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The Unquiet Thought

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The first thing it knows is a sudden warmth. And voices.

It looks.

There is a large thing before it.

The thing is light and tall, with panels of silver that shine, and when the thing notices it looking, its… mouth? Yes, mouth. Its mouth widens in a curve up.

Something inside clicks and there is sudden softness in its chest. It bows.

“Sire.”

“Hello, Loki.”

It cocks its head. Loki?

There is a darker thing that stands to the side and watches it, but doesn’t move. The darker thing’s mouth curves down; it says nothing.

“Come,” Sire drapes an arm around its shoulders. “I will take you to where you are staying.”

It follows Sire out of the room.

-

When Loki looks up, his eyes are warm and open. There is brightness there that Thor has not seen in eons, and none of the distrust and annoyance he has become accustomed to. When their eyes meet, a soft smile curls its way onto Loki’s lips and Thor laughs out a quiet exhale.

His brother is back, happiness bursts inside him. They will have another chance.

He cannot stop himself from reaching out, pulling Loki close.

“Come,” he grins. “I will take you to where you are staying.”

Loki is uncommonly quiet as he leads him to the elevator, attentive to everything Thor says and points out as they pass. When he had asked upon his return from Svartálfaheimr, explained Loki’s impending exile, Tony Stark had graciously allowed his brother to join them in the tower. There would be no concerns for their safety now (and he had been worried, his new shield brothers were strong, but they were mortal, and his brother was like an unsheathed knife left in the room of a child).

The doors to the elevator open to the receiving room of his floor. He will make it up to the mortal, he decides as he walks his brother to the center of the room; the generosity he has shown to one that had nearly caused him great harm was unexpected, but deeply appreciated.

“Thor?” Steve’s voice comes from the walls. “I, uh, thought you should know that the dwarves are being escorted back up to the landing pad. JARVIS patched me through.”

“Thank you, my friend.” Thor finds himself mildly relieved. He is unsettled when they work on Loki and if there had been another choice he would not have brought them. Loki tilts his head up at the voice, like a hunting dog scenting the air.

“I offered to see them up, but they were- they declined. Should you-?”

“Our business is concluded. Heimdall will return them to their realm.”

“Alright then, how is- I’ll just- um, leave you two to al-” The Captain begins to trail off, and then the sound is cut mid sentence.

Thor waits for the voice to return, but shrugs when it does not and turns back to Loki, who has been standing patiently by his side. The hand Thor had been guiding him with still rests on Loki’s shoulder and Thor delights in the prolonged casual touch that had been denied to him since before his banishment.

"JARVIS runs the tower.” He gestures widely; Loki looks to him with eyes that glint like jewels as they pass by a large window. “He is one of Tony Stark’s attendants. If you should find yourself in need of anything while you are becoming accustomed to the tower, he is at your disposal. Simply ask.”

The walls are silent.

Thor leads Loki through the rest of his floor.

He leaves him in the guest room to orient himself (Loki needs space, he reminds himself, it will make his brother uncomfortable if he clings too closely for too long), with promises to return for him before the evening feast.

When he shuts the door behind him, Thor feels lighter than he had for some months. The tension from the dwarves’ visit falls off him on the way to his own chambers. As he walks he unsnaps and unbuckles his armor; it feels stifling, uncomfortable in a way it hasn’t been since he first tried it on.

He will rebuild with his brother, they will start fresh. Soon everything will go back as it once was.

Perhaps he shall take him to purchase books tomorrow. Loki always liked books.

He reaches for Mjolnir where it had been left on the table beside his bed.