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

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

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

I feel practically emotionally wrung out after reading this fic (to be fair, I read little else while I got sucked into this one) because the author does an absolutely brilliant job of bringing all the issues to the surface and properly dealing with them and showing that, no, one shouted conversation doesn't automatically fix everything. It's a step, but it makes you tired, too, and, ugh, so gorgeous. The voices for the characters are often just lovely, especially Loki and Thor, the way Thor just loves Loki so much makes me ache while I read this, it gave me nearly as many Thor Feels as it gave me Loki Feels. There is no scene in this fic that I don't enjoy or look forward to! Usually, I'm pretty focused on just one set of characters interacting or I want to hurry up through the talking to get to the action scenes, etc. Here, I'm content to let the author go wherever, if that means Loki wanting to hit something so Steve shows him to the gym, if that means another therapy session with Loki's therapist, if that means another heart-wrenching conversation with Thor about why Loki's so hurt, whatever it is, the author's pacing and choice of direction is all amazing. I'm even delighted that the author chose to keep this fic gen, despite that Loki's interaction with Tony, Steve, and Thor could all read as pre-slash. I'm delighted because it's not about that, it's not about kissing someone being the fix-it for everything, but instead it's about repairing relationships and Loki's own emotional processes. Just. Ugh. 100k of fic and it's nowhere near enough, especially when it's left on a bit of a cliffhanger. But still. The most emotionally satisfying fic I've yet read in this fandom and it makes me love them all so, so much.
    Chapters 31: Whenever I catch up with a long fic and have to start reading chapter by chapter, when they're newly published, there's always the risk that the inertia and momentum of the longer work won't be there in the chapter by chapter pieces. And that may yet still hold true whenever chapter 32 comes out, who knows. But this one? AHHHHH, SO GOOD. Loki has come so far by this point, but there's still so much rage and so many jagged edges and this author is not pulling any punches here, not when Loki's doctor has been kidnapped by Doom and he's furious about it, not when Loki reacts exactly as Loki would, using all that anger and rage to do something all the more dangerous. And I really love the second half of the fic as well (though, the first half with Loki is especially sharp--and, okay, I'm weak to Loki perspectives), with the Avengers actually putting a few more cards on the table about this whole situation with Loki and how they should approach it and maybe how things have not always been done the best, all while acknowledging that Loki is seriously fucked up and dangerous. Ahhhh, so good.
    Chapters 32+: An amazing anon pointed out that this fic was being posted to the kink meme first and I greedily snatched the newest chapters up and then waited a bit more before 66 was posted because I skimmed and saw OH FUCK NO I AM NOT READING UNTIL PART 66 IS POSTED. I am very, very glad I did this, it was worth the wait. Yet again, an update to this fic leaves me just as satisfied as the previous chapters, because it picks up with Loki going to Latveria to kill the shit out of Doom for having kidnapped his therapist and, oh, it does a gorgeous job of showing what an amazing bamf Loki is while still showing his progress over all the months of therapy. The way he's fighting for someone, while still dark and full of anger, is so much closer to the right reasons and that's not even the point! It wasn't about getting him to fight on the side of angels, it was just... about Loki healing enough that that's how it unfolded and I cannot express how important that distinction is and how gorgeously done it was. I could have cried for how touching all of this was, how touching Loki's conversation with Steve was, when he had to make a hard choice during the fight with Doom, how touching Loki's conversation with Thor was afterwards, how much I just felt for both of them and how beautifully satisfying their conversation was yet again. Thor being so tired and angry at himself for always having to be sorry at how he didn't really see things before, it could have been so terrible in a lesser writer's hands, it could have been about punishing Thor. Instead, it made him all the more sympathetic and amazing and wonderful. I just. Yes, I have all the Loki Feels in this fandom, but, oh, I have all the Thor Feels, too. And all the Steve Feels. So, so many feels. And tears. All of them.
    Chapters 32+: I feel as though, at some point, I should be less affected by the emotional resolution this story has to offer, that I should reach a point where I'm fully satisfied with the relationship between Thor and Loki here, rather than always yearning for more. But I have yet to tire of it! Especially so because this chapter has Loki in such a better place, even if not perfect, one that has been so very hard won after all this time, which all came bubbling up for me, as a reader. It wouldn't have meant nearly as much if the author hadn't taken the time to get them here. Instead, though, I was left with all the feelings as Loki prepares to move out, establish himself on his own feet again a bit, which Thor isn't precisely comfortable with, he'd rather keep Loki close, but, oh, that just makes this chapter even better, because they're both working on this and, ugh, hugs and feelings. Fuck this fic for giving me so many feelings.
    Chapters 32+: It'll be at least another week before this fic is updated (at the time I'm writing this rec, of course) as the author is going out of town for awhile, so it's nice that it left off on a really good, happy note. While the previous chapter was the one that I really needed to have before reading (as it wrapped up the majority of the action with the Avengers and Loki going after Doom), this one was the real capper. Loki is healing, both in body and mind, after such a long progress, and is actually seeing a chance at really maybe being happy and okay with himself. It's about finally getting a real chance to talk with Caroline, his therapist, and it's about rescuing a cake from the other Avengers who would dive into it if it's left alone with them, and it's about being happy, healthy, and whole. It's really nice to have that sometimes.
    Chapters 32+: This fic continues to give me so many ridiculous feelings and is the Loki-in-therapy fic of my heart, especially when Thor joins him for a session and it's been such a long road and they've come through so much that they've earned this much. And I love that, even now, even as the fic is winding down (*sob*), there's still so much there, so much they never really told each other, they never knew about each other--which is illustrated through a story of when Thor first moved into his own room when they were children and how each of them never knew the affect that had on the other. But it's also about how Loki feels closer to Thor, maybe not entirely open about it yet, but letting Thor see him more, enough that Thor can figure him out, can pull him inside and curl up with him and Loki allows it now. Just. Ugh. Feelings everywhere.
    Chapters 32+: This is the final part of this story and I'm terribly sad to see it end, but also... I'm terrifically glad that this story exists and that it ends with Thor and Loki, as it should. It's almost simple, as they walk around after their therapy session, not really needing words, just being near each other, just being brothers again, and that alone is enough to make me want to put a hand over my heart for the ache stirring there. This has been a long journey and I think someday I'm going to sit down and reread the whole thing, but for now... I'm content. I'm glad that this is how it ended, that it's about Thor and Loki in the end, that they're so entangled in each other, but it's in a good way here, there's still room for this in their lives. I could not have asked for more from this wonderful, wonderful fic. → Vices by gunboots, thor/loki implications + tony/loki simplications + steve/loki implications, pregnant!loki, humor, 2k
    “Question,” Tony feels some moral obligation to stop Thor before he starts to sound like something off of daytime TV, well that and a burning curiosity that is probably going to get him a hammer to the head, “Why is he pregnant?” The pitying look Thor spares him almost balances out the look of sheer condescension that Loki gives him.
    Well. With a summary like that, there was no way I wasn't going to read this fic! Not when I'd read fic by the author previously and screamed with laughter, not when I got another hilarious fic out of it! I feel like, at some point, pregnant!Loki fics should stop being amazing, but I'm nowhere near that point yet, not when it's hilarious that they're so casual about it while the Midgardians are kind of quietly freaking out about it, not when Loki is such an arrogant snot about it, not when Thor is so very earnest about it. Also, the ending took me a minute to get, but then I looked back up at the tags and started shrieking with laughter again, so, clearly I loved this.

Cursed! [Or, that one fic where Loki is a Disney Princess] by somanyopentabs, avengers + loki, mild pairing references (tony/loki + cable/deadpool) that aren't serious, humor, 1.6k
    For this prompt on the Thor kinkmeme: Loki hates Midgard so much. He hates it more than anything. This is because the small, darling animals of the forest flock to him. Bunnies, chipmunks, deer, mice... Once he even had a glory of unicorns following him about like lovestruck puppies. He does not know how to undo Dr. Strange's Disney Princess Curse but he would like it gone immediately. The musical numbers are particularly disturbing.
    I had so much internal screaming while reading this, because LOKI AS A DISNEY PRINCESS, who has to deal with all sorts of cute woodland creatures taking a fondness for him and people bursting into song around him, and it is all h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s. The author does a fantastic job of working in so many little moments from various Disney movies or those that are simply Disney-inspired, making Loki rage about this fucking curse of Dr. Strange's, and his ever-growing desperation. It's just like the best candy ever.

How to Tame a God + Collateral Damage + Blood and Mercy by theorytale - [NOTE: There may be SPOILERS in this fic and this rec.] This is a series of fics that I only meant to just try out tonight, but found myself immediately sucked into the whole thing and unable to stop reading, because it was SO GOOD. It's gorgeously written from Tony's point of view, as he slowly starts to understand more about just how fucked up Loki is, how surprisingly similar they are, but done without unjustly villifying anyone or excusing the actions of anyone, all wrapped up in an amazing Tony voice. I had all the Loki feels while reading these fics, but the author was careful to never forget that he's dangerous, lethal, and he's done a lot of really bad shit. The first fic, where Loki reveals more than he intends, practically has a PTSD flashback right in front of everyone, that made my fannish heart clench up, because it was so sharp-edged and painful, but every encounter with Tony and Loki after that is just as terrifying and it could so easily go wrong. And, oh, how I loved Tony's interaction with the other characters--his relationship with Pepper, his friendship with Bruce, both of those really shone here--how the author balanced their similarities and differences. They are alike, yes, but that doesn't mean they're the same person or that anyone should forget what Loki is responsible for as much as for what he isn't responsible for. Basically, it's gorgeous writing and so funny and so heart wrenching and it's everything I want from Tony - Loki interaction, all the more so because Pepper is in there, too, and I would totally be down for Tony & Loki & Pepper interaction like you would not believe. (Tony/Pepper is the only actual relationship here, but the heart of the series is on Tony&Loki, in a gen way for now, but maybe a pairing in the future, possibly Tony/Loki/Pepper, with a dash of Tony/Bruce friendship in there as well.) Avengers/Thor/Iron Man: The Wise King by theorytale - [NOTE: This is the fourth in a series, it would help to have read the previous fics first.][NOTE: There may be SPOILERS in this fic and this rec.] I've been giving thought to Tony/Loki again lately and, generally, I agree with Meg that we're pretty sure that not even Tony wants to put his dick into that much crazy. But... I'm really weak to banter. And I am really, really enjoying this author's series of balacing Tony/Loki with Tony/Pepper and not rushing through anything. So, while reading, it occurred to me that one of the best parts about this fic is the conversation between Tony and Thor about the way Loki was raised in Asgard and how things sort of start to make more sense the more Tony digs and that's one of the things I love about Tony/Loki fic--it gives a reason for a fresh perspective character to have a conversation with Thor about Loki and go OH NO WONDER and LOKI MAKES A LOT MORE SENSE NOW. But there's even more to this fic than just that satisfaction--the author does a gorgeous job with the Tony voice, of course, but also Tony and Loki's interaction may feel glacial in a way (though, I tore through all ~15k of this in one sitting because omg DELICIOUS CANDY and it has such a great pacing to it) but it's still progressing. The major interaction between them in this fic is so sharp and painful and angry and yet... not, at the same time. This Loki is still terrifying even for all the new understanding of him, even for all the progress Tony makes, even for how Loki opens up just a bit on wondering how Tony deals with everything when it gets to be too much. It's almost like a chess game between them and that's so, so perfect in this fic with these characters. (Some Tony/Pepper, some Tony/Loki, likely to eventually be Tony/Loki/Pepper.) Avengers/Thor/Iron Man: Fight or Flyte by theorytale So, I've read other fic by this author, which were super great and wonderful, which meant I pounced on this one when I saw it, but, oh, I was not prepared. Not for the amazing, amazing dynamic between Tony and Loki, where Loki really enjoys the banter he and Stark have, the flyting between them, and, as the summary say, Which is all well and good until Tony breaks his arm. And then it's just sheer, sheer hilarity and tears in my eyes from laughing and my face hurting from smiling because, oh, yes, that is some pitch-perfect hilarity right there. Made ALL THE BETTER by the other Avengers' reactions and Thor's explanations. Just. This is beautiful. (This is sort of gen, sort of Tony/Loki.) → in another country (people die) by pprfaith, tony & loki, dark themes, torture, 2.2k
    “The world is not your playground, Stark!” Fury yells at him one time, after he maybe brings down a building or two and Tony just laughs because, seriously, yes it is.
    Oh, this fic is just... I mean... I often go back and forth on the idea of Tony/Loki, because I rather desperately want that banter, but I'm not sure I want the sexytimes, except the sexytimes would be totally hot, it's just omg Thor, I can't ignore him, and then I spin myself around too much and just go hit up the other tags. But this fic. It drew me in with a gorgeous Tony voice, that snarky but damaged voice he has, then kept me pinned to my chair by drawing these breathtaking parallels between Loki and Tony. This wrenched my heart rather badly because it made sense to me in this fic and yet part of me really, desperately wants more because it was so gorgeous a read.

An Acquired Taste by Hella, tony & loki, 2.3k
    Tony receives a visit from a weary war criminal on the run. Alcohol happens.
    I usually skirt away from any movieverse fics that incorporate the Norse mythology punishments for Loki, but I really like this author a lot and there's only implications and aftermath, mentioned briefly, so I'm glad I read it. This author does a gorgeous job with both characters of Loki and Tony, the sharp edges and all that roiling anger underneath the surface that's dealt out in cutting, witty remarks, which this author does justice to. It's a brief moment in time, Loki drops in for a brief respite while on the run from someone that will eventually come for the Avengers, maybe his way of giving a heads up or maybe Loki just doesn't give a fuck, it's not even really important, instead, this is about the chemistry this pairing has in the right hands and, oh, it was so good here.

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

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

Team is a four-letter word by LulaMadison, thor & loki + tony & loki + frigga & loki + avengers, fluff, avenger!loki, 30k
    After some serious therapy, Loki has now been a member of the Avengers for 2 years, but when an attack by Doom leaves him gravely ill, his team mates have to fight to save his life.
    This is the fourth fic in a series, which can stand on its own (all you need to know is that Loki is calmer now and is an Avenger), but I think works better when read after the others, so you get a better understanding of the emotional progress.
    I started reading this fic before it was finished being posted and I had to genuinely consider whether or not to wait--the author updates quickly once a story is being posted, but also I really got sucked into the fic and didn't want to wait another day or two, when I was full of a lot of feelings about it! Thankfully, I didn't have to choose because the final part was posted tonight and, naturally, I snatched it up to read immediately. I wish I could do a better rec for this fic, because it's pretty much exactly what I wanted out of this fandom (amazing team dynamics with a focus on Loki's character, who is an Avenger now, Loki whump with the rest of the team caring about him, while he's still as prickly as ever, then getting into his issues and making me have all the feels, then more family feels, and then action scenes and, wham, excellent ending!) and I read all ~30k words of this practically like it was nothing because I just could not put it down. The author does an amazing job at writing prose that pulls you into the story and is so solid and so smoothly written that you hardly even feel the passage of time. Oh, what I wouldn't give for more authors like this in the fandom!

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

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

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

Underground by Margo_Kim, avengers + loki, steve/tony + clint/natasha, tony & loki, some thor & loki, dark!thor, post-apocalypse, avengers!loki, 60k
    Five years ago, Thor's Chitauri army decimated the Earth. Now what's left of humanity lives in bases under the Earth's surface, safe from the toxic atmosphere. Tony likes to think that humanity's adapted pretty well. After all, they have movie nights and dances; they're doing better than could be expected. But when he learns that the little world of safety and stability they've carved out is about to be slowly but surely destroyed, the New York Underground is left with only two options--fight or flight. Tony knows which one he wants. If only Steve weren't on the exact opposite side. Meanwhile, Natasha wants whatever option will save Clint, Pepper wants whatever option will save the base, Maria Hill wants whatever option will save everybody, and nobody's exactly sure who Loki's trying to save, but everyone's hoping it's more than just himself.
    Xparrot recommended this fic to me, which I would have passed over as I thought it was primarily Steve/Tony-focused, and there wouldn't be enough Loki for me. And, perhaps, for those that really don't care for Tony-centric fic or really hate the pairing may still yet want to skip this one, I admit that I skimmed any scenes that were just about the relationship, but it was less central to the story than I'd originally feared it would be. I still read 95% of this story, as the majority of it is about the world they're living in here, this different and horrible world that they don't know any different from, and it's utterly engrossing. I could not stop reading! The author has a brilliant Tony voice, absolutely everything about the way he spoke and the way he approached situations, the level of disaffection vs genuine care was perfectly balanced, and every scene he had with Loki was utter fucking perfection.

This Loki was incredible all the way around, there was nothing taken away from the sharpness or the jagged edges to the character even when he was on the good guys' side here, so many lines that had just nearly putting down my reader because I was giggling (his scenes with Tony are seriously a thing of perfection) one moment, but then having to step away for awhile just out of sheer feelings for the bitter weight he carries. The scenes after Sif arrive were incredibly hard to read, but in the way the author intended, especially given how this was all set from Tony's point of view, yet the author never made it feel limiting or like the narrative was cheating to get in all that it did. I was so pleased with how vital Loki was to everything here without the fic feeling like it was playing fanservice to the character or even dismissing Thor's importance to the story.

I was a little afraid while reading, I admit, but it was overwhelmed by how much I loved how fucking terrifying this Thor was, one who did not hold himself back, one who razed worlds and used a fuller scope of his powers. They were right to be terrified sometimes just of his name, the author really made that work. So, my fears of how I wouldn't believe this Thor was possible were put to the side for awhile... until the backstory started unfolding and then, oh, I was hooked, because the full story just punched me in the feelings like you wouldn't believe. The points where this fic made me cry were the ones between Thor and Loki, the resolution so satisfying but so wrenching all the same. While I might not recommend it solely for their interaction, as it's brief in the overall scope of the fic, I do count it as one of the major reasons I so enjoyed this fic.

At its heart, though, it's a fic about Tony Stark and the relationships he has with everyone around him and their struggle to survive this world they find themselves in. The author does brilliant things with Maria Hill, possibly one of the best versions of her I've read in a fic like this, and I actually really loved the remnents of the Tony/Pepper relationship, one that was real, but I understood why it didn't survive into this new world, and their something-like-friendship was still felt. She was still important and that delighted me. The horror of the world they inhabit, the scope of the background world that was built here, the details that worked seamlessly into the narrative, all the epic shit that happened, both on-screen and off, the incredible final battle scenes, all of it was breathtakingly so good. Especially the ending. I don't think I was making coherent noises by the time I was finishing this fic.

Cat's in the Cradle by Lunik, tony & loki + background loki/natasha + avengers, humor, 3.1k
    When Odin took a half-Jotun baby out of a temple in Jotunheim, he wasn't the only one to claim to be the child's father. As his mother, Laufey King cheerfully refused to settle any dispute and soon there was at least one person in every realm who laid their claim as Loki's father. Except for the mortal creatures of Midgard, that is. Tony Stark thinks this needs to be rectified. And Loki Tonyson has a nice ring to it. (Subtitle: In which Loki and Tony troll the entire nine realms without even trying.)
    Apparently, today is the day for reading fic that leaves me in absolute tears and headaches from laughing too hard. Because, ow, now my head hurts. But it was totally worth it for this amazing fic where, Asgard sends its two princes to Midgard as diplomats and Tony Stark immediately hits it off with the younger one, in an instant bonding over trolling the entire universe. It is screamingly funny the way they instantly bond, the way Loki is the ultimate little shit "son" and Tony delights in playing the put-upon "dad"--which are both funny on their own, but also! A Loki who is more content with knowing who he is and knowing he's loved? Who turns his mischief into semi-harmless pranks and trolling instead of letting everything fester inside him? Oh, bless this author forever. Even better the way that Thor is clearly SUPER FOND of Loki's trolling everyone (BECAUSE THOR FINDS HIM HILARIOUS) and I love that this fic is the perfect blend between thoughtful details (Loki as a kingmaker is perfect because that's what he should have been!) and brilliant comedy, all wrapped up with doing justice to Tony&Loki trolling the shit out of everyone. Everything about this fic was exactly what it was trying to be and worked beautiful. And my head still hurts.

Then the Morning Comes by StarkRavingMad, tony & loki + other mcu characters + background canon pairings, 21.6k
    Tony is kidnapped by Loki. Will he be able to escape or is the reason behind it a much more interesting challenge?
    I enjoyed this fic right from the beginning, but there was a line about halfway through the first chapter that let me know, oh, this fic had me, where Loki was frustrated with Tony: "Oh, did I steam roll over that sore spot?" Tony deadpanned cruelly, "Let me just walk delicately around your bullshit emotional baggage while I remain trapped for an indefinite amount of time in a freakish copy of my own house." I hardly know where to begin with everything I loved about this fic, because it's basically everything I wanted from it--excellent dialogue and banter, clever use of details and plot points, an actual plot with epic shit going down, gorgeous characterization, a complicated Loki who isn't nice but isn't just an insane villain either, and a fucking fantastic Tony Stark. It even has Loki and Tony finding themselves having to work together, to actually slowly understand each other, the author using their interaction to actually build understanding for both of them, touching on all the issues they have in common, but not hammering them in too obviously. Forcing them into circumstances that make them have to trust each other, have to rely on each other, which gets under Loki's skin and exposes so much about him, even as it progresses the plot forward! All of this with bonus awesome Pepper in the background!

This fic was pretty much tailored to what I want out of Tony&Loki gen interaction (and, oh, the Tony/Pepper relationship that wasn't the main point, but was so very good--!), from epic plot to actual action scenes to Tony understanding and seeing through Loki in a way that not a lot of people can do. I honestly could not have asked for more from it! I mean, aside from more Thor&Loki interaction, but the brief scene that Thor was in, I was totally satisfied with it (and the sequel promises more Thor&Loki interaction). It's the kind of fic that felt like it was shorter than it was, because I sat down with it one moment, then suddenly I was reaching the end and about an hour had gone by without me noticing it, I was so eager to see where the well-built climax scene was going to take the characters. Everything is so sharp and clever, the pacing of it is fantastic and I just want to mention so many things about it, I want to be insightful and intelligent in this rec, I want to express how intensely I felt the scenes of this fic and where it was going, but I can't, because it hit too many buttons for me and I'm going to spend the next couple of days thinking about this fic and thinking of all the things I wanted to say about it and cursing myself for not writing better recs. I should do better! Do you know how many smartly written action fics there are with actual plot in this fandom, dealing with magical shit and really excellent, clever Tony characterization and brilliant Loki characterization and excellent use of Rhodey and Pepper? NOT ENOUGH, SOB.

Touch Screen by LulaMadison, tony & loki, humor, 2.2k
    “You have my word that I will not 'pull any stupid shit',” Loki said. “Your device has been reactivated.”
    I was skeptical that this fic would work for me (since it doesn't make sense that Loki would be as cold as a Frost Giant, someone would have noticed long before the movie's events), but the author got me to buy it and then I just had the most utterly delightful time while reading this. It's a little on the cracky side, but the light-hearted, genuinely funny kind that's kind of my favorite! I don't think I stopped smiling the entire time I was reading this, whether Loki was frustrated that touch screens wouldn't work for him or whether Tony was insulted that someone couldn't properly use technology or Loki's clear enjoyment of finally figuring out/getting something to work properly! It's hilarious and just completely fucking adorable. So many wonderful, delightful details and moments of humor, this was an absolute gift to read today.

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

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

Calculated Insanities by Mollz, avengers + loki, tony & loki, tony & bruce, 23k wip
    Most people take calculated risks. Tony Stark takes calculated insanities. Like telling the God-King Odin to shut up. Like trying to find warmth in a spy with a heart colder than Russia in winter. Like trying to learn magic when no human's learned it in god knows how long. ...Like finding the God of Chaos in a crater in Russia, and deciding to help him out.
    There are two chapters left to this fic, but it hasn't been updated in two and a half weeks (at the time of this rec), so I have faith that it eventually will be finished, especially as it's at 13/15 right now, but I definitely considered waiting for those final chapters because this fic has the potential to really hurt me. In the beginning, Thor's character is off in order to make him a dick towards humans, but I could handle it because it wasn't abusive!Thor and he's not around for most of the story and it was sort of necessary to set up the circumstances with Loki. I am a little wary, because Loki is an unreliable narrator, but the narrative and the characters around him don't contradict him, so it borders on Loki apologia or outright victimization in a way that lacks self-awareness, which I bring up more strongly than usual here because otherwise this fic is so good.

It's got a fantastic Tony voice and his friendship with Bruce is an absolute scream, it's a real highlight of the fic! At least once I burst out laughing irl and there were so many scenes where I found myself smiling from how delightful their banter was. Plus, I love Loki with the Avengers and I love them beginning to work as a real team and then there's Tony learning magic! I love that this Tony is frighteningly brilliant, that the norms of everyone else in the universe are ones that he breaks routinely, he figures things out faster than anyone, which works for me because he's... Tony Stark. That's part of who the character is, both good and bad, that he figures things out so quickly, once he has the basic building blocks for it. The humor is such a great selling point for this fic, not just from Tony, but from all of them. Steve going along with the batshit things his team asks of him and his, "Why is this my life?" attitude (that is somehow still so very Steve-like) is great and, oh, the slow progression of Loki working towards connecting with people again, with learning to trust again, possibly becoming part of the team, yes, give me that.

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

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

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

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

drained and flooded, again and again by RC_McLachlan

PAIRINGS/CHARACTERS: Tony Stark, Loki, possible Tony/Loki implications
    "Might want to pace yourself. I draw the line at picking shit-faced gods up off my floor, especially when they look like rejects from that Batman movie with George Clooney." Tony gestures at Loki's stupid costume. "How many cows had to die to make all that leather?"

Or the one in which Loki shows up to collect on the promise of a drink and somehow winds up with a friend.

    Sometimes you read a fic that you just desperately want to happen because it's sharp and has a good edge to it, but yet it's also good in the heart-warming, I feel better about this universe sort of way. Loki showing up at Tony's, demanding that drink, and somehow Tony accidentally kind of starts to bond with him, maybe want to be a friend, it's one of those things that's a trope in the fandom and I need to be handled with a deft hand, but this fic does it. The half-vague references (to Tony's friends, to their mutual father issues, to Afghanistan, to Yinsen) are perfectly done here, because Tony and Loki aren't parallels to each other, they're just similar in some ways, so half-formed thoughts about knowing the other person works really well here. But it's also just a clever twist in the conversation and body language here and there that leads them to an interesting beginning and, oh, I always want more of that.

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

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