AN: This was written for the following prompt on Norsekink:
"Sheer, utter, brother fluff. Thor loves to sit his smaller little brother on his lap and cuddle/pet him, even when they are adults. It's completely platonic, with Thor being his affectionate self. Loki has long grown used to this and just accepts the comfy warm chair. Maybe even falls asleep there. The Avengers (AU with always-good!Loki I guess) are a little confused as to what exactly the relationship between Thor and Loki is."
Disclaimer: They're not mine, they never were, and they never will be.
Five People Who Were Fazed By Loki Sitting on Thor's Lap, and One Who Wasn't
Tony wondered, sometimes, how he had gone from "consultant" to "host/landlord" to SHIELD's best, brightest, and weirdest. Like now. There were two Norse Gods in his kitchen sharing a chair, a newspaper, and an enormous stainless steel mixing bowl full of Cheerios.
"Greetings, Tony Stark!"
"'Morning, Hammertime. Any particular reason you guys are sharing a bowl?" And a chair? "I have lots of bowls." And chairs.
"My brother and I could not find another equal to this one; all the others were of a smaller size. It is befitting of brothers to share rather than be on unequal footing."
"Hunh. And the lap sitting?"
Thor scowled and slung an arm around Loki protectively. "You find something objectionable about brothers expressing affection?" Loki simply smirked, the bastard.
Tony raised his hands, "No, no. Just wondering how that chair is holding up; don't want it to break and drop you on your asses. Don't the two of you together weigh more than my suit?"
"I have reinforced it with magic," Loki supplied, still smirking. Well, Tony supposed he would be smug too if he had the God of Thunder wrapped around his little finger. Being able to reduce someone to their base atoms and not having to because your bro would smash them to bits before you even asked? Forget the Tesseract, *that* was power.
"'K." Wait. Tony pointed at him, "I asked you not to magic my stuff. If you guys need to share a chair so bad I'll make ones that can take it."
Thor grinned brilliantly while Loki's smirk only deepened, "Thank you, Man of Iron, for your kind offer."
"And I'm painting them pink!"
"Would that not ruin the décor of your lovely home?"
"I need to remember not to talk to you before my third cup of coffee."
Loki nodded sagely, "That is probably wise."
Now Thor looked smug; it must be a family thing. Or an Asgard thing. Tony should probably get a summer home there. He could definitely out-smug a bunch of aliens; his psych eval said so.
In the end, Tony built a single chair that, while looking like an ordinary kitchen chair, could support over a ton.
He painted it red and gold.
Thor loved it.
Loki, apparently, did too.
Clint had assumed, when the red and gold chair showed up in the kitchen, that it was just another of Stark's this-is-my-house-dammit statements. The guy didn't like to be handed things from anyone other than Potts, so maybe his billionaire ass couldn't share a seat with the rest of the peons. Obviously, this meant Clint made a point to use that particular chair every chance he got, but this morning someone had beaten him to it.
"Good morning!" Thor greeted.
"'Morning. You like using Stark's 'special' chair too, huh?"
"Oh yes! He was quite sporting about the whole thing."
"Wait, he knows you use it? And he doesn't care?" There went another one of Clint's small pleasures in life.
"Of course! He built it for us as he offered to do, even though I gather he did not intend his offer to be taken seriously."
"Then he should not have made it," Loki smirked from the doorway.
"Good morning, brother!"
"My brother and I were seated together upon a chair and Tony Stark professed concern that it would collapse. When my brother informed him he had used magic to prevent such an occurrence, the Man of Iron said he would prefer he not do that, and that he would build one with his science instead. Loki accepted the offer, and he built us such a chair; he even adorned it with the colors of his armor rather than the color he initially said he would!"
"And what color was that?"
"Pink," Loki supplied before placing his mug of tea and a large bowl of fruit in the table.
Pink? "And why were you guys sharing a chair?"
Thor sighed and tugged on Loki's arm, pulling his brother into his lap. "Tony Stark asked that as well; is it really such an uncommon thing on your world for brothers to show affection in such a way?"
Clint caught himself before his jaw sagged open. Two full-grown alien princes, sitting on each other's laps in a chair specially made by Stark so that it would not "collapse"? And the genius had wanted to paint it pink? And now Loki was smirking as he plucked some grapes from the bowl and relaxed against his brother.
"Yeah…" Clint said, "We don't really… do that here. Between brothers. Or sisters. Or any family, really."
Thor frowned, "That is most disheartening to hear."
"Now now, Thor," Loki said, "We must respect that the mortals have different traditions; much has changed since our people were here last. And it was kind of Mr. Stark to accommodate us with this chair, was it not?"
Thor smiled and nodded, "It was indeed. As the Man of Iron has shown acceptance of how I wish to show affection for you, I will accept that humans show affection differently. Your families do embrace in other ways, do they not?"
Clint could not believe he was involved in this conversation. He grabbed his coffee as he replied hastily, "Yeah, just not like that. *Specifically*, not like that. I'll uh, see you guys around." Time for a tactical retreat; Natasha definitely had to hear about this!
Natasha was 90% percent certain that Stark had not actually built an "alien sex chair" for the visiting princes to engage in incestuous relations on, but there was a .5% chance that she had read the brothers' relationship wrongly and 9.5% chance that Stark would decide to built an alien sex toy just because. If that was the case, they were lucky he hadn't caused an interplanetary incident, but that was always the case with Stark.
Fortunately, the kitchen was not a protected area, and it was not difficult to get JARVIS to release the security feeds (Natasha had been surprised, initially, when the princes had shown neither interest in nor concern about the fact that Stark's AI filmed everything that happened on Stark's property, but then Thor had explained about Heimdall; apparently that sort of thing was par for the course with them.)
First Natasha viewed the exchange with Clint. Thor and Loki's body language was genuinely and mutually affectionate, but with zero sexual overtones. Loki was also obviously trolling Clint and enjoying it, but if the archer hadn't been able to see that himself, she felt no need to fill him in.
Then she scrolled through the older files and found the confrontation with Stark (less than 24 hours before the chair showed up in the kitchen; it was amazing how quickly Stark could work, even on inconsequential projects). Once again, the brothers were purely platonic with one another, and even Stark had realized that. It was, however, enlightening (and enjoyable), to watch how easily Loki had manipulated the billionaire.
Natasha pulled out her tablet and made a note in Stark's file to, if possible, wait until early morning to ask the inventor for anything. And, if possible and needed, to enlist Loki's aid in doing so. As she updated the file, the video continued to play, and it was really rather interesting to watch how the brothers interacted.
After Stark took his coffee and left, they returned to reading the newspaper they had been sharing. Loki was obviously the faster reader, but he waited patiently for Thor to finish before turning the page. Their conversation about the things they read was also enlightening; for super-powered near-immortal aliens, they showed a remarkable amount of interest in how humans lived. Thor in particular seemed concerned about humans being injured or killed, and whenever they reached such a story, he would adjust his grip on Loki's shoulder or waist. Whenever he did that, Loki would lean in slightly or make a gesture of reassurance.
When the princes had first arrived on Earth, Natasha had spent a great deal of time observing them, in person as well as though security feeds, but then she had been looking for signs of aggression or duplicity. Now that she was looking for something entirely different, she saw things she had not seen before. How Loki would often roll his eyes at a gesture of concern from Thor while simultaneously leaning into his touch; how Thor would smile at this. How Loki would place a calming hand on Thor's back or arm when they read a particularly upsetting article; how Thor instinctively relaxed when he did so.
Over the course of her career as a spy, Natasha had seen many teams that well synchronized in battle, but never before had seen one interact this way in a purely domestic setting. Trust often only went so far, even in the most devoted of partners; but the trust between Thor and Loki appeared truly limitless. She wondered how they had managed to build such a thing, and was also intensely grateful that Coulson had ignored the suggestion to attempt to separate them for their first contact with SHIELD; it clearly would not have gone well for anyone involved.
Pepper had been out of town for the whole business with the chair, but she had asked Tony about it after the fact when she spotted it in the kitchen. At first she had not believed him when he explained what it was for – instead assuming it was yet another Tony's tributes to his own ego – but several days later she was returning from a late meeting when she found Thor and Loki asleep on a sofa in front of the TV.
Thor was seated on one end with Loki in his lap, the brunet's long legs stretched out over the other two cushions. They had both had the courtesy to remove their shoes, and she had to laugh when she saw that they were both wearing Christmas socks in March; Loki's were green with gold stars, and Thor's were red with silver polka dots.
Now Pepper had walked in on a lot of bizarre tableaus in her years working and for (and later, dating) Tony Stark, but there was something different about this one. She tilted her head, wondering what it might be. It wasn't the lack of liquor bottles (Tony had been a lot better about that since his bout with palladium poisoning) or that both the figures on the couch were male (she had found Tony and Rhodey passed out together more than once with no evidence of female companionship in sight), but there was just something about how the brothers were leaning on one another that struck her as unique.
After a moment, she simply shook her head and had JARVIS lower the volume on the TV so it would not bother anyone else in the vicinity, before slipping off her heels and heading off for the bedroom she shared with Tony. She hoped he was in the mood for a bit of cuddling.
Life was strange. Before he was frozen, Steve would never had guessed that of all the people he knew, the princes of an alien civilization would prove to be the best companions for watching television and movies. While they constantly talked over the dialogue, so did almost everyone Steve had met since waking up in 21st century, and the brothers' bafflement at what they saw tended to mirror Steve's own. The lap sitting did seem a little strange to Steve, what didn't these days?
Today they were watching something called "Bar Rescue", a program about experts swooping in and rescuing failing bars. Steve appreciated the general idea of helping small businesses, and he found some of the reasoning behind certain changes interesting, but he did think the whole thing would have been a lot more enjoyable with a lot less yelling on the experts' parts. However, Thor and Loki did not seem to agree, as they were both watching with rapt fascination.
Abruptly, Thor announced, "Brother, I am hungry!"
"I am shocked," Loki replied dryly.
"Are you not hungry as well?"
Loki shook his head. "I am finding this science of manipulating bar patrons intriguing. I will eat later."
Thor frowned, "You are certain?"
"Yes, but you should eat if you require it," And without tearing his gaze from Stark's enormous flat-screen, Loki shifted off Thor's lap so that the blond could stand.
Thor sat, almost pouting, for a moment more, then rose reluctantly. "I will return shortly." Loki nodded, and Thor left.
A bit bored by the show but too unsettled by the images of food and alcohol contaminated by rodent droppings to consider joining Thor for a snack, Steve instead turned to contemplating the interaction he had just witnessed. It was strange sometimes, how Thor hovered over his brother who, as far as Steve could tell, could more than take care of himself. And stranger still, Loki did not seem to mind; sometimes he even seemed to revel in it.
"I dislike being started at, Captain."
Steve jumped slightly and looked away; lost in his thoughts, he had not realized he had been staring. "Sorry. I was just thinking about something."
"A dangerous occupation."
Steve chuckled. "I suppose so."
"You wonder why I allow Thor to coddle me so."
Steve blinked. How had he known what Steve was thinking? He hadn't even looked away from the television yet!
Loki smirked, "Like Thor, you are terribly transparent, Captain."
Steve shrugged, "I guess so. Always wore my heart on my sleeve, as they say."
Loki smiled faintly. "I do not. I am exceptionally good at keeping my own counsel, once to very ill effect. I allow Thor liberties because he worries about his ability to perceive what I do not say aloud."
Steve nodded. "I can understand that."
"Good. Also understand that should anyone else attempt to take such liberties, my retaliation would be both swift and brutal." His eyes never left the TV.
"What kind of retaliation?"
"It will be tailored to the individual and degree of offense, but should you get the chance, you might wish to ask Dr. Foster's former assistant about the fate of her music playing device."
"Wait, I thought that was just a story they told to new agents. Did you really-?
Loki's grin made Steve shiver.
Bruce was making scrambled eggs and home fries when Thor and Loki entered the kitchen.
"Good morning, Dr. Banner!" Thor greeted.
"Morning, Thor, Loki. The water in the kettle is still hot if you want tea."
"My thanks," Loki said, fetching a mug from the cabinet.
Bruce kept his eyes on his food while he listened to the brothers bustle around behind him. Years spent in locations with limited access to sanitation had made him particular about cooking food (he had once hulked out when infected with a severe strain of e-coli; that was not a risk he was willing to take again). When his eggs and potatoes were fully cooked, he filled his plate, turned off the burner, and took a seat at the table with Thor and Loki.
Thor had claimed the single red and gold chair, Loki perched on his lap as they perused the paper.
"Can one of you guys pass me the salt?"