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Blue is the Tender Soul by Timid_Timbuktu, thor/loki, NSFW, temperature kink, thor 2 trailer spoilers, 10k
    When Thor asks Loki to help him save Jane and Frigga after they are captured by Malekith, he knows that Loki will fight him every step of the way. Although Thor is ready for Loki’s lies, nothing can prepare him for the freezing touch of Loki’s jotun skin.
    When I finished reading this fic, I immediately thought that this was everything I could have asked for: Tears, porn, and hope. It's everything I could have wanted from a fic like this! It's beautifully characterized for both of them, it doesn't pull punches on all that's between them that hurts, but it also gets at what's underneath the anger. Loki's starting to crack open, the way this Thor isn't stupid, the way it's always when Thor starts talking to him that Loki starts spinning out of his control, all of that is excellent for me.

There's a gorgeous mix of Thor knowing that he should be more patient with Loki warring with his anger and desire to reclaim his brother--which is a huge thing for me, that Thor knows he should be patient and gentler with Loki, but his temper and his possessiveness rear up anyway because Loki is his. It creates the perfect storm for the angry, possessive sex that's also about love and insight into these characters and is just scorchingly hot. Then there's the question of Jane between them and I am in love with how this fic handled it, how it doesn't diminish her importance to Thor, that she is genuinely important to him here, but Loki is his forever and, oh, it's so good. The ending is absolutely perfect as well, the metaphors used fit exquisitely well and the implications of it are exactly, exactly what I'm hoping for, all of it stunning. This fic made me tear up at one point, does a breath-taking job of addressing Loki's Jotunn form, has intensely hot, posessive, angry love sex, and a perfect ending. One of my must-reads for trailer-inspired fic.

Lay down, lay down your pain by umakoo, thor/loki, thor 2 spoilers, berserker!thor, 1.4k
    Thor's grief drives him into berserker rage. Only one person can bring him back from the brink of such violent madness.
    This is one of those must-read fics for when you've just seen the movie and desperately want to know what would happen next. I love the thoughtfulness of this piece, the utter intrigue I had while reading it, and how it's just plain awesome. It's awesome for getting more of berserker!Thor in a way that makes such utter sense and is entirely epic and heartbreaking and leads to more awesome things. It's a glorious read just for having awesome things in it, but also for showing the path of Thor's grief, and then adding Loki into that mix! It's a brilliant read and sparks the imagination perfectly.

Protean by Mikkeneko, thor/loki, nsfw, thor 2 spoilers, 1.3k
    At last Thor has everything he could have wanted: the throne of Asgard and Loki's love. Loki means to make his brother work for that last one, though...
    As much as I want fics that deal with the immediate aftermath of the movie, I also want fic that deals with the further future because I want things mended and I want to see how they'll be affected by these events. So, this was just right up my alley, where Loki uses his magic to shift himself (with the theory, I think, that despite that his illusions on other people are dispersed with a touch, he can cast ones on himself that are truly shifting of his shape) and, naturally, uses this to torment Thor during sex. And Thor loves him so he really does put up with Loki's shit, really if you don't come away from this fic feeling so much for Thor, I don't understand. Yet... even as I say this, the ending is all kinds of beautiful to me and Loki you little shit of course you would. Of course you would invent the worst game ever. Plus, I love how Thor really understands Loki, in that he's this contradictory mess of things, and handles Loki as well as anyone can. This is delightful and perfect!

to whom can a god appeal for mercy by amberfox17 [ mobile ver. ], thor/loki, thor 2 spoilers, 2.5k
    What is Loki without Thor?
    I'm going to write the world's most terrible rec for this fic, I fear. I originally meant to wait until it was up on AO3, but, eh, it was short and I wanted to read it now and then I had all these feelings and well. Here we are. Because this is the fic I wanted most after Thor 2, where it touches on all the little things that I've thought/wanted to happen. That Loki gets bored of pretending to be king, that shit blows up in his face, that he has to go to Thor for help, the implication that the heat of battle makes them brothers again for a time, but then Thor has had enough. Because Loki's actions were cruel, when he let Thor think he was dead yet again. And that is what this fic is dealing with, in that way that's just... oh, part of me wants Loki to just have to deal with it, deal with the bonds he's broken, because it is unequivocally his fault. But then the majority of me is utterly screaming that, no, no, no, he loves Thor so much, don't leave him!!

And what makes this fic work so well is that that's the feeling you're supposed to have while reading, that's the feeling of the narrative tone here, and that's why it's perfect for me. Because Thor is not wrong to turn away from Loki and yet this is not a fic that's about breaking your heart, so it's a gorgeous read. Especially when Loki finally cracks fully, because he always does around Thor, and it's so emotionally satisfying and it's built up to that moment perfectly, his thoughts as he just flings himself forward, that this is how he wants to go out if he must, and how everything unfolds from there. Just. Ugh. Exactly what I wanted. Exactly.

Dies, Died, Will Die by restlesslikeme, thor/loki + some thor/jane, NSFW, violence and semi-character death (of the norse gods kind), thor 2 trailer spoilers, 2.5k
    "You should know that when you betray me, I will kill you." Word choice is everything.
    I was initially wary because of the character death warning, but I'm much more okay with that when it comes to these characters and when it's, well, frankly, with these Norse god bastards, it's not really permanent. But what really made me love this fic is that it's not just the stories of over and over again with their lives or that they're stronger and more long-lived than humans, but what that means for the way they look at life and those around them and the worlds they see. It's also about how Thor and Loki's lives always come back to each other, that their human acquaintances (well, Thor's friends, mostly) are important and meaningful, but it's not the same as the forever that they share with each other. Even in Thor's scene with Jane, even when she asks who he would choose between (and I loved her for asking a question that would have eaten away at me, too), it can't take away from the forever that Thor and Loki share, and really serves to enhance it more than anything. There's also a lovely sex scene that was super good for me, with how angry it was and yet these are characters who love each other. Between that and the forever with these characters, it made this fic really excellent.

highway skies and thunder seas by miikkaa_xx, thor/loki + jane, NSFW, some dom/sub elements, second Thor 2 trailer spoilers, 3.7k
    Thor teaches Loki respect, but the lesson is a little skewed.
    Oh, man, yes, Loki being a little shit because he's deliberately goading Thor into this, until he bites off more than he can chew (except even that is what he wants, deep down) and Thor is just completely putting him in his place, both with impossible strength and hard words. Like, holy shit, that is melt your face off hot and perfect for these characters and their relationship and this moment they're in. That Loki combats it for as long as he can, because he enjoys the attempts to get under others' skin, because he enjoys when Thor has this power over him, it's just really, really good for me and the entire second half of this fic is, like, hotness personified. I enjoyed Thor's almost patience here, the (hard-won, you can fee) understanding he has of Loki, that this is not friendly, this is hard and unyielding, but there's also still love here. Then you add in super hot sex, holy shit, and, nope, I'm done. Goodbye, it was nice knowing you while I was here, but I am gone and done, for the porn has killed me.

Otp challenge - 5. Nipple play by takemetothedungeons [ mobile ver. ], thor/loki, nsfw, nipple play, 1,4k
    Loki has been misbehaving. It was inevitable, really. The mortal was a thorn in his side and polished insults and not-at-all-well meant teasing kept slipping from his mouth, making their way to her ears.
    This was short and fun, a quick little fic based on the second Thor 2 trailer, where Thor and Loki and Jane are traveling through Svartalfheim, stopping for the night, and Thor teasing Loki's nipples until he comes. I am deliriously in love with fic where Thor's basically had enough of trying to be nice to Loki, but is instead harsher and not precisely cruel, but not so gentle, which Loki responds not-that-surprisingly well to. Thor's low chuckle in his ears as Loki realizes what he's doing, the picture Thor paints of what he'd do if they had more time, yesss, good for me. :9 Short, but fun and definitely worth a read!

untitled by a-walking-accident [ mobile ver. ], thor/loki, thor 2 spoilers, ~1k
    Silence again, except for the damp thick sounds of Thor lathering soap into the thick tangled mess and trying not to snag his finger in it again.
    This is short, not even 500 words, but it's what so many of us have been waiting for--touch starved Loki getting cleaned up after Thor breaks him out of prison, which naturally brings out a whole mess of feelings in the audience. It's entirely fluffy, but the kind of fluff that will make your heart hurt all the more because of the setting of it, the contrast beautifully done. Just. "Ow" and "aww" in equal measure.

Heir Apparent by hannahrhen [ mobile ver. ], thor/loki, pregnant!loki, thor 2 spoilers, ~1k
    If the guards wondered why Odin All-Father conserved his movements so stingily, they had sense enough not to say it. Not within Loki’s earshot, anyway, and that veneer of respect was all Loki needed.
    Oh, man, yes, thank you, because pregnant!Loki sitting on the throne of Asgard and just being so... Loki about it is really great for me. It scratches at that itch I so badly wanted, that Loki is Loki in his motivations, both in his determination and yet how you know things will blow up in his face, but also for knocked up Loki who's going to have Thor's child and that's just going to be all the more delicious when it's revealed. Also totally worth reading for the way Loki thinks about Thor's affect on everyone around him, because it's a short mention, but it's hilarious. Also, I laughed a lot at the fate of Odin in this one.

The Queen is Dead; Long Live the Queen by skiesovergideon, frigga & loki + thor, thor 2 spoilers, character death, 3.2k
    Loki grieves for Frigga.
    The amount of pure emotion I felt while reading this was astounding. The author does a brilliant job of capturing the sense of loss and the utter physical feeling of that grief, combining it together with the absolute and utter mess that Loki is. It can be difficult to write a character who has such wild moodswings like Loki does, especially when he's at another extreme of his life, after finding out about Frigga's death, while he's still so unbalanced, but this fic does a lovely job of it. The sheet amount of gut-wrenching hurt and anger and loss and desperation and sorrow that make up Loki here are perfect, it's such an intense read because this is an intense character in an intense moment. Another thing that's difficult to write is the moment of Loki hearing about her death, the immediate aftermath of that, it's one of those scenes that almost can't be shown/written about because it's too easy to go over the top about it or make it less than the imagination conjures. But this fic does is beautifully.

And it doesn't stop there, it takes us through the scene on the skiff with Thor and Jane, the final line of that scene, about Thor and Loki, just made me ache all over again. They're not the heart of this fic, this is a fic about Loki and his mother, but it's important, too, and, oh, it was a powerful line. Then there's the ending. Jesus fuck, I just about cried all over again, it was so... sweet and painful and heart-wrenchingly real grief. I've had real loss in my own life and this is the kind of fic that touches on that, so it's not a read for if you want happier things, but neither is it meant to be a downer. It finds that middle place that works perfectly for me.

Id Est Furor by kaasknot, thor & loki, thor 2 spoilers, role reversal, berserker!thor, character death, 1.8k
    “Come to visit me again, brother?” Thor’s voice rumbled through the prison block like thunder in the distance. Loki stepped out from the shadows of the stairwell. “Disasters are always so compelling to watch,” he replied.
    I DID NOT KNOW HOW AWESOME THIS WAS GOING TO BE WHEN I PICKED IT UP, so I am very glad that I did. It's a role reversal AU, where Thor is the one imprisoned in Asgard while Loki is done with trying to reach him and, oh, I was initially skeptical such a thing could work outside of fanart, as this is the first I've read so far, but this is amazing. It's good for me on two fronts--it did a great job with getting me to buy that Thor would be the out of favor son and, holy shit, berserker!Thor is terrifying as fuck. The fic doesn't linger too long on any one aspect of it, it's more implied and uses the images to loom the threat over the characters, it's told in brief flashes of what happened to get them to this point, and it's beautifully done for that. Thor in a berserker rage is utterly terrifying and this fic does justice to that. If you enjoy Thor just wrecking shit in a fury, this fic is going to be so good for you, which, you know, is pretty much where I live. I don't even need sex, this is hot enough warrior god!Thor porn for me.

Friggason by AliuIce0814, frigga & loki + odin, thor 2 spoilers, character death, 2.7k
    Loki didn't expect this. It turned out better than he expected.
    The fic is a little rough around the edges and the ending sort of doesn't really track for me (why Heimdall knowingly steps aside) as well as the fic touches a little too hard on the evil!Odin thing to make its point about Loki apologia (though, it's hardly to intolerable levels! this is within the realm of possibility for me!), but the scenes between Loki and Frigga were what I wanted, which I totally got emotional over. There's practically a running stream of thoughts and feelings from Loki when he meets his mother in Valhalla again, which is just so Loki in how it shows off how he crumbles when faced with such intense emotion about those he loves. When he speaks with her and she cradles him close, when he dissolves into clinging to her and crying, it should be too over the top about it, but I genuinely got swept up in it, the way the author builds it up really worked for me, so that I had a misting of tears in my eyes by the time she took her son in her arms. It's meant to play on the audience's emotions, but it does so with such solidity that I adored it and totally got emotional over it. It's a lovely read for after the movie.

To Whom We Belong by a-walking-accident [ mobile ver. ], thor/loki, NSFW, possible thor 2 spoilers, wall sex, 1k
    "Speak no more, brother. I’ve had enough of your twisting words.”
    How did I miss this until now?? It's rough, angry wall sex, against a column and with Loki wearing furs, where Thor's anger is so strong, but you can feel that it's not without love underneath that, even if this isn't precisely a nice fic. But it's Loki being a goading little shit, until he's shut up by Thor's cock in the best way possible. I loved this because it touched on all the little things that have come to the surface with them, the way Thor did not have an easy time of things either, the way Loki was such a teasing little shit, the way Loki tries not to have any fucks left to give, but, oh, he does. And Thor fucks him roughly up against a pillar, which is ridiculously hot and satisfying, which I would have loved it for, but it's the characterization that really made this one send me into orbit. It's deliciously explicit sex, WALL SEX AT THAT, where Loki aches to have Thor's cock in him, but also really good character insight. My favorite things. *__*

The More Things Change (The More They Stay The Same) by Elsian, thor/loki, NSFW, some thor 2 spoilers, 6.5k
    Every few months, Thor leaves the tower, telling the Avengers he is going to spend time in Asgard with his people. Thor is lying.
    As soon as I saw that Elsian had written a new fic, yeah, I pretty much pounced on it and read it immediately (even if my recs come rather later) and, oh, I was not disappointed. There are a few epithets here and there, but the writing also just sucked me right in, even as I was supposed to be sleeping instead. It's a good mix of fluff and softer things with not actually letting go of all the crap between them, it's always just off-screen, even at their cuddliest, and that really worked for me! The build-up to the sex was delicious and then the sex itself was nicely satisfying and I liked the ending with the non-resolution between them, that that's where they would be. Plus, it's truce of a sort fic! Where they just... set everything aside for awhile, just a little bit of time to be with each other again, and I love those like you wouldn't believe. This was a delightful read tonight! *__*

Phantasmagoria by stereobone [ mobile ver. ], thor/loki + some thor/jane, thor 2 spoilers, 1.2k
    "This is a dream," Loki says.
    The writing here is almost clipped but it works so well for Thor just after the events of the movie, with how tired and weary he is, the heavy weight he carries around now. This is also how Thor/Jane makes sense to me, that she is an anchor when he needs one, while it's thoughts of Loki that haunt him. It also balances what a burden this all is for Thor, with how he doesn't want to let it go, because he cannot let go of his little brother entirely. This was short, but it's lovely and haunting, finding a lot of really good notes to hit post-movie.

Thunderstorm by Leezzee, thor/loki, NSFW, rough sex, wall sex, pwp, thor 2 spoilers, 1.2k
    Thor and Loki finally meet again and it isn't on the best terms. They try to work off a bit of frustration.
    There's some stiff word choice here and too many epithets used, but other than that this was a delightfully satisfying pwp fic! I definitely want more from this author, there's such potential here, and, yeah, Thor fucking Loki angrily up against the pillar was ridiculously hot. This fic is the reason pwps are great in between longer fics, it was perfect for me as it was. *__*

wish by stereobone [ Thor ] [ mobile ver. ]
→ summary: Thor enters the cell and hauls Loki up by the arm, no warm words, no warning.
→ rec: Wow, did I ever let out one of those long sighs I didn't know I was holding until suddenly I was unwinding again. Utterly gorgeous for how it punches you straight in the feelings, how it captures everything of that scene and what could be the context of it, the intensity and all of the hurt on both sides. Both Thor and Loki are stunningly characterized here and, oh, I could have just cried from how much I love them both and how painful this was and how I'd put myself through it a hundred more times, so long as it was beautifully written as this. It's also super hot just to have Thor pin Loki to the wall, as Loki goads him on, but Thor still knows how to undo him with surprising gentleness and, oh, jfc, so many feelings when Loki's grip on his mask starts to slip because of Thor. I suspect nothing will be able to touch this one for me.

untitled by plasmodesmata12 [ Thor ] [ mobile ver. ]
→ summary: Water trickled down his spine. It was the first thing remotely close to a bath he’d had since around the time of Thor’s coronation.
→ rec: I knew what I was getting into when I started reading fic based on the trailer, but that doesn't mean it doesn't still punch me in the feelings when I do. Oh, this was beautifully heartbreaking, as Loki refuses to let Thor help him wash up after getting out of his cell, only lets Thor do as much as Loki can't do himself, but, as ever, Thor always barges ahead and undoes Loki's deathgrip on his mask of indifference. And, oh, it's so perfectly written and I could have cried from all the feelings it gave me, the utter ache of it and how it didn't go too over the top with the angst, but instead just hit all the right notes with Loki's stubbornness and Thor's immovability and the sheer weight of everything between them. Let me just go gross sob for awhile now.

Reined by thefirstwhokneels [ Thor ]
→ summary: Thor's visit in Loki's prison cell spirals out of control. Or maybe the control has never even been with Thor.
→ rec: I actually found this fic really sad, in a way that was beyond even the usual punching me in the feelings, that this Loki was so... there's a line that Thor says in the fic: "I lost my brother to his own madness, and you’re just a shell that wears his skin." And I found that I really felt that while reading this fic, that there was so little of Thor's brother left here, that all Loki is here is madness and lashing out and cruelty and manipulation, which just punched me right in the feelings. It's a subtle thing, one I can't quite put my finger on (I think maybe it's the the lack of Loki being unbalanced by Thor really hurt, it shows just how much further gone he is here than we've previously seen) but, ahhh, the angry, rough sex is definitely what I wanted, that's just the right amount of dub con mixed with Loki clearly goading Thor on to make it work for me. Angry sex + punch me in the feelings, yeah, that's just what I was looking for after the trailer.

skies they blink at me by norsecest [ Thor ] [ mobile ver., AO3 ver. ]
→ summary: He looks at Thor like he’s a stranger, and says, “You have my word.”
→ rec: The fic is a little hampered by trying to work in the lines from the trailer (which should probably have more dialogue between them) but otherwise, oh, yes, this is more of what I was looking for. I felt so much of everything just right along with Loki here, how disgusted and angry and hurt he is, especially now that he really is just a stolen relic, how Loki is his own worst enemy, yet somehow I'm pulled into the same emotional eddy that he is and, oh, the torn and frayed relationship between him and Thor is just so aching here, too. The ending paragraphs, where Loki leans in against Thor and everything that's said and not said there, just. Ugh, feelings.

untitled by norsecest [ Thor ] [ mobile ver. ]
→ summary: There are five bullets in his pocket, and one in his hand.
→ rec: This is really short at 250 words and is an AU fic, I think, but it runs parallel to the Thor 2 trailer, using dialogue from it and, asdl;fkjaslkj oh my god it might be just a single moment from a larger idea, but I already know I want this.

untitled by ariodat [ Thor ] [ mobile ver. ]
→ summary: “When I betray you?” A dark chuckle escapes his chapped lips and he licks them, makes them shine with saliva. “No ifs and buts? You disappoint me, Thor.”
→ rec: Oh, ugh, I'm just going to go gross sob over this one for awhile. I love that it expands on what we saw in the trailer, that it uses that as a jumping off point, where things (especially Loki) start to unravel from how they've braced themselves, and, oh, how poisonous and painful this lovely piece is. That Loki is both manipulative and unstable here, that he winds Thor back around his fingers, but at the cost of further crumbling his own collectedness, oh, it's beautifully done, right down to the brief flash of their fucking, that Thor fucks like he fights, because this is just... everything these two are at this point. *kicks rocks* Now my heart hurts again.

empty words by cavaleirahh [ Thor ] [ mobile ver. ]
→ summary: “Oh you do always ruin my fun, don’t you Thor? Very well then, let us talk seriously. I could be persuaded to help you, but what’s in it for me?”
→ rec: This is one of my new absolute favorites to come out of the trailer, one that threatened to put tears in my eyes, because, oh, it was gorgeous and absolutely punched my feelings to the floor with how the mix of anger and cruelty and hurt so quickly can turn, because Loki cannot help pushing and goading Thor until Thor just ruins Loki's attempts at fun by being genuine and sincere, which in turn undoes Loki in a way that no one else can. This fic does it beautifully, the kind of writing that hurts and yet also I love because you can still feel all that's there between them, so satisfying for the way Thor may be angry, there may be more distance between them than ever, but he'll still grab hold of Loki and nothing can pry him off and, oh, jfc, fuck coherency, Thor pulling Loki into his lap (after such an angry face fucking) is everything I wanted from this scene.

some things are easy by thegoodlannister [ Thor ] [ mobile ver. ]
→ summary: “I’m so tired,” he says to Thor, letting the faintest hint of a whine find its way into his voice, and Loki is almost surprised to find that what he says is true.
→ rec: This is another one that just shot straight to the top of my list of personal favorites because, oh my god, I need this in the movie. I don't expect to get it and thus the movie can now never live up to how badly I want Loki to have been deliberately denying himself (because he's a self-sabotaging little shit) which means he's in no condition for a road trip which means of course he starts puking up what little he has in him and nearly passing out. This is gorgeously balanced between the hurt that's between them, Loki viciously trying not to be weak even when he's pushed himself too far, trying so hard not to love Thor, and yet he still does. This is gorgeous floppy!Loki and Thor touching him to hold him, this is everything I want from the roadtrip scene in the world. Ridiculous sighing over fic-induced feels is a go.

untitled by soltian [ Thor ] [ mobile ver. ]
→ summary: They had rolled around in the dirt, pulling and crushing at whichever part of the other they could reach; Loki felt several of his ribs snap under Thor’s fists and gasped, his throat too clotted with gravel and grime to put them back together.
→ rec: This is super short but, ugh, what gorgeous art to go with it and it's all about fighting and fucking and hurt and anger and love and that they're just a mess of a relationship. It's a scene without larger context, but it's still based on a line from the trailer, and it fits with their current relationship and I... yeah, I'm both happy about this and heartbroken about this, which is pretty much exactly what I'm looking for right now.

Watch the World Tear Us Apart by t0bemadeofglass [ Thor ]
→ summary: "I do not want--."

"I care not for what you want. You need this."

→ rec: You know you have it bad when the nicer fic feels like it's nearly killing you with kindness. This is definitely a softer piece, where they both set their anger aside for a moment, even though it's still obviously there, while Thor cuts Loki's hair, despite his protests. There are a few too many epithets here, but it's an incredibly bittersweet fic that kind of threatened to make me do one of those ridiculous sighs again, especially as Loki thought of Frigga while Thor forces his head into place and snips away at his hair, of their childhood and how this is not the first time and there's just... so much history and weight there. And feelings. Bucketloads of feelings even when it's not actively trying to break everything, it just made me feel how far they've fallen from each other all over again. SIGH.

Freedom is a State of Mind by FoolWithAPen [ Thor ]
→ summary: He wondered if anyone realized that they had created the perfect monument to the monster amongst them.
→ rec: This is definitely one of those fics that... I almost might not have enjoyed it as much as I did if the fic hadn't taken place all before Thor goes to see Loki in his cell, because this is a Loki that is very much unredeemed and is in control of himself. I can't imagine that he'd keep that control of himself once Thor actually starts talking to him, because that's always when Loki starts to lose it in canon, once Thor is direct and genuine with him, but... in the meantime, it was surprisingly almost fun to read this piece, where Loki almost nearly enjoys this part of the role he's playing. The author does a lovely job of showing his plotting and his returning patience, that this Loki is playing a much longer game (because this is a character who will live thousands of years, is possibly nearly immortal, this one year is little to him) and he's so sharp and clever and truly cunning here. Not that it's not still ouchy, especially when Loki's thoughts turn to Frigga or how they seem to keep circling back to Thor, but... this is one of those fics that shows why Loki is such a delightful character to watch.

the weaver by dance_at_bougival [ Thor ]
→ summary: Her heart aches, her entire chest thrums with a love too big and too vast for her body to contain—her darling, bright, quicksilver son.
→ rec: If I could only recommend one fic that was based on the Thor 2 trailer, this would be it. I fear the pairings listed may put some people off, but they're incredibly minor, more implications at most, probably more towards like close friendship, and the focus is entirely on Frigga and Loki's relationship and the abolute magnificence and scope of their lives. The writing is breathtaking for how much life it breathes into Frigga's character and the depth it gives both her character and her relationship with Loki, never losing an iota of how brutal it is in handling your feelings, but neither does it do so in any sort of clumsy way. I was enthralled the entire time even as I felt like my fannish heart was being ripped out, because there's so much love and care here, that this Loki is so angry and Frigga loves him so dearly. And this author also does an absolutely beautiful job of the friendship between Thor and Loki and Sif, giving it an utterly natural feel, allowing you to both see how Loki turned out the way he did and that there were happier times, that Thor and Sif cared deeply for him, that his parents cared deeply for him.

The back and forth between the scenes of Loki's childhood, mixed with the scenes from the trailer (and spoilers we've heard) are exquisitely done, this feels like absolutely everything the movie could possibly live up to being, this does justice to everything between these two characters. And, yes, Frigga dies in this fic but, oh, her death scene was utterly glorious in how well crafted it was and for how brilliantly the emotions were handled. There are so many little moments in the fic (where Frigga doesn't want to lie to her darling son, where Thor clearly loves him, where Sif treats him well) that are so good and they ache all the more for knowing how this story turns, but it's absolutely, completely worth the read. If you read one fic based on the trailer/spoilers for Thor 2, it should be this one.

Strike Once, Strike Twice by MissNefer [ Thor ]
→ summary: They say that lightning doesn't strike the same place twice. It's not true when you are the god of thunder.
→ rec: Give me all the prison sex fic, plz. Especially if it contains one of my fondest loves--Thor with that mix of love and anger at the same time, while Loki goads Thor into fucking him harder. And the balance this fic struck really worked for me here, with Thor still genuinely loving his brother, with wanting Loki's redemption, always looking for that spark of something good in him again, but also knowing that Loki isn't allowing himself that, that he's facing an enemy here now, and knowing that Loki will try to use that sentimentality against him. And we're not in Loki's head for this one, so it's harder to tell, but there's still an element of being undone by Thor like no one else can undo him, that he gets more than he bargained for when he goads Thor's rough handling of him, that he loses that usual control over himself when it comes to Thor, even if he still keeps hold of his anger and viciousness.

So, I enjoyed it for those aspects, but then it was also the sex that was just... there's d/s elements, there's hair pulling, there's rough sex, and there's electricity play. Thor bringing small bursts of lightning to Loki's skin, in increasingly more sensitive places, until he's got several fingers buried in Loki's ass and shocking him in the most intimate way possible, half pleasuring and half punishing and oh my god, I didn't know I needed that until I had it. Loki wanting Thor to do this to him, then subtly overwhelmed by it, the mix of Thor's anger and love together, just. Yes. I needed that.

Born of Darkness by Ebonrune [ Thor ]
→ summary: After Jane is taken, Thor seeks out the only person who can aid him in her rescue.
→ rec: This is short and mostly about filling in the spaces around the bits of the scene we see in the trailer, but I really liked that it made the conversation feel much more natural and having a better flow to it than just the few lines we had time for in the trailer. And, well, I read this fic with my fannish heart full of feelings and kind of wanting to clutch at it like always, so, that's how I know a fic is good for me.

řrviti by ohfreckle, thor/loki, NSFW, 2.2k
    "Promise me that you will not betray me," Thor demands, his voice hoarse. "Promise me and I'll give you what you want." Loki's wrists are too thin where Thor holds them over Loki's head, his broad hand fitting over them easily, and Thor likes it. How foolish it was to think that being separated from Loki for such a length of time would cool his ill-fated passion for his brother. One touch is enough and it flares bright again, love and hate molten into a living thing that crawls right under Thor's skin, too deep to cut it out.
    Oh, jfc, this was almost painfully hot to read. It's wonderfully written on a technical level, but it's the gorgeousness of the characterization that really got me here. Well, that and the sorching hot porn. But the sharpness of Thor's anger, the weight of that rage, and how he likes being rough with Loki, mixed with some guilt, but that cannot outweigh that this feels... not precisely right, but not incorrect, either. It's so Thor for this relationship here. And then there's rough sex in the prison and finger fucking and it's gorgeous and painfully hot omg. While I'm never as great of a fan of the ouchy stuff as I am of the happier stuff, I will happily throw all that out the window for quality... everything... like this fic is here. One of those must-reads for the Thor 2 trailer-inspired fics.

avalanche by black_nata, thor/loki, nsfw, 6.6k
    "You must be truly desperate to come to me for help."
    It's not until Loki's pov that this fic clicked into gear for me, it's the Loki scenes of this that are the solid parts of this fic, so you'll need to stick with it until the second chapter and I'll also give the caveat that this fic uses too many epithets that distracted me from the story, but it was a solid story to add to the collection of trailer-based fic. The highlights of the fic are the Loki moments, where he's not unaffected by Thor's anger at him (ugh, feelings, they need to go away because I got all mopey at that, that Loki deserved Thor's genuine anger at him, but it still hurt) and the fight scenes against the dark elves. I'm definitely a sucker for a good action scene, even if it's not terribly long, it shows the... not precisely casual violence of their lives, but that it's part of the lives they lead. And if you're looking for further ouchy feelings and the fucked up tragedy that is their lives, this was a good one to read. Plus, I'm definitely anxious for longer fics (not that this one is super long, but it's at least getting towards the length I want!) and so one that took a bit more time was definitely welcome!

From Within The Cage by LynxRyder, thor + loki, 1.3k
    Loki reads and muses in his Asgardian prison.
    It's in the second half of this short fic that it got interesting, where Loki is actually sort of okay with everything that's happening here and that kind of made me feel oddly better. The hints of boredom sneaking in, the disconnected, almost numb feeling to the character was really interesting here and I found that I could buy it, especially as it lends a feeling of... this is a long haul, that a year really isn't that much in the scope of this entire story.

Ghosts That We Knew by umakoo, thor/loki, NSFW, reunion fic, thor 2 spoilers, 9.6k
    "My crimes are no greater than Odin’s,” Loki says, and the flippant tone in his voice makes Thor’s nostrils flare. “Everything I did, I did for Asgard, for you-" "You did it for Loki," Thor snarls, jostling Loki against the shelf, sending old trophies clattering across the floor. "Why did you even bother coming back? You could have left and never looked back. There is nothing for you here."
    I hardly even know where to begin with this fic, because it's so beautiful and satisfying and just what I wanted! It's reunion fic that does everything it needs to do, where it acknowledges the weight of the actions that canon gave us and yet doesn't give up hope, despite that these two have such a long road ahead of them, given where they are and what's happened and how willing they are/aren't to change for the better. This is only a ~10k fic, so it can't cover everything, you would need a 100k fic for that, which I would happily read like it was nothing if umakoo wrote it, let me tell you, but I love that this is still incredibly satisfying. That it doesn't fix absolutely everything, but gets them back on a better path and touches on all the things necessary along the way, making me happy and light-hearted in the right places and ouchy in all the other right places. It hits the necessary emotional notes and gives me porn!

This fic also has a moment of realization, where Thor realizes the truth, and it's so good, that moment where everything just breaks apart, the kind you practically get antsy to see the reveal, and this lives up to the build-up of it! As well as the emotional aftermath of that scene, where it's that excellent blend of Thor really does love Loki, but this was a betrayal and he's rightly angry about it, the fic manages to find that balance between doing justice to that anger at Loki while still moving them towards a better, happier place. The thought and care that went into this fic is felt with every scene, how thoroughly the author has considered both their characters--my greatest affection is for umakoo's Thor who is so very Thor, who loves so deeply and who is a positive person at heart, but his anger is pretty terrifying and I love how that affects Loki, who cannot stand being ignored and cut out of Thor's life. The fic uses that beautifully, even while we don't see Loki in a lot of the scenes, you can feel the progression of his character in the background, which is a perfect balance to strike.

Add in that the sex is ridiculously hot when they finally do come back together, the way Thor knows Loki and the way Loki so badly wants Thor, the way he's not entirely different but Thor pries something real out of him, how Loki had to do genuine work (and not just bribery and, oh, this fic knows the difference and that's so good) and he faced real consequences without being cruel and still doing justice to the weight of his crimes. Everything about this is just so incredibly saitsfying and what I wanted after the movie that I find myself in love with fandom again. Definitely a must read for post-Thor 2 fic!

Ghosts That We Knew by umakoo, thor/loki, NSFW, reunion fic, thor 2 spoilers, 9.6k
    "My crimes are no greater than Odin’s,” Loki says, and the flippant tone in his voice makes Thor’s nostrils flare. “Everything I did, I did for Asgard, for you-" "You did it for Loki," Thor snarls, jostling Loki against the shelf, sending old trophies clattering across the floor. "Why did you even bother coming back? You could have left and never looked back. There is nothing for you here."
    I hardly even know where to begin with this fic, because it's so beautiful and satisfying and just what I wanted! It's reunion fic that does everything it needs to do, where it acknowledges the weight of the actions that canon gave us and yet doesn't give up hope, despite that these two have such a long road ahead of them, given where they are and what's happened and how willing they are/aren't to change for the better. This is only a ~10k fic, so it can't cover everything, you would need a 100k fic for that, which I would happily read like it was nothing if umakoo wrote it, let me tell you, but I love that this is still incredibly satisfying. That it doesn't fix absolutely everything, but gets them back on a better path and touches on all the things necessary along the way, making me happy and light-hearted in the right places and ouchy in all the other right places. It hits the necessary emotional notes and gives me porn!

This fic also has a moment of realization, where Thor realizes the truth, and it's so good, that moment where everything just breaks apart, the kind you practically get antsy to see the reveal, and this lives up to the build-up of it! As well as the emotional aftermath of that scene, where it's that excellent blend of Thor really does love Loki, but this was a betrayal and he's rightly angry about it, the fic manages to find that balance between doing justice to that anger at Loki while still moving them towards a better, happier place. The thought and care that went into this fic is felt with every scene, how thoroughly the author has considered both their characters--my greatest affection is for umakoo's Thor who is so very Thor, who loves so deeply and who is a positive person at heart, but his anger is pretty terrifying and I love how that affects Loki, who cannot stand being ignored and cut out of Thor's life. The fic uses that beautifully, even while we don't see Loki in a lot of the scenes, you can feel the progression of his character in the background, which is a perfect balance to strike.

Add in that the sex is ridiculously hot when they finally do come back together, the way Thor knows Loki and the way Loki so badly wants Thor, the way he's not entirely different but Thor pries something real out of him, how Loki had to do genuine work (and not just bribery and, oh, this fic knows the difference and that's so good) and he faced real consequences without being cruel and still doing justice to the weight of his crimes. Everything about this is just so incredibly saitsfying and what I wanted after the movie that I find myself in love with fandom again. Definitely a must read for post-Thor 2 fic!

A Wished-For Song by cavaleira, thor/loki, NSFW, alternate ending, reunion fic, thor 2 spoilers, 7.4k
    In which Thor is forced to become king and Loki returns from parts unknown.
    This was a lovely post-Thor 2 fic that fixed things and made me happy, without taking away from all the shit that's happened between them--just that it cannot outweigh a thousand yeras of brotherhood. Which is exactly where I am with these two, that the shit that's happened between them is serious and will take time, but they've had far longer as family, which may not have always been entirely good, but it still matters and this fic does a beautiful job with that just... simply being true, rather than making a point of it. My favorite! And I really loved a lot of these conversation, with Loki being so prickly and even cruel sometimes, while Thor loves him and is rightly angry with him. Thor's ability to see through Loki is entirely fitting with the character we saw in Thor 2 and I do love this more mature Thor who--despite Loki being just as sharp and cutting as ever, which is not diminished here--still just has all this presence in this scenes, both with and without Loki. That's one of the best balances any fic can strike and this one does a lovely job of it!

Even beyond that great combination, there's the sex, where Thor pulls Loki into his lap and they're both hungry for this and, oh, Loki riding Thor's cock is delicious for showing how much he craves Thor and Thor's attention. Also good is how Thor badly wants to fuck Loki intensely, rolling them over so he can fuck in harder and uses that to wring a moment of truth out of Loki. I seriously needed a minute after that. Plus, ahhh, royal domesticity warm-hearted ending! My heart, okay. I love all of these things, but I love cavaleira for writing a fic that works with what we're given in canon and showing that there's still hopeful, happy, charming, warm places to go with it. It fixes things without ignoring that there are real problems to fix, even if not everything can be done in the span of one fic, it sets them back on the right road. I was just purely happy after reading this, it's the kind of fic I would read all the time if I could. ♥

the coward does it with a kiss by dance_at_bougival, mildly implied thor/loki & frigga, SPOILERS, 3.4k
    If there had been one thing he had always been sure of, if there had been one thing he had always known deep in his soul—it is that his mother would love him until he dies. - loki and frigga, into thor 2.
    I admit that this is a bit hard to follow at times, but it's still lovely and has all these moments of intimacy and deft emotional depth. It's a beautiful look at a poisonous Loki while still keeping him sympathetic, which is not always an easy balance.

I will gladly self destruct if they leave me alone by Lise [ mobile ver. ], loki + mentions of thor, thor 2 spoilers, ~1k
    How many times do you have to die before the universe decides that you mean it?
    This is short but incredibly powerful, the moment Loki wakes up again, and Lise does justice to everything that goes through him in those moments. No one does Loki feelings like Lise does. *__* And, oh, what a kicker of a final line, to a fic that had me softly keening in the back of my head the entire time I was reading. Nobody does "jfc, why do my feelings feel like this?? why??" like Lise does, either.

Not a Death Scene by mysticmjolnir [ mobile ver. ], thor/loki, cuddling, thor 2 spoilers (sort of) 1.1k
    “You fool, you didn’t listen,” says Thor urgently, sliding his arm under his brother’s back and lifting him as gently as he can.
    Oh, this was a fantastic piece that scratched two itches at once--Thor doting on Loki (who may have entirely have feigned any real injury), even picking him up to carry him home AND good Thor characterization where he regrets that his friends may have been hurt but NOT the thunder he brought down when Loki was harmed. It's a small moment and not the point of the fic, but it struck me as one of those moments of pure Thor. The combination of those two things, in addition to the fixing of those terrible, soul-crushing lines into something happier and fluffier, then adding protective Thor on top of that, as he carries Loki home? Yeah, just take all my affections right now.

The Weight of Family by Shiny_n_new, thor/loki (pre-slash?) + odin & thor, thor 2 spoilers, suicide ideation, 6.2k
    Loki sees the past through new eyes and learns more about Thor than he ever intended to.
    After I'd finished reading Postbellum, I had to immediately seek out other fic by the author and, oh. This fucking fic. Literally the only problem I have with this story is the lack of resolution and that's a deliberate choice by the author. Otherwise this fic is fucking exquisite and literally perfect. It's everything I have ever wanted, where it's basically Loki posing as Odin and the ravens being vicious trolls to him because they don't like him and then they mind-whammy him with showing him the past when he's seeking it and oh my god this is what I want. This is it. Shove it in Loki's face that Thor went utterly batshit over his loss and make it so that Loki cannot deny it and yet still keep everything brilliantly in character and thus find a balance between that sort of idfic thing I love (viewing the past is a thing that scratches my id perfectly when it's done well, okay) and yet... it's stunningly, genuinely good.

That this doesn't immediately solve everything is so fucking good, despite that even I watched the aftermath of Loki's suicide attempt with verging on misting up eyes, the scene between Odin and Thor being utter fucking perfection. And just. This author writes an utterly exquisite Thor characterization, to the point that I would honestly read 100k of this writing and whine that it wasn't nearly enough--every scene he's in is fucking perfection. And Loki! Coming to realize that posing as Odin is just another cage he's built for himself! Goddamn, that's so fucking good in this author's hands! There is insight and depth woven into every single line of this writing, both in the dialogue and the descriptions, the balance of Thor being both a warrior and pure power and terrifying force and good heart and maturing man. The awe-inspiring rage and sheer fucking presence he has! And yet no one is as good as Thor. Oh, an author who writes good Thor and emotions and subtext and a Loki who is brilliant and clever and sharp and dangerous and entirely his own worst enemy more than anyone else? I literally hurt after reading this, goddamn. I want to shove this author's fics at anyone trying to write Thor ever.

Acceptable Gifts by Runie (Runic), thor/loki + frigga + odin, pregnant!loki, thor 2 spoilers, emotional fluff, 2.9k
    She is given one more day to be with them, but the effect will last a lifetime.
    I had no idea this was coming, it was a complete surprise to me, so I was utterly touched by it! And I spent the whole fic on the verge of tearing up because it's just so much about family and important moments and beginnings and endings and loss and gain and Frigga coming back for a day and they all have one last chance with each other. The fic embraces the fluffiness of it, without giving up the weight of it, that this is a joyous day, but it's also an incredibly bittersweet day, and that's what puts such genuine emotion into it for me! It was a bit of an emotional wringer, but in a good way and I loved it dearly and genuinely.

Stjarnasdóttir by Lise, jane & darcy + thor, some background mentions of pairings, thor 2 spoilers, sad ending, 4.2k
    The one where Jane finds a dying Dark Elf after the Greenwich Incident, and experiences personally the price of heroism.
    What a gorgeous post-Thor 2 fic focusing on Jane coming across a dying Dark Elf and how perfect her reactions are. I love this Jane so very much, her passion and determination are her own and they absolutely sparkle here! Darcy is also a delight and her lines are also perfection and Thor's brief scene was breathtaking for me, it nailed the blend of this connection Jane has to him and yet how alien they are to each other in a way that's neither good nor bad. The ending nearly had me in tears it was so perfectly written, it's a gorgeous follow up to the movie and it's ouchy but utterly bittersweet and so good. I'm not always a big reader of Jane fic, but this one is absolutely worth reading even if you're not usually one, either.

The Dark World - Alternate by Velvedere, thor + loki + malekith + jane, thor 2 spoilers, alternate scene, 1.4k
    An alternate version of a scene from The Dark World movie.
    Such an interesting idea and the ending leaves me with so many ideas for what could happen next! It's hard to write a rec for this without basically giving the whole thing away, but I found it really intriguing and, hey, fight scenes, too! This was a fun read.

Running After My Fate by takemetothedungeons (MissNefer), thor/loki + odin + frigga, time travel, fix it, thor 2 spoilers, 2.8k
    Thor decides to take back what he has lost after Malekith wreaked havoc on his family and his world.
    I have an intense, intense love of time travel fic, I would ready any of them that I could get my hands on in this fandom and I don't know why there isn't more! This one is short, it's a quick overview, but it's a lot of fun, that sense of impending revelation is what I was looking for and found here! You don't see the actual moment of revelation, but we do see some aftermath and that made this a very neat read today! It's a fantastic concept and so thought-provoking and ahhhh I'm so glad this fic exists! ♥

Butterfly Effect by aegistheia, loki, thor 2 spoilers, ~1k
    One day, Thor will know the extent of this particular trick, and there will be hell to pay. But until then, Loki has the leverage to set the playing field to his advantage. (To their advantage, really. But only if Thor will listen.) And one does not take from the God of Mischief without paying a price.
    This is a short but interesting look at Loki's mindset after the events of Thor 2, acting as the start of a bridge towards later events that could be possible with whatever is planning. It's interesting and I would love to see more from this author! (Her work in other fandoms has been amaaaazing. *__*)

Nemesis in Furs by CanterburyTales, loki & odin, thor 2 spoilers, 1.6k
    Subtle and cunning both; Odin and Loki are not unalike. Maybe that is why they cannot stop fighting each other.
    I didn't expect to like this one as much as I did, but once the conversation gets underway it's a good balance of Loki's feral-like qualities these days, the looming sense of doing this for all the wrong reasons, and the almost mirror effect between these two. They are similar and the fic knows that, but it doesn't hit anything too hard, isntead this feels like the entire conversation really could have happened, right down to the mention of the books Loki had in his cell and their relationship with Jotunheim. It examines how these two are similar and the undercurrents that go between them, after all that's happened, and it's really a lovely piece.

Road to Nowhere by Lise, thor & loki + frigga + other thor characters, thor 2 spoilers, action fic, quest fic, 27.2k
    When Loki turns up demanding Thor's help on a quest to retrieve the All-Mother from Valhalla, Thor isn't about to say no. But that doesn't mean he's forgotten anything, and what better time than a road trip through the backwaters of the universe for trying to talk things out?
    Post-Thor 2 fic can be difficult, which is why I appreciate it so much, especially when longer and plot-driven! And Lise does a wonderful job of all the world-building necessary for a fic like this, where each world feels like an entirely new one, each one is quietly disturbing and just... unsettling, in its own way, or else outright kind of horrific! These feel like the kinds of worlds that would be on the path to Valhalla. Plus, you know. Loki showing up to say, hey, yeah, not dead, let's go rescue mom from the afterlife, I am here for this, this is my jam. And it's such an incredibly satisfying and amazingly solid quest fic, where the fic blends the events on the trip and the things they meet along the way, and that sense of isolation throughout everything, like it's unsettling because there's always a bit of that sense of how easily you would get lost, and that's the kind of thing that should happen when you're retrieving someone from the dead!

This is also all woven together with the aftermath of Loki's actions (and "death") in TDW and at the end of the movie and with a road trip with these two brothers! I love road trip fic and I love action fic and I love quest fic and I love retrieving someone from the dead fic, which is all wound together with the emotional crap these two have to sort out. Which is why I liked that Thor makes a deliberate choice to hold onto Loki, rather than to punish him, because being angry at him will only cause Thor to lose him and he makes a choice here to focus instead on repairing things between them, without just being a pushover or letting Loki do whatever he wants. Thor is a fighter, he doesn't surrender, he pushes Loki and cannot be moved in his belief, rather than just letting it all slide, which is an enormously important difference with this character.

Plus, there's also Frigga! And one of the most interesting takes on Hela in the MCU that I've seen yet! She, too, is unsettling and creepy in a way that left me bothered by her and... it's one of those things that so well done, so solidly interesting and suitably big in scope, that sometimes I forget which fic I read about this version of her in, because it seems like such a natural thing to me, the way she's written here. The whole fic is lengthy, but never drags and there's plenty of emotional resolution and, as always, Lise's Loki is a hot mess and that's why I love him so. I just. Plotfic! Roadtrip quest to get their mom back! Emotional resolution! World-building! This is all I wanted, ahhhhh. ♥

The Chosen Son by chicagoartnerd, thor/loki + frigga & loki + other asgardians, nsfw, thor 2 spoilers, 10.7k
    Frigga isn't dead. But her return to Asgard is not what Loki was expecting. And now it is time for him to choose what he really wants.
    I have been both mopey with fandom lately and desperately craving post-TDW fic and this one just fixed both of those problems for me in the most gorgeous way. This is a perfect fic about Frigga's return (well, how she never left), her power and why she did what she did, it's a stunning fic about what Loki wants and his place in life, and it was a breath-taking fic about what it means to be a witch queen of Asgard. These three things come together in an exquisite Loki pov that is centered on him, this is his part of the story, but does not forget Thor's overwhelming presence in Asgard in the background and in Loki's life. The fic is deft and graceful in the way it weaves Loki's shifting moods and thoughts and motivations, never trying to change him or erase the anger and rage and self-hate he felt, but instead building on what's already there. The whole thing builds on what we got in TDW and does so beautifully, showing Loki the longer and better game, putting him on the path he truly wants, the one that suits him, all while never downplaying others, even if theyr'e not the focus.

There is an epic feel to this, that does a lovely job of winding together everything that's happened and using them as a structure to something larger, even as it's not hammered into the reader too hard, but instead there's still so much potential here, there's still so much of the journey left, but it's about choosing a path, choosing a framework of a path, and that's exactly what I wanted to read. And, oh, the conversation with Thor at the end was built up to perfectly and gave me all the feelings, the way they finally came together and there's still all these edges, Thor loves Loki so much and Loki loves him in return, but there's this element of winding Thor around his fingers, letting Thor come inside him as both because he wants it/because he enjoys it and because it serves a purpose, and, oh, yes, that is my Loki. I want everyone to read this fic because witch queen Loki fic is so exquisite when done right, as this one is.

Bargaining by proantagonist, thor & loki + odin & loki + frigga & loki + other marvel characters, background refereneces to canon pairings, time travel, post-the dark world, some jotunn!loki, 110.4k
    Faced with an eternity without his brother, Loki strikes a bargain to change the past. Post TDW.
    Chapters 1-23: I am going to lose my shit over this fic and write a terrible rec, one that probably doesn't even say half of what I want to convey about my feelings for this story. Let's start with how I thought, with crystal clarity, about a third of the way through the fic, that I didn't even care anymore if this fic wound up horribly betraying me in the ways that fic sometimes does, because what it had given me up to that point already was so exquisite and glorious that I honestly didn't care in that moment. Because this fic made me fucking bawl when it was the right moment to do so--more than once, actually. This is a time-travel fic, where Thor's death in the future sends him into utter desperation and he makes a bargain to go back and change things, except he ends up further back in time than he intended. The thing about time travel fic is that it's such an intriguing idea, one that has such potential to fix things, to contrast against what the traveler has experienced against what the characters around them haven't, that build-up to a reveal and the changes that can be made. It's a difficult one to pull off, though, because you have to be careful of so many things, like staying true to the spirit of the characters and laying down some internal rules to how things would play out, so that it's a wortwhile story to be told instead of just an instant fix, and to find the balance between echoing canon and yet still making this have a point. This fic executes all these things flawlessly, to the point that I am utterly enthralled while reading and I didn't want to come up for air at all.

Right from the beginning, I was wound so incredibly tense because Loki is so... Loki and he's self-destructive and angry and a mess, but none of the people around him are aware of just how much of a mess he is, so they don't know what to look for, which means that he's going to have a new kind of power over everyone and, as much as I want Loki to fix things, that's not really who he is. Except, in some ways, he sort of is in these circumstances, but done in such a way that I wholly believe that Loki would act this way. The fic is utterly exquisite about putting Loki into circumstances that siphon away just a bit of his anger here and there, it chips away at his excuses for why he acts the way he does, it puts him in situations that reshape the way he thinks and sees things, until he's left floundering and his worldview is maybe starting to heal.

The gorgeous thing about this, however, is that it doesn't mean that Loki is suddenly all better, because it's been nearly 90k and he's still a goddamned mess and he's still twisted up inside and he's still so full of anger and poison and raw hurt, in the way he absolutely would be. This is not a fic that's about taking the easy way out and I fully expect more heartbreak or possibly even for my soul to be crushed by the time it gets to the end, which could be any moment now or could be another 100k from now, I honestly don't know. But this is not the same Loki that was the one we saw in TDW, this is not the same Loki that we saw at the beginning of the fic, even when so much is still the same and the author is brilliant for how well portrayed he is. And this is a Loki-centric fic, so much of my talking about it and the fic focuses on his character, but I never feel that the other characters around him aren't done justice to. Each member of his family, as well as the brief scenes of Sif and the W3, are done just as brilliantly. This Thor is Thor and I love that the circumstances of his banishment were changed, so he's a little different here as well, but he maintains that larger than life presence, that utter bulldozer of a personality, yet who is becoming legitimately thoughtful and wise, because of his love for Loki and his worry over his brother.

Every scene where Thor tries to drag the truth out of Loki is gorgeous, because he wrecks Loki emotionally in the best of ways, because Loki loves him so much and is doing all of this for Thor (and for his mother) and Thor refuses to back down, Thor will not surrender Loki for anything, neither to him nor to the madness that's trying to steal his brother away, even as he learns when to back off and give Loki some breathing room now and again. Thor isn't the focus here, but the fic knows that he's very much one of the central pillars of Loki's world and knows how to create this amazing balance between the story being about Loki, but Thor is clearly a main character in the greater whole of Asgard, which is exactly what I want from fic. Because that allows the writer to do what they do brilliantly here--show the progression of Loki's relationships and worldviews. His conversations with Frigga are heartwrenching, as she senses something is wrong with him and won't browbeat it out of him, but makes it clear she loves him with all her heart and the guilt Loki feels at remembering her death is just gorgeous.

And then. Every scene between Odin and Loki. Goddamn. It's complicated and twisting and I'm not sure what's entirely going on, because the writer is very aware of the similarities between the characters (for all that they're different in other ways) and I don't know how it will ultimately end up. But Odin being brilliant and he knows shit is up with Loki and how he handles that, both in good ways and bad ways, is incredible. Eventually, of course, some truths have to come out, and every revelation scene is incredibly satisfying for me as a reader, because of the build-up and because it's so in character that I could just about writhe around on the floor for it. Loki's screaming at his parents when they realize he knows he's Jotunn, I'm serious, there were tears in my eyes for that one. I don't want to say more, because I can't spoil that scene, but goddamn that was one of the most masterful things I've read in awhile. And that's hardly the last utterly fascinating conversation, where Odin looks very sharply at Loki and is slowly unraveling the mystery around him.

But it's not just all relationship or emotional stuff, it's also plot, as Loki tries to put right all the things that went wrong or that would put his family in danger. This means more time acting as Asgard's king in a legitimate way and how he handles that and what that means for his relationship with Jotunheim. His handling of everything with Malekith and the Aether, both in how he has to try to hide what he knows ahead of time (and why he can't say more), is deliciously done and so interesting, because he's using what he knows from the first timeline and yet things are changing and he can't always predict what will happen differently--which often makes for some of the most tension-filled scenes I've read in a fic in a long time. I was practically tripping over myself to read just "a few more pages" before bed, staying up far later than I should have because I could not put it down.

I want to talk so much more about this fic, I want to talk about specific scenes, I want to talk about every notch on the dial of Loki's anger that's cycled through, I want to talk about the way Thor is this huge presence in Loki's life, I want to talk about the way he won't let go of Loki and how he steamrolls right over Loki's protests and yet he's impossible not to love so dearly, I want to talk about the brilliant Odin characterization, I want to talk about where I think the plot might be headed, I want to talk about how my heart was in my throat when Algrim came to Asgard, I want to talk about Odin being so angry with Loki, who has unleashed all this hatred at him, who is and yet isn't the same as he was in the first timeline, I want to talk about all of this. I want to even sit down and read the comments other people have left and then rewrite this rec to be twice as long as it already is (except I don't trust this fandom to react well to the complicated circumstances of this fic, because the WHOLE POINT is that it's complicated and it's not about pointing fingers of blame and that's why THIS IS THE TIME TRAVEL FIC OF MY DREAMS), I want to take notes while rereading chapters, and I just really, really want to make people read it with me. READ IT, OKAY.

    Chapters 24: When you're reading a fic for awhile, catch up, wait for a bit, and then have a new chapter, yout hink that it can't measure up, you think, oh, it won't make me cry again or anything, even if I greatly enjoy it. And most of this chapter was like, though that did not take away from the quality of it, as it was still just as fascinating and engrossing and constructing something enthralling as ever! The world-building of Jotunheim was excellent, the things Loki learned while there, the use of Helblindi and Byleister were perfect! I would have been interested in them just for their own sake (both were perfect, I loved Helblindi's almost calm, literal way of speaking and irritating, aggressive little shit Byleister was seriously possibly my favorite version of the character yet!), but even more so for how the fic used them to dismantle that one last issue he had, how all his excuses were gone now, how there's a new sense of peace in him that's been earned, both by the character and the fic. The brief moments of Loki experiencing being an older brother were also perfect--hilarious and with a point to them, to help him learn just a bit more still.

Then the final thousand words of this chapter came and, oh, hey, there's where all my tears went. The combination of how at peace he is with his fate, the way Thor hangs on so tightly but has to watch Loki fall away again, how ready Loki is to die now... it completely wrecked me, because this author did such a masterful job on this fic. Sure, it's interesting on a "exploring alien worlds is cool!" level, it's fun to see the different ways authors come up with bringing culture and life to Jotunheim, and I would have been happy to spend more time there, even as anxious as I was to get back to the rest of the story. But seeing Loki spend time there, all these other excuses melted away from him and deliberately peeled away by the story, you understood that he was ready to see the Jotnar as people instead of monsters, that he was ready to see that his actions were his own, rather than because he was from a race of monsters. And I love that they weren't perfect and peaceful and loving, but instead that they were all too... well, not human, but normal. Irritating at times, admirable at other times, and full of their own personalities and probably their own stories, even if we didn't have time to get into them.

I am so anticapting the ending of this one and yet dreading it all the same. orz

    Chapters 25: One of the things I felt most strongly (all over again) while reading this chapter is that this is a time travel fic that gets the point of what makes time travel fic the most delicious for me--that it's not about erasing the past or undoing those events, that this story wouldn't have even half of its impact if those things had never happened. This is a story that's absolutely about growing from there, even as Loki goes back and changes things, that they had to happen so that he could come to terms with himself and mend his sense of self and all the damage that that anger did to him. It's part of him, it always will be, but the point is that reliving those years helped him grow from it. And then you put that together with the same sense of... in the previous chapter's rec, I mentioned that reading a fic chapter to chapter gives you that feeling of, "Oh, I've built this fic up so much, it can't possibly hit me as hard again without the same amount of time to build up to the emotional climaxes." and that proves true for the first 2/3rds of the fic and then, wham, I'm crying again. I had a few face-crumpling moments (literally my face made that squishy look where I start to get a little weepy, but I wasn't quite at tears yet) but then, by the end, yeah, this got me.

Because the emotional climax of this story was masterful, a brilliant weaving together of the past timeline with this one, the way Odin especially is written is breathtaking and everything all just fits together with what we know of canon and what we've seen in this timeline. Loki is beautifully written and I was practically fidgeting through the whole chapter, because it was a struggle not to trip over myself to get to the next line given just how deeply enthralled I was. This is an absolute must read in the fandom and post-TDW fic that fixes the tragedies while adding new ones and not having those things be a waste. They had to happen to get the characters where they are here! But I can't talk much more about that without going into spoilers that I really don't think you should be warned about ahead of time, so beyond this point I will give a SPOILERS FOR THIS CHAPTER warning.

Because I really do need to talk about the events of previous chapters and their meaning and what happened here. I strongly suspected what was going to happen here, as I'd read some of the comments and theories going on there, which made sense to me given the little clues along the way, but I was blown over by how they didn't affect the impact of it at all, I sitll felt jumpy and restless and fidgeting because I was so anxious about how it would all go down and then it was happening and a;slkdjfal;kjs is basically all I can come up with! Loki's reaction sent me into tears because it was just such the perfect culmination--that entire conversation where Odin is yelling at him, where he is so angry at Loki for all this shit, both in the current timeline and the previous one now that he remembers it, but the fic breathtakingly explains why Odin acted the way he did and gave depth to the things he said and put the two of them together beautifully, they made sense together, how we saw two such different reactions from a character, how they were the same person in just slightly different circumstances. Gorgeous. And this is the chapter where I realized, yeah, why Loki's parents' deaths were necessary to his character arc--for him to be able to grieve in a way that doesn't end in his ruination of himself.

Yes, of course I would have preferred that everything was fixed and happy and everyone got to live! But the fic had painted a specific path for itself and it stuck to it, this was clearly planned from the beginning and the little clues along the way were beautifully done and it made sense to me, that Loki had to learn to deal with loss in a way that didn't break him. And, oh, how complicated everyone is here, how no one is wholly good or bad, no one is perfect, how Odin and Loki are alike in a lot of ways and we see that all the more clearly, as they're the focus of much of this fic! But then there's Thor, who has such nobility at heart, but there's a lot piled on him and everything that breaks over him, the dozen different things that crash over him all at once, it's got to be a brutal day, even as I know it won't break him. The most beautiful thing this fic does is showing us Loki's more sympathetic and good-intentioned side but not letting go of just how much he hurts the people that care about him, that all the self-recrimination and sorrow in the world don't mean he's not still hurting people. And that the fic accepts this and portrays it as this complicated thing, is brilliant.

    ALL: I had to wait a week to read the final chapter of this fic because I honestly was not ready and part of me is terribly sad that I will have no more of this. Good post-TDW fic is so terribly hard to find, but this fic is so well-done that it fills the gap of a dozen of them, so I'm torn between being satisfied and yet maybe now wanting more of this kind of thing all the more. I've talked twice before about what time travel fic done right means to me, but it's still true here, that this is a story that doesn't seek to undo the importance of canon events, because the events of this fic would be meaningless without them, and that is how you do time travel fic! It's also about slowly stripping away the excuses Loki used for his actions, both to redeem him/grant him some peace, but also to help him truly repair things and understand the why of it. This isn't a story that's about punishing Loki or cutting out the sympathy for him, but instead about healing and repairing him, that it's about how he's put into the right circumstances and given the time to come to terms with them.

And it's also still true that I got teary-eyed during the chapter despite high expectations and the assumption that, oh, the fic couldn't do it to me again. I was so wary about Loki's trial here, his self-sabotage streak still going strong and all those who wanted his head, but reading through it, I understood why it was necessary (as so much in this fic becomes necessary when I got to the end and thought about how things might have gone differently, had events been tweaked here and there, that these were choices made with deliberation by the author), why it needed to turn out the way it did. It was painful, but did justice to everything the story needed in these final moments. And, oh, that it was down to Thor and Loki in the end. That's just as it needed to be. It works on a narrative level, because there are so many interesting relationships Loki has in this story, so many that are important and drove so much of the fic, but at the end, it always seems to come down to those two, but it also works on a character level because, oh, you may not see it as directly as you do with Loki, but this was not an easy road for Thor, either. His reasonings during Loki's trial, when you start to understand what he's doing, are just... feelings-crushing, because this is how it would go, now that Thor better understands Loki, after all that's happened.

This is a fic about using what we've seen in canon, addressing those issues, but not trying to tear them down as if they'd never happened, both in terms of plot, but also in terms of character. This isn't about forgetting that the canon events happened or undoing them, this is about moving forward from them, for all that it's a time travel fic. This is about Loki learning to make peace with himself, learning to let others in, and learning to understand that he's not disconnected from everyone else, that what happens to him affects other people. And, fuck, I think this fic may have spoiled me for wanting more plotty post-TDW fic and my high expectations out of them! Which is both a blessing and a curse, but one I will absolutely take, every time.

To Succeed by Xparrot, odin & loki, post-thor 2, 2k
    Loki is not the only one to scheme.
    Oh, this was gorgeous and I am adopting this for my headcanon as well, because it's such an exquisitely written Odin and it works so well with the parallels and contrasts between him and Loki. The way you can see elements that are like Thor at times in Odin here, then the way you can see elements in him that are like Loki sometimes--I'm not sure if they're deliberately done or just really in character moments, but it's fantastic. And it's clever and ties together greater plot machinations here and from The Avengers and I found this made sense to me all the way around. This is one of those fics where I want to shove it at everyone and use it as a perfect illustration, rather than trying to explain something, because it shows how this idea works, as well as it's just... a neat and clever bit of writing!

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