Thor had decided he wouldn’t like Loki before he even arrived.
And what he had expected when Loki arrived was an immense warrior to walk through the doors, gruff with leathery blue skin that cracked with scars and was embedded with odd green scales like Laufey. Instead, what walked through was a vain and pretentious seeming little thing, flicking long, black hair off a bare shoulder, head pointed so high he looked down at everyone. Green silk was swathed across his hips and gold chains and bright jewels were draped from his head to his blue toes that made him jingle as he walked. He was just barely as tall as Thor, his skin unmarred so the lines that ran over it were smooth as they looped around his body in intricate designs.
But, there was a shifty look on his face that made Thor go tense. He had never heard much about the youngest prince. Apparently, Laufey had kept him a well guarded secret which only served to make Thor that much more uncomfortable with this arrangement. All he could think was that he had been sent as some sort of spy, possibly to send back information to Laufey or to steal artifacts or even to poison himself or Odin. It was the only way that this made sense.
He had tried explaining this to his father many times during the months leading to Loki’s arrival, demanding to know how he could just let their enemy’s son into their home with open arms. And his father would always wave off his concerns and speak of treaties and restoring peace between the realms.
It did not make Thor any more comfortable with the situation.
Loki snorted when he set his eyes on Thor, as if he was the strange one who didn’t belong here. He wasn’t the one wearing a bejeweled skirt and enough gold to put the entire palace to shame.
He would’ve said just that to him, if his mother hadn’t caught his deep scowl and elbowed him in the ribs. Loki’s red eyes and condescending smirk lingered in Thor’s mind as he moved to introduce himself to Frigga and Odin, his smile and gratitude probably filled with phony sincerity.
Loki said something about wanting to rest until dinner after the introductions were done and Thor had just barely resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Frigga smiled warmly at him, offering to guide him to his room and help him unpack. Loki offered her his arm, jingling out the room with his mother and laughing at something she said that Thor couldn’t hear.
“Slimy little-,” he began to mutter as soon as the doors shut.
His father turned and glared at him as soon as the words left his lips.
“Thor,” his voice was dark and filled with warning.
Thor shifted his weight uncomfortably from foot to foot, instantly regretting the slip of his tongue.
“Mind your temper. I’m trying to strengthen the relationship between our realms and I won’t have you messing it up.” He jabbed a finger in Thor’s face.
Thor did his best to keep his expression neutral, his fists clenching at his sides.
“I expect a better attitude from you at dinner tonight.”
Thor nodded, grinding his teeth and quickly walked away. He ran to his rooms and dived into his bed, groaning loudly into his pillow. This was going to be a terrible summer.
He was sat next to Loki at dinner. He wasn’t practically dripping with gold anymore, apparently preferring to dine without a chain or four dipping into his food. When he looked over at his mother, annoyance clear on his face, she had simply smiled at him. He looked back to Loki, who was staring at him, looking amused. Thor shifted in his seat as Loki continued to stare, red eyes boring into Thor, the small smile on his face growing broader.
“Do I make you uncomfortable, Odinson?” Loki asked as he brought his goblet his lips.
“No,” Thor answered quickly.
Loki huffed into his cup and took a sip of wine. “Then I should work harder at doing that, then.”
Thor grumbled and narrowed his eyes at Loki. Loki just laughed at him.
Thor focused all his attention on the pile of food in front of him, picking at it and not giving absolutely any thought to Loki. He was jolted by cold touch on his thigh, his head snapping once more towards Loki and nearly growling at him, hands clenched into tight fists on the table.
“You are already testing my hospitality, Laufeyson,” he spat through gritted teeth. “Do not touch me again unless you wish to practice magic with one hand."
Loki huffed another laugh, seemingly unaffected by Thor’s ire, hand still a cold, heavy presence on his thigh. “How can I test your hospitality when you clearly have none?”
Thor glared at him, watching Loki eat and drink without a care until he heard a loud cough and looked over to his father, who looked angry at him.
Loki snickered into his cup, finally removing his hand from Thor’s leg.
Loki sighed, simultaneously closing the door and lighting the torches placed around the room with a flick of his wrist. He walked around the room again, running his hands over the furnishings and fine fabrics that decorated it. They felt warm, almost alive beneath his palms and he couldn’t help but smile.
A small part of him still couldn’t believe his father fell for the lie, that he needed more help with learning magic, and then actually let him go to Asgard, without sending along of fleet of guards, even. Now he wouldn’t have to spend energy working around them and he could focus on more important matters. Thor, in particular.
He laughed as he thought of him, so obviously distressed by Loki, and much more handsome than anyone had described. Loki would enjoy playing with him.
He strolled out onto the balcony connected to the room and took a deep breath, filling his nose with fresh air and the smells of fragrant flowers from the grounds below. The sky was dusky and purple, slowly turning inky and filling with stars as the moon climbed higher. The city flickered to life below it, torches and fires bathing the golden buildings with warm light.
He loved it here already.
Guilt bubbled up in his belly, not for the first time since he decided he needed to find a way to get out of Jotunheim permanently, but it was worse now that his plans seemed to be falling into place. For all his faults, Loki loved his father and knew he had his reasons to try and shelter him. Loki felt bad about having to trick him, but he’d never let Loki go otherwise.
He’d miss his father.
His brothers… He was sure he’d miss them eventually.
He closed his eyes as cool breeze wrapped around his skin and thought of his home. The cold and perpetually dark halls of the palace, sharp, jagged ice structures that jutted out violently from the ground, the endless grey sky that constantly rolled with smooth clouds and mirrored the plains of snow covered ice. It filled him with dread. His father would have to understand eventually.
He opened his eyes again, dread being washed away by yellow light.
Asgard was going to be his home. Whether anyone else liked it or not.
After a night to cool down(and another stern lecture from his father), Thor decided to try to be more civil with Loki, even if he had to lie through his teeth to do it.
He found Loki sitting in the dining hall, already eating breakfast and surrounded by Thor’s friends(the traitors), laughing as Volstagg regaled them with some sort of tale between bites of food. He stood beside Loki, going ignored for far too long by everyone at the table, forcing him to clear his throat to get their attention. Everyone finally looked up and acknowledged him with boisterous greetings and invitations to sit and eat.
He put on his most charming and friendly smile. “In just a moment, friends. I’d just like to speak with Prince Loki alone for a moment." He directed his attention to the prince in question, his smile feeling even more forced.
Loki awarded him with a blank stare. “Can’t you say what you want to me right here? We are amongst your closest comrades, aren’t we?" He popped a grape into his mouth.
Thor’s jaw tightened, smile still plastered on his face. “I’d - I’d just prefer to speak alone with you for a moment, is all."
Loki’s face changed, like he just realized and understood something. He nodded his head slowly. “Ah, this is about yesterday, isn’t it? Don’t worry about it Thor," he said with a wave of his hand as he turned away from Thor. “I forgive you for your piss-poor manners, we are going to be staying under the same roof for a few months after all, why hold silly little grudges…"
Thor’s friends looked absolutely appalled, most of all Fandral, who happened to be sitting right next to Loki. He wrapped an arm around Loki’s shoulders, leaning in close with a vaguely apologetic look in his face.
"On behalf of our dear prince and friend, I’d like to say sorry for the inadequate welcome you received from him. And, if you’d like, I’d be happy to show you around the palace, to make up for it." He quirked an eyebrow up at the prince, smiling like he always did when he set his sights on someone he wanted to bed.
By the nine, he was flirting with Loki. Thor quickly flopped into the seat at the other side of Loki, fake smile quickly falling.
Sif rolled her eyes, leaning in to speak directly at Loki. “I’d decline his offer, unless you wish to be felt up in a darkened corridor." Fandral looked offended, doing his best to protest while the others cackled at him.
Loki laughed softly, smiling coyly back at Fandral. “Perhaps later I will call for you. This palace is quite large, after all. I’d hate to get lost." He winked, taking a slice of apple off a plate and biting into it.
Thor quickly grabbed a roll from a basket in front of him, stuffing it into his mouth to keep from making some sort of gagging noise at the display beside him.
"So, Volstagg, you said you had a funny story about Thor you wanted to tell me?"
Thor’s back stiffened, his eyes drifting up to the redhead as he laughed loudly and slammed his hands down on the table.
"Ah yes! Well there are many, but there’s one in particular that I enjoy. We had gotten lost travelling through Alfhiem and the only place for miles was this run down brothel…"
Thor groaned into his bread
Loki walked around the palace gardens, wanting to explore and gain his barrings. He hadn’t called for Fandral, of course, he just liked the sort of sickened look it put on Thor’s face when he implied he would. He heard grunting and shouting in the distance, following the noise he came upon an area where the garden ended, lush flowers turning into dense bushes and old trees. A circle of red clay was in the middle of a clearing, surrounded by rickety wooden benches and blunted swords and other practice weapons scattered about.
He hid himself with a wave of his hand, watching as hairy, shirtless men fought and rolled around on the ground. He first recognized Thor’s friends all fighting and laughing. After that his eyes searched for Thor.
He spotted Thor in the middle of another group of men off to the side of the ring, shirtless and in a pair of light trousers and boots. His skin gleamed with sweat in the sun, smudges of dark red dirt on golden skin. He laughed at something another man said, slapping him on the shoulder, his smile beaming and forming creases at the corners of his bright blue eyes. It was the first time he had ever actually seen Thor genuinely smile.
Loki felt dizzy and realized that he had been holding his breath. After making sure he remembered how to breathe properly his focus shifted back to Thor, who was now in the center of the ring, him and another man circling around each other, hands free of weapons. Some of the others where chanting Thor’s name.
They dived, grabbing and tackling each other to the ground. Thor rolled himself on top of the other man, his back caked with more dirt, his smile even bigger and brighter than before. Muscles rippled under taut skin, flexing and stretching with every move as he easily bested his fellow warrior. His chest heaved as he gulped in air, sweat forming in to droplets and rolling down his well formed torso, carrying away bits of dirt with it.
And Loki had stopped breathing again.
“Well,” he huffed to himself, “I could’ve chosen much worse.”
He watched Thor stand from the ground, hands thrown up in victory as the small crowd cheered.
In a sudden need to gain some semblance of control, Loki flicked his finger, causing Thor to trip over nothing and fall on his handsome face.
He turned and quickly began trekking back to his room, wanting very much to be alone with his thoughts.