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All the stars were crashing 'round by dfotw, steve/loki + thor + avengers, fairy tale au, 11k
    Going back to his house one evening, Steve finds a wounded crane and -being who he is- tries to help it, even as the wounded bird turns into a wounded man who won't answer his questions, eat his food, or leave his thoughts.
    I picked this fic up on a whim and was delighted to find an utterly stunning fic here. The fairy tale au elements were beautifully done, just present enough to lend it that atmosphere that I love, while not forgetting to actually write the characters, their personalities, and their interaction. I immediately sank into the fic once I started reading, it was such a smooth read that I hardly noticed the time passing, and while the pacing is lovely and the fic is complete as it was, I definitely could have kept going! Though, I'm glad it ended where and how it did, as it's perfect the way it is.

The AU element allows for a better meeting between the characters and, even in a fairy tale based on the swan maiden (if happier) this entirely, entirely felt like both of them--Loki's wary prickliness against Steve's calm, steady patience, both of them giving the other enough breathing room that this worked. Plus, I just really love fairy tale aus, ngl. It's everything I could have asked for from a story like this, right down to the author capturing that sense of intimacy in a situation like this, where Steve lets Loki stay with him and they spend so much time together in a remote, small cabin. There's even just enough Thor in the fic to have made me happy, but without taking away from that this is a Steve/Loki fic. I absolutely let out a sigh of contentment by the time I was done reading this.

30 Days OTP (Steve/Loki) NSFW Challenge: Day Eleven: dom/sub by Lise [ mobile ver. ], steve/loki, nsfw, dom/sub elements, 1.8k
    It was something he’d been thinking about for a while, considering carefully and turning over in his head, by the time he made his move.
    Oh, man, this is what I needed. I love dom/sub elements when it comes to Loki, because sub!Loki is pretty much the best candy ever, when it's used like this, to show that he enjoys it, not just for role reversal purposes, but because Loki is a winding, twisting sort of character who has a lot of issues to him, but also just really likes it when someone else's attention is on him, when he can get them do this to him. And it's not mean, not even a little bit cruel, but instead clearly a mutual thing here, that Steve enjoys this and Loki enjoys this, and it's so hot for that, it works with both of these characters, the characterization is lovely, it's just... really good for me, ahhh. *__*

30 Days OTP (Steve/Loki) NSFW Challenge: Day Six: clothed getting off by Lise [ mobile ver. ], steve/loki, nsfw, 1.2k
    The movie wasn’t very good. It had come recommended by one of the papers, but far more interesting was the way Loki, who had apparently quickly given up paying attention, was exploring the contours of Steve’s neck and shoulder with his tongue, making his skin tingle. A bright feeling. And the occasional sharp little nips-
    Lise writes such lovely porn, there's something almost sweet about the characters here, in a way that works for them, despite, you know, Loki. There's still something sharp and almost wild about him, but it's not in a bad way, they feel like they've settled well here and I love how much they clearly just enjoy each other, how wildly attracted they are to each other, so that they end up grinding against each other while still wearing their clothes and ostensibly watching a movie. Clothed sex is one of those things that has to be done just right for me to enjoy it, but there's something so... warm-hearted and lovely about this, that I adored it.

30 Days OTP (Steve/Loki) NSFW Challenge: Day Sixteen: in a public place by Lise [ mobile ver. ], steve/loki, nsfw, public sex, 2.6k
    It felt inexpressibly good to be outside. He would never have said it - it would only upset Steve, and there was little that he could do about it - but it chafed, sometimes. He had wandered the stars, seen worlds beyond imagining, and now he was locked into a space smaller than his suites in Asgard. He’d agreed to his cage, of course, and locked himself into it.
    On the surface, this is a fic about Loki tempting Steve into some semi-public sex, but Lise is the kind of author who puts so much more than that into it, there's all these tangled, thorny issues between the two of them and all they bring to the relationship that it's... just really good for me. Because it's not unhappy, even when things aren't really ideal, because they both want this, even if there's hesitancy and unsurety between them (but not in a bad way, either), instead it's lovely and it feels like... healing, I guess is what I think of when I read Lise's Steve/Loki. It's not always warm-hearted or shining, but it's moving in the right direction, because sometimes healing is uncomfortable. And that's not really the direct theme of this fic, it's just something I feel when reading it, that Steve is a little freer around Loki, that Loki is a little more stable and wants to do better around Steve, which makes the semi-public sex just a hint of naughty and believiable for both, but most of all. Happy-sigh inducing and lovely. ♥

Vices by gunboots, thor/loki implications + tony/loki simplications + steve/loki implications, pregnant!loki, humor, 2k
    “Question,” Tony feels some moral obligation to stop Thor before he starts to sound like something off of daytime TV, well that and a burning curiosity that is probably going to get him a hammer to the head, “Why is he pregnant?” The pitying look Thor spares him almost balances out the look of sheer condescension that Loki gives him.
    Well. With a summary like that, there was no way I wasn't going to read this fic! Not when I'd read fic by the author previously and screamed with laughter, not when I got another hilarious fic out of it! I feel like, at some point, pregnant!Loki fics should stop being amazing, but I'm nowhere near that point yet, not when it's hilarious that they're so casual about it while the Midgardians are kind of quietly freaking out about it, not when Loki is such an arrogant snot about it, not when Thor is so very earnest about it. Also, the ending took me a minute to get, but then I looked back up at the tags and started shrieking with laughter again, so, clearly I loved this.

slip-slide and slick by hannibalisms, steve/loki + natasha, nsfw, crossdressing, 2.6k
    Loki blames Natasha for this. He really does. It's not like he would have stumbled upon this on his own, no, but - well - at the same time it can't be his fault. He refuses to let it be his fault. It starts when he is stuck in his female form - not that he minds, much, it's just inconvenient to have not wear his armor, because it simply doesn't work on his female form. He can still wear his vambraces and pauldrons but they look ridiculous without everything else, so he slinks down to the Black Widow's lair to speak with her.
    One of the best things about this fandom is the embracing of Loki's character basically telling gender stereotypes to fuck on off. So, Loki in stockings? Yes, please, give me that. And I love that it starts because he needs them in his female form, but then decides he likes them and Loki truly does what he wants here, even as he obviously cares, which is why Steve is such a perfect character to match him up with in this fic--because Steve actually does pretty much roll with whatever comes at him, he's the kind of character who doesn't judge, who instead accepts and, oh, that works so well with Loki. Especially when he's kind of turned on and this is a beautiful Loki characterization and the sex is super hot and I just... really loved this one a lot.

The Blade for the Honey by MonstrousRegiment, steve/loki, NSFW, 8.5k
    What Steve wants is to sit down and actually talk to Loki, about a hundred million things he knows Loki knows but won’t share. Loki sees through the ages and through space and time like they are glass walls, thin membranes he can push against and walk through rather than impenetrable walls. He sees his lives, all the many different existences of a creature named Loki, unfold one after the other like a film, birth to death and death to birth, rebirth, crucifixion.
    Oh, this fic was such a good find for me last night, because I've been craving more Steve/Loki fic lately, but it has to hit certain notes for it to really resonate with me and, oh, this one did. One of the most important things for me is the presence of Thor in Loki's life, even if he's not actually directly in it much, because Loki is still avoiding him at this point, still establishing himself as whatever it is that he's becoming, but yet he's still so very important in Loki's heart and Thor clearly loves him dearly. And that's just in the background! But it was enough to satisfy me here and let me focus on the beautiful way Loki's relationship with Steve was written, where Steve is just so honest and genuine and direct and doesn't smother Loki, but still gets angry at the self-destructive shit he pulls and, oh, this Loki is so very self-destructive. The author does a gorgeous job of showing everything he puts himself through (and has a stunning line of how Steve thinks that Loki does these things because he's trying to find his own limits and how unsettling that is to Steve) and all the jagged edges he still has, yet it's not... it's not a heartbreaking fic. Instead, it's painful, but in that way that's so good because it's about getting through to someone, finding something real, and it might not always work out, but they're going to try. Ugh, that is exactly what I wanted from a fic like this and then with all the great bonus details (of Loki's Jotunn physiology, the way he walks through worlds, even little things like the way Dr. Strange looks at Loki, which was fucking perfect) and gorgeous characterization. I am satisfied again--plus, hey, bonus sex scene that was super hot omg.

Ouroboros by forcryinoutloud, steve/loki + other avengers, fluff, humor, 3.2k
    “Wait, wait,” Tony crowed. “Are you telling me Loki’s got a man-crush on Captain America?” he asked gleefully.
    Oh, my god. Okay, so, I have my usual otp in this fandom, but Loki is that character I will ship with just about anyone, and I have a fondness for Steve/Loki fics when the author can do them right. And this one was so delightfully funny as Loki decides that he is fond of Captain America and... well, proceeds to be a box of cats about it, much to Steve's inability to figure out how to process this. It's delightful, it's hilariously funny, but it's also a bit sweet and the author nails the reason why I'm so fond of this pairing--there's just something that melts my heart about it, the way Steve treats Loki. Plus, Thor being all WHAT ARE YOUR INTENTIONS TOWARDS MY BROTHER even while he's happy for them? So, so great. This fic captures the best of both worlds--it's touching in a genuine way, but it also made me laugh the entire time I was reading. ♥

June 21st by FelicityGS, steve/loki + thor, 5k
    Steve has a date book for each year since he joined the Avengers. They sit lined up his desk like little soldiers, bound in a soft and supple brown leather, the year glinting in gold font on the spine. Jarvis has offered before to create him an electronic one, but Steve prefers these. Once, Tony took one to see what he wrote in it, mocking Steve's preference for paper, and when he glanced at one of the pages handed it back immediately, face going dark. Tony did not mock him after that.
    Originally, I meant to read all of the fics in this series (though, the author's notes mention that they can stand alone, so I may end up doing them separately) but I got through this first fic and then had to get up and go, so it was a perfect stopping point for me and... well, here we are. I will give the caveat that you do sort of have to roll with the idea of Steve just setting aside all the people that Loki's gotten killed, but if you can leave that part at the door (or just assume that it'll be dealt with at some future point in their relationship), then this is a lovely piece. I love it because it's still got a lot of sharp edges, but it's meant to be a sweet, lovely piece about Steve realizing something more is going on with Loki and reaching out to him.

The fic does a lovely job of capturing why I'm so adoring of this potential dynamic--because Steve is so genuine and direct, he stands his ground, but is considerate and doesn't antagonize, which Loki responds to, even when it's just Steve showing up on his doorstep with a few things and they share a moment. Add in some lovely details that help fill in the background without taking it over and a fic that knows how to keep a tone all the way through, the way everything here just feels like Steve (as it's from his pov), and it's a wonderful piece to read for this ship.

There's Nothing There by FelicityGS, steve/loki, human au, 1.6k
    "If you snore, I am going to hit you in the kidney," Loki informed him, well aware even that might not wake the agent. Steve was always entirely too difficult to wake in the mornings.
    It's time for me to start catching up on some of my Steve/Loki fic in my backlog and so I started with this one because it's a short piece at not even 2k words (but neither does it need to be--not that I would have complained about more, but the fic and its premise were suited to something shorter and the author got in everything that needed to be there, which can be an art in and of itself, to write something satisfying that's short). I really enjoyed this because the author is so good at... fluff that's not fluffy, an atmosphere to the piece that's almost bittersweet, except that's not it, either. There's something genuinely sweet underneath Loki's sharp edges, something easily sweet about Steve's calm demeanor and open nature and not pushing things too far. So, I love the little world being spun here, the 'just back from a mission where Steve was nearly killed so that's stirring up all kinds of reactions in Loki' situation allowing for all sorts of lovely subtle things that don't have to be directly said but are obvious anyway. It's one of those fics where it's fun and satisfying for the concept (because I love that sort of thing) but also because it's such a good example of why I like this pairing so much in the first place, why they work to my mind.

Call Me by FelicityGS, steve/loki, 3k
    Steve has never been a fan of the cold, ice, or dark, and especially not combined together. So it's only natural that when Loki attacks the city (despite any hope Steve had he wouldn't), that Steve ends up trapped underneath a collapsed building in the middle of a blizzard without any light trickling through.

    Note: This is the second story in the Per Aspera Ad Astra, which would help to be read in order.

    What makes this fic such a delight is in the context of a greater developing relationship between Steve and Loki, how even if they take a step backwards, it also comes with two steps forward. Loki has lost a lot of the ability to connect properly with people, to be direct about just wanting to be around them, to just talk with them without some underhanded method or manipulation, so it lands them in trouble (Steve especially) but eventually they get it and manage to work through it, one step at a time. And I do enjoy this Steve a lot, who sees something more in Loki, who genuinely enjoys being around him, who actually gets along with him in a way that feels reasonable to me. And I especially love the way that Loki still has his sharp edges, but feels more... calm again, coming back down from the extremes he's pushed himself to. And that's why I like this pairing so much, because that feels possible with them.

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

All the stars were crashing 'round by dfotw, steve/loki + thor + avengers, fairy tale au, 11k
    Going back to his house one evening, Steve finds a wounded crane and -being who he is- tries to help it, even as the wounded bird turns into a wounded man who won't answer his questions, eat his food, or leave his thoughts.
    I picked this fic up on a whim and was delighted to find an utterly stunning fic here. The fairy tale au elements were beautifully done, just present enough to lend it that atmosphere that I love, while not forgetting to actually write the characters, their personalities, and their interaction. I immediately sank into the fic once I started reading, it was such a smooth read that I hardly noticed the time passing, and while the pacing is lovely and the fic is complete as it was, I definitely could have kept going! Though, I'm glad it ended where and how it did, as it's perfect the way it is.

The AU element allows for a better meeting between the characters and, even in a fairy tale based on the swan maiden (if happier) this entirely, entirely felt like both of them--Loki's wary prickliness against Steve's calm, steady patience, both of them giving the other enough breathing room that this worked. Plus, I just really love fairy tale aus, ngl. It's everything I could have asked for from a story like this, right down to the author capturing that sense of intimacy in a situation like this, where Steve lets Loki stay with him and they spend so much time together in a remote, small cabin. There's even just enough Thor in the fic to have made me happy, but without taking away from that this is a Steve/Loki fic. I absolutely let out a sigh of contentment by the time I was done reading this.

30 Days OTP (Steve/Loki) NSFW Challenge: Day Eleven: dom/sub by Lise [ mobile ver. ], steve/loki, nsfw, dom/sub elements, 1.8k
    It was something he’d been thinking about for a while, considering carefully and turning over in his head, by the time he made his move.
    Oh, man, this is what I needed. I love dom/sub elements when it comes to Loki, because sub!Loki is pretty much the best candy ever, when it's used like this, to show that he enjoys it, not just for role reversal purposes, but because Loki is a winding, twisting sort of character who has a lot of issues to him, but also just really likes it when someone else's attention is on him, when he can get them do this to him. And it's not mean, not even a little bit cruel, but instead clearly a mutual thing here, that Steve enjoys this and Loki enjoys this, and it's so hot for that, it works with both of these characters, the characterization is lovely, it's just... really good for me, ahhh. *__*

30 Days OTP (Steve/Loki) NSFW Challenge: Day Six: clothed getting off by Lise [ mobile ver. ], steve/loki, nsfw, 1.2k
    The movie wasn’t very good. It had come recommended by one of the papers, but far more interesting was the way Loki, who had apparently quickly given up paying attention, was exploring the contours of Steve’s neck and shoulder with his tongue, making his skin tingle. A bright feeling. And the occasional sharp little nips-
    Lise writes such lovely porn, there's something almost sweet about the characters here, in a way that works for them, despite, you know, Loki. There's still something sharp and almost wild about him, but it's not in a bad way, they feel like they've settled well here and I love how much they clearly just enjoy each other, how wildly attracted they are to each other, so that they end up grinding against each other while still wearing their clothes and ostensibly watching a movie. Clothed sex is one of those things that has to be done just right for me to enjoy it, but there's something so... warm-hearted and lovely about this, that I adored it.

30 Days OTP (Steve/Loki) NSFW Challenge: Day Sixteen: in a public place by Lise [ mobile ver. ], steve/loki, nsfw, public sex, 2.6k
    It felt inexpressibly good to be outside. He would never have said it - it would only upset Steve, and there was little that he could do about it - but it chafed, sometimes. He had wandered the stars, seen worlds beyond imagining, and now he was locked into a space smaller than his suites in Asgard. He’d agreed to his cage, of course, and locked himself into it.
    On the surface, this is a fic about Loki tempting Steve into some semi-public sex, but Lise is the kind of author who puts so much more than that into it, there's all these tangled, thorny issues between the two of them and all they bring to the relationship that it's... just really good for me. Because it's not unhappy, even when things aren't really ideal, because they both want this, even if there's hesitancy and unsurety between them (but not in a bad way, either), instead it's lovely and it feels like... healing, I guess is what I think of when I read Lise's Steve/Loki. It's not always warm-hearted or shining, but it's moving in the right direction, because sometimes healing is uncomfortable. And that's not really the direct theme of this fic, it's just something I feel when reading it, that Steve is a little freer around Loki, that Loki is a little more stable and wants to do better around Steve, which makes the semi-public sex just a hint of naughty and believiable for both, but most of all. Happy-sigh inducing and lovely. ♥

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 didn’t 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. ;__;♥

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.

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.

The Many Doors of Níu Heimar by nixajane, steve/loki + thor & loki + other avengers, good!loki, action fic, 49.5k wip
    In the weeks before Thor's coronation, Loki almost dies, not once, but twice. (An AU in which events conspire to keep Loki from the choices he made in Thor, a war is on the horizon and the chosen battlefield is Earth, and the Avengers assemble with an extra teammate and one less villain to fight).
    Well. This fic just totally ruined me for the day. Because, oh, I was hoping for at least a halfway readable lengthy Steve/Loki fic (which I've started poking at lately), but I wasn't expecting one of the most amazing stories I've yet to read in this fandom. To the point that I'm having trouble writing a rec for it because it was so perfectly everything I wanted and I'm just overwhelmed with feelings for it! The basic summary is simple--an AU where events conspire to keep Loki from making the terrible choices he made in canon--which means this fic has to stride a line between building something new (because the different events mean different ways the circumstances snowball) and keeping to the spirit of what came to a head in Thor, all of which this author does with exceptional grace and talent. The reveal of Loki's Jotunn nature, Thor's banishment, the forming of the Avengers, the role the Tesseract has to play, all of it is brilliantly done and I cannot convey how much I am in love with pretty much everything.

I think I first knew I was really going to at least enjoy this fic when it started out with Thor and Loki on a quest to Jotunheim, where the bond between them was so strong, all the more so when things started to go wrong. And that's one thing that has continued throughout the fic! Whenever I read other pairings with Loki, there's always a danger that his relationship with Thor will suffer for it, but, oh, this fic is AMAZING for protective older brother Thor who loves Loki so much, who has such an important role in his life and vice versa. The fic is balanced between dealing with all the complicated issues that run between them, Loki's love and envy, Thor's arrogance and eventual tempering of his flaws, but then with PROTECTIVE OLDER BROTHER THOR who practically LOOMS over anyone that Loki looks interested in and oh god that is so good for me, all the more so because Loki both chafes at it and finds it wrly amusing and then does whatever he wants anyway. SO GOOD FOR ME. It's not necessarily the absolute central focus of the story (this is a Steve/Loki story, after all), but it's very close to it, and I have zero sense of dissatisfaction. I am super super satisfied!

And if that were all, I would be satisfied with this fic. But no! This fic also gives me AMAZING TONY, seriously, he is so beautifully in character and his voice is perfect and I just want to read this story foreverrrrr. The use of the Avengers in this fic has been so wonderful for me, because I do love them as a group, but all the more so because Loki Odinson working with the Avengers? Yes, yes, give this to me nooooow. It's delightful, because Loki is so smart and his magic gets him through so many doors and understands so many things and it's a little baffling to everyone and frustrating because he just does whatever he pleases but that makes it all the better because, yesssss, give me all the BAMF!Loki fic. ALL OF IT. And EVEN THEN there's still more to this fic! WORLD BUILDING. And possibly my new favoritest theory behind what the Tesseract is and its connection to Loki and the threat that looms over all of them. I AM EATING IT UP LIKE DELICIOUS CANDY, because I love the idea of it, but even more than that I love that this author does it brilliantly. It's amazing and perfect and somehow just seems so natural and makes perfect sense!

PLUS, ON TOP OF THAT. Oh, man, this fic really had me when it totally understood that Loki and Odin are actually kind of really alike, in the way that they're both twisty, brilliant fuckers when they want to be. This Odin has more chances to show Loki that he is loved, to tell him that he is still Odinson, to have a chance to explain a bit more. But it's still Odin, he never does anything without a reason, but he doesn't always say that reason. So, Loki is still frustrated, he still has a lot of resentment built up in him, but he's still loyal to his family, even if he doesn't do what he's told to do. All of this in a fic where Steve and Loki are slowly becoming friends and they clearly like each other and are attracted to each other, but things build slowly and are so much more delicious for that, and the author gets what makes them work and, oh, the character insights all over the place are amazing and just. This fic is one of my absolute favorites in the fandom now. To the point that I'm almost afraid to read the next chapter (NO I'M NOT GIVE IT TO ME NOW NOW NOW) because it has the potential to crush me.

Envy (Is Unnecessary) by Lise, thor/loki + steve/loki + thor/loki/steve, NSFW, 3.9k
    The threesome gets a little Thor/Steve. Loki gets a little concerned. Everyone gets some, one way or another.
    I'm including this with the Thorki recs (as I will also include it with the next batch of Stoki recs I do) because it's absolutely worth reading this fic for the Thor/Loki (or Steve/Loki) alone, unless you're absolutely dead set against them with anyone else ever. I love the way this was truly balanced, that these relationships have similar parallels at times, but they are different and it's shown through subtle little moments here, how each of them brings something different to their relationship with Loki. Each of them offers Loki something that the other isn't quite as good at, each of them has a different dynamic with Loki, yet both of these dynamics work in tandem here. It's not really precisely a true threesome, in that there is some Thor/Steve here, but it's not really anywhere near the level of the other two relationships, and yet that's perfect, because you can feel how much they both love Loki and also that hits my id so goddamned hard.

But I love it for genuinely exquisite characterization and the ridiculously hot porn! The night I read this, I was genuinely ruined for the rest of the night, I couldn't read anything else because, jfc, super intense feelings and Loki being fucked within an inch of his life and spot on characterization of all three of them. No, I can't do it. This is too much for me. I must lay here in a pool of my own feelings and stare at the ceiling while trying to compose my life and feelings into coherency once more.

Captain America & Thor (movieverse): Volition by teh-helenables - Pero linked me to this fic and I definitely have to admit that I had a moment of "...." at the pairing (Loki and Captain America??) but I was intrigued by the premise (When Loki turns up on the Avenger's doorstep, brokenhearted and realizing that he's been in the wrong and wants to join the good side, Steve is the only one at home.) and the early lines were good, so I was just sucked right in. It's a really lovely look at Loki's character, what does and doesn't drive him, how no one chooses things for him, so he makes his own decisions, and it just progresses naturally from there. The writing is sharp, the scenes unfold perfectly, it was so easy to picture in my head, all the little touches were wonderful, and the final scene is rather perfect. I loved this dearly. (Captain America/Loki.)

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