No Hugs: Loki x Reader
“Alright Avengers, announcement to make!” Tony called loudly drawing the attention of everyone in the lounge.
Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Clint Barton, Bruce Banner, Thor and a man you didn’t immediately recognize from the various news reports looked over.
You blushed weakly, trying to duck away or at least hide your face, but Tony wrapped his arm around your shoulders and plowed on. “This is my niece, (Y/n), she’s going to be staying with us at the tower. She has a major in public relations, and hopefully can help our public image.”
“You have a niece, Stark?” Steve asked, frowning, “I didn’t know you had any siblings.”
“I don’t, but she’s practically family and like a niece to me, so don’t get any funny ideas. Just wanted to make sure I introduced her properly.”
“Thanks Tony.” You hugged him tightly, “I won’t let you down, I promise.”
“You never could.” Tony smiled.
The various Avengers stood up and slowly made their way over to you, all but the mysterious dark haired man you didn’t recognize. He wore clothing similar to Thor’s armor, even though Thor was now dressed in casual Earth attire, so you wondered if there were similarities.
“I’m Natasha,” Natasha greeted, holding her hand out for you to shake it.
You grabbed her in a tight hug and smiled, “You’re amazing! It’s so great to meet you!”
She quickly pulled away, casting you a bemused look, “Right, yea. Well, let me know if you need anything, or if Stark bothers you, or if you have any dirt on him that would make for good stories.” She winked, “C’mon Clint, let’s go work on that program you were talking about, we’ve wasted enough time as it is.”
The man you recognized as Clint Barton hurried after her, offering you a quick salute, “Ditto on her offer, glad to have you with us.”
You waved at the two assassins as they left the room.
“Steve Rogers.” Captain America greeted you, awkwardly accepting your hug. “Wish I could stay to chat, but I got a thing to get to, sorry about that. Let me know also, anything I can do to help you out, I’m here.”
“Thanks Steve.” You watched the tall super soldier shuffle from the room. Turning your attention back to Bruce you chuckled, “Don’t worry, I’ll save the hug for you.”
“Thanks, nothing personal.” Bruce mumbled, “I gotta get to the lab, c’mon Tony.”
You watched the science brothers walk off before returning your attention to the last Avenger standing before you.
“Lady (Y/n)!” Thor greeted, scooping you into a massive bear hug. “A pleasure to meet kin of Tony!”
All the breath rushed from your body, squeezed out of you, but you managed to pat Thor on the back gently before he finally set you down, “Thanks! I’m really glad to be involved with such a group.” Thor stood towering over you, beaming down at you. You glanced towards the couch at the man still seated, and noticed he was reading a thick book. “Who’s that?” You asked.
“That is my brother, Loki.” Thor explained gently, “Loki, will you greet our new acquaintance please, I think it would do you well.”
Loki sighed, finally standing up and unfolding himself off the couch. He seemed to magic the book into oblivion and your mouth dropped open as it vanished from sight. Loki slowly strolled over, looking down at you unimpressed, “Very well.” He muttered, “And I’m Loki, which you obviously know.” He rolled his eyes.
“It’s great to meet you also!” You lunged forward, hugging him tightly. It struck you how cold he felt through his many layers of leather clothing, but you ignored it.
Loki winced, quickly pulling away. “Don’t.” He snarled shortly, a faint tremor seeming to run through him. He shut his eyes, jaw clenching before turning and, for lack of a better word, fleeing from the room.
You frowned, watching him go before looking back to Thor, completely confused.
Thor’s hand still raised, as though trying to stop you or Loki, you couldn’t be sure. Slowly, Thor’s hand sank back down to his side and he hung his head, sighing heavily, “I’m sorry, I should have warned you.”
“What’s wrong?” You asked, overcome with concern. “Did I do something wrong?”
Thor shook his head, “No, the fault is mine. I didn’t think you would dare to attempt that, so I couldn’t warn you in time. You know the tales of my brother, yes?”
Frowning you thought hard, “Was he the one who attacked New York?”
Thor nodded, “Yes, there is more to it, but I’m only just beginning to uncover the truth of his actions. He is known for his lies, but,” Thor hesitated and sighed, finally trailing off. “He shies away from physical contact. I was blind to not notice sooner, I fear he experienced a great deal of pain before the madness that caused him to lash out at humans so fiercely took hold.”
A pang of guilt and sympathy pulled at your heart, “I have to apologize, I had no idea.” You turned, rushing from the room, calling to Stark’s AI to lead you to Loki’s whereabouts.
Thor opened his mouth to stop you but hesitated, unsure if you would listen to his reason. Though perhaps, it might do Loki some good.
Shortly, you found yourself standing outside a nondescript door at the end of Tony’s private library. You knocked hesitantly, “Loki, it’s me, can I talk to you?”
The door slowly opened a crack and Loki peered out at you, scowling irritably, “What?” He felt weak, foolish, to allow a mortal to draw such a reaction from him. Something about your touch had called to mind that which he wished to forget. Loki forced himself to appear cool and calm as he glowered down at you.
You noticed the signs of a mask, of someone in pain not wanting to share or let others see. “I’m really sorry Loki, I had no idea. I just like hugging people and certainly didn’t want you to be left out.” You apologized, trying to convey your sincerity. “I read that people are touch starved, we as a society don’t hug enough and I always want to make sure to rectify that in any situation I can. I didn’t even think, I’m sorry.”
Loki’s expression faltered, the cool indifference slipping away to a sort of curiosity.
“Please forgive me, I never meant to upset you.” You finally added, feeling tears prick at the corner of your eyes.
“I don’t need your pity.” Loki sneered.
Frowning, you tilted your head uncertainly, “Pity? No, I upset you, I just wanted to make it right.”
Once again, the genuineness of your emotions struck Loki. He squinted at you, searching for an ulterior motive, “Why should you care?”
“Everyone deserves compassion.”
Traces of a long forgotten smile touched the corner of Loki’s mouth as he stared down at you. Warm, soft, you reminded him in ways of Frigga. “Surely not I.”
“Especially you!” You sighed again.
Loki opened the door fully, still not looking away from you. “You are very different from the metal man.”
You half smiled, “Yea, well, I wasn’t raised by him, just an old family friend. I should probably get going though, I do have work to do.”
Loki nodded, “Of course.”
“Uh, it feels weird not hugging someone when I leave though.”
Loki fought the desire to step back from you, further retreating into his room and into himself. He stayed put, scowling down at you, waiting to see what actions you might take.
“Can I do a high five?”
You held up your hand, “You just lightly tap your hand against mine.” You brought your other hand to yours, effectively clapping. “Two people clapping type thing?” You offered.
Loki glanced down at his hand, the one the frost giants had revealed his heritage to so many years ago, then back up at you. Slowly, he raised it upright and allowed you to tap your hand against his lightly.
Beaming, you laughed, “Cool! Let’s do that instead, that way you don’t have to hug, but I can still count it as a hug. You’re supposed to get like six hugs a day to be healthy, you know?”
“Am I?” Loki responded softly, glancing down at his hand. He could still feel where yours had touched his. The revulsion of touch still clung to him, but there was none of the familiar pain he was forced to ignore.
“Anyways, I’ll see you around Loki. I look forward to getting to know you.” You waved walking off down the hallway, phone already in hand as you began planning out the various assignments Tony had emailed you.
Loki watched your retreating form, head tilted to the side, a curious sensation welling in his chest.
And so it went, you and Loki spending more and more time together. Each day you greeted any of the Avengers you saw with a hug, except for Loki, he got your special high five. Some of the others noticed, occasionally laughing. At first, Loki seemed annoyed by the looks they gave the two of you, but the feeling faded as he saw how happy you were to simply be making contact with people. Perhaps the hugs were as much for you as it was for them.
You and Loki would read and talk for hours, spending a great portion of your free time between missions just talking about anything, getting to know the other. And, as always, your parting and reunions were always met with the gentle high five and Loki’s bemused expression at the simple pleasure you gleaned from it.
Thor watched from afar, doing his best to spy on you and his brother, hoping that such a friendship might heal his damaged brother. In all honesty, the constant support seemed to be doing Loki a great deal of good. He laughed and smiled more, genuine laughter and non-sardonic smiles, even playfulness that didn’t stem from actual misery slowly returned.
Thor walked past you and Loki sitting on the couch, discussing one of your favorite books in great detail. Thor glanced down at you and Loki; Loki stared so intently at you that he barely seemed to notice Thor’s presence. Still smiling, Thor entered the kitchen, searching for a drink, though the conversation carried in from the lounge.
“So that’s why I just love the story.” You finished. “It’s just so well written and just covers everything. Can’t beat the classic hero’s journey.”
Loki chuckled, “Agreed. Though sometimes I find myself sympathizing with the antagonist.”
You snorted, “Of course you would.” Normally you would playfully shove a friend who responded with that, but you had trained yourself not to overstep Loki’s fragile boundaries. In a way, you didn’t mind. He seemed happy just to be talking to you, and you certainly liked just sitting and talking with him as well. You mimed flicking him, letting him know the intention was there.
Loki laughed again, arm resting over the back of the couch as he sat beside you. If you leaned your head back, you would be able to rest it on his hand. Even his body language was more open, though both of you were very careful to not actually touch the other.
Miming pain, as though you had actually flicked him, you rolled your eyes at Loki’s antics. “You’re a fool, you know that?”
“I have never claimed to be wise.”
You raised your eyebrow, “Really? I’m pretty sure that’s a load of bull.”
“Intelligent, clever, certainly, devilishly good looking, but not wise.” Loki winked.
“Alright, fair point, I can attest to that. You keep getting into too much nonsense to be wise.” You glanced down at the time, sighing, “Well, I gotta get some sleep I think.”
Loki peered at the time with you, nodding, “Agreed.” Slowly he stood up, waiting for you to stand as well.
“Same time tomorrow?” You asked, holding out your hand for the customary high five.
Loki hesitated, glancing down at your hand, “Yes…” He began slowly. You looked up at him uncertainly, not sure why he was suddenly hesitating. Then, very slowly, and with great force of will, Loki reached for you, gently pulling you into his arms and hugging you.
You stiffened up, enjoying the sensation but fearful of pushing him too much by hugging him back. Loki held you there for a moment, doubt slowly creeping into him. You could feel the tension flowing off him and very slowly, you wrapped your arms around his waist and hugged him back. A moment passed, both of you holding your breaths, not sure how to react to the other.
Then slowly, you both pulled away, hands still resting on the other. Loki smiled as he looked down at you, “Thank you.” He murmured softly.
The faint traces of fear and doubt showed in his eyes, you had learned what to look for and you smiled reassuringly, “I appreciate it.” You managed to answer, overcome with emotion at Loki touching you in such a way.
Finally Loki pulled away from you and you quickly dropped your hands. Loki licked his lips nervously, nodding, “That was, unexpected.” He muttered finally.
“I enjoyed it.” You mumbled, barely above a whisper.
Loki smiled weakly, “I did as well.”
Out of the corner of your eye, and luckily beyond Loki’s notice, you saw Thor beaming at the two of you. He mouthed “Thank you” before ducking down and waiting for the two of you to leave. Loki carefully took your hand in his, the two of you making your way to your separate rooms. You weren’t sure what would come of this, but for now, you smiled, heart warm and light as you felt Loki’s hand squeeze yours gently.