The Odinson Escalade arrived in Sif's driveway, ready to pick her up for the drive to camp. Inside her own house, she had the privacy to smile at the sight of Loki in the passenger seat, his head back, while Thor drove. Loki was never a morning person, so it wasn't strange that he'd be sleeping, but Sif knew why he was tired today, because she was, too.
In that very same car, they'd said their very secret, very personal goodbye into the early morning. A couple of times, actually, on that leather bench seat in the back, because once she'd discovered that this drama nerd could make her come not just by reciting Shakespearean monologues in that voice, but with the rest of him, she wanted to take advantage. She laughed at the girl she'd been last year; that girl had thought Loki was nothing but a cute weirdo and Thor's twin brother. She'd no idea. She couldn't be the only one he'd been with, because those were not the moves of someone who'd never done it before, whatever his brother might believe.
They'd agreed to keep their relationship a secret; partly because Odin wouldn't approve, since he didn't approve of her in general and especially not dating one of his sons, but mostly because Loki enjoyed it. Loki loved drama and playing a role and this secret was both.
So she could only smile without anyone else to see her, as she remembered.
Going out, she tossed her bag in the back and to her surprise, Loki vacated the front. "Morning," he muttered to her. "You can have shotgun, if you move the seat up."
"I'm gonna sleep, so I don't care. You and Thor can talk about the Penguins." He yawned and waved a hand.
She desperately wanted to push his hair out of his eyes, since it was all loose and starting to curl, but instead she shook her head in mock despair. "Penguins are hockey, Loki, not football."
"Whatever." With that, he climbed into the back seat.
His bored dismissal provoked Thor's amiable protest. Loki pretended to be disinterested mostly to jerk Thor's chain, she thought, because he talked about the game with her when they were alone. He'd told her she was amazing for pushing the school into letting her play football and beating out boys to be a varsity receiver. She'd also made this football camp she and Thor were heading to, and had a scholarship to State in the fall. That had given her a lot of attention, not all of it favorable, so hearing Loki say she was amazing, helped. In turn, she made sure he knew that she was proud of him for getting into his Shakespeare workshop.
But first, they had to pick up Fandral who would take the car back.
At his place, he bopped into the back without argument and entirely too much cheer this early. "Good morning, everyone. 'Morning, Loki, I see you haven't had coffee yet. We should stop and get some, Thor." Pulling the shoulder belt, he rooted inside the seat to find the buried buckle. He whistled and pulled something out that was not part of a seat belt. "Oooh, look what I found! Thor, what lovely lady did you take this off?"
Sif turned back to see – oh God – her black thong panties. One half of the set of sexy underwear she had bought and worn last night. She'd forgotten all about them after Loki had taken them down her legs and put them somewhere. Apparently that somewhere had been shoving them into the gap between the cushions.
Her eyes swung to Loki in a sudden panic. What should they do? Should they admit they were together?
"Nobody I know. They look hot. I'm sure I'd remember," Thor said cheerfully. "Loki? Did you have a hookup you didn't mention?"
"What? I've never seen that before," Loki lied, sounding mildly annoyed but mostly bored. "I'm sure they're from some girl of yours, Thor."
"Yeah, not too likely they're from a girl of yours, are they?" Fandral teased.
But the levity crashed to the ground like a block of ice. Loki stopped pretending he was tired or bored, straightened, and narrowed his eyes at Fandral. "What's that supposed to mean?"
Fandral hesitated, but rallied to continue. "You know. C'mon, we all know. You don't date girls, because you're gay."
Silence fell, and Sif was shocked that Fandral would say it at all. But it was clear it was time for the truth to come out; there was no reason to keep their dating a secret, not when it was leading people to suspect the wrong thing. "Loki, I think..." she started.
But he didn't let her, heaving a sigh and snapped, "Fuck it. They're mine, okay?" He snatched them from Fandral's hand.
The other three stared at him. "What?" Thor blurted in utter confusion.
"They're yours?" Fandral asked. "You mean, like, a trophy from some girl?"
Loki rolled his eyes. "Jesus, Fandral, you accuse me of being gay, now you're going to lose your balls over asking me if I wear them? Yes, I do, not that it's any of your fucking business."
"But-- but why didn't you say something?" Thor asked, sounding completely flummoxed by this revelation, and hurt, too, that he didn't know already.
"Maybe because I didn't want it spread all over school?" Loki retorted. "None of you can keep your mouth shut about anything. But now we're done with high school and I don't care." Still clutching her underwear in one fist, he folded his arms and stared out the window. "Can we go now?"
Sif was impressed. Had she not known the truth, she'd believe him. Thor and Fandral believed every word. They exchanged a glance, not knowing what to say.
"Loki," Thor said very earnestly, stopped, and tried again. "I would never tell anyone your secrets. Please, you must know that. You're my brother."
"I wouldn't either. I mean, I won't, I won't tell," Fandral added hastily. He hesitated, licked his lips, and asked, "So, uh, does this mean you are gay?"
Sif intervened, before anything got ugly or Loki was forced to lie too much. "God, Fandral, seriously? You're still on that? No, it doesn't have to mean that. It means whatever he wants it to mean." She considered the image of Loki wearing her underwear for a moment and couldn't really deny the thrill in her lower abdomen. "Some women think it's sexy."
Loki's eyes flicked to hers, surprised, and the corners of his lips lifted in a hint of a wicked smile. Too bad they were going to be apart for four weeks.
"But are you?" Fandral persisted, ignoring her. "You know it's okay, right? You can tell us; nobody's gonna make fun or anything."
The amusement dropped out of Loki's face and he sighed again. "Look, I don't know, okay? I like lots of people. I like trying new things. And I don't like boring, narrow boxes. What that adds up to, hell if I know." He blew out a breath and forced a laugh. "Now we've had this thrilling talk about my weirdness, can we drop it and move on?"
Sif frowned in concern. That sounded real. And he avoided her eyes, too. Twisting around she reached his knee. "Hey, don't say that. You're not weird. Well, okay, a little weird, but in a good way. And I – we – support you." She rubbed his leg, giving up secrecy for the overly familiar touch, so she could reassure him she meant what she said, when he was still reluctant to look at her. But Thor and Fandral were still too caught up in the news to notice.
"Yeah, we all do," Fandral insisted, as if Loki might doubt him.
Thor threw open the driver's door, headed around the front of the car to Loki's door.
"He's not actually going to do this, is he?" Loki demanded in mock horror.
But Thor was. He opened Loki's door and wrapped his arms around Loki in a tight bear hug. "Never, ever be afraid to tell me anything," he said roughly into his hair. "I'm your brother, Loki. And I will love you and defend you, no matter what."
Loki groaned. "Oh, God, I'm never opening my mouth again."
"Hush." Thor's big hand pressed Loki's head to his shoulder. "Now, you're going to be brilliant, and at the end of the summer, we'll come watch you play Hamlet or the second-spear carrier to the left, or whatever. It doesn't matter. Because I know someday I'm going to watch you win an Oscar. Someday I'm going to tell everybody you're my brother, and embarrass you with how proud I am."
"You mean like how embarrassed I am right now?" Loki asked, pushing at him. "And people say I'm dramatic. Jeez, Thor, get off."
But despite his words, Loki was smiling, and he didn't lose that smile as Thor squeezed his shoulder and pulled away. Thor went back to the driver's seat, and Loki seemed more relaxed, as if some weight had lifted off his heart.
The ride to Loki's summer program passed quickly with everyone carefully not getting near the subject. Loki entertained by reciting monologues and persuading them to sing along to pop songs. Sif and Loki were singing with Taylor Swift when Thor pulled into the parking lot, and Sif hoped the line about her tight little skirt was sinking into his brain as the music turned off. She got out, and while Thor was yanking Loki's duffel from the back, she hugged Loki. She kept it friendly, trying not to remember this body next to hers or those lips, and she had to keep a serious face, when his hand slipped down to sneak a grope of her backside.
"Have a good time," she told him. "I'll miss you. Text me if you get bored." The words and tone were casual, but the intent was not. Because they might not be in the same place for the summer, but smartphones existed for a reason.
He knew and grinned at her. "I will. Have fun kicking ass at hockey camp, Sif."
She groaned at the bad joke. "Football, drama nerd."
"Whatever, jock." He blew her a kiss, and said his goodbyes to Thor and Fandral.
A mile down the road, she grinned, realizing Loki had kept her underwear. Tonight, once she was alone, she'd call him and find out exactly what he was planning to do with his memento of their night together. Because she had some ideas.