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bloody boughs that bend unbroken

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The latest battle has Thor bloody and very nearly beaten, but thanks be to the Man of Iron who can shoot from his palms.  Thor didn’t like Tony Stark at first, but through his bravado and attitude the Man of Iron is just a confused mortal.  Tony has grown to be his closest friend on Midgard, as has the Captain of America.

Thor likes his other teammates but they seem fragile in a way, especially the Lady Natasha, though her knives and guns belie that assumption.  Also, she can scare Tony into behaving properly and that, Thor has learned, is a skill only Lady Pepper also holds.

At the moment, though, he’s more pleased with the heat from the bath that he has in his rooms; Tony made changes to it when Thor complained about the Midgardian technology and made a bathing chamber more like Thor is used to on Asgard.  The tub is wide and deep, with heated walls and steps leading down so as to make entrance easier.  Though normally he doesn’t use them, today’s battle against those that would ruin Midgard was far more difficult and his muscles ache.

He sinks further into the bath until the water comes to his chin and he tilts his head back to rest on the edge, letting the heat soothe his hurts, and lets his eyes fall shut.

There’s a noise in the corner.

He slits open his eyes and there sits Loki on the edge of the sink, legs crossed and leaning back against the mirror looking like he belongs there.

“How long have you been there, brother?”

“Long enough.  You fought well today, Thor.”

Thor inclines his head slightly, accepting the compliment, but then closes his eyes again.  “Have you need of something, brother?  It is not like you to visit my rooms unannounced.”

“Must I have a reason to visit my brother?”  Loki’s tongue spills the words like syrup and Thor has learned to be wary of that tone, but at the same time he’s too tired to really care what plans Loki is making.

“No, you need not, just that this is unusual for you.”

Thor can hear Loki shift around on the sink’s edge, leather and steel a strange symphony that he hasn’t heard in a long time.  The dull thunk of metal on the floor surprises him and makes him open his eyes again.

Loki’s stripping off his armor, piece by piece, and setting it on the ground in the corner, far from the water in the tub.  Loki was always more concerned about how his armor looked than Thor was.  “Pray tell, Loki, what are you doing?”

“I’m equally filthy and bloody from the battle, Thor, and the bath is inviting.  I planned to join you.  Or, should I not?” Loki questions, bent over and struggling out of his boots.  He pauses as he gets them off.  “I can leave you, if you’d rather.”

Thor slides over from where he’s resting next to the steps into the tub to allow Loki to enter, waving a hand.  “No, no, brother, please.  We have not bathed together since we were young.  It surprises me, is all.”

“Well, you always bathed with your companions.  ‘Twas easier to heal my hurts alone, at times.”  Loki pulls his shirt off over his head and turns his back on Thor, and Thor can’t help but trace the scars and bruises that play over Loki’s back with his eyes.

Under the blood and the bruises and the battle wounds, Loki is still milk-pale as he was as a child, the exact opposite of Thor’s tanned skin.  Loki is still so thin as well, Bruce’s cooking doing nothing to fatten him up.  Thor would have thought that since Loki agreed to remain in the Mansion to help at times would have been good for Loki, but it hasn’t changed much at all.

Thor realizes as Loki strips off his pants, almost toppling over as his foot gets caught that he’s been staring at him for the past minutes and he looks away, blushing fiery red that he knows Loki will notice.

If Loki does, though, he doesn’t make a comment about it.

Loki slips in the water and hisses at the temperature, and Thor spares a moment to wonder if he should cool it a little for Loki, but Loki seems to adjust quickly as he settles down next to Thor.  Loki’s true nature seems dormant at the moment, and Thor wonders again if Loki prefers one to the other, or if he remains Aesir thinking to spare Thor’s sensibilities, but he’d never ask Loki outright.  It’s easier to remain silent on the matter.

It’s not an awkward silence, because this was once what it was like for them, until Thor found his hammer and Loki found his magic and they weren’t close after that.  The thought makes Thor lift an arm up and rest it around Loki’s shoulder and, to his surprise, Loki seems to melt into Thor’s side, pressing his nose into the crease of arm and chest.

One of Loki’s hands finds the bend of his knee and presses to the join, holding on like he’s afraid Thor will vanish under his fingertips like smoke or snow.  Thor lets his arm drop to Loki’s waist and he tugs Loki close, pressing a kiss to the whorl of hair on the crown of Loki’s head.

Loki’s fingers trace lines up and down his knee before moving, up, up, and then - oh.

“Brother?”

“Don’t tell me that you don’t, Thor, don’t -“

“No, never, Loki,” and their lips meet, and Thor has never wanted like he wants Loki right now, even though he never knew it, never thought about it, it was there, and there’s nothing wrong here, never, not for them.

Loki moves and then Thor’s legs are wrapped around his waist and oh, Thor thought that - well - this is okay, this is good, this is better than good.

Loki surges up and their lips meet again and it’s such a kiss that Thor thinks he’s dying or dead because this can’t be like this, it can’t be so perfect and right for something that Thor hasn’t ever really thought about.  Loki has to know that this was there, though, and Thor can’t believe that he never realized how Loki felt.

Loki licks his way into Thor’s mouth and Loki tastes like blood and sweet wine, like this was meant to end this way and even though they were raised as brothers they never were and that’s all right.  Loki pulls away and his eyes are shot, almost all dark pupil and a ring of deep green and it shoots straight to Thor’s arousal, because he’s never seen Loki so intent on something, so sure that he’s going to get what he wants.

Leaning forward, Loki presses his lips to Thor’s ear and whispers, “Should you want this another way, Thor?”

The tone that Loki uses is all honey and venom and it makes Thor’s back bow, and he’s hard and so warm and Loki is so close to him, skin to skin to blood to bone, and Thor whispers, “No.

Loki’s teeth sink into his earlobe and his hips stutter up to press against Thor’s ass and Thor knows, then, that there will be no one else, not ever, because Thor won’t be able to want anyone but Loki after this because Loki’s always been the only one this deep in his heart, this deep in his soul.

“I cannot take my time, Thor, I cannot, but next time, next time - ” and Loki’s words are full of promises as his mouth shapes strange words and his hands move from where they’re holding Thor’s hips and then -

oh -

oh -

Loki’s magic has other purposes than tricks and blood and even though it’s magic, he’s stretched and warm but empty and Thor knows, deep in the back of his mind, that were this even a few months earlier Thor would be disgusted or mad with anger but now, through all that they have been through, there is no other way for this to happen the first time.

He’s never been so hard in his life but he’s never been this relaxed, pleased to let Loki move him how he likes and press bites into his muscles, then soothe them with his silver tongue.  While one hand holds his hip, still, the other slips between them to press against Thor’s entrance and even though Loki hasn’t come near his sweet spot the sparks fly up his spine and his back bows, nearly dislodging Loki from where he’s leaning against Thor’s bulk.

“Patience, patience, sweeting,” Loki mumbles against his neck, fingers filling him but it’s not enough and Thor tells him as such and Thor thinks Loki has never moved faster to comply with Thor’s demands.

Then, then, he’s full, and oh, this has never - he has never - Loki is -

He can’t think, aside from single words and feelings, and Loki is panting against him, tongue darting out every now and then to taste the sweat traveling down from his neck.

It’s so warm, and the steam is almost too much sensation and the water and Loki, who hitches Thor’s hips up and slides deeper into him and then they’re joined, as close as they can be, and is this what he has been missing?

“Yes?” Loki asks against his neck and Thor moans in answer, and he can feel Loki smile against his skin as slowly, so slowly, he begins to fuck him.

It takes time for the rhythm to be established but then it’s brutal and sweet and Thor has not ever been so wanted or wanting or loved or loving, and he’ll never let Loki go for anything in any of the Nine Realms, and he’s not sure but he might be saying these things out loud but it doesn’t matter, because Loki needs to know, needs to be aware -

And then Loki shifts him and shifts himself and there, Thor cries out with the pleasure, fucking himself down onto Loki like a madman because all that matters is this, this right now, not battles or arguments before or petty things, but what they have here and afterwards.

Loki’s laughing and it’s not out of anything malicious, but the pure joy of their joining and Thor knows it like he knows his own mind, and the sound is sweet and pure and for a split second Thor worries about the others in the house, about what they can hear.

It’s gone as soon as Loki wraps a hand around his cock and then he’s coming, he didn’t even know he was close, doesn’t know how long Loki’s been fucking him, slopping water over the rim of the tub and all over the bathroom, all over the floor and the towels and Loki’s armor.

He closes his eyes and sobs out his pleasure and he feels Loki join him, aware of Loki in his mind like a beacon in the dark.  They haven’t joined minds since they were children and Loki fell from his horse and broke his arm, but it’s different and then it only lasted for seconds but this time Loki isn’t leaving, and Thor doesn’t care.

Loki’s still laughing lowly against his neck, fingers milking him slowly until Thor has feeling in his hands again and brushes his hand away, pulling Loki’s mouth to his, mapping it with his tongue.

Their separation is awkward, as Thor suppose it will always be, the second or third or thousandth time, but then Loki curls up against his chest and it’s all right, it’s all right.

The water warms and Thor knows that Loki’s done it with his magic and Thor thinks of a thousand things that he needs to say to Loki, to tell him, but there’s a low happiness in his mind that isn’t his and he knows that Loki saw it all, saw all that he wants to say, and accepts the apologies and the declarations of love and adoration, and the request to stay, stay.