Author's notes: My first fic in a long time, but I watched Loki and just adored the interactions between Loki and Mobius. I enjoyed my Sylvie/Loki too, but Loki and Mobius were just so supportive of each other, a much better ground for a relationship. And I like hurt/comfort, so this came to be. It doesn't really fit into the timeline anywhere, but imagine that when they were working on finding the Loki variant, they got another short mission and that's what ended them up here.


by bananacosmicgirl


Blood pooled on the floor beneath Loki, and Mobius pressed one hand over the two Loki already kept there. With his other hand, Mobius fumbled with the TemPad, trying to get it to work with blood-slicked, shaking fingers. 

“Why?” Mobius repeated, a thickness to his voice that he didn’t recognize. “Why would you do that?”

“You know—me, have to be the center of—attention,” Loki responded, voice scarcely more than a whisper as he tried to give Mobius one of his usual, charming smiles. It wasn’t as effective when he was gasping for breath.

Had the knife punctured his lung? Struck his spleen? His intestines? 

Not that it mattered. Loki’s usually pale skin had turned sallow even as he pretended to be fine—he was dying. Would die soon, unless Mobius got the damn TemPad working again.

He dropped the offending piece of tech from his trembling fingers, and he swore.

“Didn’t think—you knew that many—bad words,” Loki said. 

“Shush,” Mobius said, fondness in his voice as he grabbed the TemPad and started working on it again. “Save your energy. Stay alive.”

Loki’s eyes were far too dim for Mobius’ liking. They should sparkle, those eyes that he could’ve easily drowned in on a thousand occasions, had he not forced himself to turn away.

“Trying my—best,” Loki said.

Beneath his hand, Mobius felt Loki’s losing their strength. 

Mobius’ heart pounded, deafening in his own ears as though it tried to compensate for Loki’s slowing pulse. The TemPad finally came to life. Mobius set the destination to the Infirmary of the TVA and activated the time door. 

“C’mon, up we go.” Mobius tried to get his arm around Loki to help him stand. 

“‘m ‘fraid—won’t work,” Loki mumbled. “‘m sorry.”

“Loki!” Mobius said, “Loki, come on. You can’t die here, you’re a god for goodness’ sakes. Loki. Loki, love. Come on.”

But Loki’s only response was to go slack in Mobius’ arms, his head lolling to the side, eyes closing, hands falling lifeless to the floor. Blood continued to seep from the wound.

Mobius stared at the time door, a few feet away yet impossibly far. He needed to get Loki there, had to get him to the Infirmary, had to save him . He forced his arm around Loki’s back and removed his other hand from the wound to curl under the man’s knees and—with strength he didn’t know he had, because he’d never been a hunter, didn’t train like a hunter, and Loki was heavy despite his thin frame—lifted him from the ground. Loki’s head rested against his shoulder.

It was just a few steps to the time door and Mobius forced himself to take one step after the other to get there until he walked through it. Falling to his knees on the other side, his only focus was to make sure not to drop Loki.

“Help,” he said. “Help, please!”

The Infirmary wasn’t busy, and the two nurses present sat idle by their desks. At the sight of them, they came to their feet and bustled over. 

“What happened?” the male nurse asked.

“A variant,” said the older female nurse, frowning. “I’ll get the pruning stick.”

“No,” Mobius said, his hold on Loki tightening.

“He’s a variant,” she said again. “Not worth our attention. Pruning is protocol.”

“You’ll do no such thing,” Mobius roared. “You’ll help him. He’s bleeding out, and you’re going to treat him and save him.”

The nurse took a step back, and there was a moment of indecision on her face as she tried to decide if it was worth arguing or not, before she sighed and shrugged. “I’ll page the doctor. You can put him there.” She nodded towards a stretcher.

With great reluctance—because he didn’t want to let Loki go and leave him to someone who had suggested pruning as the first solution—he placed Loki gently on the bed, and Loki didn’t make so much as a sound as Mobius let him go. What choice did he have when Loki was dying? Mobius didn’t have the knowledge to save him. The medical staff—however unwilling—did. This wasn’t an injury the First Aid Kit in his rooms would fix.

The male nurse, Nurse-76 according to his tag, started hooking Loki up to a wide variety of lines. Though he didn’t want to, Mobius took a step back to let the medical staff work. Loki, usually so vibrant, so bouncing and so very alive , lay gray and still on the stretcher. 

He looked dead.

Mobius closed his eyes. Loki couldn’t be dead. He was a damned god—a simple knife to the side shouldn’t be what did him in. It should be more like… like something big. Something with fireworks and Loki’s name flashing across the sky.

Not like this.

Not now.

Not before Mobius had the chance to say—well, anything.

So many important things, all left unsaid. 

Things he’d been afraid to say, because… because Loki was a god, a handsome, wonderful, funny god, while Mobius was—Mobius. TVA agent, a good one for sure, but still just an agent.

As he watched, the nurses and two newly arrived doctors worked on Loki. At least the doctors hadn’t protested trying to save a variant. They had him hooked up to lines, one with red fluid that must be blood, and one doctor seemed to try to fix his injuries.

Mobius sank onto the floor, the adrenaline leaving him. They’d been hunting for two days before they found the wayward, dangerous variant. They’d thought he would attack using his magic, but he’d threatened Mobius with a knife and that was when—

Nurse-76 appeared in front of him, asked him questions that sounded like they came from somewhere far away. Mobius couldn’t hear the words, and the nurse stopped speaking and helped him up instead, to sit in a chair near where they worked on Loki. A blanket found its way around his shoulders, and a warm cup of coffee into his hands. The nurse said more words, and Mobius nodded mutely as though he’d heard any of it.

He waited.




Running a rough hand over his face, Mobius stretched and yawned. He wondered how long he’d been asleep—long enough for his back to crack painfully as he sat, but not long enough to wake refreshed.

As his gaze landed on the still form in front of him, he wondered if he would ever wake up rested again, if Loki didn’t survive.

He kept his hand wrapped around Loki’s, his own thicker fingers around Loki’s slim ones, as lifeless now as when they first brought him into this room. 

“We’ve done what we can,” the doctor said, with the same enthusiasm as if he’d reported the weather. “We’ll give him a day, but if he doesn’t seem to recover, we’ll end his suffering. He’s a variant after all.”

Mobius’ expression and low growl had been enough to shut the doctor up and quickly scurry from the room. They’d been left alone since, and Mobius didn’t know if it was because the doc had told his colleagues about the raging mad agent, or if it was because they didn’t intend to help Loki any further either way.

He gazed at Loki, reassured by the steady rise and fall of his chest. There was hardly any color to his skin, yet it wasn’t as gray as when Mobius had brought him to the Infirmary. Not enough to make Mobius believe Loki was out of the woods, but it gave him hope.

“‘m sorry.”

The two words echoed through Mobius’ head. Loki wasn’t one to apologize, always found fault in everyone else but himself—though that wasn’t true, Mobius knew as much these days, even though Loki still wanted the world to see him as a self-centered ass—but those words…

He squeezed Loki’s hand, tried to reassure himself that the other man was still there. They’d gotten back, and they’d gotten help. 

He hoped he’d been quick enough.

When he blinked, he saw blood everywhere. Nurse-76 had steered him toward a bathroom before he could take a seat in Loki’s room, and he’d made sure that Mobius washed his hands and arms thoroughly. Red had stained the sink as he worked to scrub off all the remains of Loki’s near death. 

Even though he’d removed every fleck of blood, he still saw it if he stared long enough. Red, everywhere.

He rubbed his thumb over the back of Loki’s hand.

“You can’t die,” he said, and added, “If you do, there’ll be a mountain of paperwork.” He forced his gaze from Loki’s hand to his face. Those chiseled cheekbones and the contrast between his dark eyelashes and the pale skin—Loki was a beautiful man.

“Who am I kidding,” Mobius said. “I don’t care about the paperwork. I just—you can’t leave me.”

There was a sigh, and as Mobius watched, Loki’s tongue darted out to wet his lips. Then came words in a cracked voice. 

“Won’t… leave you.”

Mobius’ eyes burned, something lodging in his throat making it difficult to breathe. 


“Present,” Loki mumbled, eyes still closed.

Mobius stood and ran his hand over Loki’s cheek, pushing away a wayward strand. He shouldn’t—he knew he shouldn’t, because it was way too intimate for two guys—but he couldn’t help himself. Loki was awake and surely a god who was awake was a god who would survive? 

Did he imagine it, or did Loki press ever so gently into his hand?

“Miss me?” Loki mumbled. His voice sounded hoarse, as though he hadn’t used it in a week. 

“‘course not,” Mobius said, though the hand-holding and the hand on Loki’s cheek said otherwise. “Can always go out and find myself another Loki variant.”

“Wouldn’t be me,” Loki said, and wasn’t that the truth? 

It seemed to take monumental force for Loki, but after a few slow blinks, Mobius was once more looking into Loki’s green eyes. He looked truly exhausted.

“You should rest,” Mobius said. “Just don’t go unconscious again, or they’ll prune you.”

Loki’s eyes, though still tired, sharpened at that. 

“Never mind,” Mobius said. He let his hand fall to his side, and it was like a sharp pain to lose the physical contact. “Rest.”

Loki’s gaze remained on Mobius, but finally he nodded and his eyelids fell shut once more.




Mobius’ rooms felt empty. They had never been cozy, but it wasn’t usually so painful to be there. Like something— someone —was missing. 

They weren’t supposed to bring anyone into their personal quarters, and Mobius had never been inclined to do so before, before Loki came along. But it soon became a natural continuation of their days working together, to return to Mobius’ apartment at the end. 

Mobius stared at the couch. Brown, slightly too hard to be comfortable. Once, Loki fell asleep there, his head resting on Mobius’ shoulder after a particularly long day.

He didn’t want to be here. He would much prefer sleeping in the chair next to Loki’s bed, but the stern older nurse who had wanted to prune Loki when they first came in had told him in no uncertain terms that unless he was badly injured too, they wouldn’t allow him to stay overnight.

Mobius had considered badly injuring himself to be allowed to stay.

Then he’d sighed and, with a long look at the sleeping Loki, left.

He should’ve put up more of a fight. What if they took the chance and pruned Loki? They—the TVA, Judge Renslayer, the Minutemen, everyone—had been looking for a reason since Loki first arrived.

He took a shower, made sure there weren’t any flecks of Loki’s blood left anywhere on his body, somewhere he might have missed when he washed earlier. Once done, he dressed in a comfortable pair of pants and a shirt, leaving the bathroom with his hair still wet. 

He stood still in the midst of the room. What now? Would he be able to sleep? He’d taken catnaps in the Infirmary, but the lack of sleep in the last two—or rather three by now—days was still pulling at him.

But he didn’t want to go to bed. He didn’t want to lie down alone.

Perhaps he should make some dinner, though his tiny refrigerator was nearly empty and he couldn’t come up with a single thing he wanted to eat. The only thing he wanted was the man in the Infirmary, the one he couldn’t stay with because of the rules.

When the knock on the door came, he still stood unmoving, trying to decide what was next.

Who would knock on his door? He’d lived here for as long as he could remember, yet could count on one hand the number of times someone had come knocking.

He was by the door in two steps. 


He caught the other man as Loki fell forward, face gray and body trembling. Struggling to stay upright under Loki’s weight, Mobius managed to get them both over to the couch, for once thanking the fact that his apartment was so small. He reluctantly let Loki go for a second to close the door.

“What are you doing here?” he asked, still standing, staring at Loki. The other man was still in the hospital gown they had dressed him in, white and thin enough for Mobius to see the large white bandage around Loki’s middle. “You should be in the Infirmary, you’re nowhere near well enough to be out. Did something happen?”

Loki looked up at him, the shadows beneath his eyes almost as dark as the orbs themselves. 

“Thought I’d take a walk,” he mumbled.

“A walk,” Mobius said, deadpan. 

Loki stared at his hands, as though they were the most interesting thing he’d ever seen. 

“C’mon Loki,” Mobius said. He sat down, close enough that he could’ve wrapped an arm around Loki, but he refrained. He had no idea what Loki’s state of mind was. Distraught, clearly, but would physical contact be a good thing, or would he pull away?

“I didn’t like the decor,” Loki said, glancing at Mobius. “Too white. Everything else here is brown, why’s the Infirmary white?”

Mobius regarded him with a raised eyebrow that he hoped conveyed how unconvincing Loki’s words were. He waited, keeping quiet. 

Loki sighed. “Fine. It wasn’t—you said they’d prune me. It didn’t—I couldn’t—”

Mobius placed a hand on Loki’s back, and Loki looked up, wide-eyed. “I’m glad you came here.”

“Not like I have much choice,” Loki muttered. “The only other option is my sleeping pod, and it’s cramped and awful.”

Still, despite the grumpy words, Mobius noted how Loki took comfort in his touch, just like he did in the Infirmary. So Mobius took a chance and pulled slightly on Loki to get him closer. Loki leaned in, but hissed as he settled his head on Mobius’ shoulder.

“You okay?” Mobius asked, turning so that he could drop a kiss onto Loki’s hair if he dared. But he didn’t.

Loki gave the tiniest of shrugs. “Turns out I was stabbed earlier today. Or yesterday? I’m not sure.”

“Me neither,” Mobius said. 

They sat in silence, Loki’s breathing evening out from the painful hiss to a slow and steady rhythm. Mobius rubbed small circles over Loki’s back to comfort the other man, but also himself.

“I didn’t like being alone there,” Loki said when the silence stretched into minutes, a whisper but loud enough in the quiet room. 

Mobius sighed, knew he could make a quip, but decided on the truth. “I didn’t want to leave you.”

“The nurse was scary,” Loki said, lifting his head to peer at Mobius with a little smile.

“She was,” Mobius agreed.

“Can I stay here?”

It sounded more like a question coming from a child, than from the greater than life god, and Mobius’ heart constricted. 

“Of course,” he said, “but let’s move you to the bed. You need rest.”

It was a testament to how exhausted Loki must be that he didn’t offer even a feeble protest. Instead, he leaned on Mobius, putting most of his weight on him, as they made their way to Mobius’ tiny bedroom. A bed and a nightstand, that was the entire room. 

Loki groaned as he lay down on the bed, face scrunching up as the movements tore at the wound that had yet to heal. Mobius watched the bandages for signs that he’d started bleeding again, but they remained white.

He pulled the cover over Loki and waited as the lines of pain faded from the other man’s face. As Loki’s breathing evened out once more, Mobius figured he should make himself scarce, but Loki’s hand shot out and grabbed his wrist.

“Stay,” Loki said, his eyes once more open and sharp and filled with something Mobius couldn’t name.

He nodded mutely, because what else could he do when faced with this, a Loki who looked frightened? He sat down on the bed. With another groan and grimace, Loki moved, clearly making room for him. He said nothing else, though, just closed his eyes and relaxed.

Mobius lay down. He tilted his head slightly to the side so that he could watch Loki as he slept, and as sleep claimed him too, there was a fleeting thought of how he would like to fall asleep this way every night.




When he woke, he found he was being watched. 

“It’s too early, Loki,” he mumbled.

“I have no idea what time it is,” Loki said. “For an apartment in the TVA, there’s a distinct lack of clocks.”

“It’s still too early, whatever the time is.”

But he couldn’t help but smile and open his eyes. Loki’s voice was so much stronger than it had been the midnight before. Looking at him, he found that Loki’s skin had regained some of its color, and while the shadows around his eyes stayed, his gaze was alert.

“I’m hungry,” Loki said.

“I think there might be a banana in the refrigerator.”

“That’s all?” Loki asked. “You should serve me breakfast in bed. I’m the one who got stabbed, saving your ass.”

“If you wanted breakfast in bed, you should’ve stayed in the Infirmary.”

A flash of anxiety crossed Loki’s features, replaced so quickly by a blank expression that Mobius almost missed it. He recalled all too well the fear in Loki’s voice the night before, and considering the words of the nurse, that fear had been well-founded.

His conscience made him get up. Mobius retrieved the browned banana in question. Loki sat up and took it without a word. Mobius sat down on the side of the bed.

“I had the situation under control,” he said, as Loki peeled the banana. 

Loki gazed up at him, a thoughtful wrinkle between his eyebrows.

“When you got stabbed,” Mobius continued. “You needn’t have gone between. I had it under control.”

Loki’s stare turned into a frown. “He had a knife to your throat. Didn’t look like you were in control.”

“I’ve got training for situations like that. I’ve gotta know I can trust you to let me handle it.”

The banana sat uneaten in Loki’s hand. Mobius could almost see the wheels in his head turning. 

“If I think you’re in danger, I’m going to act on it,” he said, slowly, as though Mobius had a hard time understanding words.

“Why’s it better that you got stabbed, instead of me?” Mobius asked.

Loki’s frown deepened. “I didn’t know that was going to happen.”

“But it did.”

“I’m a god. I have healing powers. You don’t,” Loki said, nodding as though he’d come up with a perfectly rational reason. He took a bite of the banana.

“You still nearly bled out on the floor.” 

Loki chewed, swallowed, and said, “Nearly being the key word.” 


There was a flash of something—anger perhaps, or fear, or a little of both—in Loki’s eyes. “I did what I had to do. If the same situation happened again, I’d do the same thing again. I won’t apologize for going between you and that madman.”

He raised his chin in defiance, meeting Mobius’ eyes with a steady gaze. Still, despite the bravado, Mobius got the impression that Loki was nowhere near as self-assured as he wanted to appear.

“Thanks for saving my life,” Mobius said earnestly. He was pretty sure he could’ve gotten out of there alive—and with the variant in custody—but maybe he wouldn’t have. And maybe he would’ve bled out on the floor instead.

Loki stopped, banana halfway to his mouth. He hesitated, then nodded. 

Once he’d finished his tiny breakfast, Loki studied his hands again. Mobius wondered what more was coming.

“Did I—when I was bleeding,” Loki said. “You said something.”

Mobius closed his eyes. He was certain he’d never forget a single second of watching Loki bleed to near death on the dirty floor. 

“Save your energy. Stay alive.”

“Trying my—best.”

“I didn’t want you to die,” Mobius said, opening his eyes to look at Loki once more. “I was just trying to—”

Loki’s gaze was so intent, and Mobius wondered what he was missing. “You—you called me something.”

“‘m sorry.”

“Loki! Loki, come on. You can’t die here, you’re a god for goodness’ sakes. Loki. Loki, love. Come on.”


The scene replayed in Mobius’ mind.


Not exactly an endearment between friends. 

But Loki was no friend, at least not just a friend.

Did he dare take the leap? He could pretend that he didn’t remember, or that Loki had imagined the whole thing. He could make the whole thing go away, could go on with their regular lives—as regular as they were—and stay friends.

Mobius was many things—but a coward wasn’t one of them. And he didn’t just want Loki as a friend.

Loki watched him expectantly, and this time, Mobius definitely identified fear in his eyes.

“Love,” Mobius said, as though it wasn’t causing massive turmoil inside, his intestines twisting like nervous snakes. “I called you ‘love’.”

Loki swallowed hard. “Did you—why?”

Mobius’ heart pounded loudly in his ears. He reached out and placed his hand over Loki’s, reminiscent of the way he’d held Loki’s hand the day before in the Infirmary.

“Because that’s what you are to me.” 

Loki’s eyes went wide. He licked his lips. “Oh.”

“Is that all right?” Mobius asked.

Loki, the god who always had something to say, merely nodded mutely. 

“Watching you nearly die on the floor was the worst thing I’ve ever had to go through,” Mobius said. “And I’ve been through some pretty awful things.”

“Then you know why I had to go between you and that variant.”

Mobius sighed. “Because it’s better to die yourself than to have me try to get out of a difficult situation?”

“Because it’s better that you live and I die, than the other way around,” Loki said.

“You’re an idiot.” Mobius shook his head, fondness brimming in his chest.

Loki shrugged, for once not biting back. 

“I’m going to kiss you now,” Mobius said. “If that’s all right.”

Loki nodded. “Been waiting for it.”

Mobius smiled, cupping his cheek. Though he’d never be glad Loki was stabbed, at least it got things out in the open. 

Their lips met in a chaste kiss, Loki’s lips warm and soft beneath his own. He couldn’t remember the last time he kissed anyone. It had been so long. Loki’s hands came up to pull Mobius closer, and Mobius complied, melting against Loki.

Then Loki hissed and pulled back with a groan.

“That bad?” Mobius asked.

“Yes, that sucked,” Loki said, rolling his eyes. “No, but apparently my stab wound still hasn’t healed.”

“Imagine that. I’m sure it’s been an entire day since it happened,” Mobius said. Despite his harsh words, he helped Loki ease down into a lying position on the bed, fluffing the pillow and pulling the cover back on top of him. 

“Don’t go pulling your stitches,” Mobius said. “I’m surprised you didn’t on the way here yesterday.”

Loki sighed in response. 

Mobius lay down next to him. He had, after all, thought it too early to get up. Loki curled into him, an arm over Mobius’ chest.

“You’re making me a better breakfast when we wake up,” he mumbled.

Mobius smiled and dropped a kiss on Loki’s head. “Sure, love. Anything you want.”



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