Considering he's the God of Thunder, Thor considers it simple justice that he should have a staggering tolerance for alcohol. Even by Asgardian standards, his capacity is considered unmatched. There isn't a drink yet that has bested him, and Thor has tried them all.
But just because he's never been bested doesn't mean Thor finds himself entirely unaffected. Where would be the fun in that, after all? No, Thor doesn't drink good wine purely for the flavor, nor good mead merely for the pleasing texture across his palate.
He drinks just as much for the warmth in his limbs, the easy blurring of the world's sharp edges. He drinks for the laughter and the camaraderie, and maybe in some small part for the exasperated fondness his antics sometimes put on Loki's face.
"Come, Brother." Loki's voice is humoring at his elbow, steady as the hand he sets on Thor's wrist. "It's late. You should rest, or tomorrow morning the hunt may well start without you."
The feast hall is still lively—a raucous party that's yet going half strength with singing, drinking, laughing warriors. But through the giddy warmth suffusing his limbs and the disjointed bubbling of energy in his chest, Thor knows his brother is right.
"Then lead me to my chambers," Thor says, draping an arm over Loki's shoulder and leaning with the abrupt bulk of his weight. "I fear in my present state I may lose my way." The stumble he affects is exaggerated, though his footing really isn't at its surest just now. Mjölnir swings at his right hip, a constant and reassuring weight, and Thor can all but hear Loki rolling his eyes.
"Come along, then, you hopeless inebriate," Loki mutters, wrapping an arm around Thor's waist.
Thor grins and allows himself to be led, leaning on Loki just enough to irritate his brother without making it impossible to maneuver.
The corridors they navigate are not quite empty of people. Sweeping ceilings, broad pillars, gold and other finery in an elegant, if opulent display. The intricate patterns and expansive architecture are home in a way that leaves Thor smiling and easy, and Thor's mood is an uncomplicated glow in his chest. So easy to be happy when he's in these familiar corridors with his brother tucked against his side.
Loki leads the way humoringly—all the way to Thor's chambers—the sons of Odin patiently ignored by the servants and warriors that pass them in the corridor.
Thor's rooms are far from the banquet hall, but he and Loki still reach them quickly. Heavy double doors thud inelegantly shut behind them, and Thor laughs when Loki reaches for the clasps of his armor.
"You think me incapable of undressing myself?" Thor complains, though his voice is light with amusement.
"I think you lazy and drunk," Loki counters, voice equally light. "And while that is a lovely cape I'm sure, you are not sleeping in it."
Thor laughs again at the poorly masked amusement in Loki's voice, then stands patiently as deft fingers divest him of armor and cape. Inexplicable warmth flushes through him when Loki drops to his knees to focus on Thor's boots, and then Loki rises again, all casual grace.
"Why you insist on attending every feast day in full armor I will never understand," Loki grouses as he tosses both of Thor's boots carelessly aside. Loki himself is dressed almost casually—dark fabric drapes close along his body, greens and blacks, the collar line of his tunic cutting low at the base of his throat. Far more casual than his usual banqueting attire, but Thor knows Loki only attended tonight thanks to his goading, cajoling persistence.
"It makes a good impression," Thor says, and a moment later his smile turns into a more challenging smirk as he adds, "Better, at any rate, than the sleepwear you chose for the evening."
Loki makes a theatrical effort out of sighing and rolling his eyes toward the ceiling. Then he moves, so suddenly the tactic almost succeeds when he sets a hand on Thor's chest and shoves him deliberately off balance.
Thor would be in no danger of falling if he were entirely sober, of course. His reflexes, like his tolerance for spirits, are unparalleled in the nine realms. But tolerance or no, reflexes or no, his head is fogged enough that he grabs at Loki for balance, laughing in surprise.
A scuffle follows. A shameless flurry of limbs as Thor tries to take Loki down in his fall and Loki struggles to remain upright and composed. Loki's efforts are ultimately useless, of course. But even after landing awkwardly on the marble floor, their wrestling match continues, both of them caught up and carried away as though they're children instead of grown men. Thor hears his own laughter echo loudly back at him from the ceiling—he hears a lower sound, a disbelieving snort that sounds suspiciously like laughter as well, as Loki tries to evade Thor's pinning hands.
Thor is triumphant in the end. Even intoxicated he is the better fighter, and he grins down at Loki, trapped and immobile beneath him.
"You are too easy, Brother," Thor taunts, sitting back astride Loki's legs and ready to gloat. "Were you even truly putting up a fight?"
Loki glares at him, breathing hard with exertion—harder than Thor, though Thor, too, requires a moment to regain his breath.
"If I wasn't, would you blame me?" Loki counters, petulant. "I could never hope to best you in brute force, certainly not when you are so well armed." His eyes fall to Mjölnir, still hanging at Thor's hip—the one piece of Thor's armor and equipment that even Loki does not touch uninvited.
Thor's smile slips wider. Teasing. Considering. And Loki must catch the scent of mischief, because his eyes widen even before Thor speaks.
"All right then, Loki," Thor says. "Here. Let's level the playing field." He reaches for Mjölnir's handle, the leather smooth against his palm, and pulls it from his belt. With unnecessary flourish, he raises the hammer between them and sets it on Loki's chest like an offering. "Let's try that again. I with my brute strength, and you with Mjölnir."
For a moment, Loki only blinks up at him in surprise. He rallies after that, reaching for the hammer, wrapping one hand around the shaft and bracing the other along the sleek hammer's edge. He grunts, moves to lift it from his chest—
And nothing happens.
Loki makes a strained sound and his neck stretches taut, fingers tightening their grip until his hands are white with the strain, and still Mjölnir doesn't move. Thor stares down at Loki's efforts, surprise etching itself across his face. His triumphant smile fades in favor of a more considering expression as Loki finally stops straining to move the immovable.
"You can't lift it, can you," Thor observes.
Loki lets go of the hammer, and drops his hands to the floor on either side of his head, fingers curling in towards his palms but not quite closing into fists.
"Is it such a surprise? Mjölnir is your weapon. It is more than a weapon. Why should it obey me?"
"You are my brother."
"Clearly your beloved hammer considers that fact immaterial." The statement is dry, but the words draw a bright bark of laughter from Thor's chest, and for an instant he sees a flash of uncautious amusement show through the practiced annoyance on his brother's face.
"Come now, Loki. Surely you can use your tricks to escape."
Loki tries. He tries hard enough that Thor can see the glow of magic twisting up his brother's arms, lighting in his chest below the hammer. For a moment, Loki vanishes entirely, though Mjölnir continues to hover suspiciously in place until he reappears. Thor feels Loki shiver beneath his legs, a calculated exertion of power, and then Loki stills and falls back, exactly the way he was a moment before.
Thor must still be drunk. It's the only explanation for the inexplicable giddiness he feels at his brother's admission. He can't quash the warm huff of laughter that breathes through him, and he leans down over his brother, bracing one arm on the floor beside Loki's wrist.
"You mean you are helpless, Brother?"
"I would not go that far," Loki says. His tone is curt and unamused. But Thor recognizes his brother's most practiced façade of annoyed indifference, and his own smile only widens.
"I think I would go exactly that far," Thor says lightly. Playful and easy with triumph. "I could do anything to you. Anything I wanted. And you could do nothing to stop me."
He means the taunting to draw some retort from Loki. It's the usual pattern. Loki is always at his most brilliant when pushing back against Thor, and though this is a variation on the game that they've never played, Thor understands the unspoken rules well enough.
But instead of taking the bait and leveling Thor with some scathing retort, a strange look crosses Loki's face.
Thor can't interpret that look. Or the moment an instant later when Loki falls utterly, impossibly still beneath him. Loki's expression shutters suddenly—not the familiar neutral mask of a moment before, but rather an impenetrable blankness that catches Thor off guard. The expression sets Thor tripping over what he thought an entertaining joke, and all traces of amusement melt away as he leans closer.
"Brother," he says, concern dark in his voice. "What is it?"
- — - — - — - — - — -
Loki curses the rush of his own pulse in his ears, along with the sound of Thor's words in his head, repeating like an uninvited echo.
I could do anything to you. Anything I wanted.
Loki's body has fallen completely still, an instinctive defense that will damn him for sure. He's already drawn Thor's somber attention, worry edging out the amusement from moments before, and Loki tries to soften the rigid blankness of his face even as Thor's teasing words replay in his head.
They're careless words. Glib and unremarkable. But instead of the harmless taunt Loki's rational mind should recognize, something in Thor's voice—in his weight on Loki's legs, the fall of his hair over his shoulders, his hand braced firmly on the ground in Loki's peripheral vision—something hits Loki harder than it should. And between one breath and the next, he finds his body responding to those words, his blood pooling south.
It's too late to deflect and distract. Thor knows him too well, has already noticed something amiss. He's already asked Loki what's wrong, and of course Loki can't simply answer him. Not without giving away more than he ever intends to surrender.
Loki has secrets enough for a thousand mortal lifetimes, but this one his brother cannot know. Thor would show himself either horrified or indifferent, and Loki doubts either response is one he could walk away from.
"Brother, please," Loki says, distorting his face into an appropriate mask as he drops his voice low with a deliberate measure of fear. "It hurts. Please stop this game."
Thor looks instantly chastened, guilt sweeping like shadows across his brow, and he closes his hand over Mjolnier's shaft, pushing himself upright in order to comply.
Yes, Loki thinks, urging speed with only his eyes, the tight set of his jaw. Hurry. Please. Thor is sitting low enough on Loki's thighs that he won't feel the evidence of Loki's shame. If he doesn't glance down, if he doesn't see, then once the hammer is gone Loki will have more than enough space to maneuver. He'll be able to move quickly enough to stop Thor from realizing that Loki's interest in this game is far from brotherly.
Thor's grip shifts on the hammer and then—
Thor looks down.
Thor stares for a long moment, brow creasing in obvious confusion. His mouth is open, surprise and the raw edge of disbelief creeping into his downturned face.
Loki's own face flushes, his skin tingles with humiliation, and already he knows trying to talk his way out of this is pointless.
Loki may tease his brother constantly about his lack of wits, but the truth is that sometimes, Thor is not nearly so stupid as either of them pretends. Sometimes Thor is startlingly quick on the uptake, and inconveniently enough, now seems to be one of those times. Loki can practically see the gears turning in Thor's head, and when he raises his gaze to Loki's face there's an unmistakable glint of shocked comprehension.
Horror will follow soon enough, and Loki closes his eyes. He thumps his head back against the floor, waiting for either the inevitable angry fallout or the silent, guarded retreat.
Fabric rustles as Thor shifts above him, but seconds slip forward without Thor reclaiming his hammer—without Thor's weight vanishing from across Loki's thighs—and Loki realizes he's holding his breath. He forces himself to inhale slowly, shallowly, and on the floor beside his head his loose fingers curl into tight fists.
When the heat of Thor's palm cups Loki's arousal, Loki curses aloud, eyes flying open. He finds Thor's face hovering over his, and Loki stares. Thor's hand shifts minutely, the barest hint of friction through fabric, and Loki's fingernails dig into his palms.
"What are you doing?" he chokes. But Thor doesn't answer, and Loki twists futilely beneath Mjölnir's immovable weight, as Thor's clever hand slips higher and fumbles with the complicated fastenings of Loki's pants.
Thor's hand slips beneath the sleek fabric, wraps around Loki's cock, and Loki's entire body stretches taut, trying to arch beneath Mjölnir but denied even that much relief. Loki cries out at the sudden heat of Thor's palm and fingers, at the rough strokes as Thor tugs him free, into the cool midnight air. Thor is watching him with rapt interest, and Loki's pulse beats an uneven racket in his own ears.
It takes three strokes of Thor's enormous hand for Loki to regain enough control of himself to still his body and speak.
"You can stop that any time now." Loki speaks the words through gritted teeth, in a voice that sounds tight with strain but, with any luck, impatient.
"Do you truly intend to feign indifference?" Thor asks him, expression skeptical and the first renewed hint of a smile crinkling at the corner of his mouth.
"Do you intend to keep wasting my time with these childish antics?" Loki counters.
"Childish!" Thor barks, a short sharp burst of laughter. Then his eyes narrow, and Thor gives a slow, deliberate stroke. His fingers are tight and perfect around Loki's flesh, and Loki finds it inordinately difficult to hold himself motionless and keep meeting Thor's stare.
"Do you want me to stop?" Thor asks. Gauging. Deliberate. Ready, for once, to catch Loki in the lie.
"I want you to admit this is pointless and let me up," Loki counters. Close enough to truth.
"It is hardly pointless, Brother." There's too much challenge in Thor's eyes, and Loki has all of a moment to realize he may be in over his head before—
- — - — - — - — - — -
Thor releases the curious weight of Loki's flesh, in favor of removing more of the fabric that still stands between him and the naked skin he finds himself suddenly desperate to touch.
Sober, he could probably have managed the trick without damaging the material. As it is, the leggings tear to pieces in his hands, baring Loki's hips and thighs and the firm planes of his stomach, and making Loki breathe a startled gasp.
Loki's voice sounds strangled when he says, "You unmitigated ass. I was quite fond of those."
Thor recognizes the futility of trying to come up with a witty rejoinder. For one thing, he's never successfully matched wits with Loki. His brother is too quick, too clever. For another, Thor isn't sure he's capable of coherent thought right now. He's too distracted by the sight of Loki's body, and by his own body's unexpected reaction to seeing his brother like this.
Thor has never considered these possibilities. He's never looked at Loki and wanted simply to touch. Not like this. Not consciously, anyway.
Thor's never been one for introspection.
He settles his weight more firmly across Loki's thighs and reaches for him again. Loki's cock is dripping and slick in his hand, arousal unmistakable as Thor strokes a tentative rhythm. He's never touched another man like this, though the way Loki's length strains in his fist is enough to tell Thor he's doing something right.
Loki remains impossibly still, despite the way his body is responding to Thor's touches—and Thor wonders how he can maintain his maddening, challenging silence when Thor feels like he's coming apart just from this.
Then Thor's hand falls still, his own arousal twitching in protest to the tight confines of his clothing, as a new urge hits him—a desire that fills his mind with thoughts, images—with one particular image that leaves his head spinning.
He's heard sly murmurings often enough. He knows in theory what to do, and already he wonders if Loki will let him.
Perhaps if Thor hadn't been drinking, he would know better than to try. But Thor finds he feels terrifyingly sober now, and he doesn't raise his eyes to Loki's face as he shifts his weight and maneuvers to kneel between Loki's legs—as he slicks his fingers on his own tongue—as he reaches between Loki's thighs, searching with the blunt, strong ends of his fingers. Loki's thighs part wider at his questing touch, and Thor doesn't even process that beyond the fact that it makes his destination easier to find—the tight ring of muscle that makes Thor's stomach twist with want—and Then Thor presses two fingers inside.
He intends to be gentle. He fully intends to move slowly, to give Loki's body time to adjust to the intrusion. Instead, Thor nudges past the resistance, deep and deeper, marveling at the tight heat barely giving way around his fingers. He's two knuckles deep when Loki breathes a shattered sound that ignites Thor's blood in his veins.
Thor's eyes fly from the intimate space between Loki's thighs, and the look he finds on his brother's face leaves him winded. Gone is the calculated annoyance from moments before, the blank protective wall. In its place is a wrecked, raw yearning that tightens Thor's stomach into knots and makes his own already interested cock jump eagerly.
Thor presses deeper, unthinking, until his hand is flush against Loki's body, his fingers buried to the final knuckle. He can't take his eyes from Loki's face. Thor stares, and Loki stares back, and the moment stretches taut with messy, unmuted heat.
Then Thor twists his fingers and watches Loki's eyes flutter closed. Loki's breath hitches, neck arching sharply back as he gasps a ragged sound. Thor twists his fingers again, rougher in his touch, and Loki's legs fall wider.
Thor stills. He freezes in place, overwhelmed and burning, desire potent in his veins. His fingers are still invading Loki's body, deep and intimate, and suddenly Loki's eyes open.
"Please," Loki breathes, ragged and without shame, and Thor knows there's no going back.
The hushed plea crests over him, inundates him, and Thor feels the rush of his own pulse, loud and stormy beneath his skin. Mjölnir is in the way now—is still resting on Loki's chest, but there's no longer any need for that. Not when Loki is looking at him like this. Not when Thor can't even remember what they were fighting over, what he was teasing Loki about in the first place.
Thor lifts Mjölnir with his free hand and tosses it carelessly aside, even as he slides his fingers out of Loki's body. Then he's fumbling with his own fastenings, impatient and eager and greedy. He's breathing hard as he tugs his own cock into the open, as he braces himself over his brother, positions himself between Loki's thighs and—
- — - — - — - — - — -
Thor fills him in a rough thrust, and it should hurt—it does hurt, but only distantly.
Loki isn't capable of processing something as petty as pain when the heat of Thor's body settles atop him, or when Thor's hand grabs at his hip and tugs Loki further down the firm length of flesh.
Then Thor kisses him, rough and deep—an uncoordinated rush of tongue, teeth, the taste of mead and rich berries from the banquet—and Loki opens to welcome the invasion even as he arches against the floor, letting Thor deeper, everywhere at once.
"Loki," Thor breathes in a fractured gasp, breaking the kiss for air. He attacks the pale column of Loki's throat with the same vigor that drove his claiming of Loki's mouth—the same vigor with which Thor is driving into his body now, rough and unrelenting. Thor rocks Loki sharply with every thrust, jostling him unevenly against the smooth stone floor.
Loki hisses with startled pleasure when Thor's mouth latches onto his pulse point, teeth biting down hard. Loki will be sporting a vicious bruise there come morning, and he grasps blindly, buries his fingers in Thor's hair—fists them tightly, desperately, as Thor licks over the spot before laying another fierce bite immediately below the first.
"You idiot," Loki gasps, arching, rolling his hips to meet an especially harsh thrust. "People will see!"
But Thor growls instead of responding, as though the concern is immaterial—as though he welcomes the idea that tomorrow people will look at Loki and know someone claimed him tonight. Loki knows he should protest—he could shoulder past Thor's animal responses and make him see reason. He's done it before, albeit not from this particular position—not in a context so intimate and intense.
But 'should' is a word with little meaning now, and when Thor ruts more violently into him, Loki groans and throws his head back, inadvertently baring his throat for Thor's eager mouth. He clings to Thor's shoulders, locks his ankles at the small of Thor's back—rides out his brother's rhythm with a desperation he never knew himself capable of. Loki cries out as Thor finds and excites the perfect spot inside him, again and again and again.
He comes at least twice before he blacks out. He doesn't remember Thor reaching orgasm—maybe Thor kept right on going after Loki finally slipped unconscious—but Loki wakes sticky and sore, deep inside where it counts.
He also wakes in Thor's bed.
Loki realizes, less surprised than he probably should be, that he's naked. Thor sits beside him, upright against the headboard. He's less naked than Loki—Thor always was a hypocrite. He looks pensive now, shirtless and barefooted, dressed only in soft sleep pants. Thor's knees are drawn up, his arms folded over them. He's obviously been watching Loki sleep, but he doesn't flinch away when Loki wakes and meets his eyes.
"That was unexpected," Loki notes. His throat feels dry and graveled with exhaustion.
"Are you hurt?"
"Are you sorry?"
Thor looks guiltily away, but the twitch in his jaw tells Loki what he needs to know. Thor isn't sorry. Not even a little. But he obviously knows he should be.
Loki stretches, shameless now, though he crafts a carelessly innocent expression across his face. He watches through his lashes as the movement draws Thor's gaze lower and holds his attention rapt.
"You've never done that before," Loki observes.
It's cruel of him, perhaps. He knows Thor has never been intimate with another man. Thor is incapable of secrets, especially from his brother, and Loki would know—would perhaps be the only one to know—if there were men sharing his brother's bed.
But Loki's tone is carefully schooled to sound like an idle observation—like all he has to go on is Thor's immediate performance—and from the guilty embarrassment that falls across Thor's face, Loki knows his words hit their mark.
"Did I do it wrong?"
Loki suppresses a smile at the question. The offer of clear, undisputed victory is tempting. Let Thor feel inadequate for once. Let him be the inexperienced brother, the one who feels inferior. There's strong enough appeal there.
But that way lies a closed door. Thor would shut him out and then pretend—badly—that tonight never happened. He would never touch Loki again, that much is obvious. And Loki knows with painful clarity that he can never go back, not now that he's had his brother's hands on him once.
So instead Loki sets the easy victory aside and lets his voice fall soft as he asks, "How should I know, Brother?"
Thor instantly unfolds, laying his legs flat along the bed as he stares at Loki, expression raw with shock. His eyebrows rise high towards his hairline, and his jaw drops for a long, stunned moment.
It's not a lie. Not technically. Loki has had male lovers before—he knows his way around all the things Thor just did to him—but Loki has never let anyone take him, not like this. He's always made sure things went soundly the other way, and so his answer isn't a lie.
"I was your first," Thor whispers. Awe. Guilt. An ambivalent mix of emotions that Loki senses could still send his brother running.
Loki doesn't give Thor a chance to retreat. He moves with the lightning-quick reflexes that are his strongest asset on the battlefield, climbing into Thor's lap. He straddles Thor so that there's nowhere to hide, and kisses him before his brother can ask any stupid questions.
Thor hesitates a moment before surging into the kiss with the full force of his body. He drags Loki hard against him then, tangling his fingers in Loki's hair to angle the kiss deeper, to claim Loki's mouth with the possessive press of his tongue.
They're both panting for breath after, and Thor's eyes are so close they blur in Loki's vision—so bright Loki feels them burning into his soul.
"I'm glad it was you," Loki says. Damning himself, damning them both, and not for a second remorseful now that they're here.
Thor makes a needy sound and upends Loki abruptly, tipping him onto his back. He blankets Loki with his body, territorial heat, and kisses him again.
"Only me," Thor growls against Loki's lips. "No one else touches you. Never again."
And with a terrified thrill of satisfaction, Loki realizes he's won.
He knows his brother hasn't thought this through. Not yet. But Thor is a creature of instinct. He wants this—wants it badly enough to reach out and take it—and for the moment that's enough. His brain will catch up with his decisions eventually. Loki needs only give the key one last turn to secure his prize.
He puts a hesitant expression on his face—an open, vulnerable look with just the right measure of uncertainty.
"Can you promise me the same?" he asks.
Thor watches him for a long moment, and the intensity of his focus is overwhelming. He's processing now, Loki knows. Pausing to think it through, to consider the promise before offering it blindly.
Finally Thor's expression clears, a look of unguarded determination settling across his features as he draws in a single, steady breath.
"Brother," Thor says, "I am yours."