"now my cats are a little tinky winky at me" -the light of my life
"i say we just shave your head and be done with it" -the thor to my loki
"longest undefended border you little fucktwats" -the alfred to my matthew
"hey kid wanna look at some yaois" -my shota cohort
"Hitoshi-San is so sugoi I fucking can't" -my kawaii princess
put under the cut because this is looong
-also unedited; any and all mistakes are my own fault
The cell measures 6x8 feet. (Yes, Loki checked. It’s not like there is much else to do.) Both of his arms are shackled to the wall by a chain, long enough to let him amble around the cell a few steps, and a muzzle prevents him from speaking. They keep them there for three days while Thor makes preparations for his return. Sometimes he thinks his not-brother is only stalling, that he really does not want to take Loki back to Asgard to face whatever punishment they may have conjured up for him - another lip-sewing, perhaps? A bath in poison? - but then again, Loki has held his hopes too high before.
On the third night, as he sits in the corner, arms wrapped around himself, watching a small spider create a cobweb between his leg and the wall, Tony Stark visits him.
“Making some new friends, there?” says the Avenger, eyeing the spider, and Loki doesn’t acknowledge him.
He hears the bars clang, then a squeak as the door is opened. He finally looks up to see Stark enter his cell, close the door again, and take a seat on the small bench jutting out from the wall.
“I have to say, your little scepter makes for a pretty fine specimen to study. Really, the power that thing holds is incredible.”
A small insect becomes entangled in the spider’s web.
“You know, if you didn’t turn out to be crazy, I think you would’ve been a pretty great, uh, magician. Sorcerer? Wizard? Whatever they’re called in Asgard.”
Sorcerer. It’s sorcerer, Loki thinks. Then, You are an imbecile.
“So, I have to ask,” Tony continues conversationally, as if he isn’t sitting there no more than five feet away, perfectly vulnerable should Loki decide to lunge at him and throttle his neck, “why did you do it?”
Loki tears his eyes from the spider and gives him an unimpressed look.
That elicits a sigh from Stark. “If I take the gag off, will you promise not to spit in my face and answer my questions?”
Loki can not and does not (and would not, even if the muzzle was not in place) answer. He tenses when Stark gets up and walks toward him. His eyes narrow to slits and his fingers curl into a fist, but Stark does not do anything to harm him. He simply reaches behind his head, and a few seconds later, the muzzle comes off in his hand.
“You are either an idiot,” Loki says, voice gravelly from disuse, “or an idiot.”
“I must be an idiot, then,” Stark says, frustratingly bright, and returns to his seat. “You should probably know, though, that Thor is just outside. In case you decide to try anything funny.”
“Is that supposed to threaten me?”
“It does,” Stark says shortly. “Now, my question. You promised to answer it.”
“No, I promised not to spit on your face.”
“Okay, let’s make another deal then.” Stark leans forward, propping his chin up with two hands. “You indulge me with some answers, and I won’t call Thor in.”
“I could break your neck with my legs just as well as I could with my hands.”
“Good to know, Princess. I kind of wonder whether Thor would want to know about them, too. Do you want to find out, or would you rather we just skip to the part where you answer my question?”
Loki shifts, and doesn’t remember the spider until he’s stretched out his leg. The web breaks and the spider disappears somewhere on the floor. Maybe it had a family, for some reason, Loki thinks. “Why are you doing this?” His voice is faintly accusing.
“I’m curious,” is the answer. “And both of us have some time to kill.”
An answer Stark wants, and so an answer he shall get.
He touches his chains, feels the cold metal under his fingers.
And then he begins to speak.
In the first hundred years of my youth - yes, youth, Stark - I was what you Midgardians might call a “doting sibling.” If one were to chronicle my life, you would seldom see a page that lacks a mention of Thor in one way or another. I absolutely adored my older brother. For decades that would accumulate to centuries that would accumulate to millennia, we grew up far closer than any two brothers could be.
I stayed a tall, pale, lanky boy for a majority of my childhood. For this, Thor’s buffoonish friends would tease me mercilessly, even going as far to exclude me from their games. And in the special cases that they conceded and let me join, I was often given one of the smaller roles.
Thor, on the other hand, was growing to be the stronger, albeit shorter, of us two. It wasn’t just our friends that favored him more - all of Asgard did, as well. The Golden Child, I would hear him be called. (Which often made me wonder how they referred to me.)
And as much as I loved my brother at that time, I could not help but feel envious for the sorts of attention he received. I eventually came to the conclusion that if I could be just as strong, just as great, as Thor, I would be just as appreciated.
I forwent my books in favor of spending more time in training. I even requested a trainer, and Father was more than happy to acquiesce, pleased with the fact that I was finally taking an interest in battle.
And so I trained. This went on for months, and once word reached Thor of how I was spending my afternoons lately, he began to challenge me to rounds of combat. It was nothing serious, merely friendly sparring. He seemed genuinely delighted that we now had one more thing in common. He, of course, was not aware that I held no love for fighting, that I was doing it for other reasons.
There were times when I purposely skipped my sessions with my trainer in order to spar with Thor instead. I eventually missed so many that my trainer resigned altogether. Father was mildly upset, but Thor gladly announced that he would be the one to train me instead. And I accepted.
I think that in the following months I trained with him, I gradually forgot my original intentions and did become honestly interested in the art of battle. I became skilled with not only a sword, but also with a spear, knives, and hand-to-hand combat.
Yes, Stark, my magic is not the only thing I have to rely on.
And yes, I am getting to the point.
There came a time when my brother and I were sparring in the gardens, and we happened to draw quite a crowd. He wielded a sword, and I a spear, and we fought for what seemed like hours. However, that did not dissuade our crowd. And in the end, for the first time, it was me who came out victorious.
I remember how happy I had felt - that now, maybe I was finally good enough, maybe I was finally worthy. I turned to the onlookers to gauge their expressions, but what I saw made me sick to my stomach.
They were all staring at me in disgust. It was as if they had come to witness one of the mighty Thor’s victories, only to be disappointed when the runt came out the victor.
I heard several hushed mentions of cheating as they dispersed, leaving me with my brother.
“You did a fine job, Loki,” he said, and I remember the way he clasped my shoulder and looked into my eyes, sincerity and pride in his gaze, and I remember how I threw his hand off. I remember how I scowled at him and threw my spear to the ground and left for my chambers.
I never set foot in an arena again, after that.
Don’t call me petulant, Stark. You’re hardly one to talk.
As I was saying, it was then that I realized that no matter what I did and how well I did it, Thor would always be held higher above me - and I came to accept that. I embraced the bitterness that had long since taken root in my heart and I let it consume me. I turned to magic and trickery, fighting my battles with words, staying inside to practice spells while Thor went on hunts and became every bit of the champion that Asgard so wished to see in a Prince of Asgard.
But despite how much I despised him, I also began to love him far more than I had before. Every small thing he did, no matter how trivial, never failed to make me feel light-headed. Every damned time he touched me, whether it was an embrace or a simple brush of our hands, my heart raced. It wasn’t long before even my subconsciousness succumbed to these new desires, and my dreams became plagued by him. And when I woke up from those dreams every morning, I was only reminded of the feasibility of my feelings being reciprocated.
Would you still like to hear the rest, Stark? Or would you like to make your exit now, wishing you had never asked your ludicrous question in the first place?
No? (Hmm, perhaps I am not trying hard enough, then.)
I was angry at myself for harboring such feelings, disgusted, but also scared and confused. And so I dealt with it in a way I had learned to perfect: I lied. To myself, that is.
He had made a habit of constantly asking me if I would like to spend some time with him and his friends. Each time, I told him I was too busy. He asked me to spar with him. I told him I was feeling sick. He requested if I would like to go on a hunt with him. I told him I was afraid of the forest, even as he repeatedly promised that he would protect me.
I rejected every opportunity I received to spend time with him, and we grew distant. I became colder, harsher, and more prone to lying. I no longer cared for what Asgard’s opinion of me was; at all of my attempts to appease them, they always found a way to justify Thor as the greater.
Do you know what that’s like, Stark? To go through hundreds of years having to hide your feelings, while the one you most desire was merely a few doors down? Thor would tell me countless times that he loved me, and I would always reply, “As do I, Brother,” while inside, I wished to take him by the head and kiss him? While at night, I dreamed of us being together in the most intimate of ways? While he boasted of his women, I seethed silently in jealousy?
No? Then pray you never find out. Because I admit that it hurts, Stark, and I am a god.
Ah. So Thor has told you of my treachery in Asgard?
I did not do it out of malice. I was happy for him; I never cared for which one of us would become King. Of course, I knew that the Jotuns would not actually succeed in stealing anything from the vault. I planned it all carefully so that Thor would march into Jotunheim - which he did - and Odin would finally see that he was not ready to be King. Not yet.
I did not expect Thor to get banished, like I did not expect to learn that I was, in fact, of the same race I had let into Asgard. I was a Jotun - a monster.
I am seldom one to let my schemes spiral out of control, but at that moment, I was blinded with not only fury, but despair that now, I really stood no chance with Thor.
So Odin fell into the Odinsleep and I became King in his absence. Do you remember I said that I never cared for who was crowned King? That thought immediately fled my mind once I realized just how much power and respect was tied to this position. But at the same time, it did not feel like I thought it would.
I still felt gazes of bitterness directed at me. Whenever someone knelt to me, the respect in the action was overpowered by a sense of resentment.
So it turned from a plan to delay Thor’s coronation, to one to prove to Asgard that I can be just as good of a King.
In the end, simply put, I failed.
There was no future for me in Asgard anymore. I would be nothing more than a traitor, a falsified prince - and above all, Thor was in love with that mortal. And that was why I let go and let myself fall from the Bifrost.
The Chitauri were the ones who found and gave me a chance to redeem myself. They gave me grandiose illusions of being the ruler of a realm, and perhaps soon more than just Midgard. Yes, I realize that I was foolish when I accepted, but I was also desperate - desperate to be etched into history as something other than a traitor of Asgard.
As we are both aware, I also failed to accomplish that. And now I am nothing but a captured criminal.
Do I still love him?
I don’t know, Stark, do you require air to breathe?
Of course I do.
I don’t go through a day without thinking about him, thinking of What if and what could have been. He stood by my side when everyone else turned from me. When the Chitauri found me, I was put through every level of torture you can think of, and then more. At night, or whenever I was allowed rest, I would wrap my arms around myself and imagine that it was Thor who was holding me, that he was there next to me, that he was the one cleaning my bleeding wounds and soothing away the pain. And for a moment, my cell would not feel as cold as it did before.
I claim that the very thought of him repulses me, but in truth, it is the only thought that has ever driven me to tears.
Because I, by blood or not, we were raised as brothers and he thinks me as nothing more. Because I am a Jotun and he is an Aesir. Because what I feel for him is not returned and, I know, shouldn’t be, for it is every shade of wrong.
No matter how many times I told himself that I hated him, no matter how much effort I went through to distance myself from him, no matter anything that rises up between us, I love him. Sometimes I catch myself thinking that maybe, just maybe, I did the things I did not just to prove myself worthy to Asgard, but to prove myself worthy of Thor.
So there is your answer, I suppose. (And I do not regret that it took me this long to finally arrive to it. You do not seem to mind, anyway, and you should not. You should feel honored that I was willing to divulge this much of my history with you.)
(And no, I am not crying, I do not wish to lean on your shoulder, get away from me.)
Hm? You wish to give me advice?
…Very well. Although I will most likely refuse to take you seriously, because the last thing I could possibly need is advice from a man who has no heart.
The door is- what?
…What do you mean, it’s not too late?