A while back I reviewed a fic called A Villain State of Mind. In it, Thor failed to take Loki back to Asgard with him after the events of New York, and S.H.I.E.L.D. was stuck with the trickster in their custody. To help deal with the situation, they call in Charles Xavier, who takes it upon himself to rehabilitate Loki. The entire story is beautifully written and insightful to both Xavier’s and Loki’s characters. However, it ends a bit uncertain. For plot reasons, Xavier only has about a week with Loki, and when Loki finally makes it back to Asgard in the end, Xavier remarks that he could very easily relapse.
Cover Up the Sun takes place after Thor: The Dark World. This time around, Loki doesn’t fake his own death to take over the throne of Asgard. He fakes it so no one will stop him from heading back to Midgard and visiting Xavier.
“Thor and I went alone, with only Sif to accompany us; we could not strip the palace of any more defenders than that. Of course, as soon as the Deepness left Asgard, Malekith sensed it and came to follow, as I knew he would. He intercepted us on Svartalfheim, and he and his golem overpowered Thor to steal the cask and absorb the Deepness into himself.”
“Hmm.” Charles considered the sequence of memories that played out in Loki’s mind. “Of course, I suppose it helped them in this task more than a bit when you stabbed Thor with a paralyzing venom, pushed him down a cliff and kicked him in the face before presenting the casket containing the artifact to Malekith, promising him your allegiance in return for destroying Asgard while you watched.”
“Well, yes,” Loki admitted, sounding simultaneously embarrassed and smug. “It was all a show of course! But how could I resist? I mean, people were just lining up on Asgard to promise me all sorts of horrible deaths if I betrayed Thor. I simply couldn’t bear to disappoint them.”
“Very obliging of you,” Charles let out a small laugh.
“And it did convince Malekith of my good intentions. Or bad intentions, as the case may be. He never stopped to wonder that I might have tampered with the artifact in any way. Remarkably trusting, for a dark elf.
“And so he took the Deepness into himself, just as he planned. Unfortunately for him, that turned the problem into one that Thor could solve by hitting it hard enough with Mjolnir, just as he planned. Since the paralyzing venom was so handily out of his system by then,” Loki concluded with satisfaction. “The backlash from the death of the Deepness set up a singularity that consumed Svartalfheim, but there was little enough of it left by then to wreck, so its destruction was no great loss to the Realms. Just as I planned.”
“That’s marvelous, Loki,” Charles said warmly. “You saved your brother and your friends, and all of the Realms, from what it sounds like. I’m so proud of you.” He smiled wryly, then shook his head. “But Loki, you really need to get out of the habit of destroying planets as solutions to your problems.”
Cover Up the Sun continues Loki’s growing friendship and trust with Xavier, while also delving into Loki’s feelings about Frigga’s death. Xavier wants to resume his sessions with Loki to help him heal and become a better person, and in the process of giving Loki a place to stay, for reasons I’m still not sure about, Xavier also decides to take the trickster on as a world history teacher of sorts for his students. Because allowing Loki access to a bunch of impressionable young teens with superpowers is an awesome idea.
Thankfully for everyone, Loki at no point in time attempts to corrupt anyone. In fact, his own history and ability to use magic allows him to bond and connect with the other students—such as Kurt Wagner and Illyana Rasputin—and even help them with their own issues. Loki doesn’t betray the X-men, because with them he’s found a place to belong where he is also appreciated. Of course, Loki is not one to turn around and simply stop playing tricks. His new place among the X-men is something he takes very seriously, and he’s more than willing to employ ruthless tactics to keep them safe. The story manages to show a nicer side of Loki who desires acceptance and love, while also remembering that he is a demi-god more than capable and very willing to do unsavory things.
Like the first fic, Cover Up the Sun is another well-written character study that picks up right were A Villain State of Mind left off. It continues exploring both Xavier and Loki while also providing insight into numerous other characters. It’s well worth a read, and you can check it out here.