Author's Notes: My first story on here, but I'm puting a lot of work into it. So, I hope it turns out okay. Any advice or (friendly) criticism is welcome. But I hate planning my stories ahead of time, because it takes the fun out of it for me. So, we'll just have to see how this turns out. Worth a shot, right?

Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, worlds, things, etc. Too bad, that would be fun. :) But alas, 'tis not meant to be. :'(

There was a time when Thor and Loki were young, little more than children, during which they got along quite nicely. Of course, they had a few squabbles, but don't all siblings at some time or other? But for the most part, they were the best of friends. They studied together, trained together, spent a lot of their free time together. This was a time before Loki was consumed with his jealousy and wish to rule. He always tried to prove he was just as good as his brother, but he was good natured enough about it. Also, at this time, Thor enjoyed showing off, especially in front of his younger brother, but he also would have done anything to protect him.

Now that they were getting older and were no longer considered to be children by most, Thor wished to prove to all of them that he was truly a man now. He jumped at any chance he could get to prove himself. However, Odin was still hesitant to allow his son to jump into adulthood too quickly, for Thor still possessed the over-eager recklessness of his childhood. Thus, Odin refused to allow Thor to go beyond the boundries of Asgard in his various exploits. Thor argued this to no end, but always in vain; he ever failed to sway the All-Father's mind. Ambtious as he was, Thor pushed his limits as far as he could without disobeying Odin. And often drug Loki along with him for the fun.

Loki was perfectly content to stay peacefully in Asgard. At this time, he had no such wish to venture outside his home and seek out unnecessary perils. But he followed Thor, anywhere his brother wished him to go. He had to go. If he didn't it would show him to be lesser than Thor, and he couldn't have that, now could he? Plus, he didn't wish harm to come to his brother while he was away. Loki knew Thor could get ahead of himself sometimes, and it was Loki who had to talk sense into him and often get him out of trouble.

One day after yet another argument with Odin about being allowed to leave Asgard, Thor stormed out of the throne room in anger. As he walked through random hallways with no real idea of where he was going, Thor muttered to himself angrily about not being trusted and how Odin insisted on treating him like a child. When he finally came to a stop, he was outside in one of the gardens. Thor just stood there for a long while, glaring out at the setting sun.

As day faded to night and the air grew chill, Thor's temper began to settle, somewhat. It was only now that he noticed, he was not alone. He couldn't even begin to guess when his company had joined him or how long he had stood there simply listening to Thor's rants about his father. But he guessed he shouldn't be surprised, his brother was always there when Thor needed him. Loki stood quietly next to Thor and waited for the appropriate time to try to reason with his brother. He always did. And it worked, for the most part. Thor's need to leave Asgard would be put at bay for a time, but no matter how much that silvertongue worked his magic, the desire to prove himself always won Thor over again sooner or later.

But today would be different. Thor had already made up his mind about it. Loki would not convince him otherwise this time. Thor was going to venture outside Asgard, with or without the All-Father's permission.


"Be quiet, Loki. You shall not be able to calm me this time. I've had enough of this. I am no child to be locked away in Asgard for mine own protection."

"Locked away? You are free to roam Asgard as you please. Father only asks that you do not stray too far from home before you are ready."

"But I am ready! Why can he not see that? What more must I do to prove myself to him?"

"I do not know..."

The silence hung between them, heavy and smothering. Thor's anger still burned in his veins as he looked out towards the bridge he so longed to cross, the Bifrost barely visible in the dim light of the stars. Loki tried to think of a new way to try to appease his brother's horrible longing to leave home, but he was nearly out of excuses. He believed Thor was ready to go out and take on the greater challenges of another realm, and Thor certainly believed he was. Perhaps it was Odin who was not yet ready for his son to venture forth and into the face of danger; perhaps it was Odin who was not yet ready to see his son grow up. But Loki knew Thor would never go along with that idea. But one idea did inspire another...

"Perhaps your readiness to leave is not truly what is in question here, brother."

"No? Not me? Then what fool do you suppose it is I must wait for to be able to prove MY worth?" Thor was far from amused by Loki's persistent attempts to disuade him, and in his anger, almost wished his brother would just leave him alone for once.

"Me..." Loki paused, watching confusion temporarily overrule Thor's anger. "If you were to venture out beyond Asgard, would you not take me with you? Would you not wish me to accompany you in your new adventures? Or did you intend to leave me behind, forgotten..." Loki's voice trailed off at the end. He looked at Thor with sad eyes like someone who just realized he was to be abandoned by his dear brother.

"No, Loki! Of course I would take you with me! I couldn't very well leave you behind to be stuck here, and I certainly couldn never forget about you.. Why do you speak such nonsense?"

At this the sad look in Loki's eyes was quickly replaced with the glint of a slight hope. "And that is why you must wait. Please, Thor, understand. While you may be ready to go out and face these challenges, I am not. I am younger than you are and not so ready to be leaving home. I still have some growing up of my own to do."

Thor sighed heavily. This he believed. His younger brother was more timid than he, and it would take more time and great persuasion to convince him to leave his home. He would rather study his magic books than go out and apply what he had learned. What use he saw in this, Thor would never understand.

But, of course, Loki had been right. Thor would wait for his brother to be ready to leave with him, for he would not go without him. "Very well. I suppose you've made your point, little brother. Continue your studies. Do your growing up. I will wait for you before I take my leave." Thor couldn't help but let a smile creep across his face as he saw the way Loki's eyes lit up with this news.

"Thank you, brother." Loki smiled and turned towards the doorway. "Now, we should likely be going back inside now. It is late, and we should get some rest."

Thor simply nodded his agreement and followed as Loki walked inside. Without another word, the two walked back into their home and went their separate ways. Thor's anger had been subdued for now and had left him tired.

As Loki layed down to sleep he felt both proud and humiliated at the same time. He may have successfuly manipulated Thor into accepting his reasoning, but it had meant having to admit inferiority to his brother. He didn't like that at all, even if no one else had been there to witness it. He tried to push the distasteful thought away and instead be content in the fact that Thor had promised to wait. Thor would not start his new adventures until Loki told him that he believed he had grown up enough to be able to make the journey as well. The thought of possibly having put an end to this foolishness at last was comforting. And with that, Loki fell asleep.