There were only a few things Loki found as boring as tournaments but none of those were currently taking place and most of those he could excuse himself from. As a Prince of Asgard he could not simply disappear. He had to be there to cheer on their warriors and most importantly his brother who was taking part in this year's tournament. It would be a great slight for Loki to be absent. No matter how much he wanted to support his brother however Loki grew bored easily. It was all the same – archery, wrestling, swordsmanship – and the same over and over again with simply new faces.

It was as dull a day as he could imagine and every time he tried to find some way of amusing himself his mother would remind him that they were in public and Loki could not simply take it upon himself to liven up the activities by creating snakes to release on the unwilling participants even if it did add something new to the planned entertainments. His father's response to Loki's attempts to liven up the day were met with growls and Loki stopped, not wanting to provoke him further. There was only so much longer he would be considered a youth, only so much longer people would look the other way where his pranks were concerned and already his father was growing tired of humouring him.

Loki's job was to sit there, everyone's eyes upon him and be a good little figure head along with his parents.

He shouldn't squirm when he grew tired, he shouldn't squint when the sun hit him in the eyes, he shouldn't stretch or yawn or slump in his seat when he was bored. He could not even cheer on his preferred fighters because it showed a favouritism that was unbecoming in one of the royal family. He was not allowed to show any other emotion but quiet enjoyment. He was to clap politely at the end of each round no matter what the outcome and what he had hoped. He was to make small talk with the champions as they were rewarded. Loki and his behaviour were on show as much as the metal of their warriors and his father was quick to remind him of that.

All of that Loki could have endured but when it came to being unable to cheer for Thor he bulked.

It was hard enough to sit there and to pretend to have no particular feelings either way when it came to the outcomes of other fights but it would be impossible to stop himself cheering for Thor, especially not when his brother had asked him to do so.

Other warriors had sweethearts who would blow them kisses, would wear trinkets given to them and who would be the first on their feet when the final blow was dealt and the first one to whom the warrior ran to celebrate. Loki could have none of those things. He couldn't outwardly show the gifts Thor had given him, couldn't rush down and fling his arms around his brother when he was victorious and kiss him before the crowds. The little Loki could do was cheer his brother on and even that he was forbidden.

He dug his fingers into the wooden arms of his seat, nails drawing groves into it he gripped so hard. He bit his lip to keep his mouth closed as Thor parried another sword thrust, deflecting it easily enough but Loki had already seen confident men come to ruin because of a misstep or a sudden change in fortune. Around him the crowd were on their feet, already anticipating the victory of their prince but Loki stayed still as he was supposed to. He closed his eyes as Thor knocked the sword from his appointments hand and drew in a deep breath to steady himself.

When he opened his eyes again Thor was already climbing his way to the dais to be congratulated. Loki got to his feet swiftly, wanting to move towards his brother, wanting to grip his hand tightly but his father's arm shot out, holding him back. Loki slunk back and avoided Thor's eye as his brother tried to catch his attention. His father shook Thor's hand warmly, his mother kissed his cheek and Loki could only nod at him, trying not to notice how confused and hurt Thor seemed.

"Brother…" He said and Loki shook his head.

"You did very well." He said quickly. "I look forward to the next round." And with that he sat back down, willing Thor to simply walk away. His brother's fists were clenched, he could see that and he knew Thor wanted to ask him why he was being so cold to him, why he wasn't behaving like a proper warrior's sweetheart but after a moment his brother's fists unclenched and he took the steps down from the dais, back into the ring to ready himself for the next round and the next challenger.

Loki glared down at his feet, hating himself for being so easily shut down. He wanted to please his father. He wanted to be a good son but if it meant hurting Thor again he didn't think he could do it. Thor was more than simply his brother; he was Loki's lover and Loki's whole world. As much as he craved his father's approval he didn't know if he could stand gaining it from disappointing Thor. He intensified the glare he gave his shoes, imagining how he would change things if he was given kingship of Asgard. He would do away with tournaments all together or, if he had to have them, then he wouldn't hide who he favoured, he'd cheer just as loud as everyone else and when Thor took his victories then Loki would be the one there to congratulate him and Thor would claim his kisses as well as the prize.

There was a loud gasp and Loki looked up, taking in the fight in front of him for the first time and he realised what was happening. Thor was losing. His brother was almost on his knees as the other warrior hacked away at him and it was only his sword held weakly aloft that stopped those blows connecting. Next to him Loki saw his mother's face clouded with fear, saw her draw her trembling hand to her mouth. Even she, a skilled diplomat, couldn't hide her feelings when it came to her eldest son. Loki felt frozen and even as he looked on Thor turned his face to him. He met Loki's eyes and dropped his sword, submitting the match.

The stadium was deathly quiet. Loki trembled in his seat and besides him he could hear his mother drawing sobbing breaths that shook her body. Thor continued to stare at him, broken and defeated and that should have been the end of it but then the other warrior bought the handle of his sword down hard on the back of Thor's head and his brother slumped to the ground.

"Thor!" Loki shouted, jumping to his feet and vaulting over the railing of the dais and into the ring. He could hear noise around him, the crowd growing ugly at the dishonourable move, attacking an opponent who had already surrendered and one who was the king's son but Loki didn't care about them. He cared about reaching his brother. He struck the warrior down with a spell, freezing him in place as the man tried to run and he didn't care that he was showing off the power he'd wanted to keep hidden, that shamed his family. He didn't even care about the shouts of horror, the whispers that sprung up after his show of magic. He just wanted the man who had hurt his brother to pay.

"Thor." He sobbed, falling to his knees and gathering his brother's large head in his hands, pushing his long blond hair aside to view the cut and the blood pooling and matting at the base of Thor's skull. "Thor, please!" He begged when his brother didn't move, didn't open his eyes when the cut was touched.

"Someone please! Someone help me!" He shouted and then he was aware of arms around him, pulling him up and away from Thor's unconscious body and he wailed as Thor's friends hefted him up, carrying him from the ring and towards the healers. "I need to go with him! I need…"

"Loki." His mother's voice was soft but even so he could hear the pain there. She held him tightly to her, stroking her fingers through Loki's hair as he wept into her dress and she didn't begrudge him for getting his blooded fingers over her as he clung to her, crying openly. "My poor Loki."

"It's my fault." He sobbed. "It's all my fault. He wanted me to cheer for him. He was watching for me and I wouldn't."

"No, no!" She murmured, kissing his head and then his cheeks to kiss away the tears, tilting Loki's face towards her own. "Thor will be fine. I promise you, Loki. He will be fine." She wrapped her arms around her youngest son, more aware than Loki now of the eyes that followed them, of the fear in people's face when they looked at the boy. "Come away, Loki." She said, drawing him from the ring. "You shouldn't be here now."

"I need to see Thor!" Loki said, clutching at this mother's robes, almost begging her but Frigga shook her head.

"No, he's healing now." She said quietly, taking Loki away from everyone, back into their private quarters and towards his room. "You're hysterical, Loki. You need to heal as much as he does." She chided him softly, getting Loki to lie down on his bed. She settled at his side, reaching into the pockets of her robes to draw out a little vial. "This will help you sleep. I take it myself." She said, uncorking it and passing it across to Loki. "I would never sleep after the tournament without it."

Loki took it with trembling fingers, sipping from the vial before passing it back to her. Frigga corked it again and set the vial down on Loki's bedside table.

"Thor." Loki murmured and she hushed him again, brushing the tears from his cheeks.

"I know, I know." She whispered. "He will be better, Loki. I promise you."

"I should have cheered for him. He asked me to. I should have…" Loki's voice faded, blinking sleepily up at his mother and Frigga nodded.

"I should have too." She whispered, taking Loki's hand in hers. "He needed our support and when he looked to us we weren't there. It's as much my fault as yours, Loki."

"No." Loki shook his head fuzzily. "No, I love him. I love Thor. He asked me. I should have." His voice trailed off as his eyes slid closed and a moment later Loki was sleeping peacefully. Frigga sighed softly, squeezing her son's pale hand in her own.

"I know, my little boy. I know." She said, staring at the wall and trying not to feel a wave of fear about what this would mean for her sons. Loki might be her child by adoption and not blood but he was still hers. She had always worried that Loki and Thor would grow closer, drawn together by their opposite natures and the fact that, even if they did not know it, they would feel they were not really related down in their bones. She had tried to tell Odin but he would never hear of it. She wouldn't be able to protect them if their father ever found out. He wouldn't understand it. He would rip them apart and Frigga could not stand for that. She would hide their secret if she was able to. She'd hidden Loki away now, soften him in his hysterics and once he awoke she'd teach him the most important lesson she could – how to keep a secret. Frigga had not learned diplomacy for nothing.

Loki awoke slowly, as if from some terrible dream. He remembered blood and he remembered Thor and he reached out, hoping the feel the warmth of his brother's body beside him, to hear Thor's rumbling snores but there was nothing up emptiness. This was not unusual. Loki hardly ever allowed his brother to stay with him in the night but Loki knew instinctively that something was wrong, that his dream was not simply just that and shudder ran through him.

"Thor is healing." His mother's voice cut through his thoughts and Loki turned his head, realising he was not alone for the first time and he cursed himself. He had been too focused on Thor. He had always known that Thor was his weakness but he had hoped he would be able to control himself.

"Mother." He said, pushing himself up and regarding her from the bed. "I had…I had strange dreams about Thor."

"Not dreams, Loki. Thor was hurt yesterday, badly." Frigga said, coming to sit at his bedside and Loki drew in a deep breath, the colour fading from his cheeks as he remembered everything. The tournament, Thor's fight, refusing to give his brother the reassurance he craved and then the underhanded move which had laid Thor low. Despite himself his hands clenched in the sheets and Loki could have ripped them apart if his mother was not still with him.

He licked his lips, tasting salt there and realised he must have been crying in his sleep. "Do you think I could see Thor today?" He ventured.

For a moment his mother's face clouded and then she regained herself and nodded. "Yes. I think you could. He will be moved to his own rooms this afternoon to continue his recuperation. You could see him then."

Loki was already out of bed, splashing water on his face from a jug that had been left on the nightstand. He would not allow Thor to see where he had cried. His brother would tease him and then he would know how very dear he was to Loki. Loki might tell Thor that he loved him, might cry it out in moments of passion but he didn't want his brother to know just how deeply that love ran.

Frigga tugged at the corner of Loki's sheet, obviously still unhappy. "Don't you want to know what has happened to the man you cast your spell on?" She asked. Loki stopped in his tracks and then shook his head. The man had never even crossed his mind and even now he didn't care what his mother would have to say about him. He had hurt Thor. He deserved to die and would have done if Loki had had his way.

Maybe he had done. His mother hadn't told him the outcome yet.

Frigga sighed. "He will mend but he will not be the same. You could have killed him, Loki." She said it as if she thought Loki had been overwhelmed, as if she thought he didn't know the spell he'd meant to utter.

"Good." Loki said sharply. "We don't need people without honour in our army. We don't need someone who could strike down a prince."

His mother's sigh this time made Loki flinch. It was almost as bad as his father's shouting. There was something worse in the quiet disappointment. She stood up, shoes tapping lightly on the floor as she moved behind her son, soothing her hands down over Loki's shoulders. "Your father will deal with him. Do not think he will escape punishment but you cannot use your magic like that, Loki. I know you were simply protecting your brother but it isn't…"

"I won't do it again." Loki said quickly, turning his face to his mother and there must have been enough boyish charm there still that she believed him. Loki didn't intend to use such a show of power again if he could help it. Eventually people would forget, their memories of what had happened would dim and they wouldn't remember exactly what Loki had done. He would lay low until they forgot completely. He did not want his father to begin to plan for a day when Loki himself might be a threat.

Frigga kissed his forehead and Loki couldn't help smiling. Despite everything he did still want to please his mother. Frigga straightened, for a moment looking conflicted and then she reached to brush Loki's dark hair from his face.

"Take care of your brother, Loki and make sure he takes care of you." She said, rubbing her thumb along Loki's high cheekbone, so unlike the rest of his family. "Your father would not look kindly upon either of you should he find out."

Loki's mouth fell open and he gulped for air, feeling as if he was drowning on the dry land. "How did you know?" He gasped out. His mother's smile was almost insulting.

"You are my children, Loki." She chided him. "Do you think I am blind? That I cannot see the closeness between the two of you? That I did not see yesterday that your heart broke to see your brother hurt?"

"I thought we were careful." Loki said petulantly, crossing his arms over his thin chest. Frigga smiled again, a little softer this time.

"I am your mother, Loki. There are no secrets you can keep from me." She said, bending to kiss his cheek. "Now, wash yourself. Your brother will want to see you when he is awake."

Loki wanted to run down the hallway but instead he walked slowly, trying not to show any inside turmoil on his face. He wanted to be angry with Thor, wanted to blame his brother for giving them away but it had been his anger that had been their undoing, his grief that had led to his mother's discovery. She'd not told them to stop, in fact she had almost encouraged Loki – helping him to pick something to wear, brushing his hair and then sending him to his brother' s chamber but even so Loki still felt uneasy.

He hoped his mother was right. He hoped she was the only one who had noticed. Loki did not know how to face his father's anger and he did not want Thor to have to face it on his behalf. He might be growing accomplished with his lying but he did not think he could lie to his father on this fact. He was almost expecting guards at Thor's door, guards who would escort him straight to his father and the punishment that awaited him for seducing his brother.

Hadn't Thor always told him he had been unable to resist Loki? That Loki's fair skin and dark exotic looks had enticed in in the way no one else in Asgard had ever? It would be Loki's fault then. He already knew his father favoured Thor over the two of them so it was not difficult to imagine that his father would choose Thor over him if there was ever a question of it. Loki would be at fault even if he knew how wantonly Thor had touched him, how he had taught him everything Loki knew of physical love.

There were no guards when he reached Thor's door and Loki pushed it open slowly, not sure what state Thor would be in or if he would want a visit from his little brother. Thor might have been told of what Loki had done. He might be angry with him, disgusted by him. Loki might have used his magic on Thor, might have held him down and told Thor he was powerful, that he was a weapon for Thor's use only but his brother had found that arousing. He had never seen Loki act in real anger before.

Thor was sitting up in bed, looking drained but he smiled when he saw Loki and motioned for him to come in. Loki did, easing the door shut behind him and then took a few hesitant steps towards Thor's bedside.

"I hope you are feeling better, brother." He murmured demurely and Thor's smile grew even wider.

"I will feel all the better for having you here." Thor said, leaning forward to grip Loki around the waist and hoist him up and onto the bed with him, pulling Loki so he sprawled easily across his lap and Thor could kiss him without too much effort. Loki sighed, sliding his arms around his brother's strong shoulders and submitted to his kisses, letting Thor claim his mouth thoroughly before he drew back.

"Mother knows." He said quickly, watching Thor's expression change – first shocked and then growing knowing himself.

"And she still sent you too me? She favours you over the girls in court." He teased and Loki's cheeks grew pink.

"Thor! It is important. She will keep our secret but how many others would? It was my fault. I was so angry and frightened and when that man hurt you, Thor, I couldn't stop myself!"

"I know, I know." Thor hushed him with another kiss. "I heard what you did. You really are powerful, Loki."

"I didn't…I didn't want to. It was just…I should have cheered, Thor. I should have shown you I was supporting you but we're not supposed to and father was angry with me already and I was a coward. Thor…" Loki didn't know what more to say. He had caused Thor to lose that fight. He had chosen to follow his father's rules over love.

Thor shook his head, wincing a little and settled back on the large pillows behind his head.

"I was sulking, Loki. I threw the fight on purpose to spite you. How was I supposed to know the man was such a dirty fighter?"

"You!" Loki was so angry he could hardly speak. He clenched his fists, thinking of where his brother's stupidity had got them, of the foolishness that Thor could not bury his disappointment and simply continue as a warrior but Thor was laughing again, pulling him forward to kiss him and the rest of what Loki had to say was swallowed up by his brother's mouth.

Thor's rough, calloused fingers hitched up the folds of his robes, pushing them up around his thighs and stroking the smooth skin there. Loki spread his legs obediently, offering himself to his brother's touch as he'd done many times before. Thor was always careful with him. Although they had been doing this since Loki was a youth of fourteen Thor had always only used his fingers on him, stretching Loki a little at a time until now Loki could take three of Thor's large, blunt fingers inside of him, could come simply from that.

He didn't want that now though. He wanted everything of Thor. Loki was on the cusp of adulthood. A few years more and he would be grown. He knew already that his body was waiting for Thor; that he wanted Thor and he had come close to feeling the pain of losing Thor, to know the sort of pain he would feel on the battlefield if Thor was struck down. He did not want either of them to die without having consumed each other fully.

"Thor," He gasped, nipping at his brother's lip and getting a groan in return. "Thor, I want you to come inside me. I want to be filled up by you." He reached his slim hand between then, rubbing though through the thin covering of the sheet and already he could feel how hard his brother was, could see the outline of his cock. Thor was large. Loki had learned how to pleasure him with his mouth and his jaw always ached from being forced so wide and Thor would hold his hair and fuck his throat and Loki loved every moment of it. He knew he would love it whatever hole Thor used but he wanted that connection from having his brother inside him, wanted to stay joined in Thor's lap and kiss him while he felt Thor spread him wide.

Thor for his part regarded him warily, as if he expected this to be some sort of trick or some lie from his brother and the boy was still not ready to be taken but Loki looked at him openly, letting Thor see how much he wanted it and spread his legs wider still, tilting his hips so Thor could see that under his robes Loki wore nothing.

"I thought that I might be your victory prize." Loki told him, watching with delight the way Thor stared at him, as if Loki was the most delicious thing he could imagine. His brother's eyes flickered up to his face and he seemed confused.

"But I lost…" He said and Loki shook his head.

"Not your first fight." He said, moving to press a kiss to the corner of Thor's mouth. He leant across to Thor's bedside table, digging through the draws before drawing out the oil that Thor kept there for when he wanted to stretch him on his fingers. He threw it at his brother who caught it easily and uncorked it, rubbing the oil over his fingers as he watched Loki.

"I would have fought harder the second time round if I knew you were my prize." He said and Loki smiled at him.

"How could I have told you with father standing there? But what do you think maidens give their champions? You should have expected this, Thor. I have always wanted to give you all of myself." He pulled his robes over his head, letting them land in a heap on the floor and then crawled naked into his brother's lap again. Thor pushed the sheet down, revealing his own naked body and Loki took a moment to admire him, to admire the cuts and bruises from the tournament. He really was every inch Loki's champion.

Thor grabbed him roughly again, pulling Loki up so the boy was kneeling now and he fed first one and then two fingers into Loki's hole, forcing him open and stretching him as wide as he could. Loki whimpered, biting his lip and clutched at Thor's shoulder, not wanting to touch any still healing wounds but needing to keep his balance somehow.

"Are you sure you can take me, Loki? My cock is bigger than my fingers." Thor said, shoving a third finger inside his brother as if to remind him. Loki gasped, swaying forward but he pressed back on the fingers inside him, trying to draw them deeper still. He opened his eyes, gazing down hungrily between them at Thor's erect cock.

"I know I want this." He told his brother, rising and falling in a steady rhythm as Thor pumped his fingers into him. "I know I want you, Thor. Do not deny me this."

Thor drew his fingers from his brother's body, earning a whimper from Loki and reached again for the oil, slicking up his cock, making sure it was coated thickly in the oil before he drew Loki to him. He position them carefully, the head of his cock pressing against the puckered stretch of Loki's pink hole and he waited, kissing his brother's soft red lips. "I will never deny you anything, Loki." He promised him, guiding the head of his cock inside Loki, head tipping back and eyes closing in pleasure as he felt the tight heat engulf him.

Loki gasped, head bowed and his legs trembled. It had been strange the first time Thor's fingers had breached him but he'd grown used to them but this was bigger, thicker and he could feel the throb of it inside him. Not even all the way inside, only the head. He swallowed thickly, not knowing if he should pull away. He drew a deep breath and slowly, ever so slowly, eased himself down, feeling his body open the girth of Thor's cock until he had taken every inch of it, split open and tender and he was seated in Thor's lap again. He looked up at his brother, flashing him a cocky smile when he saw how Thor was trembling now too, trying to suppress his lust, his desire to simply pound into Loki.

"Let me lead." Loki said, pressing his hand to Thor's forearm, feeling the muscles strain there. He needed to set the pace, needed to find some control. He leant his forehead against Thor's and slowly began to move, growing used to sensation of the hard length inside him. It filled him so much that Loki thought he would never recover fully, not even when Thor had pulled out, there would always be an empty space in him now that could only be filled by his brother's cock.

"Loki." Thor groaned, his fingers coming up to rub across Loki's thighs, leaving great oily handprints there and Loki could only admire his brother's self-control. He knew how much Thor wanted this, wanted to pound into him till Loki was sore and aching but he held back and Loki was grateful for that. Next time, he promised them both silently, next time he would allow Thor whatever he wanted with him but now Loki needed to discover this, needed to find the pleasure he knew would come from this.

He moved, rising up and feeling Thor start to slip from inside him and he pressed back down, hungry to be filled again and then he felt it, that burning stab of pleasure that spiralled straight to the head of his cock, making it leak wet and desperate. "Thor." He whimpered, beginning to fuck himself in earnest, needing more of that sensation, needing to come. He could feel his balls drawing up, could feel how ready he was and when he few bucks later he threw back his head and came with a loud cry, splattering over Thor's toned stomach it was not a surprise but the force of the orgasm hit him as he didn't expect, harder than the ones he'd had before and Loki was still trying to catch his breath when he realised Thor was inside him and hard still.

"Thor…" He murmured, reaching his fingers out to touch his brother's cheek, wanting so badly for Thor to come inside him. It was painful now, the swell of Thor's cock inside him and Loki shifted uneasily, breath hitching. His body was too spent, too well fucked for him to feel anything but sore but he still wanted Thor to have his pleasure too. He moved hesitantly, clenching tightly around Thor's cock and that it seemed was all his brother needed. He came, pulling Loki tightly against him and biting the boy's neck to muffle his cry and Loki moaned again as he felt the wetness spill inside him.

Thor held him there for a moment longer, growing limp inside him until Loki couldn't stand it any longer. He moved, feeling his bother slide free from inside him and even as he did he felt empty. Stretched as his hole was, red and puffy with use, it still craved Thor inside of him. Loki flushed, annoyed at the wanton betrayal of his body and began fishing for his robes.

Thor grabbed hold of him, hauling him up into his arms and under the sheet, covering their nakedness.

"Stay with me brother." He rumbled. "I will heal much faster with you in my arms."

"Nonsense." Loki said but already he was growing tired and he did not fancy the walk back. He needed rest, needed to heal a little himself and Thor was warm and solid beside him. His brother was very much alive and very much on the mend. He had proven that only moments ago but it would not hurt Loki to stay there a little longer, just to be sure.

For all her warning Frigga found the door to her son's room opened without resistance. She wondered how many of the servants had been in and out of Thor's room, averting their eyes and holding their tongues to the two young men curled nude in the bed. That was the mark of a good servant. She had never heard a whisper about what happened between her boys.

They looked peaceful together, Loki pillowed against Thor's chest and Thor with his arm wrapped protectively over his brother's shoulder. She could admire them together – Thor so strong and golden, his brother so slight and dark. They were different in every way she could imagine and she knew deep in her bones that they would always be different, that Loki would never fully be one of them no matter how much she wanted him to be but is some ways that was better. One day, when it became appropriate, she and Odin would explain it to the boys, explain Loki's true parentage and at that time maybe they would not have to be so secretive.

Already Frigga assumed that Thor would change some of his father's rules when he came to the throne. To her that changed could not come soon enough. Thor, even if it was for the selfish reason of wanting to keep Loki close, would make a number of his subjects happier than he could possibly know.

She sighed, looking at the two sleeping men again, feeling her heart swell. She wanted them to stay this way always, without the pain and danger she knew would come. Not everyone would be so understanding. Leaning over she kissed first Thor's forehead and then Loki's, smoothing back his dark hair. Neither of them stirred but in his sleep Loki smiled. It warmed her heart to see and quietly left the room.

She shut and locked the door behind her, walking off with the weight of their secret heavy in her heart.