There is a voice.
It whispers two words over and over, like a lover in her ear, rising in pitch and tempo until it’s no longer a lover, but a command.
She’s got a headache that morning, stress that throbs at her temples from a night of uneasy sleep. She’d woken once at three and found herself curled up on her side, eyes opening and clearing enough to see her reflection in her dresser mirror, a white face swimming in a surface of otherwise black. By afternoon, the headache hasn’t retreated and her body’s further unsettled, and so when she bumps into someone at the courthouse, she’s not surprised.
Her stride has always been long, determined, a quick pace that eats up the space in between where she’s trying to get to. The man’s face is turned down, more engrossed in the papers he’s sliding back into his briefcase than other people around. She hits him hard, but instead of falling they both sort of bounce off one another.
He looks up then, hand shooting out to grab at her arm. “Oh,” he says, and there’s a surprised look on his face; as if they aren’t in the middle of the Baltimore Courthouse, surrounded by people coming and going. He doesn’t apologize.
She stares at him, briefly looking down at his clothing. Black suit with thin silver pinstripes that only someone with a trained eye would notice. It looks smart against his pale neck and hair that curls against the back of his neck and collar.
In contrast, she looks grubby and relaxed in her worn knee-high boots and cotton shirt; but the badge on her hip says otherwise. “I’m sorry,” she offers because she has forms to fill out, and needs to be gone.
He smiles, a sharp line that splits his face, like the harsh edge of a blade. “Yes.”
And then he’s moving, hand sliding from her elbow, stepping around her and beyond to walk away.
She continues to the elevator. When she turns after entering, his back is visible amongst the crowd. Her headache spikes and her arm itches where he touched her. Her thigh twinges in a pulse of pain as well.
The downside of being a United States Marshal is the paperwork that comes with the job. The forms and debriefings and more forms with lines upon lines to be filled in and then signed with her messy signature at the bottom end up being extremely tedious. She’d much rather be out chasing her next person down, or even patrolling in the court rooms. Sitting idle has never been her style.
Thursday, near the end of her week, she’s still got a headache that comes and goes in no small part thanks to the lack of restlessness sleep she’s gotten; she moves from one side of her bed to the other, twists the sheets around her ankles and arms, and wakes at odd times. It’s beginning to wear on her, so she heads for the bar when she’s done for the day.
Dashings is only five blocks from her apartment, and the bar that’s tucked back behind the gyro shop is her favorite place to unwind. She’s known the owner for years now since moving here on reassignment, and it’s the best place to get beer and chili fries when she’s in the mood.
Tonight she is, and the flashy blue sign high above the door coupled with the music she can hear through the windows greets her as she walks in.The place is moderately busy, most of the tables full, but there are spots at the bar itself open.
She takes one of the stools there, and waits for Robin to notice her. She’s in no hurry, and he’s busy with the two college girls down at the end if the smile on his face says anything to it.
“You’ve been absent lately.”
Her head looks up and her phone is abandoned to look at him. “I’ve been busy.”
Robin’s cropped his hair again, the normal blond up-do now a buzz cut shorn close to his head. The moustache is gone too, which means he’s found a new girl of the month who doesn’t like it; it’s the only time he gets rid of it. “Oh yes,” he says as he grabs a mug for her and pours her whatever’s on tap. “The job. Chased anyone down this week?”
“Fries too.” She takes the beer, and pulls it closer, watching it slide across the wood and leave a trail of wetness after. “No to your question. And not all of us can own a bar and flirt with women all day.”
He relays her order to one of the actual bartenders. He’s the owner, but likes to stay out front, and on busy nights runs the bar too.
“Ahhh,” he sighs, grin wide. “But wouldn’t you want to.”
It’s not a question, and her answer would be no anyway. She likes her gun and its weight at her hip. “Get lost,” she answers instead, and he leaves her for the rest of the patrons.
She settles into her fries when they come out, alternating between eating the cheesy, bacon covered mess, washing the sour cream taste from her mouth with beer, and watching whatever football game is playing on the TV in the corner. There’s movement to her left after someone kicks a field goal, and she turns to see a familiar figure from earlier this week.
He’s wearing a different suit this time, all black with a green scarf tucked around his neck to ward off the late autumn chill. But it’s still him, the man from the courthouse, and it’s her job to remember faces. He seems harassed, looking at the silver watch around his wrist, and then to his phone.
Dipping a fry into her little cup of sour cream, she eyes him, and says, “You again.”
He looks up, and from here she can see his eyes match the dark color of the scarf; something she missed after bumping into him. His face screws up, mouth twisting and eyebrows scrunching together. “I’m sorry, do I know you?”
She eats another fry before answering, hand grabbing for the handle of the mug. “You ran into me in the courthouse. Literally.”
His mouth uncurls, the corners lifting up into a grin, and there’s understanding in his gaze now, as his eyes flit over her face. “Ah, yes. But you ran into me.”
She looks at him, feels the skin of her elbow itch again. It takes effort and will to not scratch. Her mind seems hazy, and her tongue’s heavy in her mouth in a way that has nothing to do with the food or beer. “No, I don’t think so.”
The smile he gives her is less sharp this time, a lazy sort of affection in the corners of his mouth. He looks at his watch again, and then the door, neck craning to see the figures walking in. They must be someone he knows, as he turns back to nod his head at her. “You’ll excuse me, and do try not to run into me next time.”
Again, it’s not him apologizing, it’s him putting the action on her. He leaves, and she watches as he crosses the floor, in and out and around the other people, to take a seat in a booth in the back with two others.
“Robin,” she calls when he walks past her and grabs her mug. “Who is that?”
“The man you were talking to?” Robin asks as he refills her beer. “That’s Luke something. He’s in the State Attorney’s office. Comes in here sometimes for meetings.”
She shakes her head, turning back around on the stool so as not to stare. She knows everyone in the courthouse, that doesn’t make sense.
Robin must see the thoughts on her face because he goes on, “You’ve been busy. And away on assignment.”
There’s a frown on her face, lips twisting downward, and she gives in to the urge to scratch. At least she has a name now.
‘Luke’ her mouth forms. It sounds wrong.
There is a tree.
A great tree, with roots that spread so far down and branches that hold everything in its grasp, hold the universe and everything in its entirety. It is finite but unfinished, the beginning and the end.
And it burns.
The tree burns and it’s a heat so fierce it sets her eyes stinging and her throat dry. She is confused, and yet not, as she gazes up at the bark turning red. There are screams behind her, and she turns to see what once was glorious and gold now in ruins. Fire spreads there too, flames licking and climbing higher as if in a dance to unheard music.
She turns back to face the tree.
It cries to her, branches bowed down, and there is an echoing wetness on her face.
She wakes gasping, fingers shaped like claws that clutch into the fabric of her pillow, sheets twisted around her waist and legs. Her heart beats double time, and she tries to remember what it is she dreamed that woke her up. The images fade away though, slip from her mind like grands of sand in someone’s hands.
When her heart quiets, falling back into a regular rhythm, she swipes at her eyes, brushes away the tears clinging to her lashes. She puts her head back down, and squeezes her eyes shut, breathing in and out as evenly as she can.
Somehow she falls asleep again, but when she wakes by her alarm, the full four hours of sleep are still not enough to erase her troubled thoughts.
She’s making a list of things she needs to get while out today -it’s the weekend and her day off- when she looks down to see that in between the word oranges and wine, she’s drifted off into doodling. The ‘e’ of the wine veers off to the bottom of the piece of paper, and from there into the base of a tree. The branches are spindly things, reaching high, with circles on them, some of which are bigger than others.
The design stares at her, black ink on white lined paper. She traces her fingers over where the pen had scratched so deep it formed an indention, as if by touching it she can make it reveal what she wants. She’s never drawn something like this before, but when she turns her arm over she sees that it matches the birthmark there. Lifting her fingers, she traces the pale patch of skin, two or three shades lighter than her natural tan color.
She wears a long sleeved shirt that day, and scratches over the drawing on her list after her WholeFoods run. Black is all that remains when she’s finished.
There is a weapon in her hand, not a sword or a knife or anything simple like that. No it is complex, and once she would have known the name, she thinks, or maybe it’s that she saw it a long time ago when she was in lecture one afternoon.
It is long with dangerous ends, ends for stabbing and killing, and she wields it with ease and grace. The weapon might as well be an extension of her arm for how she twists and spins and moves with it.
Her aim is true where her blows fall.
Missing is not even a thing to be considered.
There’s a high profile case that’s been ongoing for months now. Baltimore’s a city like any other big one with its own set of problems and crime rates. Petty crime is standard for the courthouse to see, but cases where a big name gang boss might actually be put away raise the bar for attention.
As such, she’s walking down the hallway when the room lets out for the afternoon. Coffee run for the office is on her today, so she follows the crowd outside, intent on slipping through and crossing the street for the corner cafe. She’s surprised to see the man from the bar, Luke, walking with the other attorneys. State’s office, Robin had said, so maybe not that surprising. High profile case means a lot if you can have your name attached to the conviction; she keeps her distance from the lawyers, only coming forth when needed as a witness. He’s wearing a long pea coat, the black collar covering his neck from the chill.
She sees movement out of the corner of her eye, and the job has trained her to recognize a gun on sight. Goddamn she hates high profile cases, especially ones with gangs. Someone always wants to take someone out.
Her Glock is out instantly, shoulder and arm one perfect line of form.
The crowd reacts, fleeing in every direction, the press retreating across the street, till it’s only her, the attorneys from both sides, the man on trial, and the few security guards that have come out the front door.
She circles around, moving up and down the front steps to get a better angle. “Put it down,” she orders, voice hard and unrelenting.
The man’s an idiot, the one with the pistol, and he jerks at her voice. He turns to watch as she moves slowly up so she’s standing perpendicular to him. Baseball cap on his head, bill pulled down, beginnings of a beard growing on his face, he’s an average looking guy in his mid-twenties, a bit younger than her. Nothing that would make him stand out, and he’d probably been chosen for that reason.
“You gonna shoot me, lady?” He asks, disbelief in his question. Miscalculation number one for him.
The other attorneys are frozen on the steps, except for Luke. He watches her, gaze so fixated she can tell even out of the corner of her eye. She ignores him.
“Don’t move,” she hardens her voice further. “You move, I shoot.”
He laughs. “Really? I bet you won’t.” Miscalculation number two.
“You raise that gun any further, and I’ll put you down.” It’s the truth, her own personal motto for being a Marshall. You make her pull her weapon and someone’s going down.
Maybe it’s because she’s a woman and must not look threatening, or because this guy has a mission to not fail at, or maybe it’s something else entirely. Whatever it is, he doesn’t believe her.
“Try me--” He doesn’t get to finish his sentence, mistake number three being that he actually moves toward her.
No, try me, she thinks.
She moves her finger, just a light squeeze on the trigger, and hits true. There’s barely any lapse in the time where her gun barks and the bullet embeds itself in his leg, just below the knee.
He buckles and falls, an angry bellow splitting the formerly tense air.
She moves quickly, foot over foot, keeping her gun trained on him, and takes the pistol from where it dropped to skitter away. She turns back to look down into angry eyes. “I did warn you.”
She does so hate being underestimated.
That gives her pause, being underestimated, and it feels as if she’s thinking something from another time. Yes, she had it harder in the Marshall service being a woman, still does only not to the same degree, but that’s not what she’s thinking of. The idea slides over her brain: proving your worth in a place that frowns upon your chosen course.
Shaking her head, she turns away from the courthouse guards picking the man off the ground. When she moves her head, it’s to Luke that her gaze settles on. He’s still watching her, eyes narrowed. Her skin feels stretched under those eyes, and she shivers when she turns away.
"I thought you were just going for coffee?" Her boss asks, teasing even though he yells it from his office. "I guess I have to thank someone that no one else got shot."
"You're welcome," she replies, taking a seat behind her desk.
Her teammates come by as well, one of them offering up a snappy, "Where's the coffee?"
She grabs a pen, ready to fill out the report for the altercation. Eyebrow raised, she offers them a sweet smile. "Go get your own damn coffee."
They laugh and leave her, some of them returning to their own desks and others heading out on assignment. She busies herself with a form, scratching out her account as witness and involved party member. Absorbed as she is, she doesn't register that someone's clearing their throat towards her until they do it three times.
Finally, it does click, and she looks up, expecting a teammate back to rib her over the absent coffee again.
Instead, it's Luke, and she blinks in surprise. It seems like he keeps doing that to her, never letting her form a solid sketch of him before he gives her something new to try and fit in with the puzzle that is him to her. She swears she must know him from some where.
He nods his head down to her, shifting in his stance, moving one foot out so he's standing cock-eyed.
Staring up at him, she sees that he's removed his coat. D'uh, she wants to tell herself, the heat's on inside. It's why she's rolled her shirt sleeves up past her elbows. "Hi," she offers, wanting to break their staring contest of theirs.
He clears his throat again, and his voice is a nice one. When he opens his mouth to talk, it's low and careful with each syllable specifically pronounced. As a lawyer, it must come in handy, she thinks.
It should be awkward, but it's not. There's a sense of ease, a sense of comfortableness that settles over her skin. The itchiness, and the tightening is welcoming.
"You can sit if you want." She indicates the chair across from her.
She watches his long fingers tap on his legs, knuckles pronounced and nice. He shakes his head, mouth twisting in a frown. He looks aggravated, nearly angry, but surely she has done nothing to him. "No, that's fine."
"Okay," she swallows, fingers curling around the pen in her hand. "Can I help you with something?"
"You were impressive today."
She shifts her arms out so they lay flat on her desk, palms up. "Isn't this where you thank me for saving your life?"
Luke’s mouth transforms from a frown into a mocking smile, a shifting of muscles in the blink of an eye. She likes that better, something seeming right about that expression. "I hardly think I was in danger that much. Not with you as our fearsome Lady Marshall to save the day."
She answers that with a grin of her own. "If you say so."
He nods again, green eyes alight with his teasing. "I do."
They stall out of things then, or else she can find nothing to say in the silence and he cannot find what he came up for.
His eyes flicker down, to her desk, to her outstretched arms. He blinks slowly, an awareness stealing over his features. "An ash tree."
Her face slides into confusion, mirroring her tone. "What?"
"That mark on your arm," he points down. "It looks like an ash tree."
They're saved then by his phone ringing, and before she can get in another word, he leaves. As quickly as he'd come, he's gone.
She watches him sweep out of the Marshall office, and turns to her computer screen. A few taps on her keyboard brings a search engine up, and she puts in 'ash tree' and watches results pop up. Most of them are standard pictures of trees;she has no knowledge of trees and their different species.
One result catches her eye though. The spindly branches look familiar, and she hovers over the image, magnifying it to see that it's a match for her drawing from a few days ago. She searches through the text, finds:
Her nameplate has tipped over somehow, and the two words there, upside down but even so, seem wrong.
She is naked, and the furs underneath her back tickle her bare skin. Laughter sits on her tongue, and she must bite at the muscle to keep it from spilling forth. Her breath hitches, and her foot moves, sliding across the bed that is not her own.
“Be still,” a voice murmurs above her, soft and chastising.
“I am,” she answers, lowering her voice in pitch. “But you are so distracting.”
Green eyes narrow in annoyance, but he plays along. “I did not know the Lady was so prone to being the maiden.”
She taps her foot against his thigh where he kneels over her. “I am not. No lies.”
He gives her a look, and dips the tiny brush in his bowl. “Almost finished.”
She shivers and her skin twitches when he bends down to trace the rune again. She does not move though.
He blows on the liquid to help it dry faster, and then puts his fingers to the rune to send magic across it, sealing it on her skin.
Rising up on her elbows, she peers down at the marking. The rune had been her idea, and hers to talk him into doing, and now she admires her work. “Done?”
A nod, and she reaches out to pull him down onto her. Staying still can only last for so long.
In the morning, she doesn’t even hesitate. She rolls over to grab the yellow pad of paper she keeps on the nightstand for emergency calls. The pen’s in the drawer, and she wrenches on the knob to root around between socks and a book or two to grab it.
Her dreams are becoming more vivid and leaving longer impressions when she awakes. She puts pen to paper, on her side in bed, elbow keeping her up. It doesn’t take long for her to draw what she remembers, and when she gets done it’s a symbol. But it’s the weirdest symbol she’s ever seen, nothing normal or simplistic like a peace sign. It swirls and loops end over end, a twisting mass that reminds her of a snake.
She tears the piece of paper off, and shoves it in her back pocket of her jeans after getting dressed.
After work, where she escorts a witness back to jail, she turns her motorcycle to the right instead of the left that would lead her to her apartment building. There’s a place and a person she thinks that might be able to help her.
The tattoo parlor sits on the corner of the street, across from a flower shop. When she opens the door, the chime sounds, and her worn boots scuff across the tiled floor. Her friend has a nice shop, one he’s proud of, and a quick look around by anyone confirms that; the front desk is a dark stained wood, the walls a mix of colors, and the chairs made of nice leather.
Owen looks up from where he’s seated behind the front desk, giving her the barest of smiles, which for him might as well be a full blown megawatt one. He greets her, calls her name, and then asks, “What brings you in?”
He must be busy, and when she gets close enough to see over the lip of the counter, she can see that he’s got his appointment book out. She flashes him a smile as she pulls the folded piece of paper out. “This,” she says, and lays it flat for him to see. “I was hoping you could tell me what it is.”
He takes it, and runs stained fingers over the creases. His brow creases. “It looks Nordic,” he finally grunts.
She laughs. “Nordic? As in the whole mythology thing?”
Something rings true there, and there’s a heaviness that sits in the back of her head, urging her to put it all together. She can’t though.
Shrugging his shoulders, he goes on. “Many people like Norse symbols as tattoos. You asked.”
Teeth bite down on her lips, pulling her bottom one into her mouth, and sucking on the flesh. “Do you know what it means specifically?”
Owen shakes his head. “Not without looking it up for you.”
“Would you do that?”
He nods, and slides the piece of paper into the appointment book.
“Just call me when you figure it out, yeah?”
A nod again, and that’s enough.
She leaves, putting one leg over her bike, stalling for a second with her hand over the bar. Something isn’t right, with her, with him, with Luke, with all of this. She feels hunted, she feels threatened, she feels lost, and that scares her more than anything. She doesn’t do well with fear.
She kicks the stand up and revs the engine.
The wind off the bay is cool on her heated face as she races home.
Thursday and she’s with Robin in the bar.
Dashings is crowed. The Ravens are playing tonight, and the bar’s packed with interested fans. It’s noisy and loud, and she’s well into her fourth beer.
She traces the condensation on her glass, fascinated by the droplets. “Do you ever think this isn’t who we’re meant to be?”
Robin lifts his head at her question, blinking owlishly at her. He laughs, “What do you mean?”
Her shoulders lift in a tiny shrug, pulling on the sleeves of her leather jacket. “Just what I said. Ever think we’re not meant to be here? Or that we’re meant to be somewhere else. Someone else?”
He laughs again, a barking noise that startles the couple closest to them at the bar. The couple gives them a look and then return to the game. “Now I know you’ve had too much to drink.”
She shakes her glass at him. ‘I have not. This is my fourth.”
He frowns. “Work too hard lately?”
Setting her face into a scowl, she growls out, “I’m being serious.”
Robin must see it on her face. But he doesn’t have the answers she wants. “I don’t know. Never thought of it before.”
She pushes her unfinished beer at him, and stands from the stool.
“Where are you going?” Robin asks, frowning at her.
“Home.” She zips up her jacket, taking comfort in the warm smell of leather.
He starts to speak, but she waves off his concern. “I’m fine. I’ll walk.” She can take care of herself, just fine.
He lets her go, and she spills herself out the front door, letting the breeze waft over her face, and toss her hair high up into the air. The heavy black strands obscure her face, and so she doesn’t see the body she walks into when she starts towards her apartment.
A familiar hand catches her elbow, and green eyes catch hers. “You’re beginning to make this a habit, my dear Marshall.”
She jerks back. She’s not his anything. That makes her pause though, lips falling down. That’s wrong. She is his something, as he’s her something too.
“I know you,” she states.
Luke nods, and a black strand of hair, so dark it’s like a raven’s wing with highlights of shiny navy, falls across his high forehead. “Yes, you do. You ran into me. Twice now.”
She has the urge to brush it back, to sink her hands in that hair and pull hard. “No, I know you from somewhere else. From before.”
And she does. The images are there. The memories are there. All sit in the back of her head, in the recesses and empty spots in her mind, slowly replacing the ones of her youth and younger years. She is unsure of who she is, and what she is or was, and at every turn when she sees her name or hears it, it sounds wrong, leaving a bad taste in her mouth.
His eyes are narrowed now, focus unsure, and facial expressions hesitant. “Are you alright?”
She steps back, not realizing how close she’s come to stand in front of him. His coat brushes against her stomach. “Fine. I’m fine. Excuse me.”
Her eyelids are so heavy when she blinks, as she tries to settle her thoughts, and she steps away, leaving him.
His gaze burns against her back like a knife until she turns the corner block.
The office gets a call from her the next morning, and she doesn’t go in that day. Sick day, and it’s not completely a lie, because there’s something wrong with her. And not just somewhat wrong, but seriously wrong.
She spends the day wearing loose sweats and an old plaid shirt, moving from her couch to the kitchen, to her desk with her computer. Her badge she flips over, not wanting to see her name on it. She doesn’t bother getting the mail from downstairs either.
Her memories are bleeding into one. It’s not that she can’t remember things from her past, and it’s not that they’re being replaced, but that the two sets are overlapping. She can still remember when she fell out of her childhood home’s tree and had to wear a red cast for the rest of the summer, but she also remembers breaking her arm after a shield cracked down onto it. None of it meshes together.
When the sun sets, she pushes open her living room windows, and looks at the water. Her apartment building is situated to see the harbor, to take in the glowing lights and boats that look like little toys from so far away.
She likes the water, and how soothing it is. There’s something about the play of the lights and ripples in the waves that brings comfort to her.
Her phone rings, jarring her from her hypnotic thoughts.
She presses the green answer on the touch screen. “Hello?”
“It is Norse,” Owen’s voice is severe even through the tiny speaker.
She exhales, blowing out air and causing a static noise that muffles his voice. “What was that?”
He repeats himself, and this time she hears him clearly. “It’s a rune. It belongs to Loki, the God.”
A chill comes over her and it has nothing to do with the breeze outside. She goes to bed early.
Her dreams fold into like a Jacob’s Ladder, one after another.
Her hair is bright gold, once on her head, but now scattered on the ground below. She grins in triumph at her display, at her finally taking something for herself. Let them call her a maiden now.
She fits her mouth to his trickster smile and erases it with her lips. Voices from the hall spill over out into the dark balcony where they stand pressed against one another. His hand is warm on her jaw where he tilts her face up to his. A stolen moment, but theirs.
There is blood on her face. It drips past her eyelids, paints her face in dark red streaks, and drips inside her mouth. It is not her own. She welcomes it. War is her calling, and she is its goddess.
A mourning wail can be heard from beyond the throne room. She is silent, her fists clenched at her side, but her heart echoes the sounds of despair by her Queen.
Asgard is dying. She too with it, and she can do nothing but watch from where she has fallen to lie against a broken pillar. Her eyes slip shut, and every inhale and exhale is pain to her now. Flames lick at everything near. And then there is a cool hand on her face, lips on her forehead, and a familiar voice she has not heard in centuries, “Oh, my Lady Sif.”
Sif wakes screaming.
Her throat is raw and it burns as if she’s inhaled smoke.
Sif, Sif, Sif, that’s her name, her right name, the one that she repeats over and over again. Tears wet her face, and her nightshirt’s soaked through with sweat. She’d died. The pain of it’s still fresh in her mind, the death of all her friends and her family.
Everyone gone, but not. They’ve been reborn here on Midgard, on Earth. Fandral at the bar, Hogun at his tattoo shop. Loki at the courthouse.
Loki, her heart beats, and she must wake him.
The others too, but Loki first. She thinks on that, wonders if he’s had the same dreams as her, but from the confusion on his face, she decides not. His lies and his tricks are easy to spot for her, and this he would not do.
It’s easy enough for her to get his address. Her badge number and a quick story about how he might be in danger from the shooting from the a few weeks ago do the job. She is surprised to see that he lives close, on the water as well. Not bothering to change, except to grab a jacket, she wiggles her feet into her boots and leaves, keys in hand.
His building’s nicer than hers, and she thinks of his clothing and isn’t surprised. Her bike she leaves on the sidewalk, and the stairs she takes two at a time, thankful he doesn’t live all the way at the top.
Sif pounds on his door, her heat hammering away behind her ribs. She misses her glaive, misses her shield at her back, wishes she was better armed.
There’s noise from the inside, feet scuffing along the floor, and a lock being undone. And then it’s Loki staring at her. Same black hair, same green eyes, the cheekbones she used to play her fingers over, the long fingers that often were practicing his spells.
He peers at her, face drawn together, muscles contracting. “You.”
“Loki,” she breathes out, loving the sound of his name. This is right.
Tilting his head, he blinks, “No. I do believe you have the wrong person.”
Sif moves forward, and grabs his shirt, a button down meaning he hadn’t been asleep yet. She kisses him, and her intent is to shock him, see if that would release his locked memories.
He pulls back, but she chases him, unrelenting. Please, she thinks, Yggdrasil please. He shudders beneath her, a tremor running through his whole body that she can feel in her own. His arms rise and jerk her closer, hands a weight holding her in place. There is nowhere else she would go though.
When he pulls back this time, she lets him. His lips are bruised from her intensity, and his eyes are clearer now, sharp like old. “Sif.”
Loki shifts his hands into her hair, pulling tight on the strands to angle her head up. “Lovely Sif.”
She swallows, following him into his apartment as he leads them backwards. The door closes with a loud thud behind them. “Say it again.”
He laughs, a flash of white teeth that means danger. “Your name?”
“As my lady commands.”
He does, say her name.
“Sif,” into her collarbone as he pulls her shirt from her.
“Sif,” with a laugh when she tears his from his shoulders.
Again when she stares at him with knowing in her eyes.
And many times after he slides into her, hands on her thighs while she tightens her legs around his waist, and during the time they relearn one another in the space of his bedroom.
“Sif,” Loki murmurs, biting her shoulder where he lays. His fingers brush over the mark on her thigh that pulses at the touch of the one who put it there.
She closes her eyes, content.
“Are you sure we must do this?”
Sif grins, and pushes her hair out of her face before answering. She takes his hand and pulls him into the bar. “Yes. They’re our friends. They deserve to know too.”
Loki stands slightly behind her, annoyance on his features. “Will you wake them how you did me?”
She laughs, and adopts a thoughtful expression on her face. “No, I’d thought I’d let you take Fandral.”
He grimaces, distaste, but even so, he squeezes her fingers. “I will pass, my lady.”
She pulls him along to the bar, and they take their seats, waiting.
They will deal with Fandral first, and then Hogun, and from there the others, Thor never forgotten. They are two, together, and death still lingers, but there’s life now. She will take it.