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Thor is a brute in the training yard. They’re just practice duels, with dull blades, but Thor still takes them seriously. Loki watches on from his seat at the very edge of the grounds, his nose wrinkled in distaste and a heavy book spread out on his lap. He doesn’t like the physical nature of armed combat, being slight as he is, but more than that, Loki doesn’t like the concept of leaving himself open to be hurt in order to cause damage.

Loki has come to a compromise with Odin; he will learn battle magic while Thor trains with his weapons. Odin will not have one son fall behind the other, and Loki has no intention of doing so. While Thor learns to wield swords and battle axes, Loki learns to combine his liking for knives with his magic to make his aim true, how to cast spells that will shatter his enemies’ armour.

Thor lunges with a grunt, bringing his opponent crashing to the ground. The warrior twists, trying to break free of the grip and get back up, but Thor has truly grown into himself, much bigger and stronger than Loki can ever hope to be. His muscles strain with the effort as he holds his opponent down with more force this time, and they both struggle against each other for a moment before Thor is finally declared victorious.

With a roar of triumph, Thor jumps to his feet, arms held proudly in the air. Thor’s friends, watching from the sidelines, are all clapping and cheering. Loki doesn’t realise he’s staring until Thor turns his way, arms still held up. Then, all of a sudden, Loki is extremely conscious of how he is watching with his lips parted, his eyes glassy and his hands loosely curled on the pages of the book he’s entirely forgotten about.

Even from this distance, Loki can see the moment Thor’s expression changes, his pride making way for something that runs deeper, that is nowhere near as innocent. Loki holds Thor’s gaze, just long enough for Thor to understand exactly what he means when he stands, shutting his book and leaving without a backward glance.

Thor remains outside for longer, but Loki knows that he will not need to wait for long. He wears a small, self-satisfied smile at the knowledge that any desire Thor would have had to celebrate his victory with his friends has been replaced by the desire to come to him. He goes straight to his room, but that is not where Thor will find him today. Loki leaves his book on his desk, then makes his way to the royal bathroom.

It’s empty when he gets there and he strips unhurriedly, neatly arranging his clothes to the side. There’s a large, luxurious bath in the centre of the room, more a pool than anything else and like most things in the palace, it’s coated with gold that gleams in the light of the torches that are lit all around the room.

Thor lets himself into the room just as Loki has taken off his last item of clothing and they both pause, looking at each other. Thor’s eyes travel up and down Loki’s bare body so slowly that he can almost feel the weight of the gaze. Loki’s cock twitches with anticipation and then he’s moving forward, undoing all the fastenings to Thor’s clothing and pulling it away, leaving it in a haphazard pile around their feet.

“Loki,” Thor murmurs, turning his face to skim his lips along Loki’s cheek bone.

Forcing himself to pause, Loki rests his hands on Thor’s shoulders and seeks Thor’s lips with his own. He can taste the dirt and sweat, along with Thor’s own taste and Loki pulls away with an exaggerated frown. “Get in the bath.”

The royal baths are more than big enough for Thor and Loki to bathe together. They had done it all the time as children, and they do it now. The other Æsir may not understand their relationship, but they have already learned not to say no to the princes of Asgard.

Thor is filthy from the training yard, mud caked all over his body and through his hair. Loki makes him sit in the heated water, until it reaches his shoulders, and sits behind him on one of the steps, the water lapping at his sides. He bathes Thor slowly, gently, paying attention to every inch of the body before him, raking his fingers through the long, blond locks as he cleans the dirt away. In front of him, Thor lets out a slow, steady breath, visibly relaxing.

“You never cease to amaze me with just how messy your fights turn,” Loki mutters, his tone tempered by the underlying fondness. “Anything to win, isn’t that right?”

“You know that I refuse to settle for anything less.” Thor tips his head back, leaning it against Loki’s chest as he smiles up at his brother. “And why should I?”

“Why indeed.” Loki smiles in return, his fingers tracing the length of a lock of Thor’s hair, following it down to where it ends, at the middle of Thor’s chest. He absently traces the areola of Thor’s nipple. “Your hair has grown far too long to be practical. It was getting in your way as you fought today.”

“Of course you noticed.” Thor’s voice is a deep rumble, his eyes sliding shut.

“I notice everything.” Loki’s finger stops its movement until Thor opens his eyes again. “You need to cut it, or find a way to get it out of your way when you fight.”

“Is that so?” Thor sits up properly, half-turned so he can look back over his shoulder.

“Mm.” Loki buries his fingers in Thor’s hair, rearranging it to sit neatly. “Perhaps you can wear it up the way Mother does.”

Thor laughs, shaking his head as Loki tries to make a bun out of his hair. “I think not.”

“A braid, then.” Loki's deft fingers are already plaiting Thor’s hair together, tugging gently as he brings it together neatly.

“Loki…” Thor’s voice has a note of warning to it. “You know what happens when you touch my hair.”

“Oh, trust me,” Loki whispers in reply, letting the braid sit over Thor’s shoulder and leaning forward to kiss his neck. “I know.”

Loki reaches around Thor, hand sliding down the hard muscle of his stomach before wrapping around his cock. It’s already hard, but fills further as Loki strokes lazily, his grip loose. Thor’s head is resting back on his chest once again and his eyes are shut, brows drawn together slightly.

“That’s not enough for you, is it?” Loki whispers into Thor’s ear. “It never is.”

“I love when you watch me fight,” Thor gasps, one of his hands going down to wrap around his cock.

“Ah-ah,” Loki smacks it away. “That is not allowed.”

“Please, Loki.” Thor murmurs, and he still sounds coherent, and Loki can’t have that.

“Up.” Pulling him out of the water, Loki manhandles Thor the way he can only when they’re both this aroused. He gets Thor out of the water and makes him stand, kneeling before him. Burying his face in Thor’s stomach, Loki breathes in the musk and sighs shakily, finally betraying just how aroused he is, too.

“Oh,” Thor moans, as Loki takes his hands and buries them in his own black hair, making them tug.

“Do as you like,” Loki murmurs, licking his lips. “We both know what you want.”

Thor is still, biting his lip as Loki slowly, steadily swallows him down. Then Loki draws nearly the entire way back, until the very tip of his tongue is teasing the crown of Thor’s cock, before taking his entire length again. Thor’s grip tightens in his hair and Loki hums in approval, sending the vibration through Thor’s entire body. This time, Thor’s grip is tighter and it stays that way. It’s exactly what Loki wants. He bobs his head, running his tongue along the thick vein on its underside, and once Loki has set a regular pace, Thor’s hips begin to jerk.

Loki opens his mouth wider, forcing himself to relax. He looks up at Thor through his lashes, and Thor must see assent because then he begins to thrust.

One of Thor’s hands is resting on top of Loki’s head, holding a fistful of hair and using it to guide his movements. Loki lets go, handing all control to Thor. There are very few times he is happy to let others direct his movements, but this is an exception. After battle, after he’s cleaned Thor with his own hands, he will do whatever he needs. He can feel Thor relaxing already, hear the way the room fills with Thor’s little sighs and gasps. This is something nobody else will ever have and Loki guards it jealously close to his heart. Only he makes Thor happy this way, only he knows the best way to make Thor relax after a battle.

Thor’s breath is coming in pants, hitching every time Loki’s tongue moves. He’s close, and Loki’s cock twitches in anticipation. He swallows Thor down as far as he will go, until his nose is pressed against Thor’s curls, until Thor is moaning at that tight, wet heat, incapable of words. He barely manages to pull on Loki’s hair in warning as he comes, and Loki doesn’t pull away until he is done. Loki smiles up at Thor lazily, licking his swollen lips to catch the final drops.

“Did you enjoy that, Thor?” His voice is hoarse, and it makes Thor curse under his breath, pulling him up to stand, kissing him hard.

Loki gasps as Thor’s strong hand wraps around his own erection. He screws his eyes shut, panting as Thor strokes him firmly, and it doesn’t take long until he’s releasing too, thick streams of come covering them both.

“Look at you,” Thor breathes, wrapping his arms around Loki to support his weight. “Now we’ll need to bathe again.”

Loki manages a grin, envying the fact that Thor can stand without looking half as tired. He doesn’t complain as Thor lowers them both into the water once again, sitting against the wall where the water is chest-deep. Thor pulls Loki onto his lap, cleaning them both before drawing Loki into a slow, lazy kiss. As they pull apart, Loki notices that Thor’s hair still sits over his shoulder in the same braid as before. He traces it with his finger and Thor smiles at him fondly.

“I will wear it whenever I go into battle, and think of you.”

Loki scoffs quietly. “Please. I’ll be in those battles with you, doing just as much damage with my magic.”

“Of course you will,” Thor replies, kissing his forehead, “but I will wear the braid and think of you anyway. Purely because I can.”

With a small, happy smile, Loki rests his head on Thor’s shoulder. He’ll never object to being the centre of Thor’s thoughts, anyway.