Loki was never fond of orders and exceedingly so when they were demanded of him rather than a choice to follow, guidelines if you will, but this new level of intensity he could feel burning in that aura of his pets was intoxicating. Stark no longer doubted what he wanted, he was steadfast and sure footed and this change sparked in him a flame he had not felt for some time. Liquid emeralds beheld the burning chestnuts with such wonder, such life, like an oak waking from the dreary sleep of winter and budding anew.
Anthony Stark spoke of his lack of humanity as if it were a gift, a pleasant forever in which darkness was his ally, and for the first time in all of his long life he felt as though he truly belonged here. A god among men with a monster at his side. It set his icy skin to crawling, raised delicious goosebumps along the length of his arms, coaxed the hair on the back of his neck to stand at attention. They would be unstoppable and undying and the world would have no choice but to accept their kings. Not even what was left of the Avengers would have jurisdiction to lay a hand on either of them. For one could not live without the other and, reassured in his devotion, Loki would seek to raise his Pariah should Death steal close and curl her gaunt fingers around his heart.
The touch of that brand against his skin sizzled with a newfound power, a bond that had sealed itself and them completely without his prompting. He had not yet learned how to bind as the Tesseract did, free will was a fickle thing and thus hard to harness. It was not strange to him that his magics should alter themselves to mold to the desire of its host but at this degree…
“You beg and command in the same breath? A far reach for one so little of form.” Oh but famished lips were smiling and devouring this joy he felt like a man starved since birth, nimble, delicate seeming fingers curving now, grazing, trailing, seeking the softness of well maintained hair as he lowered his own form to the floor beneath his boots. To a jotun god the floor, though cold itself, felt as warm as a human body and his presence upon it chilled the hairs of the carpet and made them stiff in indignation. Still it was a soft surface and his knees sank willingly into the fabric mere inches from the engineer’s own. Kneeling did little for the difference in height but it was enough that the liesmith easily grazed his other hand along the well muscled waist of his partner and drew him closer so that this pesky distance did not stand between them.
“There will be suffering. Plenty to go around for you and your friends if I remain. It is all that follows me, sorrow and darkness. Yet stil you wish to bathe in it alongside me?” By all rights he should not be asking, he should not be giving Pariah the option to turn away from him again. He should be taking what he wants as he has so many times before yet…
He had broken this unbreakable man, stolen a bond forged in promise, saved him from himself, given him new purpose, and fallen in love. Was that not enough to redeem lost little Loki? Never before had he tampered so thoroughly in a pet’s life that he had begun to hope to become a part of it beyond that of mastery. It thrilled and terrified him all the same and such a fragile little heart had he.
“If it be your will, the darkness welcomes you with open arms, as it always will.”
He could see it in the god’s eyes. The Trickster might be able to hide his emotions well, but Pariah had spent his entire life learning how to read people. He had become a master at it, even if he had become victim of it all on his own. But he could see it in the god’s eyes, something that was akin to the look the god had given him the day Pariah offered him his wrist of his own free if not beaten will. Something sparked there and did not go out. It was low, but it smoldered. It was there, and he could feel the slightest twitch in his fingers, and the spark of hope was fanned.
This time those silken words weaved by silver tongue did not sting, but caused the man to smirk. A witty reply made ready to slip from his lips but paused as suddenly the god was lowering himself down to the floor in front of him, and he couldn’t help the momentary surprise that must have crossed over his face. But then the god spoke and he was smirking again, an arm around his waist closing the distance between them.
“Any friends that I have after this point are friends who would readily accept me for who I am. Hell, they’d probably join us if I asked them too.”
And he wasn’t lying. One by one, those his small circle of friends was changing. Those who could not handle him, those who did not know him, being replaced by those who could and those who did. But at the mention of sorrow and darkness he simply shook his head.
“Sorrow’s been my friend since I was a child, Darkness was my first real serious crush. So believe me when I say I’m plenty good and fine right where I am, so long as you’re not too far away from where-ever that might be.”
Pariah would have laughed, however, if the god had made a comment about breaking him. Perhaps he had, in a sense. The god in front of him had chiseled away at every single wall the engineer had built up around himself: the bravado and the glamour, the self-doubt, the hatred, everything. He had gotten down to the core of the man, wriggling about into every possible corner and, whether he had known what he was doing or not, blew dirt of the existence that was Pariah at his core. He hadn’t broken him, he had freed him from all the chains he had forced upon himself since childhood.
Pariah was freer than he had ever been in his entire life.
“And I’m pretty sure the Darkness just doesn’t have a choice at this point. It’s just going to have to put up with me, whether it wants to or not. Because even if it walks out the door I’m not going anywhere.”
Such a definitive claim! That even should the darkness abandon that which it’d sought after, it’s prize would continue to live and thrive without its presence. The thought was comforting but perhaps a little dampening as far as spirits went. Pariah would be fine if he left but he had no intentions of leaving.
He maneuvered to his feet and gestured with a flick of his wrist for the other to follow suit, making his way towards the bar he had become so familiar with. A glass of Absinthe poured into a tall chute, and a second prepared precisely how he had watched the engineer prepare it too long ago.
“And if the Darkness chooses to remain? What will you do with it then?” And without even checking to see if his precious pet had followed him, he extended his hand back, the stem of the wine glass nestled between cold fingers and the chute itself molded against his hand.