It took Gamora a week to get Loki well enough to stand; neither of them were too enthusiastic at the fact that Thanos wanted him to be brought to his presence as soon as he could walk.
His hands and feet were shackled as he was led into Thanos throne room, his clothing had been replaced with a pair of black trousers and a loose long sleeve white shirt, no footwear had been provided.
-Well, well Loki. Finally we meet.-Thanos addressed him as Loki was forced by the guards to kneel.
-Yes, your majesty-Loki answered as he bowed his head- I would like to thank you for rescuing from the void, and humbly request that you return me to my parents in Asgard. I´m sure they will pay any reward you choose to claim- he knew it was a long shoot but he needed to try, if only Thanos craved for any of Asgard´ s treasures he might be able to escape this nightmare, he didn´t care what Odin would do to punish him, he just wanted to go home.
Thanos evil laugh made him look up as he abandoned his last hope –All I want from Asgard is already here in this room- he replied – Besides I´m pretty sure your parents are glad to be rid of you, disgraced prince.-Loki winced at his words, he might be right he had fallen out of Odin´s grace.
-Oh, but don´t worry little prince, I´ve got a special place for you in my realm. You´ll only have to renounce to Asgard and your family and embrace me as your father. Sworn yourself to me, I require complete obedience and loyalty from you in exchange I will give your more power than you´ve ever dreamed off. I have chosen you to become my son, resistance is futile. I always get what I want.
Loki was shaking as he heard Thanos words, he knew what he meant, and he was going to torture him until he agreed to become his son. He was scared; he knew Thanos would know if he was lying and probably punish him further for it. He was trapped, even if he could convince himself from renouncing to Asgard and his family the thought of calling Thanos father was unbearable. He was an asgardian prince no matter his true origin, he´d rather die than showing weakness before him.
He tried to steady himself as he answered –I´m afraid I can´t do what you ask from me-
Thanos grinned he knew Loki would be hard to break, he had never expected him to accept his offer- Very well then. Let´s teach you how we deal with disobedience, son- He signal the guards to tie Loki to the post that stood near the left side of the throne.
Loki´s eyed widened as he could see dry blood on it, he knew making a scene would only encourage the guards to hurt him even more so he kept walking while every fiber in his body screamed against it.
The guards chained him to the metal ring nailed to the upper side of the post making him raise his arms as he faced the wall. He could hear the sound of a whip being casted into the air, suddenly the whip landed in his back causing him to scream in surprise and pain, he bit his lip trying hard not to scream again as the whip landed again and again, he manage to keep quiet until the twentieth stroke, the next one broke his silence as his screams filled the throne room while the whipping continued. He lost count after the thirtieth stroke and lost consciousness between the fortieth and the fiftieth one.
When he woke up he was again in his chambers, he could feel Gamora nursing his wounds. The change in his breathing alerted Gamora he had awakened.
-You should´ve taken his offer-she merely stated.
-You know I couldn´t-Loki answered as he winced while she cleaned her wounds.
-I know-she sighed-but you should have, it will only get worse. Then as she lowered herself near the edge of the bed in order to see Loki´s eyes she asked –Why don´t you give in? You won´t be able to neither outsmart him nor escape. No one will be able to rescue you, you are alone. Hope is now your greater enemy, it will only cause you more pain.-
He could see distraught in her yes –Why do you care Gamora? It´s useless, I can´t I just can´t- Tears were flooding his eyes despair hurt as much as hope and his heart was full of both.
-Because I once were like you. Thanos is punishing both of us. He wants to remind me there´s no escaping him; why else do you thinks he orders me to tend to you? He wants me to know he can still break me further by taking away anyone I could care about. He did it before with Nebula and now he´s using you to get to me.-
-I´m sorry-Loki suddenly spat as he buried his head in the bed – I only bring pain to the people that care for me, you shouldn´t get attached to me Gamora. I´m not worth it-
Gamora heart broke as Loki uttered the words and started crying too ashamed to look at her.
-Loki, don´t say that- she caressed his hair uncertain of what to say to him. As his sobs quieted she gently turned his head so they were facing each other.-Thanos will keep torturing you until you break, if and when you accept him is your choice alone. He´s not our father no matter what he claims, but if it gives you any comfort I would be proud to call you brother. We are far away from innocent, but not even we deserve this. He will use our sentiments for each other to hurt us; we can’t let him see we care. Loki please, remember that. Don´t let him see you care, he´ll only use it against you-
Loki couldn´t figure Gamora out, she was just a humongous puzzle but she was right he was beginning to feel attached to her, she was his only source of solace, and he could understand why tending to him made her feel responsible for him. Thor had also felt the same for him once. How much he missed his brother now.
-I´ll remember Ga …, sister-Loki answered.
Gamora smiled –Never call me like that in front of Thanos unless you had made your mind-
-I won’t-Loki smiled sadly back at her.