A loud, strained whine tore its way from Loki's throat. He clamped his lips together more firmly, angry at himself for losing control of his voice like that. It could be dangerous in this situation. He was heavily out of breath and every muscle in his body was screaming with effort.
But safety was near.
Gritting his teeth, Loki dragged one foot and then the other, shortening the distance between himself and his brother and the cave that he hoped would provide a respite from the rain and wind and, more importantly, their enemies who were still at large.
Loki had managed something close to impossible: he had torn a berserker away from a battlefield before all his enemies were slain. Thor was a heavy, struggling weight underneath Loki's arm, his mind muddled not only by the hot red rage and blood-lust, but by Loki's magic as well. He was also injured and bleeding; Loki did not yet know how seriously. But it was serious enough for him to make the daring choice and try and rein his brother in.
Truthfully, Thor was still too young to be a fully fledged berserker. Loki knew this. If he was as the legends told, Loki would be dead thrice over for his actions.
Finally the cave's mouth appeared before them and Loki dug his heels more firmly into the mud, speeding up.
He groaned in relief when he felt the cave welcome him. The crisp, earthy air inside bore unmistakable signs of seidr and Loki breathed it in, instantly feeling better. It was a place as old as the universe itself and the kind earth magic of it welcomed him.
They would be safe there.
Thor too became a slightly lesser burden in Loki's arms. Loki could only guess that the cave sought out his mind and calmed it a little.
The rest was still up to Loki though.
He led them to the widest part of the cave. It was not completely dark in there, rather there was an odd luminescent glow filling the space that by all reason should be pitch black. Loki thought it was coming from the stone walls perhaps and experimentally raised his free hand, conjuring simple magelights. They burst from his fingers with ease he was not accustomed to, drawing from the strength contained within those walls. He was pleased, especially because he didn't think it was safe to make fire just yet.
The cave sufficiently lighted, he turned to lower his brother onto the ground.
Thor's red cape was torn in several places and unspeakably dirty. Loki was more concerned with his armour though, looking for tears in the leather and for cracks in the metal plates. Sadly, there were several and dark blood was sluggishly spilling underneath.
“Fight-” Thor murmured, eyes wide and unfocused. As his mumbling became more pronounced, Loki's gaze snapped up and for a moment he was struck motionless by the sight. Thor's hair was unruly and dirty, his face pale save for the redness in his cheeks. His mouth too was red, bloodied from the many hits to his head. And his eyes... Loki was so used to Thor's bright blue eyes twinkling at him happily that he couldn't help and shiver as instead two dark pools stared at him, pupils blown wide. There was something animalistic in his brother's face and Loki wasn't sure how that made him feel.
“Shhh. You must fight no longer, brother. It's done. It's all done. Finished,” he soothed. Thor said nothing but didn't stop Loki from removing pieces of his armour.
Loki didn't like admitting weakness. Oh sure, often he amused himself by quipping about how he was the smart, the cautious brother, teasing Thor after every botched expedition. But at this very moment, he felt a very sharp pang of terror when he imagined they could be in a situation like this without the cave's seidr. Loki would be spent, physically and magically, unable to perform the healing spells that his brother sorely needed.
With a quick thanks to the Norns, he drew in the power that surrounded them and channelled it into his brother's flesh.
Pain was an incentive for the berserker rage and as Thor's wounds mended, he seemed to be coming to himself more and more until a surprised grunt almost broke Loki's concentration.
“Brother,” Thor panted, reaching to grasp Loki's arms.
“Stay still, you fool.”
“Brother, it burns,” Thor whined then and Loki jerked.
“What? What burns? What is it?” he asked frantically, afraid that he'd made a mistake.
“I'm- I need to-”
Thor wasn't replying, he wasn't making any sense and Loki knelt over him, momentarily paralysed with fear, hands still hovering over Thor's exposed torso. Thor was shaking, his eyes squeezed firmly shut and his hands splayed wide, fingers digging into the soil.
“What burns, Thor?” Loki pressed on, something in his mind telling him that Thor was acting... not as one in pain might. He should be trying to curl in on himself, he realized finally. Grasp the point of pain. That's what Loki always saw on the battlefield.
“Need-” Thor gasped again. And then, before Loki could reply, his eyes snapped open and he heaved himself up, resting on his elbow and leaned towards Loki, bringing their faces close. His expression was one of utter terror. “Leave! Go!”
Loki pressed his lips firmly together for a second. “No,” he shook his head softly. “No, shh. You are all right, brother, the fight is over. You won't hurt me.”
If possible, Thor's eyes widened even more, this time with overwhelming sadness. Heartbreak even. In the face of such intensity, Loki jerked backwards, finally taking Thor's warning to heart, but it was too late. Thor sprang up with speed Loki thought he should not be capable at such a state and grabbed at Loki. Within seconds, he was pinned underneath the heavy form of his brother, pain and haziness blooming from where the back of his head hit the ground. He was lucky it was mere dirt, were it stone, he would be unconscious.
No blow came though and Loki blinked up. Thor's face was hovering closely above him, his wild hair obscuring it and making him look even scarier, if that was possible.
“Thor, please,” he breathed before he could even think about it. No, he must- he calmed Thor down before. He can do it again.
Except his hands were firmly pressed to the ground, each of his wrists encased in Thor's steel grip.
“Thor,” he tried to say firmly, but was startled into silence when Thor growled at him.
And then things stopped making sense completely.
Thor lowered his head into the crook of Loki's neck and Loki stiffened. Having his throat torn out by his crazed brother's teeth was not how he wanted to go. In fact, he did not want to die at all.
Thor didn't bite him though. He licked. A broad stripe of warmth and wetness was drawn from Loki's collar up to his ear and he froze, the pieces finally slotting together.
He could now imagine what exactly had been burning Thor and just why didn't see fit to grab the place in the presence of his younger brother when he still had a modicum of control over himself.
Except now he was gone and Loki was pinned down. His only hope was that in order to do some real damage, Thor would have to release one of Loki's arms and the second he did that, Loki would be able to cast a spell to get Thor off.
It was a foolproof plan.
Loki whimpered unwittingly when Thor squeezed his wrists harder as he shifted his weight to press first one, then another thigh in between Loki's legs. Loki didn't really fight the motion. They were both fully dressed from waist down, only Thor's chest was partially bare where Loki took of the armour plate and cut his undertunic. Except just then and there, with their hips pressed together, a slight crack came into Loki's plan.
He felt the very obvious, brand hot hardness of Thor's dick, pressing through the layers to his own crotch and something in his brain simply short-circuited.
There was no other explanation. Maybe it was the seidr of the cave that affected them both, latching onto Thor's battle-lust and turning it into... well, just lust. And Loki unknowingly absorbed it too as he called on the powers to help him heal Thor's injuries.
Yes, that was it.
He found himself responding, an undeniable warmth filling his belly as Thor dragged his hips even closer. The hardness against him was just... it was thrilling.
Thor's face was still pressed against Loki's neck and he licked and nipped at his skin even as he began to work his hips against Loki's in a stuttering rhythm.
There was no denying that his brother was not in control of his actions and it was this sole thought that rose Loki from his startled stillness and made him struggle.
“Thor, snap out of it,” he ordered loudly, trying to wriggle his hands free. Thor jerked up and for a second Loki thought it might have worked.
Thor's eyes were dark and glossy and he glowered down at Loki, licking his already wet, red lips.
Loki yelped in pain when Thor tugged his arms above his head and caught both wrists in one hand.
And that was it, he missed his chance, if there ever really was one. Thor was strong and fast.
For a short moment Loki was very, very apprehensive of what Thor might choose to do with his now free hand. He bit down another complaint when Thor chose to take hold of Loki's collar and rip it open as far as it was possible before Loki's own chest plate stopped it.
But apparently it was enough for Thor and he latched his mouth to Loki's exposed collarbone, biting and sucking at it, then tearing the fabric some more to get at Loki's shoulder.
Loki panted underneath him, any resemblance of sense abandoning him. He didn't know what to think, what to feel. He only knew that he was scared,... but that he was also hard. He knew that Thor's mouth was good and hot, bringing a flush to his skin, but he also knew that mere minutes ago he had a plan to get away.
His thoughts scattered and that made him wheeze in panic.
“Thor,” he found himself repeating. “Thor.”
It became a lifeline, eventually, to know that he was there with Thor.
Everything was always all right when it was with Thor.
Thor, his beautiful brother. Loki could laugh (or cry) that the realization of Thor's utmost importance in his life finally came to him when he was lying in the dirt underneath his unyielding body. Loki fancied himself Thor's opposite. And not just that – also his complement. Or his antagonist, as the mood stroke. The cynical reminder in face of undiluted optimism. The plan that steered the hammer in the right direction.
In that very moment, he saw the emptiness of all that. The truth was at once more complicated and simpler.
They were brothers, true equals and the most important people in each other's lives.
Later, he would spend hours mulling over his own thought process, finding very little sense it in. One thing remained unchanging though – the steadfast feeling of absolute certainty that he loved Thor with all his heart.
A certainty that he, in his most self-deprecating moments, could consider nothing but an excuse for his own depravity.
He wasn't fighting anymore, instead he arched to offer more skin to Thor's careless mouth and when he wriggled, it was only to get more friction on his own dick.
He could tell Thor was doing well for himself, completely lost in all the sensations, growling into Loki's ear and bearing down on him harshly as he chased his pleasure. Or, to put it into Thor's own words, to quell the burn.
But inexplicably, insanely, Loki was close too. The sharp jut of Thor's hip dragged over Loki's own hard length in the best way and he gave into it, frantically thrusting up to get more. It was messy and bordering on painful but he still got what he needed, his brain fogging, all reason lost. Thor's hand was a crushing shackle on his wrist, grounding him, the coppery smell of Thor's skin filled his nose, as did the still (despite everything) sweet, familiar smell of his hair. Thor's free hand was grasping at Loki's clothes and he could tell he was trying to tear them off, except the leather and armour pieces were too sturdy for his crazed brother's uncoordinated motions.
For a moment, he wished Thor would manage. He wanted to feel the press of bare skin on skin. Thor would be hot and feverish, slick with sweat and they would slip and coil around each other. He would make it last for hours-
His fantasy was cut short by Thor's sharp bite that almost pierced the skin of Loki's shoulder and he shouted in surprise, jerking his hips desperately. Hotness spilled all over him and he tensed, not even bothering to quiet his moans and he pulsed in his trousers, the pressure reaching its peak and then slowly draining from him.
He whimpered miserably then when Thor kept going, thrusting harshly and biting at Loki's exposed neck in a way that was no longer arousing. The shocking pleasure of his own orgasm carried him through it until Thor came too, making noises that Loki didn't think even his brother could make.
There was something mesmerizing in the way Thor's hard body stiffened and ground against Loki until he almost couldn't breathe and Loki fought to catch a glimpse of Thor's face, contorted yet recognizable and it was like an epiphany. He'd loved it. He'd loved it, fear and pain and all.
Question was, what now?
Thor was still holding him, breathing loudly, his head dropping to Loki's shoulder.
All things considered, it probably took him too long to realize that Thor's harsh breaths turned suspiciously wet after a while.
“Thor? Brother?” he tried quietly and immediately his wrists were released, blood rushing into his hands painfully. In the split second after, he knew he had to decide. He knew that Thor was back to himself, he just knew. And he also knew, as much as he liked to ignore it, that underneath that arrogant exterior, Thor was as good and kind-hearted as they come. And this, what he had just done? It could ruin Thor.
Funny, that. Sometimes, in his darkest moments, Loki liked to think about things that would ruin Thor. But he didn't want it to be this one.
He forced his aching arms up to circle Thor's broad shoulders, puling him close.
“It's all right.”
Thor huffed a sob-laugh into Loki's chest.
“It's all right,” Loki repeated, holding on tight.
Better than all right, he thought to himself, mind racing. This is going to be beautiful.