Written for the prompt Fear.


Thor drops his wooden sword next to a pillar and throws his hands above his head in a spine-cracking stretch. His shadow spills like blood across the pale tile to fall over the side of the balcony. Behind him, inside the hall, a hundred voices rise together in a deafening roar.

Loki subtly covers his ears and walks up beside his brother.

"They've brought out the boar, I guess," he says. Soon, the warriors will be competing for the best tale, shouting over each other about how many heads they had knocked from JÓ§tun shoulders or how many lungs they had crushed and tangled. Loki frowns minutely.

"Yeah, sounds like it," Thor agrees. He drops his arms. Loki can see that he wants to go back inside to sit with the men. Thor loves the accounts of battle. He's almost old enough to accompany their father on hunting trips as it is.

This bothers him.

"Why did you ask me out here?" Thor continues, turning clear blue eyes to meet with green. His yellow hair forms a corona around his face, shining softly. His cheeks are thinning with the beginnings of manhood. He looks more like the king every day.

"Oh," says Loki. He casts his gaze about for a good excuse and settles for the sunset. "I simply thought the clouds looked particularly promising tonight." He strides forward. "Perhaps I should become a falcon and take a closer look?" He lets a smile brighten his face as he peers back over his shoulder.

Thor stands still by the pillar, cross. "You can see clouds whenever you want, Loki. Let's go back."

Loki turns away and sticks a toe into the air. All of Asgard lies beneath him, distant and golden and austere.

"Loki." Thor sounds angry now. He's nervous. "The storytelling begins. Come away from the edge." He sheathes his sword once more in his belt. Loki hears it rasp against his breeches.

He ends up following his brother back into the din and dark, air heavy with the scents of mead and burned flesh. Thor already looks perkier, seeking out his friends in the crowd. Loki has to stop a sudden urge to reach out, to touch him and pull him back. Back outside, or back to their old shared bedroom, or back to the beginning, he doesn't know. It feels like something is changing.

Come away from the edge, Thor. The words are on the tip of his silver tongue.

Then he blinks, and Thor is gone.


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