Boltedfruit Archive

Will of a King

Published: 2021-06-25

Category: M/M

Rating: M

Words: 3,745

Fandom: Thor

Ship: Thor/Loki

Characters: Thor, Loki

Tags: Jotun Loki, Mutual Pining, Courting Rituals, Jealous Thor

Summary:

“I will see this done, you damnable creature,” came the murmur from Thor beside him. Loki almost flinched.

 

“You will marry. And you will father a child. If that does not stir heart within that ice box of a chest, I know not what will.”

 

As Odin struck the golden floor with mighty Gungnir, sound ringing throughout the hall despite the whole of Asgard gathered within, Loki finally, finally closed his eyes.

Author's Note

I hope you enjoy! And consider leaving a comment at the end of the fic to let me know what you thought.

   “You have doomed our realm, and others, time and again, claiming you lack any real connection to what is your home. If your brother dragging you back here is not enough, if your mother weeping by her wheel,” and here Loki felt a muscle in his arm twitch, “is not enough…then you will have loyalties thrust upon you.”

 

“I will see this done, you damnable creature,” came the murmur from Thor beside him. Loki almost flinched.

 

“You will marry. And you will father a child. If that does not stir heart within that ice box of a chest, I know not what will.”

 

As Odin struck the golden floor with mighty Gungnir, sound ringing throughout the hall despite the whole of Asgard gathered within, Loki finally, finally closed his eyes.

 

 

   Loki would be lying to himself if he said the final ruling did not come as a shock to him. He’d dreamt of death for so long, he’d expected it so fully…that to have it ripped from his hands, his control, was almost worse than losing.

 

And Thor was near him through the entirety of it. Like always.

 

He spit on Thor’s face the first day and had in turn, had his face rammed into the wall, Thor spitting fury into his ear. It was worth the bruising and the radiating ache that plagued him the rest of the week. To know he still affected Thor so.

 

Loki was at least in control of something. The one that mattered.

 

Controlling Thor was his way out of this.

 

 

   The first dawn of the first month of his forced return, his sentencing, saw him to the baths. Thor stood in the corner and watched as nursemaids picked and scrubbed at his skin, cut his hair, soaped him raw.

 

He looked like he did before, but thinner, eyes sunken and dark, a weight there he felt he’d known all his life. He had, in a way.

 

Thor turned his head, following Loki’s naked form out the door, soon walking after him.

 

They were off to his room.

 

 

   They wrapped his skin in silk and armored him in leather and decorative gold plate, tiny rings of silver and gold hanging from his cuffs and collar, his hair. A large draping of fur and wool was pinned to his shoulders, strapped at the waist with a thick band of worn leather, rounding his stature, making him yet lean and all the more broad at once. A clever working of shapes and drapery.

 

The last was a circlet of jade at his brow, and thus was Asgard’s false prince reclaimed. Image seized in the palm of those on high who would see him bow to a woman come first light.

 

Just so.

 

Thor had placed the jade himself, callused fingers rasping against his brow. They met eyes and held the moment to breaking, before Thor crushed it by removing his hands.

 

Loki smiled, a scythe of white in an otherwise pale visage.

 

Just so.

 

 

   It is only them and a handful of guards during this process.

 

They line up before the throne in their best dresses, wool frocks and soft soled boots. Some had silk, some didn’t. Some were beautiful and smooth skinned and others had hooked noses and grey streaking through their hair. Odin knows only the best for his returned heir.

 

Loki dismisses them all, paying no mind to their gentle attempt at wooing him. There isn’t a chance. Rather a willing romp in the sheets, sweat-slick and humid, than birthing foul creatures from hags who look more ready to flee than to bed him.

 

Thor stands beside him during the process, a slow and arduous task that only causes Loki’s pitiless grin to widen and his mood to worsen. Thor fidgets where he stands, stoic and still. Rare for him. Loki wishes to prod at him, tease him, but it is a remnant of his former self that wants this, and so he banishes the urge.

 

But eventually even Thor must relent, and he leans close as Loki waves yet another away. She is young and looks only a few months past her first blood, and Loki is disgusted with the notion of a mere child brought before him.

 

“You have not found a single one that pleases you?”

 

“No, obviously.” Loki eyes the next and takes in the attractive curve of jaw before realizing she has the same shade of blonde hair as Sif had before he’d shorn it. He nearly growls at the girl and she bows before leaving, shoulders quaking.

 

“It better be that you are saving final judgment for this week’s end. I’d rather father not alter his sentence.”

 

“His punishment is that I be throttled by women half my age and some older even than mother. I highly doubt death worse than this.”

 

Thor snarls into his ear, voice a hiss. “You will accept this punishment, and make a child. You will find care for our realm, no matter how hard it is for you to do it. Since I am of such little consequence to you.”

 

Loki tilts his head and meets Thor’s eyes. Thor is glaring at him. “Too true, brother.” He sees Thor’s lip curl. “However, I am in no mood to entertain the likes of women who fear me. There is little fun in that.”

 

“It is you who put fear into them.”

 

“I am not the one demanding their folds open wet to my suddenly empathetic lust, now am I?” Thor rolled his eyes at Loki and Loki turned back to the task at hand. “Odin is to blame for the wrath that instilled such horror in these women, not I. You forget that dearest father is so unkind.”

 

“He does what is needed. He is a king.”

 

“As was I. And are you bowing, rendering unwavering servitude to my every questionable action? Are you hound to my heel?”

 

Silence was Loki’s answer, and he smiled as he waved the next girl forward.

 

 

   Thor ate with him in his room that night. It was silent save for Thor’s lewd chewing, but Loki contributed the majority of it to the fact Thor was upset. He bit food from his fork as if to sever the tines, and though it would please Loki greatly to see Thor bleed from his own stupidity, he wished for other things this night. Answers.

 

“Your task is to guard me, I assume?”

 

“No,” came the reply. And Thor shoveled another bite of squash into his face. Loki eyed him.

 

“You were tasked with what then?”

 

“To ignore you.”

 

Loki’s surprised by this, but he doesn’t let it show. “You are ever stubborn.”

 

“I am your brother. I will not leave you to this…alone.”

 

The way he says it is odd, and Loki finds he is chewing on his own lip before he sets his jaw.

 

“Then you do not approve of Odin’s final judgment.”

 

“I prefer it to whatever other dark things challenged it.” Thor set down his fork and met Loki’s eyes.

 

“You are heir and yet you have not been forced to marry and breed.” Thor closed his eyes at the harsh word and Loki went on. “What know you of forced obligation?”

 

Thor smiled then, something small, and it threw Loki. Too many times in so short a period was he left grasping at Thor’s mind.

 

Thor placed a hand on the hilt of his hammer, hanging at his side. “I know obligation well enough, Loki.”

 

“Mjolnir chose you,” Loki spat at him, the words burning as the memory of him first holding the hammer newly forged, before Thor, before, always would. “Fate does not weave from the other end!”

 

Thor leveled him a look. There was pity there, and Loki hated it. “Weavings can be unspun and spun again, bent, twining, twirling. Frayed.” He picked up his fork and poked at his food. “You would know much of that.”

 

“You—”

 

Thor’s voice rose and dominated the room, no matter that he was not raging, yelling, or screaming battle fury at him. “But never mistake my compliance with father in this one thing as a betrayal to you. I did not challenge it because it meant you were not sentenced to death, or worse, the pit.”

 

Loki scoffed. “Death would have been preferable”

 

“Perhaps. But we are gods, Loki. We must keep living. The cycle only allows so much rest.”

 

 

   And so the days dragged on, ruled by lines and lines of women begging favor and gifting him with things he hadn’t any need of. All manner of trinkets, useless and hoard worthy alike. Though one woman, Sigyn, with soft brown hair and smiling eyes had not shivered in fear before him. It was almost refreshing. She gave him a stoppered bottle of herbs soaked in pig fat, simple runes lining the top of it. It was the one thing he could use.

 

It had been a long time since he’d last had time to properly study anything.

 

No, no, he mustn’t think like that.

 

Thor was an ever constant presence. Whether he hovered during the day, commanding servants to bring them platters of food and ale, or hunting down a cheese wheel himself. Or at night when he shared meals with Loki in silence or light conversation. Always at Loki’s behest.

 

He’d taken a habit of bringing him things too. He brought Loki a loaf of sweetbread, something he’d always favored in youth, and something still yet young and wandering inside him burst at the sight of it. He’d yelled at Thor shortly after, and hadn’t eaten a bite.

 

That night Thor had left the loaf wrapped in linen on his bedside table, beside a stack of books that were collecting dust. Loki stared at it for an hour before finally falling asleep.

 

 

   Sigyn returned the next day, and the next, and the next. Each rising of the sun brought a new gift. Always adorned with runework. The woman had seidr about her and though there were others he’d known of amongst the lines, he knew it was different. Potent. Sigyn knew the ways of wyrd, however little, and it intrigued him enough to halt the line that day.

 

“Please, sweet one. Come forward.”

 

Sigyn had taken his hand without pretense, smile shy and unmoving upon her round face, and Loki touched his fingers to her palm.

 

If he had but turned and looked at Thor, he would have seen him open mouthed and gaping.

 

 

   They lunched by Idunn’s orchard. He’d had an apple upon his return, almost having been shoved at him as soon as the gag had been removed. Thor’s eyes had pleaded him to bite and swallow and heal. If only he suffered a wound solved by a goddess’ toil.

 

She ate from the loaf of sweetbread Thor had given him. Best to be rid of it the best way possible.

 

“I would ask you how you know runes?”

 

Her eyes widened and she smiled. “Oh, I am not any good at them. I use them mainly for curing milk from my cows and sealing jars. I hoped you managed to use the…”

 

“Oh, yes,” Loki said. “I’ve found places for them along my shelves. They quite liven the room, I think.”

 

“Oh, I’m glad of it.” She smiled and Loki found he actually liked the sight of it.

 

 

   The girl was sweet, innocent. And it was a break spent in amiable relaxation. He’d not remembered the last time he had simply not thought. His mind was clear for but an hour, and yet it seemed longer.

 

He caught sight of Thor on his way back to the palace, passing the trunk of a large willow tree. Thor saw him from across the clearing, then walked the other way. Loki thought it odd.

 

Loki thought it due to business with Odin, the traitorous, lying eel, and so he kept on his way.

 

Not thinking of the way Thor had not spared even a moment to wander over.

 

Not your home, he thought. Not your home.

 

 

   The next morning brought newly resigned silence from Thor, which pestered at him for all of thirty minutes before the women filed in.

 

Another long day of saying no. Loki kept an eye out for Sigyn, if only to end the tediousness early.

 

Only today brought fervor and interest and sudden curiosity from those who had come. Loki kissed knuckles and received more gifts than before, some things he could actually use. They did not shake or tremble or cower, or even slink away in relief.

 

They seemed to want him.

 

He wondered at it until suddenly it occurred to him that they had new hope. If he had accepted Sigyn’s hand in a shared meal and private conversation, why not them? There seemed even to be more today than before.

 

The smile that curved his lips was more genuine, more sly, than he’d fostered in a long fortnight.

 

Sigyn had not arrived that day, and though Loki was aware of her absence, it did not stop him from twirling a thumb and forefinger around a lock of hair of several other pretty girls. They smiled and touched his arm and oh, it had been a very long time.

 

Thor was silent throughout.

 

 

   Loki woke the next morning to pounding at his door.

 

He lifted a smooth thigh over his and an arm from around his waist to escape to the door, opening it a crack to see who it was who dared to— Thor was frowning before him and he sighed.

 

“You’re late.”

 

“I’m busy.”

 

“You were. I could hear you from my own chambers, you were loud enough.”

 

“I am tired, I wish not to do this today. I slept hardly at all.” He smirked.

 

“Aye, for I did not either, for all your grunting last night. Does this mean so little to you?”

 

Loki hummed, then pursed his lips. He opened the door wide, not caring that he was naked and Thor was fully dressed before him. Thor watched as a short, dark haired girl edged out beneath the stretch of Loki’s arm. She smiled on her way out, dressed in a tunic and long wool skirt, feet bare. Thor raised a brow at him.

 

“Please, do come in,” Loki said as Thor pushed past anyway.

 

Inside there were two other women tangled beneath the furs of his bed and Thor’s expression told him both of amusement and annoyance.

 

“I see you’re reacquainting yourself with Asgard.”

 

“I am only enduring my punishment, somberly and with great burden upon mine shoulders.” He laughed once and Thor scowled.

 

“You are here swiving away when there is yet a decision to be made.”

 

“How can one swive without wife?”

 

“You know what I mean, brother,” Thor said. He walked to Loki’s bed and touched each woman’s shoulder, waking them gently. They smiled lazily at him, one even stroked his bearded chin with a familiarity Loki would never have known.

 

It was always Thor.

 

When they had gone and Loki had pulled on a pair of breeks, Thor turned on him.

 

“What of Sigyn? Does she mean anything to you?”

 

“I am sampling, as Odin would have me do.”

 

“You have taken a liking to one woman, Loki. One.” He held up a finger.

 

“Do not tarnish what little standing you’ve gained by going around and—”

 

“And doing what you have always done?”

 

“That is not—”

 

“You know exactly of what I speak, and it is no different. You are Thor, and only Thor. Just as I am only Loki. We be what we must, yes?” He circled back in Thor’s space, sneering at him. “Do not be fool enough to think us immune to our own ways. That is childish, Thor.”

 

“You are the child, prancing about with your cock swinging. You have a duty to Asgard!”

 

“You sound so much like someone I know. You are most certainly a son of Odin.”

 

Thor prodded the wood of Loki’s desk with two fingers, then placed his fist upon it, like a symbol. Loki narrowed his eyes at him.

 

“If you choose to slay what little standing you’ve managed to conjure, than by all means. I have fallen time and again, watching after you. Seeing you fall for a woman would be a pleasant change of pace, for all the torment you’ve given me.”

 

Thor set his jaw, and the ancient magic of Thor’s inherent lightning crackled to life within his eyes. His lips quivered, once, and he curled his lip. Loki knew that look, he knew it as well as he knew his own reflection.

 

“Do not bother leaving the warmth of your bed today. I have other matters to see to, and you are quite busy as it is.”

 

He knew it as jealousy before Thor had even crossed his threshold out into the hallway.

 

 

   Why would Thor be jealous?

 

That Loki was bedding the women Thor had already had the pleasure of tasting? Years and years ago?

 

Loki could think of no reason at all.

 

 

   “Thor tells me you’ve found a wife.”

 

Loki stands before Odin, head lowered, hands clasped tight before him. Sigyn is waiting somewhere nearby, he knows, and he sees Thor in the corner of his eye. Like a statue of thunder waiting to crumble.

 

Loki hated him.

 

“Not quite. I’ve found several women who make good company.”

 

“Choose one, and soon. I wish to be past this nonsense by the next year.”

 

“Aye.” And when Odin stares at him, leering atop his golden barricade of a throne, he grinds out, “My king.”

 

A sigh leaves Odin, and that is that.

 

 

   “You are jealous, Thor.”

 

“Ha, jealousy demands reason. I have none.” “Hm,” Loki hums, refilling Thor’s horn.

 

His plan is one of base simplicity. Ply Thor with drink and get him to talk. A tactic better employed in their younger, more inexperienced, dry years…but he was a beggar at this point rather than chooser. Loki had not the time for an elaborate scheme to wring the truth from Thor’s mind as he would like.

 

So, he hoped this would work.

 

“You’re quiet. Speak.”

 

“Demanding, brother.”

 

“You call me that so easily and deny it the same. I cannot keep up with your heart,” Thor said woefully.

 

Loki watches Thor drink down another mouthful and spills yet more thick mead within. Thor swallows it down. Loki fills the horn for himself and takes a swig, draining it, refilling and handing it back to Thor.

 

“I can confide in kin a single night, can’t I?” Small sacrifices, he tells himself, for large rewards.

 

Thor’s eyes light with something like hope, and he then he is filling the horn this time, taking the skin from Loki. “You try so hard, Loki, to be cruel. But I know you. I know you.”

 

“Is that so?”

 

“Aye, brother. Always. You are my Loki, my little serpent. I cannot unknow you…” Thor is slurring his speech now, and so Loki employs seidr to keep the skin bulging and cool. Thor does not question why it never seems to empty in his hands. “Just as you cannot unlearn me.”

 

“There is some truth in that.”

 

“You, you are so agreeable tonight. I do wonder at it. But it’s nice. I like it. I like you like this. Like you.”

 

Loki raises a brow and stifles the smile threatening him. Thor is drunk and only getting worse, and off what seems to be so little. Perhaps he’s drunk more than he realizes.

 

Thor stands, drinking straight from the skin and it rushes in lines down his chin onto his tunic. He wipes his mouth on it, not caring for cleanliness and he watches Loki. Just staring at him. Loki stands as well, if only to be on equal ground.

 

Then Thor grabs his neck and tugs him close. His beard is wet where it presses against his temple and he’s forced Loki to bending his shoulders, forehead against his chin. It’s awkward and he can smell the ripe potency of the mead on his breath and clothes and Loki wants nothing more than to dunk him into a barrel of ice water.

 

He pulls back and Thor is muttering nonsense to him. He takes another swig of the skin and brings their foreheads together, his eyes slipping closed. Loki marvels at how far gone Thor is, and how deliciously successful his plan is working.

 

“You are jealous, Thor. Brother.”

 

Like through a haze, Thor nods. “Aye, aye that may be so, Loki. That may be so.”

 

“Brother,” Loki says again, if only to insist Thor believes his sincerity. “I—”

 

Thor nods again, says, “Say that again.”

 

“What?”

 

“Call me brother. I miss it. I miss you. I miss that word on your tongue.”

 

“Thor…”

 

Lines of bright blue appear behind slotted eyes and Thor touches their noses flat against each other. Loki has some idea now, wild and hectic and insane as it is, of what Thor is jealous of. But it’s a fleeting notion, something never having, never—

 

“I miss you, little brother. Loki.”

 

The skin drops with a slosh to the floor and Thor’s other hand twists into the cloth of his tunic. Loki feels his hands hang heavy at his sides and Thor’s mouth is a tingle across from his.

 

“Thor.”

 

Thor breathes in deep, shuddering, and then closes the distance.

 

 

   I have you, Loki thinks as Thor pulls back. A single press of lips and Thor looks suddenly pained. Entirely undone. If not for the moment before, Loki would have thought he’d accidentally stabbed him again.

 

Loki realizes the absurdity of it, the punishment that could follow after such a grievous, forbidden thing. But he doesn’t care. He revels in the chaotic, and this, this, he knows how to do. He’d earned chaos as a mantle, and he would wear it no matter what lay in his wake.

 

Loki knew Thor was about to pull back, realize with some returned sobriety what he’d done, so he didn’t allow the moment to drag. He pressed forward and met Thor’s lips with his own, licking at his bottom lip and sighing when Thor tightened his fist in his tunic, scratching nails along his scalp.

 

Thor rushed hot breath into his mouth and licked into it, tongue meeting Loki’s.

 

It was good. Damn the stars, but it was good.