Who: Thor, Loki What: Tesseract talk, brotherly scuffles, and that party idea. Loki, you little shit. When: today, prior to Thor's post and after his lunch with Darcy Rating/Warning: Green
So it seemed that Thor and Darcy had breakfast that morning. That gave Loki some cause for concern, as Thor might be missing some details that were pertinent to 1.) not having half of all life in the universe obliterated & 2.) Darcy not knowing what they had in their "safe"keeping that could wipe out half of all life in the universe.
With that thought in mind, dressed in all black attire, Loki left his room in search of his brother.
Thor had recently returned from lunch and was humming to himself as he entered the home. Making a quick pit stop to his Taylor Swift shrine, he added a random picture of his brother. It seemed appropriate.
Speaking of which … “Brother. I dined with your woman and it was delightful. I am still convinced she would like me better if I had all my hair.”
Loki swore he would be burning some effigies of Taylor Swift at some point. Today was not that point. He didn't look amused. In fact, he looked a bit worried. In a grumpy prince sort of way.
"No, she would not. But if you wish to continue deluding yourself, by all means? Do continue. I need to speak with you about another matter, entirely, although it does pertain to Darcy." He drew in a deep breath. "Do you recall our current situation? With the Tesseract."
“No.” Spoiler alert: He did, but it was more interesting to annoy his brother than to give in. Ignoring Loki, Thor continued to walk into the home, confident that Loki would trail behind him.
Falling into old routine, Loki fell into step behind Thor...until he realized it and scowled at the back of Thor's head. He quickly picked up his pace so he was walking by Thor's right side, talking all the while. This was a pressing issue and, if he had his brother's ear, he wasn't about to waste the opportunity.
"Normally I would not mention it. We both know that I am not so forthcoming. Yet Strange has bound the Tesseract to both of us, thus that puts equal weight upon both of our shoulders. I can not remove nor use it without your permission, and so I thought, the absolute least amount of persons knowing this would be wise. In the event Thanos were to....make himself known. It should remain secret lest any close to us be used as pawns against us, should they discover I have it on my person. Do you not agree?"
He stared at the side of Thor's head like he hoped his brother might put two and two together, and come up with the answer: Don't tell Darcy.
Thor stopped suddenly in the hallway and raised an eyebrow at his brother. “Loki. I am not the one with loose lips. I have no intention of telling anyone this information, as it is not information that should be shared. You speak like I do not understand the enormity of the situation, which may I remind you -- I do.” He almost pointed to his eyepatch, but figured a good glare would work instead. And because he could tell Loki was hovering for a reason, he sighed deeply. “You have my word. I will not speak of it to Darcy.”
Just as suddenly, he started walking again, heading into the kitchen. Even though they had just finished lunch, he was hungry again. “Besides. Darcy and I have other things to discuss.”
Loki looked like he wanted to interject, his lips were parted to do so, but Thor was far more honorable and loyal, and he knew that he would hold true to his word. Instead of bickering or spitting venom everywhere, he let out a relieved sigh, thinking the matter was settled.
Until it wasn't, and Loki arched an eyebrow, inevitably following his brother into the kitchen.
"What other things to discuss?" he asked Thor, warily.
“All sorts of things.” Thor was enjoying this far too much. Digging around the fridge, he held onto the door and moved things around, humming to himself. It had turned out to be a good day, as evident by the bright sun that was shining now. He hated it when he lost control of his emotions. “Loki things, mostly. It was incredibly enlightening.”
Ah-ha! Coming out of the fridge with half a roasted chicken, Thor headed to the casual dining room.
"What sort of...me things," Loki was saying, clearly concerned about what might have been said. Oh no, he hoped it wasn't the horse scandal. Again. Darcy was getting a laugh out of Volstagg and Fandral's idiotic rumor mill from hundreds of years ago.
He was in dogged pursuit by that point, hounding his elder brother's steps, "Thor. What sort of things. Can you cease eating us out of home and hearth for one second? You do know that that fowl costs money and it is not like you are having to...."
...disguise yourself as a black-haired green-eyed female investment broker named Trixie, and make deals in expensive cocktail bars with stockbrokers and bankers that always end with, 'Aww, that whole venture collapsed. No refunds.'? Loki was certain that Trixie was currently wanted for questioning by the authorities.
"...pay for it," he finished. "You are a bottomless pit. Now. What sort of things?"
“Things.” One day, Thor would remind Loki that he’d spent a year or two living on Midgard and that he had made quite a bit of money for himself through commercials and modeling. Jane had ensured he had a bank account, and it had barely been touched during his random stints on Midgard.
Today was not that day though. One did not make money by spending money.
“Must you hover, brother? I have said all I wish to say on the matter. Darcy is a lovely woman who you absolutely do not deserve. I have agreed to keep her company in the mornings since you have no couth and cannot be bothered to awaken with her.” He took a bite of a chicken leg and grinned. “I also have informed her where the spare blankets are. It seems hers goes missing throughout the eve.”
Oh the brotherly cruelty. It is was like a rollercoaster that Loki now knew well with its twists and ups and downs, for he had been on a lone (successful!) date with Darcy to ride one.
Loki looked as though he was ready to slap that chicken right out of Thor's hands. Which is what he did. He leaned forward, raised one hand, and smacked the chicken onto the floor. Then he stood there, vengeful and triumphant.
"You are right, I do not deserve her. Thank you for pointing that out." He was fuming by that point, since he believed that he didn't, either. Although he was quick to add, "I'll be certain to point the same out to Jane Foster, should you ever decide to get off your overly hesitating arse and woo her."
The chicken laid there on the marble floor like 'OOOOO NO HE DINNIT' all accusing-like.
Thor was not amused. “Thoust should be thankful Mother did not witness such unbecoming nature.” His voice was calm and collected but there was a blue spark in his eyes. “If it is a fight you wish for, be prepared to lose soundly.” Why yes, he was completely ignoring the Jane comment. It was bad enough that was how Thor felt, but to have his brother bring it up? Uncalled for. Thor was being a gentleman, thank you very much. As crown prince -- king, KING -- he had to ensure he always behaved up to par.
“Now leave me be. I do not know why you insist on speaking to me when you are clearly upset.”
"Oh, am I the one who is upset?" Loki replied, spying a chink in the armor that some verbal knives could exploit with a well-aimed word jab here or there. "Or are you trying to be rid of me, because my words hit too close to the mark."
Loki leaned in, with an ear-to-ear smirk of massive proportions, the same way a royal advisor would lean in to whisper what someone should do. So that no other ears might hear it.
"You need to stop mucking about, brother. Make some overture, before the entire universe decides to collapse in on itself. Or..." And here Loki smiled brightly and his words became sickeningly sweet. "...are you afraid of the rejection? So boastful you are about how you could gain Darcy's eye with ease, and yet you can not even keep Jane's."
The remains of the roast chicken laid there on the floor, unbecomingly.
Then, to add insult to injury, a glob of cold coagulated chicken juice slid down one succulent chicken breast to land upon the marble tiles. Because there hasn't been enough mess caused by fighting between these two brothers already.
Thor didn't even think twice. Today had been an emotionally stressful day, and he'd had it with his brother.
Too fast to dodge, Thor punched Loki in the face, at a strength that would fell a mortal. Nothing stronger than his usual fights with his brother.
"Enough. I have asked you to give me space and you continue with your incessant yapping and jabs." A pause. "And you wasted food. Are you no better than a common barbarian, Loki?"
It had been an emotional week. When the punch landed, Loki staggered backward a few steps, and was counting his lucky stars (and a few residual sparkles of light behind his eyelids) that Thor was pulling his punches. It was a scuffle punch, of course, and they had done worse than this.
Loki touched the tips of his fingers to his upper lip and they came away bloody. Without moving his head, his gaze shifted from his fingers up to Thor's face.
A dagger suddenly sprung into the palm of his free hand.
"Enough? Oh, I hardly think I am done," he snarled, stalking forward with the intent to lunge and drive the point of the knife into Thor's side. Only he never finished the motion, having stepped down onto the slippery glob of coagulated chicken juice on the marble. Loki lost his balance for a second, skidding as he turned to stab give his brother a loving poke in the ribs to show his affection.
This too was nothing more than a usual fight with his brother. They've been doing some variation of this (sometimes with snakes), since they were 8.
The fates worked quickly, Thor thought as he pounced on his brother, capturing him in a headlock. The stab was a small thing, nothing that wouldn't fully heal within the next hour. As such, Thor practically forgot about it.
"Do you forget who your king is? I am ordering you to return to your chambers and leave me be!"
If Thor wasn't upset before, he definitely was now. The bloodlust he'd kept in check for so long was raging. It'd been far too long since his last battle.
Even in a headlock, Loki could summon knives all the livelong day. It didn't help matters that his own bitterness was gnawing at him, and he wasn't above a low blow or a petty comment.
"I should know my place! Is that what you are bidding me to do?" he yelled, jabbing the knife ineffectually at Thor, causing the equivalent of a cat scratch. Which is sadly appropriate, considering that Thor was pretty much a loyal pup and Loki the kitten with the claws out. Or at least that's how the two were depicted after the New York Incident, by fangirls in Japan with too much time on their hands and blurry long-distance photos from shaky cellphones.
"I am not some servant you can order from your sight when what I say is displeasing to you. You are a fool! Someone needs tell you such at times," he was growling, unable to break free of Thor's arm. It caused a moment of panic that had the knife flung to the floor so he could claw onto the arm with both hands. "If anything, Jane does not deserve you."
"Which is why I am not forcing my attentions on her again," Thor said through clenched teeth. They'd never been the type of siblings to share information, and Thor had always allowed Loki to make whatever assumptions he wanted. But now... he grew weary of having no confidante. It was more that they'd done this game for so long, how could they change? Every time he'd allowed his brother a glimpse, Loki had used that information for his own machinations.
He gave a tug on Loki's head, the fight almost out of him. It would be easy for Loki to get out now.
"I will allow her to set her own pace and make her own decisions. If she grants me a second chance, it would my greatest honour to be at her side. For now, I respect her final wishes: to be friends."
Like a snake slithering out of the grasp of an overeager child, Loki recoiled in the direction of away once he could wrench his head free of Thor's arm. For all extensive purposes, this also likely happened often when they children. And, as ever, they might fight, but they were once confidants when younger, with Loki's opinion counterbalancing Thor's.
He wasn't about to admit he had a small moment of panic for the arm around his neck for a split second, which was squashed when he reminded himself it was Thor, and there was a limit they would both reach before going too far. That limit had been reached, noted when Loki smoothed his hands down over the wrinkles in his clothes and shook his hair out. The blood on his upper lip was already drying. If there was a cut, it would be minuscule by the next day.
"Is this what she has explicitly asked of you, or is it implied without being spoken?" Loki asked, curiously.
Thor stood there, arms crossed in front of his chest, and tried to remember.
Some parts of that night he retained with maddening detail. The way her hair smelled. Her eyes in the morning. The fierce pride that swelled in his chest during her speech. He could remember wishing desperately to yell out his love for her, show everyone how jealous they should be of him, that he had the love of the most amazing being in all the nine realms.
And yet. He couldn't remember who had actually ended it.
"It matters now. What matters is it was decided upon, and both parties agreed."
Loki was giving Thor the driest stare in his arsenal. It was so dry, that it could turn an ocean into a desert in an instant.
Why? Because he knew that look. That arms crossed muscley look of lovestruck contemplation. Although never to the same degree as it was on display whenever Jane Foster was mentioned.
Loki's eyes rolled as he hung his head back to look up at the ceiling. And just as well too, as he swore he felt some blood plugging his left nostril a little bit and he was trying to save face by sniffing it up further. Damned Thor and his giant clobbering fists made of ham.
"Thor. Do you even recall what was said," Loki was asking, although he really looked as though he was talking to the ceiling. "Explicitly. Or are you merely going along with what you think Jane wants? Because I say unto you now, this entire universe could collapse at any given moment. And you would be an absolute imbecile not to see if you might make amends."
Loki lowered his head and rubbed one hand over his aching face, part of which was an impending headache that was not related to punches being thrown.
"Amends have been made. I was forced to parlay with that blue man and Star-Lord character in order to get her a gift. We are speaking and I am grateful for that."
What Loki said about the universe ending though...
"And do you know something, brother? About the universe?"
Loki sighed as though exasperated. Now that the stone was stupidly stashed away in a space he had magically created - as most sorcerers did - to contain their belongings or relics, to hide things? He could sense the power of the infinity stone all of the time now. It wasn't invasive, but constant. A skip or a jump could take him oh so far away. Even so, he had to hand it to Strange, it was convenient to bind it to another sorcerer. And better bound to him and his brother, than some other poor hapless idiot handing it over to Thanos.
"I am holding space stone, if you don't recall? I would truly hate to be a lesser being, should they be in the possession of one of these infernal creations." Loki tilted his head as he looked at Thor curiously. "It does not take much effort for one versed in magic to not sense that this universe is fragile. Thus we must eat, drink, and be merry whilst we are able. For tomorrow we might die. Or the next day. Possibly. If we're lucky."
Loki shrugged like that was a distinct possibility, indeed. It wasn't easy to tell how close that possibility was to reality, not where the God of Mischief was concerned.
Whatever thought Thor had had escaped as he heard his phone chirp a few times. Looking at the screen, he saw Steve's name and a message:
"Hey, big guy. Just so you hear it from me. Jane wanted someone to go with her to a baseball game. I said I'd go with her."
Oh. Thor's face became an impassive stone. Steve? Well, he was an honourable man, and much better suited to Jane. That made sense. Sending back a quick message stating he hoped they enjoyed their outing, he finally remembered he was with his brother.
"As said before. It matters not."
Stone was not a look that Thor wore well. It meant some change had taken place for the worst, and in this case it was during the time it took to read that message.
Loki was curious, as he sometimes was (although sometimes he couldn't be bothered to care). That was why he took a more conciliatory approach as he approached inch by inch, much more sheepish and seeming much less dangerous.
"Thor," and here he was more the brother from that time before he was broken, yet still able to recognize a broken thing. He felt it. Like a slow fault line cracking it's way through ice, that something, somewhere, was breaking. The utter fragility of the moment unsettled him, and he wasn't entirely sure it had to do with Thor either. "If it is, or was, important to you....then I dare say, it matters."
A sudden thought occurred to him.
"You should heed my advice. Why not eat, drink, and make merry with friends? Celebrate now that we are alive. You should invite your friends. I would do so, but...alas, I'm afraid yours truly would be the only one in attendance."
Loki smiled, eyebrows raised a little, and eyes full of mirth.
Images of Steve and Jane were flitting through his mind so he didn't realize Loki was getting closer. "I do have more friends than you," Thor responded idly, looking at the Loki-sized hole in the wall. That would need to be fixed if they were to have guests...
"A feast would be greatly enjoyed..."
Yes, well, they probably left plenty of holes in the wall. Loki barely even batted an eyelash at them. He blasted a few holes in the walls with his magic before.
"Yes, you do," Loki replied, drawing close enough to give Thor a brotherly pat on the back. If there were any hard feelings, they seemed to be left by the wayside for a moment. "Why do you not go invite them? I will clean this up, and I promise not to aid in our home being set on fire a second time."
At least this time they weren't under a lease and couldn't be kicked out.
Thor gave a tired grin and shook his head. "No, I assisted in this damage. It is only fair that I help."
He reached down and started picking up plaster. Crouched down, he looked at his brother. "I would not mention this to Mother if you also would not."
The damage, like most damage, was repairable. Loki gave Thor a impish grin and could have this cleaned up in no time at all, since he had a lifetime of experience using magic to mop up the messes left behind in their wake.
"Nary an ill word will be spoken," Loki quipped, meant as a humorous jab at himself to lift his brother's sagging spirits. "Pick up those pieces there so I can use them, and I shall set to work cleaning up another mess of our making."