A/N: Oh, the bizarre ideas I come up with late at night before I go to sleep and then wind up writing the following day…
This is a semi-AU (at least in event) little Thorki drabble. It's a, "if Loki had found out sooner about his origins through some other means and came to a different decision" sort of drabble. Also features more-than-brotherly love, too. Because I can. :'D
Enjoy…? Because I have no idea how good this will be, seeing as how I've never written for this fandom before and only had the desire to because of the relatively recent film. XD
It had been his mother who broke the news to him.
Being a young teenager full of desire to find himself and unlock his own secrets, Loki started digging into his past. It was never clear to him, really, why he was in the family he's in. He didn't look much like his parents in a manner of speaking, and he certainly didn't look like his brother.
And then there were the signs: his father treating his brother with more respect and honor and evident favoritism ("He's just giving me more responsibility because I'm oldest and will inherit the throne; it's nothing, Loki. Please don't take it so personally," Thor might say); his mother caring for him the way she does, yes, but always looking at Thor differently, looking more into his eyes and with more… kinship than she did with her younger son; and then there were other things, more personal things that Loki felt and knew were not natural. And, of course, his abilities of illusion and trickery; no one he knew around here could do that, but the way he could. Magic is not uncommon, but his sort sure felt like it.
Thus, all of this led to Loki one day walking up to his mother and asking her quite seriously, "Am I your son?"
To which she looked confused and flustered for a moment before composing herself and smiling. "Of course you're my son, Loki, dear. And I love you very much."
"No, Mother," Loki had corrected, trying to keep his emotions in check, "I asked you if I were your son, as in I specifically came from your womb." His voice cracked, faltered, the word 'son' wavering for a fraction of a second, and his eyes welled with tears for just as long. He blinked, swallowed, and the falter passed, but that didn't mean that his mother missed it.
She looked at him with a painful expression so torn and aching that the tears very nearly returned to the young prince's eyes. He looked on his mother with patience, awaiting her response.
She only sighed, her eyes downcast, hands in her lap.
"I had hoped – prayed, even – that you would not come to this realization. I had hoped to keep you blissfully ignorant your entire life, because I did not wish for you to think any less of yourself or us, and certainly not think it would mean we loved you any less." She finally lifted her eyes to meet her precious son's and in a moment, she stood and wrapped her arms around him. "But no, Loki, you did not come from me womb, nor were born of a woman who was with your father. We adopted you into our family when you were a child."
He peeled away from her grasp and bit back a cry. He clenched his fists and took the news by degree. "So… it is true, then. I am not related to any of you by blood." And instantly a coating of ice covers his heart at the news, making it weigh heavy, and yet somehow hollow, in his chest.
"Not in blood, nor, but in bond, yes! Please understand, Loki, that you are our son and Thor's brother, because you have grown with us and were raised by us. You are ours no matter what, and we love you dearly," she pleased with him, but he needed to know more.
"Then if you love me, you will tell me, Mother, where I come from, truly," Loki said quietly, looking her in the eyes. He shook all over, his body tense, and she hated seeing him in this condition.
Gripping the threads of her gown tightly, she sat down again. "You were found, my child. Abandoned, we think, because of your size. You were a runt of sorts, I suppose, because you were too small to be an infant of – of –"
"Of what!" he cried out, and he wasn't sure if he felt hurt or angry or both. "Just what am I, Mother?" In a softer voice, he repeated, "What am I…?"
She looked away then. "You are Frost Giant. A small one, it seems, but Frost Giant nonetheless. But listen, Loki, we love you –"
Loki spat in disgust, a dull ache rising with each throb of his heart from his chest. He snapped, "You keep saying that as if it is supposed to make me feel a deal greater, but it isn't, Mother! – What was I supposed to be? A backup plan to uphold the treaty? Threaten to kill me or use me as a form of diplomacy in a trade if things came to the worst –"
"No, Loki, no! Val Halla, no! You were taken in kindness, not for some greater good! You would have died, and we wished to care for you instead –" she tried to tell him, standing again, but he merely stepped away and shook his head.
"No. I have heard enough. Thank you for the truth, but now – I cannot stay here, now," he told her coldly, and turned and stormed out of the room.
Presently, Loki paces his bedroom floor, fighting tears, and isn't sure what to think. All he knows is that he doesn't belong here, but thinking on it, it's not as though he belongs with his true people either. He is an outcast of both worlds, because there is no place for him in either. He will never rein here, on Asgard, as anything more than an advisor to his brother's crown, and he would be shunned if he went to the Frost Giants.
No, Loki is alone, and he sees that now. He has always been different – strange, unheard, unworthy – and now that he knows why, he can never go back to the life he knew.
"So what is there to do?" Loki whispers to himself, sitting down on the edge of his bed. He runs a hand through his black hair and presses the heels of both hands into his eyes after a brief pause.
"Why must anything need doing?" comes Thor's voice, and Loki looks up to find his so-called brother in the doorway. "Why are you sitting here pondering things when supper has been ready for some time now? I came to fetch you so you might eat. You're too thin, little brother," the golden-haired teen teases as he walks into Loki's room uninvited.
"Go away, Thor," Loki hisses. "I no longer concern you."
"How can you not concern me? You're my brother," Thor protests, frowning. Suddenly, he laughs. "Ah, I get it! You want to be the grown, independent man now. Well, be my guest; perhaps father will cease putting so many responsibilities on me if he sees me as the child in comparison to you." And he's joking, Loki knows, but it only makes the situation worse.
"No, you fool!" Loki roars, standing form his bed and getting close to Thor's face. "Can't you see it? I am not your brother!"
"What nonsense are you speaking about?" Thor scowls, his own voice rising an octave. "You are –"
But Loki can feel it, suddenly. He can feel the illusion on his own skin, an illusion born of instinct that he has been wearing as naturally as one might breathe for as long as he can remember. He sheds it, and while he feels it shift over his skin, his body growing cold and more numb, he looks down at his hands and finds them blue.
Thor releases a shout and backs up a few steps. "Y-your face! Brother, please, don't play games like this! Why do you look like –"
"A Frost Giant?" Loki supplies as an answer, and his tone is oddly calm and gentle. "Because, Thor, this is what I have been trying to tell you: I am not your brother, not in blood. I was… found. And that's all there is to it. I am not meant to be here."
"So… so this is real? What you truly look like? It's not one of your tricks?" Thor says slowly, his face contorting into something puzzled and pained.
Loki looks away. "Yes," he replies curtly. The tears he's fought with all afternoon come pouring down his cheeks now, and they feel like acid on his skin. He shudders and quickly reverts back to his usual appearance, the one that he thought to be his own for all this time.
Without hearing Thor move, Loki notices with a startling sense of warmth that Thor has moved to place his hand on Loki's cheek. "It does not matter. To me, you are meant to be here, Loki, because you are not like those things I have called monsters on more than one occasion. Not on the inside, anyhow. Inside, you are who I have known you to be all those years, and that is what makes all the difference."
"But I cannot stay here, Thor. Why don't you see that, despite what you say, I am still not one of you?" Loki says quietly, stepping out of Thor's reach. "I am nothing here. I have always been treated like nothing here. And I will continue to not measure up to Father's standards because he knows what I truly am. This is why he trusts you over me, and why he sees me as far less than your equal."
"But you are my equal," the blond says earnestly, reaching out again. "I have never seen you as anything less than me equal. You are far more intelligent than me; you are much better at planning and thinking things through, and I would need you even when I became king."
"You are saying that, but you do not mean it. I know you, Thor: you are arrogant and brash and selfish, and one day when we are a bit older, you will be named king, and when that time comes, you will want none of my input and will care not about me, and I would have stayed and tolerated being in the background for nothing," Loki retorts.
Thor blinks, not believing that he's hearing. "…How long have you suffered with this resentment?"
"Always," Loki replies swiftly. "Or nearly always. I only didn't know why. And now I know." He pushes past Thor and starts to head out of the room, down the hall, and out of the palace entirely.
"Loki!" Thor calls after him once he regains his sense of self, the shock wearing off. This is actually happening; Loki is leaving.
Thor races outside, and for a moment, he can't locate his brother. He had always known that he felt something very strong toward the slighter boy, but he hadn't thought about it much, because it had felt wrong. Wrong, of course, because Thor would feel intense guilt and shame every time he thought about it. He should not feel things like that for his own flesh and blood. But perhaps he harbored this strong feeling (love? Thor wonders now as he runs all over in search of Loki) for all this time because he sensed somewhere deep down that it wouldn't be as much a sin as he thought. And now it makes sense as to why.
Still, it doesn't change the fact that his panic is rising into the frantic. "Loki! Loki!" he calls out over and over again, and no one seems to pay him any heed if they see him. He is a young adult; not old enough to be taken seriously, and still young enough to be thought of as someone playing games. He curses them all silently in his head as he continues to follow the path he thinks Loki might have gone.
When he finally finds the trickster, he is standing at the edge of the Bridge, perhaps on his way to see Heimdall to leave Asgard. "Why did you follow me?" Loki turns and states immediately. "Shouldn't you be at supper?"
"I couldn't dare eat knowing you might be leaving the Realm," Thor responds with a stony expression. "Why must you go? And where would you even flee to?"
"I was thinking Midgard, or Earth, if you prefer to call it," Loki answers lowly. "I could blend in there and remake myself into something useful, or perhaps find something worthwhile there that I can be trusted with."
"You can have that here!" Thor says quickly, taking a tentative step forward. "I will see to it! Please, Loki, don't leave."
"Why not? It seems like the logical choice, the one that will benefit me best. And what do you care? You will one day be king. And everyone already loves you so much, and hangs on every word you say. The opposite of myself," Loki mutters, and there is a notable tone of hurt in his voice. "I beg you, Thor, just let me go. Tell Father that I thank him for caring for me, but he need not worry about my burden any longer, because I will be far out of his hair."
"…You can tell him that yourself," Thor says sternly, "And I will go with you, because I will be telling him the same thing."
Loki's eyes widen. "What do you mean?"
Thor's entire body speaks nothing but firm conclusion as he utters, "I am going with you to live on Midgard. I will not leave you unprotected and alone. We can be outcast together, if you so wish it."
"You need not be exiled like me," Loki answers sharply, "So why do you choose it?"
"Because I love you, and the last thing I want is for you to leave me!" Thor yells back, and all of a sudden, everything grows silent.
"…I am not leaving you," Loki whispers, his face calm and woeful, nearly apologetic. "I am leaving this life where I don't belong." He steps forward and offers a small smile. "But you do belong here, Thor, so please, stay and he where you are meant to be."
"I cannot," Thor answers, his voice oddly soft. He shakes his head and rubs his lightly stubbled face. "It will not be the same without you. I have spent more time with you than I have anyone else. I feel closest to you."
"And I to you, Thor, but this is for the best," Loki attempts to soothe, his hand resting on Thor's shoulder.
Thor growls and slaps Loki's hands away, his own clenching into fists. "The best for whom? – I'll tell you whom: no one but yourself. And now you tell me, Loki: how would you live there, pretending to be human, all the time knowing that you left while leaving everything here in chaos? Mother is worried; I passed her on the way out of the palace, and she asked me what you had said to me, and wondered how you were taking the truth. And I know that Father will feel the utmost remorse if you only speak to him. And then there is me, the one you will hurt most of all if you leave me behind." He leans forward and grips Loki's shoulders tightly, his eyebrows lifting into a desperate plea. "I beg of you: either choose not to abandon this life, or choose to take me with you to your new life."
Loki searches Thor's eyes for any falseness, and is surprised when he finds none. Thor is as series as death, and somewhere in those words there is a promise, and an underlying truth.
It dawns on the black-haired teen, then, what this could mean. "You would not be this keen on the topic of leaving unless strong emotions were guiding you. What are they? They mean more than kinship, Thor, I can see that much. Do you deny it?"
"No, I do not," Thor sighs as he releases the other boy. "Sometimes I wonder if I care for you too much. Because I don't think you realize how much I would do for you, how much I try to do for you. I stand up for you against Father, I give you credit when I repeat an idea you spoke of that no one before listened to, and I am in my best mood when I am with you." He lifts his gaze to connect with Loki's. "You mean the Realm to me, and yet you cannot see past your built-up resentments."
"…You meant it, then, when you said you loved me," Loki murmurs. "You meant it fiercely."
"I did," Thor confirms, and he looks embarrassed the way he ducks his head. "I had always thought that I felt was wrong because we were brothers, but if that is actually not the case, then I don't feel as guilty about it, and now it only makes sense why it was there. I do not even know how it came to be, but I can't say I care." And he gives a tiny smile, something precious and bright, like a star.
Loki smiles in return, his face softening and his heart melting of the ice the news of his adoption brought on. "I hope you realize that part of the reason for my pain was that I was jealous of the one person I admired most: you." He steps closer, lightly touching Thor's face. "And when I knew that I had to exile myself from this place, I had been pacing my bedroom thinking of two things: where I would go, and how I would say goodbye to you."
"That last bit seemed not to have gone over well," Thor chuckles to break the tension. He brings up his hand to cover Loki's and grip it tightly where it rests against his stubble-covered jaw. "But I think we have reached a compromise, haven't we?"
"We have," Loki murmurs, leaning in closer. "Thanks to you, I won't have to say goodbye. I will take you up on that offer after all."
"So we are going to go to Earth together, then?" Thor asks hopefully.
"Indeed we are," Loki answers, his breath a puff away from Thor's lips, and the blond can feel his breathing hitch in his throat. "After we tell Father together. I only pray that whoever is next in line after you and I for the throne will rule as wisely as either of us would have."
Thor grins for a moment. "I'm sure they will. Father might not like that we are leaving, but we are grown princes of Asgard, and he cannot dictate our actions forever. – Besides, it may be a good thing; we might be able to aid the people there as much as we would aid those here." He closes his eyes and finds Loki's lips thin and compliant beneath his own as he closes the last of the gap between them.
"Ever the optimist looking at the silver lining on the grayest of clouds," Loki hums in amusement as he breaks the long kiss. He rests his forehead against Thor's, their hands still twined, and speaks softly, "But I am more of a realist, and I have a feeling that this will not be easy. We will have to adapt their customs and way of dress, and choose a place to live and a way to be. And Father will most likely spy on us from time to time if he doesn't throw a large upset at the idea in the first place."
Thor leans away and nods. "I am well aware. But I am willing to chance it, because I understand how you feel, and I agree that it is a decent alternative than forever being pitted against one another for the throne, resentments building higher, and you always being left to the wayside simply because you are not an Asgardian by blood." He clenches his teeth. "I always hated that injustice. And I plan to stand for it no longer."
"I pray Father respects your determination, because I sense that you will be my only ticket out."
"Then let it be so!" Thor grins again, "For I will fight for your freedom, Loki."
"Your freedom now as well, Thor."
"Mm," Thor hums thoughtfully, "That is true. And I must say that I am relieved to be free to do this." And he places another kiss on Loki's mouth, making the shorter teen smile.
"Like I said," Loki smirks, "Silver lining, even against the grim rain-cloud that is our king."
"I fear his wrath not," Thor says, brushing it off as he begins leading both of them back toward the palace. "After all, he is our father."