They tumble through childhood together. There is, of course, an unspoken rule that Thor is the older brother. It's implicit and it never becomes an issue, with how close they are in age, until Thor suddenly careens into puberty, leaving Loki confused over what has happened.
It doesn't happen over night. But to Loki, it feels as if it must have. Abruptly, his brother, who for all his brawn, has always been shorter than him, suddenly towers over him. Mother allows him to wear his hair long – like Father's. The lines of his rounded face become more balanced as his body begins to ripple with muscle.
He comes out of the weapons vault, a place where they had curiously explored for years, holding Mjolnir. And there is much celebration, and even Father is smiling as Mother praises him, and suddenly Thor is no longer playing childish games of war, but training for the actual potentiality of war.
But the strangest part of all of it is the way that Thor's voice suddenly goes low. It rumbles, deep in his throat and his chest, echoing the sound of thunder that Thor now commands. Loki sits and listens to Thor and doesn't know his voice any longer, but craves to get to know this new sound. And he doesn't understand why.
They call him 'Silvertongue.' All of Asgard knows that his strengths lie in his wit and his words. He gathers magic at his fingertips, and while all of Asgard is wary of such strengths because they are not the ones they are used to, they think he will be a fit companion for when Thor becomes king. For after they pass out of childhood, all fleeting notions of Loki ever being king disappear.
Because Asgard is too in love with Thor for him not to be. They love his shows of his strength, to gather while he trains. They love him when he returns, flushed with victory. They love the speeches he gives, simple as his words are.
Loki enjoys listening to his big brother speak as well. He's as proud of Thor as any of them. Thor is his brother.
And it's rare that Loki hears the words his brother speaks after all. He enjoys the sound and spectacle of it instead. They sit for dinner and Thor stands at the head of the table, booming with laughter and praise. And Loki basks in it. He enjoys the way that Thor's voice makes the room tremble, the way he can feel the deep ache of each syllable in his very bones. He can see each word form in the back of Thor's throat, resonating into his chest and spilling across his tongue, cascading past his lips. Each word echoes through the very air and then hangs there, demolishing any sound that would dare stand against it.
He has long since come to terms with what his brother's voice does to him. He is able to hide himself behind a calm, almost bored veneer.
Thor has also come to terms with what his voice does to Loki. It is one of his rare weapons against his brother, and he uses it when he can, enjoying gaining the upper hand.
He sits when he's finished and Loki remembers how to breathe again. He avoids Thor's gaze, but finds his brother catching his eye anyway. Thor smiles broadly and leans in closer to Fandral.
He begins to tell some story, remaining close to his friend. Each word is delivered practically into Fandral's ear. The story becomes a sound of low intensity, Thor's voice a rumbling purr.
He never looks away from Loki.
The feast lasts well into the night. By the time Thor gets up to give his fifth speech, Loki is ready to retire. As soon as Thor is done speaking, and the toast is finished, and the roar of applause and cheers has died down, Loki is able to slip away.
He finds solitude in his room and is relieved to feel the cold air against his skin. He lets out a low breath and closes his eyes as he begins to methodically remove the more formal ware he had donned for the feast.
He's surprised to hear the door open behind him again and turns sharply. He expects to see some servant who hadn't realized he had returned already. Instead, it's Thor, grinning unabashedly.
“It's bad manners to leave your guests unattended,” Loki chastises, although there is no actual bite to his words.
“I won't be gone from them long,” Thor answers easily. He shuts the door behind him and crosses the room to stand by Loki.
“Won't you?” Loki asks, because he can recognize the glint in Thor's eye.
“No,” is all Thor says, before catching Loki around the waist. It's odd to think there was ever a time that they were close in stature. Loki has always been thin and wiry and Thor has always had more bulk, but that difference was minute when they were children. Now, it's something more, and Loki can't even think of throwing Thor off with just physical power.
Thor brings Loki's back against his chest and although the position is somewhat uncomfortable because Thor is still in his armor, Loki does not complain. For a moment, all he can hear is his own heart beating loudly in his ears. His pulse races, because while they've been at this for months, it still seems so new. There still seems to be such a great chance that they could get caught.
Thor's fingers wander deftly over the fabric that Loki is still wearing, finding the arches of hips.
“Leave your door ajar for me tonight, brother,” Thor commands in a low voice. His lips are flush with Loki's ear and he can feel his brother's breath upon his flesh. He can smell the mead that his brother has drunk this evening, and it fills the air with its honey-sweet scent.
“Why would I do that?” Loki manages to say even though he's sure that he's trembling. He had been half hard when he had left the feast and now he can feel the way that his cock is straining against the inside of his pants.
Thor is quiet for just a moment. He leans in closer, letting his mouth touch the flesh just behind Loki's ear. Loki can feel the way that he's smiling. Then he nudges forward and bites at the top of Loki's ear before tracing the skin delicately with his tongue.
“You won't sleep now,” Thor murmured, and Loki can feel the words throughout his entire body. They seem to run down his spine, a low rumble that gives him warning. Even as he shudders, Thor begins to undo the fastenings of his pants.
“You're going to lie in that big bed of yours,” Thor continues, and Loki can feel the way that he nods toward the bed, his chin bumping against the back of Loki's shoulder. “And you're going to think about this.”
He gets Loki's pants open and they dip low on his hips. Thor wastes no time in slipping his hand inside, wrapping his thick fingers around the curve of Loki's cock.
“You'll think about how much you want me to touch you more,” and if it's any possible, Thor's voice goes even lower. It's hardly words any longer, just a burr of sound that seems to embed itself in Loki's flesh. Loki groans aloud, unable to contain himself.
As if in reward, Thor begins to stroke Loki. The touch is light, barely enough, and Loki wants to curse his brother even as he wants to keep him as long as he can.
“You'll think about how good I can be to you, brother,” Thor says, his voice getting thick. Loki can feel the way that Thor rocks forward, just slightly, and knows that his own words are getting to him.
Loki reaches down, unable to contain himself, and wraps his fingers around Thor's, trying to spur his brother to action.
“And then?” Loki asks, breathless. He barely recognizes his own voice.
“You'll wait for me,” Thor responds. He speeds up the motion of his hand, making Loki arch forward as he is finally given what he craves. “So I'll return to you. I'll spread your legs and push my fingers into you until you're gasping.” Thor sucks at the flesh of Loki's earlobe again, a temporary reprieve from the low buzz of his voice. But then he laughs, and the sound is so intense that it nearly sends Loki right over the edge.
“When you can't even string two of your words together to beg me, I'll take you then. Hard, the way you like it.”
Loki is leaking liberally over Thor's fingers. His hips are jerking unevenly and he feels as if his knees could barely support him at the moment. He digs his fingers more roughly into the back of Thor's wrist. His eyes are still shut so all that he can hear is the rumble of Thor's voice and the sound of his irregular breathing.
Thor presses even closer and Loki can feel the scrape of his beard against the side of his neck and against his ear. His voice drops incredibly low, the words a whisper that seem to imprint themselves against the flesh of Loki's ear.
“A sure sign that you are mine, brother.”
Thor twists his wrist upward, his thumb running over the head of Loki's cock. And that's all that Loki can take. He comes with a soft cry, his head falling back against Thor's shoulder. He doesn't even mind the uncomfortable metal, caught as he is in orgasm. He spends himself against the fabric of his pants and Thor's hand, supported entirely by his brother.
He slowly comes back to himself and moves sluggishly. Thor is the one who gets him properly to his feet, and then slowly guides him across the room so that he's seated on his bed. He goes to reach for Thor, intending to undo the fastenings of the pants that he is wearing, but Thor pulls away.
“Go to bed, brother.” Thor says, and his smile is the same as always on his face, dazzling and bright, as if he hadn't just guaranteed that there would be no way for Loki to sleep this evening.
And still Loki nods. He slips off the rest of his formal regalia and pulls back the blankets until he's slipped beneath the sheets. Thor retreats, closing the door behind him as he returns to the feast. Loki listens to the sound of his footsteps. When they're gone, he rolls over. And stares at the ceiling.