing merriness. Ugh. He had hoped with Odin and Frigga gone, there was no one left who could drag him to these dreadful celebrations.
But of course Thor had to spoil it for him. Not that he could have forced him to attend some of those useless high society weddings of Asgard of some would-be god or lord.
No, Thor had to even outdo that and get married himself. And it wasn’t even an Asgardian wedding. No, it was a Midgardian one. And Loki had thought it couldn’t have gotten any worse.
But of course, whenever it included Thor, it always got worse. For Loki at least. Gods, he hated him.
Now there he was, sitting in a cold uncomfortable stone building with colourful windows earthlings called a church and a dead naked guy was hanging right over his head. Apparently he was nailed to a wooden cross at his hands and feet where blood was pouring out. Loki quite liked this sight and got some inspiration from it for his next mischievous deed as the big church doors opened and Thor entered. He was wearing a tuxedo which looked as embarrassing and uncomfortable as the suit Loki was forced to wear himself. A white flower was pinned to Thor’s jacket. Because he didn’t look like a wet blanket enough yet. Loki wanted to vomit.

Together with some other men of the Foster family Thor stepped towards the altar, his look one of pure happiness and nervousness.
Oh, what would Loki give to turn into a snake right here and there and bite this idiot right into his Asgardian ass. That would wipe that look off his face like nothing. Loki had to hold a grin.
As Thor arrived at the altar he turned around, nodding towards some guests in the church sitting on the benches, and smiling like a drunken fool. Then his eyes found Loki’s and his smile grew even warmer and deeper and he seemed to blink away tears.
Don’t turn into a snake. Don’t turn into a snake. Don’t turn into a snake.
The priest appeared behind the altar and gestured something to the end of the aisle.
Music started to play and everyone was getting up from the benches (except Loki) to look at the entrance of the church.
As Loki was sitting in the first row he couldn’t see, but he didn’t have to to know that the Midgardian woman was coming. One look at Thor’s pathetic face and he knew she must look beautiful.
Jane eventually came into the god’s view as she stepped slowly along the aisle at the arm of Dr. Selvig. Her dress was a dream of white tulle, in her hand she held a big flower bucket.
For the love of Odin, had these earthlings no imagination at all? That could have been ripped right out from some of these fashion magazines the Midgardians loved to be brainwashed by so much. So predictable. So mortal. And Thor was digging it so much. And forced Loki to watch.
Jane had reached Thor and Dr. Selvig gave her arm in a symbolic gesture over to Thor. The guests were whispering sentimental things, wiping away the first tears.
Loki just rolled his eyes and leaned back on the most uncomfortable bench in the entire universe. How was he supposed to sleep through this holy ordeal like that? At least he was sitting right at the end of the bench which meant he could at least lean his head against the cold stonewall of the church.
As Selvig turned around to sit at the other end of Loki’s bench Loki noticed the nervous look he gave the God of Mischief. This look of fear immediately inspired Loki and he winked at him with one of his most evil smiles. Dr. Selvig seemed to freeze right on the spot and turned stiff towards the altar again.
Loki sniggered in his hand. Well, maybe there was a glint of hope. He could pass this tedious time trying to scare this man to death. His mind immediately went to planning some scenarios for the reception after the ceremony.
The priest gestured to the guests to sit back down again and started an endless speech about god, the bible and love and Loki zoomed out within 10 seconds.
As he was watching with a smug face the backs of the couple he was wondering what Odin would have to say to that if he was still alive. He couldn’t imagine he would approve a lot. His only son marrying a fragile limited mortal. All chances of promising offspring out of the window, just like that. Not even clear if Jane’s body could hold a godly child.
And then again, Loki thought, maybe Odin wouldn’t have cared too much, as long as he wouldn’t marry her in Asgardian fashion. A pathetic earthling marriage meant nothing to the gods, everyone in Asgard would just laugh at it. Two mortals joining their lives in a religion that was a lie, under a god that didn’t exist just to create some piece of paper that would state their bond in a contractual way and could be torn to pieces like nothing. It was hilarious, really. Odin might just have watched his son do this folly that wouldn’t have consequences in Asgard until a proper match for his son would have come along. Let him have that woman, let’s wait until she died, a few decades at best, nothing more than a heartbeat to Asgard.
As some corny love sodden music was raping his ears, Loki watched Darcy come forward carrying a white pillow on which the rings lay.
Thank god he at least got out of this one!
Thor had wanted Loki to bring the rings, but Loki (and pretty much everyone else including Jane) had contradicted. The only thing Loki hadn’t gotten around was being there. When Thor, one of the universe mightiest heroes was making an utter fool out of himself.
As the ceremony went on, Loki rested his head on his hand and his eyes grew slowly heavy.

After what felt like an eternity, the wedding vows finally started:

‘I, Jane Foster, take you, Thor Odinson,
To be my lawful wedded husband.
To have and to hold, from this day forward,
For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer,
In sickness and in health
Until death do us part.’

Ha ha. Joke’s on you, Loki thought as his eyes shut entirely and he only kept his consciousness from completely drifting off because he wanted to know how Thor would make this ‘until death do us part’ work.
Until death do you part maybe?

Now Thor’s voice rang through the church, deep and thick with emotion.

‘I, Thor Odinson, take you, Loki-‘

Loki’s elbow slipped from the benches’ armrest and he had to catch himself before falling over.

The church was awfully quiet as Thor had stopped speaking, his eyes growing wide as his brain started to comprehend what he had just said.

Jane looked at her fiancé in utter confusion and the priest looked from one to the other in shock.

‘Uh… Jane. Jane! Jane, of course. ‘ Thor’s voice echoed from the cold church walls and he smiled helplessly.

But Jane didn’t smile back.

The priest cleared his throat and asked cautiously towards the bride:

‘Ehrm… sh-shall he go on, Ms Foster?’

Chapter Text

Smooth Jazz music filled the summer air as the Wedding guests were gathering at the location for the reception and the buffet. It was an idyllic spot right by a calm river, trees were weighing in the soft summer breeze and birds were chirping in the distance.

The Jazz band played never tiring as the guests helped themselves for a drink and some finger food to get started. To an outside person it looked like a normal Wedding gathering. Only a closer look revealed that the bride and groom were missing. And people looked uneasy, were whispering a lot in each others ears. The atmosphere was off. And Loki loved it. This was the best wedding he had ever been to! No laughter, no fake congratulations, no stupid speeches. Only confusion and chaos, delightful!

The God of Mischief was leaning against a tree a bit away from the other people, drinking not only his drink but also the people’s disturbed mood.

What no one could see was that despite the sleek smugness of his appearance, the drink he was holding was slightly shaking in his pale hand.

After a while Loki’s eyes recognized Darcy entering the garden party, looking around and darting straight at him as she spotted him. Oh, great.

 

‘What the hell are you doing?’ she hissed at him as she reached him, her eyes full of accusation.

‘I’m having a drink?’ Loki suggested, holding up his drink to her.

‘Why are you not with Thor?’

‘I don’t think I should get involved in my brother’s love live.’

‘Well, breaking news, you already are! No go over there and help sort this out!’ Darcy said urgently and tried to get him to move.

Loki raised his eyebrows at her. ‘Helping, me? Have you forgotten who I am?’

‘You are the reason Thor is in trouble now!’

‘It is not my fault he said the wrong name.’ Loki objected.

‘Is it not? Are you sure you didn’t do one of your hokus pocus things that made him say your name?’ Jane’s friend asked, stemming her hands in her hips and looking at him accusingly.

Loki’s mouth fell open at the accusation. ‘I did not! Why would I do such a thing?’

Darcy put her index finger to her chin and pretended to think very hard. ‘Ummm let me see… because you are the God of Mischief and totally get off on ‘jokes’ that cause other people harm, especially when it comes to Thor?’

A wide grin now appeared on the god’s face and he had to quickly clear his throat. ‘Ehm… yeah, that is true I’m afraid. It was funny though, you have to admit.’

‘So you DID jinx him!’

‘No, I did not! Thor got into this mess himself, as he mostly does by the way.’ Loki said determined.

‘You are his broth-‘ Darcy started, but Loki cut her off.

‘I’m not, actually-‘

‘Oh please, will you finally cut the bullshit. I’ve never seen two people more attached to each other. So you are not blood related, big deal. That never stopped Thor to stand up for you and help you. Now it is your turn!’

What did this earthling think who she was? Talking down like this to a god? Loki wanted to throw her in the river and duck her under until she apologized at least 100 times over and would never dare to even look him in the eyes ever again. But he didn’t. He just stared at her.

‘Well?’ Darcy urged.

Loki dropped his shoulders and exhaled loudly.

He followed the woman’s hand that gestured to a place further up the river. ‘They are up there. Hang on.’ she added, turned around and went for the bar.

She returned a minute later with a cold drink and held it out to Loki. He took it and emptied it in one go.

Darcy nodded at him. ‘Good luck.’ she whispered as Loki started walking towards what he dreaded more than he could put into words.

 

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As his steps brought him closer, arguing voices grew louder.

‘I cannot believe you would do this to me. On our Wedding day! Wedding day! Do you know what this day meant to me, Thor?’

‘Jane please, calm down for a second-‘

‘No, I don’t want to calm down! I want to know why you did this to me!’

‘I-‘

‘Ha! There he is!’ Jane screamed as Loki entered the scene silently and stalked towards him with long strides to give him a hard slap across the face.

Loki had seen it coming but didn’t do anything to prevent it. ‘What did you do to him, hm? Was this one of your tricks? Did you bewitch him?’

Loki held up his hands in defense and just as he wanted to speak, his eyes met Thor’s and he halted.

Gods, his brother looked pathetic. His hands outstretched, begging for forgiveness, his eyes big and hurt and confused like a beaten puppy that was begging for love. Thor, you utter fool.

The breath Loki had been holding now came out with a confession: ‘Guilty as charged.’ he said calmly, letting his hands sink to his sides again.

Jane’s eyes grew alarmingly tiny and she spat: ‘I knew it. I had told Thor from the very beginning having you there would only mean trouble. You are the most disgusting being I have ever had the misfortune to come across. I hope you rot in hell!’

‘I wouldn’t worry about that.’ Loki retorted. ‘I have saved myself that spot a long time ago.’

With a disparaging sound the bride whirled around and walked off the scene.

She wanted to leave, but Selvig stopped her and handed her a handkerchief.

‘Here my girl. Come, come, don’t cry.’ he said soothingly as he took her in his arms and stroked her hair. Muffled sobbing could be heard as Jane’s shoulders were shaking.

Loki made sure all eyes were on Jane before he rolled his eyes and shook his head. By the love of Odin, people said Loki was a Drama Queen, but this, this was beyond even him. He felt like shooting some needles up that woman’s dress so she would actually have a proper reason to cry.

‘How about we just give the ceremony another go?’ Selvig suggested cautiously. ‘The priest is still around. And it is not as if Thor had said… you know… another woman’s name… it was just his brother’s.’ the doctor tried to reason, but Jane shot him the most hurt look before she said under tears: ‘I would have preferred it to be another woman’s.’

These earthlings just didn’t make sense. How would that have been better? Thor seemed to be thinking the same thing as he tried to talk to his bride one more time: ‘Jane… what do you mea-‘

‘The wedding is off.’ Jane said over him, added a silent ‘I’m sorry.’ And walked away. After a last concerned look to Thor, Selvig followed her.

Chapter Text

Night had come and most guests, especially from Jane’s side of the family, had long disappeared. Just some last ones loyal to Thor, or just to free food and drink, had stayed, were dancing and laughing and eating. Thor hadn’t wanted to call the celebration off and wanted people to enjoy themselves. He also insisted that the Jazz band stayed and played late into the night. It was as if he refused to accept what had just happened to him and was determined to follow through with the program, even without the bride by his side.

He was sitting at the bar, his big hands hugging a pint of cold beer. He was staring at it as if it was holding some ancient wisdom he tried to unlock.
Loki was sitting next to him, his elbows resting on the bar and watching other people enjoying themselves. Some even were already so drunk, they were loosing their clothes and jumping into the river with delighted screams.

‘Another.’ Thor said to the barkeeper as he smashed his now empty pint into the grass where it shattered on top of already a big pile of broken glass.

‘We… um… are out of pints, ser. Could I maybe serve something else?’ the barkeeper said nervously.

‘What do you mean you are out?’ Thor asked.

‘I think he means you turned his entire stock into a big pile of rubbish.’ Loki remarked dryly at his side without looking away from the crowd.

Thor grumbled something incomprehensible as Loki held his drink out. ‘Here, try whiskey. More effect, less peeing.’
As Thor took it after some contemplation, Loki ordered them two more.

‘So… that was fun.’ Loki finally decided to scratch the topic. ‘Shall we go back to Asgard then?’

‘I ruined everything.’ Thor said as if he hadn’t heard what Loki said.

‘Yes, you kind of did.’ Loki agreed. He couldn’t help himself, it was such a nice feeling to be on the other end of the scale just this once.

‘The bewitching was a lie, wasn’t it?’ Thor asked heavily as he turned his new whiskey drink in his hands.

‘Well..’ Loki said slowly. ‘… I was sort of asleep when you screwed up, so…’

‘You what?’

‘You have got to decide, Thor. Which one is it, the brother who used magic so you would say another name or the brother who fell asleep during the vows and therefore is innocent? You can’t have both.’ Loki said angrily.

Thors lips twitched, and he nodded. ‘Thank you. For lying for me.’ His brother said, looking at him sideways.

Loki’s stomach clenched. He didn’t want Thor to say thank you to him. And then this look. Understanding and warmth. Gratefulness even. It went right through Loki’s skin and hit him in the core. As it always did. How he hated when they had these moments! Despite his best efforts to never let those surface again, they had been having a comeback lately. An unsettling development.
Loki shifted uneasily. ‘You know lying comes easily to me. And since your beloved Jane hates me already, it’s not as if I had a lot to lose.’

‘No, but you helped me. Thank you, brother.’

Grrrrrrrrrrrr could he stop with the thanking already? It was making him sick.
‘I think you had enough.’ Loki then said to change the subject and nodded towards the empty whiskey glass in Thor’s hand.

‘Not even close. Thor responded and ordered another. The barkeeper fished the glass out of the god’s hand as fast as he could before Thor could smash that one too.
The God of Mischief exhaled deeply. How was he supposed to get this oaf back to Asgard like that?

‘This was supposed to be our day, you know. After all this time of me being away. Of Jane waiting for me, being patient, staying in the background. It was time for commitment. And I screw it.
I even learned to dance for this day. To dance, brother! Me! And turns out, I’m not at all that bad. And for what? Now I can’t even have my wedding dance.’ Thor complained, running a hand through his now short hair and then shrugging his shoulders.

‘Well. If you wouldn’t always have skipped dance lessons as a kid it wouldn’t be such a big deal now.’ Loki replied.

Thor chuckled. ‘True. I hated these kind of things.’

‘You mean, everything that wasn’t fighting and hitting things?’ Loki asked, eyebrows raising.

‘Pretty much. I remember dance lessons were one of the few things you didn’t skip though.’ Thor continued, remembering.

‘No. I always went.’ Loki agreed.

Thor turned on his barstool and looked at Loki. ‘So you can dance.’

‘Obviously.’ Loki remarked snorting and then winced as Thor held out a hand.

‘Dance with me then.’

Oh.

‘Forget it.’

‘Come on.’

‘No.’

‘Why not?’

‘Because I don’t like you? And you will probably step on my feet all the time.’

‘I practiced.’

‘But you are drunk.’

‘I’m not that drunk. Want to bet?’ Thor said and the first smile this evening crossed his face.
He had him. Thor knew exactly what strings to pull. And the God of Mischief could always be attracted by a bet.

Loki’s eyes never left Thor’s outstretched hand as he finally said: ‘… no.’

‘Spoilsport!’ the God of Thunder teased as he grabbed his brother in a headlock and tousled his hair.

‘Argh THOR!’ the other exclaimed furious, getting the laughing Thor off him by ducking away and pushing him.
The groom was laughing heartily as Loki tried to rearrange his hair. ‘Look what you did you coarse idiot!’

‘Oh no, someone messed up Diva’s hair? Should I call Pepper’s stylist?’ a voice suddenly asked mockingly behind the two.
As the brothers turned around, they saw Tony walking towards them in one of his finest suits, looking around. ‘The party is already over? I thought we would just be getting started!’ he said disappointed. ‘And where is the lucky bride?’

Thor clapped Loki on the back. ‘Fine, you win. I’ll dance alone.’ And he left the two of them standing there.
Hmpf. Typical. Now he had to deal with the Stark nuisance.

‘What’s wrong?’ Tony asked frowning. And then: ‘What did you do?’

‘I did not do anything. Believe it or not, Thor got himself into this mess alone.’ Loki said annoyed and watched his brother really dancing by himself in front of the Jazz band.

The tunes were getting more relaxed now and lounge-like and as the evening drew on the waiters were lighting lampions and candles on the tables. Loki noticed by now there were new people there he had never seen before. Probably party crashers.
He turned away from Stark to get another Whiskey. He really did not want to have this conversation with the most annoying would-be hero of the Avengers. Well, most annoying right after Thor of course.
But obviously deer eye followed him to the bar. ‘This mess? What happened?’

‘Ask Thor.’

‘I’m asking you.’

‘Do I look like I want to talk to you? Ever?’

‘Do you see this?’ Tony asked and pointed towards a little white button on his tie. ‘If I press this, you won’t be talking to Tony anymore but Ironman who has its ways to ruffle a bit more than just your pretty hair.’

Gods, this man was a pain. A part of Loki wanted to take on the challenge immediately, but then his eyes travelled involuntarily towards the swaying Thor and he decided that even his brother had suffered enough for one night. At least this party should be carried out as planned and not go down the drain as well.

He clenched his teeth in anger of having to give in and drank instead a big gulp to not having to look into Starks triumphant face.
‘He… said the wrong name on the altar.’ Loki said. ‘His woman got upset, ran out of the church and couldn’t be reasoned with since.’

‘Oh…’ Tony said slowly as he let Loki’s words sink in. ‘Oooooh… ok that’s- that’s bad. Whose name did he say?’

‘Mine.’ Loki answered.

Tony looked taken aback and blinked a few times. ‘Yours?’

‘Yes.’

‘…. Huh.’ Was all that Stark had to say and for some reason his expression changed to someone who just figured out that one and one equaled two.
Loki decided not to ask what this change of expression meant. Stark always had to talk way too much. He was sure he also would this time. He was right.

‘So… um… why exactly would your brother say your name when vowing his unconditional love to the alleged love of his life?’

‘I don’t know.’ Loki shrugged his shoulders and tried very hard to look innocent. He wasn’t quite clear why that was suddenly so difficult to do.

‘You didn’t ask him?’

‘No.’

‘Why not?’

‘Because it means nothing. Thor has never been the brightest star on the night sky. A lot of muscles, not so much intellect. Some wires in his brain probably made the wrong connection for a second or something.’

‘… huh.’ Was all that Tony had to say again. What was the guy going on about? Maybe he should let him press that damn button after all. He really felt like beating the living daylight out of this imbecile.
‘And… Jane is very upset?’ Tony finally picked up again.

‘Yes.’

‘Why would she be upset with Thor for saying your name?’

‘Do I look like cheese to you?’ Loki counter asked.

‘Cheese? No. Well you.. kind of… you know… made me flinch a lot in the past, sort of like when you smell on one of those mouldy cheeses from France or Switzerland. But- no. You are no cheese.’

‘Glad we made that clear. Then why are you drilling holes into me with your endless questioning? I’m running low on patience as a general condition and you have just used up your share.’ Loki said sharply and turned away towards the bar.

‘Ok then.’ Tony said silently. ‘I might have an idea why she is so upset.’

The god eyed Stark from the side suspiciously. ‘Do you?’

‘Yes. More than an idea, actually. You might even call it a fact.’

‘And what ‘fact’ is that?’

‘The fact that Jane saw Thor leaving your bedroom this morning.’

 

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--- FLASHBACK ---

 

- One night before the wedding -

 

New York was drowning in a summer thunderstorm it hadn’t seen in a long time. The city was glistening with blurred lights from buzzing Manhattan and the pitch black sky was only occasionally alight when a long bright lighting hit, immediately followed by roaring thunder.

Loki lay on his bed in his room of the Stark Tower, arms crossed behind his head and his eyes closed. Only the occasional twitching of his face was giving away that he wasn’t sleeping but merely listening to the chaos outside and trying to soak it in. Ever since Sakaar he hadn’t had enough Chaos around him, everyone was just getting along all too well, and that included Loki too. He musn’t become idle, as soon as this bloody wedding was over and done with, it was time to come up with something new and cunning.

As he tried to get his thoughts in the right direction someone was knocking on his door.
With one swift movement Loki got up and opened it. His brother was standing there, a weird expression on his face.
‘Can I come in?’

‘Would you go away if I said no?’

‘No.’

‘Why do you even bother asking then.’ Loki sighed and stepped aside to let Thor in.

‘Just some last points about the wedding tomorrow.’ Thor started and Loki sat back on his bed with a loud sigh, supporting himself with his hands on the bed. ‘Yay, fun.’

Thor glanced at Loki warningly, but went on: ‘So you got your way, Jane also thinks Darcy is the more uh… appropriate person to bring the rings when it is time for the vows.’

‘Naturally.’ Loki agreed.

‘And she agreed to you being there as long as the other Avengers won’t attend. Well, she granted Stark to show up at the after party, given he gives us shelter while we stay here.’ Thor went on to explain.

Loki raised his eyebrows. ‘As I said probably a million times before Thor, I’m happy to step back to give your Avenger besties the chance to attend this… marvelous celebration of yours and the Earthling.’

‘And for the millionth time, I will hear no more of it. I want you to be there.’

‘Fine.’ Loki snapped, cursing himself for the forsaken moment he had agreed to this folly.

‘Promise you will be there.’ Thor urged on.

‘Yes.’ The God of Mischief replied annoyed, rolling his eyes.

‘Loki! Look me in the eyes and say it.’ Thor was standing in front of him now, his voice sounding not like his voice. Loki looked up to him in confusion until he saw it in his brother’s eyes. Fear. Fear of his brother disappearing again. Of leaving him behind. Abandoning him once more to go off playing his games.

‘I promise you I will attend this godforsaken wedding. Now get off my back, will you.’ he said, his voice grown a touch softer however.

‘Thank you.’ Thor replied, turned around and headed for the door.
Just as he was about to push the handle, he halted and seemed to listen.

‘What is it?’ Loki asked.

‘It’s raining.’

‘So?’

‘Remember what we used to do when we were children and it rained?’ Thor asked, turning towards Loki again.

‘You mean the God of Thunder being scared of an actual Thunderstorm and sneaking into my bed at night, taking up all the space?’ Loki asked snorting.

‘I remember it being the other way around.’ Thor replied smiling. ‘You always used to be scared of thunderstorms and came cuddling up in my bed.’

‘Your memory is lacking.’ the other replied defensively and looked away.

‘Let’s share the bed tonight.’ Thor then said.

‘I beg your pardon?’ Loki asked with a disbelieving look on his face.

‘Come on. For old time’s sake. I would be sleeping alone tonight anyways. Jane insists. Some old midgardian tradition one night before the wedding or something.’

Loki looked sharply at Thor for a few moments, on the edge of saying no every second. But instead, he found himself padding on the other side of his bed and said: ‘If you take up all the space again, I swear I will stab you in your sleep.’

Thor grinned a victorious smile, kicked off his shoes and went to slide in below the sheets on the other side.
Loki also let himself fall into bed with a defeated sigh and turned towards Thor.
‘And no snoring!’

‘Aye.’ Thor grinned. Ugh, that godforsaken grin.

Loki turned around and closed his eyes. He was expecting it to be weird to have Thor next to him after all these years, but it wasn’t. It felt… comfortable. Right.

As he listened to the drumming of the rain and the even breathing of his brother, Loki slowly started to drift off. Then a strong warm arm suddenly wrapped around his upper body, seeking entrance into his shirt. Loki’s eyes flew open and he drew in a sharp breath.
When Thor found an entrance, he slid his hand up Loki’s stomach and stopped on the left side under his chest.

‘I need to feel your heart.’ he whispered as he drew closer and buried his face in Loki’s black curls.

‘I know.’ Loki answered and closed his eyes again, his breath exhaling in a shudder.

 

--- FLASHBACK END ---

Chapter Text

Tony looked at Loki with raised eyebrows and an expectant face, as if he had just dropped a bomb and wanted to know the degree of destruction it had caused.
Loki however looked unimpressed. ‘What, were you hiding in the closet there?’
‘I don’t think I’m the one hiding in the closet!’ Tony shot back.
When Loki didn’t answer, Tony tried to explain: ‘That is a metaphor used to explain-‘
‘I know what it means.’ Loki hissed angrily. ‘So, I take it you saw us on one of your uncountable security cameras?’ he then asked quickly.
‘Well, you don’t really think I provide accommodation to one of the most dangerous beings in this universe and don’t monitor him every second of every day?’ Tony answered the question with a counter question.

Fair enough.

In that moment a panting Thor came back from the dance floor, wrapping a muscular arm around his brother’s shoulders and ordering another drink.
‘This dancing business can actually be fun when you had some drinks.’ he said happily and opened a few buttons of his white shirt to cool down. He didn’t wear his black jacket anymore and his tie hang loosely around his neck.

‘So, Loki told you my news?’ Thor then asked Tony, accepting the new drink from the barkeeper simultaneously.

‘Oh, yes!’ Tony answered. ‘Very, very unfortunate, this. I’m so sorry Thor. I’m sure you will be able to fix it with Jane though.’

A sad smile appeared on Thor’s lips. ‘Ah, I don’t know Stark. It’s not like it is the first time I disappointed her.’

‘If you need- you know- some advice- on how to have this whole glamorous hero life and at the same time keeping a good looking woman by your side, I could maybe be of assistance. Pepper and me had our rough parts too for sure. The secret is, you have to give her something for the times you are away and prioritize annoying things like saving the human race over her. You know, something she gets for being so patient so she still feels special. In my case this is rather easy, as she gets a celebrity millionaire with ridiculous good looks. Not sure what you are going to upgrade your dating profile with. The muscles, maybe? Get some more for Jane? I’m taking she is into that?’

While Stark had one of his tiring monologues, Loki desperately wished himself to be somewhere else and he looked longingly around as if looking for a place he could hide himself away. But Thor’s firm arm kept him from casually slipping away. Goddammit.

‘Thank you for your uh… advice, but I think my case is a bit more complicated then that.’ Thor said with a heavy voice.

‘I bet it is.’ Tony then said, glancing over to Loki. ‘Oh, hey. So how did you spend your last night before the wedding if I may ask? Were Jane and you sleeping apart?’ Tony was so eager to sound innocent and casual, Loki wanted to grip his neck and pull out every single one of his vocal cords.

‘So you know this wonderous tradition too.’ Thor said, naively. Now Loki wanted to strangle him so he would stop talking too. ‘Yes we did. Jane had insisted. However, I did end up sleeping in Loki’s room.’

You fool. You fool. You utter fool.

‘Oooooh. Did you?’ Tony said and Loki could literally hear the trap falling shut. ‘How come?’

‘Oh, no particular reason. More for old time’s sake, you know?’

‘Oh I really don’t.’ Tony responded, resting his chin on his hand, looking at Thor as if he was the most interesting thing he had ever laid eyes upon. ‘Tell me.’

The God of Thunder shrugged his shoulders and emptied his drink once more. ‘There really isn’t much to tell. Loki doesn’t like to admit this of course, but he used to seek protection on nights with bad weather when we were young, so we kind of revived that tradition.’

‘It. Was. the other. Way. around.’ Loki said with gritted teeth, deliberately not looking at Stark’s smug face.

‘Is that so. You two do have a rather… special brother bond. I never quite understood it, to be honest.’ Tony determinately continued.

Loki felt his brother’s arm around him tighten as Thor pulled him closer and kissed him on the temple. ‘I’m afraid you cannot understand it. I learned that mortals have a limited understanding in certain things, with all due respect. Especially when it comes to cosmic order and connections, which also includes interpersonal relationships. Or, in our case, intergodly relationships. They are not bound to human morals and standards. So I wouldn’t even know how to start in explaining this. Let’s just say even though we are not related by blood, Loki’s and my bond is exceptional and immortal. If we like it or not.’ Thor explained with a noticeable slurry voice. He must be very drunk by now.
‘Well, we all know by now who doesn’t like it.’ Thor added chuckling, resting his forehead for a moment on Loki’s.

‘You are talking nonsense by now, Thor.’ Loki replied annoyed, pushing his brother off.

‘Really? Then why are your cheeks blushing, God of Mischief and Deceit?’ Tony asked, pointing at Loki’s face. ‘One would think you had revealing reactions like that better under control.’

Ok, that was it. What was this, an interrogation? He was done playing the good guy, the evening was over.
First, Loki was about to go for that round shiny thing on Stark’s chest. But then a more amusing idea popped into his head.
His eyes flashed bright silver for a moment as he looked at Tony’s crotch and a second later Tony’s eyes grew wide and disbelieving and he looked down at himself.
‘Oh. Ts ts ts. Stark. Have a bit of self-control. The toilets are over there.’ Loki said head shakingly and clicked his tongue.
Stark looked at Loki with piercing livid eyes. ‘I’ll get you back for that.’ he threatened under his breath as he quickly stalked off.

‘Huh, what was happening?’ Thor asked as he watched Tony walk away with a puzzled expression.

‘I told you, too much peeing when you drink beer.’ Loki replied smoothly and stepped a little bit away from Thor as to not smell his perfume and feel his body heat anymore.
‘And you clearly had enough to drink as well.’ Loki then said. ‘We are going to call Heimdall now.’

‘Come on, brother. This is my wedding night!’ Thor disagreed.

‘Yes. And as fun as that was.’ Loki spoke these words very slowly, ‘all good things must come to an end. We go.’

‘One last dance.’

‘Gods, you’re such a pain.’

‘One.’

‘Yes. Whatever. Go. I will leave you here if you don’t come afterwards.’

But the God of Thunder wrapped his hand around Loki’s and before he could pull away he found himself dragged unto the dance floor.
The jazz band was playing soft, slow tunes now, trying to slowly bring the party to an end. Some people were still dancing, moving slowly while sipping on their drinks, laying in each others arms or stealing kisses. The lampions and candles were almost burned down, only the stars were shining ever so bright over their heads.

Thor was wrapping one arm around Loki’s waist and took his hand with the other and started to sway.

‘You can’t be serious.’ Loki said, staring at him in disbelief.

‘You’ve got to loosen up, brother. I still want my wedding dance.’

‘Not with me!’

‘Why not? You can dance.’

‘Yes. But I don’t want to dance. Not with you.’

‘You haven’t even tried it.’

‘Some things in life you do not have to experience, believe me. That’s one of them.’

‘Speak for yourself.’

‘I do. So let me go. People are staring.’

‘Oh yes, I forgot how important you find people’s opinions.’ Thor teased him and kept on moving to the music and moving Loki with him, looking over Loki’s head.

‘I won’t say it again, Thor.’ Loki warned.

Now Thor’s eyes met his. ‘Why do you say so much anyways? We both know if you truly wanted this to stop, you would just work your magic. I can’t keep you from disappearing. I never could.’

And to make a point, Thor used his hand on Loki’s back and pressed him against his upper body and they kept slowly turning around themselves. Loki guessed he did this to tease him and provoke him to indeed use his magic.
But Loki didn’t. He also didn’t talk anymore or tried to wriggle free. He stayed, body unnaturally tense.
Loki wasn’t sure why he stayed. Maybe to make a point in regard to Thor’s last comment.
Then the band finished the song and announced the next one.

‘Heimdall.’ Loki said, loud.

‘Loki!’ Thor warned, looking down at him.

‘You had said one dance. I’m leaving now.’

‘Not here!’

‘HEIMDALL.’

Thor released Loki immediately and threw his hands up. ‘Ok, fine. Fine. We go. Just… not in plain sight like this! Come on.’ Thor quickly said, gesturing to some trees in the distance.

Loki followed the slightly swaying Thor, being terribly aware of two big dark eyes by the toilets, watching them walking off together and therefore made damn sure there was a lot of space between him and his brother.

As they finally made it to the trees, Thor held on to one of them for stability as he roared: ‘HEIMDALL, GET US HOME!’
And just a second later, the sky above them turned dark and cloudy.
Of course, Loki could call Heimdall as often as he wanted and maybe he was heard at some point, if he was lucky. Thor on the other hand just had to call one time and got an immediate response. That bastard.

A bright whirling light crashed down on them and pulled them up, away from Midgard and its unfortunate occurrences. Back to the world they actually belonged to.

 

--------------

 

Loki had always hated Heimdall for knowing everything all the time. A guy who was all knowing was no good for the God of Jokes and Lies and was partly the reason Loki’s plans had often not worked out in the past.

But in this particular situation he found, for the first time, he was actually thankful for not having to explain anything when they stumbled through the portal and Loki’s eyes met Heimdalls. The keeper of the Bifröst just looked knowingly at the two of them and nodded. ‘Welcome home, princes of Asgard.’

Loki waved him away, but Thor spread his arms and shouted in delight: ‘Heimdall!’ before suddenly turning ashen white and bending over.
The God of Thunder emptied his stomach right in the middle of the portal room.

Using the Bifröst completely drunk probably hadn’t been such a good idea. Loki felt a bit uneasy in the stomach himself.
When Thor was done, Loki quickly lifted him up, put an arm around his shoulders and carried him away. ‘Come on, mighty Thor. We get you to bed.’ he said as he snapped with his fingers and Thor’s spillings were gone.

‘What, why?’ Thor asked, offended. ‘A god can drink and be merry as much as he likes!’

‘Well, a god just vomited all over Heimdalls holy quarters.’

‘That can’t be! A god doesn’t vomit because of some pathetic midgardian alcohol.’

‘Well, a god just did, so let’s just call it a night for now and see how merry you will be in the morning.’ Loki replied annoyed, dragging Thor along.

‘No word about this to anyone.’ Loki then added over his shoulder to Heimdall, who nodded. Loki thought he saw a little smile.

 

-------

 

With exhausted panting, Loki tossed Thor in his bed and wiped away some strands of hair that had fallen into his face.
By the gods, that bastard was heavy.

His brother nestled himself underneath the blankets, mumbling something incomprehensible. He still looked a bit too pale. Loki needed to remember that when he needed a prank for his brother. Using the Bifröst drunk really seemed to have done it for him.
He wanted to walk away, but Thor’s hand had gotten hold of Loki’s arm and held him back. ‘Loki…’ he mumbled into his blanket.

‘Sleep.’ Loki answered.

‘Where.. are y-you…’

‘I’m going to bed too.’

‘…stay…’ Loki thought he heard him say.

Yeah. Because that had not already gotten him into enough trouble with the deer eyed narcissist.
‘I will be there in the morning.’ Loki then said. Thor still held on.
Loki rolled his eyes. ‘I promise.’ Thor’s hand slipped off Loki’s arm and fell unto the pillow.

Really, that did it? Loki’s promise, of all things? He shook his head. How his brother could still buy into any ‘promises’ his deceitful brother made was beyond him. He could be such a naïve imbecile at times, it was astounding.

At first Loki went for the door, but stopped when he heard a suspicious retching behind him.
In an instant Loki had let appear a bucket next to Thor’s bed and placed it there just in time before Thor leaned over and turned his stomach inside out once more.

He couldn’t be serious.

‘Fine.’ Loki sighed unnerved as he let himself fall on a nearby sofa.
‘Whenever you have to vomit, do it in that bucket. I won’t clean any mess you do on the bed, I’m not your wetnurse. Understand?’ he said sharply when Thor collapsed back onto the bed und mumbled his agreement (or at least so Loki thought.)

 

--------------

 

The night had been short and full of not very enjoyable noises coming from Thor’s bed. No wonder that Loki slept in when things finally calmed down and woke up way too late the next day.

As he blinked slowly he was staring at a sun flodded ceiling. Confused he lifted his head and found himself still on the sofa he must have fallen asleep on eventually in the night.

Thor was gone. The bed looked messy with blankets and pillows laying all over, but, as far as Loki could see, Thor stuck to the rule and kept his insides to the bucket.

Loki heaved himself out of the sofa, feeling a bit wrecked and hungover. Rubbing his face with his hands, he walked over to the bed and let himself fall right on it. Aaaaah, that was much better. That drunken idiot better thanked him later for spending this night on a bloody uncomfortable sofa just to make sure Thor was ok.

He wondered where his brother was off to already, but he had a pretty good guess. Probably off to Midgard again, trying to sort things out with the Jane woman. A wide grin appeared on his face as he remembered the last night. It had been quite the rollercoaster and very enjoyable for the most part. He sure wouldn’t forget to mention this screwed up wedding every now and then to make his dear brother and future wife as uncomfortable as possible. Because for sure Thor would be the hero in shining armor now going off to win his girl back. And obviously he would succeed. Because Thor always did. So predictable and boring. Ugh.
Loki already made himself swear not to agree to attend any other wedding those two would ever plan again in the future.

There was a loud knock on the door. Loki said up straight faster than lightning.
‘Prince Thor?’ someone said and the doors were opened.

Loki’s mind was racing. What should he do? He already had gotten one annoying reaction by sharing the bedroom with his brother. This was not Midgard, but people still were curious and gossipy and very very wonderous about the heir to the throne having that trickster next to him again. He just shouldn’t be seen in here.

So Loki did the only thing that came to his mind and was the least suspicious.
The guards were entering the bed chambers and their eyes fell on the person sitting in the middle of Thor’s wide bed.

‘Oh, forgive us.’ One guard then said, kneeling down together with the other and bowing their heads.
‘We didn’t know you were here, my lady Jane. Welcome back to Asgard!’

Chapter Text

‘Where is she?’

‘On the roof. They are about to board a helicopter home.’

‘I need to talk to her.’

‘Thor…’

‘It is important. Please, Pepper.’

Pepper Potts looked at the god of Thunder with sad pitiful eyes and nodded. ‘Let me see what I can do.’ She pressed a button on her earpiece and checked with the pilot, then nodded towards Thor again. ‘You can go up, but be quick.’

Thor passed her and took several steps at the same time while holding his stomach.
He felt like shit. Never would he be drinking too much of this midgardian poison again they called alcohol and then travel with the Bifröst. That being said, he would have to do it one more time to get back to Asgard. His stomach clenched just on the thought of it.

He reached the top, pressed a switch and the sliding doors opened up towards the huge flat roof of the Stark tower. Indeed, there stood a helicopter with open doors, several people just about to climb the few steps to get in.
Thor immediately recognized Jane, Selvig and Darcy.

‘Jane!’ he called out and she turned around. Her brown hair was flowing in the wind and even though her eyes looked puffy and swollen, she was as beautiful as ever. She seemed indecisive what to do as she saw Thor, but Darcy seemed to say some words of encouragement and pushed her gently towards her fiancé.

Jane put her hair behind her ears as she walked slowly towards him, looking at the ground.
‘What are you doing here?’ she asked as she reached him, finally looking up. ‘You look rough.’ she added.

‘Not as rough as you.’ Thor replied with a weak smile. Jane smiled back.

‘Jane.’ Thor began, reaching out to hold her hands. ‘Please, you need to give me the chance to apologize to you. I am so so sorry about what happened.’

‘I know you are.’ Jane said.

‘I didn’t want to make you upset or disappoint you. I just… I don’t know what happened. I wasn’t thinking I guess-‘ Thor went on, holding her hands very tight in his.

‘Loki was on your mind.’ she said.

‘I-.. well I mean, probably somehow. He is a lot on my mind, mostly not in a good way-‘

‘I guess that doesn’t matter. He occupies so much of you. There just is no space for me.’ She cut him off, looking at him with the deepest disappointment.

‘Jane. No. That is not true. It’s just, with all the things happening in the last years…’

‘… there was just no time for me. And as I realized now, there never will be.’ Jane finished his sentence.

‘What are you saying?’

‘I’m saying that Loki has always and will always find a way to be the no. 1 in your life. In a good or a bad way, he doesn’t care. As long as you give him your fullest attention.’

‘You are talking nonsense, Loki just had been on a very destructive path. But he got better and he will continue to get better, you’ll see.’ Thor said, now pleading.

But Jane shook her head, smiling and looking at Thor is disbelief.
‘You don’t even know, do you?’

‘Know what?’

Jane released one of her hands and put it gently on Thor’s cheek. ‘Go home, Thor. Be with your people. Be with your brother.’

‘I cannot just abandon you like this Jane-‘

‘No, I will abandon you, Thor. Because I know you are way too noble to do what must be done.’

‘But, Jane-‘

‘Why did you come, Thor? Did you really come to get us back together? Do you really – truly - think that this was ever going to work out?’

Thor looked at Jane’s strained face. Her eyes were red, but they now looked at him with a warm forgiveness now.
He put his hand on Jane’s which still rested on his cheek and closed his eyes in defeat.

‘…no.’

Then he shifted her hand towards his lips and kissed her fingers.
Jane now smiled at him almost proudly.

‘Thank you for this amazing time we had together. Take care of yourself, Thor.’ she whispered, pulled her hands away, leaned upwards and kissed him briefly before turning around and walking towards the helicopter.

Thor wanted to reach out to her again, to stop her, to turn this around. But he found that he couldn’t. Something in him stopped him. Something she had said.

And so he just stood there like a helpless idiot, watching the helicopter take off into the sky. As it turned and started to fly away, Thor saw something tiny and shiny fall down. Without even thinking, he sprinted forward to catch it.

It was the Wedding ring he had put on Jane’s finger before saying Loki’s name.
‘Goodbye, Jane Foster.’ he whispered, feeling weirdly at peace.

 

------

 

As Thor stumbled through the portal again, Heimdall greeted him by touching his shoulder softly as a comforting gesture. ‘I’m sorry, my prince.’

‘It probably is for the better.’ Thor replied weakly, trying a weak smile. ‘I’m ready to sleep off this annoying hangover now.’

As he continued walking, Heimdall cleared his throat. ‘Um… you should maybe first check for the royal tailor before you go to bed again.’

Thor turned around, frowning. ‘What? Why?’

‘I… um… just… do it.’ Heimdall only replied and turned around again to gaze into the endless.

For a guy who knew everything, Heimdall had the annoying habit of always keeping things very vague.
With shrugging shoulders, Thor continued on towards Asgard.

As he entered the castle and indeed headed towards the tailor’s quarters, he seemed to notice people looking at him a bit too long than was normal, or bowing their heads a bit too low. Weird. Maybe because he looked like he had just been run over by Hela all over again.

As he passed another corner, the Warriors Three came towards him and as they recognized the God of Thunder, they pointed into the direction they had just been coming from. ‘Heya, Thor! We got her straight to Hekka, so she can get her measurements.’ said Fandral, winking knowingly at Thor. ‘I’m glad you decided for this after all.’

‘Yeah, we support your decision, buddy.’ Volstagg added, clapping Thor a bit too forceful on the bag.

Thor looked from one to the other in utter confusion. ‘…. Huh?’ was all he managed to say. ‘I’m not following. What are you talking about, my friends?’

‘Yeah, we thought you might have wanted to keep it maybe a secret a little longer, but it’s fine, really. Just go to Hekka.’ Hogun said, nodding encouragement and pushed him gently forward.

What in Odin’s name was going on? Did he forget some important appointment? Did they host a secret royal visitor from one of the other worlds? But why would anyone be with Hekka, the Tailor?
Frowning deeper with every step he took, Thor now sped up his walk until he finally arrived in front of Hekka’s quarters, knocked and entered.

 

What he saw made him for a moment believe he had gone insane.
The tall graceful Hekka with her long grey hair was bustling around a woman in front of a giant mirror, apparently measuring with a laser device different body parts of her. It was the woman he had just said goodbye to, the woman who had dropped him her wedding ring out of a flying helicopter.

Jane Foster was standing there, tiny and beautiful with outstretched hands, letting Hekka take her measurements and at the same time admiring herself in the mirror in the dark green dress she was wearing. Her eyes weren’t puffy and red anymore, if anything she looked utterly pleased with herself.

It only took one look as Jane recognized Thor in the mirror and their eyes locked that made Thor realize what was going on and his gaze darkened. Without hesitation, he picked up a pincushion and threw it full force across the room to hit Jane right at the back of her head.

‘Ouch! Hey, what are you doing?’ Jane cried out and turned around, furiously trying to smoothen her hair again. If Thor had doubts before, now he knew for a fact who this was.

Hekka looked completely irritated from one to the other: ‘Your majesty, is- is something wrong?’ she asked cautiously towards Thor. But Thor just stalked towards the fake Jane, grabbed her by her tiny wrist and pulled her along behind him. ‘Please excuse us for a minute.’ he said over his shoulder as he dragged Jane out of the room and along the corridor towards his chambers.

While Jane gave nervous smiles to passing people, Thor ignored them completely and focused his entire will not to beat this Troy horse up here and now in front of everyone.

When they finally arrived in Thor’s chambers, he pushed Jane in forcefully and banged the door shut behind them.
‘What the hell do you think you are doing?’ he immediately started towards a now grinning Jane.

‘Now now, would you calm down?’ she said, a smug tone in her voice that was not hers.

‘I give you exactly one minute before I start to beat the living daylights out of you.’ Thor went on.

‘Is this the proper way to treat your soon-to-be-wife?’ Jane said mockingly.

‘Transform back.’

‘I must say, I rather enjoy this form-‘

‘TRANSFORM BACK.’ Thor roared, grabbing her roughly by the neck.

She coughed and wriggled free, then stepped quickly back, her hands in front of her. ‘By all the gods, someone’s gotten up with the wrong foot. Calm down, brother.’ And with a snap of her fingers, Jane fell off like ash and instead Thor saw Loki standing in front of him, still wearing the green dress.

Thor’s eyebrows climbed high in a skeptical gaze.
Loki rolled his eyes and with a ‘so conservative’ sigh, he made a hand turn and the dress was gone too, replaced by his usual gown.

‘I must say, I’m impressed with you, brother. Finally you catch on to my illusions. Well, it took you only some, what? Thousand years?’ he said, looking unbelievably self-satisfied.

But Thor didn’t pay any attention to Loki’s mockery. ‘What is going on here? Do you think this is funny?’

‘I do, actually.’ Loki responded smoothly. ‘But that is not why I impersonated your mortal woman. It came to pass out of necessity so to speak. But don’t worry, I behaved myself just splendidly in front of everyone and warmed up the spot she can now happily fill in next to you.’

‘What spot? What are you talking about?’ Thor asked frowning.

Loki looked at his brother over the edge of his straight nose, his eyes impatient, as if Thor wasn’t getting an obvious hint. ‘Well, you have been to Midgard this morning, have you not?’

‘Yes.’

‘So, I take it the wedding is back on. And to, you know, make it up to the Midgardian woman that you are such a dull piece of wood, I thought what better way to do that then to upgrade this wedding business from a boring Midgardian affair to an exciting Asgardian celebration. Well, exciting for her anyways I imagine. So I started to play the right chords in the castle, preparations have already started. I’m happily stepping back for the Jane woman to take her actual spot now. You’re welcome. And oh, just one condition.’ Loki added. ‘I won’t be attending this one again. There really just is so much even I can take.’ he said, looking at Thor expectantly, apparently waiting for some sort of praise or applause.

None of those came. Instead Thor looked at his brother with now hanging shoulders and a dead stare.
Loki caught the weird vibe coming from Thor and finally started to look doubtful. ‘What?’ he asked.

‘I broke up with Jane.’ Thor said in a voice that didn’t sound like himself.

Now Loki looked completely dumbfounded. Thor enjoyed this look, it happened too rarely that his brother wasn’t on top of things. Like now.
‘You what?’ he finally asked.

‘I- I mean- we. We broke up with each other.’ Thor repeated.

It seemed like his brother was actually at a loss for words. Only for a moment of course.
‘Well, what are you waiting for? Go fix it! I didn’t put on this act for nothing! And no one ever would agree to marry you ever again anyways, so she is the best shot you got. Go fix it!’ he repeated deliberately.

But Thor shook his head slowly. ‘This is it. We- we should have done this a long time ago. There is no turning back.’ And he threw Jane’s ring towards his brother, who caught it lightly and looked at it, turning it between his slender fingers.
‘…huh.’ Loki then only said, sitting down on Thor’s bed as the truth finally sank in. ‘Well I hate to say it, but I didn’t see that coming. This might be the first time you outsmarted me, brother.’

‘I could have done without that to be honest.’ Thor replied, smiling weakly at Loki as he sat down next to him on the bed.
‘So uh…. how do we proceed now?’ Thor asked after a few moments of silence as a loud knock could be heard and the doors were pushed open.

Thor saw a weak silver glint in the corner of his eyes and as he turned his head, Jane was sitting next to him again.

Oh, great.

Volstagg came in, his hands spread wide and announcing proudly: ‘Thor, my lady Jane! The feast on behalf of your wedding is about to start. I hunted down one of the biggest Bilgesnipes you have ever seen for it. It will be delicious! Come and see!’

Thor swallowed loudly, thinking panic-stricken how to best solve this situation. Then he saw Loki-Jane standing up determinedly, reaching out a delicate hand towards Thor and asking calmly: ‘Shall we?’

As Thor looked at his brother like he had lost his mind, Loki winked at him and whispered: ‘Let’s have some fun.’

Chapter Text

‘Let’s have some fun? Really?’ Thor whispered so only Loki could hear him.

‘I’m having a marvelous time.’ Loki replied smiling widely, drinking and clapping along the music that had started to play.

‘I know YOU have. This whole thing is right down your alley. But it is madness!’ Thor went on, looking around nervously.

They had feasted together with the entire Asgardian court as it seemed, the dinner had been long and rich with food and wine and indeed the biggest Bilgesnipe Thor had ever seen. Volstagg was still telling everyone who wanted to hear it the story of how he hunted it down.
People were in a splendid mood, drinking, dancing and telling stories to one another. Loki especially was having the best time of his life as it seemed.
Thor was actually wondering if people wouldn’t find it suspicious that mortal ‘Jane’ would feel comfortable so quickly amongst a bunch of higher beings and gods and talk and laugh with them like she had never done anything else. But no one seemed to mind. On the contrary, they evidently enjoyed her a lot.

Thor even had to grab his brother at some point and drag him away from the crowd so he could finally have a word with him.
And so now they were standing there, in the middle of merry celebrations, and Thor felt his anger rise again upon Loki’s complete ignorance of the seriousness of the situation.

‘Madness is my middle name, as you well know, brother.’ Loki whispered back while nodding towards someone passing.
Jane’s eyes flew up to look at him with a mischievous grin. Thor frowned in confusion, before quickly shaking it off again. It was quite unsettling seeing Jane in front of him and then again not recognizing her at the same time. Loki might fool everyone else, but it was easy for Thor to see that Jane moved like Loki, had the same facial expressions, the same glinting in her eyes. None of this belonged to Jane. And now standing so close next to him he realized ‘Jane’ even smelled like his brother. This gave him an inexplicable pull in his chest, like he had just missed a step going down stairs.

‘Listen.’ Thor went on, ‘this might be fun and games for you, but it is quite the opposite for me. Everyone thinks I brought a mortal to Asgard! To marry her! Do you have any idea how that looks?’

‘Oh I’m sure father just turned in his grave.’ Loki replied and Jane’s white teeth shone as Loki couldn’t withhold the widest grin. He loved the idea.

‘Would you be serious for once?’ Thor said now sharply and wanted to grab Jane’s arm harder, but another arm was suddenly grabbing his own instead and he turned around.

The Lady Sif was standing in front of him, her dark sharp eyes drilling through him in silent accusation.
‘Thor, can I talk to you for a moment?’ she asked and smiled weakly at Jane, who smiled back (it was more a malicious grin), nodded and took off.
Damn you, Loki. I’ll get you later.

When she was out of reach, Sif looked intensely at Thor. ‘What do you think you are doing? I thought you settled for marrying her on Midgard?’

‘I know.’ Thor only said.

‘And I know Asgard needs a new King now and of course it is high time for you to marry and give the people some stability again after all what has happened, but… with a mortal? In Asgard? People won’t accept this! They will never accept an unworthy earthling as their Queen! Of course no one will tell you this as you are the Allfather’s son, so I have to be the one to spill the beans. Please, Thor! Think!’

‘Oh no, she found you first!’ Hogun said as the Warrior’s three reached them.
‘We tried to persuade her not to come at you on the celebration but wait at least until tomorrow, but oh well… you know Sif.’ Fandral added, clapping Sif on the back.

‘I have no idea how all of you can see this so lightly. This is serious.’ the she-warrior responded, looking at their friends reproachfully.

‘Oh come on, it’s not that bad. She will die soon anyways and Thor can just take a new wife, Asgardian then, and all is fine.’ Volstagg said, waving a hand.

‘Thank you for your considerate empathetic comment, Volstagg.’ Thor remarked.

‘See how comfortable she feels here, Sif? She totally clicks with this place! It will all be fine, people love her already.’ Fandral said calmly, pointing at Jane who just seemed to have made a joke and the group of people she was standing with all bursted out in laughter.
But Sif just snorted in disapproval, turned around and left the group standing.

‘Ah, don’t take it too hard my friend.’ Fandral the Dashing sighed, putting his arm around Thor’s shoulders. ‘She just still has a hard time coming to terms with her feelings for you. She’ll get there.’

‘Hey, where is actually Loki?’ Hogun suddenly asked.

‘Yes, where is your trickster brother? Didn’t he go to Midgard with you?’ Fandral agreed and looked around if he could spot him in the crowd.

‘Uh… yes. Well he… he went off on his own again. I expect he will be back soon.’ Thor stuttered, cursing his brother for the millionth time this evening for forcing him to lie to everyone. ‘You know Loki, he is always up and about.’ he added with a fake laugh, trying to make himself seem more believable.

‘He sure is. You know, I never thought I’d say this, but he should come back to Asgard for good.’ Fandral said, musing.

‘He is probably scared of everyone wanting to behead him after impersonating the Allfather for so long and fooling the entire Kingdom.’ Volstagg asked to consider.

‘Oh come on, this is exactly the thing that gets him off! If anything, he would want to bath in it.’ Hogun said with a skeptical look.

Thor had already publicly apologized to Asgard for Loki’s behavior a while ago, but of course this could not mend the broken trust a lot of people had towards him. And who could blame them, really? After all Loki had pulled on them.

‘You know Thor, Loki might be a trickster and a weasel, but he was actually not so bad at ruling.’ Fandral went on.

Thor had to check if he heard that right. ‘He... he wasn’t?’

‘No. He did well. I mean, obviously everyone was wondering about Odin’s sudden urge to put Loki’s picture on every bloody wall of the castle and let’s not even talk about the play’s, the parade’s in his name and this hideous statue. But those self-aggrandizement tendencies aside, he was a good king.’ Thor’s friend explained and to Thor’s amazement, the other’s nodded slowly.

‘Yes, I even heard some people say that they are so pleased to see Odin’s ruling finally turned more considerate and thoughtful with his age.’ Hogun added.

‘And more eccentric as well. But not necessarily in a bad way.’ Volstagg concluded.

‘Is that so. Well. That is... that is good to know. Helps my bad conscience.’ Thor said frowning, still not sure about what he had just heard.
When he had found out what Loki had done, he had expected Asgard to be in utter chaos and remembered being surprised that it actually was not. Most things had been shockingly in order. So this coincided now with what his friends told him. Interesting.

‘You really don’t have to have a bad conscience. He did well. And he helped saving Asgard of Hela after all too. Of course we still don’t trust this piece of deceit. But… maybe we did him wrong in the past. A bit.’ Fandral notched Thor in the chest and released him of his arm again.
‘But by all the gods, don’t ever tell him we said that!’ he then added laughingly. ‘This might just burst his way too big ego into complete megalomania.’

The God of Thunder eyed Loki again across the room, tilting his head slightly as he watched his brother thoughtfully. ‘Not sure how big his ego actually is.’ he muttered, but no one could hear him over the chattering and laughing.

The Warrior’s Three went on to more merry topics, got themselves and Thor big drinks and after a few of those Fandral insisted on joining the musicians with his fiddle.

As everyone was clapping and cheering for the Dashing Fandral (especially the ladies), Thor felt someone brushing his arm and he found ‘Jane’ standing next to him again, nibbling on a drink and looking up at him with sparkling eyes.
‘Finally you enjoy yourself.’ Loki said.

‘Not enough to forget that we still have things to sort out.’ Thor replied.

‘Heya, Jane! Are you ready for your Woo Dance?’ Fandral called loudly over his playing.
‘The Woo Dance!’ Volstagg agreed roaring and repeated it to the people who delightfully stepped out of the way and created a dance space in the middle of the room.

Oh no. Thor had forgotten about this annoying tradition. It was customary for an about to be married couple to do the woo dance. A mixture of sensual and silly dancing in which both parties played to pursue one another, like a courtship dance.
Of course Loki knew this dance. He knew every dance. Thor looked down to him and saw the excitement in his eyes. Whether that was because he got to dance or he got to embarrass Thor, he was not sure.

‘Heyaaaa, let's go folks! Hey hey hey hey hey hey!’ Fandral then started to sing and play and the others joined with rhythmic clapping and shouting.

With a deep sigh, Thor took Loki by the waist and hand and started to dance with him around themselves in a quick and rhythmic way.
‘Isn’t it funny how yesterday you were begging me to dance and today you seem anything but eager?’ Loki chuckled under his breath. ‘How the tables can turn, brother.’
Before Thor could respond, he let go of Thor to did a solo dance around the God of Thunder, earning himself loud cheers of the audience. That bastard. He really was milking it.
Thor followed Loki’s movements, clapping along and doing his part of the dance when it was his turn. He found he was actually enjoying this silly dance.

As he had Loki back in his arms, whirled him as Jane around and caught him again, he found Jane’s eyes not leaving his own anymore. Her eyes stayed locked with his, seemed at times to sink right into him.
And there was more. Loki moved Jane’s body a touch too tempting, made body contact with Thor a bit too much. First Thor had thought it was Loki’s attempt to appear female. But after a while it became clear that that wasn’t it.
Was Loki flirting with him? And, even more so, was Thor reacting to it? He found his arms reaching around Jane’s body, eagerly answering the body contact whenever possible. Catching Jane’s eyes whenever possible. Smelling her whenever possible. Her? Him. It was still Loki’s smell.
And Thor was longing for it.
What the actual hell was happening here?

He was trying to look for clues that Loki was doing magic on him, but couldn’t find any. Instead he kept getting lost in the dance which grew wilder and faster with every music beat. Then, after Thor felt like there was only Loki, himself and the music in this world, the rhythm changed and became slower and more relaxed again.
The dance came slowly to an end.

Thor caught Loki back in his muscular arms and felt Loki pull him even closer.
Their foreheads rested on one another as they were breathing heavily from dancing and Thor got lost in hazel eyes that looked back in heated frenzy. As they did their last turn and the music played their last tunes, Thor felt slender hands go softly through his short hair and he closed his eyes, Loki’s smell still in his nose.
It felt like the most natural thing to feel Jane’s lips on his own now and he leaned readily forward into it. He knew those lips, how they felt. However he didn’t know their movements, their behaviour was new and oh, so appealing.

The kiss held for a moment of people applauding and congratulating the couple loudly, before Thor opened his eyes wide and released Loki’s lips again.
Without looking at Thor, Loki turned his back on him and towards the crowd, and bowed deeply to their cheers.

 

---

 

As the rest of the evening went by, Thor constantly tried to spot Loki in the crowd, trying catch his gaze. But Loki, consciously or not, never looked in his direction. Even seemed to avoid coming near him.

But Thor always kept his brother in his field of view from afar and therefore noticed as ‘Jane’ seemed to say goodnight to the people around her and headed quickly for the door.
Thor clapped his friends on the back and headed after Loki.

He deliberately tried to ignore the telling looks and claps on the shoulder he received on the way out.
‘Have fun!’ Fandral sang after him and Thor had to force himself to keep walking and not land his fist in his friend’s face.

Thor had to hurry to keep up with his brother.
‘Loki! Loki!’ he whispered loudly several times, but Loki chose to ignore him.
That was it. Thor sped up, took Loki by the hand and pulled him out unto a broad balcony where no one else was.

‘For the sake of Odin, what is it with you today?’ Loki hissed angrily, pulling himself free. ‘I am tired and plan to go to bed now.’

‘You don’t get to play me as you wish. I told you I want to talk to you.’ Thor grumbled, deliberately blocking the way back into the castle.

‘Fine.’ Loki snapped, pulling his garments closer around him, shivering slightly. ‘What is so important?’

‘This is all your fault! This entire mess I’m in! You might hide it behind you just wanting to help me, but I know you brother! You are having the time of your life, just look at you! But it is to my expense, at it always has been. And you don’t care the slightest bit.’ Thor started, much more heated than he thought he was.

Loki crossed his arms and looked at Thor unimpressed. ‘Believe it or not, but in actuality I have more useful things to do with my time than posing as the mighty Thor’s pathetic mortal girlfriend. If anything, I do you a favour for keeping this up. But you are right. I didn’t start this out of the depths of my nonexistent selfless heart. ‘

‘Of course you didn’t. Then what is the actual reason, brother?’ Thor asked, spitting the last word in disgust.

‘As I had already told you before, I didn’t want to attend this idiotic wedding twice. So I set this up to make you and your stupid girlfriend happy, so that after you two made up, she would see how serious you are about her, that you would marry her here in Asgard after all. Then you two boring on-the-bright-side-of-life-people could have your perfect little celebration here and due to my agreed condition with you, I would be out of it. Finally out of it.’ Loki spat back. Thor had never heard Jane’s voice being so full of venom and hatred. It made the hairs on his neck stand up.

‘How is it so terrible for you to attend my wedding? How is it worth creating this huge farce?’ Thor didn’t understand.
Loki didn’t respond anymore. He just looked at Thor.

And then it hit Thor. Of course. ‘You just cannot see me happy, can you?’ Thor asked slowly. ‘Is that it? You still despise me so much you have to prevent me from being happy.’

‘You wouldn’t have been happy with her.’

‘Oh, wouldn’t I? And how do you know that?’ Thor asked provocatively.

‘Because it would have never worked in the long run. You would never have committed fully to her. A mortal doesn’t fit you. And you know that. Which is why you asked her to marry you. Because you are way too much of a noble predictable idiot than to face the truth and hurt her.’

Thor twitched his eyes on Loki’s last words. It was what Jane had said to him.

Loki tilted his head, perceiving Thor’s faltering.
‘Hit it right on the head, didn’t I? Now you also know why I was so sure that you two breaking up was not an option. But you did. Which is how I know that it was actually Jane who did it. Wasn’t it?’

Thor still kept silent.

‘Ah, another hit. Look at that, I underestimated her. Even she could see it in the end.’ Loki sounded triumphant. ‘Do you mourn it? Her? I don’t think you do. Not really. I think if anything you are even relieved. Which as I imagine makes you feel guilty on top.’

‘There was not only one reason why she ended it.’ Thor cut in, eyeing Loki closely.

‘Oh? Then what else contributed? You loosing your pretty blond hair?’ Loki mocked.

‘You.’ Thor said loudly.

Now it was Loki who haltered. ‘…me?’ he asked, chuckling in disbelief.

‘Yes.’

‘Oh, please.’ Loki chuckled some more, holding his arms in front of his body. Thor didn’t miss any reaction of his brother. Loki’s eyes were travelling around avoiding clear eye contact, and he had made a step back. A snake trying to wiggle free of a grip.
‘I said your name in my vows.’ he continued determined, tightening the grip even more.

‘Yes, I know, I was there, in case you remember.’ Loki said, not grinning anymore now but trying to look clueless.

‘You never asked me about it.’ Thor went on.

‘About what?’

‘About why I said your name. Why not?’

‘Well, is there such a fascinating story behind it?’ Loki asked back.

‘No. At least I didn’t think so at the time. Now I’m wondering what story is hiding right here.’

Thor wasn’t quite sure what he was going for. Why he was cornering his brother. He just knew that Loki did indeed feel cornered. That was curious. And Thor wanted to know why. He had the feeling something was going on behind closed curtains that he had no idea about. Or maybe he had.
‘What was that in there? When we danced?’ he went on, now slowly stepping towards him.

Loki kept stepping back until he hit the stone railing. He held on to it as if for support, still trying to make Jane’s face appear innocent and smug.
‘What, the kiss? Oh, come on, we need to be convincing, don’t we? You don’t want people to say we don’t love each other.’ Loki said. His words were coming out a bit too fast now. He was growing nervous.

Thor’s breathing started to accelerate as he reached him, took Jane’s face between his hands and pulled it towards himself
‘No, I wouldn’t want that.’ he whispered before he kissed him.

He closed his eyes and tried to only feel and not think.
Not think of how fucked up it was that he was kissing his brother who was posing as his ex-girlfriend.

When he touched Jane’s familiar lips, he was tasting Loki. He tasted unfamiliar and new and strangely exciting. Which resulted in Thor kissing him more demandingly, trying to slowly tease Jane's lips to open up to him. He wanted to taste him more. Smell him more. He needed to figure out what this longing in him was that had suddenly arisen, burning now through every vein in his body. He needed to know if it was for Jane or for...

Loki had been leaning back, but hadn’t pushed him off yet. Jane’s lips were cautiously moving with Thor’s demands, but not completely giving in. As he teased Jane’s lips with his tongue, he could feel Loki shudder as her mouth finally obeyed and opened for him.

Thor’s tongue was just about to glide softly into Jane’s mouth to find her tongue as he suddenly felt pushed back forcefully.
The God of Thunder flew backwards and landed hard, a hand closing tightly around his throat which made him struggle for breath.
When he opened his eyes, coughing, Loki was on top of him, looking furious. With a quickly rising and falling chest he held a big sharp knife at Thor’s throat, the tip already uncomfortably pressing deep against his skin.

‘I’m not her.’ Loki hissed venomously. ‘Never do that again or I’ll kill you.’

Thor watched him then jump off almost gracefully with one swift movement, letting the knife disappear and walk away quickly back into the castle without looking back.

Chapter Text

Asgard’s shining glory was diminished by black clouds hanging over the kingdom and rain pouring down on the land all day.

Loki was sitting on top of the market place in a hidden spot in the castle wall on a pillar. One foot was bend in a cross-legged fashion while the other was lazily dangling off the wall. The God of Mischief was watching the doings of the busy market below him, his arms stemmed on his knees and every now and then one of his fingers would twitch and make an unusual movement which was immediately followed by a gasp or swearing from the crowd. Loki grinned. This was fun. He hadn’t done that for a very long time.
Hiding in plain sight and playing pranks on people. There. A farmer pulling a little wagon with eggs. Loki lifted his little finger and the high stack of eggs fell over to the stone floor, broken eggs everywhere. As the farmer turned cursing the gods, another peasant came to help, then slid over some broken eggs and fell down, his face right in another splutter of egg jelly. Loki had to turn his face and giggle in his shoulder to stay silent. Asgardians were so stupid,, he barely had to do a thing.

The rain was getting worse and Loki looked up at the dark grey sky. It wasn’t supposed to rain in Asgard at this time of the year. But it did. Which meant Thor was upset.

The Trickster closed his eyes briefly as he felt the raindrops fall unto his face and tasted them between his lips.
Rain never bothered him. The cold never bothered him. On the contrary, his Jotun blood made sure he felt rather comfortable in it.

As he looked down again, a few wet hair strands fell in his face. People were now seeking shelter from the weather, not a lot of pranking options anymore.
Then Loki heard the familiar clinging of armor and heavy boots that stepped in a united rhythm. He immediately leaned back against the wall and watched cautiously the royal guards pass by below him.

They normally didn’t frequent the markets at this hour. Which meant they were ordered to patrol there, probably looking for him. Or Jane. Or whoever Thor told them to look for.
The god sighed as he leaned his head back against the cold stone wall and watched the guards from the corner of his eyes march along and away.

Loki knew he had to eventually come out from his hiding. But he did not want to. Yet. He still loathed himself too much for what had happened the other night.

As he thought back to it, he could still taste Thor’s lips on his, feel his tongue taking him over, feel his hot breath on his face. Argh. For Hel’s sake.
He shook his head quickly to shake it off.
It was pathetic how weak he had been. What a pushover.

Here he was, spending the majority of his life trying to step out of Thor’s shadow, to not be invisible due to his brother’s height that was all consuming and Thor took one single step towards Loki and he fell apart. Entirely.

When Thor had touched him, all the feelings Loki had worked so tirelessly to bury, surfaced again in this one single moment. It was embarrassing.
He had been so sure he was in control at last. To not be the puppet of his emotions anymore. He even went the distance to make sure Thor would hate him for good. Did everything in his power to make it happen, to drive an abyss between the two of them, which was too wide and deep to ever cross again.

Loki actually had thought he had done well. Until Hela happened and forced them to work together again, to set them off to the Sakaar adventure and eventually saving Asgard. Loki hadn’t realized it at that point, but that apparently had been all that was needed to get them back together.
And the trust Thor seemed to have finally lost in his brother, had been back stronger than ever before. What a disgrace.

Loki knew he had walked into dangerous territory again when Thor had asked him to be his best man at his wedding. And to his own utter disbelief he had agreed. With the plan to disappear again right after that. To vanish once more, do his own thing, turn his back towards his brother and to Asgard.
Thor had known this. Which is why he had come to him one night before the wedding.

Thor knew Loki was about to take off again. And he wanted to prevent him to do so. Not give him the chance. Loki wasn’t really sure why, but his brother had been hovering over him like a wetnurse.
Which also meant that the hatred and hurt he had managed to spark in Thor these last years had also somewhat mended. How was it possible that all his work had been for nothing? That he just did not seem to be able to loosen himself from Thor? How? What else was he supposed to do?

A sales woman was eying a prostitute condescendingly , who was flirting with some men in the corner. One turn of Loki’s left hand and the buttons of the sales woman’s blouse fell off. The falling white cloth revealed two ample breasts which the woman panicky tried to hide as she saw what had happened. Loki pursed his lips and rose his eyebrows as she ran away. Not bad breasts at all. She should rather try prostitution than scold on it, would make her most likely more money than her sales.

Anyways. It had been a mistake to turn into Jane. Loki knew that. It confused the lovesick Thor even more and made him approach Loki which, as it turned out, he could not handle. At all. So this had to stop. Now.

The God of Mischief ran his slender fingers through his black wet hair to get them out of his face as he felt his left wrist tickling. He turned his arm to see a symbol appear on the inside of his wrist, like a tattoo it formed sharp against his skin.

The Master was calling him. Loki had almost forgotten he still had this chip implanted. He pressed the symbol down back in his skin which resulted in a bright white light emitting and a figure appeared apparently out of his arm, standing on his wrist. The Grandmaster looked at Loki with spread arms.

‘There he is, my golden boy! Hey Loki, how are things? Haven’t heard from you in a while. Not missing me at all?’ he winked.

‘I thought you were dead.’ Loki answered.

‘Ooooh. Loki, Loki, Loki.’ the Grandmaster chuckled, as if Loki had just made the funniest joke. ‘I am the Grandmaster. One of the Universe’s oldest and strongest beings. I don’t just die because of this little disruption on Sakaar.’

‘How can I help you?’ Loki asked, distant.

‘Well, you know my friend, I had to behead a lot of people when I got back into power here. All those revolution notions that were sparked in people’s heads, not healthy. For me. So I had to tidy up my staff a bit. And now, what do you know, my new Orgy ship misses quite some… participants if you know what I mean.’ The Grandmaster explained lightly as if they were talking about the weather. ‘So you know, I thought maybe you would like to come back to Sakaar for a while?’ he finished hopefully.

Loki sighed.

‘Well if you insist you can bring Sparkles along, although I must tell you I don’t appreciate taking the attention away from me.’ the Grandmaster continued.

Loki didn’t answer right away.
‘We would need to negotiate new terms.’ he then said.

‘Yes of course, whatever you like, darling.’ the other one ensured.

Again, Loki stayed silent for a few moments.

‘Don’t make me beg you.’ It came playfully from the Grandmaster. ‘Come on Loki, you know you want to. Sakaar is the place for you. It is the place of all broken, lost things that don’t belong anywhere else. Sakaar gives you a place to belong. You liked it here.’

It was true. Sakaar was a crazy, chaotic place. Everyone there came from somewhere else, had a story of hurt, neglect and suffering. Sakaar was him, in a way.
Loki knew what he had to do.

 

---

 

His eye felt heavy as he blinked several times, looking at the ceiling of his bedchamber. He felt an uncomfortable tickling where his left eye had once been.
He turned around and looked out of the window. It was still dark, the day just dawning faintly in the distance. It was still raining. Why was he awake?

A loud ringing noise followed by a weird vibrating sensation gave him the answer. He sat up and looked around. What was that?
Another ringing, another vibration. Thor could locate the source of the disturbance lying on his cupboard. The telecommunication device Stark had given him a long time ago to stay in touch. Thor had never quite figured out how it worked. Not that he ever had put any real effort into it.

Loudly sighing he scrambled out of bed and snatched the phone, looking at the big screen.
Tony Stark was calling. It took him a moment to figure out how to answer the call (he kept tipping on the screen before realizing he had to swipe).
Then he held the device to his ear.

‘Hello?’ he said.

‘Woah what is that? Thor, I don’t want to see your dirty earwax hole.’ he heard Tony’s voice.

‘What?’ Thor asked, confused, looking at the mobile and seeing Tony Stark’s face.

‘Oh, there he is! Good Morning Mighty Thor!’ Tony called out, looking somewhat manic.

‘Do you know what time it is, Stark?’ Thor grumbled, rubbing his face with his other hand.

‘Well I don’t know how this works with all these different worlds, I thought maybe we have different time zones or something.’ Tony said, talking way too fast for Thor’s still sleepy brain.

‘No we don’t.’ Thor mumbled.

‘Well, glad we sorted that out. So tell me heartbreaker, how have you been? I haven’t heard anything from you anymore, Pepper told me the almost Mrs and you broke up and you vanished from earth. Care to tell your friends what is going on?’

‘I’m fine. We are-… just having some difficulties here at the moment.’ Thor said, waking up much quicker now that he remembered the last night.

‘Do you need our help, Mr Thor?’ it suddenly came another voice from the phone and Thor saw a young boys’ face appear next to Tony.

‘Who is that?’ Thor asked.

‘No one.’ Tony answered, pushing the boy away. ‘Kid, what are you doing up? Go back to bed!’

‘You have a son?’ Thor asked, completely confused.

‘No, he is- he’ just- kid! Up to bed with you!’ Tony tried to explain as the boy kept trying to come back into the picture.

‘But I have never seen this Thor god! Hey Mr. Thor, I’m Peter Parker, can you make some thunder?’ it could be heard in the background and Tony was rolling his eyes.
‘Do I have to take away your Spidey suit again?’ he threatened.

‘Ok ok fine. But if you go, you have to promise to take me with you!’

‘Yes yes, sure, whatever.’ Tony waved the boy away and a closing door could be heard, followed by a faint ‘Goodbye Mr Thor!’

‘What is going on, who is that?’ Thor asked confused.

‘Oh just my uhm… apprentice if you will. Avengers offspring training.’ Tony said.

‘I didn’t know we have that.’

‘Well Thor, not all of us are immortal gods, and we’re not getting any younger. Have you seen Bruce lately? Those forehead wrinkles are scary.’

‘Hey!’ came Bruce’s voice from the background.

‘What? Who- Bruce, is that you? Are you having an Avengers party over there?’ Thor asked baffled.

‘No- no. I just provide shelter to the people who came for the afterparty of your wedding that didn’t happen and no one told them, so they are all here now.’

‘Oh.’ Thor said, grimacing. He really had forgotten all about that. Some Avengers were supposed to come and celebrate with him a few days after the actual wedding, to which Jane had forbidden anyone but Tony to appear.
‘Sorry about that. I… forgot.’ he said.

‘Damn sure you did. But hey, tell me now- what is going on? So the wedding is off for good?’ Tony asked.

‘Yes.’ Thor replied.

‘I see. Sorry to hear that. And you are ok?’

He surprisingly was. When it came to the failed wedding anyways. ‘Yes I am.’

‘And this trouble you were talking about, not by any chance having anything to do with that nut job of a brother again?’

‘It… well, kind of. But-‘

‘I knew it!’ Tony said triumphantly. ‘I knew he was trouble again when I saw him at the wedding. Hey, do you want us to come up there and let Hulk out to play with him a little bit?’

‘Uuuh… I really rather… don’t…’ Thor could hear Bruce in the background weakly.

‘No, it would be fun! You know Asgard by now, you could give us a tour!’ Stark said in the direction to wherever Bruce was.

‘Thanks my friends, that is really kind, but I think I… got it under control.’

‘Hey, is that a hickey?’ Tony suddenly said, leaning in so all Thor could see were Starks dark big eyes, looking at him intently.

Thor quickly put his hand on his throat, feeling a little irritation as he did so. Tony had spotted the mark Loki’s knife had left him with.
He knew what a hickey was from Jane.
‘No that’s-‘ Thor began.

‘Bruce, come here, look at that! He says he broke up with Jane, but look what he got!’ Tony waved Bruce over and now the scientist’s head appeared cautiously on the side, following Tony’s pointing finger.

‘Yeah… I… I guess that could be a hickey.’ he said.

‘A hickey Loki-style maybe.’ Thor mumbled bitterly.

‘What – Loki did that? He sucked your neck?’ Tony asked, for some reason delighted, as if he had just been proven right with something.
‘I told you Bruce!’ he muttered towards the scientist.

‘What are you guys on about?’ Thor got more and more confused.

‘Uh… nothing. All fine. So you sure you are alright and don’t need our help?’ Tony quickly said.

‘Yes, really sure. And if I do, I will… uhm… call you.’ Thor ensured.

Tony’s eyebrows rose high as he looked at Thor skeptically. ‘You still don’t know how this phone stuff works, do you?’

‘Well… not quite, but I’ll figure it out!’

‘Ok buddy, as you wish. We are on call for you.’ Tony said, winking. Bruce was waving at Thor before Tony disconnected the call.

Thor threw the phone unto the bed and rubbed his only eye, trying to not touch the still aching spot where his other eye had once been.

Tony in the morning was just too much for him. Especially after the rough night he had. In every corner of the castle he had tried to find his brother, but with no success. Thor wasn’t surprised. If Loki didn’t want to be found, there was no way to find him. He was the master of disguise.

He had had the faint hope Loki would maybe come to him during the night and seek him out, but of course that evidently didn’t happen either.
Maybe it was for the better as Thor had not the faintest idea what exactly to say to him, how to solve… this. Whatever they had last night. Thor was utterly confused about it and unsettled. He needed to talk to someone about this.

There was a knock on the door and Fandral entered, the widest smile on his face and a parchment and quilt in his hand.
‘Rise and shine, good morning! Let’s continue the wedding preparations!’ he sang merrily and Thor wanted to throw pillows at this face.

‘What, you are my wedding planner now?’ Thor asked and Fandral looked at him in shock, as if the mere question was an insult.
‘Well of course! Who else would be better for the job?’ So.’ Fandral didn’t wait for an answer, sat himself on Thor’s bed and started to write on his parchment. ‘As you know, the date of the wedding is very important, to receive all the important blessings of the gods. So obviously I take it it should be a Thursday, right? That is your day, after all. And as it cannot be held in Winter, we have to be quick to still catch a late summer date. What would you say in a week from now?’ Fandral started and Thor’s head immediately started spinning.

‘A week? A single week? Wait, Fandral, I think we need to put a stop to this for now-‘ he started, but Fandral’s eyes were travelling down Thor’s face and fixated his throat. ‘Do you have a love bite?’ he asked, a wide grin on his face.

‘No! Why does everyone keep saying that?’ Thor burst out, hiding the little wound with his hand again, then turned around and started to leave his chambers.

‘Hey, where are you going?’ Fandral called after him.

‘I need some fresh air.’ Thor grumbled before letting the door fall shut behind him. He needed to talk to someone.

 

---

 

‘’It hasn’t rained in Asgard for a long time.’ Heimdall said, his back turned towards Thor.

‘I know.’ Thor replied, looking at the waves crashing against Heimdalls portal room, seemingly driven by the pouring rain that got lost in its dark depths.
The God of Thunder took a few steps closer to the Gatekeeper, away from the gushing sea.

‘You are upset.’ Heimdall concluded.

‘Yes.’

Thor waited for Heimdall to say something. But the tall warrior wouldn’t move nor talk.
Finally Thor had enough. Patience had never been his virtue.
‘Look, Heimdall, I know I shouldn’t be here.’

‘Then why are you?’

‘Because… I need council. And there is no one else who knows.’

‘You know I cannot abuse my knowledge to meddle in other’s affairs. It is not my place.’ Heimdall explained.

Thor nodded impatiently. ‘Yes, yes. I know all that. I don’t want help. I…’ he looked around, helplessly. He had also never been good at this talking thing. Fighting was so much easier. Plain. Simple. Straightforward.
Words were… difficult. Too many options, meanings, variations, interpretations. And when you needed them the most, they wouldn’t come. Like now.

‘I can listen.’ the Gatekeeper then finished what Thor couldn’t say, finally turning around and looking at Thor like a father who was about to listen to the confession of his son of which he already knew.

‘… thank you.’ Thor said, feeling defeated. How did you start to talk to someone who already knew exactly what you were about to talk about?
He was swinging his arms awkwardly. ‘I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m going insane. And that is normally Loki’s job. It’s… argh. It’s so complicated. So as you know, Loki and me had this… disagreement yesterday.’

‘It wasn’t a disagreement.’ Heimdall said.

‘What would you call it then?’ Thor asked, frowning.

‘A revelation. And both of you didn’t take it well.’

‘A revelation? What do you- anyways.’ Thor wanted to get to his point. ‘I cannot find him. And also I don’t even know if I want to find him since I don’t know what to tell him. You know the mess he has put us in.’

‘Yes.’

‘And I don’t want to upset him further since he might do something even more stupid.’ He looked up at Heimdall with pleading eyes. ‘What should I do, Heimdall? We cannot keep up this façade, this wedding needs to be called off! But if we do this and my people will see that Loki has tricked us yet again-‘

‘-they might completely loose the shaky trust in Loki again they started to have after Hela. And they might also not trust you anymore since he tricked you too. Or , even worse, they could suspect you allowed him to do this.’

‘… yes.’ Thor agreed uncomfortably.

‘The other option is marry him.’ Heimdall said.

The Prince snorted amused and looked at Heimdall in disbelief. ‘I really hope you are joking. It is Loki. My brother! And the only thing people would accept less than a mortal on the throne is Loki on the throne! Besides, he would rather cut his own hand off than give it to me for the Handfasting Ceremony. Not an option.’

‘There is a third option.’ the Gatekeeper continued.

‘What?’ Thor asked desperately.

‘Banish Loki.’

‘Banish Loki?’ Thor repeated, not believing his ears.

‘Yes. Reveal him as the deceiver who disguised himself as your to-be-wife to trick you and everyone else and to lie his way up to the throne once more. Shame him publicly for it and cast him out of Asgard once and for all. He will be in exile for the rest of his life and you can take your father’s place with a new Queen of your choosing. The people will trust and applaud you as you unveiled the snake and saved Asgard and at the same time show that no brotherly bond makes you too soft to make Loki suffer his consequences. It will make you appear strong and worthy.’

Silence fell after Heimdall finished as Thor just looked at him frozen, letting the words sink in.
‘You sound like my father.’ he finally said, distance in his voice.

Heimdall nodded. ‘You would have turned to him for council. As he is no longer among us, I try to tell you what he would have told you.’

‘So is this your personal belief as well or are you just trying to represent Odin’s attitude?’ Thor asked, his voice surprisingly aggressive.

The Gatekeeper stepped down the stairs of his portal, his bright yellow eyes shining warmth and understanding as he showed the faintest smile.
‘My personal belief is of no interest. I gave you the three options that I see. I don’t hold one above the other, they are all equal. It is about your decision which road you want to choose.’

‘Heimdall, please.’ Thor said urgently, walking the last distance towards him and grabbing him by the shoulders. ‘I don’t want my father’s advise. We are in the mess we are partially because of him and his decisions. I’m not him. I don’t want to rule like him. Please, Heimdall. I want to hear you.’

Heimdall met Thor’s gaze for a few seconds, his all-knowing eyes looking Thor’s eager face up and down, before sighing and looking to the floor.
‘Loki and you cannot co-exist like this anymore, my prince. You have been dancing around each other, battling for attention, power, acknowledgement and love. If you want truly peace for Asgard, it has to stop. Either by completely uniting or completely separating.’

‘I will not banish him.’ Thor hissed in Heimdalls face.

Heimdall didn’t even blink, he just kept looking at his prince.

‘And I will not marry him!’ Thor said quickly, unintentionally loud.
He let go of Heimdall.

‘I’m sorry I couldn’t give you any better counsel, Thor Odinson.’ the Gatekeeper concluded and with one last look, Thor turned around and left him standing. He needed to find Loki.

 

---

 

He had found him. As he was walking up the stairs to the castle and looked across the farm land, he saw a dark figure standing next to the horse stables. He immediately recognized the slender, tall shape and turned around on the spot to hurry towards the stables.

As he reached Loki, he halted in surprise. Loki looked off. His normally pearl white skin was… uneven. Dark, bluish long lines were pulsing below his skin, making him look like a pulsing blue volcano.

‘You look blue.’ Thor said.

‘And your missing eye is infected.’ Loki answered, pointing towards Thor’s eye patch.

Thor stepped slowly closer, afraid any sudden movement would scare Loki away again. But Loki seemed relaxed. He was leaning on the fence which held Sleipnir in it, once Odin’s eight legged war horse. Sleipnir was grazing happily, not giving the God of Mischief or his brother any mind.
‘You haven’t been here in a long time.‘ Thor then said.

‘I know.’ Loki replied.

‘What is wrong with your skin?’

‘Nothing is wrong with it. Have you forgotten what I am?’

‘No, but… it normally doesn’t show like this.’

‘It sometimes happens… when things go out of balance. It’ll go away again.’ Loki said slowly, apparently not sure how much to say. Thor didn’t push it.

They were standing next to each other like this for a while, watching Sleipnir chew and pawing his many hooves every now and then.

Eventually Thor cleared his throat. ‘Loki. I want to apologize.’

‘Don’t bother.’

‘Yes, I do bother. I’m sorry I crossed the line, I didn’t mean to upset you.’ Thor continued.

‘You didn’t upset me.’ Loki said.

Yeah. Right.

But Thor was determined to clear the air rather than stir it up even more. ‘Ok. Then… whatever went wrong yesterday, I’m sorry. Ok? But we need to talk about how to stop this madness now. It is getting tight. Fandral is hunting me down, trying to pin me on a wedding date.’

‘Don’t worry. I have the solution.’ Loki said with his velvety voice, his gaze still on the horse.

‘You have? What?’ Thor asked, leaning on the fence now too and looking over at his brother. Ever since Loki had mentioned it, his non existent eye was itching now more with every second and pulsing uncomfortably.

‘I will leave today, brother.’ Loki said.

Thor’s blood seemed to leave his face and he grew unsettlingly pale. It was as if what he had been dreading for months now came crashing down on him, hitting him right in the face.
‘You what? Where to?’ he asked after swallowing hard.

‘Does it matter?’ Loki asked.

‘Yes. Yes it does. I want to know where you go this time.’

Loki didn’t respond.

Thor grew annoyed. ‘And will you fake your own death again before you go off? Do I have to do some more pretend-mourning for you? Or will you finally have the decency to stay alive?’

‘Stop it. That doesn’t help.’ Loki responded smoothly.

‘You weren’t even going to say goodbye, were you? If I hadn’t seen you now-‘

‘What difference does saying goodbye make?’ Loki cut him off sharply, finally looking up at him.

‘The difference of having decency or just being a damn coward.’

‘I’m not a coward.’ Loki said.

‘Oh no? After all you put me through the last days? After… yesterday? You would just vanish into thin air again. I should have known. Something doesn’t go your way and Loki just leaves. Always the easy way out for you, isn’t it. While I have to deal with what you leave behind.’

‘Actually, I leave to make it easier for you.’ Loki tried to explain.

‘You are a Prince of Asgard!’

‘Am I? Am I? Right now I am your stupid girlfriend Thor! I’m only here because people don’t know who I am! If they would know-‘ Loki’s voice finally grew angry and he turned his hands into fists.

‘People don’t hate you anymore, Loki! You helped save Asgard! You ruled as Odin, and not too bad from what I hear. If you would only listen to what people actually say now-‘ Thor started, but Loki held up his hand.

‘I saw the way people treated me while I was being your woman, brother. And they had never been as open and friendly to me ever than they have been to a mere mortal. People actually cheered seeing me next to you, approved of us, of me. This was the first time I felt equal to you, the first time there was no pressure on me. And it needed a pathetic mortal shell to experience that! If that doesn’t show you how I don’t belong here then I don’t know what will.’ Loki was yelling the last bits, he had gotten so upset. His skin had turned even more blue and he held on to the fence now, stabilizing himself.

‘Is that why you kept the game going?’ Thor asked. ‘Because people liked you?’

‘Finally no competition, Thor. People could see us next to each other and saw us as an entity rather than competitors for the throne.’ Loki said, breathing in deeply to become calm again.

‘But… you always wanted to be my competitor!’ Thor said, irritated.

‘No, Thor. All I ever wanted was to be your equal. I told you before.’ Loki replied, looking at the ground.

‘But then…’ Thor said, his thoughts racing. ‘Loki, then... stay. We can- we can make this work! How about, we-‘ Thor said hopeful, but stopped talking as he saw the Warrior’s Three walk up to them.

He side eyed Loki. He hadn’t turned into Jane. As it was a plain field, they had spotted him way before anyways, it was pointless to do it now, would even give the entire game away.

When Loki met Thor’s eyes, he thought for a terrible second, Loki might just turn into a bird and fly off. Leave right then and there, abandon Thor once more. But he didn’t. Instead he closed his eyes and seemed to concentrate on something. It only took a few ,moments and Loki’s skin seemed to turn paler again, although it was not back to its ebony white colour yet.

‘Thor! There you are! We were looking for you all over!’ Volstagg roared, and then eyed Loki.
‘Loki! You are back!’ he said, not unfriendly, and bowed his head, as did the other’s.

Loki just rolled his eyes. ‘If you’ll excuse me.’ he said and started to head off.

‘No, wait! We actually need you, you came back just in time!’ Fandral interjected and held Loki by the shoulder. Loki looked like he wanted to burn Fandral’s hand off, and as if Fandral felt that, he let go of Loki immediately again. ‘You are pretty cold.’ he said, rubbing his hand as if he had been stung.

Loki ignored his last remark and asked instead coldly: ‘Why do you need me?’

‘For the Cleansing Ceremony!’ Hogun replied. ‘Fandral told us the wedding will happen within a week as it seems, so we need to be quick.’

The Cleansing Ceremony. What was that again?
He eyed Loki, expecting an equally confused look, but Loki’s entire body just had seemed to tense up, he stood there like a statue, his face telling Thor that he knew exactly what that meant.

‘Thor, are you telling me you don’t know what the Cleansing Ceremony is?’ Fandral chuckled.

‘Of course I know… knew it at some point at least. Do you know how long ago the last big wedding took place in Asgard?’ Thor defended himself, crossing his arms in front of his broad chest.

‘Well, allow me to refresh your memory: Before each wedding, the bride and groom have to undergo a cleansing process in which they strip themselves emotionally and physically from their lives as they knew it and prepare themselves for the next step, which is married life. To do that, you will take a bath in the hot tubs of the castle and all of your close male family members will help you undergo the cleansing process and give you advice for married life in the process.’ Fandral explained patiently.

As these words entered Thor’s mind, he remembered faintly having learned this in his early life education. Oh.
He looked at Loki, his face turned just as into stone as his brother’s.

‘Marriage advice from Loki?’ was the only thing he could bring out and he saw his friends look at each other in amusement.

‘Well, we are not sure how ehm… valuable Loki’s advice will be, but as he is the only living family you have… it’s got to be him.’ Volstagg remarked.

Thor’s palms started to sweat just thinking about this.
From the frying pan into the fire, was all he could think of. Loki would never agree to this, not after what happened. He needed to make time to continue the conversation with Loki first.
‘Let’s set a date for this as we feast tonight my friends.’ Thor tried lightly.

But Fandral shook his head. ‘We already started to prepare the hot tubs. The wedding is in a week and the Cleansing Ceremony needs to be at least six days in advance so the old has time to exit the body after the bath. Therefore it is today. No preparation on your part is needed, come on along.’

Thor looked at Loki, pleading. Loki looked back at him. His expression was unreadable. Again, Thor was convinced that he would just take off, leave Thor in this mess behind to confess to his friends and to Asgard what a fool he had been. And his brother would sit somewhere, disguised as a little kid maybe, giggling his head off about this humiliation he had caused his brother.

But Loki didn’t vanish. He just looked at Thor, as his lips slowly parted and he started to speak: ‘After you, brother.’

Chapter Text

‘Ouch!’ Thor gasped as a sharp sting went through his rips. ‘Loki!’ he hissed, accusingly. ‘What was that for?’

‘A little gesture to show my eternal hate for you.’ Loki answered quietly and rubbed his elbow that had caused Thor’s pain.

‘Well, in that case I would have beheaded you a long long time ago.’ Thor shot back.

They were walking through the massive castle doors that swung open as they approached. The Warrior’s Three in the lead, Loki and Thor behind, trying their best to whisper so that their friends couldn’t hear them.

‘If you hate me so much, why didn’t you just take off as you wanted to?’ Thor asked annoyed.

‘I’m not a coward.’ Loki simply said.

Ah. That had stung then. Thor knew that Loki hated to be called a coward or anything along those lines. It went back all the way to the times their father had laughed at Loki for his magic and let him know that only women used magic and every man who did was a coward and weak.

‘So, what do we do now?’ Thor asked, leaning over to be closer to Loki’s ear as Fandral kept glancing back, apparently wondering what the princes were whispering about all the time.

‘We do the ceremony.’ Loki said. ‘Not really getting out of this one now, thanks to your ever higher climbing idiocy.’

‘How is this my fault? If anything, YOU-‘ Thor started but stopped immediately when Volstagg turned around and asked:
‘So, where is your betrothed, Thor? She needs to undergo the ritual as well.’

‘Uh… she… actually, she…’ Thor started, but then Loki saved him: ‘I was accompanying her to Midgard this morning, She wanted to get some arrangements done there.’

‘I see. Well, we need to get her today still if the ceremony is to take place in time.’ Volstagg remarked and turned around again as they kept on walking along the long castle corridors.

‘Of course.’ Thor said, eyeing Loki with a dead stare. ‘You know, I keep trying to get us out of this mess while you seem to enjoy digging the hole deeper and deeper.’ he whispered, now elbowing Loki in return angrily.

‘Do that one more time and I stab you.’ Loki threatened back, grimacing in pain, holding his ribs.

‘Maybe this time in the front for a change instead of your usual backstabbing?’

‘I can stab you somewhere completely different if you don’t stop getting on my nerves.‘ Loki hissed heated, about to let a dagger appear in his palm and Thor went into a fight pose, ready to defend himself.
So they stood just like two ten year old boys about to have a fight, when another pair of doors swung open and the Warrior’s Three turned around and gestured to the brothers to enter.

Thor and Loki immediately went back into a neutral standing next to each other pose, cleared their throats and stepped inside.

They had entered the royal bathing chambers. Some older women in long petite dresses and their long hair bound up high on their heads were standing around one of the hot tubs in the back, apparently preparing the water for the ceremony, dropping hot stones in it to get the temperature climbing. As they saw them coming in, they bowed and immediately went to leave the room.

Thor could smell different herbs and perfumes in the air, as the hot water emitted them across the room.
The heat that started to build up made him immediately start sweating.

The atmosphere had changed in a matter of seconds and where he had felt annoyed and amused arguing with Loki like in old times just a minute ago, he now felt extremely uneasy and nervous. He turned to look at the Warrior’s Three, but they had remained at the doors, now bowing to the princes too, retreated and closed the doors behind them.

‘Come.’ Loki said, who started to walk towards the hot bath tub. Thor followed him, swallowing with a dry throat.
He had no idea when he had been here the last time, it must have been decades. As he approached the big basin in the floor, filled right to the top with steaming, glistening water, sweat was already coming down his forehead.

He needed to break this weird atmosphere in this room. ‘So, what do we do now?’ Thor asked, unintentionally speaking very quietly.

‘Undressing would be a good start.’ Loki said with his velvety voice and a smirk, loosening his cloak.
He continued untying his boots and kicking them off before getting rid of his upper garments.
As he then glanced up and saw Thor still hadn’t moved, he looked at him with raised eyebrows. ‘What? Have you become squeamish all of a sudden?’

Thor answered this with an absurd snort before getting to undressing himself. While he did that he made sure his eye wouldn’t wander over to his brother and he always made sure his eye patch was on the side Loki was standing.

It took somehow unbelievably long to get out of all of Thor’s armor, belts and add-ons, so when he finally was stripped of everything, he felt strangely exposed. He quickly dived his bare feet in the hot water, feeling its temperature. A warm, comforting feeling was travelling up his legs and he stepped down the stone steps until the hot water was completely embracing his muscular body. Thor closed his eyes with relish.
The God of Thunder breathed in the now strong smell of herbs and felt himself relaxing instantly. This felt really pleasant.

He heard Loki enter the bath tub too, which made his body immediately tense up a bit again. God, what was wrong with him? Loki was right, he did act squeamish.

Thor opened his eye to find Loki stand right in front of him, reaching out towards his face. ‘W-What are you doing?’ he asked, his voice almost sounding afraid.

Loki halted and looked at Thor impatiently. ‘Will you relax? I’m not going to stab you in here, or whatever it is you are worried about so much. I just want to take your eye patch off. Your infection will get worse if we don’t clean it out.’

Thor’s breath came to a complete halt as Loki’s slender fingers touched Thor’s face, cautiously taking off the patch and looking frowning at where once Thor’s eye had been. ‘It is not so bad.’ he concluded, putting the patch on the stone floor next to the tub.

Thor watched his brother get one of the smaller bathing cloths prepared for them sitting next to the tub and walking slowly through the water towards him again.

When he before had made sure he wouldn’t look at the God of Mischief, his only eye seemed to be now completely fixated on nothing else but him. He hadn’t seen his brother like this in a very long time. He thought he noticed Loki’s body had become more muscular, and while he was still very lean, the petiteness he always held in their younger years had mostly vanished.
He also noticed Loki’s body sweating even more than himself. ‘Are you ok with… the heat?’ he asked with a rough voice.

‘Not my favourite temperatures, but yes.’ Loki responded calmly, wetted the cloth in the water and started to rinse Thor’s wound.
It was a feeling of tickling irritation, but it wasn’t unpleasant and Thor relaxed a little again. His eye was never leaving Loki’s close face, almost drinking him in, waiting for his eyes to meet his. But Loki’s gaze never wavered off the eye that could never see him anymore.

Thor’s heart was beating unnaturally fast. It made him inexplicably uncomfortable how much he enjoyed Loki being so close. Feeling the heat of his body on his own skin. It reminded him of the night they had celebrated, of their dance, of Thor’s urge to kiss him. Or Jane. Just, there was no Jane here right now. It was all Loki. So how was it the feeling was still there?

‘This should do the trick.’ Loki finished, now resting two of his fingers on the wound and Thor felt a weird sensation that calmed the itching completely.

‘Thanks… what's next?’ Thor asked.

‘Now, we start the cleansing process. Let me get the twigs.’ Loki responded and stemmed himself out of the water swiftly. As Thor didn’t expect it, he couldn’t look away fast enough to not get a glance at Loki’s butt. Damn.
‘Twigs?’ he asked in the other direction.

‘Birch twigs.’ Loki said as he entered the water again.

‘What for- Ouch!’ Thor exclaimed, whirling around at Loki as something rough and biting had hit him on the back.
Loki was smirking at him, actual birch twigs in his hand. ‘You are going to hit me with them?’ Thor asked in disbelief.

‘Well, yes. To increase perspiration and to make your body this way emit the toxicities of your old life.’

‘Now I know why you didn’t chicken out of this.’ Thor grumbled. ‘Don’t hit so hard!’ he added.

‘I try not to.’ Loki said, his smirk just getting broader.

He was circling around Thor now, hitting him with the birch twigs more softly now. Thor tried to concentrate on the ceremony, sometimes eying Loki, but his brother really seemed to take it seriously and he heard him mutter a weird sing sang in an ancient tongue while he switched Thor.

The God of Thunder could tell it was working as he started to sweat profusely now and he actually had to close his eyes and concentrate to not get dizzy. He felt the water steaming up around him, listened to Loki’s melodic whispering and his mind went into a weird state of meditation.

He couldn’t have said how long they were doing this. It seemed sudden that Loki’s singing stopped and the birch twigs didn’t touch him anymore. Thor didn’t open his eyes yet, his entire upper body thast was not in the water was covered in sweat, dripping down his muscles and he tried not to let his consciousness drift away.

Water splattering told him Loki was putting the twigs away and a minute later he felt soft wet cloth running along his shoulder, washing the sweat away.
Loki washed his shoulders and his back before continuing with his arms, chest and belly.

He finally opened his eye and watched his brother doing the task. When Loki ran the cloth along his brother’s collarbones, his eyes finally blinked towards Thor’s, locking their gaze. Thor thought for the first milliseconds he could see vulnerability and… was it longing? But then, as his brain comprehended, Loki’s eyes became distant and he turned his attention to the washing again.

‘So how do you know all of this stuff?’ Thor asked.

‘I paid attention when we were taught this.’

‘I paid attention too.’ Thor interjected, but Loki just shot him a doubting glance.

‘My head starts spinning.’ Thor then said, as he started to see grey spots in front of his eye.

‘That is normal.’ Loki said.

‘Do we have to take it so serious with this? I mean, I won’t get married.’ Thor said.

‘Exactly. And this is a sacred ritual for the spiritual comfort of the gods. So I expect they will be rather angry at us for mocking them like this, therefore we should at least honor the ceremony as best as we can.’

Thor rolled his eye. Fine.
‘And, what did Fandral say? You ought to give me marriage advice.’ Thor continued, grinning now as he saw the expected look of disgust on his brother’s face.

‘Indeed.’ he said snorting. ‘And as I know what it is like growing up with you, I can confidently tell you that no advice I give you would change the fact that every bride who will have the misfortune to be with you will not go crazy.’

‘What, why? I’m not so bad.’

‘Sure. Which is why Jane broke up with you.’

‘She broke up because of you.’

‘Are we back at this topic again?’ Loki asked, annoyed.

‘We are at this topic until you are finally ready to address it with me.’

‘There is nothing to address, how often do I have to-‘ Loki started, but Thor suddenly fell out of his motionless standing and grabbed his brother by the wrists.
‘Enough, Loki. Why did you get so upset when I kissed you?’ Thor asked, almost threateningly. He didn’t mean to. He hadn’t meant to scratch the topic at all. But now that it came to it, he was overwhelmed with this urge again to get to the bottom of things. And he never got to the bottom of anything with Loki. It was so frustrating.

‘Because you weren’t able to tell who I was anymore.’ Loki responded, his voice no less hostile.

‘What if I was?’ Thor asked, pulling at Loki’s wrists so Loki was pulled towards him.

His brother leaned back, his face a mixture of fury and disbelief. ‘What are you talking about?’ he asked, the slightest frown of confusion on his face now.

‘If I kissed you now, what would that mean?’ Thor asked.

‘That you completely lost your mind.’ Loki shot back.

But Thor didn’t buy it. There it was again. Shining through his mocking and anger. An expression of doubt and hurt. What was that? What was trying to surface that Loki forced to keep hidden so bad?

Thor had to know. He had already been so close, when he had kissed him being Jane. He had almost had him then, his hand already closing around it, just to loose it right then and there again when Loki had attacked him. This wouldn’t happen now. He would break through to him.

Thor leaned in in an attempt to kiss him, but Loki freed one of his wrists, a dagger appeared in his hand and he held the sharp side ride across Thor’s throat. ‘I told you if you do that ever again I’m going to kill you.’ he said darkly.

Thor felt the sharp blade cut through his skin, but he only smiled. ‘Liar.’ he breathed as he pressed his throat against the blade to lean in again and kissed him.
When Thor’s lips met Loki’s, he felt the blade pierce hard against his skin and for a wild moment he thought Loki had cut his throat. But then the pressure loosened, Loki’s hand was sinking.

Instead, Thor felt in the next moment a sharp pain in his arm. He released Loki’s lips to look at the source of the pain. The dagger was stuck all the way to the hilt in his upper arm now, blood running down his muscles.
He looked at Loki again. Loki’s face didn’t look composed anymore, but wild. His eyes were wide and… scared. As if someone had taken away his protection.

Thor took the hilt and pulled the dagger out, letting it fall careless into the water.
‘And now that you sunk your claws into me, what will you do next to stop me seeing the truth?’ Thor asked, smiling again.

Loki didn’t respond, he just looked at his brother with these wild, big eyes, breathing intensely.
Thor had him. A moment of vulnerability and exposition, that was what he had been waiting for. That was all he needed.

He took Loki’s head gently in his hands and kissed him again. He felt Loki’s accelerated hot breath on his face, felt his thick curls between his fingers.
He kissed his brother. Softly and slowly, trying to tell him this way that he was save. Save with him. Save showing himself to him.
He felt Loki’s arms travelling up his bare chest and pressing against it, trying halfheartedly to push Thor away. But Thor realized Loki wasn’t even using half of his strength. It only held for a few moment before the pushing hands travelled further up until they locked around Thor’s neck and pulled him closer to him.
Loki’s lips responded now, kissing him back and the slow gentle kissing soon turned more demanding and intense.

It was now Loki opening his lips and teasing Thor’s mouth open with his tongue. Thor groaned in pleasure as he felt Loki’s tongue playing with his own.
He tasted spectacular. Thor’s hand found Loki’s back and pressed him against himself, his head spinning as he felt Loki’s naked skin on his own. His heart was beating at the speed of light and was in danger of breaking his ribs any second.
His other hand was loosing itself in Loki’s thick hair as their tongues danced with one another, partially seeming to melt together as one. Their kiss grew more intense with every second and their breathing more irregular.

Thor couldn’t think clearly anymore. He felt completely intoxicated with this new revelation of kissing and wanting his brother. The heat that rushed through every vein of his body also made his loins burn and he felt how he was getting rock hard.

His hands were leaving Loki’s upper body now and discovered first his firm butt before finding Loki’s loins and gently touching his manhood. Thor was loosing his mind as he felt him being just as hard as himself.
Loki gasped in their kiss when Thor touched him.
‘What?’ Thor breathed. ‘Is this not part of the ceremony?’

Loki looked at him, his eyes glinting with mischief. ‘I think at this point the gods will burden us with every existent curse there is.’

‘Well, then we better make it count.’ Thor responded and started kissing Loki’s neck hungrily. His brother bent his head to the side, exposing his long neck even more to Thor and moaning slightly.

Thor couldn’t contain himself. Hearing Loki moan was like a catalyst, it drove him insane. He touched his manhood again and this time started to slowly stroke it up and down, opening his eye to drink in the reaction he was getting from Loki. His mouth was open, his eyes were closed, he was gasping with every movement Thor made on him. His desire growing by the second, Thor’s strokes became faster and more intense and he felt Loki’s body shudder. He wanted to make his brother scream out in pleasure.

But before he could drive him there, he felt Loki’s hand wraps around his own and pull him away from his cock.
Thor looked at his brother in confusion and was met with two twinkling eyes glancing at him sideways.

‘You are… not so bad… for… not having any experience… with the same sex.’ Loki said, slightly out of breath.

Thor’s eyebrow’s rose high and he stopped kissing Loki’s neck. ‘Is that so? And how would you know that?’ he said, mockingly.

But of course Loki was right. And Thor also knew that his brother has never been one to miss an opportunity. With any gender. He was a shapeshifter after all. Thor had sometimes frowned at the… versatile range of things he vanished with from celebrations and feasts.

Loki just looked at him knowingly and smirked.

‘What, you think you can teach me something?’ Thor asked provocatively, stepping back and Loki’s grin reached all the way to his ears.

‘I know for a fact that I can.’ And he approached the other God, placed a hand on his broad chest and pushed him backwards until he hit the bath rim. Then, with surprising strength, he lifted Thor up so that he was sitting on the edge, his calves still in the water, and placed himself between his legs.
Thor swallowed as he saw the look in Loki’s face.

‘What are you doing?’ Thor asked, but Loki didn’t respond. He placed hot kisses on Thor’s stomach, slowly wandering down until he reached the loins.
Thor threw back his head when Loki started to pleasure him with his mouth. His hands automatically searched for Loki’s head and he buried his fingers deep in his long black hair.

What he felt Loki do to him, he had never felt before. His head started spinning and his mouth opened wide as he let out moans of pure passion and need.
‘Gods… Loki… that… wicked tongue… of yours….’ he breathed between moans and he thought he could hear Loki chuckle before taking him completely in his mouth again.

Thor knew he was about to reach his orgasm any second now. He couldn’t hold it, was a complete slave to Loki’s rhythm. His hands were still holding on to Loki’s head, running his fingers through his hair more and more intensely, his head stretched back as far as it was possible as he moaned towards the ceiling in uncontrolled pleasure waves.
‘Loki… Loki... no… Loki… gods… LOKI!” he screamed his brother’s name and it was echoing from the high bathing halls as he came violently into Loki’s mouth.

Thor felt a sucking sensation as Loki swallowed his seed hungrily. He opened his eye to look down on Loki, seeing his entire body was slightly shaking.
Loki let go of his still hard manhood, looking up at Thor with a winning smile. Thor grinned weakly in response, his broad chest heaving.
‘Loki…’ he said, pulling his brother towards him and kissed him eagerly. Loki answered the kiss just as demandingly, but then suddenly stopped and pulled away. Thor could hear it now too. Fast footsteps quickly approaching.

Loki stepped back as the doors flew open and the Warrrior’s Three stood in the bathing chamber, swords out, ready to attack.
‘What’s going on?’ Hogun said sharply.

‘Wha- nothing!’ Thor said.

‘But we heard you scream Loki’s name! We thought he attacked you!’ Volstagg said, looking accusingly at Loki, who was just wiping his mouth, unimpressed.

‘Oh yeah, I did.’ he responded, pointing at Thor’s bleeding arm. ‘I stabbed him.’

And then, when Thor’s friends looked at him in complete bafflement, he added with shrugging shoulders. ‘Sibling quarrel. He was annoying me.’ And with that he heaved himself out of the water and took a big cloth to rub himself dry.

Thor had quickly dived back into the water so the Warrior’s wouldn’t see his still hard cock.
‘Yes… um, he’s right. Just a… little misunderstanding.’ he agreed as he saw his friends looking at Loki in a mixture of suspicion and confusion. Thor had trouble thinking straight, his head was still spinning from the experience.

As Loki now put his clothes on effortlessly, he remarked: ‘The Ceremony is over. He just needs to take the cold bath now to seal is pours.’ Loki pointed at another bath tub which held the cold water.
And with that he started leisurely walking towards the doors. But the Warrior’s Three wouldn’t step aside, looking expectantly at Thor.
When Thor nodded, they made way and let Loki exit.

‘Sorry, my friend.’ Fandral then said. ‘We didn’t want to interrupt the ceremony. We just thought… you know. You never know with Loki.’

‘We… we are going to let you finish the cleansing. Sorry again.’ Hogun added, and they bowed their head and shut the door behind them.

Thor exhaled deeply when he was alone and ran his fingers through his short hair. Gods, what had just happened?

He needed to clear his head. He quickly stepped out of the hot tub and walked over to the cold water. That was exactly what he needed right now. As he dived completely in, he enjoyed the shock it gave him and woke him up immediately. When he ascended again, he rubbed his eye and swam a little bit back and fourth before also exiting.
He then picked up the last remaining cloth and as he was drying himself he was looking for his clothes. He couldn’t find them.

‘Where…?’ he said to himself confused, looking around the entire room before he halted and cursed underneath his breath. They were gone.
‘Damn you, Loki!’

Chapter Text

Night was falling over Asgard, and with it came a cold, wild wind. Just like the rain before it was completely unlinke Asgard's season.

As the wind howled around the castle, the God of Mischief was walking high up to the tower where his chambers lay. He stopped short when he reached the big oak doors, waiting a few moments as if to compose himself before he klicked the door handles and the heavy doors swung open almost by themselves.

Here he was again. Slowly he stepped in the middle of the wide room, looking around cautiously. It was big, even though it never compared to Thor’s chambers in size and prettiness. Loki’s room was facing East, so the sun would rise early in the morning and light up his room, and then slowly wander away, leaving his rooms in shadows for the rest of the day.
His furniture was made of dark, black woods, and gave the room an eery feel to it. Loki remembered to like that effect in his younger years. Now he found it got to him in a weird way.

Clearly these chambers had not been used for a very long time. Loki had thought maybe Odin had made something different out of this room by now, chucked out everything which reminded him he ever had an adopted son in here in the past. Funny how, when he was ruling as the Allfather, he had never once looked into this room again.

Dust had been accumulating on the surfaces and on the floor and Loki found that his footsteps were visible where he had been stepping.
As he slowly strided around, he noticed some furniture he didn’t remember having there before.
A round table, a wide bench with soft upholstery, two chairs. They stood there in a circle, with their brown and warm wood clearly not fitting in here. Loki sucked in the air as he realized why he found them familiar.

It was the furniture Frigga had put in his cell all these years ago to try and make him more comfortable as a prisoner. He quickly stepped closer and ran his fingers over the wood.
It was clear it had been fixed and put back together with glue. And not very well, the glue had been running down the feet of the table and chairs in thick strides before hardening. ‘Thor.’ Loki muttered. Thor must have done that after he had defeated Malekith. He had gathered the ruins of Loki’s destruction in his cell, glued it clumsily back together and placed it in his room.

The god of Mischief felt a knot in his throat so thick he found it impossible to swallow. He turned around to look for more. And yes, as he had suspected: When his eyes fell on his night stand, there were Frigga’s books, stacked on top of each other. Loki stepped closer and picked some up to read their titles.

No one saw the silent tears streaming down his face as his mouth kept smiling in sorrow while reading the book titles. She had known him so well.
Loki sat down on his old bed, put the books on his lap and allowed himself for the first time to mourn his mother. Because that was what she had been. And Loki still cursed himself for the last words he had spoken to her before her death. Her death, which was glowing in scarlet red on his own hands. It had been his fault. All his fault.

His head bowed, his shoulders hanging, the tears dropped soundless on the books in his lap. He missed her so.

 

---

 

Loki’s face was close to the window, his breath showing on the glass as he slowly in- and exhaled. His forehead was resting on his bottom arm which was leaning against the window.

His piercing green eyes were watching the doings outside the castle. His chambers were high enough to make him see over the lower walls, where people started to accumulate, more and more with every minute that passed. Some people having torches, all of them were armored. The men in front, which seemed to be the leaders, were starting to talk to the castle guards, gesturing wildly with their hands. Loki knew exactly what this was about. He had seen this coming, was actually surprised it had taken so long.

Someone knocked on the door. ‘Come in.’ Loki said quietly.

He wouldn’t turn to see who entered. He knew who it was, had heard here steps too many times in his lifetime.

‘So it is true you are officially back now.’ he heard Sif say.

‘The Lady Sif. What an honor to receive you in my private chambers.’ Loki said with a smile that didn‘t reach his eyes. ‘How can I be of service?’ he asked, finally turning around and facing her.

The she-warriopr was standing there in full armor, her hair hanging in a wild dark ponytail high on her head, her eyes as black and deep as they have always been. And also as always, she seemed to look right through him.
‘Does Thor know?’ she asked shortly.

‘Know what?’ Loki raised his eyebrows.

‘That you are her.’ Sif responded.

‘Yes.’ It had never helped in the past to pretend towards Sif.

‘And you see the chaos building up outside?’ Sif continued, nodding towards the window.

‘Of course.’

‘I had warned Thor, people wouldn’t like the idea of a mortal being here, marrying the heir to the throne. Just that it is not a mortal, it is in fact you!’ Sif said sharply.

Loki bowed his head and spread his arms. ‘Thank you, you are too kind.’

‘How is that a compliment?’

‘I am the Master of Lies, the Prince of Chaos, the Agent of Deceit. I need to hold up to my many titles, wouldn’t you agree? And everything seems to play out very well.’

‘So this is just another one of your pathetic games to screw Thor over.’ Sif spat out, her hand resting on her sword hilt.

’You can certainly see it that way.’ Loki replied with his most wicked smile. It felt nice, being glared at like this again. It gave him the old feeling of being seen as the evil one. The disgrace. The traitor. It made him feel save.

‘I don’t know why Thor would have agreed to this… this… masquerade you have been playing. But I will tell him your true intentions right now if you don’t fix this.’

‘And how would I do that? I’m a god but I can’t work wonders. Thor got himself into this mess mostly alone, believe it or not. I’m simply drawing my advantages out of it.’ Loki shrugged, enjoying every second of Sif’s face growing more and more stern with hatred.

‘He came here often, you know.’ she said, her voice shaking with fury. ‘Every time he had a moment to spare from trying to bring peace back to the worlds, that you caused by the way! He came here and even slept in your bed because he missed you so much. While you were here all this time, writing plays to glorify yourself. And now after all you made him suffer through, you want to abuse his trust yet another time. Have you not done enough to him yet?’

‘I only have done enough when I sit permanently on the throne.’ Loki answered darkly.
Truth be told, he had no idea where these words were coming from. He had felt so vulnerable, so exposed in so many ways for being in this room. For being with Frigga, in a way.
And also, for being with Thor. For openly desiring him. For feeling complete maybe for the first time in his life while tasting his skin underneath his tongue.
To cope with this vulnerability, it seemed like he needed to feel solid ground beneath his feet again. And being mischievous gave him that.

‘So what is it, then? The grand plan? Stirring up the people so they will overthrow Thor and gain their trust so they put you on it instead? Do you really think people forget so quickly what you have done to Asgard in the past?’ Sif asked.

‘And what have I done, exactly? Ruled Asgard peacefully? Didn’t take part in any wars, kept Asgard out of trouble, invested in art and music, things this godforsaken family of philistines never had any clue about?’ Loki shot back, crossing his arms in front of his chest.

Sif drew her sword and pointed it towards Loki, who started to grin. ‘Really?’ he asked with raised eyebrows.

‘You will make this right. You will get Thor out of this. I don’t know the story behind this madness, but I know that you will not leave this room alive if you don’t cooperate.’ Sif threatened.

Loki started to get angry and he grabbed the warrior’s sword at its peak, hard. ‘And how should I fix this, hm? I can’t work wonders! And everything I tried so far just resulted in more chaos. I guess that is my fate as chaos is my patron. So what exactly would you have me do?’ he asked heated, his voice loosing his spite for a moment.

‘Is Thor still with the real Jane?’ Sif asked.

Loki tilted his head, frowning. ‘… no.’

‘Then kill her.’

‘Excuse me?’

‘Kill Jane.’

Loki just looked at Sif, his eyes slowly growing wider as he comprehended. When Sif saw her words met approval, she lowered her sword. ‘Kill Jane and free Thor from this insanity. I will help you.’

Loki laughed in amusement. ‘Aaah, my Lady Sif, you are prepared to side with the devil to save your precious Thor. You must truly love him.’

‘I don’t think I’m the only one in this room loving him.’ Sif replied coolly.

‘I really hope you don’t suggest that I of all people-‘

‘Exactly, you of all people, Loki. Because you try so unbelievably hard to hate him, it is actually painful to watch.’

Loki snorted, wanted to shoot back a clever, snidey response, but none came. Sif’s comment made him loose the stable footing he had tried to create for himself again.

Frigga’s voice rang in his ears from lifetimes ago ‘It doesn’t make you weak to love your brother, Loki. On the contrary, it makes you even stronger.’

He remembered Darcy looking at him at the wedding saying ‘I’ve never seen two people more attached to each other.’

Stark appeared, looking at Loki and Thor leaving the wedding party with knowing eyes.

And then he saw Thor, a thousand times Thor. Grabbing him by the neck, looking intensely in his eyes, trying to find the brother he once knew, begging him to leave the path he had chosen to walk upon.
Thor, sleeping next to him, fighting with him, annoying him, laughing with him. Then Thor eventually confronting him, touching him, kissing him.

It was too much. Everything was too much. The fragile framework he had build up for himself was entirely founded on his hate for Thor and each and every single one of the nine worlds. And the pillars were ripped out underneath it, the entire majestic construction falling apart like it was nothing more than a house of cards.
‘I need to leave this place.’ Loki finally said in a distant voice, looking at the ground with glistening eyes.

‘Kill Jane and you are free to go to wherever you want to go.’ Sif said. ‘But free your brother too, if you truly love him.’

‘For the very first time, you are talking sense, Lady Sif.’

 

---

 

Thor was livid at Loki. He had to walk the castle’s corridors butt naked before finally finding a disturbed looking maid who was finally able to at least give him some duvet covers to wrap around himself.

He just knew it was his dear brother who had made his clothes disappear to prank him.

Loki had some nerves to do this to him! Especially after what had happened in the hot tubs. Thor shuddered just thinking about it. He had never thought about Loki like that, never seen him that way. He had considered him his brother after all for so long. Ever since he learned however, that Loki was, in fact, not, that seemed to have changed things in him. Gradually. Over time. It had happened unnoticed, Thor didn’t know when and how and why. And it also didn’t matter. He just knew he loved his brother. More than he ever loved anything or anyone. That this love could turn into something that would make him desire Loki was new and a bit unsettling.

Especially since, as with everything, Loki was fickle about it. Thor just couldn’t make sense of his behaviour. One thing he knew for sure now though, was that his brother desired him too. Even Loki couldn’t fake an erection.

And Thor would use this fact to his advantage to get to the truth. But first he would kick his ass right to the gates of Valhalla for making him run around naked like that.

After he finally found some proper clothes and could dress himself, he was looking for that bastard. And couldn’t find him, of course. As the Warrior’s Three had not bothered him anymore with needing Jane, he figured Loki had played her part to undergo the Cleansing Ceremony once more. An uneasy feeling in him was nagging at him, whispering in his ear that maybe Loki left now after all.

But Thor shrugged this thought off quickly.
No, he wouldn’t. He already could have left so many times, and he always chose not to. And still, his feet went faster as he was walking towards the dining room, the last place he could think of where Loki would be at this time.

Entering the room, he saw that all the court ladies and lords were already seated and eating and drinking merrily.

‘Oh, brother!’ he heard Loki’s voice. His eye found him at the head of the tables where it was customary for the royal family to sit. These days it was obviously only occupied by Loki and Thor.

Just that he was not alone. Two seats next to him sat Jane, also looking up and smiling at him.

Chapter Text

‘Please excuse us for already eating, I ordered dinner to start since you were obviously running late. What took you so long?’ Loki Asked Thor innocently, not being able to hold a wide grin.

As everyone had looked up to greet and nod towards Thor, he kept on a smile and responded through gritted teeth: ‘Oh, I just… had mislaid some things I couldn’t find anymore. Please, go ahead with dinner.’

When the people were getting back to their food again, Thor sat himself on the chair between Loki and Jane and looked confused from one to the other.
‘Which one is real?’ he whispered, frowning.

‘Me.’ Jane responded.

‘Me.’ Loki said.

‘Very funny.’ Thor grumbled, leaning back so the cook could serve Thor his food. As he disappeared again, Thor repeated: ‘Seriously, who should I talk to?’

‘To me, obviously.’ Loki said, chewing.

‘But it is impolite to ignore a lady.’ Jane remarked.

This was hopeless.
Thor wanted to simply punch both of them to see which one he couldn’t hit, but he was afraid the flickering of the illusion might not go unnoticed. So he started eating his food instead, grumbling.

Sitting so close to Loki right now, he felt the urge to press his thigh against his, but restrained himself from doing so. Also, at the same time, he still wanted to kick his Jotun ass all the way back to Jotunheim for stealing his clothes. It was impossible to feel just one way about the God of Mischief, Thor concluded.
‘So… you did the Cleansing?’ Thor asked.

‘Yes.’ Jane answered.

‘She did.’ Loki agreed.

‘Good. Can we finally then talk about how to best stop this wedding madness?’ Thor continued, looking to both Loki and Jane.
‘The Royal Counsel has informed me that Jane’s presence has upset the folk, and we are starting to have uprisings in front of the castle gates. I don’t want my people to think ill of me.’

‘Don’t worry brother, I figured out a solution.’ Loki chewed casually and taking a big gulp of wine to get it down.

‘You have? Well, brilliant. How?’ Thor asked.

‘I’m going to kill myself.’ Jane said, just as casually as Loki.

Thor whirled around, looking at Jane with big eyes. ‘What?’

‘I have to die.’ Jane said, shrugging.

‘Yeah, or I kill you. Haven’t decided yet.’ Loki remarked, addressing Jane.

‘That’s fine. Just tell me with what we will go.’ Jane responded smiling.

‘Hold on!’ Thor interjected, glaring at Loki. ‘You enjoy this, don’t you?’ he asked his brother.

Loki chuckled but then tried to have a straight face again. ‘No.’

‘Of course you do. Now stop it. This is beyond weird. And what does killing Jane even mean?’

‘I thought you of all people understood the concept of killing.’

‘Oh, ME of all people?’

‘Boys, behave. People are staring.’ Jane commented.

Thor now turned to her again. ‘Must be difficult, having two conversations at the same time.’

‘You are rather slow, so it’s fine actually.’ Jane answered back, glancing at him from the corner of her eyes with a cocky expression.

Thor in- and exhaled deeply to not throw both of them across the table.
‘Forget it. Let’s talk about this in peace after dinner. You will come to my room.’ Thor whispered towards Loki.

‘I’m happy to.’ Jane responded.

‘No, not you.’ Thor said.

‘But I’m him.’

‘And I’m her.’ Loki added.

‘Stop messing with me! You will BOTH come with me after dinner.’ Thor said, holding up his hands to signal to them to stop talking now. They obeyed, not without having the widest grins on their faces.

 

--

 

When dinner was done, Thor walked out of the room with Loki and Jane. He stayed behind them to finally figure out who the real Loki was. His first instinct clearly led him to Loki-Loki, but since that was what his brother probably anticipated, he didn’t hesitate much when suddenly Jane went into one direction and Loki in another. He followed Jane.

‘Hey, slow down.’ Thor said, catching up, holding Jane by the wrist. He could touch her.

‘Look at that. You are learning, brother.’ Jane said while she kept speeding along the corridors.

‘My chambers are that way.’ Thor said, pointing in the other direction.

‘I know, but this is not where I’m going.’

‘Oh I think this is exactly where you are going. With me.’ He didn’t wait for Jane to respond, he held on to her tightly and pulled her along as he tunred around.

‘Thor.’ Jane hissed, trying to wriggle free. But no one could easily break free of Thor Odinson’s grasp, not even Loki.

He had expected Loki trying to be difficult. After what they did in the hot tubs, he expected Loki to retreat again, to try and get distance between what had found together. Thor wouldn’t have it.
When they rechaed Thor’r rooms, he closed the door behind them and leaned against them.

‘Now, we are alone. Transform.’ Thor said, but Jane crossed her arms in front of her chest and rose her chin. ‘No. You can talk to me like this just fine.’

‘It’s weird.’ Thor said.

‘Weird to talk to your betrothed?’

Thor had no patience for his games. He wouldn’t be a player in it this time. No. He would play his own game.
‘You are right.’ Thor said, looking Jane up and down. ‘I didn’t realize how much I miss her. But seeing her now again, standing here…’ he said, slowly approaching Jane, who started to get a slightly puzzled look on her face.

Thor reached for a hair strand of her and played with it in his fingers while drawing really close, his other hand now resting on her hips. ‘This brings back so many memories. Makes me want to do so many things…’ he continued, looking at the hair strand.

‘It- it does?’ Jane’s voice was a pitch too high and Thor had to compose himself not to laugh.
He looked into her confused face before he started to kiss her temple softly.

‘Thor.’ Jane’s voice said, warningly.

But Thor ignored it, wandering very slowly down to kiss her cheekbones, her cheeks, very slowly coming closer to her mouth.

‘Thor!’ Jane said now, resolute. ‘What are you-‘ Thor cut her off by kissing her mouth.
It was almost unbelievable how such a short time could change so much. Just a few days ago he was used to kissing this mouth so much, had loved to claim this petite little lips. Now, they already felt strange and wrong, it was not what he wanted to feel, it was not the taste he was longing to taste.
‘Thor-… it’s-… it’s me!’ Loki tried to say between kisses.

‘Of course it’s you.’ Thor said, drawing back a little and smiling at Jane’s irritated expression. ‘Now transform so I can finally kiss who I want to kiss.’
Jane’s eyes narrowed. ‘You played me.’

‘How does your own medicine taste, brother?’ Thor whispered, holding Jane gently by the neck.

‘And now what, you think I’m just going to do as you please?’ Jane asked.

‘Yes you will. Because I know it pleases you too. No games anymore, Loki. They are not needed. You are save with me. Trust me, for once.’ Thor said softly, bending down and kissed Jane again.

He kissed her slowly and teasingly, every now and then biting her lips the slightest bit. Jane seemed to like it as this always made her shudder. Thor wanted to claim her mouth completely, but restrained himself. He wanted to tease Loki out, wanted to rise the desire in him so much that he would stop hiding behind Jane’s mask.

Thor slowly pushed her gently against the wall, loosening her garments on the way.
‘I will fuck you now, brother. I don’t care which form you are in.’ he said heated, grabbed Jane’s thighs on each side and heaved her up. Her legs closed around Thor’s waist almost by itself and he started to rip off her upper garments until she was naked at the top.

Thor saw her little familiar breasts, remembered how he loved to caress them, once. Now he looked at them almost annoyed, longing for the firm pale chest that was slumbering underneath this illusion. But he went down nevertheless and kissed her nipples.

He heard Jane moan before her petite fingers found his head and she ripped him away from her.
‘If you want her that much, you should just go to Midgard and get the original.’ Jane said, the face looking furious.

Thor answered her jealous look with one of determination.
He didn’t answer, just took one of her hands and placed them between his legs.
‘Does that feel like wanting her to you?’ Thor then asked, studying her face closely.

Jane looked down to Thor’s groin, then up to his face again as Loki realized what this meant.
‘Trust me.’ Thor said again, almost pleading this time and his eyes grew soft and assuring as he looked into Jane’s eyes.

Jane held his gaze for a few moments, apparently indecisive, but seemed to find in his eyes what she was looking for. Thor saw her face light up in a bright green as the mask disappeared, her tiny body disappeared and instead he saw his brother’s features shining through.

Loki was now looking at him. His eyes the same big and wild they had been in the baths, his lips parted, his breathing unsteady.
‘Loki.’ Thor said smiling, looking at him like he was the only thing in this world worth looking at. And now it was Loki grabbing Thor by the neck and kissing him.

The moment the God of Thunder felt Loki’s lips on his, smelled his odour in his nose, his head seemed to implode.
There was no soft kissing anymore. Thor claimed Loki’s mouth entirely, danced with Loki’s tongue like two snakes and his hands wandered Loki’s naked muscular back up and down before holding on to his butt.

Finally his mouth felt right, his taste was the taste his tongue was demanding, the feel of firm muscular skin the feeling his body was aching for.
Thor felt getting hotter and hotter as they were kissing each other passionately and Thor was groaning slightly as he started to grind his loins against Loki’s.

He forced himself to let go of Loki’s butt with one hand to take Loki’s hand again and guided it down to his cock, pressing the rock hard bulge right into his palm. ‘Feel the difference?’ he asked his brother.

Loki’s lips twitched as his pale green eyes were wandering across Thor’s face. ‘And there I was thinking you were straight.’

‘Not for you.’ Thor replied, smiling also.

He held on to Loki tight as he turned with him around and threw him unto the bed.

‘Hey!’ Loki objected playfully, stemming himself up. Thor didn’t give him an opportunity to take charge again like last time. He crawled on the bed on top of his brother, pressed him in the pillows and started kissing him passionately again.

Clothes were flying across the room as the two were exploring each others mouths and bodies. Loki tried several times to get on top but Thor wouldn’t have it. Eventually he took Loki’s wrists and pressed them down into the sheets over Loki’s head. Loki smiled a wicked smile. ‘Are you scared you would come as fast as last time if you would let me loose?’

‘This is not your turn today, brother.’ Thor said roughly and started to kiss Loki’s body downwards, placing little bites on the way. Loki’s eyes watched hungrily as Thor reached Loki’s loins and with a glance up to Loki, he took his hard manhood in his mouth.

The God of Mischief closed his eyes in pleasure and his head sank back into the pillows. ‘Thor…’ he moaned as Thor started to slowly pleasure him.
Thor’s hands spread Loki’s thighs wide open so he had enough space and then one hand wandered slowly between Loki’s butt cheeks.

‘Thor.. Thor wait!’ Loki managed to say and as Thor looked up, a gel had appeared in Loki’s palm that he was handing to him. The God of Thunder smiled and took it on his fingers.

‘Careful.’ Loki warned Thor.

‘Don’t you know by now, I would never hurt you, brother.’ Thor replied in al seriousness.

Loki smiled slightly, but Thor saw the vulnerability in his face.
That made him crawl back up to Loki’s face immediately and kissed him again. It was as if he wanted to suck these doubts out of Loki’s mouth, to finally make him understand.
‘I’m not doing anything that you don’t want me to.’ he whispered between kisses.

‘You idiot.’ Loki chuckled. ‘Does this look like I don’t want you to?’ and he took Thor’s hand with the gel and guided it down.
Thor looked at Loki, but the wicked twinkle in his eyes was back and he looked at Thor playfully. Thor grinned.

He slid back between Loki’s legs and kissed his manhood before taking it back in his mouth again. One gel finger was slowly playing around Loki’s butthole and gently pressing in.

Loki’s moans were music in Thor’s ears as he slowly spread his brother wider until one finger was fully in. He started using two fingers now.
It made Thor almost mad how much he wanted to be inside his brother and it took all his self control to do things slow.

When he felt Loki was wide enough, he retreated his fingers and placed his hips betweeg Loki’s legs.
His one eye looked at Loki with blind need and saw his passion mirrored in Loki’s eyes. He felt Loki’s hands travel down his back and pressing his butt down.

Thor complied and pressed his manhood against Loki’s.
He saw his brother bite his lips and his eyes loosing focus. Thor grinded him a few times before forcing himself to stop and lead his cock down between Loki’s butt cheeks. He had made sure everything was wet with gel before now gently pressing in.

‘Tell me if I’m going too fast.’ Thor breathed. He watched Loki’s face, every twitch of his beautiful features as he pressed in a bit more with every push.
Loki spread easily now and it didn’t take long for Thor to be completely in.

Loki’s head was strained back, his eyes closed, his arms wrapped around Thor’s neck and head.
Thor started to move in him now, slowly increasing the speed. Loki’s lips were parted, moans escaping them as Thor started to push deeper.

He wanted to watch Loki, but his eyes lost focus more and more as claiming him was sending pleasure waves through his entire body and his brain was feeling completely drunk.
It was the most wonderful feeling to be in him, to feel Loki in this way, wrapped around his cock so tight he knew he had to fuck him slow or he would come in a matter of seconds. He buried his head deep in Loki’s hair and bit his ear while fucking him in slow, deep thrusts.

Loki's body started to tremble and rise up, his hips moving with Thor now, aching towards the next push. And the next. Thor was loosing his mind.
‘Stop it.’ he said between his moans. ‘Or… or the party is over too soon…’

But Loki seemed to move now even more with him, his moans becoming louder and longer.
Gods. What was he doing to him?

Thor got up and took Loki’s legs over his shoulders before leaning forward again. His brother's legs were spread even more this way and as Thor pushed back in, Loki was almost screaming in pleasure.

Thor couldn’t help himself anymore. He fucked his brother now hard and deep, every thrust feeling like pure paradise. He took Loki’s manhood in his hand and started rubbing it. Loki’s cock was already so full with slick anticipation that he could rubb him really fast.

‘Oh my… Thor… Thor… what…’ Loki started saying between moans as he looked down at what his brother was doing to him.
‘THOR!’ Loki exclaimed, and throwing his head back as he came hard between Thor’s hand on his belly. Seeing how the semen of his brother spurted out, how his hot cock was pumping underneath his hand, sent Thor over the edge as well.

A few more deep hard thrusts and Thor felt himself explode in Loki, crying out roughly as he did.
He pushed into Loki some more to hold on to the feeling, before collapsing on Loki.

His brother was breathing heavily, stemming himself up on his elbows. ‘Not… bad brother.’ he said smirking, but his eyes were open and honest for the very first time and Thor put his forehead against Loki’s with a happy smile.

And so they stayed for a long time with sweaty rising and falling chests and eyes that melted into each other.

 

---

 

‘Good Moring.’ Thor heard a voice say. He opened his eye slowly. He was lying in his bed, Loki next to him. They were still lying as they were when they had fallen asleep. Loki with his back towards Thor, Thor curled around his body, his muscular arm wrapped tightly around Loki’s chest.

Thor stemmed himself slowly up and looked over to see his brother still deep asleep, his face relaxed and peaceful, his breaths deep and steady.
Thor smiled happily before snuggling back up to him, sucking in the smell of his hair.

A voice cleared their throat. ‘Ehem… Good Morning! Helloho?’

Thor looked up again, this time across the room. ‘Woah!’ he exclaimed, sitting up in a heartbeat. ‘What in Hel's name are you doing here?’ he asked in shock, his only eye wide while taking in the Grandmaster standing in front of their bed, his hands stemmed in his hips impatiently.

‘Well well, I see you still haven’t found your manners yet, have you?’ the Grandmaster asked. ‘You start a conversation with a greeting first! And as I have said now several times ‘Good Morning’, you even put an apology before.’ he said, gesturing with his hands for better understanding, as if he was explaining something to a child.

But Thor just looked at him, his brain still struggling to understand the situation. ‘How did you get here? Why are you still alive?’

The Grandmaster sighed in frustration. ‘Sparkles Sparkles, you are hopeless. Here, let your brother show you how it’s done.’ he said, reaching down to touch Loki’s foot which was showing out from underneath the blanket.
The slightest touch sent Loki’s head up like an alarm and he gasped. ‘Wha-What? What is it?’ he asked, his eyes only half open. He turned around slowly, his long black hair hanging over his shoulders in a curly mess. ‘Thor, what…?’ he asked grumpy when his eyes fell on the Grandmaster. This sight sent his eyes flying wide open and he staggered back and hit his head against the bed frame.
‘YOU- ARGH! Ouch!’ he exclaimed, rubbing the back of his head. ‘What are you doing here?’ Loki asked sharply.

The Grandmaster looked at Loki in the deepest disappointment. ‘Loki! I was just praising you in front of your brother for having manners and see what you do to me now. Being with Sparkles is not becoming you well, I must tell you.’ he said with knowing eyes.

But Loki shook his head and put his hand up. ‘Wait- what day is it? Is it today?’ he asked.

The Grandmaster spread his arms with a triumphant smile. ‘Of course it is today! Ok, ok, I’m a day early, but who cares? I make the rules anyway! I have to say, I normally don’t play Taxi for my muses, but as it is you, I thought I make an exception.’ he winked.

‘Loki, what is going on?’ Thor asked confused.

‘Oohooo, haven’t told your brother, have you? He’s such a sneaky bastard, isn’t he? Makes him so mysterious, so unpredictable. Uuuh, I love it.’ the Grandmaster said to Thor in excitement. ‘Now come on, hop hop, breakfast is waiting, I don’t like my eggs cold.’ he then continued towards Loki, clapping in his hands to signal to Loki to hurry up.

Thor looked towards Loki in utter confusion.
‘Loki?’ he only asked.

Loki didn’t look at his brother, or at the Grandmaster. His eyes seemed to fixate something non existent on the blanket. ‘I need more time.’ he then said.

The Grandmaster rolled his eyes. ‘Then hurry up buttercup, do you know how expensive fuel is these days? I’m not going to fly back and forth once more just to get you. So do what you have to do, I’ll wait here. Hey, do you guys serve breakfast here?’

But Loki didn’t answer. He glanced at Thor only for the tiniest second, fear and doubt in his eyes. Thor wanted to ask what in the nine worlds was going on, when a dagger appeared in Loki’s hand and Thor watched with horror as his brother grabbed its hilt and turned it towards himself.
Before Thor could do anything to stop him, Loki had sunk the dagger right between his own ribs.

Chapter Text

‘LOKI!’ Thor cried out, reaching out to pull the dagger back out of Loki’s ribs, but as his fingers were about to touch the hilt, he only found air and Loki started to flicker. An illusion.

‘Step back.’ he heard Loki’s voice and as he looked up, he saw his brother appearing from behind the massive red curtains next to the windows, his body armored in gold and green, his horn helmet slowly appearing on his head as he stepped closer. His face was sober and expressionless as he was looking down at Thor.

Then, his green eyes travelled to his stabbed self, lying on the bed motionless, blood running down his pale chest, soaking the white sheets.
Loki snapped his fingers and the illusion turned into Jane, still stabbed and dead, her dead eyes staring at the ceiling.

Thor was standing up only wearing his undergarments and stomped towards Loki, a finger pointing at the God of Mischief. ‘If you don’t tell me this instant what this devilry is about, I swear to you, I-‘ But Loki cut him off by grabbing him hard around his jaw, hauling him against the wall.
‘A SHAME YOU WOKE UP, BROTHER.’ he started to yell in Thor’s face. ‘I WOULD HAVE PREFERRED TO DO THIS QUICK AND PAINLESS.’

Thor wanted to reach for Loki’s neck, but a quick swift movement of Loki’s hand made Thor’s arms fly behind his back instead and Thor could feel something cold and hard clicking around his wrists, locking them together.

‘LET’S DO IT THE HARD WAY THEN!’ Loki continued to yell. Thor had no idea why he was yelling so much. There was no reason, he heard him just fine.
His brother now grabbed him hard on the shoulders and flung him across the room so that the God of Thunder landed loud and hard against the doors.

Thor gasped. ‘Loki, by all the gods, what are you doing?’ His eyes travelled to the Grandmaster. He was just sitting there with his legs crossed, looking concentrated at his hands. It took Thor a minute to realize he was filing his fingernails. That fucker.

Running feet came closer and a few seconds later the doors flew open (one was indeed kicking Thor to the side) and half of the castle guards flooded into the room, spears out and after a few seconds of understanding the situation, very quickly pointed at Loki.

Loki smiled wickedly as the guards surrounded him.
‘IS THIS ALL YOU CAN PUT BEFORE ME, ASGARD?’ he yelled and spread his arms theatrically. Bright green energy formed in his palms, growing bigger and bigger by the second before Loki released them with a loud scream all around him. The bright green balls divided themselves in a thousand tiny sparks that flew around the room and made the guards duck.
With another movement of Loki’s arms, they escaped the room and seemed to shutter through the castle, disrupting the morning peace completely.
‘GOOD MORNING ASGARD! WAKE UP TO YOUR NEW KING!’ the God of Mischief cried before laughing manically.

It took not even a minute before the Warrior’s Three arrived the scene, the Lady Sif on their heels.
‘Loki!’ Fandral said with disgust. ‘What did you do?’

Thor finally managed to get back up. ‘Loki!’ he roared, furious, trying to get his hands free. But the more he tried to pull the hand cuffs apart, the more they were digging themselves into his skin and Thor grimaced in pain.

Loki made a calming motion towards his brother. ‘Easy, Thor. Let’s wait until everyone arrives. I hate to repeat myself.’
And as if by his command, Thor could see the entire court arrive in his massive bedroom. He recognized some of the other gods. There were Tyr, Frey, Bragi, even Balder.
‘Another one of your games, Master of Chaos?’ he heard the latter say, unimpressed. ‘Is it not getting boring for you?’

‘Does this look like a game to you?’ Loki responded, gesturing towards dead Jane.
Some people only saw Jane’s corpse now, gasped and held their hands in front of their mouths. Others started whispering heatedly.
The guards were drawing the circle around Loki tighter, pointing their spears right at him. The gods were getting in a fighting position, mastering their powers.

The Warrior’s Three swung their weapons. ‘You have gone too far this time, Mischief Maker. It is time for you to finally meet your fate.’ Volstagg said.
Only the Lady Sif remained motionless in the background, looking concerned.

‘The only fate that awaits me is your endless gratefulness. For I have slain the creature that has lured her way into Asgard! A mortal that has no place amongst us! And not just that, she would have been our Mighty Thor’s bride. Could you imagine the weak offspring? The disgrace to the Allfathers legacy? You should be on your knees kissing my feet right now! I prevented the Odin line from being destroyed, prevented an uprising of the people.’ Loki said, his chin rising higher with each sentence.
‘So. Having done all this for Asgard, will you accept me as your new ruler?’ he then asked.

‘Never.’ The gods said and the Warrior’s Three snorted.

‘Well, that is highly unfortunate.’ Loki shrugged, not looking as disappointed as he tried to make it seem.

‘You don’t stand a change against all of us!’ Tyr said. ‘Let’s see what Loki Silvertongue is actually made of!’ he provoked, seeming to be a bit too excited at the concept of a fight. He was the God of War after all.

Loki chuckled. ‘Are you mad? You just said it yourself, I might be insane, but I’m not stupid. Way too many of you here by now. I hate to admit it, but this is not a fight I can win. Not right now. So, if you’ll excuse me, I will retreat with my good friend, the Grandmaster, but be sure to expect me back to-‘ Loki stopped talking when his eyes caught a little flying object flying through the air. It buzzed past him, landing on the dead Jane, then falling right through her and landing on the sheets. Jane’s lifeless body flickered a few times, loosing colour, before looking normal again.

Everyone was holding their breath and as what had just happened sunk slowly in, people started frowning.
Loki looked at his illusion in disbelief and then his eyes wandered towards the Grandmaster, his jaw flexing in anger.

‘Oh. Oh – I’m so sorry! That was bad aiming. Or – good aiming, actually.’ The Grandmaster said apologetically, scratching his head in apparent embarrassment.

‘What are you doing?’ Loki hissed with a poisonous voice.

‘Well you see, it is a habit of mine. Whenever I file my nails, I chuck the nail file away. Never use them twice, find it kind of – ugh – disgusting, they are so full of your white nail particles that you can never truly get rid off anymore. Once you think about it, it’s really gross-‘ the Grandmaster said light heartedly, but then stopped when Fandral slowly stepped forward, not leaving Loki out of his gaze, as he walked up to Jane’s corpse and tried to touch her. His hands went right through her and the illusion flickered even more now before completely disappearing.
‘What is the meaning of this?’ Fandral asked. ‘Where is the real Jane?’

‘On earth. Where she belongs.’ Thor now said. Everyone turned towards him.

‘No. I killed her.’ Loki shot back.

‘Liar.’ Thor said.

‘Of course I am! And as always I am a step ahead of you, brother dear. You might think Jane save on Midgard, while I seeked her out behind your back and made an end to her worthless existence.’

Thor haltered for a second. ‘… you didn’t.’

‘I did. It was rather enjoyable, all this pathetic squealing for her life. Entertaining, really.’

‘Then where is her body?’ Thor asked darkly.

‘Still on Midgard. Trying to get a corpse through the Bifröst is too much of a risk. The pressure is too high, her limbs might fall off and get distributed all over the nine worlds if you are unlucky. I had no patience to collect her back together.’ Loki said, almost with a proud smile.

Thor glared at him.

‘Go and look for yourself, if you don’t believe me.’ Loki continued, gesturing towards Heimdall’s observatory out of the window.

Thor’s chest rose and fell in anger and hurt as his mind was struggling with what was real and what wasn’t.
Loki walked towards him, circled him and then put a hand around his throat, almost gently. ‘But before you do, I need you as my ticket out of here.’ he whispered before rising his voice again to be heard by the others as well. ‘You will let me leave now, together with the Grandmaster and your heir to the throne shall not be harmed.’ he said, as Thor felt something cold and pointy between his shoulder blades.

‘You shall be cast out of Asgard forever, be in exile until you draw your last forsaken breath, God of Lies. And shall you ever return, no mercy will meet you at our gates.’ Tyr said threateningly and Thor’s ear was catching the slightest chuckle from Loki behind him.

‘Now now, before we make a hasty decision here…’ the Grandmaster suddenly broke in again, walking in the middle between Loki and Thor and the rest of Asgard’s court. ‘We should have all the facts, shouldn’t we. I mean, that is not really how I rule. With me it’s just, well, if I want a head chopped, it gets chopped. But as this is not about me…’ the Grandmaster said smilingly towards Asgard’s people.

‘What are you doing?’ Loki hissed at him again. ‘Get your ship and let’s go.’

The Grandmaster turned to Loki, regret in his face. ‘Sorry Loki dear, I’m afraid this time we are not working together.’ he said.

‘What are you talking about? We had a deal.’ Loki responded pressingly.

‘Yeah, well, about that. I actually have a better deal with Sparkles.’

‘What?’ Loki asked confused.

‘Don’t look at me like that! You know me, I’m unprincipled. That’s why you like me, remember? So you didn’t really expect anything like reliability from me?’ he asked with a wink.

Loki didn’t answer. But Thor could hear his quickening breath on his neck and knew his brother must be thinking rapidly now, trying to understand the situation.

‘Now.’ The Grandmaster clapped in his hands. ‘Let’s postpone the sulking until after the show and let me do my part first.’ he said, stretching out his arm , his palm facing the ceiling.

After a short moment a light appeared in his palm that grew bigger and started to flicker as it turned into a big rectangular shape, like a TV screen without body. It flickered some more as if it had a bad connection before the Grandmaster’s face appeared on it, big and a bit pixelated.

The Grandmaster on the screen winked and made a thumps up while holding something that looked like a phone. ‘I’m calling Loki now.’ he whispered towards the screen. ‘Is it- is it recording?’ he asked someone that no one could see. ‘Are you sure? Because we both know you are not the biggest tech freak and I really need you to not screw up this time. Is the- is the red light on? N-no. No, the light! The light on the top right. Gods, why didn’t I kill you again?’ The Grandmaster said annoyed, waving his hands about.

He wanted to get up and check it himself, but then Loki’s face appeared on the phone the Grandmaster was holding, projecting the God of Mischief a few inches on top of the phone screen, facing the Grandmaster. ‘Oh hi there Loki, there you are.’ The Grandmaster quickly said, turning towards him.

‘Is everything arranged?’ Loki asked. His face looked strain and tense.

‘Yes, yes. I will pick you up in three days, as we agreed.’

‘Some details changed. You will have to possibly get me out of the cells in the castle dungeons.’ Loki said.

‘What? Why?’ the Grandmaster asked frowning. ‘I want to pick you up in a cool way. You know, in one of my bougy ships, with sunglasses on and cool techno music playing, that kind of thing. And then you casually swing in to the backseat while I cruise by.’

‘Have you been watching Midgardian pop culture music videos again?’ Loki asked, raising his eyebrows.

‘…no.’ the Grandmaster said defensively. ‘Anyways, my point is, can you not get into trouble just this once?’

‘No. I need to disappear here a certain way.’

‘Why?’

‘It is not important.’

‘Loki. Listen, I don’t trust you no matter what. But if you want me to get you out of there, you better tell me now what this is about so I know what I get myself into.’ The Grandmaster said, seriously for once.

Loki sighed, looking around, thinking. ‘… as you wish. I got Thor in trouble. And by now I think the only way I can get him safely out of it is by putting it all on me. I need to be the bad guy, once more.’

‘I never seen this fact bothering you so much.’ the Grandmaster observed.

‘Well.’ Loki said, swallowing hard. Thor frowned as he thought to see tears accumulating in his brother’s eyes. He blinked them quickly away. ‘I guess… for a moment I thought I could be… more than that. Idiotic, I know.’ he snorted.

‘Why do you think they will put you in a cell?’

‘Because I will create an illusion that will show Thor’s dead betrothed. People have to think I killed her, so they will get angry and upset and imprison me, putting me on trail which most likely will result in my death ultimately.’ Loki said.

‘Wait, but… you don’t actually kill her?’

‘No.’

‘Will Sparkles know this?’

‘No.’

‘Why would you let your brother believe such a terrible thing about you?’

‘He will find out eventually, he just needs to believe it until I’m gone so he won’t stop me.’

‘Loki, I gotta tell you. You are quite something, driving a knife between you and Sparkles once more. I thought you guys are, you know, back to being close and all.’

‘I can never be close to Thor. Not without ruining him. So. Are you in?’

The Grandmaster shrugged his shoulders. ‘Sure. Some fun to shake up Asgard, I’m down. Now, explain to me how to get past this annoying Star Starer of yours.’

‘There are only two other ways in. First-‘ Loki began, but the palm of the Grandmaster that showed this recording closed and the scene disappeared.

It was dead silent in the room. Everyone was looking at Loki in utter confusion.
Thor couldn’t help himself but smile.

The Grandmaster looked at Loki again, rising his eyebrows apologetically. ‘Don’t take it personal. Your brother just offered me the better deal. I must say, I underestimated him. You taught him well.’

Loki let go of Thor and slowly came walking around him. As he appeared in Thor’s vision, Thor met Loki’s startled and furious eyes. ‘You tricked me? You- you had this planned? You… you knew?’ he seemed to stumble over his own words. His cheeks were flushed, and there was sweat on his forehead. Loki looked like a child again, like Frigga had just caught him doing something forbidden and he was feeling embarrassed and humiliated about it.

‘I knew.’ Thor only responded.

‘How?.... HOW?’ Loki screamed at him, growing more upset with every second.

‘Remember when you told me you wanted to leave at Slepnir’s stable? You didn’t say where you would go, but it was not really hard for me to guess. I already suspected the Grandmaster wasn’t dead, and Heimdall helped me to find him. So I got in contact with him, asking for his help.’

Loki now looked at the Grandmaster, his expression wild. ‘We had a deal.’

‘Yes well, I go for the best offer.’ the Grnadmaster replied.

‘Why?’ Loki’s eyes narrowed in irritation and not understanding, turning towards Thor again. ‘Why would you not let me go?’

‘I will never let you go again. I want you to rule Asgard with me.’

Loki snorted before starting to laugh almost manically. ‘You have never been good a jokes, brother.’

But Thor ignored him and instead walked forward to address his court. ‘My people! I thank you dearly for coming to my aid and I’m sorry to have deceived you. But as you could see now, it was necessary to fight my brother with his own weapons to prevent him from leaving. He was prepared to sacrifice himself and his admittedly questionable reputation to smooth the way for me to taking on the throne.’
Thor gestured towards the now empty bed. ‘The dead Jane you saw was an illusion. But so was the Jane you had been seeing in Asgard lately. It was Loki. And I knew of this. He tried to help me this way, but it ended up becoming a big problem. The truth is, I did not marry the mortal woman on Midgard and I don’t intend to marry her here either. I will rule Asgard with a true, worthy god next to me who grew up here just as I did and is wiser and more knowledgeable than I could ever be.’ Thor turned to Loki who looked as if someone had just slapped him in the face.
‘Loki. We all know the difficulties we had been dealing with in the last years. The lies we have been fed that led you astray. But we also seen you rule Asgard, and my people tell me you did it well. You helped us defeat Hela. And if it hadn’t been clear before what your true intentions were, I think after seeing the Grandmasters recording, we can confirm your intentions being of the purest, honorable kind. You belong here, just as I do. And I herewith offer the throne to you.’

‘I don’t want the throne.’ Loki said with a shaky voice.

‘No. But you want a home. And you want me. Asgard is your home. I am your home. And this is where you belong.’ Thor smiled.

Loki looked thunderstruck.

‘Wait, wait a moment. This recording we just saw, how do we know it’s real? We don’t know this Grandmaster person here. How can we trust him? It might just be another one of Loki’s schemes!’ Tyr interrupted, obviously cranky that the fight he had been excited about was not going to happen.

‘It’s not.’ Lady Sif said, stepping finally forward. ‘It was me who had suggested to kill the fake Midgard woman to Loki in the first place. I helped Loki plan it out. What you just saw was the truth.’ Sif’s words were powerful. She was a highly respected warrior and therefore trusted among the people. Her words followed impressed murmuring and nodding.

‘Anyone else want to fall in my back while we are at it?’ Loki asked spiteful.

‘Hurts, doesn’t it?’ Thor asked mockingly.

‘Shut up.’ Loki said.

‘Maybe remember that when you want to backstab someone next time.’

‘You want that dagger back on your back?’ Loki asked annoyed.

‘To finally free my arms, yes please!’ Thor said, turning around and holding out his hands towards Loki.

‘Tse.’ Loki clicked his tongue in dismay, but wielded his dagger nevertheless and Thor’s cuffs fell off. The pain Thor had felt in his wrists finally eased and as he brought his hands back to the front, he examined his bloody wrists.

Then, Thor reached out and took Loki’s hand before he could retreat it and held their locked hands up high above their heads.
‘My people! Will you officially forgive my brother and me for playing this stupid game and accept us as Asgard’s rightful rulers?’ Thor asked loudly.
He felt Loki’s hand wanting to pull away, but he held on to him tightly.

A few moments passed in which everyone exchanged glances.

Lady Sif was the first to kneel. Then the Warrior’s Three. Then the guards. The gods followed. Lastly, grumbling in disappointment, Tyr.

‘Wonderful!’ the Grandmaster clapped in delight. ‘This asks for a party! Let me fetch my confetti.’ he said and with vanished into thin air on the spot.

‘I have never felt so exposed in my entire life.’ Loki hissed at Thor, disgruntled.

‘You know, I think you are the only person I know who complains about people saving him.’

‘Oh, now you saved me?’ Loki asked in a mocking voice.

‘Of course I did.’

‘From what?’

‘From banning yourself for forever off Asgard? From labeling you as the God of Evil for good? From repeating your pattern of running away? And, most importantly, from yourself!’ Thor said, glancing at his brother with twinkling eyes.

Loki didn’t meet them. He kept looking stoicly forward. ‘Damn you, Thor.’ he whispered, defeated.

Chapter Text

The sun was slowly appearing in the distance, making Asgard shine golden with her first gentle light rays. It was still calm, the castle mostly asleep.

Loki was watching some birds chasing each other over the rooftops while he was leaning on the balcony railing.
He sighed deeply as he ran a hand through his tangled morning hair.

So here was was. Still in Asgard. He had been so convinced to never see this damn place ever again after he was through with his plan. It had been a good plan, everything was perfect. Except he had underestimated Thor. The big fool had had the audacity to make himself, Loki, look like one. And not only that, he had clipped off his wings just when he had been about to fly off again. Just like those birds.
Loki wasn’t completely sure how to feel about that. But he couldn’t deny a warm, comforting feeling in his chest that had steadily grown ever since he was with Thor. In this new way. In this way he had never even for a second deemed possible. It seemed like that the Master of Trickery had yet to learn a thing or two of the greatest trickster of all: life itself. Embarrassing, really.

He heard the sheets rustle inside and shortly after Thor stepped out of the balcony, rubbing his eyes and stretching his limbs. ‘You are up early.’ he mumbled sleepily while he trudged over to Loki to put his arms around his naked upper body from behind.

Loki halted his breath for a second as Thor’s warm skin touched his cool one. He would probably never get used to just being touched and caressed like that.

Thor was burying his head in Loki’s neck and closed his eye. Loki’s eyes went shut as well as Thor’s breath sent goose bumps down his spine.

‘Are you still sulking?’ Thor then asked with a sleepy smile.

‘No.’ Loki answered.

‘Of course you are.’ Thor chuckled, biting gently in Loki’s neck. Loki snorted and pulled Thor’s short hair, chuckling without wanting to as well.
‘Grow your hair out again.’ Loki then said. ‘So I can pull it properly as I used to.’

Thor muttered something in agreement.

And so they stood there cuddled up, watching the day slowly chase away the shadows of the night.

‘What did you offer the Grandmaster?’ Loki asked after a while.

‘It was quite difficult to get him on my side.’ Thor snorted.

‘I would believe so.’

‘I gave him Fandral.’

‘What?’

‘Well, he enjoys the… uh… delights of life. He wasn’t too appalled.’

‘That vain bastard.’ Loki grumbled.

‘He will return Fandral after a year or two he promised.’ Thor shrugged. ‘If Fandral wants that. Then, he said, he might still come after you again. He really has a thing for you, hasn't he.’ Thor added, eyeing Loki.

‘Well, we cross that bridge when we come to it, I suppose.’ Loki replied.

‘I would say we tie you up right here and now so the Grandmaster has no say anymore ever again.’ Thor suggested and suddenly held up a cloth band in front of Loki.

‘What is this?’ Loki asked frowning, taking it from Thor’s palm.

Thor let go of his brother and leaned against the railing next to him to await his reaction.

Loki unfolded the cloth. It was a broad woven band, an arms length long with green, red and gold colours woven in. The pattern was made of ancient Asgardian symbols. Just in its middle the pattern was broken with something that looked like bright and black silk strings. They were braided into each other and then again braided into the cloth. ‘This is a Marriage band.’ Loki stated.

Thor didn’t say anything, just kept studying Loki’s face.

‘What are the strings in the middle?’ Loki then asked.

‘It is our hair.’

‘Our hair?’

‘Part of the deal I had with the Grandmaster was that he also gives me my cut off hair back. I had braided a strand of your hair in mine during the time I.. you know… I thought you dead… once more.’ Thor said, putting emphasis on the last words.

Loki rolled his eyes.

‘And I wanted it back to have it woven in this marriage band.’ Thor ended.

Loki now looked at Thor with an expression of disbelief and snorted. ‘This doesn’t really mean what I think it means?’ he asked.

Thor only grinned at him.

‘No!’ Loki exclaimed. ‘I will not!’

‘We will rule Asgard together.’ Thor said.

‘Yes, but that doesn’t mean-‘

‘Asgard is our home. We are our home.’

‘Sure. That still has nothing to do with-‘

‘I love you.’ Thor then said.

Loki’s breath halted. He wanted to interject again, but was so baffled about Thor’s latest words that he just stared at him, his mouth open in silent opposition.

‘And I will never let you go again. As I have proven to you now quite well I think. So. Think about it. I said your name when I was about to marry Jane. I think even I can take a hint that big.’
And with that Thor pulled Loki gently in and kissed him.

Loki answered the kiss, but didn‘t close his eyes. His thoughts were racing, his heart beating fast.

The God of Thunder then released his brother again and with a last loving look left him on the balcony.

‘You cannot lure me in such a cheap way.’ Loki finally found his voice again.

‘Just think about it.’ Thor repeated as he entered their chambers again.

‘I won’t.’ Loki said stubbornly.

‘Ok then. Give me the band back.’ Thor suddenly said, turning around again and holding out his hand.

Loki hesitated. ‘I’ll give it back… later.’ he said with a smirk, holding it tight in his hands.

Thor’s grin grew wider. ‘Alright then. I’ll go get breakfast.’

‘Stop eating so much. You are slowly getting fat.’ Loki remarked with raised eyebrows.

‘I think I get enough exercise right now.’ Thor replied over his shoulder as he quickly got dressed and left their chambers.

Loki looked after him, frowning and shaking his head. Who did that oaf think he was? He tricked him this one single time and it was already going to his head. Marrying him! Ha! The hell he would!

As Loki was standing there a bit longer, turning the band absentmindedly between his fingers, a silent buzzing could be heard in the distance. Loki looked around. It came from their bedchambers.

The God of Mischief slowly walked inside, listening. He spotted the Midgardian phone from Stark buzzing like an angry little squirrel on the cupboard. He took the device and looked at it. Tony Stark was video-calling. Oh, that will be fun.

He swung himself back into the sheets and answered the call.
Stark’s face appeared. He had sunglasses on, his hand was clutching a steering wheel. He was driving.

‘Wow, you answered a phone for the second time already! I’m proud of you, Thor!’ Tony said.

‘Not quite Thor. But I do know how to work a phone, yes.’ Loki said and a wide grin appeared on his face when Tony glanced at the screen of his phone and recognized Loki.

Stark ripped off his sunglasses and looked again. ‘Loki! You! What is going on? And why are you not wearing anything? And why are you in a bed? Have I dialed a dubious number again? What are you doing, making some side money for some Asgard restorations? I gotta tell you, you are not holding up against the webcam girls I used to know.’ Tony bubbled on, but Loki could see he was agitated.

‘I can turn the phone further south if that is what you want.’ Loki responded cockily.

‘Hell, no! Do you want me to have an accident?’ Tony yelled.

Loki shrugged.

‘Yeah, don’t answer that.’ Tony said, looking at Loki in silent accusation.

‘How can I help you, Stark?’ Loki asked, leaning back and put one arm behind his head.

‘Well, I wanted to check on Thor. And last time we spoke, he said he was having some trouble due to… let me think… oh yes, you! So you will understand my concern seeing you now answering the phone instead of him.’

‘Thor is just fine.’ Loki said.

‘Oh, is he now? Then where is he?’

‘Eating.’ Loki said.

‘Well, could you get him on the phone for me?’

‘No.’

‘Why not?’

‘Because I don’t want to.’

‘Oh, great. Very helpful, Loki. You are just such a delight to talk to. Now what do we do, do you want me to assemble the Avengers and come to Asgard and kick your mischievous ass?’ Tony asked, annoyed.

‘I would love to see you try.’ Loki said grinning. ‘Let me know when you figure out a way to get here.’

‘You know, I just might! Together with the other brain of the family, you have no idea what we can do.’ Tony threatened. He seemingly had stopped his car and someone opened the car door and crawled in on to the backseat.

‘There, see? I already got Banner! That’s how quick I am.’ Tony said, pointing at his phone.

‘Who are you talking to?’ Banner asked, closing the car door and leaning forward to look at the phone.
‘Oh, you.’ Banner said.

‘Oh, you.’ Loki responded, equally unsettled.

‘Why are you talking to Loki?’ Banner asked Tony.

‘Well, I wanted to check on Thor, but apparently he is ‘eating’.’ Tony said, doing quotation marks with his hands when saying the last word.
‘So I think Loki got him imprisoned or something, we need to get to Asgard and save him.’ Tony continued. ‘Let’s go to my base and figure something out.’

‘Uuuh… actually you wanted to drive me to this conference…’ Banner said weakly.

‘Yeah that can wait, let’s go.’ Tony said, starting to drive again.

Tony was hitting the gas so fast that Banner fell unto the backseat and quickly buckled himself in.

‘Would you all calm down?’ Loki said, rolling his eyes. ‘I told you everything is fine. I’m not lying for once.’

‘This is Thor’s bedroom.’ It came from Banner now.

‘What?’ Tony asked over his shoulder.

‘Thor’s bedroom. Where Loki is. When we uh… talked to Thor last time, it was the.. the same room. I recognize the symbols on the bedframe… there, see?’ Banner said, pointing.

‘What the hell are you doing in Thor’s bed?’ Tony asked.

‘Let’s just say you will have to get used to seeing me in here from now on.’ Loki grinned.

Tony hit the breaks. While some honking could be heard in the background, Tony’s face grew huge as he was leaning in very close to the phone. ‘Now what’s that supposed to mean? Please don’t tell me Thor eventually gave in to you? I knew it! I knew it all the way! Didn’t I tell you, Banner? It was so clear at the wedding! And don’t get me started on that hickey!’ Tony yelled at the phone.

‘Uh… Tony, people get really mad….’ Banner said, looking nervously out of the window. ‘Maybe we should… just… pull over or something…’

‘Don’t be such a Drama Queen, Stark. I promise you, you will get invited to the wedding.’ Loki continued, dangling the wedding band in front of the phone screen.

‘WHAT WEDDING? ARE YOU TELLING ME THE VERY REASON THE AVENGERS EXIST, NAMELY YOU ANNOYING PIECE OF PAIN, IS MARRYING THOR NOW??? AND WHAT IS THIS THING YOU ARE DANGLING AROUND THERE?!’ Tony yelled.

‘It… uh… looks like a wedding band.’ Banner said weakly from the backseat.

‘A what?’ Tony asked.

‘Well… the uhm… the old Vikings used them for the Handfasting Ceremony, which was an essential part of weddings back… back in the day. So… uh… that looks just like one of those. Tony please, can we get off the road? I think I hear sirens… this is making me nervous…’ Banner stammered, rubbing his arms panicky and rocking back and forth.

But Tony ignored his last comment and turned around to him. ‘How do you know these things? Do you have another PhD in Scandinavian history or something?’

Loki enjoyed this too much to put into words.

‘Look, I got to hang up now, and you better give Bruce some Xanax or something or the green guy comes out. Be sure to look out for the wedding invitations.’ Loki winked.
‘LOKI!’ Tony yelled angrily.

But Bruce had already started to turn green and a deep growl was escaping his lips.

‘Bruce?’ Tony asked concerned, now turning to Banner again.

Before he could see anymore, Loki hung up.

Thor entered the room again as Loki had put the phone away and laughed mischievously.

‘What is it?’ Thor asked.

‘Oh, nothing. You might want to call Stark back. And maybe go to Earth altogether. I think the Hulk is loose.’

‘What?’ Thor said alarmed. ‘Why? What did you do?’

‘Nothing. I was merely being honest. Doesn’t do much for me, I’ve got to tell you. Honesty. I should stick to lying.’ Loki said.

Thor threw Loki’s clothes at him. ‘If this is true, then you come with me.’ Thor said.

‘No. Why?’

‘Because, brother mine, you are part of the Avengers now.’

Loki looked at the wedding band still in his hand and sighed. ‘Ugh. Fine.’ And he took the clothes Thor had chucked towards him and got dressed.

Well, the whole story had one good thing though: Starks face will be priceless when he figures out Loki wasn't lying!

 

--- THE END ---