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Drastic measures

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Three days. Sif had put up with it for three days. Yes, Ymir was dangerous, of course, and yes, Loki should research and experiment with magic to defeat the demon. But three days with no food, no rest, and ignoring his wife and child utterly was not acceptable.

She gave Ullr to Frigga to care for, and opened the door of the outbuilding, relieved it wasn’t warded against her. The smell tickled her nose, sulfurous and yet weirdly cold, but there appeared to be nothing making the smell when she went into the work room. There was no potion brewing, and the tables had been shoved to the walls, while Loki knelt on the stones, inscribing runes with his finger that briefly glowed and disappeared.

She tried. “Loki-”

He didn’t look at her as he answered, “Almost done.” He set a wax taper in a particular spot and scooted across the floor a few hand-spans. Going by the unlit tapers standing in a partial circle, he’d been at this for awhile.

“You said that yesterday.” Except he’d been doing something with potions and power stones yesterday.

He held out a hand, palm downward, calling the magic to bind the spot and then started writing runes again, without speaking as if he’d forgotten she was present.

She was prepared this time and opened the front fasteners of her cloak to let it fall to the floor. Then carefully she picked her way over to him, and used one bare toe to kick the next taper out of his reach.

He groped for it, pausing only when it was not where he had left it. “Hey, have you--” His gaze finally left his work on the floor to look up at her. His jaw loosened in rather satisfying astonishment. “Oh,” was all he could manage to say aloud but his eyes drank her in as eagerly as ever.

Naked as the day she was born, Sif smiled at him. “Ah, I thought that might get your attention. There’s food and... other things in the house, except our son who is with his grandmother. If you’re not too busy to join me there."

She turned and headed for the door. Behind her she heard him scramble to his feet and follow.