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A Backwards Courtship by Kay (sincere), thor/loki, mildly nsfw, arranged marriage, jotunn!loki, intersex!loki, pregnant!loki, 17.7k
    If Thor wants to become King of Asgard, he must first take a frost giant to be his queen. No one is happy with this. And yet, somehow, happiness is found.
    I was really tempted to recommend each of these fics separately, because I enjoyed each of them for different things, but... to be honest, I read them all in one sitting and I'm not sure I could separate them out again at this point. Because, wow, did I tear through these. :9 I actually let out a ridiculous sort of noise when I saw they'd been posted, because I've liked everything I've read by this author and then arrainged marriage with Jotunn!intersex!Loki and eventually babies? Holy shit, it's like it was a Christmas present just for me! And, oh, it was so good. This is a universe where Thor and Loki weren't raised together, so they never affected each other growing up, which means they're a lot brattier here than they would otherwise be in canon, and that works so well, especially as they're forced together and eventually start to care about each other and positively effect each other.

One of the best things about this universe, though, is Loki's characterization, which is pretty exquisite, in the way he's really hard to pin down what he really means. He's polite and manipulative and funny and charming and there's something real there, too, in the way that only Thor's directness and honesty and genuinely growing love for him can bring out. The author uses each of the problems from their bingo card incredibly well, showing different moments along the timeline of their marriage, doing a gorgeous job of showing that they don't actually know each other, because how could they? And the little ways that affects them! So, by the time Thor is asking Loki on a proper date when they've been married for a year already and have a baby as well, it's just... it's a backwards courtship and it's perfect.

The other thing I love, of course, is that the fic has all these sharp edges and moments where things are a bit painful (Loki's reaction to the idea of celebrating their marriage or any time he explains just what he's going through and why his actions may seem so weird, there's this undercurrent of anger that he hides well, but you can feel it sometimes), but it's not a heartbreaking fic. It's fun and cute and light-hearted and does so with fantastic characterization. All my favorite tropes, fantastic writing, excellent characterization, and over 17k of it. Just. Fandom blessed me this day.

Winter and Spring by Sinclair_Spirits, thor/loki, NSFW, some dub con aspects, some violence, jotunn!loki, arranged marriage, 62.5k wip
    Loki is given to Thor by his brother as a ploy to gain Asgard's army. Much political scheming and conspiracies ensue as Loki finally finds his place in life and in Thor's heart.
    Chapters 1-10: THIS FIC. I do not know how I am going to be able to describe this fic without either going completely off the rails about it or keyboard mashing my way through it or settling for a description that does not quite feel like enough. When I first read the summary of this fic--"Loki as Daenerys and Thor as Drogo. Loki is given to Thor by his brother as a ploy to gain Asgard's army. Much political scheming and conspiracies ensue as Loki finally finds his place in life and in Thor's heart."--I said, yes, I am going to read that because that sounds AMAZING and maybe a little hilarious. I was pleased that the writing seemed to be really solid--there are a lot of typos and a few misspellings, but otherwise the writing is clean, smooth, and flows very well. But mostly I was just rolling around in the utter deliciousness of an AU politically arranged marriage that was super super tasty!

I'm not sure precisely where that changed, possibly around the third or fourth chapter, when the author wisely didn't try to make the fic stick strictly to the A Song of Fire and Ice fusion, instead it wound its way into its own plot and widening scope of events these characters went through. The Loki we see in the beginning is young and far more naive than the one we know, because he's so much younger and his circumstances were different, but he grows older and becomes more cunning and becomes more and more the Loki we know from canon. The author does a gorgeous job of making him so interesting, so engaging, and building towards canon!Loki while also building up the Thor/Loki relationship, with Thor falling ever further in love with his husband, while Loki is so much more complicated. The author also does an amazing job of showing the political side of this union, of the incredibly fine line Loki has to walk, with all the pressure that's placed on him to be one thing or another. The author does an amazing job of working in the characters around Thor and Loki, so that their motivations all further make the plot that much more complicated! Loki's brother wants his throne back, Thor just wants to be with Loki, Odin is hard as hell to read, the other Asgardians are a constant pressure on Loki, and on and on and on.

I love the worldbuilding in this fic, I love that it sucked me right into the plot and the political machinations almost as much as it sucked me into the Thor/Loki relationship. It made me want to read every single arranged marriage fic that exists for this fandom because it hit me so perfectly on-target. It's still a work in progress, but it's almost 50k at least! And the only downside is that, augh, I don't know if I can wait for updates between chapters, not with how badly I need to know how this turns out. *claws at face* But it's totally worth reading what's here, I think it might just be one of my favorites in this fandom forever. (Thor/Loki, NSFW, some dub-con aspects, some violence.)
    Chapters 11: Ahhhh, this fic. I know it wasn't that long ago that the author uploaded it to AO3 or posted the previous chapters, but some part of me had feared that I would never read more of it, which would have been terrible, because it's one of my very favorite fics in this fandom. And I love what this chapter of it accomplished! The parallels drawn between Loki and Sif, as she becomes his tutor now, are gorgeously done, the way they're not precisely friends, they way they still grate on each other a bit, but also there's a mutual respect that actually serves them both well. It's a fantastic way to draw Loki's character out more here, to make things first entangled and flesh the world out more, especially when contrasted against his scenes with Helblindi and the scheming that goes on around them. As much as the Thor and Loki relationship is definitely my favorite part of the story, seeing Loki interact with other characters, the way his acerbic and cutting comments lash out occasionally, even if just in his thought sometimes, all of it is so good and so well plotted and well paced.

XVII by stereobone, thor/loki + other marvel characters, NSFW, jotunn!loki, intersex!loki, arranged marriage, 19.7k
    The marriage itself is a symbol of peace between Jötunheim and Asgard. The two realms have long been at war but this union is a mark of new times, peace times. Thor just wishes there were another way. He has never even seen his betrothed before, he only knows his name: Loki. He is King Laufey’s second son, and he is to be Thor’s until their death.
    Chapter 01-02: How to even begin this rec, I don't know. Because it's an arranged marriage between Thor and Jotunn!Loki by stereobone, as inspired by those gorgeous arts from marty-mc, only with Loki being older. Flailing and keyboard smashing just doesn't seem to be quite enough! But, oh, I am so deeply in love with this fic already, with everything it's doing to slowly build up the relationship between these two people forced together, the early instant attraction and Loki being prickly and distant, Thor trying to be patient but Loki is maddening and Thor definitely has a temper, but he's still good-hearted and wants to genuinely connect with Loki, wants to help ease him into this new life, and won't take him until Loki wants it as well. These things should probably all be cliche by now, they're certainly tropes, but they're all my favorite things and fic like this is why, because they're sharp as ever and there's such chemistry between them and, ugh, I just love everything about them. FEELINGS, okay.
    Chapter 03-04: I've recommended this fic before, but I do update recs often, there was a significant amount added to this fic, and you do not understand my hunger for and love for arranged marriage AUs. And this one is so wonderful, as it shows the progress of Thor and Loki's relationship over the beginning weeks/months of their marriage, how they go from strangers who are wary of but attracted to each other to people who find that they get along better than expected and are already fond of each other, slowly progressing towards love. It's not quite there yet and I love that about this story, that it shows how far they've come in the careful way Thor treats Loki, the way Loki allows more and more touches and shows more trust, the way Thor defends Loki from malicious gossip (there's also a great scene with Odin about that, too! which just made the fic even better omg) and that just... Loki doesn't know what to do with that. This isn't what he expected at all.

The fic never forgets that Loki is viciously angry, but that never seems to stop Thor or his progression into Loki's affections, it never forgets that Thor is good-hearted in the way he sees Loki, trusts him even when maybe he shouldn't, but is eventually rewarded for that trust. Not just in sex, but in Loki opening up to him emotionally, and all of this sounds so... trope-heavy and cliche and maybe it is, but it's the kind of fics that keep the tropes sharp and shows why they have such enduring popularity. There's even world building and a trip to Alfheim and resolution to the sexual tension between them and, jfc, when Thor is exploring Loki's vulva for the first time with his fingers, when Loki is goading Thor into ducking him even harder, it is so intensely good for me even beyond all the other things I love about this fic. And, bleh, coherency is for weenies, I'll do a better rec for this fic later, hopefully I can wait until it's finished, at least.
    Chapter 05: I tried really, really hard not to immediately pounce on/rec this chapter, I was trying to wait until the final chapter had been posted and then do a rec then. But then there was Thor going down on intersex!Loki and that is not a thing that I can easily resist! So, there's that satisfaction (because it was really hot, but also really sweet, which is a great combination and fits with the tone of this chapter especially well), but there's also a lot of sweeter moments in this chapter, just the two of them spending time together and getting to know each other. One of the best things about arranged marriage fics is the slow crossing of that distance between them, the learning to communicate with each other in a way that they're forced to more openly recognize, and the sharing of things with each other. And, as much as the cliffhanger in this chapter is frustrating (in the way it's supposed to be), I also love it because it shows just how far their relationship has come, when they're faced with a difficult choice and all the complications that come with it.
    Chapter 06: I would say that you don't understand my love of arranged marriages, but I think this fandom probably does. But, oh, man, I really do love them and seeing a fic that's an arranged marriage AU will automatically make me click on your fic to read it, which so often nets me excellent stories like this one. I've done recs for the fic as a WIP, but now that it's finished, I wanted to do one final one, because I've been thinking/talking about what makes certain authors appealing lately and my feeling is that some of them just have this solid charisma to their stories, the indefinable quality that draws me in and I can always count on getting something that's worth my time. I think this author has that, so even if I can't point specifically to anything new being done here, that doesn't mean I didn't fall right into the delight of seeing each new chapter coming out, it didn't mean that I wasn't just about rolling around on my bed in happiness while reading.

One thing I can specifically point to, however, is that the fic does a fantastic job of balancing that everything in this universe is good, that it's happy here, that things will work out even when difficult decisions have to be made or people feel torn about what to do without sacrificing the emotional weight of it. It's not pure fluff, but yet I can trust it. And I love that Laufey is good in this universe, that he's protective of his child, which further helps that this is a happy and good universe, which I really need sometimes. Add in that the writing is just so smooth and easy to slide into and I have a fic that was a great joy to read. → Arrangements by latitans, littlelostsock, thor/loki, arranged marriage, jotunn!loki, gender issues, 4k
    Thor is married to a young Jotun. Thor comes to see the trembling child that stood next to him at their wedding as a younger brother, and tries desperately to ignore that they must become something else once this child has grown.
    Oh, this fic was so, so good for me, what with the arranged marriage and Jotunn!Loki and eventually pregnant!Loki and all the gender issues at play and the lovely way it made their relationship that mix of brothers and lovers here, as two people who've known each other since Loki was young but also knowing he's not going to be young forever. There's a sense of just how incredibly long their lives are in this story, I adored the sense of just how truly epic and lengthy their lives are even just when they're young and starting out, how the slow pace of their relationship reflects that. It gives the story time to show the relationship as being more like brothers at first, but slowly developing into something more over the centuries, which I love, because part of the fascination with this pairing is the incest aspect and how it's either gotten over or just... works together with the romantic side as well. But I especially love how happy everything is here, how it takes the tropes of this sort of fic and keeps them fresh as ever, makes them just as much fun to read as the first time I did, but also gives me that sense of warmth and happiness by the time I'm done. I loved this more than I can probably put into words.

Public Punishment by Batsutousai, thor/loki, NSFW, jotunn!loki, arranged married, mild humiliation, intersex!loki, 2.4k
    Tired of being mocked for his choice of clothing, Loki devises a prank to punish Thor. He may yet regret it.
    There are a few epithets that I would take out of this fic (and I hold with the 616!Thor characterization where he doesn't give a fuck who sees his junk, but this fic needed Thor to care about it, so I totally approve of the choice here!), which I mention just as mild caveats, because the rest of it? Holy fuck, YES. I was initially wary of the humiliation aspect, since I don't do well with secondhand embarrassment, but the author hits the perfect notes for keeping it mild and for Loki having a bit of an exhibitionist streak that he hadn't realized, finding that sweet spot in between the two, that this was still a punishment, but it was an enjoyable one for both of them.

This is a prickly Jotunn!Loki who likes having his own clothing and jewelry instead of the Asgardian style that Thor would have him dress in, who doesn't want to be an As, so there's delicious conflict and bits of worldbuilding here with that. But Thor's temper and determination, the way he is not having any more of Loki's shit, so he fucks Loki in public (it's less weird than it sounds when I say it), so every one can see and that turns Loki on but also teaches him a bit and Thor putting Loki on his cock in that firm handed way of his, all of it is SO GOOD and SO PERFECT. The author strikes this really great blend of Loki being so sharp and cutting, but Thor is more than a match for him, the sheer presence and steamroller nature of him, yet! They still manage to find middle ground together in the greatest moment where Thor's not the nicest person, which had me practically cackling with glee. This was such a great find to read! And really, really hot, jfc.

False Love and Affection by gunboots, thor/loki, NSFW, fem!loki, arranged marriage, 4.8k
    Loki's no stranger to the tales of the many wenches and shield-maidens that have seen Thor's chambers before her. She has vowed to herself already that she will not become some new dishrag for him to rut into before tossing away. Or alternatively, If Thor thinks that Loki will simply play the part of pretty, demure queen then he's got another thing coming.
    I've mentioned this several times, but, oh, it's still true. I have such a weakness for arranged marriage fic in this fandom, so seeing one pop up by this author (whom I've enjoyed works by before), I dove onto it. And I fell instantly in love with fem!Loki here, how she's not precisely the same, but the spirit of the character is captured so very well in her intelligence and cunning and beautiful way with words, all the more so in her interactions with Thor. The writing is gorgeous and I find myself thinking, yes, I would totally be happy with more of this universe (even though the fic is nicely complete as it is, it didn't need more) and, oh, the sexytimes were gorgeous, too. And it's always nice to read a fic where Loki is... maybe not precisely appreciated, but certainly respected and desired.

Covenant by Xero_Sky, thor/loki + odin/frigga, NSFW, arranged marriage, post-avengers, 32.7k wip
    After Loki is brought back to Asgard for justice, he's somewhat appalled to find that his family still cares for him and worries about his well-being. Even worse, they have a cunning plan to keep him safe from Thanos and sort out the havoc he's been wreaking everywhere. It works. And for one brief shining moment, Loki Is Happy. Naturally, it all goes downhill from there.
    Chapter 01: This premise could have been made just for meeeeee! Loki is brought home, loved, cared for, and married to Thor! Bring that to me forever, okay. Where the fic really got me further was in Loki's response to all of this, the combination of WTF WTF WTF, the almost insulted reaction of how this is all his actions merit, and the underlying want beneath that. All of it is just enough to pull off the mildly cracky/humorous concept, but still give it emotional weight that left me with my usual clawing feelings afterwards. I love that the fic has especially great Loki & Frigga interaction, but everyone's love for Loki here is really a delight, up to and including how he finally sleeps for awhile, yet every time he drifts briefly out of it, his family is there, especially Odin. Literally every scene in this first chapter was charming as all get out and worked to quickly wear down Loki's anger by showing his family's relentless love for him. Such a great combination of one of my favorite tropes and the humor necessary to pull it off, making everything just feel good in my heart.
    Chapter 02: I don't even care if this was a transiton chapter (or that I really want the next chapter already), because there were two points where I had to stop reading just to giggle for awhile and several more where I thought, "Yes, this is the fic I would want to write." Sharp and funny and giving Loki a wounderful life that, of course, he has no idea what to do with, so he pettily pushes and pushes until Thor's patience runs thin and he literally hauls Loki back to Asgard over one shoulder. There's also more stuff that's just good and happy in Nick Fury's terrible day and how everything is a pain in his ass, in that mutual shared moment of understanding between Steve and Sif about the difficulties of soldiers' lives, the hanging threat from Frigga of marriage counceling if Thor and Loki keep fighting, an absolute hilarious lack of common sense from so many in Asgard that's just perfect, all of it so sharply and wonderfully written. And I don't even mind waiting that much because, as the tags say, true love will conquer all, and thus I'm content to wait for it.
    Chapter 03-07: I have so many thoughts and feelings about this fic that it's hard to put them down into coherent words, despite that I want to write a more proper rec for this fic, given how long it is now. I've recommended the fic before but I'm still going to write this rec for the fic as a whole because it's so many things that I want from fic! Post-Avengers arranged marriage fic! Loki is loved and he's married to Thor who loves him and it's not smooth but it's fluffy and all about bringing their precious bby home! Thor and Loki learning to work together as Crown Prince and Prince Consort! A honeymoon to Midgard where there's a draugr to fight! Thor is a deliciously described berserkrgang! Actual fight scenes where Thor and Loki complement each other, balancing Thor being the main fighter with Loki's important and vital support! Thor not giving a fuck about explaining himself to others! Enjoying the fight and loving Loki and feeling no guilt about the deaths around him and being a bit of an exhibitionist and not giving a fuck about that either! And the sex, which is about Loki halfway learning to accept himselfa nd this attention from Thor, even if he backslides and still needs to work on himself, because he's at his best when he opens up for Thor, he's happiest when under his brother and when he's the entirety of Thor's focus and, yes, that is perfect Loki!

There's also some really satisfying sex and I don't even need more, because the physical resolution is so satisfying to me! The fic is a WIP and there's obviously more emotional resolution to come, but the seven chapters at the time of this rec are perfection to me. And it's a struggle not to just end the rec there, because look at that list of things that this fic has! I deliberately let the fic build up until it had a solid chunk of story to read, probably at least 20k of it, and I read it like it was nothing, because I couldn't put it down and it sailed along so quickly and it was just such incredible fun! The fic felt like it was tailored to what I wanted out of fandom, how good it was at everything it set out to do, the progression of Thor and Loki's relationship towards something better, after all the bumps in the road so far. Thor characterization that's genuinely good! Oh, man, when he's on the edge of the berserkergang, it's gorgeous, because it's so Thor, but ramped up even higher, so it was utterly delicious to me. The fight scenes were epic, those were truly battles and I would have loved it just for the action, but seeing Thor and Loki working together! Ahhh--!

Because this fic finds that perfect balance between something that's wholly about fixing everything and getting me to buy it without mentally going, "Well, it's fluff so, whatever." Nope, this is sharp and insightful and good. It's the kind of fic that could be just idfic and nothing more, where the value is in the itch being scratched that you have, rather than in the storytelling itself. But here I would have read the story even if it wasn't one that filled me with utter joy and is the biggest want of my heart. I want those dummies to work their shit out through arranged marriage, I want this to be in the canon of the movies (well, aside from TDW), but I want it to be about them getting married and battling shit together and then building up to that deliciously satisfying fuck because Thor has wanted to fuck Loki for ages and just. This fic has given it to me and it's beautifully written and I'm just really happy, okay.

Absolution by ladylapislazuli, thor/loki, arranged marriage, post-avengers, 36.4k wip
    Three weeks. For three weeks, Loki had been married to Thor. For three weeks, Loki had had to endure Thor’s clumsy attempts at romance, everything from flowers to jewels to candlelit dinners, each one more insulting than the last. Loki personally thought he deserved some sort of medal for not having stabbed Thor to death with a fork by now.
    Chapter 01: I think I've read this fic before on the kinkmeme but now that it's on AO3, I decided to do a reread, and the fic just absolutely sails by all over again! There is new material added, so even if it's been awhile since this fic was started, I'm hopeful that we'll get the next two parts of the fic! This is one of those wips that I probably wouldn't recommend if you can't stand wips (most of the time it doesn't even occur to me to warn for wips, to be honest *wry*), because we don't really get a lot of resolution in the first chapter yet, but if you don't mind them, I kind of really loved this fic a lot. It's a great read if you like watching Loki as a trainwreck, as his family loves him, as Thor clearly adores him and is trying so hard with him, but Loki is so angry and bitter that he can't accept any kind of happiness.

To be fair, one of the best things about this fic, is that you sort of understand why Loki can't let go of his rage, that he's being treated as helpless, that his magic has been bound, that he's been married off to Thor (despite that Thor never touches him without consent), that he feels caged, and it's pretty clear that Loki is not emotionally well. He's viciously manipulative, everything he does is about skating out of legitimate consequences for his actions or about lashing out at Thor because he's pissed off and wants Thor to hurt as much as he does, his moods are incredibly wild, swinging from one mood to the next in a whiplash fashion, and he's just generally a rotten little shit. You can feel how not well he is, even when the entire thing is from his point of view.

As much as I picked this fic up for the forcible marriage thing, I found that I loved it as well for the unbalanced Loki here, and, despite that this Thor is softening himself to try to reach Loki, he's also pretty fucking terrifying when Loki deliberately unleashes Thor's rage, especially when Loki never explains shit to give Thor any reasonable way to understand him, so of course Thor has no idea what the hell is wrong with Loki or why he does things and is infuriated by Loki clearly doing all this shit on purpose and then laughing about it. There's a scene at the end of the first chapter that's a literal and metaphorical storm and, wow, I really felt that. I'm curious to see where this fic goes, because there's still plenty of room for a happy ending, but I'm fascinated by the complicated dynamics between these characters and I want to see where they go!
    Chapter 02: Again, I wanted to wait until the fic was finished before doing another rec, but this is a significant update and I'm not sure how soon the final chapter will come, given that the majority of the first chapter was posted to the kinkmeme ages ago and I don't have a sense of the author's update schedule. I also don't have a sense of the author's ending, whether this is going to end happily or not, because we're two-thirds of the way through the story and I'm not sure how much progress has really been made, if the fic will end happily or if things will stay always unrequited, because I can see this going either way. And the lack of warnings/tags on the fic also make me really nervous, because I've become emotionally invested in this fic and I don't want to have my heart terribly crushed! Which is terrible because this is the kind of writing that had me nearly tripping over myself to get to the next bit of the story, nearly missing lines along the way in my haste, because I was always wanting to know what happened next.

This fic continues to have such a manipulative, mad Loki and the fic does a beautiful job of showing Loki's instability mixed with such sharp cunning and you can see why he's so angry at what his life has become, yet understand how heinous his actions are. The balance between Loki insisting he's not mad with how you can feel it in him anyway is breathtaking and he leaves me so fearful of where this is going. Because he's not well, emotionally or mentally, but refuses to see it, instead manipulating everyone around him so that they can never truly help him, he's selfish and deliberately cruel, he's never genuine with anyone, not even himself and there's some validlity to his anger, but he also never acknowledges the difficult positions others are put in.

Despite that he was forced into this marriage, he never acknowledges that it's saving him, that it's a way of helping him. For every time he's angry about his powerlessness, he absolutely does not acknowledge why he lost that power in the first place. For every time Thor is posessive of him or holds too tightly to him, Loki has calculatingly goaded him into it. Yet you're not left without sympathy for Loki, I still want good things for him, even as his actions are horrible, which is another way this fic balances things incredibly well, that you realize the narrative is not condoning his actions or his words, even as the pov is through Loki's eyes. But there's also still hope, it's obvious that Loki cares and it wouldn't be an easy road, but things are fixable and I find that that would be the most emotionally satisfying thing for me, but... I still fear. And asdl;kfjalskj I need the next chapter already!
    Chapter 03: The last time I did a rec for this fic, it was four months ago and there's still one more part yet to go with this story, so I warn ahead of time that if cliffhangers aren't for you, this is going to be one that would be difficult for you to read. I myself often thought that I should wait until its finished because it's so stressful for me, wanting to know how things will all turn out, but I just can't stay away from it, it's too good and too brilliantly characterized for me to resist. I just... this fucking fic, okay. And this update (which is chapter three, the most recent as of the time of this rec) ended with a pretty brutal cliffhanger and yet it was still so very worth it for me, because this chapter was about 15k words long and it's just as dense as the chapters that came before. There's just so much going on here, so many little moments that are utterly intense that it felt like I ran a marathon by the time I was done. Which I mean in the sense of how it was deliberately written to make me feel that way and I appreciate this fic for that feeling, because, oh, it's so well written!

Everything about this fic is just breathlessly spot on with the characters, this Loki is brilliant and insane and angry and yet the undercurrent of love is still there. Every thought he has is perfect, the way it shows his reactions to Thor's love for him and how furious he is and yet how he aches because, even if he doesn't realize it himself, there is still love there. And this is one of the most brilliant stories I've read where a character denies the feelings they have and yet the writing convinces me they would not realize how obviously they felt those feelings. The denial here--while still being so very clear to the reader--works for me, especially so because I just feel everything right along with Loki. When he's plotting and having to give up little pieces of himself, having to let Thor get closer, when he sees just how Thor truly trusts him, truly loves him, it makes him angry just as much as it makes him ache.

I'm in awe of this Thor just as much as I am of this Loki, how well Loki knows him and gets that Thor loves him, but twists it into Thor being a fool, twists it into how angry he is that he's experiencing consequences for his actions. It's perfectly balanced, that you realize this Thor knows Loki is angry, that it won't be easy, but you get that he wants to try anyway. This is not a dumb Thor, even as he's fooled by Loki again and, oh, that balance can be difficult, but this fic pulls it off so well. It's brilliant in the way that I am 100% on Thor's side in this, that his actions are necessary no matter how much he hates that it's come to this, that he's had to trap Loki here, that he had to take away his magic, because there were no other choices left, not if he wanted to save Loki. At the same time, though, I cannot help but sympathize with Loki's anger, despite that I know how wrong he is. It's gorgeously written for making me feel both of these things at the same time! And, oh, when Thor smiles at Loki or just simply loves him, which you feel even through Loki's vicious point of view, it just gets at my heart something fierce.

The build-up in this fic is incredible as well, I was practically tripping over myself and skipping entire paragraphs because I was just so anxious to get to the next part of the scene, the next line of dialogue, to get to the next part of Loki's plan, so by the time the climax was hitting, I was practically jumping in my seat! The author really knows how to pace a fic, knows how to write a densely packed chapter so that it feels like a lot of shit happened and certainly knows how to leave me writhing with feelings all over the fucking place. Ugh, I need the last chapter and I really need this to have an ending I can live with. Need, okay.

To Conquer by aesirborn, thor/loki + other thor characters + avengers, occasionally mildly nsfw, jotunn!loki, intersex!loki, arranged marriage, dub con, non-con (not thor/loki), miscarriage, 72.5k
    When little Loki, son of Laufey king and his mighty consort Fárbauti was born a runt, they knew he had no home in Jötunheimr. In an effort to give their favorite a home, the kings only lost the heart of the realm. Thus, little Loki took it upon himself to take it back.
    I've been reading this fic for awhile and it's a complicated one to talk about, for several reasons, but I finally caught up and there are only two chapters left, so I think now is a good time to write this rec. I'll warn ahead of time that the fic is spellchecked but not proofed as well as it could be, there are a lot of typos and misused words, which occasionally distract. This is also an overall bittersweet fic, despite that it seems almost fluffy at first. But it's amazingly engaging and keeps an exceppent pace and a lot of stuff happens. There are moments of ooc and too much modern slang that doesn't fit, but I notice these things because this is such an incredibly solid story otherwise. It truly spans three separate worlds and cultures, the pace if just right for these long-lived characters, and it does all the work it needs to do to show the story that it's spinning. One other caveat I have is that I thought Loki's miscarriage was glossed over too much, but his childish and selfish actions later on are very clearly not approved of (by other characters and the narrative), yet it never loses the sympathy you have for Loki, I still loved him every step of the way.

I really enjoyed reading this fic and I will miss it when it's gone (after the last two chapters are posted), it's a story that I found I could read in long sittings, that an hour or two would pass me by and I'd hardly notice the time going, because the author has a way of pulling me in and keeping me moving right along with the story. For all that I was initially invested in a story that seemed kinda cute and fluffy (because Loki's parents love him and spoil him, they invaded Midgard to give him a home with other people his size, and everyone doted on him), that's not really what this story is about and I found that it's so interesting because of that, it shows how difficult arranged marriages are and how difficult selfish people can be to deal with, while still making it a good read for a Thor/Loki fan. Things are difficult between them and they do try, but sincere attempts do not always go perfectly. There's a lot of back and forth between them, it is not a smooth or linear road for them, which isn't something I see all that often in fandom.

I really like the tone of the author's style, there's something very caring and yet almost... whatever the opposite of cutesy is. For all that they coddle Loki, it's not babying him, they know he's selfish and spoiled, the story makes that very clear. It's a sparse sort of style, very direct and it's all about the story being told, rather than the words, which is the kind that I just eat up, so I would love to see more from the author in this fandom, even if I think this might be their last fic for it. Because, for all that I want things to work out and be happy and shiny and fluffy, I felt like the author had a clear vision of the problems that would come up between these characters in this situation and with Loki being as selfish and spoiled as he often is. Which means it's not always an easy read, but it is fascinating.

And I really do love just how much the fic covers, becasue it moves, including time in Asgard, time with the Avengers, time in Jotunheim, and then back to all three again, it's all here. There's political machinations and world invasions and the hard work of rebuilding after a war is ended and relationship ups and downs and this sense of... life, that it ebbs and flows in all things. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad and sometimes it's bittersweet and then it'll eventually come back around to all three again. It's a hard read at times, but one I'm very glad I got the chance to do so.

drink to me, babe, then (bury me in gold) by dearly_anonymous, thor/loki + other asgardians, NSFW, arranged marriage, 19.9k wip
    With Thor as king, Loki will stand closest to the throne.
    I'll warn ahead of time that this fic is not finished and it's been half a year since it was posted but, oh, it's so good and so sharp that I can't help but love it anyway. It's a story that runs very similar to the Thor movie, except that Loki and Thor are betrothed to each other from a young age, that Loki is pushed into studying magic and books, that Loki is meant to take up Frigga's role when he's older, all of which only make his bitterness and anger all the stronger. The fic is gorgeously done for filling in the story, including little bb!Loki with Frigga and how she tries to console him or his moments with Odin, where he tries to make his father realize that Thor's not ready, tries to get his father to show him any kind of affection, the odd changes his body goes through, the way Thor is just so stupidly in love (and lust) with Loki, and the moments with Thor that are both so good and so engraging. And that's where this fic really sings, in Loki's tangled up feelings for Thor, whom he loves dearly one moment, and then would gladly see him ripped apart the next, for the restrictions placed on Loki's life.

There's a line in this fic, after a painful conversation between Odin and Loki: The doors slam loudly behind him, and again, Loki smiles wryly at the similarities between his Father and Brother. It's no wonder he loves both men to the point of madness. that I felt summed up Loki's relationships with both of them beautifully. There's something so incredibly... tight and wrenching about this fic, there's something that's so good and so sweet about this fic, and they're intertwined in that way that breaks my heart, but also keeps me fascinated. It's this complicated, tangled, thorny, desperate mess that is the character of Loki and it's one of the most gorgeous portrayals of the character I have read in fandom. It's probably doomed to end in tragedy, certainly the opening scenes seem to indicate that, so it might be better for me that it's not finished. But I can't help wanting more of it anyway, if only to know wtf is up with Loki's illnesses that come and go.

It's An Institute You Can't Disparage by Coneycat, thor/loki, NSFW, jotunn!loki, arranged marriage, 6.5k
    Prompt: "Let's say that Loki is Laufey's youngest, a useless runt except for how his small stature, shifting abilities and royal blood makes him perfect for a political marriage with Asgard."
    So. Apparently I now want ALL THE POLITICAL ARRANGED MARRIAGE FIC because, holy shit, this was ridiculously satisfying! Loki is arranged to marry Thor when they're young--too young in Loki's case--and it becomes a story of Loki fitting in with Asgard , how he slowly lets go of the fear of this new and terrifying place, how he and Thor come to care for each other and just. Ugh, SO GOOD. The writing is lovely, but the characterization is also really solid in this AU, just a little heartbreaking but mostly the kind that gives me the warm and fuzzies, because Thor is SO GOOD and everything turns out for the good and MY HEART IS HAPPY. Also, there's sexytimes by the end and that was even more satisfying. So, basically, I want to roll around in this fic for awhile and have more like it.

All This Mess by aeon_entwined, thor/loki, NSFW, arranged marriage, 1k
    Loki is the adopted son of Odin and Frigga. He is destined to unite Asgard and Jotunheim under one banner. Thor is his consort.
    This is another fic that is more of a sketch of a different world, this time one where Thor is a consort of prince Loki to unite their worlds, but I found it intriguing enough and the writing was lovely enough that I was all over it. But I did enjoy that this wasn't really meant to be about the plot, it was an interesting set-up that led to a sexytimes scene where Thor and Loki are together for the first time, not quite knowing each other yet, so there's something to prove for both of them, and, yeah, I can't lie about this, either--Loki knowing what he wants and riding Thor like it's his fucking job, that is one of my favorite things to be super hot. (Thor/Loki, NSFW.) → Transaction by EliraWinter, thor/loki + other asgardians, NSFW, arranged marriage, pregnant!loki, jotunn!loki, fluff, 14k
    The young Jotun Prince, Loki, is given to Asgard as a bride for Thor in exchange for peace.
    [ Chapter 1 ] Ahhh, there are certain things that I'm weak to in this fandom and this fic hit on three of them immediately--Thor/Loki, arranged marriage, and eventual pregnancy. Fuck you all, I eat this stuff up like it's candy and, oh, this fic is only just over 500 words so far, it's only the beginning and basic setup, not much beyond Loki being exchanged for the Casket, but it's solidly written, and has some lovely moments of imagery so far. I just. Picturing bb!Jotunn!Loki holding his father's hand, looking at the Aesir come to make him part of their family, I'm just. Ugh. So weak to this. And I really, really hope there's going to be more of this one soon. *rubs hands gleefully*
    [ Chapter 2 ] Oh, another short chapter, but I don't even care! Arranged marriage! Jotunn!bb!Loki in Asgard! And it's so darling and surprisingly sweet that I could just fucking coo at it because omg there's a brief scene of Loki seeing his first horse and then, because he's never ridden one before, he'll ride with Thor and, shit, that is apparently a weakness I never knew I had. ADORABLE BABIES.
    [ Chapter 3 ] I know I should wait a bit to let this story pile up some before doing another rec but, whatever, fuck you guys, precious baby Loki coming to Asgard for the first time and everyone being nice to the little Jotunn prince who doesn't know how to deal with all of this certainly not his arranged marriage to Thor but it's all so sweet and adorable that I just love it. This fic is all the things I'm weak to and this chapter was really good for me today, given that I've been reading a bunch of angsty fic all day.
    [ Chapter 4-10 ] I let this fic sit for a bit (not intentionally, I was just distracted for a few days with other things) and then decided to read this selection of chapters all in one go today. And you know what my favorite thing about this fic is? IT'S SO HAPPY. Everything is wonderful! Asgard thinks Loki is darling! Loki makes friends with Sif! Loki and Thor clearly love each other! Loki is being taught magic and it's totally fine! He's also learning how to fight because he wants to do both! The author has clearly thrown out whatever doesn't work (in making this a happy fic) and I could not love them more for it, because the entire delight of this fic is that IT IS SO HAPPY AND WONDERFUL. And it's not necessarily even saccharine about it (though, it's not for those who only prefer the messier, more complicated stories, but I have always been a fan of FUCK YOU SOMETIMES MY HEART JUST NEEDS TO BE HAPPY), it's just... everything goes right, everything is good, everything is darling. And, oh, the most recent chapter, while Thor is away on his first quest and Loki tries not to worry about him, but ends up doing so anyway, and you can feel that they're really falling in love with each other and just. Yes. This does my heart so much good.
    [ Chapter 11 ] This fic continues to be my happy place and I would be crushed if the author ever took it away from me. This chapter is simply about the morning after Thor and Loki's first time, where doubts creep in a bit, because Thor still feels Loki is young yet, but mostly it's just the sweetest thing and made me feel all warm and fluffy on the inside and I can't tell you how much better my day was for it, even just as soon as I saw it had updated, my day was instantly better. Plus, bonus quick scene with Thor and Frigga! Best.
    [ Chapter 12 ] I was originally going to wait until the next chapter of this fic had been posted but, ugh, no, I can't hold myself back because this is one of my favorites in the fandom. The chapters are always short, but they're just such bursts of sunshine in my life! Even when things are angsty (as they are in this chapter--as Thor wonders if Loki ever imagined being with someone else, which of course Loki has thought about, which sends Thor into a brood) I have trust in the author to use it to bring back the warm and fuzzies. Because it's pretty obvious that it's about how much they both want to be with each other and only each other, that jealousy is going to come up sometimes, and it'll be something for them to work through. Plus bonus Sif and Loki being cute while she has little patience for their spats! Adorable!
    [ Chapter 13 ] Once again, my day was better when I saw the latest chapter of this was posted, because my happy place! Even as, I can't lie, I've been following this fic long enough that I'm fond of the characters to the degree that the fluffy angst (when Thor misunderstands Loki's meaning, so he kisses someone else) kind of made me ache for them, even as I knew the author would eventually make it right. The other thing I found I really loved about this chapter in particular was that Loki was a little vicious here, for all that this is a much softer, much nicer universe for Loki, he's still able to whip around and very nearly hiss when he's angry. Still, though. This is a happy making fic and bless the author for it. *basks*
    [ Chapter 14 ] This is another short chapter, but ah! Sunshine in my life again! Especially because there are happy makeouts, but also Loki being firm about how, if this is going to work from now on, they have to be serious about each other and pledge themselves to each other, which means Thor is going to go all out. As Thor is wont to do. And that, too, is going to be so good for me because ahhhhh Thor trying to be thoughtful and willing to make up for his mistakes even if he messes things up sometimes! Yes, give me that always.
    [ Chapter 15-16 ] These two chapters read really well together, so I'm glad I waited to read them together (especially since chapter 16 is extra short) and, ahhhh, this fic is once again my happy place. It continues to be pure sunshine and rainbows as Thor goes to Jotunheim to ask permission to properly court Loki because he knows that will show Loki he's serious about this and Loki goes along and actually has a pretty good time on Jotunheim, where they're thankful for the sacrifice he's made to help better their Realm. I'm sorry that this fic seems to be meandering towards the end (WHAT WILL I DO WITHOUT MY HAPPY PLACE??) but these two chapters were lovely and heart-warming, putting to rest the issues Loki has with missing Jotunheim in a lovely way, where it's a good feeling now, but he belongs in Asgard now and, ugh, the small details of things like Loki slipping his hand into Thor's, that just makes me happy. Bleh, this rec was incoherent but whatever. This made me happy.
    [ Chapter 17-18 ] Ahhhh, I love this fic so much! And now it's been updated again! I love what this chapter does especially, where it's more sunshine and happiness and sweetness, where Thor really is working to figure out how to make things up to Loki, to treat him better, and finds a thoughtful way here. When he includes Loki the way he does in this chapter, it accomplishes several things, including treating Loki seriously and yet not shoving him into the same box that canon did, but instead letting him play to his own strengths. This was Thor asking, rather than assuming or demanding, this was Thor actually working to do something right, and it pays off wonderfully. But also there's a scene where Loki decides to cut his hair and has Thor help and it's just pure fluff, but in that way that makes me happy and works for me because a) this is a different universe with different circumstances for the characters and b) they're teenagers in love and they do shit like that. Also, fuck you, I love hair cutting. *__*

The Plate of Fidelity and Harmonious Love by smuttysmuttysmut, thor/loki + other asgardians + jarnsaxa, NSFW, arranged marriage, jotunn!loki, intersex!loki, 6.1k
    Loki and Thor are going to be married to each other. There are lots of preparations at stake. And numerous customs and rituals have to take place.
    I find myself at a bit of a loss for how to describe this fic (other than a note to read the original prompt because that's pretty accurate) and to convey just what it was about it that I found so fascinating. I was wary when I started this, because it sounded like it could go the route of too much second hand embarrassment for me, but I love arranged marriage fic and so I wanted to at least give it a shot. And the thing about this is that the author does a fantastic job of getting in the original prompt's requests (forced bath, inspection for virginity/fertility, public consumation) and yet being almost kind about it, having the people around Loki being firm but not cruel, being as gentle as they can. And that's what just made this fic for me. The fic didn't shy away from how this was more than a little terrifying for Jotunn!Loki who was being married off to Asgard's Prince Thor, making the reader feel such empathy for him, and yet....

And yet it was not unhot. It's difficult to make a scenario like this hot precisely, which is reflected in the sex scene being rather brief, but also kind, not uncomfortable but not meant to be drawn out and satisfying, either. Yet... I can't say there wasn't a lot of intrigue on my part, a fascination with the circumstances that I greatly enjoyed. The author just really struck a great balance between discomfort and enjoyment for me! Plus, oh, Jotunn!Loki and the sense of displacement he felt and the culture shock in the background (not the point of the fic, but it was there in the little details) and lovely writing that was smooth and fit the characters so well and bonus Frigga watching over Loki's preparations before the wedding night. Loki and Frigga! Who is firm but kind with him and just a;sldkjfaljks I will always take that relationship in whatever form in comes in! And! Despite that Thor and Loki really only had about a scene and a half together, already I am in L O V E with them because it's just a touch playful but also serious and this Thor is trying to be kind and reaching out to Loki as well and just. asl;dfkjasl;kjs this author did everything right in this fic and it hit soooo many of my buttons and favorite tropes.

A Fine Match by Smuttysmutwriter, thor/loki + farbauti/laufey + other jotnar, NSFW, arranged marriage, 9.8k
    A look at Loki and Thor's day the morning after and what lead up to the wedding...
    This is a sequel to The Plate of Fidelity and Harmonious Love, which really needs to have been read first.
    I enjoyed the previous fic to this a lot, so I was excited about the prospect of a sequel, but ahhhhh I did not expect to love it quite as much as I did. It's just. Everything of why I read AU fic and arranged marriage fic! The balance of everything the author put in here is so delightful to me that I'm having a hell of a time writing this rec, because I want to point out all of what the author did right (world building! characterization! fleshing out Loki's relationships with his family! the newness of his life after marriage being overwhelming! Loki's sharp tongue is forever and always part of him! a sense of humor at the right moments! super hot sex! all of the things!!), I want to talk about them coherently instead of just flailing all over the place. But I'm having a hard time doing that because, ahhhhh, this fic is so much what I wanted! When you get arranged marriage fics like this, it would be all too easy to not quite do something right, either there's not enough world building or else it takes the place of characterization or else it's too fluffy or too harsh. But this fic just hit all the right notes for me!

Yes, it's happy and the only angst really comes from culture clash and Loki's displacement, but it's not cruel and there are good things to be found in his new life, given time. And, oh, Thor clearly is taken with him and wants him and cannot keep his hands to himself, but he's also not a jerk about it, even if he is overwhelming at times. Which, well, that's Thor for you. He's a good spirit, but he's naturally a steamroller if he's not keeping a tight lid on it and I love that I felt both aspects of that here--that Thor is just so enthusiastic and direct with Loki, but that he's also capable of choosing to back off when it's better for Loki.

At the same time, the fic builds a background for Loki (Laufey and Farbauti are a delight in their few scenes, as well as an absolute treasure of a scene with Loki and his brothers) and for his new life in Asgard (Thor taking Loki to the stables was a wonderful scene), which is one of my favorite things in fic. And all of that is even before the fic gets to the sex and I love that there's a sense of newness to this, a bit of culture clash, but also a genuine enthusiasm (which I love with Jotunn!Loki fics, where Thor just wants to touch him and taste him and fuck him all the time) and it didn't even need to be more than a handful of paragraphs long to be super fucking hot. The author does a lovely job of just... getting in everything that I wanted, of clearly having given this world thought (which makes it feel much more organic and natural, when situations come up) and, oh, manipulative!Loki winding Thor around his fingers, knowing the best time to ask for something he wants, letting the reader know that he's going to be quite the handful, of this being a happy world, but still sharp and clever. That just sends me into orbit like I cannot even convey.

Red, Blue and Gold by K_dAzrael, thor/loki, NSFW, arranged marriage, piercings, 2.5k
    “Oh, don’t fret – I’ve lain with Aesir before.” Loki covered his mouth with his hand, eyebrows raising in an exaggerated show of dismay. “Oh dear, I wasn’t supposed to say that, was I?"
    This fic is not going to be for everyone, it's kind of... well, FROST GIANTS. But I am totally in love with arranged marriage AUs and this Loki, who is in Frost Giant form in this universe, is snarky and biting and kind of amazing. It's not a long fic, so there's not a lot of time for worldbuilding, but the author gets some great little moments in, especially once they're married and Loki has more power to weild and OH BOY DOES HE, in the greatest way. And that's what I really liked about this fic, how sharp the edges of Loki's character were!

Gold Hair and Lightning by blacktofade, thor/loki, NSFW, pregnant!loki, jotunn!loki, in heat!loki, abuse issues, 17.2k
    Based on THIS prompt on the [info]norsekink meme. Loki is forced into a relationship with Thor and doesn't understand that he can't become pregnant until he goes through his first heat cycle.
    I find myself unsure of how to write a rec for this fic, other than to flail my hands in random patterns and make keyboard mashings. It was one of those fics where I curled up in bed while I read it and I didn't want to get up afterwards, because I'd sunk into the story and the lovely writing and all the intense feelings it was stirring up in me. And yet it's difficult to explain why, because the summary sounds like it should be straight out of a romance novel--Loki is forced into a relationship with Thor and doesn't understand that he can't become pregnant until he goes through his first heat cycle.--and a lot of the story elements here are pretty much straight out of such, but I didn't find myself enjoying this on an ironic level. I enjoyed this on a genuine level, where Loki's constant simmering anger that he bites back, Thor's well-meaning enthusiasm if unintentionally cruel lack of noticing the finer details, the way Loki hates so much around him and yet you can feel his connection and love for them as well, the balance between love and anger he has for Thor here, it's so in that sweet spot for me, much like Loki in the canon itself. It's in the way Thor wants Loki, desires him for more than just bearing a child, the way he takes Loki again and again, how there is an element of selfishness there, but he's such a force of good and caring and holding back when he says he will, it's both super hot and wrenches my heart terribly. And it's in the tropes of it--an arranged relationship that has real feelings, the way Thor freely touches Loki whenever he wants, the intensity and passion of their coupling, the frequency of it, all of it works for warrior gods. But it's also about Loki being caged and there is a very genuine sense of that here, how this is a punishment for him in a way that others never seem to understand, and the author does a beautiful portrayal of how trapped he feels, and that is a lot of what stirred up my reactions to this piece, because I just have so many goddamned feels when it comes to Loki. And even the ending is... exactly what needed to happen, I think. A gorgeous, gorgeous fic all the way around.

Had We But World Enough by Smuttysmutwriter, thor/loki + some steve/tony + clint/natasha, NSFW, jotunn!loki, intersex!loki, pregnant!loki, arranged marriage, 52k
    Written for the following Norsekink prompt: Loki and Thor have been married since they were little and they grew up sharing a palace wing. The boys never shared a bed because Odin and Frigga wanted to make sure nothing inappropriate could happen while they were still young. They also used to get chaperoned a lot so that there could be no hanky panky. Everyone assumes that Loki and Thor’s marriage has progressed to include sex now that they’re adults and if the maids notice that there are still two beds being used in the princes’ wing, they know better than to gossip about it. Loki and Thor both desperately want to move their relationship to the next level. It’s just really awkward to change up a centuries old platonic relationship with your spouse. Neither of them ever had a change to figure out this romance stuff naturally and neither of them wants to pressure the other.

It all comes to a head when the boys take a trip to another realm and are given a single room when their hosts hears that they’re married.

    Oh, I just sank into this fic and wanted to wrap it up around me and have it never end. It's one of those stories where it's probably around 45k words and yet it hardly felt like such! It felt like it just whizzed right by me because it was so much fun to read! And that's actually something I really appreciated about this fic, where the plot is centered around the relationship antics between Thor and Loki, the attempts to progress their marriage, to work through their issues, to have them interacting with the rest of the Avengers, because plots like that often drag when an author doesn't know how to structure or pace a fic, so it ends up feeling like endless filler. The fic is loaded with a lot of cliches, several things that you have to just roll with (like Thor and Loki haven't had sex even though they've been married for a hundred years, etc.), but that's not actually a criticism from me, because they're the point of the fic and the author does a fantastically charming job of showing why they're such fun to have in fic. The fic is entirely light-hearted even in its angstier moments, there's no worry of things not working out, instead you get to focus on the actual fun of the piece. You don't know how much I love that, when an author can pull that off in a way that makes me feel energized after having read the fic, like I want to tackle a mountain of fic, because I'm so deliriously in love with these characters all over again.

I love that feeling of being in love with things, which is my favorite aspect of the story, that it's all about the positive. Even when people want to bang their heads against the wall, it's in that way that made my heart warm--especially when Loki interacts with Natasha, who is the only one who can really explain anything to him (about sex and physical intimacy) and the friendship that grows out of that. This is a softer Loki in some ways, who has never measured himself against Thor, but he still has such a sharp tongue and precarious mood, who is sharp-minded and you do not want to cross him. Just as this Thor is friendly and well-intentioned and lets stuff roll on by because he knows a lot of stuff is flying over his head, but he also is someone you do not want to cross, he's someone who is a character of action and honesty. One of the best things about the fic is that Thor's hesitancy with Loki comes a little bit from inexperience (as he's not fooled around with anyone because of his bethrothal) but instead because he's concerned for Loki's comfort and circumstances, when so much has already been taken from him, Thor doesn't want to take more. And just. Oh. The situation these characters are in becomes all the more delicious and a better read for how Thor is good-hearted and deliberately holds himself back, which works about a hundred times better than trying to force him into the mold of simply being just too nerveless to do anything. I could smooch the author just for that alone!

But it's more than that still yet. It's in the way the author took what's kind of a cracky premise and turned it more into... a light-hearted rom-com, the kind of fic that was genuinely sweet and fluffy without being saccharine. It was the lovely pacing of it, where I never felt like the story was dragging its feet just to make it longer, but instead that these things genuinely took time, that every chapter had some progress being made and had a point to it. That there were ups and downs the entire way, but felt like a natural part of relationships, not just drama bombs thrown in for no reason. And, oh, there were a handful of sex scenes and they were so, so delicious, especially as they learned each other's bodies more and more. The first time being this exhilarating thing for them, that Loki's wary of the reaction to his intersexed parts, but Thor finds all of it great, that their first time is so enthusiastic and hot and oh, finally as Thor gets to fuck him because he wants Loki so badly, but also they eventually move on and the first time Thor goes down on Loki's female parts is so damned good for me (and really hot as well, especially for how Thor has been wanting to do that forever and it's a whole new experience for Loki and ahhhhhh) and then Loki eventually deciding that he likes riding the hell out of Thor because it angles Thor's cock better against both of his parts and just, oh, yes, that's perfect. I love love love that both sets of parts are paid attention to with Loki, that the author hit so many of my kinks with intersex!Loki.

This fic may not be for everyone, especially if you're not a fan of the lighter-hearted stuff or of Loki's character being a big 'fuck you' to gender binary lines (which is one of my absolute favorite things about what the fandom does with the character and it's so lovely here, that has moments of major discomfort, but overall is actually really comfortable with himself and I'm not even kidding about how I want more and more of that forever), but it's one of the most satisfying reads I've had lately, for how much I love the marriage between these characters and the work they do on their relationship and the progress they made and how it's not always smooth, but there's real love there, real love in another life with different circumstances that gives me hope for the canon versions as well. As you can tell by the ridiculously long rec I just wrote, I just have a lot of feelings, okay. And this is the kind of fic that stirs them up--even if I can't properly say why, despite that I just wrote all those words about it. It just does.

The Arrangement by onapage, thor/loki + potential thor/jane, child!loki, arranged marriage, 3.8k wip
    The two wurms that burst through on Bond Street, rushing Thor from both sides, sent a nasty swoop of adrenaline through Tony. Tony fired a gauntlet of rockets at one, shredding it and the storefront behind it, but his angle meant that the same treatment for the other wurm would rip the thing apart and go right on into Thor. His jet boots flared to full power as he tried to maneuver for a clear shot when a kid appeared between Thor and the charging wurm.
    Chapter 1: You have no idea how much it pains me that there is only one chapter of this and it was posted several months ago, because I want to know what happens next like you wouldn't believe. I mean, I expected it to be totally adorable and cute bb!Loki fic! Who comes to Earth to help Thor out with the Avengers and they're like NO A KID SHOULD NOT BE IN BATTLE but then he's a little baby bamf and they're WELL I'M NOT SURE WE APPROVE BUT UM and he is a precious darling little thing who is clearly spoiled and it's all fun action sequences and adorable little brat Loki and Thor clearly adores him and snarking at the Avengers and then SURPRISE BOMB at the end and oh it's so good for me. (Thor/Loki.)
    Chapter 2: Bless calamity-bebop for pointing this out because I would never have found it on my own and, okay, it's painful to know that there's been a second chapter, but it's been nearly as long since it was written, so it's likely unfinished and now, once again, I have to go through that NOOOO I WANT THERE TO BE MORE--! withdrawal phase. Shut up, I have a lot of feelings about fic, okay. And the second chapter is just as delightful as the first, where kid!Loki decides, nope, he's going to stay with the Avengers and Thor on Midgard because this place looks pretty great! And this Loki is darling and such a precocious little shit that you can absolutely see him as a child--in a lot of ways, he reminds me of a brattier Journey into Mystery!bb!Loki, except he fits into the MCU so perfectly well here! And he's already smart and clever! Plus, the Avengers trying to figure out just what it means that Thor's married to a kid like this, just how okay this is or isn't, is actually really well done! Plus, BB!LOKI AND CANDY. God, I needed that in my life more than I knew.

Knowing What You Want by Runie (Runic), thor/loki, arranged marriage, intersex!loki, jotunn!loki, in heat!loki, partial kidfic, 1.2k
    What Loki wants, Loki will have.
    Oh, my god, this was delightful and everything I love. Adorable babies and Loki being a precious little shit as a kidlet and that is hilarious in how spoiled he is, then the Jotnar having tits during their heats, Thor and Loki being horny teenagers, gorwing up and getting interested in teach other, and, of course, making their parents' life difficult as hell. It's just pure fun and joy to read fic like this, I am so glad Runic is in this fandom, ahhhh. ♥

The Unwinding of Loki by dvs, thor/loki + loki & avengers + steve & loki + other marvel characters, avenger!loki, divergent timeline, arranged marriage, action fic, 97k
    Unsure of his place on Asgard, Loki runs away to Midgard.
    This fic is now on AO3. I'm in the middle of rereading the whole thing, where I can write a better rec for it eventually! I do remember that it starts out as being rather silly and a touch cracky, but eventually gets progressively more serious and SUPER GOOD FOR ME as it goes along.
    Parts 01-36: NO WAIT GET BACK HERE THIS FIC IS ACTUALLY REALLY GOOD--!! I mean, I picked this fic up because it sounded hilarious and maybe kind of cracky but still funny and I'm a sucker for all these things and, yes, in the beginning it's pretty hilarious and has some crack in it, but then it starts getting kind of an actually really good plot going and Loki hares off to Midgard because seriously fuck Asgard and all their shit and then OH MY GOD IT'S SO GOOD. It's a slight twisting of the Thor events, so it's similar, which means the characters are similar, but just a few things different can make a huge difference, including Loki ending up with the Avengers! Which is so good for me because Loki is still a delightful but utter dick about everything, yet there's so much more going on and the characterization of him is fantastic. I love this fic because it doesn't back away from Thor not being perfect in the early part of the plot, that he's hot-headed and stubborn, it doesn't back away from that Loki is a dick who manipulates people even as he has so many other things going on, it doesn't shy away from really developing Loki's interactions with the Avengers, it doesn't make him work well with them, because that's not Loki's style. Though, it is his style to have really fantastic insights into them and, oh, the way he looks at Clint and Natasha early on is fantastic and I'm in love with his interaction with Steve. It doesn't shy away from taking the time to really build on his relationship with Thor, showing us how much they both love each other, it doesn't shy away from some of the best Laufey - Loki interaction in a plotful fic that I've read. It does a marvelous job of taking moments from the canon and spinning them just enough to create this new path for the characters. And, oh, boy, does it not shy away from making me claw at the walls for the next part--I want to know so badly what's going to happen! What's going to happen when Loki is eventually found to be on Midgard? What's happening with his odd reflection, who keeps whispering lines from the original canon at him? What's going to happen with Loki's interaction with the Avengers? Ahhhhh, I need more of this so badly because it's chewing on my brains already.
    Parts 37-44: Oh, sweet jesus, this fic. I am so scared that this fic is going to break my heart by the time it's done, because I've come to love it so fiercely and I want things to work out at least somewhat well and the possibility is there, but I'm so afraid that the author will take an even darker turn, because that possibility is there as well. And I almost turned tail and ran because, the one thing that makes me run away from a fic the fastest, it's anything to do with stitches. I'm pretty much NOPE I'M OUT any time I see so much of a hint of them, but... I loved this fic so much that I gave this set of updates a shot anyway and I'm glad I did because the author used it super effectively as an incredibly disturbing nightmare that haunted Loki, working in exactly the unsettling, painful way it was supposed to. So, I'm still onboard with this fic. I'm still anxiously awaiting the updates. But part of me is desperately in the corner biting her nails and worrying where this is all going and how much it's going to break my heart by the end.

Okay, all that out of the way, this set of updates was actually pretty great. The author continues to both keep canon close to heart but still divorcing it from canon in this really beautifully done way, where it's genuinely unsettling and creepy. Loki's reasons for running away just feel so... genuine here, that I can understand why he needed to get away from both Jotunheim and Asgard, even as much as he loves Asgard and Thor and his family. His establishing himself on Midgard, his semi-friendship with Steve especially, is just gorgeously done, because Steve is a great foil for a character like Loki, who's so direct and genuine that it eventually, slowly, subtly starts winning Loki over. The author's characterization of everyone is gorgeous and, oh, I am on pins and needles waiting for the actual Thor to show up again, in a way that borders on ridiculous, but I don't even care.
    Parts 45-53: This fic is possibly going to be the death of me. It's one that has the power to crush me, should things not turn out well and then I would have to go nearly drown myself in an ocean of my own tears or nearly bury myself under a mountain of porn. One or the other. But, oh, this update was so good for me, because the first part had the most amazing Loki being a little shit to everyone around him, fucking with them just because it amused him to do so, but then later chapters had these incredibly gorgeous moments between Loki and Steve, whom Loki almost seems to sort of like and is honest with, to some degree, and, oh, the insights into why this Loki ran away, because Thor was supposed to chase after him, was supposed to focus his anger and recklessness on him, rather than Jotunheim and bringing Asgard down with him. And then there's the other version of Loki that's still lurking in the mirror. And there's a gorgeous flashback to Loki's time in Asgard, with some really fantastic characterization, where Thor is too head-strong and full of himself and there's all these sharp edges between them and yet they find their way back to each other and, oh, I don't know what part of it is my favorite. All of it, I suppose. All of it is my favorite. So much so that I can't even write a coherent rec--this one is terrible and that should tell you what this fic does to me.
    AO3 Chapters 01-14: I am actually a little afraid of trying to write this fic rec because I honestly don't know where to start. I've been following this fic since it was only on norsekink, I used to check for more of it every day, and when it moved to AO3, I was a little wary it wouldn't stand the test of time when I decided to reread it from the beginning. I feared it would be one of those fics that only seemed excellent in the initial post-Avengers haze, where I read so much on norsekink and was so hungry for everything, but the thing about this fic is that it does start out a little silly, that it takes about 15k or so for it to shift into the next gear, but once it does, oh, man, does it ever stay there. This is an intensely gorgeous fic in both plotting and characterization, there is absolutely a story going on here that every step of the way shows. This is a different universe, where Loki knew he was a Frost Giant from a younger age and was betrothed to Thor, so that changes some things, but the fic is exquisite in showing how they are still the same spirits at their cores, for good and bad, even as it touches on the canon universe at several points to show... both the differences to this universe and what could have been. Things are not connected, but they're not entirely unconnected either, and when you write an alternate universe like that, it's a delicate process to maintain that balance, but this fic does so beautifully.

This is a Loki story through and through, but the Thor/Loki is threaded through it always, whether in flashbacks or from Loki's thoughts, the tangle of how he sometimes resents Thor, how Loki craves power, how he fears Thor's reactions to him having run away at a critical time, but even moreso how Loki loves him so completely, how Loki ran away at least partly because he wanted Thor to chase after him, because Loki is always forgiven and knows he's spoiled and loved. So, despite that Thor isn't directly in the fic much, the Thor/Loki is satisfying, the presence of Thor is still felt, and that's another perfect balance for me.

And that's only one aspect of this fic! It's also about Loki joining the Avengers, having an important friendship with Steve, while I never felt that he was taking Thor's place on the team, because he never truly fits in the same way Thor does, it always feels like it's missing something, even as Loki himself isn't missing something. It's hard to explain, just that the author does a beautiful job of it! And I love the Steve & Loki friendship here, it makes sense to the characters, they're both spot on here, and you see why it happens, why it works, and it's wonderful. But there's also Loki traveling around to various realms, plotting things, and it's just. Oh, it's beautiful, because it touches on the myths (and uses them in really cool ways, so you just don't know what's going to happen!) and touches on the way Loki comes up with these schemes and they're so twisty and complicated that you can be in his head and still not entirely sure of what his real motivations or goals are! And that is so perfectly Loki. Basically, this Loki is a complicated little shit that is spoiled and you sort of understand why, even as you want to shake him.

The fic also has one of the best Jormungandrs that I've seen in a fic yet--so legitimately terrifying a version here! There are great voices for all the characters, so sharp and clever, an excellent blend of Avengers and Asgard, of plot and relationships, of total quality fic and id-satisfying fic, of "I need the next part nooooowwww" fic. This is one of the classics in fandom for me and it absolutely holds up, it's in my top five of the fandom, for real. READ IT READ IT READ IT, it's everything I want out of "Loki runs away from Asgard because he's unsure of his place, half-joins the Avengers, shit gets fucked up, and then he has to plot to save it, despite that he's a dumb little shit that I want to strangle for being so dumb, please let him have a happy ending, also I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE REST OF THIS FIC OH MAN" fic.
    AO3 Chapters 15-17: I am in the difficult position of writing a rec for one of my favorite fics in this fandom, especially after all the words I've spent talking about it over the past recs and how I don't want to repeat myself, but all the things I've said still hold true. This is a gorgeous fic, the Loki characterization is different to canon in that he never walked the same paths, the same tragedies did not happen, yet he is pot on to the spirit of the character, in both the good ways and the bad. This is a Loki who is a liar and a manipulator to his core, but one who does it for those he loves, even if he goes a little too far at times. This Loki is not the same kind of hero we usually see, he lies and destroys, but for understable reasons and not without regret and that is perfect. The climax of the main enemy's fight reflects this, that the battle is fought in a way that could only be Loki's way of doing things, because that's how he's set up everything to be.

His friendship with Steve, his relationship with Thor, the interactions with Lafuey and Odin, they're all different here, but the fic completely understands the point of echoing canon, that it's used as a comparison and contrasts in all the right moments and I would recommend this fic just for the structure as much as I would for the content. But, oh, what good content it is, as Loki faces the threat of Jormungandr of myth and tries to trick his way around their fate, the elements of horror are genuinely unsettling as I read through it. T his is one of thsoe stories that has a tremendous scope, that uses both Asgard and Midgard so very well, that plays with myths and makes them fir the epic battles style of the movies. This is a fic that draws on moments of many of the Nine Realms, that has the proper scope for a story like this, yet never wanders. Each scene adds something, even if it's just taking Loki's temperature at the moment or if it's setting up shit that you know will come back to bite him in the ass later, but is still a necessary step.

This is one of the two best "Loki joins the Avengers" fics I've read and it's one of the best takes on Jormungandr that I've read and it's one of the best Loki fics I've read. As always, I mention that the beginning starts out a little sillier than the rest, but the fic quickly gains momentum and sharpness as it goes, so give it a bit and you'll get a gorgeous fic out of it! Also, as I was reading the final chapters, it struck me all over again just how funny the fic could be, that Clint got some seriously hilarious lines and Tony's voice was great and Natasha had my love and Loki always had a smart comment. I might have wished for more Thor at the end, but everything else is just so damn perfect and I have no idea if I love the ending as is or if I desperately want a sequel! But I do know that this is one of the fics I've been following for the longest time in this fandom and, while I'm sad it's over now, it was absolutely, completely worth the ride.

XVII by stereobone, thor/loki, NSFW, arranged marriage, jotunn!loki, intersex!loki, 20k
    The marriage itself is a symbol of peace between Jötunheim and Asgard. The two realms have long been at war but this union is a mark of new times, peace times. Thor just wishes there were another way. He has never even seen his betrothed before, he only knows his name: Loki. He is King Laufey’s second son, and he is to be Thor’s until their death.
    Chapters 1-2: How to even begin this rec, I don't know. Because it's an arranged marriage between Thor and Jotunn!Loki by stereobone, as inspired by those gorgeous arts from marty-mc, only with Loki being older. Flailing and keyboard smashing just doesn't seem to be quite enough! But, oh, I am so deeply in love with this fic already, with everything it's doing to slowly build up the relationship between these two people forced together, the early instant attraction and Loki being prickly and distant, Thor trying to be patient but Loki is maddening and Thor definitely has a temper, but he's still good-hearted and wants to genuinely connect with Loki, wants to help ease him into this new life, and won't take him until Loki wants it as well. These things should probably all be cliche by now, they're certainly tropes, but they're all my favorite things and fic like this is why, because they're sharp as ever and there's such chemistry between them and, ugh, I just love everything about them. FEELINGS, okay.
    Chapters 3-4: I've recommended this fic before, but I do update recs often, there was a significant amount added to this fic, and you do not understand my hunger for and love for arranged marriage AUs. And this one is so wonderful, as it shows the progress of Thor and Loki's relationship over the beginning weeks/months of their marriage, how they go from strangers who are wary of but attracted to each other to people who find that they get along better than expected and are already fond of each other, slowly progressing towards love. It's not quite there yet and I love that about this story, that it shows how far they've come in the careful way Thor treats Loki, the way Loki allows more and more touches and shows more trust, the way Thor defends Loki from malicious gossip (there's also a great scene with Odin about that, too! which just made the fic even better omg) and that just... Loki doesn't know what to do with that. This isn't what he expected at all.

The fic never forgets that Loki is viciously angry, but that never seems to stop Thor or his progression into Loki's affections, it never forgets that Thor is good-hearted in the way he sees Loki, trusts him even when maybe he shouldn't, but is eventually rewarded for that trust. Not just in sex, but in Loki opening up to him emotionally, and all of this sounds so... trope-heavy and cliche and maybe it is, but it's the kind of fics that keep the tropes sharp and shows why they have such enduring popularity. There's even world building and a trip to Alfheim and resolution to the sexual tension between them and, jfc, when Thor is exploring Loki's vulva for the first time with his fingers, when Loki is goading Thor into ducking him even harder, it is so intensely good for me even beyond all the other things I love about this fic. And, bleh, coherency is for weenies, I'll do a better rec for this fic later, hopefully I can wait until it's finished, at least.
    Chapters 5: I tried really, really hard not to immediately pounce on/rec this chapter, I was trying to wait until the final chapter had been posted and then do a rec then. But then there was Thor going down on intersex!Loki and that is not a thing that I can easily resist! So, there's that satisfaction (because it was really hot, but also really sweet, which is a great combination and fits with the tone of this chapter especially well), but there's also a lot of sweeter moments in this chapter, just the two of them spending time together and getting to know each other. One of the best things about arranged marriage fics is the slow crossing of that distance between them, the learning to communicate with each other in a way that they're forced to more openly recognize, and the sharing of things with each other. And, as much as the cliffhanger in this chapter is frustrating (in the way it's supposed to be), I also love it because it shows just how far their relationship has come, when they're faced with a difficult choice and all the complications that come with it.
    Chapters [all]: I would say that you don't understand my love of arranged marriages, but I think this fandom probably does. But, oh, man, I really do love them and seeing a fic that's an arranged marriage AU will automatically make me click on your fic to read it, which so often nets me excellent stories like this one. I've done recs for the fic as a WIP, but now that it's finished, I wanted to do one final one, because I've been thinking/talking about what makes certain authors appealing lately and my feeling is that some of them just have this solid charisma to their stories, the indefinable quality that draws me in and I can always count on getting something that's worth my time. I think this author has that, so even if I can't point specifically to anything new being done here, that doesn't mean I didn't fall right into the delight of seeing each new chapter coming out, it didn't mean that I wasn't just about rolling around on my bed in happiness while reading.

One thing I can specifically point to, however, is that the fic does a fantastic job of balancing that everything in this universe is good, that it's happy here, that things will work out even when difficult decisions have to be made or people feel torn about what to do without sacrificing the emotional weight of it. It's not pure fluff, but yet I can trust it. And I love that Laufey is good in this universe, that he's protective of his child, which further helps that this is a happy and good universe, which I really need sometimes. Add in that the writing is just so smooth and easy to slide into and I have a fic that was a great joy to read.

Had We But World Enough by Smuttysmutwriter, thor/loki + some steve/tony + clint/natasha, NSFW, jotunn!loki, intersex!loki, pregnant!loki, arranged marriage, 52k
    Written for the following Norsekink prompt: Loki and Thor have been married since they were little and they grew up sharing a palace wing. The boys never shared a bed because Odin and Frigga wanted to make sure nothing inappropriate could happen while they were still young. They also used to get chaperoned a lot so that there could be no hanky panky. Everyone assumes that Loki and Thor’s marriage has progressed to include sex now that they’re adults and if the maids notice that there are still two beds being used in the princes’ wing, they know better than to gossip about it. Loki and Thor both desperately want to move their relationship to the next level. It’s just really awkward to change up a centuries old platonic relationship with your spouse. Neither of them ever had a change to figure out this romance stuff naturally and neither of them wants to pressure the other.

It all comes to a head when the boys take a trip to another realm and are given a single room when their hosts hears that they’re married.

    Oh, I just sank into this fic and wanted to wrap it up around me and have it never end. It's one of those stories where it's probably around 45k words and yet it hardly felt like such! It felt like it just whizzed right by me because it was so much fun to read! And that's actually something I really appreciated about this fic, where the plot is centered around the relationship antics between Thor and Loki, the attempts to progress their marriage, to work through their issues, to have them interacting with the rest of the Avengers, because plots like that often drag when an author doesn't know how to structure or pace a fic, so it ends up feeling like endless filler. The fic is loaded with a lot of cliches, several things that you have to just roll with (like Thor and Loki haven't had sex even though they've been married for a hundred years, etc.), but that's not actually a criticism from me, because they're the point of the fic and the author does a fantastically charming job of showing why they're such fun to have in fic. The fic is entirely light-hearted even in its angstier moments, there's no worry of things not working out, instead you get to focus on the actual fun of the piece. You don't know how much I love that, when an author can pull that off in a way that makes me feel energized after having read the fic, like I want to tackle a mountain of fic, because I'm so deliriously in love with these characters all over again.

I love that feeling of being in love with things, which is my favorite aspect of the story, that it's all about the positive. Even when people want to bang their heads against the wall, it's in that way that made my heart warm--especially when Loki interacts with Natasha, who is the only one who can really explain anything to him (about sex and physical intimacy) and the friendship that grows out of that. This is a softer Loki in some ways, who has never measured himself against Thor, but he still has such a sharp tongue and precarious mood, who is sharp-minded and you do not want to cross him. Just as this Thor is friendly and well-intentioned and lets stuff roll on by because he knows a lot of stuff is flying over his head, but he also is someone you do not want to cross, he's someone who is a character of action and honesty. One of the best things about the fic is that Thor's hesitancy with Loki comes a little bit from inexperience (as he's not fooled around with anyone because of his bethrothal) but instead because he's concerned for Loki's comfort and circumstances, when so much has already been taken from him, Thor doesn't want to take more. And just. Oh. The situation these characters are in becomes all the more delicious and a better read for how Thor is good-hearted and deliberately holds himself back, which works about a hundred times better than trying to force him into the mold of simply being just too nerveless to do anything. I could smooch the author just for that alone!

But it's more than that still yet. It's in the way the author took what's kind of a cracky premise and turned it more into... a light-hearted rom-com, the kind of fic that was genuinely sweet and fluffy without being saccharine. It was the lovely pacing of it, where I never felt like the story was dragging its feet just to make it longer, but instead that these things genuinely took time, that every chapter had some progress being made and had a point to it. That there were ups and downs the entire way, but felt like a natural part of relationships, not just drama bombs thrown in for no reason. And, oh, there were a handful of sex scenes and they were so, so delicious, especially as they learned each other's bodies more and more. The first time being this exhilarating thing for them, that Loki's wary of the reaction to his intersexed parts, but Thor finds all of it great, that their first time is so enthusiastic and hot and oh, finally as Thor gets to fuck him because he wants Loki so badly, but also they eventually move on and the first time Thor goes down on Loki's female parts is so damned good for me (and really hot as well, especially for how Thor has been wanting to do that forever and it's a whole new experience for Loki and ahhhhhh) and then Loki eventually deciding that he likes riding the hell out of Thor because it angles Thor's cock better against both of his parts and just, oh, yes, that's perfect. I love love love that both sets of parts are paid attention to with Loki, that the author hit so many of my kinks with intersex!Loki.

This fic may not be for everyone, especially if you're not a fan of the lighter-hearted stuff or of Loki's character being a big 'fuck you' to gender binary lines (which is one of my absolute favorite things about what the fandom does with the character and it's so lovely here, that has moments of major discomfort, but overall is actually really comfortable with himself and I'm not even kidding about how I want more and more of that forever), but it's one of the most satisfying reads I've had lately, for how much I love the marriage between these characters and the work they do on their relationship and the progress they made and how it's not always smooth, but there's real love there, real love in another life with different circumstances that gives me hope for the canon versions as well. As you can tell by the ridiculously long rec I just wrote, I just have a lot of feelings, okay. And this is the kind of fic that stirs them up--even if I can't properly say why, despite that I just wrote all those words about it. It just does.

Had We But World Enough… Interlude III by smuttysmuttysmut, background thor/loki + odin/frigga + laufey/farbauti + sigyn + other asgardians, arranged marriage, jotunn!loki, intersex!loki, 3.4k
    This is a look at a younger Loki and Thor, they’re 11 and 13 respectively and Frigga has decided that Loki needs a gentle push towards his true role in Asgard.
    This is a side-fic to Had We But World Enough, but I think it stands well enough on its own, too, if you're aware of the arranged marriage between Loki and Thor, that Loki is intersexed and dealing with a monosexed society in Asgard.
    I have some truly ridiculous feelings for this fic. One of the best things Loki fandom has done is to embrace the character as trans*, in which one of the ways is as genderfluid/bi-gender, that he has aspects of both genders, that he's not restricted by the gender binary. This fic is set in an AU where Loki has spent much of his life in Asgard, but he also has his own family, his own identity, and isn't being measured against Thor, so it's a scenario where he's not being jammed into a role that doesn't fit him. And, oh, that's so good because a) I really resent the whole idea of being forced into only one side, you can only be "masculine" or "feminine" and b) that's so much of what was terrible for Loki in the canon in the first place. So, seeing a fic where Loki is growing up and figuring himself out, where he doesn't want to just be one thing or another, that touched my heart a lot.

It's a fic where he wants to wear clothes that maybe are closer to what most girls wear, but he also wants to play in the mud and go look at frogs the size of your fist. He struggles with wanting to be both and the point of the fic is that it is indeed okay to be both, you don't have to stick to one or the other. With Loki's character, when so much of him was wrapped up in trying to be what he wasn't (ie, trying to be Thor, when he's not Thor), it's wonderful to have a touching fic where he can accept himself more readily, where there's a sense of, yes, this is okay, there's nothing wrong with him. The writing is lovely and sweet, it's actually a wonderful story just to read, rather than having an agenda about it (it's just that I, as a reader, have a lot of thoughts and this fic brought it up, so don't let me give you the impression that it's a lecture disguised as a fic, because it's not), it has wonderful details and, oh, the friendship that starts between Loki and Sigyn is absolutely darling.

It's not going to be for everyone (and that really is fine, it's not going to be to everyone's tastes and the beauty of a character like Loki is that there's room for many different interpretations), but I walked away from this fic feeling like everything was precious and darling, like I was just so happy for all of them. Especially since Frigga is so supportive and caring (Frigga and Loki is always and forever a favorite of mine, obv.), that no one tears down Loki for this. Just. Ahhhh, happiness and love and support always gets me in fic.

Had We But World Enough… Interlude IV by smuttysmuttysmut, background thor/loki + odin/frigga + laufey/farbauti + sigyn + other asgardians, arranged marriage, jotunn!loki, intersex!loki, 3.6k
    A direct sequel to Interlude III (this won’t make much sense if you haven’t read that first). Loki has decided to change his look, how will Thor and their other friends react? Thor gets some advice, Loki shares a secret or two with Sigyn and Fandral behaves badly.
    This is a side story to Had We But World Enough and a sequel to Interlude III, which would help to read first. I think you potentially could read it on its own, so long as you're aware of the basic set-up, but it's definitely better in context of the greater whole.
    Ahhhh, I love these interludes! They're darling for focusing on Loki as a child who is working through the whole genderfluid thing in a society that is mono-gendered, but doing so in a way that's not soul-crushing. There's angst, especially when Thor's jealous of Loki's attentions turning towards more stereotypically feminine things, but there's no shame being put on Loki for figuring himself out here. Instead, there's natural curiosity, both from Thor&Fandral as well as Sigyn about her best friend, which is also never presented as too intrusive or repulsive, but instead almost kind of adorable. The author also does a lovely job of showing that they're young here, they're not ready for sex or sexual relationships, but they're at the age where they know a few things and want to know more.

Also! I love that part of the reason there's not really any crushing shame on Loki is because it's natural on Jotunheim and there's even stories about why that is, which is a little detail, but helps expand the world without stopping to info dump on the reader. Also also, Sigyn is pretty great here and I love her interaction with Fandral at the end (perfect omg) and you have no idea my love for well-written OC characters, especially when they're interesting twists on minor characters like this. ♥

This Baby Isn't Blue!?!?!?!?!? by thisdorkyficthing, thor/loki + other thor characters, some thrym/loki, jotunn!loki, pregnant!loki, arranged marriage (not thor/loki), fluff, 2.2k
    His father, sitting at his throne and giving Loki the most exasperated look he could manage, cleared his throat. “Well, Loki? Do you wish to explain yourself?” "Not particularly."
    This isn't a long fic, but it's delightful fun, where Loki is an unrepentant little shit and gets knocked up by Thor before he's arranged to marry Thrym and isn't one bit sorry when he's caught. That Loki is rather gleeful about getting to tell Thor the nws, the way he's so spoiled here, and the brief bit of sex are all wonderful, making for a cheer-up read today that I needed! Plus, some really sweet fluffy moments! Just... ahhhh, so good for me. ♥

each little bird has a someone by anonymous, thor/loki, nsfw, arranged marriage, 3.5k
    The first time Thor meets Loki, Loki is just a little babe, brought back from war by Odin, a war Thor wasn't allowed to participate in even though he's grown tall and has started filling out.
    Oh. So, when I picked this one up, I was hoping for something cute and maybe a little waffy. I didn't expect to get something gorgeous! It's arranged marriage fic, an AU where Thor and Loki were raised separately to keep them from seeing themselves as brothers, so they don't properly meet until they're older and this changes some things, but some others stay exactly the same--the most perfect of the changes-not-changes being that Loki is more stable here, but still a clever little shit with a wicked smile and delight of tricking people. And, oh, the first half or so doesn't have much interaction between them (but is still lovely), but once they do? GORGEOUS. It doesn't even need to be a terribly long fic (though, it's not a mini-fill, either) to be perfectly satisfying, for the author to have built up all the background world necessary, and to create these absolute moments of pure gold in the brief meetings between the characters over the years, until they're married. And, even then, despite the sex scene being brief, it was super fucking hot with Loki knowing exactly what he wanted and urging Thor on in that delightful little shit way he has and, oh, I could just read 100k of this pretty much forever.

Family Matters by anonymous, thor/loki + frigga & loki + other marvel characters, arranged marriage, divergent timeline, 10k wip
    After the movie Loki is retrieved, but Odin declares he will either submit to his conditions or be exiled as mortal. The conditions are that Loki must marry Thor and bear his children. Thor agrees, not wanting to lose his brother, as does Loki, eventually, deep down wanting nothing more than the love and acceptance of his family (though he doesn’t believe he’ll ever get it). Thor is not told of Loki’s heritage or why he can bear children and assumes it to be something to do with his sorcery.
    Okay, so, now this fic. I'll warn ahead of time that it's a WIP fic, it ends on a hell of a cliffhanger, and the last part was posted a year ago, so it's almost assuredly abandoned. All that said, I went into this fic knowing that and still enjoyed what was here anyway because, oh, it's so well written and it's one of my favorite things ever in this fandom--Thor and Loki get married and will eventually end up having a kid because Loki's Jotun--and it deals with those tropes and what that might mean for both of them so well. Loki's shock at the circumstances laid out before him (set post-Thor) is enough that I can buy he was startled out of much of what was happening with him at the end of the movie, but it's not forgotten, it's still lying underneath the surface, and he's so distant to his family and so wound up, so twisted around, and so unable to see the truth, which fits so well with his character. And I do love this fic for dealing with what it means to be someone of Loki's build, especially as compared to Thor, to be the receptive partner in a society like Asgard, what that means about his fear of Thor, what that means for Thor to be feared and how that hurts him as well, I do love this fic for dealing with the two of them forced together into a situation that's not of their choosing and how difficult that is for them, to not understand Odin's reasons for this. But, oh, where this fic really got me was with Frigga, who loves both her sons so much, who knows what it's like to be a woman in Asgard, who knows what it's like to be in that role, and how that colors her interactions with Loki. The way Frigga can get through to Loki in a way that no one else is in quite the position to do, because he isn't angry with her and she openly loves him so dearly, it's one of my favorite things in fandom and this author does a gorgeous job of it. I mean, yeah, sure, I read this for the Thor/Loki and the Loki Feels, but, oh, the Frigga and Loki scenes probably wound up being my favorites, they were so gorgeously done.

The Eyes are the Windows to the Soul by PadawanBrittany, thor/loki, jotunn!loki, crossdressing, fluff, arranged marriage, 3.6k
    AU. Prince Loki wants to attend the Prince Thor's mighty feast, but cannot go looking as the Jötunn prince that he is. At the same time, Thor makes a startling revelation.
    Speaking of how sometimes I just really need some fluff and good old-fashioned "Thor and Loki are arranged to be married, but they don't get along, despite secretly being in love with each other, they're just both kind of dicks to each other because they think the other doesn't like them" fic. I love this kind of thing and it also involves Loki crossdressing and Thor being like WHO IS THAT GORGEOUS CREATURE THAT REMINDS ME OF SOMEONE I CAN'T QUITE FIGURE OUT LET ME GO CHAT HER UP WOW SHE'S REALLY GORGEOUS AND SO INTERESTING EVEN WHEN SHE'S KIND OF A DICK TO ME and then they both realize, oh, they're kind of stupid for not realizing their mutual feelings earlier and, voila!, marriage. But then there's also a bit of kissing and the author clearly just had fun with this and it's hard for me not to get swept up in that fun. It's full of all the usual tropes, but I love those tropes, so I had fun with this fic.

Uniting the Realms by Jaivaramongolid, eventual thor/loki + other marvel characters, arranged marriage, jotunn!loki, 24.5k wip
    Instead of taking Loki from Jotunheim, Odin and Laufey arranged for Thor and Loki to be married when they were older in order to sustain a truce between the two realms.
    This is a WIP, but it's (at the time of this rec) already 18k of fic and it's about my beloved arranged marriage au! THIS IS DELICIOUS CANDY TO ME. The writing is a bit stiff at times, but I read all that was available of it in practically one sitting and the author has enough charm to have me impatiently tapping my foot to wait for more of this one. The background world is well-built, especially since this is a fic where Loki was meant to be abandoned on Jotunheim, but instead of taking him Odin tells Laufey that he'll give the Casket back if their kids form a union that will bring peace to both realms. This buys enough time for Laufey to see genuine reason to keep the baby with him and not just dash its head on the rocks or something, it buys enough time to start building a background world for Jotunheim's royal family, and then build forwards with Thor and Loki when they're a little older as well. It's adorable when they meet again and it's intriguing for the way the author is weaving in a lot of gender stereotypes between the two races (Loki is a sorcerer, while magic is usually for women, the Jotnar are sort of bigendered, while Asgard doesn't really know that much about them, etc.) and I'm intrigued about where all of this is going! It's nice that the author is taking time to set things up and I'm hoping that we're at least only at the halfway point!

Something Given, Something Earned by Loveless_Angel, thor/loki + other asgardians, arranged marriage, jotunn!loki, 6.1k wip
    "A gift from the All-Father as a symbol of good faith to the new king. He is yours to do with as you please." Loki finds himself being betrayed by his father, and offered up as Thor's plaything with no way of escape.
    I will say two caveats about this fic upfront--there are too many epithets for my taste, they distract me when names or pronouns would do just fine. The second is that this fic is very short and is more of a teaser of that gift!Loki AU idea, rather than feeling like a fully finished fic, despite that it's labeled as being complete. That said, it's an interesting start and I would definitely be interested in reading a second fic in a series, especially because this Loki is so pissed off about being a gift for Thor, so full of fury that he's been taken from Jotunheim and stripped of magic and even his appearance, and, while I would have thought Thor would be more interested in him, I find the dynamic of him being less than enthused about suddenly being presented with this and the way he and Loki clash to be very interesting as well. This definitely has a lot of potential and ahhhhh I want more from this idea!!

Silent Lies by CsillaRising, thor/loki + other asgardians, arranged marriage, jotunn!loki, 3.2k wip
    The realm of Asgard has been forbidden to all of Jotunheim for eons. Unfortunately this doesn't stop Loki, armed with his powerful magic and even more powerful curiosity, from going there. But the Prince Regent of Asgard is nothing like Loki expected, and soon he is wrapped up in a whirlwind of quests and adventures that he never asked for. Chaos ensues.
    If this fic doesn't at least get another chapter or two, I am going to flip a table for serious. It's beautifully written, it has a sharpness to it that makes it an excellent read, but it's also so many of my favorite things! Thor/Loki arranged marriage, bratty Loki, doting parent!Laufey, Sif+W3 not being complete assholes, Jotunn!Loki sneaking into Asgard! UGH, SO MANY OF MY FAVORITE THINGS. The first chapter here covers two things so far--bratty Loki being doted on but overprotected in Jotunheim, then sneaking off to Asgard and getting swept up with Sif+W3, both of which are beautifully, charmingly done. I love that it's not instant bffery, but that I like everyone here, it makes me super anxious for more of the fic, to see how those relationships develop, almost as much as I want to see how Thor and Loki will interact with each other.

One of the best things about fics like this is that it's got a sharp quality to the writing, but it's not cruel or tragic or super violent (which have their place, but I definitely lean more towards this atmosphere), and when an author can do that for me, it's the best. And, ahhhh, the end of this first chapter did its job as a cliffhanger--it made me claw at the walls a bit and rather desperately want the next chapter now. I still like the way this fic stands on its own, even as just a first chapter, but, yeah, okay, give me the next chapter now, please.

Table Manners by Wordbytes, thor/loki, intersex!loki, in heat!loki, implied eventual pregnant!loki, knotting, arranged marriage, NSFW, 7k
    Thor figures out a clever way so that he can give Loki what he really wants. A secure place right next to the throne, and a future together.
    The writing is stiff in places in this fic and this is definitely fluffy!Loki who doesn't have much anger left in him at all, but, holy crap, this could have just about been written directly for me! Loki is loved dearly by his family, he's back home in Asgard and reinstated, he's in love with Thor, and it's decided that he's going to marry Thor (for various reasons, because it'll make them both happy, because Frigga knows that all roads will lead to them being together eventually anyway), and then it busts out even more things I love. Intersex!Loki and he goes into heat on their wedding night and a lengthy, really satisfying sex scene and everything is happy and works out and there's knotting and they're eventually going to have a child and it's just. You could not imagine how much these tropes are like the best comfort blanket to me, how charming and delightful I could this fic. I mean, it's definitely for those who enjoy these sorts of things, but if you do? This was such fun for me.

To Conquer by aesirborn, thor/loki + other thor characters, NSFW, jotunn!loki, intersex!loki, arranged marriage, dub-con/some non-con, 72.5k wip
    When Laufey and Fárbauti's second son was born a runt, they were forced to face the facts: Loki had no home in Jötunheimr. They meant to find Loki a new home, but all they lost was their own home. And through their lives, all three sons must face the consequences.
    First Rec: Sometimes you find one of those fics that has so many of the things that you want, that you could just roll around on the bed and hug your reader to yourself in joy, because you've been pining for a fic like it. Or, possibly, that's just me. Whatever. I have a new fic to wait anxiously for updates on and I'm not going to let anyone ruin my joy in that! Because, wow, bratty Loki who is doted on by his parents and a bit of world building on Jotunheim and magical shenanigans and they invaded Midgard so they could give it to their precious baby Loki, you have no idea how hard I am smiling over that, because, fuck yes, give me that right now.

I love Loki's relationship with his parents and his siblings, how they're all snarky and sassy in their own ways, but Loki is especially bratty! And I love how you can still see him as Loki, with a chip on his shoulder even as he knows he's loved and too smart of his own good and a little shit and a magical genius and he just goes ahead and does whatever he wants to do. And all of that is even before he gets to Asgard (where the dark elf's description of Jotunheim's bratty little prince is perfection), where he'll of course run into Thor. Eventually, there should be arranged marriages and intersex!Loki and more good!Jotunheim family and, ugh, I want all of it right now, please.

of shame and trust by agitation, thor/loki, jotunn!loki, arranged marriage, intersex!loki, in heat!loki possible eventual pregnant!loki, 1k
    Asgard and Jotunheim decide an arranged marriage would help preserve the peace and benefit both kingdoms. Loki is a runt, and has had children before being married to Thor, and Laufey discreetly (but publicly) makes that known.
    This is short so far, but that is like a list of things that is guaranteed to make me click on your fic right there, holy shit. And while there's only the one chapter so far, it offers interesting tidbits of world building, glimpses of the potential for what Loki might really be like under his mask, and even a brief sex scene that was very nicely done. And I found that I actually really liked that, because they don't really know each other yet, the only reason there's any kind of affection here is that Thor's attracted to him and pities him, while Loki has to trust him, but that something real could very well develop here. I am definitely, definitely looking forward to there being more of this one!

But Summer Does Not Come (to Jotunheim) by Metallic_Sweet, thor/loki, jotunn!loki, arranged marriage, 2.7k
    The aim of it--all of it--was to bring peace between their kingdoms. Instead, they got a sorcerer, a changeling, a creature born between worlds. Peace, their voices chanted. But war was in their blood.
    The plot of this fic is never very clear, the story of it is confusing and that does distract away from the fic to a degree, but I found that I liked it anyway, that I enjoyed the little details the author wove in, the little moments of character from Loki, who isn't really so easy to pin down. The use of jewelry and the way you're never really sure of him or what he wants and the sense of world building and machinations from nearly everyone, it's definitely worth a read, if only just for the really cute Thor and Loki interaction and how Thor doesn't really behave the way Loki expects him to, either.

untitled by mrhiddles [ mobile ver. ], thor/loki, pregnant!loki, arranged marriage, jotunn!loki, ~1k
    Loki doesn’t know if Asgard has ever bred a Jotun before, but surely, this is one for the books. Heir to Asgard, impregnates bride won in war. It is laughable.
    Oh, this was such a great piece, because it's so many things I love and it's so... warm-hearted, that Loki doesn't know precisely how to deal with being pregnant or telling anyone, especially Thor, how they'll react to a Jotunn being pregnant with the heir of Asgard's child. That he puts it off for so long, but eventually can't hide it (and I love the moment of the reveal, the how of Thor's realization, it's really cute!) and, being that this is a happy fic, the ending is sweet and lovely and good. This is one of those short pieces that just made my day shine that much brighter.

Covenant by Xero_Sky, thor/loki + other asgardians, NSFW, arranged marriage, post-avengers, 32.7k
    After Loki is brought back to Asgard for justice, he's somewhat appalled to find that his family still cares for him and worries about his well-being. Even worse, they have a cunning plan to keep him safe from Thanos and sort out the havoc he's been wreaking everywhere. It works. And for one brief shining moment, Loki Is Happy. Naturally, it all goes downhill from there. I have so many thoughts and feelings about this fic that it's hard to put them down into coherent words, despite that I want to write a more proper rec for this fic, given how long it is now. I've recommended the fic before but I'm still going to write this rec for the fic as a whole because it's so many things that I want from fic! Post-Avengers arranged marriage fic! Loki is loved and he's married to Thor who loves him and it's not smooth but it's fluffy and all about bringing their precious bby home! Thor and Loki learning to work together as Crown Prince and Prince Consort! A honeymoon to Midgard where there's a draugr to fight! Thor is a deliciously described berserkrgang! Actual fight scenes where Thor and Loki complement each other, balancing Thor being the main fighter with Loki's important and vital support! Thor not giving a fuck about explaining himself to others! Enjoying the fight and loving Loki and feeling no guilt about the deaths around him and being a bit of an exhibitionist and not giving a fuck about that either! And the sex, which is about Loki halfway learning to accept himselfa nd this attention from Thor, even if he backslides and still needs to work on himself, because he's at his best when he opens up for Thor, he's happiest when under his brother and when he's the entirety of Thor's focus and, yes, that is perfect Loki!

There's also some really satisfying sex and I don't even need more, because the physical resolution is so satisfying to me! The fic is a WIP and there's obviously more emotional resolution to come, but the seven chapters at the time of this rec are perfection to me. And it's a struggle not to just end the rec there, because look at that list of things that this fic has! I deliberately let the fic build up until it had a solid chunk of story to read, probably at least 20k of it, and I read it like it was nothing, because I couldn't put it down and it sailed along so quickly and it was just such incredible fun! The fic felt like it was tailored to what I wanted out of fandom, how good it was at everything it set out to do, the progression of Thor and Loki's relationship towards something better, after all the bumps in the road so far. Thor characterization that's genuinely good! Oh, man, when he's on the edge of the berserkergang, it's gorgeous, because it's so Thor, but ramped up even higher, so it was utterly delicious to me. The fight scenes were epic, those were truly battles and I would have loved it just for the action, but seeing Thor and Loki working together! Ahhh--!

Because this fic finds that perfect balance between something that's wholly about fixing everything and getting me to buy it without mentally going, "Well, it's fluff so, whatever." Nope, this is sharp and insightful and good. It's the kind of fic that could be just idfic and nothing more, where the value is in the itch being scratched that you have, rather than in the storytelling itself. But here I would have read the story even if it wasn't one that filled me with utter joy and is the biggest want of my heart. I want those dummies to work their shit out through arranged marriage, I want this to be in the canon of the movies (well, aside from TDW), but I want it to be about them getting married and battling shit together and then building up to that deliciously satisfying fuck because Thor has wanted to fuck Loki for ages and just. This fic has given it to me and it's beautifully written and I'm just really happy, okay.

Black As Coal by Runie (Runic), thor/loki, NSFW, jotunn!loki, arranged marriage, intersex!loki, happy ending, 6k
    It is tradition for the Æsir to give cats to new brides. For Loki, the little kitten Thor gifts to him is all he has, until he falls into a conspiracy to rid Thor of his Jotun Queen.
    I could have sworn I wrote a rec for this already... and then utterly couldn't find it in my notes! Which is a shame because this fic did a hell of a lot for me the night I read it, where I'd tried several different fics that I just wasn't feeling, leaving me grumpy and restless, like I couldn't find anything I liked to read! I didn't know if it was me or I just hit a bad run, but it was kind of ruining my night, that I felt like all these stories were slipping through my fingers. Then I read this and just... settled down and it focused me and kept my attention and was an utter delight to read, so this one is precious to me just for that. But it's also that it's all the tropes I love, where Thor and Loki are in an arranged marriage that's not about love at all, where it's angsty but you know it'll work out, so it's fun to read about Loki's isolation and the bonding he does with the cat that Thor gives him, and the tension between the two of them before they work their shit out.

By the ending, it's happiness and domestic joy, which I love, I love fluffy things, and everything is perfect, which is exactly what I wanted. There's such charm and heart to this fic that I read the whole thing in one sitting and just felt so much better about fandom and my reading time! Plus, ahhhh, there's some really delicious porn that I found very satisfying, and... I guess that's what this fic is to me! It was satisfying and perfectly timed and made me really, genuinely happy. ♥

Five times Thor thought someone was flirting with his wife, and the one time they really were. by Wordbytes, thor/loki + other asgardians + avengers, jotunn!loki, younger!loki, arranged marriage, fluff, 2.k
    Thor might be a bit possessive. I could be entirely wrong about this, but something tells me otherwise.
    This fic is entirely about the cliches and tropes of fanon characterizations, as well as each scene is often times more a summary of an idea than an active fic, but if you're in the mood for something light-hearted and fluffy, this fic is an easy read and very sweet. It put a smile on my face every time Thor was posessive or jealous of Loki's attentions--even in a mostly platonic way--being on anyone else, the author striding the line between their arranged marriage being sexless for now because Loki's too young and the potential that it will be romantic in the future, when he's grown enough. It's cute and fun, which is just what I needed today!

each little bird has a someone by anonymous, thor/loki, mildly nsfw, arranged marriage, 3.5k
    The first time Thor meets Loki, Loki is just a little babe, brought back from war by Odin, a war Thor wasn't allowed to participate in even though he's grown tall and has started filling out.
    Oh. So, when I picked this one up, I was hoping for something cute and maybe a little waffy. I didn't expect to get something gorgeous! It's arranged marriage fic, an AU where Thor and Loki were raised separately to keep them from seeing themselves as brothers, so they don't properly meet until they're older and this changes some things, but some others stay exactly the same--the most perfect of the changes-not-changes being that Loki is more stable here, but still a clever little shit with a wicked smile and delight of tricking people. And, oh, the first half or so doesn't have much interaction between them (but is still lovely), but once they do? GORGEOUS. It doesn't even need to be a terribly long fic (though, it's not a mini-fill, either) to be perfectly satisfying, for the author to have built up all the background world necessary, and to create these absolute moments of pure gold in the brief meetings between the characters over the years, until they're married. And, even then, despite the sex scene being brief, it was super fucking hot with Loki knowing exactly what he wanted and urging Thor on in that delightful little shit way he has and, oh, I could just read 100k of this pretty much forever.

The Arrangement by onapage, thor/loki + implied background thor/jane, younger!loki, arranged marriage, 6.1k wip
    Thor has always been grateful for the distance between Midgard and the rest of the Nine. It has allowed him to keep his duties as a prince of Asgard separate from his life as an Avenger. When Loki shows up, all his careful arrangements become terribly entangled.
    I've recommended this fic on lj and norsekink, but now it's on AO3 for easier access plus the newly posted third chapter! This fic is everything I want out of Loki as a child bride, how clever and precocious he is, how Thor cares deeply about him and adores him, but isn't going to sleep with a child. This fic finds that perfect balance, to get at my shipper heart as well as not squicking me out, at getting me to feel that, yes, this is how they would be in this scenario. The Avengers' reactions to this are all priceless and I laughed super hard at Tony especially, but everything is great here. The background story is well told and I love how Thor and Loki tell the tale together! The ending is a cliffhanger here, though, of course, but I still recommend it because UGH precious little winsome and charming shit bb!Loki is too fucking cute not to read it!

Ásynja by bakurae, thor/loki + other asgardians, fem!loki, arranged marriage, 24k wip
    Odin is not the Alföðr without due reason; he is indeed an entirely paternal figure. And so he rather wishes he could give the babe a life – how odd, that though his furs are matted stiff with Jötunn blood, that he should feel pity and long to raise one of their abandoned babes.
    Chapter 1: I picked this one out of my pile of fic to read at random, just thinking, oh, I need something that's between 1k and 10k to read to round out my recs, hoping that maybe I'd get something at least halfway readable. Instead, no, I fucking loved this fic! I loved absolutely everything about it, the way things are similar to the Thor canon to the way they're different when just a few things are tweaked. I loved the point of view of Laufey, his disdain for the half-thing that his child is, instead of the usual intersex Jotunn, I loved that yessssss this Loki was half-Vanir which is one of my favorite pet theories! But mostly I love the way that Loki Odinsdottir grows up to be brilliant and mischievous and sharp, still caught between gender stereotypes in Asgard because she doesn't want to just sit and weave with the other girls, she wants to fight, and, oh, that's beautiful. And this Thor clearly adores his little sister and Frigga loves her daughter dearly and it was so much fun to see Odin come back from Jotunheim with a little baby that Frigga wondered where it came from and to see little baby Loki slowly worm her way into their hearts and Thor being instantly taken with her and the hints of world building in the background and just... yeah, this is another one of those recs that I can't be coherent about because it's too many things I love, all wrapped up in lovely writing and touches of humor that make everything sparkle in a delightful way.

I mean, this scene has a fic of Odin trying to get little toddler Loki to walk over to him and I could have just curled up and writhed around at how darling it was! It has little baby Loki refusing to say Thor's name (no matter how hard Thor tries to make her) and you're pretty sure it's because she's trolling him even at that age! While there's an evil cliffhanger and I don't know where this is going, the first part is all the things I love mentioned above and amazing family feels. AND it might end up with Thor/Loki in an arranged marriage. ....I almost can't believe this fic is going to end well, because no way could I get as many things as I want all in one fic, not with a plot actually happening in the middle of all this, either.
    Chapter 2: I definitely made some sort of ridiculous grabby hands sort of motion at the screen when I saw this fic had been updated because, oh, girl!Loki and paralleling the Thor storyline, except that things go a little differently here because the circumstances are just different enough to twist the outcome and hopefully--hopefully!--bring about something better. This chapter has more of the plot sticking closer to the movie storyline than previously, so it feels a little lighter and thinner than the previous chapter, but it also does several interesting things, including Loki's relationship with her mother making a big difference and Frigga being left in charge during Thor's banishment, rather than Loki, which makes a huge difference. It's in those little differences that I find so much joy and interest in where this story is going, because girl!Loki is in such a different position than boy!Loki would be in the movie, there's so much less to prove and she can be more open about her heartbreak and we're only just starting to see the big changes coming around because of that, but, oh, they are so interesting and so good so far. And I continue to love the use of Norse mythology woven into the story, while still feeling true to the MCU characters--that's actually a pretty tough balance to please me with! But I love everything this author is doing so far.
    Chapter 3: I continue to be enthralled by this fic! I'll mention ahead of time that this chapter deals with the revelation of Thor and Loki's engagement, which they both really seem to not want and that made me wary that... though, the fic is labeled as Thor/Loki, that it might turn away from that? And I had to give it some thought as to whether or not I would continue reading should I be let down on that front--which, by the way, is totally the author's choice, I'm not trying to change their mind or imply that they made a bad choice, just that my preferences wouldn't be catered to and, thus, I would be disappointed. But I felt that, even if Thor and Loki never developed a relationship beyond a sibling one, I decided, yes, I like this story and this universe too much to give it up. And I cheated and read some of the comments and I think the fic is going to head in the direction of Thor/Loki. But I'm speculating. Let me move on to vomiting up feels.

Because, oh, this fic gives me so many feelings for girl!Loki and the way her relationships are different because of it and the different expectations placed on her, even while she's still very Loki. There is an absolutely wonderful relationship between her and her mother, which isn't as on display in this chapter as it was in the previous one, but is still wonderful, because Loki is so much more able to accept her mother's love, as they have an even closer relationship here. It's so much easier to see what Loki gets from her mother here! (Even though I think MCU!Loki is actually quite a lot like her, too.) And, oh, I'm over the moon for the brief moments of friendship we see between her and Sif, because that makes a lot of sense to me here.

And, as much as I want Thor and Loki to be in love with each other already, as much as I want them to kiss and get married etc. etc. etc. already, I find myself hoping that the author will take a more slowly building them up route, especially if it means seeing more of them work through their feelings about each other. I do love that they obviously care very much about each other, that the revelation of Loki being Jotunn didn't make Thor love her any less, that he hoped she didn't think it would make a difference to him. Ugh, feelings! And, ahhhhh, I really want more of this one now already!
    Chapter 4: Apparently, I forgot to write a rec for this chapter? I read it pretty much immediately and then... got lazy, I guess. I should stop doing that. Especially because this is one of those fics that has so dearly captured my fascination! I love AU fics where things are just different enough that, while I still recognize the characters, that the circumstances are just enough to allow them happier fates. So, Loki is still adjusting to finding out that she's Jotunn, that she's engaged to her brother and she doesn't have to accept, but that it would be better for the Nine Realms if she did. And I can't lie that I wish there was a bit more attraction between them, on both sides (even if there's a very mild, obscure hint that maybe there might be something there), because I'm wary that the jump to a relationship might not work as well as I'd like or that I'll become invested in the idea of them as a couple without it working out. The dangers of reading a WIP fic like this is that it might break my heart and I'd rather not have my heart broken! But, in reading some of the comments, I find that a situation where... they have to deal with having seen each other as siblings, that being something they have to actively work around (so long as it is possible to work around here!) could be absolutely fascinating.

And, in the meantime, this chapter starts out with Sif taking Loki out to get drunk at a grimy tavern, which is exactly what she needs at the moment and, oh, you cannot fathom the depths of my love for their friendship here! Or Thor's friendship with his friends, both of their relationships with their parents! For all that the Thor cast is not a large one, the author makes good use of the other characters around them and that's really helpful in a fic like this, where so much is dependant on world building and AU circumstances and the characters needing friends to confide in, given that they're not jumping straight away into having intense romantic feelings for each other. The author does a really lovely job, especially in this chapter, of the discomfort (without taking it too far, because trying to make them disgusted with the idea would have left a sour taste as I was trying to read this, I think!) of suddenly having to see your sibling in a new light, of how this really will have to be a gradual thing. And, oh, I am so onboard for a gradual thing! You know. So long as my heart doesn't get broken by the end. XD

The Plate of Fidelity and Harmonious Love by smuttysmuttysmut [ mobile ver. ], thor/loki, NSFW, intersex!loki, jotunn!loki, arranged marriage, dub-con, 6.3k
    Loki and Thor are going to be married to each other. There are lots of preparations at stake. And numerous customs and rituals have to take place.
    I find myself at a bit of a loss for how to describe this fic (other than a note to read the original prompt because that's pretty accurate) and to convey just what it was about it that I found so fascinating. I was wary when I started this, because it sounded like it could go the route of too much second hand embarrassment for me, but I love arranged marriage fic and so I wanted to at least give it a shot. And the thing about this is that the author does a fantastic job of getting in the original prompt's requests (forced bath, inspection for virginity/fertility, public consumation) and yet being almost kind about it, having the people around Loki being firm but not cruel, being as gentle as they can. And that's what just made this fic for me. The fic didn't shy away from how this was more than a little terrifying for Jotunn!Loki who was being married off to Asgard's Prince Thor, making the reader feel such empathy for him, and yet....

And yet it was not unhot. It's difficult to make a scenario like this hot precisely, which is reflected in the sex scene being rather brief, but also kind, not uncomfortable but not meant to be drawn out and satisfying, either. Yet... I can't say there wasn't a lot of intrigue on my part, a fascination with the circumstances that I greatly enjoyed. The author just really struck a great balance between discomfort and enjoyment for me! Plus, oh, Jotunn!Loki and the sense of displacement he felt and the culture shock in the background (not the point of the fic, but it was there in the little details) and lovely writing that was smooth and fit the characters so well and bonus Frigga watching over Loki's preparations before the wedding night. Loki and Frigga! Who is firm but kind with him and just a;sldkjfaljks I will always take that relationship in whatever form in comes in! And! Despite that Thor and Loki really only had about a scene and a half together, already I am in L O V E with them because it's just a touch playful but also serious and this Thor is trying to be kind and reaching out to Loki as well and just. asl;dfkjasl;kjs this author did everything right in this fic and it hit soooo many of my buttons and favorite tropes.

To the Bone by Runie (Runic), thor/loki + tony/loki + other asgardians, NSFW, jotunn!loki, arranged marriage, some fem!loki, loki's kids, 6.2k
    Past: No one expected the marriage to go well, which is why the stipulation was made for Loki and Thor to separate once a child was produced. That is exactly what happened, leaving two broken creatures in its wake.
    Ahhh, this one is fun and I read all ~5k (until I saw there was a fourth chapter posted, which I also immediately read) in one sitting and it's got all teh things I enjoy, including mentions of Thor and Tony's friendship, Loki being gender and sex fluid, and they have a kid who actually puts in an appearance in the fic! Who actually seems to be part of the story, rather than just mentioned once and given no personality! (Not that I'm not guilty of that myself, shhhh.) The latest chapter also has a lovely conversation between Frigga and Loki, even if they're not mother and son in this universe, it's still a sweet conversation that kept the spirit of the original universe's characters. Overall, it's fairly short for now, but it's also the kind of writing that just absolutely flies by without me realizing how much I've read, because it's all the stuff I love, and each chapter alternates between the beginnings of the Thor/Loki relationship and the current distance between them, as they start to get mixed in with the Midgardians. It's just a lot of fun!

Absolution by ladylapislazuli, thor/loki, arranged marriage, canon-based, manipulative!loki, 36k wip
    Three weeks. For three weeks, Loki had been married to Thor. For three weeks, Loki had had to endure Thor’s clumsy attempts at romance, everything from flowers to jewels to candlelit dinners, each one more insulting than the last. Loki personally thought he deserved some sort of medal for not having stabbed Thor to death with a fork by now.
    The last time I did a rec for this fic, it was four months ago and there's still one more part yet to go with this story, so I warn ahead of time that if cliffhangers aren't for you, this is going to be one that would be difficult for you to read. I myself often thought that I should wait until its finished because it's so stressful for me, wanting to know how things will all turn out, but I just can't stay away from it, it's too good and too brilliantly characterized for me to resist. I just... this fucking fic, okay. And this update (which is chapter three, the most recent as of the time of this rec) ended with a pretty brutal cliffhanger and yet it was still so very worth it for me, because this chapter was about 15k words long and it's just as dense as the chapters that came before. There's just so much going on here, so many little moments that are utterly intense that it felt like I ran a marathon by the time I was done. Which I mean in the sense of how it was deliberately written to make me feel that way and I appreciate this fic for that feeling, because, oh, it's so well written!

Everything about this fic is just breathlessly spot on with the characters, this Loki is brilliant and insane and angry and yet the undercurrent of love is still there. Every thought he has is perfect, the way it shows his reactions to Thor's love for him and how furious he is and yet how he aches because, even if he doesn't realize it himself, there is still love there. And this is one of the most brilliant stories I've read where a character denies the feelings they have and yet the writing convinces me they would not realize how obviously they felt those feelings. The denial here--while still being so very clear to the reader--works for me, especially so because I just feel everything right along with Loki. When he's plotting and having to give up little pieces of himself, having to let Thor get closer, when he sees just how Thor truly trusts him, truly loves him, it makes him angry just as much as it makes him ache.

I'm in awe of this Thor just as much as I am of this Loki, how well Loki knows him and gets that Thor loves him, but twists it into Thor being a fool, twists it into how angry he is that he's experiencing consequences for his actions. It's perfectly balanced, that you realize this Thor knows Loki is angry, that it won't be easy, but you get that he wants to try anyway. This is not a dumb Thor, even as he's fooled by Loki again and, oh, that balance can be difficult, but this fic pulls it off so well. It's brilliant in the way that I am 100% on Thor's side in this, that his actions are necessary no matter how much he hates that it's come to this, that he's had to trap Loki here, that he had to take away his magic, because there were no other choices left, not if he wanted to save Loki. At the same time, though, I cannot help but sympathize with Loki's anger, despite that I know how wrong he is. It's gorgeously written for making me feel both of these things at the same time! And, oh, when Thor smiles at Loki or just simply loves him, which you feel even through Loki's vicious point of view, it just gets at my heart something fierce.

The build-up in this fic is incredible as well, I was practically tripping over myself and skipping entire paragraphs because I was just so anxious to get to the next part of the scene, the next line of dialogue, to get to the next part of Loki's plan, so by the time the climax was hitting, I was practically jumping in my seat! The author really knows how to pace a fic, knows how to write a densely packed chapter so that it feels like a lot of shit happened and certainly knows how to leave me writhing with feelings all over the fucking place. Ugh, I need the last chapter and I really need this to have an ending I can live with. Need, okay.

Had We But World Enough… Interlude III by smuttysmuttysmut, background thor/loki + odin/frigga + laufey/farbauti + sigyn + other asgardians, arranged marriage, jotunn!loki, intersex!loki, 3.4k
    This is a look at a younger Loki and Thor, they’re 11 and 13 respectively and Frigga has decided that Loki needs a gentle push towards his true role in Asgard.
    This is a side-fic to Had We But World Enough, but I think it stands well enough on its own, too, if you're aware of the arranged marriage between Loki and Thor, that Loki is intersexed and dealing with a monosexed society in Asgard.
    I have some truly ridiculous feelings for this fic. One of the best things Loki fandom has done is to embrace the character as trans*, in which one of the ways is as genderfluid/bi-gender, that he has aspects of both genders, that he's not restricted by the gender binary. This fic is set in an AU where Loki has spent much of his life in Asgard, but he also has his own family, his own identity, and isn't being measured against Thor, so it's a scenario where he's not being jammed into a role that doesn't fit him. And, oh, that's so good because a) I really resent the whole idea of being forced into only one side, you can only be "masculine" or "feminine" and b) that's so much of what was terrible for Loki in the canon in the first place. So, seeing a fic where Loki is growing up and figuring himself out, where he doesn't want to just be one thing or another, that touched my heart a lot.

It's a fic where he wants to wear clothes that maybe are closer to what most girls wear, but he also wants to play in the mud and go look at frogs the size of your fist. He struggles with wanting to be both and the point of the fic is that it is indeed okay to be both, you don't have to stick to one or the other. With Loki's character, when so much of him was wrapped up in trying to be what he wasn't (ie, trying to be Thor, when he's not Thor), it's wonderful to have a touching fic where he can accept himself more readily, where there's a sense of, yes, this is okay, there's nothing wrong with him. The writing is lovely and sweet, it's actually a wonderful story just to read, rather than having an agenda about it (it's just that I, as a reader, have a lot of thoughts and this fic brought it up, so don't let me give you the impression that it's a lecture disguised as a fic, because it's not), it has wonderful details and, oh, the friendship that starts between Loki and Sigyn is absolutely darling.

It's not going to be for everyone (and that really is fine, it's not going to be to everyone's tastes and the beauty of a character like Loki is that there's room for many different interpretations), but I walked away from this fic feeling like everything was precious and darling, like I was just so happy for all of them. Especially since Frigga is so supportive and caring (Frigga and Loki is always and forever a favorite of mine, obv.), that no one tears down Loki for this. Just. Ahhhh, happiness and love and support always gets me in fic.

His Blue Boy by blue_jack, thor/loki, arranged marriage, fluff, ~1k
    Fandral referred to Loki as his “Blue Boy,” which, considering how long they’ve been at war with Jotunheim, was far kinder than Thor had any reason to expect.
    This is a series of stand-alone fics, so each chapter can be read separately, you don't need to have read the others to read this one.
    Oho, more arranged marriage fic! And this is more of an overview type of fic, a bird's eye view of the relationship that developed between the characters over the years, told in a handful of moments and how Thor's apprasal of Loki grew from annoyance to mild interest to fondness. I enjoyed it because this Loki is difficult to read, yet it's not hard to see why Thor starts to like him, and I love that Thor is fine with being a fool, if that's what his feelings for Loki make him. And, ahhhh, the ending was so sweet and good!

Had We But World Enough… Interlude IV by smuttysmuttysmut, background thor/loki + odin/frigga + laufey/farbauti + sigyn + other asgardians, arranged marriage, jotunn!loki, intersex!loki, 3.6k
    A direct sequel to Interlude III (this won’t make much sense if you haven’t read that first). Loki has decided to change his look, how will Thor and their other friends react? Thor gets some advice, Loki shares a secret or two with Sigyn and Fandral behaves badly.
    This is a side story to Had We But World Enough and a sequel to Interlude III, which would help to read first. I think you potentially could read it on its own, so long as you're aware of the basic set-up, but it's definitely better in context of the greater whole.
    Ahhhh, I love these interludes! They're darling for focusing on Loki as a child who is working through the whole genderfluid thing in a society that is mono-gendered, but doing so in a way that's not soul-crushing. There's angst, especially when Thor's jealous of Loki's attentions turning towards more stereotypically feminine things, but there's no shame being put on Loki for figuring himself out here. Instead, there's natural curiosity, both from Thor&Fandral as well as Sigyn about her best friend, which is also never presented as too intrusive or repulsive, but instead almost kind of adorable. The author also does a lovely job of showing that they're young here, they're not ready for sex or sexual relationships, but they're at the age where they know a few things and want to know more.

Also! I love that part of the reason there's not really any crushing shame on Loki is because it's natural on Jotunheim and there's even stories about why that is, which is a little detail, but helps expand the world without stopping to info dump on the reader. Also also, Sigyn is pretty great here and I love her interaction with Fandral at the end (perfect omg) and you have no idea my love for well-written OC characters, especially when they're interesting twists on minor characters like this. ♥

Midgard is for Lovers by Smuttysmutwriter, thor/loki + avengers, NSFW, arranged marriage, intersex!loki, jotunn!loki, fluff, 11k
    Thor and Loki have run off to Midgard for the Honeyed Moon. What happens on Midgard? Does Loki get along with Thor's Earth-pals? How are things going on Jotunheim?
    This is the third fic in the A Well Made Match series, which would help to read in order.
    I saw this fic was posted this morning during my usual trawling for fic and may have made some sort of ridiculous gestures in my flailing. May have. But I definitely snatched it up immediately and shoved it on my reader and read it right away because, ahhhh, I love this series so much! It's Thor and Loki on Midgard just after they've been married, so they're experiencing culture shock as well as still getting to know each other, mixed in with the occasional flashback to pre-wedding antics and occasional scenes with Loki's family back home. It's the kind of writing that's just happy-making because everything is fun and hilarious and they're falling in love and really like each other and really, really enjoy fucking.

I loved every moment of this story because of all the fun details worked in, of all the Avengers' reactions to the newlywed couple, the hilarious moments of how difficult the preparations for the wedding were (Odin's conversation with Thor about what to do in the marital bed was especially hilarious, but also Thor getting a Howler was amazing and worked perfectly), and oh! There was even an enemy for the Avengers to fight! With a hilarious enemy and Loki having a chance to be totally bad ass, which leads to more jumping each other with his husband, and more chances for the Avengers to desperately wish they'd get a room!

I cannot even coherently express how much joy this brings to me, how this series has been built into this whole little world with a mix of different cultures and progression of this arranged marriage. It's such fun to see these characters in a different setting, circumstances that are more positive for both of them, so you can see a better relationship being built here, and the potential for so much more in their future, too. I would have been satisfied with just the first fic or even just the first sequel, but to have another one here, to have 11k of this fic just suddenly dropped in my lap and the potential for more, with possible kids in the future? :D :D :D!! Once again, I'm in love with this fandom.

XVII; part 1 [ mobile ver. ] + XVII; part 2 [ mobile ver. ] [ also on AO3 ] by stereobone, thor/loki, jotunn!loki, arranged marriage, 5k
    The marriage itself is a symbol of peace between Jötunheim and Asgard. The two realms have long been at war but this union is a mark of new times, peace times. Thor just wishes there were another way. He has never even seen his betrothed before, he only knows his name: Loki. He is King Laufey’s second son, and he is to be Thor’s until their death.
    How to even begin this rec, I don't know. Because it's an arranged marriage between Thor and Jotunn!Loki by stereobone, as inspired by those gorgeous arts from marty-mc, only with Loki being older. Flailing and keyboard smashing just doesn't seem to be quite enough! But, oh, I am so deeply in love with this fic already, with everything it's doing to slowly build up the relationship between these two people forced together, the early instant attraction and Loki being prickly and distant, Thor trying to be patient but Loki is maddening and Thor definitely has a temper, but he's still good-hearted and wants to genuinely connect with Loki, wants to help ease him into this new life, and won't take him until Loki wants it as well. These things should probably all be cliche by now, they're certainly tropes, but they're all my favorite things and fic like this is why, because they're sharp as ever and there's such chemistry between them and, ugh, I just love everything about them. FEELINGS, okay.

Covenant by Xero_Sky, thor/loki + other asgardians, NSFW, arranged marriage, post-avengers, 32.7k
    After Loki is brought back to Asgard for justice, he's somewhat appalled to find that his family still cares for him and worries about his well-being. Even worse, they have a cunning plan to keep him safe from Thanos and sort out the havoc he's been wreaking everywhere. It works. And for one brief shining moment, Loki Is Happy. Naturally, it all goes downhill from there.
    Rec #1: This premise could have been made just for meeeeee! Loki is brought home, loved, cared for, and married to Thor! Bring that to me forever, okay. Where the fic really got me further was in Loki's response to all of this, the combination of WTF WTF WTF, the almost insulted reaction of how this is all his actions merit, and the underlying want beneath that. All of it is just enough to pull off the mildly cracky/humorous concept, but still give it emotional weight that left me with my usual clawing feelings afterwards. I love that the fic has especially great Loki & Frigga interaction, but everyone's love for Loki here is really a delight, up to and including how he finally sleeps for awhile, yet every time he drifts briefly out of it, his family is there, especially Odin. Literally every scene in this first chapter was charming as all get out and worked to quickly wear down Loki's anger by showing his family's relentless love for him. Such a great combination of one of my favorite tropes and the humor necessary to pull it off, making everything just feel good in my heart.
    Rec #2: I don't even care if this was a transiton chapter (or that I really want the next chapter already), because there were two points where I had to stop reading just to giggle for awhile and several more where I thought, "Yes, this is the fic I would want to write." Sharp and funny and giving Loki a wounderful life that, of course, he has no idea what to do with, so he pettily pushes and pushes until Thor's patience runs thin and he literally hauls Loki back to Asgard over one shoulder. There's also more stuff that's just good and happy in Nick Fury's terrible day and how everything is a pain in his ass, in that mutual shared moment of understanding between Steve and Sif about the difficulties of soldiers' lives, the hanging threat from Frigga of marriage counceling if Thor and Loki keep fighting, an absolute hilarious lack of common sense from so many in Asgard that's just perfect, all of it so sharply and wonderfully written. And I don't even mind waiting that much because, as the tags say, true love will conquer all, and thus I'm content to wait for it.
    Rec #3: I have so many thoughts and feelings about this fic that it's hard to put them down into coherent words, despite that I want to write a more proper rec for this fic, given how long it is now. I've recommended the fic before but I'm still going to write this rec for the fic as a whole because it's so many things that I want from fic! Post-Avengers arranged marriage fic! Loki is loved and he's married to Thor who loves him and it's not smooth but it's fluffy and all about bringing their precious bby home! Thor and Loki learning to work together as Crown Prince and Prince Consort! A honeymoon to Midgard where there's a draugr to fight! Thor is a deliciously described berserkrgang! Actual fight scenes where Thor and Loki complement each other, balancing Thor being the main fighter with Loki's important and vital support! Thor not giving a fuck about explaining himself to others! Enjoying the fight and loving Loki and feeling no guilt about the deaths around him and being a bit of an exhibitionist and not giving a fuck about that either! And the sex, which is about Loki halfway learning to accept himselfa nd this attention from Thor, even if he backslides and still needs to work on himself, because he's at his best when he opens up for Thor, he's happiest when under his brother and when he's the entirety of Thor's focus and, yes, that is perfect Loki!

There's also some really satisfying sex and I don't even need more, because the physical resolution is so satisfying to me! The fic is a WIP and there's obviously more emotional resolution to come, but the seven chapters at the time of this rec are perfection to me. And it's a struggle not to just end the rec there, because look at that list of things that this fic has! I deliberately let the fic build up until it had a solid chunk of story to read, probably at least 20k of it, and I read it like it was nothing, because I couldn't put it down and it sailed along so quickly and it was just such incredible fun! The fic felt like it was tailored to what I wanted out of fandom, how good it was at everything it set out to do, the progression of Thor and Loki's relationship towards something better, after all the bumps in the road so far. Thor characterization that's genuinely good! Oh, man, when he's on the edge of the berserkergang, it's gorgeous, because it's so Thor, but ramped up even higher, so it was utterly delicious to me. The fight scenes were epic, those were truly battles and I would have loved it just for the action, but seeing Thor and Loki working together! Ahhh--!

Because this fic finds that perfect balance between something that's wholly about fixing everything and getting me to buy it without mentally going, "Well, it's fluff so, whatever." Nope, this is sharp and insightful and good. It's the kind of fic that could be just idfic and nothing more, where the value is in the itch being scratched that you have, rather than in the storytelling itself. But here I would have read the story even if it wasn't one that filled me with utter joy and is the biggest want of my heart. I want those dummies to work their shit out through arranged marriage, I want this to be in the canon of the movies (well, aside from TDW), but I want it to be about them getting married and battling shit together and then building up to that deliciously satisfying fuck because Thor has wanted to fuck Loki for ages and just. This fic has given it to me and it's beautifully written and I'm just really happy, okay.

Arrangements by latitans, littlelostsock, thor/loki, arranged marriage, jotunn!loki, gender issues, 4k
    Thor is married to a young Jotun. Thor comes to see the trembling child that stood next to him at their wedding as a younger brother, and tries desperately to ignore that they must become something else once this child has grown.
    Oh, this fic was so, so good for me, what with the arranged marriage and Jotunn!Loki and eventually pregnant!Loki and all the gender issues at play and the lovely way it made their relationship that mix of brothers and lovers here, as two people who've known each other since Loki was young but also knowing he's not going to be young forever. There's a sense of just how incredibly long their lives are in this story, I adored the sense of just how truly epic and lengthy their lives are even just when they're young and starting out, how the slow pace of their relationship reflects that. It gives the story time to show the relationship as being more like brothers at first, but slowly developing into something more over the centuries, which I love, because part of the fascination with this pairing is the incest aspect and how it's either gotten over or just... works together with the romantic side as well. But I especially love how happy everything is here, how it takes the tropes of this sort of fic and keeps them fresh as ever, makes them just as much fun to read as the first time I did, but also gives me that sense of warmth and happiness by the time I'm done. I loved this more than I can probably put into words.

untitled by mrhiddles [ mobile ver. ], thor/loki, pregnant!loki, arranged marriage, jotunn!loki, ~1k
    Loki doesn’t know if Asgard has ever bred a Jotun before, but surely, this is one for the books. Heir to Asgard, impregnates bride won in war. It is laughable.
    Oh, this was such a great piece, because it's so many things I love and it's so... warm-hearted, that Loki doesn't know precisely how to deal with being pregnant or telling anyone, especially Thor, how they'll react to a Jotunn being pregnant with the heir of Asgard's child. That he puts it off for so long, but eventually can't hide it (and I love the moment of the reveal, the how of Thor's realization, it's really cute!) and, being that this is a happy fic, the ending is sweet and lovely and good. This is one of those short pieces that just made my day shine that much brighter.

XVII by stereobone, thor/loki, jotunn!loki, intersex!loki, NSFW, arranged marriage, 13k
    "You will be a fine husband," Frigga says. "Your father and I are very proud."
    I've recommended this fic before, but I do update recs often, there was a significant amount added to this fic, and you do not understand my hunger for and love for arranged marriage AUs. And this one is so wonderful, as it shows the progress of Thor and Loki's relationship over the beginning weeks/months of their marriage, how they go from strangers who are wary of but attracted to each other to people who find that they get along better than expected and are already fond of each other, slowly progressing towards love. It's not quite there yet and I love that about this story, that it shows how far they've come in the careful way Thor treats Loki, the way Loki allows more and more touches and shows more trust, the way Thor defends Loki from malicious gossip (there's also a great scene with Odin about that, too! which just made the fic even better omg) and that just... Loki doesn't know what to do with that. This isn't what he expected at all.

The fic never forgets that Loki is viciously angry, but that never seems to stop Thor or his progression into Loki's affections, it never forgets that Thor is good-hearted in the way he sees Loki, trusts him even when maybe he shouldn't, but is eventually rewarded for that trust. Not just in sex, but in Loki opening up to him emotionally, and all of this sounds so... trope-heavy and cliche and maybe it is, but it's the kind of fics that keep the tropes sharp and shows why they have such enduring popularity. There's even world building and a trip to Alfheim and resolution to the sexual tension between them and, jfc, when Thor is exploring Loki's vulva for the first time with his fingers, when Loki is goading Thor into ducking him even harder, it is so intensely good for me even beyond all the other things I love about this fic. And, bleh, coherency is for weenies, I'll do a better rec for this fic later, hopefully I can wait until it's finished, at least.

But Summer Does Not Come (to Jotunheim) by Metallic_Sweet, thor/loki, jotunn!loki, arranged marriage, 2.7k
    The aim of it--all of it--was to bring peace between their kingdoms. Instead, they got a sorcerer, a changeling, a creature born between worlds. Peace, their voices chanted. But war was in their blood.
    The plot of this fic is never very clear, the story of it is confusing and that does distract away from the fic to a degree, but I found that I liked it anyway, that I enjoyed the little details the author wove in, the little moments of character from Loki, who isn't really so easy to pin down. The use of jewelry and the way you're never really sure of him or what he wants and the sense of world building and machinations from nearly everyone, it's definitely worth a read, if only just for the really cute Thor and Loki interaction and how Thor doesn't really behave the way Loki expects him to, either.

XVII (chapter 5) by stereobone, thor/loki, nsfw, jotunn!loki, intersex!loki, arranged marriage, update rec, 3.2k / 16.4k total
    In public, Loki is the exact opposite of affectionate. He walks next to Thor, gives him the occasional glance, but his body language lets Thor know that to touch would be a poor move. In private, Loki becomes a different being entirely.
    I tried really, really hard not to immediately pounce on/rec this chapter, I was trying to wait until the final chapter had been posted and then do a rec then. But then there was Thor going down on intersex!Loki and that is not a thing that I can easily resist! So, there's that satisfaction (because it was really hot, but also really sweet, which is a great combination and fits with the tone of this chapter especially well), but there's also a lot of sweeter moments in this chapter, just the two of them spending time together and getting to know each other. One of the best things about arranged marriage fics is the slow crossing of that distance between them, the learning to communicate with each other in a way that they're forced to more openly recognize, and the sharing of things with each other. And, as much as the cliffhanger in this chapter is frustrating (in the way it's supposed to be), I also love it because it shows just how far their relationship has come, when they're faced with a difficult choice and all the complications that come with it.

Absolution by ladylapislazuli, thor/loki, arranged marriage, 11.5k
    Three weeks. For three weeks, Loki had been married to Thor. For three weeks, Loki had had to endure Thor’s clumsy attempts at romance, everything from flowers to jewels to candlelit dinners, each one more insulting than the last. Loki personally thought he deserved some sort of medal for not having stabbed Thor to death with a fork by now.
    I think I've read this fic before on the kinkmeme but now that it's on AO3, I decided to do a reread, and the fic just absolutely sails by all over again! There is new material added, so even if it's been awhile since this fic was started, I'm hopeful that we'll get the next two parts of the fic! This is one of those wips that I probably wouldn't recommend if you can't stand wips (most of the time it doesn't even occur to me to warn for wips, to be honest *wry*), because we don't really get a lot of resolution in the first chapter yet, but if you don't mind them, I kind of really loved this fic a lot. It's a great read if you like watching Loki as a trainwreck, as his family loves him, as Thor clearly adores him and is trying so hard with him, but Loki is so angry and bitter that he can't accept any kind of happiness.

To be fair, one of the best things about this fic, is that you sort of understand why Loki can't let go of his rage, that he's being treated as helpless, that his magic has been bound, that he's been married off to Thor (despite that Thor never touches him without consent), that he feels caged, and it's pretty clear that Loki is not emotionally well. He's viciously manipulative, everything he does is about skating out of legitimate consequences for his actions or about lashing out at Thor because he's pissed off and wants Thor to hurt as much as he does, his moods are incredibly wild, swinging from one mood to the next in a whiplash fashion, and he's just generally a rotten little shit. You can feel how not well he is, even when the entire thing is from his point of view.

As much as I picked this fic up for the forcible marriage thing, I found that I loved it as well for the unbalanced Loki here, and, despite that this Thor is softening himself to try to reach Loki, he's also pretty fucking terrifying when Loki deliberately unleashes Thor's rage, especially when Loki never explains shit to give Thor any reasonable way to understand him, so of course Thor has no idea what the hell is wrong with Loki or why he does things and is infuriated by Loki clearly doing all this shit on purpose and then laughing about it. There's a scene at the end of the first chapter that's a literal and metaphorical storm and, wow, I really felt that. I'm curious to see where this fic goes, because there's still plenty of room for a happy ending, but I'm fascinated by the complicated dynamics between these characters and I want to see where they go!

Absolution (chapter 2) by ladylapislazuli, thor/loki, arranged marriage, unrequited love, update rec, 10.2k / 21.7k total
    “Why must it be you?” Thor asked wretchedly. “Why must I love you like this?”
    Again, I wanted to wait until the fic was finished before doing another rec, but this is a significant update and I'm not sure how soon the final chapter will come, given that the majority of the first chapter was posted to the kinkmeme ages ago and I don't have a sense of the author's update schedule. I also don't have a sense of the author's ending, whether this is going to end happily or not, because we're two-thirds of the way through the story and I'm not sure how much progress has really been made, if the fic will end happily or if things will stay always unrequited, because I can see this going either way. And the lack of warnings/tags on the fic also make me really nervous, because I've become emotionally invested in this fic and I don't want to have my heart terribly crushed! Which is terrible because this is the kind of writing that had me nearly tripping over myself to get to the next bit of the story, nearly missing lines along the way in my haste, because I was always wanting to know what happened next.

This fic continues to have such a manipulative, mad Loki and the fic does a beautiful job of showing Loki's instability mixed with such sharp cunning and you can see why he's so angry at what his life has become, yet understand how heinous his actions are. The balance between Loki insisting he's not mad with how you can feel it in him anyway is breathtaking and he leaves me so fearful of where this is going. Because he's not well, emotionally or mentally, but refuses to see it, instead manipulating everyone around him so that they can never truly help him, he's selfish and deliberately cruel, he's never genuine with anyone, not even himself and there's some validlity to his anger, but he also never acknowledges the difficult positions others are put in.

Despite that he was forced into this marriage, he never acknowledges that it's saving him, that it's a way of helping him. For every time he's angry about his powerlessness, he absolutely does not acknowledge why he lost that power in the first place. For every time Thor is posessive of him or holds too tightly to him, Loki has calculatingly goaded him into it. Yet you're not left without sympathy for Loki, I still want good things for him, even as his actions are horrible, which is another way this fic balances things incredibly well, that you realize the narrative is not condoning his actions or his words, even as the pov is through Loki's eyes. But there's also still hope, it's obvious that Loki cares and it wouldn't be an easy road, but things are fixable and I find that that would be the most emotionally satisfying thing for me, but... I still fear. And asdl;kfjalskj I need the next chapter already!

XVII by stereobone, thor/loki, NSFW, arranged marriage, jotunn!loki, intersex!loki, 20k
    "You will be a fine husband," Frigga says. "Your father and I are very proud."
    I would say that you don't understand my love of arranged marriages, but I think this fandom probably does. But, oh, man, I really do love them and seeing a fic that's an arranged marriage AU will automatically make me click on your fic to read it, which so often nets me excellent stories like this one. I've done recs for the fic as a WIP, but now that it's finished, I wanted to do one final one, because I've been thinking/talking about what makes certain authors appealing lately and my feeling is that some of them just have this solid charisma to their stories, the indefinable quality that draws me in and I can always count on getting something that's worth my time. I think this author has that, so even if I can't point specifically to anything new being done here, that doesn't mean I didn't fall right into the delight of seeing each new chapter coming out, it didn't mean that I wasn't just about rolling around on my bed in happiness while reading.

One thing I can specifically point to, however, is that the fic does a fantastic job of balancing that everything in this universe is good, that it's happy here, that things will work out even when difficult decisions have to be made or people feel torn about what to do without sacrificing the emotional weight of it. It's not pure fluff, but yet I can trust it. And I love that Laufey is good in this universe, that he's protective of his child, which further helps that this is a happy and good universe, which I really need sometimes. Add in that the writing is just so smooth and easy to slide into and I have a fic that was a great joy to read.

Five times Thor thought someone was flirting with his wife, and the one time they really were. by Wordbytes, thor/loki + other asgardians + avengers, jotunn!loki, younger!loki, arranged marriage, fluff, 2.k
    Thor might be a bit possessive. I could be entirely wrong about this, but something tells me otherwise.
    This fic is entirely about the cliches and tropes of fanon characterizations, as well as each scene is often times more a summary of an idea than an active fic, but if you're in the mood for something light-hearted and fluffy, this fic is an easy read and very sweet. It put a smile on my face every time Thor was posessive or jealous of Loki's attentions--even in a mostly platonic way--being on anyone else, the author striding the line between their arranged marriage being sexless for now because Loki's too young and the potential that it will be romantic in the future, when he's grown enough. It's cute and fun, which is just what I needed today!

Absolution by ladylapislazuli, thor/loki, arranged marriage, canon-based, manipulative!loki, 36k wip
    Three weeks. For three weeks, Loki had been married to Thor. For three weeks, Loki had had to endure Thor’s clumsy attempts at romance, everything from flowers to jewels to candlelit dinners, each one more insulting than the last. Loki personally thought he deserved some sort of medal for not having stabbed Thor to death with a fork by now.
    The last time I did a rec for this fic, it was four months ago and there's still one more part yet to go with this story, so I warn ahead of time that if cliffhangers aren't for you, this is going to be one that would be difficult for you to read. I myself often thought that I should wait until its finished because it's so stressful for me, wanting to know how things will all turn out, but I just can't stay away from it, it's too good and too brilliantly characterized for me to resist. I just... this fucking fic, okay. And this update (which is chapter three, the most recent as of the time of this rec) ended with a pretty brutal cliffhanger and yet it was still so very worth it for me, because this chapter was about 15k words long and it's just as dense as the chapters that came before. There's just so much going on here, so many little moments that are utterly intense that it felt like I ran a marathon by the time I was done. Which I mean in the sense of how it was deliberately written to make me feel that way and I appreciate this fic for that feeling, because, oh, it's so well written!

Everything about this fic is just breathlessly spot on with the characters, this Loki is brilliant and insane and angry and yet the undercurrent of love is still there. Every thought he has is perfect, the way it shows his reactions to Thor's love for him and how furious he is and yet how he aches because, even if he doesn't realize it himself, there is still love there. And this is one of the most brilliant stories I've read where a character denies the feelings they have and yet the writing convinces me they would not realize how obviously they felt those feelings. The denial here--while still being so very clear to the reader--works for me, especially so because I just feel everything right along with Loki. When he's plotting and having to give up little pieces of himself, having to let Thor get closer, when he sees just how Thor truly trusts him, truly loves him, it makes him angry just as much as it makes him ache.

I'm in awe of this Thor just as much as I am of this Loki, how well Loki knows him and gets that Thor loves him, but twists it into Thor being a fool, twists it into how angry he is that he's experiencing consequences for his actions. It's perfectly balanced, that you realize this Thor knows Loki is angry, that it won't be easy, but you get that he wants to try anyway. This is not a dumb Thor, even as he's fooled by Loki again and, oh, that balance can be difficult, but this fic pulls it off so well. It's brilliant in the way that I am 100% on Thor's side in this, that his actions are necessary no matter how much he hates that it's come to this, that he's had to trap Loki here, that he had to take away his magic, because there were no other choices left, not if he wanted to save Loki. At the same time, though, I cannot help but sympathize with Loki's anger, despite that I know how wrong he is. It's gorgeously written for making me feel both of these things at the same time! And, oh, when Thor smiles at Loki or just simply loves him, which you feel even through Loki's vicious point of view, it just gets at my heart something fierce.

The build-up in this fic is incredible as well, I was practically tripping over myself and skipping entire paragraphs because I was just so anxious to get to the next part of the scene, the next line of dialogue, to get to the next part of Loki's plan, so by the time the climax was hitting, I was practically jumping in my seat! The author really knows how to pace a fic, knows how to write a densely packed chapter so that it feels like a lot of shit happened and certainly knows how to leave me writhing with feelings all over the fucking place. Ugh, I need the last chapter and I really need this to have an ending I can live with. Need, okay.

Public Punishment by Batsutousai, thor/loki, NSFW, jotunn!loki, arranged married, mild humiliation, intersex!loki, 2.4k
    Tired of being mocked for his choice of clothing, Loki devises a prank to punish Thor. He may yet regret it.
    There are a few epithets that I would take out of this fic (and I hold with the 616!Thor characterization where he doesn't give a fuck who sees his junk, but this fic needed Thor to care about it, so I totally approve of the choice here!), which I mention just as mild caveats, because the rest of it? Holy fuck, YES. I was initially wary of the humiliation aspect, since I don't do well with secondhand embarrassment, but the author hits the perfect notes for keeping it mild and for Loki having a bit of an exhibitionist streak that he hadn't realized, finding that sweet spot in between the two, that this was still a punishment, but it was an enjoyable one for both of them.

This is a prickly Jotunn!Loki who likes having his own clothing and jewelry instead of the Asgardian style that Thor would have him dress in, who doesn't want to be an As, so there's delicious conflict and bits of worldbuilding here with that. But Thor's temper and determination, the way he is not having any more of Loki's shit, so he fucks Loki in public (it's less weird than it sounds when I say it), so every one can see and that turns Loki on but also teaches him a bit and Thor putting Loki on his cock in that firm handed way of his, all of it is SO GOOD and SO PERFECT. The author strikes this really great blend of Loki being so sharp and cutting, but Thor is more than a match for him, the sheer presence and steamroller nature of him, yet! They still manage to find middle ground together in the greatest moment where Thor's not the nicest person, which had me practically cackling with glee. This was such a great find to read! And really, really hot, jfc.

To the Bone by Runie (Runic), thor/loki + tony/loki + other asgardians, NSFW, jotunn!loki, arranged marriage, some fem!loki, loki's kids, 6.2k
    Past: No one expected the marriage to go well, which is why the stipulation was made for Loki and Thor to separate once a child was produced. That is exactly what happened, leaving two broken creatures in its wake.
    Ahhh, this one is fun and I read all ~5k (until I saw there was a fourth chapter posted, which I also immediately read) in one sitting and it's got all teh things I enjoy, including mentions of Thor and Tony's friendship, Loki being gender and sex fluid, and they have a kid who actually puts in an appearance in the fic! Who actually seems to be part of the story, rather than just mentioned once and given no personality! (Not that I'm not guilty of that myself, shhhh.) The latest chapter also has a lovely conversation between Frigga and Loki, even if they're not mother and son in this universe, it's still a sweet conversation that kept the spirit of the original universe's characters. Overall, it's fairly short for now, but it's also the kind of writing that just absolutely flies by without me realizing how much I've read, because it's all the stuff I love, and each chapter alternates between the beginnings of the Thor/Loki relationship and the current distance between them, as they start to get mixed in with the Midgardians. It's just a lot of fun!

The Arrangement by onapage, thor/loki + implied background thor/jane, younger!loki, arranged marriage, 6.1k wip
    Thor has always been grateful for the distance between Midgard and the rest of the Nine. It has allowed him to keep his duties as a prince of Asgard separate from his life as an Avenger. When Loki shows up, all his careful arrangements become terribly entangled.
    I've recommended this fic on lj and norsekink, but now it's on AO3 for easier access plus the newly posted third chapter! This fic is everything I want out of Loki as a child bride, how clever and precocious he is, how Thor cares deeply about him and adores him, but isn't going to sleep with a child. This fic finds that perfect balance, to get at my shipper heart as well as not squicking me out, at getting me to feel that, yes, this is how they would be in this scenario. The Avengers' reactions to this are all priceless and I laughed super hard at Tony especially, but everything is great here. The background story is well told and I love how Thor and Loki tell the tale together! The ending is a cliffhanger here, though, of course, but I still recommend it because UGH precious little winsome and charming shit bb!Loki is too fucking cute not to read it!

Arranged by Rynfinity, thor/loki, mildly nsfw, arranged marriage, jotunn!loki, fluff, 5.3k
    Thor AU - Odin does not steal Loki; the Jotun prince is instead raised to adulthood in Jotunheim. When Thor leads his friends to attack Jotunheim, unanticipated consequences ensue.
    Oh, this was just pure, delightful fun! It's the trope of an arranged marriage that starts off cold and it's only through hard work that it starts to thaw, which is another one of those ways to my heart. It's relatively short for this genre, but a lot of that is because of how angst-free this is, how it's light-hearted and pretty joyful to read! Every scene Thor and Loki share is utterly charming and it's perfect the way it is, it didn't need to be longer. When you want something feel-good and totally cute, about these two Norse dumbs falling in love, this is fun. <3

This Baby Isn't Blue!?!?!?!?!? by thisdorkyficthing, thor/loki + other thor characters, some thrym/loki, jotunn!loki, pregnant!loki, arranged marriage (not thor/loki), fluff, 2.2k
    His father, sitting at his throne and giving Loki the most exasperated look he could manage, cleared his throat. “Well, Loki? Do you wish to explain yourself?” "Not particularly."
    This isn't a long fic, but it's delightful fun, where Loki is an unrepentant little shit and gets knocked up by Thor before he's arranged to marry Thrym and isn't one bit sorry when he's caught. That Loki is rather gleeful about getting to tell Thor the nws, the way he's so spoiled here, and the brief bit of sex are all wonderful, making for a cheer-up read today that I needed! Plus, some really sweet fluffy moments! Just... ahhhh, so good for me. ♥

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