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Thor can hear his brother’s whispers in the night.

Even in the Helicarrier, even in Asgard, his brother knows secret ways. He can squeeze through tight places like a cat, like quicksilver, filling every corner. Sometimes Thor thinks that his brother has filled his mind the same way.

Loki doesn’t say anything sensible. Thor used to try and listen for clues. He can feel the world tensing up around them as the conflict escalates. He had hoped to gain valuable information, to help somehow. As time goes on, he realizes Loki would not be so careless. He listens just for the bittersweet sound of his brother’s voice.

It frustrates him to not be able to help. To be unable to cleave straight through the problem is distressing.

Tony grinned at him in his workshop one night when Thor expressed this, and made a quip about the Gordian knot. After he made Tony explain, Thor had liked the story. Although he thought the Midgardians should have thought of a loftier name than Gordian.

Loki often whispers that he’s planning, that he’s thinking of Thor. Stories about their childhood. Thor wonders if he’s making up the wistful tone as he talks about the time Frigga found them in her rooms, giggling and spraying each other with perfume.

Thor doesn’t know what they are to each other anymore. He knows that he loves his brother.

But is Loki still his brother, even when Loki doesn’t want to be?

They were raised together, Thor reminds himself. Blood doesn’t connect them, but Thor is unwilling to let it divide them. No matter what Loki thinks.

Sometimes Loki says that he’s coming for him. Those are the nights Thor can hardly sleep.

He has a much harder time sleeping when he starts seeing him as well.

 

At first it’s not often, and not much. The reflection in the elevators in Tony’s mansion. Out of the corner of his eye during a fight. When half awakened from sleep. It reminds him of Asgard, where Loki was never far away.

He does miss him. It feels like an amputated limb. (He had seen pictures of amputations in the war reels and Captain America movies Tony had hidden in his workshop. He asked Tony about the movies once and then also wanted to know why Midgardians’ skin turned red sometimes. He would have to ask Darcy.) He tries to flex his fingers to find nothing there. He turns to ask a question to find empty space.

But now he turns in an Avengers meeting to see Loki smiling softly at him across the table, behind Nick Fury. Thor blinks slowly to give himself some time to react.

When he opens his eyes again, Loki is gone.

It makes him tense, makes him irritable and angry. He still misses Loki, but he is still tormented by his presence. The worst of both worlds, he thinks, understanding the rightness of the metaphor.

Something has to snap.

Thor just hopes it won’t be him. He feels like he’s about to shake apart at the seams from waiting.

 

Jane is away at a conference, and Thor doesn’t know if she will be back.

It’s hard enough to be involved with a god. To be involved with a god who is mourning his brother and gearing up for a war (and possibly hallucinating his little brother) is a bit much. Her eyes had been kind, but her mouth set as she packed her bag. Darcy wheeled out the luggage.

He is at loose ends.

Thor hates loose ends.

He’s afraid Loki will come and tie them up.

 

Loki has never understood letting things go, letting people make decisions. Thor has been realizing how many ideas that he can trace back to Loki. Whenever he turns around, he can see Loki’s green eyes. Whenever he thinks of Asgard, he sees Loki’s slim form among the golden pillars.

Loki has always wanted to control. He can remember Loki’s tears over childhood traumas, the metallic sound of sparks flying from his fingers on the marble floors. After some decades, his temper flared out. But even after it went underground, Loki still wanted to be the one in charge.

Thor wants to know how many of his choices were really his own.

He thinks that he can do one thing that will show Loki that he was never in control. If he can surprise him.

His mind becomes tired trying to think of things to surprise Loki.

 

In the beginning, he had wondered why he hadn’t told Fury about the whispers and the projections. Is it fear of looking weak? Is he still trying to protect his little brother?

Some part of Thor knows it’s because he wants him all to himself.

 

Loki’s breath sounds harsh to Thor’s ears as he jerks awake in an empty apartment, deep in the Helicarrier. He can see Loki bending over his bed, hair falling around his ears, dark as ink. Green eyes flicker back and forth as Loki licks his lips and opens his mouth to speak-

Only to dissolve into mist when Thor tries to embrace him.

Thor rolls over and punches his pillow. He wishes he knew what Loki wanted.

He never stops to wonder if Loki knows.

 

Thor comes home one night from a sparring session with Iron Man to find Loki in his apartment in the Helicarrier.

Loki gently, decisively, sets down some of Jane’s notes, stands just a little too close. “You’re on the wrong track, you know.” His lips smirk, but his eyes are sad. “These Midgardians will never truly ally themselves with you.”

Thor pauses in putting Mjolnir down, considers trying to subdue Loki. “Don’t bother, it’s only one of my projections.” Loki says airily, reading his intentions easily. “But you know that it’s true- even now, they scheme ways to control you.”

“The crow calls the raven black.” Thor slowly lets his hammer down, leaves the handle angled upward.

Loki shrugs, but doesn’t argue the point. Instead he watches him intently with his dark flickering eyes. “I will bring peace. You know I will. You’ve seen the atrocities, the wars. Father always said,” here he stops, moistens his lips, Thor’s eyes helplessly drawn to the pink tongue, “a good king brings peace.”

“The only peace you have is that of the grave.”

“Well.” Loki is unmoved. “One of the Midgardian prophets once said,” and here he leans in to Thor’s space, and suddenly Thor can feel the moisture on his breath, smell the scent in his hair as his breath tickles Thor’s face, “I come not to bring peace, but a sword.”

Mjolnir is suddenly to hand, but Loki is gone.

Thor leans into the space he’s left.

 

The shower cubicles are cramped, but sparring with Iron Man and the subsequent shower routine are one of the few outlets Thor has. Living in the Helicarrier and preparing for war makes him feel stripped to the bone.

Discussing tactics with Steve is another welcome reprieve. But his solitary climax in the shower is still the brightest spot of his day.

Usually he thinks of Jane, now wistfully. Other princesses or common ladies he knew from Asgard. Darcy, once, although the fantasy was marred by his vague fear of her tazer.

Loki’s green eyes and a gentle smile are something new.

As Thor gasps out a name, he finds that he’s looking forward to seeing Loki again. His uncertainty flows from him, down the drain.

 

He has to wait nearly three weeks. He still catches glimpses out of the corner of his eye, but Loki holds back. Thor wonders if it’s his newfound certainty that makes Loki hesitate.

Loki finally visits him again in the night. Thor is returning from a late meeting about his brother’s plans, where mortals are becoming more and more worried.

Fury’s way of dealing with his worries is with a bazooka. Thor is starting to worry about Loki’s safety.

It’s an odd mirror of their last meeting. Loki stands in the center of the tiny room, idly reading Jane’s papers that are still in drifts on the couch. At the sound of Thor’s voice, he turns around, dropping the paper carelessly.

Anyone else would have described him as casual. Thor, who knows him better than anyone, can see the slight tension in his frame. His eyes look as though he has been trapped in dreams- or perhaps nightmares.

Thor sets down Mjolnir, with the groan of the floor taking the weight, walks to Loki. Loki backs up when he sees the intent expression on Thor’s face, says, “It’s only one of my projections, you can’t hurt-”

Thor leans in to kiss him.

When Loki’s lips part, Thor smiles in triumph. He knew Loki wouldn’t have sent a mere phantasm to torment him.

Part of him wants to hold Loki down, to keep in in line so he doesn’t complete his mad plans and be hurt by one of the mortals.

Most of him wants to hold Loki down for something else.

He licks his way into Loki’s mouth, hungry and unrelenting. Loki is still gasping, inhaling his surprise, but allowing the intrusion. Loki’s hands come up and fist in Thor’s shirt, pressing him close.

Loki manages to gasp out a soft plea, an entreaty for an explanation. Thor doesn’t give him one. Loki has always known more than was good for him. If he can’t figure out what Thor is offering- then Thor doesn’t know what else to do.

He presses bruises into Loki’s arms, nips at his lips and tongue. Loki lets him, bends his hips forward until Thor is leaning over him. Thor loses patience and breaks free of the kiss to pull Loki’s legs out from underneath him.

He topples over with a sharp exhalation. Thor shoves the table in front of the couch aside, denting the wall. He stretches out over Loki, insinuating his hand underneath his soft green robes and exploring the planes of his stomach, his ribs, kissing him like he’s drowning.

Loki has always been soft. But now he can feel corded muscle, too thin and spare. Thor finds himself worrying about who is feeding Loki now that he isn’t with family, but a gasp from Loki derails that thought.

Thor wants to know how else he can make Loki gasp.

He rips off Loki’s robes with a soft snarl. He doesn’t take them off completely, but just enough to expose his stomach and cock. Straddling Loki, he strips his own shirt and pulls down his pants just enough. Sliding back down, he kisses Loki again, holding himself up with one arm and reaching the other down to rub roughly against his brother’s hardening cock. He feels dizzy, exposed, everything in his world spinning, centered around Loki. Thor rubs his own cock against Loki’s hip, and everything is suddenly too good, too fast. Sparks rush along his spine and pool in his gut, flaring with every thrust he makes against Loki’s body, building up force.

Loki moans against Thor’s mouth, almost like he can’t even help himself, and Thor is lost. Bucking up, he comes on Loki, hot and liquid against his skin and robes. Loki squirms, still erect, as Thor pauses to breathe heavily against Loki’s mouth for a moment before remembering himself.

Thor looks up at Loki, still pinned underneath him. Loki’s lips part slightly. To keep him from speaking, Thor lifts himself up slightly so he can wriggle down and swallow his cock down. Loki hisses through his nose, as if he’s still trying to be quiet.

He wants to hear every moan Loki’s keeping back, wants to kiss and bite and mark him. He wants to take him home and keep him safe, a losing battle. Loki has tried to grow away from him, to separate, and Thor wants nothing to do with it.

He doesn’t know what he did to make Loki think he doesn’t love him, but he wants to take it back. They are equals, always.

Loki wraps his hands over Thor’s scalp, wriggles his fingers through and pulls at his hair. Thor lets him direct his head, wants to be used for whatever Loki wants. Have Loki accept whatever affection Thor can give him.

Thor slides back up Loki’s cock, licks back down. He uses his fingers to gently pull on Loki’s sac, which earns him a shudder and another gasp. Breathing through his nose, he coordinates his mouth and his hands to give suction and pressure. He sweeps up his come from Loki’s hip and uses that to ease a finger into Loki’s ass, rubbing against his prostrate. Loki’s thighs lift up and spread out.

He can feel his own cock lengthening, interested again as Loki moans. Loki gasps out an entreaty and pulls desperately at his hair as he shudders through his own orgasm. Thor pulls back only a little. He lets the hot come dribble out his mouth, mark his face, and run onto Loki’s thigh and down past his sac.

Thor’s hand collects the liquid and pushes it into Loki’s ass, scissoring and opening up his muscles. When Loki mutters something quick and low, slick warmth spreads over his hands and he can feel the tingle of magic in his brother’s body.

While he’s still opening Loki up, he looks back up at his brother’s face. He is watching Thor intently, his hands still in his hair. Their gazes lock. “Can I?” Thor asks, trying for quietly, but his voice sounds raspy and hoarse.

Loki nods so sharply Thor thinks it can’t be good for his neck. “Yes. Want you to, please. Thought about you-” here he stops, licks his lips again, and this time Thor knows why he watches so intently, “Didn’t think you would want to.”

Thor smiles, lifts up one of Loki’s thighs higher, and as he pushes in leans down and kisses Loki again. Loki makes a small moue at his own taste in Thor’s mouth. His face smoothes out as Thor pushes in farther with every successive thrust.

He starts slow, with deep, languid rocks into Loki’s body. He nips at Loki’s shoulders, his ears, licks his neck and drops kisses underneath his chin. Thor pauses with his cock deep inside to suck a thorough lovebite over his brother’s sharp clavicle. Loki is pushing at him ineffectively and thrashing his head side to side until he considers his skin marked sufficiently.

Loki’s soft cock has hardened again when the bruise is dark enough. Thor thinks about sucking another one, but Loki’s hissed threats are starting to get higher and higher pitched. He grins, with more teeth in it than necessary, as he looks down at Loki’s face.

Loki looks wrecked, pinned beneath Thor’s heavy weight, covered in come and bruises. Thor’s fingernails have left thick red scratches on his white skin, and his eyes have lost that desperate, sad quality. His face is smooth, happy, glowing.

Thor decides to give in to him. He fucks into him, hard, harder. Fire runs up and down his nerves, heating his skin from the inside. He wants nothing more than to stay in this spot, in this moment. He reaches down to pull unsteadily at Loki’s cock, gasps open mouthed into Loki’s skin. He can feel his orgasm mounting behind his defenses, lush and thick and full.

Loki’s legs flex and his toes curl against Thor’s back as he comes with a whimper. He can feel Loki’s cock pulsing in his hand. Thor moves through it, shoving Loki along the carpeted floor and tilting his head back. Loki’s limbs soften and open up, limp and satisfied. He focuses on Loki’s hair flowing out, dark as ink, along the gray carpet. He feels like he is prodding against a tangle in his chest, pulling at strands and trying to unravel the knot.

But still it eludes him. He continues to move, but makes a dissatisfied noise.

Loki was still, sated. But now he stirs, pushes up against Thor and disconnects their bodies long enough to arrange him on his back, Loki crouched up over his hips. As Loki slides down, all Thor can think and say is yes, please. Please.

His orgasm is a shock, a revelation. It surges through him like the ocean, pulling up his hips and hands in unspoken supplication. Wave after wave crashes through him until he is left sobbing with the tension leaving him. Loki wrings out more aftershocks from him, grins with all his teeth and bends over to breathe in Thor’s face as Thor pants and squirms, holds his wrists down with long fingers.

He wants to shout, to whisper, to impress into Loki’s mind his forgiveness. “Come home,” Thor says softly. “There’s no need for this. Let me protect you. Let me-” his lips refuse to shape the words, but he thinks Loki still knows.

Loki’s breath smells of sunshine and ozone. Like a fresh spring day, when they were children. His hair hangs down loose around his face, curtaining them off.

He smiles, happy that at least Loki has let him in this far. Loki closes his mouth, opens it again, licks his lips. His words come out choked, almost as if he doesn’t even wish to say them, “I come not to bring peace-”

Thor is cold and wet as he is left alone, the sharp burn of magic skittering across his skin and souring his mouth.