It was easy to fall. Thor had wanted to fall. He had wanted to, no matter what his mind had said, no matter what reason argued. In his heart, he wanted it, and when the tip of Loki’s glowing scepter had prodded against his chest Thor had leaned into it, sighing.
That had been the last, pained word he uttered while he still had no choice but to fight against himself, and the first beloved name to slip from his throat after, in a breath like a vow. Loki had stepped back then, appraising, eyes narrowed, as if he was somehow uncertain that it would have worked.
Thor had been too overwhelmed with the sudden sense of relief to reassure him.
Thor had wanted this. He knew it in that moment. The terrible tension that had been wrapped around something within him, wound tight like a string ready to snap, had been released. Now he could relax again. Now he knew he had been right all along: fighting Loki had hurt him, and it was because this was what was right. He was supposed to be here beside his brother, trusting him, obeying him. Anyone who did not understand that would fall before them, for Loki deserved to take the throne of Midgard, if that was what he chose.
So Thor did his brother’s bidding and when Loki did not call upon him, he waited, glad to be allowed to remain at Loki’s side. He did not ever again want to be parted from the one he most dearly loved.
That was the other thing Thor had realized as the scepter touched his chest. The sight of Loki as he was now frightened him somewhere deep in his soul. The brother he had lost had not looked like this; Thor remembered a slim shape that slipped in and out of shadows like a black trout in a dappled stream. Thor remembered a whisper of counsel at his back, a cautious hand on his arm, keeping to its place and station. Princely armor edged in dull gold. But this Loki, though gaunt and hollow-eyed, was an ascending king.
He was so fearsome that sometimes all Thor could think to do was to fall to his knees before him.
It had taken weeks before he had worked up the courage. And the first time he had tried, hands to his brother’s chest, Loki had given him again that wary, distrustful look and spun away from him, leather tails of his coat flying, going off to take care of some other detail of his conquest. But the blue light in Thor’s eyes had shown him something that he had never seen before: it had shown him how they were always meant to be. So he was persistent. And at last Loki gave in.
Thor suspected what finally won him this victory was that he was the only one in this realm who knew properly how to serve an Asgardian prince. He was the only one who knew what sort of obedience Loki was once accustomed to, the only one who—well, to put it simply—understood the intricacies of his armor enough to help him with it as a servant should. And no matter how lowly, it was a task Thor loved, imagining himself as his brother’s squire. He liked the weight of Loki’s helm in his hands as he set it reverentially in its place. He liked to kneel low to remove Loki’s boots, knowing that his brother’s knife-sharp eyes were watching him as he paused to kiss the inner calf of each before urging Loki to step so he could slip them off. He liked to nuzzle against the long, splayed raven-tails of Loki’s coat, breathing in the scent of leather and sparks and concrete dust that clung after battles on this rough-hewn world. Thor liked the calming ritual motions of unfastening buckles and straps, leaving the scent of leather on his hands as he lifted away each piece of gleaming armor while Loki held his silence, imperious and imposing.
There was a time Thor would have knelt thus for no one, would have never given his brother such respect—before he had seen Loki as he was now—and Thor liked to imagine with each garment of supple black leather, with each heavy plate of armor, that he was also lifting away those memories that lay so heavy on his mind. He would make up for those years and set the example for this whole realm, show them how well his brother deserved to be worshipped.
And each such time there came a moment in the process when he had Loki’s undertunic in his hands, had Loki standing before him in only his trousers, his pale, sculpted chest rising and falling with each full breath, the richness of leather clinging to his skin. Each such time Loki would eye him as if he wasn’t sure what he wanted, as if Thor might still turn out to be his enemy, as if it was Thor who was the realm’s dark king and not Loki himself. Something Thor could not possibly think of as fear flashing in his gaze, a burst of lightning in a nighttime storm, gone almost as soon as it was seen and replaced with its opposite, its negative image seared into the retinas.
It was not a look Thor liked to see there—it made him uneasy, and in nervousness he reached out to unbuckle Loki’s belt as well.
“Let me, brother… make use of me…” he murmured.
The first time they had done this he had been sure Loki would use him harshly, have him gulping air between strokes, nostrils flaring, eyes watering as his throat was filled, shivering at the hands yanking him back and forth by the tender roots of his hair. He had been ready for it. He had been hard for it, wanting, for this was how they were supposed to be, and what he most wanted was to prove himself worthy of his place at the foot of Loki’s throne. He wanted to know that of all Loki’s army he was the most prized, the one Loki coveted most fiercely. He was desperate to show all his devotion. He wanted Loki—his dark and fearsome king, his beloved brother, one and the same—to rule him and to love him and to never find him lacking.
But in fact it always began with Thor kneeling between Loki’s spread thighs, pinned under the weight of Loki’s gaze, sucking pleadingly on his brother’s cock. He tried to focus on the thickness of it, the heat on his tongue, the taste of leather and salt on Loki’s skin. He tried not to think of how Loki sprawled, kingly, above him, watching him, aloof and dark. He rested his hands against white hips (not grasping, not holding, for he was Loki’s servant now, focused on his brother’s pleasure and not his own desires) and he tried to be as good as he could be—his only relief came when Loki began to pant, when his hips began to move and when a lazy hand dropped to weave in with Thor’s hair, guiding him at last.
Relief, yet not, for again and again Loki had put him in his place thus, yet it never seemed to soothe him. Not even when Loki had taken to pulling him off at the end to come across his face, painting his cheeks and chin in a smear of white—it always ended there, with Thor painfully, achingly hard in his pants and almost sick with heartache. With Loki pushing him away and watching as Thor squirmed there before him on the floor.
Loki never took any more than that. He never took Thor to his bed, never made Thor his, never let Thor show him how much he wanted to give him whatever he desired—and Thor did want. He had never wanted anything more. The blue light in his eyes had shown him that; he wanted to have Loki in his arms and he wanted his brother to sate himself with Thor’s submission and with his body. He wanted Loki to destroy him and put him back together only to destroy him again. He wanted Loki to make him cry out his name as he came, so that all the mortal realm would know. Thor crouched at his brother’s feet, nearly trembling with the force of his need, gazing up into his brother’s face, loving him, wanting—
But Loki never did more than tuck himself silently back in to the leather of his trousers and watch with those same cold, wary eyes as Thor grew strangely ashamed, as uneasiness overtook the hollow of his heart, as he tried with one hand to wipe himself clean.