When Thor was born, he was given a fur pelt, large enough to wrap around his body dozens of times. Thor slept with it every night.
When Thor was one, he was given a rattle, and a plush goat. Thor played with them every morning.
When Thor was two, he was given a little brother, whose soft black hair sat in a ruffle on his tiny head, and he never so much as gave a peep. Thor stared and wondered about him every single second of the day.
And they grew, and grew, attached at the hip. There was no such thing as Loki without Thor or Thor without Loki. How preposterous! They smiled and laughed in each other's company and nobody could ever tear them apart or bring them down. They rose in the mornings together, with Loki prodding at Thor to wake him up, they ate together, they explored together, played together, bathed together and slept together, both fitting comfortably underneath Thor's fur pelt. Their parents would have it no other way. Frigga loved nothing more than seeing her two boys together, happy as could be.
When Thor was six, Loki turned four and entered his first year of studies. For the first time, they were separated from each other for more than mere minutes. Thor said it would be okay, but Loki was scared anyway. Being the smallest one in the class, he was already cast out by the others as the odd one out. He was okay with that because he sat with the teachers instead, and they were delighted with the young genius. But things got worse, and Loki could only hide it for so long. He could only feign happiness for so long, and the bruises could only be hidden so well.
One night, Thor lifted the covers for Loki to crawl in before asking why he was dressed such for the weather; his slacks covered his legs to the ankles and his shirt covered his arms to the wrists, collar high to hide his neck. Thor wore nothing but light linen shorts, and he knew his brother was not one for the heat. Loki had done enough hiding.
So, when Loki was four, he witnessed his brother angry for the first time. The boys and girls in his class barely looked at him any more. He remembered his heart secretly swelling with joy. Frigga demanded her sons be put in the same class, despite their age difference. Thor nodded very eagerly. Loki's teachers supported Frigga's claim of Loki's above-normal intelligence and special magic-wielding abilities. Loki hid behind Frigga's dress, only poking his little head out to peek curiously at the director of the school. So they tested Loki, and they moved him. They were side by side again, as they were always meant to be.
When Thor was twleve, and Loki turned ten, Thor started getting really embarrassed in the mornings. He would snap at Loki to go away when Loki tried to wake him, and it hurt them both dearly. The first time Thor told Loki to go away, he miserably cleaned the bed sheets that were wet from his dreams, and it took him so long he missed the breakfast hour all together. When he sneaked down to the hall to see if there was leftover food, a plate was set at his normal seat, and upon it were bread that had gone cold, strips of boar that lost a bit of its rich flavour, and a perfectly sliced apple, which screamed of Loki's signature. Thor ate it all, but the next morning, he shooed Loki away again. Day after day, Loki left the room nearly in tears, waited for Thor who never showed up, and prepared him a meal anyway, leaving a plate for him.
One day, Loki refused to give up, and tugged at Thor's arm to get up, because he missed his brother at breakfast. When they fought, Thor accidentally shifted to reveal the pool he made. He had been awkward, he had been ashamed, and above all, he had been angry at Loki for forcing him to reveal his secret.
So, when Loki was ten, he was struck by Thor for the first time. His bottom lip had quivered with his efforts to stop his tears from spilling, but they did so anyway from those bright green eyes. Thor had barely looked at him that day. He remembered his heart secretly breaking and falling apart. Frigga asked what was wrong, and demanded Thor apologize for hitting his brother. Loki never told her why, and when they returned to their chambers that night, he told Thor so. Relief, guilt, and gratefulness washed over him, and he apologized over and over again. I never meant to hurt you, he said. I was just so embarrassed. But Loki was Loki, which meant he knew everything Thor didn't, and he told Thor that it was normal. He said that it happened to every boy eventually, and that Loki could help him with it, and Thor finally smiled again. He held Loki close that night, and when they had breakfast together for the first time in days, Frigga smiled until her cheeks ached.
When Thor turned thirteen, and Loki was eleven, the wet dreams happened more often. Loki was true to his word, and he helped clean up the mess in the morning with his magic so Thor could join them at breakfast. But, as Loki noticed the pools become larger and more frequent, he had to think of a more efficient solution.
One night, he offered to help Thor in a different way.
So, when Loki was eleven, he learned to use those delicate fingers of his. Thor was already in bed, and stripped down to his loincloth, fidgeting and running his fingers through the fur pelt that covered him. Loki was just as nervous, but he had learned to keep all signs at bay. He too stripped down for the night, as he always had, but it was different this time. He stopped Thor from speaking with a gently placed finger and sang to him. He sang a lullaby of two brothers, destined to be side by side together, and he sang it for Thor, who always calmed down when it was sung to him. Loki was smooth, and he was clever. When he first grabbed hold of Thor, Thor shivered and gasped, and Loki smiled. Don't worry, brother. I've got you. I'll take care of you. he had said. He experimented with different speeds and different pressures, studying Thor's reactions, and he perfected this skill for his brother. He never thought twice about it, because Thor meant everything to him, and he would carry all of his secrets to the grave. Because he secretly took pleasure in helping Thor this way, he loved Thor. He had always loved Thor. And as Thor's seed leaked down his hand, his member softening in Loki's palm, he whispered a hoarse "thank you" because he was glad that it was Loki helping him, because he loved Loki. He had always loved Loki. The next year would become one of the most intimate years of their lives. They shared their first kiss - not their kisses from before to the brow or to the cheek as a gesture of close familiarity, but kisses where their tongues danced together lightly and gracefully, full of twirls and spins like ballerinas. Kisses that left both of them wanting more, kisses that left them breathless, kisses that would be forgotten soon. They shared their bodies, openly naked and enjoying their radiating warmth together. They shared each night like this, forgetting it was originally to help Thor, falling back on the excuse like a safety net. They never said it out loud, and really, all they wanted to say to each other was I love you, I love you, I want to be with you always, here, like this, I love you, I'll love you until the end of time. But like the kisses they shared, these words would soon be forgotten too.
When Thor was fourteen, and Loki was twelve, it was Thor's turn to help. Two years prior, when all of this began, he remembered how Loki had helped him. He remembered what Loki had done, what he was doing, and he remembered the sensations that rippled through his body upon his touch. It was his turn now. His turn to help Loki. When he told Loki about this, and asked him if he too had starting leaking in the morning, Loki simply nodded, and his eyes shone upwards at Thor. He was able to hide it, clean it before Thor even woke, but it was time to give in. Give in to Thor.
One night, they went to a place they had never been before, and place where only the two of them would know. Thor had Loki beneath him, and stared at his younger brother with a more powerful gaze than ever before. They yearned for each other's touches now, the past year had pushed them closer and closer, willing them to explore every inch of each other, but they had never been here before. They evolved their routine, they learned from, and taught each other, and started building together. When all could be done with their hands, they tried their mouths and when all could be done with their mouths, they tried both. And then they rutted against each other. And then they rutted while using their hands and mouths and before long hands and mouths became nails and teeth, and soon every part of their body was thrown into their mix of pleasure and pain - every part except here.
So, when Loki was twelve, he placed all of his trust in Thor, and together, they lost their virginity. Loki's cries were swallowed by Thor, whose lips were trembling against Loki's. He ached, and he wanted to drop, but held himself above Loki, searching for love in his eyes. But they were shut, they were shut tightly with the corners leaking tears as his hands grabbed the sheet beneath them, clutching them in pain, and his whimpers came out like a lost pup's. And Thor had whispered Don't worry, brother, I've got you. I'll take care of you just like Loki had done for him. and slowly, lovingly, gently, he rocked back and forth. When Loki twisted his face away to sob into the pillows, Thor leaned down and kissed his temple, salty with sweat. He sang the first few lines of Loki's lullaby, and felt the tight body beneath him relax. When he was done the first verse, Loki had turned back and his eyes had opened, still glossy from tears, but open and filled with love. His love for Thor. And when he gave a little nod, Thor pulled Loki close, wrapping his arms around his beautiful little brother, and he moved once again, slowly, lovingly, gently. Loki didn't cry. He wrapped his arms around Thor's shoulders, he locked his ankles around Thor's back, and he pulled Thor even closer, planting kisses along Thor's collarbone, which were salty from sweat too. And together, they rocked into the night.
When Thor was fifteen, and Loki turned thirteen, they left school together. They finished the segment of their lives together, hand in hand, smiling as they left with top scores.
But after school, things were expected of you. They were required to train vigilantly for an entire year so they may join the ranks of Asgard's warriors. So they trained. And they taught and they learned from each other, and eventually evened each other on the field. Frigga beamed with pride as her sons sparred and remained equal.
Until she saw Loki pin Thor to the ground, legs draped on either side, smile on his face... And Thor, who rested a hand upon Loki's thigh, his other snaking around Loki's neck, bringing him down for a - Frigga gasped as their lips met. No. This.. can't... be.
She immediately ordered that they be given separate rooms. Little did she know, she was already too late to stop everything. For the second time, they were separated from each other, but never for too long. When you loved as strongly as Loki and Thor loved, you would always find a way back.
When the year was up, and Thor was sixteen, he entered the brigade. When the year was up, and Loki was fourteen, he was denied entrance.
Thor shook with anger, tears in his eyes, and Loki hung his head low to hide his. For a third time, they were separated from each other, for hours or days at a time. Thor was hardly in his new bedroom during the day, either leading a mission or training, or healing. And as Thor made his way up the ranks, surpassing his teachers and showing bravery beyond anyone else, Loki stayed behind, and filled the void in his life with anything and everything. He mastered everything he could find in the weaponry, defeating every single student that came out of school, even though he was still a year younger. He'd go on to defeat the next wave of students too. He read every book in the library. Twice. He perfected all of his spells, learned to weave like his mother, hunted with the huntsman of Asgard, learned to swim, invented a mechanism that would allow him to fly when he didn't have enough magic to levitate or teleport - everything.
And it was never enough.
His heart, his mind, and his body all ached for Thor, and the void started to grow. It grew and it grew.
When Loki was finally of age to join the warriors, he had to start at the bottom, while Thor was already at the top. Still, as they went on missions together, he was starting to think that maybe the void could close, and he could seal off the vast emptiness inside of him. But when Frigga noticed their disguised flirtatious smiles or hidden touches, she ordered that the brigade be separate. For a fourth time, they were separated from each other, for days, weeks, even months as a time. When Thor was back in Asgard, Loki was sent to Vanaheimr, and Loki finally got back, Thor was leaving for Álfheimr, when Thor finally got back, he was out cold and had to heal, when Thor was finally waking, Loki was being sent to Svartálfaheimr. The endless cat and mouse cycle wore them both down, threatening to break them, but they held on. They held on for those rare moments they had each other, stealing kisses in the night, making love when they finally had a night together, fucking fast and hard when they only had a few minutes. They held on.
And finally, when Thor was twenty, and Loki was eighteen, they had charged into Jötunheimr, disobeying Odin's direct orders. On this day, one would learn the truth, and one would be banished. On this day, they finally broke. Like a string pulled too taut, something snapped between them, and a sense of loss swept over them.
They never had the chance to say goodbye. They never had the chance to say I love you and Loki could feel the void inside him again. It grew, and it grew. He usually found his way to Thor's room, sleeping in Thor's bed more than his own. He would have gladly slept on that huge pelt of fur that they had shared, knowing it would carry their mixed scent, but sometimes he noticed Frigga following him, and had no choice but to retreat into his own room.
One day, he asked Heimdall how his brother was fairing. And that was when he learned of the mortal Jane Foster. He asked Heimdall almost every day after that, and everyday Heimdall would say Your brother has taken quite a liking to her or She has been most kind, offering her home and hospitality or Thor is happy. Except all Loki could hear was Your brother doesn't love you or He is living with the mortal, you have been forgotten or Thor is happier without you.
And so the void grew, and it grew, it consumed him. And Loki let it.
When Thor was twenty-two, he finally regained his glory and strength and returned, he was taken aback at how much Loki had changed. His darling, sweet Loki whose eyes had sparkled with joy when they saw each other now stood by the Bifrost dome, teeth bared and eyes poisonous. Still shocked at his brother's transformation, he didn't react in time to what Loki was truly doing. His hands had fizzled with energy and vibrant magic as he slammed his fists into the bridge, splintering it with his power and hatred. Thor had screamed, and yelled, protested and flung himself at Loki, but before he could reach him, Loki was already done. He had done it all. He had destroyed Thor's path back to Midgard and his pathetic mortal girl. He stood at the broken edge of the bridge, and waited for Thor to fly into him, and with Mjolnir's momentum, he did. His broad form struck Loki, just enough to send them both over the edge, and Loki closed his eyes at the sweet irony, that they had lived their whole lives together, or overcoming all the boundaries that set them apart just to die together like this, but when he stopped falling, he snapped back to reality. And there, above him, hanging from one hand dangerously on the bridge's ledge, was his brother. His strong, noble, brother that he so dearly loved, with the hand wrapped around the shoulder strap of his golden armour, as he dangled.
But sadly, Loki had already learned by now that forces unexplained kept them apart. Perhaps it had started with no longer sharing a room, perhaps it grew when they were never sent on missions together, but the void that had been gnawing through his body twisted out of control, burning his insides like acid, was set by that mortal woman. He would never be whole again, he would never love Thor so deeply again, he would never come back to this place that tried so hard to keep them apart, he would never let his heart break like this again. No, he would never go through this again.
And so he unclasped the first buckle of the strap.
NO. Oh, how Loki would miss that voice. He looked upward at the voice. NO, BROTHER. DON'T DO THIS. Oh, how Loki would miss those eyes.
And so he unclasped the second buckle. For the last time, they were separated, for the rest of their lives, this time.
Plunging into the empty darkness, he couldn't help but think bitterly that the darkness inside him was even greater.
So, when Loki was twenty, his life would stop, and there would be no stories of when Loki was twenty-one because he would never live those days. Thor couldn't breathe, he couldn't move, he couldn't cry for help, he couldn't pull himself up, and all he wanted to do was let go and dive after his beloved brother. But Frigga was there in an instant, and she pulled her son up, and held him as he sobbed. There was no shame, only guilt and more guilt. Thor's guilt from letting his brother down, letting his brother go, and not diving after him. Frigga's guilt from keeping them apart, thinking it would never have ended like this, and keeping the truth from him.
And finally, at twenty-two years of age, Thor finally learned the truth. On this day, he had lost his trust in his parents, and his brother, his best friend, his first and only lover, and yet all he could summon were memories, an entire timeline of their lives and at every turn he only saw lies, lies, lies. Could it be that Loki knew and never told him, could it be that everything was faked, could it be that Loki had done it to spite him, could it be that these were the reasons he had let himself slip away?
Could it be?
Could it really be?
No, it couldn't.
It just couldn't.
Because it didn't matter, it didn't matter what Loki knew, it didn't matter if he did know and never told him, because words unspoken had their place too. Thor remembered all the times they never told each other I love you and all the times they never said I'll miss you and all the times they never told each other what they would do without each other. I couldn't bear it. I would die.
I will always love you, brother. And at that last word resounding in Thor's mind, he sped through the palace, tearing through anyone who stood in his way, blind rage and hurt driving him to the chambers that he never visited, the chambers that he wish he had, the chambers that still smelled of Loki.
With his face buried deep in the pillows, he breathed in the smell of his brother, the light scent of soap and wildlife, the trees and flowers of the forest, the soft metallic smell gold and blood, the leather from his armour and saddle, but underneath all that, the musk and heat. He smelled musk and heat, and all at once, he remembered the past twenty years they shared together.
And it took those years apart to do this them - to tear them apart for good, to steal his beloved brother away. The younger one he was supposed to protect and now never could. And it was now that Thor realized he had never let his emotions loose, because he never felt the need to be sad. How could he be sad when Loki stood at his side, when Loki laid with him, when Loki waited for him to come home, really, how could he be sad when Loki... had loved him.
When Thor was twenty-two, he curled up in the deep, rich green of his brother's sheets, in the room that had first separated them, and wept. He sobbed, he wailed, he cried out for his brother, he pleaded for this nightmare to be over so he could wake, he bargained with the Norns to bring his brother back for any price, and he cried himself hoarse. He wept into the pillows until his pools of tears had made darkened streaks, he wept until the sun had long fallen, and he wept until he could weep no more, his body run dry.
When Thor was twenty-two, he had a note clutched in his still hand, written on parchment from the school that had first separated them. He laid in the room that had separated them again. He drove the dagger stolen from the brigade that separated them again straight through his own heart. And truly he had known that it would be his mother, who had separated them yet again, would be the first to find him. Which is why the note was made out to her.
All these years, forces that we could not controlled conspired against us. We were brothers, we should have lived side by side, but we were robbed. Robbed of a chance to live together, to be happy.
But it is time that I take matters into my own hands. Loki and I were always meant to be.
When Thor was twenty-two, he let himself bleed, the royal red seeping into the green of Loki's sheets, and he was reunited with his brother, who had met him upon his arrival. On this day, they came together, never to be separated again.