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Thor was taking a walk. It was a nice day out and he was finally done with finals -- he was back home and loving it. He was thinking about going to the beach the next day with some of his old highschool friends, but today he was alone, because he was the first from his class to come back to town, and now he had to wait for them. He wasn't even sure if he would recognize them after the year -- he doubted they'd recognize him, with the fifteen pounds of muscle he'd put on since they last met.
His first year in college had been great. He got good grades, had good friends; many a girl had done the walk of shame down his hallway and many a party had been thrown. Unregulated sex and booze only went so far in crushing his homesickness, however, and he was glad to finally return. He missed his parents and his high school friends. He wanted to see what had changed with Sif, and Volstagg, and the rest of his football team. He even wondered what happened Loki, the waterboy and the team's second-favorite target of abuse, right after the ball itself.
His favorite memory of Loki was when he, and the rest of the team, had happened to find that he was wearing girls' underwear to a party. It'd been a good laugh for everyone in attendance until Loki had run away crying, and Sif got bored and dragged Thor back onto the dance floor.
He passed a coffee shop he used to go to quite often, and he turned down the alley leading towards the highschool. He passed Hogun's house, which was empty. Next was the small sidestreet that lead to the house of the captain of the lacross team, who was the first of them to get a fake ID and was worshipped as a god at parties. At his old school, the semester was still was still in full swing, so he couldn't go inside, but he decided to pace around the building's perimeter nonetheless. Before college he'd been the quarterback, but at college he was forced to face the awful truth that football would never feed his kids. He changed his major to ancient mythology, because that was a useful degree.

He looked up from his musings at the sound of footsteps. A woman -- nay, the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He quickly stepped out of her way as she passed, trying not to stare: she wore a skintight blue dress, more suited for a dance than an afternoon walk, and carried a purse to match. Black hair cascaded down her back. She walked with a slight sway of the hips, a practiced grace.
She stopped a few paces ahead of him to shuffle around in her purse, and when she reached in for her phone, a mirror and some makeup fell to the ground. Before she could bend down to retrieve them, Thor leaned down to help.

"Hi, I'm Thor Odinson. I haven't seen you around here before. Here's your makeup. What's your name? My name's Thor." He wasn't usually this awkward around girls, but something about her apparently reduced him to a quivering mess.
"I'm -- I'm Laurie Laufeyson." She said, equally shy, as she grabbed her makeup.
"Laufeyson?" Thor asked, surprised. "Do you know Loki? I went to high school with him." He couldn't believe a goddess like her could be related to the scrawny kid who spilled their water on a daily basis.
"Oh, um, yeah. We're related," she said quickly, shoving everything in her purse. "I guess I'll see you around, Thor."
"Laurie!" She turned back to face him. This was so not going well -- Thor was beet red. Get it together, Odinson. You're supposed to be a player! "Will you be in town for long?"
"All summer," she smiled. "So I'll see you around."
"Who was she?" Fandral asked, his voice older and a little robotic from the phone.
"I only know that she is related to that fag, Loki Laufeyson. Same last name even." Thor replied.
"How did we never hear about her, then? You'd think she would have come up at least once."
"She seemed kinda shy. Some kind of basement-dwelling recluse, probably."
"Do you think it's his mom?"
"Nah, she was way too young. If I didn't know better I would say it's a sister. Maybe a cousin or something?"
"Maybe. But the better question is, is she out of my league?"
Thor laughed. "I dunno, yours maybe. She has a seriously fine ass, man; just wanna pound her into my bed, her screaming my name--"
"Hey, Hey. My bed, my name."
"I saw her first, I get the rights to the fantasy. Also, I've gotta go. Frigga wants me to make dinner."
“Excuses,” Fandral muttered.
"Yeah,” Thor said jovially. “See you tomorrow."
The next time Thor saw her, he was out at that coffee shop, getting a nice black cup, while his friends got other, less manly things, such as tea (Sif), two large mocha lattes (Hogun), and something with a weird name that translated to coffee with stuff in it (Fandral). Volstagg had to stay home to see family because he was a massive momma's boy.
He spotted her as she walked by the window – please please come in – and turned into the store. This time she wore skirt that reached her knees. It was green and sparkly, the type of shit girls love, but showed off her legs nicely. “Guys,” he hissed, nodding in her direction.
"That's Laurie?" Asked Hogun.
"Yeah, that's her."
"She looks just like Loki." Sif said, unimpressed.
"We always said he looked like a lady," replied Fandral. He elbowed Sif. “Remember that party when he--”
"Don't think about him, think about her boobs. They're perfect." Hogun said.
"They look fake." Sif said, peering at them over her cup.
Thor frowned. "But who gets a boob job and stops at a C cup?"
Sif shrugged. "Maybe she got them reduced?"
"That means her boobs used to be bigger. Which makes them perfect again!" Fandral practically drooled.
"I should go say hi.” Thor moved to stand.
"She'll think you're weird. Maybe I should go." Replied Hogun, pulling him back down.
"She's never met you, you idiot. She'll think you're insane if she thinks me weird." Thor pushed him back to his seat and stood, gliding across the store to her.
"Hello, Laurie." Thor said smoothly. He was going to nail it this time. Metaphorically.
"Oh, Hello Thor. Good to see you." Her face remained cautiously neutral.
"How's Loki?" He asked. "Is he coming to town for the summer?"
"He's fine, but he's staying away. Said something about high school bullies or something." She said, a flash of anger in her eyes.
Thor grinned sheepishly. "Oh. Well, I know nothing of that. But it is good to hear that he is well. And how are you?"
"Oh, I'm fine. I like this town." She said, stepping up to get her drink.
"So, what did you order?" Thor asked, at a complete loss.
"Chai tea latte with soy milk." She took her drink from the attendant and smiled. "Thank you”
"Hmm. Good choice. My friend Sif used to drink those before she switched to plain tea. Says it's full of antitoxidents or something." He responded.
"Antioxidants,” she corrected. “And I think I'll stick with this for now. I must get going, though."

Dammit, Thor, don't let her get away! "Oh, umm,” he stuttered. “I was wondering. Could I have your number?"
She hesitated for a long, nerve-wracking moment before nodding. "It's actually Loki's old number, but here." She scribble a ten digit number on a napkin and handed it to him, sneering. "Don't expect a date or anything now."
"I would never." He assured her, adding the number to his phone. He waited until she was completely out of sight before turning to his friends and mouthing 'got her number.'
"Hello? Who is this?"
"It's me Thor."
"Oh, hello Thor."
"I was wondering if you might join me and some friends on a trip to the beach tomorrow night."
"Oh. Well. I – I can't. I have other things to do. Prior engagement. Maybe next time."
"Oh. that's too bad. Okay.” A pause. “Well, that's all I wanted so I guess I'll let you go."
"Okay. Bye."

He feels severely rejected for all of twenty minutes. Then, when he wakes up hung over the next morning, he tries again.

And again.

And, well:
"Hello Thor."
"Hey Laurie."
"What's up?"
"Me and my friends are going to the beach again next Saturday. I wanted to know if you would come this time. I know you're very busy, this is the fifth time I've asked, so maybe you could find time this once?” He's going for the hard sell. “I would really enjoy seeing you, but if you don't want to see me that's okay too. It's not like it's a date or anything like that, it would just be me, you, Sif, Volstagg, Hogun, and Fandral. Being friends."
"Oh. I'm truly flattered, but I can't,” she says. “Maybe we could get coffee, or go see a movie on Sunday?"
"Oh, sure. That sound great. Should I invite the guys or just us?"
"You can invite them. That would be great.”
The movie was good. That's what Hogun told him afterward. Thor wouldn't know; he was too busy sneaking covert glances down Laurie's shirt. When he reached for the popcorn, his hand brushed against her arm for a fraction of a second, and he felt like a high school freshman again.
Thor would think she was hitting on him, except she looks utterly dejected. "My ride should be here already, but I called and they're stuck in construction. Could you drive me home?"
"Sure, hope in my car. Here, let me clean off the seat," He said, tossing a pile of useless shit into the back.
"You're sure it's alright? I can just wait if it's too much."
"No, it's fine." Thor smiled, sliding into his seat and starting the engine.
"No funny business, okay?" She said snarkily.
"My hands are staying on the wheel." To prove his point, he gripped the wheel until his knuckles whitened.
They drove in silence. It was more than a little awkward.

When they reached Loki's house – Loki's house; must be a sister after all -- Thor pulled into the driveway and hopped out, running around the car.
"My lady," he said, opening her door with a bow.
She smirked. "I'm not a helpless maiden."
"You are beautiful enough to be one, especially in that outfit,” Thor grinned.
"Since you like it so much, I think I'll keep it on."
Thor frowned. “I bet you'd look even better without it."
"I don't know. I'm quite partial to these clothes."
Thor barely noticed himself leaning in. "Well, then maybe I'll just have to give you a good reason to take them off."
"Many have tried, all have failed," she said.
"So it's a challenge?" And then his lips were on hers. They kissed for what seemed like forever. Thor slowly walked Laurie back into the passenger side seat and climbed on top of her. Once there, his hands his hands found their way to the bottom of her shirt.
She pulled away. "Please, I'd like to keep my clothes on tonight."
"Who said I was taking them off?" He panted.
They continued to kiss for awhile, but she seemed more rigid, less eager. Thor shifted his leg between hers – maybe if he could turn her on, she'd invite him inside? But then--
"What's this?" He asked puzzled. It was stupid to ask, it would completely kill the mood, but he had definitely felt something weird.
She turned her head to the side. "Nothing," she said, moving his knee away and trying to stand up.
"No, I felt something." Panic bubbled in Thor's belly. What the hell was going on?
She began twisting in his grip, kicking and trying to wriggle away, but Thor held her down out of a combination of fear and instinct. He maneuvered his hand between her legs, and – oh.
"It's not what you think." She said, almost in tears.
"Oh, then what is it?" Thor asked angrily.
"I'm.” She turned away and he grabbed her jaw and forced her to look at him. “I'm Loki,” she choked. “But. It's not like that. I'm transgendered."
Thor just stared on in horror. “What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Are your boobs even real? Or are you stuffing a bra?" Thor started to laugh, but it was a deranged, humorless laugh that devolved into a cough. "You thought you could trick me? Because you were wrong. I would never want you. Not in a million years." He scrambled out of the car, bordering on hysterics.

Laurie – Loki – on the other hand, was much calmer. "Please, let me explain this -- I was born in the body of a guy, with a penis and no breasts. You knew me when I was in high school as Loki Laufeyson. That's how I was born as, but that's not really me. I'm Laurie Laufeyson. I'm a girl. I've always been a girl. I've been on estrogen for years, that's what kept me looking feminine during school. I've been living as a girl everywhere but there, because of how you and your asshole friends acted at that party--”
“Loki,” Thor began, but she cut him off.

“That's not my name!”
Thor stared.
She took a deep breath and continued.
“I was too scared to come out at school, so I waited. I lived as a girl at home, and sometimes out in public. When I went to university, I thought it was my new start, so I went through with the chest surgery. But then I had to come back home, and I – I couldn't just be Loki anymore, Loki didn't have boobs, and I was never really Loki in the first place. And hallelujah, you and your stupid fucking friends were too thick to realize, and I thought, maybe this time. Maybe this time I'll have a chance with you, the guy I've had a crush on since junior high.”
She snorted. “Don't ask me why, because I can't tell you now, but you were the reason I became the waterboy for the football team You were also the reason I had to hide myself. When you accepted me as me, I thought, maybe this time it won't go badly. Maybe he learned while he was away, but obviously not, with how you reacted a minute ago. I'm just going to go, Thor. See you around."
Loki -- Laurie grabbed her purse and wiped her eyes on her shirt as she walked to her door. The swing in her hips was gone. The confidence was wiped away, and from afar, she just looked like Loki.
"Laurie. Wait." He grabbed her arm, yanking her to look at him.
"What? You want to rub it in my face some more?"
"No. I'm sorry.”
She scowled and made to turn away, so Thor continued in a rush. “What I was gonna say, was if you choose to be this amazingly hot girl, that's fine. I was just – I don't know, just let me get a grasp on this for a bit, okay?" But he must have said something wrong, because she wrenched her hand from his grip.
"Choose? Choose? This isn't a choice, Thor; it's who I am. Like how you just are a boy, I just am a girl. How you have blond hair, I am female. It's not a choice on my part. Get over yourself and then do some research and then you can talk to me again. If I'm not angry anymore."
Thor sighed. "Fine. I'll.. I'll go home and I'll find out everything. Okay? Is that what you want? I'll go home and find out everything there is to know, and then I'll come talk to you. I want to understand okay? I'm sorry about before. I was an asshole, I know. If I'd known then, well, I don't know what I would have done, but. But now I'll fix it, okay? College did change me. I know you don't believe that."
"Go home, Thor." Laurie shut the door in his face, and sank down to the floor with a sob.
Thor didn't leave the computer for four days, only got up when someone made him, and even then he felt like he didn't get it. So he decided to ask Sif.
She picked up on the fifth ring. "Hey, Sif. I have a question."
"What is it Thor; I'm at my fencing lesson, what do you want?"
"What's it like to be a girl?"
"What the fuck kind of question is that?"
"I mean, you're not like most girls. What's it like being different, yet still female? I mean you act like a guy most of the time, what makes you still feel female?"
"Umm. Thor, what is that about?" He heard her instructor shout something about paying attention.
“Just answer me, okay? It's important. How do you know you're a girl and not a guy?”
"What the fuck.” She sighed audibly. “Okay, listen. What if you grew tits and a vagina right this second?”
“Um,” said Thor.

“It'd be weird, right? You'd still be a guy. Or what if you were suddenly really interested in ballet?”
Thor snorts, but she continues.
“You'd still be a guy. That's all I can tell you. I like manly shit, like – well, not fencing, but you know what I mean, and I'm still a girl. I just know.”
She has to leave after that, and Thor just holds the dead phone to his ear and thinks for awhile.

"Can I come over?"
There was a pause on the other line.
"Fine," she said with a sigh, "I guess. But this had better be good."
"It will be. I promise, I've got this right."
"Okay, Thor,” she said. “See you soon."

The end.