When Loki accidentally sets fire to Vanaheim, it's Thor that says it was his doing. He says that he had accosted Fafnir in the woods, and upon realizing his mistake, he and his brother had been forced to run, and thus, fire. Flames enriched with a magic that required Ægir to bring rain down from the Heavens. The All-Father was most displeased.
And when Thor had been sent out of Odin and Frigga's chamber, a humiliated flush spread hideously across his face, he is met by Loki. The latter of the two wears a most peculiar expression, and the boy pulls the other down the hall they are currently walking down anyway, and without a word, he pulls Thor into the closest empty room, speaks in a tongue that Thor does not understand -- quietly, without intent -- and Thor hears invisible locks click shut. Loki turns.
"Brother, i--" he pauses, thinks. "How idiotic can one be?!"
Thor does not know how to respond. Loki continues, dark eyes wild.
"How in the name of our All-Father, greatness be to Him, can you simply--? He will exile you to Midgard if you do not simply let me take the blame for my own mistakes! And yes , they are mistakes, Thor. I did not mean to set fire to the forest," he adds in exasperation when the blond opens his mouth to interject. Thor closes it, looks guilty.
They are in a storage room that smells vaguely of mead and perfumed goods. Frigga's stores, he observes, and it is strangely warm. Not unwanted, no, but strange. Loki eyes him, steps closer, and Thor sits upon a barrel of scented herbs.
"The All-Father is already frustrated with you, dearest Loki," explains Thor in a softness that does not betray the thunderous strength of his abilities. His legs swing a bit, childish.
Loki all but spits, "Let Him be frustrated!"
"But I rather enjoy your company in Asgard! I would not be happy at all if you were sent to Midgard in my place!" he argues, looking up sharply, glaring. "You have already faced hardships, brother. Do not add another burden to the weight upon your shoulders."
And it is then that Thor sees the revelation in Loki's eyes, the understanding and the complexity of the magic underneath his skin, and the darker-haired boy looks down, studies the bottles of mead strewn upon the ground.
But it's also Loki that moves first, closer to the blond, their legs touching slightly. And it is Loki that murmurs, "We are friends, are we not, brother?"
Thor says, "Aye, Loki, we are. Why would we not be?"
"You are my only friend in this hellish place." It sounds like a confession, bitter and hushed. Thor wonders when exactly it was that Loki's eyelashes had grown so long, when the point of his nose had become so elegant, when his breath had become so sweet, so sour. "You are the only creature who is not afraid of who I am, what I can do if i will it, speak it. All of them? They are peons, nothing when they perceive something they do not understand, do not want to understand and--"
Thor hugs his shield-brother, his friend; Thor hugs Loki and Loki is frozen, confused, spluttering as he halfheartedly tries to push him away. In the embrace, though, the resolve is shattered, crushed under the tightness of muscles contracting, like a constrictor's, under the warmth of bodies colliding, and Thor slides off of the barrel, holds Loki closer.
"Have you ceased in your verbal rampage, dear brother?" asks Thor when all goes silent. Loki's hands are on his hips, fingers spindly, fitting. Loki nods, mouth pressed into the fur collar of his shirt like an almost-kiss. The kiss of chaos, of hearts thumping wildly.
"I am not the son of Odin," whispers Loki after a while, and his voice shakes. "Or the son of Frigga. I-- I should not even be here. I--"
And Thor draws back, studies his-- his brother because that is what he has always been. Brother not of blood but of spirit, he rationalizes. Not of heritage but of warmth in the Asgardian winter. And then there is a touch to his mouth, chapped and slightly wet as Loki had licked his lips prior to leaning up and pressing a chaste, almost-kiss there.
And then? Then there is a more intentional, less experimental touch, reciprocated tenfold by the blond whose heartbeat quickens and skips and in the back of his mind, he prays to every god he can remember that a roll of thunder does not start in response to this. Freyr is smiling, he thinks as his hands frame the other's face, the kissing slow and earnest and Loki is whimpering a bit, pressing closer to him.
"You are an imbecile, brother," whispers Loki, a fondness in his tone, a lopsided smile on his face.
"And you are reckless," Thor chuckles, "but you are Loki."
"And you? You will always be Thor."