Brooding 18

Clint did not respond for a minute, wanting to absorb and digest Loki’s last remark. From the somber way in which it had been spoken, he realized that regardless of whether the statement was true or not, Loki, at least, believed it to be true. His haunted eyes were watching Clint, waiting to see how he would react. Clint reached out to gather him into his arms, and Loki succumbed without resisting.

“How can you be so sure?” he finally countered. “Maybe it’s just a test, to see how you take your punishment… to see if you’re really sorry for what you did.”

Loki snorted, the sound muffled against Clint’s shoulder. “If that were the case, he would have stripped me of my powers and sent me to some undeveloped world to learn my lesson – like he did with Thor.”

Clint suddenly had a vivid recollection of the time Thor had cried out in anguish, having failed to lift his own hammer. If Clint did not have an axe to grind with Thor, it might have made him feel sorry for the god of thunder; he could not imagine how Loki would have fared in a similar situation.

“No, I was deemed to be beyond rehabilitation,” Loki continued, “or perhaps Odin simply wished to bury me alive, to forget that I had ever existed. When I fell ill, I thought he might have had a change of heart… that he had decided to show me mercy by killing me outright, rather than keeping me trapped for eons in the dungeons.” Loki’s laugh sounded hollow and somehow brittle to Clint’s ears. “I was wrong. The All-Father does not change his mind so easily, nor does he offer mercy to the undeserving.”

“Why?” Clint asked. “I mean, why would he be so cruel? I thought you were his son.”

“Didn’t you understand what my mother… what the Queen said?” Loki retorted, forcing himself to use the more accurate term. “I’m not his son at all, but an abandoned Frost Giant he just decided to bring home… as a trophy, perhaps. I have no idea why he made me think I was his, when he could have raised me as a servant or kept me as a prisoner of war from the beginning. But my punishment for trying to rule a world – the birthright that he had raised me to believe was mine, mind you – is no more cruel than hiding my true nature from me until I found out in battle, when the shock of it put me off guard and very nearly got me killed by a monster. By one of my fellow monsters, that is,” Loki amended in a hard tone. “Perhaps he felt that… as a Jötun, my feelings on the matter were irrelevant. After all, I’d been left out to die on a cold rock – I should be grateful to him for even taking me in, shouldn’t I? Regardless of how capriciously he treats me, I ought to be thankful just to be alive, yes? Even if it is in a tiny cage for all of my miserable existence.”

Clint let Loki vent, realizing that he needed to take what the god of lies said with a grain of salt but feeling sympathetic toward him nonetheless. He offered what comfort he could, rubbing Loki’s bare back with both hands, as he considered what else he could say to him.

“What about Thor?” he finally asked. “If he succeeds Odin as king, wouldn’t he be able to grant you some freedom? Maybe even a full pardon?”

“Oh, yes – my brother,” Loki said with a sneer. “The one who didn’t even visit me in the dungeons until I was at death’s door, and then only because Mother had ordered him to. I’m sure he would rather forget that I ever existed. As if it weren’t bad enough to find out I’m a Frost Giant, now I’m a freak that can get pregnant as well! I’m a hideous embarrassment to the entire family. No doubt they’ve been working hard to get the word out that I was adopted, especially since too many of the guards saw me being diagnosed with the child to cover it up. No, setting me free is the last thing Thor would ever do.”

Knowing what Thor had done to Loki in the past, Clint could hear the pain behind his projected hatred. It made Clint burn with anger, too, but it reminded him that he had wanted to clear the air with Loki – to make sure that they came to an understanding about something of primary importance.

“You still love him, don’t you,” Clint said, trying to keep any accusation out of his voice. “Even after all he’s done to you… you still love Thor.”

Loki froze, his body going rigid and tense in Clint’s arms.

“I-I d-don’t… I never…! Why in all the Nine Realms would you… even think something like that?” Loki sputtered.

“It’s all right,” Clint soothed. “You don’t have to pretend – not with me, Loki. I know. I remember everything that happened when we were together. Everything. Even that one memory you tried to hide from me.” Clint kissed Loki’s cheek, feeling the demigod tremble with conflicting emotions as he realized which incident Clint was referring to. “It’s all right,” he repeated. “I won’t hurt you like he did. I would never hurt you… at least not on purpose. And I’m not leaving you. If they won’t let you out of your cell, I’ll come visit you every day. That’s a promise, Loki… and I keep my promises. You’ll see.”

Loki had gripped Clint’s shoulders without thinking, his nails digging into Clint’s skin, but Clint did not stop stroking Loki’s back in gentle caresses.

“It’s funny… when you singled me out, back in that lab,” Clint went on, “you actually chose me because I reminded you of him, didn’t you? There was something about me that made you think of Thor… that’s why you decided to keep me instead of blasting me to bits like the other guys, isn’t it?”

“I-I-ah…” Loki gulped. “I c-can’t imagine what you’re talking about!”

“Hmm,” Clint said mildly. “I don’t know if I should be flattered or insulted… Sure, Thor’s a big, strong guy, but he was a giant flake when it came to you. And not to be rude or anything, but he doesn’t strike me as the sharpest tack in the box – know what I mean? So if that was my first impression, I’m gonna have to work on my people skills more.”

“It was nothing like that,” Loki protested, forgetting that in essence he was admitting to the rest of what Clint had said. “I only chose you because you had good reflexes and seemed to know your way around that place… like any good soldier would. And you proved me right: you made yourself useful immediately. What happened afterward was… an added benefit.”

A wry grin crossed Clint’s face. “So getting me in bed had nothing to do with my manly muscles or other… attributes?

Loki flushed when he could not help glancing down at Clint’s cock, which was sizeable even when flaccid.

“I did take into consideration your many assets before inviting you to my bed, yes,” he confessed. “I saw that you had more than one skill I could make good use of, so of course I used your talents to the fullest.”

“Mm-hmm,” Clint said agreeably. “So the fact that you had us humping like rabbits all that time… had nothing to do with your preference for hulking, muscular men who may or may not resemble a certain god of thunder, who also just so happens to have big, bulging muscles?”

“It. Does. Not.” Loki spat out each word through gritted teeth. “The only thing you’ve gotten right is how dim he is! He wouldn’t know his ass from his nose unless you handed it to him, and even then he might get confused. And as far as assets and attributes go,” he added, with a meaningful look at Clint’s crotch, “he is no competition at all. You, my Hawk, are far more gifted in certain areas than any son of Odin could ever hope to be.”

“Tell me more,” Clint said, smirking. “I like it when you stroke my ego… among other things.”

Loki took the hint and eagerly complied by grasping the Human’s cock and balls in his delicate fingers and massaging them as he continued. “You proved to me how intelligent and how utterly, ruthlessly efficient you could be when presented with a task… and proper motivation. To be honest, I hadn’t expected that from one of your species; you single-handedly improved my opinion of the Human race.”

“Is that right,” Clint murmured with pleasure, languidly reaching down to stroke Loki’s manhood with one hand, making him gasp and shudder with reawakened desire. “How else did I manage to surprise you?”

“Well… I didn’t have high expectations… of a mere mortal,” Loki drawled, having trouble concentrating as his attention was diverted to his nether regions, “but your sheer physical stamina… was a pleasant surprise. I had thought, initially… that I would need to augment your… physical abilities… with a little bit of magic – some manipulation of blood flow, that sort of thing – but, as it turned out… it was entirely unnecessary. You performed quite well… without any assistance.”

“Only because I had such a beautiful object for my attentions,” Clint told Loki, then leaned in for a kiss. While their tongues slid together, words abandoned as they sought to taste each other more deeply than ever before, their hands became entangled around their two cocks, forming a writhing tunnel for Clint to thrust his thickening shaft into and stroke the underside of Loki’s length. When at last they parted their lips for air, the previous conversation was all but forgotten in their haze of lust.

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