A small shift of his wet wrists alerted him to the position his hands were in. Loki's gaze lazily drifted upward to where his limbs were bound by heavy shackles above his head. He swallowed dryly, his mouth tasting bitter and dirty as his tongue attempted to at least moisten his chafed lips. Not much luck there. He'd been hanging this way for days straight without anyone letting him down, even for beatings. The last guard had left him a few hours before, however he wasn't in the mood for the usual careful removal of the chains to move Loki to the torture chambers. Instead he'd been lazy and decided to just grab a few pikes and whips and give the miserable prisoner his daily punishment where he hung.
It was the first time that any guard had been so sloppy in the two years Loki had been locked up in Asgard's prison and he wouldn't have thought anything of it, if not for the little shift in his bindings. During that day's beating he'd been pushed and pulled around enough to cut deep into his wrists and now they were bleeding all over, soaking everything below them. In the two years he'd been there he'd never felt any give in his shackles but now, with his wrists wet and him not having eaten or done anything close to exercise in so long, he noticed it.
Loki felt a small wash of adrenaline as he pulled and wriggled his hands around in their cuffs, it hurt to strain his hands this way but he knew he had to, that this was his only opportunity. To do what though? What was the point of what he was attempting? An escape would only earn him a few short minutes of freedom until the guards caught him again, until he was newly locked away in something tighter for his thinner limbs.
Despite his attempt at logic to talk himself out of the escape he pulled harder until one of his hands popped free. He gasped and grit his teeth through the pain as he hung from the one remaining wrist, wriggling and squirming until it too slid free with a wet schlck kind of noise. He whimpered softly as he stumbled to the floor and landed firmly on his knees. He looked back at his ankles, glad that the guards had long gotten lazy on re-shackling his legs. The chains holding him up by his arms were usually pulled far enough that his toes barely touched the floor, and so far his legs had mostly lost their strength so no one was terribly afraid of being kicked by him.
Loki slowly pulled himself up, his limbs aching with every movement, his arms tingling painfully as blood slowly slipped back into them. He bit his lower lip to keep himself from groaning as he carefully pattered across the stone floor, his bare feet making a light smacking sound with each step. He tried to walk with more grace but he could hardly control every step he made, each time being the time he nearly fell onto his face.
Some mutterings started up nearby and he froze, his arm resting against a pillar to help himself stand, his legs quivering and threatening to buckle under his feeble weight. He recognized the voices well enough, a couple of guards passing through just doing their rounds. A soft whine squeaked in his throat as he quickly looked for a space to hide, his eyes catching a smear of blood his wrist had made on the pillar. Loki quickly wiped it clean with the sleeve of his tight black shirt, common Asgardian prisoner clothing. He felt panic welling inside him as he shuffled around behind the stone fixture, slipping down to the floor to make himself as small as he could be, a weak wash of magic encompassing him in invisibility for a few moments.
He held his breath as the men walked by, he knew he only had a few moments before they'd glance in on his empty space. Part of him wondered how arrogant Asgard really was when it came to prisoners; there were no doors on the cells, just open space for the captured criminals to hang in. Arrogance wasn't the only issue, pride was as well. They didn't think any prisoners could escape, and normally they didn't but Loki had never been part of the common rabble in any terms.
Loki moved as swiftly as his limbs allowed, he stumbled and fell against another wall as his legs gave out briefly, letting out an anguished grunt as he met the cold stone surface. He heard what he'd feared to hear so soon, the guards exclaiming that there was an escapee running about. Loki quickly shrouded himself again, hoping the magic held long enough for the guards to race by and not see him.
He was lucky, this time. Loki bit back the harsh groans as he stood again and dragged himself along the wall until he found himself outside of the prison portion of the castle. He looked up with wide green eyes, a sense of planning growing in him again. He'd made it this far, he'd gotten out into the open and now he had to make another move before he was dragged back in to serve the rest of his life's sentencing.
Another cloak of invisibility for a few brief moments as he slowly and carefully made his way around the cluster of guards. They were attempting to find Loki before anyone had to inform the king; no one wanted to have to do that. Loki could have laughed at their stupidity, if someone had gone to find Odin immediately the Allfather would have already gone to Heimdall and they would have long spotted him. Of course, no one had thought that far apparently.
Though that didn't mean that no one would ever go to see Odin to tell him of Loki's escape and in his current state there was no way he could possibly hide from Heimdall. Loki was well aware that most of his current endeavours were futile, that he would inevitably be caught and dragged back sooner or later, but that didn't mean he wanted to believe it. Fear gripped his stubborn heart as he fumbled down the long corridors of Odin's house. He felt flustered and weak as he tried to think of a safe space to curl up and hide in for a little while, at least long enough to regain some strength. In his panic he hadn't realized which way he'd gone, he felt lost and unable to focus as he could hear the footsteps of guards and other inhabitants of the castle. They were coming closer and he found that he was unable to cast any more magic; he'd completely depleted his strength to do so. He could hear his heart pounding as he realized there was nothing he could do to hide like he had until this point. Panic over-took him and he opened the nearest door to him, silently slipping in and clicking it shut.
He tried to listen past the thunderous beat of his heart and torrent of his shallow breathing, the different individuals passed by in the hall without bothering to look into any of the rooms. He closed his eyes and held his breath until the footsteps completely vanished. He was safe, for a moment.
Loki turned around and felt a strong tightening in his chest as he realized something vital; this was a bedroom. It wasnt just anyone's bedroom, either; he realized as the form on the bed had already long shifted and was sitting up, eyes fixed on him. This was Thor's bedroom.
"Loki?" Thor's tone was rough from sleep and confused anger sounded like it rumbled in his throat. He stood up, an enormously gigantic figure from Loki's position, and started walking closer, Mjolnir flying across the room and into his hand. "What are you doing out of prison?"
The younger god shook and lost any hold he might've had on his composure. "Wait! Thor, please!" he plastered his back against the door and lifted his hands far ahead of himself in hopes he might be able to stop Thor from getting any closer. "Please, let me go." His eyes widened wildly as Thor had closed the gap between them and had taken a firm hold on his thin forearm. "Brother please!" he whined frantically, tugging uselessly to free himself from the thunder god's grip.
Thor paused and held him still, "Why should I? You're being punished for your misdeeds on Earth; I should turn you over to Father immediately." He moved to open his door when Loki's free hand grabbed it as tightly as he could manage, a feeble grip that made Thor stop anyway.
"Thor, I am begging." Loki whispered softly and it was then that Thor noticed the glistening trails of liquid down Loki's cheeks. His voice cracked and his next words loosened Thor's grip on him, "Brother, I am scared."
Thor dropped the arm aiming to open his door and he moved back to the center of his extravagant room as he let go of Loki entirely. "Why would you come in here? What if I did not listen to you?"
Loki trembled, completely shocked that Thor let him go. He hadn't expected it, there was no way his brother would be so kind... was there? "I..." he couldn't find any words to slick his silver tongue with, the dull rusting thing. Loki hadn't realized he'd been crying either until he realized the tickle on his cheek was wet and dripping. It was also only then that he realized just how frightened he really was, of being caught, of being taken back to suffer. The beatings scared him; he wasn't built to be hit repeatedly, not like his brother, not like other warriors. He was terrified of being strung up again for another few years, for eternity. Ridiculed, being seen as nothing more than any other criminal that Asgard had ever seen. Forgotten and lost in those walls of cold stone, never heard from, only ever mentioned in a brief question 'whatever happened to-?'
"Loki?" Thor's concerned voice startled him and his gaze snapped up to the warm eyes of a man he once called brother, that he apparently still did. Thor had crossed the room to him again after he had refused to move an inch from the door, the man's large hand gently reaching up to cup his bruised cheek.
Loki flailed and smacked Thor's hand away with a vicious hiss, "Don't touch me!"
Thor frowned and grabbed him firmly. Loki squeezed his eyes shut and struggled against the touch, he felt himself being moved and in a moment of terror he heard the door open. He felt his limbs fall limp voluntarily; he'd fought against the one man willing to give him a chance. Loki's eyes opened slowly and he realized that he wasn't moving at all; in fact he was standing directly behind Thor, back to back with his brother's hands firmly holding him in place.
"Lord Thor," a guard's voice sounded a bit startled, "You're up."
"Yes, I was just about to come out and see why I have heard so many footsteps outside my door." Thor answered tiredly though no less friendly than usual.
"Nothing to worry about, a prisoner has escaped and your father has ordered every room be checked." The guard announced. "Has anyone come in here?"
"Other than you? Not at all." Thor raised an eyebrow cautiously, "Did you need a hand?"
"Not yet, we have it under control." The guard reported though clearly they had nothing under control since no one knew where Loki had gone. "No one has seen the prisoner leaving the castle so we are still searching the grounds."
"Well let me know if I can help." Thor smiled and sent the guard on his way, closing the door again. "There."
Loki's legs buckled under him after his adrenaline plummeted, he expected the floor to meet him shortly though Thor's hold on him proved to be stronger than gravity. He managed to get his feet under him again before Thor unwittingly let go. "Y-you hid me." Loki stuttered as Thor turned around, "Why?"
"You need me." Thor answered softly and gently brushed a mess of Loki's hair back behind his ears where it belonged, "That is reason enough."
Loki felt his bottom lip quiver and the rest of his jaw start to tremble visibly, hot fresh tears streaking his cold and dirty cheeks. "Th-Thor I..." He didn't want to, he tried hard to fight it but every little piece of him started to break down in front of the one person he'd rather never see it. Stammering incoherent sentences turned into blubbering, blubbering and struggling to breathe turned into sobbing and hyperventilating, and that broke down into uncontrolled wailing and gasping for air. Thor had wrapped his injured brother in a hug and moved him to his bed during the sobbing phase and had the sense of mind to cover Loki's mouth to soften and muffle the pained cries of a tortured soul.
Thor waited quietly until the fit subsided and Loki slipped into sleep, finally able to sleep properly outside of his prison and bindings. The older brother sighed, unsure of what he should do next. Regardless, he didn't want to let Loki go, he couldn't let Loki go back to that cell, not after seeing this. Thor snuggled down into his bed with Loki tightly clung to his side, long slender fingers nearly digging into his skin, Loki held on as if his dream would end and he'd wake alone and cold. "I have to get you out of here..." Thor thought aloud, his mind riddled with questions and attempts at ideas on ways to save his brother.