Boltedfruit Archive

Not Allowed

Published: 2021-07-17

Category: M/M

Rating: M

Words: 2,608

Fandom: Thor

Ship: Thor/Loki

Characters: Thor, Loki

Tags: Alternate Universe – Human

Summary:

“Why me, though,” Loki rushes out. “I’m just your brother. I’m not your girlfriend, I’m not anybody.”

Author's Note

Originally posted 2014-2015.

When Thor turned eleven he got a true taste for dirt. He’d always had it really. One way or another he’d be covered in it, tracking it through the house on the bottoms of his shoes, rubbed into the weaving of his wool coats, scuffed onto his bare knees and split knuckles.

 

If Thor wasn’t shoving someone’s face in the dirt after school, then he was kicking or throwing a ball around and throwing himself right after it.

 

At thirteen, Loki saw Thor’s eyes glint as they watched the neighboring school’s football team run drills. They were men, giants at seventeen and eighteen years old and it seemed like an eon away from where they were then. Loki felt like a child, just a small boy, watching these adults launch a football halfway to the damn moon.

 

But Thor’s eyes followed that ball and in reality, when another player caught it at the other end of the field, yelling and hooting and chucking it harshly into the dirt beneath his feet, Loki had an idea what he’d be hearing about that night at dinner.

 

At sixteen, Thor reached six foot, Loki not far behind. They’d always been tall, but with the summer Loki thought they looked like giraffes. Gangling around and tripping over themselves. Puberty had come a little late for them, and they were unlucky enough that it hit them nearly overnight. Suddenly, Thor had this voice that could shake the gravel apart and Loki felt like a braying donkey. Thor had a beard at the end of a year and Loki still had his downy peachfuzz, which he didn’t mind too much. Thor had smacked him on the cheek with a sloppy kiss to annoy him one afternoon and he found he didn’t much like the feel of Thor’s beard razing his skin.

 

He didn’t mind when they turned seventeen and Thor came home from the gym after school, every day looking more and more like the men they’d seen all those years ago. Stacked muscle and an easy, loose grin that drew people to Thor like flies to meat.

 

Loki didn’t mind when Thor laughed as he had eyed the nail polish one day—still hesitant about making the decision to get it—when they were out at the mall together, Thor carefully preening and shifting around in his new jacket. The leather was crimson and the wool cream colored. The number stitched just below the blocky letters of Odinson roared a brave 18. It blared from every angle of the thing and Loki couldn’t escape it.

 

Thor had tugged on one of Loki’s bracelets, the metal digging into his wrist, before leading his brother away to go talk about homework they both had due.

 

 

Loki drew away. He had never been bothered before. He hadn’t.

 

But then Thor started talking about college. About leaving on scholarship. Telling their parents every night and every morning that Coach says this, and Coach says that.

 

Loki still felt a boy next to his brother. They were still young. Too young to be deciding the rest of their lives. Loki hated him.

 

When he told Thor he did, when the words just slipped out as Thor embraced him in a tight hug, Thor’s eyes had watered.

 

Then, in Loki’s stunned silence, Thor had turned on his heel and left the room with a muttered, “I don’t know why I bother sometimes.” Loki had never seen Thor cry before.

 

He felt awful.

 

He felt powerful.

 

And so, he drew away.

 

Thor let him.

 

 

“You’re eighteen now, what do you think will happen? After?”

 

Thor’s just finished off his burger. He swallows too hard at the thought he’d possibly be leaving town soon and Sif laughs at the face he makes. She sucks at her shake and waits for an answer, keen on any plans he has for after.

 

Truthfully, he hadn’t really thought on it past the idea of a football scholarship. “Don’t know. Coach says I might make it to the Superbowl with my arm one day. It’s as much answer as anyone else has.”

 

“But what about you? What do you want?” She asks, insistent.

 

When he ends up staring at the table in thought, Sif kicks him lightly, chuckling.

 

“Your head’s in the clouds. What’s wrong?”

 

“Nothing. There’s only a few more games left before the season ends…”

 

“And?”

 

He shrugs. He eyes the time on his phone and sighs. Another two hours and he’ll be home free to sneak past Loki.

 

“Thor, really. Did someone come by and cut your tongue out?”

 

Thor laughs weakly. “Loki has another year left. I have no idea where he’s going, after.”

 

“What, he hasn’t told you? Or he doesn’t know?”

 

“We don’t really…talk. Not anymore.”

 

Sif sees his expression, for her own falters. She’s never been good at expressing her feelings, always preferring to tell others off in their school than giving into their gossip. She never took anyone’s shit, especially not Thor’s.

 

Now, her face softens, her mouth quivers, stiffening into a frown.

 

For all her gruffness, Sif does care. At least he thinks so, most of the time.

 

“I thought you’d two had just been busy. What happened?”

 

“I don’t know, honestly. I think he’s angry with me. Dad’s laid into him enough about it, but Loki just yells back. You know how they can get.”

 

“If you remember, I was at your house once when all three of you decided it was prime time to get into a yelling match. I’m surprised I didn’t need a hearing aid after.”

 

Thor shakes his head. “That’s the thing though, he doesn’t do that anymore. He keeps to himself. Barely talks to me or Dad. If Dad starts getting annoyed about his silences, Loki just goes into his room and shuts the door, or leaves the house. The most I hear from him is when he talks to Mom.” She just hums and Thor frowns.

 

“Have you tried asking him?” she says. “Asking him what?”

 

She gapes and kicks him again, harder.

 

“Asking him everything. What’s wrong, if he’s mad, if something happened? Like, fuck, it sounds like something serious happened. He sounds depressed.”

 

“Depressed? No way,” Thor rushes out. Sif is still frowning, but peering up at him with wide eyes. “He can’t be. I wouldn’t have missed that. He’s more angry than anything. He eats, he laughs with Mom. It’s not like he’s ailing when he’s at home…?” But now he’s wondering and the thought is like rot. Eating through to every sour memory he has of the last two years.

 

“Ask him. I bet it’s nothing, but you never know. I mean I know we’ve had our differences, but he’s still fine with saying ‘fuck off’ whenever I ask him for any bio notes I missed.”

 

Thor huffs at her but relents, sliding slightly in his seat.

 

“He won’t talk to me.” Maybe he thinks I don’t want to talk to him, Thor thinks, remembering the fight they’d had a while back.

 

“Keep at it. Show him you care enough to listen.” She’s back to drinking her milkshake. Thor can hear her scrape the straw against the bottom of the cup.

 

“How can he not know, Sif? I’m his brother,” he mutters. “I love him.” “But does he know that?” she asks, and it has Thor wondering.

 

 

Loki wakes up to the bed shifting beneath him. It’s dipping and he wonders if he’s still dreaming and sinking into the floor.

 

But then he can see his clock glaring a bright red six in the morning at him and he groans. When he looks up, it’s Thor sitting at the edge of his bed, twiddling his thumbs and looking down at Loki like he expects Loki to bite him.

 

He has half the thought to.

 

“What the hell, Thor?” he manages, raising an arm over his eyes. It’s Thursday and they have school in three hours.

 

Thor makes a sound and then cuts himself short. Loki waits for his brother to try again.

 

“Come to my game tonight,” he says.

 

Loki lifts his arm and squints up at Thor. Thor is staring at the floor now and for all the time that’s passed, Loki feels like pulling Thor into his bed and snuggling into his arms like they were only boys.

 

But he just feels his fingers flex, twitching near his temple.

 

“And why would I do that? It’s a brutish sport and the entire thing smells like sweat. Sweat and weed.”

 

Thor smiles and it’s sad, and Loki doesn’t know why. He angles his head towards Loki but he still doesn’t raise his eyes. For some reason, it’s infuriating.

 

“I thought it might cheer you up—”

 

“What.”

 

“If you’re sad, or something, I don’t know. I thought—”

 

“The only sad thing here is your excuse for waking me up this early. Go back to bed.”

 

“I haven’t slept all night,” Thor tells him, and it has Loki focusing to clear his vision to get a good look at him.

 

Thor’s in jeans and his sweater, the cuffs of his flannel peaking out. His eyes are haggard, red and dark and the blue is almost mechanic, peering out at him. But he’s finally looking at Loki and it’s like breathing again.

 

“Maybe.”

 

Thor looks confused.

 

And Loki wants to snap his tongue because he’s tired and he feels like he’s suddenly made of candy brittle, his secrets and his fears all hanging on one, too simple a word. Bared for Thor to snap or lick up as he chooses.

 

But he can’t take it back now. Can’t pretend he didn’t say anything.

 

“I might go. Tonight. Just let me sleep, will you?”

 

Thor seems shocked and then he’s bracing an arm over Loki, smiling over him.

 

“I can see your gums you’re grinning so widely, it’s too early for this—” Loki grumbles.

 

Thor tries for words but he’s too tired or too happy to come off as anything but tongue-tied, so he just leans down and butts his forehead with Loki’s. He’s gentle about it, and it’s early, and Loki’s breath leaves him too fast. And he remembers why he decided to pull away rather than to exert control. It’s easier like this, like how he’s made it been, not being near each other.

 

Loki feels his face heat, his ears burn hot. Thor is too close. He can nearly taste Thor’s breath. He’s made a mistake by allowing himself to give in and say that he might go. Too risky. Too close.

 

“Go brush your teeth, idiot,” Loki murmurs. Thor has closed his eyes and up so close, Loki can just make out from the corner of his vision the sight of long lashes, the downy blond hairs clinging light to Thor’s cheeks.

 

The word beautiful is trapped too closely on his tongue, and so he tips his face to the side, effectively ending the moment.

 

Thor doesn’t even seem to notice. He’s up and walking backwards out of Loki’s room, quietly saying his thanks and all manner of compliments before Loki can even process what just happened.

 

He swallows thickly and doesn’t go back to sleep. He can’t find it, his heart is thundering too loudly.

 

 

Thor is distracted all through his game. It’s halfway into the third quarter and his eyes are blurring from the sweat coating his brow. He scans the crowd for Loki, but it’s useless.

 

Coach Tyr sees his focus is on the bleachers and not on the field in front of him. He gets yelled at twice for it before he’s finally sat out.

 

But he’s nervous and it hardly matters. Now he can scan the crowds appropriately. Some girls hoot at him to get his attention but as he is, he can’t force a smile for them. He’s biting his lip and looking for his brother.

 

There’s disappointment settling thick in his throat, then the anger comes as a sorry thing.

 

It starts to rain and they lose the game.

 

 

When he gets back home, Loki’s at his computer in his jeans and a tank top. He’s still wearing his beanie and Thor remembers countless times where he’s just gone and tugged it off, simply to annoy his brother. But now, when he passes Loki’s room and Loki meets his gaze he feels upset. Thor walks past and into their shared bathroom, focused on taking a hot shower.

 

 

Thor tries again the next week.

 

“Come tonight.”

 

He sees Loki swallow, his eyes shifting to the side in the dark. It’s late and their parents are in bed already, but Thor knows Loki usually doesn’t find sleep until around two.

 

“Why?”

 

Thor sighs, dragging a hand through his hair. He sits on Loki’s bed again and Loki tucks his legs underneath him. It feels like if any part of his body, even covered by blankets, touches Thor it will burn him. His skin feels like its tingling.

 

“Because I only have a couple games left and then there won’t be anymore. You’ve never even been to one.”

 

“Because they’re boring,” he says.

 

Thor shakes his head. “I want you there. Even if it’s only once, I want you to go.”

 

“But why? You have Sif. She goes to all your games.”

 

“She’s on Cheer, she has to.”

 

Loki snorts and lies farther back into his pillows. Thor pulls off his shoes and awkwardly worms himself backward until he can turn himself and wiggle into the space between the wall and Loki. Loki just watches him, wondering what this is. Why he’s trying.

 

He’s shaking, so he clutches his hands together to hide it from Thor’s wandering eyes.

 

“You’ll have plenty of games in the future, it’s just high school,” Loki says quietly.

 

Thor shrugs, linking his fingers together over his stomach. “I don’t know.”

 

“I thought Tyr was foaming at the bit to get you in the NFL.”

 

“He is, but I’m not. I don’t know.”

 

Loki turns on his side because now he’s curious. He knows Thor isn’t stupid where it counts. He has grades that shame almost half of his team. He doesn’t need a scholarship, but it’s always nice. Thor’s always been so focused on sports; football, baseball, swimming. Tennis or running or biking on his days off. The only thing he did competitively was football.

 

“High school famed quarterback refuses scholarship to pursue bioengineering, maybe? Would make a decent headline one day,” Loki says, forcing a laugh.

 

But Thor isn’t laughing. He turns onto his side and meets Loki’s eyes. Loki can better hide his shaking arms this way but the proximity is enticing. He feels like he needs to scratch the skin from his bones. He feels like he should just give in, close his eyes and lean forward to feel Thor against him.

 

But that isn’t allowed.

 

“Maybe. Please, Loki,” he whispers. “I’d like you to be there. I want to see you in the stands.”

 

“Why me, though,” Loki rushes out. “I’m just your brother. I’m not your girlfriend, I’m not anybody.”

 

Thor looks hurt and he grabs Loki’s hands up. “Of course you are, you’re my brother, that’s everything.” Thor’s throat works and the next words are choked out with some difficulty, “You’re everything to me. I don’t need anyone else.”

 

Thor scoots closer until their foreheads are touching, then Loki’s hand has found its way to Thor’s cheek. His fingers are skimming the very edge of his beard and Thor’s eyes are wide and shining.

 

When Loki’s thumb finds Thor’s lower lip, Thor closes his eyes.

 

They fall asleep.