Loki's room was clean.
He'd been more than a little startled by that, at first. It was alarming. Mother must have had it cleaned up while he was out with Thor. Some of the things were merely fixed, but some of what he'd broken was beyond repair. So those things had been changed. It made the room feel like a cunning replacement of the one that had been his.
Loki ached, deep inside. From crying and not sleeping and everything else. His eyes hurt him.
He didn't want a replacement. He wanted something in his life that was still the same. He would have been happy enough to pick his way across the floor, push things off the bed, and sleep there. At least that mess was his. This room was foreign to him and made worse, somehow, by how closely it resembled his room as it had been.
It was his own fault, he decided sullenly. If he hadn't smashed everything, it wouldn't have been replaced. He couldn't blame them for doing what they could to fix it when Mother asked them to.
He scrubbed at his eyes.
It didn't even matter. Not really. He just needed to sleep. Then he could get up, and try to find a way to live his life. Then sleep again, and just keep going. He didn't like any of it, but it wasn't any of it his choice. Not really. And the less he thought about it, the better. Thinking hurt, and he was tired of hurting. He just needed to sleep.
The door squeaked as it opened, and Loki whirled irritably to face it. He didn't see why he couldn't have this one thing. He just wanted to be left alone to sleep. Was that so much?
Apparently so. Thor stood in the doorway, in his pajamas, hugging a pillow.
Irritation flickered and faded, succumbing to a confusion Loki was too tired to adequately voice, so he said nothing. He'd spent so long in the gardens with Mother that Thor had already eaten his dinner and gone to do something else by the time they came in. Loki had eaten, nearly fallen asleep at the table, and almost cried all over again when he admitted to Mother that he just wanted to sleep. He hadn't seen Thor in all that time, or Father, or anybody. And he didn't want to see them.
His eyes felt like they were full of sand.
"Loki, I –" Thor faltered, looking embarrassed.
Loki frowned, wondering what on earth could have happened now.
Deciding finally to just get on with it, Thor blurted, "Can I sleep with you? I…don't want to sleep by…" he scuffed his foot on the floorboards, "by myself."
Loki thought about that. He wondered if Thor expected to be made fun of. Glancing Thor over, Loki concluded that he probably did. He decided that it didn't matter what Thor expected. Loki yawned, then shrugged.
Thor didn't wait for a better answer. He shut the door behind him.
Loki wondered what could have made Thor decide to push through the fear that he would make fun of him and come to his door anyway. On closer inspection, he decided he'd rather not speculate. He couldn't fix anything. For Thor or for anybody.
By the time they'd lain down, Loki was almost asleep. Thor moved closer to him, shaking the bed, and he put a heavy arm across Loki's middle, jerking him awake.
Loki wanted to be angry, but he was too tired for that. He was going to push Thor away.
Thor's head nuzzled against Loki's shoulder blades. "I love you, Little Brother," he whispered.
Startled, Loki blinked at the darkness.
Thor's forehead pressed against his back. His arm tugged Loki as close as comfort allowed. Thor didn't laugh, and he didn't try to say anything else.
Tentatively, Loki moved in the dark. He didn't turn to face Thor, but he fumbled one hand free of the blankets, and he put it over Thor's, like he had to convince himself it was really there.
"I love you too," he admitted.