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Truthfully by Salazarfalcon, thor & loki + steve & loki + tony & loki + other avengers, therapy fic, cracky initially + later seriousness, 129k
    Loki had every intention of wreaking havoc upon Midgard the moment his suicide attempt had failed, it was just too bad that Midgard ended up being so distracting. Who knew that such a primitive society would have such a novel concept as therapy?
    Chapters 01-30: Over the last two days, I have read some shorter fics here and there, but the majority of my time? Spent on this fic right here. And I will get a few caveats out of the way--there are definitely moments when this fic edges into cracky territory and the fic often wavers in that direction throughout the piece, which is something you just sort of need to roll with. It's Loki going to therapy and sticking with it and finding new Midgard hobbies, like yoga classes and Thai cooking classes and getting his nails done. It almost kind of has to start out cracky! But the fic is aware of that, instead has fun with it, and then promptly decides to make this the most emotionally satisfying fucking fic I have yet read in this fandom. The fic is also very much focused on Loki's hurt and pain, not entirely dismissing his villanous acts, but also writing him as carefully not having murdered anyone (on Midgard), so there is a bit of apologia in here. Also, this was started/planned before The Avengers came out, so the fic doesn't take those events into account, as well as doesn't really include a lot of Bruce, Clint, or Natasha, since the author was working off Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America.

Okay, those are my caveats. You just gotta roll with them and take this as a divergent timeline or whatever. Because, as a Loki fan, this fic is honestly one of the most satisfying fics I've read in the fandom, because it does everything that I want a fic like this to do. It's not a quick or easy process, to have Loki come to terms with himself and his rage and his damage and his broken heart, it's been 100k of fic (that I COULD NOT PUT DOWN, jfc) and he's making progress, but he's hardly there yet. The therapist is an OC, but she's lovely and works very well in all the ways she's supposed to, firm and caring and guiding, getting him to slowly open up and make progress. It may have taken me a bit to warm up to her, but by chapter 30, I was definitely onboard with her character and found myself super fond of her.

But this is a Loki fic. For all that the author takes turns with the various characters' povs, this is about him and his isues and the Avengers slowly realizing what kind of person is really underneath all the polish and rage and coming to maybe kind of care about him. The author does an incredible job of keeping everyone so incredibly, solidly in character, especially Loki, who still has so much rage and sharp edges and that gorgeous way with words. And I enjoy Loki's interaction with Steve, the friendship they find themselves having. I enjoy Loki's interaction with Tony, whom he has an almost painful understanding with, a bantering, biting not-quite-friendship. But, oh, Loki's relationship with Thor. It always comes back to Thor. There are at least three scenes in this fic that are... you know the kind of scene you get at the end of a decently long, emotionally satisfying fic? Where all these truths come out after they've been built up to for so long? The kind that just rip your heart out because these are all the things they've needed to say to each other, the things they've needed to realize about each other for ages? This fic takes its time to build up to that kind of scene at least THREE TIMES with Loki and Thor. And it was satisfying as fuck every single time.

I feel practically emotionally wrung out after reading this fic (to be fair, I read little else while I got sucked into this one) because the author does an absolutely brilliant job of bringing all the issues to the surface and properly dealing with them and showing that, no, one shouted conversation doesn't automatically fix everything. It's a step, but it makes you tired, too, and, ugh, so gorgeous. The voices for the characters are often just lovely, especially Loki and Thor, the way Thor just loves Loki so much makes me ache while I read this, it gave me nearly as many Thor Feels as it gave me Loki Feels. There is no scene in this fic that I don't enjoy or look forward to! Usually, I'm pretty focused on just one set of characters interacting or I want to hurry up through the talking to get to the action scenes, etc. Here, I'm content to let the author go wherever, if that means Loki wanting to hit something so Steve shows him to the gym, if that means another therapy session with Loki's therapist, if that means another heart-wrenching conversation with Thor about why Loki's so hurt, whatever it is, the author's pacing and choice of direction is all amazing. I'm even delighted that the author chose to keep this fic gen, despite that Loki's interaction with Tony, Steve, and Thor could all read as pre-slash. I'm delighted because it's not about that, it's not about kissing someone being the fix-it for everything, but instead it's about repairing relationships and Loki's own emotional processes. Just. Ugh. 100k of fic and it's nowhere near enough, especially when it's left on a bit of a cliffhanger. But still. The most emotionally satisfying fic I've yet read in this fandom and it makes me love them all so, so much.
    Chapters 31: Whenever I catch up with a long fic and have to start reading chapter by chapter, when they're newly published, there's always the risk that the inertia and momentum of the longer work won't be there in the chapter by chapter pieces. And that may yet still hold true whenever chapter 32 comes out, who knows. But this one? AHHHHH, SO GOOD. Loki has come so far by this point, but there's still so much rage and so many jagged edges and this author is not pulling any punches here, not when Loki's doctor has been kidnapped by Doom and he's furious about it, not when Loki reacts exactly as Loki would, using all that anger and rage to do something all the more dangerous. And I really love the second half of the fic as well (though, the first half with Loki is especially sharp--and, okay, I'm weak to Loki perspectives), with the Avengers actually putting a few more cards on the table about this whole situation with Loki and how they should approach it and maybe how things have not always been done the best, all while acknowledging that Loki is seriously fucked up and dangerous. Ahhhh, so good.
    Chapters 32+: An amazing anon pointed out that this fic was being posted to the kink meme first and I greedily snatched the newest chapters up and then waited a bit more before 66 was posted because I skimmed and saw OH FUCK NO I AM NOT READING UNTIL PART 66 IS POSTED. I am very, very glad I did this, it was worth the wait. Yet again, an update to this fic leaves me just as satisfied as the previous chapters, because it picks up with Loki going to Latveria to kill the shit out of Doom for having kidnapped his therapist and, oh, it does a gorgeous job of showing what an amazing bamf Loki is while still showing his progress over all the months of therapy. The way he's fighting for someone, while still dark and full of anger, is so much closer to the right reasons and that's not even the point! It wasn't about getting him to fight on the side of angels, it was just... about Loki healing enough that that's how it unfolded and I cannot express how important that distinction is and how gorgeously done it was. I could have cried for how touching all of this was, how touching Loki's conversation with Steve was, when he had to make a hard choice during the fight with Doom, how touching Loki's conversation with Thor was afterwards, how much I just felt for both of them and how beautifully satisfying their conversation was yet again. Thor being so tired and angry at himself for always having to be sorry at how he didn't really see things before, it could have been so terrible in a lesser writer's hands, it could have been about punishing Thor. Instead, it made him all the more sympathetic and amazing and wonderful. I just. Yes, I have all the Loki Feels in this fandom, but, oh, I have all the Thor Feels, too. And all the Steve Feels. So, so many feels. And tears. All of them.
    Chapters 32+: I feel as though, at some point, I should be less affected by the emotional resolution this story has to offer, that I should reach a point where I'm fully satisfied with the relationship between Thor and Loki here, rather than always yearning for more. But I have yet to tire of it! Especially so because this chapter has Loki in such a better place, even if not perfect, one that has been so very hard won after all this time, which all came bubbling up for me, as a reader. It wouldn't have meant nearly as much if the author hadn't taken the time to get them here. Instead, though, I was left with all the feelings as Loki prepares to move out, establish himself on his own feet again a bit, which Thor isn't precisely comfortable with, he'd rather keep Loki close, but, oh, that just makes this chapter even better, because they're both working on this and, ugh, hugs and feelings. Fuck this fic for giving me so many feelings.
    Chapters 32+: It'll be at least another week before this fic is updated (at the time I'm writing this rec, of course) as the author is going out of town for awhile, so it's nice that it left off on a really good, happy note. While the previous chapter was the one that I really needed to have before reading (as it wrapped up the majority of the action with the Avengers and Loki going after Doom), this one was the real capper. Loki is healing, both in body and mind, after such a long progress, and is actually seeing a chance at really maybe being happy and okay with himself. It's about finally getting a real chance to talk with Caroline, his therapist, and it's about rescuing a cake from the other Avengers who would dive into it if it's left alone with them, and it's about being happy, healthy, and whole. It's really nice to have that sometimes.
    Chapters 32+: This fic continues to give me so many ridiculous feelings and is the Loki-in-therapy fic of my heart, especially when Thor joins him for a session and it's been such a long road and they've come through so much that they've earned this much. And I love that, even now, even as the fic is winding down (*sob*), there's still so much there, so much they never really told each other, they never knew about each other--which is illustrated through a story of when Thor first moved into his own room when they were children and how each of them never knew the affect that had on the other. But it's also about how Loki feels closer to Thor, maybe not entirely open about it yet, but letting Thor see him more, enough that Thor can figure him out, can pull him inside and curl up with him and Loki allows it now. Just. Ugh. Feelings everywhere.
    Chapters 32+: This is the final part of this story and I'm terribly sad to see it end, but also... I'm terrifically glad that this story exists and that it ends with Thor and Loki, as it should. It's almost simple, as they walk around after their therapy session, not really needing words, just being near each other, just being brothers again, and that alone is enough to make me want to put a hand over my heart for the ache stirring there. This has been a long journey and I think someday I'm going to sit down and reread the whole thing, but for now... I'm content. I'm glad that this is how it ended, that it's about Thor and Loki in the end, that they're so entangled in each other, but it's in a good way here, there's still room for this in their lives. I could not have asked for more from this wonderful, wonderful fic.

Telephone by anonymous, steve & loki + thor & loki + other avengers, humor, 10.5k
    Steve stares at the small, smooth, deep blue 'phone' which Tony's secretary had given him a month ago. Itís ringing. Steve has no idea who decided that his phone should produce a tinny, constantly repeating version of the chorus to 'Star Spangled Man', but it wasn't him.
    One of my (admittedly many) favorite things in reading Avengers fic--and one the reasons I go out of my way to find Loki/other fic--is how a lot of authors use another character from the team to help give the Thor/Loki relationship a catalyst, helps smooth things over and provide a certain something else that helps that relationship. When Loki accidentally calls Steve after he's been injured, it leads to a sort of friendship where Loki calls or texts him with the weirdest stuff, and it leads to Thor not feeling entirely comfortable with this because he's jealous and he just misses his brother so much, which leaves Steve even more confused. The author does go with confused!Steve more than I usually like, but doesn't take it over the top, it's just a personal preference, and we're inside his head for the entire fic, so you see all the little things that he doesn't always show on the surface. And Loki taking to internet slang when he texts (which you know he's doing on purpose to be a little shit) is hilarious and works so much better than I thought it would! Some of his text messages to Steve are pure perfection! And I really loved Steve and Thor's interactions, how Thor knows that Steve is a good man, he's trying to be happy that Loki has a friend, and Steve gets it, why Loki took a shine to him, because Loki misses Thor, too. But it's also a delightful friendship between Loki and Steve, it even has an actual action scene, when the team is fighting Loki's ice dragon, and... I'm doing a terrible rec here, but it really is an excellent fic! It was just about everything I could ask for from friendship fic!

Featherling by RoAnshi, loki + avengers + possible steve/loki, pregnant!loki, miscarriage, 27k
    While serving his sentence on Midgard, Loki unexpectedly finds himself in a "family way" - sort of.
    Chapter 01-03: This fic is, as the author's notes say, set in a future time where Loki is working with the Avengers as part of his redemption and is still resentful about it, but not quite hissingly angry about it, which is set up in a previous fic that has yet to be written. But it's not hard at all to navigate this fic, it stands well on its own, so don't let that stop you from reading this one! Especially because... okay, I picked this one up because, oh, hey, Loki finds himself with child while on Midgard and it's a redemption fic. Yes, sign me up for that! Which I definitely enjoyed, but the fic also does the best thing for me in Loki Redemption fics--it balances his various relationships with the other Avengers as well as the personal stuff he's going through. This fic gives me everything I want, from Thor being an important presence in his life that Loki's still working to learn how to re-accept, to the solid friendship he has with Steve, to the bantering snarky friendship he has with Tony, to suddenly finding himself pregnant and it's such a weird one that doesn't follow any rules, not even ones Loki knows, to Loki still having that bite to his character and the sharp edges that I love so much about it.

The characters are all nicely written, this feels like all the characters I recognize, if set a couple of years into the future to give things time to settle a bit. And I love what the author did with Loki's pregnancy, how weird it is and how he himself is just as mystified about it as everyone else, how the author puts in so many little touches of how he handles it. There's a lot of thought given to the different details here, really, from Loki working with Tony on various projects to the kind of magic he is/isn't allowed to use, and it's worked well into the fic. And, oh, Loki with his babies and how being protective of them and loving them so passionately doesn't take away from that he's a smirky little shit who deliberately grates on people's nerves and that is such a good Loki for me. I'm saddened that there are only three chapters as of the time of this rec, I would have liked to have kept reading the whole thing through because it's so delightfully well written, but it's over 15k words at this point and basically EVERYTHING I WANT OUT OF LOKI REDEMPTION + LOKI&KIDS FIC.
    Chapter 04-05: I've been catching up on some of the fics I've been reading and I saw this one had two new chapters and totally did that ridiculous clapping my hands with delight thing because I really enjoy this one and Loki's interaction with the Avengers and his complicated relationship with Thor and his developing friendship with Steve and seeing him as a parent. All of these things were well done in these two chapters and I really enjoy the way this author is writing Loki as a parent and the way he uses magic, but I think I was most especially delighted by Thor being totally territorial over his right as Loki's child's uncle. Yes, give me all the feelings of Thor being an adoring, doting uncle (and doting brother to Loki, when Loki will accept it) and being all NO MINE when Loki asks Steve to look after his daughter as well.

But there are also many other things I loved! There's at least one line that made me giggle out loud, Thor and Loki's reactions to his daughter are perfect, and Pepper is fucking awesome and she makes the world a better place in this fic. I love love loved that Loki's daughter already has a personality going, her interaction with Clint is hilarious (well, less so on Clint's side, who is a real dick to a child here, but I can also see his issues, so I don't entirely hate him, just that he deserves what he gets), though I hope that part is over or that Thor (or Steve) won't put up with any more of it.

Overall, this fic continues to be a really great balance between genuine emotional moments and silly humor that's kind of cracky, but those two elements work together wonderfully here. I'd have loved it just for the Thor&Loki interaction or the Steve&Loki friendship, but getting Loki with a baby just makes it that mucht more delightful. Ugh, I need more of this one soon.

Snowfall by ConsultingTimeLord, steve/loki, fluff, ~1k
    Loki just wants to go home but Steve is more interested in the freshly falling snow.
    Okay, this is, like, just pure sweetness and fluff and snow-themed adorableness, which is pretty much exactly what I was looking for. It's one of those fics that suits my mood when winter is falling and all the freshly fallen snow is still fun and I want snowball fights and kissing and people being adorable. And that kind of thing works for me with the Steve/Loki pairing! So, this was absolutely pure fluff, which is best saved for when you're in the mood for that, but in the way I was looking for today.

Transient Here Below by MonstrousRegiment, steve/loki + background thor & loki, 4.6k
    In a small little cafe lost in an anonymous corner in Paris, Loki sits to a little table, tea-cup at his side and old leather-bound novel spread open in his long-fingered, musicianís hands. He looks oddly, queerly mundane; dark jeans, grey t-shirt, simple but well-cut black leather jacket. Steve stands, and stares, uncertain.
    To be honest, I only picked up this fic because I felt like I needed some Steve/Loki in my life to balance everything else out (or else I just missed the pairing for a bit, idk), just hoping for some cute interaction between them, something maybe fluffy or sweet. And, hey, I did not sign up for something actually really goddamned good! I did not sign up for a fic that does a gorgeous job of showing how Steve and Loki could interact, set at some point in the future where Loki is still a dangerous enemy, but he's not always a dangerous enemy, so he's kind of somewhere in between, and Steve can't help but reach out to the good in him. The author builds these gorgeous connections between them, sometimes because they can understand each other, sometimes because they're completely different and, best of all, made me love this ship for this dynamic, but never forgot that Thor (and Frigga and Odin) are central in Loki's heart. Oh, it was beautifully balanced and such a perfect fic to read today.

Body Language of Liars and Saints by Epiphanyx7, steve/loki, NSFW, dub-con, sex pollen, 1.3k
    "What are you doing?" Steve gasped, only it came out sort of like a moan, his voice way too high and breathy. His hands were clenched tight over Lokiís hips, holding them together, and even that felt way too good.
    This fic is definitely just about the pwp. But, look, sometimes I just want Steve and Loki to make out and then have sex on a warehouse floor because of reasons. This fic dispenses with the set-up, because it really doesn't ultimately matter (though, I'd totally read the fic where there was more set up, too) and gets straight to the good stuff. And the best part is Loki is just so... Loki through the whole "fuck or die" scenario, always enjoying himself and knowing what he wants, even as he's utterly swept up in it as well. That right there is so so good for me and, yessss, this pairing needs more fic.

Ms. Bell by astudyinperiwinkle, steve/loki, ~1k
    Adjusting to a new roommate can be hard on both sides.
    I read this one sort of on a whim the other night, just because it was short and I was looking for something quick to read, and I'm glad I did because, oh, this was actually really pretty great. I love this Loki a lot, who has that vaguely alien feeling, that "not from this world" feeling when he looks at Steve's pet, and just that... very refined, elegant even as he's kinda arrogant and batshit, all those qualities that make up Loki. The best thing is that it's not even about that, this isn't really meant to be a Loki insight piece, just that I found that I really liked the little details of him. And you'd think, oh, a fic where Loki and Steve's cat interact wouldn't be that interesting, but I love what the author does with it, how much sense it makes here, how it's so easy to see Steve having a cat, to see Loki trying to wrap his head around the idea of it, the way there are implications of their relationship in the background of this interaction (mostly in the way that Loki thinks, no, that cat is not coming in here when we're having sex) and it's just... quietly really good. Short, but a perfect length for what it was trying to achieve. Plus, you know how I feel about Loki and cats. :D

Quiet Poetry by FelicityGS, steve/loki, NSFW, fluff, 27.9k
    Sometimes, the best gift to give someone is a second chance.
    Chapters 01-08: I am primarily a Thor/Loki reader, but I think Steve/Loki might be my second favorite ship. (But, then, it kind of depends on what day you ask me on.) I've been enjoying this author's other series a lot, so I figured, sure, why not try this Steve/Loki fic as well? And, ahhhh, I read everything in one sitting and really wanted more because it's just so terribly good and perfect for what I wanted. This is one of those ships that I don't crave a lot of angst from, so being assured by the tags that this wasn't going to have any angst? Yeah, that made me want it all the more. And then the author does a really lovely job of giving Loki this new life on Midgard, after his punishment of having his magic sealed away and turned mortal, one that isn't that unkind (even if he thinks of it as such at first) and then... has this life being built around him. One of the most gorgeous things about this story is the OCs that are interesting and so very well used, not overdone or taking up space that needs to be focused on the main characters, but instead contributing to the story, furthering the plot along, and making the world feel that much more fleshed out.

But it's more than that, it's in the little touches in their lives, the way Loki dresses or the way Steve looks at the world, the points where their lives intersect and what they're each building around themselves (Loki being human, Steve being gay and not really wanting to talk about it with his other friends, both of them trying to adjust themselves) and why they can find this quiet space to actually realize they like each other and get along well. And it's so good, with Steve being direct and honest, which allows Loki to calm down and be a little honest in return, Loki being all elegant lines and grace and quick intelligence and curiosity about everything which Steve enjoys. And I love that this fic is so much about second chances, that it's about living, and the author does a lovely job of... showing the attraction between them, being a little softer about it, but not cliche. It's exquisite attraction between the characters because I can feel it in the little smiles or the way their hands touch, there can be a bit of shyness there, but just enough to be believable without stretching it too far. Ugh, now I remember why I love this pairing so much and will go pine for more fic for this ship.
    Chapters 09-12: Ah, I did not mean to let this one pile up as much as it did, I just got distracted for a bit and suddenly I had four new chapters to read at once! Not that I'm complaining, because this is one of those that I would read 100k for in one sitting and then whine for more. Ahhhh, I love this fic where Loki is mortal, where he has a slowly developing relationship with Steve, where the past is not forgotten, but Steve thinks he deserves a second chance and there are a whole shitload of feelings building up inside me here. Because this fic is all about how this pairing would work, how they do work together, how they balance each other out and fit surprisingly well together and enjoy each other's company and it's all about... it's about being happy and heart-warming. Even in chapter 12, which is angstier than usual, it's about wading through all the pain and exhaustion (physical and in their souls) to connect and see underneath the surface. It's all about the author writing things that I wouldn't necessarily think would work (Steve and Loki on a picnic? and yet it's not crack, but instead subtle and quiet and good and perfect and easy to see) and their progressing forward, cautious for how Steve doesn't move quickly but neither does Loki, both for their own reasons (being old-fashioned, used to being long-lived, not used to being pursued, having such tough emotional walls up). It's all about the little things in life that make up a relationship, leaving this fic to feel really detailed and weighty, despite that it's actually quite fluffy.

I enjoy this fic just for being a happy Steve/Loki fic about second chances and for being absolutely darling. I enjoy this fic for taking a pairing that I love dearly and making a serious fic about it, of which there is not enough. But I also love it for what's especially clear in chapter 12--there's a whole lot of baggage here, always. Most of the time, they can set it aside, put it to the back of their minds, and focus on the now, rather than the past. But sometimes it comes up and Loki is still brittle and angry and self-loathing, because sometimes it has to come crashing back into their lives, they can't put it aside forever. And that's necessary, but the way it was handled here was so gorgeous. For all that it's supposedly dipping back into angst, I actually found it rather wonderfully invigorating, because the author does a gorgeous job of showing that Steve notices Loki's shift of mood and what that likely means under the surface, which says so much about how comfortable they've gotten with each other. The author does a gorgeous job of showing that "Loki" and "Luke" are not separate, showing that the little quirks he has aren't just random details added in for nothing, but that they actually mean something. Ahhh, I just want this fic to never, ever end, even though I know it must someday. But I am going to enjoy the hell out of it until then. *__*
    Chapters 13-15: I am so very, very glad I saved up these finals chapters (even if I didn't mean to, it just sort of happened) because it's my shark week this week and, boy, did I need this. It's the final chapters and they read really well together as a group like this (and, boy, am I also glad that I didn't have to wait through a cliffhanger) and they're a culmination of everything the story has been building towards--that moment in a relationship where it reaches a certain point. It's sort of cliche to have a story end on an "I love you" and sex, but this author makes you feel it right along with the characters, it's not that the author didn't know what else to do with the characters or the relationship, but that the journey of falling in love and letting someone into your heart was the journey. The author made the build up and resolution to this feel completely natural and like, yes, that was the right place to stop. (Though, I'm hoping for follow-up stories, of course, especially ones that deal with the less than smooth parts that come after the first throes of love.)

This is one of those endings that I dearly wish I could be more thoughtful and insightful about when writing a rec for it, because it touched my heart so much, because it gave me such joy, because it was so beautiful to read and so lovely in characterization, that I want to be able to match even a little of that. Because I did love both characters so very much here and this is one of my favorite Steve characterizations, where he loves with such quiet passion, where he keeps his life private and it makes sense that he doesn't come out to his teammates, but there's no real sense of shame about it, he's just not ready. The author does a lovely job of weaving in little background details, especially how he's not really shy or virginal, but doesn't mind that others think him so, when it gives him a little more privacy and space--that fits so well with the character I saw on the screen. And this Loki is so much more settled, he's so much more like how his real self must be, now that he's had the time and breathing room to calm down, now that he's finally coming out of his shell and has this whole life of his own now. There are still so many jagged edges, but I love that this fic--this fic about falling in love and the sweetness of that--can be fluffy while still making me believe that, yes, this is Loki. Especially because, oh, demi-sexual Loki really makes a lot of sense for this version of the character and I was easily able to buy that in this story!

But I can't let a rec go by without mentioning one of the most satisfying things about this fic--the porn. The porn that was practically the entire last chapter, that was several pages long, rather than just a brief scene, even while it never felt repetitive or too drawn out. It had a natural grace and flow to it (not that the whole fic doesn't, because it really does) and it was scorchingly, scorchingly hot. It was beautiful and lovely and elegant and it was about how much they were in love and how wonderful it was and how Loki was just completely undone--which, seriously, is my favorite thing. When he can trust enough to let himself be open, when he can let someone freely touch him, when he can actually say what he wants, that's a wonderful thing. But when it comes with Steve's determination to make sure his partner is pleasured (so good for me) and Loki flourishes under the attention, that's so much of what I wanted for them here! It's not vague porn, either, it's descriptive and detailed, but without losing that pretty quality to it! And I mentioned that Loki nearly coming apart at the seams, nearly a wild thing under Steve as he fucks Loki, in all the best ways, that's one of my favorite things ever, right? Because, boy, is it. Thank god for this fic because otherwise I was going to have a pretty miserable shark week. → A Good Rogering by abstractconcept, steve/loki + other avengers, NSFW, crossdressing, 24.3k
    Steve was always too busy fighting Nazis to worry about sex. All the same, he never expected his first time to be with a weird blue alien bent on the destruction of the human race.
    I'm not sure what got me on a Steve/Loki kick again recently (aside from having read a couple of really excellent ones the other day) but I'm glad I was, because I read this lovely story and had such great fun with it. It's a bit cracky in places (in the sense of some cliched reactions/characterizations, that are more about humor and softer edges on the characters) but it's also got a lot of really excellent bits of character. One of the most important things to me, when reading Loki/other fic, is that either Thor being entirely absent from the fic (where I can then read it as Loki doing his own thing to establish himself on his own for awhile) or else being a good, supportive brother--this fic being the latter! While it's entirely from Steve's point of view, which means we don't get more than a handful of scenes with Thor in them at all, it's clear that he loves his brother, is cheerfully keeping an eye on him, and supports the relationship with Steve, as it seems like it's good for Loki. Ugh, yes, give me that in all of the Loki/other fic I read, because it makes everything just so much better and this author did a fantastic job with that.

But it's also in the scenes with Tony in them, where the author has a really strong voice for the character, so many of his jokes and comments and barbs were just so very easy to imagine RDJ saying them. I can't tell you how many times I laughed while reading this! And, oh, this Loki is fantastic as well, the author hit all the right notes with him, if having him on the saner, softer side a bit. He comes around fairly quickly, he falls in love with Steve pretty easily, he interacts well with the Avengers, but also he's fucking bad ass even when chained up and without his magic, he's a sassy little fucker, and the fic makes it clear that you should never underestimate him. So, for every time he shows up in lingerie and lounges around (but I love that Loki really did not give a fuck, that he did what he wanted), there's a time where he's sparring with Steve while still restrained and winning. The author even puts in that he weighs weigh more than a human equivalent would! Bless.

The fic is actually a really fun mix of goofy and serious, the kind that suits me well because I like happier things, but I also like badass things! And I love that the fic doesn't necessarily have to wrap everything up with a neat little bow, because Loki and Steve would take more time than that, but it ends quite, quite well. With porn even! And it wasn't a terribly long sex scene, but it was satisfying at the end, with all the right touches--that Steve knows that Loki has to allow what happens in bed, because you can't make Loki do something he doesn't want, but that only makes it hotter when Loki's riding him or when Steve flips them over to fuck him properly, that Loki probably directed the whole thing from the beginning. Add in some really cute team dynamics (again, with the mix of adorable, silly, heartwarming, and serious that I found myself very fond of) and this was a really satisfying read.

Turn by FelicityGS, steve/loki pre-slash, 2.3
    "It seemed," Loki finally says, voice momentarily serious, "only sporting. I'd hate to inconvenience them for a few turns only to crush them right as they could get back in the game."
    This is the third story in the Per Aspera Ad Astra, which would help to be read in order.
    This one is actually probably my favorite of the entire series--Steve and Loki developing friendship, as shown through the use of board games! It's one of those things that I don't know that I ever would have thought of myself, but suddenly makes utter sense for both characters. Loki in obvious ways, but also with Steve, whom the seemingly "old fashioned" passtime just quietly fits. There's such care and thought and insight going into this story, both for the scenes where they're playing together and the alternating scenes where Loki is taking small steps forward in a bigger sense as well--even if it's only because he likes Steve, rather than because he suddenly cares about mortals or isn't coming from the pov of an immortal space Viking. And I love that, for all that this is really a rather heart-warming piece, it doesn't try to justify Loki's behavior, but instead maybe subtly explain it and start moving him back towards center, which is a great balance to achieve.

I reread this fic when I went to write this rec, so it could be fresh in my mind again, but I still feel like I'm not conveying half of what I want to, as this fic made me feel a lot of things, especially all the little character touches here. Sometimes obvious things like how I wouldn't have thought to make Loki actually pretty terrible at board games, but it made sense when Steve suspected it was because Loki was used to planning on an immortal's time scale, rather than a mortal board game. Other times it's more intangible, the little ways Loki is opening up to Steve without realizing it... by talking about the ways he would take out the Avengers, which is quietly disturbing, even as it's showing that Loki is trusting him and casually opening up around him. It's a lovely piece for fans of the relationship, but it's also a lovely piece for characterization!

When It Rains by FelicityGS, steve/loki pre-slash, 6k
    ...it tends to pour. Especially when Thor sticks his nose where it doesn't belong. Then there's the troubling matter of Steve realizing that he and Loki are actually friends, despite everything Loki's done in the past.
    This is the fourth story in the Per Aspera Ad Astra, which would help to be read in order.
    I'll admit ahead of time that I'm biased in my rec for this fic, because I am always and forever on Thor's side in pretty much anything, as too much of fandom forgets to look at his side of things, what he does/doesn't know and what he's experienced and what's to be expected of his relationship with Loki, who is still a villain. It's not so much that this fic is making Thor out to be an asshole as that it happened just enough to get my defenses flaring up (and, I admit, reading the comments where I want to go on a Thor defense rampage because I think Loki favoritism blinds the fandom too much sometimes, but that's me being oversensitive on this front, I know), so I do want to give this fic a caveat on that front and admit that it was probably my least favorite for how it treated Thor's pretty reasonable conclusions.

Which is a shame because otherwise I really enjoyed this fic so much! Thor being happy that Steve and Loki were friends, even as he was worried that Loki was pulling something (which, honestly, is entirely valid, Thor has no way of knowing what they've been up to, especially as Steve seems unwilling to talk about it--which is understandable, but it means Thor sees none of what we see), that Thor's distrust in Loki is used as a way to give Steve an opportunity to stand up for Loki, someone who has been let in a little bit and who is willing to argue on his behalf, well, I can't say that I didn't enjoy that a lot. And I do like that Thor is a sensitive subject with Loki, as it shows how much he really does care even underneath the anger and the prickly attitude, which is how I like my Loki/other ships! And I also like that this Loki continues to be... he's not always nice, he often doesn't react well, he jumps to misunderstood conclusions and starts lashing out right away, it's always best for me when Loki's progress towards being a decent person again is slow and filled with bumps along the way. (For all that I'm wary of the Thor characterization here, I am genuinely recommending this fic! I liked it! It reads really well, it further develops the relationship between Steve and Loki, and it's just straight up a good fic.)

Through Hardships to the Stars by FelicityGS, steve/loki pre-slash, 3.1k
    Loki's been gone three months, and Steve tries to get along as if nothing has happened. Then the cats show up.
    This is the fifth story in the Per Aspera Ad Astra, which would help to be read in order.
    This is a lovely way to end the series, because the author does a very nice job of showing the progress of Steve and Loki's relationship, while still keeping all those bumps in the road along the way, that Loki doesn't quite get it yet, but he's making the effort and it's far better than it used to be. It's a struggle at times, the kind where you almost fear that he'll give up trying, especially when you feel the weight of his issues and how much baggage Loki comes with, but what never wavers is that these two characters like each other, they care about each other, they're meaningful to each other. The use of gifts to have greater meaning is lovely here and oh, sure, I would have taken more in this series if it were there more, but I genuinely enjoyed it as it was. What an excellent series to have in this pairing's corner. :D

30 Days OTP (Steve/Loki) NSFW Challenge: Day Fifteen: sweet and passionate [ mobile ver. ], steve/loki, nsfw, 1.8k
    Loki was almost vibrating. He stood a few steps from Steve, tense and rigid, his eyes slightly too wide, frozen as though he were rooted to the floor. It didnít look right, on him. Steve shifted.
    Oh, man, other things I'm a sucker for--when a fic can quietly make me just kind of ache, despite that the characters aren't really experiencing anything super dramatic, just a quiet sort of internalized hurt that I feel right along with them. That Loki is so affected by Steve, that he's genuinely worrying about another person, is a good sign and shows how far he's come, but it also hurts because it's a painful thing and it's hard not to be wary that he'll close up again. Which lends this fic a lovely intimacy and intensity that really got nicely at my emotions. Just. Ugh, when this pairing hits me in the feelings, it really hits me in the feelings hard. ;__;♥

Slips Like Sighs by FelicityGS, steve/loki + other marvel characters, human au, brain damage/speech issues, 5.4k
    They've just got a new long-term patient scheduled, and the care plans already been decided, gone over with familyóan older brother. Steve's looked at the file and the charts: car accident, lawyer, some brain damage, and some damage to his left side.
    I've always been fond of Steve/Loki and I'll read pretty much anything this author writes for them because I have fallen in love with their attention to detail and the amount of knowledge/research that goes into the background of the fic, that's used to help build the relationship between the characters, without it seeming like infodumping. In this case, it's an AU fic where Loki's in a car accident and suffers from agraphia/speech issues, which leads him to meeting Steve, and they develop a friendship (and then more, of course). It's beautifully written and it's one of those AU where a character has a disability that doesn't leave me feeling crushed because it's not really about the angst, it's about working through it, which is so much better for me. But it's also, at its heart, a gorgeous story about Steve and Loki, yet another way they could meet and really work as a pairing, how Steve really understands how to approach Loki, not even in a calculated way, just that's who Steve is, when he picks up on the noises Loki makes and uses them as well, developing their own mini-language.

As much as I read most MCU fic for Loki, there are times when I really fiercely love Steve and this fic is one of those times, because he's such an honest, sweet, caring person without being overly saccharine. He's just good. And that works so well against this Loki, who's at a tough point in his life, who has so much frustration and anger and doesn't want pity, which is never what Steve gives him. It's been really wonderful to have fics for this pairing that do a lovely job with both characters, but also that really cements in my love for the pairing, that I'm able to point to and say, here, this is how and why I think they work.

A Boy's Best Friend... by LulaMadison, frigga & loki + steve/loki + other marvel characters, humor, crack, 14k
    Frigga followed Odin out onto the bridge, and when she sees Loki let go of Gungnir promptly dives after him, because that's her baby. Now it's kinda hard to take over a realm when your mother is tagging along and baking pies...
    It was about a page into this fic, when Frigga was explaining about how Loki came to them and how their family worked and then got to the part about Balder that I just kind of lost it, because it was so beautifully timed and hilarious. This is definitely a cracky fic, but it's the kind that gleefully embraces its premise (Loki falls, Frigga dives after him, because he's her precious darling boy, and she helps him take over Midgard, encouraging him to blossom) and has an absolute blast doing so! I laughed so many times while reading this and there was at least one point where I was actually crying a little, trying to hold back my cackling. The author does a beautiful job of all these amazing little moments and details, the kind that really make crackfic good, especially when Loki interacts with any of the Avengers or when he makes "friends" with other villains or when he picks a country to take over.

And, oh, sure, I initially picked it up because I wanted more Steve/Loki fic and it's a lot of fun for that, too! They're precious darlings and Tony having fun at Steve's expense is pretty hilarious and Frigga playing matchmaker is amazing. It's heart-warming and completely free of angst, this is one of those fics that you read when you want something that's completely loopy and silly, when you just want fluff and lolz. But I think maybe my favorite part of this was Frigga and Loki's interaction, because I so dearly love their relationship and I don't get enough of it in fandom. Having a fic that's about 14k words long, which has Frigga and Loki at its heart (well, and Steve and Loki, too), especially one that was all about paying attention to Loki, having Frigga encourage and support him (in a totally batshit way, but that's the delight of this fic--everything is brilliantly batshit) and feed him cookies was amaaaaazing for me. I seriously cannot express how hard I laughed and how hard I just simply loved while reading this fic. It was perfect for me. Frigga should be a badass mom more often. MORE OFTEN.

Unintentional by burning_nova, steve/loki + tony/pepper + thor & loki + loki & balder + other avengers, loki's kids, 23k
    Loki visited Earth during Steve's heydays. They slept together and Loki wound up having his child, but after Steve's 'death'. Things get awkward when, in the present day, Thor discovers it was Steve who 'defiled' his brother and 'left' him to raise the baby alone (because I think it's canon that Loki and Thor are still considered pretty young in Asgard).
    This story is a bit rough around the edges, a few too many epithets (but not a terrible amount) and it's trying a little too hard, especially when it came to throwing drama bombs into the characters' lives. I did, however, stay up way too late reading this fic when I should have been sleeping, to the point that my reader ran out of battery and I had to sit and stare angrily at it while it charged enough to let me finish reading this fic because I had to finish it! The author has a solid style, with a little polishing they could be really great! And, oh, this was just the perfect thing to turn my night around, after I'd been reading a longer fic that took a turn for the NO THANK YOU and was grumpy about that, this was what I needed to get me back on track and remember why I love this fandom and fic for it.

I love that this fic is all about the fluff and family feels, that the reveal of Baldur's other parent is never meant to be a surprise, instead that the author builds up to it and makes you want it for the reaction, makes you want to see how it's going to play out, rather than trying to force it into a mystery, which was such an excellent choice for this fic. Instead. this fic was all about Loki dropping off his darling little hellion to be babysat by Uncle Thor and the cuteness of little kid Baldur (and I enjoyed the choice to make Baldur Loki's son here, as well as having a darling kid to read about--this is why I read kidfic because it's so cute ahhhhh) and Steve bonding with the sweet little terror. And then it was all about Loki and Steve meeting face to face again, realizing who each of them were, what that meant about Baldur, and Thor going into protective big brother mode. Scary protective big brother mode! Because the entire family was totally besotted with little Baldur and a;lsdkfjalskj oh my god you guys seriously don't know my weakness for happy family feels, where their wounds are helped to heal by having a precious darling that they want to dote on.

Which sounds sort of terrible when I put it like that, but it actually worked really well for me in the story, because it's mostly in the background (aside from Thor clearly adoring his nephew and hearing about how Baldur changed a lot for all of them--which always gets me because kids do change things) and I'm always weak to Odin and Frigga openly loving both their kids. And there's at least one really great scene for that with them, but soooooo many with Thor being protective of Loki and just-- Yes, give me that forever. Especially if it's right along with how Steve wants to do the right thing, but isn't always sure what that is, but is obviously caring and doesn't want to break up a loving family, he just wants to be part of it and you can trust that everything will be sweet and work out. That is exactly what I wanted and this fic hit the right notes for me--especially with Loki being so prickly and closed-off and difficult to get through to, but not impossible, and he's fiercely protective and loving with Baldur and just-- Yes, it was really, really good for me.

I heard you killed your only friend last year by Lise, steve & loki, 3.4k
    It's not exactly how Steve was planning to spend his time.
    I don't know how I previously missed this fic (probably that I was still in my Thor/Loki tunnel-vision phase) but, oh, this is a lovely piece where an injured Loki ends up practically in Steve's lap, who can't help giving in just a little. It's always a tricky thing to write Loki with characters other than Thor, why they wouldn't immediately rain hellfire down on him if he showed up again, but the author does a lovely job of it, with keeping Loki's sharp, dangerous edges while Steve doesn't flinch away from them. Well, Loki looking like he'd been put through a meatgrinder helped, but still. The fic never forgets that these are dangerous people, that Loki has a lot of dark things pressing down on him, even as something slowly, maybe, partially starts to build between them here. And, oh, this Loki is so viciously angry, so much so that he can hardly see the forest for the trees of his anger, he can't see much of anything truly clearly, even as brilliant and sharp as he is. And I love that Steve doesn't immediately feel sorry for him, not precisely... or at least it's... it's not about that, it's not about feeling sorry for Loki, but instead what kind of person Steve is. I love that this isn't easy, but it is still an important moment and something has begun here. It's harsh, but beautifully written.
   

Disarm by Lise, steve & loki, 7.9k
    After their last encounter, Steve really wasn't expecting to see Loki again. Much less more than once.
    This is a sequel to I heard you killed your only friend last year, which should probably be read first.
    I think I may love the sequel even more, despite that it actually almost sort of feels like they took a step backwards here. Well, they took a step forward as well, probably gained more ground than they lost, but I love that it's not this perfect, smooth journey. That Loki is still viciously angry and Steve's not just going to give him a pass on all the bad shit he's done and the people he's hurt, even if he still wants something better for Loki. Their conversation is brilliantly written, it's breathtakingly good in the way they wind from one subject to the next and there are no softened edges here, neither in Loki nor in Steve. But it is giving them a chance to really see each other, the way Steve is starting to understand Loki a bit more and actually being able to read him better now and he's starting to see what Thor sees in Loki--and, oh, the brief mentions of Thor really did my heart good here. It's lovely how Thor clearly loves his brother, even when he's not actually in the fic, that's just the best icing on the cake for me.

But the most beautiful thing about this fic is that it finds a balance between Loki being ever the liar and showing both Steve and the reader a glimpse of what's behind those lies, even as Loki is so angry that anyone would think him weak that he can't see true reason. And oh oh oh the hint that Loki might have ulterior motives for not returning to Asgard, that (in the background) Thor has been thinking about all of this and that Steve thinks he might be right? Even as that doesn't negate any of Loki's viciousness? Yet I can still hope this fic is sidling up to something better for all the characters? Ahhhh, I'm practically twisting myself around in anxiousness for more! At the same time, though, this is a gorgeous set of fics that I think any Steve/Loki fan should read.

Project Loki by Sheyrena Wyrsabane, steve/loki + thor & loki + other avengers, 33.5k
    Loki gets hit by a spell that requires him to remain in close physical contact with Steve. Steve decides to use this opportunity to try and convince Loki that super villain might not be the best career choice.
    Oh, man, this summary got my attention as soon as I saw it and I had to read it, especially since it was about 33k words and AHHH I LOVE THIS IDEA. This fic does have a few caveats I would give--it's more tell rather than show than I'd like and it softens the edges of the characters, especially at the halfway point of the fic, when Loki is suddenly genuinely invested in proving himself to the other Avengers, in getting into their good graces, as well as a few too many drama bombs were thrown in for my taste. None of these were enough to keep me from finishing the fic pretty much in one sitting, though! And the author did so many things right, with Loki's interaction with the other Avengers, a situation that forced them all to be around each other (which, ahhhh, so good for me) and I actually like fic that's clearly meant to be happier, especially when the author did a lovely job of balancing Loki's growing relationship with Steve and how much Thor loves him and wants him around. I loved that Thor had a presence in this fic, even if he wasn't a major character of it, that that relationship was still important.

And I love that the fic took its time, so I got plenty of time of Loki with the Avengers, actually working towards being an Avenger instead of just not actively being a villain against them. Plus, there's cuddling in bed because of the need to be in physical contant, there's Loki struggling with trying to figure out who/what he wants to be, there's a dozen ups and downs in the relationship, sometimes Loki's fault, sometimes not, and I really enjoyed that give and take aspect here. This was a really fun, really satisfying read for doing justice to the concept, for being a well-paced read, in that it didn't add in a lot of extraneous filler, but instead felt more like a winding journey, which this kind of idea really kind of needs to take. It was just enjoyable and light-hearted (despite the fluffy angst) because you knew it would work out and, ahhhh, I do enjoy this ship.

The Road to Redemption is Pitted with Potholes by TamrynEradani, thor & loki + steve & loki + other avengers, loki redemption, culture shock, 36k
    Loki is on Earth serving out his punishment, and he has to contend not only with a foreign planet, but being a hostile. He learns the meaning of love from the children he visits at the orphanage, the meaning of family from Thor, and how to be human from Steve. Somewhere along the way, he also learns how to be himself.
    Note: This is a sequel to Cultural Differences, which I do recommend reading first, but it's not 100% necessary, as you could probably glean what you needed from the fic itself.
    Loki Redemption fics with the Avengers are one of those things that I will always, always want to read and snatch up whenever I can. I've been reading this fic over the last few days and it's one of those that I both didn't want to stop reading once I'd gotten started, but also kept forcing myself to put it down, lest I tear through it too quickly. The fic is plotted so well that it became an effort not to just tear through it because I always wanted to know what happened next. I hate fic like that because it's always over too soon, but love it because it's also the most satisfying. I do have one caveat about the fic, which is that this Loki isn't really angry anymore and is much more open to putting himself at the mercy of the Avengers, he's genuinely trying to follow the rules. This works here, because he's had time to sit in a cell and cool off, because he accepted death as his fate, so a second chance (one that hinges on Thor and what it would do to Thor to have to be the one to carry out that sentence, should Loki turn again), and he's very Loki otherwise.

One of the best things this author does is that the sense of culture shock is very much here, in the way Loki really doesn't get how humans work. He tries and he's smart about it, he quickly catches on to things, but you often get the feeling that it's like he's doing math--he understands the theory of it, but he doesn't feel it. Which is at the heart of this fic, that Loki has to eventually grow into actually feeling empathy and not just being forever calculating. And I really intensely love that, especially when it's balanced with slowly forming or re-forming relationships with people that are so good for him and help him to learn to care about others.

In this fic, Loki starts out with working with children at an orphanage, practically stumbles over them by accident, and it really works for me, because the running trope in fandom of Loki being good with kids and having a lot of empathy for them, using that as a place to start building his character back up again is one of my favorites and gets right at my feelings. It helps that it's used as a starting point, that Loki genuinely cares about the children, but there are other things going on as well, including the absolutely SO FUCKING EMOTIONALLY SATISFYING relationship with Thor, who loves his brother so much and wants him back so very badly. I love that it doesn't come easily, that Loki is too used to hiding himself and there are still stirrings of resentment and anger, even as he's quietly terrified of what stepping out of line means for Thor. It would be heartbreaking, that it's fear that keeps Loki in line, except it doesn't stay that way, it's not what the point of the story is about.

This is a story about Loki slowly re-learning how to let his brother in, how he finally (if so very slowly) learns how to let Thor love him. It's a story about Loki forging a friendship with Steve as well (LET ME TELL YOU ALL MY FEELINGS ABOUT LOKI AND STEVE FRIENDSHIPS), learning to not just follow the rules, but to genuinely understand other people and caring for them better. Steve is such an excellent choice for this, the way the author has him as part role model and part parallel to Loki works wonderfully, it enhances everything else that's going on in the fic. I love that there are so many different things adding to Loki's relationships with other people and his learning to care, because they're all emotionally satisfying in their own way. But, yeah, okay, I can't lie, it's Thor&Loki that's the best here. When Thor thinks, at one point in the story, that Loki has died and is about ready to FLIP HIS SHIT about it, terrifying everyone around him, that was SO GOOD. When Thor tends to Loki afterwards, when he practically hovers in that way he has? SO GOOD. When Loki first starts opening up and being genuine with Thor again? UGH, SO GOOD. So many emotionally satisfying moments that I could just read forever. /ridiculous feelings about Norse brothers

Project Loki by aceryth, steve & loki + other captain america characters, au, 8.2k
    Prompt: During WW2 the Nazi's manage to summon forth Loki through a magic ritual, imprison him and use his power for the war effort. In the process his head gets scrambled and he pretty much forgets who he is. Eventually allied forces led by Captain America manage to break into the base where Hitler's new 'super weapon' is being kept and are shocked to discover that it's a person.
    I'm not sure if this fic is complete or not (I don't think so, the last part was labeled 13/?) and it's been two years since this was posted, so it's almost assuredly abanonded, but it's over 8k and gets into a really satisfying amount of this alternate timeline. It's another one of those fic that sparks such interesting thoughts while I was reading, that it's that spark of creativity in the fandom that I miss about the old norsekink, and it's a really neat look at Steve interacting with amnesiac!Loki, how he does and doesn't fit in with the people of this time. The set-up is really fascinating to read, the author has such great pacing and talent for working in bits of detail for the plot, the world building here is really solid for the amount of time the fic has to get it in. It's just... neat! And the fic definitely made me pine for more clever AU fics like this. *wistful*

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