a/n: look my hand slipped for the billionth time

a fair warning: there be some underage sex here. also underage drinking. homophobia. almost rape. angst.
any+all mistakes are mine

White Carnations

Maybe Thor never really realized how much he had until this moment, when What He Had is walking away from him. To be fair, maybe Loki never really did, either.

But this would be jumping straight into things, and those who truly know these two could attest to the fact that their relationship is complex. One who simply jumped straight into things would most likely not understand why Loki has those bruises marring his skin, why Thor can never glance at the younger boy without guilt bubbling up in his stomach - why Loki is leaving, and why Thor is letting him.

So let me take you back to the start of this, whatever they were.

Let me take you back to a particular night, to two lonely boys sitting on their respective sides of the curb - where all it takes is a simple glance before they're drawn.

There is a party at Thor's house, and both inside and outside are filled with people from their school, plus several who aren't.

Loki happens to live next door, and he's been conveniently locked out due to his parents coming home late and his forgetting the keys in his bedroom.

So he plants himself on the front curb, fully intending to sit there and wait until his parents come back. Next door, the party ensues. There would be countless of noise complaints filed, if Thor's father wasn't the richest man in town.

"Hey, Loki!" he hears a voice amidst the chaos, and when he turns to his left, there's Thor himself, sitting a few feet down. The older boy isn't shy about the bottle he holds in his hand.

There would also be countless arrests made for underage drinking, if, again, Thor's father wasn't the richest fucking man in town.

Loki turns away and doesn't answer him, like he might have, a year ago. But that was when they were actually on speaking terms. That was before Thor grew up from the little boy who pranced around with him, proclaiming to be his knight in shining armor, to a high schooler who hung out with crowds who were all sorts of wrong, throwing a party every other time his parents weren't home - someone who wasn't Thor.

But if there's one thing from his personality that he did retain, it is his stubbornness.

A few seconds later, Loki feels someone settle into the space next to him, and then it's not just him sitting on the curb, but rather him and Thor.

"What are you doing out here?" the older boy asks, then takes a swig from his bottle.

He reeks of alcohol. Loki watches him in disdain, tries not to flinch away. "I could ask you the same thing," he replies curtly, ever articulate for an eighth grader. "Isn't it rude to leave your guests during a party?"

"Bet they're all too drunk to care, anyway." Thor waves a hand dismissively. "You didn't answer my question."

"Bet you're too drunk to care, too," Loki returns, and rises to go wait on the porch instead.

Thor doesn't let him even straighten the whole way, using his free hand to grab Loki by the wrist, pull him back down, and kiss him.

Loki freezes.

A silly little memory resurfaces to his mind: Him sitting away from the other kids in the playground, left out although he has no reason why; the feel of the scrutinizing glares sent his way; the pain from the bruises on his knees slowly ebbing away.

He had let one of his friends, Darcy, give him a "makeover," as she called it, and he tried to convince himself that they were all just jealous because he looked better than them.

Thor was the only one who came up to him that day, offered him a hand, and asked with a bright grin if he would like to play together.

He remembers the day very clearly. He had laughed for the first time in a long, long while.

But he also remembers three years later, when he ran into Thor's friends for the first time. He remembers the way they laughed at him, teased him for the way he looked - and he remembers the way Thor laughed with them.

He remembers how Thor followed them away, leaving Loki standing there with several scratches and a bleeding knee.

He remembers missing the bus and being caught out in the rain without a ride home. He called Thor to ask if he wouldn't mind picking him up, only for Thor to fail to answer any of his calls. He remembers having to walk the half mile home. He remembers finally arriving and spotting Thor on his own front porch, laughing with his friends as they ran around in the rain.

Loki remembers all of this.

It takes a few seconds for him to finally regain the will to move, and he shoves Thor back as far as he possibly can and demands him to leave.

"But you want this, don't you?" Thor leans back and looks at him expectantly;knowingly.

Because Loki also remembers seventh grade, when he and Thor snuck underneath the bleachers during a football game to get away from their bothersome classmates, when he gathered enough courage to turn to his best friend and kiss him.

Because Thor remembers, too.

"Try it again when you're sober," Loki mutters. It's more to himself than anything, but maybe Thor also heard him.

The next morning, he opens his front door to the sight of Thor looking like he's in the middle of the worst fucking hangover ever. "I'm sober now," the older boy says solemnly, and grabs Loki and kisses him again.

. . .

"You're insane," Loki has the mind to mumble into their lips.

"But that would make you insane," Thor retorts. "And you could never be. You're always just right."

For the moment, it sounds like a great excuse. Loki's a little too relieved to think rationally.

Or maybe it's because Loki's mind is a little clouded from the way Thor seems hell-bent on kissing his breath away.

. . .

They are in his bedroom within minutes. Loki thanks the lord that his parents are out.

Thor is older than him by three years, and evidently more experienced at this. Loki feels a little worried at that, but all thought flees his mind when he feels hands, larger than his, roaming down his chest. Calloused fingers press down in all the right places, and it isn't long before Loki is arching his back for more.

"You're beautiful," he thinks he hears Thor murmur huskily.

"How many people have you said that to?" Loki says, breathless, as he leans into Thor's touch.

"Just you," is the reply. Then, "Are you sure you want to do this?" Thor asks this with a sincere gaze down at Loki. They're both devoid of clothing and the room has become several degrees hotter.

"I trust you," Loki mumbles into his chest.

So Thor slicks himself up, parts Loki's legs, and starts to ease in gently.

Loki feels every bit of the stretch. A small whimper leaves his mouth at the sensation, and he holds onto Thor tightly as the other slides carefully all the way in.

"Are you okay?" Thor presses small kisses into his shoulder when he's finally fully inside, and Loki's eyes flutter shut when their hips are pressed together. Thor feels so big.

A moment later, he pushes down the pain and gasps, "Move."

Thor complies, and he holds Loki close to him as he starts to move his hips, rocking gently back and forth. On the fourth thrust, he hits something within Loki that has the younger boy convulse in sudden pleasure, moaning loudly as all traces of pain leave his features.

"There?" Thor grins into his shoulder, stilling his movements.

"Yes, there," Loki hisses, and then, "Move!"

He whines when he feels Thor pull out almost completely, and only to barely suppress a scream when he feels every inch of Thor's in him. The pace is set: quick, but rhythmical, and with each drive of Thor's hips, Loki feels a little closer to the edge of euphoria.

He comes without having to be touched, back lifting gracefully from the bed as his cum splatters across his stomach.

He hears Thor growl into his shoulder, and then his eyes roll back as he's fucked only harder into the mattress. He protests weakly as the over-stimulation brings stars to his eyes.

Thor finally comes, pushing impossibly deep inside Loki with a groan. Loki's arms around him are ever-tight as they ride out the waves of pleasure together.

Afterwards, neither make an effort to leave.

. . .

"Why now?" he asks the next morning. He's not even sure if Thor is awake yet.

They're curled in on each other on the bed. The house is empty save for the two of them.

"Because I went a full year without realizing that I'm an idiot," Thor replies into his neck. "You were my first kiss, by the way," he feels the need to add.

Loki refuses to acknowledge the burn in his cheeks. "I think you've always been an idiot," he huffs.

"Maybe," Thor says evenly, and he can imagine the smile that must be plastered on the older boy's face.

Loki leans up and kisses him again, just to make sure this isn't a dream.

. . .

They have history between them, almost a decade's worth of moments that are both good and bad. But despite the latter, they fall into an old, familiar rhythm quite easily.

A whole week passes, and for Loki, it feels like they never were not friends at all.

Loki makes a habit out of going over to Thor's house anytime his parents are out of town(which happens rather frequently). His own parents are more than happy to let him spend all the time he wants with Thor, and Loki suspects that they're glad he's making the "right" friends.

Sometimes Loki cooks for him. And sometimes Thor comes up behind him and just holds him and they stand like that together, waiting for the omelet to finish. Thor is physically larger than him and stands about four inches taller, but that only makes Loki feel all the more warmer, safer.

. . .

"When did you start drinking?"

The question leaves Loki's lips without his really thinking about it.

It's in the afternoon and Thor's parents are off somewhere in the Caribbean. The summer weather has become almost unbearable, and they both sit by the pool in the backyard. Loki is contemplating shucking his clothes and jumping into the water, but his attention is caught by the beer bottle that Thor procures from a cooler.

"Hm?" Thor doesn't look like he minds being asked. He shrugs indifferently. "Last year, maybe?"

That coincides with the time they began to drift apart. Loki tells himself he's looking into this more deeply than necessary.

"Wanna swim?" he offers, standing and stretching out his limbs. The sun beats relentlessly down on him.

Thor takes a gulp, sets the bottle down. He flashes Loki a grin, much like he had done five years ago. "Skinny dip?"

There's a fence that goes around the whole house and they're completely alone, so Loki finds no reason to say no.

. . .

The last month of summer vacation passes.

Loki, strangely, finds himself waking up every morning with a small smile on his face. Nowadays, he feels brighter.


Then the school year begins, and Loki enters high school.

. . .

At first, it's nothing like the movies make it out to be. The students look relatively decent and he doesn't spot anyone being thrown into a dumpster or shoved into a locker.

He thought that Thor would want to arrive together, but he received a text saying he had woken up late, and he wanted Loki to go ahead without him.

Loki swallows disappointment, shoulders his backpack, and heads inside.

Someone trips him on the way.

. . .

He knows something is wrong as soon as he passes Thor in the hallway and smiles at him, only for Thor to brush past him without so much as a nod of acknowledgment.

For the rest of the day, he keeps his eyes out for Thor, but the junior classrooms are all in the second floor, and Loki doesn't see him until lunch.


Loki finds him sitting at a fairly crowded table and walks over, questions of concern and confusion swirling his thoughts. He asks, "Thor?"

"Who are you?" rudely interrupts one of the others.

Everyone at the table seems to shift immediately, their eyes falling on him.

Thor looks up at him, too, and Loki baits his breath, waiting to be introduced to the others.

Thor does no such thing.

"Oh, hey, Loki," he says. He turns back to his friends. "He's my neighbor."

The whole table snickers.

"Neighbor?" Loki wants to say, but then Thor gets up and excuses himself to the bathroom. Abandoning his lunch at some empty table, Loki doesn't hesitate in following him.

The bathroom is empty, thankfully. As soon as Loki walks in, he asks, "What the hell was that?"

Thor sighs, running a hand through his hair. He seems tired, and Loki feels slightly guilty for being so vindictive. He asks, in a softer voice, "Is…everything all right?"

"Yeah, it's not that. I just… I think we shouldn't really…put our relationship out there." Thor refuses to meet his eyes. "I know I should have brought this up before, but fuck, you just looked so happy, you know? I didn't know how you'd react, Loki. I didn't want to you to be mad at me."

Loki considers this.

Part of him is saying he should have seen this coming.

"What do you want to do, then?" he asks furtively, unable to find anything else to say.

"I still want to be with you, if that's what you're asking." Thor closes the distance between them and cups his cheek. For the first time that day, they make eye contact. "It's just that the guys aren't exactly the most open-minded, you know? They can be assholes." A kiss to his forehead. "I just don't want them harassing you or anything like that."

Wouldn't you protect me, though? Loki wants to ask, but Thor is holding him so carefully, so affectionately, and it's almost enough to convince him.

"Okay," he finally assents in a murmur, and Thor's face breaks out into a grin. He leans down and kisses him.

It only lasts for three seconds, before they hear voices from outside. Thor pushes him away a little too suddenly and Loki stumbles backwards, just as the door opens and a student comes in.

He feels a little put-off, but feels instantly better when, on their way out, Thor catches his hand and gives him a reassuring squeeze.

. . .

It works, for a little while. Loki doesn't like having to distance himself from Thor in school, but he bears with it, knowing that during the following weekend, they could be as close as they wanted.

But whenever they are together, Loki is beyond euphoria. He knows he's still too young to understand love, but he does understand that every time he sees Thor, his heart flutters; he understands that he would be willing to take a bullet for him; he understands the ease with which the image of him and Thor grown up, married, comes to his mind.

In the beginning month of November, three things happen, almost completely simultaneously.

One: Loki begins receiving notes in his locker.

Two: Loki decides he loves Thor.

Three: Everything starts to fall apart.

. . .

Loki blames the notes.

. . .

"What's this?"

It's after school and they're sitting in Thor's car, ready to leave for the movie theater. In his hand, Thor holds a severely crumpled piece of paper; it, however, is in good enough condition for him to see the words clearly:FAG.

"Where'd you find that?" Loki snatches it from his hand and stuffs it back into his bag.

"It was sticking out the front pocket." A deep frown has settled on Thor's face, and he regards Loki with something like anger in his eyes. "Who gave you that?"

"It was a joke."

"Right. Now tell me who was the asshole who gave that to you so I can-"

"So you can what, Thor?" Loki interrupts harshly. He zips his bag up none-too-gently before turning to face his boyfriend, glaring. "Don't you remember, you can't do anything remotely nice to me or else people will find out that you're dating your next door neighbor, who happens to be a guy-"

"It's not like that and we both know it." Thor's knuckles are white from gripping the steering wheel too tightly. "I thought we agreed on this."

"Oh, sure," Loki replies flippantly, and he can feel the pent-up rage within him slowly coming undone. He would be lying if he said it didn't feelgood. "I wasn't aware that in a few months, I would be getting slammed into lockers and tripped in the hallways while you stand there and do nothing."

"Because I've never seen that happen before, and you've never said anything about it!"

"I shouldn't have to! I have bruises, Thor! And there was one time I came to school with a black eye, but you said absolutely nothing to me!"


Loki doesn't give him a chance to finish; he gets out of the car and storms back to his house. He completely forgets about his bag.

. . .

He finds it on his doorstep the next day.

The front pocket, where he had stored all of the notes he'd ever received, is empty.

. . .

If Thor really did look through all of them, took in all the written slurs, the jeers, he gives no indication of having done so.

They don't see each other for a while. It isn't until a week later when Loki's eyes finally find the familiar face, and it's while he's pressed against his locker, flinching away from the senior who has a fist raised.

There's a semi-circle of students around him. Among them is Thor, and Loki silently pleads to be saved - that if Thor really cared, he would come in and stop this.

But he doesn't.

Loki watches as Thor disappears from the crowd, and closes his eyes as the fist comes into contact with the side of his face.

. . .

It comes down to this: Loki and Thor standing in the bathroom together, the former nursing his cheek gingerly, the latter simply staring at the floor.

"What are we now?"

Neither are sure who says it.

A few minutes later, Loki realizes he had been the one to rasp those words, and Thor is the one who quietly replies, "I don't know."

He waits for more. He isn't expecting an apology, but just something to provide him with at least a little assurance.

There is only silence.

And that's how it came to this situation.

So Loki turns to leave; Thor lets him.

. . .

Weeks, he thinks, or maybe months, pass.

He isn't sure; each day seems to blur into the next. He sees Thor at lunch everyday. If he's lucky, sometimes he'll catch the older boy looking at him. But the luck never lasts, because Thor's eyes flicker away.

Loki wonders if Thor actually upheld the eye contact for more than a second, he might be able to see the silent pleas in Loki's gaze:I miss you. I'm sorry.

Whether he does or not, Thor never speaks to him.

. . .

Things worsen.

He's beginning to receive phone calls now.

His parents ask why he has so many bruises; he tells them he joined the soccer team.

He wears longer-sleeve shirts to hide the ugly marks along his arms.

. . .

On Christmas morning, Loki finds a single white carnation on his doorstep.

He's very well-versed in floriography, but he refuses to let his hopes get too high. He leaves it out there to wilt.

. . .

On his birthday, he gets cornered after school.

Loki has learned to numb himself to their words and their jabs, but he still feels a dull pang.

(because Thor isn't there.)

(because he is alone.)

"Look, it's the birthday boy." This time it's only one student, but there he might as well be three separate people. Loki recognizes him as the quarterback on the football team, broad-shouldered and bulky. He towers over the younger student, who tries his best not to appear as afraid as he is.

"Come to wish me well?" Loki queries sarcastically in a tone he has learned to perfect.

"Come to give you your birthday present," sneers the other, and then Loki is being pressed up against the wall of the bathroom, close enough to the other to smell him.

"Let go of me," Loki says warningly, raising both arms to push him away, but the older boy only catches them by the wrist and slams them into the wall above his head.

Then comes the sensation of lips trailing down his neck, leaving sloppy kisses in their wake.

"Who's the fag now, huh?" Loki pants, then spits at him.

The other boy is absolutely enraged, and he slams Loki into the wall again.

Loki's vision blurs as his head is hit hard.

"This is what you dream about, isn't it?" he hears. "I heard you had Thor fuck you. What did you have to do force him into that, you little slut?"

Nothing, Loki wants to scream. We both wanted it.

I loved him.

I love him.

The realization hits him with a stunning amount of force.

He feels his pants being yanked down, and he cries out, almost by instinct, "Thor!"

"Shut up." He's slapped roughly across the face. His eyes sting with tears. "Oh, come on, if you just stopped struggling and admitted you want this, you'd realize how good it feels."

"Pig," Loki snarls, and that earns him another slap.

He squeezes his eyes shut and forces his mind and body to shut down.

. . .

Just as he feels that pressing against his entrance, he is suddenly let go.

He slumps to the cold floor, drawing his knees to his chest and pressing his hands against his ears.

Loki does not open his eyes until he feels someone gently gathering him into a warm, safe embrace. He feels a hand coaxing him to relax.

He manages to.

When he opens his eyes, it's Thor holding him.

. . .

The police arrive. Apparently Thor had called them.

The rest of the night is a blur.

Loki only remembers rasping, "Why?"

And he remembers Thor's answer, spoken with a voice that cracks towards the end: "Because I said I was your knight in shining armor, didn't I?"

He might have laughed.

. . .

On his first day back to school, during lunch, Thor pulls him up to the tables and announces to everyone in clear detail what would happen if they so much as looked at Loki the wrong way.

Loki's tongue is suddenly heavy; he casts Thor a grateful look. Thor only squeezes his hand.

. . .

"This doesn't change anything between us," he says quietly later, when they're alone.

Thor's arm is around him, protective, and Loki might have pushed anyone else away. But this is Thor. He doesn't think there would ever be a time when he could deny him.

"I know," Thor replies evenly.

He's still angry.

He's still hurt.

But he also still loves Thor and misses him so fucking much.

"That day," Thor begins, sounding distant, "I was planning to talk to you, you know. I… was going to finally apologize to you."

Loki observes the gravel.

"If I had done that sooner, none of this would have happened. If I hadn't been such an idiot, you would never have gotten hurt."

"It was inevitable, I think," Loki croaks.

Another bout of silence.

"Can we…" Thor begins, then stops. Swallows. Tries again. His voice wavers slightly. "Would you let me try again?"

Loki remembers saying yes.

. . .

It's like this: Two people joining once more as Loki forgives and Thor promises. Loki thinks this is one of his better memories.

They stand on a plane of uncertainty with the future, vast and untold, laid out before them. There are still other matters to deal with, other problems sure to come, and both know that the good times can't exist without the bad. That this isn't exactly perfect.

But neither are alone. They're standing together, they'll face this together-

-and then, at least for the moment, they feel invincible.

Between them, Loki's fingers instinctively find Thor's.

He interlaces them.

Thor squeezes back.


-white carnation = remembrance