The door clicked shut, and never before had Loki felt so much fear, not even when he cowered before Thanos and listened to the list of tortures he'd endure if he did not recover the Tesseract. The four walls of the dark room were solid and soundproof, and the rage boiling in Thor's blood was tangible.

Thor paced the room, saying nothing for the moment, contemplating the sight of his brother tied to the chair against the back wall. He flexed his fist, and Loki tensed; he knew Thor didn't need Mjolnir to deliver a lethal blow.

With a primal roar, Thor threw a punch. Instinctively, Loki ducked, but Thor's fist aimed for the wall instead, leaving a dent in the metal. His rage satisfied, he breathed deeply, trying to control his temper. "Why are you doing this, brother?" His arm dropped to his side, and his tone hovered between anger and desperation. "Is there nothing I can say to convince you to come home?"

"You spent too long as a mortal," Loki hissed. "Your sentiment is embarrassing."

"Sentiment is not exclusive to humanity."

Loki pointedly looked away from him. "You are wasting your time."

"Damn it, Loki, why must you be so stubborn? I cannot watch this happen to you. You will destroy yourself. Or worse, you will force my hand: and I will not live with myself if it comes to that."

Loki turned back to him, a question in his eyes.

"We would dine together in Valhalla, brother. I cannot exist in the universe without you, surely you know that?"

Loki scoffed, and Thor put a hand on his shoulder. "Please. Let me bring you home."

He could picture Asgard in his mind, brilliant and shining. Home. Loki could not deny that he missed it, that he longed to return, but Thanos loomed over him, limiting his options. "I cannot go home."

"Why not?" Thor implored. "Because of what happened? I have already spoken with Father. He is ready to forgive you if you only give this up and return to us."

"Not because of your father," Loki said.

"Well, then, what?" Frustrated tears filled Thor's eyes, and he knelt in front of him, setting a hand on his knee. Loki balked at the touch, but did not push him away. "Tell me. Whatever it is, I will fix it. I swear."

"You cannot fix it. You cannot stop him," Loki whispered, his resolve breaking at the sight of his brother's imploring, innocent eyes. How can he understand? "You can't stop him and you cannot protect me. The only way to save me is to allow me to continue."

"I refuse to believe that."

"You must."

"Just let me bring you to Asgard," Thor begged. "We can protect you. You know that there is no safer place."

Loki barked with derisive laughter. "And where will you put me? In the vault? No, I cannot go back to Asgard. You think I do not long for the comfort of my library, the afternoons on the Tana-kvisl River, the mornings spent sparring with our friends?" As he recounted these happy memories, tears welled in his eyes. "I love my home, and that is precisely why I cannot go back! Thanos would destroy the entire realm if he knew I was there!" A tear rolled down his cheek.

"Loki," Thor whispered, and hugged him tightly, hoping to let the gesture speak the words he could not.

At first, Loki recoiled, but, as he settled into his brother's embrace, he felt a comfort he hadn't felt in far too long. Away from all other prying eyes, he let his guard fall completely, and buried his face in Thor's shoulder, crying. He was lost and scared, and he hadn't been able to admit it to himself until that moment.

Thor moved his arms just long enough to untie Loki's bonds. Acclimated to his brother's usual manipulative ruses, he half-expected Loki to make a break for it; instead, Loki just wrapped his arms around Thor, clinging to his older brother as if he could absorb some of his strength.

They pulled apart after a while and Thor, unsure of what to say now, sat silently as Loki furiously wiped the tears from his eyes, trying to regain composure. He gave a soft laugh, and Thor smiled to hear it. "What's funny?" he asked.

The expression Loki wore was bittersweet. "You were mortal for a short while," Loki said quietly. "How did it feel?"

Thor shrugged. Odd question. "Frightening, at times. Knowing I had so little time to live."

"It strikes me as ironic that I poke fun at your temporary mortality, but it is my turn to feel that way now. I do not know which moment may be my last."

Thor replaced his hand on Loki's knee. "As long as you are near me," he promised, "you need not worry about death."

The smile Loki gave him was one of great pity. "You would not speak with such great confidence if you knew my enemy."

"Our enemy. I swear to you, I will die before I let anything happen to you."

"We will dine in Valhalla together?" His voice was a timid echo.

Thor nodded.

Loki could not stop another tear from falling. "What have I done to inspire this devotion?" he whispered, voice catching. "After all I have done to wrong you…"

Thor's hand moved to his neck, an intimate gesture he'd always reserved for those closest to him. "You are my brother," he told him. "Never doubt that I love you."

Loki recognized his own words from so long ago, and smiled. "Except we are not brothers," he reminded him.

"Whether or not we share the same blood, it does not matter," Thor told him. "The fact that you are a Jotun changes nothing. I love you just the same."

Thor held back from telling him that he'd nearly burst with joy when he found out Loki was not his biological brother, because now the impossible had become possible. He did not explain to Loki that he had set off across the universe, intending to scour every corner until he found Loki and could finally tell him the secret he'd been keeping for so long.

"You look like you have something on your mind," Loki observed.

Thor had never been timid when it came to rushing headlong into a battle, even with the odds stacked overwhelmingly against him; but he was petrified of looking Loki in the eye and making this admission. "I…" He was lost for words. "When I found out, actually…" He cleared his throat. "What I mean is… it does change one thing…" Frustrated and embarrassed, he shook his head. "No. Forget it."

Loki caught his arm. "You mean to say that part of you was happy when you found out were were not related by blood?" he asked softly.

"But not like that," Thor rushed, "not because I don't love you…"

"But because you love me."

Thor had never heard his brother speak so gently. "Yes," he admitted in a small voice, eyes on the ground.

Loki lifted Thor's chin. "That was the silver lining that stopped me from driving Gungnir into my chest the day I found out," he told Thor, laying his soul bare in front of him. "I felt like I was a monster. That I had no right to live. But then I realized that, as a Jotun, as Loki Laufeyson, I could have something I could have never had as the Aesir son of Odin."

Thor watched his brother's face in disbelief. "You mean… you…"

"Always," Loki whispered. "Though I never believed you would have me, knowing what I was. You harbored such hate for them…" The look on his face broke Thor's heart. "But I had to keep hoping. It was all I had left."

In the absence of words, Thor leaned in and pressed a long kiss to Loki's lips, desperately hoping that the years of longing and hoping, the depth and intensity of emotion, the joy in knowing Loki reciprocated his love, this sort of love, could be expressed in the pressure of his lips, the intimate touch of his fingers in long black hair.

Loki melted into his brother, and the surroundings disappeared. Tentatively, he reached up, gently cupping the back of Thor's head with his palm, placing his delicate hand on Thor's massive arm. We are so different, Loki thought vaguely as Thor's tongue explored his mouth, so very different…

Just as Loki had always expected, Thor was a bit rough and incredibly impatient. Already, he was pushing at the fastenings on Loki's cape, eager to have what he'd hungered for. Conversely, Loki wanted desperately to take hours, to savor every single moment, but reality won over; in this place, at this moment, they did not have the luxury of time. Loki's fingers found Thor's, and the cape fell to the floor in a billowing cloud of green and black.

Their lips parted as their fingers went to work, untying and unhooking and unstrapping, plates of armor falling to the ground with metallic clangs, thick leather hitting the smooth floor with a slap. Their bodies followed, cushioned by the soft fabric of Thor's cape, and Loki marveled at how beautiful his brother was, all tanned skin and finely built muscle. He touched him, tentatively at first, then hungrily, running flat hands over the rough terrain of muscled arms and stomach. "Thor," he breathed, the only word he could articulate from the turbulent chaos of his mind. "Thor…"

Thor reacted to Loki's touch immediately. As Loki's hands traveled south, Thor's body rose to meet them, pleading without words for attention. Loki curled his fingers around him, feeling his brother's heat radiate into his palm. He couldn't help but think that, if he employed his Jotun powers and encased his hand in ice, Thor would melt it before it formed.

Thor, meanwhile, arched into Loki's welcome grip while marveling at the elegant lines of his brother's body, the delicate strength in his fingers, the galaxies in his eyes. Loki had always been more than he seemed, but now that Thor had the chance to look closer, to explore… Loki's fist tightened around him, and his breath caught in his throat.

Unable to relinquish control for more than a few moments, Thor grasped Loki's torso and rolled, reversing their positions. His brother trembled beneath him like a tightly wound string, eyes full of delight and anxiety. He felt the uncontrollable urge to hold him, to protect him; so he gathered Loki into his arms, pressing their chests together, and Loki sighed blissfully into Thor's shoulder.

Until now, Loki had been completely unaware that this was what he'd been needing. Not Odin's approval, not the throne of a foreign realm, not the hand of a blushing maiden. He needed to be here, in his brother's embrace, feeling the buzzing reassurance that everything—at least for these precious few moments—would be all right. He needed Thor's love, and no one else's. If he had Thor, he'd be okay. He had no idea if this would last; but, for now, he allowed himself to indulge in the fantasy that Thor would never leave him.

As these thoughts traveled through his mind, Thor pulled away and began to kiss a slow path down Loki's body, beginning just behind his ear, trailing down his jawline, past his collarbone. He lingered when he reached his heart, relishing the intimate sensation of Loki's heartbeat against his lips, then continued on, drifting lazily over his stomach, down to his hipbone, where he lightly ran his teeth over the skin. Shivering, Loki relaxed into the fabric of Thor's cape, surprised at his brother's patience and tenderness.

Thor moved inward, his kisses becoming closer to one another, lips caressing the soft nest of curls between Loki's thighs. His hands, strong yet gentle, grasped Loki's hips, and he kissed his way up his brother's erect length, driving Loki mad with want.

Loki tried to thrust his hips upward, but Thor had a firm grasp, and he chuckled softly. "And you have always chided me for my impatience," he teased softly. For one terrible moment, Loki thought Thor would draw this out, denying him; but, to his relief, Thor kissed the tip once more, then eagerly took him into his mouth.

Loki let out a low groan as Thor's nose touched his pelvis, and he briefly wondered if his brother had done this before; as Thor began to move, Loki decided he didn't care if he was practiced or simply naturally talented. His tongue, rough and flat, swept the underside, catching the sensitive skin just beneath the head as he moved up and down. As he continued his motions, he sped up, covering his teeth with his lips, enabling him to tighten his mouth's grip without hurting his brother; as the vise tightened, Loki cried out.

Thor, as a matter of fact, had never been with another man. There was an expectation on Asgard for the crown prince: a wife and an heir. He'd ignored his attraction to men until now, but he was so eager to learn every inch of Loki's body, every cluster of nerve endings, every spot that made him shiver, that he would not hesitate to do all these things he'd never done, and do them with fervor.

Loki, for his part, had a fair bit of experience, but no one had taken him like this. He propped himself up on his elbows to watch, and his breath hitched. Thor was determined, lips swollen, eyes shut, hand working between Loki's legs, fingers on his balls, thumb just below. Loki's toes curled in delight; he fell back onto the pillow with a happy sigh.

The physical sensations had overwhelmed him, and now that he was lying down, his mind was beginning to catch up. Loki looked down, and his vision cleared; he saw Thor, his friend, his enemy, his brother, the man who despised Loki's race. Raised to be insecure, Loki couldn't help the nagging question that lingered in the back of his mind; is he doing this to humiliate me? Can he really forgive me, after everything? For the slightest moment, he tensed.

Thor glanced up, and it was then that he realized that even though he'd stripped Loki of his physical armor, the emotional guards were still there. "Loki," he murmured, surfacing, coming back up to look him in the eye. "Loki, you must believe me. I love you."

Every bit of him ached to believe, but he couldn't put away his doubts.

"Look at me," Thor continued. "Look into my eyes, brother. I have never loved another so dearly. Surely you know that?"

Loki searched Thor's eyes, clear and blue as the Midgardian sky, and saw nothing but sincerity. "You came across the universe for me," he whispered.

"And I would do it again."

He sat forward, twining slender arms around Thor, pressing a kiss to his lips. "Then have me."

Thor studied his brother's face, his earnest eyes, pale green and barer than his body. It was incredibly rare for Loki to let his guard down; Thor had never seen him like this, with every defense vanished.

As Loki continued to gaze up at him, Thor laid him gently on the floor. He leaned over him, an imposing figure in the dim light, and suddenly Loki was glad to be in his brother's shadow. Thor bent so that their chests touched, his blazing skin to Loki's cool flesh, and they remained like that for a moment, frozen in time, the room still but for their breathing as they reveled in the simple, silent contact.

Time began again when Thor broke the reverie and ran one hand down Loki's body, filling him with shivers. He brought it up to his own mouth, watching Loki's face as he coated himself with saliva in the absence of anything more suitable. Desperately, he wished they were somewhere else, someplace that he could make his Loki more comfortable…

My Loki. The phrase struck him as odd—and then, just as soon, didn't seem odd at all.

Thor traced his finger along Loki's opening, softly pressing at the taut flesh, but Loki shook his head. "No. I do not need it. Please, Thor…" He ran his hand down the length of his brother's muscled thigh. "I want you."

"I do not wish to hurt you."

"Even if you did, you couldn't," Loki told him, realizing that the statement didn't make a bit of sense, except in his head. "Please. I have been waiting for this for too long—"

"Hush," Thor whispered. "I will do anything you wish, brother."

Loki couldn't help but smirk slightly. "You are brave to make that promise to the God of Mischief."

Thor smiled back. "I am choosing to trust you."

A throwaway comment, perhaps, but it brought Loki nearly to tears; never did he think that Thor would trust him again, after all he'd done.

"Are you ready?"

Loki nodded.

As Thor eased into him, Loki exhaled slowly. Thor was big, and never had he felt so filled—it was beautiful completion, a sweet, raw intimacy, the piece that had been missing for far too long. Thor was inside of him, thick and pulsing and pushing his limit without even a thrust.

"Are you all right?" Thor asked, trying to judge Loki's expressions.

"Yes," he breathed, reaching for his brother's hand, "yes..."

The worry vanishing from his chest, Thor began to move, slowly at first, still frightened of somehow hurting his brother. Loki closed his eyes and let the sensations consume him; the soft brush of Thor's hair on his chest, the satisfying sound of skin hitting skin, the at-once familiar yet unfamiliar scent of his brother's body, the little moans, the sighs.

Thor was big enough to press into the best spot without having to try, and Loki was already falling apart beneath him when he adjusted to get a better angle. He cried out, clutching at Thor's thigh, and dug his nails in. "Thor," he moaned, "yes…"

At the sound of his name, the reality truly hit home, and Thor felt himself grow harder, overwhelmed by the beautiful simplicity of it all; in the end, somehow, he knew it would boil down to this, two brothers, souls bare and raw in the dark, the sun and the moon, two forces colliding. It couldn't have happened any other way. He had always belonged to Loki, and Loki to him. My Loki. No longer did the phrase seem alien to his mind.

And Loki, for his part, forgot the existence of every other presence in the universe; planets, monsters, friends, and foes disappeared into nothingness as he gave his entire mind and heart to Thor. Nothing existed before this; nothing would come after. No one was real but his brother. Nothing mattered but this.

"Loki," Thor whispered, realizing that he was close already. With a glance at Loki's pleading face, he braced himself against the wall and used his other hand to grip Loki's aching cock, which throbbed with need.

As Thor's warm hand closed around him, Loki let out a shaky breath, half in anticipation, half in relief. Thor kept a steady rhythm, but as he got closer and closer, his motions became erratic, until they stopped altogether.

Loki reached out for him, eyes pleading—"Thor, no, please, don't stop—"

And then Thor's reassurance, ragged and breathy, "I will—Loki, oh, yes, I'll—I'll, I promise, you'll come, Loki, oh…" His eyes flew shut, and open, and shut, and his eyes—dark sapphires now—glistened in the dim light as he came, crying Loki's name in between satisfied moans.

Before Loki could beg, Thor slid gently out and coated Loki's cock with his own seed before easing onto him. Loki's eyes flew open as Thor clenched around him, a smirk on his face as he gripped his brother's shoulders tight and began to ride, in a very Thor-like fashion: hard, fast, and relentless.

Loki cursed and blessed his brother for that; part of him longed to draw this moment out, but the other part wanted to come: now.

He clutched at Thor's cloak beneath him, not caring if he tore it into pieces: better the cloak than Thor's thighs. "Thor," he moaned, and he desperately wished his brother could be inside of him at the same time; the emptiness was devastating. He thrusted forward, trying to tell Thor what he couldn't form words to ask, but it was nearly too late. "Thor," he gasped, twisting a fistful of fabric between his fingers, "Thor… Thor!"

Beneath his eyelids, darkness pulsed in time with his racing heartbeat, and built with the rising force of his climax—and then, colors he'd never seen burst into brilliance against the dark, and he knew what it was to attain bliss.

After he came down, Thor slid off; while he cleaned up, Loki sat against the wall, arms curled around his knees, feeling whole yet broken. "What happens now?" he said in a small voice.

Thor reached out for him. "You come home."

Tears welled in his eyes. "I told you, I can't—"

Thor draped his cloak over his brother, who pulled it tightly around himself. "I know. You will come back to Asgard in time. But home is with me, Loki."

And suddenly Loki realized that his brother was right, that he could live on any world, on any fragment of rock floating across the universe, as long as Thor was with him. And as he looked across at his brother's earnest face, he knew Thor would never leave his side.

"All right," he said softly, covering Thor's hand with his own. "Home."