A/N: Linked to my fic, 'Emotional Juxtaposition.' Please read it before or after this fic, please. Both can stand on their own, technically, but this one was based off of what I mentioned in my other one.

Dedicated to Cordelia Darcy.

The Cold.

"Thor?" a young choice slips into his dreams, and he stirs, but only slightly. Cold, thin fingers touch his bare shoulder, and he inhales sharply, jarring awake. "Thor, I'm sorry. May I?"

The golden boy nods sleepily, humming, "Mm-hmm," to his younger brother, rolling over to make more room in his bed.

They are children. If they have nightmares, they would normally go to their parents. But neither of them saw the point in that when they had a brother instead. They used to share a room, and before that, a bed. But as they grew, they no longer needed that, their father said. They had to learn to be on their own.

But then, there are nights when this happens – and those nights are at least once every two weeks – and neither of them say a word about it. Loki is young; so is Thor. They have not yet touched the brink of puberty. Their voices are still high, soft, like a girl's. Loki is scrawny. Thor isn't much larger.

"You are like ice, Brother," Thor remarks quietly as Loki snuggles up behind him, seeking heat. Thor shivers, goosebumps rising on his skin. "Did you leave your window open to let in a draft?"

"No. It happens like this, sometimes," Loki murmurs into the back of Thor's neck, into his hair. He appreciates how his breath comes back warm, hitting him in the face. "I get so cold. I don't know why. I keep my window closed, I promise. I don't know why I become so chilled, but it doesn't matter. I have you to keep me warm, like a sun in the nighttime."

Thor smiles, yawning, eyes too tired to lift open. "The things you say, Loki. I don't know if I always understand." He huffs a sleepy laugh and shifts, rolling onto his other side, until he can face his paler, darker-haired sibling. He opens his eyes then, smiling, and touches their foreheads together. He takes his brother's hands in his and cups them, bringing them before his mouth to breathe hot air onto the chilly digits. He rubs them. "Better?"

Loki nods quietly, his face unreadable in the dim light. But he seems content, relaxed. "Thank you."

"Any time you need me, I will be here for you," Thor reminds quietly. He keeps his brother's hands in his as he closes his eyes and drifts off nearly to sleep, one foot in the door to unconsciousness. "G'night," he mumbles, barely intelligible.

Loki smiles and allows his own heavy eyelids to slip shut. He yawns and drops his smile as he, too, succumbs to sleep, finally warmed.