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A Most Severe Punishment 4/?


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So...I started writing this for my Drabble Thread (http://www.sneezefet....pic=44931&st=0), but it got too long, and you know what that means? Full-blown fic! I have literally no idea where this is going; as I said, this was going to be a drabble. I also have NO IDEA about the Avengers/Thor universe AT ALL. I haven't even seen Thor. So please bear with me, and if it hurts you too much that I'm inaccurate, either don't read, or imagine that it's really an original fic with the two characters, rather than set on Asgard as portrayed anywhere else. I own nothing, obviously.

With all that done, here it is! And here are pictures of Thor (http://www.sound-scr...ttachment/thor/) and Loki (http://www.filmschoo...-hiddleston.php) in all their respective glory.

A week had passed since Odin passed judgement on Loki’s crimes against Asgard, and he had been sentenced to isolation on the other side of the planet, until such time as his Lord Father decided to release him. Thor had not been allowed to see him; secretly, he wondered if he, too, was being punished. In addition, he had been instructed to steer clear of Earth for a while, which left him stuck in Asgard, quickly growing tired of his family and feeling confined by the city. Frustrated and alone, he sat sulkily by his window as night drew in, reminiscing of Earth


Suddenly, from a very distant point on the horizon, a lightning bolt struck the ground. The thunder, when it reached him, was only the smallest of rumbles, but it filled his blood with excitement, his heart beginning to race. Lightning had always been Loki’s sign to him; as brothers they shared a small portion of each other’s gifts, and even with the majority of his powers stripped away by Odin, enough power clearly remained for this. Thor understood at once: it was a summoning.

He stood fully in darkness by the time Thor reached the edge of Loki’s prison. The stark, barren ground fell steeply away, revealing a huge crater in the pitted surface of the rock. Starlight illuminated the terrain in brutal monochrome; nothing was supposed to survive here. Far from the city’s light and warmth, Thor felt the chill air bite into his skin. A faint blue light glistened at the edge of the cliff, marking where Odin’s powerful magic prevented any further travel. Luckily, Thor knew a secret method of entry.

Keeping low to the ground, he examined the nearby rocky outcrops, orientating himself by the lights of the city now far distant. He stopped, then raised his huge hammer. With a shattering blow, Thor struck down, revealing below him a tunnel curving away into darkness. Lowering himself into it, he wondered for the first time what he hoped to achieve. He couldn’t be sure, but Loki would not have used their signal if he were not in dire need; in returning to Asgard, he had accepted his punishment. There must be something wrong.

The tunnel was cold, damp, and completely dark, but Thor ploughed onwards and steadily downwards until eventually he turned the final corner, and found himself looking into a cave cut deep into the side of the crater. The starlight filtered down enough for him to make out Loki’s form, lying curled on the ground a few feet away.

Thor stepped towards his brother, a greeting on his lips. But whether by thorough spell-working or prior knowledge of the tunnel, Odin’s magical field blocked his path, and he fell back reluctantly. Loki seemed to have been sleeping, but he now stirred and woke. He did not look well, Thor noted, concern pooling in his stomach. His skin was pale and slick, reflecting the starlight, and there were dark circles under his eyes. As he watched, Loki rubbed distractedly at his nose, then, inhaling slowly, jerked forward with a sneeze.

“H’yiisshoo!” The wet, powerful noise seemed to wrench itself from his exhausted body, and Loki remained in his hunched position, as though too tired to move from it. He took a shaky breath, before repeating the movement twice more. “Hu’rrresshoo! H’Ughshoo!” Loki seemed to fold further inwards with each spasm, and with the third fell into a fit of coughing. Thor watched, concern mixing with rising anger, as his brother spluttered and choked, coughing until he ran out of breath, then gasping for air, only to start the cycle again, each paroxysm racking his body with obvious pain. Thor watched in shock, unused to how frail his brother looked, huddled on the cold stone floor. He made up his mind.

Raising his hammer above his head, Thor whirled it round and round until it was a blur, then released it at Odin’s barrier. Sparks appeared in the air, stinging his face and arms, but Thor repeated the action heedlessly, smashing the blue light again and again, grunting with exertion. Finally, his muscles aching and skin burning, he fell through into the cave. Loki was watching him, still breathing with difficulty, his overbright eyes fixed on Thor. Thor rushed over, as Loki tried to stand and fell, panting against his brother’s body. Thor lifted him effortlessly, feeling his body’s burning heat and fever-sweat, and stroked Loki’s hair tenderly with his rough fingers.

“All will be made right, now, brother.” Loki did not respond, his eyes half-closed, his breathing harsh in his throat. But in Thor’s heart, he doubted his own words. He had broken the terms of their punishment. Odin would not be pleased.

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. . . THOR. Doth father know you saveth your brother?! :omg:

Gahhhh. Oh my goodness, Katrelle. This is beautifully written. Your descriptions are fabulous and really pave the way for excellent imagery. :wub: I can't wait to see where you go with this story, even if you have no idea where it's actually going.

Hang in there, Loki! Your brother's heart is bigger and stronger than his hammer. :heart:

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Oh my... mmmm! SO GOOD!!! More more more! Love this! :heart::heart::heart:

BYE! :bleh:

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Awwwww, Thor! <333



My thoughts exactly. :heart:

This is even better than the poptarts. :P

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Hee smile.png, thanks everyone for the lovely comments. I'm glad people are enjoying this. Today I watched Thor for research purposes tonguesmiley.gif, and now have a bit more of an idea how Asgard works, and so found some inspiration to write the next part! I hope you like. Lots of angst, hurt/comfort smush.

Thor flew as swiftly as he could, one hand supporting Loki against his shoulder, the other holding powerfully to his great hammer. The weak pink and gold light of dawn was just starting to touch the edges of the mountains when he stopped at the edge of a thick pine forest. A clear stream, fed by the melting ice, trickled quietly between the trees. Loki stirred as Thor laid him down, his eyes opening. He coughed weakly, and spoke.

“Where are we?”

“About a mile from the city.” Thor tried to think of what to do. In all likelihood, Odin would already know that his barrier had been broken. If so, there was little chance of remaining hidden for long. Thor’s anger had cooled a little, and his mind rebelled at the idea that their father might have intended Loki to come to any real harm during his punishment. If he had not, the consequences of returning to Asgard might not be too severe; at any rate Loki could be healed. But Odin was King of Asgard, and had not taken Loki’s rebellion lightly; perhaps this had all been part of his sentence. Thor kneaded his forehead; these difficult decisions were not for


Loki, meanwhile, was slowly edging his way towards the stream, limbs trembling with exhaustion and fever. Reaching the bank, he scooped water into his parched mouth, swallowing the cool liquid with relief. It revived him a little. He sat shivering beside the stream as Thor paced back and forth, still thinking.

“Strategy was never your strong point, brother,” remarked Loki drily. Thor whirled round, surprised to find his brother awake and lucid.

“You’re feeling better, then.”

Loki nodded, then muttered hoarsely, “Thank you.”

“You summoned me, I came,” Thor shrugged. “But what do we do now? What did father mean by this?”

Loki shook his head. Thor’s words were too difficult to concentrate on, he needed to sleep. He shivered more violently, hugging his knees for warmth. Thor noticed the movement, and in the instant made his decision.

“If we can get you into the castle without father realising, we might be able to get mother on our side.” Thor took off his cloak, quickly pulling it around Loki’s shoulders and crouching down to his level. “You need to be unseen,” Thor said slowly, trying to make his brother understand. “I know you’re tired, but if we try together, do you think you can do that? It won’t be far.” Loki frowned, meeting Thor’s gaze for a moment, before shutting his eyes again. He nodded, slowly, then jerked forward with a sudden sneeze.

“Hehitshhoo! Ugh... He grimaced and rubbed his forehead. Thor watched him in concern, unsure how to behave. He had never seen his brother like this before.

“Do you think you can stand?” He asked gently. With difficulty, they readied themselves to leave, Loki leaning heavily on Thor, but upright. Together, they trudged to within sight of the South gate. The castle lay ahead, only five minutes’ walk to their north, its walls glittering golden in the reflected early morning light. Thor felt Loki stumble against him, and shifted to take still more of his weight.

“Now is the moment, brother,” Thor whispered, trying not to attract any attention to them. “Do your magic.”

“I have already started, you imbecile,” Loki hissed back, his voice strained with exertion. “Stop talking to thin air and help me move!” Thor looked round, and found that, indeed, he was standing with his arm apparently around nothing: although Loki’s body still felt solid to him, he could no longer see it. He tried to stand so that his position would seem less bizarre, and then set off through the streets of Asgard, towards the palace.

The brothers made it to the gates of the palace almost without incident, only risking discovery for a moment as Loki paused and quickly stifled another sneeze.

“Heh’nkgt!” For an instant, his magic failed, and Thor caught a glimpse of his pained expression as he held his wrist to his nose. Then he was gone again, and they continued to inch gradually through the streets.

Once inside the palace, only a short walk remained to Thor’s chambers, but Loki faltered, out of breath, as they crossed the threshold from the city. Thor reached around him until he could feel his brother’s waist, then hoisted him back over his shoulder.

“Put me down, oaf,” Loki protested, weakly, but Thor ignored him.

“Just keep the magic going, Loki,” he muttered, picking up his pace. They reached Thor’s chambers in a matter of minutes, Loki ceasing his magic with a groan as Thor kicked the door shut behind them. Hurrying to the bedroom, Thor put his brother down as gently as he could, then gave him an appraising look. He instantly decided that he had done the right thing: Loki’s skin was damp with sweat, and looked almost grey in the dim light. As Thor watched, his ragged breathing turned again into coughing, and he curled up in pain, each difficult breath rattling in his chest. Thor stood, uncertain what to do, before pouring him a goblet of water from a jug on a nearby table. He helped Loki to sit up, supporting him as he drank in gulps, still trying to suppress his coughing.

There was a knock at the external door, and both brothers froze.

“Thor? Is that you? Are you alright?” A female voice rang out clearly from the corridor. It was Sif, one of Thor’s companion warriors, and friend.

“Get rid of her, she’ll get us noticed,” Loki hissed under his breath, leaning back against the wall behind him. Thor got up and quickly opened the door. Sif stood, looking at him askance.

“I heard coughing.”

“It was nothing, I am fine.” She narrowed her eyes at him, suspiciously.

“So what did I hear?”

“You heard nothing.” Thor stood barring her entrance, trying to convey with his eyes and simple answers that she should leave. Unfortunately, Loki took this

particular moment of silence to sneeze loudly.

Heh’eh’ushhhooo!” Sif’s eyebrow twitched upwards, questioning. Thor rolled his eyes to the heavens and dragged her inside, pushing her towards the bedroom. She shrugged off his rough treatment, glaring, but followed his directions, turning round to survey the room.

“Odin’s beard, what have you done?” Sif whispered, her eyes taking in Loki’s prone form. “This is treason, Thor.”

DUNDUNDUN! More to come in Part 3, hopefully soon.

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Heh. I love Sif.~

It's sooo cute. :wub: What have you done to me?

This is just *spams all over the place*

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Oooh, DUNDUNDUN is correct! What is Sif gonna do?! Will Odin find out?! This is so suspenseful! And adorable! More soon I hope! :heart::heart::heart::heart::heart:

BYE! :bleh:

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OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHsnap! Thor, you got some 'splainin to do. :P

Great update, Kat! I'm glad that watching Thor helped you out. :D I'm on edge here waiting to see what Loki's fate has in store. Wooo!

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Thank you all for your lovely responses! I have been working hard on Part 3, and here it is! Not a huge amount of sneezing (I think there will be more later), I got too caught up in all the plot and angst and hurt/comfort stuff, so I hope that's ok. I love writing Asgard, they all talk in such epic TheWorldIsEnding language, it's very much my style. Anyway, thanks to everyone who is reading, hope you like this Part! I guess if you haven't seen Thor/The Avengers there is some spoilery stuff, but it's nothing you couldn't get from just knowing a little about Thor/Loki from Norse legends, so it's not so important. Also, apparently 'eykt' was about 3pm.

Thor shifted from one foot to the other awkwardly, looking every inch the guilty child caught playing with father’s spear. “Not treason, exactly,” he wheedled. “And look at him, he needs a Healer.”

Whether from further exhaustion or a rising fever, Loki didn’t even notice as Sif openly looked him up and down. She silently took in his pallor, shivering, and red-tinged nose for several seconds before shrugging dispassionately.

“He has a chill, Thor. He’s not going to die. You disobeyed the All-Father for this?”

Thor was looking more and more embarrassed. He covered it up by bristling angrily. “Odin wouldn’t have wanted his son to be abandoned like this! He must have made a mistake with his punishment.”Sif was unconvinced. “He’s the King of the Aesir, and the punishment was supposed to be severe. How do you know this wasn’t part of it?”

Loki interrupted any attempt at a response from Thor with another coughing fit, curling inwards to bury his mouth in the crook of his elbow, before closing his eyes with a grimace. Sif, watching, softened a little.

“Oh, very well. I will keep your secret, but that is all you can expect from me, Thor.”

Thor was disappointed. “I had hoped that you could help me...” he trailed off. Sif looked at him in confusion.

“With what?”

Thor shuffled his feet again. “With him. If I cannot take him to a Healer, I would need-“ The penny dropped.

“You want me to take care of him?”

“To help me...”

Sif was outraged. “And would you be asking this if it had been Volstagg, Hogun, or Fandral who had knocked on your door? Or is it just because I’m a woman that you think I will play nursemaid to your brother?” Thor mumbled something inaudible, as Loki coughed again. Sif looked between the brothers angrily, then made a decision.

“I will fetch your mother. I am no nurse, Thor.” She stormed from the room, slamming the door. Loki scowled as the noise drilled into his headache. Thor’s bed was so comfortable after his week-long imprisonment. He felt his conscious thoughts growing dimmer, sleep calling out to him, opening her arms wide to embrace him. It would be so easy...

Thor stood by his brother nervously until the door opened and Sif re-entered, followed this time by Frigga. Her grave expression told him that Sif had explained the situation, but not whether her frown was anger at his disobedience or concern for Loki. He didn’t have to wait long for an answer. In silence, Frigga crossed the threshold to his bedroom, and knelt by Loki’s sleeping form. Her gentle hands caressed his forehead, and Loki moaned quietly, the cool, soothing touch penetrating his fever-dream.

“Look at my child,” Frigga murmured, almost to herself, still stroking Loki’s fevered skin. Then she stood up and faced Thor. Although he stood nearly a head above her, he could not meet her eyes, like a disobedient child. He hung his head.

“I am sorry, mother. I knew he was in trouble, I had to help.”

Frigga sighed, reaching up to stroke Thor’s cheek. She smiled at his frown, then turned to take in both brothers at once, their differences and their similarities. “You were always inseparables, even as boys,” she said gently. “I understand why you could not leave him. Your compassion does you credit. But there is always purpose in everything your father does. And you will both have to face his judgement for your transgression.” She turned back to Loki, smoothing a lock of dark, damp hair from his forehead. “For now, let us get him to the Healing Room. Odin is with the Great Council until midday. He will speak to you then.”

Thor lifted his brother once more, and with his mother’s hand on his strong shoulder, he brought Loki to a chamber deep in the heart of the palace. Laying him on the bed where, not so long ago, their father had lain near death in his Odinsleep, Thor stepped back. Tendrils of golden light surrounded Loki, filling the room with a soft, inviting glow, until he was entirely encased in the gentle colours. Loki breathed deeply, his uneasy dozing transformed to real, life-giving sleep. Frigga sat beside him, holding one of his pale-skinned, slender hands. Thor looked around, and found Sif standing in the doorway, facing away from the intimate family moment. He took her by the shoulder.

“I am sorry for my earlier rudeness. My anxiety clouded my judgement. Forgive me.” Sif put her hand over Thor’s, her intense gaze meeting his.

“Of course. You should be with your brother. I will leave you.”

A little while before midday Loki woke from his healing sleep, although the golden light still continued to bathe him. He saw his mother’s face watching him, and saw the way her brow was lined with worry. He tried to smile to reassure her.

“I’m alright, mother.” She returned the smile, squeezing his hand. At the sound of Loki’s voice, Thor looked round from where he had been pacing.

“Brother! You are awake. How do you feel?”

Loki sat up, considering the question. He was no longer feverish, and had recovered most of his strength, but his chest was still tight, and his nose felt, well...

“Hiy’isshoo!” Loki sniffed wetly, and blushed. Now that he was able to focus, he did not like this sudden interest in his health, particularly when it was less than perfect. “I am quite well,” he snapped. “Considering that I have been jolted about across half the planet like the spoils of a hunt for most of the night.”

Thor’s eyes flashed. “You ungrateful little...I should have left you in the wilderness!”

“Indeed you should.” Odin strode into the Healing Room, thunder in his face and booming voice, commanding immediate attention.

“Father-“ both brothers began at once, but Odin gave them no time.

“You have both defied me this night,” he began, his tone dangerously soft. “Nothing occurs in Asgard which I do not see. And you, Thor,” he rounded upon him. “Separation from your brother was to be your punishment, for your continued interference with the realm of Earth.” Thor looked to his mother, willing her to intervene, but as he caught her eye, she shook her head slightly.

“I apologise, father,” Loki spoke quietly, still noticeably hoarse. “I was not...in my right mind. I should not have asked for help. It will not happen again.”

“It most certainly will not!” Odin blazed. “Since you clearly cannot be kept apart without risking the very fabric of Asgard, you may have your wish. You will both be sent from here immediately, until I see fit to call you back. If you attempt to defy me again,” he paused, and they waited, hardly breathing, “then you will be sent even further afield, stripped of your powers. You may find, Thor, that other realms are not as accommodating to the Aesir as Earth was.” Thor looked away. Loki fiddled with his fingers on the bed.

“Is this understood?”

“Yes, father,” chorused the boys, shame-faced. Thor was secretly relieved that Odin had at least not taken Mjölnir from him, yet.

“Very well. Then go. I want you clear of the outer reaches by sunset. I will not bind you, you are not animals, and I see no purpose in expending power for magic which you have shown you can break if you choose. But you will obey me.” The statement was final. Thor made a move to leave, when Frigga spoke.

“All-Father,” her voice was gentle; her experience as Odin’s wife had taught her that matching his aggression was no way to win battles. “Our son is unwell-“

“He has been here since dawn, he is well enough to travel,” Odin snapped. “Until sunset,” he repeated, giving a final warning look to his sons. Then he was gone, and silence returned.

Loki stood, slowly, testing his strength. “Well, that seems to conclude our business here. Since we are cast out together, shall we meet at eykt by the North gate?”

Thor nodded, and Loki swept out in silence. Thor faced his mother; silent tears stood bright in her eyes. He embraced her tenderly, trying to offer comfort in his strong body.

“Do not fear, mother. He will come to no harm.” His heart ached to see her sorrow as their hug ended.

“Be good; be safe,” she murmured. “And come back to me.” She reached up to kiss his cheek, stroke his fair hair. Thor returned to his chambers with guilt burning in his soul. He packed lightly, then went to say farewell once more to his companions.

Loki surveyed his chambers dispassionately as he decided what to pack. His rooms had lain untouched for the months of his absence with Thanos and the Chitauri, and a thick layer of dust covered the sparse furnishings. He kneaded his temples absent-mindedly with a hand. The healing magic had cured his fever and the worst of his sickness, but he was left with the lingering symptoms of a bad head-cold. Pulling several handkerchiefs from a drawer, he blew his nose, but achieved little. He was still plagued by an almost constant need to sneeze, itching in the back of his nose. Brushing the dust from a chest of clothes, the itch redoubled its efforts, and Loki inhaled shakily, nostrils flaring and eyebrows pulling together inexorably.

“Haah...ih’tschoo! He’yisshoo!” Loki sat for a moment, mouth open, eyes still half-shut, but the niggling tickle backed off. He swallowed, shaking his head slightly, as though dazed. He realised he must look ridiculous. No doubt Thor, who was never ill, would find this all highly amusing. Loki fumed for a moment longer, but in truth most of his anger towards his family had abated in the week’s isolation. As hard as he tried to hate his adoptive mother and father, he could not extinguish the childhood bond of love for them, his mother in particular.

As though reading his mind, Frigga stood in his doorway, her sad eyes watching him in deep contemplation. Loki turned at the sound of his name. A moment later she held him in her arms, and he felt tears prick his eyelids.

“Mother,” he whispered. When he had returned to Asgard to face his punishment, he had been too angry for a happy reunion, too hurt by the lies he had been told about his parentage to see the joy in his parents’ hearts that he still lived. Now, he felt it like a crushing weight upon his heart.

“Mother, I am sorry,” he choked. “I am sorry I failed you, and father.” Frigga let him go, and searched his face carefully.

“Then make peace with your brother, and soon, you shall be home again.” Loki nodded, fighting back his tears. She kissed his cheek, stroked his dark hair, and left. Loki finished packing, and spent the time remaining surveying the city from his high vantage point. He didn’t know when he would see it again. Until a week ago his only thought had been to rule it, but now, he thought he would settle for being a citizen of it once more. He fumbled in his pocket for a handkerchief as another sneeze built, breath catching in his throat.

“Heh’ittsch’shooo!” The desperate sound wrenched itself from his throat and Loki groaned, burying his nose in the clean cloth. Thor was going to have a field day with this.

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I am forever in love with your writing. It's just as simple as that. <3

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Wonderful! Simply wonderful! I :heart: Loki so much and this just makes me :heart: :heart: :heart: him more! And now he's traveling while sick?! Dear Odin, what have you done? Don't you know that Loki might relapse? Katrelle, you evil, evil genius. :love: Update soon!

BYE! :bleh:

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Awww, thanks for the responses, guys! I am working on Part 4, but wanted to take a quick straw poll - would people be ok with/for the inclusion of Thor getting sick too/after Loki is mostly better? I kind of like the idea (mostly for Loki's inept caretaking), but I know some people don't like contagion, so just wondered how people felt about this. Anyway, Part 4 is in the pipeline. Thanks again for all the amazing feedback :)

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LOL you're asking if instead of having one shmexy sneezy alien I'd rather have two?

( the answer, from me, is of course, YEEEESS XD )

I would love that~ :heart:

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Well, hmmm... let me think about this YES!!! Oh my gosh yes! Two sneezy, hot aliens are always better than one! :heart: More soon!

BYE! :bleh:

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Yes especially considering in Thor's case he wouldn't have the healing room option xD

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Thanks for the great responses, everyone! I'm sorry it's been a while since I updated - I'm actually a bit sick myself, so haven't been able to write as clearly as I'd have liked. But here is the next part, anyway! There's some moderately graphic description of hunting and killing animals (deer and rabbits, specifically), so you might want to skip that bit if you're squeamish. I put it in because I assumed it would be what our favourite Asgardians would do for food, being ancient Norse demi-gods, and all. Also, I sort of tried to take inspiration for the way they would sneeze from the way the actors do, so that's an explanation if you're interested: (http://www.sneezefet...showtopic=44809 and http://www.sneezefet...showtopic=46914) Anyway, here it is!

A deer stood nervously on a patch of open ground, ears twitching and head turning from side to side rapidly. All was still; it appeared to be safe. Slowly, it lowered its nose to the ground, biting off a mouthful of the short grass.

Ngkt’tchu!The urgent sneeze shattered the peaceful quiet beyond repair. The deer, alarmed not only by the noise but also by the sudden appearance of two large Asgardians who flickered into view directly in front of it, wisely fled the clearing.

“Odin’s beard,” growled Thor under his breath, lowering his hammer. “That is the third time, Loki!”

Loki was too busy holding off another sneeze to pay attention. He fished frantically in his pocket for a handkerchief, breath coming in short gasps as he attempted to stave off the inevitable. Finally, he found it, and inhaling deeply, held it to his face with both hands as he sneezed mightily.

“H’ittsch’ooo! Hih’yisshu!” He blew his nose in an attempt to quell the continued itching therein. Partially successful, he pocketed the handkerchief once more.

“I apologise, brother,” he responded, testily, “I assure you that the experience is at least as frustrating to me as it is...to you...” His voice rose in pitch on the last word, as the urge to sneeze became unexpectedly urgent once more. Turning aside and taking several

steps away from his brother, Loki hastily pulled out the handkerchief just in time to catch the explosion.

Heh...h’attshoo!Sniffing, he turned back to the conversation. Thor was watching him, the corners of his lips twitching slightly with amusement.


Loki regarded him blankly. “I’m sorry?”

Thor’s expression instantly became one of embarrassment, and a pink flush spread across his cheeks. “It’s...it’s what is said on Earth...when someone...sneezes.”

“I see,” said Loki icily. Thor remained silent; he had forgotten himself for a moment. Unbidden memories of Jane Foster came to his mind. “Well, if you would rather I did not interrupt you, perhaps we had better continue our hunt separately.” Thor nodded. “We can meet back at the camp at nightfall. Then we shall see who has managed the better spoils.”

They had been in the wilderness to the North of Asgard for almost three days, and Loki was starting to feel almost like himself again. His powers were stronger, and he had lost the cough which had so disturbed his sleep. The only symptom really remaining was this perplexing habit of sneezing at the most inopportune moments. Nevertheless, he was determined to beat Thor in their competition. He had never gone in for hunting as a sport on Asgard, although Thor had spent much of his youth with their father...with his father, Loki corrected himself, in these very forests, returning with deer and wild boar to feed the whole castle. Where Thor fought with brute strength and his hammer, Loki could instead use stealth and a slender dagger concealed in his jacket. Finding the tell-tale mounds of rabbit warrens, he crouched silently on the grass, invisible, content to wait.


Thor meanwhile strode into the deepest centre of the forest, glad to be on his own for a while. He knew the woods well, though it had been years since he had hunted there. As Odin’s heir, he had had to put aside such frivolities in recent times. A chill breeze blew through the trees, and Thor found himself shivering suddenly. Pulling his red cloak tighter about his shoulders, he pressed on. He knew just the place for wild boar, which would surely beat whatever meagre offerings Loki could trick with his magic and his puny dagger. Hefting his hammer, Thor grinned to himself. He could get used to banishment.

Nearly an hour later, having seen no sign of bird or beast, Thor was beginning to regret parting company with his brother. Loki would have been the perfect help to flush out their quarry into Thor’s waiting embrace. As it was, he simply had to hope that it would emerge, and he was impatient to be eating and moving about again. The evening had turned chill, and having spent so long sitting still, Thor felt cold even to his bones. He was also starting to notice a dull ache around his temples and cheekbones, like pressure building up. He rubbed distractedly at his forehead to ease it, but without success.

Finally, Thor noticed a stirring in the undergrowth. Keeping as still and silent as he could, he watched a young deer step out from among the trees. He was close enough to see the delicate pattern of white and tan markings across its back. It flicked its ears back and forth, scanning the area for danger. Thor held his breath, waiting for the best possible moment. Nervously, the deer stepped closer to where he hid, unaware of the danger. Thor tightened his grip on Mjölnir, the leather thong at its handle wrapped around his wrist. He tensed his muscles, and sprang. With one blow to the head he brought the deer to the ground, instantly and cleanly dead.

Thor gave a triumphant laugh which sent birds spiralling upwards from the nearby trees, startled, but his laughter turned to coughing unexpectedly. Out of breath, bent nearly double, Thor tried to regain his equilibrium, wiping tears from his cheeks. His throat stung painfully as he swallowed water from the flask at his waist.

Recovered, Thor removed a knife from his belt and quickly gutted the deer, leaving its entrails steaming on the grass. Then he slung the remaining carcass over his shoulders and, lifting his hammer again, began to make his way slowly back to camp, newly burdened by his successful kill. It was nearly full night by now, and Thor was oddly grateful for the warmth of the deer he carried, as he continued to shiver in the cool air.


Loki grinned to himself in the soft breeze, his face shrouded in shadow. He was glad that he had chosen to wear his traditional green garb, hiding him well against the undergrowth and trees. A few metres away a pile of four rabbits lay, his current spoils. He waited for just one more.

A twitching nose, then a pair of ears, emerged from a hole only a hand’s breadth from where he crouched. Loki gripped his dagger, already unsheathed, steadily, breathing lightly with the wind. Slowly, the rabbit emerged. It was a large buck, better than any he had yet caught. Loki considered the angles, inhaled deeply, and called upon his magic.

In an instant, the rabbit’s field of vision was swamped by three large figures, copies of the demi-God, looming over it. They surrounded the terrified creature in all but one direction, which remained clear. It took the only remaining course of action, and bolted for the edge of the clearing. Loki, where he crouched directly in its path, invisible, caught it and killed it easily in one smooth motion, the three illusions vanishing. The rabbit’s legs kicked helplessly for a moment, then it stilled. Loki carried it to the rest of the pile and collected them, breathing deeply from the expense of his magic. Loki viewed his spoils carefully; certainly enough for supper. At any rate, the sun was nearly set, and he was still a good walk from their camp. Wiping his dagger and pocketing it, Loki set off.


When Thor arrived at the camp he was heartened to see a large fire already made and his brother tending to it. Quickly he sat down near it, depositing the deer from his shoulders.

“Loki! Shall we compare to see who has the better spoils?” Loki came to meet him, surveying the carcass. He smiled, and Thor’s heart warmed still further. It had been too long since their relationship had been truly fraternal. He was beginning to hope that their exile might repair some of their differences.

“I think the proof must be in the eating, brother,” Loki responded equably, showing his pile of rabbits. “Come, I will fashion a spit for the beast.” He took his dagger and began sharpening a large branch. Thor sat beside him in contented silence and began to skin it, as the fire slowly melted some of the chill from his bones. The wind blew this way and that in contrary gusts, so that no matter where they sat, they were occasionally deluged in smoke. Thor threw an arm up to cover his eyes, but could not prevent the fumes from catching at his throat. He turned aside, coughing roughly into the crook of his arm, struggling to catch his breath.

“Here, brother.” Thor felt a flask pushed into his unresisting hands. He took a gulp of water, recovering, and wiped his eyes against his wrist. Loki watched him, his intense , focused gaze making Thor uncomfortable.

“Thank you,” he rumbled, suppressing a final cough. “The smoke...” he gestured vaguely at the fire, then handed back the flask. Loki said nothing, but continued to glance often at Thor as he finished the spit. Thor finished skinning the deer, then moved on to Loki’s rabbits.

“These are fine; how did you catch them?” Loki explained his trick. Thor laughed aloud. “Why did you never come hunting with us, brother? Such skills would have been of great use.”

Loki shrugged. “I did not wish to impose myself upon you and your friends.”

“You thought yourself above us, you mean,” Thor teased good-naturedly. Together they put the meat on the spit over the fire. Loki considered his answer.

“I knew that I had to be different or be inferior. I did not want to compete on your terms.” They sat in silence for a while.

The wind changed direction, blowing smoke across them again. Loki wrinkled his nose as the powerful smell of burning and cooking meat irritated it, managing to subdue the urge to sneeze for once. Thor however, had no such luck.

“Hih’tchu! Heh’tch! Ha’tchu!” Three ticklish, quiet, almost feminine sneezes burst from him as the smoke irritated his nostrils. Thor raised a hand ineffectually towards his face as his eyes cinched shut. When he had finished, he sniffed a little wetly, and rubbed his nose. When he looked up, he saw Loki watching him, the beginnings of a smirk just hovering around the corners of his mouth. He raised his eyebrows.

“Smoke bothering you, brother?”

“It’s nothing,” muttered Thor, darkly, although in truth his nose was still itching, and he thought he would need to sneeze again before long. Luckily, Loki was distracted from his discomfort as he busied himself cutting the cooked meat from the spit. He handed some to Thor and they ate at last.

“If only we had some mead,” Thor smiled, thinking back to previous hunting trips. Loki ate in silence, thinking.

“I wonder when the All-Father will allow us to come home,” he mused. “Do you think there will be some test we must defeat?”

Thor shrugged, pulling his cloak around him. “Who can say? I am not finding this punishment too unpleasant thus far. His temper will cool eventually, and we will return to Asgard. Until then, we must wait.” He threw a bone into the fire. His nose itched suddenly, and he turned away from Loki, attempting to stifle another sneeze.

“Heh’tchish!” Thor shivered convulsively and put a hand to his throbbing temples. Loki watched him, still amused.

“Gesundheit, was that not the term you used, brother?” He rolled the word around in his mouth. “Teutonic, would be my guess.” Thor nodded, distractedly. He had had enough of this sparring; a great weariness had come over him suddenly, his muscles aching with tiredness.

“I will retire, brother. It is late.” Loki was surprised, but did not question it. They had spent most of the day in physical exertion; it was natural to feel fatigued, although he would have been happy to spend much of the night in talking.

“Good night, then.”

Together, they raked the fire until it consisted of slow burning embers, and lay down on opposite sides of it to sleep. Thor pulled his cloak tightly around him, trying to find warmth in the thin cloth. Although he felt cold deep inside him, he could feel sweat chill on his forehead and neck. He put it down to the uncomfortable heat of the earlier fire and shut his eyes to sleep, quickly drifting off into a fitful doze.

Loki slept easily, warm under his fur-lined coat and green jacket. He awoke a little before dawn without knowing why. In the dimness, he saw movement at the corner of his vision, and heard some muffled noise. Standing quietly, he went towards it. He found his brother in distress; Thor tossed his head from side to side, sweat standing out in large beads on his face. Loki could see his limbs trembling and shivering as he lay curled tightly in upon himself in an effort to get warm. Thor moaned quietly, deep in his throat, unconscious of the world around him in his fever-dream. He whispered a name.


“Shhh...” Loki murmured, taking off his cloak and wrapping it around his brother’s shivering body. He pulled a clean cloth from his pocket and gently wiped the sweat from Thor’s face, his hands steady despite the fear which bit deeply into his heart. His long fingers brushed damp strands of Thor’s fair hair from his forehead, feeling the burning heat beneath the skin. He had done this; Thor’s discomfort was his fault. Loki sat hunched over, hugging his knees to his chest, beside his brother’s prone form, as he allowed himself to face his own guilt. This was to be his test, then. He must not fail.

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I totally agree with Daisoku! Loki is adorable indeed. Poor Thor! All shivery and feverish and with no magical box to heal him! Oh Katrelle, why must you be so mean to him? Of course, I want you to continue being mean to him, it's just, I feel a bit sadistic, you know? Eh, oh well. It is no matter. Thor has Loki to take care of him, and Loki will not fail at his wonderfully desirable terrible task. Oh, I have never wanted to be Loki so bad before. More soon! Please? :D

BYE! :bleh:

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Thanks for the responses! I'm kind of being mean to Thor, but frankly, it's not as bad as it looks, Loki's overreacting a bit. And he'll be ok, he's got his brother to look after him.

SPOILERS on Character Development

I love writing Loki and Thor because Thor is such a straightforward fun-loving, good-natured guy, and Loki is such a complicated and developed character, having seen Thor and Avengers. Loki's pretty messed up with his younger-sibling, living-in-Thor's-shadow, chip on his shoulder, and then finding out that he was effectively adopted as a bargaining chip with Laufey. He also has massive delusions of grandeur, and definitely thinks the show is all about him at all times. He's clearly pretty emotional and sensitive (he cries or comes close to crying So Many times in Thor, it's adorable), and has huge mood swings when he can't have what he wants. He makes big plans but doesn't think them through, like in Avengers with the Chitauri, so they get out of hand. I think that's why he does such bad stuff to Thor, because he has such a temper and Thor reminds him of all his failings or times when people have put him down, and his anger gets the better of him and he lashes out, but then he regrets it quickly, but it's already done. He confesses to Thor in Avengers that it's too late to stop the Chitauri, implying that he wanted to, and he goes back to Asgard pretty willingly at the end. I think he realises he made a foolish decision and it had big repercussions, and he wanted to take responsibility. In terms of the plot that I've written, I think he sent the beacon out to Thor because he wasn't thinking straight, and then felt stupid when he caused a load of trouble for everyone when Thor takes him back to Asgard. He thinks he's failed to take his punishment like a man, or something. He can't really help loving his parents, even though he felt betrayed by them. And actually, when he and Thor are alone together, they have quite a good time, like when they were young kids, because it's more other people that Loki feels treat him badly in comparing him to Thor, like Thor's warriors, and their parents. Even though most of this is in his head anyway. I think he's sort of realised that Thor doesn't actually do this himself, so he doesn't mind hanging around with him. But because Loki thinks the world very much revolves around Loki, when Thor gets sick he immediately thinks it's all his fault, and that this is a much bigger deal than it really is, and feels really guilty. And is determined to do as good a job as possible looking after him, especially considering how Thor stood up for him when he was sick.

Um, yeah, I put some thought into this. Not sure how much sense it made, but never mind. :shy:

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