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Freefall by galaxysoup, thor & loki + other mcu characters, depression/suicide ideation, 11.2k
    Loki falls. Thor catches him. This does not solve as many problems as Thor thought it would.
    xparrot mentioned this fic awhile back and I'd always eyed it a bit warily, because I'm here for the Thor and Loki dynamic and it was labeled as Thor/Jane (which is there, but it's fairly well in the background and the heart is on Thor's relationship with Loki) and I had to be in the right frame of mind to throw myself into a fic that dealt with suicidal tendencies and depression--which I definitely, definitely recommend you do with this fic. Because it broke my fucking heart, right from the beginning, when Loki tries to hurl himself off the Bifrost and Thor catches him and Loki's just undone by all of this. And Loki being catatonic afterwards, Thor trying so desperately to be there for him, to help him, to get through to him, because it's tearing Thor apart to see his bright, clever, sly brother just be so broken. In another author's hands, this could have been OTT and cliche and unengaging because it was too much, but here... Thor isn't perfect, he doesn't know how to handle this, but he keeps trying, and there are moments of humor woven into the fic when Thor takes them to Jane and friends, and it's just... it's almost understated, in a way, and that's what really broke my heart and really got me. Thor's journey to help Loki, to really understand what happened to him, it's so achingly painful because it's hard now, but it's also hard to realize the weight of what was put on him in Asgard that Thor never knew about. And it's not about punishing Thor for not knowing, it's not about making him less than he is, no matter how guilty he himself feels about it, the narrative doesn't make him a jerk for it. This Thor is amazing and touches my heart and I had tears in my eyes for him as much as I did for Loki and that is what I look for in fic. It's wrenching and painful to read, I teared up by the end (but, to be fair, these are my issues, too), but I am very glad to have read it.

Landing by galaxysoup, thor & loki + avengers + other mcu characters, depression/suicide, 16.9k
    Thor and Loki settle in to life at Avengers mansion. This process is about as complicated as one would expect.
    This is a sequel to "Freefall", which you should read before this one.
    This is the follow-up to "Freefall" and it's just as wrenching as the previous one, just as good and brilliantly written. Loki has started to come out of his catatonic state, but there's still depression to deal with, still a lifetime of bitterness and anger to deal with, which Thor still doesn't really understand, even though he's trying, and that makes a huge difference, but it can't immediately solve all the problems. This is a fic that is about Thor dealing with Loki's depression and about bringing them to the Avengers, which is such a better place for Loki, a place where people understand him, which leads to him establishing himself better and finding his own friends and those friends (in a brief, but gorgeous scene with Tony and Thor) help give Thor insight into Loki's character. And I love love love this fic for Thor being so tired sometimes, feeling guilty about that, but also so desperately wanting to be there to help Loki, the thought of Loki hurting himself tearing him apart still. It's so good, even when Thor is called back to Asgard and you kind of want to punch everyone in the face there, despite that you understand why they are the way they are, why Odin has to do what he does, and I just love... how dearly Thor loves Loki, how Loki loves Thor in return, even if he's not always easy to be around you can see why people take a shine to Loki, even as he's still not fully back to himself yet. But this fic is about slowly putting things to right and it's getting there. The author does a gorgeous job with all of this and, ugh, I'm getting a little choked up again just thinking about everything, how hurt Loki is, how much Thor goes through, how much I love them all. Fucking feels.

Ask Me No Questions by Alex51324, thor & loki + bruce & loki + tony + other avengers, depression, 55k
    When Thor returns from Asgard to rejoin the Avengers, he brings Loki in tow--stripped of his magic and bound with a geas that allows him to speak only in response to direct questions. AKA, yet another "Loki lives with the Avengers; chaos ensues" story.
    I very nearly made an entire recs post just for this fic alone because, oh, man, if you ever want to know what my perfect genfic is, this is it. Loki with his magic stripped away, a truth spell placed on him, Thor takes him to live with the Avengers, and slowly they all learn to take small steps towards something better, until shit hits the fan and maybe Loki has come far enough to actually do some good again. I could hardly bring myself to finish this one, because once I did I would have no more and this was my happy place for several days in a row. I will warn ahead of time, the Thor characterization is a little Dumb Jock and things have a touch of crack to them in the early parts, but it's easily dismissed as how we're seeing Thor mostly through Loki's point of view, so of course he's going to come off as dumb, because Loki is not a reliable narrator. But, by the end of the fic? Oh, man, was I ever all the way onboard with this Thor.

Because this is a story that balances all the things I wanted from it--Thor, who genuinely loves and wants to believe in Loki, but also understands that his brother is not the same as he once was, that he will still do terrible things. It's a story that doesn't have Loki immediately settling back into sanity, but each step is a slow, slow crawl towards and there are set-backs along the way. This Loki is still angry by the end, but in a better place and they all can see it and, oh, that is so good for me. It's also fantastic the way he interacts with several of the Avengers, especially having a strong dynamic with Bruce. They're not friends, they're not kindred spirits, but they have an understanding, the fic playing beautifully on the idea of each of them being a monster and what that means to them, what they do with it. This Bruce & Loki dynamic is one of the highlights of the fic--though, the constant presence of Thor being in Loki's life, not quite suffocating, it's a good presence, but it also makes Loki furious at times. Perfect.

The fic is also perfect because it doesn't try to make Loki suddenly perfect, he's still a dick and they're still right not to trust him and Thor is a hero and he's not perfect but he's genuinely trying and just. as;dlfkjalskj I could keyboard mash for pages about how this fic hit all the right notes for these characters for me. But! It's not just characterization! This fic is clever, because TRUTH SPELL PLACED ON LOKI oh man and how he can't speak unless he's answering a direction question and the way the fic actually plays with that, both in terms of plot and detail. Then there's the comparison of Loki's magic to mortal science and I was just utterly fucking charmed by the way Loki describes things and the cultural differences, especially since we know so little of Asgard that we have to make things up wholecloth. But Loki trying to describe the ingredients necessary for a compound they're making? Sharp and clever and neat.

The dialogue is really good, especially once things settle down a bit and they sort of get into a routine, which is when Tony gets some great lines, but everyone in the fic is lovely. It's also a fic that deals with Loki's depression, in a way that felt very natural and organic to the story, the bursts of anger and restlessness and just... everything being distant and cold, in a way that felt really spot on to me. The sense of time that passes (as well as is shown, given that the fic is well over 50k words) also works really well for this, the use of so many different characters to show the various povs, the lack of neat resolutions or easy paths to walk, the clever use of details, the action scenes, the point of Loki finally taking some tentative steps forward again, the balance of damaged!Loki vs dick!Loki, the use of the truth spell, the complications on the way Loki communicated with others, the addressing of Loki's Jotunn nature, the addressing of all that internalized racism, the lack of neatly tied up endings, ALL OF IT, this fic was incredibly well-written and so emotionally satisfying. I can't recommend it enough, whether you're looking for Loki fic, Avengers team fic, or Thor & Loki fic.

who's left and who's leaving by Lise, thor & loki, h/c, 5.3k
    Thor decides he's about done with letting Loki get himself hurt and pretending he's okay with it. Loki's got two feet of steel through his lungs and is finding it difficult to argue. Family therapy, at its finest.
    This fucking fic, jfc. I'm biased because this was my request and because it's Lise, but still OH MAN this punched my buttons something fierce. Thor taking care of Loki, with anger and love and force, it's so very Thor. And this is one of those fics that might be from Loki's point of view, it might be in Loki's head, and Lise always does a fantastic job with Loki (which I will get to in a minute), but I loved it just as much for Thor as I did for Loki, absolutely. Because there is such weight and force to Thor's character, but that it comes from a place of caring, the older brother who is no longer going to watch Loki not take care of himself. There's anger from someone who has dealt with so much of Loki's terrible behavior and denial of what they are to each other, but still so much love beyond that, and that Thor openly embraces all of this, anger and love alike. He has such incredible presence here, when he's not trying to placate Loki in the way that he used to, which... because this is Loki, seems to crack open a few new chinks in the armor.

But that's not to say this Loki doesn't have the same sharp edges that Lise always gives him because, boy, does he. He's such a vicious little shit, such a complete messy mixture of desperate want and anger in a horrible combination that only makes me love him more. He pushes himself so hard for all the wrong reasons and Thor has had enough and, lord, it is glorious. It's so many kinds of good for me, it's the purest h/c you could ask for (with an element of forced h/c, but really more that Loki has jammed himself up so badly this time that Thor would be fine with letting him go except they both know Loki can't, so he's stuck then, isn't he, as;dlfkjasl;kj om nom nom nom that is the most delicious candy for me), and Lise did a gorgeous job with the prompt I gave her.

Exsanguination by Lise, thor & loki + frigga + odin + sif, aftermath of torture, 8.6k
    exsanguination /ex·san·gui·na·tion/ v.intr. To be drained of blood. (And all the rest.)
    There are some fics that I want to write a perfect rec for (as opposed to just vomiting up feelings everywhere) because they're so beautifully done and so completely inside my wheelhouse, but I fear that my thoughts have devolved into little more than keyboard mashing. I was, at first, a little wary of this fic, because it's a post-movies fic where Thor never realized that Loki had escaped, that the Chitauri had found him, not until they bring him back bloody and broken, which is a thing that usually sends me running. Except, this is... not really about that, it's about the beginning of the healing in the aftermath and how that is a heart-wrenching process even when it's about slowly setting things to right. The fic is gorgeous in how it makes you horrified for Loki without having to use a sledgehammer to drive home just how much he's suffered.

I read this entire fic with a physical ache for how much Thor loves Loki, how desperately he wants a foe he can just beat into a pulp and have his brother back, to have Loki stop being so broken and damaged and hurting, but knowing it doesn't work that way. This is a Thor who still doesn't entirely understand, but is trying to do what he can and, when he leaves Loki alone as asked (for as long as he can), it's heart breaking because he misses his brother so much, but also tries to do as Loki asks, even knowing that just leaving him won't ultimately help. It's such a complicated, fragile mess between them, but there's also so much love there from Loki's family that it's a beautiful read.

The scene where, as you realize why Loki isn't reacting as expected, when he realizes that, yes, he really is back in Asgard, oh, it's one of those emotional gut punch moments that I live for with fic. And Frigga's interaction with Thor, her obvious bone-deep worry and heartbreak over Loki, yet all while remaining graceful and elegant and so caring, is beautifully done as well. That the fic manages to have such a loving environment for Loki yet still put me through an emotional wringer is quite the accomplishment. But, yeah, if this fic doesn't give you feelings for Thor&Loki's relationship, I don't know what to do with you, either.

The Poison Rain by Lizardbeth, frigga & loki, frigga & thor, thor & loki, odin/frigga, 36k
    Frigga and Thor battle Loki to save him from himself. Words are Frigga's weapons and love is her strength, and she will not surrender this fight.
    It would help to have read the first two stories in this series before this one, as they serve well as preludes.
    I'm not kidding that I bawled my way through the last 20% of this fic. It's the most exquisite fic I could have asked for from this fandom since No Such Liberty, to the point that I'm afraid I won't be able ti write the rec for it that I want, as I was just immediately sucked into this story and could not stop reading it once I'd begun. The characterization and writing are utterly stunning for how they hit every single note that I could have asked for, there was literally nothing else I could ask for from a family feels fic! This fic showed the relationship dynamics between the four main family members all brilliantly, it was satisfying if you're looking for a Frigga & Loki story, it was satisfying if you're looking for a Thor & Loki story, it was satisfying if you're looking for a Frigga & Thor story, it was satisfying if you're just looking for good Frigga fic in general. It was satisfying for the utterly intense and wrenching way that you believed in Loki right along with Frigga's unwavering support, but you also saw him just as clearly as she did, that he was still fighting a battle of the mind and it had not yet been won.

That is the heart of this fic, the battle that Loki still wages even after being brought to Asgard, to either fall to the poison that invades his mind or fight back from it, to open so many old wounds, to risk believing in something again, to risk hope, or to just finally fall. This fic had my heart the entire time, it was utterly breathtaking how well the author touched on this painful struggle of Loki's, as well as how difficult it was for Frigga and Thor as they struggled to try to help him, as this story was as much about them as it was about Loki. The balance here is brilliant, every scene--every scene--added to the greater whole and had me on the edge of my seat. The brilliant use of details, the world-building with Thanos and the casual bits of technology or magic, further added to the greater whole. The fic never lacked for incredible pacing or the sense that every scene was as fleshed out as it needed to be. I'm really not kidding, either, when I say that this fic gave me everything I could have asked for from a family feels fic that was about Loki being brought to Asgard and his family refusing to give up on him, with Frigga leading the charge.

The Frigga & Loki aspect is what I picked the fic up for, and certainly her characterization is utterly stunning here, but I found that the Thor & Loki scenes were just as much of a punch to the feelings as the Frigga & Loki scenes. The characterization of him here is spot on, that this is the Thor I know, that balance between utter love and utter anger, that he holds himself back from acting only because he hasn't yet figured out which way to act, but you still feel the weight of his character. You feel the weight of them all, really. And, oh, when Thor finally unravels one mystery about Loki, the moment that things first turned so wrong for them all, the brilliant way the author unfolded the scene had me so wound up that I nearly had to stop reading for awhile, just to work through the feelings it gave me. And tears. So many tears. The ending is just pure tears on my faaaace, especially once Odin enters the picture fully. If you're looking for good Frigga & Loki fic, want more good Thor & Loki fic, or just want post-Avengers "Asgard tries to help Loki" fic, this one is an absolute-must read.

Cultural Differences (Thor is not an idiot) by TamrynEradani, thor & loki + avengers, cultural differences, 39.3k
    Thor brings Loki and the Tesseract to Asgard and returns to Earth only after promising to return for Loki's trial when the time comes. In the meantime he tries to navigate Earth's foreign customs and not kill his teammates who insist on treating him like a small child rather than the god and prince that he is.
    You know those fics that you've been half-daydreaming about finding in the fandom, that you only find once in awhile, never enough? Where you hope you might get something halfway interesting to read, but then find yourself knocked on your ass over it? I have a handful of fics in this fandom that have really good Thor characterization, not nearly enough of them dealing with the aftermath of Loki's attack on Midgard, not nearly enough of them dealing with Thor as a warrior, a prince, and a god. When I started this fic, I was hoping that maybe I might get something to at least tide me over for awhile, re: my need for good Thor writing. Instead, I got some fucking exquisite Thor characterization that has left me a little breathless with it.

This fic did so many things right that I will have trouble talking about it, that desperate, clawing urge I have to talk about absolutely everything that left me with that punched-in-the-feelings sensation. The only thing I could really find to quibble with is the brief scenes in Asgard during Loki's trial, where I wouldn't have portrayed Asgard as that cruel, and even that is a half-hearted quibble at best because the author uses it to beautiful effect. Everything about this fic is beautiful to me, really. It starts with Thor in Midgard, navigating the culture shock with those who are less inclined to be kind (the Avengers are not as kind-hearted as Jane and Darcy and Selvig), which grates at Thor, who is a prince of Asgard and a battle-hardened warrior, who does not take kindly to being treated as an idiot. Thor's anger in those scenes, especially as Tony can't help needling him (and, oh, that Tony reminds Thor of Loki was also gorgeous), that this is a god who is to be feared if you cross him, but who is also a good person, oh, the author does it brilliantly. This is what I want from Thor characterization!

I would have been satisfied if that's all this was. But the fic then starts to delve into Thor's slowly developing friendships with the other Avengers (or at least comraderie, if not precisely friendship), how he gets along with some of them, but others not as much, and I could have just rolled around in feelings at, yes, yes, yes, Thor hardly knew these people, the building of relationships would be fraught with bumps along the way like this! And I fucking loved that it was actually Clint of all people who noticed the most and got it the most, understood why it was a good idea to redirect conversations, understood what it was like to need to step in and diffuse a situation because no one else was going to. This author did an absolutely stunning job of building on Clint's character from the movie and making him a real, living, breathing, fully fleshed out character that I loved.

Not that the fic stopped there. Thor's love for his brother, that Loki was constantly in his thoughts as he made his way through Midgard, that everything reminded him of Loki, it was gorgeously done. Oh, the feelings I had at how much Thor loved him, that Thor would be willing to forsake everything else for his brother, would have run away with him if Loki had asked, it was so fucking satisfying, I feel I can never do it justice. I read this fic for the Thor characterization, but wound up with Thor&Loki feelings out the goddamned wazoo here. They're just brothers here, but their emotional relationship is the most important to both of them, and, oh, yes, that's what I really want. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

The fic also does something I don't usually like--rotating povs within a single scene! Usually that drives me to distraction, but the author was consistent (often starting with Thor's pov, then switching to another of the Avengers' povs and sticking with them, eventually giving all of them a chance, giving the reader insight into each of the characters in gorgeous ways) and really used it brilliantly. That each Avenger had their time to be focused on, to deal with the aftermath of the movie's events, to bring something to the plot, oh, that just made this fic even better. The author does beautifully at balancing a group like this, too.

I loved this fic for all the character reasons, but I also love it for what it does on a technical level. The writing is perfect, it suits Thor's character so well, that balance between faux-Shakespeare and his directness and bluntness. The brutality of Thor and Asgard and that world is all the more impactful for how direct the story is about it! At the same time, this is not an overly violent, gruesome story, but instead one that has more of a touch of realism about what kind of world they would live in--as realistic as you can get about space viking warriors, of course. Loki's trial is something of an exception to this, I admit to reading a little more quickly because I almost couldn't bear the thought of Loki being thrown to the metaphorical wolves like it was suggested. But I'm sensitive to these things and it was so very worth it in the end.

It was worth it because, holy shit, Steve's part of the trial was one of the greatest things I have pretty much read ever and I could have nearly just fucking cried over how much I loved the character and cheered for how much I loved the direction the story took then. I actually wound up feeling physically wrung out after reading this fic, it's so densely packed with everything I wanted from this kind of fic. I actually physically hurt a little from the tension and the emotions this fic evoked in me. Maybe I'm being a little ridiculous in this rec, but I don't care. This fic just consumed me tonight.

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

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. → Ere the World Falls by kaasknot, thor & loki + frigga & loki, berserker!thor, role reversal au, 5.9k
    "The sonic boom ripped through the sky over Asgard’s capital, rattling windows in their casements and scaring clouds of pigeons into the air. It overlapped with a deafening crack, and the combined reverberations, enough to set the dust of the streets shivering into the air, vibrated through Loki’s chest. He frowned, looking up from the doll-like mask of the Svartálfar corpse he was examining. He knew that sound. Catching the eye of the einheri captain beside him, he tilted his head in silent command. 'It seems my brother has come home,' he said. 'We should give him a proper welcome.'”
    It probably helps to have read Id Est Furor before this fic, for all that this is a prequel to that one, but you can read them separately. And, oh, this fic is gorgeous, it is everything I have wanted out of berserker!Thor, which is a blend of dark!Thor and yet... while the spirit is not the same, there are elements of how canon!Thor could have almost gone down this path. It's difficult to explain, that this isn't a Divergent Timeline AU, but neither is it wholly divorced from canon. Whatever that line it manages to walk, it really worked for me super hard. It completely satisfies the itch I had (and more!) for further stories in this universe and one of the things that it really nails is that Loki is still Loki here, that he's on the path of good, but he's still favoring cunning over supposed honor, he's still holding onto resentments just a little too long. As well as Thor is gloriously terrifying here and the writing for the little details and the world-building are stunning here. This is one of the best fics I've read for Asgard in the movies, how it captures the feel of their magic and technology, along with gorgeous Loki characterization and emotionaly satisfaction of his interactions with both Frigga and Thor. This is absolutely brilliant and I would read 100k of this easily.

Majority Rule by Xparrot, thor & loki + avengers, cultural differences, 2.4k
    Tony learns something that changes his perspective on the Asgardians of his acquaintance.
    Ahhhh, this is such a great, clever idea! As the author notes, it's not necessarily my headcanon, either, the idea that Thor and Loki are Asgardian equivalents of teenagers, but that doesn't matter because it would explain so much and she makes brilliant use of the Avengers' teasing the idea out and realizing the truth of it and their amazing, amazing reactions. There's such delightful humor here (Fury's moments in the fic are especially hilarious and so easy to put into my mind's eye) and everyone is so beautifully in character and the flow of conversation, as they discuss the equivalents between Earth and Asgard, how the natural roll of the conversation eventually gets around to Loki, how Asgardians (and Frost Giants) age differently, so they're not quite what you expect when you look at them, all of it is amazing. I love that the fic is from Tony's point of view, because he is the one who would unfurl a theory like this, but also for the hilarious thought process, and BEST OF ALL because Tony is not unlike Loki and he gets it. The quiet character insight in this fic is just as good as the utterly amazing humor. Ugh, I just want this fandom to be my love forever.

Your Life for My Pride by Mythtaken Identity (VR2LBast), thor & loki + sif + w3, some crossdressing, 15k
    Loki is not the typical Asgardian warrior. He fights with seidr, agility, and deception. When the Warriors Three question the honour of such methods, Thor proposes a series of contests to prove that Loki's talents can overcome their respective strengths...with a little cheating.
    Oh, this fic was utterly exquisite. The characterization was utterly brilliant, of all six characters here, especially with Thor, Loki, and Sif, but even the W3 were well-written and it made me fall in love with them all over again. The concept seems as if it could be cliche or just awkward, because betting in fiction is often a recipe for second-hand embarrassment or used as an excuse to get characters to behave in ways they wouldn't, but this fic absolutely nails how these characters would react, why they do this (especially Loki's reluctance, because he can see how this would all play out), and BEST OF ALL nothing is about crushing my soul here. Oh, don't get me wrong, my heart was in my throat by the end, because this is a story that has an emotional center focused on the Thor & Loki relationship, they are the heart of this piece, which means the emotional weight hurst here when it needs to.

But it wasn't about showing that Loki's life was horrible and terrible, instead all of these characters love each other, express it openly, and they know they love each other. The Warriors 3 appreciate Loki's tricks, it's Thor who says that Loki can out-trick them if given enough time to prepare, and is proud of how clever his brother is, without making it incompatible with the movie canon, because that doesn't mean all the issues are gone. By the time the emotional climax happens, it's just... asd;lfkjasljk utterly superb. Because I can see this! It's sharp and genuinely clever, this is a Loki who is wily little fox, who is brilliant and loved, but is definitely different in his methods.

And, oh, Sif. This story is told from Sif's point of view and she is used breathtakingly well, her affection for the W3 and her clear love for both Thor and Loki, what an incredible and trustworthy friend she is here, this is my Sif, this is the Sif I like to think the movie version could be if they let her. The use of details in their lives truly captures the feel of a Thor fic, capping off the list of nearly everything I could have possibly asked for from this fic, right down to the beautiful use of parallels between Sif/Loki and contrasts between Thor/Loki. Fantastic all the way around.

Apples (or, The Quest for Breakfast) by incandescent (lmeden), thor & loki + idunn, fairy tale-esque, 3.9k
    In which Loki provides the adventure, and Thor provides the muscle. An Hansel & Gretel AU.
    I hesitate to label this as purely a fairy tale, because it fits pretty well with possible MCU canon, but... it's also definitely inspired by fairy tales! And I feel like I should hvae read this before (and probably already recommended it?), but it's been long enough that my memory is fuzzy. Either way, it's a darling fairy tale-like story with an action scene and young teenagers being little shits and lovely language and neat use of the mythology remixed. Plus, the closeness of Thor and Loki can be read as pre-slash and I love when they go on adventures! So this was pretty great for me.

True Son by Catspook, thor & loki + other asgardians, feels, divergent timeline pre-movie, depression issues, 12.3k
    AU: prior to the events of the movie, Loki becomes depressed when he concludes that he will never be able to make his parents proud
    Oh, I absolutely ate this fic up, it was that delicious combination of idfic and genuinely good! Loki is depressed and has no self-esteem and is hiding it, so of course it all comes spilling out when he collapses, which is one of those story scenarios that you have to be really careful with, there's a fine line between overdoing it and yet still scratching that idfic itch that I want, but this fic totally nailed that delicate line for me! All the better because afterwards it's pure, concentrated family feels comfort where Loki has his emotional needs met and gets support from them all and I rolled around in it like catnip. It balances that he didn't have the best of situations with how he was genuinely loved, that he's not surrounded by assholes, and if the circumstances they were all in were a little better, things could have gone so much better for everyone.

There's excellent interaction between Thor and Loki, even though it's a Loki-centric piece, you'll still be satisfied if that's what you're coming to this fic for! But there's also Frigga and Odin both interacting with Loki in important and excellent ways, often with just enough of an echo of canon to be perfect. It doesn't hit those lines or parallels too hard, just that some notes are always going to make it into the characters' lives, some things are inevitable no matter the changed circumstances, and that all worked for me. Loki's thoughts and issues are delicious if you're into this sort of thing (depressed!Loki trying to work through his feelings, ahhhhh, seriously it's like catnip for me!) and it's genuinely sharply written to go with the scenario that makes me sit up and practically wriggle around for how deep an itch this scratches for me. As mentioned, it's just... it's idfic that's genuinely well written and well characterized, my favorite combination ever.

Five Crimes in the Name of Brotherhood by freakylemurcat, thor & loki + other asgardians, fluff, kidfic, 4.5k
    5 times Thor and Loki had moments of Epic Brohood, and 1 time they had an Epic Bro Sulk together because Odin caught them at something and made them scrub the latrines.
    SO THIS FIC IS AMAZING. It's a series of six times that Thor and Loki worked together, being adorable little shits together or adventurous little shits together, and I don't think I could have smiled harder, because my face hurt by the time I was done. They are adorable as children, but just as amazing when they're teenagers, and I love the way this author gives them all these different adventures to get into, these different beasts to fight, the way they banter with each other shows you can see how they get on each others' nerves but they always come back around to each other and, oh, it's SO GOOD. It's pure joy and laughter and utter delight to see these instances of their Epic Brotherhood.

"Growing Pains" by AloryShannon, thor & loki + other asgardians, action scenes, mythology elements, 49.2k
    Written for a prompt on the Thor Kinkmeme on LJ: "Odin, in this universe, has the foresight to realize that keeping Loki's origins from him could end up alienating his son. On his tenth birthday, he tells Loki of his Frost Giant heritage, and while it upsets the boy initially, because he is young, he is able to bounce back once reassured of his parents' general support. Still, Odin urges the young Loki to not tell Thor until he feels that his brother has truly matured to the point where it won't affect his overall view of Loki. Meanwhile, some odd years later, Loki is going through weird frost giant puberty and Thor is entirely convinced that his brother is ill or mental or some thing or other. Hi-jinx ensue."
    There's so much happening in this fic that it's kind of ridiculous, especially for a fic that's only around 50k. There are a couple of caveats I have, that the fic uses too many epithets and a little too much slang at times and there are some occasional moments of dumb!Thor that made me wary (but I also freely admit that I'm more sensitive to detecting that sort of thing), but they're pretty negligible overall in the face of all what else the fic accomplishes. Because, oh, this fic isn't satisfied with just centering around one or two instances, there's a whole lot going on here, a whole lot of definining moments in Loki's life! This is a fic where Odin and Frigga told Loki about his true biology when he was younger, instead letting him make the decisions about whether or not to tell anyone else, which... changes some things and doesn't change others.

It's pretty rough in a lot of spots for Loki, there's some absolute misery at times, both for his biology being a real pain in the ass and for how he still feels ill fitted to Asgard, how there's always the looming question of whether he would really be accepted. This is, ultimately, a Loki who has a stronger sense of self, if only because he can't be side-lined by a huge secret, there's still that same sense of how fragile his self-identity is at times, but it has a better chance to be worked through here, even for as many different problems as it causes. Though, I do kind of look back and think, with just a few tragic external factors, this could have gone as wrong as canon did, which is probably part of why I like it so much, that this universe worked out so much better. It also doesn't pull some of its punches on how Loki does get left out of things, how he pushes himself too hard, how he's not really open about things, how sometimes shit just happens on both sides of the issue. This is definitely an arrogant Thor, but you also entirely get why Loki loves him so much, because I fell in love with this Thor all over again, too.

There's also action scenes in the fic and the Thor & Loki scenes are so intense and so all-consuming in that intensity that I practically read this as pre-slash at times, which is my favorite kind of genfic to read! I mean, I believe the author wrote this as entirely gen and it totally works on that level, but if you want to read more into it, you can. It's sort of hitting the same notes as canon, in that sense, imo. There's some great stuff in the first half, when they're fighting a dragon (fighting a dragon! that is pretty terrifying and awesome!), but the second half of the fic focuses even more on the two of them, especially the question of Loki's secret hanging between them and, boy, was that some satisfying emotional resolution. There's elements of the mythology being worked in as well, but fitted to the MCU, and I loved that a whole lot, too. Basically, this was a ridiculously delightful fic to read, especially once it got going and now I'm really sad that it's over, because I want more, siiighhh.

Loki Sky-Treader by Zeta_Tauri, thor & loki, 12.5k
    Loki spends too much time in his room, Thor's decided. The solution to this problem is clearly to drag Loki out to Vanaheimr for an adventure!
    Oh, this fic was amazing for me! It did all the things I wanted from such a story--there was adventure and sorcery and all the trappings of the mythological world of Thor, there was that delicious sense of how Loki is full of secrets and Thor doesn't always know Loki as well as he thinks he does, and this is beautiful Loki characterization here. I love that there's all these sides to Loki that Thor has never seen, because either he doesn't ask or assumes he knows Loki wouldn't be interested in these things or because Loki deliberately hid them, it's a tangled mess of all these things.

But what I really appreciated it for--even as I can't say I enjoyed it, since it kind of broke my heart a little--is that it fits with the Loki we know from the canon, that this isn't all fun and happiness and innocence. This Loki is a little shit and pisses people off and laughs about it and it's not just that it'll all come back to haunt him (though, that will happen as well, I'm sure) but that it shows that Loki has all these edges and a certain darkness to him. There's a sense of discomfort, both in Thor and the reader, at the kind of shit Loki gets up to, even as he makes friends with the dwarves and goes on an adventure with them.

At the same time, it's not all doom and gloom! There are many hilarious moments (Thor's arrogance that he knows how to deal with anyone and anything, that he'll always be in charge, and having that smack him in the face! or the gleeful way Loki and the dwarves tease each other and it's so delightful to see!) and, overall, this is a positive story. But it's a story that does a brilliant job of showing Loki's character and having Thor discover this side of his brother for the first time and not sure how to handle it. And, oh, I just tore through all 12k words of this because I couldn't put it down and it was beautifully paced and absolutely everything I could have asked for from it. And excellent, excellent read!

What Once Was Lost Returned by DemonQueen666, thor & loki + loki/angrboda + other mcu characters, jotunn!loki, divergent timeline, 74k
    Things go very differently on the ill-suited venture to Jotunheim when the Frost Giants notice something about one of the invaders. But their decision to "rescue" what they assume must be a kidnapped Jotun has many unexpected and far-spanning consequences...especially for Loki himself.
    OKAY, THIS FIC. I decided, all right, I needed something long to sink my teeth into the other day, so, sure, why not a 74k fic. I figured that I'd slowly poke away at it, maybe finish it after three or four days. NOPE, I read that sucker all in one afternoon because I could not put it down. The writing and world-building is gorgeous here, when the Frost Giants realize who Loki is towards the beginning of the movie and decide that they're going to take their lost prince back. It then becomes everything a story like this needs to be--a massive case of depression, culture shock, and reeling from a lack of self-identity, which means he has to figure out who he is all over again. All of this wrapped up in some really breathtaking world building.

I think this author's version of Jotunheim might be my favorite yet--the way Loki's brothers treat him (being the eldest means that they have to bow to him, his youngest brother being surprisingly sweet and gentle and naive, if still really huge, his middle brother suddenly being placed in the role that Loki had as Thor's younger brother), the way Laufey treats him (as the crown prince, the intended heir, despite his size, giving allowances for his shock and being raised as Aesir, but not without a harshness of an iron fist), the way Jotunheim has all this culture to it, the way I was wary of Angrboda at first, because I had no sense of her as a person, but eventually became rather fond of her, all of it is beautifully done. So, I loved it for those aspects, for being the kind of fic that is beautifully paced, gorgeously detailed, and reads like it could have been a professionally published story, it's so smooth and clean. It was wonderful to just sink into this story and not come out for hours because it was so engrossing!

But, oh, my favorite part was the relationship between Loki and Thor. I was wary of the fic at first, because Thor's presence in it wasn't that much in the early chapters, it was more focused on Loki finding his own role in life, figuring himself out, finding a surprising amount of peace and acceptance on Jotunheim, which I loved because I desperately want that for him. I would still have loved this fic even if Thor's presence had been neglible. But, eventually, Thor comes roaring into the story, smashes his way back into Loki's life, and, oh, it's heartbreaking and gorgeous, because Loki has this new life now, because he thought he had been abandoned by his Aesir family, but Thor still loves him so much and wants to rescue him and he misses Loki so terribly and it's hard because they can't go back and, just. This fucking fic totally put tears in my eyes because of how much I felt while reading it. Yeah, okay, so I'm weak to the relationship between Thor and Loki, I definitely got that ache in my fannish heart as they clashed and tried to make each other see reason, but the way the scene built up, the gorgeous resolution as everything finally spilled over and they laid everything out, ahhhh, that's what I read fic for.

True Son by Catspook, thor & loki + other asgardians, feels, divergent timeline pre-movie, depression issues, 12.3k
    AU: prior to the events of the movie, Loki becomes depressed when he concludes that he will never be able to make his parents proud
    Oh, I absolutely ate this fic up, it was that delicious combination of idfic and genuinely good! Loki is depressed and has no self-esteem and is hiding it, so of course it all comes spilling out when he collapses, which is one of those story scenarios that you have to be really careful with, there's a fine line between overdoing it and yet still scratching that idfic itch that I want, but this fic totally nailed that delicate line for me! All the better because afterwards it's pure, concentrated family feels comfort where Loki has his emotional needs met and gets support from them all and I rolled around in it like catnip. It balances that he didn't have the best of situations with how he was genuinely loved, that he's not surrounded by assholes, and if the circumstances they were all in were a little better, things could have gone so much better for everyone.

There's excellent interaction between Thor and Loki, even though it's a Loki-centric piece, you'll still be satisfied if that's what you're coming to this fic for! But there's also Frigga and Odin both interacting with Loki in important and excellent ways, often with just enough of an echo of canon to be perfect. It doesn't hit those lines or parallels too hard, just that some notes are always going to make it into the characters' lives, some things are inevitable no matter the changed circumstances, and that all worked for me. Loki's thoughts and issues are delicious if you're into this sort of thing (depressed!Loki trying to work through his feelings, ahhhhh, seriously it's like catnip for me!) and it's genuinely sharply written to go with the scenario that makes me sit up and practically wriggle around for how deep an itch this scratches for me. As mentioned, it's just... it's idfic that's genuinely well written and well characterized, my favorite combination ever.

held together with string by Lise, thor & loki, mourning/grief, 2.2k
    Time and again boys are raised to be men: impatient they start, fearful at end. Post-Thor.
    Mourning fic can be difficult to write well, buth, oh, Lise achieved it here and my heart actually ached the entire time. It's a gorgeous look at Thor's grief after Loki lets go, the sense of loss and expectation of seeing the person again isn't overdone, but instead brought up all the more of my own feelings of loss. Lise finds the right notes to hit and the right balance of them, so that it's not over the top, but instead a perfectly written punch straight to my feelings. It also does a beautiful job of balancing how Asgard failed Loki in some ways and yet how they honestly loved him and there was such good in his life there, too, how it was not all one side or the other that caused this mess. And, as a bonus, that is some quality Thor characterization there, goddamn!

Your Life for My Pride by Mythtaken Identity (VR2LBast), thor & loki + sif + w3, some crossdressing, 15k
    Loki is not the typical Asgardian warrior. He fights with seidr, agility, and deception. When the Warriors Three question the honour of such methods, Thor proposes a series of contests to prove that Loki's talents can overcome their respective strengths...with a little cheating.
    Oh, this fic was utterly exquisite. The characterization was utterly brilliant, of all six characters here, especially with Thor, Loki, and Sif, but even the W3 were well-written and it made me fall in love with them all over again. The concept seems as if it could be cliche or just awkward, because betting in fiction is often a recipe for second-hand embarrassment or used as an excuse to get characters to behave in ways they wouldn't, but this fic absolutely nails how these characters would react, why they do this (especially Loki's reluctance, because he can see how this would all play out), and BEST OF ALL nothing is about crushing my soul here. Oh, don't get me wrong, my heart was in my throat by the end, because this is a story that has an emotional center focused on the Thor & Loki relationship, they are the heart of this piece, which means the emotional weight hurst here when it needs to.

But it wasn't about showing that Loki's life was horrible and terrible, instead all of these characters love each other, express it openly, and they know they love each other. The Warriors 3 appreciate Loki's tricks, it's Thor who says that Loki can out-trick them if given enough time to prepare, and is proud of how clever his brother is, without making it incompatible with the movie canon, because that doesn't mean all the issues are gone. By the time the emotional climax happens, it's just... asd;lfkjasljk utterly superb. Because I can see this! It's sharp and genuinely clever, this is a Loki who is wily little fox, who is brilliant and loved, but is definitely different in his methods.

And, oh, Sif. This story is told from Sif's point of view and she is used breathtakingly well, her affection for the W3 and her clear love for both Thor and Loki, what an incredible and trustworthy friend she is here, this is my Sif, this is the Sif I like to think the movie version could be if they let her. The use of details in their lives truly captures the feel of a Thor fic, capping off the list of nearly everything I could have possibly asked for from this fic, right down to the beautiful use of parallels between Sif/Loki and contrasts between Thor/Loki. Fantastic all the way around.

Tales From the Avengers' Mansion by Coneycat, avengers & loki, some thor & loki, humor, 14.3k
    When Loki arrives at the Avengers' Mansion with a puppy for Thor, and an elaborate tale about how he acquired it, Tony can't help but wonder what he's really up to.
    I'm going to put a caveat on this set of fics before starting: You sort of have to... let go of strict canon? And imagine a world (possibly a future, it's still possible, but these were written before The Avengers) that sort of runs parallel to the comics, where Loki is darting in and out of the Avengers' lives, generally wreaking havoc, but isn't terribly, awfully bad here. And that it's a bit cracky, but not in a bad way, just more... a softer, more fun universe. It's Loki doing things like randomly dropping a puppy off with the Avengers (that they're all waiting for it to explode) or sometimes seeking asylum with them because he's pissed off Doom, etc. It's written with humor and it's such a fun family piece, I just kind of rolled around in my feelings for this entire series. The Thor & Loki moments were especially fun (and were entirely gen here, but any time you have Loki spending the night in Thor's room, I'm going to enjoy it in the way the author didn't intend), but the author also has a pretty great Tony voice and manages a great balance with the entire team.

I do solemnly swear by Mikkeneko, thor & loki + some avengers, depression, mind control, 11.9k
    In which our heroes learn the perils of lack of inter-team communication, and Loki gives his side of the story.
    I am going to talk about VAGUE SPOILERS for the end of this fic, mostly the tone it ends on, but if you want to be in suspense about how it ends, you should skip reading this rec.
    This fic is incredibly nerve-wracking while you're reading it, to the point that I had trouble staying focused instead of skipping large chunks of the story just to get on to the next part, because I could hardly stand how much I was fidgeting over it. This is despite that I skimmed the ending to see if it would break my heart or not (because otherwise I can't focus enough to enjoy a story, nor do I want to invest in a story that's going to break my heart, because I'm a delicate flower, etc. *g*) and knew that, yes, Loki would survive and that he would be at least somewhat redeemed. Even knowing that, the tension of this piece is incredibly intense and I was literally physically fidgeting in my bed while trying to read it, I couldn't quite settle down properly. Which is a high compliment to the writing, because, jesus, it accomplished everything it set out to do.

The basic premise of the fic is that Loki's been brought back to Asgard while Thor returns to Midgard to gather further evidence for Loki's trial and, while there, stumbles over some surprising bits of information that suddenly changes everything. You know exactly where the fic is going from the moment it's brought up (as well as the tags mention it), that this is based on the theory that Loki was being controlled the same way he was controlling Clint and the fic does an absolutely gorgeous job of unraveling the details and plot points of it, so many incredible details about how it would have worked (my favorite was the reasoning why Loki's eyes wouldn't have changed color) and how the Avengers all reacted to the idea of it. Once that scene started, when Thor was talking with the others, that's where the fic's characterization really went into high gear, where it really became exquisitely done.

But, oh, I can't lie. When Thor goes back to Asgard and storms right into Loki's trial, in the way that was just pure goddamned Thor? That's when this fic really had me. When I could feel that first stirring of hope right along with him, something so fragile that I almost didn't want to believe in it, either, for fear of it bursting, or when Thor had to stop and think about the right questions to ask Loki or when you realize just how very close they came to losing Loki in a way that was hideously unfair, all of that is beautifully done. From the moment Thor came back to Asgard, I was in love with everything this fic did. Truth spells so that Loki has to answer yes/no questions! Thor having to think and reason out his questions and uncover the truth! Thor's realization of just what really happened and then the conversation with Odin afterwards! Holy fuck, that conversation with Odin was everything I wanted from it, because that was an MCU Odin I could believe in! Thor's aching, desperate love for Loki and the aftermath of the trial and Loki finally being free again. Just. So much razor sharp storytelling that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. This is why I sometimes still love the mind control theory because, oh, this was glorious, what fandom could do with it. And, wow, do I love the point that this fic also carefully made--lack of communication means things go to shit fast.

Child's Play by pluiedunord, thor & loki, kidfic, fluff, ~1k
    Young Thor and Loki play in the forest, and Loki wanders off. Big Brother Thor to the rescue.
    Bawwww, this was so cute! It's a short piece, just over 500 words and takes place when Thor and Loki are just little kids, Loki getting lost in the woods and Thor looking for him, totally fluffy and sweet and BAWWW SUCH ADORABLE BABIES. I was left with that warm, fuzzy feeling by the time it was done and sometimes I just really need to feel that in fandom again. → Five Crimes in the Name of Brotherhood by freakylemurcat, thor & loki + other asgardians, fluff, kidfic, 4.5k
    5 times Thor and Loki had moments of Epic Brohood, and 1 time they had an Epic Bro Sulk together because Odin caught them at something and made them scrub the latrines.
    SO THIS FIC IS AMAZING. It's a series of six times that Thor and Loki worked together, being adorable little shits together or adventurous little shits together, and I don't think I could have smiled harder, because my face hurt by the time I was done. They are adorable as children, but just as amazing when they're teenagers, and I love the way this author gives them all these different adventures to get into, these different beasts to fight, the way they banter with each other shows you can see how they get on each others' nerves but they always come back around to each other and, oh, it's SO GOOD. It's pure joy and laughter and utter delight to see these instances of their Epic Brotherhood.

Regular Maintenance by anonymous, thor & loki + avengers, 4.5k
    “Jesus fucking Christ,” Clint interrupted. “Call me crazy, or does it seem like every time this guy shows up again, he’s that much crazier and his hair’s that much longer? I mean, who even does that?”
    The prompt for this fill was that the Avengers discover that, the longer Loki's hair is, the more evil he gets, so they decide to do something about it. Which isn't precisely how the fic turns out, but it's in the same vein, instead a bit more serious and bittersweet, but, oh, that just makes it better. I really enjoyed the team dynamics here, I enjoyed Thor's miserable face because it gave me all the feelings because he just misses his brother so much, I enjoyed the way the fic wound around to the hair cutting scene (which is a thing I enjoy very much), but mostly I enjoyed the sense of anticipation I had, knowing what was coming. I enjoyed the payoff scene (this is an unfinished fic, but it doesn't cut off before delivering a fair amount of the good stuff) and found it super satisfying. I definitely want more from this fic, but I could be happy with how it ended here, too.

I Only Speak The Truth by nixajane, thor & loki + avengers, truth serum, 1.1k
    After Loki is captured, the team needs to interrogate him. Thor advises against it, but SHIELD has a new experimental truth serum and who better to try it on than the God of Lies?
    One of the things I've been waiting for fandom to do is YES HIT LOKI WITH A TRUTH SPELL/SERUM/WHATEVER, do it do it dooooo iiiiitttttt. So, yes, of course I jumped on this fic like you wouldn't believe and it was totally fun and enjoyable and had a really great ending, but I also can't lie, I wish there had been more of it. The author gets the good stuff in, making this satisfying, but I would have liked to have seen more fallout and what happened next a lot, too! But, yesss, another item off the fandom checklist now.

One to Be Trusted by samalander, thor & loki + odin & loki + frigga & loki + sif, mental instability, 5.9k
    After he lost the battle in Midgard, Loki was taken home in chains. And if the Aesir couldn't heal him with magic, then they would do it with time.
    I read this fic last night and fully intended to settle in for a bit more reading after it, but then I just... couldn't. I couldn't read more after this fic because it emotionally floored me so hard that I wouldn't have been able to concentrate on anything else, not after the thorough emotional wringer I'd just been put through. It is a difficult fic to read if you're sensitive to the Loki feels thing, but I wouldn't say this is a tragic fic, even if it's not all sunshine and roses. But, if I had my way, this is actually quite possibly my ideal (actually possible) scenario for how Loki's return to Asgard would go. It is beautifully written and focuses on Loki's interaction with these four characters, it captures all that rage and hurt he has that are just absolutely storming inside him, and slowly wades through all of that to begin to bring Loki back around.

About halfway through this fic, I got a misting of tears in my eyes that would not leave me alone for the rest of the ride, not when Loki's family loves him so much but they understand him so little. Not when the conversation with Odin was fucking exquisite in both characterization and wordplay and just what Odin had meant and planned for with Loki. It's a combination of emotionally devestating (that I would say is ultimately in a good way) and a brilliant, brilliant look at the characters that left me with that breathless feeling I get over fic sometimes, making this one of my favorites in fandom pretty much instantly. Even the ending was brilliant--because, how do you bring a character like Loki back to himself in just under 6k? You find something somewhere in the middle like this fic so deftly does.

Break by kneelinganon (the_netherlady) (nee Mending by anonymous), thor & loki + avengers, 19k
    (Why didn't you let me go?) "Let me help you, brother." (Not your brother. Never your brother.) "All things can be mended." (You are a fool.)
    Note: I read this on Norsekink, but I see it's since been moved to AO3.
    Oh, this fic was so good for me. SO GOOD FOR ME. The prompt was a long one, where Thor brings Loki to Midgard post-movie, after his magic has been taken away, while Loki is unresponsive and all too quiet, so it takes awhile to draw him out. It's probably about 17k words, I'd guess, which gave it enough time to be a satisfyingly paced adjustment to life on Midgard, life with the Avengers, to slowly start drawing Loki out. I loved the rotating points of view, the way each of the Avengers slowly got used to Loki being there, not really doing anything, just being quiet in his room, almost like a ghost in the tower. I loved how deeply Thor felt the loss of his brother's demeanor, how sad and angry it made him that Loki was just so quiet and not reacting to anything, it gave me so many goddamned feelings while reading this. Like, literally aching in my chest a couple of times because I just love these characters and want them to be fixed already!

Which isn't to say it's a terribly angsty piece in the sense that it broke my heart and didn't fix it. The title is "Mending", after all, so it's about the mending of Loki, the way it takes time for him to come around and want to interact with people again and, oh, the writing of this is so, so good. Thor's relationship with Loki is perfection, how deeply he cares, how much Loki cares in return even when he doesn't always show it, how they're forever entangled in each other, in bad ways, but also in really good ways. The pacing is lovely and, oh, there's action scenes and Loki being such a goddamned BAMF that, like, I could have spontaneously exploded on the spot! It's everything I want in fic that has Loki with the Avengers, slowly becoming part of them, with Thor being there for his brother, with Loki figuring himself out, with the sharp, sharp characterization, and giving me all the goddamned feels. Also, Loki talking to JARVIS about pigeons. I would read a dozen fics just like that, for serious.

Loki Names Everything After Thor by anonymous, thor & loki + background implied pairings, fluff, ~1k
    “Which Thor do you believe he is calling for?” Thor the Aesir asked.
    Loki names everything after Thor! This is another one of those norsekink fills that I totally jumped right onto because I needed something happy to cheer me up when I was feeling grumpy and mopey. It's short but adorable and I love that I don't know if Loki really is just terrible at naming things or loves Thor that much without realizing it or is a little shit about it or some combination of all of them. Probably a combination of all of them. Adorable!

Sometimes a cigar by intangible_girl, thor & loki + avengers + background canon pairings, psychology, 5.2k
    It begins, oddly enough, with Oedipus. It doesn’t linger there very long, of course. Oedipus has nothing to do with it, or, if he does, Thor (Loki) is more lost than he likes to think about. But that discussion (of Freud, of his legitimacy, of cigars and the messages of dreams) is where he first hears the word psychology.
    I will be giving mild SPOILERS for this fic in this rec, because they are ones that I would want to know ahead of time. I won't say precisely how this ends, but I will say that it's not a happy ending. There is hope for the future--or at least I want to read into it--but this story itself does not end happily, even if it's not utter tragedy. That said, oh, this is GORGEOUS. After the events of The Avengers, Thor returns to Midgard and learns about the culture there and comes across the idea of psychology, which gives him a whole new world of insight into what's happening with Loki. And this story is all about Thor desperately trying to reach out to Loki, to understand why he's like this, to help him truly and it gave me all the feelings in the world, for how much Thor loves his brother and works to understand him. While this Loki is further gone than I think he was, the author sells it beautifully, there are no pulled punches here, with everything between them, with the other characters around them, with just... everything. While I definitely think you should have something happier on hand to read afterwards, I do still very much recommend this story as it's beautifully done and, oh, what I wouldn't give for the sequel to it.

Touch by skiesovergideon, thor & loki, pre- & post-movie, angst, 2.4k
    The first time Loki holds his hand, Thor is three and Loki is just a baby.
    Six scenes in which Thor and Loki hold hands. It starts out so adorable and sweet, when they are just tiny little children, and you want to believe this could be a happy, adorable fic. But your heart still aches because you know what's coming and come it does. The writing of this is lovely, the author uses these scenes across the characters' lives and relationship to show the story of them and how things change, yet how it's no less depthful for that. It aches, but in a beautifully done way, it aches because they love each other and hate each other, because they're so tangled up in each other, even when there's so much distance and, ahhhhh, I ate this one up.

Bunny Slippers (for Lack of a Better Title) by katsu, thor & loki, 2.2k
    Everyone said that Thor was Loki's greatest enemy. These were all people that had watched far too much TV and probably enjoyed epic fantasies like Lord of the Rings and anything that involved elves.
    I finally sat down with this fic today, which I've been meaning to do for ages. And it was such a fun piece! The author has a delightful sense of comedic timing and an eye for details and making everything really sharp and funny. I can't say that this is precisely my Loki, but there's an elegance to him that I definitely agreed with, and, oh, his complicated relationship with Thor was pretty great. Plus! Footnotes! Used quite well! So delightful.

The Calculator by katsu, thor & loki + avengers, plot fic, 38.9k
    It began with a calculator. A clunky thing, the size of what would be considered to be a laptop these days, with giant keys for punching in numbers and only four functions. But it was fascinating to a young boy that liked mathematical functions far more than he liked people.
    This is a sequel to Bunny Slippers, which would probably help to have read first, I think. This fic is the real reason I wanted to dive into this author's work, because I desperately need more ~40k fic in my life. I neeeeed it! And how I felt about the previous fic holds true for this one as well--beautiful writing, beautiful sense of comedy and the timing to make it perfect, a fantastic eye for detail and when to put them in, hilarious footnotes! But also this Loki is more... there's rage and elegance and appreciation for the finer things in life, which all fit with my Loki as well, especially the part where he's smarter than almost everyone else in every room ever, but this Loki is... a little more Joker than I usually see the character as being. He's gleeful and random, which... it's not a bad thing! Certainly, I rolled with it quite well and wound up enjoying the hell out of this fic, I saw where the author was coming from, and I was absolutely charmed by this Loki. He was poised and refined and so, so brilliant, always thinking, if bordering on manic levels of thoughts always racing through his head, and, oh, I was so satisfied with his relationship with Thor here.

But also this fic was satisfying because it had a plot and everything! Loki's up to his usual shenanigans and, for once, it backfires on him and he brings a robot to life and it sucks out all his magic, which means Loki has to deal with this shit with just his wits, which is still more than enough, but it also means the Avengers get involved, which means fucking Thor gets involved and it's a lot harder to shake him off, and, oh, Thor finds Loki HILARIOUS at times and I fully agree with this because, yes, I totally think Thor thinks Loki's hilarious when he's being an evil little shit on purpose. It's also in how this author uses Loki's magic being gone as a way to make him deal with his Jotunn heritage a bit more, uses it to show that Loki is not just defined by his magic, that it's only one part of him, uses the entire situation to show how Loki is full of just so much rage. Uses it to show that he has such anger at Thor, but also loves him so dearly. This Loki is a charming fucker and and and! Working with the Avengers! It was written before the movie came out, so it's not movie-compliant, but if you squinted a little, it could probably just simply take place in the future, a few years down the road. I really enjoyed this a lot, it was so nice to have a fic that was just FUN to read and sink into again today! And the author really is amazingly talented and, ahhh, I love this fandom a lot.

What Once Was Lost Returned by DemonQueen666, thor & loki + loki/angrboda + other mcu characters, jotunn!loki, divergent timeline, 74k
    Things go very differently on the ill-suited venture to Jotunheim when the Frost Giants notice something about one of the invaders. But their decision to "rescue" what they assume must be a kidnapped Jotun has many unexpected and far-spanning consequences...especially for Loki himself.
    OKAY, THIS FIC. I decided, all right, I needed something long to sink my teeth into the other day, so, sure, why not a 74k fic. I figured that I'd slowly poke away at it, maybe finish it after three or four days. NOPE, I read that sucker all in one afternoon because I could not put it down. The writing and world-building is gorgeous here, when the Frost Giants realize who Loki is towards the beginning of the movie and decide that they're going to take their lost prince back. It then becomes everything a story like this needs to be--a massive case of depression, culture shock, and reeling from a lack of self-identity, which means he has to figure out who he is all over again. All of this wrapped up in some really breathtaking world building.

I think this author's version of Jotunheim might be my favorite yet--the way Loki's brothers treat him (being the eldest means that they have to bow to him, his youngest brother being surprisingly sweet and gentle and naive, if still really huge, his middle brother suddenly being placed in the role that Loki had as Thor's younger brother), the way Laufey treats him (as the crown prince, the intended heir, despite his size, giving allowances for his shock and being raised as Aesir, but not without a harshness of an iron fist), the way Jotunheim has all this culture to it, the way I was wary of Angrboda at first, because I had no sense of her as a person, but eventually became rather fond of her, all of it is beautifully done. So, I loved it for those aspects, for being the kind of fic that is beautifully paced, gorgeously detailed, and reads like it could have been a professionally published story, it's so smooth and clean. It was wonderful to just sink into this story and not come out for hours because it was so engrossing!

But, oh, my favorite part was the relationship between Loki and Thor. I was wary of the fic at first, because Thor's presence in it wasn't that much in the early chapters, it was more focused on Loki finding his own role in life, figuring himself out, finding a surprising amount of peace and acceptance on Jotunheim, which I loved because I desperately want that for him. I would still have loved this fic even if Thor's presence had been neglible. But, eventually, Thor comes roaring into the story, smashes his way back into Loki's life, and, oh, it's heartbreaking and gorgeous, because Loki has this new life now, because he thought he had been abandoned by his Aesir family, but Thor still loves him so much and wants to rescue him and he misses Loki so terribly and it's hard because they can't go back and, just. This fucking fic totally put tears in my eyes because of how much I felt while reading it. Yeah, okay, so I'm weak to the relationship between Thor and Loki, I definitely got that ache in my fannish heart as they clashed and tried to make each other see reason, but the way the scene built up, the gorgeous resolution as everything finally spilled over and they laid everything out, ahhhh, that's what I read fic for.

The Spaces Between by Lise, thor & loki & frigga, 10.8k
    There's a theory that goes that there's a universe created for every possible choice you make in life. Loki's made a lot of choices. He could make a lot more. Or, the one where Loki wanders through AUs of his life and it starts fucking with his head.
    I've had my ups and downs with the fandom of late, but I suppose I always knew that there was going to be that one fic that came along that would break me down and have me come crawling back, because I loved it enough and had enough feelings about it that I wouldn't be able to contain them. And, well, here I am. It's not surprising that it's one by Lise, who is an author I will read pretty much absolutely anything for, but a story where Loki travels through various Divergent Timelines, different worlds where a decision altered the course of his life in one way or the other? Oh, hell, yes, give me that right now.

And this is brilliantly written, both for the different worlds giving me all these feelings--both happy and sad, heartbreaking and hopeful, sweet and bittersweet and just bitter in all the right moments--for being a fantastic concept and using it as a platform to showcase Loki looking at his life choices and what he really wants, forcing him to face up to some truths because of what he sees. The author is one of those that writes both characters brilliantly, she knows how to write a viciously angry and resolute Loki, but also knows how to write Thor who is... as unmoveable as a mountain, even as he's unsure of what to do or say, how to get through to Loki. A large part of why this was the fic that finally broke me is because of Thor, the way this author writes him and how exquisitely in character he is here.

But I also can't lie, the tie between these characters and all the different worlds that always seem to center on Loki's relationship with Thor, that was exactly what I wanted. This may not be an explicitly romantic relationship, but it's very easy to see it as pre-slash in so many moments, especially when Loki burns with jealousy over Thor's relationships with other people. That's used with such a deft and subtle hand that it fits the characters at this point in time perfectly. Even the ending, as difficult as it is in some ways (ways that it's meant to be), is perfect because it's not meant to be a complete resolution, instead focusing on getting Loki to take the first step, which is where I would want it to end anyway.

Everything about this fic was brilliantly written, I couldn't tear myself away from it until I was done reading, and, oh, I definitely got a little misty-eyed in all the right places. If I could read nothing but Lise's fic in this fandom, I think I would be satisfied forever--even if sometimes I would like to pin her down and make her write fluff once in awhile. Just sometimes, though. Because this is the kind of punch to the feelings that makes me feel like there's a point to it.

A Battle None Too Vicious by dreamlittleyo, thor & loki, pre-movie, ~1k
    In which Thor doesn't get his way and Loki is exasperated.
    Oh, I love this fic. I love it because Thor is so... good-naturedly spoiled, when it comes to Loki and that's a lot of what I see in the early scenes of Thor. Someone who is used to getting his way, who is used to everyone doing what he wants, but isn't cruel or mean about it, he's good-natured and supportive, but still... spoiled. So, when Loki decides not to go with Thor on a campaign, Thor is annoyed by this and Loki is... Loki and, ahhhh, so good and so many feelings about it! Because it's all about how Thor always wants Loki around and it's about hugs and that's always good for me.

Did you mourn by Fallain, thor & loki + other asgardians, ~1k
    Thors thoughts while he's standing on the mountain with Loki in the Avengers, having his brother back with him after he believed him to be dead.
    There's something about this fic that just... in a way, it's simple, the way Thor thinks about how he mourned for Loki after the events of the movie, how devestated he was that his brother was gone, how it felt like Loki should still be there in his room, in the palace somewhere, even when Thor could all too clearly see him let go of Gungnir and fall into the abyss. In that way, it's almost simple. And yet... it still stirred up all my feelings, my aching for Thor who mourns the loss of his brother, stirs up feelings of my own loss and how I know that feeling too well. In another fandom I might have cared so much, but in this one? So many feelings.

Five Times Thor Failed to Bring Out the Jotun in Loki, and Once He Succeeded by omnicat, thor & loki, fluff, humor, 2k
    Or asking things like, “Can I see it?” “See what?” “What you look like as a, you know, a Jotun.”
    This was totally adorable and cracky and fun! It's five lolarious times that Thor tries to see Loki in his Jotun form (since he's never seen it and Loki keeps refusing), each in deligthfully batshit ways that drive Loki up the wall. The extra fun part is that, of course, Loki hardly stands for it--oh, he tries to be patient, but eventually that patience snaps and he does some awful little shit thing to Thor. Who, btw, totally deserves it. It's adorable brotherly fluff and it's a great use of the Five Times style and, oh, the ending was just perfect and wonderful.

Loki Sky-Treader by Zeta_Tauri, thor & loki, 12.5k
    Loki spends too much time in his room, Thor's decided. The solution to this problem is clearly to drag Loki out to Vanaheimr for an adventure!
    Oh, this fic was amazing for me! It did all the things I wanted from such a story--there was adventure and sorcery and all the trappings of the mythological world of Thor, there was that delicious sense of how Loki is full of secrets and Thor doesn't always know Loki as well as he thinks he does, and this is beautiful Loki characterization here. I love that there's all these sides to Loki that Thor has never seen, because either he doesn't ask or assumes he knows Loki wouldn't be interested in these things or because Loki deliberately hid them, it's a tangled mess of all these things.

But what I really appreciated it for--even as I can't say I enjoyed it, since it kind of broke my heart a little--is that it fits with the Loki we know from the canon, that this isn't all fun and happiness and innocence. This Loki is a little shit and pisses people off and laughs about it and it's not just that it'll all come back to haunt him (though, that will happen as well, I'm sure) but that it shows that Loki has all these edges and a certain darkness to him. There's a sense of discomfort, both in Thor and the reader, at the kind of shit Loki gets up to, even as he makes friends with the dwarves and goes on an adventure with them.

At the same time, it's not all doom and gloom! There are many hilarious moments (Thor's arrogance that he knows how to deal with anyone and anything, that he'll always be in charge, and having that smack him in the face! or the gleeful way Loki and the dwarves tease each other and it's so delightful to see!) and, overall, this is a positive story. But it's a story that does a brilliant job of showing Loki's character and having Thor discover this side of his brother for the first time and not sure how to handle it. And, oh, I just tore through all 12k words of this because I couldn't put it down and it was beautifully paced and absolutely everything I could have asked for from it. And excellent, excellent read!

I used to be a god, but then I took an arrow to the eye by LulaMadison, thor & loki + clint & loki + avengers, fluff, avenger!loki, 9.1k
    Written for this prompt on Avengerkink: "One way or another Loki ends up more or less on the good guys side again. Working with the Avengers is his way of paying back Midgard for the lives he took, but Clint has his own beef with Loki. When Loki asks what price Clint would like him to pay for mind controlling him Clint repeats the whole arrow through his eye thing.

Loki agrees. It's a pretty fair price as far as he's concerned. He's not exactly looking forward to it, but hey, he'll have a family resemblance going for once. Whether or not Clint has him go through with it or changes his mind and asks for something else is up to you."

    This is the second fic in a series, but it reads well enough as a standalone, so it's up to you, if you want to read in order or not.
    I actually read this fic out of order (I read #3 before reading #2), so you definitely can read them in just about whatever order you want and I think I sort of like that I ended up doing it that way. Though, really, all you need to know for either fic is that Loki's had some time to calm down, get a bit of therapy (or the Asgardian version of it, anyway), so he's still a little shit, but a calmer, saner one and now he's working with the Avengers, who don't entirely trust him, but they're getting there. The fic happily embraces that it's meant for happier things, even as there's some occasional bits of angst (but it tends more towards fluffy angst than break your heart angst, which is much better for me) and that it's meant to be silly and light-hearted and fun. This Loki is much more interested in getting forgiveness than I might otherwise expect, the fic does toe the line of being borderline cracky at times, but it's always well-written, delightful, and has great gen team dynamics.

If you're in the right frame of mind for this (and I definitely had to be, I'd tried the fic previously, when I was more into harsh, poisonous Loki, so it didn't work for me then, no matter how well written it was, until I was ready for something happier and more positive), it's an absolute joy to read, especially the little details the author works in! That Thor and Loki both have ridiculously huge appetites (which is my headcanon, too), that Loki is fine with losing an eye because it's the punishment set and he'll suffer through it to get his debt cleared, but that he'll regrow the eye anyway (and could do it faster with magic, but that's against the punishment, which just... sort of quietly broke my heart, that Loki is so used to this), and in the meantime has trouble with depth, and Thor helping him in the background. I can't say that the Thor&Loki relationship is the heart and center of this fic, it's more about Loki&the Avengers (with a lot of Loki&Clint), but the author definitely has a solid relationship between them that worked so well for me. The author does a wonderful job of having Loki interact with several of the Avengers, really, and you know how I roll around in delight at that, when it's well done.

There's also so much humor in this fic, especially with Loki trying to navigate having a missing eyeball and as;dlfkjal;skj the scene where Loki casually announces he has brain damage! I was kind of rolling around with lolz because it was just so perfectly... Loki, the way he did it. Or the discussion of what therapy was like on Asgard! Or Loki getting bored when he's unable to go out with the Avengers! The author does a lovely job of showing that the characters all have their darkness in their pasts, but making me laugh and feel all warm and fuzzy in the meantime. It's just such an enjoyable series!

Six hugs a day keeps the doctor away by LulaMadison, thor & loki + tony & loki + avengers, fluff, avenger!loki, 12k
    As punishment for his crimes Loki was sentenced to treatment by the mind healers, who unfortunately got all their information on family therapy second hand from Thor. After his treatment, and despite being a full time member of the Avengers, Loki isn't exactly feeling great. Tony, being the helpful and generally annoying guy he is, decides that all Loki needs to cheer him up is a distraction, so he talks Loki into teaching him magic, but not everything goes to plan.
    This is the third fic in a series, but it reads well enough as a standalone, so it's up to you, if you want to read in order or not.
    I enjoyed this fic from the beginning, this is at a point where Loki is more comfortable with the Avengers, so more of his natural personality (ie, being a mischievous little shit) is starting to emerge again and, thus, I think it made for a better read for me before the second story. Though, I will admit that it does take a little away from the progress of the arc of the series, but they do each stand well on their own, even as one of my favorite things about them is that it's not really about... it's not about a big event or a drama bomb being dropped in their laps, it's more about daily life and dealing with everyday things. Which sounds kind of dull, but the author just absolutely makes it sparkle, especially as it shows Loki interacting with various members of the Avengers! For the most part, the main interactions here are Thor&Loki and Tony&Loki, but there's a good amount of Bruce&Loki as well. I love, love, love that the author touches on the emotional issues the characters have, that Loki seems depressed sometimes, that Tony kind of understands what that means, and so he starts poking and prodding at Loki, starts bonding with him, starts opening up to Loki to get Loki to open up in return. By the time the end of the fic rolled around, I have to say, I wasn't prepared to be as emotionally invested as I was, but, oh, the author did a lovely job of having more going on under the surface than I realized!

Where I knew I was going to love this series was when Loki started kind of trolling Tony and Clint with hugs (which Loki actually likes, but also likes annoying other people) with Thor standing over them all to make sure they hug Loki properly and Loki's absolute grin at the whole thing. Hugs and Loki being a little shit at the same time? Yes, sign me up for that, that is what I want with my Loki&Avengers interaction! I love the author's way with putting in all these little details (when Tony learns magic, the list of things he comes up to do with it! adorable!) and how I just grin my entire way through this fic and, oh, oh, did I ever shriek with love at the ending (Loki being so Loki is so much perfection that I just want to smooch up on the author forever) because it was perfect. I can't tell you how much I adore this series for being hilarious, for having delightful gen interaction with the team, for just being so well paced and well-written that it makes my heart happy. I wish I could write a better rec for this fic because it gave me such joy, but, well, here, have some keyboard mashing out of love intead: a;lsdkfjal;skjsljk

Great Ruins of an Unremembered Past by Lise, loki + thor + frigga + thanos, mildly nsfw for violent imagery, violent imagery + gore/torture, 8k
    There are a lot of things Loki would like to avoid. Imprisonment for life is one. Sleep is another. And under that, a whole lot of others.
    Well. So, this fic made me cry by the end of it. It's a brutal exploration of Loki's pain and issues and self-hatred and fears, tackling the kind of things that usually make me run screaming from a fic, done in such a way that I just could not look away from them and the author truly doing justice to just how horrifying a place Loki's mind is. Lise is not kidding when she says that Loki's a goddamned mess, but she writes him in such a way that it's utterly believable that he's not entirely evil and not entirely good, that he does monsterous things and continues to spit poison at everyone but also it's so very easy to have sympathy for him, that perfect balance that punches me straight in the feelings. The way she writes him interacting with Thor and Frigga especially are just breathtaking, the emotional connection he has with them (and I, in turn, have with these characters) punching me in the feelings so hard that, by the end of the fic, everything was built up to the final scenes just masterfully and put tears in my eyes as well. This is a brutal read, but that's what you're going to get when you're in Loki's mind, post-Avengers, and this absolutely delivers.

The Loki Sitters Club by zgory, thor & loki, loki & avengers, kid!loki, child endangerment themes, referenced pedophilia, 27.6k
    Due to the overwhelmingly hostile attitude in Asgard, Thor takes his newly reincarnated brother to Avengers Tower. Irritation turns to a grudging fondness which comes in handy when one of Loki's internet friends turns out to be quite dangerous.
    This fic is a mix of comics de-aging with movie Avengers, but that doesn't really slow the story down and it's really pretty easy to just roll with it. The writing is rough in places, it could use some polishing, and there are too many epithets, but the heart of the fic is abosolutely here. The characterizations are lovely, especially Thor and Loki, but seeing a kid!Loki with all of the Avengers is a delight! The first half is pure fluff and that's definitely the half that works better, but I'm easy for kidnapped characters and Thor ready to level a city to get him back and the comfort that comes after, which this fic delivered on in a way that made it absolutely worthwhile for me to read. Overall, it's light-hearted fare, but it was engaging as all get out, where I just kept reading "a few more pages" until I'd finished the entire fic and found myself willing to have kept going if I could have.

untitled [ mobile ver. ], thor & loki, ~1k
    Loki loved opals. It had surprised many back in Asgard, who had expected the young prince to hold a preference for emeralds or peridots, perhaps jade or the deeper sapphires, something more in tune with his tendency to favour forest hues, but in truth? The Liesmith preferred opals.
    This ficlet is all about focusing on the Thor/Loki relationship through the use of a gemstone, the details of the colors of them used to highlight aspects of their relationship, and make this work as a short character piece. I liked it especially because it was cute to think that, when they were younger, Loki would get Thor to help him go rock hunting, that the sweeter memories contrast against the more recent painful ones, and I just always like the way fic can take something like rocks and make a story out of the details. Bittersweet, but fun!

untitled by anonymous, tony/loki + thor & loki & tony, humor, protective!thor, ~1k
    "What are your intentions for my brother?" "Uh," Tony stalled, glancing now at Loki, whose jaw was now clenched, "I just thought I'd take him to a party for some bonding time? New team mate and all, and Cap's been going on about second chances, so-" "Fine," Thor cut in, "But you will not lay a hand on my brother."
    The prompt for this fic was already amazing (creepy protective big brother Thor has a chat with Tony about his intentions towards his precious baby brother), but then the fill was just as amazing as the potential for it. This is one of those things that I want to have more of pretty much forever, because it's screamingly hilarious and I love protective brother Thor that makes Loki's life difficult and Tony being like jesus fuck what am I about to stick my dick into here, but also because, I DARE YOU not to love a fic that contains the line: "You will not contact him with your genitals?" Even better, there's bonus fanart that's pretty amazing, too. Utterly, utterly hilarious.

A Wild Loki Appears by anonymous, thor & loki & other asgardians, jotunn!loki, 7.9k wip
    He has no name and no family, no language, no concept of time or its passing.
    This fic came from such an interesting prompt (Odin never took the abandoned baby from the temple, so the baby grew up on his own, feral) and the author does a gorgeous job with the prompt. And that's what made me so conflicted about this, because the author does such a tremendous job that I can see it so perfectly--this Loki is still brilliant, but has never been taught anything, so he has no sense of self or ability to communicate or thinks of anything but survival. This Thor is still young yet, so brash and arrogant, especially without his younger brother to temper him. So, when Thor and his friends go on an adventure in Jotunheim, running into the wild, feral creature, it's beautifully done, there's so much rich detail even without having to put forth a lot of time spent on it, so much grace in the writing, and yet I kept thinking how this was almost a tragic fic more than anything, just because of what never happened in this universe. It's still worth reading, it's still got some amazing adorable moments and I would love to see this continued (though, it also ends at a good point), it's brilliant, but... eh, maybe I'm just too attached to smarter-than-you!Loki, I suppose. XD Still, this fic is amazing, it's totally worth a read!

Legerdemain by spaceleviathan, thor & loki + other avengers, 2.2k
    They try to attack when Loki is locked up in Asgard's dungeon.
    This is more a snippet than anything, a moment between battles, but it's deliberately so and works for that. It was fun to see the Avengers briefly in Asgard, but it's a Thor & Loki piece (well, a Loki piece, but with a fair amount of Thor in it) and it was their scenes that were the best. I loved it for how it's simple, but it fits so well with how Thor knows his brother, but keeps trying with him anyway, and how this Loki is so... gracefully, pleasantly mad. And always dangerous. Short but very interesting!

No Such Liberty by Xparrot, thor & loki + other asgardians + avengers + thanos, action fic, redemption fic, 147k
    Thor takes Loki back to Asgard in chains, but this does not mean that the god of mischief's schemes are ended, or that Thor has or ever will give up on his brother. But when Thanos threatens the realm to claim his lost prizes, on which side will Loki fall?
    Note: I don't believe I've done a rec for the fic as a whole, but instead wrote chapter by chapter recommendations (for awhile), which I do eventually want to pick up again. This fic is very dear to me, I was lucky to test read it as Xparrot was writing it and so I claim no objectivity at all, except I still think it's objectively one of the best the fandom has to offer. Certainly, this fic spoiled me for Thor characterization and the entire fic is so worth the ride. Even if you normally only read pairing fic, I still recommend this one for Thor/Loki fans!
    Chapter 01: Oh, you guys. I am going to write the worst recs for this fic. The absolute worst, because I'm going to have a hundred feelings all at once and I'm going to nearly keyboard smash my way through a rec for probably every chapter as it gets posted and flail wildly and nobody's going to take me seriously and I know all of that ahead of time, but, god, this Loki. This fic is going to be so good for me. Even when the first chapter is mostly just Thor and Loki showing up in Asgard again after the events of The Avengers movie, what this fic is already doing is taking its time to lay out the groundword of the aftermath--their arrival, Thor talking with Odin (and, oh, this Odin really gets under my skin, because I can't entirely blame him, but sometimes I worry so much about what's in his head...!), then Thor talking with his friends--every inch of this fic is already working towards getting inside Thor's head and trying to get him to understand Loki, showing that Loki is not so easily swayed, if only he were, because that would be so much easier, and even in just a few lines, just a sentence of description of when Thor looks over at Loki when they arriave, it says everything about Loki and what he is/isn't. It's one of those fics that seems fairly straightforward on the surface, but the more I read it, the more I realize everything that's going into it, the more that's being woven in that I never saw the first time around, and the more I love it.
    Chapter 02: Ahhh, the second chapter of this fic is so good. It's two scenes, both set from Thor's point of view (as the fic is a Thor pov piece), one with Frigga and then one with Loki. Both of the scenes put this dull ache in my chest while reading, an emotional weight there that comes from just starting to wade through the aftermath of The Avengers, of finding Loki back in Asgard for the first time, and how there's so much to untangle. This Frigga is absolutely gorgeous, the way she loves her sons so very much, even as she is ever calm and graceful, the way the slightest tightening of her lips, the way Thor hurts for her and for his brother, the sense of... just not quite knowing where everything went wrong or how to approach this. It's a stunning scene with beautiful background details of the world around them and their childhood woven in. It's the same for when Thor goes to see Loki for the first time since they came back and Loki is so... he's so incredibly hard to read, everything could have a dozen different meanings, and each one of them heavier and harder than the last. This Loki is stunning, he's graceful and deadly and all he has to do is stand there and tilt his head this way or twist a question around so that you have no idea what he means. It's gorgeous to watch Thor slowly start to try to parse Loki's words, that same heavy weight in my chest at how I just want things fixed already.
    Chapter 03: I loved this chapter because it does such a lovely job of building up the things that don't often get built in fic--the background world and the more mundane things like actually rebuilding the Bifrost--and yet does it in such a way that's both interesting and serves purpose! This chapter does a lovely job of showing how Thor has grown as a character, when he's in a situation where he has to be more diplomatic rather than a warrior, yet without sacrificing everything that makes him Thor. And I am delighted by how well rounded the dwarves and builders feel in this fic, because they actually feel like they have their own reasons and motives and personalities! And this chapter also starts to touch on Odin's role in all of this, who is so inscrutable and hard to read (which drives me up the wall because I just want my happy family back--!) and, when Loki picks apart the exact words Odin says to Thor, it's this... it's almost like this game of chess between two brilliant people, two people that are more similar than a lot of people seem to realize, two people who are out of Thor's league when it comes to logic. This fic does a beautiful job with that, does a beautiful job with showing Thor actually taking steps out of his usual comfort zone to help his brother, which gives me SO MANY FEELS, I just love Thor's character SO MUCH here, but also shows that Thor is growing into this even more amazing person and just... I really want to roll around in the feels with this fic.
    Chapter 04: This fic is RUINING me, you guys. Like, you don't even understand how badly. I fell in love with it because of the intensely fantastic Loki characterization, but where it really got me is in the way it slowly sneaked up on me with the Thor feels and, wham, all of a sudden I realized, whoa, this is actually some really thoughtful, incredibly insightful Thor characterization. This chapter isn't even really about Thor himself that much, but about Loki and the beginnings of his twisty and turny interactions with Odin and whatever it is that he's plotting to get himself out of trouble and yet it's still ruining me! Because this Thor is thoughtful while still being a warrior at heart, because he loves Loki dearly, but he hopefully knows better than to trust him. Plus, this chapter has some gorgeous delicate word choice from Loki, who really is a wordsmith here, who knows exactly the right thing to say to get the reaction he wants, who knows how to weave or undo a spell at the perfect time, and this fic has the single best use of "Laufeyson" I've yet come across in this fandom, because it makes sense here! Ugh, this is turning into my favorite Loki characterization and favorite Thor characterization in the fandom. Fuck this fic for being so good.
    Chapter 05: Yes. Yes, I am going to do separate recs for each chapter (despite that I've let the fic build up for a bit) because I am so dearly attached to this fic and it's one of my favorites and has been deeply influential on my thoughts/feelings on the characters in fandom. By which I mean, fuck, this fic is ruining me for Thor characterization in fandom! Though, this chapter really allowed Frigga a chance to shine, when she visits Loki in his cell and, oh, it's perfect, especially as seen through Thor's eyes, the way Loki is softer towards her, the way he'll accept things from her he won't for others, the way her words aren't twisted around by him, the way he makes his first semi-apology to her. You can feel the weight of emotion there between both of them, despite that they're both such elegant, reserved people and that's perfect. But this chapter sings in other ways, especially the little details being worked in, like Thor's remembering of when they shared a bed as children, with absolutely delightful Loki characterization even just in Thor's thoughts! Or how there's a sense of... even when Loki is right in front of Thor, it feels like he's slipping away and that's gorgeously done, too.
    Chapter 06: As much as I love this fic for the Thor characterization (and, boy, do I), I also love it for the Loki characterization! The way Loki... he has a way with words here, even at a distance, the way he can stir people up and throw chaos bombs into a situation while not even being in the room is beautifully done here. He doesn't even have to work terribly hard at it! They don't even have to know it's his influence! And that is what I love in Loki characterization in fic. That as well as the way the builders and dwarves approach him--thinking that he can only lie so much about physical properties of things, it's not like he can just make stuff up about basic physics, and that's where he gets you, I keep thinking, EVEN WHEN I AGREE. But also this chapter has some amazing Odin moments, who is almost as much fun to try and analyze when seen through Thor's point of view, because he knows some things about his father, but can't follow all the complex, twisty thoughts that must be going on in his head, which also adds further twistiness to the questions of Loki's motives, because Odin's vague answers are SO INTERESTING and they capture my imagination and I just... want to pull all the characters apart and see what makes them tick!
    Chapter 07: One of the other things I love about this fic is that it's so filled with background stories in Thor's thoughts, which accentuate the present, rather than getting the current Loki lost in the vision of the past. What I mean is... Thor is working to see Loki as he is now, he's so much more clear-eyed on who his brother actually is, but Thor is also putting this together with the memories he has of when they were younger and that is so much what I want. Not everything was terrible or a lie, not everything should be forgotten, not everything was untrue. So, Sif bringing up a memory that she's reminded of when watching Loki, it makes you question his motives now, what Loki is planning and plotting (because Loki must always be doing so), it left me with a sense of unease toward Loki's character even when I couldn't pinpoint what it was he was doing, but also worked to paint a fuller picture of who Loki is over the expanse of his entire life, not just that Loki and this Loki. Also, Loki showing more of his true self and thoughts (instead of being diplotmatic for once) around Thor? Yes, good for me, give me that. And, oh, be glad that chapter 8 has already been posted, because this one would have ended on a bitch of a cliffhanger.
    Chapter 08: This chapter is very difficult to talk about without getting into spoilers, but here goes! As I was rereading this chapter, the pacing of it struck me as being so well done, that this chapter has the kind of direction of story that makes a reader think back on everything they've read up to this point, it makes a reader desperately want to get inside Loki's head and examine every little gesture or word he's said. It's extremely satisfying--even if it's not something I can say I wanted to happen--because it was obviously inevitable and such an important turning point in the story. Rereading this chapter, I remember the first time I did so, how it was a bit confusing as to what precisely just happened at a certain point, but that I could trust the fic to explain it (and, oh, it will) and how much this chapter ripped my heart out, how it put tears in my eyes because I just cared so much about everyone here. And, oh, this fic has one of the best Frigga scenes I've ever read, pretty much.
    Chapter 09: And this is the chapter where everything falls apart, where there is so much hurt and heartache, it's a terrible chapter to be left on a cliffhanger for, but I know this author can be trusted to have written such a situation because she uses them to break the characters down so that she can build them back up. I don't mind angsty stories, I eat them up frequently! But the angst needs to have a point for me (aside from "they're a doomed pairing!") otherwise it's not satisfying--but, as painful as this is, and I believe it should be the nadir of the fic, there's a reason for it here. And that makes a huge difference to me. All the more so, because this is used as a way to show that Loki is Loki, that Loki will always be Loki and that one of the greater points of this story is that Thor has to see Loki for who he truly is, that he has to accept both the good and bad in Loki, if he ever wants a real relationship with his brother again.

And, yes, things are harder now because Loki is still so damaged and twisted up inside after the events of the movies, he's still so freshly wounded here, but... the other point of this fic is that, even when there are explanations for Loki's behavior, they do not excuse it. He is just not justified here. That also makes a huge difference to me! But the real reason this fic is one of my favorites is, for all that I love Loki, it's that Thor as well has so many important things to go through, he has to learn to think, to learn to puzzle things out. Loki is the perfect motivation for that, because Thor loves his brother so dearly and he has to work so hard to genuinely understand his brother, which is a natural extention of what was (hopefully) started in the movies. This fic gives me as many Thor feels as it does Loki feels, because I never side against him, no matter how much I desperately love Loki, and there is little that I want more than for BOTH of them to have to progress as characters.

And, one more thing, Frigga continues to be amazing here. I love her just for herself, because she makes me feel all these things for her character, for how much she loves both her sons, for how she loves Loki, but she also loves Thor, how she's refined and elegant, how she's regal and calm, but you can just feel so much right along with her. She's beautifully characterized here, but it's also in the way that she's used to show that there is more than one side to this issue. Little turns me off faster in Thor&Loki fic where one side is completely in the right and the other is completely in the wrong. Here, I understand where everyone is coming from and I love that Frigga is used to further this, that Loki is not justified, he's done terrible things that cannot be swept aside, but neither is he without explanation. This fic is ruining me for the rest of fandom, goddammit.
    Chapter 10: I realize that nearly all of this fic has been posted and normally I would read through everything that had been posted since the last time I did an update rec, but this fic is special to me so I'm going to do what I want, Thor. I will eventually do an easier to read rec once the whole fic is finished, but in the meantime I just have so many things to say that I'm going to do this for awhile. (Since this recs blog is my way of vomiting up my feelings, this works best for me.) One of the things that this fic taught me was that it's brilliantly structured, so that there is no point in the fic where my attention lulled as much as it might have, given that there are so many high points and exciting things happening, which is one of the things brilliantly captured in this chapter. Beyond this point I am going to talk about SPOILERS FOR UP TO THIS CHAPTER, which means you shouldn't read this if you haven't started in on the fic yet!

In the previous chapter, Loki made another grab for the Tesseract and came dangerously close to succeeding before they managed to stop him. After scenes like that, it can be difficult to go back to quieter events in the aftermath, unless the author takes the chance to really capitalize on what those events change for the characters. This is a major turning point for the characters and the plot, because Loki's motivations were revealed and this is what he was counting on and, oh, you can feel his desperation here when his plans have gone awry, in that way that's just the hint of mania leaking through that you know means there's so much more under the surface. And this Thor is exquisite in just how angry he is with Loki, how very close to the line of just being done with his brother that he is, except you can also feel the love underneath that. With most of the story, the focus is on Thor, but this chapter especially shows Loki and, oh, he's so perfect here. This is absolutely pitch-perfect post-Avengers Loki, that precarious balance between a master manipulator and someone who genuinely is on the brink of losing his sanity, someone who is all sharp edges and desperation even as he's brilliant. This is a Loki that you're always looking to see what's underneath everything, until you catch that glimpse of something so painful and heartbreaking that it just punches you in the feelings. There's one of the most powerful scenes for that in this chapter.

But there's also an action scene, where the fight between Thor and Loki is beautifully done and does justice to both characters and there's this sense of... this scene is almost cathartic, whether for the characters or the reader, to have some of Loki's anger finally vented and, oh, what's beautifully done as well is the progression of Thor's feelings. After Loki did such a terrible thing previously, how can they possibly go anywhere from there? But this fic achieves that and I cannot tell you how impressed I am by that.
    Chapter 11: For all that the central focus of this fic is on the Thor&Loki relationship, for all that the plot and the heart of the story revolve around those characters and their relationship with each other, this is also a fic about Thor as a character and the progression of character he undergoes. The fic never directly spells it out for you, but one of the best things is that you can feel that it is because of Loki that he goes through so much maturing, even if it's by painful means. You can feel that in this chapter, where they do not interact directly, where instead Thor converses with the dwarves and Sif instead, but his thoughts never stray far from Loki, nor is there any cessation in Thor's constant struggle to figure this morass out. Beyond this point I'm going to talk about SPOILERS for up through the chapter previous to this, so please only continue if you've already read that far.

In the previous chapter, the confrontation between Thor and Loki was about how Loki's plans have fallen to pieces and that causes Loki to spin out of control again, which shows more of the chaos that's roiling inside him and it gives Thor a lot to think on. That's at the heart of this chapter and I love that the fic does a couple of things with it--the use of his conversation with Sif here to parse the events of the previous chapter is lovely. It would be easy to be frustrated with Sif, who does not love Loki as Thor loves him, but if you think of her position, it's entirely understandable--I, too, am far less forgiving of those who hurt my dear ones than I am of those who hurt me directly. Sif's anger is at the burden this has placed on Thor and I can't help but understand that, even as I rather desperately want to leap to Loki's defense.

But it's this conversation with her that allows Thor to confess what happened there, when Loki goaded Thor into nearly killing him and just what that means and how deep Loki's damage runs. It's satisfying to see Thor realizing more of what's truly going on with Loki, learning to read his brother better than ever, but also just because it's emotionally satisfying as a dramatic twist to the plot. And that's what I love about this fic, there's so much thought and care in everything that happens, it always serves a purpose and moves the story along. The rebuilding of the Bifrost is focused on in this chapter as well and it's utterly delightful on a world building level, because I love that it makes sense that they would of course be working to rebuild it as quickly as possible, it lends a sense of a more fully fleshed out world and plot to this story. I love stories that deal with the culture and world of Asgard, to have them truly a part of a story that's still about the Thor&Loki relationship at its heart is just the best for me.
    Chapter 12: In a way, it's difficult to limit myself to one chapter per night these days, because I don't want to conflate the events of one chapter with those of another so I force myself to just one, because the fic is so well structured that, even knowing what happens, I just want to continue reading because I know that there will be more feelings just around the corner and each chapter is well designed to flow into the next. And I love that, even a couple of chapters after Loki's grab for the Tesseract and how that destroyed all the trust he'd built up, we're still feeling the aftermath of it so intensely, which I love because you can feel the nadir of that event slowly passing, that it's slowly smoothing out again, even if the fic keeps you devastated at just how damaged Loki is and how he really is like an onion being peeled back, both in terms of his lies and what he's covering up by acting like he's still together.

This chapter is pure Thor&Loki feels, with Loki's mind just being an endless series of more and more bags of cats, and there's this beautifully heartbreaking sense of just how chaotic it is in there, even to Loki. I love the way this fic manages to get me to enjoy Loki's vulnerability, because that's when you can get the best chance of getting real truth out of him, yet my heart still breaks for him, and it's all done in a way that I have the utmost respect for. These moments are so hard won, so complex and convoluted to how they get there, it's tiring just to think back on all that's happened to get them here. There's so much conflict here, in this chapter especially, but also in the fic as a whole. The entire thing is about conflict and the characters struggling through it--Loki's conflicting desires and conflicting signals that he gives out, sometimes on purpose, sometimes because he's not entirely sane, the conflict between those two things, and the conflict to understand him. There's also so much conflict in Thor, who struggles to figure Loki out, to figure out how to believe in him after all that's happened, then struggles to let go of him, because he wants to walk away and be done, if Loki is going to do such terrible things, but Loki being so broken and damaged, without that excusing his actions, but at least explaining them, that further feeds into the conflict and struggle that Thor faces.

It's such an endlessly complicated and complex story that's being woven here and this is a chapter that is much quieter, but is used to show the greater struggle for it. Loki lays himself bare more than usual, so very tired and unsure of himself anymore, heartbreaking in the way that he thinks he's truly lost and doesn't know where to go. There's an incredibly difficult conversation about what happened the last time Thor visited him, when Loki nearly goaded Thor into using Mjolnir to kill him, and whether or not he still feels that way, which had my heart twisting around painfully all over again, as you could feel Thor imaginging Loki taking his own life again, you could feel all the images that evoked in Thor's mind as well as your own, you could feel the clawing need to make sure that didn't happen.

At this point, I think it's only about a third of the way into the story and yet the pacing feels perfect, for how it's taken this long just to crack Loki open just this much, so of course it's going to take even longer to get him to start setting himself to rights. Plus, this chapter also has Loki sleeping against Thor's shoulder and the revelation of just what's going on when Loki sleeps and how absolutely terrifying that is to learn at this point, to wonder how long that's been going on, to find yet another piece of the puzzle of Loki's damage. And it's gorgeous for that.
    Chapter 13: One of the recurring themes in this fic is Loki feeling used by Odin to sharpen Thor into a better king, that Loki himself isn't important beyond what he can be used for Thor's sake and how difficult it is to show someone that that's not true, when they're set on believing it. The scene in this chapter, between Frigga and Thor, also deals with this, in parsing truth from the twisted version of it, because brothers inevitably shape who the other will grow to be, as that's the way of any relationship, which fits with the larger theme of this fic. That it's difficult to figure out where the truth of such a question's answer can be found, the struggle to find it reflects Thor's greater struggle to find the truth of Loki in amongst the half-truths. And it's all the lovelier for Frigga's interaction with her son here and how much she loves both of them so much.

There is also a delightful reveal here about an earlier scene and how the author clearly planned this ahead of time, the revelation being worked into the narrative in a natural way, that it would come up in this conversation. I adore scenes with Frigga in them, especially because we get so few between Frigga and Thor, where you can feel how caught she is between all these extreme players who are at odds with each other, but she loves each of them so very dearly. That Frigga is such a calming influence, that she has insight to offer that none of the others in Thor's life could offer, especially because Loki is not entirely unlike his mother in many ways, especially all those that are graceful and subtle, all of that is wonderful to read here and makes this chapter no less enthralling for me than the high action scenes.
    Chapter 14: This is one of my favorite chapters from this fic, because the two 'sides' of the chapter are both things that I love with a fierceness and also show off just how much thought and care have gone into this fic once again. The first half is a scene where Odin visits Loki in his cell and there's so much to pull apart in that scene, so much to really look at and think about and contrast and compare, with these two characters that the writing does justice to, especially given how twisty and complicated they both are. The author does a brilliant job of showing how complicated these two are, because everything has double meanings and they both have these labyrithian thought/speech patterns, you see how Loki is very similar to his father in this respect! At the same time, the author uses this conversation between them to show Loki's unravelling state, that he has so much less than usual to hold him together, that he flies apart so much more easily, when put against another wordsmith who has the power to pull him apart.

It would be easy to cast MCU Odin too far to one side or another, either too soft or too hard on his son, but this fic does a gorgeous job of constantly making you unsure of what's going on with him, that it's so complicated, because Loki is his son, but he is also a king and a steward for so many that he must be responsible for and Loki has brought something truly terrible to their doorstep. This is not a character who is perfect, he probably steps over the line here, but I cannot hate him for it, because he feels so very real here. He feels weary and tired and powerful and torn between love and responsibility and, if I am going to give Loki some slack for character depth, of course I would want to do the same for Odin, even if we are never really inside the character's head.

The other half of the chapter is a scene between Thor and Loki, after Odin leaves and Loki is more of a wreck than usual and, oh, oh, oh, this is why I read h/c fic, because the comfort afterwards is what makes it so worthwhile. When Thor sees Loki like this again, when he's been pulled apart enough that Thor can genuinely start to understand him, when this hard won insight into his brother allows him greater understanding of just how much Loki suffers (even as that does not excuse his actions!), it's heartbreaking and breathtaking. I love all of it for the character progression, how this is as much about Thor learning to think even more deeply about the world around him as it is about Loki coming back from the edge, that sometimes you have to be broken to set things right, and that's a painful process. But I love it even more for the way Thor comforts Loki here, that doesn't even need to be about my usual preference for romantic interaction between them, because it's just so damn emotionally satisfying that it doesn't need to be anything more than what it is.

But truly best of all? While this is a fic that makes me feel so desperately for Loki, that makes me want redemption for him, that makes me aches for what he's been through, that shows his situation was so much more sympathetic and complicated than people might realize... while it does all of that, it never takes away from Loki's choices or that he continues to scheme and plot and do terrible things. This is a fic that's about untangling everything with his character, set through Thor's character progression, but is about understanding, rather than excusing. This Loki made his choices and there is so much good still possible, but it's not going to be without bumps along the way that Loki's hand put there.

J'entre dans la légende by fallintosanity (yopumpkinhead), avengers + loki + thanos, wakfu crossover, canon divergence, action fic, implied torture, 117k
    Loki is bound to deliver the Infinity Gauntlet to Thanos. But he knows as soon as Thanos has it he’ll destroy the Nine Realms and rule whatever’s left. It’s hard to be a king without a kingdom, so Loki has no intention of letting that happen. Thanos may be a titan, but Loki is still the God of Lies and Mischief…
    I've been reading this fic off and on for a few months now and I've finally finished it! It's not that it was a bad fic that it took me so long, just that it's one of those that... it was an intense ride and each scene had so much happening that I felt satisfied by just reading a chapter or two, as well as... this sounds like a back-handed compliment, especially on a genfic which works best as gen the way it was... but I still would read this fic, especially once it got into later scenes, and just desperately crave Thorki fic. It's a compliment because the writing of that relationship was the kind that got to me in such a thorough way that it really hit my fannish heart. So, if you're like me, I would suggest having a few pwp fics onhand to help with the cravings, but if you like them as purely brothers, then this fic is going to be really good. For a fic that initially had me worried about how the Thor&Loki relationship would play out, because they were distant to each other at first and I wasn't sure how important that bond would be by the end, this is actually one of the most moving fics I've read for them in awhile. It's not meant to be solely focused on them, but it's one of the major themes, so it's worth reading if you're a Thor & Loki fan!

Especially by the end, when the fic is ramping up into its climax, once the necessary revelations have been made, this fic is so good for the Thor&Loki feels. I'll admit, it veered too far into Loki apologia/favoritism territory by the end for it to be perfect, but I also freely admit that the fic brought tears to my eyes and that I found the balance between Loki's damage and his intentions to do better was really well done. This is a Loki who is trying to save everyone, but who is still broken and vicious, who is poisonously angry and hardened against so much of the rest of the world. This is a fic about how damaged Loki is and how that's not fixed by doing the right thing (though, maybe eventually, one day, he could heal, which I think will be the focus of the sequel fics) and I really liked that about the fic.

The fic does everything else right, too--the use of the Avengers and Asgard and Thanos was all brilliantly done, the kind of solid storytelling that screams of professional level writing and pacing and structure to me. The crossover with the series Wakfu is beautifully done, the two series fit seamlessly together, so that even the OC that Loki is paired with actually works. The character is necessary and she doesn't take over or crowd out the established characters or their relationships with each other, so I recommend reading even if you're not usually a fan, because the OC doesn't actually take up that much space. Everyone in this fic gets their crowning moment of awesome (though, Thor and Loki get the best ones, especially oh man Thorrrrrrr), because the fic does a fantastic job at juggling a large cast and making each of them relevant to the story. The voices for each of them are very solid, everything works here and it really is one of the best Thanos-dealing fics I've read in the fandom.

The sheer scope of this fic is incredible as well, both for just how much happens and for the reach of it, how many places this war spreads to and all that has to come together to stop it. At its heart, it's about Loki and Thor and the Avengers and the world of Wakfu, but it goes beyond that as well into the other Nine Realms. It's one of those fics that I inhaled the last third of the fic practically in one sitting because I could not stop reading it, because it was just so very much what I wanted out of this fandom and the plot fic potential possible here, and found myself so very envious because, ahhh, what I wouldn't do for a brilliant fic like this in the Thorki fandom, too. But I will totally take my genfic and eagerly start reading the sequels next and heartily, heartily recommend this to anyone looking for just plain good fic in this fandom.

who's left and who's leaving by Lise, thor & loki, h/c, 5.3k
    Thor decides he's about done with letting Loki get himself hurt and pretending he's okay with it. Loki's got two feet of steel through his lungs and is finding it difficult to argue. Family therapy, at its finest.
    This fucking fic, jfc. I'm biased because this was my request and because it's Lise, but still OH MAN this punched my buttons something fierce. Thor taking care of Loki, with anger and love and force, it's so very Thor. And this is one of those fics that might be from Loki's point of view, it might be in Loki's head, and Lise always does a fantastic job with Loki (which I will get to in a minute), but I loved it just as much for Thor as I did for Loki, absolutely. Because there is such weight and force to Thor's character, but that it comes from a place of caring, the older brother who is no longer going to watch Loki not take care of himself. There's anger from someone who has dealt with so much of Loki's terrible behavior and denial of what they are to each other, but still so much love beyond that, and that Thor openly embraces all of this, anger and love alike. He has such incredible presence here, when he's not trying to placate Loki in the way that he used to, which... because this is Loki, seems to crack open a few new chinks in the armor.

But that's not to say this Loki doesn't have the same sharp edges that Lise always gives him because, boy, does he. He's such a vicious little shit, such a complete messy mixture of desperate want and anger in a horrible combination that only makes me love him more. He pushes himself so hard for all the wrong reasons and Thor has had enough and, lord, it is glorious. It's so many kinds of good for me, it's the purest h/c you could ask for (with an element of forced h/c, but really more that Loki has jammed himself up so badly this time that Thor would be fine with letting him go except they both know Loki can't, so he's stuck then, isn't he, as;dlfkjasl;kj om nom nom nom that is the most delicious candy for me), and Lise did a gorgeous job with the prompt I gave her.

Open Road by KageOtogi, thor & loki & tony + other avengers, humor, road trip, 6k
    No one save Thor is particularly thrilled by Loki becoming an official member of the Avengers, but Loki somehow manages to charm the team into accepting him as one of their own. Or, well, most of the team. Tony manages to maintain his completely healthy and rational suspicion, of course, but with the other Avengers, Pepper Potts, and SHIELD conspiring against him, who knows how long that will last?
    So, I love road trips, I will read pretty much all of them, and if you give me "Thor's enthusiastic about his brother becoming an official member of the Avengers", well, shit, I'm going to be right on top of that. And I'm so glad I saw this one because there were at least five points where I totally lost my shit while reading this fic, because the author has an excellent grip on Tony's voice, including how to balance him well with other characters. Yeah, he's probably the star of this fic, but by no means are Thor and Loki not important here! They both get moments in the fic that had me laughing until I'd just about cried! And this is one of the rare fics where Thor is pretty deep into trope-heavy characterization, but I fucking loved it, because it was clearly done with affection and it wasn't about Thor being dumb, but that he just really loved and enjoyed shit. He wanted to see all the different things Midgard had to offer, the more ridiculous the better! Like, I can buy Thor that way in a humor fic like this, because that guy is living, he really enjoys life.

But the other half of the way this fic won my heart was in how very much Thor and Loki were clearly brothers, how you could feel the history between them, and how Loki might have been a cranky little shit, but you could still feel the affection there. And it was sharp and genuinely funny, every scene was pure road trip gold, the fic being an excellent example of why I read this trope in the first place! And I love how Tony tries to resist Loki's charm, who keeps that sharp edge and mystery of what his real motivations are, even as he's slowly winning over the Avengers, it's that perfect mix of keeping him to the character I recognize, keeping him brilliantly sharp and a scream to watch, while giving me something good. And also so, so many lolz. This was beautiful and perfect and if you don't want all the road trip fic in the world after this, I don't understand.

Codename Godzilla by Persephone_Kore, thor + loki + loki's kids + fury, 1.6k
    "What is that?" Fury asked no one in particular. "Godzilla?" "I'm not sure," Hill said, sounding more rattled than he'd ever heard her. "But I think it's on our side."
    I am completely enamored with this universe's take on Loki's children! "Grandchildren" was a favorite and this one is just as wonderful, plus you don't have to have read the other one to read this one! This take on Jormungandr at the end of The Avengers is fantastic, he's so genuinely terrifying, despite that his personality is so calm and unflappable. The author does a great job of showing the HOLY SHIT WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT reaction from the Avengers, that sense of how they have no idea what the fuck just happened, while the reader has an idea what's going on here, and that's kind of hilarious. I love those moments! Where OMG YES REVELATION/REUNION SCENE, GIVE IT, and the fic works on that level, too!

The interaction between Loki and his child, especially in such extreme circumstances, the way Jormungandr's presence changes the tone and direction of it is so emotionally satisfying, especially the reaction when Loki tells him that he's half-Jotunn. There are so many just flat-out awesome moments in this fic that I want to flail over (but also don't want to ruin the surprise of them!) and, oh, these versions of Loki's children are my favorites. Jormungandr being so massiave and yet so calm and wise, oh, it's just really good.

Drown the Echoes by Takada Saiko and Gabrielle Day, thor & loki + avengers, 17.1k
    A new threat is turning the Avengers against each other, using deep-seeded pains to cause rifts that may ruin the fledgling team. On Asgard, an imprisoned Loki thinks he may have an idea what it is they are up against, and they will need the trickster's help if they are to come out of it alive.
    This is the first story in a multi-part series that would help to be read in order.
    I finally sat down to read the beginning of this series, after stockpiling them for awhile, because I wanted some good longfic to read. And I'll grant that the first fic does drop you into the middle of shenanigans with the Avengers--which are never really fully explained, by the way, it just sort of gets dropped after the first chapter, at least as far as I am in the series--and the writing is just a shade rough around the edges. Which is largely only noticable because the rest of the fic is so satisfying--and I did find that the writing got smoother/easier to read as I went along, whether I acclimated or it simply smoothed out, I'm not sure. I do feel sort of badly even mentioning it, because there's a solidity to the writing that I crave in fic, these authors have the potential to be absolutely excellent, I feel, especially once the later entries in this series hit. And my final caveat is that this Loki winds up being a lot softer and saner than he might have been at this point in canon, but I can justify it because of the circumstances he's put in and because this is how I'd like to think of Loki when he's back to himself and not half-feral after the void. Okay, those are my caveats.

For all that these stories are gen, I almost want to label them as pre-slash, despite that I don't think that's where they're headed. It's more that... the relationship between Thor and Loki is everything that I usually look for in ship fic, except for the actual sexual relationship. There are some scenes between Steve and Tony (that also feel like pre-slash a bit) but the heart of the fic rests on the relationship between Thor and Loki, which is a deep connection and how they both tend to lose their shit when the other one is threatened. It's also about Loki whumpage, where I almost feel like it's a throwback to the heyday of h/c fic--and I mean that in a really complimentary way, because it's so satisfying, knowing that the hurt Loki suffers through is part of the story, part of the plot, and part of the narrative that's about mending his relationship with Thor.

It's about Thor holding his little brother after he's been hurt, because he's worried about him and about getting Loki back to Asgard and putting him in a position where he can accept help, all in that way that gives me a fuckload of feelings. And that is one of my favorite things about this fic, the way Thor is forever touching Loki as a way of showing his concern, even beyond his words, but it never feels repetitive to me. I'm sure part of that is that I always want more of it, of course, but the authors genuinely do well at showing it's about characterization, rather than that they can't think of anything else. There's also a delightful undercurrent of banter between Thor and Loki, the kind of obnoxious brotherly teasing that's starting to resurface after everything that's happened between them, and that is so very good for me, too. All of these things are aspects I was glad to read the story for, the focus on the emotional relationship between the characters being my favorite, of course, but I also loved how this definitely felt like the beginning of a much longer arc of stories and adventures. That that was something that definitely proved true as I continued to read.

Breath of Life by Takada Saiko and Gabrielle Day, thor & loki + odin + other asgardians, 23k
    As Loki and Odin try to find some semblance of common ground between them, Asgard comes to realize that the war with the Frost Giants was not entirely avoided with the temporary destruction of the Bifrost. The Jotuns have come to claim what was stolen from them. Everything that was stolen.
    This is the second story in a multi-part series that would help to be read in order.
    As much as I enjoyed the first fic, it was the second fic that really hooked me on this series as a whole, because the writing is even better and it whole-heartedly focuses on both the Thor&Loki relationship and Loki's issues, which are brought about by large quantities of Loki whump. The excellent thing is that the authors use it well--both in that Thor's protective instincts come out full force, but also in that we get to see Loki being a bamf and having an iron will that refuses to back down. At one point, he's so frayed and upset that he just unleashes magical hell on his enemies and, oh, that is such a good thing for me in fic! There's also an undercurrent of self-hatred with Loki here that's touched on, which isn't entirely resolved (because something like that takes time) but you can feel it being worn down over the course of the series, which is another reason that the frame of this series works so well for me. There's time to slowly progress the characters at a more natural rate!

This fic also contains action scenes, both physical and magical, it has both Thor and Loki being amazing fighters, but also using those fights to make them worry for each other--especially Thor worrying over Loki, because this is Loki whump and Thor's protective instincts run deep--and bring them even closer. There's also interaction between Loki and Odin which, in the previous fic, I was worried would be distant!borderline evil!Odin, but nope! Odin loves both his sons and he may clash with his youngest more often than not, but he genuinely loves him and demonstrates that without a doubt. I think that was when I knew I was probably totally gone on this series, when Odin saved Loki and was pleased that Loki called him "father" again and even brushed some of his hair back. I just-- I can't tell you how much I want to wrap those scenes around me and roll around in the feelings, when they're well done like they are here.

But, as always, the heart of the fic is on Thor and Loki's relationship, when Loki volunteers to go off to Jotunheim to help Asgard and Thor flat-out refuses to just leave him there, flat-out refuses to lose his brother again. So good for me. But also good for me is that there's a plot, more action sequences, and the Loki hurt being used to further the relationships and story. So many of my favorite things! There's more banter between Thor and Loki, there's more Loki needing time in the healers' rooms because he pushed himself too far (but was awesome while doing it), and I found that this is one of those rare fics that can put Loki and Sif at odds, but make me love both characters dearly. The fic doesn't villainize Sif, instead makes it clear that she's genuinely loyal to Thor and doesn't actively wish ill on Loki. Though, I think my favorite scene was the final one, with Thor being an absolute delight as an obnoxious older brother. That seriously has yet to get old for me.


AVENGERS/THOR: Expectations by Takada Saiko and Gabrielle Day
SUMMARY: Odin has made it very clear on the limitations he has set for his sons as to where they may and may not go as the princes of Asgard. When they slip past the guards yet again they must deal with the consequences.
NOTE: This is the third story in a multi-part series that would help to be read in order. (Though, this one can be read out of order, if you like.)
REC: This story is set pre-Thor, so the timeline of this fic series isn't 100% strict, and I like this one as part of the greater whole of the series, but also as a (sort of) stand alone about Thor and Loki's childhood. I feel like I don't read enough fic of them as kids like this, where they're such precocious little shits always getting into trouble, egging each other on just by virtue of their personalities, just a dash of competative qualities in both of them, but also clearly a team and they love each other dearly. The authors find a beautiful balance of all these things, as well as the trouble they get into when they sneak off for adventuring yet again. I love that, despite that this is a short piece and not that much time is spent on the background details, I still felt like this was a nicely fleshed out world they were running around in. But mostly I love this Thor and Loki, who are fucking precious, while still feeling in the spirit of the characters, they're adventurous little scamps here and I love that. (This is gen, but it also might as well be Thor/Loki.)


AVENGERS/THOR: Darkness Before Dawn by Takada Saiko and Gabrielle Day
SUMMARY: Loki has always suffered from rather vivid nightmares, but when they start to come alive, Thor just may have to save his little brother from himself.
NOTE: This is the fourth story in a multi-part series that would help to be read in order. (Though, this one can be read out of order, if you like.)
REC: This is another pre-Thor fic that contributes to the greater whole of the series, but also could be sort of a stand-alone if you like. Up to this point, I'd enjoyed everything these authors have written, I was definitely onboard with reading the entire series and happily making my way through them, content with wherever they were going, especially because nothing thrills me like post-Avengers fic that starts getting everything back on track again. But, with these authors, I find that I don't mind the detours back into past adventures, especially when it does all the things I want from a fic like this--magical shenanigans, Thor and Loki banter and bonding and working together, bucketloads of feelings, a sense of this being a well built world even without a lot of time spent on details, a good balance of all these things. There is more Loki whump, of course, but it's always in the same vein, where it's used to further the relationship between the characters, where it's used because the comfort part of the h/c is just as important, where it's about getting through Loki's clever words and shielding to get at more genuine things, where it's about Thor's protective streak towards his little brother.

This is also the fic where the relationship between the characters feels the most like pre-slash to me, so far. I still don't think that's where the authors are going and it's actually fine with me, I'm reading these fics for the emotional relationship (and I still feel like it's everything in a fully realized relationship, just without the actual sex) and the physical touches Thor gives Loki, which are extra intense in this fic. I can't tell you how many feelings over the physical contact in this fic; they're such that I almost don't even need anything more than what the authors are already giving me! Thor being angry that Loki's nearly dying here is delicious, as it always is with this series. Yet it's important to note that the fic is never about denying Loki's prowess, it's not about weakening him. It's about throwing him into such intense circumstances that of course he's going to be wounded and hurt, even when he gives as good as he gets. And that is what makes this serious so very, very delicious for me. (This is gen, but it also might as well be Thor/Loki.)


AVENGERS/THOR: Blinding by Takada Saiko & Gabrielle Day
SUMMARY: Loki did not move. While he longed for the comforting presence that he hadn't even realized he had become so very accustomed to, his pride would not allow Thor see him like this. If he were to break, he would break alone.
NOTE: This is part of a series, where you need to have read "Drown the Echoes" and "Breath of Life" first.
REC: This is one of those stories that's good for me because it's all about the aftermath of a big plotfic that had a lot of events going on in it. One of the things I wish would happen more often in various forms of media (especially tv shows and movies) is for the aftermath beyond the big, climactic events--not necessarily in terms of how their lives have changed (though, that's good, too) but just the... wind down and the dust settling and everyone dealing with the shifts in their relationships. So, a fic that's all about Loki in the aftermath of everything that happened to him on Jotunheim in "Breath of Life"? Yes, give me that. It's all about him trying to further adjust to the things he knows (or simply believes) about himself, all those issues he still has roiling around inside him, all the chaos and the storm of emotions in there, that eat away at him, until Thor comes and sits by him and it's a little better. I love that not everything is perfect and fixed here, not even after proof of how much they care about each other, that Loki can't deny that he's loved, but it's better. There's so much history between them and, in this case, it's to their benefit, because Thor knows him so well and is truly seeing him and, ahhhhh, I love it for all those things, but also because there's such an importance to this relationship. You can feel how this is the most important relationship to each of them, no matter what else it is or isn't, that they balance each other here and stabilize each other. And that's exactly what I want from this series. (This is gen, but it also might as well be Thor/Loki.)


AVENGERS/THOR: It Comes with a Price by Takada Saiko & Gabrielle Day
SUMMARY: When Thor loses Mjolnir in a bet with a group of dwarves, the brothers travel to find a way to retrieve it. Along with the dwarves they find a powerful man that is pulling the strings of their entire adventure. They must find a way not only to defeat the enemy, but to work through the rift that is already beginning to form between them.
NOTE: This is part of a series, which would help to read for context, but as this one is set pre-Thor, I think it stands well on its own.
REC: Oh, man, this is exactly the kind of thing that I'm forever wanting to read in this fandom. I was a little bit wary when Thor and Loki found themselves dealing with dwarves, who'd taken Mjolnir after Thor lost it to them, and any time dwarves and Mjolnir show up, I know where it's going. (Which I'm really not big on.) But I trusted this fic to not go a horrible route, because this Thor and Loki--for all that they have their issues with each other--dearly love each other and I could not imagine that Thor would let such a thing happen. And I'm glad I kept reading, because it's excellent Loki whump that is used to further the plot and the characters' relationship with each other, which is the way I like it. And I really love that this fic especially had a lot of tension between the two of them, that Loki was chafing under always having to be the responsible one with Thor and always getting hurt for it, that Thor was angry that Loki was forever sour with him and clearly always thinks him stupid and never actually lets him in on anything. It works both for being an issue that they have to struggle to work through and because it lays groundwork for the future canon of the movies, to have that tension between them now.

I also love it for the atmosphere, how it's got that vaguely midieval-esque feel of adventures and fantasy and dugeons and dwarves and magic that I love so much with these characters, especially when they're younger. I love that, even if these are whump fics (which means the characters are going to get hurt so that the comfort can be delicious afterwards) you never forget what total badasses these characters are. They never get hurt because they're weak or stupid, they don't get hurt through situations that could have been avoided. The authors are good at putting them in situations that I can buy their wounds (especially Loki, who always seems to find himself in dangerous situations, for a mixture of reasons--all of which you can feel here, that it's partly his own inability to walk away, partly that he's kind of too clever for his own good, partly that he can't resist being a smart mouth, partly that Thor drags him into trouble and then Loki takes the brunt of it, but the authors are excellent at not being direct about that, so much as you just get it), as well as using those situations to bring Thor and Loki back together. And, oh, boy, do I enjoy each of them trying to save the other, Thor's absolute refusal to leave without Loki (and Loki had better not be trying to just buy Thor time to get out, because then he will turn right around and storm back in, asd;flkjas;lkjal oh my god give me that Thor forever), that's the kind of getting under my skin emotionally fic I just fucking revel in. (This is gen, but it also might as well be Thor/Loki.)

Poison Arrow by Dread Pirate, thor & loki, protective!thor, mild loki whump, ~1k
    When Loki is injured in combat, the difference between the god of mischief and his brother is perhaps something to be celebrated.
    This fic really kind of punched a lot of my buttons something fierce--it has an injured Loki and a Thor who just picks him up and fights his way through the enemies because PROTECT BABY BROTHER INSTINCTS ON and it's all set through the lenses of their different fighting styles and Loki's dual desire for and repulsion by the way Thor treats him. That dual desire to just feel safe and protected by his big brother, but also the rage and fury at being treated this way and, yesss, that is the punch-me-in-the-feelings stuff right there.

Something To Do With My Mouth and My Hands by anonymous, thor & loki, ~1k
    Of all the things Loki might have complained about regarding the Avengers’ recent move to the west coast of America, the only one that truly bothered him was the fact that the Californian health craze extended to banning tobacco smoking indoors.
    I wouldn't have thought that I'd enjoy a smoking fill on the kinkmeme so much, but the writing here is lovely, and the author uses Loki taking a smoke break (because, between his not being human or Idunn's apples or magic or whatever, it doesn't have any negative affects on him) as a way to show him in a calm moment away from the other Avengers, something almost bittersweet about it, even when Thor joins him, and it just somehow... works for the character. I can't even put my finger on precisely why, just that it... does.

Better Angels of Our Nature by FarenMaddox, thor & loki + some tony & bruce + avengers + other marvel characters, 26.5k wip
    After his lips were sewn shut, Loki hates anything covering his mouth, and somebody really should have told Thor that. Post-Avengers, totally broken Loki. This story has no plot outside of questionable use of Norse mythology. It is literally nothing but Thor & Loki feels. Also starring the Science Bros. And Good Guy Steve who has his BAMF moments.
    I stayed up way too late to keep reading this fic, ugh. I just wanted to start the beginning of it, just enough to see if it was to my tastes, because I'm always fussy when it comes to Loki whump fic, especially if there's lip-sewing involved. But I just couldn't stop reading once I'd started, not until I finished all 26k of what had been posted (the first two chapters of the fic, as of the time of this rec) because this fic is all about the comfort after the hurt. It's pretty much 26k words of Loki having had a mental breakdown and Thor realizing just how broken his brother is and taking care of him and desperately wanting to help his brother begin to heal. And, boy, did I eat that up like it was delicious candy because, yes, there's a lot of hurt here that's revealed more and more as the fic goes on, this Loki is not in a good place, and I will give the caveat that it'll verge on second hand embarrassment for the character at times. But I'm especially sensitive to that, so I think most won't even notice too much.

What really makes this work for me is that the author doesn't try to pin Loki's issues down on just one thing or another, that this is a complicated absolute fucking mess of a situation. When I first started reading, I was a little "...." at Loki just suddenly being broken in a way that I didn't think the muzzle would necessarily cause in him, bad memories or no. But the fic slowly starts to show that that's only one part of it, that there's a whole host of other issues tangled up in this, and a whole host of other shit happening to Loki at the same time. It's a fic that's totally about indulging in broken!Loki who's trying to put himself back together, but the sheer enormity of everything that's being thrust onto him is crushing him.

It's also a fic that doesn't... it doesn't quite approve of Loki's actions, especially because the Avengers have a tough time moving on from what he did to Midgard, even when they start to realize just what's going on here and how fucked up Loki's life has been, there's still anger and absolutely not being okay with his actions. So, it doesn't read like Loki apologia to me. Instead, the point of this fic is to revel in Loki being a mess and Thor being so angry on his behalf and caring so much for his brother, it's about Loki deeply loving Thor in return but not able to process it properly anymore, it's about Bruce and Tony getting tangled up in this as well when Thor can't do this alone, when he's out of his depth about wounds of the mind. Which means it's not going to be for everyone, that it's a fic that takes the hurt to Defcon Level 5 in order to provide the same level of comfort, but I loved it genuinely and, oh, I want the rest of the fic right away now.

Especially because the author is so good at... this is gen fic, but Loki is the most important thing in Thor's heart and there's such a physical connection between them, on both sides. Thor wants to touch Loki all the time, Loki eventually starts leaning into Thor and reaching out to him when he needs steadying, even as this doesn't mean that things are perfect. The other half of the time, Loki freaks out around Thor and runs off on him, this is a relationship that's ladened with so much guilt on both sides that there are times when it's (deliberately so) a little suffocating and terribly heartbreaking to the reader. But, ultimately, I think it's a fic about healing and the ridiculous amounts of feelings I'll have for both characters, the kind that hurt but are also so delicious because they both love each other so much. Oh, and also a pretty seriously excellent Tony voice, I can't tell you how much I enjoy every scene he's in, no matter who he's interacting with. His bluntness versus his sharp insight are really well balanced and, for all that he doesn't want to get involved, he can't stay out of it and he may be annoying, but he often does poke things into the right direction. Which I fucking love.

Bound by 69moans, thor & loki, dragon age fusion, ~1
    "Siblings. The begging always gets to me." Thor whispers, running hands down and across Loki’s back, reassuring himself that Loki was solid and there. Thor hated ripping families apart, but it was the price he payed to keep his together.
    I admit, this probably would have meant more to me if I'd been more familiar with the Dragon Age particulars (....which has been sitting on my shelf for well over a year now... orz) but I don't think it's absolutely necessary to enjoy it, as the writing is lovely and you can pick up on the emotional heart of the fic just fine. The little details, like the brief flashes of their childhood, the subltety of Loki picking up on Thor's emotions, the tension of the situation they're in, it's all lovely in this short but well-done piece.

A Mile in his Armor by DarkDragonne, thor & loki + tony & loki + avengers, body swap, 10.1k
    Amora's spell went wrong, and now Tony and Loki have to deal with the results as Tony struggles to control the magic that can fix it, and Loki tries his hardest not to painfully murder all of Tony's acquaintances.
    BODY SWITCH FIC, YES. I couldn't help it, I had to pounce on that sucker right away. The fic does kind of gloss over things more than I'd like, it does a bit more tell than show in the writing, but it also has a charm to it that I genuinely loved--certainly, I sat down and read the whole thing at once, hardly noticing as I whipped through the 10k words of it. I especially loved it because the fic touched on Loki's issues with Thor, how difficult it was to be around him and not react, and you know how I am with the Thor&Loki feels. This is a bit of a softer fic, this Loki is more towards chaotic neutral (but that's one of my favorite Lokis, so this isn't a complaint), but that means his scenes with Thor after the reveal just had me practically writhing around on my bed in a puddle of my own feelings.

I also liked that the fic touched on how Loki and Tony were similar in some ways, how their lives may have been different, but there were parallels there, too. It was also great fun to see the scenes where they had to keep up the pretense (which was justified by mutual destruction if either of them fucked this up), especially the new light it shone on Loki's character for Tony, seeing his actual life away from the Avengers. Plus, you know. BODY SWAP FIC. With Tony&Loki hilarity and a really solid amount of Thor&Loki feels (with some good conversations about their relationship), so basically this was everything I wanted to read today.

Binding by Jaune_Chat, thor & loki, 1.2k
    Loki finds his powers bound and is unable to free himself, so he goes to the one person who might be able to help. His brother.
    Oh, this fic was so interesting. It's almost more of a teaser, a story where Loki is forced to ask for Thor's help when his magic has been bound, set at some nebulous point in the future, and the conversation between them is so sharp and good. Thor's reaction is not what I would have necessarily thought, but it works so well and, oh, what I wouldn't give for more of this, even if it stands well on its own. Sometimes sharp and intriguing are enough to capture my imagination and that's definitely what this piece did.

Those Who Hunt Monsters by Zeta_Tauri, thor & loki + other asgardians, background pairings that aren't the focus, 68.8k
    When Odin finds the abandoned Jötun boy in the temple, he has a choice. AU in which Odin is honest, Thor and Loki both know the secret of Loki's heritage, and everything changes while staying the same.
    This fic caught my attention for the intriguing summary, but pulled me in with the opening scenes of Loki as a baby being adopted into the House of Odin and how utterly charming everything was about it. I can't say that it was pure fluff even in those moments, but there was joy and love there, they fell in love with that baby before they had even realized it, and even as an infant, Loki had such tremendous personality. It kicked up all of my family feels emotions and that's the best part of this fic, really. This is sort of a blend between comics and the movies, an AU where Loki has known since he was a child that he's Jotunn, but is genuinely loved by his family. The story follows him as he grows up and that love never wavers from them, even as things fray around the edges of their lives, when Loki just never quite fits.

It's a beautifully told story of winding back in the direction of canon, even with the changes to the storyline--as the summary notes: "Everything changes while staying the same." Which is accurate. Because he doesn't quite fit, Loki is still isolated and Asgard never really embraces him the way his family does. I love that so many of the early scenes are focused on Thor and Loki, that they're such darling little brothers, but eventually they start to drift away, even when they do still love each other. The pacing of this is lovely, it's not really about the end destination, as much as it is about the journey there, about Loki growing up, so don't let the WIP nature hold you back too much.

It's about Loki finding friends of his own (and I dearly love that Hogun and Fandral are friends with Loki first, that they're still more his friends than Thor's here, that the AU nature of this fic means those relationships could go anywhere) and finding things he likes (Loki on Midgard is delightful! I love how much is established in his life!) and the world building being done here is really solid and fleshed out, without being too much. And the fic really made me enjoy Fandral/Loki, the way it was built up here, the way it was surprisingly sweet and good! My only complaint is that I'm not fond of the way Sif is written, even if I understand the need for a character who reinforces Loki's tendency towards isolation, but it's balanced out by Odin being protective of Loki (and, oh, the gorgeous reason he doesn't step in, it makes perfect sense here) and accepting of him, even as he's wary of the kind of person Loki's growing into.

It's a long fic at almost 40k words and not finished yet, but it's one I found myself sucked into and it wouldn't let me go until I'd finished everything there was of it. It's one of those genfics that focuses on Loki's character and reminds me of just how much I really do love world building and alternate timelines, because it's not just about throwing the characters into a wildly different setting, but instead using it to give insight into the characters' motives and how they might be similar or different if things had just changed a little. At it's heart, this is a story about the characters, about Loki growing up especially, and I love that.

Grid and Garriöd by Zeta_Tauri, thor & loki, 4.1k
    Loki and Thor travel to Nornheimr to try to stop a looming war. Nornir negotiation is not what either of them expect, and takes them to Jötunheimr instead.
    It would probably help to have read Those Who Hunt Monsters for context of this AU, but it's not absolutely necessary, other than to know that Loki has been aware of being Jotunn since he was a child.
    I think this fic probably also would be helped by having a passing familiarity with the mythology (which I knew just enough of to get the remix of), but it stands fairly well on its own as one of those fics about Thor and Loki's childhood (or adolescence), where they get into all sorts of trouble, especially Loki being kind of a real little shit. I liked the fic as being one of those... just another one of those instances the sons of Odin get into trouble over, with a delightful remix of the mythology and a bit more background world-building. It's one of those fics I read for the adventures and focus on Loki's character, one of those where a genfic was a nice treat to have, even if I'm usually more focused on pairing fic. It was fun and a nice bonus to have when I finished the bigger main fic!

I didn't do it, you lit the match for me by belmanoir, thor & loki, therapy fic, 1.8k
    Loki is in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. Thor hasn't come to visit. Nicole wants to talk to Loki about how that makes him feel.
    This is the eighth fic in a series, which you should read in order.
    I have definitely been waiting for this fic, because the previous one (well, aside from the fic written in between, which took place earlier in the timeline) ended on a cliffhanger and I wanted resolution. It's not as wrapped up as I might have wanted when I first started reading, but that just means there's still a lot of ground to cover and the fic did give me a shitload of Loki feels and emotional resolution in a lot of ways. Because, oh, the relationship between Thor and Loki is so thorny here, when Loki wants Thor to visit him, but doesn't want to ask, when Thor doesn't visit because he doesn't think Loki wants it, when the whole point is about them learning to actually communicate and it's so sharp and painful and good.

Capturing Starlight by Shi_koi, thor & loki + avengers + other asgardians, rape/non-con offscreen, torture, 48.4k wip
    What makes a truth; belief, or knowledge? Is Loki a monster because he believes it, or is he one because others believe his race is? Aka: the story where Thor proves his love for his brother, and ropes the Avengers into helping him fix Loki. Also, Odin gets his just desserts.
    This fic contains a lot of things that I don't normally want to read about in fic for this fandom, including: Straight up Norse mythology (rather than remixed Norse mythology, which tends to fit better with the movieverse/Marvelverse canon, which is a remix itself, obv.), evil!Odin, over the top angst, a lot of implied violence and off-screen rape, and a goodly amount of Loki being an out and out victim of Asgard, a fair amount of Loki apologia. If I had just seen a list of the things that I don't normally read that were present in this fic, I'm not sure I would have given it a shot and, hell, even when I was initially reading, I felt disconnected for the first third of what's available so far (which is ~36k words / 17 chapters at the time of this rec). But I continued to read, because the writing pulled me along really easily (and that actually says a lot--when I'm just not feeling a fic, it's usually like an uphill battle to continue reading, whereas this one wasn't any trouble at all. And somewhere along the way... I don't know how to describe it, but it sneaked under my guard and started punching me in the feelings something fierce.

I am not immune to that moment where... everyone realizes how much hurt has been piled on Loki in his life, realizes the depths of what he was hiding, realizes how awful life has been to him, and sees him in a new light. I can't help it, those moments give me all the feels, when it comes from a place where the other character just loves him so damn much--and that is where this fic got me just completely. Sure, I appreciate that Tony and Bruce are drawn into the story of Loki's life (as told through the journals Loki starts keeping during his imprisonment, because Loki is barely directly in this fic, it's almost purely Thor and the other Avengers trying to unwind the mystery of Loki's situation) and I love love love that the author wove in some background world building for Asgard and Thor. But, oh, Thor's realizations about his brother, the sheer depth of how much he loves Loki, how much he's willing to do for Loki, how much it's hurting him that Loki won't wake up--that's where this fic got me. It got me so good. Because there are a couple of moments where I started to tear up at just how much I love these characters and this fic is just... it's one big rolling around in the self-indulgant feels of Thor being devoted to Loki and torn apart at how much he missed and how very, very badly he wants to make things right again.

Yes, the author goes full-tilt with the angst, but then also goes full-tilt with the love. For as much darkness as there is here, there's just as much of Thor being horrified and desperate to help his brother, literally barely able to stay away from him for more than five minutes. Which makes me want to take a step back and try to look at things objectively, like, that should totally be OTT and not actually able to get to me, because I usually prefer subtle. But, nope, this author has that certain something that sucks me in and stirs up every last feeling I have! And I can't even tell where this fic is going--it's already 36k, but Loki hasn't even woken up yet! Is the fic focusing just on Thor's attempts to help him, will it end shortly after Loki wakes up? Or will the fic delve into that thorny mess of issues, because Loki is going to be so, so damaged when he wakes? I really just want the whole thing right now! Because, for as dark as this fic is, it's so goddamned satisfying to read and I just want to sink into the Thor/Loki feels and never come out again. Ugh, protective!Thor is one of those things I am forever weak to and this fic is like the best ice cream sundae for that. This is gen, but the Thor/Loki aspect is super intense.

Avengers/Thor: Liars and killers by belmanoir - [NOTE: This fic is part of an ongoing series that you really need to have read the previous installments for.] This actually takes place in between two previous fics, which was a little frustrating for me, because I wanted to know what happens next, dammit! But was also really good for me because the author has been working Loki towards... not precisely changing so much as... accepting himself better, which means accepting his actions and the responsibility for them, set against a scene of Tony rallying the troops to get Loki out of S.H.I.E.L.D. jail. I really enjoyed the hard edges to Clint and Natasha's characters here, especially the brief moments Loki and Natasha had, because that's a dynamic I find fascinating. And I really liked the conversation about the whole Chitauri mind control thing, that is something I'm always fascinated to see come up in fic! Basically, more really good, sharp writing that I enjoyed. (Background Tony/Loki in this series, but this fic itself is pretty gen.) → Nothing left to trade by belmanoir, thor & loki, + thor & steve, 1.9k
    Steve is coming to talk to Loki. Thor won't admit to Nicole that it's stressing him out.
    NOTE: This is part 11 in a longer series that should be read in order.
    And then came this fic, which is Thor having a conversation with the therapist, and it's so... there's a lot of complicated feelings in Thor and I love how it's difficult to put my finger on them, especially so because Thor is not human, he was not raised on Earth, he is Asgardian. And yet he's given that up for Loki, because he will not lose his brother again, and so this is difficult for him and the way this fic is written... he has such presence, there's such an intensity to everything about Thor, and that's what the character is for me. He is tremendous amounts of everything--power, presence, emotion, anger, fear, love, strength, scope, etc. Somehow, in this scene, that came through for me very well, and, ugh, a whole lot of feelings on how much Thor loves Loki, too.

Avengers/Thor/Iron Man: Flying from the blast by belmanoir - [NOTE: This is a crossover with Kyle XY, but I don't think you need to be aware of the series, the characters can read like OCs and it stands well on its own.] I almost turned right the fuck around from this series because the first fic involved the snake and the venom and that's one of those NOPE, NOPE, NOPE, I'M OUT OF HERE buttons for me. But the second was Thor and Loki getting therapy! My weakness! So, I started on the second story, realized I probably needed a bit more build-up for Loki's willingness to go into therapy, went back to the first fic, skimmed cautiously like my life depended on it (it's not that it's not well-written! it's just that this is one of those tropes that I, personally, am not comfortable with, so my reactions here are mine, not a reflection on the author's talent), and the second half of it worked well for me. This fic series is... hard to describe. In some ways, this Loki is more willing to work with Thor, he agrees to therapy pretty readily, he gets drawn in, etc. But, in other ways, this is a deeply, deeply fucked up Loki, who hates himself and lashes out at himself, both with words and in the sexual situations he gets himself into. His relationship with Tony is such a complicated thing to put into words, I honestly can't tell if it's good for either of them or bad for them both. I can't tell how much they really care about each other or how much they gravitate towards each other because they each know exactly how to really twist the knife in each other, which is what they're seeking. I get the feeling that they're kindred spirits, that it's a necessary coping mechanism for them both, but it will be ultimately unhealthy to stay as they are. But I'm not sure.

At the same time, Loki's relationship with Thor is so complicated and tangled, but that's what gets me so hard sometimes that I could almost tear up with it. Their time in therapy is helping them, but--as the therapist warns--sometimes that means it seems like they're getting worse, because all their issues are being brought up to the surface and Loki just has so much anger and bitterness and self-hate. There's a moment in one of the stories that just punched me in the feelings especially, where Loki could only be honest with Thor when he phrased it like a manipulation, which is something I've discussed with xparrot before and agreed with her, that that's one of the most heartbreaking things about Loki. Insights like that, the ones that hit home in directions I wouldn't otherwise necessarily go, are what kept me at this series until I'd read all that was available. There are moments that left me struggling to get the lay of the land of this fic (how willing Loki seems in some ways, but how dark he seems in others), to adjust my thinking to this author's Loki (who punishes himself in more obvious, less sublte ways than he does in the movies), but I'm eagerly awaitng the next chapter and I find that I'm left with that emotionally exhausted feeling I should have when I've been put through the wringer because I care so much about this character. As terrible as that feeling kind of is, it's also what I read fic for. And, oh, it is definitely a delicious relationship he has with Thor and that's what I really want. (There is some Tony/Loki in this fic. There's also references to Bruce/Tony, Tony/Pepper, Bruce/Tony/Pepper, and Thor/Jane, but they're often blink and you'll miss them. This may also appeal to Thor/Loki fans, but their relationship is gen so far. This fic is NSFW for sexual content, but also self-hate, self-harm/suicide ideation, and consenual humiliation. At the time of this rec, it ended in a cliffhanger as well.) → Team is a four-letter word by LulaMadison, thor & loki + tony & loki + frigga & loki + avengers, fluff, avenger!loki, 30k
    After some serious therapy, Loki has now been a member of the Avengers for 2 years, but when an attack by Doom leaves him gravely ill, his team mates have to fight to save his life.
    This is the fourth fic in a series, which can stand on its own (all you need to know is that Loki is calmer now and is an Avenger), but I think works better when read after the others, so you get a better understanding of the emotional progress.
    I started reading this fic before it was finished being posted and I had to genuinely consider whether or not to wait--the author updates quickly once a story is being posted, but also I really got sucked into the fic and didn't want to wait another day or two, when I was full of a lot of feelings about it! Thankfully, I didn't have to choose because the final part was posted tonight and, naturally, I snatched it up to read immediately. I wish I could do a better rec for this fic, because it's pretty much exactly what I wanted out of this fandom (amazing team dynamics with a focus on Loki's character, who is an Avenger now, Loki whump with the rest of the team caring about him, while he's still as prickly as ever, then getting into his issues and making me have all the feels, then more family feels, and then action scenes and, wham, excellent ending!) and I read all ~30k words of this practically like it was nothing because I just could not put it down. The author does an amazing job at writing prose that pulls you into the story and is so solid and so smoothly written that you hardly even feel the passage of time. Oh, what I wouldn't give for more authors like this in the fandom!

I think this fic is the strongest yet of the series, but I still still grant that this Loki is not going to be for everyone, that this is set two years after Loki has become an Avenger, so this is a happier, more emotionally healthy Loki, this is a Loki who has become part of the family that the Avengers have chosen for themselves, but I am absolutely over the moon for that here, with this author. It's helped greatly by how Loki is kind of a dick (the scene where Thor encourages Loki's dickery and finds it hilarious? quite possibly my favorite thing because, yes, yes, yes, Thor finds Loki hilarious!) and how he's still prickly about Thor's affection for him and has an insult-you-to-show-I-like-you attitude with both Thor and Tony, which, you know, give me that for always. This fic is also amazing because it's all about Loki's magic being turned on him, so he's in incredible pain for most of the fic, which he bears up under to the point where it's almost heartbreaking, because you quietly realize just how much practice he's had at bearing up under pressure and pain in his life. It's amazing because he refuses to be thought of as weak, because he very clearly isn't weak, the narrative is direct about that, even when he can hardly move or when he's collapsing and Thor has to be there to catch him and help him.

And, oh, the Thor&Loki aspect isn't always at the forefront of the fic, but it's woven into the heart of it, from when Loki lets Thor help him in ways he won't let others, when he accepts Thor's presence near him as he's in great pain, when he seeks his brother out when he can't sleep, all of that did my heart so much good. The bickering relationship he has with Tony is wonderful as well! The author has a gift for dialogue for these three characters especially, as well as a gift for showing how much pain Loki is in here the entire time without making it seem repetitive, which is no easy feat. Of course, if all that weren't enough (and it would have been!) the fic also has an amazing Frigga&Loki dynamic that did my heart so much good because, for all the pain and darkness and heartache they've all been through, Loki and his family genuinely do love each other, he loves them and they love him, and Frigga with the Avengers is every kind of amazing that it needed to be.

For all that I started this series, kind of expecting something that was just going to be pure fluff, I actually got a whole hell of a lot more than that. I got excellent dialogue, team family dynamics, an excellent group dynamic (both in terms of the Avengers and in the author knowing how to write multiple characters at once and their different dynamics with each other), a great Loki focus, and a whole lot of feelings. This is why sometimes genfic winds up being my favorite, because it's not distracted with kissing or sex to give an emotional climax (not that there's anything wrong with those, I love reading about relationships!), but instead about team, family, and action. All the things I read comics for in the first place.

Abaddon by MaverikFlame, thor & loki, violence + torture implied, 9k
    Loki is kidnapped and tortured by a madman obsessed with killing gods. Thor doesn't like the idea of someone hurting his little brother.

    In the previous rec I wrote, I mentioned that it was the kind of fic that was the punch to the feelings that I liked in this fandom, that it felt like there was purpose and point to it. I avoided this fic for a long time because I'm not big on fic that tortures Loki, at least not without a point and, at only 9k, I wondered, how could this fic really do much but torture Loki and then end there? But it manages it to my satisfaction--the hurt is there as a method to pave the way to the comfort, where Loki is a bit more vulnerable and Thor is even more protective than usual, which felt like the true point of the story, so this hit me right where I lived. The author does a fantastic job at working up my reactions to and feelings over this fic, with every scene where Thor wants to take care of Loki, where Loki is this amazing mix of angry and hurt and vulnerable and wanting Thor to be near him and yet also wanting to be left alone. So often, it comes across as not quite as organic as I'd like, when fic tries to sell me on Loki's reactions to bad situations, but I loved it here.

I mean, the author even manages to include Thor and Loki sharing a bed, including Thor halfway crushing him in his sleep, but still skirts the line between gen and something more wonderfully--I read it as pre-slash, I think the author deliberately walked that line, and so it satisfied the emotional needs I had going into the fic. Even the ending is perfect--it's not a fix-all fic, it's about breaking Loki's character just enough to brings his walls down a bit, to get him to take a step forward instead of back, to bring hope to their relationship again. Well, that and all the good stuff that comes with the "comfort" part of h/c. The plot is actually fairly on the thin side, but it worked in the fic's favor, because it's meant to be this this feeling where one moment is fine and then the next it's not, that it's about the mess Loki is afterwards and how he has to start putting himself back together. In that, the author succeeds beautifully.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder? by bakurae, thor + loki + frigga + odin + sif + w3, minor background pairing, 1.7k
    Wherein actually everyone is vaguely fond of Loki but Thor, and upon Thor's crowning, he sends his little brother off to Freyja's hall in Vanaheimr. Asgard raises a stink.
    You never do find out why Thor shipped Loki off to Vanaheim or why they're not as close in this universe, but that was part of the prompt and it didn't wig me out in the way I feared it would, instead it paved way for why you're really reading this fic: Everyone adores Loki and wants their precious baby back. That is so good for me, especially right now. I love fic where an author just gleefully embraces that everyone loves the little shit and wants him back, where it's sunshine and happiness all the way around, because it does my heart good. It's pure fluff, but super adorable fluff and that's exactly what I wanted.


You know what lies are for by tigriswolf, thor & loki, ~1k
    You are no king, my brother, the wind murmurs, and Thor knows Loki has not gone far.
    Sometimes, shorter pieces only serve to be a teaser for something I want more of and I do still enjoy that. But other times they're just a perfect moment captured, like this short piece--set after Thor brings Loki back to Asgard, Loki having escaped of course, and it's a beautiful piece where they're not quite talking, but they exchange words, Loki gone somewhere into the wind. Somehow it has beautiful characterization for both of them, even if I can't quite put my finger on precisely where/why that is. Plus, bonus Sleipnir and a perfect balance of distancing the movies from the myths, but teasing just a bit at maybe a connection still yet. Lovely all the way around.

Loki Possible, Thor Stoppable by chinae, thor & loki + avengers, kid!loki, fluff, humor, 1.2k
    When Odin brought Loki from Jötunheim Thor was already an adult. So for some reason Thor is banished when Loki would be considered to be around 10 in mortal years. Stuff happens and Thor joins the Avengers, and that's when the prompt really begin. Loki being bored and having no one to play with decides to travel to Midgard and become a super villain.
    So, I pretty much screeched my way through this fic because it was super darling! An AU fic, where Loki is much younger than Thor, so he's still mostly a child when Thor goes to Midgard, and he misses his big brother, so he decides to come to Earth and be a villain to fight Thor! Because bb!Loki is a precious darling spoiled rotten little shit. And it's just pure, concentrated cuteness and hilarity from there on out, because he makes Tony's life difficult and he's Thor's precious baby brother and a;lsdkfja;lksjl;a I'm just going to be over here having a lot of feels at this fic.

dying is an art (i do it exceptionally well) by dance_at_bougival, thor & loki & sif, 1k
    did you mourn? we all did.
    Oh, there's something that's so... something that really wound me up while reading this, that caught my breath in my lungs a bit, when Loki whispers himself back to Asgard's shadows between Thor and The Avengers, to retrieve a few things, but also to attend his own funeral. The brief scenes of that were enough to leave my heart aching for the characters who mourned his loss, the Viking-style funeral just hurt and Thor's grief was razor sharp, as sharp as Loki's inability to understand his loss to them. The author manages to pull off the hazy, airy style of almost being like a dream, while still making it one of the more intense reads I've had lately, which isn't a style that often works for me. But this was lovely and heartbreaking.

Proprietary Malevolence by anonymous, thor & loki + avengers, ~1k
    Nobody really worries too much about Thor on the battlefield. Not because they don’t care about him, of course, but because everyone else has so many more potential weaknesses. If Clint gets smashed into by a bus, that’s the end-game for him. If Tony pushes his armour too hard, that’s heart-failure for him. If Steve gets shot in the head, he’s not surviving it better than any other man. But if Thor gets hit by a bus, that’s the bus’s problem. If he pushes himself too hard, a good night’s rest will fix the problem. If he gets shot, the bullets tend to just sort of bounce off. So they’ve all grown rather accustomed to not-really-paying-attention to what’s happening to Thor in their fights, if only because there are more urgent things to focus on.
    This is a short fic, but that moment in the summary right there, that's what got me and just absolutely delighted me with this story. Sure, I came for the Thor & Loki feels, which are nicely delivered in a brief, understated and never fully touched on way (which is deliberate and why it works so well), but, oh, man. "If Thor gets hit by a bus, that's the bus's problem." That made me laugh and it's absolutely perfect, it's a great little piece about how Thor is usually so indestructible, but what happens in those very rare instances that he's not. Bless.

Apples (or, The Quest for Breakfast) by incandescent (lmeden), thor & loki + idunn, fairy tale-esque, 3.9k
    In which Loki provides the adventure, and Thor provides the muscle. An Hansel & Gretel AU.
    I hesitate to label this as purely a fairy tale, because it fits pretty well with possible MCU canon, but... it's also definitely inspired by fairy tales! And I feel like I should hvae read this before (and probably already recommended it?), but it's been long enough that my memory is fuzzy. Either way, it's a darling fairy tale-like story with an action scene and young teenagers being little shits and lovely language and neat use of the mythology remixed. Plus, the closeness of Thor and Loki can be read as pre-slash and I love when they go on adventures! So this was pretty great for me.

I Travel Worlds With You by Dark Rabbit, thor & loki + odin, 13.1k
    Is house-arrest the appropriate punishment for one who has only killed and maimed a few Midgardians? The All-Father thinks so, although he is willing to temper his justice with a little mercy at Thor's request. After that, it is Thor's challenge to see he can reform his wayward younger brother. And it is Loki's, to see if he will allow himself to be reformed.
    This fic is rough in places, mostly in that there are moments of solid faux-Shakespeare-style dialogue and thoughts, but there are almost moments where the writing slips towards a more modern style or turns of phrase that don't fit as well with the characters. But I find a lot of promise in this fic and I'm intrigued with where it's going, with the confinement that Odin has set up for Loki, what it means, what it will do to him, for him maybe. I don't know if it will be a good thing or a bad thing, which intrigues me! The first two chapters are especially interesting, there's a lot solid details worked into it, and I'd like to see more of this one. Especially because this Thor is trying to understand Loki and Loki... he's angry, he's still full of his poisonous dream, which frustrates Thor greatly, but Loki still seems willing to at least talk to him, to simply spend time with him, and that is really good for me, too.

Sometimes a cigar by intangible_girl, thor & loki + avengers + background canon pairings, psychology, 5.2k
    It begins, oddly enough, with Oedipus. It doesn’t linger there very long, of course. Oedipus has nothing to do with it, or, if he does, Thor (Loki) is more lost than he likes to think about. But that discussion (of Freud, of his legitimacy, of cigars and the messages of dreams) is where he first hears the word psychology.
    I will be giving mild SPOILERS for this fic in this rec, because they are ones that I would want to know ahead of time. I won't say precisely how this ends, but I will say that it's not a happy ending. There is hope for the future--or at least I want to read into it--but this story itself does not end happily, even if it's not utter tragedy. That said, oh, this is GORGEOUS. After the events of The Avengers, Thor returns to Midgard and learns about the culture there and comes across the idea of psychology, which gives him a whole new world of insight into what's happening with Loki. And this story is all about Thor desperately trying to reach out to Loki, to understand why he's like this, to help him truly and it gave me all the feelings in the world, for how much Thor loves his brother and works to understand him. While this Loki is further gone than I think he was, the author sells it beautifully, there are no pulled punches here, with everything between them, with the other characters around them, with just... everything. While I definitely think you should have something happier on hand to read afterwards, I do still very much recommend this story as it's beautifully done and, oh, what I wouldn't give for the sequel to it.

Search by FelicityGS, thor & loki + other asgardians, ~1k
    Thor never meant for this to happen.
    This is part seven of a series that needs to be read in order by this point.
    This is the point where I wonder if maybe I should have recommended the series together as a whole (which I didn't want to do because this series is focusing on several different characters, relationships, and aspects, all of which I had feelings about, but if I'd tried to write an overview rec, a lot of that would have gotten lost and, also, I DO WHAT I WANT, THOR) because this is a short piece and almost could have been joined together with the next one AND YET NORSE BRO FEELS, that is my kryptonite in this fandom. This is the part of the story where we're starting to get a better idea of what's going on, why these characters are in the places and lives they're in, and how much Thor really, really loves his baby brother, how much it tears him apart that Loki is in pain and missing from him, from their family. This is a fic where Thor would (and does) literally travel through all the Realms to find Loki again, to bring him home, because Loki is so very loved and worried over. That is THE BEST for me, holy shit, so many feels.

Amuse Me by Lise [ mobile ver. ], thor + loki, ~1k
    Thor in a mood was about as subtle as a rampaging troll, and almost as unpleasant. There was a roughly equivalent amount of roaring and thumping around, to boot.
    That's the first line of this fic. The second line is: Sometimes Loki tossed around the idea of turning Thor into a troll for a day and seeing if anyone noticed. He was inclined to suspect that they would not, as long as he left the cape and the hair untouched. Oh, brothers, I am weak to them something terrible. But it's also about Loki noticing Thor's terrible mood, that he's crushing everything in his path, so of course no one else does anything about it until Loki starts digging in. And then it's Thor being amused by Loki's little shit antics, because Thor actually greatly enjoys Loki's shit stirring ways, which I will never get enough of in fandom! This is a short piece, but it's terribly fun and hit on some characterization notes that I greatly enjoyed. ♥

I Reach Out My Hand (and hope you take it) by fallintosanity (yopumpkinhead), thor & loki + other asgardians, wakfu crossover, 34k
    Thor is struggling to rebuild a life in the wake of the Infinity War, and to cope, for a second time, with the loss of his brother. Then he discovers that someone's stealing from Loki's rooms...
    I greatly adored the main fic of this series, so I was very excited about a follow up fic that focused on Thor and Loki's relationship, which may be part of the reason why so much of it fell kind of flat for me. I nearly immediately turned away from this fic and stopped reading when it villainized Sif early on and there were a lot of points during the rest of the story where the Loki favoritism nearly became too much for me when it was so heavy-handed. It's an odd combination, that the characters otherwise felt so right to me, but the balance was so off. Literally everything revolved around Loki now and how he was the hero and right about everything and it completely failed to acknowledge any of Loki's wrongdoings, as well as everything suddenly became Thor's fault. He wasn't as smart as Loki, he wasn't as good as Loki, he wasn't as talented as Loki, he was being passed over in favor of Loki. I could buy Thor feeling guilt, but the sudden way he was no longer a good leader, that Loki should have been/was going to be king? That nobody really had any faith at all in him? No, it did a major disservice to Thor's character, as well as Loki's character.

In the main fic, the writing did justice to Loki's damage and how he was an anti-hero who was only beginning to heal, but one year later, all of that seems to have been wiped away, because Loki has a family and seems emotionally stable now. True, this is from Thor's point of view, so we don't really see Loki's thoughts, but it was frustrating, because everything else about the fic was so good! And I don't mean to give the impression that this isn't a fic I enjoyed, because I did enjoy it a lot! And I mention these things to encourage people to keep reading, if they might have otherwise turned away! When the writing focused in on Thor and Loki's relationship, it was absolutely wonderful. I really enjoyed the Thor characterization here as well, which I am routinely fussy about, especially when there's not much he can directly do and how too often it comes across as a bland sort of character. Here, instead the writing captures the balance between Thor growing more mature with how he's the type who does things, who doesn't just sit idly when there's something that needles at him. The scenes where he waits in Loki's rooms, the way he gets a bit of one over on Loki, those are where the fic absolutely sings and utterly worth reading just for those.

Ultimately, by the time I was done, I had a lot of feelings about the fic and the writing is, as always, incredibly smooth and well-paced, it's so easy to pick up and read. It's a fic that, at its heart, is about Thor and Loki's relationship, which gave me the emotional satisfaction I was looking for. I don't think I'll be reading anything more in this series, but this was a solid place to go out on, because it was over 30k of Norse Bro Feels and that is something I will always be delighted by. And also everyone really should read J'entre dans la légende, it's such a good fic.

Holding On by Kay (sincere), thor & sif & loki, very mild thor/sif implied, 1.3k
    There are not many phoenixes left in the realms. Just enough for a couple of excitable Asgardian youths to spy a once-in-a-lifetime event that resonates deep. In which Sif and the boys find their phoenix, and are chased down a mountain.
    The Thor/Sif in this fic is mild enough that I might not even have labeled it as such if the author hadn't included it, because it's really more of a trio piece between these three characters. And, oh, it was so lovely, the three adolescents chasing a phoenix and it's fun just for shenanigans, but the undercurrent of Sif's feelings for Thor, the affection there, even as they're absolutely a trio together, then Thor's affection for her and for Loki as well, it's all just really perfect.

untitled by awesomeflotsam [ mobile ver. ], thor & loki + sigyn, loki's kids, 1.3k
    It looked normal. That was the first thing Loki thought of, once the blood had been washed and the child presented to him.
    This isn't Thorki, which you might think looking at the image, but it does have a fair amount of their interaction. The Loki/Sigyn of the piece is way in the background at most, while the main focus is on Loki's view of his children, both the one he now holds and the ones that have come before. The writing is lovely and captures the vicious bitterness of Loki's thoughts (which aren't necessarily reliable) and how he wants more "monster" children. It was a very interesting fic that I thought was a nice character piece.

Victimized by LadyCharity, thor & loki + odin & loki + other marvel characters, humor, fluff, 7.4k
    Evidently, Odin was not the only one who, upon seeing Loki, thought him so helplessly adorable that he kidnapped him for his own safety.

In which Loki is the most kidnapped person in all of the Nine Realms by well-meaning bystanders who genuinely think Loki is in constant need of protection. The House of Odin is not amused.

    Oh, this was utterly darling! A series of several scenes in Loki's life, at different times and ages, where he was just so adorable and helpless looking that people snatched him up for his own good and it's really kind of hilarious for how put-upon and annoyed by this Loki is, but balanced out with how people really do want the best for him and to help him. I love that it's completely light-hearted (Loki fandom needs more light-hearted fic, imo) and even includes a post-The Avengers scene in the future where it's still happening to Loki. It's a great blend of humor and family feels (especially when he's young and his family is freaking out over him being missing) and just pure sunshine and smiles. Delightful!

Reflections by Cordelias_Soliloquy, thor & loki + tony/loki, 84.1k
    Tony Stark is used to uninvited guests--the reporters, the desperate fan, an enemy or two--but this is different, and he is not sure exactly what to do. Two years after their battle with the chitauri, Tony invites his fellow Avengers to a Stark Industries benefit at an art museum in celebration of their successful crime fighting, only to encounter an uninvited guest.
    Chapters 01-11: I don't even remember how I stumbled over this fic anymore, but I saw that it would have Thor&Loki and Tony&Loki relations, so I was intrigued. I will state several caveats ahead of time, however, because I think I may go on about this fic for a bit. There are a lot of consistent (and inconsistent) typos in this fic, which stand out fairly well. Not enough to jar me out of the scene, but noticeable, especially because the writing is otherwise so wonderfully readable and just sails right along! The fic also has a tendency to do something that's difficult to describe, so my apologies for being vague on this, but there are a lot of transitions that aren't very clear. Sometimes things happen off-screen that aren't established well enough or sometimes a conversation shifts in the middle without being clear what was really being said, sometimes I had trouble tracking what was going on in a scene. I'm also not entirely sure what was going on with Loki, when he seemed completely gone one moment, but then seemed almost fine the next moment, and part of that is the lack of establishing the transitions between scenes, but also I'm just not clear on where his head is at. This fic also has an extreme level of punishment that fits more with Norse mythology than it does the MCU, with the serpent and the venom.

Okay, I mention all that because I genuinely want to encourage people to keep reading because, oh, there's so much here that's worth reading for! The author has so many of the necessities for good writing down, so much of this was really smooth and easy to read, that I think they'll become even more amazing as time goes on. Certainly I know I got sucked into this story and read pretty much all of it in two sittings, which is a lot, since I think it's about 45,000 words or so? It's not finished yet and it's in the thick of the action and I REALLY WANT THE NEXT CHAPTER PLEASE but it's so worth reading already for the author really taking their time with making a mess of Loki's mind and trying to piece him back together and all the progress and backsliding that are part of it.

This is a Loki who is deliciously complicated and so angry and he could be very frustrating for the way he interacts with the other characters, but I kept reading it and it just felt really right to me. As much as it made me ache that he couldn't accept Thor's attentions without being cruel and pushing him away and just not wanting him around, no matter how much Thor gives up for him, it made sense to me. It made sense for Loki to have all these issues tied up in Thor, that Thor can't just save him like he wants to, can't just save their relationship like he's trying so desperately to do, can't understand Loki no matter how hard he tries. It makes sense because this Loki clearly loves Thor and it's not just any one thing that makes him push Thor away. It's not just that he loves Thor. It's not just that he can't be vulnerable around Thor unless he's out of his mind. It's not just that he's angry at Thor. It's not just that he's still scheming and plotting and Thor tends to ruin his plans. It's not just his massive emotional/mental damage. It's a complicated, messy mix of all of these things and it works for me because so much of the heart of the fic is still put on that that relationship is so important.

There's technically more focus on Tony&Loki in the fic, because 90% of the fic is from Tony's pov, which means he doesn't always see the Thor&Loki scenes, but the author does a beautiful job of building that relationship, of making it an utter fucking mess because these are two messy people. The fic slowly builds up their interactions, until Tony starts to care about Loki and can't shake that care, no matter how Loki reacts to it, how mean he gets or how he seems to betray them. It's to the point where I'm not sure if the fic will stay gen or eventually become FrostIron fic, but I think I'd be fine with it either way, as the author is really good at showing why Tony understands Loki in a way that not a lot of people can, how they're similar but not necessarily the same, and, oh, that really works for me, when it's in concert with Thor being such an important figure in Loki's life.

But it's not just about the relationships in the fic, though, they are at the heart of it, of course. This is a fic with plot shenanigans going on, with magic artifacts and Amora showing up (with one of the more intriguing uses of her character that I've seen!) and battle scenes and people manipulating each other all over the place, which is just how I like my really long fic. Especially when it comes with a really good Tony voice, who is a delight to read, especially when he's making sharp comments or just wading right into dangerous verbal waters (which I love that backfire on him as often as it gets him somewhere, because that's how it would be, especially with a character like Loki). And I'm hopeful that more will be posted soon, as the first 11 chapters were posted usually within a week or so of each other and, ahhh, that cliffhanger was kind of hellish, I need more soon.

Can't Go Back the Same Way You Came by gumbridge, loki & jane & darcy & selvig + thor & loki + minor thor/jane background, 20k
    Loki lets go. This is what happens after.
    20k on one of my favorite AU topics--Loki falling to Midgard after the events of the first movie! I love it almost as much as I love Thor falling with Loki. *__* I have a fondness for Loki falling in with the Thor mortal characters, that they prize him for his intelligence and treat him with a different kind of affection than that of Asgard, one that's not better or worse, just simply different. And this fic does an absolutely gorgeous job of capturing that feeling of a group of friends slowly winning over the distant new guy in the office, just by being people who care, who don't let him stay distant, even as they respect his personal boundaries. Well, mostly respect them. It's not really an in-depth fic about that, because there's so much going on here, but the fic definitely gives you several scenes of that sort of gen bonding, the kind that grounds Loki emotionally again when he needs it.

The fic also does a brilliant job at showing an Asgardian fish out of water, but one who is Loki. All this new Midgardian stuff doesn't quite make sense to him at first, but he navigates it pretty well, he seems entirely competent from the outside, it's only that we see his thoughts to let us know that he's fumbling his way through. I love it because of course someone from another world would experience this kind of culture shock and the fic has the kind of attention to detail that I would have gladly read another 80k of this! These versions of Jane and Darcy and Selvig are just so completely charming and likeable that I wanted Loki to stay with them forever! At the same time, oh, man, I was practically twisting myself into knots waiting for Thor to show up! At first I was wary that it wouldn't be as emotionally satisfying as I was hoping for (because I had pretty high expectations), but by the end of the fic? Oh, yeah, I was very satisfied with how this turned out.

This is a beautifully written fic, it's a wonderfully satisfying Loki piece (if you don't mind the author's interpretation of the character, as this fic was written when we only had the Thor movie and The Avengers wasn't out yet, so this Loki is able to be brought back to sanity and wants to make up for the damage he caused on Midgard), and really fun for if you love "Loki falls to Midgard after Thor" fic as much as I do!

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. It’s 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!

A Little Birdie by hermione_vader, clint & loki + mentions of thor, 1.9k
    While he's under the scepter's thrall, Clint serves as Loki's diary, and he's not sure how to feel about that.
    I was just talking the other day about how I wanted more Clint and Loki fic and, voila!, I stumbled over this amazing fill, where Loki treats Clint like a diary while he's mind-whammied, given that Loki never intends for him to break out of it. I love that it's humorous, but there's so many Loki feels, as he talks about his circumstances, how things aren't quite as much his choice as he'd lead others to believe, and Clint has a little more of himself in there than we might have otherwise thought. It's a great narrative voice for Clint as much as it's a great Loki diary piece and, oh, the ending is so perfect and bittersweet. And I love that this author does a beautiful job on Loki's feelings re: Thor, how and where his anger and envy are directed, how there's still so much of an angry little brother in there. A gorgeous, amazing fill for this prompt.

Son of Coul: Unholy Coolness by RunRabbitRun, coulson & loki, humor, ~1k
    Coulson's ambush debriefings are hilarious and clearly it's Loki's turn.
    So, I did not know that I needed this fic in my life until I had it. Coulson vs Loki, as set in some nebulous timeline, where Coulson ambush debriefs Loki, who can't quite get a grip on him, so instead chooses to be as obnoxious as possible about it. Oh, it's short, but it's grand and I would read this kind of fic forever.

Let's Make a Deal or Not by chatnoir1, loki & nick fury, 1.4k
    Loki interrupts Nick Fury's breakfast with a proposal. Fury is not amused.
    This was a short piece, but had a really great Fury voice and characterization, which I don't get to read enough of in this fandom. It was so very easy to imagine Samuel Jackson in the role, the author did a fantastic job at balancing that sense of bad ass and hilarity that he does so well! And Loki approaching Fury for a temporary truce, in that Loki sort of way, and Fury's reaction? All pretty great.

A Wolf in Mortal Clothing by Evandar, thor + fenrir!coulson + hela!darcy + jormungandr!fury, 9.2k
    Agent Coulson is not what he seems. He is much, much more than a government agent and has every reason to fear the opening of the Bifrost. The last time Thor came to Midgard, he did so to pick a fight with Jormungandr.
    This is the first part of a series that should be read in order.
    I've been eying this fic series for awhile, because the idea intrigued me, but I wasn't sure how well it would actually work out. But I finally sat down with the first one and pretty much instantly fell in love, for several things this fic does! One of the things that most surprised me, however, was the way the fic wrote Loki's children's feelings towards Thor, how much they hated him for everything that Thor (and Asgard) had done to them, but yet I didn't feel that it interfered with my love for Thor or how much I think the character truly is good. Somehow, this fic was able to walk the fine line of terrible things being done to these characters and yet I didn't hate Thor for them, nor blame Loki's kids for their feelings. But I also love the fic just for being beautifully detailed and well-written and sharp and funny, the sense of siblinghood between the characters was fantastic and the touches of mythology were all perfect, all hilarious or heartbreaking as they needed to be. These characters genuinely work as the children of Loki and, oh, their love for their mother and their own individual personalities and how I ached to have a sequel to this where the plot of The Avengers was explored was a painful thing. It's sharp and clever and I loved it so, so much.

Family Reunion by Evandar, fenrir!coulson + hela!darcy + jormungandr!fury, 2.5k
    There is no white picket fence for the children of Loki, but that doesn't mean they aren't a family.
    This is the second part of a series that should be read in order.
    This is a sequel fic where you really need to have read the previous one for it to make any sense and it's a cute follow up, a story about the bonding of the three children of Loki (versus the world-building the original one did) and it's really sweet (in its own way) and made me smile the entire time I was reading it. It definitely also made me just absolutely pine for this series to be continued, I'm so curious about how The Avengers would go in this universe! But it's a fun follow-up to the previous fic and I love sibling love, which this fic provides nicely.

The Changeling by gth694e, frigga & thor & loki + other asgardians, child death, postpartum depression, child abandonment issues, happy ending, 9.1k
    After the losing her son during childbirth, Frigga cannot find room in her heart for the frost giant babe that Odin has brought home from the war.
    There are sometimes fics that are just... completely not your view of the characters, but are so intriguing all the same that you can't help getting sucked in. I don't mean this as a backhanded compliment, but as an explanation for why I kept reading and why I would consider urging others to continue reading what can be a very painful and difficult fic at times. The writing for this is lovely but painful, especially because of how little love Frigga has for the baby we know and yet I can't entirely blame her for it, given that this is a fic about postpartum depression and how deeply she feels the loss of the child she just gave birth to. It's complicated and messy, in exactly the way it's meant to be.

Frigga and Thor's relationship is another selling point for me here, because it's almost never explored, so her love for him here is wonderful and kid Thor is absolute perfection. His affection for Loki is wonderful and I was heartened by the end of the fic, which is good and positive, a genuine happy ending despite my fears that it wouldn't end well. I wish there had been a bit more of the coming to love Loki for himself stuff, but that was not the point of this fic. And even if it's not my view of the characters' relationships, it's a fic that held my interest the whole way, which says a lot. Plus, it's worth reading just for kid Thor who is just this ball of good will and energy and such big feelings for one who has yet to grow into them, but so good natured even as a young child.

held together with string by Lise, thor & loki, mourning/grief, 2.2k
    Time and again boys are raised to be men: impatient they start, fearful at end. Post-Thor.
    Mourning fic can be difficult to write well, buth, oh, Lise achieved it here and my heart actually ached the entire time. It's a gorgeous look at Thor's grief after Loki lets go, the sense of loss and expectation of seeing the person again isn't overdone, but instead brought up all the more of my own feelings of loss. Lise finds the right notes to hit and the right balance of them, so that it's not over the top, but instead a perfectly written punch straight to my feelings. It also does a beautiful job of balancing how Asgard failed Loki in some ways and yet how they honestly loved him and there was such good in his life there, too, how it was not all one side or the other that caused this mess. And, as a bonus, that is some quality Thor characterization there, goddamn!

Changeling Child by icarus_chained, thor & loki, gen/preslash, 1.4k
    An AU in which Thor, and not Loki, was the Jotun. Set just after the trip to Jotunheim, and before Thor's banishment, as he and Loki deal with the discovery
    When I'm away from the computer, I sometimes jot notes down to remind myself of what came to mind while reading a fic, for later help when writing a rec. Less than 500 words into this fic, I'd already grabbed my pen because, short as this fic may be, just a sketch of the idea of Thor as the Jotunn foundling instead of Loki, it's breathtakingly characterized in so many little ways. The way the author contrasts the way Thor is acting here against the way he usually acts, the way the fight seems to have gone out of him when he's usually so quick to brawl at the drop of a cup, the sense of wrong Loki feels is gorgeous. And when Loki comes upon him: He almost didn’t see him, at first. He had been looking for the most dynamic figure in the room, for the way Thor, even at his most perfectly still, was yet the thing that drew every eye. He had been looking for the Prince of Asgard, golden and boisterous and strong. So … he almost didn’t see. I may have let out a bit of a ridiculous sigh at that.

In my defense, good Thor characterization/description is sorely lacking in this fandom, so when something that punches me in the feelings like this fic did comes along... well, I have a lot of words about it. But it's even more than that, it's the way Loki reacts to all of this, how it makes such sense that this would be his reaction to the role reversal (not that they know it's a reversal, but) makes me both... both satisfied at this fic and also dearly wishing that I could have 100k of it to read, even as genfic.

? Everything's Better With Bunnies by khilari, Persephone_Kore, thor & loki & odin & frigga, crack treated seriously, 12.7k
    When frightened or stressed, Loki transforms into a bunny and sometimes he needs to be cuddled to calm down enough to turn back. Unfortunately, the events of the movie are extremely stressful. Five times he transformed into a rabbit and needed cuddling and one time he didn't and got cuddled anyway.
    xparrot pointed this fic out to me, which I might have skipped over (for now, at least) for being crackier than what I was looking for, because how could a fic like this not be cracky? When frightened or stressed, Loki transforms into a bunny and sometimes he needs to be cuddled to calm down enough to turn back. Unfortunately, the events of the movie are extremely stressful. And yet it's not! Instead, it's an amazingly written fic where the events of the movie happen mostly the same, except things are changed because Loki's stress is so much more visible now, because people see what he goes through. It's not suddenly all happiness and sunshine, because he hates it and people do not always talk about it kindly, but it is enough to change things, little by little. And I would have been satisfied if the authors had only added a little extra here and there, scenes where Loki changed and needed to be petted until he calmed down, because it was almost always Thor and Frigga and Odin that could do it, because this Loki had their affection in a more tangible way than canon!Loki. But, no, instead, it changes the ending, because Thor is able to hold onto this Loki when they fall off the Bifrost, which means he stays in Asgard to face the consequences of his actions... but from people who understand that Loki is stressed out of his mind, which makes a world of difference. And, oh, sure, I read this fic because BUNNY LOKI YES BRING IT ON but I wound up enjoying it more for the intense amount of genuine, serious feels that it gave me. The insight into the characters, the insights they had into each other, the way Odin was often the one to pick Loki up and soothe him, the way everything actually worked in a serious way... ugh, just SO GOOD FOR ME. This was absolutely stunningly good.

? "Growing Pains" by AloryShannon, thor & loki + other asgardians, action scenes, mythology elements, 49.2k
    Written for a prompt on the Thor Kinkmeme on LJ: "Odin, in this universe, has the foresight to realize that keeping Loki's origins from him could end up alienating his son. On his tenth birthday, he tells Loki of his Frost Giant heritage, and while it upsets the boy initially, because he is young, he is able to bounce back once reassured of his parents' general support. Still, Odin urges the young Loki to not tell Thor until he feels that his brother has truly matured to the point where it won't affect his overall view of Loki. Meanwhile, some odd years later, Loki is going through weird frost giant puberty and Thor is entirely convinced that his brother is ill or mental or some thing or other. Hi-jinx ensue."
    There's so much happening in this fic that it's kind of ridiculous, especially for a fic that's only around 50k. There are a couple of caveats I have, that the fic uses too many epithets and a little too much slang at times and there are some occasional moments of dumb!Thor that made me wary (but I also freely admit that I'm more sensitive to detecting that sort of thing), but they're pretty negligible overall in the face of all what else the fic accomplishes. Because, oh, this fic isn't satisfied with just centering around one or two instances, there's a whole lot going on here, a whole lot of definining moments in Loki's life! This is a fic where Odin and Frigga told Loki about his true biology when he was younger, instead letting him make the decisions about whether or not to tell anyone else, which... changes some things and doesn't change others.

It's pretty rough in a lot of spots for Loki, there's some absolute misery at times, both for his biology being a real pain in the ass and for how he still feels ill fitted to Asgard, how there's always the looming question of whether he would really be accepted. This is, ultimately, a Loki who has a stronger sense of self, if only because he can't be side-lined by a huge secret, there's still that same sense of how fragile his self-identity is at times, but it has a better chance to be worked through here, even for as many different problems as it causes. Though, I do kind of look back and think, with just a few tragic external factors, this could have gone as wrong as canon did, which is probably part of why I like it so much, that this universe worked out so much better. It also doesn't pull some of its punches on how Loki does get left out of things, how he pushes himself too hard, how he's not really open about things, how sometimes shit just happens on both sides of the issue. This is definitely an arrogant Thor, but you also entirely get why Loki loves him so much, because I fell in love with this Thor all over again, too.

There's also action scenes in the fic and the Thor & Loki scenes are so intense and so all-consuming in that intensity that I practically read this as pre-slash at times, which is my favorite kind of genfic to read! I mean, I believe the author wrote this as entirely gen and it totally works on that level, but if you want to read more into it, you can. It's sort of hitting the same notes as canon, in that sense, imo. There's some great stuff in the first half, when they're fighting a dragon (fighting a dragon! that is pretty terrifying and awesome!), but the second half of the fic focuses even more on the two of them, especially the question of Loki's secret hanging between them and, boy, was that some satisfying emotional resolution. There's elements of the mythology being worked in as well, but fitted to the MCU, and I loved that a whole lot, too. Basically, this was a ridiculously delightful fic to read, especially once it got going and now I'm really sad that it's over, because I want more, siiighhh.

? Those Who Hunt Monsters by Zeta_Tauri, thor & loki + other asgardians, action scenes, mythology elements, 49.2k
    When Odin finds the abandoned Jötun boy in the temple, he has a choice. AU in which Odin is honest, Thor and Loki both know the secret of Loki's heritage, and everything changes while staying the same.
    This fic caught my attention for the intriguing summary, but pulled me in with the opening scenes of Loki as a baby being adopted into the House of Odin and how utterly charming everything was about it. I can't say that it was pure fluff even in those moments, but there was joy and love there, they fell in love with that baby before they had even realized it, and even as an infant, Loki had such tremendous personality. It kicked up all of my family feels emotions and that's the best part of this fic, really. This is sort of a blend between comics and the movies, an AU where Loki has known since he was a child that he's Jotunn, but is genuinely loved by his family. The story follows him as he grows up and that love never wavers from them, even as things fray around the edges of their lives, when Loki just never quite fits.

It's a beautifully told story of winding back in the direction of canon, even with the changes to the storyline--as the summary notes: "Everything changes while staying the same." Which is accurate. Because he doesn't quite fit, Loki is still isolated and Asgard never really embraces him the way his family does. I love that so many of the early scenes are focused on Thor and Loki, that they're such darling little brothers, but eventually they start to drift away, even when they do still love each other. The pacing of this is lovely, it's not really about the end destination, as much as it is about the journey there, about Loki growing up, so don't let the WIP nature hold you back too much.

It's about Loki finding friends of his own (and I dearly love that Hogun and Fandral are friends with Loki first, that they're still more his friends than Thor's here, that the AU nature of this fic means those relationships could go anywhere) and finding things he likes (Loki on Midgard is delightful! I love how much is established in his life!) and the world building being done here is really solid and fleshed out, without being too much. And the fic really made me enjoy Fandral/Loki, the way it was built up here, the way it was surprisingly sweet and good! My only complaint is that I'm not fond of the way Sif is written, even if I understand the need for a character who reinforces Loki's tendency towards isolation, but it's balanced out by Odin being protective of Loki (and, oh, the gorgeous reason he doesn't step in, it makes perfect sense here) and accepting of him, even as he's wary of the kind of person Loki's growing into.

It's a long fic at almost 40k words and not finished yet, but it's one I found myself sucked into and it wouldn't let me go until I'd finished everything there was of it. It's one of those genfics that focuses on Loki's character and reminds me of just how much I really do love world building and alternate timelines, because it's not just about throwing the characters into a wildly different setting, but instead using it to give insight into the characters' motives and how they might be similar or different if things had just changed a little. At it's heart, this is a story about the characters, about Loki growing up especially, and I love that.

? Poker Night by entanglednow, thor/loki (pre-slash?) + heimdall & odin, silly, 2.3k
    In which there is scheming, sarcasm, and waging of family members in games of chance
    So this was delightful cracky fun! Odin and Heimdall are playing poker, while Odin is drunk and betting everything in the kingdom, and that goes super well playing against Heimdall, of course, so Thor and Loki have to step in and do something about this. Loki, being Loki, figures a sneaky way to do it and changes his shape to Thor's and vice versa, and it's just really charming, adorable hilarity with Loki being loyal to Asgard as always, but in his own way, and Thor understanding that about him. Adorable!

? Devoutly To Be Wished by dreamsthebirds, loki + thor + frigga + odin, deathfic, 1.7k
    Written for this prompt at norsekink: "Although I dont usually like death fics, this took ahold of my brain and didnt want to let go. Loki commits suicide by magic-ing Thor into killing him, in front of the rest of Asgard, while explaining all the things that Thor and "his" family did to break him so badly. I want Loki calm and cruel, and Thor a delicious wreck who has complete awareness over what he is doing."
    SPEAKING OF FICS I DIDN'T WANT TO READ. I saw this on the kinkmeme and quickly read it and was like NOPE NOPE NOPE I DO NOT NEED THIS HEARTBREAK, but then I saw it posted on AO3 and... well, I couldn't resist it a second time, because it's so beautifully written and it's so heart-rendingly crushing. It's beautiful for every word that comes out of Loki's mouth, every thing he has to say to his family after the events of the movie, each of them in turn and how Loki is so brittle at them and yet so much steel, and every little wave of magic that's badass, and for... when Thor realizes where this is going, you feel that stomach-dropping horror with him. It's beautifully built up and definitely tore my heart apart--so if I go searching for a million happy fics after this YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHY--but it's so gorgeous that I couldn't resist it.

? Loki's 'mischief' was always out of control. Odin doesn't care by burning_nova, odin & frigga & loki & thor, humor, crack, ~1k
    There have been a lot of stories where Odin is quick to crack down on Loki's actions with gruesome torture punishments, but what if Odin had always been extremely indulgent of Loki's bullshit?
    I'm really, really not kidding about how I would read so many fics just like this because I am 100% serious that I don't care if it's against the tone of the movies or whatever, I would absolutely choose this route of Odin and Frigga's reactions to Loki's actions. Because doting on Loki as their precious darling and the hilarity of Thor's WTF WTF WTF reaction and Loki being an absolutely spoiled rotten little shit is my favorite. Faaaaaavoriiiiiiiite. And this one happily embraces the cracky nature and just runs with it, where Odin and Frigga really don't give a fuck what anyone thinks, they do what they want to do. Which is coo over their precious baby. Yes. Yes, good.

? untitled by mrsloki [ mobile ver. ], odin + loki + frigga + thor, baby!loki, jotunn!loki, ~1k
    He cradled the tiny body on the thick flesh of his arm while his free hand unwrapped the tight swaddling covering— pale blue skin and distinctive markings; he sighed deeply, wearily.
    I initially thought this was Thor holding baby Loki, but then realized, oh! It's Odin holding baby Jotunn!Loki! And I really loved this because it's... one of the theories that occasionally floats around (or at least I keep thinking of it) is that Odin may actually have been Loki's bio-dad, it would explain a lot about his size and such, so this fic assumes that and is just a brief moment in time, back when Loki was still a baby newly brought to Asgard, and it's so... bittersweet. Not heartbreaking, because Frigga is angry with Odin, not the baby, because Odin loves this baby and already Thor is charmed by the new baby, but it's... not all well, either. And the writing is lovely and builds a good atmosphere for the piece, despite its brevity, and I found I really enjoyed this.

? Farbauti's Ekkill by jalendavi_lady, laufey/farbauti + loki, 2.3k
    Laufey's life from a few months before Loki's birth to shortly after Thor's raid on Jotunheim.
    I am such a sucker for Jotunheim worldbuilding and theorizing, so I didn't mind that this was more summary than fic at times, it was still interesting! I'm intrigued by this version of Laufey, to why he would turn out the way he did while still working with the canon. It's short, but well packed with detail and an interesting read!

? Like Father-King, Like Wannabe-Dictator-Son by omnicat, odin & thor & loki, humor, crack, 2.8k
    In which Loki and Odin totally agree about this whole invasion thing and Thor is the poor bewildered straight man. (Let’s be clear: this is crack. It’s just that nobody informed Thor.)
    Well, I cried my way through this entire fic, because it's so amazingly perfect. I have a great love of cracky fic where Loki doesn't get in trouble for his actions on Midgard (or even non-cracky fic, though, that's tougher, of course), especially when an author has beautiful comedic timing, as this one does. It actually raises a few good points, ones that I want to devote some time thinking about later, but mostly it's just utter hilarity of Odin and Loki being on the same page about this whole invasion thing while nobody told Thor this wasn't a serious fic. It does my heart so much good to see Odin giving Loki attention here, to have him praised in his own way, for this to be pure fluff and delight, even as it's totally cracky and had me pausing in my reading because I had to just sit down and laugh for awhile. Basically, this was pretty much perfect for me.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder? by bakurae, thor + loki + frigga + odin + sif + w3, minor background pairing, 1.7k
    Wherein actually everyone is vaguely fond of Loki but Thor, and upon Thor's crowning, he sends his little brother off to Freyja's hall in Vanaheimr. Asgard raises a stink.
    You never do find out why Thor shipped Loki off to Vanaheim or why they're not as close in this universe, but that was part of the prompt and it didn't wig me out in the way I feared it would, instead it paved way for why you're really reading this fic: Everyone adores Loki and wants their precious baby back. That is so good for me, especially right now. I love fic where an author just gleefully embraces that everyone loves the little shit and wants him back, where it's sunshine and happiness all the way around, because it does my heart good. It's pure fluff, but super adorable fluff and that's exactly what I wanted.

Bro-hood and Other Drugs by Lunik, loki + natasha + thor + avengers, 3.4k
    Plenty of people get themselves blackout drunk and wake up with an unexpected husband. It's embarrassing but it happens. Natasha is trying to figure out how she could have woken up with an unexpected brother
    Speaking of fic that, boy, did I need to have! I've been reading too much angsty fic lately and so I needed something happier and I stumbled over this one again and, oh, it was just perfect for me. In my heart of hearts, I sometimes think this is the direction I want the characters to go in--just slightly cracky, in that Natasha and Loki swear to be blood brothers and Loki sort of comes around to being somewhere vaguely between chaotic neutral and chaotic good and so hilarious when Thor gets involved. I love the characterization here, the kind that balances cracky with actually letting me still see them perfect, like this Natasha is still as sharp as a razor, this Loki is still a little shit, and I like to think this is how they'd get along if they didn't have all the bad history between them.

But it's also in little details, like how Loki makes Natasha promise not to tell Thor that they're blood brothers now or other little ways Thor celebrates and/or gets possessive of his brother, just far enough in the background that it doesn't take over the fic (this is a fic about Loki and Natasha) but enough that the relationship is still obviously important. I love when fic does that, like, more than I can can convey with words. Plus, this fic is just straight up hilarious and an absolute must read.

Shapechangers in Winter by kyrilu, some hinted tony/loki (pre-slash?) + thor & loki + odin & loki + thor & tony, crossover/fusion, animal transformation, 31k
    Instead of simply attacking, the frost giants that invade Asgard turn Odin, Loki, and Thor into animals--an eagle, fox, and bear respectively. The three gods are banished to Earth where they meet Tony Stark. With the looming threat of a Jotun-inflicted Ice Age, Tony agrees to help the Norse gods take back Asgard. What happens is a realm-hopping adventure featuring daddy issues, near death situations, god+human friendships, and seal breakfasts. A fusion with Neil Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants.
    I picked up the link for this fic on hannahrhen's tumblr and, oh, I'm so glad I did! For one thing, it was a perfect way to cap off my FrostIron reading spree, but more than that--it was satisfying for the Thor&Loki relationship (as well as the Odin&Loki relationship) in a Tony/Loki fic! Yessssss, that is right in my wheelhouse, okay. But the fic didn't stop there! No, the fic balanced Loki's relationships with all three of these characters but it also even got in Thor & Tony's friendship! Do you know how delighted I was to see that? DO YOU? Because, oh, man, yes, their friendship is so great! And it's not a major, major part of the fic, but it's very much there and solid and so perfectly done. The Tony/Loki is really more a developing attraction, it's about on par for importance with the other things going on, which means it was absolutely perfect for the characters, because they've got other important shit going on.

The fic also blends three separate storylines and includes elements of a fourth, all of them wound together so seamlessly that you'd hardly know it. At the same time, it's not just a retelling of those events, this is fresh and new and the story truly belongs to this narrative! It's a satisfying story that balances everything just right, so I was wholly invested in the adventures these four had, both for the plot and for the character moments! There were no scenes that dragged, nothing that felt like it was being given too much or too little weight for what it needed to be, and the emotions of it were perfection, so I was left feeling happy and content afterwards. The use of Loki having let the Jotnar into Asgard is one of the main aspects and, oh, I absolutely adored what the author did with it, how it came to a head and how it caused (necessary! and satisfying!) complications between him and the other three characters, each for their own reasons.

Loki's relationship with Odin often gets ignored, but it was important here and the resolution is lovely for what it does and doesn't change. Loki's relationship with Thor just got right at my fannish heart, the anger and hurt Thor feels at all the bitterness Loki has kept hidden in him! And Tony's own issues come up about betrayal and family, but they also have a satisfying resolution. I love when fic can make each relationship different and important, which this fic does marvelously. That's probably the biggest reason I'd want to recommend this fic!

But there are also little touches that the fic does amazingly well--Tony's pop culture references are great, they're just the right amount of hilarious without taking over or trying too hard. As well as the elements of Norse mythology, especially the various people and places that are in Jotunheim, are very nicely done, while never losing that this is a MCU-based fic. The fic does a lovely job at making sure that this is primarly a fic centered on Tony, so there's a great amount of references to his supporting characters (all the mentions of Pepper were especially lovely), while not overusing him to the point that he overshadowed the other characters. It's one of the best FrostIron fics I've read, but I would also consider it one of the best gen fics I've read in the fandom as well, because it's more an undercurrent than anything that actually happens. I would recommend it for just about anyone who liked any of these characters, really. ♥

Great Ruins of an Unremembered Past by Lise, loki + thor + frigga + thanos, mildly nsfw for violent imagery, violent imagery + gore/torture, 8k
    There are a lot of things Loki would like to avoid. Imprisonment for life is one. Sleep is another. And under that, a whole lot of others.
    Well. So, this fic made me cry by the end of it. It's a brutal exploration of Loki's pain and issues and self-hatred and fears, tackling the kind of things that usually make me run screaming from a fic, done in such a way that I just could not look away from them and the author truly doing justice to just how horrifying a place Loki's mind is. Lise is not kidding when she says that Loki's a goddamned mess, but she writes him in such a way that it's utterly believable that he's not entirely evil and not entirely good, that he does monsterous things and continues to spit poison at everyone but also it's so very easy to have sympathy for him, that perfect balance that punches me straight in the feelings. The way she writes him interacting with Thor and Frigga especially are just breathtaking, the emotional connection he has with them (and I, in turn, have with these characters) punching me in the feelings so hard that, by the end of the fic, everything was built up to the final scenes just masterfully and put tears in my eyes as well. This is a brutal read, but that's what you're going to get when you're in Loki's mind, post-Avengers, and this absolutely delivers.

Your Life for My Pride by Mythtaken Identity (VR2LBast), thor & loki + sif + w3, some crossdressing, 15k
    Loki is not the typical Asgardian warrior. He fights with seidr, agility, and deception. When the Warriors Three question the honour of such methods, Thor proposes a series of contests to prove that Loki's talents can overcome their respective strengths...with a little cheating.
    Oh, this fic was utterly exquisite. The characterization was utterly brilliant, of all six characters here, especially with Thor, Loki, and Sif, but even the W3 were well-written and it made me fall in love with them all over again. The concept seems as if it could be cliche or just awkward, because betting in fiction is often a recipe for second-hand embarrassment or used as an excuse to get characters to behave in ways they wouldn't, but this fic absolutely nails how these characters would react, why they do this (especially Loki's reluctance, because he can see how this would all play out), and BEST OF ALL nothing is about crushing my soul here. Oh, don't get me wrong, my heart was in my throat by the end, because this is a story that has an emotional center focused on the Thor & Loki relationship, they are the heart of this piece, which means the emotional weight hurst here when it needs to.

But it wasn't about showing that Loki's life was horrible and terrible, instead all of these characters love each other, express it openly, and they know they love each other. The Warriors 3 appreciate Loki's tricks, it's Thor who says that Loki can out-trick them if given enough time to prepare, and is proud of how clever his brother is, without making it incompatible with the movie canon, because that doesn't mean all the issues are gone. By the time the emotional climax happens, it's just... asd;lfkjasljk utterly superb. Because I can see this! It's sharp and genuinely clever, this is a Loki who is wily little fox, who is brilliant and loved, but is definitely different in his methods.

And, oh, Sif. This story is told from Sif's point of view and she is used breathtakingly well, her affection for the W3 and her clear love for both Thor and Loki, what an incredible and trustworthy friend she is here, this is my Sif, this is the Sif I like to think the movie version could be if they let her. The use of details in their lives truly captures the feel of a Thor fic, capping off the list of nearly everything I could have possibly asked for from this fic, right down to the beautiful use of parallels between Sif/Loki and contrasts between Thor/Loki. Fantastic all the way around.

untitled [ mobile ver. ], thor & loki, ~1k
    Loki loved opals. It had surprised many back in Asgard, who had expected the young prince to hold a preference for emeralds or peridots, perhaps jade or the deeper sapphires, something more in tune with his tendency to favour forest hues, but in truth? The Liesmith preferred opals.
    This ficlet is all about focusing on the Thor/Loki relationship through the use of a gemstone, the details of the colors of them used to highlight aspects of their relationship, and make this work as a short character piece. I liked it especially because it was cute to think that, when they were younger, Loki would get Thor to help him go rock hunting, that the sweeter memories contrast against the more recent painful ones, and I just always like the way fic can take something like rocks and make a story out of the details. Bittersweet, but fun!

A Change of Pace by Mythtaken Identity (VR2LBast), thor & loki + some thor/sif + other asgardians, journey into mystery, slight au, grief/depression, 16k
    In spite of the All-Mother's declaration of non-interferance, Loki hied off to Otherworld and has been acting a little odd since his return. Thor cannot fathom why, but makes preparations for a change of scenery, hoping it will change his brother's mood.
    I inhaled this fic, as I was reading it, because it's so gorgeously done! It's a beautiful JiM piece, with bb!Loki feeling out of sorts and displaying all the symptoms of depression and grief, but these are Norse gods, so it's not something that's really put into words, just felt by everyone and the reader. It's heart-wrenching in all the right places, but still a wonderfully uplifting fic in the right ways, too, because it's an emotional wringer, but in the way that it does justice to the topics it's covering. And, oh, the relationship between Thor and Loki is utter perfection, how Thor is so very... Thor here, that my heart can barely take it. He cares and loves so strongly, there's such strength and good in his character, that's why you really feel Loki's love for him, even as he tries not to be so desperate about it.

But even beyond that... as much as this Loki is hated and mistrusted by the rest of Asgard, as heartbreaking as it is to see a child go through this kind of thing, there are also spots of such great affection and warmth. The writing is sharp and clever, it absolutely nails this world and finds this fantastic balance between touching on a lot of the aspects of the world (the scenes at Volstagg's home are some of my favorites, I think he may be my favorite of the W3 just for scenes like these here) and that, at it's heart, it's a Thor & Loki story. It's beautifully written, it brought a sheen of tears to my eyes at the right point, and was just so good, I could eat this kind of fic like candy for the rest of my life. A must-read if you like JiM fic!

The Poison Rain by Lizardbeth, frigga & loki, frigga & thor, thor & loki, odin/frigga, 36k
    Frigga and Thor battle Loki to save him from himself. Words are Frigga's weapons and love is her strength, and she will not surrender this fight.
    It would help to have read the first two stories in this series before this one, as they serve well as preludes.
    I'm not kidding that I bawled my way through the last 20% of this fic. It's the most exquisite fic I could have asked for from this fandom since No Such Liberty, to the point that I'm afraid I won't be able ti write the rec for it that I want, as I was just immediately sucked into this story and could not stop reading it once I'd begun. The characterization and writing are utterly stunning for how they hit every single note that I could have asked for, there was literally nothing else I could ask for from a family feels fic! This fic showed the relationship dynamics between the four main family members all brilliantly, it was satisfying if you're looking for a Frigga & Loki story, it was satisfying if you're looking for a Thor & Loki story, it was satisfying if you're looking for a Frigga & Thor story, it was satisfying if you're just looking for good Frigga fic in general. It was satisfying for the utterly intense and wrenching way that you believed in Loki right along with Frigga's unwavering support, but you also saw him just as clearly as she did, that he was still fighting a battle of the mind and it had not yet been won.

That is the heart of this fic, the battle that Loki still wages even after being brought to Asgard, to either fall to the poison that invades his mind or fight back from it, to open so many old wounds, to risk believing in something again, to risk hope, or to just finally fall. This fic had my heart the entire time, it was utterly breathtaking how well the author touched on this painful struggle of Loki's, as well as how difficult it was for Frigga and Thor as they struggled to try to help him, as this story was as much about them as it was about Loki. The balance here is brilliant, every scene--every scene--added to the greater whole and had me on the edge of my seat. The brilliant use of details, the world-building with Thanos and the casual bits of technology or magic, further added to the greater whole. The fic never lacked for incredible pacing or the sense that every scene was as fleshed out as it needed to be. I'm really not kidding, either, when I say that this fic gave me everything I could have asked for from a family feels fic that was about Loki being brought to Asgard and his family refusing to give up on him, with Frigga leading the charge.

The Frigga & Loki aspect is what I picked the fic up for, and certainly her characterization is utterly stunning here, but I found that the Thor & Loki scenes were just as much of a punch to the feelings as the Frigga & Loki scenes. The characterization of him here is spot on, that this is the Thor I know, that balance between utter love and utter anger, that he holds himself back from acting only because he hasn't yet figured out which way to act, but you still feel the weight of his character. You feel the weight of them all, really. And, oh, when Thor finally unravels one mystery about Loki, the moment that things first turned so wrong for them all, the brilliant way the author unfolded the scene had me so wound up that I nearly had to stop reading for awhile, just to work through the feelings it gave me. And tears. So many tears. The ending is just pure tears on my faaaace, especially once Odin enters the picture fully. If you're looking for good Frigga & Loki fic, want more good Thor & Loki fic, or just want post-Avengers "Asgard tries to help Loki" fic, this one is an absolute-must read.

little lion man by Mira_Jade, thor & loki, kidfic, 1.8k
    "Brother, don't you want to be king?"
    A short, lovely piece on the distance growing between Loki and everyone else, the natural drift of it without ill intention, yet such effort and love in him. Thor and Loki fit naturally together here still, such precious children in this moment, who contemplate their future, still just two young princes. Their conversation is perfect and the touches of magic and background world are lovely, it's so sweet to see how well they interact, how much they clearly adore each other and see themselves as being a part of each other's lives forever, the kind that makes the bittersweet knowledge of their future all the more poignant.

Tales of the Storm: Ephemeral by Lizardbeth, loki + thor + frigga + odin, kidfic, animal death, 2.2k
    A hunting accident teaches young Loki about mortality and loss.
    Oh, no, more tears threatening to well up in my eyes after reading this one. It's a short piece, but it's so lovely a look at Loki's childhood and the first time he really experiences the death of something and how this incredibly sensitive child would react to something like that. It's heart-wrenching even as it's incredibly sweet in moments, the scenes between Frigga and Loki especially are just beautifully done, the author choosing to focus on parents and children as the central theme in a perfectly done way. The little touches are so good here, Odin's hand smoothing Loki's hair or Frigga pulling him close, you feel their affection for this child struggling to deal with the concept of death in a culture that doesn't have nearly as much of it as mortals do. The conversation with Frigga about why there's death was the highlight of the fic as well, worth the read for that alone.

Legerdemain by spaceleviathan, thor & loki + other avengers, 2.2k
    They try to attack when Loki is locked up in Asgard's dungeon.
    This is more a snippet than anything, a moment between battles, but it's deliberately so and works for that. It was fun to see the Avengers briefly in Asgard, but it's a Thor & Loki piece (well, a Loki piece, but with a fair amount of Thor in it) and it was their scenes that were the best. I loved it for how it's simple, but it fits so well with how Thor knows his brother, but keeps trying with him anyway, and how this Loki is so... gracefully, pleasantly mad. And always dangerous. Short but very interesting!

J'entre dans la légende by fallintosanity (yopumpkinhead), avengers + loki + thanos, wakfu crossover, canon divergence, action fic, implied torture, 117k
    Loki is bound to deliver the Infinity Gauntlet to Thanos. But he knows as soon as Thanos has it he’ll destroy the Nine Realms and rule whatever’s left. It’s hard to be a king without a kingdom, so Loki has no intention of letting that happen. Thanos may be a titan, but Loki is still the God of Lies and Mischief…
    I've been reading this fic off and on for a few months now and I've finally finished it! It's not that it was a bad fic that it took me so long, just that it's one of those that... it was an intense ride and each scene had so much happening that I felt satisfied by just reading a chapter or two, as well as... this sounds like a back-handed compliment, especially on a genfic which works best as gen the way it was... but I still would read this fic, especially once it got into later scenes, and just desperately crave Thorki fic. It's a compliment because the writing of that relationship was the kind that got to me in such a thorough way that it really hit my fannish heart. So, if you're like me, I would suggest having a few pwp fics onhand to help with the cravings, but if you like them as purely brothers, then this fic is going to be really good. For a fic that initially had me worried about how the Thor&Loki relationship would play out, because they were distant to each other at first and I wasn't sure how important that bond would be by the end, this is actually one of the most moving fics I've read for them in awhile. It's not meant to be solely focused on them, but it's one of the major themes, so it's worth reading if you're a Thor & Loki fan!

Especially by the end, when the fic is ramping up into its climax, once the necessary revelations have been made, this fic is so good for the Thor&Loki feels. I'll admit, it veered too far into Loki apologia/favoritism territory by the end for it to be perfect, but I also freely admit that the fic brought tears to my eyes and that I found the balance between Loki's damage and his intentions to do better was really well done. This is a Loki who is trying to save everyone, but who is still broken and vicious, who is poisonously angry and hardened against so much of the rest of the world. This is a fic about how damaged Loki is and how that's not fixed by doing the right thing (though, maybe eventually, one day, he could heal, which I think will be the focus of the sequel fics) and I really liked that about the fic.

The fic does everything else right, too--the use of the Avengers and Asgard and Thanos was all brilliantly done, the kind of solid storytelling that screams of professional level writing and pacing and structure to me. The crossover with the series Wakfu is beautifully done, the two series fit seamlessly together, so that even the OC that Loki is paired with actually works. The character is necessary and she doesn't take over or crowd out the established characters or their relationships with each other, so I recommend reading even if you're not usually a fan, because the OC doesn't actually take up that much space. Everyone in this fic gets their crowning moment of awesome (though, Thor and Loki get the best ones, especially oh man Thorrrrrrr), because the fic does a fantastic job at juggling a large cast and making each of them relevant to the story. The voices for each of them are very solid, everything works here and it really is one of the best Thanos-dealing fics I've read in the fandom.

The sheer scope of this fic is incredible as well, both for just how much happens and for the reach of it, how many places this war spreads to and all that has to come together to stop it. At its heart, it's about Loki and Thor and the Avengers and the world of Wakfu, but it goes beyond that as well into the other Nine Realms. It's one of those fics that I inhaled the last third of the fic practically in one sitting because I could not stop reading it, because it was just so very much what I wanted out of this fandom and the plot fic potential possible here, and found myself so very envious because, ahhh, what I wouldn't do for a brilliant fic like this in the Thorki fandom, too. But I will totally take my genfic and eagerly start reading the sequels next and heartily, heartily recommend this to anyone looking for just plain good fic in this fandom.

The Honey is Sweeter than Blood by netla, thor + avengers, 1.9k
    If you had asked Thor what he would miss most before he moved to Midgard, he’d have said the company of great friends, the assuring presence of his family, the grand vistas and expansive palace grounds, and the rush of adventure in beautiful lands. If you asked him after, he’d say the food.
    I am always and forever looking for fic that focuses on Thor to explore the character depth that he has, as well as fic that focuses on the cultural differences between Midgard and Asgard. This was a short piece, but the focus on the food and the detail of it was very nicely done, there's a richness to the way things were described that fit very well with Thor's character, that food wasn't just about the food, but also about the memories and people associated with it. That's a lovely tack to take with Thor, who is very much the extrovert, while not limiting his character to being defined through those relationships. They're part of him, but so is the way he looks at the food and the way he thinks about these mortal customs. This was a nice addition to the collection of my Thor character exploration fics!

Amuse Me by Lise [ mobile ver. ], thor + loki, ~1k
    Thor in a mood was about as subtle as a rampaging troll, and almost as unpleasant. There was a roughly equivalent amount of roaring and thumping around, to boot.
    That's the first line of this fic. The second line is: Sometimes Loki tossed around the idea of turning Thor into a troll for a day and seeing if anyone noticed. He was inclined to suspect that they would not, as long as he left the cape and the hair untouched. Oh, brothers, I am weak to them something terrible. But it's also about Loki noticing Thor's terrible mood, that he's crushing everything in his path, so of course no one else does anything about it until Loki starts digging in. And then it's Thor being amused by Loki's little shit antics, because Thor actually greatly enjoys Loki's shit stirring ways, which I will never get enough of in fandom! This is a short piece, but it's terribly fun and hit on some characterization notes that I greatly enjoyed. ♥

Proprietary Malevolence by anonymous, thor & loki + avengers, ~1k
    Nobody really worries too much about Thor on the battlefield. Not because they don’t care about him, of course, but because everyone else has so many more potential weaknesses. If Clint gets smashed into by a bus, that’s the end-game for him. If Tony pushes his armour too hard, that’s heart-failure for him. If Steve gets shot in the head, he’s not surviving it better than any other man. But if Thor gets hit by a bus, that’s the bus’s problem. If he pushes himself too hard, a good night’s rest will fix the problem. If he gets shot, the bullets tend to just sort of bounce off. So they’ve all grown rather accustomed to not-really-paying-attention to what’s happening to Thor in their fights, if only because there are more urgent things to focus on.
    This is a short fic, but that moment in the summary right there, that's what got me and just absolutely delighted me with this story. Sure, I came for the Thor & Loki feels, which are nicely delivered in a brief, understated and never fully touched on way (which is deliberate and why it works so well), but, oh, man. "If Thor gets hit by a bus, that's the bus's problem." That made me laugh and it's absolutely perfect, it's a great little piece about how Thor is usually so indestructible, but what happens in those very rare instances that he's not. Bless.

Open Road by KageOtogi, thor & loki & tony + other avengers, humor, road trip, 6k
    No one save Thor is particularly thrilled by Loki becoming an official member of the Avengers, but Loki somehow manages to charm the team into accepting him as one of their own. Or, well, most of the team. Tony manages to maintain his completely healthy and rational suspicion, of course, but with the other Avengers, Pepper Potts, and SHIELD conspiring against him, who knows how long that will last?
    So, I love road trips, I will read pretty much all of them, and if you give me "Thor's enthusiastic about his brother becoming an official member of the Avengers", well, shit, I'm going to be right on top of that. And I'm so glad I saw this one because there were at least five points where I totally lost my shit while reading this fic, because the author has an excellent grip on Tony's voice, including how to balance him well with other characters. Yeah, he's probably the star of this fic, but by no means are Thor and Loki not important here! They both get moments in the fic that had me laughing until I'd just about cried! And this is one of the rare fics where Thor is pretty deep into trope-heavy characterization, but I fucking loved it, because it was clearly done with affection and it wasn't about Thor being dumb, but that he just really loved and enjoyed shit. He wanted to see all the different things Midgard had to offer, the more ridiculous the better! Like, I can buy Thor that way in a humor fic like this, because that guy is living, he really enjoys life.

But the other half of the way this fic won my heart was in how very much Thor and Loki were clearly brothers, how you could feel the history between them, and how Loki might have been a cranky little shit, but you could still feel the affection there. And it was sharp and genuinely funny, every scene was pure road trip gold, the fic being an excellent example of why I read this trope in the first place! And I love how Tony tries to resist Loki's charm, who keeps that sharp edge and mystery of what his real motivations are, even as he's slowly winning over the Avengers, it's that perfect mix of keeping him to the character I recognize, keeping him brilliantly sharp and a scream to watch, while giving me something good. And also so, so many lolz. This was beautiful and perfect and if you don't want all the road trip fic in the world after this, I don't understand.

I Reach Out My Hand (and hope you take it) by fallintosanity (yopumpkinhead), thor & loki + other asgardians, wakfu crossover, 34k
    Thor is struggling to rebuild a life in the wake of the Infinity War, and to cope, for a second time, with the loss of his brother. Then he discovers that someone's stealing from Loki's rooms...
    I greatly adored the main fic of this series, so I was very excited about a follow up fic that focused on Thor and Loki's relationship, which may be part of the reason why so much of it fell kind of flat for me. I nearly immediately turned away from this fic and stopped reading when it villainized Sif early on and there were a lot of points during the rest of the story where the Loki favoritism nearly became too much for me when it was so heavy-handed. It's an odd combination, that the characters otherwise felt so right to me, but the balance was so off. Literally everything revolved around Loki now and how he was the hero and right about everything and it completely failed to acknowledge any of Loki's wrongdoings, as well as everything suddenly became Thor's fault. He wasn't as smart as Loki, he wasn't as good as Loki, he wasn't as talented as Loki, he was being passed over in favor of Loki. I could buy Thor feeling guilt, but the sudden way he was no longer a good leader, that Loki should have been/was going to be king? That nobody really had any faith at all in him? No, it did a major disservice to Thor's character, as well as Loki's character.

In the main fic, the writing did justice to Loki's damage and how he was an anti-hero who was only beginning to heal, but one year later, all of that seems to have been wiped away, because Loki has a family and seems emotionally stable now. True, this is from Thor's point of view, so we don't really see Loki's thoughts, but it was frustrating, because everything else about the fic was so good! And I don't mean to give the impression that this isn't a fic I enjoyed, because I did enjoy it a lot! And I mention these things to encourage people to keep reading, if they might have otherwise turned away! When the writing focused in on Thor and Loki's relationship, it was absolutely wonderful. I really enjoyed the Thor characterization here as well, which I am routinely fussy about, especially when there's not much he can directly do and how too often it comes across as a bland sort of character. Here, instead the writing captures the balance between Thor growing more mature with how he's the type who does things, who doesn't just sit idly when there's something that needles at him. The scenes where he waits in Loki's rooms, the way he gets a bit of one over on Loki, those are where the fic absolutely sings and utterly worth reading just for those.

Ultimately, by the time I was done, I had a lot of feelings about the fic and the writing is, as always, incredibly smooth and well-paced, it's so easy to pick up and read. It's a fic that, at its heart, is about Thor and Loki's relationship, which gave me the emotional satisfaction I was looking for. I don't think I'll be reading anything more in this series, but this was a solid place to go out on, because it was over 30k of Norse Bro Feels and that is something I will always be delighted by. And also everyone really should read J'entre dans la légende, it's such a good fic.

Can't Go Back the Same Way You Came by gumbridge, loki & jane & darcy & selvig + thor & loki + minor thor/jane background, 20k
    Loki lets go. This is what happens after.
    20k on one of my favorite AU topics--Loki falling to Midgard after the events of the first movie! I love it almost as much as I love Thor falling with Loki. *__* I have a fondness for Loki falling in with the Thor mortal characters, that they prize him for his intelligence and treat him with a different kind of affection than that of Asgard, one that's not better or worse, just simply different. And this fic does an absolutely gorgeous job of capturing that feeling of a group of friends slowly winning over the distant new guy in the office, just by being people who care, who don't let him stay distant, even as they respect his personal boundaries. Well, mostly respect them. It's not really an in-depth fic about that, because there's so much going on here, but the fic definitely gives you several scenes of that sort of gen bonding, the kind that grounds Loki emotionally again when he needs it.

The fic also does a brilliant job at showing an Asgardian fish out of water, but one who is Loki. All this new Midgardian stuff doesn't quite make sense to him at first, but he navigates it pretty well, he seems entirely competent from the outside, it's only that we see his thoughts to let us know that he's fumbling his way through. I love it because of course someone from another world would experience this kind of culture shock and the fic has the kind of attention to detail that I would have gladly read another 80k of this! These versions of Jane and Darcy and Selvig are just so completely charming and likeable that I wanted Loki to stay with them forever! At the same time, oh, man, I was practically twisting myself into knots waiting for Thor to show up! At first I was wary that it wouldn't be as emotionally satisfying as I was hoping for (because I had pretty high expectations), but by the end of the fic? Oh, yeah, I was very satisfied with how this turned out.

This is a beautifully written fic, it's a wonderfully satisfying Loki piece (if you don't mind the author's interpretation of the character, as this fic was written when we only had the Thor movie and The Avengers wasn't out yet, so this Loki is able to be brought back to sanity and wants to make up for the damage he caused on Midgard), and really fun for if you love "Loki falls to Midgard after Thor" fic as much as I do!

As The Light Leaves Your Eyes by CalamityCain, loki & hela, ~1k
    At the end of all things, a queen reunites with her dying father.
    This was short, but has a nice overview of Loki and Hela's relationship here. It's very bittersweet and lovely, the sense of loss touched on nicely here.

Drifting by Velvedere, thor & loki + other marvel characters, pacific rim, crossover, 2k
    Avengers/Pacific Rim crossover, involving Loki's first drift with Thor.
    Short, but lovely and focusing on how Loki got lost in the drift which tugged on my heartstrings something fierce, of course. What I really liked, though, is how it echoes the movie, but it isn't a copycat so that I felt like it wasn't right for these characters or their stories, instead striking a really good balance between the two of them. And, oh, the feelings in this piece, both before and after, when Thor goes after him both times Loki is lost. Just. Bawwwing all over the place. I'm weak, shut up.

we're not friends, we're strangers with memories by Lise, clint & loki + some clint/natasha, some violence, angst, 12.8k wip
    Clint's life has been varying degrees of weird since he made the potentially questionable decision to join the Avengers Initiative. This is setting a new standard, though. And by 'this' we mean 'guess who's sitting in his apartment when Clint gets home.' It's not the Tooth Fairy.
    This is like the most vicious sitcom ever. The anger between them is nearly exhausting to read, like it should be! Don't get me wrong, I read pretty much all of this in one sitting, but I was tired afterwards and that's exactly what Lise was going for here and that's why I'm recommending it, rather than my usual making of a caveat of it. Some authors can just do that kind of thing for me, to make that the highlight of the fic, when they find the right circumstances and characters for it--Loki and Clint being unwilling roommates is definitely one of those circumstances! It's also got the lovely bonus of how this Clint feels right to me. I mean, I see Loki very similarly to how Lise does, so I pretty much automatically trust her Loki (which I'm not disappointed on here!), but it's rare for me to find a Clint that feels right to me, but here? Yeah, I definitely felt him. It's also in how I believed the set-up for the characters, why they would find themselves in this position, and Lise pulls that off brilliantly, too. Everything is so sharp and jagged here, everything is a fight here, every shot wounds, and it's a heavy read at times, but so good when you're ready for it.

untitled by awesomeflotsam [ mobile ver. ], thor & loki + sigyn, loki's kids, 1.3k
    It looked normal. That was the first thing Loki thought of, once the blood had been washed and the child presented to him.
    This isn't Thorki, which you might think looking at the image, but it does have a fair amount of their interaction. The Loki/Sigyn of the piece is way in the background at most, while the main focus is on Loki's view of his children, both the one he now holds and the ones that have come before. The writing is lovely and captures the vicious bitterness of Loki's thoughts (which aren't necessarily reliable) and how he wants more "monster" children. It was a very interesting fic that I thought was a nice character piece.

Hidden Children by anonymous, loki + other marvel characters, loki's kids, 2.5k
    When he is alone, after a long day of trailing his brother’s shadow, of avoiding their father’s keen gaze, Loki lets out a breath and presses a hand to his stomach. Asgard’s clear evening air is cool and crisp around him. Another one. Another one to let go of.
    The way this fic started out made me think it was going to be super victim Loki and... there may be an element of that, but it's not really the main point of the fic, really. Fic about Loki and his children is often a tricky thing to pull of without making one side too soft or another too evil, but I thought this one did really well with it for me because it focused on Loki's feelings and the one time we see Thor in the fic, he's caring and supportive. But what really made the fic for me was the deeper idea behind this collection of scenes, how it's really neat and one of those ideas that I'm glad to see played with. It captured my imagination and made me crave the different lines of thinking and the creativity that came from the old days of norsekink! It's a very nice, really interesting little fic.

Holding On by Kay (sincere), thor & sif & loki, very mild thor/sif implied, 1.3k
    There are not many phoenixes left in the realms. Just enough for a couple of excitable Asgardian youths to spy a once-in-a-lifetime event that resonates deep. In which Sif and the boys find their phoenix, and are chased down a mountain.
    The Thor/Sif in this fic is mild enough that I might not even have labeled it as such if the author hadn't included it, because it's really more of a trio piece between these three characters. And, oh, it was so lovely, the three adolescents chasing a phoenix and it's fun just for shenanigans, but the undercurrent of Sif's feelings for Thor, the affection there, even as they're absolutely a trio together, then Thor's affection for her and for Loki as well, it's all just really perfect.

loki's mom (has got it going on) by artyartie, tony & loki & frigga & thor + other marvel characters, mild canon pairings, humor, 2.1k
    "You're what, two thousand, three thousand years old? Because you don't look it at all. You are one blazing hot mama." Tony Stark might not have much common sense, but he knows an amazing woman when he sees one. Too bad Frigga's sons don't quite see it that way.
    If you don't laugh while reading this, I don't know how to help you. It's fun and pure delight PLUS happy futurefic with Tony and Loki arguing, Loki being overprotective of his mom, and cute Tony/Pepper. So much enjoy! ♥ And there's actually some pretty great Frigga characterization mixed in here as well, so I'd recommend it for that as well. But mostly it's just light-hearted humor with characters who are dicks to each other in that way that makes you love them more plus Frigga being awesome. All I want out of life sometimes, tbh.

Shall We Keep Him? by ItsMadness, odin/frigga + loki, baby!loki, 1.3k
    Odin finds an infant on Jötunheim, and decides to keep him.
    This is short, but adds context to the day Odin rescued Loki from Jotunheim and works well as a set-up for future stories. it also has a neat bit of detail on baby!Loki's powers and so it's a fun little read to add to a collection when you're looking for more fic set in this time period.

"Growing Pains" by AloryShannon, thor & loki + other asgardians, action scenes, mythology elements, 49.2k
    Written for a prompt on the Thor Kinkmeme on LJ: "Odin, in this universe, has the foresight to realize that keeping Loki's origins from him could end up alienating his son. On his tenth birthday, he tells Loki of his Frost Giant heritage, and while it upsets the boy initially, because he is young, he is able to bounce back once reassured of his parents' general support. Still, Odin urges the young Loki to not tell Thor until he feels that his brother has truly matured to the point where it won't affect his overall view of Loki. Meanwhile, some odd years later, Loki is going through weird frost giant puberty and Thor is entirely convinced that his brother is ill or mental or some thing or other. Hi-jinx ensue."
    There's so much happening in this fic that it's kind of ridiculous, especially for a fic that's only around 50k. There are a couple of caveats I have, that the fic uses too many epithets and a little too much slang at times and there are some occasional moments of dumb!Thor that made me wary (but I also freely admit that I'm more sensitive to detecting that sort of thing), but they're pretty negligible overall in the face of all what else the fic accomplishes. Because, oh, this fic isn't satisfied with just centering around one or two instances, there's a whole lot going on here, a whole lot of definining moments in Loki's life! This is a fic where Odin and Frigga told Loki about his true biology when he was younger, instead letting him make the decisions about whether or not to tell anyone else, which... changes some things and doesn't change others.

It's pretty rough in a lot of spots for Loki, there's some absolute misery at times, both for his biology being a real pain in the ass and for how he still feels ill fitted to Asgard, how there's always the looming question of whether he would really be accepted. This is, ultimately, a Loki who has a stronger sense of self, if only because he can't be side-lined by a huge secret, there's still that same sense of how fragile his self-identity is at times, but it has a better chance to be worked through here, even for as many different problems as it causes. Though, I do kind of look back and think, with just a few tragic external factors, this could have gone as wrong as canon did, which is probably part of why I like it so much, that this universe worked out so much better. It also doesn't pull some of its punches on how Loki does get left out of things, how he pushes himself too hard, how he's not really open about things, how sometimes shit just happens on both sides of the issue. This is definitely an arrogant Thor, but you also entirely get why Loki loves him so much, because I fell in love with this Thor all over again, too.

There's also action scenes in the fic and the Thor & Loki scenes are so intense and so all-consuming in that intensity that I practically read this as pre-slash at times, which is my favorite kind of genfic to read! I mean, I believe the author wrote this as entirely gen and it totally works on that level, but if you want to read more into it, you can. It's sort of hitting the same notes as canon, in that sense, imo. There's some great stuff in the first half, when they're fighting a dragon (fighting a dragon! that is pretty terrifying and awesome!), but the second half of the fic focuses even more on the two of them, especially the question of Loki's secret hanging between them and, boy, was that some satisfying emotional resolution. There's elements of the mythology being worked in as well, but fitted to the MCU, and I loved that a whole lot, too. Basically, this was a ridiculously delightful fic to read, especially once it got going and now I'm really sad that it's over, because I want more, siiighhh.

who's left and who's leaving by Lise, thor & loki, h/c, 5.3k
    Thor decides he's about done with letting Loki get himself hurt and pretending he's okay with it. Loki's got two feet of steel through his lungs and is finding it difficult to argue. Family therapy, at its finest.
    This fucking fic, jfc. I'm biased because this was my request and because it's Lise, but still OH MAN this punched my buttons something fierce. Thor taking care of Loki, with anger and love and force, it's so very Thor. And this is one of those fics that might be from Loki's point of view, it might be in Loki's head, and Lise always does a fantastic job with Loki (which I will get to in a minute), but I loved it just as much for Thor as I did for Loki, absolutely. Because there is such weight and force to Thor's character, but that it comes from a place of caring, the older brother who is no longer going to watch Loki not take care of himself. There's anger from someone who has dealt with so much of Loki's terrible behavior and denial of what they are to each other, but still so much love beyond that, and that Thor openly embraces all of this, anger and love alike. He has such incredible presence here, when he's not trying to placate Loki in the way that he used to, which... because this is Loki, seems to crack open a few new chinks in the armor.

But that's not to say this Loki doesn't have the same sharp edges that Lise always gives him because, boy, does he. He's such a vicious little shit, such a complete messy mixture of desperate want and anger in a horrible combination that only makes me love him more. He pushes himself so hard for all the wrong reasons and Thor has had enough and, lord, it is glorious. It's so many kinds of good for me, it's the purest h/c you could ask for (with an element of forced h/c, but really more that Loki has jammed himself up so badly this time that Thor would be fine with letting him go except they both know Loki can't, so he's stuck then, isn't he, as;dlfkjasl;kj om nom nom nom that is the most delicious candy for me), and Lise did a gorgeous job with the prompt I gave her.

Farbauti's Ekkill by jalendavi_lady, laufey/farbauti + loki, 2.3k
    Laufey's life from a few months before Loki's birth to shortly after Thor's raid on Jotunheim.
    I am such a sucker for Jotunheim worldbuilding and theorizing, so I didn't mind that this was more summary than fic at times, it was still interesting! I'm intrigued by this version of Laufey, to why he would turn out the way he did while still working with the canon. It's short, but well packed with detail and an interesting read!

Apples (or, The Quest for Breakfast) by incandescent (lmeden), thor & loki + idunn, fairy tale-esque, 3.9k
    In which Loki provides the adventure, and Thor provides the muscle. An Hansel & Gretel AU.
    I hesitate to label this as purely a fairy tale, because it fits pretty well with possible MCU canon, but... it's also definitely inspired by fairy tales! And I feel like I should hvae read this before (and probably already recommended it?), but it's been long enough that my memory is fuzzy. Either way, it's a darling fairy tale-like story with an action scene and young teenagers being little shits and lovely language and neat use of the mythology remixed. Plus, the closeness of Thor and Loki can be read as pre-slash and I love when they go on adventures! So this was pretty great for me.

Mine + But He's Mine by BarbwireRose, thor & loki + other asgardians, kid!thor + bb!loki, 3.9k
    Little!Thor's first encounter with bb!Loki after Odin brings the babe home from the war. Naturally, when young Thor sees that his father is hiding something under his cloak, he assumes that the bundle is for him and asks to see it. He doesn't yet understand the concept of a 'brother', but that doesn't stop him from claiming Loki as his.
    Super fucking cute Thor and Loki as kids and just how completely possessive Thor is of Loki. It's all about the fluff of babiessss and happy families and how fucking cute everything here is! It's all just so fucking precious omg. ♥ And that is a huge, huge weakness for me, so I was completely charmed by this.

The Loki Sitters Club by zgory, thor & loki, loki & avengers, kid!loki, child endangerment themes, referenced pedophilia, 27.6k
    Due to the overwhelmingly hostile attitude in Asgard, Thor takes his newly reincarnated brother to Avengers Tower. Irritation turns to a grudging fondness which comes in handy when one of Loki's internet friends turns out to be quite dangerous.
    This fic is a mix of comics de-aging with movie Avengers, but that doesn't really slow the story down and it's really pretty easy to just roll with it. The writing is rough in places, it could use some polishing, and there are too many epithets, but the heart of the fic is abosolutely here. The characterizations are lovely, especially Thor and Loki, but seeing a kid!Loki with all of the Avengers is a delight! The first half is pure fluff and that's definitely the half that works better, but I'm easy for kidnapped characters and Thor ready to level a city to get him back and the comfort that comes after, which this fic delivered on in a way that made it absolutely worthwhile for me to read. Overall, it's light-hearted fare, but it was engaging as all get out, where I just kept reading "a few more pages" until I'd finished the entire fic and found myself willing to have kept going if I could have.

Ere the World Falls by kaasknot, thor & loki + frigga & loki, berserker!thor, role reversal au, 5.9k
    "The sonic boom ripped through the sky over Asgard’s capital, rattling windows in their casements and scaring clouds of pigeons into the air. It overlapped with a deafening crack, and the combined reverberations, enough to set the dust of the streets shivering into the air, vibrated through Loki’s chest. He frowned, looking up from the doll-like mask of the Svartálfar corpse he was examining. He knew that sound. Catching the eye of the einheri captain beside him, he tilted his head in silent command. 'It seems my brother has come home,' he said. 'We should give him a proper welcome.'”
    It probably helps to have read Id Est Furor before this fic, for all that this is a prequel to that one, but you can read them separately. And, oh, this fic is gorgeous, it is everything I have wanted out of berserker!Thor, which is a blend of dark!Thor and yet... while the spirit is not the same, there are elements of how canon!Thor could have almost gone down this path. It's difficult to explain, that this isn't a Divergent Timeline AU, but neither is it wholly divorced from canon. Whatever that line it manages to walk, it really worked for me super hard. It completely satisfies the itch I had (and more!) for further stories in this universe and one of the things that it really nails is that Loki is still Loki here, that he's on the path of good, but he's still favoring cunning over supposed honor, he's still holding onto resentments just a little too long. As well as Thor is gloriously terrifying here and the writing for the little details and the world-building are stunning here. This is one of the best fics I've read for Asgard in the movies, how it captures the feel of their magic and technology, along with gorgeous Loki characterization and emotionaly satisfaction of his interactions with both Frigga and Thor. This is absolutely brilliant and I would read 100k of this easily.

True Son by Catspook, thor & loki + other asgardians, feels, divergent timeline pre-movie, depression issues, 12.3k
    AU: prior to the events of the movie, Loki becomes depressed when he concludes that he will never be able to make his parents proud
    Oh, I absolutely ate this fic up, it was that delicious combination of idfic and genuinely good! Loki is depressed and has no self-esteem and is hiding it, so of course it all comes spilling out when he collapses, which is one of those story scenarios that you have to be really careful with, there's a fine line between overdoing it and yet still scratching that idfic itch that I want, but this fic totally nailed that delicate line for me! All the better because afterwards it's pure, concentrated family feels comfort where Loki has his emotional needs met and gets support from them all and I rolled around in it like catnip. It balances that he didn't have the best of situations with how he was genuinely loved, that he's not surrounded by assholes, and if the circumstances they were all in were a little better, things could have gone so much better for everyone.

There's excellent interaction between Thor and Loki, even though it's a Loki-centric piece, you'll still be satisfied if that's what you're coming to this fic for! But there's also Frigga and Odin both interacting with Loki in important and excellent ways, often with just enough of an echo of canon to be perfect. It doesn't hit those lines or parallels too hard, just that some notes are always going to make it into the characters' lives, some things are inevitable no matter the changed circumstances, and that all worked for me. Loki's thoughts and issues are delicious if you're into this sort of thing (depressed!Loki trying to work through his feelings, ahhhhh, seriously it's like catnip for me!) and it's genuinely sharply written to go with the scenario that makes me sit up and practically wriggle around for how deep an itch this scratches for me. As mentioned, it's just... it's idfic that's genuinely well written and well characterized, my favorite combination ever.

Avengers/Thor: The Way is in the Heart by cathat77, loki, 1.6k wip
    The wind whistles around him as he approaches the Well of Wisdom. His every step echoes. Here lies the lost (taken, given) eye of Odin Borson, All-Father, Warmongerer. Here lie secrets and truths too powerful to ever be spoken. Loki can hear the Well whisper to him truths and untruths so entangled that even he cannot parse them.
    Well, as long as I have no shame and am reading/recommending from the kinkmeme, I had to roll around in this prompt as well--where dark forces have taken control of Asgard, so Loki makes a painful deal to save them, which leads to lots of heartwrenching moments and I'm like YES PLZ THAT SOUNDS AWESOME, especially so because I've read little plotfic in this fandom. The author has only posted two parts so far, but it was quite recent (as to the time of this rec) and it's a shorter piece, so it dives right into the middle of the action, which I think is actually an excellent choice. What I want isn't set-up, I have that in the prompt. Instead, the author goes for Loki's deal being made, written with lovely language, and then back to Asgard and the horrible realization. It's a quick read, but it's plotful and I'm intrigued and the author is making this work for me.

A Small Burning Candle by hearts_blood, loki & heimdall + other asgardians, kid!loki, ~1k
    Heimdall often has a small visitor.
    Oh, this is a beautiful little fic. It's not quite 700 words, but it has such a graceful flow to it and somehow manages to focus on both Heimdall's relationship with bb!Loki and to show how Loki grew up into the character that he became in the movies. It's beautifully written and I love that it doesn't try too hard to make any one character good or bad, so instead I feel so much for everyone here. But also the author does a lovely job of capturing the gravitas of Heimdall's character and bb!Loki's want for attention with so few words, yet these things are perfectly conveyed. Beautiful.

They Said Monster by rikacain, loki & sleipnir, ~1k
    Loki pays Sleipnir a visit.
    This is another fic I almost shouldn't have read, because it kind of seriously gave me a case of the sads and LIKE I DON'T GET THAT ENOUGH. Loki shouldn't be back in Asgard (for whatever reason, whenever it's convenient to be set) but he comes back briefly, long enough to say goodbye to Sleipnir and, oh, it's lovely and heartbreaking and bittersweet, as Loki knows he's a Frost Giant now and is a monster. Even admid all this bitterness he has, the love and care he has for Sleipnir can be felt and it's a short piece, but beautifully written, and the author packs in everything needed.

Dear Mother by anonymous, loki & laufey, good!laufey, fluff, ~1k
    "Why do you call me 'child'? I am a full-grown man, with all the trappings of a man," Loki says stiffly. Laufey snorts. "You are not full-grown. You have yet another six hundred years before I would consider you grown, and another four beyond before you should prove a warrior."
    This is a brief fill and pretty cracky (Loki goes to Jotunheim and Laufey recognizes him as his still-a-child-by-Jotunn-standards son and fusses over him) but it's so good for me and so adorable and totally put a smile on my face. I love the idea that Loki's still a young kid by Jotunn standards and I love when Loki gets a family that coos over him and this is just. Yes, good, give me more of this! → A Day In The Life Of The Laufeyson Clan by silvertoekee, loki + loki's kids + avengers, fluff, 1.6k
    It is never a dull moment when you are a part of this family, a complete stranger, a coworker, or even a friend.
    This takes place in an alternate timeline, so it doesn't preicsely fit to movieverse canon (and I kept thinking it should be "The Lokison Clan") and is delightfully cracky, which the author just totally runs with. It's Loki and his kids, each more batshit than the last, which he actually enjoys, all the more so because he trolls his entire family with it. I could not stop smiling the entire time he was introducing the latest addition to his brood and the reactions he got from his family and how the kids were adorable as they squabbled amongst each other and Loki might be batshit, but he's a good parent, too. Ugh, this is why I love Loki and kids, because it's darling AND hilarious and I love his kids genuinely.

The Adventures of Darcy and Loki, Mischief Makers by Trensu, loki & darcy + other mcu characters, some thor/loki, in heat!loki, 18.6k
    Dealing with physics and Norse gods was not in her job description.
    I actually read this series out of order--I only took note of it because it showed up on the Thor/Loki tag and I was like, well, pregnant!Loki is one of my biggest weaknesses, so I'll check it out. I wasn't really following the events of it, but it was well-written enough and intriguing enough that I went back to the beginning to read the whole thing through. It's a series where Loki decides, well, if Thor is going to have minions (aka, the Avengers), he'll have an even better minion, and takes Darcy Lewis under his wing. It's a very cracky series that you just... sort of have to learn to roll with, to relax and just have fun with it. I'm not usually pulled in by Darcy fic, but she was likable enough here, and I'm all for Loki-centric fic and they have a cute familial dynamic that springs up between them, which is something I can enjoy with Loki because god knows he's still obsessed with Thor here but needs something to balance that out, even just a little. And I'm fond of two damaged, lonely people becoming family like this, rather than romance--especially since, later on, Loki goes into the Jotunn equivalent of heat in the middle of a battle and starts acting weird and AHHH IT IS SO GOOD FOR ME. It's silly and fluffy, even the angst is the kind that's tasty candy, but the author has a solid style of writing and there's something just really delightedly charming about all of this. I had great fun and would be happy to read more in this series!

Invitation to Chaos by Epiphanyx7, loki + avengers, humor, 3.4k wip
    “Norse Gods are like fairies,” he told Director Fury, whose eye twitched in a rather threatening manner. “You can’t not invite them to the ball, it makes them really angry. Hence why I have invited Loki to my Annual New Year’s Bash.”
    Of course I was going to read any fic that was summarized by this! And I hope that there's more to this soon, because Loki getting invitations to Tony's parties (and interpreting them so very well, of course he does) has the potential for hilarity and I love fics like this, that have that fun, light-hearted, cracky edge to them, with the way Loki's settled into life on Midgard, the place he's carving out for himself there. And I really, really would like to know what happens next in this fic, because it's delightful fun so far!

What doesn't kill you by grimmie-me [ story tag on the author's lj ], loki + thor + odin + frigga + laufey + tony + coulson, office au, human au, sick!loki, 40k
    Office-AU, where Loki and Thor are sons of businessman Odin, who gives his company to an incompetent Thor while Loki finds out he has leukemia and is adopted. Things go downhill quickly.

    You have to go into this fic with a certain mindset and goals, I feel. You have to go into this fic for a human AU fic where Loki's life just falls apart in Defcon Four Level Angst and the whole entire point is about how sorry everyone is and how much they miss him when he's gone. If you're looking for a cruel Loki, this is not the fic for you. This is a Loki who is angry and hurt, but also loves his family and has had the rug pulled out from underneath him so many times that he genuinely wants to grasp at any anchor he can in the storm that's his life. This is a Loki who is openly missed by his family and they realize how they've made mistakes with him and they want to rectify that. Even Loki's biological father Laufey is a good person here who wants to connect with his son.

I sat down with this fic on a whim and could not get up from the fic until I'd finished it, it just sucked me in and I read and read and read until I finished the whole thing practically in one sitting. I went back to check the word count and was genuinely surprised that it was this long because it didn't feel like it! It felt closer to 20k, with the way I whipped through everything in it! Which is a compliment, because the shorter a fic seems to me, the more I enjoyed it, because time spent reading it passed far too quickly.

I also freely admit that this fic hit me where I live. There are some times when I just want fic where Loki's family misses him and are devestated that he's gone and the angst is the kind that's driving towards fixing all the shit in their lives. The fic played on my emotions really well, there were at least two or three times I got a little teary-eyed, because who hasn't felt like they've been in Loki's position and wanted to run off because their life was going to hell and wanted their loved ones to come after them? This fic was so satisfying to me for taking that concept and just running with it, for happily embracing it and giving me every goddamned family feels in the book. Not for everyone, but this is the kind of thing I'll read all day long if you let me.

You'll Soon Be A-Growing Up Strong by Coneycat, loki & sleipnir + thor, 2.7k
    From a prompt on norsekink, requesting wobbly baby Sleipnir and mare!Loki. Not really movieverse, or canon anything: it's mostly a story about horses.
    I am always really wary when I read Norse mythology-based fic, because all too often it's used to take the characters dark places and that's just not my personal bag. But I was intrigued by this being about Thor & Loki, so I read. And there's not that much Thor in this fic, but instead this is... as the author says, it's not precisely movieverse, but it's not precisely comics or even Norse mythology, either. But it works well enough for the Marvel versions that I read it and was absolutely charmed by it! It's a better take on Sleipnir's birth and Loki's relationship with the horse, it's one that's a little bit bittersweet, but surprisingly supportive from his family, and just. Really well written and a great look at Loki's character and I really, absolutely loved the way he raised Sleipnir. This fic was just... really, really good for me.

Powers of observation by haandtering, loki + other asgardians, 1.8k
    What isn't typical is how Loki bears the brunt of Frigg's harsh scolding on the importance of bundling up properly and how he should be more considerate of his health. Sif and Thor barely receive clucks though they're both huddled and shivering, soaked to the bone but grinning besides. He isn't even cold.
    This ten scenes centered around little things about Loki and how they lead up to the events of the movie. It's short but interesting and very well written, finding that middle of the road like with Loki, how he inspires sympathy without making him a victim. There's a lot of affection here and it's a great collection of little moments that are packed with lovely and interesting undercurrents!

untitled by wearethemakersofmanners [ mobile ver. ], loki + asgard, ~1k
    It is entirely possible for Loki to be redeemed in Asgard’s eyes almost instantly, if he plays his cards right.
    I don't even remember how I stumbled over this short piece this morning, but, oh, I'm terribly glad I did, because it's a gorgeous look on the idea of how Loki would be able to easily ingratiate himself back into Asgard's good graces, with the right spin of a speech and letting them hear what they want. The author does well with Loki's storytelling instincts (even if I wish this had been a bit longer--but it's satisfying as it stands and it's not meant to be a long piece, nor would I want the author to push it beyond what it is, a short, intriguing idea) and the elegant way he spins the crowd into the palm of his hand. And the final lines worked for me, because Loki is so full of anger and so twisted around in mind that I can see him just like this. It's a marvelous piece that I would love to see more of in fandom!

Corrections by youtomyme, loki + sleipnir, 1.3k
    Sleipnir wasn't actually born from Loki. Viking women were actually just really enthusiastic gossips.
    Okay, this was just really cute! It slips into moments of crackiness more than I might have liked, for all that the entire premise is to explain certain aspects of Norse mythology as being warped by the time it got to the Midgardians, but it was so charming and fun and light-hearted that I couldn't bring myself to complain too hard. It's especially good for me because I love picturing Loki's aghast reactions to the versions of the myths on Midgard and then explaining what really happened, one by one, but also! This fic is pretty good on the whole aspect of Loki's life being difficult but he's openly loved and supported and you have no idea how much I will read for that. This is cute, charming, and a delight to have read today!

Origin by FelicityGS, loki, ~1k
    A reference point. The beginning; source.
    This is part five of a series that would help to be read in order. This is the first fic that you really need to have read the previous ones for, though.
    This fic is short and depends heavily on having read the previous fics, as well as I suspect it makes more sense if you come back to read it again later, after a bit more is revealed, but I'm willing to indulge this author in that (and, actually, find that I really like going back to reread a bit, because it shows just how well the set-up was planned here) and find this intriguing! It's almost pure chaos or pure experience, whatever it is that Loki is going through in this fic and it's confusing, but that works for this fic because, well, Loki is confused as well. It's a mix of pain and math and half-remembered memories and, ah, I wanted to know more after reading this!

Probability by FelicityGS, heimdall & loki, 1.3k
    Most cycles since the first, Heimdal tries to change things, see if he can’t curb the events that shape Loki into Bringer. He does not lack for time and if he fails he can always retry.

Some cycles, he almost succeeds.

    This is part six of a series that needs to be read in order by this point.
    I had been enjoying this series up to this point, I would have kept reading just for it being interesting and the math porn and the beautiful writing and the lovely characterization. But this is the point where the fic really grabbed hold of me, made me sit up, and go, I AM INTRIGUED BY WHAT'S GOING ON HERE. It's the kind of storytelling where you're only getting the full story piece by piece, each story reveals a different part of what led up to what's going on here, how it's a lot more complicated than just a mortal AU fic with Odin's family. This fic is set from Heimdall's point of view, one of the few characters who remembers everything from one cycle to the next, one of the few characters who actually has perspective on that, and just how many times he's tried to avert Ragnarok. And what I love about this fic is that he's actually trying here, he's trying to make a difference with Loki, this isn't about how Loki is an inherently evil creature, but instead trying to struggle against something like fate. And, oh, that's so good for me, because it makes me want to root for all of them, even when it means that Loki has to go through a lot of shit for it. But also! Good Heimdall pov fic is such a rare thing (and he's a difficult character to get a hold of, granted!) and to find it here was a real treat. Everything about this is lovely and gorgeous.

untitled by anonymous, loki + avengers + other villains, humor, 2.7k
    “Consider this a warning,” the trickster says, turning away from the doorframe, brushing a small piece of lint from his shoulder. “Don’t touch my things.”
    This fic response was written back in 2011, so of course a few things turned out different from the movies and a lot of elements are from the comics, making this almost more of a comics fic than a movie-fic (which is where I usually recommend), but that doesn't take away from the utter charm and sheer delight of the piece! Each section is just the right length, the different ways various villains try to wreak havoc on the Avengers, only to have their plans thwarted by an unexpected source. The writing is clever and knows how to be just adorable enough to have that sense of fun that I love so much, which means it just reads so very well to me. It's fun and uses the characters well and you don't need to be more than passingly familiar with comics to read it.

Hidden Children by anonymous, loki + other marvel characters, loki's kids, 2.5k
    When he is alone, after a long day of trailing his brother’s shadow, of avoiding their father’s keen gaze, Loki lets out a breath and presses a hand to his stomach. Asgard’s clear evening air is cool and crisp around him. Another one. Another one to let go of.
    The way this fic started out made me think it was going to be super victim Loki and... there may be an element of that, but it's not really the main point of the fic, really. Fic about Loki and his children is often a tricky thing to pull of without making one side too soft or another too evil, but I thought this one did really well with it for me because it focused on Loki's feelings and the one time we see Thor in the fic, he's caring and supportive. But what really made the fic for me was the deeper idea behind this collection of scenes, how it's really neat and one of those ideas that I'm glad to see played with. It captured my imagination and made me crave the different lines of thinking and the creativity that came from the old days of norsekink! It's a very nice, really interesting little fic.

As The Light Leaves Your Eyes by CalamityCain, loki & hela, ~1k
    At the end of all things, a queen reunites with her dying father.
    This was short, but has a nice overview of Loki and Hela's relationship here. It's very bittersweet and lovely, the sense of loss touched on nicely here.

Kings and Vagabonds by spinstitcher, loki & sleipnir + avengers, canon!jotunn!loki, humor, plotful fluff, 29.7k
    In the wake of the Chitauri Loki is stripped of his powers and banished to Vanaheim. Nobody tasers him, but there is an awful lot of singing and dancing. Accompanied by his eldest son, who happens to be a horse, Loki slowly begins to carve out a place for himself – one that isn’t Supreme Ruler of the Known Universe.

But there is another power emerging from the darkness; one that threatens the safety – and sanity – of all the Nine Realms. Loki may have given up his dreams of becoming Glorious Overlord, but that doesn’t mean someone else gets to take his place.

    I actually initially read this because the sequel was labeled as Bruce/Loki and I was really curious about that. But, oh, that's a sequel and this fic doesn't have any real pairings to it, so, okay, genfic time it is. Which I do think you need to know that it's balanced between being cracky and being more... plotful crack? But it's deliberate, which is what makes the tone of the fic absolutely shine and, oh, this was an absolute treasure to find! It's hilarious, when Loki is banished to Vanaheim and decides, fuck it, he's always wanted to never have to deal with people again and he'll become a hermit then. I loved the world building right from the beginning, the Vanir are an absolute scream when he does finally run into them, a great balance between being cracky as well as doing actually a lot of world building. And BONUS, SO SUPER GOOD FOR ME is that they send Sleipnir along with Loki! Who is an amazing balance between having his own personality and, you know, being a horse. You get both hilarity and Loki&his kids feels! It's pretty amazing.

I would have been content if that's all the fic had given me, because it was excellent, well-written, hilarious antics of Loki on Vanaheim creating this new life for himself. But, oh, then Amora shows up and is trying to steal the Norn Stones, which Loki gets pulled into, so there's an actual plot going on! There's magical theory and action scenes! All while still being hilarious! Naturally, this means he eventually winds up on Jotunheim, face to face with Helblindi and Byleister and I think, for now, this fic is my new favorite versions of the characters. Again, it's balanced between cracky (especially when ginormous Byleister sweeps his baby brother up in a hug and starts sobbing huge, giant tears for the brother he thought was dead, oh my god, that was amazing for me) and actual feels for the characters--I love love love that Loki actually finds a family, that they're supportive and caring and not all like Laufey.

And hell, even then, I would have been content for Loki to stay on Jotunheim, to have this new life built for himself. But the fic still wasn't done yet. Eventually, Loki has to go to Midgard, has to see the Avengers again, has to face Thor again. Which... also cracky, but also so many feels! Despite that this is a humor story (and, okay, I'll admit that I'm weak to Thor&Loki's relationship, so I get more wound up than others might), I had actual physical pains over how much I loved their interaction and how desperately Thor loved his brother and wanted him back and how Loki struggled with his new life and his old life. Once I started this fic, I could hardly put it down until I read all 30k words and I have to say, it did not feel that long, because it flew by far too quickly.

Disperse the Frosts of Dawn by spinstitcher, loki & sleipnir + avengers + bruce/loki, canon!jotunn!loki, humor, plotful fluff, 13.8k
    Freed from his banishment, Loki stays on Midgard and certainly doesn’t join the Avengers. Well, maybe a little bit. But only on alternate weekends, and definitely not when there are slime monsters involved. Along the way he reconnects with his family, learns how to bake, and starts to delve into the intriguing enigma of Bruce Banner and the Hulk.
    This is a sequel to Kings and Vagabonds, which you'll need to have read first.
    Chapters 1-4: This fic is actually the reason why I picked up the first fic, because Loki with the Avengers is something I'm always weak to and I'm curious about Bruce/Loki fic and how that'd work. Which is pretty hilarious in this fic right from the beginning (which I read immediately after finishing the previous one), because the author does a great job of balancing cracky humor and genuine feels, so it's this delightful joy to read when Loki is sort of kind of helping out with the Avengers and Thor is just pleased as all get out and won't let anyone disaprage his baby brother, except Thor still makes mistakes sometimes and doesn't know when to back off or doesn't always know how to read Loki (and when not to tell stories about Loki). Which was sort of hard for me to read, but it's part of the cracky aspect of the fic (as I think Thor would pay more attention to Loki's reactions now) and necessary to draw Bruce and Loki closer together--and it's not badly done, just that I'm extra sensitive. Because Thor really does adore him and he really is trying, but this is still an exaggerated fic.

There's also more action scenes, Loki being a little shit with the Avengers, Sleipnir continuing to be developed into his own character, the Avengers being annoyed as shit by Loki in that way that is pure joy (and they annoy the shit out of each other, too), and more beautifully timed comedy as Loki continues to build a new life for himself. And, oh, the Hulk taking an interest in Loki, the fic was worth reading for that alone, because it is sheer hilarious beauty. But also Loki learning to bake! Which works far better than it has any right to! And Loki&Sleipnir's relationship continuing to be a joy forever! Ugh, I need the rest of this fic stat, okay.
    Chapter5: Loki with his kids is such a good, good thing for me. As well as this author has a delightful way of writing fun, snappy dialogue/narration that's just a total joy to read. I'm definitely enjoying the building relationship between Loki and Bruce, which is a pairing that hardly gets much interaction, so I enjoy it when an author takes time to build it up and make it really fun. But, oh, this chapter is the best for the introduction of Jormungandr and the absolute delight that his personality is, when he's just sort of unflappable and calm and relaxed. I love it. I LOVE IT. That the giant sea serpent is the laid back kid of Loki's brood. And I love that Jormungandr is clearly fond of his brother Sleipnir and Loki both. That Loki is wary of how Jormungandr will react to him, since they haven't seen each other in so long, that Loki clearly cares deeply about his children, even as he's just as prickly and sniping as ever. And, oh, that the author is playing with Loki's kids, you know, also being part Jotunn is an absolute delight because that's not something you always see! But, really, the star of this chapter is Jormungandr and I think this might be my new favorite take on him yet.

Tales of a Secret Mother by thisisnotwhoyouthink, loki & farbauti + other asgardians, 10.4k
    A series of short glimpse's of Loki's life with a secret motherly figure looking out for him from the sidelines in three parts.
    I nearly decided to wait until the third part of this fic was posted, since the first two were already by the time I wrote this rec, but... well, I couldn't wait, not after the second chapter. I find myself conflicted about where the fic is going, if it's going to go AU or if it's working with the backbone of canon, and that question is sort of clawing at me desperately. Not that it really affects my enjoyment of the fic because, oh, this fic is lovely and just absolutely full of family feels when Farbauti has been secretly watching over Loki as a palace maid for his whole life, obviously loving him dearly, but unable to take him back because of their circumstances. It's lovely for the family feels, but also for that sense of jittery anticipation I had when Loki would eventually find out, that building tension that's so good when an author can do it right, the satisfaction of a revelation scene is so delicious and satisfying when well done.

This fic accomplished that really well, the scene where Farbauti confesses who she is to Loki, when she talks about why she couldn't just take him back, when she talks of Jotunheim and what it was like long ago, it's all the kind of scene where... it's heartbreaking in a lot of ways, that they're stuck in a situation where they can't be happy, where she couldn't just take him away, where she couldn't tell him the truth, where he's still trapped in Asgard's demands of him, but also heartwarming and really kind of sweet for how she loves him and thinks he's perfect. When she sees him in Jotunn form it's just ahhhhh so many feelings in me...! When she's so fiercely protective of him, when Loki can soak up some of that actually well-displayed parental affection...! That's pretty much exactly what I was looking for from this fic.

No Barren Moon by theorytale, loki + avengers, NSFW, violence, torture, suicidal ideation, miscarriage, pregnant!loki, 9.7k
    Based (somewhat loosely) on a prompt at Norsekink.

The Chitauri twisted Loki's magic and forced him to become pregnant, but the fetus was killed during the New York battle. As Loki's plans are dashed one after the other, he keeps struggling to come up with a way to escape what's coming.

Or: gratuitous Loki whump.

    This is going to be a very difficult rec for me to write, because I am torn between the two things I usually try to balance in a rec--writing one that is meant to tell why someone should read the fic and using the rec to vomit up my feelings after having read the fic. With most fic, I'm excited to have someone else read the story with me, and that's true enough here, but I also feel an intense urge to examine this fic with a fine-toothed comb in a way that's really only interesting after you've read it. In a way, I'm using that feeling as the rec itself, because there are few fics that I'm willing to read that can affect me this greatly--and if this fic had been any less brilliantly written, I do not think I would have been able to stomach it. It is indeed gratuitous Loki whump and it's incredibly difficult to read at times, but the writer is careful to stay true to the characters in both good ways and bad ways, as well as ending the fic on a note that I could at least tolerate.

It is a very difficult and unhappy fic throughout most of it, but brilliantly written. Importantly, for me, I feel like there was a point to all of the suffering and pain here, if only for how well it molds to the canon we saw and fits together with it (if much darker than canon), for how it wasn't about pain for pain's sake, but genuine exploration of character. There was a point to it in that I want to take this fic apart and examine all the little pieces of it in the same way I want to do with the movie, how I feel like the author truly thought everything through here, for all characters. But still. Keep something happy onhand for afterwards if you're like me.

That said, I am going to give in to my urge to talk about the fic post-fic style instead of luring people in because I want to work my way through this jumbling of feelings inside me. But that means there will be SPOILERS for the fic beyond this point! The characterization of everyone here is stunning, the most central of which being Loki, as he is so damaged and deranged and terrified of what the Other (and Thanos) would do to him, what they've put him through (torture and assault and violation of every kind, as they've completely unmade him, the writing capturing that so horrifyingly well in flashbacks and little turns of thought and half-thought back on scenes), but also the other characters. Natasha shines well, as someone who probably knows more of what has been done here, but that does not make her suddenly crumble in sympathy. Tony and Clint aren't suddenly sympathetic, either, and as much as I might secretly wish they were, because my heart was being rent, it was the only way the fic could go.

The two stars of this fic were the horrifying pain Loki was put through and how this affects his relationship with Thor, the brilliant way the author has Loki leading him through the slow realization of how Odin may well have let this happen, because it was easier this way. The sharpness of his thoughts, all that rage and anger and pain, yet you could still feel how much he loved Thor, but refused to let himself feel it or turn to Thor for help, both because of what the Chitauri had done to him and because he couldn't let himself believe that Thor could ever protect him again. And, when Thor makes the decision he makes in this fic... oh, it would be so easy to be angry with Thor, for what is basically yet another violation of Loki's agency and autonomy, because he took Loki's choices away from him, but... the fic also took great care to show that Loki was twisting everything around him, that he went to incredible lengths to hide what was happening with him. I thought it clear that Thor had no idea what he was dealing with, that he had no idea what taking that choice from Loki meant. And I have trouble being angry with someone for wanting to save their loved one's life, when it's clear that loved one is not in their right mind (and Loki very clearly isn't), when everything seems to point to Loki being simply unable to make good choices for himself. I think of how I would react in Thor's position, whether I could let a loved one suffer and die, when they weren't in their right mind to make the decision for themselves.

But the fic doesn't make excuses for anyone here, because it's all about complicated people in complicated situations and no one has all the information, except maybe Loki, and he's too far gone and in too much trouble to be able to say. Loki is an unreliable narrator, he has his own issues tangled up in this story, sometimes insightful and sometimes biased (oh, the line about it always being Thor's turn was so hurtful because it wasn't untrue), but he is also brilliant, and the author takes care to balance all of these aspects together in a rather breathtaking sort of way. Everything is sharp and brilliant here, the author clearly had a strong grasp of everything that needed to be put into the fic, so that it wasn't terribly weighted in one direction or the other, aside from that this was centered on Loki's character. It's a fic that genuinely had me torn between letting Loki kill himself/just die from the internal bleeding and wanting him to just let go of his horror and fear and be able to genuinely get help. Everything that this fic needed to be, the author got in here, I had every reaction I was supposed to. It was a painful read, but one I'm not sorry I put myself through.

Avengers/Thor/Captain America: And it's played on a table? by Lunik - So, this was totally adorable, with a take off a comment from Tom Hiddleston about how Loki couldn't be beat at table tennis, thing spinning this delightful story set back in Steve and Bucky's time, when they're travelling the world, and happen to meet Thor and Loki in a tavern, and wind up playing table tennis. It's just so fun and natural, not trying too hard, with Loki being especially fun to watch slowly get into the game, but also Thor just being Thor! And then the ending was just... a;sdlkfal;jk I wouldn't have expected this to work so well, but it really hit all the right buttons for me! (No warnings/pairings.)

Avengers/Thor: It's all in the details by anonymous - This was a quick kinkmeme fill, short and cracky, where Loki forgets the details of whatever plan it was that he was concocting and it was totally cute and fun. I liked that, even when he can't remember the shit he was in the middle of pulling, Loki's still a delightfully chaotic dick who you can barely ever pin down. (No warnings/pairings.)

Avengers/Thor: Schmidtsenna by Darklady - Oh, if this fic ends up only having the one chapter, I am going to be so mad. Because the author sets up an amazingly intriguing premise and conversation between Loki and a Jotunn noble that's come to speak with him, does an absolutely gorgeous job of working in some Jotunheim worldbuilding and making me so curious about the politics of the Jotnar! I mean, yes, it does stand pretty well as an intriguing oneshot, but, oh, I want an entire epic to go with this! I want to know how Loki would handle all of this! Especially with such a fantastic eye for detail and gorgeous Loki characterization. Ugh, I just really, desperately loved this a lot. (No warnings/pairings.)

Avengers/Thor: Schmidtsenna (chapter 2) by Darklady - [NOTE: This is an update rec, so it will focus on/link to the current chapter, rather than the beginning of the fic.] Oh, I was so pleased to see this got a second chapter, even if that means a painful wait throughout it (whereas the first chapter could have stood alone fairly well, I thought) because, ahhhh, so intriguing! And, really, all that happens is that Loki, Thor, and an OC stand around talking about a political situation on Jotunheim! But the author does such an amazing job of working in all these details of the world building and does a beautiful job with Loki being so vicious and poisonous, despite that Thor obviously cares dearly for him. The fic does seem to be tending towards working almost more towards... there's something that's almost a little more twisted than the movieverse versions of the characters, it feels almost more mythology-based at moments, but I don't mind that here, because it also comes with so many cultural details and a twisty Loki is a fun Loki to watch. Everything here is so sharp and cutting and I have no idea where anything is going and, oh, I really want to see where this goes next, too! (This is gen, but does have some Special Brothers moments in it.)

Dog's Best Friend by blacktofade, thor & loki, mortal au, dog!thor, 8.6k
    Thor is a puppy which Loki finds on the street and has no intention of keeping. Three guesses how that ends for him.
    I usually avoid AU fics in a fandom, especially when I'm still just freshly into it. But this fandom has so many good ones (and canon threatens to break my heart so badly) that I fling myself into them--including ones where Thor is a puppy that Loki finds on the street and can't help taking him in. It's sooooo sweet and cute and darling and filled with a lot of feelings, especially when Loki tries to be too cool for these sentimental feelings, and Frigga just smiles and/or laughs at him and UGH SO MUCH SUNSHINE AND HAPPINESS.

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.

What doesn't kill you by grimmie-me [ story tag on the author's lj ], loki + thor + odin + frigga + laufey + tony + coulson, office au, human au, sick!loki, 40k
    Office-AU, where Loki and Thor are sons of businessman Odin, who gives his company to an incompetent Thor while Loki finds out he has leukemia and is adopted. Things go downhill quickly.

    You have to go into this fic with a certain mindset and goals, I feel. You have to go into this fic for a human AU fic where Loki's life just falls apart in Defcon Four Level Angst and the whole entire point is about how sorry everyone is and how much they miss him when he's gone. If you're looking for a cruel Loki, this is not the fic for you. This is a Loki who is angry and hurt, but also loves his family and has had the rug pulled out from underneath him so many times that he genuinely wants to grasp at any anchor he can in the storm that's his life. This is a Loki who is openly missed by his family and they realize how they've made mistakes with him and they want to rectify that. Even Loki's biological father Laufey is a good person here who wants to connect with his son.

I sat down with this fic on a whim and could not get up from the fic until I'd finished it, it just sucked me in and I read and read and read until I finished the whole thing practically in one sitting. I went back to check the word count and was genuinely surprised that it was this long because it didn't feel like it! It felt closer to 20k, with the way I whipped through everything in it! Which is a compliment, because the shorter a fic seems to me, the more I enjoyed it, because time spent reading it passed far too quickly.

I also freely admit that this fic hit me where I live. There are some times when I just want fic where Loki's family misses him and are devestated that he's gone and the angst is the kind that's driving towards fixing all the shit in their lives. The fic played on my emotions really well, there were at least two or three times I got a little teary-eyed, because who hasn't felt like they've been in Loki's position and wanted to run off because their life was going to hell and wanted their loved ones to come after them? This fic was so satisfying to me for taking that concept and just running with it, for happily embracing it and giving me every goddamned family feels in the book. Not for everyone, but this is the kind of thing I'll read all day long if you let me.

Feed The Body, Nourish The Soul by copperbadge, avengers + nick fury + loki, mortal au, restaurant au, 6.5k
    Steve Rogers just wanted to sell good, nourishing, cheap food from his food truck. Now the crazy fusion chefs from TOBRU are calling him a hipster, the avant garde restaurant "Shield" across the street has declared war on chains, and...well, then there's Thor, who thinks Steve's habit of licking food is weird.
    This was a cute and fun team piece fic that had some great little character moments and is one of the best uses of an AU to parallel the events of the movie that I've seen. Completely charming is what this is! Though, it's definitely more for those who are looking for true team fic (versus the recs I usually do focusing more on the Asgardians, and Loki is really only in the background of this fic), but it's hilarious and the author knows how to balance multiple characters and make something really sparkle.

Sequences by FelicityGS, thor & loki & frigga, human au (sort of), 2.1k
    Thor has never been very clever. His parents tell him he is, as do his teachers. Many people tell him he is. He supposes it is in the definition of the word, and that they most likely mean that he is intelligent, which he will not argue. Thor can reel off twenty to thirty different synonyms for words, knows the dates for bits of history no one else cares to know, and there are very few things he cannot sort out given he has the interest and time to do so. People praise him for it. But Thor knows that he is not clever.
    I picked this fic up for two reasons--one, FUCK YOU ALL, I FUCKING LOVE MATH. MATH PORN IS THE GREATEST. And this author shares my love for math and characterization going hand in hand, does so absolutely gorgeously. And, two, because it's Thor and Loki as kids, with Thor being a protective big brother and maybe he's not like Loki, but he's actually quite smart and insightful in his own way. Plus, darling kids being darling! Lovely writing! Math porn! An intriguing concept of an AU Loki where he doesn't speak for far longer than most kids his age, but, oh, he's so smart and clever inside that brain of his! That just works really well for me.

Primes by FelicityGS, odin & loki + howard stark + mild background pairings, human au (sort of), 1.2k
    It's primes. It has to be primes. Loki never acts like this when his age is divisible by numbers other than one and itself.
    NOTE: This is the third story in a series, where you should probably at least want to start with the second one, I think.
    This time, it's a scene between Odin and Howard Stark, talking about their problematic genius children (though, this is a story mostly about Loki) and I love it because a) MOAR MATH PORN YES and b) because this Odin is weary and frustrated by having a child like Loki, but so very clearly loves him. I'm intrigued by the AU set up (with Loki being a genius/prodigy), but what sells it at the characters within in, this Odin is so empathizable and the brief snatches of Loki we get (through stories or watched interviews) sound amazing as well. Though I am either ignoring or side-eying the final line of the fic something fierce.

What Once Was Lost Returned by DemonQueen666, thor & loki + loki/angrboda + other mcu characters, jotunn!loki, divergent timeline, 74k
    Things go very differently on the ill-suited venture to Jotunheim when the Frost Giants notice something about one of the invaders. But their decision to "rescue" what they assume must be a kidnapped Jotun has many unexpected and far-spanning consequences...especially for Loki himself.
    OKAY, THIS FIC. I decided, all right, I needed something long to sink my teeth into the other day, so, sure, why not a 74k fic. I figured that I'd slowly poke away at it, maybe finish it after three or four days. NOPE, I read that sucker all in one afternoon because I could not put it down. The writing and world-building is gorgeous here, when the Frost Giants realize who Loki is towards the beginning of the movie and decide that they're going to take their lost prince back. It then becomes everything a story like this needs to be--a massive case of depression, culture shock, and reeling from a lack of self-identity, which means he has to figure out who he is all over again. All of this wrapped up in some really breathtaking world building.

I think this author's version of Jotunheim might be my favorite yet--the way Loki's brothers treat him (being the eldest means that they have to bow to him, his youngest brother being surprisingly sweet and gentle and naive, if still really huge, his middle brother suddenly being placed in the role that Loki had as Thor's younger brother), the way Laufey treats him (as the crown prince, the intended heir, despite his size, giving allowances for his shock and being raised as Aesir, but not without a harshness of an iron fist), the way Jotunheim has all this culture to it, the way I was wary of Angrboda at first, because I had no sense of her as a person, but eventually became rather fond of her, all of it is beautifully done. So, I loved it for those aspects, for being the kind of fic that is beautifully paced, gorgeously detailed, and reads like it could have been a professionally published story, it's so smooth and clean. It was wonderful to just sink into this story and not come out for hours because it was so engrossing!

But, oh, my favorite part was the relationship between Loki and Thor. I was wary of the fic at first, because Thor's presence in it wasn't that much in the early chapters, it was more focused on Loki finding his own role in life, figuring himself out, finding a surprising amount of peace and acceptance on Jotunheim, which I loved because I desperately want that for him. I would still have loved this fic even if Thor's presence had been neglible. But, eventually, Thor comes roaring into the story, smashes his way back into Loki's life, and, oh, it's heartbreaking and gorgeous, because Loki has this new life now, because he thought he had been abandoned by his Aesir family, but Thor still loves him so much and wants to rescue him and he misses Loki so terribly and it's hard because they can't go back and, just. This fucking fic totally put tears in my eyes because of how much I felt while reading it. Yeah, okay, so I'm weak to the relationship between Thor and Loki, I definitely got that ache in my fannish heart as they clashed and tried to make each other see reason, but the way the scene built up, the gorgeous resolution as everything finally spilled over and they laid everything out, ahhhh, that's what I read fic for.

David Attenborough Is In My Bedroom by cactus_rabbit, loki, jotunn!loki (sort of), humor, ~1k
    It starts with a sign. It looks more or less like a road sign, except instead of red Xs and squiggly lines, the large yellow diamond bears a blue silhouette of a horned humanoid and the words: 'CAUTION JOTUN NESTING AREA. PLEASE RESPECT OUR ENDANGERED CREATURES.' And in smaller lettering 'JOTUN PRESERVATION PROJECT'.
    Oh, jesus, this was screamingly funny. A series of micro-scenes of Loki being an endangered species ala a documentary and the author does a beautiful, beautiful job of just running with the cracky idea and making me laugh the entire time. It's only a single comment, so it's very short, but the author makes the most of it (even if I totally would have read more) and there's just-- There's a particular description of Loki (that I won't spoil) that nearly had me in tears of laughter. Beautiful.

A Wild Loki Appears by anonymous, thor & loki & other asgardians, jotunn!loki, 7.9k wip
    He has no name and no family, no language, no concept of time or its passing.
    This fic came from such an interesting prompt (Odin never took the abandoned baby from the temple, so the baby grew up on his own, feral) and the author does a gorgeous job with the prompt. And that's what made me so conflicted about this, because the author does such a tremendous job that I can see it so perfectly--this Loki is still brilliant, but has never been taught anything, so he has no sense of self or ability to communicate or thinks of anything but survival. This Thor is still young yet, so brash and arrogant, especially without his younger brother to temper him. So, when Thor and his friends go on an adventure in Jotunheim, running into the wild, feral creature, it's beautifully done, there's so much rich detail even without having to put forth a lot of time spent on it, so much grace in the writing, and yet I kept thinking how this was almost a tragic fic more than anything, just because of what never happened in this universe. It's still worth reading, it's still got some amazing adorable moments and I would love to see this continued (though, it also ends at a good point), it's brilliant, but... eh, maybe I'm just too attached to smarter-than-you!Loki, I suppose. XD Still, this fic is amazing, it's totally worth a read!

Everything's Better With Bunnies by khilari, Persephone_Kore, thor & loki & odin & frigga, crack treated seriously, 12.7k
    When frightened or stressed, Loki transforms into a bunny and sometimes he needs to be cuddled to calm down enough to turn back. Unfortunately, the events of the movie are extremely stressful. Five times he transformed into a rabbit and needed cuddling and one time he didn't and got cuddled anyway.
    xparrot pointed this fic out to me, which I might have skipped over (for now, at least) for being crackier than what I was looking for, because how could a fic like this not be cracky? When frightened or stressed, Loki transforms into a bunny and sometimes he needs to be cuddled to calm down enough to turn back. Unfortunately, the events of the movie are extremely stressful. And yet it's not! Instead, it's an amazingly written fic where the events of the movie happen mostly the same, except things are changed because Loki's stress is so much more visible now, because people see what he goes through. It's not suddenly all happiness and sunshine, because he hates it and people do not always talk about it kindly, but it is enough to change things, little by little. And I would have been satisfied if the authors had only added a little extra here and there, scenes where Loki changed and needed to be petted until he calmed down, because it was almost always Thor and Frigga and Odin that could do it, because this Loki had their affection in a more tangible way than canon!Loki. But, no, instead, it changes the ending, because Thor is able to hold onto this Loki when they fall off the Bifrost, which means he stays in Asgard to face the consequences of his actions... but from people who understand that Loki is stressed out of his mind, which makes a world of difference. And, oh, sure, I read this fic because BUNNY LOKI YES BRING IT ON but I wound up enjoying it more for the intense amount of genuine, serious feels that it gave me. The insight into the characters, the insights they had into each other, the way Odin was often the one to pick Loki up and soothe him, the way everything actually worked in a serious way... ugh, just SO GOOD FOR ME. This was absolutely stunningly good.

"Growing Pains" by AloryShannon, thor & loki + other asgardians, action scenes, mythology elements, 49.2k
    Written for a prompt on the Thor Kinkmeme on LJ: "Odin, in this universe, has the foresight to realize that keeping Loki's origins from him could end up alienating his son. On his tenth birthday, he tells Loki of his Frost Giant heritage, and while it upsets the boy initially, because he is young, he is able to bounce back once reassured of his parents' general support. Still, Odin urges the young Loki to not tell Thor until he feels that his brother has truly matured to the point where it won't affect his overall view of Loki. Meanwhile, some odd years later, Loki is going through weird frost giant puberty and Thor is entirely convinced that his brother is ill or mental or some thing or other. Hi-jinx ensue."
    There's so much happening in this fic that it's kind of ridiculous, especially for a fic that's only around 50k. There are a couple of caveats I have, that the fic uses too many epithets and a little too much slang at times and there are some occasional moments of dumb!Thor that made me wary (but I also freely admit that I'm more sensitive to detecting that sort of thing), but they're pretty negligible overall in the face of all what else the fic accomplishes. Because, oh, this fic isn't satisfied with just centering around one or two instances, there's a whole lot going on here, a whole lot of definining moments in Loki's life! This is a fic where Odin and Frigga told Loki about his true biology when he was younger, instead letting him make the decisions about whether or not to tell anyone else, which... changes some things and doesn't change others.

It's pretty rough in a lot of spots for Loki, there's some absolute misery at times, both for his biology being a real pain in the ass and for how he still feels ill fitted to Asgard, how there's always the looming question of whether he would really be accepted. This is, ultimately, a Loki who has a stronger sense of self, if only because he can't be side-lined by a huge secret, there's still that same sense of how fragile his self-identity is at times, but it has a better chance to be worked through here, even for as many different problems as it causes. Though, I do kind of look back and think, with just a few tragic external factors, this could have gone as wrong as canon did, which is probably part of why I like it so much, that this universe worked out so much better. It also doesn't pull some of its punches on how Loki does get left out of things, how he pushes himself too hard, how he's not really open about things, how sometimes shit just happens on both sides of the issue. This is definitely an arrogant Thor, but you also entirely get why Loki loves him so much, because I fell in love with this Thor all over again, too.

There's also action scenes in the fic and the Thor & Loki scenes are so intense and so all-consuming in that intensity that I practically read this as pre-slash at times, which is my favorite kind of genfic to read! I mean, I believe the author wrote this as entirely gen and it totally works on that level, but if you want to read more into it, you can. It's sort of hitting the same notes as canon, in that sense, imo. There's some great stuff in the first half, when they're fighting a dragon (fighting a dragon! that is pretty terrifying and awesome!), but the second half of the fic focuses even more on the two of them, especially the question of Loki's secret hanging between them and, boy, was that some satisfying emotional resolution. There's elements of the mythology being worked in as well, but fitted to the MCU, and I loved that a whole lot, too. Basically, this was a ridiculously delightful fic to read, especially once it got going and now I'm really sad that it's over, because I want more, siiighhh.

Those Who Hunt Monsters by Zeta_Tauri, thor & loki + other asgardians, action scenes, mythology elements, 49.2k
    When Odin finds the abandoned Jötun boy in the temple, he has a choice. AU in which Odin is honest, Thor and Loki both know the secret of Loki's heritage, and everything changes while staying the same.
    This fic caught my attention for the intriguing summary, but pulled me in with the opening scenes of Loki as a baby being adopted into the House of Odin and how utterly charming everything was about it. I can't say that it was pure fluff even in those moments, but there was joy and love there, they fell in love with that baby before they had even realized it, and even as an infant, Loki had such tremendous personality. It kicked up all of my family feels emotions and that's the best part of this fic, really. This is sort of a blend between comics and the movies, an AU where Loki has known since he was a child that he's Jotunn, but is genuinely loved by his family. The story follows him as he grows up and that love never wavers from them, even as things fray around the edges of their lives, when Loki just never quite fits.

It's a beautifully told story of winding back in the direction of canon, even with the changes to the storyline--as the summary notes: "Everything changes while staying the same." Which is accurate. Because he doesn't quite fit, Loki is still isolated and Asgard never really embraces him the way his family does. I love that so many of the early scenes are focused on Thor and Loki, that they're such darling little brothers, but eventually they start to drift away, even when they do still love each other. The pacing of this is lovely, it's not really about the end destination, as much as it is about the journey there, about Loki growing up, so don't let the WIP nature hold you back too much.

It's about Loki finding friends of his own (and I dearly love that Hogun and Fandral are friends with Loki first, that they're still more his friends than Thor's here, that the AU nature of this fic means those relationships could go anywhere) and finding things he likes (Loki on Midgard is delightful! I love how much is established in his life!) and the world building being done here is really solid and fleshed out, without being too much. And the fic really made me enjoy Fandral/Loki, the way it was built up here, the way it was surprisingly sweet and good! My only complaint is that I'm not fond of the way Sif is written, even if I understand the need for a character who reinforces Loki's tendency towards isolation, but it's balanced out by Odin being protective of Loki (and, oh, the gorgeous reason he doesn't step in, it makes perfect sense here) and accepting of him, even as he's wary of the kind of person Loki's growing into.

It's a long fic at almost 40k words and not finished yet, but it's one I found myself sucked into and it wouldn't let me go until I'd finished everything there was of it. It's one of those genfics that focuses on Loki's character and reminds me of just how much I really do love world building and alternate timelines, because it's not just about throwing the characters into a wildly different setting, but instead using it to give insight into the characters' motives and how they might be similar or different if things had just changed a little. At it's heart, this is a story about the characters, about Loki growing up especially, and I love that.

True Son by Catspook, thor & loki + other asgardians, feels, divergent timeline pre-movie, depression issues, 12.3k
    AU: prior to the events of the movie, Loki becomes depressed when he concludes that he will never be able to make his parents proud
    Oh, I absolutely ate this fic up, it was that delicious combination of idfic and genuinely good! Loki is depressed and has no self-esteem and is hiding it, so of course it all comes spilling out when he collapses, which is one of those story scenarios that you have to be really careful with, there's a fine line between overdoing it and yet still scratching that idfic itch that I want, but this fic totally nailed that delicate line for me! All the better because afterwards it's pure, concentrated family feels comfort where Loki has his emotional needs met and gets support from them all and I rolled around in it like catnip. It balances that he didn't have the best of situations with how he was genuinely loved, that he's not surrounded by assholes, and if the circumstances they were all in were a little better, things could have gone so much better for everyone.

There's excellent interaction between Thor and Loki, even though it's a Loki-centric piece, you'll still be satisfied if that's what you're coming to this fic for! But there's also Frigga and Odin both interacting with Loki in important and excellent ways, often with just enough of an echo of canon to be perfect. It doesn't hit those lines or parallels too hard, just that some notes are always going to make it into the characters' lives, some things are inevitable no matter the changed circumstances, and that all worked for me. Loki's thoughts and issues are delicious if you're into this sort of thing (depressed!Loki trying to work through his feelings, ahhhhh, seriously it's like catnip for me!) and it's genuinely sharply written to go with the scenario that makes me sit up and practically wriggle around for how deep an itch this scratches for me. As mentioned, it's just... it's idfic that's genuinely well written and well characterized, my favorite combination ever.


AVENGERS/THOR: The Kindness of Strangers by The_Lionheart
SUMMARY: He wakes up in a hospital room.
REC: I will give the caveat on this fic that Loki... does not feel like Loki to me. I can justify a lot of it from the amenesia and the lack of baggage and upbringing that he'd have had, but there's a lack of refinement and love of mischief that I view as inherent to Loki's character that's definitely missing here. In a lot of ways, this might as well be an OC with Loki's face. There's also evil!Odin in this fic and he's not... there are complications with him, I don't actually think he's evil evil, but he is cruel and abusive and terribly misguided in that he sees things a certain way and is too powerful to have anyone really argue with him. A lot of leeway can be given for their culture being different, that they're gods, not humans, but still. This fic is also sort of a blend of movieverses and comics canon, but I think it's meant to be an MCU fic set a ways into the future, where things unfold with a lot of comic elements. Okay, caveats out of the way, holy shit, I think I read this whole entire thing practically in one sitting because it was so goddamned engrossing! For all that I have trouble seeing this character as an amnesiac Loki, I certainly was fond of him and genuinely liked him and quickly became emotionally attached!

The fic starts with "Lucas" waking up in a hospital after an accident that left him badly hurt and he has to work to regain mobility and figure himself out, with all his memories missing, eventually striking up a friendship with Peter Park and things just sort of... snowball from there, because the past can never really stay buried. The plotting and pacing of the fic is incredibly solid, this fic is good on a technical level as well as a fannish feelings level, given the way I devoured it with something akin to tunnel vision and felt like hardly any time at all had passed. It does a lovely job of building a new life for Loki, new relationships that are mixed with the old ones, the little hints that come up because of course some people are eventually going to recognize him, all of that is foreshadowed, built up to, and realized very well.

But where this fic really got me was in the scenes with Thor. Despite that Thor isn't a large presence in the fic, there are really only a handful of scenes he's majorly present in, those were the scenes that actually put a mist in my eyes because my fannish heart was so intensely wrenched around. How Lucas doesn't recognize him, but there's some part of him that you can feel him feeling it, too, how Thor so desperately loves his brother and wants him back, wants to be there for him, it punched me in the feelings really hard. When a fic can bring me close to tears--while I'm in public, even!--I know it's doing something right for me. All of Lucas' relationships are lovely, especially his friendship with Peter which seriously sparkles and his sort of mentor/father figure thing with Doctor Strange which was seriously so good for my heart, but I do know where my heart is.

The fic is about at the limits of what I can tolerate for angst, violence (mostly implied, but I'm really not fond of the lip sewing thing), and abuse, but I am glad I read this. It's really well-written and one of the great things about it is that there are all these different relationships, that we mostly only see Lucas' for, but you can sense there are more in the background, different ways of interacting with them, different dynamics, different levels of flirting, and I found that I really liked it. And, of course, there is a whole lot of Loki interacting with the Avengers, which I love dearly. The fic doesn't just tease that aspect, either, he spends a good deal of time with them, interacting with each and every one of them, all of them differently, and that kind of balance and pacing is like candy to me. Finally, there is a bitch of a cliffhanger ending, but thankfully the sequel is well underway, so you shouldn't be left screaming too hard. (Background pairings, but none of them are the point of the fic or prominent enough to warn for. Warning for background violence and abuse.)


AVENGERS/THOR: Stranger in a Strange Land by The_Lionheart
SUMMARY: Lucas inhales and the air is sweet and cold inside a golden room that looks out onto a giant, fabulous golden city.
NOTE: This is a sequel to The Kindness of Strangers, which needs to be read first.
REC: As soon as I finished reading the previous fic, I dove right onto this one. It's only two chapters as of the time of this rec, but that does mean that it's over 11k words so far, which is a good ways into the story so far. All my caveats about the first fic still hold here, but it also has that same pull on me, where I could just not put it down and found myself completely entranced by this setup. And the thing that this fic does so well--which is often rare to find in the harsher fics, especially with evil!Odin--is that Sif and the Warriors Three are pretty fucking amazing and I love them dearly. Oh, I default love them because I think they truly love Thor and try to be good people, but being a Loki fan is not always easy on S+W3. Here, though? Wonderful and fantastic. I practically want to wrap myself up in these characters and just bask in the wonderfulness for awhile.

But I'm also intrigued by Lucas' scenes with Frigga, who clearly loves her son dearly and missed him so much and is trying so very hard, but also has to uphold certain things and doesn't entirely understand this new version of her son. But she loves him still and those scenes were fascinating to me. (Though, I definitely find myself hoping that this isn't going down the path of Frigga basically being an accomplice and/or abusive herself.) The scenes with Odin were... as difficult to get through as they were intended to be, but... as much as this isn't the MCU Odin I saw, I do find him fascinating and would love to take his thought processes apart, even if I suspect that they are ones I would vehemently disagree with, I don't think he's inherently evil. Oh, and! I really quite loved the author's version of Tyr here, another character that I was bracing myself to cringe over, but instead found that I loved the hell out of him! Lucas' interaction with him was fantastic and I definitely find myself hoping he sticks around! There's foreshadowing and good pacing and moments of heartwarming things to balance out the heartbreaking things, and I'm definitely curious to get my hands on the next chapter. (Background pairings, but none of them are the point of the fic or prominent enough to warn for. Warning for background violence and abuse.)


AVENGERS/THOR: Stranger in a Strange Land (chapter 3) by The_Lionheart
SUMMARY: Lucas plays a perfect game of avoiding his parents for a whole week- he spends mornings walking around with Sif or Fandral or Hogun, sometimes asking questions about Asgard or listening to ridiculous but awesome stories or just walking and taking everything in.
NOTE: This is an update rec, so it will focus on/link to the current chapter, rather than the fic as a whole.
REC: Because I'd just so recently torn through the previous fic and the first two chapters of this one, I jumped on the update pretty quickly. I found that the world building really intrigued me greatly in this chapter, to see Asgard through Lucas' eyes and discover it all over again, the things he probably never really would have known as Loki, to the things he would have kept so very secret, to the things he has to try to parse out between what's true and what's a lie. I find myself almost wanting to believe in this Odin, as he tells Loki the "truth" about what was really going on with his friends on Midgard (but having read some of the comments, I know better *g*), but also I find myself fascinated by the things in Loki's secret room, both intriguing and heartbreaking. I find myself totally adoring Volstagg's family in the first scene in the fic and terribly intrigued by Loki's interaction with Tyr. It's the building of the world around Lucas that really shines for me in this chapter, the way the author has been building up to a lot of these things, but doesn't just solve everything at once, instead answering a few things, but inviting more questions, in a natural, organic way, as a well-paced fic should. My reservations about being able to buy Lucas as an amnesiac Loki are still there, but I definitely will keep snapping up each chapter as it comes out, I'm invested in the story and curious to see where it goes! p.s. Any fic that can get me to ship Tyr/Loki has to be doing something right! (Some brief Tyr/Loki, but it's not really the point.)

Guardian by BeesKnees
    A simple warning delivered: Don't fuck with his heroes.
    This was short, not even 600 words, but it was super interesting! I love Loki interacting with something greater than anyone else realizes, interacting with such great strength and understanding it the way no one else does, especially when it's so completely opposite to his own way of thinking. I love the turns of phrase in this fic and the concept of it, such a neat little play on things. (No warnings/pairings.)

Flying the Void by icarus_chained
    There are things that show us the truth, mirrors we may look into that show us our true face. But we may not like what we see. And what we see may break us.

Loki looks into a magic mirror, and is shown truth. The Avengers (Thor and Tony) pick up the pieces. Not because they have to, or even because they want to. But because there are some things you do not stoop to.

    Oh, speaking of fics that are difficult to write a rec for, but really got into some intense feelings for me... this fic is very difficult to describe, other than to say it takes a concept I'm very interested in (Loki looks into a magic mirror and what he sees there fucks with him something terrible, so he instinctively heads for Thor) and does a lovely job of showing just how messy and chaotic everything around this character and the other characters is. The choice of using Tony for the narrator works well, as it often does, because Tony has so many thoughts sprawling in so many directions and that's used to good effect here, both for how he's similar to Loki in some ways and for how they're different as well, for how Tony doesn't necessarily need to be sympathetic to or forgiving of Loki to understand him. And it's also well done because Tony is not all pure intentions and goodness, even when he's sorry about what he's going to do, he still is selfish in a way, he's still reckless and dangerous and trying to fill something up.

So, I would have liked it for the Tony pov enough on its own, but I also absolutely ate up that this Loki was so broken by what he saw in the mirror and how the rest of the Avengers react to that. How that says so much about Loki, both about how he views himself and what his foundations are and how he still feels about Thor underneath all of that. I loved this fic for the way Thor was torn between wanting to keep his brother close again however he could but also clearly not wanting him broken like this and, oh, my fannish heart ached for Thor just as much as anyone here. This is a fic that shows how these characters, mostly Tony and Loki here, but all the Avengers in some way or other, have rebuilt themselves and just what's so important about that. It's an intense but lovely read. (This is gen, but Thor&Loki and Tony&Loki fans should enjoy it.)

For the Love of Family by unorigelnal

PAIRINGS/CHARACTERS: Loki, Thor, Odin, Frigga, Sleipnir, Hela, Jormungandr, Fenrir, Tyr
    Deanon from the kinkmeme. For the prompt: We all know how Loki's kids look monstrous and all of Asgard hates them. Well I want to see Loki & the kids face those hardships but also have the helping hand of Thor behind them i.e. At first Thor was freaked out by the kids but since they're his nephews/nieces he watches out for them. And grows to love them deeply and do stuff for them.
    This is one of those fics that you just sort of have to roll with, I think, because you can't really put together Loki's kids and Odin's dickery together with the relationships we saw in the movie, but it's so engaging and interesting that I found I didn't really care. I wasn't even that bothered by evil!Odin in this fic, which is usually a hot button for me! The way the author writes Loki's children does paint the rest of Asgard in a bad light, but we really only see things from their perspective--and Thor's perspective. The fic also is of the style where it's almost more summary of events than actual scenes happening, in the first half. Once the characters start speaking and doing things more directly, the fic picks up even more and really kicks into high gear.

This fic is all the things you expect from a story about Loki's kids, how they're "monsters" and supposedly dangerous, but also having such interesting, neat takes on them. I especially liked the author's use of Jormungandr, who takes an interesting in magic like his mother. But I also appreciated Hela, who was wise beyond her years and not interested in magic, but still her mother's child. I loved that all of the children had individual personalities, that none of them were like the other, making them feel very fleshed out and they were woven well into the world here.

But I also love the instances where Thor slowly becomes enamored with the kids, slowly becomes attached to them despite himself, because they're sweet-natured children and they just want affection. At the same time, even without the external pressures, it's difficult for them to keep their happiness, because they're so much different from normal children and Hela refuses to touch anyone, Jormungandr and Fenrir won't stop growing, etc. There's obviously been a lot of thought put into these children (especially the little details of their biology showing through!) and it shows in the writing and, oh, I'm really anxious to know where all of this is going!

One Flew East, One Flew West by guitargirl492

PAIRINGS/CHARACTERS: Thor, Loki, Avengers briefly, Odin briefly
    Loki is asked to help Thor with a Dark Elf invasion on Earth. But he has his own reasons for agreeing to leave his prison to help his former brother.
    Oh, this fic is going to be difficult to talk about without being spoilery about it. I'm going to do my best to be only vaguely spoilery about the content of this fic, but if you'd rather read unsurprised (and I think it works pretty well without knowing the content ahead of time), then skip the second paragraph of this rec. Instead I'll just say that this was a fic that may have been short at just under 3k, but was ultimately the perfect length for what the ultimate focus was, and it had lovely characterization, along with at least two surprise moments where I felt a little like I'd been punched in the feelings.

Okay, spoilers from here on. The fic is not a happy one and the ending isn't for those who want a happy ending, but neither is it tragic or without an incredibly wide space for things to work out for the better. It's still not a happy ending, though, and is ultimately about Loki's self-destructive tendencies and that it's not always external forces that doom him. I enjoyed many things about this fic, the quick pace of it didn't allow for a lot of lingering on Loki's interactions with Thor or with the Avengers or as they were fighting the Elves, but it wasn't about any of those things. This is a fic that was about Loki's punishment and the form it took and the tragedy of it. The last few lines of this fic are pretty killer and definitely stayed with me as I couldn't help letting my thoughts turn over the implications of it. It's a briskly paced fic, but I found it to pack quite a punch.

The Hand of a Vengeful God by Mythtaken Identity (VR2LBast), thor & loki + other asgardians, 2.7k
    A meteor shower is an excellent excuse for a midnight picnic with family and friends. Such moments must be seized while they still last.
    I will read pretty much anything by this author and I'm so glad I got these fics in this fandom, because this was lovely and the right amount of bittersweet and happy! It shows how things were not always bitter between Thor and Loki, that Thor notice somme things and Loki spoke up about some, yet this still fits with the canon. I love the sense of family and friends here, how many feelings I had for all their relationships, the little notes of Loki interacting with all of them, while it was still centered on Thor & Loki. This was a little ouchy, but also very sweet and wonderful. I say it just about every time, but it's true just about every time--Mythtaken Identity is one of those writers that is one of the best in the fandom for me and I get that sort of gleeful clapping thing going every time I see a new one, they are so solidly good.

Avengers/Thor: maybe someday, love by featherxxdreams - [Note: There are SPOILERS for The Avengers in this fic and this rec.] I feel like I should just start screaming, "GODDAMN THESE FUCKING FEELINGS!" every time I read Thor/Loki fic these days. Not that this is really Thor/Loki, it could be gen just as much as it could be something more, but that's all right, too. It's post-movie, where Loki is brooding in Jotenheim and Thor doesn't believe that he's completely lost to them, he knows there's more to Loki's actions than what's on the surface. This is a piece about Thor refusing to let go until Loki breaks just a little bit, about making me feel all these complicated feelings about how, yesssss, I want more of Thor digging for the real truth until he pries it out of Loki and then lots and lots and lots of hugging. (This could be gen, this could be Thor/Loki.)

Avengers/Thor: Look at me by mrsloki - [Note: There are SPOILERS for The Avengers in this fic and this rec.] Reading on tumblr is not something I usually do, but I figured, eh, might as well give this one a shot. And then, oh, feelings. It's a short moment after The Avengers, when Loki has been defeated and is in Thor's care now, where Thor tries one more time to get through to his brother. What's lovely about this piece--aside from the tidal wave of FEELINGS SO MANY FEELINGS--is that it doesn't try to push for too much. There's only a small glimmer of maybe something there, it's more about the quiet moment of pleading and trying to reach the Loki he knows than it is about putting everything back to right. It almost sort of borders on gen, aside from two very chaste kisses, more about them being the person their world revolves around, even after all this time. And lots of UGH JUST FIX EVERYTHING ALREADY BECAUSE I NEED TO BE HAPPY AGAIN. (Lightly Thor/Loki, but it could almost be gen.)

Avengers/Thor: Cut Out My Heart by sinemoras09 - [Note: There are SPOILERS in this fic and this rec.] It's almost difficult to describe this fic, because it does a lot of the same things that many other fics in this vein do, it's about Loki returning to Asgard with Thor post-movie, it's about their childhoods together, it's about Loki growing ever more twisted up inside, without anyone really quite realizing the anger that grew in him, all told through various scenes set along their history. The timeline of the story jumps back and forth between the present and the past, and this works beautifully to show all of the everything between them, told with lovely language. It's not really a happy piece, but neither is it about crushing everything between them, as it ends with where they stood before and the memory of how much love they had for each other still there. ....eh, I'm explaining this badly, getting caught up in my own head too much. But it is a lovely story and I enjoyed it a lot. (Some Thor/Loki implications, but it could almost be gen, too.)

Avengers/Thor: Hands off My Hammer! by mwaters - When I picked up this fic, I think I expected something completely cracky, because of the title. But, instead, it's surprisingly adorable and gave me a lot of feels! Oh, it's still humorous at times, but it actually gets into the relationship between Thor and Loki (which is pre-slash here, because they're younger), touching on how Thor is kind of a dick without meaning to be, while Loki is a little shit without meaning to be. But it also shows, if it had just been these two, they probably would have been as close as could be forever, because there's an easy acceptance between the two of them here, even when they annoy the shit out of each other. I just. Ugh, this fic gave me a lot of feelings, okay. And those two are the CUTEST when they're younger! (This is sort of Thor/Loki, but it's pre-slash at best, and could rather easily read as gen here.)

A Villain State of Mind by Mikkeneko, loki & charles xavier + other mcu characters, crossover, some scenes of torture/gore, trauma, therapy fic, 54.9k
    Written for the Norsekink prompt: "SHIELD has Loki in custody, with the gag on to keep him from spellcasting, but they don't really know what to DO with him. They can't give him food or water or attempt to interrogate him with the gag on, and they don't dare take it off. Their solution? Call in a telepath! But Charles Xavier may find more things in Loki's head than SHIELD bargained for..."
    I've done recs previously for this fic while it was in progress, but I recently sat down to finish it off and then tear through the sequel (which I'll get to in a minute) and I wanted to write a rec for the overall fic/the ending of it. Everything I've mentioned in previous recs still hold true (there are some scenes that are difficult to read, I was very affected by the flashbacks with the dwarves and it was hitting the limit of what I could stand to read) and continues on for the rest of this fic. Though, I hardly know where to begin with this fic, because I feel like there's so much it covers that I want to talk about, all the slow building (or repairing) of Loki it does without needing to entirely fix him by the end! It's one step at a time and it's very aware that it's only a week for the entire span of this fic, so this is about the first flickers of something in him and about learning to take the first steps towards trusting someone again.

The use of Xavier's powers is lovely here, the two worlds fit together splendidly well, both seamless and interesting! It helps, of course, that they do occupy the same world in the comics, but there's always a challenge when they haven't been put together in the same movie universe (which this is written about), but this fic keeps the sharp and clever fun of seeing two worlds crossed over together while still having a point to it and giving great consideration to how they would integrate with each other. There's thought given to everything here, really, and I especially liked that it works on the idea that Asgard is not a bad place, but that it was not good for Loki, that this fic focuses on Loki himself and defining himself first, rather than the external factors in his life. It points out that there's really two choices with Loki--punish him or help him, which is something I've long thought.

Xavier is also incredibly thoughtful and given depth and I genuinely liked this Fury a lot! There are excellent building blocks for the story around the central characters, so that even when this is a story about Loki at its center, when he reveals his Jotunn form, I felt for him, but the Xavier aspect of that scene was the real blow to my feelings, where I got genuinely a little misty-eyed over it. And I love that this Loki is appropriately nasty in all the right moments, that he feels vulnerable or he's quick to believe the worst and so he lashes out, and sometimes those are genuinely cruel things to say, which the fic doesn't back away from. It's only because Xavier can read past Loki's projections, because he can read Loki's thoughts, that allows this relationship to be built the way it does, and that's why this is such an excellent crossover, because Xavier's abilities are so necessary here. The way he's used to cut through Loki's bullshit and examine his true motivations and feelings is so delicious because that's what you just want to do with Loki sometimes! To see beyond what he projects and cut away all the extraneous distracting stuff, to really dig into his character! Yet it's not used as an immediate fix it, because having someone in your head is pretty terrifying and it's such a careful balance not to abuse that power, to still build trust and to not rip someone open and make them too vulnerable! The fic doesn't use Xavier's abilities to immediately fix things, but instead to allow them just enough light in the darkness to begin the real work.

There are also stirrings of greater plot, there's mentions of what Thanos did to Loki and I liked the theories put forth here, all the more so because they're not used as excuses or even entirely explained because that's not what this story is centered on. Because this is a story about Loki, which means there are often biases and projections and unreliable narratives, even when you can see directly into his head, and what all of that says about Loki internally. Which is why it's so good, becasue it doesn't necessarily make Loki the center of the universe, but instead tries to start making Loki the center of Loki's universe for awhile, long enough to start repairing himself, and that's so, so, so good here.

Cover Up the Sun by Mikkeneko, loki & charles xavier + various x-men, thor 2 spoilers, grief/mourning, self-harm ideation, crossover, therapy fic, 41.4k wip
    Following the invasion of Asgard by Malekith the Accursed, Loki seeks shelter in the one place in the Nine Realms he knows he will be welcome: Charles Xavier's School for the Gifted.
    This fic is a sequel to A Villain State of Mind, which should be read first.
    I wish I could write a better rec for this fic (and I'm hoping I will as it posts and I can do update recs) because it's so engrossing and so much what I think is good for Loki and how to re-establish himself, but I fear some detail is lost to me because I tore through the ending of A Villain State of Mind and this one over a short span of time because I just absolutely could not put them down. They're engrossing reads, for how well they're paced in both the smaller and larger scale of what's going on in them, and it's just... so much of what I want to see! I lost myself in this fic and the prequel for a long time and I love that this arc is a slow repairing of Loki, that there's been so far that they've come and yet there's still so much further left to go. The first fic is long, but it was only a week and this one acknowledges that and embraces it, where this is all about the beginnings of Loki find himself and figuring out what he wants and dealing with Frigga's death and everything else in him. Again, this is a fic about the interal goings on of Loki, for all that there's really interesting external stuff when he's interacting with various X-Men. And those scenes are great! They highlight a lot of stuff and show the progress of Loki learning to interact with all sorts of different people and different attitudes from what he's used to.

But the heart of the fic is still centered on Loki's internal struggles, both in dealing with his grief over the loss of Frigga (and of his entire home, in the sense that he can't go back there now), that this is a process that will not be easy or done in a rush. This is about one step at a time, that each scene is about Loki moving forward and trying to trust again and figuring out how to define himself through himself instead of through what others wanted of him or what he thought they wanted of him. When Loki begins teaching what he knows to the kids at the Xavier school, it's very fun to read about and it's neat to see these two worlds coming together! But the importance isn't on the crossover element, as fun as it is, but instead that it's Loki considering what he has to offer to others, that he feels valuable and that he can see this as a possible future for himself, rather than the same old cycle that he was previously trapped in.

And this is all important because this is at the root of Loki's problems--or at least at the root of what could be the solution to Loki's finding his way back to something better than what he is--in stepping away from his home and his loved ones for awhile, to process everything that's happened, to give himself breathing room for awhile, to just be, away from the demands of what Asgard would ask of him or what Loki thinks Asgard is asking of him. It's about Loki finding shelter from the storm of his emotions, without going too far into abused!Loki territory, and that's why this establishing is so good. It's an excellent crossover and I enjoy the interactions, but it's Xavier & Loki at its heart, it's a winding road to recover that's truly about the journey itself.

In which Thor is an Epic Troll by notbeloved07, thor + avengers + loki + other mcu characters, humor, 5k
    This is the story of how Thor trolled the hell out of everybody, with a little help from Captain America, Dr. Jane Foster, and eventually the God of Lies himself. Because really, what sort of demi-god couldn't win his brother back from darkness by the power of love trolling?
    This story has trouble tracking at times and doesn't always connect the dots, as well as it tends to hurry through everything with Loki, but it has a ton of heart, where chapters 1 and 3 are perfect examples of the way Thor absolutely would troll the Avengers. The use of All Speak especially made me laugh ridiculously hard (and genuinely!) and this is a greatly fun piece for when you want some Thor characterization. It could use some polish, but it absolutely has some great ideas and is headed in the right direction! Bless this author for writing it, seriously.

Sætta by StarsInTheRiver, thor & loki + avengers, kid!loki, 3.1k
    Loki was killed in the battle of new york, and reincarnated as a young boy. Although he remembers nothing but a few blurred memories at first, the arrival of old enemies seeking revenge awakens the worst of them. Now, in order to keep his life, he must earn the trust of the Avengers, his brother, and himself. Some graphic violence and language. Avengers all living in Stark Tower. I'm going to tell you now, its going to be very long.
    This is one of those fics that has a lot of potential but is rough around the edges and could use some cleaning. But I'm a sucker for de-aged amnesiac Loki fic and this one hooked me in with how adorable he is and how already I'm antsy for revelations to happen. It's only the beginning so far, but I know a fic has promise when I want to just get to the reveal already!!, because build-up is an important thing!

Hall of the Slain by Shiny_n_new, thor & tony, character death, 1.1k
    Tony Stark was dead. Surprisingly, he wasn't that bummed.
    This is short, but lovely! A look at Tony being brought to Valhalla in a way I could see working with the MCU and it had a fun Tony voice, a couple of quality Thor moments, and just generally was a lovely Thor & Tony scene, which doesn't happen nearly often enough in fic!

The First Hunt by fallintosanity (yopumpkinhead), thor & loki + odin + frigga, child endangerment, some violence, fluff, 5.2k
    Thor is a great warrior, even if he's only just starting to lose his baby teeth, and he needs a good battle to prove it. Slaying the famed dire bear Iofur sounds like just the right challenge.
    Thor and Loki being darling little shits and fighting enemies beyond them and their parents worrying over them! These are all things I will always seek out in fic, mmm. It was a lovely read about their childhood and trying to fight a bear of legend and action scenes! Plus, utter sweetness at the end to balance out the harder to read scenes (which isn't about anyone being an asshole, just kids being in over their heads in a way that's genuinely painful and dangerous and nerve-wracking), which was perfectly true to parents worrying over and loving their children!

Just another day in the park by Maia2, thor + avengers + loki, humor, 2.2k
    The latest villain in New York has the means to de-age citizens and heroes alike. It doesn't exactly work as he expected.
    Oh, this was just pure delight to read! The Avengers turned into teenagers and babies is hilarious, there are some great lines in here, and let me tell you about how I fucking cackled at the ending! The author strikes a lovely balance of having fun with all of this, poking at villain tropes, and giving me a genuinely awesome Thor. I just rolled around in this because it's Avengers team fic, but Thor gets a central role and I've been craving that and this fuck fucking delivered for me. It's charming as hell, clever in many little details, and the ending was beautiful. This is now a fic of my heart.

A Day in the Sun by Mikkeneko, tony & loki (minor tony/loki) + thor & loki + avengers, bodyswap, 27.8k
    Thor runs afoul of Loki's latest diabolical plot -- to lure him into a trap and steal his body, his powers, and his identity! But once he has Thor's life, what does Loki plan to do with it? Probably not what Thor expects...
    There is some Tony/Loki in this fic, but I wouldn't consider it central enough to say it's the point, so I'm sticking this rec in the gen section, especially as a good chunk of what drives this is the Thor & Loki relationship--well, Loki's issues with Thor. And this is a really fun Loki fic where he's just so... Loki, for good and bad, he is so very Loki, even when he's trying to impersonate Thor. You can tell that the author had a great time writing this and that affection just shines through, both for the concept and that Loki will never be Thor, no matter how hard he tries, and that the narrative nudges him slowly towards realizing that it's better for them both to be themselves. This is a high-flying, fun fic that was great for when I wanted something to just have a good day over!

Tempered by Lise, thor & loki, some jotunn!loki, heat stroke, loki whump, 3.8k
    A glass cage and a rising temperature does not a happy Jotun make.
    Ahhh, h/c fic is so good for me when it's like this, when the comfort is as much the point as the hurt, and that balance is beautifully struck here. As always, nobody writes stubborn, thorny, brittle Loki like Lise does, how intense he is, even as the fic is breaking him down, so that his defenses are smashed and it's as painful as it is good. This Thor is perfect as well, anger and love in equal measures, that he's so heavy in every scene he's in (well, just the one directly here, but with an echo of another), and his anger at those who hurt Loki was gorgeous. This was an amazing read, ahhhhh, the kind that absolutely gets right at the things my idfic need wants, while still staying true to the harshness of the characters. This Loki does not break easily, which means it often gets genuinely uncomfortable for me to read (in the way that it's mean to) but when he starts to crack, even just a little bit, even if he'll force himself back together with hard stitching all over again, there are moments where he can't fight off those who care about him and let me tell you how delicious and satisfying that is, because, oh, this fic nailed that part of it. The point is to get him to that moment where he desperately wants Thor to save him, where the amount of trauma (that is legitimately awful, in the way it too is meant to be) is enough that Loki finally thinks (says?) what he really wants, deep underneath. Lise is a master of that and this fic was one of her best for it. All the more so because it happened and it was beautiful.

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