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"Keep your oafish hands off me, Thor. I know you are not yet so impaired as to need assistance walking."

Thor just leans more of her weight onto Loki at this, draping an arm over her shoulders. "Loki, are you saying you would freely lend assistance were it needed? When you barely touch the mead yourself, can you truly be such an acute judge of such things?"

"It doesn't take a very sharp mind to tell when someone's falling over their own feet," Loki says, shrugging out of Thor's grasp. "See? You're fine."

"Then let the mead keep flowing!" Volstagg booms from the end of the long table that Loki had been trying to coax Thor away from. Thor responds with a hearty cheer and makes it back to her former spot at the table entirely under her own power.

"Won't you stay with us a little longer, Loki?" Sif asks. Around them, the remnants of the feast are being carried away, and only a few pockets of the most enthusiastic revelers remain, those who, like Thor and her friends, feel they won't have properly celebrated Asgard's latest victory until they drink themselves into a stupor.

"I have tarried long enough," Loki says. Thor's assessment was half true; for all that Loki knows of its effects on others, overindulgence has never been one of her vices.

"Who will escort Thor to her chambers, if you do not stay?" Sif asks.

"You'll just have to make sure she doesn't drink enough to require an escort," Loki says, nodding to Sif and the Warriors Three before making her departure. It would be a simple enough solution, really; if Thor's companions can't even do that much, then the consequences are their own to deal with.

Eons ago, when Thor and Loki had come of age to join the great feasts in Odin's hall, Thor had proved herself to have a near insatiable appetite for the mead that flowed like water at the festivities. It had cemented her place among the warriors of the realm, for she soon was able to hold her own as they traded endless tales of glory, saluted with flagons of mead that were never allowed to run dry. It had also cemented a place for Sif and the Warriors Three by her side at every feast, because the more Thor had to drink, the more her hands wandered.

Loki had thought it a fine joke at first, the way Thor's gestures of emphasis would end on her listener's thigh instead of their arm, the way her fingers had of sneaking under collars when she draped her arm around shoulders. Here was the heir to all their father's realm making a fool of herself in front of all her future subjects, and Loki didn't even have to lift a finger.

The library has been calling to Loki since before the feast started — no sense of timing, these armies and their victories — and that's where she turns her step now. Ordinarily, Loki likes to keep her studies and experiments to her own suite, where she's amassed a collection of books the rest of the court wouldn't know what to do with if they got their hands on, but tonight she'll trade the luxury of privacy for the convenience of having all of Asgard's vast accumulated knowledge within easy reach. There's a spell she read about in an ancient transcribed ballad, the briefest glancing reference to a means of enchantment long passed out of knowledge; she means to track down the threads of it in story and myth and piece it back together. The project is barely begun, but it sits with a wash of anticipation under Loki's skin anyway. To have power through enchantment is one thing; to gain a power that no one else shares is quite another.

Loki's long since lost track of time when a library page approaches her corner of the North reading room, hesitantly clearing his throat for her attention.

"My lady, you have a visitor waiting outside."

"Send them in, then."

The page shuffles uncomfortably. "Respectfully, Lady, she requests that you meet her outside."

Loki scowls in annoyance, but puts a bookmark at her place and closes the book. "See to it that all this remains untouched," she says, gesturing at the piles of loosely-organized volumes covering the large worktable. "I will return tomorrow."

"Yes, my lady," the page says, bowing.

Loki finds Thor outside the library, slumped down the wall across from the wide double doors, being fussed over by another page who scurries off with a look of relief when Loki walks up.

"Sister! You came for me after all!" Thor booms, and Loki can see why the page might have been uneasy leaving her out here alone. Thor tries to get to her feet and sways, grabbing onto the wall for support.

"How did you get all the way out here by yourself?" Loki bats Thor's hand arm away when she attempts to snake it around her waist, tugging it over her shoulders instead so she can support some of Thor's weight.

"Walked," Thor says, tripping over one of her feet even as she says it.

Loki rolls her eyes and steers them down the halls toward Thor's chambers. The rumors of the first time Thor drank so much she couldn't walk straight and had to be escorted back to her rooms by her friends still circulate, traded in winks and innuendo more than words. After the third time Sif had tried to make sure Thor didn't sleep in her armor and was nearly divested of her own clothing in return, the task of putting an inebriated Thor to bed had fallen to Loki.

"She won't try anything with you, you're her sister," Volstagg had slurred the night it had been decided. "Surely even Thor couldn't lose herself enough in the drink to forget her own family."

It was often a moot point; Thor's friends rarely let her outpace them, and often by the time Thor is beyond making it back to bed under her own power, none of them are in any shape to remember that bed was a place people sometimes go at the end of the night. Once in a blue moon, though, a drunken Thor will be deposited at Loki's feet, her friends whining and moaning like Loki is the only one who can save them from the disastrous fate of Thor's poorly-judged affections. It's annoying, is what it is, and only the tiniest bit flattering.

It's also an outright farce, for Thor has never let the bonds of family come between her hands and the nearest warm body. It can only be willful blindness that prevent Thor's friends from seeing this; the only reason Loki hasn't had her bosom groped as many times as Sif is she's smart enough not to sit too close.

"Not in the hallway, idiot," Loki says now, as Thor's fingers start to toy a little too pointedly with the laces on the front of Loki's robes. It would be easy enough to use an enchantment to put her wandering fingers to rest, but Thor is biddable like this, if forgetful. Loki wouldn''t deny herself the satisfaction of issuing orders and having them followed. Thor sighs and removes her fingers from Loki's laces, but goes boneless and limp at the same time. "By the branches of Yggdrasil, at least make an effort," Loki says, staggering several steps sideways. Thor just makes a soft sound and nuzzles her face into the crook of Loki's neck.

"Walk," Loki says, poking sharp fingers between the joins of her armor. Thor sighs again, but gamely shuffles forward.

At length, they make it back to Thor's quarters. Loki heaves Thor onto the wide bed, startling a peal of laughter out of her, as if the way she bounces on the mattress is some great joke. Loki rolls her eyes and bends to untie Thor's boots, grimacing at the way she's allowed grime to cake the laces together.

"Loki, Loki, Loki." Thor has managed to prop herself up semi-upright, and peers down at Loki over the edge of the bed. "Loki, why are you so far away?"

"I should leave now and just let you sleep in your armor," Loki says.

"No, you should help," Thor says, flapping her hands helplessly. "I can't, with all the little buckles, it's hard."

"You are pathetic," Loki says, and with a word the armor frees itself from Thor's limbs and flies back into the wardrobe. Last time, which Loki remembers but Thor almost certainly does not, Loki had removed each piece by hand, batting away Thor's questing hands until all the armor was gone and Loki ran out of pretense for saying no. It's so easy for Thor to reach out for what she wants, no matter how trivial and passing the desire, no matter how many times she gets pushed away. Loki can't unravel the puzzle of it, can't make sense of how for Thor there's no wall between thinking and wanting, between wanting and taking.

Surprise blooms across Thor's face as she looks down at her arms, her chest; she tips her head back and laughs. "A fine trick, sister."

Training her eyes away from the pale column of Thor's neck, Loki murmurs a word of thanks. It's a pretty little trick, nothing more, but she thinks she could work out how to weave the spell into the the armor itself, and that would be useful, maybe. Sometime when Thor is more herself, has regained her ability to remember conversations and broker deals, she might bring it up again.

Loki means to go then, her familial duties dispensed with, but Thor hooks a foot around the back of her knee and brings her up short against the edge of the bed.

"Won't you stay? The sheets are so cold."

Even from the briefest of sidelong glances that Loki gives her, she can see Thor is pouting, acting every bit the overgrown child. Loki rolls her eyes. "I know no spells for warming sheets."

"Then stay here," Thor says, reeling Loki in until her shins hit the edge of the mattress. Thor's managed to struggle all the way upright by now, and she snakes an arm around Loki's waist, leaning her cheek against Loki's stomach and blinking up at her as if she'd already lost the thread of her argument. "You're warm," she says, grinning.

If Loki's warm, Thor is warmer, for Loki can feel the heat from her skin bleeding through her clothes at all their points of contact.

"Go to sleep, Thor," she says, and twists out of Thor's vine-like grasp with practiced ease.

-

It's been a quiet few years — no threats, no campaigns, no victories to throw feasts over. That's the only excuse Loki has for why she's taken utterly by surprise to run into Thor in the orchard one day, sprawled on her back under a pear tree, singing a ballad with half the words wrong, and clearly drunk out of her mind.

The only logical thing to do is to wait for someone else to come along and watch Thor make a public disgrace of herself, so Loki climbs a nearby tree and gleefully settles in to wait.

No strangers come by, and none of Thor's friends, either. It would appear that the pear orchard is not very heavily traveled this time of year. Loki quickly tires of her game.

"Fandral? Is that you?" Thor calls out, pausing in her ballad when she hears Loki's step approaching.

"What are you doing out here?" Loki asks by way of an answer, stopping close enough that Thor has to tip her head back to see who's talking.

"You're not Fandral," Thor says, speech slurred.

"No, I'm not. What was Fandral supposed to be doing out here?"

"Bringing more cider," Thor says. "We ran out." Her fingers circle Loki's ankle, stroke absently. Loki shivers. She should have worn boots today.

"Don't you have anything better to do with your time than sit under trees getting drunk?" Loki asks. "I was under the impression you and your warriors sparred all the waking hours of the day."

"They're not my warriors," Thor says, completely missing the point of the barb; then, "You're blocking the sun, Loki, it was so nice."

Loki raises an eyebrow. "I'll be on my way."

"Loki," Thor says, an exasperated huff, and Loki has a half-second's warning before Thor rolls and tackles her to the ground, laughing as they both get leaves in their hair.

It's only because it was unexpected that Thor's attack knocks the breath out of her; Loki may spend more time in the library, but she's no stranger to fighting. She plants one foot on the ground and throws Thor off her, judiciously employing her elbows in places that would have been tender if Thor's senses weren't deadened. Thor's movements are sluggish (for her — so still deadly quick by most standards), but she's got Loki beat in brute strength. Loki hasn't even gotten her feet back under her before Thor jumps on her back, pinning her to the ground in one ungraceful move.

"What - are - you - doing," Loki pants out, which goes unanswered. "Let me up, you have a whole training barracks full of men willing to spar with you and I am not one of them" has a slightly better chance of getting a response, but Loki almost hopes Thor will ignore that too. It's...nice, the way Thor's weight presses her into the grass so surely; she could fight her way out, but it's much easier just to stay down. This is the most contact Loki's had with another person in longer than she'd care to think about, and, well — Thor's tipsy enough she won't notice if Loki gives up too easy, enjoys the surrender a bit too much.

Above her, Thor makes a disgruntled noise and tries to provoke Loki into action; Loki continues to play at being a log.

"Loki," Thor says, almost whining, and Loki laughs. Who knew it was this easy to stymie Thor at wrestling? Usually Loki's cheating has to involve advanced enchantments before she can get that tone out of her sister.

The laugh catches in Loki's throat the next second, because Thor shifts up to straddle her back with enough force to risk snapping Loki's spine, and then pulls her hair sharply. Loki curses and lashes out, but she has no purchase to land a blow. Thor catches her wrists and pins them behind her back, making a pleased noise, and Loki grits her teeth. This isn't the nice kind of contact anymore, this is just Thor being a bully because she's bigger and stronger and Odin's firstborn and everyone lets her get away with whatever she wants, and Loki's done humoring her.

Loki bucks her hips, though Thor's really seated too high to throw off that way, thinking if she can curl up enough to just get one good kick in, she can be done with this stupid game and on her way, but Thor just lets out a surprised little breath and — and ruts down on the swell of Loki's ass. Loki hadn't thought — well, she hadn't thought about this in a while. It would be inconvenient to go around just waiting for the next time Thor drank herself blind and amorous, and Loki has important things to do with her life. Important things that don't hinge on clumsy fingers tracing the lines of her body, or that fleeting illusion of feeling wanted.

Thor tugs on Loki's hair again, and is she seriously getting off on Loki fighting back? Loki doesn't oblige her, just says, "Stop pulling on my hair unless you want Mjölnir to turn into a swarm of bees every time you try to pick it up."

Thor flips Loki onto her back without even seeming to try and stares down into her face, horrified. "Would you really?"

"Best not to find out," Loki says, grinning. Thor's still got her wrists in one hand, pinned to the ground above her head, but she could kick her way out now. If she wanted.

"Promise me you won't," Thor says, and Loki can see how under other circumstances, Thor can lead armies off to war with the way she throws her whole self into things.

"Promise me you won't pull my hair again," Loki says.

Thor smiles, wide and easy. "Ah, but that is an easy promise to make!" She's back to lying full-length on top of Loki again, and her knee is slowly pressing between Loki's thighs as though she's not even aware of the movement.

"Say it, then," Loki says, arching an eyebrow.

Thor cards her hand through the hair above Loki's ear, ever so gentle, and brings her lips down to brush against Loki's. Loki waits for the words, but there are none, only a second press of lips, bolder, more insistent. Loki doesn't open her mouth under Thor's coaxing, she doesn't, she had been about to say something, but then they're kissing open-mouthed, Thor tasting of cider and sunshine. Thor's legs are spread over Loki's thigh, and she's rutting against it like an untrained puppy, making little pleased sounds into Loki's mouth.

Loki turns her head to the side. "What if someone sees, Thor," she says. Thor mouths wetly at the underside of Loki's jaw, undeterred. Loki wants to tilt her hips up and press against Thor; she's burning up inside and she can't tell if it's from what they're doing or from the anticipation of being caught. Of someone seeing them like this, the two of Odin's daughters taking a tumble in the grass like the crassest of commoners.

"Thor," Loki says, urgently, but Thor only tightens her hand in Loki's hair. It sends little sparks dancing across her scalp and down her spine until she can't hold back a shiver.

She worms one of her hands out of Thor's grasp and grabs Thor's wrist, stilling her hand. "Get off me," she says right into Thor's ear. "Anyone could see."

"No one will come here until harvest time," Thor says. "Months and months from now." She nips at Loki's neck, right where her high collar ends, and Loki's traitorous body shivers again.

"Fandral," Loki offers, but Thor's hips are working faster now, it's not a surprise when she doesn't reply. Thor's free hand migrates to cover Loki's breast through the layers of her clothes, then back up to stroke small circles in the skin behind her ear, and Loki does nothing to stop her. She could probably cast an illusion to disguise them from anyone who might happen by — or she could alter their memories; there's a spell for that that she's been itching to try.

The most humiliating thing about this, more even than the possibility of being seen, is the way Loki's body is responding. Thor isn't making the slightest effort to please her, but her nerves are all wound tight anyway, heat pooling between her legs, her heavy clothing chafing at her suddenly sensitive skin.

Thor presses herself tight against Loki's thigh one last time, shuddering for a long moment, then rolls onto her back with a hearty sigh. Loki's up immediately, straightening her overcoat and plucking twigs out of her hair. Thor looks up at her, confused. "Would you be gone so soon?" She doesn't even sound that drunk anymore.

"Now that you're done, I don't see why I should tarry longer," Loki says.

"But I could —"

Loki doesn't stay long enough to hear what Thor would volunteer to do.

-

The Warriors Three arrive at Loki's door with a clamor that Loki had fervently hoped would continue down the hall without stopping and leave her in peace. She gets out of bed and slips into her robe only when it becomes clear that they're going to stand out there knocking and shouting until she makes an appearance, despite the fact that probably every single resident of Asgard besides themselves and the guardsmen are asleep right now.

"This had better be an emergency," Loki snaps when she opens the door.

"Thor —" Sif starts, then gestures over at Thor as if that's explanation enough. Loki sometimes wonders if Sif had been elected to talk to Loki for the group because they're both women, or if she just drew the short straw.

"Thor has her own room," Loki says, glancing up at Thor, who's draped between Hogun and Fandral, head lolling forward. She appears to have lost consciousness entirely.

"Won't you just take her?" Sif's expression is pained.

"It's really really far to her rooms from here," Hogun says. Upon closer inspection, he doesn't look like he's doing much better than Thor herself.

What the Warriors and Sif and Thor all need is a good lesson in personal responsibility — and one day Loki will be happy to give it to them, she will relish it — but right now they're all just blinking at her blearily, and Loki wants to go back to bed more than anything.

"Fine," she says, then hisses at Fandral when he moves as if to carry Thor inside himself. "I'll take her from here." She only breathes easy once the door swings closed behind her, shutting out all the light and the noise and the other people who would walk right in without any regard for privacy. Anyone but Thor, Loki supposes, but Thor is unconscious and by all accounts sleeps like the dead. Loki can send her on her way the minute she stirs.

Loki turns back the covers and deposits Thor on one side of the wide bed, stripping her down to her underclothes before tugging the covers back up. There's not a sound from Thor throughout the whole process, though Loki's making no special effort to be gentle. A hundred years ago, perhaps, this lack of response might have been cause for worry, but Loki's seen how fast Thor recovers.

It takes Loki hours to fall asleep. Tired as she is — was, fifteen minutes ago — she can't get comfortable, can't get her mind to fall into that dark, thoughtless place where sleep happens. Long ago, when they were both children, she and Thor used to share a bed like this. Their mother would tuck them in neatly and they'd fall asleep with their heads on separate pillows, but they would always wake up curled around each other like mice in a nest made of blankets. Loki can remember the feeling of pushing Thor's hair away from her nose in her sleep, but she can't remember who reached out for who. The space between them now feels immense; Loki lies rooted in place, unable to move toward Thor or away, because any movement would have to start with an intention and she — she can't begin to unravel the knot of them, can't even make herself look at them head on.

It's nearing dawn when Loki starts considering giving up on sleep and going into her study to get something genuinely productive done. She'd drifted off a few times, but that was all, nothing approaching real rest. On the other side of the bed, Thor stirs, then rolls over, yawning loudly.

"Loki?" she asks blearily.

Loki stays silent. Maybe Thor will go back to sleep and Loki can slip away, undetected and unmissed.

For a minute it actually seems to be working, then there's a rustling in the covers and Thor's hand gropes out and hits Loki's elbow. Thor shifts up and follows her arm up to the shoulder, pats the pillow a few times before finding Loki's face and running her fingers across Loki's nose and down her cheek.

"Are you awake?" Thor asks, closer this time.

"Are you still drunk?" Loki asks in reply.

Thor pauses, as if considering. "I cannot say."

"Well, do you feel —" Loki's speech is cut off when Thor's thumb traces across her lips.

"Shh," Thor says. "Not so loud, you'll make my head hurt." Her voice is coming from much closer now. Her thumb hasn't left Loki's lips, resting right on the corner of her mouth. Loki wants to feel the rough drag of it again, which is wrong because she's not allowed to want this, she's just allowed to stumble into it by accident while it's happening.

"Definitely still drunk," Loki says, much softer.

Thor, who has never been forced to reconcile the difference between wanting and having in her entire life, shushes Loki by kissing her full on the mouth. She's smiling, like this is fun, like nothing bad could ever happen — and in all likelihood, nothing ever would. Not to her. Thor is the one everyone loves; Loki is the trickster, the strange one who studies in the library instead of by Freyja's side. If word of anything unnatural between them ever got out, it's obvious who would be to blame.

Thor kisses her again, humming contentment in the back of her throat when she coaxes out a response.

"Stop," Loki says, because that, right there — that's what they can't do. Maybe if Thor had some other reason for this beyond her base animal impulses, maybe then there'd be some hope, but Thor has never been one to see the point in keeping any of her impulses secret.

"People will talk," Loki says, when Thor makes a disappointed, questioning sound.

"What people?" Thor asks. "Who else is here? Did you invite my friends to stay the night also?"

"No one is here, Thor. But people will find out, and once they do, they'll talk. You can't think this is normal, what we're doing."

Thor grunts, frustrated. "Does it matter?"

"Yes," Loki says, emphatically.

"You know I'm no good with words," Thor says. "And you must know I want this. What would you have me say?"

It's not a real request, Loki knows it's not a real request, but, oh, how she itches to rise to the bait. She bites her tongue until she tastes blood.

"Loki," Thor says, and she sounds so alone.

"Say it will only happen this once." The words spill out against her better judgement. "Or say you've been thinking about this for years, say you treasure me above all others or that you grow weary waiting for your wedding night yet wish to remain a maiden, say anything but the truth."

"Loki —" And Thor's kissing her again, earnest, biting kisses that steal her breath away. "Those are all the truth, how could it be otherwise? Although —" And she pauses to steal another kiss from Loki's open lips, as if she just can't bear to keep herself away. "— I doubt anyone in this realm believes me still a virgin."

"Please stop talking," Loki says, barely suppressing a manic laugh.

Thor hums agreeably and rolls closer, closing the last inches between them and tangling their feet together. Her body is warm where it presses against Loki's, and Loki is suddenly aware how insubstantial the shift she'd worn to bed really is. Just two paper-thin layers of cloth between them, and then —

"Can I?" Thor asks, punctuating her request with a wet kiss to Loki's neck.

Loki nods, not knowing why Thor thinks she needs to ask; hadn't they just had that conversation? As long as they pretend it's just once, that it's for reasons and not just for fun, they can keep going. Just this once.

Whatever Loki had been expecting Thor to do, it wasn't to go for the laces at the front of her shift, undoing them until she can push the wide-open collar aside and continue tracing the line of Loki's neck with her mouth, down to her collarbone and across to the point of her shoulder. Loki feels like she's being memorized, mapped out.

"You should take this off," Thor says, pulling impatiently at the fabric that's been pushed down to her elbow and won't go any farther. Together, they manage to get the shift off, though Thor keeps getting distracted by each new patch of skin revealed, and Loki nearly elbows her in the face twice getting her arms out of the sleeves.

Thor makes a triumphant little noise, like Loki's nightclothes were a terrifying monster to be vanquished, and rolls her onto her back, straddling her hips and resting her hands on the curves of Loki's breasts. Loki chokes back a startled laugh.

"Subtle, Thor."

"Is this not pleasing to you?" Thor asks, gently thumbing a nipple. "When I lie by myself, I often give myself great pleasure like this; I had thought perhaps we were similar in this way. If there is something else you would rather me do..."

"You have the sensibilities of a troll," Loki says, but it comes out a little breathless because Thor's done that thing to her nipple again, and it sends spikes of heat straight to her cunt. Thor runs her hands down Loki's sides and mouths at the underside of a breast, and — and it's good, and Loki doesn't have any idea what to do with any of it. Unlike the last time they were in this position, Thor's left her hands free. Loki curls and uncurls her hands at her sides, knowing she's well past the point of blame; if word gets out, it won't matter if she never reached out and touched Thor of her own accord, no one will ask. It shouldn't matter at all, but still, maybe this is enough, just to be here while Thor does wicked, indecent things to her.

That is, unless, Thor stops, raises her head from where she'd been inching ever closer to Loki's nipple with her tongue and just a hint of teeth, just enough to set Loki fairly trembling with anticipation.

"Loki," Thor says, her voice warm and low right next to Loki's ear. "I had not wanted to pose such an indelicate question, but I must know — have you never done this before?"

Loki stiffens. "What? Lain with my own sister? You might have noticed we don't exactly have an excess of sisters to go around."

"With anyone," Thor corrects, gently, and honestly, the way she can just gloss over this like it's not an aberration, like they're meant to be together, staggers the mind.

"No, I'm afraid that's your area of expertise," Loki drawls.

"Jealous?"

"No," Loki says.

"No matter, I'm here with you now," Thor says, as if Loki's answer had been in the affirmative. She tilts Loki's chin up and kisses her deeply, cutting off any protestations Loki might have made.

"I only ask," Thor says, leaving Loki's mouth at last and trailing her way slowly back down her chest, "Because I am happy like this, but you should know you can touch too, if you want. If no other lover told you that before..." Thor growls ominously and mutters something that sounds like "my hammer and I would have words with them."

"Keep Mjölnir out of this," Loki says. "I merely wished not to distract you; forgive me for being selfish."

"It is I who have been selfish," Thor says, caressing the place where Loki's waist dips in and making her shiver. "You are —"

Loki does it to stop Thor from talking, that's the only reason. She surges up and meets Thor's lips with her own, tangling a hand in the hair at the back of Thor's neck to guide her back down. Thor lets out a wavering sigh and relaxes her weight into Loki, stretching out on top of her until Loki can feel exactly what a matched pair they are, the same from head to toe. Thor's still got on the tunic and leggings that she fell asleep in, and Loki fists a hand in the material on her back, holding her down as she licks at the seam of her lips. Thor frames her face with her hands and kisses back like she would happily devote her attention to the task for the rest of her life.

The crotch of Thor's leggings is soaked through, which Loki knows because Thor's rubbing herself against Loki's hip slowly and shamelessly. The front of her tunic is all bunched up around the tops of her legs, and Loki thinks how easy it would be to slip her hand inside her clothes and give Thor something to really rub off on. She fumbles between the layers and gets as far as her hand on Thor's ass, and then Thor's murmured encouragement means she has to pretend that's what she was going for in the first place. Then Thor shifts, says, "No, wait," and kicks out of her leggings without even breaking the kiss. Loki helps her with the tunic, tugging it over her head and dropping it off the side of the bed, and then there's no limit on where her hands could go. Thor doesn't seem to have any trouble deciding, one hand going to circle her hip, pulling her in closer, and the other burying itself unerringly in Loki's hair.

Up close like this, skin to skin, it's easier to feel all the ways they're not a perfectly matched set, despite the fact that they're of a height and have the same broad shoulders (noble and becoming of a warrior on Thor, simply awkward and unladylike on Loki). Thor's dedication to the training field shows; wherever Loki puts her hands she finds muscles and more muscles. Her shoulders are solid slabs, her back is a tapestry of small muscles tensed from the way she's arching over Loki. There are raised lines and uneven patches that Loki imagines the light would reveal to be battle marks and old scars. She traces her fingers over one on Thor's ribs, and is startled when Thor bites down on her shoulder and squirms sideways.

"Ticklish," Thor says, and Loki tries not to tickle after that, if only to avoid getting bitten.

Thor goes back to sucking what will probably be an impressive bruise into the side of Loki's neck, and as pleasant as this all is — Thor's wet mouth and flickers of tongue and teeth on Loki's pulse point is having a remarkably strong effect — Loki can't tamp down the growing wave of frustration. Thor doesn't seem to be after anything in particular, seems perfectly content to let this spin out forever. Loki doesn't have forever. She needs this to have a shape, a beginning and an end, even if she has to be the one to shape it.

Loki tells herself she's only doing what Thor must expect her to do when she slides a hand between their bodies. Thor's arousal has already made a mess between them, and her fingers skate over her stomach to the sticky curls at the meeting of Thor's legs. Thor is wet, so wet that when Loki presses her fingers to her cleft, all she can feel is slickness and heat.

Thor makes a wordless noise — appreciation? warning? — and grabs Loki's wrist, pulling it away from her.

"Wait," she says. "I had wanted to, first," and she rolls off Loki, tugging at her with her legs until they're lying side by side, facing each other. She brings Loki's sticky hand to her chest, leaving it there in an open invitation and whispering in her ear, "I won't mind if you get a little rough."

There's a comfort in being manhandled, knowing Thor expects things of her, has an idea of how this will go. Loki lets the warm weight of Thor's breast fill her hand, larger than her own, though she often forgets with the way Thor binds her chest down to stay streamlined in battle. Thor's nudging her legs apart, pulling at her knee until she drapes her leg over Thor's thighs, exposing herself, and then Thor's hand is on her, teasing at her outer lips in a way that feels almost shameful.

"Get on with it, then," Loki says, letting her voice betray nothing other than impatience.

"Patience," Thor says, and continues as she was. By the time she finally goes anywhere near where she's wanted, tracking a path from Loki's entrance almost up to her clit, then back down again, Loki's burning up with the effort it takes not to move.

It's several more minutes of these glancing, teasing touches, before Loki snaps. "What do you think you're doing," she says flatly, unable to hold it in any longer.

"I was being gentle," Thor says.

"Don't worry so much about gentle," Loki says, and then, thankfully, Thor's finger slips inside her. It's quickly followed by another one when she finds the way isn't as narrow as she'd been expecting, and she fucks into her slow and steady, giving her the heel of her hand to rub against.

Loki hooks her knee tighter around the back of Thor's legs to give her better purchase, and Loki can feel her orgasm building as Thor gradually increases her pace. Thor does this like she does everything, with her whole body thrown into it and no thought that she could fail. It's thrilling to be on the receiving end of that kind of concentrated power, Loki finds, in a way that fighting simply can't compare to. She's not rushing to defend herself here; there's nothing to distract from the full force of it.

Loki clutches Thor's shoulder and buries her face in her neck when she comes, lest she let out any embarrassing noises. She keeps herself pressed up against Thor's hand until the last of the aftershocks have passed through, silently urging her to keep going, not stop moving while there's still pleasure to be had, and Thor obliges her.

Loki takes a minute to catch her breath, then unbends her fingers from around Thor's shoulder and trails them down over the swell of her breast, across an indentation in her abs — muscles everywhere; Loki might be able to make intellectual sense of it, but it feels foreign every time.

"You stopped me earlier," Loki says, slowing her hand's downward crawl. "Would you allow me to continue now?"

"I would have your tongue on me," Thor says, voice unsteady like she's confessing a secret.

"Would you," Loki says. Some kernel of an idea sparks in her mind, but she can visit it later. Right now she just wants to hear more of Thor sounding like that, all needy and unsure.

"Yes," Thor says, and oh, Loki could make Thor beg for this. Maybe she will.

Under the covers, the smell of sex is already strong, and it only gets stronger as Loki noses between Thor's thighs. Thor spreads her legs readily, greedily, making space for Loki to crouch between them. It's pitch dark here, not even the glimmer of light from under the door to orient herself by. It's clear that Loki can't move fast enough to suit Thor, so she wastes no time finding her place by feel and licking a broad stripe up Thor's cunt. Thor's hips buck and she lets out an oath.

"Spare us the theatrics, Thor," Loki says, rolling her eyes and telling herself it makes no sense to feel accomplished. If this is how Thor reacts to the first stroke, what will she have left to give once Loki hits her stride?

Thor ducks her head under the covers. "Why did you stop? Is my taste foul?"

"I stopped because you were acting like a tart on a commission," Loki says, "and I would appreciate if I didn't have to be on my guard for a concussion. Please at least try to control yourself."

"It is just — I will try," Thor says, sounding abashed and genuinely contrite. Interesting.

With both of them under the covers like this, Loki can hear all the little sounds that had been muffled before — the little hitch in Thor's breath when Loki leans in for the second time, the short gasp when she licks her, the whimper when she sucks on her clit. Thor stays true to her word and makes no sudden movements, though Loki keeps a warning hand on her flank just to be sure. She's quivering, though, the muscles of her thighs drawn taut with effort. Loki wants to bite them. Instead, she puts her effort into using her tongue on Thor, drawing out more of those shaky breaths and twitches of her hips like she's just barely restraining herself from fucking up onto Loki's face. Loki tightens her hold on Thor's hip, digging her fingertips in just a tiny bit as a reminder: stay still, stay good.

Thor wants to stay good, Loki can tell, but the longer Loki draws it out, the less control she seems to possess. Loki rubs a pair of fingers over her entrance and then curls them inside, and Thor yells out loud, clenching down around her, slick and tight. Loki is seized by a strange impulse to find all the ways to make Thor cry out like that, which would be a pointless project indeed — Loki already has this one way, the way Thor asked for specifically, any more is redundant.

Loki moves her fingers in Thor and laps at her clit until all pretense of quiet or still has been forgotten, Thor heartily moaning on every stroke and tilting her hips to press harder against Loki's tongue even though Loki's gripping her hard enough to leave bruises. She cries out Loki's name just before she comes, gasping and quaking and shoving Loki off the second she's done.

"Too much, too much," she gasps.

Loki wipes her chin off on the inner curve of Thor's knee, allowing herself to nuzzle just a little, but not bite. That's Thor's arena, and maybe, one day once she's skilled at all of this, she'll allow herself to turn it back on Thor. Someday, she thinks, they'll be able to share this without it feeling like they're sharing too much.

Thor makes no attempt to pull her closer, but they're still almost close enough to touch, occupying the same hollowed-out space under the covers.

"You truly have a talent for that," Thor says once her breathing has slowed, tone hushed and reverent.

"In the morning you'll think better of this," Loki predicts, gesturing in the dark to include the bed, their naked bodies, everything. "We aren't meant to be together like this, the two of us."

"Why should we not be together any way we please? You shall ever be my sister, this can hardly take away from that."

Loki smiles to herself. "You always do get your way, Thor." How else could she see it? She's never been denied anything in her life.

Thor hums sleepily, evidently taking this for agreement. "In the morning I shall repay you for the favor you have done me. If you have never experienced such a pleasure before...marvelous, truly..." She trails off in a yawn.

After long minutes, her breathing evens out, and Loki is alone in the dark. The seed of the idea she'd set aside earlier begins to germinate, and she turns it over in her mind, considering. Perhaps it wasn't possible to want without giving anything away, but perhaps she had overlooked an important loophole: the other person always wants too. Want for want, secret for secret, at the worst you come away with no net loss. Come at it with an invented desire, a fabricated motive, and you could get someone to spill all their secrets for nothing in return.

It's all theoretical in her mind, ideas with precious little to anchor them to, but Loki's a master at putting theory into practice. She slips off into sleep, looking forward to the morning.