Loki is sixteen and Thor is twenty-four and Thor knows better.
He really does.
“Why don’t you stay here for the summer?” Frigga said, her voice muffled like she was holding the receiver between her head and her shoulder and the mouthpiece wasn’t quite at her mouth. “It’s your off season anyway, and I’m afraid that with your father and I away that Loki will get into trouble.”
“I don’t know…” Thor was imagining an entire summer spent in the house he grew up in and his stomach knotted just a little bit.
“He won’t be there,” Frigga said, gentle and understanding.
“I know, it’s just—”
“We’ll cover your rent and pay for your food and anything else you need. Please. I don’t want to leave your brother by himself.”
Thor imagined all the trouble he got up to when he was sixteen, and how Loki is more rebellious than he ever was, and despite his misgivings he agreed with her. He sighed.
Loki is so terribly obvious that it would be funny if it weren’t so nervewracking. He saunters—not walks, saunters— downstairs at 1 pm, clearly having just woken up, wearing nothing but boxer briefs and a tank top with armholes so loose that Thor can see his nipples. He rummages through the freezer.
“Mmm,” Loki moans exaggeratedly, enthusiastically sucking on a popsicle. Running his tongue all up and down it, shoving the whole thing in his mouth.
Thor leaves the kitchen.
“Look at those fucking faggots,” Odin said disgustedly, jerking his head towards the two men holding hands across the street. Thor was a junior in high school and last night he had kissed a boy for the first time. He stayed quiet.
Loki overcomes his typical teenage lack of inertia and comes everywhere with Thor. To the grocery store. To the hardware store. To go running around the park loop.
Thor knows what’s going on. He doesn’t do anything about it, just grabs his keys and silently holds the door open when he’s about to leave the house and waits for Loki to go ahead of him.
If he’s watching his little brother’s ass in his too-short shorts, nobody has to know.
It’s endearing and funny to watch Loki try to keep up with him when he’s running. Thor is a snowboarding instructor in the winter and usually a backpacking guide in the summer and two loops of the park barely has him winded. Loki, on the other hand, is a sweat-soaked red-faced mess, bent double with his hands on his knees.
“You don’t have to come with me,” Thor says, passing him a bottle of water.
“Fuck you,” Loki gasps. Thor laughs.
Loki sprawls out on the couch when they get home and his shirt rides up to expose his flat pale stomach. Thor wants to bite it. He doesn’t.
It was two days into his stay that Thor noticed the bruise on Loki’s arm.
“What happened?” Thor asked.
Loki shrugged. “Got in a fight.” He didn’t say with who.
Thor finished his cereal, disquieted.
“That’s a disgusting habit,” Thor says, plucking the joint from his brother’s fingers.
“What are you gonna do, tell on me?”
Thor brings it to his lips, takes a drag. “Nope.” He watches Loki watching his mouth.
Thor was eight when Loki was born and they adored each other instantly. Thor carried his baby brother everywhere, changed his diapers, played with him, read him books. Sometimes when Loki got worked up into a good cry, Thor was the only one that could comfort him.
By the time Thor got to high school, Loki was an adorable little kindergartner with a huge smile. Their age gap was so large that they had nothing to fight about, and Thor thought it was cute when Loki inserted himself into interactions with his friends.
At night when their parents scream-argued, Loki would crawl into Thor’s bed, wide-eyed and trembly, and Thor would hug and shush him until they both fell asleep. He never let on that Loki’s presence comforted him as much as his comforted Loki.
One time, Thor came home from college. He was twenty and Loki was twelve and Loki had been giggly and shy where he never had been before. Thor didn’t think anything of it at the time, really, but maybe that’s when it had started.
It’s two weeks of Loki coming on to him more and more brazenly and Thor stubbornly trying to ignore it but not exactly discouraging it before one night Loki drunkenly climbs into his lap and just. Kisses him.
It had been inevitable but it’s still a shock.
And a thrill.
Thor kisses him back.
Thor knows that he’s sick, and twisted, and disgusting. But Loki clearly wants it just as much as he does, and Thor lets it go way too far. He lets Loki grind up against him. He lets himself shove his hand down Loki’s shorts. He let himself suck a bruise onto Loki’s pretty neck while Loki comes all over both of them.
Loki tries to go to his knees between Thor’s legs afterward, but Thor stops him. Grabs a handful of his hair and pulls him back up into his lap and just holds him there.
“Thor,” Loki whines. “Let me suck you.”
“Not tonight,” Thor says, running his hands up and down Loki’s back, making his little brother shudder in his arms.
Maybe if this is as far as it goes, it will be ok.
It isn’t ok.
“I’m sorry,” Thor says one night. They’re on the couch, Loki tucked up against his side, Netflix playing some movie on the TV that Thor hasn’t been paying attention to at all.
Loki stiffens, but Thor tightens his arm around him and he relaxes again.
“For what?” Loki says suspiciously.
“Not being here,” Thor says.
Thor still feels sick with guilt about it. Going away to college. Escaping their dad’s wrath and leaving Loki to weather it alone. He’d just been so relieved to move out, to finally be able to breathe without fear of explosive rages and the increasingly present threat of physical violence, that he’d run and run and run.
“You shouldn’t have had to live here by yourself.”
Loki is quiet. He picks at a thread on Thor’s track pants. “I had mom.”
“You should have had me.”
Loki nuzzles up into Thor’s neck and Thor bends his head down and kisses him.
“I was mad at you for a long time,” Loki admits.
“But not anymore?” Thor slides his hand down Loki’s side, across his belly, gets his fingers under the waistband of Loki’s shorts.
Thor slides his hand further down until he hits the patch of hair between Loki’s legs, then pulls back, teasing.
“Get on your back, baby.”
Loki scrambles and Thor rolls on top of him, pressing him down into the couch cushions, and Loki puts his hands around the back of Thor’s neck and pulls him down into a needy open-mouthed kiss.
“You ever been fingered?” Thor says huskily against the skin of Loki’s neck. Loki shakes his head frantically.
Loki comes wailing. Thor is aching in his pants, but he staunchly refuses to let Loki touch him this time either.
Sif invites Thor to her parents’ beach house for a long weekend.
“Can Loki come too? I’m on babysitting duty.” Thor winces at himself the moment the words are out of his mouth.
“Sure,” Sif says, and tension coils in Thor’s belly.
Loki can’t stop looking at him. He’s sitting in a beach chair under an umbrella and pretending to read a book, but he’s not.
“Tone it down,” Thor warns, dripping his way over to sit on a towel under the umbrella’s shade.
“Sorry,” Loki smirks. He doesn’t sound sorry at all.
Thor sucks him off that night, Loki stuffing his own fist into his mouth to keep quiet. Thor still hasn’t let Loki touch him. He feels like he might die.
They’re driving home and they stop at a truck stop for a bathroom break and snacks. Loki slides up behind him and puts his arms around Thor’s middle and Thor nearly hits the roof.
“What?” Loki pouts. “No one knows us here.”
Loki goes out with his friends and comes home blackout drunk. Thor holds his hair while he pukes, rubs his back, makes him drink some water.
“I’m pretty shit at taking care of you, huh,” Thor says to no one in particular. Loki is already passed out on the bed.
”I can’t believe how much of a disappointment you are,” Odin said. “Four generations of Ivy and all you can muster up is community college? My name will never recover.”
”Fuck your name,” Thor snarled, for once goaded into fighting back. “What about me? Have you ever cared about what I want?”
The back of Odin’s hand across his cheek made his head ring. Odin wound up to hit him again but Thor caught his hand, forced it back, got right up in the old man’s face.
”You can’t tell me what to do anymore,” Thor said roughly. He shoved Odin away and turned to storm out of the house. Loki’s tiny scared face was peeking down from between the upstairs banisters and Thor felt a small pang of something, but it was quickly suppressed under the force of his rage.
Loki has stopped coming everywhere with Thor. He’s gotten snippy. Bitchy. He’s sleeping in past noon again, going out with his friends more. Coming home drunk.
Thor doesn’t know exactly what’s going on, but he remembers being sixteen and he’s chalking it up to teenage moodiness. He doesn’t rag on Loki about the drinking. Loki still comes home every night and as far as he knows Loki isn’t driving drunk or doing anything stronger than marijuana. And he’s not Loki’s parent.
No. Just the babysitter.
The pervy, disgusting babysitter.
Loki’s in kind of a good mood one afternoon. He’s wearing Thor’s favorite shorts (the ones that make his ass look exquisitely fantastic) and a really tight tanktop with an open short-sleeved button down hanging loose over it, and his hair is up in a messy bun, and he’s sucking on a cherry slurpee that Thor got him at the gas station. His lips are red and his tongue is cold when Thor crowds him up against the counter and kisses him.
Loki’s hand goes for his crotch but Thor catches it and brings it up to his mouth, sucking on Loki’s fingers one by one.
“Let me touch you,” Loki complains.
“Shh,” Thor says, hoisting Loki up onto the counter and wrapping Loki’s legs around his waist.
“No, I’m serious.”
There’s a tone in Loki’s voice that Thor isn’t used to hearing. He pulls back from sucking at Loki’s neck to look him in the eyes.
“What the fuck am I to you?” Loki demands. Thor stares at him, and Loki shoves him in the chest, pushing him away, and slides off the counter. “Am I just some charity case? Some chore on your to-do list?”
“What are you talking about?”
“You jack me off and you blow me and you stick your fingers in my ass and I have never once even seen you naked. You have never once let me touch your dick. What the fuck is this? Do you think you’re doing me some kind of favor?”
“I was—” Thor is not prepared for this conversation, although he supposes he should have been. “I was trying to protect you?” he finishes lamely. For all the thinking he’s done about this (fuck, he’s done practically nothing but think of it), he hasn’t actually gotten around to imagining what it must feel like from Loki’s perspective.
Loki makes a noise of disgust.
“Some protector you are,” Loki sneers.
“I’m trying—fuck, Loki, I don’t know! I’ve never done anything like this before, ok! I’m supposed to be taking care of you, not…debauching you.”
“Oh that’s a big word,” Loki says nastily. “Did you learn it all by yourself?”
“Shut up,” Thor growls. He’s feeling angry now, and confused, and guilty—guilty for fucking his little brother and simultaneously guilty for not fucking him enough, and isn’t that wild? “Do you even know what you’re asking me to do?”
“Yesss,” Loki hisses. “Haven’t you been listening? Stop trying to baby me and fucking fuck me.”
Thor crushes their mouths together and pulls Loki in by the small of his back with one hand, and with the other he grabs Loki’s wrist and plants his hand squarely on his dick. Loki squeaks in surprise, tensing, then throws himself into it with enthusiasm. He’s licking into Thor’s mouth, and writhing against his chest, and palming him through his pants, and he’s making the fucking tiniest hottest little sounds.
“I don’t have any condoms,” Thor growls.
“I don’t care.”
They fuck right there in the kitchen, Loki bent over the table and his tight little hole slicked with olive oil, and when Thor finally buries himself completely he nearly weeps at the perfection of it.
He collapses over Loki’s back afterwards, planting open mouthed kisses on his neck, and he can’t stop calling him ‘baby.’
This time he knows he’ll die, and Loki will be the death of him.
“How are things going?” Frigga asks.
Thor switches his phone from one ear to the other so that he can better guide Loki’s head where it’s bobbing between his legs.
“They’re, ah, great.”
“Is Loki behaving?”
Thor looks down and Loki looks up at him through tear-clumped lashes and Thor bucks into his little brother’s mouth and makes him gag.
“He’s been no trouble at all,” Thor lies.
They fuck everywhere, in every room of the house, on every surface. Like they’re trying to chase out the memory of the bad things that have happened here and replace them with something good.
If this could be called good.
They’re in their parents’ bed and Thor is on his back and Loki is riding his dick with single-minded determination. His hands are planted on Thor’s chest and his hair is falling down around his face, and Thor reaches up to tuck it behind his ears.
“Fuck,” Loki gasps, slamming himself down, back arching, thighs trembling. “Fuck, fuck fuck—”
“That’s it, baby,” Thor says hoarsely. “Come on my cock.”
Loki does, his mouth falling open and his body going rigid, his cock leaking like a faucet. Thor fucks up into him, hard, and Loki collapses on top of him, lets Thor just wrap his arms around him and use him until Thor comes too.
Neither of them is willing to move afterwards and they fall asleep in a filthy tangle.
Good is maybe an understatement, actually.
They break the leg of the kitchen table. Thor fixes it, better than new.
“I love you,” Loki whispers in the dark. His arms are around Thor’s waist and his cheek is against Thor’s shoulder. “Don’t leave me here again.”
Thor interlaces his fingers with Loki’s and kisses his knuckles.
Just say it back, asshole.
His chest hurts.
Thor answered the phone, expecting his mom from the caller ID, but it was Loki’s sniffly voice on the other end instead.
”Everything ok?” Thor asked, dread twisting his guts. Loki almost never called him.
”No,” Loki said. “But I don’t wanna talk about it. I just wanted…” He paused and Thor stayed quiet, waiting. “I guess I just wanted to hear your voice.”
”Loki, do I need to come home? Tell me what’s wrong.”
”Nothing’s wrong, I’m fine. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have called.”
Thor opened his mouth to say something but the line was already dead. Half of him wanted to get in the car and drive home as fast as he could. The other half wanted to vomit at the thought. He went out drinking with his dorm buddies instead.
Frigga and Odin are coming home next week and Thor and Loki are both a wreck, just in different ways.
Loki is an insufferable asshole.
Thor is nauseous and withdrawn.
Loki doesn’t want Thor to leave.
Thor can’t stay, not if Odin is here.
When they fuck it’s almost angry. Pinching, biting. Taking. Both of them taking, and neither of them giving.
Thor tries to make an effort one night. He cooks a really nice dinner, puts out place settings and everything.
“Don’t bother,” Loki says when he sees what Thor is doing. “It’s all just going to shit in three days anyway.”
“It’s already shit,” Thor mutters under his breath, and throws a pot into the sink so hard that the edge dents. Loki jumps and Thor immediately feels awful. “I’m sorry baby, I’m sorry,” he says over and over, and pulls Loki into his arms despite Loki’s defensive body language. “I’m sorry,” he says again into Loki’s neck. “I don’t know what to do.”
“Take me with you,” Loki says. He lets Thor kiss up his neck and offers his lips for the taking, though his body is still anything but pliant.
“I love you,” Thor says, bracketing Loki’s face in his hands.
Loki’s eyes are hard.
Loki doesn’t watch Thor leave. He locked himself in his room the night before and won’t come out no matter how Thor bangs on the door or pleads or, embarrassingly, cries.
Thor knows he deserves it.
“How is Loki doing?” Thor asks his mom. It’s been a week and a half and Loki hasn’t returned a single one of his messages or calls or voicemails.
Frigga sighs over the phone.
“Is dad on his ass?” Thor says.
Frigga sighs again, longer.
“Mom. Loki had a bruise on his arm when I first got there a day after you guys left. He told me it was a fight. Was it dad?”
There’s tense silence, then the sound of Frigga walking to another room, and Thor waits, heart pounding.
“Yes,” she finally says, quietly. She’s probably gone and locked herself in the bathroom or something so that Odin can’t hear.
Thor sees red. “You should leave him,” he says. “You should take Loki and go.”
“If I left it would be worse,” she insists. As she always has.
“I’ll call the fucking cops,” Thor growls.
“There’s no proof,” Frigga says, quiet and anguished. “Thor, please.”
“Let Loki come stay with me,” Thor says. “Let me protect him.”
Protect. So that’s what they’re calling fucking your brother nowadays.
Loki shows up on Thor’s doorstep with two suitcases and a glare that could peel paint.
He’s quiet but furious, shoving his things into drawers haphazardly and slamming them shut, stalking around the kitchen, chewing obnoxiously on purpose.
“What the fuck is your problem?” Thor asks. He knows exactly what the fuck Loki’s problem is, but he thought that Loki would have been at least a little happy to see him.
“I can’t stand you,” Loki says. He tosses his plate into the sink and stays there, leaning on the counter. “I can’t fucking stand to look at you.”
Thor reaches out to take Loki’s elbow, but Loki pulls away.
“You make me hate you,” Loki says. “And then you make me love you. And I can’t...I can’t keep going around in circles like this…”
“No more circles,” Thor says. “I’m sorry. For everything.” He drags his hand down his face. “Just...everything. I’m a fucking asshole. I’m sorry that you have me for a brother. You’ve never deserved any of this—”
Loki huffs out a broken little noise that sounds half like a laugh and half like a sob, and then he’s turning and pressing himself into Thor’s chest, and Thor’s arms go around him automatically.
“Will you just fuck me?” Loki whispers.
They fall asleep for a couple of hours afterwards, and then Thor does again.
It’s different now. Loki has school and Thor has work and the endless summer days full of nothing but sweat and food and sex are nothing but a hazy memory. They see each other less. It’s not bad, exactly, just different.
Frigga tries to get them to come home for Christmas.
“I’d rather fucking die than go back there,” Loki says.
Thor lives in constant fear that they’ll be found out. They’re not exactly careful.
He wonders what would happen even if they were found out. Maybe it wouldn’t even be that bad.
Thor has never loved anyone as much as he loves Loki.
As they writhe together in the dark, he hopes that Loki feels the same way about him.
Loki’s still so young. He’s just a kid. Kids don’t know what they want. Any day he could decide that this thing with Thor is done. Over. A mistake. A fling. He could find someone his own age, someone who’s not his fucking brother, and move on, and take Thor’s heart with him.
Loki is eighteen and Thor is twenty-six and Thor is buried in his little brother’s ass, pushing one of his legs up so far that his knee is at his shoulder, his other leg wrapped around Thor’s waist.
Thor has long ago forgotten that he should know better.
“I love you so fucking much,” Thor groans, pushing Loki's leg up higher and fucking deeper into him.
“Love—you—too,” Loki huffs out between thrusts.
They kiss afterwards, satisfied and lazy and soft, and they smile into each other's mouths.
What is ‘better,’ anyway? This? This is the best.