The first time they did anything together, it was (sort of) an accident.
They were teenagers, then—Thor was maybe one hundred and fifty, and Loki was certainly no more than one hundred and thirty-five—and Thor had just returned from an extensive hunting expedition with Sif and the Warriors Three. He was drunk with too much mead, his stomach full of venison and boar, and he collapsed on his bed the moment he entered his chambers, sweaty blond hair sticking to his forehead in clumps. Even then, it was too long, and everyone was always telling him to cut it, and he was always ignoring them because he was Thor, and he was stubborn by nature.
Loki came in a few minutes later, carrying hot tea in one of their mother’s finest cups, an expression on his face that was half annoyance, half affection. Truth be told, he loved his brother, despite all his faults, despite the fact that he was loud and brash and self-centered and, more often than not, very coarse and slightly rude to Loki. The younger of the two knew he didn’t mean it, not really—they weren’t going to be like this forever.
“Thor,” he said, quietly, and Thor groaned into the pillow. “I have brought you tea.”
“Let me be,” Thor grunted.
Loki walked over and sat on the edge of the mattress, setting the tea down on the table beside the bed and placing his hand on Thor’s broad, muscular shoulder. Thor twitched, mumbling into the sheets.
“Drink it,” Loki insisted. “It shall make you feel better.”
After a while, Thor rolled over, as Loki had known he would, and held out his hands for the cup. So very like a child, despite his strength, Loki thought, smiling a little and handing the cup over. Thor drank greedily, great gulps of tea, and it was gone in a matter of seconds. He stared at Loki over the rim, his eyes bloodshot and swollen from too little sleep and too much wind exposure, and he said:
“Did you magic the tea, brother?”
“Perhaps.” Loki stared at the tapestry-ridden wall, drumming his long, elegant fingers on his thigh. He had done magic on the tea, enough to rid Thor of his headache and his tiredness, but he would not admit it unless he was sore pressed. He was just at the age where his sorcery was starting to really come into its own, and for reasons he could not quite account he was almost ashamed of it—ashamed that he was the only male in the castle who preferred reading and spells to hunting and chasing fine women, or downing entire kegs of ale in a matter of minutes.
Usually Thor made fun of him for it, in a way that Loki couldn’t tell if he was jesting or not, but that night he just stared at him for a few more minutes, then set the cup aside. He sat up slowly, and tucked his broad hand against Loki’s jaw.
Loki felt a shiver run its course down his whole body, and tried to repress it before Thor could feel. They were brothers, he knew, Odin’s sons and heirs to the throne, but lately Loki had been—well, there had been times—
Well. It wasn’t natural. Loki could leave it at that.
“Thank you, brother,” Thor said quietly, sincerely. “From the bottom of my heart, I do thank you.” And when he leaned in and kissed him on the cheek, Loki felt all of his skin heating up. Thor’s lips lingered a moment too long for it to be brotherly, and Loki hesitantly turned, his eyes fluttering in a state between open and shut.
Thor’s hand moved. Loki moved, and suddenly they were kissing, hard, tangling their hands in each other’s hair. It isn’t natural, Loki thought, but he did nothing to stop it, and neither did Thor. They fell back against the mattress, Loki underneath Thor, his whole body trembling, his eyes shut, throat exposed. They did not do much more than rub their hips together, creating a soft friction beneath the garments they wore, but combined with the hot, wet kisses on their mouths and throats, it was enough. Loki came, and Thor followed soon after, and then they lay side by side, panting and sweat-soaked in the early evening sunlight. Loki could still smell traces of alcohol on Thor, and assumed he was drunk, and that this had meant nothing to him.
He spent half that night scouring his spell books, trying to find some charm that would cast away his feelings, but there was nothing outside of killing Thor outright, and he wasn’t going to do that.
The second time, they were older, maybe in their late seven hundreds. Thor was married to Sif, and Loki was engaged to Sigyn, who blushed and quivered when he entered a room she was in. It annoyed him to no end, and he spent hours complaining about her to Thor, who listened, laughing, saying, “Brother, she cannot be perfect,” and refusing to speak ill of his own wife, even though Loki knew they had terrible fights every week.
They themselves had not spoken of the events that had transpired between them when they were teenagers—the topic wasn’t exactly taboo, but they had an unspoken agreement that it would never be mentioned unless absolutely necessary, and it was never absolutely necessary for Loki to say, “Thor, brother, remember the time I made you magical tea and then we kind of had intercourse on your bed?” This, too, annoyed him, but he figured he’d been right—Thor had been drunk, and it hadn’t meant anything to him.
One evening Loki was wandering around the palace grounds alone—he’d managed to shake off Sigyn for the evening, promising her that after the wedding took place in a week, he’d satisfy her every night, and she’d never be disappointed in what he could offer—when he heard a branch snap behind him and turned to see Thor standing there, in casual garments, a sheepish expression on his face.
“I had followed you in the hopes I might catch your attention,” he said. “I am sorry if I startled you.”
“No,” Loki murmured, and waited until Thor had fallen in step beside him before continuing his walk. “I was merely thinking about things without the burden of my fiancée.”
Thor smiled. “Brother, surely she is not that bad.”
“This morning she asked me if, when we are wed, she can stay by my side all hours of the day so as to gaze upon my face.” Loki frowned as Thor laughed. “It isn’t funny.”
“Truly, she’s just in love.” Thor ruffled Loki’s hair, teasing. “Do not take offense to Sigyn’s remarks, Loki. She means well.”
They had reached a small stone bench, and sat upon it together, their thighs touching. Loki leaned over and rested his head on Thor’s shoulder, sighing. “And you, Thor? Do you think the same way of Sif? That she ‘means well’ when she fights with you?”
Thor tensed. “You know about the fights?”
“Brother, everyone in the castle can hear the two of you arguing at night.”
Thor was quiet for so long that Loki lifted his head and looked at him, strangely, his head tilted, the reflection of the moonlight in his emerald eyes. Thor glanced over at Loki and saw the shadows cast in the hollows of his cheeks, the sharp outline of his jaw. He was beautiful, his younger brother.
“Sif and I have our differences,” Thor said finally, softly. “Truly, I married her because it was what the Allfather commanded. The love part; that will come later, in time.”
“And does she know? Does Sif know that you are married to her out of obligation?”
Thor shook his head, then shivered. His eyes shifted to the right, and Loki could tell he meant to end the conversation. “It’s cold out tonight, brother.”
“I had not noticed,” Loki murmured, not pressing Thor, hooking his arm through his and moving closer. Loki never noticed the cold. It had been that way since they were little—Thor would freeze at the slightest gust of wind, and Loki would make fun of him, and they’d both end up laughing somewhere warm in the castle.
“We should go inside,” Thor said, but he made no move to get up, and neither did Loki. They stared at the stars, each feeling the other’s body heat, until at length Loki could stand it no longer and turned to face his brother fully.
“Thor,” he began, and he wasn’t sure who started it, this time, but they were kissing, Thor resting his hand lightly on the small of Loki’s back and Loki tangling his fingers in Thor’s too-long hair. It had been over six centuries since they’d last done anything like this, but Loki still remembered how to move his jaw against Thor’s, how well he tasted, like mead and meat and some dusky flavor that was all Thor. He trailed his fingers down Thor’s skin and heard his breath catch in the back of his throat. He moved over Thor’s lap, undoing the strings of his trousers and pulling them down past his broad hips, pushing against him roughly, insistently. Loki could feel Thor’s fingers moving at his own trousers, struggling to get them undone, and he gasped softly into his mouth, trying to deepen the kiss and push his body weight forward at the same time. Both of them glanced to the sides, once, to make sure no one was coming, even though they were nearly a mile away from the castle’s entrance by that point. Loki bit Thor’s neck, at the place where he could see his pulse beating rapidly against his skin, and Thor’s hand—not so graceful as his brother’s, but skillful from so much hunting—enclosed around Loki, stroking heavily.
“Brother…” Loki muttered, his voice coming out as more of a moan, and Thor felt a shiver run up his spine. When Loki came, it was all over Thor’s tunic, but neither of them seemed to notice. Loki was shaking, his whole body trembling like a wire, and he slowly slid off Thor’s lap and knelt before him. He finished sliding Thor’s trousers down to nearly around his ankles, then took him in his mouth. Thor was already hard, and it didn’t take much for Loki to get him off. He thrust his hips forward when he came, and Loki had to hold him back with his hand to keep from choking.
Then they were both pulling their trousers up, and Loki was using magic to rid Thor’s tunic of the stains, and the scent of sex. They walked back to the castle together in silence, Thor a few paces ahead of Loki, but Loki was older now, and more in control of his emotions. If this didn’t mean anything to Thor, then so be it.
When they were outside Thor’s chamber doors, they paused, unsure of how to properly say goodnight. The air between them hung heavy and awkward, and for a second Loki’s hand fluttered like a pale moth in the darkened hallway. Thor reached up and caught his slender fingers, kissing the tips of them each in turn.
“Until tomorrow, brother,” he said, and turned, and went into his room, where the shape of Sif lay waiting for him on the bed.
Loki spent much of the rest of the night thinking of Thor, and of the tenderness he’d seen in his eyes in the moments before they’d stood and put their clothing back in order.
The third time, it was the night before Thor’s coronation. There had been a giant feast—which Loki had been late to, because he was leading the Frost Giants into Asgard via the Bifrost and showing them where to hide until it was time to enter the castle the following day—and afterwards, when the guests were gone, Thor went up to his chambers. Loki followed and found his brother sitting on his bed, holding his winged helmet in his hands, rolling it over, the gold shining in the candlelight. He looked up when he heard Loki shifting in the doorway and smiled broadly, shifting over on the mattress to make room.
“Are you nervous, brother?” Loki asked as he sat down.
“I should not be,” is what Thor said, after a moment of hesitation. “I have been preparing for this moment for nigh on a century now; by this time tomorrow I shall be king of this great realm.”
By this time tomorrow, if everything goes according to my plans, you shall be slightly humbled and my father shall remain on the throne until you are slightly older and far more mature, Loki thought, but aloud he said:
“Do not worry. You shall make a fine king.” This wasn’t a lie, not really; he did think Thor would be a good king, perhaps even a great one, but not now. Not like this. Not when he still acted long before thinking and thought violence was the answer to every problem.
Thor beamed, reacting as he always did to Loki’s praise, rare though it was. “Thank you,” he said.
Loki merely nodded, placing his hand over Thor’s knee and making light circular motions against his thigh with his thumb. They were quiet for a while, then Thor said:
“Tomorrow, after the ceremony, you will sit beside me at the banquet, yes?”
“Yes, brother,” Loki murmured, moving behind Thor and beginning to massage the tense muscles between his shoulder blades. He hit a certain spot and Thor grunted, shifting backwards into Loki’s touch.
“Be sure to take off your helmet before you join me, then,” Thor said, half laughing. “I will not be seen with my brother looking like a full-grown cow.”
“Says the one who wears gold feathers on his head,” Loki replied, fighting a smile. His mouth was close to Thor’s neck, his breath tickling his skin lightly, and suddenly Thor turned, catching Loki off-guard. The trickster god’s emerald eyes were heavy and dark with some unidentifiable emotion, and Thor reached up and caught his brother’s hands between his own. He opened his mouth to speak, but Loki was there before he could get the words out, pressing their mouths together, forcing Thor to swallow his speech and kiss back. Loki vanished their clothes off and the door shut, then pushed Thor back against the mattress. They rutted together, hard cocks brushing thighs, heat creating friction between them, before Thor could stand it no longer and flipped them over, intense and already sweat-soaked above Loki, who was shaking slightly as he produced a lubricant on his palm. Thor took it, spreading him and stroking himself until he was well slicked up, then thrust in, fast and hard. It was the first time they’d let it get this far, but it only took Loki a few seconds to get used to Thor, and then he was pushing up, wanting more, kissing and biting Thor’s skin, soft keening cries escaping his lips as the bedposts shook against the wall.
Afterwards, they lay together, Loki’s fingers tangled in Thor’s hair, Thor’s hand splayed out protectively against his brother’s sharp hipbone. Loki was reluctant to go, and Thor entreated him to stay, but he would not. When his muscles were rested enough, he stood and wrapped his cloak around himself; kissed Thor’s cheek.
“A fine king indeed,” he said softly, and left the room.
They did not see each other again for a long time after—a year, in Midgardian time; half a century, in Asgardian—and when they did, Loki was battered and broken and maniacal and very much not the brother Thor remembered. They fought first on the cliff face, and then on Stark Tower, and the whole time, all Thor could see in his mind’s eye was Loki spread out beneath him, pale cheeks flushed, lips parted, tugging his hair and gasping brother over and over.
For Loki, there was nothing similar about Thor—Midgard had changed him, being king had changed him. He watched his adopted brother through fever-ridden eyes and thought of better times, and hated himself for thinking of them. Your father did tell you of my true parentage, did he not, he asked, angrily, and wondered if Thor’s knowledge of his Jötun side would cause him to love Loki any less.
Manhattan fell at Loki’s hand, and he was taken back with Thor to Asgard for his punishment. The whole time he stood before Odin, Loki could feel Thor’s eyes on him, watching, though for what exactly, Loki wasn’t sure. He was where he needed to be to get the throne, and he didn’t mind—much—when Odin restricted him to Asgard for six months.
Every night, Thor knocked on his chamber door. Every night, Loki ignored him.
One evening, when the stars were clustering in the sky and the air was starting to cool, Loki sat on his mattress, staring out the window, a single candle lit beside him. It was nigh on two weeks since he’d returned to Asgard, and he still had yet to leave his chambers.
The usual knock came at his door, and as usual he ignored it. But this time, instead of going away, Thor called:
“Brother, please… let me in.”
Loki did not say anything.
“Just for a minute. Just to talk.”
He made a small green flame appear on the tip of his thumb.
“Loki, this—I cannot go this long without speaking to you. I need to see you.”
The flame flickered in a slight gust of wind coming from outside, then went out. With a soft, annoyed sigh, Loki rose and walked to the door. He opened it wide enough to let Thor in, then shut it. A hollow clang echoed through the halls.
“You are insufferable, Thor,” he muttered.
Thor did not respond to that, just smiled, evidently delighted to be seeing Loki. “I feared the Allfather would not allow you to have visitors this early,” he said.
“I do what I want,” Loki said, shrugging and sitting on his mattress. He was achingly beautiful, his neck arching as he stretched backwards, his long fingers flexing against his legs. Thor longed to hold him in his arms, but he dared not move.
“Are they feeding you all right?” he asked at length.
Loki stared at him. “What are you really here for?” he asked, a bit coldly, but it was to be expected, these days.
“To see you, brother—”
“Don’t call me that,” Loki interrupted, his eyes flashing warningly. “You know full well I am not your brother, Thor.”
As usual, the words brought a pang to Thor’s heart. “I ask you again, have you forgotten all the years we shared together under this roof? When we fought, when we played—”
“When we fucked,” Loki interjected. The Midgardian slang curse rolled off his tongue fluidly, as did every other word he ever said, but Thor still winced.
“Don’t be crass,” he said. “I am trying to make a point—”
Loki stood and in two steps was at Thor’s side, twining his arms around his waist, mouthing his collarbone. “When you drove me into the mattress, that last time,” he breathed, and felt Thor shudder beneath him, “all hard muscle and sweat and sexual energy. Remember how my hands felt on you, Thor,” and he slid his elegant hand down the front of Thor’s trousers now, cupping the heat of him. “Do not tell me that isn’t just as important to your backlog of memories.” Then he jerked his hand back, and his lips formed a thin, cruel line on his face. “And do not tell me we are still brothers after all we have done together. After all you have put me through.”
Thor wasn’t sure if Loki was still talking about sex at this point, but he did not care. He hadn’t lain with anyone—not Sif, not the mortal Jane, not even raunchy Fandral—since Loki’s fall from the Bifrost, so long ago, and abruptly he pushed Loki back against his mattress, gripping his wrists so he could not move and biting roughly at the semi-exposed expanse of pale skin at the base of his throat. Loki gasped sharply, throwing his head backward and allowing his eyes to shut for a second before snapping them back open.
“I hate you—” he started.
“Stop,” Thor said, and when he kissed him again, Loki shut up. His kisses were bruising, almost punishing, and Loki allowed it, finally giving in and twining his limbs around Thor. He wanted to vanish their clothes, but Thor insisted he be allowed to take them off manually, and Loki did not argue. Their hair twined and caught, blond on black, but it bothered neither god and went mostly unnoticed.
Thor kissed every inch of skin he could find on Loki, spreading his hands over his brother’s flat stomach and licking and biting his way up from Loki’s navel to his sternum. He left bruises scattered, punctuated by teeth marks, and Loki in turn gripped Thor’s shoulders hard enough to make him bleed. Thor drove in hard, thrusting deep and full, surprising Loki, who moved his legs higher up around Thor’s body and cried out against his shoulder. They did not speak, much, not then and not for the rest of the night. Loki gripped Thor tight, like he was afraid to let go; and once, Thor allowed himself to be ridden into the mattress, watching Loki above him, pupils dark and mouth open, Thor and brother coming from his lips in hoarse, heavy tones.
They came together three times that night, until the sun had peaked over the horizon and sent warm rays into Loki’s chambers. Then they lay together, Loki’s endless legs twined around Thor’s, half tangled in his sheets. Sweat and sex permeated the air, and Thor lay with his eyes half shut, utterly spent.
“This does not change what has passed between us,” Loki murmured, his hand on Thor’s broad chest.
Thor turned and buried his face against Loki’s shoulder, breathing in his scent. It was a mixture of spices and leather and magic and something else, unnamed, that was uniquely Loki. “I know,” he replied, voice soft.