He doesn’t understand why he lets his brother move in with him. From a distance, one might say his actions were fueled by something ridiculous like compassion or, even worse, pity. In all honesty, that’s just a little (a little as in very) hard for him to believe.
He thinks it might have been a major bout of lunacy or amnesia, or perhaps a rare period of extremely poor judgment; the kind of judgment that comes with getting so wasted you want to buy a very small country or test the delicate limits of your body, even if you’re normally horribly paranoid and terrified of heights, by seeing how long you can fly after launching yourself off the roof of a mall. Maybe it was a deeply subconscious feeling of pressure to be nice for the sake of his family; possibly, they’d grow to favor him because of his act of great kindness, grow to slowly resent his brother for making his life miserable. Maybe he really was being compassionate or empathetic; really, he never was one for compassion, and when empathy took hold of him, he usually kept it to himself. Maybe he was just being impulsive.
But whatever compelled him to let Thor move in with him, it was a damned horrible thing, for it caused him to make a really fucked up mistake.
Some things stay exactly the same for Loki, in terms of living in the house. He still does all of the cooking and cleaning, which isn’t too bad considering that he’s incredibly prone to neatness regarding his surroundings if not his mind/lifestyle/self-image. Food preparation turns out to be slightly irritating, though, mostly because of the vast differences between Thor’s diet, which constitutes of meat, junk food, meat, and meat, and his own, which is considerably healthier as well as smaller. The only area in which their appetites blend is where candy is concerned, for they both have a sweet tooth.
While Loki is no longer the only one paying the rent for the house, he still deals with the bulk of it, no thanks to Thor’s apparent magnetism to unemployment. Whatever job the man gets he ends up losing due to his temper or tendency to get carried away. It doesn’t help that Loki never got much help from the rest of his family in the money department to begin with; about sixty percent of his income comes from his work at the library, which supplies him with both money and books.
However, the things that stay the same are unimportant compared to the ones that change drastically. I’ll go ahead and list them now.
1. The volume-level.
When Loki lived alone, his house was generally quiet and ranged from a volume of 0 to perhaps 14. Maybe 17 when Fenrir was being playful or acting out. The point is, Loki kept his house quiet.
When Thor moved in, that changed from the moment he stepped in the house. Hell, Thor’s voice has a default volume of 25. When he’s irritated (which is often, especially in the face of Loki’s own irritation or general bitchiness) or happy, it rises to a level of 29. When his friends are over, it’s probably around 33, and combined with Fandral’s, Volstagg’s, and occasionally Sif’s equally forceful voices, the noise level is unquestionably over 37. Only when Thor is depressed or contemplating something does he go quiet. Even in sleep he is loud.
2. Fenrir’s attitude.
At first, Loki believed that Fenrir’s abruptly hostile behavior was because of Thor’s relative newness to the household; Fenrir doesn’t really take well to strangers.
But when the husky remained in the same agitated, hard-to-deal-with, practically PMSing state for over two weeks, Loki started to worry. Was he sick? One of those dogs, the ones that become pissy and aggressive unless you ‘fix’ them? Loki hoped not and greatly doubted the occurrence; Fenrir had already outgrown that phase of his life. Maybe he still perceived Thor as a threat. Perhaps, like Loki, he was just losing more and more sleep every time Thor stumbled through the front door at random hours of the night, completely smashed.
Whatever the cause of Fenrir’s newly-adopted attitude, it aggravates Loki to no end when, after slowly waking up on a Saturday morning, he has his hand nearly bitten off because Fenrir is too full of random rage to appreciate a good petting like he used to. Loki comes to grow used to the feeling of being stomped over on Fenrir’s noisy way out of the bed, his stomach caving as the dog’s huge paws punch into it, his ears ringing with his rumbling bark.
He decide that his dog just really fucking hates Thor and doesn’t think much more about it.
3. The amount of time it takes Loki to finish something.
Loki is quick in most of the things he does. It’s in his nature to be swift and clean with his actions, from doing schoolwork to getting ready for the day to taking care of Fenrir to using the damn bathroom. But not when Thor’s around.
It takes Loki hours to complete an assignment he normally would have finished and perfect in thirty minutes, simply because Thor’s being entirely too loud playing Halo with Fandral or listening to his insane, thunderous music. Loki gets up and bitches at his brother, his attitude growing nastier and his ability to focus souring with every time he does, and by the time Thor decides to just stop, Loki’s nerves are like frayed rope, and he can’t possibly focus on working.
In the mornings when Loki is trying to get ready and out the door for school or work and the like, the first words of his day are often loud complaints about Thor, get this out of the hallway or Thor, you know where the hamper is, so make use of it or You can’t use my toothbrush to clean your fucking boots. Then there’s the whole ordeal of getting Thor up, which usually came after getting freshened up and before breakfast.
By the way, Loki only acts like Thor’s alarm clock because his brother vaguely asked him to after sleeping through a day of classes. Not because he cares or anything. God,no.
Loki invests in an air horn shortly after taking up the job of drill sergeant, for he learns that screaming his throat sore often does nothing but make Thor stir lightly when he’s sleeping. So, every morning, Loki will enter his brother’s room and go straight for the air horn that sits on the bookshelf occupied with video games (how scandalous). He will then proceed to blow the thing straight into Thor’s ear until the man wakes. When that (surprisingly) doesn’t work, Loki resorts to climbing into his brother’s bed and, like a child, stomping the everloving fuck out of it and yelling at the top of his lungs. Extra points for nailing Thor in the thighs, chest, or head.
And then there’s breakfast. Breakfast is always a struggle, because Thor will regulary pester him about bacon and eggs and pancakes and grits and leftover pizza and ice cream (ice cream), and Loki will retort with fruit and yogurt and oatmeal and bagels and cereal and Texas toast. This situation will either result in Loki caving and cooking something Thor wants, Loki irritating Thor until the man is too pissed to care anymore, or Loki telling the man to make his own damn breakfast.
Getting dressed. Getting dressed is almost always the easiest part of the morning routine unless Loki finds himself wanting to rip his own hair out because all the clothes are dirty, never mind that he reminded Thor yesterday afternoon that it was his day to do the laundry. If his happens, he has to scavenge for Febreeze and try to make his appearance as decent as possible.
Leaving the house, then. On a really bad morning, this is the quickest thing to accomplish, simply because Loki’s main goal is to get the fuck out of the house as fast as possible. He’ll run out with his books like he’s in a goddamn marathon; he swears up and down that he’s been losing weight from all the mornings he’s rushed to his car. On mornings that aren’t exactly unbearable, he manages to bitch Thor out for just a little longer and relieve some stress before leaving. When things aren’t bad at all, Loki makes a point to remind Thor about everything he needs to do for the day/week/immediate period of time. Thor will complain and Loki will moan, and the two will go back and forth with their griping until either Loki realizes that yeah, he really needs to get a move on if he wants to get to school/work on time, or Thor flies into a rage and Loki gets scared enough to flee.
Loki resolves to wake up thirty minutes earlier than usual every morning.
4. The amount of socializing in Loki’s life.
Loki is selectively social. To word it better, he’s something of a social chameleon. He enjoys talking with people, honestly. But that doesn’t at all mean he likes peoplethemselves.
With people in his age group and of a similar temperament, Loki is at ease and comfortable enough to not give a damn about how he appears to them. He can be an angel as well as a demon, and that’s perfectly alright to him.
Around those older than him, Loki becomes more reserved out of resentment if not respect. He cares not for authority or the concept that age determines how smart, successful, important, etcetera, you are. However, he’s learned that keeping to himself around older folks is far more beneficial than being a rebellious cunt, so it’s only natural that he opts for the higher path.
With those younger than him, Loki’s attitude varies. If they’re wise, insightful, and charming, he’s more than happy to make conversation. If they’re headstrong, rude, and uncouth, though, he has no qualms with being just as impolite and bigheaded back to them (without making a hypocrite of himself, mind you).
But all this is not to suggest that Loki seeks out company. Rather, he’d much rather be alone despite his guilty pleasure for socialization.
After Thor moved in, many more people entered Loki’s life, and fast. Often, they come and go with their loudness and carelessness, their swaggering attitudes and affinity for alcohol and partying. They’re mostly all the same to Loki, and he prefers not to speak with them, even though they all seem to enjoy drawing him out with questions likeWhere’s Thor? and Aren’t you Thor’s brother? and Are you anemic or something?. Only four of these individuals remain constant. Thor refers to them as his posse.
Fandral is like Thor in his charisma and formidable presence, unlike him in his good temper and general nosiness. He has the same go, go, go attitude as Thor, and, coupled with a sharp mind and silver tongue, makes for a fairly charming guy. Loki thinks that Fandral is pretty good for conversation, but he often finds himself avoiding the man because he’s awfully flirtatious, and that makes Loki more uncomfortable than he’d really like to say.
Volstagg is just loud, gluttonous, and irresponsible in Loki’s opinion. He’s gotten into several arguments with Thor over the man’s good qualities, which Thor will vehemently claim are loyalty and sensitivity; things Loki translates into clinginess, gullibility, and weakness (never mind that Loki has a rather sensitive soul as well). Every time Volstagg walks in his house, he goes straight for the kitchen. If Loki’s lucky, the man will make some flighty joke about how motherly/wifey/feminine he is in regards to his cooking, after which Fandral will take it upon himself to verbally rape him, after which he will get extremely flustered and angry, after which the two buffoons will laugh and go off to get drunk with Thor. Yeah.
And then there’s Hogun, who is the most tolerable to Loki merely because he’s quiet as well as sober (most of the time). The thing that irks Loki, though (because there’sat least one thing about everything that irks Loki), is how hangdog Hogun always appears. Always discreet, always brooding; the grandest smile Loki’s ever seen out of the man was a brief flash of teeth before it swiftly disappeared. And it was a drunken grin at that. It’s never occurred to Loki that he’s quite similar to Hogun in his dejected nature.
Sif is the sole female in Thor’s posse, as well the only member of said group that Loki has a spectacularly hard time figuring out the exact nature of her relationship with his brother. She’s tough and just a tad unemotional, and Loki guesses that she consciously chooses to repress her feelings (Why, though? Who knows.). As well as being smarter than Fandral, Volstagg, and Hogun, Sif seems to posses the strongest will and personality out of the four of them. Loki imagines himself being friendly when he thinks for the sake of thinking; the only thing stopping him from actually sparking a friendship with her is the tumultuous relationship she shares with Thor.
It’s almost kind of funny, because Loki thinks that the way she treats Thor as a man she can easily walk over should make her much easier to befriend, when in fact, it makes it that much more difficult for him to approach her. Alone, he silently entertains the thought of them being conspirators against Thor’s massive ego, but when he sees her belittling his brother in the graceful way she has, it makes him uncomfortable and slightly irritated. How odd.
It’s almost every other evening when Loki is studying or reading in his room and he hears Thor and his posse blow through the front door with their raucous laughing and voluble voices. It’s aggravating and difficult to get used to, but Loki deals by grabbing his iPod, stuffing his ears, and turning Depeche Mode up to maximum volume. What’s considerably harder to contend with are the nights when he comes home from the library, tired and ready to fall into bed, and Thor, Fandral, Volstagg, Hogun, and Sif are occupying his fucking living room, drinking his fucking alcohol, eating his fucking food, and generally making drunken, obscene fools of themselves.
Here’s where the aforementioned socializing comes into play.
As soon as the door is closed, Fandral is up and stumbling towards him, sinful intentions written all over his face. Sometimes, Loki will humor him with a smile or a witty remark; sometimes, he’ll just growl in the man’s face and say something absolutely horrible. Either way, Fandral has the charm turned up to ten and is saying anything that he thinks will get himself into Loki’s bed.
Loki never bites.
He rids himself of Fandral, Fandral’s eyes, and Fandral’s ever-seeking hands with some comment that unfailingly baffles the man’s scrambled, intoxicated mind. Loki then flees to the kitchen in pursuit of a yogurt cup or a Gatorade before he climbs into bed. Unfortunately, he almost always finds himself being trailed by Volstagg and, soon after, Fandral and Hogun.
Can a man be free in his own fucking house? Loki honestly feels like a helpless rabbit being chased by a pack of wolves. Anyways.
Volstagg demands food and quips about how much estrogen is in Loki’s body. Fandral blatantly checks Loki out and says something pretty high up on the nasty scale (from a scale of one to Tiger Woods, the comment is probably a Ke$ha). Hogun simply glares and makes things pretty uncomfortable, and right about now is when Loki magically discovers a creative new way to make an exit without offending the three too much.
As he escapes to the living room, he will find himself faced with one of two things: Sif and Thor in the middle of an intense, passionate bitch-fight, or Sif and Thor in the middle of an intense, passionate make-out session. The former is easier to ignore than the latter, as you might imagine; there’s almost nothing that rubs Loki the wrong way quite like catching his older brother French-tonguing another person, especially in his own house.
If there is fighting, Thor will drunkenly request (demand) Loki’s support and typically sharp tongue. Loki invariably declines.
If there is Frenching, Thor will wink (wink, oh God) at Loki and continue. Loki vomits a little in his mouth at this point; how would you feel knowing that there is a possibility your older brother could get laid in your fucking house?
And then Loki practically sprints down the hall to his room, slams the door, locks it (just in case Fandral’s morality is even lower than he thinks, and that’s pretty damn low), and crawls into bed. He falls asleep almost instantly despite Fenrir’s insistent barking to be fed and let out.
Some mornings, Loki will barge into Thor’s room and find him fast asleep and entangled with Sif. Those days, Loki finds it effortless to harden his heart and refrain from waking his brother.
Even rarer than those mornings are the ones where Loki actually ends up talking to Sif. On those days, their conversation is usually easy with an underlying awkwardness, a silent understanding about what happened the night before, how it probably doesn’t matter, Don’t talk to Thor about it. Only once did Loki broach the subject, did he address the elephant in the room.
He ended up in a terrible argument with Sif about Thor and what Thor wanted, needed, blah-blah-blah. It was uncomfortable and horrifying to Loki, simply because he’d never gotten so furiously protective of his brother, and really: where the fuck did that come from? (He was probably just tired. Yeah, that’s it.)
The quarrel ended with Thor’s waking, after which Loki and Sif wordlessly agreed to never talk about Thor in that context again.
And so that is the story of how Loki’s social horizons expanded.
5. Loki undergoes some personality adjustments.
Loki isn’t an irritable person. Correction: wasn’t an irritable person.
Loki used to pride himself in handling things calmly and coolly, and he was respected for this attitude by the people who knew him. Thor moved in and Loki’s patience broke through the window and ran stark naked down the street, hollering “Bye, Loki! I’m gone!”.
After a particularly stressful day at school, Loki usually drives home to chill out and calm himself down for a few minutes, for the silence of his house is pretty good at penetrating his built-up anxiety and anger at the world. With Thor invading his space, that’s really fucking hard to do.
Loki will walk in the door, and the first thing he hears is Aerosmith or AC/DC or Kanye Fucking West at an earsplitting volume. The sound of aggressive electric guitars and crazy drum beats and godawful rap verses grate on his nerves like a cat ripping upholstery from an incredibly expensive and delicate chair. Since he’s already pissed off, Loki yells across the house for Thor to turn the motherfucking music down.
Thor will then conveniently decide to be a total asshole and charge into the room, grinning triumphantly and swaggering like a god. Loki is just sinking onto the couch when Thor is in his face with some radical story involving the dwarves Grumpy (Hogun), Sexy (Sif), Slutty (Fandral), and I’mAlwaysFuckingHungry (Volstagg), something Loki’s absolutely sure he won’t find a fuck to give about, and his voice is too loud and his smile is too bright and he’s in Loki’s fucking personal space and he still hasn’t turned the music down and Loki hates him so fucking much right now.
Remember that Loki is a naturally collected person.
So then Loki starts yelling and then Thor starts yelling and then Fenrir starts barking, and then there’s all this goddamn noise in the house and Loki feels like his head is going to explode. He makes the terrible mistake of shoving Thor, Thor, and before he knows it, he’s flying out the door and into his car, hastily keying the machine into drive. Thor is stumbling down the front steps with swearwords on his lips as Loki backs the fuck out of the driveway at about forty miles per hour. He can hear his brother screaming the most ridiculous shit at him as he speeds down the street, and he blasts Muse all the way to the library.
His coworkers look at him. Loki stabs them with his eyes. They smile at him. He practically screams at them. They talk to him. He kicks their heads off and eats them. Fuck, they don’t do anything to him and he wants to run them all over with his fucking Elantra. It’s very unsettling considering that Loki is usually so calm.
And then he gets home, and, if Thor White and the Four Dwarves are there, he completely forgoes politeness in favor of addressing them all with a vocabulary so colorful and vulgar it makes even Fandral blush. Then he goes straight for his room and, because it seems to be the only way he can deal with a rage so great, lets himself cry.
It’s not funny. It’s not pretty. It’s ugly and stupid, in Loki’s opinion. Absolutely preposterous that he would let his mood drop so low.
He and Fenrir both fall asleep pissy and aggressive.
And so it goes that Loki turns into a game of Operation, where if you touch the wrong place, even just slightly, his vision goes red and he turns into a screaming, crying mess. A minor stain on the carpet has him ranting irately for hours. Thor’s clothes on the bathroom floor make him want to destroy something beautiful.
In addition to this newfound irritation, Loki’s vocabulary has soured severely. While he is still as eloquent and articulate as ever, curse words come flying out of his mouth at a disturbing frequency and his grammar collapses like a burning building when he grows cross. And it’s all Thor’s fault; do you know how very hard it is to speak proper English and berate someone at the same time when the beratee’s syntax is just as angry and fucked to hell?
On a lighter note, Loki finds that things that would have bothered him before, like a misplaced book or an annoying phone call from his family, are now laughable compared to the problems Thor causes.
6. The things Loki has to look forward to when he gets home.
It used to be that all Loki expected to find when he returned to the nest was a hungry Fenrir, a more or less full fridge, and a couple of dishes to wash.
Now he has a whole new list of things to look forward to upon his homecoming:
- A hungry, pissed Fenrir locked in his room
- An empty fridge
- A whole sink of dishes to wash
- A fuckload of laundry
- Thor, Fandral, Volstagg, Hogun, and Sif
- Empty beer/vodka/rum/[insert alcoholic beverage] cans/bottles
- Miscellaneous trash items
- Noise from Thor’s stereo
- Noise from the X-Box
- Noise from Thor White and the Four Dwarves
- Clothes all over the floor
- A room that suddenly feels like Heaven
It’s irritating, and it takes a lot of work to keep up with everything Loki has to fix, clean, or perfect, but honestly? He thinks it’s worth it to being doing something for somebody, even if he’s pretty sure that somebody is himself and himself alone. Of course, he’d never say that to anyone but Fenrir.
7. Loki’s experience with video games.
When Loki was a teenager, he owned a Nintendo DS and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team. He’d spend hours playing the game and drawing owls and wolves and chameleons on his DS when he couldn’t sleep late at night. He liked to collect Dark-type Pokémon, and he had a Mightyena named Napoleon, a Honchcrow named Circe, and an Absol named King. Besides the boring, long nights when Loki would play Pokémon, he never really liked or engaged in video games at all. He didn’t understand why Thor and Fandral were so avidly devoted to beating Halo or one of the many other games his brother owned.
If you ask him, Loki will say he has no idea how he got into the habit of letting Thor teach him how to play X-Box every Sunday night. He really doesn’t, but part of him suspects that it has to do with his tendency to read books in the living room on such nights and Thor’s propensity for playing video games all the time.
Loki finds that he favors Grand Theft Auto, but that’s not something he’ll admit to out loud, even by accident. It’s a game he easily gets drawn into because of the rage and the pressure and the impulse and the heat, because of how powerful the controller feels in his hands as he plays, because of the thrill of beating Thor at something, for once. Eventually, the gaming turns into something enjoyable instead of just a competition.
Thor is driving fast, really fast, and Loki is screaming at him to pay attention, and it’s 12:30 at night and they’re yelling at the TV, when suddenly Thor’s car crashes headfirst into a police cruiser. Loki is fixing to yell at Thor for his stupidity when Niko Bellic flies through his fucking windshield and onto the street, only to be run over by a speeding car.
The cry in Loki’s throat comes out as one of the most exuberant, genuine laughs that has ever escaped him. Thor’s responding cackle sounds like thunder.
8. Loki’s relationship with his mother.
Loki has always loved his mother more than most people in his family. She seems to be the only relative of his that truly understands him as much as she respects and loves him. While Loki finds himself to typically be a cold and placid person in the company of his family, his heart is warmed when he is with Frigga. But he has always found it difficult to approach her to talk about his problems; why would he even try? Not when Thor demands so much attention from both her and their father.
But after about two weeks of living with Thor, Loki is calling Frigga, and he complains and he bitches and he whines to her for hours. And she fucking listens to him, andGod, it feel so good.
After that, Loki calls his mother at least once every week, and they talk about things they were both too scared to before.
9. Loki’s relationship with Thor.
When they were children, Loki and Thor were practically attached by the hip. They’d constantly follow each other around or seek one another out. Whenever Loki was too small or weak to accomplish a task, Thor would always be there to help him, and whenever Thor couldn’t wrap his head around a problem, Loki never minded lending his advice, which was usually very good. They ate together, played together, slept together; they were Loki and Thor, Thor and Loki. Brothers extraordinaire.
It was when Thor hit puberty that they began to drift apart like tectonic plates. All Thor wanted to talk about was girls and fighting and manliness and dirty jokes, and all of those things both confused and hurt Loki. Confused him because he didn’t understand what was so great about the bullshit Thor would spout; hurt him because now there was something Thor was a part of and he wasn’t.
When Loki turned twelve and entered adolescence, like tectonic plates still, friction grew between the brothers and their attitudes began to clash. While he understood Thor, Loki also grew to resent him. Out of jealousy, because Thor was more popular, more attractive, more confident, more athletic, more talented, more loved. Out of longing, because Thor didn’t seem to crave his company as much as that of his new, blockheaded friends. Out of pride, because Loki began to feel that, in a way, he was better than Thor. He just had yet to figure why.
As the brothers neared adulthood, their relationship only worsened. Petty arguments turned into full blown rage-fests, into fist-fights that Thor would always win, into word-duels in which Loki would triumph. They would scream and hit and insult and belittle each other in ways that grew progressively crueler, more vicious. Thor would call Loki “brainiac”, “faggot”, “freak”; Loki would label Thor “idiot”, “fuckwit”, “animal”. When Loki thinks about it now, he realizes truly how horrible they both were to each other, how overdramatically and wrongly they’d acted.
It was the day Thor had picked Loki up from band practice in a heavily drunk state and gotten in a horrible, nearly fatal accident that Loki decided he wanted nothing more to do with his brother. He’d broken two ribs and cracked three more, fractured his skull, and sprained his leg. Thor came up with a cracked skull as well, a broken leg and arm, and a scarred thigh. The person he’d crashed into barely survived.
Of course, then their father had a stroke. Of course, then their grandparents died. Of course, it was still all about Thor.
Loki went off to college and (almost) forgot about his family until Thor showed up on his doorstep, begging him to take him and pleading for forgiveness. Cue Loki’s very out-of-character response and the resulting changes.
And now Loki is grudgingly picking up after his older brother, furiously yelling at the top of his lungs about his messiness, stubbornly defending him from Sif, crying laughing at his Grand Theft Auto antics. Now Thor is deliberately pissing his younger brother off, snobbishly complaining about his health food, mindlessly cursing him in the doorway, shamelessly forcing him to socialize.
They still get really fucking pissed with each other. Loki still thinks things have to change in order for him to put up with Thor living with him, and Thor still thinks Loki needs to loosen up. There’s still the Four Dwarves and Fenrir the PMSing dog.
But there’s also still Loki and Thor.