Hi! This story is meant to be a bit of a silly, but I hope humourous and entertaining look at a younger Sif and Loki. There will be a good few chapters, so I hope you continue reading. It was written for this prompt over at LJs Norsekink - "I'd like to see Loki teach Sif how to dance for a formal occasion at Asgard."
NB - I have recently combined chapters 1 and 2, as I've decided it flows much better this way!
“Ow!” Sif cried out as a pin pierced her skin. It was only a sharp, mild pain, but it caught Sif by surprise. “Watch what you are doing, mother!”
“Well, if you would stay still, Sif, it would be far easier.” Her mother chastised, looking up at her from the floor, where she knelt to hem Sif’s dress.
“I do not see why I even have to go!” Sif answered sullenly.
“Because you are coming of age and you are a well bred lady of this realm.” Her mother sighed, standing up and brushing her palms down her legs wearily.
“But I do not want to be a lady, I want to be a warrior!” Sif replied indignantly, spinning round in her ill fitting ball gown to face her mother.
“And so you shall, Sif.” Her mother irritably turned her back around before she began pinning her bodice. “But you are eighteen now and must be formally presented at court to the King and Queen.”
“But why?” Sif cried, unashamed by how petulant she sounded. She may be training to be a warrior of Asgard, but she should still be able to whine at her mother when she felt like it. “I already see the King and Queen all the time! I only saw them yesterday when me, Thor and Loki were…” She let her voice trail off, deciding reminding her mother of that would not help her case too much.
“Quite,” her mother replied, before she let out an audible sigh which did make Sif feel slightly guilty. She knew she was always a disappointment to her parents, not doing what a normal lady should do, but being a proper lady was so boring! “But why must I attend some stupid coming out ball when I have no intentions of being a lady!”
“Well, how else are you ever going to be accepted by the court and find a husband?”
“But I have no desire for a husband!” Sif spun around and stamped her foot then, not caring when a few pins fell out of her dress.
“You will one day.” Her mother sighed wearily again and ignored her daughter’s venomous glare. “Oh Sif, you have no choice! You are required to attend your first Asgardian ball when you turn eighteen, whether you want to, or not.”
Sif sulked a few moments more, clenching her fists in the stupid red dress her mother had made her put on. “Fine!” She eventually cried, “But why do I have to wear this stupid dress!”
“Because you are not a boy, Sif.”
“So! Why can I not wear my normal armour, it is far more comfortable.” Anything would be more comfortable than this ridiculously fluffy hooped skirt and the stupid corset her mother had forced her into. It had taken a few moments to learn how to even breathe in the thing and that was saying something, for Sif was used to tight bindings for protection underneath her armour.
“If you wear your armour, Sif, everyone will think you are a boy.” When her daughter continued to glower at her, she added teasingly, “And then you will have to dance with the girls.”
Sif wrinkled her nose up in disgust at that thought, she hated when she was made to spend time with the other girls; they were so silly and boring. All they talked about were clothes and jewels and all they did was giggle and hatch up plots to spy on the boys. The boys had always been much more interesting to talk to, though even then they sometimes had an annoying tendency to talk about the girls. At least they were much more easily distracted by talk of weapons and fighting.
Mercifully, her mother had soon given up on making Sif spend any amount of time with the silly, giggly girls a few years ago. The fact that she had punched stupid Sigyn in the nose may have helped influence her mother’s decision, not that that was why she had done it, of course. As she told her mother, it was the silly tart’s fault for spreading false rumours about Loki. How dare the little brat besmirch her friend’s name and claim to have kissed him behind the weapons store room!
“Fine! But I am not standing around for any more of these stupid fittings!” She pulled away from her mother and stomped towards her room, ignoring the pins as they stuck into her. She had just reached the door when her mother called out, “Make sure you are back by six, Sif, you have a dancing class at seven.”
“What!” Sif spun around on her heels so fast that nearly all the pins cascaded to the floor and the hooped skirt banged against the wall. She glared at her mother with such venom in her fierce gaze it would have made even Thor draw back from her in fear.
Her mother, however, just crossed her arms and looked at her daughter in mild condescension. “Yes, you have a dancing class at 7, Sif, and I would prefer for you not to be late.”
“Why on earth do I need to learn to dance!”
“Well, how else are you going to dance at the ball?”
Sif sputtered a moment, before she quickly countered, “I do not need to dance! I just need to go, that is all!”
Another sigh of exasperation was the first response from her mother, before she said, much more gently, “You will be expected to dance, Sif, and if you do not know how, it will not only bring shame upon us all, but embarrass you exceedingly.”
Sif continued to glower at her mother, her gaze all the more venomous as she conceded the truth within the words. She was not quite willing to give up the fight yet though, “I still do not need stupid dancing lessons!”
“And what is wrong with dancing lessons?”
“I am a warrior, mother! Not some stupid lady.” Sif suddenly dropped her glare as a flicker of panic crossed her face, “Oh no, what if anyone should find out I have even been booked for them? They will never take me seriously again!”
“Oh Sif, you do over exaggerate!”
Sif’s reply was to glare at her mother fiercely again, “I will dance if I have to at the ball, but I will not be attending any stupid dance classes!”
“And how else will you learn to dance?”
“I will find a way, mother, but I will not be going!” With that, Sif turned once more on her heel and ignored her mother’s pleading words as she banged her door shut behind her.
She quickly ripped off her stupid gown and threw it in the corner in her temper. She was not able to undo the tight corset though, so instead she just flung her armour over the top. Grabbing her sword and shield, Sif flew back out of her room and headed towards the door.
“Be back by six, Sif, do not forget!”
Sif’s glare at her mother would have frozen even the Frost Giants in fear, before Sif slammed the door shut behind her again and marched off towards the training grounds.
When Thor, Loki and the Warriors Three saw Sif approach the training ground, they immediately stowed their weapons away and pretended to be deep in conversation. They knew full well what that fast, determined stride meant and fighting with her whilst she was in this obviously foul mood would be no fun for any of them. Only Thor could rival Sif for foul, bad tempered moods, though they were not sure who was worse to fight with.
“Who will fight with me?” Sif shouted as she came within hearing distance. They all turned their heads away from her, but poor Hogun was the one closest to the edge and a quick push from Thor and Fandral saw him stumble into Sif’s path as she came to a sudden stop beside them, the dust rising up in her wake.
“Hogun will.” Fandral called out, as he picked up a sword and threw it to the ground next to the poor man’s feet.
Sif glared down at the poor man, before walking past him to the fighting circle and taking up her battle stance. She ignored the words of encouragement and the friendly slaps on Hogun’s back as he walked towards her, his face looking more grim than usual.
The fight did not last long and before Sif had even got out of breath, or belted out all the frustration within her, Hogun was lying flat on his back on the dusty floor, the tip of Sif’s sword nudging into his throat. “Do you yield?” She asked, pushing her sword that bit closer.
“Yes, yes, definitely yes!” Hogun croaked, quickly standing up and limping back to the others, doing his best to ignore their chuckles and remarks.
Sif watched him scramble away in contempt, beating him was far too easy. “Who will challenge me now?” She called out, placing her hand on her hip and swishing her sword through the air, her gaze defiant and still filled with her intense frustration and anger.
They all looked between them nervously, but before Fandral could push anyone else out into the ring, Loki’s quick wit saved them all. “Well, technically Sif, there is no one left to challenge. For Hogun has defeated us all this day and so, by beating him, you have beaten us all.”
Sif glared at Loki, for his words and his faint mocking tone annoyed her, but then everything about Loki seemed to grate on her nerves lately. “Then I am champion today?” Sif asked, her voice unsure.
“Of course,” Loki answered and the other four quickly murmured their agreement. She continued to glare at him until he flinched slightly and drew back from her fierce gaze, worried she may choose him to fight next. Luckily she heeded his words and sheathed her sword instead, before walking towards them. They quickly moved out of her way, just in case, and only Thor was brave enough to ask the question they all wanted to know, “What is wrong with you anyway, Sif? Poor Hogun’s not going to able to sit for week!”
“Hey!” Hogun suddenly called out, defending his honour, but they ignored him as all eyes turned expectantly on Sif. Having her friends around her to listen helped dissipate some of Sif’s anger and she sat down on the dusty floor heavily. “It is mother,” she eventually said, rolling her eyes as if that explained everything.
When she appeared about to say no more, Volstagg decided to take his own chance, “What, may I ask, Lady Sif, has your mother done now.”
Sif kicked her legs out suddenly and banged them hard on the earth, making all five men jump in surprise. “She is making me go to the wretched coming out ball!”
“Ahhhh,” the five men all exclaimed at once, their faces suddenly filling with sympathy rather than fear and they sat down beside her.
“I am sure it will not be so bad, Sif.” Fandral offered, earning him a lethal glare which he immediately shrank back from.
“But the ball is usually fun, Sif! We drink, feast and be merry all night long!” Thor added and banged her playfully on her back. Sif’s glare at Thor was not quite as malicious as she whined, “But it is different for you, you are not a woman!”
When Sif’s exclamation led to five faces of confusion, Sif smacked her fist in frustration onto the dusty ground, causing the confusion to flicker quickly into fright. “You do not have to wear silly dresses and stand around looking pretty, or worry about shaming your family when you dance.”
Sif was surprised when this announcement was met with chuckling, but before she could glare at them all in turn, she realised their laughter was directed at Thor, not at her.
“I do not know about that, Sif,” Fandral explained, “Thor is quite the entertainer when it comes to dancing!”
This was met with heartier chuckling and Thor turned slightly pink in embarrassment, looking down at the ground, “It was not my fault Freya has two left feet.”
“I think it is you with two left feet, brother,” Loki added, his face curved into a smirk, “but luckily the healing herbs worked quickly on her broken toes.”
Sif felt her face grow pale as apprehension started trickling through her blood. She had not known dancing could be such a dangerous activity. Perhaps proper dancing lessons would not be such a bad idea after all. No! She thought firmly, she would rather die than have anyone know she had taken dancing lessons! How could she ever face them in combat ever again! It was almost as bad as the sewing class her mother had mistakenly tried to drag her to when she was younger. Sif had soon shown her mother how much of a bad idea that was.
“Do not worry, Lady Sif,” Volstagg said, laying a comforting hand on her shoulder as he noticed her face pale. “Unless you are as badly coordinated as Thor, you will be fine.”
“But it is different for Thor!” Sif exclaimed, “He is the prince and no one will mind him being stupid! And none of you will have to suffer the shame of disappointing your mother yet again!”
They looked nervously at Sif then, they all knew full well from Sif’s stories what her mother could be like and they did not like the way her voice and expression grew in anger and her fingers began clutching at her sword hilt.
“Voltstagg, is it not time for dinner soon?” Hogun asked quickly.
“Why yes, I do believe it is. And we do not want to be late.” Volstagg answered and the five men quickly stood up, eager to escape before Sif’s resurging frustration could lead to any more challenges or fights.
Sif watched them hurry away, but did not follow. She was too consumed with terrifying images of her dancing with a poor man and breaking his toes, of the court standing around laughing at her and her mother looking on in disgust. Sif shivered suddenly with fear, it would be no good! She would have to take those rotten dance classes after all, for surely the embarrassment of that would be less than making a fool of herself before the entire court. She stood up wearily, feeling sad and drained now, all fighting spirit slipped away as she admitted defeat. She had no choice, it was that or…
Suddenly Sif noticed Loki lingering behind, picking up a few books from the floor and tidying up his study notes. She narrowed her eyes at his back as a plan began to form in her mind. Ever one for action over meticulous plotting, she quickly stepped towards him. Grabbing his arm, she pulled him along as she headed for the outskirts of the training ground. Loki was too surprised to stop her and simply spluttered a few weak protests as his study notes dropped to the floor around him.
As they reached the quiet and privacy of the back of weapons store room, Sif pushed him back against the wall. Loki looked at her in surprise, before looking around at his surroundings and saying almost to himself, “I think the last time I was dragged round here was by Sigyn, when she…” He suddenly stopped and cleared his throat, before looking down at her, “But that is another story.” His shock and indignation faded into a smirk and Sif saw mischief begin dancing in his deep emerald eyes. “So, what can I do for you, Lady Sif?”
Sif found Loki’s smirk far too annoying and her thoughts became distracted by the words Loki had said. So that little slut Sigyn had been telling the truth! Sif was glad she had broken her nose then and Sif found herself having to fight the inexplicable urge to break Loki’s too, as a strange sense of annoyance ran through her veins. She decided quickly it would not be a good idea to punch him before he had agreed to help her, so instead she just stabbed her finger into his chest. “I need you to teach me how to dance.”
NB - The whole idea of a "coming out ball" is based on the London Season, which was popular for the upper classes in the 19th and early 20th century. Then, young girls when they reached the age of about 17-18, had their first "season" and a coming out ball in London, where the aim was to track down a nice (and preferably rich!) husband!
Anyway, thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. More chapters will be on their way soon!