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A Frost Giant On The Throne of Asgard

Chapter Text

“Are you not content, brother?” Thor asked, brow furrowed in concern for his brother.  Loki was pressed against the edge of the bathing pool, his chest puffed out and head tipped back, his lips twisted in an unpleasant expression.  The bathing pools were perfumed and heated, meant to relax the warriors after a long day of sparring. Yet Loki looked to be anything but comfortable, wading in the warm, shallow pool.

Loki’s response came after a long pause, “I am fine, Thor.”

Thor smiled and edged closer to his brother.  Steam rose off the top of the water, fogging the air around them.  If anybody came into the pools now, they would probably not see Thor and Loki through the mist.  “You performed so well today. Your Seiðr seems to grow stronger every day.”

Loki’s lips turned at the corners, yet he did not budge from his position at the pool’s edge.  “Thank you, I know,” he said. Thor edged closer to his brother, so that their sides were pressed flush and he could drape his arm across Loki’s glistening shoulders.  Loki flinched, bright green eyes popping open and directing a glare in his brother’s direction.

“No, Thor,” he hissed, and jerked away from Thor’s sticky touch.  Thor frowned, neither used to nor keen on having his advances being rejected.  He clung to Loki, wrapping his arms around his waist.

“Nobody will see us, Loki.  The bath house is empty but for you and I,” he insisted, and pressed a hot kiss to Loki’s neck.  His flesh was warm and sweaty, and Thor groaned, rutting his hardening cock against his brother’s thigh.  Loki growled at him.

“I do not care, Thor!  Let me go,” he panted, squirming against his brother’s touch.  It was so hot in here! How could Thor even be thinking of coupling… just the thought made Loki sweat.  He finally broke free from his brother’s grip, leaning against the edge of the pool and panting harshly.

“What is wrong with you?” Thor asked.  “Why do you deny me your pleasure?”

“I will deny you anytime I want, you brute,” Loki hissed, still panting.  A flush rose on his chest and cheeks, and he saw spots dancing before his eyes… he took in a few harsh breaths, sweat dripping from his brow and into his eyes.  “Thor, I am… I am so hot. I’m too hot,” he gasped, going light in the head. Thor waded closer and caught his brother just before he could collapse forward into the hot water.

“Loki!” he gasped, and hefted his brother from the pool.  Loki’s skin was balmy and sticky with sweat, and he remained draped limply in Thor’s arms as he carried him out of the water.  He hardly took enough time to cover his own modesty, as well as Loki’s (for he was sure that his brother would never forgive him for carrying him through the palace with all of his body exposed, no matter how impressive a body it was) before rushing his brother to the healers.

A hundred dreadful scenarios played out in Thor’s mind as he waited for the healers to examine his brother.  Loki must have been poisoned, or perhaps he had come down with some strange Elvish disease. Loki had never passed out from the heat before, no matter how sensitive his skin always had been to the sun.  What if there was something permanently wrong with him? What if he never recovered? What if he died ?”

“Prince Thor,” the healer Eir appears in the infirmary doorway.  Her face is pale; she is scared. Whether she is scared for Loki’s health  or scared to confront Thor in his stricken state, though, he could not say.  “We must call for the Allfather.”

“Odin?” Thor asked, panic seizing his chest.  “What is wrong with Loki?”

“Please, Your Highness,” she asked, and her voice began to tremble ever so slightly.  Thor realized belatedly that he was calling the storm, thunder rumbling loudly outside of the castle.  “You should not see him like this. We need the Allfather’s input before we proceed.”

Thor went to get his father.  Odin went in to the infirmary alone, ordering Thor to remain in the hallway outside.  He slumped against the wall and waited. Then Frigga came, and Thor implored his mother to let him in, but she simply bustled past with the promise that he could enter to see Loki soon.  And then she disappeared too into the room, and did not return for nearly an hour.

When the infirmary door creaked open much later, Thor sprang to his feet and looked expectantly at his father and mother.  Odin looked at him solemnly, tilting his chin forward ever so slightly. “My son,” he said, then glanced at his wife, who stepped forward and took hold of her son’s hands.  Thor trembled in her arms, worry for Loki overwhelming him. Outside, lightning flashed in the sky and thunder shook the clouds.

“My darling Thor,” she said so gently, her blue eyes searching his own intently.  “Your brother has been through much today. When you see him, do not be afraid.”

“What is wrong with him?” Thor demanded, ready to push past his parent and burst through the infirmary doors if they made him wait any longer to know what had happened to his brother.

“Nothing is wrong with Loki,” Odin said as a matter-of-fact.  “He is Jotunn.”

Thor stared at his father.  What did he mean? Loki was Jotunn ?  No.  No, Loki was his brother .  His lover!  He was not a Frost Giant.  It could not be so. He turned to look at Frigga, who gave a slight tip of her head and nodded.  

“But it’s not possible!  He and I were raised together.  I have known him since birth. I…,” he paused, looking at his mother, and then back to his father.  His chest seized at the sight of his father, so solemn and impartial to this all, and he felt suddenly very angry.  “How could you do this? How could you not tell us!” he shouted. Odin did not even flinch from his son’s anger.

“Thor, you must understand.  I did this for him. When I found him in Jotunheim-- he was all alone, a runtling prince left to die.  I thought of you, my own son who was still just a babe here in Asgard, and I could not leave him. I took him to save him.  Without me, e would have died as an infant.”

“A noble act indeed, I am sure,” Thor replied, unable to keep the anger from his trembling voice.  He stepped forward. “I would see him for myself.”

He burst into the room, and when he entered the silence was almost more stunning than screaming chaos would have been.  His parents did not follow after him, as he might have expected. Instead the door shut behind him with a dull thunk , and Thor padded quietly towards the bed in the center of the room.

His brother sat in the middle, long legs folded over each other.  There was a loose tunic draped over his shoulders to cover his modesty.  He was staring at his hands, palms face up and colored a deep shade of cobalt blue.  His eyes, which were focused intently at his lap, were as red as a deep glass of mulberry wine.  His heritage lines stood out dark and proud on his forehead and arms and traveled down his body and below his tunic.

“Loki,” he said very timidly, unsure of what to do with himself.  His brother did not look up from his hands, turning over his palms and examining them; his dark blue fingers, his even darker fingernails.

“Loki,” he said again, and finally his brother looked up. His eyes were hard and angry.  Or perhaps they were just red. Thor felt his stomach churn at the sight of Loki’ usually pale and delicate face, now deformed with blue skin and Laufey’s heritage lines etched upon his skin.

“Did you know, brother ?” he hissed, angry. Bile rose up in Thor’s throat.

“Loki, no,” he choked out.  Loki sneered at him and turned his face away.  Thor finally stumbled forward, sitting on the edge of the bed and reaching out to hold his brother.  His hands stopped just inches away from the skin, for he was timid to touch the cool flesh and risk having himself burned.  It was only a few seconds that Thor hesitated, but that was time enough for Loki to notice and to jerk away, sneering.

“Are you afraid to touch me now, Thor? So frightened by the monster that stands before you, that you cannot even bring yourself to touch?” he snarled.  Thor’s mouth fell open, and he struggled to come up with the words to reply. Loki barreled on.  “Oh, forget that you were rutting against my hip like an animal only hours ago! For then you didn’t know that it was a Frost Giant who was your brother... the monster that parents tell their children about at night!”

“Loki, stop,” Thor gasped, and this time he did reach out and touch his brother’s skin, feeling the cool flesh beneath his fingers for the first and also the thousandth time.  He held on to him as tight as he knew that Loki could bear. “You are not a monster, Loki. You are my brother.”

Loki scoffed angrily and turned his face away.  Thor held on to him still, and they stayed pressed close until Loki finally turned back, tears glistening in his eyes.  He let out an angry sob and pressed his face into Thor’s shoulder, his breathing harsh as it had been in the bathing pools earlier.

“Did they tell you my condition?” he asked through gritted teeth.  Thor sighed, and pressed his hand into Loki’s long and ebony hair.

“Father said that you were Jotunn.  That he found you on the battlefield of Jotunheim, and could not leave an infant to die,” Thor said.  His eyes flickered towards Loki’s obvious heritage lines; the royal line of Jotunheim was very clearly sitting before him now.  “It’s clear to me now why he made such a decision.”

“Yes,” Loki hissed bitterly, touching his own forehead with delicate fingers.  “Laufey’s son, the runtling prince. It all makes so much sense now, the way they treated me.  They way you treated me.”

“Loki, I never knew,” Thor cried, pulling Loki close and pressing their foreheads together.  “I swear it, I never knew.”

Loki looked at him with narrowed eyes.  His gaze had always been piercing, but now with his eyes red and glowing it seemed like his scrutiny was all the more powerful.  Loki read his gaze, and after a short amount of time he let out a bitter chuckle. “Of course. Only one of us could ever be the God of Lies, and it would certainly never be the Golden Prince of Asgard.” He said.  “The rightful heir to the throne,” he added with a bitter tongue. Thor frowned.

“Stop it, brother.”

“I am not your brother,” Loki said very simply.  Thor growled, and outside, thunder boomed.

“Yes you are!  You are my brother and always will be!”

“Even when you fuck me?” Loki hissed, eyes darkening with hatred.  He glared at Thor, laughing bitterly. “Oh, the shame you will bring upon Asgard’s golden halls.  Bad enough to lust after your very own brother, but a Frost Giant too! You will never live it down, Odinson.  Especially not now.”

“What are you talking about, Loki?” Thor snapped.  Loki sneered.

“Did they not tell you what it was that brought me in here?” he asked, then he gestured wildly towards his own body.  “What has made me take on this hideous form?”

“You are not hideous,” Thor said in response, much too quickly.  Loki scoffed, eyeing Thor as doubtfully as he was due.

“You are an oaf and a fool,” Loki snapped, and he pulled away from Thor, swinging his legs over the side of the bed and staring at the wall.  His hands moved slowly to cover his stomach, palms flattening against his belly. “As am I,” he added with a sigh, almost as an afterthought. Thor frowned, and looked at his brother curiously.

“Loki?” he asked, tenderly.  “What is wrong? Are you dying?”

Loki scoffed.  “No, I am not dying,” he turned to look at Thor with a delirious grin.  His lips smiled, but his red eyes glittered with pain. “I am with child.  The Jotunn are an intersex race, and despite Odin’s glamours he was unable to prevent the inevitable,” he said.  Thor gaped, unable to think of anything to say. Loki laughed. “I am glad that you are as shocked as I was. Mother and father did not seem so much surprised.”

“Mother and father… know?” Thor asked, finally able to find his voice again.  Loki nodded, a soft hum escaping between his pressed lips. Thor swallowed. “And they know that it is mine?” he asked.  Loki’s lips curled.

“And why do you assume that the get is yours?” he asked with a flash of his sharp Jotunn teeth.   Thor’s expression darkened, but he did not allow himself to be goaded by his brother.

“Do not pretend, Loki.  There is no other whom you would allow to mount you but me.”

Loki scoffed.  “I suppose you are right.  And now, there is no one who would even think to want to.”

“Why is that?” Thor asked, and he reached out, touching the outside of Loki’s thigh very gently.  His brother’s gaze fell to his hand, and then he snarled at Thor angrily.

“I am a monster!” he shouted.  Thor shook his head.

“No, you are not.  You are my brother.  I love you.”

“You are a liar, Odinson,” he snarled, gnashing his teeth when Thor leaned in for a kiss.  Thor pushed him back, forcing Loki to lie against the pillows of the infirmary bed.

“No.  You are the one who lies, Loki.” he said.  He pressed Loki down even when he tried to get up, tried to get away from Thor and his kind words.  Thor held him around his waist and rested his head against Loki’s belly. He turned his face and pressed kisses to his belly, through his tunic.  “You are not a monster.”

“I am,” Loki said, struggling, tears swelling in his eyes.  “I am.”

“No, you are not.  You are my brother.”

“No.”

“MY brother, Loki.  The mother of my child,” Thor added, in a timid whisper.  Loki began to cry in earnest now, and Thor wrapped his arms around him, holding him ever more tightly.  His hands gripped at Thor, clinging to him closely.

“Thor,” he cried.  “Thor, I am sorry,” he said.  

“I love you, Loki. You have nothing to be sorry for.” He said, and he placed another kiss to his stomach.  And he held him as his brother trembled and cried, and then when Loki finally fell asleep he stayed there still, and held him all night.

Chapter Text

Loki was exhausted.

After another twenty-four hours, he was released from the healing wing and sent back to his own chambers, with a prescription for a hearty meal and a good night’s sleep.  He received neither, almost immediately vomiting up the steamed cod fish that was brought to him for supper, and spending the rest of his night tossing and turning beneath the stifling sheets of his bed.

Eir had told him to take an ice bath once in the morning, and again in the afternoon.  In between he was meant to take his meals, but Loki found that he didn’t have much of an appetite.  The ice baths made the heat more bearable, but they left his skin stinging and aching afterwards, and he could not seem to get comfortable.  Furthermore, he lacked any sort of appetite for meals. Considering that Aesir women usually became ravenous during their pregnancies (and Loki still shuddered to think it was possible, that he could even become pregnant) Loki knew that something was wrong.  But then again, he was neither a woman, nor was he apparently even Aesir.  Loki scowled at the thought of it, and went back to staring bitterly out the window.

Odin had not confined him to his chambers, so Loki was free by all means to leave the castle if he chose to.  Then again, Loki was sure that Odin knew that he would never dare to let anyone see him in his Jotunn form, and therefore he did not deem it necessary to officially confine Loki to his chambers.  Loki was content to isolate himself in the comfortable prison of his childhood chambers for the duration of his pregnancy, or for however long his body would continue to betray him with blue skin, red eyes, and long, pointed black horns.

Thor, of course, was making it difficult for Loki to sequester himself for long.  T He arrived at the door to Loki’s chambers each morning, doe-eyed and smiling, holding trays of pasties and fish eggs and all sorts of other foods that Loki normally would drool over.   He would then beg to break fast with Loki, and without fail each morning Loki would allow himself to be convinced that his brother’s presence would be a good thing for him. And yet, he was sorely disappointed each day.  All that Thor wanted to talk about was the babe .  Or try to convince Loki to accompany him for a walk around the grounds, outside .  Loki shuddered to think of leaving his chambers-- let alone the palace walls!-- while wearing this disgusting monster skin.

It was midday now.  The sun was high, sharp rays beating on Loki’s face through the window and breaking sweat on his brow.  Outside, the whole sky hummed with the terrible heat that the midsummer day was bringing. Thor had left only an hour ago, gone to the training fields to exert himself with his friends and fellow warriors.  Loki sneered and turned away from the window. He did not want to think of what fun his brother was no doubt having without him.

He stood, stretching his lithe body and peering in the mirror.  It took practice not to flinch at the very sight of his own body; the smooth expanses of dark blue skin still a shocking sight after nearly two weeks of living in this form.  His red eyes flashed as he took in the sight of himself in the mirror, and with trembling fingers he reached up and tugged, hard , at one of the black sprouting horns attached to his forehead.  He winced at the dull pain and sneered at himself in the mirror. It was no wonder that Thor would leave him here, go spend time with his Aesir friends rather than be around Loki, the Jotunn monster freak.  He was probably laughing about him with his friends right now, bragging about the conquest he’d made of Laufey’s runtling son.

With a roar, Loki flung himself at the mirror and cracked it in half.  Shards of glass stung his skin, but Loki paid no heed. Whatever pain came to him now, he deserved.  He was only a monster after all.

Tears running down his cheeks, blood flowing from his right arm, Loki flung himself on to his bed and buried his face in the sheets.  In that moment, he could feel the hate in his heart more heavily than ever before. He hated Odin for taking him from Jotunheim and not allowing him to with die there, for lying to him for 1100 years about what he really was.  He hated Frigga, for maintaining this lie all of his life. He hated Thor, for loving him so fiercely (even despite his monstrosity) and for planting this spawn in his belly that had turned his skin blue. He hated all of the Aesir, for their beautiful pale skin and their blonde hair and their prejudices… And most of all, he hated himself, for the monster and the freak that he was born as and ever should be.

Loki slept then, tired from his tears and rage.  In his dreams, he wore his Aesir form. Once again returned to his smooth, alabaster skin he was the perfect image of Asgardian beauty. His belly was rounded out and full, resting heavy on his hips as he prepared to birth Thor’s first born son.  He lay flat on his back, staring at the ceiling of the infirmary. It felt like he was pinned down by some strange, supernatural force, but when he tried to reach out with his magics he could not place it. He struggled, and his mother’s voice soothed him from inside his head.

“Loki, dear, you’re alright.  One more push and Thor’s child will be born.”

One more push.  Right, Loki could do this.  He could give his brother his first born son.  He took a deep breath and bore down, his belly twisting in agony.  It felt like knives were digging into his stomach! He cried out in pain at the same time that a cry sounded between his legs.

“Oh Norns…,” Frigga cried, and Loki immediately felt worry for his child.  He struggled to sit up, but still was pinned down by that unforgiving force.

“What?  What is it?”

“It’s… it’s a monster!” She said, and she held the babe up for Loki to see.  It’s skin was dark blue, its eyes shining red. It bawled in Frigga’s arms, its voice unnaturally shrill and painful to Loki’s ears.  From the babe’s forehead sprouted two tiny black horns, and he looked for all of Asgard like a frost demon. Loki began to cry, trembling as Frigga laid the screaming blue infant onto his chest.  And when he looked down at himself, Loki found that his own body had become blue too, and everyone in the room looked down on him in disgust.

Loki jerked awake, panicked.  He threw himself up and was surprised to find himself caught in Thor’s embrace, his brother holding on to him tightly even as he struggled.

“Loki!” Thor cried, and his brother snarled at him.

“Thor!  Let me go,” he barked.  Thor refused, his hands moving to grip Loki’s arm tightly.  Loki felt a pain, but it didn’t register until he saw the blood staining the sheets that he was cut, and bleeding.

“Loki, stop moving!  You are injured!”

“It’s just a bit of glass,” Loki snarled, and finally broke free, springing from the bed.  He turned his back to Thor, panting now, and carefully plucked the remaining shards of glass free from his arm.  Then he summoned his magic to heal the shallow wounds, and magicked the sheets clean with a bit of artful Seidr. When he turned back to the bed, Thor was looking at him with clear concern written on his face.

“Brother, you are not well,” he said.  Loki frowned and said nothing, tilting his chin defiantly towards the sky.  

“I am well enough.  What are you doing here, Thor?  Come to spy on me in my sleep?” He asked, eyebrows raised.  He tilted his lips in his signature smirk, though it looked a little shrewd, considering he was still recovering from his terrible nightmare and his injuries.  “I know that the Jotunn are your enemy race, but is it really necessary for you to spy on me so? It’s not as though I have plans to go running to Jotunheimr. Though a reprieve from the heat might be nice…”

“If you’re overhot, I can draw you an ice bath,” Thor said, stepping closer to his brother.  Loki sneered at him and Thor wisely kept his distance. “Loki, it is nearly time for supper. I came to fetch you, and see if you would accompany me downstairs for a meal.  Mother told me she misses your company at dinner.”

“Yet she hasn’t come to see me here once!” Loki growled.  Thor let out a quiet sigh.

“Loki, I am worried for you.  How did you end up with all those glass shards in your arm?”

“I broke the mirror,” he answered plainly.  Thor’s eyebrows shot up, and he looked to the broken mirror in the corner of the room with dismay.

“Loki, you must leave this room.  Staying in here all alone is driving you crazy.”

“Then let me be crazy!” Loki snarled, turning on his brother, stalking after him.  Loki threw himself into Thor’s face, conjuring an ice dagger from thin air and poking his brother in the neck with it. Thor did not flinch, only raised his hands to hold on to Loki’s trembling wrists.  “I won’t leave this room until this pregnancy is over! I won’t let anybody see me like this!

“Like what?  Like who you are?  Loki, you cannot stay locked up in your chambers for ten months!  People will ask questions, they’ll come looking for you-- and you have nothing to be ashamed of anyway.  The Jotunns are a strong people, they survive in the frostbitten tundra of Jotunheimr when all other life goes there to die.  You should be proud that such powerful blood runs through your veins.”

Loki scoffed.  “Proud? Proud of the people who lost a war against Asgard over a thousand years bago?  Proud of the family that left me to die as an infant, because I was too small? Proud of the blood that marks me now as an enemy to all of Asgard, and a traitor to the very house I was raised to believe I was a son of?” His nose crinkled in disgust.  “Why do you hasten to welcome my Jotunn heritage so openly, Thor? Is it that you are ashamed to have lain with your brother-- for though we do not share blood , as you have said, we have been raised for a thousand years with such a belief.  Do you fear the reaction of your people, when they discover their Crown Prince is a pervert?  What is your plan, hm? That I leave this chamber, that I walk about the palace flaunting my blue skin and red eyes, declaring myself Laufeyson, and that will somehow erase your shame?  That it will forgive the fact that you’ve sired an heir with your very own kin!”

“You are twisting my words!” Thor accused, growing angry.  “I am not ashamed of you Loki, or the love I have felt for you, not now or ever before!  But I miss my brother- for that is what you still are- and I am tired of letting you waste away in your chambers while the world carries on without you.  You are with child, Loki.” He bravely let his hands move from where they held Loki’s wrists to rest firmly on his belly. “This is a time for celebration.  Our friends and our people will be overjoyed to see your return, no matter the color of your skin or the ridges on your forehead,” he says. Loki’s nose crinkled at the mention of his heritage lines, and Thor let his thumb stroke over Loki’s pale blue cheek.  “You are beautiful. You are glowing.”

“I am a monster,” Loki answered.  Thor shook his head, chuckling to himself.

“You are stubborn, is what you are.  But I will not relent. Now will you take your supper with me downstairs, or must I have the servants bring it to your chambers once again?”

Loki frowned, looking away from his brother.  He let his hand rest unconsciously on his belly.  “Have them bring it up again, please,” he said quietly.  “I am… not ready tonight,” he said, glancing towards his broken mirror.  Thor followed his gaze, a worried expression on his face. Loki gave him a tentatively reassuring smile, and nodded.  ‘But perhaps… tomorrow, we could break our fast in mother’s garden? I have missed her as well.”

Thor face lit up, and he nodded in agreement with Loki’s suggestion.  Clearly, this was the best news he had heard in quite a while. Loki felt himself blush under his brother’s enthusiastic attention, and he knew his cheeks were turning navy. “Of course!  Let me call for a page, and let him know to bring us our supper here tonight.”

“You are taking your supper with me, here?” Loki asked.  This was not usual, for Thor typically dined with their mother and father.  Loki had been forgoing his evening meals as of late, not typically in the mood for any food when Thor wasn’t there to bully him into finishing his entire portion.  

“Of course.  I think you must be lonely up here all day, and I fear I have been neglecting you lately,” Thor said, and he reached out to touch Loki’s hand affectionately.  He didn’t even flinch at the cool touch, and Loki felt a sudden surge of affection for his brother. “Is that alright with you, Loki?”

“Thor,” Loki answered, voice quiet, and all of a sudden he clambered into his brother’s arms, holding him around his waist and pressing his cheek against Thor’s chest.  “Forget about supper for now. We can always eat after.”

“After what?” Thor asked, frowning.  Loki pushed him with force, then, and Thor landed with a thump on the bed.  Loki climbed on top of his brother, flashing his sharp Jotunn teeth and smiling mischievously down at him.

“After this,” he said, and he leaned forward and kissed his brother on the mouth.

Chapter Text

Loki was not dealing with the pregnancy well.  

Thor grew more worried with each day that passed where he would awake to the sound of Loki’s sick coming from down the hall.  Loki spurned his presence during these times, turning on him with bared teeth and harsh words when Thor tried to hold his hair back for him or rub his back.  So instead of risking frost-bite from his insolent brother, Thor would wait and stare at the ceiling, unable to sleep until a long time had passed and Loki returned to their bed, curled in on himself to stop his trembling until he could force himself back to sleep.

“Perhaps you should see the healers,” Thor suggested one morning as they took their breakfast in the gardens.  He was rewarded with a lap full of porridge, and the silent treatment from his brother for the rest of the day.  Thor spent his energy beating down warriors in the training pits, while Loki watched from afar with a melancholy frown and an angry fist curled around the small bump of his stomach.

Later in the day a pageboy came with a note from Frigga to Loki, requesting his presence for afternoon tea.  Loki snatched the note away from him with a sour frown and a half-hearted “thank you”.

Needless, Loki’s mood was a little brightened by the prospect of taking tea with his mother.  He spends the rest of his morning walking the training grounds, collecting wild herbs and flowers that he might use to fashion some draught for his stomach.  He doesn’t trust Eir to make him a tonic that will soothe his nausea, but he knows that he cannot carry on much longer in his current state. The sick that he hides from Thor in the mornings is foul and terrifying to him.  He spits up blood along with his vomit, and sometimes he imagines he can even feel horns of the little monster tearing at the lining of his stomach. If he doesn’t find some spell to soothe the illness soon, he knows that it will drain the life right out of him.

Frigga’s gardens were bright and beautiful, the flowers in full bloom at this time of year.  Loki let his long blue fingers glide gently over the petals of the bright yellow Smörboll, half expecting the leaves of the plant to wilt at his very touch.  They did not, in fact, the flower straightened and leant into his touch. Loki’s spirit brightened ever slightly and he stared at the flower, so entranced by its beauty that he was startled when his mother appeared close behind him.

“Loki, dear,” Frigga said.  Loki turned his head, surprised, and allowed his reddened eyes to meet his mother’s gaze for only a moment before he looked downwards.  Frigga’s hands reached out to cup his cheeks, forcing Loki’s chin high once more. “You’re wilting my love. Where is my proud little boy?”

Loki sneered.  “He was destroyed a long time ago, I’m afraid,” he said mildly, and with a sigh he leaned into his mother’s touch, having missed her tender love.  He cups his own hands around hers and forces a smirk on his lips. “But I suppose I can live with the monster Odin’s son has been replaced with, if only because of how I cherish that my status will bear a Frost Giant onto the throne of Asgard.”

“Oh, Loki,” Frigga sighs, releasing Loki’s face and leading him gently to sit on a nearby stone bench.  “You know that your father never wanted to cause you any pain. He only hid your heritage because he never wanted you to feel any different.”

“Well he was wrong!’ Loki shouted.  Friagga frowned, neither agreeing nor rebuking Loki’s claim.  Her hand was a gentle presence on the back of his neck, her fingers stroking idly through his long, sleek hair.  Skillfully she began to weave his hair into loose plaits, as she once had done for him when he was a child. Loki trembled beneath her fingers, his eyelids slipping closed.  Inside of his chest his pain grew, but he pushed it down, instead focusing on the sensation of his mother’s fingers at the back of his neck.

“Your father has made mistakes.  As have you. As have we all ,” Frigga said eventually.  “I made a mistake as well. I never should have allowed him to conceal your heritage.  I am so sorry, Loki.” She sighed. “I was afraid that if you knew… You might not think that I loved you as much.  But it was exactly the opposite. From the moment Odin placed you in my arms I knew that I was destined to be your mother, and I loved you all the more for your blue skin and tiny horns on your head.”

Loki jerked away from Frigga then, glaring at her over his shoulder.  Tears glistened in his eyes. “You are selfish,” he hissed. Frigga looked at him with sadness in her eyes.

“Aye.  But I loved you from the moment I laid eyes on your.  Despite your differences, I saw you only as my son from the first moment I held you in my arms.”

“So what?” Loki snarled.  “I was still a monster! Your love does not change that!”

“Oh Loki, of course it does,” Frigga said, standing up and following after her son, collecting him in her arms even as he tried to back away.  She cradled his head to her chest, whispering in his ear. “Your eyes may be red and your teeth sharp, your skin blue and covered in lines. But that has not ever made you a monster.  And neither will it make your child.”

“Away!  Get away from me!” Loki snarled, breaking free from his mother’s arms and storming to the other side of the gardens.  He got as far as the Smörboll bush before he turned around again, angry tears pouring down his ruddy opal cheeks. “My very own body tries to starve the child!  Every morning I heave blood into the basin along with my supper from the night before. My very own biology knows that the thing inside of me cannot survive, that it is a monster and it deserves to die!”

“Loki,” Frigga said, her voice strained with pain.  “Surely you don’t mean what you say.”

“I don’t hope for the child’s death,” Loki sniffed, looking away from his mother.  His hand slid carefully over his belly, cupping the small bump protruding from his hips.  “But I don’t think I would mourn if I woke to tomorrow to find that the child in my belly was dead.”  With this answer, Frigga still looked troubled, but Loki did not know any more what he should say. He’d laid his heart bare to his mother, and now he just had to wait to see her reaction.

“You will not feel this way once you hold the child in your arms,” she finally said.  Bitter tears filled Loki’s eyes, and he turned away from his mother with a dismissive shake of his head.  Frigga carried on, “You will see, Loki, the first time you hold the babe in your arms. Trust me when I say, she will become the light of your life before you have even realized it.”

“She?” Loki whispered, looking at Frigga calculatingly.  “Have you spied the future, mother?”

Frigga smiled timidly, her tips twitching at the corners.  “It was the reason I called you to tea with me. Which, we still have not sat down to, by the way,” Frigga said.  Drying his tears, Loki hastened to follow after his mother deeper into her gardens. They sat at a low table, and Frigga poured them each a cup of fruity tea.  Loki stuffed his face with sugar-glazed scones while he waited expectantly for his mother to tell him what she saw.

“It was not much of a vision.  The runes take care to conceal the future.  But I saw you, with a little girl. You were teaching her Seidr.”

“And she?” Loki whispered.  “Was she Jotunn?”

“You always were so stubborn,” Frigga said with a sigh, and she reached out, tucking a loose strand of hair behind Loki’s ear.  “Dear, of course she was, because that is what you are. But never doubt that you will love this child, Loki.”

When he next spoke, his voice trembled.  “But what if I cannot?”

“Oh Loki,” she said, stroking her thumb over his cheek.  “You love more fiercely and with more loyalty than any other I have ever met.  You have so much in your heart to give, dear. It is only your fear that has ever held you back.  And I know that it is hard, that this is all so unfamiliar to you. And I cannot promise you that you will never be afraid.  But when you are, I will be here... and so will your father, and Thor. And I can promise you that all you need to do is open your heart to this child, and you will find it is the easiest thing you have ever done to love her.”

Now, Loki openly wept.  “But why am I so ill?” he asked, gritting his teeth, barely able to contain his angry and confused snarl.  “Why do I find myself retching every morning, spewing blood and vomit like… like my body is trying to kill the child!  Or kill me!”

“Do not shout, Loki,” Frigga soothed her child.  Loki has always been so quick to distress, but Frigga could see that this stress was beginning to take a harder toll on her son than even was usual.  “I will fashion you a tonic for your morning sickness. That is all that it is.” She smoothed her hands over his cheeks. Loki sighed, finally managing to relax a little in his mother’s arms.  “Now, drink your tea,” she said, and gave him a terse pat on the cheek. “It’s getting cold.”

Obediently, Loki picked up his teacup and took a sip, taking care to stick his pinky out.  Over the rim of the cup, he smirked when he saw his mother’s smile. He hoped that she was right about his child.

That evening, Loki suffered the drought that his mother contrived for him to soothe his nausea.  Thor was delighted with this. As he served them supper he piled Loki’s plate high with a double serving of smoked herring.  Loki did not eat it all, not wanting to make himself more ill than usual if the potion did not work, but he couldn’t help smiling at his brother fondly nonetheless.  Thor talked over most of their meal, telling Loki a grand story about his triumph in the sparring pits that morning.

After supper, Loki complained to Thor that he was still hungry.

“You didn’t even finish all of your supper,” Thor said, stripping out of his armor and hanging it on the wall.  Loki sighed, looking at Thor demurely. His brother rolled his eyes. “Don’t tell me you want more pasties.”

“Please, Thor,” Loki whined, draping himself over their bed and taking a languid stretch.  For most of the first month of his pregnancy, the only thing Loki seemed to want to eat were sweet breads and sticky pasties.  That was before the severe morning sickness had set in, and Thor wasn’t too thrilled about it then, but he held his tongue. The last thing he had wanted to do was upset a pregnant Jotunn ’s eating habits… else he might become Loki’s next snack.  He’s not being prejudiced, Loki explicitly warned Thor that if he didn’t get him his pasties, he would eat him instead.  He was pretty sure he was speaking in jest… but Thor wasn’t willing to take the chance.

“You are ridiculous,” Thor sighed.  Loki glared at him and picks up Thor’s cloak, throwing it at him.  Thor caught it and, with a roll of his eyes, clipped the heavy fabric over his shoulders.  “Fine. I’ll bring you some berries.”

‘And cream,” Loki insisted.  Thor nodded in agreement and went to get his brother’s dessert.

When he returned, they laid together on the bed.  Loki popped lingonberries into his mouth by the handful, scooping sweet cream with his fingers and sucking the sugary fluff off the tips of his fingers.  Thor smiled as he watched him. It had been weeks since Loki had shown any cravings, or really had any sort of appetite whatsoever. Thor was glad to see him faring so well.

“What are you smiling about?”

“You are beautiful,” Thor answered, without missing a beat.  Loki scoffed and held out a whipped cream-covered berry out to his brother’s lips.  Thor leaned forward and licked the treat off of his brother’s fingers, Loki’s black-colored nails scraping against his tongue.   Tentatively he reached out, smoothing his hand over the small curve of Loki’s belly. His brother’s didn’t flinch away, though he did give Thor a curious look.

“Did you enjoy mother’s company today?” Thor asked, sliding his fingers beneath his brother’s shirt, pressing the hell of his palm to Loki’s rounded stomach.  Loki lifted the now empty bowl of berries and cream, placed it on the table beside their bed and scooted closer to Thor.

“Yes,” Loki said, reaching out and placing his hand gently over Thor’s.  Thor strokes his belly, massaging the soft pudge that was beginning to grow in Loki’s midsection.  Soon, he would be large enough that the pregnancy would be too hard to hide anymore. They would have to make the news public, soon.  “She’s spied on the future. She tells me that we are expecting a daughter.”

Thor gasped, his eyes lighting up with joy.  Loki smiled a little bit, and laughed in surprise when Thor suddenly shot forward and pressed his lips to Loki’s.  His hands flew up to cup Thor’s cheeks and he held him, grunting quietly when he jostled his body, pawing at his clothes like a man possessed.  Their lips broke apart and Loki tossed his head to the side, panting softly against Thor’s neck.

“You are far too pleased about this,” Loki said, but there wasn’t any judgement in his tone.  If anything, he was pleased that Thor was so happy. At least one of them was excited about this pregnancy… as annoying as Thor’s dopey smile might be.  He sighed, tilting his head to the side and enjoying the feeling of Thor’s lips marking his neck. “Ah, Thor, right there.”

“Let me undress you,” Thor said.  Thor’s hands tugged at the bottom of his shirt, and he rolled it up and over Loki’s shoulders, exposing the perfect swell of Loki’s belly and his bare chest.  Already, his nipples were beginning to swell, his once-flat chest growing puffy and sensitive. Thor wondered if soon, Loki’s teats would swell with milk for their child.  Thor nearly moaned at the thought, reaching out and twisting Loki’s pebbled nipples with his thumb.

“Stop that,” he said, swatting Thor’s hands away.  Thor chuckled at his brother and bent down to kiss him again.

“Do you really think I am beautiful, Thor?” Loki asked.  “Even in this giant’s shade, you still want me?” He unbuttoned his pants and let him fall from his hips.  He cocked his head to the side as he awaited Thor’s answer, his black hair falling in long and elegant curls around his shoulders.  When his hair parted, it revealed the sharp black hors that protruded from his forehead. Thor should have found it repulsive. Instead, he thought it the most attractive thing he’d seen in his life.  He wanted to drape Loki in jewels and kisses, worship him like the King that he was meant to be. Loki was different, and it was that which made him so gorgeous.

“Yes.  I am aching for you,” he confessed.  Loki smiled. He pressed his body against Thor’s, tangling his fingers into Thor’s thick blonde hair.  Thor wrapped his lips around Loki’s dark nipple and sucked and tugged with his teeth.

“I love you, brother,” Loki gasped against Thor’s open mouth.  He moaned, capturing Loki’s dark lips in a warm kiss. He pressed his body closer to Thor’s, moving his hips against him.  His hard, curved erection brushed Thor’s thigh. This part of his body was a darker shade of blue than all the rest, his cockhead shiny and almost purple, it was so dark with blood.  Thor reached between them and stroked Loki’s cock, feeling it dribble precum on his fingers. He let out a hoarse moan when Loki reached down and grabbed at the bulge of Thor’s erection in his pants.  Everything about Thor was so big, and Loki knew that his cock was no different. He could not wait to feel the huge length of it stuffing his body full.

“Do you love me?” Loki whispered, lips training Thor’s neck, following a path down his chest.  Thor released a broken moan of pleasure, feeling Loki’s hands travel across his body. He didn’t answer Loki’s question, and gasped his name instead.

“Loki,” he moaned.  Loki ripped Thor’s clothes all the way off, stroking his cock in a rough and calloused hand.  He slid down his body and laved at it with his soft, pink tongue. He tasted the salt of Thor’s sweat and precum dripping from his pink, swollen cockhead.  He sucked Thor into his mouth and hallowed out his cheeks. Thor grunted and jerked, pulling Loki off of his cock suddenly. He tangled his fingers into Loki’s hair, then daringly reached out and tugged at one of his horns.  Loki keened and moaned, allowing his brother to pull him up by the appendage on his head.

“That was rude,” Loki groused.  Thor kissed him, his fingers reaching between Loki’s legs to probe at his hot, wet quim.  Though Loki’s skin was cooler than Thor’s normally, here he was nothing but hot.

“I want to taste you.  Now hush,” he said. He helped Loki into a more comofrtable position on his back, and then he went between his brother’s legs.  He kissed him on his thigh, rubbing gently at the swell of Loki’s pregnant belly. Then he leaned in and let his tongue dart out, tasting the dark folds of his brother’s cunt.  Loki was so wet, his juices flowing freely, and Thor rumbled at the sweet salty taste. Another ush of his tongue, he began to eat Loki out with vigor. Loki thrashed and moaned beneath his brother’s tongue.  Loki’s cunt was dripping, and inside himself he felt the raw need to be filled like a raging fire.

This went on for some time, and Thor wrung two orgasms out of his brother before Loki had enough, pushing Thor away with his feet.  Thor kissed each of his toes, smiling, and knelt alongside his brother on the bed. He held his cock in his hand, stroking him up and down with precision.  Loki huffed and reached out, stilling Thor’s hand and rolling over on his belly.

“Fuck me, brother,” he gasped.  In one long, slow push Thor sunk his cock into Loki’s quim.  He rocked his body gently backwards, moaning loudly at the feeling of Thor’s cock filling him.  Thor rocked his hips, nudging Loki forward, and they both let out twin cries of pleasure. Oh, yes.  This was nice. This was very good.

They chased their pleasure together.  Loki wrung two orgasms from Thor’s spent cock before he toppled over the edge himself and came in thick, white spurts all over his hand and their silken sheets.  They would need to be cleaned tomorrow morning, but that was no concern for them now. They toppled over together, in a sweaty mess, and Thor quickly fell asleep with Loki in his arms.

That night, Loki slept soundly for the first time in four months.

Chapter Text

The birth of their child was a tiring, but straightforward affair.  He felt the first contractions in the early hours of the morning, at the height of Asgard’s winter.  Outside, snowflakes fluttered and danced in the sky, sticking to the paned glass window as Loki labored and cried in the healing chambers.  Thor insisted on his presence in the room despite Eir’s complaints, but in the end Loki declared that he would refuse to push the baby out if Thor was not allowed to stay, and she made an exception for them.

And then a squalling child was being pushed into his arms, her skin warm and sticky against his bare chest.  He let out a breath he hadn’t known he was holding, a tiny sob escaping his lips as he beheld the babe in his arms.  Her skin was a pale shade of violet, her lips a darker shade of cobalt that was closer to Loki’s own. No horns sprouted from her forehead, but it was very possible that those would grow in with age.  Her teeth were sharp, her eyes were bright blue and clear like her father’s. Atop her head sat a mop of inky black hair which curled around her ears.

“She is healthy, my Lord,” Eir stated, drawing some sheets up over Loki’s bare legs to cover his modesty.  Loki nodded, unable to remove his gaze from his daughter. She nuzzled at his chest, her mouth open and searching for a nipple to suckle at.

“Aye,” he said, dragging a black fingernail lightly over his cheek.  He felt like a sudden weight was lifted from his chest as the babe closed her lips around his nipple, drawing milk from his chest.  He quickly wiped tears from his eyes. “And she is precious, too.”

Thor settled gently only the edge of the bed, touching his brother’s shoulder and leaning closer to see the child.  She made a soft noise against Loki’s chest and turned towards her father, blinking her big blue eyes.

“By Norns, Loki,” Thor gasped, “That came out of you!” he cried.  Loki snorted and jabbed his brother in the stomach.

“Aye, Thor.  And you put her in me,” he said.  Thor smiled, lips wobbling a little as he leaned forward to get a better look at the babe.  He reached out to touch her cheek, but when he did he was burned and he jerked back immediately, clutching his frost-bitten hand to his chest.  Loki laughed at him.

“That’s my sweetling,” he cooed.  She smacked her lips and turned her attention back to Loki’s chest to drink.  He lifted his free hand, the one that wasn;t holding the babe, and waved it in his brother’s direction.  Thor was instantly healed, but a fat lot of good it did when momentarily he was reaching for the child once again.

“Thor, you’ll be burned,” Loki warned.  Thor grunted.

“Then let her burn me.  I am her father and I would hold her on the day of her birth,” he said.  Loki clucked at him but released the child into his brother’s arms anyway.  He only smirked a little bit when his brother winced in pain, and quickly used his Seidr to reach out and heal his brother’s skin as the child burned him.  She began to cry.

“Oh, don’t cry,” Thor sighed, hushing and cooing at the child as she bawled in his arms.  The sight of Thor, with all his muscles and strength, holding something so small and dainty was almost hysterical to Loki.  “Don’t cry, mitt hjärta. There is nothing to cry for on this day. Please, little one,” Thor carried on, and against his better judgement he bent down to kiss the child’s cheeks.  At first it stung, but as he peppered her cheeks with kisses the child finally was soothed, and then suddenly it did not hurt to hold her anymore. The babe mewled and yawned, curling against Thor’s chest and closing her eyes.  Thor smiled triumphantly. “Loki, she doesn’t burn me anymore.”

“That’s just because she doesn’t know you yet,” Loki answered dryly.  But he was smiling, and Thor settled in comfortable beside him and placed an affectionate kiss on his cheek.

“Would you like to rest, dear?”

“I would watch her a little longer,” Loki said, flattening his hands over the small bump of his belly, still swollen and tender after the birth.  “I am not ready to let her out of my sight just yet.” He reached out, smoothing his fingers through her soft dark hair.

“Of course,” Thor said.  The babe was still in his arms now, her mouth dropped open as she slept against his chest.  She was truly precious. She would grow to be a beautiful and beloved Queen. “What will you name her?”

“She will be called Fjóla,” Loki said.  His lips trembled as he smiled. “For she is as bright and beautiful as a violet flower, and in my heart I feel more love for her than I have ever felt in my life.”

Thor smiled and ducked his chin to press a kiss to Loki’s brow.  His brother smiled and leaned closer to Thor, pressing his cheek to his shoulder and closing his eyes.  Thor stroked his hand through his brother’s hair, taking care to hold the child securely with his other hand.  “Rest, darling. You’ve fought a great battle on this day.”

Floating in that place between sleep and consciousness Loki snorts, the corners of his lips lifting in an amused smile.  Of course Thor would be the first one to liken childbirth to war .  Of course, he wasn’t entirely wrong.  Loki would tease him for the comparison in the morning, but for now he would rest.

Epilogue

Loki struts from the palace, babe bouncing at his hip and chattering happily about all of her grand plans for the day.  Loki looked up at the sky and noticed the gray thunderclouds rolling in from the east, and noted that perhaps his daughters plans for a flower-crown party with Loki and Frigga would have to wait for another day.

“Let’s go see what your father is up to, Fjóla,” Loki said, and held out his hand to the little girl.  She laced her periwinkle fingers within Loki’s and began to swing their hands back and forth, bouncing and hopping her way through the grass towards the training pits.  With each passing day the darling seemed grow more lively.

“Daddy, daddy!” she cried as they grew closer to the pits, and with an unexpected strength she pulled free from Loki’s arms and ran towards her father.  Thor yielded his fight and dropped his hammer just in time to catch the girl as she went flying through the air and into his arms. He smiled and spun her around as she giggled, and he brought her in for a fat, wet kiss on her cheek.

“Fjóla, my love!” he said, and settled the babe on his hip as he climbed out of the training pits, sparring already long forgotten.  He walked towards his brother, who was looking at his daughter with an exasperated yet fond expression. “What plans do you and you dame have for this fine morning?”

“Magic,” Fjóla said, burying her hands into Thor’s long hair and tugging at her father’s braids.  He was so used to it by now that Thor did not even flinch. “Make the flowers grow!”

“Ah!  Your Seidr lessons are very important, my dear.  And how lucky you are to have as fine a teacher as your dame,” He said.  Fjóla nodded gravely, and Thor smiled affectionately at his brother. Loki huffed.

“Yes, well, if the little one keeps running away and refusing to listen to her dame ,” Loki snapped, reaching out to collect his daughter back into his arms.  “Then she will not be allowed to continue with her Seidr lessons.”

“NO!” Fjóla cried, and above their heads, the skies parted with an angry strike of lightning.  Thor visibly swelled with pride, looking at his daughter in wonder. Loki rolled his eyes.

“Calm down, Fjóla,” Loki said, and pressed a swift kiss to his daughter’s temple.  She continued to pout, looking more like Loki than Thor thought she ever had before.  He chuckled, and leaned forward to plant a sweet kiss to the corner of Loki’s lips.

“After your Seidr lessons, you should join me for lunch in our chambers,” he said, his fingers deftly brushing Loki’s hip.  “I have a gift for you.”

“Shall I leave the child with her nursemaid?” Loki asked, balancing Fjóla on his hip and gently combing her long, sleek black hair with his fingers.  She bats his hand away and wriggles out of his arms, dropping into the grass and busying herself with tormenting an anthill as her fathers speak with each other.  Out of the corner of his eye Loki watches her, but otherwise his attention is on Thor.

“It will only be for a short while.  You can leave her with Mother, if you like.”

“Mmm,” Loki hummed, and he leaned forward and pressed a long, chaste kiss to Thor’s lips.  He pulled away with a smile. “I cannot wait then,” he said. He turned his attention back to his daughter.  “Oh, darling, don’t eat the ants. Come along…”

They walked together to Frigga’s gardens, Loki taking long strides as his daughter toddled in front of him, occasionally falling into the grass but always picking herself up again after she fell.  She was strong and persevering, quick-witted, and endlessly curious. Loki loved her with every fiber of his being, as hopelessly devoted to his daughter as any man could ever be. He knew that one day she would grow to be a fine Queen for Asgard.  She was so powerful, so kind, so loving towards her fathers and her nursemaid and every creature she encountered. (Except ants, of course, which she apparently thought to be a tasty summer’s-day snack.)

And never once since the day she was born had Loki thought of her as a monster.

In Frigga’s gardens, Loki practiced some basic nature manipulation with his daughter.  Two years was young to begin Seidr training, but Fjóla was exceedingly gifted and powerful for her age.  Without an outlet through practice, her Seidr would well up inside of her and explode, resulting in catastrophic accidents… such as her toys setting fire randomly and scaring the wits out of her nursemaids, or the time her porridge was too hot and she began to make it snow inside of the palace dining room.  This way, Fjóla could learn to channel her Seidr into something positive, and Loki got to spend time bonding with his daughter.

With Loki’s help, she cajoled about a dozen flowers into an early bloom, which Loki twisted and ties into a flower crown for the darling to wear upon her head.  After they are finished with their lessons Fjóla pranced over to her grandmother’s rooms, where she was proud to show off her newest fashion statement and take tea with her.  Loki asked his mother if it would be alright for him to take a short leave to have lunch with Thor, to which Frigga responded of course, with a knowing look in her eyes.

In their chambers, Loki waited for his brother to arrive.  After Fjóla’s birth, they had officially joined their chambers and moved into a larger set of rooms.  To the kingdom, Loki’s true heritage was announced. It was said that Odin’s plan all along had been to unite the kingdoms of Asgard and Jotunheimr one day in marriage, and he had taken Loki to raise alongside Thor as his future bride, not his brother.

It was a convincing enough lie, and the people bought it.  They were excited to celebrate the birth of the heir apparent to Asgard’s future King.  They didn’t even care that she was half-Jotunn. AFterall, Queen Bestla had been Jotunn and she’d been a great Queen for Asgard…

But Loki was still bitter.  He refused to walk around the palace in his Jotunn form after he was done breastfeeding, favoring instead his Aesir glamour.  And, of course, there was the matter that he and Thor were not in fact married after all. Odin’s lie had been just that: one of many untruths spread as propaganda by the King of Asgard.  Loki did not let his ire be known, though; he held his tongue, if only for the sake of Thor and his daughter’s honor.

“I bought smoked herring,” Thor said as he ushered himself into the room, carrying a large tray filled with fish, bread, beer and pasties.  Loki’s stomach rumbled and he sat down at the table, already drooling a bit at the smell of the food. “But first, I have a… favor to ask of you, brother.”

“Aye,” Loki said, reaching for a piece of bread and stuffing it into his mouth.  Everything looked so delicious, and he couldn’t held himself. When Thor remained silent for a few moments, Loki looked up at him curiously.  He lifted his eyebrows. “Well? Spit it out, you big oaf.”

Thor’s lips twitched, and from the pocket of his tunic he presented an ornately carved wooden box, about the size of a brick.

“Loki… nearly three years ago, you bore me my first born.  Fjóla Thordottir, daughter of Loki. She has been… the light of my life,” Thor said, and he smiled that dopey smile he always got on whenever he spoke about Loki or Fjóla.  Loki’s heart softened at the clear endearment in Thor’s expression, and he put his bread down, listening to Thor as he continued. “And one day, she will sit upon the throne of Asgard.  And so… I think it only befitting that her dame, too, sit upon the throne before her.” He took a deep breath, and he thrust the wooden box forward and into Loki’s arms. “Three years ago Odin proclaimed to our people that we were engaged to be married from birth.  I would like to make his statement at least partially true. Loki, will you become my consort, my most trusted advisor, and rule the Nine Realms by my side?”

Inside of the box, which Loki opened, sat a simple circlet about the shape of Loki’s head.  From the forehead sprouted two golden horns, and in the center sat a fat, glistening emerald.  Loki’s breath caught as he looked at it; a Queen’s diadem, and engraved on the inside, the phrase: ber er hver að baki nema sér bróður eigi.

“Yes, Thor.  Of course. Of course I will marry you, you fool.” Loki laughed.  Thor stepped forward and wrapped his broad arms around Loki’s back, picking him up and spinning him around.  And then he clasped the back of Loki’s head with his hand and drew him in to a smoldering kiss.

“Would you like to eat your smoked herring, now?” Thor panted against his mouth.  Loki smiled, his lips curling as he pressed closer to Thor’s body.

“Oh, yes.  But first…” He trained off, pushing Thor backwards until his knees hit the bed in the center of the room.  He fell with a quiet umph , and Loki climbed on top of him, stripping off his clothes and tossing them in every direction.  Thor smiled and reached up, cupping Loki’s jaw with his hand and bringing his brother close for a kiss.  In the end, all had turned out to be just right.