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let go.

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Thor does not ask for much, from his place of exile at the very edge of the world. He cannot ask for much; he barely has any right to ask for anything at all when he is here to serve a punishment.

Still, Thor wishes that Loki would leave him alone; that Loki would not come to him, unwelcome as the arctic wind, bringing whispers of, “Let go, Thor. Just let go.”

«·»

It’s Loki’s fault that Thor is in exile in the first place. Nobody else seems to realise except for him, but that is why he is the Trickster. He’s the devil sitting upon people’s shoulders, the voice at the back of their minds. He is the temptation that weakens resolve, until he has control, and none are easier to manipulate than Thor.

When Odin had warned Thor that his actions were growing too brash, too arrogant, it had been Loki who had begun to whisper in his ear, telling him of all the things that he shouldn’t do, that he mustn’t do, should their father find out.

This is how Thor ended up in his lonely corner of the world, with the simple yet endless task of holding the sky and the sea apart. Loki is the breeze in his hair, the waves that lick at his ankles, keeping him company, keeping him from going mad in his solitude, whispering, convincing, pleading, just let go.

«·»

Thor does not know how Odin had kept the sky and sea apart for all the countless years before his exile. Loki sometimes suggests that this is all just one big trick; that there is no need to hold them at all and oh, won’t Thor just let go and see for himself?

Loki doesn’t feel what Thor does, though. He doesn’t feel the way the clouds will reach for the waves, like all they want is to be together again. They year for each other the way Thor yearns for Loki, to be able to slide his hands over his brother’s body, to be able to silence his words of temptation with hungry kisses.

Loki will wrap himself around Thor at times, biting him and kissing the marks, leaving Thor hard and aching, unable to attend to his needs.

“If you let go…” Loki will murmur, stroking Thor until he’s so close and yet still so impossibly far. “If you let go, you could do whatever you wanted.”

“I hate you,” Thor moans, each word wrenched from him, leaving him shaking.

He can’t tell if he means it. Worse still, he can’t tell if Loki is speaking the truth when he says, “And I hate you too.”

«·»

Loki loves thunderstorms. He loves watching the lightning bolts rend the sky, and listening to the dark, heavy clouds rumble. Most of all, he loves knowing what each thunderstorm really means.

He knows that they happen when Thor’s legendary resolve wavers; when Thor’s grip on the sky falters and it threatens to fall. He knows that it’s his words that Thor is hearing, his phantom touch that Thor is feeling. He loves knowing that this is Thor getting himself worked up over nothing more than a memory and perhaps this time, he will let go. Perhaps this time, the world will come crashing down upon itself, bringing an end to all that Odin has created. Perhaps the next time, it will be Loki’s turn to build; Loki’s ideas and Loki’s direction, coming together with every strike of Thor’s hammer, building and building until it’s time to destroy once again.

They are gods and this is their playground; Loki believes that it’s time they stopped pretending to be part of the world and instead, remind everybody that they rule it.

He finds Thor the morning after the storm and he’s always so exhausted afterwards, so ashamed. He gives Loki a weary look, his hands held above his head as always. Loki makes a quiet, sympathetic sound as he wraps his arms around Thor.

“Oh, my love. You poor thing.”

“Do not tempt me today,” Thor pleads, turning his face into the curve of Loki’s neck. “Not today.”

“No, Thor, of course not.” Loki strokes his hair gently. “Not today.”

Thor shuts his eyes and sighs heavily. His arms don’t shake, not even once. Loki will work on that one again. Soon.

«·»

The day after, Loki is back. He’s wearing the knowing smirk that Thor has come to expect from him. He doesn’t speak, but he doesn’t need to. Even if he did speak, it’s only what Thor has already heard, countless times before.

Loki sits at Thor’s feet, patient, waiting.

“I will not give in, Loki,” Thor tells him firmly. “I will not fail.”

“Mm. Of course you will.” Loki leans back, smiling up at Thor. “All I need to do is wait.”

And so that is what Loki does; he sits, and he waits.