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Fair warning, the boys are rather naughtier in this than I was expecting.

Previous parts available here

5. The Underground

“Are you telling me you actually bedded Legolas Greenleaf?” Jareth said, looking appropriately impressed.

“I am indeed,” Loki said with a grin, “and for once I am most definitely not lying. If you need any further proof, he’s now blond, by the way. I would dearly love to know how he explained that little change to his noble father.”

Jareth laughed wickedly and long, absolutely delighted, and Loki joined in with zest, the sound echoing off the carved alabaster ceiling and the decidedly opulent furnishings. He lay back comfortably in the Goblin King’s bed, gazing up at the velvet, silk, and leather canopy above them with a sigh of contentment. Jareth was his equal in rank, though the Asgardians barely noted the existence of his relatively small realm in the maps of Yggdrasil, considering him unworthy of interest, which was precisely what Jareth had intended. The relative anonymity of the Underground made it a perfectly wonderful spot to rest, but added to that, Jareth was very nearly Loki’s equal in mischief as well. They got up to the most wonderful tricks together while dear Odin turned a blind eye, pun most certainly intended.

“And what have you been doing, Jareth, old friend? I recall a particular young lass with raven-colored tresses who had captured your interest a handful of years ago,” Loki said, giving him another suggestive grin. “Any luck?”

“No,” Jareth said, and Loki noted the way the sparkle left his eye almost at once and turned into a distant stare. “’Beware, my heart, beware, of the beauty with night-black hair.’ Wasn’t that what some bard or another wrote?”

“Probably you,” Loki said with a laugh.

“As if the same couldn’t apply to yourself,” Jareth said, turning his attention back to Loki with a meaningful glance and drawing one finger down Loki face sensuously. “Have you had any joy with the Lady Sif as yet?”

Loki snorted as though Jareth’s suggestion were ridiculous, but the mismatched eyes of the Goblin King pierced through him in a way few others could managed.

“No lies, Silver Tongue,” Jareth said in a low whisper. “Not with me, even though obviously you have already given your answer.”

“Beware, indeed,” Loki said, his brow knitting into a frown.

“Enough of this ill humor,” Jareth said, breaking into a smile once more and slipping a hand to his hip. “You are here for pleasure, some of which I trust you have already found most pleasant, and some of which yet lies in store for you as my honored guest.”

“If you would truly let me enjoy myself, you might lend me that riding crop for a bit,” Loki countered as he took the Goblin King’s mouth in a heated kiss.

“That might indeed be possible,” Jareth said, brushing the hair back from Loki’s forehead, but then abruptly leaving the bed, “after our entertainment, of course.”

Loki allowed himself a snort of laughter as Jareth paused before his enormous closet, his finger to his lips as he considered what to wear.

“I don’t know why you bother dressing at all,” Loki called, rolling over to his stomach and resting his chin on his hands to watch. “Those tights of yours might as well be painted on, and you know it.”

Jareth gave him a mock-innocent shrug over his shoulder as he pulled out a dazzling set of clothes in deepest burgundy and held them up.

“What do you think?” he asked.

“No green?” Loki responded with a petulant pout.

“You are king of that color here, and I would not attempt your usurpation,” Jareth said.

Loki nodded in acknowledgment of the compliment as Jareth garbed himself in what Loki had to admit was a really rather spectacular doublet and hose, complete with gold and gemstones, finished off with a cape of velvet and a trail of peacock feathers woven through his still-rumpled hair.

“Delightful,” Loki said, rising from the sheets, “but might I implore you to take it back off again?”

“You really are the most insatiable creature I have ever met,” Jareth said with a delicately raised eyebrow as Loki made to pull off one of his gloves with his teeth, but Jareth extricated it deftly. “Of course, that’s one of the reasons you are always most welcome here.”

“Then what, old friend, are we to do this evening that bests what we could be doing in that rather ostentatious bed of yours, not that it isn’t also remarkably comfortable?” Loki asked.

“A contingent of fairies has caught an intruder,” Jareth said. “There is to be another running of the labyrinth.”

“Is that all?” Loki said.

“The intruder is your brother Thor,” Jareth said, his tone making it clear he knew he was dropping the perfect plum in Loki’s lap.

“You’ve caught my dunder-headed idiot of a brother in your web?” Loki said, his facing lighting up like a supernova. “How in all the worlds did you manage that?”

“A bit of this, a bit of that, and behold, hence he comes,” Jareth said. “Are you pleased, sweet?”

“Pleased? This is better than my last five hundred birthdays put together,” Loki said, laughing with such joy that he sounded a tad unhinged. “If I recall, the labyrinth will produce challenges for him that match his foibles?”

“You remember correctly,” Jareth said. “I believe he is currently being stymied by a gigantic banquet table filled with roast boar and dozens of flagons of mead.”

“Gluttony? Oh, he’ll be stuck there for hours,” Loki said delightedly. “And what does the castle hold for him?”

“Come with me and see for yourself,” Jareth said temptingly.

“Do I need to dress?” Loki said, taking note of his nudity suddenly. “I intend to be invisible, of course, but if it would be indecorous, obviously I shan’t insult your sensibilities.”

Jareth pursed his lips in thought for a moment, then said, “It might be a tad too much. Here, allow me to rectify the situation.”

Jareth plunged his hand into the closet once more and returned with an emerald and silver ring, the main stone, roughly the size of an apricot, surrounded by a small galaxy of diamonds. He slipped it onto Loki’s hand, where it sparkled brilliantly.

“There. You are quite adequately dressed now,” Jareth said, giving him a smile and a kiss. “Come along, and I shall explain how I also managed to acquire Mjolnir.”

“You’ve stolen Mjolnir?! Oh, Jareth, you truly have outdone yourself,” Loki said, wrapping a spell around himself and disappearing from sight as he raced out of the room and towards the labyrinth.

Jareth remained in his bedchamber alone for a moment, and his eyes turned melancholy.

“’Beware, my heart, beware, the beauty with night-black hair,’” he murmured to himself, producing a single crystal sphere and sending it floating gently off on the breeze, an image of Loki and himself reflected inside of it, then following his guest to the playing field.
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