Warnings: A hint of angst
Pairings: Gen, but Thor/Loki if you're so inclined.
Summary: Thor turns up one night in Loki's chamber after an upsetting vision.
For: [livejournal.com profile] mahmfic



A knock at Loki’s door has him stirring from his doze. He fell into unconsciousness reluctantly with his head pillowed on a book and he is more annoyed by his own lack of willpower than he is by being disturbed. The hour is late though and he wonders who it might be at his door. He stands from the desk and stretches, his joints stiff and aching from his lack of proper sleep. He runs a hand through his hair and walks towards the door.

“Who is it?”

“It is me. Thor.”

Loki chuckles quietly at the idea of a day where Thor speaks and Loki is unable to recognise him from the first syllable.

When he unlocks the door, Thor shoves it open and grasps Loki’s upper arm like they are threatened. He releases his grip before Loki can comment, patting the sorcerer’s arm in a far more casual fashion.

“Thor, have you been at the mead again?”

“Not at all!” His brother seems affronted by the suggestion. “I had some ale with dinner. That is all. But you would not know that as you were missed at dinner.”

“I had important studies to pursue,” Loki explains, turning away from his brother to walk back to his table. “As I do now. So what is the purpose of this intrusion?”

His brother strolls over to loom over the table. The candles behind him flicker briefly, then go steady again. His golden hair shines like the sun in the candlelight. Loki is sat in his shadow, where it is almost too dim to read.

“It is hardly an intrusion to visit my own brother, is it?”

“At this hour everything is an intrusion,” Loki says calmly. “Why are you here, Thor?”

The thunder-god sighs and looks around the room. He is being unusually evasive and that makes Loki uneasy.

“I could not sleep,” his brother says eventually. It is the same lie that Loki gives whenever he is caught out of bed at some strange hour. So Loki gives the same platitudes he is always given in return.

“Have you considered taking a walk?”

Thor grins, certain he is about to be incredibly witty. “I walked here.”

Loki rolls his eyes, exasperated. “You know that I meant a walk around court. The night sky is beautiful. You should look at it when you can. The stars are—“

“I’ve no love for the stars tonight,” Thor says abruptly, bludgeoning Loki’s sentence.

“No?” How unusual for Thor to lose love for anything aside from frost giants and the library. “I rather prefer the sky at night. The little embers from Muspelheim scattered across Ginnungagap. I wonder if they will truly burn eternal.”

“Hopefully not,” Thor says in a low voice, his eyes on the floor in a thoughtful stare.

With a sigh, Loki stops his pretence at studying and turns in his chair to look at his brother. “Your mood is dark tonight.”

“You might say I am the sky without a star,” Thor replies with a tired smile.

“Brother.” Loki reaches out and brushes his fingertips over the back of Thor’s hand. “What troubles you?”

“It’s foolish,” Thor says with a smile at his own perceived silliness. “A child’s fear.”

“Nightmares?” Loki asks softly. He understands them very well these days. The arts that he dabbles in require a certain sacrifice of restful sleep. He invites darkness into himself and it lays dormant until he is at rest. Then it feeds.

“Aye. One I have had before. In the moment straight after I wake I am convinced it is a vision, but as time passes I realise my folly. I have disturbed you for no good reason, Loki.” Thor turns out of Loki’s gentle touch and walks to the door.

“If you are certain,” says Loki, unsure. He rarely sees Thor quiet and thoughtful like this. It is more than a mere nightmare could cause.

Thor opens the door and hesitates under the arch of it, looking out at the sky. Loki stands from his table and joins him – he was not lying about his fondness for the stars. As the cool air of the night fills his room he gazes upwards, eyes dancing from light to light.

When he has had his fill he glances to the side to find his brother staring down at him, a strange and sad look upon his face. “Thor?”

“You love me more than you love the stars?”

Loki laughs quietly at the bizarre question. “What?” But Thor is completely serious, he realises. “I… Thor, what has gotten into you?” He puts a hand on his brother’s arm, his delicate fingers seeming so thin against that muscle. So cold against Thor’s skin. “Of course I do. They are just stars. Little sparks in the sky.”

His brother nods, but does not smile. “So you would choose me.”

“Over what? The stars?” Loki shakes his head. Thor in the night is passing strange. “Yes, of course. Should the situation ever arise where I am betwixt you and stars, I shall choose you.”

Thor smiles then, light returning to his eyes. “That is all I needed to hear. Goodnight, brother.” He kisses Loki on the forehead and departs for his own bedchamber.

Perhaps the sleep would bring Thor back to his usual state, Loki thinks with amusement as he returns to his books. Thor was not made for divining or philosophy, that much has been made all the clearer.

After all, in what possible situation would Loki have to choose between his brother and the star-speckled void?

.

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