A/N: This is not a terribly healthy story, heed the non-con warning and be ready for the fact that I love Thor, this is a Thorki story and it might even head towards a happy ending if you squint. I am posting here only because some people want me to. I am not asking for critique on this site.
"If only it were possible to love without injury."
Loki paces the room like an angry tiger, stopping only to shoot Thor a look full of hatred and to tear the collar of his ceremonial robes open, apparently so flushed with rage that he needs more air to burn.
Thor's tongue is dry and sticking to the roof of his mouth despite the cups of mead he drank.
Now is the time.
He cannot keep his secret any longer.
"What?" Loki sneers at him, catching Thor's gaze.
"There is something you need to know."
He looks away then and clears his throat because his voice was hoarser than he expected. Loki ceases his pacing and a small frown appears on his face for just a moment.
"I cannot... I cannot have you believe..." he stops, words failing him. Loki's eyebrows are raised and Thor humourlessly realizes that Loki has absolutely no idea of what Thor is going to say.
"This marriage," Thor tries again, "was not of my making. Father conceived the plan without consulting me. In that maybe, we stand on the same ground."
"Yes, you are the picture of inno-" Loki jumps in with a nasty curve of his lip but Thor will not be interrupted.
"But I love you. I've always loved you. I've loved you as a brother, but also... more. Desired you since I knew what desire was. And it's selfish of me, I know, but I cannot lie about it any longer."
Loki blinks slowly and this marks the last second of Thor's foolish hope.
Because what he said is true – he simply cannot deceive Loki now. He might have hid his feelings from his brother, but not from his husband. It would be inconceivably unfair. And that is his main reason for this disclosure, but there is also more, so shameful that he doesn't even want to put it into words. Hope. Hope that maybe Loki was hiding the same desires. That maybe the Norns cursed them with brotherhood and love alike, forcing them to yearn in mutual secret. And that in this moment, Loki will finally dare let on what he feels.
A heavy goblet flies through the air and hits Thor square between the eyes.
"I will kill you!" Loki shrieks. "You disgusting piece of stone giant's dung!"
And then he is upon Thor, raining down blows, drawing blood with nails, curling fists to pummel Thor's face. Thor fights back only meagerly, raising his arms as the basest of defences.
"Not your plan? Not your plan?! You tell me you didn't plan this but that you...you... ugh!" Loki is spitting in rage that makes his previous state look like perfect calm. He has Thor backed up against a wall, kicking at his shins and burrowing his fists into Thor's stomach so hard he bends over.
Thor doesn't fight back, because he knows he deserves it. This and more. Loki screams every insult known to the Nine Realms at Thor for long minutes, his hands smashing into every accessible part of Thor's skin.
It's all he can do.
His magic is bound to Thor's will, one of the results of the ancient marriage ceremony they had endured just hours before. Ancient and decidedly un-equal, fashioned to force submission of one party to the other. A relic from times harsher than these, from times of endless war. It is Loki's punishment for what he did to Jotunheim and Midgard. The memory of the All-Father speaking the sentence with cold, merciless eyes is fresh in both of their minds. Death or submission, those were the terms.
Finally exhausted, Loki steps away and Thor slumps against the wall, blood dripping from several cuts on his face, but he barely feels them. Neither is he terribly concerned about the bruises that probably will soon bloom all over his torso and legs. It's his brother he cares about.
Loki is watching him from a couple of steps away, breathing hard and clenching his bloodied fists.
"I'm sorry," Thor croaks and he knows it's probably the most useless thing he has ever said.
"Are you," Loki spits.
"I am sorry to cause you pain and I am sorry to make you do this. I am sorry for sharing my own shameful burden with you."
It's not enough of course, nothing could ever be enough, but he is glad that he said this. That he at least attempted to explain.
Loki's face splits into a manic grin and he shakes his head. "No. No. I will not. I will not stand for this."
He pauses then, laughing with an edge of madness. "And to think they call me the monster. What are you, really, Thor? How deep does this perversion of yours run? How did you hide it so well? You are not as golden now, are you, Odinson? Never have been. I am quite peeved that I missed this. Imagine the Hel I could have turned your life into if you had revealed yourself sooner."
Thor shuts his eyes as if that would stop the storm of words coming his way. He can hardly draw breath for the terror he feels.
"But as it is, I will not let you do this. I will not give you the satisfaction. I will rather die."
And Thor's eyes snap open and he takes an unconscious step from the wall towards Loki. Because he knows Loki is not being metaphorical. In fact, there is a very real possibility that Loki will be dead at dawn, such is the nature of their bond; it must be sealed. And he thought... he thought Loki accepted this. That he made his choice – to live, no matter what the circumstances.
"No," Thor breathes and then his vision is helplessly filling with tears that soon spill down his cheeks and he cannot control his face, cannot stop it from crumbling. It's just not Loki's choice he weeps for, it's his own as well. The one he will make.
"Oh yes," Loki mocks. "I think we shall test the truth of this arrangement's magic."
"No," Thor repeats, more firmly and he wants to be the one to die when he sees Loki take an involuntary step back.
The malicious humour is quickly fleeing Loki as he watches Thor wipe the mixture of tears and blood from his face and straighten up, squaring his shoulders as if going to battle. He's not sure though if he can keep this up for what he really wants to do is fall to his knees and beg until his throat is sore.
"I wish more than anything that all the realms could see your hypocrisy," Loki hisses as he keeps on retreating from Thor. "That you would be revealed for what you are, a perverse, disgusting beast."
"Please," Thor presses on. "Do not throw your life away because of me."
"My life?" Loki asks, incredulous. "What is there left in my life other than being your pet?"
"Everything you wish there to be."
"Well I wish for you to keep your dirty hands off me, how about that?"
"I will not act on my desires, I swear! We needn't do more than necessary... just the spell, Loki. Just please, let us complete the bond. I cannot lose you, brother, not again!"
"All about you, isn't it?" Loki growls. "You want me alive and you want to stick your dick in me and I will not indulge you any longer, I've done far too much of that in my entire life."
"You agreed," Thor says, trying to sound calm. "You participated in the ritual. You chose life. It's my fault that you feel differently now and I will fix my mistakes. I should have never said anything."
"Oh no, no, I am quite glad that you exposed yourself so," Loki smiles sharply. "It will bring me great pleasure in my last hours to know what a base beast you really are, far lower than even I, the only one who ever had some sense to see you clearly, could imagine."
"You will choke on your tongue and your blood will boil in your veins. Did you know that? Did you know that these are the terms? And then you will go to Hel, Valhalla out of your reach for eternity."
Loki shrugs, though there is a slight twitch to one of his eyelids. "It will be over soon enough. Preferable to centuries at your mercy. I shudder to imagine what other deviant appetites you carry in your heart if you lust after one you claim to be your brother."
And Thor almost wavers on his feet as the centuries of secrecy and guilt become so exposed. There is no salvation for what he feels, no apology, no forgiveness. Every blade formed by Loki's tongue strikes precisely, because for once, his brother doesn't even need to lie. The truth is the cruellest weapon.
Yet he walks forward, his hand already reaching to undo the strap that holds Mjolnir to his hip.
"Thor," Loki warns, stepping back. "Don't. Find just a sliver of the honour you have pretended to have for a millennium and let me die."
Thor shakes his head. "You will not die because of my shame. Tell me, if I kept on pretending that bedding you held the same repulsion to me as it does to you, would you have consented?"
Loki's silence is answer enough. His eyes flick all over the room, seeking a way out.
And then they both move at the same time, Loki leaping with quick steps in the direction of the balcony, Thor pouncing on Loki and catching him by the waist.
And Loki's angry yelp has just enough fear underlying it that it breaks Thor's heart.
"I'm sorry," he repeats mindlessly as he wrestles Loki onto the bed. "I'm so sorry."
And he feels like at any second, Mjolnir will drop from his hand and refuse him, that's how much his hand shakes as he deposits her onto Loki's back, trapping him face down on the mattress.
The last time he restrained Loki so, he tried to kill himself mere minutes after.
There is a small part of Thor that wants to rage at the whole universe, at the Norns, at his father for insisting this is the only way. But the rest of him is drowning in sorrow that almost makes him feverish with its intensity.
He cannot win. Either he will let Loki die, for the magic they are bound by will kill him with the first rays of sunshine if they do not consummate their marriage or he will violate his own brother without any chance for forgiveness.
He is selfish. He will rather have Loki live and hate him than suffer through losing him. Again.
"I'm sorry," he says for the final time. "My only hope is that in time, whether it be centuries or millennia, you will look around you and appreciate that you live."
"I swear by the Norns that you will not see that day come because I will murder you the second you take the blasted hammer off me."
Thor is so relieved to hear Loki cursing at him heartily that he finds the courage to reach under his brother's trapped form and unbutton his trousers. He is kicked viciously for his efforts, but he manages to pull the garment down.
He takes the oil from the night stand and settles over Loki's thighs. There is still the occasional kick of Loki's heels that reaches his back, but it's fine. Good even. For all his lust of past centuries, he finds no enjoyment in this.
His eyes are drawn to the curve of firm buttocks underneath him, white and smooth, but he only tucks the view away deep down into his mind. What he does is bad enough without leering. He pours a lot of the oil to Loki's skin and, biting his lip hard, he slides one finger in.
Loki ceases the kicking and tenses up. He stays quiet and motionless as Thor works the one finger carefully in and out and only speaks again when Thor adds another.
"By Ymir's hairy balls, would you hurry up?!" He emphasises his demand by renewed bout of squirming, but Thor catches him firmly by the hip.
"I will not hurt you... hurt your body. So stay still."
And it's a mistake; he should have known. Telling Loki to stay still is as good as inviting him to thrash until his last breath. And that's what he does, fighting the immovable weight of Mjolnir as well as Thor's hold.
"Are you even listening to yourself?" Loki spits. "By the Norns, you are the most stupid and pathetic creature I have seen in my life. Do you think this matters? Do you think it matters that you spare a bit of my skin and muscle after you have ruined everything I am or ever was?"
There is nothing for Thor to say to this – maybe it's true, maybe Loki is just trying to hit him where he knows it will sting, but either way, words cannot fix it.
And so he continues gently stretching Loki, drenching him in oil and loosening his muscles until he is confident there will be little pain.
He knows he is doomed when he eases down his own clothing. He is hard, Norns damn him. His mind might be consumed by guilt and lingering horror at his own actions, but his blood tells another story. His blood has tasted his brother's skin, his warmth, his scent. He kneels between Loki's spread thighs and lowers himself, pulling Mjolnir off his back and replacing the weight with his own body.
Loki bucks against him and tries to wriggle away, but it's no good; Thor has him.
"Forgive me," he whispers and guides himself in. Loki lets out a groan that sounds more annoyed than painful and goes somewhat still.
"Oh go on," he sneers. "Enjoy yourself. I will never forgive you for this."
Thor slides his cock shallowly in and out, never really going too deep. There is no need. Loki keeps talking, keeps cursing at him and showering him with sharp words, but there is noise in Thor's ears and it takes him mere minutes to come, flooding Loki with his seed and sealing the bond. His nose brushes the hair at the nape of Loki's neck as he exhales and the sensation gives him some comfort, but simultaneously drives the dagger deeper. When they were brothers, he had the right for small affections; touches, hugs, even the occasional peck on the cheek when they were younger. Lovely, friendly things.
Now he has ruined it all and he has forfeited his right to everything but the knowledge that Loki lives.
In the next months, Loki feels with finality that he has been established as the Norns' personal laughing stock.
He doesn't see Thor at all for the first couple of days; he is sure Thor is avoiding him as hard as he can and he personally is more than happy to just hole in his rooms and regroup. It's been more than a year since he's gotten proper rest. More than a year since he could stop and think for more than mere minutes.
And so he sleeps and eats and spends long hours soaking in hot water, staring through the mist that rises from the bath and sifting through his jumbled thoughts.
But barely a week later, having just returned from an oddly unsatisfying lunch with his mother (she let him rant and complain, but a smile played on her lips all the while and he was disappointed by the lack of sympathy he got from her. Her sons were married, why doesn't she abhor it?), he runs into Thor in the hallway leading to their rooms. He stands there awkwardly, looking through open doors to his own chamber and Loki gets the distinct feeling that all that is missing from this image is Thor scratching his head in confusion.
He ignores him and walks into his own rooms, only to be stopped by shock on the threshold.
His rooms have been emptied and disassembled.
He turns on his heel and connects his fist with Thor's unsuspecting teeth. "What did you do?"
"Nothing!" Thor protests, holding his chin with a flicker of pain appearing in his expression. "My rooms are-"
They are interrupted by a guard approaching.
"My lords," he bows briefly. "Allow me to escort you to your new chambers. The All-Father's orders."
Oh and curse that thrice damned son of a Jotun whore.
Loki grits his teeth as they walk through the spacious, beautifully decorated new chambers. A shared bedroom, a couple of private rooms, a bath, a balcony that encompasses the whole girth of the tower they are in. It's elegantly furnished and filled with a mixture of their possessions.
Loki will set it on fire as soon as possible, even if he has to use a flint to do it.
Later that night, he stares at the dark ceiling, too spiteful to fall asleep. Next to him (well, not quite next to him, the bed is ridiculously huge and they are each at the far sides of it) Thor is quietly, steadily breathing. He has acted as if walking on eggshells during the entire evening as they attempted to find a rhythm of sharing a living space for the first time in over eight centuries. Not that Loki really tried to make it easy. He claimed for himself the library and one sitting room, guilt-tripping Thor into letting him seal the rooms with his magic. Then he proceeded to threaten disembowelment if Thor touched his things. Or him.
Thor started babbling false reassurance in response.
"You have my word that I will keep to myself. I wouldn't-"
"You wouldn't?" Loki interrupted viciously. "You did, if memory serves."
Thor went deadly pale and hid in the bathroom, leaving Loki to smile with satisfaction.
And so having seen Thor all but slink into bed, acting as if he wanted to disappear, but still somehow managing to fall asleep shorty after, Loki feels a bit disgruntled that Thor gave him no further reason to strike out.
He's thought about it. Making Thor's life miserable is a vice that he now can indulge in fully.
He is angry. Furious. Once again, his life isn't his; maybe it never was, only now it's been made painfully obvious. He is angry that Thor has managed to retain his flawless reputation while hiding such monstrosity in his heart while Loki's darkness was torn out from him and paraded for all the universe to see.
But there is a secret core to his anger, burning with the bitter rage of thousand suns and he will never, ever reveal it.
Despite himself, despite everything, he is grateful. Deep down, he has the desire to live, a desire that he lost as he let go of the hold he had on the Bifrost and that flared again after weeks, maybe months of floating through empty space. He would have died if Thor didn't dare touch him, his spite and disgust overruling all else. But Thor did dare and Loki is grateful.
And the colossal unfairness and irony of it threatens to eat him alive from the inside. That somehow even when Thor does something abominable, the universe will turn it into a blessing. Force Loki to appreciate the violation as if it was a gift. It was the same when Thor caused the war with Jotunheim – the only lasting result was Thor changed, a brash prince becoming a worthy king. Loki wants to tear this speckle of relief from his heart. He wants to be nothing but broken, mad thing, destroyed by the lustful hands of his brother just to see it ruin Thor as well. But he isn't.
He is a living god and he will make his own way.
Loki sleeps well once he gets used to a presence beside him. Thor only snores when he is drunk, something that Loki learned centuries ago during their many trips and expeditions. Since their wedding, he only went pub crawling with his friends once and upon coming back, he stayed in the ante-chamber for the night, sprawled with clothing half unbuttoned on a sofa that was a bit too small for his heavy form. Loki stood on the threshold for a while in the morning when he woke (Thor still in deep slumber), watching him.
It only served to make him mad, of course. He would have quite enjoyed scolding Thor for disturbing him.
But this night, he is torn from sleep quite violently. He jerks awake, confused, trying to place to noise.
And it's a scream.
Thor's scream. He's never really heard anything like that from his brother before (or maybe he did, but he's not willing to relieve the memory, the memory of Thor's pleading "no" being swiftly replaced by deafening silence of space). Thor shouts and grunts and growls. He doesn't scream.
Loki turns, disbelieving. Thor is sitting on the bed, hair wild around his sweat covered face. The blankets have slipped from him. He is staring right ahead, panting lightly... and shivering?
"What in the Hel are you doing?" Loki complains, unwilling to show how disturbed he actually is.
Thor turns to him as if he only just realized Loki is there and Loki doesn't like the burning, but unfocused gaze Thor levels at him.
"Brother, oh Norns, are you well?" Thor asks and his tone is off, way off. He's probably not really awake. Loki scrambles back when Thor reaches for him. He is not quick enough, but all Thor does is grasp him gently by the neck, an old gesture of affection (that however Loki cannot see innocently now for it's quite intimate when he thinks about it. He doesn't even want to consider the pleasure it must have given Thor over the centuries).
"Are you well?" Thor repeats, more insistently and brings his other palm to Loki's cheek, stroking him lightly.
"I... what? Er, yes," Loki stutters, knowing that he should probably play along until Thor wakes, lest he fuel his apparent nightmare, but at the same time bothered that he should say he is well when he's, in general, not.
He reaches forward and slaps Thor, not too hard, but it makes a pleasing sound and Thor blinks, coming to.
He snatches his hands back as if burned and an expression of pure horror appears on his face.
"Save your breath. I didn't expect any better from the likes of you."
"I merely dreamt that you were hurt, I didn't mean to-"
"And who hurt me in your dream, brother?"
Thor's mouth snaps shut and he shakes his head in defeat, looking down, then speaks again, so quietly that Loki almost doesn't hear him. "Not me, but what does that matter? We're not dreaming now."
And Loki lies basking in Thor's pain until morning light.
To be fair, there is really nothing for Loki to do but mess with Thor (and if said "messing" requires watching, stalking, obsessing, well, he's still better off than being in love, which is what Thor is). He doesn't really have any friends and some companions of choice he used to have avoid him like the plague now. He may have some mandatory title of a prince, but he has no duties to go with it. You don't put a traitor in charge, even if it should be something as simple as errands in various parts of Asgard or formal public appearances. And so soon he has a perfect grasp on Thor's habits, in much bigger detail than he had as his brother.
Thor wakes up after dawn and takes his breakfast in the kitchens or in the main hall with his friends, never with Loki, because neither of them are ready to deal with each other so early. If his schedule is free for the day, he goes to the training grounds where he either pounds things or his friends to the ground or he exerts himself by giving lessons to young soldiers. This choice of free time is simple for Loki to map; there are several places from which he can watch the grounds unseen or occasionally he comes and sits there in plain sight, waiting for any sort of opportunity to create disturbance.
It's harder when Thor has duties, especially lessons and conversations with Odin. Loki cannot spy on those. But he still knows where Thor has been and it's easy to see that Thor often comes from these lessons on edge, whether from boredom or annoyance or something more complicated. He makes a point of always driving Thor into worse moods.
His game is simple.
Sometimes he plays on Thor's guilt. Sometimes he riles him into anger, only to subtly remind him of his transgressions, earning himself more guilt. It works like a charm.
"I need you to allow me a certain spell," he says one evening. Thor watches him warily, sitting by the fire with a parchment in his hands.
"What is it?"
"Lubrication charm. I know you prefer to do it by hand, but not every partner is quite as giving."
Thor's movements are slow and controlled as he gets up and walks out of the door, back rigidly straight. Loki supposes that even Thor might in time learn to not be goaded that obviously. He doesn't come back that night, which doesn't faze or surprise Loki, but he thinks it's peculiar when he prepares for bed the next evening and there is still no sign of Thor.
He finds it utterly ridiculous when he tosses and turns for half the night, unconsciously discomforted by the lack of company and unable to sleep. He tells himself that he tolerates Thor's presence in bed at best – in fact, by all rights he shouldn't be able to bear it at all, considering that Thor fucked him without his consent, something that he should take his time recovering from. But he's spent so much energy using the fact against Thor that it became almost mundane in his own mind. A blade that had long since become dull on his side, while still cutting Thor as a razor.
Nobody ever said that Loki was in his right mind.
In the morning, he goes to subtly investigate the training grounds, the main hall, all possible places that Thor might grace with his presence, but he finds nothing.
The next day there are whispers flowing through the palace and from distance, Loki watches Sif mount a horse, her face grim, and set out of the city.
Where did the fool go?