"Do you see him now?"
"How is he?"
There is a pause.
"He dreams of his brother. He searches for him."
Thor can only smile.
He's longed to see him, longed for him since the Allfather sent him away. A curse worse than any, a punishment Thor can scarcely imagine carrying out - yet one so kind, one so gentle, he wouldn't ask for anything more.
He misses him.
Loki's absence has left a gaping, aching wound in his chest. A hole that he cannot fill. Volstagg has helped him, given him countless delicacies to try, an abundance of foreign tastes. Sif had brought him new weapons to try, tried to tempt him with training, and even Fandral had given his best with wine and ale, but Thor remains inconceivable. Locked from them by some intangible wall of glass.
They can see him, but no longer can they feel him.
"Heimdall." He calls. The guardian's cold golden gaze flicks upon him, but his lips remain a stoic line.
"This is not wise." His voice comes a rumble, but Thor rolls a shoulder, as if to show him how little it matters.
"Have I ever been wise?" He half-grins, but it lacks warmth, Heimdall sees it. Thor knows he does, he must - but he says nothing.
"Remember the last time you passed me, and remember it well."
Thor remembers - remembers his father casting him out, sending him to Midgard. He tells himself this is different, this is something more; not simply a foolish provocation. I only wish to see him. He thinks, vehemently. Just for a moment, just to see him.
Just for him.
Heimdall's blade slides home, and the ice-like wind whips up about them, a thousand and one scents touch Thor's nose, glide through his hair like invisible fingers, and whip at his cloak, his hair. But he holds it high, sets his shoulders firm.
I'm coming, brother.
He finds him.
As long as it takes, he finds him. It's no longer difficult, he remembers Midgard. It's night, the streets are empty. Reluctantly - he tugs off his cloak, drapes it over his arm to hide the majority of his glinting armour. Armour that winks - even in the moonlight. He walks with purpose - for he can feel him. He knows where he is, where he lies - where he slumbers.
Distantly; he thinks of his friends. Of Stark, and of The Captain. Even of Natasha and the little man with his bow. But they pale beside his true intentions. His true purposes.
He finds the apartment complex with little difficulty - the door handle crumbles under his fingers.
The little apartment is neat.
Books lie strewn upon coffee tables and half-off bookshelves. Researches into Norse mythology, maps of Norway and Switzerland. Viking tales and pictures adorn the walls, and Thor smiles to himself. He comes to a halt; there is a picture of him. The inscription reads 'The Mighty God of Thunder', and he reaches out. Brushes a thick finger along the burnished frame. Before he hears a soft rustle from somewhere behind him, and he turns.
Loki lies there. Asleep - indeed.
His hair is no longer black, but sandy-blonde, reminiscent of Fandral's, it curls gently. His cheeks are no longer sunken, nor his eyes. His skin is pale alabaster, unblemished under the dim moonlight. His expression is vacant, his eyes closed. His chest rising and falling in soft breaths with one of his many Midgardian books open upon him.
Thor's smile melts away at the sight. Something tugs sharply at his heart, his stomach ties itself into knots - he forgets to breathe.
He looks not a thing like the brother Thor remembers. He looks so peaceful, so… at ease. His mind is not running and skittering, his eyes are not shining with mischief and vengeance, his lips are not curled into a cruel smile - this is he at his most vulnerable.
Thor knows he ought to leave. He's seen him - is that not only what he came for? But his feet are rooted to the rug beneath him. He can no longer move, let alone breathe. He wants to take him with him, whisk him away, back to Asgard, hide him, even if he may be mortal now. Keep him as Thor's, because is that not what he has always been?
It's as if he might have heard Thor's heartbeat, for his pale eyelids flutter, he shifts, the book slides from his chest, and Thor moves before he feels himself, and catches it before it lands upon the rug.
Loki sees him - and his eyes go wide.
But Thor lunges forwards, clamps a hand about his mouth and tugs him against him with a whispered, "Hush, brother." and he winces at his own words - Loki remembers nothing.
"I only wished to see you, I did not mean to startle you, nor wake you. I have missed you, please - do not struggle. Listen - will you listen?" He peers down at him, Loki's eyes are wide - as emerald-green as he remembers them, and impossibly wide as he gapes up at Thor. But… he nods.
Thor's hand falls slack, and then away from his lips.
"Who are you?" Loki's voice comes a quivering whisper.
Thor smiles, a thin, but altogether, sad smile.
"Someone you once knew." He murmurs, in another life, another world.
"I'd not expect you to remember me." He continues, Loki still braced to his chest, and the smaller man isn't fighting him. Simply peering up at him, a mix of awe and fear in his eyes - Thor can almost see him piecing it all together. The Thor in the painting upon his wall, the Thor described in the book on the floor, and the Thor whose arms he lies in. "But we were… together, once."
Loki blinks at him - but says nothing.
It's agonizing - being so close, and yet… unable to touch.
"Might I…?" He holds up a hand by the apple of Loki's cheek, and waits until the younger nods, before he touches him, he curves his wide hand along that soft, porcelain skin, cards it through his curled hair, taking a liking to it, despite the sheer black he's most used to seeing. His touch trails down the pale line of Loki's throat, to the dip in his collar bone, the rest of his chest remains hidden beneath a crisp, white shirt with shorter sleeves.
Thor aches to touch him, his body tingles with warmth, a searing rush sweeps down his spine, and he tips his face forwards, presses the bridge of his nose to the hollow of Loki's neck, and inhales.
He smells of mint and sleep - and something vaguely familiar. The scent sends a fresh spark through Thor, reminds him of just who he has in his arms, who he has been missing since he was cast aside, who he has been wanting since he were a mere boy.
"My brother." He whispers, almost a sob, and his hands are moving again, sweeping to the hem of Loki's shirt, pressing it up, to his arms, he feels Loki's thighs parting beneath him, hears a hitched gasp being torn from his lips, and Thor's insides constrict (what would father think?) Oh, but he's missed him, so very much.
"My Loki." He breathes, hears Loki whimper beneath him as his large hand presses to that bared chest. Brushes over a pert nipple, sweeps down to the dip of his spine, and further yet, past the thick-and-soft material of his trousers, to the curve of his backside where - once more - Thor forgets how to breathe.
Loki is trembling against him, thighs either side of Thor's waist, pressed to the backrest of the couch, and yet - he is unyielding. He puts up no fight - for the first time, Thor feels his hands, one perched precariously upon his shoulder, the other tangled through his hair, both uncertain, both unsure, but neither pushing him away.
Thor's hand curves around him gently, around the fleshy mound of his backside. He squeezes, and he feels his arousal throb and burn. He feels Loki stiffen and his breath catch, he wants.
"Have you been touched before, brother?" He whispers, voice muffled in the bend of Loki's neck.
His reply comes after a sharp pause.
Thor presses into him, closes his eyes tight, squeezes that fleshy mound in his hand sharply - he cannot take this. He cannot, not ever, take this from him. This does not belong to him nor will it ever, and his heart constricts, bile rises in his throat, but he brings two fingers to Loki's lips regardless.
"Open your mouth for me, brother." He murmurs, and blindly - Loki obeys. So trusting, so obliging, for a man who simply strode into his home. His lips quiver, and then part, taking Thor's thick fingers inside a warm wet heat, sucking, brushing his tongue along the calloused pad of Thor's fingers, until that alone threatens to engulf him, watching those cheeks hollow out, Thor's breath catches once more, and he withdraws.
His hand shoves down the grey trousers, revealing pale thighs to the pearly moonlight. Thor presses them apart, ignoring the soft cry of dissent from Loki - for his body does not fight. His arousal is flushed a heavy pink, curved up to his belly, leaving a smarting stain of precome beneath his navel, and Thor's fingers glide between his cheeks.
"I will not harm you." Thor tells him, and he sees Loki's eyes close, sees him reach out, and grip his shoulders, hold onto him, like he's some sort of lifeline, like he's Loki's anchor to this fractured new world he's been thrown into.
He presses into that blistering heat, and he groans as if it truly were his cock. He hears Loki whine, hears him dip his head back and let out a broken sob, feels his fingers dig into Thor's shoulders, and Thor simply surges forwards, and presses his lips to that pale throat. Sucks the alabaster flesh past his lips, wanting to mark, to take.
Loki shudders beneath him, thighs clamping around Thor's narrow waist, a quiet, "Please-" slipping from his trembling lips, a plea for more or for less, Thor does not know, but curves his fingers, beckons within him, brushes what he thinks must be something - for Loki jerks, twitches, arches beautifully before him, and cries out into the darkened apartment.
"Hush, brother." Thor coos, lining up his middle finger, and easing it gently in with his first, watching his pale form squirm and cling, hold onto him so tightly - so tightly. "So beautiful, brother." He breathes.
He curves both his fingers, twists them, feels Loki's heat swell against him, feels him surge, his muscles fluttering about him, that ring of pink muscle stretched for him - his head falls forwards to rest upon Thor's shoulder, who presses him back into the couch, hips thrusting into the backs of his thighs, mirroring his movements as if his cock truly were buried within him.
Loki's arms wind about his shoulders, hold him close, and he's sobbing into the bend of Thor's neck, his fingers are pumping in and out, stroking over that spot that makes Loki twitch and writhe beneath him, pressed between Thor and the couch, the place within him that makes him keen wetly with want.
Then, with a final broken cry of; "A-Ah!" Loki spills onto his abdomen, onto his shirt, fast, hot and sharp - he quivers all over as Thor's fingers continue their merciless assault, continue stroking him from the inside, fucking him relentlessly until he's spilled every drop, until he's little more than a whimpering, quivering mess beneath him, and Thor leans down swiftly, and kisses his bitten-red lips.
He kisses him wetly, languidly - open-mouthed and unceremoniously. Taking and taking. Owning - because brother my brother all mine, mine mine mine no-one else only me mine.
Too soon he knows he must draw back, he knows he must leave, for he has overstayed his welcome by far too long. But Loki holds onto him, his fingers remain curved about Thor's shoulders, fingers gripping his armour, holding fast as he trembles and shakes - jerks as Thor eases his fingers from inside him, leaving him empty and breathless. Boneless and exhausted. Thor can see his mortal form growing weak. See him slump down with a broken sound.
"Hush." He whispers to him again, arms sliding from about him, touch falling away, despite the painful arousal confined within his leathers. He leans in, gifts Loki with a kiss to his brow, feels him shudder, but lets Thor tug up the soft, grey trousers, tug down his stained shirt - and lastly, lift the deep blood-red cloak to cover him with. Loki… simply too wrung out, simply too tired to voice questions - questions Thor knows his mind must be brimming with, closes his eyes.
He falls asleep.
He looks peaceful.
Thor can only smile.
He leaves the apartment as he has found it, taking nothing, although his heart strains for a single memento. A single reminder of the brother he once had and lost.
The night is cold when it whips at his skin, when it guides him back the way he had come, and he lifts his head to the clouds. To the brewing storm he can see, rumbling in the distance.
"Heimdall." He calls.
Loki wakes when the sunlight kisses his eyelids, feeling wrung out and above all - thirsty. He sits up, a velvet-red something rumples at his waist, and he reaches out, the night before returning to him in sluggish trickles of yes.
He stares down at the cloak, tips it aside and clambers to his feet. He steps into his bathroom and gazes at his reflection, at the bruise on the bend of his neck, and his heart stutters in his chest.
"I'd not expect you to remember me."
Oh... but Loki remembers.
He remembers everything now