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Odin…” You’re pressed against each other and you feel hard muscles and rough scars and scratchy, his beard is rough beneath your hands and you half want to yank it just to see what’ll happen and his one eye is like fire staring at you, blazing gray-blue and your fingers wander beneath his eyepatch, lift and brush away and he lets, and you just know you’re the only one other than Frigg who he lets do that, you brush it away and he opens his hollow eye and you see the emptiness there and that hurts, somehow, even though he did it willingly; like he went and became this, became the All-father without your permission, without your input and against your will but you couldn’t stop him if you tried, but the image kind of hurts nonetheless, a shudder wanting to run down your spine at the thought of him plucking his eye out, handing it over for knowledge—that’s always been his weak point, wisdom, knowledge, knowing—he’s such a huge sucker for it and you want to smack him, because there’s more to that in the world, doesn’t he realize that? Doesn’t he?

…You’re an idiot,” you say, glaring at him. You’re completely breaking up the moment and probably doing the equivalent of a cold shower but you really don’t care right now, that just makes it all the more satisfying. “A complete, absolute, total fool. And I think you should know, because nobody else is going to tell you.”

He blinks, and the intense look fades from his eye and he looks… slightly confused, and then wryly amused, rueful, and you know he knows; and he knows you know he knows and you know that, you both know you’re telling the truth and you’re both aware of that, and you’re also aware of the fact that it’s going to change absolutely nothing and that makes this rough, breaking feeling just tear through your chest like a silent, suppressed sob, because why, this—all so limited and trapped and fate and you’re so frustrated, so angry, bitter and jaded and fed up with this, why not try to change it, why keep conforming, why keep perpetuating this whole thing—

You jerk away, away from him, roll off the bed and pick up your clothes with choppy motions, yanking them on angrily, furious suddenly for no reason whatsoever and yet all the reason in the world—


You glance at him—glare—sharply over your shoulder. Waiting. Listening.


Why should I?” you snap. “What reason have you given me? Why do I put up with you? Give me one, give me one good reason I should put up with your miserable, pathetic, worthless presence.” And it’s all in your own head, he didn’t actually do anything this time—he knows nothing of your random mood swing—

…Because we’re brothers.” And the unspoken, lingering in the air: ‘I love you.’

And that makes you want to sneer. ‘Oh, do you?’

Oh, are we now? That’s the only thing you can come up with? A shame, I thought you were better than that.”

You turn away, start walking away, but before you reach the door there’s his hand on your shoulder that you itch to slap away but you just remain still. Silent.


…I hate you, you know that? You never play fair.” But you know you don’t mean it, you really don’t, deep down—because he’s right, you’re brothers sworn in blood to each other and that means so much…

…I know.”

…damn it to Hel, Odin—! You—you’re—”

I know.”

…I hate you… I really hate you sometimes.”

I know.”

Say something else, can’t you—?!”

…Loki.” Breath gusts over your neck, making you shiver.

Stop that.”

…I’m sorry.”

…mm. All right. Good enough for now. But I still hate you, understand?”



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July 2012

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