Author's Note: This scene played out in my head one night, randomly, so I typed it up. Please leave feedback! Thanks for reading everybody.

Loki stumbled backwards, regaining his footing on the unbalanced surface. When he steadied himself, he looked down in amazement at his hands, free of shackles, and then proceeded to touch his mouth, similarly amazed that his muzzle was gone as well. Looking at the ground in front of him, Loki saw both restraints lying open there. Thor must have pressed the button to release his bonds- but why?

Ignoring this puzzlement momentarily, Loki took his first real look at the surrounding landscape. Spinning sharply in a full circle, he gazed at the barren rock spread all about them, no sign of life anywhere.

They were most certainly not in Asgard.

Thor stood a few paces off, erect as a statue, looking as composed and godly as ever. He stood at the edge of a cliff, eyes staring out past the abyss.

Loki sneered.

"You should have left me in control of the Tesseract. Clearly you don't know how to steer properly. Where have you landed us?"

"Do you know what they will do to you back in Asgard?"

Thor's voice rang out strong and clear, though he did not turn to face his adopted brother. The words sent a chill through Loki. He'd tried to avoid thinking about it. Despite his slimy tricks and mocking jibes, despite the cocky smirk he had attempted to keep on his face since his defeat on Earth, Loki knew what his punishment would be, and he did not want to face it. He feared death.

"Well, I look forward to a princely welcome. I'm sure there will be feasts and celebrations in honor of my homecoming. Won't there, brother?"

"You are not my brother," was the instantaneous reply, Thor's voice constricting harshly. Loki was pleased to see that he had finally managed to elicit an emotional response and a sneer broke onto his features. He clung to the response he had gotten, eager to focus on anything other than his impending execution.

"Yes, and I can only imagine how happy you were to hear that news. How relieved you were to know that Loki is no prince of Asgard, but a Frost Giant," he spat, his words sharp as knives. The expression on his face relaxed into a smug smile as he continued. "How… ecstatic… to cut loose the bad apple from the family tree."

"You're right, Loki. I was happy to learn you were not my brother." Thor finally turned to face Loki, his face attempting to conceal his emotions. Clearly Thor was struggling to maintain his composed facade, but Loki could not quite read what emotions were attempting to break through. "But not for the reasons you so wrongly suppose. It was… because of how I felt. The feelings which I knew were wrong, but then… to discover you were not truly my brother... I felt as though I had not been weak or corrupt, as I had assumed before learning the truth."

"Ah…" emitted Loki softly, switching his train of thought to a new line of attack. Perhaps if he could play on Thor's emotions, use his evident shame and guilt to break him, Loki could somehow escape. He need not die after all.

"So it was because of the hatred, and disgust, and contempt you always felt for me growing up. The way you would always overlook and ignore me, leave me alone to fend for myself. You were glad to know that your feelings and consequent actions were justified. You felt guilty, but now your conscience is clear. How happy I am for you."

"You do not see!" yelled Thor suddenly, his self-control crumbling bit by bit. Loki's eyes widened in shock at the outburst. He hadn't quite been expecting that reaction. "You do not see, Loki… If ever I mistreated you when we were children, I apologize, sincerely. I did not mean to hurt you; that was never my desire. I… I ignored you because it was easier to do so than to be in constant battle around you. I thought that my feelings were wrong, shameful, and I could not bear to give in to them or to in any way encourage you to partake in my shame. I did what I judged right."

Loki stood still, for once frozen in place- and by what exactly? Shock? Confusion? His brows knit together and he stared intently at Thor, shooting him a look that indicated he thought Thor to be crazy.

"What is it that you're saying?"

"I-" The words choked off as Thor took a few hesitant steps forward towards Loki. Stopping a few feet away, he searched Loki's eyes with his own, the pain and struggle in them almost overwhelming to Loki at this close distance.

"I admire you. I care for you. I find myself… attracted to you, as though there is some force pulling me to you at every moment. I have always desired a relationship that is… different from that which we had as brothers."

"What kind of sick joke is this?" whispered Loki, staring at Thor as though he did not recognize the man in front of him. "You never cared for me even as a brother. And as for admiration, you must be off your head if you think I'll swallow that. What is there about me for you to admire? You, with everything? The friends, the father, the crown? I have nothing."

His words came out as bitter hisses, and Thor's face contorted with sadness.

"I never meant for things to be that way. But how can you not see what it is I admire? You were always the smart one, the clever one. You knew how to… handle every situation. While my instinct was to simply barge in swinging two fists, you always knew the right course of action. Sometimes I was too stubborn to listen to you, but I always was aware of how superior you were to me. I would not have survived without you to look after me, Loki, even though I did treat you wrongly. There is no-"

"Stop! Stop it!" screamed Loki, suddenly enraged at Thor's twisted lies, the deceitful words spinning off his tongue. …But that was meant to be Loki's gift, wasn't it? Not Thor's. No! He couldn't think like that. He couldn't accept the possibility of any truth behind Thor's confessions. Loki's own faltering thoughts only made him angrier. "Why have you brought us here? Why have we not gone to Asgard?"

"I cannot bear to see you executed!" Thor cried. Loki found himself speechless once more. Never had he seen his brother so passionate about anything concerning Loki. No indeed, Thor had always been very nonchalant when it came to his younger brother; or so it had seemed. His passion had been reserved for others. But now, Thor appeared more desperate and emotional than Loki could ever remember him being, and this was no small thing, as Thor had always been excessively open with his emotions.

"Please, Loki," Thor pleaded, "I will go anywhere with you, take you anywhere other than Earth. But not to Asgard."

"Father would never allow you to do such a thing," was the reply.

"Father need not know. I will tell him that despite my best efforts, I was unable to protect you and that you died on Earth. You may live out the rest of your days in peace, in isolation."

"Isolation? You call that peace?" snapped Loki.

"There is nothing more I can do!" shouted Thor in return, a hint of anger mingling with the pain in his voice. "I cannot allow you to do again what you have tried to do on Earth. I wish I could trust you, but I cannot. And though I love you dearly, I cannot forsake the universe for that. I am not the boy you knew once, who was ruled by and ruled with his emotions. I have grown.

"But if you ask it of me, I will stay with you." Thor's voice had grown soft again as he closed most of the remaining gap towards Loki. There was a tenderness in his eyes that was alien to Loki, and he could feel his heart racing for some undistinguishable reason. Perhaps he was frightened by the offer of kindness and gentleness and love that he had never before experienced.

"I will not abandon you on some desolate rock destined to live your days out alone. I will stay with you, my brother. Forever."

The silence hung thick in the air, clogging Loki's throat. Finally he forced a few words out.

"You are… not my brother." He had meant the words to be harsh, cruel, but they came out in a strangled mutter that immediately drew forth a gentle smile on Thor's face.

"No… I am not," he agreed softly. Slowly extending a hand, Thor delicately rested his hand on his brother's cheek, his thumb softly brushing against his smooth skin. Loki felt heat rush to his cheeks at the gentle touch, and he tried to ignore his raging heartbeat. "And for this I could not be more glad."

Very slowly Thor leaned forward, his intent clear. Loki could do nothing but watch his brother do so, as he still felt firmly rooted in place. As such, he was painfully aware of his quickened pulse and the twisting sensation in his stomach.

Finally, when Thor was mere inches from placing his lips upon Loki's, Loki snapped free of his paralysis. His arms extended outward in a flash, slamming Thor away from him. Thor did not look too surprised by this action, and Loki snarled hatefully at his adopted brother.

"How dare you think to touch me!" he shrieked. The emotions had faded from Thor's face, infuriating Loki even further. How dare the bastard not care at all! Was he merely trying to play with Loki's heart carelessly? But no, Thor was stepping forward again, as if to embrace his brother.

Enraged, Loki took a swing at the bigger man. Thor easily caught his fist and pushed it away, continuing to walk towards Loki. He reached out and grasped Loki by the shoulders. Despite the strong grasp of Thor's fingers, there was something tender about the hold, something that was also readable in Thor's eyes. For but a second, Loki felt something inside of him melt. He felt the intense desire to simply give in to his brother, to accept the feelings he too had always fought. How good it would feel to simply allow himself to be loved, for once.

He broke free of this weak strain of thought and his anger only grew, both at Thor and at himself for allowing himself to be taken in by Thor's words. Loki was meant to be the trickster, not the tricked! Barely thinking coherently any longer, Loki thrashed violently, slamming into Thor's chest again and again, trying to break free of his iron grip.

But Thor held him tight. After a few seconds of rebelling against his own thoughts and feelings, the fight flew out of Loki, leaving an empty and splintered shell, his pain and emotions flooding through him uncontrolled.

Collapsing to the ground, Loki burst out in sobs. With a grim expression, Thor knelt down beside his brother and pulled Loki in so that he was sobbing in the confines of Thor's arms. Gently he held Loki, rubbing his back soothingly and planting delicate kisses on his crown as he cried.

"Just once… I just… all those years…" Loki's words were impossible to understand through his tears. Thor merely continued to hold him, murmuring his own soft words.

"It's alright. I will take care of you, brother. It's alright. You are loved. Loki, you are loved. Shhh…"

Finally the tears subsided and Loki reached out to clutch at his brother's sleeves. He raised his head and stared directly up into Thor's eyes.

"Why have you done this to me?" he whispered painfully. Thor stood slowly, grabbing Loki's arms to gently pull him to his feet as well. When they had risen, Thor continued to clasp Loki's arms, partly to support his brother and partly because he hoped maintaining the physical connection would awaken the same emotions in Loki as the ones Thor felt, because as of yet, Thor could not quite tell how deep Loki's feelings went.

"I am sorry if what I have said hurts you in any way, but hurt is not always a bad thing. It reminds us that we are alive. There cannot be goodness without pain; no love comes without a price. But my love for you is not something I will soon abandon. I will fight for you, brother. I will always forgive you and I will always be willing to accept you with open arms. Do not fear."

The words resonated in Loki's soul. Desperately he had fought his Thor's brotherly affections, for such a long time, despite the love he truly felt for Thor. He admired his brother, but his envy and anger was too great. He had sacrificed his love for Thor in his search for power and conquest. But now, Thor had confessed to feelings much deeper than that of brotherhood. He had promised the things Loki had always needed. A safe haven. A protected harbor. A loving embrace. For the first time in a long time, Loki's emotional desires triumphed over his twisted anger, and before he knew it his lips were on Thor's, hungrily kissing him.

Thor responded with just as much passion, holding Loki's face in his hands, putting all of his love and desire into the kiss. The two demi-gods continued to kiss feverishly for several long minutes, savoring the heat and the taste of their tongues tangling; but most of all, savoring the feeling of being loved. Finally they drew apart, and Thor rested his sweat-covered brow against Loki's tenderly.

"I love you, Laufeyson." The name that usually made Loki sick to his stomach and full of rage did no such thing as it passed Thor's lips. There was no condemnation in Thor's words: only love, and complete acceptance. Licking his lips, Loki hesitantly replied,

"Stay forever with me… Odinson."

Without even opening his eyes, Loki could sense the smile on Thor's lips before they were used to claim Loki's in another loving kiss.