Allie: Um…yeah just read this. I don't even know.

Warnings: Angst, fluff, OOC characters…probably a lot more…

Disclaimer: No these babies aren't mine.

Their Secret

The first time it happened Loki was five and Thor was eight. It was almost midnight and Loki was still awake in his room, staring up at the ceiling. Lights danced across the ceiling –red, gold, blue, green, orange- in a vague attempt to amuse him. His toys danced at the foot of his bed. His rocking chair rocked in the corner of the room, but he couldn't sleep. Usually his magic, only used in the middle of the night when no one could see, could put him straight to sleep, but not that night. Loki grumbled a little and flipped onto his side, tugging his sheets closer to himself, closing his eyes tightly. There was a light knock at the door. The lights stopped and the toys and rocking chair fell still.

"Come in." Loki said.

A small figure opened the door and shut it behind him, "Brother?" Thor said in an unusually soft voice.

Loki sat up quickly, "Thor? What is the matter? Are you ill?" He asked.

The blonde child shook his head and crawled into bed with the younger boy, lying next to him, "Nay," Thor replied belatedly, "I am not ill…I'm frightened, Loki." He whispered, turning on his side to face the raven.

Green eyes filled with concern gazed back, "Frightened?" Loki questioned, placing a pale hand on his elder brother's tanned arm, "What-"

"I had a nightmare." Thor blurted, "You were hurt, and I could not protect you." He said, his blue eyes filling with tears, "There was blood, Loki, and you were crying and-"

Loki pressed his lips against Thor's chastely to silence him, "Shhh…" He whispered, hugging his elder brother, "Just, hush."

"Loki…" Thor said, confused.

"Mother does this when Father feels sad. I thought it might help." Loki replied.

Thor slid his arms around his lithe brother's waist, holding him, "Can I stay with you tonight?" The blonde child asked, "I need to make sure you are safe."

Loki hesitated for a moment before nodding, "Yes." He said softly, laying his head on his brother's chest.

Thor smiled softly and hugged his younger brother closer. The lights began to swirl again overhead, the toys started to dance, the rocking chair rocked, and Thor and Loki slept.

The next time it happed Loki was six and Thor was nine. The two brothers were playing outside in the vast garden. Loki was chasing Thor happily, laughing loudly. "You cannot catch me, brother. I am faster than you." Thor called over his shoulder, a broad grin on his face.

"I will catch you!" Loki called back, willing his legs to work harder, to move faster. Thor turned a quick corner and Loki lost sight of him. Loki's eyes widened and he turned the corner, but did not see his brother. "Thor?" Loki called out, his eyebrows drawing together in confusion.

Silence answered him.

The wind whistled through the trees.

A small animal rustled through the bushes.

Loki began to walk, "Brother?" He called out again, "Where did you go?" He began walking faster, turning corners and looking for a wisp of blonde or flash of red. There was no trace of his elder brother. "Thor!" Loki called louder, cupping his pale hands together in front of his mouth in an attempt to amplify his voice. Loki broke out into a panicked run, "Thor! Brother!" He cried, stumbling on a stray branch and tumbling to the ground. He let out a cry as he crashed to the ground, scraping his knees and elbows.

"Loki!" Thor cried, springing from his hiding spot and rushing over to his younger brother, "Loki, are you all right?" He asked.

Loki gulped, holding back the tears stinging at the back of his eyes, "Y-yes, I am fine." He replied, wiping at his eyes with the back of his hand.

Thor looked down and spotted the blood forming on his brother's knees and gasped, "Brother, you are injured." He said, his eyes sad, "I am sorry, it is my fault."

"Nay," Loki said, "I was clumsy."

Thor tore two long pieces of red cloth from his cape and wrapped them tightly around his brother's knees. "There, now I need to take you to see Mother." He said, picking up his younger brother bridal style. Loki flailed a little before clinging to his brother's neck. Thor craned his neck down to kiss his brother softly on the lips.

"Brother?" The raven-haired child questioned, confused.

"I thought it might help you feel better." Thor replied, starting his walk back to the castle with his brother in his arms, "We can keep it a secret." He smiled.

Loki smiled back, "Yeah, our secret."

It happened many times after that; when one of them was frightened, or injured, or upset, or even just when they were lonely. But as the years went by the kisses became less frequent as Loki slowly drifted away from his brother. Loki began to fade under the shadow of his elder brother. Loki was not strong or mighty; Loki was lithe and tricksy. Loki preferred his magic to strength and the other Asgardians shunned him for that. So while Thor began to make friends with the other warriors, Sif and the Warriors Three in particular, Loki began to withdraw into himself.

Thor didn't understand why Loki didn't want to be around him anymore. Thor invited him to training practices and on hunts. He asked him to participate on missions with himself and the other Warriors, but Loki always declined. It was starting to frustrate Thor. Loki wasn't even trying to make the others like him.

Loki was fifteen and Thor was eighteen when Thor finally hit his boiling point.

"Just come with us," Thor snapped, "Surely one afternoon away from your books won't be that much of an inconvenience."

"As it happens, it would be too much of an inconvenience." Loki replied coolly, looking down at his nails, "You go."

"Why will you not even give them a chance?" Thor growled, clenching his fists.

Loki reclined back on his bed, "I have given them many chances," He replied, "However, they have proven to be foolish morons not worthy of my time."

"They are my friends, Loki." The blonde male hissed out, "Oh, I forget, you do not know what friends are. You are so concerned with your books and spells that you cannot even interact with other people."

Loki visibly hesitated, "I interact with you." He replied.

The elder scoffed, "Hardly. Tell me true, do you really think I listen to your stories?" He said, cruelly. He normally would not be this way, but he was so very frustrated with his younger brother. "Do you really think I pay attention when you ramble on about your spells and studies? You need real friends Loki, people who actually share your interests."

Loki's eyes filled with hurt and he stood, "Fine." He said, hurt lacing his voice, before he quickly masked it over, "I understand."

Thor immediately felt guilt consume him, "Brother, I didn't-" He said, reaching out to touch Loki's arm.

Loki's green eyes widened and he jerked his arm away with a sneer, "Don't." He snapped, "Just…don't." He trembled, storming out of the room.

Thor groaned and sat down on his younger brother's bed, running his fingers through his blonde mane. He didn't mean to be so blatantly mean to the pale teenager; he was just so tired of everyone making fun of his brother. He just wanted the younger male to be more social. He didn't mean for it to get this far.

Thor found Loki an hour later in the library, the younger male curled up in a sitting chair and reading, a dark look in his eyes. "Loki?" Thor asked hesitantly from the entryway. The smaller male ignored him, his eyes scanning the page of the book. Thin fingers turned the page. "Loki, I do apologize." Thor said, clearing his throat.

Loki continued to ignore the blonde male.

"Loki, please." Thor sighed, walking into the room and kneeling in front of the younger, "I am sorry." He said, "Please believe me."

Loki pursed his lips together, "Go away, Thor, I do not wish to see you right now." He said, his voice soft.

Thor sighed again, "Loki."

"Don't." Loki snapped, slamming his book shut.

"Loki you know I do not apologize often, but I kneel before you now, begging your forgiveness. You are my brother, and I love you. I am truly sorry for the things I have said." Thor said, placing a hand on his younger brother's knee.

Loki paused for a long moment before leaning down to kiss Thor chastely, "I acknowledge your apology," He said, "I do not forgive you, yet, but I acknowledge your apology."

Thor smiled softly, "Thank you." He said.

They were not brothers. Loki was just a stolen relic. He was a Frost Giant. A monster. His brother was a hero. He hated it. He hated him. He hated being in his brother's shadow. He wanted his brother gone. He wanted to rule Asgard, just to prove he could. He wanted to prove that he wasn't just a monster that parents told their children of at night. He just wanted to step out of his not-brother's shadow, if only for a moment, because he was in love with him, always had been.

Loki failed. Thor had returned, and he had returned a better man than when he had left. Thor had defeated Loki and destroyed the Bifrost. Loki hadn't been able to destroy Jotunheim. He hadn't been able to prove himself to anyone. He had failed. He was hanging off the side of the Bifrost, clinging to his staff. His Father would never love him as much as Thor. Thor would never see him as more than his brother. He had failed. He couldn't do this anymore. "No Loki." Loki felt his throat go tight. He would never amount to anything here. He felt his fingers begin to slip. He couldn't live here anymore. He let go. Thor screamed for him. Loki smiled.

I'm sorry.

Loki failed again; he had not been able to take over the Earth. He had failed again. And Thor still didn't understand why. This wasn't about the Earth, or the Chitauri, or being a ruler. That was insignificant. He wanted Thor to see him. To see him, not his younger brother or the boy he'd grown up with, but the man he had become.

They had captured him, these 'Avengers', and given him over to Thor.

"Why?" Thor asked, once they were alone, "Why, brother?"

Loki cackled, "You know why." He spat.

Thor growled and slammed his fist against the wall, "This isn't a game, Loki! These were good, innocent people-"

"They were made to be ruled-"

"Do not start again with that nonsense." Thor snarled, "Tell me true, why did you do this?"

"For you." Loki replied, this time honestly.

"For me?" Thor asked incredulously, raising an eyebrow.

"You still see me as your brother," Loki said, "but I am not. We are not related by blood. I am of Jotunheim, you are of Asgard."

"We were raised together, we played together." Thor replied, "We may not be brothers of blood, but we are brothers of soul."

"I do not wish to be your brother!" Loki yelled.

"Then what do you wish to be Loki!" Thor yelled back.

"I want to be your equal," Loki growled, "I want to be your friend, your ally, your enemy, your lover-"

"Lover?" Thor asked, his blue eyes wide.

For a second Loki looked young again, like the small child Thor once had to protect, "Yes," The younger male whispered, "Yes, lover, because I do love you Thor. From the first moment I kissed you so many years ago I have loved you. I watched you grow from a playful, idiotic child to a mature, but still idiotic man. And I have never stopped loving you, not once; not even when I was alone in the darkness." The raven's face hardened, "But you never needed me, not even once. You had your friends, and then her, and then your precious Earth." Loki spat.

"That is untrue Loki." Thor said, "I did need you…when I lost you." He clenched his jaw, "It was like I lost a part of my soul." He reached out and grabbed his brother, tugging him to his chest, "And then when I found out that you were alive, it was like I became alive again."

Loki struggled before falling limp. He had already lost. He didn't need to fight anymore. He was tired of fighting, tired of losing. "Thor…" He mumbled.

Thor gazed down at his brother for a moment before his lips had descended down upon the younger's. Thor kissed his brother hungrily, holding him tightly. Loki kissed back just as feverishly, clinging to the blonde male's shoulders. Loki leaned into the warrior, his silver tongue slipping out to lap at the blonde's lips. Thor opened his mouth for the younger, his own tongue fighting back against the other. Loki could feel Thor's hands moving over his body, tugging at his armor, sliding under the silky fabric, touching pale skin. Loki groaned, arching against the larger male, stopping when he heard a click and could feel cold metal on his wrists.

Loki pulled away immediately, "Thor, wha-"

"I'm sorry Loki," Thor said in a gruff voice, "But I cannot trust you. I love you, but you will have to face the All Father for your crimes against this realm."

Loki clenched his jaw, watching as Thor pulled away to retrieve the gag. "Thor, please," Loki said, "You don't have to do that."

"You know I do, Loki." Thor said, blue eyes swimming with apology as he clamped the gag around his brother's mouth. Loki glared, hurt and betrayal in his eyes. "I am sorry Loki, I do love you." Thor mumbled, kissing his brother's forehead, "But you must face what you have done."

Loki sat in the room the guards in Asgard had placed him in. He'd heard the rumors. The All Father wanted his mouth sewn shut. He heard talking outside his room before the door opened and Thor walked in, the door was shut and locked tight behind the blonde.

A heavy silence descended upon the room.

"I am sure by now you have heard what Father wants your punishment to be." Thor finally said, breaking the awkward silence.

"He wants to sew my mouth shut," Loki replied, "So that my silver tongue may never wag again." He said bitterly.

"I am sorry, Loki." Thor said gently, "I fought with Father for weeks about it. It is the only punishment that will placate him. He meant first to execute you."

Loki closed his eyes, "When?" He asked, his throat feeling tight.

"Within the hour." Thor replied, sitting next to Loki; Loki felt tears well up hot in his eyes and was powerless to stop them falling. He felt Thor's fingers on his face, trying gently to wipe away the tears. "Loki…" Thor said gently.

Loki opened his eyes, his green locking with sad blue, "I suppose," Loki choked out, "That our secret shall remain secret now that I will no longer be able to speak."

Thor hugged Loki to him, pressing his warm lips against the raven's cool forehead. Loki waited for a long moment before wrapping his arms around the elder male, pressing his face into the blonde's shoulder like he did when they were children. Loki was frightened, and Thor felt powerless.

The door to the room opened once more, a guard, a medic, and Odin walking into the room. The medic was holding a needle and some thread. The thread was green, the exact colour of Loki's eyes.

"Thor, release him. It is time." Odin rumbled in his voice, deep with age.

Thor pulled back but stayed on the bed, sitting next to the smaller male. Loki looked at the needle with fear in his eyes. He held back a whimper.

"Loki Laufeyson, for your crimes against Midgard you are being punished with silence. Words of deceit shall no longer grace your lips. Do you have any last audible requests?" Odin said.

Loki looked at Thor. Words did not need to be said. Thor kissed his younger brother softly, despite the fact their Father was in the room. He did not care. He just wanted to placate the younger, just as Loki had done to him after his nightmare so many years ago. When Thor pulled away, he grabbed the younger's hand, threading their fingers together.

"I love you." Loki whispered, his emerald gaze dropping to the floor.

The medic approached, holding up the gleaming needle, looking at Odin for approval. Odin nodded. The medic tilted Loki's head up, placing the needle at the male's bottom lip he began to sew. Loki felt blood in his mouth and around it, dripping down his chin onto his clothes. Pain blossomed from his lips as the medic sewed his mouth shut with the green thread. Loki wanted so badly to scream, but he couldn't. He felt tears sliding down his cheeks. Thor stroked his hand soothingly. The medic was almost done. Loki breathed hard through his nose, feeling and tasting blood bubbling from his mouth. Then it was done. The medic tied off the end and stepped away.

The guard and the medic left the room. Odin stared at his sons for a moment longer before he, too, left.

Loki reached up a hand to his mouth to finger the stitches, when he pulled his hand away it was covered in dark red, almost black, blood. He felt sick. He rushed over to the wash basin and scrubbed at his hands feverishly. Thor hurried over and picked up a small rag, dipping it in the water. The elder male began dabbing at Loki's mouth gently, trying to cause the least amount of pain as possible.

Loki waved his hand at his brother, knocking him away. He pressed his hand to his mouth, pulsing his magic through his hand to help take away the pain and remove the blood.

"I am truly sorry Loki." Thor whispered again, cupping the younger male's cheeks, kissing his forehead.

Loki rested a hand on the elder's wrist, holding it gently. Lights danced across the ceiling, the inks on the desk began switching spots, and books on the bookshelf began to move. Loki closed his eyes, leaning into the hand.

Me too.

Even with his brother home, Asgard felt hollow. Thor hated it. He could never again hear his brother's voice, condescending or no. He would never again hear his brother laugh. He would never again get to hear the sweet lies, or complicated spells, or mystic languages that his brother could speak. Asgard was too silent without his brother's voice.

Loki walked about the castle like a ghost. The Asgardians avoided him, leaving rooms once the raven entered them. Loki often wore the gag to hide his stitches from view, but everyone knew. Everyone knew that the silver tongue prince was now silent.

Thor went to read to Loki every night, either the books they'd grown up with or ones he found when he was in Midgard. Loki liked to listen to Thor reading to him. His voice was deep and soothing. Often times Thor would just retell stories from their past, when they had been children. He talked about the first night Loki had kissed him, and the time in the garden when Loki had fallen. He talked about all the times Loki played tricks on his friends, and all the times they had backfired. He talked so Loki didn't have to. And at the end of every night Thor would place the gentlest of kisses on his brother's sewn lips.