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Sif had not seen him since he fell; there was an honor guard to bring him to his prison, but Sif had recused herself. No one had pressed the issue, and that alone said things that she wished no one knew.

He had been back months now, and still she had not seen him. She promised herself she would not think about him, would not let him cross her mind, would not let her hatred, her pain fester.

She lied to herself, just as he had lied to her.

She opened the door to his cell, furious at herself for coming but not stopping for an instant. He was facing away from her when she entered, and she marked how he'd changed; his hair was longer now, falling in waves, and the soft tunic and trousers he wore seemed ill-suited.

"I'm not hungry," he said, not looking.

"Good," she said coldly. "I don't see the point in feeding you."

Loki turned, and he wasn't quite quick enough to wipe the look of shock off his face before she caught it. "My lady," he said, giving her a mocking little bow. "How nice to see you."

She was on him in an instant, picking him up by his tunic and slamming him against the wall. "You pathetic little worm," she hissed, holding him there.

"Which is more pathetic, my lady," he asked, grinning, "me, trapped in this cage, or you, unable to resist coming to me?"

She put her hand over his mouth, pushing his head back against the wall. "You will be silent." He raised an eyebrow at her, but he said nothing when she took her hand away. "We mourned you, Loki. You could have had the decency to stay dead."

"No such luck, I'm afraid," he said. She grabbed him by his shirt, throwing him down on the bench beside the wall of his cell. "So it's this, then?" he asked, as she lifted her dress, straddling his thighs. "Have you learned nothing in my absence, Sif? Still don't know what to do with your enemies except fuck or fight them?"

"We are enemies, Loki," she told him. "Make no mistake about that."

"You'd never let me forget," he said. She swallowed up the rest of his words, whatever they were to be, kissing him hard and rough. He reached down, pushing his trousers out of the way, his cock already hard against her. She'd known it would be this way, because this is what they did to each other, what they'd always done to each other, what they'd do until Ragnarok.

She took him inside of her, sinking all the way down on his cock. She hadn't missed it, she hadn't, she could stop this at any time, end this game between them. As long as she told herself that, it was true; he wasn't the only one with magic words, the only one who could deceive.

"What would you do if I screamed right now?" he said, thrusting up to meet her. "I could bring half the realm running, and all of them would see you just like this, with me inside of you."

"I'd kill you," she said. "You'd barely have time to yelp before I snapped your neck."

"I do wish you were joking," he sighed. "I could have so much more fun with you, Sif."

"I have seen your idea of fun," she said. "I do not appreciate it."

She moved faster, riding him harder, and it was just as satisfying as it had always been to make him lose his words, still his silver tongue. She wished somehow, though, that this time would be different, that this would be the time he drove her away, made it different, made it so she didn't have to be stuck in this cycle for one more round.

"I missed you," he said against her neck, in the cruel voice that she had learned so many years ago was the only way he could ever speak the truth.

"We did mourn you," she said, slowing for a moment. "That was never a lie."

"You wasted your time," he told her.

"Mourning is not for the dead, Loki," she said. "Mourning is for the survivors."

He grabbed her hair, pulling her down and crushing their mouths together, and this once she let him. She sped up, pushing them both closer, driving them on. He made a noise against her mouth, the kind that said he was so close; she slipped her hand under her dress, rubbing her clitoris, not at all certain that he would hold on for her.

She threw her head back as she came, remembering just in time to bite her lip to stop the sound from escaping. Loki was not so considerate, letting out a low moan as he finished inside of her, clutching at her thighs, but she couldn't find it in her to scold him, not then. They stayed like that for a few long, dangerous minutes, coming down slowly, close to each other then in a way they'd never again be able to reach outside those fleeting moments.

She stood up finally, smoothing down her dress and stepping back from him, pushing down her shame at what she'd just done. "Did you get it out of your system?" he asked, tucking himself away. "Have you proven to yourself whatever it is you needed to prove?"

"I don't know where you got the impression that I needed to prove anything at all," she said.

"You should leave the lying to me, Sif," he said. "It doesn't suit you."

"You could do better, Loki," she told him. "You could be something better than a common liar, trapped in a prison."

Something flashed in his eyes. "I have been better," he said. "I will be better again. And I will lie and kill to get myself there, just as I have already done."

"If you are attempting to frighten me, your words ceased to have an effect when we were still children," she said, giving him an unamused look.

"I know," he said, letting his head fall back against the wall; she could see a faint indentation beside the bench where she'd slammed him against it. "I was merely stating a fact of life." He looked at her, suddenly old and tired. "Go away, Sif. You're not meant to dirty your hands like this."

"My hands are already filthy," she said.

"You're a warrior. Your hands are filthy with the honest blood of combat." He snorted. "Don't sully them with the seed of a murderer."

"What a poetic image," she said, and the disgust was comforting somehow, made her feel more like herself.

"Leave me be," he said, waving at her. "Or I really will scream, and then you'll have to explain a body, and then you'll be stuck in here. I'm better at it than you are."

She shook her head, walking away towards the door. "Goodbye, Loki."

"Until next time, my lady," he said, and she didn't turn to see the smile on his face.