It wasn't about the sex, although that was fantastic. Loki would never admit it, though. His brother didn't need more things to be proud of.

It was about all the little things that went into sex. It was about the way Thor kissed him on the mouth, firm and warm and deep. It was about the way his tongue traced the line of Loki's mouth in a silent, coaxing plea, begging entrance like a supplicant before a king, until resisting was unthinkable, and Thor drank in the soft sigh as Loki parted his lips like it was the sweetest mead ever brewed. It was about the way he ran his hand through Loki's hair, pressing his fingers against his brother's scalp with just enough pressure to send sparks tingling all down his spine. There was the way he cradled Loki's cheek in one warm, calloused hand and said nothing when Loki tilted his head against the touch like a dog that had pleased its master. The way Thor stroked the line of his jaw with a thumb as their breaths mingled between kisses.

It was about how slow Thor took it, as though he wanted to savor every second of having Loki in his arms, in his bed. It was the intoxicating feel of Thor's strong, sure fingers undressing him, his hands gliding lightly over newly exposed flesh as he slid Loki's cloak off his shoulders or eased his shirt up his body. The way his callused fingertips scraped lightly over Loki's skin as he caressed and stroked him, languid, unhurried, as though determined simply to refamiliarize himself with every line of his brother's body. The way he would plant long, warm, lingering kisses from the inside of Loki's wrist to the hollow of his throat to the curve of his hip, broken only by the wet press of his tongue as he tasted. It was about how his brother, such a physical being, seemed content simply to touch him as though even that small thing was a reward.

It was about the soft sound the bed made as Loki fell back onto it, the tight grip of his arms drawing Thor down with him. It was about the firm press of his brother's weight as Thor lay atop him, skin against skin, taut, strong muscles against lean, slender lines, and the way what should have felt claustrophobic and restraining was instead reassuring, comforting, grounding. Or the way Thor's hands felt gripping his hips, digging in just enough to avoid a bruise, or sometimes just enough to bruise, as he guided Loki in to straddle Thor's broad hips, the way Thor closed his eyes and drew in a breath as Loki's hands went to his chest for balance and he used that as an excuse to trace and stroke the powerful lines of Thor's muscles.

It was about the way Thor filled him up, the smooth glide of hot, hard flesh inside him, filling him so completely as to leave no room for any dark thoughts, any hesitations, any doubts. Sometimes Thor was slow and gentle, leaving Loki feeling nearly tortured with the slow build of pleasure until the waves broke over him. Sometimes, as though driven mad with desire for the man in his arms, he fucked Loki fast, hard, and breathless, animal and hungry, and then made Loki come again with just his fingers or his mouth as though once could not possibly be enough to sate the fires of lust. Either way, the sound of it, bodies meeting and joining and fucking with a harmony of moans and sighs and pleas, was as sweet as any music.

It was about how even the bruises were a token of adoration – a possessive one, perhaps, but there was something inside Loki that ached for Thor to possess him. The bruises were a way to mark for both of them that Thor had thoroughly touched and enjoyed him. Loki would trace each finger and mouth shaped mark later on and smile to himself as they throbbed lightly with the echo of Thor's touch. It was about the way the muscles of his thighs would burn pleasantly for hours afterwards, or how his lips would be left swollen and red and aching with the memory of Thor's kisses.

But oh, more than anything, it was about Thor's voice. It was about the things Thor said to him, whispered against his skin like a prayer. His normally plainspoken brother gained such a talent for words in bed, or maybe it was only because he so often left Loki speechless and himself all the more glib by comparison.

Gentle words – "Ssh, you're so tense, tell me what you want, tell me what I can do", "Lay back, relax, let me take care of you", "I love it when you smile".

Filthy words – "I want to be inside you, brother, I want to fuck you until that clever tongue of yours' can speak only my name", "Loki, you are so tight, you feel so good", "You taste wonderful, I need more, come for me, Loki".

Sweet words – "Brother, you are handsome beyond words, if I could only look upon you forever I would be the most fortunate of men", "Let me give this to you, let me do this for you, you deserve only pleasure and it is my honor to grant it to you", and perhaps the most terrifying of all, "I love you."

And it was about Thor's eyes. The way they never left Loki's face unless it was to bend his head to kiss or taste or suck. The way his blue eyes could be bright with adoration and love or clouded with lust. The way Thor drank in the sight of Loki's face as he came undone as though he were a dying man that had just found water. The way Thor would plead softly to see his face whenever Loki found himself hesitating or consumed with self loathing and tried to turn away, the way he would catch and hold Loki's gaze as he rolled his hips and drove inside, that was perhaps the most wonderful and terrifying part of it all. Because it left absolutely no doubt in Loki's mind that Thor wanted him, only him, and Thor wanted to savor the fact that it was Loki he was fucking, worshipping, loving.

It wasn't about the sex, although his achingly handsome brother was hardly deficient in that regard.

It was about feeling precious, worshipped, wanted. It was about having Thor's attention utterly and completely on him, and feeling that there was nothing in the world beyond the adoration in Thor's eyes. It was about feeling loved, and too overcome with pleasure to doubt it.

It wasn't about the sex, although that was fantastic. Thor had given up saying so, however, since Loki tended to sputter or go red or hit him whenever he did.

It was about all the little things that went into sex. It was about how, in recent years, Loki always seemed so tense. How he seemed to have folded in on himself, pulled away from the rest of the world, away from Thor. It was about how he'd taken to spinning words as webs to keep others back or turn them aside, and how sometimes, even Thor found himself falling for it.

But he could still coax or tempt Loki to his bed, or find himself permitted into Loki's in turn. And in those moments, Thor felt like he could still reach his brother, hold him close without Loki squirming away, keep him safe from whatever Loki seemed so on guard against and afraid of. He didn't have Loki's talent with words. He never would, and he didn't want to. So Thor trusted to touch, in these nights tangled together, to try and communicate everything he felt. If the words came anyway, flowing freely and unashamed where only Loki could hear, then so much the better. If just this once he didn't trip over himself and drive Loki further away without knowing how or why…well, that was a pleasant bonus.

It was about silencing his brother with a kiss, and in doing so remind him how to stop moving, stop plotting, and just feel. It was about feeling Loki relax against him, inch by inch, as though only just remembering how. It was about the soft warmth of Loki's mouth, so at odds with the bitingly sharp words that came forth from there, yielding and pliant beneath his own, lips parting to invite him close, invite him in.

It was about how Loki's body betrayed him in these moments, spoke every secret he kept hidden away and locked inside otherwise. The way his eyelids fluttered, his pulse raced, his body angled towards Thor like a plant starved for sunlight. The way his slim, clever hands shook and stumbled in getting Thor undressed, made clumsy with need. Loki's cheeks flushed sometimes at this, as though embarrassed, as though he expected Thor to laugh. Thor had yet to find a way to tell his brother that he treasured those signs of weakness more than anything, because they let Thor believe that he understood. Loki was layers upon layers, and like this, only like this, could Thor feel himself peeling those layers away to truly know his brother once again underneath.

It was about the slow build, the heady satisfaction that came with clearing away obstacles in the form of easing off clothes and baring skin, the simple pleasure of skin against skin. Leather and cloth were Loki's armor just as surely as iron and steel were Thor's. And he wore them in layers, as though to soften the blows of the world. Bit by bit, Thor cast those layers aside, and was allowed to, and in worshipful gratitude he kissed and touched and loved every inch laid bare to him.

It was about trust, and reminding himself that Loki still trusted him. He knew his brother took no others to bed, let no others this close. There was no one else he would trust his vulnerability to. It was selfish, unforgivably so, but Thor relished that. That only he could give Loki this.

It was about the way his heart broke when Loki leaned into his touches like he'd forgotten what gentleness or care was, and Thor's determination to show him. The way Loki flushed or looked away or hesitated, as though he didn't quite understand why Thor was willing, eager to take so much time, why Thor might murmur the words he did between kisses and sighs. But, like this, he knew Loki still believed him when Thor told him how strikingly, impossibly handsome he was. And so Thor said it, and savored the taste of the words and the light that came into Loki's green eyes every time.

He always reflected later how funny it was, that it was Thor who had the reputation for honesty, and yet Loki was the one who refused to believe him.

In turn, it was about the heady satisfaction and thrill of power that came with slowly stealing Loki's great library of words, and leaving him with only "yes", "more", "please", "don't stop", "Thor" and seeing to it that those were all he needed.

It would have been a lie to claim that he didn't love taking control like this. To pretend that witnessing the moment where Loki passed from acceptance to surrender wasn't the most impossibly beautiful sight he had ever seen. Loki normally demonstrated such perfect, ironclad self control in other aspects of his life, and Thor had never understood how or why. But like this, feeling Loki submit entirely to his touch and attentions, hearing him come undone enough to beg for them, it was a heady, powerful thing. And it always left Thor feeling powerfully protective, wanting nothing more than to gather Loki into his arms and care for him, leave him feeling thoroughly pleasured and safe and loved.

Like this, he could. So he did.

It was about feeling Loki move and writhe beneath him, all flexing, sinewy energy and long limbs. Or the feeling of Loki on top of him, settled against him, strong thighs tight around his hips, looking down at him with dark, hooded eyes. The way his knuckles stood out when his fingers curled into the sheets or tightened on Thor's skin, and how the light sting of his nails contrasted so, so sweetly with the pleasure of touch and taste and contact.

It was about bruises and marks, dotted into his brother's pale, smooth skin, reminders to them both that they still had this. It was about holding firm or sucking hard until Loki sighed, a sound of such easy, relaxed pleasure that never failed to make him harder. And it was the sight of Loki tracing those marks languidly later on that never failed to leave Thor breathless.

It was about the way their bodies fit together, like a lock and key, and the feeling of such dizzying, perfect closeness that could only be found when not a breath could pass between them. It was about how Loki's tight heat seemed to draw him in with every thrust. Or it was about the way Loki looked when he bent his head to put his famed lips and tongue to work on Thor's cock, or the way his deft fingers felt when stroking the heavy, heated flesh.

Loki often darted glances up at Thor's face in these moments, his gaze intent and searching even as it clouded with desire. Thor knew his brother was searching for any sign of dissatisfaction, any sign that he wasn't leaving Thor painfully wanting and utterly pleasured.

He never saw anything of the kind.

And, in the end, it was about urging Loki to "relax, lay back, let me." Because for all that his brother was undoubtedly skilled, the real pleasure in moments like these was just the chance to tend to his needs. To work him open, sometimes slow and easy and sometimes fast and hard, however the mood took them, until Loki was wound tight and all it took was one more push to have his brother come against him, crying out unashamedly.

Sometimes he made Loki come again, just because he could.

And in the end, when they were both sated and spent, Loki would curl up into the sheets, faced pressed against the bed as his breathing slowly steadied. Thor would stretch out beside him and wrap an arm around him to tug him just a little bit closer, and Loki would hum softly in pleasure. In those quiet, breathless moments afterwards, Thor was content just to touch, to stroke his hands lightly over Loki's back or knead the newly-slack muscles of Loki's shoulders or gather one of his brother's slim hands between both of his and kiss each long finger.

Sometimes, Loki drifted into sleep under his touch. Other times, his brother would roll over to face him, and they would simply kiss, slow and soft, until sleep claimed them both together. Either way, as long as Loki was here, Thor was content.

It wasn't about the sex, although his achingly handsome brother was hardly deficient in that regard.

It was about the pleasure of having Loki here and close, of being left in no doubt that for all Loki's biting words and guarded eyes in all other aspects of their life, that Thor was still wanted and loved by his brother. It was about leaving Loki feeling as loved and worshipped as he deserved, in turn, and knowing that, like this, his intentions and feelings were known and believed.

It was about an intimacy that went above and beyond words.