A/N: Hey, all! I'm back with the second chapter! Just a quick note that I probably should have mentioned in the first chapter. This isn't strictly MCU. I'm incorporating some elements from the comics as well as some stuff from mythology. It may not come up often in this story, but I thought you all should know what frame of mind I'm coming from.

Also, there won't be a Sweet Talking chapter for this one; I'll be covering the last three chapters together. But I will be posting the first chapter of Sweet Talking on Twisting the Hellmouth and ! Since, you know, no one actually read it on Wattpad. *sigh*

Anyway, I hope you all like this chapter!

Loki glided through the darkened halls with practiced ease. He had no difficulties evading the guards that patrolled the palace. Unlike Thor, he was actually silent when he wanted to be. The trickster prince stifled a snort. His brother had all of the subtlety of a charging bilgesnipe.

He reached Thor's room and slipped inside. A single lamp provided the only illumination. Loki could just make out a small form on the bed. He froze. Thor was asleep? He couldn't have actually forgotten... right? They'd been planning this all year! Granted, his older brother had been surprisingly casual at dinner, but Loki had just assumed he'd finally gotten better at acting. Surely their scheme hadn't truly slipped from his mind.

He stood there in the dark for a long moment, trying to decide what to do next. Finally, he made up his mind. Thor had forgotten. No matter. He'd simply have to remind him.

He crossed the carpeted floor and reached out a hand to touch the figure's elbow to shake him awake.

"Thor?" he whispered into the darkness.

His hand bumped into something cold and solid. Loki's brow creased. What on Asgard-?

"Ha!" a voice cackled in his ear as he was tackled to the floor. "I have you!"

Loki growled and shoved his older brother off of him. "Silence!" he hissed. "Or Mother's wrath will fall on us both!"

Thor scoffed and got up. He offered a hand to Loki who took it.

Loki turned and eyed the bed again with a critical eye. He peeked under the covers and found Thor had taken his armor and stuffed a pillow in the top to create a surprisingly realistic dummy. Loki raised an eyebrow, impressed. Thor seemed to be actually thinking things through for once.

"Ingenious," he whispered.

Thor grinned. "If fortune is with us, it shall fool all who check on me. And what of you? I assume you have some similar trick?"

Loki smiled at the acknowledgement of his cunning. "I cast an illusion on my chamber to make it appear I am sleeping in my bed," he answered with a shrug.

Thor's mouth dropped open. "Verily? That is genius, brother!"

Loki preened. "Of course. Now then, shall we be off?"

Thor nodded, becoming serious. "Lead the way."

Loki's eyes slid to the door. "To the Vault," he whispered, a devious grin covering his face.

Honestly, making their way through the castle was laughably easy. Loki had long since memorized all of the guard's patrol schedules, so they could pretty much just waltz through the halls without fear of being spotted. Briefly, Loki wondered if he should inform his parents about how simple it would be for an enemy to breach their defenses, but he quickly rejected the notion. Telling them would involve admitting how often he wandered around at night, and he would lose the ability to do so in the future. Besides, he was the only one who could take advantage of the guards' laxness, and since he would never betray his people, the castle was safe.

Of course, if Heimdall happened to look their way, there was no way to avoid being caught. But it was late enough that his shift should be over, so they'd most likely be fine.

The brothers had been planning this little excursion for months. Their object was the Vault, the store-house where Odin kept his most dangerous treasures, many of which had been taken from his enemies. The princes had only been inside once, for Thor's one thousandth birthday, and they'd been closely watched the entire time. Thor and Loki were not satisfied with that glimpse, however, and wanted a closer look. It had been Loki who suggested they wait until their father next fell into the odinsleep. While they'd still get in trouble if caught, Frigga was much more forgiving than Odin.

Minutes later, the pair was standing across the hall from the doorway to the Vault. Now all that lay between them and their goal was a pair of guards.

Thor looked over at Loki and frowned. "How will we get in?" he whispered.

Loki sighed quietly. "It's simple. I'll teleport us," he explained in a hushed tone.

Thor's frown deepened. "I thought you could only teleport yourself," he said slowly.

Loki shrugged casually. "It is more difficult to transport two people, yes, but I've been practicing, and I'm confident I'll be able to get us both inside."

"I'm not concerned about getting inside," Thor rebutted nervously. "I'm concerned about all of me getting inside."

Loki raised an eyebrow. "Do you want to see the Vault again or not?" he demanded.

"I do," Thor admitted.

"Then are you with me?" Loki asked, holding out his hand.

No, Thor wanted to say. This is a terrible idea.

A true king is brave, his father's voice whispered back in his head. He does whatever he needs to in order to achieve his goals.

Thor straightened up. He was the future king of Asgard, and he would not let a childish fear stand in his way.

"I'm with you," he whispered back, his mouth a grim line of resolve as he clasped his younger brother's hand.

Loki smiled before closing his eyes in concentration. He pictured the long hallway, filled with wondrous objects, then imagined him and his brother appearing on the other side of the door. With a burst of magic and intent, he willed the thought into being.

Thor gasped and released his hand. Loki opened his eyes and the bright hallway of the Vault filled his vision. He smirked. Finally, they were in.

Thor rushed forward immediately to gape at Mjolnir, a hammer that had been imbued with magical powers. Loki went for the Casket of Ancient Winters. He didn't know what it was, but there was something about the Jotun weapon that drew the prince in. It had been the king of the frost giants' weapon, but while most descriptions of the race spoke of them being large, ugly brutes, Loki felt like any people that had such an elegant weapon couldn't be too barbaric. The casket had strange and beautiful symbols carved onto its front, and while most of it had a dark blue hue, a white light shone from within. Ever since Loki had first laid eyes on it, he'd felt drawn to it, though he knew not why. There was something about the chest's icy auror that enchanted him. He felt the sudden urge to pick it up. For some reason, he felt like if he could just touch it, even for a moment, he'd know who he truly was.

Loki quickly squashed the idiotic impulse. If he got caught playing with one of his father's treasures, he'd be grounded until he was a million.

Turing away, he went and looked at another relic. This one was some sort of huge metal glove that had shiny gems on it. It was cool, but it didn't really do anything, so Loki moved on. He gazed at the eternal flame for a moment, but he'd never really liked fire much, so he didn't linger. A blue glow caught his eye, and he turned to go near it. Before he reached it however, Thor caught his eye.

"Are you still looking at that silly hammer?" he asked incredulously. "Look around you! We're surrounded by wonders, and you're going to spend all your time on that?"

Thor shot him an affounted look. "Mjolnir is not silly!" he insisted. "Didn't you hear what Father said? It was the personal weapon of the greatest warrior Asgard has ever known!" His eyes were shining and he turned back to the hammer with an enamored look on his face. "Someday," he continued in a low voice. "I'll be great too, and Mjolnir will be my weapon. And no one will dare oppose me!"

Loki rolled his eyes. "Oh, come on!" he said, throwing his hands in the air. "It isn't even that cool. And it's way too big for you. I bet you can't even lift it."

Thor glared. "I could too!" he snapped. "Watch!"

Loki's eyes widened as Thor reached out and grasped the hammer. He lifted it triumphantly into the air.

"Ha!" he crowed. "See! I can lift it."

There was the sound of screeching metal from the right, and Loki whirled around to see the wall disappearing.

"The Destroyer!" he gasped.

Their father had told them briefly about the thing. It was a weapon, controlled by the king of Asgard, and it's power was immense. There were few who could face it and survive. Odin must have set it to destroy anyone who accessed the Vault in his absence.

Thinking fast, Loki looked frantically around the room for something, anything, that could help them. His eye fell on the glow that had attracted his attention earlier.

"The Tesseract," he breathed.

It was a blue cube that shone from within. Their father said it had the power to take someone anywhere in the galaxy. With it, they could get far enough away to be safe.

"Come on!" he yelled, grabbing Thor by the arm and pulling him across the walkway.

Without a beat of hesitation, Loki grabbed the cube. As he did so, he saw the faceplate of the Destroyer fall away out of the corner of his eye. A blast of molten fire rushed towards them, and Loki felt the heat prickling his skin. But before it could connect, there was a surge of warmth from the cube in his hand. It glowed brighter, and a spike of pain rushed up his arm. He felt like he was burning and melting all at once. He couldn't feel anything but pain, and had no idea if he'd let go of Thor's hand or not. Loki heard screaming. Maybe it was him. Everything was just so hot. Bright colors flashed around him. They were so vivid they stung his eyes, but he couldn't close them. His body wasn't responding to his thoughts.

And then it was over. Everything was still and black. Darkness overwhelmed him, and he slipped into unconsciousness.

A/N: Thanks for reading, guys. If you liked it, leave a review! :)