"I know I shouldn't."
Thor stared at the metal grates beneath his feet. His armor had grown heavy since the Avengers' victory against the alien invasion. Now that a war was prevented, he had to face his inner battle. Would he risk losing his brother again?
He sat in the back of the armored hummer provided by S.H.I.E.L.D, ignoring the trace blonde hairs that fell around his face. In a way, he hoped they hid his indecision. He brushed his hand against the side of his chin, relishing in the familiar sound of his stubble scratching his callused palms.
A low, muffled scoff resonated from the other side of the vehicle. Thor leaned back against the vibrating walls of the steel-clad car and stared sorrowfully into two fuming, green eyes. A storm was thundering overhead, causing the hummer to jolt and swerve uncontrollably. Still, it was perhaps the only moment he and Loki would have before facing Odin's judgment. Thor eyed the metallic, vented mask that covered the bottom half of his brother's face. For a brief moment he felt the selfishness of his love wash over him as he overcame his indecision.
"I know I shouldn't, but I just want hear his voice - once more."
He leaned forward, allowing his face to brush against the curls of Loki's hair. Thor worked his fingers along the back of Loki's neck, searching for the clasp that would release his brother's confinement. When he finally found it, he gently pressed down and slowly removed S.H.I.E.L.D's muting device.
Loki jerked his neck back and forth, allowing the muscles to relax and his joints to pop. He clenched his lips into a tight line until he finally lifted his gaze and spoke. "Is there a specific reason for this merciful gesture?"
Thor cringed at Loki's underlying tone of disgust. He could not understand how someone he once called brother would be reduced to such feelings of hostility. Still, if this was to be their last moments - he couldn't spend them doing what he did best, brawling.
"I… simply miss talking to you." Loki's eyes widened. He looked away for a brief moment, his lips twitching and his eyes fluttering nervously. Although his hands were still restrained, he managed to point upwards as if gesturing to the storm that was raging outside.
"Why the violent weather, Odin's son? The last words dripped from Loki's tongue disgustedly. Thor sighed heavily and spoke, his voice deep and discouraged.
"A signal for Steve's men with S.H.I.E.L.D."
Thor hung his head and did not notice the fear in Loki's eyes. They began to moisten as he too considered the man he once called brother. "Now what? Will you have me bare Odin's judgment!?"
"He is your father!" Thor bellowed, his emotion no longer contained. "He will show you pity…"
"No!" Loki growled, saliva dribbling from his stretched lips. "He is your father - and you know as well as I that he is not merciful."
Thor threw his fist against his metal seat. The power behind his thrust caused the vehicle to drag against the jagged rocks along the road. As the hummer eventually managed to pick up speed, the drivers attributed it to the storm.
"How could you do this to us? You're my brother!" Thor's blue eyes were vehement. He threw his fist against the wall, causing the metal to dent outward. Loki remained unmoved, accustomed to Thor's temper tantrums as a child.
"I need you by my side," Thor cried helplessly, "not chained in some Asgardian prison!" Thor clasped Loki's arm, his impassioned strength causing the magician to cringe. As Thor leaned forward, he loosened his grip, and stared into his brother's eyes pleadingly.
He found no pity there.
"You… do not… need me." Loki clenched his jaw furiously, but Thor could see the tears welling in his eyes. Loki had never been able to hide his emotions.
"Loki, how can you say that? I would do anything for you." Thor's thoughts ran rampant, his own judgment muddled by the battle and his brother's betrayal. For a brief moment he could not see clearly, and all he could think was that he didn't want to lose this man again.
He grabbed Loki's shoulders and pulled him close. His face was red and his breathing had become rushed and uncontrollable. He just wanted his brother to understand.
"Do you not see, Loki!? You always came before all others, and I have always cherished you."
Loki's eyes fluttered slightly. His lips parted and a small, hastened breath was Thor's only answer. Finally a tear that had been building at the bottom of Loki's green iris dripped along the curve of his cheek and towards his trembling jaw line. He stared into Thor's hardened expression not knowing if either of them truly knew what was going on.
"What about that human girl?" Thor did not react as Loki predicted. Instead he firmly answered, "I did not return to Earth for her."
Although Thor seemed assured in his answer, Loki was still skeptical. He turned away despite Thor's close proximity and sighed. "Mere sentiments, Thor. To you we are still brothers…" Loki eyed Thor's arms that were outlined by the tight spandex of his under armor. His eyes trailed to the confused expression that complimented the Asgardian's ruggedly handsome features.
For a brief moment Laufey's son had hoped. But that time quickly passed.
"- and that's all that we'll ever be."
Thor blinked confusedly, his hands still gripping Loki's small figure. His blue eyes searched Loki's face for an answer. Eventually he shook the prisoner, forcing him to look up and face the consequences of his statement.
"What do you mean by that!?" He demanded. His expression was furious but passionate. Loki felt a new well of tears forming in his eyes. He already knew that Thor could never understand and that their last conversation would have to end abruptly.
Satisfied with their final words he looked down and fumbled clumsily for the vented mask Thor had placed next to him. As he lifted it towards his face he was surprised by a flailing hand.
The Asgardian forcefully slapped the mask from Loki's grasp. He grabbed him by the back of his neck and forced their foreheads to touch. His heavy breath was hot on Loki's lips. The pressure from their brows touching caused a sharp pain to radiate through Loki's skull, but he did not wish it to go away.
"No, Loki." Thor commanded, forcing Loki's forehead deeper into his. "You will never disappear again."
Loki's eyes widened as he stared into the closed lids of the man he once called brother. He knew that once they had loved each other. Uncontrollably he leaned his chin up and pressed his lips against Thor's. The burly man grunted, surprised by Loki's cold touch. Still holding the prisoner's neck, he backed away slightly, causing their mouths to part.
For a moment he was confused, staring into those familiar, bright green irises. But however confused he was, he found assuredness in Loki's pleading eyes.
He would do anything for him.
Thor pushed Loki against the wall of the hummer, forcing it to tremble once again. He pushed the prisoner's head back and pressed his lips against Loki's so forcefully it caused the man to whimper. Loki relished in the moment, finally closing his eyes and allowing the tears to fall.
Secretly it had been what he'd always wanted. Still, in the blissful moments where their lips touched and the brothers were finally able to reveal their feelings - Loki couldn't help but remember the promises he made to forces more powerful than him, Thor, and Odin.
As their lips finally parted and Loki stared into Thor's confident, crooked smile… he couldn't help but think,
"I know I shouldn't."